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Digital Marketing

Online video marketing: How to rank high on YouTube

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All of YouTube’s online video marketing features you need to know about

YouTube is one of the most used search engines on the internet. Just as web developers use search engine optimisation (SEO) techniques to make websites rank highly on Google, you can use YouTube‘s inbuilt SEO tools to see your online video marketing on the top page of YouTube results. This is what you need to know.

1: File Names & Keywords

online video marketing

Firstly, chose your keyword- the word you want to appear in the search results for. You can research the popularity of keywords using the Google Keyword Tool. Although for Google, they still give you an idea of what words will be popular on YouTube. Chose a keyword that has a least 300 searches a month, and rename your video with it before you upload. In this explainer video example, we’re using the keyword ‘Employee Communications’.

2: Video Title

online video marketing

The video title is really important, and can be entered on the upload or video settings page. Include your keyword and use wording that will convince people to watch the video. To make your keyword even more powerful, place it at the beginning of the title, for example ‘Employee Communications: How to…’

3: Description

online video marketing

As YouTube’s computers cannot watch your video, most of the information it can glean comes from your description. Users can only see the top few lines, so make sure they include your CTA. For the computers, wedge your keyword once in the first 20-30 words, then again 2-3 times later on. Aim for a description that’s about 300 words long.

4: Tags & Playlists

online video marketing

On the upload and video settings pages, the ‘Tags’ box follows title and description. Entering tags along the same lines as your keyword will help YouTube to rank your video in the ‘Related Videos’ box next to the video player. Building playlists to include your video alongside similar ones helps YouTube to understand what your video is about, and will improve rankings.

5: Views & Engagement

online video marketing

YouTube relies on view count and viewer engagement to rank videos. Viewer engagement includes, thumbs ups, comments, shares, subscribes after watching, and viewer retention- the percentage of your video people actually stick around to watch. Keep all of these values high by generating videos people actually want to see and marketing them on other social media sites to generate as many views as possible.

Add “wow factor” to your corporate video

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How to make better motion graphics and titles

Motion graphics or animation are a great way to enhance any corporate video and give it an added “wow factor”. The problem is that not everyone is a gifted graphic designer or animation maker, but luckily you don’t have to be in order to create some effective graphics. Below we’ve highlighted some simple tips on how to make better motion graphics for your latest corporate video or video marketing production.

Use branding to help you

It’s very likely that businesses will have branding guidelines for any artwork that is created for their use. This could just be as simple as size and colour information, but often logos and colour palettes will have been created by a dedicated graphic designer so there may be examples of previous work that you can use as a starting point.

Reflect the tone

Let the mood of the video provide a structure for the graphics. If the overall tone is gentle, consider fading artwork in. If the video is more like a high impact fitness video, you could design the graphics to crash in.

animation maker

Use music

Music and sound effects can really bring motion graphics to life. If you haven’t considered bringing the soundtrack in underneath your motion graphics, give it a try. This effect works especially well with soundtracks that fade in, as the music will give you a bit of extra time to establish the tone of the video before you bring your footage or other assets in.

Bigger isn’t always better

The general rule about size is that if you design your title and something doesn’t seem right or you’re not sure about placement, the chances are you’ve made your text/other assets too big. Try scaling them back and re-positioning them and you may increase their effectiveness.

Avoid iMovie-like effects

Now that video editing and motion graphics software is becoming increasingly commonplace, standard home-movie effects that everyone recognises can look amateurish and a bit heavy-handed, which isn’t what you want for work that represents your company. That being said, some are simple enough to be appropriately used, for example the simple cross dissolve, or the ‘dip to white’ if you’re fading footage to a white solid. The same goes for font types – Comic Sans and Lucida Handwriting may have had their uses but as a standard font they have gone out of style. Do check branding guidelines where available if you can however, as you’ll most likely need to use a specific font.

animation maker

Use professional assets

It may not be necessary for many projects, but you can buy professional animated or still image assets in packages to accompany or form the basis of your motion graphics. These can often be customised or manipulated easily in motion graphics software (such as Adobe After Effects) and have many appropriate uses. These are being developed all the time by various designers so you can always find inspiration for your own motion graphics and title design.

