16 Ways to Take Advantage of What Instagram Has to Offer

Instagram is a visual wonderland, especially for brands. It’s an opportunity to attract more customers — particularly those belonging to the millennial and Gen Z demographics — and showcase the best of what you have to offer. Just take a look at some of the most followed Instagram accounts and you will see why and how the top brands in the world are taking advantage of what this social platform has to offer.

However, something we all know too well about social media, is that Instagram can also be a time suck if it isn’t leveraged correctly. You want the best of both worlds: being able to reap the benefits of Instagram without spending all of your time on it.

We asked members of Young Entrepreneur Council how to best leverage what Instagram has to offer while still staying true to your business.

1. Showcase Beautiful Photos

This seems simple, but it is easily forgotten. Instagram is for photos. Share great ones that are relevant to your brand and ones that your audience will appreciate and want to see. If your industry just isn’t something that can involve relevant photography, focus on another social platform that’s more fitting.

– Jeff CayleyWorldwide Cyclery

2. Use a Tool to Plan Photos in Advance

Use a tool such as Planoly, Plann or Later to batch plan your posts in advance so you can see how they look together visually on the grid. I also use Instagram Stories to show potential clients a peek behind the scenes on real projects so they feel more connected to our team before they start working with us.

– Allie SiartoAllie Siarto & Co. Photography

3. Find a Theme

Make sure your page has a consistent theme. When people land on a brand’s page, they should see content that looks uniform and planned. A person will make an instant decision on whether or not to follow your page based on if the aesthetics are worthwhile to show up in their feed. Use tools like preset Lightroom filters to give each photo a similar feel.

– Bobby PalmieriLilo Social

4. Embrace Storytelling

Instagram Stories has become a powerful tool for storytelling, and even more so for activating your audience and driving sales. Get a business IG profile and organically earn 10k followers so that you can utilize links in your stories. If you’re creative, thoughtful and provide entertainment and value, you’ll reap the rewards. Don’t forget to make the posts visually stunning and interesting.

– Scott LevyFuel Online

5. Create Photo-Friendly Spaces

Creating a few standard spaces you can reuse regularly will speed up your Instagram workflow, as well as help establish a brand feeling. You don’t need a professional studio, but a well-lit neutral wall or a corner table set up for product photography will make staging Instagram photos routine.

– Thursday BramThe Responsible Communication Style Guide

6. Be Original

Don’t copy the style and type of content used by other advertisers and influencers. Millennials and Gen Zers can sense when a brand is trying to appear hip and young and they will interpret it as trying too hard. Instead of following current trends, find your brand’s identity and stick to it.

– Duran InciOptimum7

7. Find Your Target Audience

When building a professional Instagram page, it is paramount that you know who you are targeting, how to find them and what they want to see. Instagram can connect you with clients, potential employees and like-minded people who just want to enjoy your content. Make the decision of what Instagram will do for you and work toward that specific goal with every post.

– Stanley MeytinTrue Film Production

8. Include Up to 30 Hashtags

Instagram users love using hashtags to discover new content. Get additional visibility for each Instagram post by including up to 30 relevant hashtags on each post. Research these hashtags on a tool like WEBSTAGRAM or Keyhole. Then, once you identify hashtags with high volume and high relevancy, include them on posts to reach your target audience and attract new followers.

– Brett FarmiloeMarkitors

9. Post Frequently

In order to stay relevant on social media, especially on Instagram, brands need to post frequently. One guru in the space who I follow, Gary Vaynerchuk, posts seven to eight times per day. I post at least once per day, but typically more. Also, be consistent with your imagery when posting on Instagram. Make sure to have a consistent look across the board.

– Jean GinzburgGinball Digital Marketing

10. Make It a Contest

Photo contests are a great way to engage with users on Instagram. Ask customers to post images, preferably ones using a new or promoted product, and have them tag it with a specific hashtag for the contest. Ask users to vote on their favorites and then pick a winner. A well-planned contest will build brand awareness and help you engage with new customers.

– Blair ThomaseMerchantBroker

11. Write Great Captions

Sure, Instagram is a visual platform, but the caption of your post says a lot, too. Also, be consistent when posting — especially because the new algorithm is not chronological anymore. Post more!

– Andrew NammingaAndesign

12. Be Human

Instagram photos that perform best showcase lifestyle stories, not static images. For example, when posting a product, have a smiling woman on a beautiful beach with her friends. Fans are more likely to relate or aspire to that image. That’s because Instagram was originally created to capture people’s lifestyles. It is an artistic platform on which people tend to interact with those who post happy, beautiful images of their daily lives.

– Michael HsuDeepSky

13. Focus on the Customer Journey

The creative you use has to be based on the stages of the funnel. Is the ad focusing on awareness, consideration or decision? What will resonate most with your audience based on their buying stage? Use creative that resonates most with your audience’s buying stage and psychographics.

