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  • October 15, 2015

    10 Video Campaigns from 2015 That Will Inspire Your Marketing

    John Lewis

    John Lewis Home Insurance Advert 2015 – Tiny Dancer

    A very interesting way of selling insurance – hardly focuses on the service at all. She is so cute!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gqPM_GT8Qw

    RightsInfo

    Human Rights Explained In One Beautiful Animation

    A brand new educational advert, using colour and a hand made style to show the infomation clearly.

    Dolce & Gabbana

    Summer 2015 Advertising Campaign

    Great use of music to build suspense. And great lighting!

    Trainline

    I am train – Trainline TV Advert 2015

    Great use of voiceover and calm music in combination with the busy timelapse sequences.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvuOyGYWk7s

    Campari

    Gruppo Campari Corporate Video 2015 – English

    For a group corporate video (which can often be very dry!) this is really interesting, with lots of post production and mixed editing and graphics.

    Lloyds Bank

    250 Year Anniversary Advert – Lloyds Bank

    Another interesting take on a corporate video for a company with a long history. Amazing costumes and sets!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6eZ3WQCjhA

    Ad Council

    Love Has No Labels | Diversity & Inclusion | Ad Council

    A lovely video to make us challenge our automatic assumptions about love and relationships. Heartwarming but also educational.

    Google

    Introducing the new Google Wallet

    Beautiful simple animation. The style really lends itself to the simplicity of the service they’re promoting.

    Duolingo

    Duolingo for Schools: A Real Teacher Testimonial

    Really heartfelt testimonials from teachers, people who you trust and respect the most.

     

    In a Nutshell – Kurzgesagt

    The European Refugee Crisis and Syria Explained

    It’s amazing how you can explain the complex situations so easily with animation. This is very informative and well made.

     

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  • October 12, 2015

    A Quick Beginner’s Guide to Local Online Marketing

    A Quick Beginner’s Guide to Local Online Marketing

    For a lot of local businesses, you rely on word of mouth and referrals – which can do wonders if you get known.

    But what if you want to expand further than that?  How do you make sure potential local customers can find you online?

    Website

    Make sure your website is really functioning well – it needs to look modern and be full of up to date information.

    Paying someone to build it once 4 years ago and then leaving it alone will simply not do any more.

    Particularly, it needs to be optimised for mobile users, as more and more people are searching on the go. A new Google Study showed that 50% of mobile users are most likely to visit after conducting a local search – you can read this in depth study about local and mobile search here

    So make sure your address is prominent, so they can come to find you – this sounds obvious, but sometimes it’s overlooked, and can be tricky to find!

    Keeping an active blog is also integral, as you’re constantly letting search engines know that your site is a great source of new expert information on your company’s industry – and so in turn, you get more traffic.

    Google Places

    If you haven’t already, add your business to Google Places.

    For any location-based searches in Google, for example “hairdressers Wigan”, Google maps results still appear at the top of the listings, before any website listings.

    It’s also an opportunity to get Reviews – which (if good!) boost your credibility – they appear very prominently in the search results too. So if you know someone has received great service, ask them to drop you a quick review. 

    It’s important to make sure you’re not missing here. It’s free to add for your business and is quite straightforward.

    Social Media

    As a small business, it can seem like quite a lot of hassle to keep posting on social media platforms, but the truth is, that’s where your potential customers are!

    There were over 1 Billion users on Facebook last week, so get active on social!

    You can post a variety of things, not just special deals – think about what your audience would also be interested in (it doesn’t always have to be about yourself).

    A few times a week should be enough to start with and be sure to include any good photos or videos, as they always get more views.

    You also need to make sure your profile is fully filled out and has all your address contact details, opening times, phone number etc on.

    The more visual content you post generally, the better you will show in the algorithm, – so think photos of your premises, products, graphics with offers.

    Business Listing Websites

    Add yourself to any local business listing websites – for any reasonably sized town there are usually a few free sites where you can add your company details. This is just a small step, but you want to cover every option.

