Category Archives: Tips & Tricks

The Importance of Video for B2B Marketing

In today’s digital era, your content could make or break your B2B marketing efforts. We have seen an enormous shift in B2B marketing over the past decade, and these days, companies are operating in a world driven by technology.

It is now just as essential to keep on top of your social media marketing to attract new B2B clients, as phoning up prospective clients was ten or twenty years ago. In a fast-paced world where your potential clients may be working across different time zones, it can also be much easier to reach your target audience with well-crafted interactive multimedia marketing.

It’s easy to see just how much the face of B2B has changed with business websites and social media looking more like B2C. You only need to take one look at Salesforce.com to see how they are tapping into B2B customers increasingly thinking like B2C consumers – with storytelling to deliver their message.

B2B businesses deliver their message in several different ways, with explainer videos, video demonstrations, and filmed customer interviews and testimonials leading the way.

Using video to engage with B2B clients

B2B marketers understand that they need to find new ways to catch the attention and engage with prospective new clients. They must plan to incorporate interactive marketing and act more like publishers, focusing on producing high-quality, engaging content.

Video is an effective tool for B2B marketers to create content for building the brand and engaging with their potential B2B clients. We live in a world where content is king, and video marketing featuring the right content will grab your target’s attention for a much longer duration. Good quality, concise video content that your audience finds engaging can deliver them with a time-saving solution that answers all their questions without the need to go looking for more information.

How to make winning video content

Most businesses only dedicate around 10 per cent of their marketing budget to content marketing campaigns that include video marketing. A missed trick, when you consider that video content can be easily shared and promoted via social media, earning you inbound links and free publicity.

B2B video marketing is a powerful way to bring honesty and transparency to your business helping to build trust. When a company sees the people behind the business or gets an inside glimpse of your operation, it can make your business look like a more attractive partner.

If you don’t know where to start with B2B video marketing, it can help to work with an industry professional such as Small Films. We create innovative, high-quality, compelling corporate videos that bring B2B businesses to life using film.

Animation is such a powerful tool for your business. When it comes to creating engaging content, using animation is a solid investment for your company. At Small Films, we’ve been delivering animations for years and have seen the incredible success these styles of films bring to brands.

Our modern culture turns to the internet when we need to learn. Don’t know how to do something? Somebody out there must have made a video about it, right? The videos we consume to understand a particular product or service better are called explainer videos. They’re an awesome way to give your audience quick information and present yourself as an expert in your field. They also help to gain people’s trust – so your company will be regarded with increased confidence.

Nobody wants to be confronted with a wall of text explaining why your company has a good culture and ethics or that your protein water is the best in the business. Instead, an animated explainer video allows people to understand who you are with minimal effort. Because, let’s face it, people don’t have the time to actively learn about who you are; they want to be spoon-fed with valuable information.

So, what exactly is an animated explainer video?

An animated explainer video will describe your product or service through animation. This might be via 2D, 3D, character animation or motion graphics and will be a way to show the benefits of your offering concisely. Animation is so powerful because it can explain complex ideas simply, without the need for expensive film shoots or long-distance travel. Check out our extended blog on ‘what is an animated explainer video’ to learn more about this film style.

Watch the animated product explainer video we did for Blossm

 

5 reasons why you should use animated explainer videos:

● They show a problem and a solution

A consumer wants to know how you can solve their problem. If a video can show a linear narrative in which somebody relatable to themselves gets their problem solved, a consumer is far more likely to become infatuated with your company.

● They are approachable

Animation is probably one of the more challenging forms of media to create. Yet, it is the easiest form to consume. People will be far more likely to watch a video about who you are or what you sell rather than read about it.

● Show your brand personality

Does your company have a wicked work culture that everybody else should know about? Are your ethics well aligned with your audience’s wants, and do you have a brand ahead of its time? Use your animated explainer video as a chance to show your brand’s personality.

● They’re multifaceted

Your video can be posted on YouTube or Vimeo. It can then be relayed through your social media platforms. It can be embedded on your website. It can be sent out via an email marketing campaign. Once you have the video, there is a multitude of ways you can use it.

