video elements

A Homepage Video: How To Make An Unforgettable First Impression

For the vast majority of visitors to your site, your homepage video is the first experience they will have with your business and your brand. That’s why it’s so important to make a positive first impression that sticks in their mind – before they click away and get distracted by e-mail, social media or, worst of all, your competitors.

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There are a million different ways to craft a delightful introduction while also driving conversions, but there are also some painful mistakes that will drive potential people away. So, without further ado, here are some valuable do’s and don’ts for your homepage video from the video software and hosting company Wistia.

Do Make Your Value Clear In Your Homepage Video

Make sure you quickly answer the question that everyone wants to know: What does your business actually do? Few things are more frustrating than visiting a website, clicking through their content, and still having no idea what exactly their business is all about.

Use your homepage video to highlight your key points in a casual but informative way. What problem do you solve? How will your product or service change things? Speak in a way that will resonate with your target audience, be clear and conversational, and get to the point.

Do Know The Audience You Are Targeting With Your Homepage Video

For first-time visitors, your homepage video is your chance to nail first impressions. Incorporate key elements of your brand and try to create a consistent theme that’s reflected in the rest of the content throughout your site.

By knowing your audience well, you should be able to pick out some of the elements of your brand that will resonate with them. Your homepage video is a unique opportunity to engage with your viewers, showcase your brand and leave a lasting impression. Consider featuring some of the people who work at your business to give viewers a better understanding of who makes up your business, and help them focus on emotion instead of numbers.

Do Test Out Autoplaying Homepage Video

The expert debate on whether or not to autoplay video is a heated one. Some marketers support it for its immediacy and effectiveness, while others hate that it takes the choice away from the viewer, slows down the website’s load time and can be generally annoying. The reality is there’s no right answer. The best way to find out what works for your website is to test it both ways and see what the analytics say gets the best response.

If you decide in favor of autoplaying your homepage video, here are some tips to minimize the annoyance risk factor:

·         Keep the video short and sweet

·         Don’t show too much motion

·         Keep everything else on your page static

·         Make your video silent or sound optional

Do Put Your Homepage Video Front And Center

If you’re going to put video on your website’s homepage, don’t make your visitors scroll to find it! Since web video is such a strong driver of conversions, your video should be featured front and center.

You should also look at the rest of the content on your page, to make sure your video doesn’t have to compete with other design elements.

Here’s an example of a home page video created by Tabrizi Productions for RF and microwave technology company Marki Microwave.

Don’t Set Broad Goals For Your Homepage Video

Your goals can change, but they should always be targeted! If you need some help getting on track, give the SMART formula a try. Your goals should be:

·         Specific - Ask yourself what exactly you hope to get out of your content marketing technique.

·         Measurable - In order for your goals to be successful, you need to be able to measure them against some benchmark.

·         Attainable - Make sure your goal is reasonable and don’t set the bar too high.

·         Relevant - How will the content marketing technique help your customers and your company?

·         Time-bound - Make sure you do set a time limit to reach these goals. Not setting a deadline for success will make it hard to measure your results.

Keep in mind also that your video doesn’t need to do all the work. It may be what gives visitors their first impression, but all other content on your site should also be a part of that SMART formula.

Don’t Get Too Detailed In Your Homepage Video

It might be tempting to try and squeeze in every last detail about your business into your homepage video, but please don’t! For almost every homepage video, a length of two minutes or less is ideal. This type of content should be more like an appetizer for your business – not the whole meal. If your viewers want more information after watching your it, there are other places on your website where they can get it.

Research shows that the best videos are between 15 seconds and two minutes in length depending on its purpose. According to Wistia’s Ezra Fishman, “Two minutes is the sweet spot. After that, the drop-off in engagement is significant.” Ezra goes on to say, “Short and sweet is a safe strategy. Assume that your viewers are busy. But don't sweat over a few seconds here and there if you're still going to come in under the two-minute mark.”

Avoid using a strong call to action in the homepage video, too. How would you feel if someone said hello and then immediately asked you to buy something or make a donation? At most, you want to pique viewer’s interest, develop brand interest and provide the must-know details.

