A collection of articles and blog posts by Kevin Cook aimed at professional video production companies and videographers looking for advice and information on the world of corporate video and company film production.
This includes video techniques and processes to help you develop your video business and make it profitable. Furthermore, this includes tips on marketing and promoting your video production business to new and existing clients.
Kevin Cook was the former Executive Administrator of the Institute of Videography. At the time the IOV was the UK’s leading body for professional videographers, corporate producers and industry leaders. Kevin was the editor of Focus Magazine, the main contributor to the IOV’s Video Skills online course and learning material. In addition, he organised the IOV’s annual convention and trade exhibition.
In conclusion, please feel free to contact Kevin if there’s a subject that you would like covered in this category – email@example.com or call 020 83602 3356
The rapid rise of Video Marketing has been good for Video Artisan – but this also presents its challenges. To create content for a truly-effective video marketing campaign it’s no longer sufficient just to create any old video. The novelty of video has, almost, worn off; the stakes have increased.
You’ve now got to be able to tell an amazing story in order to make your video marketing shine through. Thankfully, there’s an amazing story within any business or marketing task. Video Artisan’s role is to help you find it, wrap it in video and tell it.
A video marketing story worth telling
Quite often, finding the story is the biggest part of our challenge. But every now and then a commission comes through where there’s a really good story to tell and a client who knows that a video marketing film is the best way to tell it. The Chris Fletcher ‘Stretcher’ commission was an excellent example.
The purpose of this marketing video is to tell the story of former Royal Marine, Chris Fletcher – and how this Afghan/Iraq conflict veteran came about inventing an in-uniform stretcher system to help speed up casualty extraction and save lives. Its potential audience is wide and varied – and hopefully the film carries enough interest to captivate anyone. This includes those who are never likely to need to be extracted from a battle zone. Whilst the roots of the system are in the military field, it could be just as beneficial to those involved in any kind of rescue or emergency service.
But more importantly this marketing video’s role is to help Chris, and his investor, Jon Hunter, to tell a consistent and compelling story when presenting the system to those who are likely to adopt it. This could be during a formal presentation or simply shared online.
A timely story
One of the challenges, especially for online video, is to compact your video marketing story into the shortest possible time. But sometimes you need to break through that magic 120-second time limit (the maximum duration Google advise for video marketing). At 5 ½ minutes the film is probably too long to be called an ‘Elevator Pitch’. It’s actually better described as a ‘Pilot’. It sets the scene and tells their story so far, but there’s much more to come from Chris and Jon and they plan to use video marketing to tell the ongoing story too. Keep an eye on it!
The cover price of Video Marketing
Video marketing needn’t be an expensive option. This film took just four days to produce – including setting up a very basic website for the video to sit on. You’ll be able to workout the rough costs for this kind of commission by looking at our Rate Card.
If you’re ready to tell your video marketing story now – please get it touch for a no-obligation consultation and discover how little you might need to invest. Call +44 (0) 20 3602 3356 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Video is great for many things, but probably best when used for sharing knowledge and influencing an audience. If you can achieve both of these then video becomes an incredibly powerful training medium – and the perfect way to create valuable branded content.
We’ve recently completed a training film for Air Products – with the enchanting title of ‘Bump Testing of portable gas detectors’. If you really want to know what that’s all about then watch the training film below. It’s nearly 17-minutes long – and if you’re not into the subject I reckon you’ll find it hard going. However, if you are someone who is responsible for carrying out Bump Testing, or in any way involved in this life-saving process, I reckon it is essential viewing.
So what does Air Products gain from commissioning a training film like this? It’s certainly not box-office sales as the training film is part of their Analytical Insights series which are freely available to view from their website and YouTube channel. Despite the not-inconsiderable investment in time and resources, the benefits are manifold.
Besides the more obvious opportunity of raising brand awareness among bump testers, the Air Products brand also benefits through affiliation with the various organisations and experts who have contributed content to the training film. This brand augmentation works both ways too – and atop all this the target audience will gain the knowledge they need to carry out their work safely and within the regulations of their industry.
Everyone is a winner – and Air Products come out as being seen as one of the good guys.
Commissioning the perfect training film
Creating the perfect training film takes some preparation though – certainly if it is going to achieve wide circulation among your target audience. In this instance, the information your training film contains has to be widely accepted as being correct and trusted. The script development stage is therefore key. Whilst you can expect your video production company to help mold your draft scripts into video-friendly dialogue, the expert knowledge must first come from those in the know.
