BFS Inside Look

Blueforest Studios Inside Look Part 1

Busy, busy days here at Blueforest Studios. The creative process for building exciting and memorable stories never ends. But we’re never too busy to give you a tour! Over the course of the coming weeks, we will be giving you a look at what goes on inside our studio along with the people who make things happen–our Blueforest crew.

The first person you meet when you walk in the door…

Donna Mason 

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The Witty Receptionist

Donna greets those who walk through our door with a warm smile, typically offers them coffee and directs them to the appropriate personnel. Her daily tasks involve updating customers’ Atlantic OnHold messages, writing scripts for clients, and making everyone laugh.

One of the neat things Donna likes about working at Blueforest Studios is “getting to be a little creative, getting to write some things and proving that everything we learned in school was actually worth it.” she remarked.

(*Atlantic OnHold is an on hold messaging service located in Blueforest Studios which Donna is also a part of. You’ll find out more about Atlantic OnHold in a later blog, soon to come.)

Kathy Langfield

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The Does-It-All

Kathy works on pretty much everything including finance, marketing, human resources and team management. One of the best parts of her job is working on the yearly Blueforest Gives Back giveaway where one lucky nonprofit organization receives a video valued at $10,000.

“I get to take part in that and help give away some video every year,” she said.

Kimberly Corrigan

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The Cheery Sales Guru

Kimberly specializes in sharing the love of video through sales and collaboration. She talks to clients about their video needs, sends them samples of accomplishments Blueforest Studios has achieved for other companies and determines whether or not a potential client is a good fit for Blueforest Studios. Creative collaboration is one of the perks of working at Blueforest Studios.

“Whether it is me getting to go back and be with the creatives and actually come up with new ideas or actually introduce a client to our creative team and see the ideas that come up and the video that results is so fulfilling,” Kimberly said.

Prior to joining the Blueforest team, Kimberly was a video journalist.

“To still be able to be in video and work with people,” she continued, “and come up with creative ideas and just see these beautiful things come to life is why I get up in the morning. It’s awesome.”

Russ Reynolds 

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The Big Bossman

Russ sells videos, plain and simple. He also founded Blueforest Studios. What he enjoys the most out of working at Blueforest Studios is the people.

“This isn’t work to me, you know, to go out and meet people,” Russ explained, “Usually they have a problem and that’s what video does–help them solve their problem, raise money for a nonprofit or sell cars.”

And Marguerite LeBlanc

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The Mistress of Numbers

Marguerite handles the financial elements of Blueforest Studios including payroll, accounts receivable and accounts payable.

“I like the fact that the work here is project based,” she stated, “There’s always something new. I have some things that I do that are routine but enough things that aren’t that keeps it interesting.” Marguerite also added she enjoys working in a drama-free environment.

Let’s not forget the places we use for creative meetings with clients and to chow down:

The Boardroom

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The Almighty Kitchen 

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You are now knowledgeable of several team members of Blueforest Studios. We’ll be introducing the rest of the crew very soon.

 

 

 

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The Voice of the Expert Presented in a Creative Way: Keen Strategy

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With any creative project, you are going to have lots of possible decisions and you have to be very selective about what you choose.  It was no different when we started working on the Keen Strategy branding video.  

As I met with Greg and John I realized that their software was a bit technical and took a while to explain.  But their passion for what their software could do to help marketing managers was palpable.

After doing all of the normal creative discovery, we knew the three biggest things we would like the video to do.  First, we needed to describe what Keen’s software did so anyone could understand it.  Second, we wanted to demonstrate that John and Greg were really passionate about what they were doing. Third, we wanted to show that Keen’s MIDA software was different from anything else out there.

Great. Sounds like a plan, right? Well, since we only had 2 minutes to work with, we knew we would have to pick one or maybe two of these things to really focus on in the video or we were going to start losing people.

We ended up coming up with 3 ideas to address these issues.  Some were funny.  Some were told through the eyes of a marketing manager.  Others were more symbolic, but the one that John and Greg liked the most was also the most offbeat idea.  

The concept was to interview them about the software and their passion for helping marketing managers.  As we watched their interviews, they would magically transform into animated versions of themselves. This would hopefully grab the attention of the audience and give us the opportunity to demonstrate the high-level features of the software in a visually captivating way all while making a real connection between our audience and the founders of Keen.

The result is the Keen video: Greg and John.  Watch it and tell us what you think.

 

 

 

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Upcoming Seminars at Blueforest Studios

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Nonprofit Storytelling Seminar June 23, 2016

Do you know what it takes to tell a marvelous, memorable story?

