Who is South Florida’s Best Video Production Company?

Successful people

When you’re looking for a video agency, you may have certain things you’re looking for, including, quality, speed of work, and processes. When you start your search for a full service production company, there are several factors you should consider. Here are three areas to consider when trying to find the best video production company to match your needs.

What to Consider When Hiring a Video Production Company

Professionalism. Several factors should be considered before hiring a Miami video production company. Interview a few companies to determine which one can work with you from a personality standpoint. If you don’t think you can get along during a preliminary interview, you won’t enjoy the rest of the process. Remember, they might feel that way too, so it’s important to talk openly about that. To expand on that, consider their level of professionalism. Do they behave as a company that will respect your brand? Do they match your brand overall? Professionalism isn’t always the first thing most people think of when looking for a partner, but it should be.

Timelines. As a business owner, you’ll most likely have a timeline that is important to you. If you’re going to produce corporate videos, you’ll want to allot the appropriate amount of time to craft, plan, and create a high quality video project. There are many production companies in Miami, but which one can produce and execute the plan in the timeline you have allotted.

When crafting your timeline, please remember to incorporate your crew’s timeline to create your video too. Some companies like to shoot first and figure it out later and others (like us) will only shoot once we have a plan. If you’re going to shoot video commercials, you’ll want to plan appropriately. Sometimes that take a little longer, but it’s worth the wait. If your timeline is to create something in a week, you may not get the quality you want. If your timeline is six months, you also might not get the quality you want. It all depends on the moving parts and the plan.

Quality. You know it when you see it, but it really is subjective. What you deem to be quality may be subpar (or over the top) to someone else. Communicate what quality is to you and have them communicate what quality is to them. Most important, if you see work that you like on their website and their Vimeo or YouTube page, then they’ll most likely be able to hit the mark on your project.

If you’re looking to do quality video marketing in Miami Florida, you’ll want to make sure they know your quality specs before you start. You can read more on this in another blog we posted called How to Choose the Best Video Production Company.

What Are the Keys to a Successful Shoot?

Whether it’s a corporate event, a corporate video production project, or simply media marketing, you’ll want your shoot (and project) to be successful. Why put forth all that energy and money and not have a successful outcome? What does it take to have a successful shoot? There are three things we like to think are what make all our shoots successful.

Planning. The planning process must answer the Who, What, When, Where, and How questions before a shoot date is even scheduled. That goes with any video production service. For example, there must be a preproduction call or meeting that occurs where you discuss who will be on camera, who is writing the script, who is approving the script, when the call time is, where the shoot will happen, what equipment will be used, how the project will be executed, and how the editing process will work. There are usually other questions to be asked (from both sides) that are more specific to a situation, but discussing this before the shoot ensures everyone is prepared before it begins.

Pre-Work. Once a script is approved, its important everyone does their part to be ready. Sometimes the client needs to approve a script or provide feedback or changes so that the shoot can be executed without wondering what the final product will look like. If props, talent, or other items need to be obtained, they need to be done well before the shoot date. No one likes a surprise and neither do we.

Communication. Planning and communication go hand-in-hand, but both are critical to a successful shoot. As an agency, we want communication from the client so we know what they need, want and are worried about. We want to communicate to the client as often as necessary to be clear on what needs to happen next and ensure a successful shoot.

Where? Finally, all the planning and prework are important but so is knowing where the video will be used. What is the point of creating this video if where it will be used isn’t clear. If it’s for use on social media, then certain elements must be present to brand it accordingly. If it is for a music video (something we don’t do much of) then other shots need to be included. Remember, corporate video is usually pretty structured unless you’re trying to communicate a message of individuality and distinctiveness. We more information about all of this at Steps to Video Production.

If you’re looking for the best video production company of South Florida, you now have the tools to decide which one to hire and why they really are one of the best. Happy searching and let us know if we can help you.

The Case for Video Content Marketing and SEO Results

Studio Shoot in Plum Productions

Whether the business is large or small, content is king when it comes to search and being found. According to OptimWise there are several factors that lead to success in being found in a search. OptimWise also shares that the items that are important and improve your chances are stuff like the quality of the content and how well the keywords have been researched and used effectively. Other factors include newness of information, how well information answers a question being looked for, and how well items are structured and tagged. Items that can decrease success are items like useless content and stuffing keywords throughout to try to trick Google and the like.

Why Video?

Before we get into the SEO portion, it’s important to understand why video is helpful in general. When videos are relatively short, they can be more impactful than a quick paragraph. Why? Emotion. Emotions can be communicated quickly with music, visuals, movements, transitions, text on screen, verbal statements, etc. When these come together in a video, the effect is magical. Viewers are drawn into the story, the feeling. They feel like they’re a part of the situation or problem. This is important because without emotion, you’re selling or telling. Everyone wants to buy, no one wants to be sold. Period.

google search showing video results

Another reason for video is that Google likes it. When you type in a question you will not receive one or more (sometimes several) videos related to that question For example, doing a quick search about Doodly, we find the results are mostly video results along with information about the company that created it. Notice the top video? That’s our Creative Director, Jenn Jager. She’s the first search result on Google and near the top of YouTube (depending on what you search). How did she do this? Read on…

How does Video affect Search Engine Results?