– Marcela De VivoBrilliance

14. Boost Your Content With Ads

While Instagram is one of the best platforms for user engagement, your content may still get lost and not reach its full potential. It doesn’t matter how beautiful the photo or witty the caption if no one sees it. It’s worth investing some money into boosting a post via Instagram Ads to reach a larger audience and ensure relevant users are seeing it.

– Leila LewisBe Inspired PR

15. Reach Out to Influencers

It can be a long, time-consuming process building up an engaged audience on Instagram. A quick and easy shortcut is to reach out to social media influencers who did the hard work for you by building up their own following. Finding a natural way to connect your service or product with their brand can be extremely effective and tremendously time saving.

– Bryce WelkerCrush The LSAT

16. Showcase Authentic Moments

A reposted inspirational quote, a stock photo that’s been heavily edited and other images that are clearly not from where you live and work should be avoided. We see right through that stuff. Content that does best in terms of engagement is usually produced by you, imperfections and all.

– Beck BambergerBAM Communications

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How Brands Should Utilize YouTube Channels as Part of Their Video Marketing Strategy

There’s no question that video marketing is an effective way to reach your audience. With the huge success of Instagram Stories, Snapchat, and Facebook Live video options, businesses are able to connect with their audiences like never before. But a lot of people are still intimidated by live video marketing and that fear holds them back from making a lasting impact on their customers and clients. Before live video was an option, YouTube was already helping millions of individuals and businesses around the world share their stories, products, and services. With the popularity of live video, you might think that YouTube is not as valuable to your video marketing efforts, but you’ll be missing out on a huge opportunity to create and share evergreen content with your existing audience, and of course, YouTube is a great way to grow your audience organically. Here’s how your business can use YouTube Channels to build your brand as part of your video marketing strategy.

Focus on Recurring Themes

Every business has a recurring theme, whether it be their mission, vision, values, unique value proposition, how they serve their customers, or why they are the best – yet a lot of these messages are found in print on the company’s website. Here’s where copy falls short of video: copy requires interpretation of the message you are trying to get across to your audience, whereas video allows you to say exactly what you mean where there is no question about tone, intention, or interpretation. You have an opportunity, at multiple points throughout a YouTube video to clarify your topics and ensure your audience gets the right message. YouTube allows you to share your most important messages in a medium that is widely accepted and accessible to people.

Plan for Consistency in Video Marketing

One of the fastest ways to lose whatever audience you have amassed is to stop posting YouTube videos on a regular basis. If you find yourself on a YouTube channel that has not been updated in a while, it’s akin to being on a blog that hasn’t had a post in a few months: people lose interest when you do. The importance of consistency in recording and posting new video content cannot be overstated. Building it into your marketing plan will help you budget for video production and scheduling it as part of your content calendar will ensure that it gets done. YouTube has nearly 2 billion users that put their videographer skills to use with motivational videos, inspirational stories, business success stories, and more. If you can’t commit to being consistent with your video marketing efforts on YouTube, consider working with a video production company to help you plan and create videos to build your brand through storytelling.

Capture Interest with Real-Life Stories on Your YouTube Channel

Video marketing is so popular that businesses who aren’t using it are going to get left behind. Think of video marketing as the new version of the blog: you wouldn’t run a business without a blog, right? In order to keep people coming back to your YouTube channel, you’ll want to make sure that your audience gets to see what you are all about. This is often easier for smaller companies to achieve, but it’s not impossible to get everyone in a larger company involved in an ongoing video project if you decide a head of time that it’s important to your video marketing efforts. And believe us when we say, it’s important to your marketing efforts.

YouTube gives people the freedom to express themselves without worrying about their words, their grammar, their writing skills – video is accessible to everyone. YouTube videos allow you to be yourself without wondering how you are going to ensure your voice and message don’t get lost in the words. Using real-life stories from your business and even your life, you can capture the interest of your audience because they’ll feel connected to the person behind the camera. Building your brand is about connection. Consumers want to feel connected to the brands they buy. Whether you are a one-woman show or the CEO of a multi-national conglomerate organization, video marketing through YouTube can help establish you in your market and allow people to find your products and services, stories and challenges, in a way that helps them to connect with you immediately.

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8 Best Practices for Hiring a Coach Who Will Help You Grow

If you’re looking to take the next step in your entrepreneurial growth, one of the best investments you can make is in a business coach. Whether you want to increase your sales or improve your hiring strategy, this person can act as an invaluable resource.

Like any professional relationship, you’ll want to find a coach with whom you feel a strong connection and rapport. More importantly, you should seek out someone who understands the industry you’re in and the unique challenges you’re facing. If you’re in the market for a business coach, follow these tips from eight seasoned entrepreneurs.

Consider virtual coaches as well as local ones.

A local coach you can meet with face to face may sound like the best approach, but it can be restrictive when it comes to scheduling, according to Blair Thomas, co-founder of eMerchantBroker. “By finding a coach that is available online, such as via video conferencing, you are opening yourself up to a wider pool of individuals,” he says.

“Video conferencing can be just as energetic and beneficial as meeting face to face,” Thomas notes. As well, when you are not bound by location, you can find a coach who specializes in a certain industry or has some other attribute that works best for your needs.

