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.

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!

Interesting Stats About Video & Online Marketing

CMO.com produced a list of interesting advertising stats from various sources on the internet. It shows us that most people are ok with video advertising on the web, but, as you’ll see, there are some formats that work better than others. Here’s some of the list:

  • Want to engage your customers (or potential customers)? 44% of US email marketers report increased engagement rates in messages containing video.
  • One fourth of viewing times of streaming video on tablets is spent with contact more than 60 minutes long.
  • Each minute, the equivalent of 100 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube!
  • Time of advertising videos:
    • 13% are less than 15 seconds
    • 36% are longer than 30 seconds
    • 72% of in-stream online videos ads are watched to their completion
    • 79% of in-stream online videos ads are watched to their midpoints
  • 27 Times. That’s the multiple of consumers that are likely to click through online video (versus a banner ad).
  • Digital video advertising (US) will reach at least $5.4 Billion by 2016 (while in 2011, it was $2 Billion)
  • 65% of online business-to-consumer marketers use YouTube, compared to 61% for business-to-business.

Here’s what some of these stats mean to you. Remember how pop-ups were the best way to advertise? Every website used them…and they were very successful. Now, they’re just annoying. Not to say that video will be annoying, because it probably won’t unless it is used improperly, we believe we are on the largest increase in the use of video for digital marketing. We believe that every branding and advertising campaign should include a component of video. Whether online or on television, it is where potential customers can best understand you.

We like to say that if a picture is worth 1,000 words, a video is worth 1.8 million words. Don’t know why that math works, check out how we came to that number at our previous post about a Video is Worth 1.8 Million Words.

There are more stats at the original article, but we wanted to share with you the highlights that you most likely will want to know.

Source: Abramovich, G. (2013). 15 Mind-Blowing Stats About Online Video Advertising. CMO.com. Retrieved from: http://www.cmo.com/articles/2013/8/27/video_15_mind_blowing.html on May 1, 2014. 

If a Picture Is Worth 1000 Words…Video is Worth 1,800,000!

We’ve had people ask, how in the world do you get 1.8 million words from a video? So, let us show you (I know, the picture says 1 million, but it’s actually 1.8 million).

If we all agree that a picture is worth 1,000 words… And we shoot video at 30 frames per second (fps) That gives us 1000 x 30 = 30,000 words every second!

And we shoot the video to a length of 60 seconds…

30,000 words / second * 60 seconds =

1.8 million words!

Why is this important? If you are thinking about resetting your website or changing the way it looks, a video is a great way to add a stronger message or call to action. Nothing says “Here’s what we do,” “Here’s what are customers say,” and “Here are the results,” better than video!

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How Long Should My Video Be On My Website?

Length of Video

Did you know that 50% more people will complete a 1 minute video than a 2 minute video? That’s significant considering most businesses want to post longer videos. We tend to recommend that if you want to post a video, that it be under 1 minute…and if you have more to say, let’s find a way to break it into smaller, bite-sized pieces. This allows the viewer to continue to click through the important portions of your videos (education) while also identifying what is important to potential customers…or what is not said efficiently somewhere else on the website.

So, I Shouldn’t Post A Long Video?

Not necessarily. It really depends on the type of video.

  1. Commercials. Many companies need to education potential customers about what they do or the benefits of the product. This can usually be done within 30 seconds.
  2. How To. Some companies need to educate current customers about how to use a product, such as how to assemble it or how to use it safely. In these cases, the length of the video is less important; however, it is important that the video get to the point quickly or the viewer will think the video will be a waste of their time.
  3. Testimonials. Testimonial videos can be up to 2 minutes. People like to watch other people give testimonials before they buy to help them determine if they are making a good choice. By providing sufficient time for multiple testimonials, the potential customer can watch as many or as few testimonials as needed to help them make a decision.

We hope this helps you make an educated decision on how long your video should be. Whether we produce it for you or someone else, make sure the length of the video is correct for it’s use. Contact us if you have any questions.

 

The 6 Questions You Should Ask a Production Company BEFORE Hiring Them

When hiring a video production company, there are several questions you should ask before proceeding. These are important because not all corporate video production companies are created equally. Sounds cliché, but when you hire someone to create a professional video, you expect high-quality output…and you should get it. Here are some questions to ask before deciding on whom to hire:Questions, video

