How to Use Drone Video In Your Business Video

Aerial photography has become almost a must have for modern marketing videos. The easiest and least expensive way to get these types of shots today is by using a drone. Recently it has become less and less expensive to achieve drone shots for videos. However, drones can still be quite intimidating for first time users.

The toughest part is usually figuring out what kind of shots you might want to include in your next marketing video. If you are lost on where to start, here are four ideas to get you started.

The first is a group shot. A group shot using a regular camera is a good way to get everyone in the company in one shot. But a group shot using a drone is a good way to get everyone in one shot, plus the office, plus the neighborhood surrounding the office. It can also be a good way for your employees to let out some energy. Have them jump around, wave, or make silly faces as the drone races higher into the sky.

The second way a drone can be useful is for super steady moving shots. One of the best things drone manufacturers included was the stabilizer. The stabilizer is what makes drone footage look so smooth, even if the operator is jerky with the controls. Because of this stabilizer, the drone can be used as a handheld steadicam! We’ve used a steadicam in this video. See if you can spot it!

Steadicam rigs can be expensive, but if you already have the drone, why not use it for more than just aerial shots? It is especially good for quick shots that have to be mobile and where there is little time to set up a steadicam rig.

The third kind of shot is the “reveal.” What is a reveal you may ask? A reveal shot is when you start close to a subject and then zoom out to expose the surroundings. You can also perform this shot the opposite way…but with a drone, this shot can be taken to the next level. Because a drone can be flown so high, and so far away, you can reveal much more than you could with a simple zoom out from a traditional camera. You can zoom out to reveal an entire city, or zoom in to reveal a tiny flower hidden in the middle of an industrial park.

The fourth and final shot is the neighborhood view. This shot is great for showing off the location of your office. It is a great way to show customers where you are located within a bigger city or town. Just be careful about those FAA regulations that prohibit flight in certain areas. Just a few years ago these types of shots would have been impossible for smaller companies to achieve, but thanks to modern technology anything is possible! Using a drone can give you unique shots that cannot be achieved with any other equipment…well, maybe a helicopter, but who has a budget for that? Here’s a neighborhood reveal at about the 15 second mark:

Use a drone for your next marketing video, and take it to the next level!
If you’re not certified to fly a drone, or want someone to take care of it for you, give us a call. We’re Part 107 Certified with many hours of flight time. Drone shots are a cool addition to stellar video; don’t be fooled by those who use drone shots as the primary visual in the video…drone video should be used to accentuate and add value.

Do We Have to be on Camera? Why People are the MOST Important Part!

Human brains are hardwired to recognize faces. When a video has a person talking in it, customers are more likely to connect with the video. When the audience can see the human behind the voice, they are more likely to trust what you are telling them. Speech is perceived by more than just auditory cues, we take in visual ones as well.

As a species, we are hardwired to be judgmental. Many people do not trust the information they read online. A study done in 2009 found that rather than trusting the people with the most expertise in a subject, people are more likely to trust those they believe have their best interests at heart. Psychologists at Princeton discovered that in only a tenth of a second, we form impressions of strangers from their faces alone, and our brain then responds based on how trustworthy we find their face to be.

In video, it is important to note that just having a trust worthy looking person is not going to make your audience listen to the message presented in your video. Remember, speech perception relies on both visual and auditory cues. The combination of both a great speech and a trustworthy face, among other things, is what will make your video the most compelling.

So, how can you get people to want to listen to your video? There are a few items that are critical to building the trust you deserve. First, you must be authentic. Be you. Don’t try to be someone you are not. If you look, sound, or feel uncomfortable, it will show, and many viewers will see, hear, and feel it. Second, demonstrate your integrity by showing us how much you believe in what you are saying. Again, if you come across as fake or phony, it will show. A good analogy is a dog’s behavior when certain people walk into the room. Some people are deathly afraid of dogs and the dog can sense it immediately. We humans have learned to do something similar…to sniff out false and bogus people. Some are better at it than others are, but we all have this ability. Third, people don’t care how much you know, they want to know how much you care. If you are genuine in caring about your viewer, they will sense it and feel a higher level of comfort in listening to you speak. Finally, speak the truth. Don’t sugarcoat or exaggerate…these all come across counter to the previous three and will completely destroy your credibility.

This can be applied to all parts of speaking, but with video, you need to be aware of more than just your speech. Your background shouldn’t distract from your message. You are what they should be paying attention to, not the bookshelf of what’s happening outside the window behind you. Add text to the screen to help reinforce what you are saying. It also focuses the viewer on what you are saying and subtly tells them, “This is important!” Have confidence and be positive while on camera and use transitions when speaking. It helps the viewer follow along when you say things like, “Now that I’ve covered XYZ, let’s move on to ABC.” This transition tells the viewer where you are and what to expect next. Sound like English class all over again? Good! It should.

Having just a trustworthy face is not enough to make people want to listen to your video; however, neither is just having a good speech. If you take the time to focus on all aspects of your video, including what’s in the background, what you’re wearing, and even the music that is playing, your video will have a much better chance of being listened to and acted upon. You want to connect to your audience, so give them what they need. Comfort, trust, integrity.

As always, we coach clients how to perform better on camera during our shoots. When we have someone who is struggling on camera, we do our best to help him or her relax and speak clearly. After all, you know the subject matter, just talk as if you’re talking to a friend. We’ll do the rest! Let us know when you’re ready to get started.

 

Source: Wistia Blog. (2017). Why Videos Featuring Humans are Easier to Trust. Retrieved from: https://wistia.com/blog/make-trustworthy-videos-with-humans on September 28, 2017. 

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!