You Ought to Be In Pictures! The Process of Making a Company Video – Part 2

video-business-man-2Know Your Limitations!!

In this series, we’re looking at the process of making a high-quality company video that can be used to educate and entertain your audience through social media.  For Part 2, we’re going to briefly discuss personal limitations as they pertain to the production time requirements.  To poorly paraphrase the great Clint Eastwood, “A business owner has GOT to know his/her limitations.”

It’s almost the year 2013.  Everyone has a video camera, even in their smart phone.  Virtually every computer being made today comes preloaded with software to edit and produce video.  The same software the pros use is readily available for purchase, too.  HD cameras are dirt cheap now, as well.  So why hire a professional company?  Can’t everyone just make their own videos these days?

Ummmm … yes.  Everyone CAN make their own videos, but not everyone SHOULD.

I’m reminded of the story of the famous photographer who goes to a dinner party with friends.  The host greets the photographer and says, “Your photos are AMAZING … you must have an incredible camera.”  The photographer smiles and says nothing until after dinner is done, at which point he looks to the host and says, “That dinner was AMAZING … you must have an incredible stove.”

Great videos are not made by equipment or software or computers.  They’re made by people who know how to make great video.  These people might have great gear … but they’d make great video even if their gear wasn’t great.  It’s what they do.  They have a particular talent for the process, along with a whole bunch of experience in doing it, often combining to make a product that’s way beyond what the average person of above-average intelligence could imagine.

That doesn’t mean YOU shouldn’t make your own video … just that you should really take some time to evaluate your own ability, understanding, and talent.

Time in a Bottleneck

In addition, you should take a look at how much of your valuable time you’re willing to spend making video … because it does take time, and lots of it … at least if you want it to look and sound good.  We’ll talk more about the element of “time” later in this series. For now, use this rule of thumb:  It takes a minimum of an hour of video shooting to yield one minute of final video, and from pre-production (to plan and prepare storyboard, set up interviews etc.) for a video shoot, through the shoot itself, to post-production (editing, rendering, authoring), taking the average figures for each of these activities, a time estimate of 4 hours of production for a minute of final video content is the norm!

video-post-productionThe greatest amount of time is devoted to the editing process. You can expect, for quality video results, that beginning video producers can take upwards of 8 hours or longer to edit a two- or three-minute piece. Advanced shooters (>1 year experience) can edit in one to four hours for a two or three-minute segment.

If you can take that kind of time away from your business and/or family, and feel you have the talent and ability to make a truly great company video, then by all means go for it.  Be honest with yourself, though, and remember that your business deserves the very best you can give it, if you want it to be as successful as possible.  Know your own limitations. It is very easy to distinguish between a professional studio product, and a “made it myself” project. From voice-over recording for clear dialog during the render, and custom graphics and text overlays to enhance and clarify the message, to a custom music bed with sound envelopes that adjust to the voice-over, these fine brush strokes can make a masterpiece.

If you don’t have the talent, knowledge, or time to invest in making your own video … which I’d guess describes most business owners in America … then make it a priority to find a professional video production company that will offer what you need, and with whom you can develop a working relationship.  The right company will provide exactly what you need within an agreed time period, while leaving you the time to focus on running your own business.  For the purpose of this series, we will assume that you will be hiring a media company to produce your video, as it is usually the best choice for a busy business owner.

R-4-cropWe’ll stop here for now, but when we return, we’ll look at what you’ll need to know before you start looking for your video production company. Here’s a hint: Content, i.e., your storyboard, gets built to achieve a specific goal or set of goals: Response, Recall, Reliance and/or Recreation(The concept of “R to the 4th” was developed here, first.)

Intrigued? Stay tuned for Part 3 of this series!

March of the Statistics

Many of our past posts have discussed marketing, retail environments, sign design, content and audio considerations. But why is this dynamic sign technology getting so much attention? Why should you invest in this new learning curve as a digital print or sign professional? From software selection, to network design and configuration, to the right displays and peripherals and then installation and training for the client, it is quite an investment. Is it worth it? Okay, let’s march a few statistics out for March, and then you decide…. (We’ll use plenty of pictures to keep it lively!)

It is no coincidence that with 74% of all purchase decisions in mass merchandisers made in store, an increasing number of brand marketers and retailers invest in this medium.

