Market7 CEO Seth Kenvin recently took to Skype to talk about streamlining video production in the enterprise with biz video analyst Steve VonderHaar. The interview (embedded below) covers how video produced in the enterprise comes together during the production phase, how Market7 streamlines collaboration and project management, and how video production is changing in the enterprise. Check it out for some great insight on what Market7 is doing to help businesses address the fast-paced evolution of corporate video.
We love talking about what Market7 can do for any enterprise executing on a video strategy. But it’s even better to hear firsthand from our customers how we help streamline complicated video workflows. In the current issue of EContent Magazine, writer Marji McClure, takes a look at the components of a successful online video strategy.
Market7′s Seth Kenvin is quoted regarding how video is evolving as a communication tool of choice in the enterprise. And Market7′s customer, the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), is profiled for its use of video in providing content about industry news and events to its members. The profile includes details about how Market7 helps the organization’s relatively small staff produce large quantities of programming, which has included 60 programs in the first half of 2011 alone.
We’ve linked to many customer profiles on this site. Each demonstrates unique uses of Market7 toward one common goal – doing video better. We hope you’ll click over to EContent to read the article. Or if you subscribe to the print edition, check it out there, complete with pretty pictures, which include the TIA’s content in the Market7 Annotative Player. Maybe it’ll even help you start to crystallize your own corporate video strategy.
Businesses keep finding new and interesting uses for video. While communication using the medium is expanding, a popular format that continues to prevail largely relies on “talking heads.” These videos generally consist of a company exec shot up close, delivering a message in the way of a prepared script or interview. The challenge with this format is that it is much too easy for content to quickly become boring and unwatchable. It is not necessary to call any company out with an example of a bad talking head video. We’ve all seen them before – or maybe even have had the cringe-inducing displeasure of starring in one. Done poorly, these videos are long, dry, static and disengaging. Done right, they are pleasing to watch, keep the viewer’s attention and effectively communicate a message.
With this in mind, here are some tips to help you elevate the quality of your next talking head video:
Avoid cuts to dry content. Even the most basic of today’s video editing tools allow for professional-looking text overlays to emphasize information like executive title or displaying a key quote over video content that is running. This technique works better than cutting away to static slides with information because it doesn’t break momentum and divert the viewer’s attention. Also experiment with different backdrops or supporting onscreen content via green screen.
Don’t let scripts sound like scripts. What’s the best way to get viewers genuinely excited? Sound genuinely excited yourself. It’s not always easy for an executive without a lot of onscreen experience to feel comfortable surrounded by a crew, bright lights and expensive equipment while his or her peers look on. Often when this happens, the talent is just struggling to get through the script without making a lot of mistakes or giving their nerves too much leeway. So how to overcome this challenge? Work on the script far in advance and have it finalized weeks – not days or hours – before a shoot. Encourage your talent to become familiar with the script and practice it with inflection and emotion to overcome the monotone delivery that often accompanies lack of preparation.
Change angles often. One shot left alone for five minutes will quickly become boring for the viewer – unless they happen to be REALLY interested in the content. Change camera angles and shot composition throughout the video to keep the content fresh. Think about how evening news anchors will turn to different cameras throughout a broadcast, for example. Here are some samples of different styles of video that use varied angles and zooms in different ways. All of them are effective.
The first is a video created by Jason Jenkins of Flowmotion Media and recently shared in the Creative Cow forums. It’s a great example of the typical kind of video that businesses need to produce, and done very well.
The next example is on the complete opposite end of the spectrum and comes from MTV, which can always be counted on (or blamed, depending on how you look at it) for breakthroughs and introduction of new trends in shooting style. This video is from MTV’s Punk’d. Pay particular attention to the various shots of @aplusk in the opening segment – some of which appear at the same time.
The MTV way of doing things might not be appropriate for a lot of businesses. But consider that it might, depending on your audience. Always think about the style that will appeal most to your viewers.
