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Archive for Video Production

Last week we joined the eLearning Network to talk video production on a budget…

A few main takeaways…

  • Planning is everything – what is your video’s aim and who is it for? [tweet this]
  • Nothing prepares you for being on camera like being on camera – practice with full kit [tweet this]
  • Want a more natural on camera performance? Smile off camera & they’ll smile too! [tweet this]
  • Create a tick list for your shoot with each shot & prop. More structure = less stress [tweet this]
  • Fancy schmancy our kit list for sub £1000 [tweet this]
  • Don’t scrimp on the audio – you need a quality mic and second pair of ears [tweet this]
  • If you don’t have much budget or time here’s some video making tools to help [tweet this]
  • Create a lighting rig for £15 – shower curtain diffuser and white board [tweet this]
  • Work with your kits strengths but know their limits! [tweet this]
  • Video transcript:

    As Richard said, I’m Hayley. I’m from a company called vzaar. I’m going to talk to you today about how to make video on a budget, but there is an important caveat to that, which is good video on a budget. Anyone can kind of slap a video together, but there are places where you do have to spend a bit of money, sorry to break it to you. But I’m going to try and show you where you can save and where you do need to invest that bit of money.So just before we begin, I work for vzaar, which is a video hosting platform for business. So once you have made your videos, you upload them to us. We stream them out. Not surprisingly, we use video a lot in all of our marketing. I’m involved in the scripting, the storyboard, and the planning, and then afterwards, executing all the campaigns.

    Terry was supposed to be here. He’s our in-house video producer. He was going to take more of the technical side, so apologies if I can’t cover that, but I am familiar with some of it. So I’ll do my best there.

    I just wanted to give you, to start off with, an example of a video, the kind of thing we produce. It is a marketing video, so apologies for the self-promotion. Tune it out. It’s fine. It’s more about the quality you can get. So what I’m going to try and do today is show you our process for making videos, from planning it, the kit that we use. If you don’t have any budget for any kit, I’ve got a few online tools that can help with that and where we find our assets.

    So the first thing to say is that the plan really is everything. It’s maybe not the most revolutionary of things, but it’s true. The plan starts . . . I mean, it’s not enough to go, “Oh, we want video. Charge. Let’s go make a video.” You need to think about what type of video and how it fits into what you’re trying to do. So a good example is if you’re trying to teach people how to use a piece of software, something like a screencast might be a good idea, which is just a demo of the software, whereas, maybe if you’re in HR, and you want to show a real-life situation and you want people to empathize with the situation, you might want to use a real-life person in it. So just try and think about who your audience is and what you’re aiming to do, because different types of video will work in different ways.

    For us, a lot of our customers aren’t the most technical, which is why they come to us. So when we have a new feature that is very technical, we found it works to give like a real-world metaphor. Then they’ve got that analogy in their head that they can figure out what it means.

    I’ve got another example of a video here, of that. You’ll notice there that we have to have a real person if we’re showing a real-world situation. Actors aren’t cheap. When I was putting this deck together, I Googled actors for the day, and it was like thousands of pounds for the day. So what we actually use is our members of staff. So the guy in the video at the beginning was our VP of sales. The problem with that is that our VP of sales was hired to be VP of sales. He wasn’t hired to act in a video. It’s not his natural forte. I have been in some of the videos. I’m not a natural presenter, she says as she gives a presentation.

    Getting the most out of your colleagues can be tricky. The only real answer to that is to practice. One really helpful thing to do is to practice with the full kit. So rather than just having someone read through the lines a few times and think, “Oh, yeah. That’s fine. I’ve got it,” if you practice with all the kit or the camera. When you’ve got the camera in front of you, it’s quite an unnatural situation, and you do kind of really tense up and go into yourself. Nothing prepares you for being on camera like being on camera. So when you’re doing your run-throughs, always make sure it’s in the full kit and make it as realistic as possible.

    Another really good tip, this doesn’t just apply to the person on camera, it applies to the person off camera is to smile. So there’s some kind of psychology about if I smile, you’re more likely to smile back at me because we mirror behaviors, as a social animal. I won’t go into pseudo psychology, but it does work. When I’m on camera, Terry is filming, smiles at me, and I just naturally smile back. And it just makes for a much more natural performance. No one enjoys seeing a presenter that’s kind of very nervy. That’s just one really simple tip that works.

