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Monthly Archives: March 2015

22 
Mar

The Reburial of King Richard III

I have just been photographing the procession leading to the reburial of King Richard III. Leicestershire County council booked photographers at all points along the cortege route  to Leicester Cathedral to capture the historic event and to make their images available for the media. My allotted section of the route was the village of Dadlington.  Here is a small selection of my photos:

Invalid Displayed Gallery

I was glad of my “Access all areas” press pass and car park pass (which had the royal insignia and “With Dignity and Honour” printed on them!) as they allowed me through the road blocks. Hundreds of people walked for miles to get to the village, so I felt quite privileged to drive past them all and to be able to park in a reserved car park.  The village was packed and there was a great atmosphere as people had come from far and wide to witness this important historic event.  The World’s media was out in force too.  there was quite a buzz.

I wasn’t quite sure what the reaction of the crowd would be when the cortege reached the village green.  In the event, people just stayed silent as two knights on horseback brought the hearse to the green where they stopped for a short service.  After the service, the crowd burst into spontaneous applause as the cortege left the village en-route to Leicester Cathedral via Sutton Cheney, Market Bosworth and Newbold Verdon.  I think the organisers and the crowd fulfilled the County Council’s wishes of making the procession of reburial of King Richard III with both dignity and with honour.

I know I only played a very small part in today’s proceedings, but it was great to take part in a little bit of history.

If you want to have top class photographer or videographer to document your place in history or even to promote your business, then call Martin Neeves on 01455 271849 or on 07973 638591 or use my contact form to get in touch now

#richardreburied

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Published Date: 22nd March 2015
Category: General


 

19 
Mar

Ways to use business videos badly – or how to ensure your video marketing fails

business videosWritten by Martin Neeves – Commercial Business Videographer Leicester

Businesses large and small have heard that business videos are a great marketing medium.  They are being bombarded by so called gurus that it is the way ahead, the answer to all their marketing problems. For various reasons they bumble into it and wonder why it doesn’t work or why people smile at them when they say “we’ve got a new video, have you seen it?”  It seems that everyone feels they are an expert on the use of video, and worse still shooting it.

Video is a splendid medium; it can get across a message very quickly and effectively.  It is engaging, it can personalise a website and it can explain complex issues quickly. BUT it can be a big turn-off and is often done very badly.  If you get it wrong, at worst no-one will see your mistake and there is no at best option!!

Here are the mistakes that I have found marketers and business owners make when they are using video online.

Do it wrong – Do it right?

So what do I need to do to have successful business videos?

1.   Fail to plan, plan to fail

Various people ranging from Benjamin Franklin to Alan Lakein, the writer are attributed with this saying.  But the sentiments are the same whichever context you use it in.   If you are making a video “just because everyone else is” or “an expert told me – it is good for my business” or “it will help SEO” – THEN STOP NOW AND THINK!!

A purposeless video will achieve little and probably just become an ego trip or a rambling piece of stuff and stuff is all that it will be.  Do not just make a video, be quite clear:

  • What is the objective of the video; therefore what will be the call to action?
  • What is it supposed to achieve?
  • How will it show my brand (be sure you know what your band is!)?
  • How will the video link into my business and marketing goals?
  • Who are the target audience?
  • Is it designed to attract new customers or appeal to existing ones?
  • What is the message?
  • What is my budget?
  • Where and how am I planning to use the video?
  • What is my distribution plan?
  • How will I track the video and measure Return on Investment or success?

Do not produce a video that leaves everyone but you thinking “What was the point of that?”  Know your goals going in.

2.   No Clear message or too many messages

If you have too much content, too many messages and … you will lose the viewer and you will not stamp that important message on their consciousness.  If you ramble between several messages, you are force feeding information and will not communicate effectively with your target audience.  I understand the temptation to add plenty of content into a video, especially if you are paying for it.  They will receive a disjointed message that will leave them at best confused, at worst very confused and bored.

So focus on just one main message in your video so you ensure that audiences takes away a particular message and you have given them a specific task at the end of the video.  They are more than likely to stop watching before you get to the punch line – the call to action. We will mention calls to action later.

3.   What do you want me to do or what is the call to action

Okay so you have got me to watch all your video – what do you want me to do?  Say oh that was a lovely video, pass it to my friends, buy something, call me, or fill in the form.  Tell them – it’s called a “call to action” because you want them to do something.  And why do you need it because people need to be led by the nose and conversions increase with a call to action. Be clear what you want them to do.

The call-to-action can be a button or action close to the video or it can be included in the end of the video.

