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.

 

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.

What Should I Wear in My Corporate Video?

One of the last questions we get, and usually the day before the shoot, is “What do I wear?” That is an important question…so much so, we’ve created a PDF helping our clients with this problem. We thought it might also make a great blog post for those who haven’t hired us but still want to look good on camera!

What to Wear on Camera

  • Bright & Warm Solids. Bright, warm, solid colors are the best. If you wonder which colors work best, think teal, coral, purple, even orange. These colors pop on screen and make you look your best.
  • Avoid Black, Red, or White. If you have ever seen an interview on television where the person was wearing black, you might remember that their clothing became difficult to see or define…such as a jacket lapel that disappeared. Wearing white usually washes out too much, especially if you’re shooting in front of a white screen. Red bleeds on screen. In person it looks nice, but the screen and the color red are not friendly together.
  • Avoid Patterns. Patterns that are busy like checks and herringbone do not do well on screen. Much like the color red, a busy pattern will look like it is ‘buzzing’ on screen. You don’t want your clothing to take away from what you are saying, so avoid these items.
  • Dress as if You Were Meeting an Important Client. If you are a banker, that would mean a suit. If you are a plumber, you might consider a golf or polo shirt. Think of your most important prospect and assume they’ll be watching you.
  • Jewelry. Avoid jewelry if you can. Dangling earrings, necklaces, or bracelets often make noise. You’re used to the noise, so you probably don’t even hear it any more; however, the camera will pick it up. It will sound annoying to the viewer, so avoid it if you can. You can wear stud earrings or a flat laying necklace…but  avoid bracelets.
  • Makeup Should be “You, plus 10%.” This means wear just a little more than you normally would. Additionally, lipstick is a MUST even if you don’t wear it everyday.
  • Bring Options. Not sure if what you want to wear will work? Bring it with you to the shoot. Your producer can help you make a final selection and ensure you look your best. If you’re doing multiple videos, consider wearing a couple of outfits so it doesn’t look like you shot all of them at the same time. However, if you are shooting video that you want to keep a consistent look across every video, feel free to wear the same thing.

These tips should help you determine what to wear when you have to be on camera. If you know you’ll be in front of a camera, use this post to help you decide what to wear. Remember, video is a little different than real life. By following these rules, you can look your best on every video.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us directly or post your question in the comments below.

4 Suggestions to Hiring a Video Production Company

video camera used a football game

We get called frequently to create videos for potential clients. We are asked many of the same questions. But when it comes to hiring a video production company, asking the right questions and investing a little time will be worth the effort. You’ll end up with a much better resulting video that will professionally position your company. Choosing a production company can be a delicate process because, many times, you’re asked to pay up front for something that doesn’t even exist yet.

What to Consider When Hiring a Video Production Company

Listed in this blog posting are a few insider tips to finding a production company that can produce the high-quality video your business deserves.

  1. Demo Reel – Don’t Be Fooled! Many production companies create a great demo reel on their homepage. Usually it is just about two or three minutes long showing you snippets from multiple projects they’ve worked on. Looks cool. Looks like they can produce a great product…but the real question is, “What does the finished product look like?” Your video isn’t being created to just be pretty or cool, it’s created to effectively communicate a specific message you’ve created. You’ll want to dig a little deeper into the project to find out what the client was trying to create and the message they were trying to communicate. If you can’t find the finished product (red flag!), you might want to keep looking.
  2. Recent Projects. While we don’t always update our website as soon as we’ve completed a project (admittedly, we probably do this two or three times a year), if you can’t find a single recent project that was completed in the past few months, you’re probably dealing with someone who isn’t doing this type of work full time or isn’t very detailed in their business. Take a few minutes to visit their social media pages to see what their most recent works look like. Recent projects usually show you exactly what they can do and as well as show you their strengths.
  3. Get Quotes. While we don’t enjoy being shopped around, we also know that when we are shopped around, we’ll do well. Last year, we assessed our pricing to determine if we were in line with the market. We sent out a fake RFP (through a friend’s company) to see how other companies would bid on a project. What we found was shocking! We found that for the same project, bids were between $800 and $20,000! That’s a pretty big delta! When evaluating who to work with, think about the value you’ll receive (that doesn’t mean cheapest or most expensive) and the one with the best value is the one you should choose.
  4. You Usually Get What You Pay For. You can hire someone at any price to create your video. If you want to be on the upper end of the scale above ($20,000), you can find someone to charge you for that and probably wow you with their equipment and style. If you want to be on the lower end of the scale above ($800), you can find some college student or someone newer to the industry who is trying to build up his or her portfolio to produce your video. Keep in mind that professionals that require higher rates can do so because they are confident in their product and have enough experience to make your video stand out from the rest.

