Three reasons I hate using Instagram for video and three reason I’ve come to love it

Let’s be honest, you have a lot of apps on your phone you never really use. Instagram was, until recently, one of those. It was there but largely ignored. I posted the occasional photo and at least three people liked it. Three people! Very occasionally up to ten people liked a photo and they were definitely not family. I definitely never posted video to Instagram.

All that has changed.

To explain, here are three reasons why I don’t like it and three reasons why I have come to love it.

Three reasons why I didn’t like Instagram for video.

1. Square format. Which is great for photos but as a video format I, and many other video professionals, hate it. Every time we see a video shot in portrait mode a little something dies within any self respecting video pro. You can of course get round this and shrink your wonderful widescreen video to fit but then it is so small you can hardly see it.

2. You can only post from your phone. Instagram has resisted the calls to allow people to post to it from programmes such a Hootsuite and Buffer. The only way to post is via your phone. Which means anything created outside of your phone has to be transferred and then downloaded. Not exactly the end of the world but it adds a few more steps to the creative process.

3. Video is only a minute long. Not so long ago it was only fifteen seconds so a minute is great improvement. So anything over that and it requires re-editing to post to the app.

Three reasons you should use Instagram for video.

1.  Hashtags. These have been a feature of social media for ages. Some research indicates that posts with appropriate hashtags do better than those without. Hashtags give you visibility and utilising the popular hashtags gives you an opportunity to feature in Instagram’s ‘top posts’ feature.  From my own experience I have been able to target different audiences using different content simply by using specific hashtags. I have been able to get video views and likes well beyond my, admittedly, quite small bunch of followers.

2. Promotion. Instagram for business allows you to promote your content through the app and through Facebook. So for a small financial outlay you can boost your content and gain more viewers and likes. As your views increase through paid promotion so will your organic views. Views bring more views. Faced with a choice between a video with 100 views and one with 1,000 which one are you going to choose? Which one will you see as more popular and thus worth watching? 

 

This is a video I shot for my Five Thoughts For Thursday Blog. Using the appropriate hashtags, promotion through my own social media channels and some paid promotion through Instagram and Facebook (totally $14!) the video was viewed by almost 9,000 people. It also saw a 30% increase in my followers.

3. Creative problem solving. Back to the limitations of Instagram, the square format and the one minute restriction. If Instagram is going to be a part of your digital mix then you need to bear this in mind in production process. Factor it in to your pre and post production work. It’s much easier to create content to fit the platform if you have thought about it in advance. See the one minute limitation as a creative opportunity. I can even live with the square format, just.

Explore Instagram. Use it for videos. I think you will be surprised.

You can follow me on Instagram for videos and photos, making_video_work

Gordon O’Neill

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Five things to consider before putting your video on social media

Choose Wisely or it may cost you

Once upon a time there were only two platforms for video. VHS tape and DVD. Very quickly, it was just DVD. Then along came online video, for years dominated by YouTube. Now there are a host of different platforms where you can not only host your video but share and promote your video.

 

Which is great, right? Well yes it is, but it does mean you need to give a bit more thought to any video production you create or commission.

 

Here are my top five tips for effective video production.

 

1. What do you want to say? It seems rather obvious but it i is a really important question. Simply getting the video made is not the goal. Content is king. Video is it’s own medium. It is not simply a moving picture version of your other communication collateral.

 

2. Think about how you want to say it? Video is a visual medium, the way you say something fundamentally has to be visual first, reinforced with words, graphics and music.
3. Understand your platform. Different platforms serve video to their users in subtle but different ways. The optimal time for a Facebook video is 81 seconds. For YouTube it is 870 seconds. Instagram is currently a minute. There are also technical considerations to keep in mind. The majority of Facebook videos are watched with no sound, Instagram is a square format as opposed to widescreen. Snapchat is a vertical medium. Not all video is equal.

 

4. Choose your platform(s). In the past, videos were made and plastered wherever you could! No longer. Each platform may well serve a different purpose for you. Don’t think one solution will work everywhere. It won’t. As the entombed knight says in Indiana Jones and the last crusade “Choose Wisely”.

 

5. Shoot appropriately. If you are going to place your videos on a number of different platforms it is really important to bear this in mind when you come to shoot. There is an old film production saying “shoot for the edit’. Make sure you capture the right kind and right number of shots that you know will work across the platforms. It will save time, energy and money in the long run. Blindly shooting and then trying to shoehorn footage to fit different platforms is a thankless and costly task.

