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Videos have become the most watched online content, a fact that companies have been quick to take advantage of. A well-made business video breathes life into a company image and it is a way to tell the company's story in an engaging manner.
Videos and visual story-telling are a growing trend in building a brand, which is why more and more companies are willing to invest in moving images. Business videos no longer involve just talking heads and pushing the products, but they can be, at best, really ambitious, carefully-executed works of art.
Videos can also convey moods or offer quick tips. Various how-to videos are useful for sharing practical advice for everyday questions, and many thick and heavy manuals are now available online in a concise product video form.
Making a video is a mixture of routine, creativity and ad hoc negotiation. Miikka Tikka, front, working on a script.
Videos are a captivating, moving and memorable way to tell stories. They are shared on social media and websites, in events, sales meetings and trade fairs. Search engines place videos high in search results.
Alma 360, the content agency leg of Alma Media, started producing videos for content marketing as soon as digital cameras became available; which means the company has a lot of experience in the business.
”We've produced several hundred videos for a range of clients. We handle certain basic things with a solid routine and we know what's worth doing and what's not. And we want to keep ourselves motivated by coming up with new ideas all the time,” says Miikka Tikka, Alma 360's Executive Art Director.
Sometimes it's a good idea to stretch the genre limits.
A great company video takes careful planning and a bit of courage. The starting point is always the client's wishes and the professionals' vision.
”The best company videos are usually created when the client has the courage to jump into the unknown. Sometimes it's a good idea to stretch the genre limits and mix different styles. The point is that the company has a story or a message to tell that it wants to highlight on the video,” advises Alma 360's cameraman and photographer Juuso Paloniemi.
Video production starts with drafting a schedule, which provides a framework for the entire process. A story becomes a script and then a storyboard.
”It's important to set tangible objectives for the video to avoid getting sidetracked. Working seamlessly together is hugely important as is a shared view of objectives. In addition to all of this, we need fantastic ideas and enthusiasm," says Tikka.
The production team for the more ambitious videos consists of a producer, cameraman, AD and editor, sometimes even stylist, actors, designer, composer and animator. Some team members may have several roles in the production.
Alma 360's Miika Kainu has shot hundreds of videos.
Less complicated productions are carried out by a producer and a cameraman.
Decisions are, naturally, guided by the budget, which often encourages creative solutions. A careful plan helps the team to stick to the budget.
”As you get further into the production, it becomes more and more expensive to deviate from the plan, not to mention the damage this can cause to the end product,” Tikka explains.
”Sticking to the plan and focusing on what's important usually results in the best videos,” says Paloniemi.
A video has a certain target audience, which is defined right at the start. Companies try to gain visibility in various channels, in social media in particular, as the right kind of company video can go viral.
Video is a good teacher. Juuso Paloniemi shooting a video to show how to choose a suit.
”If you want your video to be noticed in social media, it has to appeal to viewers and not seem like simple brainwashing. Otherwise the message won't go through. For the video to become a hit, the distribution channels must also be in order, and there needs to be a crowd of followers,” says Paloniemi.
Narratives are becoming the focus of videos, and they have more film-like features now, aiming to create an emotional response. It is not enough to focus on the issue but it also has to have an attractive packaging.
”It needs to be surprising and unique to be successful. The multichannel approach allows us to be creative. The entire concept of company video is going to change in future,” says Tikka.
Watch the Alma 360 showreel.