We are looking forward to all the great speakers and workshops at High Five this year. We also want to meet new people and if you would like to talk about Video Marketing please sign-up for a 15-30 minute appointment slot. For those on Google check out the calendar below! Others feel free to reach out on Twitter, LinkedIn or Email. We are planning on hanging out in the lobby/bar area of the Sheraton so hope to see you there. If you’d like to meet somewhere else just reach out!
There are so many facets to think about when creating and marketing a video. Sometimes you don’t think of minor details that might not seem important but actually have a huge impact on your audience – including how the thumbnail looks on various channels. We produced an amazing video for our client yet LinkedIN insists on grabbing one of the ‘standard’ thumbnail options from the video itself rather than the custom thumbnail that we’ve created.
This is a good thumbnail because it has a human face and a name and title. However, we don’t like the windblown look for our still images.
Facebook on the other hand grabs an image anywhere within the real thumbnail. We think this might be because they want everyone to use their native video feature. So we are having to ‘game’ the system by creating a thumbnail that will look great on Facebook if a large amount of traffic is through Facebook. However, does that look good on the other channels?
There also happen to be dogs on paddle boards in the video – which is a great image to get large audiences to click. But is the rest of the content relevant?
Our client has a very specific target for this video and is in a very competitive environment where a “Win” or a “View” by the right person can make a big difference for them. So it’s important that the video is shared on social and found through search while looking interesting enough to click. It’s a challenge that we face everyday and if you’re using videos in your marketing, it’s time to consider the thumbnail! It’s like the subject line of an email or the title of the book – the right thumbnail can get people to view the video – the wrong thumbnail might make people snub your video and potentially your brand.
Watch this beautiful video and learn about Perquimans Marine Industrial Park –
The moment we’ve all be waiting for – the winner of Blueforest Gives Back CASA’s Video Reveal! We had our First Annual Blueforest Gives Back for local nonprofits and we’re proud to announce that we will debut the final product July 21st at The Cary Theater.
CASA is a Raleigh-based nonprofit housing developer and property manager. They focus primarily on multi-family rental properties for people living with disabilities and veterans who have experienced homelessness. CASA’s housing model ends homelessness for people in great need by offering safe, permanent places to live. CASA manages more than 340 apartments and homes across the Triangle (Wake, Durham and Orange counties) and has 22 more currently under construction.
We’ve really enjoyed this exciting collaboration, learning more about what CASA does and how they positively impact our local community. Together we’ve creating an amazing animated video that embodies CASA and their message. We can’t wait to share it with all of you!
Come learn about Blueforest Studios, CASA, and the importance of animation! See how Blueforest tells CASA’s amazing story and learn more about the annual Blueforest Gives Back for local nonprofits. Open to everyone!
When: Tuesday July 21st
Time: 3:30pm- 5:30pm (2 showings of the debut video, no excuse to miss it!)
What’s Your Great Thing? Durham Tech can help you discover that.
Blueforest Studios worked alongside Engine Brandmakers and Durham Tech to create this great video project. Blueforest Studios focused on capturing the energy of the students as they found their “great thing” at Durham Tech among downtown Durham. These videos capture how students gain diverse experiences through their peers and the different opportunities available to them at Durham Tech.
This message of finding your “great thing” is the important central message in Durham Tech’s mission. They help students find their passion and career goals through their many classes and programs. Blueforest Studios focused on embodying that message in these videos through the vibrant background of downtown Durham and strong student interviewees who are eager to learn.
The purpose of these videos is to promote Durham Tech and encourage new students to enroll. These videos show the connection between Durham Tech and downtown Durham, how they go hand in hand in the students lifestyle when attending Durham Tech. The message conveyed in the videos is how students gain real world experience in the diverse and energetic environment as a student at Durham Tech and as a resident in downtown Durham.
Like this video or want something to embody your company message? Let us know what you think!
