Category Archives: Behind The Scenes

Animated Whiteboards Are Hot – Good Views Season 2020, Episode 4

You’ve seen them and they are fun and informative to watch. What are the secrets to making animated whiteboards successful? How long should they be, and what is the optimal way to distribute them? On this episode of Good Views, I chat with Terry Dean who creates and writes animated whiteboards for companies all across the country. Terry loves what he does, and whiteboard marketing has really gained a foothold over the past few years.

As always, if you have any questions, or want to connect with Terry, drop me a line.
–that’s a wrap

DIY Video With Teleprompter – Good Views – Season 2020, Episode 1

Well, Here we are, and Good Views is back. It only took a pandemic to get some more episodes recorded. Truth be told, I have three others that we recorded almost a year ago that never made it into editing and post production… but, maybe sometime. My inspiration with the #WorkFromHome edition was that – well, maybe I can offer some tips for folks doing DIY videos. I am seeing a lot more of them – either folks are really getting bored, or we all have a lot more time to work on promoting our business. Either way, I still believe that any kind of video content is better than no content.

So for those of you trying to do this on your own, I have some tips and tricks that will help you with your on-camera performance. In upcoming episodes, we will talk about the best ways to look good on camera, how to be comfortable and confident. And to kick things off, Intellectual Property attorney Shannon Villalba is pretty proud of the teleprompter app she uses. Having that script in front of her has actually spurred her to start making more videos. Shannon uses an iPhone, and the app is available on the Apple store, but there are some equally nice apps for Android. One of them is Parrot Teleprompter, which is free. The one I use in the field is Teleprompter Pro. I use it enough that it justifies the small expense. It also works very well on my Windows 10 laptop, which folds in half to fit under the two-way mirror which is the part that the talent sees. Anyway, here’s the latest Good Views. I hope you enjoy and can share.

If you have any questions about teleprompters, shoot me an email. Thanks to Shannon. She’s a great attorney, by the way. You can reach her at http://thevillalbafirm.com
–That’s A Wrap

THIS IS HOW WE PIVOT – Pandemic 2020


– What happens when a business that thrives on showing the features, benefits and successes of its clients can no longer shoot videos at the client’s location? Well, in my case, I went back to my business plan. Eleven years ago when my mentors suggested I research starting a video production company for small, local business, they also insisted that I write a complete business plan. As it turns out – that was a very good idea. And keeping it periodically updated was vital.

Now, with locations closed, or operating at reduced capacity, I find myself turning to that business plan to what some folks would call the SWOT section – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. I now have in place a service that I’ve branded #NoContact Video Production. Here’s how it works:

  1. I can use pre-recorded video from any business, and I can use photos from that business.
  2. Better yet, I can consult with the client over the phone or on Zoom to instruct them how to properly shoot the footage we will need.
  3. I can make use of my vast collection of stock footage to help sell the client’s message
  4. I own five different video editors, each having it’s own strengths, to add video effects and animate the client’s footage
  5. I have stock music tracks from every genre’
  6. As an accomplished voice actor with a home studio, I can add a voiceover to videos.

Video editing involves a lot more than just cutting and re-arranging scenes. It’s knowing where to add the right “spice” that will make a client’s story pop.
The above demo video was built in just one afternoon. There are a myriad of little video tricks in it. How many can you spot?

It is absolutely essential that small businesses keep in touch, make themselves known, and continue their messaging for this time, and beyond. If you know of someone feeling overwhelmed and scrambling to stay relevant, please introduce me to them. I truly believe I can help.

It is heartening to see small business pull together and support each other now. I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of that.
— that’s a wrap.

The Cincinnati Dayton Video Production Buyers Guide


Planning a Video Shoot in SW Ohio? Use these tips:
Maybe your customers, or a vendor, or even a business coach has told you that you should have one or more videos on your website. Or maybe you’ve decided that you could use a training video instead of finding time to teach the same things over and over. What do you need to produce your marketing video? Your first big step should be finding a Cincinnati video production company. Let us make it easy for you with these practical tips.
Most small business owners have their hands full with just the day to day business. Even larger companies need advice on shopping for a production company. Sure, somebody could shoot something with their smartphone, or a consumer video camera, but the last thing you need is something that looks amateurish and isn’t even functional. Should creating a video be a big Hollywood-like production, or are there smaller, boutique creative firms that understand your business and can guide you each step of the way?
That’s why we’ve created this guide. Of course, we’d love for you to just hire us, but there are a lot of Cincinnati video production companies. We want to help find the right one for your project.

