Welcome To The Era of Covid Secure Production

Following the latest guidance from the advertising producers association (APA), we can finally resume video production after 8 weeks of agonising lockdown.

Many of the companies we have spoken with have chosen to delay production rather than look to alternative formats such as animation.

If this is you, we hear you… we’re excited this day has come.

The government have stated throughout the pandemic that it is important businesses continue where possible. That said, in many cases it is simply not possible to conduct video productions from home. Heineken’s Connections ad being a notable exception.

Going forward productions need to be Covid Secure

So, what does a Covid Secure production look like? As we set out to resume video production, i’ve gone through the APA guidance to explain how we will be adopting their advice to create environments where clients, crew and talent can all feel happy, confident and safe.

First things first though…

…to enable compliance with these guidelines, clients and agencies will have to accept that productions are going to take longer than they usually might.

Staggered start times, social distancing and regular hand-washing will all play a part and for once, it’s not only the talent that will have to factor time to get into costume; crew members who need to get close to each other to fulfil their duties will need to factor in time to get into the necessary PPE. 

'to enable compliance with these guidelines, clients and agencies will have to accept that productions are going to take longer'.

APA

Key Principles

In case there was any doubt, film shoots are bound by the same key principles governing everyday life in the UK regarding how we manage the transmission of Coronavirus, i.e maintaining social distancing, washing hands for at least 20 seconds and working from home whenever possible.

I began this blog by mentioning that working from home on film productions isn’t always possible.

Whilst this is true of the actual production itself, it is far more realistic during the development and pre-production stages of the project.

We will be conducting as many meetings as possible virtually and as far as casting goes, initial selections will be based on reels and camera reads before getting into virtual casting sessions.

Whilst this has the perk of being like an initial screen test, at some point a physical audition is inevitable and just like the production itself health and safety guidelines will need to be properly observed in order to mange this stage of the project properly.

When accommodating the over 70s, we will take enhanced precautionary measures and and no actors will be confirmed until they have completed the necessary Health Declaration Form.

Making the location/set Covid Secure

Almost all live action productions are prefaced with a site recce. This will take on an extra dimension now as either Producers or a dedicated Health & Safety officer (not mandatory), will be scoping the location for practical ways to ensure compliance with the Covid Secure guidelines.

As video productions  start to return, there will inevitably be a conflict at some point between creative ambition and the restrictions of observing a Covid Secure shoot. With this in mind, we feel it is going to be important to factor the APA guidance into the creative from the outset.

I think it’s fair to say, for the foreseeable future romantic or intimate scenes will represent a challenge to be overcome.

 

Managing the Production

The guidance for production varies between those taking place on set and those which take place on location however there are some universal instructions:

We will be instructing our crews to arrive to the locations according to a staggered schedule as dictated by our producers.

It has always been best practice to keep crews lean anyway but now more so than ever. As we look to resume video production, only those who are essential to the production wil be granted consent to be on the shoot and all that do attend will be expected to complete an online Health Declaration form.

As much as is possible, production departments will need to be broken down into smaller groups and discouraged from intermingling – this includes and is especially true for times like lunch etc.

We’ve long championed paperless productions and we’ve come a long way in this regard but by insisting on this going forward we will reduce the risk of transmission through paper based documents.

Where it is realistic, space markers should be put in place but this is not mandatory and may not always be feasible. The sharing of devices will be discouraged for example walkie talkies should be bagged and labelled with the users name and not shared amongst the crew.

The APA have kindly produced a number of posters which can be placed around the set/location to help remind individuals of their obligations to health and safety of the production.

resume video production

Some notes about location filming

Perhaps unsurprisingly, councils are unlikely to be issuing location permits at the moment. Whilst we would expect this to ease up, it is dependent on the suppression of the virus and may not happen for a while.

It is also recommended that productions don’t take place at a location so far away that overnight stays are required. Thankfully due to our global and local supplier network, I don’t anticipate this being too much of an issue for element 26 however we will be ensuring all of our suppliers are also complying with the APA Covid Secure guidelines. 

The guidance suggests one location per day without unit moves and of course each location has to be cleaned in advance of the production. This means we will be partnering with a cleaning company for the foreseeable future to ensure locations meet the Covid Secure criteria.

Hair, Make Up and Wardrobe

In regards to these departments, it’s vital that protective equipment be worn. Kit shouldn’t be shared between artists and it’s important that necessary disinfection protocols are observed. During the current crisis, we would certainly encourage use of disposable kit wherever possible.

