Video Production

Marketing Resolutions To Keep for 2015!

HNYWith the New Year upon us, most of us are taking the time to reflect on the past year and look towards the next. Everyone will soon be talking about how 2015 will be the best year yet – without it actually having happened yet! But it doesn’t have to be all talk. Here are four resolutions to keep in your marketing plan for the coming year:

  1. Check out the competition: See where your competition is spending their money, you could learn something! Are they focusing on branding themselves? What keywords do they use on their website? Knowing this information will inform your marketing strategy and will help find ways to help you stick out from your competition.
  2. Explore your social platforms: Find what platform works best for you and engages your target audience the most. If your subject matter is image heavy, don’t be disappointed if you’re struggling with success on Twitter – it may not be where your best audience is. Try Instagram instead!
  3. Invest in measurement: Whether you’re looking to launch a national campaign, book an ad in a magazine, or start a blog, make sure that wherever you choose to spend your marketing dollars on has the best ROI.
  4. Increase your curiosity: Never stop trying and testing new campaigns or messaging! You will not only keep your content fresh, but over time you will refine messages to your current target markets, and find new ones. Digital advertising is one of the most flexible mediums for messaging and testing new content. Get out there!

2014 wouldn’t have been the kind of year it was for CreativeWorks without my incredible clients! Thank you. Your businesses inspire me and I look forward to working with you in 2015.

To those of you following this blog or engaging in my discussions on LinkedIn who are not my clients, thank you for your interest and engagement. In 2015, I will continue to bring you hands-on, thought-provoking insights and case studies based on my personal experiences as the owner of a Canadian marketing agency.

On behalf of all of us at CreativeWorks Marketing, I wish you and your family the very best for the holidays and New Year!

Are there any topics you’d like me to write about in 2015? Please share your questions and comments below.

Advertisements

Marketing Trend Predictions for 2015

2015 TrendsNearing the end of 2014, we sat down to make a few marketing trend predictions as to what brands should be on the lookout for in 2015. Here are our predictions:

Shareable Social Content

Be informed about what your audiences like and where they spend time. In 2015 brands will have to delve into customization and personalization for social channels, because the most shareable content (thus the most beneficial for your business!) is content with social value.

Original Content Marketing

Using content to market is an old strategy that has always been around. However, the topic of content marketing seemed to attract an abundance of attention in 2014, with regards to efficacy and about how hard it can be to produce quality content in large qualities. Marketers have been challenged to create more original content for more channels (websites, social, blog, newsletters and more) that is also valuable and educational.

Inbound Marketing

Similar to content marketing, inbound marketing relies on earning people’s interest instead of buying it. Creating quality content will attract people to your company and/or product. By aligning your published content with your customers’ interests, you will naturally attract inbound traffic that you can then convert and close over time. Publish the right content in the right place at the right time, and your brand will become relevant and valuable to your customers.

It’s a Smartphone World

Simply put, more people are spending time on mobile. Millennials especially – their phones never leave their side (it’s rare). Information and images should be optimized for mobile viewing. It may even be a good idea to start with mobile and plan to scale up content for desktops and laptops!

Use Video to Cement Relationships

Yes, video production if done professionally is expensive and time-consuming, but it really is worth it. Good content is conversational and creates a “human” aspect to a brand. Not only will brands have to explore more creative ways to produce content, they will also have to understand how to be trustworthy and authentic. Their chosen content, matched with a human touch, will help build the trusting relationships that help consumers keep brands at the forefront of their minds.

Advanced Analytics

In 2015 we should expect to see companies adopting data-driven strategies that go beyond accessing “big data” to actually integrating that data into everyday marketing decisions, campaign strategy, and product development. Brands will dig deep to uncover those actionable insights they can leverage to generate growth, sales, and identify prospects.

Do our predictions make sense to your business? Which trends would you like to implement in 2015? What are your predictions for 2015? Share your predictions with us in the comment section.

