I think you’ll agree with me when I say:
Getting people to pay attention to your corporate videos can be really difficult.
But why is that the case?
It’s because the vast majority of companies are going about it all wrong! They fail to take just a few simple measures at the beginning that would make all the difference to the effectiveness of the product at the end.
‘But what are these simple measures?’ I hear you ask.
Well, that’s exactly what I’m going to delve into in this post:
The definitive guide to creating an animated corporate video that will rank with the world’s best!
What is a Corporate Video?
A corporate video is any non-advertisement video commissioned by a business, company, corporation, or organisation. Nowadays, the vast majority of them are published online on the business’ website and distributed through their social media channels and via email marketing.
What are Corporate Videos Used For?
Corporate videos serve many functions. The most common are:
- Staff training videos
- Safety videos
- Investor and shareholder relations videos
- Content strategy overview videos
- Product or service explanation videos
- Executive proposal videos
The 2 most common types are:
Corporate Brand Videos
A brand video is a high-quality clip that promotes your business by embodying its message and ethos without overtly selling the viewer a specific product or service. It is a powerful way of boosting your content and staying ahead of the competition.
The general industry standard for producing a good corporate brand video starts at about £10,000.
Here is a great example:
Corporate Explainer Videos
An explainer video is a short clip that, more often than not, uses a narrator to concisely explain anything about your company, product or service. It is an extremely engaging way of communicating often complex messages to your viewers in a personal manner.
The general industry standard for producing a good corporate explainer video starts at about £5,000.
Here is a great example:
If you would like to read my definitive guide to explainer videos, you can do so by following this link.
Why are Corporate Videos Important?
Corporate videos have become increasingly important in recent years because, as one HubSpot study found, 54% of consumers want to see more video content from a brand or business they support! So, if your business isn’t making them, you’re likely to fall behind in today’s digital climate.
How Much Does it Cost to Produce a Corporate Video?
For production alone, the general industry standard for a corporate video starts at about £4,000 and can go into the tens of thousands. It depends on what you want. Factors that effect it include animation or live-action style and quality, video duration, and the calibre of the agency you work with.
What are the Goals for Your Corporate Video?
When starting out with your corporate video, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is failing to outline, or even know, what exactly you want your video to achieve. This makes it virtually impossible for a video agency to choose the best video style for you.
“When starting out with your corporate video, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is failing to outline, or even know, what exactly you want your video to achieve.”
So, firstly, specify measurable reasons why you want a video in the first place. It is not sufficient to say ‘to explain my product.’
Good examples would be ‘improve my conversion rates’ or ‘boost my social media awareness.’
The agency will then have some direction and (a good one) will perform brand/customer research to see why you are not already achieving these goals. With the findings, they will be able to outline the specific key performance indicators (KPIs) that will make the greatest positive impact on your business.
For example, ‘increase new customer sales by 15%’ or ‘get 25% more enquires through social media.’
This information is vital when it comes to choosing and creating each component for your business.
What is Your Budget?
Your budget is intrinsically linked to your KPIs. So you should work out what your return on investment (ROI) would be if your KPIs were met.
If your KPI is to increase new customer sales by 15%.
- Calculate how many new customers that would be each year.
- Work out the lifetime value of each new customer.
- Estimate your ROI by multiplying the answer from step 1 with that from step 2.
Not only will this allow you to calculate a realistic budget, but it will also help prioritise work and demonstrate the importance of the video to stakeholders.
How Do I Find the Right Corporate Video Company for Me?
Here are some of my top tips for filtering down production companies, as well as building strong working relationships with them:
- Study their portfolios and reviews to see if they have experience making similar videos and if they have worked well with some reputable organisations.
- Collate a few examples to help convey the video you have in mind.
- If you want to meet them in person, search only for ones in your area. For example, ‘Corporate video company London.’
- Brief them thoroughly on your key messages and brand ethos.
- On first contact, if they are already offering you a quote based on basic features/length, know that they are looking for a quick sale rather than a true collaboration to achieve real business results.
- Talk to the creative director as well as the salespeople to build a compelling script.
- Trust what your instinct tells you when dealing with the team. Are they enthusiastic, responsive, grasping your message, etc.?
- Be open to their professional opinion.
- Be realistic with your schedule and budget.
If you would like a more extensive overview on finding the perfect video company, have a read of this recent article.
