Category Archives: Video Artisan

Welcome

Video Artisan pride themselves on producing cost-effective video communication tools for business clients.  They understand their clients’ needs – and how to achieve their video production goals. This is why more and more businesses are using them for their video production needs.

These articles will keep you up to date with what’s been happening at Video Artisan.  Short stories, news updates and comments are published by the company’s founder, Kevin Cook.  Kevin has been in the professional video industry since 1985 and always aims to provide his clients with exceptional levels of customer satisfaction.  The company motto is, “Under promise and over deliver”.   At Video Artisan they always go that extra mile to provide an excellent product at a competitive price.

For further details

In conclusion, the areas of expertise include corporate video, company films and all professional video services.  Please contact Kevin Cook for further advice on this website – kevin@video-artisan.com or call 020 83602 3356

 

Commissioning a Product Launch Video

Product Launch Video title
A quick guide to the benefits of creating a product launch video

If you’ve got something to say… say it with video! This is especially true when it comes to launching new products. As video gains more and more traction as the preferred means of absorbing information over the internet, a product launch video has become the favourite communication tool for many manufacturers and marketing professionals. And it’s not just ideal for manufacturers – but also services industries, hospitality-based businesses and all manner of professional service providers. If your offering is all shiny and new then you’ll want to show it off in the best possible way.

What’s so great about a product launch video?

The overriding benefit of product launch video is that it can communicate your message, your brand identity and the key selling points of your product or service in a few minutes or less. Your client’s attention span is becoming shorter and shorter, and with so much information available to them online they are always looking for the shortest possible way to make their purchasing decisions. They say a picture can tell a thousand words, well video has at least 25 pictures every second!

A product launch video has many more advantages though. Another significant one is that video now plays a major part in search engine optimisation. If your website doesn’t include video content then it is going to rank lower than one that does. There are also some very neat tools on platforms such as YouTube that will help your product launch video to get seen – and by the right people. These include the addition of audience-pulling metadata, product and customer-focussed tags, geographical information, subtitling and embedded links. Video has become a whole lot cleverer these days, making it the perfect platform for spreading news about your new products and services.

Tom Pellereau
Tom Pellereau – a big advocate of the product launch video

Sharing and syndicating video content has also become very popular. Social media platforms have responded to this and offer various ways to help distribute a product launch video and facilitate onward sharing by users with similar likes and interests. Whilst YouTube and Vimeo are brilliant places to start sharing your content, the likes of Facebook offer additional free and paid-for promotional tools to get your video out to those who are likely to want to see it.

Apart from your own use of your product launch video, your distributors and resellers will also appreciate the benefits of this powerful promotional aid. They too will be able to share the video via their website and through their social media platforms – ensuring your product launch video reaches the furthest corners of the market. And it doesn’t have to be limited to online delivery as Blu-ray and DVD distribution, or large-screen playback at events or exhibitions, are still great ways of getting your message out.

Planning and costing your product launch video

When you launch a new product you have a very small window of opportunity to spread the news – whilst it’s still news! The time it takes to create a product launch video can be extremely short but it is better to plan this into your initial marketing activity and leave plenty of time for your video production company to come up with the best possible creative ideas on how to get your story told.

Every video production company prefers their clients to come to them with clearly defined aim and an approximate budget for achieving it. This way the video production company can limit or expand their ideas in order to provide a treatment which ticks all of your boxes. There is no useful answer a video production company can give to the question, “how much will a product launch video cost?”. Without knowing what’s involved they simply will not know the answer. So, as soon as you’ve think that a product launch video might be right for you, get in touch so you can talk through your aims and objectives in detail.

If you’re in that place now, please give us a call on 020 3602 3356.

Notes: Read the story behind the Nipper Clipper product launch video here.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

The benefits of Video Sponsorship

Video Sponsorship title
Making your brand seen where it needs to be

Considering video sponsorship?

