Why Your Social Media Channel Needs Video Right Now

“No matter what you’re selling, no matter what your company does, if you don’t have a video marketing strategy for the biggest video platforms, you are going to lose.”

Gary Vaynerchuk

It’s not news that social media is king in advertising right now. It’s also not news that video marketing is one of the most popular—and increasingly popular—forms of content today.  

Video is the top dog in content, and social media is the top platform for advertising. So what happens when you put them together?

Social video generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined, according to Small business Trends. Facebook generates 8 billion video views on average per day. It’s impossible to ignore the huge market of social media and how video can give us a bite of this market share.

Utilizing a video campaign with your social media strategy is the ultimate way to improve engagement and conversion for your business.

 

Video Views Equal ROI from True Film Production on Vimeo.

Why should you use video on social media?

1. Video has a strong return on investment.

Social media is naturally low investment. It costs nothing to start a Facebook company page or a Twitter account. Companies like social media because the actual platform itself can be low cost.

Thus, it’s common for small businesses to be weary of paying for content on a free platform. It’s not uncommon to think, “Why would I invest all this money in a video when I can just use the free social platform to connect with my audience?”

But that question is innately backwards. You can’t connect with your audience simply because you’re on a social platform. You can’t interact with each person individually. The purpose of social media is to share content and build relationships through that content.

And video has the strongest return on content investment. In fact, over 83% of businesses say that video has the best ROI of their marketing campaigns.

Moreover, social media naturally allows for a strong organic reach, which can prove a higher return on investment per dollar. Additionally, Facebook videos have a 135% greater organic reach than photo posts. Together, this allows for a greater reach that can prove financially fruitful.

If you’re going to invest the money in building a strong social media platform with visually stunning and entertaining content, video proves to be the best use of that expenditure.  

2. Video builds trust.

Businesses use social media to connect with their audience on a more personal level. Video further builds this desired level of trust and engagement.

Take influence vloggers for example. They connect with their audience solely through video. They build trust by talking into the camera, showing their life, and providing value to the viewer.

Video puts a face (or faces) on the brand. It provides a story, a brand voice, and a deeper level of engagement. It also demonstrates that the company is committed to their social media channel. People prefer to “follow” or “like” companies who show dedication to their content and to their audience.

3. Video encourages social shares.

People are more likely to click “share” on an emotional or funny video than they are on an article or picture. This is because there is a higher level of engagement involved in videos, and they often make the viewer feel a certain way. When someone shares a video, they’re telling their friends to feel that same emotion.

In fact, 76% of users say that they would share a branded video with their friends if the video were entertaining.

Thus, storytelling is key here. Building a comprehensive story will elicit a reaction from your audience in a way that will encourage them to share the video.

4. Video boosts conversion.

Social media is first and foremost about building a relationship between the organization and the consumer (through content). But ultimately, that relationship doesn’t mean much unless those consumers are purchasing. This doesn’t mean that every post on social media will convert into a sale.

Rather, the goal is to build an active engagement. This means that the people liking and sharing your content are also interested in purchasing your products and services.

Ultimately, you ensure that engagement is active (not passive) by having relevant content with a strong call to action and some form of emotional gratification.

If you can create this sort of active following, your customers become loyal clients. Those loyal clients not only buy more, but they promote and share your brand to their friends as well.

Using video is the strongest way to increase these conversions. It provides the greatest opportunity for a strong yet subtle call to action that encourages viewers to purchase. Overall, 71% of marketers say that video shows the highest conversion rates of all their marketing content.

Moreover, video is highly shareable, as discussed above. This means that those loyal, active customers of yours will be willing to share the video on their own social media, thus spreading the word about your company.  

5. Live video is growing.

Social media platforms are now offering the opportunity to “go live.” From Facebook Live to Instagram Stories, from Snapchat to Twitter’s Periscope, live streaming is quickly taking over social platforms.

Viewers like live video because they get an “inside look” into what’s going on with your brand.

