Monthly Archives: May 2013

Live Action Explainer Video Costs

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Get the most from a live action explainer video for your website

An explainer video is a potent and versatile tool for communicating with customers. For many companies, low costs are one of the features that make video marketing so attractive. Using a simple microphone and a screencast or animated presentation, a small business can create a video that has a major impact.

To get maximum effectiveness from a website video, however, a business needs to take the next step and move to live production. A live action explainer video is much more versatile, allowing the company to showcase products that don’t appear easily on screen, demonstrate features in use, interview experts and incorporate a whole range of new visual elements.

However, live video can also be much more expensive than computer-generated video. Before beginning a live production, it’s important to create a budget estimate. A professional production company can do this for you, but it’s still worthwhile to understand what goes into the budget.

Technical aspects of production are among the most obvious sources of expenditure when creating a live explainer video. Lighting, camera work and sound recording are vital to produce a compelling video. A clear, good-looking video is the product of proper lighting and recording equipment. This can be an expensive investment if you want to purchase it; alternatively, it can be hired for the purpose.

Scriptwriting and direction are more intangible assets, but still an important part of the production process. You may want to write your own script in order to capitalise on your superior knowledge of your own product. Still, an experienced screenwriter can help the script to flow more efficiently. Professional direction is the key to a well-paced, engaging video.

Locations and sets are another budget item, and one that some videos feel they can do without. If you want your video to show off your offices or a production facility, you can shoot on location. Otherwise, you may want to use a professionally-designed set. It’s possible to repurpose a home or office environment to serve as a set for a video, but it’s a time-consuming process which can wind up costing as much in lost time and effort as using a prepared set.

The last major expense in any professional explainer video production is acting. Again, you may want to perform in your own video – for many entrepreneurs, their own personality is part of their marketing strategy – but a professional with video experience will make the shoot go much more smoothly and efficiently.

The cost of professional video production comes from a number of elements. Most of these apply whether you opt to have the video done by a professional company or attempt to do it yourself. Either way, combining these elements will produce a clear, memorable enjoyable video that will help you communicate with both current and potential customers.

Whether you’re considering a live action explainer video or one that’s fully animated then we can help. Contact your friendly experts today on 01527 910050

A Beginner’s Guide to Video Hosting

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How to get the best video hosting solution

So you’ve decided to take your first step into the world of website video production. The video is shot and edited; now you just need somewhere to host it. There are a wealth of different video hosting options available to you, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Which one you choose depends on your level of experience and the needs of your site.

When you think video on the internet, the first site that comes to mind is, of course, YouTube. Part of the sprawling Google internet empire, YouTube is the most popular destination for online video. Its interface is easy to use, and the service is highly reliable.

If you host your video on YouTube, it will be accessible in two ways. First, people can reach the video through the YouTube site itself. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, YouTube will generate a short fragment of HTML called an embed code. Inserting this code into a page on your website will implant the video.

YouTube is a great option for the website video production beginner. Simple, reliable and above all free, it nonetheless has a few downsides. Load times aren’t as quick as they might be, and it’s impossible to remove the YouTube branding from the video, which might not suit some businesses.

For the more experienced user, a paid solution offers a wider range of hosting options. One good example is Wistia, a video hosting solution that allows its users to host unbranded videos. Wistia also comes with a range of analytical tools which allow you to track who views your video and how often. Paid services like Wistia and its feature-heavy competitor Brightcove are a big step up from YouTube, but for a company committed to website video production they can be very useful.

An intermediate step between free and paid services is Vimeo, an upgradeable service. Vimeo resembles YouTube in many ways, but an optional premium version allows users to remove player branding and other restrictions. Although not free, Vimeo is significantly less expensive – if still less robust – than pricier paid alternatives.

Any of these video hosting options can be the right choice for you and your business; the key is to find the one that suits both your needs and your budget.

If you’d like help in choosing the best video hosting solution then we’d be delighted to help you. Contact your friendly experts today on 01527 910050.

How to Script an Explainer Video

Pitfalls to avoid when writing an explainer video for your website

Writing a website explainer video script seems like it should be easy. After all, you know your product. If you know how to use it, it should be easy to show people how it works. Add to that the fact that you’ve probably explained it in person many times and you may feel like you have nothing to worry about. In fact, creating an explainer video requires some thought, even for those who know their product inside out. Translating your knowledge of a product or service into a video means bearing a few key points in mind.

