Making a corporate video is a complicated, multi-stage process that has its share of complications and then some. How do you coordinate scriptwriters, cameramen, actors, and editors? How do you agree on a vision that’s appealing to all stakeholders? How do you convince your CEO that his narcolepsy-inducing monotone isn’t the best pick for the voiceover?

These questions are best left to the wisdom of seers and oracles (or, like, other blogs we’ve done on those subjects). Here, our humble task is rather more simple: to offer five crucial tips and tricks for the process of making a corporate video.

Whether you’re entrusting it to a production company or taking it in-house, this advice will serve you well.

1.    Recce the location

“Recce” is fancy video-person lingo for “reconnaissance”. In this context, it means scouting the location ahead of filming.

The importance of doing this – and doing this properly – can’t be overstated. A proper recce can impart valuable information about acoustics, lighting, space, and weather, amongst other things. A good video production agency can work around a sudden thunderstorm or a slightly more confined space, but if you scout the location properly, they likely won’t have to.

Recces are about maximising control of your production. When you’re making a corporate video, you need to know if the lighting is favourable, if the space is large enough, if there’s a busy construction site right near where you want to film – and you need to know these things in advance. The less you know, the less you control.

 2.    Don’t under-resource

No company has infinite money, and no marketing department will ever complain that their budget surplus is becoming unmanageable. Financial constraints and compromises are inevitable.

Nonetheless, when making a corporate video, you don’t want to skimp on the things that matter. There’s a persistent belief that audio technicians, visual effects specialists, and other professionals are nice to have rather than essential, but it’s often wrong. Never spend more or less than you have to: if you sell your video short, you ultimately sell your audience short.

If it needs a three-man crew, don’t send a self-shooter.

3.    Know the purpose

This is kind of a tricky one because it presupposes that your video has a purpose. Many don’t. Many videos don’t come about because of a sudden bout of Archimedean bathtub inspiration, or because the company has a message to impart. Often, videos happen for no commercial reason. The marketing manager had a bit of budget left. The CEO wanted to show off. The company hit its ten-year anniversary and got misty-eyed.

In these circumstances, it’s wise to resist commissioning a video until you have a more concrete idea of what you want it to achieve. Find your purpose. Know your truth. Follow your bliss, etc. etc. Just do it before you pay someone a bunch of money to make an expensive video.

4.    Focus on the narrative

This ties into the previous point, to some extent. Without a compelling story, there’s no reason to care about your video. It needs to be authentic, it needs to be entertaining, and it needs to tell a coherent story.

And coherent stories are ultimately believable. Don’t put company employees in your video if they can’t act. Don’t relate contradictory or patently false messages about your product or service. Have a beginning, middle, and end – and remember, your company isn’t the hero. Your customer is. You’re just helping them on their journey.

 5.     Have a plan for distribution

Because what good’s a video if nobody’s there to watch it?

Having an impeccably-crafted video means that you need to get it in front of the right people. Identify your target demographic in advance of production and make sure your content is tailored to their needs. Then, make sure it’s posted on the platforms they use the most – be it YouTube, Vimeo, or your company website. Then promote it – via demand-side platforms, social media, or any other channel that might be relevant to your customers.

Don’t waste a great video with rubbish distribution.

These tips and tricks only capture some of the complexities of the production process. We’re familiar with many more. To talk about making your corporate video, get in touch with Jamie Field today.