Category Archives: Big Tips

Explainer videos can relay important information about your brand and provide customers with easily digestible content. And using a great explainer video company will ensure that you tell a short story to your audience that highlights your brand’s product or service in just one or two minutes. 

How to Find the Best Explainer Video Company

Did you know that the average attention span is… oh look at that new meme… sorry, we were distracted. Now, where were we? Ah, yes, the average attention span is just eight seconds, down from 12 seconds 15 years ago. It tells you that we’re becoming more disengaged even though it’s easier than ever to access information. It’s no wonder that explainer videos are becoming so popular. 

You don’t have much time to capture your audiences’ attention, and using an explainer video could be the difference between someone enquiring further about your brand or scuttling off to some other corner of the web. The faster you can get information across to your audience, the higher your chances of success. 

But just what is an explainer video, how does it work and how do you find the best explainer video companies? In this guide, we’re covering everything there is to know about explainer videos for your brand.

What is an explainer video?

Explainer videos are short-form content and are typically used by sales and marketing teams to engage audiences. The videos contain information about a company’s product and service, breaking down the core concepts into easily digestible videos. 

From the consumer’s point of view, explainer videos are appealing: they just need to click play and watch. Videos often feature on website homepages or landing pages and last for around one to two minutes, making them nice and easy to consume. 

However, explainer videos aren’t limited to your website and can be used across social media, whether it’s on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. A good explainer video company will be able to help you create a strategy for leveraging your explainer video in the most effective way.

Why you should use video explainers

User engagement is higher with videos than any other form of content and by 2022, videos will make up 82% of all internet traffic, so it’s an extremely fast growing medium. But explainer videos take things that one step further, breaking down vital information and relaying it in an easily digestible way.

Explainer videos are:

  • Concise – You get all the information needed about a company in a short amount of time
  • Value-adding – use customer testimonials, animated statistics and any other evidence for the benefits of your product or service like reviews or awards.
  • Problem solvers – show how your company provides solutions to consumer problems with live actions.
  • Personable – showing off your brand’s personality through an explainer video is easier than doing it with the written word.
  • Creative – a short video lets you flex your creative chops, using animations, music and voice-overs to add life and colour.
  • Flexible – your core explainer video may only be a couple of minutes, but you can add footage and tweak things to use it for other mediums. You can also update your explainer video at a later date without starting from scratch.
  • Social media friendly – explainer videos don’t need to be rooted to your website or landing page; you can also use them across social media.
  • Reminders – while the function of an explainer video is to attract new customers, they can also be used to remind established customers about your offering.
  • Cost-effective – compared to longer videos, explainers are relatively more cost-effective. 
  • Show first-hand benefits – you can show off the benefits of your brand first hand through product demonstrations and short guides.

With so many plus points, explainer videos make sense for lots of brands, and the stats back this up: 95% of people have watched at least one explainer video to learn more about a product or service, and 56% believe that a company should have one on their website.

Different types of explainer videos

Not every explainer video is the same – some are animated, while others require live actors. Before hiring a video explainer company, first you need to decide on the type of content you want to implement in order to find the right option for your brand. Fortunately, there are plenty of options. 

Animation

Animated videos are popular choices with many companies. It’s more affordable to use voice actors than hiring ones for live-action videos. Animations can also be affordable, especially if you’re using pre-designed characters and assets from stock libraries. However, if you want to take a more bespoke approach with unique designs, then you’ll need a bigger budget. Options for animated explainer videos include:

  • 2D animation videos
  • 3D animation videos
  • Whiteboard animation
  • Motion graphics or Infographics videos. 

 

Live action

Using a live-action explainer video can be more immersive and relatable. In this approach, expect to use either a member of the team to talk about your product or make use of actors to demonstrate the product. If you feel that human touch is necessary to engage with your audience, then a live-action explainer video is a solid choice. 

Typography

Sometimes all you need is words, especially when they come in the form of moving typography. Using some form of people or animations is generally preferred, but if you have a simple message to convey, implementing moving typography in your explainer video can be a successful option. It’s also potentially one of the more elegant options for a lower budget. 

Screenshot videos

Screenshot videos are great if you already have customers and want to give them a tutorial for how your product or service works. They’re especially popular with software brands but can work across different mediums to provide an easy-to-follow guide for customers. 

How to find the best video explainer companies

Now that you know about the effectiveness of explainer videos and the different types available, it’s time to decide how to make one. Most companies opt for a video explainer company to craft something that will resonate with their audience. However, there are many explainer video companies out there, which is why it’s important to know how to choose the right one. 

Video explainers are short, which means you want to make every second count. Therefore, you should hire a professional company who knows how to craft a succinct message in just a couple of minutes. 

Look at previous examples and which areas the company specialises. For example, some may be experts at animated videos but don’t have experience in live-action filming. And vice versa. Try and assess what they’re good at and where they excel, which you can do by seeing their previous work. It’s also a good idea to look at companies that specialise in your particular sector. If they understand your business and have case studies of working with similar companies, then it will make the entire process go much smoother.

It’s also important that you’re both on the same page. A video explainer ultimately works to increase your bottom line by attracting more customers, and any company that you work with should understand your core objectives. 

Make sure that you create a very clear but simple 2-page briefing document that includes things like your objectives, key points of information to convey, creative styles you like including examples of other videos, your timeline and in an ideal world, your budget. Then gather at least 3 quotes from companies at similar budget bands so you are comparing apples with apples.

How much do explainer videos cost? 

Many factors go into the costing of an explainer video, from length to style. A professional company will be able to break down the costs involved, especially as prices can vary. As a rule of thumb, the more content you need and the more ambitious the project, the higher the budget. 

