Thursday, January 30, 2014

Google Analytics: Innovative Marketing

Google Analytics has recently created a humorous marketing campaign to raise awareness about the online shopping experience.

The series of videos illustrates what a consumer’s everyday shopping experience in real life would look like if it were handled in the same way that we shop online. #GoogleAnalytics created the innovative campaign in order to illustrate to businesses exactly where they were losing/deterring their very own customers within the online shopping experience. The campaign is designed to help businesses realize that their website and digital marketing may not be up to par, thereby costing them greatly in the long run.

Google Analytics Google Analytics

Google Analytics came up with an innovative and especially humorous way to demonstrate exactly how missteps on the digital shelf would play out in real-life scenarios. The campaign not only clearly illustrates the errors being made, it also entertains the viewers by depicting highly relatable scenarios that almost all of us have been a part of. Take a look at the three videos below.

Optimizing your website’s landing page is key since you always want to make sure that your ad text leads to a matching page. Google Analytics suggests that many consumers are being led astray by other pages or products when searching for what they want. Ultimately, they’ll end up not finding what it is they came for and leave your site completely. In this video, Nick is distracted by other (unrelated) products on his quest for olives, only to find out that the olives weren’t even where he thought they’d be in the first place.

Shopping online is meant to be easy. Find out where your customers are being led astray.

Optimizing your website’s search functionality can be especially helpful when customers are looking for a specific product or service. Google Analytics suggests that it is important to categorize your products accordingly so that consumers are able to find what they are looking for quickly, easily, and in a logical manner. In this video, Oli is forced to jump through hoops in his search for semi-skimmed milk only to find out that he should have been searching for “milk, semi-skimmed” to avoid all of the hassle.

Shopping online is meant to be easy. Discover what your customers are looking for.

When optimizing a website where purchases are made, it is important to find out when it is your customers are “checking out” – not in the literal sense, but more in terms of where are your customers getting fed up and leaving your site. Google Analytics helps you understand your website flow process and identifies ways in which to better optimize your customer’s buying process.

Shopping online is meant to be easy. Find out where your customers are checking out.

Tell Keywest what you thought of the Google Analytics in Real Life campaign.

Key West Video Inc. -- Corporate Video Production Toronto Key West Video Inc. — Corporate Video Production Toronto

Google Analytics: Innovative Marketing

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

How To Videos: Why They Work

‘How To’ Videos Can be a Great Way to Promote Your Product in These Top 3 Circumstances

How to

So, you have a new fabulous product and you need to promote it to your target market. You ask yourself what the best way to get this new product out into the public sphere is, and you don’t quite know the answer. There are a variety of avenues to choose when it comes to creating a promotional video for your new product, but some options are better than others. When is a ‘How To’ style of video relevant and engaging, and therefore the right choice? Here are our choices for the top 3 reasons your product would work well with a ‘How To’ video.

1) Complicated Product

If you have a product that you cannot simply explain in under thirty seconds, then a ‘How To’ video could be the best route for your promotional video. The attention span of consumers is decreasingly short with so many different products and services now saturating the markets. Therefore, you don’t want your product to loose its value just because someone doesn’t take the time to understand the great benefits it can have for them.

In this case, by providing your potential consumers with a video which lays out the facts, and benefits of your product, you can be converting those viewers into purchasers instead of letting them slip away. You can show them how the product works, and therefore explain why they need it in their lives.

2) Older Demographic

When the target market for your product is over the age of 50, then a ‘How To’ style of video could be a great choice. The baby boomer demographic are more technical than their parents generation, yet still far behind the millennial babies of today. Individuals in their later years have less patience to figure out just what your product does and why it can be a benefit to them, and thus are easily distracted into buying into the most simple products on the market.

Technology is now such a major part of our lives, that everything from the automobiles, to watches to toasters, are now how-tech. If your product is tech-heavy, has a lot of bells & whistles or has a variety of different features, it could be lost on an older market. Which is why providing a video in conjunction with your product, which explains how it can simplify consumers lives instead of making them more confusing, can go a long way.

3) Do It Yourself Element

Products that rely heavily on the consumer constructing, setting-up or assembling things themselves in any capacity, would be a great candidate for a ‘How To’ video. This is the most obvious choice which warrants this type of descriptive video. In order to get consumers to purchase your product with a DIY element, you need to convince and show them just how easy it is.

Not in all cases though, is this DIY element refer solely to building or assembling something. In certain cases, it may just mean purchasers need to understand that the DIY element is simple for people to understand right off the bat. For instance, Keywest Video recently produced a video for a new tech product in the real estate market. The video was meant to showcase that the digital window sign was easy to use, quick and effective in enticing passersby to interact with the sign and its features. In this case study, we highlight just how effective this style of video was for them.

So when you are looking to promote your product, consider utilizing a ‘how to’ video to highlight it’s features, and showcase just how simple and easy to use your product really is.


