If you’re a business owner or corporate marketer or communicator, you likely know the trend – “Everyone’s doing video.” Hubspot reported in its 2020 State of Video Marketing that 85% of businesses use different types of videos for marketing. Even more telling is the same study found that 88% reported an ROI.
So… what do you do beyond declaring, “We need a video strategy.” It’s easy – and can be very effective in some cases – to pick up a smartphone and start vlogging. If you have a budget, it can also be easy to hire a video production agency or marketing partner to produce a visually polished video.
But, in my humble opinion, the question you really need to ask yourself with any video content is, “Is anyone going to watch this?”
Let me give you an example. I love shows like “How it’s Made,” but I wonder if I would actually watch a 10-minute video produced directly by the company that was featured? Even a 2-minute video is questionable. My guess is I probably would not.
Why? I’ll let you in on the worst-kept secret that may sound arrogant – most corporate video is exceptionally boring. Why? Most corporate video is boring because the vast majority of corporate video is made for the company, not for the audience.
Here are types of business videos that fairly common, along with what I’d suggest you’d consider:
Company overview video
This is probably the most popular corporate video among different types of videos to make your company recognizable. It’s the one, usually about 1-2 minutes, that is front and center on the website.
Avoid: One of the most common mistakes I see with companies wanting to make an overview video is assuming that this is the standalone, only a piece of content that represents the company. That means we better include all of products/services, locations, company values, mission statements, president on-camera, his/her entire leadership team, what the plant looks like, what their customers say, company history, employee benefits, community involvement, cafeteria menu, phone technology, pet-at-work policy, what it’s like to live here, etc.
STOP. PLEASE. This overview video is only a cog in a long sales/marketing conversation.
Since many people – correctly, I believe – compare sales to dating, let me give you an example. When you met your spouse (assuming you’re married), did you say in the first two minutes, “Hi, my name is John. You seem very nice. Let me tell you a little about me. I’m originally from Milwaukee. I like music, I can cook really well, I own a business, I like cheeseburgers, my family’s really nice, too. I was in TV sports for 10 years. I own a car. You might like hanging out with me. I prefer peppermint-flavored gum over spearmint. I went to UW-Whitewater. I’m a thought leader in the video-production space with strategic objectives, an innovative mindset and an affinity for not trying to boil the ocean in a corporate environment? And – I’ve done all of this since I was born on a cold night in Milwaukee in 1978.”
I’m guessing I wouldn’t have made it to the first date. Just like dating, you need to find a way to break the ice. The same is with different types of marketing videos.
Instead: I’d argue that an engaging overall story is far more important than getting all of your bullet points in the video. Most often with the company overview video, you’re just looking to start the sales conversation. Give them enough of a hook to make them intrigued. When they’re interested, then you can hit them with your talking points.
Cheap sales plug: We can help you identify what that story is. We do it all of the time.
Case study video
Avoid: The most common case study video, also known as a testimonial video, is 45-60 seconds of your customer talking about how great you are. No supporting video. No flowing story. Just a talking head for a minute that makes you start to wonder if they’re related to you.
Instead: Think of the video as a story. If you were telling someone about what you did for the customer, you’d probably say something like, “Customer XYZ had a problem on its packaging line that caused them to lose a ton of money. We fixed the issue by rolling out the Packaging King 2600. It’s been up for six months, and they’ve increased efficiency by 123 percent.”
In addition, don’t be afraid to ask if you can get a video of the solution. Yes, this is a much more difficult request, since you’re creating a distraction in their workday and they now have to trust you with their brand reputation. Yes, it’s possible they’ll say no. But is it worth it to avoid the typical, glowing soundbite that comes off as fluffy, over-the-top praise? I think so.
Avoid: In my humble opinion, one of the biggest mistakes I see in recruiting videos is to wedge the recruiting sales into the video. You know… “We offer competitive wages, a great benefits package and tuition reimbursement.”
Why doesn’t that work? For starters, in this economy, everyone offers those benefits. Second, listing information in a video isn’t engaging for the viewer. Most importantly, trend after trend is showing that workers, especially the coveted millennial generation, want to find a job that gives them a sense of purpose. They’re not interested in hearing the litany of benefits. They want to hear what you stand for and how they’ll be part of the company’s
Instead: Not surprisingly, I’d strongly suggest taking a storytelling approach and tell an actual human story of an employee whose life has changed for the better since starting at your company. How has he/she grown as a person? How was the company helped to make that possible? How does he/she make an impact on the company’s success? How does the company show it values his/her contributions?
With all of the different types of videos, it really comes down to human emotion and storytelling – and knowing that video is a critical step in the process, but it’s not everything. Remember – the video doesn’t close the deal. It starts the conversation.