Moreover, on some platforms, live video allows for a one-on-one interaction that isn’t possible through other forms of content. Viewers can comment on the video while it’s live, and the broadcaster can even respond and acknowledge their viewers right in the video. This creates a personalized touch that shows a high level of commitment to the consumer.

Learn more about live streaming here:

The Bottom Line

The uses of video are endless. You can utilize video for just about any purpose—whether explaining a product, showing a live event, or telling a story. Video is more comprehensive than other forms of content, which makes it more adaptable to social platforms.

Video connects with and engages your audience in new and exciting ways. After experiencing some sort of emotional response, users can then quickly and easily share your videos with their friends.

Ultimately, this creates two key benefits: long-term engagement with loyal customers and word-of-mouth marketing for new acquisitions.

Not sure where to begin creating a social video campaign?

True Film Production can help.

We are marketers first and foremost. We know that a video is only as successful as the promotion and strategy behind it.

Contact us now to start building your video marketing and social media campaign.

The post Why Your Social Media Channel Needs Video Right Now appeared first on True Film Production.

Why I Love TFP: Alma Rodriguez

The “Why I Love” series is a Q & A session with members of the True Film Production team. This week we feature our Executive Assistant Alma Rodriguez.

Describe your role at TFP in 3 sentences or less.

I have 2 roles so I’m using more than 3 sentences 😉

I am our CEO’s Executive Assistant and the Office Manager at True Film Production HQ.

As Office Manager I’m in charge of all office related matters, including maintaining the office’s condition, updating and maintaining office policies, addressing employee queries regarding office management issues, purchasing office supplies and equipment, as well as maintaining proper inventory levels.

As the Executive Assistant I’m in charge of coordinating our CEO’s calendar – planning meetings, appointments, calls, and events, managing emails, providing reminders; as an executive assistant my tasks vary day to day, but the duty remains the same, assist our CEO.

What about your role do you find fulfilling?

I get the best of both worlds. As an executive assistant I get to work side by side with the person in charge of the entire show.

As an office manager, I get to work side by side with the entire TFP Team. I oversee my coworkers and that allows me to learn more about them as individuals.

What’s your favorite activity (other than work)?

I don’t have a specific activity that’s my favorite. However, there is one thing I have to do daily, no matter what: I journal/write. I  never miss a day of writing; even if I don’t have much to say, I have to end my day by writing what I feel or what’s on my mind, or creating a short story.

Go into detail about one of your 5 most interesting personal facts.

I’ve studied numerous languages throughout my life. I’m fluent in four languages.

English (duh).  

Spanish, but I don’t consider myself someone who knows the language just because they were exposed to it since birth. I know Spanish because I’ve spent years studying the language in depth. The journey began in elementary school when I was given the option to be a part of a Dual Language program. This meant that I would take all standard courses in English – but was also taught the same courses for a period of time throughout the week in Spanish. This continued until I reached High School, and allowed me to master the language. Not only can I speak Spanish, but I can comfortably read and write as well. Learning how to speak a language isn’t the only aspect of studying a language. When I reached High School I took Advanced Placement Courses in Spanish Language, Spanish Language History and Spanish Literature, which allowed me to dive deeper into the language and its history.

French. In High School I studied French for 4 years, and was placed in an Advanced French Language course.  When I went to college, although I was exempt from taking Language Courses, I continued studying French, and then went on to study Portuguese.

I’ve set a goal to learn and master every romance language before I take on a completely different language. I’ve begun studying Italian, but I first want to master Portuguese before I fully dive into the Italian language.

Learning a new language has always been extremely important to me. I’m interested in traveling and learning from new cultures, but I’m not interested in doing so solely through visual experience I’m interested in building a connection with other cultures through what I hear. I want to be able to communicate with the locals and allow them to comfortably express themselves in their native tongue, making our conversations more personal and sincere.

Why did you choose your specific superhero?

There are only two female superheroes that I really like and they are Wonder Woman and Storm. I’m not big into the world of superheroes so I don’t know any heroes other than the common ones I saw on lunchboxes as a kid. My choice was between Wonder Woman and Storm, so I picked the Superhero that doesn’t get as much love.

