Make your video stand out in the crowd

Are you the leader of the pack, or just one of the extras? Brutal self-honesty is required here. Do you set standards and trends in your industry, or just play catch-up when someone else charts a new course?

Time to set yourself apart. Not just by creating a video campaign, but by creating a different, unexpected campaign.

It’s easy to fall into predictable patterns when doing corporate  or marketing  videos. You show the business exterior, then the interior. You show some b-roll of people at work and/or products being created. You show a sound bite with the CEO, or the VP of sales and/or marketing. More b-roll. Another sound bite. Yet more b-roll. A positive, upbeat, the-customer-comes-first sound bite from the same talking head to wrap things up. Close it out with animation featuring the corporate logo. “Fin”, as they say at the end of those arty films.

Yeah, it’s “fin” all right.

When your customers have a lot of choices, differentiation will prompt them to choose you

When your customers have a lot of choices, differentiation will prompt them to choose you

Think Outside of The Box

There’s nothing wrong with a formulaic approach to business videos. Except that they’re predictable. They tell the viewer that you don’t think outside the box. If you produce bubble wrap that’s fine, because your product is supposed to be inside the box. If you write medieval morality plays it’s also fine to be predictable, because the audience always expects the Devil to lose. But if these “ifs” don’t apply to you, Old Nick is going to have company in the loser’s bracket.

We can understand why this style of video is still around. It’s worked for a long time. Unless a procedure is really broken, conservative managers, like the ones handling marketing budgets, will stay on the safe side. Plus, if a lot of people will see the video, it’s tempting to take the least disruptive, least daring approach lest someone be offended or scared off.  Being a chameleon, becoming indistinguishable from the rest of the players your industry, seems like the safe bet.

If that’s your approach to developing a corporate video, then the best ROI you probably can hope for is maintaining the status quo. Which kind of defeats the idea of ROI. There’s no need to invest in a high-cost ventilation system if you can simply open a window to let the fresh air in.  In a worst case scenario, you might see your business drop off. Why? Because you aren’t giving people an incentive to choose you over the others in your field. When your video looks the same as everyone else’s, there’s no reason for a viewer to choose you over anyone else. You all have an equal shot. No one is the clear winner.

…But Not Too Far…

We’re not suggesting that you have naked girls dancing in a frenzy while a satyr plays the pan-pipes if your video is intended to sell a new line of cookies. There might be an exception if you’re selling cookies in Washington state and Colorado, where “special ingredients” are allowed.  For the rest of you, we’re only suggesting that you be open to the possibility of making your video “more”.

Here’s a secret many don’t want you to know. The key to having a successful business, as well as a successful life, is to aspire to “more”. Not just to get more, which any monkey can do simply by gathering more and acting more territorial, but by being more. By showing potential customers that you will go over and above. By expressing yourself and explaining your passion for your product or service. Don’t feel that passion? Then video won’t do you much good in the long run. You’ll get your name out there, but all you’ll achieve is having more people calling you to do something you don’t like, which means doing something you don’t like for more hours of the week than you already do. Is that your definition of success?

The Big Question

“So how do I make my video different?” We were wondering when you’d get around to asking that question. The reason we haven’t addressed it before now is because we haven’t even met you, let alone gotten a chance to know you. How could we possibly tell you what sets you apart? Of course we could do a generic perusal of videos from your competitors, divine what they aren’t doing, and say “Here! Do this!”. But that would be cheating you. In the first place, if they aren’t doing a particular thing in their videos there may be a reason. We need to figure out why they aren’t doing it. Collective stupidity does play a part sometimes, but sometimes the lemmings think “Wait a  minute, why am I jumping off this cliff into the sea?”and decide to wander back to the woods to live a dry and comfortable life.

A video production company should take time to get to know you during the pre-production process. This means during the initial discovery meeting, the company should ask you a lot of questions. The more questions they ask about you, your product, why you love your product, and how you view yourself in comparison to others in the industry, the more likely you are to get a video which helps you highlight those unique qualities. Ideally, they should ask questions which bring up topics or angles you hadn’t even considered. This is because they, even if they do diligent research, are still outsiders to your particular brand or industry. As such, they are very well placed, because they will see things from the eyes of your prospective clients, who also may not  know much about your industry.

Now Comes The Hard Part

Striking the balance between taking a risk and taking a crap shot in the dark. A good video company will make suggestions to you about how to frame and present the video, and it will be up to you to decide whether those suggestions go too far, or not far enough. This is where you have to take the blinders off and get a full panoramic view of the situation. Do these suggestions set you apart and make your product shine, or do they miss the mark and make you look foolish? Do they not go far enough to give you differentiation? Be careful, as you have to look at this with an outsider’s eye. Small details may make the world of difference to you, but they might do little to emphasize your unique qualities to someone who doesn’t have your insider’s perspective. Take a breath, take another, then take a chance. Draw the line at nude dancing and satyrs, but be willing to consider scenarios that are slightly north of that line.

Ultimately it will be up to you to decide how far you go with your video. While the video production company should make suggestions, you’re the one who has to make the decision. At Hencar we take time to get to know you, your product or service, and why you’re passionate about it. Bring that passion to the table from the get-go, and you’ll see how easy it is to make your dream stand out and shine.