The first and most important point is to keep your video short. Studies have shown that an explainer video longer than 60 seconds rapidly loses viewer attention. Sometimes the subject means that you can’t avoid taking longer, but you should still avoid wasting time if possible. If you have a long and complicated subject, consider breaking it up into several smaller videos.

The next thing to consider when writing your script is your intended audience. Think about who you’re speaking to and imagine the questions they’re likely to have. Create a short list of the points you want to get across. Imagine your hypothetical viewer’s response to these points – what questions would he or she be likely to have? If you have the opportunity to talk to people who aren’t familiar with your work, try your spiel on them and ask them if there’s anything else they feel they need to know.

Development of the spoken and visual aspects of your video should go hand in hand. The great advantage of a website video is its ability to demonstrate a product or process visually. Narration should therefore complement and reinforce the visual element of the video. Walk the viewer through anything that might not be obvious at first glance as well as using the visual aspect to demonstrate anything that’s difficult to explain verbally.

The nature of your product will determine what kind of visual element your script should incorporate. You may be “ screen-casting screen-casting screen-casting– displaying your computer’s screen with a voice-over – or you may be creating an animated presentation. Alternatively, you may be demonstrating a product in person. The one thing you should never do is simply speak directly to the camera. If you need to talk to the camera, make sure to incorporate an activity or demonstration that makes your monologue visually interesting. Otherwise, why use a video at all?

First-time scriptwriters often underestimate how long a script is. Words that take a split second to read on the page can take several minutes to read out loud, so it’s vital to rehearse the script several times in order to forge it into its most effective form. Once you have a script for your explainer video, rehearse it until it’s smooth and natural-sounding. Your confidence will inspire confidence in the listener.

If you’re considering an explainer video for your website then we’d love to help. Contact the friendly experts today on 01527 910050 or send us a message via our contact page.

The Most Important Video You Never Had?

How online health and safety videos really work…

In this article we are going to tell you exactly why it is so important to have a health and safety video, before I do that find out how this quiet coffee turned into a near disaster for one of the world’s largest companies….

Nearly 3 years ago today I was given a piece of incredible advice. It changed the way I thought about health and safety forever.

So here I was sat in a world famous coffee shop (my home from home) working on a customer and employee engagement website for a client, probably a client just like you.

The coffee house was empty with the exception of me and 2 members of the service team and you will not believe what happened next…

As I am sat working away the lady behind me is walking around the shop collecting cups, her manager yell’s at her to hurry up.

The next thing I hear is an almighty bang as she hits the floor.

She had slipped, rather painfully by the sounds of it.

I got up to help but the manager had already made it to the crash site, but it became obvious that we had a real problem right away.

The manager was in a panic, sweat already dripping down the side of his glasses and a reddening face betraying his understandable attempts to present a cool exterior.

The problem was that although he had been given health and safety training as part of his induction to work course that was 4 years prior to this day.

Luckily for everyone I was able to give the lady the right health and safety support and it seemed she was pretty much unhurt at this point.


The manager of this coffee shop was becoming a little angry at this point, probably due to the adrenaline and fear of what might have just happened.

He kept repeating phrases such as:

“She could have been really hurt and I would have been helpless”

“The company could be sued for this”

“The coffee shop could be shut down by health and safety”

I managed to calm both of them down and due to the fact that I still visit this coffee shop on a regular basis I can tell you that she not only made a full recovery but is also now the manager.

Ok, so what did I learn that changed the way I think about online health and safety videos from this point on?

Companies of all sizes across the UK recognise the legal and ethical need to have the very best health and safety provisions.

The traditional thinking had always been to take a “train and refresh” approach to health and safety, but the “refresh” does not always happen.

Is there a solution to this risk that is simple and ensures that a refreshed is available 24/7 and that health and safety knowledge throughout the company is universally understood to a much greater level?

Health and Safety videos on your intranet are now recognised by many as the most efficient & cost effective way to deliver your company health and safety framework.

With an online health and safety video employees and colleagues will have instant access and can keep up to date with official information.

In the event of an accident the chances of someone knowing what to do in the scenario of the usual 1st aider being out to lunch are massively improved.

It is also now rumoured that insurance companies take the deployment of health and safety videos for company websites as a rating factor for policy sales.

In this instance let just sum up the 3 key benefits of having a health and safety video on our websites:

1. It protects everyone in the company from colleagues to customers in a more enhance way than modular training alone.

2. It increases employee engagement and in turn productivity and retention.

3. It impresses clients we all know the value of ‘promoting the right culture’.

The overall point of this article is that video a very powerful medium for delivering a message on your website; it is a known fact that people pay more attention to a video.

