10 Video Content Elements To Help You Become A Director

Video Marketing Creation Guide: Lights, Camera, Action

Video Marketing Guide Is video content part of your marketing mix?

“Video will become the be-all/end-all of eyeball reaching in 2014. ” was one of the 64 content marketing predictions via Lindsay Bell of Armant Dietrich.

Based on the data, maybe it’s time to consider adding it to your mix.

  • 77% of global Internet users watch video, according to Global Web Index. In total, 1.15 billion people view video on a connected device. Of these, 626 million view video on a smartphone and 297 million view video on a tablet.
  • Two-thirds of firms are planning to increase their spend on video marketing according to Ascend2.

Global Video Content Consumption-Video Content

What’s the biggest video marketing challenge?

Almost half of firms have problems creating compelling video marketing, according to research by Ascend2. Video Marketing Challenges - Video Content Element

To understand how to create great video content, think like a movie director. Learn from master filmmakers like Alfred Hitchcock and Steven Spielberg.

Every Saturday on Turner Classic Movies (TCM), John Osborne and Drew Barrymore host The Essentials where they examine what makes great movies. As a content marketer you can apply their classic movie lessons to convert your brand and company stories into video content.

10 video content elements (With questions to guide your content creation)

Here are the 10 video content elements to help you become a content marketing movie director.  (If you need more help, test out these 5 video marketing tricks.) Video Marketing Guide

1. Script

This is the story, dialog and stage directions for your video. On a real life movie, re-writes continues during the filming process.

Content Video Element Questions To Ask:

  • Which brand or company story are you going to tell?
  • Are you going to create a full script or just an outline?

2. Actors

These are the people who take on the roles and characteristics of the principals in the story. They say the lines in the script and give them life and meaning. Understand how they relate to your marketing persona.

Content Video Element Question To Ask:

  • Who will play the key roles in your video? Will it be actors, employees or customers?

3. Makeup and hair

This includes wigs and wounds. Together, hair and makeup create an illusion that the actor is someone other than who they are in real life.

Content Video Element Question To Ask:

  • How are you presenting your actors? If you use customers, they can be themselves.

4. Costume

Includes accessories such as jewelry. Helps create the personality the actor is playing. They provide signals to your audience about time and setting.

Content Video Element Questions To Ask:

  • What will your actors wear?
  • How is your brand incorporated into these outfits?

5. Location

This is where the action takes place, either indoors or outdoors.  Studio sets are a subset of location. They’re tailored locations built to meet your film or video’s specific needs.

Content Video Element Question To Ask:

  • Where does the action take place and what kind of space does it take place in?

6. Props

Props are anything that figures into the action of a scene that’s not part of the actor, his costume or the set. It should be noted in the script, whether it’s a gun or cellphone.

Content Video Element Questions To Ask:

  • What is the character doing?
  • What does he need to accomplish this?

7. Special effects (aka FX)

This is anything that real people, animals and vehicles can’t do on their own. FX includes actions and things that can’t be accomplished without outside help such as explosions and CGI.

Content Video Element Questions To Ask:

  • What else is happening on the scene?
  • How are you going to accomplish this?

8. Cinematography

This starts with choice of camera, lens and type of film. It includes camera angle, lighting and tracking.

Content Video Element Questions To Ask:

  • What are you going to shoot?
  • From what directions are you shooting the subject?
  • How is the subject lit?
  • What’s specifically in the frame?
  • How does the camera move with the action?

9. Sound

Encompasses dialog, background noise and music. These can be done at the same time or iteratively.

Content Video Element Questions To Ask:

  • What does the audience hear?
  • How are you foreshadowing activity via sound?
  • Is your audio brand included?

10. Post-production

This is where the director edits various camera takes into each scene and adds in music and effects to create the final product.

Content Video Element Question To Ask:

  • Are extra recordings and/or voiceovers needed?

Not included on this list are the logistics of film directing such as financing.

Want further video content directorial insights? Watch a classic film without the sound to appreciate how much goes on that you see versus hear.

While in film there’s no shame in stealing an idea, you must make it your own in service to your own story. Be inspired by Hitchcock, but don’t try to create a video by copying one of his films frame by frame. In other words, re-imagine classic movie shots as your own video content.

Even if your video content marketing budget is limited, you can still use these 10 video content element questions to guide your video creation.

Have you used video in your content marketing mix? If so, what type did you use and did you find it effective?

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen


Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies. You can find Heidi on , Facebook and .

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  • Jennifer

    Awesome post, Heidi :)
    Also important to note in the post production stage is how you’ll edit to be extra persuasive and catchy. From what we’ve found running a few video campaigns and learning as we go, you’ll want to keep your videos under 3 minutes tops and have a really fast-acting hook at the beginning (kind of like a sitcom’s cold open) to make sure your viewers are not only on board, but follow through right to the end where you convert them with a CTA.
    Great tips!

    • heidicohen

      Jennifer — You make a great point that post production is an important element of transforming content. It’s like other forms of content the initial creation needs additional work to become stellar. Happy marketing, Heidi Cohen