Our roots are in graphic design, so we learned these lessons through experience and took them to heart, and we’ve become better graphic designers as a result – use these tips to integrate better design in your company’s video production.

To find out more about us and our services, please click here.

Help! YouTube or Vimeo?

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Youtube vs Vimeo

With an estimated 1.13 billion unique monthly visitors between them, YouTube and Vimeo have become online video giants. Despite common features, the two sites can be very different, especially in the eyes of search engines. So which one should you choose to give you the best chance possible of creating a viral marketing campaign?

YouTube

viral marketing campaigns

The most well known of all the video publishing sites out there, Youtube is usually the first port of call for anyone who wants to host a video. Compared to Vimeo it usually does much better in the SEO rankings due to being owned by Google, and has more monthly visitors than Vimeo. This search engine connection does wonders for visibility (which is vital for successful viral marketing campaigns)and for a small fee your video can be at the top of Youtube’s homepage for a brief period. For this reason it’s often where you’ll find marketing videos and viral content, so if you want your video to gain maximum attention, Youtube is usually the right place to upload a video to.

As a video platform Youtube is constantly evolving, but it’s always been geared towards the casual viewer (i.e. someone who follows vlogs) With the amount of suggested content surrounding the video and the propensity for Youtube comments sections to get out of control quickly, it’s likely that you’ll want the video embedded on your website where it can be viewed alongside all other branded material. This has the added bonus of driving traffic directly to your site, rather than to Youtube itself.

As Youtube is becoming a social media platform in its own right, you may get visitors specifically to your channel to see what other content is available. Therefore it’s important that your channel is branded appropriately, and is highly organised – especially if you have a back catalogue of different types of videos and plan to add more in the future. You can add a profile image, a banner, and playlists of content, as well as a featured video which will play automatically, which are all features intended for businesses. For more tips on how to enhance your Youtube channel, see our blog (link to blog)

Vimeo

viral marketing campaigns

Vimeo is a slightly different kettle of fish. It’s got more of a reputation for being home to short films and avant garde media. That said, the emphasis is less on the social media aspect (though likes, comments and news feeds are in place) and more on the quality of the content uploaded.

Like Youtube, you can embed Vimeo videos on other websites, but Vimeo’s embedded web player is much simpler and feels cleaner. It’s a good place to show off video once it’s done, but it offers better options for reviewing video, replacing it with a different version, and privacy as well. It allows you to replace the video with a different one (while keeping the same URL) and you can password protect videos if they need to be sent for review. These password protected videos won’t show up on a public search, unlike Youtube which will show them to anyone but won’t allow them to play them.

Vimeo does not allow much channel re-branding (aside from the profile image and some basic information) as it is primarily used by individuals.

The Verdict?

Youtube is more commonly used by businesses, it has a great channel organisational structure, and due to its relationship with Google, it will always do very well in the SEO rankings.

Vimeo has great features for hosting content that’s still in draft form, and the settings are easy to adjust. It has a reputation for hosting great quality content and videos can easily be embedded on other websites.

Both are worthy of their positions as top video hosting sites but they have their differences. Decide what you’re looking for in a hosting site before choosing.

To find out more about us and our services, please click here.

Advice from leading corporate film makers – What’s the best way to light my interview?

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Great interview lighting ideas from leading corporate film makers.

Corporate film makers the world over will tell you that the secret to a great looking interview shot is getting the lighting right. Boosting the power of your video with great lighting isn’t as tricky as it sounds and can significantly enhance the power of your corporate video. Here are our top digital video production tips for creating great looking interview lighting.

1: Soft Light

corporate film makers

Using ‘soft’ light on your subject’s face will smooth the shadows and create a complementary look. ‘Soft’ light comes from large light sources, like LED panels or windows on an overcast day. If you have a ‘hard’ light, like most bulbs or direct sunlight, you can shine it through a diffuser.

