Video Tips

How to Make a Storyboard for Video in 5 Steps


how to make a storyboard

Are you looking into producing videos for your business’ marketing and don’t know where to start? Here’s a pro tip: Create storyboards.

Whether it's product reviews, how-to explainers, or a simple about us, a storyboard helps solidify and communicate your ideas.

Let’s take you through what storyboards are, why they're important, and how to get one started.

What is a storyboard?

A recent survey revealed that 88% of people were convinced to buy a product thanks to a brand's video—stats like that should be getting you excited about creating your own video marketing strategy!

Although it feels like a challenge, making videos isn't as challenging as you think, especially if you make a plan.

That's where storyboards come in—a key part of the video planning process.

A storyboard is a visual representation made up of sketches, illustrations, or other images that help you plan out the scenes of a video. The visual information represents shots you would like to incorporate when filming and in most cases, you'll pair it with some text to explain what's happening in the scene.

Why is a video storyboard important?

Creating a storyboard for your videos solidifies your vision and eases collaboration with others. Production will go much smoother since you'll know exactly what you need for each scene. Think of it as your video’s visual draft.

Having a storyboard will also help you easily prepare your set instead of making it up as you go—which saves you time.

If you need to secure any kind of funding or get the green light from your boss, a storyboard will show them your plan instead of simply telling them, increasing your chances of approval.

The benefits of storyboarding

When you make a storyboard for your video, you're mapping out your ideas beyond the script. Before picking up your gear, storyboarding helps you determine the setting, framing, camera angles, zoom, lighting, transitions, and anything else you'd like to include.

You don't need to be extremely detailed, but as you go, you’ll uncover ideas you hadn't thought of yet like a prop you'd like to include or different shots you'd like to add for variety.

It’ll also identify any challenges you’ll face so you can prepare or make adjustments before you start filming.

The 3 types of storyboards

1. Traditional storyboard

A traditional storyboard uses rough sketches to communicate the story or idea. They're typically made up of a series of boxes or slides paired with text underneath to explain the scene.

The sequence is kept simple. There are enough images that you or someone you're working with will get the gist, but there are blanks to fill in between each image.

2. Thumbnail

Thumbnail storyboards don't include text but they help to illustrate the idea behind a particular scene. Since this type of storyboard relies more on images, your sketches will need to be a little more detailed.

This gives you and anyone you're working with a more granular look at how you'd like a specific scene to play out. Almost like a comic book without the accompanying text.

3. Digital

Digital storyboards are similar to traditional, except there's no hand drawing required. You can either use software specifically for digital storyboarding or make your illustrations in design software like Adobe Illustrator.

How to make a storyboard for video in 5 steps

1. Write your ideas down

First things first, you're going to want to establish what type of video you'd like to make, what you want to accomplish with it, and why your viewers will want to watch. From there, you'll need to write some quick points about your message, talking points, and key takeaways. If you find you're stuck, these video ideas can help you.

2. Create a rough draft

Write a rough draft of your script or map out your talking points if you prefer to go unscripted. You'll also want to establish who else will be in your video, where it will take place, and what kinds of props and equipment you'll need.

3. Create your sketches

Decide how you want to make a storyboard and start putting your idea into action by sketching it out.

Create a slide for each scene of your video including the setting, the cast, and any important props. Remember, your viewers will want to see more than someone going through their talking points.

Add notes to each scene as you go and be sure to include any transitions.

4. Keep a list

Make a list of everything you'll need to make your video happen. As you work on your storyboard, you'll likely end up adding to it.

5. Assess and gather feedback

Once you've completed your storyboard, take some time to review it and make sure you didn't leave anything out. You can also look for feedback from those involved to see if they would make any changes or if they have something to add.

3 helpful video storyboard tips

1. Start with your ideas and talking points

Having your ideas and talking points written out beforehand will help your storyboard flow and you'll know what setting, people, and objects to include in your scenes.

You don't need to rewrite your script into the storyboard, but mark down what you'll be discussing and doing in the scene so you'll have a better idea of what the video will be covering in that slide.

2. Keep it simple

There's no need to create a work of art or get really detailed with your sketches. Keep in mind that your storyboard will only be used in the planning process and no one will see them except yourself and those you're working with.

The good news is if you can't draw, stick figures are fine. Even if you can, getting into less detail or aesthetic appeal will save you time.

It's also important to remember you don't need to outline every frame. Just give yourself and others a good idea of the story and events.

3. Number each panel

Make sure you number each panel so you and those you're working with know what order they're in. Remember to number each page and include a total, especially if you're working on paper. That way it's less likely the scenes will get mixed up in the review or production stages.

A storyboard example to inspire you

Here’s an example to help you visualize what your storyboards will look like and provide some inspiration to get you going. Remember, you don't need to be an artist like the illustrators in the example to get the job done.

Video storyboard templates to get started

Boords is an online storyboard maker that you can use to get your creative juices flowing.

Not only does its software help you create a storyboard, but you can also find storyboard templates to print or use in Photoshop, PowerPoint, or Word.

After your storyboards are complete, it’s finally time to make your video. Animoto has awesome templates to help make your video come to life.

Catch viewers’ eyes with this bold and colorful product promotion template:

Immediately hook your audience with this service teaser template:

Get storyboarding

Now that you know how to make a storyboard, it's time to get started. Just remember, there's no need to be perfect. Like anything else, it will get easier the more you do it.

When it comes time to put together your footage, Animoto offers plenty of templates that will give your video a professional touch.