When you see gorgeous, compelling content that effectively portrays a brand’s message, it’s no accident. A lot of planning and hard work goes into producing even a single video. Even if they’re just a couple of minutes long. Believe us, we know. That’s why it’s our mission at Vimeo to provide you with the tools you need to get the job done. More on that later!

But it takes more than some really cool features to work with a team of video professionals. Especially with all that lingo they throw around. I’m one of those video professionals, and I’ve learned a lot of helpful perspective collaborating with the lovely humans on Vimeo’s marketing team. One of the biggest learning curves for marketers is how to get the best work out of a team of creatives, editors, animators, and so forth. The truth is, your creatives always want to give you their best work. It’s just all in how you communicate what you want. So here are some tips and tricks to help your team collaborate harmoniously with video professionals.

Keep it brief.

Actually, don’t. While the prospect of having your very own marketing video is very exciting, a lot of questions need to be answered before you can even think about hiring a video team. Questions like: Who is the audience? How long does the video need to be? Will it need to be translated into other languages?

The best way to make this happen this is by drafting a detailed project brief that you can pass off to any and all creative professionals you’re recruiting for the job.

At Vimeo, our in-house video production team crafted ours, and it covers all of the information we need to know before breaking ground on a new project.

Some required details that will help your production team the most — and give you the best finished product — include:

  • Who are we talking to and how big is that audience?
  • What’s the one thing we want them to take away?*
  • Who are the stakeholders? Who needs to approve the video before it is published?
  • Where is it going to live (media)?
  • Does this video include text? Who is writing it? Will it need to be translated?

We also ask for any inspiration that got our marketing team (our client) to this specific ask. What ads or videos have they seen and loved that could help frame our initial dive into the project? We also ask for overall budget. This helps keep everyone’s ideas grounded and realistic.

We ask for deliverables.

What is the total package? Knowing what you’re making, how many iterations, where it’s going to live, and what has to be included can create much-needed focus in the early (and final) stages of a project.  Plus, no one likes finding out at the 11th hour that you need to create square videos for Instagram, or specific 30 second ad cuts that need to be translated into three language.

The more details, the better.

Our brief is five-ish pages, but we have creative briefs that go up to twenty pages! And visual examples are definitely helpful. A detailed brief is long. It takes time to draft up, and it’s packed with information. In fact, it might seem like you should just make it yourself — trust us, you shouldn’t! Taking the time to draft up a blueprint of your vision lays a necessary foundation that your production team can take and run with.

Pro-tip: once you’ve completed your brief, stash it in a Google Drive or Dropbox folder along with any assets your video team may need, like graphics or music. Keeping these essential items easily accessible and in one place will minimize confusion for your team, as well as the production professionals you’ll be working with.

To outsource or not to outsource?

If you’re planning on having content created on the regular, an in-house production team is the way to go. We have one here at Vimeo! They produce explainers, testimonials, internal reels and more. If you hire video professionals who are capable of producing, shooting and editing, they will be able to take a video from start to finish without much outside help, if any.

In-house:

WITNESS: on uniting creators and activists worldwide from Vimeo Staff on Vimeo.

Outsourced:

 

Vimeo Live is here from Vimeo on Vimeo.

When it comes to projects that are more extensive, like multi-video content for rebranding, trade shows, or major marketing campaigns, outsource! These projects usually require a full team of niche professionals, including directors, cinematographers, editors, and sound recordists. It doesn’t make financial or logistical sense to hire them full time. And they’re probably not looking for a permanent gig, anyway. So it’s best to find an outside production team to see the project from start to finish. (If you have an in-house team, it’s a good idea for them to oversee.)

Another pro-tip: when hiring outside production teams, word of mouth is key. But it’s essential to review their creative portfolios to ensure you’re hiring a team that can get the job done. If you start watching their videos and they are all 2-D animation, you probably don’t want to hire them to do that live-action music video you had in mind. In other words, don’t expect a fish to climb a tree. Find people whose work you love, celebrate it, and approach them about projects in their wheelhouse.

Know your timeline.

And make sure it’s realistic. You’ll want to determine this  before the actual production process begins. Create a project timeline, with milestones and a deadline. And remember: video planning and production always, always takes a little longer than you think it’s going to. Approach your team with your proposal with as much advance notice as humanly possible. This will ensure that the project gets done on time, in a sane manner, and with an opportunity for all key stakeholders to review. Which brings me to…

Review tools streamline your workflow.

These are essential to Vimeo’s production team. We recommend using one video manager tool to host your video content. And Vimeo just so happens to be one of those managers! We also have a plethora of really helpful tools that you and your team can use to collaborate seamlessly and ensure your content is as secure as can be. Some of these include private links, contributors for teams, and newly-updated albums.

But let’s hone in on one specific collaboration tool that video producers will thank you for using: review pages. Emails, spreadsheets, and slack messages are great for conveying certain information. But not video feedback. So Vimeo created review pages to keep notes organized in one convenient place while simultaneously creating a checklist for editors and other post-production team members to use.

Whether I’ve been freelance or in-house, my most harmonious collaborations with business professionals have always been the projects that were the most structured. As a marketer there’s always pressure to get your campaign out the door as fast as possible. But, a little extra planning at the early phase of your video concept can set the tone for seamless teamwork. Source your team carefully, and come to them with a clear vision for what it is you want to make. Then, let them do the creating!

Working collaboratively with your video team (or producer!) is so important to optimize your video content.