“About Us” Videos Are a Necessity, but Less is More

3 minute read

By Small-Cap Institute.

There is no doubting that we live in a video world.  More than 1 billion hours of videos are consumed each and every day on YouTube.

Despite this, many small-cap companies still don’t have an “About Us” video.  Particularly for technology and life science companies that often are difficult to describe, video can be a storytelling gift for employees, partners, suppliers, media, regulators, and investors.

There used to be sensible reasons for small-caps not to have “About Us” videos.  They were costly, time consuming to create, and bandwidth constraints could limit viewership.  None of these issues are applicable anymore, hence the reason why an increasing number of your competitors and stakeholders have embraced visual storytelling.

In Investor Perspectives on Small-Cap Website Failures (in our members content library), one of the sections of the piece has 10 guidelines for an “About Us” video. 

  1. Aim for 2 minutes and under: people’s attention spans online are short.
  2. Your video needs to be in plain English, and it should assume your audience is not technically inclined.
  3. Try to avoid cartoons, animation, and humor; investing is serious business.
  4. Stick to the facts and avoid overproduced or ostentatious post-production; investors know that flashy videos are often compensating for something.
  5. By the same token, steer clear of “About Us” videos that have a “DIY” look/feel. Every public company can afford to purchase a professionally produced video.
  6. Make sure to embed the video on your website, so you are not sending investors elsewhere to watch the video.
  7. Make sure the video plays just as effectively in desktop and mobile environments.
  8. Update your video when factually necessary or when there is a change to the look/feel of the branding; videos need to be current.
  9. Use recognized video players (i.e., YouTube, Vimeo, etc.).
  10. If an executive is going to appear on the video and read from a teleprompter, make sure they have practiced it enough that the voiceover doesn’t sound awkward; this will undermine its believability.

SCI is constantly asked by members and non-members if we could share an example of a great ‘About Us’ video in addition to advocating for why they are so important. We heard you loud and clear.

Here’s an example made by HubSpot, Inc.[i] in 2014.

There are several key things about HubSpot’s video that conspire to make it effective:

  • Management are the stars, not “hired guns”
  • It tells a relatable story about the company’s arc (vs. just listing their products/services)
  • Notice that it is customer-centric
  • Management are relaxed, they are smiling, and their communication styles are informal
  • The “B Roll” is shot on-site, with actual employees who are happy and engaged
  • The graphics are additive (i.e., “we know what we’re doing”), but the people are the focus

Equally important is what the video does not do:

  • Zero industry jargon – it’s 100% plain English
  • It’s not overproduced (i.e., less is more)

All of this results in an understandable, embraceable, and most importantly, authentic story.

Name one small-cap company that couldn’t benefit from a great “About Us” video.

[i] Small-Cap Institute isn’t a partner, customer, or investor in HubSpot, Inc.  Though HubSpot is now a large-cap company, it was a small-cap when it went public in 2014.