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!

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

Why It Is Completely Irrelevant Which is More Important: Content or Context [updated with Curated Link Pack]

Bill Gates famously quoted “Content is King” in 1996. Since, the quote has been altered so many times it’s hard to keep up: “Content is King and Context is God”, or “Content is King, and Context is Queen”, etc. The world has changed. In what relationship are content and context today?

Maybe it’s the Swiss in me (we love consensus so much so we have seven ministers run the country), but I think there is no need for a “one over the other” in terms of importance. Neither content nor context survives without the other. Content and context are equally as important.

Think of video marketing as a strategic board game where context drives content, and content excels within proper context.

The most amazing content goes “poof” within the wrong context, and all the context in the world can’t save bad content. Period.

Continue reading

Continuous & Consistent Content: Three Companies Who Get it Done!

In continuing with our blog: The Three Must Have “C’s” Without Which no Video Marketing Campaign Will be Successfulwe set out to see who does continuous and consistent video marketing content well.

Herewith our three top choices (and we’d love to hear from you with more examples!):

Combs & Company, Insurance Broker:

Susan Combs, CEO of Combs & Company, has an extensive video library; from CEO interviews, to white board explainers, and meeting coverage.

What’s interesting is, that she has all her video series bulk-produced. This not only saves time and money, it also gives the videos a look-, tone-, and content continuity that speaks to the commitment she has made to being a likable expert in her field.

It’s sets her apart from her competition, opens doors far beyond pulling in additional leads. Have a look at her different video series and you’ll get the picture.

JacksonFuller Real Estate:

Matt Fuller of JacksonFuller Real Estate and his residential real-estate team of five started blogging in 2006 and video was always on their radar but never used consistently until last fall. But then they went all out. Check out their Vimeo channel.

They produce the videos themselves and they quickly found out that “keep it simple” is the key ingredient. I’m amazed they figured out the green screen over editing!

They have a good mix of funny, light, and seriously informative content, and it’s consistent!

Boutique Accounting Services:

Richard Greco, founder and owner of Boutique Accounting Service does a great job with his videos. I love the clean, white background and the simple but elegant graphics. I’m still not a fan of side-angle shooting for a second camera, but it makes it easier to edit content.

I just wish I could a) embed his videos here and b) he had not announced (scroll all the way down on the link given below) all these other videos to come in 2016… It’s 2017, dude. I hope he continues.

Who do YOU KNOW who does video marketing well? We are looking to interview (for a quick 15 minutes) companies that are engaging in video marketing regularly to help us develop and fine-tune our video marketing services for small businesses. Any help is much appreciated.

The Three Must Have “C’s” Without Which no Video Marketing Campaign Will be Successful [updated with Curated Link Pack]

How convenient: All you need is “Three Cs”, you get videos that attract, engage, and convert like crazy, you make money, retire, sit at the beach sipping Pina Coladas (and you’ll be bored out of your mind after about a week).

Seriously, for video marketing to work – in my opinion – you need three things:

  • Commitment
  • Consistent Content, and
  • Continuous Content

Hold your thought: I will make a clear distinction between “consistent” and “continuous” content. They are two very different things.

It sounds scary, I know. Commitment is scary, period. And, when you pair continuation with commitment, and consistency it gets REALLY scary. But actually the opposite happens: It gets easier. Let’s have a closer look: Continue reading

5 Best Video Marketing Practices for 2017

Five video marketing best practices to adhere… can you tell which I keep repeating? (Accidentally by the way, but it’s so important, I don’t mind!).

Watch the video, find out!

Also read my blog post Why I Stopped Caring About Trend Predictions for more information on best practices and check out our Curated Link Pack and Definition Day.

 

Transcript: Hi, so rather than talking about trends of 2017, as its January I want to continue talking about best practices because I think that just makes much more sense and is more useful. So, here five things that I want you to keep in mind. Number one, keep it short and keep it snackable. Number two, best to schedule continuous and regular content because it’s a much better bang for your buck and return on investment. And on that point: Number three, don’t waste your time, don’t waste your money, get the help where you need it. And number four, make sure that you put captioning into your video and transcription below your video. And number four [should be five] make sure you have access to your analytics and actually use them otherwise the whole exercise is for naught. So, the five things again – Keep it short, keep it snackable. Keep it continuously coming. Don’t waste your time. Use captioning and transcriptions. And number five… Oh, make sure you use your analytics and actually look at them, and learn from them, and use them to schedule your future content. See you in February, bye-bye.

Video Marketing Best Practices for 2017: Curated Link Pack

What are the prevailing video marketing trends for 2017?  Here a few curated picks, not only for video marketing, but for digital and visual marketing in general:

7 Video Marketing Trends for 2017 (and What They Mean for You) the only thing that interested me here was the mention of ‘temporary’ content (i.e. Snapchat). Any content, video included, has a shorter and shorter lifespan which will have budget and quality consequences. Nothing new, but the trend – for now – is solidifying itself with every passing year.

10 Video Marketing Trends To Look Out For In 2017: A solid list, with nothing too new, or too exciting. Less a piece on trends than taking stock of the current situation – like the integration of video into emails (amazingly enough that’s still a challenge – although there are some very good workarounds).

PRO TIP: What I do is, I post a thumbnail photo of the video in the email and then link the photo to the video hosted on YouTube (or whichever hosting service I’m using). It’s a few extra steps, but has the advantage of sending viewers to a place where your stats accumulate.

9 New Visual Content Marketing Trends for 2017: Also solid surprising list with a very relevant focus on visual content – be it (stock) photos or video content.

Top 10 Trends That Will Transform Digital Marketing In 2017: Some interesting thoughts. I would latch on to the keywords: Mobile, curated, and Influencer Marketing.

Curious what our best practices are for 2017? Read our blog post Why I stopped Caring About Trend Predictions and watch my vlog post on 5 Best Video Marketing Practices for 2017.