There’s a lot that goes into producing an explainer video and there are factors that you may not have considered. There are all the “must have” elements like script writing or storyboarding, filming and editing or animation. But your project may also require things like locations or a studio, actors and voiceover artists and additional crew members like makeup artists or specialist filming equipment. Because of all these variables, it’s no surprise there is also huge variation in cost. It’s not unheard of for someone to receive quotes ranging from a few thousand pounds up to £20,000 for the exact same project. That’s why it’s absolutely essential that you provide a very clear briefing document and a general expectation of budget. 

Examples of explainer videos 

Explainer videos vary in presentation, but they have one key concept: to explain, whether that’s a product, service or breaking down information. Here is a list of our favourite explainer videos that perfectly hit all the right notes, from style and presentation to conveying their message:

Slack

SafeDrive

Infabode

Shameless plug but here’s one of our own explainer videos that we really like.

Amazon

Tripcase

Explainer videos are a great way to emphasise your business offering while keeping things short and sweet. They can condense pages of information into just a few minutes of video while building up interest with potential customers. 

No one likes having to explain things. Fortunately, a video explainer means you won’t have to, as it’ll do the job for you and convey an important message to your audience. 

George Hughes is a former television Director and the Founder of video marketing agency Small Films. His company helps brands to communicate with a wider audience using strategic video content.

Want a professional hand in creating compelling, authoritative video content as part of your marketing? Get in touch today.

 

We have all seen the adverts. The pouring of a refreshing drink over a mountain of ice in slow motion; bursts of colours that make food look tantalisingly tasteful. Often referred to as “food porn”, there’s something about watching ingredients come together visually that gets our juices flowing.

Food imagery is big business. In 2018, pizza received around 35 million hashtags on Instagram, which was more than Beyonce and Kim Kardashian combined. We clamour around food to take pictures as if Brad Pitt had just stepped on the red carpet.

On Youtube and Vimeo, top-down cooking videos are one of the most popular video types. It turns out that food really is the key to our hearts, and food & beverage (f&B) filming is a primary way to get us in the mood for culinary delights.

But how do food and drinks companies create such high-quality videos,  and how can your brand master the concept of filming  it to make it irresistible to your customers?

There are so many more ways to use food filming now but we still love the M&S food porn adverts.

Why filming food is so popular

Much of the pleasure that we get from food, and drink of course, comes before we’ve even tasted it. Appearance is everything, and seeing a well-prepared meal is enough to get our taste buds tingling. Filming only highlights this, making us salivate at the idea of an ice cold beverage or a tasty pizza. 

Filming accentuates the colour, texture and movement, whetting our appetite for what’s to come. Food filming also caters to such a wide audience – we all get hungry and we all need food. Therefore, the interest around cuisine is higher than other popular video content, such as gaming and fashion. 

For example, Buzzfeed’s “Tasty” page generates two-billion-plus views per month. We just can’t get enough food imagery, be it stills or video. Food is covered at length in the media and is a surefire way to start a conversation online.

Food filming helps to create a sense of community too, whether you’re a pasta lover or a vegan. Eating food is a social activity, and food imagery and videos have crossed over into the digital world while carrying on that sense of socialisation. 

If you want people to interact with your content, after cute animals, food is the best way to engage with people.

How to nail your food filming 

We’ve established that food has a high capacity for interaction. But if you’re a brand, how do you create great-looking content? It’s all about the look and feel when it comes to filming food and drink. Fortunately, there are a few tips and tricks that you can do to ensure that your video stands the best chance of succeeding, such as getting the lighting right, careful editing, telling a story and styling the food in the right way. But more importantly, you should explore the different filming and platforms types available. 

Best platform for your food content and how you should film on it

Instagram/Facebook adverts
Brands tend to target specific audiences with more personalised content on Instagram and Facebook, catering to a particular demographic. Short and sweet is often the best way to go, with ads on the big social media platforms generally much shorter in length than TV advertisements. 

Tiktok
Most of the food videos are stylized as home-made content on TikTok, and you have a 60-second limit to showcase your food.  Many brands go down the route of encouraging their followers to partake in challenges, especially as TikTok’s audience is primarily made up of Generation Z, who are increasingly interactive. 

Recipe videos
If you’re looking to inspire, recipe videos can do the trick. How-to- guides that are simple to follow and full of style are a big hit on online platforms. They work well as YouTube videos, and can even be good content for live streaming on Facebook and Instagram. 

TV adverts
Despite the rise of social media, TV advertising is still a popular method for many food brands – if you can afford it. The ads cost a premium, and audiences are quite broad. But TV advertising is an effective way to get your product in a prime-time spot. 

TV/cookery show sponsorship
Sponsoring popular cookery shows – either online or on TV – and events can inject some zest into your brand and ensure that you’re aligned with a popular show. People will come to associate your offering with the show, which can prove to be beneficial for your brand. 

Case studies and documentaries
Case studies and documentary-style videos can be a great way to showcase the inner workings of how your food or drink products came to fruition. From following local farmers to looking at production of how an ad was made, viewers can gain extra insight to your brand and enjoy a more personalised experience. 

Brands who nailed their food filming

So who are the brands absolutely nailing their food video content? Fortunately, there’s lots of inspiration to draw on, whether it’s successful social media campaigns, high-end food videos or great cookery content. 

Greggs

Everyone’s favourite bakery doesn’t take itself too seriously on social media. The result is high engagement, with the now infamous Greggs vegan sausage roll making its way to prime-time morning television. It all started with a simple YouTube ad that was replicated across other social media channels and lasted for just 36 seconds. Some 5.3 million-plus views later, and the Greggs vegan sausage roll is now legendary.

Chipotle

Fast-food giants Chipotle were one of the first brands to excel at TikTok, using the social media platform to create several challenges that went viral. Using popular internet culture, the brand received a myriad of user-generated content by asking followers to try challenges like #GuacDance, which broke records on the platform with 430 million impressions.

