How to create a strong marketing video brief that empowers your creatives to work their magic.
10 min read
Marketing videos are a powerful tool to get your brand and message in front of the right eyeballs at the right time. But creating your marketing videos doesn’t just happen. You can’t just grab a camera, shoot a few minutes of footage, and you’re done. Nor can you simply tell your creative team that you want a video made and let them work out the rest.
To deliver a marketing video that achieves its goal, the first step is creating a strong brief.
So, when writing a marketing video brief, the key is to be clear and simple. It’s about providing clear direction, in easy-to-understand terms, and say what you’re looking to achieve and communicate in unambiguous language.
But that doesn’t always happen, does it?
Let’s take a look at some common mistakes to avoid when writing a marketing video brief, and then how to write one that gives your creative team the information they need to deliver a strong, eye-catching video.
8 common mistakes to avoid.
When writing a marketing video brief, there are some common mistakes we see that create immediate roadblocks in designing videos.
Making it too long.
You’re not writing War and Peace. Keep it short, succinct, and to the point. Too many details and you’re getting into execution, rather than a simple brief. Make sure to only include the details you need, and let your creative team do the rest.
But don’t oversimplify, either.
Less is more, until it’s too little. Give your creative team enough information to work with.
Making it confusing.
A good brief is clear, direct, and in one set format. A bad brief comes through to your agency in a series of different emails, links to competitors’ examples, copy-and-paste text from different sources, and screenshots from different websites. Make sure you’ve got your ducks in a row first before trying to brief your creative team.
Focus on the wrong thing.
Sometimes clients miss all the important deliverable information and overstep into the creative realm instead. For example, describing how the opening scene of the video starts, without a clear rationale—that’s not the job of the brief.
Use industry-specific language.
Different terms can mean different things in different contexts. So common jargon in your industry may mean something different to your creative team. So make sure to use clear language, without room for interpretation. Don’t use industry-specific acronyms; spell it out instead.
Not setting an objective.
We’ve spoken about this before, but without an objective, your video won’t have anything to aim towards. It will feel vague, pointless, and soulless. Make sure you have an objective first before sending your marketing video brief to your creative team. If you still can’t determine the objective, ask yourself, do you actually need the video in the first place?
Choosing the wrong length.
Your creative team can advise on this, but to avoid back and forth, try and set an appropriate video length in your brief, and a reason why. A three-minute video isn’t going to be appropriate for most social media platforms, and similarly, a 15-second clip won’t have the desired effect if it’s front page on your website.
The length should be determined by two things.
First, the conversation that you’re having. Are you drawing your audience in slowly, and telling them a story? Or are you slapping them between the eyes and shouting from the rooftops to get their attention?
Platform-specific requirements will also dictate how long your video can be, such as whether it’s used as a TV commercial, content for your socials, or a pre-roll ad.
Not trusting the agency.
This might sound like a pretty one-sided thing, but to get the best value out of your marketing video, it’s crucial that you trust your creative partner to do their job. You’re the one setting the objective—they’re the ones who will achieve it, using their creative experience and expertise to devise an execution for you.
How to create a marketing video brief that your creatives will love.
Here are the key things to communicate to help you create a strong, easy-to-understand for your creative partner/s to work with.
- What do you do?
What is the product or service you want to promote?
Why are you doing this? You want to make this video because…
This video is targeting, or is designed to be seen by… (be specific here)
After watching this video, I want my audience to…
How do you want to convey your message? Do you want it delivered in a straight informational style, do you want to elicit an emotion, make people laugh, or something in between?
What’s the tone you want to use to convey your message? Think words like fun, cool, warm, luxurious, traditional, or relatable. How do you want the video to feel?
Any brand elements you would like to really reinforce.
Provide examples that have inspired you—or that you’d like to avoid.
Set a clear deadline, and whether this is hard or soft. Often we work backwards from your deadline to come up with a concept that can be executed in the required timeline.
All of these points influence the choices your creative partner makes throughout the creative process.
You create the framework—we deliver the creative.
The point of your marketing video brief is to create the guidelines for your creative partner to follow. They’ll then go ahead and choose the appropriate talent, voiceover artists, animators, camera operators, and editors that fit the brief.
You marketing video brief can also influence things like camera choice, lenses, and other equipment. Be mindful here: the creative choices here can have implications for the time required to shoot.
For example, a dryer, informative piece might be able to be shot reasonably quickly, whereas an emotive piece needs each shot to be considered much more. They need more time and planning to make sure the shots capture the right emotion and story.
The final word on marketing video briefing.
At end of the day, it’s all about keeping your brief simple and clear. Make it easy to understand what you want to achieve, and why.
…and then get out of your own way, trust your brief, and let your creative team do what they’re best at.
As Posterboy, our whole mission is to make things uncomplicated.
So when you need video marketing content, drop us a line. We’ll work with you to create a clear, simple brief that makes it easy for you to tell us what you need—and easy for us to interpret, so we can create a winning video for you.
Get in touch to brief us on your next marketing video.