“Film is a matter of what’s in the frame and what’s out.”

Martin Scorsese

Very few people like reading. For the vast majority, it’s hard and tedious labor. They much rather watch a video.

Video is your audience’s favorite way to absorb information. 18

A Facebook executive predicted the platform will be all video, adding that video is “the best way to tell stories in this world” and “helps us to digest much more information.” 19

Luckily, you as a brand builder can profit from this trend. For what better way to communicate your brand promise than through video?

Making video’s is easier than ever – you can shoot and edit 4K video on your mobile phone.

And to a certain extent, crummy production value only adds to your video’s authenticity and realism.

In this chapter we’ll explore:

  • How to make viral videos.
  • Steps for creating a video.

How to make viral videos

The wet dream of every brand builder is a video being spread around the world for free. This is very rare, but you can increase the odds.

Any video can go viral if your audience keeps sharing it in their network. But they’ll do this only when your video evokes intense emotion.

We’re talking about serious doses of awe, joy, hope, nostalgia or sympathy. Perhaps some anger.

This is why animations hardly go viral – it’s hard to inspire the above emotions with cartoons. Also, some video ingredients are better at evoking emotion than others.

Old people, babies, and animals inspire emotion the easiest.

Your brand shouldn’t be the center stage in the video. People won’t spread a story tainted by an overt commercial motive. At best the video is allowed to portray the emotional impact of your product or service.

Step 1: Define the purpose and type of your video

You can’t expect your video to be effective without a clear purpose. It decides the type, length, and location of your videos.

Don’t just start yapping into the camera. Settle on a purpose first.

The questions below should give you some direction where to start.

A: Decide in what stage to show the video.

Before you pick a video type, you must know the patience and comprehension level of your audience when they see your video.

Awareness stage

  • Your audience is unaware of you and perhaps unaware of their problem.
  • They’ll have no patience and no Keep it short and simple.
  • Examples are your home page, landing pages or social media profiles.

Consideration stage

  • Your audience understands their problem and is exploring your solution.
  • They are willing to watch longer and more complex videos.
  • Example locations are your product and about pages.

Decision stage

  • Your audience wants to fix their problem and is researching brands.
  • They are willing to watch longer and more complex videos.
  • Example locations are the testimonial and conversion pages.

Loyalty stage

  • Your committed audience is starting to experience your brand benefits.
  • Now you can hit them with the long-form video content.
  • Example locations are your emails, knowledge base and news feed.

You can use video in each stage.

Pick a video type and purpose.

You must now pick a type of video and purpose. They must fit the stage you’re showing it in.

Pitch videos

  • A pitch video describes a problem and offers your brand as a It often describes a fictional buyer who gets his need solved.
  • Purpose: evoke the need for your brand in your audience.
  • Format for SaaS: Complex software needs simplicity.
  • Format for others: It inspires emotion the easiest.
  • Length estimate: 30 to 60 seconds.
  • Suitable for stage: awareness.

Story video

  • A story video describes a situation where a protagonist interacts with your brand and shows positive emotion as they reap the results.
  • Purpose: tie a positive emotion to your brand.
  • Format: Video.
  • Length estimate: 20 to 90 seconds.
  • Suitable for stage: awareness, consideration, decision, loyalty.

Brand videos

  • A brand video showcases your organization and its grand The mission & vision, working culture and history can be addressed.
  • Purpose: convince the audience your organization shares their values.
  • Format: live video.
  • Length estimate: 1 to 5 minutes.
  • Suitable for stage: consideration, decision.

Interview videos

  • Interview videos put experts in your brand’s field in front of the camera to answer interesting questions.
  • Purpose: inspire trust and build authority with your audience.
  • Format: Video.
  • Length estimate: 1 to 60 minutes.
  • Suitable for stage: consideration, decision, loyalty

Event videos

  • Event videos show highlights of what your audience can expect at your conference, fundraiser or trade mart.
  • Purpose: interest your audience for a visit.
  • Format: Video.
  • Length estimate: 20 to 60 seconds.
  • Suitable for stage: awareness, consideration, decision, loyalty

Case study videos

  • A case study video portrays satisfied customers who describe how your brand helped them achieve their goals.
  • A case study video portrays satisfied customers who describe how your brand helped them achieve their goals.
  • Purpose: convince the audience your brand can fulfill the the promise.
  • Format:Video.
  • Length estimate: 30 to 120 seconds.
  • Suitable for stage: decision

Educational videos

  • Educational videos teach your audience something new.
  • Purpose: build authority and a following as you educate your audience about things relevant to your audience about things relevant to your brand.
  • Format: Video, animation, or a combination.
  • Length estimate: 3 to 30 minutes.
  • Suitable for stage: awareness, consideration, decision, loyalty

Have you got a video type and purpose in mind? Good, write it down.

Perhaps yours is a hybrid of the above. No matter. Just make sure you write down the purpose, format, and length of whatever you want.

Step 2: Choose who’s going to make your video

You’ve now got a video to produce. But there is too much competition for it to suck. Your audience will instantly dismiss videos that ain’t worth their time – and they can smell junk like a bloodhound on cocaine.

Option I: Hire a creative agency.

They will do scripting, production, and editing for you. This can be expensive.

Option II: Hire a production company or freelancer.

 The name gives it away: they bring some gear and shoot some material for you. You must script, edit and often direct. This is cheaper but leaves a lot of creative freedom with you.