There are several factors that affect search (there are literally 10s and sometimes 100s of items under each of the above listed factors that affect results positively and negatively) and video is not the only one. It is one of the items that impacts rankings positively as long as certain things are in place. We know that Google (Alphabet), the world’s largest search engine, also owns YouTube as one of its brands, so having YouTube video as one type of content helps. But what type of video is helpful in getting results?

Using Google Analytics will help you determine the appropriate keywords, target audience, and real world information on your current performance. If you find an area in the analytics that pops out as a success, maximizing this information can help you determine what information you should be providing.

For example, if you determine that an area of your business is being found related to specific keywords, you might consider adding more blog posts surrounding that topic. In each blog post, you might determine a video about that topic or question might be appropriate. Why would you do that?

It has to do with your visitor’s attention span. Our experience has told us that when a video is on a page, people will more likely watch it versus read the text. If the visitor is reading the text, they may lose interest in the written word and move on (to another page or a different website). If a visitor is watching an appealing video, they typically stay on the page to the end or near the end of the video…thus more time on the site. This will maximize your content marketing efforts by keeping them on your site longer.

Another factor related to the above paragraph is how this impacts bounce rate. By keeping a viewer on your page longer, your page (and the analytics) are telling Google that the content located on that page (or website as a combination of page) is high quality and keeps the visitor on the page. This is called lowering your bounce rate.

Wistia reported in 2016 that pages without video tracked time on page at 2.6x less than pages with video (article here). Interestingly enough, we find that pages on our website that contain video also track longer visit times. Coincidence? We think not!

Digital Marketing & Video

As a digital marketer, we recommend using video in your social media marketing efforts. If your content marketing strategy doesn’t include social media, you’re missing something. More importantly is the engagement of video on social media. By adding video to posts, you’re also improving your engagement. Link building is typically related having links from outside websites that bring visitors to your site (and a little the other way as well), but social media is the easiest form.

Creating content, and more specifically video content is not as difficult as you might think. We work on YouTube projects regularly and use a program called Tube Buddy to determine topics and information people are looking for so we can provide content people want. If you want, you can click the link and subscribe to it (by the way, this is an affiliate link).

Whether you’re run a product or service business, providing content and information your prospective customers need and want is directly related to the success of being found online. Search traffic is one area that creating video content can help any business improve their results.

We also hear clients tell us that they don’t know what topics to create content around, such as blog topics, etc. They say they’ve created tons of content already and don’t want to repeat what they have. We think this is a mistake. When blog content repeats (with a different angle), it tells search engines that this website is more about this topic than any other…making the site an expert in the topic.

We have several case studies on our website where clients created videos for a specific purpose, brought viewers to a specific landing page, and converted them to a full-blown lead. Converting a prospect to a sale is a salespersons job. Marketing and video marketing improve the likelihood of converting to a lead and then to a sale, thus affecting the business’s bottom line.

If you need ideas on how to create content, we’ve created a blog post about it so you can create hundreds of topics. Remember to create a mix of written (text) and video (visual) posts so you can analyze which is more impactful for your visitors and which ones perform well. If you find two of 30 posts do very well, do more about those two topics. It will help your ranking. Besides, its’ what your visitors are looking for.

Need help? Give us a call!

How to Convert Shoppers to Buyers Using Video

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In this article, we’ll discuss how you might change, “I’m just looking” to “I’ll buy it!” We’ll talk about whether video does convert to higher sales or not, types of videos you might consider creating for products, and some of the strategies you might want to consider before starting. (An approximately 6 minute read)

Imagine you’re selling your product or service on your website. The visitor wants to buy, but instead decides to abandon the cart, leaving you without a sale. Why did they abandon the sale and what could have converted them to buy? These are questions every marketer will ponder at one time or another. There are several factors that can affect whether a potential buyer becomes a buyer, and one of which may be video.

Several of our clients have told us that the conversion rate of products they are selling on their website or on other retailing sites (like Amazon.com, etc.) have a significant increase in sales if the product listing includes a video. They have also shared with us that when an online video is watched at the point of potential purchase, the odds of a sale increase dramatically. They tell us that visitors who watch product videos are more educated and better informed about the product so they can be a more informed buyer.

If you sell products, you might wonder what type of video will help increase your odds of a buy at the point of purchase. Let’s discuss a few video options that may be useful in increasing conversion rates. These types of video can work if used by a small business or big business, and anything in between.

