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7 Seconds Away: The Rise of Short Form Video

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Short form content appears to be the next “next big thing”, at least until the good folks at Google find a way to plant ads directly into our frontal lobes. With that Social Video looks like it might finally be coming of age.

Since Instagram joined the short form video content party, people have been asking if this will have an effect on traditional video advertising. The short answer is no. These are both new(ish) channels and they’ll have no more of an effect on standard video advertising content than LOL Cats had on full page ads in Vogue.

What this does mean for marketers is that brands are going to have to get better at using short form narrative. There are some great examples of brands using Vine (we particularly like Urban Outfitters) but many are still scrabbling around trying to see how it fits into their overall marketing strategy.

The simple fact is it can’t be treated as a sub-channel, with shortened versions of “long form” adverts being cascaded down. Short form video creates a new dynamic and therefore (unsurprisingly) we yet again need to think differently about how we approach it to attract and engage users.

Principally brands need a very strong reason to get involved in these channels. 15 and 7 second “buy my product” videos aren’t going to cut it, not if brands want to be relevant in the space. Instead it’s going to be a long term investment and strategy that are going to win out. Check out http://brandsonvine.com/ for some interesting ways brands are using Vine. As for Instagram, I guess we’ll see an influx of brands utilising all 15 seconds very soon.

Location, Location, Lighthouse?

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A case study by the sea

A case study by the sea

97.265%* of all the case studies we’ve ever been shown are filmed in an office.  But surely the point of making a video is to show off the company’s uniqueness, either through building the brand or demoing new products or a way of thinking?   So what’s with this stunning lack of variety?  Well the upside of course is that company offices are a snap to organise, what with being quite literally on the organisation’s doorstep.  That’s great, especially for quick turnaround projects.  However the downside to all that convenience is that the end result will look just like every other case study that your company has ever made.

Just because you’re creating video for business it doesn’t mean you have to stick to the same old tried and tested locations when you come to shoot it.  With a bit of imagination and just a tiny bit more effort you could end up with something really quite special.

Here’s in no particular order are a few of our favourite alternative locations, let us know if we’ve missed any,

  1. A Coffee Shop
  2. Innovation Centre
  3. Sports Stadium
  4. Library
  5. The Zoo
  6. An Art Gallery
  7. Fruit Market
  8. The Seaside
  9. Historic House
  10. A Disused Church
  11. Cave
  12. Rooftop
  13. The London Eye
  14. The back of a Limousine
  15. A Park
  16. Your customers premises
  17. A theatre/film set
  18. Concert hall/recording studio
  19. A maze
  20. A chocolate shop
  21. Lighthouse

So next times you get the opportunity to shout about your company why not try thinking outside the boardroom?

(*Made up stat but it’s a really is almost all of them.)

 

3 Viral Video Ideas You Can Have For Free!

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dog-skateboardIf we got a pound every time a company asked us to make them a viral video we would literally have £33.50.  So we thought it might be a good idea to run through the basics…

Viral videos build brand awareness, they rarely contribute to sales.

99% of viral videos are either; funny, cute, sexy, violent or show a genuinely amazing feat.

They elicit a strong emotion, be that OMG! Or Gross!

A viral video is not an Infomercial.  That means the moment you find yourself saying, “I’m not sure the messaging is coming through strongly enough.” you need to stop.  Instead REMOVE any dialogue that extolls the features and benefits, any lingering product shots, and any stats.

Having the Big Idea is not always enough. Unless you are extremely lucky, you will still need either a huge online network of friends or be comfortable spending money on seeding.  Ideally both.

Going viral isn’t always a good thing.  Several big names have ended up offending their audience or having their idea hijacked by a rival company or group.

Still want to make a viral? Well then here are three viral video ideas you can have on us, just pop your logo at the end of one of these success magnets and let us knew how you get on!

1. The Queen chowing down on a Big Mac – One’s loving it

2. The first skydive from the moon back to earth – your brand on that spacesuit.

3. A cat attacking a printer while Chuck Norris watches– comedy gold.

Inappropriate Uses for Vine in Business

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iStock_000003705180Medium

There are a hundred different blog posts about how to use Vine effectively as a business tool. For instance, this one from Chris Brogan does the job perfectly.

But what about inappropriate uses for Vine? What’s the best way to damage relationships, cash flow and reputation all within 6 seconds?  We’ve had a bit of a think and here’s a few ways we think you could do it.

