Video Length: It Depends on What You Measure

Video shoot with lights and camera

Some research has shown that there is a direct and consistent relationship between how long an ad is viewable and the increases in brand consideration and awareness. So the question is; how long should an ad be? Is the attention span of the potential customer shrinking down to nothing, or is it still possible to get them to willingly watch a longer ad?

For brands who are mainly focused on awareness, the shorter ad format may prove more effective and efficient than a longer video. With a shorter video, the brand stays top of mind. They are good for raising awareness and for creating signals that influence more frequent searches.

However, with the use of more complex stories it is possible to create a more meaningful connection to the brand that is being advertised. For a brand that wishes to move beyond simple awareness or to make a deeper connection with their consumer base, a longer story may be necessary.

The most important thing a brand can do is measure and compare their results to their critical overall business goal. Is ad recall or brand favorability more important? With shorter videos, customers typically show greater ad recall, whereas with longer videos there is less ad recall but more brand favorability. Whichever is more important to your brand should dictate elements of length.

If using a longer video format, it is important to state the brand early enough in the video that the customer will see it before, and if, they decide to skip the video. Generally, only a quarter of customers who view longer ads make it all the way through to the end, even for the most compelling ads. It is important to create a story that weaves the brand throughout the ad, instead of just popping up a logo in the beginning of the video. Oddly enough, just showing the logo generally reduces the view through rate of the ad.

With all of these things to consider, it is important to remember that a great story can still grab today’s audience, even with that pesky skip button beckoning to be pressed. The pressure that the skip button presents may push companies into believing that everything has to be faster, faster, faster, but that may not be true. Shorter ads may actually lessen the attention given to the company, while longer ads take the time to connect with the viewer, and possibly even change their minds.

Deciding on video length is important based on many factors, and not only those listed above. If you want to get into a more length discussion, give us a call.

 

Don’t Think You Need to Invest In Video? Time and Again We Help Businesses Avoid These Mistakes!

kid frustrated by mistake

How is it that in 2017 video is absolutely crushing the other forms of media…and some still refuse to use it? I know, I know…Crazy right? I’m sure you’re not doing thinking these things…but just in case, let’s go through a few reasons why it’s time to invest in that website video.

  • Missing Out on Loyalty. First off, your customers love you, right? Right. We know this because of studies like this that tell us the probability of selling to an existing customer is somewhere between 60% to 70% (HelpScout)…which is so much higher than the 5% to 10% chance of selling to a brand new customer. Since your existing customers love you, why wouldn’t you give them a reason to tell others? Some clients like to create videos that are educational and entertaining…making them shareable. By posting a video, you allow your existing customers the ability to share your greatness… just remember, you don’t want to sell in this video, you’re showing your greatness a different way: giving information that’s useful.
  • Forgetting to Remove Confusion! What if you sell a product or service that is a bit more complicated? What if your product or service could easily be explained with a short video versus text? Most people are too lazy to read any more. So much so, I’m a bit surprised you’re reading this! Most people would prefer to click the video than read text. Give them something to watch! Here are couple of examples:

MicroPop

Tone-Y-Bands

 

  • Losing the SEO Game. If people are searching for you online, will they find you on Google? Google OWNS YouTube and loves video. You’ve probably already started to notice the video search results that sometimes pop up when you search for how to do something. For example, if you were to search “How do I unclog a dishwasher?” You’ll notice that the top non paid search result is a video. Hmmm. Makes you think a little, doesn’t it? What questions need answers that your potential (or existing) customers might be searching for? While video isn’t the only answer to SEO, it’s certainly a powerful one!
  • Conversion is Too Low. What’s your conversion rate? If you sell products, a video helps the viewer decide whether to buy the product. In fact, StacksandStacks.com, “an e-retailer of home storage and organizational products said that when a consumer views a product video, that consumer is 144% more likely to add that product to her cart than a consumer who watches no video”  That’s astounding!  Even our own clients have told us that their products sell out faster and need to be replenished more often when the product is displayed with a video running next to it in stores. And, if we go back to our previous point, if consumers are on a website viewing a video, they’re on the site longer…leading to better SEO. Google seems to love it when people stay on a website longer. We think it’s because Google algorithms say, “Hey, people arrive here and stay here….this site must be good!”
  • Inconsistent Training. Have you hired a new employee? When you do, do you spend hours teaching them all that boring stuff you have to go through? Here’s an opportunity to have your new employee watch something that is more engaging and useful. An on-boarding or training video will help a new employee learn about the culture of the business and review all important points in a consistent way…and you can be sure that every new employee hears and sees the same information presented in the same way. Consistency! One of the keys to Human Resources!

