5 Ways To Ruin Your Corporate Video

June 26, 2015

9:00 pm

With YouTube awash with awful how-not-to examples, making your first corporate video can be a daunting prospect. While it may seem like a choice between an over-priced video production company and becoming a viral laughing stock with a low-budget DIY video, the effectiveness of a well received corporate video makes it all worth the risk.

Done well, a corporate video will increase traffic to your site and raise general awareness of your product or service. Not just that – as video production companies like the Video Brewery and London-based TellyJuice are quick to point out, video can actually improve your search ranking and once on your site, increase the conversion rate of visitors.

Whether you go with the pros or take the homespun route, there are a few common pitfalls that you should, at all costs, attempt to sidestep. Here are the five biggest errors in corporate video production.


1. Not playing to your strengths

Common advice for a job interview is to play to your strengths, and work out how your particular set of skills can benefit your potential employer. In a corporate video, you will need to discover a way to demonstrate your skill in your chosen field in an entertaining and informative way.

Good corporate videos can do this to goosebump-inducing effect. Think: Google’s series of Search Stories, not Microsoft’s cringe-inducing Cortana ad. There are number of key ingredients to making a brand video that works. Though a bit tongue-in-cheek, in showcasing their stock video archive, company Dissolve have made this a ‘generic brand video’ that shows some of the ways to convey your unique selling point:



2. The parody-turned lawsuit

While parody can be an effective way to promote your brand when done correctly, a good parody can be difficult to pull off and requires a huge amount of self-awareness and skill to create. It can also be valuable to keep in mind your target audience to make sure you don’t create a video with references that might go over their head.

The best parody videos find the unique elements of their subject and comically exaggerate them, the worst just create a cheap imitation of the original.

A parody has to be slick and confident to be effective, so only attempt this form of corporate video if you know exactly what you want to say and how you plan to say it.

Importantly, you’ll want to know the copyright laws regarding spoof and parody videos before you draw up storyboards.

3. Forgetting your target audience

Your corporate video could be hugely popular, but if your content doesn’t strike a chord with your core demographic you have wasted a lot of time and money appealing to people who will never buy your product.

One infamous example of this is the “We rep the Southside” commercial made by a Mitsubishi dealership in Alberta, Canada.



While the video might appeal to certain demographics it is unlikely to improve business for that particular dealership. Which brings us to…

4. Going off-message

The most important aspect of your corporate video is the brand image you will be projecting to customers. While some companies may be entirely comfortable with humor, others might find that it undermines the professional image they want to convey.



This video, made to explain the features available as part of online accountancy software goes for a very particular brand image, intended to appeal to a specific type of consumer – and it works.

A corporate video is an excellent opportunity to broadcast your brand image to regular and new customers alike, which makes it a powerful tool not just for communicating with your customers by actually also shaping your client base.

5. Underutilizing social media

If your business doesn’t already have a social media presence, now is the time to get on the bandwagon. Corporate video (and advertising in general) is far more effective used as part of a wider media strategy.

Uploading your video to your business YouTube and/or Vimeo is non-negotiable. But you should really be amplifying your social media reach – via paid-for campaigns or organic posts or both. With 71% of online adults in the USA using Facebook,  and 4 billion Facebook videos viewed daily worldwide in the first quarter of 2015, it’s a far more effective way of reaching audiences than waiting for them to come to your website.

But investigate the social media platforms used by your target audience first. According to a 2014 study by the Pew Research Center, 61% of LinkedIn users were aged 30-64 whereas 53% of Instagram users were aged 18-29, showing just how important it can be to know the habits of your target audience.


Image Credit: Flickr/Sam Greenhalgh

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Simon Davies is a London based freelance writer with an interest in startup culture, issues and solutions.