5 January 2016
Production Checklist: 15 Tricks for Creating Compelling Corporate Video
By The AllDigital Team

Savvy digital marketers realize the importance of video when promoting companies and typically include a variety of corporate videos as part of their overall marketing programs, in addition to text, images and infographics.

On rare occasions, videos go viral on sites such as YouTube and Vimeo, but others fail to engage their intended audiences, sometimes having a detrimental effect on the company’s brand. However, if corporate videos resonate with the company audience, increased sales and leads are likely. Companies have two real choices, then: Ignore the potential of video marketing or produce videos that inform or entertain their target markets. How can companies produce corporate videos that provide positive results, while competitors in the same market have identical objectives? Here are 15 tricks that will help increase the effectiveness of your video campaigns:

1. Define Your Audience

Every company should know its audience and appreciate that each member of that audience will gather and process information in their preferred manner. Some prefer text while others enjoy the convenience of video and more likely to interact favorably with it, ultimately engaging a larger percentage of your receptive audience. As Simon Davies writes in TECH.CO, “Your corporate video could be hugely popular, but if your content doesn’t strike a chord with your core demographic you have wasted a lot of time and money appealing to people who will never buy your product.”

2. Understand What Type of Video to Shoot When

Video production at a corporate level has many uses and can range from telling the story of a brand, an interview-style piece or a tutorial, to providing expert insights, demos, pitches or promotional messages. The selected type and tone will depend on the target audience identified in the point above. In an article on DIGIDAY, Shareen Pathak writes that Dunkin’ Brands had a problem interacting with their many franchisees. Glen Schwartz, director of global corporate communications at the company, said: “We’re lucky if we got them to open a memo. We’re even luckier if they click on a link.” They decided to run two-minute corporate videos for internal and franchisee use only and achieved immediate results. “We’ve seen an uptick in response rate to whatever messaging we’re putting out there,” Schwartz said, adding that an internal review confirmed increased engagement, with messages from executives, testimonials and evidence of franchisees reviewing new products.

3. Don’t Be Cheap With Video

Skimping on budgets when promoting your company is never recommended. As James G. Brooks, founder and CEO of video platform Glassview, writes in Forbes, “Producing videos requires time and money.” “I have found that many videos aren’t worth making,” he adds. “Either they don’t achieve important marketing goals, like raising brand awareness or attracting sales, or they are poorly executed.”

4. Always Have a Script

While it might seem unnecessary for a short corporate video, a script is always needed to structure the company message entirely in the allotted time. As Andrew Follett, the Founder and CEO at Demo Duck and Video Brewery, writes at the Kissmetrics’ blog: “A well written script is the key to a successful explainer video. It’s the foundation upon which everything else is built. In most cases, it helps to have an ‘outsider’ write the script. Choose someone who can take a fresh look at your company and explain it in a way that anyone can understand.”

5. Capture the Viewer’s Attention Early

Viewers will move on if their attention isn’t captured in less than 10 seconds. Brevity is crucial, and videos must get to the point quickly. According to an article at Forbes by creative studio Propoint, companies are advised to use their own strengths as a basis for capturing attention: “Has your company been around 100 years? Or are you shaking up your industry right now? Either way, decide what makes you great and reinforce that message throughout your video.”

6. Keep the Video as Short as Possible

Obviously, the length of a video will vary according to its purpose, but according to Yoav Hornung, the co-founder and CEO of Veed.me, in an article for The Next Web, videos should be as short as possible. “Shorter videos are better for getting people to watch the whole thing, which means — shorter videos produce more engaged audience,” Hornung writes.

7. Use Your Video to Highlight Your Company’s Expertise

Most companies would like to position themselves as experts in their industries, and corporate videos are an excellent way to do so. Catriona Pollard, director of PR agency CP Communication, says, “Video is an excellent medium to use when looking to share your expertise and build your profile. “Viewers are not only more likely to engage with visual content; they are also able to make a personal connection with you by watching your videos,” she writes at the Huffington Post.

