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Five Tips to Tackle Video When Your Blog is No Longer Enough

video, smartphone video, videography, audience engagement, smartphone, audio quality, video quality

Imagine a room of 15 college students. One pair of students is playing a card game while another pair takes turns reading “The Cat in the Hat” to each other. It may sound like recess, but this particular scene from my mobile journalism class is anything but a break.

On the fringes of each pair are 11 students with iPads on tripods learning to shoot video sequences of their classmates. I’ve just shown them a series of powerful videos, and told them that whether they plan to be journalists or strategic communicators, video will be a big part of their careers. Oh, and whoever can put together a perfect sequence of “The Cat in the Hat” or Slap Jack gets extra credit.

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Did you know that more video is uploaded to YouTube in one month than the three major US networks have created in the past 60 years? According to YouTube’s VP of Global Content, Robert Kyncl, video will soon be 90 percent of all Internet traffic.

Video content improves your chances of appearing on the front page of Google by a factor of 53, according to Cisco. Video search results also have a 41 percent better click through rate than text, and videos are shared 1200 percent more than links and text combined.

Perhaps your company blog is in place—maybe, it’s even thriving! But with those numbers, it’s going to be hard to ignore blogging’s little brother much longer.

“Today, subtly branded video is popping up everywhere—on Facebook, on Vine and even in GIF form—meaning that short, attention-grabbing clips and videos won't be reserved to YouTube in 2015,” says Irfan Ahmad of Digital Information World.

In September 2014, Facebook began offering a “call to action” tool that invites your audience to visit your website, view more of your videos, or make a purchase.

Outside of social media, even good ol’ fashioned press releases that contain video receive 20 percent more attention, according to PR Newswire.

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So, if you’re planning to follow the trend and tackle video, here are some tips to do it right.

  1. Keep it short. According to Wistia, videos shorter and one minute lose only 1/3 of its audience by the end of the video, whereas a four-minute video loses twice that.
  2. Follow the 10-second rule. Your audience makes up its mind whether or not to watch your video within the first 10 seconds. It’s important that you have an attention-grabbing intro so you don’t lose them before it’s even begun.
  3. Audio still comes first. People are more likely to click away from bad audio than bad video. At least with good audio paired with bad video, they are able to imagine a lot of what they should be seeing. But…
  4. Avoid shaky shots. Unless you’re going for that “this-just-in” breaking news look, or you’re parodying The Blair Witch Project, leave the shaky shots for the amateurs.
  5. Get a variety of shots. Even if you keep the video short, no one wants to see talking heads for an entire minute!

With video’s well-deserved spot as a top trend for 2015, it’s time you take advantage of the medium as another accessible way to engage with your audience.

Top 5 video tips > Keep it short. Follow the 10-second rule. Audio still comes first. Avoid shaky shots. Get a variety of shots.

Get Your Dual Cam MoJo On!

video, smartphone, smartphone video, videography, audience engagement

Check out the videos we helped create for PureFit Meals, a healthy meal delivery service. These videos, shared on social media, tripled engagement among the PureFit audience. Here's the kit we used:

  • iPad (primary camera for wide shot and audio)
  • Filmic Pro app
  • iRig Pre
  • Lavalier Microphone
  • Canon G12 (secondary camera for close-up shot)
  • Pinnacle Studio app

Happy New Year! Welcome to the Year of Cooperative Content

content marketing, blogging, branding

The summer after my freshman year of college, I returned to my hometown for an internship at an advertising agency. To subsidize the unpaid internship, I picked up my part-time job from high school at Sonic, the fast food restaurant.

After bringing extra Sonic burgers to the agency for probably the fifth time, my boss asked me, “Don’t you hate being around the same food you spend 20 hours every week making?”

To me, that question was absurd. I really did believe Sonic was the best fast food restaurant—where else could you have your drink one of nearly half a million different ways?—and I vehemently told him so! I guess I drank the Kool-Aid—or, limeade, in this instance.

“If every employee everywhere had that mentality, we’d all be out of a job,” my boss remarked, mostly joking.

With 78 percent of CMOs thinking custom content is the future of marketing, its estimated that $135 billion was spent on new content in 2014, up from $118.4 in 2013.

With a burgeoning focus on content marketing, its estimated that companies reliance on existing employees’ help generating content will continue to grow.

According to Jay Baer, president of Convince & Convert, 2015 will be “The Year of Cooperative Content.” Yes, I’m talking about insourcing.

“[It] will bring decentralized content creation programs with participants across the company (not just marketing), as well as content initiatives that rely on user-generated content in expanded and highly strategic ways,” he says. “The best source of content in most companies may be right under your nose: your employees and customers.”

But why?

  • First of all, it takes a village! Think of the blogs you follow—if they aren’t being updated with fresh content, adiós!
  • It provides a creative outlet. Employees often find meaningfulness in creative work, which can increase work satisfaction and engagement, as well as employee performance and retention.
  • Each and every employee at your company has something useful to share with your audience. If not, why are they there at all?
  • In many instances, your employees (and existing customers, for that matter) are already your biggest cheerleaders. They show up every day to promote and propel your message, your goal and your brand.

But just as any good leader knows, you must empower your employees to succeed. So what can you do to get your brand’s cheerleaders ready for the big game?

  • Make sure your employees understand what makes a good story...And help them identify stories worth spreading.
  • Consider hiring a content editor to maintain the “Culture of Content,” and provide a sounding board and supportive environment for employees as they learn this new set of skills.
  • Take into consideration what each employee might be best at and most interested in producing. The guy who listens to NPR at his desk all day may be interested in creating podcasts or audio slideshows. The woman down the hall with the stellar Instagram might love to incorporate that into her daily routine at work.
  • Give them the tools and knowledge to create the content you want, whether that’s blog posts, videos or something entirely new. If they don’t know what you’re looking for and how to accomplish it, chances are your “opt-in” content creators will quickly get frustrated and opt out.
  • Collect feedback. What can you do to make the process better? Which content most resonated with them and their friends and family? Basically, what’s working and what isn’t working.