Video production is a fast changing industry at the moment; over the past few years costs have fallen through the floor and demand has skyrocketed as many businesses have realised the potential for video to help them grow their business. We were talking to a friend in the states about this – Ed Primeau who has been in this game since you were in diapers, you little scamp (please excuse that digression) so we thought that it would be worth picking Ed’s brain on how to best manage video production in this day and age.
Firstly, a little background on Ed; he started out in 1979 as a sound engineer working with the likes of Anita Baker, Bob Seger and Barry Manilow before setting up Primeau Productions in 1984. He has a list of projects and experiences that makes the Bayeaux Tapestry look like a cushion cover. His main focus is on corporate video production but he also specialises in forensics video and is a well renowned speaker, writer, director, producer, author, coach and consultant.
So, here are Ed’s thoughts:
Today companies are using video for a plethora of purposes: orientation, sales, training, and most importantly, website introduction and marketing. In this post I am going to share my experience 28+ years experience with you about what goes into a killer video and how you can best use that video on the Internet to build your prospect base.
Let’s first consider that if people are not interested in your video, they will click off of it as soon as they lose interest. So, how do you create compelling content that helps sell instead of turn off your prospects? Here are a few tips from the Hollywood Pros:
The creative process
Rule of thumb always plan your video strategy before you begin your recording. Use storyboards to help you create your message and design graphics. During the creative process, ask yourself this question: “What is it about my business that is different from my competitors?” What can you show that gives you a sense of pride in your video? Is your company positioned with a specific market niche? How long have your clients been with you?
Do you use a specific process or offer a distinct system that would be unique in your video? Spokespersons are a good ingredient for a well produced video, as are testimonials from your clients. Try to step up from regular talking head video. Who can you hire to be the face of your company if your leadership is not appropriate? Spokesperson video has worked well over the years. Take a look at the PriceLine.com success of the William Shatner spokesperson series:
Think in thirds
When recording your video, think in thirds. Framing and composition is an art. They require creativity. If you look at the best video footage in documentaries, the pros use the rule of thirds. Frame your subject in one of the left to right framed thirds. Also think of thirds for depth. It’s best to have objects in the foreground, middle and behind the subject. Angles are one way to add an artistic twist to your video. One of the biggest mistakes we see is to have a subject backed against a wall or curtain giving your video footage no depth of field.
Use a green screen
The idea behind using a green screen is that you won’t have to build or light a set to produce a Hollywood-like video. Green screen kits are very affordable and easily available on the Internet. Using a green screen can make your life easy and your video professional because it enables you to choose a virtual set for your backdrop. You can pick just about any background for your video. and many video backdrops are included in your green screen kit. Remember is to light your green screen properly. There are excellent instructional videos for lighting green screens on YouTube.
Cast of characters
Does your video need to tell a story? In most cases the answer is yes. You need to write a script to tell the story both entertaining and informatively. Show the script to people you respect and get their input and feedback, then revise your script accordingly. Finally, make a decision who will read the script for your video.
Choose someone to be the announcer of your video. This could be a professional or somebody on your team. The purpose of the announcer is to set the stage for the narrator and introduce your video. The announcer is the facilitator of your video; the person who introduces and welcomes. The narrator is the person who tells the story once the announcer properly sets up the story for the narrator. The announcer and narrator help guide the viewer through the process of whatever your video is communicating.
Announcers work sporting events and know more about the teams and game rules than a narrator. Narrators help tell the story from their perspective and may know nothing about the stories characters.
This is a sample of narration (old school narration)
This is a sample of narration that could be announcing
This is a sample of announcing (really extreme announcing).
The owner of your company can read the script and serve as the narrator who tells your story as the video shows what is being told. You can also hire a narrator to tell your story. The narrator can play a character or have a specific predetermined tone in their delivery to deliver a feel.
The voiceover is the call to action. Voiceover differs from an announcer by being the authority figure in your video who has bragging rights and salesmanship to close the deal.
Nowadays attention spans are shorter than ever, videos must have movement: quick edits that are changed every 10 to 20 seconds to increase energy and keep your audience’s attention.
Use B-roll footage like shots of your company in action or any artwork like logos or archived photography. If you have any film that could be transferred, that would add another element of ‘experience’ to use a ‘B’ roll, or cut away footage to show while somebody is talking. The goal is to not stay on a shot for too long and to keep your video moving and energy high.
Selecting the right music is extremely important because music is to a sound track what design is to a well framed video shot. There are many production music libraries available on the Internet. You can browse the libraries for free until you find what you are looking for then purchase the track (s) you want for your video. I suggest Omni Music or Production Trax.
Now that you have created a killer video, what is the best way to have others view your video? Start out by sharing a link to your video with your friends and family first. Tell them they have 100% amnesty and ask them to provide any and all feedback. They might catch something that slipped right through your fingers. Here are some strategies that you can use to get more visibility for your company’s video.
Share your video with your clients, especially if they are a part of the video. They will most likely share your video with their friends, which is also a good thing.
Without too much of a push, let your social networks know about your video by making a announcement that has benefit for them. People in social networks will not click on a video that looks self-serving. How can your video benefit others? Write compelling copy to use when posting your video.
Create a great title for your video. “Five Stupid Questions Women Ask Men” is a great title and earning a lot of views on YouTube.
The title is the second most important element in getting more views for your video (at least on Youtube). Titles and descriptions also provide information about search criteria to spiders that crawl web pages looking for what you have to offer. This title text helps position your video content in front of people who are actively searching for your expertise. It also supports your video content and forms blended media.
When writing descriptions, you can create the description text about your video subject or you can post a transcript of what is being said in your video on your video landing page or blog page if you have trouble deciding what to write. YouTube allows up to 5000 characters in your video description: use as many of those characters as possible. Descriptions also show up in search results so make the description text compelling.
Post your video on 35+ social networks that have video upload capability. You never know where your prospects will look. Use Oneload or Heyspreader to submit to multiple video sites such as Youtube, Vimeo, metacafe in one go .