You want to make your business stand out so you’ve decided to invest in a corporate video for your company. Now you need to think about how to produce something that will drive results and people will want to watch. These days, your audience is fed so much content that if your video isn’t strong and engaging then you risk your video being ignored.
In this blog post I’m going to talk about the things you should think about if you want to create a video that people will not only watch, but want to act on.
Because every business is different and every business has it’s own unique voice, you’ll find that a step by step guide to creating a great video doesn’t really exist. But there are certain elements that successful videos have in common and if you can work these into your project then you’re on the right path to creating a successful video.
We’ve been making corporate videos for companies in Melbourne for over 15 years, over that time we’ve identified these key features that make videos successful.
Speak to Your Audience
The first and most important thing to think about is who your audience is and what impact you want your video to have on them. Defining your audience is important because it allows you to adapt your communication so that it connects with them. Make it relatable, if you’re creating a training video for doctors then a refined and sleek video will speak to them much better than a high energy, loud and attention grabbing video.
Knowing the impact you want to have on your audience is crucial to ensuring they take action. If you know how you want to make them feel then other aspects of your video like the tone and the form will start to fall into place. When the message of the video works in harmony with the impact then the logical outcome for the viewer is to take action.
Take an advertisement for life insurance as an example. The impact they want to have is to make you feel insecure about your financial position if something happened to you. The message they’re giving you is that if you sign up to their policy then this problem will go away. By building the impact in a way that has a strong effect on the audience (using devices like emotive music and dramatisation) they make the message very convincing.
Video is ideally suited to communicating simple ideas. This is because video is a quick paced visual demonstration and that’s why it’s an engaging format. If you want to get across a complex idea that involves a lot of information and explanation then you might find another medium will be more effective.
Additionally, when your communication is direct and clear you’ll find your audience will be far more willing to listen to your message. That’s because as I touched on above, we’re all given so much media these days that our tolerance levels have become lower and lower, we’ve become fickle. Most people make the decision to watch something pretty quickly so if you aren’t making your communication clear, direct and simple to understand then you’ll risk losing your audience.
As a general rule try to steer away from jargon and acronyms. Consider scripting anything you present to camera or use an autocue so that you can plan exactly what you say and ensure it stays simple.
Tell A Story
One of the best ways to get information to an audience is through telling a story. This is because a story puts your ideas into a context that people can relate to and it should also intrigue them.
A good story telling technique is to pose a question or a scenario and then slowly unfold the answer to your audience. That way they’ll get a sense of closure and reward by watching all of your video and they’ll be happy to spend the time doing it.
Keep in mind that there’s a lot of power in making something . When your viewer can relate to a story they feel like a part of the story because they can picture themselves being a part of it.
To keep your story relatable think about things like the genre of your audience, what kind of language do they use? what details will they want to know? If these match your audience then they’ll find it much easier to relate to.
One of the most common elements of a story is the metaphor of a journey and a scene change from the start to the end. This is most noticeable in the case study format. You can hear more about that format here. The structure of this type of video is to present a challenge, watch the protagonist learn something to overcome the challenge, then see the resolution. It’s a tried and true format that people connect with.
Take a look at this video we created for the NMHP. We wanted to show the audience how the Nursing and Midwifery Health Program could help people that were struggling. To do this we told the story of Danielle, a Nurse living in Melbourne and facing challenges with her work/life balance. We showed her journey of facing a challenge through to overcoming it. The result is an engaging story but it contains a strong message about what the NMHP does for people.
It might be tempting to make a video that has more than one purpose: a Swiss army knife video that does everything. It tells your audience about your business, your past success, what you offer, how you operate… anything else you might think is important.
My best advice is to steer clear of this type of video. Don’t get me wrong, you can (and should) put plenty of information in your videos but to make the most effective video I recommend that you pick one purpose and stick to it. This is because it allows you to focus your video on achieving that purpose, making it much more likely that you will.
To start with, it’s best to keep you videos short. Your audience will be much happier to invest their time if they know that they won’t be investing much of it. If your video is only serving one purpose then there isn’t any need for it to be very long.
Secondly, having too many purposes will dilute the strength of the message. This is because all of the elements in your video should be subtly working together to support your purpose. If you have just one purpose then you can concentrate things like the music, the visuals and the editing to support this message to make it stronger.
We made a series of videos for the Superfast Business Live event in Sydney. This involved creating a series of videos that each served only one purpose. They were very short and very simple. The videos were used as part of a marketing automation platform and served to do things like demonstrate content, invite people to get in contact or make special price offers. Because the videos were only serving one purpose they were far more effective than if we had created an ‘all purpose’ video.
Call To Action
The single most important purpose of your video is to drive your audience to take action. Entertaining them, telling a story and giving out valuable information will all be for nothing if they click away afterwards. The best way to avoid people clicking away is to use what’s called a ‘call to action‘.
A call to action is telling the audience what to do next. It could be a link or a place to input your details but it’s a crucial step to ensure your corporate video drives the viewer to take action. This is because ideally, a call to action is simply the next logical progression in the clients experience with you.
If your video has engaged the audience and generated interest then they will naturally be thinking about what comes next. If you have something ready for them then they’ll be inclined to follow through with it. A call to action could be anything, it doesn’t need to be a ‘BUY NOW’ hard sell. It could mean subscribing to a newsletter, being taken to your website or even viewing more of our videos. Entertaining your audience is certainly the aim of a video but if the purpose of your video is to drive action then you should tell people directly what the next step is.
Here’s a call to action that we use for our own videos. We build them into our clients videos when we host work that we’ve produced (click here to find out more about hosting). After viewers have watched the video it pops up and we can customise the function that it has and the message that it displays.
These are the top things I believe you should think about if you want to make a corporate video that works. I’ve been implementing these things for clients for some time now and I love to talk about it so if you want to discuss making a corporate video for your company then get in touch with our Melbourne office here.
Ryan Spanger is one of Melbourne’s most respected and sought-after video production professionals. Ryan founded Dream Engine in 2001, and specializes in helping medium to large corporates, government departments, and the non-proﬁt sector to connect with their audience by using video.