If any of these items helped you make the next step toward creating a video for your business, great! If you’re not sure what your next step is, that’s ok…just fill out the form to the right. We can answer any questions you have and point you in the right direction. Even if you don’t use us, we hope this helped.

 

 

Source:
Photo Source: Pixabay.com
2017, April 19. Convince and Convert website.  http://www.convinceandconvert.com/content-marketing/you-need-to-invest-in-video/

Six More Questions You Should Ask a Video Production Company BEFORE Hiring Them

Video production can feel like a huge undertaking. It shouldn’t be and it won’t be if you hire the right video production company. Before you hire a company, you should know the answers to some basic questions. Each question will garner an answer that will help you determine if they are a good fit or if you need to keep searching. Here are the six questions to ask before deciding on whom to hire:

1. Can you show me some of your work? When shooting a corporate video, for a website or for TV, seeing samples is the first thing you should ask to see. During this process, the video production company should show samples from their portfolio. While you view their work, you should be thinking about their quality of work, their style, and their level of skill.

2. Do you shoot and edit something nice or do you shoot to a specific script? While most video professionals will plan the shoot out ahead of time, many do not. This question is to determine whether they are good producers, shooters, or editors. What you want is all three…whether in one person or in a couple of people. Some video pros are very good at shooting the video, but struggle to get the edit completed on time and to your liking. Other video pros are very good at editing, but miss big opportunities during the shoot to tell your story. The key is the plan before the shoot. This is what will usually make or break a project…and when we usually get calls to fix.

3. What can derail this project? This is a great question to find out what problems may arise during the course of your project. The answer you get might be a bit vague, but may lead to follow up questions. One of the biggest items that derail projects for us is change in scope…or scope creep. Any change in script after a shoot can severely change the scope. Remember, the script is the plan. Change the plan and you change a lot! There are several things that can derail a project: script changes, change of actors (or person on camera), change of shoot locations, adding of shoot locations, change of messaging…and the list goes on.

4. When has a production gone over budget? This question is meant to trick the video production company. The answer is: it shouldn’t go over budget. Keep in mind, if you have a very small budget, the video pro may not be able to do everything you want; however, the video pro should offer some insightful suggestions to get it closer to your budget. Budget should be a factor, but not the deciding factor. If the shoot is not planned and executed poorly, the final video will most likely not meet your expectations…wasting your money. A larger budget doesn’t always mean better video…but smaller budgets might. Here are some factors that can increase a budget: length of the shoot, including professional talent, professional narration, special music (non royalty free).

5. Can you do what you say you can do? Because creative work is subjective, their answer is something you need to consider. What you think is creative may be mundane to another. Be very clear about your expectations. If you have a vision for your video, your video producer should be able to clearly see your vision and describe some details about how they’ll pull it off. Sometimes it comes down to having the right equipment for what you want in your video. Sometimes it is how the story is told. If you feel the video producer understands what you’re after, you should be fine…now it comes down to whether the quality matches your expectations. This is where you should be evaluating their work. Quality means having the proper sound equipment, the proper lighting, the proper framing, and an attention to detail (such as the background) can all make an impact on the final product. Look at the samples to determine if they have what it takes.

6. Have you ever missed a deadline? What happened and why? If your project is on a time constraint, ask this question. If it isn’t and time isn’t an issue, you may consider skipping this question. We get calls (a lot) where we’ve heard, “They (their video production company) has been working on this project and edit for 6 months, and I’m fed up waiting for them to finish. Can you help us?” Six months may the right amount of time for some projects, but for some of the calls we get, six months is completely inappropriate. Several problems can come up during a video project. Believe it or not, one of which may be the producer, the client, the shoot, too much work to complete in a short amount of time. A good producer can to tell you how long the project should last and when you can expect completion. Keep in mind, even the best producer can miss a deadline in his or her life, but this should be very rare. If they say they have missed a deadline, find out how often it happens. This should be a good start to picking a good video production company. Listening to the answers to these questions should lead to closer to a decision about the level of work they can do and identify some problems that may come up. If you need help or have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us. We can answer any questions you have, even if we are not your video production company. We are here to help.