Option III: Do it yourself.

 You do everything yourself.

Step 3: Write a video script

Every great video starts with a clearly articulated script. Even those without strict choreography – like interviews and case studies – should be prepared with (follow-up) questions.

A. To kickstart yourself, dig up some inspiration. 

Check out the videos of analogous brands, and study them from beginning to end. See what they do right, and take note.

B. Brainstorm for rough outlines.

Now it’s time to sketch the outline for your video. Brainstorm alone or with colleagues about what theme, emotion or solution your video will highlight.

Some questions that may help:

  • What emotion should our brand inspire?
  • What benefit do you want to convey at a minimum?
  • What protagonist will my audience identify with?
  • What situations does the audience face?
  • Does this outline fit within the constraints of the Brand Identity?

C. Condense your outlines into a script that fits the

 The script is nothing more than 3 columns, describing (1) when your audience (2) sees and (3) hears things. Don’t worry, you’re not trying to get Martin Scorsese to frame it on his bedroom wall. Just get the idea on paper.

Don’t forget to have a strong opener (hook) and close with a call to action that tells people to try your brand or visit your store.

D. Subject your script to criticism.

First, ask yourself the hard questions:

  • If you act the script out, does it still feel right?
  • If you articulate all the text, does it still fit within the time frame?
  • Would you watch this video all the way through if it wasn’t yours?

If you answer ‘yes’ to these questions, you are ready to:

Ask your colleagues, clients, and audience to critize the script.

You don’t want to get stoned by your stakeholders once the editing is done. It will be too late to salvage your video.

Start shooting if everything goes well. If not, go back to the drawing board.

Step 4A: Shoot your video

Shooting video can be done with any prosumer camera. Whatever script or setting you choose, the following three ingredients will magnify your production value:

  • Proper Shoot outdoors, or use a naturally lit room. Artificial light can fail to deliver if you don’t have a competent crew shooting for you.
  • Crisp Your video will suffer greatly from crackly recordings, hauling wind or a speaker who sounds like he’s locked in a flotation tank. Use an external microphone instead of your camera’s.
  • Depth of This means your subject is in focus (sharp) and the background isn’t. It requires a serious camera and some practice, but the result is worth it.

Can’t shoot a scene because of budget or time constraints? Browse for stock video that might complement your own footage.

Step 4B: Animate your video

Animation can be extremely labor-intensive. This makes it expensive to produce unless you’re willing to invest weeks yourself.

I buy animation or explainer kits online . Then I animate by clicking together scenes. The promo video for this book was made with one.

If you hand a freelancer skilled in After Effects both the animation kit and the script you should be able to procure your video within a limited budget.

You can also buy HUD elements, animated graphs, and other resources to overlay on your live video.

Step 5: Edit your video

Video editing is easy – you drag pieces of footage across a timeline until it flows. I use After Effects and Premiere, but there are (free) alternatives.

A. Settle on music, voice-over and sound effects first.

This allows you to coincide visuals and sounds. A video that synchronizes music, voice and video is exponentially more powerful.

You can source stock music and sound effects online .

Voiceovers can be done by freelancers www.fiverr.com www.freelancer.com. Don’t forget to ask for their portfolio and a sample first. Compare their price to others before you commit.

If your voice-over is not in yet – just dub it yourself. You can replace it later with the real thing.

B. Source an editing template. (Optional)

There’s a shortcut to impressive editing: you can use templates. These are ready-made video files: you insert your footage and render an impressive production.

Search for “After Effects Templates” and get inspired .

Step 6: Add a logo animation (optional)

Why not add some serious shine with a logo animation? It will add power to your call to action – and credibility and coolness to the entire video.

Online there are loads of templates that will accommodate your logo with a few clicks, churning out a professional result for a few bucks.

Search for “Logo Animation Template” .

These often include instructions on how to work the template. Can’t figure it out? Ask either the creator or a freelancer skilled in After Effects to insert your logo.

Step 7: Publish your video

I prefer hosting video at a specialized platform like YouTube over a custom player on my site for three reasons:

  1. Video is bulky and can eat into your server capacity.
  2. Browsers on every device handle YouTube video players well.
  3. The video can attract a bit of the YouTube audience.

So upload your video to YouTube or Vimeo and embed it into your website. If you are using a paid video platform that allows for extra analytics, adjust your privacy policy.

Summary and steps to create video content for your brand

Video is your audience’s favorite way to absorb information. It helps them to digest much more information.

You must decide on the purpose, type, length and deployment location of each video, accounting for the patience and comprehension level of your audience.

Videos should be produced following a clear process, or they tend to suck. And they only go viral if it evokes intense emotion.

Step 1: Define the purpose and type of your video.

Step 2: Choose who’s going to make your video.

  • Option I: Hire a creative agency.
  • Option II: Hire a production company or freelancer.
  • Option III: Do it yourself.

Step 3: Write a video script.

  • A. To kickstart yourself, dig up some inspiration.
  • B. Brainstorm for rough outlines.
  • C. Condense your outlines into a script that fits the timeframe.
  • D. Subject your script to criticism.

Step 4: Shoot or animate your video.

Step 5: Edit your video.

  • A. Settle on music, voice-over and sound effects first.
  • B. Source an editing template (Optional)

Step 6: Add a logo animation (Optional)