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Give Your Viewers an Immersive VIP Tour With 360 Video

How a peek behind the scenes can give your audience engagement a major boost

No one can resist a “behind the scenes” tour, and 360 videos provide the perfect opportunity to give viewers a rare experience without having to leave their couch. For brands, 360 video tours are the perfect way to connect with viewers. If you’re hosting an event or spotlighting a cool venue, a 360 video tour can give your customers an interactive look inside their favorite company. Here’s how to make them work for you.

Finding the Right Time and Place

The best candidate for a 360 video tour is an exclusive event or a space your viewers wouldn’t normally get to explore. Look for locations with excitement from all sides, like a movie set, a colorful cultural event or a rare tour of a stunning home. The most important part of a video tour is offering your viewers a new experience. WeWork used a 360 video tour to showcase its unique coworking space in New York, offering its followers a glimpse of Times Square as well as a tour of their lively workspace that only members can usually enjoy. Access to that workspace is what they’re selling, and their tour gave potential customers a peek inside, while also highlighting the brand’s personality. E! News recently took readers inside reality star and model Kendall Jenner’s closet—a place they’ve never seen and would never be able to explore if not for the 360 tour.

When It’s The Wrong Time and Place

Not every story needs to be told with a 360 video tour, and the strongest candidates complement the message your brand is trying to share. If you’re not sure whether a 360 video tour is right for your event or location, consider what a guest would see and think if you gave them free rein to wander the space. The scene should have multiple points of interaction all around the room. If there isn’t an abundance of detail for viewers to explore, or if the story has a single focal point, a traditional video with a narrow focus might be better.

Plan The Story AND The Scene

Start your 360 video tour project by thinking about the video’s mission, audience and story. If you’re going skydiving, you don’t just want to show viewers a shot of you falling through the sky. Talk to the skydivers as they’re prepping inside the plane before the jump. In addition to mapping a narrative, you should also plan out the whole 360 degree scene. Make the most of your space, and invite your subject to move around and interact with their surroundings. Remove anything you wouldn’t want viewers to see—a messy desk, a poster with questionable language—and arrange props any you want use or highlight during the video.

If you’re thinking of telling your brand’s story with a 360 video tour, contact Bottle Rocket Media for help creating a stunning one-of-a-kind video experience. You name the place, and we’ll transport your audience there.

Don’t Send a Human To Do a Video’s Job

A smart and well-placed video can answer customer questions or teach a how-to tutorial so you don’t have to

Providing good customer support often means answering questions—often the same questions—again and again and again. Of course, answering those questions ensures a customer will stay happy with your company, but it can also take up a lot of your staff’s time.

There’s an easy way to cut back on that time and make your customer service more efficient: videos.

Your company can use videos to answer frequently asked customer questions, provide updates to your audience or even lead short training sessions. Some of the biggest companies in the world are doing this: Amazon has made animations and videos showing its millions of customers how to address common concerns, and video hosting company Brightcove uses videos to share knowledge among its staff.

Once they’re made, these videos can be shared within the company or with customers so you don’t have to keep spending time and manpower on addressing the same subjects. That means your team will have more time to devote to more important tasks, like growing the company. Here’s how to make it happen.

Make Your Problem Into A Script

Talk to your staff about the questions they most often hear from customers and colleagues, or other bottlenecks that interfere with their day-to-day responsibilities frequently. Make a list of frequently-asked questions, and use that as the basis for your video’s script. If you’re examining a process, consider a step-by-step tutorial video. Try to keep your script concise and clear so the video will be short and easy to understand.

Prep, Practice and Shoot

Once you have your script and camera on hand, you’re ready to shoot and edit your video.

Distribute Your Video Effectively

Find the best channels where the issue you’re addressing most frequently arises, anticipate users’ questions, and make your video prominent and easy to find in the first place they’ll look. Whether that’s a page on your website (FAQs are a common spot for customer-facing content) or an email newsletter distributed to your team, make sure your distribution channel is well-matched to your target audience.

Consider a workflow like Amazon’s, which uses a video addressing commonly-asked questions as a gatekeeper before customers can access contact information for a real person. If the video is sharing news with customers, you can post it to your blog, website or social media accounts.  If you’ve made a training video for employees, you might want to keep the video more private.

Call in a Professional

Looking for a team that can help your company make the most out of training or customer support videos? Bottle Rocket Media can work with your staff to make your videos customer-friendly and easy to use.

Project Shout-Out: Travelzoo

How Bottle Rocket Media Mined Travelzoo’s Expert Staff for the #Tzootips Series

Travel is a competitive, and often noisy, category. Travelzoo needed an ongoing campaign to break through the chatter with an authentic voice, deepen their relationship with travelers, and further establish themselves as travel experts. So we utilized the ultimate influencer in everything travel—Travelzoo employees.