In terms of protective kit, this is our responsibility as the production company to provide and is broken down into two tiers

Tier 1 – Masks and gloves

Tier 2 – Enhanced PPE including visors and all body suits.

Tier One PPE is intended for single use purposes however Tier Two PPE is mandatory for those who need to break the two metre distancing rules for any great length of time

Resume Video Production

To download the latest APA guidance on managing productions in the time of Covid then click here.

If you want to discuss how you can be constructing your content so that it’s inline with the APA guidelines then click this link here, we’d love to talk to you.

About the Author

Nathan Haines

Nathan is the managing director of Element 26 and an expert in video production and video marketing. Nathan enjoys supporting companies to grow their businesses using video. Get in touch on Twitter @element26uk

Three types of video content to create when you can’t film

Coronavirus has made marketing difficult for lots of businesses. Whilst countries all over the world appear to be in various stages of lockdown, events calendars have been torn apart leaving marketing plans to gather dust on the cutting room floor.

Now we’ve come to terms with the fact that we can’t run events in the way we’re used to… business owners, CMOs and marketing managers are all telling me that content (alongside virtual events) is at the heart of their plans for the foreseeable future.

For this blog, I thought it would be helpful to focus on three types of video content to create when you can’t film so that you can continue to delight your audience with content they will love during these unprecedented times.

Revisit your old media

Just because you can’t film doesn’t mean your existing media has no value. Often recording a new voice over, choosing new music or creating new graphics can make your video feel completely new again!

Bonus tip – you can also change up some of the colours in your video to make them look completely different.

Create animation

Lots of my clients tell me that they are interested in making more animation but they are unsure where to start. If this is you, you might well be interested in our blog ‘5 things to know when switching from live action to animation’.

The benefits of animation in the current climate are obvious – no mass gatherings, it’s still story based and it is a highly flexible medium. What I mean by ‘flexible medium’ is that it can be as imaginative or as conservative as your brand allows whilst still managing to be highly engaging.

If you’re interested in learning more about animation, why not take a look at some of the work of our animation directors by clicking here.

three-video-content-create-cant-film

Interview your favourite clients

You no doubt will have seen a lot of these already – but video interviews like the one below are a fantastic low cost way of creating targeted video content to informing your community. These videos are particularly effective because your audience should ideally either identify with the content or see themselves in the interview subjects. 

I hope you found this short blog useful and you feel better informed about what types of content you can make right now to get the conversation started.

At Element 26 we can help you with all of your video production requirements. If you have any questions or if you would like to discuss your ideas in more detail, why not make an appointment with me by clicking here.

 

About the Author

Nathan Haines

Nathan is the managing director of Element 26 and an expert in video production and video marketing. Nathan enjoys supporting companies to grow their businesses using video. Get in touch on Twitter @element26uk

5 things to know when switching from live-action to animated productions

We get it – these are frustrating times. You’ve spent weeks developing creative ideas for live-action films, you were about to go into Production then the Coronavirus came along shutting everything down… now you’re being told you need to switch to animation productions. Deep breath!

So it’s back to the drawing board then – or is it? Have you ever produced an animated film before? Would your existing plans even work as an animated film?

In this blog we go over everything you need to know about getting started with animation so you can decide if it is the right format for you, or if you want to wait a while longer so you can return to making live action films again.

1. Animated films and live action productions are more similar than you think.

All forms of storytelling must create meaning in order to be effective. Animated films are no different. Sometimes called an arch, what this means is that the main subject of the film should overcome some challenge so that by the end of film, the audience’s perspective has been influenced by their experience.

Without an arch the story is meaningless so in the narrative sense, live action and animated films have a lot in common. 

2. Animated films and live action productions have less in common than you think!

The practical aspects of producing animated films is quite different to those of live action productions. For me, the main difference rests around flexibility. 

Whilst live action productions do have to be planned, there is room to accommodate the immediacy of the performance. The space for this is much smaller with animated films – which is why the planning stage is more important than ever.

One of the things which can take people new to animation by surprise is just how rigid and procedural the production of animated films can be.

3. Animated films don’t necessarily take longer to produce than live action productions

Whilst it is true that animated films don’t necessarily take longer to make than their live action counterparts, it is also true to say that no format of animated film is quick to produce whereas there are plenty of examples of live action productions that can be quickly and easily, shot, packaged up and delivered.  