Every company should have a good mix of videos on their website, but at the least a health and safety video is a great idea.

I am sure we agree on the benefits of an online health and safety video.

If you do not have a health and safety video – contact us today to talk about the services we provide, we would love to hear from you.


How Powerful Can Online Video Be?

Miss out on the online video revolution at your peril…

When YouTube announced last year that it receives more than four billion hits per day, brands all over the world sat up and took notice. Today, we’re seeing the results of this rallying cry, which echoed across boardrooms around the world, as some of the most creative marketing forces in business decided to take the plunge and see just how powerful a medium video can be.

Tapping into the online consumer’s voracious appetite for video, brands like TopShop, Virgin Media, Pepsi and Car Phone Warehouse all called in video production experts and have recently rolled out video campaigns based on some of the most watched clips on YouTube – videos like rapper PSY’s ‘Gentleman’ which racked up more than 22 million views in just 24 hours.

When household names jump on the bandwagon and start making viral videos based on a Korean rapper and dancing babies, you know you’ve hit on a trend worth talking about.

But looking beyond online video mash ups, how do you make the business case to your own boardroom? We’ve rounded up some of the most interesting statistics, opinions, polls and surveys from marketing experts to do just that – find out in words, pictures and cold hard cash just how powerful video can be.

1. Content

Online video usage is on the up amongst business to business marketers and most marketers say video production is the one area where they plan to increase spending.

This infographic by Brainshark and Business2Community sheds more light on the power of video from a content marketing perspective: 

Power of video

How video influences buyers

Key takeaways:

• By 2014, online video could account for 50% of all internet traffic

• 85% of US internet users viewed some kind of video online in September 2012

• Video is now the 6th most popular content marketing tactic, just behind case studies, blogs and email shots

Online video production can be used to sell, educate and entertain and is quicker, cheaper and easier to produce than ever before

• If you already send out email shots to leads, adding video in the subject title has been found to improve click through rates (CTR) by 13%

2. Online Video Popularity

The warmth of the reception shown to online video has been positively balmy. This insight into the online video landscape, compiled by Clickr, shows that video useage is popular across a range of genres, ages and platforms. In short, your demographic is out there and is probably watching a video online right now.

Online Video Info Graphic

Inside Online Video

Key Takeaways:

• Over 50,000 hours of video are uploaded daily to Google Video and YouTube. In 2009, 20 hours of video were uploaded to YouTube every minute. In 2011, that had leaped to more than 35 hours per minute. If you’re not uploading videos, your competitors are.

• The moral of these numbers? There is a lot of competition and videos need to be professional, well developed and well put together to stand out. An experienced video production company can help storyboard the video and create a clip that helps you reach your goals, rather than getting lost in a sea of uploads.

3. Purchasing Power

Whatever type of marketing you do, whatever brief you give your video production company, the ultimate measure of success usually comes down to how many more sales you can trace back to the activity in question. This infographic, courtesy of Gafpa, gives a number of compelling reasons why videos make consumers reach for their wallets. 

The World is Watching

The World is Watching

Key Takeaways

• Independent studies show that people who watch videos on your site are 64% more likely to make a purchase

• 60% of people prefer to watch a video than read a page of text

• The bounce rate for video is almost 30% lower than for text – which means video viewers tend to stick around your brand and your offerings longer

• 50% of people will remember more from a video than from text based content

• Product videos play a key role in consumer purchase decisions with a 9 fold increase in online retail video views typical around key holiday seasons such as Christmas

• 50% of smartphone users will watch a video on their mobile device, which increases audience potential

If you are looking for online video production then speak to the trusted experts at Stormnet Media. We help lots of companies like you achieve online success. Call us on 01527 910050 or contact us for a free no obligation quote.

How Video Content Can Boost Profits

Why video is the most effective way to get your message over…

Research has shown that people remember only 10% of what they see or read and just 20% of what they hear. Before running screaming out the door, consider this additional fact; 50% of people will remember what they see and heart at the same time. Cue video content and a quick step on the road to better brand retention. But, while a recall rate of one in two is a convincing enough reason to consider video production as a way to boost sales, there are other ways that a video or collection of videos can assist with sales and marketing and ultimately, a healthier bottom line.

A picture is worth a thousand words: Multimedia content is considered a much better catalyst at the crucial point in the buying cycle for the simple reason the viewer can see the benefits for themselves. That’s why some studies suggest retail sites with product videos can increase their sales by as much as 30%.

