The simple secret to creating successful branded videos

To observe the evolving patterns of mobile use, look no further than the Singapore MRT.

The number of people you see with their screen horizontal is an indication of how many of us are plugging in and watching, viewing, liking and sharing online videos.

The branded video content space is becoming incredibly more competitive. In fact, mobile users in APAC are consuming more video than ever before, with revenue expected to reach US$35 billion by 2021. Deciding to invest in video is the easy part.

Creating a story that walks the fine line between emotion, entertainment, and information is a learning process. The key to achieving this trifecta of audience engagement is authenticity. That’s what matters most to consumers.

Clients often tell me, “We’re very polished, and we like to tell the story in this manner. This is how our message is always delivered.”

That’s all well and good, but on the Internet, people don’t want a message to be delivered the same way, every time.

Someone in a board room will ask, “So, what is authenticity?” before asking a production team to wrap a video around a carefully curated concept. Now, that’s not very authentic, is it? Sure, this works (sometimes) but most of the time, no one ever really loves the content being produced. Yet they run with it because it goes with the ‘voice’ that was agreed upon around the table.

It’s surprising how many clients throw their cards up in the air and just say “whip something up”, with the intention of letting that content out to see how it goes. What brands don’t realise is that finding your voice is a process that comes halfway through planning, not at the beginning of a strategy.

I know it sounds cliched, but start with good content, and an authentic voice will evolve from there.

Start with what you actually know. Kick off with information that’s actually real, initially. If you’re a leader of a company, you should have a mental bank of good advice, stories, tips, anecdotes, and ideas to share. Get that out and get it involved in your content.

No matter what way you put it, your message has to be the real thing. Audiences have grown up from TV; they are smart and can tell what’s real and what’s corporate jargon.

Once you have a story, integrate it with a brand voice that producers can work with.  Now tweak that message until it resonates with your ideal audience. Let your story come out. Focus on the content first.

After you’ve conceived the backbone of the narrative, put some entertainment value in it, because people skip through videos fast. Make them laugh, cry or smile - it’s always been the way of advertising. The only difference between today’s online audience and television audiences is that we are allowed to be transparent about selling their product or service.

If you produce a brand video that isn’t getting views, you don’t really have to worry about losing brand awareness. Why? Because nobody will watch it. But once you’ve put out a video that customers have reacted positively to, then you’re in the mix now.

The beauty of video and its effectiveness in brand recall is that you don’t even have to deliver the full message to get people to love and engage with a product - you just need to give audiences something that’s worth watching on the train.

The author of the article is Tim Norton, CEO, 90 Seconds.