Video & Content Marketing 101: The Medium Is The Message

Companies across the globe are creating original video content at an incredible pace, and using it to drive new business like never before.

Well-produced content backed by the right marketing strategy is undeniably one the most effective methods for new business acquisition…But even the best, most captivating original content can only succeed when it’s properly marketed and distributed.

And unfortunately, many video production companies neglect this reality, overlooking one of the most critical facets of any distribution strategy - playing into the medium.

In the famous words of Marshall McLuhan - “The medium IS the message.”

Every medium - television, internet, social, etc. - are entirely different beasts. No single piece of content could succeed on all platforms, so it would be silly not to custom tailor every piece of content for each vehicle. But that’s exactly what most production companies do… They often focus entirely on the visual production value (which is certainly important too), but have little interest in re-tooling the creative to ensure it’s received properly on the intended medium.

They don’t always understand that if your campaign is supposed to run on Instagram (just as an example), it should look, sound, feel, and be markedly different than if it was intended for television. One size does not fit all.

You must consider what the audience’s headspace is like while using any given medium (or platform). Only once you understand how your target customer interacts with each medium individually, can you then tailor the messaging and format of your campaign to best serve them.

Let’s continue using instagram as an example, as it’s one of the fastest growing, most cost effective and powerful advertising platforms on the planet.

At its core, Instagram is a purely visual platform designed for continuous scrolling. It is literally engineered in such a way that your finger has to move as little as possible in order to slide up to the next image or video. 

This makes it easy for the user to consume as much content as possible quickly, but extremely difficult to capture their attention. Some would say more difficult than any other medium.

So naturally, if you’re planning to create a piece of content for Instagram, you need to take into account its distribution challenges - not only the obvious opportunities you have to target an audience.

Most instagram users scroll past videos in their feed within the first 3 - 5 seconds. That includes videos from users who they actively follow and engage with. And that alone should tell you that when it comes to IG - your content absolutely has to hook the viewer immediately.

Timing is only one variable of course. There’s also factoring in the screen size, aspect ratio, the written component, and perhaps most importantly - Sound: 70% of people watching videos on social media have their sound turned off… So if your Instagram (or Facebook, Twitter, etc.) video is not formatted to include subtitles or text overlays, your messaging is almost guaranteed to get lost in translation.

Technical considerations aside, the creative direction of any content-based campaign needs to suit the medium as well. Instagram videos should not necessarily look, feel, or even resemble your 30 second TV ad or a 2 minute Facebook spot, for example..

We’ve found that focusing on brand identity (often though tone, mood, and style) drives far more conversions on Instagram than information-based content.  It’s not about cramming as much info as possible into 15 seconds, it’s about to delivering the right message that will get users to click off of instagram and onto your homepage, or a sales page. Once there, you have much more flexibility in what you share.

This is why most of the social media campaigns we run also rely an additional component - such as a blog based sales funnel.

Like social media, blogs are an incredibly powerful format, but they also represent a completely different paradigm. This is why we always approach our blog content with the same understanding that the message is the medium. We can take advantage of its unique format too.

The audience that reads your blog engage with your content in a completely different than they would on social media. They will be looking for more detail and nuance, and the format of the blog will allow you to deliver that value to them.

It’s just content marketing 101 - Leveraging the power of each unique platform, to not only drive more results, but stretch the budget further too.

We often work with clients to derive multiple deliverables from a single production. Rather than simply shooting a one-off web commercial, we often recommend producing additional content concurrently that can be used on different mediums. It’s an extremely cost effective way of generating a high volume of content that is optimized for different forms of delivery.

With little (or no) extra budget spent, we’re able to generate far better content that can reach far more people. All it takes is a little planning, and a true understanding of the role the medium plays.

To learn more about how we can leverage video, photo, and written content to grow your business, be sure to email us at: info@creativerebellion.com

Attention Start-Ups: This Is Why Video Content is Essential to Your Launch

Any entrepreneur with limited resources knows the difficulties associated with bringing a new product or service into an already crowded marketplace. With that said, one of the best ways to stand out from the crowd is by creating a customized, high impact video that shows your audience what your company is all about.

Here is why original video content continues to benefit start-ups on an unprecedented level:

Video Engages Your Core Audience Better Than Any Other Form of Media

The internet is a vast, ever-expanding universe - and with more content and devices than ever before, the attention span of users continues to decline. Start-ups simply can no longer rely on simple text or still images on a static website to connect with their target market and generate buzz.

