Do I Need Professional Talent for My Video?

 
professional video talent
 

First, What Is “Talent?”

When one talks about talent for a video production, this typically refers to individuals with the charisma and presence needed to be competent actors for a production. These actors can be just about anybody, from a professional artist with years of experience to an employee of the client's company with a particularly good stage presence. The former is referred to as "professional talent," while the latter is known as "volunteer talent."

Do I Need Professional Talent for a Video?

Though volunteer talent may seem like an excellent resource, using volunteer talent may not always be the best decision for your production in the long run. When considering whether to use professional talent or volunteer talent, consider the following benefits of talent for video marketing:

•      Familiarity with the video process: The last thing you want is for your lead actor to get stage fright at the first shoot. With a professional artist, you avoid this entirely. For professional talent, this is an everyday job, so they are comfortable in front of the camera and know what to expect. This includes memorizing and delivering lines efficiently and organically, knowing how to look comfortable and natural on the set in multiple scenarios and taking direction well. With a professional actor, you're guaranteed to get a production with better presence and more efficient results than you would get with a volunteer cast member.

•      Reduced production time: If time is money, then professional actors can help you save. When your production team is working at an hourly rate, spending more time on the production means more cost to you, so it's important to get an entire team who knows what they are doing. This is particularly the case for the talent. While volunteer talent may take several shots to get a usable piece, a professional actor can get you the same or better quality piece in a fraction of the time. This can save you hundreds in hourly wages for the cast and crew, resulting in a cheaper production overall. Though it may seem like you're saving money with a volunteer, you could be wasting that money on time it takes the volunteer to get up to speed.

•      Emotional connection: Does your video need more of an emotional connection? Does it include humor, heartbreak or even the occasional inspiring pep talk? These kinds of appeals to emotion require a practiced hand to accomplish, which few volunteers can achieve. With an experienced professional actor, however, you can reach all of them. Professional artists know how to evoke certain emotions over others, which means they can bring an additional level of passion to your production than you could ever get out of volunteer talent. That's not to say that volunteer talent is never a good resource for an emotional connection, but if you want a wider range of possible emotions, professional talent is one of the best ways to go.

•      Video longevity: Using volunteer talent from inside your company may seem like a good idea now, but it may result in some awkwardness later and can negatively affect the longevity of your video. Internal talent may not stay in the same position forever — maybe the actor got promoted within the company to a more prestigious position, making their part of the video irrelevant. Maybe the talent even left the company on bad terms — if this is the case, then the video is practically useless, as it uses a representative who no longer works for your business and could even present a bad image of the company. You get neither problem with a professional actor from outside the enterprise. With a talented artist, you get a representative whose reputation isn't intrinsically tied to your organization, resulting in a video with a much longer lifespan than your company's turnover rate.

•      Polished professionalism: At the end of the day, a video made with professional talent often ends up more polished than one made with volunteer talent. Professional talent can deliver lines crisply and naturally, giving the emotion needed to achieve the look and feel needed for the production. The result is a more professional-looking production that looks and feels refined.

When Can I Use Volunteer Talent for a Professional Video?

 

All these benefits of using professional talent make it the best default casting choice for most productions. However, it is important to note that there are some situations in which it might be preferable to use volunteer talent, too. Here are a few examples of how you can use volunteer talent for a professional video:

•      Emotional appeals: Using volunteer talent in the form of a founder or manager can be useful in cases where there’s a strong emotional appeal that depends on the business’s history. A heartfelt tale of how the founder came to the industry or an anecdote about a customer helped by the product can go a long way toward making an emotionally compelling video.

•      Expert representation: For businesses working within a highly technical field, bringing in one of your experts on staff — particularly ones who are widely respected within your industry — can help your video establish a sense of expertise and subject matter knowledge.

•      Brand recognition: Some companies have a brand focused around their founder or owner, and many businesses can benefit from such an arrangement. By adding a few shots of the founder delivering company quotes or taglines, your audience can put a face to your company, improving brand recognition.

•      Testimonials: When you want to portray your brand, products, or services by sharing genuine, authentic customer or employee experiences, volunteer talent is a great option. Allowing your team or customers to share their thoughts offers a highly effective appeal that future customers can easily identify with.

Use your best judgment when choosing whether to use a volunteer or professional talent. When wondering if you need professional actors for your video production, always consider the emotions and feelings you want to evoke in your video and if you have staff who can effectively accomplish them. When in doubt, a good rule of thumb is to defer to professional talent.

Learn More About Talent

Want to learn more about how to use talent in your video production? Contact NextThought Studios today to learn how you can benefit from professional video making services.

 

 

How to Produce Engaging Video Content in the Social Media World

creating social video

What Is Social Video?

Look around any public place, and chances are, you'll see scores of people on their devices scrolling through their social media feeds. We live in a fast-paced, visual world with massive amounts of information being hurled at us continuously. As a result, our attention spans have become shorter than ever, and capturing our interest has become a monumental feat.

Our society enjoys sharing useful, meaningful or humorous information with one another. While most people probably can’t remember many social media posts that have been shared with them, they can undoubtedly recall at least one or two shared videos that have impacted them somehow. Think about how many times someone has shared a particularly moving, funny or useful social video with you. Whether you cooked a particular dish shown in the video, clicked on the organization’s website or further shared the video with others, it compelled you to act in some way.

