Get Your Customers Attention with Testimonial Videos

The opinions of others influence our buying decisions. This makes testimonial videos a great way to showcase your business to a new customer through the eyes of a current one.

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If you’ve considered creating a testimonial video, here are three reasons it’s a great marketing tool:

Showcase personality in your marketing message – By putting a face and name to a message, the message becomes more memorable and resonates longer.
Increase SEO – Video appears in 70% of the top 100 search results listings.
– Show your credibility by having a real client or person talk positively about your business.

90% of consumers admit their buying decisions are influenced by online reviews.

79% Of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

Customer testimonials have been voted as the most effective type of video content.

Contact us to see if testimonial videos are right for you and your business!

Video Marketing Trends for 2016

If you’re wondering where to focus your content marketing dollars, look no further.

We all know that “content is king” when it comes to marketing and visual content is a key component of a complete strategy.

Video has seen a 20% year-on-year increase since 2015
, with 60% of marketers using it. With the rise of interactive and personalized video, it’s already established itself as a more engaging channel. Both customers and executives alike now prefer to watch a video rather than read text.

The infographic below outlines specific areas in which video marketing has increased and where it’s heading this year. If you have questions about using video for your B2B or B2C marketing, give us a shout. We’d be happy to help you out.

Video Trends 2016

Closed Captioning

Ontario is the first Canadian Province to pass a law which improves accessibility in the daily lives of people with disabilities. It’s goal is to have a completely accessible Ontario by 2025.

There is a lot to consider when properly captioning a video to make it compliant with AODA regulations and inline with best practices. Below are some key tips if you plan on creating your own captions and what we consider when creating them:

Capitalization

  • Always start sentences in capital letters
  • To indicate screaming, emphasize a word using all capital letters

Italics
Italics should be used to indicate the following:

  • A voice-over reading (quotation marks are also needed)
  • When a person is dreaming, thinking, or reminiscing
  • When there is essential background audio i.e. a PA system or TV
  • Offscreen dialogue, narrator, sound effects, or music
  • Bold and underline are not permitted in subtitling

Line Breaks

  • Captions should end at natural breaks

Numbers

  • Always spell numbers from one to ten, but use numerals for all numbers over ten. i.e. “Blaire ate ten chocolates”. “Blaire wants to eat 100 chocolates”.
  • Use numerals when referring to technical and athletic terms. i.e. Thomas scored 3 goals
  • Indicate time of day with numerals only
  • A decade should be captioned as ‘the 1980s’ not “the 1980’s’

Phonetic Words

  • When a word is spoken phonetically, caption it the way it is commonly written. i.e. www.atomicspark.ca not “www dot A-T-O-M-I-C-S-P-A-R-K dot ca”

Punctuation

  • Use periods at the end of sentences as it tells the eye there are no more subtitles to anticipate and to go back to the image
  • Use quotation marks for on-screen readings from a poem, book, play, journal, or letter
  • Also use quotation marks and italics for offscreen readings or voice-overs

Sound

  • When speech is inaudible, explain why. i.e. (traffic drowns speech)
  • Show sound effect captions in lowercase italics enclosed in brackets. e.g. (dog barking) (child screaming)
  • To indicate singing, insert a music icon (♪) before and after the music. This can also be done with a hashtag (#). i.e. ♪ Buffalo soldier, in the heart of America ♪
  • When people are seen talking, but there is no audio, caption in square brackets i.e. [no audio]

Timing

  • Subtitles should appear and disappear exactly when the words are spoken
  • Ensure captions appear on-screen long enough to be read

Here are a few examples:

Incorrect
We want to expand to other
provinces.

Correct
We want to expand
to other provinces.

Incorrect
Adam and Tae
Hislop are having lunch.

Correct
Adam and Tae Hislop
are having lunch.

Incorrect
In seconds Steph arrived and
 ordered a drink.

Correct
In seconds Steph arrived,
 and ordered a drink.

It will be required that any online video must include closed captions. Providing closed captioning is one step we’ve taken to making our clients videos more accessible and legally compliant.

Atomic Spark Wins Two Telly Awards

Atomic Spark is being recognized for excellence in online video production, and received two Telly Awards this summer.

Atomic Spark achieved a silver award in the Online Video – Sport category for their video titled ‘This is Sport’, created for Sport Hamilton.  They also receive silver in the Film/Video – Non-Broadcast Productions – Government Relations category for the video titled ‘Smart Brantford’, created for the City of Brantford and the Smart Brantford initiative.

A great many hours of planning, producing and editing go into our videos and quality is very important to us. We’re very proud to know they’re being recognized at this level!

A BIG thank you to everyone involved in both projects!

The Telly Awards honour the finest film and video productions, reviewing videos for outstanding local, regional and cable TV commercials and programs from around the world.

