Sunday, 22 April 2018

How To Use Social Media Video Effectively

It's easy enough to find statistics on how effective video is at increasing conversion rates, stats on the rate of growth of video use on all social media platforms, and the internet as a whole, but do you know how to use social media video effectively?

Cell phone showing social media

As with many new things, a lot of people like to dabble a bit. If they succeed they will continue, if they fail, they stop doing it. This is very much the case with social media video whether the video is done personally or by video production companies. The internet is littered with poorly executed social media video. It's as though the world wide web has become a dumping ground for bad video productions. While there is nothing wrong with giving it a go, social media video is a very unforgiving set up. The viewers have no problem ignoring your video or clicking away while watching it, to go see some other more interesting video. There is no sense of obligation or guilt on the part of the viewer to not hurt your feelings. If they are not interested in your video, you feel the cold shoulder of the masses.

So with a clear understanding that nobody owes you any favors in the world of online marketing and that it's a highly competitive market, let's get to how you can improve your chances of having your video seen and having it make a difference.

The two main differences you want from your video marketing online are traffic and SEO.
These are two separate but equally important parts of the effect of video in social media. They both take a long time to build up and both can change your business marketing forever.Let's begin with traffic.
At the end of the day, SEO or Search Engine Optimization is also about traffic. Although it is about being ranked high in a search engine, if that rank doesn't result in traffic, it is pretty meaningless.
Desk with collection of tools for planning a social media video marketing campaignIt is also important to know that the numbers showing traffic are not the same as traffic. This may be , on the surface, a bit odd. Isn't it all about the numbers? You want to see high numbers on your viewership right? Well not really. The numbers can be a good indication of an increase or decrease in viewership but it does nothing more than that. Unless you are trying to earn money on YouTube from Adsense, the numbers mean little. What you want is clicks on your website or action being taken by the viewer. This is where many video marketing campaigns go off track. The obsession with having the number of views go up can be self defeating .
Firstly, it is important to know that views can be bought. Let that sink in for a second. There are many videos on YouTube and other video platforms with tens of thousands and even hundreds of thousands of views that have barely even been watched by a handful of people. How is this possible? Its very simple. There are a range of services that offer "real" viewers at a super cheap price. The views are simply bought and the numbers show the growth in views. Many of these services include "subscribers" even "likes" and "dislikes" to make it look authentic. Many buyers are so convinced that they simply spend money on growing the number of views. A completely pointless exercise. If those views don't result in any gain for marketing, then what is the point? There needs to be some form of action after watching the video to make the video meaningful to your marketing.
It can be said though that buying your first few views can help with first impressions but it will not help in the long run. Many people will not watch a video with low viewer numbers. Like the people who will only stand in long queues because they think that other people wanting something is a reason for wanting it themselves, so viewers want to see what other viewers want to see. So starting off with a few bought views can't hurt but what matters is what happens after that. Do they actually keep watching your video? Do they interact with your video? Do they come back for more?

These are the things that really matter. It may seem daunting but it can be achieved. The first thing is to not try to be something you are not. Many would argue that being funny or controversial is the answer. As much as this does work in many cases, it may not work for you. It may not even benefit your business, even though the viewers may be flying in. Remember, effective video marketing has results. Measurable results. Also not all videos need to be super high end like those made by video production companies in Johannesburg. They should however not be unprofessional. Quality is still important.

So lets get to the meat and potatoes part of video marketing on social media. Now whether you are using a video production company or you are making them yourself, the same set of ideas apply.
They are Relevance, Targeted and Constancy.

Lets start with relevance. This not only applies to the content of the video but relevance to your business. Having a puppy video may bring in an audience but if you sell industrial equipment you are wasting your time. Your mission is not to provide entertainment. Your mission is to bring in a buying audience. You can be entertaining in the process but the focus is not entertainment. Try to find topics that interest your target market.

This brings us to the targeted part. Being targeted does not mean having a general coverage of a vaguely similar audience. A target is precise. The age, gender, social standing, industry, price bracket etc are critical bits of information about your market that can make or break your targeting of the correct audience. When your videos go out they need to appeal to that audience.

Then consistency comes in. You may have heard consistency thrown around in all fields but in social media marketing, this is hugely important. There are two reasons for this. The first is that it takes time for people to trust you and your message. Secondly it's because the audience you created will fall away if they come back to your channel only to find that your messages have stopped.This is where dabbling in social media can be a killer. All the work can end up with no results and, even worse, the sense of despondency will kill your eagerness to try again. Its better to do an average job consistently than have a random bit of greatness.

