Confessions from a Project Manager

Here at Ydraw, we work with amazing people every day, from all over the world, to create awesome videos.

Our completely custom videos are perfect for companies, because we can create EXACTLY what they need. From the scripting, to the choice of art style, to your voiceover selection, to our custom music composer, everything is tailored to our customer’s needs.

Since each video is entirely unique, it requires both parties to be equally invested and provide timely feedback. COLLABORATION IS KEY! This can be both a blessing and a curse.

One of the biggest challenges we run into when creating videos is understanding each parties’ roles in the project. We rely on the client to provide the information needed for us to understand their product or service, and in return, ask our clients to trust us when it comes to creating the best content for them.

Sometimes clients will focus in on one minor detail that has little or no impact on the overall messaging of the video, and can eventually lead to an experience or end product that isn’t so spectacular.

For instance, have you ever looked at a word so many times that you convince yourself it’s spelled wrong? The more your stare at it, the weirder it looks… even though it was right from the beginning. This can happen when creating content.

When creating videos, we notice this problem in the artwork phase. For example, a client will get so hung up on the color of “Mary’s shirt”, and before you know it, they’ve convinced themselves that their ENTIRE video is a failure, because absolutely NO ONE is going to understand or even watch the video, if her shirt is red, and NOT blue…

Sounds dramatic… but we see examples like this happen with our clients often.

We completely understand that these projects, these videos, are as important as your first born child! You have a lot of pressure to produce an amazing product, but it’s imperative to remember to step back and focus on the overall message of your video.

So if the color of Mary’s shirt isn’t the most important part to creating a successful video… then what is?

The message!

First, you want to establish your message. Keep it clear and concise! Second, ensure that your content helps to portray that message.

 Don’t know where to start? The good news is that Ydraw can do it all for you!

(and don’t worry.. if you want Mary’s shirt to be blue, we’ll make sure it’s the prettiest blue you’ve ever seen.)

Code #282 – Mr. Important

“Hello, my name is Mr. Important the CEO of Important Products… but the true important person is you!”

Uh wrong… Can you believe this guy?

He has officially lost us within the first line.

Code #282: If you want your audience to believe your product is important… focus on them and their needs, not on yourself.

This code is very important when creating successful content.

Don’t be Mr. Important.

Simple. Consistent. Content.

Simple. Consistent. Content.

“My Dad is cooler than yours!”
“Na uh, my Dad could beat up your Dad!”
“No way, my Dad can run faster than any one earth!”
“Oh yeah! My Dad is so strong that he can lift up a car!”

“Hey, Hey, that’s enough from you two…”

Do you remember when you were a little kid arguing about why one thing was better than another? It would go on and on, and after a while, the argument was no longer of benefit…it was just an argument for arguments sake.

This same problem often happens in our brand messaging. We want to prove every reason why our product is superior, but cramming every reason into your messaging loses the simplicity, and your target audience will get disinterested. Couple that with the long amount of time it takes to create that messaging, you are not only losing their attention, but you are rarely creating content.

How do we remedy this conundrum?

Simple. That’s it. Simple. Keep your Brand messaging simple.

If it’s easy to understand, it will stick with your audience. The next step is to keep creating and releasing that simplified content on a consistent basis. Once a week, two or three times a week. Whatever your goal is, if you have simple, easy to understand content, that is consistently getting in front of your audience, then you are going to have far greater success with your product.

Now how about a Simple Recap?

LONG-OVER-COMPLICATED MESSAGING + RARELY RELEASED CONTENT = BAD

SIMPLE MESSAGING + CONSISTENT CONTENT = GOOD

Got it!? Now give Ydraw a call. When you work with us, we’ll help you simplify your brand messaging, and start you on our system for releasing consistent content.

Don’t Fall Victim to the Social Media ‘Scroll By’

Has this ever happened to you?

You’ve produced new video content, created a buzz, promoted the living crud out of it and shared it on social media but even optimizing the title and description still didn’t get you the views that you were hoping for.

What went wrong?

One of the biggest challenges facing anyone in marketing is figuring out how to break through the noise to reach your customers.

While great video content is crucial, perhaps there’s something simple you may have missed:

Subtitles.

Captioning your videos can have a HUGE effect on how successful they are. This is true for movies, TV shows, social media videos, training content, and any other kind of video you might record or share.

Why are subtitles so important?

1) Not everyone watching your video can hear it.

2) Subtitles improve comprehension

3) Some people actually prefer watching videos with subtitles even if they don’t have to. (My teenage daughter is like this; I have to turn off the captions on Netflix every time after she watches something. Every. Dang. Time.)

4) Viewers are more engaged. As more people are producing high-quality video content, social networks like Facebook have made it easier to post and share videos on their platforms.

But do you know what’s the most annoying thing about scrolling through your Facebook or Instagram feed? When the air of silence is violently stabbed by the blaring audio from the video you just scrolled over! This is why social platforms have made ‘mute’ the default volume setting for videos that auto-play. As a result, many users are likely to watch your video without actually turning on the audio.

Captioning videos can help guarantee your viewers get the message, even if they don’t actually listen to what you have to say.

Beyond making your videos more accessible, captions keep your content competitive within the social media landscape and can even boost your SEO!

Everything you’d ever want to know about subtitles and eye tracking software can be found here.

http://refractory.unimelb.edu.au/2015/02/07/kruger-szarkowska-krejtz/

 

Did I read that entire article?… um… no (totally skimmed it) but what I CAN affirm is that if I’m awake in bed next to a sleepy spouse, eating lunch in a crowded restaurant, riding the bus, quietly not paying attention in church or a number of other moments where I’d choose silence; a video with subtitles will capture and keep my attention when a non-captioned video would just get lost in the upward scroll of oblivion.

Test it out for yourself.

Take a marketing video you’ve already produce and slap some captions on it. (If you don’t have caption-slapping abilities… Ydraw can do that for ya in a jiffy!)

Then launch that video into social media cyberspace and see what happens when your watchers become readers.

 

Written by: Lesa Thomas

5 Ways Social Media Marketing Will Expand Your Video’s Reach

So, you have this spiffy new Ydraw video ready to download and share with the world.

Now what?

Don’t leave what happens next to chance. How you market your video will make a huge difference in how many of the RIGHT people actually WATCH it.

That’s where a social media marketing plan can help. If you’re thinking, “I already have a marketing plan.” Good for you. You’re already a few steps ahead.

But, if that plan doesn’t spell out exactly how you’ll take advantage of the amazingly effective, and mostly free, opportunities on social media marketing sites – then sit down and take some notes.

Your class on Social Media Marketing 101 just got started.

         

          1. GET NOTICED:

Basically, if your business isn’t active on the main social media sites, you may not exist yet to your target consumer.

To give you an idea of how many people are regularly using the most common social media sites, here’s a quick summary of the current numbers, according to Statista:

Facebook: 2.23 billion profiles, with 1.45 billion users visiting daily.

YouTube: Over 1 billion users, with over 500 million hours of videos watched daily.

Instagram: 800 million users and adding over 100 million in the last year alone.

LinkedIn: Over 562 million profiles in more than 200 countries worldwide.

Twitter: 335 million active users visit Twitter monthly.

Pinterest: 200 million monthly active users, predominantly female.

Can you really afford to pass up that kind of exposure?

Or, better question, why would you want to?

       

           2. PEOPLE WANT VIDEO:

Mike Henry said, “We’re operating in a world where ONE GOOD VIDEO can lead to a massive social following.”

Now you have that good video – so what do you do with it?

Not only does social media offer an incredible marketing opportunity, but posts that use video have a much higher conversion rate on all of the social media platforms. Check out just a few of the many powerful statistics on the impact of video in this infographic created by The E Word.

So, if your consumer is browsing Facebook, your video should be on Facebook. If they’re tweeting about their morning bagel, your video should be popping up on their Twitter feed. When they’re scrolling their LinkedIn at lunch, you want that video to smack them right in the face. YouTube? Instagram? Same story – different channel.

Social media allows you to deliver your video to your target consumer on a silver platter.

         

          3. START A CONVERSATION:

You don’t want your marketing plan to be a monologue. Your target consumer really only cares about themselves. If you’re doing all the talking – that doesn’t mean that they’re doing all the listening.

Instead, put your video out there and start a dialogue. Use your video as a springboard into building a community. This will also make your brand relatable and that will attract even more followers.

