Education, News, Videos

THE SOCIAL MEDIA SECRET


Pssst … Do I have the webinar for you!

Everywhere you look on social media these days, people seem to be inviting you to webinars and such to unravel the mysteries of successful client engagement — on social media! You might sign up and get a little taste of what they’re on about, but then you could be invited (surprise, surprise …) to hand over some cash to attend yet another webinar where “all will be revealed”.


There can be plenty of benefit going down this path if you can choose the right person for your situation to work with, and I am sure they all have good advice in one form or another. I think, though, that there is a much simpler way to look at things, at least at the beginning of your social media journey.



A simpler approach

My advice to you and your organisation as the key to social media success is very simple: be social. That’s what social media is supposed to be, after all. And social implies engaging the readers, and viewers, through interesting videos, photos and text; those readers and viewers are all potential customers, but not people who intentionally visit social media sites to be sold to (at least they don’t think they are).  First up, people visit because they see something that sparks their interest and that elicits an emotional response, whether that’s just from its entertainment value or that it appears to be something they “need to know”. You should keep the mindset of these people — people just casually “walking past your shop window “ very firmly in mind when you are organising your content.



Trust, and building relationships

Let me give you a scenario: Someone you’ve never met appears at your door and tries to sell you a TV: what would you think? I know what I’d be thinking: I don’t know this person. Maybe the TV’s stolen. What’s the catch? I don’t have a relationship with this person. (And clearly: “Forget it! Get lost! No sale!”). If, however, the caller was someone who I saw every day, who made me laugh, or who taught me things, I would be much more likely to buy.


Before you start spending money on ads on Facebook or Instagram, before you look at running paid stories on any of the social media sites, you should be looking to build a base and developing relationships with a potential customer base; a base that will learn to trust you because it sees you every day, sometimes learns interesting and useful things from you and/or laughs with you.



Jump the counter (careful!) and be your own customer

You’re wanting to upgrade your social media presence, so why not put yourself in the shoes of your ‘ideal’ client or customer. What would they want to know? What is most likely to spark their interest? What would they want to learn?


But first, who are they? Who are these people you think should be using your services or products rather than your competitors’? Why not take an hour or so to sit down with your team to try and work out who the ideal client/customer, or, who your ideal customer/client ‘avatar’ will be. Is it new parents? Teachers? Dentists, maybe? Male/female? Age? How much would they earn? Where would they live? Do they have kids? Every business is different and will have a different target market. Make sure everyone on your team knows who your ideal client/customer is. Create your ideal client avatar and then print out a picture of what you think they’d look like, then when doing your social media posts, look at the picture to imagine targeting that avatar. Try and penetrate the mindset of your target market and make content specifically for them. So: What magazines do they read? What websites do they visit? What questions do they have?  Give them information. Give them laughs. Entertain them! And remember to Inject some life and personality into your posts. Social media users want to see that a brand has a personality, they want to be able to identify with that brand, they want to be able to relate with that brand.



Making one-to-one relationships work for you

If someone comments on your post, interact with them, no matter how big your company is. If a potential client/customer can have a question answered, then they will be one step closer to crossing the line into becoming an actual customer/client. Then, why not use that as an opportunity: take the question they asked and turn that into another piece of content. If one person is asking, you can almost guarantee that there’ll be others dealing with the same issue.


Growing your base like this — organically — will build a group of followers who are much more invested in your brand and who will come to identify with, and trust, your brand. It might be a slow burn, but you will hold onto these followers for longer.


If you would like to chat about any of the above please give me a buzz on 0467 092 907 or email matt@jasperpictures.com.au . Have a great week.

Check us out on facebook here.

Read our blog about making videos for facebook here

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News, Videos

52 weeks, 52 videos  – Part Two



Last  month – at Jasper Pictures – we launched a new deal:
52 weeks, 52 videos. The reason for the name is quite straightforward: 52 weeks in one year, we make you 52 videos, you release one each week. Simple, no?


We’ve had a massive amount of interest on our offer in quite a short time, so I thought I’d write a short blog outlining some of the details. This is part two of that blog.

Part one can be found here.


When I left you last week I was talking about what you could make videos about. I thought I would take up that theme again this week, particularly after some people I’ve been talking with have expressed concern that they wouldn’t have enough interesting content to fill up a year. Some more real-world, practical examples might help with your thinking.