What Art Style is Best for My Corporate Video?
The art style for your video should be chosen logically, i.e. to match the video’s purpose, your calculated budget, the ethos of your brand and one that resonates with your audience, rather than based on a feeling, i.e. guesswork.
Beware of agencies trying to force more expensive and complex art styles on you unnecessarily. Despite what they might say, the artwork’s main function is to convey your message as clearly as possible.
Although expensive art styles can often equate to better business results when it comes to brand videos, for the most part this is not the case. In fact, high production value can often have negative results:
- It will make it more expensive and time-consuming to test and change the video once complete, reducing your ROI.
- It can distract from the key points in the video.
- The deadline could be delayed due to longer production time.
To conclude: a good video production company should present you with the art styles most likely to make your video succeed. And be able to back their choices up with hard data and evidence.
Generally speaking, whiteboard animation is the cheapest art style and 3D animation is the most expensive.
If you are making a corporate explainer video, whiteboard animation might suit your needs better as it is proven to hold an audience’s attention when portraying complex messages. If you are making a highly-visible corporate brand video, a more expensive style like 3D or motion graphics will usually work better as it will portray professionalism and impress.
You can learn more about the whiteboard animation style in this guide.
Corporate Video Marketing and Your Sales Funnel
It is especially important that you are aware of the sales funnel when planning your video marketing strategy. This is the journey a prospect has to take to become your customer, often illustrated as having 4 main stages (shown below).
In order to maximise your marketing return on investment, you must consider how your corporate videos leverage each stage so as much people as possible reach the bottom (and buy).
Hero Hub Hygiene Video Framework
A highly useful strategy to help you optimise your video content for your sales funnel is Google’s ‘Hero, Hub, Hygiene’ framework. In this post, I will give you a quick breakdown of how it works in relation to your corporate marketing videos, but, if you would like a more comprehensive understanding, you can follow this link.
Note: I will include examples for each of the three ‘H’ content types at the end of this article.
Hero videos are infrequent, high-impact and emotional brand promotions. The goal of them is to introduce your business to a large new audience or break it into a new segment.
They sit at the top of the sales funnel because the attraction stage is all about making your business known to new prospects and encouraging them to take a closer look. For that reason, they generally require the biggest individual investment of any video type.
Generally speaking, in order to achieves these aims, they:
- Are often built around an important event, product launch or serendipitous viral opportunity.
- Highlight what makes your business stand out with compelling storytelling.
- Are either one or a combination of visually stunning, shocking or hilarious in order to grab your audience’s attention and stay with them.
Given this, corporate brand videos are the best option to for your Hero content.
Hub videos are regular, cohesive pieces of content that keep your audience engaged by offering fresh perspectives on their passion points. The goal of these videos is to build brand awareness, trust and boost engagement and subscriptions for the new visitors brought in by your awareness content.
They are perfect for the capture stage of your sales funnel because they present you as an industry thought leader by competently answering any questions or objections people might initially have about your product or service. Even though they should ideally be released weekly, if you make them to a simple, easy to replicate formula, they don’t have to be a burden on your expenses.
When it comes to your corporate video campaign, customer testimonials, explainers and interviews with industry experts are perfect.
Hygiene (Attraction and Nurture)
Hygiene videos (sometimes referred to as ‘Help’) make sure you are visible when people search questions and keywords relating to your industry online. By using Google to find these most searched terms, you can produce content that specifically addresses them. It is this rational approach that will get you onto the first page of Google.
These videos are both attraction and nurture because, on the one hand, they bring in new leads via online searches and, on the other, they curb any possible doubts that could remain with valuable and informative content.
For your campaign, product demonstrations and instructional clips are ideal for securing those conversions!
Now, here are 17 of the world’s best corporate video examples and what makes each of them so great:
Multinational technology company, and one of the biggest corporations in the world, Microsoft released this 65-second animated video for their hybrid cloud infrastructure in 2014.
With a concise script and straightforward 2D animation, it proves that even globally renowned organisations can still benefit from a simple down to earth corporate video.
The effortless animation, with its varying shades of blue, elicits feelings of growth in order to get Microsoft’s message across effectively. But it is the script and voiceover combination that I believe makes this a great video.
