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How to Brand Your Online Videos

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.

Producing With Your Brand in Mind

Okay, we’ve got our strategy and the right team. Now let’s talk about ways you can incorporate your brand into the actual production process.

Preproduction

Preproduction is the time to make decisions about tone, content, video quality, and messaging. Is your brand funny or serious? What kind of direction will the content and visuals take? Do you need a voiceover? How is the end product going to position you among your customers, industry peers, and competitors?

Preproduction is also the time to decide who is going to appear in your online video. It may not always make sense to have your CEO as the star. You should think about who is going to resonate most with your audience. Media training goes a long way, too.

When it comes to shooting video, I like to incorporate branding into the background of each production if it makes sense. For example, Figure 1 (below) shows a screen shot of an interview we recorded with the CEO of an engineering firm. He had a typical white-walled office with a few pictures and a desk.

Figure 1. Enhancing the CEO interview. Click the image to see it at full size.

Rather than shooting the interview in his plain office, we walked around the building and found an engineering lab that showcased tools and equipment with which the desired audience could identify. This background also reinforced the audio spoken by the CEO during the interview and contributed toward the overall story.

Tripod or Handheld?

Besides background selection, another creative choice that helps to visually tell your company’s story is whether or not to shoot with a tripod. Sometimes, it makes sense to go handheld. Figure 2 (below) is a screenshot from a CNN special about Somali pirates.

Figure 2. Handheld was the right choice for this CNN news piece on Somali pirates. Click the image to see it at full size.

Using a tripod and steady shots would not have conveyed the same gritty and intense message. In this case, viewer gets more of a real, raw and undercover look into the story. Always consider what is going to resonate with your audience and help you achieve that ultimate goal.

Lighting to Reflect Your Brand

Lighting is another part of the online video production process that will heavily influence perception of your brand. Is your brand positive and bright or are you dark and mysterious? Figure 3 (below) shows an example from a marketing video with Microchip Technology.

Figure 3. Incorporating the client’s brand with background lighting. Click the image to see it at full size.

Microchip’s colors are red and black, so we tried to incorporate that into the background and also used plenty of light on the talent to establish a positive and trustworthy image. You can also get a gobo light pattern made with your brand’s logo that you can display on your background if that’s your thing.

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