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8 Steps to Create a Powerful Brand Vision Video

The Vision Video is a timeless story about the fundamental vision of your company. It answers the why of your brand and paints a picture of what the world will look like when you succeed.

The Vision Video is inspiring. It makes an emotional appeal.

Because people make buying decisions based on emotion, the Vision Video is effective at compelling your viewer to want to become engaged with your mission. It moves your customer to become more loyal, and moves your employees to become more proud of the work that they do.

Whether you have already developed a great deal of video content or you have yet to create any video for your company, the Vision Video is an important asset in your content marketing arsenal. It is a cornerstone piece of content that has lasting value because it reflects your most deeply-held intentions and beliefs.

What makes a video inspirational?

Of course, you want your Vision Video to be inspirational. A video is inspirational if it:

  1. Captures the attention of your viewer
  2. Is relatable to the viewer’s personal struggle
  3. Gives the viewer hope that they can overcome their struggle

In the book Building a StoryBrand, the author Donald Miller argues that for a marketing message to be compelling, the customer must be the hero of your business’s story.

Almost every story follows a predictable pattern:

A CHARACTER who wants something encounters a PROBLEM before they can get it. At the peak of their despair, a GUIDE steps into their lives, gives them a PLAN and CALLS THEM TO ACTION. That action helps them avoid FAILURE and ends in a SUCCESS.

Building a StoryBrand

This pattern dates back to ancient literature (e.g. the hero’s journey in Homer’s Odyssey). The structure roughly follows what is known as the hero’s journey, a concept studied and popularized by Joseph Campbell in his 1949 work The Hero With a Thousand Faces.

Your Vision Video should tell an epic tale of your customer’s journey toward a new and better world, thanks to your business as their guide.

We’ll cover more on how to define the arc of your story for your Vision Video in one of the steps below.

Where do I put my Vision Video?

The Vision Video is an invaluable asset to implement across marketing and sales channels:

  • Place it on the About Us or Home page of your website
  • Use it as a middle-of-funnel video in your remarketing sequence
  • Share it at conferences or in sales presentations
  • Ask leadership and employees to implement it in their email signatures1
  • Show it in training for new hires
  • Loop it on a screen in your office waiting area (with subtitles)

Share your Vision Video widely so that it penetrates the heads and hearts of your audience. After all, it conveys the story of your business and the ultimate reason why you do what you do, so it is a message that bears repeating.

8 steps to create your Vision Video:

In this post, we’ll walk you through the process and considerations required to produce a Vision Video for your organization. You may choose to embark on the project yourself, or outsource it partially or fully to a production company. Learn more about working with our Gainesville video production team.

Either way, this post will help you understand what goes into producing your video so that you can produce the best outcome according to your goals. A full training on video production is beyond the scope of this article, but I hope to provide you with some of the highlights so that you can get a better understanding of how the process works.

#1. Choose examples of videos that you like.

Chances are that if you’re like most people, you consume a good deal of video content throughout a given week. Now that you have your mind set on creating a Vision Video, pay closer attention to the videos you encounter, and bookmark the ones that you like. Take note of what you like about each video so that you can narrow down stylistic choices in the next step.

#2. Identify your preferred format and styles.

Choose among 4 types of styles, or a combination of styles:

  1. Interview-driven:
    This style relies on perspectives gathered from various people who have insights to share: founders driven by a special purpose; staff who make a difference at the company; customers whose lives have been changed by your product.


    Produced by Betterme Productions for Phalanx Defense Systems

  2. VO-driven:
    This style usually relies on a scripted audio narration (a voiceover) that guides the viewer through a visual journey composed of some combination of footage, graphics or text. 


    Produced by Betterme Productions for Frankel Media Group on behalf of Avera & Smith

  3. Typography-driven:
    This style relies on animated text (or kinetic typography) presented in interesting and engaging ways. Normally the typography is aided by some kind of voiceover that is presented in sync with the lines of text. 


    Produced by Betterme Productions for the University of Florida on behalf of Florida Sea Grant

  4. Graphics-driven:
    This style relies on graphical elements to tell the story, whether it is an animated cartoon or a slideshow-style narrative with interesting visual transitions.


    Produced by Betterme Productions for the Greater Gainesville Chamber

 It is likely that your choice of format will encompass a combination of the above styles.

Consider what resources you have available to accomplish the format you want. Do you have an in-house team to assist in production, or a budget to hire an outside video production company? Do you have customers or team members that you can mobilize to appear on camera and share their stories? Do you have a knack for writing an inspirational script? These are some of the questions that can help you make a decision on how to proceed. 

