A Step By Step Breakdown For Producing Your Next Corporate Video

Looking to produce a corporate video but don’t know where to start? This quick guide will take you through the basic steps.

No matter what line of business you may be in, there is really only one way to produce a great corporate video.

Every project will have its own unique creative and logistical needs, but all of them share the same basic blueprint for moving from concept to production to final delivery.

Let’s take a look at each of these critical steps -

1. Identifying Your Needs

Too often, business owners and marketing execs want to produce video content without any real objective. They’ve been told (correctly) that video is one of the best ways to drive awareness to their brand, and want to jump on the bandwagon.

But they put the cart before the horse. They decide to create a production before they truly understand the why… 

Only once you identify a powerful WHY is it time to create your video project. It’s not about generalities - like gaining more social media followers or improving brand awareness - it’s about specifics.

Your video content should be linked to a specific, actionable, and measurable outcome. You want to have X amount of people sign up for your mailing list. You want to grow your YouTube channel by 5x. You want 10,000 people to buy your direct response product.

Whatever the objective may be, it needs to be identified first. Only then can you ingrain the WHY into your script, production, edit, and release strategy.

2. Identifying Your Customer’s Needs

It’s one thing to figure out your own objectives, but understanding how those align with your prospective customers needs is another story.

Great video content is all about creating value for the viewer. This may come in the form of an exclusive offer, free educational material, or anything else that is all about THEM and not about YOU.

You and your brand may be putting out the content, but if the focus is strictly on what you do then no one will care. This applies whether you’re making a 3 minute corporate spot, a 30 second commercial, or 15 second instagram videos.

Your customers will only notice your video material if it directly benefits them. There is simply too much great material out there already for them to notice anything that isn’t directly beneficial to them.

So before you even come up with a concept, consider your customer first and foremost. Who are they, what can they benefit from, and how do you find them? Once you answer those questions, your creative direction will become much more clear.

3. Deciding On In-House Production Vs. Hiring A Production Company

We just published a whole article on this topic, but will re-iterate the point here as it’s so crucial.

Knowing when to hire an outside video production company is absolutely essential to the success of your project.

Many companies wrestle with the idea of hiring out a video producer. For the same money, they figure - why not just buy a camera and have our in-house creative jack-of-all-trades handle it for us?

In some cases, that may be a completely viable idea. But it all comes down to the content itself and a true assessment of the quality your in-house resources. 

Chances are, your in-house capabilities are not going to match a professional production company. There will be exceptions to this rule of course, but in the vast majority of scenarios, working with a third party is essential - Not only for the ease of experience during production and post, but for the effectiveness of your overall campaign.

An outside producer will be able to help you with everything from strategy to scheduling to deliverables. If you have some of these components covered in-house, you can always hire a producer to handle a segment of your project, for instance strategy.

Regardless, it’s critical that you decide early on which tasks will be handled by a production company and which will be handled internally. From there, you can move forward with the remaining steps on the list.

4. Writing Your Script

This stage should be self-explanatory. Every video needs a script… Even those that are “unscripted”.

If you don’t have a blueprint for your production, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Too often, corporate videos run 5 minutes too long and still communicate nothing to the audience - Usually because they lacked focus from the get-go.

Whether you script something in-house or you work with a video production company like ours, this is always the essential first step in your process. Everything that comes after, including the physical shooting and editing of your content, will hinge on the quality of that script.

Depending on your creative, the script may take the form of traditional screenplay, or it may be bullet points on your notes app. There isn’t one format that can apply to every type of production, all that matters is your messaging is being communicated in the most efficient way possible.

This will serve as the DNA for the rest of your project, so you want to take as much time as you need to get it right. People often mistakenly emphasize the importance of the actual production of video content, when it’s the planning and scripting that dictates whether any given project is successful.

5. Scheduling & Production

If you’ve done your homework on the previous steps, these two tasks should be executed quickly and efficiently. 

Most professional productions are scheduled on a 10 - 12 hour day. Assuming 2 hours for load-in and setup, that leaves you with 8 - 10 hours to shoot your video (on a 1 day production).

10 hours may sound like a lot of time, but those hours will fly by if you’ve scheduled your day properly.

Your schedule should allow for exactly the amount of time you need to get your project in the can. Nothing more, nothing less. Too much dead space in your schedule and you’re simply spending money to sit around. Too much production scheduled into a single day will mean you’re going to miss shots and have less time with interview subjects.

Nailing your schedule is mandatory if you also want to nail your production.

