What is Vlogging?

So you don’t have to watch me ramble for 2 1/2 minutes, vlogging is just a video blog. Instead of reading the content, you are watching it.

Most vlogs take place using a computer webcam or in a situation that LOOKS like a computer’s webcam, but sometimes the person is on site, narrating something. You’ll find a lot of vlog style videos on Youtube.

What another vlog looks like
And another

 

For a small business to get into vlogging, I recommend you find some nice lighting (like by a window) and share a bit about who you are, what you do and why you do it! Then, if you have any frequently asked questions, you can make any number of vlogs addressing those issues, or a plethora of others.

Once you’ve made your own vlog, link it down below so I can check it out!

 

Happy Editing!

Katie

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8 Great Resources for your Video Marketing Endeavors

I love lists. I also love well thought out resources that make life so much easier because when you have a question or need something done, you know they are there. To combine these loves, I have put together a list for you all of my top favorite resources I use in regards to my video marketing.

1. Video Blocks

If you are doing your own videos (you yourself, or someone in the office dedicated to it), this website is a great steal for some stock footage, aka, something you don’t want to have to go out and shoot yourself. Note, because of the great deal, they do a lot of upselling and if you’re not careful, you could fall in love with a clip that costs 1/3 of your entire year’s membership… but. There are some great clips that in just a few uses, will pay for your whole membership.

2. Fiverr – for Video Marketing

Fiverr is a great place to find relatively inexpensive yet high-quality creative work in whatever capacity you need. This isn’t just for Video Marketing. On Fiverr, you can find all sorts of things! I almost bought a custom knitted owl cap and wish I did because she did not keep that up there for long at only $5…

Get logos, get transcriptions, get art… there are some things you CAN’T get on Fiverr… like the personal connection of working with a real human being, but sometimes, it is worth it to just get what you need without having to do a lot of research and creating a large investment.

3. Pond 5

Music can make or break a video. Go to Pond5 to get some well-priced stock music. They also have footage, sound effects and other things, but I am always surprised at the quality of their soundtracks and their price points as well. I will note that if you are creating a video and don’t plan on getting paid for it, there are other sites where you do not need to pay for the licensing of the track: Incompetech, Bensound, and on Youtube to name just a few.  Just make sure that as per their agreement you properly attribute rights to them in the credits.

4. B and H Photo and Video

I love this site for their helpful blogs, and beyond that, I buy most of my equipment from here. They’ve got everything you can want, even when you are drooling over an expensive piece of equipment that you will have to work toward. 😉

5. LiveSnapLove

This is going to sound a bit weird, but yes, I do follow a photography website as a means to improve my videography. A lot of the elements between the two are the same or very similar. For me, I use the same camera for both! When you use a DSLR for video and photo alike, you get settings to play with and many times they are the same. You  must navigate the Exposure triangle as well as the same buttons. I find that I can shoot more creatively with a video if I first consider my shot as a still photo. How would I shoot it in that case? Then I add my thoughts on motion to it.

If you use your iPhone or you have a Video Camera, perhaps this isn’t the best resource, but there is something very warm and happy about Audrey’s site and I always learn something or at least leave her site feeling good.

6. Wistia

Wistia is a company that I really love. I haven’t actually paid for anything or have used their software (sorry!) although if you choose to do so, there are many benefits. Wistia is a video hosting company that includes a lot of extra analytics that you won’t get anywhere else to see how your videos are actually doing. Still, they have a great feel to them, and I always find value in their blogs.

7. Youtube

Going into it, I had NO IDEA the amount of resources Youtube has built in. Above I mentioned their music, but they have a whole school called the YouTube Creator Academy to teach you how to better create and market your videos! This isn’t even counting the unimaginable number of people out there who post videos about creating videos, marketing companies and businesses with videos, and all sorts of other wonderful things. Some people I subscribe to are: DSLR Guide, Sold with Video, and Video Power Marketing.

Last but not least,

8. Lynda.com

What a wealth of knowledge! The hyperlink will take you to the Lynda site with “video” already searched, but really, you can learn so much about business and things to do with computers and the web on here.  Not only do I use it myself, but I’ve had several people I admire reference this as well. It does cost money, but education is an investment into yourself, not an expense. 😉 As long as you utilize your knowledge! A quote I love is “Education without Execution is just Entertainment” -Tim Sanders. But here, you will find lots of education.

 

If you have resources that you love and wouldn’t mind sharing, feel free to do so in the comments below!

