Every marketer understands the importance of having brand guidelines for your communications, but what about for video?
Despite video being an integral part of any marketing strategy, with 92% of marketers using video, something that is often put on the back burner is the need for video brand guidelines. After all, if you’ve worked hard to establish a brand, you’ll naturally want to make sure the style and content of your videos is in keeping with this.
Your brand image takes time to build, but only moments to shatter if content, such as video, isn’t well considered. Fortunately, there is an easy fix: creating video brand guidelines.
What are video brand guidelines?
Let’s start with brand guidelines.
Brand guidelines are essentially an instruction manual on how to represent your brand correctly. From your brand colours to tone of voice, your brand guidelines serve as a reference for people to consult before developing collateral or communicating on behalf of the business. Typically they outline the visual and written rules, but they should also establish a brand identity and show what makes your organization unique.
Video brand guidelines follow the same principle as the central brand guidelines.
Your video brand guidelines are a road map for video, outlining how they should look, sound and feel. Anyone who reads your video brand guidelines should come away with a firm understanding of how video fits into your overall branding.
Whilst video requires individual consideration, they should form a part of your main brand guidelines to ensure a cohesive guide.
Why do you need video brand guidelines?
Your brand is your business’s identity and is likely apparent in a few places: your website, your product or service, your social media and your adverts. However, branding in video is often overlooked.
It is vital to include video in your brand guidelines or even create separate video brand guidelines to:
Ensure completely consistency across all your content
Without creating and applying brand rules for your video content, chances are your videos will not represent your brand in a way that is consistent or seamless with your other content.
Video brand guidelines ensure you are consistently sending out the right message across every platform and medium. A lack of consistent branding can present your brand in an unprofessional light.
Create a strong brand experience and identity
Video is a powerful and popular form of content for marketing, sales and even internal communications. It is an immersive medium that can represent your brand in a whole new way.
However, if your video content is not consistent or representative of your brand it can weaken your identity and even impact the brand experience for your audience.
Make your video content recognisable to your audience
Strong branding in your videos improves brand recognition, ensuring your videos are recognised as a product of your company. For example, colour alone can increase brand recognition by 80%. Content that isn’t matching up to your established brand may confuse your audience and pollute your message.
Furthermore, ensuring your videos are in-line with your branding will build trust with your customers and instil a sense of brand identity that can grow into brand loyalty.
The example above is some of the animated videos Skeleton has produced for Europa, which clearly showcase how consistent branding can make your content easily recognisable.
Make sure external agencies don’t misrepresent your brand
You probably know your brand like the back of your hand, or were even involved in developing it!
When you outsource to an expert video agency, however, they only know what you tell them. Brand guidelines are a starting point, but video brand guidelines establish those rules and ensure your brand is not misrepresented.
Lower production costs
Whether you create your video content inhouse or hire an external specialist, establishing creative boundaries before producing your video content means there is less upfront work to be done. This saves both time and money, leaving you or your video agency free to concentrate on creating engaging content without having to worry about making sure everything is on brand.
What should video brand guidelines include?
Video is arguably one of the most complicated mediums, but it can still be effectively branded.
To ensure your videos reflect your brand, your guidelines will need to cover the following elements:
Video brand elements
This is your opportunity to explain how you want your videos to feel and the general “vibe”. For example, do you want them to be serious and professional, or should they use humour?
This is an important baseline to work from and will help guide the rest of the brand elements.
This will range from more granular elements such as, how your company should be referred to or how products/services should be described, to more broad aspects like the tone of voice that should be used in your videos.
Your company should have a brand colour palette that it uses in its marketing materials. You should include guidelines on how and where these colours should be used in your videos. Or you may want to introduce a new colour for a new initiative.
If you are planning on using animation in your videos, you will need to decide on a style that best represents your brand. Will it be a more cartoon-style or something more corporate?
It is also important to include guidelines for the use of specific graphical elements. For example, if you use lower thirds to include the speaker's name and job title, you need to outline how that should look.
Below is an example taken from some video brand guidelines Skeleton created for Internet society.
It is good to include your company logo somewhere in your videos to help with brand recognition. This section of your brand guidelines should indicate how and where your logo should be used. Will it be used in the intro or outro of videos? Or should it consistently be watermarked in the corner?
Again, this may be influenced by your existing guidelines, or you may need to adapt it for video. Typography guidelines should include information such as, sizes for headings, sub-headings and body text, and even when and where text should be used.
Music and sound
Video introduces a new element to consider for your brand - sound. It is important to consider what sort of sounds and music will fit with the way your brand already looks and feels. What mood do you want to create?
Even transitions between shots can increase brand recognition. Think American sports networks that typically use a fast logo reveal! You need to consider what your brand standard will be for transitions. Will it be a simple and classic transition, or will you make it an opportunity to to reinforce your brand?
If you’re going to be producing a large number of videos in a similar format, such as multiple training videos, it might be worth creating video templates and including them in your video brand guidelines. These can then be used as a foundation for your videos going forwards, saving time and money, and guaranteeing consistency.
If you are taking a filmed approach, establishing a shooting style and editing technique is very important for the visual vibe of the video. What lighting will you use? What angles will you shoot at? Will you shoot indoors or outdoors?
Alongside this, knowing where the video will be distributed will decide how you frame the shots. For example, if it is going to be shared on social media, you may need to consider if a 1:1 aspect ratio would work best for your brand and content.
Example of video brand guidelines...
Here is an example of a video brand guidelines we created for Internet Society, and a sample video to show how the video brand guidelines come together visually and support the written guidelines.
To wrap it all up...
It is great that you are creating video content - there is no better way to market your business. But, don’t lose sight of your brand!
Without creative boundaries in place you risk compromising the brand you’ve worked so hard to establish. Video brand guidelines not only makes your content consistent, but also better. They help protect your brand, create a strong message across all your content and lets your brand identity shine through.
If you are ready to get your video brand guidelines produced, either request a quote or drop us an email. We'd be more than happy to help!
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