  • How It’s Made. People want to know how something is made, and more importantly, they love to watch it happen. How many times have you been intrigued by a video illustrating the manufacturing process?
  • Durability Test Video. This type of video shows the consumer how well a product will stand up to abuse over time. This might be a good one to place on your product page to increase purchases, particularly with those buyers who are concerned about whether the product is sturdy enough for them.
  • Location Tour. This type of video will incorporate the product in a space that it would be expected to be found. For example, a door manufacturing company like Dayoris Doors might want to create a video that shows design elements that fit into a specific type of room. By showing the fashionable side of the product, buyers are more likely to make a high-end purchase.
  • How to. Some products simply need some instruction. Whether it’s a how to assemble, how to use, or how to wash/maintain/store…the list goes on. These types of videos can apply to single products, multiple products, or entire product lines.
  • Competing Products. If you ever want to show how one product compares to another, this might be a good way to do it. Just make sure you’re following the legal protocol before you make too many claims.
  • The Reveal. Some products warrant a reveal video…like technology products or fashion products. Imagine your business fans wanting to know more about an upcoming product line that you’re about to release. Now might be a good time to create and post a Reveal Video.

Whichever video you choose, make sure people are watching a video that you have created and tells the viewer what you want them to learn and know. Video Marketing is a powerful tool to use when moving product, and many business owners have told us that they’ve been happy with the effects of video on product sales.

Once you’ve identified what type of video you’d like to create, you might want to consider the video strategy you want to use to convert visitors into buyers with your video. Video can potential buyers to paying buyers by using a few strategies.

You have seconds to get the viewer engaged and interested. Once they’ve passed that point, they will either finish the video or make a decision to leave it.

You want to make sure you’re in the crowd that keeps the viewer engaged. There are few things to consider when creating engaging video. First, how ‘salesy’ do you want your video to be? That was a trick question. If you’re looking to have engaging content, ‘salesy’ is not the way to go. People do not want to be sold to, they want to be educated and guided to the right decision (whether that’s to buy or decide not to buy). You might also be surprised that sales videos typically need to be short to get the point across and move on. BUT, an educational video might end up being longer and more engaging… these videos are typically longer than the traditional 30 seconds. They tend to last 2, 3, even 5 minutes (depending on how engaging it is). Longer videos also get shared more, leading to a reinforced brand and improved word-of-mouth marketing.

Here’s an example of a longer video that has a little more story to it.

Creating longer videos can be tricky, but we love to come up with some awesome content ideas that you’ll be able to share and have shared. Contact us if you’d like some ideas!

What To Do To Maximize Your Investment In Video Production

return on investment

Regardless of your financial goals, there are several steps you’ll want to take to maximize your investment in time, money, and resources before and after you start. We know its now common to hear that your company should be using video to leverage your business growth. If you aren’t using it by now, you might be leaving some money on the table. The key is knowing where you want to use your video and how you do it. In this post, we’ll share some common issues and problems that people face when maximizing ROI.

Common Issues that Affect Video ROI

Too Many Options

Too Many Production Companies. If you’ve never created video before, you’ll find you have hundreds of options to choose from in terms of video production companies.

Content Ideas. The next issue will be what you want to create. Do you want to create a marketing video? Social media video? Product video? There are several ways to slice up marketing content that it can quickly become overwhelming.

Where to Place It. The next issue will be where to place the video (or videos). Very quickly, you’ll learn there are thousands of places to publish your video…and each one will have their own reason for doing so. All of this shouldn’t stop you from deciding to move forward. It’ll be worth it.

Getting More From Your Professional Video

Who is Your Audience?

Think about something you’ve watched in the past that really resonated with you. Why did it? It might have been because it was about something you wanted to learn or know more about, the person speaking was personable and they may have described the world you see in a similar way. Maybe they spoke in terms or jargon you’re comfortable with. Or maybe they had the same or similar personality as you. When creating your video, you’ll want to know who your audience is, what they like or dislike, what they need to know, why they need to know it and how they like to be spoken to. Use that information to compile the viewer’s demographics, location, where they consume information, and what social media outlets they view most. The more you know about them, the better you can speak to them.

Your Viewers

  • There are several types of personas that you might be speaking to, for example, you might be dealing with a “Give me the information, get out of my way, and let me decide” type of person. This might be someone who is at the top of the corporate structure, like a CEO or similar level.
  • You might also be speaking to someone who is more interested in learning about how your customers feel about you. They might want to read or see more reviews about the business. These are the ones who need to obtain verification that they are making the right decision. They like to include others in their decision making and reviews are a good way to get this information.
  • Another common viewer might be a detailed, technical type. They want facts, figures, and as much data as possible to make the decision to pick up the phone to call. This type of person needs to have support data incorporated into the video so they can make an appropriate decision.

Regardless of the type of viewer you’re reaching out to, you’ll want to craft a message that taps every type of personality possible. Perhaps there is a way to show and describe important information to a couple of personality types at the same time. Use all of this information to craft a solid script. We typically take care of script writing for you, but, we work with all types of clients; some who like to do it themselves and some who want to have someone take care of it for them. The next step will be to craft a solid shot list that must be captured to illustrate what is being said and targets each persona.

The Video Production Process

The video production process contains several components: pre production, the shoot, post production, and delivery. During the pre production stage, you’ll deal with the persona, the long term goals of the video, and what video content that should be created. Investment goals are important before we start so we know what needs to be set aside for the production and what needs to be set aside for the placement of the video(s). During the shoot, we’ll deal with the shot list, the camera operator, the equipment, the location, and any talent that is important (whether it be from the team or hired talent). Finally, during the editing process, we’ll deal with the video editor and any post production items required to complete the project.

