By Victor Blasco
Company stories—or company culture videos—are a great tool to showcase your brand’s philosophy and identity to customers and prospects. Through the power of storytelling, they allow your audience to see the human element behind the products they love, and rank as one of the best ways a growing business has to foster trust and build loyalty from an audience. This is why experienced video production companies always include them in their marketing strategies.
In order for a culture video to be effective, there are several areas you need to clarify, plan, and keep in mind. Here is what you need to take into account before producing your next company culture video.
1. Define your company’s values, culture, mission, and vision
When you are in the process of building your company culture, there are some questions that you have to ask yourself first:
- Why does my company exist? This is why do you do what you do, or what’s your mission?
- What do we believe in? Meaning, what are your core values.
- Where do I want to go with my company? AKA, what’s your vision?
How is this is related to your company culture video. Well, these elements provide valuable guidance. Clarifying from the get-go your values, vision, and mission will help you shape the story you’ll cover in your video.
Before you start developing your piece, gather your creative team and discuss why your brand started in the first place. How do your products or service help people fix a problem? What does your company stand for? This exercise should be very helpful to set a solid starting point.
2. Focus on one or two core values
Once you’ve defined your primary core values, you need to narrow them down to just one or two. As you can imagine, you can’t include all of them in your company story—it would end up being messy and probably confusing.
To do so, it’s important to understand your audience and evaluate what types of topics resonate with them. As I said before, company stories are intended to foster consumer trust and increase brand awareness, and you can do that by appealing to your target audience’s emotions and common experiences.
For example, let’s say your company’s core values are innovation, transparency, diversity, and sustainability. When you start producing your piece—and especially your script—think of which values your audience can most relate to and then build your story from that.
Questions to consider: What drives customers? What do they stand for? Which values do they share with my brand? Asking these questions can really help you narrow down your list.
Here is one example of an explainer video that clearly defines a company’s core values:
3. Write an effective script
Once you’ve defined your values, the next logical step is to focus on shaping your ideas and writing your script.
One of the best things about video content is it allows you to be as creative as you want—there are no hard rules. This especially applies to company culture videos, given that each brand is unique and has its own special way of saying or doing things. Nevertheless, there are some useful tips you can follow to produce an effective script.
To begin with, don’t get stuck on trying to write the “perfect” script. Focus on finding a story that can make your viewers feel something instead. Think about a specific problem your target audience might be dealing with, and what emotions that problem can be triggering within them.
Once you’ve establish that, build a narrative that brings people closer to your company. Include those core values you chose and express what you stand for. Then try to visualize how you can depict it in meaningful and memorable ways.
As for more technical aspects, with online audiences’ short attention spans, it’s paramount to keep your piece short. For most videos, the ideal length is somewhere between 60 and 120 seconds. But this may vary according to the message you want to convey and the platform you’ll be sharing it on.
Our recommendation is to be as straightforward and clear as you can be. Seize every word and second!
4. Basic elements of pre-production, production, and post-production
Before you start recording your video, there are some pre-production steps you need to take into account. We’ve already talked about two major ones: defining your audience and your video’s main message or script.
Let’s do a quick review of other important elements you’ll have to work on:
Work on the visuals. Once you have the script, you will need to plan out your visual approach. This involves everything about your video’s look and feel—from the props and camera angles to colors, lighting, and graphic design. Once you’ve establish all of that, write down and draw all your ideas on a storyboard.
Get real people, not actors. We love animation and explainer videos, but the truth is that even if you use animated graphics and inserts, most of your company culture videos will probably be live-action. This means you’ll need real people! For example, it could be employees explaining what it means to work for your company or customers stating why they chose your brand.
For your videos to be (and feel) authentic, we recommend you not to hire actors. Viewers want to see people they can identify with, so keep it simple and relatable.
Find your location. This is going to depend on your project’s specifics and budget. In essence, find a place to shoot your video that makes sense with your story. Most of the time, your office will do just fine.
Design a production schedule. In this document, you should include all the important information about your video production, such as location, scene shot, equipment, staff needed, etc. It will help you manage time expectations, people involved, workflow, etc.
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On production day, remember to:
Check the sound quality. It’s very important that you find a way to film without background noise, echo, or reverb, especially if your video involves a lot of interviews. No one enjoys poor quality sound!
Verify the lighting. On the same note, bad lighting is another major no-no. Make sure it’s on point so your viewers can see people’s faces and emotions. If not, your audience won’t engage that easily.
Create a friendly environment for your interviews. There’s a good chance your “actors” might feel camera shy at first. Try to create a relaxed environment. Audiences can tell if an answer is sincere or not. Break the ice, make your interviewees feel comfortable. By doing so, your end result will look more natural and easygoing.
No video production is perfect right out of the oven. There will be mistakes and you’ll have to fix them. But fear not! That’s where post-production comes in and performs its magic.
Editing. This involves cleaning up and trimming your footage so that your final product looks shiny. Now, unless you or someone on your team is an editing pro, this task should be done by professionals.
Music and sound effects. In the editing room, there will also be an audio editor, adding music and sound effects to your piece. Music is particularly important because it sets the mood and can help you enhance your message. We recommend you to take some time and choose tunes that perfectly suit your video.
Listen to the background music and sounds in this video and how they enhance the video’s message:
5. Promoting and distributing your company story video
Now that you have your piece polished, it’s time to develop your marketing strategy. You will need to put it in front of interested eyeballs, which is going to depend on your audience’s demographics, interests, and consuming habits. However, you should consider the following options:
Facebook and Instagram ads. These are two of the most popular social media platforms today—Facebook has over 2.7 billion active users and Instagram at 1 billion. They also have outstanding targeting options, so you can make the most of your video by showing it to the right people.
Email marketing. Email marketing still remains as one of the most powerful communication channels available. It keeps subscribers updated, it can be automated, and it’s easy to track. On top of that, when you combine it with video content, it helps you to build deeper connections and foster long-term customer loyalty, especially with new leads.
Website. Your site is where curious people go to check out your brand, which is why posting your company culture video can be a great addition. But you need to choose the right section carefully. For example, the “About Us” page is a great spot because that’s where visitors usually go to find out more about your company.
6. Awesome company culture video examples
Dissolve sells stock footage, and to convey their brand story and values, they used precisely that—their product! All paired up with a sarcastic and quite funny script. Well done!
Basecamp is a project management and team communications online platform, but this video has nothing to do with that. It shows different staff members tasting two brands of coffee—one’s really good and expensive, and one that’s not. Why? Because it’s fun and everybody loves coffee!
BambooHR’s culture revolves around balancing hard work and healthy time off. This company culture video shows many team members doing all the things they love the most . . . outside of work. It’s a great message with a very cool execution!
… and action!
How do people see your brand? Are you cool and edgy? Are you approachable and friendly? Or just the opposite?
Company culture matters because it helps you shape how audiences perceive you. And this is something very valuable for small businesses that are trying to thrive.
That’s why these videos are so powerful—with storytelling, they make your brand relatable and human. It shows viewers there are people behind your company. You just need to remember that the more honest you are about your values and personality, the easier it will be for them to trust you.
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