Friday, 19 December 2014

Corporate Videos Made Easy - in 7 Steps

Corporate videos have grown in popularity in the last 12 months. Faster broadband, improved mobile devices and more wifi connections, have all helped to deliver media-rich content to customers and clients, whether they are in the office or on the road.

A video can also convey more about your brand than static images or animated gifs. Your clients can meet the team, see your offices, have a full guide to your products and services all from the comfort of the coffee shop or, less comfortable, desk.
So here are a few pointers to help you produce a Hollywood blockbuster rather than a costly flop. 

Camera, lights, action:

1. It starts with a script. Write, edit, refine and rewrite. Time is of the essence so be quick to tell the viewers what you can do for them better than your competitors. About 1minute is the ideal length to have your customers glued to the screen, not their second screen, as people have ever-shorter attention spans these days.
2.  It’s all in the image. Be clear on the creative treatment. Is it mainly live video, photos or animation? Or a mix of all three? Make sure you have, or commission, good quality photos if you use a slideshow approach.  
3. What’s the story? Prepare a storyboard so you know the sequences of voice over, photos, live video, and on screen text. It’s quite easy to plan them out and will save you time later and mean fewer amends.
4. What does your brand sound like? If you’re using one, then choose a suitable voice over that represents your brand. Think about accent, age profile, male or female and delivery style. If one or more of your staff are doing the talking, then ensure their voices are suitable.
5. Who will you cast in the lead role? If shooting live video is the best way to explain your business, ensure the people in front of camera represent your brand – whether your own staff or professional presenters. Have a clear, quiet environment and good lighting; wear clothes that you would normally wear to see your clients; speak clearly and naturally.
6. The sound of music. Make sure there is good sound quality and the right balance of background music or sound effects (office or street sounds) so that you can hear the key messages clearly.
7. Call to action. End with a strong reason your customers or clients should get in touch and put contact details in the end credits. The VO at the end should also say what you want the viewer to do and how it will benefit them. It’s probably not a good idea to leave your customers with a cliffhanger, unless of course you are producing a sequel or a series of videos.

That’s all folks!

Not, quite. Don’t forget to show your staff the video so they too feel part of your brand and company journey (better still, involve them in the process).  Create a buzz about your new release. Publish your video on a Youtube or Vimeo channel. If you haven’t got one, then it’s easy to set one up. Use all of your usual marketing techniques to promote your masterpiece so people can click to view it – email marketing and your social media channels. As well as these, you can also show your video on large screens at show and exhibitions.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

6 Business Twitter Tips for Humans

Twitter can help businesses build brand profile in their market and help drive their corporate communications. However, so many tweets I read seem like they are written by machines, which kind of defeats the object of engaging with people (your clients, your business associates, your prospects).

By embracing the ‘social’ aspect of twitter, you’ll find your business communications sounding more like a human than a robot. To do this, keep your tweets conversational with an engaging tone of voice (oops, there’s another tip!). After all, people still buy people and your twitter feed should reflect your business’ personality and that the twitter account is being run by knowledgeable humans.

It’s also a great way to build or be part of business communities (with other human businesses) in your sector and to keep up to speed with industry issues and people news.
So, here are a few more tips for B2B twitter accounts so they become more human, less robotic:

  1. Post what would be of interest to you if you were a customer or business partner.
  2. Be spontaneous - tweet about things that are happening in your business right now.
  3. Add a photo - we are all quite nosey, so most of us will click to see a good picture of an event you’re at, a PR shoot, an award you've won etc.
  4. Keep it short - you needn't always use the 140 characters - brevity is good policy.
  5. Research hashtags relevant to your business sector and include them regularly as they will  help you get noticed by potential customers/clients.
  6. Use a management tool for your tweets to help you track your account(s) and to provide  results of retweets, favourites, followers etc.