 

If you want to chat about any aspects of video production then please do get in touch. Happy to talk on the phone, Skype or FaceTime or visit you and talk about how we can make video work for you.

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Five Tips for better Video Production

Too often video production is done on a whim. You know you’ve heard everyone talk about how important it is to have video on your website or adding it to your marketing mix so you decide to do a video.

The problem then is that it is done on the run, with inadequate thought and equipment. “Quality” is the key word here, not necessarily expense. Surely we all know that quality and cost have an strange relationship. Cost does not guarantee quality and quality does not always cost the earth.

So here are five key signposts on the road to a good production.

1.Brief

What is it you are trying to say and who are you trying to reach?  Don’t settle for having it all in your head. Write down your ideas. Refine them. Hone them. Know what it is you are looking to achieve and how you think you can achieve it. Doesn’t mean it is set in stone or that it cannot evolve but a brief, a structure from which to work is vital.

2.Script

How are we going to communicate our message? Is going to be serious, funny, instructional?  Do not be tempted into thinking we’ll just use what we already have written. A video is not a moving brochure it is a different medium and the script should reflect this.

3.Talent

Make the most of experienced and talented people.  Having all the gear is not an indicator of talent, having Word on your computer does not make you a best selling author. Look for a good portfolio of work.  Trust a producer who can get you the right voiceover and on camera talent. What’s his name from accounts probably isn’t the right choice. (If you are what’s his name from accounts and you are truly talented then leave accounts)

4. Sound

More videos are ruined by bad sound than anything else. Get someone who knows how to get good sound and how to enhance it in post production.

5. Remember, it’s a visual medium

Cameras are great. They do enable you to just point and shoot but please don’t choose someone who just points and shoots.  Choose an artisan who wants to create great production for you. 

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Not all Video is created equal

video-content-infographic

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Making the most of Facebook Video

When you begin to plan your next video it is important to bear in mind where you intend to host your production. You will probably want to distribute it across a number of social platforms. For most people this means uploading to YouTube and then posting links to the video on different platforms but is this the best strategy?

 

Facebook has become an increasingly influential for video views, shares and engagement. In late 2015 it was 8 billion views a day. It is clear if you are going to use Facebook for distributing  your video you need a strategy before you start to film. So here are five pointers for more effective Facebook video.

 

1.Shorter is better.  The average length for a Facebook video is around 80 seconds and the first 10-15 seconds are probably crucial in engaging your audience.

 

2. Get your message up front. People scroll through their newsfeed so you only have a few seconds to capture their attention. No lengthy intro screens, just something to grab their attention. Research has shown the importance of the first few seconds of your Facebook video.

 

3. It pains me to say this but, as far as Facebook video is concerned, silence is golden. Up to 90% of Facebook users watch without sound. So subtitles are important, but make sure they work well for mobile. Look for visually arresting images. Don’t dispense with sound altogether and still work to have a hight quality soundtrack as this sets the context of any video.

 

4. Upload natively to Facebook. Uploading your video directly to Facebook rather than lining to a YouTube video has been proven to get better reach and better engagement. Facebook publishes their own guidelines for uploading video to their site.

 

5. Call to action. As true for Facebook as it is for any video site.  Tell your users what you want them to do after this video: Like? Share? Comment? Click through to a landing page?

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Things videographers are fed up of hearing

1, Can you photoshop me?  Other versions include, cab you make me look 20 years younger, 20 pounds lighter, like Robert Redford, like Nicole Kidman.
2. Will it be on the telly? If filming in a public place scores of people behind the subject waving, inanely smiling and/or on their phone
3. I’ll just wing it. Never works! Quickly followed by.
4. I’ll get it right eventually. Maybe I should have written a few things down. I’ll just write a few quick notes. Can you hold those notes so I can read them? Does this look like I’m reading this?
5. Can I just take this call?
6. That’s a nice bit of kit.

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Five Thoughts For Thursday on Reading

In a former life I was an avid reader. It was kind of a part of the job. I did it for all sorts of reasons. For some reason the last few years have been a bit fallow for me on the reading front. Recently I decided to make a point of reading more as part of a new boring routine. Getting back into reading regularly made me think about the value of reading and who we can incorporate it into our day.