Are there events or other media-worthy subjects associated with your business that could be captured on video which your customers would be hungry to see? If there are, then video sponsorship might just be the perfect opportunity for you to get your brand in front of exactly the right audience.

The opportunities for video sponsorship are manifold – and the general public’s appetite for more and more online video content is ever increasing. Regardless of their interests (be that in a sport, activity, location, profession, art or craft or a regular calendar event), the chances are there will be a video on YouTube about it. However, very few of these videos are professionally produced and sponsored or commissioned by a business.

The benefits of video sponsorship

Producing the right kind of content will attract the right kind of audience, and through proper indexing, tagging and social media syndication these audiences can often be extremely large. Searching YouTube under any given subject (and listing the results by ‘most viewed’) will show you that even the most obscure of subjects can attract many tens of thousands of views. Now imagine that each of those viewers had been exposed to your brand.

Always hungry for video content, viewers will develop a stronger affinity to your brand and a greater understanding of what your business can offer them. In addition, sharing your sponsored video with your existing client base will help nurture customer loyalty and, at the same time, give you additional video content on your website to augment your video SEO activities and raise your search engine profile.

Ideas for video sponsorship

You’ve probably got a good idea what type of content would be good to hang your brand on, but here are some specific areas of video sponsorship which might be right for you…

Sharing Information and Specialist Knowledge
Films or documentaries which impart specialist or valuable knowledge present a great opportunity for video sponsorship and will help you present your brand in a positive way. Teaching the viewer how to do something better, more economically, more safely or by alternative means will naturally achieve traction if shared and syndicated through the right channels.

Specialist Knowlege
Winning customers by sharing specialist knowledge

Video sponsorship for local business
If your business is location-based, and you are trying to build a greater awareness amongst customers within that area, then the opportunities are probably endless… Documentaries about local festivals, tourist attractions, amenities, history… in fact any subject matter which is going to be of interest to the local community. Video sponsorship of this kind of content will certainly help put you on the map and demonstrate a commitment to serving the local population.

Sports and Competitive event video sponsorship
If you produce products or services that have a connection to competitive events then video sponsorship is a great way to raise your profile. This could be a sports event, an art or craft awards scheme – or any other event which had a competitive element. With competitive events you have the added bonus that your brand will be associated with success, especially if there’s an opportunity to include participant endorsements.

Winning line-up
Put yourself amongst the winners with video sponsorship

The cost of video sponsorship

Whilst video is seen as an expensive medium the costs are quite comparative to other mainstream media platforms. The secret is to keep production costs in-line with the potential returns you’ll gain from greater brand awareness. The simplest ideas are usually the best and, thankfully, often the cheapest. Whilst each commission will need to be assessed and priced independently, Video Artisan has produced sponsored event documentaries from as little as £1,500 – but we could equally envisage working on projects with a much lower video production budget.

If you have a video sponsorship idea that you’d like to develop, please give us a call to explore how we could help make it a reality – 020 3602 3356.

Further information:  Click here to see how we helped Supadance to get noticed in the world of ballroom dance.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

The benefits of commissioning an instructional video

Show and Tell
An instructional video – the next best thing to personal tuition

Educating the masses with an instructional video

Never underestimate how complex a simple process can appear to be to someone who is unfamiliar with it. And never underestimate the power of video for enabling the “unfamiliar” to understand even the most complex of procedures. Video, with its pause, repeat, rewind and play ability makes it ideal for demonstrating operating, construction and basic care/maintenance procedures. Regardless of whether it’s highly complicated or ridiculously simple, from the construction of flat-pack furniture through to computer program control – instructional videos can hold the viewer’s hand through the process at their own pace.

Every manufacturing and service industry spends considerable sums each year on supporting their customers with materials that are designed to help them use their products or processes more efficiently. However, many businesses choose the cheapest possible way to impart this knowledge by use of printed or online instructions. Whilst this might be cheaper in the short term, the long term costs of dealing with customers who have been unable to understand these instructions, or followed them incorrectly, is unknown but likely to be well in excess of the monies saved initially.