● Explainer videos can help improve your SEO

Google is constantly trying to figure out why you should be ranked number 1. You need to show Google that you are the top expert in your industry and have information others desperately need. Explainer videos optimised for search will help your website be found by users looking for your product or service.

Explainer videos will add a great deal of value to your website and help highlight why a customer should buy from you. They’ll improve conversions and offer an incredible return on investment.

At Small Films, we will work with you to discover the best animation style that fits your video project, tone of voice, and goals. We’ll help write the script, storyboard it, and our talented bunch of animators will bring your project to life.

If you’re looking for an animated explainer video company, then do get in touch

Animated explainer videos are an excellent way for a business to attract clients in a creative, eye-catching and informative way.  

What is an Explainer Video? 

Explainer videos are usually short videos that are used for marketing or selling a product or service. Explainer videos highlight the key features and benefits of these products/services to encourage why a customer should buy them, so they’re a great style of video to use if your product or service is complicated to understand. They are used in multiple ways, such as on an e-commerce site, in Facebook ads or by the new business team to help quicken the sales cycle.  

The Benefits of an Animated Explainer Video 

Not only are animated explainer videos a popular choice, but they don’t require extensive production or travel, making them easier to create and often more cost-effective. An animated explainer video doesn’t need pre-shot footage, so they’re a great way to bring any concept to life. 

  • They quickly explain complex ideas. 
  • They are cost-effective to create 
  • They support your SEO efforts 
  • They help to position your brand 
  • Video production is easier to manage 
  • They can boost conversion rates

At Small Films, we can provide all types of animated explainer videosGive us a bell to chat through your project. 

Animation is a great way to get creative with your video. It can be colourful, vibrant and unique – helping to make your brand stand out. With animated explainer videos, you also have access to various styles, from character animation to mixed media – allowing you to choose which best fits your brand. For example, a company like Innocent often uses illustrators for their animations to capture their playful personality, whilst Accenture uses 2D motion graphics to explain their services clearly.    

Animated explainer videos can come in a variety of styles and functions: 

2D Animated Character Videos
Animated videos are pretty easy on the eye, especially when you have a nice simple animated character telling you a story. It’s engaging and, if done right, will put the right message across. 

2D Motion Graphics
With 2D motion graphics, you don’t need an emotional/engaging story. Due to the graphics being the exciting part, you can just jump straight right into the relevant information required. 

Whiteboard Animation
This type is simple and can gain the attention of both a visual and text learner. If done right, it can be a real winner of an animated explainer video. 

3D Animation Video
3D animation is a more advanced style, where features can be made more realistic. However, this can be expensive to create compared to 2D animation but is definitely worth the money. 

Animated Explainer Video Best Practices 

As an experienced animation video companySmall Films has created countless animated videos for our clients, including Interactive Investor and Emily Crisps, so we know all the best practices for all styles of explainer videos. 

  • Keep them between 30-90 seconds in length.  
  • The videos should be kept simple, refined down to only 3-5 messages 
  • Start with a simple script and work your way from there.  
  • Let someone who doesn’t know the industry watch your video – this way, you can see if people will understand your messages and what you need to improve on.    

At Small Films, we can take your project and create something outstanding from just a seed of an idea. We’ll support you with everything, from writing the script, creating storyboards, animating and editing. Give us a bell if you’d like to chat your project through. 

There is no doubt that creating a crowdfunding video to help launch a campaign and gain investment for your business is effective, but creating a successful video will take your marketing up a notch.

If there is one thing that people want more of today, it’s video content. Did you know that nearly 70 per cent of consumers would rather watch a short explainer video about a product or service than reading about it (Wyzowl)? Sixty-eight per cent of those will watch a video in its entirety if it’s under one minute long. It makes you think, doesn’t it?

Creating an engaging crowdfunding video

Most entrepreneurs are looking to fill a gap in the marketplace with their innovative products or services. Crowdfunding is a way to attract investors to help launch or expand something that they see as valuable. Your video should help people with a particular itch to scratch to find the solution they are looking for.

Your video script should be able to solve a problem concisely and communicate this at their level. This means making a video that isn’t too advanced and hard to understand, nor too simplistic that may act to trivialise your goals. It also allows a space for you to show your passion, ethos, and mentality about the project you are raising funds for.

