HR Update: Remaining Competitive in a Tight Labour Market
Corporate videos are an excellent way to build leads, convey information, and personalize your brand, but it can be difficult to get attention in the crowded online world. How can companies ensure that their videos stand out? Videographer Stefan van Mourik specializes in producing corporate videos through his company Lucid Visuals. He gives us nine tips for creating standout corporate videos.
Determine Your Objective in Order to Stay Focussed
The primary purpose of most brand videos is to raise awareness and showcase the business. Others highlight corporate culture or provide instructions. All are valid on their own, but problems arise when companies attempt to squeeze too many angles into one video.
“I would compare videos to landing pages,” says van Mourik. “The more specific the purpose, the better the video will perform.”
Keep Your Videos Short, Usually
There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to video length, but two to four minutes is a nice window to aim for. Shorter, snappier videos generally work best for new audiences, while longer ones may be appropriate for those further along in the customer journey.
van Mourik recommends leading with a solid hook, likening videos to street salespeople.
“If they start giving you a whole spiel people will just want to run by and pass them,” he says, “but if they have a quick, intriguing introduction, you might give them a chance.”
Stand Out by Making Your Videos Personal
“I think people nowadays are really looking for the human element and video is a great way to portray that,” says van Mourik.
While it might make sense to overview selling points, avoid the temptation to drag your corporate video into the weeds. Details can be better covered in the written sections of your website. Instead, utilize video’s ability to showcase people, emotions, benefits, and personalities.
van Mourik encourages speakers to utilize bullet points as opposed to hard scripts.
“Sometimes we work with a script and a teleprompter, but the final result is never as genuine or relatable.”
In bureaucratic settings it’s wise to obtain buy-in from the planning stage.
“Sometimes we’ll come up with a creative idea and the initial people we work with will be really excited about it, but as it goes higher and higher up it gets more and more washed,” says van Mourik. “By the end we’ve got a bland, scripted message that has completely lost its humanness.”
Speak Your Video Script, Don’t Write It
If a script is deemed necessary, consider working on it by speaking into a recording device. The language we use with written words is stiff when compared to speech and will seem impersonal when filmed. Transcribing a spoken message will create a more natural sounding script.
Get Comfortable by Practicing with Your Phone Camera
Some people find speaking on-camera to be a piece of cake, while others require some practice.
“A camera doesn’t give you any of the body language or non-verbal feedback that we rely upon when we speak with other people, so it’s very unnatural” says van Mourik. The videographer recommends speakers practice by recording themselves with their phone in the days leading up to the shoot. “It could be something as simple as journaling your day,” he says. “It helps people get familiar with the idea of talking to no one.”
Include the Question in the Answer (But Don’t Obsess About It)
Videographers will prod for information by asking questions of the interviewees. In everyday life we jump right to the answer, but this creates a context problem in videos. For example, if someone is asked why they enjoy working for the company, they may simply reply “because of management’s great level of respect for staff.” Without the prompting question, the answer doesn’t make sense, so it’s preferable to answer, “I enjoy working here because…”.
Some videographers will immediately interject, but van Mourik prefers a softer approach. “It’s not really my style to interrupt people when they’re having the conversation, especially if they’re a bit nervous to begin with,” he says, adding, “We can do a lot in editing.”
B-Roll is Your Friend
Those edits go a lot better when there is sufficient b-roll footage. van Mourik suggests brainstorming for locations. “I usually do the interview portion first, because that gives me some ideas of other supporting visuals we can film,” he says.
Not only will this footage smooth over transmissions, it will also help retain people’s attention.
“You just want to keep stimulating people because it’s such a fast-paced online world,” says van Mourik. “Besides,” he adds, “it’s show and tell, not tell and tell.”
Source Some Background Music
Various online catalogues allow for the sourcing of music by mood, genre, instruments, video type and more. van Mourik is a fan of Art List, as well as Epidemic Sound. Be sure to choose something that fits the mood of the video.
Hire a Professional
There’s a good chance that you are currently reading this very blog post on a device capable of shooting high quality video, so why should you hire a professional to create your corporate video?
Their mastery of equipment, lighting, and editing techniques is simply more likely to create a professional result. On top of that, it will save you time.
van Mourik believes that cell phone video is great for TikTok and Instagram, but more marquee pieces benefit from professionals.
“There’s definitely a place for both,” he says. “If you’re planning on doing a brand video that has a bit of a longer life span, it might be more attractive to get a nicely produced video rather than some phone work.”
Video is just one aspect of a communications and content strategy, but it’s rising in popularity. It provides an element of personality that can be particularly engaging and persuasive, making it a key tool in your marketing toolbox. With a solid game plan and a strong execution, you’ll be able to create impactful video that stands out in a busy digital world.