San Francisco Video Production for 2014

Video production moves into 2014.

As we head into the new year of 2014 we reflect on the many changes that we have seen in our 32 years in the video production industry in the San Francisco Bay Area. But even as we look back, we have to focus on what amazing things lie ahead in the New Year.

Through YouTube, Google has become the 800 pound gorilla in video production for businesses of all sizes.

San Francisco video productionWith the importance of video as a search engine ranking tool, the business (regardless of size) that ignores YouTube videos does so at their own peril. Video have the ability to:

  • get you ranked high in the search engines if optimized properly
  • engage your viewers
  • communicate a call to action

For 2014, good videos will be more important than ever to not just attract viewers, but to convert them into buyers.

We’ve seen many videos that get optimized well for certain keywords and show up on page 1 of Google’s search engine results. But what good does it do if the viewer is not motivated to call or come into a business?

Now is the time to create a video marketing strategy that accomplishes ALL of the above functions. Videos need not be expensive to accomplish these goals, but the use of a professional video production company – experts at communicating marketing messages – is a great way to accomplish “all of the above.”

Check out our San Francisco video production samples on our website or give us a call.

And here’s to a great, productive and profitable 2014!

 

 

Final Video Production Chapter for Some True Heroes

Tacoma WA Video shoot from the 1980s comes full circle.

On Veteran’s Day 2013 in the US, what more fitting way to use video production than to honor some of the great heroes from an earlier generation? We’ve always had a great passion and appreciation for our vets, so back in 1989 when our video production company was young, we took it upon ourselves to send a crew to do a Tacoma, WA video shoot, site of that year’s annual Doolittle’s Raiders reunion.

If you haven’t heard of Doolittle’s Raiders, you’re missing a great story.

This is the saga of 80 men who volunteered for a dangerous mission in the early (and dark) days of 1942. Their mission was to take off from an aircraft carrier and bomb the supposedly invincible Japanese homeland, just 4 & 1/2 months after Pearl Harbor. The mission, although it did little damage, brought a great shot in the arm to the American public at a crucial time.

Many books and movies have been written about the raid, and there have been some video productions in the form of documentaries. One of the big blockbuster movies was the 2001 film “Pearl Harbor.” There are many historical inaccuracies in the movie, especially about the Doolittle Raid. It’s absurd to think that fighter pilots would be converted to bomber pilots for this (or any) mission and they certainly did not return home to Pearl Harbor after bombing Tokyo. But, Hollywood needed to put Ben Affleck over Tokyo to sell tickets, right?

We suggest that you take the time to read more about the Doolittle Raiders. We were blessed to do this Tacoma WA video shoot in remebrance of them. There is much to learn about these true American heroes, their impact, their reunions, and their later lives.

In fact, several of the Raiders did die in the raid and a few captured. There were others that died in action elsewhere later in the war.

While we were at the 1989 reunion, our video production crew was able to capture a number of terrific interviews with these amazing men.

jacob deshazerOne was with a wonderful, humble man who was captured, imprisoned and tortured by the Japanese, and amazingly returned to Japan after the war as a missionary. More information is available about Mr. DeShazer and his remarkable life here.

We recorded this inspirational interview with Jacob DeShazer:

Part of the tradition of the Doolittle Raider reunions is that they do a roll call of all the Raiders, living and dead. It’s a private ceremony, but I have seen video of it.

They have been holding a bottle of 1896 cognac for the final toast when only two Raiders are left. This year, only four Raiders are still alive, they are well into their nineties, and they have decided that enough is enough. They held their final reunion a few days ago (only three were well enough to make the trip), opened the cognac, and drank a toast to their departed brethren.

The final toast was turned into a public event at the US Air Force Museum. This hour-long video shows that final toast. The first 3/4 of the program was dedicated to presenting the history of the raid, and the men who were on it. If you are so inclined, the entire video is very inspiring, but to see just the toast, scroll the video toward the end.  

Here’s to these particular brave and inspiring men and to all our veterans. Thank you for your service!

We’re delighted to have been able to use our video production skills just a tiny bit to share the story of Jacob DeShazer.

 

 

Silicon Valley Video: Another Past Client Calls on Penrose

We’ve recently produced a Silicon Valley video for a client who found us after 20 years.

As we reported earlier this summer, we had a Silicon valley video production client come back to us after not doing video for 20 years. We’re proud to say that it’s happened again.

A couple of weeks ago, lightning struck a second time and we were called upon by a past (and now current) Silicon Valley video production client. The client had moved on to another firm (or two or three) in the meantime and he remembered us.  But this time they were in a rush.

Judging by their past history as our Silicon Valley video production client, they knew who to call.

sillicon valley video shootThe task was to shoot, edit and output the product video in less than a week. This included narration in both English and Mandarin. Despite the tight deadline of a week, we were able to do the complete production within that time frame. Here we are on location at the client’s office.

So you want to know about the product? Sorry, we’re under NDA and the video was delivered for the client on the web and as a DVD. The company has already featured the video in their booth in Chna.