Your crowdfunding video should cover a few essential areas if you want to realistically achieve your funding goal.

These include:

Be yourself. If you are pledging for a product or project, people buy personality. Show your passion and genuine love for the end goal you want to achieve!

Hook your audience as quickly as possible. Explain the problem or issue you address with your new product/service. Follow this with your solution or steps to take to resolve the problem.

Keep it snappy. Nobody wants to see a long, drawn-out video that wastes time. Get to the point, be concise and clear.

Include clear branding. Make your company more memorable from the offset.

Cover the basics. This is a sales pitch. You wouldn’t believe how many crowdfunding videos don’t explain the bare necessities:

· Tell the viewers who you are.

· Tell the viewers the story behind your project. Your goals, your ambitions.

· Ask for support, explaining how much you need it and what you will do with the money.

· Talk about how amazing the rewards will be.

· Explain that if the goal isn’t met, bad things will happen, and your passion project will die.

· Make sure to thank everybody and put on a big smile!

These basics can make or break a crowdfunding video – be sure to tick these boxes before publishing a video.

It can also help to remember that many people may watch your video while at work, so they may have it on mute – use captions and B-roll footage to help get your message across. Using B-roll also allows the viewer to get an excellent contextual idea about the ethos of the brand or individual they may be helping to fund.

Ensure that captions look great and are accurate, that your graphics look polished, and that you’ve included a call-to-action. In this case, you’re asking your viewers to donate. Make sure it’s clear to them how, where and by what date they can still invest.

Getting the right video production support for your crowdfunding video

Unfortunately, not everyone is a born filmmaker and will need to get some outside help. It is not surprising when there is so much to learn about video creation. A busy entrepreneur doesn’t have the time to learn about the technical side of shooting a video, such as the lighting, sound quality and choosing the right filming environment. Then there is the storyline and script to think about, and not to mention the final editing. You can see how the whole process can quickly become overwhelming.

As a London-based video production company, Small Films is here to help entrepreneurs with their crowdfunding videos. We specialise in creating holistic campaigns that boost brand awareness and help drive investment in new start-up brands. Our expertise in creating award-winning crowdfunding videos has raised millions of pounds for our clients. Have a look at what some of our previous clients have had to say.

Something we are especially proud of is our work with Emily Crisps. Have a look at the video and campaign that raised over £1.1 million and see for yourself what a good crowdfunding video looks like! We also worked with Kaelo, a super-awesome surface integrated wine cooler company. Our crowdfunding video helped them smash their target by 140% raising a whopping £815,000 in total. Why not get in touch with us to find out how we can help you!

7 Vital Stats That Show Why Video is the Medium of Our Time:

 

Video killed the radio star, and then obliterated everything else in its path to become the de facto method of engagement for consumers, businesses and marketing outreach. 

The evolution of video has seen it become a prominent player in every industry, from the entertainment business to pharmaceutical companies and everything in between. It’s now the most effective way for businesses to share content. 

81% of brands now use video as a marketing tool, which is up from 63% from previous years. The digitisation of, well, pretty much everything, has only increased video’s influence. Simply using the word “video” in an email subject lines boosts open rates by 19%, while 83% of businesses say it brings them a high return on investment (ROI).

But just in case you’re not sold yet, here are seven more vital stats that show why video is the medium of our time. 

1) 10x the engagement levels

Video is essentially immersive marketing, as it has the power to increase engagement levels beyond other methods. Audiences are 10 times more likely to engage with video content than they are any other medium. Whether you’re turning video into snippets for social media or filming customer testimonials, it offers an array of methods for telling stories. It’s a versatile tool that captures a range of imaginations, which helps to increase engagement levels.  

2) 92% believe sharing is caring

A whopping 92% of people share a video after watching it. Going viral is all the rage, but getting people to share content is one of the hardest things to do online. Fortunately, video increases your chances of creating popular content that gets routinely shared online and off. 

3) 65% watch video on your website

The power of words have their place in the realm of content, but when it comes to keeping people engaged with your website, video is the primary driver. 65% of web users watch more than half of a video on a website. If you’ve got a story to tell, you’re better off doing it with moving image. 