Heinz 

When you’re an international brand, it’s important to cater your content to different demographics. Heinz Brazil did just that, using adverts to showcase its natural ingredients. The sauce company replaced the traditional logo on its packaging with a short list of ingredients that make the sauce. It then made an accompanying ad to promote transparency. Not only did the bottles stand out from the crowd, but the advert generated significant interest and Heinz offered transparency about its ingredients with customers.

Summary

If you’re in the world of food and beverage, you can’t afford to miss out on the opportunities that come with video marketing. From short and snappy videos on social media to longer creations that showcase your brand’s culinary ability, nothing can bring the look and feel of food and drink to life like a well-filmed video.

George Hughes is a former television Director and the Founder of video marketing agency Small Films. His company helps brands to communicate with a wider audience using strategic video content.

Want a professional hand in creating compelling, authoritative video content as part of your marketing? Get in touch today.

 

Food and Beverage (F&B) is big business on social media. This is reflected by F&B brands getting the most mentions on Twitter, with a 32% share of tweets. Coinciding with the food and drink social media boom is the growth of influencer marketing, which has an estimated worth of $15bn. 

Marry the two together, and you have an opportunity to exponentially grow your audience while improving bottom lines. It bodes well for food and drink social media influencers, but who are these influencers making waves in the world of F&B? 

1) @elavegan

With more than one million followers, Michaela Vais is one of the biggest food bloggers around. She creates vegan recipes and shares them with fans. Since starting her food blogging, she has gone on to become an author, photographer and one of the most recognised influencers in F&B.

2) @memysmoothiesandlife

Sweden-based Anna Lindberg is the queen of the smoothies. Her Instagram page, memysmoothiesandlife, has amassed more than 80k followers as she creates eye-catching imagery based around delicious-looking smoothies. Anna covers everything from superfruits to easy-to-make smoothie recipes.

3) @uglyproduceisbeautiful

As one of the first influencers to monetise social media, Sarah Phillips knows a thing or two about influencing. Her platform showcases food art, using items like watermelon to create fruit grids and oranges to display hanging citrus. It’s easy to imagine Sarah’s works in galleries and exhibitions.

4) @transatlanticfoodies

Sonia, from Switzerland, and Vishnu, from India, form TransAtlanticFoodies, an Instagram page that explores the best foods from around the world. So far, the duo has 30k followers, who log in to see the latest dishes that feature on the account.

5) @nobread

Nicole Cogan built her 200k-plus following by finding tasty gluten-free desserts from around the world. She uses social media to display her latest gluten-free findings, as well as travel around the world and her own recipes. Nicole has a large following on Instagram and TikTok.

6) @jancisrobinson

Being one of the Queen of England’s personal wine consultants clearly wasn’t enough for Jancis Robinson, who has gone on to build up quite the following on social media. Jancis is also a BBC producer when she’s not advising the queen or advising her 67k followers about the best wines around.

7) themodernproper

If you’re looking for versatile recipe creators, then look no further than Natalie Mortimer and Holly Erikson. Their account features a wealth of recipes that use favourites like pasta, soups, gluten-free options, meat dishes and more.

8) @davidchang

When Vogue describes you as “America’s most relevant chef”, you know you’re onto something. David Chang, food experimenter and restaurateur, has captured the hearts and minds of many with his Asian dish tutorials that have seen him build a following of 1.6 million on Instagram. 

9) @joshuaweissman

The majority of F&B influencers have mastered Instagram, which isn’t much of a surprise considering its image-led appeal. Joshua Weissman, however, has achieved a following of three-million people on TikTok, a social media platform still in its infancy when it comes to F&B. The chef uploads short and snappy recipe videos that don’t take themselves too seriously.

10) @mondomulia

Guili Mule records her travels, where she partakes in fine dining and plenty of coffee tasting. When she’s not jet setting around the world, Guli creates her own recipes and shares them with her 60k fans on Instagram.

Cooking up a storm on social media

Influencers are continuously coming up with new and fun ways to depict recipes and grow their audience. It’s no surprise that many F&B brands desire to work with them, so they can tap into their audience and increase their social media outputs.

George Hughes is a former television Director and the Founder of video marketing agency Small Films. His company helps brands to communicate with a wider audience using strategic video content.

Want a professional hand in creating compelling, authoritative video content as part of your marketing? Get in touch today.

 

TikTok is embedded in the cultural zeitgeist and is the fastest-growing app in the world. With more than 1.5 billion users worldwide, it’s a great platform to get noticed – especially if you’re a brand in the food and drink industry. 

Why food and drink, you ask? Because there are few things as visually stimulating as well-prepared, mouthwatering ingredients and thirst-quenching beverages. Just watching a well-put-together video of a culinary dish is enough to get the taste buds going. 

If you’re in the food and drink industry and would like to use TikTok to enhance your audience, you’re in luck. We’ve put together seven inspiring ideas that show you how brands are making fun videos that resonate with their audiences and get them in the mood for some grub. 

1) Pepsi India

Pepsi India broke the world record for consumer engagement with its Swag Step Challenge. The challenge received more than one million uploads and 30 billion views for short videos that asked people to synchronise their salaam, namaste and swag to the beat of the music. 

Pepsi found a way to make it look like their drinks had the relative “swag appeal” while engaging with their audience through Bollywood-themed dances.

@shehnazgill1

Salaam namaste karne mein hi swag hai! #SwagStepChallenge @pepsiindia

♬ Pepsi Song – Yash

2) Chipotle

The company whose TikTok byline is “less Tok more Guac” is consistent with its social media output. Campaigns include holiday themes, such as Halloween #boorito, which received more than four million views. 

The brand is continuously finding clever ways to keep people tuning into their content and raising those engagement levels. As a result, Chipotle is becoming synonymous with a whole new audience. 

3) Gushers

Fruit Gushers is a popular US candy maker who has excelled at TikTok recently. It has amassed more than 2.5 million likes during its short time on the platform, thanks to entertaining content such as Mega Gushers. The fun play on the size of its candy managed to generate over 500k likes and more than 4,000 comments.