A need to build their online presence


I spoke, recently, with the Operations Manager at a
seven-day-a-week building supply company. Their sales have been on the up and up but they also want to raise their online, social media presence. They often trade as a business-to-business (so-called ‘b2b’) company, but at other times they deal directly with end-use customers (‘b2c’), particularly when the homeowner wants a choice of product.


After I heard a bit more about their operations, I came up with a long list of possible videos. Here are just a few:


  • Meeting the staff: introducing the actual people who might be installing the product
  • Customer testimonials: no one wants to be the first to use a product, get real examples
  • Where products come from: the wood they use is sustainably sourced; that is worth talking about
  • Protecting the environment: they use materials that don’t harm the environment; talk about them
  • How the products are made: a look inside the workshop to show how the products are made, particularly looking at Quality Control – building trust
  • How to look after your product: to show the end user what they should be doing to keep their product like new
  • Monthly specials: once a month they will be featuring one of their products and will offer a special deal
  • DIY: often their products are bought directly by end-users; these videos will give them an idea how to install the product


Bite down on this one


The next company I’ll talk about, a
dental practise in the Melbourne suburbs, is hoping to open a second shopfront and they want to do better on Instagram and Facebook. After they outlined what they offer, I came up with a list of potential videos that included the following:


  • Meet the staff: they had been having trouble telling the stories of a couple of the staff through photos, and video is a much better option
  • Before and after: The law is clear – dentists aren’t allowed to make testimonials, but they can show before and after. This can be used in relation to the fitting of braces, tooth whitening and the like
  • Looking after your teeth: Tips and tricks around keeping your pearly whites pearly and white
  • Tips and tricks to get your kids to brush every day
  • What happens during certain procedures: Videos that may help calm patients down and talk them through the benefits of certain procedures
  • What to do when … : If you have a tooth knocked out, or you break a tooth, what should you do?
  • Meet the owners: The owners live inside their catchment area, so they will show their connections to the community they serve
  • Charity work: The practise works with a couple of local charities, and videos would be made to show the changes they are making
  • A Christmas greeting and thank-you video to all their patients
  • The latest in dental technology:  The practise uses leading edge dental technology, and they will show what can – and can’t – be done with new equipment.

OK, so you’re not dentists, right? (but then, very few folks are!), but some of these ideas will be appropriate for any business. Yours, perhaps!



… and finally, could this example help you design your approach?


Our last company example today is an engineering firm I’ve been dealing with. They work mostly as ‘b2b’ and want their weekly videos to be used on their Linkedin page and their website. They are also resellers for various industry software applications. Once again, any of the suggestions I’ve made above could be used in this business, or any other.


  • Software feature videos: They are planning to make videos that show customers the problems that can be solved with the various software applications they resell
  • Business wrap: Once a month they will be giving an overview of what is going on within the business – new contracts, finished contracts etc.
  • Before and after: Videos to show the work that they have performed, before and after
  • Meet the staff:  Videos to show potential customers that they can be trusted and that they are human
  • History videos: They want to show customers how they started and to prove that they haven’t just come down in the last rain shower
  • Conference wraps: Every year there are a few industry conferences they attend;  they want to let customers know about new industry trends

As you can see, there are tons of videos that you could be making for your business, to increase your social media presence and your sales. Just think about the amount of material you will have gathered after doing this for a year – video material you will have access to that could be repurposed for years to come.



Isn’t it all just too hard?


As well as the perception some businesses seem to have of a dearth of suitable content, the other message I tend to hear at meetings is, “Gee, all that seems like a lot of work! Isn’t it all just too hard?”


I want to reassure you, here and now, that if you plan what you are going to do a few months out, it will be less work than you think. Planning will give you peace of mind that the ideas are already there, The Jasper Picture Company will do the rest. When you sign up, you will be allocated a Production Manager who will be with you every step of the way, helping you with ideas and helping you to understand what goes into the shoot days. We designed this offer to make things easier for you, not harder.





So let’s meet up and talk


I am still conducting meetings in relation to
52 weeks: 52 videos, over Skype or face-to-face. Give me a call on 0467092907 or email me at matt@jasperpictures.com.au if you would like to know more.

