Studio-based product shoots

Over the last few months, we’ve made various changes to how we work, as have many other businesses. We’ve been kept busy helping our clients to create effective, remote content, to create and adapt their marketing strategies and to create effective, engaging virtual events ranging from webinars to quiz nights, team updates, safety announcements, and music gigs.

Normally we do a lot of location based shoots and we also use our custom built multi-purpose film, video and photography studio in Glasgow for filming livestreams and podcasts.

Currently we’re also seeing a rise in requests for studio-based product shoots.

Studio shoot set up 2.0

This is a great way to showcase your products whilst maintaining social distancing, avoiding unnecessary travel, reducing costs and ensuring safety for everyone involved.

Many products can be shot in the studio and there are a wide range of advantages for why you might choose a studio shoot. Here are just a few:

A controlled environment

One key reason is total control. A studio- based shoot is done safely, with only the necessary team involved, in a totally controlled and sanitised environment.

There’s no concerns around typical issues and disturbances that can arise on location based shoots, such as weather conditions, transport arrangements, background noise, varying light conditions, filming and photography regulations and venue and people availability.

Shoot set up

Because the environment is so controlled, it means more time can be focused on showcasing the product rather than dealing with external elements. Our studio has all the camera and lighting and other equipment needed including green and white screen facilities, all on site. So there’s no additional costs of equipment and location finding and hire and the studio shoot is quick, focused and cost effective.

Using greenscreen or other backdrops you still have a choice of backdrop, textures, colours and even virtual scenery and location backgrounds to showcase your product against. We can also create purpose-built bespoke sets for your products. If sound is included it’s easier to record in the studio where there’s full environmental control. We can even include special effects and whole new worlds if appropriate.

With a studio-based shoot we have full control over lighting including tone, shadow and mood and can create a variety of looks and moods.

Save time and costs and make planning easier

A studio- based shoot also means no need for expensive or time heavy travel and all the associated costs including accommodation, equipment, product and people transport, meals and other costs normally incurred on location shoots. Plus you can readily plan and schedule in your shoot based on studio availability rather than needing to co-ordinate venue, transport, accommodation and team.

Other advantages of a studio product shoot include privacy – there’s total control over who’s involved and on set plus your product and all equipment and set up is totally secure. Here are a few suggestions for getting the best out of your studio based product shoot.

Think about your product

Really know and think about the features of your product that you want to showcase. It might not just be external features. Think about what you want to communicate to your audience – features, values, even textures and feel.

Whisky product shoot

Create the mood

It can be useful to create a mood board to help develop a visual reference to inform the shoot, lighting requirements, background etc

Storyboards and shot lists

Just as we create storyboards and shot lists for filming it can also be very useful to storyboard the shoot sequence and agree a shot list for studio shoots, particularly when you want or need a series of shots. This is something we always plan for and agree in advance with the client to ensure their requirements are met. It doesn’t mean we won’t look out for other great opportunities and ideas but it also ensures for everyone that nothing key is missed.

Whisky in studio product shoot

For some products it works really well to plan a story about the product – perhaps with a series of shots from pristine brand new product to how it looks after it’s been used for the purpose it’s designed for. Eg it could be as simple as an unopened branded box, an open box showing brand new trekking boots and another shot of muddied well worn and loved boots. The idea is to tell the story of your product – what it is, who would want it, what it’s purpose it and what context it’s used in and how it will make the buyer/user feel – and help shape what you want to communicate about it through the shoot.

Set requirements

A set provides context for your product and can add an extra dimension. It can be something very simple such as a coloured or plain backdrop, perhaps a piece of greenscreen magic, a whole or part room setup or just a simple piece of fabric. It’s not just about the set, it’s also about the grip or how you support and display the product. It’s worth thinking through your requirements for this and ensuring the studio has or can get the necessary items such as pins, tape, glue etc which any good studio would usually have.

