When wanting to add video to their websites many businesses quickly grab a video camera and start shooting, In previous blogs we talked about what important points need to be considered before going crazy with a camera, but one thing I want to explore here is tone.
What is to be the overriding impression that your video gives your viewers? Is it that your business is full of happy-go-lucky individuals? Do you want visitors to your video to feel that you’re expensive, cheap, cheerful, upright and professional…? Or is a solid reputation with years of specialist experience that you need to communicate? Taking an objective view of how your business is perceived by others and balancing that with how you position it will avoid wasting energy by reinventing yourself. Once you understand the optimum profiling of your business you can move to the next step of ensuring your forthcoming video embellishes those organisational characteristics.
Imagine you walk into a party with 20 people in the room. Within a few short seconds you’ll start to form impressions about each of those people. That guy’s the loud-mouth, there’s the shy retiring school teacher, there’s the comedian, etc. The way you perceive these individuals will be made up of a number of stimulii you receive. How they dress, how they talk, what body language cues they give off… These are all important reference points to helping us work out what each person is about and how best to approach and interact with them (or even if we interact with them).
With a video on your all important website you’re restricted to using sight and sound to define the ‘character’ of your business. If you stand one of your execs in front of the camera your business’s character will largely be perceived to reflect their character (so be sure to get your casting right!) But there are other subtle tools available to fine-tune the viewers perception of your business. One that is extremely powerful, but often undervalued, is music.
It’s easy these days to throw a piece of library or production music behind your video to jazz it up a bit, but watch out. While you may get a huge kick out of hearing your favourite style of music behind your company video it’s really the perceptions of your visitors / customers that matter most.
The music you use should add an extra level of messaging to your video. That doesn’t mean you’ll need to have a song with lyrics in it… rather, the flavour of the music should contribute a valid emotion or underlying theme to the production. This can be used to either accentuate a positive tone in the video, or, if necessary, provide an antidote to an otherwise possible negative feeling. That’s going to be of real importance if the person fronting your video doesn’t deliver as faultlessly as you’d hoped. A below par performance on camera can be polished up quite nicely with a positive music track.
The challenge is that we all have different likes and dislikes when it comes to music. One persons AC/DC is another persons ABBA. That’s often why the music you hear used in corporate situations is so bland and unmemorable. The safe bet is to use a track that no one will find offensive – problem is, no one will find it inspiring, motivating, positive, trustworthy, supportive, helpful, or useful either.
I suggest trying to find a music track that at least makes some sort of valid contribution to your video. Avoid the vanilla, and go for the choc-dipped with crushed nuts that means that even if some folk find your choice of music odd or challenging, at least they’ll have noticed it. And what’s more, if you get your music selection right you might just help those viewers open their minds (and ultimately, their wallets) to the benefit of your business.
Next time round we’ll look at things to watch out for if planning a filming session in your offices.
Thanks for reading.