Stock Footage for Business Videos

Sock Footage Can Give a Great Bang for the Buck to Business Videos.

Business video productions can range widely in price from hundreds to hundreds of thousands of dollars. For the hard-pressed small business, video is a tool that should be employed, but the dilemma is how to keep the price at the lower end of the range. Stock footage can help immensely.

business video stock footage

Stock business video footage can be a cost effective way to enhance your video.

Stock footage is a resource that is growing in use, and it can vary in quality widely. The cost for this stock business video footage varies as well. You rarely want to use stock footage exclusively, as it’s usually best to include footage of the actual company facilities and stakeholders in a business video production.

But it can be done.

We recently created a quick little business video promo for Penrose Productions which was 100% stock footage, plus stills from our past shoots.

Regardless of the message, stock video footage can be much cheaper than hiring a crew to get essentially the same shots. We’ll gladly consult our many stock footage resources to aid in your next business video.

From there, the editing of this stock footage will be the key to creating a terrific and impactful business video production.


Video Marketing Software Leverages YouTube

Video Marketing Can Use Extra Tools to Help Leverage the Power of YouTube Videos.

Video marketing with YouTube can be a great way for companies and organizations to use a free server to store their videos. It’s easy to use, but there are some serious limitations when it comes to your video marketing.

When relying solely on YouTube, video marketing methods are constrained when using the annotations feature. This is a great feature but is completely self-serving for YouTube, as they want us to stay on their site. Thus the links that you can embed in annotations section of your YouTube video will only link within YouTube. They will allow you viewers to go to another YouTube video for example, but you can not use annotations to send your viewers to your order page or your website, for example.

There are now video marketing software tools to send your viewer wherever you would like them to go, and one is even free.

You can use the site at LinkedTube to send your viewers to any url you would like. But you can not do this within YouTube — it works for embedded videos only.


So, if you want to use a YouTube video as a video marketing tool, you can go to their site and input the relevant information to get a free embed code for placing you video within your site. The tool does not offer too much flexibility but you can create the basic embedded links with the tool, and with a little knowledge of html, edit some of the parameters in the code.

An example is below, where we have used the LinkedTube tool to put a link on our short video marketing doodle video to lead viewers to our portfolio (again, you can’t do this within YouTube). The link shows on the video at the top when you hover your mouse on it.

In the rush to aid us in our video marketing efforts, several companies have developed advanced embedding solutions in your videos on a paid basis. These platforms give a wide variety of features that allow entrepreneurs and video marketing experts the ability to embed links to apps, pictures, other videos, calls to action, etc.


BtoB Video Marketing is Here to Stay

Video Marketing Belongs in the BtoB Space Every Bit as Much as the Consumer Marketplace.

With over 31 years of helping companies with their video marketing it comes as no surprise to us that surveys now confirm the popularity and use of BtoB video marketing. Web videos have truly helped firmly entrench video marketing productions in this way, but we’ve seen this since the early 1980s.

Our thoughts and recollections of this video marketing history were stirred by the reading of an interesting BtoB marketing survey conducted by Software Advice in January of this year.

In it we see that in a survey of BtoB marketers, over 90% of the respondents said they used videos in their BtoB marketing efforts. And listed as a separate category, “video demos” came in with 70% of the people using them. Presumably this is a subset of the 90% “videos” number.

BtoB video marketing

As we mentioned, this comes as no surprise, as video marketing productions for our clients are the backbone of our business model. We’ve always tried to sell potential clients on the advantages of video:

  • it’s cheaper than having to send a sales rep
  • the consistency of the sales pitch — same story every time
  • video shows every feature and benefit the client thinks is important

We have won national video production awards for our training and communications videos as well, but video marketing programs are our bread and butter.

From the beginning we’ve been producing video marketing tapes, then video marketing DVDs, and now web video marketing programs.

Although some of these are directed to consumers, most are in the BtoB space. In fact we’ve done worldwide video production work for companies that wanted their products or services explained or demonstrated to their clients.

If history holds, in another 10 or 20 years we’ll be looking at a whole new technology for sharing video marketing messages. But regardless of the delivery platform, there will always be the need for professionals to tell a compelling and effective video marketing story.

