Video Authenticity

Emotions. Everyone’s got them. There is no doubt about it, emotions drive action. That sentiment is as true in our personal lives as it is in business. When something conjures up a feeling, you are more invested. Now apply that to video strategy. The best videos are the ones that tell a great story, and a great story is one that authentically appeals to your audience’s emotions.

The reality is, the automation and scale of marketing and sales technologies have devalued human connection. Today’s biggest brands are gaining traction by being real and authentic while making a personal connection. Just listen to Mad Bear Productions’ CEO, Glenn Zimmerman, share his philosophy on why we do what we do and why we bet on video authenticity every time.

In the sales world, “one size fits all” tactics are failing to produce. Video helps cut through the noise, helps you stand out to prospective customers and builds a personal connection. A video that focuses on being authentic and real while effectively conveying the message is the key.

So, we can agree that adopting a video strategy that measures success and proves ROI is vital for any organization, but when it comes to sales it’s hard to put a price on making an emotional connection. Using authentic video elevates your sales outreach strategy beyond the typical email blasts and automation tools. It helps you and your organization stand out.

Not to mention, with the consistent shortening of people’s attention spans, a first impression is usually made within the first few seconds. Making that emotional connection through an authentic and personal video helps build a foundation of trust and familiarity with potential customers. Let people know who you are. Give them a peak behind the curtain. As a very simple example, that is literally what we did for Attorney Paul Edelstein in the video below.

The key to video authenticity is honesty. Like in all relationships, just be authentic and genuine with who you are and what you stand for. Don’t just tell your audience what you think they want to hear. They’ll figure out that you’re not the real deal. If you want results. If you want to connect. Be authentic.

HAPPY STORYTELLING!

_______________________________________________________________________

About the Author: Roshni Hannon
Contact: roshni@madbearproductions.com

Her name means “light” and that is what she is… high energy, bright and fast. And yes… she does run regularly. While we’re not sure what she is running from (perhaps her two young kids) we know she’s covered a ton of ground. She was the Executive Producer for an award winning and number one rated morning show in Tampa for years. And now, she uses her unique blend of organization, storytelling and curiosity to help Mad Bear clients find their stories. Think of her as an architect, a story architect.

 

 

What’s Your Story?

There’s an old saying: “If a tree falls in the woods, and no one is there to hear it, does it really make a sound?” Now consider this, if a brand is creating stories that don’t connect with an audience, are those even really considered stories? If you think you’re making an impact, but no one is listening it might be time to rethink your approach.

To dive deeper, consider these three things when you’re starting to move down the storytelling path: Audience, Style, Tone.

The Basics

  • Who is your audience?  This one is the most important. Think about your audience as human beings. Sounds silly, but sometimes we forget this basic fundamental fact! Who are they? What are their ambitions—personally and professionally? What makes them mad, what makes them sad, what gives them joy? What kind of devices do they use, and how do they consume information? Once you’re able to get answers to  these and many of these questions, it’ll be easier to personify your audience.

We produced the video below for VisitTampaBay with a very specific audience in mind. It’s intended for meeting planners from all over the globe to watch and feel compelled to book their next event in … well… just watch the video!

  • What is the style? Is it techy, is it softer or edgy? The event planners in the video above skewed more professional, modern and edgy. Identifying your style will add authenticity and make your story feel more genuine.
  • What is the tone? Is it upbeat, or more serious? As for our example above, we definitely went for a more upbeat tempo that creates energy and excitement. A feeling that if I don’t book here, I might be missing out. And, no one likes FOMO! The tone should be linked to a specific emotion you want your audience to feel.

Now you’ve got the essentials. But what’s video storytelling without visuals?

Visualize to Humanize

Visuals coupled with a great story is like candy for the brain. You’re grabbing a viewer on multiple levels: visually, intellectually and emotionally. That’s what video does and our brains crave that kind of sweet engagement.

There can be bland storytelling. But, there are NO bland stories. For example, business communication doesn’t just have to be bullet points, simple statements, or rhetorical rants. A dose of the human element, emotion, and branded thinking can result in a memorable message. Big brands shouldn’t steal the spotlight every time. Stories are everywhere it is about how you tell them and to whom.

Take for example this video we did for Wexford Financial Strategies, a smaller firm of financial advisors. The story is about what they do but more importantly, it is about how they do it and the feeling it gives.

The video is not an advertisement, it is a story. The audience is taken on a journey and they don’t feel “marketed” to, they’re being entertained and can connect. Saddle that with great visuals and you’re on the path to happy storytelling. Understand your audience. Cater to their style and like Mom always said, mind your tone. Don’t be the tree that falls down with no one around to hear it.

HAPPY STORYTELLING!

