It's no longer a secret: video is the essential format for any digital communication strategy. Cisco's research predicts that in 2020, video content alone will account for 84% of global Internet traffic. Woah.
This is a trend that many companies and organizations are already taking advantage of, particularly in their internal or external communications.
Web-series, promotional clips, employee portraits... far from the 'traditional' modes of outreach, dynamic corporate videos are an effective way to promote a company's brand image through impactful audiovisual content.
However, creating a standout and engaging video is no easy task, and several steps are required to get the most out of it.
Well that's handy, this article is here to help you do just that. Read on for some best practices and tips for creating a corporate video that will dazzle your corporate communication audiences.
What exactly is a corporate video?
Before getting stuck in, let's take a few seconds to define the term "corporate video" that seems to pop up everywhere these days.
Strictly speaking, a corporate video is a corporate communication tool that aims to convey and promote the universe of a brand, company, association, public institution or organization.
With an evident ability to breathe new life into professional communications, a corporate video operates through the virtues of trust and transparency by highlighting your company's know-how, its identity, culture, unique history, staff and its core values.
Basically, creating a corporate video (or 'institutional video') is about showcasing the soul of your company and making your differences a strength. In this sense, the corporate video should be resolutely human and unique, while unifying around shared principles.
Who is a corporate video aimed at?
It all depends on your objectives and the message you want to convey to your stakeholders. Generally speaking, you may be dealing with two core target audiences:
- For internal communications: in this case, video is used to convey a message in an attractive way within your company. It is, therefore, aimed at the people who work there — your employees. The aims? To develop a sense of company culture, to highlight your best talents, to streamline communication between colleagues and create real cohesion in the workforce. Have you thought about sending videos in an email?
- For external communications: here, a corporate video would be aimed at your professional partners, shareholders and suppliers, but also at your prospects and potential candidates. The idea? To enhance the employer brand, attract new talent, increase engagement among your employees... and generate leads by helping your potential customers to get to know you better.
Some corporate video use cases
Whether you work in internal or external communications, here are a few use cases that should convince you of the power that video can bring to your company.
Just like its target audiences, the corporate short film is a shapeshifter — it can take many different forms. You'd be surprised to see how many different ways there are to boost your corporate communications!
- Do you want to present your organization, communicate your industry expertise and your company values? Opt for a presentation video that tells the story of your company, with facts and figures and included.
- Your employees are talented individuals, so why not highlight their work and personalities for the rest of the world to see? Here, a video portrait or an employee interview will do the trick. Testimonials humanize your corporate voice and add an authentic touch which always goes down well with audiences.
- Is your company launching a new product or service? Roll back the curtains and unveil it with a product video, explainer video, tutorial or short advertisement.
- Would you like to communicate about your participation in trade shows or industry events? Video announcements and event reports are great formats for letting your target audiences know about your company's recent activity.
- Is your company undergoing change or restructuring and you need to keep stakeholders informed? A video newsletter will help you to streamline your communications and relay important information in an engaging format.
- Do you want to promote several internal projects but you're not sure how to go about it? Why not launch a video diary or a web series that presents, episode by episode, your most daring initiatives.
The golden rules of a great corporate video
There you go, the idea of creating your own corporate video has got you pumped and you're feeling ready to take the plunge into the world of corporate communication.
Hold on just one sec!
Before you begin filming your hit corporate blockbuster, it's imperative to keep in mind these 6 golden rules to making video an effective communication asset.
1 video = 1 idea
This is certainly the most decisive rule in the success of your audiovisual content: an effective corporate video must communicate a single message. Not two, not three... just one!
Why? Because if you attempt to tackle several themes within the same video, you risk losing the attention of your target audience and causing an information overload.
On the other hand, by addressing only one theme in your video, you are sure to bring a clear and intelligible answer that will meet a precise objective, without getting your message tangled up. This will increase your chances of creating an engaging corporate film that will achieve greater online visibility.
Moral of the story: if you have 20 messages to get across, it's better to break them down into 20 separate videos.
Tell your story
"Once upon a time, my company..." With a narrative structure, your corporate video becomes immediately more captivating, right?
