Choosing the Right Video Platform

As video is becoming more and more essential to how businesses communicate with their audiences—whether potential customers, current customers, or employees—a video platform has become a necessary and useful tool to manage, optimize, measure content, and learn about different audiences.

Outline Your Needs First

There are many platforms from which to choose: Wistia, Vimeo, Kaltura, Brightcove, Limelight to name a few. But before you commit to one you’ve got to consider what’s important to YOU and YOUR team. Let’s consider shoes for a moment. If you’re looking for a running shoe you are going to place value on certain features that someone looking for a dress shoe won’t. Video is no different. For marketers, a few features on a Video Platform may be key, while another team may need their own unique features.

Things to Consider:

Of course there is a laundry list of things you should consider, but for brevity’s (and sanity’s) sake we’ve taken some of the bigger attributes you’re going to want to evaluate your Video Platform short list on:

▪ Content Management: If this is a BIG priority, look for things like the ease with which you can upload and manage new video content. Do you have to involve IT every time? Can you upload directly from your YouTube channel? As your library grows in size and complexity of topics for different audiences, is it searchable and taggable?

▪ Optimization: How high does this rank for your team? You’re always looking for ways to improve your video content so how will this Video Platform help you do that? Does it have built in optimization features like A/B split testing and insights on actual audience engagement?

▪ Content Distribution: If you’re in charge of this one, ask yourself: is it a simple task to share your videos to multiple channels from within your Video Platform? And even more importantly: if changes are made to your video in the Video Platform, are they automatically updated in all locations where the video has previously been shared.

▪ Reporting, Analytics & ROI: Video Platforms should be more than a place to keep all of your videos. Investigate the detailed metrics offered by a Video Platform. More than video views, look for a platform that will provide you insight on viewing behavior. What portions are people re-watching? What are they skipping? How is this viewer engagement information gathered? And as a whole, how is video contributing to new business? Can you track how a specific video may have played a roll all the way to a closed deal?

▪ Scale: Sproutvideo, Oculu, Brightcove, Limelight, Wista, Vzaar, Kaltura, and Ooyala are known for their large storage space, specialized video uploading and high-bandwidth packages.  Most of these services can be great for larger companies.  You can customize the player to suit your branding, logo, and styles as well as access great tools for development and customer support.  Vidyard offers a Pay as you Go Plan at $5 a video per month with certain viewing limitations along with more structured professional plans ranging up to $499 per month.  They offer basic social media integration as well as some simple customization. However, the more uploads you have the more it’s going to cost.Vimeo Pro is a staple in offering businesses an affordable account at $199 a year.If you don’t require extra features like the customization of a player and your only goals are embedding your video on your own website, or reaching a wide and often undefined demographic, there are options for your business that don’t require monthly fees. YouTube is the most widely known free option.  YouTube allows for basic metrics such as what led your customers to your video and overall plays as well as allowing you to set up a channel and background wallpaper for collections of videos. Other popular free alternatives include Facebook Video, and Flickr.

▪ Sales Enablement: The ability to privately send videos and track whether a prospect viewed it, how much they consumed, and when they did so can make a big impact on the next sales call with that lead, so look into whether or not your shortlisted Video Platforms can do that. As well, can your sales team take advantage of your video marketing content? The easier it is for them to access and send it (like directly from their email!) the easier it will be for your sales team to engage prospects with accurate and creative content, and close more deals.

Don’t forget to define success for the adoption of this new technology. If you’re embarking on this investment, you’ll want to make sure you’ve defined KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) beforehand so you can evaluate its success for your business even after you’ve made your selection.

Don’t forget to define success for the adoption of this new technology. If you’re embarking on this investment, you’ll want to make sure you’ve defined KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) beforehand so you can evaluate its success for your business even after you’ve made your selection.


Got a question about something you’ve read? We would love to hear from you! Just hit reply and ask us.

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About the Author: Roshni Hannon
Contact: roshni@madbearproductions.com

Her name means “light” and that is what she is… high energy, bright and fast. And yes… she does run regularly. While we’re not sure what she is running from (perhaps her two young kids) we know she’s covered a ton of ground. She was the Executive Producer for an award winning and number one rated morning show in Tampa for years. And now, she uses her unique blend of organization, storytelling and curiosity to help Mad Bear clients find their stories. Think of her as an architect, a story architect.
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Virtual Reality Success for Business

Seldom has the road to fame and fortune been so well paved as it is for those businesses that will drive the VR revolution. The signs are all there. The direction is clear. A wealth of virtual reality induced business opportunities lie just ahead,

And there really are few limits. From gaming to healthcare to business meetings and beyond, virtual reality stands poised to touch every area of our lives. Let us take a look at 5 sectors that could really use VR to launch themselves into greatness.

