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Marketing Video Marketing Video Production Visual Storytelling

Value-Added Video

Value-Added Video

Business is about building trust. Whether you sell shoes or mortgages, if you can show potential customers that you’re an expert, you’ll win their confidence. The internet is full of videos that describe what a company sells. Why not offer something more?

A promotional video that teaches people something they want to know fosters goodwill. Who doesn’t appreciate helpful advice from an expert? Plus, a value-added video demonstrates your expertise and it may just give you a following. Answer a useful question well, and people will not only appreciate your efforts, they’ll look to you the next time they have a question.

As a business owner, you’re passionate about what your company has to offer. A value-added video gives you the opportunity to share that passion with the world. It could be how to fold a fitted bedsheet or why you need different types of wine glasses. Teach, empower and engage your customers.

Would you rather buy a barbeque from the store that shows you rows of product, or from the store that taught you how to prepare meat for smoking? What about the landscaping service that gives you a video on how to plant spring bulbs? Or, the tool rental place that shows you how to power wash?

See how this video describes a service, while teaching the importance of a good bike fit.

Now that you know the importance of a proper fit, where will you go to have it done? That’s the power of a value-added video. Show and sell your expertise. We all have special knowledge and skills that make us valuable to our customers. What can you teach yours?

You have an expertise to share. We have the expertise to capture it in an engaging video. Let’s get together and talk about how to showcase your business.

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Marketing Video Marketing Video Production Visual Storytelling

Testimonials – Getting the Word Out

Your customers know what makes your business special. Let them tell the story for you. We all see written testimonials and recommendations posted on the web and they’re great. But when you use the power of video to share testimonials, the message is even more engaging. What could be more powerful than actual people telling the world what they think of your business? Putting a face on the message raises the credibility and the impact.

Testimonial videos are also great for social media. These days almost everyone spends time on social media. By having a video presence, you keep the attention of your customers longer and you give them something interesting to share with their friends. Just imagine what a television commercial would cost you. In today’s world, you can take that same content and share it on social media for a fraction of the cost. Depending on how it is shared, a social media post could stick around for a lot longer. After all, it is viewable on demand. Check out this video we created for Cycle Therapy Bikes.

As Brenda Burch, social media expert and owner of Social Media is Simple, says about the video we did for Cycle Therapy: “Video is the BIG THING and this video is beautifully done, authentic as heck, talks about the bikes, but also talks about the experience and the PEOPLE. We love this!”

Story in Focus is proud of the business we’ve created and our customers know the value of our services. Word-of-mouth is the most powerful form of marketing. With video, you can capture what your customers have to say about your business and share it with the world. We work hard to make your customers comfortable in front of the camera and we engage them in a relaxed conversation. When this happens, powerful phrases just naturally pour from their mouths and we collect those bits of gold in a concise video. Is it time to let others blow your horn? Why not use a testimonial video to bolster word-of-mouth marketing for your business? Give us a call and we’ll work with you to share what makes your business special on the web.

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Video Production Visual Storytelling

Video Projects On A Budget

This video was shot as a solo production. Every aspect of the video, from capturing the footage to the final edit, was completed by a team of one. This allows for a much lower budget. It can be a challenge for grass-roots organizations to get their message out. Using a lower budget option may provide a solution. As long as attention is paid to all of the details, like sound and visual content, one person can capture everything that is needed for a basic well edited story.

These are a few helpful hints to keep the cost down:

  1. Know the message you want to convey in the video and stick to it.
  2. Have all your experts on hand and ready to be interviewed during the day of the shoot.
  3. Help organize the people involved in shots. Videographers are known for their cat-herding skills, but that takes time away from the production.
  4. Find out what type of space the videographer needs and have it ready before the videographer arrives.
  5. Arrange for lunch to be delivered. This keeps everyone close at hand and limits delays.

Many people try to put too much in their videos. They figure that since video is expensive, they should make the most of it. But people do not watch long videos so your return on investment will be minimal. One video. One message. Keep it simple and short.

Trust your videographer as the expert. After all, that is what you are paying for. Your ideas are invaluable during the planning stage. Once the shoot is underway, it’s best to stick with the plan. Rethinking the approach in the middle of a shoot will only cause frustration and budget over-runs.

Don’t waste your money by using a non-professional. Remember the last time you were forced to sit through your uncle Joe’s travel videos? Your customers will not be so generous with their time. Plus, the damage to your reputation will be difficult to repair. Looking like an amateur is okay if you’re a discount furniture sales person and that’s your persona. For the rest of us, it’s better to hire a professional.

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Google Street View Photography Video Marketing Video Production Virtual Tour Visual Storytelling

Bending the rules to save you money

Cowichan Regional Visitor Centre

Google Maps only hosts tours for storefront businesses or attractions. If you’re a contractor with a business that does not involve a storefront, this leaves you out, right? Not necessarily. Have you ever heard of co-op advertising? With co-op advertising, compatible businesses work together to increase their marketing potential. They select marketing materials that work for both of them, and share the costs.

If you’re a contractor, you can use co-op advertising on Google Maps to promote your services. Suppose you have a construction company and you recently built a local restaurant beautifully situated in an ocean bay. I’m sure your client is as proud of their new restaurant as you are. Why not join forces to have a virtual tour shot of the new restaurant and split the cost?

Once the tour is on Google Maps, I can provide you with the embedded code which you can use on your website to show off your work. If you really want to highlight the skills of your company, I can add an interface to the virtual tour. Visitors can click to obtain supporting information, detail photos and even testimonial videos. And you don’t have to do all of it at once. You can add each of these features as your budget allows.

You don’t have to have a storefront business to benefit from creating a virtual tour. What better way to convince potential clients of the quality of the services you provide than by taking them on a tour of the finished product?

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Google Street View Photography Video Production Virtual Tour

What is HDR

When shooting virtual tours, we take three to nine images, each at a different exposure. Then we combine these images into one image. Yes, we use the M setting on our camera. And no, it doesn’t stand for missed another one. The reason we take multiple exposures is so that we can achieve what is called High Dynamic Range (HDR). HDR gives us expanded capabilities which enable us to capture the entire brightness range of the scene and adjust the final image to look just right.

HDR Exposures

In this image, the five exposures are each one stop apart. On the far left, you can see detail in the sky. On the far right, you can see detail in the shadows. When combined these images can have various outputs, depending on the editor.

High Dynamic Range HDR output

We prefer the photographic look of the center image. Although the image on the left is useable, it doesn’t look realistic because the shadows are boosted too much. The image on the right is an art project, which is fine if that is the intent.

Where a single exposure gives a reasonable image most of the time, an HDR makes a good exposure possible in places where there is a high dynamic range. Imagine having to get the same exposure when shooting photos all the way around in a circle. Facing one direction, the photos would be directly into the sun. Facing the other, the sun would be lighting the scene. This is why HDR is important. It prevents the images from being a complete disaster. When we combine the HDR images into a panorama by careful adjustment, the entire scene becomes viewable. Special software also helps blend the exposure from one direction to the next. No one likes skies that are so blown out it looks like a blizzard is coming, or shadows that obscure large portions of an image.