Video Production Australia

Just one final point: This offer isn’t open just to companies in Melbourne; it’s valid all over Australia. We have crews in each state and will be able to work with you, wherever you are.

Check us out on facebook here.

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News, Videos

Small Business Video Content — who can afford that?


“Matt — hold up! I run a small business. How can I afford professional video production?”


It’s a fair question.



A basic video shoot and edit can cost anywhere from $3,500. How can a small business get professional video production for their website or social media … and be able to fit that within their budget?



The first bit of advice I’d give would be to space things out.


Don’t try to do everything in one hit. There might be an important event on your horizon: you may be breaking ground for a new construction; you could be expecting important international visitors on an inspection tour of your premises; or perhaps you’ve been invited to deliver a speech to a local business group. You would like to use that event, somewhere down the track, to the advantage of your enterprise, but you can’t really commit yourself to a full, ‘all bells and whistles’ production right now. So, instead of signing up to get a complete video made at the moment, why not think about just getting it shot for now and holding on to that vision until you have enough material to make a great video, rather than having to have a mediocre one ‘right this very minute’. Get the editing done when you have enough material; that approach will break up having to fork out all of your hard-earned at the one time — sometimes a painful procedure!



‘You need a plan’ is the second of my pearls of wisdom.

Every company needs to be careful about where their hard-earned dollars go, and this is especially true for small businesses. Every dollar spent has to count and must be earmarked for some specific end; it must earn its keep. The thought that will go into planning for your video will help you achieve this end. There is no point in going in to shoot footage with little to no idea of what you want to achieve other than that you want to make a video. So, make sure that you work with a production company that is going to work with you towards a good return for you on your investment, not one that just wants to take your money. Work with a company that is going to make a video that will be to your benefit, one that wants your video to succeed.



Before you begin, you should be very clear about the outcome you want, so it’s probably worth going back to first principles  — ‘Marketing 101’, if you like. So think, long and hard, about



  • the purpose of your video: to sell? or maybe just inform?
  • who your customer is
  • where can you find them?, and
  • what is the best way to sell to them?


Nothing costs more in video production than indecision and confusion. If you don’t shoot what you want, then you can’t edit it.



Next: consider engaging a company that offers a monthly video production subscription package.



Some companies, ourselves included, offer you the opportunity of paying a fixed monthly amount in return for a certain number of half days, or days, per month. You might start off paying for one half day per month, you then can use these half days across the course of the year to make your video. You can even let them accumulate for when you finally get around to getting the job completed.



Monthly subscriptions help you manage your marketing budget, knowing that there would be a fixed cost every month.



Click here to get more information in regard to our subscription packages.



By the way, if you receive our newsletter, you’ll receive months 11 and 12 for free when you sign up for a 12-month video production subscription package. Think of it as being part of a Frequent Filmer program!



Sign up to the newsletter at the end of this article.



In summary, then, you CAN get great results on any budget, you just have to plan and be highly focussed on getting the right video in front of the right people.



I would be more than happy to have a discussion with you about your video plans and give you suggestions on what I think will work for you, and what will achieve your goals. Contact me on 0467092907 or email me at matt@jasperpictures.com.au

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News, Videos

2018 – A chance to re-start your video marketing


For many of you, this week means it’s back to work. A Brand New Year – 2018 – is upon us, and the best time to plan your video strategy, if you haven’t already, is now.


Some of you will have marketing budgets, some of you won’t. My thought on marketing budgets is that if your marketing is working, and if it is driving sales and profit, surely the budget shouldn’t be limited. If it is working, it should be ramped up to drive more sales and more profit. Ideally, your video strategy this year will be about testing, every day, to find a campaign that works. Then ramping it up. Then you start the process again.


So I would start by setting some tangible goals.

To do that, consider these questions:

  • what do I hope – and need – to achieve this year with my videos?

  • what platforms am I going to use? and

  • how can I target potential, new customers?


Measuring success


When you’ve firmed up on your goals, you will need to work out how you are going to assess your results. How will you measure success? And how will you work out if you are likely to reach your goals, or perhaps already have?