So how do you get started with your video marketing? Before you put something out there, it is important to cover some basic topics. Whether you use a corporate video production company or make your own videos with your cell phone, the rules are the same. They are image quality, sound quality and packaging. If you are not going to use a professional video production company then
Shot of Video camera as used by video production companies in Johannebsurg
these are very important. Most video production companies in Johannesburg have got these parts down so its a weight off your mind. If, however, you are doing it on your own then these are very important. It would take more than a few blogs to share that information but the basics would be: use light, more light and then some more light. Don't shoot in dark areas without experience. Make sure your audio is loud and clear. Not too loud that it distorts and not too soft that the audience will struggle to hear it. If you can, use a lavelier, or lapel, microphone to improve your voice recordings.
Make sure the video audio is mixed and leveled correctly. Turning up your speaker volume can create the illusion that your audio is fine. When it goes online you will discover the problem. Make sure its loud and clear compared to other audio like music etc.Also having too much graphics in the video can take away from the personal appeal. Having some basic short graphics like nice clean titles and logos can make the video look more professional but don't over do it.

Video being watched on mobile device.Now comes the choosing of the idea for your video. This although technically easier, can be the hardest part for most people. The problems is not just finding a good idea, its consistently finding a good idea. Remember its not just a once off. What can help is to find an idea and make it a theme for a bunch of videos. For example if you sell gardening tools, you could do a series on removing unwanted things in the garden. The first episode could be about weeds, the second about bugs, the third about chemicals etc. If you sold on-line products like training programs you could take tiny parts of the training and share them as teasers. If you owned an exhaust and tyre shop you could give out advice on car maintenance tips or insider secrets to keeping car performance at its best.As you can see the topics for the video productions are similar but not exactly like the product in many cases. The idea is to attract people with similar interests to your product/service you are are selling.

This way they don't feel like you are selling to them. They have a sense of knowing your brand, trusting your message and having a sense of reciprocity. They, when they finally need your product or service, would more likely chose yours over your competitor because they feel like they know and trust you. Once you get this right, like the shampoo bottle says "rinse and repeat".
Having an audience that likes what you are doing will bring in bigger and bigger audiences who will grow in trust and liking of your business.
Many video marketers make the mistake of turning their marketing into a money generating video service. This can be a big problem for many marketing campaigns. While it is nice to make a few extra dollars form your videos, the trust can be damaged. The amount of return from the sales through your business as a result of your video marketing can massively outweigh the small gains from money earned form adverts on your video. Even worse is that your competitors can end up advertising on your video. You bring the audience, they get the results. Your video marketing should be to bring in your audience, to direct them eventually to your business. Nothing more, nothing less.

Your videos can also have a big impact on your SEO. This means that your videos can help with your business ranking. While many video production companies can make great videos, what hey might not be experts in is the application of the videos. Many SEO experts will tell you that embedding and back-linking is key to SEO. The embedding is where your marketing videos, on places like YouTube, are embedded into your website. Then your YouTube video can have a back-link to your website. This works well for boosting SEO. It also helps for your audience to be able to find your videos.

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Using a Voice Artist For Corporate Video Productions

Many corporate video productions are made using a presenter who does all the speaking. The image and voice of the presenter are recorded on set so there is no thought of a voice-over. There are times though when a voice-over is necessary and in many cases a real benefit to the production. If a presenter is being used, one of the main concerns is ambient noise and acoustics. The environment where the video is being shot has to be quiet and not have echo. This means many industrial videos are just about impossible with a presenter because of the noises from the factory machines and vehicles.
There may also be normal corporate environments that are just too noisy. These can include businesses that are too close to busy roads or having noisy neighbours or even construction taking place nearby.
This is where the voice artist becomes a necessity. Many of the business marketing videos made for small businesses, made by video production companies, make use of in-house client company staff to
Studio microphone for a voice artist to provide voice-overs for video the actors and presenters. Many would believe that the same would apply for the voice recording for the corporate video. This is often a huge mistake. The reason being that if the viewer sees a spokes person for a company, they do not expect that the person is an actor or presenter. The average person has a less than spectacular voice but because you can see that the presenter is an average person, without performance skills, the average voice is acceptable. In many cases it is also a benefit to the marketing of the business as the person seems more relatable as an average person.

This however is not the case when the viewer cannot see the presenter. If there is a voice recording it is most often expected that the voice will be that of a professional voice artist. Hearing an average voice may lead the viewer to believe that the company making the video skimped on the voice artist and went the cheap route. This can damage the overall perception of the company being marketed. This would work against the marketing which is intended to impress potential clients.
The voice, if the video is done without a presenter, should be of the highest quality because not only is it expected, when there is no visual of the speaker, the mind of the viewer becomes more focused on the voice recording. This is a natural human response. When one sense is reduced the others are heightened.

