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.

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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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How long should my video be?

You’ve probably heard people joke about human beings having a shorter attention span than goldfish, sadly it’s kind of true. If your content doesn’t capture a viewer’s interest in the right amount of time, they’ll move on to something else. We have to hold our audience very tight and not let them even think about moving, not even a tiny little inch (or pixel) from our content.

Video too long

In one of Wistia’s video lengths analytics, it’s clear shorter videos are better for getting people to watch the whole thing. Also, if you go to your YouTube accounts dashboard you will find an option to view your videos analytics. Their research supports the idea that  shorter videos produce a more engaged audience. That said, not all videos are created equal and you can’t always live by a one size fits all rule.

Length Matters

TV Commercials are generally 30 seconds in length. When they first came out, the spots were very expensive. So advertisers shortened their ads and that’s one of the main reasons why most commercials today are very short. And generally speaking that length works very well with human attention span.

Online Video Content Length is an important factor to consider when creating online video content. Viewers will only stick with your video for so long, but the optimal video length tends to vary depending on the purpose of your content.  There are so many different rules when it comes to the length of online marketing videos, it’s difficult to come up with a steadfast strategy. For example, we are in the middle of a campaign right now where we are dealing with videos that are between two to three-and-a-half minutes. THAT’S LONG. The completion rate is VERY low… uh oh.. you might think, BUT what we are finding is that within 20 seconds a higher than normal percentage of people are clicking the “learn more” link and as a result we are driving traffic early on in the video. Driving traffic is the goal, so the full length of the video does not even matter as long as the call to action is taken by the viewer.

With that said keep in mind that when it comes to snack-able video content, shorter is better.

Our "Brands We Love" social media campaign

Our “Brands We Love” social media campaign. Click and watch!

 

Crowdfunding Videos are meant to create credibility around the project, so there is       usually a “talking head” involved. And it’s usually the founder or inventor speaking about the product, and another part of showing the product and how it works. These videos can be a bit longer than commercials. The audience is looking to learn more. Think of this one as the Goldilocks of videos. One minute videos are usually too short. Five-minutes is too long. Two to three minutes is just right.

Crowdfunding Campaign

One of our crowdfunding campaigns for Trakbelt360. Click and watch.

Testimonials are informative, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be creative. You    want to show your customers and/or employees talking about your product or business. Keep in mind the audience watching this wants to learn more, so it’s more about listening than watching. While longer form testimonials aren’t terrible, if you’re going to use them for marketing purposes you wouldn’t want the video to last more than two minutes.

Our client testimonial for Wilson HCG. Click and watch!

Our client testimonial for Wilson HCG. Click and watch!

Campaigns/ Brand Videos The rule here is quite simple. In fact you can equate it to a rule of writing. Your copy can never be too long, it can only be too boring. The minute you stop being engaging, you’re going too long. So for these videos — make them as long as it takes to get the point across.

Our branding video for Italio. Click and watch!

Our branding video for Italio. Click and watch!

That’s all for now. Best of luck with your video production. It can all seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Allow the Mad Bear team to help. Start by clicking here.

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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 Domination: 5 Tips to Avoid Video Failure in a Video Saturated World

Huffpost Live is dead. So is Al Jazeera America. The New York Times is exploring how to use Virtual Reality in news and Samsung is opening a VR studio in NYC

Given the dominance of video and the proliferation of video-centric technologies, how do you fail at video? Or perhaps better stated, how do you avoid failing at video during the current climate of high video consumption?

We put together five simple tips to help you stay video relevant regardless if you consider yourself a media company, a small brand or a person in your garage.

1) Genuine and real should be the core of any form of video engagement. If you stray from this you risk alienating your audience. Whenever in doubt be yourself and speak honestly and from the heart. It makes no difference what you are talking about, who you are talking to and whether you are speaking for yourself or a brand… society has a very sensitive BS meter. Trigger it and you lose the audience.

2) Whether it is VR, AR or Micro-Casting; you have to remember, these are simply hi-tech tools. And it is our job as marketers to make sure we are using these tools correctly. By correctly I mean, are you creating and sharing content that utilizes the inherent uniqueness of the tool in a way that further engages and NOT simply using a tool because it is the latest shiny object.

3) Focus on creating an experience versus spoon feeding messages.  You do this by taking advantage of the specific platforms/channels you are using and asking why people use them.

For example, ask yourself why do people go on Facebook? And then think how that relates to your topic. Then remember, the video will autoplay on mute. So what does the combination of those two concepts mean for how you have to build the content?


Gary Vaynerchuk does a good job of furthering this concept.
(And remember, he did that talk in 2014. The concept has only evolved further.)

4) This one is for video marketers focusing on ROI*** While planning and forecasting, don’t get caught up in the limitations of language. Because our mechanisms of communication are evolving so rapidly our language can’t catch up. In essence, language is getting in the way of us understanding each other.

Was that video short-form or long-form? Does the word media adequately cover all forms of engagement? How do you differentiate between the words: content, news, media and journalism? Etc…

Many of these words have defined meanings that pre-date the digital age and can mean different things depending upon who you are, how old you are and what you do.