What’s Your Biggest Pain Point?

painpoint

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As marketers, we try to assess client’s needs and results to understand what strategy should be followed to help them achieve their goals.  As success can be measured on various levels including ROI, awareness, reach, leads, and conversions, it is critical to clearly define your needs, so a targeted strategy can be developed.  Needs are usually rooted in what I like to call “pain points”. In this weeks blog, I thought I would take the pulse of the industry and ask you what you feel are biggest pain points facing your business.

As a result of this quick survey, I hope to share with you “pain point” trends and some analysis of what these trends might mean for our industry and your business. The results will only be as strong as your participation, so I hope you’ll participate. What is the top “pain point” facing your business?

  • Financial concerns
  • Employee/personnel issues
  • Marketing ROI
  • Marketing strategy
  • Online marketing (emails, web, ads)
  • Mobile application of business
  • No brand awareness
  • Lack of sales
  • Lack of innovation
  • Other – define:

I look forward to reading the results and sharing the trends in next week’s blog.

Why You Need Video in your Strategy…Now!

Consumers have become wary of traditional marketing in terms of direct promotional materials and content. We know that companies want our money and will try to convince us we should spend it with them. This is why peer marketing has boomed in the past few years, where social media platforms have become a venue for consumers to recommend (or criticize) brand products and services to their social networks.

When it comes to B2B marketing, companies will find many ways to convince you they are the brand for you and, in the past, those with the most money to spend on marketing and advertising had greater influence on their audience. YouTube and social media equalize this playing field because there is a cost-effective opportunity to reach your target market if video marketing and social media are used the right way.

Successful marketing relies on trust – consumers trust their peers and trust what they can see and hear, which puts video marketing in an important position. Entertainment has become vital to successful video marketing, where one could argue that companies are looking to entertain first and promote second. Take, for example, a video that went viral a few weeks ago, “First Kiss” where strangers were asked to kiss each other after only meeting a moment before. The awkwardness and hesitancy in the encounters appealed to such a widespread audience with over 69-million views on YouTube, and countless parodies. Only later did the world find out this was an extremely clever marketing ploy by a ladies clothing brand in L.A.

With almost double the number of visitors converted into leads when a video is embedded in a web page, we know that video marketing is effective…but why? Let this infographic shed some light on why videos, a visual, audial and potentially emotional experience, make a difference in marketing.

DCustom_Content-Marketing_Video_Infographic

 

How often click on a YouTube thumbnail when visiting a website? Does this help you make your decision about a company? I look forward to your thoughts below.

Video Production – Are You Getting What You Paid For?

Doug&Roy3With a combined visual and verbal message, your message is 70% more memorable on video than it is in print alone.  With an influx of demand, there has been an increase in individuals with basic camera and editing skills, and possibly even some college or university training, who call themselves “video production companies”. Like any industry without regulations, it is up to the consumer to do their due diligence before deciding to hire a video production company.

As the owner of a marketing agency and full service video production company with over 14 international video awards and 20 years of production experience, I’d like to outline a few tips to help you make sure you get quality and value from the video production company you hire.

Video is a Marketing Tool

As with any marketing tool, you’ll need to consult with your marketing department or agency to ensure you set the video’s objectives, position its message, and determine the measurement and ROI you hope to achieve.  If your video production company simply shoots video without understanding the broader context, your audience may not understand your message and your video objectives and ROI will not be met. The result: a poor investment and a mixed brand message in the marketplace.

Hiring Professionals

Look at their past work to make sure it is compatible with what you want.  Ask them to give you details of their involvement in the video.  E.g. Did they just show up on a certain date to shoot it or were they involved in the planning, offer insights and provide advice.  Make sure they know your industry and understand your marketing goals.  Ask them about the crew, equipment and editing experience.  E.g. To simply ask if they shoot HD is not enough, as even hand held devices are able to shoot HD.  It is the shooter’s experience and their professional equipment that will give you the high quality work you want.  Ask them to share insight with you as to how your video will help you accomplish your specific marketing goals and objectives.  Note: You are looking for a concrete answer here, not a broad “it will increase brand awareness” type of answer.