4) Sabra Hummus

The beauty of TikTok (and the right creative mind) is that it can make something relatively dull like hummus seem interesting and inspiring. Sabra Hummus goes about this by creating unique and engaging content that makes you want to rush to the cupboard and find something edible in a tub of delicious hummus. 

From little kids trying hummus for the first time to funny videos playing to the backdrop of popular songs, Sabra Hummus has utilised the platform and built up a strong following in a short space of time.

@sabra

Priorities #hummus #sabra #fyp #4u #food #howimmus #vegan #tiktokfood

♬ Cuz I Love You – Lizzo

5) KIND Snacks

New York-based KIND Snacks make healthy snacks for when you’re feeling peckish but don’t want to splurge on unnecessary calories. And they’re pushing those products on TikTok with engaging content like #kindsimplecrunchcontest, which sees users emphasising a particular bar’s crunch sound in a fun and smart way. The contest has generated an impressive 73 million views.

6) The Real Freal

Shakes and smoothie maker, The Real Freal, has hopped on the TikTok bandwagon to promote its drinks range. So far, it has garnered more than 10 million likes with snappy videos that play on their different styles of shakes, such as thin, regular and thick options.

7) Kool-Aid

“Ohhh yeahhhhhh” is the famous Kool-Aid catchphrase that’s been referenced in just about everything, from TV to posters. Now it’s taken on social media form with Kool-Aid content on TikTok via hashtag challenges and prized giveaways. 

Users were encouraged to post videos of themselves using the tag #OhYEAHChristmas for the Christmas challenge. The Kool-Aid beefed-up marketing with videos featuring rapper Lil’ Jon and the brand mascot. It also worked with other influencers who had strong followers so that the campaign received wide-spread traction.

Source: cnn.com

Making the most of TikTok with your food and drink brand

Even with these examples, there isn’t currently a large volume of food and drink brands using TikTok to reach new audiences especially in the UK. This means you can be an early adopter, creating fun content that appeals and gets new audiences talking about your brand. TikTok is experiencing a meteoric rise in popularity at the moment so it’s the right time to get involved. 

If you need help creating any video content to bring your brand to life on TikTok then why not give us a shout at Small Films. We’d be happy to help you with your TikTok strategy.

George Hughes is a former television Director and the Founder of video marketing agency Small Films. His company helps brands to communicate with a wider audience using strategic video content.

Want a professional hand in creating compelling, authoritative video content as part of your marketing? Get in touch today.

 

Every now and then something explodes onto the scene and captures everyone’s attention, instantly inserting itself into the cultural lexicon. That’s certainly the case with TikTok, a social media platform that’s taken the world by storm. 

You might know it as “those short videos of people doing entertaining things”. But in reality, it’s so much more. 2019 saw TikTok become the second-most downloaded app globally behind Whatsapp, and it currently has one billion users. 

TikTok’s rise to prominence hasn’t gone unnoticed in the marketing world. A growing number of brands are looking at it to see how they can reach new audiences. And it should definitely be part of your marketing strategy, especially as there are so many active users on the platform.

Another bonus is that, unlike Instagram, TikTok is a platform where it’s possible to achieve organic reach. However, you’ll need to get involved in the TikTok revolution soon because it’s highly likely the algorithms will soon change and make it harder for people to go viral organically. 

In order to help you better understand the world of TikTok from a marketing perspective, we’ve put together this ultimate guide for brands. So, read on and find out everything you need to know about TikTok. 

How did it start?

What started as an app called Musical.ly became TikTok when Chinese company Bytedance acquired it. The video-sharing app’s primary audience consisted of Generation Z, younger demographics who were instantly drawn to its short and snappy video clips. 

These initially came in the form of people lip-syncing to music artists. Much like any trend on the internet, however, creativity took over, and users started experimenting with the app to create everything from viral challenges to comedic clips. TikTok (or Douyin as it’s known in China) has more than a billion users in China, with a further 800 million in the rest of the world. While the audience currently sits on the younger side of the spectrum, like any platform that gains huge popularity, the age will increase as it appeals to older generations and goes more mainstream.  

How does TikTok work?

After signing up for an account, you’ll be able to change your generated username, add a profile picture and a short bio. This part may seem somewhat mundane, but all top brands know the importance of making profile information snappy for people who come across their profile. Don’t worry, you can also change your username later if you aren’t sure what to choose.  

The app is divided into two primary feeds: For You, which is an algorithmically generated stream of videos; and Following, which is the accounts you follow. You can like videos much in the same way as you do on other social media networks. Sharing a video is pretty straightforward too. Tap the plus sign at the bottom of the screen and start recording.  The brilliance of TikTok lies in its short video bursts that last for 15 seconds, though users can blend those clips together to create 60-second content. 

How TikTok works for brands

The success of TikTok with younger audiences is no surprise: Gen Z is a video-first generation. By 2022, online videos will make up 82% of all consumer internet traffic. TikTok is part of that revolution.

Brands quickly saw TikTok’s reach and wanted in on the action. After all, Generation Z is set to command 40% of all consumer shopping by the end of 2020. Major players like Google, Nike and Coca-Cola have all embraced TikTok and created content for the platform.

Here’s how to make it work for you…

Advertising

Advanced targeting and unique creation features make TikTok Ads particularly appealing to brands who want to create compelling campaigns. If you’re struggling to build an audience, TikTok Ads can provide a boost to get you up and running on the platform.  

Sponsoring influencers

Much of TikTok’s beauty lies in the creatives who continuously churn out content. Tapping into their fanbase can be a great way of getting your brand in front of thousands (perhaps even millions) of followers. Of course, it’s necessary to have synergy with any influencer, but it’s certainly a route worth exploring to gain exposure. 

