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)

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.

When & Why Technology Companies Need Video

AI meets Tech meets Video

Why Video?

If you’re reading this post, it might be because you own or work at a technology company and want to know what type of video and how to use video for your company. First, let’s get to the why you might need a video… and let’s get beyond the obvious of “everyone is doing it” because that’s not a good reason to do video. Most of the technology companies that have called us to either get an idea of cost or what it takes to do a video call us for similar reasons. Most technology companies call us because they are struggling to get potential clients to understand that they are there for their clients… that they are humans too… and that it’s not all Artificial Intelligence that make up a client’s technology backbone.

We usually hear about a website that is sterile, a lot of images of servers and techie stuff, but somehow they’re missing the human element. It’s interesting that Dow Chemical also struggled with this and created a commercial that still sticks with us today (and no we didn’t produce that commercial). Ironically, reading this Forbes article titled “Healthcare’s Often Missing Element – The Human Element” they also list several other companies who have this same problem. People are what make the world go around… but more importantly, people are what make sales happen. There lies the problem some technology companies have: they stick to words and images that are cold and meaningless in getting the sale. They often rely on their sales team without providing some of the best tools available to them in marketing: video.

That’s the Why. Why video can make the difference. What about When?

Next, when is it time to invest in a series or a single video? It varies by business and by individual, but the real answer is brought to light by the answer to the questions, “Do potential clients get you? Do potential clients understand you?” As with any business, when you have to differentiate yourself by explaining all the things you do rather than helping the potential client understand why you do what you to improve this world, something might be missing. It might be time to explore video for your technology company if one or more of the following ring true:

  • Potential clients don’t understand what you do. They don’t understand the cloud or backups or the difference between a backup and an archive.
  • Potential clients don’t connect with you as people, rather as a service.
  • Potential clients just want numbers without getting to know you.
  • Potential clients just want answers without understanding the entire portfolio of services you offer.
  • People aren’t making the connection between their needs and the services you provide.

Most marketing does a lot of the above, but the difference between print, web, document, etc. marketing and video marketing is one is read (with all the inflections or tones they think you are trying to say) and the other is shared and stated exactly as you have intended. THIS is why everyone is doing it…not because others are doing it, but because it conveys the message in the desired tone and matching meaning.

What type of video should I create?

Great question. The type of video depends on what your end goal is and what you hope will happen when they finish watching the video. Our recommendation is to consider one of the following videos to determine which video is the best to start with.

It may not be time for you to consider video, and that’s OK, but if it is time to talk, we’d love it if you consider contacting us about what you’re trying to convey. We might be able to help.

How To Use Video to Recruit Talent (Talent Acquisition)

image of person speaking to camera

We’ve had several clients use video to acquire new talent. When hiring, you want the best of the best, right? Part of finding the best is being found. Whether you use a job board, a head hunter, or just market jobs on your website, we’re pretty sure you want to convey a message of professionalism and refinement. You have some options here and one of the ways you can differentiate your business (and the jobs you are posting) is video.

Most of our clients like to stand apart from their competition by being a little different. Most companies are not using video to their fullest capacity, meaning, they are not using all the tools at their disposal. Again, it depends on your industry and your needs, but when placing a post for a job, there comes a time when video will capture attention and increase visibility.

We have several recommendations when it comes to creating an effective video, and they apply to employment videos as well.

  • Be Up Front. This doesn’t mean, don’t lie…it means, say what’s important early on so people know what you’re talking about and why they should continue to listen. This applies to the employment video too. What’s the job? Who should apply? Who shouldn’t apply? What are the absolute must haves to getting the job? When does it start (if important)? Pick any one or two of these to be in the very beginning of the video. By doing this, you’re telling the viewer who the right audience is and if they don’t fit the mold, they can continue in their search for the right job for them.
  • Be concise. No one wants to listen to a 10 minute diatribe about a job. What they do want to know are answers to their burning questions. Give those answers as quickly and concisely as possible.
  • Keep it Short. Along with concise goes short, so this should go without saying; however, we also know that when you work closely with a project, you might forget about the end user or client. Keep the length appropriate for the purpose. Keep in mind, sometimes it makes sense to go longer, sometimes it doesn’t, but don’t go long to get it all in. Leave the wanting more.