You must know your audience and what they need or want to know about the subject. This example is a highly specialised subject aimed at a specific trade, but a training film could just as easily be commissioned for a much wider audience and subject matter.
Keeping it real – with real experts
Whilst using professionally trained presenters will result in a much more polished end product, your training film might lack credibility with the audience. There will be instances where a professional presenter has specialist knowledge in that field (or familiarity and status with the audience), but the usual outcome of that situation is extremely high presenter fees. Sure, it would be great to have Professor Brian Cox presenting your film on how to use your telescope – but could you really afford him?
The other way to achieve gravitas is to present the information using those with specialist knowledge in the subject. Within reason, your audience will accept shortcomings in their presentation skills if they have real-world experience and knowledge of the subject.
In the case of the Air Products training film, the content is delivered by four contributors (an Industry Expert, an Equipment Manufacturer, a Gas Supplier and an End User). These are all stakeholders in the training film, and each has an interest in creating content that becomes widely viewed and shared.
Geeky tips on the production process
As mentioned previously, at the heart of a great training film is a brilliant script. However, it is unreasonable to expect non-professional presenters to deliver what can be lengthy passages of text without the aid of a teleprompt or autocue system. Having produced this type of training film before this was one of Air Products requirements in us.
It is also not reasonable to expect non-professional presenters to rattle off the perfect take in one hit – but at the same time the end product has got to look as if they did. And to keep your audience’s attention throughout longer passages, you are going to have to change the shot size to maintain interest and help illustrate important points.
There’s a couple of ways to achieve this when the presentation is straight down the camera lens as in the case of this training film. The first is to record various takes at differing shot sizes – and then cut these together in post production. The second method is to shoot all takes at the same wider shot size in 4K resolution, and then pan and scan to the create close-ups on a HD timeline (I did say these were Geeky tips!).
We adopted the latter technique in this example – shooting 4K on our JVC LS300 camera. Not only did this give us the ability to cut the best possible performance from each presenter, but it also saved a lot of time in re-setting the camera to generate the close-up. The same technique was used to record the practical demonstration section of the training film.
Mind your language!
Air Products are an international business, and whilst not in our original brief it soon became clear after the final version was approved that this training film would be useful to their non-English speaking markets. At present we are creating subtitled versions in German, French, Portuguese and Spanish. You might not think your training film needs subtitling, but the potential for a wider audience might make it worth it. (Google figures for world population 1st and 2nd languages – English 510M / Spanish 420M / German 229M / Portuguese 203M)
Your next training film
Commissioning a training film can be an extremely effective means of marketing and client relationship development. It’s a great way to build brand loyalty, and there are many other forms of branded content that will help you connect with customers and generate sales. Some well-known brands simply sponsor life-style type content which matches their brand aspirations. Some of the better known of these are the likes of Red Bull, Rolex and GoPro. It might seem like they sponsor content just for the hell of it but, like Air Products, they’re actually masters of the craft of hanging their name on content which their customers love.
To discuss your training video ideas please get in touch with Video Artisan for a no-obligation consultation on 020 3602 3356.
In recent months there’s been a noticeable increase in the number of companies seeking quotes for a company film to use within their marketing mix. These have been extremely varied – and reflect the many ways in which video can play a key role in a wide range of marketing activities.
Most successful businesses do not reply on just one marketing method but rather spread their resources over a number of activities – what is referred to as a ‘marketing mix’. This mix will be different from business to business – and it’s very rare to find two businesses using exactly the same marketing mix of ingredients in the same proportions.
What can go into a Marketing Mix?
There are many different and distinct marketing activities (the marketing mix ingredients). Not all lend themselves to film production but many of them do. This article will examine some of the common marketing activities in which a company film can feature – or become the main vessel for delivering your marketing message.
Content Marketing is all about educating your target market about a specific subject and, at the same time, linking the subject to your business/brand and the services/products you offer. Presenting your business as a reliable source of information will build trust in your brand and influence your audience without using hard-sell sales techniques.
Example: An estate agent might commission a company film about a specific town or location which informs the viewer about local resources and features – to be of interest to anyone thinking of buying or renting a property in that area. Sharing information on local schools, shopping, transport and other community facilities would demonstrate the estate agent’s local knowledgeable and understanding of the needs of the community – and develop their reputation as a trusted source of information. See another example below of a Content Marketing film produced for Air Products.
