Why Do The “Little Things” Matter?

 

Why have a blog? Why bother with social media? Why devote time to the “little things”?

Of course, as an established web design and video production company with more than a decade of field experience, it goes almost without saying that we spend most of the workday striving for artistic and logistic excellence in digital media. Often, we are so caught up in moving full-steam-ahead on our latest video or web development project that it seems pointless…even nonsensical…to stop and take the time to address blog content, wish our twitter followers well on any given holiday, or script our next video blog. But it’s so important to take a step back and make time for these things. Why, you ask? Because, to be a leader in your industry, you must first inspire people to follow you.

Our company is an excellent case study. As a smaller, privately-owned company doing big things for larger clients, the clock and the calendar are always our greatest enemies. You might argue that such trivial matters as blog content, social media, product creation and syndication should be second to servicing your clients…and that’s certainly true. To perform well as a company of any kind, you must meet your primary commitments and supply the services that you’ve promised to supply. But in an effort to be the best of the best, we actively seek and dedicate the necessary time to address “the little things”, as well.

One of the ways that a company is able to grow and build momentum is by helping other, younger, more inexperienced companies find their footing. The word ‘competition’ may spring to your mind; it’s a natural thought reaction, but it’s important not to let it consume you. At the end of the day, a company prospers by progressively bettering itself, not by nervously watching others. By offering insight and felicitations to your professional peers, you are growing your professional network, strengthening your company reputation, and impressing any bystanders who may be watching. This is exactly why outreach, that is, this collection of so-called “little things”, is so important!

Wouldn’t you love to hear it said of your own company, “They must be slammed, but they somehow find the time to do it all! I don’t know how, but they do!” …words like these, in casual conversation, are usually either preceded by or followed by a referral.

So, how do you find time for these sorts of things?

Step one is dedication; that is, dedicated meetings, dedicated time slots…even a full day dedicated to outreach strategies, be it once a month or even once a week. When you set aside the time to address this sort of content, you can streamline the process for all the members of your team, making it that much easier to balance client relations and company outreach during the rest of the week. Step two, arguably the hardest, is commitment. It’s one thing to make a plan in a quiet, isolated boardroom, but quite another to follow that plan during the remainder of the week, when your other job responsibilities start bearing down on you. Stick to your plan, and try to make outreach equally as important to your company as client service. To continue building onwards and upwards, you have to be capable of doing both!

Again, to be a leader, you have to inspire people to follow you. So be human, be relatable, innovate, and inspire. There are many ways to do these things, but one of the easiest and most-often overlooked is simply to make time for the “little things” that really benefit others. To quote Julie Bauke of Leadercast.com,

“The more you give, the more you get, even when you give with no expectation of reciprocity.” 

 

 

Free Samsung Galaxy Mockups! (Note 4 & Note Edge)

 

 

Our client, Ventev Mobile, wanted to use the latest Samsung devices, the Galaxy Note 4 and Note Edge, in their most recent video. However, these devices were so new that no one had yet taken the time to illustrate them.

In the ever-expanding and interactive world of web design and motion graphics, sometimes a client will ask you to use specific devices in the design. Device mockup(s) can save you hours upon hours of work. One of the first steps that our own designer takes when starting work on an animation project is to seek existing mockups, templates and/or models of objects that might expedite the process. Sometimes, however, those templates are not available, and he will then need to create the object from scratch using the tools available to him.

At Render Perfect, our overall mission is to make our clients’ and peers’ lives that much easier through the many different services that we offer. That’s why we’ve decided to make our latest custom-built mobile device mockups available for FREE, right here on our blog!  In the event that you find a need for the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 or the Samsung Note Edge in your own design, you can save yourself time by using the mockups we’ve already created, or even edit them to match the style of your design!

Here are the download links:

Samsung Galaxy Note 4.zip (Direct Download)

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge.zip (Direct Download)

For more tips, tricks, and templates from Render Perfect Productions, visit us at myrender.com, like or follow us on social media, or subscribe to our blog by filling out the form below. Happy Designing!

Render Perfect Takes to the Field

 

The Question: What do NFL’s Justin Tucker, graduate job placement, and Render Perfect all have in common?

