So, you’re ready to make a video, but you’re not sure where to start. We’ve put together a step-by-step guide that will help you take your ideas to reality and create videos that engage, educate, and inspire.

Step One:  Determine your needs by answering these questions

  1. What is your message, what material do you need to cover?
  2. Who are you targeting?
  3. What do you want them to do?
  4. Where will my video be played and in what context?
  5. How will I measure success?

Step two: Create a content outline or creative brief
It’s important during this phase to make sure everyone involved in creating the video is on the same page before moving forward, and an outline or brief will ensure this is the case. Outline your content in a manner similar to making PowerPoint slides, with just the basic information you want to communicate. Focus on your goals, topic, and takeaways as well as people responsible for each phase of the project and any deadlines. Our friends at Act-On have developed a nice video brief template you can use or reference when building your own.

Step three: Brainstorm plot ideas
Think about what situations could occur in your video to help you bring your main points home, keeping in mind your audience and their frame of reference and experiences. Determine your characters, locations, and props. What’s the name of your main character? What happens to them over the course of the video? How can you use their experience to educate your audience or drive them to action?
As you create your scenario, remember the 3 cornerstones of storytelling:

  • Protagonist – the “change agent”
  • Antagonist – the “resistor of change”
  • Point-of-View character or “witness” – the person changed by the events in the story

Step four: Write your script and develop your storyboard
For your script, remember that there’s a difference between good copywriting and good scriptwriting. Your video script should sound personal. Read it out loud to make sure it sounds and looks like a conversation. Be detailed in what should happen in the video, but keep the dialogue brief. A storyboard is graphic representation of how your video will unfold, shot by shot. Taking a few minutes to storyboard will save you tons of time later. There are several great storyboarding tools out there, but when we make videos, we either sketch out the storyboard with stick figures or type the script into a document and add screenshots from GoAnimate.

Then, bring it all together and create your content in GoAnimate.

Step 5: Add music and sound effects
Sound provides a richer viewing experience, whether it’s the sound associated with a particular action, like opening a can of soda, or a piece of music to set the mood for a scene. When you consider sound, it’s more than just picking a music track. How much attention does the viewer need to pay to the dialogue? You don’t want sound to distract from technical, detailed information, but a good piece of music can underscore more broad concepts. Choose tracks that fit the mood of your story & your target audience, and lastly, make sure you have the rights to your music. Purchase it or make sure it’s in the public domain.

Step 6: Add voice-over (VO)
Adding VO can sometimes be the most difficult part, but it doesn’t have to be! To make things easier on yourself, save this for last since your script could change as you create your content. When you’re ready to add voice over and narration, you have two options: to hire a VO artist or do it yourself. With services like VoiceBunny, Voices123, or BuyVO, you can pick your VO artist online, send off your script and have it back within a few hours. All for just a few hundred dollars. To record yourself, we suggest using a simple USB mic with a popfilter and recording into a free audio program like Audacity so you can adjust levels and remove pauses. Be sure to project your voice, use consistent mic placement and trim the heads and tails of audio clips to remove pauses and clicks.

Now you’re ready to create video like a pro. Check out our help center for more tips and tricks on using GoAnimate.