How would you define a successful corporate video? A successful corporate video achieves its goal. Sounds simple, right? Unfortunately, many corporate videos are made without a specific goal in mind. Maybe the CEO saw a cool video on YouTube from a competing firm and wanted to copy it? Maybe someone in the marketing department attended a conference about the power of video marketing, and began filming corporate events with their iPad? Sound familiar? Unless your corporate video has been pre-planned with a specific goal in mind, chances are, you’ll have a “video dud” on your hands. Here are 5 steps you can take that will increase your likelihood of corporate video success.
Step 1: Define A Business Objective
Defining an obtainable business objective will direct all of your endeavors toward corporate video success. Whether your firm is selling a product or service, or is a non-profit charity, you simply must define your goal. If you’re selling a product or service, your goal is to make a sale. If you’re a non-profit charity, your goal is to collect a donation. It really is that simple. How you obtain that objective, and the method you employ to get there is another story. However, keeping this simple objective in mind will enable you to plan and execute a successful corporate video project. If your goal is to sell a service to a potential client, then you’ve got to start at the beginning of the sales cycle. This generally involves “identifying the problem” that your consumer has. Maybe they are not yet aware of this problem, or perhaps they are not aware of the urgency or extent of the problem. It’s your job to let them know! Don’t try to tackle every aspect of the problem, or every possible solution to the problem in one video! That would turn into an hour-long documentary, and would quickly bore your audience. Sometimes just clearly and concisely identifying one aspect of the problem, and not even directly offering a solution is an incredibly powerful message!
Step 2: Envision The Desired Outcome
What do you want the viewer to do at the end of your video? How do you want them to feel? Envision this, and work backwards from this starting point. Do you want the viewer to call you? Do you want them to visit a website for more information? Perhaps you want them to visit your place of business? Keep this goal in mind when planning your video. What can you show them that will achieve this desired outcome? Remember, this is video. We’re showing, not telling. Your visuals as well as your dialogue (if there is any), must lead to the desired outcome or call to action. Remember here that your prospective client may not engage in your desired outcome on the first attempt. This is why many companies will produce a small series of corporate videos, built around a common theme, which is steadily driving the prospect to the desired action.
Step 3: Define and Communicate Your Budget
You’ve probably heard the old adage, “Whoever says the price first, loses.” In negotiations, this is an excellent rule of thumb. In video production, it will hamstring your production. The first step in defining your corporate video production budget is find an overall vision for how you want your finished project to look. Take a few minutes to surf the Web, looking at different types of corporate video, with different looks, feels, lighting, etc. Do you want your final video product to feel dramatic, with contrasting shadows, and a more serious tone? Perhaps you want a “high-key” look that’s very bright, happy, and clean looking? Having these aesthetics per-determined will help you set your budget. If your budget is small, you may have to forego some of the aesthetics you’d like to have, but a good video creative firm will help you achieve a look that fits your vision and your budget.
Look around at pricing for video production on the Web. Make sure you’re looking at firms that work in your local market, as video production costs vary greatly by region. Once you have a good idea of how much you can spend, begin talking to a few video production companies to see what they can achieve with the budget you have. This is where keeping your budget numbers a secret can come back to bite you. You don’t want a production company to over-promise and under-deliver. If your production company has a clear idea of the budget that you have to work with, they can let you know what is possible. Some companies will offer you more for your money, others less. Do keep in mind though, that while a certain production company can promise to fulfill your needs within budget constraints, they may be cutting corners on certain production decisions. This is where your earlier research comes in handy. You’ll definitely want to share your vision and samples that you found with the production company. This will ensure that they know exactly what you’re looking for, and what they can do with your budget numbers.
Step 4: Don’t Skimp On Pre-Production
The pre-production phase is an absolutely crucial step in the process of ensuring a successful corporate video project. You’ll need to schedule adequate time to work with your production company and their story board artist to make sure that your dialogue and visuals work well together. You’ll want to make sure that every word spoken, and every supporting visual is pre-planned for maximum impact. When the story boarding process is complete, you should have no trouble visualizing exactly what your video will look like. The scripting should go through various revisions, to ensure that the most clear and concise language is used to communicate the message. The visuals should be reviewed to ensure that they adequately and powerfully reflect the time spent on the messaging. You’ll want to determine whether or not you’ll use off-screen narration, or on-screen talent. Will you need to hire talent, or will you use in-house talent. Will you need a teleprompter, or can your actor effectively communicate without one? These are all decisions that will need to be made well in advance of filming anything.
The next step in the pre-production process is forming a shot and location list. Where will the production be filmed? What environment will best convey the message you’re trying to get across? Do you have permission to film in these locations? When are these locations available? You’ll next need to decide the order in which the visuals will be captured. Most video production does not get filmed in a linear fashion. There are certain constraints that require items to be filmed out of sequence, and then placed in the correct sequence in editing. All of these details need to be carefully planned in advance to achieve a successful corporate video.
Step 5: Determine Your Distribution Channels
Hopefully, at the end of this process, you’ll have a beautiful-looking corporate video. Now, what are you going to do with it!? One of the most important aspects of planning for a successful corporate video campaign is deciding how you’ll get your message out to your potential clients. Hopefully, it’s NOT your plan to simply place the video on YouTube, and/or embed it into your corporate Web site. These are obviously PART of a successful strategy, and they are important parts, but they cannot be the extent of your marketing efforts. You’ll need to find creative ways of getting your video seen by as many potential customers as possible. Do you have a print newsletter that goes out to prospects? It should be included there. Do you have an email marketing campaign? It needs to be included there as well. What about your social media pages. Yup. There too. Can you include the video in inter-office mail, and have your employees share it on their social media accounts. Do that too. There are many ways to get your message out there, and many of them are available to you at no cost. Use them. Frequently.
Corporate video success is within your reach. Just make sure you take the planning stages very seriously, to ensure you achieve the goals you’ve set. These 5 steps to corporate video success will help you get there. It needn’t swallow up a tremendous amount of your time, but you should set aside at least a few hours to make sure that you’re getting all you can out of your corporate video endeavors. If you would like to talk with us about how we can help you achieve corporate video success, please don’t hesitate to let us know! We’re here to help, and we don’t charge anything to discuss your project. Happy hunting!
Schnebly Hill Media