Video is becoming more and more popular with marketers and PR pros. Done the right way, research tells us how affective it can be. Done the wrong way, it can waste time and money so let’s look at some common mistakes to avoid when producing a corporate video.
Outside of video production cost, this is the number one question I get from clients. How long should our video run?
The first mistake here is thinking there’s a perfect length for your video… there isn’t. The quality of your storytelling is more important than the video’s length. Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 runs an hour and a half. Braveheart runs three hours. ‘Nough said.
Video length is less about a golden rule and more about the audience. Who is your audience and where are they going to watch the video?
Is your audience the general public? Are you going to use this video in a social media campaign? If so, the video should be shorter (about 1-minute or less) because you’re pushing it at viewers who probably have a short attention span.
Is your video intended for professionals seeking out information about your business at your website? If that’s the case you have more leeway. I typically shoot for 2-minutes or less, but I’m even okay with stretching it to 3-4 minutes if the story is good.
If the video is for a captive audience at an event of some sort you could go even longer, but remember it’s all about the quality of your storytelling. You shouldn’t make a longer video just because you can. Tell the best story possible.
An audience can tune-out a boring message no matter where they’re watching the video.
This one falls under the DIY category or “boy, did we hire the wrong video ‘pro.'” Many people think of video in terms of visuals… as they should. But really, audio is equally as important.
Just about everyone has an HD video camera (aka your smartphone) capable of shooting beautiful images. Audio takes more skill and some better equipment, and it separates the pros from the amateurs.
At best, poor audio holds back a good video from being great. At worst, people immediately tune-out. Think about all the bad videos you’ve watched and clicked away from almost immediately. In many cases, I’m sure it’s because it sounded bad.
Bad audio is a barometer for a bad video.
If the person shooting your video is interviewing people with nothing but the microphone attached to the camera, it’s a pretty good sign your audio is going to be lacking.
Too Many Details
This is the most important message I talk with clients about. Video isn’t about facts and figures. Video is about emotion.
I get it. You’re producing a corporate video and you have all sorts of information you want to share with people.
Stop right there. While video is certainly for communicating, it isn’t the right medium for tons of information. That’s what your website is for.
With video, we’re more interested in how people feel after having seen it than we are what they learned.
Think about how valuable that can be for your organization. It’s one thing to provide people with information about a product, service, or company. It’s something else entirely if you can get them to feel good about those things.
When people feel good about something, they’re more likely to buy. That’s why storytelling is so important. Don’t just pack your video with facts and figures. Tell a story that your audience can connect with.
BONUS Mistake… Making a DIY Corporate Video
This should go without saying, but I’ve had too many people ask about it not to mention it. Producing a corporate video is not a do-it-yourself endeavor.
Yes… I’m a video pro, so it only makes sense that I would give this advice. But believe it or not, there are times I advocate DIY videos. However, in most cases, hiring a professional is the way to go.
There’s one main reason to do this: your reputation is on the line. You are producing a video and sending it out into the world to be watched. Everyone who sees it is going to form an opinion about you. It’s crucial you put your best foot forward.
Your video could very well be someone’s first impression of you. Do you want to trust that opportunity to Ted in HR or Susan in accounting because they like editing their home movies?
Nobody at your company is going to be able to produce a video as effective as one created by a professional. Even if someone in-house has a decent background in shooting and editing… are they a good storyteller?
Video production is more than HD video and knowing your way around Final Cut Pro. It’s about knowing how to use stories to tap emotion. That’s why it’s better to put corporate videos into the hands of someone who has devoted their professional life to honing that skill.
Wrapping it up
The bad news… these are all mistakes people fall prey to when producing their corporate videos. The good news… they’re all avoidable.
Make sure the video pro you pick to work with is thinking about these things during the project.