_____________________________________________________________

About the Author: Roshni Hannon
Contact: roshni@madbearproductions.com

Her name means “light” and that is what she is… high energy, bright and fast. And yes… she does run regularly. While we’re not sure what she is running from (perhaps her two young kids) we know she’s covered a ton of ground. She was the Executive Producer for an award winning and number one rated morning show in Tampa for years. And now, she uses her unique blend of organization, storytelling and curiosity to help Mad Bear clients find their stories. Think of her as an architect, a story architect.

Size Matters

Size matters.
Now that we have your attention. Let’s clarify. We are talking about video. More specifically, the best video shapes and sizes for different platforms.
Let’s start out with the basics. The three most common sizes are: Widescreen (16:9), Square (1:1), and Vertical (9:16). Yes. Vertical. Vertical Video is no longer the black sheep. Indeed there was a time when shooting vertical video was frowned upon. But as viewing patterns have shifted, so have the recommendations. Most people consume video on their smartphones. And how do most of us hold our phones? Yep. Vertically. So, don’t fear it!
Now, it’s important to note that most social platforms today will allow you to upload these three common video sizes, however, that does not mean that all of these work best on that specific platform. In this list, we’ll share what seems to be the standard for each platform, as well as what we recommend so that you’ll be able to get the most exposure with your video. We’ve provided examples from recent work we produced for our client Hu-manity.co. 

1. Facebook

Video Posts

  • Standard: Widescreen (16:9 aspect ratio)
  • Recommended: Square (1:1 aspect ratio)

You’re likely going to see the widescreen size the most on Facebook simply because it is the most common for shooting video. It is also going to look the best in full-screen on your desktop. But how often do we really watch a Facebook videos full-screen on desktop?

While widescreen may be the standard, it ends taking up a very small amount of real estate in the narrow Facebook Newsfeed. Similarly, if you’re browsing Facebook on your phone, it is not even going to take up half of the screen.

By contrast, the vertical format looks great on the Facebook mobile app, allowing for an almost full-screen experience when watching on your phone. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look the best on desktop. Facebook adds bars to the left and right of the vertical video and crops it down to a square when showing it on desktop.

For these reasons, we recommend meeting in the middle and going with the square size. Square videos on Facebook look great on both desktop and mobile. They take up a lot of real estate in your friends’ Newsfeed, and brings more attention to your video.

         

This is a recent Facebook video our Team produced for Hu-manity.co 

2. Twitter

  • Standard: Widescreen (16:9 aspect ratio)
  • Recommended: Square (1:1 aspect ratio)

Twitter’s video post sizes are very similar to that of Facebook. The only difference being that previews in the Twitter Feed of vertical video are cropped down to a square, even on mobile. Again, while you’ll see a lot of users uploading widescreen, the square format will get you more attention by covering more space.

3. Instagram

Instagram has slowly transitioned into being 3 content platforms in one, all of which support video. Let’s look at the recommended video size for all three.

Instagram Feed

  • Standard: Square  (1:1 aspect ratio)
  • Recommended: Square (1:1 aspect ratio)

Your normal Instagram posts, which show up on your profile grid and in your follower’s Insta-feed, have long been standardized as the square due to Instagram’s ability to edit and crop your content within the app. Video content has been no different.

Since Instagram has always been mobile-first experience, uploading widescreen videos is not going to make for the most enjoyable viewing experience. Unlike on YouTube, Facebook you can’t even rotate your phone to watch videos in fullscreen on Instagram.

Vertical videos look great in the Instagram feed, and we’d be very inclined to recommend you utilize this size on the regular… except for one thing. You have to remember your profile grid – vertical videos are always going to be cropped into a square within your grid and may not end up looking how you want.

This is why we ultimately have to recommend sticking with the classic 1:1 square video on Instagram.

Instagram Stories

  • Recommended: Vertical (9:16 aspect ratio)

In this vertical experience, you may as well use up the full screen by recording and uploading truly vertical video.

IGTV

  • Recommended: Vertical  (9:16 aspect ratio)

IGTV launched in 2018 as the vertical video platform. Though Instagram has since allowed you to upload non-vertical videos also, we still recommend the 9:16 vertical format since the platform was built with mobile users in mind.

4. YouTube

  • Standard: Widescreen  (16:9 aspect ratio)
  • Recommended: Widescreen (16:9 aspect ratio)
  • *Also Recommended: Vertical (9:16 aspect ratio)

While you can upload just about any video size on YouTube, your video will always appear in a widescreen 16:9 video player on desktop. And videos that don’t match this aspect ratio will have black bars on the top and bottom, left and right. Research shows YouTube users are much more likely to click that “expand to full-screen” button on desktop. And for that reason, we generally recommend that you keep to this standard.