4) 49% of business grow faster with video

Brands that use video are growing faster than those that aren’t, with 49% of businesses seeing an uptick in fortunes when they implement video marketing into their strategies. Deciding against using video marketing can be a costly error, leaving brands to play catch up in a [digital] world where everyone is already competing to put their brands in the spotlight. 

5) More than 50% of consumers want to see branded video content

The age-old saying “the customer is always right” will always ring true, and video allows you to give the people what they want. More than half of all customers wish to see branded video content, which they demand more than any other content type.

6) Conversions increase by 71%

Put simply: video is easier to monetise. Conveying your message through video converts more customers, with conversions increasing by an impressive 71%. People like to see things in action, whether you’re showcasing an event demo, providing educational “how-to” guides, or creating personalised messages. The easily digestible nature of video makes storing information that much easier.

7) 95% information retention rate

Getting your message across is one thing, but convincing people to store that information is another. We retain around 10% of all text (unless you’re reading this post, of course), but remembering video information increases to a staggering 95% retention rate. With such staggering numbers, it doesn’t come as a surprise to see brands using it as a primary method for relaying messages. 

Long live video 

Video has become part of the cultural lexicon across so many different platforms. The options to express yourself through video are vast, and brands are embracing it in their marketing strategies. By the end of 2020, 84% of all internet traffic will be video-based. The business of video is booming, and there’s no doubt that it’s the medium of our time. 

Follow us on Linkedin for tips and tricks on creating the best branded video content. Or get in touch at info@smallfilms.com

 

 

It depends…

Frustrating perhaps, but true. Promotional video costs can vary enormously. Like any product – there are low budget options, top-quality professional options with all the bells and whistles, and lots of levels in between. There are so many factors affecting the cost of corporate video that it would be disingenuous (and probably inaccurate) to pluck a figure out of the air to answer the question. It’s not a cost-hiding conspiracy created by the video production industry – it’s just a very complex issue.

The good news is that video recording technology has become a lot more accessible over the last few years and video production costs have decreased. That means that quality video content is no longer the preserve of big brands with a huge budget. It’s now a reality for any small business or SME looking to grow.

Video for your business can be as simple as filming it yourself on a smartphone, downloading an app to use a ready-made template, adding effects, editing it, and publishing it to a video-sharing channel. And that’s great if a lo-fi, personal feel is what you’re trying to achieve. For most businesses, however, the amateur approach doesn’t really work. 62% of consumers who watch a poor quality video say they are left with a negative perception of the brand, but embedding a high-quality video on a business website landing page has been shown to increase conversions by up to 80%.

It’s clear then, that video content can have a massive impact. It’s important for businesses thinking about video to ensure that this impact is always a positive one. One way of doing that is to use an established video production company that will have a team of experienced professionals, high-quality equipment and pre-production, production and post-production capabilities. When choosing a company, get recommendations, look at their past work and speak to previous clients about their experiences.

The best way to approach commissioning video content from a production company is to have a clear idea of what you want to spend. As with building a house where your architect wants to know the house you envisage from the size, style and building materials, to the features, fixtures and fittings, a professional video production company needs to have an idea of your budget in order to accurately advise what services they can offer you. A corporate video could cost anything from £1,500 to £30,000 depending on a large number of variables from the complexity of the script to the cameras being used. Any reputable video production company will offer you the best creative options for your budget – it’s in their interests that the video looks as good as possible after all. And beware, there’s no such thing as a steal in video production – if something is cheap there’s usually a good reason for it. For example, a camera operator can cost anything from £150 to well over £1000 a day – but the quality of work and level of experience will be reflected in the price. Of course, you can still get a good deal on your corporate video – but the best way to get high quality and value for money is to establish a good relationship and trust with your video production company.

So what are the variables that affect video production costs? This will give you an idea of the processes that can be involved in corporate video production. Not all the elements will be necessary in any one video – it obviously depends on the type, scope and length of your video – as well as the budget. The costs will differ for an animated explainer video and a talking head corporate video shot in the workplace for example.