Starting hashtags

Like any other social media platform, creating hashtags can increase your visibility and reach. They’re also beneficial for recognising competitors and collaborators (see above). You might even get great content ideas from similar hashtags to yours and notice important trends that can propel your brand forwards. Oreo hit the mark with #cookiechallenge, Guess found success with #InMyDenim and Samsung successfully promoted their Galaxy A smartphone with #GalaxyA. 

Take the #CookieWithACause challenge on Tik Tok. Post with the hashtag and OREO will donate to Save The Children for the…

Posted by OREO on Sunday, 5 April 2020

 

Brands who have cracked TikTok

If you’re after proof of TikTok’s appeal, then look no further than these brands who have successfully marketed to new audiences on the most addictive social media app. 

NFL

America’s favourite sport, the National Football League appeals to a variety of different demographics. And it tapped into TikTok to tell a multitude of stories, from heartfelt player profiles to fan-player engagement.

Chipotle

Chipotle has always been a trendsetter when it comes to marketing, and it carried that success over to TikTok. The Mexican food brand placed emphasis on engagement, creating fun challenges like #ChipotleLidFlip. The video currently has over 300 million views.

Fortnite

Video Game Fortnite has always had its finger on the pulse when it comes to interacting with audiences. Its most recent venture into TikTok asked fans to create a bespoke dance move, with the best ones ending up in the game.

Sony Music

Sony went down the route of influencer marketing for its TikTok campaign. Working with Nicky Jam x Sch to promote the song Atrévete, Sony contacted 12 influencers on the platform to create TikTok videos set to the backdrop of the track. The result was eight-million engagements, 1.2 million likes 10,300 user-generated videos.

@poki

i can’t believe i’m saying this but i have my own @Fortnite Emote! 🤯🥳 you can get one too by entering a dance with #EmoteRoyalecontest #EpicPartner

♬ original sound – poki

Top Tips
  • Don’t make your videos too polished; it’s better for them to be shot in the same style as user generated content, using a smartphone. 
  • Break your videos in half with the first video teasing the next in the series. 
  • Look for what’s trending and jump on the bandwagon.
  • Use hashtags effectively. Putting hashtags in the comments of your videos will help with visibility. 
  • Like other people’s content who are in the same space as you
  • Interact with other accounts where possible and leave comments

Tik, tik, tock

There’s no doubting TikTok’s power. The app is proving to be popular with all ages, and will only become more embedded into the cultural zeitgeist. As a brand, you have the potential to master the platform and create engaging and fun content for your audiences. 

George Hughes is a former television Director and the Founder of video marketing agency Small Films. His company helps brands to communicate with a wider audience using strategic video content.

Want a professional hand in creating compelling, authoritative video content as part of your marketing? Get in touch today.

 

The future is already here, and it comes in the form of artificial intelligence. While Replicants might not yet be wandering the streets, the world is being shaped by AI – and 80% of emerging technologies will use the tech by 2021.

From image recognition to instant access to analytical data, many facets of the marketing process have felt AI’s impact in some capacity. Take video, for example: the art form that very much requires the human touch is now also benefiting from AI.

We might not be at the stage where artificial intelligence is creating feature-length films (though it’s certainly had a go at writing them). Still, its presence is being keenly felt – as noted by movie studio Warner Bros. recent foray into the world of artificial intelligence.

Away from the Box Office, the efforts of AI are proving to be decidedly more influential in the video marketing landscape, where the real-time impact is starting to take shape.  

Read on, and find out how AI is helping both marketers and production teams achieve better results with their video output. 

It’s all in the data

Artificial intelligence’s rise to the mainstream has come about through its ability to make sense of large amounts of data in seconds. Video marketing is already proving to be one of the key methods for brands to connect with their audiences. But AI is adding another layer when it comes to understanding audience needs.

Businesses can now make improved data-driven decisions, which leads to more personalised services and an increase in relatable content. The implementation of AI analytics means that brands have a better profile of their customers than ever before and can turn the information into actionable insights.

Drones

The introduction of drones is one of the most significant advancements for creating video, with the latest models having the capability to follow their subject while keeping them centred in the frame. Using facial recognition, which is powered by AI, they can react to gestures and actively track film subjects without any issues. 

Drones won’t outright replace the need for a director. But they can help achieve shots that were previously difficult or expensive for humans to film – such as aerial views that, in the past, might have required aerial transport. 

Video indexing

It’s common knowledge that Google indexes the written word, which has a profound impact SEO (search engine optimisation) for websites. Now, smarter algorithms mean video will also start to be indexed. People browsing online will be able to enter a search term and Google will identify specific parts within videos (as well as writing) that relate to the keyword. 

For example, someone might search for a celebrity, and Google’s algorithm will find exact points where a celebrity appears in a video. The result could be video content with specific keywords mentioned in the script, as companies start to leverage the spoken word – as well as the written one – to try and build their SEO rankings. 

Self-generating video

The improvement of AI means it can go as far as generating moving images solely from a phrase typed into a computer. This is known as Video prediction, which involves AI predicting the actions that come next in a video

So far, research has used specifically defined actions that focused on elements like sports, such as playing hockey and biking to create self-generated videos. Video Prediction won’t replace humans for creating video, but it can aid and help streamline the process. 

AI and video in the future

There is no doubt that the future looks promising for video and its relationship with AI. Access to high-quality data will lead to improved video content that is more personalised. In the future, we may even see the robots creating full-length videos. 

In the meantime, however, it might be a safer bet to rely on strategic video creation from video marketing specialists that know how to bring their brands into the spotlight. 

George Hughes is a former television Director and the Founder of video marketing agency Small Films. His company helps brands to communicate with a wider audience using strategic video content.

 

Want a professional hand in creating compelling, authoritative video content as part of your marketing? Get in touch today.

 

If you are worried about how to communicate with your customers and the wider world during this crisis, then you are not alone. It’s a hot topic right now for many brand marketers. A recent survey by Advertising Perceptions found that nearly half of advertisers have stopped campaigns already in progress. So should you continue your brand’s marketing during the Coronavirus crisis and if so, then how should you do it? 

