Intrigued about the whole video thing as a strategic marketing tool?

It’s true, video content is king right now… Corporate videos are popping up right and left from all kinds of businesses. The use of video for high-impact, intelligent marketing is on the rise — and for good reason. This format is a fully customizable, direct communication format that gives you a lot of bang for your buck. If you want to investigate the corporate video game to help grow your business, here’s a comprehensive primer to get you started.

What is a Corporate Video?

Simply put, a corporate video is a professionally produced video created for a business, product or service in order to engage customers and grow the business. Small businesses and Fortune 500 companies alike have seen huge success in using videos with many different styles and approaches across every platform. Though not all corporate video formats are applicable to all businesses, any type of operation can benefit greatly from investing in video production.

Why are Corporate Videos Needed?

High quality video is a hot ticket in today’s digital age — a direct medium that combines visuals, storytelling and sound to inspire your audience and motivate them to act. Big or small, veteran or startup, adding video to your arsenal can be a bold move toward success. Here’s why:

Video is versatile. Whether you want content for commercials, websites, Facebook ads, trade shows, ad buys or Amazon pages, you can say anything you want, ANYWHERE you want.

Video gives you a voice. Need to explain a complex product, introduce your brand, get audiences excited about new technology, or even teach people how to use a product properly? No sweat. Your video message is fully customizable. Use scripted scenes to evoke emotion or humor, or get straight to the point by speaking directly to your target customers.

Great videos enhance brand image and boost engagement. Add a video to to your website, social media or e-commerce platforms and watch them perform better. Use it to keep website visitors lingering longer, bring attention to trade show booths or make your client’s social media look like a superstar.

Corporate Video Facts

The numbers don’t lie! Videos help businesses get real, measurable results:

40% of consumers respond better to visual information than plain text.
Including video in a landing page can increase conversion by 80%.
57% of clients say video increases their confidence in a business.
Including video on your site increases chances of a first page ranking by 53 times, and gets 41% more clicks.
54% of senior executives share work-related videos with colleagues weekly.
Website conversions improve by nearly 300% when a high-quality video is embedded on the page.
People spend on average 2.6x more time on pages with video than those without video.

What Can a Corporate Video Accomplish?

Investing in corporate videos can be a smart move, leaving you with an asset you can use over and over to showcase your brand, product or service. Here are just some of the many ends videos can accomplish for a company:

Corporate videos… elevate the perception of your brand.
Corporate videos… increase your search rankings.
Corporate videos… drive traffic to your website.
Corporate videos… increase conversions.
Corporate videos… present case studies.
Corporate videos… visualize a concept or idea.
Corporate videos… show off a happy customer.
Corporate videos… assist with sales and marketing.
Corporate videos… demonstrate features.
Corporate videos… show how to do something.
Corporate videos… give an overview.
Corporate videos… simplify and explain.
Corporate videos… get customers excited!

Types of Corporate Videos

Completely original and tailor-made, corporate videos can be created to do pretty much anything you can dream up. Here are a few of the most popular kinds of corporate videos:

Website videos
Product videos
Testimonial videos
Announcement videos
How-to / Instructional videos
Training videos
Team leader interview videos
Company profile videos
Investor presentation videos
App demo videos
Crowdfunding videos
Explainer animation videos
Lifestyle videos

Website videos

Videos that live on a website have been shown to extend the time visitors spend there. They can increase engagement and better explain what a business, product or service has to offer. An auto-play silent video serves as an intriguing addition to a home page background loop, or plant one on the “About” page for a quick explanation of your company.

Sample website video: https://thesparkhouse.com/portfolio/releash-high-fashion/

Product videos

Whether it be an e-commerce store or an Amazon page, a product video can help point out key features, differentiators and uses as well as show off the various lifestyles or ideal customers for your product. Photos are limiting and can be confusing for consumers to fully understand things like quality, sizing, etc. But video allows you to provide a realistic perspective, as if they are actually touching and feeling your product.

Sample product video: https://thesparkhouse.com/portfolio/uag-facebook-ad/

Testimonial videos

There is no more direct and believable way to convince someone you’re the best choice in the market than to let them hear it from a third-party testimonial. Whether it be a real customer or an actor, a testimonial can show off why people love your company or product and be that last push needed to close a new customer.