This means that the voice artist should not just be good but be great. The one benefit of using a voice artist is that the voice can be heavily processed and still be accepted by the audience. This is where close mic techniques and processing equipment can take a good voice and make it sound great. Audio processing may be new to many people, even to some video production companies.
Microphone and mixer of radio station showing a radio DJ voice being processed.The first real use of voice processing was for FM broadcast radio stations. The intention was to make the radio station sound louder than others. The fight was on to create the loudest radio station. This took a wrong turn initially resulting in stations sounding very harsh although very loud. Along came the Orban Optimod. This was a processing device that not just compressed audio to make it loud, it offered multi-frequency limiting, compressing and processing to allow for, not only a loud sound, but a high quality and hugely impressive sound. It made the radio station sound "bigger" and not just louder. That is often why when you meet a radio presenter in person they sound a lot less impressive than when they are "On-Air".

This type of processing was however a live process and could not be used "Off-Air" unless the recording was run through the processor creating a second generation audio recording. This was not that great in the days of analog recordings. When digital recording came along, that all changed, and more importantly the processing equipment became way more affordable in the form of a computer program, as opposed to a piece of physical equipment. Also the processing could be done within the program without the need of an external recording device, This removed all the second generation audio problems. A voice artist in Johannesburg could now have their voice edited and processed in New York or anywhere else. Video production companies in Johannesburg could do the same to their voice recordings for corporate video.

This meant that the "power" sound of a radio presenter could now be put into a small business marketing video at almost no extra cost compared to the past. While it is still important to start with a good sounding voice, the final video product can now have a high end "broadcast" sound.

Studio depicting how a voice of a voice artist can be significantly boosted Many of the commercial production companies Johannesburg based, and around the world, used this to their advantage for TV adverts. This meant that they could stand out from the crowd and be loud enough to be paid attention to by the viewer. There was however a downside to it. That was that TV adverts were much louder than the TV shows. This resulted in very annoying burst of sound for the TV viewer. When a TV program cut from a gentle scene to an explosive washing powder commercial, the effects were in many ways negative because of how it upset the viewer. Many TV stations and video production companies learnt to control this but there are those who still do this unnecessarily.

The voice artist though has become the center of the issue as the voice quality, tone, accent and skills of the voice artist can lift a marketing video to great heights. This is more obviously noticeable in the movie trailers where a hugely powerful voice narrates the commercial for the upcoming movie. This kind of "giant" voice can be entrancing and can really draw in an audience.
This kind of big voice is not necessary for corporate video productions but it does show in a very clear way how the voice of a voice artist can make a huge difference to the overall wow factor of a video. Corporate video production companies Johannesburg based have begun to make more use of this to great effect.
For South Africans, the "big" voice sound is mostly limited to broadcast but many corporate video production companies are now using South African accent voice artist quality along with the processing to create high end videos. Processing is used in this video below to show how enhanced a voice can be for corporate video.

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Why Do Movies Look SO Different To Video Productions

Amazingly movies these days are actually video. Gone are the days when cinema films were filmed on actual film. Cinema projectors are also video projectors. The idea of big reels of film being put on to reel to reel projectors are long gone. If film is actually video then why do films look different to video.
A shot of a film production crew on set with actors and director.There are quite a few technical reasons as well as style reasons. These differences make a such a difference to the final image that its worth looking into it to see what can be used to improve video productions used for marketing and company videos.

The first thing to look at is the camera. The ability of the camera to produce the high quality image is where a lot of the magic begins. The first and probably most important difference is what is referred to as dynamic range. This is the difference between the very black and the very white. When you have low dynamic range, when the subject of the image is at exact exposure, the bright areas in the video are over exposed and in many cases the dark or black areas are either crushed too black or are filled with video noise. Video noise is where there seems to be a type of sparkle in the black are low light areas .This twinkling is incorrect information that the camera puts out when it can't actually measure what is there. A professional cinema camera can capture a huge dynamic range allowing for areas as bright as the sky and areas as dark as a cave entrance to be exposed within the acceptable range.
View of snow covered mountain top showing wide dynamic range of a film production cameraThis is further improved by using what is referred to as a "flat" image. This is where the bright and dark areas are compressed to be well within the range of absolute white and absolute black. This is one of those great features that are now available on more reasonably priced cameras. The Panasonic GH4 and GH5 have this ability as well as the Sony 7sII. They have what is called a "log" video. Referred to by terms like V Log and similar terms. These allow the lower priced cameras to achieved similar results to cinema cameras. This can allow corporate video production companies to have the same dynamic range for their corporate clients.

The flat image not only allows for the dynamic range but also allows for the editor to have a lot of scope in the colour range. A camera manufacturer called Black Magic has a range of cameras that produce extremely flat images that can result in video with spectacular colour dynamic range which can give the editor a huge scope for creativity. Black Magic is producing cameras for cinema as well as normal commercial use. What is important to remember though is that the Black Magic cameras were designed with the editor and colourist in mind so if your editing skills are not the best then this can be a less than perfect choice of camera.