    There are a few UK wide sites include Yelp, Thompson and Free Index.

    Network

    Some people dread doing this, but get to know other local business in the area if you don’t already.

    Local connections, whether online or offline can be invaluable – you never know when something pops up and you’ve been recommended by someone local to you for the job.

    A good place to find and connect with other local businesses/people is Twitter or on facebook groups.

    Sponsorship

    Sponsoring local events is always a good way to get your name known to the local community. As there’s the build-up promotion online as well as the printed material etc on the actual day.

    However, before you hand out any money, find out exactly how big the event is, what their target market is likely to be, and whether you’ll be added to their website as part of the deal  (which is a big plus).

    This research will ensure that your business gets seen by the right kind of people and not time wasters who won’t need your services.

    Hopefully, these ideas will give you a quick taster of the work that needs to be done to ensure you reach full potential with your local online marketing.

    If you need a helping hand or have any questions, please let us know.

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  • October 6, 2015

    Why Post Production Matters

    Outside of the world of video production (which is indeed, a very nerdy world!) you don’t hear about the term ‘Post Production’ very often.

    But in fact, it’s a very important part of video making – and is the one of the most noticeable aspects for the end-user, which is most cases is a potential customer.

    So as a potential video buyer, post-production is something you need to be aware of when specifying a production company to make a video for your business.

    Post Production is all the final touches – it’s the fine-tune editing, the colourising and comesticising, captioning, music, sound effects and animated graphics.

    A final video can be ‘ok’ with limited post-production, maybe just a few quickly done captions – it’ll gain some acceptance. But will it achieve a good ROI? Will it wow people who watch it? Will it make your company look impressive?

    If you see any professionally made video (not just your friend’s homemade job) it should include a number of these polished features – and the video will be much better for it!

    Here are a few quick visual examples from a recent video to show you want impact post-production makes.

    In most cases the original HD footage is fine – it’s not awful. But the added colour, graphics, light and captions bring it to life:

    The Importance of Post Production in Video

    The Importance of Post Production in Video

    The Importance of Post Production in Video

    And for a bit of fun, here is the full impact and potential of full post-production and visual effects on a massive scale!

     

    Next time you’re thinking about producing a video for your company, then take a look at the post-production quality of the samples you’re looking at.

    Do they make any real effort after filming and basic editing? Or is the footage not coloured well, and generally not thought about?

    Here’s a guest post I wrote for Studio Rossiter – with a complete checklist of post production questions to ask yourself and really evaluate the post-production quality of anything you view. Helping you to make an informed decision.

    To see examples of Post Production in corporate video – head to our video production page 

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  • September 28, 2015

    22 Ideas to Boost Your Event Promotion

    22 Ideas to Boost Your Event Promotion

    Here are some  ideas and practical tips to help you make sure that everyone who needs to know, knows about what you’re planning!