Each video in the series stars a different employee travel expert as they guide the viewer through sensible and useful travel tips on a variety of topics. By featuring real employees, the series not only boosts Travelzoo’s authority, but adds valuable authenticity to the messages.

#Tzootips Q&A with Brett Singer

What was the vision and inspiration behind the #tzootips video?

Travelzoo is a travel deals site and community that asked us to help them make a series of social shareable videos where their employees share real-world travel tips. Most everyone who works there genuinely loves to travel, so the tips came from real experiences, shared by real people. We loved the idea and were thrilled to do it with them.

How did you come up with the idea to feature the unique expertise of staff members from their jobs BEFORE joining Travelzoo, and how does that support the Travelzoo brand?

Our Travelzoo contact, then-Social Media Producer Megan Mitchell, sourced the Tzoo Experts for us. She did all of the legwork on finding the right people. Fortunately for us, the people she selected were all super nice, easy to work with and great on camera. Plus, they obviously had great tips to share. It did seem like a trend that a lot of their tips came from previous jobs and experiences before landing at Travelzoo.

What elements contributed to the effectiveness of the storytelling?

The tip videos were a mix of both off-the-cuff tips and scripted scenes written in partnership with the employees being featured. The first series of videos were more improvised. When we added a more complex graphic component, we need to refine the storytelling to be more concise. Knowing that graphics would play a larger role and do a lot of the legwork for us, tightening up the on-camera content helped ensure all the moving parts would work together cohesively.

How do you think your approach to this video helped to capture the unique elements of the brand?

I’m sounding like a broken record on this point, but the people at Travelzoo really do LOVE to travel. When deals come out on their site, THEY’RE the first ones to share it around the office. “Did you see that great deal to Iceland?!” We heard stories like that again and again. It’s such a big company with offices all over the world, so it was a great opportunity to put a face on such a large organization, and really feature what makes it special: the travel nerds that work there!

Did any obstacles come up while making this video? If so, how did you work around them?

For the most part, this one was smooth sailing! We filmed in both Chicago and Los Angeles, and we shot even more tips than we got to produce in the end. Sadly those extras won’t see the light of day, but I’ve still got ‘em.

What was your favorite part of the project and why?

The employees who took the time to share their tips were the best part. Being in front of a camera is REALLY hard. We were blown away at how camera-ready they all seemed to be! They were fun and friendly and ready to try something weird and different to share tips about something that they love…travel. That’s just cool.

 

How Does 360 Video Work, Anyway?

A crash course in the cutting-edge technology that’s changing the way people think about video

What’s 360 Video?

360-degree video has transformed the way people capture and share their world. Using multiple lenses to simultaneously record everything around them, these high tech cameras create interactive movies that viewers can interact with in real time. The technology is relatively new, but 360 videos have already gained enormous popularity. They’re more interactive and engaging than static videos or photos and they let viewers independently control what they see.

Hundreds of these videos are uploaded to Facebook daily, and they’re garnering millions of views every day.  It’s never been easier to make 360-degree videos, easier to share them, and a lot easier to watch them. Here’s what you need to know about the medium before you dive in.

There’s (Not Really) An App For That

Developers have created apps that make it easy to create 360 photos (or panoramas) by taking multiple photos and “stitching” them together. One app, Splash, will even allow you to combine photos and short clips into a video so you get a 360-video-like effect. But because true 360 videos need a camera with multiple lenses, you won’t be able to put one together with just a single-lens phone and app.

Finding the Right Camera

There are many 360-degree cameras, and each offers unique benefits. For a hobbyist, a smartphone attachment like the Insta360 Nano can replicate the 360 video effect on a budget. For a high-end camera that will create a truly immersive 360 experience, production companies spend thousands upon thousands of dollars on the most cutting-edge tech. If you need a crystal-clear, professional video, consider partnering with a professional team that has the experience and the highest quality equipment.

Where To Share

Many social media sites like Facebook and Twitter support 360 videos, and you can share these videos on video-dedicated sites YouTube and Vimeo. In fact, Facebook and YouTube even support live streaming for 360-degree videos that your viewers can watch and interact with on their phone, tablet or computer.

The Tough Stuff

Once you’ve shot your 360 video, editing those multiple views together—or navigating the inescapable blind spots produced by a spherical camera lens—is the most challenging and specialized part. Without 360-specific training, it can be difficult for a hobbyist to self-teach. But we can help with that.

Thinking of making a 360-degree video? Check out our a guide to decide if a 360-degree video is right for you—then reach out to Bottled Rocket Media’s team, and we’ll help with everything you need to make your immersive video project pop.