The script succinctly outlines a complex problem, describes how Microsoft’s solution can solve that problem and reveals the benefits it would have on your business. Not only is it successfully translating complicated messages into a language a wide audience can understand, but it also does it with a calming and friendly tone of voice, giving what could feel like a daunting product a friendly and approachable feel.
Never underestimate the importance of script and voiceover in your corporate video.
Early in 2018, Latvian furniture design and manufacturer RIPO made this elegant corporate video. In just 2 minutes, it shows, rather than tells, the viewer everything they do, their brand ethos and what makes them a stand-out corporation.
Their choice to use English text on-screen rather than a voiceover narrator instantly opens this small Latvian company up to the world. If they decided to use a Latvian narrator, on the other hand, think about how many people online would instantly turn away thinking they are only offering a localised service.
As well as this, they cleverly combine sleek, minimal imagery with a tasteful electronic track that builds throughout the video, really hammering home the message that they are all about Scandinavian design and efficiency.
In 2011, Coca-Cola created a 2-part content strategy video entitled ‘Content 2020’. Its combined length is 17 minutes and it was Coca-Cola’s strategic vision for the company’s future.
Formed of 9 chapters, it discusses, to name a few, their transition from creative to content excellence, their dedication to helping people and making their lives better and their enormous influence on popular culture.
Considering the fact that this is a corporate video created more so for their internal teams than for public viewing, it is an amazing fact that, at this moment, part 1 has almost 700,000 views on YouTube! A real testament to Coca Cola’s influence on marketing.
People look to them as a standard-bearer and rightly so given their continued worldwide impact and customer reach.
The art style of this video is also worth mentioning.
It uses whiteboard animation, an art style in which the viewer witnesses the story take shape by showing the artist’s hands physically drawing it. As mentioned already, if you need to explain something complex, this method is scientifically proven to be one of the most effective ways of engaging the audience.
Project management and consultancy company Practicus created this 73-second animated video in 2016. It is entitled ‘Another Way’ and is a great example of a corporate Hub video that could sit perfectly on their landing page.
Its sleek, simple and informative style compliments the brand’s collaborative message and gives the viewer a sense that Practicus is a straightforward, effortless and trustworthy company to work with.
This corporate video is labelled an ‘explainer’ because it does what it says on the tin: it explains what Practicus do and how they do it.
Besides the pure aesthetics of the animation, I really like how it matches the voiceover with abstract visual metaphors. For instance, when it says, ‘…help your business overcome any obstacle’, we witness a ball rotating in a maze until it finds its way out – a useful tool for solidifying points in the mind of the viewer.
Once you have a great script, think up clever ways of metaphorically representing its most important points and messages with animation.
Men’s lifestyle website Men’s Health released this attention-grabbing video back in 2014. With a title like ‘How a Bean Becomes a Fart’, the 63-second clip appealed to the child in us all and, for that reason, was certainly hard to ignore.
As the title suggests, it is an in-depth and surprisingly scientific breakdown of how our bodies process the substances that make up beans from chewing through to gas leaving ‘the backdoor.’ It is a great example of a corporate Hygiene video not aimed at advertising anything in particular but capturing curious people’s attention.
I like how the simple, flowing animation in this clip brilliantly portrays food moving through the body without offending the senses. Similar to the Practicus video, it achieves this by substituting more literal depictions with clever visual metaphors and adds to the overall playfulness of the clip.
Its power, however, lies mostly in the subject matter, which manages to be equal parts humorous, striking and, most importantly, relevant. Grabbing the audience’s attention and making them laugh is a powerful way of attracting them to your website to see what other entertainment value or information could be found there.
So, if the subject allows, think of similar ways to grab the viewers’ attention through surprise and humour. But always keep it relevant.
Japanese multinational motor company Honda created this high-impact corporate video for Honda India.
For a pure brand advertisement that doesn’t attempt to explain anything to the viewer, it is quite long at almost 4 minutes. However, that hasn’t had much of an effect on its popularity with over 50 million views!
Honda created an original track for this video, which, when sung over the various live-action scenarios, generates a lot of emotion and sentimentality around their brand. Ultimately, this clip achieves everything a great brand advertisement should by being memorable and showing the audience how Honda helps people every day.
Photo protection and branding app Watermark created this 1-minute corporate explainer video in 2016. Portraying a variety of characters with very different lives, the clip skilfully conveys the message that no matter what your individual need for online photo protection is, Watermark is the best solution available.
