After hours of reflection, you suddenly had a lightbulb moment and the space above your head started to glow: institutional videos (also known as corporate videos) are one of the most effective ways to present your company and convey its values.

And you're absolutely right: institutional videos enable you to tell a story with emotional value through images and music. So, have you just found a new way to boost your communication strategy?

The only downside: you don't necessarily know where to start, especially with all the technical and artistic aspects of video creation that are essential to a high-quality corporate video.

But hang on, keep that lightbulb switched on. You're about to learn how to create a polished institutional video yourself, without the need for a production company or professional video editing software.

Discover how to create institutional videos in-house simply and quickly by following this guide.

Spotlight on the benefits of making a institutional video 💡

In general, our average attention span when looking at a screen is 8 seconds, which isn't much! We filter through the information very quickly and pass from one piece of content to the next until we settle on a subject that really captures our attention. In this sense, video helps to captivate an audience before they move on:

  • 55% of people consume video more than any other type of content (HubSpot study)
  • In 2021, 82% of global internet traffic will be video (according to the annual Cisco report)

Well-produced institutional videos allow you to focus an audience's attention on original subjects and dynamic formats, and to add an engaging communication medium to your portfolio... in short, to increase the value and performance of your communications — both internal and external.

Recruiting new talent and holding onto your own rising stars

institutional videos help you to maintain close contact with your own employees, while also enabling you to attract new talent:

  • 88% of millennials believe that being part of the right company culture is very important, according to a Linkhumans study.
  • A strong employer brand leads to 50% more qualified applicants, according to the same study.

Your employees are the best ambassadors for your company, so why not get them on camera and involve them in your internal and external communications?

Be one step ahead of the competition

Corporate films are also an opportunity to stand out from the competition and promote your products and services:

  • 84% of consumers say that they’ve been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video, according to Wyzowl.
  • 85% consumers want to see more video content from brands, according to HubSpot.

And if you're eyeing up an employee who works for a rival company, you should know that 84% of employees consider leaving their company for another one that has a better online reputation.

The keys to making effective institutional videos 🔑

Enough with the suspense already, now it's time for some concrete advice on how to captivate, surprise and hold the attention of your targets in a corporate film.

Express the company's values

Demonstrating your company's values is, above all, about humanizing a brand name, a logo and a slogan. Does your company hold a social or environmental commitment, or simply help its targets/clients to solve everyday problems? With an institutional video, it's easy to show what your employees are doing on a daily basis to deliver these commitments.

To ensure that the key messages of the video are remembered by the audience, you can highlight particular words or phrases as on-screen text, against a colored background, at the moment they are spoken in the testimony.

Keep the suspense alive

The suspense is what keeps audiences watching the video until the very end, or even waiting for the next one. You can give your video a theme, and then break it down into sub-themes from which you could create short videos under 2 minutes long.

To build even more suspense on a series of videos, give the audience a taste of what's yet to come by creating a teaser, in the form of a GIF, for example, or by taking an excerpt from the video. It will be easier to share it on social networks or by email because of its smaller file size, and then you can redirect audiences to the full-length video when it's released. And here's a great tool for converting small sections of your video into GIFs: Ezgif.com

Why not take advantage of these short videos to unveil a 'hidden' location at the company's offices that customers don't know about? Or have some of your employees do a Chinese portrait, for example: "If you were an emoji, you'd be...?" Play on trending formats: short, easily memorable, as Brut. does, to create a remarkable institutional video.

Tell a story

Storytelling is a necessary aspect of any communication strategy, whether it's for B2B or B2C. Using this technique in an institutional video means telling the company's story, its values and its culture. Essentially, you want to convey anything and everything about your company that makes it unique — in a way that's interesting for the audience of your video.

And every company will have a story to tell, no doubt! Here are some subjects to inspire your inner storyteller:

  • The origin story of the company's founding values...
  • The history of the family reign that has passed the company down through the generations.
  • An anecdote from one your valued customers or partners.
  • The latest achievements of your CSR policy, with key figures.
  • A crazy meeting which became the starting point for a new company project.

This more personal, human tone does not undermine your professional image. On the contrary, it can bring you even closer to your clients and targets: you're showing that you can adapt to recent trends, while giving your communications an appealing sense of authenticity.