A horizontal lens flair known as a transmorhic lens flair caused by a transmorphic lens in film productionThere is one feature which was created specifically for cinema cameras and was intended as a work around for the 35MM film. It was intended to fit a "CinemaScope" or wide angle image onto an almost square piece of film. This was a practical fix which was not intended to produce any visual effects of any kind but it did. In the industry it is known as a Transmorphoc lens flare .This is a lens flair that spreads out horizontally. Its a fantastic look, especially for SCI FI Films and just about any scene with electric lights that can be made to look awesome. The name comes from the lens which was a "Transmorpohic" lens converting wide angle to 35mm.

One of the most commonly accepted differences between video productions and film productions is the resolution. Cinema cameras shoot in 4K or higher while most video cameras are HD. This has changed though with the Panasonic GH4 and GH5 which can both shoot in 4k. The cinema cameras still offer higher quality images in many cases but the 4K of the Panasonic is excellent not just for 4k but when reduced to HD is amazing. The use of DSLRs and micro 4/3 cameras has brought the photography camera into the world of video. This change has confused many clients of video production companies who have had to explain that it is in fact a video camera. Stories abound of professional video production companies and corporate videographers being laughed off set and ask to leave because they had what looked like a photo camera. The improvement in technology can be confusing to the uninformed clients.

Another difference between films and video is what is called aspect ratio. This is the shape of the picture, the ratio being the horizontal vs vertical measurement. The TV aspect ratio was 4:3 and most HD video is 16:9 while cinema is 21:9 .This is why film is so much "wider" than normal video. There are other aspect ratios being use such as the 18:9 which is a compromise between 21:9 and 16:9.
The wide screen look can be very cinematic in its look and many marketing video production companies have used it to make their video look more like movies. The problem is that it also makes the video smaller to fit on most TV or computer screens.

Wide aperture of film or video production camera produces shallow depth of field.There are also many techniques which are less technical, that make a huge difference in look. They are depth of field, extreme close ups and moving cameras. The depth of field is also known as shallow depth of field, as the depth of focus is very shallow, allowing only certain areas in the view to be in focus. The rest is out of focus to different levels. The extreme close ups are very prominent in movies but most video production companies in Johannesburg and around the world will not attempt this as the clients often don't understand and think there is something wrong with the video. Moving camera though has made a substantial leap from cinema to video by many of the pieces of equipment becoming more affordable. The equipment used for movement in cinematic cameras have been doing the most to produce cinematic looks in corporate video productions in Gauteng.

Video Production set with camera on dolly wheels. The moving camera equipment for cinema that made use of many skilled staff have scaled down to require only one operator thus making the unreachable more available to corporate videographers and video production companies who were stuck with static shots before. The best that corporate videographers could do before was to tilt the camera up and down, left and right and zoom. This was enough for most corporate video productions in the past but clients of video companies have become more demanding while wanting to pay less at the same time. This is where the small jib crane, slider, and tripod dolly wheels have made a huge impact. The results are almost indistinguishable from the film set shots.

While breakthroughs in cinematic filming have done great things for the public's entertainment, the trickle down effect has been that video production companies can reproduce lesser versions that have an enormous difference to the production value of corporate video.

Its important though to understand which aspect of cinema do not belong in corporate video. Shaky camera effects and lens flair are examples of effects being brought across the divide that should not be in most cases. These effects were intended to give a certain look to the films being made.They do very little to boost the production value of corporate video and can have a detrimental effect on the overall look because instead of it looking more cinematic it looks unprofessional. The shaky camera look in particular can make it look like the camera operator simply had a shaky camera from not having the right equipment. Event though the shake may be intentional, the viewer does not know that.
So while there may still be differences between movie techniques and video productions, some of those should stay that way while others can be used to great effect to produce fantastic results for company marketing.

You can see many of these techniques being used by a corporate video production company in Johannesburg in this video below.

Saturday, 31 March 2018

The Kind Of Video You Should Be Using For Social Media.

There is so much video being used and so much confusion as to what video to use for social media. Many video production companies are producing tons of high quality video for marketing but are they effective marketing tools on social media? Its time to look at what video should be used and when, with social media marketing.

Before we look at the problems we need firstly to define social media. This basic step is often overlooked and is part of the problem. Firstly not all social media is made equal. Different social media requires different video. You can not post a video to YouTube and think that it is the same as twitter or Facebook. Some social media platforms don't even allow for posting videos. So it is important to know which ones do. There is also a different audience on each platform so its important to know the demographics of your client base and which social media platforms match that audience. It makes no sense to have a huge reach to an audience that has no interest in your product or service.
Many businesses, due to their lack of knowledge about social media, get suckered into the notion that to stay relevant they have to reach out to a young and connected audience. Although the temptation is always there to try to be hip and in touch, if they are not your client demographic or potential buyers, they are not relevant. Be relevant to your actual client base.

Small Business Owner Seeing growth Through Marekting With Video Online.

Each social media platform also has its own limit on size of video.This means bit rate and quality as well as length of video can be critical. So many companies make one video which they think can simply be plastered on all networks, not knowing that this is impractical. The video production companies in Johannesburg and around the world are only too happy to make these videos but the audiences will also respond differently to the same video on different platforms so the prodcution companies need to create ones that are appropriate.

