October 10, 2018
How to Make a Compelling Corporate Video
As a marketing or communications professional leading your company’s strategy, you’re well aware of the need to incorporate video into your content strategy. With over a billion users on YouTube, there is an entire world to explore via video marketing. Mobile video viewing is on the rise, with one in two videos viewed on the go and on a phone. Corporate video marketing consistently ranks as one of the best return on investments available; engagement, traffic, and social sharing are all greatly aided by the use of videos. The facts add up: you need video, and you needed it yesterday.
You also know that video content can be a strong ally in your company’s brand efforts. Video can show personality, authenticity, and product attributes in a way that other media struggle to convey–but too often, corporate videos are bland, brand-less items promoted out of a sense of obligation rather than excitement. They make your “should do” list but not your “show up at the office early because you’re dying to do it!” list. You fear that anything you’ll make will be overly stuffy, boring, or just too corporate. Well, it’s your lucky day because there are a number of tricks of the trade that can improve your corporate video content and keep viewers from snoozing off before the credits roll.
Review Your Brand Guidelines
You want to promote your brand–so first, review your brand identity. Not to spark an existential crisis, but you really do want to ask yourself: “Who are we?” Ideally, you can answer this quickly, clearly, and without too much angst. Still, it never hurts to revisit the following questions about your brand:
1) What makes us, as a company, unique?
2) How do consumers relate to us and our products?
3) What messages resonate best with our customers? What examples do we have from our past marketing work that we can draw on here for supporting evidence of our claims?
4) What are our brand’s creative elements, from visuals to brand voice? Are there one or two pieces that we feel really “get it” that we want to keep top of mind as we create our video?
Your brand identity is conveyed from your brand vision down to the nuts and bolts of your logo, brand colors, and other marketing tools. Keep these guidelines nearby to inform the tone, voice, and visuals of your video. After all, you want to be 100% you, not some watered down variation.
If these questions are proving challenging for you and your team to answer, consider conducting a brand audit before proceeding. It’s ok–every successful company, at some point, needs to take a step back to reassess. A brand audit can help determine your baseline so that you know where you’re starting from. Brand audits include diving into questions such as: How does our brand present currently–literally down to the marketing collateral that left your office last week? What do consumers think or feel about our brand? What does our competitive landscape look like?
Cast a Wide Net
Next, hold with a brainstorm session to come up with new corporate video ideas. Incorporate visuals. Bring examples of compelling videos and discuss the specific elements that interest you. Play with word association. Consider which emotions you want customers to feel and brainstorm ways that content could evoke happiness, desire, or other feelings. And if you get stuck, move on. Literally, stand up and move around! Physical movement releases endorphins and helps get the creative juices flowing.
Use your brand voice to speak directly to your customer. Dove, once known just as a soap company, is now a leader in the “body acceptance” movement with their vulnerable and celebratory videos about self-love and beauty. Whether you follow in their footsteps with a similarly earnest video or go for a more quirky option, don’t use a teleprompter–nothing says “canned” like watching your eyes move.
Your brand is not a robot. Repeat. Your brand is not a robot. People relate to real people with real emotion. Tap into the heart and you’ll win minds. The Cancer Treatment Centers of America offers a great example of how to do this effectively in their recent video.
Be you! If your brand is funny, be funny (more about that in a previous blog here). Humor can improve a customer’s bond with your brand and increase their likelihood of sharing your content with others, all while helping your brand stand out from the crowd. Can’t imagine your brand using humor? Try leaning into your brand personality in a different way. If your brand is classy and professional, use brand associations to build on that image. Hospitals, cancer research centers, and schools tend to have a more serious brand identity, but that doesn’t mean they should be boring. Take the opportunity of a corporate video to showcase the personalities of the people who make the brand great.
See Through Your Customers’ Eyes
Before you start shooting your video, ask: Why should people care? See through your customers’ eyes–literally. Make the point of view for your video that of your target persona and illustrate the benefits of your product or service. For example, if your company sells car seats, you could talk about your crash safety rating and high standards of manufacturing. Or, in a more compelling corporate video, you could show a car crash where the crash safety rating made all the difference in the world to that parent. Show, don’t tell, why your (car seat, app, fill in the blank) is best.
Tell the Story Visually
How can you make the footage grab the attention of the viewer? In this video from ZOLOZ, the product comes alive for the viewer. It takes a could-be dry or difficult subject and makes it visually compelling. Humans relate to other humans. Rather than showcasing the software, the focus is on the people using the software and how it makes their lives better.
The video crafts a narrative and tells a story of how this product fits into the lives of consumers. We don’t see the person voicing over the story until the end, and that’s to drive home the message and the emotion behind it. There’s also a small element of surprise to find out we’ve been listening to the CEO, whose passion and belief in his product is clear both in his voice and his face.
Carefully Select Promotion Channels
Once you create your video, don’t shelve it–share it! Carefully select your promotion channels. Meet your people where they are, rather than trying to lure them to a new channel. Email, website, and social media are all commonly used distribution tools, although it never hurts to think outside of the box.
Here at Scenic Road, we work with marketing leaders seeking high-end video and content production. We bring your brand to life through content creation and strategic marketing. Contact us to learn more about our approach and why we are so invested in authentic consumer experiences.