Seeing the light

Lighting is of course a key part of great product shoots. In a studio environment where lighting is so highly controlled, the right lighting can really help showcase the different aspects and feel of your product. Also important is the angle and perspective used and in the studio we use stands and gantries to create the right shot. Whether it’s an overhead or close up shot or high definition detail, can really make a difference and give you the chance to create something with real impact.

Studio shoot 1.0

Pre and post production strategies, marketing and distribution

We work closely with our clients to develop their marketing and digital strategies around showcasing their events, services and in this example, products.

As well as having a clear strategy for what you want out of your studio shoot, it’s also important to know how and across which platforms you plan to market and share the results of your shoot, something which we also work together with our clients on ensuring effective and timely distribution.

As in filming, so with product shoots, post-production edits, details and flawless finishing matters. We have a full post-production edit suite based in our studio which means our team can quickly and efficiently work on post production and get it quickly across to our clients for approval and distribution.

To find out more about our studio and using studio shoots to showcase your products, simply Contact Us and we’ll be happy to discuss.

 

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Show Time!

We’re excited to share our latest show reel of our work. Click on the image above and take a look to see just some of the many ways we work with clients.

From documentary style story telling and tv ads to short brand pieces and live streamed events, interviews and tastings. Whether it’s showcasing a venue, activity or destination, promoting a brand or product, corporate branding, interviews and events, creating premium content or filming on site, in the studio or across multiple sites, we’ve done it.

With all our own high quality kit, a professional custom – built filming studio and editing suite in Glasgow and an experienced in – house team, we offer clients a high quality service, affordable video production, rapid turnaround – and great results.

Want to know how video marketing can help you? Take the first step and contact us!

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Using your video marketing budget effectively

We’ve previously established that video marketing is a key part of an effective overall brand and marketing strategy. As such, with the new UK financial year starting soon, if you haven’t already done so, it’s time to make sure you’ve planned it into your budget for the year and thought about how to make the most of your allocated video marketing budget.

Costs and budgets are a concern for all businesses, particularly for small and medium size organisations who may be concerned about costs of video marketing, setting a realistic budget and deciding the most sensible way to spend it on video.

How do you get the most out of your video marketing budget in 2020?

Strategy

Think about your strategy:

  • what are your objectives, how do you want to use video?
  • what outcomes do you want it to support?
  • what are the timescales?
  • what are the constraints, resources and priorities?
  • what would you consider a success?
  • do you want to produce a one-off video for a specific project or do you want to put out content as part of a year-long campaign?
  • is it something you’re willing to try to see what impact it has or have you previously used video or seen it used well elsewhere and want to expand on that?

Look at your overall marketing plan and think about how you could integrate video to create greater impact and results.

Really, the message is to begin with as clear an idea as you can about the outcome you want to achieve. Try to define the scope, allocate a budget and agree reasonably expected outcomes.

Even if you’re not sure how video can help you or exactly what way to approach it, if you’re not sure what a realistic budget or expected outcomes might be, that’s ok, BlueStar have years of experience to share with you .

At BlueStar Streaming we offer various levels of support including consultancy and training and work with our clients on anything from:

  • one off projects to multi -channel campaigns
  • content creation – from hero videos to micro moments
  • year-long support packages, reviews and longer term digital and agency partnerships

A good agency will help you make the most of your investment in video and film, using it across channels, integrating it with your social media and web strategy and helping or advising you market your video content and manage your campaigns. It all depends on your requirements and the level of support needed. It’s good to speak with an agency early on in your plans as they should be able to advise on what will work best for your needs, helping you clarify your video marketing strategy and save time and money. It’s not just about video production. For example, we’re used to working with our clients in a variety of ways from video production to consultancy and project management, to delivering and managing social and web strategy, content creation and campaigns.

What type of content?

Have you considered what type of video content will be useful to achieve your business outcomes?

There’s such a range of video content to choose from. Some you may be familiar with, others you may not have heard of or seen. Your video marketing agency can advise and suggest the best type of video content that will work for you.