Before consumers are ready to buy or even talk sales, they need to know exactly what they’re buying into. What is the product? Who is it for? How do I use it? Will it benefit me? Why is it different or better than something else? 

To answer these fundamental questions in a few short paragraphs is simply not enough. What is unknown needs to be shown. And the best, most practical and far reaching means to convey such information is by creating and integrating a custom ‘explainer’ video into your launch strategy. 

Every start-up comes a long way to reach the crucial point of launching their product, which is why a slick, engaging video that connects users to the brand is absolutely essential in making a lasting impression.

Customized Content Strengthens Your Connection with Target Consumers

A video has the ability to capture the heart and soul of your product like nothing else can, but it’s also a powerful means for introducing your company’s culture and personality to prospective customers. Beyond explaining what you’ve created, video gives viewers insight into the people responsible for creating the product.

For example your video might showcase your company’s fun and playful nature with a creative ‘how-to’ animation for your product. Or alternatively you might opt to create a documentary style showpiece that is designed to deliver a broad and powerful message. Narrative style branded content films can touch on the emotion behind your brand, while more traditional corporate spots might showcase company directors to give the audience an authentic sense of who is the driving force behind the brand.

No matter what format is most appropriate for your brand, there is no denying that a well produced, strategically executed video is amongst the most effective ways to solicit an engaged audience, and trigger an array of emotional responses. Viewers may tune in to simply learn more about a new product or service, but will inevitably also gain valuable insight about the company behind it, leading them to develop a sense of brand attachment.

High Concept Videos Will Dramatically Increase Your Online Visibility

Thanks to numerous studies over the years, it’s now widely known that customers respond far more favorably to video content than any other form of online media, including still images, infographics and basic text.

The bottom line is that an impeccably crafted, emotionally relevant video will improve your online visibility in a way that is simply unmatched by any other format. Video content is far more absorbable than any other form of media, which is also why it has such tremendous potential to prompt an actionable response. 

Additionally, nearly every major search engine now has an obvious bias toward video content in search rankings. Because of this, startups that are utilizing marketable video content on their websites can actually compete with, or even outrank, much larger corporations with less dynamic content offerings.

Our company has experienced first-hand the tremendous impact that a highly strategic, well-produced video has on start-ups seeking an effective launch. While targeted video content can benefit businesses at nearly any stage, start-ups often benefit the most from the broad awareness and instant audience connection that is made possible by the use of original and engaging videos.

If you’re interested in creating customized video content to generate recognition for your new product, our team would love to learn more about what you’re hoping to achieve. We welcome any opportunity to discuss our effective strategies and your options with you!

Be sure to contact us any time by e-mail at info@creativerebellion.com for more info.

Why "Textural" Commercials Are In & The Hard Sell Approach Is Out.

Television and web commercials are evolving at a faster rate than ever, largely thanks to the introduction of branded content. While in years past a "Hard Sell" approach was taken almost 100% of the time, brands and agencies are now coming around to much more tasteful and impactful methods of advertising.

Advertising on any medium (television, print, etc.) used to be extremely heavy handed. Watch just about any commercial made in 1990's or earlier and you'll probably feel like you're being sold a used car. For decades upon decades, advertisers have pushed products on their target audiences in a way that has felt forceful and at times almost laughable.

That's not to say there aren't exceptions to every rule. Pick just about any decade over the last half century and you're bound to find at least a few examples of brilliant ad campaigns... But they were the exception, not the rule.

Since video based advertising hit the internet in spades over the last decade, the average consumer has unconsciously developed a far more critical eye for commercials of all types. Branded content in particular is something that has really resonated with viewers across the board, as they are legitimately entertained, informed, and engaged by the ads that they're watching. In fact, often viewers will completely forget they are watching an ad, which is kind of the point.

Even when consumers are acutely aware of the fact they are watching a branded piece (such as Jerry Seinfeld's Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee), they will typically see the brand behind it in a much more favorable light. It's an even trade - the advertiser has an opportunity to showcase their brand or product for a potential customer, and the customer gets to enjoy an entertaining piece in exchange.

What's just as interesting however, is how the effects of branded content have trickled back up to television. In the early days most branded content pieces were strictly intended for web, but as agencies and advertisers began realizing they were getting a far better response to their online content than their television spots, things started to change very quickly. 

