Whether you call it an “about us” video, a “culture” video, or even an “intro” video, the goal is the same — tell your story. In fact, an “about us” video is really the Swiss Army knife of the digital world. If you do it well, sales, marketing, and HR can all use the same video (or slight variations of it). After all, each of their audiences should be interested in learning all about your company — as long as you make it interesting.
So, how do you make your “about us” video work? Fortunately, we have a lot of experience in that area — and there are definitely some do’s and don’ts to follow.
DO: Tell your own story
I’m not sure why, but there’s such a temptation to look at other videos and copy them. If you’re inspired by a cool video, that’s great, but make sure you’re still telling your own story.
There are reasons your employees like to work with you and customers want to buy from you — and I doubt they have anything to do with how many employees you have or the year you were founded.
On the other hand, if there’s a unique reason you were founded, or you want to focus on a group of passionate, interesting people who have worked at your company for years, go right ahead. Those are interesting stories because they really are your stories.
DON’T: Show everything you do
The video is “about us,” not “everything about us.” It isn’t supposed to show every product you sell or everything you do. It’s an introduction. It’s the best stuff to get them interested.
What do you tell your friends about when telling them how great your company is? What stuff do you highlight when selling your top products? Think about it as an elevator pitch that makes you and your products interesting with the added bonus of actually seeing and hearing some of those things.
And if you’re tempted to go too deep on individual products, remember there are other places on your website for real product videos.
DO: Use real video
There’s a temptation to use an explainer video as an about us video — but don’t. Explainer videos are great, but this is supposed to be about you, not what you do. How much can we really see and meet you and your company when all we’re actually seeing is fancy graphics?
The great thing about real video footage is that it can take you somewhere, introduce you to somebody, and teach you something. Take advantage of those qualities to tell your real stories and make your video a more immersive experience.
DON’T: Start with your logo
The first five seconds of any video is the most important, so why waste them with a graphic? If you don’t have any people, products or stories that are more interesting than your logo, you shouldn’t be doing this video in the first place. And don’t forget, the video is either being seen on a web page with the logo or at a company event that already has the logo posted.
DO: Use your most interesting team members, etc.
In other words, treat the CEO just like the logo. Focus on the most interesting stories and the most interesting people, instead. When I worked in TV news, we tried religiously to avoid using “guys in ties” — boring sound bites from elected officials. The same holds true for most company executives. They’re usually not all that interesting.
Ask yourself, would you rather hear the CEO or President brag about how your team feels like family, or hear about it from a long-time employee? Same question about how much pride the team takes in their craftsmanship. And if you can get a customer testimonial, that’s true gold. Who better to believe than an impartial audience?
DON’T: Focus on the foosball table
Here’s another common trap. It seems like every company that has one wants to show the foosball table. If it’s busy all the time, you might want to show it as a representation of your “fun” culture. But even then, how unique is a fun culture with a foosball table? There are probably other fun things you do — and fun people — that will tell that story better.
Remember, if it seems like something you’ve seen or heard before, think twice about using it. Like the old saying, you only get one chance to make a first impression, so make sure it’s your own story, not somebody else’s.
An “about us” video can be a really valuable sales and marketing asset, but it’s more about telling the story of your company and what makes you unique. It’s NOT about checking the same boxes as other companies or even competitors. Your company has a unique culture and strengths, make sure to lean into everything that makes you the badass company that you are.