My first Short Doc Attempt from 2015

2015 was my first time visiting the Collingwood Elvis Festival. As an aspiring documentary filmmaker, I wanted to go out and film the madness and just see what came out of it.

At the time I was shooting on a Nikon DSLR without any stabilization or ND filters which are really good at cutting down the amount of light so really bright things like the sky don’t get completely washed out. I had borrowed a really cheap shoulder rig from a friend and it really didn’t seem to help much. I did have a decent microphone but it is meant to pick up pretty much everything and it certainly did.

The result was a 5min short that I cut together shortly after but never posted or showed to anyone. I wasn’t thrilled with the shaky footage, the blown out exposure, nor the audio challenges that I had faced as well.

In the 2 years since filming this I’ve learned a whole lot more, and spent a lot of money on equipment that could do a much better job today.

However, the most important thing I’ve learned is this: If you can’t tell a good story with cheap equipment, all the money in the world cannot fix your film. And that is something I really believe. Clean beautiful shots are important, don’t get me wrong, but the absolute best quality footage will only take you so far. What will keep viewers engaged is the story that you tell.

I’ve seen a lot of great documentary films and every now and again I see that shot that’s just out of focus, or a little shaky or hard to hear and it solidifies my belief. Knowing that this film maker chose to use a bad shot because it was integral to the story they were trying to tell, is something I find very honest and comforting.

So watching my first attempt at a short doc again as the 2017 Elvis Festival kicks off, I figured what the hell, it was fun to make and the story is not half bad, but I will let you be the judge.

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Free Headshot Friday

Is your professional headshot over 2 years old? Maybe it was shot on a mobile phone, or perhaps still from the 90’s and you’re just waiting for that fashion trend to come back?  I hate to break it to you but Hypercolor shirts are not making a comeback… and more importantly, those old or unprofessional headshots don’t make you or your business look good. That’s where BFresh.Media comes in.

One day only, this special event will be at the studio with a few limitations. So here are the details, please read carefully:

Day:  Friday August 4th, 2017

Time: 11am-4pm

Location:  Bfresh.Studio @ 1 First St. suite 206-B Collingwood

This professional headshot package includes a 15min studio shoot with a white or flat grey backdrop. Following the shoot we will send you 2-3 of the best pics.

Note that touchups are not included but available for a small fee. Everything from digital makeup, to teeth whitening can be done in photoshop. It will look so good you won’t want to update it for years… but you still should.

check out some samples below… and we’ll see you at the studio!

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I have a new marketing video… Now what?

OK, you’re on the right track, you have invested in video advertising. Your shiny new video is engaging, it’s entertaining, it’s informative, It’s perfect!… but now what? Unfortunately all of those things don’t mean that people are going to watch it.

In order to get the most out of your investment there are many things to be done in terms of sharing that video and setting it up properly for the best chance at success.

In this blog post I will focus on 3 main areas including your website, Facebook, and youtube. There are of course, hundreds, even thousands of other places, to share your video outside of these. In an effort to keep this fairly short and simple, however, I will touch briefly on some of those other areas but focusing on what I think should be your top priority as well as some things you can do over the long term, to stretch your ROI . And it may seem like a long blog post but everything on this list I do for all of our videos in a matter of a few hours and complete day one of releasing the video. So here is what you need to do:

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I would suggest uploading your video to YouTube or Vimeo and embedding that into your web page. Not only is it the easiest solution, but it can provide another way for people to find your channel and potentially other videos. I will talk more about the YouTube settings later but you will basically need to copy the embed code or video url and paste it into your site, depending on your website setup.

  1. Location – this is key but sometimes an afterthought for some as the video is created long after the website is designed and live. If you need to go back to your designer to help place your video properly, I might suggest doing that. Basically you want it to be at the top of the page either as soon as a user lands on your website or on the product/video page that it is speaking directly about. Try to keep it above the fold which means the user does not have to scroll down in order to see it.
  2. Think about your funnel – If the purpose of your video is to entice viewers to buy now, you want to make sure that the buy now option is really close by. Essentially you want to make it very easy for them to follow through with your call to action, whether that’s a donation, sign up for a newsletter, or enroll in a course. If they have to go looking for that once the video is over, you’ve probably lost them.
  3. Refine your embedding options – Things like frame size and player style are often customizable when embedding into your website from YouTube or Vimeo. Have a look at your options and make sure you choose the ones that are best for your needs. I’d say one of the most important things is to disable “suggested videos” that will show once the video is finished if you can. These are often from other sources and may not be related. You can disable these easily when using the embed code but not always when using a direct link.