4.   How long should it be?

The idea of a good video is to get a message across quickly and visually.  You are not making the latest blockbuster film – you are communicating with your audience. People want information in bite sized chunks; they need a short sharp message.  A 20 or 30 minute video will just not get watched; if you are using a website, Facebook or LinkedIn, then you need to get your message across quickly.

Now if you have a lot of information to give, then you may need a series of videos.  This is more likely to be successful than producing one long video that is not watched ion full.  Remember a video is not like a book where you can look at the index, or a website where you can jump between pages or look at the menus.

The idea of a video is to have an enticing taster, a morsel that makes them want more. We want it to engage them enough to feel the need to explore more.

So how long is good, well between 1 minute and 5 minutes depending upon the message.  But there are exceptions; these might be instructional videos, tutorials, explanations etc. When they are online, people do not have a very long attention span, unless it is something they really want to watch.  You Tube statistics show that people watch for about approximately 3.5 minutes boredom makes them move on. No matter how interesting your video is, your audience is unlikely to watch a long video.

5.   Who are your target audience or you talking to me Pal?

You cannot make a video, or any communication for that matter, that talks to everyone.  It is well known marketing adage that if you talk to everyone, you communicate with no one. You need to address the problems and concerns of your target audience.  Very few products or services will apply to everyone.  Your video should relate to your audience.  Understand their demographic, their problems, what their values are.

Quite often talking about your products and services is less important than creating scenarios where the users can see themselves benefiting from your company or business.  It should tell a story.

The message is quite clear, do your research properly to start with – know your audience.

6.   What is your brand or who are you mate?

Remember, this is all about your business.  If you produce a fantastic video, but the viewers do not recall which business produced it – YOU HAVE FAILED.  How can they buy your products or services if they do not know who you are?  Your brand must be well presented with your logo, colour scheme, web address etc.  For the video to do its job, it must tie your service and products with your businesses as tightly as possible.

7.   Fire and forget or if you do not get your video found it is useless

If you do not use some form of SEO to promote your video it will not get found.  SEO is now a much more complex issue than just getting page 1 rankings on Google.  Firstly, by knowing your target audience, their search habits and the terms they use to search the internet, you are more likely to marry your video up with their online habits.

SEO is a bit like the “call to action”, it helps achieve the objectives you set in the beginning when you planned this video campaign.  If viewers cannot find the video, then they cannot view it.  If they cannot view it, they cannot comply with the call to action.  If they cannot comply with the call to action they cannot become customers.  As a famous TV Meerkat once said “Simples”.

Aligned with this is that use of video on your website can help SEO, but again it needs to tied up with all online marketing. Using YouTube is a very powerful tool, but again the video must use these concepts to work.  BUT again it is no good just posting a video on YouTube isn’t enough. There are specific tactics and techniques needed to drive traffic to view a video.

By all means use YouTube, but do not forget to share your video to Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and even Slideshare.net.

8.   Make sure you have a good quality video or I got a mobile phone John

Poor quality video is a quick turn off.  Poor quality sound, flickering images etc all put people off quickly.  There are times when using a testimonial from a mobile phone can be correct, but most of the time you really need high quality video to have an impact. Quality is not just about the pictures, it is also about the content and how well the story is told.

The quality of your video will affect people’s perception of your brand. A poor quality video immediately screams “small timer”, “cheapskate” or “small budget”.  They then associate the quality of the video with the quality of your business and brand.  However, I have also seen some awful, videos that have cost huge amounts, so huge cost does not always equate to high quality.

If you want a professional video producing, then you need to hire a good quality professional videographer. Unfortunately there are too many enthusiastic amateurs out there.  A well-made video will stand out and represent your brand much better.

Conclusion – Business Videos for Success

Without doubt, video is a powerful marketing tool.  It has some great SEO benefits (if used correctly) and it can get messages across fast. Now my favourite word – BUT, and the but is, do it wrong and you will be one of those naysayers who complain that video doesn’t work, or it doesn’t work in our industry.

So make sure you plan properly, use your brand, have as simple message and keep it the correct length for success.

See my Commercial Videography page…….

If you want to have a video for your business that will be effective, then call Martin Neeves on 01455 271849 or on 07973 638591 or use my contact form to get in touch now.

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Published Date: 19th March 2015
Category: Videographer
Tags: , , , ,


 

12 
Mar

What are the rules for using photographs?