1. Education

It doesn’t take a futurist to understand how virtual reality could transform education. From K-12 to university level and right on to continued education, there is no sector of education that cannot benefit from VR technology.

A virtual reality classroom would allow kids to fly through space to witness the formation of stars, shrink down to inspect the workings of the human body up close, and do everything in between. These are just two examples of what virtual reality in the classroom can do. Let’s be real. Learning about the Colosseum virtually, like Unimersiv has done beautifully, is likely to make more of an impression on any teenager.

The reason educational institutions will ultimately adopt VR solutions is because they will improve learning. Evidence suggests that VR-aided education increases attention by 92% and test scores by 35%. This translates into a higher quality education for students and a higher attraction rate for schools.

2. Events

Virtual reality is writing its own ticket as the new way to enjoy events. Sports, musical performances, news events, and even theater productions are being added to the list of content now available through streaming VR. Live or recorded it does not matter.

The market is diverse and any event can be streamed in VR. Businesses can monetize this through online ticket sales, sponsorships, advertising or brand building. The VR experience will bring event goers around the world without the need to leave their homes.

Here is more about the technology we use. The amazing Nokia OZO!

3. Real Estate

Those days and hours spent being carted around by your realtor could be far more focused and productive if you could walk through a property before an actual site visit.Yes, you have probably seen 360 Virtual Tours on many realtor sites, however, those images are static pictures. Imagine how much more compelling the experience would be if it felt like you were actually walking through the property?

Imagine if there was a way to walk through the property without ever leaving your desk, just think of all the great things you might accomplish with all that extra time.  For the realtor, it increases the possibility of a sale, being able to show the site to more people in more places, and to allow them to focus on more serious buyers.

The buyer is happy, the seller is happy, the realtor is very happy. Everybody wins!

Not sure you see it? Read more about the applications here.

4. Healthcare

Healthcare professionals require a vast amount of professional experience and skill, especially if they are in surgical or trauma-related sectors.

In most cases, acquiring real world experience on-the-job simply isn’t feasible, as every decision could mean the difference between life and death. With virtual reality, medical professionals are able to explore every procedure and learn how to care for patients without any risk involved. They can also participate in realistic tutorials that allow them to interact with the objects.

In essence, Virtual Reality training provides healthcare professionals with the hands-on online training they need to provide the best quality of care for their patients. This also translates into lower liability insurance costs and fewer cases of malpractice and negligence.

And this is only on the training side of things, the patient side of VR can even go well beyond what Google tried to do with Google Glass several years ago.

 

5. Hospitality / Tourism 

How many of us have used Google Earth and/or Google Maps to explore foreign destinations? Pretty cool, huh? Enter Virtual Reality. VR takes exploration to a whole new immersive level by allowing us to walk around in faraway destinations.

Travel agents can take a tour of accommodations to determine if they are recommendation-worthy, or go on an hour-long cruise around the Mediterranean before they book the real thing for their clients. Or families can check out an area’s tourist attractions before they decide where they want to go.

Visit Tampa Bay 360/VR — Behind the Scenes from Mad Bear Productions on Vimeo.

Keep in mind that these are just a few industries that can benefit from Virtual Reality training. Because of its versatility, VR technology can be used in (wait for it…) virtually every niche. If you have a question about virtual reality, reach out!

_____________________________________________________________________________

About the Author: Roshni Hannon
Contact: roshni@madbearproductions.com

Her name means “light” and that is what she is… high energy, bright and fast. And yes… she does run regularly. While we’re not sure what she is running from (perhaps her two young kids) we know she’s covered a ton of ground. She was the Executive Producer for an award winning and number one rated morning show in Tampa for years. And now, she uses her unique blend of organization, storytelling and curiosity to help Mad Bear clients find their stories. Think of her as an architect, a story architect.
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Video: The Ultimate Sales Tool

Many salespeople would love to have an assistant — a supporting team member to help them be more efficient, helpful, and effective. You know, a useful sidekick to improve their ability to connect with customers and make more sales.

That’s exactly what you get when you use video. Video enables salespeople and businesses to connect with customers in a more experiential way. Think about it. With a few clicks of a button, a custom video educates and engages customers as they go through the purchasing process.

While there’s a litany of ways that video can boost your business. Here are three proven reasons video should be your number one sales tool.

1. Higher Response Rate

According to Hubspot the average prospect receives more than 100 emails a day and opens only 23% of those and clicks on 2%. Don’t end up in the inbox vortex! Use video to help cut through all the clutter. Using video in your emails will also:

Boost open rates by 19%.

Boost click-through rates by 65%.

