Keys to a successful creative brief
Liquona works with clients to offer video (or ‘moving image’) in all its forms – including 2D and 3D animation. Constantly seeking to innovate moving image has taken Liquona into the realm of Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, web apps and other forms of interactive content, which allow the viewer or consumer to participate in shaping the narrative and access the specific content they are interested in.
When Liquona begin to work with a new client, a simple questionnaire forms part of the briefing process. It gives the creatives a snapshot of the client’s requirements and preferences. Getting a sense of the organisation’s identity is a crucial part of the process, though defining and articulating this often proves challenging for the client.
Matt Day, Liquona’s Creative Director, recommends that organisations take some time to consider these four questions before briefing a creative agency:
Who are you?
“You need to know who you are, what you want to communicate, and what the parameters of the content you are asking us to make for you are,” explains Matt.
As well as defining the brand you want to reflect, consider the ambition you have for the brand. In the case of a professional body, an example might be to ‘come across as a bit more personable whilst maintaining a sense of authority.’
What do you like?
Do some research to define what you like. “We [at Liquona] always ask clients to provide us with visual references for the kind of content they are looking for, be it to say who they are, to recruit new members or celebrate hero members. It’s really helpful to know what people have seen, and it helps us understand what their expectations might be.”
What response do you want the piece to generate?
Commissioning a piece of moving image involves a significant investment, “so you need to know what it’s actually going to do and how you will get return on that investment,” says Matt. “Hence, the most important question for a client to answer in the Liquona briefing process is ‘How do you want the audience to respond to this piece of content?’ That encompasses ‘What do you want your audience to think, feel and do having consumed this content? How will they be changed having done so?”
“This is one of the things that we [at Liquona] really believe. As human beings, we will always make decisions based on how we feel about a brand, service or organisation, rather than what we know about them. So, if people can engage with your content emotionally, they are more likely to recall the information it contains, and that deeper engagement drives decision-making behaviour.”
How will you evaluate performance?
Meaningful metrics to evaluate a moving image project have to go beyond the view count, explains Matt, since that figure is likely to include a large number of people who have stumbled across the content, from outside of your intended audience.
It’s more useful to look at how people are engaging with the video. For instance, if people are watching a particular section more than once, that provides a valuable insight into their interests. Similarly, identifying any sections people are skipping through can tell you something useful. That information can be gathered easily through Google Analytics.
“What people do as a result of watching your video is another important metric, so you want to have a clear call to action, to join your association for instance. The link or phone number given to find out more about membership can be unique, meaning all enquiries via that channel can be attributed to the video they have seen, helping you understand what is working and where”.
Once the client has a strong sense of their organisation’s identity and objectives for the video project, another key to a successful outcome is communication between the creative agency and the client throughout the process, explains Matt. “The communication should look like watching a game of tennis, with constant exchanges between the players”.
“That doesn’t always have to be an in-depth update, just something along the lines of ‘this is what we’re thinking at the moment, and here’s what we’re planning next.’ The client needs to respond to those updates, and it’s ideal if they can share them with their stakeholders to make sure that the thinking is aligned and things are moving in the right direction.”
“Something that often surprises clients is how valuable stakeholder engagement can be to the process. If the project involves a significant investment, or forms part of a change or shift in what the organisation is conveying, you need to bring members with you, so you need to engage them in how the messaging around the organisation is going to be communicated.”
One way to achieve this is to invite representatives from the trustees, board or council for example, to provide member voice, and focus group testing the concepts as you go. “Whilst it can be a bit daunting, it gives the best results,” says Matt.
Read more about the creative process and how Liquona worked with the BPA to create a video animation to help reposition the Association’s brand in this case study.