What 2016’s video marketing trends tell us about 2017

Videos are more accessible than ever—both to make and to watch. Good thing, too, because they’ve been found to increase engagement on every front from sales to click-through rates on emails and websites. And the sheer quantity of content is hard to fathom. In any given 30-day span, more video is uploaded online than what all three major U.S. T.V. networks combined have created in 30 years.

It all points to one thing: Video is taking over the world. The unmatched effectiveness and saturation of video on the web means it’s more important and harder than ever to rise above the noise.

What 2016’s video marketing trends tell us (in a tiny, tiny nutshell)

 

  1. Mobile video consumption is increasing rapidly—to the tune of about 100 percent every year.
  2. People are watching more videos on more devices and are apt to watch multiple videos on more than one device at the same time.
  3. YouTube has over a billion users. That’s about a third of all of the people on the Internet.
  4. Livestreaming and 360 video are both on the rise. Video isn’t heavily-edited commercials starring handsome actors anymore.
  5. The Washington Post predicts video content will make up more than 80 percent of web content in the next several years.

Does that last one seem hard to believe? Then take a lesson from Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who said in 2007, “There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance.”

Every time someone says, “That could NEVER happen,” the universe conspires to make absolutely sure it does. So what do these video marketing trends mean for you and the eyeballs you’re trying to reach?

Early in their career, a young band called Dispatch got a piece of advice from one of their favorite musicians. “Make them listen,” he said. Spotify and Pandora bring a world of music to consumers’ earbuds. They can skip a song or discover a band in one click. The only way to make someone listen in these conditions is to make your sound so compelling they choose to bend their ear.

If you want to be ready for 2017, hire video service providers who understand your vision and can produce creative, high-quality content that makes people watch, click, and act.

 

About Crew Connection

Crew Connection logo

Crew Connection puts a world of video service providers at your fingertips. In just a few clicks you can search, chat with, and book vetted crews local to your shoot—all on your own schedule. Rely on Crew Connection’s team of media experts to organize the crews and gear you need for multi-day and multi-location video projects anywhere in the world. Our crew coordinators are on call around the clock if you ever need live assistance. Visit CrewConnection.com, call us at 303-526-4900, or shoot us an email at info@crewconnection.com.

 

The best hire media departments can make to improve workflows in 2017

When you’re managing a media department, people expect you to be everywhere at once. In addition to keeping up with the newest gear; you have to make important decisions in the marketing, finance, and crewing departments, too. On those long nights when you’re crunching the numbers to see if you’ll ever be able to hire a little extra help to get it all done, rely on your virtual (and free!) assistant—Crew Connection.

Crew Connection provides several workflow management solutions (did I mention they’re free?) in one, including the following: 

 

An always-on crewing coordinator

How much time would you free up if you could skip fruitless Google searches and find video service providers in just a few clicks? Time is money and Crew Connection saves you both by providing the world’s largest database of high-quality crews. Search crews by services, gear, and location. Book crews on your own schedule—including that elusive lunch “break” you’ve heard so much about.

The best part? Even when it’s time to hire an international film crew, you can trust that each and every crew member in our database has been personally reviewed and approved by our in-house team of video veterans.  

 

An administrative assistant who’s always on the ball

Rates, dates, gear, travel, and more. The details surrounding video productions are endless. Crew Connection manages the details, relays messages, and processes invoices in one simple interface; saving them all for future reference.

In addition, those real-life, in-house crew coordinators we mentioned earlier are on call 24/7 for when you need that human touch.  

 

An advocate for your budget and your reputation

Crew Connection allows you to find the best local crews and provides an estimate tool to make sure you and your crew arrive at the rates you need to stay on budget.  

We also pay crews directly within 30 days—whether we’ve gotten your check yet or not—making you a preferred client with your preferred crews.

 

Who couldn’t use a little more time and a little less hassle? Crew Connection is the uber-organized assistant you’ve always wanted. Sign up today for the one simple (oh, and FREE!) tool that will simplify your workflow and make 2017 smoother and more profitable.