2: Backlight

corporate film makers

Positioning a light angled at the back of your subject’s head is a sure way to create a high end look. It adds separation between them and the background and creates a great aesthetic.

3: Background Accents

corporate film makers

Spare lights can be put to use to add interest to your background. A slash of light from a low positioned lamp angled up at a wall, puts the cherry on top of a well lit interview.

4: Flare

corporate film makers

Using lighting artistically will give your online video production that stand out factor. Positioning your backlight to highlight the subject’s hair and shine directly at the camera will give the edge of frame an attractive glow, just make sure your camera lens is clean!

5: Bokeh

corporate film makers

Bokeh- a funky word for those balls of colour you get from out of focus lights. Achieved in this example with some candles, an inexpensive way to get them is to use a DSLR with the lens zoomed in. It may mean putting the camera quite far away, but it sure adds a beautiful effect.

6: Reflectors

corporate film makers

Shooting outside on a sunny day will result in some harsh facial shadows and can be a problem for even experienced corporate film makers. This can be easily fixed without the need for powered lights by using a reflector. Held under the interviewee’s face, it’ll reflect the sunlight to fill the shadows for a much better look.

Bonus

corporate film makers

If you’ve lit a great interview from mainly one side, a second camera angle opposing your main light will capture a dramatic shadowy shot, great for emphasising an executive’s interview.

So there you have it. Our top tips for corporate film makers who want to produce video that has style and sophistication.

Create the most effective YouTube page for your online video advertising

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Our Guide To Getting The Most From YouTube

Everyone in business or marketing is (or should be) fully aware of how useful YouTube is when it comes to online video advertising. It’s an easy, accessible and powerful way to put your product or service directly in front of the people that count (the customers).

However, many brands and organisations miss out on most of its power by not managing their YouTube page effectively. Spending time, effort and resources producing an engaging and powerful video marketing asset is pointless if you just simply “Stick it up on YouTube!” YouTube isn’t just a place to dump your videos, it’s a social media platform in its own right and just as with <a href="https://www france viagra sans ordonnance.facebook.com/4416films”>Facebook and Twitter, managing the channel effectively is key to maximising customer engagement.

So here are our tips for getting the most out of YouTube and your video marketing assets.

Branding

Creating and uploading your logo and images to your YouTube page should be a no-brainer. You can upload banner artwork and thumbnails which will instantly make the page feel more professional and engaging (YouTube can feel a little sterile without these).

Introduce Yourself

Allow users to find out a little more about you by including about a short paragraph on who you are in the ‘About’ section. Make sure that this copy is not simply copied and pasted from your website and is unique to YouTube (and above all INCLUDE YOUR URL.)

online video advertising

URL

This is probably the single most valuable aspect of YouTube and successful online video advertising, yet stunningly, it’s one of the things that many brands forget. You can include a clickable URL in both your ‘about’ section and in the description of each and every video. Remember YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine so if your website URL is not on your channel anywhere you could be missing out on a significant amount inbound of traffic.

Featured Video

When a user first lands on your YouTube page you can specify which video you would like to appear/play in the main (larger) window. This is called your ‘featured video’ and is a great way to keep your page current (by updating it often) or to ensure that visitors see your ‘brand overview’ video first before they start looking at more specific video content.

Playlists

If you’re lucky (and wise) enough to have multiple video marketing assets then playlists are a great way to help your viewer navigate around your YouTube channel. We’ve all visited YouTube pages that are simply a long list of video titles so by allowing the viewer to filter based on content or subject makes the user experience much more enjoyable.

online video advertising

Name Your Film

So this should be a given but just in case you’re still not doing this: make sure you properly name your video, and get creative with the title. You don’t need to simply go with “Brown’s Hairdressers film” or something equally as mind-numbing. Instead think about using a question for the title, e.g. “How can I find the best hairdresser?”. Think about what people might type into search engines and also what they are likely to click on. Make your title relevant to both popular searches in your industry and also something that has an element of appeal and you’ll see your clicks rise significantly.