 

A recent Endelman survey of 12,000 people in the world’s leading economies found that consumers are demanding that brands act and communicate differently during the Covid-19 crisis, with nearly two-thirds (65%) saying how brands respond to the pandemic will have a “huge impact” on their likelihood to buy their products. So it’s clear that the next few months will be an important time for brand trust. Yes, your actions are under extreme scrutiny right now but that doesn’t mean you should stop your marketing. Ask yourself the question, could inaction actually be worse than taking action?

My background is as a storyteller, a marketer and a content creator. Through 14 years in the TV industry and then building a content agency, I’ve learnt that the most important element of my craft is understanding the audience and putting myself in their shoes. This is what you must do now, as the way you communicate with your audience is critical. Remember that everything you do right now from a marketing perspective should be in the context of the fact we are going through a global crisis. And here are some of the most important things you should consider.

Be Sensitive

It seems obvious but this is one of the most fundamental elements to consider when communicating during this time. Remember that some people are going through hell. They are stuck at home with their kids driving them up the wall, they may have taken a hit to their income, are worried about losing their jobs or have already been made redundant. They’re worried about mortgage payments, rent or how they will pay their bills. They are scared for their loved ones, may have been extremely ill or had a friend or family member who has lost their life as a result of this pandemic.

You must put yourself in the shoes of your audience and be sensitive to the struggles that they are going through. Many brands have made the decision to pull advertising campaigns due to the current crisis including Cadbury’s Easter Egg campaign that showed a grandfather hugging his grandchildren and KFC’s “Finger Licking Good” campaign that had people licking their fingers. It makes sense that you should not be advertising using insensitive or inappropriate messaging that might upset people or send out the wrong message. 

Be Helpful

In this time, the best thing you can do is provide help, assistance and value in any form you can. When the dust settles on this crisis, we will look back and see how brands handled themselves. The Sports Directs and Wetherspoons of the world will be under fire for their response to the crisis where other brands will emerge with their hands clean.

What can you do to help your customers, peers and wider world? Some have formed partnerships with other brands to offer help, they are creating useful or entertaining content and shifting their focus or production onto altruistic activities.

For example, BrewDog turned to manufacturing hand sanitiser during the shortage. As a result they’ve jumped 4.6 points in consumer perception according to Yougov BrandIndex and are now top of the rankings for beer and cider brands for “buzz”. But it’s also worth mentioning that the “buzz” is a balance of negative and positive things being said as some people question their “agenda”. Which brings me on to my next point…

Brewdog Hand Sanitiser

Don’t be Disingenuous

Consumers are cynical. We’ve become mistrustful of brands “agendas” as we’ve been let down so many times in the past by marketers looking to capitalise on current events. Look no further than the Pepsi campaign with Kendall Jenner that trivialised the Black Lives matter movement and had to be pulled due to consumer backlash. We’ve become experts at spotting altruistic vs disingenuous behaviour.

If you are planning to offer help and assistance during this time, the best thing you can do is to take any type of hidden agenda off the table. Just put it out of your mind. If you start to think more altruistically then it will be easier to provide value to people without there being a backlash. Whatever you do, don’t try to exploit the situation by “jumping on the band-waggon” to your own benefit. I’d argue that Burger King are treading a fine line with this ad campaign in France that is advertising how to make your own Whopper under quarantine.

As Owen Lee, chief creative officer of FCB Inferno told the Drum “Brands are nervous about appearing to profit from this crisis. The conversation is being had in many client and agency organisations, but they have to be absolutely sure they are helping people [and] not just making money from it, or being seen to make money from it.

There’s some discussion going on right now in marketing circles about how many brands including McDonalds, Coke and Audi have created “social distancing logos”. Many argue that this belittles the severity of the situation. For more about how brands can build trust during the Coronavirus crisis, take a look at this interview from Ad Age with PR guru Richard Endelman.

Social distancing logos

Be Positive

The world is currently full of negativity and sadness. Flick on the news and it’s mostly doom and gloom. People are suffering from serious mental health issues as a result of this crisis and anxiety levels are through the roof.

Try to be as positive as possible (with the caveat of observing rule #1 of being sensitive). Give people hope. Give people inspiration. Show us all that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that in this period of desperation there is so much to be thankful for like community, family, relationships, endurance and human spirit. JC Decaux in Australia have just launched an out of home campaign to provide messages to frontline workers offering their support. How could you spread positivity with your brand? 

Don’t Brag

When I say don’t brag, I mean specifically in regards to the Coronavirus crisis. If you have a new product that was due to be released or a milestone in your company that has nothing to do with the pandemic then of course you should shout about it. A Kantar survey of 35,000 global consumers found that only 8% thought brands should stop advertising and 50% think brands should continue to talk in the same way they always have. 

What you shouldn’t do is tell everyone how well your company is doing despite the crisis, that you don’t know what everyone is complaining about and that business has never been so great. Some industries have not been as affected as badly as others but some, like the travel or hospitality industries are in utter turmoil. It’s insensitive to belittle the issues facing other people by talking about your success. Remember to strike that balance of being sensitive, but positive.

Certainly don’t follow in Kim Kardashian’s footsteps by offering a $1 Million donation to families affected by Covid-19 whilst also announcing the restocking of her shapewear line SKIMS. This unsurprisingly caused a backlash. 

Don’t Offer Medical Advice

Leave the advice and best practice to scientists, government bodies and the health service. Be extremely careful about sharing any videos, articles or other information related to the crisis which directly relates to people’s wellbeing. There is a lot of fake news doing the rounds and if you repost something that is inaccurate, you will become part of the misinformation problem that is costing lives. Check the source is solid before sharing any advice. And whatever you do, don’t share hearsay. Gossip spreads like wildfire on social media which is how everyone went into panic a little over a week ago when the “Army were moving into London to lock us down” which proved to have no substance. You can support government advice such as social distancing and other rules but don’t start offering your own.