 

  1. READ. I know is a pretty obvious thing to say but just get down to reading.  I promise you will be the richer for it. I’m not suggesting you kick off by reading any Dostoevsky but find something you enjoy reading, something that suits you. If you read regularly you will develop your own taste for what works for you. Once you get to that stage then you can move onto something that will stretch and challenge you.  Reading expands your mind, informs you, fosters your imagination and it improves your written and spoken communication. What’s not to like?
  1. TAKE NOTES. I admit I’m not a Kindle kind of guy. I have tried but, when it comes to books, I am definitely an analogue guy. I can see the enormous benefits of a Kindle just not quite got there myself. I say this because for me taking notes in the margins is one of the joys of reading, particularly non-fiction, I have yet to to make a single note in any Dan Brown book. Notes help me to reinforce the message of a chapter or section. There are books I return to and review the notes to see if I have taken any action on that particular lesson or if what struck as profound on first reading is still valid. Whether you make notes in the margin, a notebook or on your Kindle always go back and review them. I usually do it when I have finished reading a book.
  1. SET ASIDE time to read. Most people’s excuse for not reading is they don’t have the time.  If you don’t see reading as important then that’s likely to be the case. Make reading an important part of your day. Doesn’t have to be a long time. Set yourself a target. Reading is a part of my morning routine. I read a chapter a day of my current book. It’s amazing how quickly you can get through a book when you decide to make time for it. Add in the times when I read at opportune times and I can polish off a book in a week to ten days. Imagine doing that for a whole year. Imagine how much better informed you will be.
  1. SPEED READ.  One of the best things I ever did was learn to speed read. I meet many people who say you can’t possibly read that quick you must miss loads. Yes, there are times when I miss the the odd sentence or paragraph but less frequent than you would imagine. There are plenty of techniques you can use to speed up your reading. Pop along to YouTube and search for How to Speed Read, trust me you will find hundreds of videos.
  1. RESEARCH.  Stuck for something to read?  Have a look around at what people are reading. Ask  your friends or colleagues. I often ask on Twitter and LinkedIn for advice on what to read next. Doesn’t always mean I discover a gem of a book but most of the time it does. Many blogs compile list of the best books to read on a particular subject.  While this is great and my primary source of new reading material don’t limit yourself to this. Browse an online book store or, even better, get along to a book shop. Find a few books that take your fancy and sit down and skim through a few pages.
Here is my recent reading list.

The next book up for me is Black Box Thinking by Matthew Syed. I heard him on the radio talking about this and felt I just had to read it.

Thanks for reading this blog, you see you can read.  Happy reading. Do comment below and suggest any books you have read recently. It’s good to share. I don’t just read non fiction I always have a novel on the go I read this last thing at night to relax and switch off. Reading not just informative but therapeutic.@gordon4video
#FTFT

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Five Things I Love to use

You don’t have to be on Facebook very long to see a post asking you what five things you would rescue from a fire. Generally speaking the answers are pretty predictable. Partner, children, pets, photos. I am always surprised no one says Insurance documents. OK Just me then. Well the following are five things I could well live without but I choose not to. They contribute to and enhance my own life. Like most people I live a life straddling analogue and digital. Fads have come and gone in my life but these are the ones to which I keep returning.

1. Youtube. It probably comes as no surprise, as a film maker, YouTube is an ever present in my life. I do have a business channel showcasing my work https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrxp-jmThL8egPbCr0pRBBA but that is not the reason YouTube is important. I use YouTube in all kinds of ways. Sadly watching kitten or puppy videos is not one of them. I recently started Yoga. All kinds of DVDs and classes were recommended but I found the perfect workout for me on YouTube. Yoga for Dudes

If I am researching an item of equipment it’s the first place I go for reviews and unboxing videos, always good to know exactly what you are getting. I do watch the official manufacturer videos but I love real world reviews. The manufacturer might say it does this or that but does it work in real life? Software issues then it is off to YouTube. In the past month I have found and used tutorials on goal setting, visualisation, Evernote, Adobe Premiere, learnt how to repair a dishwasher and found the perfect Smartphone for me. All with a bit of effort and smart searching.