Want a few more questions? Check out Top 5 Questions to Ask a Video Production Company Before Hiring Them.

3 Reasons to Hire a Video Production Company Instead of Doing It Yourself

Hello everyone. My name is Tim Stoddart. I am thrilled to be able to put forth some content for Plum Productions Media. I am the CEO of Stodzy Inc. We are an SEO and digital media company located in Boca Raton Florida. Over the years, I have witnessed the rise of video content. Creating quality video for your company or brand is more important then ever. I know what you’re thinking. “Can I do this on my own without hiring a production company?” The answer is yes you can. But whenever possible, I would recommend hiring a video production company. We live in an amazing new world. Every other day it seems that there are new inventions, new technologies and new innovations designed to streamline our lives. We have more options then ever. The smart phone is at the top of the list of “most important inventions of our lifetimes.” One area that the smart phone has really impacted has been video production. iPhones now shoot and record at 4k which is an extremely clear video quality considering how small the camera is. It’s no wonder so many small brands are taking it upon themselves to start creating their own video content.

“But just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.”

I would agree that there are advantages to shooting video on your own. Speed is a factor. If you shoot a video on your phone you can have it posted on Facebook or YouTube in a manner of minutes. Also, spontaneity plays a role. It is very important to be able to hit record on a moments notice just in case you are a first hand witness of something amazing. Aside from those reasons, I still recommend using a video production company whenever possible. Let’s take a look at a few reasons why.

Production Companies are Masters at Editing

I would argue that editing is more important then shooting the actual footage. Raw footage is the foundation to any good video. Without the footage you have nothing to work with. However, it is the editing that will truly make a video come alive. Video production companies understand the importance of incorporating B roll, transitions, music and other sound effects. This is where the magic happens. For a video to be an effective marketing tool, it needs to hit an emotional chord. Videos have the power to truly leave an impact on someone. They can make you think, they can inspire you, they can make you angry and even make you sad. Music and sound effects play a HUGE roll in how a video will effect a viewer from an emotion standpoint. There is no doubt about that. One of the best examples of this is from Gary Vaynerchuk. Vaynerchuk is a famous social media personality. He hosts two successful YouTube shows. One of which is called #AskGaryVee, the other is called The Daily Vee. #AskGaryVee uses very little editing. The show is a simple round table discussion in which Gary answers questions sent to him from fans. It is very good and valuable content but the informative nature of it isn’t meant to leave an emotional impact. The Daily Vee however is a daily video blog in which Gary and his team record their adventures and turn it into some kind of lesson for the viewer. These videos capture footage from drones and handheld cameras. They capture candid footage, great B roll and use background music and sound effects as a great add on to the content. The Daily Vee truly hits you in the feels. That’s why these videos have such an impact on his brand.

Audio Quality in Smart Phones is Still Lacking

You don’t realize how important audio quality is until you start recording your own footage. I’ve seen this happen many times. Some brand or company gets very excited about an idea for a video. They pull out their phones, they hit record and they feel good about what they have done. Unfortunately, when they upload the video they quickly realize that the sound is hard to hear and in some moments of the video there are loud bursts of “fuzz” when someone may have rubbed their hand over the microphone. If your sound quality is poor, your video will not get nearly enough views as it potentially could. Not putting the effort into good sound quality is a huge mistake. A video production company will be able to nullify this. Ideally, you want to record your video and your sound in two separate tracks. Once you have all the raw footage, you can pair it all together so that you have high quality sound that matches the high quality footage.

iPhones Lead to Shaky Footage

Have you ever tried to hold your hand completely still? It’s almost impossible. You can try it out yourself. Pick up your phone and start recording some still footage in your home or in your back yard. In the moment it may feel as though you are holding the camera still, in reality there are tiny little shakes and bends in the footage that will most definitely impact the finished product. Video production companies have ways to remedy this. Their cameras are equipped with shoulder harnesses, tripods, stands and shoulder straps to ensure that every video is shot with still unwavering footage. All the little details really add up. If you are shooting a commercial, a product shot, an informative piece or even a collection of still frames you want to make sure your video content is as professional as possible. Poor video quality will make you come off as very amateur.

