“We need a video that tells viewers about our history, the latest product developments, our recruitment policies, the new office we’re about to open, and also…” Or else: “We’d like a video like this one, with the same style and similar music”, without explaining to us what it should be about, and simply showing us footage from a… competitor.
These are just two requests we have received in the past, and they’re less rare than you might imagine. The reality is there are those who want to say everything in a video and those who seem to think of everything but what to say!
This is why, in video production as in any other area, a communication consultant must show themselves capable of guiding and supporting clients in their choices. To really hit the mark with corporate video – so that it delivers in line with expectations and provides a return on the necessary investments of time and resource – before you kick off any project you should first of all ask yourself three questions…
This is the most obvious question of all: why do we want to produce a video?
To present the company or to win new clients? To promote a service or explain how to use a product? To attract talent into the business, to support training course content, or as event media?
Whatever the answer, it will help us to get a handle on the kind of video we should create. And if there’s not one answer but many, then it’s often better to think in terms of a series of videos; if there’s an “embarrassment of riches” to talk about, a number of shorter films will undoubtedly be more effective.
Which targets do we want to reach with the video, and via which channels?
Video material should address viewers directly and personally, and so it is fundamental to define messages that, as far as possible, are tailored to the audience. Equally, it’s important for us to understand where and how the video will be distributed, as this can influence production choices, for example length.
What’s our company communication style?
Unless we’re a startup, our company has communicated before this new video project and will continue to do so afterwards. It’s therefore important to understand if the new video should be aligned with a pre-existing communication style, enabling it to “meld” with parallel initiatives and serve the same design objectives, or if it should signal the beginning of a new brand communication journey.
So, it’s fundamental to respond to these three questions first and foremost in order to create a video that will truly serve our company’s purposes.
But there’s one more question to consider…
Only someone with sufficient consultancy skills – meaning someone you can rely on to deliver a broad communication view, not merely a narrow focus on the video being produced – can help translate these responses into a winning video project.
These are the skills that are often lacking in smaller video production outfits (not in the big-name players in the sector, of course, but then they demand budgets to match!) yet are decisive for the outcome of the entire project, right from pre-production and, above all, for the scripting – its most strategic and exacting phase.
But more on this in another post…