From long-form video, tv ads and documentary style videos to short micro moments for use on Instagram and other social channels. Expert speaker or interview formats might work for you. Perhaps customer testimonials or product demonstrations. Live streaming on social channels is a great option to create engagement and interactive, participative customer experiences. Maybe you’d like to include some quirky cinemagraphs to catch the eye, perhaps 360 filming or drone footage, maybe some unusual and fun greenscreen studio content.

It’s also about being smart around planning your content creation. Can you tie in with key calendar dates, key themes or upcoming events? It can be as simple as asking relevant questions during a video interview or shooting footage that can then be edited for use later in the year at the relevant time. Thinking ahead means you get more value out of your video marketing budget by creating a bank of content that can used throughout the year.

It’s also usually possible to repurpose video for all platforms. That provides the opportunity to create great, relevant additional content for minimal additional cost.  So the content created for a specific event can be reused – for example a 2-3 minute video can be edited into short micro moments of 20-30 seconds clips for use on social channels, video shot to promote an event this year can be reused to celebrate the success post event and to promote next year’s event. Secondary backup assets can be repurposed, for example backup audio recordings can be repurposed as standalone podcasts, another great, adaptable and cost-effective option for delivery of content to staff, partner organisations and customer audiences.

At BlueStar Streaming, in addition to the required footage, we always look to identify opportunities to create additional assets and added value, where possible, appropriate and relevant, including repurposing content.

Video production

You may not have the budget or need for an in- house video production team but that shouldn’t be a barrier to using video. Most organisations outsource video production – it’s a specialised area and maintaining a full time in-house team with the required equipment, software and know-how can be expensive and impractical. Even larger organisations who do have their own teams, will often call in other video marketing agencies to supplement their team, for specific projects (either internal or working with their clients) or to provide training and support for their in-house teams. We often work with social media and brand agencies who either introduce us to their clients as their specialist video marketing partners or we work as part of their in- house team, supplementing their skills to provide a seamless service to the client.

StudioGif

Using a professional video marketing agency such as BlueStar Streaming doesn’t have to be expensive and agencies generally offer various levels of support from full agency support to a hybrid model working with and supporting your own teams.

Many of the clients we work with like to work on an ongoing partnership basis which is why we introduced digital partnerships and year-long support packages for businesses a couple of years ago. It’s a great option as we get to know our clients’ businesses and teams well, understand how they like to work and have a deep understanding of their needs and objectives around video marketing. It makes it easier for the client to plan ahead and they know they can get great, effective and regular content at reasonable rates and that we’ll work with them closely to help come up with really cool content. It’s like having a team of video specialists embedded as part of your team that you can call on when needed. Using a professional video marketing agency makes it cost effective – it’s like having your own internal team but without the costs and the risk.

If you have an in-house marketing team your video marketing agency will work with them. If you need marketing support your video marketing agency can help with that and can even plan and manage campaigns for you or work with your team to provide support and advice as needed and to help them develop their skills.

Marketing

You need great video content but once you have it, you need to market it or find someone to market it for you, if you’re going to get the business results you’re anticipating.

What will you do with your video content? It’s important to think how it will be used. Have you the resource in-house to plan and manage campaigns? If not, is that something your video production agency team can help with? If you’ve used video in previous campaigns, what were the lessons learned, what worked, what didn’t, what would you change?

Distribution

How do you plan to distribute your video content? How will you get it out to your audiences? What platforms will you use? How will you track and measure the success and results of using your video content? All things to think about and plan for. It’s no good having amazing content if no one sees it. For agencies it’s also incredibly frustrating and disappointing to create fantastic video content for a client for them then to sit on it, not distribute and promote it or for them to do that so long after the event that the impact is reduced or lost. It’s not a good use of budget, time or resources so make sure you have a plan in place to distribute and promote your video content soon after you have it whether you do it yourself or work with an agency who plan and manage it on your behalf.

editing

Businesses often want to hire studio space for their own shoots or for studio based interviews and live streams and that’s also a cost that should be considered as part of the planning process, as is cost of any kit you may need. At BlueStar Streaming we have our own dedicated studio space, meeting rooms and edit facilities for creating content. Based in the East End of Glasgow the studio has full green screen and studio lighting set-up for interviews and live streaming – minimising costs and maximising use of time for our clients. We also offer flexible cost-effective options including dry hire, where clients can bring in their own crew, equipment and catering or we can provide a wide range of production services for managed shoots.