Written and diagrammatic instructions still have their place, but in nearly every instance having someone show you how it’s done is much easier to understand and follow. You only have to look on YouTube to see how many films are based on filling in the gaps which manufacturers left out of their instruction manuals. These films are often produced by users who found the process challenging – which isn’t exactly great publicity.

Eye-bolts going in at the Hilton
“What I see I understand”

Producing an instructional video needn’t be expensive but has to be properly thought through and looked at from the perspective of the user. This isn’t always that easy to do from within the manufacturing or service supply business as they will be uniquely familiar with the process and unable to recognise where the challenges arise. This is why it is often advantageous to commission an outside video production company to develop the script and programme structure.

The benefits of producing an instructional video

The benefits of an instructional video to the user are plain to see, but the benefits to the manufacturer or service company go way beyond the cost savings on after-sales support. Here’s just some of the benefits that come to mind instantly…

  1. Providing an effective instructional video will help build a much higher level of brand loyalty amongst customers
  2. A better informed user base will result in fewer returns or damaged good due to misuse or bad construction – resulting in greater profitability
  3. Openly publishing your instructional video on the likes of YouTube or Vimeo can also drive sales amongst potential customers who’ll gain confidence in the product or service pre-purchase
  4. On a more subtle level, the process of developing the instructional video might also highlight areas where the product or service could be improved
  5. A properly indexed, tagged and well produced video hosted on the likes of YouTube can only increase your search engine visibility
  6. Videos are easy to make multilingual – by dubbing or subtitling

The cost of producing an instructional video need not be that high and could in fact be very comparable to producing printed material – with the benefit of easy adaptation and ways to re-purpose video from one instructional video to another.

If you’d like to explore the process and costs of producing instructional videos within your business, please give us a call on 020 3602 3356.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Vlog and Vlogging – what is it all about?

Vlog title
How to use a vlog and vlogging within your business

What is a Vlog

A ‘Vlog’, sometimes referred to as a video blog or video log, is simply a blog but in the form of video or web TV content – or indeed a video element within a normal regular text blog or website article.  I personally hate the name, but the value of vlogging within marketing, and its ability to develop a strong website following, is well documented and accepted.  People love watching video content as it’s the simplest and quickest way to gather information and discover the identity and culture of the vlogger and their business.

Whilst you can host your vlogs on any suitable server, most vloggers use the likes of YouTube or Vimeo as it is very easy to add tags and metadata to enable your content to be indexed and found within search engines. Once you start building a body of vlog content you can also group all your content within your own YouTube or Vimeo channel – giving viewers the chance to see your entire vlog library and share it with others who share similar interests.  Further syndication is made possible through channel subscriptions so that your audience can choose to be notified of new content as and when you post it – which in turn anyone can then share through their own social media platforms.

So what can you Vlog about?

The subjects and motivations for vlogs are virtually endless and can be seen as a way to diary your thoughts and feelings and to share news about your business that you think your audience will find of interest – and content that hopefully they find interesting or entertaining enough to share with others.  For this reason the most popular vloggers are those who use humour, share specialist, valuable knowledge or a strong viewpoint on topical matters.  This might sound like a challenging proposition, but if you can’t say something of value or interest about your business or products then no one else is going to be able to.