While television isn't the right medium for most branded content, there is now a subset of the television commercial that falls somewhere in between a traditional TV ad and a web based branded content piece. These spots are what I call "Textural Commercials".

Textural commercials are simply designed to evoke an emotion or feeling within the viewer that perfectly represents the brand. Rather than beating the viewer over the head with information about a product, these spots connect with the viewer on a much more visceral and emotional level. They let the viewer know how their product will make them feel, not by telling them but by gently guiding them.

To give an example, here's a recent commercial I came across for Air BnB which is very much in line with this method:

This is a far stronger approach to television advertising than what we've seen in years past. Many viewers genuinely want to watch these types of spots, and feel as if they are getting something from them on an emotional level. They learn about the brand without realizing that they are learning, and the identity of the advertiser is subconsciously ingrained in the viewer.

We would argue that nearly every one of the best commercials in existence today falls into this category. These are commercials that can transcend mediums. They play equally as well on a computer as they do on a television or a theatrical screen. They are engaging, memorable, shareable, and most of all impactful.

When we meet with a client to assess their advertising needs we nearly always push for this type of content, regardless of the medium. We have created national television spots that fall under this umbrella, but have also done some very low budget web content that was approached much in the same way. At the end of the day, it's all content - whether it's consumed on your computer or your television. There is still a time and place for more traditional commercial projects, and we certainly take on our fair share of 30 second spots... But more often than not, this new approach to creative advertising is leading us and our collaborators in the perfect direction.

If you or your company is looking for a branded content piece, commercial, or any other video content - we would love to speak with you about your needs. Feel free to contact us any time at info@creativerebellion.com

Why Consistent Video Content Should Be An Integral Part Of Your Company’s Marketing Strategy.

Any business owner or marketing professional that has experience with digital video content understands that the key to success is consistency.

While many businesses attempt to utilize online video content as a means to drive traffic and awareness to their brand, few are able to succeed, most often due to inconsistently released content.

Put simply, many businesses choose to put all of their eggs in one basket - creating one flagship promotional video or branded content piece that they hope will increase their online visibility for years to come. Unfortunately though, most of the time a one-off video release simply isn’t going to do the trick, and a steady stream of high quality content will be the only way to guarantee results.

This is largely due to the recent boom in video production by businesses operating in just about every corner of the market. There is more competition on every digital media outlet than ever before, which makes it nearly impossible for a singular video to stand out of the crowd. With that in mind, it’s no wonder why companies with the strongest online presence are also those that prioritize a consistent release strategy for their video content.

Whether you’re aim is to promote a new product, share testimonials with prospective clients, recruit some new hires, or connect with your audience for any other reason - read on.

Customized Video Content Dramatically Increases Your Online Visibility

The internet is a crowded place, and as such it can be quite difficult to gain and maintain an online presence - especially without the use of a well developed video strategy. 

For years now, studies have indicated that customers respond far more favorably to branded online video content than nearly any other form of media, including infographics or text-based content. Prospective customers are far more likely to learn something valuable about your brand (and to retain that information) when it’s absorbed in video form, which is why businesses of all types are now producing more video content than ever before.

Google and just about every other search engine on the planet are aware of this trend, and have subsequently shown an obvious bias towards promoting video content on their search rankings. Even small businesses with very limited marketing resources are now able to outrank much larger corporations in many Google search categories, simply because their popular and consistent video content is being prioritized over stale, text based content hosted on the websites of their competitors. 

The bottom line is that the online visibility of any company can be improved immensely by releasing high quality, relevant video content on a regular basis.

If you're wondering just how much video content you should be releasing in order to maximize your results - there is no single answer that applies across the board. For some companies a video every month or two is sufficient, while other companies may choose to push out several videos a week. It all comes down to your online competition, overall marketing goals, and of course the unique needs of your business.

Companies That Utilize Video Greatly Increase Customer Engagement

Though important, driving traffic to your company’s website is just the tip of the iceberg. Arguably the more powerful function of video content is it’s ability to tape into your audience’s emotions through sight and sound. Messages that are seen and heard are far more likely to trigger an emotional response from someone than content that can only be read… And as any salesperson knows - customers buy on emotion.

The fact of the matter is, the more a prospective customer is engaged on an emotional level, the greater the odds they will become a believer in your brand, or a buyer of your product. By the same token, the last thing you want to do is overwhelm your target audience with too much information. This is why a series of bite-sized videos that cover a spectrum of specific points are almost always more effective than a catch-all video with a lengthy runtime and an over-generalized message.