 

About Crew Connection

Crew Connection logo

Crew Connection puts a world of video service providers at your fingertips. In just a few clicks you can search, chat with, and book vetted crews local to your shoot—all on your own schedule. Rely on Crew Connection’s team of media experts to organize the crews and gear you need for multi-day and multi-location video projects anywhere in the world. Our crew coordinators are on call around the clock if you ever need live assistance. Visit CrewConnection.com, call us at 303-526-4900, or shoot us an email at info@crewconnection.com.

Four tips to make your webinars not suck

Being able to communicate and interact with multiple people in multiple locations at the same time is a beautiful thing. But when it’s done poorly, your webinar might just multiply the misery of a bad experience.

Four tips to make your webinar worth texting home about

Be a speaker first and a teacher second

I don’t care how important and well-researched your material is. If you’re standing behind a computer reading from the screen, you may as well be saying “Bueller, Bueller?” Your attendees will gone by the first slide. While they may do you the courtesy of keeping your webinar on the screen while they scroll through Facebook and Twitter, they’re not really with you.

Have a thoroughly-planned outline and know it well enough that you can speak conversationally instead of just reading it. You can’t make eye contact over the Internet, but you can smile while you speak so people can hear that you’re happy to be there.

We know you have a personality. Don’t be afraid to use it.

Use all your resources, including other team members

Familiarize yourself with the webinar platform you’re using until you feel comfortable with its features. Group chats and polls are a great way to engage people, but if you fumble through them, they’ll end up as a distraction.

Bring in a producer or co-presenter and practice effective ways to manage behind-the-scenes details. You don’t want to be scrambling to read and respond to people while you’re speaking.

Add value

If you want people to pay attention, give them content they can’t ignore. Making content compelling and relevant to attendees’ lives is the best way to engage them.

While contests and giveaways may encourage people to stick around until the end of the webinar, there is simply no replacement for content that adds value to attendees’ lives. In the same vein, refer people to your resources, but don’t use webinars just for sales. Your attendees will see through it and it will leave a bad taste in their mouth.

Make it easy

Don’t send attendees out to watch a video on YouTube and expect them to come back in. Make sure any elements like recorded scripts and videos are inside your webinar. Consider the time of day that is most appropriate for your audience and keep webinars under an hour. A good mix is 30 minutes of content and 15 minutes of questions. Record the material so people can easily listen later or again.

Webinars are an easy way to accomplish a lot. They’re also easy to screw up. These four tips will ensure people don’t approach your webinar as a chance to leave their computer open for appearances while they run out to catch a Pokémon.

About Crew Connection

Crew Connection logo

Crew Connection puts a world of video service providers at your fingertips. In just a few clicks you can search, chat with, and book vetted crews local to your shoot—all on your own schedule. Rely on Crew Connection’s team of media experts to organize the crews and gear you need for multi-day and multi-location video projects anywhere in the world. Our crew coordinators are on call around the clock if you ever need live assistance. Visit CrewConnection.com, call us at 303-526-4900, or shoot us an email at info@crewconnection.com.

How to manage analog expectations in a digital world

Frances Peterson, Production Coordinator at Abernethy Media Professionals, connects clients with just the right crews to create a final product that’s the perfect mix of what they want and need. In this blog Frances shares how she’s learned to manage client expectations in the ever-changing video production industry.

 

I’ve been the production coordinator for camera crews at AMP for over 10 years. I’ve seen our business evolve through Betacam to Red Dragon, through SD to HD to 4K, and from handing over a videotape at the end of a shoot to uploading editable files via FTP. With every advance comes the inevitable managing of a client’s expectations for their next project.

When I work with clients, a fair bit of my conversation is about managing expectations. While it’s always a good idea to go into a conversation knowing what you want and need as far as your crew, equipment, shoot, etc.; it’s my job to make sure your wants and needs will get you the right end result. Oftentimes that means moving away from a client’s tried-and-true methods, or perhaps working with a bigger crew or different equipment. It all boils down to having an honest conversation to manage expectations and deliver on the promise of the right crew and gear for your production.

 

But we’ve always done it like this!

