Tips to keep your business moving

Tips to keep your business moving

As we all enter new phases of restrictions, businesses have to reconsider their operations in light of new needs. This new standard will look different for everyone, and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to returning to business. But whether you’re a small business right up to a global corporation, video is a vital part of staying operational right now. 

Here are five tips on how to keep your business going right now.

1. Be willing to pivot

It’s always important as a business to be adaptive in uncertain times, and in these times, it’s more crucial than ever to think acutely about your audience and customer needs. Make sure you’re offering services and products that are most useful to them — even if you are running a limited operation at the moment.

If you are planning a few more months of staying remote, use video to announce your latest venture, thought leadership insights, or communicate your new policies for safe transactions. Let your audience know how you are adapting to the ‘new normal’. 

2. Engage with your audience

This is a perfect time to let your audience lead and let your business tactics follow. Use this opportunity to poll your customers and find out what questions you might be able to answer right now. Or even create and send them a personal video message.

3. Give status updates

Whether you’re preparing to reopen or still building out your virtual presence, it’s crucial to let your audience know where you stand. If you’re gearing up for a brick and mortar reopening, consider making a video made for sharing what steps you’re taking to keep your customers safe, and let them know what to expect when they return. 

4. Learn video marketing basics 

When it comes to video marketing, even the smallest strategic steps can make a difference. Know your peak posting times — Thursday and Friday afternoons are best for Facebook sharing while hitting Twitter on Monday mornings should give your content the best chance at grabbing maximum eyeballs. 

5. Just get started

I get it — starting a new venture or changing up your practices during this time is daunting. “A lot of people are going to suffer from paralysis analysis — they’re going to overthink it,” says Clayshare co-founder Kevin Phillips. “Don’t worry about trying to make it perfect. Just get on there and do something to provide benefit to your audience. They’re going to appreciate the fact that you did this for them to help them through this situation.”

Share your knowledge with your customer base and provide them with videos to help make them succeed right now, whether that’s sharing tips on how to reopen or helping your people to stay sane and healthy. It doesn’t matter if you’re thinking about holding a virtual event or just want to share a quick social media post, video can help you keep things in motion while you figure out the rest. 

Thank you Aubrey Page from Vimeo for the inspiration of this blog post. 

Video trends 2020

Video trends 2020

As we are about to head into a new decade. Video will play an increasing tool we use to communicate to build our audience and grow our business. Here are four trends I see for video in 2020.

The first trend is one-to-one video. This has been around for a while; very few people are using video to reach out to a person. Now there are plenty of platforms you can do this on. Did you know on your LinkedIn app, you can now message someone with a video. And there are plenty of other platforms such as Soapbox, Bonjoro, Vidyard. All allow you to record a video to an individual, send it as an email, and you can track when they open it and what they watch — really powerful stuff for sales teams.

The second trend is the decreasing organic reach in social media. Have you noticed that your Facebook posts aren’t being seen as many people? Well, if you say, “Oh, did you see my post?”, they go, “What post?” This is because, particularly on Facebook, the news feed is just so crowded, they cannot just put all the content on it. Did you know your intended audience sees only 8% of a post that you put into Facebook? Now, apart from being overcrowded, there’s a reason for this, Facebook wants you to start pay to play. I pretty sure when you’re posting your business page, you’ll see this little ad come up and say oh you can boost this for about 10 pounds and reach x number of people. This is the Facebook business model. Like it or not, if you want your videos to be watched by your audience, you’re going to have to pay.

The third trend is video on mobile. Increasingly every year, more people are consuming social media on their mobiles. Something like 96% of Facebook users uses mobile to consume Facebook content. And when it comes to video, apparently 85% of users do not have their sound on. So it’s increasingly vital that you burn captions onto your videos when you’re using them on social media channels.

The fourth trend is voice search. There are one billion voice searches per month, and I can only see it increasingly, especially after Christmas when everyone gets this little device when they can talk to. Now, when people do a voice search, it only returns one search. So when someone says, “Hey Google, show me a video on x,” you have to make sure that it finds your video, and to do that, you’d have to have the video transcribed. I used to transcribe and create captions for this video. When you post the video on your website, you have the transcription underneath, so that Google can search for it. And if you do this, it’ll make your video easier to find for those voice searches.

So those are my four top trends for 2020. Let me know how you are planning to use video for next year.

Best DSLR vlogging camera

Best DSLR vlogging camera

There is a massive choice when from when it comes to picking the best camera for vlogging. The best choice is an interchangeable-lens camera with an internal microphone input. Having the ability to change lens on a camera is the major reason to consider an DSLR. For vlogging you want a lens which is wide, around 20mm focal length is perfect, a wide zoom lens will give you options. Having the ability to plug in an external mic is also a must. The internal mic on pretty much all the DSLR are poor. Either use a shotgun microphone which mounts onto the hot shoe or a wireless lavalier microphone system.

