video

Your Road Map To The Video Production Process

Creating a video from scratch can seem a monumental task, especially if its not something you’ve done before. It can be easy to get overwhelmed, and tempting to push the project off in hopes of simply later pressing the “record” button and hoping for the best.

Fortunately, video production is easy to break down into individual tasks – and taking the time to do so will elevate your final project above and beyond most expectations.

Start With A Video Production Brief

A video production brief serves as a rundown of everything your video needs to achieve. Tackling this outline first will help guide your creative journey and keep the project on track. Start by writing a few sentences each on each of these questions:

  • What are the objectives of this video?

  • Who is the target audience, and what do we know about them?

  • What do we want the audience to think and feel as a result?

  • What is the core message behind this video?

  • What is our budget and deadline?

This brief should be as detailed as it needs to be, without being overly long.

Develop The Creative Approach

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Is your video going to be exciting? Feel-good? Self-deprecating? Inspirational? Straight-forward informational? The aim is to use the insights you have on your target audience to build an interesting or engaging way to present your message and achieve your objectives.

Have a good, old-fashioned brainstorming session where every idea is considered before being shaved down into a select few. Nothing should be considered too out there, and you may even surprise yourself with what half-baked ideas turn into strong contenders that:

  • Take inspiration from other videos

  • Use a unique approach to stand out from other videos

  • Reflect true insights into its target audience

  • Are not afraid to be different or strange (if appropriate to the brief)

Write The Script

The script of your video should match, or be heavily influenced by the creative approach your video production team has picked. It will act as the blueprint for your video, and nearly everything that makes it into the final script will also make it into the final video.

A great script should meet the following criteria:

  • Be human and natural

  • Be engaging, interesting and emotive to your target audience

  • Be simple and easy to understand and follow

  • Be short and to the point

  • Sound good when read aloud

  • Convey all the necessary information

  • Communicate your core message

The script notes are also where you should include details like specific locations, actors, props and actions if needed.

Build A Storyboard

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This part is optional, but can be helpful if you have specific visuals in mind for your video production. A storyboard or scamp can provide clear, visual portrayals or the lighting, coloring, framing, transitions and other aspects of the final video. This can be hand drawn, us by putting together a collection of stock photos and video which match the style and tone you are aiming for.

A storyboard lays out every shot of the video in detail, and is followed closely during the video production. A scamp, on the other hand, acts as more of a rough outline to provide visual inspiration on the look and feel of the final product.

Most of the time, a storyboard or scamp is only necessary for highly-detailed videos or created out of personal preference. Many videos can be shot exclusively using a detailed script as listed above.

Plan And Schedule A Time To Film

This is the last big hurdle before filming can actually begin. During the planning phase of video production, everything related to the shoot is organized and scheduled including:

  • Scouting and securing a location (indoors or outdoors)

  • Getting a crew together: directors, camera operators, lighting and sound technicians, runners

  • Casting actors or presenters (either professionals or people on your team)

  • Organizing all equipment

  • Ensuring makeup and costume is present if needed

  • Acquiring all necessary licenses and permissions

  • Putting in place contingency plans if anything goes wrong

  • Writing the call sheet, or timed plan of filming

If you’re working with a video agency to produce your video, this is the step you will need to have the least involvement with.

Shoot The Footage

If you’ve built a strong script and a detailed storyboard, shooting the footage shouldn’t be hard! Check out our previous blog series on how to Get Professional Video Visuals With Ease And Affordability for a more in-depth explanation, but here are the highlights:

Framing:

  • Use the rule of thirds

  • Create symmetry

  • Avoid shooting at eye level

  • Have a theme

  • Shoot with intention

Lighting:

  • Two or three point lighting setup

  • Natural outdoor lighting

Wardrobe:

  • Jewel tones

  • Avoid black

  • Simple fabrics instead of complex patterns

  • Keep it timeless

Extra Footage:

  • B-roll or wallpaper footage

Edit Your Video Content

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Once the filming is complete, it’s time to sort through the (potentially) hours of video you captured. Pick the best shots that accurately reflect your storyboard or scamp and cut them together so that your core message shines through. Make sure that your choices are also:

  • As short as possible while including all relevant information

  • Make the video easy to understand and follow

  • Are visually interesting

  • Get across the core message of your video brief

If you need to purchase a video editing software to get started, here is a list from Tom’s Guide on The Best Video Editing Software Under $100. Have the software but need to brush up on your techniques or learn some new ones? Feedspot has put together the top 10 creators of video production tutorials on YouTube.

Add Graphics and Special Effects

Not every video production requires them, but sometimes you may want to include generated graphics and other special effects that help add another level of depth to your video. Anything from a background imposed over green screen, to animated characters, to graphs displaying facts and figures should be added at this stage.

Just like editing the footage, all additions should follow the script and storyboard closely to ensure they match everything else seamlessly.

Mix Music And Soundtrack

As important as the visuals are for a good video, audio can not be discounted for its role. A good soundtrack must help achieve the desired impact on the target audience, and match the tone of the rest of the video. Sound effects and other noises can also be added in to create a more realistic and engaging scene.

Not every video needs a famous music track, but subtle background music can help brighten up almost any video and gloss over any awkward pauses or edits.

Any music added during video production should:

  • Complement the mood and tone of the video

  • Help to get across your core message

  • Be appropriate for your target audience

  • Match the pace of the edit

Generally you will have to buy a license, sign up for a subscription package or pay fees for the music you want in your video. You can browse through thousands of tracks before making a final decision at sites like PremiumBeat, Epidemic Sound and Envato.

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Record The Voiceover

A voiceover isn’t necessary for every video, but you may choose to have one for part or all of yours – depending on the topic. If you choose to narrate parts of your video, make sure your speaker(s):

  • Appeal to your target audience

  • Can read the script in a way that reinforces your core message

  • Has a pleasant sounding voice that conveys emotions well

When the voiceover is being recorded, make sure you have a recording space that is quiet with minimal echo to avoid background noise or fuzzy audio. If you can’t find anything suitable, a quick solution is to throw a heavy blanket over yourself and your equipment to deaden as much outside noise as possible.