2. Podcast addict. I may be a film maker and therefore predisposed towards the visual but I do love a good podcast. Those of you on IOS will probably be wedded to iTunes but I’m an Android guy and having tried several podcast apps I settled on Podcast addict. It’s a free app but there is a paid version (£2.19) that removes adverts. (I admit it I’m cheap). I find it easy to search for the podcasts I am interested in. You can stream them or with one click download them. You can subscribe to podcasts so you never miss an episode. Be careful when downloading you don’t accidentally tell Podcast Addict to download them all! 384 episodes of Zig Ziglar didn’t go down well with my phone.

3. Journal/notebook. Despite loving my apps and technology I am still pretty much in love with my notebook. I try to carry one with me everywhere I go. I have just started using Hal Elrod’s Miracle Morning Daily Journal. I like the discipline of it, writing something everyday however short is really therapeutic. Before anything ever sees the light of day on here it is most likely written in a notebook first. When I plan a shoot I often sketch out my ideas and storyboard in my notebook and then transfer to a format I can share with people. I have tried using online methods but nothing works better for me than my little old notebooks. I have several I am particularly addicted to Moleskin notebooks.

4. Evernote. I signed up to Evernote years ago. Trouble was I really didn’t use it. Every business blog told me I should have Evernote. The turning point was getting an Evernote Notebook. This enable you to take analogue notes and transfer them via your smartphone to your Evernote online account. The notebook was a present and it came with a six months subscription to Evernote premium. From this point on I started using Evernote, I mean, really use it. I use it to collate web pages for future reading and research. I keep all of my notes and emails of current projects, (you can forward emails to your account) in separate folders. I can tag, and classify just about anything and Evernote is smart enough to know which folder to put it in. I could go on. Evernote enables me to bridge the gap between my analogue and online lives. There are loads of video tutorials on YouTube on getting the best out of Evernote but this guy is my favourite.

5. Camera. Shouldn’t really come as surprise but having a camera with me at all times is an essential. Of course the Smartphone has enabled us to have to a camera with us at all times. I also try to take one of my smaller production cameras with me, my current favourite is my Sony A7s. You never know where an opportunity might present itself. Often the video or stills never make it into the public domain but I have enjoyed snapping or filming.

I am sure you would have a different list and I’d love to know your list. Just leave a comment below.

Happy Thoughts for Thursday

@gordon4video
#FTFT

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Is Barbie really a role model?

Yesterday I sat in a room with other creatives and watched s series of videos. The purpose was to share our thoughts and discuss best practice. I hope to share some of the others eventually. However this was the one the provoked the most discussion. This video has had almost 21 million views. Has it changed the way people feel about gender specific toys. Dolls for girls building kits for boys. I would genuinely love to read your thoughts so please leave a comment. But first watch this;

 

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Five thoughts on beating the creative roadblock

5Thoughts on Thursday Logo

I think just about every profession goes through a creative block at some time or other.  That feeling when you don’t seem to be able to do anything.

Often called writer’s block but it affects artists of all kinds, indeed anyone who is trying to create something. It might be a book or a blog, a painting or a sculpture, a new concept or a different way of working. All of us in one way or another have reached that point when no matter what we do the page, canvas, notebook or screen remains stubbornly empty.  So here are my five five thoughts.

  1. Keep a storeroom. Always seek inspiration from others. Reading, watching, listening and recording are, in my opinion, essential to creativity.  Keep a notebook, scrapbook or online gallery of things that have inspired you or made you think or you just liked. When barren times come wandering around this storeroom will, I promise, spark your creativity. You will find stuff you had long forgotten, dusty and neglected that will trigger new thinking. If you are not already doing this start today, it may be a while before you see the benefit but it will help. This blog would not have been written without visiting my storeroom.
  2. Try a bit of demolition. Any task can seem daunting and overwhelming. Being overwhelmed is not good for the creative juices. So break the project down. Find elements you can do right away. Start with small bricks and soon you will have a wall and eventually a temple. I might have pushed that metaphor a touch to far but you get the idea. War and Peace starts with one word, then one sentence.
  3. Get on with it. Work anyway. What stifles most creativity is the screwing up of paper and throwing it in the bin. Whether metaphorically or in reality. Get some stuff done, it might be utter rubbish but you will have done something and once you get over that hurdle you’ll be surprised how ideas start to flow. Keep everything and then come back to it. It might be days, weeks or even years later. Some of it will still be crap but there will be others things you find are actually little gems.
  4. Listen to music. The theologian Karl Barth said he did his best work to Mozart. Music can lift the spirits, get the blood pumping and inspire you. Play something that lifts your spirit and if you can play it loudly.
  5. Realise great work comes from great struggle. There are times when things just flow. You can barely keep up with the creativity coursing through your brain. Hey, savour the good times but don’t beat yourself up when it doesn’t come quite so easily. Sometimes it is the struggle that makes it all worthwhile.