Discussion

Finally remember that YouTube is social so to maximise your online video advertising you may want to encourage discussion on your video marketing assets by adding a few comments.

So there you have it. As mentioned many companies out there still rely on the “stick it up on Youtube” approach but hopefully for you they are your competitors. Get your YouTube channel right and you’ll steal a significant advantage over them.

To find out more about us and our services, please click here.

Marketing Tools – Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Facebook Video

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Marketing Tools – Facebook’s Secret Video Weapon

In a world where businesses market themselves extensively online, and customers have demonstrated their high levels of engagement with online video, it’s not surprising that businesses often turn to sites like YouTube and Vimeo as the first choice online video marketing tools. As we’ve discussed in a previous blog, the compatibility of the playback software on these sites is universal, and they enjoy consistently high levels of popularity. However one approach that’s often overlooked and yet should be one of your key marketing tools is Facebook.

Facebook possesses an incredible secret weapon that can take video marketing to a new level. Now Facebook’s video player isn’t as intuitive as the one offered by YouTube and it doesn’t give you as many viewing options as Vimeo (the precise quality level, closed captions, and annotations for instance.) BUT it is fast becoming a major player in global video sharing, and here’s why.

With each new update, Facebook has improved upon its video player and how it reaches new audiences. And as mentioned Facebook’s video player has a secret weapon…it’s called…

AUTOPLAY!!!!!

Basically what this means (and I’m sure you will have seen this already) is that video content uploaded to Facebook automatically starts playing video when a user scrolls on to it! If it’s part of a news feed or a shared story then every user who’s connected to the sharer will also see it autoplay, and that could mean thousands of potential viewers watching quickly and easily.

“So?” I hear you say

Well, this autoplay is an incredibly powerful and useful tool. If we place video marketing on Youtube or Vimeo and then share links on other social media platforms the user still has to physically click on the thumbnail or link to start the content playing. With the amount of content that’s out there you sometimes need fairly strong motivational or enticing elements to get that ‘click’ to happen. The user has to make an ‘opt in’ decision.

marketing tools

But with Facebook automatically playing the video as soon as it’s in view, it offers brands a chance to engage viewers even before they’ve had a chance to make an ‘opt in/out’ call.  Brands can use it to connect with casual browsers in a way that feels much more at home with the social media landscape.

OK, so before we get too excited about this, there are some drawbacks. When a video autoplays it does so without audio so there’s no sound. But if you produce your video marketing with powerful visuals in the first few seconds, you will encourage the user to click on the already playing video, which then triggers the sound.  It almost creates the need for a ‘call to action’ at the front of your film rather then the traditional closing one.

It could be argued that Facebook has the edge here when considering online video marketing tools. Sharing video on YouTube and Vimeo can be a clumsy business and let’s face it, no one really “hangs out” on Youtube or Vimeo in the way they do on Facebook. When most people share a video with friends or followers they do so on Facebook. And with Facebook’s autoplay that shared video is guaranteed to autoplay in every connected friend or follower’s timeline. Instant connection!

With the arrival of autoplay video it is clear that Facebook understands the power of online video and the capability it has to distribute it.

There are videos on Facebook with millions of views that have never been posted on YouTube, and though Facebook isn’t the biggest video sharing site or the most obvious one, the results are starting to become difficult to ignore. Add it to your arsenal of marketing tools and see what a difference it makes to your reach.

To find out more about us and our services, please click here.

Corporate video production – A guide to getting it right!

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How to manage your corporate video production

We all know that when doing project-based work, effective time management is important. However in the world of creative video productions time managements becomes crucial in avoiding spiralling costs and lengthy delays. Now video doesn’t always have to be an expensive item, but get your time management wrong when producing it and your initial costs are going to rapidly climb. So here’s a few tips from our series of “how to make a promotional video” blogs on time management.

Have an Incredibly Clear Yet Simple Brief

Effective and creative video productions require a good solid foundation, yet some of the least effective video briefs that we’ve ever seen are always the one pagers. Providing your production team with the bare minimum at brief stage will prove counter productive in the long run so don’t rush this stage. If anything, this should be the one part of the process where time management should not be at the forefront of your mind, so don’t rush it.

