Video brand guidelines have become paramount in maintaining a brand’s consistency across various platforms. While traditional brand guidelines have long been recognized as essential, how frequently are they adapted to accommodate new media, especially video?
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 To Include In Video Brand Guidelines
With video you need to consider and add a few new elements to your existing guidelines:
- Tone: Decide the mood you want for your videos.
- Language: Choose the language, tone, and terms used to describe your company.
- Colors: Specify brand colors or any new colors for specific purposes.
- Logo Usage: Determine how the logo will be featured.
- Typography: Define typefaces, sizes, and possible restrictions.
- Sound: Choose the type of sound and mood.
- Promotions: Indicate preferred promotional channels.
- Enhancing Visual Storytelling in Videos: Focus on creating compelling narratives using powerful imagery and creative visuals to convey your brand’s story effectively.
- Incorporating User-Generated Content: Utilize content created by customers or fans in your videos to add authenticity and build community engagement.
- Embracing Diversity and Inclusion: Reflect a diverse range of voices and perspectives in your videos to resonate with a broader audience and promote inclusivity.
- Sustainability and Social Responsibility: Highlight your brand’s commitment to sustainability and social responsibility in your video content to align with modern consumer values.
- Integrating Cross-Platform Strategies: Develop video content that works seamlessly across different digital platforms, ensuring a consistent brand message everywhere.
- Integrating Interactive Elements: Add interactive components such as clickable calls-to-action or questionnaires in your videos to increase viewer engagement.
- Leveraging Analytics for Improvement: Regularly analyze video performance data to understand viewer preferences and behaviors, using insights to refine and enhance future video content.
When crafting your video, the tone plays an instrumental role in how your message is conveyed. Consider what tonalities best align with your brand’s identity.
Are you open to humorous or playful videos that might appeal to a younger demographic? Perhaps tongue-in-cheek ones that showcase wit?
Or do you lean more towards a professional, serious demeanor, ensuring viewers see your brand as reliable and trustworthy?
The language and tone used in your videos must be consistent with your brand’s voice. Think about the specific words, jargon, or phrases synonymous with your company. How do you want your company’s name pronounced or emphasized?
Additionally, how will your products or services be presented? Will there be a specific lexicon or terminology that should be adhered to, ensuring clarity and avoiding potential misinterpretations?
While your brand’s color palette provides a foundational guideline, videos offer a dynamic platform that might require deviations. If you’re launching a new product or campaign, introducing a fresh color could be strategic.
However, it’s pivotal to predefine these color changes to maintain a cohesive brand appearance and prevent any unintentional dilution of your brand’s recognizability.
Your logo is the immediate visual representation of your brand. In videos, the presentation of your logo demands keen attention. Will it appear at the start, end, or as a watermark throughout?
Some brands opt for subtlety, letting other elements speak for their identity. Define the size, positioning, and accompanying elements, ensuring your logo remains untarnished and easily identifiable amidst other graphics or text.
Typography in videos, much like in print, communicates beyond the mere words. It conveys mood, importance, and brand identity.
While many elements might be borrowed from your standard guidelines, videos might pose unique challenges.
Due to screen resolutions or platform restrictions, specific fonts might not render well. Thus, detailing font types, sizes for various text elements, and potential alternatives becomes crucial.
An often overlooked but potent tool, sound gives life to your video content. Whether it’s a background score, voiceover, or sound effects, the auditory elements must complement the video’s visuals. What emotions should the sound evoke?
Uplifting, somber, energetic? Identifying sources for licensed music or sound effects ensures legal compliance.
If there’s a theme or jingle associated with your brand, incorporate guidelines for its consistent application.
Promoting your video is as essential as its content. While some channels might align perfectly with your brand’s image, others might not.
For instance, a B2B company might not find value in promoting on a teen-centric platform.
Your guidelines should clearly demarcate where and how your videos should be shared, ensuring that the promotional efforts reinforce your brand’s ethos and reach the right audience.
Enhancing Visual Storytelling in Videos
The power of visual storytelling in videos cannot be overstated. It’s essential to include guidelines that emphasize how stories are told visually in your videos.
This might involve the use of specific imagery, camera angles, or visual pacing that aligns with your brand’s narrative style. Visual storytelling is a potent tool to connect emotionally with your audience, making your message more memorable and impactful.
Incorporating User-Generated Content
In an era where authenticity is highly valued, incorporating user-generated content (UGC) into your video branding strategy can be highly effective. Guidelines on how to integrate UGC can help maintain brand consistency while leveraging the authenticity and relatability of customer-created content.
This approach not only enhances engagement but also builds community around your brand.
Embracing Diversity and Inclusion
Your video content should reflect the diversity of your audience. Include guidelines that ensure representation in terms of race, gender, age, and other demographics.
This not only broadens your appeal but also strengthens your brand’s position as inclusive and socially aware. Videos that celebrate diversity can resonate with a wider audience and foster a positive brand image.
Sustainability and Social Responsibility
As consumers become more environmentally and socially conscious, showcasing your brand’s commitment to sustainability and social responsibility in your videos can be a game-changer.
Guidelines around this can include showcasing eco-friendly practices, highlighting community initiatives, or promoting sustainable products. This approach not only appeals to the values of your audience but also positions your brand as responsible and forward-thinking.
Integrating Cross-Platform Strategies
In a multi-platform digital landscape, your videos need to be versatile across various channels. Guidelines for adapting video content for different platforms – from YouTube to Instagram to LinkedIn – are vital.
This includes considerations for length, format, and content style that are best suited for each platform. A cross-platform strategy ensures wider reach and a cohesive brand presence online.
Integrating Interactive Elements
Incorporating interactive elements into your video content can significantly enhance viewer engagement and participation. This approach can range from simple call-to-action buttons to more complex interactive storytelling where viewers can choose their own adventure within the video.
Guidelines should specify how these interactive elements are aligned with the brand’s voice and aesthetics. By engaging viewers actively, interactive videos not only increase engagement but also offer a unique and memorable brand experience.
This approach can be particularly effective in educational, product demonstration, or promotional videos, making the content more dynamic and user-centric.
Leveraging Analytics for Improvement
Finally, guidelines should include the use of analytics to measure the success of your video content. This involves tracking engagement metrics, viewer feedback, and performance across platforms. Analytics can provide insights for continuous improvement of your video content strategy, ensuring that your videos not only align with your brand guidelines but also resonate effectively with your audience.
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.
Comparing General Brand Guidelines with Video Brand Guidelines
Let’s examine the differences between general brand guidelines and those tailored for video content with a side-by-side comparison:
|General Brand Guidelines
|Video Brand Guidelines
|Medium of Application
|Print, Web, Billboards, etc.
|Video content across various platforms
|Tone and Language
|Consistent across all mediums
|Specific to video (e.g., serious, funny, cheeky)
|Standard Brand Palette
|May introduce specific colors for video
|Size, location, background colors
|Prominence in video, co-existing elements
|General typefaces and sizes
|Specifics for video including headlines and body text
|Music mood, licensing sources, key themes
|General Marketing Channels
|Video-specific channels (e.g., YouTube, Vimeo)
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
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