Gordon O’Neill

@gordon4video

#FTFT

 

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Viral or Niche, where is your audience?

Once again my eyes have been assaulted by claims that this, that and the other has become a viral hit on the internet.

On closer investigation I discovered they didn’t really go viral. At best they were shared a good number of times but not really viral. Viral suggests reaching an audience way beyond your intended one. Let’s face it having millions of people viewing your video, post or photograph must be brilliant but in reality what does it achieve?  A million YouTube views. All that means is one million people clicked play. They may have clicked off after 3 seconds, got distracted and just not paid any real attention to the content anyway.

I am not saying numbers are unimportant but that they might not be as important as we think they are.

Maybe we need to examine them a bit more. If you make a video of a friends birthday party and post it to FB and everyone of your 600 friends on the platform viewed it, then you can say your video was a success.  It reached everyone of your intended audience. Beyond your Facebook friends your video has no audience.Maybe we need to re-examine what we deem success in the social media world. Huge audiences does not necessarily imply huge engagement.We need to define our audience better and assess the success of the video or campaign, not by how many random people have watched it, but by the engagement it generated with our intended audience. At a recent Charity Commsevent Joe Hall, online campaigns and communications manager, The Climate Coalition/ founder, Woo Hoo Yeah Yeah! shared this slide.

breaking-out-of-our-bubbles-digital-communications-trends-2016-and-beyond-seminar-28-january-2016-2-1024

It shows an event was trending, surely a success, but the sharing was only amongst activists. As the next slide showed everyone else was unaware.

breaking-out-of-our-bubbles-digital-communications-trends-2016-and-beyond-seminar-28-january-2016-3-1024

Numbers only tell a part of the story. It seems to me having plenty of committed activists engaged with your message is much better than a large mildly interested one.

How you define your audience is up to you but define it and reach it you must. Viral isn’t everything engagement on the other hand.

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Less Vision – More Doing

future-vision

I need to spend less time on vision and more on doing.  I have this written above my desk as reminder that no matter how many good ideas I have it is only the ones that get done that are ultimately worth anything.

I know “Without a vision the people perish” (it’s from the Bible, look it up) but there are times when I spend so much time formulating and dreaming about the future I am going to enjoy that I DO very little.

So back in December I decided I would write a blog every week. I could list a whole load of reasons why this is a good idea. Heaven knows how many seminars, articles and podcasts I have attended, read and listened to that tell me just how good an idea it is. The one reason I chose to write my weekly blog, Five Thoughts For Thursday, I wanted the discipline of writing something every week. I am glad some people read it and comment on it but the real benefit is that is has got me back into writing and thinking.

Instead of writing lists and action plans about how I would blog I just got on and did it. Some are crap, some are quite good but I am being disciplined and as a result my love of writing has returned.

I watched the Lady in the Van the other night and one line stood out for me right at the beginning of the film. There are two Alan Bennett’s in the film, that makes sense if you watch the film. The line is “There is the one who writes and the one who lives”. Beautiful and typically Bennett.

Sometimes there are two of us, the who dreams and the one who does. The difficulty is getting the balance between the two. If I had to choose it would be the one who does over the one who dreams.

How do you balance the two, the dreams/visions of the future with the getting on an doing?

@gordon4video

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Not all video content is created equal

video content infographic

You are free to download and use the above infographic, here it is in pdf format

Not all video content is equal

 

 

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Six Things videographers never tire of hearing – yea right

Six things videographers never tire of hearing these things
  1. Can you photoshop me? Other versions include, can you make me look 20 years younger, 20 pounds lighter, like Robert Redford, like Nicole Kidman. Delete or add as appropriate
  2. Will it be on the telly? If filming in a public place scores of people behind the subject waving, inanely smiling and/or on their phone
  3. I’ll just wing it. Quickly followed by.
  4. I’ll get it right eventually. Maybe I should have written a few things down. I’ll just write a few quick notes. Can you hold those notes so I can read them? Does this look like I’m reading this?
  5. Can I just take this call?
  6. That’s a nice bit of kit.