Learn the steps to becoming a master storyteller at our Nonprofit Storytelling Seminar, back by popular demand.

As a nonprofit, you understand the importance of storytelling, as well as the difficulties in crafting your message. Grabbing the attention of a busy and distracted audience to help support your cause can be tough. If you feel your organization’s purpose is getting lost in the clouds, there is a simple tool at your disposal!

A great story will forge a deeper understanding of your organization’s mission. We can help you unearth that message.

Discover how to convey your message in a way that inspires and engages at our Nonprofit Storytelling Seminar in June.

This seminar is free to nonprofits and only a small fee for others to pay.

Light breakfast including fruit and snacks plus coffee will be provided to satisfy your empty stomach.

 

Nonprofit Seminar: Leveraging Your Video Online

As part of our Blueforest Gives Back applicant research, we have noticed that many nonprofit organizations already have videos but that they might be a few years old so they might not be using them.   We checked out this video for Wake County Smart Start.

We thought that it was pretty good – maybe the stats are a little out of date, but it gets the point across so perhaps there’s a way that it can be leveraged.

For our clients that select it, we include BlueBoost – a service by which we optimize and promote the video on YouTube as well as provide recommendations to get the most out of the video asset. YouTube is the number 2 search engine – right behind Google so it makes sense to take advantage of both platforms in getting our message, and our client’s message, out.

During our upcoming nonprofit seminar, we will provide an overview of the top 7 steps to properly optimize your YouTube video as well as how and when to place video on social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram. We will also talk about when videos can be used in email marketing – for instance, is it acceptable to send an old video to new subscribers?  We encourage participants to submit their questions in advance and we’ll be ready with an answer.

Registration is free for our nonprofit friends and just a small fee for others.

Sign-up for Learn To Leverage Your Video Content Online today!  Want to learn a little more about the class?  Check out this video.

Kathy Hughes Langfield and Kimberly Corrigan will be sharing their expertise during this 90-minute interactive seminar.  We will also provide light snacks, coffee and soft drinks to get your morning started right!

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Say Hello To Kendra

Kendra Jones is one of our latest Marketing interns. She arrived at our studio in March and we are excited to have her. Find out more about her below:

Kendra Jones is a native of Jamaica, Queens, NY and has been living in NC for a couple of years. When she was a young teen, she became interested in becoming a part of the mass communications scene, specifically the broadcast side. She began studying just that at Barton College where she received her bachelor’s degree.

Kendra has worked as an Associate Producer at a news station for a short time and is currently working towards her goal of becoming a Communications Specialist/Spokesperson. She aspires to become the voice of a company, whether it is through written, vocal or visual means. Her passion includes telling stories in a creative manner and bringing ideas to life.

During her spare time, Kendra enjoys writing, shooting and editing videos, shopping, playing with her nephew and nieces, going to see bands play and thinking about cute little bunnies.

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Blueforest Gives Back 2016 Judges Meeting

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Having a strong team of judges is essential when discussing all applicants for this year’s Blueforest Gives Back Giveaway. With a blend of returning and new judges, and yummy food from Moe’s, it was time to get the ball rolling by scoping out 7 lucky finalists who met our criteria. We were very excited to see nonprofits we know and love and also organizations new to us. We did a thorough analysis of every applicant’s strengths and weaknesses. Because we looked at each applicant individually, this was a challenging process!

34 organizations sent in applications this year, which beat out our initial 25 total for last year. We fully examined each organization based on a careful list of criteria such as community presence, social engagement, and impact of the organization’s message. Some organizations are doing well on their own while others could use a helping hand. We gathered useful information about each nonprofit and their local impact.

Despite a long conversation and tough decisions, we were all on the same page about which applicants are the finalists Blueforest Studios will be working with. We’ll be scheduling meetings with the finalists over the next 4 weeks.

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Blueforest Gives Back Applicant Spotlight: Exchange Family Center

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It’s that time again. It is year two of our Blueforest Gives Back Video Giveaway and we are thrilled to have so many impressive applicants. Thank you to all of the organizations who have participated in the process.

Among the contenders who stood out to us is the Exchange Family Center. Here is some more information about them:

Life as we know it can sometimes be difficult. Everyone is facing daily hardships, which unfortunately may include mistreatment of various forms. The Exchange Family Center in Durham works to prohibit such harsh realities. The Exchange Family Center’s mission is to strengthen area families and prevent child mistreatment and neglect through family support, counseling and education. Their vision is of a world where children are safe from physical and emotional harm. They strive to guide children and their caregivers through life’s not-so-great moments.

