Picture this… you’re a Managing Director or a VP at one of the top financial institutions in the country. You’re on the IPO team, and a new client company is ready for its IPO.
Your team has had success with IPO Roadshow videos, and now you want to get your client ready to make their custom video. How do you prepare them to make this video? We assume you’ve engaged with an experienced video production company (like Bottle Rocket Media). They will guide you (the banker) and the client (IPO-bound company) through many steps in the IPO video process. Giving the company lead time to consider the steps ahead will benefit everyone involved.
We recommend sharing these steps and questions to prepare the company’s internal team for what’s about to happen as they create a compelling IPO video.
1. What Content Will Be In The IPO Video? What’s Your Story?
Investor videos tend to follow a typical structure. It’s not a hard and fast rule but a solid guideline of what topics investors want to hear. The following is a list to draw from based on relevance, but the majority, if not all, should be covered in your IPO video.
- Company Mission
- Products or Services Offered
- Revenue and The Market
- The Company Model and Differentiators
- Data, Analytics, Tech
- Product or Service Quality, Along With Innovation and R&D
- Customer Affinity
- Environmental, Social, and Governance
- Company Culture
- Company Growth
- Company Financials
The focus for you and the client should be to outline these sections and plan to make them engaging and easy to understand. As IPO videos are in a longer format, there’s time to expand upon and explore your topics.
Typical IPO videos are about 30 minutes long. This time will allow you to cover all your topics in a streamlined way. Remember, this video is meant to be a clear synopsis of who you are, what you offer, and why investors should accompany you along your business journey. Naturally, you need to get the facts out, and although some may not be as intriguing as the founders’ story or your mission, you can still make what could be considered dull content into a compelling and exciting story.
Thankfully, with video, you can veer away from the old-school PowerPoint structure and share your mission statement and your financials in a polished and exciting way. It’s important to note that you’re going to need to write a script and a good one. One that includes a general breakdown of every word you want to say.
Broken down into sections (as listed above), the script will tell a memorable story unique to the company. Think about any Apple product release video. Sure, they’re announcing a new feature on an iPhone, but they do it by giving that feature context. There is a clear explanation of how the feature fits into the phone’s ecosystem, where the idea came from, and how it will affect your daily life.
Apple could have said, “Here’s this thing, and this is what it does,” but the trick to captivating storytelling is finding the story in the data and telling it in a way that cannot be overlooked.
Communicating essential information to your viewer in a way that allows them to understand and retain exactly what you want them to learn is a necessary science in the IPO process.
Onward to the next task…
2. Who’s Going To Write The Script and Approve It?
There are a few options for who should lead the writing of the script.
Option 1 – The video production company writes the script
Often the video production company takes the lead in writing the script. To take on this task, they work with various departments in the company to collect messaging, language, data, charts, and everything they’ll need to tell each department’s story. There’s a lot of comfort in working with a video production company in this capacity because they’ve been down this road and know what should be included and what should be left out. The internal company team feeds them everything and allows a third party (the video production co) to determine what information investors will find most interesting. A video team will know how to structure a story and can build it from the ground up.
Option 2 – The client writes the script, and it gets polished by the video team
The investor relations team and marketing department often leads the scripting. They establish the topics and general structure and engage with department heads to write sections. For example, the CFO team will write the financials section of the script. The CMO team will write the marketing section, etc.
Keep in mind that the script’s first version is always way too long. That’s ok. When you go this route, many different people will write it, and there’s bound to be unintentional repetition. Your video production team will be able to advise at this stage of the game.
You need a third party to see the forest through the trees and aggressively trim the script. You don’t want to shoot a 55-minute script and spend weeks editing and trimming down the video. That’s an extremely costly path. It’s much better to edit before a single frame is shot.
You (the banker) will engage with the script at some stage, providing your feedback and notes. Your input is essential as you have direct connections with investors. Try to keep your notes about content, not necessarily style, especially if you’re just reading one section of the script and not sure how it will all fit together.
Congrats! You now have a finished script. Having a script doesn’t preclude you from improving on it during the shoot. For example, after the CEO has read their section, you may have them answer some questions on the fly. There’s always an opportunity to upgrade a moment with a natural speech. But you want the safety of knowing you’ve got what you need from the script already written and approved if they’re having an off day.
3. Who Is Going To Be On Camera? Who’s Going To Tell The Story?
Lots of people, hopefully. Push past just the C-Suite and show the range of faces and people that make your company what it is. Allow department heads or charismatic employees to carry some of your messaging. We’d even go so far as to say that the CEO is probably the most known to investors but…use them sparingly and show the breadth of your team and talent.
When planning who’s going to say what, make sure to account for overlap. Except for the Financial section, always shared by the CFO, you should try and have more than one person cover each section. Being on camera is hard. Not everyone shines under the lights and cameras; sometimes, you don’t know this until it is too late. Hedge your bets and have multiple people read each section.
For IPO videos we’ve created, sometimes we’ll have the President do a few extra sections just to cover ourselves. Or there can be more than one person from a department that reads the same section. In the best case, you divide it up and have two voices covering each video section. Worst case, you use the best of the two.
4. Who Should I Get For Customer Testimonials?
There is irreplaceable value in showcasing the variety of customers you service. This will make your company relatable and lead investors to believe what you’re telling them. Like other phases of this planning process, it will go a long way to take the time to survey your employees who work with customers more often. They will undoubtedly have a greater understanding of the relationships already built and the individuals able to share their all-encompassing experience of partnering with the company. And they might also have insight into who is a good talker and will be good in front of a camera.
It will be helpful to have several customers provide testimonials with various titles on camera. Having at least three-to-five quality interviews will suffice and provide plenty of content to edit and compile into a well-rounded IPO video.
It is important to note, too, to be prepared to know the direction in which you would like customers to provide their testimonials. Think about having them answer the following questions during their interview.
- How long have you been partnering with (input company name)?
- What were you looking for when you began working with (input company name)?
- How has your experience been with operations, customer service, the company platform, etc.?
- How has your company improved since partnering with (input company name)?
You can edit as you see fit, but the above should guide a specific and favorable narrative. This is the only section of the video that is not scripted, and when customers are in front of the camera, you should ask them more than you think you need.
You might start thinking that one customer will talk about customer service, and another will talk about how you increased their sales. But when the “customer experience” customer sits down, you discover that they’re a manager and never actually engaged with your team! So instead, they talk about how effective it was for their team. Cover yourself. You’ll never be sure how the customer testimonials will fit together until they’re all recorded.
5. Where Should You Shoot?
Show off if you’ve got fancy offices, a cool manufacturing plant, or a techy lab. Why not, right? Shooting in an area with some context is more interesting than in a conference room. Setting up a video set in multiple areas of the company’s office or varied environments representing the brand story will be critical. This will determine the character of the IPO video. Your video production team will advise on this, and the client can start thinking about all the exciting places to shoot.
If you don’t have an office to shoot in, don’t worry about it. Finding a good-looking location to conduct interviews and capture conversations is a typical part of any video production process.
This is just the beginning of the IPO process, but it should be a pivotal puzzle piece. You are in a great position to share these guidelines with your client to create a smooth IPO video. Preparation is everything, and we want to see you win!
When you are ready to embark on the IPO video creation process, the Bottle Rocket Media team has experience in Investor Videos and IPO Roadshows. We have partnered with JP Morgan, Chase, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, and Royal Bank of Canada. We complement your team and are here to navigate the video production process for you easily. Connect with us to start your IPO video project.