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How to Optimize Your Videos for Social Media

We’re sure you’ve heard by now that video content reigns king—if not, we wrote a post all about the growth of social video. With everyone creating and sharing video content, how do you make sure that your content is heard among all the noise?

Just as we optimize our websites for discovery in Google search results, your video content should be optimized for maximum discoverability and engagement across the different social channels.

Here are five ways you can optimize your video to help ensure all your hard work doesn’t go unnoticed.

Go Native

You’ve already posted your videos to YouTube and/or Vimeo. All you need to do now is share the links on Facebook and Twitter—right? While that may be a very tempting approach, this method actually reduces the reach of your video content.

It’s true, Facebook’s algorithm favors video content—but more specifically, native video content. By posting your videos directly to Facebook, they also get archived on your page. This makes it much easier for your followers to find and share your content in the future. Plus, only native videos work with the autoplay timeline feature.

Similar to Facebook, native video content on Twitter also tends to drive higher engagement than linked content. So what are you waiting for? Go native!

Add Captions

Remember how we said native video content is usually set to autoplay? Well in most cases, sound is disabled. In fact, roughly 85% of Facebook videos are watched with the sound off (and to think you spent all that time trying to find just the right music for your content—we feel your pain).

But you can’t have everyone in the office know you’re watching the latest grumpy cat video when you’re supposed to watching a training video. Oh, just us?

Adding captions to your video ensures that even with the sound off, viewers will still get your core messaging. Plus, it’s a best practice to avoid alienating hearing impaired viewers.

Additionally, you can incorporate motion graphics to provide a visual representation of important information you don’t want your audience to miss.

Keep It Short

When it comes to social media, less is definitely more. While a 30-minute clip might be ideal for certain applications, short and sweet is the name of the game in the world of social.

Ideally, videos you share on Facebook should be two minutes or less—after that, engagement begins to drop off (note: on Instagram that time is cut in half). By keeping your videos short and direct, you increase the chances of your audience sticking around until the end and converting.

Lead With Compelling Visuals

As with an elevator pitch, you only have a few seconds to capture your audience’s attention. That means your videos should hit the ground running. Leading with compelling visuals increases the likelihood that viewers will stop scrolling and give your content their attention.

The first three to five seconds are a prime opportunity to get your brand and key messaging in front of your audience. This ensures that even if they don’t stick around for the entire duration, you’ve made a brand impression. P.S., this is also the perfect place to add some motion design.

Flip the Phone—Make it Vertical

More than half of all website views happen on a mobile phone. In the US alone, roughly 61% of social media users access their favorite platforms from their phones. What are we trying to tell you? When it comes to social media, think mobile first!

Snapchat helped to usher in the acceptance of vertical video and there are no signs we are turning back. The advantage of vertical video on mobile is that it takes up more real estate. As a result, videos captured in the vertical orientation tend to see increased engagement.

We know it might seem a little disorienting at first but go with flow—flip that phone and start capturing awesome, shareable content.

The Art of Setting the Scene

When it comes to storytelling, much like with real estate, it’s all about location, location, location. Imagine your favorite movie or tv show without its signature “where”. Seriously, what would Friends be without Central Perk? We can’t even think about it!

Whether as quaint as your office or as grand as the city you love, your location has a great impact on the effectiveness of your story. Change the Bates Motel to the Bates Gas Station and you’d change the whole plot of Psycho. Could you imagine Norman Bates as a gas station attendee? Wait, maybe we’re on to something (possible spin-off??).

When a writer sits down to write a book or a script, one of the first things he or she considers is where the story will take place. Why? It adds to the relatability of the narrative and sets the tone for everything else.

Before any shoot, we always like to go out and scout the location. This helps us determine the best angles, discover scenery details that could be important, and understand how people relate to the location in everyday life. With this knowledge, we know exactly what and how to capture the environment to strengthen the story. Here are a few techniques we use to set your scene.

360 Video

This immersive form of video capture places your audience in the midst of your environment and creates a unique experience that viewers can interact with in real time. 360 video production allows you to showcase your entire location—from every angle.

Although the audience can’t manipulate objects in the environment as they might with VR video, 360 video can still make the audience feel as if they’ve been dropped directly into your story. As a result, your audience becomes part of the narrative. This deeper connection to your brand often results in a higher buy-in rate, which in turn drives action.

Aerial Video

Drones have made this form of video capture quite popular. Even if you’ve lived in a place your entire life, there are probably some views you rarely see. Aerial video allows a storyteller to showcase this bird’s eye perspective and highlight the wonder of the area. With aerial video, your audience can get a real sense of the largeness (or intimate nature) of your location.

