person operating video camera


We all know that video is king when it comes to your content strategy. A video is six times more likely than a photo to be retweeted on Twitter, views of branded content increased by 258% on Facebook in 2016-17, and predictions show that video will account for 80% of all internet traffic by 2019.

While there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to video, there are some important factors to keep in mind. Get these right and your video storytelling will develop into a smoother and easier process.

  1. Be authentic

Generally the first rule of any type of storytelling, but on video you are particularly exposed, so trying to be something you’re not will not wash. Go back to your brand values (or, if you don’t have any, simply think carefully about what you want to portray) and keep them in mind as you plan out your video.

We recently created a video for our client Solverboard featuring an interview with co-founder Charlie Widdows. We were keen to keep the interview unscripted, so we could capture Charlie’s thoughts in a natural way on video. Here’s the finished piece:

  1. Know your platform

As video content continues to dominate, we’re being offered more and more new ways to consume, post and share videos. Facebook Live, IGTV and Stories have all been introduced in reaction to our insatiable appetite for video, then there’s YouTube, Snapchat, Vimeo and Twitter to consider too. It’s all very overwhelming to the video novice.

Take time to consider the different platforms and applications available and pick the ones that work for you. Have experts with lots to say on topical issues? Facebook Live could be the place to be. Want to show what goes on behind-the-scenes at your business? Stories may suit you best. Want to make a series of short, sleek product videos? Using them as posts on your social feeds would work well.

  1. Length matters

The old rule ‘keep social videos short’ still applies when posting content within your feed on most social platforms, but with the introduction of IGTV and Facebook Live, longform video now has a place too.

IGTV is Instagram’s newest video development, offering users the chance to upload videos up to an hour in length. While it’s already been adopted by the likes of Jamie Oliver, X Factor and Liverpool FC, Instagram is keen to emphasise that it’s a platform for everyone to use, not just big brands and celebs.

  1. Work within your budget

Many people are mistakenly held back by the idea that video requires a big budget. A big budget can help when creating video content, but many of the most successful online videos have been produced on a shoestring. The joy of social is that your audience isn’t expecting a highly-polished, professional production, and much of your video content can be made on your phone.

If you’re at a conference, get your mobile out and do a quick interview with a speaker. If you’re out on a work social, use an app like Boomerang to make a fun short.

  1. Stretch your assets

If you decide to get some professional videos made, make them work hard for you. If you’re looking to commission a longer video to work as a hero video on your website or YouTube, talk to the videographer about creating several, shorter ‘video shorts’ for use across social media. This way, you can get multiple videos for a fraction of the cost. Stretch the asset even further by taking behind-the-scenes videos on your mobile to use as social ‘teasers’ before releasing the produced content.

  1. Break the mould

Be aware of what your competitors are doing, but don’t be afraid to do something different. And if your industry is slow to get on the video train, be bold and lead the way.

Recent research we conducted at AMBITIOUS revealed that video is massively underused in the professional services. Most firms don’t have a Vimeo or YouTube channel, and those that are making video content are sticking to high-production values rather than looking at innovative ways to create content. There’s a huge opportunity for companies in the finance and legal sectors to break the mould and reap the rewards.

  1. Use real people

Who are the best people to tell your story? Your staff of course! Find people who are happy to be on camera and they will look more authentic (see point one) and real than hiring models.

We used this approach with our clients CBRE when we created this video about the Bristol office property market:


Bristol Office Market Snapshot from CBRE Bristol on Vimeo.

And, when we filmed at a LinkedIn Local event for Social Media Week, we let the attendees tell the story in their own words to help us reflect what the event was all about:


Social Media Week Bristol – Launch of LinkedIn Local from AMBITIOUS on Vimeo.


  1. Go off-script

Sometimes video works best when it’s unexpected. One of our all-time favourite videos is made by children’s brand Trunki. They simply placed a tiger Trunki in a tiger enclosure at Longleat to see what would happen. The results are video gold, as the Tiger decides to adopt the Trunki. Completely unpredicted and impossible to script, which makes it so brilliant!

What tips and tricks have you used to get your video content right? Tell us in the comments below, or tweet us @Ambitiouspr.

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