Why Should You Get Bids From Multiple Production Companies
Each one is different. Some are big; some are small. A few can actually help with scripting and show you what to do with your video afterward. Others might shoot weddings as their bread and butter and only produce corporate videos on the side. One of the biggest differences is equipment and the people who know how to use it. This goes not only for cameras and the stuff you see, but editing platforms, and the stuff you don’t see.
When you take these things into account, you can understand why looking and two or three companies will give you a better sense of what you need for your project. It may even spark a new idea or two.
A big budget production can mean multiple cameras, a large crew, fancy equipment that arrives in semi trailers. If that’s what you’re planning, you’re going to need a big video production company that you can hire, and then get out of their way.
On the other hand, if you have a story to tell, a factory tour, or just some compelling customer testimonials then you won’t need the complicated production gadgets. In this case, a smaller company could take care of your needs.
Here’s how to begin

Tip #1: Look at their samples
Most production companies, whether large or small, will have samples of their work on their website.
One of them will be the “sizzle reel”. This is simply a highlight video… a compilation of some of their neat shots. That will be them putting their best foot forward.
They should also have samples of actual client productions. If they have a samples or portfolio page, see if a variety of businesses are represented. If there are three videos for the same client, you may want to see what they do for other types of businesses. See if a business similar to yours is there.
Beyond the actual demos, see if that production company has produced something for… themselves. That make sense, doesn’t it? I mean, would you want your website designed by a company that doesn’t build their own website? Then why wouldn’t you want a video production company that doesn’t produce a few “About Us” videos?

Tip #2: Due Diligence
Once you’ve narrowed down the list to a few companies with videos you like, you’re going to want to vet them.
Is there a client list? Who has hired them in the past? Could one of them be a competitor of yours? Do they mostly work with Fortune 500, medium-size companies, micro-businesses… see any companies that seem to be about the same size as your business? Are there any in related industries?
At this point cost may also come into play. And you’ll find that most production companies don’t list any prices. The reason for this is that each project has its own unique challenges and budget
Still, if you’re a small business owner, you may be on a limited budget. That’s one of the reasons we’ve created video production packages for one-time, or multiple productions. We can price out the basics, and then get with you to take a look at any special needs or add-ons for your video.
So for each production company you want to look at, get on the phone and talk to them. While you’re at it, pay attention to how their phone is answered and their demeanor while talking to you.
While they’ll ask you a bunch of questions for your price quote, you should ask some as well, like:
• Is there a minimum cost?
• How do they charge? By the hour, day, video length?
• Make sure to ask if they’ll give you a fixed price, or will it change depending on how the production goes?
We have clients who were burned by production companies in the past. They thought the price was fixed, but things were added during the production process (extra shoot days, special equipment, more post-production time) and next thing they knew the price had skyrocketed.
It’s okay if it’s not a fixed price, but make sure the production company will agree to talk with you in advance of any additional expenses.
• You need to know what you’re getting for your money.
• Will they brainstorm with you? Will they come up with creative ideas and help you write them, or will they simply shoot and produce and be done with it?
• Ask about their process. Find out what’s involved, how long will the production take, and what is the approval process?
• Are revisions included in the price? If so, how many rounds and are there deadlines?

Tip #3: Getting it in writing
You’ve watched some sample videos and demo reels, you’ve found a company you can work with, and you have come to an agreement on price.
Some companies will put everything into a formal proposal. Others may leave the details in the contract. Whatever it is, make sure everything you’ve discussed is there. No one wants any last minute surprises. While I’m at it: have some respect for both the production company and the process. If they offer one round of revisions, don’t hold out for unlimited revisions with no increase in price.

Congratulations
You’ve Selected Your Cincinnati / Dayton Video Production Company
I hope I didn’t overwhelm you. There is a lot of factors that go into making the decision, but it’s all worthwhile. And now that you have this trusted guide, the process should be much easier.
And the good news? At the end… you’ll have a compelling message and a marketing edge that will work for you and your business 24 / 7 / 365.

