The nature of marketing is changing. In the age of information which we are living in at the moment, no longer is it about just being seen. Potential customers now have a world’s worth of information, reviews and prices, meaning that they are now looking for something different.
The explosion in the use of social media has meant that business relationships are becoming increasingly personal and so internet marketing in particular is changing. People not only look at price and quality these days, they want to do business with someone who is trustworthy, capable and knowledgeable.
Education-based Marketing One way that companies are making themselves stand out from their competitors is by using education-based marketing. This means offering free information to people about your specialised subject. By becoming the fountain of good, useful knowledge, a business is cementing their place in the minds of potential customers. As a result, when these people need a service, the first people that they think of will be that business. Safe in the knowledge that the business knows what they are talking about and are confident enough to give advice, potential customers know that they can trust the business and this is a massive selling point.
YouTube is the perfect medium to create this sort of education-based marketing. A series of short, informative and interesting videos can be put online. They should be easily searchable, and can take various forms. Some people like to give demonstrations, interviews, make humorous films, or talk – whatever the marketer’s strength may be and whatever the nature of the business. The most important thing is that it’s informative and that people come away with something useful.
Different people use YouTube in their own unique ways. The main benefit of YouTube is that it’s a free and easy way of getting videos into the world. Anyone can set up a free account, and then upload their videos. One tactic used by successful YouTube marketers is by recording a series of videos and then releasing them periodically – at weekly, two weekly or monthly intervals. Not only does this keep up a renewal of new information, it also maintains a constant online presence which is important in the building of any relationship.
What to Say
The content needs to be informative, knowledgeable or funny, but most of all, correct. If the information given isn’t right, no-one is going to trust the brand or business and this is the whole point. One idea is to think, “What are the most common questions that I am asked?” Although it may seem strange to give this information out freely, it is worth it in the long wrong. Picture the scene; you are a lawyer and someone is after information about divorce proceedings. By putting out free information about the law surrounding divorces, you are showing that you are knowledgeable and trustworthy. When that person needs a lawyer to help them through the process, who will they go to?
Getting it Out There
Once a video has been recorded and put onto YouTube, make sure that the description is good and easily searchable. The video (or set of videos) can be advertised through other social media, websites and one useful trick is to tell people about it, almost as if offering it as a free gift – and who wouldn’t want that?
As people are becoming increasingly turned off by traditional forms of advertising, they are looking for different ways to find business. Education based marketing is the perfect way to engage in the right way with potential customers.
Digital Marketing Manager
The Internet Marketing Academy
Video editing refers to simply the process of which a video is put together. Nowadays it is easier to capture video footage and this can be done on many devices including camcorders, cameras, iPads, computers and even mobile phones. With it being so easy to capture video it is becoming more and more popular where individuals will have a go at making their own video from start to finish, including the post production editing stage.
Editing is one of the most important components for both professional video production companies and the film industry as a whole. Here are my top five tips to consider when editing your first video.
1) If it has no value then bin it
This is referring to your video clips. When you start editing your video together firstly keep in mind – do I need to see that particular clip or hear that sentence of dialogue? If the answer is no then simply do not use it as it will bring no relevance to your video. Cut your scenes tight, this could include tightening the gaps between dialogue sentences and using a selection of carefully placed cutaways.
2) Watch for continuity
Continuity can be quite tricky to get right when it comes down to video production especially if you have an actor or presenter involved within your video. When editing make sure you check for continuity these can be simple things like if you cut to a close up the persons face is in the same position (i.e if the eyes were open they don’t shut all of a sudden, same with the mouth and unusual head movement). To help with contingency it is easier to film from the off start with two camcorders set up but this can easily be achievable with 1 camera. Check through your work carefully, even better ask somebody to do this for you as obvious mistakes may not be recognisable when you have a particular idea of how you want the scene to look and pan out.
3) Be Organised
Being organised with your editing is just as important as deciding why you need a video in the first place. Make sure you capture your clips to your laptop or PC to an easy place you can find them. Do not save them to your desktop and move them afterwards as most editing software’s will then require a search to find all the clips again. Get rid of any clips that you are certain you will not use e.g practice shots, the 30 second of tape wasting clip (if you are using a mini dv camcorder).