 

Happy Editing!

Katie

 

Additional plugs for resources that don’t get their own blurb:

Pinterest – I have a pinterest page of Video Marketing stuff!!!

Photoshop – for my custom thumbnails

Quicktime – to record my screen/web video on my mac

Final Cut Pro X – my editing software

Audacity – for audio editing

VideoScribe – for Whiteboard animations

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PLEASE DEAR GOD choose “Custom Thumbnail”

Which would you click on?

A few (several?) weeks ago I posted a blog called “5 Things to consider while uploading your video”. And I cannot believe myself that I forgot to talk about Custom Thumbnails. D’OH!

I think it’s okay, because “custom thumbnails” really should have its own blog anyway. So there.

A thumbnail is the image you see a video as when you are scrolling on your screen.

These are the book covers for the video

If you’ve spent ANY time on the internet interacting with videos, you might have noticed that sometimes, this cover image  NEVER even appears in the video.

Back in the day, this confused me. I’d be waiting for the introduction picture to flash because back in the day, for Youtube anyway, the “custom thumbnails” were just a still that you got to PICK from your video as opposed to something you could upload. But things change and I digress.

The thumbnail is to the book cover what the video is to the book. We all know the saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” YET, we also know that we tend to DO just that. The same goes with a video.

If you check out the first photo at the very beginning of this blog, which of the two videos would you click on? The first is a still that YouTube gives me as a Thumbnail, the second is a frame of the video that I chose exactly for my funny face, then added some pictures about the topic (Live streaming on Youtube) and a title, so someone has a quick overview on my subject.

If you take notice of the successful videos and videographers/video marketers/vloggers/youtubers etc etc… A majority choose a custom thumbnail.

You have the ability on most platforms to do this.

Youtube
Facebook
Instagram – although this is different because you cannot upload an edited still, you can choose from your footage what you want.

On the subject of Instagram, for one of my MOST FAVORITE videos I posted, I didn’t realize I could pick a custom still, so I didn’t. And in Instagram, you cannot go back and pick one. I think I missed out on a lot of interaction because, can you see the still it picked?

Wtf is it???

……………..

I should have picked one of these.

Wouldn’t these have been a lot more engaging?

It takes a few (sometimes more) minutes to both create a thumbnail, or to pick the correct still from your video, and to upload it, but it is SO worth it in terms of views and engagement.

Wistia, a well-known video host and video marketing company extraordinaire did a study with their videos and an audience unfamiliar with them,
using different thumbnails.

Top pic: system generated still Middle: Picked still Bottom: Customized thumbnail

“The Photoshopped thumbnail (hands) and the thumbnail we selected (Jeff) had similar play rates and a 35% improvement in play rate compared to the system-generated one. These two versions also had higher engagement rates than the one with an automatic thumbnail. Total result was an increase in total time watched of 50%.”  – Two Thumbnails Up

 

 
Wistia has data that putting a little effort into creating a thumbnail or at the very least CHOOSING  a still will increase play rates. In this case, they say a total watch time increase of 50%. I don’t know that it’s THAT much, but if so… CRAZY!

Do me a favor, upload custom thumbnails for your marketing videos. KTHX.

If you don’t want to do it as a favor for me, do it for your followers and tribe. They’re missing out on your great content because they’re a bit too hesitant to click on that blurry/out-of-focus/who-knows-what-it-is shot that you have up masquerading as a video.

Happy editing!

Katie

 

I’ve included resources below (until I make all of these myself. 😉 ) so you cannot use ignorance as an excuse for not doing it.

To enable custom thumbnails on Youtube: Click here

For how to make a custom thumbnail: Click here

For YouTube tips on custom thumbnails: Click here

Tips for creating a good custom thumbnail: Click here

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Getting “Gutsy” with Mayniax Branding. What I learned and what you should takeaway.

Aw, you're missing the fun visual hammer

Two days ago I sat down with Dave Murray, the spirited and passionate co-founder of Mayniax Branding.

This meeting had been preordained for awhile. Everywhere I went I was bombarded with “Oh! Have you met Dave yet?” “You should meet Dave!” “I know this guy Dave…”

Some things in life are just synchronistic, and after forever and an email,  I finally looked him up. And. Crazy crazy, but it turns out I DID know who he was because, da-tada-da, I had watched one of his videos.

I didn’t connect the words “Dave Murray” when people would say it, with the energetic red accessory sporting person that I had seen online.  But after making the connection, you wanna know what I did?