Think of aerial video as the backdrop for your story—it gives your audience insight into the bigger picture. If the primary location of your video is your office, adding some aerial footage of the neighborhood can give the audience a better understanding of how your brand fits into the community.

Traditional B-Roll

Advancements in video technology have led to more premium feeling forms of location capture. But B-roll still has a place at the table. This footage can include different angles of your central location or shots of the exterior of the building or even travel between locations. Each shot helps to enhance your storyline.

As with the other techniques, B-roll shots should be planned out in advance. This helps ensure that you are capturing meaningful shots and makes post-production much easier.

Capturing your location is important to telling your story. Don’t get intimidated by the different ways to highlight your location and set the scene of your next video. That’s what the Bottle Rocket team is here for. We will work with you to understand your goals and identify the best ways to capture your environment and craft your story. Let us do the heavy lifting so you can focus on just being you.

Smartphones: The Next Frontier in Video Production?

Over the last decade, smartphones have changed the way we live. From the internet at our fingertips, to GPS in our pockets, to portraits on demand, it’s hard to leave home without them. In fact, it’s probably safe to say that actually forgetting your phone at home would send you into an all-out panic.

Smartphones have also changed how we capture and consume photography. Many photographers often say that the best camera is the one you have on you. And with the advancements in smartphone cameras, many have added these handy little devices to their photography workflows. The same is quickly becoming reality in the world of video production.

Smartphone Video Distribution

Long gone are the days when the only screen sizes considered were those at the theater and that of the standard home television. Today, media is consumed on devices of all sizes—and that is having a direct impact on video production.

While most smartphones display video at an aspect ratio of 16:9, some newer devices feature displays at 18:9. This shift could lead to a change across the industry. In the meantime, video content creators are mindful of the fact that most videos will at some point be consumed on a smartphone screen and factor that into their decision-making process.

In 2012, The Silver Goat was created exclusively for iPad and was the first film to have an iPad-only movie premiere. It’s only a matter of time before we see something similar on smartphones.

Smartphone Video Production

We’ve all shot video using our smartphones—and we admit, the quality has come a long way in a short time. So much so that several filmmakers have started using smartphones not only as a component of their video production workflow but as the sole camera for entire feature films.

In 2015, Tangerine, shot on three iPhone 5S devices, became the first film shot entirely on an iPhone to feature at the Sundance Film Festival. Unsane, a film released in theaters earlier this year, was shot entirely on an iPhone 7 Plus. And most people wouldn’t even know unless they were told. Of course these iPhones were equipped with special lenses and cinematography apps–but the fact that it’s even possible to use a phone at that level is impressive.

Smartphone video production has made it possible for production companies to create stunning videos, at a potentially lower cost. While we don’t believe smartphones will replace traditional video cameras, we realize that they are changing the video production landscape. Maybe it’s time for us to experiment with a little smartphone cinematography.

Not sure where to start with your video marketing strategy? Contact us today to explore how we can help you leverage video for you business. And follow us on our social channels for a behind the scenes look at how our team uses video to bring stories to life: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

5 Tips for Corporate Video Production

Shooting a corporate video can present challenges not faced when shooting other types of projects. Subjects—who aren’t usually accustomed to being in the spotlight—are often nervous or even uncomfortable on camera. Some may appear slightly rigid and even have trouble figuring out just what to say. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are a few tips we have to help make your corporate video production a success.

1. Write a script

No matter what style of video you’re shooting, you need structure to help the content flow. In many cases, messaging is very tightly controlled by HR and/or Marketing, so having a plan ahead of time can save invaluable time and frustrations. When shooting interviews, we recommend approaching them with a conversational tone to make them feel more natural and make the interviewee feel more comfortable. This helps maintain a good flow and makes pulling sound bites in post much easier

2. Know your audience

As with any form of marketing, understanding your audience is key. What is the most relevant and important information to them? Once you have a clear definition of who your audience is and what their needs are, you can better demonstrate how your business can solve their problems, improve their lives, or simply fulfill their wants. The important thing to remember is to be engaging and don’t just tell your audience about your business–show them

3. Incorporate awesome visuals

While we’re on the subject of engaging content…incorporating visuals is a great way to get your video noticed. Adding animations and other forms of motion graphics can create visual interest that encourages your audience to not only watch your video but also share it with others. Plus, it’s a great way to reinforce your brand identity and messaging without feeling salesy

4. Decide on the core message

Determine exactly what you want your audience to walk away feeling, knowing, or learning from watching your video. This way everyone involved has a clear idea of what the final product should convey. Remember, having a solid definition of the end goal makes it much easier to weave together a great story in post production and ensure that your mission and competitive advantages are effectively articulated