Here’s just 10 ideas which flew into my mind, but the list is actually endless…

  1. A great customer experience story
  2. A new product launch
  3. An anniversary of the business
  4. A new office being opened
  5. A new member of staff joining
  6. A long-term member of staff retiring
  7. Results of a customer survey
  8. A version update on a piece of technology
  9. Comment on a new piece of legislation which affects your customers
  10. A report on your attendance at an exhibition

To aid and encourage syndication always try to include third parties within the message in the hope that they will want to share your content too.  Each of the above suggestions have the potential to include others…

  1. The customers themselves
  2. The manufacturer, distributor or reseller of the product
  3. The founders of the business or the town where it was founded
  4. The estate agency who rented/sold the property to you
  5. The employment agency who found the employee
  6. The family members of the retiring person
  7. The survey software that was used
  8. The software manufacturers or supporting hardware
  9. The politicians involved in the legislation
  10. The exhibition organisers   

The frequency of your vlogs will be determined by the stories you have to tell.  Some vloggers will be adding content almost hourly, whilst others will add just a handful of vlogs each year.  As with all video content, the secret is to keep your vlogs short and sweet.  Viewer’s attention span has become shorter and shorter, which is why video aps like Vine have become popular in recent years.  Vine has a maximum video duration of 6-seconds which might seem impossibly short for a vlogging platform but many users prefer this time restraint as it keeps your mind focused on the message.  The other benefit of the 6-second limit is that the viewer will know they don’t have to invest much time in absorbing your content and are more likely to share – especially if it has entertainment value.

Vlog skills  

One of the key qualities or skills that you’ll need is to develop your own on-screen presence.  Whilst a vlog doesn’t have to be made up of someone presenting to camera, your viewing audience will want to develop a rapport or relationship with the person creating the vlog.  Some will find this easy and it will come naturally – but for those who would struggle with this it’s probably best that you gain some professional on-screen training.  The video camera is quite revealing, and engaging with your audience through it will require practice.

Presenting a video review
Developing your vlog presentation skills 

Finally, the technology used to create a vlog is generally very basic.  A great deal of vlog content is created using a mobile phone and very basic video editing software – which is all totally acceptable if you are trying to create a video diary kind of look and feel to your content.  However, if you are trying to create a very professional image or augment an already polished premium brand, then your vlog content will need to reflect this with high production values and slick presentation skills.  This might be beyond what you can achieve in-house.

If you would like to talk through your vlogging ambitions in more detail, please feel free to contact us for more details – 020 3602 3356.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Producing an in-house corporate video

DIY corporate video title
Tips on DIY video for your business

Why produce your own in-house corporate video?

There’s probably a thousand reasons why you might want to create your own corporate video and, as a professional video production company, we could probably suggest a thousand reasons why you shouldn’t be doing this yourself. You’ve already come to the conclusion that you need (or want) a video to help achieve your goals. You’ll understand the power of video as a communication tool, and seen it’s meteoric rise as a means of generating website traffic, helping to build brand loyalty, delivering a corporate message and motivating an audience to act in a certain way.

Commissioning a video production has traditionally been seen as an expensive exercise and, right now, you’ll be thinking that it’s going to be cheaper and easier to do it yourself – and with all the right knowledge, kit and experience you could possibly be right. It’s the latter part of that last sentence which presents your greatest challenge. Creating a great video looks pretty easy but the reality is that you’re going to face a steep learning curve and need much more kit than you think if you want it to represent you and your business the right way.

That said you’ve probably heard all this before and are still determined to give it a go. One of the important things about the video production process is that it can be a whole lot of fun – and extremely rewarding when you create something that delivers the results you desire. So here’s some practical notes for those determined to go down this path which highlights the obstacles and challenges you will face.

Getting the message right

Regardless of whether you go down the DIY route or commission a professional video production company to create your film, the one thing you have to do is know exactly what it is you want to say and how you want your audience to react. This is all about getting your message right. To do this successfully you’ll need to know your subject matter inside out, understand the needs and desire of your audience and have the mechanisms in place to allow them to do the thing you want them to do after watching your film. This could simply be buying your product from a website or retailer, registering to attend an event or understand how to use a product. The video might actually require your audience to do nothing other than to establish your product or brand as the market leader.