With that all being said, YouTube has recently allowed for vertical videos to appear in a vertical experience on mobile. There is some cropping that goes on in the initial preview, but ultimately it looks pretty good. The reason we also recommend uploading vertical-sized videos on YouTube is because, more and more, users are watching directly on their phones. YouTube Creators who suspect that most of their content is watched on a mobile device may want to consider making this transition to provide their viewers with a more enjoyable watching experience. But otherwise, the widescreen video size does just fine for the time being.

We hope this has been helpful. We know it’s a lot to digest. Reach out to us if you have any questions about your size… errr… you know what we mean.

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About the Author: Roshni Hannon
Contact: roshni@madbearproductions.com

Her name means “light” and that is what she is… high energy, bright and fast. And yes… she does run regularly. While we’re not sure what she is running from (perhaps her two young kids) we know she’s covered a ton of ground. She was the Executive Producer for an award winning and number one rated morning show in Tampa for years. And now, she uses her unique blend of organization, storytelling and curiosity to help Mad Bear clients find their stories. Think of her as an architect, a story architect.

How long should my video be?

Look to the left. Now to the right. Are you alone? No one has to know the answer to this question. This is a moment of truth. How many times in a day do you check your smartphone? How many times while you’re reading this blog do you think you’ll have a quick glance at your email inbox.

News flash: attention spans are shrinking!

That much we know. But, before making any determination on length you have to consider your audience. Where do they live?

Your answer impacts which platform you should use to share the video. The answer really is don’t just create one video at a fixed length. In this multi-channel world, it is very ambitious and bold to ask a lone video (regardless of length) to do everything. To maximize performance, vary the length of the same concept. What you put on Instagram will not be the same content you share during a live event.

With all that said you’ve got to learn to crawl before you walk. In essence, in order to break the rules you have to learn them first.  So here are the basics when it comes to length.

Go Shorty…

Remember when we mentioned those short attention spans? Let’s get back to that. To cater to viewers’ fleeting attention advertisers now film snackable, six-second versions of their 15- or 30-second ads.

Six seconds?! Yes. This is a very viable length right now. But remember, the video does not have to do everything… it just needs to get the attention you desire and cause the viewer to want more.

The overwhelming majority of videos we create are less than two minutes in length. Our team embraces the shrinking attention spans and shifting audience expectations, and we are always advising our clients on how to adjust their content to match.

We find that when it comes to product videos, some demos, and explainer videos, the shorter and more succinct the better.

1. Explainer Videos

In essence, an explainer video is one which provides an overview of a problem and demonstrates how your product or service provides a solution.

As these are generally quite top-of-funnel, meaning you are likely engaging your audience for the first time to get their attention and get them wanting more,  it’s best to keep them concise.

Recommended Length: 60 seconds or less

We produced a high-level infographic to explain what Hu-manity.co stands for.       
A deep and sophisticated philosophy does not have to be difficult to demonstrate with video.

2. Product Videos/ Sizzle Videos

If you think of the explainer video as the “what.” Then your product/ sizzle video is the “why.” These videos let your viewers experience your product or solution.

And at this stage, it’s okay to go a little longer. At this point, you’ll have piqued their interest!

Recommended Length: One to two minutes 

A product video doesn’t have to be something tangible. It can be a concept or an event. We produced Visit Tampa Bay’s Sales/Sizzle video as a tool for them to attract more meetings and large scale conventions to the area.

3. Webinars

Webinars are great opportunities to delve deep into subjects of interest to your audience.

With webinars, you also have a lot of flexibility on video length. It all depends on what you’re presenting and how you want to present it.

Recommended Length: 15 minutes plus Q&A

                               Our crew assisting with Bayer’s CTEPH webinar. 

4. Social Videos

What better way to connect with your audience than through their favorite social channels?

The rising popularity of IGTV is the world’s way of recognizing people are watching less TV and consuming more digital content. Instagram TV allows creators to upload high quality, long-form videos. It allows users to create channels where they can upload videos between 15 seconds and 10 minutes long.

IGTV is in fact the exception and not the norm (for now). In general, short and sweet videos are perfect for engaging with your audience on social.

And while it’s important to keep tweaking your video approach as social needs are always changing, here’s what’s working well right now.

Instagram stories can be longer, but they go away. And remember money talks. If you put money behind your push on Instagram and Facebook the rules are different. Posts can be longer. So below are for those of you going it without the added push.

Recommended Lengths:

  • Instagram: 15-30 seconds
  • Twitter: 15-60 seconds
  • LinkedIn: 15 seconds-tw0 minutes
  • Facebook: 15 seconds-two minutes

Video Pitches

Are you pitching a reporter or maybe you’re producing a sales pitch?

If you think six seconds is short, consider that your email pitch may be competing against 799 other email pitches.

As professionals who have lived on the other side of the pitch, we recommend keeping pitches short and sweet.

You can check out more on video-pitching here.

Recommended Length: 30-45 seconds

Long-form Content isn’t Dead

Now with all that said, we are NOT swearing off long-form content. It comes down to your goal and many times the platform. Webinars, certain event videos (like our example below) and many product demos can be 3 minutes and more. The bigger questions are: How well do you know your audience and can you meet them there?

We created a longer-form video for Habitat for Humanity based on what we knew about the audience and the circumstances under which they would be watching. 

In a nutshell, even though short content performs well, consumers also seem to have an appetite for in-depth educational content.

Remember, time is money. But don’t sell your story short.  Hit reply and tell us if you think this article was helpful.

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About the Author: Roshni Hannon
Contact: roshni@madbearproductions.com

Her name means “light” and that is what she is… high energy, bright and fast. And yes… she does run regularly. While we’re not sure what she is running from (perhaps her two young kids) we know she’s covered a ton of ground. She was the Executive Producer for an award winning and number one rated morning show in Tampa for years. And now, she uses her unique blend of organization, storytelling and curiosity to help Mad Bear clients find their stories. Think of her as an architect, a story architect.

 

Your Story. Your Data. Your Property.

“That is amazing!”

A visceral reaction to a conversation I had about 6 months ago.

I have been friends with Richie Etwaru and Michael DePalma for years.

Michael and Richie in front of my Alma Mater, Syracuse University. 

We’ve done TEDx talks and worked together on some personal ventures, but most importantly we are friends and collective fans.

There are few people I know who get my brain working faster than these two. And I always love the dialogue and intellectual stimulation.

The idea behind Hu-manity.co did not disappoint.

It is one of those ideas that strikes you over and over again in waves. With each wave adding more and more depth, simultaneously raising deeper global implications.

Doing Good and Doing Well.
The leaders of Hu-manity.co and internet backpack company Imcon International discuss their partnership during a Mad Bear shoot.

The question posed:

What if all people on the planet owned the data they produce as their property?

Michael and I talking during the shoot in Washington, D.C.

Makes sense. You own other things you produce, like your ideas, inventions, art, writings and beyond. So, why shouldn’t you also own your data; especially since every day you create data from your spending habits to your medical history to your geospatial data to your energy consumption, etc…

“But hold on,” I said, “no one is selling my health records, that is protected by HIPAA.”

Wrong.

Richie and Michael explained, every time you have a lab test, fill a prescription, have a procedure; you are creating a new data point. And, then your health records are de-identified (name and some simple info about you as a person are removed) and the record is sold on an open market estimated to be worth about $67 Billion a year. And, that is only the market size for health records, the general data market is currently estimated between $150-200B annually.

Imcon’s technology at work. See the guy in the upper righthand corner? He’s able to Skype with us from a remote location in Africa. Why is this so awesome?  Check out the video below. 

It was then that the concept hit me like a ton of bricks. What if I had a say?

Right now, I have no control of where my records may go. What research or marketing services my records might support. And, I certainly receive no money or compensation for any of my data that is sold.

The next step is really what got my mind spinning:

What if everyone with a digital presence had this level of control? What would this new individual centric data economy mean to the world and business at large?

This video highlights the perfect partnership between Hu-manity.co and Imcon International.

That is the concept behind the #My31 movement.

People can download the app (now available for Android and iPhone) and claim their data as their property. They will even receive a digital title for their data (just like you receive a title for your car or house). Then in the app, people can decide how, where and if their data is used. These choices are recorded immutably on a blockchain which adds trust and transparency. Then once enough people sign up, the company would be able to offer businesses access to explicitly consented data which is more valuable because it can be verified to be true. Plus, if someone chooses to support cancer research (for example), it is possible to share more information than is currently provided to researchers. This way the individual would be able to claim a larger percentage of the profits while allowing pharmaceutical companies to bring cures to market faster, with less cost with drugs that do more good. Win-win!

Simply put, you’ve heard of Fair Trade Coffee? This is Fair Trade Data.

Now you can see what I meant, the more you think about the concept the deeper the global implications.

So why call it the #My31 Movement?

Right now, there are 30 human rights that were enacted by the United Nations in 1948. These human rights were created looking at mistakes of the past but they really do not adequately cover our digital world. Property ownership of your personal data would be human right number 31. So that is where we ended up with #My31.

So yes, I have jumped on board and have been a (Hu)-manitarian ever since. In the process, Mad Bear has signed on to become the Official Video Marketing Company of the 31st Human Right. Something I am immensely proud of…

The idea has a life of its own and so far reaction to the idea has been nothing short of amazing.

I could go on to talk about IBM and other partnerships that have been developed. I could talk about the true uniqueness of the app both in design and function. I could talk about the doors that have opened like an invitation to speak at the UN Internet Governance Forum in Paris this November. And I definitely could go on to talk about what the concept could mean for the world if everyone had the ability to passively generate income through their data, let alone what this will mean going forward into future as our data sets grow exponentially.

Some people talk about data being the currency of the future and while I do not disagree with this concept, I think it falls short of the true impact of what it means and the opportunities the world is presented with once the value of data is embraced by an ever growing digital world.

One day, you could put a down payment on a house with your data or in the very least buy a set of golf clubs with it. Perhaps your data will be considered part of your estate and will be giving it to your kids because it has such value. Or perhaps the passive income generated from data could be used to fund a universal basic income and solve aspects of poverty.

I invite you to explore the concept on your own and see if it has as profound an impact on you as it has had on me.

And this is no longer just an idea I heard from my two friends Richie and Michael. It is all in the process of actually happening.

I truly believe the world is a better place if people own their data as their property.

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About the Author: Glenn Zimmerman

Glenn has what is best described as “Superhero Syndrome.” His affliction began as a child and has progressed with age.

He got into extreme skiing and extreme sports before they were a thing because every superhero should try flying at least once.

While at Boston University, it was his desire to save the day that brought him to Post- Soviet Russia where he explored the emerging homeless population.

His Syndrome brought him to journalism school at Syracuse University to get his MS in Mass Communications. He later became an award winning reporter with the number one station in Detroit (WXYZ-TV) and with NBC’s flagship station in New York (WNBC- TV).

And, it was the reason he formed the video agency Mad Bear Productions.

With Mad Bear, he harnesses the power of story to help business, non-profits and events engage with their target audience. Video is his tool and he wields it mightily.

Glenn is a sought after speaker on video engagement and mass media. It is all part of his quest to help save the day, one story at a time.

Video Trends for 2018

As we move full speed ahead into 2018, the world of video marketing is not slowing down. In fact, with one more year of technological innovation and creativity behind the camera, the world is in for more captivating content in the year ahead. From virtual reality and 360 and everything in between, marketers are getting immersive and uber creative with their content.

VR/360 VIDEO MARKETING

Virtual reality and 360 video  really started to gain traction in 2017 with more and more industries recognizing the power of an immersive experience for consumers. In 2018 look for this trend to continue it’s skyrocketing ways. Industries like Education will be spending more on Virtual technology. Travel & Tourism are going to be investing more in 360 and VR, allowing travelers to explore locations before booking vacations.

Between 360 and VR, 360 may have a bit of an edge. Like our videos below, with 360 degree video content, the consumer can control their perspective with a VR headset *or simply with a computer or smartphone screen’s browser control.

 

 

Branded Content

The concept of Branded Content isn’t new. But you are going to see A LOT more of it in the year ahead. Customers generally don’t like to be told, “do this” or “buy this”. They like to make decisions for themselves, and of course, they like to be entertained and told stories. Branded content first and foremost entertains and informs. When done well, branded content hits customers emotionally through humor, passion, drama, and/or intrigue. Branded video content works so well because it doesn’t sell the product, it sells the “concept.” It focuses on the story on the story and the execution of that story instead of the product. Adknowledge wanted to raise awareness about its product at an event without being “selly.” So we created an experience. You can watch it below.

 

Live Streaming

Live streaming will continue its explosive rise in popularity. You could make the argument that  dominated 2017; about 80 percent of consumers would rather watch a live video from a brand than read a blog, and 82 percent would prefer live video to written social media updates. According to Yahoo’s “Tune In To The Live Video Opportunity”  report (albeit from 2016 it’s very relevant), online viewers are drawn to the feeling of excitement, immediacy and connection live streaming offers. The expansion of live streaming to all sectors of business is inevitable and 2018 will see live streaming becoming more commonplace in businesses’ social media marketing campaigns.

The Importance of Video in 2018

In 2018, consumers won’t just want to watch. They’re ready to jump through the screen. It will be fascinating to see where the creative minds in marketing take video in 2018 with the unprecedented combination of new technology and the rapid consumer acceptance of new trends.

If you want 2018 to be the year that your product takes off, you and your team will need to set yourselves apart from the masses of competing products with a new and compelling video marketing strategy that makes your customers want to buy and keeps their attention engaged. While you’re planning your marketing engagement strategy for the year, consider including one or more of these trends into your video creation that are sure to take off in 2018.

_________________________________________________________________________

About the Author: Roshni Hannon
Contact: roshni@madbearproductions.com

Her name means “light” and that is what she is… high energy, bright and fast. And yes… she does run regularly. While we’re not sure what she is running from (perhaps her two young kids) we know she’s covered a ton of ground. She was the Executive Producer for an award winning and number one rated morning show in Tampa for years. And now, she uses her unique blend of organization, storytelling and curiosity to help Mad Bear clients find their stories. Think of her as an architect, a story architect.

 

RIP Warren Miller: From a Skier and Storyteller

When I first heard Warren Miller died, I wanted to go skiing. It seemed appropriate.

My friend and  colleague Julian Williams, a non-skier, was the one who broke the new to me (see his blog on Warren Miller here). But Julian (like myself), is and always will be mesmerized by someone with passion and vision. It is only now in hindsight that I recognize the ways Warren Miller helped influence a good portion of my boyhood life…. Through his quest to share beautiful images of something he loved with all his heart.

My exposure to Warren’s work began when I was in my early teens. By then a decent skier but no where up to the majesty of what Warren brought to the screen.

I even saw him narrate one of his amazing films at a theater in Hartford, CT in person — I had seen his other movies and they inspired me to dream. The imagery was magical … like a large drug trip for the ski and snow addict. And his voice, brought me on a story. At times, laughing and at other times speechless with awe at what he created. The skiers in his movies became my heroes. Scott Schmidt was my favorite, with his leaps off of inconceivably high cliffs. And somehow… he’d not only survive… but ski out of the ridiculous landing.

Berkshire East, Massachusetts — Late 1980’s – does anyone do a daffy anymore?

Tuckerman Ravine, New Hampshire – Late 1980’s – Steep! Don’t lean back.

Tuckerman Ravine, New Hampshire – Late 1980’s – I remember those turns like yesterday. Pure Joy!

Doing My Best Scott Schmidt Impression in my mid-teens.
Killington, Vt – lower Cascade — late 1980’s

So now I sit in my home in Florida, miles away from the snow and cold weather, dreaming of my next big snowy adventure, where I will once again go on that spiritual journey for the perfect turn … on the perfect mountain… on the perfect day.

The addiction that I shared with Warren Miller still runs deep. I have even shared it with my kids. Now they look for big air and perfect snow… and every image I capture on a camera or in my mind of them … Warren Miller truly is there … for he helped me dream it well before I could actually do it!

Mad River Glen, VT – Fall Line with my son.

Mad River Glen, VT — top of Catamount with my son.

Ski Sundown, CT — My daughter gets air.

Ski Sundown, CT — My son gets some air.

Killington, VT – top of Cascade with my wife and kids.

Mad River Glen, VT — the old single chairlift at the best mountain in America!

 

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About the Author: Glenn Zimmerman

Glenn has what is best described as “Superhero Syndrome.” His affliction began as a child and has progressed with age.

He got into extreme skiing and extreme sports before they were a thing because every superhero should try flying at least once.

While at Boston University, it was his desire to save the day that brought him to Post- Soviet Russia where he explored the emerging homeless population.

His Syndrome brought him to journalism school at Syracuse University to get his MS in Mass Communications. He later became an award winning reporter with the number one station in Detroit (WXYZ-TV) and with NBC’s flagship station in New York (WNBC- TV).

And, it was the reason he formed the video agency Mad Bear Productions.

With Mad Bear, he harnesses the power of story to help business, non-profits and events engage with their target audience. Video is his tool and he wields it mightily.

Glenn is a sought after speaker on video engagement and mass media.

It is all part of his quest to help save the day, one story at a time.

The Gift of Video. It’s the Gift That Keeps on Giving.

Some of the best stories and memories are created during the holidays. So it’s only fitting that our Team of Storytellers take a moment to reflect on all the ways in which life has been particularly kind to us. We love giving the gift of video.

It is 100% the gift that keeps on giving. Read on… and you might just agree!

Video Boosts Conversions and Sales

First things first. We love using videos to help businesses make some serious money. And who isn’t thankful for that? Research shows that nearly 75% of users who watched an explainer-video about a product ended up buying it. Not only that, but video shows great ROI,  video builds trust, it’s mobile friendly and it’s engaging. So what are you waiting for!  In the video below Mad Bear’s CEO, Glenn Zimmerman, tells us exactly how thankful video can make all of us.

Immersive Experiences

If you’ve experienced virtual reality and/or 360 video then you already know why we are thankful for them. Virtual reality and 360 technology have changed the meaning of experiential.  It’s not just about travel anymore. Virtual reality and 360 video can and have become the tickets to success for businesses and education. Let’s face it. It’s all about the experience and it doesn’t get much better than an immersive one. You can experience our recent VR project with Busch Gardens of Tampa Bay and Visit Tampa Bay. It was recently picked up by VeeR, a Global Virtual Reality platform, and the video earned the most views for the month of October on the entire platform.

Interactivity and Connection

We’re thankful for the emotional and interactive nature of video. It’s not just about consumption. Think about it more often than not, you’re conferencing, FaceTime-ing, or reacting in real-time to a live video feed. We are all so much more connected. Any time you’re able to make a connection that’s a great thing. These trends then amount to converting viewers from passive consumers, to active participants. Videos prompt people to take action.

Emotion

Video has the power to engage and delight viewers like no other medium. It can put a smile on your face, or a tear in your eye. We are thankful for the ability to touch emotions in our viewers. People remember what they feel. Our Team takes pride in that. We know that an emotional response to a video makes you memorable. And when you’re memorable you’re successful. See and just like that- now you are thankful too. We recently produced a longer-form video for Habitat for Humanity that strikes a range of emotions. Check it out below.

Anticipation

What is better than the thrill of the unknown? Video has progressed so far in such a short amount of time. It’s changing at every step of the production process. At Mad Bear Productions we’re thankful for the idea and promise of what might come next as it’s an opportunity to better tell YOUR story. From our Team to yours, have a very safe and happy Holiday season!

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About the Author: Roshni Hannon
Contact: roshni@madbearproductions.com

Her name means “light” and that is what she is… high energy, bright and fast. And yes… she does run regularly. While we’re not sure what she is running from (perhaps her two young kids) we know she’s covered a ton of ground. She was the Executive Producer for an award winning and number one rated morning show in Tampa for years. And now, she uses her unique blend of organization, storytelling and curiosity to help Mad Bear clients find their stories. Think of her as an architect, a story architect.


The Power of the Preview

They can be the source of angst, excitement, irritation or joy. In no more than two minutes, previews have the ability to make us feel an array of emotions. Video marketers  can learn a lot from a preview.

We are going to use the “Game of Thrones” as an example because our Team at Mad Bear is a big fan. The season trailers are fantastic. Sometimes – as is often the case with movie trailers- the preview is sometimes much better than the show/movie itself.  What do you mean we have to wait a year???

There is big money invested in network television and movies. Much of the success of series or a film, hinges on the handful of 1 to 2- minute movie trailers that promote them. Whenever an industry pours millions into making brief video snapshots as entertaining and persuasive as possible, we’re interested, and we think you should be too.

With that said, here are 3 things we can all learn from previews and trailers.

Make them Feel Something! Maybe its excitement, longing, sadness, desire, camaraderie – what ever it is that drives your point home — make it happen in your video. Figure out how to break down your brand narrative into a mini-story. Are you saving the world by saving customers’ time or money? Are you skyrocketing end-users to career-stardom because of how good they’ll look after buying from you? Or do you want them to feel a thrill so great that they’ll have to go and experience it for themselves? (like in the video below) Our Behind the Scenes Virtual Reality shoot gives viewers just enough of a taste of what they could go and experience for themselves to encourage them to try this new technology. Regardless if they’ve never tried VR before or if they are comfortable in a 360 world, they will be inclined to explore.

Hook ’em! Good trailers don’t open with a whimper—they start with a growl. Suspense-filled music, fog, a curious piece of dialog to spark curiosity. Do the same with your marketing videos, and do it fast. Because unlike a movie theater, marketing videos do NOT have a captive audience. If  your goal is to increase membership to an organization, think about your audience and the type of pace that appeals to them. For the the video below, our Team created a quick sizzle reel for the American Marketing Association of Tampa Bay. So we went with fast-paced and energizing.

Create Anticipation! The goal is to have viewers take action after they watch your video. A trailer hasn’t done its job if you don’t want to actually see the movie afterward. Your marketing video should similarly leave out the best part while hinting at the grand finale. Our goal in the video below was to remind families to sign up for camp and if your daughter has never been to a Girl Scout camp… the video implies “she is missing out”. You could even take it a step further and instead of waiting for your viewer to hopefully buy from you later on, capitalize with a CTA or lead form within the video itself. Any viewer who has made it that far is clearly qualified and interested and it’s time to move them forward in the epic drama of their customer journey!

Marketing lessons are everywhere. Video trailers are all about giving the audience a brief introduction to the ‘product.’ They rely on being short, relevant and engaging. And they combine voice, movement, sound and design to create an audio-visual experience which, if executed correctly, leave the viewer absolutely needing to find out more. Sounds familiar, huh?

