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Comments Off on Inbound Marketing Video Tips

Inbound Marketing Video Tips

A Screenshot of an Inbound Marketing Video
Inbound marketing is an effective way to connect with potential customers and strategically deliver information. One of the most successful tools is video. According to a recent Hub Spot article, the amount of videos posted to Facebook has grown 75% over the last year. On Twitter, visuals also produce 18% more clicks, 89% more favorites and 150% more retweets. Although you can’t deny the potential return, there is an investment associated with producing videos. Here are some factors you should consider if you are planning to create original videos.

  1. Viewing Platform
  2. Concept Planning
  3. Length
  4. Look & Sound: Production Values

Platform Where it Will be Viewed

If you are producing your video for television, there are various options associated with airtime to consider. Most inbound marketing efforts are produced for social media. YouTube is the most popular video hosting site. Vine and Snapchat are also gaining popularity. Although these outlets are free, advertising to increase the number of viewers comes with a cost. Facebook adjusted its algorithm to decrease the impressions companies get from their followers, paid advertising will increase your video views. No matter where the video is found, strive for quality in execution and content.

Concept Planning and Execution

Turning an innovative idea into a great video takes planning. Do not make the mistake of not including the value of this time in your cost estimate. Be sure to include the time associated with script writing, story boarding, shooting, any special effects, graphics and multiple sets of edits once the client has access to the video. Many companies do not make proper allowance for the time and costs associated with making a video. A pre-production meeting is recommended.

Video Length

Not all videos are created equal. If you are planning to create 15 one minute videos, or a 15 minute video the costs are different. Add up the number of days you will need to actually be shooting your videos as you are evaluating costs. If you do a more traditional video shoot using actors in a physical setting, remember to calculate the cost associated with staff. You will need a director, camera operator(s), grip, gaffer, and various other hands on deck for the shoot. If this is a longer shoot do not forget to include the cost associated with housing, travel and food. Locations themselves can also be expensive to rent or dress up to make fit your client’s desires.

The Final Look and Sound

Voice talent and music are a very expensive element of video creation. Music royalties or the cost of having original music recorded can easily amount to thousands of dollars. There are ways to get access to royalty free music, but with the reduced cost you may not get the exact sound you were looking for. Voice over talent is also a costly expense. Ensure you get the sound and read you envisioned for your associated cost.

Acting and graphics can make or break a video. Professional actors are another expensive part of video production, but they will come with the professionalism required to get the shots faster, saving you time and money when it comes to other elements of your video. If you decide to not use actors, but instead to use animation, it is also be costly. You again have to weigh the difference between professional and armature and determine where you want to invest your money. Also consider the software required to successfully complete an animated project.

Videos are an Almost Essential Part of Inbound Marketing

Make sure that your production costs don’t break the bank. Don’t forget the most important part of any video is the content. Educate and entertain your audience. That can be done in your office with a smart phone if it is what you have available or you can spend hundreds, of thousands of dollars on a set. When you are planning your videos make sure you know your budget and stick to it. Videos don’t have to break the bank to break you into a new market segment.

Our team can with with your budget to incorporate video into your inbound marketing campaign. Contact David Walker for more information.

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Comments Off on No Longer Your Typical Graphic Artist/Designer

No Longer Your Typical Graphic Artist/Designer

A ComputerIt’s safe to say that since the advent of desktop computing, business has been changing at a rapid pace. Many jobs have molded and changed to adapt to the latest and greatest technologies available, or they have vanished altogether. Graphic Artists that have been in the industry for the past 20 years know this all too well.

A typical Graphic Artist, Graphic Designer or Art Director must now have the ability to perform many additional tasks that were once additional positions held within several small companies. Such tasks may include being an Interactive/Web Designer, Illustrator, Photographer, Videographer, Video Editor, Computer Technician or even a basic Web Programmer. Modern computers, cameras and software have helped to make this a reality.

This may sound a little overwhelming for people just getting their start in advertising, public relations, design and multimedia productions. Believe me–it is! If you’re looking to get into this field of work, be sure you have vast knowledge and a great skill-set because you’re going to utilize it on a daily basis. In a small business atmosphere you need to be able to wear many hats, not just the one printed on your business cards. This holds true for just about any job at a professional small business today.


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Comments Off on Reflections on Media Training

Reflections on Media Training

I am constantly touched by the reactions of people who have received media training from our team.  They improve so much from the start of training to the conclusion.  In the end, they understand the areas they need to improve upon.

Media training considers the media world we live in.  We discuss how the media works.  We look at the messages that work and those that don’t.  We evaluate body language and articulation.

When you view your video, you know instantly what you can do to improve your performance.  You learn quickly that when you are in front of the camera you talk to your audience NOT the reporter.  We prepare you further by testing you with the kinds of behaviors that reporters may throw your way.

The greatest reward that any media trainer can receive is a sincere “thank you” from the individuals we train.  A transformation has taken place.

– Ed Stevens, APR

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Comments Off on YouTube: A Great Source for Brand Awareness

YouTube: A Great Source for Brand Awareness

YouTube Logo

Some companies, large or small, feel they don’t need a presence on YouTube. This could be because the product they sell is a necessity and not very intriguing, like insurance or accounting. Some may believe if you can’t create a video that will go viral, what’s the point? What these companies are failing to understand is that you don’t have to create a video that will get a million views in an hour to be successful on YouTube. And, there’s no set list of criteria on how to make a viral video. Sometimes, it’s just luck. There are other uses for YouTube; one of them is to increase brand awareness.