Through resources such as counseling, case management, group counseling, education and supportive services, the Exchange Family Center has made a huge difference in the lives of many children and their families. Those services are provided through three of their main programs: Early Childhood Outreach (EChO), Family Support Program (FSP), and Parenting of Adolescents (POA).

Their three main programs have created plenty of success stories for many families. Through EChO, the Exchange Family Center has helped a child in daycare curb their aggression and instead use words to express themselves and solve problems. The center’s FSP taught a mother skills to help her child stay focused in school as well complete homework. The POA program has completely turned around a teen whose life spiraled out of control after getting caught up in gang activity.

What we love about the Exchange Family Center is that they work hard to strengthen families and ensure the safety and well-being of young people. Young people are the next generation. It is vital that they are happy and protected so they can make a positive impact in the community. The center values respect, which is the glue to making relationships work harmoniously.

Check them out and learn more about their mission at: http://www.exchangefamilycenter.org/

 

Kendra Jones

 

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Blueforest Storytelling Seminar

We have raving fans for our Storytelling Seminar – so you’ll definitely want to check it out. Our next seminar is February 24, 2016 at 10:30am.  Lunch will be provided to those who’d like to stay after. One past commenter wrote: -Great storytelling seminar!. Gave me new perspective on using good  to make memorable…ppl remember great stories

See why else you might want to attend on this video:

Click here to register!  Seats are limited so sign up today!

 

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Just How Effective is Multiscreen Marketing?

If you were to check any literary resource 40 years ago for the term “multiscreening,” a definition would not exist. However, our society has…evolved into a network of humans exceedingly less physically connected and more digitally connected through social media and television. Therefore, as we spend our time in a new way, traditional marketing concepts must evolve to accommodate for changes in our behavior. This change has ushered in the era of “multiscreen” marketing. An article recently posted to Adweek.com explains how Facebook IQ, Facebook’s analytics division, commissioned Neuro-Insight to conduct a case study to answer FaceboScreen Shot 2016-01-04 at 3.47.01 PMok’s simple question: “How do consumers respond to television ads that they have already seen, either on Facebook or on TV?”

 

Neuro-Insight divided a group of participants into two pools. Half of the participants were exposed to a TV ad, while the remaining portion were exposed to the same advertisement. However, the advertisement the remaining portion viewed was a Facebook advertisement optimized for the site. A day later, both subject groups were exposed to the same advertisement on television. With the help of the participants, Neuro-Insight made an interesting discovery. Neuro-Insight discovered viewers engagement as well as detail oriented memory encoding increased by nearly 10% when exposed to a Facebook optimized advertisement as opposed to a repurposed television ad. Everyone involved in marketing needs to realize that as enticing as it can be to repurpose an advertisement for a different platform, thus saving time and money, advertisementScreen Shot 2016-01-04 at 3.31.33 PMs truly need to be optimized for their platform. By optimizing advertisements you are ensuring viewers will receive the message you intend to broadcast and will be affected by the content of the advertisements. As exceedingly more data is harvested from consumers online actions, we foresee multiscreen marketing ushering in an era of inescapable exposure to marketing as more and more screens appear and as businesses seek new ways to captivate buyers.

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YouTube Thumbnails & Social Media Placement

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 – 

Have questions or comments? Post below!

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What’s so special about Millennials?

There has been endless discussion about millennials – what to do with them, how to reach them, how to get them to stay interested in you and your product, etc. Why?

If you haven’t heard the term millennial thrown around, where have you been?! They are the age group born between 1980 and 2000 and they outnumber baby boomers. Millennials have been stereotyped as “lazy and entitled” but companies that believe this stereotype will ultimately lose business.

They’re the largest demographic in the marketplace, so you need to pay attention to them. Especially if you’re a marketer. Ignore them and you’re in big trouble.

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Millennials crave information and want access right now. Company websites need to include all the right information with easy accessibility. With so much information on the web available, they can thoroughly research products and companies before buying, so it’s essential to take advantage of this and properly market your company and product. This goes for any potential customers. If they can’t find you, they won’t know about you. Simple, right?

71% of online shoppers claim that the most important thing a brand can do is value the customer’s time (according to Salesforce). You might have heard “millennials want it now”. They want quick responses or they can move on to the next guy, because that guy/company does respond, showing millennials their business is valued.

You need to create a personal connection between millennials and your product. Without taking the time to learn about their wants and needs, it takes away your ability to serve that customer base. Millennials change their wants and needs constantly to suit new technology and products being created each day. Businesses need to keep on their feet and adapt to ever changing customer demands and new technologies as they appear.