Nowadays, in a post-social-networks world, making your company and brand feel relatable to your customer base is much more than just a boon. It is a necessity.
Regardless of your commitment to social media strategies and overall marketing approach, producing content that reflects your company as engaging, empathetic, and responsive, is something your marketing team should be (and probably is) actively pursuing.
Why? Because audiences are more likely to do business with you when they feel like they know your company and brand on a more personal level.
Your customers may know what you offer from an explainer video or other sort of content.
But if they feel like they understand (and relate to) what your company stands for on top of that, they are a great deal more likely to engage with it and come back for more later. So, the question becomes how to go about doing just that?
The goal is to tell a story.
The goal is to humanize your brand. Put the values that motivate you and your teams in front of your customers for them to connect.
The best way to hit all those targets in the least amount of time?
…company story videos.
How Company Story Videos Work
Company story videos, or culture videos, are among the best type of content you can use to build trust and empathy from your audience quickly. It is the perfect format to shine a spotlight on your company’s human side and tell people about your story.
Company story videos give you the unique opportunity to engage in subtle-but-effective branding while nurturing consumer trust and allow you to convey your company's message and philosophy through people who enjoy being a part of the work you do.
Putting an actor in front of the camera and having them sing praises on your company’s behalf will not do. People are innately attuned to pick up artificial emotion when they see it, so the last thing you want is a company story video that feels fake.
To avoid this, there are a few things you can (and should) do as you plan and produce your company story video to guarantee that the results meet your expectations and reach the full potential.
Be honest & understand what your company stands for
Concepts like mission and vision are far more than cheerful paragraphs you put on your website’s “About Us” section. They are – or at least should be – an accurate representation of your company's real intent and purpose. This makes them an ideal cornerstone to build your video around.
As you begin to work on that fantastic video, take time to understand these concepts and how they reflect your company's inner workings. It will help guide you through the rest of the process.
Once you have a clear understanding of what your company stands for, you can tie those core principles into the values that represent and materialize them, which plays directly into the next point.
Take one or two of these values and focus on them
At the outset, it might be tempting to cram as much information as possible into your video, which is a common mistake and something to be avoided.
Company story videos – as with any other type of marketing content – are supposed to work under the constraints of the medium used to distribute them. Online, this means that your video should be kept as close as possible to the “goldilocks” mark. TechSmith offers new data: Video Length: How Long Should Instructional Videos Be? (New Data) Wistia shares its data about when attention begins to fall off. Whether this is due to the quality of content or based on the audience's attention span needs more investigation.
The engagement time limitation is one of the main reasons why you want to limit the scope of your video to showcase no more than two of your core values. The other being that anything past that runs the risk of feeling overly dramatized and even “preachy,” which will rub most audiences the wrong way.
Aim to keep your company story videos short, sweet, and focus on one or two of your most essential core values, and you will have a powerful piece of content in your hands.
Real People, Not Actors
As I mentioned before, most people have a talent to know when they are being lied to, especially when it comes to telling genuine emotion from simulated ones. When you are talking about a video specifically designed to draw emotion from your people and portray it to your customers, there are great advantages to be straight and go with your employees and coworkers.
People who genuinely belong to your company and understand the hard work that takes place behind the scenes to accomplish its goals.
I've worked with a lot of company owners and CEOs, and their primary concern when it comes to these videos tends to be ensuring their professionalism and talent comes through, often inquiring if using actors wouldn't be a more reliable way to achieve that.
Sharp and talented professional editing will do a great job of conveying that feeling of professionalism and competence most CEOs are looking for and using real employees will bring the originality and genuine feel, which is equally important.
CAUTION: The world is moving to be more fake… Watch how in this video:
...which makes it more important than ever to move away from actors and utilize the authentic staff and customers.
Script Essentials & Production
Once you start working with video content, you will come to realize the best pieces stem from a strong script. For company story videos, this means developing well thought out questionnaires, able to guide your employees to – and through – the topics you want to cover regarding the values and information you are basing your video around.
Keep in mind that the actual recording part of the production of your video takes a lot of time, planning, and resources to pull off. Anything you can do to prepare ahead of recording and ensure it goes smoothly will be an asset to the whole process.
Having a quality script and/or questionnaire that guides those in front of the camera to talk about their thoughts and ideas on the points you wish to cover, in a fun, entertaining, and mostly informal way, will help the rest of the production and post-production continue more smoothly.
Quality scripts help you keep the interview focused, produce a higher volume of valuable content, and make the editing go easier, which makes the end product that much more effective.
Promotion and Distribution
Having a flawless company story video is just part of the equation. You also need to make sure people are visiting your site and seeing it.
Once you have done the planning, filming, and editing out your video, you cannot slack on the final stage... promoting it.
For instance, your video should feature prominently on your website – at least for a while – as you start building an audience.
Also, your company is likely already engaging in some kind of social media marketing, and social go hand in hand with video. So much so that social media and video viewing are the two most popular activities online.
Feature your brand-new company video on your company's social accounts. Reach out to influencers, research the best times to publish, and create a bit of social media content around it (screencaps, tweets, posts) to make it easy for you to repost and spread it for a while without seeming spammy.
Lastly, effective SEO strategies and web optimization should not be ignored. Proper titles and tags, intelligent keywords and optimized metadata are all essential components that will drive organic traffic to your new content, and having it working to bring people to your brand, instead of the other way around.
Once you have a video that covers your company's mission and vision, one focused through the lens of the core values that resonate with your customers and one that has a compelling script that brings clear, convincing, and subtle marketing into the mix. You can start promoting it effectively to enjoy the advantages of a piece of content that makes your customers feel like they know what your company is about and lets them relate to it on a personal level.
Such videos are a benefit to any marketing effort and will give you an edge over your competitors who may still be stuck doing things “the old way.”
About the Author
Victor Blasco - CEO | Marketing Strategist - Yum Yum Videos
Víctor Blasco is the founder and CEO of the explainer video company Yum Yum Videos. He is also an audiovisual designer and video marketing expert. Aside from running the business, he loves studying Chinese Philosophy and is a real geek for science fiction films and comics!