On this week’s episode, Ryan and Nicko discuss what happened in video production in 2013 and what to look out for in 2014.
1. Video Marketing in 2014 [1:22]. Ryan gets stuck into why video marketing will be so important in 2014.
2. Episodic Video and You [4:20]. Why is episodic video becoming so popular and how does it differ from videos of the past?
3. Keep on Tracking [6:32]. Don’t know why stat tracking is so important? Want to know if it can be applied to episodic video? Ryan explains all.
4. Corporate Documentaries [8:56]. Ryan explains why his passion for documentaries will really pay off in 2014.
5. A Case Study for the Year [11:06]. The guys analyse a great project the team made for The City of Port Phillip and why they expect more like it in 2014.
6. Developing Relationships in the New Year [18:05]. One of the biggest trends that you should expect to see in the next 12 months.
7. Capturing the Screen [20:04]. Why screen capture videos will explode in 2014.
8. Mark the Occasion [23:28]. Ryan and Nicko discuss how they have seen event videos develop in the past year and where they see them going.
Ryan Spanger: Hi, this is Ryan Spanger. About 12 years ago, I started a video production company in Melbourne, Australia called Dream Engine. Making videos is a huge passion for me and in this podcast, I’ll be sharing with you a lot of the ideas and techniques that I use in my video production business. I hope you enjoy the show and it gives you clear, actionable ideas that you can implement in your business right now to improve your web video marketing and build a stronger connection with your audience.
Welcome back to the Web Video Marketing Show with Ryan Spanger and Nicko Hancock. This is our final show for 2013. How you doing Nicko Hancock?
Nicko Hancock: I’m very well Ryan, and as our listeners will doubtlessly know, we haven’t been here for a couple of weeks. We’ve been on a little bit of a hiatus and it’s nothing nefarious. We have been absolutely flat chat for the second half of 2013.
Ryan Spanger: This has been the busiest month or six weeks of video production that I have ever done in the last 15 years.
Nicko Hancock: Which is good, because the whole aim of this final podcast for 2013 is to look ahead at 2014, and Ryan Spanger’s going to give his analysis of the video production trends that he’s seen develop over this year and the video production trends that you can take advantage of in 2014 and a new year.
Ryan Spanger: Yeah, these are the things we’re going to be looking out for and speaking to our clients and potential clients about. This is where I see video production and promotional video heading.
Nicko Hancock: Well Ryan, I know there’s a number of different areas you’d like to touch on in this episode of the Web Video Marketing Show, but let’s start off on one that’s very important to you and one that you’ve been developing your own skills towards and that is the video marketing side of video production.
Ryan Spanger: Yeah, it’s interesting how the video production business has developed over the last, I don’t know, 15 or 20 years, where initially it was very focused on creating images and editing and storytelling, which is absolutely vital. Most of the industry was made up of people from a creative background who love working with cameras and creating beautiful images and telling stories. Then you’d have this whole other side emerged which is people who work on the web, who work in online marketing, who started to really focus on the video marketing side of things, but didn’t necessarily have the skill or the experience to create great looking video and necessarily didn’t have that good storytelling background. I think where video production and web video is heading in 2014 is about integrating video production and video marketing, so understanding not only how to make great looking images, but understanding the strategy of video marketing, understanding everything that goes into where video actually connects with your overall marketing strategy.
Nicko Hancock: If I was commissioning a video production for my business, what’s the number one thing that I should be looking to implement or looking to create a video for in terms of my video production strategy?
Ryan Spanger: The first thing is to look at your overall marketing strategy and be really clear on what your goals are. Then, create videos based on helping to achieve those goals. Often people have the wrong strategy. They start off with this idea of just wanting to create video or wanting to put a video on their website because it’s a good idea to have video on your website, which it is, but the whole point of making video is to drive your overall marketing strategy, so start off with your marketing strategy and then think what are the goals that I want to achieve and how can I use video to help achieve that. For instance, when you’re looking at sales, look at how can you use video to drive more leads? How can you then nurture those leads more effectively and how can you convert those leads into sales in a better way through using video?
Nicko Hancock: I remember recently on the Dream Engine website, we’ve brought to you a series of three informative videos on the lead nurture and lead capture phases, which we’ll put a link to in the show notes if you want a bigger understanding of what Ryan Spanger’s talking about. Obviously when you say that actually creating video productions that match to your video marketing strategy or indeed your overall marketing strategy, that is incredibly important. One thing that I’d like to talk to you about just quickly is the size and the style of these videos.