Make sure you feel comfortable opening up.

Rachel Beider, CEO of Massage Outpost, reveals that a great business coach should push your boundaries and help you get out of your own way.

“Feeling vulnerable and comfortable with your coach will help you establish a real connection, where you can feel good about being brutally honest about your fears,” she says. “I have worked with a phenomenal business coach who helped me level up by pushing me hard and providing support.”

Ask for details about how they work.

Anyone can call themselves a business coach. That’s why Vik Patel, CEO of Future Hosting, recommends finding out some details about the coach’s process, their past successes and their industry experience before hiring them.

“Get specific,” he advises. “The job title ‘business coach’ covers a lot of ground, and you need to be sure that your aims for your business match with the coach’s skill set and processes.”

Find someone who shares your long-term vision.

One of the most important things to look for in a business coach is a shared long-term vision, according to Sunny Desai of Desai Hotel Group.

“It helps to make sure that every decision you are trying to make is aligned with your end goal,” says Desai. “Start with discussing how they would approach your current situation to see if there is true alignment.”

Look at their track record.

Michael Hsu, founder and CEO of DeepSky, believes that it’s crucial to find a coach who practices what they preach.

“Knowing what to do and doing what must be done are two very different things,” he explains. “A coach who eats their own dog food will understand the little nuisances and how to deal with them when life gets in the way.”

Seek similar industry experience.

To truly learn from someone, you want to know that they’ve experienced a similar path of development as you have, and that they’ll understand the specific areas in which you need support, says Stanley Meytin, CEO of True Film Production

“A coach who has been where you are can give personal advice on how to thrive moving forward and won’t waste time trying to understand you,” he adds.

Find a coach whose values align with yours.

While your business coach doesn’t need to share your exact mindset, Angela Ruth of Calendar believes they should be similar enough to understand what you respond to, your learning style and your overall value system.

“I need someone who understands how I think and approach things,” she says.

Avoid hiring a clone of yourself.

On the flip side, Dan Golden, co-founder of BFO (Be Found Online), doesn’t think you should look for a coach who is too similar to yourself.

“Focus on someone you think you would respect and listen to,” says Golden. “Often there’s a tendency to find someone who’s like yourself, but what you really need is a different perspective and a different style to make that breakthrough you desire.”

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How to Use Trending Topics in Your Video Marketing Strategy

Keep Reading to Learn About the One Trend That is Always on Point

One of the hardest parts about marketing is knowing what your audience wants to see, hear, and learn. Businesses of all sizes can sometimes struggle to know what kind of content to put out, and even then, they are not always sure of the return on their investment. Video has become a strong trend in marketing over the last few years and it continues to grow in popularity and engagement. But how can you use video to showcase trending topics in your marketing strategy? With trends changing so often, it can be overwhelming for business owners to consider a short-term and long-term video production strategy, but we’ve put together some tips to help you use trending topics in your video marketing strategy and you can start some of them right now.

Share Other People’s Video Content

One of the quickest and easiest ways to implement trending topics in your video marketing strategy is to find videos that you think will inspire your audience and share them across your social media platforms. Many business owners think they need to create 100% original content all the time, and while that is ideal, it is not realistic. In fact, many marketing experts say that audiences prefer to see a range of sources from a brand or business.

It’s easy to find trending topics online that might be helpful to your customers. Always add your own spin on the content and be sure to source the original content creator so that you give props where props are due but don’t be shy about expanding the story or taking a different point of view as a way to educate, inform, and engage your audience.

At the end of the day, your audience wants answers to their questions, and if you don’t have time to create a lot of content yourself, sharing other people’s video content can help keep your audience engaged with minimal effort.

Create Short Videos for Your Marketing Strategy

Creating your own video content is going to provide the most value for your audience, especially because it helps to connect the dots for them when they see an inspirational video or helpful video from your business, they’ll know that they can trust you to give them valuable information.

One way that you can incorporate trending topics into your shorter videos is to record customers, staff, or affiliates talking about trending topics that may impact your audience. While you can’t talk about everything that is happening around the world in your videos, you can focus in on the topics that are important to your business and audience.

If you don’t have a lot of time or money, you can create your own short video clips to share across your social media or across your network. Short, informational videos are great for email blasts and social media platforms where people don’t spend a lot of time reading, such as Facebook.

Create Longer Inspirational Videos

If you have a limited budget, but you know that you need to spend some money on a video for your marketing strategy, the best place to put that money is into inspirational videos.

If there is one topic that continues to trend, it’s inspiration. People are desperate for a good inspirational story that resonates with them. Business owners and customers alike are looking for ways to connect with one another and if you can create a series of inspirational stories that showcase your own story, the story of your business, or even how your business helped a customer overcome a struggle, you’ll be tapping into the always-trending inspirational story themes that remain popular today.

Inspirational videos can serve two purposes. First, they can help connect your audience directly to the story you want to tell. Second, inspirational videos can also act as promotional videos for your mission, vision, values, goals, contributions, and more. What’s great about inspirational videos is that you can take snippets of the longer video production and create mini-videos or clips that can be shared amongst your network as well.