The best advice: begin your communication by focusing on the the result of what you are trying to accomplish and then move into how you plan on getting there. If you focus on the result first, at least your audience will know where you are going and then they will understand better what you mean.

5) The concept of making something social is misunderstood by a vast majority of people. While we are using social tools all of the time, most of us are not pausing to understand how they are benefiting us and in some cases how/why they are social.

Take the App Trivia Crack (I know… so 2015). I have always loved the show Jeopardy (despite Alex Trebek’s intolerable arrogance) so it makes sense why I am addicted to this game. But in addition to the fact that I love trivia stuff, the game allows me to challenge my friends in trivia and/or challenge a complete stranger. Plus, I can rate questions and/or even create my own. And there are metrics that allow me to see how I am doing against a larger collective. That’s all very social.

Or what about this… I just got the new 4th Generation Apple TV (fantastic by the way) and found a Karaoke game Sing! Karaoke by Smule where you are singing along with not only the artist but different real people who recorded themselves. How uniquely social.

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I hope these 5 tips have been helpful … now let’s go and collectively change the world of “video news media” or whatever the kids are calling it these days.


About the Author: Glenn Zimmerman

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Glenn has what is best described as “Superhero Syndrome.” His affliction began as a child and has progressed with age.

He got into extreme skiing and extreme sports before they were a thing because every superhero should try flying at least once.

While at Boston University, it was his desire to save the day that brought him to Post- Soviet Russia where he explored the emerging homeless population.

His Syndrome brought him to journalism school at Syracuse University to get his MS in Mass Communications. He later became an award winning reporter with the number one station in Detroit (WXYZ-TV) and with NBC’s flagship station in New York (WNBC- TV).

And, it was the reason he formed the video agency Mad Bear Productions.

With Mad Bear, he harnesses the power of story to help business, non-profits and events engage with their target audience. Video is his tool and he wields it mightily.

Glenn is a sought after speaker on video engagement and mass media. It is all part of his quest to help save the day, one story at a time.

Confessions of a TED Speaker

There I was sitting in the audience simply being rude.

Really… I had turned my head from watching the person speaking in the front of the room and was openly talking to myself. Mouthing the words I had been thinking through for months.

I felt like a jerk, but did it anyway.

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Of course, I wanted to hear what everyone had to say.. this was a TED event and the brain candy and inspiration filling the room were commodities I cherish and sadly get so rarely these days.

But, have you ever had something you wanted to shout from the top of the tallest building at the top of your lungs? Something that meant so much to you personally that it really had nothing to do with you personally.

That is how I have felt for years while watching the influence of media build, and society’s awareness of how media was affecting us all fade.

I have given countless presentations and been in front of thousands of cameras in my life, but this was not your typical nerves I was feeling. It was the type of anxiety that only comes when you really care about something and desperately want your thoughts to punch through the clutter of noise and mean something.

I was about to have the opportunity to speak the words and thoughts I have incubating for years, and I was going to do it on a TED stage. I  had to wait just a few more hours. It was my dubious honor to be the last of 10 talented and fascinating individuals who were speaking.

A fellow speaker caught up to me during one of the intermissions and wanted to chat. The subject and the person could not have been more interesting. A real life Cannonball Run… but I could not focus. He only had a part of my attention and I just could not manage to fake it well enough. I was still running through my thoughts. Reviewing my timing and making sure my talk was as poignant and succinct as I could possibly deliver it.

During the next set of speakers I did it again. Mentally broke away from the person speaking and started reviewing my talk.

So all day I sat with my thoughts bottled up, ready to explode.

Seems rather silly now as I look back at it, but it was a very real feeling. It was a compulsion.

Then my name was called and suddenly I became very calm. It was odd.

Another TED speaker told me the same thing happened to him. It was somewhat of an out of body experience as I stepped in front of the crowd and began.

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I had personal moments with people during the presentation. As I looked at them and spoke they seemed to understand exactly what I meant. That is really all I could possibly hope for…

And the catharsis continued after I was done speaking as these same people walked up to me and wanted to continue the conversation that I had started.

That night I felt at peace. It seems dramatic but it is true. I realize now that I had felt a passive pressure to give the speech over months and the release was fantastic.

My hope is that what I said means something to you as well. If so, please share the talk. And if you want to reach out to me and further the conversation… I would be honored. After all, that was all I wanted from the beginning.


Glenn-Pic-2 resizedAbout the Author: Glenn Zimmerman 

Glenn has what is best described as “Superhero Syndrome.” His affliction began as a child and has progressed with age.

He got into extreme skiing and extreme sports before they were a thing because every superhero should try flying at least once.

While at Boston University, it was his desire to save the day that brought him to Post- Soviet Russia where he explored the emerging homeless population.

His Syndrome brought him to journalism school at Syracuse University to get his MS in Mass Communications. He later became an award winning reporter with the number one station in Detroit (WXYZ-TV) and with NBC’s flagship station in New York (WNBC- TV).

And, it was the reason he formed the video agency Mad Bear Productions.

With Mad Bear, he harnesses the power of story to help business, non-profits and events engage with their target audience. Video is his tool and he wields it mightily.

Glenn is a sought after speaker on video engagement and mass media. It is all part of his quest to help save the day, one story at a time.