If It’s Worth Doing, It’s Worth Doing Right.

When I was growing up, I spent years doing carpentry for a small business. My boss was a big man named Mike. Mike had been a carpenter his entire life, he didn’t have much patience for mediocrity. Any time I find myself wanting to cut corners I think of Mike and his view on hard work. Mikes philosophy was simple. If you do things right the first time, you never have to do them twice. Simple enough, yet very profound. Having the patience and the discipline to do work with 100% effort and quality is very difficult. We all have moments when we look to cut corners or to find an easier, softer way. In the end, if you pay attention to detail and you take the time to create excellent work, you will be further along then you would have been otherwise. Every little bit counts. The quality of your work is reflective upon the quality of your life. You may be reading this thinking “I think I can still do this on my own.” That may be true, but the question you should ask yourself is “do you want to do it twice?”

Top 5 Questions To Ask a Video Production Company Before You Hire

When it comes to deciding which video production company is the best choice for your idea or project, there are several key questions to keep in mind. There are most likely a thousand questions you might have about video and the company you’re about to hire. We find that these are some of the good questions we’ve received over the past several years…and thought you’d like to know. Even if you don’t hire us, these would be good questions to have in your back pocket. Here they are (hint, number 5 is the most important):

  1. How long has the company been in the industry?  This question has a few meanings. Are you asking about longevity of the company or the people creating the video? How much experience? A good production company should be able to distinguish the two by also asking you a few questions. Sometimes hiring a company with 20 years of experience is important and sometimes this give you outdated ideas and concepts. It’s important you know what you’re looking for in this question. If you were to ask us about experience, you’d know that Jenn has many years of experience working in the video field. She’s worked at television stations and video production companies and started Plum in 2009 when she realized it was the time to do so.
  2. Are they creative?  Tough question because that’s a subjective question. What is creative to you may not be creative at all to us or to someone else. Here’s how you get past that. Find out if they are they able to provide examples of videos that took a dry subject and made it interesting? This is the sign of a strong creative. Ask them to tell you the story about how they created the idea and improved the story.
  3. What types of videos does the company produce?  Start with what you’re looking for. What type of video do you want? Interviews? Testimonials? Tours? Property? The list goes on. Once you know, ask them to show you some examples.  When you ask, keep in mind if you’re looking for a custom made video or a similar video to one they’ve already created. There are subtle differences and they should be able to distinguish between the two.
  4. What are some of the companies they have previously worked with?  Again, this begs a few questions. Are you looking to learn about what sectors they can operate in or are you looking for a fresh outside approach to marketing in your sector? If you’re looking for a company that specializes in your sector and wish to have a video that looks like everyone else in your sector, make sure you communicate that up front. If you’re looking for a fresh look that only someone on the outside would be able to create, communicate that up front…and for the same reason. You don’t have time to waste if the video production company doesn’t fit the requirements.
  5. What are some of the companies they have worked with previously? Same question, different reason for the question. You might be looking at this question and thinking, “No, I want to know what companies they’ve worked with…can they work with us?”  Also a good question. If you’re a larger company, concerns come up  like, can they be flexible, can they meet our deadlines, can they convert our message to an effective video, do they have the capability to meet our branding guidelines…and a bunch of other concerns. Have those questions ready when you start your interview.
  6. Bonus Question? How quickly can my video be completed?  Often there are specific deadlines that need to be met. Communicating that early is important because if they can’t meet your timeline, you’re wasting your time. Can a video be completed in a week or two months? That depends. It depends on the complexity of the project and a good video production company will be able to communicate with you a realistic and an aggressive timeline that you can work with. They should be able to tell you pretty quickly a general timeline and what is required to hit it. We’ve scripted, shot, and edited videos in a variety of timelines, including 6 days to 5 months, but each had requirements of the client and Plum to hit those deadlines. We find this to be the most important question one can ask when interviewing a video production company.