So what is the key to maximizing your ROI? We find that clients who work with us to understand why they’re creating the video, where they plan to use, and how they plan to place, we can help streamline that process to improve their ROI. When clients can’t answer these questions or don’t want to share this information, there can be a little hiccups and changes along the way that can increase costs…not because we want to, but because we didn’t know something and had to backtrack or make significant changes. We write this to share with you so we can prevent this from happening to you.

Four Strategies for Video Marketing on LinkedIn

LinkedIn logo

Video on LinkedIn has 3 times the level of engagement versus regular text posts. You read that right, three times! This tells us that if you’re trying to stand out against your competitors, video is the way to go. For this blog entry, we’re sharing with you four types of video you can use on LinkedIn to market your brand. We’ll also pepper in some strategies for using video marketing on LinkedIn.

Initially, LinkedIn seemed a little behind the times when it came to video because they didn’t offer native video posts until the year 2017, well behind Facebook, Twitter, and the rest. But that’s not true anymore. To define native video, they are videos that are uploaded directly to their server and shared on their platform. If you upload a video to YouTube and share it on LinkedIn, LinkedIn may not treat that post the same as if you upload it to their server and shared on their platform.

We also learned that LinkedIn videos perform better in terms of watch time…meaning LinkedIn videos have more views once they’re posted versus other platforms. Your connections on LinkedIn will watch your videos because they’re closely related to business, which is what your LinkedIn audience is primarily focused on. They’re not looking for what you did this weekend or what you ate for lunch; rather, they want to learn more about you and how you can help them. When creating video content, you’ll want to consider this before crafting your message. We know this will come as a surprise, but no one buys because they viewed your video. They buy because they’ve been convinced (by the video) to pick up the phone and call you (a.k.a.: engagement). Since people buy from people, you’ll want to incorporate into your marketing strategy a call to action. Posting a video and adding a call to action will ensure it performs better than those that do not contain a call to action.

Here are the top 4 video marketing strategies on LinkedIn

  1. Answer an FAQ. Consider your target audience. What do they want to learn? To get to a common list of FAQs, you can simply think about your current clients/customers. What are the most common questions they ask you when or before they work with you? For us, they typically ask questions like, “Can you help me write a script?” or “What color shirt should I wear?” or “Where should I upload this video?” To add a layer to this tip, you should also post this video on your website’s company page…specifically the FAQ section. You can share each video (if you have more than a couple of FAQs, we’d recommend a video for each) on LinkedIn. Again, by posting one FAQ video there, you can drive traffic to your website and increase brand awareness.
  2. Case Study Video. There is nothing better than sharing what you did for a client or customer. You can take this to the next level by sharing a video where the client speaks to the issues they’ve been struggling with and how things changed once you’ve engaged with them. By having the client tell their story, you’re gaining credibility from the viewer. Consider this, which do you find more credible, sponsored content or a client sharing how they benefited?
  3. Share a Breaking News Update. If you’re a campaign manager, you’ll want to incorporate into your social media strategy a breaking news segment. Has something changed in the industry? Has something improved in your business? Have you hired someone new who can help you improve your client’s experience? If you’re a real estate agency, you might talk about the latest trends in staging or home sales or mortgage rates. If you’re an air conditioning company, you might share new tax implications to buying a new unit or upcoming government regulations affecting new units moving forward. Whatever the topic, your social platform should reflect your level of experience and knowledge of trends to warrant a breaking news video on occasion.
  4. LinkedIn Video Ads. Whether you’re a product or service, crafting a LinkedIn message that considers your target audience’s needs and wants can provide a substantial return on investment. Video ads are one of the last ways you should use video on LinkedIn. We say this because there are several ways to use video without additional costs before you should find the need to promote the video to your followers (or outside your network). Our guess is you haven’t reached every one of your connections directly (whether via phone call or email) to introduce yourself or ask if they’d like to talk more.
  5. BONUS: Introduction Video. Why not craft an introduction email that you can email directly to your contacts? We wouldn’t recommend spamming people, rather, why not send a short video to say thanks for engaging with me on LinkedIn? Or thanks for connecting with me and let me know how I can help you? These are effective tools to help you better connect with your contacts and help them better understand what you do. They can be generic in nature and captured professionally and are sent directly to your contact once you’ve connected. Make them warm, personable, and inviting. Be a partner, not a salesperson.

We hope these tips are useful for your LinkedIn experience. Whether you’re answering an FAQ, helping a potential client understand what you’ve done for others, sharing a breaking news article, or crafting the perfect video ad, it all comes down to engaging with your prospects or referral partners. The more people understand who you are, what you do, and why you do it, the more connected they feel.

If you’re in a professional field or need to present yourself professionally, you’ll want to hire a production crew who can help you craft the right message and give you that professional look. If you’re not sure who to hire, here are some questions to ask before hiring a production crew… These questions will help you decide if they’re right for you.