I watched more of his videos!

I got a good look-see at what this self-proclaimed “gutsy” guy was all about. I listened to his thoughts and his advice and I learned that he was my kind-of people. What I really learned, though, was that I DID wanna meet this guy.

I’m sharing this with you for two reasons.

1. What I got out of watching his videos told me a heck of a lot more about him than if I were to have just browsed his Facebook posts or only read his blogs. I learned that I liked his energy, and liked what he had to say. PLUS, the fact that he HAD videos told me things about him as well (that he’s up with the times and he values all of the benefits that video brings).  What a deal! I got to hear his voice, see his face, and learn what he had to say all before he knew anything about me. Can you imagine what it would be like if your potential customers got to fall in love with you (or at least make that first step. ;-P) before they even met you? Can you imagine fewer headaches because you don’t have to explain something over and over again because the person who is chatting with you now has already watched the video(s), knows you don’t do XYZ and self-selected herself in as your client? Or the client who wanted XYZ, saw that you don’t do that and self-selected himself OUT, creating more time and space for you to focus on your true client?

If I had watched Dave’s videos and thought, “eh, we’re not a good fit,” I could have saved us both the hour and a half of a meeting plus transportation time. But I saw his videos and thought, “I HAVE to meet this guy.”

The power of video.

2. Plug for Dave, Mayniax and Branding. I haven’t talked much about branding on this blog, as I know my personal brand is a work in progress. But it IS important! Who you are in your business NEEDS to be conveyed in everything. Especially when you move into the video realm. If you’re a fun person to work with in business, why would you act reserved and staunch in a video? The same goes for vice versa. If your business focuses on a male audience, why would you make videos about a female concern? If your brand is you wearing striking red sunglasses and a brilliant tie, why would you NOT include that in the video?

Dave is a master at the branding. He’s got a branding firm in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and as you can see, he’s figured out a way to OWN Google,

Wow. That’s a lot of red.

be known and get remembered.

That’s what we want. Who are you as a company? Are you representing that consistently to the point where you are KNOWN? Then a little visual trigger or set of words will get someone thinking back to you?

When people are thinking of us, they are thinking of ways they can use us, or when that person they know expresses a need, the connections abound.

When you are clear and your message is clear, your videos and other marketing become clear. Then the path toward your ideal clients become clear as well.

Still-working-on-a-fun-sign-off-like-“stay-gutsy”,

Katie

 

Check Dave out on Youtube. Twitter. Facebook. Instagram. His Website.

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I’m married! *gasp*

Last Saturday, in a flurry of activity and snow, I was wedded to my boyfriend of 5 years.

I’m married! Eeeek!

It was a wonderful adventure where my husband broke his glasses 30 minutes before showtime and had to tape them up in true nerd fashion (look below to and you can see it), our officiant asked me if I would take Daniel to be my wife, and we all braved frostbite in order to capture some Winter Wonderland photos. (For the record, I was going for “Elven Princess”.)

My mom and my family did amazing work turning a simple Pavillion cabin into a very official and beautiful hall, and I do think I managed to dance with every single person there. Granted it was only, like, 30 people but whatever.

Thanks Mom and Co!

Oh! And we went to the local Frozen Yogurt place and got some yogurt all gusied up. 

On that note, I want to give a big shout out to the magificent and wonderful Sabrina of Sabrina Leigh Studios who took our glorious pictures.

You can’t tell in these pics, but I’m totally wearing purple Converse as my wedding shoes. 😉

We’re too cute. <3

 

I meant to go Live on Facebook and chat with Sabrina, but I did not anticipate how much would be going on! You’d think I would, but there it is. Anywhere, if you’re getting married or having a fun event, hire Sabrina. She was super fun to work with, she’s willing to travel and she does spectacular work. Throwing that out there.

So we had the photography, now I’ll bet you’re wondering if the videographer got video! I already admitted to forgetting to go live, but yup. I took videos at my own wedding. I did not hire a videographer, not for this one but Daniel and I are having a big wedding celebration bash this summer (costumes required!) and there will be a videographer there.

Perhaps I’ll get around to putting something together with my video, perhaps not (they say the cobbler’s kids go barefoot!), but I wanted to update you all on my new status and let you in on the pictures because I am so so pleased with them!

And that concludes today’s Blogday Thursday!

Stay tuned and Happy Editing!

Katie

 

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