A good sense of direction, great content, and well, a moderate budget is all you need to create quality brand videos. Then how come professionals with a great budget end up creating videos like this:
The creators of the above video had the budget, the content, in fact, pretty good content. But they lacked a sense of direction. And a good screen recorder.
A lot goes into creating videos, and you can easily get overwhelmed in the process. To create and publish a successful brand video, you need to encapsulate a lot of elements seamlessly. Look at this how-to video from HubSpot:
Granted, it is slightly longer but only because the content demands it. It has a perfect intro, perfect angles, it makes use of visual elements, has a good quality. And we could go on and on.
If you want to understand what it takes to make a successful brand video, this blog post is for you.
We studied a plethora of popping brand videos and thoroughly dissected them to find a few elements they all share. Here’s what they are.
The Must-Have Elements in a Brand Video
Nothing beats good video quality.
A good quality video stands out unedited. And, honestly, it doesn’t even take much to create good quality videos. You don’t have to splurge thousands of dollars on a camera and multiple lenses.
Instead, you can leverage a high-quality web camera, they are cheap, they are sturdy and they are good to go as they are. You can buy Full HD webcams for under $50.
The problem arises when you want to record moving shots, or you are trying to get those scenic top drone shots. Then you might need a fatter wallet. But, even then you can leverage stock videos. They are a god-send for budget creators, and sometimes even better than recording with high-end cameras.
Even Salesforce uses it:
If you have the budget for it, by all means, go ahead and get those fancy cameras. But, even then you need a lot of supplementary equipment like stabilizers, multiple tripods, and cameramen. At that point, it’s just better to hire a professional.
With videos, what you see is what you get.
Your clients and prospects look at your set up and judge your products by it.
Depending on the business and industry you are in, the background set up changes. So, if you are an eCommerce business that sells jackets online, the average viewer wants to see your office space filled with sketches and designs.
This is especially true for testimonial videos, where viewers are using every element in the video as a litmus for authenticity. You have to get the background elements right. Look at this testimonial video Slack did with Cole Haan.
Everything in the above video warrants authenticity and quality. However, the setup of every video from Slack isn’t the same. They use different set-ups depending on the subject of the video.
If you are struggling with creating a good background, then no background at all, or white background is a good go-to for professional videos. Here’s how Slack did it.
Lighting is one of those factors that makes or breaks filmmaking. It is regarded as the most important thing to make note of after cameras themselves.
A well-lit image looks better even in a traditionally low-quality setting. But a darker image looks substandard even in a high-quality setting.
Lighting is not just about getting a big light and blasting it onto the frame. If anything, that kind of lighting looks even worse than no lighting at all. Check out this old, awkwardly lit video from Trello.
The shadows in the background are a big no-no and the brightness is a tad bit too much.
Even the color of the light doesn’t suit the framing and set up. This is what hard key lighting does, it emphasizes the shadows and doesn’t blend into space. And most importantly, the positioning of the lights is not quite right.
3 point lighting with soft key lighting is a tried and tested method to achieve good lighting for a frame. One light faces directly atop the subject. One at the back balances out any shadows. And one levelled from the front for direct illumination.
Here’s another video from Trello published 9 months later.
See how the lighting is much more balanced, there are no harsh shadows. Notice how much impact that has on the overall quality of the video.
Noise Free Environment
A lot of video producers would argue the only reason brand videos fail to convert prospects or fail in general is because of bad audio quality.
Of course, if you are shooting outdoors it is a little hard to get the audio quality right. That is why it is important to shoot sales videos in a noise-free environment.
Salesforce published this edited clip taken out of a seminar, but it just isn’t right. The visuals are great, the transitions are good. But the audio, err, it’s just not right. Granted, this is published as a highlight, but it’s just hard to sit through.
Invest in a microphone, they are not expensive at all. You can buy a USB microphone that plugs right into the PC or Mac and installs itself much like a pair of headphones. Speaking of which, headphones with microphones work well too.
Here’s what Salesforce produced indoors. The audio quality is pretty good, and the video itself is fun and quirky.
If you are over the internet, SaaS, software, business, product, or service, or if you sell something related to it, or even if you do not, screen recording in videos is always a good idea.
Invariably you will have to show your screen at some point. This could be to supplement the content of the video or to showcase a solution on your software.
Either you can record your screen using a professional easy to use screen recorder or use a camera to record your screen. Well, you won’t be the first one to do it, here’s an incredible fail from Salesforce:
Well, it does work. No one is saying recording your screen through a camera doesn’t work. But, let’s look at a screen recording done using a screen recorder:
Guess, Salesforce understood what they were lacking. You too can get an epic win by installing the StoryXpress Screen Recorder.
A Killer Intro
A brand video is incomplete without a customized unique intro. An intro is nothing but a video form of your business logo. It appears before every video begins. Remember those producer clips that come right before the movie begins?
Remember the lion from MGM?
The minute you see that lion, you know the following is an MGM production.
