Why Shorter Videos are Often Better

Why Shorter Videos are Often Better

Video is the new King of Content. It’s how you get your clients to notice you when you’re competing for precious screen real estate and even more precious attention spans. The most sophisticated brand building and marketing campaigns are starting to include video as a key component right alongside social posts and blog content. The only question is how to optimize the video content you create to engage your distracted and time-crunched viewers. As a general rule, shorter videos have a higher chance of impacting your target audience than longer videos.

We’re living increasingly digitized lifestyles, and your clients expect and demand information to be easy to find, easy to digest, and succinct. Your audience has limitless options available for information and entertainment, and they’ve forgotten how to devote their focus to any one thing for an extended period of time. In other words, they don’t feel obligated to spend time with your video, and they have no problem clicking away if they don’t see what they are looking for quickly.

Due to the new marketing challenges of this digital age, it’s more important than ever that the content and length of your videos are carefully curated to align with your audience’s expectations. That’s the only way you’ll convince them to actually watch, click, and call.

What’s the Optimal Length for Video Content?

There’s no hard and fast rule that can tell you exactly how long your video should be to accommodate your viewers. You have to figure out what type of content you’re promoting and who your target audience is before even going into production.

For example, if you were leading a sales meeting, you wouldn’t want to open with a five-minute video. That will ensure that they’ll be more absorbed in their bagels and coffee than your pitch.  Instead, you would want to set the tone of your meeting with a much shorter piece, and then fill in the gaps for prospective customers and partners afterwards. If you were creating a branding video, you would want to ensure your content doesn’t exceed about two minutes in order to give yourself a better chance of grabbing attention.

That said, there are situations where longer pieces are appropriate. Educational videos can be significantly longer because viewers are specifically seeking out this content to learn something they think is valuable, which means they’re willing to spend more time on your piece.

Do What it Takes to Create an Engaging Video

If the content of your video isn’t interesting, even three minutes can feel like an eternity for the audience. This is why it’s critical to spend the time and resources to create engaging videos that truly resonate with your viewers. An unscripted blurb on a handheld iPhone isn’t always going to cut it.

Don’t assume that filming a shorter video means that it’ll take less time to shoot and edit. A high quality, effective 30-second video can take over 20 hours to produce. A 15-minute training video may only take four hours to deliver. Production time varies greatly depending on your unique marketing needs and goals, but it’s always worth it to go the extra mile in creating truly compelling video content that grabs the attention of your audience and doesn’t let go. If it’s not worth doing right, it’s not worth doing. Give me a call at Monzo Media if you want to talk about a good target length for your next piece of video collateral, and how we can use video to get your audience’s attention.

What Do You Wear to Your Video Shoot?

What Do You Wear to Your Video Shoot?

Picking an outfit for a video shoot can be strangely stressful, since you know the video will be sticking around for a while. Video content is also an investment, so you feel extra pressure to get it right the first time. When you’re giving an interview or testimonial, you’ll want to wear an outfit that is professional and exudes confidence. When we dress at our best, we tend to feel more self-assured, which has a direct impact on how we present ourselves on camera. In order to capture the attention of your audience, you’ll want an outfit that presents you well as a representative of your brand. In this post, we’ll provide some tips to help select the right kind of outfit that we regularly give to our clients, and talk about some choices that you’ll want to avoid for a video shoot.

Color Schemes to Choose and Avoid

Selecting the colors of your outfit is crucial to putting together the right look for your video shoot, and showing up well on camera. Red, blue, and grey are all solid choices, but you’ll want to avoid putting together an outfit that’s only white or black. If you do choose to feature black in your look, you should mix it with additional colors to add some more contrast to your outfit. Another important thing to consider when choosing your color scheme is the backdrop of your shoot. You need to select colors that contrast with that backdrop so that you aren’t washed out or hard to see. Think about the silhouette that you’ll make against your backdrop. This is especially important if you’re filming on a green screen, since clothing of that color will directly blend into the background and replace your clothing with the image being projected (Here’s a funny example.) though we recommend to skip any green screen videos anyway. Also, avoid choosing an outfit that’s all white, unless you happen to be a doctor wearing a lab coat- it can make the exposure tricky to properly adjust.

Presenting Your Brand’s Style

Be sure to put together an outfit that reinforces what you and your brand represent. This is your opportunity to establish yourself by putting a human face on your brand to your target audience, so you want to take some time and think carefully about the messaging you’re trying to send. Reflect on what your brand or business stands for, and then ask yourself if this outfit truly encapsulates that identity. Is your brand more professional and clean-cut, or fun and offbeat? Traditional, or up-to-the-minute trendy? You’ll want to avoid wearing clothing with other people’s labels and logos on them, because you want to present your personal brand, rather than other businesses. It could also bring some legal trouble. That means no Nike swooshes.

The Right Accessories

When choosing accessories,you’ll want to make choices that compliment your outfit without causing a distraction. Long earrings and bracelets can have unpredictable consequences during filming, especially with lighting, so you’ll want to choose smaller, less complicated pieces that compliment your look without grabbing too much attention from your audience. You want your viewers to engage with the content you’re promoting, rather than the flashiness of your accessories.

Overall, don’t sweat your outfit so much that you wear something you’re not comfortable or confident in.Let your personal sense of style inform how best to represent your brand to the world.

If you have questions about what you should wear to your interview or video shoot, contact us.

The Three Pillars of Creating Effective Video That Gets Results

The Three Pillars of Creating Effective Video That Gets Results

Everyone knows that online video is becoming such an important marketing tool for businesses of all sizes. With a conversion rate of over 68% and search engines like Google, prioritizing websites with video, it’s no wonder why companies are allocating more money for video. It’s able to condense the information in just a few minutes, viewers have a higher rate of absorbing the information, it humanizes the business, it engages with the viewer, and most importantly it has a positive return on investment.