Don’t Stop Marketing

It’s really important that life goes on in spite of the crisis. People expect to hear from your brand or business and an absence of comms could damage your image. With so many people at home right now and spending so much time online, you have their full attention like never before.

A recent Endelman study found that “In terms of communications, about 90% of customers expect brands to keep the public fully informed of changes to how they are now behaving and operating” and that “Eighty-four per cent of respondents now expect businesses to focus advertising on how products and services can help people cope with pandemic-related life challenges, while the vast majority expect brands to show they are aware of the crisis and its impact.”

Follow the steps above and think harder about what you are putting out there, but don’t stop marketing. Remember, people are scared. They are worried. They don’t know what the future holds. And you can help them. As time passes, we are getting used to this “new normal” and life will continue the same but different. So how will you adapt to the change? 

 

George Hughes is a former television Director and the Founder of video marketing agency Small Films. His company helps brands to communicate with a wider audience using strategic video content.

 

Want a professional hand in creating compelling, authoritative video content as part of your marketing? Get in touch today.

 

Youtube Marketing is a great tool for driving your business forward. So here’s a breakdown of what you need to know about why it works so well and how to use it…

Did you know that after Google, YouTube is actually the second biggest search engine in the world? With an average of 5 billion videos being watched on the platform every day.  

It’s an impressive statistic and reinforces the idea that people love to acquire knowledge and entertain themselves through the medium of video.  Whether we are learning to cook, checking out movie reviews or laughing at funny cat videos, video offers an engaging and easy way to digest content.

With so many people using YouTube in their day-to-day lives, it offers businesses a fantastic opportunity to reach their customers and grow their audience.

 Why YouTube Marketing?

Many businesses turn to social media channels like Facebook or LinkedIn before they embrace YouTube marketing. They underestimate the potential that YouTube can offer.

 So how effective is YouTube Marketing and why should businesses be making more from this platform? Let’s look at the facts:

Put simply, YouTube offers you a way to reach your target audience in a way that other channels cannot.

Marketing on YouTube

 YouTube marketing is a deep subject which spans from the tiny details of profile optimisation to reaching vast audiences through running YouTube ads. In this section, we look at the fundamentals of how and why you should be marketing your business on YouTube. 

Develop Authority

Representing your business on YouTube offers an opportunity to build trust and grow authority by creating content that educates and resonates with your target audience.

The medium of video allows you to add a level of personality to your business that is otherwise very difficult to achieve outside of face-to-face meetings with clients. It provides a platform where your business can communicate their position and views in a concise and engaging way.

Remember that YouTube is a social media platform. Your content should provoke conversation and generate interest in your business offering.

Increase Reach                  

Given the stats we gave at the beginning of this article, it should be fairly obvious that your target audience is very likely to be using YouTube in some way. The potential reach is huge, but this doesn’t mean that you can simply demand attention.

By working on creating an entertaining, authoritative and engaging presence on the platform, you put yourself in the best position to earn your audience’s attention.

YouTube enables you to reach new demographics that you might otherwise struggle to reach.

Boost SEO

Producing high performing YouTube videos is a great way to get your business found on search engines. The first and most obvious reason for this is the fact that YouTube IS the second biggest search engine, therefore if you are ranking high on their search results you are going to see high levels of traffic.

In addition to this, search engines like Google know that video is the most engaging type of content and in most cases serves YouTube videos near the top or first in their search results (after paid ads obviously). Just look at the results for “How to make YouTube marketing video” below…

So, if you are ranking high on YouTube, you will likely rank high on Google as well.

YouTube Marketing: Top Tips

  1. Know your audience. Understand who you are trying to target and create engaging, compelling content that they would want to watch. Just using YouTube videos to highlight the benefits and features of your products and services will get you nowhere.
  2. Target keywords. Just like on other search engines, YouTube returns results based on user search terms and matches them with the most relevant content. Make sure you are using the best keywords possible in your title and descriptions.
  3. Keep it fresh. Just like on all other social media, posting regular, quality content is the best way to keep your audience engaged and coming back for more. It is also likely that the search algorithms on YouTube place importance on up-to-date content, so don’t shy away from updating older content when new information is available.
  4. Use explanative, engaging cover images. Imagine your video is like a mini advert in the YouTube search results. Your video preview should be highly engaging and help people understand what they are going to get. Check out the covers below to see how this is done.

Smart YouTube Marketing can offer businesses a great way to reach their target audience in an authentic and powerful way. Getting started is as simple as creating a branded account, developing a strategy that aligns video marketing to your business goals and creating your first few videos.

Want a professional hand in creating compelling, authoritative content which can be used on YouTube? Get in touch today.

 

Interactive video is a digital or linear video that supports user interaction through clicks, touches, taps and movement and goes beyond the ordinary play and pause technology.

Viewers become the creator and navigate themselves through the video choosing the narrative, selecting the storyline and making decisions based on their interests.

Interactive video for online advertising can be extremely rewarding. You can achieve a much more detailed and personal account of your viewers personality and it has the potential to be worth a lot more than linear video or targeted marketing combined.

 

Interactive Video first started as a simple click on a video advert that would play before an online TV show or on a pre-roll ad on YouTube. The ad would ask the viewer to click on the product or image that they would like to learn more about and this information was then captured by the brand.

Brands like Maybelline, Burger King, Mcdonalds and Volkswagen are already using interactive video in advertising to better understand and engage their customers. But there should be a lot more brands using it, especially in 2020.

Interactive video offers a lot of opportunity and creativity. And it’s not just online but also out of home devices where interactive video can be used. For example, McDonalds are constantly doing outdoor interactive advertising like this Poster Puzzle display that encouraged the public to solve the puzzle in order to “sort their heads out” which promoted their €1 large coffee.

