Corporate video production
A short guide to help you get the right video for your business, and get the most out of it
Most corporate videos fail because they suffer from a poor script and/or there’s no plan to get the video in front of the right people.
What’s the point of spending thousands of dollars just to put a video on YouTube and get <100 views? That’s a clear waste of money!
Whereas, when done right, video has the power to help you:
- improve conversions
- shorten your sales cycle
- train your team
- control your sales message
- communicate your thought leadership
- on-board new customers
We created this Guide to help you get the right video, and get the most out of it. We’ll cover the following topics:
- Do you need a video?
- Writing a solid script
- How to promote your video
- How much should you budget
- How to get started
1. Do you need a video?
We’ve all heard that “attention spans are low” and “people aren’t reading”. It’s true, but even if you DID have your viewers’ undivided attention and they read everything you put in front of them, you’d STILL be surprised at the low efficacy of your message.
The problem? Chalk it up to evolution : you’re using our most-evolved part of the brain to explain your message, whereas your audience is using their most primitive part to filter your message. This is best explained in the book Pitch Anything , and here’s a quick video summary of it.
So you need a Video because of its power to engage and communicate the most information in the least amount of time.
The reason why many people are turned off by video is because most production agencies are started by videographers and creatives.
Unfortunately, they often mis-appropriate techniques they’ve learned from their time at big agencies doing commercials for iconic brands on TV. They don’t understand business, and don’t know how to craft the right script, much less how to help you promote your video to deliver results!
But even when they get everything else right, 90% of videos still fail because:
- They don’t articulate the audience’s pain point in a compelling way,
- They treat the Call to Action as an afterthought, and
- They don’t have a promotional plan
... so you need the right video AND a promotional plan to achieve your goal!
2. Writing a solid script
The Script is by far the most important part of the video. You need a crystal clear message, and a structure that engages the viewer. The proven technique is to use AIDA, which stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action.
Here’s an example:
You have a no-brainer solution & benefits for your clients, yet your sales cycle is still too long, and acquiring new clients becomes more and more expensive. [ATTENTION - grab attention with a very precise Pain Point]
That’s because you don’t control the message your salespeople deliver, and your clients need a lot more education to ‘get’ your value proposition. It’s been shown that in 1:1 interactions it’s almost impossible for the expert to give explain effectively. [demonstrate deep understanding of the Problem causing the Pain Point]
With video, we can solve many of these problems: shorten your sales cycle AND increase conversions. Because we don’t just produce a video. We create a fully-custom solution that delivers results and a great ROI. [INTEREST - don’t delay... the audience is primed now for the solution, add credibility by explaining differentiation]
We’ll sit down with your
team and spend time to fully understand your entire sales cycle. Through this
assessment, we’ll identify ways that video can truly add value to your process.
And then, we’ll find ways to repurpose and leverage the video assets we’ll create for you, so you get an even better ROI. [DESIRE - this makes a lot of sense... this is what I really needed all along and I can see how it can solve my problems... I WANT this]
Without a video strategy, you won’t get the results you want, guaranteed. 95% of the video initiatives we’ve seen are a waste of money. At the very least, we can save you that money... Set up a free assessment call so we can go through your sales process and see whether video is a good idea for you, or not. [ACTION - don’t waste it with “give us a call” or “visit our website” but rather instill some fear and offer something more meaningful]
Now let’s unpack everything so you can replicate this process:
At the very beginning, you only have 5 seconds to establish that your video is relevant and valuable to the viewer.
Once you have refined your Ideal Client Profile, you should have a good understanding of a Pain Point that’s constantly on your audience's mind. That’s what you should open with. It shows that you have a good understanding of them, and your message feels organic because they’ve been thinking about it. Otherwise, you’re interrupting, and much less likely to engage.
Consider an opening like this:
“Are your pay-per-click costs going up?”
And contrast it with this actual opening one of the so-called “#1 explainer company”:
“Meet Joe... Joe just launched a business and is dreaming of success... But one week later... He’s struggling because nobody visits his site”
In the first version, you’re joining the conversation and you segment your market in the first 3 seconds very effectively.
In the second version, 25 seconds have passed already. It’s very good storytelling, which is of course important (isn’t everyone saying so?). BUT, no one will give you 25 seconds today.
Example openers that work well
- You know how many companies spend tons of money on white papers nobody reads?
- If you’re doing paid ads, you have noticed your marketing budget getting fewer leads.
- How can you make your sales cycle shorter?
After your Pain-point opener, you further cement your connection with your viewer with the Problem. What’s causing their Pain? This is where you can demonstrate that you have unique insights relevant to your audience.
For example, contrast these two Problem -> Pain Point causalities:
marketing budget is becoming less efficient by the day. Because there’s
noise out there and it’s difficult to stand out. (This is what all agencies say when they
advertise that they help you “Stand out” and “Cut through the noise”)
marketing budget is becoming less efficient by the day. That’s because
has a clear strategy. They put out as much content as possible. They try to play in all social media. And they pay for ads across all channels. But, without a strategy in place, they’re boiling the ocean and wasting their budget. This is an opportunity you should be capitalizing on!
In the second version, you sound like an expert. Everything you say makes a lot of sense. But more importantly, it’s not the every-day drivel they read in blogs that contractors churn out by the dozen. It sounds different.
Now your viewer is primed for the solution. Don’t make the mistake to delay the solution for too long. You will start sounding like all those bait-and-switch infomercials that promise you an amazing benefit, keep delaying, and at the end ask you to buy something to learn more. Yuck!
To show that you respect your audience, promise AND deliver fast. So how do you resolve the Problem that causes their Pain Point? And what makes you different than competition or alternatives?
