Planning a corporate video

How to Make Your Corporate Videos More Engaging

A corporate video is any type of video communication that a business uses to engage, inform, or persuade a particular audience. Corporate videos may be directed at internal staff, potential stakeholders, or everyday consumers, but they all have one thing in common—they need to be engaging to have an impact.

But the golden question is… how? How do you make your corporate videos engaging and informative? Entertaining, but still on-brand? It sounds like a tall order—but it’s possible for even small companies looking to make a video.

To help you out, here are six tips to help you make your next corporate video more like an Apple keynote presentation and less like an ‘80s fast-food employee training tape.

Tip #1. Find your purpose

A lot of businesses know they should be doing video. But do you know why you’re doing it?

Before you even begin the planning process, you and your team have to ask yourselves: “What are we trying to accomplish by making this video?”

Are you trying to draw in new customers? Are you promoting a new product or service? Attract new talent to apply for your company? Impress stakeholders with an annual earnings report? Train new employees or educate them with an internal corporate mission statement?

Having a sense of purpose and goal to focus on will keep you on track during production, help you create a more cohesive video, and save you time and money. Don’t just film randomly around your office and fall prey to the “we’ll fix it in post” mentality; find your purpose first.

Tip #2. Keep it brief

The exact length of your video will depend on where you’re going to show it and what you’re trying to accomplish. But, in general, it’s best to keep your video as short as possible.

In this rapidly changing era of technology, our attention spans are getting shorter. You don’t want people to feel like their time is being wasted, so every moment needs to have a purpose. Every second, every shot, and every spoken line needs to count.

That may sound like a lot of pressure, but it’ll help you distill your message down and remove extraneous details that don’t contribute to the overall story.

Tip #3. Tell a story 

If you know us, you know how important we believe it is to tell a story. We emphasize storytelling so much because people understand and remember messages better when they’re told visually with a story.

Having a story in your corporate video doesn’t mean you have to make it feel like an episode of a TV show or include fictional elements. You already have a story to tell, whether that’s the history of your brand, a case study, or an interview with an employee sharing what motivates them to do a great job.

Finally, storytelling can help make your product or service more real to your audience. Technical specs are important, but people connect more when they understand how a brand can fit into their lives.

Tip #4. Use plain language

You know your industry—and maybe you want to show your expertise through complex market analyses, intricate technical descriptions, and lots of numbers and facts. Or maybe you want to disrupt the market by pivoting your corporate strategy and utilizing your value-add proposition to move the needle… or some other combination of fancy-sounding marketing buzzwords.

Unless your audience is as entrenched in the industry as you are, they probably won’t be able to parse a lot of technical speak or buzzword-y jargon. Instead, use plain language when possible.

Plain language and simple vocabulary terms are accessible to a lot more people. In fact, experts recommend writing at a level an 11-year-old can easily understand. Keeping things simple means you can instantly broaden your audience to include those who may not understand more complex or obscure language.

Tip #5. Encourage action

The most effective and engaging corporate videos include a call-to-action (CTA). Your specific CTA should tie into the purpose you identified in Tip #1.

If your viewers enjoy your video and want to learn more, you don’t want to put the onus on them to seek out next steps. Instead, you want to make it easy for them to engage more with your brand.

For example, if you’re announcing a new product, tell people where they can buy it. If you’re sharing an interview with a subject matter expert on your team, tell people how they can reach out to learn more. Encourage them to sign up for your newsletter, follow you on Instagram, or fill out a contact form. If you can get people to follow you on social media or subscribe to your emails, you can keep them engaged with your brand for longer than the length of a single video.

Don’t pile on the CTAs, though. One or two simple instructions will be plenty.

Tip #6. Don’t do it yourself

It can be a hard truth to swallow, but it’s important to face the facts: unless you’re a professional video production company or have dedicated videographers on staff, you probably shouldn’t make your own video.

There’s so much that goes into corporate videos. From storyboarding to scripting, lighting to audio equipment, editing to sound mixing—it’s a lot harder than it looks. That’s why, if you want to make a truly engaging corporate video, you need help from professionals.

Videos are our bread and butter here at Slice. We know video production inside and out and we know what it takes to make videos that have an impact, that get noticed, and that engages viewers on a deeper level. We’re happy to help you with your next corporate video, too. Just contact us to learn more.


Behind-the-scenes at a video production company filming session

What Does a Video Production Company Do?

A video production company creates high-quality, in-depth motion content for clients across industries. But what exactly does that mean—and what exactly do video production companies do?

Here at Slice, we do a little bit of everything when it comes to creating videos. If you’ve ever been curious about what a video production company does and what happens day-to-day, we’ve outlined the different parts of the production process to help you understand.

First, what is a video production company?

A video production company (VPC) creates video content for other companies’ marketing strategies. That video content includes commercials, online ads, product showcases, as well as corporate videos and employee training videos.

Video production companies differ from film production companies because film production companies mostly make movies or TV shows. On the other hand, VPCs typically make shorter content for a variety of outlets that are often part of a larger marketing strategy.

What’s the difference between a videographer and a video production company?

Many people think a videographer and a video production company are synonymous, but they actually perform very different jobs. Videographers take on projects like weddings, parties, conventions, and other live events. A videographer is frequently in the background of the event and doesn’t interfere too much or focus on staging shots—they’re just there to capture what’s happening.

On the other hand, a VPC is a lot more involved. They’ll often employ a team of highly skilled individuals that specialize in one or more aspects of the creative filming process. These staff members will be extremely hands-on throughout the video production process, including the planning and editing phases.

What does a video production company do?

In a broad sense, a video production company plans, films, and edits videos for other companies and organizations. Day to day, activities are actually a lot more complicated than you’d think. Here’s a short rundown what you’d see a VPC do in a day:

  • Meet and collaborate with clients
  • Conduct product and market research
  • Create storyboards
  • Write scripts
  • Scout filming locations
  • Audition actors, source props, and create wardrobe pieces
  • Film videos and record audio clips
  • Edit videos by piecing together footage
  • Mix audio and music tracks
  • Create animations, motion graphics, and SFX
  • Post videos online and contact TV stations for broadcasting

Not to understate it, but that’s a lot! Let’s further explain what some of those mean.