Undercover Marketing is about creating “teaser” content about forthcoming products and services to generate buzz and market interest. A bit like a movie trailer, the aim is to give your audience a privileged insight into what’s coming up. Not only will it help develop interest in your product/service, it can also help you to refine products/services and your final sales pitch prior to launch through customer feedback.
Example: An event organiser might commission an event documentary highlighting its success through the eyes of attendees and exhibitors. The aim would be to attract interest amongst attendees and also exhibitors in future events – without actually presenting any firm propositions. See teaser film edited for Cash from your Camcorder.
This is very similar to Content Marketing, but the marketing message is delivered more subtly through the placement of your product or service within the content. Also referred to as Brand Integration, the content can often purely be a lifestyle piece which is geared towards your target market and the connection to your brand made through use of your products or services within it. By exclusively hosting or promoting the content through a dedicated online video channel you can develop a community of potential customers and create a valuable root to market.
Example: An outdoor clothing manufacturer might commission a travelogue documentary to an interesting and challenging destination – with the participants all wearing their apparel. This could also be created as a collaborative piece with other organisations such as airlines, destination tourist boards and other non-competitive sponsors. This collaborative approach is also known as Alliance Marketing or Affinity Marketing.
Seasonal & Event Marketing
An obvious one really, this includes any marketing activity that takes advantage of the key seasonal milestones or their pending arrival (Christmas/Summer/Easter/New Year…). In addition, this includes any marketing activity which is triggered by other date-specific events – such as the passing of a decade or century – or dates and events specific to the industry or market you are promoting to. For instance, this could include milestones of the invention of technology such as the Internet. The benefit of this type of marketing activity is that your target audience will already have the event in mind – enabling your marketing activity to gain additional traction.
Example: A kitchenware manufacturer might commission an infomercial with a chef giving their top tips for saving time and creating the perfect Christmas dinner – showcasing the latest cookware and accessories. Again, this could be co-sponsored by a food supplier or other non-competitive companies.
Relationship, Evangelism & Viral Marketing
Customers do not always want to feel like you are trying to sell them something, so many businesses try to invest in future sales with marketing activities which set out to create a relationship with customers. Remember, a large part of the aim of marketing is making potential customers aware of your existence – and any future business is easier once a relationship has been established.
Once the relationship is established you are far more likely to move into the areas of evangelism and viral marketing whereby your customers will start to spread your brand messages for you.
Example: A marque car dealership commissions a company film about the top ten used-car investments – sharing information on the best cars to purchase for investment purposes, how to store and look after them and include some customer stories about cars they’ve owned and sold. This could be broken down into price categories – enabling the dealer to develop targeted databases for their future sales from subscribers to the video content. It could also be updated on a regular or annual basis – creating a sense of anticipation amongst their target audience. See below film sponsored by Supadance on a very special dance festival – viewed more than 100,000 times!
Whilst Newsletter Marketing is more appropriate to businesses with a mature database of customers, it’s a marketing method which can be useful to both B2B and B2C marketers. A newsletter with various sections and news stories can be a great way to give customers greater detail about products or services than can be covered in an advert or flyer – enabling the customer to pick and choose what they read into from well-structured layout. This can include multiple sections – including company news, product information, competitions, diary events, special offers, new appointments and any other section that one might find in a mainstream publication. Using digital flip-book creation tools and distribution platforms, these newsletters can now include rich media content – including video.
Example: A manufacturer of plumbing products could produce a newsletter monthly or quarterly, with clearly defined sections for professional plumbers and DIY users – plus additional sections on corporate news about the business. The video content could include a general foreword-type introduction by its editor highlighting this issue’s contents. Additional video content could contain how-to type content providing visual demonstrations of the company’s products in use – with beginner and advanced levels for the range of readership. The newsletter could also include 3rd party content from plumbing product manufacturers.
Tradeshow & Exhibition Marketing
Using a company film as part of your tradeshow marketing is probably one of the longest established forms of video marketing. Whilst many businesses these days purely trade off internet pages, there are many who cannot replace that face-to-face customer experience. In fact, there are many products that customers simply would not invest in without actually seeing and testing the product out first hand. A video can play an important part in tradeshow marketing in ensuring the company’s stand is visually attractive and helps to pre-qualify stand visitors by showing relevant and eye-catching content. Indeed, with the advances in video projection and large screen technology, video could be used to create almost all visual design aspects of an exhibition stand design.