In addition, you increase your chances of keeping the viewer on the edge of their seat right to the very end of the video by playing to their taste for a good story. Because, let's be honest, who doesn't love a good story?
Storytelling has the inherent power of making your message stronger, more impactful and easier to remember.
Switch from the heavily scripted — sometimes even robotic — feel of a classic corporate video to a more relaxed and offbeat tone. A bit more chill, dude. Authenticity is everything these days, and nothing is more off-putting for viewers than a stilted smile that says "I've practiced these lines 1000 times already."
Your scripted message must be honest and reflect your brand identity. Ideally, you should use videos and photos of your company, your employees, your customers, etc. We recommend that you create an upstream brand book that will allow you to keep consistency between your content and your brand. Have you thought about setting up a brand content strategy?
If you don't have any of your own media available, you can always use photos or videos from the stock library. In this case try to find photos and videos with a more natural feel about them.
Stay authentic and keep it real!
Format: Short and sweet
8 seconds. This is the average length of the human attention span, according to a Microsoft study. Fun fact: the attention span of a goldfish is... 9 seconds!
The 'short and sweet' trend is now widely cultivated by the availability of mass-information on the internet: in the age of almost-limitless micro-content, viewers want to see fast and effective videos.
Again, the numbers don't lie:
- Microsoft found that a 30-second video is watched to the very end by an average of 85% of the audience.
- A video under 2 minutes is watched to the end average by 70% of the audience.
In order to make your message resonate with your target audience, it's essential to deliver a concise and precise message. This is why many experts agree that the ideal average length of a video is 90 seconds, according to a study by Breadnbeyond. Therefore, adopting a video strategy based on the regular distribution of many short videos is the smart move.
Nevertheless, keep in mind that the quality of a corporate video does not lie in its duration, but rather in the relevance of the content that conveys your message.
Did you know 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound, according to Digiday?
Whether your goal is to create a viral video or to offer powerful content to your colleagues, you have every interest in inserting text or subtitles that emphasise the key messages of the video.
You can also add transition screens that include the questions of your interview, for example: they set the rhythm of the video and provide a useful structure for your audiences to follow.
Your social engagement impact will soar through the roof!
It's a fact: your viewers must be able to watch and understand your video without sound. However, don't forget about the power of music!
Arousing the emotions of your audience is key, and a well-selected soundtrack can really set the tone for your corporate video and reinforce the cohesion of your message.
Opt for an introductory and closing jingle, or add some background instrumental melodies to liven up your short films.
Depending on your budget, you can:
- Hire a professional musician or pay for a license to get original music.
- Use copyright free music for commercial use, listed on sites such as SoundBlend, Jamendo, or find some groovy tunes on PlayPlay.
Focus on aesthetics and creativity
While the substance of your corporate video remains essential, the form is no less important.
Illustrations, 2D/3D animations, special effects, dynamic transitions... For more engagement and a more lively end-product, let your imagination run wild by adding a creative concept to your message.
The key steps to make your corporate video a success
Enough talk: you want to know the 4 steps to creating a stylish, engaging corporate video? Let's get stuck in!
Step 1: Plan your key objectives
This first step, which tends to be least exciting aspect of video creation, is nonetheless the most important because it defines precisely what you want to achieve.
Like all high-quality content, your corporate video must be thought out in advance, right down to the smallest details:
- What will your video be about? What message do you wish to convey? Which format will you choose (interview, report, tutorial...)? In all cases, keep in mind that your video should commence with the topic you want to communicate about and end with what you want the audience to remember.
- Who will your corporate video be aimed at? Do you want to target a specific customer profile or a larger audience? Are you communicating internally or externally? As you can imagine, depending on whether you're speaking to employees, suppliers, customers or prospects, the message and content of your video will vary.
- Where will the action take place? In your office space, in a studio, outdoors?
- When will your shooting take place? Is there a deadline for the much-anticipated release? Create a timeline to ensure production stays on track.
- Why are you creating a corporate video? Is it to promote a product, to attract new customers, to promote your values? Define the purpose of your video.