Written by Martin Neeves – Commercial Videographer LeicesterWritten by Martin Neeves – Commercial Photographer Leicester

What are the rules for using photographs?

rules for using photographsThere is quite a ground swell of opinion that if a photograph is on the internet or a website then it is “free to be used”. Or, alternatively that if it is in Google Images or Twitter we can use it on our website, brochure etc.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Even big organisations like the BBC and the Daily Mail do not always understand the reality.  Try googling “daily mail used my photos without permission” or take a look at this link and you will see what I mean.

Some image companies like Getty Images regularly check the internet and will aggressively pursue people who wrongfully use their images.  The penalties for misuse of imagery can be quite costly, so it is worth understanding what you can and cannot do with images.

Now you need to understand that copyright is a legal protection afforded to photographers (and any other publisher or creator of intellectual property such as artists, musicians, songwriters, and writers).

Note – you do not have to register copyright like a trade mark.  If you produce some original work, images etc, then you have the copyright for that work.  Another big point is that you DO NOT have put any legal notice with the work or image to assert your copyright.  The fact that you have produced that original work means that the copyright is assumed in law.  A person can assert their copyright with the copyright symbol ©, their name or company name and the year of creation.

In most cases, businesses are likely to want to use images created and owned by someone else for websites, brochures etc.  Even if you commission a photographer to take photographs on your behalf, that photographer will still own the copyright.  Some people know that copyright expires 70 years after the end of the year of the author’s death.  Quite often though the copyright passes to other people, or someone buys that copyright.  So do not think that if a photograph was taken over 70 years ago you can use it when and where you want.

It is also worth noting that just because you “pay” for an image, you quite probably do not own the image or it’s copyright.  You are often paying for a licence to use it – not to own it. Some licences can be quite restrictive and be for just one use, or a specific use.   It is quite possible to have the ownership of copyright or exclusive use of an image; BUT – you will have to pay a lot more for that right.

Another issue to consider is that although your website is in the UK, it is accessible across the whole of the world.  So never assume that you are untouchable if the image originates in another country. For instance, the USA has the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), and that implements 2 treaties of the World Intellectual Property Organisation.   This is then underpinned by a series of international agreements.  The concept of copyright in the UK goes back to 1709 which was then strengthened by the International Copyright Act in 1886 and strengthened even more with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (which is still current).  In the UK, the main points relating to copyright can be seen on the .Gov.uk website and the UK Copyright Service website.

One exception to copyright rules is if a photographer works for a company.  In which case, the copyright may well be owned by the company, unless there are some explicit contractual agreements to the contrary.

Okay, so what are the rules for using photographs?

Let us first understand some basic terms:

Fair Use.  This is a very complex area of Copyright Law and varies in different countries.  It is a kind of exception to copyright law. It should never be assumed without taking legal use or seeking permission from the owner of the image.  Quite often, the manufacturer of a product may allow “fair use” of his imagery to companies that sell their product(s).

Creative Commons Licences.  This allows the sharing of images, but with the acceptance of certain terms which are covered in a lot more detail here and on this UK Copyright web page.  So a photographer can give away the use of photographs, but with the acceptance by the user of certain agreements. Creative Commons licensing allows an image originator to give away all or some of the rights to their work.

Royalty Free.  This does not mean that the images are “free to use”.  It means that you can use an image freely, BUT only when you have paid a licence fee.  This is the common licensing format for stock image sites.  You are likely to have to pay different licence amounts for different sizes and higher resolution images.  My advice is that if you use stock images, download and save the licence document relating to each and every one of the images you download to prove your right to use the image.

Free Images.  There are some sites that allow the free use of the images posted on them.  But you need to check the small print (and it is often very small print), because many have hidden clauses to trick the unwary.

It’s okay, I have given the photographer attribution and link back!

Surprisingly, that is not necessarily true. Copyright Law is quite clear, the originator of the images has the right to decide where and when their work is published.  They might not want their work shown on your website or in your brochure. Or they may want paying for such use; after all selling that image may be the way they make a living.  Even if they do agree to then imagery being used, they may want attribution.

I have paid the photographer for the photos, they are mine!

Again, surprisingly the answer is likely to be nope.  The photographer owns the copyright and their terms and conditions may be quite clear that the photographs are only for personal use, or under certain conditions.  Again, as previously noted, they may be prepared to give you a licence for wider use, or exclusive use, or even to have the copyright.  BUT, again that big word BUT, you will have to pay more money for that privilege.

So before you copy and paste images on the internet – think because it could cost you dearly if you have not got permission to the use the image(s).

If you want a photographer who will be quite clear about the way you can use his images and will produce highly professional images for your business then call Martin Neeves on 01455 271849 or on 07973 638591 or use my contact form to get in touch now.

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Published Date: 12th March 2015
Category: General