Making Your Video Work – Part two

Last month I took you through some Post-It Note pre-production planning. If you missed last months then you can see it here.

Here is part two and the focus is on the content. There are five areas you need to consider when putting the content of your video together

  1. The first 15 seconds
  2. On camera talent or voice over
  3. Content (Testimonials and/or products)
  4. Graphics
  5. CTA and contact details

1. The first fifteen seconds. You need to capture your audiences attention pretty quick these days. This could be done with some snazzy titles or a quick summary of what is coming up. In my opinion this is strategically the most import part of the video and one where, perhaps, you can be a bit more adventurous or risky depending on your point of view.

2. On camera talent or voice over?  Many people are frightened of being in front of a camera. Of course you don’t have to be in front of camera. You could voice it yourself or employ the services of a voiceover artist. If you are showcasing a product a voiceover is a pretty good path to take. If you are the focus of the video, eg a business coach, then you definitely need to be in front of the camera. A good videographer will help you with this and bring out the best in you.

3. Content. How are you going to present your message? Will testimonials feature as a part of your overall message? Do you want to showcase a product or a service? This should be an easier question to answer of you have followed the steps outline in last month’s newsletter.

4. Graphics. You want your video to match any other promotional or publicity material you already have.. Make sure your video professional has all your details regarding fonts, logos, colours and any other graphics.

5. CTA Action and contact details.  Decide which email address you are going to use with the video and any other contact details you want including. Don’t do this as an after thought as changing them can be time consuming and costly. Having an end purpose to your video is really important don’t add it as an after thought.

At Making Video Work I offer services that go beyond production. Services such as transcription, subtitles, SEO, strategy, promotion and research. 

Let’s talk how together we can create great video content and how you can make the most of the content you already have.

email: gordon@makingvideowork.com or call 07973 567824

 

Making Your Video Work – Part One

If you you are thinking of utilising video in 2018 I want to share my PostIt note method for planning your video. Having a clear idea about your video will make filming so much easier and more effective.  So grab a handful of PostIt notes (other sticky piece of paper are available), a spare section of wall and follow these instructions.

Write AUDIENCE on your first PostIt note and stick it on the wall.

Ask yourself. Who do I want to reach?

Attempting to reach as wide an audience as possible will lead to a muddled and unfocused production. At this stage you might identify several distinct audiences. Write them all down. Stick them up and step back  Who is my priority? Put a big tick next to your priority audience. Take the others down and put them somewhere safe.

Write down STYLE on another note and stick it on the wall.

Different stories for different folks. Your primary audience will dictate the style of your message. This is not easy but here is an exercise to help you. On three separate notes write DAILY MIRROR, THE INDEPENDENT, THE TIMES. Put them on the wall and step back. Broadly speaking which newspaper would your audience read. I am not talking about political affiliations here but general style.

Daily Mirror – short snappy sentences.

Independent – considered but with an arty edge. Remember their amazing front pages.

The TImes – weighty and serious. Long sentences.

Try and pick one for general style. It’s not fixed at this point but it will help formulate your message.

Write MESSAGE on a note.

Write down a maximum of three things you want to say. Write each down on a separate note. Stick them up. Stand back, look at them and rate them in order, One being the most important and three the least.  More videos are ruined by a surplus of information than a lack. I am not saying you can’t have multiple messages but for now let’s focus on ONE message. Think Bob Geldorf at Live Aid. He could have said a lot of things but he didn’t. He banged the table and said give us your money. if you decide you can get rid of two of your messages, take them off and put them somewhere safe, you can always return to them in another video.

So now you should have a clear idea of your audience and a broad understanding of the style and message you want convey.  Next time I will use the same method to put the actual content of your video together into some kind of script and storyboard.

At Making Video Work I offer services that go beyond production. Services such as transcription, subtitles, SEO, strategy, promotion and research. 