Why do I like them? WOMAN POWER! These ladies are all about leadership, they’re the bosses. Storm in particular? She’s not only a leader, she’s also a teacher and a guide. That’s a great quality for leaders – lead by example. I love what they represent: femininity and leadership.

What is your favorite movie and why?

Grease! A million times Grease! I’ve watched Grease over 100 times and have yet to become tired of it. I LOVE everything about Grease. I can’t narrow it to one thing. There’s something about the music, the fashion, the songs, the dances and performances, I just LOVE it all! I can recite the entire movie from beginning to end! That tends to annoy people but I can’t control myself, the Grease bug kicks in and gets me in the best of moods.

If you were recruiting someone to work for TFP, what would your pitch be?

Think about your past jobs, employers, and coworkers. When’s the last time someone cared about your efforts, or you as an individual? How many people were you able to build a true connection with that goes beyond “Oh, an employee/a coworker.” How often were you allowed to be yourself without being judged/criticized? When did anyone ever show interest in your professional and personal growth, and tried to assist in that journey? Have you ever worked at a place where your happiness was a genuine interest to your employers? We’re the true definition of a team. You provide your skills and experience, we value it, we value you, we work hard together, and we all move forward together.

What is your favorite TFP or TI video?

Blake Leeper – I’m all about self-love, confidence, motivational stories, and hard work. His story is a reminder that no matter what obstacles arise nothing is impossible to beat!

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Why Corporate Interviews Must Be Filmed With 2 Cameras Not 1

2 camera corporate video interviews > 1 camera

Filming a corporate interview may seem like a simple project that a single videographer can accomplish. So why then, do professional producers recommend using two cameras to film such a ‘simple’ video format?

Maintaining Pace

A subtle difference between good video and great video is the pacing of dialogue. Great Hollywood actors and directors get the pacing of their work timed perfectly. Each break in dialogue, whether a pause in a monologue or the moment between the end of one character’s line and the beginning of another’s, is precisely the right length. Too long a break and the scene becomes awkward, too short and the acting takes on an amateurish feel.

The fundamentals of commercial and corporate video are no different. Poorly paced corporate videos make for bad content. For a corporate interview video, adding a second camera helps tremendously with maintaining an engaging pace.

 

There will be times when the interviewee takes a long break between sentences, but what they’ve said is excellent. Having two cameras on set allows your post-production team to gap that break with a change of camera angle. If you’re only using one camera, bridging that gap becomes a lot more difficult.

One camera means one camera angle. So unless the interviewee kept their head in the same position, and their facial expression the same, then an edit of that gap in dialogue will be evident to the viewer. You could always redo the entire take, which is a common fix with single camera interviews, but then you run into the issue of the second take sounding rehearsed.

Cover Up Mistakes

It’s not easy to be confident in front of a camera. It takes years of practice to become comfortable and loose when the spotlight is shining on you. If the interviewee isn’t familiar with being in front a camera (and few are), then it’s likely they’ll make mistakes and blips while speaking.

With one camera it’s challenging to edit out mistakes while maintaining the right pace, sometimes even impossible. Worse than a gap in dialogue, a mistake means the interviewee must either reset to the exact physical position they were in before they strayed, live with an amateur looking edit, or begin all-over again. You can include an awkward pause in your video, but you absolutely cannot have stuttering or other common on-camera speech faults.

Two cameras solve this issue with the magic of a camera angle shift. Interviewees can start the sentence over again, then in post-production cut the footage from one angle to the other creating one smooth scene.

With more room for error, there are very few breaks in action when filming with 2 cameras. As a result, interviewees speak more naturally, and it takes less time to get quality footage. On a video production set time is money.

Engaging the Senses

Interviews, at their core, are simple p rojects relative to other video production options. There’s not much action happening in an interview. With one camera, you only get one camera angle, and therefore you’re further limiting the action. A second camera allows you to change up the viewer’s perspective and keep their eyes engaged as well as their ears.

A second camera allows your production team to be more creative in post-production. Your team can shift camera angles to create suspense while you’re building up your story, or empathy during a particularly powerful sound bite.