2017 was the year of video making massive growth online. 2018 is going to be the start of quality video content. But how does one know what consists of a quality video? Well, I’ve created three pillars that every video should have no matter of it’s a business promo video, a webinar, a customer testimonial, a facebook live, ect. Each type of video may vary in the levels of each pillar but it’s imperative that every video has each pillar. I’ll dive into this more as we progress.

The three pillars are Engage, Educate, and Convert. Write that down, memorize it, type it in your phone, whatever it takes to make sure you have these three pillars down for your next video marketing strategy session.

Engage is the first pillar. An engaging video will keep viewers wanting to continue to watch the video from the beginning to the end. When you’re using video as a marketing tool, it’s important to use the medium of video to your advantage as much as possible.

Using a business promo video as an example, this means to have an effective intro, have a variety of shots and angles, and lastly great music. They key to this is to not make the video look like a talking head. Those kinds of videos are often boring (but they have their place which we will get into later). The strategy that I have taken with my clients is a documentary-like-style approach to the video.

Having an effective intro is also important to creating an engaging video, because those first 8-10 seconds are going to determine if the viewer is going to continue to watch the video.

A common mistake is to put the logo upfront for 5-10 seconds before the video starts.  I generally recommend to not do that, unless the logo appears in an interactive way (such as an animated logo) and it’s super short. Hence, the first 8-10 seconds should consist of the best shots of the whole video. Once the introduction has been set, you need a variety of shots (including the interview shots) to showcase what your business is about.

Get a lot of different angles, have the editing faster paced, shoot 3:1 ratio if the opportunity allows it and have it look as cinematic as possible. The third piece is having great music, and this can seriously make or break the video. The music should have the same feeling and tone that will represent your brand and fits the style of the video.

Most of the time videographers will use royalty-free song but every now and then an original piece is crafted just for that video. Now as I mentioned, there are a lot of different types of videos out there besides a business promo video. Sometimes a talk head video is effective such as a webinar or a training video. Does that mean I need to follow all these steps like have a variety of shots, and an effective intro…it would be great but it doesn’t need to be a 20+ hour project to get done.

I have filmed and edited many webinars and training videos and the best way to keep the videos engaging is to use two cameras, and slides that way it can be cut with two different angles and cut to slides when the information is handy to see.

It keeps the video personable and yet still educational. Check out the business promo video below about Poco Loco Paintball Park that I created and see how many different shots you can see.

The next pillar is Educate.  This is really focused on the story of the business or organization utilizing the Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How. Depending on the business some of these may not fit in but ultimately the goal of this pillar is to teach the viewer something new about the business that they didn’t know.

This is basically the story of the company. How does a story get told through a business promo video? I generally use customer testimonials or interviews of the staff.

Using sound bites of these interviews is how you create the story, but sometimes using a formal script and a voiceover is effective as well. But the reason why I prefer live interviews is that it can help establish who the target market is. When creating the story structure of the video, here is the outline That I generally use.

  • The business
  • the problem
  • the solution
  • the USP (unique selling proposition)
  • The differentiation
  • The objections and how to overcome them

Depending on the business, they too may change but it’s a great structure to follow. It’s important to note that when crafting the story you need to use both the interviews and the visuals to help tell the story and the story has to be told in a way that creates emotion to the viewer. Here is an example video we produced last spring for Delaware Valley Friends School

Convert is the final Pillar and while it’s the simplest one, it can often be overlooked. Converting is basically, the viewer taking action. At the end of the video what do you want the viewer to do? Is it to give you a call? Sign up for a newsletter?

Check out your website for more information? It can all vary depending on other marketing materials you have but the important thing is to have a call to action at the end of the video. During the video however, if the video is effective and being distributed to the right target market, the video itself will often convert.

At the end of the day, this is both a marketing and a sales toll to help grow your business. Check out this video that has a great call to action for veterinarians.

Following these three pillars will really help step up your video marketing game. Whether you are telling a story of your business, creating training videos for your customers, or educating prospects, its important to make sure that the video is engaging for them to finish to the end, its educational and adds a lot of value, and has steps for them to take that will allow them to contact you to create a business transaction. Remember video is suppose to humanize your business and to connect with people! That is the best way to grow your business.

Three Criteria For Having an Explainer Video

Three Criteria For Having an Explainer Video

An explainer video is a type of video that, as it’s name suggests, explains an idea, a process, a product, or service. It can be shot on video or use a well crafted animation to help explain the topic. Let’s chat about some of the criteria to creating an explainer video.

  1. Engage- An explainer video is a great way to keep people engaged whether it’s located on your website or social media. It’s also a great way to continue or start a conversation with a client. With video consuming so much web traffic it’s now more important than ever to make sure your video is engaging and effectively communicating with your audience.
  2. Educate- An explainer video is a great way to showcase an answer that a client may have questions about your product or service. Maybe the client is new to this process or maybe they are curious as to how your idea and approach is different from others. Through education, people will begin to understand how they can see themselves using your product or service to benefit themselves and/or their company.
  3. Convert- The bottom line is, we want our audience to buy our product or service. There should be a strong call to action at the end, just like any other video. But because an explainer should be engaging and educational, the converting really should be from those two elements. If the video is engaging, people will become interested. When people become interested they want to learn more. When you teach and educate them more, they begin to understand and then begin to think “What if I had that” or “What if I could be a part of that” or “I think this will work for me.”

Explainer videos are a powerful form of engaging and educating your clients. You can cut out a lot of time trying to explain it yourself and at the same time keep your audience interested so that eventually they will begin buying. I could probably make a much longer post about the elements of a successful explainer video but I’ll save that another day :). You can check out an example of an explainer video I have for Monzo Media Productions right here.