Here’s a refresher from the Tabrizi blog on how to you get your message across in two minutes or less.

  • Know The Purpose of Your Video. In order to clearly communicate with viewers, you need to know the purpose behind your message. What is it that you want them to take away from your video?

  • Write Out A Script. A script will help you keep focused on the purpose of your video and the main message you want your audience to know. As you write your script, try to include as many of the five W’s as possible - Who, What, When, Where and Why, as well as the How if it makes sense.

  • Practice, Practice, Practice! The more you practice your script, the easier it will be to get your message across confidently and within two minutes when it’s time to record. I recommend practicing in front of a mirror and for family or friends a couple of times before you record.

Don’t Sacrifice Good Copy Because Of Your Homepage Video

Even if your homepage video knocks it out of the park, there’s no reason to leave the rest of your homepage text free. For SEO purposes, if nothing else, text is necessary. If your video doesn’t autoplay, you’ll want copy that persuades visitors to watch it. If they don’t watch the video, your copy needs to do the job of grabbing attention and getting your message across.

Action-oriented words like click, start, download, register, sign up or try are also effective at driving a specific action, so be sure to incorporate those on your homepage in addition to your video.

Don’t Let Your Homepage Video Get In The Way

Ultimately your homepage is just a gateway to the rest of the site, designed to encourage further interaction. A homepage video should assist with that – not deter it. If you worry that an autoplaying video will turn visitors away, consider making it silent or using music with text titles instead of a voiceover.

A Positive Customer Experience Comes First

If you’re ever struggling with what to do, just consider the viewer’s experience above all else and let that guide you. Video is just one of the elements that makes up a successful homepage, but it may be the reason yours stands out from the rest. First impressions are crucial and video makes an instant, memorable impact.

Do you want help creating a homepage video that will make an unforgettable first impression? Contact Tabrizi Productions today for a consultation.

Get Professional Video Visuals With Ease And Affordability (Part 2)

In Part 1 we covered how to choose your location and frame the best shots. Now we wrap it up with lighting and wardrobe!

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Make Your Video Visuals Pop With Good Lighting

The right lighting helps to set the mood and ensure your viewers can actually see what you want them to. There’s a lot you can do with a budget camera or even your phone, but if you’re trying to shoot a video in the dark it just isn’t going to happen.

So how do you decide what kind of lighting kit you’ll need? There are a lot of options and plenty of confusing terminology, but for most scenarios one of these setups suggested by Biteable is all you need.

Two Or Three-Point Lighting

A three-point lighting setup is the standard for most basic filming. As the name suggests, it’s accomplished using three lights:

Key light: The key light is the strongest, providing most of the light in the shot. It’s generally placed in front of your subject, around 45-degrees above and 45-degrees to the right or left.

Fill light: This is a softer light, used to fill in shadows on the subject’s face. It should be positioned to the side, opposite the key light. The intensity of the fill light is usually around half that of the key light.

Back light: The back light creates depth and provides a soft glow in the background. It’s placed above and behind the subject, and out of the shot.

If you’re just getting started with lighting or have a limited budget, you can get by with a two-point setup that uses just the key and fill lights. While the back light adds a nice depth to your background, it’s not necessarily essential.

Natural Outdoor Lighting

If you’re shooting outdoors or in a space with very large windows, you can use the sun’s natural light to illuminate your scene. Photographers and filmmakers love the “golden hour” in early morning and late evening for its soft and flattering golden light.

There are drawbacks to relying on natural light however. The sun can be too intense, casting harsh shadows on your subject. It also moves and changes in intensity as the weather shifts and clouds pass overhead. All of these can affect the light and color quality and make it difficult to achieve consistency in your shots, but with careful planning and adjustments you can certainly pull it off.

Many video makers who use natural light like to use a variation on the three-point lighting setup described above. You can place your subject so the sun provides your key light, with reflectors to provide fill and back lights.