Reduce unsubscribes by 26%.

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2. Inspire More Action

SalesLoft recently reported that 75% of late-stage prospects that received a personalized video, closed. There’s no question that the human element involved and the time it takes to personalize a video message will show your prospect that you’re willing to go above and beyond the competition.

Jessica’s Best Part of Her Day from Mad Bear Productions on Vimeo.

If that’s not enough, here are the other ways video inspires action: In its 2017 Ultimate List of Marketing Statistics Hubspot confirms what we predicted in our last blog regarding predictions for the upcoming year:

4X as many customers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it. (Animoto, 2015)

Almost 50% of internet users look for videos related to a product or service before visiting a store. (Google, 2016) 53% of smartphone users feel more favorable towards companies whose mobile sites or apps provide instructional video content. (Google, 2015)

4 in 5 consumers believe that demo videos are helpful.

Shoppers who view video are 1.81X more likely to purchase than non-viewers. (Animoto, 2015) (Source: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics)

3. Reach the C-Suite 

Though they may not be your main point of contact, you’ve got to get the C-Suite on your side. And video is the sweet spot. According to Forbes.com :

65% of executives have visited a vendor’s site after watching a video.

51% of executives under the age of 40 reported making a purchase decision after watching a video.

WilsonHCG: Executive Search infographic from Mad Bear Productions on Vimeo.

So there you have it. Like we reported last month, Video is a must have for your business’ content strategy. If you want to sell it, tell it. Have a question about video? We can help. Just reply to this email and we will get back to you immediately.

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About the Author: Roshni Hannon Contact: roshni@madbearproductions.com Her name means “light” and that is what she is… high energy, bright and fast. And yes… she does run regularly. While we’re not sure what she is running from (perhaps her two young kids) we know she’s covered a ton of ground. She was the Executive Producer for an award winning and number one rated morning show in Tampa for years. And now, she uses her unique blend of organization, storytelling and curiosity to help Mad Bear clients find their stories. Think of her as an architect, a story architect.
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Video Metrics: Measuring What Matters.

Your video is up and running, you’re starting to rack up views. What’s next? How do you actually measure the success of your video project? measure-success Before you start measuring your video’s success, you must define what success means to you and your business. Hopefully, you set up a goal for your video project when you were creating your content. And you kept that goal in mind as you came up with a distribution strategy. Now’s the time to see if it’s all working. The key is find the right metrics to measure success. Was your ultimate goal to increasing brand reach, engage with your viewers, drive traffic to your website?

Engagement  can mean many different things. From social shares to comments to how long a viewer stays watching the video. engagement Watch time is a great way to measure your audience’s engagement. Ideally, your viewers will stay engaged throughout the entire length of your video. Most video platforms let you track your video’s watch time (the average amount of time viewers spend watching your video) or at least, whether or not viewers finished watching your video. YouTube and Facebook’s metrics go more in depth and let you see your viewers average engagement throughout the length of your videos with their Audience Retention metric. When looking at this metric you want to see a constant horizontal line from the beginning to the end of your video. If your purpose is to drive viewers to respond to a Call-to-Action (CTA) at the end of your video, then you need to make changes to ensure the viewer stays engaged until the end. This may mean revisiting your content, even, reconsidering the length of your video. The faster you can get to the point and deliver value to your viewer, the more likely your video is to succeed. Now, let’s talk about clicks.

Click Through Rates To make this a proper click-through discussion, your videos need to be clickable. If they are not, then there still needs to be some way to make sure your viewers followed your call to action. Perhaps you create a customized URL for each video or track in bit.ly. clicks Most likely, your video will have a Call-to-Action (CTA), whether that is a link to your website, a sign-up request, or an ad to buy a product or service – and if it doesn’t then it should. The Click-Through Rate is the percentage of viewers that clicked on a Call-to-Action in your video. This metric helps you keep track of the effectiveness of your CTA. If you’re getting views and viewers are staying engaged, but your video still is not driving action then you may need to tweak your Call-to-Action. Make sure you’re sharing video content with a clear and strong call-to-action that is valuable to your target audience.

Beyond the Click We’ve talked a lot of looking beyond the view in other words making sure you are tracking metrics that are more than just views. How about beyond the click? Essentially, the goal is to turn your leads into customers. Go a step further and see what actions viewers are taking after they watch your videos by using your website’s analytics tool. Are your videos driving traffic to your website? And is that leading to more sign-ups or more conversions? Video metrics are a powerful tool that can pinpoint areas where your video needs some sprucing up and whether or not the content is engaging for your target audience.  Choose your metrics wisely and keep a clear goal in mind when analyzing the data. If your video is not performing the way you expected, using the right metrics will help you identify the problems and make the necessary tweaks to get your video back on the track to success. Yes. We have highly simplified this post in order to get you thinking about video differently. There are tons of other strategies to make sure your videos are indeed driving the results. Please feel free to ask us any questions you may have… happy to help!