4) Allow yourself time
Video editing can be quite time consuming even for the professionals, remember most software’s will require for you to render your project in real time once you have finished editing so allow yourself plenty of time for this, also I would always advise allowing yourself a couple of contingency days encase you need to re-film any shots as they could be the difference between making your video successful or being a total flop.
5) Don’t Forget About Copyright!
You want to use your favourite music from the charts in your video, great! But this won’t be legal and you could be breaching copyright laws. If you require music take a look at the many royalty free music sites out there. There are a couple good free sites such as www.freesfx.co.uk which have a number of free music and sound effects that you can use for free as long as you credit the author.
Video editing can be quite addictive once you get into it, if you keep these five starter tips in mind it will help you speed up the process to producing a great quality video.
Digital Marketing Manager
The Internet Marketing Academy
A friend of mine came to me asking some advice regarding updating from there trusty mini dv outdated camera to a new shiny SD card one and wanted to know the benefits of upgrading. With being a full on video geek myself, I am always interested in reading about new and upcoming products that can help enhance the viewers watching experience and also save me time during the filming and editing process. Who would have thought 20 years ago we could all go to the cinema and watch a 3D movie in our time?
So if you are thinking about updating to an SD card camcorder here are a few little hints to take into consideration before you make your purchase.
Most camera manufacturers use Secure Digital (SD) and Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) for their flash memory card camcorders. This has allowed memory card makers to start marketing their products as video cards although this will not necessarily be the right one for your camcorder just because it is branded as a “video card” product. There are many key differences that you need to be aware of.
A crucial fact that you need to know when choosing the SD/SDHC card of your choice is the speed; especially when used in a high definition camcorder. Currently you can use SD/SDHC cards in Class 2, Class 4, Class 6 and Class 10, 2 offering the minimum sustained data rate of 2 megabytes (MBps) per second. Slower SD/SDHC cards can simply not cope with the amount of data being fed to them and it could compromise your filming all together by simply not filming at all. For a standard definition camcorder an SD/SDHC with a class 2 speed will work perfectly well as this is fast enough to handle the highest quality of video that you can record. For high definition camcorders you can go for anything from a class 6 upwards. Class 6 will work perfectly well but if you are tempted to go for say a class 10 you might be paying for performance that you don’t need.
SD cards are only available up to 2GB whereas the SHDC cards are available in 4,8,16 and 32 GB capacities. The simple explanation for this is the higher the GB the more storage space you have on the card for your videos. If you are going for a standard definition camcorder you would be safe enough with a SD card but for high definition you would need to look at a SDHC or its successor the SDXC.
SDHC cards are slowly being overtaken by its successor the SDXC. The SDXC looks exactly the same as the SDHC but will eventually have the capacity to hold up to 2TB of data and speeds of up to 200 MBps. These are available now in 64GB and 128GB but keep your eyes out for the 2TB which will be available in the near future.
So what’s the benefit of upgrading from Mini DV to a card format?
For me the best thing about SDXC card camcorders (which is what my camera works happily with) is the time it takes to capture the footage onto your computer ready for editing. Mini DV camcorders are in real time meaning 2 hours of footage takes 2 hours to capture on your PC or Laptop. Cards are much quicker: I can unload 2 hours of filming in less than 20 minutes. Tapes usually come in 60 minute length (at best resolution) and if you are filming say an event where you can’t take a 5 minute tape change (for example a wedding) the SDHC card will continue filming until it is up to its maximum filming capacity.
Also it saves me having to walk around with a spare tape in my back pocket, having a pen on hand to label the tape and in the long run the SD card has worked out cheaper as I do not like filming over footage on a mini dv tape encase of interference.
You can still get fantastic quality on mini dv camcorders so really it just depends on why you are upgrading to a new camcorder, luckily you can get a decent semi-professional camcorder for under £1000 if you are just looking to have a go at making your own movies or videos for your YouTube channel. Personally the thought of going back to a mini dv camcorder exhausts me just thinking about the capture time and I do find the SDXC has exceptional footage quality.
