Ask yourself how many times you’ve tuned out a video or commercial because you had no idea where it was going. The message was unclear, or the execution was poor, or a combination of the two. Having a clear structure within an online video seems like the simplest idea in the world. How hard could it be to make a cohesive beginning, middle, and end? The truth is that it is much harder than it seems. Losing interest in a video is often symptomatic of an unclear plot structure.
Video, and online marketing in particular, is an economical medium. There should be no extraneous or excessive material in the course of the video’s short duration. The best way to ensure this is to stick to the tried and true formula of narrative structure employed in a variety of ways by countless artists and videographers.
The beginning is the introduction. This is where the premise is set up, as clearly and quickly as possible. The point of view is established here, and it’s best to start with something bold and attention grabbing. The middle is the crisis and climax. Don’t be frightened by the word ‘crisis’ – it simply means the culmination of the video occurs here. This is where the pitch is made, the joke is delivered, or the product is touted. The final piece of a social marketing video is the end, or the falling action. A mediocre video peters out, but a truly great one delivers a final, clear note that reintroduces the theme of the video and wraps the whole piece up.
Structure is key to helping build a fantastic social marketing or online video. By establishing a clear introduction, a crisis and climax, and falling period of action, a short piece can grab an audiences attention and leave a lasting impression.
As mentioned in the previous post ‘Marketing Videos’, there are pertinent similarities that social video marketing shares with television and movies. Well-made marketing videos have a clear point of view, create a lasting impression, and contain bold aesthetic choices. However, the key element that elevates a marketing campaign from an exercise in rhetoric to a sensational and groundbreaking tool for your company is narrative.
The difference between employing narrative in the context of a web video or within social media is the understanding of how that narrative is being used. In other words, how do you create a story that can encapsulate who you are as a company and how you want to be perceived. It’s directly associated with mission statement, but allows the outside world an inside look at the underpinnings of your enterprise. This applies to any kind of social video marketing, including public relations efforts or quick adverts. Anything that interfaces with the public can be approached through the lens of narrative.
By thinking about narrative, any organization, from small business to larger multi-limbed companies, can not only create a useful series of videos or start a marketing campaign, but can also gain better understanding of what sets their institution apart from everyone else. Over the next few blog posts, I will be going over several key aspects of how narrative is used in social marketing and what any company stands to gain from understanding it further. I will discuss key aspects like point of view and plot structure, and relate how they can be leveraged in the context of social video marketing. So stay tuned to learn more!
Admit it: when commercials come on during the Super Bowl, you perk up. The room goes silent. Chicken wings pause half way to mouths, as everyone tunes in to watch the very best, or at least the most talked about, advertisements of the year. And when it comes to viral marketing or a long-term advertising campaign, these are often the same thing. A successful marketing campaign shares a lot in common with successful storytelling across a variety of media. Much as a great episode of Mad Men entices new audiences and propels its viewer ship to tune in next week, a great marketing campaign hooks its intended audience and gets people talking. A stellar advertisement evokes a reaction, makes the viewer look forward to more, and tells a clear story. As long as the story is clear and the methodology behind its delivery consistent, it will undoubtedly cause people to stop and take notice.
Nowadays, the Super Bowl commercial spot has become such a powerful position that companies ran commercials for their commercial. Big name products like Doritos and Volkswagen aired what were essentially teaser trailers for the commercials that would air during the game. The ads hinted at a larger story or viewpoint, leaving open a trail that viewer could only connect by seeing all of the subsequent material. The viewer could then go online and see the same message taken a step further. The campaign hinted at a larger world that unfurled itself the further one cared to go. Much like a T.V. series, the campaign treats the viewer as ‘audience’ and asks them to invest time in uncovering the full story of the product. There is a narrative at work, albeit a simple one, that is self-referential. See a piece of the marketing campaign, get a hint of the product, and be enticed to ‘stay tuned’ for more. The viewer is tantalized to go online, to search out more of the story. Companies like Volkswagen are therein able to create synergy between online marketing videos, their social media efforts, and the ads they air on television. Coca Cola took this one step further, creating a truly epic series of ads centered on a central quest. They didn’t air one advertisement, over and over – they aired a series of advertisements that all tied together to make a campaign.