Social video can be defined as any digital video posted on social media networks with the purpose of being seen and shared. It can be anything from a live-streamed post to a carefully edited video. Regardless of the type of video, perhaps the most important aspect is its shareability. After all, the whole purpose of posting videos is for them to be seen and strike a chord with viewers. Unlike viral video, the number of views is not as important as who views them. Social videos usually target a specific audience and contain a marketing message intended for the audience to take action.

online social video traffic

The Social Video Trend

Social media networks such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have proven their appeal and effectiveness at getting information out to large audiences. Because of their popularity, it’s no surprise that social media content is one of the fastest-growing types of video content. Videos, in particular, are highly effective at grabbing people’s attention due to their ability to be quick, entertaining and informative.

Social media video trends predict this rapid growth to continue for years to come. In a 2016 report of video marketing trends, software giant CISCO projects online videos will account for more than 80 percent of all consumer Internet traffic by 2020. The popularity of video-sharing networks such as YouTube have already proven how successful this platform can be, with Facebook and Instagram recently unveiling their own updated video features.

Social media videos are currently being used to convey information for many businesses, schools and corporations, as they result in higher engagement and more click-throughs than other types of online ads. In fact, the budgets for social and digital ads are the only kinds of marketing funding that are expected to increase exponentially in the next several years.

How to Create Great Videos for Social Media

Once you have decided to use social videos in your marketing strategy, it's time to start building them. The tools you need to make an effective social media video can be as simple as a smartphone camera or as elaborate as a full production setup. Whether you are a tiny business, or a large corporation with a budget to hire professional social media video makers, you can find a way to use social videos to your advantage.

online video budgets

When considering how to use videos on social media and how to get social users to engage with them, there are many helpful strategies to keep in mind. Since the audience for social videos is unique and diverse, you need specific strategies to keep viewers engaged.

  • Make it Shareable — One of the most important aspects of an effective video is its shareability. Viewers will only act upon content they find important, interesting, funny or useful enough to share. Videos that are emotional, pride-inducing or have great, feel-good storylines are frequently viewed in their entirety and shared. You want to connect and appeal to the emotions of your audience. One of the most significant ways to see if a video is effective is the number of times it has been shared.
  • Have a Clear Purpose Make sure your videos send a message that's relevant to both your brand and your customers. Marketing videos should convey to your audience what’s unique about your brand and how they can benefit from it. You should also be clear on what you want to accomplish with your video, whether it be generating leads, gaining customers or increasing your company’s visibility. The direction you take with your videos should be determined by the action you wish your audience to take.
  • Keep it Short and Sweet With most people viewing social media on their smartphones, it’s easy for many videos to be scrolled right over and never seen. That means it’s more important than ever to grab your viewers’ interest right away (ideally within seven seconds). Since social attention spans aren’t very long, you must keep videos short and to the point. In fact, a recent Wistia study showed that videos no longer than two minutes get the most engagement, with the first 30 seconds being the most important.
  • Distribute Strategically One of the most important strategies in social video content marketing is to find out where your target audience hangs out. If you know your customers enjoy how-to videos, you may consider posting on YouTube or Facebook. If you have a small production budget, but still aim to post a short sneak peek of a new product, Snapchat or Instagram may be the best platform for you. You may even choose to take advantage of Twitter’s short video posting ability to respond to and communicate with your customers. Since most social media networks now offer paid ads, it’s easier than ever to target your desired audience even more specifically.
  • Use Animation and Captions Excellent videos have just the right blend of language and imagery. Did you know most of your audience is probably watching without sound? Statistics show that a whopping 85 percent of Facebook users watch videos on mute. Using animations and captions will keep viewers engaged, while also ensuring that your message gets conveyed even if people choose to watch rather than listen. Using your brand logo in social media videos is an effective way to build brand recognition with all types of audiences, but particularly the majority who are just relying on their sense of sight to gather information.
first 30 seconds of video

How Does Social Video Fit into Your Marketing Landscape?

Social video marketing provides the opportunity to reach your target audience with both real-time and pre-recorded videos, across a variety of social networks. Social media video marketing is all about communication and making a connection with your audience or customer. You want to be sure readers are getting both the correct information and the message that you wish to convey. By sharing your story or building awareness of your brand, companies of all sizes can benefit from integrating videos into their marketing landscape.

Social video marketing is a valuable tool that can be used in a variety of ways and across many different types of industries.

  • Brands — Brands can employ social videos to engage their audience with high-quality content. Viewers enjoy informative how-to videos, such as short recipe demonstrations and other product demos. They also appreciate other shared brand experiences, such as unboxing videos, first looks, virtual tours and 360-degree product views. Even company events can be turned into short video snippets that allow your customers to feel like they are part of something special. Effective social videos can build brand awareness and convert viewers into loyal customers.3
  • Schools — There are many ways to use social videos in educational settings. Videos showcasing campus life are helpful for new and potential students. Consider making short and engaging video clips about course topics, student activities and school spirit. This not only helps deliver the information in a more interesting way, but also allows students to view videos remotely, from any device and at a time that is convenient for them. Many colleges are now encouraging prospective students to submit video applications, as they are more effective at showing their real personalities.
  • Recruiters Recruiters can use social videos to attract potential clients, students or customers. They can help effectively showcase your company culture, and present to the viewer the benefits of working with or for your company. Videos showcasing corporate events, behind-the-scenes footage and programs or services your company has to offer are great ways to appeal to prospective clients or hires and help your message feel more authentic and relatable.
videos in marketing strategy

Whatever type of video best fits your company or brand, you will undoubtedly want it to end with a compelling call to action. Brands may want viewers to click on their website or sign up for their newsletter. Schools or recruiters may want viewers to sign up for a class or fill out a form to get more information on a program or apply for a job opportunity.

