Katie’s Down and Dirty Guide to Clean Video on a Smart Phone

Photo by Mink Mingle on Unsplash

Many of us know that doing video is an important aspect to our social media strategy, but it just seems so hard and daunting! We may be able to present in front of a big group, but the thought of speaking alone to a camera is… well, scary. We think so because it’s an unknown; we don’t know how to take good video, we worry about needing to edit it etc etc…

Not to fear! It’s easier than you think!

  1. Check the lighting. By a window will most likely give you your best and easiest light.
  2. Check the sound. Do you hear anything in the background? Is there a lot of wind? Is an air conditioner/ furnace blowing? Can you close a door? Audio doesn’t have to be perfect, but many would argue that it’s even more imperative than the video itself! If it makes sense, buy a cheap lav mic to plug into your phone.
  3. Steady… Video devices do not smooth out motion like our eyes and brain combo do when we move our head side to side. If you start waving your phone around while filming, we, the audience, will get sick and probably stop watching. Whether using your hand, a selfie stick or a tripod, just hold still as best as you can.
  4. Hold your arm/tripod/selfie stick slightly above your face, getting your whole face in the shot. You’ve seen it before, when tourists and teenage girls take their selfies, it’s always holding the phone slightly higher than eye level and taking the photo from a downward angle – this gives a more flattering view of yourself than does holding your phone  head on or worse, below your chin (can anyone say “double chin”? or in my case, “triple”… )
  5. Now that you’re holding it above you, flip that phone! Unless of course you are doing something live, the conventional way is still to have a horizontal image. The winds ARE changing and it is not a deal breaker if you keep your phone vertical (there is something to be said about the shotgun feel of a vertical video) but on the whole, keep it landscape.

Decent light, decent sound, steady film, landscape and flattering view – can you handle that?

Good! Now go for it! These are 5 super simple techniques to get you STARTED with your video marketing (and you know, you may never even need to move past this!) but the key word here is “started”.

Keep inspiring!

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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5 things to Consider Adding to your Videos while Uploading

photo by Taduuda on Unsplash.com

Okay, so you’ve done the hard work of taking and editing a video and are now going to post it. Do that, but also consider doing these five additional add-ons.

Consider adding Closed Captions/Subtitles

Not only do you broaden the audience of people who can watch your videos to those who are deaf and perhaps those that can only read English, but, statistics show there is more engagement with subtitled videos. Facebook reports that a captioned video increases view time by 12%. Not only that, but Facebook also reports that 85% of videos are viewed  without sound. For a bit of extra effort, there is a surefire way to increase your video’s engagement. Especially when Facebook autoplays videos without sound.

You can add subtitles automatically through both Facebook and YouTube, but there are also programs to allow you to create SRT files and upload them. To add subtitles to Facebook videos, click here. To Youtube, click here. Alternatively, you can add them straight to your video project as text titles.

Consider making your video a Featured Video

On your website, on your Facebook, on your YouTube… you can create a Featured Video that will be highlighted for people to watch first. If you are creating an introduction video to your company, telling an important brand story, or just want your current video to be seen longer, make it a featured video so it doesn’t get lost in your newsfeed or buried in your multitudes of 10 second videos or Lives of you eating pizza.

Facebook
Youtube

Consider creating a Call to Action

I’m probably kicking a dead horse, but, calls to action work. A call to action tells the watcher what to do next. Should they watch X video? Should they subscribe? Should they share? Should they tell a friend who ___? Should they visit your website? What is their next step. Often, telling someone what they should do prompts them to do it because it’s easy and requires no thinking beyond, “Should I or shouldn’t I?”

This could be a simple line in the description of your video “Check out our website for more awesome stuff!” or, if you’ve decided to add it before uploading, it could be an easy end of video screen with text saying “Subscribe!” . If you do want more than that I would recommend  baking the CTA into your video (with audio or something visual) is a good idea. So is a hyperlink overlay, see next item.

Consider adding annotations to your videos in YouTube

If you’ve ever watched a video on Youtube and as the speaker is mentioning something you should check out, a popup appears in the video, you’ve experienced an annotation or overlay. This is done in the YouTube Video Manager section and can be a great way to create calls to action, where you give an EASY “where to go next” option (literally, all they have to do is CLICK). Whether to your featured video, to subscribe to you, promote your website or sponsor another channel, this form of Call to Action is a great one.

Additionally, you can choose to highlight what you are saying in the middle of a video. If you are mentioning a product you sell in the video, consier linking to the product right then and there so if someone feels inclined, they can explore.

Check out this article for some great ideas.