Read the script several different ways to provide as much variation as possible when the editor needs to match the audio track with the video.

Time For Revisions

If your video production process is being held to expectations other than your own, feedback will be a critical part of your task. After showing the video, ask your reviewers for feedback that is precise and meaningful.

Bad Example: Can you make it more exciting?

Good Example: Can you choose a more upbeat piece of music and shorten some of the shots to make the action more exciting?

You may also want to limit the number of rounds of edits you are willing to make in order to prevent the reviewers from getting stuck in the minutia.

Choose Your Distribution Method

Your video production process is complete! The video has been filmed, edited and uploaded to the platform of your choice – now it’s time to distribute and promote it.

As always, keep your core message and target audience in mind when you determine where your audience will see it and how (if applicable) it ties in with your overall marketing strategy.

Some of the most common and effective ways to distribute include:

  • Social media seeding on sites where your target audience spend time

  • Using SEO to optimize your video for relevant search keywords

  • Reaching out to your audience's key influencers to help spread the video

  • Engaging in PR to promote your video content

  • Paying for ad spend to show the video on television or in cinemas

  • Incorporating the video into your email marketing

And that’s it! Make sure you keep an eye on the analytics to see how your video is spreading and determine the overall success of your video production campaign.

Let Tabrizi Help

Still not sure where to start or need some help with your video production process? Let Tabrizi Productions help! Our professional film staff can meet all your needs from original brief to final revisions. Contact us today to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.

Spit It Out! Why Shorter Is Better With Online Video

Which Came First: The Video Platform Or Viewer’s Attention Span?

All you have to do is look at the top social media platforms today to see the trend in current online video: shorter is better. The average YouTube video length is four minutes. Instagram limits their videos to 60 seconds in the main feed, and 15 in Stories. Snapchat recently upped their maximum limit to 60 seconds from the original 10, and Vine, no longer an active platform, limited their videos to a blazing fast 7 seconds.

Regardless of whether video lengths influenced the viewer’s attention span, or vice versa, the evidence remains that if you don’t hook your viewer by the end of your opening lines, they start tuning out fast. Even with videos one minute or shorter, only 60 percent of viewers will reliably make it to the end, and twenty percent of them will have given it a pass in the first 30 seconds.

The name for the number of seconds viewers tune in for is called “watch time.” Knowing what yours is, and how you can work with it, can change your video strategy entirely.

How To Find Your Video Watch Time

Depending on where you upload the majority of your videos, you may have to look in different places for your watch time analytics. Platforms like Vimeo and YouTube have their own analytics built right in that you can access from your account. If you are uploading videos directly to your website, you will likely have to find a third-party platform like Google Analytics, SE Ranking, Woopra, or many others

Any of these will be able to give you a look at your views per video, the average watch time of each of them, the time of day most of your viewers are online, and other numbers to help you zero in on best practices.

Script Your Video With Watch Time In Mind

According to a survey done by production company Vidyard this year, the average company published 33 videos each month – an increase of 83 percent over the same period of time in 2017. Of those, 75 percent of the videos were under two minutes.

So how can your video make the most out of an inattentive audience? Try these tips from marketing company MiniMatters:

  • Shorter is better. If you can make the same points in less time, do it!

  • Start off energized and get the important stuff in at the beginning of your video before your audience starts to disappear.

  • Don’t hold your call to action for the end, especially for longer videos. Consider a clickable pop-up that appears in the first few seconds and throughout the video.

  • Think about breaking a longer video into a series of shorter, easily digestible, clips.

Make Sure Your Video Matches Your Platform

Just like there is no one way to view a video, it would also be foolish to assume the same video will work on all platforms. Here are the best lengths for each of today’s popular video platforms (via Hubspot):

  • Instagram - 30 seconds

    • Instagram videos that received the most comments averaged just 26 seconds. Our brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text, so users scroll faster on Instagram than any other app.

  • Twitter – 45 seconds

    • Twitter’s video of the day averages just 43 seconds. Users are accustomed to short tweets, so make sure the brevity also applies to videos.

  • Facebook – 1 minute

    • Facebook audiences like to engage most with videos that are just one minute long. Users like snappy videos that they can quickly like or share before moving on.

  • YouTube – 2 minutes

    • The videos that receive the most engagement on YouTube are about two minutes. Users like spending time on this platform because they can easily find specific videos and watch their favorite creator’s content. Creating longer, more in-depth, content is perfect for this platform.

The Takeaways

Keep your video short, sweet and front loaded with information! That way whether they stick around for the entire thing or not, you’re guaranteed to get the most information in front of your viewer as possible.

If you want some help putting together a video or video series for your business, contact Tabrizi Productions today! We can help you with scripting, shooting and editing to make sure your videos make the best impression possible.

3 Elements You Need In a Lead Generation Video

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Did you know you can use videos as a lead generation tool? Business videos are constantly proving to be valuable for many reasons, but the type of video you create changes based on the goal. A video with the intent of gathering potential customer information, for example, is a little different than a general video introducing the business.

There are few specific criteria that a basic lead generation video needs to include; keep reading to learn what they are.

3 Elements You Need In a Lead Generation Video

  1. Call to Action. Every video you create for your customers (or potential customers) needs to have a call to action, but this is especially true for a lead generation video. The goal is to gather information from your audience, such as their name and email address, so you can reach out to them in the near future. Your call to action should give them incentive and clearly direct them regarding how to provide these details.

  2. Include a Form. After you ask your viewers for their information, you need to provide a way for them to follow through and give them to you. A form at the end of your video is a convenient way for potential customers to leave their contact details and for you to upload it into your system.

  3. Provide a Benefit. What do your viewers get after filling out the form? Will they see something special like a sneak peek of a new product or service? Will they receive a special discount for providing their details? It’s not enough to ask them to fill out a form, they need to know that they will get something useful or exciting out for the deal.