I am sure if you have read any of my past posts you can see that I am a massive fan of including videos on your website, even if you have a go and create a DIY video yourself! Videos are well known to help convert more potential browsers into buying customers and statistics have proven that people who view a video online are 64% more likely to purchase a product.
Videos are a great way to personalise your website and will keep your visitor engaged, but does this apply to a walk on presenter? Walk on presenter’s are becoming more and more popular across the world wide web – but there are still many mixed reviews about how they are actually interpreted by website visitors.
So What Is A Walk On Presenter?
When you visit a company’s homepage, a presenter will walk on from the side of the page and start discussing the details of the business. The usual order of the video starts off with the presenter welcoming visitors to the site, explaining a little bit about the company, describing the products and services they offer and then directing the visitor to any relevant pages of the website.
What Are The Benefits?
The benefits are pretty much the same as any other web video, in that they offer a personal touch to your website, it can help represent the owners and staff of the business (depending on the style of presenter you go for – and there is a wide choice) and it gives the chance to get key information across to your visitor in a short period of time.
Walk on presenter scripts tend to be between 30 seconds to 1 minute in length, which gives you a prime opportunity to get the most important information across to your visitors in a short period of time.
The videos are very cost effective and take minimal planning, as unlike a documentary style video there is no need for a film crew to attend your premises for a day and most videography companies can have them filmed, edited, rendered and up on your site within a couple of weeks.
They are very easy to add to your website, as it only involves adding a small line of code and it will not slow down or interfere with your site in any other way.
Are There Any Disadvantages?
Like anything that pops up on your website, it can be very annoying to the user who may have already started reading your fantastic sales copy and then gets interrupted by a man or woman walking onto to the screen and starting a performance of how wonderful your company is. Unfortunately they are going to strut on pretty much instantly and although in most circumstances you can hover over the presenter and pause the video, it is not always obvious that this is an option.
If filmed incorrectly the presenter can come across quite cheesy and unprofessional – I have seen a couple of examples where the presenter has a green or blue glow which looks terrible against the background of the site and is all down to poor lighting and bad editing. So you need to make sure the video footage is of the best quality, as with any web video you choose.
Although walk on presenter videos are very reasonable to produce, there are ongoing hosting costs which you may also need to take into consideration.
If completed well, walk on presenters can really help sell your company to your website visitors. They are cost effective and can provide a lot of information in a short amount of time to your visitors. If you do decide to go ahead with a walk on web presenter, my advice would be to keep the video, short, sweet and to the point.
Let’s be honest, if you have an interest in videography the majority of us have an inner ambition wanting to create a masterpiece like Steven Spielberg, but with realistic budgets this is not always possible.
A lot of companies are getting there creative hats on and having a go at producing a video themselves. DIY videos are increasingly popular to showcase how a particular product or service operates for a company. I have seen many good examples of clean cut DIY videos but also a lot of bad ones along the way.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when having a go at creating your own corporate video.
Use An External Microphone
Here is a little exercise for you, watch a video that has poor sound and a good picture, then watch a video that has a poor picture and good sound. Which one is the most distracting? – Of course it’s the good picture and poor sound! To get your sound good I would recommend investing in an external microphone, the standard microphones on the camera are not great if you are in a noisy environment – even little sounds such as air conditioning or a switched on water cooler can affect the overall quality of your sound.
Investing in an external microphone that remotes from the camera really helps get a much better sound. You can get wireless microphones quite cheaply so the subject is not tied to the camcorder, allowing you more flexibility as to where you want to set the camera up and also the discreetness of not having any wiring on show. If a wireless microphone is out of your budget, you can get microphones with a long cable and they do come with the benefit that you avoid radio interference with sound, but still allowing you to record at a distance.
Although you can zoom into a shot to appear closer, it is not the same affect. The visible appearance comes across different and so does the sound. You get better quality shots when you get closer to a person that you are filming and of course the sound is much better.
