How Story Works on the Brain to Inspire Action

As a team of passionate storytellers, we felt compelled to share a video we recently came across.

In this case it is not about the production value, the editing or anything about the presentation at all (I know coming from us shocking)… it is purely about the information.

The video is nearly 6 minutes long (an eternity for most online videos) and yes… we would have presented the information differently (e.g. the beginning is a bit of a bummer) … but please try to move past this stuff because the information provides scientific insight into why you should really focus on using story as the engine behind all of your marketing communications.

It proves how a story based approach can make an emotional connection with a viewer that can physically have an effect on the brain. The result is a direct correlation to a desired action.

The emotions evoked do not just have to be “distress” and “empathy” (the examples in the video). In fact, the emotion(s) you focus on should have relevance to what is important to the message and your audience.

And the story does not have to be “once upon a time”… but it does have to be a story and not just a made up marketing pitch like what Toyota has currently embarked upon (see video below):

Editors Note: There is nothing about the Toyota video that is a real story. It just pretends to be … Really, it is bunch of brand messages that don’t resonate because they haven’t been connected together in a way for you (the viewer) to care.

So what do you think of our position on the Toyota video and more importantly the science of storytelling?

Any examples of good story based approaches that worked? Failed? Why?

We would love to start a conversation about this… maybe the examples are videos maybe not… We are looking forward to the story that hopefully unfolds.

NYC based Video Marketing and Production Agency is Coming to Tampa

Video marketing truly is about to get hotter. No this isn’t one of those pitches about why you should be using video (even though… you should), this is to announce that Mad Bear Productions is opening a new office in Tampa. The office will act as a regional hub to help businesses in Florida and throughout the southeastern section of the U.S. take advantage of Mad Bear’s unique story based approach to video marketing.

“Tampa is not just about sunshine and beaches. This city just showed the country what a thriving cosmopolitan city it is by hosting the Republican National Convention,” said Mad Bear President Glenn Zimmerman. “Mad Bear Productions is proud to consider ourselves part of this growing business hub.”

Zimmerman went on to say, “Mad Bear Productions will still maintain its base of operations in greater NYC. The Tampa office is the first of what will be a series of regional offices as the brand grows.”

The Tampa office is ideally positioned close to downtown Tampa with easy access to the major highways and a short 5 minute drive to Tampa International Airport.

Plus, it is only a block away from Raymond James Stadium where the Tampa Bay Buccaneers play.

The address for the new office will be:

4511 N. Himes Dr.
Suite 200
Tampa, FL 33614

Please drop us a line. We would love to have a chat.

A New Generation of Car Dealership Video

Car dealership videos don’t need to scream at you or show some guy dressed in a gorilla costume. The videos can tell a story about how a dealership is different, showcase the people who work there while also telling you about the cars.

Together with the people at Single Throw Internet Marketing, we create and market more than a dozen videos for any dealership.

To get a feeling for this approach, please check out two of the videos we recently completed for BMW of Freehold.

Can you count how many different types of cameras we used?

(Hint: one flies)

So You Have a Great Video…Now What?

By Valerie Paik, TAG Online, Inc.

It’s no secret that using video on your website is a good idea, but what is the best way to get videos onto your site?

The answer is that it depends. On things like:

• How many videos you have?
• What is the purpose of your videos?
• How long are they?
• Do you want them all publicly accessible or private?
• Is your website host is capable of hosting videos?
• How much traffic you expect?
• What is your budget?

These questions point us to two factors:

Video Hosting

First, videos need to be hosted somewhere. All videos are files (usually large ones) and those files can either be hosted on your website or with a specific video host, like YouTube or Vimeo, the two most common ones. There are many, many more video hosts out there, just like website hosts, but it’s important to find one that serves your needs.

Some qualities to look for in video hosts are::

• Reliable connectivity – so your videos are always available
• Ample bandwidth – so that you can handle the traffic of many people watching your video
• Sufficient storage space – especially if you have longer and/or many videos
• A good security system in place – to prevent hacking and other malicious activities
• Customer support and documentation
• The ability to easily upload new video files

One of the big benefits of hosting with a video sharing site is that they provide a broader audience for your videos beyond just your website. They allow your videos to be easily shared or embedded on any other website, if you wish. They also provide another platform for visibility on search engines.

As a testament to the growing use of video on the web, there are fewer differences between hosting video on your site versus a third party site these days than there were before. To determine which option is best for you, you should answer the questions above, then do some research based on your answers in order to find the best fit for you.

