Video guidelines are worth developing for any Brand as it ensures consistency and clear recognition - but whilst it is tempting to set out a prescriptive set of rules, think instead about how you can influence creating the content to increase viewer engagement whilst being consistent and on brand:
1. Avoid logo builds/animations at the beginning of your video - you're wasting the precious first 5 seconds. Think of other ways you can incorporate your branding like brand coloured backgrounds, visual brand representation and designed thumbnails clearly describing the video content and engaging the viewer before they have even clicked start.
2. 60 - 90 seconds is a great length for video, as retention drops quickly after this point. If you've got a longer video, think about chopping it up into 1 minute topics. Viewers are more likely commit to 1 minute, less likely to commit to 8, and they can cherry pick which they want to watch. Video is best for high level, emotive messages, leave the detailed stuff for PDF files.
3. If you've got a video that goes longer try adding more than 1 person to the video or changing locations to keep things fresh and interesting.
4. If you're going to ask an influencer or partner to share your video content, get them involved in developing the content, as opposed to asking them to be a pure distribution channel. The content will likely be better, and they'll be more invested in getting the content out there.
5. If you're using employee generated content, sound is crucial. Use lapel mics if you can, even if you're only filming on your phone. Having a soundtrack is important too and helps with brand consistency.
6. YouTube is designed to keep the user on YouTube by watching more and more videos. Best way to use YouTube is to show a 'teaser version' of your video, only 30 seconds long. Then direct the viewer to the full video on your website. This also means you don't have to worry about the viewer acknowledging they're a professional investor, because all the stuff compliance would want behind a pop-up will be on your own site, with the low-risk version on YouTube.
7. Subtitles/captions are a must, ideally with the option to turn these on/off, as opposed to being 'burnt in' to the video file on your website. If you are using the video on social networks such as LinkedIn, be conscious of the sizing and format, and that subtitles don't get obscured by set features - such as LinkedIn's time countdown feature on mobile.
8. Generating and uploading a subtitle file to YouTube will enable Google to index the video content for search. Don't try to stuff keywords into your subtitle files, Google checks they match the video. Instead focus on your naming conventions, descriptions and tagging to help with SEO. Well optimised video won't help your website page rank, it will help the YouTube ranking.
9. Editing is the most time consuming element of video production, even firms with in-house video production capabilities outsource the editing part. Save yourself time by planning and agreeing in advance what channels you want to host the content on and what edits you require, so the right content can be captured during filming.
10. Most efficient way to spend on video is to capture as much content as possible in a single day, so plan in advance, help with timings by summarising or scripting the content and agree the format with those appearing in the videos to help you create impactful engaging content.