How long will your corporate video be relevant for?

The question on the lips of a lot of marketing managers and directors is, if they invest in a video, how long will it 'last' before becoming irrelevant? This post will explain how long it should be before you re-invest in a video, if at all. 

The other day I was in a meeting with some potential clients. They were looking to increase their digital media presence both for themselves, and for their own clients. But they weren't sure how long a video would 'last' once purchased. 

Point-in-time vs longevity

Any consulting firm and business can change with increasing demand, competition, changing priorities and more. 

Therefore, it can be remiss to invest in a video, if you think that you will be presenting something completely different in 6-12 months time. 

But here's what you should be actually thinking about:

"Can I afford to whip up a video right now for tomorrow's launch, or should I be thinking 3-6 months ahead, and make a video for that?"

My advice is the latter. 

Being proactive is always the smartest play with online video content and here's why:

You're organised.

There's nothing worse than trying to create content 'in arrears', and video can be even more difficult.

The reality is that it takes time to create video content, so if you're behind the 8-ball, you may never get back in front of it. 

So when you're thinking about quality video content in advance, you are going to be way ahead of your competition already. 

This is especially pertinent for software products or any viable product that hasn't even been built yet. 

Put 'explainer video' in your pre-launch sprint, because having a proof-of-concept video ready to go upon release will be super potent for lead generation and sales. 

Clients are often concerned that if they make a video, then it's finished. And if anything in their product or process changes, the video won't be able to affect that.

9 out of 10 times, a simple change request can be filed, and we can punch-in the changes without a problem. This can lengthen the life cycle of the video, potentially infinitely. 

But there are video types that have a longer shelf-life, from inception and can be a reliable website/social media salesman.

Live action is a great video type that can last for a long time

Purely because the nature of live action video, it creates a sense of trust in the viewer. Once people see a real human being, certain fears (often subconscious) are quashed. 

Getting your CEO on camera and talking about how great your workplace is, is a video that will last for a long time.

The only reason this will become irrelevant is if your workplace becomes a terrible place to work!

Video case studies are timeless for longevity. They show the world that you're the real deal, deliver high quality work to satisfied clients. Success has no statute of limitations. 

But here is the bottom line, it doesn't mean that you just make a video and stop.

While live action can last for a long time, you should fill your digital media arsenal with a catalogue of premium videos that will pay off into the future. 

These can be recruitment videos, video testimonials, summary videos of annual general meetings, interviews with employees, video for your lobby/next convention. 

These kinds of videos can be the difference between winning work and not. Between recruiting a rockstar employee, and getting a second banana on board. 

Bringing it all together...

We prefer to make videos with as much advance time and expertise poured in as possible. It helps us not pull our hair out, but it will also be the best possible product for your business. 

Having said that, you can make videos that exist 'in the now' but will actually pay off long into the future. Whether it's animation or live action, we make videos that can last for a long time and are able to be chopped and changed, where necessary. 

Until next time,

Pete

PS - if you have ever worried that video has a short life cycle, we can explain how it will actually last long into the future. Get in touch below to find out how:

Why you should use screen recordings in your next video

Screen recording your IT product can be the difference between a sign-up or a bounce from your website. Here's why we encourage screen recordings for our IT and consulting firm clients' videos.

Our clients often ask us about integrating screen recordings with a cringe on their face. They're not sure if it's possible, and if it is, they're certain it's difficult to do. It's not! And it's actually a great idea to have screen recordings embedded in your video content. Here are our reasons: 

Show your product off

It's the obvious path but often the one that our previous clients are hesitant to engage in. We have found that this is usually because the product has not been finished.

But when we say 'that doesn't matter', that familiar cringe mixed with a quizzical look then spreads across the dial. But it really doesn't matter, at all. 

If all you have is screenshots of your product, we can bring them to life with animations of cursors, a tablet user, whatever you need.

A video we completed in 2015 only had a wireframe of the e-learning product finished, the hyperlinks didn't even work! But we were able to get into the test environment and our savvy animators followed instructions, recorded their screens and captured the essence of the environment expertly. 

Ultimately, like any video, the key message should be how the product benefits the user. We never stray from that key tenet. But having a semblance of what the product does, or even just how it looks is a very powerful way into the minds of your potential customers. 

It is actually easy

Like I said, it's not hard. Our animators are adept at using screen recording software programs, like Screenflow by Telestream.