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How to Let an Influencer Influence You

If you are looking for an effective way to market your products and services to help build your brand, an influencer may have what your business needs to reach a new level of customers. Influencers are strong resources for new entrepreneurs and can help provide insight into your industry with a few simple questions.

Asking an influencer about their experiences and any advice they may have can allow you to garner a range of knowledge that can help your business achieve its goals now and into the future. Fourteen members of the Young Entrepreneur Council shared some of the questions you should ask an influencer to gain more insight and ultimately grow your network.

1. What would you do if you were me?

I find I always learn a lot when speaking to an influencer and asking them what they would do if they were me at that point in my career. Sometimes the answer you get isn’t groundbreaking, but sometimes the thinking is creative and allows you to look at things from a different perspective. – Ben LandisFanbase

2. What would you give everyone you meet?

The question I would ask is, “What would you give to everyone you meet?” Is it a book? Is it a word of advice? Is it a swift kick to the shin? If you think of interactions as micro-legacies, what would you impart upon every human you engage with? – Codie Sanchezwww.CodieSanchez.com

3. What is the biggest risk you’ve taken?

Becoming a successful entrepreneur requires taking risks, and influencers are no exception. If you ask them about their riskiest move, you’re acknowledging them for the entrepreneur that they are and learning something new along the way. – Jared AtchisonWPForms

4. What was the best challenge you faced?

As entrepreneurs all know, it takes a lot of trial, error and sacrifice to become a truly successful professional. Though this is purely the nature of the beast and a part of the journey, each individual experiences unique challenges on their journey to the top. It’s interesting to hear each person’s story and how the most difficult challenges added true value to their success and growth. – Stanley MeytinTrue Film Production

5. How would you get where you are in half the time?

People who have done something usually learn how to do it much quicker the next time around. If you are looking to take a big jump in your career, you must learn how others did it and how you can make it faster. The general rule is to start earlier rather than later. – Alejandro RiojaFlux Chargers

6. What changed about how you see yourself?

The way we look at ourselves can have a powerful impact on the things we’re capable of. I always like to ask influencers how that’s changed, to learn more about how they unleashed their potential and wrote themselves a new story. – Adam SteeleLoganix

7. What didn’t you know when you started?

Ask an influencer what is the one thing they wish they had known when they first started out—something that would have changed their course of action. You may find valuable information in their answer. – Colbey PfundLFNT Distribution

8. Who would you love to work with right now?

Networking is not only about meeting people, it’s also about building bridges. Ask the influencer who are some of the people—or companies—they would love to work with and see if you know anyone you can introduce them to. Who knows, maybe it’s even your company! – Syed BalkhiOptinMonster

9. What is your primary motivation?

I think that if you really want to know how someone got where they are today, you have to know their motivation. What gave them the inspiration to work hard in their chosen field, learn the necessary skills and overcome their challenges? Everyone’s motivation is a little different, but we can learn something when we understand what motivates a highly successful person. – Shawn PoratScorely

10. What habit helps you keep going?

Some strange rituals have proven to be effective for highly effective people. I always like to hear about them when I have a chance to talk to an influencer. It’s also a sort of personal question that isn’t too invasive to answer, and that can help you learn more about whether this kind of influencer could make a good mentor. – Matt DoyleExcel Builders

11. What’s the next phase of your career?

Influencers are in a better than average position to see what’s coming up in their industry. They often have insights before you read about them in the news or your usual social media feeds. Ask them what they see coming in the near future in an area that affects your business. This might be a new platform, technology, product or market trend that helps you stay ahead of the curve. – Kalin KassabovProTexting

12. What book should I read?

Ask for a book recommendation, then download the audiobook and listen to the entire thing. You can listen to it while driving, exercising or cooking. After finishing, follow up with them and discuss your thoughts. The level of effort required shows you are determined, hardworking and someone worth investing in. Even in the worst case scenario, you’ve read a new book and expanded your horizons. – Kevin TaoNeuEve

13. Can I ask about a story you published?

Influencers always write thought leadership pieces for several online outlets, and you can also find many interviews and stories about them. I generally read about them online and then ask them a question related to content published by them or about them. This creates a better opportunity to connect with an influencer and a higher chance for an influencer to get back to you. – Piyush JainSIMpalm

14. What resources do you use?

“What are the resources you use in your industry for advice and guidance?” That question will usually get the conversation started quickly and efficiently about how your potential relationship can benefit them, and actually, the both of you. – Andrew SchrageMoney Crashers Personal Finance

These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. YEC has also launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.