    So once you know what kind of video you’re going to make, you’re going to want to script it. This is our scripting process. When I explain this, it sounds really simple, but it took us quite a long time to get to this stage. We used Google Docs for this, by the way, which is a really good tool because you can share what you’re doing. People can make comments, collaborate on it. What we do with our script is we do the audio, so what we’re actually going to say, down at the left-hand side of the table. Then on the right-hand . . . Sorry, right-hand side of the table. Then on the left-hand side, we do kind of a written storyboard. So none of us can draw, and it would probably take us ages if we tried to craft a beautiful storyboard. So we just do a written one.

    Then once you’ve got your written storyboard, you can take that and think about each shot that you’re going to need to create that visual. Then we do a prop list as well. It kind of goes back to what Zack was saying about have a process and have a plan, because the more structure you can do beforehand, the better it’s going to go on the shoot.

    This creates like a tick list of like, when we’re on the day, yes, we’ve got that shot; yes, we’ve made sure all these props are here. The shoot can be quite stressful. So you want to take as much stress out of that as possible. You also don’t want to forget anything. So the last thing you want to do is finish your day of shooting, and then get to the edit and realize you’ve forgotten something and have to go back, set everything back up, waste everyone’s time, waste some money doing that. Yeah, as prepared as you can be beforehand always helps.

    So I’m going to talk through the kit that we use, and then a few alternatives if you really have no budget for the kit. So as I said, ours is nothing fancy. We’ve got a prosumer DSLR. It takes 1080p HD video. We’ve got a tripod. The audio is where I’d recommend you spend some money, and I’ll go into that in a minute.

    The lens that we use is a Canon. I should say we’re going to tweet out the kit list. So don’t worry about getting all this down. You can find it online. We use the Canon lens, mostly because we’ve got the Canon camera, but it is good value for money. It does what we need it to do. It’s a fixed focus lens, a prime lens. So you can’t knock the focus. It’s not going to zoom in, zoom out. Keeps all the shots nice and consistent, and it’s bright.

    So Terry would probably explain this a lot better than me, but the hole in the lens is quite large. So it lets in a lot of light, which if you’ve not got a fancy lighting rig, if you’ve not got the best lighting conditions, that’s what you need. You need a bright lens.

    So how many people are actually making video now? Okay, quite a few. You might disagree. But I would say probably use a tripod. The reason being . . . I’ll just give you an example of a handheld versus one that was taken on the tripod.

    So as you can see, the handheld is kind of shaky. If you know what you’re doing, you can create a nice effect with that. So if you think back to something like the Blair Witch Project or something like that, it was meant to be like nervy and jumpy, and it worked quite well. If you don’t know what you’re doing and you try and do that, I don’t know. You might end up with seasick viewers. You’re probably not going to pull it off because you’re not experienced enough to be able to do it.

    With a tripod, I mean, a tripod is pretty cheap, like a tenner or something. It just keeps it clean. It’s one less thing to worry about. You’re not adding in any complexity that you can’t pull off. I would say stick it on the tripod.

    So as I said, don’t scrimp on the audio. When people think about video, they quite often really focus on the visual, and the audio is just as important. If you think when you’ve watched video online before, I don’t know if you’ve ever had the experience of a really loud hiss or echo. It’s really harsh on the ears, and it’s really unpleasant for the viewer. It’s really worth taking some time to think about what kit you’re going to use for your audio.

    Don’t rely on the mic on your camera. It’s really small. It’s also probably going to be positioned quite away from your subject. So you’re going to pick up loads of echo, hiss, background noise, things like that. It’s just too small to be effective really.

    Instead, have someone, this is Dan. On our shoot days, it’s his job to do the sound. Since we’ve invested in the kit, it’s given us so much more flexibility. So we used to use like a USB microphone, and it meant that our shots were all really limited. We didn’t want the microphone in shots, so all our shots were kind of mid to close portrait, which trust me, when it’s your first time on camera, you really don’t want the full frame to be your face. This has given us loads more flexibility. We can move location with it. So shotgun mic, so as the name suggests, you just point it at your subject and it picks up what it’s pointed at. Then we use this field recorder. Again, we’ve got this tweeted somewhere. So don’t worry about getting this. I’m actually using it today. It’s going to film and record my audio, and then I can whack it with the slides afterwards.

