Content Marketing, Thought Leaders

Top 6 Pre-Production Tips to Create Engaging Video Content

August 26, 2019

by Pushpa Srivastava

Digital Marketing Manager at Sinema Films

Despite the challenges it requires, video production is a worthwhile investment with functional applications that can yield phenomenal returns. Use this guide to the best pre-production tips to create successful video content in 2019 to mitigate common challenges and maximize ROI.

By 2022, online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic — 15 times higher than it was in 2017, as reported by Cisco.

By now, you would think most companies must be rushing to create meaningful videos, but that’s surprisingly not the case. Most businesses still consider video production to be cumbersome, time-consuming, and ultimately not worth the investment.

At Sinema Films, we’re advocates for following best practice in the planning and pre-production process. Doing so saves our clients substantial money, time, and resources later on.

Poorly planned pre-production can lead to exceeding your budget when you produce the actual video, so it’s important to guard the finances you have available.

Hiring a skilled post-production video agency is just one step towards ensuring a good pre-production process. Internally, it’s still crucial to have clear objectives and a fantastic plan in place when you approach a potential partner agency. Consider these tips for pre-production before you get started.

Pre-Production Tips to Create Engaging Content

  1. Define Your Customer Demographics
  2. Draft a Clear Message
  3. Plan Your Budget
  4. Write an Interesting Video Script
  5. Get to the Point Within 8 Seconds
  6. Plan the Ideal Video Length 

1. Define Your Customer Demographics

A marketing team that carefully researches its customer demographics will be positioned for success. Defining specific groups within a user base makes video production much more productive.

Don’t leave all the research to your video agency. In-house, create detailed buyer personas that represent your target viewers and unveil their interests and needs. Document these findings in complete detail to carefully narrow down your audience.

It’s impossible for any marketing video campaign to cater to everyone, so focus your energy on attracting consumers within an authentic buyer persona group. Having the average buyer for your company in mind will empower an agency to create a video that looks and sounds authentic.

A source of inspiration lies in a popular campaign Dove created, titled You Are More Beautiful Than You Think. The screenshot below features several recent campaigns within this category.

you are more beautiful than you think


Instead of perpetuating appealing yet impossible beauty standards, Dove recognized that many women feel insecure about their face or body. The company decided to switch to an empowering message rather than using an idealized one that’s unrealistic and harmful. 

2. Draft a Clear Message

After you define the people your video is addressing, the next step is to solidify the specific message you wish to convey. While it’s tempting to try to say everything at once in one video, most budgets make this hard to achieve.

Pick one objective and draft a clear message. Your partner video agency will likely have a talented script writer on staff to help your marketing team, but it’s equally vital for you to know the message you wish to convey specifically with your video.

An explainer video describes features of your product, a message from CEO spells out your values or a YouTube ad may be related to the season sale.

An important tip is to refrain from explaining what you do. Instead, stick to what you are selling. A video with a concise message will have a longer run time and provide a better ROI.

3. Plan Your Budget

A vital aspect of pre-production is to plan a budget in advance. Having a set budget will better equip you to maximize your deliverables from a video production company.

Help both your team and the agency’s team get on the same page about financing to accelerate the production process. Consider factors such as third-party interviews, location specificity, voice-overs, props for conveying the message, and the presence of a celebrity or influencer.

Remember: a bad video is worse than no video at all. Your budget should allot for a decent quality video production that won’t harm your company’s image. Higher caliber videos will do a better job of accomplishing your goals.

A report by Brightcove stated that 62% of consumers were more likely to have a negative perception of a brand which published a poor-quality video.

Choosing one of the best video production companies in New York will ensure your video is high quality. Established companies value their own work and want to add value in their portfolios.

4. Write an Interesting Video Script

Making a video script engaging should be obvious, yet most companies get stuck focusing on formal language or protocols instead of engaging material.

Not all marketing executives know how to write a good script, so sit down with your production agency or call them on the phone to explain what you want. Make sure you review and critique the script so that you know your message is spelled out clearly before finalizing the video.

Modifying the script during the production stage will cost additional time and money because once the storyboard is created, you’ve already invested in the work that goes into production.

Emirates NBD’s “Give Into Giving” campaign is a good example of a compelling script.

The screen capture below features a still from the video.

give into giving stillshot


Even though the video has no voice over nor any dialogue, it still conveys a powerful message.

By writing a compelling script, you can make your content engaging and interesting.

5. Get to the Point Within 8 Seconds

Eight seconds is the average attention span of an internet user. Your message should become clear in that time.

Even for the best video production companies in the world, the average eight-second attention span poses a creative challenge they need to make the best of in their content. With a clear script and close collaboration with your agency, being succinct in the first few seconds will further the strengthen your message.

6. Plan the Ideal Video Length

It’s unwise to start the production phase without debating and finalizing the ideal length of your video.

Keep in mind the ideal video lengths:

  • For YouTube ads, the optimal length is 30 to 60 seconds.
  • YouTube videos are best kept between 8 and 10 minutes.
  • TV commercials should be between 60 and 90 seconds.

The stereotype that short videos are more watchable isn’t always true. In reality, it is most important to create a video that viewers want to keep watching.

With an optimal video length, you will attract and retain viewers.

Start Production Fully Prepared

Once you have finalized the above factors, you are ready to go into production. It requires planning, time, and focus, but you can do it.

Your team and your production agency have the ability to create compelling video content as long as you complete the important pre-production steps.

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