A zoomed in shot is more susceptible to gaining resistance and focusing is much harder too because as of course everything is magnified. You also loose depth of field with telephoto shots as only items within a narrow distance will remain in focus. For example – the background may go out of focus which is great if this is an effect you deliberately want.
Manual Focus & Auto Exposure – Turn Them Off!
If your camcorder will allow it, I would advise one of the first things you do is turn the manual focus and auto exposure off! Although it is tempting as a safety net to leave them on, they simply average the picture to a mid-level exposure.
Focus is all distant related and it needs to be set to suit the distance you are filming. Have a play with the focus settings they are very straightforward, remember if you are filming a person, keep the focus on them not on their background.
Use A Tripod
For a professional corporate video I would estimate that the majority of the shots you require would need to be steady. If you’re filming a steady shot use a tripod. You can get reasonably priced tripods that are easy to carry around, even ones designed to place on a table are better than nothing at all.
Editing – Be Brutal!
Editing is simply cutting out the rubbish and keeping the good shots. Be ruthless! You should remove anything that doesn’t belong or has no value to the video. (e.g mistakes, waiting around time, long pauses, out of focus shots etc).
The one thing to keep in mind is that you can’t fix filming errors when editing you are simply stuck with them and need to make the best with the footage you have. If you load your clips up when getting to the editing stage and the quality is not great – if you can reshoot and do it straight away.
Editing can be quite a lengthy process and if you search the internet forums you will be able to see that many people have wasted hours of time trying to fix badly captured footage. In most cases it would be just as easier and quicker to quickly reshoot a scene or a particular part of an interview to get it completely correct.
Finish editing your video together and you’re pleased with it? Great – think about adding some backing music to round off the video all together, keep your levels low and do not drown out the audio. Personally, I would recommend adding the music first and cutting the clips as best as you can to fit with the changes in the music.
Although these are just a few tips, there is a lot to think about when coming to make a video, be aware that your first attempt will probably not turn out perfect, it takes time and practice to get these things right and even professionals can make mistakes for any environment where there is equipment involved. If you are a creative like me, keep at it! Videos can be very enjoyable and lots of fun to produce and also, can help increase your sales too!
YouTube is well renowned for being an entertainment platform to find funny videos to pass the time of day, but did you know that businesses also use the video sharing website to educate customers and market their products?
There are many benefits of YouTube from a B2B or B2C perspective – hence why Google felt the need to purchase the site for 1.65 billion dollars back in 2006! You simply need to know how to use YouTube to help your business succeed, so here are my top 8 tips on how YouTube can benefit your business.
1. It’s Not Just Video You Know?
You can upload so much more than just videos to YouTube. You can upload presentations and audios to your site as well. Had an client who could not attend a meeting or missed a very important conference call? YouTube could be a solution for you. Upload your material and set the page to private, send out the link and the job is done!
2. Get Hands On & Personal
Want to add a personal touch to wow your clients? YouTube can give you access to making that personal video! Most laptops and phones nowadays have the option to record video and some even have a button you can click to instantly upload the video to YouTube. What a better way to impress your client by making something quick and easy which is personal to them?
Want the more professional look? Invest in a small HD Camera and some reasonably priced editing software (if you’re lucky enough your Microsoft package will come with Windows Movie Maker) and have a go at creating your very own professional looking video.
3. Create Product Demos & Share Your Expertise
You can create videos/presentations that demonstrate your expertise. Have a client that is particularly interested in one of your products but you can’t get your message across as to how the product works? Simply direct them to your YouTube video to show them in detail.
4. Market Your Products & Services
Television is a popular but expensive method of video advertising – YouTube Is completely free. Many people tend to use adverts during their favourite TV shows as a time to leave the room to make a drink or make a phone call. With YouTube this is not the case, as users of YouTube are generally searching for what they are looking for on the site – and therefore if you appear in the search listings there is a good chance you are what they are looking for! There is also no need to be at home to watch your clip as WIFI, 3G and even 4G are available pretty much anywhere these days so we are always connected in some way!
5. Extend Your Brand
You can make your very own YouTube channel and customise it. You can add your company’s branding, customise the colours to adhere with your company’s look and add any relevant information including links to your website.
