“Do you have videos? Videos are the best! Oh you’ve got to have videos,” … said every SEO and marketing guy ever.
For the most part, and in a world that’s increasingly defined by phone screens, video uploads, and short, watchable content, I’m on board with that.
Of course, I’m not talking about tapping your inner Hollywood director and going wildly off color—if you’re a highly-ranked law firm with a long standing reputation, would you really run a cheesy, late night T.V. commercial?
Having made the case that every brand should be telling its remarkable story in the form of a potent brand anthem, I will say that video, more than any other mass media or medium, captures that anthem in a shareable, authentic way.
More to the point, and remembering that your remarkable brand identity boils down to you, video far surpasses written copy, visuals, or even audio as a way to show your authentic self. Provided it’s done well, and built on the truth of your brand story.
Keep reading and I’ll gladly tell you why.
Brand Video Taps the Senses
Why are videos so effective? A short answer is that they tap into two of the most important senses people have—hearing and sight—at the exact same time. When it’s done correctly, (and you don’t need $30,000 cameras to do that), video weaves sight and sound together in a seamless, memorable way.
That being said, I will say that at least half of a video’s effectiveness is actually the sound. Being able to hear someone speak without interference, or choosing the right music track to go behind the visuals might be just as important as what people see when they watch your video. Recording garbage audio usually makes for a terrible video, even if you’ve got A-list actors, perfect lighting, and so on.
Of course the visuals are important—I’m not talking about radio shows or podcasts. Video is, of course, visually moving, unlike still graphics and illustration. As such, the visual, even in the old time, black and white motion picture sense, is stirring.
If we think of brand video as a trifecta that brings our senses together, its elements would be visual, audio, …and the story expressed through both of those things.
More on Brand Story
You might have a great video. Killer sound, a visually compelling subject that captures the eyes with style and color… but if you’re completely missing the final element of storytelling, you probably won’t be holding anyone’s attention spans.
On that note, they’re increasingly short and getting shorter by the day.
More than written content, visuals, or even audio in isolation, a video with a story packages all those elements together in a way that quickly gets someone’s attention and then keeps it long enough for you to show your brand anthem.
What’s in a brand story?
I talked more about this in previous articles, but here’s a recap. In your own brand story, you’re not the hero. Rather, your customer or client is the hero, and you’re the guide, the one making the difference that enables the hero to achieve their goal and make the world a better place.
When you set to making that Oscar-worthy brand video, remember this template: hero, (your client), guide (your brand), the hero’s problem, and solution.
The solution, the thing that solves the hero’s problem and enables them to cross the finish line, is what you offer: your benefits, what you deliver, and what makes it unique and suited to the hero.
On a deeper level, it’s also the benefits you (through the hero) deliver to others at the end of the story. What’s the difference that you, as a guide, make in your hero’s world? In the broader world for your customers and your clients? Framing your video’s message and any marketing content within a story makes things crystal clear for anyone watching.
Authentic identity should shine through every brand video. Authenticity engages people and resonates in a way that much of the video content being uploaded every day does not.
Rather than straight information, how-to videos (‘three easy steps to fix your clogged sink,’ anyone?) or the coming tons of AI generated video b-roll that will no doubt be dumped on the internet on every conceivable topic in the coming years, brand videos that bank on story, and show real, authentic people will be the ones that stand out.
Think of the last time you broke through the automated customer service hotline to a human voice. Brand videos that tell a relatable story with authentic people in a memorable way, can activate trust. And in getting your brand or message to stick in people’s minds after they’re done viewing, trust is no small thing.
Trust and Memory
Usually, our strongest memories are the ones that stirred our emotions in an unforgettable way. In fact, I’d put it this way: our memories are embedded by emotions. I talked about how video captures the two most important senses: sight and hearing.
I mentioned brand story as a way to communicate effectively and bring an authentic level of trust. But most importantly, and even on top of all these important qualities, video captures the memory of the viewer by evoking emotion.
When you call someone, you hear their thoughts and single reactions in real time through tone and inflection—and you don’t get those things in a text message. In a video call, you get both of those things, and you also get the added subtleties of facial movement.
It’s in our communication wiring to trust the responses of people we can see and hear; we’re less in the dark about who they are, how they communicate and what they are, or are not saying.
Brand Video Captures Memory
Remember, our memories are embedded in emotions. This means videos are memorable because they evoke emotion. Where written content or even audio just tells you, they show. Why do short, random videos, like videos of cats doing ridiculous things, dominate our break time? Distract us from work? Because they stir our emotions.
If a video is funny, sad, thrilling, or awe-inspiring, that comes with a powerful emotional draw that makes the story, visuals, audio, and whatever content all the more memorable in our eyes, ears and mind.