Earlier this week, I began my internship here at Blueforest Studios. Not knowing what to expect, I walked into the office Monday morning to find an intrinsic group of people dedicated to what they do, and boy, do they do it well. Blueforest offers an array of avenues for companies to increase local awareness. One way Blueforest does this is by offering an annual competition for one lucky nonprofit in the Triangle area to receive a free video called Blueforest Givesback. Nonprofits submit applications as to why they deserve the video and Blueforest selects one company which they feel has the most compelling story. How awesome is that? Then Blueforest creates a free video worth $5,000 to $10,000 for the nonprofit. This year CASA was the lucky winner of the Blueforest Givesback competition. The other interns and I were tasked with brainstorming a radio spot to advertise the screening of the winning video Blueforest created for CASA. CASA is different from any other organization I’ve worked with in the past. CASA’s mission is to provide affordable housing to those who are homeless and disabled in the Triangle. With over 300 apartments in the Triangle and constant need, CASA cannot continue to thrive and house those in need without your help. Visit http://www.casanc.org/ and help make a change today. The radio spot we created can be heard here:
Conducting an interview is a skill that takes years to master. I consider it one of the most important skills I’ve developed over 12 years in this business.
Here are a 7 tips that will help you get the best results when you are interviewing someone for your nonprofit video.
#1 Be what you want.
Probably the most important thing you can do when you are interviewing is to lead by example. If you want your interviewee to be relaxed and comfortable, make sure you speak in a relaxed and comfortable way.
#2 Give them some coaching.
Once the lights are on and you are both sitting down, give them a little coaching on how to answer the questions. This will give you a chance to demonstrate how you want them to speak, will give them a chance to get used to the lights and cameras, and will give them a bit of valuable information.
#3 Only ask one question at a time.
If you ask multiple questions at a time it will confuse them and encourage them to give you long winded answers that will be harder for you to use in the video.
#4 Have a list of questions, but don’t use it.
You should always be prepared with a paper that has their name and the questions you want to ask. But once you start talking, you should be flexible enough to make follow-up questions that relate to what they just said and go with the flow.
I usually ask the first question and don’t look back at the paper until the very end to make sure I didn’t miss anything I was planning on.
#5 Go for the story.
Most nonprofits are built around great stories. You are changing peoples lives! When you write your interview questions, you should ask questions that reveal their story. Instead of asking who, what, or how, ask “why?”
#6 Don’t be afraid of silence.
Sometime they will give you a short answer that didn’t address what you were asking. Or you may sense they are holding back to hide their emotions. This would be a great time for an awkward silence. Just keep looking at them and count to 5 in your head. I’ve gotten some of my best answers by just not speaking and waiting for them to really open up. (And yes, I learned that from Barbara Walters!)
#7 Keep it loose.
Occasionally you will get someone who is so nervous about the lights and cameras they freeze. If your interviewee gets stuck on a question, don’t let them hang frozen for too long. If you just sit there they will begin to get more and more embarrassed and the interview will fail. After a few moments of freezing, I like to move on to the next question and come back to the one they froze on if we need to at the end.
It was a very tough decision. Every applicant is an important nonprofit helping to better our community. We started Blueforest Gives Back because we love getting involved in the community in many different ways. Blueforest Gives Back is another way for us to help local nonprofits with what we do best, telling a great story. After much consideration, we’re happy to announce the winner.
Drum roll please……
CASA is a Raleigh-based nonprofit housing developer and property manager. Focusing primarily on multi-family rental properties for people living with disabilities and veterans who have experienced homelessness. CASA’s housing model ends homelessness for people in great need by offering safe, permanent places to live. CASA manages more than 340 apartments and homes across the Triangle (Wake, Durham and Orange counties) and has 22 more currently under construction. CASA’s CEO Debra King was recently Tarheel of the Week by the News & Observer!
Blueforest Studios is excited for this opportunity to work with CASA in creating a video that will help CASA accomplish their mission. Blueforest Studios and CASA will work together to broaden their impact and raise awareness of the organization. CASA was selected to receive the 1st BlueForest Gives Back award because of its successful track record of assisting often overlooked members of our community, its dynamic leadership, and their plan to further their measurable impact. Learn more about CASA at http://www.casanc.org/
We thank all the applicants that applied to our first year of Blueforest Gives Back and for all the work that they do. We encourage all to apply for 2016’s Blueforest Gives Back.