ComScore 2015 Report – Canadians still love their online video

Well, clearly we’ve been busy here since this is our first blog post of the year!

It’s been an exciting year so far with a wide range of great clients all needing a diverse range of videos for their audience.

Along with developing a video that is creatively engaging, we have to specifically tailor the video to the target audience. ComScore recently published their 2015 Canadian Digital Future in Focus report. We always find this report beneficial to see the direction our industry is heading. Who’s watching online video and for how long? All this comes into play when developing the creative concept for our clients.

The report indicated Canadians are watching more types of mobile video, including longer-form live and on demand TV, than a year ago. Canadians are also engaging more with video and spend 5.1 more hours watching online video per month than Americans. This shows a great call-to-action in your video can really drive results.

There was a 76% increase in those who watch mobile videos ‘almost every day’ from last year. That’s huge! Specifically millennials, ages 18-34 year olds, are watching 60% more TV/Video on smart phones in a month with 15% watching more TV/video on smartphones everyday.

If you’re looking to get started with a video for your business, give us a call and we’ll help you determine the right video for you and your audience!

Get the most bang for your buck

“How much does a video cost?”. If I had a nickel for every time this was someone’s very first question, I’d have handfuls of toonies.

The cost of a video is really up to you and your team.

Depending on the video you want, there are some questions we need answered in order to provide you with an accurate quote. These can include:

  • How much content is there to cover? (This will affect the length of your video)
  • Where is it being distributed or broadcast?
  • The environment and locations we will be shooting in?
  • Are we creating the initial concept and developing the creative or are you?

Other considerations can include:

  • The camera and equipment package required for your project
  • The complexity of the footage that has to be captured
  • Post-production considerations such as motion graphics, animation, and music.

Without knowing the parameters and extent of your initial ideas and budget, it’s nearly impossible for us to come up with a reasonable estimate for you.

However, we can guide you. Below are four suggestions we have to keep costs down, improve the quality of your video and maximize your dollars:

1. Put your money where it matters
There are many factors, both technical and creative, that affect the quality of a project. It’s important to understand where you’re spending your money, and if you’re working on a tight budget, where some money can be saved. We work with you to be sure you’re getting the best product for your money.

2. Multiple videos at once: More videos = more milage
This is probably the best way to get the most bang for your buck. Knowing we’re shooting for numerous videos the first time around, we can often realize some economy of scale, and capture more footage all at once rather than different shoots over various days, costing you more money.

3. Have a plan
You should have at least a basic plan for your video once it’s finished. Are you going to post it on your website? Send it via email to your database list? How are you going to track the exposure and success? Share it through social media? We can provide advice if we know the purpose of your video ahead of time. Different audiences require different approaches.

4. Quality costs money
It’s a fact. The better quality you want in something the more it will cost you and this goes for everything from video to bed sheets to travelling first class. The more you have to invest in your video project, the more creative and technical resources can be applied to your project.

 

Communicating Effectively (Especially with Video)

Canadians watch 24.8 hours of online video per month (41 hours overall on the internet). That’s 291 videos EACH and roughly 69% of those viewers actively engage through the video’s they watch. So the question is: How can you get your message through to these online customers?

Clear communication is a gift some are born with but for most of us, it is a delicate learning process.

Video is one of the simplest ways to broadcast your message clearly because it captivates the viewer both with audio and visual. While the following video contains a lot of information, it’s all necessary and relevant to the overall message. Listen to the language, tone and pace of Nancy’s words. Her clear, effective intonation and pauses paired with corresponding visuals produced an inspiring and easy-to-follow video.

Here are a few tips to help you communicate your message clearly:

Be Concise
Video length depends on the type of video you want to create and who your audience is. But in general, shorter videos preform better in terms of share-ability, watchability and retention.

Be Honest
Be sure your information is consistent in all areas (website, videos, social media, sales reports etc.). Gaps in important information will leave you appearing untrustworthy.

Use the language of your audience
Think about who your audience is. How would they speak to each other? How do you want to them to feel about your business or product? A video your customers can relate to is a sure way to capture attention. Think about the tone and emotion of your business/ product and that of your customers. Find a way to bridge the two in your video and messaging.

Tell Your Story
Think of creating your video as developing a visual elevator pitch. It’s important to make that pitch hit the most important aspects of your business in 30 seconds or less. Not only should it answer the ‘what we do’ question, but more importantly, WHY you do it. Use visual representations of your business, employees or products. Show the human, personal side of your business.

Messaging
Come up with three reasons for wanting to making a video and three messages you want in your video. A clear outline and plan will ensure a clearly messaged video.

Message First – Viral Second

First things first. There is no straight forward receipe for viral success. There are a few key similarities in videos that have gone viral and steps you can take to ensure your video reaches it’s full potential…

Surprising
The number one idea is be creative, unexpected and think outside of traditional marketing.