    Yeah, it’s just good value for money, for one thing. It does what we need it to do. We’re able to change location, which makes the video much more engaging, much more interesting to watch than just someone’s face for 90 seconds.

    Always monitor as you record the audio. What you’re really wanting to do is not have mistakes that you find later in the edit, because mistakes are much harder to fix in the edit than at the time on the shoot. I really recommend having a second pair of ears. If you’re filming, you’re very focused on what’s going on in the frame itself. You might not realize that a siren’s gone by or a bus or something like that, and it’s the perfect take that you think was awesome. You get to the edit, and there’s a siren. Again, that’s really hard to fix. You don’t want to go and have to set up and do it all again. Monitor as you go. As soon as something happens, as soon as that sound goes past, Dan just says, “No, we need to roll that again.” It might make your shoot a big longer, but it saves you loads of time afterwards.

    It is still worth using the audio from your camera. So remember, I said there was that tiny microphone. The reason being — so this thumbnail strip is the visual taken from the camera, with the blue audio underneath that’s also from the camera. The green is taken from this audio recording. You’ll notice there’s kind of peaks where the volume’s gone up and down. So you just match them up, match the camera audio with the secondary audio. So you don’t get that bad lip-syncing effect. The visual will match the audio.

    Okay. So music, when we first started making video, it was a very sort of confusing time with what do we have rights to use, what licenses can we — what music can we use that’s licensed properly. Zack touched on Creative Commons. I really recommend that you read up on that. But in a nutshell, you can use things on a Creative Commons license if you credit the source.

    We find our music — Incompetech is a library of music, which I really highly recommend. So a lot of these music libraries, what you’ll find is they categorize their music as like dance, pop, rock. That’s not helpful. With a video, you often know the mood you’re going for. So you know if you want it to be a happy video or you’re trying to do suspense or something. You can have a happy rock song. You can have a depressing rock song. So I don’t find the category of rock very helpful in choosing music. Incompetech categorizes for mood. So I don’t know if you can read it. You’ve got action, humorous, mysterious. That saves me so much time in trawling through these music libraries, trying to listen to all the rock songs, work out which one is mysterious. Well, I don’t have to. I just click ‘Mysterious’, and they’re all there. I would really recommend Incompetech.

    So again, if you already make your own videos, this might not be that relevant. But if you’re just sort of dipping your toe into videos, you don’t want to spend on the kit. There’s some software to help you. First of all, we talked about screencasts. QuickTime is — it comes on most Mac machines. I’m not too sure about Windows, but it’s free on Macs. That’s just a simple use of click record, and it records everything that’s going on on your screen. It’s limited because then to edit that together, you’re going to need a second piece of software, so iMovie or something like that, again, free on Mac.

    I really like ScreenFlow. It’s not free, but it’s not expensive. I think we paid about 80 quid for it. That records your screen and is an editor all in one. It’s got loads of good features, like you can zoom on areas, highlight areas, blow icons up, which when it’s a screencast, you really want it to be really crystal clear. So I just grabbed an example. This is a screen cast we made in ScreenFlow. We wanted to draw the attention to this middle section. So you just zoom in it, highlighted. It’s just really effective, and it’s not expensive. If you’re demoing software, I recommend it.

    Okay. Animoto is — this is a fairly recent discovery for us. But if you can’t take video, you can still make a video using images. You upload the images to Animoto. You choose — they’ve got loads of commercially licensed music. So again, you don’t need to worry about the whole licensing thing.

    You can also upload video clips into that. So say if you’ve taken a clip using something like QuickTime, you can upload that. Then they have an in-app editor as well. So you can cobble things together, and it’s cheap. They’ve got free accounts, but you have some Animoto branding on it with the free. If you go up to the business level, I think it’s like £35 a month. But if you’re just dipping your toe, it can be a good way of kind of experimenting with video and figuring out what works before you then go and invest in some kit and do it in-house yourself.