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Five things you should consider before you commission a video

five things infographic

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Viral or Niche, where is your audience?

Once again my eyes have been assaulted by claims that this, that and the other has become a viral hit on the internet.

On closer investigation I discovered they didn’t really go viral. At best they were shared a good number of times but not really viral. Viral suggests reaching an audience way beyond your intended one. Let’s face it having millions of people viewing your video, post or photograph must be brilliant but in reality what does it achieve?  A million YouTube views. All that means is one million people clicked play. They may have clicked off after 3 seconds, got distracted and just not paid any real attention to the content anyway.

I am not saying numbers are unimportant but that they might not be as important as we think they are.

Maybe we need to examine them a bit more. If you make a video of a friends birthday party and post it to FB and everyone of your 600 friends on the platform viewed it, then you can say your video was a success.  It reached everyone of your intended audience. Beyond your Facebook friends your video has no audience.Maybe we need to re-examine what we deem success in the social media world. Huge audiences does not necessarily imply huge engagement.We need to define our audience better and assess the success of the video or campaign, not by how many random people have watched it, but by the engagement it generated with our intended audience. At a recent Charity Comms event Joe Hall, online campaigns and communications manager, The Climate Coalition/ founder, Woo Hoo Yeah Yeah! shared this slide.

breaking-out-of-our-bubbles-digital-communications-trends-2016-and-beyond-seminar-28-january-2016-2-1024

It shows an event was trending, surely a success, but the sharing was only amongst activists. As the next slide showed everyone else was unaware.

breaking-out-of-our-bubbles-digital-communications-trends-2016-and-beyond-seminar-28-january-2016-3-1024

Numbers only tell a part of the story. It seems to me having plenty of committed activists engaged with your message is much better than a large mildly interested one.

How you define your audience is up to you but define it and reach it you must. Viral isn’t everything engagement on the other hand.

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Email, what’s the ********* point?

email what is the point

I’m not sure I really mean what’s the point but why do some people bother having an email address since they never seem to actually use it!

A few weeks ago I read a lot of chat about how you should address someone in an email. Particularly, if they were not a personal acquaintance, you were unsure of their gender or title. My issue is why some people do not reply to emails?

Hands up. I plead guilty to leaving emails unanswered in my inbox for weeks, OK months, I’m sure it never got as bad as years, but after this blog post I intend to turn over a new leaf, electronically speaking.

We all get emails, sometimes hundreds of them and some people do seem to relish boasting about the size of their inbox. They probably have a big car and a 50” inch TV as well and probably an inefficient spam filter. The psychologists among you can draw your own conclusions.

The issue is not getting an email but what do we do with it once you get it.

Let me explain.

I sent an email to someone I had met. We had a conversation about what I do and about what they do. We exchanged email addresses. A third party, who did the face to face introduction, also initiated an online connection via email and encouraged us to get together for business. So my email was not exactly spam or out of the blue. Three emails – no reply. Not even, thanks but no thanks.

The person in question no doubt has their own reasons for not replying and I am not about to speculate as to why. It did, however, get me thinking about my own responses and actions to email. I admit I do not have the bulging inbox some of you seem to have, not sure if this makes me a lesser person or not, and thus my thoughts on how to deal with email may fall on deaf ears or tired fingers.

Let me categorise my inbox and the actions I intend to take.

SPAM – ignore and delete

Newsletters – tempted to say ignore and delete but maybe read and certainly, unless something catches my eye, no response is needed. I have set up an email address that I use solely for signing up to newsletters. I know that unopened emails in that box are not urgent.

Clients, friends etc – read, reply as soon as possible. I will often try to send a quick reply to acknowledge I have received it even if I am not able to deal with the content specifically at that time.

Prospective clients – holding email at first if busy then reply asap.

People looking for work – I regularly get CV’s etc. At the very least I reply and thank them even though it is unlikely I have anything for them. Most reply thanking me for even acknowledging their email. It can be a pain to get these emails but imagine how devastating it must feel to be ignored. I also sometimes reply with a little advice about researching the companies you email looking for work.

Sales emails – I don’t mind receiving these and occasionally I have found and bought a product because of them. A quick read and then delete. Cleary these emails are not expecting you to email them back.