    1. Write a press release – Keep it no more than 1 page. It needs to be descriptive, with all the main details, but not boring please!
    2. Send the press release out to local and related magazines and newspapers along with a photo or event logo for them to publish.
    3. Run a small contest that asks users to like and comment on a post on facebook or use a hashtag if on twitter to get your name out.
    4. Produce 1 or 2 promo videos to let people know very quickly what to expect – it creates a big impression.
    5. Follow related people on Twitter. Generally the more people you follow, the more will follow back, so if it’s a gig, then follow music lovers in the area, gig promoters, music news, bands etc.
    6. Get in touch with any local bloggers who are related to your industry – eg fashion or dance – ask them to come along and cover the event.
    7. Make sure your website has a very easy to find tickets page, and that the home page is written and designed for guests, and not just gaining staff.
    8. Keep blogging on your website with the latest news – not only is it good for guests – but it’s good for Google (Google will see you have an active site and push your further up the rankings).
    9. Ask any speakers / performers  to write a short guest post about their involvement or themselves for your blog.
    10. If your performers or speakers are not big on writing, then do an interview with them – and post the transcription as a blog post instead.
    11. Email your subscriber list – you can do this once per month before the event, as long as you have interesting news for them and don’t spam them too often!
    12. Produce lots of graphics – for use on the website and social media. Of course you need the main poster, logo and leaflets, but it’s also good to have supporting graphics to post on social media, for example announcement of news or a ticket promotion.
    13. Don’t make the graphics yourself, even if the event if fantastically organised – amateur design will make you look bad and can put people off.
    14. Get some photos taken for online use – eg behind the scenes / the venues / the staff / any pre show activities that look interesting. Social posts with images get way more views and clicks.
    15. Get leaflets printed and distributed around town – get as much help as you can with this (it’s a tiring job)!
    16. Ask to put posters in local shops / cafes.
    17. Track down any related online forums that would be ok with you posting there about your event.
    18. On the day of the event, get some staff / volunteers outside the venue and around the local with leaflets.
    19. During the event, keep posting on social media with updates of what’s happening to generate excitement throughout the day.
    20. Make sure you photograph and video the event – for post event promotion.
    21. Produce a post event press release – recap what happened and send (along with a few great photos) to any press / news who are interested to posting the review.
    22. Produce a general promo video from the footage captured on the day – it’ll be invaluable for any new events you hold in the future.

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  • September 22, 2015

    Getting your Facebook Video Right

    Getting your Facebook Video Right

    More than ever, Facebook are pushing Video advertising for business. And it’s working! In a recent blog post they stated “Since June 2014, Facebook has averaged more than 1 billion video views every day. So there’s definitely an audience.

    Here are some tips to help you gain more facebook video views and a higher retention.

    Silent Playback

    As facebook videos now autoplay in newsfeed with no sound – it’s imperative that the video needs to show the message well when on silent.

    This means that visually it needs to have high impact – it needs to stand out on a screen that may have the brightness turned down. So a bold opening to the video will catch their attention as users scroll down the page.

    Captions

    With more videos being played on silent, the need for captions is increasing if you want the viewer to get the whole message.

    Some news sites add subtitles for the entire speech – which can work well. But for most videos this amount of detail is not entirely necessary.

    In general, it’s good to keep them quite big and very legible. Here’s a great example from AJ+

    The captions are nicely designed – using bold and colour to emphasize important words, but it’s still clear and the caption doesn’t take up too much of the screen. All in all it’s well balanced and well designed.

    Getting your Facebook Video Right - Captions

    Video Length

    According to the latest studies – for higher engagement, it’s recommended to keep your facebook video about 1 minute or under.

    Up to 2 minutes is ok – but any longer than that and users will not make it to the end of the video. You don’t want your all important final message to be missed – so keep it concise.

    Featured Video

    If you’re proud of the video, add it video as a featured video on your account – for maximum exposure.
    When you upload a video you have the opportunity to add it as a ‘Featured Video” Do this!

    This will give the video full prominence, as it will always appear on the left hand side of your Facebook Page in the About section. It’s very easy to turn it on and off if you want to replace it in the future.

    Getting your Facebook Video Right - Featured Video

    Custom Thumbnail

    If the default thumbnail option is a bit bland when you upload the video (as it usually takes a random image from the video) – you now have the opportunity to upload a custom image.

    This can be better designed as a image, and give viewers a real reason to watch. Sometimes the default thumbnail is good enough, but it’s worth reviewing – think to yourself, does this make me want to press play?

    Call to Action

    Always include a call to action. This is a button that will show at the end of the video play, that invites the the viewer to go to your website.

    It means users can take further action if they like what they’ve seen. There are a few options, such as Shop Now, Sign Up etc – so you may as well take advantage.

    Getting your Facebook Video Right - Call to Action

    Advertising

    Once you’ve uploaded your video – the chances are it’s a big occasion, and you want it to be seen by as many people as possible.

    So it’s worth spending a few pounds on ‘Boosting’ the post. This kind of advertising is a quick and easy way to get as many people as possible to see your video.