How to Choose the Best Video Production Company

stamp stating best quality

Finding a Quality Video Production Company

Now that you’ve decided to add video to your digital marketing strategy, how do you decide which company to work with? Do you employ the same tactics you do with other vendors, such as putting out an RFP, waiting for everyone to bid, interview all the ones that look the best, and then decide which one to use? That depends on whether you’re looking for a vendor or a partner.

Our clients have told us they’re looking for a partner to help them improve their video game or they want someone from the outside to help them identify opportunities to sell more of their product or services. If you treat them as a vendor, will you get the best out of them? If you’re looking for the best video production company, you’ll want to do some research and find an awesome partner. Here’s what we recommend:

  • Good Fit. If you’re looking for a fit within your company, you’ll want to consider your culture and ask questions related to you company’s way of doing things. If you work in a top down organization, you’ll need a vendor. If you work in a collaborative environment, you’ll need to find a solid partner who can fit in and who doesn’t think they’re more important than you. Choosing the right video production company is more than just the selection, it’s also about the fit.
  • Don’t Get Dazzled. While you are looking at their work, you may come across their demo reel. When you do, don’t get too dazzled by cool graphics and animations that you’ve never seen before. Chances are they’re templates they’ve inserted. Yes they’re cool, but did the production team identify the target audience and market to the needs of the potential clients? Did the video perform? If all you see is their demo reel, you may not know what any of those finished projects actually looked like in the end. They might just be the best parts of a poor performing video.
  • Recently Produced Videos. When you choose a video production company, dig into their previous work. Video companies are usually working hard to create quality videos, but they are sometimes not the best at posting current stuff. If you don’t see any recent work, check out their Vimeo page because that’s where they probably posted the most recent stuff. The other area to check out is their social media pages. If they’re a full service video company, they’ll have stuff posted there too.
  • Get A Few Quotes. When compiling your list of video production companies to create your corporate video, you’ll get a few quotes. One thing we’ve learned is that pricing can vary dramatically. One time we found out a client posted a job on a website to get quotes. Without talking to 80% of the companies who responded, they said they had quotes from $850 to $21,500…for the same job! How is that possible? We don’t know. We just recommend that you consider the value for the price your being quoted.
  • Value. This is simply an area of “You Get What You Pay For.” If your budget is $850, you’ll be able to find someone who wants to do it for that. They may be brand new in the business, but they’re hungry to build their portfolio. On the other hand, if your budget is $21,500, you’ll be able to find someone to do it for that as well. Your expectations will be high, so make sure they can handle what you’re giving them. Professionals who require a larger investment are able to command that because they are confident in their results and will be able to make your video a success.

Regardless of your project, finding the right video production company will be the key to your video’s success. The time you invest to finding the right one is critical and we recommend using the ideas above to find the right one for you. Obviously we can answer any questions you have, but we also may not be the right one for you…only you can decide that (and we promise we won’t be offended if you tell us we’re not the right one). If you’ve never done video before, you might want to read some of our other blog posts to help you learn as much about the process and critical factors to a successful marketing video production process.

Components of a Successful Corporate/Business Video Production Project

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To make a successful corporate or business video you need to understand all the moving parts. Before starting a video marketing project, it is critical to understand what parts are necessary and which pieces are optional. Since asking a video production company can take a little time, we’ve decided to answer that question here.

Must Have Elements

Concept. Why do you want to create a video in the first place? We’ve seen it too many times where people get fooled by the razzle-dazzle of cool visual effects, fast music, and lots of special effects and graphics. More important than all of that is, WHAT is this video supposed to do for you? WHY are you creating it? What TYPE of video are you trying to create? That said, the most important part of a business video is clearly stating what you offer your clients/customers. What solutions do you provide and what problems are you solving for your customer? That’s what they (your intended viewer wants to know). Once you clarify that objective, you can add all the flashy graphics you want!

Script/Storyboard. That may sound like something that doesn’t need to be said, but we’re always surprised when someone wants to shoot first and figure out what to edit later. That never works as well as planned, so we pride ourselves on having a solid storyboard or script in hand (along with the day’s schedule and shot list) prior to the shoot. You’ll discover that this is the most critical component of a successful video when you realize after the shoot that you should have captured “X” or you should have had your employee say “Y” instead of what you captured. Think about the amount of time it takes to plan for the shoot versus the time you’ll spend later regretting the error. Planning is the key and that’s how we like to run our video production business!

Less Critical Elements

Animation (3D or 2D) Graphics. Think of this as the text on the screen or the symbols on the screen during your video. This might be your logo, phone numbers, or other items that move around or appear on screen to further explain what is being said on camera. 2D and 3D animations can raise the production value of a video without adding a lot of cost. When animations become complex and 3D, more time will be needed in producing the video. Here’s an example of how text and moving images can enhance a video.

Narration. Sometimes referred to as voice-over, narration can add a lot to your video. For example, if you’ve shot a few interviews of employees/executives from within the organization, it might be helpful to have some additional narration at the end to state some of the necessary call to action that you can’t say outright as an employee/executive. For example, it might feel weird to hear the executive say, “Call us today for more information!” But a professional narrator can and it sounds normal. It can depend on the type of video content you’re creating and we can help you when it’s time. Again, is this necessary? No. Is it helpful? Sometimes. One tip when dealing with narrators, use a voice over artist who matches your target audience.

