Music: how to set the tone of your corporate videos

Music is essential to create an emotional connection with the audience of your corporate communications: your customers, prospects, partners and future recruits. It is an element that contributes to the storytelling of the video: what criteria should you use to choose your music? 

What kind of music for your corporate video?

It is not always easy to know in advance what music will be needed for all the company’s video projects. Especially if you want to avoid using the same music as your competitors by dipping into the same banks of royalty-free compositions, such as those provided by Youtube.

Beyond the jingles and intros for each of your web series (on the company’s employees or customer testimonials), there are a few classics that you should definitely have on hand: 

  • A piano melody for the more serious video passages
  • A marimba piece for the dynamic and innovative side
  • An orchestra passage to give a video a “theatrical” effect
  • An electric guitar riff to set a dynamic pace
  • An electro-pop jingle to bring lightness and modernity

Depending on the desired atmosphere, you should also think about varying the rhythms of the different pieces. So, for a quieter atmosphere, choose a slower rhythm of course, and for a dynamic video, a faster tempo. 

Some inspiration!

For a video presentation of the companyThe music in this type of video is crucial: it must embody the company’s identity. The objective: to become anchored in the mind of your audience and to stand out from your competitors. So don’t use generic music provided by Youtube or iMovie

For a video interviewTo make an interview with an employee or customer sound dynamic and punchy, use background music. The music should be rhythmic but not interfere with the interviewee’s voice.

For an official video like the President’s greetingsIn this type of video, the music should enhance the message. The chosen piece of music must therefore correspond to the spirit of the message: cheerful or rather solemn. 

Learnings from advertising: music in commercial videos

If there is one type of corporate video that has long exploited music to set the pace and play on emotions, it is advertising. A commercial without music? No way. Let’s look at some examples of promotional videos that use music properly to get the message across.

Emotional advertising

In this ad, piano music enhances the dramatic effect and adds emotion to the video.

Advertising with comic music
“Unsung hero”
Advertising with a sense of humour

Advertising with a sense of humour

This cheerful, rhythmic music accentuates the humorous and touching aspect of the video.

Funny ad
“Don’t waste your life”, BlueHost
Animation video for social networks

Promo video for social networks

The music highlights the original aspect of this nifty interview of a new recruit used for promotion on Linkedin.

Dynamic music for Fast & Curious video
Fast and Curious by Mélodie, used on Kannelle’s Linkedin Page 

Where can you find royalty-free music?

Let’s look at different alternatives, from music platforms to specialised agencies and all-in-one video tools like Kannelle.

Royalty-free music platforms

Many platforms offer royalty-free music: one of the easiest to use is the YouTube library accessible from the Creator Studio. It has the merit of being free but the downside is you might end up using the same sounds as your competitors or your little nephew, an aspiring Youtuber.

Other platforms offer to purchase tracks, such as AudioJungle, or by subscription, such as Epidemic Sounds. The music is listed by mood, which makes the process much easier. However, be patient: finding the right tune for you is time consuming.

Create your own music

Another option is to stay away from existing royalty-free music: create your own tune yourself with an app like GarageBand! Dedicated apps makes it relatively easy to create music with pre-recorded sounds and loops, but this practice can be very time consuming too and requires some skills.

The example of Effinity
Effinity, a digital agency, edits corporate videos with music created by one of the founders (who is also a musician), which gives their videos a certain charm and identity!
Home-made music
Effinity

Agencies specialised in sound identity 

By hiring a specialised agency, it is possible to contract the rights to existing music and songs or have a jingle specifically composed. All with the assurance to do so lawfully. The agency can even create a musical package that matches the company vision! Of course, this approach comes at a cost. Platforms like SoundCloud provide a cheaper alternative and are full of talent. However you’ll have to take the legal matters in your own hands! 

Apple and U2: when a hit costs nothing

In Steve Jobs’ biography, we learn that the band U2 had proposed to Apple to give the music of Vertigo (which was not yet released and therefore not yet a hit) for an iPod commercial. U2’s strategy was clear: the band wanted more visibility.

Apple was allowed to use the band and their song for free as long as they put them on screen and ensured strong repeat for the spot.

The benefits were mutual for both the company and the artists: Apple did not have to pay for the rights to the music, the publicity created a buzz, and the band became known to a wider audience.

What about you: which artist will you seduce? 😎
Partnerships between music and video
iPod iTunes Vertigo U2

A video solution like… Kannelle

Our all-in-one video solution provides a library of over a hundred royalty-free music tracks, listed by mood. This is handy when you don’t have the right corporate music to accompany your video! Any of these music tracks can be added directly to your corporate video with a single click. Will you be more cinematic, dynamic or mysterious?

Reminder on legal aspects

This guide is intended to help you choose and use music in your videos, but we cannot replace your legal department, which we invite you to consult on this subject.

It is important to find out about the conditions of use of the compositions you wish to use in order to avoid any legal problems, but also problems with online distribution. Indeed, video-sharing platforms such as YouTube can automatically block content if it uses copyrighted music.

