Category Archives: Promotional Video

Good Video is changing the way we see businesses

Here are some FACTS which may affect your current thinking on visual media. It not a sales blurb they’re just honest facts:

  • The USA is about 4-5 years ahead of Europe in leveraging visual media for sales and training
  • If your company isn’t using video to sell to your clients, either online or in person, you are losing sales
  • If you have poor quality video material to sell your products you are damaging your brand
  • If you’re using videos in the old 4:3 format you are losing sales And damaging your brand
  • If you’re paying thousands of pounds to a film school graduate to produce your corporate material you are wasting money
  • Equally if you’re paying ‘Bill from down the road’ a ‘tenner’ to film your exhibition stand “’Cus we need some video for Facebook or Twitter” then you are only proving the maxim that “A fool and their money are easily parted.”

In short, if you’re looking at your video marketing or advertising material wandering “Is it good enough?”- You already know it is not good enough!


I know all this may sound harsh and I fully understand if you want to stop reading now. But…

Avengers_Age_Of_Ultron-poster1…Before you do, please answer me one question: Were you (the reader) any less harsh on the last movie or TV series you saw?
Didn’t you look at the ‘overpaid’ actors and wonder “How much did they get for this?” Maybe you liked the special effects “But they weren’t that great were they?” And the film is “Nothing like the book is it?”

Rightly or wrongly we all judge on what we see. If what we see on screen falls short of what we expect we react to it – usually negatively. It’s unlikely that we ever give the benefit of the doubt to the video maker, so the damage is done. And as we know, bad news travels fast.

Only last week I had to contact a colleague (he runs a cutting edge tech company) and let him know his social media ‘expert’ had posted a video of his company from 4 years ago. It was like Apple running an ad campaign, today, hailing the birth of the iPad. The worst part was it made the company’s brilliant new tech look like recycled old kit. The video gave the wrong impression of the company and its products. If that old video lost just one sale, it will have cost my colleague thousands.

For me it also highlighted the underlying fact that videos themselves have changed, becoming a more fluid medium. Today’s videos and advertisements are moderated and re-evaluated by our feedback (Likes, Retweets, Reblogs) to them.

Previously an advert would be shot like a small film – once complete it was cast in stone till the next one. Not so any more. Now it’s more likely that you’ll see an advert hit the web or TV, then within two weeks, you’ll see a re-edited version of the advert run for the duration of the ad campaign. This is because the advert has been split-tested with a variety of focus groups and audiences to see which version works best. Version 1 didn’t work out but Version 3 kept the attention of the demographic, so Versions 1, 2 and 4 went in the bin.

In today’s smartphone society there is no excuse for crappy looking video. It’s not a major financial investment anymore. You have a full HD camera on the back of your phone for one thing! The real investment is the time taken to create and split test something which will have a visual appeal and deliver the right message.

EATT-GTP-Banner

I have been talking about creating media for some time and recently, after a college speaking engagement, I began developing a course for students called Smartphone Film School. I realise that that the same changes that have occurred for film students, have also opened a very positive avenue for SME’s. Well the one’s looking to create their own media anyway.

With some thought and planning you can release your inner ‘Spielberg’ and make some very nice material for yourself or your company. All that’s needed is the framework within which to create the best possible story around your products.

The Smartphone Film Studio (Corporate version) will be available on the Education and Training TV (EATT) platform mid-February. It’s all being filmed on an iPhone and tablet so you can see just how far you can go with the free film studio you carry in your pocket.


To leave on a super positive note here are three facts to get you thinking:

1.8 Million Words – That’s the value of one minute of video, according to Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research. That’s the equivalent of 3,600 typical web pages. If you write an average of one web page an hour, it would take you 150 days of writing to achieve the impact of one minute of video.