Music. Tone, pace, and feeling of music can greatly enhance your video. So can silence. The best part is you can vary your music within a video based on what is being said and what is being shown. You’ll also want to think about what kind of video you’re producing…for example, are you creating a promotional video or a training video for your small business? Whichever you’re creating, music can make the difference. Music feelings can be described as aggressive, inspiring, happy, upbeat, playful, silly, relaxing, sad, sentimental, or suspenseful. Have you ever noticed how music can be an impactful component of movies? It’s much the same with your business video.

These are just some of the basics of creating marketing videos, but we hope they will help you understand what you must have and what you can consider optional when producing a video. We’d recommend spending some time chatting with your producer to communicate your desires prior to starting any video project.

If you want to learn more about Plum’s corporate video production services, feel free to reach out to us. We can answer your questions and determine if we should talk further.

Steps to Video Production

Here’s a step by step list of how the video production process works and why you shouldn’t be afraid of it. Many people think that corporate video production is a big, scary process the requires a lot of people and a lot of resources. It might, but it doesn’t always need to be that complicated. Most potential clients we speak to are a little apprehensive about shooting video…they have a lot of questions, like: How long does it take? Who should be on camera? How much does it cost? But most of all, they want to know what it takes to get their video.

Steps to Video Production

To make it simple, we’ve boiled down the most important steps to creating your video into simple bite sized pieces. Ready? Here they are:

Pre-Production

1. Goals

First, before you begin, you have to have some objective. To do video without a goal or objective, you’re doing yourself a disservice. What are you trying to accomplish, in what amount of time? Is this realistically possible? If you’re not sure where to start, we can help, but most clients want to measure views, calls, or purchases when they create video. Whichever your goal, share that with your video production company and use that in the next step.

2. Know The Audience

Who are you trying to reach and why are you trying to reach them? Your video should be engaging to the exact audience you’re trying to reach, so knowing who they are is a critical start. Do your research and identify your target audience, their needs, wants and desires. Know what they like and how they like to get it. This will help you craft your message in precisely the way they like to receive it. You might want to consider creating a target audience persona (or personas). By creating personas, you’ll know how to speak to them in their preferred method of communication. If your product or service solves a problem they face, make sure your message reflects that and speaks directly to the issues they face.

3. Create a Script

Whether you write the script or the video production company writes the script, make sure you have a solid, well-thought out script that will make the shoot easier. When we talk about script, we’re not just talking about the words being spoken on camera, but also the visuals…what will be seen on screen…a shot list of sorts. By spelling out what is being said and what is being shown, your video crew will know what they must capture to create the perfect video for you. Again, this should also incorporate the first two steps above (knowing your audience and what goals you’re measuring). Remember, the script should be engaging and/or thought provoking so the viewer will take action once they’ve finished watching.

4. Have a Placement Strategy

Plan ahead of the shoot by knowing where you’ll be placing the video(s). If you’re just placing them on YouTube, how will you get them to be suggested or referred or shared? People won’t just do it because you’ve put it out there, you need a bit of a plan. That might include using ads, setting up the YouTube channel properly, publishing consistently, and several other things. Have your plan no matter which platform you’ll use.

5. Develop the Idea Further

Once you’ve crafted the script and started planning placement, you might need to develop the concept/script a little further. If you’ve identified one platform that will outperform over the others, does the script you created make sense or does it need some fine-tuning? It might or it might not. This is the time to revise and solidify.

6. Plan and Schedule the Shoot

During this step, several “mini” steps must happen. Your production crew should scout the location (virtually or in person). By scouting the location, they will mentally be able to identify where various shots will be set up, how they’ll set it up, and where they can stage their equipment while shooting or where hair and makeup can be set up.

Also in this step might be casting talent. If you’re using talent in your video, you’ll want options to choose from, and this is where we provide them. You’ll want to select the individual who best represents your brand.

Are permits or licenses necessary? If they are, this is when you’ll submit and get approvals. Allow sufficient time to get these if the production is larger or if you need to work with multiple agencies or locations.

Backup plans are critical at this point. When planning for a shoot, ask the production company what things can go wrong and how to have a backup plan to mitigate those issues.

Finally, the production company should be creating and delivering a call sheet. The call sheet will inform all parties (crew, client, staff, location, etc.) when everything will be happening. It’s basically a schedule for the day(s) with all the information need to communicate and know who will be where and when.

Production

7. Shoot/Capture the Raw Video

If you’re creating a corporate video, you’ll want someone on-set to ensure all the important pieces are captured and that everything is visually on brand. That person (or persons) may also need to wrangle the next person on camera so they’re prepared and in place on time and on schedule. During this part of the production you’ll notice the crew following the plan. You’ll notice when the crew is ahead or behind schedule and you’ll know if things are going perfect or if there’s an adjustment that will need to be made. Sometimes one person who can’t get the words out on camera can put the crew a little behind, but a seasoned crew will make sure that even when that happens they stay on schedule and on plan. If the crew is seasoned you should have a high level of confidence in their abilities once you see them execute the plan.