We hope to be there to share our insights then. Maybe we’ll just publish this blog post with an added paragraph about that new deliver platform…


Small Business YouTube Video Scripting for Search Engine Power

Small Business YouTube Videos Can Boost Your Search Engine Rankings Tremendously, But It all Starts With The Scripting.

We’ve shared how small business YouTube videos can boost your search engine ranking, due largely to the love that these small business YouTube videos get from Google. After all, the latter owns this online video hosting company.

And Google even admits this themselves as they coach us how to make your YouTube videos more visible in the search engines.

When we post small business YouTube videos to help our quest for greater visibility to potential clients, we want to exploit every factor that we can to improve our odds of being found.

This starts right at the beginning, during pre-production of the small business YouTube video.

Google can not tell the content of our small business YouTube videos from the visual aspects; only through the audio. That is why the audio becomes so important. Theoretically, we could have ugly video throughout the production and Google wouldn’t know the difference. (More about this later.)

Remember that when optimizing your small business YouTube video on the YouTube site, the audio should be included in two areas of your small business YouTube video page:

  • captions
  • description

YouTube and Google search these areas to learn about their content and relevance. So we want to script our audio so that it maximizes our search engine results.

This means using your well-chosen keyword phrase properly in the audio portion of the small business YouTube video script.

This can be done in any way that is audible:

  • voice-over narration
  • on camera narration
  • singing the words

Having a nice scenic video with just music and now words will not get you any search engine power from the audio portion of the video small business YouTube production, so you want to include spoken words.

We’ve written before about how to make sure your audio is included in the captions and description of your small business YouTube video. Follow those steps after the video is completed to be sure you get maximum search engine leverage.

Now what about ugly video? If the search engines don’t care, should we?

ugly videoThe answer is of course, because getting found more easily in the search engines is only one part of the customer acquisition equation. If we manage to get our small business YouTube video ranked on page one of Google, but it looks bad, customers aren’t going to be interested in giving us a chance at their business.

So quality images are key for your small business YouTube video, but make sure that the audio script follows the rules above.


New AVID Editing System Added for San Francisco Bay Area Video Clients

AVID Editing is Still the Standard for San Francisco Bay Area Video Editing and Throughout the US.

In the San Francisco Bay Area video editing community and throughout the country, AVID edit systems are acknowledged as the standard of the industry. It becomes even more evident as you travel throughout the nation (especially the L.A. production community) that AVID is not just the San Francisco Bay Area video standard, but the national standard as well.

We’ve used AVID edit systems since we made the switch to non-linear editing in the 1990s and ever since then we’ve relied on their products. That’s why it was a no-brainer to add another AVID system to handle our expanding work load.

Our growth is coming in two areas:

  • legacy business (sales, marketing, training, and communication videos for businesses)
  • small business videos (primarily to gain greater search engine visibility).

Because of these expanding areas, we needed to add more edit capacity. While we have never limited ourselves to only doing San Francisco Bay Area video productions, the need is greatest for that geographical region. We look forward to putting it to use for those in other areas of the country (and even the world) as well.

We’re finding that as businesses seek higher search engine rankings through video, they realize that the video is important not just for SEO rankings, but to get customers in the door. So to accomplish this the smart companies wnat a truly professional look. Our new AVID system will contribute to doing that for our clients. And as we’ve pointed out previously, when our web videos are uploaded, we don’t want the clients to feel the need to do any YouTube video editing of their program.

san francisco bay area editing

Small Business Video Optimization on YouTube – Editing

Small Business Videos on YouTube Should Not Need Editing in the YouTube Interface to Get Higher Viewer Engagement.

On July 22 we shared a post where we talked about the basics of optimizing your small business video on YouTube. At that time we promised to share the advanced features of getting your small business video on YouTube so that it can be found and viewed, with the bottom-line result of more customers.

