Brand guidelines are essential to ensure the consistency of you brand. But do you update them to new media?
According to a study  by B2B Marketing, video is the best content type to make you stand out from your competitors. Interestingly enough, it is also the one that helps you resonate with your audience. This means that you can’t ignore it any longer. And judging by the data collected by B2B Marketing – less and less marketers do.
Seventy eight percent of survey respondents said they are likely to use video in the next 12 months. And experiences of those who already started using video to promote their companies are encouraging – 58% of respondents have found it to be a successful marketing channel.
At the same time, 68% of those who responded admitted to not having any video brand guidelines. This means that even if they create video content, there is a strong chance that it will only confuse their customers.
What Do You Need Video Brand Guidelines For?
Guidelines are developed with 3 things in mind:
- To ensure consistency of a brand, regardless of a medium.
- To help communicate the brand persistently.
- To offer restraints within which the communication can occur.
Without these three, you run at risk of compromising your brand promise and brand story, not to mention confusing your customers. And that’s a number 1 killer of brands, if you ask me.
With solid guidelines you can ensure that no matter what communications medium is used, your brand is consistently portrayed helping customers to understand it and it’s promise and ultimately build trust in it.
Lastly, guidelines work not only internally. You can use them to guide any 3rd party vendors as to how your brand can be used when creating promotional materials for it. But if one communications channel isn’t included, bad things happen.
Without video guidelines, an element of your marketing campaign is likely to communicate completely different ideas about your brand and your message becomes polluted. This can happen because of a personal interpretation of your core message by whoever delivers it. A designer or a production house for instance, or a writer creating copy in a completely different tone of voice that your brand tries to maintain.
With video becoming so prevailing a method of contact with audiences, it is crucial that you update your guidelines to include this medium as well.
What To Include In Video Brand Guidelines
With video you need to consider and add a few new elements to your existing guidelines:
Include information about the tone you want to portray in the video. Will you allow videos in a silly format, tongue in cheek ones, or require them to be serious all the time?
Specify what language and tone of voice should be used in your videos. Also, you need to decide how your company will be referred to in the video copy, how its name will be used and how your products or services will be described and so on.
Colors will most likely be similar to the palette specified for your brand. But if you want to steer away from them (i.e. introduce a new color to highlight a specific service), you should define that first.
Similar to language, you also need to specify how your logo should be featured in video. Consider whether you need it there at all (some companies get away with other brand elements defining who produced it), how prominent it should be and what elements (graphical and text) will you allow to reside beside the logo.
Typography, just like colors might be derived from your general guidelines. You might want to use slightly different typefaces or there might be some technology or legal limitations preventing the use of special fonts in your video. Typography guidelines should also include such elements as sizes for headlines, subheadlines and body text.
Video introduces a new element to your brand – sound. You should decide what type of sound you want and the mood that goes with it. It should be used in your videos, where the music can be licensed from, and determine the key theme, if you have one.
Lastly, your video guidelines should at least indicate how you want the video to be promoted. Some promotional channels might not apply to your brand and you should restrict anyone working on your video marketing, be it in-house or a 3rd party company, from using them.
Video might still be perceived by some as an emerging marketing channel. It has, however, already become a powerful way to differentiate yourself from your competition and engage with your audience.
But to do it well, you should specify video brand guidelines and determine how your brand should be portrayed in video first.
Video  Photo via Shutterstock