5. Hire a Professional

Shooting a corporate video can have its challenges–but you don’t have to face them alone. Hiring a professional can help take a lot of the pressure off of you and your team. At Bottle Rocket Media, we love partnering with our clients to help bring their stories to life. We are more than just an outside vendor, we become a part of your team and work to understand your business and your mission. Contact us today and let’s discuss how we can help you create an awesome corporate video

And be sure to follow us across our social channels to see behind the scenes and more: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Facebook Watch and IGTV: The Growth of Social Media Video

For several years, YouTube dominated the social media video space. But as other social media platforms continued to grow in popularity, it was only a matter of time before video content found its way to every platform.

Twitter made multiple attempts to capitalize on social media video including Vine and Periscope. Vine allowed users to create short-form video content that could be easily shared. And while it was quite popular for a time, it was soon overshadowed by Instagram’s addition of 15-second video content.

Periscope, on the other hand, allows users to create live video broadcasts. The catch? The videos disappear after 24 hours—this feature was later adopted by both SnapChat and Instagram Story.

Facebook jumped on the video scene by allowing users to upload videos to their profiles and pages. As demand for video content grew, Facebook introduced Facebook Live to leverage the power of real-time video marketing.

Why the emphasis on social video?

Studies have shown that the human brain processes visual content 60,000 times faster than it does text. According to Statista, approximately 77% of the US population is on social media—that equates to more than 250 million people. With numbers like that, why wouldn’t companies focus on social media video?

Plus, all the statistics from the last few years show that video is the most engaging form of social media marketing content. No wonder Facebook and Instagram, the first and third most popular social networks respectively, are trying to make video a bigger component of their platforms.

Facebook rolled out Watch in August 2017. Currently Facebook Watch programs are created by a small group of Facebook partners. Although content creation isn’t open to everyone, Watch provides a new advertising opportunity for businesses.

And then there’s Instagram. Over the last couple years, Instagram has moved from 15 second videos to 30 seconds to one minute. Now, it’s taking on video giants such as YouTube and even its big brother, Facebook, with IGTV.

IGTV allows Instagram users to create vertical videos up to one hour long. This is huge for many marketers because it allows businesses to get in front of one of the most desirable demographics: 25 and under.

Whether short-form or long-form, the Bottle Rocket Media team is here to help you with your video production needs. Let’s chat and discuss how we can help you capitalize on this growing video segment. And be sure to follow us on social media to join the conversation: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

How VR Video Production Is Changing Video Marketing

While the exact origins of virtual reality (VR) are up for debate, there is no denying that VR has left the world of science-fiction and taken a stronghold over the real world. Remember a little game by the name of Pokémon Go?

But it’s not just mobile gaming that has been impacted by the VR phenomenon. Several of the world’s largest technology companies have invested millions—some even billions—of dollars in VR research and development to make VR accessible to the general public.

And now, VR has infiltrated the business world. More and more companies are beginning to integrate virtual and augmented reality in their video and content marketing strategies.

So why all the hype? Let’s take a look at the impact of VR video production on video marketing.

Boosts Emotional Engagement

Humans are emotional creatures—that’s just one of the facts of life. We have a tendency to have strong reactions to things that pull at our heart strings or ignite some type of emotional response.

According to research by YuMe, Inc. and Nielsen, VR video content resulted in 27% higher emotional engagement than 2D content. On top of which, viewers remained emotionally engaged 34% longer than when viewing the same content in 2D.

Now the question is: how does this affect your business? The ability to connect with your audience on an emotional level helps build brand trust and establish brand loyalty.

VR video production allows viewers to step into the experience—almost literally. They become part of your story rather than just observers on the other side of the fourth wall.

This level of engagement is very powerful as it creates unique and personal experiences. And it allows you to connect with your audience in ways that aren’t possible with traditional video content.

Increases Conversions

Imagine you’re in the tourism industry and your goal is to increase visits to your resort. While traditional video does an amazing job of showcasing what your resort has to offer, it doesn’t really provide a personal or necessarily engaging experience.

And while people may click on your video due to your amazing thumbnail graphic, they may not stick around long enough for your call to action. Enter VR video production.

According to the study by YuMe, Inc. and Nielsen, viewers of virtual reality content were in a highly engaged state for 50% of the experience. If your video is two minutes long that means you have their attention for an entire minute.

That might not seem like very much time but remember, six second Vine videos became too long for some people.

While all of that sounds good, the question is: can it really drive results? Back to the tourism example.