Let’s talk how together we can create great video content and how you can make the most of the content you already have.

email: gordon@makingvideowork.com or call 07973 567824

Five Thoughts on Systems

A system is merely a framework to make something or somebody work better.
I think the appeal of a system, any system, is the offer of something that will lead to success but with little input from us. You follow the system rules and hey presto there you go, success. If only.
As anyone who has tried to follow a recipe from a cookbook will know success is not guaranteed. You follow the steps, you measure carefully but somehow yours doesn’t even remotely resemble the glossy picture in the book. I am not against any particular system or method but here are my five thoughts on the subject.
1. Systems should not be ends in themselves. Personally I love Miracle Morning. It has brought so much into my life, but a few weeks ago I realised that it was becoming more important to me than the goals it was designed to help me achieve. Ticking off another day done was the achievement. Sticking to the system should not be the goal, the goal should be beyond the system. Where it is designed to take you.
2. Systems are nothing without commitment. You can’t make anything work unless you are committed. No technique, no rule, no system will achieve anything unless you put in the hard work and commitment. People buy into systems because they want to succeed but they want to succeed without the hard work that usually accompanies it.
3. Systems are best when you use them to evaluate failure. Surely we follow a method to be successful? I am reading Matthew Syed’s book Black Box Thinking. It is a really good read especially when he talks about evaluating failure. Failure is the gateway to success. It seems to me systems work best when they enable you to assess where things went wrong. The safety of the aviation industry is based on the systematic evaluation of the, thankfully, few failures.
4. There is no golden key system, seriously there isn’t. There are methods that work for some people and not for others. It is easy to get sucked in with the sales patter that tells you, “follow this and you will earn thousands and be the person you want to be.”  am sure there are people who have used a system and made it work for them but that does not mean it is foolproof.
5. Find what suits you.  I have found a method or a system that works for me that doesn’t mean it will work for you. We are all individuals and it make take some trial and error to find something that suits you and your aspirations.
However you choose to move into your future, whatever method or system you choose to get you there, it can only work if you put in the hard yards and are committed for the long term.

Long life milk? No, long life video!

A lot of effort goes into making a video.

Even the simplest format requires thought, editing and refining.

In looking at various reports, a high percentage of engagement on social platforms takes place within hours of posting and tapers off shortly after. Here’s a breakdown.

• Twitter content has a half-life of 2.8 hours [via Bitly].

• Facebook posts receive 75%t of total engagement within five hours [via Wisemetrics].

• Pinterest Pins acquire 40% of total clicks within the first day of publication, and 70 percent by the end of day two [via Piqora].

Good video can have a life beyond the initial rush of viewers, likes and subscribers.

Providing the content is still relevant and not out of date, a video can still attract viewers and engagement and add value to your business for years to come.

Data shows that a video will receive 10% of total shares within two days,

50% of shares within the first three weeks,

66% in the first three months.

The remaining 34% is ongoing as more web users discover the video in search, on social, and via email.

Videos can and do date and it would be advisable to remove it or archive it to a playlist of older videos on YouTube. You may want to add to the description that some of the information contained in the video is out of date.

A video is for life, not just for the short term.

So here are four things you should be doing to keep your video content working for you.

  1.  Regularly review your video content on your YouTube Channel and website.

2. Are there videos you can re-use or freshen up?

3. Are there any videos that should be archived or removed? (Particularly on your website)

4. If older videos are still attracting viewers, look through the analytics and      see what you can learn about how your content is performing.

 

Let’s talk how together we can create great video content and how you can make the most of the content you already have.

email: gordon@makingvideowork.com or call 07973 567824

 

Making the most of video on Facebook

When you begin to plan your next video it is important to bear in mind where you intend to host your production. You will probably want to distribute it across a number of social platforms. For most people this means uploading to YouTube and then posting links to the video on different platforms but is this the best strategy?

Facebook has become an increasingly influential for video views, shares and engagement. In late 2015 it was 8 billion views a day. It is clear if you are going to use Facebook for distributing  your video you need a strategy before you start to film. So here are five pointers for more effective Facebook video.

1.Shorter is better.  The average length for a Facebook video is around 80 seconds and the first 10-15 seconds are probably crucial in engaging your audience.

2. Get your message up front. People scroll through their newsfeed so you only have a few seconds to capture their attention. No lengthy intro screens, just something to grab their attention. Research has shown the importance of the first few seconds of your Facebook video.

3. It pains me to say this but, as far as Facebook video is concerned, silence is golden. Up to 90% of Facebook users watch without sound. So subtitles are important, but make sure they work well for mobile. Look for visually arresting images. Don’t dispense with sound altogether and still work to have a hight quality soundtrack as this sets the context of any video.

4. Upload natively to Facebook. Uploading your video directly to Facebook rather than lining to a YouTube video has been proven to get better reach and better engagement. Facebook publishes their own guidelines for uploading video to their site.

5. Call to action. As true for Facebook as it is for any video site.  Tell your users what you want them to do after this video: Like? Share? Comment? Click through to a landing page?

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.