–that’s a wrap
(c) 2018 Ron Harper Creative, llc

Thumbnailed It – Good Views Season 2, Episode 3

What makes someone want to watch your video, aside from all the interesting and compelling information you have, that is? Well, one very important element is the frame that shows in your video player. That frame is also called the thumbnail.
YouTube gives you a choice of three different thumbnails you can use to showcase your video, but there are also ways you can (and should) make and upload your own.
In this edition of Good Views, I’ll show you some of the most important qualities of thumbnails, and a couple of easy ways to make your own. I hope you enjoy it.
Don’t have any videos yet? Call me. I’d love to talk with you.

Watch Time (3:04) Link to transcript
Location: Cliff Hardware, Sharonville, OH
Guest: John Houston – Spectrum Business

License Sense – Good Views season 2, episode 1

It could be your favorite song, or maybe it’s a movie theme that perfectly fits your video.
Don’t Use It. Just don’t. If you don’t have the rights to use a piece of music, you could be fined hundreds of dollars, or your video could be removed totally. And that’s not fun.
But YouTube has a library of music that’s free for you to use in your videos, and it’s simple to work with.
I’ve renamed this series “Good Views” and I plan to feature the kind of information and tips you can start using today. I hope you enjoy it.Don’t have any videos yet? Call me. I’d love to talk with you.

Watch Time (4:30)Link to transcript
Guest: Adam Mathews: Dearie, Fischer & Matthews
Location: Gary Rasmussen Farmers Insurance

HOW MUCH DOES A VIDEO COST TO PRODUCE?

How much does video cost to produce?
Businesses can spend $300 a month to have a coupon on the back of a grocery receipt. They can spend $2,000 on a newspaper or magazine ad. A successful broadcast campaign can run five figures. These are the folks who have not yet discovered the power of online video.

How many ways are there for a business to communicate, market and entice its prospects?
Basically, there are only three: Broadcast, Print, and Online. Each medium has its own advantages and limitations, whether intrinsically or monetarily.

Broadcast is radio and television. Companies buy advertisements. Those ads take up a finite amount of time in the broadcast day. The more successful the outlet, or in many cases the daypart, the more expensive the ad. Nighttime radio in a small town can be had for a few dollars, while a 30 second spot on the NFL Championship game could cost upwards of a half million dollars. Many local broadcast stations produce their clients’ spots for free. National campaigns can have a feature film budget. And in both radio and television, the clusters of spots have gotten longer. But the twelfth commercial in the set pays the same as the first.

For print, size matters. Full page, and 4 color display ads run into the thousands. But print can also cover the direct mail pieces, or the backs of grocery store receipts. Those vehicles tend to be more reasonable for small business depending on the length of the contract and the area of distribution. There is usually a setup fee for the printing.

Online banner ads and platforms such as Google AdWords have been around almost since the inception of the modern day internet. Advertisers pay each time the ad is clicked, or for a particular action (a lead or a conversion) and the rates fluctuate wildly. Production costs vary too, from graphic design to video production for “pre-roll” advertisements.

Here’s what many companies miss: you also must determine the shelf life of an ad and figure that into the cost as well. For radio and television, when your 30 seconds is over, it’s gone. For print, if the ad doesn’t catch the eye, the page is turned, the coupon is thrown away, the envelope isn’t opened, you’ve failed.

But what if there were a way to actually ATTRACT prospects to your message in a way that they found entertaining and informative no matter where they are or when they search? There is.

But it’s not advertising, at least not in the traditional sense.

Folks who search you out are aching to have their questions answered. To find out what you do, and how well you do it.

The CONTENT you put in your online presence is accessible 24/7. It doesn’t disappear like broadcast. It doesn’t get tossed in the garbage like print. So its shelf life is as long as it needs to be. And that decreases the overall cost.

The companies who advertise on the backs of grocery store receipts, or in the neighborhood value magazines, or in the direct mail coupon packs are perfect clients for me, because I can do a better job of delivering their message at about the same price they are currently paying.