6. Engage With A New Network
You can engage with the YouTube community. YouTube is a social platform and is a perfect way to interact with your clients and prospects. It is a social networking site after all so you may as well use the benefits.
7. Keep Your Website Up To Date With Video Content
You can promote your YouTube videos anywhere. Don’t assume that your viewers will automatically come to you. Promote your videos in blogs, web pages and through other social networking sites. By embedding videos into your site, it means that the user does not have to leave your blog or site to view the content.
8. Distribute Your Videos Far & Wide
Let your videos be shared. After all you want to spread the word of your product or service, so allow your viewers to share your videos too!
If you are not part of the YouTube phenomena, take some time out to set up your very own YouTube channel and enjoy the benefits it can bring to you and your business.
You have taken the time to have a website professionally designed with a high standard of content, your site is well optimised for the search engines and you have a successful pay per click campaign running. You can see from the reports that you are getting good quality traffic but you feel your site is not converting the way you hoped it would. What could be causing this?
It could be down to the simple fact that your website visitors just don’t want to read your content. So what can you do to help this particular part of your web audience convert?
The Use Of Video
Videos are associated with fun and part of the reason why they are becoming more and more popular on the internet is because they convert. Nielsen has reported that time spent watching videos on the web has increased by 45% year on year. It is now popular on a lot of high converting sites for the visitor to have an option to watch a video.
Videos Can Be Used Everywhere
Videos are a perfect way to market your business online due to the diversity that they offer. You can have the video live on your site, be shared on social networking sites such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, and available to be viewed from an email via a link. Videos are completely portable with today’s ever growing technology and can be viewed on a computer, laptop, smart TV, game console, iPads, android tablets and mobile phones. They can be downloaded or simply available to stream live on the internet.
So Why Animation?
Passed studies have shown that a video with an audio visual presenter is much more appealing to a viewer than just content, content, content. Animation videos are becoming increasingly popular due to the fun, full actioned message they portray with appealing interesting graphics. There is also the option to allow the viewer to interact with the video making them more fun than just a man standing in front of a camera speaking out information.
Animation videos are not only fun but memorable and the opportunities are endless with what can be produced. They save time as no physical footage is required and graphic developers can advise you as to what will and won’t work from the start. The video can be creative or simplistic to suit your business style and rather than pick the face of your company you simply just need to pick a voice.
They are also very cost effective!
Here is an example of an Animation Video we have produced and used on our site, Enjoy!
If you haven’t started creating marketing videos yet, you should be aware that this is a powerful inbound marketing technique that really should be part of your overall strategy. Creating a successful online video takes time and know-how, especially when your goal is marketing. If you are new to making videos, it can be a disappointing process unless you plan some strategies for optimising the content for maximum visibility and exposure. There are some simple ways to increase your potential success that all beginning video marketers should know.
1. Your Video Content, Like All Your Content, Should Be Compelling And Relevant
Before you start creating your video, think about who your audience will be. What will they find interesting? Video marketing, like all internet marketing, is customer-centered. A video that focuses on being relevant to your niche audience will result in bigger growth. Helpful or teaching videos are likely to be well-received.
2. Put Your Video On YouTube
YouTube is second only to Google in terms of searches performed. Over a billion users visit YouTube every month and watch over 6 billion different videos. Uploading your video to YouTube should be a given, and will ensure that it can be seen by many people.
3. Share Your Video Other Places, Too
YouTube is the best platform for video exposure – but to maximise exposure, upload your video to other websites like Vimeo, Vine, and even Instagram for added visibility. Share the video on your blog, on others’ blogs, and on all your social media channels. The more you share it, the more times it will be viewed.
4. Your Video Content Should Be Optimised
Once you have created your video, consider which keywords are important in ranking it on search engines. Make sure that viewers who search for items related to your field find your video by including relevant keywords in your title, tags, and description.
5. Include A Call To Action
Adding a discreet lower third graphic – that does not interfere with the video content – that includes the website URL you are promoting, a phone number, and a logo is a good idea. This is a great way to drive traffic to your website, the ultimate goal of most inbound marketing like videos, blogs, and social media. Your YouTube video description should also contain a link to your website. You can also include a call to action on the end screen of the video so that it’s the last thing viewers see when they watch your video.
