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Do you love to plan things? Do you like to leave things flexible? This brief guide to video planning will help make every project work out however you like to do it. 

The importance of planning

When it comes to marketing videos people like the production part. It’s full of cameras, action, excitement and in the corporate world an opportunity to make your colleagues feel a little uncomfortable.

People love post-production as well. They get to comment on something being produced. It makes clients feel like directors and producers like creative geniuses.

Planning, however, often doesn’t get the same amount of love. How often have you been involved with a project where the planning seems to take forever?

“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.”I have been involved with so many projects where clients need something turned around urgently. With a deadline only a 24 hours away or less the planning phase can easily get curtailed.

I have found time and time again, however, that making sure that pre-production and planning is done properly is the key to a successful video. It helps you avoid problems later, which is essential when time is of the essence, and ensures a better end product more suited to its purpose.

Best of all, when done properly, it doesn’t need to take forever.

Download the Smarter Video free planning checklist here.


What to plan and what not to plan?

On a previous post I explained the 5 magic questions that need to be asked before any planning or production begins and I would highly recommend using these first as they can dramatically increase the chances of video success.

  1. Why do you want to produce video as opposed to any other form of content?
  2. Who is your target audience?
  3. Where does the video lie in your customers journey?
  4. Where are your intended audience going to want to watch the video?
  5. How will you judge the success of the video?

After this you need to create a concept and plot for your video. This can be very basic e.g. Animated video showing sad customer in their office, they receive product in a magic puff of smoke, they become very happy and eat cake. 

The key is that whatever concept you create should clearly fit the answers to the 5 magic questions. 

Then you need to make a list of all the relevant assets needed. Regardless of whether you are a video producer or hiring a production team this needs to be done although, of course, your lists will be different.

  • Do you need an animator?
  • Do you need a video producer or production company?
  • What budget do you have to spend?
  • What locations might be needed for filming?
  • Do I need actors?
  • Am I going to be filming employees or customers?
  • What permissions do I need for locations, actors, customers or employees?
  • Do I want a voiceover?

Answering these questions will make writing a script, putting together a storyboard (if necessary) much easier.

Download the Smarter Video free planning checklist here.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

Do I really need to write a script?

The simple answer is no. The complicated answer is… “it depends”.

If you are creating an animation, or a dramatised piece of content, a script is essential. It will save you huge amounts of time in production and post-production and avoid issues of forgotten detail, incorrect information etc.

If you are filming at an event, an interview or a case study, DO NOT CREATE A FULL SCRIPT. These types of video always work best when the content feel genuine. Interviewing customers or employees almost never works when it is scripted.

This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t prepare. It just means that every word shouldn’t be carefully crafted.

Instead create a series of headings for the key pieces of content you want to include. Then break them down into bullet points highlighting any key information. I often find for interviews that writing these bullet points as questions can be useful. Write them in a logical order that helps tell a story. A basic example for a case study might be:


  • Who are you and what do you do?
  • Tell me about the company
    • Company focus on rehoming puppies.

The initial problem

  • Before you purchased Find A Dog A Home software what were the problems you were facing?
    • Limited access to information
    • Delays across puppy rehoming
  • How was this effecting your business?
    • Puppies staying longer
    • Increased costs to house puppies waiting for homes
  • How was this effecting you personally/your colleagues/your employees
    • It was stressful
    • Frustrating

The solution

  • What was the solution to your problem?
    • Find a Dog A Home
    • All in one puppy homing solution
  • How did you hear about it?
    • Online advert
    • Reviews
  • What was the process of installing software, learning it?
    • Easy process
    • Support and training from the company


  • Would they recommend?
    • Yes (My favourite ever answer in a case study was when the interviewee answered no. He said “No. I wouldn’t recommend this to other companies. I want to keep it to myself then I would have a real competitive edge.”)

This makes sure nothing gets missed but doesn’t make people not used to being filmed as nervous as learning lots of lines. It can turn an interview in to a conversation.


Things change from paper and planning to real life. Any plan should be carefully thought through but always considered a guide.

The moment the information or situation changes the plan should change with it.

Download the Smarter Video free planning checklist here.

For more information about Smarter Video take a look here.

Please get in touch and let me know what you would like to learn or read about.

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