Need a little more? Please fill out the form below to get access to a video where Mad Bear’s President, Glenn Zimmerman, gives you a more in depth look at how our video strategy can bring your business mad results.

_____________________________________________________________________________ About the Author: Roshni Hannon Contact: roshni@madbearproductions.com Her name means “light” and that is what she is… high energy, bright and fast. And yes… she does run regularly. While we’re not sure what she is running from (perhaps her two young kids) we know she’s covered a ton of ground. She was the Executive Producer for an award winning and number one rated morning show in Tampa for years. And now, she uses her unique blend of organization, storytelling and curiosity to help Mad Bear clients find their stories. Think of her as an architect, a story architect. IMG_9991

Video Strategy Part 2 — Distribution

So you have this incredible video. You sent it out to your internal teams, encouraged everyone to share, uploaded it to YouTube and now you wait. You wait for the marketing fame to roll in. You wait some more. Unfortunately, each time you obsessively check, your view count wasn’t nearly as impressive as you’d hoped and no one is sharing it. Don’t stress!
qtq80-JKQvGMAfter you’ve spent time, energy, and money to create this awesome video, it’s all about making sure your video(s) get in front of YOUR target audience (not just your mom). You need a  distribution strategy to ensure everyone sees your masterpiece. One of the first spots you’ll immediately think about to is YouTube. As the second largest search engine (behind Google — which also owns YouTube), it’s imperative for your brand to use YouTube strategically to showcase your videos far and wide.

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We could write a book about the different ways to use YouTube to distribute your video, but it all depends on what you are trying to accomplish. So here are three:

1) A common approach is to use the channel to gain attention and drive viewers back to your website where they can consume more content free from distraction. (As a bonus, once they’re back on your website you’ll also be able to track their behavior with video engagement data.)

2) You can also use YouTube to build an audience and then use it for its true social media power (i.e. comments, shares, etc..)

3) Get your videos monetized and start earning revenue off of those YouTube ads by enabling them on your content.

 “Just remember, YouTube loves YouTube. So if you embed a video on a landing page from YouTube. Your landing page is not getting the love, your YouTube channel is…if you want your landing page to get some Google love, consider using another video hosting/sharing platform like Vimeo or Wistia.”

– Glenn Zimmerman, President, Mad Bear Productions

Your website or campaign landing pages

Nowadays buyers can go through most of the buying process before ever talking to anyone in sales. So you’ve got to include videos that are going to make a human connection and keep you memorable. The benefit is two-fold. Not only do videos embedded on your site increase the probability of a sale, but Google takes note when a click leads to longer time spent on a page. What this means is when your viewers click and watch a 90 second video, that 90 seconds makes the content on your site more recognizable, and more likely to appear in Google search results. Winning!
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“Create your landing page with a very specific goal in mind and make sure that the content that surrounds the video is very clear and includes button of some kind to make it very easy for your viewers to embrace your call to action… and take action.”

– Glenn Zimmerman, President, Mad Bear Productions

Email campaigns

No other marketing medium can communicate as quickly and effectively as video. So it makes a ton of sense to use video in your email marketing to increase brand awareness customer education and, of course, sales.

Approximately half of the marketers who use video in email campaigns experience an uptick in click-through rates, an increase in time spent reading the email, and an increase in sharing and forwarding. (Source: eMarketer)

It’s a common misconception that when you use video in email, that the video will simply play, right from inside the email. That would be a unicorn. Unfortunately, most email clients  don’t support the need to play video right inside the email. While you can drive them directly to the page on which your video is hosted, it’s better to create a landing page specifically for the video. This ensures that your audience won’t be distracted by the other content. Once you do that, take a screenshot of your video WITH the play button. Then add the screenshot to an email, and link it to the landing page with your video. Now, when your audience gets your email, they’ll see a big screenshot of your video, and when they click on it they’ll be taken directly to a page where they can immediately consume your video content.

“One simple way of adding moving video into your email campaign is to utilize an animated GIF. These can be fun and simple. They don’t have any sound but they still can say a lot and inspire action. in your viewer.”

– Glenn Zimmerman, President, Mad Bear Productions

 


Social networks

When distributing your videos, social channels are your best friend. And you have MANY best friends from which to choose.

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We spoke briefly about YouTube, but there are many more options in the social world. Twitter and Facebook allow you to post videos directly to their platforms. This is always the way to go in order to maximize each platform versus linking from YouTube or another video hosting platform.

