Why video is the best medium for brand storytelling

Modern storytelling is at peak power when told through film. Marketing your brand is no exception. The ability to capture tiny, emotionally-compelling details through audio and visuals lies only with video. This is precisely why video has taken over social media and our entertainment choices. More people watch videos than read books (or articles) nowadays. Your brand needs to use this power or you’ll risk losing out to more compelling competition. We, at Blueforest Studios, are the pros in video production Raleigh trusts for great content. Join us as we show you why your brand story will amplify when video marketing is your tool of choice. 

The one-two punch: audio and visual.

Video captures our attention through two of our most important senses: hearing and sight. Every brand knows an emotional message is the one that actually hits. These senses significantly shape how we form emotional connections with our world. When you empathize with someone’s body language or tone of voice, you’re more receptive to their entire message. Think about how powerful your brand message can become if your stories are backed by this kind of emotion. Just don’t start crying on us!

Emotion doesn’t need words (and neither does video).

From the moment silent films were born, some of the best storytelling has been done through video. These films couldn’t carry any form of audio, which meant all the story was packed in motions and expressions. Text– like books and web articles– force us to picture these same nuances in our minds. This is how we feel the stories we read. The same roads are being taken to connect people to the message. The wise storyteller would choose video as the more efficient medium. Be wise.

You can tell longer stories in tiny timeframes.

If a picture says 1000 words, a 30-second video must be able to sum up a 1000-word “about” page. We already mentioned how efficient wordless storytelling can be. When you flip the tables, imagine turning a 30-second movie trailer into an in-depth written story. You’ll quickly overextend yourself.

You’ll find there are some subtle storytelling tools that can only be done in writing. That said, most great narratives can be told through film easier than text ever could. Still not convinced? We’ll leave you with this: would most people rather watch a Harry Potter film or read the +6000 page book?

Need help? We provide video production Raleigh and beyond.

Your brand has a strong set of values and a compelling mission, but you need the tools to share it. By reading this article, you’ve learned that video can captivate your emotions to boost your audience engagement. You’ve also learned that stories can be shared more quickly and powerfully with visuals than static words. We at Blueforest Studios want audiences to feel your story. We’ll work with you to create an awesome film that shows people “why” your message matters. If you’re ready to take your narrative to the next level, set up a chat with us today.

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Video Production 101 – A Comprehensive Guide to Video

a lot of businesses in this city, which makes it a challenge to stand out! Not to mention, there are so many marketing avenues available it can be hard to know where to start. Since videos can be easily shared and can pack a lot of information into a small amount of time, they are a great tool to get your name out there, but they need to be done right in order to be effective! If you know you want to create a high-quality video for your business but aren’t sure just how to make it happen, look no further than this quick-start guide from your one and only Raleigh Video Production company – Blueforest Studios

Free PDF Summary Below

 

How to Create the Perfect Company Video

 

In order for your video to make the greatest impact, your vision and purpose need to be clear, and that starts with honing in on what your company is at the most basic level.

you’ll need to do some soul-searching of sorts by asking yourself a few things.

 

  • Ask WHY: WHY are you in business? Was there a great need that drove you to create your company for the consumer? WHY do you do what you do? Is there a major catalyst that keeps driving your company forward?
  • Ask WHAT: What is it that sets your business apart from all the rest? There’s something special about your company, make sure you know what it is so you can tell the world! This is a good time to reflect on the purpose of your organizationWhat are you trying to do with this video? The purpose of your video can vary. Whether you are advertising for an event coming up, trying to get email subscribers, selling a product, or something entirely different, it is crucial that you know just what want to accomplish with your video, otherwise it won’t be effective.
  • Ask HOW: Now that you’ve thought about your what and why, it’s time to focus on how you’re going to get your message across to the audience who sees your video. This is where storytelling comes into play. Consider these basic factors that need to be present to carry your story from start to finish:

What sets your business apart from the competition?