While these are specific elements you need to include in your lead generation video, you don’t want to forget to arm your sales staff with the details of the video and any benefits they are able to share with their potential customers. Your video may gather the leads, but it’s up to your sales staff to close on them. Making sure they have everything they need to be successful is just as important as the video itself.

Do you want help putting together a one-of-a-kind lead generation video for your business? Contact me today to learn how Tabrizi Productions can make your video vision a reality!

Why You Need to Use High Quality Videos for Your Business

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We’ve been spending a lot of time recently discussing how to hire a video production company and how they can help your company, but we haven’t really talked about the importance of creating high quality videos. So in this post, we’re going to take the focus off the video production company, instead we're taking a look at the heart of the topic – the reason why high quality videos are important.

Why High Quality Videos are Important

Consumers are spending more and more time watching videos; they are easier to process, more engaging and can leave a stronger impression on the audience. Whether you are creating them for social media or your website, they are a smart choice to add to your business strategy to communicate your messages; however, shaky filming and background noise are distractions in communicating those messages. More than that, they can make people view your company as unprofessional and cheap.

Any video used for your business is a reflection of your brand. Once you upload a video to your website, on social media or anywhere else on the web, it is there forever - a permanent part of the internet. The last thing you want is to have a low-quality video be a permanent reflection on your business – especially if it happens to go viral and is seen by millions of people.

As BusinessTown states, “We all want the services we choose to look put together because it makes us sure that the company we ultimately choose to do business with truly does care about us as clients.”

While I am in full support of a company taking on the challenge of creating their own video content, it’s important you make sure you’re creating quality pieces that are a positive reflection of your business. Having the proper tools, some knowledge and a little guidance will go a long way in helping you do just that. Need help with your next video? Contact me today!

Do you really need to invest in video for business?

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One question I often hear is, “Do I really need to invest in video for business?” I always, without question, answer - Absolutely! Video is a powerful tool that will help your business grow internally and externally. Whether you’re a niche enterprise or a large chain retailer, video goes a long way to help your business succeed. There are numerous ways you can use video within your business to reach goals and milestones. If you’re interested in learning about a few, keep reading!

Video for Business Marketing

Over the last few years, video’s popularity has grown so dramatically that it has cemented itself as part of a business marketing strategy that you can’t ignore. With a little creativity and a well thought out plan, videos can help your business stand out from the rest with a unique and unforgettable voice, capturing and holding the attention of an audience while providing useful information. Add onto that the numerous ways you can now share video, from YouTube to social media and beyond, incorporating video into your marketing strategy is a no brainer.

Still not completely convinced that you need to include video as part of your business’ marketing strategy?

Earlier this year, Wowzyl and HubSpot released their State of Video Marketing Report for 2018 which provides some very useful stats on why video has become so important for businesses. Here are some insights worth pondering as you consider adding video to your marketing strategy.

  • In 2017, people watched an average of one-and-a-half hours of video a day, with 15 percent watching more than three hours of video every day! That’s a lot of opportunities to connect with your business’ audience.

  • In just one year, the amount of businesses that use video as a part of their marketing strategy grew by 81 percent – a growth of nearly 20 percent. There’s a pretty good chance your competition is already using video.

  • More than half of the 19 percent that did not use video in 2017 have planned to use it this year, which means that more than 90 percent of businesses will be using video in their marketing.

  • With video being more interactive than text, most people (72 percent) would rather watch a video to learn about a brand or product than read about it.

Need more? Here are a few more stats straight from HubSpot:

  • 97% of business’ say video has helped increase user understanding of their product or service.

  • 76% say it helped them increase sales.

  • 76% say it helped them increase traffic.

  • 80% of businesses say video has increased dwell time on their website.

  • 95% of people have watched an explainer video to learn more about a product or service.

  • 81% of people have been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand's video.

  • 69% of people have been convinced to buy a piece of software or application by watching a video.

  • 85% of people say they'd like to see more video from brands this year.

As you can see, business who use video in their marketing efforts often see amazing results in their engagement, website traffic and sales. From advertising to newsletters, videos are a terrific way to interact with your audience and need to be included in your marketing efforts.

Video for Business Training

Video for business training is a common tool used for new employees, but it is also an effective and often overlooked aspect for established employees. There are so many opportunities in which video can come into play outside of getting new team members up to speed on your company and their new roles.  If you’re wondering how to maximize your training efforts through video, here are three ideas that work wonders.

1.      Demonstrate How Your Products Work

Videos are a great way to teach your employees, whether they’re new team members or have been with your company long-term, how your products work. The better acquainted and the more in-depth their knowledge is about your products and services, the more successful they will be in their job roles. Videos are able to demonstrate better than text can ever explain the ins and outs of your business's offerings. Just remember to make sure these videos are easy to access so employees can refer to them whenever they need.

2.     New Management Training

Most often, when videos are used for training they’re used for entry-level employees who are new to your company. Did you know you can provide higher-level staff with coaching through video, too? Managers are the support system for your business. They offer guidance, support and training to those who help reach business goals. For a manager to be successful, they need to have support as well. Videos are a great way of offering guidance on how to manage their roles responsibly and provide them with the knowledge on how to help their team reach their objectives.

3.     Easily Accessible Training for All Employees

No matter what position an employee holds or how long they have been with your company, training videos provide an easy way to share new policies, products, services, or goals and can train them on how to use the information. Also, for established employees who have been with you company for longer period of time, easily accessible videos are a stellar way to refresh skills and knowledge.

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Video for Business Team Building

Team building with video is a novel way to transfer an understanding of your business culture to employees company-wide. There are multiple ways you can use video to build your team.

  • Introducing your entry-level employees with upper management. Often times in larger organizations and enterprises there is a lack of connection between upper and lower level employees causing a possible disconnect in your team. When your entry-level employees are familiar with who their managers are it creates a more unified organization. When your business spans multiple locations, it can be difficult to create unification between different departments. Video is the perfect solution to introduce the different members and departments of your team. Have them talk a little bit about their role, their history with the company, why they love their job and some personal details about themselves.

