A marketing video is a way to tell your story more clearly. It’s like a mini-document that you drop into YouTube, Vimeo or other sharing sites. Your audience can watch it as many times as they want and get different insights from each viewing.

That’s what makes videos so powerful — they allow for repeated exposures which often lead to action.

Video stories are also interactive. If there’s something in the narrative that resonates with viewers, then you can ask questions, give tips or even offer products and services as part of the experience.

There are lots of ways to create a marketing video, but none compare to starting with an idea and creating a storyline around that concept.

You can use storytelling as a basis for most types of videos, including how-to guides, interviews, product demonstrations and announcements.

This article will help you develop your storytelling skills by exploring three main components: setting up the scene, developing characters and establishing mood. When used together, these elements make up a framework within which your story can thrive.

Write your script

how to storyboard a marketing video

Now that you have done some research, gathered your material, and wrote your script, it is time to start filming!

While there are lots of ways to storyboard a video, most people use a simple process. You can start by drawing little frames or shots in a similar order as what we discussed before. But instead of having each frame tell a complete story like it did before, these new videos will link together to create a narrative.

Your first shot could be to show off your product – something very important for your business’s success. Then you could make an example use, take advantage of a sale, or showcase how well your product works.

Next you could do a testimonial or interview with someone who uses your products or services. Or maybe you could just put yourself in the scene! (We recommend doing this far outside of normal work hours.)

After this, you could do a summary or conclusion of the movie. This could be telling the audience about the benefits of your product, asking them to try out a sample, or thanking them for watching our movie.

If you want, you could also add in some links to resources or pages related to your product. These could be shopping sites, YouTube reviews, or internal company materials.

Practice filming

how to storyboard a marketing video

After you decide how your video will look, it’s time to practice shooting those scenes!

Practice making a short clip of yourself talking for one minute. Add some graphics and music if needed. Now try creating a scene with me as an audience member or a reader.

Your final product should be a total of around five minutes long.

Rehearse filming

Before you start recording your video, there is one very important thing to do! This is called rehearsal. A good way to do this is to create a story board of the video.

On a large piece of paper, make a list of events or scenes for the video. These should be organized in order and connected to each other.

As you go through the different events, think about how you would like them to flow and what tone they should have.

By doing this ahead of time, you will not need to worry about this while recording the video.

Choose the perfect location

how to storyboard a marketing video

After deciding which genre your video will fit, you next need to determine if a scripted or documentary style is more appropriate. With both styles, there comes a final choice- whether to use stills or not!

Using stills can help focus the viewer’s attention solely on what you want them to look at – the product. By using only products in the videos, it creates an effect of “Oh, they are watching this show about that” instead of “Wow, they made a TV SHOW about THAT?”. This could make people feel less impressed by the product and/or set up someone who wants to own it for nothing!

On the other hand, some brands prefer having full length videos that feature their product being used outside the home. Having additional settings can create a feeling of nostalgia or inspiration as well as showing off the features of the product better.

Your budget should also be considered when choosing whether or not to include stills. Some things like narration and music can be paid extra close scrutiny so that you do not have to spend too much money on it.

Plan your shot list

how to storyboard a marketing video

Now that you have done some research, determined your focus audience, and gathered all of your producing materials, it is time to start planning your video!

The first thing you will need to do is determine what type of story you want to tell. This will determine the length of your video as well as how many shots you include.

You can use a basic formula to know when a new scene or element should be included in the video. The three-act structure works very well for storytelling videos so this book does an excellent job explaining it.

Act one – Introduction

Act two – Arousal

Act three – Resolution

This format allows you to add in more details and create a longer narrative if needed.

Now that you have a good idea of how long your video should be, it is time to work on the act one. Act one is typically called the introduction because it tells the viewer who the main character is and gives them a brief summary of the setting.

This is usually followed by the arousal segment which creates interest and motivation for the next action. After the climax, there is the resolution where things are concluded and the story comes to a close.

Do a dry run

how to storyboard a marketing video

A lot of people start with trying to create their storyboards without actually doing one first! Doing a dry run is important to ensure that you do not put too much effort into your video before filming it.

You do not want to spend time creating your storyline and then have to film it all over again because the footage does not look good or you could end up wasting money if you had to buy new camera gear or additional equipment to edit the video.

Plan out what your video will be about ahead of time so that there are no surprises when you begin recording. You can also determine how long your video should be pre-production, during production, and post-production.

Dress the part

how to storyboard a marketing video

After determining your story, what genre you want your video to fit into, and who your target audience is, it’s time to dress up for action! If you are telling a story about how to do something, then you must look like you can actually do that thing.

If your video is teaching someone how to bake the best chocolate chip cookies, then you should probably don’t have plastic bags in hand while baking them. Or if it’s about painting a picture, you shouldn’t be holding a brush in your hands as though you were already painted.

Your clothes and demeanor need to match the setting of the video and the products or services you are promoting. You wouldn’t wear sweats during winter weather, so why would you use such casual clothing for an educational video?

You also may not convey the right message with distracting or flashy clothing. Embrace simple, elegant wardrobe choices that speak of quality and professionalism.

Second, think about what kind of environment your product or service requires. A pool toy company doesn’t really require you to put on a black leather jacket and add some gritty bass to the music.

Finally, consider whether there are any universal concepts related to the product you will be talking about. For example, anyone can teach others how to make the perfect oatmeal cookie, so instead of emphasizing yours, maybe focus more on the recipe and fundamentals of making food.

Prepare your marketing video

how to storyboard a marketing video

Once you have determined the purpose of your video, gathered all of your resources and notes, and identified potential shooting locations, it is time to start planning your video!

The first step in creating your storyboarding process is to make sure that you are well prepared before starting to shoot. This means making sure that your materials are ready, that you have run through your script at least twice, and that you are completely ready to go when you begin filming.

It also means editing and organizing your notes and sources ahead of time so that you can easily access them while you edit.

Caroline Shaw is a blogger and social media manager. She enjoys blogging about current events, lifehacks, and her experiences as a millennial working in New York.