During the golden hour, when light is softer, the subject can also be positioned in front of the sun, using it as a back light, with reflectors providing the key and fill lights. You’ve just got to be quick before the light changes too much.

Wardrobe Is The Cherry On Top Of Video Visuals

You’ve picked your location, set up the lighting and framed the shot – all that’s missing is your subject. Make sure that they always look their best and that their clothes don’t distract from the rest of the scene with these tips from personal stylist and branding consultant Nicole Otchy.

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Wear Jewel Tones Near

Your Face

The colors near your face will either drain you of life or highlight your best features. There’s a palette of colors that look best on each of us and especially great on video. Ruby red, emerald green, and sapphire blue are highly saturated colors, so they don’t appear too bright or too muted against most backgrounds, and they look great with all different skin tones.

Be Careful With Black

When it comes to wearing black on camera, avoid it altogether unless you plan on having your makeup done by a professional who can color correct for shadows on the face. Wearing black on camera can make dark circles appear more pronounced, giving you a more tired look. If you really want to wear a dark color on camera, navy is generally a safer choice.

Choose Simple Fabrics

Looking like a disco ball on camera is not always the best style to shoot for. Shiny fabrics, especially under bright lights, are usually less than flattering. Thick cottons and matte fabrics, on the other hand, dampen shadows and can create a smoother body profile line.

Keep It Modern

Another advantage of wearing solids is that your videos won’t look dated as quickly. That vintage pant suit you thrifted last week? Keep it in your closet. Rich, saturated colors never go out of style, so it’s best to keep it simple.

Use Patterns Sparingly

Patterns that look great in person don’t always translate well on camera and can be distracting. Avoid small, busy prints (think paisley or small polka dots), which can look blurry on video. Other patterns like pinstripes, chevron, plaid and houndstooth are also difficult to see on video and can make your viewers dizzy.

Choose Your Backdrop Wisely

The color you shoot your video against will impact how a color that you’re wearing translates on camera. Colors set against a white background will appear brighter, while colors set against a dark background will lose some of their intensity.

Let Tabrizi Help!

Strong visuals are a vital part of polishing even the most straightforward of videos. Even something as basic as instructions or corporate onboarding can be improved with these techniques.

Tabrizi has the tools and the knowledge to make sure your videos show off your project in the best light. Contact us for a free consultation and let’s start planning! 

Get Professional Video Visuals With Ease And Affordability (Part 1)

Want to create a polished, professional video that makes your audience believe it came from a professional studio? It’s easier than you think. Instead of dropping thousands on top-of-the-line equipment, try these easy and affordable (free is definitely affordable) techniques to take your video visuals to the next level.

Choose A Location That Matches Your Desired Video Visuals

The location of your video will help set the mood and tone and everything that follows, so you want to make sure you have the right one. Are you talking about extreme sports? Stay out of the board room! Is this a corporate onboarding video for new employees? The middle of your nearest park probably isn’t the best choice.

 Videomaker Magazine has some great tips on how to scout the best spots, and what to look for before making a decision. Here are a few of the most useful:

1.      Know Your Script

Choose a site that matches the tone of your video. As you set out to look at locations, you have potentially endless possibilities. Remember that above all you have a story to tell, and choose a location that lends itself to that. Don’t let your location limit your story, instead.

2.     Scout At The Right Time

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Be aware that locations can change. It's wise to check your spot on the day of the week and the time of day that you'll be taping: these factors can produce surprisingly large changes on the suitability of a location.

Automobile traffic and noise, visitors to recreation and entertainment spots, and tourists at scenic or historic areas (to name just a few examples) all come in waves that vary dramatically based on the time of day, the day of the week and the season.

3.     Look At The Light

Churches, ballrooms, restaurants, auditoriums and homes generally feature low amounts of available lighting. Check light levels by shooting a few seconds of test footage with your camcorder.

Solutions for poor lighting might be as simple as scouting out window blinds and curtains that can be opened to add daylight. In some cases you may wish to bring in lights or ask permission to replace the bulbs in accessible light fixtures with brighter-burning units.