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Why Common Extra Effects Add to Video Production Costs

Clients often ask why voiceovers, graphics, extra cuts, and animations add on to the cost of a video project?

The services mentioned are additional services, keyword: additional. Though they may seem small, your production company must hire or employ a professional to complete these tasks.

Let’s use voiceovers as an example. Firstly, you’ll need a voiceover artist. If you’re selling pick-up trucks, you’re probably going to want a rugged mid-western sounding artist as opposed to say, a posh Englishman. Therefore your production partner must cast a voiceover artist that fits your vision. Casting takes a day, and so does the physical recording of the voiceover. Finally, you the client must approve of the recording.

The additional costs arise from a) the voiceover artist’s fee and b) the time it takes your production company to cast the artist, get approval for the recording and master the audio track to sound professional. Simply put: you’re paying for time. The same goes for animations, graphics, and extra cuts.

extra

One of the most expensive ‘extras’ is adding a day of shooting. There are numerous video professionals on a set. There’s a ton of equipment that you’re renting for the shoot. Neither the video professionals or equipment rental agencies are giving away their products for free.

Extra services during post-production (adding cuts, animation, graphics, etc.) also take longer to complete than people realize. There are several variations of editors; if a client requests a 2D animation, the company’s 2D animator has to fit the project into their schedule. Once the animation is complete, an editor has to place the animation into the rest of the video cohesively. A professional production company’s animators and editors are always busy, so last minute changes to their schedule are costly.

The best way to avoid additional costs is to create a robust plan way before production begins. That’s why production companies put such an emphasis on the pre-production phase. We’re not in business to take you for all you have; we’re in business to create something magical in the most efficient way possible.

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Why I Love TFP: Corrine Zeidler

The “Why I Love” series is a Q & A session with members of the True Film Production team. This week we feature our Account Executive Corrine Zeidler.

Describe your role at TFP in 3 sentences or less:

I facilitate productions by coordinating with crews, locations, and clients to ensure a seamless production process. I also work closely with clients to make sure that what they envisioned and what’s on film align.  

What aspects of your job do you find most fulfilling?

There’s a ton of work that goes into each project, so when a project comes together I feel a sense of pride and accomplishment. It’s a cool feeling to create something tangible that started off as just an idea.

I also love receiving a customer’s feedback about their final video – because they’re always amazed at how their entire vision came together 😉

Which of the 5 TFP core-values do you resonate with the most and why?

Good vibes. To me good vibes are the most telling sign of a person’s personality – they cannot be faked or improvised. They’re more than a smile or a thank you – they’re the energy someone conducts themselves with.

What’s your favorite activity (other than work)?

Traveling. I love immersing in other cultures and seeing more of the world. It’s amazing how we’re all different, yet at the same time we’re all connected.

Why did you choose Jean Grey as your superhero?

Jean Grey is a badass, but still has a kind heart. She’s tough, but gets the job done without bringing others down – she’s the ultimate team player. I think the beauty of “opposing traits” isn’t appreciated by most. Plus, the Phoenix is an incredible symbol of beauty and power.

If you click on your superhero 5 fun facts about you pop-up, go into detail about one them.

I have traveled to more than 10 countries, and have studied in 2 of them. I crave new experiences and love to learn about different cultures. Traveling has made me a more open-minded person, and more appreciative of other cultures and lifestyles. I find it very important both personally and professionally to empathize with other people’s point of view.

What is your favorite movie and why?

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. I love adventure (hence my love of traveling). This man has lived his entire life following the same routine and as a result he didn’t experience the world outside his bubble. That was until one day when he had a setback and had to try something new. His transformation over the course of the movie is very inspiring, plus I love the “it’s never too late” lesson the movie teaches.