Here, you can also explain How & Why your solution works. The key is to keep things very simple, because you’re still at the Top-funnel of your sales process. One trick is to read out-loud your script at least 5 times. Focus on the cadence in your writing. If you stumble anywhere, you need to change the script.
The biggest mistake is trying to fit the kitchen sink. You’re too close to your Solution and you love everything about it. You’ve invested a lot of time and effort adding some impressive features. So everything should be part of the video.
BUT... your viewer doesn’t care at this point about all the features, is not as invested as you are. So you still have to keep things short & simple. Besides, they won’t remember more than 2-3 things from the video, so make them count.
If you overwhelm your viewer, you WILL lose them, and they won’t remember anything. You can’t hope that you’ll throw 10 things at them and they’ll figure out which 1-2 things to remember.
Your singular goal with the first-touch video is to make them care, not overload with information.
And this is where you make them start to really care. Present them with a very clear, no-brainer value proposition. Show them what are typical results your clients should expect.
And ideally demonstrate your solution through a mini-case study. This gives proof that your solution works, but in a subtle way also instills fear: what happens if your competitors use the solution and you get left behind?
At the end, you want your viewer thinking “I really WANT this”. And the only way to do it is to KEEP IT SIMPLE and to the point.
In real estate, it’s all about LOCATION - LOCATION - LOCATION. In explainer videos, it’s all about SIMPLIFY - SIMPLIFY - SIMPLIFY.
Finally, you’ve reached the climax of your video. Your viewer has stayed so long because they really care, and now they want to take the next step. Are they ready to buy right then and there? Most likely not.
This is where most of the videos drop the ball. They end with something like “visit our website” or “call us”. Sometimes out of necessity they have to be generic. But the more generic you are, the less chance that a viewer will actually follow up.
This is your chance to instill urgency and/or fear of missing out. And you want your Call to Action to sound more like an offer. Don’t just “call us” but “set up a call with one of our experts for a free assessment, to see if this will work for you, and what benefit we estimate”.
This gives the viewer a real reason to call, and an expectation of what they’ll get out of the call. (Instead of the often-dreaded salesperson)
3. How to promote your video
Especially when it comes to B2B sales, it’s all about making your thought leadership accessible (video) and visible (promotion) to your audience. So you want to convert your white papers and eBooks to video, and repurpose that video in order to distribute it every which way possible. That’s how you maximize your ROI!
Depending on your goals, you can pick and choose any of the following video-distribution tactics:
- Video ads on YouTube and Facebook : Both platforms offer very granular and effective targeting, and your costs are often a fraction of pay-per-click campaigns. For example, on YouTube it costs $0.15-0.20 per view and you only pay when someone watches more than half your video.
- Boost blog post that incorporates your video : Your audience is unlikely to read the blog post (or white papers, eBooks, etc. for that matter), but think of it as packaging to deliver your video. Quuupromote is a platform that promotes your content through Twitter influencers. Taboola and Outbrain are similar platforms that recommend your content at the bottom of relevant content. Both are very cost-effective alternatives to target your audience with your thought leadership.
- Blog post syndication : Post your blog post + video on LinkedIn and Medium, and repurpose on Slideshare.
- Get interviews & speaking engagements : When you pitch podcasters, bloggers, or event organizers, having a video will help you stand out, and help them better understand your business.
We advise that you come up with a promotion plan *before* you even start on the video production. Because sometimes your plan may inform some aspects of the video: how long it should be, in what style or format, etc.
For example, a video that we’ll distribute primarily on YouTube should be shorter than a video that’s sent over email to existing clients.
4. How much should you budget
No matter which agency you work with, budgeting should always be very transparent. Pricing typically depends on two things: style and duration. A whiteboard that’s 2 minutes long costs X. A motion graphics animation that’s 1.5 minutes long costs Y. And a live-actor video costs Z.
As long as you know the style and duration, you have your budget. The only exception are live-actor videos, which can get complicated. The budget can change substantially depending on the number of actors and locations, and whether you have static or moving cameras.
As a rough ballpark, a 1-minute quality whiteboard costs in the range of $3,000 - $7,500; motion graphics is at $4,000 - $10,000; and actor-based video is at $5,000 - $20,000+
How to maximize your ROI
We try to maximize our clients’ ROI by pointing out efficiency opportunities. As long as we plan ahead, we can easily customize the opening and closing of a video so you have multiple versions, or we can give you a short and a longer version (one for your social media, and another for your website or email campaigns). And in the case of live-actor video, there are big cost savings if we bundle production of 2-3 videos at a time (because the cost of the crew and location don’t change).
Ideally, you want to work with a team that’s savvy about helping you repurpose and customize your videos so you can get a lot of mileage out of them. With a set of 3-5 videos you should be covered for your social media, email campaigns, tradeshow booth, digital ads, and some on-boarding needs.
5. How to get started
Getting started is often the toughest part. And we’ve seen many corporate teams spends tons of time and effort coming up with a script internally before they engage with us.
That’s because they’re used to working with traditional agencies that don’t bring business expertise and require lots of handholding and education to ‘get’ it.
We turn the tables and make it our #1 priority to make the process as streamlined, easy, and fast as possible. We get excited learning about new businesses, and we’ve been doing it for almost 20 years now (though we only applied that expertise to video production in the last 5 years).
We can start with as little as a presentation deck or marketing brochures, and we’ll draft a script for your review. Or we can do our 30-40 minute kickoff call where we ask all the questions we need in order to draft a video.
A high-tech company once sent us a 1-hour presentation by one of their engineers, and we converted it into a 5-minute whiteboard explaining the technology.
The benefit is that we’ve developed a science behind clear & concise video communication for complex ideas.
But it all starts with a Video Assessment call, where you present us with your challenge, and we assess 1-whether you need a video, and 2-what video will work best for you.
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