Interesting
Sharing facts that personally affect the viewer and the person they’re most likely to share the video with are great. Relatable facts that affect us all, in a well made video, are shared often.

Moving
Tug at the viewers heart strings. As mentioned in our ‘Storytelling Videos are the New Marketing Buzz’ blog post, telling a story is a great way to connect with online users. It puts the viewer in the mind and space of someone else and for a moment, feel their pain, struggle, triumph, love etc.

Positive
Whenever possible, make people laugh. Viewers want to share positive and funny videos with friends hoping for the same reaction and positive feeling they received.

Practical
How-to videos like Wendy’s Lookbook are a great way to drive traffic addressing a practical need consumers are looking for. Other how-to’s related to your business can help you get traction online.

It’s Terrible!
There are a group of videos that while their viral success is undeniable, they failed in communicating their message and therefore, driving their audience. While it’s great we all know of East Hills, I won’t be going there for my boots or pants.

There is something to be said for a viral video failure, too. There are a number of websites dedicated to the viral videos that have failed, not in their success but in their poor messaging and video delivery. While creativity is good, keep it professional.

Don’t put the cart before the horse – If you’re constantly focused on your video going viral and the exposure you’ll get, you aren’t providing something you’re customers want or need. People share videos to enrich each other’s lives through emotion or practicalness.

Jessica Stillman gave some great advice to inc.com about the process often required to make a video even capable of going viral:

“First, I posted to Facebook/Twitter, and submitted it to social news sites like Reddit and Hacker News. I personally asked many of my friends to share it. I tweeted it at well-known dancers. I emailed bloggers who had covered other viral dance videos.” And that’s just on the first day! Effort, in other words, is the undersung reason many videos take off.”

If you’re really serious about creating viral video, The Viral Video Manifesto is an excellent book that delves into great detail on making videos that go viral.

You don’t need to go viral for your video to be an online success. Take a look at how many views the video gets, if website traffic has increased, if your subscriber rate is up etc. There are other ways to measure it’s success and engaging your customers is a great start.

A new trend – video for internal communications

We are (nearly) all aware that businesses need video in order to remain active in the online market place and connect with customers. However, there is a new trend among businesses and a recent survey determined 71% of internal communications teams are using video as a way to communicate with employees, especially those on remote locations.

While there are multiple ways in which a company can integrate video into their communication strategies, there are two key categories internal video is currently being used; employee training/education and management communications.

More than half our population is staying at the same job for less than two years and each employee is taking their knowledge and expertise with them when they leave.

Using video as an internal communication tool can not only ensure presentations and lectures are catalogued for future viewing, but that each employees’ prowess can easily be passed on to new hires. Training and educating new employees with information passed down from past staff is both efficient and affordable.

A video platform like Panopto or Kaltura, can help catalogue company videos. Through the use of voice recognition software, Panopto can insert key phrase tags into the video making it easier to skip to the relevant content and categorize videos.

There are so many uses for video as an internal communications tool and using a professional video production company to create your video will give you unparalleled visual and audio quality. If your training videos still look like this…it may be time to update.

8 reasons your business needs video

8. It’s where your customers spend their time – Video is one of the most searched for information sources online and on average, people spend two solid hours on their phones per day. Online video is an important space businesses need to be in to connect and get in front of their customers. Video is even increasing engagement between employees and senior executives.

7. Video lives forever - The earliest recorded film footage was shot in 1888 and can be watched on YouTube. Creating a video is not only cost-effective over time but also a great way to archive where your business is now and the direction you want to head.

6. It’s mobile - Similar to a bus advertisement that drives around the city, seen by hundreds, maybe thousands of people along the route, online video can reach your customers wherever they are. Being where your customers are, and in a mobile case, everywhere, getting your message in front of the masses is key.

5. Video is efficient – Cram more info into a shorter time frame with video as people read at around 140 words per minute and speak at 275 words per minute. Show your customers while engaging them.

4. Allows for realtime interaction - People are more likely to trust your business if a recommendation comes from a friend. Video is easily shared virally and drives purchasing intent. Customers can comment and receive feedback from yourself and other customers instantly. Online discussions have huge purchasing power.

3. Differentiate yourself from your competition - More than likely your competition is considering using video. You can be the one to reach thousands of customers and drive your purchases with clear and effective video messaging.

2. Create an experience for your customers – Different from a static page or image, a quality video will tug at the viewers heart strings and make them fall in love with you. Here are 5 ways to visually connect with your customers.

1. Video is measurable – As far as social media goes, video is one of the most measurable and sharable ventures online. Sites like YouTube and Vimeo offer great analytics outlining who is viewing your video, how long they watch it for, if they share it within their network and more.