You mentioned to me off air a couple of weeks ago that videos used to be one massive production for a corporate company and the trend recently has been to make a series of small videos. What’s given birth to this trend and how does that work in a marketing strategy context?
Ryan Spanger: Historically, video production was almost the video equivalent of a brochure. People would create one video where they’d cover lots of areas from the history of their company to the different services they provide to their location and just be like a general introduction to the company. Maybe 10 years ago this was okay. It was impressive enough for people to actually have a video and it showed another side. Now, audiences are a lot more discerning and media literate and they want more. At the same time, they want shorter videos because their attention span is shorter and there’s a whole lot more media competing for their attention.
Because they’re more media literate, you really don’t need as much time to tell a story, because they can fill in the gaps themselves. This more serialized or episodic approach to video production is what is much more effective. It’s more about creating a dialogue, so in [inaudible 05:42] previous years, people would make one video, broadcast it, put it out there and that was it; that was the experience. It’s much more interactive now, it’s much more conversational, so you might make a video, share it through social media, get comments, reply, maybe make another video in response to that or make another video that drives people to the next stage of the marketing process. In terms of sales, the type of video that you’re going to use to initially get interest, get people to sign up to your blog, is going to be quite different to the type of video that you’ll make to drive people to make a purchase.
Once you start making videos for all these different phases and different types of relationships and levels of conversation, communication, then it’s just going to be a whole lot more effective.
Nicko Hancock: When you say this Ryan Spanger, that you can make different videos depending at which stage of the marketing process you’re on, I’m sure some of our listeners who aren’t familiar with having an overall marketing strategy would say, “Well, how can I track that kind of stuff?” The simple answer is that yes, you can track the metrics from these smaller, more conversational videos you’re using [inaudible 06:53] such as Wistia. Could you list a few of the benefits that you can actually get from tracking the stats on all your videos and the information that this can tell you?
Ryan Spanger: Yeah, absolutely. The more that you know about who your audience is, the more that you can tailor videos to meet their specific needs. It’s really important to know who is your audience. Generally, this is pretty useful information that you can get on YouTube. What demographic is watching your video, is it more males or females? Where are they geographically located? The more you know about your audience, the more you can tailor a video for them. Then you can take things a step further with something like Wistia where you can tag individual viewers and you can know on an individual level who’s watched your video, how much of the video have they watched, have they watched it again? Then through integrating that into automated email marketing systems like Infusionsoft or OfficeAutopilot, you can then take specific actions based on their viewing habits.
If you know that an audience is only watching half of your video and they’re tending to drop off, then you can update your video and you can bring the call to action sooner. You’re then going to get a much better response. That’s one approach that you can take.
Nicko Hancock: Absolutely, and as an avid Facebook stalker, all of these stats and this tagging and so on and so forth gives me a bit of a thrill, because it actually helps to make you a better marketer, a smarter marketer, and someone who can actually bring your potential clients through those lead capture, lead nurture and lead conversion phases more effectively.
Ryan Spanger: Yeah, you’re a smarter marketer, but also you’re creating content that is more along the lines of what people want. On the one hand, you’re pursuing your own agenda of using video to promote your business. On the other hand, you’re serving your audience more effectively by being able to track what they’re interested in, what holds their attention, what are the things that they’ve gone back to watch again or the parts that they’re particularly interested in? Then you can tailor your content to make it even more engaging for them.
Nicko Hancock: Speaking of what people want Ryan Spanger, we’re going to quickly step back in time and touch on what you want and a phase that has come across in 2013 that I know has been making you very happy as someone who’s studied documentary filmmaking at the VCA many moon ago. There has been a push towards documentary sales videos for a number of aspects, and you’ve been big and pointed towards the documentary sales videos for quite a while now. Singing their praises, obviously went to the USA in mid-2013 to make a series for a gentleman over there. Why are people getting behind documentary sales format?
Ryan Spanger: Yeah, I’m really glad to see this happening, because documentary making and watching documentaries is my absolute passion.
Nicko Hancock: How many have you seen over the years, by the way?
Ryan Spanger: I’ve seen one or two. I’m glad to see that more people are interested in documentary making and watching documentaries, because I think people are now just more interested in real stories told by real people. They’re more media literate, they may be a little bit more cynical about being manipulated when they’re watching stories. They’re people looking for something a little bit more real and authentic and something which maybe captures their own story a little bit more effectively than a big, glossy Hollywood movie which is usually a little bit more about escapism than telling stories that actually relate to us and our lives. Then also just giving us a window into other people’s worlds, so the way you can integrate this into promotional video is telling the story of people similar to your audience.