Not every organization or company has the capitol to run a campaign like Coke. However, nearly every business can learn from these Super Bowl campaigns. There is increasing effort placed on synergizing story, character, and viewpoint across multiple media. In this way, the marketing effort looks less like advertising and more like television, movies, books, or comics. It becomes an experience to be sought, rather than a distraction to be skipped over. Video marketing, social media, SEO and blogging can go way beyond traditional 1-dimensional marketing campaigns and truly create an interactive, compelling experience for your perspective clients. Call SVG today!
Whatever the medium of expression, words need to be strung together so that their reader can clearly understand and interpret what is being said. Today’s video and electronic technologies rely on the power of good writing every bit as much as hard copy publishers of the past. Here’s how:
Video scripting – every image and word spoken in a video has to be carefully chosen. The purpose of the video may be to visually explain, present, instruct, or simply show something—but the best videos always come from the best scripts. Without an effective and well written script, your video may ramble on or go off message.
On-Line Newsletters – The whole idea of a newsletter is to inform existing and previous clients of new products or services being offered. Content for content sake is a wasted exercise from a business perspective. A good writer can weed out effectively the most essential messages and communicate them in such a way that the reader will find it thought provoking and (the goal being) take action on it.
Blogs – Blogs have become important, because they deliver interesting, concise information to busy no-nonsense readers. Blogs are essential in today’s business environment as they can provide essential information to perspective clients quickly (in the click of a button), and efficiently (with no cost to print). A well written blog can not only help bring traffic to your site, but convert that traffic into viable business prospects (when combined with video and SEO) as they see your expertise and experience first- hand.
Social Media – Keeping up with the Jones’s has never been easier than with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and’so on. And while pictures can do the Show-part, well thought out words do the Tell-part best. AND the words are what will draw in the Google searches!
Skillman Video Group’s service “Social Video Marketing” is a holistic approach to internet marketing where SEO, blogging, e-newsletters, web design/branding and video marketing combine into a powerful tool for online marketing. At the heart of this service is providing clear, effective, potent content that will draw visitors/viewers/readers in and convince them to pick up the phone and call. And at the heart of that content, is the ability to tell a story – you’re story. Call today.
First off, let’s assume your business has a Facebook page, if not, make one yesterday! It’s 2012 and many businesses realize the power that a Facebook page can have in bringing in new customers. The next step should be finding out how to make the most of your page to boost your exposure. Here are a few ways to get that ball rolling.
- Add multimedia- Your Facebook page needs to be visually appealing and get people to stay on the page instead of hitting the back button. Uploading and tagging photos and videos of your company and its employees is a great start. Definitely consider hiring a professional production company like Skillman Video Group to create a marketing video that will highlight what makes your business special.
- Keep Active- A Facebook page with just a name and a phone number on it is like walking into a party that no one came to; you want to immediately leave. Avoid this by keeping it lively with constant status updates, links to stories or feedback about your company, and current promotions or discounts your business offers.
- Get people to “like” you and don’t be afraid to ask! – An article from the huffingtonpost.com about business’s success using Facebook, reports that just by asking people to like your page or a post increases the odds that they do so by 216%! More likes means more customers coming to your page and getting involved and commenting. You could even hold a contest for those customers, with a chance to win prizes or special discounts.
Following these initial steps will get you on your way to having a fully integrated social media and internet marking strategy for your business. Make sure you put a link to your Facebook page on your website. Once your Facebook page is up and running and is being maintained regularly, the next tier of marketing tactics can begin. Watch for more ideas like linking your Facebook statuses to post on your Twitter feed, using SEO to increase your site rank using keywords in your blog, and finding out how nifty and effective QR codes can be in an upcoming blog post.
The internet is a great tool; with the amount of material available on almost any subject matter, it’s no wonder the term “information superhighway” was coined. But the sheer bulk of information can be overwhelming and make it difficult to discern what is a quality source and what is a scam. And while the woman you met on a dating website may have used an out of date picture, the risks become much more serious when you use the internet for your online business needs
A recent post on Business Insider talked about the danger of SEO scams online. The author Lisa Barone explained a situation involving companies that appeared on the list of top 100 SEO businesses. Rather than based on customer satisfaction, the list seemed to focus on the amount of money the company’s made, and even suggested that these businesses paid to be on the list. Barone then highlighted some more practical and effective ways your company can choose an SEO provider other than awards.