When electronic digital signage first came onto the scene a few short years ago, there was no way to quantify it in terms of return on investment or impact on the marketplace, or even consumers. With the advent of scanner technology, brand marketers and retailers have been able to immediately determine the effectiveness of P.O.P.

POPAI‘s studies, undertaken from 1994 through this year, have consistently demonstrated significant sales increases for products supported by Retail Marketing across industries and geography.

Digital Signage has been proven to reduce perceived wait time by 40%-60%. That makes for happier, friendlier, more relaxed, and more satisfied clients.

LobbyPOP SayingAt the same time, you have a unique opportunity to tell your audience about additional products and services you offer.  You can be sure they’ll remember… it’s proven that digital signage can increase ad recall by more than 60%. And in case you’re wondering about the bottom line: Digital signage increases sales by 18%-62%!

InfoTrends/CAP Ventures has been tracking the industry since 1999, and adjusted Compound Annual Growth Rates are over 30%.

And, the most recent Digital Signage Pricing Report from Wirespring shows that the cost to deploy displays has dropped 14%. When Wirespring first began tracking in 2004, the cost per node (screen and media player) averaged $8500. In 2010, this had dropped to $3720.

It was only a few short months ago that Walmart released some information pertaining to their (in)famous Smart Network. In case you missed the announcement, the company calculated the following percentage increases in store departments using the Smart Network:

Sales lift by department
  • Electronics: 7%
  • Over-the-counter: 23%
  • Food: 13%
  • Health/beauty: 28%

They also disclosed the point in a product’s life cycle when the network seemed to be most effective:

Sales lift by product type

  • Mature items: 7%
  • Newly-launched items: 9%
  • Seasonal items: 18%
  • Items on rollback: 6%

From two case studies on how the Smart Network affects product sales (thanks to Digital Signage Today for the summaries):

In the first, a breathing-strip manufacturer purchased an endcap campaign, in which a 90- to 120-second message ran on endcap screens with product positioned around it. While the program was running, the brand saw a 100 percent sales lift on the specific product, determined by testing versus a control group.

In another campaign, the retailer wanted to increase the number of shoppers that opted in to receive discounts and offers via SMS. It staged a four-week campaign in which shoppers were told that if they’d sign up by dialing a specific code, they’d get exclusive announcements of new “Rollback” offers. During the four-week period, the retailer saw a three-fold increase in daily opt-ins.

Still with me here? We’re giving you this so you can go forth and conquer your clients’ fears!  Okay, how about YOUR fears 😉 Check this out:

According to data cited by Microsoft’s Edson, there are approximately 2 million digital signs across the US right now, and that number is expected to grow to 7 million over the next 5 years. For that to happen in a nice, linear fashion, it would mean that the industry will deploy 1,000,000 screens every year for the next 5 years.

The above chart shows that Retail remains the largest piece of the digital sign pie, and that Hospitality is second. With Retail, we find every imaginable style of display – from kiosks and endcaps, to video walls and window projections. In Hospitality, the range is not so dramatic. Both present ready opportunities for digital sign professionals.

Hopefully this March round-up of current research has given you a new perspective on your own potential in this arena. Next post, a bit about technology as it relates to content…

Our Predictions All Came True…

Back in 2007, one of our blog posts predicted that the “traditional” sign industry trade associations would be looking at dynamic digital signage as the new frontier. That, we can now boast, is a prediction fulfilled. See our July post of 2007 for the exact prediction for the International Sign Association’s involvement to come. That day has come!

Digital sign pioneer and explorer, Lyle Bunn, Strategy Architect, published this in Digital Screenmedia Association news:

Enter the massive base of static sign and digital graphics providers. It is telling that both the Screen Graphics Industry Association (SGIA) and International Sign Association (ISA) have dramatically increased their focus on digital signage in their respective October and April Las Vegas conferences.

How about another prediction – one so important we built our entire LobbyPOP premise upon it. We began our foray into electronic digital signage in 2006 after extensive research, specifically choosing an “Edutainment” format for our own specialized content. LobbyPOP content is very recognizable, and always provides engaging graphics, quality video, voiceover and music to present interesting and important facts about a particular industry’s products and services. We dubbed this “edutainment” as a reflection of the education and entertainment value encompassed in quality content. Now, without blowing our own horn too much, this year in March, Digital Signage Today featured an article which touted a “new” concept, “Infomercials coming to digital out of home.” Wow- the sound of thunderous applause here at LobbyPOP headquarters! 