Asking Questions

Part of hiring professionals is making sure they ask you the right questions. When you contact a video production company inquiring about a video you’d like to have produced they should ask you a million and one questions about your company, such as your goals and objectives, and then be able to recommend what type of video will best help you reach those goals. E.g. They should be able to tell you what they recommend and why, again highlighting their expertise.

Beware of Sticker Price
If you are only thinking about costs when planning your video, then perhaps video is the wrong medium for your message. When done right, professional videos are not cheap, but can be extremely successful in increasing your ROI. If cost is a huge factor, a professional video production company should be able to advise you as to what, if anything, can be done for your budget.

I hope I have helped increase your understanding in how to prepare and gauge the quality of the video production company you are considering hiring.  Remember, video production (non-union) is not regulated and it has never been truer than in this industry that “you get what you pay for”.

Have you used, or are you considering using video?  Please share your questions and stories about your video production in the comments below.

Online Video: Costs to Consider

(A follow-up to It’s Not Only Video Production – It’s Marketing)

In last week’s blog, I discussed the advantages of using video in your marketing efforts, including outlining the video process, and how long a production may take to create.  As a follow up to that blog, I have dedicated this week’s blog to answering questions regarding budget-related costs associated with video production.

As the owner of a marketing agency with a full service video production company, and over 13 international video awards, my clients often ask me how much producing video costs, and how these costs are determined. I’ve shared my answers to those questions below.

How much does it cost to make a video?

Costs are very much dependent on your needs. Every video is customized and unique, and as such, production costs vary widely according to the video style, and the time spent writing, shooting, and editing the final product.

If you plan to buy TV airtime, or buy online advertising to showcase your video, this will also add to your costs.

Have a budget in mind, and then discuss it with your agency to see what type of video can be produced based on this budget.  You should be able to reduce your budget if you can share some of the responsibilities, like writing the scripts, or providing images.

Be realistic about your expectations.  Do not expect to pay a semi-pro rate and get a professional product. Cheaper is usually not better.

What Drives the Cost of Video?

Understandably, I get this question all the time. There are three basic factors that drive productions costs.  These factors eventually get reflected in dozens of budget decisions that impact the quality of the final product.

  • Time.  Time spent increases costs. The more time that is spent in pre-production, scripting, location scouting, camera and equipment used, number of locations, days shooting, size of crew required, special effects, and editing, the better the final product will be.   Reduce the number of locations, for example, and this is reflected in the cost.
  • Talent.  The greater the talent of the people working on the project (crew, director, producer, editor and on screen talent), the better it will be.  In online video production, as with most things in life, talented and experienced people tend to cost more. Use in-house talent, for example, and this will be reflected in the cost.
  • Tools.  Understand what type of camera is best for your shoot requirements. Small DSLR cameras make beautiful footage, but they fall short in many areas, and therefore may not be right for your shoot.  High-end cameras with professional lighting kits, sophisticated post-production motion graphics, and animation will also add to your cost.

If I only want a 30 second video, is that cheaper?

The truth is that the final length of the video is not directly proportionate to the cost of the production.  Consider TV commercials, which are usually created in 30 second time blocks: the production cost alone may be well over $25,000, even though it is only 30 seconds long. Why? Because the project still required planning, scripting, a talented team, professional tools, etc.  So even if you reduce the final video time to 30 seconds, it does not mean the costs will be lower. That being said, you would be able to save costs in the “time” side of things as outlined above.

What is included in the production costs?

Production costs will be itemized in any video proposal sent to you, but they can include everything from initial research and concept development to scriptwriting, shooting, editing, graphics, music and narration. Duplication of CDs, DVDs or USBs is usually not included. Again, discuss what items you will be responsible for and what you need your agency for and then they can send you the itemized costs and responsibilities in their proposal.

I have outlined for you what you can expect from a professional and experienced video production company. Although you can produce videos from an iPhone, or use free editing software on your computer, please be aware that you do get what you pay for.