75% – That’s the percent of executives who told Forbes that they watch work-related videos on business websites at least once a week. The results breakdown:
• 50% watch business-related videos on YouTube
• 65% visit the marketer’s website after viewing a video

90% – The percentage of online shoppers at a major retailer’s website who said they find video helpful in making shopping and buying decisions. Retailers who provide online video to show off their products report that the products with video sell a lot more than products with no video.

Thanks to Andrew Follett at Video Brewery for his facts.


Thanks for reading and as usual any comments to Mark Alexander Todd at Guvnor Media


The Three Cardinal Sins of Corporate Video pt1.

Writer and Director Mark Alexander Todd

Writer and Director Mark Alexander Todd

When looking at video as a commercial project, so many people dance on a thin line between art and common sense.

Frequently, years of accumulated commercial experience go out of the window because of phrases like “People will love this” “It’ll look great” or “I’ve got a great idea what if…[insert your own insanity here]”.

Vanity, enthusiam and naivety all play a part in that inevitable conversation between corporate client and video producer which starts with a phrase like “Well the video hasn’t done as well as we would have expected…” If your company has been a part of a conversation like that, then you have most likely broken one of the three cardinal sins of corporate video. This is the first of three articles that explores the cardinal sins of corporate video.


 

The First Sin – Video is a bill.

Comedy actors Rowan Atkinson (left) and Tony Robinson as Blackadder and Baldrick in Blackadder III.

Comedy actors Rowan Atkinson (left) and Tony Robinson as Blackadder and Baldrick in Blackadder III.

In his role as Edmund Blackadder, Rowan Atkinson said “Sometimes Baldrick I feel like an enormous flemingo…No matter which way I turn there’s always an enormous BILL in front of me”. Comical as it seems, this is the way most companies view creating video, either for their website, online marketing or training.

The key to planning any type of successful video production is ROI or return on investment. When you approach the subject of video, for whatever use, you should have some idea of a) What you will use it for?  b) What you expect the returns to be?  c) How much those returns are worth to you?

When you have these things in mind you’ll have a better idea of what your budget is and what you expect in return for you money, because – Video is not a bill, it’s an investment. 

The video you want to create must have a clear use and a reason for being made. It should also be associated with a particular budget: marketing, sales, training, what have you. Once the video is completed, the original footage (raw footage) becomes a part of your company’s library and the completed video is an asset to your company. If you want to “Throw some video on the front page of our website because Google ranks you higher” your project will ultimately fail. If “John has a new iPhone 6, so we should shoot a video of the accounts team, because it’ll go viral”, you will end up making a bad advert for your company, which could cost you future sales and clients.

To blow my own trumpet for a moment…our company has just completed a video project, which has helped raise a large six figure investment from a modest four figure video budget. Why? The video work was considered an investment to market new pharmaceutical process equipment. A price was put on the value of that marketing item and instantly there was an unambiguous framework for everyone to work around with no surprises. We attracted the help of two “Sirs” and five universities in England and Wales. In the words of Martin Sheen “Winning”.

So, repeat after me…Video is not a bill it’s an investment. So please approach it like one.

A simple, clear mission statement on what you want your video to do for you, will save you time, money and possible embarrasement. You can approach video companies with clear motives. They, in turn, (if they’re a good company) will give you clear costs for what you need and clear direction on how to proceed and leverage your new asset.

Join me again to find out about the second cardinal sin: The Wrong Direction.

As always I’m happy to hear from readers, with comments or stories.

Contact me direct on marktodd@guvnormedia.com or @theguvnoruk

Visit our websites at: http://www.guvnormedia.com and http://www.guvnormedia.co.uk


Documentary, Social History, Fact or Folly?

The Public West BromwichI don’t consider myself a social commentator, I’ve always felt that my comprehensive education and working class background didn’t afford me the luxury of judging society’s flaws. But as I’ve wondered (not lonely as a cloud) through life, I’ve found illogical situations created by my elders and supposed betters.

