Author Archives: Nina Froriep

Jargon Defined: White-Label Solution or Product

White Label Solution in digital marketing is a brand-less (blank) version of a software, or platform that can be used for re-sale or re-use with ones own branding on it.

Wikipedia defines White Label Product as: Some websites use white labels to enable a successful brand to offer a service without having to invest in creating the technology and infrastructure itself. Many IT and modern marketing companies outsource or use white-label companies and services to provide specialist services without having to invest in developing their own product.

Jargon Defined: Thumbnail

Thumbnail: A thumbnail is a photo representation of a video. Thumbnails are used on YouTube and other video hosting services to ‘control’ the image that is shown on your browser before the video starts playing.

Most hosting platforms allow you to upload a custom thumbnails so you can control that image.

This is a sample of my thumbnails for one of my VLOGs and what YouTube would have selected randomly:

 

How to Hire a Video Editor: 5 Questions to Ask

If there’s one job to fill with a professional in your video marketing efforts, it’s probably going to be a video editor. Herewith the five questions to ponder and get answers to during the video editor hiring process:

  1. What makes a good editor?
  2. What do you look for in an editor?
  3. What do you discuss with your editor?
  4. Where do you find an editor?
  5. What does it cost? How long does it take?

Let’s jump right in: Continue reading

How to Approach Video Editing – VLOG

As an iPhone user I’m very partial to iMovie. It’s a no-gimmicks, full-featured app and is adding features constantly! My only gripe is graphic placement: There aren’t many options.

For in-phone (both iPhone and Android), as well as cloud-based desktop editing try ANIMOTO and MAGISTO.

Animoto is based on the traditional editing module and super easy to learn. Their phone app offers split screen videos which is amazing for “how to videos”.

Magisto is AI based and does the editing for you. Not my favorite thing, but very powerful for mood pieces and in particular for use with music – it synchs the photos/videos to the music. If you’ve ever edited a video to music you know that that can take hours. Their AI does it in seconds.

I’d love to hear from YOU, what in-phone edit apps you’re using! Please share.

For a full edit roundup check out: How To Make Video Edits Work for You

How to Make Video Edits Work for You

My very first client sent me on this crazy journey from big corporate video productions into video marketing for small business, and he is still my poster-child for the pitfalls of DIY video editing. And he’s by far not the only one.

I taught him what equipment to use (his iPhone), how to set up a shot (not against his window), what to look out for during the shoot (eye-line).

We had a great shoot and the video clips all looked awesome (despite the fact that we DID shoot against his window). We uploaded the footage to his Dropbox. I showed him how to organize his clips and start a project in iMovie.

He’s an engineer by training and he was very hands-on during the shoot. I was sure he had it all under control.

I checked in with him a few days later to see if he had any questions and how the edit was going: It wasn’t.

I checked in a week later: Still nothing.

I checked again a week after that, eager to see the results, a rough-cut maybe? Nothing.

So, what happened? And why so early in the process?

He was overwhelmed: That’s what happened.

Video footage can be daunting. There are so many clips, and they all sound and look more or less alike. I’ve been there, I know.

Typically there is a 20:1 ratio from shot material to final video.

That means you have about TWENTY 30-second clips to go through for a 30 second video. It doesn’t sound like much, but much like a wine tasting, unless you’re a connoisseur, it all becomes an indiscernible mish-mash very quickly.

25 years of being a producer has taught me that an editor who can sift through footage fast and pick out the raisins, is worth her weight in gold.

Don’t fall into the trap of footage overwhelm before you even start editing:

  1. Be realistic about what you can handle: Keep clips super short. Stay with a single clip
  2. Do an edit “dry-run” with a sample video clip. Try a few apps and see what you like (For guidance & inspiration: I’m posting “apps to make videos with” soon)
  3. Take notes while you shoot & identify each clip (see photo below)
  4. Organize your footage into folders (follow link for more info)
  5. If you have a longer, or complex story to tell: Hire an editor
  6. If you have little, or no time: Hire an editor
  7. If you’re not patient and don’t love figuring out “things” (aka software): Hire an editor
  8. For real-hands-on editing advice check out the Curated Link Pack below: The first two articles by Wistia will set you on the right course
  9. For in-depth video editing learning I also recommend Lynda.com

Ralf from LenditApp with a “slate” – simple numbering (and corresponding notes) can save an edit

Updated Related Blog Resources on Video Editing:

Here a link to a video I created showing the “before” and “after” on a piece of video I shot for my holiday greeting last year.