  1. Character: A good story has to have a main character. Who is yours? 
  2. Value: What value does your business provide? Maybe it’s a service or product unique to your company, or maybe it’s something different. Whatever it is, you want to tell the customer what they need!
  3. Threat: What threats stand in the way for your customers? For instance, perhaps cost or inconvenience stands in the way of the customer receiving this value they’re searching for.
  4. Resolution: This is where your business swoops in to save the day! Your story and video should come to a close by driving home the point that the service you provide will solve a problem for your prospective customer. You should also include a call to action at this point, so that the audience has an easy way to take the next step.

 

Conflict resolution comic Blueforest Studios

QUICK TIP: Is there a story of something or someone related to your company that represents your purpose in a meaningful way? If so, awesome! Personal stories are extremely relatable to an audience, so this will be the best way to tell your story.

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Generating Sales and Conversions from Your Video

 Once you’ve got a story and you’re ready to tell it, it’s time to get a video produced that will generate results

Check out our info-graphic below for some information on how to do this:

Infographic on Raleigh Video Production 101.
Promoting your Video:  So you’ve gone through the video production process and you know your video is perfect for your business! Now, it’s time to make sure your customers see it. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Pick the right channels: If your Instagram account only has 10 followers and you haven’t posted on it in 2 years, then this probably is not the right channel to share your video. In order for your video to gain traction, you’ll want to post it places where you already have some audience built up (We can help if you’re just getting started). FacebookTwitter, and Youtube are great options, of course with a link back to your website!
  • Reach out to other bloggers and share your video with them – hopefully they’ll want to share it with all of their followers as well, which increases your audience exponentially.
  • Optimize your youtube channel: Your Youtube channel can be a great place to get customers to keep watching one video after another about your company – make sure that you make it easy to subscribe and that your videos are high quality and in line with your purpose and brand. 
  • Run paid search ads and embed your video on your landing page: Paid search ads can be a wonderful tool, but you want to make sure that they’re effective! If this is something you don’t have any experience with, consider hiring a professional company to handle this. Run paid search ads on Facebook or Instagram with a CTA (Call to Action) Like the one below:

Download this Guide as a PDF for FREE:

 

Here are a few Examples of awesome Raleigh company Videos: With all of the businesses in the area, there is no shortage of example videos you can look at for inspiration! Check out a few that we think are extra awesome.

The Exploris School: VIDEO

Butter Ball: VIDEO

Overwhelmed yet? Maybe it’s time to hire a professional…

Video Production Company in Raleigh

How to choose the best video production company:

 

At this point, you might be feeling in over your head. Producing a quality video takes a lot of resources – and not everyone has access to fancy cameras, the best editing software, and the right marketing tools. Lucky for you, professional video production companies exist just for the sake of helping businesses like you create successful videos that will generate the results you’re looking for. Here are some tips for how to choose the one that’s right for you.

 

  • Look past the reels: Even though a highlight reel can be a great introduction to a video production company, you need to make sure you see plenty of samples of a company’s work before committing. Looking at a sampling of work will give you an idea of what you could expect, and if the type of work they do is what you are looking for in your own video

 

  • Ask if they understand your company: Give the video producers plenty to work with! You will want to spend time speaking with them about who you are as a business, and make sure they understand your brand and the story you want to tell.

 

  • Ask about marketing: Once the video is produced, will you be on your own, or does the production company offer marketing packages to ensure your video gets to the desired audience?

 

  • Budget: While of course a well-produced video can produce a high return on investment, you don’t want to break the bank either. Look to hire a video production company that fits within your budget, so that you can enjoy the results without stressing your finances!

 

Still need more information on choosing the right video production company in Raleigh? Click here for more tips!

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Why Blueforest Studios?

You’ve decided you want to hire a professional video production company in Raleigh to make your video, so why choose Blueforest?

