Tag Archives: Promotional Video

Promotional Video Services

Are you looking for Promotional Video production services in Essex? Look no further than Video Artisan. We are a specialist provider of business video services throughout Essex and East London region. Promotional Video is what we are all about!

Furthermore, are looking to harness the power of YouTube or website video to improve your search engine optimisation? Maybe you want to develop a series of public information films – or create a one-off company film? Therefore Video Artisan has the skills, resources and creative talents to deliver an imaginative and cost-effective solution for your next company video.

Promotional Video Location

Our location is perfect for servicing London, Essex, Harlow and South Eastern England with London Underground connections, the M25 and Stansted Airport very close to our studio edit facilities on the edge of Epping Forest.

In addition, we offer freelance camera operator and video editing services to client producers, agencies and other video production companies. With various cameras, lenses, camera mount systems, rails, sliders, dollies, lighting and sound kit we can cater for most video assignments.

AKM Music – Video Tutorial #02

Video tutorial number 2
Guidance on producing a video tutorial series

I completed the second video tutorial for AKM Music last week – this time on how to find the right piece of royalty free music for your films from their extensive library.

Producing a video tutorial

Commissioning a video tutorial is a great way to spread the word about your products and services – as well as supporting your existing client base. They don’t have to be complex or lengthy. In fact, the shorter the better as the YouTube generation’s attention span is becoming shorter and shorter!

Whilst the temptation is to produce an in-depth and lengthy video tutorial covering advanced techniques and processes, you should always start by covering the basics. Beginners video tutorials are far more valuable in getting your customers hooked into your brand and products from an early stage. Breaking your process down to small junks not only makes it easier to produce, but it also makes it easier for your audience to follow. Advanced users will also have a need for a video tutorial, but they are more likely to already be established customers.

Serialising your video tutorials will also help build an audience – and will give you a regular excuse for reaching out to customers with some good news. Trickle feeding a video tutorial series will also help with your search engine optimisation efforts as each video released will be indexed on search engines separately. There’s nothing search engines like more than indexing regular and relevant content – and feeding that out to a video-hungry audience.

Should I produce a DIY or a Commissioned Video Tutorial?

Whether you produce a video tutorial series in-house or commission a professional video production company to produce them for you will generally depend on three things.

Firstly, does it matter if the end result looks home-spun or polished? The answer to this will greatly depend on your brand identity and the market you are serving. If you are a premium brand, offering a premium product, then a cheap looking tutorial video is not going to give the right impression.

The second thing to consider is your return on investment. If produced correctly, how much additional revenue could a video tutorial series generate for you? This isn’t the easiest of questions to answer, but if your product or service has a substantial retail value and profit margin then it might not take many additional sales in order to pay for the production of each video tutorial. Likewise if your product or service is high volume.

The final consideration is how much value you place on your own time, or those within your organisation who would be assigned the responsibility to produce your video tutorial? Whilst the process of creating a video tutorial can be fun and creatively rewarding, the main benefit of using a professional video production company is that they should be able to do it quickly and with less drain on your resources. This is not to mention negating the need to invest in the filming and editing equipment needed to turn out a professional looking video tutorial.

If you’ve not joined the many organisations sold on the value or commissioning a video tutorial series then now’s the time. Please contact us today for a no-obligation consultation on 020 3602 3356.

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Video Tutorials – the benefits

video tutorials title
Why should you consider commissioning video tutorials?

This week we’ve launched the first of a series of video tutorials for AKM Music – the UK’s leading producer of royalty free music for use within video and multimedia productions. These short video tutorials give guidance to newbie video producers and videographers looking to make the most of AKM Music’s vast library of royalty free music (AKA copyright-free music). The aim is to release one of these video tutorials each month, covering the technical and creative aspects of auditioning, editing and mastering the music score for video productions.

The subject is very close to home for us being regular users of AKM Music’s excellent repertoire. We also regularly review new albums for them for this blog and other print publications, so I guess producing the video tutorials was a natural progression for us.

The benefits of video tutorials

Producing video tutorials benefits all the stakeholders. The consumer benefits because video is simply the best medium in which to absorb and understand the processes being explained. Printed instructions and websites are fine, but nothing comes close to watching someone demonstrate a process on screen. Viewers can pause and repeat video tutorials as many times as they like, leaving very little to misinterpretation. Video can also be delivered easily over the internet to any viewing device – be that mobile, tablet, PC or large screen displays – and downloaded locally for playback and reference at a later date.

The commissioning company can also benefit hugely from producing video tutorials. They help build customer loyalty by adding to the customer experience of buying their product or service. Apart from educating end users and customers, video tutorials also help those within an organisation understand the products better and, probably more importantly, the customers who are buying them.

But, above all, populating your website with relevant and valuable video tutorials will help with your search engine optimisation and engage your website visitors more effectively. The longer someone spends on your website the more likely they are to identify with your brand, trust your advice and buy from you. Video tutorials are also perfect material to share via your social media channels and, if your audience sees the value too, they’ll also happily share them with others with the same interests.

If you have a product or service that could benefit from having video tutorials produced about their construction, use or maintenance – please get in touch and we can talk you through the process, costs and then develop an implementation plan to help you start benefiting from them too. Call 020 3602 3356.

Note: Type in ‘copyright-free music’ into the search box at the head of this website to see a range of reviews we’ve published on AKM Music albums.

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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.

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Copyright-Free Music Review – AK164 & AK165

AK164 and AK165
Two new copyright-free albums from AKM Music

AKM Music – New Releases

AK164 – Media Toolkit & AK165 – Smile Be Happy

AKM Music has recently released two new albums that caught my eye as a business film producer – AK164 Media Toolkit and AK165 Smile Be Happy. I’m always interested in extending my copyright-free music archive as you can’t have too much of it when trying to find the right music score for your films. These two albums fall into two very different camps.

Before I move on to talk about these albums, I need to quickly mention a special ‘End of Tax Year’ offer from AKM Music which runs out on 4th April. If you buy 3 or more CDs or CD downloads you can get an amazing 35% off! All you have to do is use this promo code at the checkout CDOFF14.

Get a great deal on AKM Music - offer ends VERY SOON!
Get a great deal on AKM Music – offer ends VERY SOON!

To give you inspiration you might want to check out some of my other reviews of their music – Here, herehere and here!

AKM 164 – Media Toolkit

This album is a collection of sound effects to help you emphasise movement, edits and graphical on-screen action within your films. But their use goes beyond this and can help tell your story and create tension or generally add depth to your soundtrack. It’s important for me to say that this is not a collection of Foley effects (sound effects which are used to synchronise on screen action – such as doors closing or windows breaking) but rather evocative synthesised effects. There’s a great Wiki page on the full scope and use of Sound Effects, but needless to say this album is still a worthy addition to your collection.

AK164 Media Toolkit
AK164 Media Toolkit

The album is grouped into nine types of effects ranging from Hits, Whooshes, Stabs and Explosions to Transitions, Underscores and Soundbeds. The Underscores and Soundbeds sections seem a little out of place to me as they’re basically musical arrangements for use as underscores for live action sound or voiceovers. Don’t get me wrong, they’re still useful and produced to the same high standard that we are used to from AKM Music – but they’re not, in my mind, true sound effects.

In the past I’ve had to mess about creating these kind of synthetic sound effects from scratch and, whilst very satisfying, can take an incredible amount of time which you rarely get paid for and more often than not go unnoticed (if they are done right!). It’s also worth saying that I don’t get the opportunity (or desire) to use sound effects on every film I produce – but when you do need them they’re very useful indeed.

I can see AKM 164 being my go-to album whenever this need arises. It’s going to be particularly useful on opening/closing title sequences and graphics where I want to emphasise an animation. There are also some very handy transitional sounds that will help link scenes together.

AK165 – Smile Be Happy

This one was quite a surprise to me – and a pleasant one at that. I was expecting to hear the usual collection of bright, upbeat and jovial scores to help you add a sense of fun or even comedy to a film. What you actually get is a collection of music that’s got a very wide programme-type appeal – and will no doubt suit as the main theme on wedding films and documentaries as well as corporate films that need a gentle sense of fun about them.

AK165 Smile Be Happy
AK165 Smile Be Happy

Each track has a full version plus at least two shorter versions (60-second and 30-second). Some of the tracks also come with alternative edits too. I really appreciate having these shorter and alternate edits to hand and will often mix between them in post when I’m cutting a track to a specific length.

Apart from one track (‘Summer in New York’ – which doesn’t quite fit in for me), they all follow a similar theme which conjures up visions of New England or Shaker-style buildings on warm summer days. Quite a few contain voice or whistle effects, so give a very happy, carefree feeling. I’ve seen quite a few really great wedding films lately and they’ve all used similar music to this. The title track, ‘Smile Be Happy’ is probably the best example of this.

The tracks are all mid-tempo with either ukulele/banjo, acoustic guitar or piano as lead instrument. The music is simple, without masses of instruments mixed together but rather something that two or three people could perform live. The ones containing voice effects are very non-descriptive and contain the occasional, “whoo hoo”, “dum dum” or “la la la” type voice sounds – so are completely language-agnostic.

As I said earlier, this album is going to appeal to a very wide range of programme types. In fact I can’t say for sure that I’ve not already heard it being used on a wedding film – or maybe even a TV commercial or two (the latest Lloyds Bank animated one uses something very similar). I have a project in mind for it right now. For the past couple of years I’ve been thinking of making a documentary about beekeepers (being one myself) and one of the tracks on this album would be perfect for it – giving the film a happy, gentle, earth-friendly feel about it.

Conclusion

Whilst you’d probably not find these two albums appearing on the same film, they are both worthy of shelf space in your copyright-free music archive. ‘AK165 – The Media Tool Kit’ might be a something that you buy and only very occasionally need – but when you do need it there’s nothing else that’s going to hit the spot.

‘AK165 – Smile Be Happy’ on the other hand is going to appeal to a much wider audience and, I dare say, will be one of AKM best sellers over time.

Kevin Cook F.Inst.V. (Hon.)

Additional Info – AKM Music at BVE

I recently caught up with Anthony McTiffen, the man behind AKM Music at the BVE exhibition at Excel. I was there to interview those exhibitors who had products and services aimed specifically at the professional videographer and it gave me the opportunity to quiz Anthony about the benefits of using copyright-free / royalty-free music within your productions. Click here to see the full collection of short interviews filmed at BVE.

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Filming a Team Building Event

Filming a Team Building Event
The story behind filming a team building event

2014 kicked off with us filming a team building event hosted by CAT Publications – namely the ‘M&IT Agency Challenge’ held at the Landmark Hotel in Central London. As publishers of Meetings & Incentives Travel Magazine, these events bring together buyers and sellers from within the corporate travel industry for a fun-packed day of activities and presentations.

This is the second time we’ve been engaged to film one of these tremendously successful events (see here). Through better engagement buyers get a clearer understanding of the range of services and destinations available to them – whilst suppliers are provided with the opportunity to build better relationships with new and existing clients. Going by the feedback from all attendees and the general atmosphere I think CAT Publications have got the mix of learning and fun in the right proportions – and it was great to be part of it.

More than just filming a team building event

Filming a team building event presents its own challenges, but in addition at these events we also supply video camera kits for the teams of delegates to use in one of the many challenges which they have to complete during the day. The video challenge this time was to create a 30-second commercial based on any one of the supplier presentations given on the day. If that wasn’t challenging enough, they only had 30-minutes in which to plan, script and shoot it!

Thankfully for them they didn’t have to edit it too. That was left to me and meant that I had to complete the edit on all six team videos only an hour or so after the last team finished filming so they could be judged and then screened later on in the evening during a gala dinner.

Whilst I was tucked away in a separate break-out room for much of the day either editing or briefing teams on how to use the cameras, my wingman for the day, Dilip Patel, was doing the ‘filming a team building event’ bit. This was far from filming entire coverage of each and every presentation and team challenge but rather gathering enough b-roll material so that I could cut together a 3-minute short documentary of the day.

Filming b-roll
Dilip filming b-roll

The narrative was achieved by filming an opening and closing piece with Martin Lewis, the Managing Editor of CAT Publications. Luckily Martin is a natural in front of camera and he also acted as interviewer at the end of the day to capture some of the feedback from delegates which helped us tell the whole story.

Video Challenges

The video challenges were staggered throughout the day, with either one or two teams doing this challenge at any one time. This started off with me giving them a very brief introduction to the cameras they’d be using. Once again we’d relied on Hireacamera to supply Canon XF105 cameras which were configured in full-auto mode to free up the teams from having to learn how to control focus, exposure and sound levels. Once they’d started creating their films I would then follow the teams to make sure they didn’t have any technical issues and, at the same time, capture of few shots of them creating their films to add to my b-roll. Thankfully these cameras are extremely easy to use in full-auto mode and didn’t present any problems for the teams who were working to an extremely tight deadline.

I’d installed my backup desktop Edius edit suite in my breakout room and, thankfully, none of the teams presented me with too much of an editing challenge – although not one of them managed to stick to the 30-second duration. This was one of the criteria the films were being judged on so no one managed to get an advantage in this respect.

Once the judging was completed I had to then get the files out in a format that the staging company could play out later that evening. There were one or two challenges with this but we got there in the end. The result was it created a fun opening to the gala dinner that evening where each team got to see their own film, and the other team’s, for the first time.

Kit used for the event documentary

Canon 5D DSLRs are great for filming a team building event but even they struggled under a range of challenging lighting conditions. In the main presentation area the staging company were using those wonderful blue LED lights to create a wash of light around the room – and this was coupled with natural daylight from windows and mix of tungsten and fluorescent house lights. No matter how hard you try it’s impossible to get a really accurate white balance under those conditions. During the evening events we had to work pretty much under candlelight alone. Other than that it was perfect!!!

Filming a Team Building Event lighting
Working with available light

Happy clients

Will we be filming a team building event for CAT Publications again? You bet! Plans are already underway for another one in the not too distant future. Like anything in life the more you do something the better you get at it. Whilst we managed to tick all the boxes for CAT Publications again this time we’ve got some ideas on how the video challenges can be improved further.

If you are thinking of running a team building event or corporate away day in the future and are looking for a fun and productive way in which to engage your delegates – and at the same time capture the event on film for future promotions – then please give us a call.

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