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YouTube marketing: Video pre-production advice


So, you want to create awesome videos on YouTube? That’s great! After all, YouTube is the world’s most popular video platform, second most popular search engine, and third most popular website.

But you can’t rush into this blindly. The preparation that you do before creating a video is just as important as the actual shooting and editing of the video itself. As the old saying goes: fail to prepare, prepare to fail.

This preparatory phase is called video pre-production, and it covers three main areas: coming up with an idea for your video, writing a script and creating a storyboard.

This blog post will look at these three areas of video pre-production, with the viewpoint that these videos will be published on YouTube.


1. How to come up with an idea for your video

Rather than thinking of videos as existing in isolation from one another, it is a good idea to think about ideas for a video series. A video series is a style of video that is repeatable. By having a consistent format, you will save time and money, set expectations and make your brand more familiar and recognisable. If a viewer likes a video that is part of a series, they are more likely to watch more videos in that series and become a loyal viewer.

So, what makes a good series?

First of all, you need to decide on what will be the consistent element that links your series together. This recurring element can be anything from the day/time you upload your videos, to the presenters or actors that you use, to the format, or even the tone of voice.

Another thing to think about is your target audience. Clearly define your target audience: who are they, what is their demographic and what kind of content do you think they will react to best? It is more effective to target one specific group of people than to try to target everyone.

Bear in mind sustainability too. Be practical and make sure you have the resources to sustain a series idea over time. Things to consider include time, money, equipment, labour and location. Try to squeeze the most out of each shoot by doing block shooting (where you shoot more than one video) and filming behind-the-scenes footage (if appropriate).

2. How to write a script

Don’t worry about it being perfect first time around! It is better to write something imperfect that you can change later, than to write nothing. If you get stuck, bounce ideas off colleagues. Once you’ve got your first draft, go through it again to edit and improve it for conciseness, clarity and engagingness. Try to write as naturally as possible. Avoid long sentences and use simple words. As a rough guide, 140 words is around one minute of speech. Always ensure that your scriptwriter is a native speaker of the language. Only a native speaker will understand the nuances of the language and be able to write in a way that sounds natural.

3. How to create a storyboard

A storyboard is a series of panels drawn out on paper, with each panel containing a visual concept for each part of your video. Each panel can contain the following information:

  • the location and the set layout
  • the number of people on-screen
  • any props you want to include
  • camera angles, movements and shots
  • any dialogue (this helps to clarify the start and end of the shot)

I hope this has given you a useful introduction to video pre-production in the context of YouTube marketing. For more in-depth information, read my free, full-length guide here.

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Elin Box

Content Marketing Manager at Webcertain
Elin is a Content Marketing Manager at Webcertain. She is responsible for Webcertain’s Self-learning platform, producing in-depth guides on a range of international digital marketing topics. She also helps run the Webcertain blog and is the writer of the Webcertain search and social report, an annual report summarising digital marketing best practices in over 50 countries. She is passionate about educating and empowering people to make the best decisions for their business and is proud to help share Webcertain’s wealth of digital marketing knowledge with the world. Elin is from the UK.

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