If you can’t measure it, then don’t do it. You won’t be able to show your bosses how it all went and how much of a success it was – or wasn’t! – if you don’t have the numbers to back you up. So, are you just looking for views or are you looking for actual sales? Just interest in your product or service, or action by customers that flowed from that interest? Find a way to measure everything you want to know.


Presumably, by this point, you know who your company’s customers are but, importantly, do you know how to connect with them? Are those customers on Facebook, or are they on Snapchat? Do they primarily use Twitter or do they like Instagram stories? If they do like Facebook, where do they go on Facebook? Where can you get your video in front of them and make them stop scrolling, even for just a moment?


If you have to ask customers where they hang out, do it. Research done before you press RECORD on your camera is much easier and potentially much more effective than after.


Do you know what your audience wants? You know where they hang out, but what questions do they want answered, what do they want to know about?



That important factor – a story to tell

How are you going to tell your story? When you are sitting down with your team, or discussing ideas with your husband or wife, remember that — at this stage of the process — no idea should be treated as ridiculous. Make a safe space where people can throw in ideas, any ideas, where they won’t be ridiculed. An idea that sounds ridiculous might just be the one that is different enough that people will stop and watch. Also, the more ideas you have, good and bad, the more that can be adjusted and adapted to suit your needs. Remember, your plan should never be to bore your audience to buy something; they need to be engaged, they need to feel something when they watch, and you need to interrupt their scrolling. How will you grab their attention in two or three seconds so that they stop and hang around.



Campaign ‘hooks’

Get a calendar out and start to look at things that are happening in your part of the world on particular days. Can you tie your campaigns into certain events that are happening? Will you have a Chinese New Year campaign, a May Day campaign or something to work around the footy finals in your area. Be aware of what is going on and plan ahead, this will help with engagement and will make your content more relevant.



In a few words, then: get the right content in front of the right people and you’ll get the results you want. Measure the right numbers and research why certain campaigns worked better than others, then discard the bad and keep refining the good. Treat video campaigns like you would any other and tweak small changes and refinements to get the results you want. Great campaigns will lead to more campaigns, so test, test, and test. If you do this, you will make sure that you get the best return on investment possible.


My last thought is to not get stuck in old ideas. It is a New Year, after all, and for that I wish you well: for that as well as for the success of your marketing efforts!


What do you plan to do this year? Let me know on 0467092907 or matt@jasperpictures.com.au, and if we can help out in any way please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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News, Videos

Happy New Year to you all!

Sure, most of you are still on holidays. It is a new year, though, and I wanted to try and inspire you to kick off 2018 using your most creative foot. To do that, I’ve collated some of my favourite video campaigns of 2017 to share with you. I have tried to choose a variety spanning different budget brackets as well as different styles and goals.

As you watch the videos I want you to realise that you and your company could achieve any of these results. Certainly the first video does have an A-lister as the star, but all of the videos share one thing in common: they tell a story. Each video sets out to engage with the viewer, and this is something that we can all do. The aim of each one is to drive engagement and motivate the viewer to share, to ‘like’ or to comment. They aim to start a conversation, and that is how you will get your message out to the world.

First up is the first of two mentions of Hewlett PackardHPthe global info tech giant. This one, a video called ‘The Wolf’, is the longest video in this list, but it is certainly worth the watch. I won’t tell you what it’s about, you’ll have to watch and find out. This was the first time HP had embarked on a web series for the company and certainly wasn’t the last (see ‘The Fixer’). It’s worth noting, in passing, that HP spends 73% of its marketing budget in the digital space. This video was directed for HP Inc by US cinematographer Lance Acord and stars Christian Slater.


The next HP video, directed by Sara Dunlop, is called ‘Reinvent Giving’. This was one of two films released before Christmas 2017 and was made by the worldwide advertising agency network BBDO. This is a real feelgood film, made just in time for the emotional holidays, where giving and caring for others should be at the forefront of our minds.


Heineken is next up in my look back at 2017. There were two notable drink-related sponsored video stories this year, one from Pepsi (that definitely
isn’t worth a mention on this list) and the following video. It was part of Heineken’s #openyourworld campaign and it’s called ‘Worlds Apart’. Basically it’s an experiment in putting people together who wouldn’t normally have a chat over a beer. It’s just over four minutes long and is definitely worth a watch. In a world that is becoming increasingly divided, it told an important story.