Our emotions are deep-seated, and even if someone’s only got a few seconds of video playing time to capture them, they can do it through repetition, through showing us the same kind of funny, touching, or thrilling content more than once, in a way that links to our senses, emotions, and memory.
For the record, I don’t recommend that brand videos go for negative emotions… even if a negative emotion (like the dread, disgust, or surprise evoked by a good horror flick) tends to stick.
Stir Emotions by Evoking Memory
But touching on memory through emotionally engaging videos, and doing that in a way that makes your video seen again and again is a way to make your brand anthem stick. In most cases, someone’s not going to pick up the phone or fill in a lead gen form the first time they see your video.
But if your brand video tells a story, shows the authentic you, and stirs emotions in a small but decisive way… the more someone sees it, the more familiar they’ll become with your remarkable brand.
In short, through compelling brand videos, someone will get to know you and your brand in an intimate, relatable way long before they interact with you… assuming of course, that your videos and brand story are all showing your authentic self.
Lest we forget, and like I usually say in every discussion, you’ve got to know your authentic self before you can communicate to the world.
If You’re Making Your Own Video…
Watch out for distractions. By ‘distractions’ I don’t mean rounds of minesweeper. I mean anything that can get in the way of your brand anthem, the emotions you want to evoke, and your viewer.
A word of warning—if you’re putting together your own brand video, you (and in the end, the viewers you want to reach) are up against a world of distractions. What I mean is that writing, location scouting, shooting, editing, and publishing each come with their own set of hurdles…and in the final analysis, every little detail matters.
If you’re doing everything yourself, and assuming you’re clearing each hurdle on your way to the finish line… you’re probably going to get caught up in all the details of what you did.
If you’ve seen an amateur video, you can tell immediately that something’s lacking. Whether it’s bad video, wrong music choice, terrible acting, bad editing, or extra black space at the end… those distractions stick out like a sore thumb, and the emotional connection that will embed that video in your memory is distorted at best, or outright broken.
Consider Hiring a Pro
It’s a lot of work to craft videos, and edit out any missteps or distractions. That’s probably a good pitch for all the professional brand filmers and videographers out there.
Of course, anyone making videos for their brand can learn and practice those elements piecemeal, but with the time and attention that takes, many brands hire outside pros for shooting, editing, or even brainstorming and fleshing out their brand story in a visual way.
If your goal is to be authentic, and to produce a video without all the potential distractions and small stumbling blocks… then you’re probably going to want to invest in somebody who knows what they’re doing with a camera, with a microphone, and with editing software. Unless you’re going for some dancing interns in grainy footage that won’t really matter on Tik Tok.
Whatever you choose to do, it’s worth asking what is the point of this video that we’re about to produce? Is this just a quick hit for social media fodder? Is it a piece of your brand story really quick with a human element? Or is it an event or a human interest project highlighting the staff, an update, or the release of something new?
Or are we talking about a longer, informational recruitment or training video, something that’s essential for people on your team but also meaningful, authentic, and memorable?
Take your time to brainstorm. Outline. Write the ideas out in a treatment, a creative brief, or even a short script. Then give yourself the advantage of finding the talent you need to produce and finish it.
However you Edit, Authenticity Wins
Brand story, brand identity, brand expression—brand video ties so many elements together it’s incredible. Done well, and cleared of distractions for a memorable final cut, brand videos amplify your brand in an unforgettable way.
They’re much more than putting a set of values together on your homepage, or slapping an amazing new logo or tagline on everything. Videos are powerful because when they come together, they’re authentically you.
Authenticity, and showing who you really are, (don’t get me started on cheesy stock video clips instead of actual footage of your team) is critical to building relationships with everyone around you. If you’re able to show people who you are, it’s almost like they’re meeting you before they ever talk to you. If people can see and hear it, and if it taps their memory by stirring emotion, then they know inherently.
They feel it. And if they don’t feel it, or if a rushed brand video throws the whole experience off with terrible audio…then it’s just another distraction. One of the billion and half videos out there right now.
When you make your brand video—do it right from start to finish. Be aware of what you’re saying, the emotions you’re evoking, and the story you’re telling. That’s the way to cut through to people.
Need help along the way?
For brand builders with video ideas, and an honest sense of what they need with scripting, shooting, editing, and publishing, I’m all ears. From dairy co-ops to tech companies and on to nonprofits, the Resound team has shot, edited, and shaped award-winning brand videos that help remarkable brands tell their authentic story. Here’s a few we’ve produced recently:
If you’d like to see your brand anthem in a killer brand video, give us a call—or check out the articles, videos and podcast on our website. You can also check out my book ‘You are Remarkable’ on Amazon. Until next time, don’t forget that you are remarkable.