Tony Gnau

The Four Videos Every Company Should Produce

By: Tony Gnau | October 7, 2013 | 

The Four Videos Every Company Should ProduceBy Tony Gnau

Hey everyone… let’s do a video! It sounds like so much fun, and I have it say… it is.

More and more companies are producing PR and marketing videos, and thanks to the web and social media, they have become easily shared pieces of content.

Video allows company leaders to share their stories with customers and prospects. The About Us video is the most common one businesses produce, and it typically lives on a company website. It tells people who you are, and what you’re about.

But that’s the standard. That’s the video every business should already have. You want more. You want the company to stand out from the competition!

Four Videos Companies Should Produce

Here are four videos most companies aren’t producing, but should be.

Event Videos

If you work for a company that’s hosting a big event, this is a double-content opportunity. That’s right… one event providing two videos!

The first opportunity is a preview video. How do you promote that event? Send an email? Post it using social media? Can you think of anything that’s going to grab more attention than linking to a video?

It’s one thing to tell people Andy Crestodina is going to be speaking at an event. It’s far more compelling to hear from Andy himself.

The same thing is true after the event is complete. You could simply send a tweet saying what a great event it was, or you could share a video. What’s more engaging and tells a better story… a video produced during that amazing event or 140 characters?

Video Series

Companies excited about producing a video sometimes get a little too excited. Before long the “short” video they planned to produce is now running five minutes or longer.

There’s a way to turn that to your advantage. Break it up into a video series. Instead of one five minute video, produce five one minute videos.

Think about some of the things a business might want to cram into a single video. An explanation about what it does? Some of the products or services it offers? Maybe provide a facility tour? What sets it apart from the competition? How it helps clients?

That sounds like five videos to me. And guess what? Now you have multiple pieces of content, instead of just one.

Employee Profiles

I LOVE this type of video. A company’s best sales people aren’t only the sales staff.  They can be people answering the phones, developing products, training assembly line workers, heck, even pushing a broom.

Every business has team members with personalities… the type of people everyone loves. I don’t care what they’re their job is, get them in front of a camera immediately.

We all know we buy from people, so why aren’t companies featuring them? Let us hear from the company’s brightest personalities. Let them show us what they do everyday. Help them tell their stories, and the story of your business.

These people shine, so let them illuminate the company.

Testimonial Videos

Most organizations have testimonials from customers on their websites. They are typically a couple of sentences and occasionally include a photo.

Take the testimonial idea and have your customers talk about how much they love working with you on video. In fact, use the opportunity to let them talk about their business and how they use your product or service in helping to achieve their objectives.

By providing the testimonials in visual form, prospects are more inclined to pay attention to what your customers have to say about the experience of working with you.

No matter which type of video you decide to do, and I recommend doing them all (I am a video producer after all!), the key ingredient is telling a good story. Just “doing” a video isn’t good enough. You have to tell a story that’s relevant to your audience.

Pick an appropriate type of video +  tell a good story = video success.

Editor’s Note: Tomorrow we have another guest post about video! Stay tuned.

About Tony Gnau

Tony Gnau is a three-time Emmy-winning journalist. He is also the founder and chief storytelling officer at T60 Productions, a video production company specializing in PR and marketing videos.

  • Great post, Tony! As to video #3, Employee Profiles, I have a dream that every employee bio posted online will someday be accompanied by a short video. Just a minute or so where the person talks about some big accomplishment or what makes them jump out of bed in the morning or how their job fits into the big picture. Something to warm things up and add texture and personality to the written bio.
    It’s hard, though, to get clients to buy into the concept—especially organizations with lots of employees. But I swear it can and should be done.

  • susancellura

    One thing I find interesting is that a lot of companies think everything has to be a big production, when actually your phone can work wonders!

    • susancellura Tony: true… but we’ll save “quality of storytelling” for another post. 🙂

  • Do you like the photo we used?!?
    I tell this story a lot (and you may have even heard it), but I was speaking to a group in Omaha about a year ago. It was a three hour workshop and we were digging into the types of videos the business owners could use in telling their stories. I learned one of the men in the room owns a company that only employs people without sight. As we were discussing this key differentiator, I learned one of his employees climbed Mt. Hood unassisted. And another is a top gospel music singer. I may have yelled, “WHY AREN’T YOU TELLING THOSE STORIES??”