Post Production

8. Editing

Once the shoot is complete, you should have a rough idea from the crew when the first version of your video will be delivered. If you have a seasoned editor, most corporate videos require between a week to two weeks to see your first version. Variability in this may happen if the video is longer than a couple of minutes or branding materials aren’t delivered quickly to the production team (editor). The editor will need high-resolution logos and other similar materials related to the video (something they may have asked for prior to the shoot).

Good editing will be based on good planning…which is why we recommend the plan be finalized before shooting every time…no matter how many times you’ve done this. While every video production company is different, most will allow around two rounds of revision after receiving your first version. If you’re editing more than one video, a good editor will also recommend providing you with one of the videos first to get any revisions you might have and then apply all those revisions to the rest of the videos to streamline the editing process for you and for them. For example, if you didn’t like the color of the font they used and you provide that feedback, the rest of the videos you’ll receive will already contain those revisions…saving you time.

Your editor will also incorporate 2D graphics, 3D Animation, music, and any professional narration at this point. Graphics and animation should make sense for the video. Adding them to wow you isn’t working with your strategy we started with, so it should make sense if the graphics or animation is added.

Music should also reflect the mood and tone of the video. If the music is upbeat, but the person on camera is talking about the problems the viewer is facing, something will feel wrong by the viewer… making it less likely they will take the next measurable step (think about your goals).

It is also at this point that any professional narration that was recorded is tracked to the video. Typically a good editor will time verbal statements with music, changes in mood, and visual elements to make the finished piece emotionally connected.

9. Delivery

Once you’ve provided all the feedback and it’s been edited to your satisfaction, you should receive a download link from the production company so you can place your video where you would like to place it. You might place it on: your website, YouTube channel, social media sites, Vimeo, Wistia, or a few other places that will help you monitor and analyze your results. You’ll want to make sure you place it in a place that allows you to fully control, own, and monitor all the analytics. Without that, you won’t know if you’re successful or not.

10. Distribute Your Video

Not everyone distributes video the same way, so we’ll provide a few options here, but know there are always more. You might: use social media, email campaigns, coordinate with influencers in your space, use a PR firm to distribute your video, use the video in online video ads, place the video on broadcast television or cable, or use SEO tactics on your website to funnel viewers to a landing page to watch the video. One isn’t necessarily better than the other but understanding your strategy and knowing your goals will help you decide where to distribute/place your video.

We hope this helps you better understand the steps it takes to create a corporate video and why each step is important to the overall project. The next thing you might want to do is consider reading 6 Qualities To Look For In A Video Production Company or Why Do Production Companies Quote Different Rates for the Same Project?

4 Video Production Services Businesses Should Use

Video shoot with lights and camera

By now most everyone realizes that video is a major tool for businesses to use in their marketing, sales, training, and operations. We’ve been told that video is more valuable than ever because it can be used on several platforms, in several locations, simultaneously. It can also be accessed on several types of devices, like phones, computers, iPads, etc. So, what are the most important video production services you could maximize to improve your video marketing strategy? Here are the top 4 services you might want to consider hiring out for your video projects.

1. Production Strategy

First, it’s important to understand why you’re creating video. If you’re creating video because everyone else is, but don’t have a strategy for using it, we think you’ll be doing yourself a disservice. At this point, you’ll want to think about where you’ll be placing your video. Will it be social media? Will it be a stand alone web video on your site? Having video is only half the battle, using video to its maximum potential can help you win the battle. Imagine placing a video somewhere that your potential clients will see. What would happen? Now imagine if you placed the finished product where your ideal clients will never see. Big difference! You may want to say, “No kidding!” but we’ve seen it too many times where a potential client wants to make a video without a strategic plan on how they’ll use it effectively and return on their investment of time and money.

image of storyboard drawing

2. Planning

While some call this producing, we refer to it as planning or pre production. Whether you’re creating a real estate video, an explainer video, or a high-quality commercial production, this is probably the most important task to achieving a successful video campaign. Through proper planning, you and the production team will be more effective with time, finances, and any manpower involved in the process. Planning and pre production includes tasks like: crafting a strategic script, identifying a location, creating a plan for the day of the shoot, lining up talent (appropriate for your potential viewers and overall branding guidelines), finalizing scripts, and all the other little pieces that line up to make a successful shoot. With a shot list based on the script in hand, you can ensure a solid shoot day.

image of planning

3. The Shoot

People often tell us that shooting this should only take 15 minutes…after all, the script is only 60-seconds long. While some of it may take 15 minutes, there are several other things that go into capturing the shot perfectly. Lighting, audio, angles, … the list goes on and on. Most people don’t realize that video production deals in the science of millimeters. Move the camera left, right, up or down on any given shot and you might capture a reflection in a mirror or a coffee cup left behind by the person on camera. It always takes a longer than expected to get the right shot. If you’re not after quality, then it usually doesn’t take too long to capture, but most clients want it done right the first time. That can be the difference between a professional video and an amateur video.