What is your favorite TFP or TI video?

Who is Wirecard.

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6 Smart Ways to Deal With Workplace Stress

Everyone has dealt with feelings of stress at work. Whether it’s the threat of a looming deadline or worries about how your company’s numbers are going to pan out this quarter, it’s inevitable that stress will bubble up on occasion.

Below, six entrepreneurs share their best strategies for overcoming feelings of stress and breaking through to a place of relaxation and productivity.

Take a short walk.

Sometimes all you need is a short change of pace and scenery. That’s why Kristin Marquet, founder and creative director of PR firm Creative Development Agency, LLC, recommends stepping away from your desk and taking a few minutes to move.

“When I get stressed at the office, I like to get up and walk around the hallways, walk down the stairs or go outside for a few minutes to decompress,” she says. “Not only is this a good mental break, it’s also a great way to get a little exercise.”

Stretch.

“Sitting down for an extensive amount of time can cause strain on your body. Having been to physical therapy and a chiropractor, the common theme I hear is ‘stretch,’” notes Mike A. Podesto, CEO and founder of job search tool Find My Profession. We’ve all heard how much stress prolonged sitting puts on our bodies, but few of us remember to take steps to counteract it.

“Throughout the day, I take stretch breaks to cope with stress and improve my overall health,” says Podesto. “I am killing two birds with one stone and not wasting time, which makes me feel good physically and mentally.”

Remember, it’s all in the mind.

Stress at work is largely a mental state, and becoming aware of that fact can sometimes be the key to overcoming it. Jessica Gonzalez, founder of cell phone charging station providerInCharged, says: “When I’m extremely stressed, I like to throw on my meditation app, close my eyes and breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth for five minutes.”

“My father used to tell me ‘it’s all in the mind, and the mind can be controlled.’ I use that line to talk myself out of stressful situations by telling myself it’s only as stressful as I let it be,” she adds.

Help someone else.

“A quick fix whenever I am stressed or upset at work is to do something nice for someone else,” says Kim Kaupe, co-founder of superfan-focused entertainment agency ZinePak. If you’re feeling swamped by the workload in front of you, taking a moment to make someone else’s day just a little bit better can make a big difference in your own mental state.

Kaupe says: “Whether it’s opening the door on my way to lunch or sending a random ‘thinking of you’ text, it gives me perspective that the only thing I can control is myself. Bringing happiness to others takes five minutes or less but pays you back throughout the day.”

Make a list.

Stress is often the result of feeling overwhelmed and not knowing where to start. Something as simple as making a list can put things into perspective and help you sort out your top priorities.

“It might seem simple, but getting everything out of my head and onto paper is one of the quickest ways I’ve found to destress,” says Rob Duffy, CEO and co-founder of DevOps guidance firm Ship On Day One. “Sit down with pen and paper and start writing a list of things to do. It might be a long list, but just getting it on paper and looking at it will help.”

Dance first, stress later.

“Put on a pair of headphones — or, if you’re in your own space, blast your favorite tune — and dance like the world is blind,” suggests Stanley Meytin, CEO and creative director of video production service True Film Production. Taking a few minutes to dance it out gives you a physical break from sitting and a mental break from your stress — but the benefits go even further.

“Dancing has positive physiological and psychological benefits, it’s indefinably fun and it puts your brain into a lighthearted mindset,” says Meytin. “Personally, it reminds me to just have fun: the reason I became an entrepreneur in the first place.”

 

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Buy Low! Company Culture Video Production is Highly Undervalued

While the effect is intangible, company culture video production offers the best value of any corporate video project.

When you’re quoted on a video project, you’re essentially paying for three broad inputs: people, equipment and time. Time is the most variable, and costly, factor of the three. To get the most bang for your buck you want to create as much high-quality content as possible, in the shortest span of time feasible.

Company Culture Video

The more good content you film, the more use you’ll get out of it. However, not all content is created equally. A product advertisement shoot will only yield video content about that product. An experienced video production company can repurpose that content for different platforms, i.e., Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, etc. Ultimately, however, you can only use that footage to promote 1 product. The investment you made is sending one message 

 

and one message only – buy your product.

Company culture video production, on the other hand, is highly versatile. Just like a product video, you can repurpose a company culture video for multiple platforms. The difference however, lies in the versatility of the message.

Your company culture has a personal effect on all stakeholders of your company. Naturally, a video about your company’s culture affects those same people as well. In a single session of filming, you can get footage to use for internal communication, recruitment and brand loyalty building.

Working

Repurpose the content to onboard to new hires, entice talent to apply for a job, celebrate current employees and create a connection to your brand amongst customers. You can repurpose one video shoot into at least four distinct messages. As a bonus, those messages have a broader range of appropriate platforms on which they can live. Web pages with video embedded into them receive more traffic and higher engagement. Unless you sell one product, the homepage of your website isn’t the right place to advertise your products. But a video about your company’s culture…  

The value of company culture video production comes in the form of savings, not necessarily earnings. Immediately you save time, and if done right your investment into culture will save you costs on employee turnover, recruiting and customer retention.

Not sure what a company culture video is? Give us a shout and we’ll tell you all about its wonders!

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The 10 Most Responsible Corporate Social Responsibility Efforts

Corporate social responsibility is vital to consumer trust. No wonder these 10 companies have been around for ages!

 

Ben & Jerry’s

 

Ben and Jerry found the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation in 1985, at the time of their IPO, and since then have continued the efforts for which they stood for at the foundation of the company. The foundation is focused on social justice, environmental conservation, and sustainable food production. In 2014, the foundation was named the winner of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy Corporate Grantmaker.

Wendy’s

Wendy’s initiative, Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, aims to increase the number of children adopted from foster care by using 234 adoption recruiters. Thanks to their work “every 12 hours a child is adopted from foster care,” and “children served by the program are up to three times more likely to get adopted.”

Starbucks

Starbucks’ program, C.A.F.E. Practices focuses on making coffee a sustainable agricultural product around the world. 99% of their coffee is ethically sourced and their dedication to environmental responsibility is commendable. They have additionally committed to provide 100 million trees to farmers by 2025 in addition to making an effort to re-plant 1 billion coffee trees.

IBM

Citizen IBM “promotes discussion on… how IBMers are donating time, talent and technology to assist communities around the world.” From celebrating women and girls in science fields, helping to prevent youth suicide using data, and training veterans in software training and certification to help them find jobs, Citizen IBM is putting their best foot forward and using technology to do good.

The Walt Disney Company

Disney’s CSR program is focused on a “responsible supply chain.” They focus their efforts on fair labor and environmental responsibility, ensuring that wherever their products are produced, workplaces are fair and safe, as well as working to lower the negative environmental impact of products. But their csr efforts don’t stop there, they also conduct the charitable giving program that focuses on helping those in need through charitable monetary and book donations; as well as service announcements to get help from the public. In 2017, they gave $348 million to these nonprofit organizations and since 2012 they have donated over 61 million books!

Microsoft

Microsoft conducts numerous corporate social responsibility efforts, the one that stands out to us is dedicated to “closing the STEM gap” – the astonishingly low number of women working in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields. Microsoft hosts initiative programs for youths interested in STEM. According to their website, “more than 80% of the young people who benefit from Microsoft YouthSpark grants come from underserved communities, and more than half are female.” Their efforts are directly changing the gender disparity in these fields by teaching young people digital skills.

Chipotle

Food waste is a global problem. Chipotle, along with French grocer Intermarche, has a campaign called “Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables” which aims at lowering food waste within their two companies. Chipotle’s strategy is simple: it calculates what percentage of customers do not finish their food, and based on that data, lowers the portion size according to how much each person is actually going to eat.

Under Armour

Under Armour’s corporate social responsibility plan largely aims at sustainability. Their mission is to make a dollar go as far as possible by being more efficient with resources with a goal to reduce waste and lower their carbon footprint. They also take initiative in making sure to use fair labor within their factories, following the International Labor Organisation guidelines to create a better world by conserving the environment and treating their workers fairly.

