macdougall musings

What Is Video Good For?

Telling Your Story

One of our first steps when we embark on a new project is to determine the best communications vehicle that will most effectively tell the client’s story, resonate with the target audience and help them reach their goals. Sometimes it’s a technical one-pager, a slide deck, or a 3D scientific graphic.

Sometimes it’s a video.

“Videos allow you to do things that are difficult to do with other types of content. Video is great at communicating emotion and revealing the voice and personality of your team,” said Matthew Corcoran, Vice President at MacDougall. “This is where video stands apart.”

What’s more, videos can be easily amplified across a variety of owned and digital channels to a variety of audiences. According to a recent study by Sprout Social, half of social media users prefer video over other types of content. Tweets with a video also get 10 times more engagement than those without video[1].

Though videos come in many different shapes and sizes, three kinds have proven to be most impactful for our clients.

The Corporate Overview Video

Are you an early-stage company that is looking for funding? If so, a corporate overview video can do things that your pitch deck can’t, like communicate your team’s emotional investment in the company story and showcase your team’s personality, leading to a more deep and meaningful connection with investors. While video won’t ever replace your pitch deck, it also allows investors to hear the perspectives of the broader team beyond the C-suite and can make your story even more compelling.

The KOL Video

Engaging a KOL, such as a healthcare provider or subject matter expert, for a video around your scientific approach, clinical trial strategy or disease area that you are trying to address is another way to utilize video as part of your communication program. A KOL may be in a better position than a company executive to discuss trends, highlight challenges and comment on the competitive landscape. For early-stage companies, KOLs can also provide additional expertise and credibility as they speak to a disease’s prevalence and the need for a new effective treatment or therapeutic modality. What’s more, KOLs have their own networks and are often happy to share content on social media platforms.

The Team Culture Video

Hiring talented employees is extremely difficult in biotech — particularly in the life-science hubs of the Bay Area and Boston. One of the most effective uses of video is showcasing team culture. A good team culture video provides a window into life at the company, the personality of the team, and a sense of the commitment people have to their work. In today’s virtual work environment and the competitive hiring landscape, these efforts are increasingly more important. As an added bonus, culture video projects appeal to current employees by providing them an opportunity to meaningfully engage with the company’s communication and retention programs.

Takeaway #1: Planning is essential

Planning is important with any video project. Begin considering and preparing for video projects in conjunction with your annual communications planning to ensure you align your strategies and goals. If your priority for Q4 is hiring, begin storyboarding and budgeting for a recruitment video project in Q1 to ensure the video is ready in time to support the employee growth initiatives. Don’t forget to communicate with stakeholders early in the process to build interest in video shoots and interviews — the more people in the video, the merrier!

“The video shoot itself is the culmination of all the work you have done, from planning to organizing the shoot. A lot of people might not realize how much upfront work there is so it’s really important to think about what you’re trying to achieve and have that articulated in a brief before filming begins,” Matthew said. “This allows everyone involved in the project, from leadership, to the agency, to the crew, to the participants, to know what the vision for the project is.”

For example, as videos typically entail a series of interviews, preparing a list of well-thought-out questions that strategically guide people to speak to your core messages will have a big impact on the outcome. That said, we recommend against script reading or over-rehearsing — interviews that sound scripted appear less authentic and will rapidly lose the interest of the viewer.

In addition, it is critical to take into consideration the timing of the video launch and align video production with your news flow. If your objective is to build visibility around your lead program, launching a KOL video in conjunction with a presentation at a medical meeting would likely lead to a higher ROI than launching it when the news flow for the program is light. Alternatively, when the news flow is quiet, it might be a good time to launch a corporate or culture video.

Takeaway #2: You are building an archive of valuable content

When engaging in a production, it can be helpful to think about a “package” of videos that can be shared in different settings versus a standalone video. For example, in a two-day shoot at a company HQ, you can develop a corporate overview video, a team culture video, and several cutdowns (shortened versions) that could be used on social media.

While creating a video takes time, money and effort, it can also prove to be a valuable investment that pays off over the long term — sometimes over a period of years. A shoot is a great way to build a valuable archive of footage that helps you visually tell the story of your organization.

Working with us

No video project is exactly the same, and we customize the process according to our clients’ specific needs and timeline. However, in broad terms, a video project typically consists of three phases — pre-production (the planning phase which is often the longest), production (filming), and post-production (editing). We also work collaboratively with our clients throughout the process to make sure we are achieving their vision for the project.

If you are interested in discussing creative strategy and video process, contact our team to learn more about how a video might help you achieve your goals.


[1] Coleman, Jessica. (2022, January 4). The social media video statistics marketers need to know for 2022. Sprout Social.

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