Video Production Companies In Johannesburg Doing Their Work.One of the main causes of incorrect video usage on social media is self indulgence. Way too many companies will spend 3 to 7 minutes talking about themselves as if they are some super star who everyone is interested in. Reality check...You are not and they are not interested. A hard pill to swallow but if you don't break the cycle of self indulgent marketing, your businesses marketing will be feeble at best. The world today is filled with people who are only interested in what benefits them. They will not even watch 30 seconds of a rant about how amazing your company is. Video productions should be 100% about what benefits the client and not your business. The video is not only about getting the message to the client about how your company can benefit them but the video itself must be a benefit. This part is hard for many to comprehend because they never look from the buyers point of view, only from their own. Many corporate video production companies Johannesburg put together fantastic videos that are technically amazing and visually appealing but are of absolutely no benefit to the clients marketing strategy. The client is happy because their ego is stroked with the pretty video and the video production company is happy because they get paid whether the video brings new clients or not.

What video production companies should be doing is pointing out what video is most appropriate for which social media platform and how to use it. A video that provides value to potential clients is what should be used  on YouTube such as a "how to" video or some sort of free advice. This is of great value to the potential client and will draw them in willingly. On platforms that only allow for short small , videos where the viewers attention span is short a video that is either entertaining or provocative and very sharable is what should be used. When a company is putting together their web site a completely different video is needed. There are two types, the one being an "about us" video which goes on the about us page of the website and a "reason why" the client should use the business service or product video should be on the landing page. These can be hosted on YouTube or Vimeo and embedded on the web pages. These videos however will do nothing to bring in a new audience or potential clients but work well to close the deal with a person who has already landed on the website.
To draw in a new audience or potential buyers you need to go where they are.

While it makes sense to use professional corporate video production companies to make your range of videos, it is not their responsibility to know where to use them. That is either yours, or your marketing companies responsibility. There should be a clear communication between your marketing department and the video production companies to ensure the video is appropriate and targeted for the correct audience and social media platform.

For example a simple Happy Easter video can be as short as 5 seconds, to simply target existing clients. Like the video below.

Corporate Video Production company at corproate event.This video will not bring in new clients and will do nothing for social media marketing but can be good for staying in the clients minds for future business.
Some simple inspiring short video clips can also work really well on many platforms. As long as it is short, interesting and sharable, then you stand a good chance of getting some decent exposure but its import to to keep testing to see which ones are responded to best and which ones bring in the most traffic. There is no silver bullet when it comes to video productions and their use on social media but these simple guidelines can make a huge difference to the effectiveness of the video and of the marketing on social media platforms.
When going through a list of production companies in Johannesburg, the production companies in Gauteng should offer you a range of video lengths and formats to be used on a range of social media platforms.

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Do you really need video for your online marketing?

It has become an accepted norm that all businesses need video for their online marketing but have you stopped to question if that's true for you and your business?
Corporate videographer working for a video production company in Johannesburg using a DV cam camera.If you were to advertise in a newspaper or magazine in the past you would first look at the demographics of the readers and see if they fit with your client base. While video marketing has very precise demographics on many platforms that can help to make your marketing decisions easier, there still seems to be a one size fits all mentality when it comes to video for business. If your business is B2C, in other words your customers are the public as opposed to B2B where your clients are other businesses, then video marketing can work very well and on many different platforms.Its simply a matter of choosing wisely to target the right market. Where it often gets confusing is when B2B businesses try to market to their potential clients. There is much more to be thought about.

Firstly the video itself is not marketing. It is strange to see so many companies who spend a fortune on a high end video for their company and simply stick it on YouTube and hope for the best. It makes absolutely no sense to think the video, as beautiful as it may be, will just bring in viewers and new clients based purely on how great the video is. To place it in context, if you made a print advert which was beautifully designed and aesthetically pleasing, you would still know that the advert itself does nothing to bring in an audience or clients.You would use that advert in many targeted publications to attract attention and you would know that it would require some repetition before it would really have an effect. Somehow that instinctive behaviour and clear understanding of how marketing works suddenly goes out the window when a video is made. It is very important to understand that video is not marketing, in the same way that an original draft print of an advert is not marketing until it is used correctly.Also keep in mind that video production companies are not marketing companies.

Part of the reason why this confusion happens is that a marketing company will ask thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars for a marketing campaign which includes a video. The many small businesses who cant afford that kind of expense turn to video production companies who will make a great video for a few hundred dollars. If you are very skilled at online marketing, then going to a video production company makes sense because you would have the video made and then you would use it correctly with online platforms to spread your message and advertise to new customers. This would bypass the expense of the marketing company. However if you have no skills in marketing then simply making a video can be completely pointless. Would you go to a local print shop, have a print advert made up and then sit back thinking the calls would roll in.Of course not. The problem for many small businesses is their false belief in what YouTube does. Many small business owners hear it being said "You should have a YouTube video, when that goes viral you will have millions of customers". This is a completely misinformed point of view.

