There is a format for the corporate video, the promo video, which typically looks a bit like this. It starts with a view of the company HQ, with a voiceover introducing the company and what it does. It then may include some key members of staff talking about their products or services, and the benefits of these to their customers. It ends with a call to action to contact the company, or buy their products, so that you too can benefit from the work they do.
It provides an overview of that business and can be a useful piece of content to put on a website, share on social media, or screen at an expo or trade show.
But there is scope to do more with the corporate video and make it more inspiring. Many B2B companies are already benefiting from this approach, moving away from the traditional corporate video and avoiding overt sales pitches. Neuroscientists, who have studied how our brains respond to video marketing, have actually discovered that if we think we’re going to be sold to our brains put the barriers up, and therefore we’re not as receptive to the message being communicated.
B2C businesses have known this for years. They know that they need to engage viewers and pull them into a story, getting them interested in a concept or idea before they can sell to them. By doing so they inspire the viewer to take action. That’s why many B2C videos don’t even feature a product. Instead they build interest and loyalty by addressing their customers’ desires and needs; emotional, practical and aspirational.
How To Create Inspiring Corporate Videos
Many B2B companies approach the corporate promo video thinking that they need to provide a snapshot of everything they do in 2-3 minutes. They end up focusing on their products or services, and the benefits to their customers. Essentially it becomes a video about their products, not their business.
The chances are that most viewers will already have some idea of what your products or services are. They already know that you’re an IT provider, or a PR agency, or an electronics manufacturer. Perhaps they’ve searched online for your product or services and clicked on your website where all your services are listed. Or they’re at a conference or trade show and you’ve got a stand with your product sheets prominently displayed. Or a colleague has sent them a link to your YouTube channel, suggesting that your company might be able to help you with a particular challenge.
Therefore when they watch your corporate video they don’t need to know about the intricacies of your products – save this content for ‘how tos’ and explainer style content for prospects and existing customers who are further down the sales funnel. Instead they want to be inspired by you.
What’s Inspiring About Your Business?
You’ll need to look within to find the answer to this. However that inspiration factor will exist, whatever your business. Typically it can be found in the following key areas:
- Your story
- Your people
- Your customers
- Your values
Let’s look at the first. Your story. This is the story of how your business was conceived, how it has evolved, and where you are now. The inspiration for your products or services can inspire prospects, much more than the actual product itself. The process of developing your business offering, the challenges and pitfalls along the way. The success stories and your plans for the future can all provide inspiration for a corporate video, and in turn inspire your customers.
That doesn’t mean you should create a video that tells the whole story, from the kernel of an idea to your most recent profit forecasts! Instead it’s about identifying the parts of your story that will engage and resonate with prospects, and then tell that story in way that inspires them and gets them interested in working with your company.
Your people shape your business. They can also be one of the few factors in your business that truly differentiates it from your competitors. Their expertise, personalities, values and professional relationships can provide that inspiring factor that makes a prospect want to pick up the phone and set up a meeting. The old cliché that people do business with people is true in many B2B settings, so if people are important to your business perhaps they should be the focus of your promo video.
In this video for PR agency Whiteoaks, we focused on the people. In PR, it’s the relationships people have with each other – agency, client, journalists etc. – that enable them to be successful. Therefore prospects want to know about those people – they already know what a PR agency does – they want to be inspired by the people in the business that their account will be in safe hands.
Your customers can be equally as inspiring. Their stories could provide content that your prospects will emphasise with, for example they’ve faced the same challenges or they’re a similar business to them. Customer stories from well known businesses can also inspire prospects because they respect that business – i.e. if ‘that business’ uses your services or products, they must be good. If there’s an opportunity to feature a well known customer in your promo video, they will help validate what you say about your business.
However it doesn’t have to be a big name. In fact if your target customer is a small business and your promo video features a large enterprise, they might think that you’re out of their league. So, instead use customer stories that are inspiration, and aspirational, but also relevant to your target customer.
Finally, your values. These can provide some of the most inspirational content, if they’re authentic. Consider what values your customers share and what will resonate most with them. This is another important way to differentiate your business from other companies offering similar services or products. If you’re inspired by your company values and vision, you’ll find it easy to inspire others too.
This video we created for recruitment consultants Bluetree is not a conventional promo video introducing the business to prospects, but it is a corporate video that focuses on the company’s values. The video tells the story of why Bluetree chose Southampton General Hospital as their Christmas charity. That story in itself is inspiring, and Bluetree’s genuine support is inspiring too.
As a people business, Bluetree’s values are an integral part of their DNA, and this is reflected in this corporate video.
Feeling inspired? Next time you plan a corporate video make sure you set out to inspire your customers rather than switch them off!
On a final note, here’s a great video that takes the proverbial out of traditonal corporate promo videos – we find it quite inspiring!