You can build an entire video marketing strategy based on trending topics and how your business interacts with, curates, creates, and shares those trending topics and inspirational stories with your audience.

The post How to Use Trending Topics in Your Video Marketing Strategy appeared first on True Film Production.

How to Storytell to Your Target Audience: Millennials vs Gen Z’ers

Inviting Millennials and Gen Z’ers to be a part of your story is going to go a long way in your storytelling efforts.

When it comes to selling your product or service, nothing is more effective than storytelling. Video storytelling is an incredibly powerful way of connecting with your audience. Gone are the days when consumers buy from faceless companies. Today, consumers want to know who they are buying from and what ideas and concepts they are supporting with their purchases.

Know the Difference

Your story is an essential part of your brand, but that story needs to resonate with people in a way that is meaningful to them. Before you can sell anything, you need to know who that audience really is, and these days, most companies are focused on selling to Millennials and Gen Z’ers. What’s the difference? In a nutshell, Millennials are the generation born between 1980 and 1995 and Gen Z’ers are everyone born after 1995. Why does this matter? Because Millennials are the generation who were raised during the economic boom of the 80’s, while the Gen Z’ers came of age during the recession period, and are carrying much of that frugality with them today. That means they care about different things.

What Do They Care About?

You can pick out a millennial because they are usually floundering in their careers due to some unspoken promise about how their life would turn out: get an education, and you’ll be successful. Millennials are looking to connect with someone or something that will help them make meaning in their lives. Gen Z’ers, on the other hand, are pretty pragmatic as they watched their parents come through one of the worst economic downturns in history. As a result, they are frugal and smart about how they spend their money.

 

Storytelling to Two Different Generations

The purpose of corporate storytelling is to share a vision, along with a relatable triumph over some common struggle. For example, Millennials are looking to connect with brands that represent opportunity and independence. They enjoy branded content and video testimonials. Gen Z’ers are more likely to be conservative about putting money away while Millennials are more likely to buy into an experience. Consider how your story resonates with either generation and share the most relevant parts that will help these generations see that your company, however big, is run by real people. The story, however, may have to be presented in different ways to bring in different generations. Motivational videos are an effective way to capture a variety of storytelling strategies at once: visual, auditory, branding, authenticity. Brand identity is strengthened when you feature real people from your company or league of followers.

The Essence of Video Storytelling for Corporations

Whether big or small, your company has a story to share. Companies struggle to know what aspects of their story they should share. What mattered when the company launched might not be what draws consumers to them in the end, or in an ongoing way. It’s why you see so many brands rolling over after some time to create a new look or share a new slogan: they are trying to recreate a story in a new way. Whatever story it is that you are trying to tell, one of the most important things you can do is create consistency in that story. Ensuring that everyone is telling the same story amongst the ranks creates unison and cohesion that is vital to the success of a corporate story.

Crafting Your Story Using Video

While the essence of the story must not change regardless of the medium used, the message can ensure that it reaches the right target audience. Gen Z’ers look to influencers to help them piece together the story of a brand, while Millennials look for brand recognition. The longevity of your story will be important to Millennials: think brands that have stood the test of time and are trademarks for quality. Gen Z’ers, on the other hand, are looking for relatability and they want to physically see themselves in the story: unfiltered photos, real people in ads, and recognizable environments.

Connecting the Dots for Millennials and Gen Z’ers with Your Video Storytelling

When it comes to crafting your company’s story, remember that everyone is not your customer: you can’t sell to everyone. But these two generations are close enough and have enough of the same values, that with a little adjustment, you could target them effectively with your storytelling. Connecting with Millennials and Gen Z’ers is going to be about being consistent in your storytelling, portraying that story across platforms and outlets that they find relevant, and inviting them to be a part of the story by sharing their engagement with your products and services. Working with a video production company to invite these generations to be a part of your story will keep them coming back time and time again.

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Why Investing In Pre-Production Helps You Save Money

All of the magic happens—and all of the money is spent—before the camera starts rolling. Investing time and energy into the pre-production phase of video marketing is the best way to save money and meet your film budget.

Video is the top marketing platform for 2018, and it’s only continuing to grow more popular. In 2017, 63% of businesses used video as a marketing tool. In 2018, over 81% of businesses use video to increase traffic, make conversions, and engage with their consumers. The number of businesses using video as a staple for their marketing is only increasing.

With this high demand, video production costs can be high. Some experts estimate that there’s an average cost of $1,000 per minute of video used for marketing purposes. This unfortunately excludes some small to medium sized businesses who can’t afford it, but see the value in using video as an integral part of their marketing strategy.

We think exorbitant costs don’t always have to be the norm for video production.

How can you avoid these high costs using the pre-production phase? How can you make your video production go further without compromising on quality?

The value of pre-production

Focusing on pre-production is the most effective way to save money on the overall film project. Pre-production is the planning and logistics phase that happens before the cameras start rolling. This is the beginning of the creative process where you organize what will happen once production begins.