Firstly most videos that go viral do so because they end up being promoted in some way by a person or YouTube channel that already has an enormous audience. In the same way that a radio station or TV station would have a huge audience that they would sell off to advertisers, so YouTube channels would either promote for money or because they like the video. If your video is mind glowingly funny or cute or have some wow factor, and you managed to get the right person to see it then maybe you stand a small chance of that approach working. Remember though that your video has to be more exciting than puppies, kittens, explosions, crashes and beautiful people combined to stand a small chance. More than likely you are simply going to have to pay someone to promote your advert video. If that's the case you are going to have to spend some time making sure you are hitting the right audience so that your money is well spent.

Video camera screen of camera used in corporate event for marketing by video production companies and small businesses.

The burden placed on small video production companies to provide your company with millions of new customers is just ridiculous. They cant do it and if they can it's because they have marketing information and skills that they will charge you for just like a marketing company would. There is no short cut to fame and there is no short cut to marketing. The many online services, and ease of use of video, have absolutely improved the ability of small businesses to market more affordably and effectively but that does not mean that the marketing happens on its own and without spending any money on marketing.

Once you let go of the silly notion that marketing is now easy and cheap, you will begin to build a genuine marketing strategy to fit your business. It can also be helpful to test the waters in many online platforms to see which one brings you the best response.Don't put all your eggs in one basket and hope for the best. Test, test and test some more. When you find the right audience and the right platform the magic can begin.

Business owner looking at business growth as a result of video marketing.

Many video production companies Pretoria based and video production companies around the world have expressed their frustration at the unrealistic burden placed on them. Many have tried to create the facade that they are marketing companies in order to attract these unrealistic clients. This however can end badly as the unrealistic expectations come home to roost and the video production companies in Johannesburg and all around the world then have to fulfil those expectations.Some production companies in Johannesburg genuinely are marketing companies but they can be hard to distinguish from regular video production companies. Do some research or accept that they may just be great video production companies but are not marketers.

Desk with many needed tools for business marketing including a plan of action for video production by video production companies to help boost business marekting.

So the question remains "Do you really need video for your online marketing?" Video has become one of the most effective forms of marketing online. It is not the only useful form of marketing.Sometimes a simple picture and basic text can be as effective if not more effective than a video. It is important to spend some time asking your potential clients what they like and test that with different types of marketing to see which one works best for you.There is no answer that fits everyone or every business. Initially as much money should be spent testing as should be on the marketing itself. This question can only be answered after extensive introspection and large scale testing. Many industries are showing huge leaps in their marketing as a result of video but the same may not apply to you and your business. Video will dominate the future of business marketing but will it be the most effective for your business? Only a clear understanding of your business, your client base and knowing the route to the final transaction can guide you to answer this question.

Saturday, 3 March 2018

Can Movie Tricks Be Used For Corporate Video Marketing Online?

Corporate video production has mostly been seen as far from movies and cinematic style as can be. In the past corporate video used for online marketing has very much had a "corporate"style. This style, although updated with graphics and other styling, has stayed very similar to past productions. High end advertising and commercial broadcast video productions have however been using movie techniques for a long while.These have been out of reach for most corporate video productions. The reason is that the advanced moving camera shots require expensive equipment.

Some of the equipment used by movie makers to create the cinematic look include such things as a dolly, a jib crane, and aerial vehicles such as helicopters, aeroplanes and high powered UAV or drones. These pieces of equipment are very expensive and mostly out of the reach of low budget movie makers and, more importantly for this discussion, of corporate video production companies in Johannesburg who need to produce low budget corporate video productions. Over time though cheaper replacements have become available to smaller productions. Although they are not as effective, in many ways are effective enough, to be usable and not be noticed as a substantial difference. The most important impact is that low budget corporate video productions now have access to equipment to recreate cinematic shots in what would normally be a very plain video production.

So to see how this works and how to take advantage of the new equipment we will look at these replacements.

Dollys replaced with with sliders and dolly wheels.

Image depicting dolly track and dolly used by film companies for moving camera

A dolly is a type of moving camera stand where the movement is in a lateral motion in a way that is smooth and stable. The movement is only in a side to side smooth movement. It can also be used in a forward or backwards movement as well but only in a horizontal way. These can be either a stand only for the camera or include a seat for the camera operator and would need another person to push the dolly along.
The slider and tripod dolly wheels.
These are much cheaper and able to do similar movements. Many would argue that a slider is nothing like a dolly because of its limited movement range. This may be the case but many dolly movements can be simulated with a slider and can actually do movements not possible with a dolly, which is to do very small movements for very close shots of smaller objects.There is also a cheaper replacement for the dolly which is a set of wheels which simply clip onto the camera tripod.These don't need an extra person to push the camera stand around but does need a very smooth surface to work on whereas a dolly can work on almost any surface. In offices or factories where most corporate video productions take place, where the floors are smooth, these can be perfect replacements.

