Copywriting isn't just about writing articles or product pages, it involves scripting and producing content that brings a message to life.
The first step is to determine what you need a video for; is it something that's too complicated to write in an article, would it get more cut through if it was a watchable piece of content, how will it be used and what are its success factors.
Producing anything has a cost attached to it and the costs of producing a video are huge, as you normally have to engage an agency. The key is to prove its need and versatility. Once you've written an existential brief, you'll need to move onto the next stage...
Brief in an agency
As with anything, briefing in an agency means giving them the brief as to what you want the video to achieve, who the audience is and how will it be used. This is essential so it's built in the right formats and stills are produced (if needed). If you don't exhaust all possible options for all channels, then you could incur costs later and hold up the process.
I find it also helps to give a few creative pointers to things you've seen and like. This gives the agency a fighting chance of producing something you'll like. Although we like to pretend we're customer driven and functional design-centric, but the truth is we're subjective about creative - always will be.
Agency presents storyboard
This is your chance to challenge creative. I find wearing the six thinking hats is a good way of assessing it. There's the neutral, emotional, judgment, optimistic, creativity and over-arching switching thought.
I recently was sent creative about insurance premiums (yawn, I know) and I challenged the gender of the characters used, as the dominant character was male with the additional driver depicted as female - this not only conforms to the common patriarchal stereotype but also alienates the strategic audience.
It's also a great opportunity to review or write the script and assess it against the design. You need to make sure it flows and it knits together. And if you need to dial up or down the funny, perhaps it doesn't give the right information or the ending isn't strong enough.
Review the prototype
You'll get rushes/scamps of what the animation or video will look like, again this is when you can see if the animation is suitable for the audience. A top tip is to watch it to see if there's nothing that can be misinterpreted, like anything that looks phallic.
This is the most time consuming and expensive part of the process. Once it goes into production, you should assume it's nearly finished. Aside from any minor touch-ups or edits, there shouldn't be any major script or design stages.
It's also the fun part as you get to audition and record voice-over artists. It's important you pick someone whose voice fits in with the tone of the piece, do you need dead-pan funny, zany or authoritative. They may also need pointers when it comes to inflections in their voice and where to put the emphasis. It's important to have the prototype to hand so you can envisage the final product.
Also, you won't be able to see the person's facial expressions so it's a nice touch to get the VO to be over-animated, so it comes through in the animation, like acting.