    You can choose just to spend £5 (to try it out) and get some good traffic to your page – or if you’re really confident the sky’s the limit!

    You can also choose whether you want to target your existing facebook fans or new ones.
    For something like this, I would recommend targeting existing fans first, and if it goes well maybe try a second campaign where you ‘Boost’ the post to people you target audience and location.

    Summary

    Use strong visuals
    Clear and bold captions for maximum readability
    Keep it short
    Design a custom thumbnail if needed
    Make is your ‘Featured Video’
    Include a Call to Action to bring traffic to your website
    Consider spending a little on advertising

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  • August 30, 2015

    Why Is it Worth Having a Video for Your Local Business

    For a local business – I understand a video production may seem like a big expense – and a bit daunting to go about if we’re honest. This is especially the case if your marketing is usually low key, such as a bit of local newspaper advertising – or you don’t advertise at all.

    But with any local business, competition can be quite fierce.

    And for a potential customer, on the surface, you may look quite similar to your competitors…

    unless the person enquiring makes the effort to come and actually visit you – which is when of course they see your value proposition and USPs.

    But you need to catch your potential visitors even before they plan a visit to your premises. How do you get more visits or more enquiry emails from potential customers?

    And how do you get more customers, who have already part made up their minds, by the time they’re talking to you?

    A video on your website gives you an instant edge and style.

    – for a lot of local SMEs, the popularity of marketing video still hasn’t quite caught on for the local sector – or not as much as with larger companies.

    It can be seen as a lot of effort to organise and with unknown results – but working with professional – this fear is mostly unfounded.

    Online video has proven over and over again to have a good ROI and impact on your website presence.

    Even so, these fears exist – so it’s still relatively new and exciting for small businesses to produce and feature a video online.

    It doesn’t need to be long, just 1-2 minutes will do to show the world what you’re about and why a potential customer should pick you.

    And of course, it should be professionally made – as a poor quality video, in terms of looks or content, can actually be detrimental to your online credibility!

    There’s the obvious use – put it on your homepage, but a video is also a multi-purpose marketing tool.

    As well as the website there’s your social media channels (you can upload directly to Facebook), upload to Youtube (which also boosts your website), any exhibitions, client meetings and more.

    There’s also the possibility to get low-cost re-edits, to produce different versions you may require, from just 1 video shoot.

    In a local marketplace – video is still not being fully used to its fullest extent – so get on board and show your potential customers quickly and with style – why you’re the one for them.

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  • August 21, 2015

    8 Reasons to To Update your Brand Identity

    When you start a new business, it can be tough thinking of just the right name for the company and style of Corporate ID. Sometimes it’s rushed – and yet you’re stuck with it for a long time.

    And so after a time, sometimes its no longer suitable – it’s just not fit for purpose any more – or maybe not even that – it just doesn’t look fresh any more.  You feel like it doesn’t represent what your company has become.

    Here are 10 popular and worthwhile reasons for rebranding:

    1 – It looks dated

    Design styles change rapidly, so it’s obvious to spot a logo produced in the early 2000s – if you want your company to appear modern, it’s the first place to start

    2 – Your services have changed

    If your logo includes any specific icons and you have changed your offering or they’re no longer relevant, you may be able to get away with a small update.

    3 – The business name has changed

    This is very obvious! But you may not just want to just adapt the old logo and ID to the new name – it’s a great opportunity for a new approach.

    4 – Need to update your slogan

    Often you’ll have a slogan to accompany your logo – that further explains your business offer in a short meaningful way. And over time this offer may change – so you can just tweak part of the Logo identity without an overhaul.

    5 – Your target audience has changed

    The tone of the logo can change how people perceive you – for example the same writing can be designed in a fun and happy way – or in a more corporate

    6 – It’s too fiddly

    Intricate details in design are nice – but they don’t have many places in a logo. You need to it work as black and white, small, large – everything, and be recognisable as a shape.