Sample testimonial video: https://thesparkhouse.com/portfolio/gmc-capital-one-card-lana/

Announcement videos

Have a new product, service or technology that your company is launching? Debut your newest releases with an announcement video to let your past and future customers what is now (or soon to be) available to them. Create a buzz before the release and appeal to your customers’ drive to be an early adopter or just “in the know.” Or, if you have some great news to share within your company, you can send a company-wide video announcement to get everyone on the same page instantly.

Sample announcement video: https://vimeo.com/246341810

How-to / Instructional videos

People probably aren’t Googling your product, since if they knew about your solution, they would have already bought it. Instead, they tend to search for the problem they want solved. If you have a video that explains how to fix their problem with your product, then your target customers will find you, trust you and become a customer! Videos help you gain traction as a thought leader in your industry by teaching your customers something new. If people look to you for expertise, they are more likely to purchase your products over your competitors’ when that time comes.

Sample instructional video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBUUx-0EE-k

Training videos

Proper training is essential for both your employees and your new customers, since precise understanding of how to use your product will increase overall customer satisfaction and retention. Also, with today’s digital world, many customers prefer to watch an instructional video rather than open a user manual. Training videos can help get everyone speaking the same language. If you want your employees talking and acting in a certain manner or style, creating a video can help teach them these nuances.

Sample training video: https://thesparkhouse.com/portfolio/cambro-dry-shelving/

Team leader interview videos

As you know, many of your customers are not just working with you for the unique products or services you offer; it’s also about the people and culture of your company. What better way to highlight your top team than with a high quality team leader video that truly shows off your company’s style, attitude and passion for what you do!

Sample interview video: https://vimeo.com/237953696

Company profile videos

Need to quickly explain what your company does, how you do it and why you are a better choice than your competitors? Use a video that can be hosted on your website, sent in an email or presented in a kickoff meeting with a new client. There is no more direct and personalized way to help others grasp and understand the culture of your company than to let them see and hear it straight from the team.

Sample company profile video: https://thesparkhouse.com/portfolio/entrepreneur-the-innovators/

Investor presentation videos

Looking to show off the big picture or the next huge opportunity? Investors can be picky and may not have a ton of time to read into your investment. An “at-a-glance” investor presentation video can get them excited — and do it quickly! Show off why now is the time, build excitement, highlight the numbers and get that investor on board.

Sample investor presentation video: https://thesparkhouse.com/portfolio/rich-uncles-brand/

App commercial videos

With app stores featuring videos and not just screenshots, an app video is a no-brainer. Show off your amazing game play and intuitive user interface, or just intrigue viewers with a trailer of the experience. Increase downloads and create customer excitement with an app demo video that drives downloads.

Sample app demo video: https://thesparkhouse.com/portfolio/playworks-playbook-app/

Crowdfunding videos

Everyone knows that videos are a HUGE part of making a crowdfunding campaign successful. It needs to engage an audience, explain your campaign and drive contributions. Crowdfunding videos are a surefire way to make sure your story is told the way you want it, and a great way to get those backers excited!

Sample crowdfunding video: https://thesparkhouse.com/portfolio/argus-haters/

Explainer animation videos

You may have complicated products, processes or services that need to be explained quickly and in an engaging way to your customers. Explainer animation videos can help solve that problem. Since target customers usually don’t have the time (or focus) to read through pages of information, it’s a sure bet that they’ll be willing to watch a minute-long explainer animation!

Sample explainer animation video: https://thesparkhouse.com/portfolio/college-entrepreneur-contest-entrepreneur-magazine/

Lifestyle videos

As all of the successful brand leaders know, customers aren’t just buying a product or service; they are buying into the lifestyle of your brand, too. It’s easy to TELL your audience about the kind of lifestyle your product supports, but why not SHOW them what you’re all about in a video that evokes emotion and action? Creating scenes filled with fun times and happy people while integrating your product is a highly effective medium for demonstrating just how your product enhances that lifestyle.

Sample lifestyle video: https://thesparkhouse.com/portfolio/dice-featuring-kevin-skibba/

Corporate Video Delivery Methods

Think about your audience, then align your corporate videos that deliver well-crafted messages to specific, strategic viewing avenues, like the following:

Online videos

With the digital world living online, there is no better way to get a lot of eyeballs on your corporate video than to put it online. Videos can live on your website to engage visitors, on YouTube to target people researching your brand or on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram geared at folks just discovering who you are and what you do.

TV commercials

The fact is that traditional TV is still the reigning champ when it comes to getting a lot of views in a short amount of time, so commercial ad buys are always a smart move. Whether it be a local spot or a national TV ad, putting a commercial on TV will ensure your brand is seen by the masses.

