Holly Paige

12 Tips for Making Video a Reality in 2019

If 2019 is finally the year when you decide to make a corporate video, here are 12 things you should know that will make your video a hit instead of a snack room joke.

If 2019 is finally the year when you decide to make a corporate video, here are 12 things you should know that will make your video a hit instead of a snack room joke.

If 2019 is the year you’re finally going to start producing video content about your business or organization, here is a handful of tips to help you plan a flawless video campaign in the new year. (With a nod to the 12 Days of Christmas and all things fun and festive!) 

1.  Know why you’re producing a video

This should be obvious, but you’d be surprised by how many otherwise smart professionals decide they want to produce a video about their company without thinking through their goals and outcomes. Don’t be that person. Get clear about the pain you want your video to relieve before you start imagining what you want your video to look like. 

2.  Decide who this video is for

Every video you produce needs to appeal to a specific audience. Taking the time to identify the audience you want to reach and the messages you want to communicate, will help you decide the type of video you want to produce, as well as the creative tone and style you want your video to convey. 

3.  Get clear about your outcomes

What do you want your target audience to do after they’ve watched your video? Visit your website for more information? Donate money online? Fill out an online job application? Whatever your outcomes, make sure your video has a strong call to action, directing viewers to take the next step.

4.  Be honest about the investment you’re willing/able to make

Successful video projects are an investment in time, money and talent. The average video project takes an average of 12 weeks from concept to completion. On the low end, a typical budget for a two-to-three-minute video starts at around $5,000 and can vary widely, depending on the complexity of the video you want to produce.

5.  In-house or outsource?

If you’re producing a video in-house, your main investment will be staff time. If you outsource your project, your investment will be in dollars, to hire outside video experts who can assist you in everything from story planning, project management and creative development, to filming, story production and editing. The deciding factor typically comes down to the amount of extra staff time an organization has (or doesn’t have) to devote to the amount of time needed to produce a video. 

6.  Plan, baby, plan

Leave winging it to the birds. Without a solid plan, your video project is DOA.

7.  Short, long or in-between?

There’s a lot of buzz around the “perfect” length of a video. The truth is, there is no perfect video length. However, there are guidelines, based on how a video will be used. For example: 60 to 90-second video testimonials of company executives or customers work well as email attachments, on a website or social media platform. Ditto for a two-to-three-minute product demos. Videos in the three-to-five-minute range (company culture videos, award videos, fundraising appeal videos or video case studies) work well in live presentations or on a website. My rule of thumb around video length is: make it long enough to cover your most important messages, but not too long that people lose interest. 

8.  There’s no “I” in team

Keep your internal team small and focused. Make sure everyone on your team shares the same goals and outcomes and is motivated to keep the process moving forward.

9.  Find video partners that work and play well with others

Every video company has a great demo reel. But look beyond the pretty images when evaluating a potential video partner for your next project. Find a team whose work ethic and values mirror yours. Seek out video pros who “get” your vision, are focused yet flexible, communicate well, enjoy the collaborative process, are easy to work with and deliver projects as scheduled. 

10.  Expect the unexpected

Scheduling snafus. Production bumps. Last minute script changes. Re-edits at the 11th hour. Something unexpected will happen during the life of a project. Having a solid game plan will help you overcome these bumps in the road. When the unexpected appears, stay calm and carry on.

11.  Think Vimeo for video hosting

Most people immediately think of YouTube for video hosting because it’s a free service. But Vimeo is a better bet, especially for business and corporate work. Vimeo is a paid service, but the investment is worth it for a couple of important reasons: First, Vimeo allows users to keep their original online video links, so you can make revisions to an existing video without having to create a new video link, as you have to do with YouTube. Second, Vimeo doesn’t paste unwanted ads over your video like YouTube does. These are small, but important distinctions, and worth paying attention to, if maintaining a professional visual presence is important to you, and your audience.

12.  Enjoy the ride

The video medium is such a powerful communication tool and there are so many applications for it that you owe it to yourself to at least consider producing a video sometime in 2019. And if you are already on the video bandwagon, here’s to another great year of creating video content that engages, educates and inspires. 

