On location at the Cornish Cricket Festival

Cornish-Sporting-Club-LogoWe’ve been producing videos for four years for Birmingham-based Gala Hospitality. We were therefore delighted when they asked to produce an event video for their new brand, Cornish Sporting Club at the second annual Cornish Cricket Festival.

The brief was to capture all aspects of the event including the corporate hospitality on offer, to enable Cornish Sporting Club to promote the cricket festival in future years.

Alan George, Director, Cornish Sporting Club comments:
Having worked with Julian Wellings of Expertise on Tap for four years, there was only one producer to put together our Cornish Cricket Festival video. We had a wide brief, but as usual Julian just got on with this, and put together a fantastic video. We also had some post event requirements to add to the video, which Julian was quite happy to help us with at short notice. We will definitely be using him for our next video.

Watch the Cornish Cricket Festival video below…

How to measure video audience retention using YouTube analytics

YouTube  has recently introduced a massive improvement to their video analytics. This brings some powerful benefits if your business has videos on YouTube.

You can now monitor how long people watched your videos for.

It’s all very well saying your video got 800 views but what if those viewers stopped watching part way through thus missing out on your key message?

Now you can play the video and view a graph showing exactly which proportion of the audience were watching at any given time. See the example below.

How to view your audience retention

  1. Go to www.youtube.com/analytics and logon to your account.
  2. Click “audience retention” on the left hand side bar.
  3. Then choose your video beneath where it says “content”.
  4. Choose your date range.
  5. Play the video and the red vertical bar will move.

Note: This will only work for videos with more than a few hundred views.

Three tips on how to use this to your advantage:

  1. Analyse where the drop off occurred. What specific content caused people to tune out?
  2. Was your video too long? Could you have got your key messages across in a shorter video?
  3. Use the results to work out what you could do differently next time you produce a video.

Here is an example of the audience retention measure. As you play the video in your YouTube account the vertical bar moves across.

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How to appear authentic on web video

camera

If you’re a business owner talking on video you only get one chance to make an impression.

If you’ve put that video on your website it has potential to reach tens of thousands of viewers.

However even the most confident of people can become unnerved at the sight of a video camera. Unfortunately this can mean people come across as a bit ‘wooden’ or even lack authenticity.

Instead of the business owner talking to camera try this.

Film the subject in two way interview style rather than direct to camera. This will ensure the speaker comes across much more naturally and authentically. Interview style is where the subject is looking slightly to one side as if talking to an interviewer.

Treat it as a conversation and ask them some questions. Pause between questions if it helps to calm them, and if they stumble over their words give them time and space to re-do it.

Then edit out the questions and splice the answers together to make a really tight, watchable piece.

Three additional tips:

1. If you’re self-shooting, that is without a presenter/reporter, make sure you position yourself behind the camera so the interviewee has someone to look at.

2. Make sure the eyeline is correct. There’s a useful tutorial on this on the BBC College of Journalism website.

3. Re-frame in between questions with a selection of tight and wide shots. This will avoid jump cuts when you edit our your questions. Another option to avoid jump cuts is to use cutaway shots to cover up the edit points.

Watch this example featuring Nicholas Granger of British Bespoke Auctions. As an auctioneer Nicholas is no stranger to public speaking, but by shooting it in interview style he comes across more naturally and is more animated. Also note how two cutaway shots are used to cover up edit points!

How to use YouTube annotations as a marketing tool

A YouTube annotation is a caption that is added after you’ve uploaded your video. It could be a promotional message or a link to another of your videos.

If used wisely and sparingly, annotations can work as a powerful marketing tool.

YouTube annotation exampleHere’s an example I set up for East Glos Club. They’ve had a promotional video on their site for some time and the club was holding an open day. >>

I simply added an annotation which appeared on the video at 00:12 seconds and again at 00:50.

It appears this quickly to ensure people see the message soon after video has started.

In this case the annotation is quite large but it was only going to be on the video for a month so we were not too bothered about this!

It is possible to make the annotations smaller to avoid the viewer becoming distracted. You can also link the annotation to another YouTube video. Below is a good example on the viral video “Charlie Bit my Finger”. They’re promoting a new video and also an iPhone app.

EDIT: If you want to get really creative, Suraj Sodha of Rapid Leverage Marketing has a great video tutorial on how to add an interactive “outro” video  to an existing YouTube video.

If you need some help on adding annotations to your YouTube videos do get in touch.

YouTube annotation

Can you transform amateur video into something which looks professional?

Yes you can. It is possible to transform amateur footage into something fairly watchable, but it depends on the quality of the original footage.

The tv news channels do it often with user generated content (UGC). What they do of course is edit the footage provided by the viewer into a brief 20 second clip. Of course it’s never going to be as good as if their own news crew had been there.

As professional video producers we’d normally prefer to be there ourselves and edit our own footage. We’ve produced numerous videos for our client The Stuart Holmes Hair & Beauty Spa however when they attended the Hairdressers Journal Awards (HJA) it was not practicable for us to be on hand to capture Stuart’s moment as he accepted the award for Salon of the Year. Not least because HJA had their own film crew in attendance.

The workround was Stuart took his own video camera and a team member shot the video as the awards were announced. Stuart then passed the footage to us to see if we could transform it into something watchable!

Here’s the result…

So, when it’s not possible to have the video professionally shot and you need to use amateur footage here are some tips to enable a professional editor / producer to transform it for you.

Our Top 5 Tips

1. Shoot more than you need
– This will enable the editor to choose the best bits.
– Don’t be tempted to “self edit” by stopping and starting. If in doubt leave the camera rolling.