  • Sharing knowledge with others. A knowledgeable team is a strong team. Video is a fantastic way for more experienced employees to share their years of assembled knowledge with those who are newer to the company. When everyone has the same information and shares their insight, it creates a more dynamic team and enterprise.

  • Motivating employees to reach goals. Videos are naturally engaging and entertaining; because of this, they are a fantastic tool to motivate employees to reach goals. Having someone on video who is excited and enthusiastic about what they’re talking about is powerful. When everyone is eager and engaged in the goal, from the top down, it creates a team that is unified and willing to stick together to reach them.

  • Transfer Your Business’ Culture. Your business culture tells a complex story which is difficult to convey to new employees. The longer your company has been in business the more involved the story becomes! Video enables you to capture the unique picture that is your company culture. Elements of your organization's culture include:

o   How formal or informal your company is. Are jeans and t-shirts acceptable or is everyone required to wear formal business attire?

o   The diversity within your company, in all aspects.

o   The history of your business.

o   Unique advantages of your company. Are pets welcome? Do you offer a health bar or gym? Do employees get to work from home?

o   How much you value your employees – from entry-level to those at the top – and how you show your appreciation.

Video can highlight varying perspectives from different departments, can be used to bring employees up to speed and reveal comprehensive snapshots of your business and what makes it unique. A strong sense of culture creates a team that takes pride in the company they work for and is willing to go the extra mile to reach business goals.

Beyond marketing, training and team building, video also has the potential to welcome guests to your website, help onboard new staff and relay important messages about your organization. With so many ways video can be used, I stand by my answer – yes, you need to invest in video for business. Do you know of any other ways that companies can use video? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below, and don’t forget to contact me today to get started on your next video for business!

3 Effective Ways to Use Video for Training

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Video is one of the most efficient tools used for training employees, yet it is often overlooked beyond using it for new employees. There are so many opportunities for video to come into play beyond getting new team members up to speed on your company and their new roles. If you’re wondering how to maximize your training efforts through video, keep reading.

3 Ways to Use Video for Training

1.      Demonstrate How Your Products & Services Work

Videos are a great way to teach your employees how your products and services work, whether they’re new team members or have been with your company long term. The better acquainted and the more in-depth their knowledge is about your products and services, the more successful they will be in their job roles. Videos are able to show the ins and outs of your businesses offerings better than text can ever explain. Make sure these videos are easy to access so employees can refer to them whenever they need to review various ways to use your products and services.

2.     New Management Training

Most often, when videos are used for training they’re used for entry-level employees who are new to your company. Did you know you can provide higher-level staff with coaching through video, too? Managers are the support system to your business. They offer guidance, support and training to those who are within their supervision or department to help reach business goals. For a manager to be successful they need to have support as well. Videos are a great way to offer guidance for managing their roles responsibly and providing them with the knowledge they need to help their team reach their goals.

3.     Easily Accessible Training for All Employees

No matter what position an employee holds or how long they have been with your company, training videos provide an easy way to share new policies, products, services or goals, and can train them on how to use the information. Also, for established employees who have been with your company for longer period of time, easily accessible videos are a stellar way to refresh their skills and knowledge.

By using video beyond training new employees, you create a strong and confident workforce that is able to reach your business’ goals effectively. Want to learn how Tabrizi Productions can help you create training videos for your company? Contact me today!

Common Video Terms You Need to Know

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Have you decided to create a video for your business? I hope you have! Before you start filming or hire a professional, like myself, you need to have an understanding of the most common video terms used in the production process. This knowledge will help you understand all phases of the process, any tutorials you look up or information you’re given. Keep reading for a list of video terms from New Blue FX.

Common Video Terms

Aspect Ratio – This is the relation of your video’s height in comparison to its width such as 4:3 and 16:9.

Bit Rate – This is the amount of data used per second measured in kilobits per second (kbps).

Compositing – Used in the editing process, this video term combines multiple images together with your video editing software.

Compression – As it sounds, compression compresses the data in a video file to make uploading and downloading processes faster; it gives you more room for storage.

Crop Factor – As New Blue FX states, “Crop factor is a number (typically from 1.3-2.0) that represents the ratio of a sensor’s imaging area to that of a full frame sensor.”

Cut-in – Also known as an insert shot, “cut-in” is a type of shot which shows the object that your subject is in; it is helpful as b-roll.

Frame Rate – The rate that your shutter opens and closes or that your sensor captures video in a one-second period.

J-Cut – This video term is not short for jump cut (see below for its definition). This cut is used when editing footage so the audio from the next shot comes before the video.

Jump Cut – This is an abrupt and jarring change between clips such as the subject moving from one spot to another.

L-Cut – Opposite of a j-cut, this cut has the video’s image change from one shot to another with the audio continuing into the next clip instead of starting before.

Shot list – It is a list of all the shots that you, or the person shooting the video, wants to include as part of the production. You should have this list created before you start filming so you have an idea of the direction and needs of your shoot.

Storyboard – This video term refers to a board with illustrations of all the scenes in your production so you can visualize what the final product will look like.  

A-Roll – This footage is the interview portion of a video, with the subject on screen.

B-Roll – B roll is all the supporting footage that overlays the A-Roll, such as employees working or the office setting. For example, when used in the video, you may still hear the subject speaking from the A-Roll but the video shows the footage you recorded of employees working.

Lower Third - Graphic that shows up in the lower third of the screen with the name of the person onscreen along with their title.

Watermark or Bug - Logo graphic in a corner of the screen used for branding and copyright protection.

Render time - The time it takes to calculate all the layers, graphics and color to produce a final video output.

Export time - the time it takes to compress and convert the project into a file to upload.

Keep these video terms close at hand while you go through the video creation process. Armed with this knowledge, you’re now ready to create a visual masterpiece. Need help? Contact me today!

HOW TO USE VIDEOS IN THE ONBOARDING PROCESS

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Most of our blog posts to this point have focused on how to use video to engage with your customers and those outside of your business. However, video is also a fantastic way to interact with your employees, especially those who are new to your company!

