Shameful corporate video mistakes and how to avoid them

Corporate videos are a great way of spreading the word about your business. And video marketing is becoming more and more important.

According to Cisco, online videos will account for more than 80% of all consumer internet traffic by 2020.

But videos are still a sizable investment for companies, and many companies fail to make the most of their money because they make critical errors during the production process.

We have identified four of the most shameful corporate video mistakes and found examples of videos that avoid them.

No story

Great videos tell stories. An engaging story can bring your marketing messages to life and helps your brand build a relationship with customers.

Corporate videos that just report a company’s values are relatively blunt. Engaging stories are more watchable, more likely to compel viewers to action and more likely to be shared.

You don’t need to be Steven Spielberg to tell a story about your company.

At a basic level, you just need to think about the structure of your video – making sure it has a clear introduction, a persuasive arc and a satisfying conclusion.

To help your video connect with more people, give your story a friendly face that they can identify with and follow the narrative of your company through some of the obstacles that you have overcome.

The below video is a recruitment video for Google. Like similar videos, its purpose is to show Google off as a great place to work.

Unlike other recruitment videos, it doesn’t just show a sanitised workspace and cheap perks like free coffee.

By following a few aspirational characters through their first week at the tech company, the video appeals to a higher sense of purpose, telling personal stories that an audience can identify with.

No authenticity

Authenticity is difficult to describe and even harder to capture.

You might think that by nature, marketing communications are inauthentic, but in an increasingly digital age, communications that are honest and convincing are the ones that thrive.

There is a deeper element to authenticity too, customers want to support businesses with purpose and businesses that do good things. Your corporate videos should touch on these and convince people that you are good.

This video is a great example of how a small business, like Harwood House, can use video marketing to its advantage.

Harwood House didn’t have a high budget for video production, but it did have friendly, authrntic-looking owners who aren’t afraid to share details of their personal lives.

The owners tell potential customers why they wanted to run a B&B and shows them where they live. We also get to see a mouth-watering breakfast and other goings on at what seems like a normal day at the B&B.

They don’t try and make Harwood House into something it isn’t and the producer deserves credit for getting everyone relaxed enough to give the video a ‘home movie’ quality.

Too generic

Most corporate videos aren’t that interesting and, unfortunately, it makes a great deal of them forgettable.

An accepted formula has emerged for corporate videos that draw heavily on stock footage, corporate jargon, images of smiling faces, attractive landscape shots and time lapsed cityscapes.

Because so many videos are so similar, they don’t capture the viewer’s imagination and are largely ignored.

Some of the best corporate videos are a little more experimental. They approach the company from a different angle, highlight some of the strengths and avoid clichés.

Stock footage company Dissolve took the idea of generic corporate videos and used it to promote themselves in a subversive way.

No call to action

Good video marketing ultimately needs to inspire action. Before you make a video, you should have an idea about what you want the objective to be.

To help you meet this objective, your video should include a short and concise call to action (CTA) encouraging viewers to some behaviour.

Different CTAs will match different objectives.

If you want to spread your message as far as possible then you might encourage viewers to share the video.

If you want to foster longer-term engagement you may ask them to subscribe to one or more of your digital channels.

If you want viewers to purchase a product or service then you may ask them to take a free trial of your product or sign-up for a webinar.

CTAs usually come at the end of a video, but for longer videos, you may want to repeat your CTA throughout to really drive the message home.

Momentum, a grassroots campaign group in the Labour Party, has won plaudits for its short films that have been viral hits on social media.

To inspire action, each video ends with a concise message and a line encouraging people to share the video with their friends. This appeal is part of the reason that these videos have been shared so widely.