Pre-Production

Every VPC starts with a pre-production process that involves research, planning, storyboarding, and more. A strong pre-pro phase helps avoid roadblocks during the filming and editing stages—meaning it’s essential to the success of every project.

Let’s go over some of the pre-production steps we take here at Slice.

Meeting Clients

The first step of the pre-pro process is sitting down with clients to discuss their vision and expectations for the project. Some of the things we discuss during this conversation include budgets, timelines, filming locations, content/subject matter, intended audiences, where the video will be shown, and the overall goal of the project.

It’s important for us to be as detailed as possible in this stage so that everyone involved is on the same page—and there are no surprises down the line.

Research

A good video production company will really take the time to fully understand the work of clients and their audiences.

During the research phase, we learn about the products and services we’re filming, as well as analyze what videos competitors have put out. That helps us find the right angle for a video that helps you stand out from the competition.

Storyboarding

Once we know who we’re talking to and what our goals are, we create a storyboard.

Storyboarding involves planning out each shot before ever picking up a camera. A storyboard will guide us during the production phase as we plan out camera angles, flow, actor/prop staging, and more. The final product may change from the initial storyboard, but this pre-production phase is crucial for keeping the filming stage on track.

Scripting

While storyboarding involves planning the visual shots, scripting involves planning out dialogue or voiceovers heard in the video. We focus on blending the right tone with the right information to make a video that’s accurate while also matching your brand’s style.

Selecting Talent & Picking Out Props

If a project calls for actors, most video production companies will handle the casting process. Casting calls may take place at a casting agency or virtually over video chat.

If props or special wardrobe pieces are needed, a VPC will either use what it has on hand or rent/buy the right equipment. Clients will have final say over talent and set pieces used in a video.

Choosing a Filming Location

If a video can’t be filmed in our studio, then we’ll scout out locations. Some of the things we look for in a good location includes:

  • The distance the crew and actors will have to travel
  • Potential sources of background noise or other disruptions
  • Any permits required for filming
  • Insurance coverage requirements

Clients get final approval of the filming location—and we highly recommend an in-person visit before making a decision.

Production

Once the pre-production phase is finished, we move onto filming. Different video production companies use different equipment setups, techniques, and methods for shooting video. At Slice, we use state-of-the-art filming, lighting, and audio equipment to make sure each video is the best it can be.

Filming can take a single day or a few weeks depending on the complexity and length of the video. The team will capture primary footage, B-roll shots, voiceovers, and interviews. We don’t require clients to be present on set for filming, but it is encouraged.

It’s important for clients to communicate any ideas or visuals they want in the final video before production is complete. To avoid reshoots and to keep things on schedule, we try to capture as much as we can during this main filming phase.

Post-Production

The post-production phase involves reviewing footage and compiling it into the final product. From there, we send videos out into the world—either on social media, your website, or on TV.

Editing

Editors trim, splice, and combine pieces of footage to transform them into a cohesive video. Editors and designers will add on-screen graphics, subtitles, animations, and other visual effects.

Depending on what’s agreed upon during the initial planning stages, clients are allowed a certain number of revisions to the final edited piece. Additional revisions may be requested for an extra fee.

Sound Mixing

A great video needs great audio to complete it. The sound mixing process involves layering audio on top of a video, adjusting volume levels, dynamics, and more. This stage involves adding in sound effects/foley work, layering on voiceovers, and making sure a video sounds as good as it looks.

Distribution

Some video production companies hand over the final video file and call it a day. At Slice, we’ll help you with everything that comes after, including distributing your work to television broadcasters and posting it on social media.

In Summary

A video production company transforms your ideas into reality. There are a lot of steps that go into making even a simple video—but we’re passionate about doing everything we can for clients of all sizes and industries.

At Slice, we tailor each process according to each client, but one thing remains the same: our dedication for telling stories and sharing brands through the power of video.

To see examples of what a full-service video production company can do, check out some of our work. If you’re ready to create a video for your business or just want to learn more about what Slice can do, email William at william@slice.company or call (727) 267-0650. We’re excited to hear from you.


Closeup of hand using a tablet with a laptop in background

This is Why You Need User-Generated Content Marketing

User-generated content marketing is a relatively new concept in the marketing world. With the rise of social media, people everywhere can share their voices with the world. Sometimes they even use their voices to create user-generated content that helps your brand.

Today, we’re going to break down user-generated content marketing and how it works. Let’s get started.

First, let’s get our definitions straight.

User-generated content (UGC) is anything that your customers make about your brand. That “anything” can be videos, blogs, Tweets, reviews, and more. Customers shouldn’t be paid to produce anything, but they can use their content to enter into a contest.

User-generated content marketing is using that customer-created content in your own communications strategy on your own digital channels. You, essentially, work their creations into your social media posts, on your website, or in your commercials.

But where do you find user-generated content? You have to search for it. Sometimes customers will tag you in their posts and make things easy. Other times, you’ll have to search for specific hashtags or do a bit of plain ol’ internet sleuthing.

If it doesn’t already exist, you have to ask for it. That means hosting a contest, offering a giveaway, or just openly inviting people to share their message. 

You can use UGC as part of your everyday marketing communications or as part of a specific campaign strategy. We’ll talk about examples of both as we discuss the reasons why you need to use user-generated content marketing.

Reason #1: People care about authenticity.

Ah, authenticity. Marketing junkies talk about this concept so much that we almost start taking it for granted. But don’t let it become just a buzzword – authenticity is still really important. Like really, really, really important.

Time and time again, research shows that modern customers consider authenticity to be one of the most important factors when choosing a brand. User-generated content is authentic by definition, so it has a huge influence on customers.

Graph: What type of content highly impacts your purchasing descisions?

A lot of people don’t believe the professional ads and marketing campaigns that are just thrown at them. But many do value feedback and reviews from peers who are not paid for voicing their honest opinions. 

UGC won’t always be the most polished or have the highest production value. But those flaws are just part of the authenticity; they’re a sign that a real person is sharing views that haven’t been scrubbed and sanitized to fit a perfect corporate identity. That’s authenticity. 

Reason #2: It shows you’re open to interaction.

People want brands to listen. It’s important to interact with customers no matter your campaign strategy.

Responding to reviews, answering questions, and accepting feedback – these are all things you should be doing anyway. Doing it in the context of user-generated content marketing just builds a closer connection to customers. Being open to feedback and willing to celebrate your customers is tough, but powerful.