6. Attract YouTube Subscribers
When a user subscribes to your YouTube channel, they will automatically see your most recent video on their homepage. One good way to gain subscribers is by subscribing to others’ YouTube channels and actively participating in comment discussions. The more subscribers you have, the more publicity your videos will receive. Keep subscribers by uploading videos on a regular schedule, optimising titles and descriptions, and keeping the content high quality, contextual, and interesting.
The Internet Marketing Academy
There are three basic ways that you can use video to increase the engagement that website visitors have with your site. The first is simply to include videos on the website. The second is to have a video popup over the website, such as the videos where someone walks onto the screen and talks to the customer. The third is to incorporate a video background in your website design.
Include videos on the website
There is no reason your website should not have videos included on it somewhere. You can host the videos on a third-party video sharing system, such as YouTube, and imbed a video player that links to the video on your site. You can also host the videos on your own server, allowing you more flexibility in how the videos are displayed and played. Many WordPress themes used by Internet marketers already have the capability of including videos in the headers. You can also include videos in your blog posts. Adding a link from your YouTube video to your videos category or tag in your blog is also an excellent way to increase the link juice that flows to your site.
Have a video popup over the website
There are a number of services that will create professional videos of someone addressing your customer, which can be set to popup over the website. Make sure that your website design places the popup over a graphical element or in the whitespace around your content, rather than on top of something your visitor is in the middle of reading. The idea is to engage your customer, not annoy them. These popup videos should be short, and end with a call to action directing the visitor to interact in some way with your website.
Use a video background for your website
The latest trend in website design is to use looping video clips as the background for your website design. While there are sites that provide stock video footage you can use, it is best if you shoot your own video. That maximizes your ability to create exactly the video you want for your site design. When setting up your video shoot, make sure that there is plenty of negative space in the video for your other content to be displayed. Because you will need the negative space to be fixed, you will most likely use a fixed camera to film the video rather than panning across, in, or out on your scene. Videos should not have audio components, or if they do, the audio should be separate with an option for the website visitor to turn the audio on or off. Videos should be filmed in HD, and should be measured in seconds, not minutes.
Video marketing is the new hot method of getting your message across to interested customers at a fraction of traditional marketing methods. With a low-cost video camera (or even your smart phone) you can shoot your own video and publish it directly to YouTube or other video distribution services. To increase the impact of your videos, follow these five tips.
Tip #1: Bring your video to life
Nothing is more boring than a talking head against a plain white wall. Your video can come alive by being shot on location, or by doing a voiceover of a location shot. If you need to include charts or other graphics, zoom in or out on the key element, or add annotations to the graphic as you speak.
Tip #2: Teach and entertain
There are two main reasons people look at videos. They either want to learn something, or they want to be entertained. If you can teach them something while simultaneously entertaining them, you’ll strike video gold. If you can only do one of the two, teach something. Just be sure that whatever you teach is something that people are actually interested in learning.
Tip #3: Stay current
Does anything about your product or service relate to something in the news? If so, you may be able to get additional traction from a video about how your product or service addresses the current issue. You can also address evergreen concerns. Either way, do not make a video talking about how your product or service solves a problem that used to be important but that no one worries about any longer.
Tip #4: Interview satisfied customers
You do not have to be the subject of every video. You can create a video testimonial or video case study by interviewing one of your customers. Odds are good that other people will also be suffering from whatever problem they had which your product or service solved. By focusing on your customer’s success story, you can offer social proof of the value you provide.
Tip #5: Don’t stop at one
So you’ve created a video that engages customers and converts them to buyers. Fantastic! Now do another one. And do another one after that. Research shows that if someone likes your video but hasn’t quite committed to buying your product or service, being able to watch additional videos from you right away may make the difference between a sale and no sale. You need to have at least three videos, all linked together as related videos or posted on the same video channel. Ideally, you should have at least five, and release additional videos on a regular basis to your subscribers.