In addition to effectively reaching your target audience, there are several other benefits to social video marketing, including:

  • Reaching Millennial Audiences — Individuals aged 18-33 rely heavily on video content when researching potential purchases. They expect the organizations they follow to offer video information and will easily transfer their business or loyalty to another brand if they don’t. Providing quality video content ensures the needs of this influential marketing demographic are fully met.
  • Favorable Return on Investment (ROI) — The subscribers and average daily views on social media networks such as Facebook, YouTube and Snapchat are staggering. While each video campaign is unique, the promise of a high ROI is intriguing to many companies. Your ROI will depend on your goals and how you choose to target your audience. Placing a strong call to action at the end of your videos and setting up analytics to track your results is imperative in evaluating the success of your video marketing strategy.
  • Staying Competitive in Your Field As competition continues to rise, the creation of engaging social videos is more important than ever for brands, schools and companies who want to stand out in their landscape. With 61 percent of businesses already using video in their marketing strategy, it’s important for your organization to realize the value of this tool and get in on the trend if you haven’t already.

If you’re looking for a full-service video production house to create your next social media video, look no further than NextThought Studios. We pride ourselves in creating video productions of all kinds — from educational and marketing videos to corporate commercials and green-screen production. Check out our blog to read about some of the many video production services we offer and how they can help you achieve your goals. Or view some of our work and discover how NextThought Studios can help you create your next video success.

The Video Production Timeline

video production timeline

 

When you first start collaborating with a video production studio, you may wonder exactly how long this process takes. Whereas many marketing schemes can be finished within a week or so, video marketing can take substantially longer. But exactly how long is your production going to take?

The answer to this question lies in the nature of the video production schedule, which is split into three parts — pre-production, production and post-production. The length of each of these production stages varies based on the video length and type, which will be explained in more detail below.

 

What Goes into a Production Timeline?

Pre-Production

Pre-production is, in essence, the planning stage of a video production. This step ensures that both the client and production group know what the goals of the video are and what the production team can achieve before the shoot gets underway. How long it takes to shoot a corporate video depends a great deal on the pre-production stage, because planning streamlines the process and reduces the incidence of reshoots due to client dissatisfaction.

Generally speaking, this production stage lasts anywhere from two to six weeks. The length of time it takes to complete this stage will primarily depend on how quickly the client communicates with the production team and how large the production is going to be.

The pre-production stage includes the following processes and steps, each of which contributes to the video production timeline:

•      Crew preparation: The production company must first establish the people who will have the biggest roles in the production to start the pre-production phase. An account manager will typically be the go-between for the client and the production company, selecting and introducing the client to the members of the crew. These include the director, who is the creative lead of the project, the producer, who prepares and supervises, the production manager, who manages practical aspects of the production, and the camera and sound directors. Depending on the size of the production, one individual may take on several of these roles.

•      Cast selection: Selecting the talent for your video is the next important step in the video shoot planning stages. The client may choose professional or internal talent for the video, each option presenting different benefits. In the end, the client selects the best choice for their vision of the video.

•      Concept: The concept of the video is the idea the client wants to get across, which is the most important part of the project to establish early on. If the client doesn't already have the concept nailed down, the writer has to determine this by speaking with the client or a representative before starting on the script. This can take time, so if expediency is a big concern, businesses should determine their video concept beforehand.

•      Research: After learning the concept of the video, the writer needs to do the research necessary to flesh out the script and determine potential shooting spots. This may require visiting the client's worksite, meeting people in person or over the phone and reading up on the company's history and activity to get a better idea of the company's personality and biggest selling points. This is especially necessary if the video is going to cover a more technical subject.

•      Scripting: After they've finished the research stage, the writer settles in to work on the shooting script, which becomes the base of the production. This will give both the client and the production crew a basic feel for the video tone and is the first stage at which a customer can review the production company's work and make any changes.

•      Storyboarding: The next step of the process is to storyboard the script. A storyboard is a visual mock-up of the shoot, which looks similar to a cartoon strip when it is finished. The piece outlines everything scene by scene, creating a visual representation of the video before shooting starts, so the crew knows what they need to set up. While some videos, like talking head videos and testimonials, likely don't require this step, more technically sophisticated videos like documentaries need it. This is the next pre-production stage where a client can review the work and request changes.

•      Coordination: This step is the final pre-production step, where the producer sets everything in motion for the shoot. Once the storyboard is finalized, and everyone is happy with the result, they take the information from the script and storyboard and make the shoot possible by getting filming permissions at off-site locations, acquiring equipment, setting up shoots and contacting the cast and crew for film dates and times.