The more things change, the tighter some hold on to the same way of doing things. The switch from SD to HD was brutal! I had to convince one client that no, I really couldn’t get that particular type of video tape any more and to please just try this new fangled solid state media. But little by little, the most stubborn hold out could see the difference in quality and appreciate the improved ease of moving footage into an edit system. That was my most convincing argument for digital cameras—while you may pay a little more on the front end for a higher quality camera, you save when the project goes to post. It’s the same conversation when I put together something that somehow doesn’t exactly meet the client’s norm. My job is to help them out and show them exactly why the status quo may not be the best for the outcome of their shoot!

 

Curse of the camera du jour

When the DSLRs with their 35mm imager came on the scene, everyone wanted the Canon 5D for that sharp foreground, out-of-focus background in HD. While the 5D was a great camera, the early models could only record for 12 minutes at a time and audio had to be recorded outside the camera a la film. Picture and sound had to be married in post and not everyone was set up to do that. That led to big surprises for many clients and lots and lots of managing expectations for me. Luckily today many cameras can create that look more efficiently and are available in a wider price range. Now I spend more time talking someone down off a RED for a corporate green screen interview. Even with different gear, it’s the same conversation. The most expensive equipment might not be the smart choice for your shoot, and it’s my job to know when that’s the case and to let you know what to use instead.

 

Building the right crew for a successful shoot

Speaking of the RED camera, some cameras simply necessitate more gear and more professionals to run that gear. External digital recorders for video and audio don’t monitor themselves! You will never regret adding more crew members to a shoot.

A one-man band can shoot b-roll all day long and transfer media at the end of the day. However, he can’t take the place of two other crew members. It’s just not feasible to expect a single cameraman to set up for a day of back-to-back interviews, be able to guarantee the quality of an audio feed run straight to camera, and have time to stop to transfer files to clear cards without ever holding the roll.

No one notices the audio unless it’s bad. If good audio is a vital component of your project, book an audio op with a field mixer and mics and the know-how to use them. On shoots with day-long rolls or two or more cameras running, it’s important to have a digital media manager transferring footage carefully from cards that will be wiped to use again. Because when the cards are wiped, the files are GONE. The digital recording world makes the protection of your footage and audio imperative. Always have two copies; always hold an archive. What might look like a bigger front end cost actually is a risk mitigator that ultimately leads to shelling out less money if something goes awry.

Managing your expectations doesn’t mean lowering expectations. It means offering my expertise on using a client’s resources wisely and appropriately to make sure the product delivered is the product requested. Because really—aren’t we’re all only as good as our last shoot?

Book the best people for your project with these 6 questions

Frances Peterson, Production Coordinator at Abernethy Media Professionals for over a decade, connects clients with just the right crews and gear to ensure their shoots go down picture perfect. Here, Frances shares the six-part litmus test that she uses to make sure crew and client are a fit.

 

Putting a shoot together is like putting on a show: Everyone has to play their part, know their lines, pick up their cues, and work together with the end in mind—all while paying attention to the details at hand. So it’s important when I’m booking a crew that they have the right mix of experience, ability, and creativity. From a quick talking head with an EX3 for internal communications to a RED Weapon Dragon Forged shoot for a broadcast commercial, I make sure to book the locals with the specialized experience and gear to bring the project to life.

Here are the six questions that tell me if I’m hiring the best people for the project…

 

The AMP Camera Crews Litmus Test 

 

Can this person do the superlative job they told me they could do?

 

Are they a problem solver?

 

Do they know when to ask for help?

 

Do they have good client relation skills?

 

Do they add to the crew’s sense of congruity?

 

Could you go grab a bite and a drink with them after 10 hours together on set?

 

The answer to all of these questions needs to be YES.

An AMP camera crew is made up of  multi-talented, experienced, flexible problem solvers who are well acquainted with the camera and lighting packages, audio and grip gear, backdrops, teleprompters, media transfer processes, and upload parameters we have in-house. We are fortunate to have a local pool of production talent both deep and wide at AMP.

While some of our folks have been in the business for over 25 years and some are young turks, they all have one thing in common—they are here to give you the look and feel that you are striving for on your project. Your satisfaction at the end of the shoot is what it’s all about.