Keep in mind, these are recommendations we have when you’re trying to find a video production company. You may have other thoughts. If you do, or if you have questions, we’d love to answer them in the comment section. Feel free to post a question or comment below. Until then, good luck in your search!

Source: Jager, J. (2015). 4 Tips for Hiring a Great Video Production Company. Entrepreneur Magazine Online. Retrieved from http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/243236 on April 24, 2015.

Office Tours – Showcase Your Space!

Looking For a Video Idea?

If you work in a field where customers come to your office, you probably keep it looking pretty spiffy.  The level of comfort your clients have in your space is likely important to them, and in turn, you. Virtual Office Tours have become really popular on websites for this exact reason.  A potential client can have a look around the office before they schedule an appointment.  If you run a hotel, medical facility, or even a spa, virtual tours are a really valuable selling tool.  Today, most virtual tours are created with still photos and software that “seams” the shots together giving a 3D effect.  It’s a great tool, but we at Plum Productions think it’s a missed opportunity.

A Video Tour Can Do Everything a Virtual Tour Does – With a Much Greater Marketing Impact.

  • Firstly, they’re narrated.  The viewer can actually hear information about the space they’re seeing.
  • Second, in the narration, they can also hear about different services that are provided in the different spaces.  It’s a marketing video and video tour in one.
  • Lastly, if you feature someone prominent from the office, it also becomes a “Meet the Doctor” or “Meet the Staff” video.

Recently, we created a Video Tour for a local medical office. The video was hosted by the doctor, so patients got a look at his beautiful office, and an idea of who would be providing their treatment.  You’ve have to take a look:

Every business looks for ways to save money, and combining an Office Tour, Marketing video and Meet the Staff video is a great deal. Happy Video Marketing! Jenn

Why Your Trade Show Booth Needs a Video

Trade shows are tough, aren’t they?  So many vendors, so much noise; it can be hard to make your booth stand out.  In fact, we at Plum Productions just exhibited at our first trade show, and we learned a big lesson we’d like to share: video draws visitors to your trade show booth.  It’s true!  An eye-catching video makes it near impossible for someone to walk by without noticing you.  For the best impact, set up a flat screen TV, hook it into your laptop and place it on the table in front of your booth—not behind you.  In a pinch, you can play your video right off your laptop if you don’t have an extra TV handy.  Ours was so effective that we gained several new clients, one of them being a custom video for—you guessed it—an upcoming trade show! As great as trade shows are, you might approach a video for your booth differently than a video on your website.

  • First, chances are the room you’re in will be loud.  Narration on your video might get lost.  You’ll want to make sure your video includes “punch words” or short phrases about your business.  Remember, a trade show video isn’t going to get into the nitty gritty about your services. It just needs to get people to stop and talk to you.
  • Second, go for flash.  Bright colors and quick edits grab attention.
  • Lastly, keep it short.  Remember, it only takes a few seconds for someone to pass your booth.  Keep your video concentrated to the exact information you want a passerby to see.

You can check out the video we created for our new client and see a real life example of an effective trade show video.

Good Luck! If you need any help, let us know!

I Can Make Your Video For $5

Video for Just $5

WAAAY COOOL!! You mean I can have a 2 minute video created by you, edited and everything for only $5? Awesome! Where can I sign up? So many times it’s the hook that gets us in the door. Unfortunately, a poor experience afterward can make us bitter and unhappy. We believe everyone should have video on their website or YouTube; but, we don’t believe it should look like your brother’s 9 year-old created it with their iPhone. We don’t have a problem with someone wanting to do it themselves; after all, that’s why we created MyVideo101.com, but we also believe it should portray the level of professionalism that the business and it’s owners portray in real life.

Getting stuff for cheap is rewarding…that’s why some people are addicted to shopping;Disappointed but cheap isn’t always better. Imagine you found a deal…no a steal…for a brand new iPad while searching online. You found one for $20. Would you buy it? Some would say yes…the risk is low (after all, $20 doesn’t get you far these days). Others would say, “It’s too good to be true, it must be a scam.” While there might be circumstances that warrant the low price (estate sale, estate auction, etc.) many times the buyer gets what they pay for resulting in that bitter and unhappy feeling.

We also don’t believe in the mantra, “High price means better quality.” We think those who charge extra for a product or service just because they’re a little better isn’t right either. But it must be in reason. That’s why when someone asks us how much it costs to make a 30 second video, it’s tough to answer. Things we must consider before we can even remotely tell you what the price is:  Where is the shoot? How many people will be in the testimonial portion? Will there be paid actors/actresses? Will there be narration? …and many, many more question. Each item may add some cost, but the cost will often time result in a much higher quality product.

