Video content – previously one of the most ambitious and expensive elements in business communications – is now everywhere. But does quantity equate to quality?
In this latest “build back better” blog post from Manchester B2B PR agency, Metamorphic PR, Jack Leigh – award winning video director at Eight Engines video production agency – highlights the risks of “cutting your own hair” and the value of video for post-pandemic business recovery:
We’re bombarded by video content every day. Indeed, 300 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute.
While video has become an essential, standardised communications tool the trend of people talking to a webcam in the early days of Covid-19 has led to a “sea” of low-quality video content.
Creating video that works needs quality and something more interesting for people to view. So, that means companies investing in visual content that looks more like a commercial.
This deviates from the traditionally poor, corporate video which is often what a company wants to make but isn’t often something anyone wants to engage with. This is a bigger problem today, as people’s attention span is getting shorter.
However, if you can create more engaging video, people will watch it for longer. For example, a video created for training company, Team Academy, featured a trainer pointing a shotgun at laptops. Whatever you might think about firearms, in a corporate context it certainly conveys a memorable image.
Just having any video isn’t enough – it needs to be of high quality and engaging.
Practical approaches to creating video content
During the pandemic lockdown, the kneejerk response was to use the sudden explosion in online meetings as a way of generating new video content.
However, the visual production quality is just not there; and the engagement analytics tell a story about how effective it’s been: in a word, terrible!
So, how should businesses approach the video medium to make it a real asset in recovery?
- Stop and think
Consider carefully your ideas for video content and avoid the risk of creating something both bland and of low quality. It sounds obvious: make something that people want to watch; that might mean leaving your comfort zone and trying ideas that could be described as “out there”.
- Making the right, first impression
Video is a great way of creating a first impression. As people in business will probably be travelling less and not meeting face-to-face, a video is the way to create great first impressions with potential clients.
- Video stars in the making
When deciding who from your company to use in the video, it’s about choosing the right people who are comfortable being filmed and guiding them to look and perform at their best. And with the right director, you’d be amazed how much your colleagues can shine both during filming and in post-production.
- Is your video cool or crap?
Ask yourself: if this video was put out by another company, would I want to watch it? Treat people’s attention as a resource and invest in fewer, shorter and higher quality videos.
- Plan for distribution
Think about the different channels where your videos could live – LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook – and what the different requirements are. You can have a main, “hero film” plus shorter versions that work better across various online platforms.
- Live broadcast
This form of video content is becoming huge. Today, this can be done quite cost-effectively and be a substitute for the absence of live events at the moment. Initially, just doing a live broadcast will be enough; but, in time, businesses will graduate from basic filming to multiple cameras with graphics and high-quality sound.
Companies will be able to adapt live broadcasts quickly for product launches and company conferences. And, after months of watching low quality content on Zoom or YouTube, customers will be ready to consume content with higher production values.
A typical argument in some companies today is that you can shoot a video on your smart phone. That might be true, but would you choose to cut your own hair and expect to look a million dollars? If we’re talking about making a first impression with your customers, you want it to be great. Otherwise, it’s like showing up to meeting in a charity shop suit without showering.
Making effective, watchable and memorable video for business is about the way it’s put together and crafted. I think that’s a wrap!
For professional video production, contact Eight Engines.
For support with crafting your story, messages and interviewing your company leaders or experts on camera, email Metamorphic PR or phone 0161 672 7000.
Download the video for business recovery guide
Also in this series:
#1 Brand strategy for post-pandemic recovery