Think back to when you started a new job. How did you feel? Were you nervous, maybe even a little scared? While landing a new job is exciting, it is often combined with those feelings of nervousness about the new journey that’s ahead. Videos in the onboarding process are a perfect way to engage with your new employees and to provide them with the tools they will need to be successful in their new role as well as ease any fears they may have.

4 Reasons to Use Videos in the Onboarding Process

Wondering why you should use video as part of the onboarding process? Here are four reasons from the eLearning Industry.

1. Videos provide storytelling.

Using videos as part of your onboarding allows you tell new employees your brand’s story as you want it told and in a way that resonates better than what they can get from pages in an employee handbook. Videos provide the perfect outlet for your new employee to connect visually and emotionally with your company.  These stories also open the door for discussions following the video, as well as opportunities for learning and development. Allen Communication explains, “By telling impactful stories, we help employees understand what their onboarding will cover in the future and prepare them to learn...Much like the flipped classroom, video can be a precursor to insightful discussions around the topics that will be critical for the onboarding process.”

2. Videos increase engagement.

Videos are a great way to keep new employees engaged in the learning and onboarding process. This engagement helps them adjust to their new role within your company while retaining information. Videos are able to create long-term memories for job duties and provide a connection with your brand that other, more traditional, methods cannot obtain.

3. Videos quicken the onboarding process.
Beyond engagement, videos are able to speed up the onboarding process. How does this help? When employees become more comfortable and confident in their new jobs at a quicker pace, it reduces the time and resources needed for training. This is especially true when there’s a lot of information for the employee to take in. It is an employer’s responsibility to effectively help employees confidently maneuver into their jobs so they can branch out and start developing themselves within their career and your company, and a standard video can ensure the trainer doesn’t miss any critical points.

4. Videos are cost effective.
Hiring and training new employees is one of the most expensive processes a business goes through. Videos with onboarding is not only cost-effective, but will provide a better return on investment (ROI) for an organization. Effective onboarding videos give employees the information they need and have the ability to motivate them to produce results that will allow them to succeed in their position within your business.

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4 Types of Onboarding Videos

Make sure your onboarding process is a memorable experience that creates excitement for new employees by letting them see more than words in a handbook. Videos are a great way to introduce them to different departments, people and activities within your company that they may not know of otherwise. Thankfully, you’re not limited to just one type of onboarding video; here are four you can take advantage of from Allen Communication.

1.      Expert-led webinars. Webinars led by experts are a great way to start the onboarding process and set expectations. They provide support for your new team members who are not familiar with the company’s expectations and can relieve any concerns they may have. According to Allen Communication, “By having experts engage with new employees, you add credibility to the topic, and you help put them at ease by providing them with a set of tools and techniques from a great source.”

2.     Screen captures. While there are numerous ways you can teach new employees, include writing down specific directions or creating a presentation that combines words and pictures to explain each step of the process along the way. A screen capture of the process while offering an audio explanation at the same time is an effective teaching method for several reasons. The article from Allen Communication explains, “They let the instructor talk in real time, which helps engage learners as if the instructor is right there with them. There are multiple screen capture programs available, and they are excellent tools to provide learners with an audio/visual look at a real-life process in action.”

3.     Video tutorials. Using video to walk your new employees through your company is another effective strategy, especially if your business is in manufacturing and production. Tutorial videos help employees get their footing in their new role and environment while also showing them where to go for important information and in emergencies. As the Allen Communication article states, “[Onboarding videos] also allow for a more detailed look at the intricacies of specific industrial machines, affording learners the ability to familiarize themselves with these machines without damaging the machine or hurting themselves.”

4.     Faces of the company. Onboarding videos also provide a great opportunity to introduce higher-level management to new employees, as well as the different departments and the culture within your organization, helping them get a better feel for the company as whole. Allen Communication explains, “You want the employees to feel at home and be comfortable in their new roles, and implementing this technique gives them that feeling that they are welcome. Also, it gives them an opportunity to see the real faces of employees and senior management of their place of work.”

Steps for Creating an Effective Onboarding Strategy

So how do you put onboarding videos to use for your company? Ponopto provides helpful steps to create an effective strategy, which include the following:

1.       Identify onboarding activities for all new employees. Before you can start using videos for onboarding, you need to know what actions are required to help your new employees begin their roles successfully. Once you have that information, you can strategize which types of videos will work best to reach your onboarding goals and which activities will need a different approach.

2.      Create a schedule. The first 90 days are important for new employee success and to keep turnover low. It’s important to remember to remain flexible so employees can fit their onboarding activities within their new responsibilities. Depending on how heavy of an onboarding program you have, try to space out videos over a period of time so you don’t overwhelm new employees. It can also be helpful to allow your team to have access to the onboarding videos beyond the scheduled times so they can review the videos on their own.

3.      Determine the video activities and schedule for individual groups.  While creating videos for all new employees is extremely helpful, creating specific videos for different roles, departments or locations within your company can have an extremely powerful effect on the onboarding process. It allows you to provide new employees with the specific tools they need to be successful in their new roles.

4.      Share your strategy. Don’t keep your plan to yourself; share it internally to help gain additional insight that can be used in the onboarding process. Ponopto explains, “Sharing your onboarding map across departments gives you the opportunity to add more useful cross-functional training activities to the map. Sharing your map can also help ensure your organization buys in to the new program.”

5.      Consistency is key. Once you have a plan finalized, it’s important to stick to it. You won’t see any real results if you don’t show every new employee the onboarding videos, or if you let them view only one of the videos they are supposed to watch.

6.      Monitor video activity. This often-overlooked step is just as important as the videos themselves. Over time, if you’re consistent with your plan, you will start seeing how well your onboarding videos are working. On the other side, if the videos are not resonating with new employees, you’ll be able to notice that too. Some key areas to monitor are the retention rates, new employee engagement and performance.

