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4 tips for better branded video that no brand guide will tell you

7 July 2020
by samfreeman

Most brand guides would have you slap lipstick on a pig and call it a princess

Ok, so we’re here today for a nice little chat about branding – 4 tips to help make sure that your video content is on brand and working as efficiently as possible. Things that most brand documents fail to mention.

So what’s this about pigs and princesses? Well, your brand isn’t just about the fonts, logos and colours you use – I mean that stuff’s all great – but your brand is also about the bones of your video content. What you say and how you say it is arguably more important than the colours you show and the font you use. You can put a range of lipstick colours on a pig, but it’s still just a pig. So if you want people to watch your video content, you’ve really got to make sure it isn’t a pig.

Where do you start?

A good place is in planning and structuring your content correctly by knowing what you want to say and show from the outset. Then as the production progresses, make sure that you’re ticking these elements off as you go.

Now, I’m not going to talk too much more about this as we explore it in depth in our 3 Golden Rules video mini-series – but the main thing you’ve got to do is align what you’re saying and showing in your video content with your brand and its values.

If you do that well, this will then showcase your brand and its values incredibly clearly.

What about your logo?

Ok, so you’ve got a great brand document – you’ve sweated long and hard over typefaces and colours, making sure it all sends out the right message. You’ve also got this amazing logo – the best out of 150 options – and now some hotshot has animated it so it glides onscreen like a swan doing ballet in slow motion. It’s beautiful, and if people see this they’ll go wild! Right? Right…? Wrong.

Your logo means everything to you, but absolutely nothing to everyone else – they honestly care so little it’s almost an anti-care. So for the love of all things you hold dear – please, PLEASE. Do not start with a logo animation. Get straight into the meat of your messaging – your audience will thank you for it.

Hypocrisy klaxon : subscribers to Captain’s 3 Golden Rules mini-series will notice that we haven’t followed our own advice… more on that later.

Of course, just because they don’t care about your logo doesn’t mean you can’t still show them – I mean it is an awesome swan-doing-ballet masterpiece after all. Place it in the top corner of your video as a ‘bug’, and show it for the entire video! That’s got to be better than a miserly 10seconds at the start.

Why you should care about subtitles

What better demonstrates that your brand cares about your customers than letting as many of them as possible get the most out of your, frankly, amazing content. Around 466 million people worldwide have disabling hearing loss – so you may well ask why subtitles aren’t on every single piece of content out there? Why is it seen as a nice to have rather than an essential deliverable?

Let’s not beat about the bush, it is a real pain to create subtitles. Professional editing software makes it as unpleasant a task as it possible can. But there are plenty of jobs that are a pain in professional video making. So my sneaking suspicion is that it’s just pure laziness in the production process – hell I’ve been there.

You’ve busted your chops on a project that’s taken weeks. It’s 10pm and the nightclub under the edit suite has just turned its subwoofer on. But then you remember that this was supposed to be subtitled! Crappity-f*ck! It’s going to take you hours to get this transcribed and remastered, and all you want to do is get downstairs to shake those tail feathers! Your boss has just bought a round of shots and you don’t want to miss out. So you think to yourself; “will anybody notice if we just don’t do them…?” and you send out the file as it is, head downstairs and forget about it whilst slamming back tequila. Maybe next time you’ll get around to putting them pesky words on the screen… but probably not.

Do not let this slide! If 3% of your audience is ready to buy your product, right this second, then you’re potentially turning your back on a massive market. Which is madness, right? But get this, not only is it stripping those potential customers from your door, over 85% of Facebook video is watched without sound! So you’re also slamming the door right into the chops of a huge swathe of your audience.

So, if you don’t do it for the right reasons (because you’re a good human who has the privilege of being able to hear), then do it for another right reason (because it will increase your audience and enhance engagement).

If you want to learn more about the benefits of subtitles then check out this article here.

 

When to call your audience to action

Now, traditionally the call to action sat at the end of your video, and that was fine back when you sat a group of people down in a room whilst saying the fateful words “Don’t worry it’s only about 10-15 minutes long”. Hell, you didn’t even have to lock the doors to stop your audience all leaving this excruciating and mind-numbing experience because everyone was too polite to walk out – plus you gave them a free biscuit and cup of tea. They had to wait for the call to action at the end – “To find out more, go to blahblahblah.com”.

Hypocrisy klaxon revisited : which is why we get away with having a logo at the start of each section of our Golden Rules series – we’ve got a captive audience, like we traditionally did.

However in most cases, you just don’t have that luxury anymore, so you can’t wait to call your audience to action until right at the end. The amount of goodwill time your audience will gift you is a precious commodity, and you’ve got to spend it wisely. You’ve got to treat it with the respect it deserves. You’ve got to grab the audience quickly before they invariably move on to something else – there are a LOT of funny cat videos on Youtube. So you’ve got to get your first call to action in really early doors.

Now, if you look back at the start of this article that’s exact what we did – we got our call to action in as soon as we could. Did you notice it? We led you do our 3 Golden Rules video mini-series. See! We did it again!

Get your call to action in early, and repeat it as many times as you can.

 

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