The Answer: Two words….University Recruiters.

This month at Render Perfect Productions, our team had both the honor and the privilege of working with new and rising company, University Recruiters, for their TV spot featuring Pro-Bowl Kicker Justin Tucker (#9, Baltimore Ravens) as their spokesperson.

Jeff Martin, CEO, contacted Render Perfect on behalf of his newly-developed company, University Recruiters, a recruiting and job placement firm that assists college graduates in moving quickly and efficiently into jobs that accelerate their careers, as well as accommodate their personal goals.  We were excited to help Jeff create a broadcast commercial that would both “look cool” and present his spokesperson, Justin Tucker, in an authentic manner befitting one of the NFL’s most interesting and talented young players.

This project required a tight, one-week turnaround in order to be launched on the following weeks’ Monday Night Football broadcast. This urgent need for quality video production and rapid post production, as well as the need for a website with a tightly integrated brand look and style, are exactly the type of needs that Render Perfect was designed from the ground up to meet.  We met on the Towson University stadium field on a beautiful Monday morning, armed with a MōVI M5 Stabilization system, and the desire to make something incredible.  With the help of Justin Tucker, who truly brought his own style and creative flare to the process, we were able to capture all of the footage that we needed in just under an hour. Five days later, our piece was edited, color-corrected, dressed with motion graphics and delivered to Comcast in time for Monday Night Football.  We worked on the website during the same timeframe, and delivered it on the Monday morning of the live airing. If you missed the spot during its broadcast airing, you can check it out below!

 



 

The spot and the website alike have been well-received. Render Perfect is proud to have delivered such a quick turnaround on a quality product, and to have benefited a great cause.  We had a blast working with Justin Tucker, and building a relationship with Jeff and the UR team. We’re currently working to add more video and web content to the University Recruiters website, and we look forward to working with University Recruiters as an ongoing creative partner as time goes on.

…This is a perfect example of exactly what Render Perfect does. With less than an hour of shooting time and less than a week of post-production time, we were able to turn a fantastic product around in time for broadcast, and settle that same product neatly within a sleek new custom website. If you have an organization, a story, or even a simple idea that you feel deserves the same treatment, we’re eagerly awaiting to hear from you!

Call us at 410-853-7892 or email us at production@myrender.com to get your project started.

 

Selling Your Pitch

Successful Pitches Lead to Sales!

Whether you’re directly marketing, video marketing, or simply trying to convince your peer to change cell phone plans, you will first need to be able to sell your idea or your “pitch”. Even a novice can sell a pitch if he or she is aware of some basic marketing tactics. But to do so, one must first be willing to invest the necessary time and do the appropriate research to make the idea more presentable.

 

DEVELOPING THE PITCH

Developing your pitch is the first step towards the ultimate sale of your service or product. As you hone in on the benefits your idea, ask yourself the following questions about your target audience.

1) What do you want from them?
2) What do they want from you?
3) What do they expect you to deliver to them?
4) How can this exchange be mutually beneficial?

Addressing each of these questions, in turn, will help you build a convincing argument towards a customer purchase or investment. Establish how your idea can help the client with a problem they might have, and then prepare yourself to communicate that service to your audience and clientele as succinctly and appropriately as possible.

Make sure that you know enough about your idea or service offering to answer follow- up questions; if you’ve done your job correctly and acquired the interest of your target audience, said audience will surely have questions to ask of you, either by way of call, email, or direct contact.

 

DELIVERING THE PITCH

For the sake of appropriate context, let’s say that you are going to pitch a project to a target audience on kickstarter.

Today’s world is accustomed to instant gratification, so it’s a good policy to assume that select members of your target audience have a relatively short attention span. When you make your pitch, you should keep it short and to the point…as a general rule, you should try to take up no more than 2 or 3 minutes of their time. Open with your most important details, and close by citing them a second time. Grab the attention of your audience right away, and make sure that they take away the most critical information from the time that you have with them by presenting that information first.

You should also be sure that your presentation is engaging and interactive. Your role is to motivate your clientele to take action and invest in your product, service, or idea. Be relatable and memorable in the presentation of your idea.