 Steady cam replaced with image stabilisers.

Electronic Image Stabilser used by busdget video production comanies for marketingThe steady cam was a creation of a camera operator and engineer who made it specifically for a movie called "The Shining" and was then used in the movie "Rocky". These movies required a camera operator to follow an actor along an undulating surface and up and down stairs without shaking the camera. This system includes a combination or springs, arms and weights. It is a heavy piece of equipment that has to be attached to the camera operators body. The lower cost replacement is the camera stabilisers. The mechanical version is very effective and quite cheap.It uses a basic vertical arm with a weight at the bottom.It is light weight and very effective but takes a very long time to set up perfectly and takes a lot of practice to use correctly.There is a higher priced piece of equipment and that is the gimbal. This is an electronic camera stabiliser. It is also a reasonably heavy piece of equipment and with its higher price does put it more into the film industry range. It also behaves very differently to the mechanical camera stabilisers in that it corrects movement very quickly which makes some movements not possible.Others however love the accuracy of the gimbal. It is still cheaper than some steady cam designs but not cheap enough for low budget corporate videos.One reasonably new addition is actually in the camera and not as a seperate piece of equipment.That is the built in image stabiliser in the camera body or the lens. Combined with other equipment like a mechanical stabilizer or a jib can produce spectacular results.

Jib Crane with mini jib.

Film production useing jib crand for movie scene.While there doesn't seem to be a difference between a Crane Jib and a mini jib, there is a huge difference in price and the convenience of use is vastly different. A jib crane used in the film industry often requires at least one additional operator besides the camera operator. The equipment is also a much more difficult to move and often require permits and have many safety rules and regulations that the mini jibs don't have. A mini jib, because of its size and weight can often be packed out easily and into a  bag or back pack and can be moved from one location to another making it much more cost effective for video production companies to move from one set to another.The difference, except for the extremely high angle shots, are almost indistinguishable between the crane and mini jib shot. The price difference though is dramatic. The full crane Jib can be in the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars while most mini jibs range from just a few hundred dollars to as low as tens of dollars if are home made. The shots created are so spectacular that this should be seen as a required piece of equipment for almost all corporate video production.

Aerial shots with quadcopters or mini drones.

Quadcopter or drone for corporate video productions by video production companies in JohannesburgA helicopter is pretty obvious to most but most people don't know how the video camera use can vary. Some would assume that the camera is always mounted onto the helicopter but there is in fact a high percentage of film productions where the camera operator is simply seated in the helicopter with an open door or special window.The use of helicopters is prohibitively expensive and, in may cases, pointless because of the noise, dust blown up and legal and insurance issues. The film industry moved to high powered drones or UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) . These although cheaper than helicopters are still way too expensive for corporate video productions. This is where the quadcopter or mini drone came in.Its relatively cheap, very effective and easy to use for most shots. The problem for most drone operators though is the varying regulations for use from one country to another. Video production companies in Pretoria, for example, need to use a licensed drone operators and can only do shots in certain ways, whereas in many other places in the world no license is required or may just be completely illegal. When they can be used effectively drones have been some of the biggest game changers in video production equipment. Some beginner videographers have gone from doing basic shoots to epic corporate marketing videos.

Finally, not as a piece of physical equipment but in the world of software, many video editing software programs allow a video editor to fake camera movement as if it were done by physical equipment. In many other ways the software can also clean up the footage that was made with cheaper camera equipment to make it look like more expensive equipment was used such as image stabilisation as well as all the special effects that movie studios use.

The result of all these changes and additions of cheaper equipment have meant that corporate video productions can suddenly become as thrilling as big budget film or advertising productions. Production companies in Johannesburg who were stuck with a camera on a tripod can now change to creating spectacular visually appealing shots for their corporate clients without bringing in the insane budget.

While many video production companies will stay stuck in their old ways of thinking, pioneering spirited video creators will now be able to produce videos which effects similar to big budget movies.
While this will add some extra cost, the results so far out reach standard productions that ignoring them would be silly.

Here is an example of how a standard corporate budget can be used to turn a standard marketing video into a fun and exciting one.

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Did Video Kill the TV star as well?

TV Station Transmitter Tower in competition with online video created by video production companies and private people.Its been long accepted that video killed the radio star but the question is : Did video kill the TV star too? Truth be told video did not kill the radio star at all.Radio is as strong as ever, just in a different way. If the United States is the only consideration, then its actually syndication that did the most to kill the radio star as we know it. The saying actually comes from when MTV came to life. It was believed that people would flood to music videos over music on its own.This belief exploded MTV into a super channel known world wide. As you may know MTV however is not a music TV station anymore. Its seems radio made a comeback. To really understand what the future holds you simply have to look at how people love convenience. Its not the music video versus the music but the convenience versus past systems. Satellite radio made an initial dent on radio because of the ability to listen to a wide range of services and to have music without advertising.