#3. Define the story arc. 

Now that you have some idea of the format and the styles that you like, it is time to define the elements of your story. As we discussed previously, a compelling story follows a predictable arc for your hero, the customer. You can visualize the rise and fall of the story arc in the diagram below.

Let’s look at the elements of the story arc from the perspective of your customer as the hero:

1. The Exposition: To begin, we introduce the character(s) and their struggle.

2. The Rising Action: In the rising action, we expand on the character’s ambition and the obstacles they face. The tension rises. Here we might introduce your business as the guide.
    
3. The Climax: In the climax, the tension is relieved. The climax marks the high point of the character’s achievement.

4. The Falling Action: In the falling action, we begin to wrap up the story.

5. The Resolution: The resolution is the happy ending of the story. The viewer feels relieved.

6. The Call-to-Action: How can your viewer experience the same outcome as the character? Now that they are inspired, what can they do to move forward on their journey?

Consider the example of our video From Heartbreak to Healing for the River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding:

Produced by Betterme Productions for the River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding

In this video, the heroes Robin and Denaria share parallel stories about their personal challenges — Robin losing her brother and Denaria experiencing drama in her family.

You’ll see that this powerful story follows the pattern above. 

  1. The characters are introduced (exposition).
  2. The tension builds as they tell their stories (rising action).
  3. They meet a guide — Heart Phoenix and Jeffrey Weisberg of River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding …
  4. … who helps them to overcome their heartbreak (the climax).
  5. The video expands on the work that the organization does to help others resolve conflicts in their lives (falling action) …
  6. … and we see Robin and Denaria more happy and at peace (resolution).
  7. Finally, we are invited to learn more about the organization and how we can become involved (the call-to-action).

#4. Identify the voices you’d like to feature. 

If your Vision Video will be interview-driven: 
Create a list of people who would be helpful in conveying the story.

You want to consider a range of perspectives among the people who engage with your company from different angles:

  • your customers (the heroes)
  • company founders
  • staff from different departments
  • community partners

In the post-production phase of the project, you will curate the best sound bites and assemble them in a way that conveys the story arc you defined previously.

If your Vision Video will be voiceover-driven: 
Consider what type of voice will tell the story best.

If your script will be from the perspective of the customer, then what voice most resembles your customer?

If your script will be from the perspective of a third-person omniscient narrator, then what voice do you think is the most authoritative or respectable to your customer?

There are a number of marketplaces that will connect you with voiceover artists you can browse for your project, among them Fiverr, Voice123, and VoiceBunny.

#5. Create a list of interview questions, or key points for your script.

If your Vision Video will be interview-driven: 
Consider: what are the questions that will draw out the points that make up the story arc?

Do some initial research on the interviewees so that you can ask them about experiences that they’ve had within the company or as a customer of the company.

Write out more questions than you need.

We’ll go over how to conduct the interview in the next step.

If your Vision Video will be voiceover-driven: 
Create an outline for your script. What is the big idea and the key points that support it? If you need help with this, hire a production company or at the minimum a freelance writer from Upwork or Fiverr. 

At this point, it would be helpful to also create a shot list, or sketches of some of the different scenes in a graphics- or typography-driven video.

#6. Gather source materials.

If you will be recording original content, this phase of production is normally the highest stakes part of your project because you’ll need to film quality content in a limited window of time. You’ll need to coordinate several people to appear in a block of time for filming. You’ll have one chance to interview your subjects and tease the story out of them.

If you’re wanting to produce a Vision Video but you need a little more support because you don’t have the time or resources to orchestrate it yourself, then schedule a call with our producer and we’ll be happy to help you get it done.

If your video will be interview-driven or contain visual footage, choose a filming method and execute on it:

  1. Schedule film crew and interviewees
  2. Conduct the interviews

Tips for Conducting a Masterful On-Camera Interview

Do the interview yourself or employ a good conversationalist. Know the basics of interviewing for video:

  • Remind the person to recite their answers as complete sentences
  • Have the interviewer sit or stand just off-camera and the interviewee look at the interviewer (not at the camera), as though they are having a normal conversation.
  • Ask open-ended (not yes/no) questions;
  • Visually frame the subject properly
  • Ask followup questions to get at the answers that you are looking for. Some people will feel comfortable sharing a lot, but others need to be encouraged.
  • Initially, ask softball questions to warm them up, then ask them to introduce the topics that you want to discuss for the video, then ask them to expand on key points.
  • Remember to ask feeling-oriented questions, which get to the heart of the matter and relate to people’s emotions.