So there it is, my plan for dealing with my inbox and keeping the lines of communication open. It is unlikely to force people to reply to my emails but at least I feel as though I am doing my bit. If you are in business you are likely to be busy but remember so is the person contacting you. The excuse “I am just too busy to reply” implies you consider your “busy-ness” as somehow superior to theirs. If you are so busy that you cannot reply or communicate with people you need to find a better business model.

If you ever come across a person who says I only check my email once a week or I never really use email then probably best to walk away before you do them physical harm.

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Five steps to hide a video in plain sight

YouTube
1. Make Video
2. Upload to YouTube
3. Pat yourself on the back, drinks all round for the creative team
4. Do nothing
5, Repeat as before

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Top Ten YouTube Mistakes

youtube-logo

There are people who believe that uploading a video to YouTube is all they have to do. It’s there, soon millions will be flocking to view my creation. Well no. In fact if you want to hide a video I think simply uploading it to YouTube is probably the best thing you can do. It will easily crouch down behind all the other videos and hide from any potential viewers. Here are the Top Ten mistakes people make with YoutTube.

  1. Optimisation: Not optimising your YouTube title

 The title tag of a YouTube video is one of the main ranking factors on the site. Give it some thought. I have seen videos with the title Final Edit number three. It tells me whoever has uploaded the video has been lazy but it also tells me nothing about the production’s content. Work hard on that title. 

  1. Description: Not adding a description

 YouTube provides a Description field so that you can give your potential viewers an idea of what they are about to watch, and provide further information if needed. 

  1. Links: No links to your site or landing page

 Link to a landing page or a page on your site to take people on in the sales/promotion journey.

  1. Tags: Fail to tag your video or select the correct category 

Tagging helps users find your video. It gives YouTube the right information to categorise your video so getting this right is really important. Research similar videos to see what tags are being used.

  1. Thumbnail: Use the worst thumbnail you can pick 

A colourful, relevant thumbnail acts as an advertisement for your video, so make sure you pick the one that reflects the content. YouTube will pick one for you if you don’t so use the custom thumbnail option and pick your own. 

  1. Subtitles: Fail to use subtitles (closed captions) 

There are millions of people who are deaf and hard of hearing and rely on subtitles to engage with your content.

  1. Comments: Turning off comments and not engaging with anyone 

Why create content and not engage with the viewers? Yes you might get the odd spammer or troll but you can deal with that.

  1. Playlists: Don’t add your video to a playlist 

Playlists help YouTube determine the relevancy of your content. A long term video strategy will have playlists, tags and optimisation at its heart.

  1. Social Media: Fail to use social media 

Just uploading to YouTube will not get your video seen or improve it’s visibility. You need to use the full breadth of social media to promote your video and bring it to the attention of your prospective viewers.

  1. Naff Content: Upload consistently bad content 

Nuff said!

If you want advice and help on YouTube and how to use it for your business then contact video@makingvideowork.com

 

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Embracing Video

Embracing video as part of a marketing strategy is the next big thing for brands who hold an online presence, according to industry experts. Companies are now rushing to become video-savvy and offer an online video strategy that will help to drive traffic, engage customers and ultimately lead to sales.  The key is not to make a video but to make an investment.  A financial investment but a strategic, purpose driven emotional investment.

Here a five compelling facts why you should.

  1. Video’s widespread use. Check out these stats.
  • The average YouTube viewer watches 261 minute per month
  • 500 tweets every minute contain web video
  • More than 50% of social media videos are commented on
  • 68% of online video viewers share video links
  • 53% more likely to get a first page Google result with web video on your homepage
  1. A video improves your chance of a first page Google ranking by 53% (Forrester)
  2. Mobile Video use is exploding. According to some reports a ten fold increase in the last year. YouTube mobile is now available on over 350 million devices and growing.
  3. According to a recent Forbes Insight study, 59% of C-Level decision makers prefer watching online video to reading text because it helps them make deeper connections and better understand a company’s product or service
  4. Including a video in an online press release increases views by 77% according to PR Newswire.

If that’s not enough to persuade watch this video by Dr. Michio Kaku, a theoretical physicist. He discusses how pictures, videos and images help us understand the universe. The power of video IS the power of the mind! He touched upon the human brain and power it holds.

 

 

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