For most of the 90s and early 2000s, corporate video production was primarily internal videos for large enterprise companies or one-off corporate advertisements that were highly scripted and promotional in nature. How different things are today. Corporate video production must now satisfy consumers’ insatiable appetite for authentic and entertaining social media content that encourages online conversation. There is a time and place for one-way corporate videos that promote a message, sell a product or raise awareness for a brand. Social media is just not that place. It never ceases to amaze our social media agency the frequency of companies that seek a social media marketing strategy or full-service social media management, but question the need for producing video content for their social streams. Just the other day we were on an exploratory phone call with a mid-market company that has been around for several decades. We were somewhat taken aback by senior leadership asking the question, “Are videos really effective on social media?” I personally struggled to answer this question. I wanted to respond by asking, “Did you just wake up from a decade long coma or something?” I bit my tongue and respectfully did my best to explain how strategically created social media video content is used to build awareness with targeted audiences, build credibility and positive engagement, and ultimately, drive desired business results.
This process of releasing weekly or monthly social media video content is not rocket science. It’s a proven winning formula that is nothing new. However, corporate video production for social media is still a mystery for far too many companies. Being an agency which specializes in video content marketing, we sometimes take it for granted how what might seem commonplace for us, may still be uncharted territory for the largest of brands. This has inspired us to discuss some of the possible styles of corporate videos that a brand may want to consider for their social streams.
Corporate Video Production Style #1: Sincere and Inspired
TOMS has been a brand we’ve been fans of for many years. This company is sincere in the promotion of its philanthropy and have been such an inspired leader in how a company can sell its products, and at the same time, have a monumental impact on the world. This brand has produced countless videos that can be found on nearly every social media channel. From Facebook to YouTube, the style of TOMS’ corporate video production is sincere and inspired in style. They contain real people in the real world. The stories are relatable and honest.
TOMS has many powerful collaborations with organizations affecting real positive change around the globe. A great example of this type of collaboration as well as TOMS’ corporate video production style is their video campaign for Every Mother Counts. This organization uses filmmaking, data, research, and good storytelling to generate funds for global programs to share the challenges and opportunities of global maternal health and improve access to critical maternity care and ensure safer deliveries for all moms around the world.
The TOMS brand has always been about standing up for issues that matter and doing their part to help raise awareness and drive positive change to global communities. They are equally sincere in their corporate video production style as they are inspired by their causes. Some brands make attempts to capture the sincere and inspired brand personality in their social media videos. However, if the brand is not truly sincere and inspired beyond what is shot and edited, the online public can quickly smell a brand that is being disingenuous. A brand must walk the walk if they’re going to talk the talk.
Corporate Video Production Style #2: Satirical and Informational
Statistics show that most people scanning their social media streams want to watch content that makes them smile and laugh. The real world already has far too much stress and drama that we have to deal with each and every day. Work is full of stressful deadlines and challenging work relationships. There is so little to smile and laugh about when we turn on the news in the evening. People turn to their social media streams to escape some of the daily nonsense. That is why so many brands find great success with a satirical approach with its corporate video production.
A great example of a well-produced satirical social media video is from the Rainforest Alliance and their Follow the Frog campaign.
Once you start watching the journey of the character in this video, you feel compelled to see it through until the end to see what becomes of him and discover the whole point of this story. Well-executed company satires can be great brand builders. This type of content is the most likely to receive social shares with friends, family, and co-workers.
Although a satirical and informational style of corporate video production is not for all brands. It really depends on the demographics and behavioral social media patterns of your target audience. When it comes to ImagiBrand, this approach had been extremely effective. It attracts the attention of company leadership, maintains their attention, and has resulted in hundreds of CEOS, COOs, CMOs, and VPs of PR and Corporate Communications of mid-market and large enterprise companies to reach out to us over the years.
Here is one of the many social media videos we’ve produced for ourselves over the years:
Corporate Video Production Style #3: Epic and Exciting
Who doesn’t love to watch a little action in a brand’s corporate video production series? Creating an epic and exciting online video series might be overly ambitious for most companies, but not for BMW. They were one of the first to bring Hollywood production value to their videos intended for the computer screen. These mini-films using A-list talent in front of the camera and Hollywood’s top talent behind the camera. Yes, they’re one big promotional video series for BMW’s latest vehicles, but they’re brilliant in their execution.
One such short film in this series is The Escape, starring Clive Owen and Dakota Fanning. Packed with enough drama and action to support a Hollywood feature film, this corporate video production featuring the 2017 BMW 5 Series clocks in at less than eleven minutes.
