Video is often the quickest, most emotive and compelling way to create meaningful brand engagement. The demand for video is increasing, with a recent white paper by Cisco predicting that 75% of all mobile traffic will be video by 2020. As the former head of commercial video at The Telegraph, now CEO at Nemorin Creative Film & Video, I'd like to share my do’s and don’ts for creating great branded video content.
#1: Branded Video: Yes it’s an advert, but it’s still compelling content
Branded video is all about storytelling with a strong narrative. As a marketer, you will have experience of creating great content, and branded video is simply an extension of this.
Established brands such as Samsung and Volvo are creating fantastic, cutting-edge branded video content. The same rules that apply to good written content also apply to good video content. Audiences love a well-made film, brimming with an inspirational, compelling and immersive story. Equally, an overly salesy, uninspiring, poorly shot film, filled with nothing but product placement, is likely to have your audience hitting the ‘x’ button in no time. Our advice when starting out on a branded video project is always: think audience first!
#2: Know your audience and their devices
One rule we like to follow is, begin with the end in mind. You will already have access to a lot of data about your audience’s behaviour, including how they prefer to engage with your content, whether via a desktop browser, tablet, smartphone or app. Use this data to inform your video strategy from the outset, and don’t be afraid to A/B test the content to discover what receives the best response rates. Audiences are very receptive to this type of content and devices are increasingly being designed to maximise the video experience. Many social channels have different design and technical specifications for video but, if you know which you are targeting from the start, your content can be easily optimised for each of these channels.
Video is a huge growth area for brands and as a marketer you want to be equipped with enough basic knowledge of the medium to feel comfortable including it as part of any digital marketing strategy. In our experience, a small amount of training and familiarisation can really help you to unlock the potential of video for your brand. Branded video can help to create brand loyalty, increased awareness, greater trust and credibility, and can be used as an effective sales support tool. Metrics are important too, and video analytics will give you in-depth, actionable viewer intelligence, including real-time data that can be used for immediate response. Video comes in various forms from live action, animation, customer testimonials, how-to and explainers, through to live-streaming, AR/VR and more; it is important to understand the nuances of each to ensure that you create the right type of video for your brand.
#4: In-house vs outsourced
Some marketers may have access to an in-house resource capable of creating video but, in our experience, many do not. From a financial perspective, employing a full-time in-house video team with all of the latest equipment across the full production spectrum can be very costly but, being able to outsource this service as and when required, can make more sense. Even with an existing in-house team of one or two video specialists, meeting the needs of a large-scale shoot, or a last-minute overseas project, can be tough.
When we give tips about shooting video on the move, such as with a smartphone for live-streaming to Periscope or Facebook Live, we ask people to think carefully about the sound quality, as this is very often overlooked. Poor sound quality on the original footage cannot be rectified in post-production like some visual elements can, so it is important to understand this from the get-go. Audiences love the raw honesty of real-time footage but, like with much larger shoots, make sure that you have good sound recording equipment so that it does not undermine your brand’s finished video.