Direct response

Looking to move units and increase engagement asap? Sometimes it’s best to focus on selling your features, rather than promoting your brand. Direct response is all about driving that call-to-action right now and in the short-term.

Facebook and Instagram videos

These days, people are living on social media and video, and videos are a great way to engage and capture those audiences. Both Facebook and Instagram have amazingly specific targeting ability, allowing you to place videos that hit viewers of a certain gender, age, income and other demographics. Drive likes, website views and sales by using corporate videos on these and other social sites.

In-store videos

Retail brick-and-mortar is not dead! The trick is to make sure to put effort into engaging and exciting your store visitors. In-store videos allow you to show off new products or services, promote sales and events or just entertain while guests are waiting to make their in-store experience a good one.

Building a Corporate Video Budget

There are many contributing factors in determining the budget of a video, so it is crucial that you build the budget with great attention to detail. One of the major contributors to a corporate video budget is going to be the concept. The concept will create the list of requirements, but how those various items are sourced can also change the budget. Here are a few of the aspects to consider in a video budget, with some tips for cost-saving.

How many actors are needed?

With each actor, there will be added costs for the time spent casting them, their payment and buyouts, releases, hair and make-up, wardrobe and craft services (they have to eat!).
A good way to save money here is to limit the amount of actors in the concept or to source employees or friends and family to play the various nonspeaking roles.
All speaking/acting roles should be played by a professional actor.

How many locations are needed?

Many national TV spots have multiple exciting locations in them, but each one comes with extra costs, including rental, permits and travel. It is usually very challenging to film multiple locations in a single day due to lengthy setup time and scheduling conflicts.
A good way to save money here is to look for no-cost locations. Corporate videos can be filmed in a functioning office location or even one of the employee’s homes.
You can also fake a single location to look like different locations with decorations or props.

What props are needed?

Often corporate videos will require the purchase of props — things that need to interact with the product, actors, etc. Sometimes props are used just to decorate the scene and make it seem more realistic.
A good way to save money here is to use items already in possession. For instance, if the actor needs to use a cell phone in a shot, they can use their own. Many things will likely need to be purchased, though, so look out for props that can be returned after the shoot!

What wardrobe is needed?

Depending on the concept of the corporate video, various wardrobe or costumes will need to be purchased or rented.
To save money, the actor can provide his or her own wardrobe options, but again, seeking out shops that allow for returns is a great cost-saving trick.

How many shooting days are needed?

To keep the budget as low as possible, corporate videos are often filmed in a single day, but depending on schedule or concept, this isn’t always possible.
If there are multiple executives that need to be interviewed and they are in different locations or have different schedules, multiple-day shoots may be unavoidable and require a substantial budget boost.

Should advanced or complex shots/scenes be added?

This is similar to the amount of shooting days. If the corporate video shoot is very complex or if the scenes take a long time to set up and shoot, the production may require multiple days of shooting.

Should visual effects / graphics be added?

The more visual effects and graphics that are required for the corporate video, the more expensive it will be.

How many videos should be made?

When creating corporate videos, it is common to work in multiple edits for various deliveries. If more deliverables are added, the budget will need to be increased.

The Complete Corporate Video Process

Ready to move forward with a corporate video or two? Here are the various steps that a seasoned video production company will guide you in, starting from the idea stage to a polished finished product:

Set a goal for the video.

Every corporate video should accomplish a distinct goal, whether it be introducing a product, engaging visitors on a website, encouraging someone to learn more or driving people to a purchase. Once a goal is set, the production team will make sure to check back along the process to assure they are achieving what they set out to do.

Creating a video concept.

Creating a corporate video is like building a house: You can go as big or as small as your company wants or needs. Should this video be a simple interview with the founding team in a walk around your offices to show who the company is and what they do? Or is it a lifestyle spot that requires actors, locations, elaborate scenes and props? The concept will set the stage for how much work, budget and time will be needed to execute a corporate video.

Determine where this video will live.

Where will a corporate video be featured? Whether the video is placed on a website, tradeshow booth, TV or on Facebook, this decision will change the approach to the style and execution of a video. Did you know that 85% of Facebook videos are watched WITHOUT sound? Nuggets of wisdom like this will help the production company adjust the way the team presents a video, in order to assure that viewers understand the finished version while on the go, without any audio.

Set a deadline.