Just a note: remember to ask permission before sharing UGC on your own channels. It’s a nice way to have a connection moment with a customer – and it’s just the polite thing to do.

Success Story: Starbucks

The winning black-and-white swirl design of Starbuck's White Cup Contest

Way back in 2014, Starbucks launched their White Cup Contest. The rules were simple: just draw a design on a plain white Starbucks cup, take a photo, and submit it.

Starbucks got over 4,000 entries in three weeks. The winning design graced an official, limited edition cup. This contest was a great way to encourage UGC and gave Starbucks a chance to share customer voices. Pretty brilliant, if you ask us.

Reason #3: User-generated content helps build a loyal community.

Customers who create UGC already know and love your brand. When they promote your brand online without being paid, it endorses you to everyone in your loyal customers’ circles.

Think about it: when potential customers are seeking out word-of-mouth reviews and recommendations, where do they look? They often first look to their community.

A community can be family, friends, or even an online group of people who share a love of something. We trust what our community has to stay. In fact, 92% of consumers trust brand recommendations from friends and family. 

We don’t have an example for this one because you can look at your own life for an example. Just think about the time you or someone you know solicited recommendations for a product on Facebook or Twitter. Word-of-mouth is huge – and user-generated content takes it to the max. 

Reason #4: It takes (some of) the work off of you.

It’s less of a strain on resources to curate user-generated content than it is to produce new content yourself. With UGC, you’re not paying for actors or equipment and you’re not spending hours brainstorming and producing content. That can be a major blessing to your tight budget.

But you can’t leave everything to your customer base. Encouraging customers to post their content? Curating what you find? Actually sharing it to your branded social media? That’s all work you still have to do to make the most of your customer’s messages.

Success Story: Adobe

Screenshot of Adobe's instagram showing share UGC

Adobe is all about creating the software people use to make great things. But do they need to spend time making their own art pieces to show off their products? No – they can just share the great things customers make using their software.

Adobe’s Instagram is full of user-generated content. Adobe encourages people to share their work with hashtags like #AdobePerspective and #CreateYourStory. This is a great way to use UGC in your daily social media feeds – and a great way of showing off what your product can do.

P.S. We’re here to help.

At Slice, we believe user-generated content marketing is best when it’s paired with other efforts – like YouTube marketing, a strong social media presence, and an expertly-made website to host all of your wonderful content. (Hint: we can help you with that last one.)

If you want to learn more about how we can help you with your digital marketing efforts, just contact us. We’ll help you create a robust marketing strategy that blends all kinds of different tactics to make the biggest and best impression.


Man uses a touch stylus on a tablet while drinking coffee

The 5 Best B2B Content Marketing Tips to Drive Engagement

B2B content marketing is how you attract potential leads to your site through smart and engaging content. Useful content helps build your brand as a valuable resource in the eyes of other businesses – and teaches them something new along the way.

But making good content isn’t that simple. Slice is all about making engaging content for our clients, so we thought we’d share these 5 tips on how to engage your audience and keep their attention.

Tip #1: Create a blueprint for success.

Before you start writing, pick up a camera, or send your designers off to make infographics, you need to create a solid content strategy. You should figure out:

  • Your audience. Are you targeting individual small business owners or managers in specific departments? Are you talking to the tech-savvy or the people who have trouble opening their email? This can help determine the tone of your content, as well as where you post it online.

  • The reason why you’re different. What’s your angle or value proposition? What makes you special? And why should someone pick you over the other guy?

  • Your KPIs. Your key performance indicators can be anything from page views to full conversions. Make sure you define several KPIs so you’re not hung up on one single metric.

  • Where your content will live. We’ll talk more about this in a bit, but you need to start thinking about your content channels. Are we talking YouTube, Instagram, your own site, or multiple channels?

  • What your competitors are doing. It’s never a bad idea to scope out the competition. Also, consider if you can do exactly what your competitors are doing – but better.

Bonus Tip #1

Your strategy is allowed to change over time. Maybe you find some niche to focus on or you find that different success metrics are more useful than others. Make a plan and try to stick to it, but don’t box yourself in.

Tip #2: Show why you’re useful – immediately.

The golden truth of all marketing is that people don’t want to engage with content that doesn’t benefit them in some way.

Your Instagram carousel of the recent office party is fun and helps to humanize your brand. But no one is going out their way to look at it – and no one is going to buy your product or service because of it.

Now, no one is necessarily going to buy your product because you wrote the best ever blog post either. But they’re more likely to find your brand in the first place and go on to engage with your site than they would from the office party photos.

So, remember: your potential clients are busy people. They’re probably not here to read your blogs or watch your videos just for fun. Your story and the way you tell it needs to focus on the core value of what you’re offering.

Bonus Tip #2

Your ending call-to-action is more important than ever when it comes to B2B. If someone wants to get in touch after engaging with your content, they shouldn’t need to hunt for your contact information. Make it easy for people.

Tip #3: Appeal to humans, not just corporations.

Remember all that work you did figuring out your audience? You probably profiled people, not faceless companies.

B2B content marketing is generally more technical and detail-driven than B2C marketing. But while your goal is to convince other businesses of your value proposition, you have to remember that there are still people on the other end engaging with your content.

So, how should you adjust your strategy to appeal to people? Here are a few ways:

  • Start with good technique. If you make a video with thought-provoking and valuable information but film it in a dimly lit room with muffled audio, nobody is going to sit through it. Remember: presentation matters.

  • Respect their time. It’s okay to do long-form content pieces when it’s appropriate. But you should always try to say what you need to say in as few words as possible.

  • Keep it simple. One idea per content piece. Don’t ramble, don’t go off-topic, and don’t try to cram too much information into one place. Focused content is more engaging.

Bonus Tip #3

Tell a story. It’s in our nature as humans to love storytelling – and it’s scientifically proven that the messages in stories are 22 times more memorable than just straight facts. We’ve talked a lot about storytelling marketing before, so don’t neglect it.

Tip #4: Embrace multimedia.

If content is king, then media channels are his royal palaces. Where your content lives and breathes is just as important as what it’s saying. A key of B2B content marketing is to reach across platforms and media types.

