Corporate Video - The Worldwide Billboard
Communicating your enterprise: video marketing and the challenges of transmission
In today’s business environment, companies are increasingly coming to see video as the decisive medium in managing and extending their corporate and public image. Videos are effective because they are memorable. Even the most poorly thought out campaign leaves a greater visual imprint on the viewer than a block of text. Furthermore, the internet has given businesses unprecedented opportunities to present themselves visually. They face competition for views, but enjoy dramatically lower production costs than ever before, leading in some cases to very original forms of self-marketing.
Visual Marketing: the background
It is a truism to say that the business prospects of any modern company depend on maintaining a constant presence in the minds of their potential customers and clients. Those who can, on a daily basis, make a visual impression of some kind on people’s lives, work-based or personal, will almost certainly enjoy an edge over their competitors.
Few businesses ignore this fact, but the sheer scope of possible areas in which an impact might be made complicates the process of gaining or maintaining a preferred and recognizable position.
Some of what can be achieved through the visual is a simple matter of the size and nature of a company’s enterprise. UPS, the world's largest package delivery company, can flood city streets, business car parks and motorways with instantly recognizable vehicles, all carrying out an essential daily task.
Corporate video and the web
Yet UPS also possess one of the most popular company B2B pages on Youtube, notching up, at 2.4 million views, almost as many as networking giant Cisco. Online videos, whether shared widely or made private, have an even more pervasive visual and commercial impact than the company’s motor-driven billboards. In a recent survey by the Web Video Marketing Council and Flimp Media, 72% of senior marketing executives felt that prospective clients were consistently more likely to conduct business with them after viewing video content sent via email.
The latest marketing video from UPS, “Use Logistics to Go Global” lasts for a brief 33 seconds but permits an examination of the development of style and content in the world of video marketing.
In the Web Video Marketing survey, only 3% of the professionals expressed a preference for videos of this length, under a minute long, with 36% favouring 1-3 minutes and 47% 3-5 minutes. However, UPS’s snappy introduction to their enterprise provides a useful insight into the nature of modern marketing videos. Videos on Youtube, company websites or elsewhere, often form a continuum, drawing the viewer towards understanding the attributes and approach of a particular business.
A short company video serves as an advertisement for the longer ones to follow. Catering to an increasingly broad range of customers and information consumers, beyond the desks of senior executives, videos also need to be informative, useful and memorable. Even this quick, advertisement-style clip includes experts and employees speaking about the opportunities open to small businesses in “going global”, alongside dynamic shots of immediately familiar locations.
“Marketing” and “Advertising”
The UPS video aims to stimulate business with new and expanding companies. It has the feel of an advertisement but the approach of a marketing campaign. It is therefore effective within a limited range. A much greater impact is made by companies who can achieve an online buzz, often playing with visual elements from advertising that are by now familiar to many.
When the DollarShaveClub made a slick, funny and unapologetically low-budget video (it cost them only $4,500) announcing their fledgling razor blade business they appealed directly to half the world’s population. 12,000 people signed up within 48 hours. Light-heartedly spoofing larger advertising campaigns, and getting more than four times the views of UPS’s entire channel, this original form of self marketing is testament to how a business that can find capable low cost video production suppliers stands to gain most from an online world where distinctions between ‘corporate marketing’ and ‘advertising’ are increasingly irrelevant.
The evolution of video marketing
Compare this with an Australian advertisement for the company Memorex Telex from the early 1990s, the same length as the UPS video. In an era of rapidly expanding technology, Memorex sought their ad to be authoritative rather than informative, to announce to others that they were at the top of their field. The message is delivered through the mouths of actors playing businessmen and the video signs off with the tagline “We speak the language of business.” But while talking about LANs and being an “international computer company with the expertise to put it all together” is pretty basic in language terms, the set up turns it into what appears obscure business-speak.
A marketing video or advertisement carried out in this style would struggle to succeed today. It conveys very little, chooses to portray potential clients rather than the business itself and is based on self-presentation rather than communication. The spread of online videos has created a set of shared consumer assumptions that are there to be played with. Visual experience now extends from the regular sight of a UPS van on the corner to the constant presence of a vast world of web-based communication where video has pride of place. A video posted online is fifty times more likely to hit the front page of Google than a single text web page. Those who understand the nature and requirements of this large and varied market are best placed to manipulate the visual in order to cut past the competition in online marketing.
Get in touch to find out more about how OPP can help you to film, edit and market your corporate video