If you’re stuck for the correct structure of a video production brief then don’t waste time trying to invent it. You can find countless guides online to help get this part of the process moving.

So keep your brief simple, concise and accurate. By investing time into this initial starting point of your production you will save countless hours of back and forth communication.

 

Corporate Video Production

Do a Location Recce

Before you shoot your video, have the director and/or camera operator visit the location that the filming will take place at for a ‘location recce’. Now this may initially seem like overkill and in fact a waste of time but you’d be wrong.

Getting to your shoot day with all the crew and talent on the clock only to find that the power supply is insufficient or that the background noise makes it impossible to shoot is far more expensive than allow a small amount of budget for a location recce. If a key member of the crew has performed a location recce then any and all technical issues can be flagged and averted and set up/get out times will also be reduced as the logistics will have been pre-planned.

Allowing the director and/or camera operator an opportunity to see the location prior to shooting can save time, stress and money when it comes to the actual shoot day and we would wholeheartedly recommend it.

Trust Your Editor

Once the filming is done don’t think that you need to sit through every single frame of footage with your editor to make an edit selection. If you’ve briefed your Editor well enough they should be able to take the project right through to “edit version one”. This version one edit should be pretty much the finished article in terms of content and presentation yet allow you the opportunity to ask for any and all tweaks you desire. If the editors done their job properly these tweaks will be quick and enable you to review an “Edit version 2” very quickly. So fully briefing and trusting your Editor can save you countless hours of doing watch throughs.

 

Corporate Video Production

Collate Feedback

Within creative video productions there are 3 key people. These are the Producer, the Director and the Editor.  If you have (and most corporate video projects do) multiple stakeholders in the project then always collate all comms and feedback that needs to be relayed to these key crew members. Providing them with clear and consistent communications throughout the process is critical to avoiding multiple repeated back and forth emails.

Delegate the Key Stuff

Video production has many elements within that require a high degree of skill and experience. Camera Operators and Directors etc are obvious examples but don’t be afraid to also commission script writers and video production managers if your budget allows. The video production industry has probably one of the richest pools of freelance experts of any industry and by bringing in the right talent you’ll save lots of time. As mentioned this is not for all budgets but if your production allows then we always recommend getting the best people in place.

Corporate Video Production

Allow for Upload and Share

Finally (and something that often catches people out) you’ll need to allow time to upload your content to YouTube, Vimeo or Facebook.

Make sure you allow time within your plan to do this as its surprisingly time consuming and if rushed can undo all your hard work. To save time if you’re uploading multiple videos then you can bulk or group upload on most platforms. Once they’re uploading you can get on with other work, so factor this in when you’re thinking about the time needed. However once they are uploaded then do allow time to properly tag, arrange and share them.

After all, this is how you’ll get the most bang for your production buck and hopefully it will reduce the dramas that creative video productions sometimes provide! But most importantly it will allow you to generate maximum impact from your new video marketing asset.

To find out more about us and our services, please click here.

Business Marketing Lessons Learned The Hard Way: My Tips For Start Ups

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Business Marketing Tips For Start Ups

I’ve been running a business producing video for just over 15 years now and over that time I’ve learnt some pretty crucial business marketing lessons (usually the hard way!). So I thought I’d share them here for any start ups or new business owners as I’m sure many of these lessons transcend industries.

So here are a few of these lessons to save you the pain of having to learn them yourself the hard way!

Forget your Ego

Nothing can potentially threaten your business like your own vanity or ego. Over the years the worst business decisions I’ve made have been the ones where my ego has over ridden my common sense. Whenever a business decision is required, do keep this in mind by asking yourself “what would my competition do?” – This is usually a good yardstick for checking your thought process and verifying whether your ego is affecting your judgement.