One such situation revolves around an arts complex called The Public in my home town of West Bromwich. After years of controversy about whether or not the building should actually exist at all, The Public is now at the centre of a new row. The local Sandwell Council have announced, without any apparent consultation, to close the burgeoning arts and theatre venue and turn it into a sixth form college.

After moaning for many years that the 73 million pounds of ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) or anagram for someone else’s money) could have been better spent, this latest refit will cost a further 20 million pounds. Not a huge amount of cash by today’s standards but unusual as there are already two other empty schools within a 5 minute walk and….well….schools…..not…..art centres.

Now, I hope the people of West Bromwich will forgive me when I say, the town centre needs a lot of tlc. For those of you who haven’t seen it, the high street looks like it was tidied up by Darth Vader and a few blaster-happy storm troopers. I, and I believe most locals would agree that 20 million could be used to far better effect in renovating a town, which is now only getting a second look because of the very thing the Council wish to close down.

Ironically, a few years ago this same argument raged during the planning and building of The Public. I wonder what those people who opposed the project are saying now?

As a filmmaker, I felt I had to reach out to Linda Saunders and the dedicated team at The Public and offer to record some of the genuine feelings of the locals. I was forced to edit a lot of footage from the Tea Dance as some of the comments by the elderly attendees were…lets say ’18 rated’.

It’s a simple and honest video – well worth 5 minutes of your valuable time.


Independent Series by Guvnor Media goes to The Public

The Haunted KingdomFor the past 5 months, Guvnor Media Ltd has been creating a growing number of short videos for its series The Haunted Kingdom.

 

Based around an area of the UK called The Black Country, the series looks at the many historical ghost stories that surround the region. The beauty of the series is contained not only the people relating the stories, but also the glimpse into the history of an area that encompasses The Industrial Revolution.

The first six videos of the series are now part of an exhibition at The Public in West Bromwich – Black Country Legends. This is the latest  of the videos which takes a look at The Crooked House, near Dudley.

Keep a look out for more new stories in the coming months.

The Guvnor Media Team.


Bad Video Kills Your Brand

Is Bad Video Killing Your Brand?

Two years ago (2010), I was asked by a colleague whether he should bother to create a video for his company’s website.  At the time, there were rumours that Google was considering  ranking sites with video higher than those without, so I told him to get a camera, make something to show off his projects, and put it on the front page of his website.

In 2011, I worked with YouTube at VidCon in Los Angeles. The landscape had already changed, with a plethora of HD cameras available, video bloggers were now creating their own YouTube channels and getting out there. With minimal resources, they were creating 2-minute pieces of inventiveness, and Google had openly proclaimed that videos did indeed help websites achieve higher rankings.

So here we are, approaching the end of 2012 and wondering if the Mayans will be proved right. The reality is, whatever the outcome on 21st December, I can guarantee someone will film it, edit it, add titles and effects, then put it up on the web. Because that is what people expect now!

YouTube is now the second biggest search engine on the web. The accepted route for people researching products, services or companies is: look it up on Google, and then search for a video on YouTube. But here’s the kicker: the landscape has changed again, and the stakes are higher now. People’s expectations of what they see have risen.  If a 14 year old skateboarder is willing to spend £200 of his pocket money on an action camera that he can strap on to his helmet, so he can record an amazing amount of creative ways to break his bones, just to score an audience on YouTube…then you have to ask yourself, “Are we working hard enough to capture our target audience?”

Making a good video is not a major investment anymore, so when people see bad, uninventive company videos, they see the brand in a negative light. Believe me when I say Bad Video Kills!  The days of shaky, poorly lit and hard to hear videos are gone, and companies that continue to use them will suffer financially, as sure as MPs insult policemen.

It is a brave new Hi Definition world out there and those with vision will capture its treasures. So the next time you are struggling to stay awake during a marathon PowerPoint presentation or you find yourself squinting at a blurry product video, remember that limping skateboarder with 2 million fans.

Written by

Mark Alexander Todd,

Guvnor Media Ltd –Intelligent Marketing

 

 

 

 

 

 


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