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Live Video Vs. Professionally Edited: Which Is Better For Your Branding Goals?


Using videos will build and strengthen your branding goals. Unfortunately, poorly made videos will do more harm than good. Why? Poorly executed videos raise consumer questions about your commitment, professionalism, and quality. So, branding with videos has become a significant marketing tool, but you’d better do it right. Which is better for your branding goals: Live video shot at will on the spot or a professionally edited product that offers high-level benefits and inverse effects? In many ways, it really depends on your brand and the type of video you aim to produce.

Consider All Video Options

The Content Marketing Institute lists five commonly used video types worth consideration.

1. Vlog

The vlog is a video blog. They’ve been made popular by entertainers who see branding promise in pairing their opinions or perception of things, often comedic, with the engaging quality of the video. But, just as bad blogs may out number effective ones, many vlogs are vanity products without much benefit.

If the brand is in the field of entertainment, performance or cinematic arts, a vlog can offer an effective visualization of the product. A one to five-minute vlog can demonstrate skills, compare products or express an opinion through show rather than say.

Benefits: Vlogs are cheap, hip and current. Viewers will allow them some leeway in quality as long as they engage and entertain. Off-the-cuff performance conveys an honesty and earnestness.

Disadvantages: There’s a fine line between the authentic quality of a personal presentation and the appearance of cheap amateurism. So, look for the best match of product/service with the vlog outcome.

2. Instagram

Instagram videos may not last as long as other social media platforms, but their engagement is almost 100%. An increasing number of major brands are using Instagram to reach and retain an audience that relies on its smartphones for quick bytes.

In fact, Instagram is quickly becoming the place to be for established brands, as they don’t require time for a narrative copy. Clever short videos for Nest, HGTV, NASA and a host of others are setting a trend and building a path towards effective use of Vines.

Benefits: Brief is better, especially when trying to reach the engagement-driven millennial market. This would be especially true if your product is best seen in motion.

Disadvantages: Videos on Instagram take incredible creativity in order to pack a message into a short visual presentation. Most amateurs find it tough coordinating visual, sound and copy in tiny bytes.

3. Event Videos

Event videos film a happening in which your product or service might be featured, such as a company picnic or community event. Most viewers like to see people like themselves involved. The video wouldn’t follow a prepared script as much as be set up for a voiceover or narration.

Content Marketing Institute, for example, references videos promoting Harley Davidson cycles with coverage of a biking event. It needs no commentary if the film shows the bikes at work and the community represented. As the saying goes: “Sometimes, actions and imagery both speak louder than words.”

Benefits: Longer than Vines, they’re short enough to engage without verbal commentary. They hold attention without losing interest because the visual makes the difference. You simply don’t have to listen to it.

Disadvantages: Production at events can be difficult because of lighting and continuity issues. You’re probably looking for several short shots edited together. That calls for some quality camera and lighting work, as well as post-production efforts.

4. Interviews

B2B organizations have met a lot of success with interviews, especially those with industry subject experts. Other interviews put viewers face to face with customers, designers and marketing reps. Interviews also build branding when employees speak for or about the business. Presented as a slice-of-life, such interviews connect.

Websites have plenty of space for interviews representing Human Resources, career opportunities, marketing personnel, research, and development, as well as community work. They give dimension and proof of the pudding to stated business values.

Benefits:  Interviews can provide viewers with an insiders’ look at the company’s operation and performance. They give the business texture and identity beyond the branding logo in the form of a structured narrative to a marketplace that likes stories.

Disadvantages:  Interviews cannot be shot without preparation, scripting and production setup while retaining their genuine quality. If you want to reduce the costs, the preparation includes finding an employee and industry experts who are camera friendly.

5. Presentations

Great presentations do very well on video. Such videos communicate important messages about product, performance and corporate vision. The video adds dimension to product news, financial reports, and product research.

Apple, of course, has made such great use of presentation videos that stockholders wait on their appearance. They make powerful boardroom presentations, share global marketing plans and meet and greet employees. When you compare the difference between Steve Jobs’ presentations and Tim Cook’s, you’re able to fully realize the importance of charisma. So, if the speaker lacks dynamic presentation skills, the production effort only wastes time.


Benefits: If the message has serious content and the venue has the time, a live audience engaged with a charismatic performance carries well through to video viewers. When the video works well, it works very well incorporating the digital audience into the reaction of the live audience.

Disadvantages: Presentations require considerable production effort into lighting, staging, and editing. Most are shot with multiple cameras that provide views from all angles, but their operation and positioning require professional direction.

The Major Takeaway

Writing for Forbes, Boaz Amidor says, “creating a video that embodies your product is the new standard in creating good content. It’s imperative that your company communicates your brand’s worth using multimedia formats that can be visually presented to customers.”

But, he notes that “User-generated content is powerful enough to surpass branded content when it comes to authenticity.” While businesses, large and small, need a strategy to optimize their visual presence on various media platforms, the key to effective value lies in its authenticity. Viewers must connect with a real value they see in the video. And, live or professionally edited, the type, content, and production must serve those interests.

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