2. Try and keep the camera still
– If it has an image stabilisation function switch it on.
– Resist the urge to pan from side to side or up and down.
– If sitting at a table rest your elbows on the table to steady the camera.
– Consider investing in a basic tripod. Or you could try a mini tripod. Search Amazon or E-Bay. You don’t need to spend a fortune.

3. Don’t zoom in and out
– This is called “tromboning” and will make it diffcult for the pro editor to edit your footage.
– Use the zoom but do so to frame the shot and remember any camera shake is magnified the more you zoom in.

4. If the lighting is poor adjust the exposure
– Some domestic camcorders may have a function to manually adjust the exposure settings. Don’t overdo it though or the picture could become over exposed.

5. Use an external mic for close up speech recording
– The internal mics on domestic camcorders are not that great so by using an external mic you’ll improve the quality of speech recording.
– You can find a good range of external mics at Maplins
– Note: For the above video the camera’s internal mic was the best option as it picked up ambient sound from the venue’s PA system.

New YouTube Capture app films and shares videos instantly

YouTube has just launched a new free app for iPhone and iPod touch.

The app complements the existing YouTube iPhone app by simplifying the upload process and enabling easy social sharing to Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus. There are also features to enhance videos with colour correction and image stabilising. You can even add music from a pre-determined list of tracks and there’s some basic editing functionality with a trim function.

YouTube Capture is ready to record as soon as you open it. This is quicker than using the built in iPhone camera app where you have to switch between stills or videos.  Videos recorded on YouTube Capture are saved to the camera roll.

When you’ve finished filming  filming, write a caption, select which networks you want to share to, and hit Share. Even if you minimize the app, the video will keep uploading in the background. You can control who sees your video by setting it to private, unlisted (only people with a link to the video can view it), or public.

Another feature I really like is that YouTube Capture will remind you to rotate your phone to a horizontal position for filming. This avoids ghastly vertical videos being uploaded to YouTube!

YouTube Capture is available in the Apple App Store and there’s more information here. YouTube say they’re working on an Android version.

Screenshots

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Using music on your videos – how to stay legal

Guitar

Using copyrighted music on videos in most cases is illegal. Here are some brief tips to guide you. 

PRS for Music is responsible for collecting royalties for composers and has licences available on its website covering a variety of different scenarios. Click on “I need a licence for” on this page.

If you’re making videos such as school plays or weddings one option is a Limited Manufacture Licence which covers a wide range of uses. We understand however that this licence only applies to DVD copies and does not permit online use on your website or YouTube. We suggest you use the above  “I need a licence for” link as a starting point and contact PRS for Music if you are unsure.

Using copyrighted music on commercial productions is not normally allowed without the permission of the composer. In some situations particularly television or film this can be extremely costly.

Using professionally produced non copyrighted music is a great alternative.

We buy our copyright free music from Premiumbeat and you can hear some examples of their music in the videos on our YouTube channel. Premiumbeat has thousands of tracks available for download along with a sampling option enabling you to listen before you buy. Prices start from around $29. They’ve also got lots of sound effects for download.

This blog post should not be viewed as a substitute for professional legal advice. The information is provided for general guidance only and applies to the UK.


How to improve your SEO with a You Tube channel

YouTubeCreating a YouTube channel for your business is a great way of expanding your “e-footprint” and boosting your SEO (search engine optimisation).

Here are some tips on how improve your SEO using You Tube.

1. Ensure your video title is descriptive and contains key words.
For example your business name, location and what you do along with the product or service featured in the video.

2. In the video description include a link to your website and keywords.
Again include the keywords and repeat them. For example if your video is about how to choose a tennis racket, weave that phrase into the description at least two or three times.
Top tip: Ensure you include the http:// bit in your website address otherwise it won’t be clickable. Eg. https://www.expertiseontap.co.uk

3. In the tags section include no more than 10-15 phrases including variants.
So for a video on choosing a tennis racket also include the alternative spelling of “racquet”. And just as you do for website keywords include phrases of two words of more in inverted commas, eg “tennis racket”.

4. Drive traffic to your channel.
The more views your channel gets the higher the impact on SEO. Mention your channel wherever you can and give people a reason to click through. Mention it on Twitter, Facebook, your blog, web forums and in your email signature.

I recently created a series of tennis coaching tips for East Glos Club. Below is an example of how one of the videos appears in a YouTube search at position number two.  This is due to implementing all the above.

YouTube SEO

YouTube: How to add customised thumbnails to your videos

What we mean by a customised thumbnail is the still image which displays before the video is played.  The problem is those images might not be what you want to illustrate your video, particularly if you want to use your branding.

YouTube customised images

Now YouTube has made it possible to upload your own still image for your videos.Until now YouTube gave you a choice of just three images to choose during the upload process, like the example on the right >

Here’s how to set up a customised thumbnail

1. In your YouTube account select Video Manager.

2. Find the video you want and choose Edit. Example below.

 YouTube customised images

3. You’ll then see an option for Customised Thumbnail. Example below.  Nb. This option only becomes available when the uploaded video has finished processing.

YouTube customised images

4. Click and upload your chosen image.
The maximum file size is 2Mb. The recommended minimum width is 640 pixels but for HD videos you could go up to 1920 pixels wide. You also need an image which is 16:9 (widescreen) resolution. To calculate the image height multiply your image width by 0.5625.

5. You can change the customised thumbnail any time by repeating the above steps.