Barone makes some very good points about what you should look for in a SEO company. Rather than empty accolades that can’t be measured, choose more effective ways to determine a company’s worth. The best suggestion Barone gives in the article is to look at their history, especially in the form of testimonials and customer feedback. Seeing the feedback of other company’s, especially one with similar marketing goals, is a great way to predict your own experience.
One thing not mentioned in the article that I think is also important is finding a company that can provide other services besides SEO to enhance your online marketing strategiesa. After all, SEO isn’t enough, and needs to be backed by social media, video, and other internet platforms. The big companies that make the top 100 list won’t have the time or interest in your small business to make sure you get the complete package, and without these other tools, your business could fall short.
So when you’re looking for an SEO company, don’t be blinded by empty awards. Find a company that can cater to your needs, and deliver quality SEO and Online Marketing solutions. Skillman Video Group is dedicated to providing the highest quality services to our customers, and we can do the same for you.
I have been an Intern here at Skillman Video Group since November, and in that time I have learned a lot about online marketing, and in particular the benefits of a successful Social Video Marketing campaign. Now, it’s time for me to put these skills to use, producing a short video for online distribution. I have written a script and made some design and costume choices already, and I will be starring in the video when we shoot it. I’m very excited to see this video come to fruition, and to talk about some of the stylistic and technical choices I made to maximize the videos success online. I wanted to share these tips with you when thinking about your own Social Video Marketing strategies.
1. Keep it short: The final video will be around two minutes in length, which is a good length for what I wanted to do with the video; introduce SVG as a company. While it can sometimes be frustrating to limit yourself to a short video, in the long run it will be beneficial to the success of the campaign. People are more likely to retain the information from a short video and seek out more about the company on their own, rather than get lost or bored while watching a long, in-depth video showcasing every detail of a company.
2. Make it engaging: It is important you find a way to keep viewers interested and leave them wanting to know more. For my video, I decided to capitalize on something very relevant and almost universally recognized; superheroes. The central character of my video will be “Skillman Video Girl” a crime fighter with the capacity to fix any business online marketing blunders. Superhero movies have dominated movie theaters for the last decade or so, with reboots of Spiderman, X-Men, Batman, and a ton of others. By working with this pop culture phenomenon, viewers online will recognize the motifs and can automatically associate with the video.
Also, the piece doesn’t take itself too seriously, with a few tongue-in-cheek jokes aimed at the major themes present in these movies. By playing with comedy within the superhero genre, the video is engaging and entertaining, keeping viewers tuned in an interested in learning more about Skillman Video Group.
3. Focus on what you want to say: Since you only have a few minutes, you need to know exactly what elements of your company you want to focus on. SVG offers a variety of different video marketing ideas, from how-to-videos to videomercials, and each of these categories has its benefits. Pay close attention to what you want customers to come away with. Do you want them to have a better sense of what your company does? Or do you want to showcase your beautifully crafted products? Once you figured out what your focus is, SVG can help you choose what style of Social Video Marketing best supports your goals.
For my video, I wanted something that would draw prospective customers in, and give them the tools to learn more about the company. The video provides enough information for clients to understand what Skillman Video Group does and who would benefit from their services, along with highlighting the name of the company to increase customer retention. Video is an entertaining form of information gathering, and so rather than bog down the video with a lot of detailed specifics of what the company does, I decided it would be better to emphasize the most important things, to peak interest and lead people to our website.
4. Have some fun!: Remember, this is your chance to engage with potential customers. So no matter what type of video you decide to make, keeping it light and fun will help you enjoy the process, and improve the final video.
Check in soon to see the final video, and to hear more about the production!
For the past four months I have been fortunate to hold an internship at Skillman Video Group. I came here after working as a professional in film, television, and commercial production for a number of years. I’m working on a career shift and SVG was the perfect place to combine my production experience with my social media hobby. What happened with me and SVG over the summer?