A clear distinction should therefore be made between types of music in this respect, including :

  • copyrighted music,
  • Royalty-free music in the public domain,
  • Royalty-free music managed under a “Creative Commons” license. 

Although public domain music can be used for commercial purposes, the use of music under a Creative Commons license is subject to a few rules, ranging from the obligation to credit the author of the music, to a prohibition on use for a video with commercial purposes. 

How to orchestrate music within the company?

Choosing music as a team

If well orchestrated, the choice of music to accompany your corporate videos can be made internally. It’s a fun exercise that helps take into account the expectations of the employees and make sure they’ll adhere to the chosen music tracks. That’s an important point if, like most of Kannelle customers, you want employees to make videos themselves. The more they like your music, the more likely they are to use it!

Choosing as a group lets you respect preferences and draw on different influences and genres. Some companies even see it as a team building exercise. So what are the options for selecting music for your future corporate videos?

Crowdsourcing 

Selecting music internally via crowdsourcing is a good option for using your staff as talent scouts. You can lead this effort with a brief and by giving access to a bank of royalty-free music from which you ask your colleagues to pick.

Internal voting

Alternatively, the management or the communications team can choose several pieces of music that meet the requirements of the project and consult the employees with a vote. The latter will feel more involved in the process because their opinion will be taken into account.

In any case, be careful to set the rules of the game so that the choices are based on possible alternatives in economic and legal terms. And therefore set a framework for obtaining a selection of tracks that is adequate to meet your different needs.

The creation of a music palette 

The organisation of music is essential to bring beautiful video projects to life while ensuring harmony and good branding! This is especially true for employee advocacy projects, where a group of employees is given the task of making videos. It is necessary to give some indication on tracks available for use, so that each internal video producer can handle this palette. The same applies if you use the services of an agency to create your videos.

There are several benefits when creating and using a musical library:

Standardize the episodes of a web series

The music palette is particularly useful when creating a web series: the episodes will all have to follow the same template (for instance a jingle at the beginning or end, transitions between parts). A good example? Thoraya Maronesy’s videos, using relaxing music to highlight the speakers’ voices.

Harmonising company content

If you want to make videos with storytelling, the palette lets you use the same melodies for the same types of sequence (testimonial, site visit…) or the same emotions (success, challenge…). The bonus is ease of use: no more time wasted on the type of music to use.

Giving each content its own identity

Grouping different tracks to create packages according to the type of video (customer testimonial, management announcement) makes it possible to simplify the choices while still maintaining cohesion and harmony for all the company’s content. In short, a well thought-out, well-organised and easy-to-use musical library helps make sure you always have the right music according to the video you want to create – be it solemn, joyful, or dynamic.

A score for the collaborators-directors

If you entrust the production of content to your employees, you want them to use the company’s music according to your identity. The easiest way to do this is to give them access to the right files according to the scenario of their project.

With Kannelle’s web-based platform for managing all brand identity elements, including your music, you have control over the scenarios and music allowed for each person. You can define permissions per profile and thus give your employees access to music they can use. This is also very practical when each business unit has its own identity! 

Our tips for good sounding videos

How to optimize music to enhance your video?

While video capture is key to good voice delivery, the final sound quality of a video is also determined by the editing process. Here are 3 tips for creating videos that sound like a sweet melody to your audience.

Transitions (or fade)

Adding a transition to your audio tracks, at the beginning or end of each sequence, will give a more professional look to your video. The “fade”, which is the most often used effect, allows for smoother transitions, at the beginning of the video (fade in) and at the end of a section (fade out). However, avoid using it to cut off a speaker.

Voice balance (or ducking)

This practice (also known as “audio ducking”) consists of lowering the volume of the music when someone speaks, including voice-overs. With Kannelle, the voice balance is automatically applied for better understanding and a rendering worthy of a professional studio!

Tune the music to the type of platform

Social networks and their apps, such as TikTok, are focusing on music. Some base their business model around music and offer a large music library to their users. What are the risks for a company to publish videos accompanied by popular music, even to follow a meme? Should employees be allowed to use this music or should they be forbidden?

YouTube 

Youtube controls the music used in videos through its automatic detection system that filters all videos as soon as they are uploaded. While some small creators use rights-protected music without monetising their videos, it is better for a company to use royalty-free music, especially if its content is commercial.

Instagram 

Posts, stories, IGTV, Live stream, Reels… In recent months, Instagram has introduced several ways to showcase its video content. And the platform, owned by Facebook, has issued some advice on the use of music: the music must be a short extract, (with the Reels format, 15-second videos are a no-brainer), live music is allowed (in concert for example).

TikTok

This social network has skyrocketed worldwide and many companies are present to reach a younger audience. The platform provides a library with many hits. And if some of these songs are free of rights, others are not. In a press release, TikTok claimed to pay royalties but this claim has been questioned. So the preferred option for businesses is to use music that they own the rights to or that are royalty-free.

Beyond these legal aspects, some songs are only available in specific geographical areas. So, in order to make your videos available internationally, it is best to use music that is accessible regardless of the market.

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