Here are a few ideas of what it looks like to embrace multimedia:

  • Send email newsletters with the latest trends in your industry

  • Write long-form tutorials on your blog about a niche process in your field

  • Film interviews with industry experts about their creative approaches and post them on YouTube

  • Make infographic case studies showing the measurable impact of your product or service in beautifully designed graphs and charts

  • Post short thinkpieces on LinkedIn

Exploring new avenues allows you to produce content uniquely suited to each format and reach new people. You don’t need to do everything – but change things up when you can.

Bonus Tip #4

Try to strike a balance between selling your brand and providing information. It’s okay to be a little more salesy in B2B settings, but understand there are different times and places to promote your services versus teach something new.

Tip #5: Get help from the pros.

A strong content marketing campaign is a full-time endeavor. It takes a lot to research, plan, film, write, design, edit, and upload good content.

An effective B2B content marketing strategy can’t come to life if you only have 15 minutes here and there to work on it – especially if you want to film videos, which take skill and time. That’s why you need a professional company to make it happen for you.

You can make content on your own. But a professional production company is how you make good content – the kind that keeps people engaged.

Bonus Tip #5

We at Slice are in the business of helping businesses. We’ll help you with video production, web design, and photography for your campaigns. We know our stuff – and we think this blog proves it.

If you’re interested in getting started or just want to learn more, contact us. What would this blog post be if not a useful and value-laden bit of B2B content marketing itself?


Real estate video marketing

5 Real Estate Video Marketing Tips That Sell

Video marketing is the art of using videos to engage potential clients, elevate your brand, and educate the world about your company. As the digital world grows and more people have an online presence, we’re increasingly seeing videos play a key part in any good marketing plan.

According to Techsn, video marketing alone generates over 120 billion views a month. In the real estate industry, realtors were able to pull in leads from 65% of the videos they posted. 

Real estate in particular is uniquely suited to video marketing – whether that’s recording listing tours or just showing realtors on camera to build a connection with future clients.

Real estate video marketing is a growing trend in the industry. Realtors are starting to see that they can reach new people through video in ways like never before. If you’re interested in making videos, we’ve put together these tips to help you impress.

1. Keep It Focused

Each video should have a guiding purpose or goal, which should be clear and easy to understand from the very beginning.

No one wants to watch a rambling video that constantly veers off-topic–that’s a quick way to lose interest. Your audience should understand what they’re getting into and the video should stick to that. Everything you show on-screen should be part of supporting that guiding purpose.

Of course, the best way to keep things on topic is to create a game plan before you ever start filming.

We’ve written a lot about what you need to consider before starting a video project, and it all starts with planning. Planning can be making a storyboard, writing a script, or just picking a set of questions to answer. Whatever you do beforehand to prepare will save you a lot of time and money in post-production, as well as create better content for people to watch.

Find your goal, find your message, and find your purpose before picking up a camera.

2. Have a Call to Action

Once your viewers finish the video, what should they do? Call a number, send an email,  sign up for a newsletter, or like, comment, and subscribe?

It’s vital to include some sort of call to action at the end of your video. After you’ve given potential clients information, you also need to provide some sort of way to act on that information. Make it easy for them to find you, rather than requiring them to hunt down your contact information.

Be careful, though – don’t overwhelm your audience with a to-do list. It’s okay to stick with one or two brief lines. A simple “contact us here today” or “click the link in the description to schedule an appointment” with all of the appropriate contact information is perfect.

3. Embrace Variety

Having a variety of video content keeps things from getting stale. Listing tours are one of the most common types of real estate video. And while they may be your digital bread and butter, there are tons of other types of videos you can pursue. 

  • Q&A sessions. Have a realtor sit down to answer and explain some commonly asked questions. Bonus points if you livestream the Q&A session to allow viewers to ask questions in real-time.
  • Interviews. Have realtors talk about their experience and background history or give their thoughts about a relevant industry topic. This is an excellent way to demonstrate your authority and expertise.
  • Testimonials. Bring some satisfied clients on-screen to share their story and satisfaction.
  • 360 listing tours. Your typical property walk-through but better. 360 videos require specialized equipment, but they allow for a much more detailed and immersive experience.

Think about what your clients really want to know. Think about the questions you hear from them most often. Answering those questions and fulfilling those needs are great sources of inspiration for your videos.

4. Put a Face to the Name

As a realtor, you know how important it is to make a personal connection with your clients because they put an enormous amount of trust in you. Letting them see your face and hear you speak before meeting you is a great way to build trust.

We know this is true because of the psychological concept of parasocial relationships. When people see you on social media or in videos, they can grow to like and trust you, even before they ever meet you in real life. It’s the same reason we grow to love celebrities and social media influencers so much just by seeing them on TV or online. By watching you in videos, potential clients can come to feel as if they know you personally.

So, one of the biggest tips for success in real estate video marketing is to show your face. Treat the camera like it’s your most important client and be amazed at the response you receive.

5. Use Apps and Other Tools

Even if you’re just using a smartphone, there are apps and other pieces of software that can improve the audio and picture quality or allow you to share videos without having to have professional editing tools.

Some great resources available include:

  • Livestreaming software, like Periscope and Instagram Live. These let you share in the moment and allow for enhanced viewer interaction.
  • Editing tools, like Magisto and Animoto. These are great for making small enhancements with no video editing experience required.
  • Social media that supports video, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. We’ve already talked about why you should be using IGTV, so take the time to familiarize yourself with the platforms available to you.

Your videos don’t necessarily need to be flashy or have Hollywood-level production quality. But the higher the production quality, the better.

You may discover that even with the help of useful software tools and apps, creating a polished video is more difficult and time-consuming than it seems.

That’s why Slice is here. We’re a video production company based in Tampa Bay and we’ll help you through the entire process of making a great video. From planning to filming, post-production and editing, we’ll help you reach potential clients through masterfully made videos.

Contact Us

If you’re interested in hearing more about the power of real estate video marketing, just contact us! We work with companies of all industries and sizes – and we’re excited to hear from you next.


IGTV for businesses

5 Reasons Your Business Should Use IGTV in 2020

IGTV for businesses

On June 20th, 2018, Instagram launched IGTV, its long-form video platform. Available on the original Instagram app as well as its own standalone app, IGTV was ambitiously called “the next generation’s TV” and was expected to compete with YouTube for mobile user’s attention.

Fast forward almost two years later, and IGTV has not made the giant waves it set out to make–however, that doesn’t mean it hasn’t made a sizable splash.