Then your audience really relates to them, and their thought process is, “Oh, this seems like someone that I might know or someone kind of like me, who’s having an experience that I either want to have or have had or really aspire to have.” By watching these stories, these are like really powerful advocates, and they can really motivate you to take action by sharing their story relating to them and then wanting to have that same experience yourself.
Nicko Hancock: Absolutely, Ryan Spanger. We had a really good example of the power of a documentary sales video earlier this year working for the city of Port Phillip counsel. The city of Port Phillip, they wanted their employees to get behind their sustainable transport initiative, which is more or less the city of Port Phillip saying, “Hey, listen. We’re community leaders and we want our employees to be healthier, happier and really good role models to the rest of the community by taking alternative forms of transport to work other than cars.” This could have been a hard sale, it could have been promoted in many different ways. I remember they were floating ideas of barbeque days, they wanted to hand out some pamphlets, but in the end they chose the corporate documentary style.
Some of the benefits of these include stuff that you were talking about just before, such as the fact that when we were creating this documentary video, we actually got three people who did work at the city of Port Phillip who were taking alternative forms of transport to work. The response from the actual employees of the city of Port Phillip to this video, because it had people that they knew in it or people that they worked with or people that they could relate to, was so very positive to a video that wasn’t a hard sell.
Ryan Spanger: Yeah, it’s basically a story of a big organization trying to change the behavior of the people who work there. It could very easily be perceived as like a dictate from management saying do this, do that. Nobody likes being told what to do. Nobody likes being told what their transport choices should be, so rather than telling people what to do, we shared stories of people who were doing something and why there were doing it. It’s coming from their coworkers, it’s coming from their perceived equals rather from the people above them. Think about it from a psychological point of view, it’s so much easier to motivate people to do something by sharing success stories of people just like them, rather than saying, “On a more rational level, we’ve decided that this is what we want you to do, because it’s gonna be best for you.”
Nicko Hancock: Yep, I couldn’t agree with that more. Ryan Spanger, one aspect of the city of Port Phillip video that we’ll touch on very briefly was the fact that we had license to show that these alternative forms of transport to and from work in a really free flowing cinematic style. That’s another one of the trends that you’ve picked up on in 2013 that will, and I’m putting my own hat up here, will continue on in 2014 and that is the movement towards cinematic corporate video. Ryan Spanger, why are videos that are beautiful as well as informative and educational, so on and so forth, so important to today’s corporate clients?
Ryan Spanger: Audiences have been trained through watching thousands and thousands and thousands of hours of TV and movies. They appreciate quality, they are media literate and they enjoy watching stuff that’s well shot and nicely color graded and has nice movement in it. I think more and more, people expect to see the same level of quality when they watch promotional videos as they might in seeing your logo or your website or your brochure. Because promotional video for business is still relatively new, there’s still a lot of businesses out there who are shooting stuff on their iPhone that’s not lit properly with terrible sound and somehow feel that that’s okay, whereas they wouldn’t compromise on any of the other design or communication elements that they’re using.
We’re still in a window where that’s almost thought of as being acceptable. It’s important for businesses who are creating that kind of media to realize that there’s a whole generation of people who’ve come through school and university now who have been trained in the stuff from when they were kids. They’re making amazing looking stuff, so it’s time to keep lifting your game, because if you don’t you’re really going to be left behind. You don’t want to have to look back in a year or two or three and really cringe with the videos that you’re putting out there now. It’s still early days, so it’s still an incredibly opportunity to get ahead of your competitors by making great quality video.
Nicko Hancock: Agreed, and part of this aspect that you briefly touched on just then Ryan Spanger is the timeliness of the videos as well. The more contemporary the video, the higher the production values or the more care put into production, the longer that you will be able to roll that video out. I think that’s something that’s important to production managers and marketing managers at corporates worldwide.
Ryan Spanger: Yeah, your videos will last longer. Forget about trends and using effects too much, it would be the equivalent of going out and buying the most fashionable clothes, which will look cool for about six months and then will sit at the back of your [inaudible 16:05] and you won’t wear. You want that classic contemporary kind of look that’s going to last for a few years that’s not going to date overnight.
Nicko Hancock: I’m often accused of never being anything other than contemporary in what I wear, so yes, I’ll obviously avoid new end clothes is a horrible metaphor. Anyway, we’ll probably just cut this entire section.
Ryan Spanger: I think that dinner jacket that you’re wearing looks very becoming.
