3 Ways To Use Video To Recruit the Best Talent

image of handshake for interview

Recruiting awesome talent is not an easy task. Right now, it seems like it’s a bit of a job seekers market. In the trades and supporting industries, it seems there is a shortage of talent. Finding and recruiting great talent is much more difficult in these markets because they have to be searching for the job (or want to make a move). With so few in the market for jobs, you have to approach potential job seekers a little differently. And for those who are looking for talent, we would be surprised if you didn’t already use video as a mechanism to attract talent. The trend is that uses for video is growing and finding creative ways to use video is usually the tough part for most companies who are not used to using video (or who haven’t thought of using it in that way).

Technology is continually changing and improving, and with that, comes more creative ways to reach the person you want to reach. In fact, we think it’s more difficult to reach potential talent in traditional ways versus using technology for good. We recommend using video strategies that will attract new talent who is about to enter the “need a job market” or who is thinking about entering that market.

We see three easy ways to use video to attract new talent.

Employee Spotlight Videos

The objective here is to have existing employees speak to potential hires via a video review.  What’s it like to work at XYZ Company? This can be done through employee spotlight videos showing happy employees at work, showing employees interacting, solving problems, and telling their story of why they like to work there. It might be because of the culture of the office or because they enjoy the work they do. Think about it, most businesses rely on their current employees to refer into the company people they think would be a good fit in the business. When a business needs to hire more people, asking current employees is usually the first step. Usually they know there is a need and can recommend someone…but sometimes they can’t. Then what? Sharing a video that shows the team at work and sharing why they enjoy it. This type of business should get someone interested in learning more after they view it. Here’s an example:

Office/Company Culture Videos

Most companies know they’re good at what they do. They know their employees are good too. When a business tells you how good they are, do you believe it? No. But if they can show you how good they are, what their culture looks like, and how they approach problems or tasks, does that convince you a little more? We’d bet it does. That approach is usually what gets the viewer to take a next step. If it wasn’t effective, why do you think some of the best-in-class companies are using it so much? Because it works.

These companies create videos that illustrate their company’s culture by showing off the office space; sharing mission, vision, and values; showing off how they fit into the community; how they support the community; and so much more! The goal of all this is to help the prospective hire understand the company, know what the company is all about, find an area of passion the prospect can attach him or herself to and lead them down the road of calling for an interview and accepting the position. Here’s an example of one:

Our recommendation is to share this video everywhere, including the About Us/About the Team and Careers pages of the company website, the company YouTube channel, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Remember, most of these sites like the video uploaded natively (meaning, they want you to upload it directly to their site, not sharing a link from another platform). Yes this is annoying and time consuming, but it gets you the most distance from your video. Here’s an example:

Who We Want Video

Why not also create a video that shares what the company needs from a prospective new hire. By creating several short videos for each major or semi-major position in the company, you’re crafting a consistent and branded message that clearly defines what the job entails and who would work well in this role.

You might be asking yourself, “Why would I go through creating a video for that? Isn’t it easier/cheaper/less time consuming to just write it out?” …and you would be correct. If this blog post was a video instead of written out, wouldn’t it be easier to watch than to read? When you buy a new item that has instructions and they tell you to go to a website, do you read the website words or do you watch the video on that page first? It’s path of least resistance, use it to your advantage. You might also ask, “Why would I want someone who’s lazy?” You don’t, but people are busy and you also might be missing the perfect fit because there was no video for them to watch and learn more about the job. Here’s an example of one:

There are probably several other types of videos you could use to attract top talent…one that immediately comes to mind is a directly targeted video to a specific group of people that could be placed in a LinkedIn Group or Facebook ad that will show up just for them. What ideas do you have? We’d love to see them in the comments below. If you have any questions, we’d be happy to help! Give us a call or drop us a line!

6 Qualities To Look For In A Video Production Company

Five Start Rating Symbols

Whether you’re looking for a short informational video or a longer About Us/Corporate Story video, there are several factors that can make or break it’s success. One of those factors is the agency or production company you hire. There are several ways to determine whether a video production company is worth their weight. In this post, we’re sharing the top 6 qualities a good video production company should have before you decide to hire them.

Traits to Look For When Deciding on a Video Production Agency

Professional Portfolio

Before you do anything, you need to look at their work. Does it match your style? Do they have a variety of styles or just one look? Just because there’s one look, it doesn’t mean they can’t do more…and just because they have several styles, it doesn’t mean they can’t do the look you’re seeking. Dig deep into their portfolio. For example, you’ll need to look at our Vimeo Page to see more work (updating a website can be a little time consuming). If you see a sizzle reel, great! But don’t let that excite you too much. What you need to see is how did it help the client? Did they get what they needed or did they just get a wow video that didn’t perform. Sometimes, its the straight-forward video that produces the most results. Other times, its the short, flashy video, and other times its the longer drawn-out video that performs. Ask the agency why it worked for the client and what they did to get to that video.

