I am seeing a lot more of people's ceilings and bedrooms nowadays than I used to. Of course it isn't what you think - stop right now! Video blogging is great, don't get me wrong, and a webcam is a very affordable way to go about it. Yes, I understand that you are connecting with an existing audience who won't mind a few foibles. Or I hope it's an existing audience - is a home movie the right level of video marketing you want when trying to secure new customers? I know that it would switch me off. It's the laptop webcams or compromised home office spaces that are leading to Ceiling Syndrome. If you're peering downwards at a webcam, then by default it is looking upwards, and often that means we can see the top of your office, lounge or bedroom walls, a chunk of ceiling, maybe some spiders webs (sack that cleaner!) and perhaps the corner of a John Lewis wall print. read more

Video Marketing - Know Your Market

At the music industry seminar event that I was covering last week, and ignoring the vertical, a common theme to getting on the path to success was doing your research and knowing your market. This would be a hard argument to ignore, and it's something that applies to the way you use, or should be using, video. Research should be around your industry and your competitors - what are they doing in the way of online video? Nothing? Something low-rent (and easy for you to match or perhaps better)? A campaign or presence that you aspire to? Are they making mistakes, like hiding their corporate video beneath many clicks on their website? Getting low views on YouTube? Not showing up well in Google? read more

How To Leverage That Cheap Video

You have responded to an offer to get a little video shot for your business for £99. You've walked away with a short clip, probably a talking head, that should be a great promo. That was easy, wasn't it? Now the customers will come. The customers will come because you thought about the content for the video and how best to showcase your business. You emphasised your point of difference - you didn't just say 'we are accountants/builders/consultants and we do accounting/building/consulting'. There was passion and there was a call to action. read more

Video Content Marketing

I spent last week staying in an old station building on a preserved railway line in Wales. I could tell you that it was a holiday designed solely to please my son, but that would be economical with the actuality. It seems that all across the UK, the steam railway scene is undergoing a resurgence. These great old machines are returning to service in increasing numbers, and it's obviously making economic sense to do so. It's been a theme in the office over the last few months too. Conversations with clients have led to us looking at how we can resurrect forgotten content and breathe new life into it i.e. repurposing video content. Sometimes these options are not immediately obvious - turning the audio file from a radio interview into a video, taking lengthy presentation footage and dividing it into bite-sized and very keyword-able pieces, making a photo slideshow into engaging video, even giving existing YouTube content a makeover. Repurposing video content can be a quick win. read more

Top 10 Video Production Tips

The proliferation of video and online video hosting platforms is a result of both the democratization of video production and the appetite for consumption of the end product. This causes a double-edged sword – it is much easier for anyone to create content, but much more likely that it will get lost in the digital universe. The further danger for businesses, specifically small business owners, is that creating poor quality video content risks consigning them to the also-rans. One thing to be careful about is the definition of ‘quality’. High definition camcorders are the norm nowadays, and hence the differentiators between high and low ‘quality’ videos are not the pixel count and colour reproduction, but the actual content on the screen and how the camera is handled. Arguably at the end of the day the thing that will decide whether you achieve customer engagement, and hence sales/loyalty/ awareness, is the content and not the ‘quality’, but it isn’t hard to see that shoddy videos will turn off more viewers than more polished ones, especially if you are in a premium sector. read more

A Word on Video Image Quality

I talked about the nebulous word 'quality' in video production in another blog, but it's worth a minute specifically on video image quality which may help your output look a little better (if you aren't hiring a pro to shoot for you). HD is a very familiar term but there is a sliding scale of High Definition depending on how the image is recorded. Terms like 4K, 1080i, 1080p and 720p may also be in your vocabulary but shooting 1080i on your camcorder is not going to yield a result that compares with the 1080i that the BBC broadcast (ignoring the proficiencies of the cameraman!). The difference is in the Bit Rate and image compression used. Squeezing a lot of video data onto those tiny SD cards means information gets lost, and that can show up in the finished product. read more

Hands up who wants a quality video!

Have you ever heard anyone ask for something rubbish or not up to scratch? How would you feel if someone asked you to provide a product or service for them that was suboptimal? Silly question. Everyone wants quality. But yet quality is a slippery thing. ‘I want a video – it has to be good quality.’ ‘In what way?’ ‘Err….’ read more

Get your YouTube file name RIGHT!

Outside of the actual content of the video itself - what the moving images do to convey your business - there are very few things that you can't alter after you've uploaded your video file to YouTube. One of the key things that needs to be Right First Time - or at least thought through - is the file name. This is because the name of the file is regarded as important by Google (YouTube) in terms of keywording and tagging. For example if you are a builder in Kent called Joe Bloggs, then joebloggs.mov or new video1.avi is a web dead-end compared to Quality Builder In Kent - Joe Bloggs Builders.mov It follows the simple principle that if you want customers to find you online, you use the words that describe what you do - after all, most of them don't know who they are looking for, only what. read more

New kid on the block?

I’m going to share with you a great new social media platform I’ve been using for my business. The first bit of good news is that it’s free, and you can use it as often as you like. Like all good social media channels, the more you put in, the more you get out. It’s global, as you’d expect, and it’s been around for a surprisingly long time, so no ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’. It’s used by businesses and consumers alike, so you can connect with both audiences. read more

Video : Mobile Digital For All

We live in a world where the prevalence of the mobile device is forcing businesses to think about how their websites are accessed, and hence to evaluate the user friendliness of the design. Separate mobile websites, or intelligent device detection are becoming vital to ensure that smartphone and tablet users are not driven to click away from clunky, text heavy or complex navigational sites that don't work well on small screens. As with many new revolutions, businesses must assess how important this change is for them individually, and react appropriately. Again, as with many things, the need versus cost equation will come into play. For big business it is something of a no-brainer, but for small companies and entrepreneurs, they may ask whether the investment can be justified, certainly in the short term. So how can a business achieve something of a mobile-friendly web presence in perhaps a different way? How can they promote their business' skills and wares effectively, whilst overcoming the need for paragraphs of text which have to be pinched, scrolled, zoomed or dragged until the potential customer has absorbed a sufficient mass of information to make a buying decision? The answer is so easy and obvious but perhaps not always approached as a solution to this new problem. read more