How To Videos: Why They Work

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Canon 5D Mark III

The Canon 5D Mark III is one of our favourite cameras to use here at Keywest.

With supercharged EOS performance and stunning full frame, high-resolution image capture, the Canon 5D Mark III is designed to perform. Here are 3 main reasons why we love shooting with the Canon 5D Mark III:

Canon 5D Mark III Canon 5D Mark III

1. Depth of Field

We just adore the Canon 5D’s shallow depth of field when shooting most of our footage. The camera allows us to really focus on a subject in the foreground, while maintaining a beautifully out of focus background. In many cases, it enables us to smoothly shift focus

between foreground and background, for a more aesthetically pleasing look.

2. Low Light Conditions

We sometimes encounter situations in which we aren’t able to create the ideal lighting setup, be it within an office, boardroom, etc. The Canon 5D is a remarkable asset in these conditions as its low light capabilities are absolutely out of this world.

3. Easy to Handle

Unlike many large, bulky video cameras, the Canon 5D is an excellent camera when you’re on the go. Since, it’s a DSLR, it’s significantly smaller than a video camera and has a great deal of user-friendly features that allow us to capture amazing video.

Did you know?

It recently came to our attention that the Canon 5D was even used to shoot an entire episode of the television series House.

Canon 5D - House Canon 5D – House

The 5D allowed the production team to work in very tight spots in a collapsed parking garage with minimal lighting. They used Canon prime lenses along with the 24-70mm and

70-200mm zooms and they didn’t even use an image stabilization rig for any of the non-tripod shots. They even used 300mm lenses, only using the built-in image stabilizer feature, something Gale Tattersall (director of photography) referred to as “…a Steadicam in the palm of your hand.” Tattersall used the 5D Mark II to film the newborn baby scenes for “Lockdown” in Season 6. He eventually convinced the producers of the show to film the whole finale episode with them, and even brought back the Canon 5D Mark II for the entire Season 7 of House, making it the first network television season filmed entirely on an DSLR.

Canon 5D Mark III

Monday, January 27, 2014

Old Spice Commercial: Behind the Scenes

Ever Wonder, How Do They Do That? Let’s Take a Look Behind The Scenes Footage From an Old Spice Commercial to Find Out!

old spice

Old Spice rocked back into the modern age, with their now infamous “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” commercials in 2010. The ad agency Wieden+Kennedy were the masterminds behind this devilishly clever advertisement. The ads targeted female purchasers, who were shown to be the decision makers when it came to buying hygiene products for their male counterparts.

The initial commercial was an instant success. As the title implies, the copy poked at the fact that anything is possible… just as long as your man smells like Old Spice. The concept was simple, clever, and reached into every woman’s fantasy. If you have been living under a rock and have yet to see it, check it out below.

Senior social media and marketing manager for Cisco Systems, Tim Washer once stated,

“Humor, when executed properly, helps cut through the noise and helps you stand out. If you can make someone laugh, there is an emotional connection with them. And anything you say beyond that is going to be more meaningful.”

There are many elements that made this commercial, and all the others made in a similar vein to come, as popular as they are. Arguably, in addition to the handsome actor who stars in all of the ad spots, the great direction provided by Tom Kuntz, and of course the concept itself which can make even the most cold-hearted grinch laugh, it is most importantly the way it was flawlessly executed, which make the advertisement such a masterpiece.

After the success of the original spot, and the subsequent ones to follow, the team who created these ads allowed us to go behind the scenes in one of their shoots. In another stroke of genius, they allowed viewers to really understand just how they were able to pull off their hilarious, and very technical commercial. In the video below you will be given a behind the scenes glimpse into the set, the crew, and the way that it was all pulled together.

This was a great technique to allow viewers behind the scenes, to see how it was all created. It gives audiences a sense of importance and privilege in order to be allowed to view their secret formula for success. In addition, Old Spice went even further asking viewers to provide questions for the star of these commercials, in which he then responded with a series of youtube videos furthering the brands reach. Stan Schroeder from Mashable wrote,

“His answers were a key mix of coolness and the stuff Internet memes are made of. The actual brand — Old Spice — was never shoved down viewers’ throats. Most importantly, all of it was incredibly fun to watch.”

And that is the key to the success of these videos, and the brands overall marketing strategy.

Old Spice Commercial: Behind the Scenes

Friday, January 24, 2014

Stock Footage Uses Video Blog

Stock Footage: What is it and how do you use it?

stock footage Stock footage, what is it? What are its uses? And how have we at Keywest Video been integrating it into our larger video offerings? Those are the questions that we want to answer for you through this week’s video blog.

Stock footage simply put, is footage that can be used in multiple videos. When a production company shoots a video for a client, that footage is most often used for the sole purpose of that video. But sometimes, when the time or money is not available, producers will utilize footage that was shot previously, not with their specific project in mind. This footage, is stock footage.

Stock footage is therefore mostly of general things, with no specific branding, so it can be utilized in various productions. Things like nature, landscapes, and general office settings are very common.

Stock footage is beneficial, because it can save on the resources required to film certain shots. For example, the costs involved in filming an aerial shot of the CN tower can be quite substantial. So you can save on these costs by purchasing from an online library, where the price would be more affordable.

At Keywest, over the past year we have been actively filming, and building up our own library of stock footage. The reason for this being, it will aid our clients in cutting down costs for their own video projects. We usually film with a theme in mind, and have now done several shoots focusing on getting nice shots of downtown Toronto, nature, wildlife, and even some shots of our film and office equipment. Then, when we see a need in one of our client’s videos, we will be able to utilize footage that we have already shot, thereby saving time and money for our client.

This is just one of the avenues Keywest is actively pursuing in order to make sure our clients are getting the most for their money!

Stock Footage Uses Video Blog

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Promotion Techniques for Your Corporate Video

Top 10 Online Promotion Techniques For Your Corporate Video

promotional techniques

Having video at your disposal is a great way to get your company noticed, and share the great work that you do. However, if few people are actually watching the video then its purpose is lost. We want to share with you some interesting, and some very straightforward, techniques on how to promote your corporate video online.


1. Optimize for SEO                                                                                                                       Once your video is created and your are about to put it out for the world to see, you need to focus on ensuring that it is easy for individuals to find. An important tool to aid in this process, is optimizing your video for search engine marketing purposes. Everything from the title of the video, to the little description underneath the video needs to be scrutinized. Use keywords which relate to your video’s content and audience. Adding a link to your website or blog at the top of the description is beneficial as it ushers the viewers to more relevant content of your company’s. Another important aspect in regards to SEO is closed captioning. It provided content for Google’s spiders to crawl in order to figure out search rankings, and can thus aid in providing you with more relevant searches of your video. Lastly, you should include several targeted tags for your video. Jenny Dean of Problogger explains,

“Tags are your keywords, and they are critically important to being found. Include any relevant tags. Then, check back in a month or two to see how that particular video is being found—and change out some of the tags that are insignificant.”

2. Promote it on your website

It may seem like common knowledge, but many business owners think a promotional video is only for social media purposes or to be put on a certain page on their website. Depending on the content of the video, it can be placed in numerous spots on your website in order to gain more viewers, as well as to promote the content within it. If it is a testimonial video for example, it can be under your ‘clients’ section of your website, as well as on your home page. Every view helps spread your message further, so why not use all of the resources at your disposal.

3. Email it to your clients

There is no harm or foul in actively pursuing audiences who may be interested in your video. Your clients, family & friends, and even potential clients you are in contact with are all viable and potentially interested parties. If your video is highlighting your company in general, a new product or service, or the great work that your team has been up to, it is always nice to share with those who have been along for the ride, and those that are interested in learning more. An email blast can provide lots of great views and potentially more work/new customers.

4. Share it everywhere

Just like with an email blast, there is no shame in finding innovative, or alternatively very common places, where you can gain a new audience for your video. In Gareth Davies ebook Videotastic, he outlines 17 ways to market your video online. In it he states,

“One of the great benefits of video is that it’s possible to share your creation with an audience that may never have heard of you before – by using video-sharing websites.”

This statement can’t be more true. That is why video is so powerful and can draw attention to your company in such a rapid and fantastic way. Because if the video is well produced, and the content is rich with information that people are looking for, then it can explode and a viral video may be formed. Of course, this isn’t always the case, but it’s always best to set yourself up so your video at least has the potential to reach that goal. Some examples of great places to share your video include; Youtube, Vimeo, Pintrest, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, DailyMotion, and really any other social or niche site that allows for the upload and sharing of video.

5. Contact Bloggers

Bloggers, especially those with a significant following, can be a great thought leader in which certain communities listen to, and take advice from. Getting in touch with a blogger from your company’s niche field, is a great way to get help promoting your product or service. Reach out to them, share your video with them, and explain why you believe their audience would find it interesting or informative.

6. Write your own blog post about it

Instead of waiting for someone else to promote your video through their blog, make sure you also write about it yourself. Think about what you believe your readers would find interesting. Maybe discuss the process you took to create the video, or discuss what happened behind the scenes. You can relate your video back to other blog posts you have written, and discuss why it was important for you to create the video in order to highlight a new aspect of your company or focus more on your marketing efforts.

7. Share with your affiliates

Another great way to get your video out to viewers who you don’t have direct contact to, is by encouraging your vendors or affiliates to utilize your video for their own means. As a video highlighting your product/service may be beneficial for others to showcase their own work as well. Gareth Davies again shares his wisdom by saying,

“If your promotional videos are good quality and easy to embed, there’s a good chance your affiliates will want to use them [on their website]. Videos can boost web conversions, which is good news for both you and your affiliates.”


8. Link to your video in your email signature

By linking to your video in your email signature you are able to simply and easily promote your video, without pressuring anyone to watch it, or shoving it down someone’s throat. It is also enticing as no one is telling your email contacts to watch the video, it is just there for viewing if they choose so. In market research it has been proven that if you give individuals the choice to watch a video instead of just starting the video for them, they will always pay more attention and watch longer when they make the active decision to watch the video themselves.

9. Write a press release about it 

In an article in Entrepreneur, Jason R. Rich expresses his tip for online video promotion.

“Use public relations techniques, such as using press releases to contact bloggers, editors, reporters and producers in order to generate free media coverage for your videos in mainstream media, as well as in blogs that cater to your target audience.”

This technique is good for a variety of purposes. Not only are press releases a great way to draw attention to your video, but they are very useful for SEO purposes as well. They help create links to your website, and provide an authority approved source for information about your company.

10. Create a campaign around it

One of the best ways to promote your video in the online sphere is to center your video around a larger campaign. This can mean coming up with a promotional contest, and base it around watching and/or interacting with your video. Or it can mean making the video part of a larger branding campaign, where online ads, social media efforts and the video all correlate to express the same message to your audience. Video is a great tool, but it is even more powerful when used in conjunction with larger efforts that attract viewership and entice your customers to engage with your brand.

I hope some of these promotion techniques for your corporate video are useful for you, and provide you with a starting off point in order to gain a wider base of viewers for your video. If you are interested in getting a corporate video produced, or need help promoting a preexisting video, contact Keywest Video today!

Promotion Techniques for Your Corporate Video

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

How Video improves SEO

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is an important process that affects your website’s visibility and ranking in a natural/organic search. Many do not realize that video is an excellent tool for SEO and that it can greatly benefit the visibility of your site.

Using Video for SEO Purposes Using Video for SEO Purposes

Using video as a means to boost your SEO can be beneficial to your company in more ways than one: video can help create brand awareness, increase your conversion rate, and of course improve your rankings within search engines.

For one, people love to watch video. Today alone, 89 million people in the United States are going to watch 1.2 billion online videos today. It’s important to take advantage of these numbers when improving not only your brand/image, but also your website. Video serves as yet another means of enticing viewers to your website, and increasing the time they spend on it.

It is important to take advantage of the SEO tools and outlets that are available to you. For one, YouTube has a great deal of optimization tools that will not only help drive traffic to your video but also improve your visibility in searches.

YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine and people are consuming video at an astonishing rate, yet video is often an afterthought in most SEO strategies. Even when it has a place, most marketers don’t invest in best practices for optimizing their video assets for SEO. Consider that good news and an opportunity to get a step ahead of your competitors. Adam Kleinberg, Traction

Optimizing Video for Google SEO Optimizing Video for Google SEO

You are 53x more likely to appear on page 1 of Google’s search results if you have video on your website. Search engines are looking for websites that have the right amount of information without overwhelming audiences, credible sources and links, as well as informative pictures and videos. Having video on your website improves your SEO (since video is ranked higher than text) and your chances of showing up as a video link on the first page. Also, if your website shows up as video link, it is 41% more likely to get clicked than a text listing.

You can greatly boost your SEO by transcribing your video as well. Essentially, these transcripts are a textual representation of your video’s seen and heard content. Once transcribed, Google is able to crawl the text, thereby amplifying your search presence. Not only can you transcribe your videos and add them to your website, but you can also add captions/subtitles as well. In the case of YouTube, after uploading, captions are indexed by both Google and YouTube, in turn boosting your ranking within both search engines.

A study compared 37 web pages before and after adding transcripts. Pages with transcripts earned on average 16% more revenue than they did before transcripts.

Looking for a video to help improve your website’s SEO? Contact Keywest today.

How Video improves SEO

Monday, January 20, 2014

Voiceover or no voiceover?

Voiceover can be an incredibly important part of your corporate video if utilized properly. Find out whether or not to include a voiceover in your next video.

Some videos require a great deal of voiceover and some require none at all. This all depends upon the content being shown and the main purpose of incorporating the voiceover itself. For example, if you were to create a very minimalistic motion graphics animation to use as an explainer video, it may be crucial to use a voiceover so that your audience is able to understand exactly what it is they are seeing. However, if you were to conduct an interview between two parties (that were very knowledgeable on the subject matter), you may not require any voiceover at all. Incorporating a voiceover depends greatly upon how much third party explaining you’ll need to do, in addition to your existing content.


Whatever your voiceover needs may be, it is important to get the right voice! It’s always crucial to determine exactly what type of voiceover your video requires. outlines a quick list of the 5 basic types of voiceover:

1. Instructor (formal, didactic voice over)

2. Real Person (informal voice over)

3. Spokesperson (advocate, authoritative voice over)

4. Narrator (omniscient storyteller)

5. Announcer (sets the stage and calls for action)

The type of voiceover your video requires is dependent upon your content, your script, and the message that you are trying to convey. Once you have established these elements, you will be able to distinguish between the different types of voiceover talent and find out which one works best for you.

Not sure of your voiceover needs? Contact Keywest today and we can help you determine what type of voiceover is right for your video, or if you even need one at all!

Key West Video Inc. -- Corporate Video Production Toronto Key West Video Inc. — Corporate Video Production Toronto

Voiceover or no voiceover?

Friday, January 17, 2014

Prankvertising: a popular trend

Prankvertising was one of the most popular trends of 2013. Many brands and films chose to play pranks on unsuspecting members of the public in an effort to promote and gain exposure.

In October 2013, Keywest had posted about the Carrie prankvertising campaign. Using telekinesis, the creepy talent Carrie is known for, this particular prankvertisement shocked and disturbed not only the viewer, but the patrons of an unsuspecting NYC coffee shop. The Carrie video has garnered over 53 million views, making it the most successful prankvertising campaign of 2013.

Carrie Prankvertising Video Carrie Prankvertising Video

It’s clear that prankvertising is a useful tool for horror film promotion as it creates a conversation about the film and adds an element of reality to the supernatural seen in the actual movies. This particular marketing tool has since been used to promote several other horror films, including the most recent “Devil Baby Prank” for the film Devil’s Due. The prankvertising campaign, in which an animatronic “devil baby” in a remote controlled stroller goes on a rampage through the streets of New York City, has been rather successful, garnering over 30 million views in 3 days.

Although prankvertising is most useful for horror film publicity, it has also been used for product promotion – although not as successfully, in terms of online views. Take a look at this “Meteor: Ultra Reality” prank by LG to showcase the crispness and clarity of their televisions.

In essence, prankvertising achieves a significant marketing goal: it gets people talking. Creating a conversation around your product or service is key, and these viral pranks are a great way to do so. However, the question arises… is prankvertising sustainable? At first, prankvertising was a new and innovative marketing tool – creating elaborate pranks that go viral and promote your brand; lately, it seems that many brands have utilized prankvertising and it is slowly becoming commonplace. Unlike many other marketing tools, prankvertising is more susceptible to overkill, as too many pranks can cause audiences to foresee the prank, thereby ruining its primary element of surprise.

What do you think of prankvertising? Is it a good marketing tool? Has it been overused already? Tell Keywest your thoughts.

Prankvertising: a popular trend

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Nabs Testimonial

Keywest Testimonial From NABS

The National Advertising Benevolent Society kindly provided Keywest with a testimonial about our services.

Nabs Testimonial

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Ajax Social Wipes Online Marketing

Ajax Social Wipes: combining social media and cleaning products to create a unique, interesting, and useful online advertising campaign.

We all know how it feels to be bombarded by spam in our e-mail and as the years have gone by, spam has slowly weaseled its way into our social media accounts. Users are constantly faced with unwanted likes, posts, and other spam… Ajax Social Wipes offers an online tool that provides users with a way to “Spring Clean” their Facebook and Twitter accounts “with one easy wipe”.

Ajax Social Wipes Ajax Social Wipes

How does it work? First, you need to visit and connect your Facebook or Twitter account to the online tool. The tool then automatically rounds up all the pages or profiles that people have “liked” or “followed” for “spring cleaning”. On Facebook, it aggregates all of your likes onto one page, and lets you search through them or view them by category. You can choose to unlike one or two pages, but you can also select a whole bunch and unlike them all at once. For Twitter, it deletes unwanted spam you’ve come to follow, and cleans up your feed to only regular and existing human beings.

Damian Facciolo, marketing manager at Colgate Palmolive sums up the campaign:

Ajax Wipes are all about efficacy and convenience. Creating a product that delivered these same benefits in the parallel online world we all regularly inhabit, felt fresh and, frankly, like a no brainer.

Ajax Social Wipes is a prime example of innovative online advertising and marketing. Unique campaigns like these garner a great deal of attention because they are not only interesting, but useful to audiences as well. What do you think of the campaign? Let Keywest know your thoughts!

Key West Video Inc. -- Corporate Video Production Toronto Key West Video Inc. — Corporate Video Production Toronto


Ajax Social Wipes Online Marketing

Monday, January 13, 2014

Video Blogs: Helping You Become An Expert

Utilizing Video Blogs to Become a Thought Expert

Video blogs, or as some refer to them as, vlogs, are a great tool to help you become an expert. Whatever field you are in, there is always the opportunity to gain a wider following, and have more individuals listen to what you have to say. This is beneficial for many reasons, but most importantly to help promote yourself and thus your brand.Video blogs

Stacey Waxman, in an article on Viral Blog, states that the tool of becoming a content expert, “proved incredibly effective for many people in 2013, and it will likely remain integral to the way business owners communicate with prospective clients this year, too.” Therefore, if you haven’t started vlogging, or using other tools to get your expertise out there, it may be something that you should consider.

Video blogs are a great way to increase your authority and expertise in your field. They not only showcase that you understand and comprehend the content, but also that you have the confidence to put a name to it as well. Instead of hiding behind words on a page, you are actively putting yourself out there, thus standing behind what you have to say. You are providing a human face to your company, which in today’s digital landscape can be a huge benefit.