Keep it short and simple. There is sometimes a tendency to over-communicate in corporate video. Maybe this is a function of too many departments or marketers being involved in a script, causing it to become too cumbersome. Whatever the reason, it’s important to remember that video can be just one of several tools used to tell a story. Video can be what the viewer sees first and complemented by brochures, case studies, more lengthy podcasts or other web content. Here’s a short and simple example from the masters – the pharmaceutical industry.
Consider the amount of information that is communicated here in just under a minute: identifying an audience, a need, a solution, proof of the solution’s success. And, of course, calls to action in the way of encouragement to check out a more detailed magazine ad, web address, 800 number and suggestion to consult with a doctor. This video does a lot of other things right too, from interesting camera angles to a tight script. Is it a traditional talking head video? Perhaps not. But it does feature a main spokesperson that just so happens to be out of the studio and on location. Maybe this is the right idea for your business too (e.g. Sell outdoors equipment? Then get out of the studio!)
As noted throughout this post, not every style of video is for every company or audience. But no matter what your goals, there are ways to improve how you tackle the talking head video in your organization or for your clients. Hopefully some of the above tips will help. Know that this is not an exhaustive list. What are some ways that you’ve successfully executed on creation of a talking head video? Let us know in the comments!
A lot of attention gets paid to the break-through products, services or events that are held by the top tech companies. And how are all of these various moments in time being introduced? With video, of course. We were particularly impressed with videos introduced this month by Twitter, Apple and Google and wanted to share them here as examples of how corporate video done right can educate, inform, promote and excite.
If you’re bold enough to feature one of hip-hop’s OGs talking about “waking and baking” with Martha Stewart alongside the current Speaker of the House and of one of the ESA’s most Twitter-savvy astronauts showing us his view of the world, there’s a good chance you’ve also created something original, unique and engaging. Twitter, working to build its case that you don’t need to Tweet to use Twitter, put together this really tight, celebrity-heavy video showing the many things you too could have access to if you engaged with the Twitter platform. It works so well because it effectively captures the diversity of Twitter, the close proximity that users can get to their favorite people, hobbies and interests, and how simple Twitter makes it all.
Meet the Apple iPad 2
Apple has a reputation for introducing products that are sleek and simple. Naturally, its video content should exactly mirror this. With Apple’s introduction of the iPad 2 this month, Apple released the below video that covered all of the various tech improvements that were made in the latest version, the hard work that went into aesthetics and design and all of the new things users will be able to do. It’s a bit on the long side at more than 6 minutes, but Apple knows it works for their audience: cult of Mac members that love the company and are heavily invested in their products. As they get ready to plunk down no less than $500 for Apple’s latest creation and mentally prepare for 12 hours in line at the store on launch day, they have this video to further feed their excitement and help them start thinking of all the many ways they’ll use their new toy.
Google Goes Gaga
A suggestion has been made that the top tech companies are trying to trump one another by landing the hottest surprise guests to come speak to employees. When Marissa Mayer, Google’s VP of consumer products, brought Lady Gaga out for a one-on-one discussion at a recent company event, she was visibly taken aback by the whole thing. (It’s unclear if it was at the thought of introducing Lady Gaga or just knowing that Google was now ahead in the informal “land the biggest celebrity you can” game.) Lady Gaga got her verbal intro from Mayer, but the proper introduction came with a a video that charted just how big of a celebrity Gaga had come. Being Google, the focus was on milestones Gaga has hit in search, video and fan engagement and connections. The video not only uses Google’s various services to validate her overwhelming popularity, but also to source content – in VERY clever and creative ways. (The video below shows the entire event. Skip to the :43 mark for the intro video.)
The three videos above were obviously done with access to big budgets, a lot of creative personnel and TIME. Thinking about the various elements featured in these productions, we immediately recognize areas where Market7 could’ve possibly added some efficiencies. That includes everything from lining up international (and out of this world!) video shoots to script and edit feedback. It’s possible that your organization doesn’t have the resources required to produce this level of content, but that doesn’t mean that what you do create has to be any less effective. Market7 can help unleash the full potential of any team coming together to produce video. Click here to check out how.