Producing the video should be the easy part. Everyone always thinks of production as the biggest task of them all, but really it’s just about following the plan you’ve already put in place.

It’s no different from having a wedding or event. 99% of the heavy lifting happens beforehand, and the better the quality of that early work the smoother the production will run.

6. Editing & Post-Production

Stories are made in the edit. No matter how well you’ve planned and executed your shoot, the edit is where it can all be made or broken.

A bad editor will make strong source material look sub-par. A mediocre editor will make that same footage look pretty great. But a true rockstar editor will take that same material to entirely new heights.

They will go above and beyond to take your (already great) raw footage, and shape it into a new form. They may deviate from the script to try out a new concept that conveys your key messaging even more effectively than the script. They’ll work with the material in an innovative way, and maximize every last bit of great footage while ruthlessly trimming all the fat.

Production value is massively dependent on post-production. This applies to the picture editing, but also the finishing work -

What good is your 4K footage if it’s not color corrected properly? Why spend all that money on a sound recordist if you aren’t having a post-audio engineer mix it for you?

The devil is in the details when it comes to editing & post. Those finishing touches - that final 5% - that goes into your edit and polish will differentiate your content from everyone else’s. None of this needs to cost a whole lot either, it just requires that you collaborate with creatives who know their stuff.

7. Releasing & Distribution

No video is complete until it has been released and consumed by your audience. 

Unfortunately, this is where most companies fail - even those who have succeeded in producing great video content. 

The key of course, is to have your release strategy baked into the DNA of your project from the onset. If you took the time up front to truly identify your audience, you will have considered that audience throughout each creative and tactical decision along the way.

When it comes time to release your content, you should know exactly when to release it, how to amplify the message organically, and have a plan for redistribution and syndication. If you’re not considering all of these items beforehand, your video will not make an impact.

Corporations are known for spending a fortune producing material that ultimately gets dumped on their YouTube channel and forgotten about. What’s the point in making content that no one will ever see?

It’s so easy to get your material seen and to mobilize an audience. It doesn’t necessarily even have to cost anything. All it takes is some ingenuity with your release strategy to ensure your content has a long tail.

If you’d like to learn more about content production, be sure to email us at info@creativerebellion.com

We offer free consultations to businesses and brands just like yours, and would love to hear more about your creative objectives. 

In House Video Vs Hiring A Corporate Video Producer - Which Is Right For Your Business?

One of the most common questions we’re asked by business owners and marketing execs is: Should we consider in-house production for our next corporate video?

99% of the time, our answer is… Maybe.

The reason of course, is that every corporate video is different, and every brand has different needs.

Before even asking yourself whether you can produce your project in-house, it’s best to asses what the project’s tactical and creative requirements are.

Is this a simple talking head interview that will be used on an internal email? Or a full blown consumer-facing product demo? Both of these can fall into the “corporate video” category, but one requires far more heavy lifting and expertise.

As a general rule of thumb, the best type of content to produce internally falls into one of these categories:

  • Daily/weekly YouTube videos

  • Quick turnaround social media content

  • Internal updates or training spots

There are two common denominators between the content types listed above. They are each: 1) high volume and 2) not dependent on production quality.

Beautiful looking videos take time to produce, because they are crafted using a professional system. It’s why big-budget Hollywood feature films can take 5+ years to put together.

Quality takes time, and there are no shortcuts….

But not every project requires theatrical or even broadcast production quality. Some content will perform just fine with a more basic level of production. Social media videos (just as an example) are often read as more authentic if they aren’t over-produced.

So if you’re considering producing content internally for any type of high volume/fast turnaround production, you may very well be on the right track.

There are exceptions to this rule of course, and we’ve certainly spent many months creating polished social media content for our clients as a result.

But in those cases, production value was warranted given the scope of their needs and their emphasis on brand identity. In many other instances, in-house production would work just fine for this type of material.

With regards to more traditional corporate spots - like recruiting videos, web promos or product demos - they are almost always best left to a pro.

When you work with an outside production company on a full scale video production, you should benefit from each of these services:

  1. Input on your creative direction

  2. Guidance on your release strategy

  3. Production & post-production support

When it comes to producing pro-level video content, what you’re really paying for is experience. It’s not about having the right camera or editing software, it’s the creative artistry and marketing expertise that matters above all else.

In the vast majority of corporate settings, it’s unlikely that an in-house employee will have the exact qualities to pull this off, as most staff are experts on other things and tasked as such.

Not to mention, having an outside party give input on your creative direction and strategy is absolutely crucial.

Your job is to understand your clients/customers and solve their problems with products or services.  Our job is to help you communicate that value to them.