Periscope (owned by Twitter) and Facebook Live lead the charge with live video streaming platforms and are increasing in popularity for their easy ability to bring your viewers someplace live easily.

You’ll also want to consider a clever use of Instagram, which has a one minute time limit on videos. You can create teaser videos directing viewers to your longer-form content.

“Whether we are talking about the cutesy brand building found on SnapChat or the Live video meets conversation found on Blab, video is clearly at the forefront of Social Media 2.0. But in all cases marketers are seeing the largest leap in video viewership on mobile. So keep this in mind when building and distributing your content.”

– Glenn Zimmerman, President, Mad Bear Productions

Remember, always think about the intended audiences. For example, if one of your videos highlights your company’s business services, it may perform better with your LinkedIn networks versus your Facebook page.

And sharing is caring! Consider posting your video to your press releases, company blogs and maybe even contact your partners and ask if they’ll feature your video content on their blog.

We are truly just skimming the surface when it comes to this topic. So if you have a more in-depth question about video distribution just reach out to us!

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About the Author: Roshni Hannon
Contact: roshni@madbearproductions.com

Her name means “light” and that is what she is… high energy, bright and fast. And yes… she does run regularly. While we’re not sure what she is running from (perhaps her two young kids) we know she’s covered a ton of ground. She was the Executive Producer for an award winning and number one rated morning show in Tampa for years. And now, she uses her unique blend of organization, storytelling and curiosity to help Mad Bear clients find their stories. Think of her as an architect, a story architect.

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Video Strategy: Part 1 (Content)

I play chess with my son. He’s 8. And he’s pretty good. He’s beaten me fair and square a few times. It got me thinking. What’s his strategy? So I asked. His answer was simple: Keep the King Alive. Strategy doesn’t have to be complicated, but it has to work for YOU.

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We get into conversations with marketers all the time about their video and they usually start and end the same. While they’re excited about video, when we ask them about  video strategy, there’s usually a long pause which is generally an acknowledgment of “we don’t have a strategy….”  Our follow-up question is typically something like, “do you know how well your videos are working for you?” we typically get the same long pause. In order for your videos to deliver you’ve got to have a personalized strategy.

No two strategies are the same. At Mad Bear Productions we have a specialized three-prong approach to nailing a video strategy you’ll not only love, but one that you can be proud of.

Here are the three things to consider:

1. Content: What is your story? And how will you tell it?
2. Distribution: Who are you trying to reach and how are you going to do it?
3. Metrics (analytics and reporting): Let’s make sure it’s working and learn from the numbers.

For the purposes of this article, we are going to focus on Content. 

Humanize. Use video to inspire, entertain, and connect on a more personal and emotional level. Get creative with using video to deliver fun, approachable, and humanized content campaigns. Or deliver a personalized video campaign that literally brings each viewer into the story in a way that’s relevant, interesting and memorable. Try some things out and diversify how you use video content, and you’ll start to discover what your most powerful stories are, and what your audience really cares about. It’s about building your brand in way that makes you feel proud and that grabs your audiences attention. We produced a series of videos for Valspar to help paint a story that let’s people know they stand for more than color.

If you aren’t sure what to do or how to do it. Just be true to yourself and your brand. The most important thing is to make sure you are being genuine about what you are showing. If you aren’t being genuine, it likely won’t work.”

-Glenn Zimmerman, CEO Mad Bear Productions

Be (A Little) Daring. We are not suggesting you throw caution to the wind and produce something outrageous that will scare your customers. But you have to stand out. And to stand out you have to take some risks. Consider adding a splash of humor, maybe choose some music you normally wouldn’t. Choose an approach that is a little bit out of the box. To help a Cyber-Security firm launch a complex piece of technology, check out how we used Sun Tzu’s Art of War.

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“But don’t do something unexpected and different just for the sake of it. Make sure you stand out for a reason and most importantly… that  the reason matters to your audience.”

-Glenn Zimmerman, CEO Mad Bear Productions

Do something unconventional, but do it to connect with people in a more emotional way (see Humanize above).  If you’re uneasy at the thought of trying something, don’t give up just because you are scared. Take a breath and see it from the users standpoint. It may accomplish the job better.

Make it Interactive.  In general, we find that marketers tend to be conservative in their use of video content. Explainer videos and educational webinars are pretty common now, since marketers know that video is the best way to educate given its high retention rates. It’s going to be tough to get anyone excited about your video strategy if you’re producing another screen capture video with a voice-over. But you know what they might get excited about? If you delivered an interactive video with survey questions to really engage your audience. Choose your own adventure style videos are another great way to get some engagement. What else? Well, here is one video from a campaign we completed with Northwell Health. This was one of several videos used to encourage the viewer to vote for one of three different innovations in healthcare. Nearly 500,000 votes later… success.