    As with anything, practice. There’s no point going out and blowing loads of budget on an amazing kit that has all these amazing capabilities, because if your skills don’t match up to that, you’re never going to get the full functionality out of the kit. Start slowly and ramp up. So buy a few choice budget pieces. As your confidence grows, and as you develop your skills, you can add in bits of kit as you need it. Yeah, no one is expecting you to get it right first time. There’s nothing wrong with experimenting with different bits of kit. You can rent pieces of kit as well, if you want to give things test runs. Just Google that.

    So moving on to the shoot itself. We always say put the camera in manual, rather than having it on auto. So we have the DSLR. It’s more set up to kind of take single shots in time, rather than with a video, you want like a consistent shot. If you put it in manual, it’s always going to be the settings that you choose, rather than in auto, it’s constantly going to be auto adjusting to what it thinks is right. What you don’t want is one shot that’s a bit darker and one shot’s a bit lighter, because as soon as you have that inconsistency, it looks shoddy. You might get it wrong. Your manual settings might be wrong. Your whole video might be a bit dark. But in the edit, it’s easier to apply one fix consistently across the whole video rather than trying to darken that one, lighten that one, and make sure everything balances.

    Frame composition. So Terry, our in-house video producer, studied photography. A long time ago, he was taught the rule of thirds. I don’t know why it works, but it does. If you don’t know what you’re doing, again, just stick it on the thirds. So you put your subject towards one of the outer two thirds, rather than slap bang in the middle of the frame. It’s more pleasing to the eye. I really don’t know why. There probably is some kind of psychology behind it. Yeah. If you don’t know what you’re doing, it just looks better.

    Okay. The lighting, at vzaar, we don’t have the best ever lighting. We have two light sources. One is really harsh, white daylight. The other is crappy fluorescent lighting that’s not great. The alternative is to buy a lighting rig. Again, we don’t have the budget for that. I don’t know about you guys. So we say you can make a lighting kit for 15 quid. If you get a shower curtain and stick it over your window, it defuses the light. So that harsh, white light is a lot softer, which when you’re on camera, you’re very grateful for that. Trust me.

    Then what you can also do is make a cardboard light reflector. So you get a big piece of card, white card. On one side, leave white, the other side, tape some tin foil to it. It gives you like a bright reflector and then a midlevel reflector. So you stick that on the other side of your subject, and it fills in the shadows because it’s reflecting the light. Something for you to try.

    Okay. Don’t think like a human. This slide should really read, “Don’t think like you think a human thinks,” but that sounded much less catchy when I was putting it together. As a human, when I look to the left of the room and then I look to the right of the room, it would seem that what I’m doing is looking and then pan, pan, pan, pan, pan to the right. In actual fact, I look to the left, blink, look to the right, and my brain fills in what’s in the middle based on my peripheral vision. That’s what we would recommend you do in your video.

    So if you pan and pull, the camera is on me, then it pans to the lens, goes back. The problem with that is it can mess your focus up. If you don’t know what you’re doing, again, it can look a bit crap. Whereas if every shot you switch, it keeps it clean. It keeps the pace. It makes it snappy.

    Again, practice. So sometimes, it’s hard to put something out there when it’s your first go. But in actual fact, if you make a video and put it out and get some feedback, that can be a really good way of finding out A) what your audience wants, what they expect; and B) if you can get people to give you some constructive criticism, it’s kind of like they’re more invested in what you’re doing. Then the next one you put out, they’re probably going to be more inclined to watch it, find out what you’ve done. Yeah, I know I’ve said practice many, many times, but it’s just so true. It’s a whole process.

    We started off doing talking head videos with a USB microphone. Since then, we’ve built on it. We found out what our audience likes, which is those real-world analogies. We’ve invested in more kit as our skills have grown. There’s no substitute for practice. There’s no real quick fix. You just have to put the time in, and the time and the practice and the planning beforehand. Afterwards, everyone will thank you for doing that.

    I have a few bits that didn’t really fit anywhere else. Tails on your takes and mark a good take, apologies for this moody freeze frame by the way. It happens. I’ll just show you the video, and then I’ll explain what I mean by that.

    So you’ll notice that just after Terry pressed record and before I started speaking, there was like a few seconds space. That’s really helpful to give yourself the space in the edit because you don’t want to cut off a syllable of the audio or something. If you make things tight, it’s just more difficult to fit them together afterwards. Apart from anything else, you’re probably going to get some good outtakes and things if you just leave the camera in record.