4.    Follow The Sun

Outdoor lighting conditions can be as challenging as those indoors; exterior illumination changes all day long. As you're scouting locations, pay attention to whether a given spot is in full sun, partial sun or full shade. Bright sun can be harsh on people's faces, and light-colored surfaces can blow out in full sunlight, causing automatic camcorder lenses to underexpose shots. Partial sun can be tricky, as well; today's camcorders, though sophisticated, can have trouble handling the high contrast in this situation. Ultimately, you may find that fully shaded locations or overcast days produce the most consistent results.

5.     Listen

Clean, high-quality sound is critical in making a video that rises above the ordinary, and it’s silence that ensures you get the location sound that you came for.

The whooshing of traffic, the white noise of moving water, and the echoes of voices and movements can all get in the way of high-quality audio. As you scout a location, check for any of these conditions by listening to your camcorder's microphone pickup through headphones. Test your wireless mike at the site as well, listening closely for any type of interference.

6.    Check For Power Supplies

Many outdoor locations are far from power sources and even some indoor locations can pose AC challenges, so multiple camera batteries are always a good idea. But you'll still need to evaluate your power options at any location.

How will you power your lights? What if you do end up draining all your batteries? Is there anywhere to plug in the charger? Is the spot remote enough to make a car-lighter AC adapter a good idea? In a location that does have power, you may be able to plug in, but you'll still need to think about the system's pre-existing load and whether or not you can get to the fuse (breaker) box in case something blows.

Set Each Shot With Video Visuals In Mind

Even if you’re not setting out to make a contender for next year’s Academy Award for Best Cinematography, how you construct your individual shots can go a long ways towards raising the quality of your video.

Framing

Premium Beat, a great resource for royalty-free music, also has some great resources on their blog for video production.

1.      Use The Rule Of Thirds

The rule of thirds simply states that you want to think of your shot in three main parts: left, center and right. You can take this one step further by composing your shot vertically as well, breaking it into top, middle and bottom for a total of nine individual segments.

Placing your main object in one of the main thirds will go a long way towards framing a technically sound shot. There may be times when you want to go against the rule of thirds, but it should always be a calculated choice and never because of lazy technique.

2.     Create Symmetry (Or Asymmetry)

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Creating symmetry is one of the most effective ways to frame a shot that will feel well composed on a screen. Symmetry provides the viewer with a sense of balance that subconsciously allows them to become immersed in what they are watching – drawing them further into the characters, setting, or scene by the leading lines in the frame.

On the other hand, images that are intentionally off balanced will create a sense of disconnection and instability for the viewer, which can work well for horror, thriller, or high action.

3.     Avoid Eye Level Shooting

Placing the camera at eye level with your subject can leave the scene feeling sterile and unemotional. It can work well for videos that are intentionally benign, or for a documentary-style shoot, but in most instances your best bet is to place the camera slightly above or below eye level.

That slight angle can help you either diminish or empower the character on screen, and guide the emotional experience of your viewer.

4.    Have A Theme

It’s important that you have a theme or guideline for yourself when setting out to shoot any project. An example of a visual theme or motif that you might choose to explore would be empty space.

Let’s say you are shooting a film that deals with very lonely characters that feel isolated from each other. It would be a great visual choice to shoot them with lots of open, empty space on either side of them so that their loneliness and isolation is conveyed to the viewer effectively. You also might choose to frame the characters in single shots, as opposed to two shots, since that will also make them feel more disconnected from each other.

This clearly is just one example, but the point is you want to pick a theme and run with it – whatever it may be, to ensure that you are creating a distinct visual style that is unique to your film.

5.     Shoot With Intention

Think about every single one of your shots and consider how you want it to add to the story you’re trying to tell. If you’re going to break the “rules,” make it intentional. By understanding the purpose behind the rules you are breaking, you will understand the effect your approach will have on the audience and the meaning behind your intentions will be felt.

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Background

It only takes a second, but if you don’t catch a mistake in the background while you’re shooting it could haunt you every time the video is watched. Don’t believe me? Check out this list from Cracked that points out glaring mistakes in some pretty big movies.