An example of a great crowdfunding video can be found here, advertising the iSensor HD Home Security camera. In almost exactly two minutes, the marketer establishes all possible uses and functions of the camera, all the advantages it offers, and all of the problems that it solves for the client.

 

Avoid the following BAD HABITS of Delivery:

1) Insincere Flattery of your Audience Members
2) Presenting the Cost of Purchase Before Securing Interest                                               3) Informing the Buyer that “They Will Love It”
4) Coming Across as Unenthused with your Product or Service

Depending on where, when, and whom you are pitching to, your target audience might be there exclusively to listen to your campaign, they might have stumbled across your campaign, or they might be enduring your campaign. Be mindful of the varying contexts in which your pitch may be heard, and cater to all possible audiences; not just to the best-case scenario.

Lastly, conclude with a final call to action that leaves people in thought and reflects positively on your product or service. Ex. “Your child’s safety is as important to us as it is to you. That’s why we recommend the __(BRAND)__ car seat…the safest children’s car seat that the market has to offer. Pick yours up today.”

 

AFTER THE PITCH

A large part of marketing is data analysis. You will want to follow-up with your audience after a lecture, or to keep an eye on digital audience engagement and interaction with video content. Give individuals a chance to connect with you for further information on your product or service, and make sure that you use a platform which allows you to track and identify the level of commitment that your audience is willing to make to your ideals.

Continue to curate and nurture a respectful, professional relationship with your clientele. It is unrealistic to think that everyone who hears your pitch will respond positively to your service offering right away, but if you truly have a great idea or service to offer, have performed exceptionally, and have delivered professionally, your audience will inevitably begin migrate to you.

Be patient, be respectful, be engaging, and be informative. Any audience can be won over with the right pitch.

Why Engage In Video Marketing?



Video has become a huge part of brand awareness and business strategies as a whole, and no other type of media is as fluid and shareable as video content. If you’re still debating the effectiveness of video content in your overall marketing strategy, Render Perfect has the answers for you. Check out our latest video blog to find out why it is that you should engage in video marketing.

Transcript: 

“If you do a quick google search on the term ‘video marketing’, you’re gonna return a wide variety of search results, and really a wide variety of definitions. Let’s take a second to define ‘video marketing’ in a really just common-sense way, and then expand upon that. Video marketing is really just the attempt to use videos to increase brand awareness, educate and engage an audience, and generate leads, which will hopefully result in a sale. So, why engage in video marketing? Because it works. As humans, we’ve been programmed to learn and tell stories for as long as we’ve been in existence. For over a hundred years, we’ve been enamored with the power of moving pictures, movies, television, and now the web, and the emotional connections that those images and sound can create. Not only does this give an audience the ability to understand and comprehend information much more quickly, but it also gives them the ability to retain that information for much, much longer. The use of video marketing has been on the rise for quite some time with the large brands. There’s a lot of information out there about the success stories and how brands have really been able to leverage video to help them grow, generate leads, and really become successful using video. We’ve created this blog to help small to mid-sized businesses use video marketing to grow their brands and grow their businesses. We look forward, over the next few months of creating installments to this blog, to helping you and your business grow using video marketing and digital marketing strategy.”

Video Marketing: The Stages of the Sales Funnel

Part of marketing is mapping the appropriate responses to each individual stage of the client buying cycle (also known as the “purchase funnel”). Imagine a proper funnel that represents the internal journey of your client’s mind, from the general awareness of your product or service all the way to the sale of that product or service to the client. Unlike a physical funnel, the sale of a product or service in the business world can be lost at any time, right up until the moment that the payment changes hands. Any support that you can give to your offering during the early stages of the buying cycle is a critical tool that should be used wisely.

Video is a fantastic way to add depth to your product or service, and can go a long way to support each step of the client buying cycle. Many marketers, having recognized the power of video content, have now adopted video into their marketing strategy, and begun using that video content to reinforce their product or service as it circles the client purchase funnel.

However, as with any other marketing tactic, timing is everything. There are many different kinds of videos that can be used as marketing content.