Deadlines

Deadlines drive everything. There are a few ways you can tell if they can hit a deadline or not. First, do they return your calls in a reasonable amount of time? We’ve been told countless times that we’re the first to call back after they’ve called several agencies. When you call, does someone pick up? If not, how quickly do they call you back? How long does it take to get a response from an online form? These are all simple ways you can tell if an agency is time conscious or not. Obviously accidents happen and schedules get crammed, but communication becomes the key when scheduling conflicts arise…so do they communicate when there’s an issue related to time?

The Creative

You can find several videos out there that follow the same format. That’s fine if you want to use a tried and true format to get the job done, but if you want something different, can you find a video that does the same thing, only in a different way? For example, a construction company wanted a simple, “Here’s a sample of our work” video, only we worked to make it more than that. We wanted it to have an HGTV vibe so that people will want to watch the video to the end. Wow! It worked!

Testimonials

When you do your research on a Video Production Company, do they have Google Reviews? More importantly, do you know any of the people who did a review? If so, call them! Make sure they tell you what they thought. If you don’t know any of them, do you feel comfortable reaching out to them cold? Just giving them a call and saying, “Hey, I was interested in working with XYZ Company…how was your experience?” Then listen! If you’re not comfortable doing that, do you feel comfortable with what the written word says? Next step, use that information to ask the production company about that project: What did the client want? What did they do to help them? How did you arrive at the finished video? Can I see the finished video?

Expectations

Knowing next steps is critical to a successful process. When you first speak to the production company, do they clearly identify your next steps before beginning to work together? Do you know how the process will work? They should describe the overall process with you to the point you get your video. This should include timelines as to when things can be finished and what the client can do to speed it up or slow it down.

BONUS: Passion about the Work!

One of the things you’ll notice right away at Plum is that we have a passion for creating something fun for your business. Fun and different should be a part of every video production process. We look for ways to make it fun and different. If you want to pull it back a little, no worries! We don’t mind…  but we think you’re looking for a creative edge, so we’ll look to provide that to you first.

If you think we should talk because you’ve done your research and have decided to let Plum be a part of your search to complete your video production project, Give Us A Call! or Drop us a line!

 

 

 

Source: https://www.digitalbrew.com/7-qualities-to-look-for-in-a-video-production-agency/

Types of Video for Business

There are tons of ways one can use video to promote or explain a video. We’ve taken a little time to share with you the most common types of video for any business. Yes, any business. Each type has a purpose, so before you just randomly decided to create a video, you should have a bit of a plan: How are you going to use it? Where will you place it? Why are you creating it? When will you need it? Who should be viewing it? …and why as a follow up to each of the previous questions. This will help you determine which video will be best for your brand. Let’s get started…

Expert Interview Video

If you have a thought leader or a brand expert in your midst, this type of video is the best type to pursue as quickly as possible. Having a thought leader is one thing. Promoting and showing how much he or she (or the team) knows about a particular topic does nothing but improve and build the brand. If your potential customers want experts, who will they call if they have listened to an interview with a thought leader in the field? Here’s an example of one of those types of videos:

Product Videos

Product videos are just that, videos about a product… but when creating a product video you want to do more than advertise or promote. Your goal should be to educate. Teach the viewer how the product works, why they might find it useful and finish it off with a call to action. The call to action can be more or less aggressive, depending on the product and your style, but there should always be some sort of call to action. Product videos are highly effective when they are educational and informative. They’ll also perform well when placed in the right location (think an end cap in a retail store or on a website landing page). Placement is a large part of how successful a video will be, so have a plan on where you’ll place your video before you shoot it. Remember, perfection is the enemy of success, so a plan is good to have but don’t let planning get in the way of knowing a adjustment will need to be made once it’s placed. Here’s a fun example of a product video that was placed on their website to trigger a sale.

Service Video

If you don’t sell a tangible product, the video you should consider is a service video. This type of video provides the viewer with a strong sense of what they’ll get for their dollar. More importantly, this type of video should instill a sense of trust and open the conversation to building a relationship. When prospects land on a website, they want to know who they’re dealing with and/or if they can trust them. We’ve all learned that its difficult to trust an organization/business, but we do trust people. One thing we’ve noticed is that with Jenn’s My Video 101 educational videos on her YouTube Channel, people feel like they know her and can trust her with their video knowledge. Here’s an example of one of her videos:

Social Media Videos

Most times when we get called to shoot and edit videos for a client, we are often asked if we can edit shorter social media videos. Absolutely…and we recommend it! If we’re creating a video for any client, we try to incorporate a social media version of any video we create because you’ll need it at some point. The purpose of a social media video is to increase the viewer’s curiosity and bring them to a website or landing page to do more. For example, we’ve seen product and service companies run social media video ads to bring the viewer to a landing page. The landing page may request the visitor to provide information (name, email, etc.) or make a purchase or a call. Whichever way they decide, the social media video will help fill the funnel. Here’s an example. (Notice this one is square and will be used on Instagram).