When working with any video production company, during the shoot, you’ll also see a variety of people involved: camera operator, producers, directors, production assistants, lighting and/or audio assistants, hair and/or makeup artists, wardrobe stylists, etc. For every shoot, the script dictates who is needed and for how long. If you’re working with a professional team, you’ll see them working together seamlessly to ensure the right shot is captured perfectly.

Photo from a Plum Productions Shoot

4. Editing

Sometimes called production and post production, this is where most people and most videographers don’t like to spend time. It’s the least fun. Not for us! We feel like a solid, well-executed plan and well-executed shoot make the editing process go smooth. This part is one of the final steps to the video production process, and one of the most common need by businesses. When video is captured, it can be edited in several different ways. While we always work to the plan we agreed to, we know that sometimes soundbites can lead to additional videos that will enhance the branding message. Our recommendation is to think about all the potential uses and potential videos you’d like to edit prior to the shoot so you can get all the footage you need in the shoot time allotted. Once you have that footage, it can be sliced and diced into several different types of videos…all with the same look and feel to fit into the brand, including any motion graphics elements.

image of video editor

These are four types of video production services every business can use. Many companies call us to do all of it, but there are times when we’re called in to do just one of these pieces. That’s OK with us…as long as the business is getting what it needs to ensure a successful campaign.

Plum Productions offers a wide range of video production services including scripting, planning, storyboarding, acquiring talent, drone video capture, shooting, and editing. Give us a call for any of your corporate video production needs.

Planning A Successful Corporate Video

Image of video production shoot

When a company wants to create video content, there’s more to it than, “Hey, let’s create a video about our business!” A lot of planning and strategy should go into the process. What are the goals for the video? Who will be in it? What is the purpose of creating this video? Are you trying to increase sales? Trying to improve the corporate image? Trying to attract new employees or executive? …and so much more.

Many marketers are using high quality video to improve rankings on Google, provide site visitors information that differentiates them from their competitors, or answer questions to increase authority. Some are shrewdly thinking about how they can turn what the company does into content or how to place the video in the right places to get views and conversions into sales.

Planning a corporate video has many components and depends on what you’re shooting, where you’re shooting, and variables that impact the finished video. Most of the plan should be completed in the pre production portion of the project. During the pre production, you’ll work on the creative portions: the script, the visuals, the shot list, the talent, the location, and a few other minor elements.

Here are a couple of simple things you can do to plan for your corporate video production:

1. Clarify the Goals of the Video

Before you ever create a call sheet, why are you creating this video? Are you using it to become an influencer? Educate others on a topic? Improve the brand image? While you create this list of reasons, think about who wants this information and how it will reach them. What will you do to measure the success of this video? Calls? Requests? Views? This is also where you consider if the video aligns with your marketing strategies and is what your target audience is looking for.

2. Time Content Delivery with Key Dates

When you deliver (post or show) this video, how will it relate to any key or pertinent dates related to the business? For example, do sales usually dip during a certain time of the year? Are certain products or services on sale on a specific date? Plan to post the video with appropriate key dates in mind. Layer on top the timeline to complete the video project (make sure you have sufficient time to complete the shoot and edit prior to beginning the project). Key events could be an annual event, marketing campaigns, product launches, etc.

3. Where and How Will You Share the Video?

You’ve set your goals, now where will you post or use the video? Where does it make sense? Some of our clients will use it on a product end cap in a retail store or on the Amazon product page to increase conversion. Where it is placed is just as important is the overall objective of the video. Several options of where you could place it is: website, landing page, email campaign, Vimeo/YouTube, Social Media pages like Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn, television (broadcast, cable), and several others. The nice part is you can place video at all, some, or one of these platforms. When considering where to place the video, you’ll want to identify what conversion rates look like and how many and who is actually watching your video. You want to create content that your customers want, including the types of content needed to convert.

4. Create a Budget (or a range)

You should determine what is the appropriate amount you’d like to invest in creating a video. Sometimes what you want to do or what the script says will determine the budget, but you should have an idea. Some people come to us with very high or very low numbers, and while you can always find someone to do what you need at any number, we recommend finding someone who can do what you need near the budget you’d like to spend without sacrificing quality and know-how to craft your message successfully. One time we saw a potential client hire a freelancer, single-person production company only to find out that half of what they wanted in the video could not be done because they didn’t have the equipment or know-how to get the job done. We were grateful they called us back to take care of their project.

5. Use Brand Guidelines

Whether you own a small business or are part of a large national or international organization, keep your identity on brand. It’s critical to keep the look, feel, and sound of your business in check with your all areas of marketing. When a potential client or customer thinks of your brand, what image is sparked in his or her mind? What do you stand for? What differentiates you from competitors? How would one describe your brand? By creating a list of qualities related to your brand, you can use this to steer your creative approach and final messaging. Because your video script should be evergreen, you must clearly identify qualities and traits that describe your brand and use them in your messaging.

While there is more to it than that, these are five critical components for crafting and creating a successful corporate video to incorporate into your video marketing campaign. When everything ties together a magical result can, and usually does, occur. Plan your message to match your brand and while creating the types of video your audience wants and you’ll find a much more successful outcome to your video project.