If you’re a marketer or business owner wondering if it’s still worth it to download the IGTV app in 2020, it depends. We aren’t going to beat around the bush–it’s not for every type of business, but you should definitely consider it if:

  • You already receive a lot of engagement on your Instagram Stories
  • You’re interested in influencer marketing
  • You are a B2C brand that sells products that are visually appealing or easy to show off, like clothing, food, or a fitness class
  • You want to reach a Gen Z and Millennial audience

If you think IGTV might be a good fit for you, here are 5 ways your business can benefit from Instagram’s long-form video platform in 2020 and beyond.

1. No Money & No Equipment Necessary

Perhaps the biggest advantage of IGTV for small businesses is its low barrier to entry. All you really need is a smartphone with a decent camera.

Yes, researching your audience and coming up with engaging content takes time–no one is downplaying that! But posting a few IGTV videos over the course of a month and seeing what happens

2. The Future of Video is Mobile

According to Cisco’s Annual Internet Report, video is expected to make up 82% of internet traffic by 2021. And year after year, a greater percentage of those video plays are on mobile devices.

There’s no denying that the future is mobile, and so businesses need to stop seeing phones as a second screen and start taking a mobile-first approach to video content.

IGTV provides a great way for businesses to test out mobile video strategies and get used to creating more smartphone-friendly content. While IGTV has added support for horizontal videos, it’s intended to be a vertical video environment similar to Snapchat or TikTok. And odds are, the next big video-sharing app will be vertical, too, so you may as well get used to it now.

3. It’s an Easy Way to Expand Your Reach

You don’t have to create new content for IGTV to benefit from it–you can re-upload content from your brand’s YouTube or Facebook page to IGTV to gain additional viewership.

Any original content you create for IGTV can be cross-promoted on Twitter, an email newsletter, or whatever other marketing platform you use.

And thanks to a February 2019 update, you can also share a 1-minute preview of your IGTV videos on your feed. From there, viewers can tap “Keep Watching” to go to the full video, allowing you to reach an audience that would never watch IGTV videos otherwise.

4. IGTV Viewers are More Engaged

People scroll past Facebook videos and play YouTube videos in the background while they do something else all the time, but IGTV watchers are a much more engaged audience.

It’s true that only a small percentage of Instagram users have downloaded the separate IGTV app, but that smaller audience is highly interested and hungry for content.

Bottom line? You might get a higher view count on YouTube, but you’ll probably get more likes, comments, and shares on Instagram.

5. Promote Your Brand to Gen Z and Millennials

The millennial generation is in their prime spending years, and is estimated to spend around $1.4 trillion (yes, trillion with a “T”) in 2020.

Gen Z isn’t just a bunch of teenagers without income anymore, either. This up and coming generation is expected to spend roughly $140 billion in 2020, which is nothing to sneeze at!

How do you court these generations? By fishing where the fish are, so to speak. More than half of Instagram users are under the age of 34, so it’s safe to assume that IGTV’s audience has a similar demographic makeup, if not younger.

Tips for Getting the Most out of IGTV for Businesses

Be consistent! Series are the most popular videos on IGTV. Whether you update that series every week or every month, it helps to give your audience something to look forward to regularly. Your series can be as simple as a monthly how-to video, interview, or success story, but don’t be afraid to push boundaries and get creative!

  • A Professional Touch Helps. Yes, one of IGTV’s most appealing features is it’s low barrier to entry, but a professional touch can go a long way. If your business already has a strong presence on Instagram and you want to make a good first impression with them on IGTV, partnering with a local video production company will give you content that extra polish.
  • Include a Call to Action. Always make sure viewers have somewhere to go after they watch your videos by including a strong call to action. IGTV makes that easier by allowing you to include links to products in your video descriptions (something you can’t do on a normal Instagram post).
  • Keep Silent Viewers in Mind. That is, the growing number of people who prefer to watch mobile videos without sound. Consider optimizing your IGTV videos for soundless viewing by adding subtitles that are clear and easy to read.

The Takeaway

  • IGTV is a great video marketing platform for brands with a low barrier to entry.
  • If you don’t already have a strong presence on Instagram or receive a lot of engagement, you may have trouble getting traction with IGTV.
  • As smartphones continue to take over the world, learning how to create great mobile-friendly, vertical video content will give you a competitive edge when the next big mobile video platform comes along.
  • Take IGTV for a test drive before you go all out. Create 2 to 4 videos and analyze the results.
  • IGTV is not a “must-have” in your digital marketing toolkit, but it’s worth considering, especially if your business is B2C.

Have questions about setting up IGTV or creating killer mobile video content? Reach out to us!


video projects questions to ask

10 Questions to Ask Before You Start a Video Project

video projects questions to ask

Creating a branded video for your company is a highly rewarding project. Videos boast higher engagement and conversion rates than written content, but they also boast higher budgets. For this reason, video projects should be planned carefully to ensure their success. 

In this blog, our Tampa video production team shares some of the most important questions to ask before starting your next video project. 

1. What’s the purpose of the video?

Start with the big picture thinking - why are you making this video? You have to know the why before you can start planning the content of your video. 

Are you trying to raise awareness for a brand? Engage with your social media following? Or is the video intended to be educational? 

Pick one main purpose, stick to it, and don’t overcomplicate it.

2. What’s your budget?

Actors, equipment, and location rentals all cost money. Know your budget and try to stick to it throughout the execution of your project. 

If you’re creating content to embed on your website, it’s better to spend more on one high-quality video than to spend less on several lower-quality videos. 

Not sure if your idea fits into your budget? Write a clear, detailed project brief to get an accurate quote from a video production agency. Unfortunately, you might find that some agencies only work with big budgets - not us. Our Tampa video production company is willing to work with any size budget because we’re all about finding the best solutions, not landing the biggest clients.

3. Who is the target audience?

Who do you want to watch your video? Are you creating content that will be understood and well-received by this group? Whether it’s 25 to 35-year-old men from Tampa, FL, or women who recently changed their Facebook status to “engaged”, having a specific audience in mind will help you develop a tone and a message that they can relate to.

4. What is your core message?

Do you have a message that’s strong and clear? It may be tempting to cram as much information in your video as possible, especially if it’s your company’s first one. However, it’s more effective to keep your message specific. You can always make more videos down the road that explore other topics.