Holly Paige Photo.jpg

About the author:

Holly Paige is a story consultant and video content creator based in Portland, Oregon. She produces videos for businesses and organizations that want to tell their stories – and tell them right. Visit: www.waveonegroup.com

 

Let Your Organizational Culture Tell Your Story

An organization’s culture says a lot about how it values employees and customers. That’s why your organizational culture may be your best storyline to tell.

An organization’s culture says a lot about how it values employees and customers. That’s why your organizational culture may be your best storyline to tell.

Throughout my career, I’ve worked for lots of companies. I’ve gotten fired from a few, too. Looking back, I realize the common denominator of these premature exit strategies had nothing to do with the quality of my work, and everything to do with whether or not I fit into the organization’s culture.

More than superior skills, a stellar work ethic or a stack of inside connections, an employee’s ability to fit into a company’s culture determines whether he or she will find success on the job, and in the organization. 

Every company has a culture, which typically reveals itself in the way an organization expresses its values, beliefs, vision, behaviors and shared experiences. A company’s culture shows up in the ways people inside the organization interact with each other and with clients or customers. Culture sets the tone for behavior, mindset and expectations. It dictates the way “things get done” inside and outside an organization. 

Which brings us to Clark Public Utilities in Vancouver, Washington. The utility promotes its ‘customer owned, customer focused’ culture every day in all kinds of ways. And the stories the utility tells about its culture gives prospective employees an authentic glimpse into what really matters to the organization. 

One particular story stands out, both for its humor and humble approach. What started as a typical day for a crew of utility linemen turned into a full-on rescue mission. We teamed up with the utility to produce a video about this story, and without giving anything away, it’s a fun story to watch and it speaks volumes about the organization’s culture. You can watch this story here.

If you’re ready to start telling your company’s story through a cultural lens, here are three ways to get started:

First, identify about your organization’s core values and beliefs. Why are they important to the success of your organization?

Second, explore how your employees bring these values and beliefs to life through their work.

Third, determine the kinds of communication tools that would be most effective to the employees you want to reach. 

Telling your company’s culture story is an effective way to communicate what really matters to your organization. Hiring employees that embrace the work, as well as the values, beliefs and shared experiences of your organization, is the key to long-term success, both for your employees, and your company.

About the author:

Holly Paige Photo.jpg

Holly Paige is a story consultant and video content creator based in Portland, Oregon. She uses the power of storytelling to consult with businesses and organizations that want to tell their stories and tell them right. Visit: www.digitalwave.tv; andwww.waveonegroup.com

 

Explaining Explainer Videos

Explainer videos are rising in popularity because they can boost Google rankings, increase conversion rates, entertain customers and be shared easily, adding some pep to a website or social media platforms.

Explainer videos are rising in popularity because they can boost Google rankings, increase conversion rates, entertain customers and be shared easily, adding some pep to a website or social media platforms.

There’s a new kind of animated and live action video appearing on websites and social media platforms. It’s called an explainer video and judging from the rave reviews this form of visual communication is getting (higher Google rankings; increased browser-to-buyer conversion rates; easy to share), it’s a must-have piece of digital content.

Here’s a snapshot of what this trend is all about and why you might want to consider using it in an upcoming marketing campaign.

The idea behind an explainer video is a quick explanation of what your business does and the problems you solve for your customers.

Explainer videos typically involve either live action video and/or some kind of animation. Examples are a series of whiteboard sketches; 2D and 3D cartoon animation, typography moving around on a screen (called kinetic typography) or  animated cutouts of people and objects. 

Explainer videos run up to two minutes in length and contain some or all of the following elements:

  • Written script highlighting a problem a potential customer faces; the solution the company provides and a call to action
  • Voiceover narration
  • On-screen graphics
  • Music
  • Animation style
  • Subtitles

Prices range from thousands of dollars to free software for the DIY crowd.

What the explainer video offers is an easy way for businesses to add a video element to their websites and social media platforms.

