Opinion

How to make a corporate video that won’t put your audience to sleep

Many companies have no idea how to translate corporate messages into great video. Daniel Littlepage shares his tips for making your video watchable and shareable.

We’re all familiar with the ‘talking heads’ type of corporate video that makes you want an afternoon nap. Sadly, far too many companies focus too heavily on content and forget to make a video that actually keeps the viewer engaged.Dan Littlepage - 90 Seconds

In fairness, creating an engaging corporate video isn’t always easy. Businesses today are up against smartphones, web content and hordes of other distractions that vie for your audience’s attention.

In today’s fragmented, time-poor and technically savvy world, customers have the choice whether to interact, engage or even view your piece of content.

The art of storytelling has been part of human evolution for over 100,000 years and as time goes on, we need to address the way we present our stories for a new era of the moving image and a new frontier of consumer behaviour.

You don’t have to be Quentin Tarantino, but the following lessons from brands that have done it well should help you on your way to creating a video that strikes the right balance between being informative, entertaining and driving a response.

Keep the message simple and approachable

While teasers work great in Hollywood, they generally miss the mark in corporate videos. Top corporate videos have cohesive messages, and this is in no small part the result of detailed planning.

Decide what you’ll say before you get in front of the camera and stick to the schedule – don’t wing it during the real shoot.

Good corporate videos also strike a rapport with viewers, so decide how to address your audience in an accessible fashion – whether through humour, anecdotes or scenarios your audience can relate to. They are also a great way of showcasing the skills of your local team and inspiring top talent to want to join.

A good example of this is how Sunbeam chose to use video to enter into the recent HR Awards.AdWeek -adfreak -infographic-ideal-length-everything-online-tweets-youtube-videos

Shorter is superior

According to AdWeek, the top YouTube videos average just under three minutes. While your ideal target runtimes may vary depending on whether you’re creating an ad or internal training materials, you should always aim for concise language and effective visuals that communicate at a steady pace.

If you can’t resist adding more information than brevity would permit, insert it into your video’s comments.

Effective marketing incorporates strategies like creating complementary blog posts and social posts, so you can always include extra details in the form of links to supplementary content. Otherwise, consider breaking down the video into smaller more consumable pieces which can form part of an ongoing content series.

Don’t just talk to the camera

Speaking in front of the camera and looking stiff is the key ingredient to a disastrous corporate video. Your participants should be prepared to perform – they should know the script and understand how the final project will look. Have them practice reading the material without making distracting gestures, and do some relaxation exercises prior if that helps.

Also consider your location carefully – place your participants in an environment where they can look and act naturally. Use graphics, supplementary and cutaway footage to further drive engagement.

What would a picture book be without the pictures? Boring. Video is no different. If you’re confused about how to address your viewer directly and still make a creative corporate video, then have a look at the way Dsync introduced their company using graphics, clever editing and voice over to tell their brand story.

Plan your wardrobe carefully

Your audience will pass judgment on how you look as soon as you appear on screen. Top corporate videos don’t necessarily restrict their talent to formal business attire, but your choice of apparel says just as much about your message and brand as the environment you present it in does.

If you’re creating a series of corporate videos, consider dressing to reflect the tone of the video. For high energy videos, wear something bright, colourful and playful. A more serious message may require a darker wardrobe style. A good example of this is how T-We Tea has made wardrobe choices that complement the colours of their store.

Don’t overlook production value

A very small percentage of the population has gone to film school, but anyone can instantly spot the difference between amateur video and professional footage. Advancements in camera and editing technology has allowed production quality to increase, whilst reducing the cost to produce.

Most DSLR cameras shoot in 4K resolution now and with ample colour and lighting presets across editing software, it’s never been easier to make your video projects look professionally graded. 90 Seconds recently shot high-quality footage of our general manager undertaking equestrian sport, making it as engaging as possible for our viewers.

And, don’t forget to think about your audio. Often we concentrate on the visuals without considering how audio will enhance the quality of your video.

The correct use of microphones and equipment will enhance the viewability of your video. User-generated video using standard inbuilt camera microphones will sound amateur. A haphazard mic placement may also drown out your talent’s voice with background noise, never a good look if you are investing in high quality visuals.

An experienced production team is the best investment you can make.

Include a call to action

Finally, don’t just halt your video abruptly. Good corporate videos finish with value propositions that foster further engagement. Even if you simply end things with your name and logo, you should make it easy for people to connect with your brand. For more sample videos, check out 90 Seconds Media Channel.

Daniel Littlepage is the managing director, Australia, of 90 Seconds

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