It’s never been easier to create brand video content. Many companies are using a combination of videos created by video production companies, their own content created in-house and user-gen content for external and internal communications. From social media feeds to webpages, email marketing to internal newsletters, video is proven to engage different demographics, change behaviours and result in positive actions.
For many companies their video content has evolved in a fairly organic way. Commissioned videos may be part of an overall marketing or internal comms strategy, but many of the short clips and animations produced for social media and other channels are created more spontaneously, without onerous planning and strict adherence to brand guidelines.
How to stay on brand and be spontaneous
Spontaneous content is great. Whether you have video production software in-house or are using free online video tools, it’s now possible to create engaging content in just a few minutes. You can share a video of a staff birthday celebration, create an animated gif to respond to a customer’s review, or quickly answer a query with a ‘how to’ video filmed on your mobile.
But this video content is often unbranded and that can either be a missed opportunity (for example if a customer shares a video and it’s not clear where the content has come from) or potentially damaging. Inconsistencies between different content or conflicting messages can confuse customers and employees, and could even compromise your brand.
Fortunately it’s an easy problem to solve simply by putting in place some basic video brand guidelines that can be adapted for different types of video content. Below are the key points that should be included in your video brand guidelines:
Video brand guidelines for content creators
Many of the points below will already be in your brand guidelines. We recommend creating a simple checklist for video content creators that enables them to create content without misrepresenting the brand.
General tone for video content: it’s helpful to articulate what the overall tone should be for any brand video content. This can be dialled up or down according to the type of video content being created. For example, if your brand tone is ‘upbeat’ an explainer video narrated by a member of staff shouldn’t be delivered in a monotone, but doesn’t have to sound like a racing commentator either!
Tone of voice: this refers to both text and spoken words. It will reflect the personality of the brand and also the way your customers like to be spoken to. Again the type of video content will influence tone of voice so you can be quite specific when sharing guidelines with different content creators.
Brand colours, fonts and logo: do all your content creators have access to your brand stylebook with logos, fonts, colour palette and how to use these elements? It may be worthwhile producing video templates for some types of content to make it easier for content creators to adhere to these guidelines.
Imagery: think about graphics, animation as well as photos and film footage. Are there simple guidelines you can put in place that will help content creators choose imagery that’s on brand? Examples of what is acceptable and what isn’t will help.
Music and sound: guidelines about the use of music or any sound effects are also important. Many online video tools provide access to free music libraries so you’ll want to ensure that chosen tracks enhance your brand, not detract from it.
Key messaging: what is the core brand message that needs to be communicated? It will different for different types of content (marketing, customer support, internal comms and so on) and audiences (customers, employees, investors etc.). List the different types of video content your brand creates and identify the core brand message for each.
With these simple video brand guidelines anyone who creates video content for your company will be able to stay on brand. Opportunities to reach new customers or potential new hires will not be lost either when brand logos and messaging is used consistently, even for spontaneous content like a funny animated gif or a behind-the-scenes video of the team.
Is your brand using video content effectively? If you would like to discuss your video strategy with our Creative Director, Rob Edmonds, please get in touch. He’d be happy to share his experience and provide a few pointers of how you can get better results with your brand marketing or internal comms.