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How to make engaging video content for brands

There is a huge amount of video content out there, and many platforms to access it. So how do you make sure your video not only reaches the right people, but also engages them? Here are nine top tips.

Make sure there is an authentic purpose

Chrissie Cooper, director of agency Fever PR: “First, ask what do you want your video to do? Inform, entertain or spark debate? How do you want your audience to feel? Happy, shocked, confused? What's going to make people stop, watch and share? That should guide your creative.

“Whatever you do, don’t make 'vanity' content - if it doesn’t play an authentic purpose, don't make it.”

Keep it short

Chrissie Cooper: “There are some hard and fast rules for making a successful brand video. Get it done in 90 seconds - short form is king (for now) and shoot your master so it can be edited for social formats, like 1:1 and 9:16 too (makes it easier to get social editors sharing on publication channels) Don’t over brand it. You've got three seconds max before someone scrolls on - including video desks - if it looks like an ad, you're going to find it hard to place. Tell a story. Share a story.”

Tailor it to social

Borja Iglesias, digital strategy lead at PR agency Tyto: “Instagram and TikTok favour brief, visually captivating content which is less than 60 seconds in length, whereas LinkedIn, X and Facebook allow for up to two minutes. YouTube allows for longer, in-depth videos. If you are communicating the same message via different platforms, the videos should still look different.”

Think of your audience

Borja Iglesias: “The best PR video content is grounded in a thorough understanding of who you are trying to reach. Every video needs to be tailored to align with the interests and preferences of your audience - it is never a one-size-fits-all approach.

Be a strategic guide

Guy Thomson, in-house videographer at integrated marketing agency Tigerbond: “The world of video PR is dynamic, with ever-evolving platforms and trends. Forging the right path requires meticulous analysis. A brand might flourish under the spotlight of an influencer endorsement on TikTok. Or a case study might come to life in a video placed in the media. Conversely, a corporation may command respect through a LinkedIn showcase to solidify its authority.

“Ultimately, PR’s mastery lies in translating the client's message and identifying the target audience. Each video should maximise exposure and fire up engagement levels. We are not just content creators; we need to be strategic guides at the same time.”

Building trust is key

Matt Bowie, head of films at marketing agency Lewis: “It is predicted that by the end of 2023, video will account for 82% of all internet traffic. To get engagement, Building trust is key, audiences naturally prefer seeing a face on camera. ESG storytelling is a priority, business leaders are required to talk authentically on the issues of the day.”

Be careful how you use talent

Daniel Harding, broadcast director at PR agency 72Point: “Only use talent if it complements the story/content.”

Don't bore people

Daniel Harding: “Create a wow, even in the driest subject, or hit hard with impact. Sometimes the simplest video can be the most effective. You just have to use it correctly.”

Think of the outfit analogy

Rebecca Marchant, associate social director at PR firm M&C Saatchi Talk: “When thinking about creating video content across platforms it helps to think about the outfit analogy. If you have a really great outfit, you don’t just wear it once, to one place, you’ll wear it multiple times and maybe even change it up it based on where you’re going. If you have a really great piece of content that you know resonates with your audience, it’s all about how you make it fit for purpose on each relevant platform.

“At the end of the day, we’ve found that ideas beat algorithms and audiences will stick with video content if it speaks directly to them and engages in a conversation.”

Next week, we discuss how to use brand video and other images on Instagram for maximum impact.

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