  • Focus on storytelling – Our brand storytelling approach ensures that your video gets at the heart of your company’s purpose, making your video impactful and effective. We get that your company is important to you, and we take time to get to know who you are so that your story is authentic.
  • Skills and experience – You’ve read this far, so you know how much goes into making a quality video! We have the skills, tools, and experience to get the job done right and on time, giving you the freedom to focus on the day to day of your company. With Blueforest Studios, you can trust that experienced professionals are going to deliver a product that generates real results.
  • Value – We are committed to providing excellent video production at affordable price points, and also offer Blueboost, our VSEO marketing package that ensures your video gets shared on the right channels and viewed by your desired audience!
  • Our Work History–  Are you curious to see who we’ve worked with in the past? Check out some of our work!

Ready to start brainstorming? Click below and we’ll help you determine how you can use video to up your marketing game!

Creative session with ammon

develop your brand story in 5 easy steps

Develop Your Brand Story in 5 Simple Steps

 

develop your brand story in 5 easy steps

Consider this: would you rather listen to a boring sales pitch or a riveting story? There’s no question about it, everyone loves to hear a good story. We tell them often, not only because they are enjoyable, but because stories are powerful. They have the ability to capture our attention in a way that other mediums cannot, and they leave us with lasting impressions – ones we remember long after the details fade. For this reason, the brand storytelling approach is a great way for business owners to tackle marketing to their audience. Rather than simply telling the consumer, “this business fits your needs”, having a solid brand message shows the consumer how the company’s values intersect with their own, grabs and holds attention, and can be implemented in countless ways. So how do you as a business owner develop your company’s brand story? Check out our 5 simple steps below:

1. Start with your own values.

You’ll need to first start with your own values – why did you start this company, or what is it that makes you love working there? Don’t be afraid to brainstorm. Get your brain waves flowing, so you can get a good list jotted down. Some questions to consider in this process:

  • What is the most important part of your work? Is it providing an excellent service? Caring for others?
  • What gets you out of bed every day?
  • What makes your company great, and what does your company as a whole value?

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BRAND DEVELOPMENT GUIDE:

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2. Understand your audience

Take some time to think about your target audience, who they are, and what they value most in the world. As you construct this list, consider:

  • How old is your audience?
  • What do they do for work? For fun?
  • What are their priorities in life?
  • What do they value and why?

3. Find the strongest common values

Now that you have your two lists, put them side by side and start looking for similarities. You want to find the strongest common values between the two lists, because these are what your stories and brand message should be based on. Once you find the core value that has great meaning for both you and your audience, you’re in business!

4. Build your brand message around those values

More than anything else, for a brand story to be effective in reaching your audience, it needs to be true! This may mean that you need to do some soul-searching, or make some changes in your company to align with the values of your consumer. This process is worth the effort in order to build your brand message around values that you and your audience share. Your brand message will be a priceless tool to help you tell stories that resonate with your customers, not only making your business more memorable, but also making your audience more likely to respond to your calls to action.5 steps to developing your brand story

5. Use stories everywhere

Now that you’ve done the work to create a meaningful brand story, don’t be afraid to use it! There are a plethora of ways to do this. You can incorporate it in your website, business cards, taglines, the type of events you sponsor as a company, and of course, your videos and the stories you tell through them.

We hope we’ve convinced you that brand storytelling is not only achievable with some reflection and creativity, but also that it is incredibly effective! It’s time your small business got away from the empty sales pitch and moved towards something that will be memorable and relatable to your audience: a great story that shares your common values with the customer and makes them feel compelled to learn more.

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Blueforest Studios is committed to helping your business tell their brand story in a meaningful way. Interested in learning more about Raleigh video production, and how we can help you develop and showcase your story? Check us out here to learn more!

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Storyboard to Finish

Homes by Dickerson, the constructors behind the HGTV 2016 Smart Home, just launched a video we produced to feature their company’s custom homes. Our client wanted to not just show off their product, but also to capture their company’s core values: commitment, craftsmanship, quality and service.