When I took the internship I wanted to make a marketing video for SVG that was more ambitious and cinematic than their previous videos. I brought my skills as a set designer, contacts with actors, and access to cinematographers and wardrobe stylists together for the Old Timey Marketing project. I’m quite proud of what I did, and it is helping us find new clients. I think it shows that SVG can make movie-like videomercials for clients that want to stand out.
I had the privilege of attending a Muslim Ramadan service in Chelsea when SVG shot a fundraising video for a community center. I’m not a religious person, but it was still a powerful, moving experience. And we shot some amazing footage. I doubt I’ll ever have another opportunity to go. You can read all about it here.
Social Media does work for SEO. Our page rank has risen, which is good. Getting people to follow you and comment is tricky, no matter how good the content is. I looped in a few new subscribers and I think it’s paying off. Read all my posts here.
Managing a multi-platform social media campaign is not that difficult. A few hours a week. More businesses should do it.
I discovered many interesting social media and viral video campaigns and got to blog my analysis of why they work. Some interesting and inspiring ideas.
Anchor links, micro sites, pingbacks, landing pages, etc.
I got a much needed brush-up on Final Cut Pro and Soundtrack.
I hadn’t used a Lowell lighting kit since college, so I got a valuable refresher course on lighting from Andrew, our usual Videographer.
Now that I’ve attended client meetings I can add actual “agency experience” to my resumé.
Until you ask, the answer is always “No.” Most people are really happy to help you out with locations, props, wardrobe, camera, etc.
I’m excited that I’ve got these new skills that will propel me into new career choices. Thanks SVG!
The impact of a video on your website’s Homepage can be significant. It plays a key role with conversions since it can give viewers an immediate and visceral experience on what it would be like working with you. A video can also help with Search Engine Optimization and driving search engine traffic as well since you can optimize them with landing pages and strategic linking. Not to mention the use your video may have with Social Media!
To evaluate the effect your video is having on conversions an important statistic to note is your “drop off rate”. When people first visit your website’s home page – what do they do? Do they immediately drop off or “bounce” and leave your site because they don’t like what they see? Or, even worse, they can’t find (immediately) what they are looking for? Video can play a key role in keeping and holding those web visitors and ultimately converting those visitors at a much higher rate. Having a video professionally produced is helpful since it is imperative your audience understands the mission of your business and how it connects to their needs and can help solve their problems. The quality of your video does matter, since your marketing video will directly impact how your business or service is viewed.
Imagine one of Skillman Video Group’s professional videos on your Homepage: flattering lighting scheme, rich color contrast, exceptional sound quality and editing. Each element enhances your vision, your mission, and your connection to potential clients. In your industry, you are the expert but when it comes to Video Production and Video Marketing, Skillman Video Group can help you achieve your goal of creating a greater connection with your viewers and thereby also improving the performance of your website.
An SVG video on your Homepage highlights whatever topic you choose, so prospective clients have a clear understanding of your business’ goals and achievements. Formal or informal, a video will catch the eye of the browser so he or she is able to make an informed decision about your services or products. Contact Skillman Video Group today to learn more about “video conversion points”.
This month Skillman Video Group used live, interactive, social media to talk to local businesses about interactive social media. Cambridge Chamber of Commerce hosted our webinar discussing the importance blogging for businesses. From the comfort of their offices and homes, attendees could watch and talk with SVG’s Principle, Christina Skillman, as she delivered her presentation over the internet. The webinar format allowed viewers to interact with Christina asking her questions on the web. It was a great interactive experience. Webinars are now another social media tool we’re using at SVG.
SVG has talked about blogs and other social media many times on our own blog: link, link, and link. A blog is an easy way to start using social media to market your business, interact with customers, and increase search engine visibility. You can use it to announce new products, discuss developments in the field, gather market research from readers, and illustrate your expertise. Frequent blogging increases traffic and wins new customers. This is what we do here at SVG everyday and it works for us.
The online audience understood why they needed a blog and Christina recommended a few solutions to get them blogging: hire an internal social media expert or outsource to social media marketing companies like SVG.
Next month we’ll be doing a presentation on SEO at the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce. Subscribe, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn to hear more. Check out out a sample of the slides from the webinar. We created our presentation using Prezi, an online presentation creator. Prezzi is a exciting new application that has remained presentation software with its zooming interface. There was lots of new interactive technology this month at SVG.