Most people associate corporate video with rather boring 20 minute company presentations where the proud CEO is presented along with all the products and the nice offices, accompanied by a rambling voice-over and some elevator music. Or perhaps “talking heads”, tie-clad managers boasting about the company.
But now video has been revolutionized at both ends:
- The production is much faster and cheaper due to all the new, smaller digital technology.
- The distribution is now enormously more flexible and cheaper. Instead of mailing out DVDs or arranging screenings all kinds of video can now be streamed on corporate web sites, in video blogs, emailed etc. All at very low costs.
Nobody has the time or patience anymore to watch those 20-minute corporate all-in-one presentations, and they become outdated quickly anyway. So instead, go for short, niche videos, for example:
1. Press release videos. Show how the new product is used by real customers, thus creating better stories for the journalists.
2. Product launches. Do like everybody else and make campaign sites with slick video commercials etc. But the smarter companies also produces more viral videos that are spread via YouTube and other video communities, blogs and media sites. Before the launch, make a video about your product development challenges where you build hype around the problem that your product solves. When you launch it, post a video that does not look like a commercial but shows the product in a documentary way when it is used by real people
3. FAQ-videos and support screen casts. Use the pedagogicial superiority of video to give answers to frequently asked questions and explain how your software work. Put them on your support web site and email them to customers that call in with problems.
4. Staff presentations. Notice how most consultancy firms proudly states that “our staff is our most valuable asset”? Yet they present them with just a name, title and department. Imagine instead 45-second personal video presentations where the staff describe their background and experience, how they work now and what makes them tick! Far better for boosting relations and the corporate brand.
5. Testimonials from happy customers and employees. A real customer describing how his life was improved by product X is a lot more credible than a slick ad with studio shots of beautiful models holding the product. Here is a good example.
6. Instruction videos. Why have not companies noticed the explosion of “How to” video sites with short video tutorials about everything under the sun? Such as Videojug.Â Realise that this is a very good way of both decreasing your support costs and building brands. See also my blog post about this.
7. Video blogs and mobile videos. Let your executives speak in person to the whole world, here is why this is good. And encourage your employees to use their mobiles to document things that customers or other employees could benefit from seeing and post it on video blogs. Reports from business trips, development labs, attended conferences etc.
8. UGC campaigns. User Generated Content, where customers upload videos on how they use the products. Creates marketing ambassadors and an image of acompany that listens to its customers. IKEA does it, why not your company?
9. Recruitment videos. How do you entice people to apply for work at your company? Especially the younger generation don’t read endless texts or brochures. Create short, up to date videos where HR shows what it is like to work here, and interview some of the employees. Here’s how Google did it and a good blog post about it.
10. Internal communication. Replace some of the streams of internal email communications with video. For example, the sales manager’s weekly follow-up of the sales reps is more effective if they can hear and see the sales manager.
11. Company policies. Use video to explain all those rules and policies about security, vacation, sick leave, travel etc. Interview those that are responsible and show how they should be used and the benefits. This motivates the employees better than those Word-documents with bulleted rules on the company intranet!
12. Lectures and seminars. Increase the audience for your speeches, conferences etc by live-casting them on your web site and post edited versions afterwards to prolong the value. Also use short videos to promote the event in advance, interviewing the organizer and make people want to go there or follow it on internet.
13. Talk shows. Think value for your target group. Invite an interesting person for a relaxed chat about a current issue. Do this weekly or bi-weekly for almost no cost and build valuable relations and position yourselves as authorities in your business area.
14. Crisis communication. Prepare before it happens: a disgruntled customer posts a video showing a weakness in your product, such as this Assa Abloy video. But don’t respond like Assa Abloy did, instead fight fire with fire: make your own video response and post it in the same channels, as well as on your web site.
15. Knowledge bank & internal training. Interview your experts on how they solved various problems, post it into an internal knowledge data base on your intranet and make it easy to search. This creates valuable assets out of your organisations skills.
Video = expensive and lots of work?
Many companies have realised that video is an effective form of communication but they still think it is expensive and labour-intensive to produce good videos. Also, they have not realised that you build relations better by producing content regularly, so it is much better to make one short video per week than a long video every 6 months.
The way to do this cost-effectively is to create program formats. In the TV business formats are big business. Think “Who wants to be a millionaire?”, “Survivor” etc. It is much easier, cheaper and safer for a local TV station to produce shows according to these formats than trying to come up with their own program ideas. So I help companies do the same thing.