Inspired by the idea of symmetry, we decided to use a split screen to convey two contrasting but compositionally similar scenes. The left frame would show the intricate process of designing and building a house, and the right side would show loving moments of a family enjoying the finished home years later.

Because the concept was so visually driven, detailed shot-by-shot planning was key to executing our creative director’s vision. Projects like this take careful storyboarding.

Storyboard artists get to be a little bit of everything: the cinematographer, the director, the cameraperson, the lighting specialist. They sketch out the perfect angle, emotion, mood, lighting, transition – all to capture that exact moment envisioned by the creative director. That way, the crew can use the storyboard as a guide when shooting and editing a project.

Check out some frames from the final video along with their storyboard sketches:


Rollover the final frames to see the storyboard frame.


Rollover the final frames to see the storyboard frame.


Rollover the final frames to see the storyboard frame.

And here is the complete final video:

 

 

-The Art Department

MOTIVATION for you and your customers!

motivation 

[moh-tuhvey-shuh n]
noun

1.  the act or an instance of motivating, or providing with a reason to act in a certain way

2. the state or condition of being motivated or having a strong reason to act or accomplish something

3. something that motivates; inducement; incentive

(dictionary.com)

motivation-steps

Think about how important motivation is. It is the main mechanism in everyone’s brain that says, “Hey! Do that! Don’t do that!” It guides our basic human needs and all our actions.

Along with personal motivation, it can also be applied to marketing and the business world. What motivates customers to act? What motivates you in your business? Motivation is often overlooked as it’s a subconscious decision that is rarely discussed.

This TIME article discusses 3 important steps to motivate yourself and I thought how these important tools can be applied to marketing and business. Let’s go through main drives and emotions that can help you individually and in your work:

1. Positivity! 

positivity

 

You: Emotions are often overlooked in productive systems. People procrastinate most when they are in a bad mood. To stay optimistic, you can monitor your progress and celebrate success.

Your business: Consumers need to feel positively about your business. It’s important to convey in your message and marketing how your work is important to the consumer. Even if your work isn’t all about happiness, you can still portray how your business will positively impact customers, which will motivate them to look into your business.

 

2. Get Rewarded! 

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You: Studies show that reward motivates almost everything you do. You eat because you need food. Eating is the “reward” when you’re hungry. Your stomach hurting when you don’t eat is the punishment. So in order to motivate yourself, reward yourself for being productive and completing important tasks.

Your business: When presenting your business to the world, you need to make clear how your business will ultimately “reward” the customer. How will your service make their lives better or satisfy a need or want? The reward drive is a basic instinct in humans that motivates people to act.

 

3. Get Peer Pressure! 

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You: By surrounding yourself with individuals with similar goals you’re striving for, you will be more motivated to be productive and do your best. When your peers are hardworking, you will be hardworking. The right amount of positive peer pressure can push you to be your best.

Your business: “Peer pressure” can be applied to the consumer being exposed to what’s popular. Consumers that receive more stimulation will keep those businesses in mind. That’s why big name companies such as McDonalds still advertise constantly even though they are an instantly recognizable brand name. They advertise to dominate the playing field.  When consumers are constantly seeing a brand’s name on social media and on TV, they will remember that brand and will think of them when they need that service/product.

Remember, motivation is key. Use these three tips to increase motivation for yourself and your business!

LinkedIn Basics: Fix your Profile Today!

Pretty much everybody is on LinkedIn by now, right? And, all the profiles are searchable and contain useful information that potential clients or employers can access, right? And, lastly we all know the LinkedIn is for professional networking and not necessarily to share your pet photos or funny jokes, right? So maybe not.

If you don’t have a  LinkedIn profile or it doesn’t have the following be sure to update it right now.