Like every other type of digital shiny object, the danger is relying solely on explainer videos at the expense of creating additional forms of personalized content. Savvy communicators know they need to speak to different audiences and the best way to do that is to develop content that is meaningful and memorable to each target group.

That said, here are two ways to decide which type of explainer video is best for your company:

  • If your goal is to humanize your company, using live action video is preferable to animation. You can use key company executives, employees and customers to communicate your message. Dollar Shave Club produced a hilarious live action video featuring the president of the company.
  • If you have a complicated topic or need to deliver a conceptual message, an animated video is a good way to visualize the subject and walk viewers through your process. Pinterest produced an easy-to-follow animated explainer video.

Explainer videos are the newest way for brands to make themselves seen and heard. And in this increasingly crowded digital landscape, getting noticed is a never-ending challenge. 

About the author:

Holly Paige Photo.jpg

Holly Paige is a story consultant and video content creator based in Portland, Oregon. She uses the power of storytelling to produce videos for businesses and organizations that want to tell their stories and tell them right. Visit: www.digitalwave.tv and www.waveonegroup.com.

Get Ready for Your LinkedIn Close-Up

LinkedIn has jumped into the video sponsored content arena, posing yet another compelling reason to hone your on-camera skills so you appear confident, knowledgeable and easy to watch.

LinkedIn has jumped into the video sponsored content arena, posing yet another compelling reason to hone your on-camera skills so you appear confident, knowledgeable and easy to watch.

Does it seem like your LinkedIn feed is full of talking heads these days? It’s not your imagination.

In the past year, the world’s #1 platform for business lead generation has jumped into the B2B video arena in a big way, by introducing professionally produced video ads for sponsored content and launching a mobile app for iPhone or Android that allows users to record and upload their own video content.

If you’re using LinkedIn to grow your business, what could be easier than hitting the Record button on your smartphone and speaking directly to your tribe.

For most of us, speaking on camera is a stressful experience. The thought of looking into a camera lens and not knowing who will be watching – or what they might think of you – causes fear. And fear triggers a fight-or-flight response that causes many people to sweat profusely, turn red in the face and struggle to breathe. Call it stage fright on steroids.

A big part of my work is helping people become more confident speaking on camera, and I’m happy to say that with preparation and practice just about anyone can improve his or her on-camera performance. Here’s how:

  1. Figure out what you want to say before you hit the Record button. You don’t need to memorize what you’re going to say, but do prepare a few talking points ahead of time.
     
  2. Before filming, stand in front of a mirror and practice your presentation out loud. You’ll feel ridiculous. Do it any way. As you practice, keep your eyes focused on your reflection, as if you are speaking to an actual person in front of you. The camera will pick up any twitch, frown, grimace or involuntary eye roll. You want to minimize as many non-verbal tics as you can. 
     
  3. During your mirror practice, pay attention to your tone and delivery. Do you sound confident? Friendly? Are you speaking too fast? Video magnifies the way a person looks and sounds.
     
  4. After you’ve practiced a few times, record a practice take. Smile, make eye contact and stare directly into the tiny camera lens. It will feel unnatural at first, but remember that you’re making eye contact through the camera lens to your unseen audience.
     
  5. Play back and review. Resist the self-criticism and focus on things you can change. If your video looks too dark, record yourself near a window to capture more natural light. Pay attention to the way you look and sound. Ask yourself: what would your intended audience think about you and your business if they saw your video?
     
  6. Avoid recording endless takes. You’ll wear yourself out and lose your enthusiasm. Try recording two or three versions. Review. Revise. When you’re happy with one, upload it to your LinkedIn feed.

Practice. Practice. Practice. Then, take the leap. Speaking directly to camera is a skill, and the more you do it, the better you’ll get.

Holly Paige Photo.jpg

About the author:

Holly Paige is a video content strategist and creator based in Portland, Oregon. She uses the power of storytelling to produce videos for businesses and organizations that want to tell their stories – and tell them right. Visit: www.digitalwave.tv and www.waveonegroup.com.