    Mark a good take. You’ll notice at the end of that take, the palm went over the lens. That’s because, if you think back to when I showed you the thumbnails in the edit, sometimes that’s really long. You know you’ve got a good take in there somewhere, but how do you find it? If you know that you’ve marked the take, you’re looking for the palm over the screen. Then you can just scroll through and find it really easily. You know that take is between those bookmarks.

    Another thing, clap to mark the audio, so you want that peak so you can line the two audios up. You don’t need to buy a clapper board, you’ve got a pair of hands. Refocus every shot. You want consistency in each shot. You don’t want — people move around. They might move off the mark a little bit that you’ve not quite realized. If you refocus every shot, you just know it’s going to be right. You’re not in the situation of fixing things in the edit, resetting things up. It really is all about putting the structure in place and getting it right while you do it, and then you’re not troubleshooting and wasting money and time afterwards.

    So yeah, I’ve got a few closing thoughts. Firstly, work with your kit’s strengths but know their weaknesses. So I actually don’t mind that we’re on a budget, but I’m not going to tell my finance director that. Being on a budget makes you be creative. When we sit down at the beginning of our process and have a talk about what we want to do, sometimes you think, “I want this bell. I want this whistle.” Then we think, “Oh, actually, we can’t do it on the kit.” You’re much better to not do something complicated that your kit can’t handle, because it will look much shoddier than if you just strip it back. Do something simpler that your kit can handle.

    When you’re on a budget, you’re forced to get creative. So sometimes, you can get really good results from it. I mean, the video I showed you earlier, where it was the two tubes with the ball of paper going through that, we made our props using paper and sort of rolled it together. That’s been one of our most watched. It’s a simple way of showing something, and people say simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. I’ve definitely found that to be true.

    Yeah. If you don’t have the kit, don’t worry. There’s always software. I’m sure there’s plenty more options, but I would definitely say Incompetech for music. Check out Animoto as well. I really like ScreenFlow if you’re going to do screencasts.

    Finally, just practice. You can’t run before you can walk. The first step to actually getting good is to give it a go. As long as you’ve done your prep work, and you’ve put as much process in place as you can beforehand, you’re not going to go too far wrong.

    So yeah, as I said, Terry is very good at technical stuff, and he’s a genius at cobbling bits of kit together. I mean, we made a dolly, which is where you have a moving camera. We stuck a tripod on a wheely chair and things. So stuff like that he’s really good at. Feel free to get in touch with him. His email address is there. We have been tweeting bits and pieces relating to this. I’ll stick it up online afterwards. But yeah, any questions?

    Making Your Own Video On A Budget

    Categories eLearning, Video Production
    Comments (0)

    Hayley presents Video Production on A BudgetIt’s no secret that at vzaar – we love video. And we think that every business – no matter how large or small – should be able to use it. That’s why we were delighted to be asked along to the eLearning Network’s ‘eLearning Development on a Shoestring’ event to talk through how you can make (good!) video on a budget.

    Over the past couple of years we’ve experimented with lots of different types of videos. It’s through this constant trial and error (believe me – lot’s of it!) that we’ve learned most of what we know. Now, while there’s no quick fixes, there are a few ways we’ve learned to make our lives simpler. And we shared these last Friday with the lovely folks of the eLN.

    We’ll be posting the video very, very soon but in the meantime here’s a sneak preview of all the action from the event…

    Stay tuned for the video where we’ll show you…

    • our planning process
    • the kit we use
    • the tools we use
    • tips for a stress-free (ish) shoot
    Categories eLearning, Video Production
    Comments (0)

    eLearning Video On A Budget

    Hayley
    article by:

    In just under a month’s time we’ll be joining the eLearning Network in London at their eLearning Development on a Shoestring event to talk through our tips and tricks for squeezing a (good!) video out of a small budget.

    Hope to see you there!

    Not in London? If you’re on a budget flights might be pushing it. Hurray for the Internet! We’ll have videos and advice ready for you after the event plus we’ll be tweeting throughout (#elnevent). In the meantime, though, there’s plenty of tips to be gleaned here…

    Screenflow example
    7 Video Tools We Couldn’t Live Without

    Got no time, no kit and no budget for kit? You can still make video… 7 tools we use that have been invaluable to our video making mission!

