The Do’s and Don’ts of Corporate Video Storytelling
Large corporations typically have a multi-part approach to web marketing. After all, large organizations such as Google, Microsoft, Apple and more have gigantic marketing budgets and scores of creative talent at their disposal.
Video is one of the most effective forms of marketing available. Video is quick to watch. Video is easy to share. Video can convey a powerful, emotion message.
Unfortunately, video can also go horribly, horribly wrong. Here are some do’s and don’ts for corporate video storytelling…
Do Keep it Short
Videos should be no more than three minutes long. Ideally, they should be no more than 90 seconds – but three minutes is the absolute limit. There’s a lot of competition out there and viewers are very hesitant to commit to a lengthy video. Along these same lines, get to the point quickly. Your viewer should have a good idea of what the video is about within the first 15 seconds or so.
Don’t Pack in Too Much Information
Let’s take a look at Microsoft. They have a fascination history which stretches back decades to one young man working on a computer in a garage. But when Microsoft releases a new operating system, they don’t attempt to explain their entire history in a three minute video. Instead, they stick to the topic at hand.
Do Engage Emotions
Video is one of the easiest ways to engage the emotions of a viewer. This is because we’re an empathetic lot, and we react when we can actually see other human being doing stuff. Whether those other people are real people in real situations or simply talented actors, we’re far more likely to laugh, cry and otherwise respond to video.
Don’t Manipulate Emotions
Remember that Super Bowl ad a few years ago for an insurance company? The one where a small child died in an accident? Sure, the situation itself isn’t funny. But the blatant emotional manipulation, as well as the completely inappropriate venue (a Super Bowl commercial), completely negated the ad’s serious message. Bottom line: People don’t want their emotions manipulated, they want them engaged.
Do Have a Story
Some of the most popular viral videos in the world involve a cat who does nothing but sit there and look angry. There’s no story to speak of. But just because this video has been seen by over 18 million people doesn’t mean this is what you, as a corporation, should be trying to emulate.
You need a story. This means you need to hire professional writers. It also means you need to have a clear goal behind the video. Even 90 seconds is enough time to tell a story with a beginning, middle and end.
Don’t Try Too Hard to be Trendy
Remember dubstep? It was a type of music which was popular for about a year. But now that trend has died. If you were unfortunate enough to make a marketing video which somehow incorporated dubstep, your video looks hilariously out-of-touch.
Trends come and go. While you want to stay relevant and modern, you never want to associate yourself too closely with any fleeting fads. This can result in “Me, too!” syndrome and your brand will quickly lose relevance.
Do Hire Professionals
While there’s a certain comedic novelty to watching a bunch of executives blunder their way through a marketing video, that’s not usually the type of attention which will help your brand. Instead, you want to hire professionals every step of the way.
You want your video to be well-lit, color-corrected and have an excellent audio balance. Even if your video is nothing more than real people talking directly to a camera, a professional director will be able to capture them in the appropriate way. You could have the best idea in the world, but viewers won’t respond to any video plagued with technical problems.
The bottom line with any corporate video is to place the viewer first and foremost. Too many corporate types try to push their message on the viewer. Instead, you want to create a video which pulls the viewer in. This creates an emotional bond between viewer and brand – and that can truly be a powerful use of video.