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6 Mistakes When Purchasing Video Services

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Mistakes buying video

6 Mistakes When Purchasing Video Services

1) Knowing Your Audience

There are almost as many video production companies out there as there are coffee shops on street corners. But how many of them simply want to sell video to make their sales target ?

For a marketing video to really bring a good value return on your investment, it’s vital that the video producers really understand your audience and what engages them. That’s where you come in – you know your audience better than anyone. Beware of any company who doesn’t want to spend the time to really understand your target audience, and what makes them tick.

Remember, the better the video content is targeted at your customers, the better the results will be.

2) Beware of Resellers

There are companies which exist purely as marketing engines, generating business and outsourcing it to freelance producers. This model means nothing that is made for you will actually be the hands of who you think is making the video for you.

Risky at best, and with inflated prices at worst, so if in doubt – ask them !

Clockwork Creatives is founded by producers with everything managed in-house, consolidated costs and working structure to provide you with the peace of mind and quality you need, at affordable prices.

3) Beware of ‘Cheap’ Deals

Every once a while I’ll be talking with a potential client about a production; filming and editing let’s say we have a £700 budget. It’s a small job, but that fee covers the writing, planning, casting, studio, crew, presenter, equipment, editing, delivery and management. And then they say “my mate knows a guy that’ll do it for £200.” Welcome to the world of media recruitment. Too many people want to do it, and not enough people can do it. If you think about what a day rate reasonably is and how long £200 can buy…. Perhaps 2 days of work? And consider that a lighting rig will cost £250/day to hire; you can quickly see it just doesn’t make any sense!

In the best case scenario the product is less likely to deliver the result you desire.

In the worst case they’ll use cheaper equipment, the old-school lights will heat up and start a fire in your office. They won’t have public liability insurance.

4) Post-Video Blues

So, you’ve had your video delivered, but now what ?

Many media production companies that clients use see video delivery as the end of their involvement. But having your video made is really only the start of the next phase of marketing – making that video work for your business !

We see clients as long term partners in an ongoing relationship. Helping our clients achieve the maximum potential of their video helps them be more successful, and ensures our customers come back to us again and again.

So, when seeking a media company for your video production, consider their willingness to advise you and support you moving forward.

5) Budgeting

How to Choose the Budget you Need ?

Always work backwards from your desired result. If you have sales of £10k a month through your website and want to make it £15k a month, you can do the maths and theory to work out what the investment should be and what risk factor there is around it.

You can have a no-obligation 30min call with one of our strategy directors about budgeting for your campaign and receive honest, free advice for your business.

6) Re-using Video Content

So, you’ve had your dream marketing video created and now it’s time to unleash it on the world.

So, what next ? Put it on your website homepage ? Post it on Facebook ?

These days, your clients are probably using a wealth of online platforms to socialise, organise and communicate. It’s really important that potential customers see your video on the platforms they use.

A professional media production company will offer to create versions of your video that’s optimised for each platform:

  • Website
  • Facebook
  • Youtube
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • etc

Make sure you get the most benefit from your video investment, by ensuring you get as many versions of your video as required for your target platforms.

Step 3 – Post Production: Part 2 – Titles

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Post Production Titles

For help implementing our guide please refer to these technical guides, depending on which software you chose to work with:

Software Technical Title Tutorial
iMovie https://support.apple.com/kb/PH14702?locale=en_GB&viewlocale=en_US
Windows Movie Maker http://windows.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows-vista/add-movie-titles-and-credits-in-windows-movie-maker
Adobe Premiere Elements https://helpx.adobe.com/premiere-elements/using/creating-trimming-titles.html
Sony Vegas http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/webhelp/vegaspro/13/enu/index.htm#Titles.htm
Adobe Premiere Pro https://helpx.adobe.com/premiere-pro/using/creating-editing-titles.html
Final Cut Pro X http://www.macworld.com/article/2012195/create-cool-video-titles-in-final-cut-pro-x.html

Now let’s focus on the interesting bit; using these abilities to turn a profit. What makes a good title? How does one make a good title great!?

Font & Colour:

Use your existing brand fonts if possible. You probably have 2; one for the logo itself and major titles and another for everything else. You also probably have 2 or 3 font colours, consider the primary colour for headline titles and your secondary colour for smaller/ sub-titles

Feel you should use different fonts and colours from your main brand? That’s cool, just think of the video as a sub-brand. Different rules, different look but just as consistent across where it is used, perhaps all your online videos, as any other brand you’d commission or create. 

Framing:

As with your font and colour, try to have a primary and secondary position for your titles. Keep them the same. Convention would have these to be the full screen title and the subtitle. It’s best to keep full screen titles to one line. Two at the most. While subtitles can have 3 or even 4 lines, particularly when being used literally as subtitles in the context of subtitling speech.

You’ll likely want to use the full screen/ primary framing along with your primary font and colour. And, vice versa for your secondary/ subtitle framing.

Animation:

Animating your titles can help engage your audience, winning their attention for your product/ service. Typically you’ll want a zoom or a scroll. If you’re using many lines of text typically one would use a subtitle with a scroll – this makes the iconic scrolling movie end-credits. Whereas for added impact you can use the main title with a subtle zoom in.

Other animation can be used, but try not to use it for novelty. Try to communicate something about your business with the animation. Do you offer a fast service, for example? Try the titles “flying in” from left to right, and then flying out when their done. You’ll notice if you make that kind of connection creatively then it will feel a more coherent brand and help reinforce your selling points in the very fabric of the production.

Graphics

Inserting graphics is as easy as loading up footage for cutting. Just Google ‘Graphic Design’ to find out more about the creation of graphics. Once your graphic is loaded into your chosen software, you should be able to resize it and animate it as you wish. Flexibility for this varies between different software suites.

Top tip: Pan or zoom a still image, such as a landscape, to create a moving shot and save resources!

Step 3 – Post Production: part 1

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Cutting your video into a sequence is one of the most rewarding steps in the production process. This is where all your hard work in planning and production will come together on-screen for the first time.

There are various software packages which can be used for this purpose;

We recommend Adobe Premier Elements to begin with as it works across multiple platforms, is stable and has an intuitive workflow.

There are many technical tutorials online and on YouTube for how to use your chosen software. We’re not going to re-invent the wheel!

Instead, here’s some tips on the creative side…

Pace – the pace of your video is important, and should be consistent like the tempo of music. Experiment with different music tracks, as they will stimulate different styles to which you can cut the video.

Continuity – ensure your shots cut together seamlessly. If you can, have just one audio track playing across all shots as often it is the change in sound, rather than visual, which makes you notice the cut.

Shots – convention would be to start with your wider shots and cut in to a closer shot. This is like meeting someone across the room and then as you go to meet them you get closer. But sometimes the reverse can work to intrigue your audience. “What is he looking at?” the audience may ask; and in those situations you can reverse this convention if desired – cutting to the wider shot to give the answer.

Music – download music for free for your video from the YouTube music library or, if you prefer to save time, you can pay to license music from Beatsuite.com which offers a more consistent quality and categorisation.

Creative Process – technically, you feel you can just put the shots together exactly as you planned. You may even have a storyboard which you can put together now with the shots you have. This is a great place to start! Do play with it, experiment and try different things out to see what works. If you feel something like “it just needs more punch” but you’re not sure how to go about it, give us a call and tell us where you’re at. It’s amazing how often there’s a technically simple while creatively genius solution!

Step 1 – Planning and Pre-Production

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Pre-Production is the name given to all the work which takes place between a production being given the green light to go ahead and a camera being switched on.

There is no set process as each production is individual and unique, however we’ll cover a 3-step process which will work for you as a framework for your first production.

1.  Initial Planning

Assign this stage to a small, clever team.  Let them work privately on this stage and present their ideas when ready.

First, make two bullet point lists.  The first will be a list of points you need to make in the video; keep it blunt and short.  The second list will be attributes of your target audience.  Age, gender mix, income etc.

team planning

Now, create the structure which will convey all those points to that audience.  Will it be a presenter speaking to them?  What age or gender should that person be to best connect with your audience?  Or perhaps a scene with several characters in which something is done either right or wrong will work best.

Unlike most mediums with video you can show as well as tell!  Embrace the visual medium; show and tell your points in a way your audience will understand and appreciate.

example script

2.  Scripting & Feedback

Now that you have your structure, script it.  You can read about the formatting of screenplays here, and it has been worked out pretty well.  You only need a basic office app like Google Drive.

Did you know?  A properly formatted script will read 1 minute per page.  The longer the script, the more accurate this becomes

Once your team has produced a script they are pleased with, let them present it to the team.  If there are multiple characters try reading it together in a meeting with each person taking on a role.

Give the creative team your feedback and then let them work it into the script.  The feedback will be a whole bunch of creative problems which they’ll need to fix and give some proper thought to.  Although this will invariably make the overall production much better, don’t expect all the solutions to be apparent immediately.

Repeat this process of the creative team writing, team reading and feedback followed by more writing until you’re happy with the script.

3.  Storyboard & Shot Lists

Now we’ll storyboard certain visuals or sequences of shots.  If the script reads:

John gets out of his car and walks into his office

example storyboard

Then is this one scene ? or does he get out of his car and walk toward his office; then cut to the office and he walks in?  This would be two separate scenes

Be sure to plan everything shot-for-shot.  Two different people reading a vague/ non-storyboarded script can both feel they understand and yet have totally different ideas of what will be created.

The storyboard will follow the same process of being written and reviewed.

That’s all for now !

Please do send in your questions.  We’ll answer and try to help in any way we can.  If you call us we’ll give you free support.

Video Top Tips

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At Clockwork Creatives, whilst our main offering is providing quality, bespoke videos to businesses, we don’t just stop there. We want to help make sure that once you have your video from us, it adds real benefit to your business and brings increased enquiries and sales as a result.

With the above in mind we thought for this article we would come up with our three top tips on how to effectively use your video once you have it, which are as follows –

1) Your Website – One of the first places we advise our clients to have their new corporate video present is on their website. As mentioned in previous articles, to help gain more enquiries via a website we’ve found that the more engagement encouraged then the more interaction this promotes which is why a video can be vital.

2) Social Sharing Sites – Along with your website it’s also completely free of charge to upload your video to social sharing sites such as YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. Once your video is live on these types of sites the viewing potential can be huge! Sites like YouTube have proven to be extremely effective advertising tools, so take advantage!

3) Email Marketing – Finally, our least piece of advice is to embed your video into an email campaign which you can send out to previous and potential customers. At the moment videos in emails aren’t used on a large scale. However, from viewing the statistics the results are really impressive.

We hope you’ve found the information above helpful and if you would like some more advice then you can contact us.