If you want to use a third party video hosting service, there are many good options and Mad Bear Productions can point you in the direction of the one(s) they recommend. If you want to host the videos on your own site, the discussion needs to happen with your website host. Not all website hosts support video and some who do may not support what you need.

Video Usage & Display

Regardless of where your videos are hosted, the way your videos appear and play on your site is important. You can select your own video player or use one available through your third party video host. Either way, you can customize the following features:

• Look & feel of the video player – does it match the colors/design of your site?
• Features of the player itself – can the video be embedded, shared, enlarged, downloaded, have logos, titles, etc.?
• Who can view the video – everyone, those with a special link, those with a password?
• Under what circumstances can people view it – do they need to give you their name & email address, login to a private area, like your Facebook page or app?

It’s also important that your videos can be easily viewed on all of the most popular devices and browsers and are accessible to as many people as possible (if you wish). This is where having a good video player and testing your videos on different devices (Macs, PCs, iPads, iPhones, tablets, Droids, etc.) and on different browsers (IE8, IE9, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera) comes in.

As important as it is to have great videos on your site, it is equally important to have the right tools and partners to implement them. Having the knowledge of how it works and the available choices (congratulations – you now have that!) is a great place to start.

About the Author: 
Valerie Paik is a Project Manager/Business Developer at TAG Online, Inc, a web design, development and hosting company founded in 1992. Valerie’s professional background includes public relations and event planning in the food/wine/travel industry. Valerie is very active in the local business community, including the North Essex Chamber of Commerce, where she currently serves as the co-chair of the Emerging Leaders Committee and is the recipient of the 2011 Outstanding Chamber Member Award. Valerie also holds a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and plays clarinet & performs belly dance professionally.

Its Not Just About the Clicks

Hurray … You just got 25,000 views on your video!
Wow that is good stuff!
You are excited!
You are proud!
But now what?

Or better yet: what did your achievement get you on the business front?

My point here is: how many views a video receives is really only a part of the full story (and sometimes it is a small part).

Yes… Video views get the most amount of attention and are important but without a more granular look at your video’s reach it might not get your business what it needs.

Looking purely at a video’s clicks would be like stacking a baseball team with only home run hitters without any thought about on base percentage, pitching or even defense… Your team might pack a punch but not be able to win the big games.

By themselves the number of clicks is just a marketing tool to give a sense of exposure but the clicks do not suggest anything about who watched the video, did they watch the whole video/just a part and what they did after watching it.

1) Who Watched the Video?
If you do video strategically, the video is created for a specific audience. So how are you making sure the intended audience is in fact watching the video?

Much of this has to do with where the video is publicized and how you tag it. To get the most lift out of a video, it should be designed for a specific audience and then marketed in places where they can easily find it. Or better yet, deliver it to them using AdWords for Video as just one tool.

2) How Did They Watch It?
This is about viewing patterns. We have found as videos are viewed by more and more people, obvious patterns tend to emerge.

This is huge because the video can then be adjusted to better speak to your audience. This may mean how the landing page is organized, the call to action or even the way the video is constructed.

Then you can take this information and use it to make your next video campaign even more effective.

Platforms to help you monitor your video’s viewing patterns include: uStudio, VidCaster and Wistia (to name a few).

They each have different strengths but all can adequately accomplish the goal of knowing how your video is watched.

3) What Action Did They Take?
An obvious way to track this is to include the video’s embed code in your Google Analytics profile. That way you can see how people found your video and what they did after watching it.

The three steps are really about being strategic. American Express and Google launched a program last year called “My Business Story.” Click here to see a recent article to show the results of the campaign (thanks Erica Klein). The article shows how video can be monetized but it also emphasizes the need for a strategy behind the images.

All three of these points are important by themselves but together… the information you get gives you a complete profile of how well your videos are performing for you. Perhaps what is more important is how to take this information and then improve on those results for your next campaign.

Making Sure Your Videos are Seen and Watched

We did a test and the results are in…

First here is the video. It was featured on Streaming Media Producer (where I am a contributor — click here)

(If you want to view the video on the Streaming Media Producer site click here)

We used a new tool that allows us to track the viewing pattern of the video (see results below).

What it showed was an extremely high level of engagement. Great… so it shows the video is working. But check this out, what it could have shown is perhaps even more interesting.

Let’s say there was a spike in the middle of the video… now why would that happen?

There are several reasons but most likely it means people are rewinding at that spot. That is either good because people are interested in that spot (e.g. a very cool part of the story or some important information like a website) or bad (i.e. people are potentially confused or maybe someone’s tie is on crooked). Either way this is very interesting because now we have even more information about the way people are viewing the video and what is important to them. The video could be adjusted to maximize the potency of this information or the information could be applied to another part of the larger marketing campaign for our client.