Take a close look at the shot through your camera and make sure there is nothing awkward in the background that gives your actors antenna, or makes it look like buildings and trees are sprouting from their head.

Part 2 Is Coming

There’s so much great information to go over still, make sure you stay tuned for part two!

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.

How To Use Color To Your Advantage In A Marketing Video

How To Use Color To Your Advantage In A Marketing Video

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Color can make or break a video. When it’s done perfectly it adds a new depth to the story while remaining perfectly innocuous. Get it wrong and it can pull the viewer entirely out of your story. While the exact science behind the psychology of color seems to be a popular topic of debate across the internet, anecdotal evidence abounds. Let’s start with a quick breakdown from The Los Angeles Film School.

Considering The Psychology of Colors for Your Video

Red

Red represents intense feelings, including aggression, happiness, love and passion. Red also brings to mind ideas of action, adventure, danger, power and strength. 

The color red is popular with food companies as well, possibly due to a controversial study that found the color accelerated heart rate and breathing, resulting in a stimulated appetite. Take a look at companies like McDonald’s, Wendy’s, KFC, Red Robin, Arby’s and more to see just a few of the thousands of examples.

Orange

Orange is a combination of red and yellow, and the emotional and mental responses it creates tend to be a combination of the two. In a video orange can represent joy, creativity and stimulation, which makes it a popular color in marketing targeted at children. However it can also represent attraction, success, passion and aggression.

Yellow

Yellow is known for competence, concentration and curiosity. It’s also viewed as cheerful, playful and positive – as long as you view it in small doses. If the color is overwhelming a scene in your video, it can encourage feelings of stress and frustration. In fact according to research, when placed in a yellow room babies cry more and people are more likely to lose their tempers.

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Green

Possibly because of its prevalence in nature, green is commonly associated with nature, healing, renewal, growth and calmness. However it’s inseparable link to the color of US currency also lends its use to images of greed, luxury, good taste and envy.

Blue

A study from a University of Washington student found that blue is the favorite color of the majority of adults, even across gender lines. Blue can be used to instill feelings of calmness and peace, and can spark creativity. Blue is often used on video to represent competence, loyalty, productivity and high quality. It is also representative of the traditional idea of masculinity.

Purple

You’re likely familiar with the idea that purple represents royalty. In that vein, it’s often used on video to evoke ideas of wealth, luxury, sophistication, power, sincerity and authority. Purple is also seen as a “rare” and “artificial” color because it is not often seen in nature.

Pink

Just as blue is linked with masculinity, pink is often related to the feminine. It evokes ideas of romance and love, and brings to mind the themes of gentleness, gratitude, innocence, playfulness, happiness, tranquility and youth.

Black

Using black on video can have many associations with both positive and negative feelings. It signifies grief, fear, mystery and evil, but also simplicity tradition and sophistication. Black features heavily in religious settings as well, indicating feelings of humility and submission.

White

White is most often used to represent innocence, purity, sincerity and happiness. However it can also instill feelings of emptiness, or encourage associations with sterility and clinical settings.

How Colors Have Been Used In Film and Video

Color Helps Viewers Follow The Story

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We think of early films as black and white, but color has been around since the beginning. It may not be the bright technicolor vision that you think of whenever someone mentions The Wizard of Oz, but there were numerous complex techniques dating back to the 1800s for including tints and pigments to film.

This still is from the first horror movie ever made, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, which was released nearly 100 years ago. Instead of a stark black and white however, the film has a decidedly brown tint and, if you look closely, red shadows.

This is not a unique occurrence. While adding color to film was still a laborious process requiring many hours and hazardous chemicals, it was a reliable way to help viewers follow along with a story that may jump rapidly between characters, locations and storylines. In fact, it was the introduction of sound to movies that made the process too difficult and low-quality to continue, and severely limited its use until Technicolor’s rise to prominence in the 1930s.