If time is of the essence, it’s probably sensible to lean towards some of the animation styles that can be put together relatively quickly – motion graphics based films for example are a good place to begin.  If you have more time or if you’re looking for something more ambitious then I would recommend looking at 3D animation styles. These are fun and impressive, but they’re not quick to produce

4. Animated films aren’t necessarily more expensive than live action productions

Typically speaking the budget for live action films should be spent on the crew, the equipment and the art-direction. 

 With live action productions much of the budget can be splurged on the shoot itself – with animated productions, the budget tends to be spent in a slow, gradual and continuous way rather than in broad swathes like it is when something is filmed.

5. Animated films are not just for children

We all grew up watching animated films as young children which is why I suspect we are so quick to connect animated films with childhood.

Animated films possess a power which is difficult to replicate in other mediums for example it is possible to create fully artificial worlds which would be expensive and time consuming in the context of a live action production. 

Animated films also have broad international appeal making it easy to either dub or translate them.

Are you ready to switch to animation?

In the current climate live action production is becoming increasingly difficult to fulfil. If you aren’t interested in animation or your would prefer to consider other options then you might want to consider reversioning your existing video content. If that sounds more up your street you can find out more about that here.

switch_animation_productions

If you’re interested in seeing more of what’s possible with animation why not take a look at the work of some of our animation directors by clicking here or schedule a time to chat with me by clicking here.

Thanks so much for reading and please share this blog with anyone in your network whom you think might find it useful. 

 

About the Author

Nathan Haines

Nathan is the managing director of Element 26 and an expert in video production and video marketing. Nathan enjoys supporting companies to grow their businesses using video. Get in touch on Twitter @element26uk

Level Up Your Video Marketing In 2020

January is a special time for lots of businesses as it’s usually the month where marketing managers and business owners plan for the year ahead. Video marketing in 2020 is set to be even more exciting than it was last year so keep reading for the latest updates.

If the last decade was all about the emergence of video as one the most effective ways to inspire your audience, the next decade will be about building your brand by telling more enriching stories.

In this blog we will focus on the emerging trends in video marketing for 2020 so you can make the most informed decisions when implementing video into your integrated marketing strategy.

1. Social Platforms

It’s no secret that social media platforms love video. It’s easy to see why too. Video is the most effective medium for engaging audiences thereby keeping users on those sites for longer. Don’t think Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter are all old hat now, just because new social platforms such as TikTok, Lasso and Byte have all recently arrived on the scene.

Social video is essential because it’s important to put your video where your customers are. Social is all about discovery and awareness so you should treat your video content here a little like bait.

2. Embedded Video

If your video content on social media is your bait, then you should think of the video content on your website as a means of aiding conversions or generating enquiries. Video is great for this because it feeds all of the senses we as humans rely on (with the exception of smell but that may well be a technical evolution for another day).

You can use free or cheap tools such as YouTube or Vimeo to host the videos on your website however this isn’t always in the business interest. We’ve written extensively about why you should be hosting the videos on your website using an online video platform such as TwentyThree or Wistia. Take a look at our blog here about why your business needs a blended video strategy.

3. Segmentation

Content that targets everyone, focuses on no one. The great thing about social media is that it is easier than ever to locate, identify and target your audience.

Sadly a lot of the more established social media platforms are now expecting businesses to pay for the reach they used to enjoy through more organic means. That said, there is still a lot of scope to reach new audiences via LinkedIn.

If you would rather not pay for eyeballs, one of the exciting and attractive features many of the new and emerging social media platforms offer is that they don’t yet have the same restrictions on organic reach that the more established players have. The obvious flip side is they often don’t have the equivalent number of users meaning the organic reach is likely to be smaller. On the plus side though, at least you won’t have to pay for it.

4. Personalised Video

All of the main social media platforms have become increasingly video focused, this means as part of your video marketing strategy for 2020 there is more room for personalised video outreach using the native messaging tools contained inside of each of the platforms. In fact this can also be a technique used to get around the curbs on organic reach imposed by the established social media giants. Personalised video or 1:1 video as it is also known, isn’t restricted to social media platforms either, it can be used in email too.

Since adopting a strategy of personalised video around email, we have experienced a 34% increase in booked meetings to discuss video marketing with our clients.