A Targeted Video Series Keeps You Connected With The Right Audience

It goes without saying that the end goal for any type of promotional content is to reach a specific and targeted audience. With that in mind, packing everything there is to know about your company into a single video is counter-intuitive to that fact. Not only will this type of video cause many viewers to become disinterested very with the content very quickly, but those same viewers are unlikely to share the content - which is one of the greatest benefits that online video has to offer. 

Don’t waste your resources on a generic, multi-use video, if your goal is to reach new customers online and drive traffic to your website. These types of traditional corporate videos are beneficial in their own way, and can certainly be utilized on your company’s home page as a means to support your brand. But they should absolutely never be relied on as a means to generate traffic from search engines, video hosting sites, or other online channels.

Instead, break down your messaging into multiple videos that can either be watched as a series, or as individual vignettes, targeted at different segments of your customer base. By simply looking at your online video strategy as a campaign rather than a one-off project, you will open countless possibilities for how you can release your content and reach a larger audience than ever before.

Our company has a track record of producing and strategizing video campaigns that are crafted around the principles in this article. If you or your business is considering producing a flagship video, or an entire video series - we would love to chat with you to discuss your options.

For more information, feel free to contact us any time at info@creativerebellion.com

We look forward to hearing from you.

Post Production In Los Angeles: Why We Place A Premium On Color Correction & High End Finishing

Being situated in Los Angeles gives us a very unique perspective on the needs of both our commercial and entertainment oriented productions. When handling post-production on any of our smaller scale projects (including corporate spots and independent films), we have the invaluable ability to tap into our high end finishing resources - such as state of the art color correction tools, allowing us to deliver feature film level post production results on projects of all sizes.

There was a time when high end finishing work (specifically color grading) was reserved for only the most exclusive productions. Without a massive post-production budget, a proper color correct simply wasn't possible, and at best was merely an afterthought taken care of by the editor, as opposed to a dedicated colorist. Over the past few years however, color correction has been made affordable to smaller scale productions as well, by way of innovative hardware and software solutions that have ultimately brought high end finishing to the masses. We at Creative Rebellion have been extremely fortunate to have been at the forefront of this movement, as we recognized many years ago that productions of all sizes require proper color correction in order to maintain a high production value. A beautifully shot and edited production will not look great until it is color corrected, as today's digital cinema cameras, (and even DSLRs for that matter), are designed to capture images that are intended to be color graded. When these images are not colored, the final product suffers drastically and the end result looks cheap, no matter how much work was put into production, and how great the DP and editor were.

Below is a demo reel of some of our color work from last year for those of you that want to see some before and after examples of what color correction can really do:

For many of you that are already familiar with Creative Rebellion, you're likely well aware of our passion for delivering beautiful cinematic images on all projects we are involved with. While we handle many larger scale feature films and broadcast material, many of our clients also have smaller scale requirements - such as commercials, music videos, or low-budget independent film projects, all of which we are equally passionate about. We are extremely fortunate to have the ability to work on both ends of the budgetary spectrum, which allows us to transport certain skills, abilities, and equipment (namely our color tools) between these various mediums, ultimately benefiting our clients creatively and financially.

Often times we are asked to see through a production from concept to completion, and in these scenarios we ensure that early on in the pre-production stage, the right measures are being put in place to guarantee that the images we are capturing will be as flexible as possible during the color grading. This often means shooting RAW or in a log color space to give options during post. 

Other times however, we are brought in for a specific task as opposed to producing an entire project. For instance, we often have clients bring us unedited material that we then craft into a final product for them, or we are handed a rough edit of a project that we will complete a polish on. In these cases as well, we very much stress the importance of a color pass, and take every measure necessary to ensure that our edit sessions, project files, and organizational structures are set up in a way that will make the color correction process quick and painless. 

In summary - there is really nothing quite like a gorgeous color pass to add production value to projects of any scale. When small scale projects are treated the same way as large scale projects (both in terms of approach and equipment), the end results shine. These productions no longer feel small scale, and no longer are small scale for that matter, as they are utilizing the same tools and techniques of their more expensive counterparts.

For more information on color grading, the post process, or to hear about how we can assist you with your commercial, or film project, be sure to contact us any time at info@creativerebellion.com