To name a few:

Each one of these video categories applies to the market differently. Applying the wrong video at the right time, or vice versa, can limit the effectiveness of the video as a marketing tool. So, how do you determine which videos to apply at which times?

 

Some elements of video marketing rely on intuition, knowledge of your target audience, and common sense. After all, every client is different, and will respond differently to the circumstances in play. But, as a place to start, we at Render Perfect wish to offer you some insight based on the immersive data gathered by Regalix Research. In the chart above, we have listed several variants of video marketing content as they relate to each level of the purchase funnel. The pins indicate the type of video that modern marketers rank as 1st, 2nd, and 3rd priority during the stages of the buying cycle, based on their previous results with past clients.

While video can be an overwhelmingly effective means of marketing, keep in mind that video marketing is only ever as efficient as the marketer utilizing it.  Render Perfect offers the perfect solution for any of your video marketing needs. We are always happy to answer any questions or to elaborate further on the subjects we discuss here in the blog feel free to contact us for more information on video marketing!

Powerpoint Video VS Video Presentations: Which Will Better Serve Your Cause?

   As we move further and further into a new generation, we occasionally find ourselves resisting change and fighting to prolong the usage of whatever processes and methodology we have found reliable in the past. There are times when the old ways are the best ways; however, we must always be willing to adapt to the changes that can be of great use to our cause. Many longstanding businesses have been working with Microsoft Powerpoint for decades, and are resistant to today’s rapidly popularizing standard of digital video. Maybe you’re a business owner or a recruiter who is currently on the fence about whether or not a video presentation for your material is really necessary. So, which is the superior method of presentation? Which one will better keep the audience engaged, is more cost-effective, and communicates data more succinctly? What, if anything, can a video presentation offer you that a PowerPoint presentation can’t?

The very first iteration of PowerPoint was launched by Microsoft in 1990. Since then, it has been used in schools, offices, and meetings to convey important information to large groups. The software was initially created to make that raw information more engaging through interactive bullet points, seamless transitions, and real-time graphics. However, as we move further and further into the digital age, the effectiveness of this tactic is beginning to wane. In the same way that a blade which is frequently used eventually becomes dull, PowerPoint presentations have now become equally as easy to tune out as the original paper printout method. Recent alternatives, such as Prezi and PowToon, have offered further variations and spectacle, but ultimately face the same limitations as the PowerPoint software does. With video, there are no limits.

Motion Graphics

You would be amazed how much a properly animated title or logo snaps your audience to attention. In today’s world, we’re predisposed to hone in on impressive visuals. While more recent versions of PowerPoint do offer some nifty motion options between slides and bullet points, it can never compare to what a trained motion graphics designer can do from absolute scratch. For example, PowerPoint is able to fade in and subsequently fade out a picture of the planet earth. But with motion graphics, you can have the planet earth can bounce into the scene, rotate on an axis, and zoom to somebody’s back yard. There are limits to the technology available; but for the most part, anything that you can imagine, you can create.

Sound Design

Sound design is PowerPoint’s largest area of weakness, as the software can only incorporate sound elements on a slide-by-slide basis and can only use pre-existing sound that is brought in from outside the program. There exists no such weakness in a video presentation. Using professional editing techniques, a production studio can implement music, sound effects, and recorded voiceovers into your presentation to give it that extra ‘oomph’ and snap your audience to attention right away.

 Efficiency

Not only do video presentations help the masses to better absorb and comprehend your messages, but you can also save time and energy by making the switch from PowerPoint to video. Rather than using a laser pointer to target your main points, let motion graphics draw attention to them with impressive visuals. Rather than having a speaker try to recreate the same presentation several times, you can make a single video presentation and have it do all of your work for you. Rather than having a single speaker exhaust himself or herself delivering your message, you can implement the knowledge and presence of four to five speakers using brief video interviews. Rather than asking dedicated personnel to spend hours at a time transcribing information into slides, let the production company carry that burden so that you can better use that time to focus on your business’ needs.

