It's almost impossible to avoid video content these days. Social media platforms, such as TikTok and Instagram, rely heavily on short-form videos. Facebook even allows users to use videos for their profile photos. Online news outlets, too, are focusing more and more on creating video stories.
And it's not just online. You can't get away from video offline, either. Video-based billboards have begun to replace more static versions. When I walked into Whole Foods last week, the electric charging station was showing a well-positioned video ad.
It's all video, all the time.
A full 86% of businesses are using video to drive everything from lead generation to brand visibility, the most recent Wyzowl State of Video Marketing report found. The pandemic helped push video into the spotlight even further, encouraging nearly three-quarters of video-savvy marketers to make video part of their strategies.
In other words, the time is now to harness the power of video to connect with audiences, capture attention, share messages, and educate prospective business clients.
Yet, it's not enough to just jump into the video production fray; you have to start with a well-constructed timeline and strategy.
Risks of Creating Video Without a Timeline
Every video project or campaign needs a timeline. It's essential for keeping your team focused on the ultimate goal, and it helps team members know how to execute your vision.
Without a defined timeline, you risk running into traps. Executive stakeholders might assume your video content will be finished sooner than you intend, leading to friction between departments and individual employees.
Another pitfall of not starting with a timeline is that mid-project deadlines might not be taken seriously. Will your script be finished by your expected shoot day? Not if you haven't nailed down touchpoints during the up-front planning process. You'll be left at the mercy of everyone else's ideas of what needs to be done and when.
A final stumbling block involves time-sensitive content. Want your video to promote a B2B service that your sales team intends to push in the second quarter? If your video ends up not being ready until the third quarter, you've wasted everyone's energy and the company's resources. That's not good planning—or good optics.
All of that is to say: Video is powerful, but it requires planning. The following are four pieces of advice to help you create a strategic, effective video schedule.
How to Create Your B2B Video Production Timeline
1. Build in time for feedback
Throughout the video production process, you'll want to get feedback from key players. For instance, you may want to get your boss to sign off on a storyboard. Similarly, you might need a script to travel through several layers of decision-makers.
Include the time needed for feedback in all your plans. If you don't, your finish date could be thrown off by days, weeks, or even months, depending on the scope and complexity of your video.
How much time should you set aside for feedback? It depends on the deliverable and the stakeholder's accessibility. To design a doable timeline that won't seem too ambitious, you may want to ask a stakeholder for a realistic feedback expectation.
2. Plan for revisions
It's a fact of video production that revisions will be needed. Scripts need to be changed. Actors drop out at the last minute, and you have to find replacements. Your development team unveils a new product, and you're forced to switch gears. Anything can happen.
Though you can't anticipate every possible issue, you can pad your timeline to give yourself and your team a bit of wiggle room. That makes everyone less nervous about hitting time-sensitive objectives. Plus, it allows you to deliver your final video ahead of schedule if nothing ends up hindering your progress.
3. Underestimate how much can get done each filming day
Shoots are notorious for taking longer than you might think. Never assume that it will take just an hour to get shots for your video. If you're shooting in front of multiple backgrounds, swapping out talent, or capturing supplemental content like still videos, a day or two may not even be enough.
Don't put undue stress on your team to perform superhuman feats, and don't cram too much into your day of filming. You can always wrap up early if you discover that you need less time. It's much harder to add days to a shoot than it is to turn something around sooner than expected, even if all your talent is in-house.
4. Include your 'go live' date(s) in your timeline
Add your video posting date to your schedule. You can be as specific as you want, including the dates and times you'll post to YouTube or when your video will run on OTT or broadcast channels. Once the content goes live, you can then begin the stage of tracking the data to chart your content's performance.
* * *
Video isn't just for B2C marketing. It's hugely valuable in the B2B world, too. Even if your competitors aren't using it yet, they will start to use it at some point.
Until then, you can get started and gain a competitive edge with videos that fill your pipeline, strengthen your brand reputation, and get your company noticed. All you need is a vision and a realistic timeline to make it come to fruition.
More Resources on B2B Video Production
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