Corporate Branding Video

The branding video uses several features from other types of video. The branding video should capture the essence of what the company stands for, what the company does, who is in the company, and the story behind it. Overall, it should stand alone. A viewer will know exactly why the company exists and why they might want to contact them. This of this type of video as an About Us with some extras. A good example of a corporate branding video is this one from Amicon Construction. We think this is a solid branding video because it shows what they do and their attention to detail while incorporating their client testimonial. You might think that 4 minutes is a long video, but the feedback we hear is that people want to watch this to find out how the project ended.

Location Tour

What if your space look different than your competitors or you’re proud of the way your space looks? What if your space is tranquil or energetic? There is no better way to show that off than a video. A video will capture the essence of the space and invite the viewer in. We’ve seen several occasions that an office space (both indoor and outdoor) looked so nice that it made for a beautiful backdrop for an interview. Here is one example of such a space. In this one, we feature a dentist office that was constructed to make the parents and children comfortable when visiting the one doctor most people fear: The Dentist!

Testimonials

Imagine you’re looking for a great attorney. One who cares about how you feel after an incident. One that goes above and beyond to get you the care you need to get better. How do you tell a potential client/customer that you’re the best? You don’t. You don’t because the viewer will not believe you when YOU say it, but if an actual client says it for your (because that was their experience), the viewer will understand how a previous client was taken care of and feel that they will be taken care of too. Powerful. We believe this is the most underused video for the power it has. Awesome testimonials are more powerful than any other form of advertising. This is one every business should have.

There are so many other types of videos a company can have, but these tend to be the most popular. Stay tuned! We’ll share some other creative types of video that you might not have thought of in an upcoming post!

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us. We’d be happy to answer any questions…no pressure, no expectations. We’d love to see your comment below on which video you think is the most important one!

5 Ways to Use Video to Market Your Business

We hear it all the time. “I know I need to create video to help us online, but what do I create?” While it may be difficult for some to come up with ideas, we’ve seen hundreds of ideas. So if you’re having a tough time, give us a call and we can help you come up with a few. More importantly, what type of video content will provide the best return on your time and investment?

Let’s begin with how your customers research and make buying decisions. Most of the time customer acquisition and customer buying habits are similar. Customers start out not knowing who you are or if you’d be someone they should call or visit. If they become aware of you, they may become aware of how you might be able to solve their problem or improve their life somehow. Then, they start to do some research. They find other companies who can do the same type of work and decide on the one, two, three or more to contact to get an idea of who might be the best fit for them. Once they’ve done all the research, they pick up the phone and make the call. Once they’re a customer, you begin the trek of retaining them by keeping them happy.

We think there’s more to video than just creating it. We believe there has to be a long- and short-term plan to creating and using your video. One of the most important factors is knowing how you’ll measure success and whether it is worth the investment. Sometimes, in our meetings, we tell our prospective clients that creating a video isn’t worth the investment based on what they need, how they are measuring success, and how they’ll implement the strategy. If we find it is worth the time and effort, we talk about how it will be used. Knowing how it will be used is critical to the success of a video. Let’s dig into the types of video and how it can be used.

Educational Blog-Style Video Content

Educational Videos or Topical Videos are simply short videos that answer a specific question someone might want to know the answer to. We typically see this type of content with professional service businesses. Think financial planners, attorneys, estate planners, fitness trainers, etc. If there’s education to be sought by your prospective client/customer, this is the type of video you should consider pursuing. The other thing to consider when creating this type of video is what is the problem you’re trying to solve? For example, if you’re a financial planning firm and people want to know answers to questions regarding their money, if they find you to be highly knowledgeable and trustworthy, they’re more likely to make the call. So educational content is typically used for those who want to convey a high level of trust and illustrate a depth of knowledge.


Explainer Videos (Live Action &/or Animated)

Explainer videos are just that…they explain what a product or service is and helps the buyer understand how they should use it. These can also be referred to as a demonstration video. If you’re trying to connect with the viewer (on a more personal level), you might consider using a live action video. For example, in the video below, this product explainer video helps the viewer understand the problem it solves, how to set it up, and who might purchase it. This is the type of video you might need if you were trying to help someone make a decision. They’ve landed on your page or they’ve spoken to you already, have enough information to be informed and now they want to understand a few more details. These types of videos typically live on a website homepage (landing page) or YouTube or anywhere someone might discover your product/service by searching for it (don’t forget about Amazon).