Production

This stage is the actual filming stage of the production, where the cast and crew collect the segments to be used in the final production. Depending on the complexity of the project, this can take as little as half a day, but can also take several months to complete. It depends entirely on the type of production.

For example, when you consider how long it takes to shoot a minute of video for a talking head versus a documentary, you get two very different answers. The minute of a talking head video can take as little as a minute to shoot, since there are few cuts in the video, and it's usually a continuous shot of the film. For a documentary, a single minute of video may include shots from multiple sets and locations, each of which may take hours to collect.

Post-Production

The final stage of production, this is where the shots collected from the production stage are edited or added to with animations, culminating in the final video. This is often the most time-intensive part of the process, depending on the response speed of the client, the video editing time ratio and the amount of video shot. It can take a few weeks or it can take a few months, depending on how many hours of editing is required per minute of video.

•      The first edit: The first edit will typically arrive within a week or so, depending on the final length of the film. This will be immediately sent to the client for review, with any placeholders clearly indicated. This is the first chance for the client to request any edits or changes before all the graphics and animations are included.

•      The second edit: After receiving feedback from the customer, the production company takes the video and revises it to fit client expectations more closely. In this version, the graphics and animations will also be included. Depending on the extent of graphics and animations, this may take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to accomplish. Once finished, this second version is sent to the client for feedback.

•      Picture lock: Once the next round of comments comes in, the production company completes final edits, resulting in a picture lock. This version is then sent to the client for final review to ensure there are no errors, typos or glaring problems with the production.

•      Sound mix & color correction: Once the picture is finished, the audio components of the video are adjusted and the colors fine-tuned. This will usually include mixing music and voice levels to an ideal combination and correcting saturation levels and lighting to make the visuals pop. This will often take up to a week, depending on how much video needs to be edited.

•      Delivery: Once everything is developed and finalized, the video is delivered to the client in high resolution, ready for distribution.

This general overview of all the steps of the production process can give you a general sense of how long it takes to shoot a corporate video, but the timeline may vary widely depending on a few key factors.

 

What Factors Affect a Production Timeline?

Though most videos will typically require a few weeks of production time, some may run a little longer or a little shorter than what you expect. Your production timeline primarily depends on the following three factors:

Video Type

Does your video include animation, a live video or a green screen? The more effects and post-production processing your production needs, the longer it's typically going to take. Live videos, for example, require no post processing and therefore need only a little time to accomplish. Animations, on the other hand, require extensive pre-production in the form of storyboarding and character design, and even short animations can take weeks to develop.

Video Length

It should be a no-brainer that a longer video may need more time to shoot and edit than a short video – an hour-long training video will require more extensive editing and may need a reshoot or two to make it acceptable, while a shorter video will require much less time to process at each stage.

Video Style

The style of the video will also tend to be a factor in your final timeline. A talking head video, for example, requires a few continuous shots, while a documentary will need multiple shots from different locations and areas. The more shots needed, the more production time your project will probably take.

Do you have more questions about video production scheduling? Contact NextThought Studios today to learn more about the video production process.

The Importance of Video Testimonials

video testimonials

Happy customers are some of the best marketing resources you have at your disposal — who better to sell to your future customers than your current satisfied ones? Capturing their experiences creates a powerful tool that’s practically effortless to use. You can write down their testimonies for posting on your website or printing in your marketing materials, but a video testimonial is an even better, more powerful format.

Video marketing is one of the most efficient marketing formats today, as videos are attention-grabbing, engaging and easily shareable in the current online world. In fact, in a recent study, 26 percent of video viewers searched for additional information about the video's associated business and 15 percent visited the store who posted the video.

Why use testimonials? Regardless of their style, testimonial-based marketing videos are impactful, improving brand awareness and engagement, among a host of other benefits. A few of the more significant benefits of testimonial videos in advertising include the following:

1. Reinforced Credibility and Trust

One of the biggest reasons you should use testimonials in your video advertising is the boost in credibility. Your customers are far more likely to believe one of their peers than they are to believe you. While a written testimonial on your website might help convert potential customers who are on your site, they might not trust that the quote is faithfully represented. With a video testimonial, they hear it straight from the mouths of their peers.

Testimonial videos allow your clients to see other people talk about your products, giving an honest, unscripted opinion. It puts a face to your business and gives your brand the credibility it needs within your target group. Not only can you present your goals, products and overall mission, but you can give examples of customer experiences that support each point.

Taking and using video testimonials is also a huge sign of respect to the individuals who give their opinions. You entrust your reputation to these clients, showing them that you value their opinion and want to document it. By valuing and trusting your customers, you add to your credibility with them and their friends and encourage them, in turn, to speak positively about your business, adding even further to your credibility.

2. Better Emotional Connection

Reading a quote can convey an idea or emotion, but not nearly as well as a video in which you are able to see the face and emotions of the testimonial giver. A written testimonial misses out on the subtle facial expressions and changes in tone that add resonance to a thought, while a video captures it all. This adds a level of authenticity to the video, which in turn helps you develop an emotional connection with your audience.

By developing an emotional connection with the viewer, your testimonial can convince them that they can benefit in the same way from your product or service. This emotional connection is often the best way to draw interest or seal the deal with a client. It also improves the sense that they are getting a personal, one-on-one experience with your business.