Half of the battle is the physical shooting and editing of the footage. But the other half is knowing how to translate your message into a format that can be easily digested by your audience.

The great news is, far-reaching/high production value content doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg. It also doesn’t need to take forever to produce… So long as you collaborate with a corporate video producer who prioritizes quality and efficiency equally, as we do.

It’s always worth consulting with a producer about your needs, if nothing else to get a rough time and cost estimate for your work. You may find that producing your content with an outside party is just as cost effective as going the internal route, and you’ll have peace of mind knowing it’s in the hands of a professional team.

If you’re interested in learning more, we’d love to provide you with a free consultation any time.

We can discuss options for both producing original content, or help you configure an in-house setup to shoot lower-cost videos internally.

Just shoot us an email at info@creativerebellion.com and we’ll talk.

We look forward to hearing from you soon!

5 Avoidable Mistakes You’re About To Make With Your Corporate Video

The problem with most corporate videos is simple: There is a disconnect between the messaging and the execution.

That’s so often the crux of it, and the same story plays out time and time again -

A business has a problem to solve, and decides (rightfully so) to use video to help meet their objectives. Perhaps they want to hire more recruits, gain more customers, or have an easier way to train new employees.

They spend time developing a script and planning internally for their video shoot. This blueprint is then brought to a production company, who is assigned the task of actually producing the video.

The production company shows up to shoot and edit the video, but when it comes time to deliver the first edit there are some clear issues. The video clearly doesn’t have the ability to drive the results, efficiencies or targets that it was intended to. There are issues across the board, but especially with respect to messaging.

More often than not, these issues are a result of the production company dropping the ball. Yes, they showed up to shoot and edit the piece, but they failed in the pre-production department.

They neglected to work with the client effectively to translate their initial vision into a more video-friendly format. This is an absolutely crucial step can’t be overlooked, as the success of any corporate video project relies on it.

So for any marketing pros, business owners, CMOs or executives who want to make sure their vision is in safe hands, consider the following 5 mistakes…

Each one of the issues listed below can be easily remedied in the planning stage, ideally by collaborating the video production company. It should be their job to bring up these items with you, but if they neglect to do so, here’s what to look out for:

1. Unclear Messaging

This is the #1 problem with a vast majority of corporate videos. They want to be everything to everyone, and end up appealing to virtually no one at all. Usually, this is a result of too many cooks in the kitchen, and no guidance as to which ideas should make the final cut. 

All video productions are collaborative. And the more ideas the better, at least in the initial stages…

But at a certain point, a solid through-line or theme needs to emerge. The video can say many things, but what is the ONE thing that really matters above all else? The central theme? The premise that everything else hinges on?

Once that’s identified, it’s easy to cherry pick your best ideas and ensure that are in alignment with your greater vision. And doing so is the first step in ensuring your messaging translates effectively.

This is something your video producer should be working with you on, but if they are not doing so, you’ll certainly want to make sure it’s thought through internally.

2. No Visual Excitement

Corporate videos have had a bad rap for years due to lackluster visuals. The fact that this is still an issue in this day and age is embarrassing!

With the amount of incredible (and affordable) cinema camera technology available today, there is no excuse for producing a drab looking video. Even on a modest budget, today’s lighting packages, cameras, and post-production tools can go a long way in making your spot look really high end.

Why then, do so many corporate videos look amateur? They are shot on professional cameras and edited on professional software, but they have little to no production value… How come?

Once again, a lack of pre-production is the culprit. Achieving great visuals is far more about planning than it is the gear.

It’s crucial that while in development you consider everything from a visual perspective. The more thought that goes into locations, camera movement, lighting, and other variables - the more beautiful your final product will be.

And after all, if you’re working with a visual medium, wouldn’t you want to take full advantage of it’s capabilities?

3. Over-Interviewing

In rare cases, your video may call for dozens of interviews to be conducted. That’s dependent on the creative direction of course, but it does happen.

For the majority of corporate videos however, you’re almost always going to be better served by being more selective with your subjects.

If your piece really only needs 3 or 4 voices and you’re shooting 20 - 30, you’re going to waste a lot of time across the board.

During production, you’ll have less time to work with the interviewees who really matter, and in post you’ll spend exponentially more time editing as there’s far more material to sift through.

It’s all about quality over quantity.

The more focused your idea is, the fewer voices you’ll need to tell your story. This will translate to a much more thorough experience on set, and a faster editing process. Not to mention, a more cohesive final product too.