The next film is the story of one of the oldest chair and table makers in Switzerland and it uses no dialogue to show how they make a chair, from raw wood to its final destination. It is beautifully shot and won a Gold Award at the 2017 Cannes Corporate Media and TV Awards.


The next video is actually from the end of 2016 but I’ve included it because it’s a really good example of thought-track-based storytelling: without any voiceover at all, it just uses the participants’ words to tell the story. This video, made for another another Swiss company — this time the Swiss Life Group — looks at three of the ways they give back to the community.


The last on my list is from a company that spends a lot of time working on its message. This is Dove, the beauty products company, and they continually raise the bar when it comes to storytelling. As you watch this, I want you to think about the fact that they don’t mention Dove once, other than on the closing screen. As with many of the videos on this list, the video is about what they stand for and their outlook on the world rather than a straight-up sell of their products. Putting together a film like this will grow engagement faster than a straight-up ad and that is what you should be trying to achieve. This film is from their Real Beauty Productions series.


Remember what I said at the top of this blog. Any of you can achieve the results in these videos. All of you have stories to tell, it is just finding the right way to tell them.


If you want to have a chat with me about how we could tell your story then get in touch at 0467 092 907 or email me at
matt@jasperpictures.com.au


What were
your favourite videos of 2017? Comment below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Education, News

TEN INTERVIEW TIPS FOR WHEN YOU’RE ON-CAMERA.


“You’re on!” Hearing those words may freak you out; alternatively they may lead you to imagine that your thirty seconds of fame is about to happen! Whichever, whether it’s for a corporate video or for your local TV news, there are some basic things you should think about when, or preferably well before, being interviewed.

These ten interview tips, by the way, are the distilled wisdom from many years of being on the other side of the lens, so … please take note.


So … quiet on the set … roll, camera, here are our ten interview tips!


  • Before you sit down, take a moment to check in the mirror and see how you look. Most camera crews will tell you if you have a piece of lettuce on your cheek, but they might not know how you like to wear your hair.

  • If you wear glasses, clean them, so that you don’t see your fingerprints when they switch the TV lights on.

  • Have a tissue in your pocket to pat your face if you get sweaty. Never rub, as it will leave an awful red mark on your face.

  • If someone offers you make-up, take it; they will be offering it for a reason. For men, it will be most likely about taking the shine off your nose or forehead from being under the lights.

  • Assume the cameras are always rolling. This is a point more for when the local TV wants an interview for the daily bulletin. As soon as you are in the presence of the camera or sound gear, assume that your expressions – both visible and audible! – are being recorded for posterity. Of course they may or may not be, but it’s better to assume they are than to say something stupid and have that little gem end up on the news!

  • Choose your outfit wisely beforehand, if you can. If possible, wear block solid colours. Tight lines, stripes and patterns can be distracting to the viewer and can play havoc with cameras.

  • Hold your eye-line. Usually, when you’re being interviewed, you will be asked to look at an interviewer, a producer or journalist who will be asking the questions. If this is the case, try to hold your eye-line as much as possible. Don’t look at the camera; ignore it and anyone else in the room. If your eyes are flicking around the room it is an easy way to make you look shifty and – even worse – untrustworthy.

  • Practice ahead of time. Have someone you work, or live with to ask you the questions you think you’re likely to face. Just like in any other area, ‘practice makes perfect’ – or, at least, better!

  • When answering questions, don’t ramble and don’t feel like you have to fill in the silences. Like psychologists, some of the best journalists will leave gaps that they hope you will fill often with unplanned answers.

  • Relax and have fun. After all, what’s the worst that could happen?

Have you had an interview go wrong? Let me know in the comments or email me, matt@jasperpictures.com.au.

You can check out two recent interviews we have done here and here.

Also check us out on facebook – 

https://www.facebook.com/jasperpictures/

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Education, News

TEN TIPS TO AVOID MISTAKES ON A CORPORATE VIDEO SHOOT


A piece of management advice I read recently seems to sum up very nicely what I think is an important principle:

“No surprises” is a cornerstone of sound management.

That advice would seem to be applicable to any project; it is certainly worth remembering when planning for a corporate video shoot.


Here are ten tips to lessen the surprise element. Keep the surprises for the people who will view your end result, not when you’re putting it together!

