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.


About the Author: Roshni Hannon

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.

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

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.



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%.

Inline image

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:

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 :

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.


About the Author: Roshni Hannon Contact: 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.




Mad Video Predictions for 2017

The future holds many unknowns. But the world of video is a different story. Gather around as we take a look into our Mad Bear Crystal Ball – which no surprise resembles our new Nokia OZO Virtual Reality camera. Take a minute or two to read Mad Bear’s predictions for the world of video in 2017.

Mad Bear’s Crystal Ball. No, really it’s our 360 camera. But it IS the future of video!

  1. 360 Video/Virtual Reality will be THE dominant buzz technology of the Year.

    3D video, mobile video and even drones have had their time in the “buzz light,” but for 2017 it will be all about 360 Video/VR.

Predictive statistics are already suggesting this will be the case. Here are just some of the resources pointing in that direction:

▪Revenues from virtual reality products (both hardware and software) are projected to increase from 90 million dollars in 2014 to 5.2 billion dollars in 2018. (Read the full Statista report here)

▪Consumer spending on VR headsets will go from 1.6 billion dollars in 2016 to 7.9 billion dollars by 2020 (CNBC)

▪Dip into CES 2017 for a sense of how dominant VR has become already in the shaping of what the word “immersive” means.(Forbes)

2.  Sorry Snapchat. Instagram It Is.


Instagram will continue to use “video stories” to take marketshare from Snapchat. The meteoric millennial monetization (yes… a three part alliteration) rise of Snapchat has come to an end, as many marketers will move away to Facebook owned Instagram (3 more “m’s”… I’m on fire). There was some writing on the wall several months ago when Instagram copied Snapchat and unveiled stories  (here is one article from AdWeek) but Instagram isn’t done yet. Look for further integration of video in their platform and look for more ways for businesses to utilize the platform to target ads (a la Facebook). There might even be some expiring video content and/or filters added. While I love your new Spectacles Snapchat. It just won’t be enough.

3.  Interactive Video Content Will Move from “Maybe” to “Must Have”

Clickable, shareable, trackable …. it is so nice marketers are ABLE to do these things without ever having to leave a video link. As viewers decreasingly jump between platforms (i.e. “If the content originates on Facebook please don’t send me to a landing page.”), interactive content become the key to keeping people engaged. Interactive in these terms can mean more social media features or even a deeper use of 360 video (see the #1 prediction above).

Here is a good overview article on interactive video from the co-founder of an interactive video company Rapt Media.

So there you have it… three predictions for 2017 … in a way all three say the same thing. Video will move deeper in the direction of consumer initiated engagement. In other words, the video creator will no longer fully control what people experience and how they experience it. Now, the creator is empowered to tell the story so that the viewer can control the experience. So give your viewer the keys, invite them into the driver seat and see where they go. If the ride is good enough, they will come back for more.

About 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.

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 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: 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.


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!


“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.


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!


About the Author: Roshni Hannon

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.




Need Help Delivering Video to Your Audience?

If you love the idea of video but don’t know how to get the video in front of the people you are trying to reach… You are not alone.

So I want to share with you our story of discovery of that exact conclusion.

This story describes what really is a dynamic duo of video storytelling.

Yes it is fun but why should you care?

Because through the narrative, you learn about a service offering from video agency Mad Bear Productions that not only finds and produces business stories but designs a campaign around the videos, strategically delivers them to a specific audience where they are already hanging out and makes sure that audience is watching and engaging.

We would like to formally introduce you to Cotton Ball Media:

Please reach out to us with questions about what Cotton Ball Media is and how it might be able to help you expand your audience.

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.


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.


“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

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.


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


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.

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.


About the Author: Roshni Hannon

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.