Again, this doesn’t necessarily apply to EVERY corporate video. There are some exceptions, and certain projects will call for a different approach. But 9 times out of 10, less is more.

4. Ineffective Use Of The Script

Many corporate video producers have begun shooting interviews in a completely unscripted way.

Rather than provide interviewees with a written script, they simply ask questions and have subjects answer off the cuff. This has been the trend for the past few years, and is certainly an effective tactic under the right circumstances.

In years past, corporate videos were more rigidly structured, which resulted in a stiff-looking final product. The move away from this type of rigidity is refreshing, but can also be problematic when executed poorly.

Videos are all about balance, and just as a rigid approach can spoil your final product, so can a process that is too loose.

Videos need anchor points, strong opening and closing statements, and other fundamental pillars that will hook the audience.

Some video production companies fail to recognize this during pre-production, and then are left scrambling to “find it in the edit”. This is never a position you want to be in…

So keep your interviews as loose as you’d like, but also build in some scripted (or semi-scripted) lines for your key performers to deliver, and your editor will thank you forever.

5. Neglecting The Audience

As a final point, we have to mention the biggest overarching issue of them all - a lack of focus on your core audience.

Depending on the context of your video, chances are your audience are either customers, business owners, recruits or employees. They almost certainly aren’t your peers in the office.

But so often, corporate videos can feel very internal. Decisions are made based on the subjective preferences of those in the office (execs, employees, etc.), with little thought paid to actual viewer.

And in many cases, what’s going to work best for the viewer may not excite the marketing execs, and vice-versa.

One of the benefits of working with a 3rd party production company is that they can see your vision from an outsiders perspective. They can (and should) offer guidance in tailoring everything from your concept to your tactical approach in a way that will best resonate with an audience.

Done well, this can result in an entertaining and informative piece that connects with your audience and mobilizes them. It may differ slightly from the original vision, but only so that it can serve that goal even more effectively.

That’s something we feel is crucial to the success of every project we work on. It’s ingrained into our process from our first meeting to the delivery of a final cut.

To learn more about production strategies for your next video project be sure to email us at info@creativerebellion.com

We’d be happy to provide you with a free consultation any time!

If You’re Reading This, You Just Proved Content Marketing Works

People like to overcomplicate content marketing, but the basic fundamentals are quite simple:

Share free and valuable content of virtually any type with an audience, and earn their business as a result.

While some marketing departments are blowing their budgets on Facebook and Google ads, their competitors are running circles around them - yielding far greater results with a fraction of the spend.

Rather than blast their sales message at an audience unlikely to be interested in their pitch, they attract optimal customers who truly value their brand and are eager to buy or sign up. And it’s all thanks to trust. 

We all know how much more likely we are to make a purchase when we trust the person, business, or brand selling it. It doesn’t matter if you’re buying a new computer or a house - if you feel comfortable with the seller/business you’re 100x more likely to buy.

And what’s the best way to build trust in a potential customer? Provide them with value for FREE, of course… Ideally in the form of strategic content. 

It doesn’t matter if the content takes the form of a written blog post, video series, podcast or anything else for that matter. What’s important is that it provides valuable information to the reader/watcher/viewer, and is meeting them wherever they spend their time.

High quality content is rewarded by search algorithms on Google, Facebook, YouTube, and every other social platform. The better the quality, the more people it will reach. And when it’s engineered to reach the right people, you have a recipe for success. 

Companies that understand this are being handsomely rewarded. It’s why Shopify (one of the largest commerce sits on the planet) invests heavily in free e-learning courses designed to help business owners sell merchandise online. 

It’s undoubtably a substantial investment for Shopify to produce that level of content, but the ROI is surely massive. Their powerful catalogue of educational material not only earns the trust of prospective customers, but helps existing customers make more money. In both instances, Shopify and their customers win.

But you don’t need to start huge in order to reap the benefits of content marketing. A short blog post or instructional video may be all it takes to get started. 

Take this post that you’re reading right now. This short article (under 1000 words) was written in under an hour but still provides value in the form of perspective. It’s technically content marketing, but perhaps you’ve already learned something from it.

A certain percent of people that read this will reach out to us to produce a video for their business or come up with a content marketing strategy. Even those readers who don’t reach out to use are still being exposed to our brand in a positive space. When they see us again next time, they’ll feel a sense of familiarity and will be even more likely to get in touch. 

It’s simple, but it works. We can tell you that for a fact, as the vast majority of our new clients find us through posts just like this one. 

We’ve experimented with so many different types of marketing in the past, including paid ads on websites and social platforms. But most of the time those paid campaigns simply broke even, while our lower-cost content efforts have led to countless projects with amazing clients.