3. Humanizes the Brand

One of the biggest problems online businesses face is a lack of human-to-human connection. Instead of getting the personal interaction you get with an in-store experience, you get a series of screens and pictures showing you the products available. While functional, many of these businesses lack the human factor. One of the best ways to avoid this issue? Using video testimonials.

Video testimonials help to humanize your brand, putting a face to your product. By showing your potential clients one of their peers who has benefitted from your product or service, you help to make them believe that they too can gain the same benefit. This helps them achieve something closer to an in-store experience, giving them added reassurance that you are the right choice to fill their needs.

4. Improves Your Exposure

Another benefit of testimonials in advertising is how much they improve your exposure. Online visibility is possibly the most important factor of business survival in our internet-based society. Videos are easy to share and visually interesting enough to encourage users to do so. Combining this with their marketing power makes videos some of the best media to gain online attention.

Compared to text-based content, video testimonials are infinitely more interesting and unique than sales pitches, grabbing the attention of prospective customers. If a customer has never heard of your product before, you can effectively differentiate yourself from the crowd by presenting your sales pitch in the form of a video rather than pure text.

You can use videos effectively in a wide range of business media, including:

•      Website: If a greater web presence is a priority for your company, videos can help you achieve it. By adding videos to your website landing pages, you immediately present your prospective clients with content that is interesting, informative and easily shareable. These videos can also improve your search engine rankings, if done correctly. This makes it much easier for potential clients to find and access your website, increasing website visits and continuing the customer attention grabbing cycle.

•      Social media: An additional benefit of testimonial videos is easy sharing on social media. Videos on social media tend to be more visible, reaching a wider audience than your website itself. You can even post videos to industry-specific pages and forums, garnering a strong following within a more dedicated segment of your target market and effectively improving overall customer loyalty.

•      Email: Even email marketing can be enhanced by testimonial videos, making your emails more interesting to read. Some testimonial statistics from Hubspot revealed that using the word "video" in an email subject line increased open email rates by 19 percent, and using videos at all increases click-through rates by 65 percent and reduces mailing list unsubscriptions by 26 percent. In this case, the statistics speak for themselves. Just make sure it’s easy to stream your video on a mobile device.

Start Using Video Testimonials

Video testimonials are examples of some of the most effective tools in your marketing arsenal. With 78 percent of people watching online videos on a weekly basis, you can’t afford to miss out on such a powerful marketing tool. Contact NextThought Studios today to learn more about the importance of testimonials in your advertising and how you can get a quality testimonial video created by our experienced production team.

How to Make Corporate Training Videos Engaging

training videos more engaging

One of the biggest struggles with corporate training is getting people to pay attention. The old days of college lectures are long gone. No one wants to sit still and listen to a talking head for over an hour any more. Our digital age has reduced attention spans and increased expectations for any visual presentation.

When you create a training video, you’re competing with fast-paced action dramas, music videos with super-imposed historical facts and the entire internet, where information pops up with a click of the mouse. Whether they realize it or not, most people are conditioned to expect a constant stream of information and entertainment punctuated by follow-up commentary via text and social media.

Adding elements of interest to your training videos is critical for them to be effective. Whether you work in a technology-driven industry or traditional manufacturing, your training videos need to be modern and engaging to get the results you’re looking for. Here are some practical tips for creating corporate training videos people will actually want to pay attention to – and learn from.

1. Present the Information in a Way That’s Easy to Understand

It’s especially difficult to hold the attention of your audience when they can’t follow what you’re explaining. Remember: when you’re presenting information to a group, you’re an expert on that particular topic and the people in your audience may have no experience with it at all. Try to think back to the first time you learned about this topic and how you made sense of it.

Be sure to break down the information you’re presenting into small chunks, because people have a limited capacity for taking in new information. You may start by clearly defining some of the key terms you’ll be using. Taking time to clearly identify what you’re talking about will improve the quality of your training video and eliminate confusion at the end.

The best training videos take full advantage of visual representations of the information they present. If you have lots of facts and figures to discuss, use charts and graphs to help your audience visualize them. Information presented in more than one format — that means both audio and video — is easier to understand and remember.

visual representations of information

Abstract concepts can be represented with animations to help your audience better visualize them. Most people will only understand a small percentage of the information you tell them. But when you repeat that information in a visual representation, like an animation, you increase the portion of your audience that will understand what you’re saying — and be able to retain and put it into practice.

Another technique to create effective training videos is to employ reenactments and examples whenever possible. Following up an explanation with an example of it in a real-life scenario is a great way to engage your audience and make your concepts feel more concrete. People may memorize the concepts you present in your online training, but if they can’t apply them in a relatable way, they haven’t truly learned anything.

2. Be Engaging and Natural

The best corporate training videos are engaging and relatable. Video training allows for the inclusion of a human connection. By seeing your face and hearing your voice, or those of engaging actors, your audience will connect with the video and get more out of your message. It’s important to let them see you as natural and human — not as some sort of stuffy corporate figure. If your audience can relate to you and find you approachable in your presentation, they will be more engaged with the video.

Employee training videos are an opportunity to showcase your company culture, too. The employees who are already immersed in the culture should identify with your presentation. New employees who are not fully part of the culture will pick up more cues about it. Overall employee engagement depends on everyone understanding and becoming part of your company culture.

be engaging and natural

In your position as a manager or trainer, you are expected to embody the corporate culture. When your presentation in the video is natural, the corporate culture shines in a positive light. Everyone who watches that video should want to be just like you on some level. You want to inspire them to take part in the company’s culture and really buy into it.