So, the next time you hear someone say they’re having their cousin create their website video, ask the following question:

  1. “Will the quality of the video reflect the level of professionalism your business requires?”
  2. “How long has he/she been creating videos?” Just out of college, see question 1.
  3. “How long will it take to have the completed video?”

If you or someone you know is looking for a  high quality video for a reasonable professional price, let us know! Questions? Ask us in the form below.

How Do I Create An Event Video?

Event Videos: Not Just For This Year Anymore!

Here’s a question we get frequently:  “We have an event coming up and would like you to record the event so we can use the video to promote next year’s event.”  To that, we respond, “Yes! But why wait!?!”

When we get this question, we often suggest that they don’t have to wait until next year to get that promotional video. Once we know a little about the event, we can create a video that piques interest. For example, if the event was targeting business owners that want to know how to use technology to help them in their businesses, how would you help them understand that before the event? You’d use a video like this:

The first 0:34 seconds is the promotional video followed by the actual event. In this case,  there were three messages that were important in this video: Where you should market your business (mobile), where you must list your business, and what are the helpful mobile apps helpful in business?  The top three reasons you must attend the event.

Marketing an event is important. It takes flyers, postcards, social media, and word-of-mouth…Add video to the mix to help people explain the upcoming event more clearly. When the video is added to the mix in social media (or through QR Codes on printed materials) you give people the method to share what the event is without losing the quality of the message. It’s like that old telephone game… you tell me, I tell someone else, they tell someone, and before long…the message isn’t the same. Video prevents this by maintaining the message and providing the platform needed to share quickly, efficiently, and effectively.

If you have an upcoming event and need a promotional video, let us know. We can certainly help you fill the event with interested people!

What Can TV Teach Us About the New Video Revolution?

TV went through a revolution some years ago. Remember when cable first began? Remember when people were asking, “Why do we need a channel just for weather?” or “Why do we need a channel with 24 hour news?” 20 years later, we know we can’t live without the 24 hour news cycle (well most of us). Given this, what can we learn from history when it comes to video? Here are a few things we can pull from the history playbook.

TV History – A Big Lesson

In Video, Content is King!

Throughout history of television, there has never been a shortage of ideas. Television went from sitcoms to reality TV and back to sitcoms. Television has gone through drastic changes, only to come back to where it began. Not surprising. People like stories. People like to watch reality and sitcoms. They’re very similar in nature.

What does that mean for you? Since content is king, you’ll need to focus on how to create content. Think of Google as the masses (the millions of TV viewers)…constantly looking for something new, better, and entertaining. Your goal should be to continue to come up with new material to share. Whether it’s a marketing video, an informational/testimonial video, demonstration video, a training video, or just a recording of an in depth discussion about a topic relevant to a specific niche, new information (content) is king.

Your Action Item: Take approximately 30 minutes to play on YouTube. First, develop a list of keywords to search. See what you find. Watch 5 videos, but only for 30 seconds each. Write down notes about what you learned from each video. Next, search through the most popular videos and channels. Do the same thing, watch for 30 to 60 seconds. What did you learn/experience? Keys to pay attention to are the format each used, the techniques they used (sales), the techniques they used (production), the length of each video, etc. Use this information to come up with new approaches to video and to content.

Got an idea for a great video? Let us know. Want help coming up with one? Let us know.

Why You Should Never Let a Local TV Station Create Your Video


A common question we get is, “Will I get the video when it’s complete to use as I wish?” This seemed like a very odd question. Of course! Why not? You’ve paid for it and it’s yours once completed. This prompted us to ask, “Why are you asking this?” The answer will amaze you.

Should I Hire a Professional Videographer…or Just Go with the Local TV Station?

When we asked why they were asking, they said, “Because the local television station won’t give us our video now that we’ve paid for it.” You read that correctly, they paid for it…but didn’t get the video. That’s what they think! The truth is, if they had read the fine print, they would have known that what they are paying for is the commercial air time. That is what they are buying! The air time, not the video. The video was an extra bonus for signing up! The ‘client’ in this case, does not own the rights for the commercial/video. That’s ok, right?

So What? How Does that Affect My Video If I Use the Local Television Station?

The truth is, the station owns the video. If you were the one stuck in this situation and wanted to use the video on another medium (oh, let’s say something important like your website, an email, your YouTube Channel, your Vimeo channel, another television channel, or on a grouping of cable channels) you couldn’t. You’d have to hire someone to create another video. That’s ok if you want to spend money over and over for the same thing, but why do that?

Be productive with your money. Our suggestion: Create a professional video that is good for at least two years, usable in multiple mediums, and, if appropriate, create separate calls to action at the end of variations of the video to further measure the successfulness of your video.

Don’t Be Fooled! And don’t get frustrated like that guy! Got a question, let us know!