5. Brand Identity

You can use video to harness the power of your brand identity. Once upon a time producing a video to promote a product or service online was something of an after thought. Now, it’s video first

The trick here is to be consistent. Consistent in your message, consistent in the time of posting and consistent in the look and feel of your content. Marketing typically works in three ways; what do you want your customer to learn, what do you want them to feel and what do you want them to do. Being consistent in each of these messages means your video strategy will be not only easier to measure but easier to manage too.

5. Critical Mass

A little bit of a follow on from the previous point but effective video marketing is also about critical mass. In order to post regularly you need to have a certain amount of content in order to keep it consistent. It’s easy to fall into a rut when you’re trying to manage so many things but one of the things you can do when producing any video content is try and create some derivative content too. Bloopers and shorter versions are great ways of extracting more material from a given production.

Thank you so much for reading this blog. I hope you found it useful and informs much of your planning for 2020. If you would like to discuss your plans and how you can maximise your video effort for the coming year and beyond please do let me know. You can ping me a message on LinkedIn or alternatively if you would like to have a chat, please book a meeting with me by clicking the button below. 

Wishing you all the best for 2020.

About the Author

Nathan Haines

Nathan is the managing director of Element 26 and an expert in video production and video marketing. Nathan enjoys supporting companies to grow their businesses using video. Get in touch on Twitter @element26uk

12 Tips For Writing A Winning Video Brief

Before writing a video brief, it’s useful to understand the process involved in producing video content. Video production moves through four key stages; Development, where your ideas are formed, Pre-Production where all the logistical aspects of your production are considered, Production, where your videos are filmed and Post-Production where your films are then ultimately made.

To give you a head start, we’ve put together some handy little tips to get your creative juices flowing and to help you write that all in important video production brief.

1) WHAT TYPE OF FILM ARE YOU PRODUCING?

Video is a highly versatile medium. If you can tell us whether you’re seeking to make a corporate film, an infomercial, a television commercial, a music video, a promo film, a viral video or alternatively a documentary, then we will immediately understand where your film sits. If your film is for commercial purposes, you might want to give some thought to where your video fits in the purchase funnel. 

2) WHO IS THE AUDIENCE FOR YOUR FILM?

The most effective films are tailored to their audience. It’s critical to know who your films are aimed at because understanding who we need to reach will shape everything from the the script and the tone of the film, to where and when your videos should be published.

3) CALLS TO ACTION

What you would like your viewer to do once they have watched your film? A good video should end with a compelling call-to-action (CTA) and leave a positive impression. On YouTube this CTA might be to invite the viewer to subscribe to your channel or alternatively you might ask your viewer to give you a call, make a donation or visit your website. If you intend to use an alternative hosting partner for your videos, then you might well also be able to add a form to the end of your film to capture leads directly from within the video content.

4) WHAT IS YOUR FILM ABOUT?

It’s usually a bad idea to cover too many subjects within a single video. The most effective videos are usually quite succinct and address one subject in sufficient detail rather than diluting the message by paying lip-service to too many topics. The issue with films that try to take on too much, is that they can easily become too long. It will fail to retain the interest of the audience and simultaneously fail to go into enough detail to satisfy the enthusiastic viewer or fan.

5) WHAT VALUES DOES YOUR BUSINESS STAND FOR?

The most effective films possess an interesting or moving story. This is as true for B2B comms as it is in B2C projects. In order to have a compelling story, there has to be either a conflict or a challenge to overcome. By over coming the hurdle presented within the film your audience will be moved emotionally. Understanding which emotional triggers to pull is really important as these should reflect the same values as those your brand stands for. 

6) WHAT TYPE OF STORY SHOULD I TELL?

From Shakespeare to Spielberg, there are only seven basic story types which include Overcoming the Monster, Rebirth, Quest, Journey and Return, Rags to Riches, Tragedy and Comedy. Understanding the seven different stories is a comprehensive subject so we’ve produced a more digestible blog post on the subject entitled ‘How To Add Style To Your Story’ which is designed to help you pick the right story type for your needs. For some worthwhile reading on how to tell a story, we recommend Robert McKee’s excellent book ‘Story’.

7) WHERE ARE YOUR FILMS GOING TO BE SEEN?

How you intend to use your film will impact upon the final budget so it’s important to clarify this information early on, to avoid any nasty surprises. Usage covers everything from which channels the films will be seen on, to which territories the film will be made available in. Letting us know where your films are going to be seen informs everything from the running time of your films, to the cast, crew and equipment required to produce your content.