Hire of production kit is also something to consider and make sure is factored in your costs and included within quotes from agencies. Equipment can be expensive to buy so hiring makes sense in many cases, even if using an in-house team for your shoot. It allows businesses to save on costs, transport and storage and is also something we offer for our clients with competitive camera and kit hire including and full technical support available if needed for their own shoots.

We have all our own in-house kit and professional editing suite for fast turn around and all post production including full editing and grading, film mixing, mastering, captions, voiceover, motion graphics, cross platform testing and full back up and storage on and off site.

As well as faster turnaround the advantage to clients is not having to deal with multiple providers and lower costs, working with the same specialised team throughout.

Those are just a few of the areas we advise thinking about when planning your video marketing budget for 2020. If you’d like to develop your video strategy, to plan your first or next campaign or simply discuss how video marketing can benefit your business, contact us and we’ll be delighted to chat.

 

 

 

 

 

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Video marketing trends for 2020

2020 brings a renewed focus on video marketing as a key element of an overall digital marketing plan. Here we share a few of the top video marketing trends to be aware of this year.

Video content is now more important than ever with more brands using video as part of their overall digital marketing strategies. Factors such as the way people consume media, the growth of VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality) particularly in the gaming and entertainment industries and the increasing use of stories across social media have all contributed to the growth.

This growth of online video has also been boosted by improvements in display sizes, quality and availability of mobile devices, faster mobile data connections, the spread of connected TVs and perhaps also through the creation and availability of more engaging and innovative content.

As a result, associated ad spend is also growing, to target the rapidly expanding audience markets. More advertisers are investing in online video ads to drive engagement, making online video now the fastest growing digital channel in terms of advertising expenditure.

Bearing that in mind, what are the key video marketing trends that industry experts believe you should be paying attention to and using to inform your digital marketing strategy in 2020?

More platforms and more dimensions

Moreplateforms

Companies should be using both multiple platforms and multiple dimensions for their videos. With more video platforms available, preferences for video dimensions will increase, whether your video is in vertical, square or horizontal format. Use of vertical video has increased through the popularity of Snapchat and Instagram Stories. However, with initial fairly low usage Instagram also supports normal horizontal video format on their video platform. YouTube and Facebook video also now support vertical video. Previously, square video content was considered best for Facebook and Instagram but then these platforms started supporting broader dimensions for photos and video. On Facebook and YouTube square video never really fully took off.

Personalisation

72% of consumers say they will now only engage with marketing messages that are personalised. Through personalisation you can build a relationship with your audience, providing tailored experiences and opportunities to engage with your brand, product or service.

Personalised video also helps you stand out from the competition, makes the customer remember you and recognise your brand and enables you to provide targeted and relevant solutions and recommendations to fit customers’ interests, needs and even pain points.

48% of consumers say they want videos to reflect the products and services they’re interested in and which will inform their decision making. Many also want now videos to be interactive so they can choose not just when but which information to view – which may be the next step in video personalisation.

Video personalisation isn’t new and its use has been growing over the last few years but it is still under – utilised. The increased interest and importance placed on it by consumers means we’re likely to see a growth in 2020.

A data-first approach

ROIsmall

A one-size-fits-all approach is no longer good enough. A data-first approach helps ensure you’re targeting the right audience with the right message at the right time with the aim of increasing engagement and ultimately, conversion.

A data driven approach to video marketing allows brands to better understand what works when it comes to their videos – which platform is best, who should they target, what content is most relevant and effective? This makes sense – it provides insights and focus that can help inform your media and creative decisions and improve your video ROI. It’s an approach we always recommend and monitor with our clients, ensuring the best understanding and information informs decision making, creative approach, spend and expected returns from the start of the process. A data first approach also makes it easier to measure uplift and to identify which messaging works best for each audience rather than adopting a broad targeting approach. Platforms such as Google, Facebook, Twitter etc can easily be used to create and share content for specific audiences and/or for different stages of the buying cycle, offering a range of ways to adopt (and measure) a data driven approach to video marketing.

