Tag Archives: creative

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

YouTube? You Should!

Every January, Las Vegas hosts the Consumer Electronics. Show. The CES is where new and just thought of gadgets make their debut. It is also a lively conversation on current trends. Here are some facts about YouTube that came out of a session at this year’s CES.

>>YouTube now reaches more adults than any network. ANY network. So says Neilsen whose job it is to measure things like that.

>>100 hours of new content is uploaded to YouTube every minute. That’s more than four days every sixty seconds.

And the most watched videos? Authentic. Content that is about something very specific. If you have a niche, you should be telling your story with video. And you should also put that video on YouTube.

It’s watchable, it’s searchable, and its shareable.

Yes you should YouTube. Because if you don’t, your competition will.

–that’s a wrap.

Showing Our Stuff

 

The past three years has brought a lot of new friends our way.  Every project we do is different and exciting.  The new year gives us an opportunity to take a look back and put together some of the work we’ve done for our clients. Here’s our 2012 demo reel. I hope you enjoy it.  When can we get started on YOUR project?

–That’s a wrap.

How To Know When Long Is Too Long

Ok, so I’m watching a webinar about how to use video to better engage with customers – pretty appropriate for me, right? The presenters hit a lot of topics, and one of them was how long should your video be?  The consensus was two to three minutes, which I totally agree with.  They talked about the “drop-off rate” that’s the point at which your video stops being interesting to whoever it is watching it.

The webinar was an hour long.  I stopped watching at about 20 minutes. Why?

Reason #1:
Camera movement for the sake of movement.  There was one camera and two people. The camera would zoom in to one of the presenters, then pan over to the other presenter before zooming back out again. There was no purpose to the movement. And it didn’t keep me from getting bored.

Reason #2:
The presenters didn’t plan out what they were going to say. There were a lot of Ums and You Knows, and when the host asked a direct question, the guest could not give a direct answer.

Isn’t it funny that when people like this talk about the need for video to be compelling, that they fail to be compelling themselves.

I once had a jewelry store owner tell me why she started her business. She was not only compelling, she was spellbinding. That kind of story edited to the right images will keep people watching.

How long should YOUR video be? When Blendtec did the “Will It Blend Iphone 4” video, it ran almost 4 minutes, and has grabbed over 3 million views.  But after 60 seconds of a talking head, some folks can’t click away fast enough.

How do you want to tell your story? Consulting with a professional may be one way to make that story something your visitors will want to watch.

That’s a wrap.

 

6 Lines From The Godfather That Explain Why You Should Use Video

Just in time for the Oscars. Ready?

“Why didn’t you come to me first?” (Websites that use video convert visitors faster and easier.  A good category is Attorneys. Well, maybe not for the Godfather, but for our purposes – Studies show that folks will search an average of 7 websites when they are looking for an attorney.  But when there’s video, that number drops to 2. )

“Make them an offer they can’t refuse” (Video makes content they can’t refuse.  A compelling message about your company will keep visitors on your site longer. Videos can also very easily enhance your credibility. Companies with three or more videos on their website are perceived as the authority.)

“I need a man who has powerful friends” (The neatest thing about video is that folks can share it with their friends.  Make something WORTH sharing. People don’t search for, nor do they share commercials – so don’t make one. The hardest thing about video is coming up with great ideas. That’s where we can help.)

“My client promises to make that trouble disappear “ (With video you can not only show the features and benefits, but you can have your customers tell their story too. That’s called a testimonial, and man, do they work!)

“Times have changed. It’s not like the Old Days, when we can do anything we want.” (Yep.  Here in the digital age, customers are more informed. They WANT to be engaged. They don’t have a lot of time to read everything you want them to read.  So, say it and show it in a video. Or better yet, a series of videos.  Not to worry. We can have you communicating 21st Century style in no time.)

“And let me be even more frank, just to show you that I’m not a hard-hearted man, that it’s not all dollars and cents.” (Customers, especially the tech-savvy under 30s, want value. If you’re a plumber, do a video on how to fix a sink.  An accountant? What are the top deductions that many folks miss?  THAT’S content. It’s content that can be used. Content that they can’t refuse.

NOT to use video can be a website’s kiss of death.  Let that happen to the other guy. Wise up and start putting Videos On Your Website now.