1. Headshot – Just like any social network people want to know what you look like. The headshot should be professional or at least a photo of you by yourself with professional attire.  Here’s a nice head shot for a google rep.  The head shot is clean but you get an idea of his personality. This is also helpful when you’re meeting people at an event so be sure to include a recent photo.

Google Rep LinkedIn Profile

Google Rep LinkedIn Profile

2. Title – Think about what you would like to be called as it relates to your current or future position.  Use facts but it can be general i.e. Marketing Intern.

3. Position – Add any relevant positions that you’ve held.  If they are internships or real jobs put them under experience.  If they are volunteer positions place them under volunteer experience. As you gain knowledge add them to your position.

Position and Recommendation

LinkedIn Position Info

4. Ask for Recommendations – During or after your internships and work experience ask people that you have worked with for recommendations.  Don’t wait until 3 years down the road when you need a recommendation.  These will stay with your profile and you can accumulate any number of recommendations.

5. Connections  – Ask people that you know to connect with you.  These could be family friends, people at the same company, teachers or professors or people in the same field whom you’d like to connect with in order to share information. It’s important to personalize the invitation if the potential connection does not know you well.  Indicate where you met or what you have in common.  All of these people have sent invitations but they just say “I want to connect with you” and I don’t know why they want to connect.  Keep in mind that they can see who you’ve connected to and that you’ll see what they post. Connections are important but maintaining quality is important as well.

LinkedIn Invites

Personalize the invite.

Personalize the invite.

6. Profile Completion – LinkedIn will give you tips on how to complete the rest of your profile.  It will ask for schools, additional experience and any certifications.  Add that information as you acquire new credentials.

7. Join groups – for the WWDUC2 interns be sure to search for the WWDUC2 group on LinkedIN and feel free to post relevant inquiries or articles.  Look for other relevant groups as well.

WWDUC2 Group

8. Sharing – People on LinkedIn do like jokes and funny pictures but in general you’ll want to share professional information. Share new jobs and credentials, share blogs and articles that you think may be helpful, and by all means share job posting if you see them so the people in your network might apply.  If you have questions that you need answered see if there is a relevant group and ask the question there.

Any other questions?  – check out this Creative Guru article or ask below.  We will answer all of your questions.

 

 

 

Public Relations Graphic

What is Public Relations?

Public Relations Graphic

The PR Puzzle

“A developing company is looking to hire a PR/advertising person,” I read yesterday in a Facebook status of Katya, my former colleague in Russia. “PR slash advertising, right,” I thought to myself. Indeed, it’s hard to imagine a PR guru like James Grunig, for example, putting an equals sign between public relations and advertising… In many companies around the world, however, such association is pretty common. In Russia, the words PR, advertising, and marketing are often used interchangeably and essentially refer to one thing and one thing only: promotion of goods or services. Is that in any way different from the American culture? Let’s get brainy and try to figure it out.

Curiously, the abbreviation ‘PR’ for Russians would typically evoke a set of negative emotions. The deal here is that excessive political PR blackened the reputation of the whole PR process in the 1990s – right when it came into existence after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Take PRopaganda for instance, which is the name of a large local public relations firm: Can you really expect good things from the company where PR and propaganda merge?!

PR in Russian language is also often used as a verb describing a public figure or an organization trying to boost their popularity through dubious activities. See a politician in a news report bragging about equipping local schools with newest computers? Don’t doubt for a second that the guy is ‘PRing’ himself. Such skewed understanding of PR is not unique to just Russia and is observed in other countries of the former USSR as well – in Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine.

So what would the ‘correct’ interpretation of PR be? Most likely it would sound something like ‘communication between an organization and groups of people affected by this organization, where all parties should benefit.’ PR would imply listening for feedback and allowing for dialog between the organization and the society. Unfortunately, most organizations are far from working in line with this ‘true’ purpose of PR. Public relations practitioners usually act as marketers, trying to urge people to buy the product instead of putting efforts into upholding the company’s reputation in the society.

