Guidelines for how to use video to aid in our storytelling across mediums with our customers and products.
Video is a crucial part of our storytelling process, and these guidelines are here to help us remember how to get it right. Below are some simple descriptions of the kinds of videos that we make, as well as some examples of how to, and how not to make a sweet GitHub Video.
These guidelines pertain to outward facing videos. Internal videos have fewer constraints.
These guidelines apply to all video work completed by outside contractors on our behalf.
All outside contractors must be managed by the internal video team to make sure that they comply to our standards.
Unless it’s a very special case, we prefer not to use GitHubbers in any video. GitHub currently does not employ any professional actors, hosts, or voice-over artists. So there’s no reason to use a Hubber when a pro is available. Putting our co-workers in front of the camera severely cuts the quality, and potential longevity of the piece.
The GitHub Video Team is committed to diversity in our portrayal of the world. As image makers and as representatives of GitHub, we have the opportunity and the responsibility to represent all kinds of people in our marketing. We consider this mandate at every step of the production process.
Our audience is a diverse crowd, and we want to reach GitHub users at all stages of their familiarity with us. We hope to deliver something meaningful to the first-time user, the professional coder, and the super-fan. Generally, they are curious and intelligent, they have a sense of humor, and they want to know more about us.
Our audience’s time is valuable. So we don’t spam our YouTube page with endless videos about every little thing that GitHub does. We prefer fewer high quality videos to a barrage of boring content. We also want to treat them with respect. So we don’t create content that is overly “salesy”. For most videos, we prefer the soft-sell. Different videos may specifically target certain subgroups of our audience. Some may target multiple groups. Below are a few of the groups that we serve.
Messaging is always changing. And we fully expect our marketing strategy to morph over the years. But here are a few themes that we’ve used in the past.
Imagine that GitHub is an individual; a person with a well developed identity, and consistent values. Depending on the situation, this person may decide to wear a different outfit, change her hairstyle, and even the things that she says. But she will always be the same person underneath. So it is with the tone of our videos:
The core values of Collaboration, Empathy, Quality, Positive Impact, and Shipping are a constant. They are what make GitHub’s identity. The Tone of our videos are the different styles of dress that we decide to put on based on the event. We have 5 distinct tones that we use in our videos. A rare video might mix genres, but most of our projects exist within these categories:
These are the high production big picture pieces like the Anna Video. Brand Videos conform to the following criteria:
There are a few series in this category. The Octotale Series is well established. In 2017 we plan to add a series about open source maintainers, and a series about Enterprise customers. These videos all have the following in common:
What makes our training videos unique? Allen should write this
These videos spotlight the release of a particular product. They are similar to our Brand Videos in many ways… but are more specific in detail, and more flexible in execution. Like the GitHub LFS Video and the Atom 1.0 Video, they often vary from one another in tone. But they conform to the following guidelines:
GitHub throws many events throughout the year, and we document them with this video series. We cover all of our flagship events in a simple documentary style. Examples include Git Merge 2015. GitHub Satellite 2016, and GitHub Universe 2016. There are many ways to cover an event, and our videos do so within the following parameters:
Our videos range greatly in genre and tone, so we’re quite flexible with our choice of gear, staff, and software. Video equipment and distribution portals are changing quickly, and we expect to change our practices every year. That being said, there are a few guidelines that will likely remain constant.
Typography should adhere to GitHub’s overall typography style (tracked in #135)
Animated titles should adhere to GitHub’s illustration standards (tracked in #155)
The Design team uses a specific palette of colors in all of their materials. We don’t usually adhere to their guidelines, as video is very different. But in certain cases, such as with the “What is GitHub” video, we worked closely with them.
These should really go without saying. But hey… we’re all guilty of these from time to time. And I had a lot of fun writing this section.
Where do we host our videos? How do we organize our Youtube page? Pam should write this
Eventually we sometimes choose to remove a video after a certain amount of time. The most common reason in the past has been that a video included a previous employee who is no longer at the company. Now that we try to limit GitHubber presence in our work we should run in to this less often. Still, there are some reasons to retire videos.
Thanks for reading all this stuff! (you didn’t)