Online video content is today one of the most successful and popular engagement tools that corporations and organizations of every size use to reach out to their target audience. With an 80% higher chance of captivating the viewer, video content is less demanding and more attention-grabbing than, say, written content. Films and video content have today become a necessary instrument for firms and businesses to establish relationships within and outside of the organisation, while also shaping and influencing the opinion of the viewer.

However, with so much jargon and so many different names used for the various kinds of content being produced, it has become increasingly difficult to identify exactly what is what. Terms such as corporate videos, training videos, branded content, promotional films, and such are often used interchangeably thus making it incredibly confusing for business and marketing executives to understand the objective of the required video content. So, to make things simple, we decided to clearly lay out the differences between the three most interchangeably used terms, i.e. corporate video, business films, and branded content.

What is Corporate Video?

According to Wikipedia, “Corporate video refers to any type of non-advertisement based video content created for and commissioned by a business, company, corporation, or organization. Today, the vast majority of corporate video content is hosted online and is published on the company’s website page and distributed through social media and email marketing.”

To put it simply, a corporate video communicates a company’s ethos and ethics to the company employees and to the general public. The idea is to present a refined and polished image of the company while also raising the bar for competitors. More often than not, corporate videos are produced in a manner that resembles high budgeted suave cinema. By communicating the core values of the company, a corporate video can help gain loyal customers more effectively than a promotional video or commercial advertisement. The aim of the video is to establish an emotional connection by talking about the history, mission, goals, and ethos of the organisation as a whole.

Since corporate videos are an integral part of a company’s communication strategy, they are often released in combination with newsletters or as part of press release events in order to effectively boost audience reach.

What is Branded Content?

Branded content is content that focuses on brand engagement once an organisation already has a strong following. As opposed to traditional advertising, branded content can include articles, videos, podcasts, and live elements to build upon the overall image of the company. It is usually designed to raise awareness about a brand but does not necessarily focus on promoting the brand itself.

The content is more consumer focused while indirectly promoting the brand image, and thus customers are more likely to build a relationship of trust and loyalty with the brand. Note that branded content does not include advertising and sales elements such as commercials, banner ads, social media ads, etc. Nor is it similar to content marketing or product placement, wherein the focus lies on a specific product or service. The aim is to drive customer engagement by highlighting the content that shares its brand values and does not necessarily have to focus on the actual brand name.

Statistics have proven branded content to be a highly successful strategy as far as ROI is concerned. Entertaining and resourceful branded content can generate up to 59% higher brand recall value as compared to display ads. Viewers are found to be 14% more likely to seek out newer content from the same brand once they are emotionally invested. Additionally, branded video content has today become a high ranking component for search engine optimization for engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

What are Business Films?

A business film is somewhat of a variation of the traditional corporate video format. The purpose of a business firm is to communicate transparency of work ethics and convey trust by showcasing the internal workings of the company. Popular in service-based companies, this type of video content is produced primarily for the internal employees and the company’s core consumer demographic. Business overview, staff training, safety guidelines, investor and shareholder relations, market updates, executive proposals, and customer testimonials are some examples of the themes covered in the making of business films.

Business films allow for indirect communication across all levels of an organisation, including the consumer. They bring into focus the coordinated workings of the different components of the organization, much like a well-oiled machine. They go a long way in building loyalty to a company by showcasing what the company is about, making the viewer feel like they are a part of the process, and highlighting why it does what it does to achieve the desired results. Most importantly, through a business film, founders and head executives get the opportunity to communicate the story and journey of their corporation with viewers, thus establishing a humanising relationship with employees and consumers.

Due to a whole barrage of online video content available out there, it has become very confusing for companies and consumers to understand the difference between the various types of content formats available to them. While the consumer remains unaffected by the similarities within these formats, it is important for business executives to recognize the dissimilarities. With so many companies offering video production services these days, one must know and understand which type of video is best suited to your organisation’s requirements so that you may be able to adequately communicate the same to the consumer.