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Five Mistakes Businesses Make With Video

As a full service video production company, we make video that works for you.

But looking around at the videos being used to promote businesses right now, we see the same mistakes occurring time and time again.

Whether you use our services or not, here are the top five common mistakes you need to avoid when producing a promotional video:

“Yeah, a video – it’s just like a moving brochure, innit?”

Well, in a word, NO. A video is nothing like a moving brochure, and should indeed be so much more. Yes, we know you’ve spent a lot of money on print media, but this is different, and in many ways better. Let’s see it for what it is – a promotional video, not a video copy of your brochure. As Marshall Mcluhan put it; “The medium is the message” and this message is video, not paper.

“Strategy? What strategy?”

OK, strategy is an overused word, but if you’re going to spend time and money on a video then you need to make sure it matches everything else and is a part of an overall plan. You’ve probably coordinated your website, brochure, sales collateral and marketing materials, so you need to ensure that your video fits in with this plan too.

A good video production company will spend time with you, making sure that your video is a part of the marketing mix, not a standalone piece of film.

“Oh, John has a camera”

John is lovely. OK, so some see him as ‘that weird guy in accounts who wears sandals and goes to music festivals all the time’, but he’s got a a HUGE video camera, and he can do the job, right?

WRONG! Yes, we know you want to save money, and we know he probably thinks he can do the job well, but a well thought out and effective corporate video isn’t quite the same as some grainy film of Muse at Glastonbury, and it’s your corporate image that’s going to suffer.

Having a video produced doesn’t have to cost the earth, and a good video production company will help you find ways to cut down costs that don’t mean risking a final shot of someone asleep in a tent with marker pen all over their face getting in there by accident.

“We don’t need a script – we’re a zany, ad-libbing kind of crowd”

Which is fine, until you get in front of a camera. Unless you’re a professional and do this all the time, you WON’T be able to wing it in front of the camera. You’ll look stilted, you’ll grasp for words, and you’ll look unprofessional. All the reasons NOT to work without a script.

Let your corporate video production company help you to develop a natural sounding script that will showcase you and your business at it’s best.

“Video? Nah, not for us mate”

Why not? We’ve yet to find a company that wouldn’t benefit from some sort of video to help enhance their promotion and marketing. Whether it be for customer testimonials, case studies, business overviews or explaining services, a video works in a way that written text or websites can’t, and is ideal to add in to your marketing mix.

Don’t assume it’s not for you without investigating it properly – look into it, find out if your competitors are using it, think about what it could do for you, and you might find it could be a good fit for your company.

If you’d like to talk more about how video could help your marketing, why not drop us a line at gordon@makingvideowork.com

@gordon4video

 

Five Tips for better Video Production

Too often video production is done on a whim. You know you’ve heard everyone talk about how important it is to have video on your website or adding it to your marketing mix so you decide to do a video.

The problem then is that it is done on the run, with inadequate thought and equipment. “Quality” is the key word here, not necessarily expense. Surely we all know that quality and cost have an strange relationship. Cost does not guarantee quality and quality does not always cost the earth.

So here are five key signposts on the road to a good production.

1.Brief

What is it you are trying to say and who are you trying to reach?  Don’t settle for having it all in your head. Write down your ideas. Refine them. Hone them. Know what it is you are looking to achieve and how you think you can achieve it. Doesn’t mean it is set in stone or that it cannot evolve but a brief, a structure from which to work is vital.

2.Script

How are we going to communicate our message? Is going to be serious, funny, instructional?  Do not be tempted into thinking we’ll just use what we already have written. A video is not a moving brochure it is a different medium and the script should reflect this.

3.Talent

Make the most of experienced and talented people.  Having all the gear is not an indicator of talent, having Word on your computer does not make you a best selling author. Look for a good portfolio of work.  Trust a producer who can get you the right voiceover and on camera talent. What’s his name from accounts probably isn’t the right choice. (If you are what’s his name from accounts and you are truly talented then leave accounts)

4. Sound

More videos are ruined by bad sound than anything else. Get someone who knows how to get good sound and how to enhance it in post production.

5. Remember, it’s a visual medium

Cameras are great. They do enable you to just point and shoot but please don’t choose someone who just points and shoots.  Choose an artisan who wants to create great production for you. 