Location Tour Video

Sometimes your space is so beautiful and captivating, it becomes important to show it off in a video. For example, in this dental practice, it’s one thing to say, “I’m great with kids!” but it’s whole other level to show how cool your space is and how cool you can be with the kids. That’s what this dentist in Port Saint Lucie did with this video. Notice how he shows off the space talks about how much kids love it? Notice how the kids are having a great time while visiting the dentist? What you don’t know is that they sometimes have a hard time getting the kids to leave after they’ve had their checkup! What a problem to have, right?


Video Reviews (or Testimonials or Customer Story Videos)

In most cases, when a customer is happy they don’t always tell everyone, but they should. Why would they want to hide great service? Well, it’s just not as easy as that. You have to ask them. Ask your best customers, your best advocates, to tell their story about how you helped them. They will most likely be happy to do it. Take this example of how one company helped Bill reduce his debts by negotiating with the debt collection company on his behalf. By listening to his story, one can understand how stressful it must have been to live through the experience before they negotiated on his behalf. Video reviews should be used when the prospective buyer is about to buy, meaning, one of the last steps of the buying process. This might mean after a website visit you could follow up with one of these videos or on the testimonial section your website.


Commercial Video

Commercial videos hammer home the point, “You should buy this.” It’s direct advertising and typically pushes the viewer to take some form of action. This can be done directly, softly, or through stories, but are highly effective. This type of video is typically shorter in nature and appeal to as wide of an audience as possible. This is a video that should push a viewer into your sales funnel. It is critical to target your audience as directly as possible while using this type of video because if it shows up in front of the wrong audience, you’ll have a zero return on the investment of time or dollars. Speaking the language of the viewer becomes critical as well. The example here is the Tater Gator. This was used on end caps and websites where the product was sold to help the viewer understand what the product does and how to use it.

When you’re choosing which video to create, remember to think about why you’re doing it. If you are doing it to get your name out there, we highly recommend you stop what you’re doing and ask yourself how you’ll measure it’s success. If you are not sure how to do that, ask us. We’ll be happy to share with you a few of our tips to know whether it’s worth your time, money, and energy to take on a video project. Sometimes doing what you’ve been doing is just fine…and sometimes it’s time to elevate your game. Have more questions? Give us a call and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you have!

SOURCE: Demo Duck. https://demoduck.com/video-for-business/

Animation versus Live Action Video: Advantages and Disadvantages in Corporate Video

This is similar to the old question, “Paper or Plastic?” Both will do the job but each has a benefit. So to think it doesn’t matter, we would disagree. If you’re about to create a corporate video or a product video, you’ll want to consider your options carefully. Whether you’re creating a video for a retail endcap, your website, or social media, there are benefits to both Animation and Live Action video.

First, let’s define each. Animation can be a variety of things. It could be one of those whiteboard videos you’ve seen where a hand draws all the content out for you. It could be simple 2D graphics (as in the video below), or it could be complex 3D animation. Sometimes this can be a little confusing so it’s good to review what each looks like, why you might want one versus the other, and how to get what you need. Let’s get started.

Let’s start with 2D Animation.

When we refer to 2D animation, we basically mean graphics. Graphics can be more intricate or very simple, but in the end, they typically add value to the message that is being conveyed. For example, the video below is an example of how 2D graphics can be incorporated to show the story about a product or service. Each time the graphics come up on screen, you understand how and what the device is measuring while people are exercising. The goal of each animation is to show who each number is connected to and what it is measuring. When the numbers appear, you can see that it is measuring in real time what their heart rate is doing at that very minute…illustrating exactly what the product is doing. A perfect paring!

Examples of 2D Graphics incorporated into a video. See 0:05, 0:10, and 0:25 seconds.

3D Animation

On the other hand, a 3D animation is something that is created to illustrate an object or thought that is difficult to replicate or cannot be shown without using a microscope or destroying something real. For example, in the examples below, we have a consumable supplement that will breakdown in the body. While saying that is easy to understand, it’s even better when you can show how that works.

3D Animation appears at 0:16 seconds.

At around 0:16 seconds in, you can see how the supplement will breakdown the body slowly over time providing maximum support and nutrition. While the rest of the video is mostly some stock video and 2D graphics, this video used high impact, colorful 3D animation to support what was being said.

In this example, a lending company wanted to target realtors by describing the all to familiar pre-approved buyer. Realtors sometimes hear that a buyer is pre-approved for one amount, but in reality is actually pre-approved for much less. To make this funny, they asked that we destroy a house and show what they’re really pre-approved for. The tough part is destroying a house…so, it’s time for animation.

