Whether you use video as a recruitment tool, to sell a product, as a demonstration video for a new product or simply to add a human face to your promotional material, video messaging can be very powerful. Telling an effective business video story is as much a science as an art, and it is important that yours have these four core elements:
This should be the very first element to consider, long before you release the video to its intended audience. In advertising, the chances are you already know the purpose in terms of “advertising”, “recruitment” or “product promotion”. However, there are deeper issues to consider beyond these – concepts such as whether you want to encourage (to purchase a product), educate (instructional video) or simply inform.
Core to your branding is showing the human face to your company – though whether it is a product promotion or a recruitment video would mean focusing on different elements, the general principle is the same. Your audience wants to see faces and names, they want to hear how proud people are of the business and its achievements. They need to empathize before they will engage. You can still do this with a product but it will take creativity, for example making the object an integral part of a family life.
We are drawn to attractive visuals and many businesses use the sense of place effectively to convey their business message – but always with relevance in mind. Consider what the visual image in a recruitment video of people relaxing in the break area: this presents the idea that you are a friendly company to work for where everybody gets on. A sense of place is also important in a product video, for example a sweeping shot of planet Earth can be highly effective in the video promotion for a technology product to show how it can link the user to the world. Images of developing world farmers show you are part of a global market or community.
Just as a movie needs a plot or a story, so does your business video. Some of the most successful commercials of the last few decades have a real sense of story – a clear beginning, middle and an ending. Include conflict – in the case of a product promotion, show how difficult life was for a certain group before your product or company came along offering a brand new solution to an age-old problem. Make the pain points obvious. Build tension, show people coming up with the idea and then releasing the product onto a grateful world. Finally, you need a resolution – a satisfactory conclusion with an element of “happily ever after” while all the way through encouraging people to root for the “protagonist” (which could be a person or a product).