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Video Hacks: 10 Tips to Improve Your Company's Video Content

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Video has become an essential part of how companies now communicate with their audiences. It can be used in a wide variety of ways: overviews, client testimonials, product demos, tutorials, recruiting and much more. There really isn’t a better way to remotely engage your audience while you ‘show and tell’.

The catch is that making quality video content can be tricky and intimidating. But, I say take heart! I’ve pulled together a list of video hacks that can help you pull together something useful, even if time, budget and experience with video are in short supply. Let’s dive right in and check 'em out!

1. Slice n’ Dice

One great approach is to take your initial ideas for a longer video about everything and break it into smaller individual video by sub-topic. Shorter is almost always better in video form. Not only will you reduce the chance they get bored and click away, but you’ll have more pieces of content to populate your site, blog, social media, YouTube channel and beyond. You’ll also be able to share them in more targeted ways as each piece will be about one thing.

2. Shy Guy

Not good on camera? That’s OK. I’m not used to it either (I’m usually on the other side of the camera!) If your on camera talent isn’t quite there, try to script out a couple very short lines, say one sentence for for an intro and one for a summary and then fill the middle of the video with something else by using some of the above hacks as the main body of the video.

3. Take a Walk

We’ve all seen about a bazillion talking heads in an office. Why not try a new and interesting location? By helping your audience meet your team in a new venue, you could potentially make yourselves more relatable and likable. It also might help loosen up people who are uncomfortable on camera.  One pro tip would be to try and find a photogenic, interesting but still relevant location. If you make an app for sharing recipies, try a kitchen. Pet monitoring app? Try a park. Cloud-based, big-data analytics tool for accounting operations firms? Hmmm, well..good luck!

4. Last Night A DJ Saved My Life

Please, please, use interesting music. You like good music, so does your audience. There’s no rule that corporate has to be stuffy. In fact, using sucky music is a great way to turn people off.  In your edit, try using several pieces of music, maybe a quick intro track for 5 seconds, then mix it up with a new direction. If you have the chops, hey, you might even record and use your own.

5. Power of the Pen

This one’s almost too easy: Just use text and music! No one said video had to involve images or footage. You can create slides with key points and add some music and once they are in a sequence, you’ve suddenly got video! If you choose great music and write text that’s engaging, funny, clever, etc. you’ll probably have better luck engaging.

6. Show & Tell

A spoken voice over track can engage and humanize a message in a way that text cannot. Try voicing your script and then use supporting ‘b-roll’ video footage to visually illustrate the points the voice track is talking about.

7. Fake it 'til ya make it

Don’t have any images or footage for your video? Try buying some stock photos or stock video.  You could even take some photos and animate them with music. It’s certainly possible to make a great video with $100 worth of assets. One of the issues with this would be finding just that right selection of assets that communicates what you need them too. They can also get spendy the more specific they get.

8. Grab it Like You Want It

If you have software that you are hoping to show off, you can grab screen shots or maybe even do a video capture of your software in use. These are great for step-by-step demos or sparingly used in overview videos. This type of video can be a little dry but if seeing is believing it’s harder to imagine a better way to really show off your app or software.

9. Bust out the Toys

There are all kind of fun video accessory toys these days. Why not try a ‘selfie stick’ and your phone for video fun event footage? Try a GoPro for day-in-the-life footage around your office or of your product in use. Maybe someone at your company has a helicopter drone that shoots video to get some aerial footage of your office for a recruiting video. These toys are everywhere and if you got 'em, I say use 'em.

10. Tell me a Story

There’s no reason to think you just have to play it straight and tell your audience what you want it a straight-forward way. You can use story-telling techniques, metaphors and visual examples to spice things up. Video is on a timeline, it has a beginning, middle and end, just like a story. Everyone loves stories and everyone has a story to tell, just figure out what it is. Consider: What makes your story one that other people would want to hear?

OK, that’s a treasure trove of tips to help your company take your video content to the next level. Remember, with most of these there are ways to test your ideas early to see if they are working before you get too deep. I hope these video hacks help you tell your company’s story in an engaging and effective way with video.

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