1) Customer endorsements are the best! Why not see how great an endorsement your customer can give you whilst you mercilessly throw peanuts at them? You can call them 6-second endurance endorsements. Take it Ken! Take the rain of peanut misery and tell us just how much you love us as a supplier!

2) Barry in Telesales is a closer. Film Barry as he lambasts 83 year old Mavis, from Sutton-on-Trent, for “stringing him along”. Snigger along to create your own laughter track. After all, Barry IS sales and the perfect poster boy for your business. No-one escapes Barry’s sales net.

3) You’ve landed that big client! Now tell everyone what you REALLY think of them.  Maybe using gestures and props. Don’t hold back. What’s the worst that could happen?

4) Show the world what a laid back fun loving bunch you are by filming the next office social at Webster’s Karaoke & Grill. Now sit back and watch the comments come rolling in as eagle eared viewers try to decide exactly what animal it is Darren from Tech Support is strangling live on stage.

5) Film Wendy from Finance as she walks down the corridor with her skirt tucked into her knickers. This is better than the time you filmed Henry the janitor choking on a skittle. Make sure you get the company logo in the shot though!

6) Your CEO is great! Everyone loves him and when he talks it’s like he’s delivering little flying candy hearts of joy directly into your ears. Your customers can’t get enough of him on-screen. So give them what they want! Show his vulnerable side. A sneaky peak of him in action next time he pops to the loo should do the trick.

Well frankly there are just a few. Why not see if you can come up with any yourself and post them below?

Why a video testimonial might just be the best thing you ever did for your business.

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When a customer tells the world you rock on camera it can have a transformational effect on your business.  Why?  Because potential customers are usually looking for some reassurance that what you have to sell is really what they’re looking for.  Although written testimonials could be used to do this they lack the immediacy and impact of a video and if they happen to be anonymous? Well most cynical people will start wondering if they’re fake.

Video testimonials on the other hand prove that your company is committed to good customer service.  They let you demonstrate how you go about solving your customers problems and most importantly that you won’t let them down.  And because they show happy, satisfied customers whose lives have been made better they do a far better job of blowing your own trumpet that you ever could.

So if you want to start getting the best out of your customer’s testimonials why not follow our few simple tips?

Don’t script it.  Testimonials only work if they sound genuine.  Ask the customer some open questions and let them tell you what they think in their own words.

Be specific.  “Improved profits by 200% in just 6 months” sounds so much impressive than “We saw a jump a profits”

Be relevant. If you want to sell your product to the healthcare industry make sure you’re talking to someone who works in that industry and better yet set the interview there.

Objections. What objections? Make time to deal with any perceived negatives with your product or service. Production seen as too slow? That’s because you get it right first time.  Too expensive? Not when you take into account the savings in other areas they’ll make.

Don’t fake it.  Ever. Always use real customers because it’s all too easy to spot when an actor or member of the business has been used as a stand in.

Why not let us know how you use customer testimonials to promote your business?  How easy do you find it to ask customers for them?  Or do you struggle to get clients to agree to be on camera? Have you found testimonials make it easier to get new business?

The Cheat’s Guide to Measuring Success

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Hurray, you’ve finally launched your new video.

It looks great, came in on budget and is bang on message.   Which just leaves us with the BIG question – is it working?

The good news is that even if there wasn’t a measurement strategy put in place at the start of the project there’s still plenty you can do to find out;

1.       Start by reminding yourself of the original objectives for the project.  Are YOU happy that it’s doing what it set out to do?

2.       Ask around.  You probably know at least a couple of people in your target audience so why not do a quick straw poll and ask them what they thought?  (If you’re met with blank stares you may need to think about upping the video’s promotion.)

3.       Check the view count.  Understanding statistic can be a bit complicated but all you’re really looking for at this stage is how many people have actually watched your video and if they made it to the end.

4.       Find out how the video is being used – if it’s a sales demo is it used to start conversations with customers? If it’s a training video is it being watched in full?  If the answers no then why not?

5.       Is it being shared?  Around the company? With friends and family?  Even globally? Chances are that if people are forwarding it around or talking about it with each other then the video has done its job.

Hopefully after doing a few of those simple checks you’ll be breathing a big sigh of relief, but if not keep an eye out for next week’s blog where’ll be giving you some hints on what you can do next.

In the meantime we’d love to hear your experiences of trying to measure success.  Is it something you insist on? Or avoid like the plague? Any hint or tips we’ve missed?

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