Most videos will have a deadline built in. Is this video going to be used for a tradeshow? A tool for a product launch? Or partnered with a new website launch? All of these can drive a reason for a deadline. Rush projects are always an option, but most video productions will take 4 to 6 weeks to accomplish.

Establish a video budget.

After setting some specific goals, next the team needs to decide what that goal is worth to the business. If the video will increase website engagement, how much is that worth? If it drives more sales to a landing page, what are those results worth? Remember, there are also exciting video benefits that may be unrelated to the original specific goals, like enhanced brand perception, customer excitement, increased overall engagement and much more. Other things that can affect budget that should be taken into account are:

Actors

Does the script require actors or extras to produce the video, or will it only require your team members or employees?

Locations

When making a video, special locations and permits are required in order to tell the story. Should these locations be outsourced, or is it possible to produce the video in existing locations like the client’s offices, storefront or an employee’s home?

Props

Does the video require props or decorations outside of what the company produces? If the client makes iPhone cases, do they have iPhones available to be used inside them? If diving goggles are the featured product, will the shoot require fins, a scuba tank and a boat in order to properly demo the product?

Shooting days

The most efficient way to produce a corporate video is to limit the amount of shooting days. The production team’s job is to think of ways they can fake a single location to act as multiple, or schedule locations that are close enough together to film in a single day. Each time another shooting day is added, the budget will increase with each crew member (normally producer, director, camera, AC, gaffer, key grip, grips, audio, hair and makeup, PAs and more!).
*See Building a Corporate Budget for more on this topic.

Pre-production

Now that the corporate video is coming to life with a goal, concept, display plan, deadline and budget, it is time for the real work to start. Planning and prepping for a video can make or break a production, and there are a lot of things to keep in mind as the team moves forward. Let’s get started!

Script

Whether it be an explainer animation, an interview-based video or a full-blown narrative commercial, the first steps to preparing a production is to write out the script. The video production team offers copywriting services to help build the script to perfection. Most likely there will be breaks and pauses throughout the video, but a good guide is that you can fit about three words per second of video. It’s important to keep the script short and concise so the video doesn’t get too long.

Script breakdown

Often done in a two-column table, the next step is to break down the script into visual chunks. The production team will place the script on the left column of the script page, with a description of the visual elements on the right side. This is a good phase to check in with key stakeholders and members of the project to assure everyone is on the same page and imagining a similar end video.

Shot list

The video shot list is most likely done in collaboration with the director, director of photography (DP) and producer to ensure everyone is following the same vision. Every shot needs to be listed out so that each department can prepare what lighting, movement, effects, props, actors, etc. are needed.

Itemized breakdown

Once the corporate video script is locked down and the visuals get planned out, the next step is to itemize what elements of the shoot need to be sourced or planned for. The production team will circle or highlight every actor/character, location, prop, wardrobe description and special effect, earmarking them as action items that need to be sourced before production takes place.

Casting

If there are actors needed, the first task is to create a list of all of the actors and extras that will needed for the video. It is advantageous to reuse people throughout the video as background characters in order to reduce the amount of actors hired (and paid!). Each character will need a description to find the right fit— everything from gender and age to height, features and attitude.

For smaller roles or background actors, it is sometimes possible to get away with online casting only. For more key performances, it is recommended to do Skype video auditions, or even in-person auditions to assure the perfect actor/performance is found.

Location sourcing and permits

Each location in the corporate video will need to be chosen carefully. If the location is not a key aspect of the concept, it is best to find a freely sourced location from either a team member or employee’s home or their personal connections. If that is not possible, a location scout will need to source possible rental locations and pull the needed permits and requirements for each. Depending on the size of the production, you may have to hire security, police escorts and road stoppages.

Props / Wardrobe

Here is another great spot where it is possible to save budget if the team is resourceful. Using props such as phones, couches, bags, etc. that are already available at the location will help keep the costs low. Also, finding items that can be purchased for the shoot and returned afterwards is a common trick of the trade when it comes to keeping the budget tight. When there are unique items required for a shoot, they can either be purchased or possibly rented from prop houses based out of Los Angeles.

Wardrobe can often be sourced from the actors’ existing wardrobe (which normally fit best anyways), but if there are specific wardrobe needs, new items can be purchased and returned after the shoot. Just like props, in some cases the specialty wardrobe items need to be bought or rented for the shoot.