Your small business video on YouTube should be in edit mode. As we mentioned in our July 22 post, you’ll see at least three images to choose from as a thumbnail. YouTube randomly picks one freeze frame each from the first, second and third 1/3 of the video. While the one in the middle third is chosen by default, you want to pick the freeze frame that is the most interesting. You want potential viewers who see the video to click on it, of course, so pick the one that you think will cause viewers to be most likely to click. Since YouTube began, videos have only had these three images to choose from and it has been a constant source of complaint that users had now control over this. No matter how much YouTube experts tried to game the system, they could not crack the code to get their preferred freeze frame to be the video thumbnail they would choose. That has changed now and YouTube is making a user-determined thumbnail available. At this point it is only available to YouTube Partners, so if you’re just starting out you won’t have that choice. Here’s a peek at what it looks like when you are a partner:

small business video YouTube thumbnail

Editing your small business video in YouTube

At the top of the page, you can click enhancements and you can actually do some editing in your video. While these are nifty ways to change your video, for a small business video they should not be necessary. That’s because you should have had your small business video professionally produced and at the point of uploading your videos should have had all necessary editing done.

As information however, there are a wide variety of tools from basic editing to special effects, audio enhancements. A particularly useful one is their video stabilization, which can be used if you make the mistake of shooting a video using a handheld camera instead of using a tripod. This is one of the 8 Ways to Doom Your Small Business Video Project.  A video pro will shoot with a tripod or other camera mount, so you shouldn’t have to use that YouTube tool.

Annotations for your small business video

In the annotations section, there are some useful additions that can help your small business video. You’ll see that you can add speech bubbles that can function as:

  • a call to action
  • a link to another video
  • a link to your Google+ page

We’ll look at this more in depth next time, including how to create these annotations. But as a teaser, you can see an example in our video production demo shown above. At the end of this short video (at 1:03 until the end) you can see an annotation that invites the viewer to visit our Google+ page.


Video Marketing is a Must Today

Why Video Marketing?

Individuals are always looking for information, and right now the vast majority of people in the US (or at least those looking to spend money) go on the internet when they’re thinking about buying, So since you want to be where your customers can find you, it seems obvious that you want to be on the internet too.

video marketing

But it doesn’t help to have a website if you can’t be found in the search engines.

And you know that Google has the #1 search engine anywhere, bar none. And Google realizes that video brings about a much greater user engagement than plain text or even pictures. So since Google wants engaged people, they are increasingly featuring video in their internet searches. Not only do the videos show up in the organic (non-paid) searches, but they have an icon that serves as kind of beacon for people searching.

Do you know what the #2 search engine on the planet is?

Well, it’s YouTube. And since Google owns YouTube, this means the tie between internet searches and video is even stronger. They blatantly feature YouTube videos in their search engine results, giving them a clear preference to other video hosting sites. Go figure…

Did you know that there are over one billion unique visits to YouTube videos each month? That equates to more than six billion hours of video a month. Over one hundred hours of video are uploaded every minute to YouTube; that’s more than ten years of video every 24 hours of video. More video is uploaded to YouTube in a month than the three major US television networks created in the last 30 years – combined

It’s mind boggling to realize that just a few years ago YouTube didn’t even exist.

This all has dramatic impact on the need for video marketing. Since people engage with video and Google wants to show you relevant videos in their searches, video becomes a fantastic opportunity for you to both:

  • appeal to your customers, and
  • engage them once they find you.

How do you get to the top of search engines with video marketing?

This is the $64,000 question. Since the moving images in the video itself are not technically searchable at this time, there are lots of other video marketing factors that go into being found. So you have to have someone who knows how to correctly create the:

  • title of the video
  • description of the video
  • tags in the video
  • how the video is scripted (since YouTube uses voice recognition to create a script of the audio track)
  • what category it is listed in
  • number of views
  • number of likes
  • video engagement — how long the video is watched
  • number of subscribers
  • number of comments
  • how much is the video re-posted or embedded
  • and other factors

The short story is that for an effective video marketing strategy you need someone experienced at getting YouTube videos ranked highly.

The video engagement factor can not be over-emphasized in video marketing.

Using videos can improve the know-like-trust aspect of doing business. Let’s face it — your personality, customer service, etc. just do not come out from printed text or even pictures on your website or brochure. Video helps you share your story personally, emphasizing those things important to your customer. And video works when your physical store or facility is closed; the video can work 24 hours a day,

But it is absolutely critical that your video marketing efforts meet both of the above goals: getting you on Google’s first page, and building rapport with the viewer so that he or she will want to buy. Meeting just one of the goals is useless.