- How will you create your corporate video? What are the human and technical resources available to you?
- How much will your video cost to produce? What kind of budget do you have at your disposal? Plan your budget carefully to ensure that your video goals are realistic and achievable.
In short, there's no magic secret: the more explicit and well-defined your goals are, the more effective your video will be.
In short, there's no magic secret: the more explicit and well-defined your goals are, the more effective your video will be. Consider using the SMART goal framework.
Step 2: Produce the script and the storyboard
Then comes the stage of planning and designing your corporate video.
Known as "pre-production", this crucial phase consists of putting all your ideas on paper and constructing a script and a storyboard — the technical breakdown of every scene in your corporate film.
The script of a corporate video should include the following elements:
- The allocation of roles (directors, cameramen, editors, sound engineers...)
- The availability of the actors and/or products.
- The equipment (ultra HD camera, drone, costumes...)
- The actions and dialogues.
- The location of the shoot.
- The date of the shoot.
- The sound editing (music, voice-over...) and text (subtitles) added in post-production.
How to create a good corporate video storyboard?
Avoid corporate jargon at all costs: there's nothing worse than a video that is misunderstood by its target audience simply because of complicated language.
Instead, use simple and clear terms. Words that resonate with the specific objectives of your audience, but which also speak to the general public. Keep it real, man, and your audience will be more open to the message of your video.
Is your script written? Now it's time to get a clear picture of what your corporate video will look like by creating a visual summary of each scene.
That's where the storyboard comes in, the illustrated version of your script.
The idea is to visualize the main structure your corporate video: the introduction, the plot of the story, the values conveyed, the specifics of your message that make it unique... and, of course, an optimistic and effective conclusion that sums up the whole point of your corporate video.
In practice, your storyboard should include:
- A brief description of each scene, shot by shot...
- The type of shot (overview shot, close-up...)
- Some simple sketches to help you visualize each scene.
Easy, isn't it?
💡PlayPlay Pro tip
Your storyboard could go even deeper into the technical side of things, such as the location and movement of the camera, lighting setup, sound, precise sketches...
That said, it's worth keeping your storyboard clear and easy to follow and avoid going too 'Hollywood Director' with it. With a clear message and well planned scenes, which you can easily format on PowerPoint, you will already have a nice overview of your project.
Step 3: Lights, camera, action!
Things are finally taking shape: we are now at the shooting stage.
If you haven't skipped any steps and the planning and design phases have been followed to the letter, the production of your corporate video should go smoothly.
A little tip: keep an eye on the sound and visual quality of your corporate video throughout the filming process. You don't want any intruding noises or dubious lighting, right? To do this, equip the actors with simple lavalier (clip-on) mics, and monitor the light to ensure it's consistent.
Step 4: Edit your video in post-production
Bravo, you have reached the final step: editing the rushes.
During this post-production phase, the video editor will piece together all the shots to give your corporate video some character and a final polish.
Video editing includes:
- The calibration (light and colour correction.)
- The audio mixing (sound design, addition of music or voice-overs...)
- The integration of text content (on-screen text, subtitles, image captions) and visuals (logos, images, GIFs...)
- The integration of visual effects (FX simulation, 2D/3D animations... or simply transitions between different shots.)
These touch-ups will serve to keep your viewers on the edge of their seats as they watch your corporate blockbuster.
💡PlayPlay Pro tip
The first thing your viewers will see before they even watch your corporate video is the thumbnail. It should be eye-catching and invite the click, while still being representative of the message that your video will deliver.
For example, you could use an innovative still visual of one of your favorite scenes, with your brand graphic designs, colors, and a catchy (yet still honest!) title. The key is to stay consistent.
If Photoshop or Illustrator aren't your go-to tools, a simple online tool like Canva will do the trick.
And if you want to create your corporate video in-house from start to finish, equip yourself with a simple video editing tool, with no unnecessary hassle. We recommend that you try PlayPlay for free and let us know how easy you find it to create stylish videos!
You have now learned all the golden rules to creating a high-impact corporate video.
Communicate, inform, and promote in an original way, but don't forget to remain authentic: after all, it's your brand image that's at stake!