Every BMW film has a humongous Hollywood budget. They play like any action-packed feature film. Most brands would never invest so heavily in their online content. While this approach certainly works for BMW, the key to any successful feature film or online short is not the size of the budget but the strength of the brand storytelling and the professional execution of the content. Having previously worked in script development and production of Hollywood movies for the first 15 years of my professional career, this simple concept gets passed over time and time again by the most seasoned of Hollywood veterans. This explains why most movies are box office bombs; if one doesn’t have a good story to tell, no budget will fix that. On the other hand, if a brand has a strong story strategy and the right production team to produce the content, they don’t need a Hollywood budget these days to produce Hollywood-level social media videos.
Corporate Video Production Style #4: Trendy and Sophisticated
The fourth corporate video production style is trendy and sophisticated. In our opinion, no one epitomizes this style better than the beautiful and talented Rachel Zoe and her powerful brand, The Zoe Report. Obviously, this fashion guru and stylist knows and sets the latest trends. However, her Box of Style video series does an excellent job of capturing her sophisticated essence while still maintaining the soft beauty of Rachel’s trendy style.
The Zoe Report’s 2018 Summer Box of Style video is a classic example of a video that might be simple in its approach, but quite effective in its execution.
It was these Box of Style videos discovered on Facebook that actually got my wife to become a loyal subscriber to Rachel Zoe’s seasonal boxes of curated clothing, accessories and beauty products. Just like any good social media video strategy, my wife was perfectly profiled on Facebook with a video series that spoke directly to her need for having the latest fashion styles from a source she has grown to trust.
Corporate Video Production Style #5: Hip Yet Authentic
Sometimes a corporate video production series tries too hard to attract a younger viewing audience, but in the process, lose that sense of authenticity. Especially when it comes to the millennial viewer. They can sniff out a fraud very quickly. They will quickly reject anything that has a faint whiff of out-of-touch marketing execs trying too hard to win their eyeballs. It’s a delicate dance brand storytellers must navigate to be hip enough in their style to positively engage their younger social media fans while remaining authentic in their approach.
A wonderful example of this hip yet authentic corporate video production style is the series Vogue Inspired to Create: Craig & Karl.
This fun video profile series on this artistic design duo whom specializes in illustrations and live scale art installations has nailed that perfect balance of maintaining the authenticity of the artists while showcasing their story with a fun visual style matched with the perfect pace of music.
Corporate Video Production Style #6: Traditional and Educational
Not all corporate video production styles need to be action-packed or filled with comedy to be effective marketing tools. Every brand must have a clear understanding of its audience of existing and potential customers. Case in point, the traditional corporate video that focuses on educating its viewer on its product and/or service offering. Just because a corporate video is straightforward and educational, doesn’t mean its audience will find it boring. Especially with corporate leadership and team managers, if they’re looking for a specific solution that will help their business teams and enterprise work smarter and be more efficient, they will take the time to watch a corporate video production which educates about a new business tool or service. If it resonates with the business professional, they might not engage with the social post by liking or commenting, but they have no hesitation to fill out a contact form for more information.
One brand which produces a slew of traditional and educational corporate videos for social media is Slack. For those that are unfamiliar with this company, they are a leader in providing cloud-based collaboration tools and services across multiple devices and platforms for teams and workplaces of all sizes. Slack clearly understands the value of maintaining continual social media streams full of corporate video production. Below is an example of a Slack video promoting their global conference, Frontiers, centered around the future of teamwork.
Several years back, our social media agency was contacted by a tech company that considered Slack as one of their key competitors. Unfortunately for this company, the leadership failed to understand the value of using corporate video production to tell its brand story and communicate the value of their product. They did not truly respect social media. They underestimated the power of a content marketing strategy with an emphasis on quality brand storytelling using video. Instead, they focused on spending tens of thousands of dollars per week on Google Ads to drive traffic to landing pages that didn’t convert. Why? First off, if consumers have not been warmed up to your brand through a commitment to quality content, it is usually asking consumers too much to fill out a contact form or start a free trial for a company that hasn’t worked to earn credibility and their trust. Second, the time of educated business professionals is limited. They are not going to waste their precious time playing around with a free online trial for a product they have not been exposed to prior. Hence the value of targeted weekly videos on social media to these business professionals who may not watch initially, but they all eventually cave. The more they’re exposed to a brand’s content, the more likable the brand begins to feel. With enough exposure to a brand through continual corporate video production in their social streams, the easier it is to get them to fill out forms and start using your product. It’s not rocket science. It’s common sense marketing. It’s respecting the intelligence of your audience and providing them with what they need to try new things.
Which Corporate Video Production Style Fits Your Brand Personality?
Business social media and social media video marketing have forever changed our expectations for corporate video production. We’re in such an exciting time for brands to use video to connect with their audience of consumers. One style that works well for one brand won’t necessarily work for another competing in the same industry. In fact, we would never recommend any company to mimic the brand personality of their closest competitor. Instead, let’s take a look at what the data is telling us. Let’s work together to position your brand correctly. Working with a social media agency that actually has the story talent, Hollywood video production skills, and TRUE social media marketing experience can be the game-changer for any brand.
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