    Save time, save money what’s not to love?

    Budget kit options

    Video on a Shoestring: Kit List

    Hurrah! You have a bit of budget but where on earth should you spend it?

    Great value is everything. This is what we use to help get you started…

     

    Making_your_own_video__The_secrets_to_getting_comfy_on_camera____-_the_vzaar_blog____the_vzaar_blog

    Secrets to Getting Comfy on Camera

    It’s great if you can get the people behind the brand to appear in your videos. But, if you’ve got nervous team mates appearing in front of the lens you’ll need to learn how to keep the jitters at bay…

     

    In house video studio on a budget

    Whitepaper: How To Build an In House Video Studio on a Budget

    An in depth look at how to produce slick content – without a Hollywood sized budget.

       

    We’ll be talking all this through, and plenty more at the eLN event next month:

    • What is possible for very low cost?
    • How do you find or create free or low cost images, video and audio – legally?
    • Where will spending some money make a real difference?

    If you are in London, work in eLearning and are looking to make your budget stretch (hey – who isn’t?!) it’s sure to be a hoot. Full line up of speakers here.

    Hope you can make it!

    Categories eLearning, Video Production, Wider World
    Comments (0)

    It’s Monday morning. You’ve got a gazillion emails sitting in your inbox, a troublesome promoted Tweets campaign that really isn’t performing as you expected, and you really must get around to writing that copy for your new whitepaper you talked about. And then your boss suggests you make a video.

    We often talk about how it’s possible to make video when you’re on a limited budget (if you haven’t done so already, check out How To Build An In-House Video Studio on a Budget, How To Make Your DSLR Punch Above Its Weight and Video On a Shoestring Kit List).

    But what about if you’ve got limited time?

    This week I thought I’d share a few of the tools that have made us faster – and better – at this whole making videos thing.

    Planning

    Google Docs

    Ever hear the expression “a stitch in time saves nine”? Spending time planning saves time in the long run. Why? Because getting all the kinks ironed out in the first place means you’re not running around fighting fires during the execution stage.

    Nowadays, instead of just haphazardly scrawling a script at the last minute, we plan and review before hand. And, I’ll make a little bit of a confession here, it did take us quite some time to reach this point (although it seems fairly obvious now). We had to make a bit of a cognitive shift to get us there. Adding a new tool to our belt (GDocs) helped with that. It gave us a “place” to go to plan our ideas and has now become a vital part of the process.

    We put our script down the left hand side and then the visual down the right. It’s basically a storyboard without the pictures (because we can’t draw and we don’t pretend to be able to!). Then we can share it with the relevant stakeholders, invite comments and edits and really hone it to perfection (ok, maybe not perfection – but we try!).

    vzaar video planning process

    Sometimes on longer shoots we even add in a third column – a fourth when things really liven up – which gives us a list of all the props needed for each visual and the shots needed to capture it.

    This saves us so much time when at the shoot – we can just tick off the items on our lists, thereby keeping the stress levels to a minimum.

    Making & Editing

    Animoto

    I’m very pleased to say that we just launched our vzaar/Animoto integration (which means we’re able to offer our customers more of an end to end solution from creating a video to distributing it).

    If you’re new to the world of video and looking for something to help you take the plunge Animoto is perfect. You can make a video in about an hour. Seriously.

    The process is thus: choose a video style, upload your assets (photos, videos), choose a jaunty number to go with them (all the music on Animoto is commercially licensed so no need to worry about copyright issues), add some text and voila: your video is done.

    I particularly like the in app editor which means you can trim down your video clips without ever leaving the safety of your Animoto account – great for those of us who aren’t particularly well versed in editing software like Final Cut Pro (and don’t have the time to learn it!)

    ScreenFlow

    In the battle to produce crystal clear screencasts, ScreenFlow is my new weapon of choice.

    It’s a screen recording and editing tool all in one.

    You can zoom in and highlight the important bits, enlarge icons, add audio and so much more. Check out the feature list. It seems there’s nothing this baby can’t do.