Need help picking a video production company? Call us. We can help. You might think we’ll just tell you to use us, but we won’t. If we’re not a good fit, that’s good to know…you’ll have just ruled out another company…we can certainly point you in the right direction.

How Should I Measure Video Success

Contrary to popular belief, when it comes to determining the success of a video, views aren’t everything. Crazy right? It’s true, there are other contributing factors to consider such as: getting and setting the right key performance indicators, what are your overall marketing goals, and what is the best way to track progress on a brand’s unique goal. Here are a few examples of how others are measuring success when it comes to video posts. The first step is to determine what the primary marketing goal is for the campaign. Typically, companies want their video advertising campaigns to increase awareness, consideration, and ultimately influence their online or offline sales. When trying to market to a target audience, consumers typically fall into one of three categories:

  1. “I’m ready to make a purchase,” or “I’m ready to give you a call to discuss;” or
  2. “I’m not very familiar with your product, but I’d like to learn more;” or
  3. “I’m undecided as to what to do…should I call you (or purchase online) or should I move on?”

The trick is to know where your target audience is when they connect with you. Viewing their actions can solve this. Set up a digital funnel and use video to help them. Could you walk them through a series of steps via the initial video? Or should you set up a series of videos that tells them what to do at each step? Only you can make that decision.

Next, what are the indicators for each marketing goal? For example, if your goal is to raise Awareness, the number of views, impressions, and unique users are important. You might also consider how well your marketing increased awareness and how well people can remember the ad they viewed afterward. Each indicator, if measured properly, will help you determine if the video/ad was effective. This is an important initial step because it demonstrates the impression your business is portraying or is begin perceived via it’s marketing efforts.

If Consideration is the measurement, then the indicators to measure are: view-through rates, watch times, favorability lifts, consideration lifts, and brand interest lifts. All these measurements illustrate how the brand is being perceived when viewing (positively or negatively).

Finally, the third measurement is Action. What happens after or during the view? Here are some measurements to consider: clicks, calls, signups, sales, and purchase intent lifts. When looking at these measurements through the lens of video, you must consider all brand marketing activities because video is typically not a standalone item that drives a sale. For example, many people will receive a mailer, see an ad in a flyer, visit the website, and view the video. The individual may or may not recognize that the video helped them make the sale or if it was something else they saw along the way.

Measuring the success of video is a little tricky…but we like to think that the number of views, frequency of views (same person seeing the same video), watch time, favorability lift and clicks/action taken to contact are typically sufficient items to measure to begin. If we can help you with this in any way, please don’t hesitate to ask!

 

Source: https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/articles/how-identify-right-kpis-online-video.html

Video Marketing Myths

With over 300 hours of video sent to YouTube every minute (on average) and millions watching these videos everyday, how do you know what to do to be effective when it comes to video marketing? It seems a very small amount of businesses actually know how to take advantage of these actions. People are starting to catch on and businesses increasingly are using video to connect with customers and potential customers. They are finding that video is a highly effective tool to illustrate their personality and authority in their industry.  So, what myths do these businesses sometimes believe?

Which of the following about video marketing are myths and which are facts?

  • View Count – “We are successful if our video goes viral,“ or “Our video is a success if we have over 1 million views.” False. While this may be true in some respects, views do not equate to action taken by your customers or purchases by customers. If views were your goal, we would have to ask why. Why are views important? If you have a new product or app that no one knows about and views will help educate people who didn’t know your app existed, then maybe viewers is good…but it shouldn’t be the only measure.
  • The appearance (quality) of the video is more important than the message.  Myth. While we believe quality is very important in video, it is not what generates sales. The message is just as important. We’ve seen some videos that are a little poor on quality convert more sales than a flashy video. That said, if your goal is to show people that your business is trustworthy and professional, appearance is very important; however, the message must compete with competitors (both direct and indirect).
  • My video should sell to the viewer – Myth. There are all kinds of reasons to create and post a video…and only one of which is to sell. Many times clients contact us to create videos for other reasons, such as, recruiting video, office tours, professional expert video, and the list goes on. The client often wishes to tell their story, not sell it, by taking an approach of, “We’re experts in this. Watch us, listen to us, and let us help you when it’s time.” This is a much more useful tool to use than, “Buy! Buy! Buy!”
  • We must have actors in our video – Maybe true. Maybe not. While you can add actors and actresses, typically this just adds costs that may not be needed. It really depends on the video. For instance, if an employee or the president of the company can speak on camera about the topic rather than a paid professional, then why spend the money? On the other hand, if the topic needs a bit of an expert (like a doctor when you’re not), then an expert actor (actress) might be required. We can help with that.

