Best practices for video production: Goals and objectives

July 16, 2018

By Jason Margolis, with David Brigden, Hans Goksoyr and Evan Petka

Videos are a dynamic way to connect with your audience. Before embarking on a video production, it is important to ask yourself and provide answers to the following four questions:

  1. Why do you want to make this video?
  2. Who is the audience for the video?
  3. Where will your audience find the video?
  4. What kind of video is it?

It is vital that these questions are given adequate deliberation to ensure that your communication goals are met. If you are vague or uncertain about any of these answers, then you aren’t ready to make your video.

Planning will save you time and money, and most crucially, ensure that your video will have the best opportunity to achieve your communications goals and strategies.

Let’s look at each of the above questions to understand how they can help your planning and improve your video’s opportunities for success. We’ll start with the most necessary question.

The specific goals for a recent series of recruitment videos for the Department of Physics were to showcase the variety of careers students can pursue in physics and increase the number of female applicants.

Why do you want to make this video?

What is the measurable goal you are trying to achieve? What do you want the video to communicate? What do you want the audience to feel or think or do after watching the video? Is video the best tool to use to achieve your defined goals?

You’re asking someone to give up their time to watch your video. Ask yourself why your audience should feel inclined to watch it, and what your audience will get out of watching it. What will they learn? Will they feel curious to learn more about the topic? Will they feel inspired?

A video should have a clear purpose, goal or message. If a video has multiple goals, it may result in mixed messaging and not achieve your desired effect.

Video can be a powerful tool to convey emotion, illustrate ideas or make people think. An excellent video can succeed in all three tasks, but that requires considerable time to develop prepare your story and concept prior to filming.

The SFU Residence: Friendship Stories video was made to welcome students moving in for their first term.

Video shouldn't duplicate what can be shared with your audience in text, infographics or promotional posters, but can be a great tool to instill curiosity in the viewer to seek more information about a given subject. Video can be a great tool to illustrate something experiential by utilizing the power of storytelling, visuals, actions and sounds.

You might miss the opportunity to make a fantastic video, because it might not occur to you to create a video about it because the concept cannot be easily demonstrated merely in words or pictures. That is usually when you should consider using video!

In our next post, we’ll consider the importance of recognizing your audience and distribution channels before planning your video.