Long – form video

In recent years, short form (less than 5 minutes, typically 1-3 minutes) and micro videos (60-90 seconds) have been widely used to capture attention and engagement, particularly at a time when there are multiple channels and endless content competing for attention. However, it is the use of long – form video (including documentary style video) that’s really predicted to grow in 2020.

Shorter videos are great and still very much have a role to play – they’re easy to consume, particularly on mobile devices and great for social channels. But they generally don’t allow brands time to build deeper emotional connections with consumers. Longer videos (15 minutes or more) result in increased audience engagement, allow you to create and build a story, to educate the viewer in your brand values and to create memorable and emotionally engaging content.

Given that the average viewer will spend 88% more time on a website with video content, well planned long form video is certainly something to consider.

Big brands such as outdoor clothing brand Patagonia are great examples of using long – form video very effectively – creating cinematic style documentaries with real people telling their stories and sharing their experiences and connecting with the viewer on a more emotional level.

Here’s a couple of great examples of long – form videos that engage emotionally at the same time as they promote brand values and a sense of community.

360 degree video

360 degree video isn’t new but is generally under – utilised although it’s now becoming more accessible and (particularly interactive 360 video) is a huge trend at the moment. Increased availability and affordability of smart devices and VR and AR headsets and familiarity within the gaming industry are some of the drivers along with growing consumer interest in viewing 360 rather than traditional format video.

It’s another way to really stand out from the competition and showcase your brand, product or service through creating an immersive experience for your customer. We’ve used 360 filming (and also mobile 360 video) for a range of clients – particularly in the travel and tourism sector, sports and even heritage and fashion sectors. It can be used to provide a virtual tour experience of a venue, event or location, behind the scenes access and all sorts of exciting, immersive experiences for the customer. It also provides a different perspective, enables a brand to show their personality and really captivate their audience.

There’s also a sense of fun, innovation and difference, particularly for viewers new to the format. It’s also useful for viewers who might not be able to access the experience otherwise, due to geographical distance or physical mobility for example.

360 degree videos are another tool to help deliver increased ROI as well as brand awareness and engagement, with the customer as the focus and the opportunity for brands to experiment more – all reasons why 360 degree filming is expected to increase in popularity this year.

Live video – the rise of live streaming

Live streaming is a powerful tool and should be a key component of your digital content strategy. With Facebook Live, Snapchat and other social media platforms allowing audiences to connect with brands in real time, there’s been a rise in use of live streaming to boost social presence, generate exposure, grow brand loyalty and create customer connection.

As a video marketing and live streaming specialist we regularly use live streaming with our clients, for a variety of purposes – including virtual tastings and tours, live interviews and Q& A sessions, live streamed awards presentations, conferences, music gigs and concerts, arts performances, media briefings, influencer outreach, product launches, demonstrations and more. It needs careful planning, for example around objectives, audience, marketing, timing and of course technical set up but is well worth including as part of an effective marketing strategy.

A fully integrated approach

Something that we believe is key to getting the best out of video is to ensure it’s fully integrated across your full brand and marketing strategy and across all channels. We know video is a powerful content type for engaging and influencing certain audience behaviours. It’s not a nice to have, it’s a key component of any successful brand and marketing strategy.

87% of businesses now use video in some form as a marketing tool but there is plenty of opportunity to be smarter about how and when video is used, the content that’s created and how it’s evaluated.

In 2020 brands will increasingly integrate video content across their entire brand and marketing strategy, using video at various stages of the marketing funnel and across various channels. Expect to see more brands using more video content this year and beyond.

Trends come and go of course so we’re not suggesting anyone slavishly follow them but it is important to be aware of them and to then choose the most appropriate and effective approach for your brand.

For advice on how to use and integrate video into your marketing strategy, contact us.

 

 

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