    Screenflow example

    You can try ScreenFlow for free which is great because you need to be sure you’re comfortable with the interface and you can do everything you need to be able to do with it. Note: your exports will be watermarked until you purchase the license (which for me is totally worth it).

    Music

    Incompetech

    We typically head over to Incompetech for all our music needs. Many of the tracks are free to use under Creative Commons licensing (just be sure to credit the source).

    Hats off to the Incompetech team: they’ve categorized their library really, really well. And clear categorization makes for less time hunting down your perfect clip.

    You’ve got your usual “Rock”, “Electronica”, “Classic” genres but the part I genuinely adore is the categorization by mood.

    When you’re looking for music for a video you often know the type of tone you’re after: light and happy, energetic and fast paced – whatever. Incompetech make it easy to find the track that matches, with categories such as “Wonder”, “Tension” and the brilliantly named “Mad Pianist”.

    Video Streaming

    My number one recommendation? Guess who ;)

    I can’t very well write a video tools piece without mentioning vzaar can I!?

    Being able to stream to mobile devices, anywhere in the world, at HD quality is surely on the wish list of most video marketers. And one of the very best things about vzaar is that you can adjust your video delivery and encoding settings in about, oh, 3 clicks: settings-delivery/encoding-on/off.

    Right, enough of the shameless promotion. Moving on.

    How about getting some eyeballs on your video …

    SEO

    I have to mention here vzaar’s video SEO tools (I know I said no more self promotion but just this one more). Our platform builds a video sitemap for you meaning Google knows that there is a video on your page and what said video is about. And, once again, you can do it very easily – a bit of clicking, a bit of typing and you’re done.

    But don’t take my word for it – of course I love it. Instead, MoneyWeek have loads of great video SEO advice which helped grow site traffic by 136%.

    Speechpad

    It’s also a smart idea to put a transcript of your video on the page along side it. This will give you lots of keyword rich content to ensure you start ranking for the most relevant terms.

    But who wants to spend hours listening to the same clip just to work out what on earth George from Sales says at 0.27 seconds in? Instead, Speechpad will do the work for you.

    It’s pretty darn cheap too. $1.00 per minute of video (although if you want it in 24 hours you’ll pay $3). As most business videos are under a minute long it’s a very inexpensive route to an SEO win.

    Over to you

    I’m curious: what tools do you use and why? Sharing is caring…

    video marketing tips

    Categories Video Marketing, Video Production
    Comments (1)

    Video Made Easy: Animoto & vzaar

    Hayley
    article by:

    It may not surprise you to learn that at vzaar we heart video. Seriously, check out how powerful it can be:

    But, a lot of people assume that video is expensive, time consuming and difficult to do. Which can be true, if you don’t have the right tools.

    So, here’s the secret: Animoto.

    You can now easily create professional videos using Animoto and seamlessly export them to your vzaar account – all with a single click!

    We made this video using Animoto and we were amazed by just how easy it was! So easy in fact our lovely intern Geoff managed to pull it off in just a couple of hours. And that was from putting together the assets we used (read: posing for photographs!) as well as producing the video itself. I’ll hand him the reins, here, to walk you through how he did what he did.

    Screenshot_02_06_2014_14_28

    “My mission: put together a video to showcase Animoto, using Animoto.

    Step 1: Choose the video style: We went for a fairly simple style to keep the emphasis on our message but Animoto have tons to choose from depending on the type of video you’re going for. Step 2: Add captions Step 3: Create the soundtrack. There’s a vast music library to choose from. Once you have your perfect music clip you can trim the song length to match your video. Step 4: Upload your logo (branding, it’s important) Step 5: Umm, that’s pretty much it… Just hit produce and your video is made!

    The best part: the whole process took only a few hours.

    Once you have your masterpiece finished you can export to vzaar and take advantage of our security, video SEO and player customization tools.”

    There you go, Animoto: so easy the intern can do it ;)

    Lots of businesses are already using Animoto to create beautiful videos of their own. Like these ones:

    And you can too!

    Not only do the generous folks at Animoto already save you time and money during the video production process, they’re also offering 20% off to all vzaar customers (enter vzaar20 at the checkout)…so go forth and make some videos. Enjoy!

     

    Categories Video Production, vzaar updates
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