Final Thoughts

In addition to sharing your brand with new customers, videos are a fantastic chance to get your employees up to speed and start them off on the right foot. Onboarding videos are cost-effective, increase employee engagement and retention, and tell your company’s story in a way that manuals can’t. With the help of the steps above, you’ll be able to create a video that helps your employees reach their fullest potential as quickly as possible.

Ready to take the dive with onboarding videos, but need a little help? Tabrizi Productions has extensive experience with creating custom pieces that highlight what makes your business unique. Contact us today to learn how we can put your new team members at ease with an onboarding video!

HOW TO DETERMINE THE RIGHT VIDEO PLATFORM FOR YOUR BUSINESS

Are you ready to jump into the video world? Before you dive in headfirst, it’s important to understand which video platforms are available and how you can use them to meet different business goals. Keep reading for my breakdown on the different video hosting sites and how they can be used for different strategies.

But first, let’s explore how you can use video for your customers and your team.

How to Use Video for Business

Worldwide, businesses have realized the power of video for both internal and external uses. As Wistia perfectly states:

Learn which video platforms are the bet fit for your busiess

Learn which video platforms are the bet fit for your busiess

Business videos bring that human touch back to online business (and they also impact the bottom line). Videos help companies showcase the real people behind products and brands. They help boost email click-through rates. They help sales representatives close deals. They help support teams explain tough concepts in personable ways. In short, they help people make meaningful, memorable connections with teammates, customers, and prospects. You don’t have to take our word for it.

Here’s how your business can use the power of video in different ways:

  • Onboarding: Bringing on a new employee is exciting, but it’s also time consuming. Your organization is a complex unit with its own unique values, quirks and story to share, which can be hard to relay to new team members. Well done onboarding videos easily communicate these intricacies with new hires.

  • Training: Moving past the onboarding stage, videos are a great way to continue employee training and reinforce company values and standards. They provide visual and audio aid to walk employees through new tech and teach new skills.

  • Team Building: The most successful businesses run like a well-oiled machine with all parts working in sync. From the start with onboarding to continual knowledge sharing between departments and management levels, videos are a stellar way to keep everyone connected and working together as one cohesive unit.

Are you creating a new onboarding or informational video? Let your staff get in on the action; these are fabulous opportunities for team building. Whether it’s sharing a testimonial, providing personal insight or a little acting, getting people together from throughout your organization makes them feel valuable and offers a chance to connect with others they typically wouldn’t have a chance to click with.

  • Introductions: While there is nothing wrong with including images of team members on your site, videos are a more powerful tool; a photo doesn’t convey the personality and energy of person as strongly as video does. Create individual intro videos to highlight their unique character traits, role in the company, and special skills.

Don’t forget to create an intro for your business, too! It’s a chance for you to make a strong first impression with potential new customers or clients. A company intro video is a great place to share your brand’s message and provide a glimpse into the tone of your organization.

  • Advertising: As I mentioned above, videos convey personality and energy in a way that images can’t; beyond that, you can share more information in a short video than you can with a picture. For these reasons and with the rate people consume them, it makes complete sense to use video in your digital advertising campaign.

  • Content Marketing: From blog posts to social media, use videos to share knowledge, information and insight to establish why you’re an expert in your field. People love to feel connected with a business and content marketing with videos can help with this, too! Create behind the scenes videos that allow your audience to peek into an often unseen side of the business.

How to Choose a Video Platform

You decided to create an exciting video for your business! Fantastic! As you can see above, there are so many possibilities to incorporate this strategy into your organization. Looking beyond the video creation, however, do you know which platform you will upload your video to?

There are a few options out there, but the best one to choose depends on the goal of the video you’re creating. Continue reading for the pros and cons of four video hosting platforms.

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YouTube

When people think of uploading videos to the web, chances are pretty high they think of YouTube. Here are a few pros and cons to the video hosting giant.

Pros:

  • Free: As a business, cost is a factor in most if not all decisions. There is no cost to create an account and upload videos. This is great for businesses who don’t have a large budget or that just want to save a little money to invest elsewhere.

  • Analytics: One thing YouTube does well is provide tools to track and monitor video stats and analytics.

  • Audience: With more than a billion users, YouTube has the largest audience of the web hosting sites.

  • Compatibility: Sharing videos uploaded to YouTube on social media, in email and on other digital applications is super simple with many places including direct linking from the site.

Cons:

  • Saturated platform: With the platform being free and having more than a billion users, the result is a saturated platform, which can make it harder to break through the noise to reach people organically.

  • Ads: While ads are great way for you to reach new viewers, ads playing before your video open the door to people leaving before viewing your masterpiece.

  • Customer support: YouTube has an expansive library of help articles and forums which users can wade through to find the answer they need; however getting in touch with an actual support person when you don’t have time to dig is much more difficult.

Bottom Line:

If you’re on a tight budget and have a goal to reach as many people as possible, this is an ideal platform.

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Vimeo

Vimeo, although not as large as YouTube, is a popular video hosting platform that comes with its own set of pros and cons.

Pros:

  • Customizable player: Unlike YouTube, Vimeo provides users with customizable features including colors and end screens, which can help with your branding efforts.

  • Analytics: Vimeo offers users basic analytics to monitor their video performance and efforts with options to purchase additional metrics.

  • Community: If your video is for public facing, the community is an important consideration. Because this is a smaller platform with a mix of subscriber levels, the community of viewers is more active and engaged with the content

Cons:

  • Limited ‘free’ edition: You can sign up for a free account with Vimeo which offer basic features, but to get more customizations and higher end applications through the platform it’s going to cost you.

  • No advertising opportunities: There is no advertising on the platform, which is great for viewers but means that it can be more challenging to build a community if you’re using it for customer facing applications.

  • Storage: Unlike YouTube, Vimeo does not offer unlimited storage space. It does offer different levels of storage you can purchase based on your need and budget.

Bottom Line:

When engagement is a priority for your business Vimeo provides the opportunity to build a tighter community through the use of video.

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Wistia

You may not have heard of Wistia and that’s okay. Wistia is a little bit different from YouTube and Vimeo, but it offers some excellent value for business users.