Seeing is believing, which is why we’ve begun to include content strategy as part of our work with many of our clients. As a video production company, our number one job is to ensure the videos we create drive results - sales, recruits, email signups - whatever the objective may be.

But it’s not just about producing beautiful looking content, or pulling together a great team - that’s only the half the battle. The other half is knowing how engineer that content to maximize its impact with an audience. Only once both sides of the equation are aligned can a successful campaign emerge. 

So hopefully this short post has shed a bit of light on the power of content marketing for you. And if we’ve earned your interest, drop us a line some time at info@creativerebellion.com

We’d love to hear about your business goals and see how we can help.

Video & Content Marketing 101: The Medium Is The Message

Companies across the globe are creating original video content at an incredible pace, and using it to drive new business like never before.

Well-produced content backed by the right marketing strategy is undeniably one the most effective methods for new business acquisition…But even the best, most captivating original content can only succeed when it’s properly marketed and distributed.

And unfortunately, many video production companies neglect this reality, overlooking one of the most critical facets of any distribution strategy - playing into the medium.

In the famous words of Marshall McLuhan - “The medium IS the message.”

Every medium - television, internet, social, etc. - are entirely different beasts. No single piece of content could succeed on all platforms, so it would be silly not to custom tailor every piece of content for each vehicle. But that’s exactly what most production companies do… They often focus entirely on the visual production value (which is certainly important too), but have little interest in re-tooling the creative to ensure it’s received properly on the intended medium.

They don’t always understand that if your campaign is supposed to run on Instagram (just as an example), it should look, sound, feel, and be markedly different than if it was intended for television. One size does not fit all.

You must consider what the audience’s headspace is like while using any given medium (or platform). Only once you understand how your target customer interacts with each medium individually, can you then tailor the messaging and format of your campaign to best serve them.

Let’s continue using instagram as an example, as it’s one of the fastest growing, most cost effective and powerful advertising platforms on the planet.

At its core, Instagram is a purely visual platform designed for continuous scrolling. It is literally engineered in such a way that your finger has to move as little as possible in order to slide up to the next image or video. 

This makes it easy for the user to consume as much content as possible quickly, but extremely difficult to capture their attention. Some would say more difficult than any other medium.

So naturally, if you’re planning to create a piece of content for Instagram, you need to take into account its distribution challenges - not only the obvious opportunities you have to target an audience.

Most instagram users scroll past videos in their feed within the first 3 - 5 seconds. That includes videos from users who they actively follow and engage with. And that alone should tell you that when it comes to IG - your content absolutely has to hook the viewer immediately.

Timing is only one variable of course. There’s also factoring in the screen size, aspect ratio, the written component, and perhaps most importantly - Sound: 70% of people watching videos on social media have their sound turned off… So if your Instagram (or Facebook, Twitter, etc.) video is not formatted to include subtitles or text overlays, your messaging is almost guaranteed to get lost in translation.

Technical considerations aside, the creative direction of any content-based campaign needs to suit the medium as well. Instagram videos should not necessarily look, feel, or even resemble your 30 second TV ad or a 2 minute Facebook spot, for example..

We’ve found that focusing on brand identity (often though tone, mood, and style) drives far more conversions on Instagram than information-based content.  It’s not about cramming as much info as possible into 15 seconds, it’s about to delivering the right message that will get users to click off of instagram and onto your homepage, or a sales page. Once there, you have much more flexibility in what you share.

This is why most of the social media campaigns we run also rely an additional component - such as a blog based sales funnel.

Like social media, blogs are an incredibly powerful format, but they also represent a completely different paradigm. This is why we always approach our blog content with the same understanding that the message is the medium. We can take advantage of its unique format too.

The audience that reads your blog engage with your content in a completely different than they would on social media. They will be looking for more detail and nuance, and the format of the blog will allow you to deliver that value to them.

It’s just content marketing 101 - Leveraging the power of each unique platform, to not only drive more results, but stretch the budget further too.

We often work with clients to derive multiple deliverables from a single production. Rather than simply shooting a one-off web commercial, we often recommend producing additional content concurrently that can be used on different mediums. It’s an extremely cost effective way of generating a high volume of content that is optimized for different forms of delivery.

With little (or no) extra budget spent, we’re able to generate far better content that can reach far more people. All it takes is a little planning, and a true understanding of the role the medium plays.

To learn more about how we can leverage video, photo, and written content to grow your business, be sure to email us at: info@creativerebellion.com