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Selling Storytelling: Producing Corporate Identity Videos, Part 1

In as few as 30 seconds, a singular corporate identity video can convince a website visitor of a company's expertise, poise, and uniqueness. But it's easier said than done, of course, so we talked to four leading producers about how they approach these types of projects. In this 3-part series they'll share their secrets on telling and selling corporate stories.

From modest start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, streaming media producers are seeing a groundswell in the number of businesses seeking to use online video as a component of their identity strategy--a best foot forward, if you will, for would-be customers visiting their website. With video widely supported by major social media channels like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook, companies not utilizing video as an identity tool along with more traditional branding methods are really missing out.

In as few as 30 seconds, a singular corporate identity video can convince a website visitor of a company's expertise, poise, and uniqueness. Most of all, a well-produced video is that company's first impression writ large, a window into your persona, putting a potential customer at ease and gaining their trust.

Considering that one video can be purposed to reach a global audience through a variety of channels--homepage, social media, e-newsletters, print ads featuring QR codes, on mobile devices--it can reap an incredible ROI, and at a fraction of the price of more traditional marketing avenues.

We recently asked four streaming media producers sought out for their corporate identity work to share their insights and experiences in producing such pieces. In this first installment of a three-part article, we'll hear about how they approach each client project and view some examples of their work

The Producers

Ryan Koral of TellFirst up is Ryan Koral of Epic Motion, who recently spun off his commercial work into a new division called Tell in Royal Oak, Michigan: "Almost all of what we create goes online. A lot of the companies we work with now have a desire for social media relevance. Content is everything. The more stuff you have to show off, the better."

Rochelle Morris Preface FilmsNext is Rochelle Morris, formerly of Sauvignon Media Creations in Melbourne, Australia, who also recently rebranded her company, now called Preface Films, to give commercial work equal attention. "People are time-poor and want information at their fingertips," she says. "DVDs may be a great avenue for a particular market; however, they also can be put away and forgotten or lost. The advantages of using social media with a web clip is enormous: using tags, links, and posting on multiple formats allow a business to become more visible with less cost. For some companies, it may be the only advertising they need to promote their business."

Keith Kelly Innovative CommunicationsJoining the discussion is Keith Kelly, president of Innovative Communications in Naperville, Illinois, who has specialized in creating digital media for Chicagoland businesses since the 1990s. He offers 60-second promo videos [] designed for use on websites as well as longer-form corporate videos that help businesses present their products and services to website visitors. He says the fun for him comes with devising a creative way to tell someone's story: "PowerPoint killed companies' creativity," he laments. Too often, to attract new customers, management will "just give an administrative assistant a script and have them make bullet points."

Dave Williams MediaWave Video ProductionsDave Williams of MediaWave Video Productions in Philadelphia took a break from shooting at a convention in Las Vegas to share his approach. Working mostly with small- to medium-sized companies, and offering identity films ranging from 30 seconds to 10 minutes, he says,"Our clients have told us that their video has impacted their bottom line. We've found if companies don't have them they quickly realize that they are missing the boat. Even something as simple as behind-the-scenes holds a lot of interest for a lot of people. These videos capture viewers right away."

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Successfully implementing branding in online video means making sure every video you produce accurately reflects and advances your company's or client's brand identity at each stage of the production process, as well as in your production style. This article explains how and when to pay attention to branding in your productions.
In this final chapter of our 3-part series on Corporate Identity Videos, we'll go on set and into the editing bay with producers Rochelle Morris of Preface Films, Keith Kelly of Innovative Communications, Ryan Koral of Tell, and Dave Williams of Media Wave. Some of the clips they share here are of their own corporate identity videos.
To storyboard or not to storyboard? Should the story drive the interviews or vice versa? At what point in a corporate project do you set video length and budget? These questions and more are discussed in Part 2 of our Producing Corporate Identity Videos series.