Your Guide to Brainstorming Creative Video Ideas
Having trouble brainstorming video ideas? Check out some tips to help plan out your next project.
By Jason Moore August 3, 2016
Crafting a really great video starts with really great brainstorming. Without it, you could end up creating a lot of really rough drafts of scripts and doing a lot of takes to try to get your video just right. To make a basic analogy – brainstorming is like sketching out the initial concepts of a house that you want to build. Can you build one without that step? Sure. But it won’t be easy.
Brainstorming doesn’t necessarily have to be in a group, either; if you’re a team of one, you still need to get your ideas out of your head and on paper (or your computer screen, whiteboard, etc.). When you do, it allows you to get your creative video ideas out in the open, which is the first step to brainstorming a great video.
Brainstorming prompts (something other prompts)
When you think about it, “brainstorming” is kind of a vague term that really just means to “come up with an idea.” But to get a little more specific, I’ve broken down brainstorming for a video into two quick questions to ask yourself (or your team, if working with others):
Question 1 – What will people get out of this video? (adjust the question more specifically “What do you want someone to do/feel”)
Question 2 – What is my video going to look like?
Let’s take a closer look at each.
Question 1: What will people get out of this video?
Brainstorming for a video is very much the same as brainstorming for any other project. With video, the direction you go depends on what kind of video you want to create. Start by determining the goal of your video, then work backwards from there.
If the goal of your video is to sell something, then the thing you want people to get out of the video is the information necessary to convince them to make a purchase. How do you do that? A common way is to present a problem, then demonstrate how your product or service is the solution to that problem.
Take the following problem/solution scenario:
Problem: Putting video in emails is a pain – you have to take a screenshot, create a play button, layer the button on the screenshot, add the screenshot to your email, then link the screenshot to your video.
Solution: Use AWeber’s video element in the drag-and-drop editor.
Setting up this kind of problem/solution structure is a great way to start the foundation of your video. From there, it’s just a matter of filling in the “how.”
While this is just an example of a video that has a goal of educating an audience about a product feature, you might find that yours is a little different – and that’s OK. Video has a ton of uses for getting crucial info out to your audience. You might make a video with the goal of:
- Being shared – funny, quirky videos work well for this
- Growing your email list – detailing why someone should sign up, and what they’ll get out of your list
- Building a relationship – a behind-the-scenes video helps you connect with your audience
Another thing the video team here at AWeber likes to do when brainstorming a new video is to complete the following statement: “After watching this video, I want someone to feel [insert feeling here].” The feeling you evoke could be anything that connects to your ultimate goal. If your want your audience to take action and do something (like add a video into an email), perhaps the feeling you’re going for would be “motivated,” because you’re using your video to hook someone’s interest and motivate them to do something.
Or, if you want to have your videos shared a lot and possibly go viral, you might want to evoke a feeling of “delight” instead. You might even find that you want to evoke a combination of feelings instead of only one.
For example, we recently launched a campaign to inspire entrepreneurs to take the first step towards creating something for their business. For the video portion of the campaign, we brainstormed some ideas and came away with the goal of having people feel inspired, so that they would review the resources we provided and take that next step. Here’s one of the videos that came out of the brainstorm:
Question 2: What is my video going to look like?
The next step in the brainstorming process is to figure out the concept and format of your video. Should you be on camera? Or should you do a screen recording?
Take for instance one of our quick tips videos, a typical talking-head style video, featuring one or more people talking into the camera. This type is great for conveying any info that doesn’t necessarily need to be shown, such as advice, industry news, updates, etc.
Then there are screen recordings, which are great for demos or tutorials, like this one where we show someone how to set up their AWeber account for the first time. And while these are great for anyone with a SaaS product, they can also work as a great teaching tool when paired with a slideshow, such as in this webinar.
With so many options, you want to take into consideration what kind of information you want your audience to get out of your video. If you’re demonstrating a SaaS product, then it’s pretty straight forward that you would go with a screen recording. If you’re trying to explain an abstract concept, record yourself going through a slideshow. Or, if you’re ready, record yourself on camera explaining the concept.
Where to go from here
Once you’ve got the brainstorming phase complete, it’s a good idea to move onto creating a storyboard and script. Storyboarding will help you to visualize the steps you will take in your video, while a script will (obviously) help you stay on task while actually recording your video.
But what happens if you brainstorm, have a bunch of really good ideas and can’t decide which one to push forward? In that case, try to gauge what your audience needs from you, as well as the needs of your business. Are you seeing a lot of turnover with your customers, or returns of your product? A helpful demo might be able to alleviate that. Do you find that not enough people know who you are, and you want to make your business a well-known name? Try creating something that provides a special take on your industry, presenting yourself as the go-to-person for expert advice.
For example, let’s take the problem/solution presented earlier of adding video in email, which was actually a problem we know some of our customers experience. Since we wanted to convey how easy it is to put video in email, we reached the conclusion that a screen recording would be best to demonstrate the simplicity. Check it out:
Don’t get overwhelmed!
Creating a video may seem like a daunting task, especially in the brainstorming phase of things. But don’t worry! The important thing is to take that first step and make that first video. It won’t be perfect, but you’ll be on the road to bigger and better videos in no time. And to help out with that, check out these additional resources we’ve created to help you get started (these make a great segue from the topic of brainstorming videos :))
To help you take get started, check out this handy checklist for launching your first video.
Have experience creating videos or about to start creating yours? Comment below and share your experience!