As technology changes, so does media. In order to appear professional and polished, corporate videos need to follow the latest trends — otherwise they can seem outdated and out-of-touch. Video remains one of the most effective ways to engage both employees and prospective customers, making an interest in video valuable to companies of all sizes and industries. Here are a few ways in which corporate video technology has changed and aspects that corporate videos are now emphasizing.
Distributing Videos Across Social Media
In the old days, business owners had very few avenues through which to distribute their videos. Videos would be distributed through local television channels or through physical media at trade shows and events. Social media has changed everything. YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and even Twitter can all host videos direct to the consumer. Corporations are now finding that this distribution method is highly effective. By distributing on social media, businesses can spend the bulk of their budget on the production itself. Further, they can engage directly with their customers and get feedback nearly immediately. For smaller businesses, this type of access is incredibly valuable.
Streaming Video Live and Producing Video Events
Live video streaming has finally become technologically viable. An increase in available bandwidth for both companies and customers have made the idea of live video streaming very compelling. Companies can even stream events through platforms such as Facebook. Customers enjoy live events because they give the customer a feeling of truly experiencing a company. Employees can also benefit from live streamed events as a way to participate in company culture from wherever they are. Either way, streaming video live is both challenging and rewarding.
Developing Explainer and How-To Outreach Videos
A distinct trend in the world of corporate video relates to developing content that is useful to customers and employees. Explainer videos and how-to outreach videos explain elements about the business, its products, and its services. Sometimes these videos may even simply explain something broad or abstract about the company’s industry itself. The goal with an explainer or how-to video is to establish a company as an authoritative resource. The company will then become synonymous with its industry and its products; employees will develop additional loyalty and customers will develop additional trust. Explainer and how-to videos also tend to be fairly affordable to produce: they usually only need a script and a single narrator.
Promoting “Viral” and Risky Content
Companies are now straying away from stagnant, business-related content and instead trying to “go viral.” Though going viral isn’t new, many businesses are now finding that being a little riskier in their content can pay off long-term. Content that inspires an authentic “Can you believe they said that?” reaction is more likely to be shared among a younger audience, as is content that is catchy, short, and brief. Of course, there’s a challenge here: many companies are not able to “go viral” without appearing to be inauthentic or trying too hard. This requires that brand ambassadors and experts in content marketing be engaged to approach the appropriate demographic.
There is no magic formula for ensuring that content will go viral. Unfortunately, it’s a number’s game — many businesses need to carefully construct and curate their content channels in hopes that one of their videos will be able to eventually achieve viral status. But the benefit is clear to see: once one video goes viral, the entire business goes viral. Even better, viral content generally doesn’t have any additional cost to the company; once the video has been produced, the distribution handles itself.
Condensing Videos Into Smaller Packages
The general attention span of the modern viewer has gone down substantially. Social media has been reduced to venues such as Twitter, Instagram, and Vine — these are all platforms that thrive on very short bites of content. Because of this, many companies have also been focusing on developing very short snippets of content that can be viewed on a mobile phone. This means that videos have to be very carefully developed: they need to be able to get to the point and convey both their message and their brand identity practically instantaneously.
But there’s a good side to this too: it means that businesses are able to quickly engage in multiple points of contact with their audience. Where an audience might before watch a single commercial, they are now watching dozens of different videos from the same brands. This increases exposure and also improves upon engagement. The more often an individual engages with a brand, the more likely they are to make a purchase or a commitment.
Producing Professional, Distinctive Videos
Because of the ease of access to an audience, many companies have begun making very simplistic videos or very low budget videos. Though this can be satisfactory for some types of video — such as very brief live updates and video blogs — it’s not a good idea for any company promoting high quality goods and services. In fact, producing professional videos is now a way that businesses are able to make their brand distinctive. There are many ways to produce a high quality video today that doesn’t necessarily have to break the bank. Professional equipment can be rented and all of the more expensive items, such as scripting and acting, can be outsourced to professional studios. Consumers today are very savvy about their media; though they may not know exactly what goes into a professional video, they can see whether a video has been produced professionally or not. Though a company does want to go viral, they certainly don’t want to go viral for a poorly made “infomercial” style production.
Companies today have unprecedented levels of access to their audience. Startups and small businesses are now pushing video directly from their personal phones to their audience on social media platforms — but that isn’t necessarily a good thing. In order to remain truly distinctive, businesses now need to invest in professional, polished videos. Otherwise they may find themselves lost within the noise. By working with a professional video partner, companies can both stay on top of current trends and distinguish themselves from their competition.
Article by Joe Forte, producer and co-owner of D-Mak Productions, a professional video production company based in Phoenix, AZ. All videos and photos used in this article were produced by D-Mak Productions.