Both can be appropriate for any video, the key is knowing what you need and deciding what is the best way to get there. We can help you decide or you can tell us…but know that creating a custom animation matching exactly what you need has it’s own time element. Instead of shooting something and using 2D animation, a 3D animation simply reduces shooting time and increases editing time. By adding 2D animation, you can accomplish what you need and maximize your investment. 3D animation allows you the flexibility to add visuals to your video without having to take the time to shoot, create something new, or destroy something large. Use what makes sense…and know that we can help you either way.

Live Action Video

Live Action video is simply video we shoot and edit together to create the story you need. Live action video is the most common type of video we and most other video production companies use to get the job done. There is no better way to help people understand who you are as a business than putting the very people who will help the customers/end users on camera. Every time we do live action video, our clients tell us that it has helped them improve the relationships they have with their clients because there is a visual and emotional connection with their employees, directors, etc. and the end users, clients, or customers. When clients of ours use video reviews (or testimonial videos) to help tell the story, it only improves the relationship and, ultimately their repeat business.

When you’re ready to create your next video and you want to spice it up a bit, ask us how we can use 2D or 3D animation in your live action video to help you share your message. Let us know if you have any questions!

Top 5 Ways a Marketing Video Can Boost Your Business’s Promotions

Video Camera used at production

Video marketing is here to stay. With video content accounting for more than 79% of consumer internet traffic (MWP, 2018), it’s safe to say that videos truly are a game changer in online marketing. Text and photos are taking a backseat to videos, and there’s no sign that this trend will slow down.

Still need convincing? Below, 5 reasons every company should incorporate videos into their marketing strategy.

SEO Optimization

No matter what business one is in, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is critical to online marketing success. Products that rank well in search engines are bound to get more attention from potential customers, leading to better sales.

According to Martech Zone (2018), an explainer video can increase the likelihood of your product being on Google’s front page by a whopping 53 times!

To further sweeten the pot, retail product videos increase site visit lengths by an average of 2 minutes, a key parameter in search engine ranking algorithms.

Brand Awareness

With more than 750,000 e-commerce platforms (Pipecandy, 2018) competing for brand awareness, you really need to stand out. Marketing videos help embed your brand identity in people’s minds. Watching a video is stimulating, which means people tend to remember more from a video than text. However, as a result, people expect more from a promo video, which means they tend to lose interest quickly too, challenging the creative abilities of the producers.

Highlight USPs

There is a reason that 68% of top online retailers are now employing the use of video marketing, even though they sell a similar range of products (Magstore, 2018). Successful companies deliver a little something extra—and videos are the perfect way to highlight those differences.

Some are well-known for their loyalty programs, others for excellent customer service, and some for their breadth of product. The most effective way to convey these unique selling propositions to consumers is explainer videos to help a business in distinguishing itself from its competitors.

Increased Click Rate & Customer Conversion

The sole purpose of your website is to get maximum views and high conversion, right? Video content is increases conversion by up to 30% (Magstore, 2018)!

The video/audio combination is one of marketers’ not-so-secret weapons, allowing them to influence a viewer enough to initiate action, whether that be pick up the phone and call your or add an item to their cart. In fact, product videos increase the likelihood of sales by 85% (Magstore, 2018).

Another benefit of videos is that they keep a person on the webpage for longer periods of time. This gives them time to observe more of what else the page has to offer, which obviously includes other products, leading to better click rates.

Versatility

The best thing about video production: versatility! They are more of an art form than a simple marketing tool. It gives its producers complete freedom over how they want to approach their customers. They may go simple and just highlight the merits of their product. Or, if they are creative enough, they may incorporate a social angle that links to their product. Similarly, there are innumerable other options they could opt for.

Whether you’re in South Florida, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Delray Beach, or West Palm Beach, the bottom line is:

The future of marketing lies in video.

 

 

Sources:
https://mwpdigitalmedia.com/blog/10-statistics-that-show-video-is-the-future-of-marketing/
https://martech.zone/digital-marketing-video/
https://blog.magestore.com/advantages-of-brand-awareness/
http://blog.pipecandy.com/e-commerce-companies-market-size/

How to Prepare Your Office for a Video Shoot

question mark on table representing questions people ask

You’ve decided to create a short video (or a series of videos) to help your business improve it’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or to help your potential customers understand who you are, what you do, and why you do it better. Great! Now what? You should get lots of tips from your video production company (if you’ve hired one) on how to set up or prepare your office for the video shoot. If not, you may want to ask more questions of your video production company or find a new one. After all, it should be easy, not stressful to create your video.

