You might have already noticed how business is getting too impersonal in this digital age — so many screens, so little time. Since the rise of e-commerce, people don’t always know much about who they are buying from. And that’s not precisely an advantage.
To reach out to your customers and put a face to your company, culture videos are quickly becoming the go-to tool. Not to say that other forms of popular marketing videos, like whiteboard videos, how-to and educational content, or testimonials, can’t do the job! But to have pieces exclusively aimed to inspire trust and empathy from your audience can have a dramatic effect on your bottom line as well.
A compelling company culture video should reach out to your audience’s emotions; to their hearts. However, that’s easier said than done. To humanize a business can be quite the undertaking unless you take the right steps and use the right tools to do so. And that’s what we’ll be discussing here today 😉
In this piece, we’ll provide a practical overview of all the key aspects of production. And so pave the way to the perfect culture video. Ready, set, go!
Your Company: What It Is All About
Let’s get the obvious out of the way: the central element of a company culture video is your company. It is more than sales and profits – it is its people and its ideals, too. And that’s what your video should reflect.
- When we say company culture, we refer to three main concepts that define your business’ core:
Mission – Simply put, it’s how it all started. The company’s reason for being, its seminal idea – that’s what we are talking about. The mission lends direction to the business and guidance for every decision made. It can be tricky to find but makes for a strong culture’s platform.
- Vision – It’s the impact that the company aspires to make in the community or the world at large. It takes the mission and considers how to make it a reality. If your company’s vision wins over your audience, it will make for loyal customers.
- Values – We can think of these as the tools to bring about that vision we mentioned. Values are the simple concepts that make up the moral guideline of your company. Namely, your employees might turn to them when confronted with a decision. For their constant use, values can be the easiest to define.
As you start to work out the initial ideas and concepts of a potential company culture video, consider how each of these elements plays out in regards to your brand. They should inform the process going forward.
Fewer Values, More Value
On the other hand, if you have a clear and long list of company values to draw from, it can be a tad too much for your video’s production if you try to tackle them all in a single piece.
For maximum impact, we recommend aiming for a short video. And we are talking under-3-minutes short – you know, attention spans these days! Accordingly, it would be best to focus on only one or two of your core company values for the piece’s content. This will most likely increase the chances of achieving emotional connection.
At this point, it can be tempting to just choose some values that sound good, even if they don’t apply too much to your company at the moment. Avoid that pitfall! Authenticity is much more likely to land better with your audience and translate into a superior video.
Still, how to pick the right values? Well, they might be the most relevant for your company’s culture. Maybe it should be the ones your audience would be most surprised to know about; more likely to pique their interest. Even the most obscure ones will do if they can make for a good and short story your potential customers can relate to!
Crafting the Script
Now, aiming for “authenticity” doesn’t mean going around the office recording willy-nilly. Behind every good video, there’s a plan, and yours shouldn’t be the exception.
We’re not talking scripted and rehearsed here. It’s more of an outline of objectives and story/message progression and how you plan to archive them during production. Maybe you’ll do interviews, or maybe you’ll document a significant moment of your company — an event, or a “Day in the life of…” type of deal.
Whatever shape it takes, though, there are a few things always useful to consider.
- Relatable Core values – It bears repeating; let these be your guides for the video. If it feels your video isn’t coming together at any stage of production, then you might’ve strayed from the right path.
- Storytelling – To get an emotional response, the audience usually needs a little build-up. Thus, it’s best to set up a script that progressively builds up your story, lets it develop, and brings it home with a resolution that leaves your audience reeling and engaged.
- Brevity- Tempting as it might be, try not to let the script go on and on. Setting realistic goals for a short video can increase your chances of more impact. Even if you feel you’re cutting it short at times.
- Questions – If you’ve decided to use interviews, it’s crucial to develop the right questions. Otherwise, it can make the exchange a frustrating affair when you can’t get people to open up. Pro tip: It’s better to design your questions as open-ended and conversational as possible.
Keep It Real
We are on a quest to show your company’s human side here. Let’s not lose sight of that and commit the capital sin of culture videos: hiring actors.
Your employees are the blood and sweat of your business. They are not only the more suitable persons to effectively reach out to your audience, but they also deserve to be a part of it! Participating in your company culture video can mean as much for them as it is for your business. That’s what we call a win-win situation!
Using real people comes, of course, with a different set of considerations than you’d have with other types of marketing videos. For instance, not everyone feels comfortable on camera. Make sure to let everyone at work know about your video’s production and find out who might want to be involved.
If you let your employees shine, it will not only make for a great culture video from a sales standpoint; it can even facilitate the hiring and recruitment processes.
Interviews and Workplace Footage “How-to”
So, you won’t be working with professionals – not acting professionals, that is. That’s ok. But there are some things you might have to consider for a successful interview or even capturing candid takes around the office.
- Relaxed ambient – Whatever the people in front of the camera are feeling, the audience will sense it as well. An unrestrained, relaxed, and cheery atmosphere will make your interviewee and your public feel at ease.
- Warm-up – People with no training in front of cameras tend to tense up at first and then relax gradually. To avoid getting the stiff part on tape, a good exercise is to make some warm-up takes and questions first. Anything off-topic will do. It’s just to get the ball rolling, so the interviewee will be much more at ease by the time you ask the important stuff.
- Friendly face – To participate in a company video can feel like a big deal to some of your employees. They might even feel under examination or that they can’t afford to make mistakes if you don’t handle the process correctly. If so, perhaps having a friendly co-worker conduct the interviews or direction off-camera will get more natural responses.
- Stay present – In a loosely controlled environment like this, some digressing is prone to happen. Nothing to worry about! If the interviewer or director is alert and connected with the process, it’s easy to get back on track. Keeping an open mind to new threads can’t hurt, in any case.
Getting the Most Out of Your Company Video
Once you have honed your video to perfection, it won’t do your company any good just sitting there or hidden away in an obscure subsection of your website. You need to get it out in the world!
If you aim to reach the masses, then social media is the way to go. Map ahead which social platforms you’re interested in posting – usually the one that your intended audience uses the most.
This way, you can make sure to meet all technical requirements and have better chances to reach the people you want with your piece. YouTube is a sure bet, and with a little research, you can find your best options for the greatest exposure.
Now, don’t get me wrong, the rightful home for your brand-new culture video should be your website. But you need to make sure you are placing it where most of your visitors will find it!
If you want to make an impression of your audience right out the gate, then the homepage is where the video should be. If you want a more discrete approach, the About Us section is always a good place to have a company culture video. Nothing could say more about who you are as a company – or do so better.
Finally, you might want to consider using your company video as a recruitment tool or as part of an email marketing strategy. Remember, the video is meant to show what your company is all about, after all. So, you can upload the video to LinkedIn, for instance, and link it on job boards when recruiting.
When it comes to putting face and soul to your company, nothing does the job better than a company culture video. It works with consumers, with partners, with future and present employees.
The best part is that there are no limits: no budget, no training, nothing. Businesses of all shapes and sizes can produce a company culture video nowadays. And with this step-by-step we’ve just provided, you’re all set. All you need is to take the chance and see for yourself what a company video can do for you.
You can go in many directions with your video to best suit your purpose. Such a malleable and multi-tasking tool is not to lie dormant at the bottom of the toolbox – get it out and get it done!