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 productionNorthern 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.

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!

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.

These results are certainly not permanent. Like any other Google listing, whether video or text results, the video needs to get more support to stay there: backlinks, embeds, social shares, etc. We do that for our clients all the time.

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.


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.


Silicon Valley Video Editing System Working to Save Trees

State-of-the-art Silicon Valley video editing system being used to help save the rain forest.

Through our 31+ years of doing Silicon Valley video editing and production, we’ve come to truly appreciate the broad diversity of projects that we’ve been a part of. We’ve traveled extensively to conduct many of these video shoots and done worldwide video production for many clients.

Projects have ranged from a round the world video production trip for a semiconductor manufacturer, to a Maui video production of a hotel there, to several US nationwide video productions for the folks at CityPass.

silicon valley video editing client Katherine HoldenThis time we won’t be hitting the road, however. The work that we’re going to do is confined to the post production portion of footage already shot in the Amazon rain forest.

We’ve just finished the installation of our new AVID video editing system and the first project is to assist local resident Katherine Holden in her quest to save the rain forests. What makes Katherine unique is that she is a 71 year old woman who is learning to climb huge trees in the rain forests in order to bring consciousness to their dwindling habitat.

Katherine is an amazing woman and she tells us that she has had a love of climbing trees ever since she was a little girl. By her own admission that was more than a few years ago, so to see a woman all rigged up and climbing trees at age 71 is truly an inspiration.

Katherine has already posted several videos of her adventures, and you can see them here on Katherine’s YouTube channel. One particularly interesting short video is a time-lapse of her rigging a bed for sleeping in a tree:

The finished videos we edit in our Silicon Valley video editing facilities will be used in presentations Katherine uses to share her work with the world and to draw attention to the environmental issues in the rain forests.

BTW, Katherine came to us by way of Thumbtack — so glad she did!

See our Thumbtack profile here: Guaranteed Video Production

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?

video marketing shoot

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.

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
  • 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 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.