About Don Tracy

Don Tracy has been creating visual content and solving visual communication problems for the advertising, corporate, and editorial markets for over 35 years. In both photography and video production, he gets to the heart of his client’s communications needs and hands back finished content that tells their story and gets results.
11 04, 2018

Video Production and Editing

By |2018-07-19T08:46:18-04:00April 11th, 2018|Blog, Video Production|0 Comments

Video Production and Editing

LumaVox Video Production and Editing

To effectively tell your stories, you’ll need to work toward mastering all of the the tools of video production and editing.

Since you’ll probably film more content then you’ll later use in the final video, it’s important to think about editing along with planning the video shoot.

Editing is the final stage of your video production. It takes all of that raw footage and brings it together in a cohesive and coherent final message.

Pre-Produce the Video and Write the Script

The editing process really begins in pre-production and in writing the script.

First, pre-production will establish your vision for the final video. It will hone in on the possibilities available for shooting the video. For example, things such as budget, location, crew, and talent. Therefore, knowing what the opportunities and limitations are in shooting your video will help to craft the story you’ll tell.

Second, writing the script gets this vision down on paper. As a result, the script will give you the blueprint for shooting your video. Moreover, it is the first edit of your final video.

Film the Video

Obviously, filming the video is usually the fun part.

Even so, of all of the skills needed for video production and editing, the skills needed to film the video is perhaps the most critical. You’ll have to get all the shots, notwithstanding the time and constraints that your production allows for getting those shots.

Import and Organize the Media

At LumaVox, we use Adobe Premiere for our video editing. The specific steps of your process may vary a bit if you’re using a different editing app, but the basic process is the same.

To begin, you’ll import your video and audio clips as well as assets into Premier Pro using the Import Command, the Media Browser, or Adobe Bridge. Whichever method you use, be sure to give a lot of thought to how your clips and assets will be organized. As a result, it will make the editing process much easier if you can quickly find the clips and assets you need.

Not only is Adobe Bridge a powerful media manager, but best of all, it’s free!
You can download it here. 

Edit the Dialog Tracks

Next, I recommend that you edit the dialog tracks. These will be the tracks of your voice overs, interviews and talent dialog. People will use different nomenclature for these tracks, but here at LumaVox we call any track that is of people talking a dialog track.

Editing the dialog tracks first will do two things.

First it will help establish the arc of your story. Of course this will be different if your video relies mostly on b-roll clips and less on dialog, but small business marketing videos usually have dialog tracks to help tell the story.

Second, it will make the editing process go much faster. For example, once the dialog track of your interview is cut together, it is much easier to find the right b-roll clips to lay on top of it.

Add Music Tracks

Any music tracks you want to use should be laid in next. Remember to always have copyright authorization to use any music clips.

By the end of this step, you’ll have a rough cut audio version of your final video. To be sure, this is a milestone step along the road of your video production and editing.

Add B-Roll Clips

Now comes the fun of adding in your b-roll clips.

B-roll refers to the supplemental footage used as cutaways in your sequences. In effect, your b-roll will visually reinforce the story told in your dialog tracks, or tell the story on its own for sequences that don’t have dialog.

Be sure to capture enough b-roll in your video shoot to cover all possibilities in your final edit. Again, this is a good reason to start the process of video production and editing with pre-production and script writing.

Edit Motion and Color Correct

The next step is to edit motion and color correct.

The motion effect in Adobe Premiere is used to effect position, scale, and rotation of a clip. You can use the motion effect to do optical pans and zooms, as well as set the framing of your shots.

The color correction tools in Adobe Premiere will effect the exposure.

Add Lower Thirds and Cards

Now is a good time to put in your lower thirds and your cards with graphics and text.

Add Transitions

Transitions come next. I recommend that you leave these for the end of your edit. That way, if you need to switch out clips or need to change the length or motion on a clip, you won’t have to readjust the transition.

Export the Video

Finally, export your video.

If you’re using Premiere Pro, you’ll export using Adobe Media Encoder. It’s a robust program in itself, so if you haven’t used it you’ll want to get up to speed with a tutorial. Where you’ll publish your video is the primary decision you’ll make in adjusting the settings in Media Encoder. Each platform has an optimum setting for export. So it will be slightly different for Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, or for hosting on your own web site.

Planning Video Production and Editing Results in High Quality Video

As with many creative tasks, editing video at first can seem daunting.

However if you break down the process into manageable chunks, in time you’ll find that the process will easily flow along. It’s a matter of gaining experience with the process, and then relying on the process to work through and complete your video project.

The featured photo is courtesy of Jakob Owens.

19 03, 2018

How to Write a Video Marketing Script

By |2018-07-13T08:54:41-04:00March 19th, 2018|Blog, Video Marketing|0 Comments

How to Write a Video Marketing Script

How to Write a Video Marketing Script

Planning a video production is similar to planning any type of construction. With this in mind, you need a plan and then you need to execute that plan step by step. Most marketing videos have a script, or at least an outline of the points that the video will cover. Whether the script is fully written out, or is bullet point form, it is the first step in constructing your video. As a result, if this process is new to you, the first thing then is to learn how to write a video marketing script.

Make Your Video Be About One Thing

If you have a lot to communicate to your clients and leads in your video, it’s better to break the subjects out into several videos instead of having them all be in one. Don’t make your marketing video too long.

This will help your video in several ways. It will help engage of the viewer.  For example, they might have interest in only one of your points.