This however was not really the final nail as streaming became the greatest threat to all forms of broadcasting. Some thought that it meant simply putting the existing broadcast onto online streams as a new delivery system for the same programming. This turned out to be far from the truth. The public became instead a consumer of sound bites and video clips. The world seems to be spinning faster everyday and most people just don't have the time to listen to a full news broadcast and music or talk shows.
If you look outside the United States, the picture is quite different. Many countries don't have satellite radio and many have very poor streaming if you are moving. This makes listening to streaming radio problematic because the signal often breaks down as the signal jumps from one cell tower to another.

With all things, technology will change over time. This means that when signals are clear and stable for a high percentage of the time across the planet, the full change from broadcast will most likely happen. That discussion however does not address the question of video.
Many thought websites like YouTube would be mild distractions at best with silly cat videos and illegal low quality copies of movies, being just another piece of junk TV.
Those in the know, like Google, realized otherwise. After Google took over YouTube the platform become a real contender for news, music, entertainment and a platform for people to voice their opinions on subjects ranging from fashion to politics, dating to global affairs.

A place to put your home video became not only another form of entertainment but a massive new business platform. The potential for advertising was suddenly realised in a way most could never have foreseen.

Depiction of Internnet star who is as famous as a regular celebrity in internet videos as opposed to broadcast TV.One type of star that has appeared is the YouTube star. Self made celebrities have begun competing with broadcast TV and movie stars. Some have termed them "Internet famous" vs "really famous".Oddly many of the "Internet famous" have more followers than traditional stars.Many of them are also self made millionaires.

The question then was : Do businesses take YouTube advertising seriously? Would companies reputation be tarnished in anyway by being associated with what many might see as unprofessional ?
At first all went well and many companies took full advantage of the cheap exposure and made huge leaps in their marketing. The fairytale however was short lived. For what ever reason many companies found that their adverts were played on channels not flattering to their image.They banded together, according to mainstream news, and demanded that YouTube control better, how and where the adverts were placed and what channels were acceptable. Many successful YouTube channels quickly became demonetised.
The question hung in the air of "what does this mean for online video marketing?" Just as marketers got to grips with the world of video commercials online, they had to rethink their strategy.

The changes not only affected YouTube channels and companies but also video production companies who had changed their services from broadcast advertising to online video marketing. The changes were not just technical as with the format and compatibility but also in understanding the diverse audience. Unlike TV channels of old, it was found that if the wrong target market was chosen, the marketing became pointless. Video marketing was no longer about making a pretty 30 second commercial and pounding it over and over on broadcast TV.The marketing with video now had to be more focused. Luckily, the algorithms that Google has been working on, have been able to help marketers to direct marketing to the appropriate audiences. Video production companies also had to come to terms with the idea that many of the video platforms were becoming more and more "live". With Periscope, Facebook Live and other services making it possible for individuals to "broadcast", the standard ideas of  advertising changed. Many people believe that the video production companies in Johannesburg and around the world have a handle on the changes happening but in fact it is such a fast changing industry that even marketing companies along with video production companies are trying to get to grips with the changes. While many of the changes have made it more viable to target a niche market, the terrain is still unknown. Many mistakes will be made and hopefully lessons learned from them. The many casualties along the way might not care too much about the lessons learned when they see their income disappear. Many YouTube channels have had to turn to outside sources for income besides advertising.These ranged from donations through many services and even printing T shirts and other merchandising for their followers to purchase.

Online video presenter shown offering an oppinion as opposed to video productions that are for marketing.One of the biggest problems is that their is no official broadcast authority. YouTube and Google have began monitoring and attempting to filter content for what is more "appropriate". Some have argued that the choices are wildly biased in political and social spheres. While cat videos are still considered by many as "acceptable" , independent news channels claim that they can be demonetised for holding the "wrong opinion".

While it has always been the responsibility of marketing companies to navigate the industry, video production companies have become the first contact for small and medium sized businesses. This means that corporate video production companies in Johannesburg are expected to not only understand the online industry but be experts. They are expected to have  an inside knowledge of how to market video correctly that best helps the businesses. Although it shouldn't be the video companies responsibilities, if the clients think it is, then it is.

With all this chaotic changing of the rules, online marketing has begun to look like a "loose cannon".
TV broadcasting of old suddenly looks appealing because of stability. The truth is though that the sheer expense of broadcast TV simply makes it out of the question for most marketers. This means that no matter how rough it gets, the price factor will keep small and medium sized businesses looking to corporate video production companies to make it work for them. So did Video kill the TV star? Clearly not ...well not yet. Only time will tell how video changes, how its delivered and how it will be used for entertainment, news and marketing.

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