Not so long ago video was expensive and required specialized machines like TVs or DVD players to watch. A professional camera could cost more than a luxury car, and the online video landscape was dotted with grainy pixelated segments that took several minutes to download. (I know, we’d almost forgotten about those dark times ourselves.)
Fast forward (pun intended) to today and video, especially online video, is everywhere. In fact an estimated 90% of Internet traffic is video content, and users watch an average of 186 videos each month according to Diode Digital Ltd.
“Frankly a lot of people don’t want to read stuff; if you can send them information in small video clips, they seem to want to click,” said Bob Holscher, producer at Alteris Group.
With more convenient delivery methods such as mobile devices, faster download speeds and more accessible production methods, video is dominating online. “The easier they make it for people to watch video, the more demand there is for it,” Holscher explains.
And this doesn’t apply only to videos aimed at consumers. Holscher frequently works on videos for companies needing internal communication. He adds that internal messages containing videos are more likely to be clicked on as well.
Video Production at Alteris Group
Bob Hoscher (left) and Kevin Baskin (right) editing video
Holscher is one of a team of producers, directors and editors who work on video production and acquisition for Alteris Group. The company has in-house staff, cameras and editing equipment to take a project from concept and writing to final editing and distribution.
“We’re a one-stop-shop and clients like that,” Holscher shares. “When you’re just down the hall from the edit suite, you know who you’re working with.” It leads to a more efficient and collaborative process, and out of this process the team has developed several strategies for creating videos that get results.
Successful Video Strategies
1. Keep up with technology
First and foremost in the world of video you must be able to adapt quickly to changing technology. Holscher explains that Alteris Group is always looking for ways to add capabilities to best meet client needs. Live video web streaming, 3D animation and graphics, and augmented reality are just a few examples of video technologies with growing demand that the company has added in recent years. Even staples such as green screens, new editing software and HD camera equipment are improving, so it is worthwhile to be open to new and better methods for creating great videos, Holscher adds.
2. Animation is your friend
If you’ve been to the movies in the last ten years, you know that computers have opened up limitless possibilities with animation. You can animate almost anything you can imagine, and 3D animation in particular has been especially useful for Alteris Group’s industrial and manufacturing clients when they need to demonstrate the inner-workings of a part or device. “We work with the engineers; they get us the appropriate CAD files, and we build the renderings to make it look as real as possible,” Holscher shares.
Here’s an example of Alteris Group's 3D animation work.
While Alteris Group creates a diverse range of videos for businesses each year, there are a few types that are asked for again and again. “We do a lot of walk throughs of new websites or web tools and tutorials,” Holscher says. “We get asked for best practice videos a lot; we do a lot of business meeting openers.” He added that role-play videos are also very popular with clients. “Those are fun to do as well, and that’s something that we do really well.” The takeaway is that experience counts.
4. Story is always important
It can be easy to forget when planning how great the lighting will look or how cool that animation segment will be, but in the end all of this video content is about sharing a message. In a project completed this spring, Alteris Group had the opportunity to really dive into a company’s story, and the results were rewarding for everyone.
ITC, an energy transmission company located in Novi, Michigan, recently celebrated its tenth anniversary. They distribute electricity and are the first independent transmission company in the U.S. Over the years they found their unique business model to be highly effective, but in the beginning some were skeptical. “When they started the company, the industry giants said this will never work, but today they have 500 jobs; this was a big deal for them,” Holscher says.
Alteris Group created three videos for the anniversary celebration and handled live webstreaming of the event to the company’s Topeka location. “The main video was their heritage video,” Holscher shares, “It went through the 10 years and all of the key events over that time to get them where they are today. In order to do that we had to sit through reams and reams of existing footage, plus we went out and shot around 30 interviews in 3 days to capture the story. It really came out to be a nice piece, but it was a lot of hard work getting there.”
5. Find a solid team
Perhaps it’s simplistic to say, but as with most endeavors, a good team of skilled professionals is usually the best recipe for success. It takes a lot more than a good camera to make a great video.
Kevin Baskin, producer and editor at Alteris Group, has been around to see the changes in video production, but explains that the fundamentals have remained the same. “Even if you know how to compose a shot, there's still scripting, lighting, audio, graphics and good old fashioned storytelling to make a good finished product,” he says. “I've personally seen the results of someone who says they can do their own video work, and the results are terrible because they don't have the knowledge base to consider all the little things that go with producing a video.”
Holscher agrees that skills and experience are the keys to creating effective videos. When asked the number one thing that sets his company apart, Holscher said only two words: “Our people.”