TBV Insights

7 best practices for video explainers

For a lot of people involved in technology solution videos, producing videos is not their main job. Video is just another element in a product launch, a trade show, or a web page. They’re not confident that they know what they’re getting into. If that’s you, here are seven best practices for videos about a technology solution.

1. Read a good video production guide.

Here’s a comprehensive guide that comes with 15 templates! You’re probably not going have the time or the resources to follow all these best practices for videos. Do the best you can.

2. Agree on (and write down) the most important thing to put across.

It’s easy to lose sight of the main event as subject matter experts and marketing experts review content that is developed in stages. It’s also a good idea to decide in advance what response you want from the viewer — something like “Hmmm. Never thought of it that way.”

3. Dictate style up front.

Watch competitor and other videos. Study your brand guidelines. And don’t let creative people waste your time (or theirs) on stylish stuff you don’t want.

4. Unless you can enforce turnaround times at every approval/review stage, don’t count on project timelines.

Whether you’re working with an inside team or outside agency, efficient video production requires approvals at set stages of the process — typically scripting, storyboarding, and creating/editing the video elements. Changes in direction become increasingly time-consuming and expensive at each stage.

5. Don’t let anyone rewrite the script in disregard of the visuals.

There’s a reason that video consumers are called viewers, not listeners. Words are supposed to punch up what’s on the screen, not run the show. If words and visuals don’t reinforce each other, the viewer needs to work harder to grasp the message.

6. Don’t let anyone rewrite the script in disregard of the target video length.

Many script editors ignore the undeniable fact that that adding spoken words to a script not only increases the length of the video but also requires new visual elements to go with the new words. Here are a few more best practices for video focusing on the script.

7. Make sure the storyboards are timelines, not slides.

Viewers follow action. They get antsy when things stand still. It doesn’t matter if storyboards don’t look like well-designed slides. They’re supposed to show you exactly what will attract the viewer’s attention at any point in time, in synch with the script. If you’re not seeing that, ask for more detailed storyboards. More best practices for video storyboards can be found here.


A version of this article appeared  in Biznology.

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