Evolve

This applies to everything from internal systems to external marketing activity. Technology moves at a frightening pace in video production (as in all industries), but it usually moves on in a good way and provides some real benefits. So make sure you move with it! Getting left behind can be a big problem for any business so evolve with the technology, don’t fight against it

Adapt

The demand for video production (or any service supplied by a business) has changed shape over the years, as has the type of client who requires our service. The way in which we find new clients and market our services has had to continuously adapt to keep pace with our ever-changing client base. Don’t be afraid to adapt your approach if its clear that your existing methods aren’t working.

business marketing

Have a Clear Plan for Scalability

Being able to quickly and painlessly upscale when demand increases is key to growth. We all want to grow our businesses but when that critical opportunity to upsize arrives, you don’t want to drop the ball due to not having a clear plan of how you’re going to meet the increased output smoothly. The worst-case scenario can be that you fail to service existing clients due to internal problems caused by overstretching your resources.

Step Back

It’s so easy as a business owner to become bogged down by the day-to-day jobs and not take time to step back and see the bigger picture. Allowing yourself the time and opportunity to step back from the whirlwind from time to time provides you with a platform to assess what you do, how you do it, and discover what’s not quite working.

Use Expert

If you run your own business you will probably have the mantra that “anything is possible”. With that usually comes a feeling that you can easily “up-skill” to fulfil any requirements that your business develops. However, in our experience, paying for and listening to the advice of experts has been one of the most productive decisions we’ve ever made. This was especially true when it came to online business marketing. Outsourcing is something that a business owner should not hide from as it allows the key people within the business to focus on their strengths and do what they do best.

business marketing

Have Fun

Running your own business can be overwhelming, all-consuming, relationship damaging and slightly depressing (when things aren’t going well), so make sure you remember why you are doing it and also how lucky you are to get the chance! Above all, have some fun. Weirdly enough it may actually increase your success. Many businesses benefit from having a figurehead who displays a joy in what they do as this filters down to everyone who works within the organisation.

Be Honest With Yourself

Another psychological pitfall is kidding yourself that things are working when they aren’t. Being brutally honest with yourself is a key character trait in favour of becoming the business owner you want to be.

People Don’t Care That Much About Your Logo!

Many start ups (me included) spend hour and hours developing their logo when in truth this time could be spent in a much more beneficial and productive way. The lesson I learnt early on was that my logo was NOT my brand. Build a strong brand and instil your beliefs in it, and what your logo looks like will be the last thing a customer cares about. Focus on real business marketing and don’t assume that a fancy logo will do this for you!

I hope some of this may be useful or of interest to you if you’re piloting a start up venture. Above all keep going, I know you’ll have heard this a million time already but the first few years WILL be tough. So keep pushing, keep working and best of luck!

To find out more about us and our services, please click here.

Should I use a Digital Marketing Agency or Freelancer for my brands online video?

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A Comparison Between Video Marketing Agency and Freelancer Productions

If you need to produce a video and it’s not something you want to do in-house then you really have two options. You could approach a video marketing agency, or you could find a talented freelancer to handle the project. Both come with their merits and drawbacks. Here’s a comparison of the two options.

Cost

Yes, a freelancer will be the more cost effective option. If your project is budget-sensitive then hiring a freelancer to produce it will be the best option. They don’t have the fixed costs of premises and staff to cover and the cost benefit will be passed on to you, the client.

Reliability

If you hire a freelancer and they are unwell or unable to attend your shoot day then there’s not much you can do about it. They may know someone who can stand in for them but this won’t always be the case. If you hire a video marketing agency then they will have backup and crew options should a member of their team become ill and not able to attend the shoot.

marketing agency

Nimble is Good

Any business or company needs systems of work and operation. These systems can slow a company down at times. However, a freelancer can take a much more nimble approach and respond in much quicker timescales to challenges and developments. They are usually much more able to react and adapt to new styles of working and this can benefit your project.

Group Creativity

Many video production briefs require a degree of creativity to ensure that the final product stands out for the crowd. While many freelancers can provide fantastic ideas and creative solutions, they are limited by the fact that all these ideas have to come from just one source. In contrast, a video marketing agency will be able to pool and harvest a larger range of clever ideas and solutions for your video.

