Hurrah! Your organisation wants a corporate video and has given you a budget! You want it to have wow factor – but you’re not sure how to achieve it. We’re going to give you all the lowdown so you can create a film that knocks viewers’ socks off. Whether you’re a seasoned marketing manager or a corporate video virgin, our handy tips will give you the inside track on everything you need to know about corporate video production.
- 54% of consumers want to see more video content from a brand or business they support. (HubSpot, 2018)
- Videos are a consumers’ favourite type of contentto see from a brand on social media. (Animoto, 2018)
- It’s estimated that by 2022, 82 percent of the global internet traffic will come from video streaming and downloads. That’s an 88 percent increase in traffic share (up from 72.3 percent) in 2017. (Cisco, 2019)
Video’s killing it
The Buggles were right: video has not only killed the radio star, but text and image content, too. As the stats show, it’s taking over the internet – and everyone wants to be in on the action. But although there’s much to be gained, there’s are infinite possibilities when it comes to video productions, so you need to know what you want. To start with, let’s clarify what a corporate video is (and what it’s not).
In simple terms, a corporate video project connects an organisation’s leaders with the workforce, or communicates its products or ethos to the consumer. Types of corporate films include:
- internal communications that speak to teams and strengthen company culture
- promotional or branded content or marketing videos
- charity films – raising awareness of an organisation or cause
- B2B content – used for business to business marketing, or at trade shows
- conference films – messages from a CEO or annual overviews. Alternatively, they could be a record of a conference, after the event
- safety and training videos – providing a cost-effective way of up-skilling staff or keeping them safe
- explainer videos to dive deeper into a subject, product or service
- investor relations films – summing up what an organisation has achieved
- customer testimonials – ‘talking heads’: consumers relating their experience of an organisation or a product, or providing reviews
One thing a corporate video project is not, is a commercial. Although the production process is often the same, TV commercials are on a whole different level. For starters, a £400k ad is a bargain – because with commercials, everything’s on a bigger scale. You need better cameras, more lighting and more technicians to work with them. Commercials must also meet strict broadcast regulations in the market where they’ll be shown. The specs for television are very different to those of a website or social media platform, too.
So now we’ve got that covered, let’s get down to details.
Corporate film production – step by step
Think it through
Before we get into the process, we’re going to tell you a secret. Although many people think the shoot is where the magic happens, it’s actually in pre-production. Nailing your vision is vital if you want to create a miniature masterpiece that supports your video marketing strategy. A bit of reflection now is less expensive than diving in and then changing your mind once the shoot is underway.
The first step in this process is to produce a brief. This should set out your target audience, key messages and available budget (if known), plus the following:
- Deliverables (quantity, media platform, format). This is a must, and is not just in terms of film or image content, but also how and where it will be used. A film that features on both your site and your social platforms may need different elements such as clickable links, copy and subtitles. If you’re going online, you need to think about search engine optimisation.
- The area of your business we are making the content for.
- Learnings from previous projects.
- Project timings – including any set live dates.
- Branding assets and guidelines including tone of voice.
There may well be questions you can’t answer, but that’s ok. A good production company will treat the brief as a starting block and give you the benefit of their knowledge to help you fill in the gaps.
Create the concept
Once you’ve hammered out the brief and shared it with the production peeps, it’s time to create a concept. The message needs to be crystal clear, in tune with your target audience and aligned with your content marketing strategy. Storyboards will help you picture how different ideas will look. Take time to make sure your chosen concept is exactly right, with the correct branding and tone of voice – it’ll save you time and money later down the line.
Agree the budget
As much as we love big, ambitious ideas, they have to have cold hard cash behind them. You won’t get an Oscar-worthy cinematic feast for the spare grand you found down the back of the marketing department sofa. Having said that, good video production companies will always do their best to find smart, cost-effective solutions to help you achieve the effect you want. Just be realistic. And ALWAYS, be ready for unknowns.
Although your production team will provide a breakdown of production costs including crew rates and insurance, be aware that not everything is covered. For example, if your shoot is cancelled for any reason, it’s not always possible to recoup the crew costs due to official governing body rules. And, if the weather doesn’t play ball, that could prove expensive, too. Stills shots also require extra cash (although some basic stills are often part of the package). Yep, filming can be expensive. (Don’t worry, we’ll shout you lunch.)
Set out a timeline
When it comes to timings, listen to your production company’s advice. A couple of weeks is not enough time to create a quality product. Be ready for hiccups – they’re part of life. A good team will adapt and improvise, but try to build in extra time so it’s not a disaster if the gremlins strike.
Once you’ve got your timings sorted, you’ll receive a production schedule, with the dates for filming, editing and, vitally, key milestones at which you’ll need to approve material. You’ll need to do this promptly so the team can meet the agreed deadline.
Attend the shoot
This is it: the moment your concept becomes reality. Everyone – the crew, the actors, the producer, the make-up artist and the director – come together to make a kick-ass video. Your role is a vital one, as you’ll be signing off each stage and confirming you’re happy with what’s filmed. Bear in mind that making changes at this point can be very expensive.
With your film in the can, it’s time to head to the editing suite. Don’t under-estimate the miracles that professionals can achieve! Even average footage can be transformed into something interesting. Skilled professionals will put shots in order and set the pace. They’ll also ‘grade’ the film, which means adding polish, so it goes from muted to beautiful, vibrant and colourful. Specialists will mix the audio, add a voiceover and perform an online edit, where picture and sound are brought together.
At this point, it’s time to review the finished article, which may well require some final tweaks. Refine, amend and enhance, and voila: the video of your dreams.
Ten tips to make an even better video
Made a corporate video before? We’re sorry for teaching you to suck eggs. Here are some top tips to that could make your next film an even bigger success.
- We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: identify the purpose of your video. The most effective films never lose sight of their objective.
- Find stories that focus on your purpose and entertain and engage the viewer. Make sure you have a director on board who can bring the narrative to life.
- Want your corporate video to have impact? Prioritise production values. Invest in them as you would any other marketing tool. All those people behind the scenes with obscure job titles? Trust us, you need them.
- Shorter films are more impactful. 3 minutes. 30 seconds. 10 seconds. Short is good.
- Put your best 8 seconds first. These days, the average attention span is 8 seconds, so make sure you grab your audience quickly and keep them hooked.
- An interview is NOT a film. You need b-roll pictures to tell the story. You need to show what you are talking about. Strong pictures sell a story.
- Think subtle – not hard sell. Aggressive sales tactics turn people off. Dial down the pressure.
- Be authentic – connect with people and potential customers by keeping it real. To wins hearts as well as heads, try to appeal to people’s emotional side.
- Choose the right platform for your video. Think about how best to maximise your asset for social media marketing and whether you want to re-version it for other markets and regions. If you think this may be part of your plans, it needs to be in the brief. That way, the right cuts can be made and the right edits, captions and sub-titles can be added. Need it to be optimized for Google search? Consider search engine optimization when it comes to the content, and the subsequent keywords you choose.
- Consider usage and rights. Where will your video be shown and on what platform? This will affect rights and licensing payments. If your film may be shown in additional territories, beyond the original campaign period or on extra platforms, there may be further costs.
We won’t lie: achieving the perfect corporate film takes a great deal of thought and effort. That’s why you need a trusted partner for your corporate video productions who’ll be there through every step of the process. The good thing about Maverick is that you get everything under one roof: a highly experienced agency team, plus a respected production house, Eric. The advantage of this is that all our experts work together and are on the same page. Communication comes easily. And that makes all the difference. Get in touch with us to find out how we can help!