Shot schedule

Although confusing, shot schedules are often out of order of the actual flow of the video script. This is to optimize the shooting locations, props, actors’ time and location availability. Each shot from the shot list is broken into individual shooting time frames, and each of the props and actors are scheduled into their slotted times.

Production day!

Even with weeks of planning and pre-production, the actual production of a corporate video usually happens in a single production day (often 10-12 hours!). Here are a few things that will take place on production day.

Craft services

Breakfast, coffee, drinks, snacks, catering, etc. need to be planned out and provided for the actors, crew and clients to make sure no one has to leave and slow down the shoot day.

Equipment prep / rental

All equipment, including camera, lighting, audio, props, wardrobe, hair and make-up, need to be prepped or rented for the shoot day.

Actors / Talent releases

All actors and extras will need to sign agreements giving consent to use their likenesses. The releases will also detail the rights as to where and when the spot can be used in compensation for their pay rate.

Crew / Payroll

All crew will have to be documented for payroll and tax tracking for their rates.

Location / Permits

Locations need to be paid and issued permits if needed. The logistics team will also coordinate with any security or police required on set.

Hair and make-up

All actors and extras need go through hair and make-up before they can be placed in the spot to be filmed.

Scene lighting and prep

Each scene will need to be pre-lit and designed with any props, actors, etc. before any filming can be done. Depending on the complexity of the scene, this can take anywhere from 15 minutes to a few hours.

Walkthroughs and blocking

Before the camera crew starts rolling any shots, the entire team (including actors) need to walk through the shots to assure the director, actors, camera crew and clients are all on the same page as to what is to be captured. The walkthroughs/blocking stage is where creative changes are often added based on last-minute ideas, weather changes and other factors.

Shooting and circle takes

During shooting, notes are taken about each shot — whether the performance was good, the lines were delivered correctly, any outside noises were heard and whether the camera had any issues. The director’s favorite takes are circled so that the editor can go directly to those and start editing without searching through the bad takes.

That’s a wrap!

With a small celebration, the production day ends. The DIT (digital imaging technician) will transfer the day’s video footage, photographs and audio files to an external hard drive for backup and ship to the post-production team.

Post-production

Even if a shoot day is pulled off successfully, if the post-production isn’t on point, the corporate video will fall short of its true potential. Ensure your finished product is the best it can be with flawless execution of these stages:

Transferring and organizing

With today’s high video resolutions, the files can be massive! Each card is often well over 500 GB and takes a few hours to transfer to the editing stations. Once the files are transferred, the editor will need to organize them by video and audio, various scenes or separate videos that are being created.

Syncing and trimming

A tedious next step is to sync the video footage with the audio recording. It’s interesting to note that the editor actually uses the famous film “clapper” to sync the exact moment when the audio recording has the clap noise to when the video footage sees the clapper close.

“Story cut”

First, the post-production team needs to lay out the story of the corporate video — no need for music, sound effects, titles or color correction just yet. It is really important to make sure the flow and storytelling feel is there before adding any bells and whistles. Many times the video’s story cut is kept internal at the post-production house.

“First cut”

Adding music, basic titles and graphics, a simple pass of color, etc. makes the corporate video’s first cut presentable for the client or general audience to view and provide input.

Client review

Best done with a dynamic video collaboration tool such as Frame.io, the review stage allows key stakeholders to assess, comment and collaborate on their vision and thoughts of the video.

“Final cut”

The editing team then takes into account all of the comments and recommendations from the client and gets to work finalizing the corporate video.

Graphics / Titles

With the video is finalized, a higher level of artistry and animation can be added to the graphics and titles in order to bring the production to its final state.

Visual effects

Any visual effects — fixing skin tones, skylines or removing logos — happens near the very end of the the post-production process.

Color mastering

Depending on delivery via TV, online or elsewhere, various levels of color mastering will be needed to make sure every viewer is seeing the same colors and tones that the director desires.

Audio mastering, music and sound effects

The final step before exporting is to mix all of the audio, dialog, sound effects and music so the video can be clearly heard and is not distracting no matter the display format (TV, car, headphones, phone or laptop).

Exporting for delivery

An often overlooked piece needed for a successful video is to properly export the video files with the correct settings for the final delivery — again, the protocol will differ depending on where the video will live (YouTube, Facebook, TV, etc.).

Final Thoughts

In the end, creating a corporate video can be a very involved, time-consuming and sometimes expensive process. But if you have the right production team and a clear goal, it can do wonders for your business or company. Feel free to comment or ask questions, as we are always looking to share our knowledge on the video world.

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