video camera on a tripod
A company culture video can showcase your uniqueness and values. PHOTO: Kaique Rocha

It’s 2017, and video marketing is on the rise. We’re all aware of the benefits of a strong video marketing campaign, but it can be tough for companies new to video to know where to start.

A company culture video can be the perfect first foray into video marketing, especially for smaller businesses with tight budgets.

Culture videos have several uses both internally and externally, and require some creativity, planning, and a willingness to be transparent — all qualities needed in more extensive video campaigns.

Why Create a Culture Video?

A culture video paints a wide stroke for your promotional efforts. It can be used in a variety of ways with internal and external audiences.

With current employees, the video and its creation can be used to boost team morale. Human resources can leverage the video in the recruitment of quality new hires.

These videos are also a solid promotional tool, and can help build hype around the company and even lower barriers between the company and potential clients.

Simple Is Sufficient

Culture videos are unique in that they don’t have to redefine the limits of cinematography and film. Since the goal is to break down walls between your company and your viewers, expensive production is not always necessary.

If you have the budget, working with a videographer will save you time and headaches. Look for a local freelancer or a smaller, affordable agency in your area and make sure you talk about purpose, audience, core message and timeline before you film.

If money is tight, you can do it in-house. Start by browsing the Wistia Blog for tips and tricks.

Creating a Company Culture Video

While each video is unique to the company it represents, there are five main components of every culture video.

Uniqueness

The best company culture video is the one that most accurately represents your people and your values. If you’re a nerdy accounting firm, own it. If you’re a trendy creative agency, show it off. Get creative in portraying the things that make you unique. Think about what makes your company different in your industry and highlight that in your video.

Example: Bamboo HR is an HR company that’s choosing to not be defined by the typical startup values of working 90 hours a week and sleeping under your desk. It's a startup that appreciates work-life balance

People, People, People

While it’s important to have the higher-ups talk about what makes your company unique, a great culture video should represent your people.

Give your employees a voice; at the end of the day, they are your culture. While filming, ask your employees “Why do you enjoy working here?” You may be surprised at what you hear.

Example: Dropbox focused entirely on their people. While it never actually showed its employee’s faces, the employees voices and opinions are loud and clear.  

Honesty is Key

Your culture video is like your online dating bio. You want to be as honest as possible because eventually, the truth will come out.

Instead of actors, use your employees. Instead of stock footage, use your actual office. Instead of hiring a voiceover, use someone within your company. Don’t script your entire video. Allow your employees to answer a few questions off the cuff.

Example: Fiverr created an over-the-top satire culture video that pokes fun at the typical, stock footage, culture genre. After its stock footage montage, it was honest about who they want to hire and who they want to work with. 

What’s Your Purpose?

Being able to communicate clearly why you do what you do is incredibly important, especially with recruitment.

Employees are motivated to join something that exists for something bigger than “paying the bills”. Let your purpose come from the problem you’re solving and the people you help. While filming, ask your employees “Why did you choose to work here?”

Example: Notice the first thing Airbnb shows in its recruitment video are several interns talking about the company's purpose. “Airbnb is letting you be the neighbor of anybody in the world.”  

Feeling

As Maya Angelou said, “at the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel”.

“Feeling” is a tough concept to nail down in a video, but it is possible. Let your brand dictate the feel of your video.

If you’re a financial institution focusing on your rich history, utilize serious music with slower shots of your historic building and pictures of your founders who started the company in 1948.

If you’re a startup that makes beanies with beards, think more upbeat music, faster shots, and high-energy testimonials.

Music sets the tone immediately. The right song will fit the mood of your company and the pace of the video. It will also connect with people on an emotional level. Peruse resources like www.audiojungle.net and www.themusicbed.com to find a good fit.

Example: Falling Whistles’ nonprofit video shows exactly what music can do. The song progresses from sad to inspiring as it captures attention.

If done well, your culture video can showcase your business with a sense of honesty that will increase the trust and emotional connection between your future employees and clients.