Nicko Hancock: If only. Ryan Spanger, we’ve spoken a lot about video marketing strategies, and one aspect of video strategies that companies have been rolling out wholesale around Australia are thought leadership videos. People are really getting behind the concept of thought leadership as a way to demonstrate their own expertise and bring them front of mind to clients. We’ve done a lot of thought leadership work this year and it’s something that you’ve identified’s only going to get bigger in 2014.
Ryan Spanger: Yeah, thought leadership, content marketing, whatever you want to call it, this has been a massive trend over the last couple years. Smart businesses have realized that the best way to really dominate their niche is to really establish their expertise. A great way of doing that is through video, so we’ve worked with a lot of companies who are creating a lot of content, sharing with their audience, with their clients and with their prospects, which is really giving away information in an unselfish way to demonstrate their expertise and starting a conversation with people. Rather than doing a hard sale sales video, this is a process of regularly creating engaging content that demonstrates your expertise and helps solve problems and builds the connection with your audience.
Overtime, people start to regard you as the leader in your field, which means that when they need a challenge solved, they’ll contact you. Also, you’re able to actually command a premium, because you are the perceived experts in that area, so this is becoming more popular and it’s only going to grow in the next year.
Nicko Hancock: One overall trend I’ve really just discovered, having had this conversation with you so far for the Web Video Marketing Show, is that really the big overarching trend for 2014 is developing the relationship between companies and the viewer and the end viewer. I think that’s something that these trends, in particular thought leadership videos and the documentary format, are really going to be key at using next year.
Ryan Spanger: Yeah, in marketing and sales, the absolute ideal would be to sit face to face with a prospect or a client and having a conversation with them. Nothing beats that human one to one connection. Realistically, when you’re in business and you have lots of clients and there’s a large number of prospects, that’s just not practical. What’s the next best way to connect with people? Video has that intimacy, it has that level of connection and that people can see you and you can use editing and music and color and effects and all of these elements to build emotion and create a connection and that’s what makes it so powerful. That’s the idea behind video marketing strategy is building a series of videos which deepen the relationship, teach people something, help solve their problems, show them what you can do and really build a relationship, so that by the time you’re actually sitting down with people, they already feel like they know you.
Nicko Hancock: Absolutely. Underline that word, conversation, a couple of times, because that is the overall trend that we’re looking for in 2014, because that’s what video can be. We’re find that it’s an effective sales tool as well.
Ryan Spanger: That’s been the effect of social media over the last few years. People don’t like being talked at, they like having a conversation, they like being able to respond. It’s great when people do respond and you take those ideas and then you put them into a new video and so the conversation continues. That trend is only going to grow.
Nicko Hancock: Well Ryan Spanger, we’re moving away very briefly from video marketing in a sales perspective to something that is a lot more informative, and that is screen capture videos and their prevalence, specifically for Dream Engine over the last six months. We’ve made quite a few screen capture videos, and probably the one thing I’ve taken away from it, as the guy who does a lot of the editing of these screen capture videos, is that these days with our skill set that we’re developing here at Dream Engine, we can do them really quickly and to an incredibly high standard of visual and audio quality. To be honest with you, I think it’s my favorite way to teach people how to use aspects such as new programs, new websites and that aspect of a business.
Ryan Spanger: Yeah, screen capture videos, basically recording the screen while you demonstrate a process, is a great way of communicating with your audience really fast and cost effectively. You might want to walk them through a process on the website or for an ecommerce site, how to buy something or how to load up content, and screen capture videos are just an awesome way to do that. The videos that we’ve been doing have been for clients who wanted to do a lot of these videos, maybe have done some them self, but they wanted to raise the game a little bit. Higher resolution recording, bringing in a professional voiceover artist, using text to reinforce key points and using aftereffects to give a more 3D effect, which is what you’ve been doing.
Nicko Hancock: Yeah, it’s been really rewarding to develop our own style, I suppose that’s what I’d call it, our own Dream Engine style of doing screen capture videos over the past six months, because to me it’s been really rewarding to be giving two sets of instructions, Ryan Spanger. Firstly, let’s teach people this process in the most effective way that anyone can understand. Secondly, let’s make it look nice. Now, it’s not as easy as it sounds, but when it all comes together and you’ve got the professional voiceover in there and you’re teaching things clearly in a style that actually looks quite beautiful on screen, that’s when you know it’s all clicking and you’ve made the best possible screen capture video for your guide.
Ryan Spanger: Yeah, a great way to use screen capture videos is with your frequently asked questions. When you’re regularly contacted and need to give answers, send people a link and just record the actual process.
