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What Types Of Video Can You Create Right Now?

As the Coronavirus pandemic has progressed, we’ve seen some dramatic rises in our social media and video usage. In the US, Facebook and YouTube websites saw an increase of 27% and 15% respectively between mid-January and the end of March.

TikTok was downloaded 315 million times in Q1 2020, making it the most downloaded app in any quarter ever. In the video conferencing world, Zoom was reporting 300 million daily meeting participants in April – up from 10 million in December.

These numbers are striking, but hardly surprising. While confined to our homes in various stages of lockdown, we’re all seeking the connectivity, information and entertainment that video provides. This means as a content marketer you now have an audience that is both more accessible, and more enthusiastic about video content, than ever before.

However, conflicting with this audience opportunity are new challenges. Live action filming has to comply with social distancing regulations, meaning large scale productions with vast film crews are less feasible. And the tone of your messaging needs to be carefully managed: disruptive, brash campaigns should give way to more informative, empathetic content.

So with all that said, what are some types of video that it’s relevant to create and distribute right now?

1. Company update vlogs

A vlog is one of the simplest and easiest types of video for anyone to make. Now is a great time to get a company representative in front of the camera to talk about how your business is responding to what’s going on. Your audience for this could be either internal or external, with customers and employees both likely to have a keen interest in what you have to say.

At it’s simplest level, your vlog could just be a one-take effort using your phone – raw, authentic and personal. Or you can take it further and add animated graphics, music and titles.

This video from the National Trust, about their plans for re-opening, is an example of this in action:

2. How-to videos and tutorials

How-to videos have been hugely popular for a long time, and right now they’re a great way to connect with your existing consumers and help them get the most out of your product.

These types of videos are particularly suited to product manufacturers and software developers. They can either be self-shot to give an informal and relaxed feel, or professionally produced to give them some extra flair. And they can be based on live action footage, or on animated graphics. For the live action variety, these types of videos generally don’t require huge crews or many on-screen personnel – so with the right precautions, they can be filmed right now.

The below video for Wrapmaster, a manufacturer of kitchen dispenser units, helps users understand exactly how to use their products:

3. Location Tours and 360 videos

Your audience is currently less mobile, so now is a good time to bring locations to them. A tour of a venue or property is a great way to interest and inform viewers about somewhere they may be unable to attend in person.

These can take the classic form of a montage of shots of a location, a walkthrough of a location, or 360 degree photography and video.

The latter of these can be particularly immersive – the virtual tour featured on the Cary Arms website, a boutique hotel in Torquay, is a great example of a virtual tour.

Another video from the National Trust last week acknowledges that members are unable to visit one of their rose gardens in person, so offers them a chance to enjoy it via video:

4. Infographic animations

Currently audiences are primed for content that is informative and factual, evidenced by the upsurge in views for news content on YouTube. Animated infographic videos are a great way to package up facts and figures in an entertaining and memorable way. By using animated graphics, kinetic typography, music and (usually) voiceover, you can present information in a dynamic way that has lasting impact.

Creating an infographic video focused around your industry or area of expertise is a sure-fire way to engage your customers. And since these generally don’t require any live action footage, the production process for these videos is totally pandemic-proof.

An example of an infographic in action is this National Geographic video:

5. Live webcast presentations

Anyone who was running live webcasts before the pandemic is almost certainly running more now. But if you weren’t before, now’s a good time to give it a go.

Live webcasts provide a great opportunity to build in interactivity by allowing viewers to ask questions, take part in polls, and share their comments. It’s therefore a great way to provide some form of networking opportunity, given the current absence of trade shows and conferences. And of course, it gives you an avenue to demonstrate your expertise and give your brand some personality.

There are lots of other types of video content that can be created right now, and the possibilities will increase as restrictions are gradually lifted. We’ll be covering more of these in future, looking at those most relevant to specific industry sectors.

If you would like to find out more about the video, animation, photography and graphic design services Dead Ready Productions can offer your business, please feel free to get in touch via the button below or by calling +44 (0)208 339 6139.

What types of video could you make right now?

The First Month of Lockdown – What We’ve Learnt As A Video Production Business

Well that escalated quickly.

In late February, we were looking towards a spring and summer full of filming at international events. But on the 23rd March, the first UK Coronavirus pandemic lockdown began and everyone was confined to working from home.

Since then, like every other business, we’ve had to quickly adapt to the ‘new normal’ – and while a lot of uncertainty lies ahead, some things are already becoming clearer to us.

So as a video production company, what have we learnt over the last month?

1. Self-shooting is going to be important

It’s already evident that self-shooting is going to be a big feature of the coming months. Some of our upcoming projects have now changed approach with this in mind, with interviewees or presenters now filming their own footage and then supplying to us for postproduction, rather than relying on us to be their film crew.

