Q: We want to make our own corporate video.
We’re a small company and we like the idea of producing our own corporate video.
We’d like to show it on our website and use it in powerpoint presentations to clients.
What “hot tips” can you suggest for better corporate video?
A: Corporate video tips? Yes, why not.
Many companies like to have a go at their own corporate video these days. It takes about three months.
You don’t say whether you intend to interview customers in your corporate video, so I’ll assume you might – maybe for testimonials or sales / strategy statements, or company directors as presenters. Otherwise I’ll assume you’re working to voiceover.
Interestingly these same corporate video tips could have been given in any year, in 2009 or 2008 (so long ago!) and still have as much validity, as I’m sure they’ll have in 2011.
Here are examples of commercial corporate videos used for marketing that can be viewed online
1 – Corporate video audiences
Corporate video is intended to persuade customers and deliver results. It’s effectively advertising to a captive audience.
So list what your audience want to hear. Don’t simply provide a visual list what you want to tell them.
A good corporate video is brief and impactful.
So it’s better to say less and say it well, than inadvertently ramble, make inconsequential statements (inconsequential to customer, that is) or other non-effective communications.
Draw up a content list you know your corporate video audience will find remarkable, special. This is the best solution when starting your video project.
2 – Write the script first
Write out your script in exact detail first so you’ll know precisely what you need to be saying, and what you don’t need to be saying.
Develop your message right first, based on your list of contents.
It’s not like a wedding where you film first and script later. Quite the reverse.
Don’t be “too creative”, which will lead to you over-reaching yourself and failing.
Corporate video success hinges on delivering a remarkable message, regardless of industry.
3 – Plan a Video Storyboard
Once you agree the written script document, write out against each line or phrase of script exactly what you want to see, ie, what you need to film or show as stills or graphics.
Ensure each line is numbered for later identing.Don’t guess.
Know this exactly before you start shooting.
Corporate videos start go wrong when you realise you have to go back and film some extra footage that you hadn’t considered.
4 – Camera & Shoot Kit
Today, every camera is offering broadcast corporate video quality for £300. Don’t believe it.
Use a solid state SD memory card camera with separate audio inputs and mic levels.
Avoid tape or disk.
Use a firm tripod. This is a must to avoid shake.
Use a clip microphone for talking heads like CEOs, directors or customers.
Use lights. Even one light can cheer up an indoor office scene and make it look more professional.
Be a crew. Don’t go on your own to film. Bring the team.
Corporate video needs clear images and clear sound. This is what delivers clear messages.
5 – Corporate Video Filming
Good corporate videos are smooth and precise, and this comes from good production method.
Ident all shots, ie, film a piece of paper with the storyboard shot number. It makes editing so much easier.
Only shoot what the storyboard specifies. Don’t waste time on extra shots that will clutter you later.
Film slow and steady. Let the action unfold and watch it on camera.
Don’t go wildly zooming and panning, and only do this in a slow considered manner.
Be patient while filming.
5 – Voice
Use a professional, male or female. Don’t cut corners here.
A good corporate voice gives your business message credibility.
6 – Editing
Grade your footage first into what is usable and what is not. And also grade by scene or location, until you have all the usable footage nice and tidy in folders.
Edit simply with cuts, against the voiceover. Don’t create effects, or be elaborate or fancy. Remember, virtually all Hollywood movies and tv films are just cuts.
Once edited, look for “dead spots” as well as high spots. Try and edit more detail here to liven it up. Good music helps.
Corporate video is clear and to the point, so edit this way. for a well-produced story.
7 – Graphics & Titling
Use captions for titling and adding support info to images on screen.
Keep it simple. Don’t play around with fonts or colours.
Stick to a basic clean formula that won’t offend.
Graphics and captions are a big part of today’s corporate video, but they must be done well or not at all.
8 – Video output formats
Most desktop studios edit software can output to youtube, or vimeo, which is also free.
But it’s better to output to mp4 (or even flv) and stream from your own server, or a dedicated server.
This avoids the “youtube look”.
Also output to Windows Media wmv for laptop playback or handing out to clients. or internet download. And upload it to your blog and other blogs, or facebook.
Web video and laptop are becoming the most common formats for corporate videos, but DVD may be useful for handing out at events, exhibitions or conferences. Forget Blu Ray, as corporate clients don’t have Blu Ray players.
That’s it. 8 top corporate video tips. Enjoy.