Founder Videos for Business

Put a face to your company’s name with a founder video

Brand competition occurs in every market today. From Google and Facebook ads to sponsored tweets and Instagram posts, from the Kardashians to viral videos–everyone is clamoring for attention on the internet, making it tricky to get a word in edgewise.

Founder videos can be a great way to differentiate any brand. Featuring your founder or CEO is a great way to establish a connection between your target demographic and the heart of your brand, but it can also help define the company culture, establish the founder as a thought-leader in the industry, and bring in potential talent. Don’t be just another faceless brand–solidify your identity and stand out with a founder video.

Using founder videos in your marketing strategy

What is a founder video?

A founder video is just what it sounds like – a short video that features the founders talking directly to the customer. For your audience, understanding why the founder started the company and why they’re so passionate about the business can be invaluable. Not only do these videos help customers, clients, and investors to better understand the story behind the brand, they create a more personal connection by attaching a face to the name, story, and company. This can foster an increased sense of trust–a huge factor in setting yourself apart from the competition.

How do I use one?

The sky is the limit when it comes to creating a founder video. It all depends on the impression you’re trying to create, and there are a lot of different directions to go. Short, direct, and heartfelt videos sharing the brand’s story make for great embedded content directly on a website, and can also be pushed out via social media to give the target audience a new perspective on the company.

Don’t underestimate other less obvious ways to incorporate founder videos into the marketing strategy. Founder videos are a great way to highlight company culture and recruit new talent, announce new services and products, or even simply reach out and thank your customers for their loyalty. How you use founder video all depends on what context will have the most impact on the viewers.

What does a great founder video look like?

There’s more than one way to make a great founder video, so we always encourage our clients to think outside the box. However, there are a few simple tips to make sure any founder video is up to snuff.

First off, keep it short and simple. Attention spans are shorter than ever, so if the video drags, viewership lags. Next, make sure the message is sincere. The goal is to create a personal connection with your customers, so take the time to craft the message, tell the truth, and maintain authenticity. Empathy will follow. Most importantly, partner with an experienced video production company like Bottle Rocket Media for a promising first step to getting your founder’s story out there.

A great example of the founder video in action is the piece we created for Centro, voted the Number 1 Best Place to Work in Chicago for four years running. With some major help from their CEO Shawn Riegsecker, this video highlights just why Centro is such a great place to work. For the Centro founder video, our team used a special Interrotron setup to enable our interviewees to look right into the camera. This created an intimate and authentic look. Just our style.

To learn more about how you can knock your founder video out of the park, contact Bottle Rocket Media.

Animated Videos for Business

The creative edge of animated videos

Videos are only effective when properly executed. Any business or individual could have a fantastic story to tell, but if they don’t have an engaging way to tell it, the results could be lackluster. Case in point: A study published by Microsoft found that the average consumer’s online attention span is eight seconds. You read that correctly: Eight. Seconds. With so much to say and so little time to hook an audience, marketers are turning to animation to bring their most abstract ideas to life. And it’s working.

Spotlight on Animated Videos for Business

What are animated videos?

Sometimes referred to as “motion graphics” or “motion design,” animated videos look cartoon-ish, and they’re perfect for capturing ideas that are tricky to articulate with live footage. Animation is the abstract thinker’s paradise, and it works for almost any genre of video. We’ve seen animated videos on websites, social media, HR training videos, explainer videos—the list goes on. Dropbox uses animation to visualize its product’s file sharing capabilities, a concept that could be hard to wrap your head around without some outside-the-box thinking (pun intended). Even Pinterest used animation in one of its original explainer videos.

Why are animated videos effective?

Besides being attention grabbing, animated videos are effective because they appeal to everyone, they’re easy to understand, and they’re super versatile. Between the unique characters one can create and the unlimited variety of bold color schemes, animation is intriguing, and it fills a gap regular live-action videos simply can’t. It’s imaginative, quirky, and viewers can’t help but stick around to see what happens next.

Why are animated videos worth it?

The point of video is to tell a story that resonates with a target audience and compels them to ask for more information and take action. Animated videos give marketers unlimited creativity, and that means no idea is too wild or too “out there”. Plus, you don’t have to deal with scouting locations or finding actors, which can help cut down on costs.

Our work with makeeveryvotematter.org and the Make Every Vote Matter video

 

When we were asked us to explain the electoral college via video, we knew animation was the way to go. Not only is the subject matter not cut out for live footage, we also needed to keep the audience’s attention for the duration of the video if we wanted to get the point across. That’s a tall order given our eight-second attention spans. We were able to create a short, animated social studies lesson that was informative, educational, and evergreen. Check it out and see if you learn something new.

If you’re totally sold on animated videos—because let’s be real, you should be—we should talk. We are big fans of using motion design to tell a better story, and we would love the opportunity to work with you on your next video project.

