Producing a branded-content Training Film

Training film title
Can a training film deliver more than training?

More than just a training film

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

Give us a que!
Give us a que!

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.

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A Guide to using video production within your Marketing Mix

Marketing Mix
Where does video fit into your Marketing Mix?

In recent months there’s been a noticeable increase in the number of companies seeking quotes for video production services 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 video production but many of them do.  This article will examine some of the common marketing activities in which video can feature – or become the main vessel for delivering your marketing message.

Content Marketing

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 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

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.   

Product Placement

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 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!    

Newsletter Marketing

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 video 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.

marketing-mix-exhibition-stand

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.

The complete Marketing Mix

Of course, many companies are just looking for a straightforward corporate 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.

Contact us

I hope this article gives you a much clearer idea of how video 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 kevin@video-artisan.com

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Video Production Services Showreel

Video Production Services Showreel Title
Watch our latest Video Production Services Showreel

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.

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Filming Awards Ceremonies – The 2016 M&IT Awards

M&IT Awards
Another M&IT Awards Ceremony completed

More for M&IT

Last month saw us filming at the 2016 M&IT Awards (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 M&IT 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 winning with video

M&IT are 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.

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A guide to Filming Masterclasses

Filming Masterclasses for M&IT…
Over the next couple of months we’re filming masterclasses for CAT Publications at The Mermaid on the banks of the Thames at London Blackfriars. These M&IT (Meetings & Incentive Travel) Masterclasses cover various subjects aimed at the event industry as part of their continual professional development – and our video production services are now helping to bring them to a much wider audience.

Filming Masterclass - a guide

Filming masterclasses… what’s the point?

Due to their popularity and high level of interaction, spaces on the M&IT Masterclasses are limited to ensure that each delegate comes away better informed and more capable in their role. Filming masterclasses not only provides CAT Publications with a permanent record of these events but, more importantly, also enables them to distribute the segmented films throughout the year on a pay-per-view basis for those unable to attend in person.

Of the many other benefits to filming masterclasses, the two which are most highly valued by Video Artisan’s clients are video’s consistency and ease of use. Once recorded and edited, a video will deliver exactly the same content, and impart the same knowledge, every time it is watched – regardless of the performance of the trainers. This leaves little room for misinterpretation and ensures viewers are only receiving correct and valuable information.

The wide acceptance of video as a communication medium, and the variety of platforms on which it can be delivered, also make it ideal for any business or organisation to incorporate video into their training material output. This includes CAT Publication’s pay-per-view model – but is equally suitable for delivery over private intranets, open platforms such as YouTube (paid or free) or by direct release on physical media such as DVD or USB drives.

Filming Masterclasses – DIY or Hire-in?

Creating a video recording of your training event can be very straightforward and virtually cost-free if you choose to go down the DIY route. However, producing highly-valued content which is easy for your audience to watch and hear is a lot more challenging – and if it fails in these respects then it’s effectiveness as a training tool is very much depleted.

At the very least your presenters will need to be properly mic’d up – with additional microphones used to capture audience interaction and feedback. Whilst one main camera is fine for single-presenter seminars, using additional cameras will help to show audience reaction, achieve continuity when editing and ultimately make your content a more professional and easy to watch.

Filming Masterclasses - a safe wide
Two cameras are better than on when filming masterclasses

Your audience will also expect to see any slides, charts, illustrations or PowerPoint presentations full-screen, so any DIY effort will have to include the ability to insert these into the live video content, add captions and finally output the programme to a format which can easily be delivered to your audience.

The challenges of filming masterclasses are various but by using an experienced video production company you can create compelling learning material with the minimal amount of investment and virtually no special adaptations to your training materials. In this instance, Video Artisan have been able to offer a very competitive solution using a ‘two-camera single-operator’ set-up coupled with a fast post production turnaround – enabling CAT Publications to release their films to market in the most profitable and efficient way.

Could you benefit from filming masterclasses?

Filming masterclasses can be highly profitable for their producers. If you think your masterclasses, seminars or workshops would benefit from being filmed and released on video, please contact us today on 020 3602 3356 or by emial to kevin@video-artisan.com 

A bit more about M&IT Masterclasses

CAT Publications are renowned for putting on highly-focussed seminars and workshops aimed at Corporate, Association, Agency Event Organisers and Event Suppliers and on key subjects including Data Protection, Health & Safety, Venue Contracts and Social Media. The M&IT Masterclasses are delivered by a team of specialist presenters who share their knowledge of relevant legislation and best-practices within the event industry.  See a list of their upcoming events here.

Video Artisan work with CAT Publications on a number of events throughout the year including producing the highlights films for the M&IT Awards and the M&IT Agency Challenge.

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