This is an excellent example of a simple 2D video made to increase brand awareness and build trust with customers by empathising with them and their goals – important when people are trusting you with their content protection.
Another thing I like about the video is its character design. A great job was done depicting the wide range of customers that use Watermark. Sometimes businesses can have a universal audience and it takes clever storytelling to portray it in a concise manner.
If your company requires a lot of trust from customers, get to know them as best you can and empathise with them within the story of your corporate video.
To celebrate Father’s Day, iconic American multinational automaker Ford released this 54-second, narrative-driven corporate brand video.
Done in a pop art style reminiscent of Roy Lichtenstein, it tells the story of a woman dressed as a princess for a children’s party get into a road traffic accent. Crying, with amused passers-by beeping at her, she calls her dad who races to the rescue in his Ford.
This corporate brand video is a huge departure from Ford’s usual image. They understand that animation and storytelling are powerful tools for steering businesses in a new direction when change is needed.
The off the cuff delivery of the voiceover combined with traffic and engine sound effects really makes the video feel real. And using a specific day of celebration gives Ford a reason to remind people that they are still as dependable as ever.
If there is a specific time of year that your business tends to hit a lull, pick a holiday or day of celebration that lies within that time and build your corporate video around it.
The team here at Spiel created this 73-second corporate explainer video for online real estate agent House Network. The clip uses storytelling and visual techniques to explain just how easy it is to sell a house on their site.
By starting from the perspective of a 6-year-old child using the internet, the video instantly diffuses the complicated associations people have with the process of selling a house. Then, when the attention is transferred to the parents, the viewers’ automatic assumption is, ‘Well, if a child can do, it must really save a ton of hassle!’
The clever storytelling is appropriately combined with simple, childlike 2D animation and light and friendly music, to really reinforce its the message and give an all-encompassing theme to the video.
By including specific benefits from using House Network in the narrative, such as Mum and Dad saving thousands of pounds and booking a holiday or Tommy getting a new iPad, really personalises the video and gets the viewer imagining what they would do with the extra cash.
Building strong positive associations with your brand is always a sure way to boost your conversions. And if your product or service is in an industry usually deemed complicated, use storytelling and animation to depict its ease of use.
“Building strong positive associations with your brand is always a sure way to boost your conversions.”
Stock footage and photo licensing company Dissolve created this brilliant video ironically titled ‘This is a Generic Brand Video’. It uses their own live-action stock footage to hilariously parody all pretentious advertisements everywhere.
It even won a Shorty Award for best use of social media in business to business marketing strategies and campaigns.
Making the viewer laugh is always a good tactic, so long as it’s relevant and actually funny.
This clip works so well because the script is written extremely well, it rings very true coming from the voice of the narrator and, while it calls itself ‘generic’, it is actually relevant to the business. So, hone your script, and hone it again, before moving on to production.
In 2016, American multinational financial services corporation American Express released this corporate video entitled ‘Imagine What You Could Do’. The 45-second brand clip is designed to attract a more diverse workforce by changing perceptions about what it is they actually are: ‘more like a hybrid than a financial services company.’
The slick design of this animation is completely in-line with American Express’s brand aesthetic. The various shades of blue and white of their logo plus the colour of their gold card are strictly adhered to, building a strong and intuitive association between the video’s message and the brand in the mind of the viewer.
The fast pace of this video alongside an inspiring and upbeat track and voiceover portray an exciting and rewarding environment to work in. As opposed to what is generally imagined to be the case in the corporate financial sector.
If your business is breaking the mould in an industry traditionally perceived as uptight and formal, use the tools demonstrated here by American Express to build energy and excitement around it and change people’s minds.
In order to reinforce the association with your business, stick to your brand colours and aesthetic when working out the art style.
London & Country
In 2015, the UK’s largest fee-free mortgage broker & adviser London & Country contacted Spiel to create a corporate video for their critical illness life insurance advice service.
The video uses real-world facts and compelling narrative to build a case for why it is vitally important that everyone gets critical illness insurance. The argument is so strong that in the end there is no denying that they are providing a truly worthwhile service.