3. Vary Your Presentation to Counteract Short Attention Spans & Break Up Dense Content

Good corporate training video production incorporates various styles of presentation to keep the interest of the audience. Think about the ways information is presented to people in other venues. The news, for example, is usually a mixture of talking heads and on-the-scene videos. Most modern television shows combine more than one storyline intermixed in small chunks. Magazine articles — either online or in print — are interspersed with photographs to break up the monotony of all those words.

The key here is to find different ways to communicate with your audience and to keep the video lively. No one will remember everything you present if you show it just once. Instead, find different ways to present your information and then mix them up on your video. Saying the same thing more than once will not seem redundant if you do it in different ways, and the repetition is important for learning.

present information in different ways

Of course, you don’t want to confuse your audience by jumping around too much in your video. There needs to be a logical transition from one segment to the next. Each segment should be long enough for your audience to make that mental transition and absorb some information. If your audience gets confused or frustrated, they will not continue to pay attention.

4. Evoke Your Employees’ Emotions

Making a video is a lot like making a movie: if it reaches the audience at an emotional level, it will be well-liked and remembered. Of course, the best training videos are not real tear-jerkers. There are other, happier emotions you want to tap into. Your training video should inspire employees to excel, given this new information they’re being presented with.

The best training videos help employees renew their passion for the company and the work they do. No matter what industry you’re in, you can stir up some pride in your employees. Try showing them your own passion for the work the company does and your pride in your product, service and team. Your video can also showcase some employees demonstrating their passion for the job.

Your video will be engaging to your audience if it makes them think about why they do what they do. Once people tap into their passion, the next step is a desire to do it more and better. They will want to use the information you give them to improve their overall performance. With this type of emotional draw, your training video will be very successful.

Creating a personal message with your training video will make it especially engaging. You want people to feel like the video is speaking directly to them. It should have the intimacy of a personal conversation between the employee and the manager. Employees feel important when the management speaks to them individually, and employees who feel important are more engaged.

invoke employees emotions

5. Insist on High-Quality Production

Even if you know nothing about video production, you can tell the difference between a professional job and a DIY video. As much as DIY is a popular trend in many things right now, don’t rely on it for your training videos. Anyone can make a video, it’s true, but the best training videos are engaging and easy to watch. For that, you need a professional to guide the process and produce technically superior quality.

A video that has been professionally edited with good sound and lighting is essential for capturing and maintaining the attention of your audience. If your audience is not engaged, busy counting the number of flaws in your training video or snickering at the funny shadow in each shot, they’re not getting the training you’re trying to deliver.

Watching people in a video who are awkward and nervous is uncomfortable, too. It’s worth the time and money to bring in professional actors to give your video a polished look. When your video looks amateurish, so do you and your company.

6. Keep Videos Short and to the Point

Much like a movie, the best training videos have a beginning, a middle and an end. In other words, they set up a premise or an idea to be explored. Then they present a question, conflict, or problem to solve. Finally, the end of the video brings the material to a logical, impactful conclusion.

If you follow this format, you’ll find it much easier to keep the attention of your audience. Why? Because people are used to consuming video materials this way. Knowing what to expect helps draw people through the video. They want to see the resolution.

If you have a lot of material to present in your training, it would be better to make a couple short videos than to use one long one. This gives you the opportunity to break up your presentation and allow people time to commit what they learn to their long-term memories. The best information retention techniques involve learning small chunks of information, moving them to long-term memory through repetition and practice and then tackling new information.

A really long training video will bore your audience and oversaturate them with information. No matter how engaging you think the subject of your video is, it will lose people’s attention if it goes on too long. When your audience becomes saturated with information and can’t take in any more, they will “zone out” — even if your video is still rolling.

7. Leave Time for Questions

The interactive part of a training session is especially important for learning. People need to be presented with facts and information, but in order to move that information to long-term memory, they need to apply and practice the information. Asking questions while the presentation is still fresh in their minds will help your audience clarify and digest what they learned.

Questions not only provide a chance for clarification, but they also encourage interaction on the topics. This is part of practicing. Before people can put a new concept into practice, they need to be able to talk about it. Using the new information they gained, and the associated vocabulary, people verbally play with ideas and commit them to memory. A lively discussion of the new information following the video presentation can help with this transition.

In the conversations following your presentation, members of your audience can share what they’ve learned with each other. When you teach a concept, you learn it more fully. Knowing a fact is one level of learning, and applying that fact to a situation is another. Teaching the new information to someone else brings your learning to the level of mastery.

The question time at the end of a presentation can move everyone closer to mastery. But here’s the most important part: if no one asks any questions, don’t assume they fully understand the information presented. They may be too confused or overloaded with information to formulate a question. Ask your audience summary questions to see if they got the points you were making in your video.

teaching increases information retention

Contact NextThought Studios for More Information

When you’re ready to get started on your next corporate training video, contact NextThought Studios to make it really engaging. We are a full-service video production company with experience producing high-quality, highly engaging videos.