But be warned. The work necessary to get customers to your website and engage them is not a “set and forget” process. It requires regular attention. The amount of that attention needed is directly correlated to the competitiveness of the video marketing keywords you need to rank for.

We’ll have more on the topic of keyword research later, but for now, know there are techniques around the obvious standard keyword research methods.



Fun San Jose Video Production is Done

This San Jose Video for a Small Business was Lots of Fun to Create.

We often produce San Jose video productions, as well as those in San Francisco, or around the world. And it’s always lots of fun when we get to express our creativity.

In my blog post of July 3 about a fun video production for San Jose-based Abbey Carpets, we indicated we’d be sharing the video once completed.  It’s up on YouTube now and we’re happy to let you see it.

The challenge was to create a marketing video for Abbey Carpets/Blossom Valley Interiors in San Jose. We used footage from a video camera that shoots at a very low frame rate, so that when the video is played back at normal speed everything is in fast motion.

Using that footage as a basis, we constructed a story around the old-time movie format that it suggested. By using the “before” footage in black and white, we added title cards, film scratches and ragtime piano music in the edit.

Kudos to Steve Delamore and the entire staff at Abbey who embraced the process and trusted our professional judgement for the creation of this video.

Now that the video is up on YouTube, it’s time to leverage the power of YouTube videos for search engine optimization. It will take awhile to get this San Jose video ranking on the front page for competitive keywords such as “San Jose Flooring” but already after just 2 days for the term “Karndean San Jose” this video is the #2 ranked organic search on Google:


San Jose Video SEO




Small Business YouTube Video Optimization

Each of Your Small Business YouTube Videos Should Contribute to an Overall Strategy.

By now you have your small business YouTube channel set up so it’s time to add your video. You want to do this in just the right way to maximize its effectiveness as a marketing tool.

There are a few things you want to do before you add videos to your channel.

First, the video must be compressed into a digital format, so if it now exists on tape or DVD but is not internet-ready, you’ll have to get that done. We offer this service as do others, and for YouTube videos you want a video and audio file in .mp4 format for uploading.

Once you get the video onto your hard drive or server, you want to rename the video so that it shows your keywords. As we’ve discussed before, this is typically the type of business and the city, e.g. “Timbuktu hair salon” or “hair salon Timbuktu.” At this point it is not important that the small business Youtube video file name ends with .mov or .mp4 or other extension.

Next, you want to have the narration or dialogue of the video transcribed.

If you have a copy of the original script it makes this chore very easy — it will be 95% done for you. But you can certainly play and pause the video yourself while you type the script. Another option is to have this done, and depending on the length of the video, you can do this for as little as $5. If you go to Fiverr you can get all sorts of jobs done at incredibly low prices, and in this case you can get someone to transcribe up to 15 minutes of the audio for just $5. (I honestly don’t know how people can do it for that little…)

After you have the transcript and the compressed video, you’ll be ready to upload it.

Log into your YouTube channel and at the center up top will be an “Upload video” tab. Clicking on this will allow you to upload one or more videos to YouTube, which will be connected to your small business YouTube channel.

Depending on the length of the video and the speed of your connection, this could take awhile.

Once the video is uploaded (YouTube will send you an email to let you know that, if you choose that option) you’ll need to make some changes to the information on the You’ll also want to end a hyphen or | to divide the title, and add on the name of the business or even the owner (in the case of lawyers, doctors, or other professionals).

Under the description, the very first line should have the keywords as a title. Then skip a line and add the transcript of the audio from the video, followed by the business name, address and phone. And here’s another key trick: go back and add counter numbers to your description at key points in the transcript. When you add the time prior to the words spoken on the video, they turn into hyperlinks and this allows viewers to go forward and back within your video. And here’s the cool part: when they do that to your small business YouTube video, each click on a time counter number means that YouTube registers another view for your video.

Here’s an example of a short video we did about Penrose Productions’ worldwide travels:

If you click “Show more” at the bottom of the description, the box will expand and you’ll be able to see that those time makers are now links and you can more forward and back in the video when you click on them.

