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If you’re a marketer, brand manager or business owner you may have pondered the benefits of producing branded video as opposed to straight-up video ads. Branded video is a very strong way of marketing to modern audiences across digital platforms, but many marketers may not be sure where to start in creating branded videos.
First, you may be wondering: What’s the difference?
Well there can be a fine line between an advertisement and a piece of video content that is designed to promote your brand in more subtle terms. Consumers are aware that both are pieces of marketing, but they’re also aware of the differences between them; a key factor often being described as “authenticity”.
If you’re not sure what I mean, think about what it’s like to watch a television show and the difference between seeing commercials versus product placement within a show that you enjoy. There is a clear difference in the way products, brands and messages make their way into, and remain in our minds.
It Starts with Strategy and Creative
First, it’s always important to leverage data and information in a strategic way. My own background in marketing research has shown me the value of understanding your demographic, and what aspects of your brand identity they respond to positively.
All of this valuable information stems from data about who they are, what they enjoy and much much more. An agency with a thorough discovery process can help you unearth some of this information if you do not already have it.
Then, the creative part of the process is where this data can be translated into creative elements that convey a message. By creative elements I mean everything that makes up the look and feel of the video, such as:
- Script and dialogue
- The style of a setting or location
- Characters – their age, style, look, mannerisms, and the way they speak.
- Background music tracks and other sounds
- Lighting and/or post-production effects
- Editing – pacing and timing of video shots
- The way in which products or brand features are handled or implemented
You’ll want to make sure all of these items are on-brand, and relatable to your audience.
What Type of Video Is It?
You’ll also want to proceed in making the piece of content something that that audience enjoys watching. For example, women who love cosmetics will enjoy watching a tutorial on achieving a certain look. Men who enjoy sports will enjoy a mini-documentary about a major or local athlete. Types of branded video content can be:
- How-To’s and Tutorials
- A scripted mini-series
- Comedy shorts
In fact, How-to videos are some of the most searched videos on YouTube, exceeding all other types of video.
It helps to think outside of the box on this front, and create something that is an enjoyable piece of content for your target audience, as well as something that you can work a featured product or service into naturally.
Distribution – how and where you share your video and intend to get your target audience to view it – should never be an afterthought; rather it’s all part of creating your branded video content.
With distribution you should seek to tap back in to that crucial term: “authenticity”. The best branded video content is easily reachable by those you are creating it for.
So, consider whether your video will be seen on YouTube, Social Media, within an App, or hosted on a partner’s page, and create content that can be seamlessly taken up by a viewer, without being recognized as overt advertising. Leverage the familiarity of the setting, and your viewers existing interests and desires to watch content, in order to work a product and service into what they are viewing.
I realize much of what I’ve written here simply scratches the surface in describing the full differences between a branded-video content creation and a straight-up ad. That’s because there is a lot of detailed information and moving parts integral to all of the above.
While many platforms and apps aim to give everyone greater access to publishing video and other creative works, it is still a challenge for many people to take on every step of strategy and creativity required to produce truly effective branded content.
This is where working with professionals can really help you. A skilled video production team that knows how to develop the creative, capture the right footage, dialogue and edit the right type of content to produce a video that is effective and on-brand.