Wishing everyone the happiest of holidays and a prosperous 2018!
Yesterday was August 1st. On that day in 1981, Music Television, or MTV, was launched. It was a somewhat shaky start with cable television still trying to catch traction. Fast forward to today and there are hundreds of cable outlets, with dozens of other streaming and online options for viewing content. But along with music videos, MTV also launched something else: the creation of the “logo bug” that now appears (usually) in the lower right corner of most of the programming we see today! Even video producers like this writer “bug” their videos, which I chronicled in a post back in 2015! http://wp.me/p2YaU5-8Y
If you want to place a lasting impression on your productions, be sure to “bug” them! Thanks, MTV, for an iconic idea!
This has been a crazy summer…crazy busy, that is. And that’s a good thing! That said, Vidyard produced an excellent article and companion clip about the value of video in a product launch, and I wanted to share it with my audience. If you’d like a quote for your next product launch, one that respects your budget, go to my “Request A Quote” page and fill in the form. I’ll contact you back promptly!
Sincere thanks, with full content acknowledgment to Vidyard, and to Jesse Ariss, the presenter in the video.
This past December, I posted an article titled, “Independent Contractor vs Employee,” actually a re-release from August, in which I pointed out the advantages of hiring a contractor to do your video instead of using employees to do it. This continues to be an excellent strategy, as pointed out by a number of clients that have become repeat customers. You can see the article here.
Angela Wolf Quaintance wrote an outstanding article in May that appeared on LinkedIn and offers 5 reasons why hiring a professional is better than doing it yourself. You can read her full story here. It is very well outlined, and I would only add a couple of my own thoughts:
Regarding equipment, just as important as having invested five-figures’ worth on professional cameras, microphones, lights, audio and related gear (I have!), is having the skills necessary to use it properly. I’ve studied both still photography and video production, and asking a marketing person to take on this task (video production often falls under a marketing department/budget) may be beyond their skill set.
And before you ask that colleague’s spouse, son or daughter (or any family member, for that matter) to let the camera roll, you might consider whether (or not) that person has business insurance. AFTER an unfortunate incident is the WRONG TIME to be thinking about that. When I arrive at your location, you can feel confident that I am fully insured for any eventuality!
I like Angela’s take on ‘unbiased perspective.’ I believe that despite the passion that you have for your product or service, an independent set of eyes, ears and perceptions can likely see things that you may be too close to see, which can result in a finished product that hits all objectives!
Good luck on your next video project–whoever you select to do it!
I came across this neat little GIF that I’ve nicknamed “The Production Proposal Assist Device.” In most cases when I’m asked to bid on a job, these three elements come into play. The client gets to choose two of them…I get one. The truth is that everything is negotiable these days, but this made me smile, so I thought I’d share.
Avoiding these common mistakes will help you create a video marketing strategy that will connect, resonate, and engage with your target audience. This will increase traffic to your website and improve sales.
1. Excessive “hard selling”
When you apply the “hard sell,” it is much like asking your first date to marry you. There is a very remote possibility, but you increase chances by building a relationship step by step. By creating teaser videos, you will intrigue potential clients and establish a continued relationship.
2. Videos are not part of a campaign
You may only get one chance to make a first impression, and as a result, many companies tend to overload their customer base with info. Pace your message and leave something to the imagination without exhausting the rather short attention span of your viewer.
Campaigns are the way to go. Rather than creating a single five-minute video, entrepreneurs should focus on a multi-faceted approach to creating a two-minute video in concert with six 30-second segments. That still adds up to a total of five minutes. The attention span of viewers is now so short, that short, informative, entertaining, and to-the-point videos are required.
3. Poor title and SEO
Interesting titles and effective tagging are essential in maximizing your SEO and harnessing your views. Having a great video no one can find renders all production efforts useless.