Color Emphasizes Emotions in the Video

Danielle Feinberg, the director of photography for Pixar, refers to herself as color obsessed in her TED Talk, saying, “Lighting and color are the backbone of emotion.” For each film Feinberg says they lay out a color script that maps out all the hues for each scene so they fit within the larger story arc. Here is what she said in reference to the opening of Pixar’s 2008 film WALL-E:

Photo Courtesy of Oleg Mikhaylov

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We had to do massive visual storytelling because there’s no dialogue — only robot boops and beeps. Yet, we needed the audience to understand that we’re on Earth, that it’s polluted, and that WALL-E’s the last one left. So we limited the palette to tans and oranges. Our production designer was adamant that there be no green anywhere, because he wanted a visual punch when WALL-E finds a plant for the first time. Your eyes have been washed in a limited palette and suddenly there’s intense green. It cerebrally makes a difference.

Color Conveys Different Ideas

Filmmaker Lewis Bond features on a YouTube channel about the craft of filmmaking, and has an easy to understand explainer on color in film. Bond delves briefly into how colors can reveal a film’s meaning, and encourages viewers to keep an eye out for repeated color patterns. “When a color repeats, it’s associated with an idea. When the color changes, it shows you the concept has changed.”

How Can You Use All This In Your Video?

Now that we’ve covered the impact of colors themselves, how can you apply this information in your marketing video?

Product Display

If you have physical goods you are selling, think about how they will be displayed and what you can control. Will your item be sitting on a table? Consider dressing the surface with a tablecloth, or building a small scene for it featuring items of various complementary and contrasting colors. Think about who your target audience is and how you want your product to be viewed, then dress the scene accordingly.

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Dress The Part In Your

Video

Will you or another individual be speaking to the camera? It’s important that the focus is on your words and not on your outfit. Nicole Otchy, a personal stylist and branding consultant from Boston gave these six tips on dressing for the camera to production company Wistia.

  • ·         Wear Jewel Tones Near Your Face. The colors near your face will either drain you of life or highlight your best features. There’s a palette of colors that look best on each of us and especially great on video. Ruby red, emerald green, and sapphire blue are highly saturated colors, so they don’t appear too bright or too muted against most backgrounds, and they look great with all different skin tones.

  • ·         Be Careful With Black. When it comes to wearing black on camera, avoid it altogether unless you plan on having your makeup done by a professional who can color correct for shadows on the face. Wearing black on camera can make dark circles appear more pronounced, giving you a more tired look. If you really want to wear a dark color on camera, navy is generally a safer choice.

  • ·         Choose Simple Fabrics. Looking like a disco ball on camera is not always the best style to shoot for. Shiny fabrics, especially under bright lights, are usually less than flattering. Thick cottons and matte fabrics, on the other hand, dampen shadows and can create a smoother body profile line.

  • ·         Keep It Modern. Another advantage of wearing solids is that your videos won’t look dated as quickly. That vintage pant suit you thrifted last week? Keep it in your closet. Rich, saturated colors never go out of style, so it’s best to keep it simple.

  • ·         Use Patterns Sparingly. Patterns that look great in person don’t always translate well on camera and can be distracting. Avoid small, busy prints (think paisley or small polka dots), which can look blurry on video. Other patterns like pinstripes, chevron, plaid and houndstooth are also difficult to see on video and can make your viewers dizzy.

  • ·         Choose Your Backdrop Wisely. The color you shoot your video against will impact how a color that you’re wearing translates on camera. Colors set against a white background will appear brighter, while colors set against a dark background will lose some of their intensity.

Whether you plan on making a cinematic piece, or simply a short instructional video, color is one of the most important tools in your toolbox. And no matter how fluid the science behind color psychology, there’s always one consistent: if you’ve done it right, no one will be able to tell you’ve done anything at all.

Are you considering introducing video to your marketing plan, or expanding your current video collection? Tabrizi Productions can help you achieve your vision from the first script to the final, appropriately colored, video. Contact us today to get started.

HOW TO GET YOUR VIDEO’S MESSAGE ACROSS IN TWO MINUTES OR LESS

Learn how to get your message across in two minutes or less.

