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Q: I’m evaluating having a 5-6 minute web video produced for use as an online and offline marketing tool.

We want the video to cover a bit of the history of the company and what we are doing at the moment, our future strategy, and also to try and capture the passion within the organisation.

The video will be used in a variety of ways – showcased online, both on our own website and on the websites of relevant publications in the trade and national press; used as a flash or similar as part of client presentations; sent out as a DVD with our proposal documents to act as an introduction to the company.

The viewing audience is varied, but our target market is upper-level executives in a range of businesses from small, privately-owned hotels to major multi-national retail chains.

We’re initially evaluating a documentary-style piece, rather than making an overtly ‘marketing’ or ‘promotions’ piece – hence the requirement for a narrator.

I’d welcome ideas as to how to approach this.

Director of Strategic Partnership

A: If you’re considering a web marketing video to cover both online and offline viewing then I’d suggest cutting two versions of the same video production to meet your different audience / target market needs.


1 – A shorter online marketing web video for the internet

2 – A longer offline documentary video for meetings

Let’s look at these options in more detail and discover why this is so.

Online Marketing Video

The online version of your web marketing video has to capture the interest of passing web traffic.

Fore this reason it has to be short, sharp and to the point.

Statistics show that after a minute or two of runtime, online viewers tend to switch off unless they’re very interested.

Business web buyers don’t necessarily want to watch a 5 minute documentary story online.

The type of web video production they’re looking for has to tell them quickly want they want to know, and feature:

> what you deliver to them, as a received benefit

> why they should choose you

> what your effective proposition is

Many web viewers don’t want to see anything else, but obviously not 100% always.

You could provide a 60 second version of your video for solely this purpose.

You can discover more about web marketing video production

Offline Documentary Video

When you have a captive audience such as in a business presentations, or a brochure DVD viewing at home or in the office, then the situation changes.

They’re prepared to watch what you’ve got. So all you have to do is tell your story well, in a professional creative way, to keep them engaged. Give them a high quality experience.

A good documentary could have a timeline graphic theme which, in a voiceover video, will add thrust to your company story.

Add a mix of interesting-looking graphic stuff, great stills, brief interview cuts, and a friendly customer or two makes for a very watchable storyline.

You might be able to capture all this in a 1 day shoot, which broadly equates to 5 minutes runtime, when everything you need to film can be shot in the same vicinity.

As well as shots of people at work, you could include interviews, voxpops, testimonials, using live video for telling your messages. Everything else can be edited together in the studio.


Bear in mind that documentary marketing videos are usually at least 5 mins long, and often more.

So, as mentioned above, they’re less suited to web playback, as people click away.

By contrast, successful web video productions are simple and to the point, and advertise what you offer.

Generally, video documentaries require a captive audience, such as in a business presentation, which is offline.

However as part of your overall web video production package, you could arrange to have 2 versions of your video cut – a short online and a longer offline, in different formats for different projects.

Two versions would add to your costs but it might well be worth it. This is because the second offline web video production, while not free, is only short and therefore relatively inexpensive.

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