It’s also important to remember that people have pretty short attention spans nowadays. Make sure your message is clear within the first 8 seconds of your video, or else viewers may grow impatient and lose interest. 

5. Do you have/need a call to action?

Do you want your project to motivate someone to do something, like making a purchase, participating in an event, or following you on social media? That’s a call to action (CTA). 

Certain types of videos, such as employee training videos and other internal corporate videos, may not need a call to action. But if your video is being shown to potential customers, it’s a good idea to include one (even if it’s as simple as “visit my website” or “like this video”). Typically, CTAs are most effective at the end of a video.

6. What are your competitors doing?

If your business is fairly new to video, it’s a good idea to take a look at what your competitors are doing. This will give you a good idea of what types of videos are popular within your industry, such as how-to videos, product reviews, or educational videos.

Competitor research is not an opportunity to copy, but rather to learn. Take inspiration from what they’re doing right, and more importantly, don’t recreate their mistakes.

7. Where will the video be distributed?

Will your video be shared on social media, YouTube, television, or all of the above? Think about how your video will translate across different platforms. For example, did you know that 85% of Facebook videos are viewed without sound? Cinema ads, on the other hand, rely heavily on sound to catch the attention of movie-goers. 

8. Where will the video be filmed?

This is crucial to the budget, especially if it has to be traveled to. Also, it’s important to keep in mind weather patterns and potential background noise and distractions when picking a location. 

9. What will the review process be like?

Some video projects may require approval at various stages by clients or higher-ups. Share pre-production materials like the script and budget as early as possible, and allow extra time in your schedule for any revision requests. 

10. How will you measure the success of the project?

Your goals should be well-defined before you start your video project. Will the video’s success be determined by clicks, views, watch time, conversions, sales, or something else?

Ideally, you’ll want to measure multiple metrics, but some can be tricky to measure. It may seem easy to count views, but you’ll find that some platforms define “views” differently from others. For example, someone only has to watch your video on Facebook for 3 seconds for it to count as a complete view, but if they watched the same video on YouTube, they’d need to watch for at least 30 seconds. 

Familiarize yourself with the different platforms and tools you’ll be using to analyze your video beforehand so that you can accurately measure your success. 

Take Your Video Project to the Next Level

Looking for more ways to elevate your company’s video content? Check out our YouTube marketing strategies for small businesses or our guide to making the perfect corporate video. 

Slice Creates is a video production company in Tampa, Florida, specializing in corporate video content, web design, photography, and whatever else you need to thrive creatively. Call 727-267-0650 to learn more, or email william@slicecreates.com -  We look forward to hearing from you! 


youtube marketing

YouTube Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses

youtube marketing

YouTube is the place to be for businesses. Whether you’re creating your own channel or simply using YouTube to advertise, it’s a valuable addition to any marketer’s toolkit in today’s highly visual world. Unfortunately, many small businesses tend to shy away from spending on video, deeming it too expensive - but with the right small business YouTube marketing strategy, it’s a worthwhile investment.

There’s plenty of data to back up that claim, too. According to Hubspot, mobile ads on YouTube are 84% more likely to hold a viewer’s attention than TV ads, and 68% of YouTube users watch videos to help them make purchase decisions.

First Things First: Do Your Homework

Is there already a YouTube channel out there creating similar content? Build off of what they do well and change what they don’t. Find videos that have the most views and interactions to see what your audience will be interested in.

It would also be wise to look at their video descriptions to see what keywords they’re using. There are also free browser extensions like VidIQ that allow you to see helpful information about another channel’s videos, such as demographics and which videos drove the most subscriptions.

Creating a YouTube Profile & Writing a Channel Description

Your YouTube profile page is often the deciding factor for subscribers, so you’ll want to make a good impression. Including a large banner image (2560 x 1440 pixels) at the top of your page and uploading a profile picture (ideally an 800 x 800-pixel image to ensure clarity) will make you appear more credible to channel lurkers.

Your channel description is located under the “About” tab on your profile. It should include:

  • A keyword-rich bio
  • Links to your website and social media profiles
  • Location and contact information

It’s important to remember that YouTube is a community. Networking with similar channels is highly beneficial to both parties - you can endorse each other’s channels by adding them to your Featured Channels box on your profile, and vice versa.

The way you organize the videos on your profile is important, too. Arranging your videos into playlists is an easy way to keep your channel neat and tidy. And when someone clicks on one video in a playlist, the next will autoplay, keeping that person on your channel longer and giving you more views.

YouTube SEO for Small Businesses

YouTube, like Google, is a search engine. That means SEO, or search engine optimization, is going to be part of your small business YouTube marketing strategy.

YouTube SEO includes things like titles, thumbnails, and descriptions. The best practices for each ranking factor are listed below.

Titles

Video titles can be up to 70 characters long, although no more than 60 is recommended to prevent it from being cut off on search engines. When creating a title, you want to use words that are commonly searched. Put yourself in someone’s shoes who may know nothing about a topic when searching for it.

Avoid “clickbait” titles that aren’t related to your content, as these will only hurt your channel in the long run. YouTube monitors how long your videos are watched, and if people are initially drawn in by your title but click away quickly, YouTube may penalize you for it.

Thumbnails

A thumbnail is a photo that represents your video, appearing in search results or the recommended sidebar. The thumbnail photo you choose should be clear, eye-catching, and hint to what the video is about. Research shows people respond well when a human face (often a very expressive one) is included in the thumbnail.

Descriptions

The descriptions you write for your video help YouTube’s AI better understand your content. For this reason, vivid descriptions of what the video is about will help your videos rank higher. Place key search terms toward the beginning of your description, don’t resort to unnatural-sounding keyword stuffing.

If your video is particularly long, use your description to link to important timestamps so that viewers can skip to the parts they want. This space can also be used to link to similar videos, add hashtags, and link to your brand’s other social media channels.

Tags

Tags are a major factor in YouTube SEO. Choose tags that include the keywords you used in your title and description, and be sure to only include tags that are relevant to your video. Tags are not visible on videos by default, so you’ll need to use an extension like the previously mentioned VidIQ to mine your competitors for tags.

Call to action

If you watch a lot of YouTube videos, you’re probably tired of hearing the words “like, comment, and subscribe” over and over again. That’s because the reminder works! You can also place custom subscribe buttons visible only to non-subscribers on your videos.