In a move that in hindsight seems incredibly obvious, advertising technology firm rVue has partnered with a direct response TV firm to bring direct response ads to the digital signage networks using rVue’s Demand Side Platform.

 Yes, it seems incredibly obvious to us!

“It is a very exciting time, and we’re really working hard on bringing forward some what-we-believe-to-be-very-important initiatives and solutions for our space,” rVue founder and CEO Jason Kates said in a recent phone interview.

As anyone who follows our blog knows, we squirm when the words “important” “initiatives” “solutions” and “our space” are all in the same sentence.

“We must be one of the last media in the world who haven’t had this developed as a full-blown opportunity for us,” Kates said.Social Media, Google, Online Content Convergence

Perhaps. Perhaps not… Can it be the new frontier has been soundly mapped already? Hardly! We have much to learn and review when it comes to touchscreens, social media on display, and content delivery technologies. We are eagerly watching developers create the new, converging technologies that will empower screens like never before. We are beta testing some exciting new content delivery vehicles as well! You may therefore be looking for our next big prediction, considering our track record 🙂 Well, we never want to disappoint, so here goes:

We see Google, Social Media, and Microsoft all becoming critical to the digital media platform. What we see also is the confusion this creates in the marketplace, as clients and media providers try to sort out what is relevant and important. Of course, we have some thoughts on these subjects. You’ll have to read our next posts to learn more…  Remember our motto: A Step Ahead… is a Great Place to Lead!

The Fourth Screen

The number of public displays is forecast to grow by 44% in 2009 reports Chris Connery,Vice President of PC and Large Format Commercial Displays at DisplaySearch. But this increase to the 900,000 displays of 27” and larger already installed is the tip of the iceberg, since smaller displays are typically used for elevators, shelves, service counters and other uses. “Digital signage is accelerating rapidly, even in the midst of a recession in the larger economy” explains David Keene, Executive Editor of Digital Signage magazine, “because Money is shifting into more ‘TiVo-proof’ places where consumers commute, wait, shop and gather, prices for LCD displays and related technologies have declined.

Add to that, a demographic shift toward younger consumers with mobile technology devices, and you have the ingredients for the kind of technology boom not seen since the birth of the Internet.”

Beyond the “three-screen” world of televisions, computers and mobile devices, National Datacast, Inc. a subsidiary of PBS, sees digital signage as the “fourth screen”.

PQ Media, providers of media econometrics are bullish on digital out-of-Home. “Despite severe economic headwinds and declining traditional advertising spending, the U.S. digital out-of home (OOH) media industry grew 12.3% in 2008 to more than $2.4 billion
and is on pace to grow 9.1% in 2009, according to PQ Media research. Digital out-of-home accounts for almost 30% of the overall out-of-home advertising market, which grew 5.0% in 2008 to $8.31 billion. “Economic crisis are resulting in a seminal transition across the media landscape,” says Patrick Quinn, president & CEO of PQ Media. “This will likely be the first recession in which advertisers not only spend less, but also spend differently.”

We believe affordability is and will remain a determinant of adoption rates for digital signage systems. As systems proliferate, and when the economy improves, the cost for some of these hardware and software packages – internet based or not – will be close to free. The X factor will be content. That’s where we hang our hat.

$13 Billion by 2010

In today’s world of digital marketing techniques, there has been a marked increase in
creative advertising to communicate core messages across a broad audience. From conference rooms to retail, digital advertising is a way of educating and engaging consumers through unique content applications on a variety of products, services and messages.Over the next three years almost half of corporate AV budgets will be spent on digital signage and videoconferencing goods and services. According to iSuppli, the U.S. digital signage industry is also expected to grow to $13 billion by 2010.

Average recall rates for digital & video out-of-home advertising networks are around 40 percent.Compare that to other traditional media recall rates like TV (32%), radio
(27%) and magazines (21%) and it’s easy to see why this medium can be very effective for marketers.

Consider becoming a digital sign expert and building on your videography or sign technology skills. LobbyPOP was here first, and will keep you ahead of the curve. Contact us through our website, www.lobbypop.com or at 1-888-LOBBYPOP [1-888-562-2976] 

And that concludes our sponsor’s message 😉