Particularly, it will help with the search engine optimization of your video. Therefore, the SEO of your video should concentrate on a keyword or keyword phrase. Obviously that helps search engines know what the video is about and will help the video rank higher.

Know Your Audience

Know your audience. It’s key to learning how to write a video marketing script. The video should speak to your audience’s concerns and problems. You should write the script in such a way that the audience thinks you’re talking directly to them in the video. As a result, your audience will tend to stay more engaged with your video.

Write As If You’re Having a Conversation

The best scripts for marketing videos speak directly to the viewer and in a style that is personal. Therefore, it’s like having a one on one conversation with your viewer. Make the viewer feel as if you’re talking only to them.

The site Printwand has practical advice on how to write your script with a conversational style.

The tips include:

  • Shorter sentences
  • Use common words
  • Ask questions
  • Write with an active voice
  • Write like you’re telling a story to a friend

Write for the Stage of the Buyer’s Journey

Each of your leads is at some stage in a classic buyer’s journey.

The stages are:

  • Awareness stage
  • Consideration stage
  • Decision stage

First in the awareness stage, your lead is just learning about the nature of a problem they have. Second at the consideration stage, they’re learning about the various solutions to their problem. Finally in the decision stage, they’re trying to decide who or what to use to solve their problem.

Being aware of the buyer’s journey will help your video be more relevant to your viewer. For this reason, try to write your video script so that it speaks to one of these three stages of the buyer’s journey.

End with a Call to Action

Finally, end your script with a clear call to action. What is it that you want your viewer to do? What is the next step that you want them to take?

The call to action is not necessarily about converting a viewer into a customer. If a viewer is at the awareness stage, they will be more interested in learning about solutions to their problem than they will be in using your company as the service provider. Therefore, it’s more appropriate to have a call to action that offers them more information about the various solutions to their problem.

If they’re at the consideration stage of the buyer’s journey, a good call to action could offer the viewer more information about the services your company can provide.

It’s only at the decision stage that you ought to have a call to action that would directly convert them from a lead into a customer.

Last Thoughts on How to Write a Video Marketing Script

Before you pull out your video camera or smartphone to film your video, take out a pen and paper. Jot down a bullet point draft of what you want to say in your video. It’s the first step in how to write a video marketing script. If you follow the points in this post, you’ll have an easier time with filming your video and will end up with a more successful marketing video.

The featured photo is courtesy of  rawpixel.com.

14 03, 2018

Small Business and Marketing Courses

By |2018-07-19T08:47:10-04:00March 14th, 2018|Blog, Small Business Marketing|0 Comments

Small Business and Marketing Courses

Small Business and Marketing Courses

There’s a growing number of sources offering online small business and marketing courses. As a result it’s becoming easier to learn the strategies a small business needs to successfully market in the new reality. With this in mind, I’ve listed five here, including two that I’ve taken myself and three that come recommended.

The Udemy Online Learning Platform

Udemy is an online learning platform aimed at professional adults.  They have nearly two thousand courses in marketing including courses in marketing strategy and email marketing.

I’ve taken the course there taught by Seth Godin, a guru in the field of marketing in the internet age. If you’re a freelancer, Seth’s course for freelancers and how to market freelance work is excellent. I recommend it. Seth also offers courses titled “Presenting to Persuade” and “Value Creation Master Class”.

Lynda.com Courses Using Video

Lynda.com was one of the first sites that used video to teach courses. The original courses taught how to use editing programs for photography and video such as Photoshop, Final Cut Pro, and Adobe Premiere.

The company was started in the mid 1995 by a woman actually named Lynda. In 2015 Lynda Weinman and her husband sold lynda.com to LinkedIn for 1.5 Billion dollars!

Since they started offering online video courses in 2002, Lynda.com has been the go to site for photographers and videographers looking for courses on software and on techniques for photography and video.

Lynda.com has now expanded their selection to include small business and marketing courses.

Hubspot for Inbound Marketing and Sales

There are a number of good Customer Relationship Management platforms available today. A CRM is needed for managing email marketing campaigns as well as social media and advertising campaigns.
Some good CRMs include:

Here at LumaVox we’ve used both Insightly and Base in the past. Now we’re using HubSpot to both manage our client relationships and grow our business.

HubSpot hosts a learning academy at their site with small business and marketing courses. I earned certification at the HubSpot Academy for the methodology of inbound marketing and can highly recommend them.

Copyblogger Content Creation Course

Copyblogger was recommended to me as a site for learning content creation. For instance, they offer courses and information about copywriting for blogging as well as information about podcasting.

Google Marketing Course

Google continuously changes their search algorithm. Therefore, it’s necessary to stay on top of the best practices for ranking in Google. Certainly Google rank still matters, even with the changes taking place that affect search results such as your location and search history.

Of course the most direct and measurable marketing on Google continues to be with paid ads using Adwords. In fact, an Adwords campaign gives you the numbers to measure your ROI. Generally speaking, the more sophisticated you are at running an Adwords campaign, the lower the cost of converting a lead.

Google offers an Adwords Certification course. Best of all it’s free!

Get Started With Small Business and Marketing Courses

The old adage about seminars and courses is true; if you learn just one new thing it’s worth the time and effort. So decide on one thing that you need to improve on in marketing your business and then find an online course to help you get up to speed with skills to execute that change.

The featured photo is by Alejandro Escamilla.