“Don’t feel pressure to use the latest and greatest technology in order to be interactive.  The goal is purely to engage the viewer. If the interaction accomplishes that… you have succeeded”

-Glenn Zimmerman, CEO Mad Bear Productions

Overall, a video strategy keeps you from creating aimless content. Your videos should have a purpose aligned with your business goals. So, now you have your story. Stay tuned for our next blog which will focus on how you get the right people to see it!

_____________________________________________________________________________

About the Author: Roshni Hannon
Contact: roshni@madbearproductions.com

Her name means “light” and that is what she is… high energy, bright and fast. And yes… she does run regularly. While we’re not sure what she is running from (perhaps her two young kids) we know she’s covered a ton of ground. She was the Executive Producer for an award winning and number one rated morning show in Tampa for years. And now, she uses her unique blend of organization, storytelling and curiosity to help Mad Bear clients find their stories. Think of her as an architect, a story architect.

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A Feeling I Get

Not too long ago I pulled off the impossible. A surprise party. Months and months of covert planning, secret phone calls and shady behavior all came together for one purpose: A Reaction. It was priceless. Watching raw emotion and excitement unravel as a result of something you had a hand in, is in a word: AWESOME. I’ll remember that moment always.

Surprise!

I get the same feeling when I sit in an audience and watch a room full of people react to a video our Team produced. My heart skips a beat. I love nothing more than hearing people laugh at all the right places, take pause when it counts and rise to their feet, and clap at the end. It’s like watching someone unwrap a present that you know they will love, and then watching them freak out when they see it for the first time. We recently produced a series of videos for the Girl Scouts of West Central Florida’s annual “Women of Distinction” event. To sit amongst hundreds of people – including the women and their families- and watch them react, was a feeling I won’t forget.

We are all hardwired to remember events that are more emotionally charged. Good marketers know how to leverage this fact. You need to help people feel an emotional connection towards your brand, and there’s no medium more emotional than video. It lets you convey so much more than words. Facial expressions show people your excitement, tone of voice tells a compelling story, and sometimes music alone can get people fired up about your product. Like this one we produced for BMW of Freehold.

Look for different ways to leverage this emotional opportunity. If your support team is interacting with customers via email, phone, and support ticketing, use a video to introduce those team members in a new way. You can even create an emotional connection to your product. If you use case studies as part of your marketing mix, try a video case study. Here’s an example from Wilson HCG.

Emotional connections are important because they help people remember you. The goal is to make people feel inspired, delighted, or joyful when they see your content. In remembering you positively, they’re more likely to buy from you, come back as a repeat customer, and even recommend you to someone else. An emotional connection will help you stay memorable and drive more sales your way.

_____________________________________________________________________________

About the Author: Roshni Hannon
Contact: roshni@madbearproductions.com

Her name means “light” and that is what she is… high energy, bright and fast. And yes… she does run regularly. While we’re not sure what she is running from (perhaps her two young kids) we know she’s covered a ton of ground. She was the Executive Producer for an award winning and number one rated morning show in Tampa for years. And now, she uses her unique blend of organization, storytelling and curiosity to help Mad Bear clients find their stories. Think of her as an architect, a story architect.

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Touch it up? Or make it over?

I have a kitchen table in my house. I love the table. It serves the purpose, but it’s old and kind of ugly (not in an antique way either). It still functions well, but someone decided it wasn’t up-to-date with current trends. Should I stain it? Repaint it? Is this a DIY project? Or should I save my time and just get a new one?

Table Pic

You can think of video much the same way. With all the content you produce, it’s inevitable that some of it may end up out-of-date as well. But that doesn’t mean you have to throw it out and start over. Sometimes all it needs is a quick touch-up. There are also situations that call for a complete makeover, and others that should just be left alone.

Leave it Alone:

Evergreen How-to Content: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Evergreen content is called that for a reason; if it’s still teaching a valuable lesson, leave it alone.

When to Touch-up/Refresh:

Culture videos: Has your team changed? If you’re interviewing a specific person in a culture video that no longer works at the company, consider replacing just their snippet with a new interviewee or shot.

Product videos: Do you use screenshots or clips of your product in your demo videos? If so, make sure they are up to date because products are always changing!

Research: New research comes out all the time, but that doesn’t mean you have to scrap last quarter’s video just because some updated research has come to light. You can always update one stat or add a stat in. This even works if the video is a motion graphic.

Testimonials: Sometimes your biggest advocate leaves the company they were working for and their testimonial is no longer as impactful, since … well, they don’t work for that company any more. As long as your customer team has been doing a great job of re-building relationships at that company, consider updating the speaker in your testimonial video. You can even do this while keeping most of the messaging the same.