8) DOES YOUR FILM REQUIRE ACTORS?

If your film isn’t driven by interviews then it is quite possible that you may require either professional actors, some employees or alternatively a voice over artist to propel your narrative. We can source any actors you may require however depending on the type of film you’re looking to produce then the rates for enlisting such actors can vary. Actors for a television commercials in the UK are covered by Equity and even with corporate films, an actor will typically earn a fee for their work in addition to a buyout which protects their image rights for an agreed period of time.

If budget is an issue, then you might consider using staff or friends within your films however it is unlikely you will obtain the same results from an amateur actor as you would from a professional and it will almost certainly take longer to produce.

9) LOCATIONS

Are there any specific locations which are pertinent for your production? This is important to know as it can help us locate local crew. It is also important for other logistical considerations such as calculating an appropriate call time and coordinating movement orders. If you need any help with your location recce then you might find our other blog handy ‘6 things to look out for on your location recce

If you know your production will have to be shot in a specific location please do let us know when submitting your brief.

10) DO YOU HAVE ANY EXAMPLES OF SIMILAR FILMS WHICH YOU LIKE?

Visual references can be tremendously helpful for conveying your ideas. Send your reference films our way and we will make sure the final product gets as close as possible to your intentions.

11) KNOW YOUR BUDGET

An understanding of your budget can really help us focus when developing creative ideas for your project. Lots of people find themselves feeling a little uncomfortable when asked to be so open about the budget they’re prepared to spend on their videos however the question isn’t intended to catch you out, instead it’s about making sure you get the best production values possible for your budget. At Element 26, we’re a highly creative and extremely resourceful bunch meaning we always strive to put as much of your budget on screen as possible.

12) KNOW YOUR DEADLINE

It is essential that we know your key dates. Whilst the production schedule will vary from production-to-production, we typically recommend you allocate between 6-8 weeks for your film to go from proposal sign-off to completion. We will obviously do our best to accomodate any key dates you have in mind, for instance if your production relates to a live event, then the shoot would have to take place in conjunction with that event.

If you’re thinking about producing some video content and would like to benefit from our experience, then why not jump on a call with one of our producers. We look forward to hearing from you.

About the Author

Nathan Haines

Nathan is the managing director of Element 26 and an expert in video production and video marketing. Nathan enjoys supporting companies to grow their businesses using video. Get in touch on Twitter @element26uk

5 ways to improve your confidence on camera.

If like myself, the thought of going in front of the camera makes you wish the floor would open up and swallow you whole, this blog is probably for you. 

Communication is changing, written emails will soon be a thing of the past as personalised videos are the latest trend amongst marketers and sales advisors.

Videos get your message across in a way that will grab attention and keep people engaged. Time has become more precious, with workloads constantly increasing, meaning people want information in the quickest and most digestible way possible. 

So whether you are creating a video for your emails, social media or even your website, then follow these steps to make sure you look (and more importantly feel) like a natural. 

BREATHE 

I know this seems pretty straight forward but you will be surprised how little you breathe when your anxiety starts to kick in.  I noticed that my best takes were when I took a minute to take a deep breathe before. It will show through in your body language and will make your viewers more relaxed. 

PRACTICE 

Run through what you want to say before. Whether that is creating a script or having a list of points that you want to include. Personally, I don’t work from a script as I find this approach much more natural. However, it is always good to have an idea of the things you want to say to make sure you don’t miss anything out. When I created my first video I found that a script helped me get comfortable speaking in front of the camera, once I felt relaxed and confident in what to say I spoke naturally. 

ISOLATE 

Find an area where you won’t be distracted. If it isn’t nerve-wracking enough going in front of a camera, it’s worse when you feel like you have all eyes on you. Once you feel more comfortable on camera it won’t bother you as much if people can see you.

TAKE YOUR TIME

.. when speaking. You’ll probably find that you start to speak really fast initially, as your natural instinct is to want to get it over and done with. However, this won’t come across well, and will actually cause you to make more mistakes. Slowing down will give you time to think about what you want to say as you are saying it, it makes you easier to watch and will engage your customers more. That being said don’t slow it down to the point it makes people impatient, the key is for it to come off as natural and relaxed as possible.