8. Lay Out a Production Schedule, Deadlines and Deliverables

Defining a production schedule is key to success, and companies should always allow more time than they think is needed. A set deadline is important if you are hiring a production company. As Neil Davidson, the Founder of MWP Digital Media, writes in Smart Insights: “It’s obvious, but best to be clear. Specify a deadline at the beginning of the process. “Also, How do you want to take delivery of the final product? It maybe that you want a number of DVDs with start up menus. You may need a high definition file so that you can upload it to the Internet.”

9. Spend Time Finding the Right Location

The decision to shoot your video in-house or in a studio will directly impact on costs. Regardless of venue, it is important that the technical aspects of shooting video are taken into account. This can include lighting, audio and video effects. In addition, it is important that the location complements the company message. “Clearly you wouldn’t film the MD of a successful, forward thinking business against a shabby backdrop,” the team at Trailblazer PR writes in a blog post. “But it goes further than that. With a little care and lateral thinking the location can really add something to the end product.”

10. Scrutinize Production Companies Heavily Before Hiring Anyone

Not all video production companies are created equal, and some research is always necessary to ensure high quality at the right price. Jennifer Jager, creative director at Plum Productions, writes in Entrepreneur magazine that hiring a video production team sometimes “requires a leap of faith.” However, Jager adds that companies can reduce risk by reviewing demo reels and obtaining quotes from several companies. “If you have a bigger budget, use it,” she writes. “Professionals who command higher rates do so because they’re confident in their product. They have the bells, whistles and experience to make your video sizzle.”

11. Be Consistent With Graphics

Few companies have the equipment necessary to shoot a high-quality corporate video, and the majority will outsource to a production company with the necessary expertise. When selecting a video production studio, take a close look at the studio’s portfolio, and keep an eye out for how it treats graphics. Do they have a consistent look and feel, or do they come off as an afterthought? As Caleb Ward writes in the RocketStock blog: “Bad design is a quick way to lose credibility in the eyes of your audience. You don’t have to be the best graphic designer in the world to create a well-designed video. All it takes is a little pre-planning.”

12. Take All the Time Needed for Filming…

Across all industries and audiences, high-quality video works best. Be patient with the actual filming stage: It might require several reshoots dues to unforeseen location issues. Alternatively, you can have your entire video shot in front of a green screen, but that has its own drawbacks. Lance Evans, creative director of Graphlink Media, writes in Creative Bloq about his experience shooting entirely in front of a green screen. “The upside to such a plan was greater control,” Evans says. “The downside was all the work that would be involved with such a task. Essentially, the entire video would be one long special effect shot.”

13. …Because Editing Can Only Do So Much

Editing is a key part of any creative process. To minimize editing, it is best to ensure the highest possible quality during shooting, as not all problems can be repaired in editing. “Editing packages such as Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro are extraordinarily powerful and enable you to accomplish a great deal with your videos, but they’re not magic,” WordStream‘s Dan Shewan writes. He adds that brightness, contrast and audio correction features have their limitations.

14. Make Your Published Video Easy For Search Engines to Find

When your video is complete and ready to go online, you should perform some keyword research for search engine optimization. If SEO is new to you, just try to answer these questions: What specific words will attract your desired audience? What keywords are your competitors using? According to John Rampton at Forbes, keywords are an excellent starting point, but he also recommends a catchy title and a detailed description. In fact, in the same article, David McElveen, Managing Partner of HigherVisibility, has an additional insight to boost your video’s SEO: “Putting your transcript in the description is an excellent way to include relevant, keyword-rich content that will help both your viewers and your optimization efforts, particularly if you are discussing a confusing or involved topic.”

15. Share Your Video As Widely As You Can

Making sure that you completed video is widely viewed is essential and helps ensure a return on investment. You have several options for distribution, too: Social media, YouTube, Vimeo, even your company’s newsletter, which can be particularly powerful. “Using your video in email marketing, for instance, can significantly drive up your average click through rate,” Simon Davies writes in Socialnomics. “According to video production group TellyJuice, ‘the average click through rate for text only email marketing is 3.5% but with video this rises to 58%.’ “By making use of multiple social media platforms, SEO practices and marketing techniques, you can ensure that your video ultimately achieves the organic views that will help to increase brand recognition and conversions for your business.”

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