Blueforest Studios recently held a contest for local nonprofits in the Triangle area called Blueforest GivesBack. Factors determining proper PR, such as community presence and social engagement, served as important criteria for our judges in selecting finalists. Blueforest is going to announce who the finalists are really soon!

What do you think public relations stand for? Press releases? Corporate social responsibility? Two-way communication? Share your thoughts in the comment section!

About the author: Vlad is an intern at Blueforest Studios and a 2nd year grad student at NC State. Today he’s sharing thoughts on his field of study – PR – and how the purpose and functions of PR in his home country – Russia – differ from the U.S.

Introducing: Bailey’s – Experience Elegance

We were thrilled when we received a call from Bailey’s and they said they were considering using us for their upcoming holiday campaign.  Who in this market hasn’t heard of the Bailey Box?  They are great marketers and we were honored to have a chance to develop a holiday TV spot for their company.  And, the fact that they let our team stretch their creative muscles made it that much more enjoyable. It’s an elegant and unique video that combines animation and live action, view below!

 

 

The purpose of this video was not only to unveil their completely redesigned store but to convey the feeling of shopping at Bailey’s in a memorable and unique way.

 

Screen Shot 2014-12-18 at 3.52.45 PM

 

We shot all footage using the Red Epic 4K camera riding on a Ronin 3-Axis stabilizer to get that floating feeling to the footage.  We decided on shots that were bright and sunny for the outdoor shots.

 

Screen Shot 2014-12-18 at 3.53.10 PM

 

We designed a animated female character and used several techniques to make it feel as though she was really part of the scene but at the same time feel as though she were part of the viewers imagination.  The character is designed to convey a stylish, carefree spirit.

The result is a commercial that stands out from other jewelry commercials in a memorable way.

Introducing: Durham Tech Lifestyle video

Our Durham Tech Lifestyle video is one of many great projects we worked on this year. Blueforest Studios had great fun creating this video at Durham Tech and downtown Durham. We want to show you the video and a little behind the scenes involved.

This video is a collaboration between Engine Brandmakers, Durham Tech, and Blueforest Studios.

The purpose of this video was to interview real Durham Tech Students and highlight the connection between what Durham Tech is doing and all the vibrant, exciting things going on in Downtown Durham.  We wanted to connect the two things to convey how the lifestyle of downtown Durham goes hand in hand with the lifestyle of attending Durham Tech.


 

bts durhambts durham2

In order to capture this, we shot on 2 Canon DSLR cameras (one handheld) and one on a tripod using all natural light.  The footage is a mix of regular student activities and regular lifestyle activities. Once we had the footage and began editing, we decided to use plain white, modern text to punctuate some of the things the interviewees were saying.


Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 11.42.01 AM

One of the brilliant touches came from the creative folks at Engine suggesting that we shoot one of our interviewees walking in front of a large fish mural on a huge brick wall in Durham, giving them a huge amount of headroom.  We all loved the shot so much we decided to duplicate it for each interview. 

Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 11.49.28 AM

TAB/Smart State Use Video to Grow Their Business

Keith Weaver is an established business coach for conjoined business advisor companies, The Alternative Board and Smart State. He came to us for assistance in creating a tool that would help him get meetings and close deals. Though he’s very good at his job, he was looking for something that would address prospects’ fears and issues – ones that they might not even want to speak about – such as the business problems that keeps them up at night.

Here’s the video that our team created.

After implementing the video into his sales process Keith has been very pleased. Here is what he had to say:

Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 9.53.35 AMWhen I needed a boost to my revenue growth, I turned to Blueforest Studios. They developed and produced the perfect video as part of my marketing strategy to attract more clients. In the two years since I began using the video my business is up over 43%. Anyone can make a video these days but very few know how to tell your story or deliver your message in a compelling fashion that gets viewed and truly impacts the bottom line.

Keith Weaver, CEO
Smart State, LLC

http://www.smart-state.com/