Seeing is Believing: Video content builds a level of trust and credibility that is hard to attain through text or still images; consumers can build a rapport with the business through this content, instilling a sense of mutual interaction and involvement. One reason for this is that 60% of consumers are thought to prefer video to text based content. That means they stick around longer to actually absorb your marketing about the product.

Using optimised video content is as close to communicating live with someone as possible for many businesses, and this standard of almost personal interaction often results in sales increases and profit boosts.

Number Crunching: Sales are often said to be a numbers game. YouTube logs around 4 billion hits per day. According to Experian Hitwise, Brits spent an additional 100 million hours watching video content online this February compared with last and the number of UK hits to video sites expected to rise to 1.25 billion per month by February 2014. In contrast, sending a team out into the field at a trade show or onto a high street localises the impact that a marketing push can have.

Video content can go viral overnight and be exposed to millions across a much broader area. Still need convincing? The electronic cigarettes brand e-lites made a Gangnam Style video that didn’t mention it’s product, show a cigarette, talk about its product or explain how to use it due to strict anti-tobacco advertising regulations. It counted more than one million views in two weeks and a massive product buzz that would have been hard to generate on a similar scale using other mediums.

Cost Cutting: Video content can also have the effect of cutting operational costs, which effectively boosts the profit of an organisation. Sending sales staff to different locations to demonstrate a product or service might be effective to a point, but the costs incurred via expenses take large chunks out of a budget. A ‘How-To’ clip can have the same promotional effect for nothing more than the cost of outsourcing video production.

It’s Almost as Good as Being There: Adding video content to a company website or a social networking feed also allows for a greater level of interaction with consumers. A ‘clinic’ style video, in which clients send in their queries or problems to be answered by a company expert can ignite an exchange between consumer and company which can prove beneficial in the long run. A company which is approachable, with easily accessible content and easy-to-consume promotional material will always find a higher level of success and profit than a business which is out of touch with their core client base.

If you’re thinking of getting yourself up there by using video content to boost sales then we’d love to help. We’re a trusted video production company based near Birmingham in the West Midlands. Speak to our friendly experts today on 01527 910050 or contact us using our form.


The Top 3 Reasons to Outsource Video Production

How your website video production affects your business

High-quality video production has been proven to boost sales and increase interest in companies or brands of all sizes. Whether a recognisable national brand or an SME, every organisation can benefit from the addition of superb video content to websites, blogs and social media channels. But not every business has the means to constantly churn out broadcast-quality clips at a level that will be considered effective, which is why deciding to outsource video production is a viable and useful option. Here are the top three reasons why outsourcing corporate videos can be beneficial.

1. Budget Constraints

The so-called ‘age of austerity’ has seen most organisations making cut-backs in different areas. In Q3 last year, the Direct Marketing Association reported that direct marketing spend was down 6.2%, below the line spend had fallen by 16.1% and sales promotion spend had dropped 2.9%. With record redundancies and unemployment also taking their toll, austerity measures are very likely to have impacted on in-house video production capabilities.

Budgets now might not be able to facilitate hiring an expert solely to provide high-quality videos for a company, or if an existing video team is already in place, they may find that their work has limitations as a result of financial constraints. Outsourcing for certain video projects can ease the way from a cost perspective while delivering high-quality results for less than the price of taking on extra staff or new equipment.

2. Freeing Up Time

Here’s the scenario: the first batch of videos have been wildly successful and the company wishes to capitalise on this niche by producing more content and distributing it more widely. Unfortunately, the team is so tied up in producing actual web content, mailing lists or other promotional tools that devoting time to video content ends up as a burden no one wants to shoulder. Outsourcing frees up time for employees to go about their given roles without worrying about the extra video content that must be completed out-of-hours. Employing another agency to concentrate on video content also frees up the in-house team to concentrate on what it does best.

3. Perspective

As a manager, outsourcing video production to a production company can actually lead to a deeper understanding of the business and the chance to see things through a fresh pair of eyes. Relaying a message to an audience creatively is one thing, but relaying a message to another team in order for them to communicate the message to an audience using superior tools can force communications teams to look at things differently. This dynamic enables everyone involved to get a new creative view of their own brand, and allows for a greater level of effectiveness in marketing and promotional output.

If you’re looking to commission a video for your business then we’d love to help. We produce a wide range of videos for companies of all sizes. You’ll find us creative friendly and professional. Contact us today on 01527 910050 – we’d be delighted to talk to you.