HAVE FUN 

Even if this isn’t your idea of fun or it isn’t coming naturally to you. If you have fun, it will start to relax you and your energy will come through on the camera. Take my video for example, my mistakes ended up being my quality content. Once I had done a couple of takes I felt much more comfortable speaking to camera. 

Still doesn’t sound like your sort of thing? Speak to a  professional and let us do it for you. 

Get in touch today!

About the Author

Nathan Haines

Nathan is the managing director of Element 26 and an expert in video production and video marketing. Nathan enjoys supporting companies to grow their businesses using video. Get in touch on Twitter @element26uk

Branded Marketing For B2B Businesses

Branded marketing in B2B – Epic Creativity, Provoking storylines and an impression that will last a lifetime

If you are a marketer working in the b2b industry I’m sure you’ve seen a lot of “Market your B2B like a B2C business” floating around – just look here. As a business, this opens up the door to creating more emotionally driven, entertaining content that will build awareness and eventually convert.

When we hear the word corporate or B2B unfortunately, it all too often conjures up images of facts and figures, forgetting that the decision makers on the other side tend to respond to much more emotional language.

More often than not (and we are all guilty of it) we see b2b businesses lacking in creativity and the emotional buy-in that you would expect from any well-respected brand. Finding words like ROI and SEO plastered all over our newsfeeds quickly become pretty repetitive. Chances are if you’re bored of seeing it then everyone else probably is as well.

So it begs the question  “how do I create a better-branded marketing experience for my potential leads?” Well, I’m glad you asked…

Preparation

Okay, so you’ve realised you need to add a bit of flair to your content strategy but you’re not quite sure where to begin. Regardless of whether you’re as flamboyant as Elton John dipped in glitter or as dull as a grey wall, we’ve created the following checklist of seven items to help you on your creative journey:

1. What is the purpose of creating this content?

2. What do I want the outcome to be?

3. Who is my target audience?

4. How do I want my audience to feel?

5. Which videos do I like the style of?

6. What resources do we have access to in order to create this content i.e Graphic designers, videographers, animators?

7. What is my budget?

Once you have answered all these questions, you will start to have a better understanding of what you would like to create and the purpose behind it all. This will make it easier when brainstorming ideas of the storyline, which leads us on to our next point.

Epic storyline

Your storyline is EVERYTHING. Advertising has changed a lot in the last few years, especially since the intro of smartphones and social media. Attention spans are down to 8 seconds when watching a video, so if your content isn’t gripping your audience within that time frame that’s another prospect that you could have potentially won over if you had the right storyline.

So, what makes for a compelling storyline?

1. Emotions

 Ask yourself how you want your audience to feel when watching and make it your top priority to execute it

2. Characters

 Create characters that your audience will resonate with (forget about how they look.. *Unless it’s Tom Hardy*

and focus on their mannerisms and behaviours). 

3. A crafted plot 

By this, we mean to create a storyline that isn’t expectant of your brand. For example, if you were selling baked beans you could either have a video of someone eating the product and saying how nice it tastes or you could do the unexpected and create a storyline like the one you can view here.

4. First impressions count!

So don’t blow it. People spend their lives scrolling so make your video thumbnail stand out, to make them stop and want to watch your video.

5. Clarity

 Make sure your message is relevant and easy to follow. Take this video from PlayStation, it makes no sense and it leaves you thinking “what did I just watch” 

Top Quality

Do not skimp on quality and by quality, we mean production values, ie the quality of your graphics, storyline, actors (if you have any), sound etc. So how do you guarantee quality and for the right price?

1. Hire a video production company

(i know we’re biased) but it’s true. The only way to guarantee a high-quality video that will deliver on results. You wouldn’t cut your own hair and expect the same results than if you had got it done professionally. Well, the same applies to video production.

2. Do your research

as I mentioned previously, knowing why you are creating your video and the goals you want it to achieve will help the process with creating a video that delivers on results.

3. Ask people for their opinions 

Be that your staff, friends or even customers. Include people throughout all the decision making moments and make sure that it will appeal to your target demographic.

Distribution

The big one! So you have completed your video and you’re super proud of it. But now what? Where will your video work best? You could have the world’s best video but if you’re not putting it on the right platforms and in front of your target audience then the whole thing becomes mute.

It sounds pretty straight forward when you think about it,

but time and time again we see great videos not getting the results they deserve. Here are a few things you should consider…

1. Pick your social platform

 Where is this video going? What are your audience’s interests? When are they most online?