Learn how to get your message across in two minutes or less.

If you’ve been reading my other blog posts, you’ve learned different ways to use video for business, which platforms you can use, what it takes to create an intro video that stands out and more. It’s a tool that every business can and should take advantage of. No matter the type of video you choose, you need to make sure you stay focused on the message you want viewers to walk away with.

Research shows that the best videos are between 15 seconds and two minutes in length depending on its purpose. According to Wistia’s Ezra Fishman, “Two minutes is the sweet spot. After that, the drop-off in engagement is significant.” Ezra goes on to say, “Short and sweet is a safe strategy. Assume that your viewers are busy. But don't sweat over a few seconds here and there if you're still going to come in under the two-minute mark.”

Watch this video we created for a terrific example of how to stay on message then continue reading to learn a few tips that will help you keep your video in the sweet spot.

How to Share Your Message in Two Minutes or Less

1.       Know The Purpose of Your Video. In order to clearly communicate with viewers you need to know the purpose behind your message. What is it that you want them to take away from your video?

2.      Write Out A Script. A script will help you keep focused on the purpose of your video and the main message you want your audience to know. As you write your script, try to include as many of the five W’s as possible - Who, What, When, Where and Why, as well as the How if it makes sense. And don’t forget the call to action at the end!

3.      Practice, Practice, Practice! The more you practice your script, the easier it will be to get your message across confidently and within two minutes when it’s time to record. I recommend practicing in front of a mirror and for family or friends a couple times before you record.

Remember, videos under two minutes have the most engagement; to get your message across quickly keep your video’s purpose in mind, write out a script and spend some time practicing.

Do you want help creating a one-of-a-kind masterpiece to showcase your business? Contact me today for a consultation on how I can meet your video needs. 

3 ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS YOU NEED TO INCLUDE IN YOUR INTRO VIDEO!

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How do you introduce your business on your website? Do you provide some basic text and images, or do you include exciting elements like animated graphics and video? While many companies rely on just text and images on their website, I highly recommend creating an intro video! Do you want to know why? Keep reading to find out why and to discover the three essential elements every great intro video includes!  

Why You Need an Intro Video

An intro video is your chance to make a strong, personalized first impression with new customers when they visit your site. As with first impressions between people who are face to face, an intro video will have a major impact on the course your relationship with viewers and you only have a brief moment to make it a positive one. But why should you have a video? Why not wait until they call or visit your location? Here are a few key statistics Forbes highlighted that show just how powerful video is:

  • During the decision making process, 90 percent of people have said that they chose a product or service because of a video they saw.

  • Conversion rates increase up to 80 percent when you include a video, such as an intro video, on a landing page.

  • More than 60 percent of people are more likely to buy a product online after watching a video.

  • Using videos will help you gain more than a 4o percent increase in web traffic from search engines compared to companies who don’t use them.

  • When given the option between reading about a topic and watching a video, most would choose to watch the video.

  • Video consumption will account for 80 percent of internet traffic by 2019.

  • 55 percent of people watch videos online every day.

As you can see by these statistics, incorporating video into your business plan is becoming more important, and an intro video is a perfect opportunity to jump on board.

3 Common Types of Intro Video

When it comes to creating an intro video for your business there are a few directions you can take it. Determining the goals for the video (an essential element which we will discuss further in this post) will help you narrow down which option, or combination of options, would be the best fit. Here are three of the most common types of intro videos you can create for your business.

1.       Welcome. This is the basic type of intro video that any can use, from small startups to large enterprises. In this video, you should tell visitors who you are, what your brand is and how you’re different. By the time people are done watching they should have a strong vision of you and your business.

In these videos it’s important that the tone and feel you present matches with the rest of your brand. If your company is lighthearted and embraces humor, don’t be afraid to use this in your video. If your brand is more serious and technical, make sure that stands out through your appearance and language.

2.      Testimonial. Your client’s opinion of your business is powerful! Where a welcome video is you talking about your brand, in a testimonial intro, your customers speak to what makes your business the one to work with. Don’t be afraid to reach out to past clients to ask them for their help. Their word is viewed as more reliable and trustworthy to those who are just coming across your business for the first time.