    7 – You designed it yourself

    If you have a little experience in design, a homemade logo could be ok, but a professional eye can always take what you’ve done and improve it – for both legibility and versatility

    And making sure it actually appeals to your customers.. Not just your friends and family

    8 – You need square, long & icons versions

    With so many social accounts, all needing different logo sizes and banner images – some need small square images, others need 1000px wide banner images!

    It can be daunting task to make sure that your branding looks good, whatever the size and shape.

    But It’s worth getting your brand right at all opportunities – and so having a logo and slogan that fits each instance should be a priority.

    Click to see our extensive video, design and animation portfolio 

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  • August 17, 2015

    A 2015 Guide to B2B Visual Content Marketing

    Throughout the buying cycle – B2B is getting more visual – no doubt. No longer is it down to just lengthy text-based proposals and text websites to win deals and get ahead in marketing.

    There’s been a shift in sharing and online, it’s no longer limited to B2C brands.

    Studies from last year – particularly an in-depth study from Demand Gen – have shown B2B buyers are sharing blog posts frequently, along with infographics and videos more and more.

    Peer referrals is still a very persuasive tool for marketers and are a high-value channel for B2B so this type of online content sharing fits perfectly – and amplifies their peer reach.

    Infographics

    Infographics are a simple and increasingly popular way for a researcher or buyer to access a lot of information quickly.

    In 2014, 39% of B2B buyers identified that they share infographics on social media frequently – so it’s obviously worth looking into.

    Basically, It’s an easy way to digest what could be complicated information – in a fun visual style.

    You can build and design these for free, but for that extra wow factor, there are plenty of companies who will do it for you – on basically any topic and any design.

    Video

    Video content has been continually on the rise for years – and this report from Demand Gen shows that during 2014 -2015 its popularity has not slowed down one bit – particularly for B2B – with an 8% increase last year.

    It’s the most effective way to show a consistent and easy to absorb message to a wide variety of people.

    It’s also so versatile – you can film, have animation, show news – anything. So customers needn’t spend ages reading long text pages on your site again – they can take in the information in, in a fun and memorable way.

    An animated explainer video is particularly helpful if your business is quite complex (as B2B often is!) As it’s the perfect medium for showing the abstract or complicated information in an engaging, rich way.

    Presentations

    Presentations give the users an interactive element online – so they are able to learn at their own pace. And like any good visual content – they’re very easy to embed on your site and share with others.

    Slideshare is a great example of this growth – it’s simply a presentation hosting and sharing site – but year on year it’s becoming more popular – with a 7% increase in usage last year.

    Producing a presentation is relatively simple if you start with a good design template and content, so amplifying your message and establishing credibility with a site like Slideshare is invaluable for B2B.

    White Papers

    White papers are still used by B2B buyers and specifiers to research topics before making a decision or even enquire.

    They are a great way of showing depth information on a particular subject, and really educating the audience, but incorporated within the great design, making it simple to read and absorb the knowledge.

    While they are text-heavy, they often use a combination of charts, text and images – to make the user experience really rich.

    So although they are more geared towards text – importance is going more and more on great design and graphics – which makes it much more readable and enjoyable.

    Images and Photos

    Simply using more still images will make an impact – to accompany blog posts or product pages.

    They don’t always need to be as complicated as an infographic, a photograph or illustration will still have an effect.

    Within a blog post, an image every 350 is considered most effective according to Quick Sprout.

    It breaks the text up and makes it easier to read in bite-size chunks – take in the info, see a nice relevant image, then back to reading.

    Simply, It makes your blog more readable.

    Summary

    As a B2B Marketer – you need to cover a wide range of platforms and content types – and harness all of these and reach as many customers as possible.

    It’s worth having a team member who has real design skills as well as business knowledge – or contracting out the work to a professional company.

    It’s definitely a bigger job than you think producing all of this original content.

    However, this work far outweighs the downside – leaving your business to text-only content only – you will soon be left behind.

    As always we welcome your comments – how do you plan to include and produce more visual content into your 2015 marketing strategy?

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