And a link to my VLOG: How to Approach Video Editing [it’s quick and informative]

These three related blogs are all updated as of today:

Curated Link Pack:

Editing Apps and Software change at a rapid pace. Your best bet is to Google: BEST (or TOP) VIDEO EDITING APP (or Software). You can add the words “FREE”, “2017”. And, make sure to set your search to filter articles no older than a month.

  1. How to Edit Video for Social Media by Wistia (August 2016).  I love Wistia’s resources: Always fun, always on point. This one is no exception. If you ready anything additional before you jump into editing, it’s this article.
  2. Editing Basics for Business Video by Wistia (2016). This will set you on the right course. It’s a great walk-through of basic video editing steps and has a glossary and great video examples.
  3. Video 101: Editing Basics by Vimeo (2010). Although a bit older, still relevant. Step by step video guide through basic editing. It’s cute and well done, if a bit slow at times.
  4. Top Rules for Video Editing by Lifewire (August 2016). Ten easy steps to keep in mind while shooting your video that will set you up for a simpler editing process.
  5. Top Video Editing Effects by Lifewire (March 2017). With so many editing effects available on even the simplest platforms, which should you use? This article provides some suggestions on when and how to best use those effects. My take: Less is more!

Jargon Defined: Transitions

Transitions: dissolve, cross dissolve, fade in from black or white, and fade out to black or white: Video transitions are used to make cuts from one clip to another smoother, or to start and finish a sequence. Many in-phone apps have transitions which might be cute for social media, but really don’t belong into video marketing for businesses, unless of course you cater to an audience that appreciates dizzying transitions. The most common transitions are fading up from black and fading down to black. Those can be used at the head and tail of a clip, but also from one cut to another – the length of the transition can be as short as a few frames.

Definiton Day: Screen Recording

What is a Screen Recording? It’s just that, a video recording of your computer screen in real-time.

How do you get one made? There are tons of free apps, and on a mac you simply open QuickTime Player and on the tool bar click on file and choose ‘new screen recording” and voila!

Here a sample from my YouTube channel:

5 Things to Focus on When Storytelling for Video

Created by Eightonesix – Freepik.com

Scripting is the hardest part of the video marketing journey to get right and unfortunately the part you need to nail for the rest to fall into place. The rest being: Shooting, editing, distribution, and the desired outcome, like customer awareness, engagement, or conversion.

I’ve written a lot about storytelling in general and what to look out for when crafting your message, but today I want to focus on Storytelling for video.

I asked my friend, playwright, and corporate scriptwriter Joni Fritz about what she focuses on when writing for corporate video over rather than writing for print, a speech, or (her passion) a play:

“Print and video are definitely two different animals.  I find when I’m writing narration for video, my sentences are shorter and more dramatic. I get to the point faster. I read everything aloud to make sure it flows off my tongue easily. Print can be easier and free-flowing. Longer sentences with more description. With video, I’m always trying to make things sharp and concise.”

I find the hardest part of writing for video to be finding the balance between telling a compelling story and keeping it moving. I like to embellish and when I’m talking to someone in person I can lengthen or shorten a story as needed, taking cues from my listener’s body language.

With video, you’re hoping for that captive audience hanging off your every word, but you have no feedback loop.

I tend to err on the side of super short, then again, I also edit my own pieces and after the umpteenth time looking at and hearing the same thing I just want to cut it all…

Over the past year, I’ve looked a hundreds and hundreds of videos produced by fellow small business owners and “internet sensations” and what the good videos have in common isn’t that they are perfectly produced, but rather a sense of authenticity. That is, they display energy, personality, sincerity, and a value proposition that resonates.

Created by Freepik

When you go for personality there will be those who are attracted by your (video) personality, and those who will not.

But those in your audience who like you will really connect with you and your story and that’s what creates awareness, engagement, and ultimately converts them to customers.

The worst choice is, to play it safe and consequently be bland and then no-one really cares. At that point, why bother with video?

I hear, that when Gary Vee speaks, some people just roll their eyes and others soak up every word he utters.

He has a distinct style. Take it or leave it, but he is himself and he gives valuable information with each piece of communication he puts out. He has a huge following. Why? He puts out great value with each piece of communication AND he’s got a personality to boot.

