“Picture Up!”: Visual Storytelling in the Corporate World

Indy Chamber Best Practices Article by Adam K. Allen

Every person has a story to tell. By virtue of being made of people, so does every business. A company’s story is the summary of its history, its achievements, and its ongoing mission and goals. That story is told with every sales pitch, but customers may connect with a different version of it long before they hear it from you.

From your company website to your social media content, every client-facing touchpoint is telling part of the story. It’s important to leverage visual content to concisely depict your business. You need to develop pieces that stand out in today’s image-saturated world, and nothing does that better than video. Here are four key points to keep in mind when you’re analyzing your visual content needs.

Where is Content Lacking?

While broadcast commercials are still effective marketing options for some companies, it isn’t the best option for ALL of them. Even for those who benefit from broadcast marketing, it’s important to diversify the platforms through which your company deploys video content. Maybe your business has a solid social media presence with a regular schedule and polished presentation of content. But what about your website? Do you have any longer form content there to showcase your reputation or highlight important projects and initiatives your group is undertaking? Brand Stories and Corporate Documentaries are great ways to present information about your company or special industry projects in an engaging and memorable way.

Alternatively, you may have social media profiles, but the content is minimal. An effective social media presence must utilize both still images and video (i.e. text or photos). Research from Meta found that people focus on video content 5x more than static content. Additionally, using video in your marketing presence has been shown to increase website traffic, improve retention and subscription rates, and "generates 1200% more social shares than static texts and images..." (PowerDigitalMarketing).

This is to say, a plethora of touchpoints offer opportunities to engage with potential customers and showcase your company’s story and services. Take stock of where your company is already presenting content and identify places where you can expand to increase viewer traffic, engagement, and ultimately, retention.

What Message Do You Want to Send?

As with all marketing strategies, you must carefully consider what message to send through your video content. This will vary depending on the platform and purpose of each piece. Do you want to tell the history and future goals of the company? Or highlight the community involvement and development initiatives your company is undertaking? Is there a unique industry innovation that only your company possesses that makes you stand out from your competitors? Whatever the message, clarity of purpose is the key factor in excellent video content. You can maximize its efficacy by narrowing your goal down to its purest intention.

Keep It Collaborative

Whether you have a video team on staff or contract an outside vendor, it’s important to remember that video production is an intensely collaborative process. Your production team will always endeavor to deliver a final product that suits the vision set out in your pre-production meetings. Clear and precise communication from all parties during this phase will be critical.

However, this doesn’t mean one party must micromanage the other. Your production team - or, more specifically, the Producer - should check in regularly to report relevant updates in the project timeline and receive your input. Simultaneously, the video team should be trusted to act upon their best judgement without having to communicate every individual task completed. Clearly communicate your content goals from the outset to facilitate an efficient and synergistic production process.

Provide feedback in a timely manner to help your team deliver the video(s) by the established deadline. Often, delayed communication leads to rushed production and delivery, which can result in a final product that is still good but doesn’t quite meet the desired vision. Ask your Producer often about the timeline they need to best serve you. Seek their input in setting realistic timeframes for the individual stages of your project.

In the end, the only way to ensure your video content meets your expectations is to be clear, timely, and trusting with your video team. Ask the same of them, and be open to any new ideas or concepts they may bring. Keeping these points in mind will help smooth out the production process and lead to a more satisfactory final product. Never forget, their success is your success, and the inverse is just as true.

Keep It Current

Video usage practices are constantly changing. Your production team should monitor industry practices and trends to stay up-to-date, keeping your regular content from becoming “dated.” This also means larger pieces - Brand Stories, Customer Testimonials, etc. - should be evaluated and, if needed, regularly updated.

Some of those larger pieces, if shot properly with the intention of being more “evergreen,” can be used for several years. When producing content for “evergreen” usage, it’s best to communicate elements of your business that are unlikely to change significantly for at least several years. If you choose to focus on something that is likely to rapidly grow or change, new videos will have to be created to keep that content accurate. Professional video production is not cheap, so when you opt to invest in such projects, it’s best to always be future-thinking when it comes to the final product. Does the content achieve a goal that will have lasting importance to your business? Is the video accomplishing this aim in a manner that is unlikely to require updated information?

Videos about unique projects or short-form content (i.e. social media posts) have a very limited window of usefulness. Consider these projects a static snapshot of your company. They will often be an initial impression on potential partners or clients. They should be inspected for overall cohesion with your brand. Allow your production team to put your best foot forward,

and constantly inject the appropriate platforms with fresh, relevant information about your

business. This style of content, though not “evergreen,” is not to be confused with being disposable. It is an ever-growing time capsule, a trustworthy sign that your company is present, modern, and thriving.

Tell Your Story

Whether your company is just starting out or has been in business for 50 years, utilizing video in your marketing and corporate image strategy is a must in today’s visually saturated society. After all, “it is proven that 72% of customers like to learn about a product or a brand through video medium.” (PowerDigitalMarketing) But your content doesn’t have to be a carbon copy of every other corporate video - and it shouldn’t!

Authenticity can seem a lofty goal, but working closely with your production team will allow you to strike a balance in your content. Let your videos showcase both your authority as an

industry leader AND the most human facets of your business. Work with your video team to create unique content that focuses on the core of your company - its history, its mission, its people. “88 percent of consumers say that authenticity is a key factor when deciding what brands they like and support (Stackla, 2021).” (Oberlo) Video content, if done thoughtfully, can prove you are an industry leader and the best choice for your target market. The facts will speak for themselves, but the honesty with which you choose to convey them will determine how many potential clients, partners, and opportunities they help you reach.

What Kind of Projects Should I Consider?

Different industries benefit from different video content. Some find more usefulness from internal videos that help with training, while others see better ROI creating videos that showcase their workplace environment. However, two tried-and-true projects that every company can benefit from are Brand Stories and Customer Testimonials.

If you have questions about what videos might benefit your company or about the general video production process, feel free to send me a message or connect via LinkedIn. I’m always more than happy to talk and answer any questions you might have.

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