 

Interactive video online is still new territory for many brands and with just a few early adopters.  However, this does not mean that interactive video doesn’t work – it just means that it is not a well trodden path. And because the internet isn’t saturated with interactive videos this means that there is a lot of space and opportunity to harness this medium and gain some great engagement.

Here are some examples of interactive videos from brands that have worked well.

This is an interactive video Deloitte made for their recruitment scheme. The viewer is taken on an interactive experience of someone’s first day at Deloitte and they need to make important decisions throughout the day that will reflect whether you will fit in at Deloitte.

This is another example of an interactive video made by Maybelline New York. It’s a tutorial video to help people use and apply makeup in the right way and allows the viewer to choose which type of makeup style they are interested in learning about.

As well as allowing the viewer to choose the video’s narrative based on their personality you can also create interactive videos that allow viewers to select products to purchase or learn more about.

You can also use interactive video to understand your viewers touch points, interests and needs. A video made for GSK by Wirewax where the viewer can choose what part of the body they are having athletic difficulties with. From the choice made the video will show the viewer a workout routine to help that area of hindrance.

Do these videos work? They definitely help to engage viewers and get them to pay more attention to the video, the brand, the products that are on display and the message of the video. But, do they work at capturing information and converting a viewer into a customer?

We know that 82 percent of all web traffic is predicted to come from video this by 2022 (Cisco) so, the need for video content that stands out from the crowd has never been more poignant. We also know from research that Interactive video content generates 2x more conversions than passive content (Kapost), 4-5x more page views than static content (LinkedIn) and, 93% of marketers say interactive content is somewhat or very effective at educating the buyer, versus just 70% for static content (Demand Genreport). A study by Wyzowl found that 23% of video marketers have used Interactive video as a channel (up from 20% in 2018) and out of those, 83% say it’s been successful for them (up from 78% in 2018).

Interactive videos work great as internal videos for recruitment, induction and training, B2B explainer videos and B2B marketing videos, and they work well as B2C online advertising and social media marketing. The best thing about interactive video is the amount of data you can capture and how precise that data can be. Because you are leading the audience into a set of options and based on their decision you are able to understand them on a more personal scale. With every click you learn more about your audience. You can then group them more effectively into categories based on interest and values and then better market to them at a later stage (Kaltura). Because your audience is in control of their video experience and their experience with your brand, they are a lot more receptive, open and ready to engage, making them more willing to give up their time and information. 

If you are thinking about interactive video then have a play around with the ones that are out there already and see whether you can imagine your brand using this form of marketing. If you don’t want to go straight into interactive video then do something similar to Buzzfeed on Youtube and try some interactive quiz adverts that ask the audience a few simple questions about the market. Buzzfeed gets over 75% of it’s Quizz traffic from social media and a lot of quizzes used in marketing work exceptionally well at engaging and capturing customers (Mashable).

To find out more about using interactive video contact us.

7 Vital Stats That Show Why Video is the Medium of Our Time:

 

Video killed the radio star, and then obliterated everything else in its path to become the de facto method of engagement for consumers, businesses and marketing outreach. 

The evolution of video has seen it become a prominent player in every industry, from the entertainment business to pharmaceutical companies and everything in between. It’s now the most effective way for businesses to share content. 

81% of brands now use video as a marketing tool, which is up from 63% from previous years. The digitisation of, well, pretty much everything, has only increased video’s influence. Simply using the word “video” in an email subject lines boosts open rates by 19%, while 83% of businesses say it brings them a high return on investment (ROI).

But just in case you’re not sold yet, here are seven more vital stats that show why video is the medium of our time. 

1) 10x the engagement levels

Video is essentially immersive marketing, as it has the power to increase engagement levels beyond other methods. Audiences are 10 times more likely to engage with video content than they are any other medium. Whether you’re turning video into snippets for social media or filming customer testimonials, it offers an array of methods for telling stories. It’s a versatile tool that captures a range of imaginations, which helps to increase engagement levels.  

2) 92% believe sharing is caring

A whopping 92% of people share a video after watching it. Going viral is all the rage, but getting people to share content is one of the hardest things to do online. Fortunately, video increases your chances of creating popular content that gets routinely shared online and off. 

3) 65% watch video on your website

The power of words have their place in the realm of content, but when it comes to keeping people engaged with your website, video is the primary driver. 65% of web users watch more than half of a video on a website. If you’ve got a story to tell, you’re better off doing it with moving image. 

4) 49% of business grow faster with video

Brands that use video are growing faster than those that aren’t, with 49% of businesses seeing an uptick in fortunes when they implement video marketing into their strategies. Deciding against using video marketing can be a costly error, leaving brands to play catch up in a [digital] world where everyone is already competing to put their brands in the spotlight. 

5) More than 50% of consumers want to see branded video content

The age-old saying “the customer is always right” will always ring true, and video allows you to give the people what they want. More than half of all customers wish to see branded video content, which they demand more than any other content type.

6) Conversions increase by 71%

Put simply: video is easier to monetise. Conveying your message through video converts more customers, with conversions increasing by an impressive 71%. People like to see things in action, whether you’re showcasing an event demo, providing educational “how-to” guides, or creating personalised messages. The easily digestible nature of video makes storing information that much easier.

7) 95% information retention rate

Getting your message across is one thing, but convincing people to store that information is another. We retain around 10% of all text (unless you’re reading this post, of course), but remembering video information increases to a staggering 95% retention rate. With such staggering numbers, it doesn’t come as a surprise to see brands using it as a primary method for relaying messages. 

Long live video 

Video has become part of the cultural lexicon across so many different platforms. The options to express yourself through video are vast, and brands are embracing it in their marketing strategies. By the end of 2020, 84% of all internet traffic will be video-based. The business of video is booming, and there’s no doubt that it’s the medium of our time. 

Follow us on Linkedin for tips and tricks on creating the best branded video content. Or get in touch at info@smallfilms.com