PowerPoint and its sister softwares have been a valuable asset for many years, and have served the population well. However, as of today, there is nothing PowerPoint can do that a video presentation cannot do better. Objectively, the time has come to move on to something more innovative. As we move forward, techniques and tactics will continue to change. As new tactics become the norm, the old tactics become less and less effective. With the right tactic, you can grab the attention and secure the focus of your target audience with a stunning visual experience that will leave a real impression on them. It’s important to continue to be open to change, and to be ready to embrace new and improved marketing tactics as those tactics become available.

Best Practices for Looking Good on Video



If you’ve ever worried about looking good during a video presentation, or shyed away from a video marketing opportunity because you don’t feel comfortable interacting with the camera…look no further than this video blog. Give the above video a quick view to get the inside scoop on our process to help an inexperienced camera subject look their very best on camera.

Transcript:

“At Render Perfect, we’re committed to helping our clients look their very best on video. Let’s face it; nobody really loves the way that they look on video, and it can sometimes be a fear factor that keeps business professionals from taking advantage of all the web marketing benefits that video has to offer. We take pride in our ability to help professionals with very little on-camera experience to feel comfortable and present confidently when being captured on video. Let’s take a quick look at the complete process of ‘looking your best’ on video. First up, Wardrobe. You’ll want to wear something that fits well, and that you feel confident in. Confidence radiates on camera. You want to wear something with color that complements you and makes you feel like you’re on top of your game. Next up, Makeup. Makeup really helps both men and women to look their best on video. It both hides blemishes and highlights the subject’s more pertinent features, such as the eyes and the lips. At the very least, you’ll need the application of a light foundation and gentle dusting of powder to remove the shine on skin that reflects light, and provides an even pleasing skin tone. After the client has gotten the “star treatment”, it is up to the camera crew to do the rest. Framing, lighting, and keeping the subject in focus are all responsibilities of the studio team, and will go a long way towards bettering the professional feel of the client video footage. But, the process doesn’t stop short at video capture! Only half the work is done when the subject leaves the studio for the day. Following your video shoot, the editors will get right to work manipulating the colors, brightness, contrast, and saturation of your footage. We recommend that companies use higher-end tools such as Colorista and Magic Bullet Looks to further remove blemishes, minimize wrinkles, and give the subject a nice healthy color. Keep in mind that a little bit of post correction and manipulation goes a long way….turning this footage……into this footage. So now that you know about the many ways to make you look your very best on video, the rest is up to you! Get your message together and start using video to your advantage. Just think: in minutes, you can record a message or presentation that can be seen by thousands of potential clients. Or, as we like to say around here, Pitch once, share often!”

 

How To Start A Blog & Generate Blog Post Ideas

The key practices of owning and operating a written (or video) blog are (1) keeping content relative, (2) keeping content informative, (3) ensuring that, once the blog is launched, blog content is frequently posted. The first two practices will guide you through your first blog post, but the last of these three steps can quickly become a hardest qualifier to meet, especially at the professional level.

When you are responsible for a blog, you are obligated to conceive at least one publishable idea per week. These ideas translate into blocks of text that ultimately draw clientele deeper into the inner workings of your company. As such, they should be interesting, useful, and easily compressible. But as with any creative position, you may eventually find yourself up against a deadline and locked in a battle with writer’s block. So, where do marketable ideas come from? What are you to do when posting day rolls around on the calendar, and you’re fresh out of ideas for the blog?

To start, you must understand that every idea begins with inspiration. That being said, inspiration doesn’t always work around your schedule. You should never wait until the day of (or even the day before) the blog post to begin trying to conceive of an idea for that blog. The first tip we can offer to help you with frequent idea generation is to keep your ear to the ground all week, to take notes on what is happening in the world around you, and to start compiling data on your topic up to three days in advance of your blog post.

Regardless of your profession, your degree of experience with social media, or the expectations that you (or your employer) may have for your blog content, there is always a limitless amount of interesting, insightful information out there that will suit your content needs. It is ripe for formal adaptation and development, but it won’t always take the form of low-hanging fruit for you to grab within a few hours of your post. It’s important to be aware of what’s happening around you, and to take notes each and every day on what might one day be interesting blog content.