Pros:

  • Business focused: As Wistia’s Phill Nottingham states in his article, Wistia vs. YouTube: What's The Difference?, “[The platform] is designed exclusively to serve companies using video on their websites for marketing. Essentially, Wistia is ideal for ‘on-site’ videos, and YouTube is a social video platform that requires a unique strategy.”

  • Website friendly: Wistia, as a platform for businesses, makes embedding video easier, and features better adaptability and loading speeds when compared to other video hosting sites

  • Analytics: Like the other video sites discussed above, Wistia also includes analytics to monitor performance. As Phill points out, "Wistia's in-depth analytics show you how your audience consumes and interacts with your videos."

Cons:

  • Not a social site: One thing to know about Wistia is that it’s not a social site like YouTube. If your goal is to reach as many people as possible, this will be a challenge on the platform.

  • Cost: Although there is a free account option, it is limited in the number of videos you can host and they include the Wistia branding mark. The next step above the free option is a little steep for a smaller budget, but worth the investment if you plan to use videos on multiple projects.

Bottom Line:

Use Wistia when your objective is to create stunning video for your website as a tool to drive leads and conversions.

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Panopto:

This video platform offers unique features that are not in the above websites discussed thus far. Here are a few benefits and slight drawbacks to Panopto that will help you decide if it is right for your organization.

Pros:

  • Employee training: If you’re looking for a site where you can host your employee trainings, whether live or recorded, Panopto provides users with the ability to create, host and share training videos.

  • Employee onboarding: Like training videos, this website also features the option to create, host and share videos to help your newest employees hit the ground running.

  • Internal video sharing: Have videos you want to share with your team? Panopto allows you to store and search videos on your company’s secure account.

  • Application integration: Panopto integrates into some of the leading enterprise tools and applications, such as Share Point and Blackboard.

Cons:

  • Cost: This platform does not offer a free account option. It does offer you the chance to request a free trial period to get a feel for the features and usability before committing to signing up.

  • Not a social site: This is not a platform meant to share videos with customers; it is strictly for use within the organization. That being said, it’s only a con if your goal is to create video that you can share both inside and outside your organization.

Bottom line:

If you have the budget and are going to use video for internal use, this is a solid option!

Final Takeaway

You’re not limited to one type of video or hosting site. Determine which options are within your budget and will get the results you’re after, and then just go for it! If you need help deciding or would like to know how Tabrizi Productions can create your next business masterpiece, contact me today!

​​​​​​​HOW VIDEO CAN BE A POWERFUL TEAM BUILDING TOOL

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Perhaps you have considered videos for marketing, but did you know your teams can also be strengthened through video? As evidence suggests, using video will not only help coordinate and connect departments that are usually separated, they can also improve your ROI, particularly if you take the leap and become one of the first businesses to use video for team building!

Read on to learn how video can dynamically work to transfer your business culture, coordinate employees in different departments, enable professional growth in novel ways and overall strengthen your company’s team.

1. Transfer Company Culture

Your business culture tells a complex story which is difficult to convey to new employees over time. In fact, the longer your company has been established the more involved the story becomes! Video enables you to capture the unique picture that is your company culture. It can help you:

·         Bring teams up to speed

·         Transfer legacy team knowledge

·         Reduce onboarding time

Video can highlight the varying perspectives from different departments and be used to bring employees up to speed or reveal comprehensive snapshots of your business’ trajectory.  Similarly, video can easily allow you to infuse your current teams with legacy knowledge from the past. Video also has the incredible ability to reduce the training time needed for new hires.

Give it a shot! When recording your culture videos, play with different formats. Document team meetings or project deliveries for first-hand takes, screen shots of software for training, interview employees for rich insights or try a combination of the above by creating a video montage. Check out these culture videos for more inspiration!

2. Differentiated Professional Growth

When it comes to training your team, research suggests that the more individualized the process the more meaningful the outcome will be. Video instruction has numerous benefits, including:

·         One on one learning

·         Standardized curriculum

·         Ability to reference in the future

The ability for video training to enable your employees to learn in a one on one style is priceless. Prerecorded content can be given to new recruits for them to learn at their pace. The material would be standardized without the hassle of leaving out important material until a mistake down the line necessitates the instruction. And because video can be played back as often as needed it works as a terrific reference tool when a new employee is taking on tasks in real time and wants to verify their understanding.

More companies are using video as a novel way to train new hires.

More companies are using video as a novel way to train new hires.

Give it a shot! There are many ways to leverage video for professional development. Try using it for virtual coaching, self-learning for employee promotion tracks or to leverage team collaboration outcomes.

3. Business Track Record

While most companies know that video can share information, some companies miss out on the insights videos can give to the content creators. Video analytics can provide:

·         A measure of reach and retention

·         The ability to refine training the curriculum over time

Video analytics available through YouTube, Vimeo or other CRM platforms are a means for your business to measure your team’s engagement. Is 100 percent of your team up to speed on the latest training requirements? Were there areas in the training that frequently resulted in pausing or drop offs? This information can help you better understand your team’s abilities and also help to refine onboarding techniques.

Give it a shot! Try creating a video tutorial for team collaboration. Shoot a brief perspective of each team and then share. Ask your employees for feedback of their new understanding. Look at the engagement numbers as well as the personnel feedback and brainstorm how you might refine future video curriculum whether by making it shorter, more or less informative, etc.

4. Team Building ROI

Team building is an investment in your business and its future. For many companies it’s an upfront cost without a measurable return on investment. However, team building with videos can enable you to:

·         Invest up front, but continuously reap the benefit

·         Analyze learning material in relation to team growth

Rather than continue to invest in printed materials, personnel trainers or dedicated office space, the use of videos for onboarding and professional development exercises requires an initial investment that can be reused over time. Plus, your ability to compare engagement and retention to real-life outcomes such as performance and company growth will provide a complete look at your business’ return on its investment. Team building with video is an upfront cost that saves time and makes money in the long run. The result is an additional avenue to achieve an ROI for your business.