If you utilize this process correctly, you could save hundreds—if not thousands—of dollars. Failure to use the pre-production phase can cost you your entire budget and then some.

The most expensive parts of video production are 1) equipment usage and 2) time spent shooting and editing. Planning these areas out during the initial phases tells the production team exactly what needs to get done, so you can minimize the time and effort that goes into the process.

You don’t waste time lugging expensive equipment or shooting scenes you won’t end up using. You make the video process as lean and clean as possible.

Below are the 7 ways you can optimize on the pre-production process to most effectively use the time you’re paying for equipment, people, location, and production services.

1. Brainstorm.

Start with an idea. Even before you go to the video production company, think of a few concepts that you might want to try out for your marketing campaign. Gather your team together for more inspiration. Even one good idea could spark an entire video.

Sometimes, though, you know you want to create a video but you don’t know what kind of video. In that case, it’s okay to go directly to a video production agency and ask them for advice on video marketing strategy. Then, brainstorm alongside them before nailing down a specific video idea.

The goal of brainstorming is to help you understand the purpose of your video and what it will look like. When you have an idea in mind that everyone is onboard with, the rest of the process can move smoothly and efficiently.

2. Start with a good brief.

Once you have an idea, you want to bring a “brief” or summary to your video agency. This tells them the general sense of what you’re looking for with this content. They might make some tweaks and changes if they have creative ideas as well, but they’ll use the brief to ensure that your ultimate vision is realized.

A brief tells the video team the outcomes you want to achieve, so they can help build a video in alignment with your marketing strategy. This helps the video get done right the first time without having to re-shoot, edit, or re-do scenes—which can end up costing you big bucks.

A brief also allows your video company give you the most realistic quote, so you understand what kind of video you can get for your budget (or what kind of budget you need for your video).

Your brief should include answers to the following questions:

  • What are the objectives of this video?
  • What kind of brand message do you want to get across?
  • Who is the target market for this video? Does the video audience differ slightly from the general market for your products/brand? If so, why and how?
  • Where will your audience primarily watch this video? How will it be distributed?
  • What kind of content and style are you considering?
  • What is your budget and timeframe?
  • Do you have specifics with regards to people, locations, or scenes?
  • Are you interested in using graphics or film technology?

Psst… Things will change from the brief, and that’s okay! A brief is the best starting point for the creative process and it helps get a better sense of budgeting and financial allocation.

3. Ask questions.

In the initial meeting with your video production company, don’t be afraid to ask questions. See where different costs are coming into play. Inquire about how the agency will do specific shoots or make your vision come to life.

The more questions you ask, the more you’ll know if a company is right for you. Once you commit to a company, you are typically locked in to some sort of cost. You want to make sure you and your production team are aligned before moving forward.

Asking questions can also help you ensure that your budget is being fully optimized during the production process.

4. Create a script and storyboard.

Building the script and storyboard ahead of time is one of the biggest money-savers during the production process. These lay out the specifics of what the shoot will look like, which saves time on filming and editing. It helps make sure you have the right props, equipment, people, and location for each shoot when and where they’re needed.

Storytelling is at the heart of video. Don’t leave it up to chance. A script and storyboard can ensure your marketing message comes across effectively before you start spending money during the rolling phase.

5. Build a timeline.

The goal is to optimize your time on-set as much as possible. This not only gets the video to market much faster, but it also saves you money spent on hourly equipment, filming, and editing.

Creating specific deadlines and timelines ensures that you have everything you need prepped and ready for the day of the shoot. You’re not showing up to a location without necessary lighting or the right people to interview, which could end up costing you several hours worth of filming—even if nothing gets accomplished.

Work with your production company to create a call sheet. This is the “who, what, when, where, and why” of video production. It helps you keep track of the location, scene, shot, equipment, and people needed for a specific date and time. The more organized you are, the less “fluff” money you’ll waste on wasted time.

6. Do a location check.

Location mishaps are often the most costly faults during the production process.

Before committing to a location and hauling everything there, you should check out the spot ahead of time.

This helps make sure the location is right for the scene, and it can also help you come up with a more specific call list. For example, you might need additional light sources or sound buffers, or you may need to get a permit. You might even need to talk to authorities beforehand to stop traffic for a short period of time.

7. Utilize sign-offs.

Create deadlines for each part of the process to make sure everything gets done in an orderly fashion. You’ll want to work with your video production company to build a “sign off” system. This ensures you check on each part of production along the way, so you can catch anything before it progresses further. For example, if a scene doesn’t have the right lighting, you can tell the company before more shooting and editing occurs.

The most common moments for feedback include:

  • Script (several drafts)
  • Production schedule
  • Rough cut
  • Recorded voiceover/animation
  • First cut
  • Second cut

Bottom line

Spending time organizing and planning the video ahead of time can ensure you don’t throw money out the window once the cameras start rolling. Don’t leave your video up to chance. Be creative and organized from the start, and you’ll end up with a stunning video within your budget.

