Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My Tips for Creating Killer Marketing Videos

My company recently went through the process of creating a short marketing video to help prospects understand why they need our product and what they need to do.  We worked with Simple Story Videos and here's the video:

I learned a few important lessons during this project and I'd like to share them here. 

  1. Understand your goal: This goes without saying but invest the time up front to make sure that everyone on your marketing and management teams are clear about what the goal of the video is so that you can focus your efforts and feedback.  For us, the goal was to motivate people to download the product and try it.  By taking the time to understand what our call to action was and how we wanted the audience to feel after watching the video, we were able to stay focused because you can create many different types of videos. 
  2. Keep it short: The shorter the video, the more likely the viewer is to watch it.  I hate seeing people invest time and money in long videos assuming the audience is going to watch it.  Creating a short video is really difficult because every word and image is critical in helping to convey your message but you need to be very strict during the development of the script and storyboard in order to pull this off.  Always ask yourself "is that really necessary?  Can I do that with images instead of words?  Is there an easier and clearer way to get that same message across?".
  3. Know your audience: Be very clear on who the audience for your video is and be sure to always look at the content from their point of view.  If something isn't going to make sense to your audience then you need to deal with it ASAP.  Always critique your video from the point of your of your audience and what you want they to do or feel. 
  4. Work your script and storyboard: Script and storyboard development are the most important aspects of the creative process so be sure to spend the time working and refining your script and imagery during storyboarding.  Doing so will help you make sure your don't waste time and money changing something later.  I also recommend making sure you document everything during these phases and that you take the time to make sure your feedback is incorporated into each iteration.  
 Have you ever created a marketing video?  If so, what did you learn?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Why I Voted for Yasir Naqvi in Ottawa Centre

Gary Vaynerchuck talks about passion and hustle in his amazing book "Crush It!", btw I reviewed it recently, and I think that this post is about both of those things more than politics.

On Sunday, I took about 15 minutes out of my day and voted for Yasir Naqvi (Liberal) because I think that you aren't going to find a better candidate or somebody who works harder for Ottawa Centre than Yasir.

When deciding who to vote for in this election, I could have cast my ballot on the basis of political party platforms (I tend to lean Conservative) but in the end, I had to vote for the candidate I knew would be the best for person the job. 

We are in a period of intense economic uncertainty and the task ahead is daunting, regardless of which party wins and what kind of government they formThe truth is that there is lots of hard work to be done and I know firsthand that nobody works harder than Yasir.  

Yasir has probably knocked on every door in Ottawa Centre, twice.  I know this because when I canvassed for him, most people I spoke to had already met him. When did phone canvassing, most people said he had just been to their door.  That's the type of person Yasir is. 
I care about making Ottawa Centre a better place to live and so does Yasir.  I volunteer my time with Computers for Communities, a non-profit that refurbishes computers and donates them to people who can't afford them.  Last year, Yasir showed up unannounced to an event we were holding at 8:30pm on a weeknight because he wanted to meet our volunteers, hear about what we were doing and offer his assistance.  He has continued to support C4C, helping us make important connections with other volunteer organizations and enabled us to amplify the good work we are doing. 

This is what Yasir does. It is what he will continue to do if you vote for him on October 6th.

He works tirelessly for our community and has a record of delivering results. People will often say – Candidate X has worked hard and deserves your vote, while that is undoubtedly true about Yasir, more importantly, our community deserves Yasir Naqvi as our advocate.  

If you want to know more about how you can vote in advance of October 6th, visit the Elections Ontario website.