Tesla

Tesla motors works to conserve the environment by using electricity rather than fossil fuels to power their vehicles. In 2010, they received the Environmental Leadership Award from Global Green USA for their efforts in sustainability and reducing resource depletion. More recently, Tesla’s factory has become the safest car factory in the world.

Levi Strauss & Co.

With water scarcity being a recurring problem in the world, Levi Strauss & Co. has recognized the importance of conserving water so as not to further deplete the world’s limited resources. Their Water<Less™ initiative has significantly reduced the amount of water used in the finishing process of their production. Levi Strauss & Co has reduced water usage by up to 96% for certain styles of their jeans and since 2011 have saved more than 1 billion liters of water!

 

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Should Businesses Comment on Politics?

It’s hard to avoid politics in the modern world. Between the 24-hour news cycle and constant social media updates, people hear about every piece of legislation, every political scandal, every social injustice — and you can be sure that they’re talking about it, too.

As a business, commenting on politics can be a tricky and sometimes ill-advised move. When your brand offers any opinion related to a hot-button issue, you’re guaranteed to alienate at least some of your customer base. What place, if any, do corporations have in political discussions? We polled Young Entrepreneur Council members to see where they stand.

Do you think companies should comment on political issues? If so, what is a best practice that should be followed?

Their best answers are below:

1. Don’t do it unless your business is directly involved in politics.

Unless your business is heavily and directly involved in the political industry, it’s wise to keep your thoughts to yourself. You risk alienating a percentage of your customer base. For what? To express your personal opinions via your professional platform? If you want to be outspoken about politics, do it via your own personal brand. – Ali MahvanSharebert

2. Choose your battles and avoid aligning with a party.

No company can afford to stay completely out of political issues. Many issues that are described as ‘political’ are in reality about equality, social justice and climate change. Staying on the sidelines has become the same as taking a side, and it’s one that could alienate your employees. However, companies should avoid aligning with specific political parties. – Amishi Takalkar, NAILBITER

3. Don’t cause unnecessary damage to your brand.

Companies should stay as much out of political issues as possible. There is no benefit to a business choosing a side. By going political you can only do damage, whether it’s be ostracizing customers who don’t agree, or it may be seen as opportunistic to use a political event as a chance to sell. Whatever the case, it can only do damage. – Baruch LabunskiRank Secure

4. If you do, test your messaging to avoid alienating your tribe.

There are some huge opportunities in political marketing, for those who are brave enough to seek them. Politics is expressing a desire to impact the world around us. That’s why it resonates with us. Audiences are very sensitive to phrasing and implications, so test your messaging out by sending it to a small base of friends you trust. Their feedback will help you avoid an unintentional firestorm. – Kevin TaoNeuEve

5. Take a moral stance, not a political one.

A company is not a person despite what your accountant or lawyer tells you. It’s a group of people that collectively make up an entity. Not every team member will agree politically, so don’t go out making claims that can potentially cause rifts internally. Remember, morals and politics are two different things. Take a moral stand, not a political stand. – Stanley MeytinTrue Film Production

6. Don’t comment unless the issue directly impacts your business.

My company’s server hosting customers understood that the end of net neutrality would hurt their businesses. We took a strong stand on that issue because the removal of net neutrality regulations affects our clients and the internet as a whole. Outside of unifying industry-relevant issues like net neutrality, entrepreneurs should think twice before addressing sensitive political issues. – Vik PatelFuture Hosting

7. Take social stances to be on the right side of history.

Companies can and should take a political stance in instances of bigotry, sexism, homophobia or any sort of prejudice. The best practice to follow is to be on the right side of history; have empathy and embrace what makes diversity beautiful. – Rachel BeiderMassage Greenpoint

8. Do what feels right.

Companies should never feel pressured to speak up simply because they feel like they should, but don’t feel too comfortable. These types of situations turn out badly when it’s based on an emotional whim. Freedom of speech is the freedom to speak or not speak. Reflect before choosing to make a statement (or not make one) and think through the outcome and fully understand why you’re doing it. – Cassie PetreyCrowd Surf

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