So if you need a video fast, if you need it good and you want someone to keep your company information to themselves, you’ve come to the right place.

Penrose Productions is the leader of Silicon Valley video production – call today at 650-969-8273

Posted 10/22/13

Video Press Releases Increase Views 55%

Video press releases are shown to increase user views in controlled study.

We were intrigued to read recently that video press releases scored a significantly higher viewership that those press releases without videos. The methodology and logic was detailed in a recent Reel SEO article about the video press release comparison.

In it, author Greg Jarboe reports on a test that was run by New Orleans marketing company Get City Dealz. Three press releases were sent out at the same time of day on successive Saturdays last February:

  • with only an embedded video
  • with only an embedded picture
  • without either a picture or video  

The test showed that the video press release got 55% more views.

The results were hardly surprising, as we’ve been saying for quite some time (as in this post on BtoB video marketing) that video gives the marketer a strong edge these days, and this obviously holds true for video press releases.

video press releases get results

The video press release test was flawed in it’s approach, however.

As any good marketer or scientist knows, the proper way to test the effect of different variables is to isolate them and change just one at a time to measure their impact. In this study, the results would have been better measured if there had been a couple of more controls:

  • instead of three different press releases, they should have used the SAME press release (instead of 3 different ones), one with video, one with an image, and one without either
  • send all three releases out on the same date, instead of 3 successive weeks.

That said, the measurement of the effect of the response to video press releases would have probably been pretty much the same. However, to make the claim that they are 55% more effective may or may not be true.

Bottom line: you can rest assured that video press releases will get a better response than they would without the video embedded.

 

 

Video Production: Should you Hire it Out?

Video production is an essential marketing tactic for those in business.

Video production is becoming increasingly important in the marketing mix for businesses of all sizes. In fact, in a Cisco white paper on the future of internet traffic, they say “Globally, consumer Internet video traffic will be 69 percent of all consumer Internet traffic in 2017, up from 57 percent in 2012. This percentage does not include video exchanged through peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing. The sum of all forms of video (TV, video on demand [VoD], Internet, and P2P) will be in the range of 80 to 90 percent of global consumer traffic by 2017.”

The marketer who disregards this video trend is doomed to become a dinosaur, regardless of the industry or size of company.

I recently read a fascinating book by Perry Marshall that expands on the widely known 80/20 Theory of Richard Koch. It’s focus is on the implications for sales and marketing.

pareto principleMarshall’s 2013 book “80/20 Sales and Marketing: the Definitive Guide to Working Less and Making More” explores the Pareto Principle and it’s many applications throughout life in general as well as business.

In it Marshall emphasizes the “power curve” and it’s many implications. This graph, for example, shows how 80% of church donations (time and money) come from 20% of the members. 

The same principle applies to the use of one’s time as a business owner, manager, or other position of responsibility. Using this curve/pattern to track important (e.g. high paying) tasks, we find that those fall to the right of the graph where all peak performances are charted.

The message is clear that people should try to operate as efficiently as possible, avoiding low value tasks.

Any good manager knows this and will offload as many chores as possible to be more productive. It’s a basic time management tool. However, the key lies not in how much to offload, but what.

Good managers and business owners don’t waste time on tasks for which they are not excellent.

From a video production perspective, the obvious point is to hire professionals to do that work. While current technology is terrifically affordable and easy to use, managers are still not the best people to do the video production work.

And yet we see it time and again in video production. Managers and business owners who would no sooner empty their own waste basket or paint the offices (or any other task of which they are capable) will try to do video.

Could it be because video production is fun?

Admittedly, we do enjoy our work. But video production, like any serious element of a marketing strategy, must be approached thoughtfully and with understanding. We have this picture of one of our video production shoots on the wall in our office:

video production maui

When new clients see it, the first question is “Is that Maui?” When we answer yes, they always comment, “You got to do video production work in Maui? You are SO lucky!”

Truth be known, when we shot a video for the Napili Kai Beach Club there, it was non-stop from early morning to dusk, for 5 solid days. To quote Steve Erwin (RIP) “we were sweatin’ bullets mate!” The weather was very warm (of course, it’s Hawaii) and we needed to get shots all day while the sun was in different positions and affecting lighting. We had dozens of set-ups and tear downs to capture the many different types of rooms and facilities on he property. Despite appearances, it was not fun…

Often, a company will try doing their own video production once, and when they discover the hassles or low quality, they come to us.

This can be to fix the video production that they tried to do themselves, or because of deadlines, the next video production they do. Tough lesson learned…

We welcome the chance to put managers and business owners back in the “power curve” by taking video production off their plate. We even have a directorial-only service where we direct your video production efforts so you can have the “fun.”

Posted 10/22/13

Northern California Video Production (and Worldwide): 32 years and counting

Our Northern California video production company celebrates its 32nd anniversary of business video production.