You can have a mascot, much like MGM animated for the intro. This is what Salesforce has done. Here are their mascots showing you around in this short little promo video:
These are the mascots that begin every Salesforce video.
You don’t necessarily have to have a mascot. You can have a quirky soundbite with just your logo popping on with some effect. Or even just a distinct audio will do. Get creative.
Your Brand Story
It doesn’t help to get into a how-to video with a brief about your business and history. But it certainly does help to end a how-to video with one.
Every video should have a mark of what you have done so far and a little brief in terms of your vision, and how you do business. It could be a 10-second clip of an employee testimonial or a clip of your BTS video.
Here’s a wholesome brand video from HubSpot. It talks about everything HubSpot does and leaves with an impactful outro with an animation.
Visual Elements, Graphics
Here’s the HubSpot video we used for a reference as a successful brand video.
The number of visuals in this video is wonderfully remarkable. This is what you want to have in every brand video you create. A bunch of animations, graphics, emojis, you name it.
Moreover, it lets you record your webcam and screen recording together. This means you can display any number of visuals on your video while you record it, without editing much later on.
Annotations are of multiple types. Either way, to create a good looking brand video, you must annotate.
Every little detail cannot be put across to the viewer with the video. Some things need to be emphasized, or further explained using text on the screen.
Annotations do you a favor by retaining attention. You can display answers to questions you anticipate viewers will ask related to the content. And as you go along, if most of it pops up on the screen, you give the viewer no reason to exit the screen to Google these.
Why are you even creating brand videos?
Probably to get some traction right? To get those conversions going? In some cases, convert clients immediately. To execute these ideas, you need some call-to-actions.
Call-to-actions invoke an action. They lead your prospects to landing pages or wherever you want them to be. Here’s a call to action button in action:
You can add call-to-actions using the StoryXpress Screen Recorder in a few simple steps.
Logos and Branding Everywhere
How can anyone ignore this? What is a brand video without the ultimate symbol of branding: your logo.
Your business logo should be in either the background or in a small ratio in the corner. Depending upon the nature of your video, and the nature of your business, you can use your logo in many ways.
Another thing is branding, let’s take another look at that HubSpot video.
Notice those two screens in the background flashing the brand name? Now that’s some heavy branding. This is what you want to do for your videos.
Granted, you don’t have to be so out there, but using elements like a branded coffee mug from your business or a branded t-shirt. Whatever is custom made by your business is a great plug.
A Premium Hosting Platform
Speaking of great plugs, have you heard of a video hosting platform that is not only ad-free but lets you customize the video player with your branding and logo?
Well, StoryXpress is here to give your viewers the ultimate branded experience.
With video production comes the humongous task of hosting and embedding. You need to choose a platform that represents you and is convenient for your audience.
With StoryXpress, you can host your videos on a premium platform customizable to fit your branding needs. Whether it is the color, or the logo, or the color of the page the video is hosted on.
These things make a huge difference in terms of the aesthetic value of the video. A video hosted on YouTube will give you a community that you are not only not ready for, but maybe one that you don’t even want to be a part of.
A public platform for highly exclusive content is risky. Even if you post videos unlisted, your viewers could still get display ads from your competitor before your video begins. And further, get recommendations from your competitors after the video ends.
Therefore, it is very important to carefully pick and choose your video hosting platform.
SEO Friendly Description
As most of you would know already, Google loves videos.
All search engines see videos as a contributor to rankings and use the description of videos for it.
If your branding videos are not getting much traction, and you did everything else right, it’s time to look at your video description. Include those keywords, use original content, keep the formatting neat and tight. All the SEO best practices should be implemented in the video description.
Including but not limited to, tags.
Tags are an important part of SEO on videos. Especially for organic searches, and even more so for recommendations on public platforms like YouTube.
These tags are what will end up landing your videos randomly on the homepage of a user. And expose you to a new audience that fits your ICP (Ideal Customer Profile).
Just a Hint of Trends
Now, when you start using tags, you need to be aware of the tags that are getting the most traction during the time you decide to publish your videos.
But don’t blindly tag random videos with trendy tags. Instead, astutely edit bits of your videos that are somewhat related to the ongoing trends and enter the world of viral videos.
Another thing you could do is create videos on the ongoing trends. But since video production takes time, it might be slightly tough to do that.
This is why you need the StoryXpress Screen Recorder. It lets you create professional-looking videos super fast, and you can instantly publish them on its exclusive ad-free platform.
Okay, so this is one thing marketers are ignoring, and it is unforgivable. You need to create videos that look good both on the big screen and on the smallest smartphone. Including everything in between.
Depending on your business, you could receive a large number of views through either of the two platforms, desktop or mobile. Whatever is true for your business, it would still help to create videos that are comfortably watchable on the small screen.
You don’t want to annoy your viewers the first time they click on your brand video on their mobile. Learn from Pipedrive:
Well, that’s my analysis of branding videos and what you need to be successful with them.
All said and done, videos are changing fast, and so is the climate they are viewed in. With VR and 360 videos, there might be room for some more developments.
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