So, what do you need to do? Here are some of the top steps to preparing your office for a video shoot:

  1. Get the Shoot Scheduled. Obvious, yes. But if it’s not scheduled, people can’t plan. Once it’s scheduled, communicate the shoot date to your team and make sure they’re ready. Make sure they know what’s happening and when it’s happening that day. You may not have this information, but it should be shared before the day of so everyone is ready and knowledgeable about what is happening.
  2. Prior to the Shoot Date. A day or two (or more, if needed) walk through the office with a different set of eyes. Look for opportunities to tidy up, clean up, and put away all the extra stuff you and your team have collected over the years that is unnecessary to the video. For example, take a look at this photo of an office prior to the shoot. If we had to take a few shots of someone working at their desk, what would look better? The before photo or the after photo? Remember, you want it to look like someone is there working regularly, but not like they’re a “pack rat” or “file piler.” You want to look organized and effective. Here’s a messy and a clean version of an office space: image of messy working deskimage of a clean working desk
  3. Do You Need Props? You might need some props or areas where you can show some client interaction or work shots. The video below shows B-Roll (secondary video) shots of employee interactions…notice it’s clean and visually appealing. Each area was selected prior to the shoot to ensure the best possible shots were incorporated into the video. One other thing to think about: if your office decorates for any holidays (Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Valentine’s Day, etc.) all the decorations need to be removed from the office or else you’ll look like you celebrate that holiday every day of the year in your video! Probably something you want to avoid.
  4. Looking Good? The other question we get a lot is what to wear on camera. That is a great question and we’ve answered it here in this blog post about What to Wear On Camera. The key is to look your best on camera and what you choose can make a difference. Solid, warm colors are best. Refrain from wearing black, white, or red; and refrain from wearing certain patterns that buzz on camera. If you’re going to wear jewelry, don’t wear dangling jewelry because it can make noise when you speak. Finally, bring options. Again, refer to our previous post if you want to learn more.
  5. Script Ready? Whether we create your script or you’re creating the script, it must be ready to go before the day of the shoot. We’ve pushed back shoots because clients weren’t prepared and the script didn’t align with the objective of the video. It’s critical to get a video production company who can get that script to you well enough in advance so you’re ready to perform it. We shoot to the script, so having this prepared will make your shoot go very smooth!

You may not have any questions after reading this, but if you do, feel free to pick up the phone and call us if you have any questions. We don’t mind if you’re not a client, we just want to make sure your shoot goes smoothly.

How to Set Up a YouTube Channel for My Business

YouTube is the second largest social media outlet in the world. Other than Facebook, there is none larger. Getting your YouTube channel set up correctly is important for several reasons. First, it’s your brand. If you’re hosting your videos on YouTube, this is the primary way people will judge your ability to keep your brand intact. Second, it shows consistency. If you can demonstrate a high level of consistency within your brand, you’ve shown you have what it takes to stay organized. Do your clients want to know you’re organized? Our guess is they do.

What this post covers is what you’ll want to do past the initial set up. We know there are a lot of resources out there that will help you set up your channel initially, but once you have it set up, what should you do? This post will give you a checklist of sorts of what you should to do maximize your channel. Here we go!

Once you’ve followed the basics of setting up your channel, there are a few tips we’d like to share.

  • Channel Art. You’ll want to set up channel art to give your channel a branded look. The recommended size right now (2018) is 2560×1440 px, with a safe area of 2048×1152 px. YouTube recommends a file size of 4MB or smaller. This helps in the load time and cuts down on their storage needs. NOTE: make sure any text or logos you want to have displayed is in the safe area. If you create the recommended size, there is a safe area within that every device (or at least a vast majority) will allow the viewer to see.
  • Social Media Links. Once you’ve set up your account, you’ll want to link it to other assets, such as your website and your other social media pages. Currently, YouTube has a specific list of social media pages you can link to, including Google Plus or Google Pages, so you’ll want to make sure those are set up. Also, keep in mind these links, once set up, show up in the bottom right portion of the Channel Header Art, so keep that in mind when designing the header. If the social links cover important information in your art, like a phone number, it won’t be visible.
  • Icon. Add the icon in the top left. It’s not always visible on every platform, but it helps to have it there. Most people use their logo, others use their head shot, but in the end, its up to you.
  • Enhancing the Channel.
    • Optimize the Description. You’ll want to write a brief, high-level description of what your channel is all about. It should use keywords and incorporate specific statements as to what the channel is about. Google’s algorithms have gotten pretty smart when it comes to text, so this is important. Don’t include statements that are unrelated and always have a call to action. The call to action might be to visit your website, watch a certain playlist or video, or call a phone number.
    • Add Channel Trailer. A channel is less effective if it doesn’t have a trailer welcoming or describing the channel. You may not think you need one, but here’s why you do. When someone arrives at your channel, they may or may not know what your business is all about. They may not understand how your channel is organized or what is important for them to view to get a better understanding of who you are and what you do. The channel trailer will guide them or give them some reference as to who you are and why the channel is helpful to the viewer.
    • Add Links to Channel. These links (described above) help Google verify and solidify who this channel belongs to, who it’s associated with, and builds the web of links you want Google to know and understand to improve your website and channel optimization.
    • Playlists. Adding playlists is one of the ways you can tell your visitor you care about them. You’ve taken the time to organize your videos into bite-sized pieces to help them digest your message. Playlist are just that: a way of organizing similar videos and you should do it for a few reasons:
      • Organization. We’ve said it once already, but this helps the viewer know which videos relate to each other.
      • Get Discovered. When playlists are organized, YouTube (Google) knows that each of the videos in the playlists are related, therefore have a higher probability of getting discovered organically. When someone searches for a topic and you’ve titled a video with that search phrase, YouTube might bring up your entire playlist.
      • Related. Again, because they’re related, the viewer can dig in as deep as they like to learn more about the related topic.
      • Session Time. No, this is not the beer type of session, it’s the time they spend on your channel. If someone lands on your channel first (organically or directly) and then spend some time on your channel because they’re nosing around in similar videos, you get extra credit for keeping on your channel longer. Longer sessions usually mean credibility for Google/YouTube. Layer on top of that, YouTube will even reward you if you draw someone to your channel and then move off your channel to another channel. You get extra credit for bringing the viewer to YouTube (at one point, the entire session time they spent on YouTube was given to you, not all the other sites if they visited you first).

