Back to blog

Video 101 – Session 2: Before You Get Started

Before You Get Started is the second installment of the five-part Video 101 Series from CK & CO. This session provides insight into the discovery phase of video production and highlights the critical information that needs to be defined before getting started on a project.

Class is in session! Check out Session 2 below and stay tuned on social media for the next edition. Make sure to follow us on twitter (@thinkck) or like us on facebook so you don’t miss out. Need to catch up? Head on over to Session 1!




Download our Production Discovery Checklist!






5 Tips to Avoid Discovery Phase Pitfalls that Cost Time and Money

#1 It’s just a video

Many people approach video production with an attitude that it’s just a one-off. However, video should be a part of a strategy and needs to be aligned with an organization’s brand, strategy and communications objectives. If you think of it as a one-time tool, it won’t likely be useful long-term. If you really want the production company to help you, you need to share your strategic goals with them. What are your company goals and how does the video fit?

#2 Get decision makers involved early

Not getting the right people involved early on is typically an issue with larger companies where executive buy-in or legal sign-offs are needed. Talk about who should be involved during the discovery phase. If the people you have at the table don’t understand the big picture of the company, they won’t likely have the authority to approve the final project.




Are there any pending company changes that may affect the project? We often get in the middle of a project and there are branding changes, leadership shifts, organizational or personnel changes, new facilities or products that will be introduced. It’s best to think this through in the discovery phase or you may be wasting time and money developing something that won’t be relevant in the near future.

#3 Don’t try to do too much

Attention spans are growing shorter by the second in this new age of social media and smartphones. If you try to pack too much into a video, people will ignore it or move on.




Don’t overwhelm the audience with too many statistics, too many messages, or too many points of view. You need to be very clear and synthesize the content into easily digestible messages and soundbites. Don’t worry, CK & CO can help you with that if needed.

#4 Define Target Audience(s)

Video needs to be targeted. Think about how Amazon suggests items based on what you’ve ordered in the past. They don’t waste time suggesting things they don’t suspect you’ll like. Video is similar and you need to do the research to know your target.




If you don’t, you can get into production and be targeting the wrong group. Often times when you define the target in advance, you can create a number of targeted communications using the same raw video by tailoring the message slightly. Remember that what your employees need to hear may be very different than what your customers want to know.

#5 Budget Accordingly

Define a budget for your project. The budget a client allocates determines the level of production. When we get into pre-production, if we have an idea of how much a client wants to spend, we can tailor the project to fit the budget. If a client changes the scope of work or increases the level of production, the budget will typically increase.




Not sure what to budget? Ask your production company for samples of videos in different price ranges. These examples will help you gauge the level of production you need and what you can expect to pay for an upcoming project.




Bottom line: Define a budget and the kind of ROI you expect from it.