4. Disharmonized content
Video marketing is not just about visual images. Effective videos all harmonize the images with the best use of voice and text. Take these components into consideration when producing your video. Everything needs to be deliberate and intentionally planned.
5. Focus on products, not people
If facts tell and stories sell, then do not make your video a list of facts about your products. Focus on telling stories about people using your products and the benefits that they derive from using them. If your story is well told, people will seek out more information.
6. Not harnessing the power of video
If a picture paints a thousand words, just imagine how much a well-crafted video can communicate. Just make sure that your videos portray the right content and in the right essence. Videos are all about style, and style is actually more important than content. The style needs to be authentic to your brand, elevate your message, and make it resonate with your target audience.
7. Under-using available social media platforms
YouTube is great, but it is not the only game in town, as shown above. Maximize both your reach and your SEO by publishing your videos on all platforms. This does not mean pasting a YouTube link on the other platforms. When you load your video into platforms natively, you get twice as many views. In addition, do not forget email. As the infographic above showed, including a video in your emails will increase click-through rates by 200 to 300 percent. If you want to know how to do that, either ask Sean Sloan (our resident SEO/SEM expert) or me.
8. Videos are too long
We live in a world of immediate gratification and societal ADD. Therein lies the magic formula to capture your audience in a comprehensive, entertaining, yet limited stage. As you can see in the descriptions above, sometimes 10 seconds are all you have, and even TV commercials are being produced as 15 second spots!
So get out there and create! Just know what the critical success factors are, and you can be wildly successful. And if you need any help, just give First Impressions Video a call!
**AUTHOR’S NOTE** I first wrote this article in September, 2014. Having now done hundreds of interview videos since then, the 6 points I detailed in 2014 take on even greater meaning, so I thought I’d “rebroadcast” the post. I would also add a seventh point: When speaking in front of a camera, it isn’t necessary to try to remember a long passage or thought! When you get to a point where you’re not sure what you want to say next, just pause–while still looking at the same spot–collect your thoughts, and continue. Seasoned pros know this neat little trick and now, you do too! Your editor will love you because editing your session will be much simpler when there are pauses that can be easily put together, creating a nice, cohesive interview!
About a year ago, I wrote on my blog about giving a great interview, in which I tapped into my friend Steve Cooper’s article (hitchedmag.com) for some terrific insights. Recently, I shot interview-type videos for a number of corporate and non-profit clients and it sparked a few new thoughts that are worth sharing, for the next time you are asked to be interviewed on camera.
- Get comfortable! Make sure that—while attractive to the camera (viewing audience)—your clothing is comfortable. If it’s too tight or binding, it can contribute to your voice sounding constrained. If you’re nervous in front of a camera, an overly snug outfit will only compound the nervousness.
- Know your subject material. Create a list of talking points. Notes (as opposed to a script) will allow the conversation to flow smoothly and sound more “normal.” Unless you have expertise working with a teleprompter, I recommend not using one. Also, this is NOT a “gotcha” interview, so I want my subject to be well informed.
- I typically recommend the “off camera” style, as if you were talking with someone you know. You’re just “having a conversation.” Plus, off camera interviews pull the subject’s attention away from the camera equipment.
- Practice starting your responses. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to coach subjects to NOT start every response with ‘um,’ ‘uh,’ ‘like,’ and the dreaded ‘so.’
- Shoot with multiple angles and perspectives. Often, I shoot with two cameras to accomplish this. A single medium close-up shot can be a bit monotonous, unless you are going for a very specific look! Even if you only have one camera, you can (should) vary the angles and perspectives of the interview. It will be far more interesting. “60 Minutes” set the standard for this approach.
- Shoot “cutaways” (sometimes called “b-roll”) of other interesting areas that support the interview that can be edited into the final product. Again, this helps keep the interest level up and boredom to a minimum.
And finally, start with the end in mind. Even a short interview has a “story arc,” and by knowing where you want the interview to finish, it will simplify the presentation from beginning to end!