Nicko Hancock: We’ve actually been using it for a lot of our in house processes as well, these little screen capture videos. Here’s a question for you, Ryan Spanger, if I had to teach you something, what would you prefer, a 45 page PDF or a four minute video?
Ryan Spanger: I think I’d prefer the video, yeah.
Nicko Hancock: For companies out there who are maybe considering a screen capture video, they’re best used in addition to something or side by side with something, like more detailed instructions in HTML or PDF form and then screen capture video people can watch once to holistically understand the experience.
Ryan Spanger: Yeah, our internal training videos, we create a screen capture video, then we also put it into a document, as well as a flowchart, as well as key points. There’s different ways of learning depending on what your disposition is or whether you might want to watch the video once and then just run through the key points. That’s a great way to back it up is with those other styles of learning.
Nicko Hancock: Couldn’t agree more, Ryan Spanger. Now, we’re moving away from stuff that’s shot and produced mainly in house to the more sweeping grand ballrooms and convention centers of the world. We’re talking about event video filming. Ryan Spanger, we do a lot of event video filming here at Dream Engine. I like to think it’s one of our best aspects of our production and editing and it’s been a big year for it in 2013, only going to get bigger next year in 2014.
Ryan Spanger: Event filming is just a no brainer. If you think about the effort and energy and time that you put in to run an event, it might be a conference, it might be internal stuff, training, it might be an event, a speech, anytime where there are people getting up and sharing information, it just makes sense to document it. That way, you can share it with the people who weren’t able to be there. You can package it up and sell it. You can take extracts and distribute them through social media. You can put them on YouTube to drive traffic back to your website. There’s so many uses for this, so the idea is repurposing content. Once you’re doing something, once you’re putting effort into putting content out there, how can you make the most of it and filming these sorts of events just makes complete sense. There’s so much you can do to actually leverage it.
Nicko Hancock: Because you’re never just filming someone at a pedestal or a group of people sitting behind a table answering questions, what you’re doing is you’re creating content at these events from people that you have either paid or hired to be at the event. They’re thought leaders, they’re absolute experts in their field. What you’re doing is you’re more or less funneling that expertise and all those thoughts into a room packed with X amount of people, when you could be recording that live at the time and then packaging it for the rest of your organization, for the rest of the web, for whatever ends you desire. Whether it’s to actually build more sales or to increase expertise in your workforce, any of them. It’s never just an event anymore, it’s an opportunity to really get some great stuff out there being digested by people.
Ryan Spanger: Yeah, there’s a lot that you can do. You can not only film the actual speakers, but you can edit that into like a two or three minute highlight video that really gives people the feeling for what it was like to be there, so the next time you run the event, you can use that short highlight video as a way of showing people this is what you’re going to experience when you come to our event, this is what you’re going to feel, these are the sort of people that you’re going to meet. You can capture vox pops which will really reinforce that and add some proof elements. There’s a lot that you can leverage through an event.
Nicko Hancock: Absolutely, whether it be education or whether it be looking back and smiling at an event that you’ve recently held, Dream Engine the people to capture it I would say, Ryan Spanger, if you’re in Melbourne [inaudible 26:18].
Ryan Spanger: Definitely contact a professional video production company, such as Dream Engine, if you’re looking at filming an event. That way you can show it off in your best light.
Nicko Hancock: Well Ryan Spanger, there’s been a lot of good work in 2013 and there is a lot to look forward to in 2014. It’s been a pleasure joining you for the whole year on the Web Video Marketing Show. As usual, if anyone’s feeling like sharing the end of year spirit, perhaps some Christmas time cheer, you can find us on Facebook at Dream Engine, you can find us on Twitter, or you can find us on DreamEngine.com.au. All the links to those websites will be in the show notes.
Ryan Spanger: Yeah, thank you listeners for coming on this journey with us over the last year. It’s been awesome bringing you this content and I would love to know from you what other sort of topics you’d like us to talk about in 2014.
Nicko Hancock: We love hearing from our listeners at any stage and yes, we’re happy to tackle whatever correspondence we receive through the show.
Ryan Spanger: Thanks Nicko and I look forward to talking to you again in the New Year.
Nicko Hancock: Can’t wait to see you in 2014, tanned and fitter than ever, Ryan Spanger. See you then.
Ryan Spanger is one of Melbourne’s most respected and sought-after video production professionals. Ryan founded Dream Engine in 2002, and specialises in helping medium to large corporates, government departments, and the non-proﬁt sector to connect with their audience more effectively by using video.