Creating & Leveraging That Big Brand Video For Your Business | Best Practices
Dont Like To Read? Give A Listen! Runtime - 8:00
Take it from us, that big Brand Video that encapsulates your entire business, product, or service still has it’s huge place in your marketing arsenal. In this article we will explore how to create one, its value in today’s landscape, and how to harness its power with some of our best practices. In a previous article, we explored "Four Ways To Prepare For Your Video Production Shoot" which can serve as sort of a companion to this topic. If you haven't already, I'd strong suggest taking a read, as this information builds off of it. At Capion, we’ve laid a foundation of brand work in the past nine years building these types of larger scale videos. Typically a brand video can have a runtime between three to five minutes, but there is no true rule as to how long (or short) they have to be. With attention spans at an all-time low however, we will need to address the elephant in the room, which is how to get the most out of these types of videos. More on that later. First lets jump into what a brand video is, and how to construct one.
EXAMPLE: Voice Over Driven
A good brand video will tell your potential audience the overarching story of who you are, and what you can do. It’s your moment as a business, individual, or foundation to sing from the roof tops all the amazing accomplishments you’ve achieved, as well as your key offer. It’s a pivotal moment to inspire brand trust, and generate buyer, or investor confidence. A part of this is achieved by putting your key employees, or figure heads at the forefront of your narrative. This is essential to telling the story of who you truly are, as businesses are not made of brick & mortar, but rather by the people who fill your offices. I cannot stress this point enough, and I think its important to discuss this in greater detail.
Over the years, partners from all types of industries have come to us with the same level of hesitancy regarding featuring their employees, or figureheads on camera. It’s always the same issue; will that person be with us in a year from now? It’s a valid concern, one of which has to be weighed in the pre-production phase of your project. Casting is an integral component of the brand video life cycle. What we recommend doing is creating a paper storyline that will be a loose construction of where we start your story, where we go with it, and where we want to end. These storyline elements should then be mapped to select individuals who can each bring a piece to the puzzle. Selecting the proper characters to tell that story can be difficult. One person might shine on camera, where another might become timid the moment they step into the light. It’s a balancing act of finding a person who embodies your brand, brings an element of the story to the table, but also doesn’t “steal the show”. These characters need to be interchangeable, and it might even be worthwhile shooting some backup characters, in case your top choice doesn’t pan out in the edit.
EXAMPLE: Employees Telling Your Story
EXAMPLE: Figurehead + Employee + Partner Testimonial Mix Narrative
Often when these concerns are raised, we need to help our respective partner’s understand that these brand videos might have a two to three year shelf life. Of course, they can live longer, and some of our partners have been using their brand videos for over six years! The thing to understand is, the people you feature are a representation of you as a company. Your audience, and potential investor needs to connect with you through what we refer to as the human condition. Through representation, we can encapsulate your brand culture. Your values are projected outwards from your cast, and in turn your audience is allowed to connect with your brand via reflection. You see, there is an intrinsic element of your cast that is mirrored in your audience. This helps propel your brand to resonate with your audience, and latch onto a quality, value, or characteristic they see in projected outwards in your cast. That outcome cannot be achieved by the exclusion of a cast, or by simply hiring actors. If you choose to omit you’re employees, your authenticity is effectively dead on arrival. Of course, true testimonials by clients have a certain power to them, and that can be supplemented in lieu of select employees.
EXAMPLE: Testimonial Driven
It’s key not to lean too heavily on one character over the next. If a casted employee exits the company in the period of time while the brand video is still in circulation, we should construct the narrative arc to be able to remove that employee at a later date by inserting another casted member. This is because we have already laid the ground work to identify different employees offer different elements to the story to create the bigger picture. At this point, they are all acting like a deck of cards, that can be swapped out, so long as we have a back-up in the can.
So after we have identified who we want in our brand video, we can start conducting our interviews with pointed questions to illicit a component of the story from them. After these are captured, it works sort of like a jigsaw puzzle, where we handshake topics down the timeline, one person carrying one topic to the next. This is what we refer to as the “skeleton edit” or an “assembly”. We can then identify where to add our B-Roll action shots over the interviews, and then piece starts to spring to life. Sometimes a best practice is to leave shooting the B-Roll till a later date, assemble the talking points, then work backwards to create a list of action shots we need to cover up the interview. That way the material is pointed, and relevant to the subject at hand, instead of shooting a mix of content that might not align.
Music is also an integral component of the piece. It can set the entire mood, and flow of the edit. Depending on the level of involvement with our partners, sometimes in the post production process we will volley a number of music selections to our clients. Then they can select a song that best suits the vibe they’re after. Often however, clients can become overwhelmed by this process, and will opt for our best judgement on a selection. Either way, a properly selected musical element can create momentum in an edit, and extract an emotional response when paired with our imagery. Some considerable time, and thought needs to be weighed here, as the music can make, or break a brand video.
Once we have our Brand Video constructed, we need to think about our distribution methods, and consumption. As I alluded to at the start of this conversation, audience retention is at an all-time low. Often consumers will click off a video at the three second mark, let alone sit through a three-minute piece. What we need to do is build an A, B, C & D variant of your edit that corresponds to a long form, medium form, short, and micro form edits respectively. By breaking your brand video content up into digestible chunks, you can use these variants as a spring board to campaign, and funnel to a landing page. From there, the visitor can opt to watch your longer form brand video. If they do not opt to watch the longer piece however, at a minimum, your content has captured that visitor to convert or take action in other ways. Creating variants of your brand video could range from a 45 second, a 15 second, and a 6 second non skippable advert for Youtube paid advertisement. This sets you up in a powerful position to multilaterally control your campaign funnel, as well as monitor which variants are more successful based on audience retention (AR), and click through rates (CTR).
Brand Videos in long form can be multipurposed, and do not need to live exclusively on your landing page to yield a return. Depending on your industry, I’ve seen our partners use their brand video in a variety of ways including;
Grant Writing Companions
Local Cable Access
State or Local Advisory Board Meetings
Annual Company Reports
Broker Investment Opportunities
Business, or Product Acquisition Meetings
And Much More!
From a vantage point, it becomes immediately clear that this type of video tool still has a strong position in our marketing arsenal. It’s really about setting up your storyline for success by creating an archetype, and hitting your points. Then we can leverage that content laterally by creating variants that can be positioned in our paid advertising. Think about how this tool will be used beyond just sitting on your landing page, and we have a video with a ton of utility behind it. With a two- or three-year shelf life (and potentially greater) the level of value this type of video tool can bring you out paces most disposable quarterly adverts. If you would like to build your Brand Video, this is something we excel at here at Capion Studio. Feel free to visit our main page at https://www.capionstudio.com for more information so we can start telling your story today. Until the next article, take care and stay creative!