Another major upside to vloggin is the SEO benefits. Danny Brent, a guest author on REEL SEO, stated that,

“when vlogging you’re putting up new content that you can link to all over the web on your social media accounts: other people can then ‘like’, retweet or ‘+1’ which, will give you a higher ranking on search engines.”

This can be additionally beneficial if you incorporate written content in addition to your video blog. Written content is the best for spiders crawling your content, and indexing your blog pages for SEO reasons. But the vlog itself is most beneficial in order to get readers to connect with your content. The visual nature of vlogs are much more interactive and engaging then just the written word itself.

If you don’t know where to get started take a look at our blog post, Vlogs: The Why & How. And if you are interested in getting package prices to professionally record your next vlog contact Keywest Video!

Video Blogs: Helping You Become An Expert

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Vlogs: The Power of "Freshness"

What are Vlogs & Why are They Becoming the New Hot Corporate Video Tool

A video blog, or vlog, is a blog expressed through video. Vlogs are a great tool for any corporation, as they are inexpensive and allow companies to be able to provide consistent content to their clientele in a unique and engaging fashion. vlogs

Although their popularity has only recently started to excel in the corporate world, the first ever instance of a vlog was way back in the beginning 2000.  A gentleman by the name of Adam Kontras posted a video alongside his formal blog, to inform his friends and family of his move to LA. He continued creating similar posts, marking the longest-running video blog in history.

Vlogs give organizations the ability to put a face to their company. They allow audiences to feel closer to you and the content, and builds a deeper connection. Reading text on a page is one thing, but being able to put words, actions, and a face on the screen, really brings the content to life.

When creating your company’s video blog ensure you keep these things in mind:

  1. Good Audio – without good audio you might as well just provide your audience with text, because at least they will be able to read it. Investing in a fairly inexpensive lavalier mic is a big must. Above all else, bad quality audio will distract viewers and make them want to tune out. Be cautious when choosing a space to film in. Things such as overhead fans and refrigerators generate a lot of background noise. Filming in a quite office space is ideal.

  2. Lighting – lighting can be very expensive, but if you are planning on investing some money into this project, lighting would be the best place to start. It can really improve the professionalism and overall quality of your vlog. Even with just one key light, and one fill you will be able to get enough coverage. If you are completely dumbfounded in this area, then I suggest going to your local video production store and taking a few minutes to speak with professionals about the most cost effective option for your beginners lighting package.

  3. Framing – Find a space that is professional but also explains a bit about your company. If you can have company branding in the background that is always a nice touch. Make sure to tidy up the space as your background is a direct reflection of you and your company.

  4. Graphics – to boost the look and feel of your vlog, you can add any graphics or branding material that you have available. Things such as screen captures of your website, company logos, flyers etc. are all useful and can be simply embedded into your video to add an additional element of professionalism.

  5. Distribution – the most important aspect of any vlog is getting it out into the right hands, so the right people have access to it. Posting on a site such as YouTube allows for certain usability features, and makes it very accessible. YouTube also gives you the option to then embed your video on external sites, such as your website or blog. The key to distribution is finding places where audiences who would be interested in your content are located and then actively seeking them out and distributing it in those locations.

I hope you found these tips useful. Don’t be scared to put yourself out there, as long as the content is strong and what your customers are interested in, then you will have an audience. You then just need to make sure the production value is at a quality level, so the overall presentation is where you expect it to be. Happy vlogging!

If you are interested in getting package prices to professionally record your next vlog contact Keywest Video!

Vlogs: The Power of "Freshness"

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Branded Content: How to do it Right

How to Create Branded Content That Will Attract Eyeballs

branded contentBranded content is that which blurs the distinction between conventional advertising techniques, and the entertainment world. It is a way for advertisers to reach out to the public with content that they believe will provide a two-way benefit. Viewers enjoy the leisure/informational aspect of it, while advertisers are able to push their products and services.

With anything though, you need the right tools to be able to properly approach the situation. According to, sites with branded content outperform other websites in 41 out of 43 advertising metrics. With stats like those it is no wonder why more and more organizations are turning to this form of advertising in order to promote their brand. Now, onto the ‘how’.

  1. Understand Your Audience – branded content is a fairly new and exciting technique, and the idea of it is great if you can get the right eyes on your content. Although there are many upsides to this medium, such as viewers actively seeking out and/or watching it, that in turn is a downside as well. Unlike with broadcast, viewers are not forced to watch, or at least pushed in the right direction. It is much more difficult to find audiences and get them to actively engage with your content. The Key tool in finding audiences is first knowing who you want to target. Make sure to do your homework and figure out what your target market looks like. Once you know, look for the best places to ‘meet and mingle’ online with that sort of people. Maybe it is through blogs and forums, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, or whatever other place you can locate and connect with your niche audience. Target, Understand, Engage.