Ten signs you know you’re a freelancer…

  1. You choose Costa (other coffee shops are available) to work rather than your own office.
  2. You have developed a tolerance for Christmas music in November.
  3. You can shut out the world and his/her dog, well maybe not the dog but certainly many children, in order to  work.
  4. You can make a medium Americano last for more than an hour.
  5. You have developed a liking for stone cold Americano.
  6. You have a Macbook pro.
  7. You have amazing bladder control so you don’t have to pack up all your expensive tech in order to go to the loo. (loo breaks are for arrival and departure)*
  8. You can complain/rave about the free wifi.
  9. You are glad you bought that WiFi dongle.
  10. You spend more time writing tweets, watching cat videos or writing blogs rather than the work you should be doing.
Yep, that’s me..currently sitting in Costa.
*I realise bladder control or the lack of it may be an age or gender problem.

Things videographers are fed up of hearing

1, Can you photoshop me?  Other versions include, cab you make me look 20 years younger, 20 pounds lighter, like Robert Redford, like Nicole Kidman.
2. Will it be on the telly? If filming in a public place scores of people behind the subject waving, inanely smiling and/or on their phone
3. I’ll just wing it. Never works! Quickly followed by.
4. I’ll get it right eventually. Maybe I should have written a few things down. I’ll just write a few quick notes. Can you hold those notes so I can read them? Does this look like I’m reading this?
5. Can I just take this call?
6. That’s a nice bit of kit.

Viral or Niche, where is your audience?

Once again my eyes have been assaulted by claims that this, that and the other has become a viral hit on the internet.

On closer investigation I discovered they didn’t really go viral. At best they were shared a good number of times but not really viral. Viral suggests reaching an audience way beyond your intended one. Let’s face it having millions of people viewing your video, post or photograph must be brilliant but in reality what does it achieve?  A million YouTube views. All that means is one million people clicked play. They may have clicked off after 3 seconds, got distracted and just not paid any real attention to the content anyway.

I am not saying numbers are unimportant but that they might not be as important as we think they are.

Maybe we need to examine them a bit more. If you make a video of a friends birthday party and post it to FB and everyone of your 600 friends on the platform viewed it, then you can say your video was a success.  It reached everyone of your intended audience. Beyond your Facebook friends your video has no audience.Maybe we need to re-examine what we deem success in the social media world. Huge audiences does not necessarily imply huge engagement.We need to define our audience better and assess the success of the video or campaign, not by how many random people have watched it, but by the engagement it generated with our intended audience.

Numbers only tell a part of the story. It seems to me having plenty of committed activists engaged with your message is much better than a large mildly interested one.

How you define your audience is up to you but define it and reach it you must. Viral isn’t everything engagement on the other hand.

Top Ten YouTube Mistakes

youtube-logo

There are people who believe that uploading a video to YouTube is all they have to do. It’s there, soon millions will be flocking to view my creation. Well no. In fact if you want to hide a video I think simply uploading it to YouTube is probably the best thing you can do. It will easily crouch down behind all the other videos and hide from any potential viewers. Here are the Top Ten mistakes people make with YoutTube.

  1. Optimisation: Not optimising your YouTube title

 The title tag of a YouTube video is one of the main ranking factors on the site. Give it some thought. I have seen videos with the title Final Edit number three. It tells me whoever has uploaded the video has been lazy but it also tells me nothing about the production’s content. Work hard on that title. 

  1. Description: Not adding a description

 YouTube provides a Description field so that you can give your potential viewers an idea of what they are about to watch, and provide further information if needed. 

  1. Links: No links to your site or landing page

 Link to a landing page or a page on your site to take people on in the sales/promotion journey.

  1. Tags: Fail to tag your video or select the correct category 

Tagging helps users find your video. It gives YouTube the right information to categorise your video so getting this right is really important. Research similar videos to see what tags are being used.

  1. Thumbnail: Use the worst thumbnail you can pick 

A colourful, relevant thumbnail acts as an advertisement for your video, so make sure you pick the one that reflects the content. YouTube will pick one for you if you don’t so use the custom thumbnail option and pick your own. 

  1. Subtitles: Fail to use subtitles (closed captions) 

There are millions of people who are deaf and hard of hearing and rely on subtitles to engage with your content.

  1. Comments: Turning off comments and not engaging with anyone 

Why create content and not engage with the viewers? Yes you might get the odd spammer or troll but you can deal with that.

  1. Playlists: Don’t add your video to a playlist 

Playlists help YouTube determine the relevancy of your content. A long term video strategy will have playlists, tags and optimisation at its heart.

  1. Social Media: Fail to use social media 

Just uploading to YouTube will not get your video seen or improve it’s visibility. You need to use the full breadth of social media to promote your video and bring it to the attention of your prospective viewers.

  1. Naff Content: Upload consistently bad content 

Nuff said!

If you want advice and help on YouTube and how to use it for your business then contact video@makingvideowork.com