So are you ready to get started?

Bottle Rocket Media specializes in video production and motion graphics services. Connect with our team to create a brand story that is entirely your own and makes an impact!

Documentary Videos for Business

Build credibility with your audience with a documentary-style video

Storytelling for business doesn’t have to be stuffy and buttoned up. In fact, if you get creative and really focus on the emotion behind a business’s history, you can create a video that leaves a big impression. Enter the documentary video for business. Known to captivate audiences, this style of video storytelling is impactful, engaging, and leaves audiences wanting more.

Spotlight on documentary videos for business

What are documentary videos? As the name implies, documentary videos shed light on a specific topic, usually in the style of a series of interviews, and then present the information to a target audience. These videos are objective in nature, which is what makes them unique compared to the more common promotional and marketing video. Documentary videos are informative and factual, and aside from their marketing function, they are also used internally for “about us” videos on a website or for a company’s anniversary highlight reel at a corporate event.

Why are documentary videos effective? It’s no surprise that consumers love when a brand tells them a real, personal story or experience. A documentary video engages the audience beyond the product or service to establish trust. To add credibility to your brand, tell a story that resonates and leaves the audience eager to learn more about who you are and what you do. These videos are also effective because the viewer is totally locked in like they would be watching a documentary on TV. The New York Times executes this perfectly in their teaser for their documentary, Page One.

Why are documentary videos worth it? When done right, documentary videos create empathy, tell a fantastic story, and engage audiences in a way other types of video simply fail to do. And in terms of bragging rights, a documentary video is an impressive piece of marketing to have in the vault. This video from Stella Artois is a great example. Not only do you learn about the history of billboards from the men who still paint them today, but you end up fixated on their own personal stories and the sadness they feel about an art form that is fading away. That is what a documentary video is all about.

Our work with Horizon Pharma

It takes a special kind of person to be a nurse, which is why we wanted to highlight in this video for Horizon Pharma. Instead of making it about the clinic and their services, we filmed a series of one-on-one interviews with questions that really let the audience get to know the wonderful nurses who are so passionate about the patients they help every day. Not only can you feel the compassion oozing out of them in the final product, you find yourself wanting to visit the clinic – not for the services, but to meet the wonderful women working behind the scenes to make sure every patient is comfortable and feels like family.

If the documentary video sounds like something you’d like to use as part of your marketing strategy, our team knows a thing or two about storytelling, and we would love to help you make a standout video to represent your brand. Contact us to get started.

Video for Businesses: A Fast Track to Employee Engagement

Engage your employees with a standout video

While Human Resources departments and upper management teams spend a lot of time and money looking for ways to keep people enthused about the place where they spend 40+ hours a week, mandatory lunch-and-learns and monthly team building outings aren’t always fruitful. So how do you provide an environment that inspires people to stay passionate about their work, the people with whom they work, and the company’s overall mission? Enter, the training video.

Spotlight on Training Videos

What are they? Training videos can be used for employee onboarding, making company-wide updates or announcements, or as a vehicle for providing training on a new product or initiative. Depending on the purpose, videos can be presented in a series or as a standalone piece, and HR departments can house them on the company intranet or employee portal so people who work remotely or travel for the company still have access. Consider them a fresh take on a that giant PowerPoint every new hire pretends to read, or those videos about employee safety and harassment in the workplace, a la 1980.

Why do they work so well? Every company needs onboarding and training, and video oftentimes connects with people better than written communication. Videos articulate the same, consistent message to everyone, with some added flair and creativity. Since the videos are kept on an internal server or portal, everyone has constant access whenever they want or need it. And when employees have all the necessary resources at their fingertips, engagement skyrockets. A bonus for HR and management: making your own training videos is extremely affordable compared to some of the other corporate online training programs out there.

Our work with Walgreens. Bottle Rocket Media was fortunate to work with Walgreens to develop a library of videos to support their employee training during their company’s conversion to Lean Methodologies. They needed content and a strategy to help introduce their employees to this new process, and video was the perfect solution. We came up with The Lean Journey, a video that followed a group of employees as they learned about Kaizen and how to implement the concept at Walgreens. This helped to kick-start change across hundreds of internal events by engaging employees before their training experience officially started, and celebrating the success that followed.

A Gallup poll from 2015 found that only 32% of US employees were “engaged” at their jobs, while a whopping 50.8% were considered “not engaged,” and 17.2% “actively disengaged”. As these less than glowing statistics show, building and retaining employee engagement across an entire company can be a tall order. If training videos are something you would like to explore for your business, we’d love to meet with you to learn about your company and help you start building a standout video library. Take a look at some of the work we’ve done for other clients, and then contact Bottle Rocket Media today to get started.