Q: We’re considering producing a new corporate video overview for our group, which has a diverse range of specialist industrial products and components.
How to we show this wide range? What sort of video style do you recommend? What else should we know?
A: Corporate videos that project a diverse range of activities are generally more complex productions than a single product or service company video.
There are many things to consider from pre-production to the shoot, to post-production.
But first let’s take a look at creativity as this will determine the overall direction
There are many creative ways to produce a corporate video, but here are two great styles that will get things started.
> The first is to produce a very graphic animated, fast paced, short video of 1-2 minutes showing the broad scope and capability of your group.
> The second is to show the impact your wide range of companies and services have on the lives of ordinary people.
Let’s look more closely at both these ideas:
Creative: 1-2 Minute Short Video
A short graphic and animation video will act a sizzler. It will be text and caption-based and look dynamic, hi-tech and very impressive, and give the audience a strong feelgood about your wide capability.
And using graphics and captions will be ideal for showing any important company data, like numbers of employees, ground-breaking research, or the size of your facilities.
I’d recommend commissioning original music too.
Because your corporate video is short and set to great music, rather than relying on voiceover, it will be very suitable for showing at exhibitions, conferences, seminars and corporate events. It can also be shown to investors, or staff at induction or training, or as part of one of your interactive e-learning packages
Wherever it’s shown, it will allow audiences to grasp in a very short time the excellence, scope and importance of what all the businesses do.
Creative: 3-5 Minute Long Video
When you sell a wide range of business-to-business products to a wide range of customer companies, then the best message you can deliver is the enormous impact your company has on the lives of people worldwide.
In other words, showing your customers’ customers, your clients’ clients, enjoying the use of your products.
> Footage of people drinking coffee, with the message there’s one of your products in the coffee jar lid
> People sharing sandwiches in a famous place, like Piccadilly Circus. And there’s one of your products in the sandwich wrapping.
> A woman relaxing in a hammock, because one of your products is used in feminine products
> An elderly couple looking “safe” at an event because you supply components for the security system
When you add up customer experiences like these on a worldwide scale, your corporate video becomes a compelling story on how you benefit people everywhere in thousand of ways, every day of their lives.
It implies that, through the products your customers produce, your groups is intrinsic to ordinary living everywhere.
What Messages do you want to Communicate
You probably already have a corporate communications company or media focus group advising you. If you ask them, they’ll tell you exactly what business messages you need to deliver, and lots of other smaller details like how your brand or logo should be positioned, or the corporate font or typeface.
Content is the most important element of the whole video production so you’ll need to think carefully on how to develop this.
They’ll also advise on how it will integrate into your overall marketing & communications package for maximum commercial and PR impact. But obviously confer with your own senior executives and management where appropriate too.
Deciding the Format
Since you’ll want to play your corporate video at large scale events then you’ll need to produce on HD, as this gives the best picture quality on big screens.
Producing on miniDV or DVCam is fine for many productions but it’s not the best for big screen viewing. Digi-beta is the standard format if you think your video will be broadcast on television or satellite/cable tv.
As well as having a professionally authored menu-driven DVD suitable for any DVD player, you’ll need to encode it to other video media formats. For example, streaming versions of your new corporate video internet viewing, plus mpeg versions for use in sales and multimedia presentations, showing to the public on a laptop, or other promotional situations.
When using the video on your website, put it on your home page. You also need to ensure there are strong links pointing to it on other web pages, so it’s not missed. Ensure it features high on your site search facility, and you should consider including it on your news and contact pages, as well as emails and newsletters.
You may also want to include as part of your corporate intranet or network for easy click-to-download by staff.
And don’t forget that you may need foreign language versions for international release.
Planning the Video Production
You’ll need an end-to-end production service for your project that includes pre-production such as the video content, the script and storyboard, and shoot planning, plus the actual video shoot itself, and post production planning for any animation, graphics and fx you’ll need.
You’ll need to consider audio and music too. Your video production company will advise on all this.
Your first production meeting is key as you’ll detail a schedule, map everything out, with every date booked ahead, right through to delivery. This will ensure you stay focussed and deliver your new corporate video on time.
Crew and Cast
When video shoot days are relatively easy, a director and lighting camera operator will be fine. But for more complex shoots, you’ll need a sound recordist too to produce best audio. For moving, aerial or trick shots consider using a steadicam and other specialist equipment and skilled operators.
It’s always wise to use a cast of actors, as professionals who are unknown charge relatively inexpensive rates that will fit into most corporate budgets. This will guarantee your scenes look realistic, and the people in them look likeable.
In addition, if you need to include ethnic or demographic groups, you can hire an actor who’ll fit the bill from any professional casting agency.
Post production includes all the editing, digital fx, graphics, titling, animation and design. This is studio work and you probably won’t need to see the early cuts unless you have a special interest in technology.
However, post production digital fx are important. For example, do you want your new corporate video to have:
> A big colourful look with big-feeling bouncy images
> A small amount of glow, making everything look slightly (only slightly) larger than life and idealised
> A gritty powerful look with characters that look undeniably real and warm
Digital video fx can create all these appearances from ordinary camera footage.
You can also incorporate existing photographs, images and graphics in the edit too.
With modern computer-based digital video editing systems you can expect to be involved in these later stages of the production.
Delivery of your Corporate Video
We looked at delivery media earlier on this page, but you also need to ensure that your copyright is clear. Maybe your legal team need to check it, for “all rights reserved” or recent legislation that affects you? Also consider that the results will might be so amazing that you’ll want to submit it for an award later.
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Good luck and success with your corporate video