Keep a lookout for updates of Blueforest Gives Back and for the winning video!
So, you have a fundraising event coming up and you have a beautiful video to show that is going to make people cry and then open up their pocketbooks?
The last thing you want is to have your fundraiser packed to the gills with folks ready to watch it and then when the lights go down, the video does not come up.
Or the audio sounds terrible.
Or the picture looks nothing like it did on your computer.
Or worst yet…it freezes in the middle.
Don’t leave it to chance. Here are 5 things you should do to make sure your video plays back correctly during your event.
#1 Make sure you get the best quality video file.
The most compatible file is an .mp4 with an h.264 codec. Also, ask to get it in the highest resolution possible. Most videos are shot in 1080p resolution. If it was shot and edited that way, make sure your video file is also that resolution.
#2 Ask your video production company for help.
If you used a video production company, they are just as interested as you are in having their beautiful work play back correctly.
#3 Ask your AV person the exact model of the projector and computer they will be using.
If you have that info, you can see what resolution the projector is, what kind of connection cables, if their computer is fast enough to play back your file, etc. If they ask you for a DVD, this is a huge red flag and indicates they have not updated their equipment for over a decade!
#4 Do a run through before the event (24 hours in advance if at all possible)
The ultimate test is to make sure the video plays back on the exact equipment that will be used at the event. Play back the entire video several times to be 100% sure.
#5- Have a backup method
It never hurts to be prepared with a backup. If you have your own laptop that is capable of playing back the file and connecting to the projector, have that ready to go just in case.
My favorite commercial in the last several years comes from the “Big Game” of 2011. I’ve been a humongous Star Wars fan since my parents took me to see the films in the 90’s when they were being digitally remastered and shown in theaters again. If you’re reading this you probably know which commercial I’m already talking about.
Volkswagen truly captured the same childhood imagination (and desire for learning how to control The Force) I felt at that age. I’d like to think I’m going to buy a car that can turn on with the press of the button in hopes to do this to my future children.
Of course, who could forget the sweet story of friendship told in a minute time frame by Budweiser last year? I’m a sucker for anything with dogs in it but this is a legitimately beautiful piece of work.
Sure I’m bringing this up because Sunday will bring commercials filled with humor and sincerity. But does this only have to be during one day of the entire year? Absolutely not!
We take pride here at Blueforest Studios in creating content that is both engaging and informative. The most engaging way to capture the attention of your audience is to tell a story.
We certainly think adding a pinch of humor also works too.
So as the new year continues to roll on consider us for your marketing needs. We are storytellers that want to tell your story!
I find myself scrolling through pictures on my iPhone often. I like to reminisce. Mixed in with the pictures are some videos I’ve taken — mostly of my kids. Both my toddler son and daughter love to grab my phone any chance they get. And I find it fascinating to watch what they do once they get it. Sometimes they immediately go straight to one of the apps I’ve downloaded for them. But, other times they head to the photo section. Their little fingers scroll through quickly from picture to picture. Occasionally stopping to giggle for a second or to turn the phone towards me to show me something they want me to see. “Gook” my daughter says instead of “look” smiling. But, any time they see a play button it’s game over. No matter how quickly they’ve been scrolling, if they catch a glimpse of that triangle they stop mid scroll or scroll backwards to find it again.
The power of the play button.
It’s like a magnet. You have to know what’s behind the thumbnail. On YouTube it’s even red. It’s almost like it’s telling you not to click it. But you have to. And that’s why video is so powerful. If you have a well written story then you’ve got something powerful. Add an image and voila even more powerful. But, add a video and you’ve just increased your audience engagement by a lot.
Video by itself isn’t enough. The video needs to be good. It needs to speak to your audience in a way that represents you, your brand, your company. And once you put one out that people like they’ll want more.
So think about what you stand for and how you are delivering your messages in 2015. If a toddler with a very short attention span is willing to stop for a moment to click the play button then think about what your potential audience may be willing to do.