‘Visitors who watched a video are 64% more likely to make a purchase’.*

Video is a powerful marketing tool.  It can bring your product or service to life, enhance your brand identity and reach potential customers across multiple social platforms. For an SME like us, video is a cost-effective yet impactful piece of marketing collateral. As we create online recruitment software – a somewhat complex topic – video can be an invaluable tool to educate, explain and forge a connection with customers in seconds. The key to creating successful video content, however, is to create quality video content. From finding a supplier to writing your script, where do you start?

Hireserve online recruitment software video opening credits

Lights! OR How we found our video supplier

As understanding and investing in online recruitment software can be a bit of a maze, our challenges include how to effectively educate potential customers, and how to stand out in a crowded market place. We felt a light-hearted, punchy and entertaining animation was the answer – but where would we find our filmmaker?

We have always been driven to offer talented people opportunities – to recent graduates, current students, working parents and those breaking into their industries. It seemed natural, therefore, to approach the University of Reading, with whom we have enjoyed an SME |Academic collaboration since our involvement in the Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) in 2009. We were introduced to James Rattee, a recent PHD graduate of Film. It was an ideal combination; we were able to offer a commercial opportunity to an up and coming filmmaker and, in return, we benefited from his talent, expertise and enthusiasm.

To bring the film to life, we also needed the right soundtrack. Again, we were able to offer the opportunity to someone starting out in their career. Robert Sword, a recent graduate and Co-founder of Contour Chromatic, composed the accompanying score, which brought even more energy, humour and character to the film.

Camera! OR How we communicated our key messages via video

Working on the project was a learning curve. How do you condense a high-level Applicant Tracking System into a 90 second animation? How do you make cloud-based online recruitment software exciting? And how do you use video content as a sales tool without, well, selling?

For us, the answer was to tell a simple story. Brand storytelling enables a business to educate and entertain without making a viewer feel like they have been trapped by an overzealous salesman. Creating a story allows a prospect to see you as more than your core product or service. Suddenly, they gain an insight into your humour, or your ethos, or your people.

So, working with James, we told the story of three recruiters: Ruth, Tom and Sarah. We brought the complexity of our recruitment software down to a human level, and tapped into the pain points of in-house recruiters. Ruth was using an alternative recruitment system, but was constantly faced with error messages and sitting on hold to the customer care team. Tom, a whizz at Excel, was wasting valuable time by manually tracking applications. But Sarah used Hireserve ATS, and enjoyed the benefits of powerful, flexible and intuitive online recruitment software. We chose simple animated characters and a tongue-in-cheek tone for the script in order to connect with the viewer. No statistics or industry jargon – just a story that everyone could find some humour and interest in.

Action! OR How we, an SME, use video content to promote our service and product

Well, this is one of our most recent projects, so we’ve been busy sharing the video across our website, social platforms and other marketing collateral. Because we’ve kept it short, prospects can understand what our recruitment software does in just 90 seconds. And people can understand who we are – that we’re an upbeat, friendly team. As customer service and support is a huge priority for us, it’s important that prospects gain a sense of the way we are and how we can work with them.

This is our first foray into animation, but we have previously worked with another filmmaker, Duncan Souster from Sous Productions, on ‘live action’ video content. Video customer testimonials work especially well for us, demonstrating our strong relationships in a way that words on a page can’t quite achieve. We also used video content to promote our Hireserve User Group – one of our USPs but another complex topic. How could we communicate the atmosphere of the event to prospects? Sous Productions filmed on the day, collecting customer testimonials and some great footage – and set to a sparky soundtrack, we felt the video captured the value and positivity of the day.

Cut! OR How can you create effective video content too?

Working with James, Duncan and Rob have been really positive experiences for us, and resulted in video content that promotes our product, service and brand messages. But as an SME, it can be daunting to know how to get started. How do you find the right supplier? What style of video should you produce? And what do you do once the film’s completed?

We’ve included top tips from our video content partners to help you in our new guide: I’m an SME – How do I Create Successful Video Content?’ Download it free today, or please feel free to talk to us about our experiences.

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About the author

Tristan Potter

Tristan has a decade's worth of experience writing content and copy for organisations across Bristol and the Southwest of England. He has written on a diverse range of topics, including technology, philosophy, politics, and recruitment. His writing has appeared in The Drum, HR Grapevine, and The Guardian, among other publications. He joined Hireserve in March 2022.