    • ginidietrich Tony: that photo… too funny! 🙂 
      As far as the business owner not telling those employee stories… never ceases to amaze me how people miss the great stories under their noses.  Sometimes it takes an outsider with a fresh perspective to help point them out!

  • These are great ideas!! I love the employee profile videos – I recently was trying to decide who to allow to color my hair (I know first world problem) but I’m thinking of using one of the people who took the time to create a video and tell me why they do what they do. 
    And LOVE the video series idea of one minute videos answering simple questions about your business. Definitely adds some flavor and gives a brand some personality.

  • TomPick1

    Excellent post, but you left out one important type of video: the “how does it work?” video. If a company sells a unique product, this is absolutely essential. But even if the product category is well-defined (e.g., accounting software), demo videos can still be used to show how a product is different from or easier than competitive alternatives.

    • TomPick1 Tony: agreed… frankly… we could have easily done a top 10 list.  You’re right though… video is GREAT to show-off unique products.

  • I love the idea of video testimonials, but how do you overcome the “shyness factor?” I’ve tippytoed into this arena a bit, and encountered some real resistance to being on video. Any tips and tricks to help ease the fear for customers?

    • rosemaryoneill  Tony: your question inspired this new blog post!

  • Love video. Hate being ON or IN a video. But love video! 😀

    • belllindsay Tony: ha!  Former TV people should not be afraid of cameras.  You know it’s all smoke and mirrors. 🙂

      • T60Productions “Where’s the vaseline for my lens!!??” LOL

  • I need to update my About Me video…it’s too long. I definitely appreciate the timing of doing pre/post event videos. I’ve thought about doing more product “how-to” videos as well as have some of our developers do how-to videos with some of the tools we use (data integration and reporting…where step-by-step comes in handy).

    • dbvickery Tony: that great… keep it up!  One of the best things about quality videos is the more you do, the more people look forward to them.

  • catrinasharp

    Love the ideas in this article. Do you suggest creating the script ahead of time or letting the person speak freely? Or – maybe a little bit of both? I find it hard to get get co-workers comfortably in front of a camera.

    • catrinasharp Tony: I never script in advance.  What I tell clients about that is what you lose in control over the message, you get back in authenticity.  Scripted videos sound and feel scripted.  Yuck!
      As far as getting co-workers to loosen-up on-camera… I’m just about to write a blog post on that right now!  I’ll post the link back here tomorrow.

  • Just make sure you hire a pro who knows how to get the job done so that the videos don’t look like crap {wink}

  • One of the coolest follow-up emails I ever received was from VSnap, a company that provides video messaging services. When I signed up, I got a personalized video from their community manager. So very cool.

    • jasonkonopinski Tony: very cool… what a great idea!

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  • SusynEliseDuris

    This is a great post. The one I would add, especially for start-up software companies, is an explainer video. In the past, I’ve heard this is a bad idea. I don’t agree. Buyers are in the drivers seat more than ever so we have to ensure they have a stellar experience when they visit the website. This is a good way to help that process.

  • SusynEliseDuris Why would people say an explainer video is a bad thing? Seriously, I’m genuinely interested.
    Seems to me anything to help people understand what a company does would be a benefit. 
    Not to mention… they’re not forcing anyone to watch. People have the freedom to press play or not. Right? 🙂
    –Tony Gnau

  • SusynEliseDuris

    T60Productions Hi Tony – absolutely agree with you. In these glass half-empty minds, the question for them is why do you need an explainer video if your value prop is clear? Trust me. I have to do double-takes on this kind of thinking. The glass half-full approach would be if you had an explainer video you would create/deepen a better buyer experience, increase conversions, create brand advocacy programs, etc. I have seen so much lift, engagement, conversion with explainer videos, it boggles my mind why more companies do not include this in their video toolboxes.