3.      Portfolio. Don’t just talk the talk, show that you can also walk the walk with a portfolio intro video. This is a fantastic opportunity to show off the projects you’re most proud of and highlight your range of skills. While you don’t want to come across as bragging and arrogant, you do want to make it clear you know what you’re doing and are the best company to fit the needs of your visitor; a video of your best work is the perfect way to share this.

All three of these options can stand alone as their own individual videos, or you can spice things up a bit by including a mix of the different options! Don’t hesitate to play with ideas that work for your business, but make sure you keep your target audience in mind as you do.

A portfolio video is a great way to show off your skills, like this one featuring our ability to create animated videos for a wide range of products and services.

Essential Elements of an Intro Video

No matter the type of intro video you choose to create, there are a few elements that you need to include. They will help keep your focus on the objective of the video, allowing you to make the best first impression with potential new clients.

  • Have a Goal: What’s the goal of your video beyond introducing them to your brand, services and team? Your goal needs to be specific and measurable while relating to the type of video you want to create. A great way to narrow down what you want to achieve from your video is to ask yourself questions like these:

  1. Do I want people to explore my website?

  2. Do I want them to contact me?

  3. Do I want viewers to purchase my products or services?

Once you know the type of goal you want to achieve, how much of an increase do you hope to see and in what time period? As a word of caution though, make sure your goals are realistic and achievable. Creating unrealistic goals sets you up for disappointment when you don’t achieve them.

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  • Create a Script: Before you start recording, it’s important to know what you want to say and how you want come across. A script will help you figure out what you want your viewers to know and will help you organize your thoughts in a way that makes sense. Here are few considerations when putting together your script.

  • Know Your Audience: The audience is an essential element to your video, after all the video is for them. How can you help them if you don’t know what their needs are? If you want help determining who your target audience is, CoSchedule recommends you ask yourself these questions:

  1. What problems can my product or service solve for customers or clients? At its core, this should answer the question of why your company exists and why people need it.

  2. What does my current client base look like? Consider areas like age, gender, location, family structure, income and education level.

  3. Who is my competition and what does their customer look like? You should know who the larger competition is, but don’t forget about the smaller guys that are just starting.

  4. What can my customers gain by choosing me versus my competition? What can you do better than anyone else in the market? Determining this will help you showcase a specific need that you fulfill.

  • Focus on Your Brand: While you want to make sure you’re speaking to your audience with a specific goal in mind, you don’t want to lose sight of your brand. Focus on what makes your business different from the rest and how you can meet your audience needs.

  • Keep to the Point: Don’t get bogged down in every little detail about your brand. In this case, less is actually more. You have a limited time to share your company and too much information can overwhelm your viewers, or even worse bore them.

  • Add a Human Touch: Don’t forget that your business is full of unique and special people. Let this shine through in your video. Including a human touch in your video makes it more relatable.

Before you start recording don’t forget to practice, practice, practice! The more you rehearse the more comfortable you’ll be once you do start filming and you’ll also come across as more confident.

  • Include a Call to Action: This is your chance to ask your viewers to take a specific action with your brand. Remember the goal you created earlier? Use it as the basis for your call to action. Like your goal, the call to action should be a very specific action you want your viewer to take, whether it is contacting you, visiting a certain page or filling out a form on your site. While you want your call to action to be specific, you want to give your viewers incentive; let them know what’s in it for them when they take action and what benefits they will receive as a result.

This informative video for Marki Microwave incorporates the essential elements of a successful intro video.

Conclusion

One of the best tips I can offer beyond making sure to include these elements, is to remember to breath and relax while you’re recording. This should be a fun and exciting experience that highlights what makes your brand the best one to work with.

Your intro video will set the tone for your future relationship, start it off on the right foot with the helpful advice in this article. Want to create an eye-catching intro video but feel like you need help? Contact me today to learn how Tabrizi Productions can highlight what makes your business special.