Ultimately, you want to work with an authentic video company that will help you meet your video needs and budget every step of the way. Don’t pinch pennies on your video production. Work with a company who cares about you and uses pre-production as a source of creativeness for the most effective video for your needs.

Contact us now to partner up with a team that wants to create with you.

The post Why Investing In Pre-Production Helps You Save Money appeared first on True Film Production.

Six Questions to Set Up Realistic Goals for your Video Marketing Campaign

Settings goals is important when it comes to any marketing campaign. Once you define your objectives you can tailor your strategy appropriately towards achieving them and make tweaks along the way based on your success (or absence of success). Many companies seem to have long-established ideas about how to set attainable goals for more traditional campaigns such as newsletters, event sponsorships and emails but online video marketing campaigns seem to be a fairly new addition to the mix and sometimes there are unrealistic expectations for this medium.

Having a great video appears to be only half the battle but if you don’t have the right objectives, you still won’t be successful. The goals you set should also be driving the content of your online videos as well as the way in which you promote your videos. Think about the questions we’ve stated below to help you gain insight in the goal-setting stage of your campaign:

What message are you trying to get across with your video?

If you are focusing on brand awareness then the video content should be different than if you are introducing a new product. For example, an explainer video could be used for either objective: a video could explain how your product works whereas another could explain a concept or tend relevant to the space your customers operate in. Furthermore, you could promote an upcoming event or contest as well, which would again call for a different type of video and a different strategy surrounding where and how you share and promote video online.

Who are you hoping to reach?

Are you focused on getting as many views possible or are you trying to target a specific audience with your video instead? This ties in with the previous question to a certain extent as well. If the goal is brand awareness you’ll want a much wider audience than if you are promoting the fact that your CEO will be speaking at a certain industry-specific event.

How will your video campaign change things if it turns out successful?

You need to identify what the campaign is trying to accomplish and figure out how the video may help with long-term goals of the company. Another thing to keep in mind is how the video may impact other departments within the company such as sales, human resources or even product development. All of these questions will play a particular role in the long-term play of your strategy.

How will you measure success?

Metrics that are quantifiable are important. They can’t completely capture the success or failure of any marketing campaign but it’s vital to have set, measurable objectives that you can evaluate your results against. Whether the goal is to increase unique visits to your website, increase the number of Facebook fans, or increase the number of subscribers to your YouTube channel, it’s important to identify these goals from the outset and assign concrete numbers to them. That way you can tailor the way you share and promote your video accordingly and evaluate how your results compare with original objectives.

What resources can I tap into?

If you’re developing a video in-house, perhaps using a PowerPoint slideshow or something else you can generate on your own is an option. If you’re using an outside firm, you may be able to go for something a bit better such as a whiteboard animation. You’ll have to consider the time needed to dedicate to the development of your video and just as importantly how you’ll be sharing and promoting your video afterwards.

Are your goals and objectives realistic?

After going through your goal-setting process and developing a plan, stop and go back to the beginning. Based on what you’ve learned about the time and other resources you believe you will need to execute the plan you’ve developed, think about you original goals and ask yourself if they are realistic. What kind of hypothesis can you make about your initial objectives?

Conclusion

Setting unrealistic goals or setting goals that are too easily attained can have a negative impact when it comes time to analyze the results of the campaign. Before launching, make sure to look back through all of the details and confirm that the goals you hope to achieve and the plan you’ve developed are in line with one another.

The post Six Questions to Set Up Realistic Goals for your Video Marketing Campaign appeared first on True Film Production.

How Music Helps Shape a Story

Stevie Wonder said it best: “Music is a world within itself, with a language we all understand.”

Music is an art form and a powerful vehicle for communicating ideas. When combined with film, video, or other forms of multimedia storytelling, it can be used as an effective tool to impact and persuade viewers.

Music’s crucial role in film & video

Even in the times of silent films, music was added to enhance the story. Still today, background music, or “the score” of a film or video, paces the story and helps it flow.

From horror to action, romance, and other genres, music sets the tone and prepares you — psychologically and emotionally — for what you’re about to see and hear.

“Music is everything,” Filmmaker Ryan Booth said. “Think about the most moving, lasting images you have in your mind from the most iconic films ever made. Is there a single moment in your mind that isn’t punctuated by music? I’d bet that there’s not a single one. Music is the thing that takes you there. It’s the vehicle. It can’t be underestimated.”

When we think of classic films like Star Wars and Jaws, we can’t imagine their existence without those iconic scores. The music has become inseparable to the story.

 

Music in advertising

The same holds true in advertising. Unknowingly, music enters into our subconscious mind, persuading — even influencing — our decisions. Commercials, for example, select music that triggers our emotions. This is why brand advertisers drop millions of dollars to license a pop tune. If we associate a positive memory or feeling with their product, we’re more likely to buy it.

 

 

 

A little science on the effect music has on our brains

Filmmakers and advertisers have known for decades — whether explicitly or intuitively — that music is a powerful persuasion tool. These days, science has confirmed it.