Give it a shot! Try creating a fun team building video that highlights a problem and then invites employees to brainstorm and share possible solutions. Take a closer look at the numbers and measure every stage of the initiative from the engagement training video, to ideas submitted and ultimate outcomes.

5. First Mover Advantage

The early bird gets the worm, or so the saying goes. Because team building through video is still uncharted territory, it offers a novel way for your brand to get noticed. Here’s how to take advantage:

·         Don’t overthink your videos

·         Share videos outside of your company to gain recognition

The few companies using video for their team building programs are gaining recognition, such as T-Mobile’s Magenta program where employees can participate in training and professional development through self-driven video technology. Excitingly T-Mobile won an award for undertaking this cutting-edge approach to team growth.

Yet, to become a first mover you have to move!  Don’t aim for perfection as videos that have been over orchestrated are less likely to connect with viewers. Plus, early adopters are usually forgiven for mistakes and celebrated for their ingenuity and effort. The goal is progress over time with a tool that will lead to strong ROIs for your business.

Give it a shot! When it comes to having a first mover advantage, the key is to jump in and get your feet wet! Don’t obsess over perfection but do actively try to refine your team development efforts over time as you gain data and can evaluate your efforts.

6. Tips to Get Started

Ready to begin team building with video today? Keep these strategies in mind when jump starting your video team building efforts:

·         Learn from others breaking into video for team building.

·         Consider your company’s team building needs: recruit training, cross-team collaboration, professional development.

·         Commit to trying a few different video approaches to team building: first-person recordings of team work, interviews of employees or customers, screen shots of work in action or a montage of different formats.

·         Analyze the engagement and retention of your videos! Was there 100 percent participation? Did any participant have a lack of clarity or drop-off during the video training exercise?  

·         Refine your video content and approaches over time, aiming for progress over perfection!

·         Measure your business outcomes in relation to video data and track your business ROI.

·         Share your efforts outside of your business to raise awareness about your early adoption of team building through video tools.

Click through to learn more about how to successfully setup videos. Are you new to using video for your business? Take advantage of the internet’s changing algorithms that give preference to video content and consider more ways of adopting it for your company, such as marketing with video, ad campaigns, clarifying public relations initiatives and employee recruitment.

Whether you’re new to video or already using it, contact Tabrizi for insights on how to create and optimize videos for your business! Each company has a unique story that can lend itself to both new as well as proven video strategies and the Tabrizi team is ready to help you navigate this fast-growing tool.

Final Thoughts

Team building is an underdeveloped area for most companies with outdated practices or none at all. Video offers a unique approach to team building with many incredible benefits, including:

·         Bringing teams up to speed

·         Transferring legacy team knowledge

·         Reducing onboarding time

·         Providing one on one learning

·         Standardizing curriculum

·         Providing the ability to reference it in the future

·         Offering a measure of reach and retention

·         Enabling the refinement of training curriculum over time

·         Investing up front, but continuously reaping the benefits

Team building with video is a novel way to transfer an understanding of your company culture to new hires across time. It’s a strategy that offers economical training and professional development that provides data for further curriculum refinement. The use of video for team building requires upfront costs, but the potential to save time and money over time results in a measurable ROI for your business.

If your business is already using video for other purposes, such as marketing, consider adding team development content to your video plans. Whether you’re new or experienced at video integration for your business I’m thrilled to help bring your video ideas into reality; contact me to discuss your company and video goals.

3 Reasons to Tell Your Brand’s Story with Video

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Focusing on your brand’s story is a key strategy for many businesses, but did you know that video is quickly becoming the ultimate tool to tell (and share) your company’s tale? In fact, mega social media platform Facebook recently announced they intend to spend more than a billion dollars promoting videos over traditional words and still image content.

With major players shifting their focus to video, businesses both big and small should consider these 3 valuable reasons for adopting a video strategy for their brands.

1. Share insights about your story and team

Business is all about taking your ideas and making them into a reality. In a similar fashion, when it comes to video it’s all about taking the plunge and getting started.  Don’t be afraid to begin a video campaign and refine the process as you go – waiting for perfection means delaying results! The most important step is to begin telling your story and learn as you go.

One concept taking hold in the video content industry is stage theory. It works like this: every aspect of your brand’s story is a stage. If you had a team meeting brainstorming your company video, that can become a video in itself. Try to imagine video as less of an end-product and more as a powerful tool to capture the unique story of your business in all it’s varied stages, both official undertakings as well as backstage endeavors.

In this light, a video can never be a mistake as even the mistakes work in your favor by offering authentic insights into your story and team.

2. Engage your audience in a meaningful way

Video also offers an easy way to interact with your market. Because it can capture authenticity and often feel like a first-person perspective, customers can watch your brand’s video and feel connected to your business.

Once connected, a customer can conveniently follow your brand and be alerted for video updates on Facebook, YouTube, etc. effortlessly helping to keep them engaged. Additionally, video content is easily shared on desktop and mobile devices helping to spread your business’ message to new potential customers. 

Beyond following your story, customers can comment on your videos and make valuable suggestions for content that your next video can include. This feedback doubles as free market research as well as offering your customers a stake in the overall story.

Video is a powerful way to retain your audience and spread your message all while refining your story with real-time feedback.

3. Take advantage of the ultimate stage

If a story took place and wasn’t documented on social media, did it happen at all? Research shows people are beginning to view social media as the ultimate stage. Just as users are more likely to subscribe to brands that have video content, social media algorithms have announced they intend to favor video content as well.

Yet, social media offers additional benefits for companies having a video strategy. Analytics from social media platforms provide valuable insights about the click-throughs, drop off rates, and shares that show the power of your message through numbers.

The ability to monetize your videos is yet another reason to consider producing video over static content.

Final Thoughts

With the potential to authentically share your story, engage your audience and measure awareness of your brand through numbers, video is the content on which major players are heavily betting. When it comes to jumping in and making a video of your brand’s story a reality, what are you waiting for?