Top Tips for Commissioning Video Content for your Small Business

1st August 2017

written by George Hughes

As we discovered in our previous blog post , there’s no ignoring the power of video content to transform business marketing. With statistics showing that adding video to your website landing page increases conversions by a whopping 80% (Invisia) and that embedding video in enewsletters increases click through rates by over 200% (Hubspot), video is now the undisputed leader of content marketing formats. And it’s not just the big brands exploiting this power. Advances in digital technology have made video marketing accessible and affordable for even the smallest of businesses and start-ups. Even so – making the decision to use video content in the marketing mix can initially be a little daunting for small business owners. Perhaps it seems like it must be a complex, time consuming or expensive exercise – so how do you go about taking those first steps into potentially commissioning a video, and how does the process work?

Here are our top tips for a smooth video commissioning experience:

1. Assess your business objectives and desired outcomes

You know you want a video because it’s the most effective form of content for marketing – but what do you want to achieve with it? Are you trying to educate, raise awareness of your knowledge and credentials, tell your brand story, or sell something? Have a clear objective and make sure you and other stakeholders in the business are on the same page about your goals.

2. Prepare a video production company brief

Be as detailed as you can so that the video production company can get a full picture of what you require. Putting the time in to give full information at this stage will save time later in the process. Include the following:

– Your business objectives.

– A detailed description of your audience – demographic, location etc.

– The core message you want to communicate through the video.

– Your ideas for the ‘treatment’. How do you want the video to look or feel? Do you have any examples of pieces you have seen that might help convey this?

– The elements you hope to include in the video. For example, do you want voiceover? Interviews with you or your customers? Shots of your product or service? Actors? Animation or motion graphics?

– The platforms where your video will be shown. Is it for your website, a trade conference, social media advertising or all three?

– Your Call To Action – what do you want your audience to do after seeing this video? Are they getting the right information to be able to do it easily?

– An idea of your budget. It’s worth giving a rough idea of what you might be able to spend as this will inform the production company’s proposal. You’ll often be surprised at how much you can get for your money. Think of the video production company using the analogy of an Architect. A builder can construct you a ‘generic’ house, but you need an Architect to design and build you the ‘specific’ house that meets your specific needs. The video production company performs that role for your corporate video. Your budget is paying for the expertise that brings all the complex elements together to produce the right video to communicate your specific business message.

– Your schedule and delivery deadlines. Does your video need to be ready for a trade show or the launch of a new website? Make sure you factor in enough time for the production process.

3. Approach video production companies

Ask for recommendations from colleagues and friends, search locally or look on Social Media. Have a look at case studies of their previous jobs. Some video production companies specialise in certain industries or certain types of video. Some video companies (like our very own Small Films) offer marketing strategy as well as production so bear this in mind when looking for the right fit for your business. Brief two or three companies so that you can compare proposals, but don’t just compare prices. There is a delicate balance to be struck between experience and expertise against cost – a very cheap video is probably not going to be professional enough for your business requirements.

4. Review video production proposals

Your selected video production companies will come back to you with detailed proposals based on your brief. They will have an overall creative idea or angle, (with examples to help you visualise), budget expectations for different options and a schedule. You can then choose the best fit for your business, budget and objectives.

5. Planning process

Once they have the green light, your video production company will give you a detailed production plan and schedule, including consultation meetings and reviews of progress. They will begin work on a script or storyboard for the video and start planning for the shoot. They will carry out location research and venue booking, props finding, acting or voice over casting where necessary – as well as all technical aspects of the filming. They will undertake rehearsals or run-throughs where necessary and will keep you involved and consulted throughout the planning process.

6. The film shoot

The production company will organise everything on shoot day (or days) and will have all the necessary filming, lighting and sound equipment in place. If the filming is taking place at your business location and requiring members of your staff, they will try to minimise the disruption by shooting at quiet times or out or hours if possible with a schedule to make sure that people aren’t kept hanging around.

7. Post production and delivery

After the shoot, the video production company will edit the footage to produce a rough cut of the video. You are provided opportunities to give your input through the editing process and after tweaks and amendments have been made, a final cut will be produced. The video will then be formatted and duplicated correctly for the platforms required, within the agreed schedule.

If you’d like more information about commissioning video or a chat about potential video projects, contact us here.

Small Films are London based video content specialists. By combining strategic minds with creative flair we create powerful stories with video that deeply resonate with audiences, supporting our clients to achieve their ambitions in growing their organisation, brand or campaign

To create the perfect online marketing video there are some key considerations to take on board. From ensuring you’re giving your viewers a good story to adding in graphics that bring it to life, at Small Films we know all the tricks to make an impactful marketing video.


Humans are natural storytellers and have been doing it since the dawn of man. Videos are no different and the best way to engage your audience is with a compelling story. Divide your video into 3 acts – beginning, middle, end, then create your narrative. You might simply introduce your product/service and the problem you are trying to solve, set out arguments for why it works and then finish with a conclusion. Or you can create a more personalised story featuring you and your team, a customer/beneficiary of your service or a particular project. Enjoyment of video ads increases purchase intent by 97% so make sure it isn’t boring.


The human attention span is just 8 seconds. That’s less than a goldfish. So keeping your video as short as possible is incredibly important. Very few online marketing videos can go over 2 minutes and still retain their audience. Consider this, you have 10 seconds to grab the viewers attention and 20% of viewers will click away in that time. If you can hold on to them for that long, a third will stop watching after 30 seconds and nearly half after 1 minute. If you do want to make a longer video then make sure you have an incredibly engaging story.

Check out our video production services


78% of people watch online videos every week and we’ve become very discerning consumers. We make split-second judgements about what to watch and what not to watch. Make sure the start of your video is as powerful as it can be, even down to the first few frames. This is the equivalent of your product packaging and will make you stand out on a shelf full of other videos. Those first few seconds are critical if you want to engage the viewer and convince them to watch through to the end.


60% of YouTube watch time is now from mobile devices. The same trend applies to Facebook, Twitter and other platforms. That means most people are watching with the sound off. Think about that… All those people will not hear a single thing you are saying in your video. Graphics are a great way to combat this. Apart from adding higher production value and looking great, you can use them to create a video that works with or without sound. Consider text on screen with key buzzwords from your overall message, labels pointing to elements that are of interest and calls to action that ask consumers to act on what they see.


The best videos have a simple premise and a simple story. Don’t overcomplicate things by adding in too much detail or trying to tick too many boxes. If the consumer has difficulty in understanding your message then they will switch off. Decide the most important, core message of your video and stick to it. For example, if you are selling a product but also want a video to show to investors then make two videos rather than trying to cram it all into one. If you do that, it will be a mess.

Small Films is a results-driven video production company. Our award-winning team of videographers, animators and editors create effective and affordable videos that will help put your brand streets ahead of the competition. Based in East London, our videos bring to life the unique story of every brand we work with – helping to drive engagement, deliver more sales and achieve maximum reach. Contact us