Once you have the concept, you’ll also want to consider where to place the video(s). We’ve seen a couple of avenues that make sense. One of our clients, a Fort Lauderdale company used their videos on their website to make active when the job was open (or about to open) and disabled (hidden) when the job was occupied and the listing was not needed. Another client, a Boca Raton company, placed the video on LinkedIn to bring in prospects. They were hiring for similar roles all the time and placed the video on their company page and in their feed on occasion to bring awareness to their need. We also had a West Palm Beach company place their video into hiring groups on social media and on their listing (as a link) in their online hiring job board (think Ladders, Monster, etc.). They tell us they were able to tell prospective new hires exactly what they wanted to attract the right people. Of course, they still had to do all the necessary work to hire someone like interviewing and background checks, but they felt it was worth the pre-work and effort to attract the right people.

Here’s an example of one of those videos:


If you have any questions or want to find out more information about video and how it may help you, let us know. We’re here to help!

How Many People Should Be In My Business (Testimonial) Video?

People in a Business

This is a common question we get all the time. How many people should be interviewed? Or how many testimonials should we have in the video? The answer is much more simple than you think. There are a few variables that affect the quantity of people that should be in your video or testimonial video.

As an example, if you are creating a 60-second video featuring testimonials, you have to think about how long each person has to say what they need to say. If while on camera, they are going to say, “XYZ Company was the most reliable company I have ever worked with because they provided me with answers that were relevant to my issue and solved my problem.” It would take between 8 to 12 seconds for them to say just that line. We have to also assume they’ll want to give a little backstory as to what they were looking for in a company and why they were looking for that. Let’s assume each of those statements could be made in the same amount of time. Three sentences, average of 10 seconds each, is approximately 30 seconds of content (provided they stated it perfectly).

I have to imagine, you’re starting to notice the problem. If you wanted three people on camera giving you a testimonial but each person said three or four sentences that took 30 seconds to say, you’re running out of time pretty quickly. Don’t forget, we’ll also need a little breathing room between each testimonial to set the stage for what their issue is and how the business solved it.

The above only addresses the time it takes to make a statement, but does not take into account that you may want to have a voice over stating how to contact you or to reinforce something that was said in one of the testimonials. All of this is why when we have clients creating a testimonial, we recommend a 90-second to 2-minute testimonial video to ensure you have enough time to get what you need plus the additional B-Roll shots required to create a polished, finished video.

When we take into account the above, we find that you can typically get between two and three people in a 2-minute testimonial video. Even more perfect than that is it typically takes about a half day to get testimonials from that many people along with the B-Roll shots.

We like to use this video as an example because it provides you with all the information you need to help you understand what problem is being solved and why that company was able to accomplish it.

This video allows time for the viewer to understand what the issue that Bill faced and how Credit Brain helped him overcome it. You can feel a bit of emotion in this story and, if you were in Bill’s situation, you might be inclined to make the call.

While video isn’t the only reason people call, it sure does help the viewer understand and feel the situation more clearly. If this is what you’re after and still have questions, feel free to reach out to us with your questions, or comment below.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Professional Video?

Photo taken during a video shoot with Plum Productions

Time is money and you want to know, how long should it take to get my video? You have every right to ask that question. You also have every right to get an honest answer. While we’ve had clients come to us because they were frustrated with how long it was taking to get their video from another production company, our goal is to be as upfront about timelines as possible. Timelines vary by several factors. Let’s dig into what can change the timeline and what you can do about it.