In 2016, Tourism Australia launched its “There’s Nothing Like Australia” campaign. They developed 18 different VR film sequences and brought Australia’s aquatic and coastal environment to life on an international scale.

The campaign helped increase visits to Australia by nine percent and helped boost engagement on by 64 percent. Most impressively, Australia tourism industry leads grew by 104 percent as a result of the campaign.

The bottom line is that VR video production has the potential to be a highly engaging and conversion driving channel for several industries. Let’s explore how your company can leverage this growing marketing tool—contact us today. Don’t forget to follow us on social media to join the conversation: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Three Ways Camera Movement Improves Storytelling

Storytelling has become all the rage in marketing—and with good cause. Stories can inspire, empower, encourage, or even enrage. The bottom line is that a good story connects directly with its audience and increases the chance of action.

This becomes even truer when a story is brought to life through video. The sincerity behind a person’s eyes or that smirk a person makes while reflecting on a cherished memory. These visuals have a power that is unmatched by any other medium.

But facial expressions aren’t the only aspect of video that contribute to how it’s interpreted. The way the camera moves throughout a scene can change the entire feel of the story. This means it’s something that should be carefully considered.

Let’s take a closer look at three ways camera movement can improve your storytelling.

Adds Kinetic Energy

Imagine watching a chase scene in which the camera never moves. It will probably lose much of the drama of the situation.

Now imagine that same chase scene, but this time, the camera follows the action in the scene. The energy of the scene completely changes.

Without getting too scientific, kinetic energy is simply the energy of motion. Adding camera movement to a scene can greatly enhance the motion of the characters—thus, adding kinetic energy.

This simple act can draw your audience deeper into the narrative and improve the effectiveness of your story.

Enhances Emotion

Emotion is powerful in storytelling. It helps your audience connect and relate to your subject. While a photograph can evoke a lot of emotion, there are limitations to the narrative.

The same goes for a scene with a stationary camera. Adding a little camera movement can reveal and enhance emotions that may otherwise go unnoticed by your audience.

For example, a quick push-in can create a sense of surprise. While a slow dolly can create tension and build suspense. Understanding how each camera movement impacts the emotion of the scene can go a long way in rounding out the narrative of your story.

Controls Perspective

If a scene is shot from three different angles, each will convey a slightly different narrative. You control how that narrative flows by moving the camera at certain moments in the scene.

This also ensures you get full coverage of the scene—further immersing your audience in your story. Depending on the perspective you choose, your audience may feel like they’re looking in on an intimate conversation or that they are living out the action.

In the end, the little details help reinforce your narrative and bring even more power to your story. While camera movement shouldn’t be overused, interweaving strategic moments of movement can add depth to your storytelling.

Storytelling is what we do, so whether you’d like to learn more or you’re ready to tell your brand’s story, feel free to get in touch with us today. And be sure to follow us on social media to keep the conversation going: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

3 Video Marketing Trends You Should Incorporate Into Your Strategy

The first half of the year is now behind us—wow that was fast. And although we’ve seen a few new trends emerge in marketing, video content continues to dominate.

With the easy access to video technology—thanks in large to better smartphone cameras and mobile video editing apps—the barrier to creating basic video content is almost nonexistent.

So if you haven’t jumped on the video train, there’s still time to take advantage of the power of video marketing in 2018. Here are three video marketing trends that you can incorporate into your digital strategy.

Coming to You Live—The Growth of Live Streaming

We’ve all gotten a notification that a friend or a company we follow has gone live—and yes, we have tuned in. Let’s face it, live content is attractive to users because it feels authentic and personal.

In the last couple years live streaming has spread across nearly every platform from YouTube to Facebook to Instagram to Snapchat and beyond. And there’s no sign that it will be a short lived trend. In fact according to recent live streaming data, 81% of online audiences watched more live video content in 2016 than in 2015.

It’s Hip to be Square—Square Video That Is

Traditionally when we think about video we think about landscape or 16:9 aspect ratio. But on social, a better option may have emerged. That’s right, square is in. Not only do square videos (1:1) tend to reach more people, they also tend to result in 80% more engagement on average.

Why? On Facebook, square videos actually take up 78% more real estate than the standard landscape video. That’s huge—and in your face, literally. As mobile video consumption continues to grow, that amount of presence is sure to continue to encourage engagement—especially on Instagram.

Immerse Your Audience—With 360 Video

As we’ve mentioned before, storytelling through video is a powerful marketing tool. And what better way to tell a story than to immerse the user in the experience? After all, we draw from experiences to make decisions. Enter 360 video production.