It's a great piece of software that allows seamless editing, graphics, call-outs and more to be recorded and edited in only minutes. (And nope, they're not paying me to say that, they're just that good). 

Here's a couple example of videos that we produced that used screenflow recordings and integrated them into a use-case narrative for the viewer. 

As you can see, the GovSpend video is pure screen recording. This is a good method of showing the product to internal stakeholders, or users who are already onboarded. 

There's no need for flashy framing, animation or overlays for people who are already know the product. What matters more is a clear walkthrough of the utility of the software itself.

The Capability Central recordings were allowed to be more 'flashy' because the clients were not yet familiar with the software. 

Fun fact: this is an example of a video we made, where the product was not yet finished. We are quite proud that we were able to make it come to life!

I often talk about 'opening the door' to potential customers. Let them in and have a look around, be it through live action video or animation. Recording your product (working or not), is a great way to open that door.  

Until next time,

Pete

PS - have you tried to record your IT product before? It can be tedious and time consuming without the right know-how. 

We love tedium and we know how to do it, so get in touch.

 

 

Top Three Reasons To Choose Animation For Your Next Video Project

I have always been fascinated with animation. Ever since I was young, watching old Disney films where it was done manually, up to "The Simpsons" and more recently - the magnificent animated creativity and storytelling of "Rick and Morty". 

We produce animated videos not just because we like the way they look, but because they're actually a super versatile digital asset. This post will explain why you should choose animation for your next video.

We have pinned it down to three overarching reasons:

They can be made quickly

Thank goodness we don't live in the days of manual animation like Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, because that looked like an absolute nightmare. Months of work to make scenes, years to make a feature film.

The wonders of technology have made production of animation a seamless and dynamic process. On average, our animated videos take 3-6 weeks to produce. That's dedicated storyboarding, animation and post-production.

One thing we do that is similar to what was done in the early days of animation, is hand-drawn storyboards. These give the client an initial 'feel' of what the video will look like. A lot of clients like to know that real artists are busily working away on the right style and graphics that align to their brand and/or product.  

And while we have moved away from template animation style (which is quicker, but ultimately too generic), we can still churn out high quality videos quickly, with multiple people working simultaneously on the project to get it out the door. 
 

It's often the most accessible

When I use the word 'accessible', I mean it in terms of it being able to be experienced by persons with disabilities/impairments. 

We have had the opportunity to work with clients such as the Australian Network on Disability who taught us a lot about accessibility in content, web images and indeed animation.

We have taken that forward into producing our videos, to ensure that colour balance, speed of voiceover speech and text size are all able to be viewed by people with audio and visual impairments. 

An audio-visual-accessible video we produced for the Australian Network on Disability

 

The beauty of the animated video is that you have complete control over all of the variables that can cause issues for accessibility, and we have found it's best and easier to err on the side of making them accessible from the video's inception. 

It's versatile across different channels

You've probably heard that video is an extremely shareable asset, which is true. But 'video' is an all-too-nebulous term. 

Animation is really something that is the most versatile to be shared, but why?

Ultimately it's about editing. With animation, you can construct various lengths of videos more easily, to be shared on different channels.

Have the full length 90 second on your landing page - make a 15 or 30 second clip especially for Twitter or Instagram ads. Go pro and make a 'full version' up to 2 minutes for YouTube. 

This is something that needs to be constructed from the inception of the video, not done after-the-fact. Otherwise, you run into issues of flow and clarity just like any other video project.

Bringing it all together...

So as you can see - there are a few reasons I like animation. Not because of nostalgia and entertainment, but also as a really useful business tool. An animated video can be made quickly, easily, and is appealing to lots of types of viewers, no matter what your niche is. 

Until next time,

Pete

PS - if you like remember and prefer the 'old school' Simpsons, you might like to share this post. 

Interested working together? Get in touch below and see how we can help you.

How Consulting Firms Can Leverage Video For Their Government Clients

Consulting firms are discovering new and engaging ways to win government contracts, and maintain them. This post will tell you how video is a powerful tool to expand your digital capabilities in the government space. 

There are a couple of simple points that video can help you with your government engagement. The first will outline how video you will help you win contracts, and the second will go into how video will keep them.