  • Deposit. Yes, we, like many other production companies, require a deposit to get started. This can sometimes slow the process down a little, depending on how large the client’s company is.
  • Before the Shoot.  You’ve decided to move forward and you hope to get your video in a week…is this realistic? Probably not, but it could be. We consider the time before the shoot to be the most critical and has the biggest impact on timeline. Here’s why: We base much of the rest of the video’s outcome on what happens before production begins. We hold a preproduction meeting to ensure we completely understand and everyone agrees to the direction the shoot is heading. We write scripts, plan the shoot schedule, etc. based on this information. A poor plan can result in a poor video, so we can’t stress how important a good preproduction meeting is for your success. This portion of the production usually doesn’t slow the process down unless things change directions and decisions can’t be made in a timely manner. Usually doesn’t happen, but sometimes it does.
  • The Shoot. The shoot is the shoot. It’s where the planning meets reality and stuff starts to happen. Typically we schedule a half, full or multi day shoot for a set number of hours. Again, this doesn’t usually cause any delays to the delivery time unless the client cannot schedule the shoot until someone has returned from vacation or needs to wait until a date in the future to begin shooting. That also applies to our schedule. If we’re already booked for the next several weeks, a new shoot most likely won’t get scheduled until after that clears up a bit.
  • Post Production. Here’s where time bends. Our goal is to always get you a finished product to review within about 7 to 10 days (unless otherwise stated during the shoot). Typically this is good for the client and good for us. It allows an adequate amount of time to be creative in the editing process while still keeping to a deadline. Where things typically slow down is when the client receives the first edit. That’s not a problem because there are usually several people involved on the client side to provide adequate feedback and list the revisions. There should always be revisions. We fully expect the client to want something revised, after all, it’s their video and they need to get what they want, right? Once we get the revisions from the client, we usually apply those concepts, thoughts, and themes to any other remaining video edits and make the changes to the first video. Believe it or not, one time we waited 6 months to get the revisions list. These things happen and when they do, they affect how quickly the client receives the completed video.
  • Final Payment. Once we’ve completed the required rounds of revisions the client will provide final payment and the final videos are delivered. Again, this can stall the delivery process if it takes a few weeks to process checks at your company. This isn’t common, but it does happen.

There you have it, several factors that can affect the final delivery time of your video. How long should it take to get your video created and delivered depends on schedules, payment timelines, and revision/feedback timelines. Our typical projects take anywhere from 30 days to 3 months…depending on the client. That said, one time we started and completed a project in 7 days…so that can happen as well. We can say with certainty that it’s very difficult to provide a highly produced, quality video in less than 30 days…and even more difficult is producing an delivering a video by last week (as is sometimes jokingly requested).

If you’ve been waiting for a video production company to complete your project and you’re outside those timelines, give us a call, we may be able to help or give you some questions to ask. Any other video questions?  Give us a call.

How to Disrupt Your Industry Using Video

Set of 5 doors all with gray door and one red

You’ve heard it before, whether from your web developer or from a marketer… “You need video for your website.” While it’s true, video helps, video isn’t always the only answer. BUT, if done correctly, video can be the difference maker in standing out in a crowd of competitors. Let’s dig into a few stats and reasons why this is so.

First, think about the last time you purchased something online. Did the product page have information about the product? Of course it did.  Did the product page have photos of the product? Most likely. If the page didn’t have photos, would you have purchased the item? Most people we ask say they would not purchase an item online that didn’t have a photo to see the product. Did the product page contain a video? If it did, do you remember the video? Do you remember what or how they educated you on the product? Did they show you how to set it up, highlight certain features, or show it being used? Most likely, if the product page had a video and you connected with the product and video, you purchased the product.

Therein lies the effectiveness in video.

The video was effective in helping you process and retain information about the product so you can make better decisions. In fact, it has been shown that people are somewhere between 65% and 85% more likely to purchase a product after viewing a video than having not viewed a video about a product or service.

According to Eyeview, a video marketing agency, by including a video on the landing page, conversion increases by 80%. Even Hubspot Blog Post states that “54% of consumers want to see videos from brands they support in comparison to email newsletters (46%) and social media images (41%).”

Common Types of Video (and we have done all of these):

  • Product Demo videos showing how to use the product, how to set up the product, or just why you should buy the product.
  • How-To videos
  • Testimonial videos … who better than your clients to tell potential customers why you’re awesome!
  • Explainer videos that show the viewer why they need your product or service and what you can do for them.
  • Expert Interviews
  • Event Videos
  • …the list can go on and on.