That is all well and good but how do you make sure the people/companies you targeted actually see the videos?

Here are two leading strategies that have proven to show results:

-Google AdWords For Video: this is also known as YouTube Marketing. Google provides some incredibly powerful tools to zero in on targets (i.e. by region, keyword, demographic, etc). We have done simple tests that resulted in 10-20 times the lift on a video from the start of a campaign. This can be used to drive a viral video project or just increase a brand’s awareness.

-Thought Leadership Distribution: find people (i.e. blogs, authors, media outlets, etc) who are discussing subjects that are connected to the purpose of the video. Target them, join in their conversations and share the videos. Often they will latch on to your content and then share your video with their following. This can be accomplished through detailed keyword research as well as a targeted social media strategy.

Of course, if you have any questions on any of the above… please let me know!

Making Your Video Look the Part It Plays

By Anshey Bhatia (Serial entrepreneur and principal at VPV Interactive -click here)

So, you’ve got an awesome HD video you’ve just created, and you’re ready to showcase it on your site. But, before you do that, you want an easy way to see how it’s going to look on your site, and you’d like to have it include colors that match your website colors / theme.

The first thing you can do to see how it’ll look on your site is to take a screen shot of your website and open it up in Photoshop or any other image editing software that you have.

Next, download the Vimeo Photoshop file template ( ), open it in Photoshop and then copy all of the layers into your website screen shot to see how it’ll look. Using that PSD, you’ll be able to adjust colors of the player skin.

Once you’ve settled on some colors, you can check the HEX codes for the colors that you’ve chosen using the eyedropper or color tool. This provides a quick and easy way to see how your video will look on your website.

To actually implement it, when generating your embed code for the video, plug the HEX codes for the colors used in your design files into the customized Vimeo embed code (more / advanced options). Then, copy the embed code and use it in your site. You’re all set!

Monetizing Video Tips and Concepts from an Unexpected Place

I know this might seem a little bizarre but I promise you there is nothing gross or untoward about this article… there is only good information.

To me, it is an example of how interesting concepts can come from unexpected places.

So with that in mind, please check out what I saw the other day at a Japanese restaurant in New York City.

Talk about your captive audience… now whether you think this is brilliant advertising or ridiculous (there are good arguments for both), I would like to use this image as a visualization for how to monetize a message.

What? Yeah… I am going there.

The monetization of this is pretty clear. The guy is well … occupied… so if you stick a message in front of him there is a good chance he will read it. Add in the fact that the message may have something to do with what he is trying to do and DING DING DING you have a winner!

Online video can be this simple. A well optimized video will pop up in organic searches or even be delivered to a target audience through an AdWords for Video campaign (to name just two strategies).

But this is where the online world provices even more opportunities to monetize.

So, let’s say you get a bunch of views on a video… suddenly the place where that video sits is considered a high traffic area and could be used to sell ads. Then, you could leverage that traffic and increase your audience on other sites. This could be done by using social media (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc) or a newsletter or a blog a customized landing page or even website. More begets more. You could even charge a membership fee in order to access your unique content.

All the studies are showing whoever your audience is… they potentially could be watching your video (Click the video below for more on this).

There is also a ton of money being made on the back end of online video. One example here is bandwidth. The more traffic a site gets, the more video it has to feed, the more bandwidth it is using. That is how companies like Brightcove, Kaltura, etc… add to the coffers of their subscription plans. In fact, while I was roaming the floor of Streaming Media East one company spokesperson told me they are really in the “bandwidth business.”

In the meantime, other companies see an opportunity here and are looking to shrink the file size of the videos that would be streamed on Brightcove, Kaltura, etc…. Because if the quality can remain high but the file sizes can be cut in half then the videos would conceivably rack up half of their current bandwidth budgets. An interesting sub-strategy in the online video game.

So why is the video marketing guy yammering on and on about how the online video business is monetizing?

Well let’s go back to that picture on the bathroom wall.

Before anyone agreed to put that ad in a bathroom, those involved in the decision understood where the ad would live and how the audience would likely interact with it.

So using the same logic, if you understand the business environment for online video (i.e. how it is being monetized) it will help you get the most lift out of how you want to use online video.

Here’s another way of looking at it (going back to the men’s room picture).

The same concept would not really work in a women’s bathroom for a number of reasons … perhaps the real moral of this story is that women are just a little more evolved then men after all.

Find Your Video Audience

5 Tips from a Web Developer About How and Where to Find Your Video Audience

Great content drives social media and SEO success, and great video content performs very well both in social media settings and for SEO purposes. But one person’s trash is another’s treasure, so be sure your video content fits your audience.

