Differentiate Your Private Equity or M&A Firm through Video Best Practices

By MVP Marketing + Design | May 5, 2020

A question we often hear from our private capital firm clients is “When it comes to a website redesign, what the best way in which I can distinguish my firm from others?”

While researching and formulating voice of customer (VOC) statements is highly effective, and we’ve often employed our MVP BrandMate℠ brand architecture process to help PE and M&A firms alike discover stakeholder perceptions and determine the best way to articulate them on and off the web, there is another alternative: video.

In this essay we delve into the two key types of video that are most frequently employed by private capital firms: B-roll and testimonial video.

Not All Private Capital Videos are the Same

Our experience in producing alternative private equity firm and investment bank videos means you’re in good hands. To help you understand the difference between “B-roll” vs. “Testimonial video,” we’ll discuss the shared similarities and differences between the two.

Basic B-roll Video: You’re likely familiar with this genre of industrial video which typically begins with a walkthrough of firms’ offices, highlights commemorative deal memorabilia and showcases team interaction typically around the conference table and in the analysts’ bullpen. While this video style is easier to implement, less costly, and less complicated than testimonial videos, B-roll can seem generic if it isn’t thoughtful.

Here at MVP, we always like to add an unexpected element of surprise to our productions. For example, our B-roll shoot for Clearsight Advisors (Washington, DC) featured one daring young investment banker, Justin Loeb, well versed in gymnastics, doing a back-flip – in the conference room of all places. Thankfully, he stuck the landing!

While your next video may not include dare-devil stunts, surely there are scenarios that you can think up that will add a special blend of individual and firm personality to your production. For example, our B-roll video for Cortec Group (New York) featured a customary establishing shot of the entrance to the firm’s offices; however, as a special touch, we filmed a sunrise at the Brooklyn Bridge to add dramatic flair. Less dramatic but certainly memorable, our video for Svoboda Capital (Chicago) features Managing Director, Jeff Piper, in an atypical pink blazer having a relaxing work session with colleague David Rubin and other team members clearly enjoying the moment.

Trustworthy Testimonial Video: To double down on firm credibility, what could be better than hearing accolades from those former CEOs whose lives and companies having been shaped by your efforts on their behalf? For example, our Cortec Group video, features YETI Co-founder and former CEO Roy Seiders engaged in lively conversation with Co-President Dave Schnadig, explaining how Cortec was a great team to work with and helped them accomplish their goals. Likewise, our soon to be released client testimonial video for Shoreline Equity Partners (Jacksonville) includes six portfolio company CEOs enthusiastically discussing how Shoreline helped them achieve success and even what the firm is doing to help them navigate the CV-19 crisis.

Keep these Key Points in Mind

Our take for any video is to keep it lively, focused and above all interesting. Done right, either approach will help your transform your firm from the ordinary to the extraordinary.

While it is easy enough to capture B-roll on a video testimonial shoot, we would recommend you make every effort to take your video to the next level by inviting the participation of your portco CEOs.

Typically derived from those who put their trust in your firm and its services, video testimonials will position your firm as an industry leader and help it gain legitimacy among its stakeholders.

Easily added to either a new or existing website, video testimonials will foster an emotional bond with your viewers. They can also provide credible evidence of your sector expertise and legitimacy when it comes to fulfilling and often exceeding client expectations.

B-roll or Client Testimonial, Videos Help You Connect

When it comes to Middle Market private equity firms and investment banks, stakeholders may differ about the ways in which each runs their respective processes but video can fuel an essential decision making component in favor of choosing to do business with your firm – emotion.

Social psychologists tell us that when it comes to expressing our preferences for products or services, emotional marketing, an affective process, helps consumers or customers decide with their hearts even more so than their heads. In fact, in a study of 1,400 successful advertising campaigns, discovered that campaigns with higher emotional content performed about twice as well (31% vs. 16%) as those with only rational or intellectual content.

Video testimonials deliver empirical proof of past success as told from the viewpoint of a satisfied customer. Vocal tonality, eye contact, and genuine mannerisms provide the emotional elements that go a long way to validating the credibility of a testimonial. They can often be the missing puzzle piece when it comes to securing new business.

Validating Video by the Numbers  

  • Videos are more popular and more memorable than text. According to Forbes, 59% of executives prefer video to text.
  • In a recent survey of over 3,000 consumers, inbound marketing leader HubSpot explored the type of content and channels that best attracts people’s time and attention. Video performed consistently higher than emails, newsletters, PDFs and written blogs. Furthermore, newer generations preference for video is trending even higher. (HubSpot)
  • A study performed by Insivia showed that viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video compared to 10% of those who read it as text.
  • Customer testimonials have the highest effectiveness rating for content marketing at 89%. (Social refresh)

Reinforce Status and Reputation through Earned Media

Based on our many years of experience in designing, writing, and producing distinctive private equity and investment banking website videos, we’ve discovered that CEOs enjoy going on camera to talk about the value-added role that key players at either private equity firms or investment banks played in helping transform their lives and organizations. Exposure through video provides private capital firms with Earned Media (Earned Media is publicity gained through promotional efforts other than paid media advertising). Clearly, private capital executives like to give credit to those who helped them achieve their goals, which in turn increases the reputation of their sponsors.

Planning and Production Tips for Your Next Private Equity Firm or Investment Bank Video

Whether you’re going for B-roll, testimonial video or both, MVP offers the following best practices to help even the most reticent CEO or camera shy employee shine. Here are a few ways to set your company up for video marketing success:

  • Inform video participants to dress nicely in clothing that reflects positively on the firm. Crisp, ironed garments of a solid color photograph better than the striped or multicolored garments.
  • Instruct CEOs and team members of both sexes to look their best by scheduling haircuts and other beauty routines prior to the shoot.
  • We recommend subjects bring their favorite styling products to freshen up before their spotlight moment.
  • When in front of the camera, subjects look their best when they sit/stand up straight and “find the light.” If subjects can subtly bias their posture toward the main light source, they will reduce shadows and take some of the best pictures of their careers.

While all these tips are great to have in mind, you can rest assured that MVP videographers utilize the best equipment and are well trained to make sure everyone looks their best. We take special care to enhance color and remove blemishes, wrinkles, shadows and imperfections during post-production mastering.

The Ultimate Value of Private Capital Video

Although Private Equity and M&A firm videos of either variety cost more and require greater preparation than self-styled website copy, they can easily pay for themselves through the affective as well as cognitive connections that they create on your firm’s behalf; and as we like to say at MVP, they help make your business and brand “invaluable.”

MVP Marketing + Design offers full-service video production and photography. Please click here to view samples of some of our favorite work. Our smart and talented team has worked with some of the most well-known and respected Middle Market private equity firms and investment banks in the business. We take care of everything from scheduling and drafting interview questions to production, post-production, and delivery.

With headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota and serving clients throughout North America and globally, we’re eager to put our talents to work for you. Whether your offices are around the corner – or around the world – get the video representation you need with MVP.

For more information, please contact Dick Weinrib, President, MVP Marketing + Design, Inc. We look forward to becoming your most valuable partner for private equity firm, portfolio company, and investment bank videography and the brand to web support you need to realize the Marketing Return On Investments (MROIs) and EBITDA that will make a difference.

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