Blog videos: Has a method or concept changed since you last published on that topic? You don’t necessarily have to update the entire video, but you could add updates throughout the clip with text annotations or a even a quick filmed update at the beginning or end.

Webinars: If your webinars are posted chronologically, chances are no one’s watching your hour-long webinar from 2013. Try updating it or even re-purposing it by cutting it into smaller pieces and adding it to a new blog post.

When it’s time for a makeover.

Home Page Video: This is the video that sits front and center. Unless there is a mistake or your tagline needs updating, you should simply create a new one. Change on a home page can be a great way to re-engage visitors and catch people’s attention.

Rebranded Video Content: If you’re going through an entire rebrand, an update to video content probably just isn’t going to cut it. Chances are you’ll need to start from scratch, and it will probably be a more efficient use of everyone’s time.

So how do you know it’s time to refresh your content?

When you’re wearing low-rise and everyone else is in skinny jeans, then you know it’s time for an update. When you’re talking about video it’s different. But with a good system of checks and balances you’ll be ahead of your content, before it becomes too outdated.

Keep Products Site Videos Updated: If you have any big changes in the company like a large number of new hires or layoffs, product launches or product updates you’ll likely need some refreshed content. For smaller changes keep a spreadsheet or a checklist with all the pages on your website and the videos on each page and the date they were made. Make note of those that might need a refresh and ensure your video team is aware of it.

Keep Content Marketing Videos Updated: A quick way to keep track of all video blogs is to use a specific tag or filter. Written blog posts require a bit more work. You would have to set up a personal system to remind yourself to update dated material. Remember even adding a quick update to a blog post can bring it back as up-to-date. Or you can always completely rewrite the post.

Alas, the table – much like some of your content- has legs to stand on and passes the test for a touch-up. Now.. that pool cage with the holes in it.. that’s a different story.

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About the Author: Roshni Hannon
Contact: roshni@madbearproductions.com

Her name means “light” and that is what she is… high energy, bright and fast. And yes… she does run regularly. While we’re not sure what she is running from (perhaps her two young kids) we know she’s covered a ton of ground. She was the Executive Producer for an award winning and number one rated morning show in Tampa for years. And now, she uses her unique blend of organization, storytelling and curiosity to help Mad Bear clients find their stories. Think of her as an architect, a story architect.

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Round We Go: Virtual Reality/360 Video

This week thousands have flocked to the California desert to attend Coachella, while a very different crowd flocked to the desert in Nevada, to gather in Las Vegas for the Coachella and the Comicon of the broadcast industry all rolled into one, the 2016 National Association of Broadcasters trade show, known in our circles simply as, NAB.

And while the buzz around Coachella 2016 has been old school (NKOTB and Guns n’ Roses are back!), the buzz in Vegas among broadcast/video geeks is clearly all about 360 degree video/virtual reality. Virtual reality has been around for a few a years, but with advances in technology placing it in the hands of the consumer, and putting affordable tools for creating virtual content in the hands of the content creators, the use of VR and 360 degree video seems to be on the verge of explosion across the media landscape.IMG_4063

At the same time, all the way across the country hundreds gathered for Imagination Day at the Tribeca Film Festival, headlined by entrepreneur and adventurer Richard Branson. The day long summit focused on the new reality of the not so distant future. Much of the focus of that new reality was the concept and possibilities of virtual reality.

But caution! We have been here before; in 2012 our visual world was about to be rocked by a 3D content revolution that has yet to be realized. Will VR be different? I believe so, more so because of accessibility more than anything else. The Oculus Rift headsets for VR gamers cost a third of a large flat screen TV, Samsung’s VR headsets, and Google Cardboard integrate with cellphones to make it a reality, and YouTube has reengineered its platform to allow for 360 degree video. At the same time, established visual technology companies ranging from GoPro, to Black Magic, to Nokia (remember them?!?!) have produced 360 degree cameras in a range of price and complexity that will serve everyone from the true professional to the amateur early adapter.

Video games, the creation of alternate worlds, the new frontiers of storytelling through virtual reality, its all thrilling and seemingly right around corner, but we are not quite there yet. As if to underscore the fact, a proclaimed “immersive reality experience, by the masters of virtual reality Felix Lajeunesse and Paul Raphael” crashed repeatedly on the “master’s” MacBook Pro, and the duo had to walk us through their film using our imaginations to guide rather than being able to show us the exquisite 360 degree video footage they had shot over the past year.