Hands on Personal Touch

One of the great things about using a freelancer is that they are a constant from start to finish. They will be also to factor in the key messages of your brief at all stages as there is no risk of any important direction being lost while it’s being communicated through an organisation. Having the same face at each stage of the production is also reassuring for clients and provides a personal touch throughout the production.

marketing agency

Jack of All Trades VS Experienced Experts

Whilst there are some incredibly talented freelancers out there, they still have the drawback of being an individual with limited experience. A video marketing agency will be able to bring a wider range of skill bases and creativity to the table. While a freelancer has to be ‘jack of all trades’, the production company will have experienced experts in each area of the production so that every project can benefit from the services of a specialist at all stages.

Quality & Approach

Many freelancers own and use their own camera on each project they work on. This means that they are certainly experts in using their chosen camera model, and it also means that they tend to use the same camera on every project. However, a video marketing agency will have the financial muscle to either upgrade their cameras more often or hire cameras to meet the requirements of each individual brief. This is what we do. With the advent of 4K ultra HD and the need for businesses to ‘future proof’ their video, the advantages of using a production company are valuable in this respect as they can ensure that your project is shot on the most appropriate format.

So there you have it! Hopefully this is a useful guide, but bear in mind that there will be exceptions to each point made. At the end of the day both routes come with pros and cons so shop around to find the right solution for you, your brand and your project.

To find out more about us and our services, please click here.

How Can I Make My Brand’s Web Video Clickable?

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Web video that viewers can click!

As a business, one of the most important things we need web video and video marketing to do is direct traffic and customers to our site. After all, that’s what we produced it for. However, there’s a small issue here. When maximising the reach of your video marketing by uploading it to YouTube or Vimeo, there’s the possibility that the video may be viewed in isolation on the Youtube or Vimeo page itself. Even if we embed the video on our own website, people should be able to find it independently online. If they do, we’re hoping that the viewer will click through to us (on the URL in the video description that you should ALWAYS include) so that we can receive the desired amount of traffic.

However a better solution is to make the actual video window a live clickable experience. This is very useful if we want to maximise the reach of our web video by embedding the video on numerous other web pages where the ‘info’ section of the YouTube video which would normally contain your hyperlinks won’t be shown.

This is where YouTube’s annotation function becomes very powerful.

Call to Action

Youtube allows us to overlay a text ‘call to action’ annotation containing a live URL link anywhere on the web video window itself. The best example of this would be at the end of a film where we usually have an on-screen CTA, by using this facility we can actually make the CTA a live clickable element providing a great way to direct traffic from YouTube to our own site quickly and more intuitively. If part of the video is asking you to ‘click here’, you’re more likely to do that than go searching for a link in the video description.

Simply upload your video to Youtube, then go to the “Channel Video Manager”. Next select the video you want to add the link to and click the down arrow to the right of the Edit button and then select Annotations. Add your link and then select publish to finalise. Easy!

web video

Limitations

So adding this function to your web video on YouTube is simple, but there are a few limitations:

Firstly, it can take a few days to implement this, as the first stage is to notify Youtube that you are the physical owner of the video. Obviously this is to stop people placing live links over any and all of Youtube’s most popular videos, so you must own the content of film in order to place the live link on it. This part of the process is not instantaneous – Youtube takes a couple of days to verify this, so if you’re hitting a tight deadline you need to plan ahead.

Secondly, the fonts, colours and typographical options are very limited, so if you have very strong brand identification that is linked to your own font or particular colour then you may struggle to create the most “on brand” annotation.

Thirdly, the viewer has the option to turn off these annotations before they’ve even seen them. Some Youtube videos grossly overuse annotations which can turn many viewers off the idea, so make sure they’re relevant and not overused.

 

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That being said, the benefits to this are clear and until now this has been the missing element in many web video campaigns. Allowing users to interact with your content in this way provides engagement, credibility, and most importantly points the customer directly to your brand.

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