Then there’s the incomparable Casey Neistat, filmmaker and YouTube sensation. Casey’s Vlog often exposes injustices, his videos are, fun, messy, and – although casual on the surface – very well produced. He’s real, authentic, energetic, and mesmerizing to watch.

But, not everybody has a bubbly personality. Some quieter voices, like Roberto Blake will appeal to a different set of viewers and maybe at a different scale, but they are still out there and getting traction. I like that Roberto offers reliable, and solid advice on all things digital creation. He has a consistent, quiet but engaging way of roping you into his world. And his channel is growing by the day.

Bottom line: Find YOUR voice, be friendly, and don’t forget to smile!

So, since we’re at it – keep these 5 points in mind when planning and writing your video copy:

  1. Create VALUE with each communication you put out there
  1. Even if your video isn’t “teaching” something, make sure your video has depth and resonance. Give your viewers a chance to connect with you and what you stand for (or sell)
  1. Be clear who your audience is: Storytelling should lead to a single goal; which is yours?
    • Are you introducing yourself and your motivation for what you do?
    • Are you offering a special and talking about why the time to act is now?
    • Are you explaining a new feature or product and why it is superior?
  1. Plan to your strengths – I have a writer friend Michael Katz, who insists on doing screen-recordings and voice-over. That’s his thing. I think he would look great on-camera, but he’s chosen that style because it plays to his strengths and admittedly, he does have a great voice.

For me, I’m a talker and I don’t mind being in front of the camera: And I produce my own footage without help, so I stick to talking-head videos and simple graphics (for now).

  1. I’ll never stop reminding you: Keep it short!

Watch Nina’s VLOG on the topic

And, here some inspiration beyond talking head videos:

  • Upgrade to 1st class documented by Casey Neistat: https://youtu.be/84WIaK3bl_s – Hysterical: And don’t be fooled – it’s expertly shot and edited

  • Liz Benny: https://youtu.be/KdDmamHTd9Y – DIY, super easy to reproduce. Just images, footage, music (although way too loud), graphics: “KAPOW” as Liz would say:

CURATED LINK PACK:

  1. For good content to resonate, it needs to have depth, value and specificity and be supported by the right social media platform. Gary Vee asks: “What’s going on in the world you’re trying to be a part of? How can you insert yourself into the conversation?” https://www.garyvaynerchuk.com/one-piece-of-content-can-change-your-life/
  2. Writer, director, and master storyteller Andrew Stanton of Pixar Studios (Toy Story, WALL-E) examines in his TED talk the power of a great story. Listen to it and be inspired: https://www.ted.com/talks/andrew_stanton_the_clues_to_a_great_story/transcript?language=en
  3. Wistia makes a case for psychological tactics to catch and keep your audiences eye. It also includes useful examples of brands using those tactics: https://wistia.com/blog/using-psychology-for-video
  4. This Moz blog post is one of the best I’ve read so far on storytelling – no matter if the author focuses on web copy: It applies to video too: | Storytelling 301: Site Content as Story https://moz.com/blog/storytelling-site-content

Video Content Within Context, or Why Sleeping with A Helmet Doesn’t Make Sense

We all understand the words on the page, but sometimes SHOWING drives a message home. Here a modest example:

For more words on Video Content and Context read our previous blog: Why It is Completely Irrelevant Which is More Important: Content or Context [updated with Curated Link Pack]

I’m also — for the first time — adding production facts: What I shot with, how long it took me, what it cost me…

Video Production Facts for Above Video:

  • Total Investment Summary: 4 hours, plus a few hours “content think” time, and $0
  • Camera: Shot on an iPhone 6 in selfie mode (lesser quality lens)
  • Audio: “Chair lift” scene: in-phone microphone. “Indoor” scene: Sennheiser mic (~ $200 Amazon)
  • Mount: “Chair lift” = handheld. “Indoor”: Joby mini tripod
  • Total shoot time: ~ 30 mins: Chair lift scene 3 mins (fingers froze ;-)). Indoor scene about 30 mins with prep and shoot.
  • Edit Software: Adobe Premiere CC
  • Graphics: Adobe Photoshop CC (templates I created beforehand)
  • Total edit & finishing time: 2 hours
  • Total upload & distribution time: 1.5 hours upload to YouTube, tagging, transcription, captioning, posting, distributing