  • Planning: I can’t overemphasise careful planning and attention to detail. From organising locations to organising talent, the more planning you do, the better the video outcome will be. Your planning might be in terms of a ‘dream script’, one that sets out what, ideally, you’d like to see in your corporate video; this will help your camera operator or production team to more closely deliver your desired outcome. You will also spend less time filming things you ultimately won’t need. Your edit will be smoother as there will already be a plan in place for how you want it delivered. Draw up a call sheet to make sure that everyone knows what they are doing. 

  • Keep observers to a minimum on your shoot: If you have done your planning right, there should be no need for six bosses from your company on site while you’re filming. That old saying about too many cooks certainly applies to video production and, with a lot of cooks, it generally leads to confusion about what needs to be shot. Get input at the planning stage and collate it all, then make it all work while you are filming.

  • Health and safety: I know this is a bit of a given, but make sure that what you are doing is safe, both for the crew as well as for the people on camera. It is also worth making sure that everything in the background of your shots is safe, as there is nothing worse than presenting a first draft of a video to your bosses, only for them to turn it down because there was a pallet in the background that was stacked too high.

  • Be tidy: This relates to the point above, but if you film some shots in a warehouse and there are empty boxes all over the floor, your bosses might say you can’t use those shots at all. Don’t waste your time filming unless the area is neat and tidy on camera. If I filmed in a supermarket and the shelves in the background were only half full and messy, how do you think the supermarket bosses might react?

  • Think about parking: If you have a corporate video shoot in the city and need to move your gear into an office, where will you unload your car? There are few things more onerous than traipsing camera gear, lights, tripods – and more! – three crowded city blocks to get to a location. Your crew will be exhausted before they even start. Parking, certainly in Melbourne, is also expensive. Maybe you can find spaces for free by speaking with the talent.

  • Make time for meal breaks: Shoot days can sometimes be pretty full-on, and you will want to take advantage of every bit of daylight to get the most out of your day. Alternatively, you might have only been given access to a particular room for a few hours. Make sure your crew – and you – are all properly hydrated and fed; that way, everyone should be less grumpy and much more creative.       

  • Plan for the unexpected, and have a back-up plan: Imagine – your idea for the opening shot of your video is for a flock of birds flying gracefully across a lake at sunrise. Nature can be fickle, and your arrival at the shoot location is met with horizontal rain, the birds are on leave, and you can barely see the lake. You will need to come up with another engaging way to start the video. At the very least checking the weather forecast and the sunrise and sunset times might have helped you consider some alternative approach before you even jumped into your car. (Melbourne is know for having four seasons in one day so if you are filming here. please have a plan)

  • Charge! Not much will happen if your equipment runs out of power. Don’t venture out until you’re sure your batteries are charged and that you have a way to charge them on location – especially your phone. If it’s your job to bring the gear to the location, make sure, the night before, that all the batteries are on charge or are already charged.there are few things worse than turning up on location just to realise that you only have enough battery to shoot for half an hour. Take your battery chargers with you so that you have a get-out-of-jail-free card. And your phone? If you are the one producing the corporate video, you will need to be able to get in touch with everyone involved: you may need to tell people that you are running behind time, or – because of the rain – you can’t film in the park. Having your phone run out of battery at 11am isn’t a great way to stay in touch.

  • Permission and release forms: You should be getting into the habit of having release forms signed by everybody who appears on camera. Two weeks after you have released the video to the world, it would be less than ideal for one of the interviewees to come back and say that you didn’t have their permission to use their face in the video. Get it locked down on shoot day and you are right to go. 

  • Have fun. It’s not brain surgery!

Do you have any questions about the above? As always, feel free to get in touch, at

matt@jasperpictures.com.au

Again … thanks for reading. Send me a link of what you get up to. Also check us out on Facebook if you want to keep up to date on a day to day basis. https://www.facebook.com/jasperpictures/

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News, Videos

Your video needs to hit somebody between the eyes and make the viewer feel something. That ‘something’ could be happiness, sadness, fear or anger. Any of those emotional reactions will pique the viewer’s interest. In any case, whatever emotion comes to the fore, you need to ‘lay it on in spades’. There really is no point underplaying this. Clearly, you don’t want your video to get lost among the millions of others exactly the same.

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