Yes, there are video production services out there charging $1,000 per finished minute. In my world, that could be three months worth of compelling content videos.

Consider the message. Consider the audience you’re trying to reach. Consider the shelf-life of the message. One of my original clients just refreshed his video after seven years! It was working extremely well for him, but he wanted to use it on his mobile website, and the video was in Flash format, instead of MP4. This time we shot two specialized pieces and testimonials. His clients love his service, and now he’s poised to grow the business even more.

For video, Facebook Live, Periscope, and other apps can bring an immediacy that other mediums can’t touch. DIY video can be alright, depending on where it is going to be used. If you’ve invested a thousand or more into your website, you may not want your brand to be represented there with an amateurish video.

Professional video can be added to your website or blog for just a few hundred dollars. If you’re looking to build a content video library, regular monthly or semi-monthly shoots can lower that figure even more. It’s an investment that will pay off. It’s an investment you want to make in your business before the competition does.
— That’s a wrap.

Baseball, The 30 Second Pitch, and Sigourney Weaver

It was a glorious summer day, the first Friday of July, 1941. Almost four thousand fans filed into Ebbets Field to watch their beloved Brooklyn Dodgers lose to the Philadelphia Phillies 6-4. But there was another bit of history taking place that day. For just as many fans were able to watch the game elsewhere – thanks to a new piece of technology called Television.

The baseball broadcast began with a map of the U.S.and a clock, as an announcer intoned, “America Runs On Bulova Time.” History’s first TV commercial.

It ran for only ten seconds. Bulova paid $9.00, about $130 in today’s money.

Within seven years, advertisers flocked to the new medium. Entire TV shows were sponsored by one company, and those businesses could often dictate the content of the shows. It wasn’t until the late 1950s that one man changed the way TV and advertising did business. Actually, he changed a LOT of things on TV: he invented the Today Show, and he invented the Tonight Show, too. Pat Weaver can lay credit to many of the ways television works today.

A side note: Pat Weaver was once a guest lecturer in my college broadcasting class. He’s one of the more fascinating men I’ve been privileged to meet. A couple of years after he had been in class, his daughter got a bit part in a Woody Allen movie. Yep. Pat Weaver is Sigourney’s dad.

Anyway, Pat figured out it was more cost effective – both for TV and for advertisers to sell that sponsorship to more than one company, and suggested one to two minute chunks of ads within the programming. In an hour, they could sell nine minutes of commercials. Cut those in half, and there are EIGHTEEN 30 second spots. Cue the cheering salesmen.

I did not achieve as much fame or significance in broadcasting as Pat Weaver, but I have written and produced thousands of 30 second spots. And I’ve learned this:

  • They are very difficult to write …and
  • Thirty Seconds Is For Broadcasting

Ever since I started Videos On Your Website, folks ask if I will do a 30 second video for their website. I won’t. Maybe the message takes 47 seconds to get across; maybe it takes two minutes and five seconds. Whatever it is, you don’t want to be constrained to a specific length. Studies have shown that folks will watch a video of about four minutes, IF it is compelling enough.

Remember: people don’t search for commercials.

Sixty year old factors should not determine the length of your message. Just get out there and tell your story.

— that’s a wrap.
(note: this post originally appeared on LinkedInJuly, 2015. I brought it back because of the World Series.)

Don’t Forget Hashtags On YouTube

YouTubeHashtags

Within the past few weeks, YouTube has added hashtag capability. Hashtags can now be used in the YouTube search box, but more importantly, they can also be used in the Description field, and in the Title as well. This is a great addition, because not only can you search with YouTube in the search box, but you can click on an included hashtag and get some of the newest and most popular videos on the channel.

What does that mean for Cincinnati businesses with video? It means that you should immediately add hashtags wherever you can in the videos that are already on your channel. Early adapters will likely see good success. I also encourage you to invent your own hashtag and use it everywhere. I believe that you will get a lot more engagement from new viewers if they find you via a hashtag. Since this a new feature to YouTube, a lot of folks don’t know about it yet. So get the jump on your competition and move ahead in search. Make it short, simple and memorable. And do some research before you commit to an invented hashtag.

If you need help, have questions or would like a free YouTube audit on your channel, get in touch.
–that’s a wrap