We hope this helps you decipher and navigate through the video production process a little easier. We are always willing to help and answer questions. It’s OK to call us, even if you’re not ready to decide. In fact, we welcome it. We’d rather you go in with both eyes open than guess.

Improving Your Marketing Strategy

Get Creative!

It seems the trend has become more than a trend these days. Video has become the hot thing to do! If you’re a small or large business not using video, listen up! We have a few tips to share about how to improve your marketing strategy. We know that text is the gold standard in conveying and sharing information. We do it all the time. Between text messages, website text, emails, etc., this has been the traditional way we share information with each other. That’s about to change. We’re seeing video pop up more and more on our social media feeds. We’re seeing video billboards. We’re seeing ads pop up on websites that are…what else? Video. The reason this is happening is because video is more engaging and the effect on the viewer is longer lasting. The other reason this is happening is because viewers can easily digest the information being shared. If you’re handed an owners manual or a video link, which would you use to learn how something new? We’d guess a link would be your choice.

How Long Should My Video Be?

Given the above, how long should videos be? We’ve talked about this before in a previous post. Since the attention span of viewers is relatively short, we recommend your video be short. Short means different things to different people, so when we say short, we mean approximately 60 seconds for some and 90 seconds for others. Think about Twitter, SnapChat, Vine…all of those platforms force us to keep it short and to the point. Besides, don’t you like to learn something quickly and move on? That doesn’t mean that longer videos should never be used. Longer videos should be used when appropriate, such as, client testimonials, office tours, or any time it really takes a little longer than 60 seconds to say what needs to be said.

How to Make Your Video Better

Tell stories. People love to listen to stories. Interestingly, videos that tell a story get watched more often than those that don’t. Videos that tell a story and move you emotionally are the ones that get shared most. For example, Samsung created and posted this ad for their new service for the hearing impaired. We shared these because we care about the message and want others to see it.

Think “What Should the Viewer Do Next?”

At the end, are people left wondering, what was the point? Should I click on something? Should I share it? Or did I just waste some of my valuable time? More than likely, you have some form of call to action that you want your viewer to take. Don’t be shy about asking them to do it. Whether it’s “Donate Now” or “Call Us Today,” there should be some call to action so the viewer knows exactly what to do and why they watched the video.

Video SEO

I hope you realize by now that you must optimize your videos to get the most traction with Google and other search engines. Believe it or not you can insert transcriptions into your videos on YouTube…and it’s extremely easy. In fact, YouTube does it for you… automatically. The reason this is important is because these words are like the text on a website. This is where the keywords that are spoken are converted to text and indexed as keywords. If you want to optimize your video for search (for both Google and YouTube…the number 1 and 2 search engines on the planet), you should create a transcription in your videos. These are just a few tips that we hope will help you create and get the most out of your video. If you have any questions, feel free to give us a call.

4 Tips to Maximize Your Fundraising Efforts

Video is fast becoming the most useful tool in getting your message out. We feel that people have moved from, “Let’s try video,” to “We have to have video.” It has become a mainstream medium and nonprofits and for-profit organizations alike. How do you maximize your efforts (hint: this works for both nonprofits and non-profits)? Waaaaay back in 2014, a study about trends in fundraising technology described the profile of a successful fundraiser. Here they are:

  • 3+ Software Management Tools
  • 5+ Communication Channels
  • 3+ Web-Based Tactics
  • 3+ Payment Acceptance Methods
  • Online Donation Acceptance
  • Contributions Management Software Usage
  • Video Content Sharing, and
  • Blogging.

Most nonprofits do some of these, but most do not do all. One that we feel nonprofits are missing is the use of video.

