We get it — consistently delivering creative video ideas can be hard work! And with most people’s work / life balance being a tricky mix these days, it can be tough to maintain creative productivity, especially in the face of business pressures. So if you, like many, have been struggling with creative blocks, you’re not alone! Which is why we’ve created this blog post: to help kick-start your ideation engine, and get those creative juices flowing again.
So, with that in mind, read on for our 9 creative video ideas to wow your audience!
9 creative video ideas to get you started
1. Film a whiteboard video
Whiteboard videos are a great way to build from pure pieces to camera, while still engaging audiences. Popularised by publishers like Moz, AsapSCIENCE and others, whiteboard videos are a type of explainer video that uses handdrawn or animated illustrations to educate viewers on how something works. They’re short, to the point, and end with a clear call to action.
2. Offer tips and tricks
Tips and tricks videos have a surprising range, from super-short snackable videos on YouTube to longer content with valuable, replicable advice when it comes to topic shortcuts. They’re also excellent at building brand trust, as it’s easy to establish subject matter expertise when you’re problem-solving.
3. Get behind-the-scenes
If you’re looking for creative YouTube video ideas, behind-the-scenes (BTS) videos are it. These exclusive videos often work as value-add marketing to build on new campaigns or events, by giving viewers an ‘inside look’ at something they wouldn’t normally have access to. They’re particularly effective when paired with celebrity, expert or influencer talent.
4. Record a time-lapse
The best thing about time-lapse videos is you can shoot them on your phone, as most modern smartphones have time-lapse functionality (if not, there are free apps for this). Here, the biggest tip is to ensure you set up your phone — or camera — on a stable surface for unimpeded recording i.e. no bumps or jolts. Time-lapses are useful for giving processes and transitions context, so think videos of office headquarters, construction, event setups etc.
5. Use animation
You can use animated videos in lots of different ways, from simple typography animations to animated illustrations, flat icons, even full character animation videos. Animation — being an alternative to simple human talent — is powerful for communicating concepts in explainer and story-based videos, as well as content for younger audiences thanks to the cartoon-like nature.
6. Tell a story
Storytelling is a staple for videos in the advertising and marketing industries (as well as film and television), and has been since its inception. Video’s inherent use of audiovisuals to make emotional links between viewers and content means stories with a beginning, middle and end continually perform. That said, storytelling for short online videos is different to other mediums, so familiarise yourself with the ‘emerging’ vs. traditional story arc, for example.
7. Make a parody
Parody videos use comedy to poke fun at people or situations. If you’re a brand, it pays to be aware of fair use guidelines for parodying pre-existing content; however, brands parodying themselves are engaging because it shows a sense of humour (and humility)! Check out our ‘Shootsta: The Movie’ parody below, which pokes fun at our company’s founders:
8. Shoot a publicity stunt
Publicity stunt videos are pre-planned events to attract attention and raise awareness, often for a brand or new product. The best stunts are big, bold and have creative flair — the type of videos that go viral, especially in marketing, thanks to their originality and / or audacity. So think big!
9. Ask the audience
Finally, don’t forget to ask viewers what they’d like to see. Not only is audience participation key to quality engagement, but asking for feedback is a great way to crowdsource creative YouTube video ideas.
If you’re still not sure how to get started, episode 5 of our webinar series, The Shootsta Show, covers ‘How to make a creative video’:
Ways to be creative with your videos
● Have fun with your script
To start, simplify your script’s language — really pare back, as if you were talking to a friend across a table in a cafe. Then look at where you can add humour e.g. telling a joke (poking fun at yourself can be a fun technique).
● Think creatively about visuals
If your videos to date have been pieces to camera or single-person interviews, now’s the time to shake it up a little. One way to do this is by doing something while speaking, instead of just standing in front of the camera. You can also play with quick cuts (this is where b-roll comes in) that show what you’re saying with visual flourishes, which help break up big blocks of speech.
● Experiment with audio
The biggest thing about audio is getting your voice recording right, which is the foundation for any additions. And it’s not just background music that you’ll want to experiment with; editing ideas like sound effects can add a layer of contextual audio for on-screen actions or messages (as well as gags).
How to brainstorm your own creative video ideas
1. Know your objective
By that, we mean, know what you need to achieve with your video. What’s the larger business or content objective you need to solve for (e.g. brand awareness, starting a conversation, converting leads / sales)? Knowing your objective is the foundation for everything from knowing your target audience, to knowing how to execute your video to achieve desired behaviours.
2. Brainstorm video ideas
Group brainstorms are one of the most effective ways to generate ideas. What you’re aiming for here are not fully-formed concepts, but their origins. Consider best-practice guidelines for running effective brainstorms, like:
- A facilitator, to set a safe, open space for people to share ideas, and guide the discussion (as well as keep it moving).
- The facilitator can share the objective and topic beforehand, plus the target number of ideas, and act as note-taker.
- It helps to get broad perspectives. Try inviting people you know have good ideas, but are outside your team and usual ways of working.
- Word association to break the ice and get people thinking.
- Blue-sky ideas and the ‘yes, and…’ approach. This means fresh ideas not tied down by logic or limits, and building on people’s ideas vs. critiquing / filtering them (all ideas are equal until after the session).
- Post-its, whiteboards and paper on easels to jot ideas.
- The goal of your brainstorm is to get as many new ideas as possible — using unexpected relationships, comparisons and contrasts.
3. Review your ideas
After your brainstorm is over, it’s time to review your ideas. Bring them back to your brief i.e. objective, audience, message and KPIs, and assess them based on your criteria e.g. impact, chances of success, novelty. Also think about what’s realistic given your budget, and note any ideas that may not work now, but will be amazing later.
4. Choose the best creative video idea
Identify the idea that fits all of your above criteria best — and get started!
5. Get started with pre-production
Now you have a creative video idea. Congratulations! It’s time to start the preproduction process — you’ll need to flesh out your initial concept and choose a video format, plan talent, locations and gear, then start working on your script and storyboard. Luckily for you, we’ve got a blog post to help; check out our ‘Videography Guide: 12 Tips On How To Shoot Like A Pro’.
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