At Kaptcha we help B2B companies create more emotional connections with their audiences.
We make films that work. Films that connect with people. Films that stir emotion and inspire action.
Our team is built around award-winning BBC executives, directors and crew. We give a full end-to-end service – creative and strategic thinking, combined with huge editorial experience from the broadcast TV world.
Let’s Kaptcha your story together.
Knowing how to retain your staff is the biggest challenge for many of the comms professionals we speak to. With skills shortages, high employment and political uncertainty, good team members may well have more options than ever.
As part of our series on the most effective video strategies for business, we have pulled together 10 tips for engaging your colleagues – as well as the talent you want to attract. Here we cover prepping your film, while Part Two deals with the shoot and Part Three covers post-production..
People stories help retain staff
There’s a phrase in business: ‘People buy from people’. Your people are your brand, so putting those that best represent your brand on film can be massively powerful.
Putting your people on film motivates colleagues, customers and recruits by:
- demonstrating your company values
- making people feel proud of themselves, their colleagues and what their company does
- bringing your vision and strategy alive
- encouraging them to share best practice stories and raise standards
- showing customers stories of how much they rate your company
- showing your brand personality through your people.
Other than face to face, film is the best way of bringing your brand alive. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy to do, and people can get it wrong.
How do you make people stories?
1. Find the story
The first step is to find powerful stories that reflect your brand – that show your company’s human character and culture. Unearthing those people and their amazing stories is the most important step in how to retain staff with film. It’s also the most important one to get right.
People stories might come from colleagues or customers. Customer testimonials are the most influential, so don’t be afraid to ask them to feature. A satisfied client will often be more than happy to endorse what your business does.
You will need to hunt down the best stories, so actively ask people to send them in. Don’t just look in the work environment, some of your people will reflect your brand values in their own time. HSBC TV is a great example of a brand covering everything from diversity to sporting achievements and weight loss. These narratives communicate powerful emotions that resonate with the brand’s values.
2. Research the story
If finding the story is the most important part of the film process, researching it is the most under-rated.
Filming is expensive so it is important to get the most from each shoot day. Brands can miss out on the best deal by filming without proper research, resulting in wasted budget. Good research costs less than a crew day, so it’s better value to prep the shoot carefully.
Smart research will include topic, locations and contributors. The result will be a crew who know how to make the most of the schedule and interviewees who are confident and well-briefed. It is possible to make an effective brand film on the hoof, but your budget will generate stronger and more predictable ROI with research.
Good research and a recce led to an extremely organised shoot on this story for Aviva, which we filmed in one day. Without the recce it would have used more crew days and added to the budget.
3. Find the best angle
Every comms professional knows that a story has a beginning, middle and an end. But how can that work amid a torrent of content on social media?
In our world of decreasing attention spans, the beginning needs to grab attention quickly. It could be something visual, or a hook at the start that makes people want to watch. In broadcast we talk about what question are you posing at the start, a question that the audience will want to keep watching to find the answer to. The same applies to brand film.
That’s partly why the research stage matters. It allows the creative team to look at the components of the story and work out the most powerful way to tell that story with the available elements.
This film from The New Zealand Police grabs the audience’s attention right from the start. The force chose an action-packed theme laced with humour that gets the tone just right.
With good pre-production, your film project will be built on strong foundations. Successful brand films deliver high ROI because video is uniquely able to generate a positive emotional response. It’s that emotional response that helps your business retain staff, but engaging content is rarely created in a hurry. If it is, good fortune plays its part.
So you’re all set to start filming. What are the expert tips to delivering your finished film in time and on budget? In Part Two of this article we look at the second key step in production: filming.
Click here to ask a question.
Why is pre-production so important for your film?
In the broadcast world a huge amount of work happens in the pre-production stage (before any filming starts). Filming is expensive so the aim is to get the most out of filming days – and being prepared helps do that.
Information on the topic, potential contributors, locations, archive that could be used and much more is all gathered in advance – usually far more than can go into the programme. The creative team will then look at all of this and start to work out the most powerful way to tell that story with the elements they have. Usually the director will talk to potential contributors in advance, or even better meet them in person – and also go and recce potential filming locations.
The main benefits of thorough pre-production:
- It allows the producer/ director thinking time to come up with the most compelling way of telling the story
- it means filming days are efficient– and that saves money
- it means people (including contributors and crew) are far clearer of what is expected from them on filming days
- at the end of the day you get a better film for less money
Pre-production is just as important when filming branded content and corporate films – it means the client gets a better film and can often save them money.
A trend we’re seeing in 2018 and 2019 is brands wanting films that are genuine. Films that create emotional connections with their audiences - with real people telling real stories.
We work a lot with the finance, tech and cyber security sectors where there isn’t a physical product to show – so getting your own people or customers on film is a great way for brands to bring their purpose and personality to life.
But it’s moved on from simple talking heads. Short editorially strong films are on trend – mini documentaries. And brands are investing more time into contributor research finding those who have a great story to tell and telling it with passion.
One day roughly a year ago, Rich, (our Creative Director) and I were working in the office brainstorming ideas. I could tell he was annoyed but I wasn't sure why. Then he said – “Rich…” (yes, we’re both called Rich – I know it can be confusing, even for us) “… why do you call them videos? We don’t make videos, we make films”
At first I didn’t understand what he meant. The vast majority of what we do is work with big global brands making short marketing or comms ‘messages’ for them. We generally don’t make feature films you’d see at the movies. But then he explained.
“Over the last 5 to 10 years the term video has been de-valued. If you have a smart phone you can shoot a ‘video’ and the term video is now associated with lower quality”
I understood straight away. Rich and I and many of our team came from the very top end of the BBC and broadcast television. We don’t ‘do’ low quality and we certainly don’t want to. We make high quality, creative films for our clients.
It still took me a while to stop using the term video but, after being shouted at several times I’ve finally stopped. So, if you want a video then I’m happy to lend you my old i-phone – but if you want a film, please give us a call.