  1. Can you show me a sample (or 4)?  If you’re shooting a corporate video, whether for a website or for television, you’ll want to see samples of their work. In fact, you should ask to see a portfolio of their work so you can get a feeling for their style and skill level.
  2. Would you describe the personality of our business? Because your company has a personality and culture, you’ll want to find a production company that fits into that culture and personality. In fact, they should be able to identify and describe the culture and personality of your company during your first meeting. If they can’t, they are not paying attention to the details, and will not when you hire them.
  3. What ideas can you provide for this video? When meeting with them, they should be able to give you a couple of creative thoughts of what they visualize in the video they want to shoot for you. Additionally, if you have some ideas of what you want the video to look and feel like, that can be both a help and a hindrance. This can be a dream or a nightmare for the producer. Regardless of whether the vision is right or not, a good producer should provide some insightful feedback about why the vision will work, will not work, and how to improve it.
  4. Do you stay in budget? And, what happens if it goes over budget? If you are focused on the budget prior to calling the meeting, you may be considering the wrong factor. Budget should be a factor, but not the deciding factor. Because a poorly planned and executed shoot creates a subpar video; therefore, a little bit extra can make a big difference. Weigh and balance the budget accordingly.
  5. Can you deliver on quality that matches my expectations? Remember the creative is always subjective, but the quality of the video should be in line with your expectations. Quality also 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. What happens if you miss the deadline? A good producer can describe the timeline associated with the shoot. If he or she cannot map this out for you, your follow up question should be, ‘how many deadlines do you miss?’ A good producer can miss a few, but a great producer rarely misses. When you ask this question, look for their reaction. You’ll know if they can hit a deadline by their answer.

These six questions are a good start to helping you decide on the proper corporate or web video production company. By asking these questions, you’ll begin to get a feel for the quality of their work and their ability to perform.

3 Tips from a Video Production Pro

Want some lessons from a professional video production pro? With years of experience and hundreds of videos created, we can provide some insights into how you can better create a high-quality video on a shoestring budget. Since it would be nice to have an unlimited budget, it is unrealistic. We realize that. So here are a couple of tips that can help you improve your DIY video. Remember, nothing beats a high-end camera, high-quality lighting, and the right audio components; but, you can get some decent video for your video blogs by following a couple of tips:

Know your angle. This doesn’t mean the angle of your story, this means the angle of your camera. So many people use their iPhone to shoot some decent video. With the addition of HD video to many mobile phones, many people believe this provides the best there is. It simply doesn’t; but, it can provide enough for some websites. If you’re going to hold a phone to do a video, please hold it the right way. Think about your TV. Is it taller than it is wide, or wider than it is tall? That’s the way you must hold your phone. In fact, most computer screens are shaped the same way. Shoot your video accordingly.

Steady as she goes. Even the pros use tripods. Holding a camera or phone steady is very difficult. Don’t fight this fact. An expensive tripod isn’t necessary, only something that will hold the camera steady. Remember, people want to watch your video, so make it appealing by making it steady.

Video isn’t all.Lavlier, Audio, Video While it is usually referred to as video, one other important component is the audio. The audio can turn people off very quickly. If it’s difficult to hear, has a strong echo, or the audio is muffled, you’ll want to add a lavalier microphone (or lapel microphone). These are relatively inexpensive (less than $50 at Amazon or Best Buy) and well worth the expense. We like to say that “A professionally produced video can draw clients in just as easily as a poorly produced one can drive them away.”

If you must do your own video, we hope these tips help. Every single tip listed here was inspired by at least one DIY video that we’ve been exposed to when sitting down with potential clients. These are the things that they don’t like about their video and call us to fix. Video is more difficult than it seems, so don’t be afraid to call us for some other tips!

Predictions About Video in 2014

We at Plum Productions may not have a crystal ball, but we can see the trends that are both affecting our business and driving our business. Here are a couple of trends that we think you’d like to know about in 2014.

  1. Mobile. Video on mobile devices has grown extremely fast in the last couple of years, but we think it will grow exponentially in 2014. We believe the larger number of smart phones in the marketplace and the addition of a much faster 4G infrastructure has increased the ability for video to be an option. Cisco predicts that mobile video will increase 25-fold between 2011 and 2016, making video the largest consumer of data traffic.
  2. Short Videos. Although we’re not a proponent of short videos, the trend is on the rise. We believe this to be a great tool to tease a product or service, but not as a promotional piece by itself.
  3. Elections. We believe nothing tells a story better than a video. During the 2014 midterm elections for the U.S. Senate, House, and the state and local government roles, we believe we’ll see video endorsements from groups and families promoting one candidate or another. While not different from other years, this year we believe there will be more of them. Layer on the comment system built into YouTube and we should see a full fledged political war online.
  4. Testimonials. We see testimonial videos as continuing to rise and continuing to be successful for business. Nothing tells a story better about how good a business is than hearing directly from their customer. The trend is to shift from paid actors/actresses to customer testimonials.

We think 2014 should be a great year for video. Whether it’s corporate video, web video, or both, we can help you make the right choices about what do and how to do it correctly. Give us a call to help!

Welcome to Our New Website!

You may have noticed our website has undergone a big makeover!  Our new new site does more than just show you samples of our work:  we want you to be inspired and excited to add video to your marketing plan. Let us point out a few new site features that are specifically designed for you:

First, visit our Solutions page, specially designed to help you identify the type of project that will meet your needs, and shows your examples to get your creative juices flowing.

Next, click on “Why Video” under the Solutions tab.  Learn how video can help potential customers find you, and help you convert them into clients.

Last, but not least, keep checking back to this Blog for more creative ideas, updated information and recent Plum Projects. Do you like the new site?  We’d love to hear from you.

Cheers,
The Plum Productions Team