Now you know why it’s important, how does it help you become a disruptor? Great question. One of the things we hear is that after creating the video and posting it (or several), they become viewed as an expert in their field. Our clients know a lot about their subject and can demonstrate that with authority on a video. Viewers can feel and sense this experience when watching. When they do, the viewer will feel confident in calling or buying.

Being a disruptor means you have to do more than know your subject matter. Being a disruptor means you have been doing what you’re doing for so long (or with enough outside experiences) to see an opportunity in the marketplace. Imagine that you have been doing your job for 15 years, you know it inside and out, and realize there is a gap in services or processes that might be taken advantage of. Imagine the expert talking about how to use this opportunity to help the consumer. Bam! Disruption begins. The person on camera suddenly becomes a person to be reckoned with.

The next time you see an opportunity in the marketplace that you can solve or fix, this might be the time to create a video and highlight your strengths! Let us know if we can help in any way.

Why Multi-media Works

Photo from a Plum Productions Shoot

Why Multi-media Works

There are several reasons why you should use multimedia on your website. In this post we’ll cover the reasons to use multimedia, what effect it has on your Search Engine Optimization (SEO), how it affects branding, and the various types of multimedia available for use on your website.

Branding

From a broader sense, we recommend using various forms of media to strengthen your brand. This doesn’t mean add media just to add media, rather add media with purpose. If you are going to add a photo, why are you adding it? What purpose does it serve and how does it improve or amplify your branding message. The more styles you use (not necessarily on the same page) the better your branding can become.

Types of Multimedia

There are several types of multimedia you can use on your website.

  • First up are images. Whether its free stock photos, photos you’ve purchased, or photos you’ve taken yourself, photos add to your story. If you add images, there are a few rules you should follow and we’ll get to that later in the SEO section. Another form of multimedia are slideshows.
  • Slideshows that are embedded from Slideshare or other web slideshow sites can enhance your image by providing multiple images in a very compact space.
  • Videos. We obviously have a lot to say about video, but here are some things you may not have known. Videos are more likely to show up on the first page of a search engine results that that of photos. Think about that. What’s the value of having your information on the first page of search results? Video isn’t the only thing that can or will get you there, but it is more likely than a photo. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t post photos. This post would suggest it is a mix of multi-media types that is important. Are you going to click on the video below? Probably. Will it keep you on our site for at least 3 more seconds? More than likely.
  • Audio. Podcasts, streams, etc. Audio plays an important role to some. Some people are more audible than visual. Those audibles love to listen to things (podcasts, music, etc.). Give them what they need every once in a while. Plus, this additional form of media will only help your brand if done correctly.

Time on Your Site

hourglass measuring timeOne of the benefits of having multiple forms of media on your website is that you keep people on your site longer. Longer is better in terms of SEO. Google and the like feel that the longer one spends on your website, the more informative and important it is to the visitor. If every visitor stays on your site for a minute and a half, this would suggest there was a reason for doing so. That’s where the “crawlers” and “bots” come in. They comb the website looking for reasons people stay on the site. When they find several forms of media (including video), the report back that the site is informative.

Optimizing SEO

Image of Storyboard Script SketchOne step we would recommend you take is to optimize your website as much as possible. All that means is that you tell the “bots” what they’re finding. You’re giving them a road map and overlay of your site. For example, if you’re placing a photo on the page, you should include alt text. Alt text is what should show up on the page if the photo cannot load. So if you are posting a photo of a child on a swing on a playground, the alt text might read, “Child on swing at a playground.” This applies to embedded video as well. You should also name the file (audio, video, image) with terms and words that match what it is. Google is getting smarter and smarter, and they can now process a photo and know what it is. If the name doesn’t match, it may throw out the photo or the website. Make sure the name of the file is relevant. Also, include an image description if possible. Finally, there are several other things you can do to your website to help with SEO, such as, keywording, title tags, H1 Tags, descriptions, etc. All of this is too much to get into on this post, and probably needs an SEO specialist to help you. (We know a good one if you need).

 

 

Sources: https://www.cincopa.com/blog/why-multimedia-content-is-so-good-for-your-website-and-blog/

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.