Example: A firm of architects designs a tradeshow stand which includes a floor to ceiling video wall as its backdrop – showcasing the many large residential and commercial developments it has designed around the world. The video will be created using animated photography of their developments, architect drawings and combined with archive footage from the locations to demonstrate the breadth of their experience and innovations in design.
Complete your Marketing Mix with a company film
Of course, many companies are just looking for a straightforward company film or promotional video to fulfill the transactional marketing element of their marketing mix. Any why not? Adding video to your website will dramatically improve your search engine visibility (YouTube is now the second most popular search engine!). Not only will video help with your search engine visibility, it will also help you improve your bounce and click-through rates.
I’ve also intentionally not given Social Media Marketing its own heading in this article. The reason for this is that it will be a core means of delivering the marketing mix methods above. In fact, all of the above activities can be solely delivered or promoted through Social Media channels. And as we all know through our own use of Social Media, video content very much floats to the top of platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Without video it’s just not going to shine – and much less likely to be shared.
I hope this article gives you a much clearer idea of how a company film can fit into your marketing mix – and the inspiration of how you can start to take advantage of it. If you’d like to talk your ideas through with someone who can add greater depth to your ideas, please give Video Artisan a call on +44 (0) 20 3602 3356 or email email@example.com
And, relax! Having just got to the end of a very busy run I’ve finally had time to put together a short video production services showreel – and to write another blog! To be honest, I even surprised myself with the range of video production works we’ve completed in recent years.
It is very rare that we get two jobs exactly the same – so when a client says, “Could you show me something similar you’ve done to what we are looking for?”, it can be quite a challenge to demonstrate this in a video production services showreel. However, we feel that it is much more important to be able to demonstrate that we understand what our clients are trying to achieve – and to be able to offer creative solutions that enable us to exceed their expectations.
Video Artisan – a ‘can-do’ company
So far we’ve never had to say no when a client has asked, “Can you do XYZ?”. Apart from our own in-house resources and expertise we have an extensive range of industry contacts and specialists who we can call upon to deliver any video-related product or service for our clients. This also means we can cope with multiple assignments at the same time – yet still manage the process and output to ensure every client receives the level of service they’ve come to expect from Video Artisan. No project is too big – and nothing is considered too small.
We’re about to head into another busy spell – with the production of training films for a major US-based manufacturer starting in a couple of weeks. Filming will be carried out in Essex for this, but we’ll also be heading overseas shortly after for assignments in Canada, France and Italy. I’ll keep you posted on these.
How to feature on our next Video Production Services Showreel
I hope you enjoy our video production services showreel. If you are looking for a different kind of video production service that’s not featured – please ask as we’d love to be able to add it to our next video production services showreel.
For more information on our corporate video services click here – or call us on +44 (0)20 3602 3356.
Last month saw us filming at the 2016 M&IT Awards Ceremony (Meetings & Incentive Travel magazine) at Battersea Evolution where more than 1,300 guests were celebrating the very best within the corporate events industry. With nineteen main categories, and a host of special awards and charity fundraising, this spectacular event showcases the very best in corporate travel, venues, catering and agencies aimed at the corporate meetings and incentive travel industry.
As in previous years our brief from M&IT was twofold. Firstly, we was commissioned to create a short highlights film that captured the mood and scale of the event to be used as a promotional tool in generating future sponsorship and ticket sales. In addition to this we also filmed short interviews with category winners as they exited the stage after their presentation. M&IT then sell these short films to the winners post-event to enable them to promote their success at the awards.
Other M&IT Commissions
The filming of the M&IT Awards is just one of three video production services provided to the company by Video Artisan each year. We also film their Masterclass Seminars which are aimed at event professionals and include subjects such as Data Protection, Health & Safety, Contract Law and Social Media. These videos are made available to their readers on a pay-per-view basis.
We also produce a short event documentary of their very successful Agency Challenge networking events – with the next one taking place in July at The Lensbury Hotel in Teddington. In addition to the short documentary, Video Artisan also delivers a team-building exercise for delegates at the event which sees them creating their own short film.
M&IT Awards Ceremony winning with video
This is an excellent example of a business which uses video to its full potential, clocking up many thousands of minutes of viewing through social media and video delivery platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo.
If you would like to discover how your business can start to benefit from using our many video production services, please contact us today on +44 (0) 20 3602 3356.