Studies conducted by Dr. Petr Janata have linked music, memories, and emotion to the same part of the brain: the medial prefrontal cortex. With the help of brain imaging, researchers are seeing how music can trigger emotions, activate memories, and even influence physical movement.

In short, music is much more than a tune you jam to during your afternoon commute. Research is just starting to show us just how much of an impact music has on our brains, behaviors, and lives.

How music can help shape YOUR story — and influence your audience

If you have a story to tell, then consider the significant role music can play.

If you’re crafting a story yourself…

First think about the tone or genre of your story. Is it heartfelt and emotionally heavy? Lighthearted and whimsical? Action-packed? Promotional?

Once you’ve got that nailed down, browse through music-licensing sites like Pond5 or Musicbed. With some searching, you should be able to find something that fits your story.

If you’re working with a professional storyteller…

Choose someone who not only focuses on the visual components of your story, but the equally important auditory components as well.

In the end, if you want to inject an idea into the mind of your audience, evoke powerful emotions, or even get them to take a specific action then great music coupled with a great story will help you achieve that.

“In my opinion,” said Taylor Clark, a musician, “music plays a vital role in how someone emotionally responds to film. When working side by side with the powerful storytelling of film, a beautiful experience is born.”

What’s your story? Music can help you tell it most effectively.

The post How Music Helps Shape a Story appeared first on True Film Production.

Medical Device Sales Generation with 3D Animation

With the burst of technology over the last 20 years the need for a way to present information on complex devices, while they are constantly evolving has become a major requirement in the sales sector. The medical fields are a prime ground for representations of medical devices, through animation, especially 3D animation, to bring the client a complete picture of what they will experience with the actual device.  

More than ever before the edge in marketing and sales in the medical space goes to the company that stays on the cutting edge of technology and the means to best display that technology. Being able to accurately capture the nature of a complex medical device and communicate what that device looks like, can accomplish and how it can benefit the doctor and patient, are paramount to the sales process.

The more medical device technology advances, the more there is a need for 3D animations. Many devices just can’t be accurately explained with only clinical data and analysis. A scaled representation, to offering a demonstration through animation, can be the difference between an appointment for a physical demonstration and a we’ll think about it. Getting that second appointment is more often than not, gained through the use of a 3D animation.  

Background

Computer graphics have been around in one form or another for decades. The real computer animation started in the mid nineteen nineties. 3D animation soon followed and became a huge industry growing to gargantuan proportions seemingly overnight.

Today 3D animations are used in medicine, corporate settings and many types of education formats. The health fields have had a surge in the use of 3D animations to help medical and paramedical students learn the different medical devices they will use in their roles in the offices and hospitals around the world.

3D animations are used in so many different types of environments that the medical device marketer must keep up with the trend, of newer and more complex representations of their devices, all the time. The 3D medical explainer video will push the client into a place where the sale can take place, more quickly, and with customer satisfaction.

The transformative role of medical device 3D animations

How 3D Animations can save time and money, while offering a powerful tool in the sales professional’s marketing tool bag.

  • Impact – the graphics at this level are engaging and immersive, capturing the heart of the device, and bringing it to the forefront of the clients mind. The clearer the image, the more competent the information being presented, then the sale is made almost out of hand.
  • Marketing enhancement – 3D animation can offer the sales professional an insight into the medical device that no other form or communication can. The marketing of a medical device, through medical explainer videos offers a foundation to the product that no other tool of communication can. Seeing is really believing.
  • Reduce the time it takes to capture your client’s attention – The 3D medical product video and animation has nearly instant impact. It shows the product in its best light, and can fully explain a medical device to a medical professional in a short period of time and in their insider language.  
  • Explanations are simple, and easily understood for complex system – The use of medical explainer videos can simplify the complex information about a new system or medical device. The terms would help a medical professional visualize a system that uses already established techniques in new and better ways.
  • Reduce the time it takes to present the product. – the video platform, with it’s to-the-point language and imagery can present your device in a little as two minutes. The first few seconds leads the client into the product, by the 3 minute mark they can understand almost all they need to see the device in their offices.

How can it help?

  • 3D Animations can show the medical device from all angles.  Being able to rotate a medical device or procedure in a 360 degree range can offer the client a solid visualization of the product and capture their attention much quicker than even having the physical device in their presence. Seeing the bottom, or top of a large device, can change the entire tone of an appointment from indecision to desire to move to the next step.
  • On the screen display mimics the devices actual features. Clients can see what the controls and features of the device in action, without a test trial, or just from analysis. While documentation and analysis will always have a place in the sales process a 3D medical explainer video can demonstrate that information much better than an elevator speech.
  • Go right from first meeting, to the inhouse physical demonstration. The results will happen quickly with a well thought out 3D animation or medical explainer video. Whether it is big or small the device can be more easily understood in it entirety and in terms that the medical professional will relate to.

How 3D animation can boost a medical device FDA premarket time to acceptance

The all around view of a medical device, that a 3D animation can provide will go a long way to helping with a company’s premarket time to acceptance. The FDA is going to be looking for some very specific aspects to the medical device’s makeup.