Or just call us and fergitaboutit.

That’s a wrap.

5 Lines From Sleepless In Seattle That Explain Why You Should Use Video

Well, it’s Valentine’s Day. Not the holiday you think about when video production comes to mind..(Wait a minute..OK. No, don’t go THERE. That’s an entirely different blog..) I just thought it might be fun to take a classic Valentine movie like Sleepless In Seattle and see if I can make some of the lines relate to using Videos On Your Website.  Ready?

Jessica: H and G.
[Sam peers back at her]
Jessica: Hi and goodbye. A quick entrance and exit. Unfortunately, that’s what happens on most business websites. If the visitor can’t find what they’re searching for, or if there’s nothing there to engage them, they’re gone.  Websites with video hold visitors longer. The average time spent on my clients’ sites is six to eight minutes.

Sam Baldwin: Well I just want somebody I can have a decent conversation with over dinner. That’s what your prospects and customers are looking for, too. Well, maybe not over dinner, but they do want to connect with products and brands they know and like. Back in the day, before the Internet, you’d be hard pressed to find a way to reach out to a large company. Now with blogs, Twitter, Facebook, AND Videos, customers feel like they have an advocate inside those companies.

Jonah Baldwin : Thanks for dinner. I’ve never seen potatoes cooked like that before. Let’s talk about being unique. With every other accountant, doctor, landscaper, or restaurant having a website these days: what really sets you apart? The best way to tell that story is with video. Show your customers how to something they’ve never done. Show what your product does that the competition doesn’t. Be memorable. Be compelling.

Jessica: If it’s in the computer, they believe anything. Some businesses believe that. Hopefully, the ones that do are your competition.  I’ve seen websites that literally have not been updated in 5 or more years!  Their only purpose is to be an online brochure. Copy may be wrong or outdated. Websites that are updated on a consistent basis get more “points” with search engines. Websites with videos can get a big boost in their search engine optimization. And, it’s been shown that companies with three or more videos are thought of as experts by their customers.

Jonah Baldwin: In the movies, women are always scratching up the men’s back and screaming and stuff.
Sam Baldwin: How do you know all this?
Jonah Baldwin: Jessica’s got cable. I don’t know how much Sam trusted Jessica after that.  Trust is a big issue.  If you’re a company who has to perform their service in a customer’s home, they’re not going to hire you unless they trust you. With video, they can meet you and your staff before the work is done. Put your best face forward. The transparency of your company and the trust it instills in customers depends on it.

There are as many whys and ways to use video as there are websites. Every project I’ve done for the past two years has had a different twist. But one thing is certain: video has been the most added element to websites for the past two years.  Call me and let me show you the success stories.

That’s a wrap.

There Is No Trophy For Second Place

My wife loves to read. Both of us could browse thru Barnes & Noble or Borders all day.  But she rarely buys from them. Instead, she browses Amazon.

There are some items that I don’t bother shopping for at all.  I just look on eBay.

There are many places to buy books online. Ask someone, and see if Amazon isn’t the first thing on their minds. Same with auction sites.  Same with a lot of business categories. (Kleenex instead of tissues, Xerox instead of copier, PingPong instead of table tennis).

When you’re first at something, you can pretty much “own the franchise”. And when you can do that PLUS be outstanding at connecting with your customers, you can reach that Top Of Mind status reserved for the Amazon’s, and eBay’s and Zappos.

How many of your competitors are using video? If you said none, that’s your chance. It doesn’t matter if you are B2B or B2C. Your customers and prospects are searching for what you have to say.  Video was the most added feature to websites in both 2009 and 2010.  If you don’t know whether or not your competitors are using video, find out. Do it now.

Building your authority and your expertise should be one of your major goals this year.  If you’re in a business in which customers need to place their trust, you can’t afford to go forward without shoring up that trust with all of the compelling stories you can tell with video.

Hopefully, you can be the first.

That’s a wrap.

You Never Know Who’s Watching. (The Top 5 Things That Matter)

Over the past two weeks, I won two different clients specifically because of two different videos on my website.

Someone asked me recently if quality matters for web videos. I replied that quality is the top 5 things that matter for web video.