Consider what unique perspectives and angles you can capture — both thoughtful perspectives shared by your interviewees as well as interesting visual angles for b-roll shots.

Capture b-roll footage of notable moments or features. This might include having your interview subject act out a scene demonstrating their work or interacting with a team member, establishing shots of your building, or closeups of features of your product. Gather a mixture of wide, tight, and medium angles. 

If your video will be VO-driven, typography-driven or graphics-driven and NOT interview-driven, then finalize your script, gather any stock footage or other visual elements that will make up the video. Consider working with a graphic designer for creating typographic or other visual elements.

#7. Annotate the source materials.

Now that you’ve captured the content, analyze it and take note of the stronger parts.

We use a tool called frame.io to comment, tag, and annotate video clips after a shoot.

If you’re planning on capturing video content and doing post-production in-house on a regular basis, Frame.io is an invaluable tool for exchanging notes and feedback on video clips with your team members or clients. You can get a free 14-day trial of Frame.io here (affiliate link).  

To use frame.io to plan the post-production phase of your Vision Video:

  • First, export the full interviews in a low resolution and upload them to a folder within the tool
  • Then, go through the interviews and, as you watch them, leave comments on the parts that are notable. If you comment tags like #exposition #risingaction #climax, etc. at certain points across different clips, then you’ll have an easy way to refer back to sound bites that will fit well within different parts of your story arc.
  • Share with others on your team, or with the interview subjects themselves, to get their feedback too

Do the same for your b-roll footage. Take notes on what b-roll clips would add the most value to the narrative that you will piece together from the interview comments. These will be layered over the scene of the interview in the editing process, which we’ll cover in the next step.

Once you’ve analyzed and annotated your source materials, you’re ready to assemble the edit.

#8. Assemble the assets into an edited story.

Unless you’re experienced in editing or ready to attack a new learning curve, you may consider hiring a video editor or post-production team. If you’re tackling the edit yourself, consider the following tips to enhance your Vision Video:

Video Editing in a Nutshell

  1. Choose your tools: Use a non-linear editing software to perform the edit. We use Adobe Premiere Pro, which is the industry standard, but some other options are Final Cut Pro, Da Vinci Resolve, and iMovie. Search YouTube to learn to use the tools, or take a course on Udemy.
  2. Create a track for Cam A and cut around the sound bites you selected in the previous step, arranging them to craft a story that roughly follows the story arc you defined previously.
  3. If you recorded the interviews with two cameras, create another track for Cam B, your closeup angle. Cut to the closeup shots either for dramatic effect — when someone is talking about something that should leave more of an impact on the viewer — or to seamlessly cut to a comment from another part of the conversation without the viewer realizing that the comments were uttered at separate times.
  4. Select a music track that fits the mood of the project. There are a number of excellent marketplaces where you can license music tracks for videos at reasonable rates, like Pond5, Premium Beat, Audio Jungle, or Musicbed. 
  5. Add text titles that add value to the story, such as the names and occupations of your interviewees, or stylized headings that emphasize some of the points discussed. 

Once you have a rough cut, share it with your team members or confidantes to get their input. As we discussed before, Frame.io is a great tool for this part of the process.

Creativity is diminished in a vacuum, so getting feedback from people on your Vision Video is crucial. For us, there has rarely been a situation where a client’s feedback did not contribute to a better end result. 

Lastly, finalize your Vision Video. Cut down the edit to make it more concise. Try to cut to the music so that some of the cuts from clip to clip match the rhythm of the music track. Ideally, the climax of the music would coincide with the climax of your story. You’ll notice that many music tracks will follow the pattern of the story arc we discussed previously, with an opening sequence that rises in intensity, a climax, and a falling action at the end of the track.

In conclusion

People want to know what you do, how you can help them, and how you are changing the world.

A powerful Vision Video will serve your marketing efforts for years to come.

Share your Vision Video liberally and you’ll undoubtedly see the benefits: higher engagement, greater customer AND team loyalty, and ultimately, more leads and sales.

Win their hearts & minds

Since 2014, Betterme Productions has helped brands produce inspiring video stories that cut through the clutter in this noisy social world. Schedule a time to speak with us about how we can help you create outstanding visual content that gets you marketing results.

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