How to Create a Storyboard for Your Marketing Video

Many small business authorities recommend spending about 5% of your revenue on marketing. If you’re a new business, recommendations could be as high as 20%.

The bottom line is, companies spend a lot of money on marketing. To make sure that money ends up pushing you towards your goals, you’ll want to do as much planning as possible prior to putting your marketing efforts in motion.

That goes double for when you’re shooting marketing videos.

Video production is a highly effective way to market your company. But that effectiveness comes at a price, especially if you need to do costly re-shoots.

To keep your video budget in check and get a great product produced out of the gate, our team is going to share tips on how to create a storyboard. Keep reading below.

What is a Storyboard?

A storyboard is a collection of images that outline what you’re going to be shooting when cameras start rolling. These images showcase a rough interpretation of how a shot will look and can also include direction on lighting, camera movements, and more.

To put it simply, most successful writers create an outline before writing a long-form piece. Storyboards are the equivalent to writer’s outlines except for video production.

What Benefits Do Storyboards Provide Marketing Videos?

You may be wondering why an article on how to create a storyboard is important when talking about marketing videos. After all, aren’t storyboards only used for Hollywood films, animations, and the like?

Nope.

Any time somebody needs to get a good return on their video production investment they’re leveraging storyboards or outline techniques of similar sophistication (shot lists, animatics, etc.).

Armed with a storyboard, you can get a preview of how your video will look. That means you can make edits prior to rolling cameras which saves you time and money.

You also take the guesswork out of production since your team can follow specific directions laid out for them shot by shot. That means fewer surprises when you get into post-production.

Finally, storyboarding is cheap in comparison to the issues you’ll end up facing if you choose to shoot without one. Any investment you can make that will help you avoid paying for marketing video re-shoots is something you should absolutely consider.

How to Make a Storyboard

Now that you’re acquainted with what a storyboard is, let’s jump into some tips on how to make them!

1. Figure Out the Level of Detail You Want

Assuming you already have a marketing video script in hand that has an opening, conflict, solution, and a call to action, the first step to storyboarding will be to identify key shots.

Storyboarding can be ultra-thorough in that you can have a board for every 3 seconds or so of action. Or, they can be more vague and just catch the general idea of shots.

The more detail you include the more expensive/time consuming your boards will be to create. With more detail though you can be surer that you’re going to get the product you want.

2. Choose a Story Boarding Tool

Once you know how detailed you want the boards for your script to be, the next step is to pick a storyboarding tool.

If you’re an artist, storyboarding can be as simple as getting a sheet of paper, breaking it into 6-8 boxes and drawing out your marketing video’s shots.

If you’re not artistically inclined or would just like to streamline your process, try tools like PowerpointIllustratorPhotoshopFrameforge or Celtx Shots to help get your boards done.

3. Create Your Boards

Now comes the fun part of the storyboarding process… Actually creating your boards! Go through and start sketching out all of the key moments in your marketing video with the detail and frequency you decided on in step one.

Your sketches can be as vague or as detailed as you’d like, just know that the more information and clarity that’s present in your illustrations, the better chances you’ll have of getting the shot you’re looking for.

4. Annotate Your Boards

Now that your boards are drawn, you’ll want to retroactively (or perhaps do this while you’re boarding each frame) add information to each board to communicate any key information.

Key information can include but is not limited to any of the following:

  • Dialogue that’s taking place
  • Shot information
  • Camera directions
  • Sound effects
  • Lighting effects

You’ll also want to number each of your boards. In general, we like when people number their cells with a scene number (assuming your marketing video has multiple scenes) followed by a board number (ex: Scene 1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, etc.)

5. Discuss With Your Production Team

No matter how clear you may think your storyboards are, you’ll want to take the time to discuss them with your production team.

Go through each board and describe what you’re going for and how your image communicates that end. Get feedback on how things can be made clearer or how the structure of your proposed video can be improved.

The more people you can talk through your boards, the better your final video project will turn out!

Wrapping Up How to Create a Storyboard for Your Marketing Video

There you have it! An overview on storyboards, their value, and how to go about making them.

We hope that you found value in this quick how to create a storyboard article and also hope that its insight will help you save money on your next marketing video shoot.

If you’re looking for a team of production professionals to help you with storyboarding, production, and the post-production of your next marketing video, we’d love to help!

At Viva Media, our Toronto-based team provides end-to-end production solutions for small and big companies alike who are looking to skyrocket their brands through the power of world-class video marketing.

Check out the work we’ve done for happy clients and contact us today for your free production quote!

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