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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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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Musings

photo by Jeremy Thomas on Unsplash.com

Our assignment in my weekly Marketing club was to read the first chapter of Mike Dooley’s “Life on Earth”.

For those of you who don’t know, Mike Dooley is the master behind TUT.com and the inspirational Universe notes that we can get daily.

He is New-agey, but also uber positive, and when I read his reminders or in this case his book, I feel reassured.

I just read a passage where he talks of our “amnesia” in this life where we have forgotten how great we are. And we only need to “wake-up”.

“Prior to time and space, you had it all, but it was boring. Then you learned how to pretend you didn’t have it all, while still actually having it all… You just have to “wake up” and the spell will be broken. Even if this doesn’t usually happen until you die, at least it will happen, does happen, for all, in realms where the “amnesia” begins to wear off. No matter what happens in “here,” everyone returns to “grace” (not that you ever really left it) as more than who they were before it all began.” (Mike Dooley, “Life on Earth” page 6)

This made me think, what if this is all true? What if we’ve woken up in this life (were born),  and we had the selective amnesia that makes us forget our dreams? Only in this case, we’ve forgotten that we are mighty beings of love and unity? It’s an interesting thought. And really, it’s a much happier thought to think than some of the depressing theories of the universe and death.

Seeing as no one knows, we might as well choose to believe in something hopeful.

That being said, what is the worst that can happen from you posting that video you tried to make but thought you looked stupid? We are all magnificent grand beings and this life is only dream!

Post the video where you mis-said that silly thing, you are human. I am human. I appreciate your vulnerabilities.

Do the thing you love. Be the person you want to be and know that whatever “mistakes” you may make in this life, they are inconsequential to you living a life of love and connection.

And sometimes, it’s the mistakes you make, the oopsies you do (in social media, marketing, OR real life) that make the connections all the sweeter.

What would you do today if you knew this life was only an experience your spiritual self chose to have?

 

PS. My friend Tom Hoffmeister of Elder Fire Lodges has actually said that his blooper videos get the most interaction!

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I want you to COMMIT

photo by Kai Oberhäuser on Unsplash.com
photo by Kai Oberhäuser on Unsplash.com

We’re over a week into 2017, how are we all doing on our New Year’s Resolutions? For me, I’ve meditated 7 out of the 8 days in 2017. I tell ya, that one day is going to haunt me as I round out 2017 with 364 days of meditation, but whatever. It’s not about beating ourselves up over our mistakes, it’s about resolving to do better, and doing so. Then taking pride in our victories.

Really, I don’t care what your specific resolutions are for this year. What I really want out of you is COMMITMENT. Are you committed to what you do? If you are, I want to SEE it. I want to FEEL it. I want to enjoy the side effects of it radiating off of you.

If you are not… why  not?

I went to an improv comedy club the other day. And those actors were onstage to entertain us, having no idea what they would say or do, because it was all on the spot. Those actors had to COMMIT to what they were doing. If they were in a skit, they were IN the skit. If they were using a voice, that WAS their voice. If they were wearing a persona, that was THEM. Anything less and they would fall out, leading to THE END.  They had to commit to this crazy fictional story, or this skit of gibberish or this nonsensical rap because anything less and they would inevitably falter and putter in front of a live audience.

Sometimes I think we are stuck in the limbo between giving up, and fully commiting. To give up for the actors would be to decline to participate. To be commited was to say crazy stuff and cause laughter in the audience. To be on the fence, though, would be them questioning, mid-sentence, their actions. It would be getting stage fright by allowing the fears of “What if I’m not funny?” or “What if the audience doesn’t get this joke?” or “What if I don’t know what to say?” to cause their minds to go blank and their insecurites to rear. I can say this from experience. I was in an improv group and I quit.  I was not commited.  I would find myself in the limbo while practicing, and the failures of not performing only drove the insecurities higher. Because I didn’t commit, I didn’t succeed and I quit.

Commiting would have been throwing caution to the wind, and knowing I was okay even if I did something stupid, which inevitably, would have made that outcome less likely.

Committing is being Wile E Coyote and NOT stopping to look down below.

Committing is being the one, not with the most talent, but who’s giving it all he’s got, and when that’s gone finds more.

Committing is deciding to throw your whole heart into your endeavor and not tolerating the thought that your goal is unreachable.

Committing is putting all of your eggs in one basket because that basket is the best and you believe in it.

Be commited to your product. Be commited to your service. Be commited to your company. This will show through in your marketing. This is what will bring you success. We want to see and emulate the people who are in love with what they do. We want to buy from the people who are so passionate about what they have to sell that it’s infectious. We want what you’re on.

When we see that you are wishy-washy about your ‘thing’ we are not as inspired to drink your Kool-Aid. If we get the impression that you don’t really care about your profession, or are unsure of your offering’s true value, we won’t buy it.

This year, choose to be COMMITTED to yourself. If you cannot choose to be committed, then quit, or figure out how to choose.  We make no progress sitting on the fence. Pick your side and walk it.

It doesn’t matter which platform for social media you choose to be on. Just pick one, and COMMIT to it. The Jack of all trades is the master of none. When you feel like you  have reached your limit with your chosen platform, THEN start adding to your platform portfolio.

Do your videos, but really DO your videos. Be all in. No second guessing. Once the decision is made, do it. Once the video is filmed, post it.

Confidence. Conviction. and Commitment. This is what I want from you  in 2017.

Will you Commit?

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