Let government departments know who you are, and what you do, with video

If you are approaching a government department panel, or even just for a one-off contract and you're not one of 'The Big 4' (Deloitte, PwC, Ernst & Young, KPMG), you'll need something to get ahead. Trust me - they have a lot of materials in their arsenal to win big, not just their reputation.

Big firms have in-house or outsourced digital media teams at their disposal to make them the best and keep them up the top of the pile. Video is increasingly becoming the go-to option for tier 1 and 2 firms to impress government clients. 

What you might not know, though is that video is not just reserved for the big dogs - it's available and powerful for the smaller firms.

Some common misconceptions I have come across about video:

  • It's too expensive;
  • It's too difficult and time consuming to make;
  • It's reserved for digital products / specialised offerings only - what I like to call the
    'Esoteric Enemy'.

Let me dive deeper on these points...

"It's too expensive"

You can produce (well, we can for you) a video that will cost less than what some Sydneysiders pay on parking per month. Seriously.

Your video doesn't have to be a long, waffley piece of garbage. It should be sharp, targeted and effective in winning you business.

Ideally it's something reusable that you can just plug into any bid or email, or have pinned on your website / Facebook / Twitter feed. Live action and animation both work well here - whatever fits your brand the best. 

"It's too difficult and time-consuming"

Not to toot our own horn, but why do you think businesses like Video Spartan exist? We are here to show you that video ISN'T hard or time-consuming.

Firms often make the mistake of 'taking out the middle man' and hire a bevy of cheap freelancers on Upwork or Gumtree to make their video. Go ahead and do that if you want to:

  • Make your video unclear and unprofessional;
  • Get stuck in the weeds of video production and iterative production nightmares;
  • Have your production process exceed 6 months (yes, really).

Platforms like Youtube and Vimeo have levelled the playing field (with the aid of high definition cameras in your pocket) for anyone to make a video easily.

Gone are the days of expensive and lengthy shoots/edits - get it done right, with some polish, and done quickly - and this will make your government clients love you forever, and keep coming back.  

Our experience with working directly with government, is that they obviously want it done right - but also quickly. Quickly is usually the key metric for them. Deadlines.

And as I mentioned, time constraints usually makes the product suffer - but we proudly produce high quality videos in short periods of time. (That one was a two week-er...crazy). 

"The Esoteric Enemy"

Some consulting firms can only see their services within the lens they work in. Some aren't open to the idea of video, because they don't think it can apply to whatever they do. 

We chuckle at this, because that's exactly why you should invest in a video - to make the esoteric message accessible to all. 

Are you primarily enterprise architecture? Awesome, show them your track record of saving government departments millions of dollars. Do you deal more in IT systems design and product development? Great! Advertise your awesome in-house software and implementation steps. 

Another misconception is that firms believe that if they aren't making digital products, then video is therefore irrelevant.

On the contrary - we recently completed a project for a large Australian Government department, which was a paper-based cash flow management tool.
 


Nothing about this product was digital - but we made a video that made the esoteric concept a simple, easy to follow narrative that ended up helping make the firm win a design award (!).
Not bad for plain old paper. 

Sometimes, it comes down to ego. Make them the best.

I'm sure a lot of you remember the Department of Finance video from earlier in 2017. If you can last 30 seconds without cringing, I tip my hat off to you.

Now, this is not the first graduate program video to be produced, and it won't be the last - but one lesson to learn from it, was that it was (overly) flashy and produced, and lacked a real cogent message.

This is because government departments like to look the best to the outside world - even at the expense of alienating the entire generation with whom they are trying to impress. 

It's a shame, because if they had used actors and not 'gov-speak' in the script, it would have been a great insight into what working at Finance would be really like. 

The failure here is not recognising the target audience and linking that with the ultimate goal of the video - to attract young graduates to work at Finance.

Government departments are looking for the best and brightest young minds to join them, and a great video is the gateway for the next generation of pear-and-banana-bread public servants.

Instead, have real interviews that aren't tightly scripted and use b-roll of the office and cafes around - make it real, personable and unpolished.

Or use short animations with some interesting facts that might appeal to potential Finance graduates, with a young voiceover artist guiding them through it. 

This is the kind of video content that can be so powerful and can be the difference between 600 applicants and 6000.  

The point is that you can use good video content, repeatedly, for your government clients. It will add a fantastic dimension to your digital services capabilities (and non-digital services!) and make your consulting firm an agile, professional and impressive enterprise. 

