Video Marketing

Video Brand Guidelines That Will Make You Succeed

Michael Pirone
March 13, 2020

The State of Video in 2024

Branding is a way to showcase your brand’s unique properties and stand out in the market. Now video has become such a big part of the marketing mix, we’ve seen the need for video brand guidelines emerge.

Video brand guidelines allow a streamlined production, complete consistency and better brand awareness.

Everything that makes your business unique is a part of your brand; it simply has to be understood and presented to the users in an organized, coherent manner. 

When applied correctly, branding leads to your audience immediately connecting with your brand among all the competition. 

Video brand guidelines will help you organize everything that makes your business unique to create a memorable look and feel of your video content at a consistent rate, without you having to reinvent the wheel with each new video. 

Video Brand Guidelines To Consider

Here are some guidelines to take note of:

#1 Avoid Being Too Broad

The most common video brand mistake is making a video that’s too broad and tries to appeal to everyone on every point. 

That’s mission impossible because no video can condense the entire brand history, showcase the entire brand philosophy, and appeal to all demographics at once. This video for Cadabbra, for example, aims to sell the brand specifically to the sellers who will be using the marketplace. While the video does touch on the benefits that are reaped by customers who use Cadabbra, the focus is clearly narrowed in specifically on the sellers.

Even if you can fit all those points in a single video, nobody is going to have the patience to watch it all the way through. How many points does your video cover?  If more than three, consider narrowing down the scope of your video.

#2 Choose Your Message Right Away

What’s the difference between a mediocre story and a memorable one? 

A mediocre story is written from the beginning to the end; a great story is written from the end to the beginning.

Every great story ever written had the ending in mind and steadily built up to it so all the story elements are introduced in time, and the audience has time to absorb them. 

That’s true for video stories as well. 

Imagine the best possible outcome when users interact with your brand and then show how they will get from their current position to that destination.

What steps need to happen to get the user from where they are to where you want them to be?  Plan out the steps in reverse and you won’t get stuck writing yourself in a corner.

#3 Optimize The Video Around The Message

Once you’ve got the message figured out, it’s time to prune, pare, and whittle down all the dead weight. 

Depending on how many people are involved in the video creation process, there can be so much input that it again violates the first of the video brand guidelines—avoid being too broad. 

This is why it’s so useful to have the video brand guidelines hammered out before any work on the video has begun, seeing how the egos of creatives can get bruised very easily. If you have guidelines, work on the video goes more smoothly, including giving and receiving feedback. 

Can you optimize the video around the message without losing any of the story elements? If so, go for it.

#4 Be Visual

This is the most important of all the video brand guidelines, one that can make or break a brand video. 

Presume that your audience loves a good story but it might not expect walls of text or fancy, unreadable fonts in a brand video. 

Every story element you present in the brand video should be clearly understandable without any text or reading. For example, this video for Acquire uses three quick visual takes to communicate the downward spiral of customer acquisition: phonebooks toppling like dominoes, paintings being hung in a downward slant, and toilet paper rolling down a ramp.

Can the video be understood by a toddler? If not, then it’s not visual enough.

#5 Frontload The Video

Consider that your average viewer is most likely typing in 4 – 5 instant chats at once while playing a video game and browsing memes when your video starts playing. 

In other words: You need to grab the viewer’s attention immediately. If you spend more than three seconds before getting to the meat of your brand video, you’re doing it wrong. 

The best approach is to polish the very beginning of the video, i.e. frontload it, which is a trick that movies, shows, and video games are already using to drive engagement and stave off boredom. 

For example, within the first three seconds of UberEat’s Brand Video, a variety of visual numbers and statistics explode out of a delivery bag, implying good reviews and more sales. The viewer is immediately intrigued and wants to know more about what these elements mean and how they can achieve them too.

Does your brand video grab the attention of the audience within the first three seconds? If not, frontload the video.

#6 Reinforce The Same Story

Once you’ve got the winning formula that’s drawing in viewers and keeping them engaged, don’t just shelve it—reuse it to reinforce the story! 

All these video brand guidelines are there to help you discover what makes your brand tick by drilling down to the foundation of good storytelling

After each success, analyze why it worked, observe viewer feedback, and reinforce the same story using the same elements with minimal variations. 

Again, movies, shows, and video games are already using this same trick to reap enormous benefits. They had an amazing story set up in the beginning and now they’re simply reinforcing it by reusing established story elements and characters.

#7 Call to Action

Every video should finish with a call to action to seal the deal. 

This is the part of the video that’s meant to convert viewers into customers. But try to be realistic, and don’t expect too much all at once. Everything you’ve been building up to should culminate in a strong and persuasive call to action. 

Keep in mind what we said about users—they were very likely doing something else when your video started playing. Your call to action should be something they can act upon immediately without a large investment. This video from Airalo ends with a simple, straightforward message to viewers: “Find your freedom at”.

Does your call to action require more than 30 seconds of the viewer’s time? If so, refine it to lower the barrier to entry.

Final Thoughts

Video brand guidelines are ground rules for everyone involved in making a brand video. They help minimize problems, resolve conflicts and streamline the video creation process. 

Done right, these guidelines should have the team seamlessly cooperate to produce not just one, but a hundred or a thousand brand videos with very little investment of time or money, all the while having a lot of fun, whether you’re creating new content or undergoing a rebrand.

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