NextThought Studios has the equipment and the knowledge to produce a professional video for your training needs. Just like in your business, planning is an important first step to executing a flawless project. We have the knowledge and experience to help you plan a training video that comes in on time and without budget creep.

Our experience can help you avoid costly mistakes in the planning process. Shooting your training video in your conference room with a couple of your employees may sound like an easy, low-cost solution, but it can come out expensive in the end. Editing out the effects of bad lighting or awkward actors takes time, if it can be accomplished at all.

Instead, let NextThought Studios assist you in creating a professional training video from the start. We’ll use our lighting and sound equipment to get the best raw footage possible. We’ll shoot b-roll to incorporate into the final cut, infusing added company culture and personality. We can even create on-screen graphics that help you illustrate your points better, making your training video even more effective.

Our team includes messaging experts who can work with you to get your point across to the target audience. Using a combination of visual and auditory communication tools, we can give you the best chance of training your people and inspiring their work on the first run-through.

You know your industry and the information you need to present in your next training video. We know how to make that information clear and relatable to your audience. Your training video will be laser-targeted to hold the attention, inform the minds and inspire the work of your employees.

For more information on creating excellent training videos, or to get a quote for an upcoming project, contact NextThought Studios today!

Top Green Screen Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

 
 

If you’re making a corporate or educational video, there’s a good chance you’ll want to use a green screen. A green screen is a simple method of setting your video in a location without actually traveling to that location. You film your subject in front of the green screen, and then using video editing software, the green is stripped (keyed or just removed) out and replaced with whatever background you choose to insert.

You can rent a green screen production facility for this purpose, or purchase your own green screen and film wherever you like. It sounds simple enough, but there are a number of green screen mistakes that can affect the quality of your video. Here are some of the top green screen mistakes and what you can do to avoid them.

Shadows on the Green Screen

A shadow on your green screen can create a real problem. You don’t want the shadow to appear in your final product, so you will have to eliminate it in editing. The only problem is that if your shadow is too strong, anything you do to try to eliminate it may also eliminate part of the subject that casts the shadow.

This is why professional lighting is so crucial during green screen filming. Try adding more lighting, reconfiguring your lighting, or moving the subject away from the green screen so they cast less of a shadow in order to eliminate shadows on the green screen.

Motion Blur

For most corporate videos, this probably won’t be a problem, but if you do have any fast action in your video, you’ll need to watch out for motion blur. A motion blur problem occurs when your actor is moving so quickly it’s hard for the camera to pick up the motion against the green screen, and the fastest-moving objects tend to blend in with the screen. To avoid this, shoot at a higher frame rate like 120 frames per second then in post production interpret the footage at 30 frames per second and speed up the clip 4 times.

Green Screen Color Spil

Green screen color spill occurs when you have too much light on the green screen, something that might happen if you’re trying to eliminate shadows on a green screen. You get green fuzzy edges around your object, and the result is that your actor looks like they have a green reflection on their skin. In fact, any object affected by this “green screen bounce” looks like it is surrounded by a green halo, which is not what you want at all.

Resolving this problem again requires an understanding of production lighting. One possible solution is to reduce the wattage of the lights closest to the screen, add additional lights further from the screen and backlight the subject, while making sure they are not too close to the green screen. Have the subject further away from the green screen, and the green screen also needs to be lit evenly across the screen.

Disappearing Green Screen Subject

One of the most obvious but still common green screen problems among amateurs is when part of the subject disappears into the background once the green screen is keyed out. As you may realize, this happens when the subject is wearing green or partly colored green. While this may seem obvious, you’d be surprised how many people forget not to have green in the video when they are shooting with a green screen.

The solution is to check beforehand or reshoot. However, if for some reason it is necessary for you to have green in your video, such as if your company’s logo is green, the solution is to use a blue screen rather than a green screen. When you do this, of course, you need to make sure your subjects do not have any blue in them.

Professional Video Production

The best way to avoid green screen mistakes is to film your video at a professional green screen production facility with a trained staff that knows what the potential mistakes are and how to avoid them. If you’re making a video in the Oklahoma City area, NextThought Studios is the perfect solution. NextThought Studios has green screen spaces for rent, top-of-the-line cameras, professional crews, editors and editing software to help you achieve exactly the effects you’re looking for.

NextThought Studios can guide you through every step of your production, not just green screen filming, but also sound mixing, voiceover, storyboarding and every other aspect of your production where you may need assistance.

To learn more about all the ways NextThought Studios can make your next video production a high-quality, professional product that is sure to impress, or to get a free estimate on a video production project, contact NextThought Studios online now.

5 Reasons Why Your Corporate Event Needs a Videographer

 
 

If you’ve got a corporate event coming up, you’ll want to capture it with a corporate event video, there’s no question about that. Event video coverage is a great way to build brand awareness for your company and get people interested in and excited about what you do.

After looking at event videography rates, you might be tempted to try to figure out how to film an event yourself. Videography is like photography, writing and other pursuits, in that everybody can do it, but it takes specialized skill to do it well.

If you’re looking for quality event video production, it’s almost always worth the investment to hire a videographer. While it’s always fun to collect video shot by attendees or hosts of an event (and that has its place in videos too!), the finished product will be of a much higher caliber – and a better representation of your business – if its shot by a professional video production company. Here are five more reasons why your event needs a videographer.

1.    A Professional Corporate Event Video Reflects on Your Company

People who are watching your corporate event video aren’t just learning about who your company is and what your company does. They’re also learning about your commitment to quality. If your event video looks like it was shot off the cuff by an employee on someone’s phone, people may assume you take that kind of approach to your business & service to your customers. You don’t, but it’s an easy assumption to make.

A professionally shot video with high production values signals to viewers that your company appreciates quality and seeks it out in everything they do.

2.    A Professional Videographer Stays Out of the Way

A professional videographer knows how to film (by film people might think we are actually using film instead of digital 4k for the event) an event unobtrusively, allowing activities to continue uninterrupted. If you’re not used to doing professional videography, it’s easy to not be aware you are disturbing your invitees and disrupting the event while trying to capture it on video. This can not only alienate attendees, but also affect your finished product – and the success of your event.

3.    A Professional Videographer Knows How to Edit

Videoing your corporate event is about more than just filming, it’s knowing how to cut the event together, how to mix the shots and the sound, and add music and any subtle effects or graphics that will make the video really shine without appearing overproduced. Editing your video without the benefit of a dedicated studio or years of experience won’t have the same ability to capture the energy and mission of your event.

4.    A Professionally Done Video Tells a Story

Companies with experience creating videos do more than just capture actions digitally, they also find the story in the event they are recording and use their videography skills to tell that story. This storyline is reflected in what they choose to shoot, when they shoot it and how they edit it all together. It’s that storyline that is going to capture the attention of your audience and give your video the desired effect. It’s also going to stir up emotions and passion in your employees, creating momentum in your company and with your customers that will last until your next event.

5.    A Professional Video Gets Done on Time

If you assign one of your employees to handle your corporate video, or do it yourself, it may take longer than expected. Without a great deal of postproduction experience, putting your footage together in a way that achieves the desired result could take extensive trial and error. You may not have the time for that, especially if you’re working to recap an event and show stakeholders or customers how successful it was. While unexpected problems can always pop up, if you give a professional videographer a timeline for completion and they agree to it, they will be able to deliver.

Finding a Professional Videographer in the Oklahoma City Area

If you need to find a conference videographer in Oklahoma City, you may want to start your search with Oklahoma’s premier video production company, NextThought Studios. NextThought Studios has experts in every area of video production, from scripts to editing and everything in between. Our professional crews can capture your event on location the way you want it captured and edit it to create just the effect your company is searching for. Our goal is to make every corporate video and every corporation that makes them look great, and we’re eager to do that for you.

To find out more about what NextThought Studios can offer your corporate event video production, or to receive a free estimate on your job, contact NextThought Studios online today.

 

Choosing a Video Production Company

 
 

How to find the best video production companies in Oklahoma City.

In order to find the best corporate video or educational video production companies in Oklahoma City and beyond, you first need to be able to ask the right questions and know what to look for in a video production company. The right video production company can mean exponentially more audience engagement, attention and success for your business, while the wrong one, or using none at all, can result in an unprofessional-looking product that casts your company in a bad light.

Knowing how to find a good video production company is extremely important. Here’s a quick guide to show you how to choose a good video production company for your corporate or educational video needs.

Look at Their Work

The best indicator of what a company will do for you is what it has done before. A good video production company should proudly display examples of its work on its website, (social media, vimeo, etc) and may be able to point to other places online where its work can be viewed as well. Watch the videos that have been created by the company in question. Look not only at the production cost, but also if the videos seem to have the kind of look, feel and sensibility you are seeking in your own corporate videos.

Get Quotes

Price shouldn’t be the only factor when deciding how to choose a video production company, but it certainly is a key one. You may end up going with a company that costs a little more but whose approach you think is better for your company, but it’s still good to get a sense at how much different video production companies charge for their services for comparison purposes.

Know What You Need

Do you already have a script, storyboards and actors and mostly just need a space, a crew, and maybe some special effects? Do you have everything but just need help with the editing of your video? Are you starting completely from scratch? While a good video production company should be able to help you with just about every part of the process, it’s a good idea to know what you need going in to help the company explain how it can best help you achieve your goals.

Questions to Ask a Video Production Company

When you approach a video production company, here are a few questions you should consider asking to help you make your decision:

  • How long have you been in business?

  • About how many educational or corporate videos have you produced?
  • What video in your portfolio are you most proud of and why?
  • Have you worked with a company like ours before and how did that go?
  • When can you start and how long do you expect the project to take?
  • How much do you expect the project to cost?
  • What are the credentials of your experts, such as screenwriters, storyboarders, camera operators, etc.? What experience do they have in the areas where we need help?
  • What are the charges for updating or editing the video after the project is complete?

While this is not an exhaustive list, a video production company that has ready and acceptable answers to these questions is likely to be a good match for you.

NextThought Studios for Video Production in Oklahoma City

NextThought Studios cares about our customers and we want to be sure you have the right video production company for your specific needs. In most cases, we think we are that company. NextThought Studios has trained experts in every area of video production, from the first storyboards to the final cut. Our reputation as a premier video production company in Oklahoma City comes from years of making great educational and corporate videos with a focus on high production values and client satisfaction.

To find out more about what we can do for you and to get a free estimate on what your particular production job may cost, contact NextThought Studios online today.