It’s been interesting to see how television has adapted in this way. It’s been noticeable that many presenters and news journalists have already improved their self-filming technique massively over the last month! It was a highlight for me when an isolated Robert Peston managed to finally get his camera to focus on his face rather than his bookshelf.

The below Tesco advertisement is an example of something that in the past may have been shot with a film crew but instead uses self-shot content (or shot with the assistance of a family member) – and given the subject matter, the personal touch this provides is really effective:

2. The type of videos we’re making will change

It’s clear that things aren’t going to suddenly go back to how they were, and we can expect some form of social distancing in our lives for a long time yet. This obviously has implications for video production. But the bottom line is that content marketers are still going to need content, and the benefits that drive them towards video are still as relevant as ever. It’s just that the form that content will take, and the production process involved to create it, will change.

Animated Content

With fewer opportunities for live action filming, it’s likely that animated content will become increasingly important, in the form of explainer videos and animated infographics. 3D animation was already an area of increasing demand for us prior to the lockdown, a trend which may accelerate in the current climate as we see it used more in product videos, software tutorials and e-learning content.

Stock Footage

Videos based around previously shot footage, or drawing from stock libraries, may also become more prevalent. Fortunately, stock libraries these days are awash with high quality content, and tied in with the right voiceover script and music track can make for a truly compelling brand video.

Live Events

Live events may be off the menu for now but even with social distancing, filming with smaller crews will still be possible. Interviews and presenter-based content remain viable with the right preparation and planning, and will give clients access to the high production values needed when self-shooting won’t quite go far enough.

Drone Footage

Drone filming is another service that may become more prominent. Keeping away from people is generally a requirement of aerial filming anyway, and the locations we do this in tend to be more sparsely populated. So it’s well suited to the situation we’re in!

Aerial filming is something we love to work into projects but has always felt under-utilised, so we’d love to see more drone projects ‘get off the ground’.

3. Our role in the video production process will evolve

We’re already beginning to see how our clients needs are changing when it comes to video, and how we can better support them.

With self-shooting set to become so prominent, we’re providing more advice and guidance on how to do this to best effect – useful not only when creating publishable video content, but also for the vast amount of video calling we’re all now doing!

We’ve all been carrying very capable cameras in our pockets for many years now, and those who can learn to use them most effectively will really reap the benefits. And so we’ll be looking to support people with this as best we can – shifting from being the camera crew to offering remote guidance and direction.

A lot of live events are now moving to a virtual format, so we’re helping in ways such as supporting on podcast production for live debates that can no longer be filmed, and in helping to make webcast content as polished as possible. With everything being online for the foreseeable future, it’s all the more important that content is professionally packaged in order to stand out from the crowd.

Lastly, with clients keen to keep creating content but maybe unsure what’s possible or what approach best satisfies their objectives, it’s likely that our role as video consultants will become even more important. This means suggesting ideas on the type of videos you can make and how you can distribute them, and how to maximise the reach of your budget at a time when marketing spend may be particularly restricted.

4. Remote working is working for us

Because lots of our work requires instant access to huge 4k footage files, and we love the collaborative benefits of being face-to-face, we’ve always preferred to work together from our office. Until a month ago, working from home was generally reserved for specific tasks like scriptwriting and proposal creation.

However, it’s been really satisfying how quickly our team has adapted to a remote working setup. By setting up remote access to office-based computers, and providing everyone in the team with portable hard drives, we’ve become less reliant on being permanently connected to our main footage server. And by having regular team meetings over Skype and Microsoft Teams, we’ve realised how well we can still collaborate on projects, bounce ideas around, and enjoy each other’s company.

It’s been great how quickly we’ve overcome some of our perceived barriers to remote working, and it’s exciting to think how what we’ve learnt over this past month could provide us with more flexible working practices in the future.

5. The future is exciting

We’re under no doubt that challenges lie ahead, as they do for all businesses. But alongside those challenges lie opportunities that we’re excited about. We’re being forced to take a step back and re-examine the way we do everything, and make sure we’re best prepared for the future. We’re learning new skills that will benefit both us and our clients. And we’ve been reminded what a great team we have, and how ready we are to work through these challenging times together.

It’s still early days but as we move forward, video is going to be used in new and innovative ways. We’re looking forward to seeing what people and businesses do, and playing our own part in that. Not only will we find new ways to create the kind of video content we’ve always done, we’ll also see innovative approaches and new types of video content that may not have ever happened before the lockdown. And a lot of what we learn will have a lasting impact well beyond the point when things return to something resembling ‘normal’.

So with the first month of lockdown behind us, we may not have left our homes much but we’ve learned a lot! Please do share your own experiences with us – we’re all affected in different ways and it’s both fascinating and enlightening to hear how everyone is responding to the situation. In the meantime, stay safe!

Uploading Video To Facebook Vs YouTube: Video Best Practices

The platform you choose to upload your video content to will have a huge impact on its success. Important metrics like views, likes, shares and audience retention will all be affected, making choice of platform a critically important aspect of your video marketing strategy.