Northern California video production

Northern California video production is a super competitive marketplace, and we’ve been surviving and thriving over the years for 32 years now — officially. We started the business in October 1981. To last that long, we’d like to think that means that we’re doing something right.

There have been lots of changes over the years in our industry and we’ve kept up with them. And one of the ways we keep our enthusiasm for video production is that our clients are so diverse that we always get involved with a wide variety of industries and locations.

Repeat business is the key.

Although we’re constantly on the prowl for new business, bringing customers BACK to Penrose Productions has been the key to a long career in Northern California video production. The technology has hanged dramatically since 1981 (can you say VHS and Betamax?) but two things remain constant: offering quality video work and backing it with dedicated customer service.  As a result we have a long list of Northern California video production testimonials for your review.

Our guarantee is unique among Northern California video production companies.

You can search far and wide and you won’t be able to find any other guaranteed Northern California video production. We offers a complete 100% money-back guarantee. But we’ve never had to refund anyone’s money under this policy. Why? Because it forces us to work closely with our clients to be sure that they are happy with the progress of the project every step of the way.

Customers have trusted us to take our Northern California video production skills across the US and around the globe.

windsor castle video production

On many occasions customers have used us to shoot not just Northern California video productions. They’ve also hired us to shoot at locations throughout the country and even globally. We’ve shot in 25 states and D.C., as well as numerous foreign countries. These customers know that the video footage we capture will be consistent with the overall theme and look of the video project we are doing for them.

We offer all video production services, from concept to delivery.

We’ve had to change with technology over the years, but as the dean of Northern California video production companies we’ve added a variety of services to our offerings over the years, What was once recording to video cassettes and editing from tape to tape is now done digitally. And while viewers once had to load up the VCR to watch a video, they now just pop in a DVD, or click a mouse to watch on the internet or a company intranet.

We’re offering a 32% discount for new business, good until Thanksgiving 2013.

In honor of our 32nd anniversary as the premier Northern California video production company for BtoB videos, we’re offering a 32% discount to new clients on all work booked by November 27, 2013. We’d love to make some new friends that will call on us for the next 32 years!

After all, we are the “Best Silicon Valley video production company.” Ask Google!

Northern California video production company

 

 

 

 

Business Videos Done Through Google for Search Engine Placement

Business video done with Google Hangouts can rocket companies to the top of search engines.

Ranking business videos can be tricky, especially for the small business person trying to go it alone. While business videos are becoming increasingly important to the Google search results, it’s not necessarily a simple process.  That is, unless you are willing to be on the lookout for long-tail keywords.

What are long tail keywords?

Long tail keywords mean search terms that have lots of words in them. As one can imagine, the more detailed the keyword, the less searches are done for the term. For example, if you were to google “weight loss” you’d get 448 MILLION results. But if you were to google :weight loss for flight attendants” you’d come up with just under 2 million. That’s quite a drop off as we’d expect.

Now here’s the good news about long tail keywords — there is less competition for those key words.

So, long story short, it’s easier to rank for these long tail keywords, whether with text or business videos.

It’s been a matter of debate for some time whether Google gives preferential treatment in the search engine listings to those companies that play ball with it. This might include, for example:

  • advertising with Google Adwords
  • linking to Google’s site
  • using the technology, function, website, etc. that Google favors, such as
  1. Google Places
  2. Google Plus
  3. Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts can be done right from your desk with a webcam and microphone through your PC or Mac. And it’s free. You are hosting a web conference in which you can choose to show your smiling face or not.

For the purpose of business videos on Hangouts, I’d recommend showing your desktop. That way prospective clients can see your products and services as reflected in anything you choose to show on your desktop, including websites, presentation slides, etc.

When the conference is over, the business video that was just created is automatically saved to the user’s YouTube account. The user can choose to delete it or make it private, but that would only work against the search engine placement of the business video.

I did an experiment in ranking a business video using Hangouts.

I created one for our company, and used the title “Best Silicon Valley Video Production Company.” I just started talking about the company, clicked through several web pages on the site, and explained them. Here is the business video I did very quickly and affordably.

As soon as the video was processed and became part of my YouTube account, I went to Google and searched for “best silicon valley video production company.” The video was ranked #2 in the generic search listings just as quickly as I could click over to it.

And the video rose to #1 within 15 minutes, where it remains. See the screen capture of the listings below. (The items backed by pink and to the right are paid advertisements for which Google collects each time a link is clicked.)

business video production company

Is ranking business videos this way a viable strategy?

This depends on whether or not people would actually search for the long tail keyword being used. If so, you’ve hit the jackpot. Getting your business video done via a Hangout using that well-searched, low-competition keyword is an excellent way to rank highly, get noticed, and make money as a result. However, if the long tail keyword is rarely searched for, it regresses into a meaningless academic exercise and time waster.

The solution is to get expert keyword analysis done to see what terms your customers might type in that are low competition. Then create one or more business videos through Hangouts.

 

 

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.

video marketing with LinkedTube

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 the 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…