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About the Author: Roshni Hannon
Contact: roshni@madbearproductions.com

Her name means “light” and that is what she is… high energy, bright and fast. And yes… she does run regularly. While we’re not sure what she is running from (perhaps her two young kids) we know she’s covered a ton of ground. She was the Executive Producer for an award winning and number one rated morning show in Tampa for years. And now, she uses her unique blend of organization, storytelling and curiosity to help Mad Bear clients find their stories. Think of her as an architect, a story architect.

The Ins and Outs of YouTube: Helpful Tips on Using the Internet’s Largest Video Platform.

Imagine you walk into a restaurant you’ve been dying to try. You’ve read the reviews. Your friends rave about it. You’re starving. Game on. You reach for the menu with palpable excitement, but it’s all over the place. Main courses mixed in with drinks. Appetizers thrown in on the dessert section… this should be simple! All of a sudden your hunger and excitement turn to anger and frustration. Next thing you know you’re walking out the door and on you’re on your way to a venue where you know what to expect.

Before you start wondering how any of this relates to video. Let me tell you, this has to do with more than video. It has to do with the way we need to think about serving up content and organization.

 

Think about it. When it comes to video, your audience is more likely to hit play, watch and take action when it’s served up in a way that’s simple and enjoyable to consume.  What sort of videos, whether it be product-based/ company or industry related depends on your specific goals. Mad Bear Productions CEO, Glenn Zimmerman says there IS a rule of thumb we can all follow when it comes to our YouTube video collection.

” How-to/demonstration videos are a great way to increase your brand awareness and develop that trust with your prospect. Entertaining videos of shareable moments or amusing experiences are also great for YouTube. While, it is important to also drive a stake in the ground with an About Us video to say this is who we are and what we stand for, a business should not expect those type of videos to get high numbers on YouTube. YouTube is all about how do I do something and entertainment. If you are using YouTube for About Us Videos then understand you are purely using YouTube as a hosting platform for your video and not as a marketing platform. There are certainly exceptions to this rule (e.g. if an About Us video is particular amusing or memorable) but for the most part this is the rule of thumb.”

Too Much of a “Tube” Thing

Too much of anything will tip the scales negatively at times. Mind you, this is NOT a knock on YouTube, but let’s face it, there is just so much content to consume. And one of the downsides is getting viewers to watch branded content has become more difficult. Think supply and demand. But there is a way to keep your videos in check. The proof is in the pudding. Your videos effectiveness lies in the metrics.

  • YouTube certainly does its part to provide useful analytics. Take note of the hard data from Google and YouTube Analytics. They will quantify which content of yours is working and lead the way for making more of it in the future.
  • Another great analytical tool from YouTube is Brand Lift. Google’s Brand Lift solution measures the moments that matter—from initial impression to final conversion—with the metrics that matter, like brand awareness, ad recall, and consideration. You’ll glean insights within a matter of a few days, so you can adjust your YouTube campaigns according to what’s working in near real time.

The Icing: Think VR

Don’t miss out on dessert. VR is the sweet spot. And if it’s any indication of how quickly Virtual Reality is sweeping the content world, YouTube is now investing in creating an awesome virtual reality (VR) platform.

VR offers an immersive way to reach your audience. Standing out with distinctive content can be difficult, but VR makes it possible. (See our blog: Virtual Reality Success for Business)

  • Health care, real estate, architecture, military and education are clear fits for VR content.
  • Industries such as entertainment, travel, automotive, beauty, fashion and consumer technology should all be thinking VR. Wherever the product or service is visual or experiential, or where the market skews younger; then VR makes sense.

VR is still relatively new  for marketers, and it presents both opportunities and pitfalls. To get the best out of VR content creation, Zimmerman says:

“Since 360 video/VR is gaining traction, it is good to also produce some “regular” video (i.e. 1080 or even 4K). So capture some memorable behind the scenes moments (heck, even use the camera on your phone) and then use that content to get people excited about the new technology. You have to educate people first before they can dive in to something different.”

Think of your Content Strategy as a restaurant would its menu. Consider your audience first and then serve up the freshest and most relevant videos. Today’s consumer is a tad spoiled, so feeding their appetite and keeping them interested requires a strategy that is always one step ahead. And THAT is a recipe for success.

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About the Author: Roshni Hannon
Contact: roshni@madbearproductions.com

Her name means “light” and that is what she is… high energy, bright and fast. And yes… she does run regularly. While we’re not sure what she is running from (perhaps her two young kids) we know she’s covered a ton of ground. She was the Executive Producer for an award winning and number one rated morning show in Tampa for years. And now, she uses her unique blend of organization, storytelling and curiosity to help Mad Bear clients find their stories. Think of her as an architect, a story architect.

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