  2. Create Engaging Content – With the over-saturation of the internet, it is difficult to garner the attention required for a campaign to be relevant. Like with most great things though, great content is always at its core. It doesn’t matter how many bells and whistles you have, if you provide viewers with something interesting, exciting, heartwarming, or that which they have never seen before, you are more likely to hit a home run. Other useful angles for your content are the informational approach, where you provide the viewer with a ‘how to’ and then utilize your branded products at the core. Other prominent means of branding content is by finding content that is already engaging and has an audience, and then inserting your brand into the mix – like an updated form of product placement. Just be careful that you give full disclosure, as the online realm really dislikes ‘posers’.

  3. Get to the Point – Lets be honest. Audiences have short attention spans. Unless it is something that online fans are begging for, more often then not it is the audience who is pulling the strings with advertisers praying for success. In order to be successful, it has been proven time and again, in order to keep attention, give viewers what they want, and fast. Don’t make them wait until after a long and drawn out intro which doesn’t provide them with entertainment or any other sort of stimulation.

  4. Break into Modules – If you do have content which cannot be conveyed in the traditional 30 sec. – 2min viral video, then break it up into sections. You will be much more likely to attract initial views with a shorter video, and then once you have them hooked they are more likely to look for the second part themselves. If they don’t go onto the second part it is either because they simply aren’t interested, or you haven’t provided a clear enough ‘next step’. If you are posting your video on YouTube you can create custom annotations which direct audiences to the next video in the chain.

  5. Don’t Give it up All at Once – Once you have an audience which has discovered your content and is engaged, ensure that you don’t let them go. Providing them with regular and continual content is key. If you do have a series of videos which you have broken up into modules, release one a week. Like with traditional media, it gives viewers something to look forward to, and keeps the buzz going about your brand.

In the end, the ultimate goal is to create a strong consumer base. In order to do that, not only are the above techniques necessary, but continual and persistent promotion is needed as well. You have to actively seek out your target audience and give the content a chance to speak for itself. Ideally, once you have spread your branded content around to all of the right places, the social realm will either chew it up and spit it out, or devour it and ask for more. All the best!


Branded Content: How to do it Right

Friday, January 3, 2014

Corporate Video Preparation: Audition

Corporate Video Preparation: How to Prepare Yourself for A Corporate Video Audition

Yesterday we gave some tips and techniques for how to prepare your company for an interview/testimonial style shoot. Today, in part two of our series, Corporate Video Preparation, we will look at how actors should prepare for an audition. This segment will delve into the do’s and don’ts for preparing to audition for a corporate production. corporate video preparation

Do – Dress the part. With any hints that the production company gives you as to what type of character you will be playing, come prepared. Dress the part, just like with any dramatic audition. It will most often be easier in corporate auditions as the roles may be based around average looking people. With any insight you are given into the character, take the time to dress accordingly. If they say 40′s business man, then definitely wear a suit. If they say you’re a doctor, whats the harm in bringing a white coat? Although the role might not actually call for it, at least you’re showing initiative and your dedication for the part.

Don’t – Forget your lines. As much as possible all of your lines should be memorized. It is a sign of disrespect if you waste others time by not showing up prepared. Here are some tips for memorization. The only exception is if they don’t give you the sides (script) until the minute before. In some cases, especially when a teleprompter is to be used during shooting, a casting director will want you to read off the teleprompter with no previous review of the script. This is to test your skill with working with a prompter and ensure your ease of use. If you know this is the case ahead of time, test yourself out first. Practice on an ipad, computer or your phone. Bring up a random script and read off the screen just like you would be delivering the lines.

Do – Be confident. First impressions matter. If you walk into a room with confidence and approachability you are guaranteed to be noticed over someone who is shy and demure. Make sure to make eye contact with the casting director and their assistants, or whoever else is in the room. Be friendly when you introduce yourself, but ensure you remain professional, remember you are here to perform a job.

Don’t – Be Late. The worst thing you can do before you are even given the opportunity to give a first impression is to arrive late. There is often a tight schedule on the day with multiple individuals auditioning back to back and only several minutes to spare between each audition. I would suggest arriving at least 10-15 minutes before your call time, to ensure you have time to find the right space, go to the bathroom and calm your nerves if you need to. If you are someone who is known to be late, then plan to arrive even earlier.

Do – Follow-up. While depending on the project you may hear back right away, other times you have to be patient. Sometimes these things take time as companies need to go up the chain of command to get approvals. Although this might be the case there is no harm in following-up with the production company which you auditioned with. Sending them a friendly reminder that you are waiting to hear back is not uncommon and shows your interest. Do not however, continually call and email even after they have told you they will follow-up with you once a decision has been made. It is good to assert your interest, but bad to annoy those in power.

I hope that these do’s and don’ts will treat you well when going on your next casting call for a corporate video production. If you have any questions or tips of your own please connect with us in the comments section or on our facebook page.