Cards

A card is a small, clickable button that appears in the top right corner of a video at the time you choose. You can use cards to link to your other videos, giving your viewers somewhere to go next.

Pro Tip: YouTube also highly favors videos that have closed captions available. While YouTube auto-captions videos, these captions typically aren’t very accurate, so it’s better to do them yourself or hire someone else to do them for you.

Content is King, but Consistency is Queen

YouTube favors channels that post frequently over channels that post sporadically. Uploading regularly also gives you more opportunities to learn YouTube’s algorithm and perfect your marketing strategy.

Consistency builds credibility. Even if you can only manage one video per month, letting viewers know that it will always go up on the first Wednesday of each month helps to create a more loyal following.

Consider Influencer Marketing

Along the same lines of networking, it may be in your business’s best interest to work with an influencer in your niche. They already have a following, which means you have the potential to easily reach more potential customers. Research has shown 60% of YouTube viewers trust the opinions of those they subscribe to.

Advertising on YouTube

Creating content isn’t the only way to promote your brand on YouTube. You can also pay to place ads on other people’s videos. You’ll need to do some research to determine which of the following types of ads best fit your brand’s voice and budget:

  • Skippable video ads
  • Non-skippable video ads
  • Bumper ads
  • Overlay ads
  • Display ads
  • Sponsored cards

The key to YouTube advertising is to make the viewer forget that they’re watching an ad. The better your ads blend into the publisher’s content, the more likely they’ll pay attention.

Measuring and Reporting

Your YouTube channel is set up, your titles and descriptions are optimized, and you’re posting regularly, so that’s all there is to it, right? Not exactly.

You should be monitoring different aspects of your channel to see what’s working and what’s not Here are some important metrics you’ll want to keep a close eye on:

  • Subscribers gained/lost
  • Shifting audience demographics
  • Traffic sources (are people finding you organically, or through referral channels?)
  • Device type (mobile, desktop, smart TVs, etc.)

While you probably won’t make a big splash right away, the small business YouTube marketing tips laid out in this guide will put you on an accelerated track to success.

But knowing how to optimize your content for YouTube is only half the battle - the other half is, of course, making great content. If you’re a business owner in the Tampa Bay area, you can turn to Slice for all of your video production and post-production needs. We work with companies large and small to bring their brands to life - contact us today for more information.


storytelling marketing

5 Reasons Why You Need Storytelling Marketing

storytelling marketing

If you want to succeed in today’s competitive marketing world, you need to be a great storyteller. 

At a time when attention spans are dwindling and new channels are popping up every week, brands have to be laser-focused on breaking through the noise and establishing themselves in a niche. To do this, you need to add storytelling marketing to your strategic arsenal. 

What is Storytelling Marketing? 

 

Storytelling marketing is the use of narrative to get your brand message across. A good story captures your attention and holds it until the very end - it enthralls you. In a world where the word “advertisement” is synonymous with “annoying”, marketers must take advantage of the power of storytelling to get their messages across.

A story can be simple as the blurb on the back of a wine bottle about the vineyard it’s from or as complex as a short film or documentary. 

According to Adobe and Goldsmiths, University of London, 61% of consumers purchase products and services that reflect their personal values, and 43% want to have a relationship with the brands they buy from. And that’s why storytelling marketing is so effective - stories don’t just say “Look how great my brand is!”, they foster a real emotional connection. 

Is storytelling marketing always the right approach? No - like any strategy, there’s a time and a place. Warm and fuzzy narrative ads don’t work effectively without a solid foundation of audience awareness gained from more straightforward introductory ads. 

Defining Your Values

 

At its core, storytelling marketing is about defining your values - what does your brand stand for in five words or less? For example, Apple stands for innovation and user experience, not computers and phones. What is truly important to you? Your value statement should be short, but that doesn’t mean that creating it is a short process. Take a few days to brainstorm with your team and gather third-party insights. 

Having clearly defined brand values doesn’t just help you connect with consumers - there are internal benefits, too. When your employees believe in the values of the company they work for, they’re happier, more productive, and more likely to continue working with you. 

Once you’ve defined your brand’s values, you have to live up to them - you can’t build your brand around stewardship of the earth and then not have a single recycling bin in your office. Your values should guide your actions, not just your ads. 

The Benefits of Storytelling Marketing

 

Once you’ve decided on your value proposition, you can begin to incorporate storytelling into your brand strategy. Here are just a few of the advantages of this type of narrative marketing: 

1. It can help you overcome media fragmentation. 

 

Media fragmentation presents a challenge for marketers in the choice-rich digital age, but a growing range of media also presents new opportunities. Storytelling marketing is right at home on platforms like Snapchat and Instagram, where people are looking for experiences instead of products. 

Stories are also easy to cross-post on multiple platforms at once when accompanied by a video or interesting photo.

2. A consistent message builds audience trust. 

 

You may sell different products or change up your service offerings over the years, but as long as your value message stays consistent, it will be easy for an audience to connect with your brand. Consistency builds familiarity, and the more people feel like they really know you, the more likely they are to trust you. 

3. Your audience will remember you.

 

What’s the oldest commercial you remember? Odds are, it probably told a darn good story. 

It’s been scientifically proven that the human brain loves stories, and stories are much easier to remember than facts. Not surprising, considering stories were used long before pen and paper to pass information from one generation to the next.

Humans are socially driven creatures. When we empathize with the characters in a story, it can even motivate us to take an action or make a change. This is why storytelling marketing is a particularly effective strategy for charitable organizations - empathy drives us to donate, and donating makes us happier.

4. Stories create positive associations.

 

We all like to think that we’re savvy shoppers, but our spending habits are actually quite emotionally driven. You might know in your heart that every dish soap on the shelf is basically the same, but you’re willing to spend a dollar more on Dawn because aww, there’s a baby duck on the bottle. 

There have been countless studies on consumer behavior and how emotional links can influence the way we shop. Storytelling marketing helps to establish that crucial connection between your brand name and who you are. 

5. You might (might) even go viral.

 

As every content creator knows, you can’t just sit down and make something that’s guaranteed to go viral. Internet virality is chaotic and random by nature. However, telling a genuinely engaging story is your best chance. Even if you don’t “blow up” on social, a story is going to get more shares and reach a wider audience than a typical sales ad.