Create an attractive thumbnail

Whether you choose to post your video on a corporate social network or on LinkedIn, engagement is your ultimate goal. The first impression of your video has to be an impactful one in order to attract clicks. Wait, did you say thumbnail? 🤔That's right, it's the preview image of your video that you can usually customize. Fortunately, there's no need to call a webdesign agency for help: using a tool like Canva will do the trick.

making institutional videos in house

Here are a few quick tips for creating a high-performing thumbnail yourself:

  • Choose an attractive background photo that matches the theme of your video: it's recommended to show a face or a character to contextualize the subject and to help the audience identify with the featured person.
  • Insert the title of your video: if the thumbnail is surrounded by other content, like in the YouTube suggestions, it's easier for viewers to see what the video is about if they can see a title.
  • Optimize the font: get as close as possible to the font used in your other communication media, so that your brand is more easily recognizable behind the video. It should be large enough to be readable, but should also respect the text/image ratio.
  • Insert your brand name and/or logo (centre or top left) to remind viewers who you are and to make them recognize your brand.
  • Insert a "play" button into the image to encourage video playback and boost your click-through rate. Be careful, however, to keep the background image plain to avoid the Christmas tree effect (where there's a little bit too much going on in the image.)

PlayPlay Pro Tip

Don't forget to save your thumbnail in .jpg or .png format, or to compress it (2MB maximum), without compromising the quality, thanks to a simple and free tool like TinyPNG.

Insert subtitles

On Facebook, more than 85% of videos are viewed without sound. This is also the case on many other online platforms!

Think about integrating subtitles into your video to better retain your audience, wherever you decide to post the video.

Here are some tips for effective subtitling:

  • Adapt the rhythm of the subtitles to the rhythm of the video: they must match the speech at the moment the words are spoken in the video.
  • Shorten what the person or voice-over actually says, if necessary, to be concise and help your audience read them easily.
  • Choose a good font: sans serif fonts are more readable and better suited to screens. Also choose a color, or apply an outline of a color that stands out well from the background throughout the video.
  • To distinguish between the voices of the different speakers, use one color per person (always paying attention to the background) or write the speakers' names in brackets ( ) or in square brackets [ ]

PlayPlay Pro Tip

YouTube has a free subtitling tool (speech-to-text captioning) that automates the process. Pay attention, however, as it's not always 100% accurate and you may have to edit the subtitles yourself. You will also have to post your video on Youtube to be able to save your subtitled video. Otherwise, you should know that the PlayPlay video creation platform allows you to add subtitles very easily.

Adapt the video to different formats

To get your story truly out there, consider adapting the video format to each delivery channel. Generally speaking, there are 3 formats to keep in mind: horizontal, vertical and square.

To help you find your feet, here's some recommendations for various formats on social networks and screens:

Horizontal video

  • YouTube ad on desktop screen
  • Twitter advertising
  • Organic posts on YouTube
  • Organic posts on Facebook
  • Organic posts on Twitter
  • Integration with your website pages and articles

Vertical video

  • Story on Instagram
  • YouTube mobile advertising
  • Advertising in Instagram Stories
  • Increasingly, organic posts on Facebook

Square video

  • Organic posts on LinkedIn
  • Organic posts on Instagram

A catchy institutional video... it's possible! 💪

And if you need a little more inspiration, here are some ideas to guide youl

  • As a public institution: create a vertical video presentation of a profession on Instagram. Perfect for encouraging citizens to apply for local or national job vacancies.
  • As an NGO: count on emotion for your fundraising campaigns. Tell the story of your mission through poignant visuals and strong words, without forgetting to get volunteers, employees and beneficiaries to appear on camera. To be shared in a square format on all social networks.
  • For your event teaser videos: on your website, integrate a horizontal video attesting to your ability to organize successful events. Share the results of your events with a few statistics, while using attractive contextual visuals, such as videos of the host city, and provide testimonials or quotes from exhibitors and participants.
  • In a virtual welcome booklet: instead of the classic paperclip, create a short clip of each employee or department where each person tells an anecdote or talks about their responsibilities at the company.
  • As an international organization: recall your mission and values in a mini-series format for social media platforms. The right mix for a successful institutional video: inspirational background music for the introduction, a well-structured storyboard and an authentic speech from an employee.

Making an institutional video requires a little creativity. But with the right tools and techniques, you can absolutely boost your brand image in-house, without having to resort to an external agency. 🚀