Corporate Video Preparation: Audition

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Corporate Video Preparation: Interview

Corporate Video Preparation: How to Prepare Your Employees for an Interview or Testimonial

Keywest has worked on hundreds, if not thousands, of corporate videos. A large chunk of our business revolves around company profiles, product videos, events, and the like. Within these types of videos interviews and testimonials are most often utilized in order to get the message of the video across. Whether you are planning on using your employees, valued customers, or yourself on-camera, ensuring that your location and talent are prepared correctly can go a long way to enhancing the videos overall production value.corporate video preparation

There are a variety of different things that should be taken into consideration, specifically when preparing your office space and employees for the upcoming production. Here are some of our most important tips and techniques for; work space, appearance, staging and dialogue.

1      Work Space

Your work space is a representation of you and your company, so you want it to look organized and professional. In any and all rooms that will possibly be filmed in tidy up that space. It will save you, and the crew that is there, time on the day of the shoot. Anything non-essential (i.e. mugs, loose paper, pens etc.) should be removed or hidden away for the day of the shoot, as the clutter can be distracting. Personal items that you feel are a representation of your personality are fine to remain.

In the case that the background needs something more visually appealing, you and probably more often the director of photography, may choose to add in certain items such as a lamp, flowers or picture from another room. The rule of thumb is you don’t want anything in the background to distract the audience from the focal point which should be the interviewee. On the other hand you don’t want the background to be a blank wall. Something small and inconsequential placed in the background and out of focus usually works best.

2      Appearance


  • No stripes

    • Busy shirts/ties can be a distraction

    • If the stripes are thin and close together it can create a weird visual effect on camera

  • Try to wear color

    • It comes across well on camera

    • If your interview is inter-cut with others in your office, try to coordinate with your co-workers so you don’t all wear the same color

  • If wearing a white shirt should have a suit jacket and/or tie to break it up


  • Neat and professional

  • Just before you go into your interview make sure there aren’t any flyways happening


  • Ladies – on-camera make-up requires more coverage, yet still aim for a professional look. You don’t want to overpower the visual with blue eye shadow (unless you are promoting a make-up line). Otherwise you want just enough coverage that you look great, but not so much that people begin focusing on your make-up

  • Gentleman – even though most make-up is designed for woman, on camera, men require make-up too. The famous Nikon/Kennedy debate is a perfect example. Like with the ladies, you want the audience to focus on what you are saying, not a shiny forehead. If you are not hiring a make-up artist, often production companies will provide powder to stop shine, but if they don’t I would suggest bringing your own.

3      Staging

Quite often, in addition to the interview/testimonial, b-roll footage will be filmed to be inter-cut between the interviews in the final video. B-roll is simply staged ‘beauty’ shots of the on-camera talent, office space, company branding, other employees at work, etc. B-roll is nice because if someone doesn’t say something perfectly correct in the interview, or the editor wants to edit together two clips, instead of putting in a transition, they can easily cut away to footage. B-roll footage also helps give viewers something interesting to look at, and ideally a good sense of the company and its values.

In order to prepare for b-roll, you need your team members to be prepared to stage certain shots. Sometimes the production company will prepare what’s called a shot list before hand which outlines exactly the type of coverage they are looking to get. Ex. Wide shot of the building from the street view, close-up of employee’s hands typing on computer, medium shot of employee 1 & 2 shaking hands. Some of these shots require certain locations or talent to be available and willing to participate. Making employees well aware of this in advance is always a good idea, so on the day you aren’t scrounging for people to help out.

4      Dialogue

The biggest piece of advice I can give you is DO NOT OVER THINK what you/your team members are going to say.

If you plan out exactly what you want to say in advance, often you can set yourself up for failure. The goal of any video is to give the audience a glimpse into the company/product/service and what makes it so great. Ideally the interviewee will be relaxed, authentic and honest with their responses.

When you think of what you want to say, think broadly and try to remember key terms or ideas. This way when the producer asks you questions during your interview on the day, you will have a general idea of phrases or terms that will be good to incorporate into your answer, but your response won’t sound scripted. In terms of managing interviewees, give your interviewees a general idea of what type of questions they are going to be asked instead of a list of questions. This way they can’t over-prepare and run the risk of scripting every sentence and then possibly failing miserably on the day. I only say this because I’ve seen it happen many times.

As well, if your answer is not to your satisfaction do not be concerned. In the world of video interviews there is always the option for a re-take.  Also keep in mind that hours of footage will be shot and then often edited down to only one or two minutes. So although your entire response might not have gone flawlessly, a small portion of it may be absolute perfection and will be a great addition to the video. Another rule that helps aid this point, is to try to keep responses concise, and break ideas up into sections instead of running away with one point. This will make it much easier for the editor to break up the interview and inter-cut it with others responses, or utilize only a part of your answer.

Most importantly, HAVE FUN with it!

If you are interest in getting a corporate video produced then contact the trusted team at Keywest Video today!

Corporate Video Preparation: Interview