And lastly,

Consider scheduling your videos

While some may subscribe to the “add it all in bulk, get it out there” mentality, I much prefer creating in bulk, and then choosing when I want to release.  This is also a good option if you find yourself uploading your video at 3 am. While some insomniacs might see your video, it’s possible that by the time the rest of the world goes to look, it might be lost in a sea of other content.

To schedule on Youtube you must be in their Partner Program.

Alternatively, if you do like to get it up in bulk, you can use Buffer to share at your leisure.

Buffer is a great way to do this if you use YouTube to post your videos, but then share them out to Twitter or Linked-in. With Buffer (or Hootsuite or many others) you can post them NOW, but not share them on to your other sites until you choose.

Take note, if you are doing it this way, I would recommend not sharing to Facebook as the Youtube shared videos do not get as many hits as the organically uploaded to Facebook videos. This is partly because Facebook ranks their own videos better, and that Facebook videos autoplay causing more people to watch.

 

Keep inspiring!

Katie

 

(Update 03/30/17 I should have added this to this post, ag! But it is now its own post. Check out “Adding a Custom Thumbnail” here.)

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NEWSFLASH! Your video doesn’t need to go viral to work

We refrain from posting our videos because we wonder, “Who would watch this?”

“No one will share this.”

“What if my video only gets 10 views?”

All valid concerns… if misguided. You’re right! You probably will not get shares on every video, especially if you’re doing it yourself. AND, yes, some of those videos will have minimum views, BUT that’s okay.

Because you know what?

You don’t need THE WORLD to watch your video and you don’t need EVERY VIDEO to reach the world. Sometimes, all it takes is one.

This video (above) had around 12 views (it still has less 200) when the RIGHT couple saw it.  (below)

In this example, the Pool Guy sold a SIX FIGURE pool from a poorly viewed, low budget video.

It’s OKAY! It’s okay if you don’t reach millions, or even thousands. The goal is to reach the RIGHT people. The goal of video marketing, is to speak to YOUR customers, your potential customers and your Target Market as a whole.

Think about it, you’re not trying to sell your product to the whole world and all its demographics, are you? Then you don’t need to worry about selling your videos to them all!

There is something to say about creating videos that appeal to a wide range of people who will share the videos and, somewhere along the lines, the right people will see it etc etc, but not every video will  be viral; they don’t have to be. How many videos does the average viral video person post before they get the viral one? Do all of their videos go viral after? I think we forget to think about that. Yes, that can work, but more often, it’s the smaller connections that work best.

Would you rather 10,000 people who don’t care about what you’re saying click on your video? Or the 100 people who are super invested and end up buying something from you?

That one video, with 3 views could be viewed by someone on the fence about whether or not they want your service, but once they see the video, they are sold. And this could happen over and over. (With no more effort on your part, at least for the original videos).

It’s not about the amount of views. It’s about the right views.

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Are you using Video Marketing? You’ll want to start after reading these 10 statistics.

photo by Carlos Muza on Unsplash.com
photo by Carlos Muza on Unsplash.com

After looking at A LOT of video statistics… I believe these are the most compelling. If you are doing video marketing- good job! I’m sure you have found it to be awesome and could give sway to some of these numbers. If you’re not, read through this list and I’ll see you on YouTube soon. 😉

1. Dr. James McQuivey, a Forrester researcher, estimates that one minute of video is equal to 1.8 million words.

One. Point. Eight. Million. Why say in 1,000 words, or in 1 picture when you can say it in an equivalent of 1.8 million words with a video that captures you, your company and your story?

2. Mobile video consumption rises 100% every year according to Youtube.

People are watching MORE video, not less. And they’re watching them on their mobile devices, especially on the go. They can’t watch you and learn about you if you’re not out there.

3. If you include a video on your landing page it can increase conversion by 80% according to Unbounce.

Are you convinced yet? If someone sees you somewhere, ends up on your page and there’s a video, they are 80% more likely to be picking up what you’re putting down. That means happiness for them, and money for you.

4. 92% of mobile video consumers share videos with others, according to Invodo.

If 92% of the people who watch videos on their mobile devices are sharing them, then the people who made the videos not only got the first person to see them, but started a chain where the consumer/watcher is volunarily passing the information along. Even if the original sharer does not take monetary action because of the video, they might (FOR FREE!) put it in front of someone who WILL take action.

5. According to Online Puplishers Association, 46% of users take some sort of action after viewing a video ad.

This is for a video that they didn’t even come to see. I’m guilty of it! There have been plenty of times where I went to YouTube to search for something, an ad came up and I found myself watching it to the end then looking to find the website or clicking on the video for more information. I never would have known said thing existed, but once I saw it, I was intrigued. Apperently I’m not the only one. Here’s a more in-depth look on this statistic: 26% searched for more info on the subject of the video, 22% visited the website named, 15% visited the company represented, and 12% purchased the specific product featured.

6. According to an Australian Retailer, real estate listings that include a video receive 403% more inquiries than those without.

Real estate agents, I’m looking at you. 4 times more inquiries gives you 4 times the opportunity for better offers, AND choice. Is there anything we value more in America than choice?

7. 1/3 of all online activity is spent watching video.

And in this day and age, we do A LOT of online activity. 1/3 of it is watching video? Think of the opportunity!

8. According to research by Visible Measures, 20% of your viewers will click away from a video in 10 seconds or fewer.

Not to scare you, but yes, people will click away if they are not engaged. Our attention spans are quite small due to our options being infinite. Hopefully though, this should give you some incentive to be creative or get right to the point. Sometimes it’s quite freeing to increase that focus and decide what’s important. Think Twitter’s 140 character limit (no longer counting photos, yes!). Get to the point. Keep it simple. Make it awesome. Even so, 80% didn’t click away so all is not lost.

9. In an email, adding a video leads to a 200-300% increase in the click-through rate.

If you’ve captured emails from your site, you need to convert those leads into customers. How? By getting them to remember you by seeing your email, but also getting them to CLICK your email and seeing what you are offering. If a video leads to 2 or 3 times as many people opening my emails and possibly buying my stuff, I’m gonna add the video.

10. 85% of respondents who are already using video marketing found it fairly or extremely successful.

If none of the other statistics swayed you, consider this one. Of the people who are already using video marketing, a high majority, 85%!, have found it to be successul. Some even extremely successful. So if you’re a business, you can sit there, and continue to buy your ads in the paper, or put your face on a bill board, or hand out your brochures (do you consider these methods, think honestly, to be “extremely” or even “fairly” successful?) or, you can join the best and the awesomest on this electronic adventure that is video marketing. Yes, it can be scary, but there are all sorts of aides, guides and help out there. Plus, ya got me!

 

 

 

 

Don’t know where to start? Check out my Video Marketing DIY page. 🙂

 

Sources referenced:

Marketing Insider Group

Insivia

Video Brewery

Hubspot 

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10 Suggestions for what to talk about when starting Video Marketing

photo by Allef Vinicius on Unsplash.com

So. You’ve decided to start video marketing. You’ve set up your camera and you’re ready to go. AAAAAaaand Action! But wait! … what should you talk about?

The simplest video is a “webcam” video, the form that most vloggers (people who create “video blogs” on YouTube) typically use. The camera (usually the webcam) is pointed at the blogger and they talk.

For you, you can use your webcam or set up your camera or phone on a tripod.

Answer each of these questions. You can get another person with you to ask them, and maybe ask more pointed questions if you are talking and they find a spot unexplored, or you can pause in the middle of the video to read the next question, and just cut that part out later.

If you can speak for a minute on each, you can break this video down into 10 videos. Voila! (If you just get rolling and keep talking, you might be able to make more videos than that. Tip: If you are doing it by yourself, make sure you have enough memory and battery so your camera doesn’t shut off on you half-way.)

You are off to a great start!

1. What do you do? What are you in the business of? What does your company do, what problems do you solve?

2. How did you get involved in the business you’re in. Really, tell us the STORY of your start.

3. WHY do you do what you do? You could make money doing ANYTHING. Why this thing in particular? (for inspiration, check out this video)

4. Who are the people/clients you want to work with? What do they do/like? How do they act? (If you spell it out, and your perfect client is watching, they may be able to select themselves, “Hey! I’m like that.”)

5. What makes you different from all the other business who do what you do?

6. Describe your company. What are your values? Who are you as a culture?

7. What are your goals as a company? Where are you headed?

8. What are you working on right now?

9. What’s a tip you can share with us related to your industry? (You can answer this question over and over. You have so much knowledge in your field that many people would find really useful, and probably search for on Google or YouTube)

10. What’s a FAQ that you receive often? What’s the answer? (This one can also be answered a bunch as well. Plus, if you do a lot of these videos, and maybe transcribe them onto your website, you can direct questions there to cut down on the same questions being asked on the phone or in email.)

 

I’m sure you get the idea now and there are tons of other questions I’ll bet you’ll discover particular to you, your company and your industry once you sit down and think. As mentioned before, if you can, have another person there while you film to direct the questions if there is a juicy subject so you can capitalize on your Certain Way.

Good luck!

We’ll talk about editing in the next blog, but if you’re eager to get off to a start right now, check out these sources: How to edit a basic video on Youtube, iMovie tips and tricks, How to make a basic project in iMovie, Best editing apps for you phone, Edit a video on Windows Movie Maker.

If you feel inclined, share your video in the comments below!

 

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