On average, 360 degree videos tend to drive more engagement and are a great way to encourage users to stay connected with you. Platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, and Vimeo allow you to upload 360 videos that you can then share across other platforms.

Each of these video trends, if incorporated into your marketing strategy, can help you generate more interactions with your audience. Are ready to tap into the true potential of your online audience? Bottle Rocket Media is happy to help you produce your videos and leverage these trends. Get in touch with us today.

Why You Need a Videographer At Your Next Event

Videographers turn the special moments at your event into valuable promo content that will last a lifetime

Having a videographer record your company’s events means you’ll be able to commemorate that occasion—and leave with a wealth of future marketing material. A video producer will capture the special, fleeting moments of magic at your events, whether they’re charity fundraisers, store openings, press conferences, galas or more. Those videos can be shared online for an immediate connection with your audience, and then revisited in the future to show off what your brand can do.

A One-Day Event, A Lifetime of Material

Don’t think of a video as a one-off medium: A single video that’s crafted well can be shared again and again online, making it a formidable marketing investment. This 360-degree video of the 7-Eleven City Slam we made for Intersport is just as entertaining and shareable now, and it’s still being viewed and bringing new fans to the brand long after the party is over. When you’re planning to shoot any single video, think about how you can use it in the long term. Working with the same video team at multiple events will build a library of footage that can help you tell your story.

Today’s Event Supports Tomorrow’s

Shooting video at your current event means you’ll have footage to promote the next one. If there’s something you host annually or frequently, having a backlog of material from the actual shindig will always be better than stock photos or video. You can show your audience exactly what to expect from this year’s party—and exactly how much fun they’ll miss out on if they’re on the fence about participating.

Having Video Gives You Options

Videographers can do much more than document the happenings at your events. We always make a point to talk to our clients beforehand how to maximize our time while we’re there. When you’re surrounded by clients, it’s a great chance to record testimonials that you can feature in a future ad, or sit down with key staff members for an interview that’s been hard to schedule. An experienced videographer will also identify and capture special moments on the fly. That means if something exciting happens—like a big donation at a charity event or a surprise marriage proposal—you can rest assured that it will be captured as a shareable marketing moment for your team.

If you have a company event coming up, booking a film team should be on your to-do list. Contact Bottle Rocket Media to learn how we can turn your special occasion into a wealth of marketing opportunities.

5 Video Business Marketing Mistakes

So you’ve decided to integrate video into your marketing plan. Great! Now let’s make sure you do it right.

It’s easy to recognize a great video, but making one from scratch? That’s a whole different beast. There are tons of tiny details that separate the greats from the… not-so-greats. We’ve learned from making some greats in our day, and wanted to share our tips. Here are 5 things to avoid when making videos for your business.

A Bland Cover Image

The fixed image that displays before your video begins is also known as a cover image, and it will be your viewers’ first impression of your video. They say you only get one shot at those, so you have to make it count. Customize your video’s cover image with an exciting, aesthetically pleasing screen grab of your choosing instead of relying on the snapshot that your video hosting site picks for you—those defaults are chosen at random, usually blurry and often uninteresting. When you add your own (awesome) lead image instead, viewers won’t be able to resist hitting play.

Not Posting Your Video on Social

You’ve gotten this far and made a great video—now it’s time to show it to the world! Gone are the days of just posting it on your YouTube channel and watching the views roll in. You have to share it across all your social accounts, and not just once, but several times over the course of a few months to build momentum. If you’re going to put the work in, you shouldn’t be afraid to show it off.

Making Video That’s Meant for TV

People aren’t interested in online video that feels and sounds like a TV commercial. Don’t try to shove everything you want to say into a 30-second time slot in an advertise-y way. Instead, focus on creating strong, visually creative videos, like this spot we made for Adidas. Keeping those two goals in mind will put your business on the fast track to creating content that attracts viewers and keeps them wanting more.

Forgetting to Focus on Results

Creating excellent videos for the pursuit of artistic fulfillment is great and all, but you’re running a business, so it’s time to get yourself some leads. Use text or better yet, animated video to end your video with a clear call to action. The request will flow seamlessly and your viewers won’t be able to stop themselves from falling for your brand.

Trying to Tackle the Project Yourself

Don’t buy some high tech camera equipment and editing software and expect to become a video expert overnight. Instead, partner with an experienced production team that knows the ins and outs of creating stellar content. They can handle all the details while you focus on making your business grow.

If you’re looking for a video team to help you make some great content—and in turn, some big sales—you’re in the right place. Contact the crew at Bottle Rocket Media to learn how we can help you make your company’s first video a “do.”