  1. Tell The Story. Tell it Vividly. Fundraising is tough. You have to find the likely contributors, deepen the relationships with current supporters, stand out from other nonprofits…and among all of that, find new, creative ways for fundraising. The story you must tell, however, is your unique story. The story of your success and the awesome work that your organization does. Video will ultimately do this and provide the viewers with content they can relate to, share, and improve the awareness about your organization’s efforts.
  2. Please Share! It’s interesting, people like to share stuff. We don’t know if it’s because we were taught to share when we were kids or if we just think something is so cool and awesome that we want to be the first of our friends to show it off… What we do know is that people share. This is where a strong video makes all the difference. It must show the viewer your story and end with some form of call to action…It can be a “Call Us” or a “Donate Now.”
  3. Short is Sweet. With the advent of Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Vine, etc., people only have a short amount of time to determine if they want to continue watching. It’s also important to remember that most viewers now watch video (from the services above) on their smart phone or tablets. They want quick videos to get the message and move on.
  4. Front-load the Message. Adweek’s article about Video Trends suggests front loading the message. No one wants to watch a 30-second video commercial on their iPhone (but most will on their computer when researching you)…so if you’re creating a short message for social media purposes, front load the message. Let them move on if they’re not interested. They aren’t your type of customer.

We hope these suggestions help you maximize your fundraising efforts and bring in even more dollars. We suggest that if you are a nonprofit, follow the links above to do the research on what you might be able to improve. We’re always looking for ways to improve, so we hope you don’t mind us sharing!  

Source: HandCrank Films, 2015, http://handcrankfilms.com/5-tips-to-improve-fundraising/

5 Reasons To Include Video in Your Marketing Plan & Strategy

Why Video? Why Is Video Important?

Most businesses have a business plan and a portion of it usually includes some form of a marketing strategy. If you’re like most, you’ve seen a lot of people starting to incorporate video into their marketing strategy, but you might wonder why. If you’re wondering this, you’ve come to the right place.

  1. Social Media Loves Video. Social media is most likely a portion of your marketing plan, but adding video can make it even better. By adding video, you create engaging content. Your fans will stay on your page longer because they’re watching your video (this is the same reason you should have video on your website, by the way). But, just because you have a video doesn’t mean you should only post it on social media. Consider the type of social media you’re posting it to, for example: a Twitter video post should be short; a Facebook video post must not contain certain elements and might be 15 to 30 seconds; and, a LinkedIn video might include a different message than either of the other two.
  2. Make Your ‘Call to Action’ Come Alive. Any marketing effort requires a call to action…unless you’re Apple (and even they are subtly calling you to action). Because video is rather passive (push play and watch), it’s important to include a call to action…if not a couple of them. Need an idea of what a good call to action looks like? Check out some of our Non-Profit Videos. It’s important to have a call to action that is subtle enough to not annoy, yet actionable to not be missed.
  3. Your Fans & Your Viewers Want It. Video is just more effective. There are several studies that have stated that product videos have a significant increase in sales when accompanied with a sales informational video (Kissmetrics, Wingify, and Video Brewery). More importantly, think about yourself. When faced with a page full of words versus a video of the same message, which would you prefer? Makes you wonder why we wrote this and didn’t record a video about this right? We have our reasons.
  4. Analysis. Video inherently contains analytics if placed correctly. Using YouTube, Vimeo, Wistia, or even Facebook, you can see how many people watched your video, where they came from to arrive at your video, and even, in some cases, how long they watched. Depending on where you place your video, tools to analyze your video engagement might even include learning when most people stopped watching. This can be very helpful. What if they fell off because they went to the “Donate” or “Buy” page? You’d want to know what was happening in the video at that very second, right?
  5. Respect. We believe that video has become the new business card. We may be pushing the thought envelope here, but think about the transition from, if you’re in business, you must have a business card…to, you must have a website…to, you must have a website that is mobile friendly…to, you must have a video on that website. Your prospective clients want to know who you are and what you stand for before they call you. In fact, most people who take action and call us have already reviewed our videos on our website and even checked out a blog post or two. This is just part of the research.

These are 5 reasons why we think including video in your marketing plan/strategy is important. If you have other reasons, we’d love to hear them… Oh yeah, and we didn’t event include SEO as a reason to include video. Google owns YouTube and loves it when you post a video to their video site…you get extra bonus points in SEO when you have a well-tagged, well-placed video on YouTube.