While that technical failure proved an apt metaphor, Derek Belch, former Stanford football player and coach, exhibited a fascinating display of the power of virtual reality as it is being used right now in real time. His company STRIVR Labs, uses virtual reality video technology to help with training NFL athletes, allowing them to review and react to actual footage in practice situations that the players participated in the same day. And we didn’t even need VR headsets to experience it. If a linebacker or a quarterback can experience 100 “real” repetitions and see themselves and see a point of view perspective at the same time, it allows the to be on the field without actually being on the field. STRIVR has also created a fan experience, allowing anybody to feel what its like to be on and NFL field shoulder to shoulder with the team they follow, not as computer creations, but rather in three dimensional as they really exist. The only thing missing is the sour stench of sweaty shoulder pads. Does it work? 10 NFL teams have signed on, as well as a dozen college programs, as well as a handful of major league baseball hockey teams.

The possibilities are endless and many of them have already arrived. Storytellers can provide viewers with an experience more intimate than before. On the job training for those working in physically stressful environments takes on a entirely new dimension. VR and 360 video are here to stay, because they’re more than 3D and the headgear is optional.


About the Author:   Julian Williams

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As Director of Photography and co-founder of Mad Bear Productions, all things visual pass before Julian’s creative and experienced eyes. He has been capturing the story as it happens from behind the lens for more than fifteen years.

Julian’s ability to find the extraordinary in the seemingly mundane is his gift. As both a cameraman and editor, Julian understands the importance of shooting the right material the first time. With a developed love for telling stories and a deep appreciation for being allowed inside the worlds of thousands of people, Julian loves shooting every kind of story.

From Shuttle launches at Cape Canaveral, natural disasters, historic elections, Super Bowls, The Olympics, a World Cup to the a royal wedding across the pond;  Julian brings his global experience and understanding for the latest technologies and trends to Mad Bear’s clientele.

Turning Content into Interactive Connectivity

What do we want?

Engagement!

When do you want it?

NOW!

Interactive video is a perfect opportunity to provide customers with a dynamic experience when learning about a product, service, brand, idea, concept, etc… It’s like a custom-tailored suit. By enabling them to shape the way they consume your content, you can offer a more personal interaction with your brand and get them the most relevant information faster. Plus, you get something in the process.

Here are a few ways to make your video more fun, engaging and … interactive.

Interactive Video PicClickable Content: Fundamentally, clickable video is any sort of online video that the user can interact with by clicking on it. That can be in the form of video overlays which allow you to display ads/ text without interrupting the content being watched. Different platforms offer different examples of this. Here is one from Wistia where we encouraged people to learn more about our TEAM:



 Cards and annotations with YouTube are a simple way to get people to click on           additional videos, links to your website, products and merchandise, and more.  Cards have some advantages over annotations, like being optimized for mobile and higher click-through rates, but both can be useful. Cards and Annotations are a way to add interactive commentary, including links to your YouTube videos and beyond. See the use of a “Poll” in the video below.


 

360 Video: 360 video is pretty much just that. Only it’s so much more. It’s created with a camera system that simultaneously records all 360 degrees of a scene. Viewers can pan and rotate a 360 video’s perspective to watch it from different angles. The net effect is a deeper level of immersion into the video. When you strap on some virtual reality goggles/headset… the experience goes to the next level, however, 360 video is viewable on computers, iOS devices and Android devices. If you watch on your computer make sure you’re using the latest version of your web browser (ex. Chrome, Firefox). Google created Google Cardboard which would give you a Virtual Reality-esque experience.  The Australian Tourism Board created this 360 video of Rottnest Island. Click and experience it for yourself.

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Tourism done right. The Australian Tourism Board gives viewers a 360 video experience. Click and take a tour.


 

Email Opt ins / Call to Action Buttons: These interactive videos contain social buttons and forms inside the video. They can include email opt in forms (like the video below), buttons (including “buy now” buttons), redirect actions, embedded html, hyperlink text, and more.)  While CTAs are great for generating leads, they can also help contribute to a different goal: growing your email list.

 

Interactive videos give viewers the opportunity to determine how their viewing experience unfolds. In fact, there are some brands that create multiple endings to a video and allow the viewer to select the ending they want to watch. Regardless of your tactics, the more that you can drive engagement, the better the result will be for your brand.

__________________________________________________________________

About the Author: Roshni Hannon
Contact: roshni@madbearproductions.com

Her name means “light” and that is what she is… high energy, bright and fast. And yes… she does run regularly. While we’re not sure what she is running from (perhaps her two young kids) we know she’s covered a ton of ground. She was the Executive Producer for an award winning and number one rated morning show in Tampa for years. And now, she uses her unique blend of organization, storytelling and curiosity to help Mad Bear clients find their stories. Think of her as an architect, a story architect.

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