Read our blog: Local vs. London video production company. Which is best?

Planning and Pre-production

Strategy, creative idea, visualisation and design

Scriptwriting/storyboarding

Location finding

Casting of actors or voiceover

Wardrobe/props

Production planning and logistics

Direction and client communication

 

Shoot day/s

Director

Camera Operator

Cast

Wardrobe/make-up

Sound/lighting technician

Runner

Catering

Studio/location fee

Equipment hire

Travel

 

Post Production

Editor

Edit Producer and client liaison

Executive producer approvals

Client feedback and approvals

Animation

Motion graphics

Special effects

Stock footage

Music

Voiceover

Licensing

Subtitling/translation

Colour balancing and grading

Export and optimisation for web streaming.

So there you have it. A corporate video can involve many different processes and be many different things, but one thing it should always be is good quality. The best way to cut through the confusion is to speak to a reputable video production company and be clear about what you want and roughly how much you want to spend. Show them examples of videos you like for comparison – be open to new ideas, and most of all, enjoy the creative process!

Small Films is a leading video production company. By combining strategic minds with creative flair we create powerful stories with video that deeply resonate with audiences, supporting our clients to achieve their ambitions in growing their organisation, brand or campaign.

As we discovered in our previous blog post , there’s no ignoring the power of video content to transform business marketing. With statistics showing that adding video to your website landing page increases conversions by a whopping 80% (Invisia) and that embedding video in enewsletters increases click through rates by over 200% (Hubspot), video is now the undisputed leader of content marketing formats. And it’s not just the big brands exploiting this power. Advances in digital technology have made video marketing accessible and affordable for even the smallest of businesses and start-ups. Even so – making the decision to use video content in the marketing mix can initially be a little daunting for small business owners. Perhaps it seems like it must be a complex, time consuming or expensive exercise – so how do you go about taking those first steps into potentially commissioning a video, and how does the process work?

Here are our top tips for a smooth video commissioning experience:

1. Assess your business objectives and desired outcomes

You know you want a video because it’s the most effective form of content for marketing – but what do you want to achieve with it? Are you trying to educate, raise awareness of your knowledge and credentials, tell your brand story, or sell something? Have a clear objective and make sure you and other stakeholders in the business are on the same page about your goals.

2. Prepare a video production company brief

Be as detailed as you can so that the video production company can get a full picture of what you require. Putting the time in to give full information at this stage will save time later in the process. Include the following:

– Your business objectives.

– A detailed description of your audience – demographic, location etc.

– The core message you want to communicate through the video.

– Your ideas for the ‘treatment’. How do you want the video to look or feel? Do you have any examples of pieces you have seen that might help convey this?

– The elements you hope to include in the video. For example, do you want voiceover? Interviews with you or your customers? Shots of your product or service? Actors? Animation or motion graphics?

– The platforms where your video will be shown. Is it for your website, a trade conference, social media advertising or all three?

– Your Call To Action – what do you want your audience to do after seeing this video? Are they getting the right information to be able to do it easily?

– An idea of your budget. It’s worth giving a rough idea of what you might be able to spend as this will inform the production company’s proposal. You’ll often be surprised at how much you can get for your money. Think of the video production company using the analogy of an Architect. A builder can construct you a ‘generic’ house, but you need an Architect to design and build you the ‘specific’ house that meets your specific needs. The video production company performs that role for your corporate video. Your budget is paying for the expertise that brings all the complex elements together to produce the right video to communicate your specific business message.

– Your schedule and delivery deadlines. Does your video need to be ready for a trade show or the launch of a new website? Make sure you factor in enough time for the production process.

3. Approach video production companies

Ask for recommendations from colleagues and friends, search locally or look on Social Media. Have a look at case studies of their previous jobs. Some video production companies specialise in certain industries or certain types of video. Some video companies (like our very own Small Films) offer marketing strategy as well as production so bear this in mind when looking for the right fit for your business. Brief two or three companies so that you can compare proposals, but don’t just compare prices. There is a delicate balance to be struck between experience and expertise against cost – a very cheap video is probably not going to be professional enough for your business requirements.