The power of this video lies in its seemingly crazy, attention-grabbing opening statistic, that 75% of households have motor insurance, 73% have contents insurance and only 11% have critical illness insurance! Considering the percentage of us that will be diagnosed with a critical illness in our lifetimes, this is difficult to ignore and makes people want to stay for the rest of the video
If your business can be proven to provide a valuable and much-needed service through hard data and facts, gather them, select the most potent and put them up front and centre in your corporate video.
In late 2015, cloud-based team collaboration tools and services company Slack released this eye-catching 1-minute clip. It is a great example of a corporate Hero video made to show off their brand to a wide audience.
With all the quality of a Disney production, this video uses CGI to portray a working office full of busy animals (presumably because they can’t speak) getting lots done by communicating through the office Slack system alone.
The calibre of the video speaks for itself. The viewer could be forgiven for thinking they are watching a trailer for a big budget feature film. So, it’s no wonder it currently has 16 million views on Youtube!
By showing each character’s Slack messages floating above or next to them, the video can portray with great excitement how a single message (spark of inspiration) can start a chain of events and get things done much more efficiently than emails or meetings.
There is no other style of video more worth splashing out on than your main corporate brand video.
John Deere, American manufacturers of agricultural, construction and forestry machinery, created this 3-minute video celebrating their rich and proud history.
After watching the clip, it is impossible to think anything about them other than that they are a highly trusted industry leader who have had an enormous impact on the history of their fields.
In the short time it takes to watch this clip, we learn about the entire history and ethos of the corporation, the range of products they sell and why these products are only going to become more essential in the coming decades.
If you have a strong and proud history, be sure to show it in your corporate video. It is one of the most powerful ways of building brand trust there is.
Parker Hannifin Corporation
American specialists in motion and control technologies Parker Hannifin released this dramatic corporate video for their new motions system group.
The clip uses a combination of live action, 3D and motion graphics to show how, for the first time, they have brought together their hydraulic, pneumatic and electrical motion technologies to provide a vital service across a diverse array of industries.
With a theatrical score and an onslaught of stimulating visuals, including concepts for flying vehicles of the future, this video lets the viewer know that Parker Hannifin are at the very cutting edge of technology. Every aspect, from the movie trailer-like voiceover to the space rocket graphics, conveys a company at the pinnacle of their industry.
If, on the off chance, your company happens to deal with exciting new industries like space, take a page from the blockbuster movie trailer book and build a sense of awe and wonder around your brand.
“If, on the off chance, your company happens to deal with exciting new industries like space, take a page from the blockbuster movie trailer book and build a sense of awe and wonder around your brand.”
Music streaming service, and household name, Spotify created this brilliant corporate Hero video back in 2011 when they were a little-known company.
The 64-second animation doesn’t need voiceover to tell us what they’re all about. With a hypnotic drum beat/lively jazz track from movie score composer Tobias Norberg, as well as some endearing character design, it gives the viewer no choice but to sit up and take notice.
This video was so effective because it builds a lot of anticipation and excitement around the company. It conveys an easy to get and use service that abounds in fun, excitement and possibilities.
Basically, it does what all great brand videos should do: embody the company ethos.
Remember, when it comes to your corporate brand video, strong visuals and sound design can say a lot more than words.
This is a good example of a corporate explainer video created by the team here at Spiel for Barking Mad, ‘the UK’s most trusted dog sitting service.’
The 1-minute video really speaks to their dog-owning customer base with a lovable, tail wagging canine, Max, doing everything dogs do, as well as some amusing things they don’t (wearing sunglasses and sipping a cocktail on a beach?)
The script has a strong narrative that succinctly explains why they are the best dog sitting service available.
When it comes to corporate explainer videos, the script is very important. A good scriptwriter will be able to take your brand and whatever it is you’re explaining and translate it into an engaging narrative.
- I hope this article has given you a better understanding of corporate videos and even helped get you started on your very own.
- Which of the corporate videos in this post speak best to you and your business? Use them as reference points in the first meeting.
- When approaching corporate video companies, remember to have your brand ethos as well as your goals and messages for the video clearly defined.
- Spend some time researching your sales funnel from a prospect’s perspective and ensure your campaign covers each stage sufficiently.
- Please feel free to leave any questions or feedback in the comments below. I’d be happy to get back to you.
If you would like to dicuss a corporate video project for your business, you can get in touch with our corporate video production company Spiel on 020 891 2077