For a couple of examples, we’ve selected one channel that has some missing pieces (but otherwise might be ok) and another that does it very well. For starters, let’s look at the channel that is missing a few pieces. We’ve removed their logo and name to protect their identity.

Image of YouTube Channel page that's missing a few components

So here are a few points to consider on this channel. First, there is an inconsistent image for each video. You’ll see on the next example, how a consistent image can be created. Second, and this is something you can’t see in this image, they don’t have playlists created.  As a visitor, you might not know which video you need to watch, but if you knew that four of the list of videos were about a specific topic you came to learn about, you’d find it helpful. Third, the trailer did not have a call to action and did not incorporate a general message for the business. It was more of a moving PowerPoint presentation, which is fine, but less effective when it comes to getting the viewer to take action.

To see a good example of a YouTube Channel, we’re going to use our sister business My Video 101’s YouTube Channel.

Example of a good YouTube Channel layout

For this channel, we see some helpful things right from the start. First (green arrows), the header image is information about the channel and what to expect. For businesses, we recommend an image with a message that makes sense for your branding. On this example, we also see the social media buttons are set up. Second, this channel has playlists set up (see yellow circle). They use several: Vlogging Advice, Product Reviews, Technical Tips, and Behind the Scenes. Helpful if you only want to learn about one area of the channel, right? Third, this channel has consistent branding across all videos (see blue check marks). While each topic is different, each video looks similar, yet a little different. Consistency is pleasing to the eye and helps the viewer feel at ease when searching through the videos.

With just a few tweaks your YouTube Channel can improve your image and increase views. Take the time to set up your business channel the right way so you get the most out of your channel.

 

 

 

Sources:
DreamGrow (https://www.dreamgrow.com/top-15-most-popular-social-networking-sites/)
Gravity Search Marketing (https://www.yourseoplan.com/benefits-of-creating-youtube-playlists/)
YouTube Support (https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/2972003?hl=en-GB)

Buffer (https://blog.bufferapp.com/create-a-youtube-channel)

Where Should Video Be Placed On My Website?

image of laptop

You’ve decided to hire a crew to make your professional video. Your web development company has insisted you have it. They have some ideas of where and what they want, but you want to know, “Where should my video live on my website to get the greatest impact?”

When you create a professional video for your website, you want to think about where you are going to place it. Whether it will be hosted on YouTube, Vimeo, or your own site, knowing what to do with it is key. To answer the question of where to place it, we have a few questions we’d ask in return. First, what type of video are you creating? (If you’re not sure what type of video you should have, see the blog post titled What Type of Video Should My Business Have in 2018?) Next, why did you decide this is the video you wanted to create? You might have a little motivation as to why you’ve create this video, so help us understand that. Once we understand what video and why, we can help you better decide where to place it on your site. Here are a few options in terms of where to place your video(s) on your website:

  • Home Page (Above the Fold). This might be a good place for video that doesn’t have music or speaking parts. Here’s an example of a website that uses video in the background above the fold.  The Yacht Company does a great job showing off yachts before you travel through the rest of the site. This is a simple video you should ask for when shooting video. You never know when your site might lend itself to a snippet like this.
  • Home Page (Below the Fold). The types of videos that you use here are usually the About Us style videos. A recent client, HyDroneClean, created a short informational video about what they do and placed it on their home page (scroll down a little). When a potential client lands on a website, they tend to scroll a little bit anyway to see if they can learn more. Once they see a video, the play button beckons them to push it!
  • About Us Page. Again, this is where you might find the About Us video. It features a story about the business and allows the viewer to better understand how they might benefit from working with the business.
  • Testimonials Page. So many times businesses have written testimonials listed on their site, and that’s awesome. If you’re looking to kick up the value of the testimonials, a video testimonial is even better. Check out Credit Brain’s testimonials that we shot for them a while back. They have a dedicated web page on their site to feature these videos, telling us, a video is even more valuable than just the written words.
  • Blog. Does your site have a blog? Has it been helpful to create content for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) results? That’s the number one way you can create great SEO results is to constantly create content. If you want to “level up” your blogging game, add video. There are several ways to do it. One option is to create videos based on what you wrote or write the blog based on what you say in the video. Another option is to feature a written blog about one topic linked to a video blog you created on YouTube. A great example of this is our video blogging site MyVideo101.com. This site is based on the YouTube Channel created by our very own Jennifer Jager. She blogs about all aspects of video and the blog is created based on what she shares on her YouTube Channel. Check it out.

These are just a few uses of a video. Where you place them is based on it’s purpose and expected outcome. If you expect people to call you after viewing the video, the best types of video are the Testimonial and About Us videos. If you want people to better understand what you do in a short amount of time, an About Us video is your best bet. Finally, when you have a need for improved SEO, consider a video blog (with a written portion to ensure all the search engines find you).

Why Do Production Companies Quote Different Rates for the Same Project?

Paper ripped to expose words pricing secrets

How Much Does a Corporate Video Cost?

Recently we had someone ask us to provide an idea of cost for their video project. During the conversation they shared with us that they had two other quotes and wanted to know why each quoted drastically different prices. They shared that one was nearly half our project price and the other was nearly double. What gives, right?

We completely understand and couldn’t agree more. Each production company can have wildly different pricing strategies, but they usually vary for different reasons. Here are several reasons why you might be getting different quotes for what seems like the same thing.

  • Experience. Yes, you probably knew this already. The more experience they have, the more projects they have, and the customers they already have can all illustrate the production company’s competence. If they’ve been doing it for 9 or 10 years (like us), they more than likely have encountered several issues that can come up on the shoot and they know how to prevent them. They probably don’t need to prove themselves because they have enough work to show they can do it already. We’ve said this before, but you can find a production company for ANY budget! You want a production company that can do the work for a few hundred bucks? No problem, there are several people out there who work from home who can do this type of work for that rate. They don’t mind building their portfolio by being highly aggressive in their pricing. If you want to hire a large, high budget crew, you can find them as well….and everything in between.
  • Equipment. Recently we lost a project because we didn’t charge enough. We were a couple thousand dollars less than who we were up against. We were surprised to hear this, but when the potential client shared with us that the other company was going to be renting their equipment, we were not longer surprised. When the company doesn’t own the equipment, they are forced to markup rental equipment to have a successful shoot. While this potential client couldn’t get over spending less for the quality work, don’t be fooled by higher prices…it doesn’t ALWAYS mean better quality. It might! But it also might not.
  • Approach. Each production company approaches their projects a little differently. We’ve heard one company say they want to allocate a full day for an interview (with B-roll shots) when it really only warrants a half day shoot. Their logic was that the person on camera would feel more relaxed and engaged. While we don’t think a full day is necessary to get someone to feel relaxed in front of the camera, others use this as an excuse to charge a little more (especially if the budget is large enough).
    • Approach (part 2). The more the shoot is planned, the smoother the shoot. Not all production companies approach their shoot the same. Planning the day should include time slots for each person on camera, shooting specific B-roll shots, allocating time for additional product shots (when appropriate), and much more. How important is a plan? It’s the most important part of the process. Without it, we won’t shoot because there’s nothing worse than shooting and trying to figure out how to put it together later. The client won’t be happy and we won’t be proud of our work.
  • Add-Ons. There are several features that can be added on in the shoot and in post production. Examples might include:
    • Drone & Drone Pilot
    • Additional Locations
    • Professional Talent
    • Make Up Artist
    • Stock Video (can sometimes be an extra)
    • Additional Equipment (due to specific needs of client)
    • Custom 3D Animation
    • Professional Narration
    • Location Costs & Permitting (sometimes free, sometimes not)
    • Additional Shoot Days
    • …and on and on.

Don’t be discouraged. Sometimes we feel like some companies treat the video world like the Wild West while others are respectable and forthcoming. Those that have been around for many years, typically have done the right thing for their clients. Do a little research, like this article about Questions to Ask a Video Production Crew Before You Hire Them or this follow up article that shares More Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Production Crew. Speak to their current clients, their past clients, people they’re connected to on LinkedIn. There are several ways to confirm the production company you are interviewing is right for you. If they don’t understand your project or concept, move on to the next company, there’s always one right for you.

Got a question? Want to know more or want to compare us to someone you’ve gotten a quote from, we’d be honored to help.