Corporate videos have a distinct goal and that goal is to open up a conversation between the client and their potential customers. And although there are multiple moving elements within the corporate video creation process, there is still a lot happening behind the scenes that can go wrong.
Here are some of the fatal errors and mistakes that ruin a potentially good production.
- Making the Video Too Long: The modern attention span starts to drift every 8 seconds. This means you need to capture the attention of the viewer rather quickly. You have to create interest for them to continue watching the video within the first 10 seconds! Although your format might be a minute or longer you can always do with a shorter, truncated version. If you have a 60-second spot try editing it down to 53. You can always fill in the remaining time with a visual displaying the company’s information. In our experience, viewers will subconsciously notice a shorter ad, usually in a favorable manner.
- Too Much Information: Even a short video can suffer from information overload. Have you ever heard the phrase “Less is More”? Speak to your viewers and get them wanting more. The idea is to drive a desire, dangle the proverbial carrot, and get the viewers to seek for more information on their own. Of course, you want to provide them with links to easily find more information or watch other videos. Each video should really have only one target message to get across. End with one call to action, not several.
- Not Having a Well Formatted Script: Even though the finished video might be short it still needs a script. The script might require dialogue or may only consist of a quick series of production shots but it still needs to be written down. “What gets written gets measured.” So make sure the script is there to begin with.
We see this mistake happen all the time.
A lot of times the client has an idea of what they want done and hires an outside company to get it done. The creation of the script will go back and forth between the production company and the client. This is not always the best way to deliver the message to the customer. Clients that have their own scripts often forget they are too close for comfort and need an outside opinion. (Donald Miller suggests that clients cast themselves not as the hero of their story, as you would commonly expect to see yourself, but as the guide. As the guide, the client can then help their customers – who see themselves as the hero in their own story – move forward in their journey, by, you guessed it, buying the client’s product or service). Production writers should work together symbiotically with clients in order to get on the same page as it regards script.
Often times ads are over plugged with buzzwords. This might have worked in the 1990’s, but today in 2019 it sounds cheesy and insincere. Modern consumers are savvier and more likely to suspect “sales-heavy” videos. Moving into 2020, companies should look to “infotainment” (seeking to inform and entertain). Scripts should be written with infotainment in mind, seeking to explain the client’s product or service to the client. By so doing a natural story element develops with the audience, expanding product awareness.
- Not Knowing Your Audience: Corporate videos are made for specific audiences. Knowing where the viewers will see them is half of that battle. If you are creating a video for social media the audience is different than one being aired on television. Video production companies should talk to their client about each video concept and specifically define where it will post. People consume entertainment differently on YouTube than they do on Vimeo, TikTok, or television. Being aware of this is part of the native advertising rage dominating the corporate commercial market.
- Using Inexperienced Actors: This is a tricky one since a lot of corporate videos want to feature interviews with company executives or actual product users. We always recommend going for “coach-able” talent. Another part of this mistake is hiring actors that just can’t communicate the idea of the product successfully. Advertisers use beautiful girls to sell every product under the sun but that doesn’t always create a desire for the product itself. Finding someone to speak about the client’s product should be a natural and relatable. Before entering into a relationship with a video production company, make sure the talent situation is addressed.
- Sharp Editing Cuts: Video editing is a fine art and knowing the precise millisecond to mark your ins and outs is best left to a professional. Uncomfortable cuts can jar the viewer’s attention and distract them from the video’s message. Amateur editors tend to use annoying transition wipes to give it a more cinematic feel but this is far from the best quality.
- Playing the Wrong Music: Just because you like a song doesn’t mean it is right for the product. The music selected should seep nicely into the background of the viewer’s mind. It should give the video a little more liveliness than without it, increasing the time that viewers watch the video. Also, resist from paying too much for music cues. There are wonderful selections of affordable library music tracks. You could as well find bands in your local cities who are looking for name exposure and may be willing to part with their music for free.
- Annoying Animation: Animated graphics are a must-have addition to any video. If your video features animated graphics make sure they appear clearly on the screen and are not too flashy. However, they should not be overly distracting or overload the screen with too many features. i.e.: “Too much information.” (Implement the opposite philosophy: “Less is more.”) Keep animation clean, crisp, and on a “need-to-have” basis. Keeping a moderate pacing that is calming on the eyes is also important.
In the end, a production company must please the client and that is really only done by seeing increases in product sales. It would be nice to make a corporate video that goes viral or stimulates the art of cinema. Although these goals are a “nice to have” awards, recognitions, and vanity metrics can be distractions that take away from the main reason you decided to hire a video production company in the first place – SALES!
*That being said, there’s nothing wrong with going viral! Be sure to read our 7 Killer Tips To Making Your Video Go Viral.