The most important sale will be the regulatory submission for the device – all medical devices must meet the requirements of the FDA. There is no room for maybes in this presentation. the heart of the medical device is its presentation to the FDA for its premarket designation and acceptance. This is the devices most important sale, because without premarket approval there can be no other sale.

3D animation will bring a powerful and comprehensive presentation of all the devices functions and features – the 3D animation of a Class III medical device can provide comprehensive proof of the safety and functionality of a medical device.  How it could benefit the human population in its specific way and help doctors and paramedical professionals accomplish their goals.

The medical device explainer video will be concrete evidence of a medical devices usefulness to society and the medical community by showing the medical device as it will function, through imagery meant to explain those points in terms the professional understands.

How it will benefit patients – One of the most important aspects of the 3D animation will be to reveal how the device will benefit those it is meant to help. That is accomplished through careful documentation and representation of the features of the device.

Conclusion

Today, not having a 3D animation of your medical device will put the sales professional at an extreme disadvantage. The use of the medical explainer video is fast becoming the hallmark of the marketing and sales process. The FDA will be looking for this condensed and comprehensive presentation to lead them to the clinical analysis and study documentation. This will in turn allow the regulatory body to a full understanding of the benefits and advantages of the device, even before they delve into the stacks of backing evidence.

The sales from a 3D animation of a medical device can be quick and often. The best way to get to those sales is by reviewing a medical explainer video and a 3D animation of other devices, to see the impact and value of this powerful medium.

Contact a professional 3D animator through here.

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How to Imbue Your Company Mission With Purpose

A company’s purpose starts at the top and permeates its way down through the ranks. By the top, I don’t mean the CEO or even the board of directors, but the intangible foundations of the company as a community of people. Improving your customers’ lives through their use of your product is a purpose. Turning a profit by selling more products is not.

Great companies are those that stay true to their values and purpose through honesty and consistency. Customers and employees feel a sense of pride in associating with these companies, and that pride manifests itself in a positive internal and external culture.

Investing in your culture makes a significant impact on your brand. But due to the intangible nature of culture, you likely fall short of an explanation that does justice when trying to put your culture into words. Instead of verbally defining your culture, embrace mission statements that articulate your highest purpose and make people think “I get it” when they walk into your office.

An excellent example of having an honest mission statement is Tesla: “to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.” Tesla isn’t claiming that the car industry is perfect, nor that it is flawless itself. It does, however, address that the car industry is transitioning toward sustainable transportation and recognizes its role as a helping hand.

Define your purpose.

How is your company or brand changing the world, improving lives or progressing society? How are you doing so in a unique way that’s specific to your business? Why is your leadership passionate about this cause? I rarely see passion or drive mentioned in a mission statement, but without a burning desire to execute, none of the preceding questions will ever be answered.

What have you come up with so far? If you went around to all of your employees and customers, would they genuinely believe your responses? For a mission statement to accurately depict your purpose and the culture that it promotes, people must unequivocally agree that your statement describes the company’s future and is rooted in reality. A pie-in-the-sky quote will only serve to deflate your people’s moral as they work every day toward a goal they don’t feel is attainable. Remember that small wins matter.

Hire those who uphold your purpose.

It’s difficult to foster a positive culture and mission that people rally behind. It’s easy for a toxic person to influence others, often subconsciously, and steer them away from the principals of positivity. Leaders must immediately address all behavior that’s off mission. There will, and should, be disagreements on the merit of decisions, but effort and commitment should never come into question.

The point of a purpose-driven mission is to fire people up, to give them a reason to come into work beyond their paychecks. Find a way to make your employees’ work meaningful by making things personal and goal oriented. While perks and incentives like office games and social outings are great, it is essential that people feel engaged on a day-to-day basis. According to Gallup, only 32 percent of workers report feeling engaged on an average day at work. This stat ties in closely with a mission statement — employees who think they’re building something are more likely to be engaged. Great leaders remind everyone why they’re working on a project or staying late.

Invest in your people.

Most people don’t like to leave things unfinished. Those who do don’t belong at your company. Set expectations that align with your purpose and help build skills around these expectations. Set an example for your employees. Make sure you are arming them with the correct knowledge and tools to further your mission. It’s often cheaper and more impactful to train an existing employee than it is to hire a new one.

Leave your purpose in plain sight.

On your company website, lead with your mission statement — not just on your about page, but on the homepage. When people come to your site, they will know exactly who you are, what you do and why and how you’re going to do it. It’s the icing on the cake.

Sustaining a mission-driven, purpose-oriented company culture is an effort that involves every single team member. Leadership meetings are a tool we use to discuss and assess goals past, present and future. Once we’re all on the same page, we discuss any toxic behavior that we’ve witnessed and how to address it. This constant monitoring keeps us aligned as a team and allows us to function as one unit.

Stanley Meytin is the CEO of True Film Production, as well as a visual storyteller, entrepreneur, and diehard Jets fan.

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