In days gone by, YouTube was the undisputed king of the video world. However, Facebook’s aggressive push to muscle in on the video scene has now made them a serious player. These two platforms are without a doubt the big guns in video sharing these days, with both carrying their own pros and cons.

So, should you upload your video to Facebook or YouTube? The short answer is both! And when it comes to Facebook, you should upload natively.

Uploading To Facebook

Traditionally, people would first upload their video to YouTube, and then create a Facebook post that linked to it. However, the main way Facebook has curtailed YouTube’s dominance in the video world is by becoming less ‘YouTube-friendly’, with videos uploaded directly to the Facebook platform receiving preferential treatment.

For this reason, you should always upload your video directly within Facebook, rather than link to your video on YouTube.

Videos posted natively to Facebook benefit from larger thumbnail images, the capacity to auto-play in the viewer’s news feed, and greater organic reach. This last point is because the Facebook algorithm (the code that decides what people see on their news feed) favours Facebook videos over YouTube links.

This greater organic reach in turn leads to greater engagement and video sharing. A study by Quintly showed that videos posted natively to Facebook received 530% more comments than those linked to on YouTube!

Uploading To YouTube

So with all the advantages of Facebook video, is there any point in posting to YouTube anymore? Yes! For starters, you’re reaching a whole other audience outside the bounds of Facebook news feeds.

YouTube is considered the second largest online search engine, processing billions of searches per month, so it makes sense to have your video content there.

The YouTube platform may lack the immediacy of the Facebook news feeds, but conversely it tends to outperform Facebook as a long-term home for videos. On YouTube, videos can be discovered more easily long after their original posting.

It’s also easier to share direct links to YouTube videos, which is harder with Facebook videos once they become less active and end up buried under the non-stop stream of status updates and shared news articles.

Optimising For Different Platforms

While it’s important to post to both platforms, it should always be considered how your video content might be optimised for each one. For example, a video posted to Facebook is more likely to be consumed on-the-move on a mobile device, without audio being switched on.

This makes on-screen captions and titles ultra-important. However with YouTube videos, there’s often scope for videos to be a bit longer, since people are less distracted by the surrounding news feed.

We will cover optimising videos for different platforms more in future blogs, but in the meantime please keep posting your videos to both YouTube and Facebook (natively)!

If you would like to discuss how Dead Ready Productions could help you to further enjoy the benefits of video for your business, please get in touch via the button below or by calling +44 (0)208 339 6139.


How Long Should Your Video Script Be?

How many words should the script for your video contain?

This vlog gives you a good rule of thumb, and a few tips about how it can vary depending on the type of video you’re making.

Check out the transcript below.

We all know that keeping audiences engaged with your video will lead to more views, interactions and conversions; so making sure your video is no longer than it needs to be is really important. So today I’m going to talk to you about how to make sure the script for your video is the right length.

Setting the duration of your short form video is a job in itself as it will depend on the sort of content you’re providing your audience, but assuming you’ve made that decision, how do you make sure that you write a script that matches? As ever, the answer varies, but there is a good rule of thumb: 150 words equals 1 minute of screen time.

If you’re creating an explainer video that features narrated graphics to demonstrate a product or a system for example, this metric works really well. It works less well when you start to add in the unpredictable – for example sound bites from interviews that you’re yet to shoot, or music-driven montage sequences, but it is a good place to start.

Some videos are inherently faster than others. A piece-to-camera like this is generally delivered quite quickly, with fewer pauses in delivery, allowing for a higher word count. At the other end of the scale, a purely typographic video will have to have half as many words, around about 70-80 a minute as you need to allow people enough time to read your messaging.

Of course, you’ll find plenty of videos that have a far faster or far slower word count, but if you’re not trying to do something dramatically fast or slow, this is a good place to start.

I’m on about 300 words, so if I’m right, this video will be about 1 minute 20 seconds.

How Long Should My Video Script Be?

How Does The Huntington’s Disease Youth Organization Use Video To Engage Their Audience

With well over 500,000 views on their YouTube channel, and with viewers in over 100 different countries, the Huntington’s Disease Youth Organization (HDYO) is a charity that has had fantastic success using video to reach out and engage with their audience.

While Huntington’s Disease (HD) is a rare condition, the impact on those affected is significant. The videos created by HDYO have helped to support and connect a community that is spread across the globe and includes not only those directly affected, but their families, partners and friends.

Having worked with HDYO since 2012, it’s been great to see how the videos we’ve created together have helped them in their mission to give young people affected by HD the best possible support and information.

We spoke with HDYO founder Matt Ellison, and board member Beth Downing, about how exactly they do this and why they feel video is working so well for the charity.

For more information, see their website at or their YouTube channel.

If you would like to discuss how Dead Ready Productions could help you to further enjoy the benefits of video for your business, please get in touch via the button below or by calling +44 (0)208 339 6139.