As a business professional, consider video to be yet another professional service, as you would your accountant.  Video is a powerful medium, as I have said many times: it has the power to influence clients by going viral and driving your brand and ROI. However, if done unprofessionally, it also has the power to leave a negative impression in the minds of your potential clients.

Do you have any questions about using video in your marketing? Do you have any other costing questions for me?  Please share your questions and stories about producing video in the comments below.

Online Video: It’s Not Only Video Production – It’s Marketing

As our plugged-in business world is becoming far more receptive to video messages, and online video is entering marketing’s mainstream, it’s natural to feel a little daunted about using video for the first time.

As the owner of a marketing agency with a full service video production company, and over 13 international video awards, I receive a daily deluge of questions from my clients who are thinking about using video in their marketing, but have concerns about jumping into this medium.

From low-cost do-it-yourself video blogs, to polished corporate overviews, there are certainly more options available today, but beware: The notion “you get what you pay for” still applies. Businesses today would benefit from understanding more about what they are paying for, and the value it brings to their business.

Below, I’ve provided you with answers to the questions that many of my clients are asking, in the hopes that they will allay your trepidations about using video in your marketing plans.

How can a video help my company?

Video is a powerful tool for reaching your audience, whether you’re selling a product, a service or a new concept. With a combined visual and verbal message, your message is 70% more memorable on video than it is in print alone.

Can I produce the video myself, or do I need professional help?

You could certainly apply the do-it-yourself approach, using basic consumer video equipment and self-taught talent.  (Think YouTube.) The benefits are speed and low costs, but the risks could be huge, as the results often look amateurish. This may erode credibility and brand messaging.

When it comes to video, particularly online video, I strongly recommend hiring a video production company, ideally one attached to a marketing agency. No, this is not shameless self-promotion; it is the truth.  Video is a marketing tool and so you’ll need to consult with a marketing agency.  Most video production companies are focused on producing videos, but not on helping you set the video’s objectives, position its message, and ultimately achieve your marketing ROI.

If your video production company simply shoots video without understanding the broader context, your video message may miss the point, and your video will not give meet your marketing objectives and ROI.  See next question for more details on the process.

When hiring a professional marketing agency with a video production arm, look at their past work to make sure it is compatible with what you want.  Ask them to give you details of their involvement in the video.  Make sure they know your industry, and understand marketing.  Ask them to share with you how your video will help you accomplish your specific marketing goals and objectives. Note: You are looking for a concrete answer here, not a broad stroke “it will increase brand awareness” type of answer.

What is the process for creating a video?

First, be sure you know what you are trying to accomplish.  One of the biggest reasons a project falls short of expectations is that the client can’t decide what they want, and keeps moving the target during production.  This adds cost, and erodes quality.

Before you can produce the video, you’ll need to clarify what you want to accomplish, and determine what resources you have available to you. You’ll also need to know your unique selling proposition, your target audience, your marketing goals and objectives, how and where your audience will view this video, and how you will measure the ROI.

Some questions to consider might include: do you want to increase credibility, build your brand, attract new clients or recruit new staff?  What marker decides success? Who should be profiled in the video? Do they need media training?

Once the marketing purpose has been established, and you have a general direction, there are three basic stages to completing your video:

  1. Pre-production: Deciding on the locations and on camera talent, writing scripts, creating a shot list, arranging for the appropriate equipment, camera, and site logistics and clearances
  2. Production: This is actually shooting the video.
  3. Post-production: This involves the editing of the video, including motion graphics, special FX, onscreen text, adding in other visuals images or footage and a soundtrack.

How long does it take to produce a video?

In general, the process can take anywhere from 2 to 12 weeks, depending on the complexity of your production.

Should you use video as a method to support your marketing? Absolutely, but make sure you consult with a marketing professional who actually produces video. You only have one chance to make a lasting, first impression. This has never been as true as it is today, with online video.

So… how much will a video cost? And how are these costs determined? I have dedicated next week’s blog to answering those questions regarding budget-related costs associated with video production.

Do you have any questions about using video in your marketing?  Have you used, or are you considering using video in your online marketing campaigns?  Please share your questions and stories about producing video in the comments below.