From here, we’ll move on to tags (keywords) for the video. These are used to aid in searching and so have a large impact on your search engine rankings, but it is almost as much art as science. You’ll not only want to add your prime keywords, but related keywords in addition. So besides Timbuktu hair salon, you might want to add best haircut Timbuktu, great hair coloring Timbuktu, etc. You certainly can use your keyword research as a guide, but use your imagination as to related areas whose keywords also deserve to be included.

To add tags, separate them with commas and YouTube will make them into keyword phrases rather than use each word individually.

Below this area you will see the thumbnails that will appear when your small business YouTube video appears in searches. You want this to be as interesting as possible (to get the most clicks) but at this point you’ll have the choice of only 3 different random frames. Later on when your channel builds credibility you can be eligible to use custom thumbnails, but at this point you’re going to have to choose from the 3 random frames which YouTube picks for you. Pick the most appealing to viewers.

After this, you want to make sure that your Privacy Settings are set to Public, otherwise the world will not be able to see it.

As for categories, this does not seem to have much impact on small business YouTube videos (or others for that matter), so just try to choose the one that you feel is most appropriate.

Next time we’ll cover the advanced section to fully optimize your small business YouTube videos.


Small Business YouTube Channel Setup – Continued

A Small Business YouTube Channel Needs to be Stylized to Attract Visitors.

small business youtube channelIn our last post, we began our discussion on how to create your small business YouTube channel. Now let’s make it look attractive, so that you’ll keep visitors coming back. At this point the channel is fairly ordinary and uninspiring. Let’s fix that.

Optimizing your small business YouTube Channel

While you are on your channel page, go to the square in the upper left with the head in two shades of blue. You will be uploading your avatar. Do so by clicking on the pencil icon in the upper right of this box. It will invite you to “Change Channel Icon” and here you will upload your head shot or other picture that will always accompany your comments, etc. on YouTube.

This is a square image that YouTube wants to be .jpg, .gif, .bmp or .png. 800 x800 pixels is ideal. If the image is not square it will be cropped. Maximum file size is 1 MB.

Next we want to “Add channel art” as YT calls it. This is your wide, thin background image at the top of the channel. A word of warning: YT recommends a 2560 x 1440 pixel image, with a maximum size of 2 MB. However, YouTube is trying to use a single image to work on devices of different sizes – a very bad idea in our opinion. For example, if you upload to their recommended specs you’ll see the 2560 x 1440 image will fill the screen for looking at your channel on a television, NOT a computer screen. And it will look even more chopped up on mobile devices.

If you are looking to create a small business YouTube channel for the computer (and you should be), then the IMPORTANT part of the image should be 1280 x 350. Again, that’s what will show on your YouTube channel header, and it’s in the middle of the image.

So you must make it larger to match YouTube/Google’s specs for television and mobile devices as well. They also use this header for your Google+ account, which we will talk about in a later blog post about search engine work.


Finally on this topic, we’ve created a template that you can use to design your banner for your small business YouTube channel. By following the guidelines, you’ll be able to create one that you can use for the various formats. Just click on the image below and you can save that to your computer and use in the proper size:

YouTube banner template

Your Channel Setup Checklist

Now you may have notice the “Channel Setup Checklist” in the upper right of the channel page. This lets you know what remains to be done in setting up your channel page. This handy indicator lets you know if you’ve missed anything, but it does not drill down completely to every possible area you want filled in. And if we know anything about YouTube/Google, they want to know EVERYTHING about us…

So you should try to give as much info as possible, focusing as always on your keywords.

Edit Channel Settings

Just below and to the right of your channel banner (and to the far right from your channel name) you’ll roll over the pencil icon to allow you to edit and add details. Click on that and click “Channel Settings.”

If you need to edit your channel name be sure to do so, using your keyword phrase such as “Timbuktu hair salon.” Also, be sure to add about 4 or 5 of your top keyword phrases, each separated by a comma.

If you have a Google Analytics Account, enter the ID at the bottom of the section. Be sure to Save of course.

That will do it for now. To further optimize, we have to upload videos, so we’ll do that next time…