This leads into our next tip, which is to always stay two steps ahead of yourself. For every one blog post, there should have been three or more ideas for a blog post. Though they may not be developed into blogs on the very day of their conception, these ideas can be filed and saved for future blogs. A proper blogger will have a list of ideas for future blogs mounted to his/her desktop; a nest of creative content waiting to be formally crafted.

Tip number three is to build on what already exists. As you’re looking and listening for the relative hot topics to blog about, remember, that there is no shame in adapting or building on a pre-existing blog post that you or somebody else has previously made. Inspiration is rarely self-contained, and fairly often drawn from another person’s contributions. Our own blog post today is inspired by a blog post from the social media gurus at buffer, which was further inspired from yet another source. Progress is achieved through the combined efforts of likeminded individuals, each taking the previous mind’s existing body of work just a single step further. This is true of rocket science, and it is true of blogs.

Finally, we implore you to utilize the age-old tactic of ‘thinking outside the box’. Blog posts are not exclusively useful for keeping your audience updated on your company progress. Blog posts should also push people to be insightful and creative. As your blog was inspired, it should also inspire others. In the long term, this will draw more traffic to your blog, merit more views to your company website, and result in a larger profit margin overall. But in the short term, it will help others to better understand and benefit from the digital ‘think tank’ of information in the web.

At Render Perfect, we make habit of leading by example. Our blog content is formulated, written, reviewed, and re-written before it ever reaches syndication. But before any of that comes the idea. Each and every blog starts with an idea, and each and every idea is inspired by something that we have seen, heard, or experienced, and want to share with you. Find your inspiration wherever you can, and use it to your advantage.

LinkedIn VS. Twitter: Which Advertising Buy Is Better For Small Businesses?

When it comes to buying Social Media advertising for small businesses, there are many things to consider. We took the time to compile the basic information, fill out sample ad campaigns, and estimate cost, and, overall, we have found LinkedIn to be the more well-rounded solution for digital/web marketing. Though more expensive, the interface is cleaner, the environment is more professional, and the campaign is easier to customize. Twitter also measures cost by follower, rather than click/impression (CPC), which costs less overall but makes the campaign more likely to fail.

Above: The LinkedIn Interface for Campaign Monitoring

   LinkedIn also offers two new tools (as of March 2014) called ‘Content Marketing Score’ and ‘Trending Content’; the latter of which is a simple knock-off of Twitter’s trend/hashtag system, but works the same way within the exclusive domain of LinkedIn. Content Marketing Score measures the unique members engaged in relation to the active target audience of your content with a numerical value, giving you a consistent read of how far your current marketing tactics are going to reach your target audience.

Twitter, however, is far from useless. Twitter better serves the need of analyzing and building on trending topics, and is the more widely known (and used) form of media dispersal, both business and social. Written properly and timed correctly, you can tie a business to an already trending topic (or, with slightly more difficulty, launch and trend your own topic) to turn an existing market to your favor.

Twitter is understandably secretive about the specifics of its internal process, but has explained that trends are determined by an algorithm measuring an above average mentions of a topic in a short period of time, NOT an overall number of mentions or hashtags. It is therefore easier to create a trend by releasing a blast of information on a topic when not many other companies or organizations are trending that topic at the time (non-peak timing).

Third party web services such as simplymeasured.com will charge a monthly fee to monitor all forms of social media at once for hashtags (trending topics and mentions) relative to your business, and alert you of the opportune moment to tie your business in to the trends of the day.

Statistics of Twitter Trends:

Top 10 Trend: 1,595 mentions per hour

Bottom 10 Trend: 366 mentions per hour

Facebook, which has recently adopted the trending feature/tool, uses a similar (if not exactly the same) algorithm to diagnose and analyze content within its own domain, which is why third party services like simplymeasured are useful for monitoring several different domains at once.

With regard to ad space, Twitter’s immediate cost is the lower one. However, overall, LinkedIn is the clear winner; offering a more specified market customization and a more direct link to your target audience, as well as a more concise measurement of your tools. Twitter will promote your ads based on your budget, but the bang for buck will not go quite as far. It is more profitable, in the long run, to use LinkedIn for ad campaigns and promotions, and to use Twitter for the micromanagement and incorporation of trends and hot topics into those promotions and ads to further their reach and their impact.