Tell Your Story 

 

Telling your brand story is important, but not everyone has the creative instincts needed to write and produce an eye-catching narrative ad. A professional post-production company is often needed to create high-quality content that leaves a real impact and ages well. 

If you need help developing a video strategy that uses storytelling marketing, get in touch with Slice Creates to learn how our Tampa post-production team can bring your vision to life.

 


How to Create Successful Holiday Social Media Posts

how to create successful holiday social media posts

The holidays can be a stressful time. Between shopping, traffic, and family drama, there is very little bandwidth left to plan, create, and post holiday content that’s witty and engaging - that’s why it’s so crucial to plan ahead. 

The sooner the better, but you should at least have your content scheduled before Thanksgiving. Because once turkey day comes and goes, it’s a landslide into the December holidays.

In this blog, you’ll find tips for planning and creating holiday social media posts that generate buzz and boost your brand.

Examples of Successful Holiday Social Media Campaigns

Remember those “Elf Yourself” videos that went viral a few years ago? Office Depot’s interactive app has been downloaded more than 92 million times, and the company doesn’t have to create a single one of these videos. The Office Depot brand isn’t as easily shareable compared with something like Starbucks, but with a fun idea, anything is possible. If you’re worried that your product or service isn’t “exciting” enough, use Office Depot as inspiration to think outside the box! 

The Giving Machine is another classic feel-good holiday idea. Someone approaches the vending machine and instead of buying something for themselves, chooses to give items like shoes or books to those in need. 

The promotional video doesn’t feel like an ad, making it the perfect example of a highly shareable holiday video. Your company may not have the budget for your own Giving Machine, but a local production company can help you create a polished video that your followers will want to share.

4 Easy Holiday Social Media Post Ideas

Here are a few ideas for companies that companies of all sizes and budgets can use to engage with their followers during the most wonderful time of the year.

1. Host a Giveaway

The old saying “you have to give to get” rings true in the world of social media. Retail stores are offering BOGO’s and gifts with purchases all season long, so why not host a holiday giveaway on your social accounts? 

A simple and popular way to host a giveaway is to have your followers like, share, or tag a friend on your post. This strategy is an easy way to gain followers and boost engagement.

2. Run a Branded Contest

Another way to host a giveaway is to have your followers create content to enter a contest. This helps a social media manager tremendously not only in terms of having usable content they don’t need to create but also because user-generated content is a very high-performing type of free advertising. 

3. Spread a Little Good Will 

Is your business involved in a charitable cause? Now’s the perfect time to highlight that in your social posts. Promoting your values is an easy way to build trust with your audience while giving back to the community. 

4. Be Yourself 

You don’t always have to be promoting something - sometimes, the most effective branded social content has nothing to do with your brand. Posting your employees’ favorite recipes or holiday crafts adds a human element to your social media marketing that your followers can connect with. 

How to Plan & Implement Your Campaign

Ideas are great, but you’re going to need a solid strategy to bring your holiday social media posts to life. Follow these steps to get your campaign rolling: 

Step 1: Do Your Homework

Conduct industry-relevant research before adding holiday posts to your content calendar. Pick a few competitors to investigate and scan their previous holiday posts. Then, ask yourself a few questions:

  • What type of messaging were they using? (Was it sentimental? Funny? Look at what worked and what didn’t)
  • What type of content were they posting? (Videos, images, content from users? See what resonated and what didn’t)
  • What can you create that your audience hasn’t seen before? (The holidays are the time to get creative and test unconventional content) 

Step 2: Pick Products or Services You Want to Highlight

When planning content, whether it’s a photo, video, or blog post, there are a few things to consider regarding your products and services.

  • Is there a product or service you offer that would make a great gift?
  • Is there a popular item you would like to promote with a special holiday deal? 

Along these lines, you might want to consider creating a unique landing page showcasing your holiday promotions on your website - you can link to it on all of your social media bios and holiday posts! 

taking photo of christmas decor on smart phone

Step 3: Get Creative

And now the fun part - the creative! 

Use the holiday post ideas above to create sentimental stories and videos, and to encourage user-generated content. According to Psychology Today, consumers are 39 percent more likely to share your content if it’s shown in a video format. It’s also 56 percent more likely to receive a “like” and 36 percent more likely to be commented on.

Tip: appeal to emotions, not just wallets. As consumers, we’re bombarded with aggressive ads to purchase things during the holidays, and you don’t want to present your company to your audience in that manner. Appeal to their emotions and interests, as opposed to sounding like an infomercial. 

One final thing - it almost goes without saying, but whatever content you choose to create should be high quality. If you can not produce this type of content yourself, that’s where a production agency comes in. At Slice, we specialize in creating engaging photo and video content for your brand - contact us today to learn how.

 

Step 4: Add The (Jingle) Bells and Whistles

Think about incorporating a hashtag or tagline into your campaign idea. A hashtag is an easy way for people to piggyback off a campaign and post their own content. 

In addition to creating a unique hashtag, you can improve your reach by adding some of the most popular holiday hashtags to your posts - so when people want to #shoplocalthischristmas or find a #christmasgiveaway, they’ll know exactly where to find you!

Step 5: Create a Content Calendar

A content calendar is an easy way to organize your social posts year-round. Here are some tips to keep yours organized and up to date this holiday season:

  • For some people, Christmas starts the day after Halloween - try to start your holiday campaign ASAP! 
  • What channels and what aspects of those channels are you posting on? For example, don’t just jot down “Instagram” - make sure you specify whether you’ll be using posts, stories, IGTV, or all three.
  • How often are you posting on each platform, and what is the best time to post? 
  • What hashtags are you going to use? Including these in your content calendar helps give you a big-picture view of your campaign.

If you don’t already have a social content calendar in place, check out these content and tracking calendars to help you save time. 

Step 6: Schedule & Post!

Once you have your calendar ready, it’s time to import your content into a system that will post for you. That way, you can focus on other holiday happenings! Some popular scheduled posting services include Buffer, Hootsuite, and Latergramme. 

Feeling inspired by the ideas above? Get the high-quality photo and video content you need for your holiday social media posts from a professional production and post-production company in Tampa, FL. Give us a call at 727-267-0650 or email william@slice.company to see how we can help you create some holiday magic on your social channels!