And that's it. If you are a consulting firm undecided about using video for your government clients, consider the above. It's a powerful tool that, if done correctly, can bring you up to the level of your Big 4 competitors.

Until next time,

Pete

PS - If you know the 'estoteric enemy' only exists in your mind, and not reality - you might like to share this post. 

Interested? Click below to get in touch

Four types of video that every consulting firm needs

 
 

Consulting firms are often paralysed by what video content they should be putting out. This post will teach you which video forms to produce, so there is no more guesswork.

'Company culture' video

With the advent of social media comes the judging eye of everyone who stumbles upon your firm. 

Whether you're a tier one international conglomerate, or a small local firm - people are going to have a preconceived idea of what your firm looks like, and how you operate. 

So what do you do? Let people judge and make up their own minds? No thanks - take the reins and open the doors to your business.

Company culture videos are becoming a very popular (and easy) way to change your corporate persona from 'too big to care' to 'come on in - we're friendly and efficient'.

A good example of this type of video is one done for the Synergy Group in Canberra, ACT. With the advent of their new office space, they opted to show off their new, funky surrounds combined with informal talking heads and b-roll.

It's a great example of how easy it is to open the doors to your business, and show that real human beings work there, are normal and want to help you.

 

Video case studies

You need to be able to prove that you're a credible, reliable and appealing firm. So showing off your work through case studies should be at the top of the list. 

The folly of case studies is that they're usually boring (unless you produced something SUPER interesting!). 

So to 'unbore-ify' your case studies - turn them into a video, or at least supplement the written content with a video.

The power of having someone talk about a successful project, detailing problems, solutions and the outcome is huge. The key, is to have the 'talent' talk informally, but professionally and confidently about the project.

'Ums and ahhs' are OK - that's how people talk! But have a clear structure to follow, so your video is not aimless. This is where having the written case study is useful for direction. 

This is a good example of a well-produced video case study, incorporating confident speakers and effective use of B-roll to keep the audience engaged. 

Animated explainer video

Our favourite! So easy and so powerful.

When people ask me what my company produces and I mention 'animated explainer videos' as part of the arsenal, some of them look back at me quizzically.

But I guarantee them that they have seen one, because they're everywhere. 

I see animation as the ultimate entry-point - it appeals to pretty much everyone, which is powerful for engagement. It does what its title suggests - explains. And because your canvas is creatively endless, you can explain almost anything.

Example of a deep dive into a product, using animation as the entry point

One we are very proud of is the Parramatta 2021 video we produced for the City of Parramatta. It captured a unique aesthetic as well as informed a wide constituent base about a variety of topics.

The great thing about animated videos is that they are shareable as well. This particular video was syndicated across the
Daily Telegraph in Australia.

They're also great for selling products. You can construct an animated video in exactly the way you want, using persuasive triggers and copy with a strong call to action.

We are experts in end-to-end production, producing everything from start to finish (plus some added bonuses) to make the ultimate animated explainer video. 

Video testimonials

What better way to show off your wares (successes) than by getting the people you helped in front of the camera? 

If you have ever watched Danoz Direct and seen people praising the wonder of 'Space Bags' or the 'Nutri Bullet', you have seen a video testimonial.

Now, don't get us wrong - we know that most of those people are paid actors, and often the products are substandard or even worse, useless to most people. But come on, the actors showing their miserable lives 'before' whatever the product is, is pretty great.

Here's a hilarious video compilation of some of the best (worst!). 

But the fact is, some 'real people' (non-actors) aren't comfortable getting in front of the camera, so actors are required to make it look professional. 

And really, it doesn't matter if you use paid actors to talk about how good a product or service is. What matters is that the experience is genuine - and you back that up with your next customers.

To make things easier on yourself though, there are many resources that allow talent in front of the camera to talk at ease about their experience with your product or service. If you can convince them to be comfortable on-camera with a few simple questions, everyone wins.

Bringing it all together

Consulting firms can shoulder through the saturated market by using one or all of these video methods to get ahead.

Giving your customer base an extra insight into your business, through live action and animated methods is a great way to show that you're human, you're legitimate and you sell services. 

Signing off,

Pete

PS - if you laugh at hilarious infomercial fails, you might enjoy working with us on your next video project.

Want to chat more? Click below to get in touch.