Once you know your message you’ll need to develop your script – never losing sight of what you are trying to motivate your audience to do. Do not waste a second on anything which deviates from this plan or is added purely to massage your own ego. You might well be the biggest widget maker in the world but unless you can get this information over in a way in which your audience can recognise this as a benefit to them then don’t waste their time with it. Never list features unless you can link them to benefits, and never knock your competitors.

The kit

Video cameras are everywhere these days – on phones, laptops, pads and all manner of devices. And the picture quality they can produce is increasingly impressive. Whilst there are some video production tasks these devices will be OK for, they are far from perfect and will limit what you’ll be able to create – and they will almost certainly fall very short on your expectations in recording sound.

Tiny video camera
Tiny video cameras are great – but not always perfect.

The golden rule of good audio recording (which is equally as important as the pictures) is to get your microphone as close to the subject as possible. In-built microphones found on phones are simply not good enough to capture anything other than general ambient sound – and this is also true of purpose-built video cameras with internal mics. To get perfect audio you’ll also need to understand a little about microphone characteristics and their pick-up pattern – but the golden rule mentioned above is paramount which will often mean recording sound separately from the pictures or use a camera which can accept external audio connections so that you can place the mic close to the subject and yet still film from a distance. Ideally you’ll need a selection of microphone solutions and cables to connect them to the camera.

Keeping the camera steady is also extremely important unless you are trying to create a special effect or give the audience a voyeuristic point of view of a scene. You’ll therefore need a good tripod and a camera which can easily be mounted on it.

Martin shooting at the SSDF
Keeping it steady and level on a tripod

All video cameras these days are very light sensitive, even those found on mobile phones. However, good lighting is about controlling light and creating shadows to give your subject form and interest. Just slapping up a light and pointing it in the direction of your subject is rarely going to give you results that will be pleasing on the eye and look natural. The human eye is always attracted by the brightest part of a scene, so if there are other things in a scene which are brighter than your subject your viewers’ attention will be drawn to them. If you are filming people pay particular attention to their eyes as this is what your viewer will concentrate on – so adding light to give the eyes a sparkle will help keep the viewer’s attention on them.

Video editing software is included on almost every computer or laptop these days – and all of them are capable of doing the vast majority of editing that will be found in your average corporate video. Where they fall short is on the niceties and their ability to correct errors made at the filming stage. The only other challenge of using editing programs is their complexity and ease of use. Your first few attempts at using an editing program will be spent learning how to import your footage and carry out basic cutting of shots – so give yourself plenty of time to get the editing completed.

Other refinements of a more professional editing program will include the ability to add more polished titles and graphics – and also in the control of how the final film is output and distributed. A beefier computer will also help to speed up the editing process as video files are data hungry. Some computers might not be man-enough or up-to-date enough to do the job at all!

The true cost of video production

Assuming you are starting from scratch, a basic video production toolkit will set you back something in the order of £5,000. This would include a proper video camera with external audio connections and controls, a reasonable directional microphone with cables and headphones for monitoring, a video tripod (not a photographic tripod), a couple of lights, a basic computer with free editing software and a bag full of cables and batteries. Armed with this an experienced videographer will be able to turn out something which is watchable – and if you achieve this on your first attempt you’ll have done pretty well.
But with all the best kit in the world and the technical skills to go with it, without a clear idea of the aims and objectives, and a creative way to achieve them using video, the whole exercise is unlikely to give you the results you desire. Whilst a DIY approach might save pennies on paper, bringing in a professional video production company might actually give you a much greater return on your investment.

If you’re planning to start using video on a regular basis then the DIY route could be the best solution by building an in-house team or individuals to manage the video production process. These people will need to be trained and whilst there are various video production training resources available, another solution could be to engage an established video production company to help them produce the first one or two films and perhaps be retained to assist in the process should additional help be required.

Hopefully this has given you a better idea of the challenges facing you. If it’s not dampened your enthusiasm then we wish you every success and hope that you soon start to benefit from using video within your business. If it all seems too much, we’re only a phone call away (020 3602 3356).

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail