If you haven’t heard, video is exploding on the internet. More and more small businesses are turning their marketing efforts towards video. Why, you might ask? Businesses can post their video on their websites, send them via emails, and post them on Facebook and Instagram where they have the potential to be seen by thousands. Oh, and did I mention that you save money doing it this way as opposed to having a television station run your ad.
1. Well planned videos can showcase your brand’s personality. Your business can show who they are by creating clever videos. Videos that have personality are more than likely to be remembered. And if you are in the minds of your potential client you have more opportunity to sell to them. Have fun with the video, demonstrate one of your products. People love to learn how a product or service can benefit them.
2. Testimonials can really push your business to the forefront. Ask current and past clients if they would be willing to go on camera and speak about their experience. I do not think you need hundreds of people for your testimonial video, but I would interview more than what is needed. This way, you can select the best ones. Some people may have some very powerful key words that were spoken on camera and others might not have the same punch as others. My philosophy is that it’s always better to have more than what you need. The video should be no more than a minute. Quick soundbites work best, and more people are willing to watch a minute rather than a long five-minute piece.
3. Create videos that tell stories. You could create three videos that connect a storyline. You should be creative, the buzz you will receive from the viewers will be in abundance. Create suspense with the videos so that the viewers can anticipate your next video. Each video will start off where the last one ended. This is a great way to get attention and sell at the same time. People do not want to be talked down to, they want to be entertained. Heck, if you can sell cleverly through entertainment, it’s a win win.
It’s a new year, and you’re ready to invest in your craft and start creating higher quality videos. If you’ve already got a DSLR and are using it proficiently the next most important purchase is going to be a DSLR camera stabilizer. There are literally hundreds of different kinds of stabilizers but they all share a basic function: to eliminate a shaky camera shot and enable the videographer to walk or run while maintaining a balanced, in-focus shot.
There have been many attempts at creating the best method to achieve smooth handheld video, but utilizing a gimbal, or pivoting point along an axis, has proven to be the most effective. The 3-axis gimbal being the most versatile. Let’s take a look at handheld (manual non-motorized) stabilizers and compare them to software (motorized) gimbals.
Traditional handheld stabilizers like a Glidecam are often less expensive because of the fact that there is not a motorized element. That’s not to say you can’t buy a pricey one, but comparably, a handheld stabilizer will be less expensive than an electronic one. So if budget is your biggest obstacle, a non-motorized stabilizer is in your best interest.
One of my favorite things about a handheld stabilizer is that there is no need for more batteries to keep track of. Because it is non-motorized, it’s lighter, it won’t die in the middle of a shoot and best of all, it can be used in all sorts of weather and you don’t need to be delicate with it. Repairs can often be done with a few hand tools as well.
Handhelds aren’t perfect though. They can often be temperamental, and I find that they are harder to initially balance and to adjust. Because there is no motor to assist the operator, a handheld stabilizer usually comes with a steeper learning curve. However, once you’re used to it, the results can be extremely smooth and fluid.
Electronic software gimbal stabilizers have a pretty big range, both in price and functionality. You can buy a pretty serious rig, like a DJI Ronin for about $2000 and it’s bluetooth compatible. Aiming, focusing and adjusting can all be done remotely, but lower end options still exist for DSLR shooters. Smaller, less complex ones can cost as little $600 and deliver on their promise of ultra-smooth footage, even while running at full speed. (At least, once you get the hang of it). They can balance within about 30 seconds and re-balance just as quickly if you need to adjust the lens or change batteries. An electronic gimbal won’t lose the horizon as easily as a handheld either. Personally, I find the movement and therefore the footage to be smooth and steady but with a hint of robotic motion.
A motorized stabilizer does have its drawbacks though: Battery life, and weight are both huge issues and weather-proofing must be done properly or they’re unusable outside if it’s raining. The set-up and calibration can also be quite complex and some even require a computer to fine tune the motors. Finally, if there are any software problems or repairs needed, they may not be able to be easily solved by novice users.
When buying a camera stabilizer there are clearly lots of options and a great deal to consider before making your purchase. If you’re new to videography, I’d recommend starting on the inexpensive side and working your way up to the more complex big rigs. If budget isn’t an issue and the world is your oyster, then it purely depends on what suits your needs best.
This article written by Guest Blogger: Katie Conlon
Katie Conlon is a young freelance writer who recently graduated from a university filmmaking program. She manages the blog and social media program for video equipment maker ProAm USA. When not on her laptop, Katie can be found snapping images of friends and family, or hiking outdoors with her beloved dog Turner.
Here is a recent video I produced last week and look at all the views and shares it has received on Facebook!
1. Best Way To Tell Your Business Story
Introduce yourself, your brand and your product within a 2-5-minute span and see your sales sky rocket. You can tell your story and get in front of thousands of customers. Video marketing allows you to explain your services, product, brand in a creative way which people can understand. Many people do not have time to read long blog post, but many watch videos on Facebook; so if your video is created cleverly, they will watch and remember you.
2. Increases Brand Awareness
Small business owners have passion, and there’s no better way to showcase that passion than by video. Customers like to see who is behind that passion, and you can benefit from this by introducing yourself to your community. Video not only allows you to educating your viewer, it also builds trust and authority. As you provide your customers with great content they will see how valuable you and your business are. Did you know more people remember videos than written content?
3. Ads Have An Increased ROI
Facebook allows you to pin point your target audience. If you know who you want to target, you can very easily do so with Facebook. And once you do, those post can be shared, that is the digital equivalence of word of mouth. Videos on Facebook can very easily go viral which will enhance your selling margins. Paper ads are yesterdays’ selling technique, today it is all about getting your business on Facebook. Just look around, and you’ll see people on their phone. Your smartphone is the new television. No longer do you need to send your video ad to a costly television station. Running promotional ads on television is costly and not as effective as they used to be. Facebook allows you to run your business video ads in a few simple steps and at a very low price, which allows you to benefit from greater ROI.
4. Increase Sales
Businesses who focus on video are growing their revenue more than 45%. It’s a proven fact that customers are more attracted to buying after watching a short video. You may be flustered with how you can accomplish this? But I am here to tell you that there are creative people out there waiting to help you succeed with creative video. Videographers understand this medium the best, and they are the professionals that can help you succeed. Do yourself a favor and hire a videographer to create a stunning video that can reach thousands of potential customers. Now is the time to take advantage of using Facebook for your video needs. I will leave you with these three words; lights, camera, action!
Here are two video production hacks I think you will enjoy. One of them is having a rubber band wrapped around the handle of your tripod. This allows you to move your tripod in a stable manner. Some of us have shaky hands and we don't tend to have a perfect pan so putting a rubber band on the handle of your tripod will allow you to get a nice solid pan. Make sure you adjust the tension on your tripod the way you want it. I have used this on several occasions. I picked this idea up during my news photographer days. One of the photogs told me about it and at first I thought it wouldn’t be much help. Once I tried it I fell in love with it. The best thing about it is that rubber bands are a dime a dozen.
The second hack is going to be regarding lights. Many people use LED lights and many of them do not fit into a softbox. Some LEDs cast shadows and if you don't have anything to diffuse it you're going to have those hard shadows either in the background of your picture or on your subject’s face. If you don't have anything to diffuse it like a plastic panel, you can use wax paper. Wax paper over the top of your light will drop the intensity of the light and it will also soften it up. I wouldn't put wax paper on any hot lights only those that are cool to the touch such as LEDs.
I recently shot a promo for a local business and wanted to see how many people actually viewed the video on Facebook. It has been a week so far since I shot it and it has received 8 thousands views, 35 shares. Many people commented as well. Folks were asking questions like where is this restaurant, let's go there for your birthday, let's try this out. This is great promotion because it gets people talking about your business. Promotional videos work wonders for small businesses because small business do not have to pay a huge sum of money for promotion. You need to know your key audience. Great way to share your message and save money. I am a local videographer here in Fresno eager to help small businesses succeed by using promotional videos.
Have you noticed that in Fresno we have a large amount of chain stores and restaurants to choose from? Where are the local shops? I come from the Bay Area, and we had chain stores, however, we had a ton of local restaurants and shops to patron.
As a local videographer, I want to help local businesses succeed. Promotional videos are a great way to showcase your business. You can share your videos online by placing them on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and other sites. All these platforms can reach millions and you don’t even have to create an ad for them to be successful.
I recently had the opportunity to shoot a promotional video for Señor Ají Peruvian Bistro. I have been a fan of their food from the very beginning. Their food is fresh, authentic, and out of this world. The food is so good that it is my son’s favorite place to eat. Not too long ago my son had to write about a place he felt was special to him. He chose to write about Señor Ají Peruvian Bistro. To honor my son’s 4.0 accomplishment this past semester, we took him to his favorite restaurant.
In shooting this video I had many questions I needed answers to. I met up with the owners of Señor Ají Peruvian Bistro, Lilian and Mauricio. We discussed their vision and I assured them that I could deliver. Whenever I take on a job, I like to do a site survey of the location. This gives me an idea of how much space I will be working with, if there are any power outlets, what kind of lighting I need to bring, etc.
On the day of the shoot I used two Sigma Art lenses 50-100mm 1.8 and the 18-35m m 1.5. I felt I could get all the shots I needed with these two lenses. The shorter of the two, 18-35mm 1.8 worked great in the kitchen. I was able to get close to the action but also have a wide shot if I needed it. Both lenses work great in low light situations and are very sharp. The kitchen had florescent lights, and there was not much light at all. I brought my led panel light which helped with the food shots. Without this led light, there would have been drastic shadows, since the florescent lights were only from above. The Sigma Art 50-100mm 1.8 came in handy for the outside shots of their sign and some dining shots.
I used my glidecam with a Canon 20mm 2.8 for the shots I got in the dining area. We needed to turn the lights up a tad in this area. I was able to get some good footage of the wait staff delivering food to the customers.
Watch the video below where I talk a little more about my experience. At the end of the video, you will see the promotional video for Señor Ají Peruvian Bistro.
Local businesses, I am here to help you succeed!
This is an introduction to my new vlog, Jeffrey Cook | In about a minute. I will discuss everything from inspirational thoughts to video production tips all in under a minute. So, you really can't lose; it's only a minute of your time, and you'll always be guessing what I will talk about. Happy new, and let's start 2017 off in a positive direction.
I am sure you have walked down a sidewalk recently where your feet kept stepping on or dodging litter. The litter could have been fast food cups, bags, or even food dumped near the sidewalk. I see this all the time and I get tired of it, especially in my own neighborhood. My neighborhood is a nice one, however, there is a street that many people use next to my house. The street runs parallel to the train tracks and people walk over the train tracks to get to the nearby shopping plaza. There are also homeless folks who walk around aimlessly as well. So, there is a ton of foot traffic and a ton of litter that comes along with the traffic.
What I do not understand is why people in the neighborhood do not help clean up? There are plenty of walkers, joggers and others who use this pathway and don’t seem to mind running or walking among trash. If people just picked up a few pieces of trash daily I wouldn’t be writing this. I feel that people think they do not need to be bothered with it and choose not to act, even though it brings down the appearance of their own neighborhood. Are they lazy, yeah maybe. Or, they allow people like me to continue to try and fix the problem.
Just a few days ago, my son and I cleaned up what I call, the stretch of filthiness. We picked up the usual fast food crap, and human feces, WHAT? People sleep behind some of the bushes that are in the flowerbed near the road. This is disgusting and I want the city of Fresno to do something about this. I have called the city about this, but nothing seems to happen. My family and I have been cleaning this area up for over a year and it’s getting old. I am sure some others are helping but it doesn’t seem like it. When we clean up, we get the usual response, Thanks for cleaning up,” and I always tell them that it would be nice if they did their part too. I mean, do they like running through filth?
There is a theory called the broken window theory. Wikipedia explains it best: The broken windows theory is a criminological theory of the norm-setting and signaling effect of urban disorder and vandalism on additional crime and anti-social behavior. The theory states that maintaining and monitoring urban environments to prevent small crimes such as vandalism, public drinking, and toll-jumping helps to create an atmosphere of order and lawfulness, thereby preventing more serious crimes from happening.
We all need to do our part. This means, holding onto your trash until you find a trash can to throw it in. It also means for those who like to dumb illegally and who throw trash out of their cars to STOP DOING IT! Stop being selfish and find a solution. Hold onto that garbage in your precious vehicle until you come across a garbage can. Most cars run on gas, so wait to throw it away at a gas station, or at your own house.
Whenever I walk through the stretch of filthiness once it has been cleaned up I feel refreshed. It is like after your car has been washed, you get that good feeling inside. I felt proud the other day when I took my walk. I knew I was going to be walking on pure sidewalk instead of trash. This will last only for a few days that is why it is important that we all do our part. This is one area where people can truly make a difference. It does not cost anything to help clean up, it only takes about 15-20 minutes of your time. Heck, you could make a routine out of it. If you walk daily, carry a small trash bag with you and pick up the trash on your walk.
If you do see illegal dumping or graffiti, you can always contact Fresno city by using the Fresgo app. It is available for free from google play and I believe I phone.
If you want to continue to grow as a person it’s necessary to set goals. We have the capacity to keep learning. Knowledge is power, and you can use it to your advantage. However, in order to gain knowledge, one must learn and continue to do so. There are always new things to learn, new methods to doing something, which in some ways can benefit your productivity. If you can increase your productivity you really do benefit. But until you learn how to you, you will continue to do the same.
How to set your goals? Whenever I set goals I set the ones I feel I can accomplish. Once I accomplish those goals I move on to harder goals. It’s a bit of a mountain I suppose. You gain more confidence once you accomplish the smaller ones which will lead to accomplishing larger ones. Do not use the word I CAN’T. Words like this are cancerous. Believe in yourself and continue even though the days may be hard. If goals were so easy to accomplish everyone would be doing it. Goal setting and accomplishing those goals are for those who want to grow in knowledge and also in character.
Write down your goals. There is something special that happens in the brain when you write your goals down. Why do you think weight watchers uses this method? Because it works and I am proof of that. I had to write down everything I ate for several months. While writing down your calorie intake you see what you are actually eating. Many people just eat and forget what they eat, not realizing all the calories they consume throughout the day. Writing your goals down will help you succeed. It helped me lose 30lbs.
I am one who like to use his time wisely. If I can do two things at once and make sure both are done correctly I am all for it. A friend, Todd Mitchell asked if I listened to music while at the gym. I told him I did not listen to anything while working out. He explained that I was missing out on a great opportunity to feed my brain knowledge. Todd said, I could be listening to a podcast or an audio book while working out and it could have significant benefits. I took his advice and have discovered a world of knowledge. Podcast are free, and the ones I listen to are hosted by professionals who interview other professionals. It’s a great way to learn and still get the benefit of working out. This has been one of my main goals for 2017, it just came a little early.
Main ideas of this article:
Exclude the word CAN’T from your vocabulary
Write down your goals
Continue to learn
I have been working in television and media for over 18 years. My experience includes news photojournalist, editor, producer and storyteller. Throughout the years, I have been honored to receive the Edward R. Murrow award, Five Telly Awards, and many more. My motto is “THERE'S AN OPPORTUNITY TO BECOME BETTER AT MY CRAFT EACH TIME I GET BEHIND THE CAMERA."