4. Review video production proposals

Your selected video production companies will come back to you with detailed proposals based on your brief. They will have an overall creative idea or angle, (with examples to help you visualise), budget expectations for different options and a schedule. You can then choose the best fit for your business, budget and objectives.

5. Planning process

Once they have the green light, your video production company will give you a detailed production plan and schedule, including consultation meetings and reviews of progress. They will begin work on a script or storyboard for the video and start planning for the shoot. They will carry out location research and venue booking, props finding, acting or voice over casting where necessary – as well as all technical aspects of the filming. They will undertake rehearsals or run-throughs where necessary and will keep you involved and consulted throughout the planning process.

6. The film shoot

The production company will organise everything on shoot day (or days) and will have all the necessary filming, lighting and sound equipment in place. If the filming is taking place at your business location and requiring members of your staff, they will try to minimise the disruption by shooting at quiet times or out or hours if possible with a schedule to make sure that people aren’t kept hanging around.

7. Post production and delivery

After the shoot, the video production company will edit the footage to produce a rough cut of the video. You are provided opportunities to give your input through the editing process and after tweaks and amendments have been made, a final cut will be produced. The video will then be formatted and duplicated correctly for the platforms required, within the agreed schedule.

If you’d like more information about commissioning video or a chat about potential video projects, contact us here.

Small Films are London based video content specialists. By combining strategic minds with creative flair we create powerful stories with video that deeply resonate with audiences, supporting our clients to achieve their ambitions in growing their organisation, brand or campaign

To create the perfect online marketing video there are some key considerations to take on board. From ensuring you’re giving your viewers a good story to adding in graphics that bring it to life, at Small Films we know all the tricks to make an impactful marketing video.

1. CREATE A STORY

Humans are natural storytellers and have been doing it since the dawn of man. Videos are no different and the best way to engage your audience is with a compelling story. Divide your video into 3 acts – beginning, middle, end, then create your narrative. You might simply introduce your product/service and the problem you are trying to solve, set out arguments for why it works and then finish with a conclusion. Or you can create a more personalised story featuring you and your team, a customer/beneficiary of your service or a particular project. Enjoyment of video ads increases purchase intent by 97% so make sure it isn’t boring.

2. KEEP IT SHORT

The human attention span is just 8 seconds. That’s less than a goldfish. So keeping your video as short as possible is incredibly important. Very few online marketing videos can go over 2 minutes and still retain their audience. Consider this, you have 10 seconds to grab the viewers attention and 20% of viewers will click away in that time. If you can hold on to them for that long, a third will stop watching after 30 seconds and nearly half after 1 minute. If you do want to make a longer video then make sure you have an incredibly engaging story.

Check out our video production services

3. START STRONG

78% of people watch online videos every week and we’ve become very discerning consumers. We make split-second judgements about what to watch and what not to watch. Make sure the start of your video is as powerful as it can be, even down to the first few frames. This is the equivalent of your product packaging and will make you stand out on a shelf full of other videos. Those first few seconds are critical if you want to engage the viewer and convince them to watch through to the end.

4. USE GRAPHICS

60% of YouTube watch time is now from mobile devices. The same trend applies to Facebook, Twitter and other platforms. That means most people are watching with the sound off. Think about that… All those people will not hear a single thing you are saying in your video. Graphics are a great way to combat this. Apart from adding higher production value and looking great, you can use them to create a video that works with or without sound. Consider text on screen with key buzzwords from your overall message, labels pointing to elements that are of interest and calls to action that ask consumers to act on what they see.

5. KEEP IT SIMPLE

The best videos have a simple premise and a simple story. Don’t overcomplicate things by adding in too much detail or trying to tick too many boxes. If the consumer has difficulty in understanding your message then they will switch off. Decide the most important, core message of your video and stick to it. For example, if you are selling a product but also want a video to show to investors then make two videos rather than trying to cram it all into one. If you do that, it will be a mess.

Small Films is a results-driven video production company. Our award-winning team of videographers, animators and editors create effective and affordable videos that will help put your brand streets ahead of the competition. Based in East London, our videos bring to life the unique story of every brand we work with – helping to drive engagement, deliver more sales and achieve maximum reach. Contact us