The 3 Most Important Questions to Ask Before Making a Video

There are three basic questions communications video producers usually ask, either out loud or to themselves, every time a project begins. The answers to these questions usually stir new questions, fuel creative discussion and help form the creative direction and concept of the project.

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Here are the “big 3 questions”

Who is your audience?
What is your single most important message?
What do you want your viewer to do, feel or understand after seeing the video?

Let’s take a quick look at the questions one by one.

Who is your audience?
Characteristics of the target audience must be understood well so that an appropriate filmmaking style, aesthetic and story style can hit the mark perfectly. Audiences can initially be defined broadly, like “manufacturers in need of better transport for their goods” or “16 year-old girls who broadcast who they are by the clothes they wear.” These two example audiences would obviously best be served with different approaches. Audiences may be broadly or narrowly defined depending on the specific situation, but understanding who the intended viewer really is can point to styles of story, videography, editing, music, color, presentation and language which will help reach them personally and emotionally, and no medium is better at making emotional connections than video.

What is your single most important message?
In order to have that great emotional resonance video is known for, your message must be clearly articulated. The more concisely you can state your message, the closer you’ll be to having a good video. Even messages which might seem bland at first glance can be very motivating when properly presented to the right people using the carefully coordinated crafts of the medium. That’s done best when the message is distinct, refined and easily understood.

What do you want your viewer to do, feel or understand after seeing the video?
You’ve obviously got a point to make, but what’s supposed to happen once you’ve made that point? Do you want the viewer push a button to learn more, give money, go to the beach on her next vacation, shop at your store, join your association, come to your meeting or use your service? In a sense, it’s the good ol’ call to action, but with superpowers because it’s being communicated via video. This is when your clever hat goes on. Do this right and you can really be rewarded: video is highly sharable and sticky like candy.

The answers to these questions should lead to more questions, and that’s a very good thing, because now you’re really getting somewhere. You’ll want to decide how to approach the viewer emotionally, based on the answers you’re coming up with. More of our blog posts explore both subtle and in-your-face story approaches and video production techniques to connect with your viewer like no other medium can.


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