2. Behaviours of your demographic

what type of humour do they have? What gets the most engagement?

3. Paying for boosted posts/ads

 Which route will you go down? Youtube ads? Google? Facebook? Again consider the behaviour of the consumers in that targeted area, how long the videos can be on the platform and research into what ads have been successful and for what purpose.

When you have a full understanding of what you will do with your video everything else will fall into place. Don’t just assume that because you have paid all this money for a video that posting it on social media will give you the results you are after. Yes, if you have a big enough following it may work, however, give yourself the best possible chance of success by tailor making your video distribution strategy that will command the attention of your audience.

Now is the best time for B2B companies to think outside the box and push the limits of their creativity. Make a conscious effort in becoming a company that is memorable by creating a powerful storyline that captivates your audience.

Videos have a proven track record of giving companies their desired results and it can for you as well, as long as you are ready to invest your time and resources, think about your audience and what will resonate with them and more importantly think about the distribution, where you want your videos to go and why. If you follow this method then you will be on your way to creating a video that converts.

At element26.tv, we can help you get your branded campaigns off the ground.  If you’re considering embarking on a journey with video… get in contact with me today.

About the Author

Nathan Haines

Nathan is the managing director of Element 26 and an expert in video production and video marketing. Nathan enjoys supporting companies to grow their businesses using video. Get in touch on Twitter @element26uk

LinkedIn Report: The Tech Marketers Guide to B2B Video

It’s no secret that we’re passionate about online video within B2B marketing here at Element 26.

Which is why, when LinkedIn invited us to contribute to a report about B2B video, we jumped at the opportunity.

It’s generally understood that online video has to be very short to keep people’s attention.

We’re also told that it needs to be humorous and produced with production values in line with the latest episode of Game of Thrones in order to keep pace with the competition.

Anyone who has watched the latest season of Game of Thrones will know this is no small undertaking.

Alongside contributors from ON24, StoryMe, Gyro, Omobono, TwentyThree, Drift and Hootsuite; the contents of this guide cover how taking an audience-first approach can help you fit video into the tech buying journey in a way that fits available budgets – and delivers against your most important objectives.

Click through this link to access the report ‘The Tech Marketers Guide to B2B Video’.

We’re really proud of this report and hope you find it as helpful as we have found it enjoyable to produce.

About the Author

Nathan Haines

Nathan is the managing director of Element 26 and an expert in video production and video marketing. Nathan enjoys supporting companies to grow their businesses using video. Get in touch on Twitter @element26uk

How much should you spend on professional video?

Ever wonder how much you should be spending on your professionally produced video content? A few weeks ago I was putting together a quote for a new client. We had been working together on the brief for his first video production and I felt we both knew what was expected from the project.

The client was new to video, so I wasn’t terribly surprised when there were a few questions about how the price was constructed.

The video we were discussing was only 30 seconds long, ‘how could it cost more than a one minute video?’ he asked.

The mistake the client was making was using the video’s run-time as a yardstick for value. In reality, run time isn’t a barometer you can apply when estimating the cost of a video production. 

A commercial on television might run for only twenty seconds, but rarely are they cheaper than a minute long video you might shoot on your iPhone. 

There are various places where the costs of video production amount up. 

The creative planning stage, otherwise known as ‘Development’ can take a while. The more demanding the project, the longer it will spend in development therefore the more costly they become.

Take ‘Playin’ With My Friends’ produced for Ikea by Mother London. As you can read in this article on lbbonline, this film required serious planning and as such Ikea spent the proportional amount of time in development with numerous creatives involved.

When your films are shot, the use of locations, actors, extras, number of cameras, lenses, drones, practical or visual effects will all drive the cost up. The more of these items you use, the more distinctive your films will be, but this will be reflected in the budget. 

There is a certain danger in making comparisons. I ended up showing him this video we produced for an artist called Rose Gray. The production schedule for this project was one day but we had plenty of material to capture so we ended up using two Alexa cameras and running a long day with over time. You can find out more about the project by clicking here.

Thankfully we got everything we needed, but the film was probably more expensive to produce than your average episode of Eastenders (and those episodes run for half n’ hour). 

As your films venture into post-production, factors which affect the price include the amount of time spent editing, the number of revisions requested, visual effects, colour grading, not to mention delays in feedback.

One of the main things that you can do to keep the budget down when producing a video is to make decisions quickly and then to stick to them.

