Effective Business Films
This is a quick list of the kinds of video content that businesses of all shapes and sizes can make in-house with inexpensive equipment.
Perhaps the most obvious and easy kinds of film to create are training videos. Rolling out training via video can save businesses a fortune compared with the travel and hosting costs of doing it face-to-face.
Video is particularly effective when the training is more a case of showing rather than telling, and these videos we produced for the UK Association of Science and Discovery Centres are a good example.
For companies that need regular training updates for their staff, it could make sense to have their own staff trained in the production of simple formulaic videos like these.
Recording a live event for staff who can’t attend seems like a good idea and it is. Kind of. The problem is that it’s difficult, painful even, to watch a video of a presentation that was intended for a live audience.
It can be done, however, as proven by the excellent TED talks.
If you’re planning to host and film a live talk, it would be a good idea to take a leaf out of TED’s book and limit the speaker to 20 minutes. Let’s be honest, sitting through anything longer isn’t usually much fun for the live audience either.
The other way to provide a substitute for a missed live event is to capture the essence of the talk from the speaker in a more concise form. If you can grab an interview before or after an event, you then have the option of presenting the information in modular soundbites, as well as - or instead of - providing the full-length recording of the talk.
If your business is in the business of making or selling physical products, then you can use online video as a shop window. Asos.com did this and blew their competitors out of the water with their short catwalk videos. It was so effective, we even wrote a separate article about it.
We can't embed the films here unfortunately, but if you visit the site, you'll see there's a video for every item of clothing they sell.
In general, people don’t want to be sold to, but they do like to be helped and companies that provide free advice via video tips and tricks for their customers are likely to get their investment back many times over through the long-term trust and loyalty such videos can build.
Here’s a very simple example from B&Q.
Video News Releases
There are 24-hour news channels, bloggers, portals and online magazines who are constantly hungry for content. Feed them! Your opinions, your products, your story will be far more credible if they’re coming from a third party and not just your own site. All you need to is provide content that in the appropriate format.
In the past, video news releases were expensive and risky. You had to hire a PR company and a professional video crew and you’d have to hope that it was a quiet news day or risk getting nothing.
Now, companies can do it for themselves, and even if they don’t get any broadcast media coverage, they should still get plenty of online publishers biting their hand off for decent, relevant video content.
To get your content into someone else’s show you can contact newsrooms and website editors directly, or for those with a regular stream of news stories, there are sites like thenewsmarket.com
Broadcast newsrooms normally want material in disaggregated format so that they can cut their own report. Websites and blogs are often happier to take an edited piece - as long as it’s not blatantly promotional. So, to get the maximum possible coverage, it’s best to create a video news release that consists of three elements:
Soundbites - clear and concise interview clips
B-roll or GV’s - a selection of loosely edited clips to support the story
Edited package - to minimise the work for web editors
Advertising and promotion
Notice that so far all of the examples are quite matter-of-fact and more useful than they are promotional. If you do want to promote, remember that everyone else is competing for that space and you need to take a different approach and be entertaining. Get this right and it can pay huge dividends, as proven by Blendtec.
It’s different, it’s intriguing, it’s original, it’s homespun and it’s dumb! Perfect viral fodder. The “Will it Blend” videos have apparently increased Blendtec's sales by over 500%.