The best cameras for vlogging have features that may not seem too crucial for regular stills photography. One of the most critical is an LCD screen that can flip round to the front so that you see yourself while you’re filming to check framing, focus and exposure.  

An effective autofocus system that can also keep track of you while you’re recording yourself is also essential, as you won’t be able to adjust the camera while you’re filming and eye AF can be a significant advantage here.

So what about 4K? Even now, most vloggers will record and upload in full HD rather than 4K. Still, most of us would feel happier with a little future-proofing, and 4K does offer more scope for editing and cropping your video later, so the ability to shoot 4K video should be considered, but this feature will increase the cost of the camera. 

There are loads of fantastic models available in the mirrorless sector, combining lightweight build and great video features to make for a robust all-around vlogging package.

Here are three that I recommend:

  • Canon EOS M50 Compact System Camera and EF-M 15-45mm Lens
  • Panasonic G7 Compact System camera with 14-42 mm lens
  • Sony a6400 E-Mount compact mirrorless camera with 16-50mm Power Zoom lens

All have camera have these features:

  • flip out screen
  • microphone input
  • good autofocus
  • 4K

The Panasonic is the cheapest at around £450. Then the Canon – £550, with the Sony the most expensive at £950.

The Sony A6400 is the camera I have and use on a daily basis for my vlogging and behind the scenes videos. I use Sony as the corporate videos I make for clients  we use the larger Sony cameras such as the PXW-FS7 and PXW-FS5 which cost so much more than an DSLR (10 times more), but offer so many more features for professional videographers.

Below are links to view the current pricing and the camera features on Amazon.

Don’t forget you will also need accessories for the camera:

  • Microphone
  • SD Card
  • Extra batteries
  • Tripod
Behind the scenes on a corporate video shoot

Behind the scenes on a corporate video shoot

It’s shoot day, and I want to give you a behind the scenes look at one our shoots. Watch the video below and travel with me into central London and meet the crew and take a look at processes we go through on each shoot. Preparation is the key to success.

As a video producer, there are essential things you need for a successful shoot.

  • The first is having a robust backpack.
  • You’ll need a laptop.
  • Also, need a dongle to connect a hard drive to back up all the footage.
  • A call sheet, so the crew know the timings, and the location, and what we’re doing on the shoot.
  • A risk assessment form for health and safety.
  • Release forms for all the people we’re interviewing today.
  • A trusty clipboard so to look official.
  • An umbrella because this is England.
  • And last but not least, an Osmo Pocket, so I can get some behind the scenes footage.

We often shoot in a board room, which is very typical of what we get to film in when we do corporate work. We always try to avoid blank walls and thankfully, today’s camera’s with a prime lens, and some subtle lighting can make any boardroom look good.

After the filming, it is essential to check and back-up the footage. The media cards we shoot on are out your average SD Card and cost hundreds of pounds. So the cards need to be resued. On location on a Tallboy production shoot, we always back up at least twice. Back at the office, the footage is then backed up again onto our editing drive really for us to start post-production. We can then tell the cameraperson that they can reuse the cards for their next shoot.

So that’s a wrap. Hope you’ve enjoyed the behind the scenes of our shoot day.

Getting Video Right

Getting Video Right

For the last four weeks of my video challenge each Sunday I have produced a video book review. I like to review books which have had an impact on my life. One of the most important has been the one I wrote: “How to Get Video Right”. The reason why I wrote this book was seeing a pattern where businesses focused on the production of the video and then not use it to its full potential when delivered.

“How to Get Video Right” speaks directly to the tens of thousands of companies around the world who recognise video’s potential, but are lost on how to cash in. Covering everything from discovering the “story” and finding the correct production partner to setting budgets, ensuring the video is actually watched and leaving the audience chomping at the bit for more, Banks’ new guide guarantees the maximum ROI on any video marketing project.

If you are serious about growing your business, engaging your employees, and selling to your customers, you need to embrace video. If you don’t, you risk your organisation being left behind in this rapidly changing digital age.

In this book you will learn:
• The knack of achieving maximum return on investment
• How to save thousands of pounds on your next production
• Why Identifying your audience is critical
• The importance of getting your story right
• The types and style of videos for your business
• How to find the right video partner
• The secrets to ensuring your video is watched
• How to measure engagement to get the best value

I want to show people how to take video seriously – in terms of paying for quality production, not rushing the story-making strategy process and ensuring that the finished product is distributed in a way that makes for a huge ROI. You’d be surprised at how many organisations have world-class videos just sitting there, without being seen by the intended audience The bottom line is if companies don’t jump on the video bandwagon soon, they’re going to be left behind.”

“Every day when you’re not using video is potentially costing you and your business customers and money. Reading a book like this is important so you get an understanding of video and how it can help your business grow.”Chris Cardell, Marketing expert, Cardell Media

You can buy the book on Amazon or directly from the book’s website.  f If you watch the video there is a discount code which is valid until the end of July 2019.