Video Pre-Production - Preparing to succeed

In 2010 a large format printing company was engaged to print a banner that would be a record breaker, and we were on hand to cover the story. One of the challenges of producing a PR-related video – a case study rather than a ‘corporate video’ – was to tell the whole story and arm the audience with the facts, whilst keeping the running time manageable. In consultation with the client, we decided to split the video into a Who, What, Why, How approach, and work to keep the script as short as possible, including pre-shooting a description of events that had not yet occurred. read more

Filmmaking is 90% waiting

In a January 1994 Premiere magazine interview about the film The River Wild, Kevin Bacon commented that he had worked with everybody in Hollywood or someone who's worked with them. Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon is a parlour game based on the "six degrees of separation" concept, which posits that any two people on Earth are, on average, about six acquaintance links apart. That idea eventually morphed into this parlour game, wherein movie buffs challenge each other to find the shortest path between an arbitrary actor and veteran Hollywood character actor Kevin Bacon. read more

5 Tips for Text and Captions on video

The use of text and captions on corporate and promotional video can be an important part of conveying your message. With the wide availability of consumer-level editing software, screen capture tools and the ability to generate video from slideshows, it is easy to produce DIY promo videos, but also easy to fall into traps that can cause a business' intentions to backfire. Throughout this process it is important to remain true to the key point which is that the video is all about clearly communicating a message. Flash over substance, especially with smaller businesses, is not the idea. A real world example of bad practice is spending longer on the whizzy transitions between Powerpoint slides than on the actual CONTENT itself. Is that what you want an audience to come away with - "Loved his use of words flying in and out - but what was he talking about?" read more

Video for mobile devices

Mobile defines the 21st century, and video is fast becoming the must-have marketing tool. In the business world, embracing both of these strategies is quickly going to become non-optional if a company is to succeed, in much the same way that social media is pretty much a must-have. Along with social, though, strategy and proper implementation are key. The mobile or mobile-optimised website is fast becoming essential to ensure that the customer on-the-go is not inadvertently turned away from your website by a poor browsing experience. I know a website that has a dwell time for mobile users that is HALF that when viewed on a desktop. That illustrates customer engagement that is suffering due to non-optimisation. Bear in mind that the proportion of websites browsed by mobile is currently 10% and expected to exceed desktop browsing in 2014 – so you can see how fast the growth is. read more

Video - Is there a win-win?

A conversation with a client this week about their potential video journey offered up the sometime-raised possibility of a business win-win through using video. In the right business, and the right combination of circumstances, video marketing can become a tool that provides positive feedback, generating new business opportunities. Even the discussion can start this ball rolling – so I’m not talking about the value that the finished corporate video itself provides. read more

“Lies, damn lies, and statistics”

If you don’t believe in statistics, then switch off now and have a good day! If a picture is worth a thousand words, then at 25 frames per second, video is worth 1.5 million words a minute! That would tax even the best touch typist. So does that make video a better investment of time than pure written copy? A couple of Video Statistics: comScore reckon that over 45% of internet users watch one video a month, with the average user being exposed to over 30 videos a month. So if you’re in the video marketing arena, you have a good chance of being seen by the 100 million users who watch a video every day. read more

Video How-To's generate customer goodwill

Today's blog is on a topic that has resonated with me a few times, and came up in a blog by Digital Accomplice this week, so I thought I'd share it. How often have you turned to the internet to solve a problem? More times than you can count. More than just answers to questions, the 'How Do I...' issue is one that is often brilliantly solved by an explanatory or demonstrational video. Just two of the videos I watched last year to get me out of a fix were 'How to change a battery in a Flip camera?' (cue a teenage American girl to provide the answer through video), and 'How to remove the harness from a child seat?'. The latter was a great demonstration of a brand extending the value they provide to the customer through well produced informative videos. These are not simple and glossy sales-focussed product showcases, they are instructional answers to customer care problems. As a result of watching the video, my question was answered, my faith in good customer service maintained, and my loyalty toward the company strengthened. read more

Video Production Costs - Low cost, Low value?

It was disappointing to come across another DIY video this week that seemed to jar with the brand positioning. If I was running a 25 year established B2B business, I wouldn’t consider camcorder footage of the office combined with rock music and misjudged graphics to be an ideal corporate video. The thing about homemade corporate videos is that whilst they do not explicitly cost money, implicitly they do. Any savvy business owner monetizes the time of every one of their employees, including themselves. Spending an afternoon making your own corporate video is NOT free. Isn’t it possible that a business owner is better placed to be working on growing their business through their OWN area of expertise, rather than trying to do everything? This corporate video has received 56 views on YouTube in 6 weeks. As usual, this is partly down to poor optimization due to lack of knowledge. The business owner could have hired a professional and achieved much better results, in quality, engagement, and viewership, for a similar cost. How do I know this? Guesstimating the actual cost to that business in making their video, I would point them at, for example, the two similarly priced videos I’ve produced recently that have received 961 views in 8 weeks, or 219 views in 5 weeks. Trying to be economical can sometimes be a false economy. At its best, it can hamper successful outcomes. At worst, it can project a negative brand image and harm customer perceptions. Usually it's because of lack of knowledge about Video Production Costs. The decision about whether to outsource your corporate video production should be an informed one, weighing both cost AND value.

Backlit Video Subjects

One of the enemies of all video cameras, but more especially phone cameras and webcams, is backlight. When the subject you are shooting (which may be you!) is between the camera and a strong light source, then alarm bells should sound. The light source doesn’t actually have to be inherently strong (like the sun or a table lamp), it just has to be the strongest light source in the area, for there to be a problem. read more

Implementation of video – What EXACTLY is your plan?

In this blog I know I’ll touch upon some things I’ve mentioned before, but the real world experience has borne them out this week. The new customer enquiry started with the fabled ‘How much for a 3 minute corporate video?’ I think that was the last question she asked. read more