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In recent years, Facebook has really made a push to encourage users to upload video content directly, instead of sharing it from YouTube and it is working. You will notice that a YouTube video will show on a Facebook feed only as a thumbnail link but native videos will start playing (without sound) as soon as you scroll up to them in your feed. This is really important to note because if you want as many people to watch your video as possible, here is what you need to do:

  1. Upload your video to Facebook – Like I said, don’t just share the YouTube link because it won’t get nearly as many views. If you have a business page, be sure to upload it there and not to your personal profile. When you do upload, make sure you give thought to the title, keywords, and poster frame. Don’t just use the name of the file that your video producer sent to you, use something more descriptive. The poster frame is the still image or thumbnail that shows before the video plays. Often you can select that frame from the video but it may not be perfect. More often than not, we create a custom thumbnail and upload it, to get the most impact. Something we do for all of our clients.
  2. Don’t forget the post – When you upload your video, by default it will show up in your feed as a post. Make sure to write a post about the video to help get people’s attention. Here are a few more things to consider when writing that post:
    1. Tag Tag Tag – make sure to tag any other person or business in your video so that they will see it and most likely help to share it.
    2. Hashtags – Ok people still have mixed feelings about using hashtags on Facebook but I say if it’s relevant and could help people find you then go for it. Just don’t get carried away with it though. Because at the end of the day, it’s still Facebook hashtags.
  3. Captions are key! – Remember that part about videos on Facebook always playing without sound until you click on them? Well if you want to increase your chances of people clicking on your video, you will upload an SRT subtitle file. Let’s not forget all those people who are on Facebook while at work or school. To avoid being caught, they can’t click on your video so subtitles will ensure that they will still get the message too. Subtitles are simply a must have and something we always provide to our clients. (Want to learn how to add Captions to your Facebook video? here’s a quick how to)
  4. Share it – If you’ve uploaded it to your business page, start by sharing it on your own wall. Not everyone who likes the page will even see the video so this will help get the ball rolling. If you have employees, customers, family, tell them about the video and get them all to share it too. The more times the video is shared, the larger the audience will be. This bump in popularity gives a boost to your visibility too as Facebook will show your post more because it is being shared, liked, and commented on. So once that ball starts rolling it can really gain some serious momentum.

video advertising, marketing with video, media production, collingwood video production

Youtube is the second largest search engine in the world so if you have video advertising that is not on youtube then you are missing out on a massive audience. Here are a few small things (without getting too advanced) that you should do once your video is uploaded to help people find it:

  1. Fill in all the boxes – I would say on Youtube, your title, description, keywords, are even more important than facebook. That’s because your video can show up in google searches based on that information. So again, don’t just use what the file from your producer is labeled, think about what someone, searching for you or the subject of your video, might type into google. The same goes for the description. Make sure to add links to your website or other relevant pages so that people can learn more or buy now.
  2. Custom Thumbnail is key – Again, more important than facebook your youtube the thumbnail or poster frame is essential in getting users to click on your video. Usually the ones they give you as an option are terrible with your mouth wide open, or mid blink. You want something that looks professional and gives the viewer a sample of what they are about to watch. If you want some inspiration, just go to youtube and look at the recommended videos to see a wide range of examples that will include screen grabs or fully designed titles with text. NOTE that if you do not see the option to upload a custom thumbnail (in your video settings) it means that your account is not verified. Visit the channel settings page and go through the easy process of verifying your account to unlock this and other features.
  3. Share Share Share: Without getting too carried away with other platforms here is where we can talk about other places to share your youtube video. This is another reason you want to make sure your channel is set up properly in terms of your branding and links in your description so that traffic you drive to the video can find more information about you, your company, and your website. So think about all the other social media accounts you might have and share away. Twitter, Linkedin, google +, will all allow you to share your video. Instagram even extended their video limit last year to 1 minute so share it there too. If your video is over 1 minute leave a link in the description or in your bio that will take viewers to the full version.

Stretching that ROI

So again, everything that I’ve mentioned here I will do in a few hours on day one of releasing my video. If the video is on your website, then there is a likelihood that it will continue getting traffic as long as people are visiting your website. On social media however, that momentum can die off quickly but you should not just forget about it after the dust has settled.

  1. Consider boosting your Facebook post – Long after your video has been posted, that post still exists and should be stretched as far as it can go. For a very reasonable fee you are able to put that video in front of a very targeted audience. Choose how much you want to spend from a minimum of $1 per day for any length of time to create a campaign. I recommend doing this over the course of a year either quarterly or monthly depending on your marketing seasonality.
  2. Advertise on Youtube – This is also a highly effective and targeted form of advertising. Once your video is uploaded you can pay to have it run before other videos as an advertisement. I would recommend doing this only if your video is very short and designed with this channel in mind because you often only have 5 seconds to catch someone’s attention and you might only be able to hold it for another 10.

 

We definitely recommend planning as much of this as you can before even going into production. It is our preference to help in the development of that campaign so that we know exactly what needs to be created and why. However, if you’re just getting to it after your video has been finalized and delivered, don’t fret. Take a deep breath, try to tackle each of these things one at a time, and remember that we are always here to help.

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