If your business is looking to spread the word about the services you offer, YouTube is a great place to make this happen. Creating a short, one to three minute corporate video will not only increase brand awareness, but also draw out potential clients and promote customer loyalty. Seeing the faces of the people behind the scenes at your company will make your current customers feel that there isn’t just a robot answering questions and collecting feedback. Your team can take the time to make a video that highlights your company’s mission and showcases your staff.

Another way to utilize YouTube is to create a video with some general tips to help your current and prospective customers. If you are an insurance company, obviously there are some pieces of information you can’t share with the public for liability reasons. However, creating a video on why you should contact an insurance company or how-to videos that demonstrate how to navigate a complex website could be useful (and harmless to your company). Also, consider creating a video that includes some helpful statistics, depending on the type of service you offer. For instance, if you offer auto insurance, provide some stats on how many accidents happen per year. This could even be a segue into how your insurance is better than others.

Remember to think outside the box when it comes to YouTube. You don’t have to be a musician or actor to make it work for your business. You don’t even need expensive equipment. If you are on a limited budget, short clips can be created with a webcam or even with a high-end smartphone camera. And, don’t forget to take your new YouTube clips and cross-share them with your other social channels such as Facebook and Twitter to spread the word even further.

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Comments Off on Video Editing: We’ll Fix It in Post

Video Editing: We’ll Fix It in Post

Editing a Shot

When you have completed your video shoot, the fun of editing and post-production begins. Let’s discuss how smart planning–before and after the shoot wraps–can help during the editing stage.

Without proper sound quality, lighting and the right scripts or questions for interviews, you’ll be left with nothing more than junk footage. Make a checklist and go over all of your equipment, gear, shot list, interview questions and scripts at least a day before each and every shoot.  Remember to check for small things. Don’t embarrass yourself in front of a client by not having something minor, like a 9-volt battery.

So everything went well on location and now it’s actually time to begin processing the footage. Prep your footage for whatever software you’ll be using for editing. Usually this consists of some type of file converting before importing into your software of choice. We prefer to use Final Cut Pro X, but are beginning the transition to Adobe Premiere and Adobe After Effects. We find that Final Cut Pro X is extremely intuitive, but limited overall. However, this hasn’t held us back from creating some pretty cool videos. This goes back to the preparation and some know-how. If you know how to creatively use a camera, understand lighting concepts and audio capture, your raw footage will be really nice, making the software you use less important.

What to do when something goes wrong? We’ve found sometimes–no matter how careful or good you are–mistakes will happen. The beauty of video editing is there are several ways to easily fix a mistake. If your color is way off for some clips and you just can’t correct it and make flesh tones look good, a simple solution is to make the clips black and white and follow the design style throughout the remainder of the video. Or, if some audio is good on a clip and a person looks strange on camera, use the audio and cover the weird parts with B-Roll footage. Again, it’s a very simple fix.

The most important thing about creating video is to look at everything from the viewers’ perspective. If you can’t understand what the message is quickly, you’ll lose your audience’s attention quickly. Be creative, but simple. There’s nothing worse than trying to watch a video with a million quick cuts, shaky camera work and too many effects. Let us state this again: Keep the video creative, but simple. What that means is up to you. Always remember, if something is off in the video you can always “Fix it in Post.”

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Comments Off on If You Think You Don’t Need Video…Think Again!

If You Think You Don’t Need Video…Think Again!

YouTube Logo on TV

According to the A.C. Nielsen Co., the average American watches more than four hours of TV each day (or 28 hours/week, or 2 months of nonstop TV watching per year). Four billion videos are viewed on YouTube every day! That is a 50 percent increase since 2010. Cheaper, high-speed internet service rates, better computers and smarter phones are the reason for the boost in streaming video viewership. This trend is destined to continue as technology continues to advance and become more affordable.

What can we summarize from this information?

– People are accustomed to and enjoy watching videos.

– Internet users are watching more videos than ever.

– This is a trend that will continue

Clearly you can see how a business could benefit from having a video produced to showcase their company, products or services. Or, better yet, businesses should regularly produce videos to add to their website and social media outlets. What a great way to stay in touch with customers and highlight new products and services!

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Comments Off on It’s Not About What You Shoot; It’s What You Don’t Shoot

It’s Not About What You Shoot; It’s What You Don’t Shoot

Video Camera

Back around 2002, I attended a week-long video workshop at a Sony training facility in San Jose, California. While the class was rather basic, I did learn one concept that has stuck with me since.

The instructor said, “It’s not about what you shoot; it’s what you don’t shoot.” He demonstrated this idea by first capturing a medium shot of a ballpoint pen on a table. You could see in the monitor it was a really plain shot with nothing of interest.  In other words, it was a non-descript pen on a non-descript desk.

Then, the instructor took an extreme close-up of the pen.  What you saw now was hard to describe. It looked like it might be a military weapon or some type of high-tech surgical tool. The way the metal cylinder of the pen refracted light made it look like a work of art. The point the instructor was able to demonstrate was that by simply changing the shot’s composition, it made a world of difference.

Think how many times you are shooting an interview and you frame the shot the same way over and over (e. g. desk in foreground, person seated at desk, fake plant over person’s right shoulder, etc.).  Next time, try not to shoot the desk.  Try masking off the bland, corporate office wall somehow. And, throw the plastic plant in the garbage.  Instead, look for things that are graphically more interesting–such as the cool watch the subject’s wearing, the unique pattern on his tie, an interesting piece of furniture or art in the room.

A good director or videographer needs to have a discerning eye.  If it’s not visually interesting, don’t make it the focal point of your video. Remember, when it comes to making good video, “It’s not about what you shoot; it’s what you don’t shoot.”

David Walker – Stevens Strategic Communications Vice President of Interactive

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