Quality, quality, quality, quality, quality.

I just invested on a new professional HD camera with which to shoot.
I know, most websites play videos in small screen players. But there’s something that folks forget: sales of Internet ready TVs are increasing steadily.

Think about that amateur video being played on a 46 inch screen. If you thought shaky, hand-held camera shots were distracting on a small screen, wait till you see it magnified. Now, add in that low, or not-quite right light. Is anyone still watching after 30 seconds?

Major newspapers, television stations and networks are all putting video content on the web. Any poorly-produced DIY video will have to compete with that.

Quality.

Anyone can upload and share anything. It’s what is driving the explosion of social networking. It’s really, really cool. However more people want to connect with businesses and brands than ever before. Done right: with basic, well thought-out shots and a little showmanship, you can not only connect with customers and prospects, but they will stay on your website longer. That gives you more chances to convert them.

Coming soon – more about how your competition uses video.

That’s a wrap.

9 Reasons to Keep Satisfied Customers

Here’s something that’s worth keeping around:

  • 98% of dissatisfied customers never complain, they just leave.
  • 85% of dissatisfied customers tell nine people about their poor experience. 13% tell 20 people.
  • A satisfied customer tells just five people.
  • Over five years, a typical company loses 80% of its customers; 65% because of a negative experience with the company.
  • 75% of the reasons a customer leaves has nothing to do with the product.
  • Retain just 5% of your customers, and profits will increase from 25% to 55%.
  • The top five businesses in any industry have over 90% customer retention. Most businesses average 80%.
  • For every 1% improvement in customer rate sustained over five years, there is a 20% improvement in operating income.

and finally,

The number one reason why customers switch companies is that they don’t feel appreciated.

Ask me, and I’ll show you how using video makes for higher customer loyalty.

–That’s a wrap.

Behind The Scenes – Part Two. Editing

Picture this: a shot of the top drawer of a desk. A hand moves into the shot, and opens the drawer. We see – a pistol. What’s the next shot in this story?
-a closeup at a man’s reaction, surprised at his find?
-an over the shoulder shot of someone, an aggressor, standing in front of the desk?
– a medium shot of a man looking into the drawer. He is a police officer, and there are other police officers in the room, but in the background.

Each one of those tells a different story. It’s up to the editor to tell the story of what the cameraman has been shooting.

Even with business videos, I have to do the same thing. I have to ask myself, “Where do I want the viewer’s eyes next for maximum impact?” This is the main thing that sets amateur videos apart from professional videos: amateurs tend to want to get everything in one long take. And they end up with mistakes, and gaffes that need to be removed but aren’t because editing has a steep learning curve.

It is nice of Windows to add a Windows Movie Maker to every version of it’s operating system that is produced. However, editing with Windows Movie Maker is like trying to run a race in wooden shoes. It can be done, if you’re patient, but overall, it’s – clunky.

There are some very good consumer editing software on the market. The problem is, it’s not plug and play. There was a learning curve in video editing even for me, and I’ve been cutting audio for over 20 years.

The shots I make that tell the story but will have little or none of their sound used is caller “B-roll” These are the shots that are the demonstration, while a voice explains what’s going on. I consider my B-roll to be probably the most important footage I can shoot. Because while I cut away from the main speaker to show the demo, I can then edit the speaker’s AUDIO without making the video jump cut. That’s very helpful for taking out extraneous phrases or noises and making the person on camera seem more polished.

Morey: Ask me what is the most important quality of a great comedian
Henny: Ok, What is the..
Morey: TIMING!

I’ve always loved that bit of dialog. It’s so true, not only in comedy, but in anything that tells a story. And a good editor has a good sense of timing. You know when you’ve stayed on a shot long enough and it’s time to move on. Many amateurs stay on a shot waaaay to long. Unfortunately, if you look at much of the stuff that is posted on You Tube, you’ll find that the rule instead of the exception. The eye is quick, and the brain is quicker. Usually, three or four seconds is all you need before it’s time to change shots.

Watch your favorite movie or TV show again and pay attention to the editing., the scenes that were used and the decisions that were made to tell the story. I know you’ll see something that will open your eyes.

Now, what do you want for YOUR project? What’s the story you’re going to tell?

That’s a wrap.