In our experience, the number #1 reason the cost of a video increases is indecision and revision.

Once I had explained in a bit more detail how the costs were put together he seemed to understand and moved forward with the project. 

If you would like to discuss a budget for your next production. Get in contact with Nathan Haines from Element 26 today. 

About the Author

Nathan Haines

Nathan is the managing director of Element 26 and an expert in video production and video marketing. Nathan enjoys supporting companies to grow their businesses using video. Get in touch on Twitter @element26uk

The Interview Series – Tim Shaw, Modus Analytics

Successful businesses have always relied on some form of data to make decisions. Leveraging data properly is becoming increasingly important with more and more small organisations finding themselves pitted against established players, whilst using small teams with very modest margins.

According to the UK government, data will benefit the UK economy by up to £241bn by 2020, and much of that will be going to small businesses.

With data analysis proving to be vital to the success of so many companies in the future, we chatted with our client Tim Shaw, founder of Modus Analytics, to find out more about how data is changing decision making and how smaller and medium sized companies can be utilising data analysis to give them a leg up as they grow.

Tim Shaw CEO Modus Analytics

Tim Shaw – Managing Director, Modus Analytics

Established in 2018, Modus Analytics was created to help small businesses to utilise data and make smart decisions. Tim’s passion for data was born out of  experience developing systems that utilise data in organisations that he has led combined with the normalisation of data in everyday society.

‘For example, if you think of Amazon’s Alexa  or Netflix and how they reference what you want to watch next, these tools are using data analytics or some kind of machine learning software to make your life easier and also generate increased profits for those businesses’.

According to an IDC whitepaper, by 2025 the global datasphere will grow to 163 zettabytes which equates to over ten times the amount of data generated in 2016.

“The amount of data that we collect now is billions times more than we have done historically. Microsoft and other companies provide data analytic software which anybody can access and use extremely cheaply.”

So, what is putting businesses off using data more readily? Part of the problem is a misconception around data itself; what data is available and what is involved to interpret that data properly. Many businesses are dazzled by the term ‘big data’ – the phrase used to reference the amount of data which exists in the world. It is this same term which can make some small and medium sized business owners feel uneasy about using data, sensing it is inaccessible to them. They can also be daunted by the scale of the data they think they already hold.

Unfortunately at the moment people see “big data” as data that is relevant to large companies, and this simply isn’t the case. It is absolutely accessible to them as long as it is approached sensibly.

As it turns out, many businesses don’t have a complete picture of how much data they’re collecting. According to the latest annual Data Security Confidence Index from Gemalto, 65 % of companies have too much data with just 19 per cent of UK organisations being able to perform data analysis effectively.

For companies looking to get started, it is critical to ask the right questions first. By understanding the goal, it becomes easier to identify what the right data to gather is. More often than not, business won’t be aware of what data they have.

‘The owners and senior managers should sit down and think about the challenges they’re facing and what are they trying to achieve over the next couple of years. Answer those questions first and then ask yourself are we collecting data that allows us to answer these questions’

If you’re reading this and thinking data in isolation sounds like a dangerous thing then you’re in good company. As Antonio Damasio‘s, research in neuroscience has shown, emotions play a central role in social cognition and decision-making and this is the difference between being data driven and being data informed.

Data driven businesses will use data to make decisions where as data informed businesses will utilise data to inform their thinking.

In our opinion a mix of perception and the right data is the ideal position to be in which is why on our website we have created 2 or 3 very simple human behavioural tests to prove a point that if you rely on intuition alone you might make the wrong decision.

Part of the reason Modus Analytics decided to commission a video to accompany the launch of the business was to address the range of understanding around data.

Some businesses had a sense of the topic, whereas others really had very little awareness. The critical outcome of the video was to get their prospects thinking about the information they are already sitting upon and what they could be doing with it.

‘One of the reasons why the video was so important to us is because you get a range of responses from – yes, this is something that the Amazon’s of this world do, but I had no idea we could be doing the same thing too, we had thought about how to use our data but had no idea where to start”.

If you would like to get on top of the data your business is already gathering or would like to explore new ways to exploit data to meet your goals, we recommend you get in touch with Tim and his team at Modus Analytics at info@modusanalytics.com

About the Author

Nathan Haines

Nathan is the managing director of Element 26 and an expert in video production and video marketing. Nathan enjoys supporting companies to grow their businesses using video. Get in touch on Twitter @element26uk