That means knowing your audience and knowing where to find them. Here are a few things to think about when deciding where to post or promote your videos.

Your Website
Unless you’re already an information hub for your audience, your website isn’t where you’re most likely to find your audience congregating, but it is where you’d like to lead them. Post your videos on your site and be sure that wherever else you post or promote them, you make it clear that there’s “more good stuff just like this” back on your website.

Social Media Sites
Are there groups, pages or other areas on Facebook, LinkedIn and other large social networks like Google+ where your audience gathers? These might be good spots to post or promote. Just be sure you spend some time getting to know the unwritten rules of a community before you post, perhaps even approach the group moderator.

You can also create your own presence on most of these sites. Again, check to see if your customers are already there. The lines between business and personal have blurred to a great degree, so Facebook is no longer ” strictly personal” to LinkedIn’s “all business,” for example. But you’ll generally find B2C more frequently on Facebook than you will B2B.

Don’t forget to create a channel on YouTube! More searches are done on YouTube than any other site other than Google itself.

Industry Associations and Magazine
Trade groups and trade magazine still frequently have active user groups on their websites or on email listservs. Though these are moving more and more frequently to social media spaces, they are still worth looking into when they are run independently. Again, get to know the rules – written and unwritten – before diving in.

Bloggers and Podcasters
Cultivate relationships with bloggers and podcasters who influence audiences in your industry or target audience. Getting them to notice and link to your content, or extending an invitation for you to guest post, is a great way to extend your reach. Look for influencers with complementary messages to yours.

Customers Come First
Be sure that you’re choosing channels based on customer needs and marketing goals and not just because “everybody else is doing it.” Making it easy for your audience to find your videos makes success much more likely, whatever channels you choose.

Guest Expert: Andrew Schulkind, founder of Andigo New Media, is a 16-year veteran of the interactive media industry, specializing in online communication strategy. He can be reached through Andigo’s website at

Getting Traction for Your Video

Two Guest Experts:

Peggy Dau is the founder of MAD Perspectives (Yes… another “Mad” company). Her company guides businesses on how to use social media to create an audience and generate leads.

Zach Smith is the founder of Analog Method. His company designs and programs web applications to generate business success.

Ladies first …. so here is Peggy talking about using video in social media:

Social Media is about engagement. It doesn’t always work and for many companies has turned into an alternative “push” marketing channel. However, the opportunity for engagement does exist. What does that mean? It means an interaction between 2 or more people, sharing thoughts and responding to comments.

Video is the best way to share content as it’s more memorable. But at its core it is not social. It’s one way, unless of course you are video conferencing. The challenge is to create engagement around the video. Social media replaces the water cooler as the forum for that engagement. Viewers of the video can post comments, debate the topics shared in the video. This is working very well at the consumer level if you consider the volume of conversation that surrounds content posted by TV series on Facebook. For example, I “like” Mad Men. Every week, AMC posts excerpts from that weeks episode inviting comments on the topic highlighted. Engagement is occurring between viewers (not so much between viewers and producers). AMC also posts incremental “behind the scenes” content to further engage the viewer.

So, how does this translate for business? It comes back to the same old questions. Which social platforms are business customers using to consume content? How interactive are those platforms? Will the company monitor the channel to actually engage with the viewer? Will they probe for thoughts or prompt & invite debate? I actually think this could be a great idea for the right type of business – invite followers to view a video as they like, but then invite them to tweet up to debate the topic. Could be about the technology, relative benefits of the product/service, trends to drive further product development, whatever. Tools to simplify sharing are great (click here for some options). I’ve also checked out Unruly (love those brits!). Bottom line…. Ask how and why do you want your potential customers to engage and then ask how do you drive and support the engagement.

If you have any questions for Peggy, please feel free to contact her at:

Zach gives some tips for placing a video on an actionable landing page:

· Set a primary goal and maybe one (1) secondary one with a lower commitment. What is the call to action (CTA)? Perhaps the main CTA is to purchase a widget, so the secondary one could be to subscribe to get valuable information through the newsletter. The temptation of putting everything on your landing or home page will reduce its impact, so keep the content and design simple and focused.

· Stay consistent. The same message that brings the user to the page should be used on the page itself to keep continuity.

· Measure, test and refine. Make sure you have metrics and conversion tracking in place to know how people are responding to your landing page. Ideally, you’ll want to pit several versions of the page against each other to see which messages and designs elicit the best response.

If you have any questions for Zach, please feel free to contact him at: