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 Thoughts on Stuff I watched and listened.

As summer finally made an extended appearance, well over a week at least, I have been outdoors reading and chatting so TV and radio has taken a back seat. However there were a few programmes I did manage to catch and these are my thoughts.
1. Fixing Dad. Billed as two sons battling to overhaul their dad’s destructive lifestyle. This is available on the BBC iPlayer, here. This is an inspiring story and proves that is never too late to turn your life around. The story of far from plain sailing but I won’t spoil it for you. If I had one criticism of it is that sometimes it appeared more appeared the making of the film rather then subject. So lots of shots of cameras and the like. Maybe that’s just me and, in truth, it didn’t get completely in the way.
2. The Archers. The only time I catch The Archers it usually in the car and I have somehow stumbled across it. Last week I actually sought it out and gave it a listen. Although I don’t listen I seem to have many many friends on Facebook who do. What’s more not only are they avid listeners they are very involved in the story lines. There have been many times when I have wondered if an intervention was required. So having listened to two episodes in one week. I have concluded that you really should use some kind of plate when cutting the meadow. (I really have no idea why that was significant)  There is a character called Rob who, according to my Facebook timeline is a cock.
3. The Secret Agent. Starring the wonderful Toby Jones, Vicky McClure and Stephen Graham this is set in Victorian London. Toby Jones place Soho shopkeeper Verloc a spy of the Russian Embassy on an anarchist cell. He seems a pretty inept spy to be honest but that I think is the point. As the episodes unfold he is forced to take spying to the next level. Great Sunday night viewing  just a shame it is only three episodes long. I am looking forward to the concluding episode this Sunday. Really worth catching up on player. To my mind BBC drama at it’s best.
4.Shawshank Redemption. It doesn’t really matter what time of the year it is, somewhere among the many TV channels you will find The Shawshamk Redemption. On it’s original release it didn’t do that well but has subsequently become quite a hit. If by any chance you have not watched this yet then you should. Brilliant story telling by Frank Darabont from a short story by Stephen King.  I admit there is quite a bit of Shawshank before the redemption but it’s worth it. Great performances from Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins. Look out for this on ITV 4, usually late night. Don’t worry if you fall asleep and miss a bit it’ll be on again soon. Worth watching for this shot alone;

 

5. Dead Ringers. I always listen to The News Quiz and The Now Show but somehow I have missed out on Dead Ringers. Sat in the garden I listened to a couple of episodes on iplayer. Well worth it, great impersonations and satire combined. The writing and the performing team deserve a wider audience. Worth it alone for the Laura Kuenssberg impression, so funny. Listen and catch up here.
Hope you like some of these, enjoy.
@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 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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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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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

Share This:

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

Share This:

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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