       

           4. MARKET MORE; SPEND LESS:

Did I mention that social media marketing is …. FREE? That’s right. It costs ZERO dollars to set up business profiles on social media sites and begin posting.

Now, you may eventually choose to pay for ad campaigns that will further your reach, and many companies find it very effective, but you certainly do not have to do that to get started and get your video out there.

Plus, since we already discussed how much more effective video is as a marketing tool on social media, you’ll get pretty good reach without paying another buck.

           

          5. FREE FOCUS GROUPS:

You know the value of focus groups when branding your business or making business decisions.

Well, with social media marketing, you have access to a focus group – 24/7, 365 days a year, that never sleeps, never slows down, and is actively engaging in dialogue on what they like and don’t like.

There has never before been a greater opportunity to talk directly with your target consumer whenever you want than today – on social media.

So, gather information by reading and following their conversations. Or, utilize free tools on platforms like Sprout Social and Hootsuite, where you can access trending conversations pertaining to your target market.

Take it a step further and download apps like Instagram Insights, WhenToPost and Crowdfire to learn more about what is really engaging your target audience and when they’re online looking for it.

You can even learn about your competitor’s performance and connect with Instagram influencers on apps like Iconosquare.

And – yep, you guessed it – it’s all free.

 

The bottom line is – we live in unique technological times that can sometimes present challenges, but in other cases, offer you an incredibly insightful, effective, and affordable opportunity to connect with your target consumer like never before.

Leverage whatever you can to promote your video and your brand!

And, if you have any questions on how Ydraw can support you in developing your own social media marketing plan, please reach out. We can’t wait to hear from you.

Smooth Sailing Through the Ydraw Process

You did it!! You’re ready to start making your video.

So what’s next? The Ydraw process has stood the test of time in creating awesome videos, so don’t worry, you’re in great hands. There are 3 steps to our process: The scripting and scene plan phase, art phase, and production phase.

Here are some tips and trips and to make the overall process smooth and enjoyable.

SCRIPTING AND SCENE PLAN PHASE

During this time you’ll work with a creative director to nail down your script and scene plan. We like to think of these videos as a teaser to your product or service. We want to make sure that just enough information is included so that it sparks interest in the topic, and causes the viewer to take action. We don’t want to include every minor detail involved in your product or service, as this is likely to bore your audience.

So what makes a video successful? The headline and call to action!

A headline is the first couple of sentences in your video. These sentences are what hook your viewer immediately! A call to action appears at the end of the video, and instructs your viewer to do something! It can be as simple as visit your website, click the link, fill out a form, etc.

Below are a few DOs and DON’Ts to creating your script.

DO:
-Share all your ideas with the creative director.
-Collaborate and discuss the MOST important information needed in your video. (Remember it’s a teaser!)
-Keep your audience in mind, and solve their needs.

DON’T:
-Ramble on about minor (non-important) details.
-Make your message all about you. (Remember, the viewer is the star!)

ART PHASE
Once the script and scene plan is approved, we send it off to an artist!! (Check out our art styles page to see all the different options!) The artist then creates the artwork based on the information described in the scene plan. We love to send them reference images, color schemes, logos, and any other documents that help them create the scenes!

We send these scenes over to you so that you can meet with your team and talk through your changes. We want your artwork to be perfect!

Below are some DOs and DON’Ts in the artwork phase.

DO:
-Share your artwork with your team.
-Make sure the artwork tells your story.

DON’T:
-Get the opinion of every family member, neighbor, and person on the street you talk to. Involving too many people in your video’s production forces you to pick and choose whose opinion matters most, and definitely slows the process!
-Focus too much on minor details.
-Complicate the artwork. Keep in mind that simplicity is key!

PRODUCTION PHASE
Once your artwork is approved, we send it into production. This is the best part. You get to sit back and relax while we bring your video to life! We’ll add in the voiceover, animation effects, and music and sfx, and send you the finished video link.

Overall, our advice to clients would be to not sweat the small stuff! Sometimes, we see our clients get hung up on minor details that often times have no impact on the video’s message. We love creating videos, and want you to enjoy the Ydraw process too!

Want to get started? Contact us today to start making an awesome video 🙂