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How to Shoot Video Ads for a Social Media Marketing Client

December 27, 2018


Video has never been bigger when it comes to social media marketing. In fact, by 2019, it’s estimated that 80% of all internet traffic will involve video. There are many reasons why you should want to include video in any social media marketing strategy—first and foremost because consumers crave the human interaction and authenticity of video. If you want to forge a strong connection with an audience—which is integral to building a brand—then video is essential.

Even better, YouTube, smartphones, and social media have made it inexpensive to access and create video content. That means there’s really no excuse why you can’t offer video ads for the clients you bring on at your social media marketing agency.

In this article, I’m going to take you through everything you need to do to make quality video ads for your clients, from planning to equipment to the shoot itself.

Solve the Client’s Problems

The goal of creating video ads for your clients is to solve the clients’ problems. To do this, you have to learn everything you can about your client’s business, which includes checking out their website, social media, and products.

You always need to go into any meeting with a bit of an idea of the type of video the company might want, level of quality expected, and the company’s identity, and be able to show your client what you can do for them with video ads. This includes drafting a project proposal, knowing which equipment you’ll be using, and discussing with the client who will be making the creative decisions and putting it all together in post-production.

Project Planning

So much of a successful video ad can really be boiled down to good planning. In the planning phase, you need to determine what direction and approach you want to take with the video. Specifically, you want to try to nail down five core things at the planning meeting. Discuss with the client what the project goal is, who the audience is, what calls to action there will be, and what the schedule and budget will be.

A good way to start off the planning process is to outright ask the client for five words that best describe the audience they want to reach. From there, you can provide the client with a list of video types that your agency offers and, if possible, provide examples of each.  

To properly plan out the project, you will also need to determine the project timelines, and ensure you’re not setting unrealistic deadlines. Learning what their ideal duration is helps you decide how long the project will take with the resources you have. It can also raise a flag if the video is out of your scope. If the client wants a video finished in 48 hours, you need to let them know if that is possible with your planning, shooting, and post production resources, and inform them of the amount of time you will need to give them a result they’ll be happy with.

Before the project begins it is also important to make sure you understand the approval process, who is involved, and how many stages of the approval process there will be. A lot of back and forth can cause a project to fall behind, especially if one key player fails to sign-off on it, so it is important to establish what the expectations will be on both sides.

Another key detail to discuss in the project planning process is to determine how ROI will be measured. Social channels can be measured with comments or shares, while a microsite’s video could be measured by the click-through rate. When you know exactly how the client defines success, you can build the appropriate CTAs in the video and create graphics directing the viewers to where they need to go.

Some other details to discuss with the client during the planning process include:

Who Provides the Script

If you’re providing the script, your copywriters will have to get involved, there may be additional steps in the approval process, and the client may decide at any point that they don’t like the writing and ask for something else.

If the client provides the script, there’s less liability for change and a faster process—you will simply be responsible for bringing their vision to life.

Your Audio Needs

Will there be music in the video? If yes, who will be providing the music? If your team is providing the music, then what is the expected tone or genre? Will there be any voice-overs and if so, who will provide them?

As you and the client work through the details, you can start getting a better picture of what the cost and personnel needs will be. Needless to say, a 30-second video without music and a script provided by the client will take a lot less resources than a 2-minute video that is written by your team with added music.

Other Details to Discuss

To make sure you and the client are on the same page, just come right out and ask them what you can do to make them love this video? If they want a certain thing featured in the video, or if they have a preference for font or other graphics, this is the time for them to speak up.

This question is great because it’s so open-ended. It can easily transition into ideation (i.e. “That’s great that you want a water-skiing squirrel in the video, how about…”). Once you start bouncing ideas off of each other you can really start enjoying the creation process.

Topic Development

When developing the topic you need to know what the purpose of the video is—is it a How To video? Informational? Will this be a one-time project or part of a larger campaign?

The client may know the purpose of the video, the duration, and what budget they’re on, but not have any creative ideas. Your team will have to block out time for ideation, which means topic development and approval will have to be added to the time frame.

Ask the client if they have an idea of the look and feel of the video based on similar work they have seen. This will help your team stay on-brand with the campaign’s message and the overall vibe that the client is looking for.

Possible Future Revisions

And finally I have some thoughts of my own about where I see Facebook heading in the future. By 2020 I think that Facebook will be a completely different monster. I see them trying to compete with Google in the search engine and mapping space which would bring new types of marketing opportunities through their platform. I also see them acquiring craigslist to improve their own marketplace. I think they will also start to rely heavily on influencers and micro-influencers to keep up with how consumers use Facebook to buy products from its advertisers.

I also see them building IGTV to become a platform based around long-form content that will work great in industries like entertainment, sports, live event showings, etc. I think it could be used in the training industries for people on the go, but I have a harder time seeing someone look at vertical video for training purposes. Trainers who take advantage of IGTV will use it to add more “style” to their brand.

If you want to keep up to date about any changes that Facebook makes in the future and other changes and trends in the industry, then follow Cereal Entrepreneur on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. You can also enroll in our Digital Marketing School for everything you need to know about digital marketing. For more FREE training, visit our blog!


The Shoot

The shoot itself will also require a lot of planning and hard work. There are many things to consider to ensure that the shoot goes smoothly, including:

Coaching Talent During Video Shoot

A bit part of managing talent will involve memorizing lines and dealing with on-camera jitters. To help with this, have the script broken up into 2-3 sentences to make it easier to memorize. During b-roll video, let talent know they are NOT on camera so they can read right from the script. Always have talent to a read through of the script out loud before getting in front of the camera and give talent feedback on how the lines should be read.

If possible, don’t use a teleprompter. The actors will come across as more authentic and natural. Instead, position a laptop under the camera lens on an adjustable laptop stand. That way the script is out of talent’s eyeline, but can still serve as a reference point between readings.

Setting Up Video Equipment for Shoot

We recommend using at least 2 cameras, especially for scripted videos that won’t be using images or b-roll. Each camera should be setup at two different angles as this makes it easier to edit film

If you’re not sure what equipment to use, here at Cereal Entrepreneur we us:

Control the Environment

You need to make sure that everything is calm and relaxed on set. Non-essential individuals should be removed and ONLY the talent and director should be present during the shoot.

Keep the temperature cool and comfortable, have water available, and make sure all equipment is set up and working properly. Be prepared for unpredictable things during the shoot by factoring in while scheduling timeline, and then keep a positive and upbeat atmosphere.

Production Book

All professional production houses put together a production book that contains critical information about the shoot. It’s something clients and agencies expect from you on any large-scale shoot and can be distributed to all parties via email prior to the shoot. A printed copy should also accompany you to set.

It should be clean, easy to read, and align with your brand, and can easily be created using Word or Pages. Once complete, save a template you can use for your next shoot, and then output a PDF for the production crew and send it out!

The production book should contain:

  • Cover sheet: identifies the client, the production company and/or the photographer
  • Contact info: the names, titles, phone numbers, and email address of all associated parties
  • Shot list/creative: detailed shot list and/or photo references
  • Travel itineraries: who’s going where and when?
  • Accommodations: where is everyone staying?
  • Location info: where is the shoot taking place?
  • Talent: actors, models, friends, etc.
  • Vendors: a list of any and all 3rd party resources involved in the shoot
  • Shooting schedule: what does each day look like?
  • Production calendar: all pertinent deadlines should be identified here

Schedule a Follow-up Meeting

When the project is completed, set up a meeting with your client, whether you’re able to see them in person or have to schedule a Skype call, GoToMeeting, or Google Hangout for remote clients.

In your follow-up meeting, determine your client’s satisfaction by asking:

  • How do they feel the project workflow went?
  • What went well and why?
  • What didn’t go so well and why?
  • Was the quality of the work what they expected?
  • Did the overall process and experience go as expected?
  • If not, is there anything that should change for the next project?
  • Were there any unanticipated issues? If so, what can be done to help eliminate surprises?
  • Are there updates, changes or revisions planned for the future?

Being able to offer video ad development and production can be a huge benefit to your social media marketing agency, and will be vital for your business going forward if you want to remain competitive in social media and digital marketing.

If you want to learn more about how to run a social media marketing agency, then enroll in our Digital Marketing School today! Follow us on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and visit our blog for more FREE training that will help you land clients and keep them happy!

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