Today at LooseKeys we celebrate our second year. It’s been an outstanding journey with over 70 videos in our portfolio, some awesome clients and support of so many friends and family. Thank you everyone for the support!
This past year the team grew and Jake Williams came onboard full-time. One step closer to world domination… The team has been building steam and hopefully we’ll be able to add some more people in the near future.
After two years, I think we’re doing something right over here. LooseKeys has become more than just an animated explainer business; we’re storytellers, artists and with each video we do, we’re able to show why clients pick us over the other guy.
We’re just getting started and have a lot more planned. We’re going to keep building a growing. So, watch out!
Our Meet Boxee TV spot for Walmart won a 2013 Bronze Award Telly Award for Use of Animation in the Film / Video Non-Broadcast Productions category.
Last week Google announced that YouTube has cracked one Billion unique viewers in a single month. That’s Billions, with a capital B.
That’s a lot of eyeballs watching videos online. YouTube said that their ”monthly viewership is the equivalent of roughly ten Super Bowl audiences.” Unlike the Super Bowl, it’s free to get a video or commercial seen.
If you’ve been waiting for a good reason to start making videos for your business, well there’s a billion right there. Sure YouTube is full of cat videos and kids lip syncing songs but great, well produced content is there too. It’s this sort of content that makes YouTube the behemoth of video. This sort of content is what people are looking for now and its surfacing to the top. And it’s that kind of content every business and startup needs to be making. Make a video and get it out there, don’t wait for YouTube to go to two billion before you get started.
Making content and videos for your business doesn’t have to always be done by a professional but it helps. When your business is just starting and your bootstrapping, an amateur attempt at a video might be all you can afford or have time for. But is this video really effective? Or is it hurting your business more than it’s helping? If you’re using a video on your landing page to explain your product or service, you don’t want potential customers to see your amateur attempt and not trust you. SearchEngine Watch shows that when you have a landing page with a professional video it generates 4-7x more engagement and response rates. You don’t have to spend a ton of money on a professional video but there is a moment when you need to hire someone to help, there are experts out there to make you something great.
ComScore also pointed out that consumers perceived feature benefits of a product or service as more believable when coming directly from the brand through professionally-produced content. That again likely goes back to the quality. Are you really going to trust a poorly timed, out of focus video showing off the benefits? If it’s bad, no one will watch it! Quality matters, so call in an expert.
LooseKeys has won five 2013 Telly Awards for Online Video Content!
The first one was a Sliver for Viadeo for Videography / Cinematography in an Online Video. That one is really an honor since it was one of our first live actor productions we did. Kudos to the team for all the hard work on that one.
Next up is one we’re very proud of and that is for our holiday video Eugene Bear’s First Christmas. Eugene Bear took home a Silver Telly for a Production Company Online Promotional Piece.
Now for a few bronze Telly Awards, MyCabbage won a Bronze for Branded Content and Use Of Animation. Finally, winning two Bronze Telly awards, “What Will Your Resultly Love Story Be?” One was for B2C Branded Content and the second was for Use Of Animation for a Promotional Piece.
There’s a lot of thought that can go into choosing the right voice over talent for your video. Whether its style, tone or accent, you have to decide what will bring your video to life in the best way. The most important question to think about first is will you be using a male or female talent? Deciding this will help narrow your choices down a lot.
Of course you need to first think about your audience. If you’re doing a monster truck commercial, you probably want a male voice. But sometimes working with startups and new businesses they don’t know who their audience is yet, they might know who the target is but sometimes you’re surprised by who ends up using the service.
So how do we decide on who to pick? Well, first at LooseKeys we ask our clients because they know their market better than we ever could. When they ask for our advice, we tend to recommend a female voice over for their video.
We do have a little data to back this up but some of it’s just going with our gut.
In a recent Adweek Media/ Harris Poll it showed that almost half of U.S. adults say that they don’t think a female or male voice is more forceful (49%) or more soothing (46%) then the other one.
So why are we typically choosing female voices over male?
It comes down to the gender differences in the target audience. In that same study, over half of men (54%) believe a female voice is more soothing, compared to 38% of women who say the same. Soothing is good, we are doing explainer videos, we want the audience to feel comfortable listening to what’s being told and trust what they are hearing.
For the most part, we’ve noticed that women tend to trust each other and men tend to trust women as well. Maybe it’s because of theirs wives, mothers or because they were 75% more likely to have a female teacher in school. Women can be more believable in a voice over because in general, they are perceived as less aggressive, softer and more easygoing than a male. This makes female voices great for explainer videos, corporate video, training industrials, e-learning and the list goes on.
Also women tend to be the ones who have the purchasing power. They are the ones researching and learning about new products and services before they buy. Men tend to know what they want and just get it. So if we know women are interested to learn more, should they be the ones to target?
So Why Pick A Male Voice?
If your product is something to do with cars, computers or the newest gadget, then a male voice over can be a good option; that’s typically the audience interested in those products. Also because over one-quarter (28%) believe a male voice is more likely to sell them a car and 23% say a male voice is more likely to sell them a computer.
If you’re still unsure on who you should pick for your voice over, get some sample reads done on a site like voices.com. Listen to both male and female, which one would you rather listen to? Which one do you respond the best to? You’re spending money on the video, you want to make sure it’s something you are excited to show off. More importantly, think about your target market, which voice is going to yield the better result?
The voice over accent you choose for your explainer does matter and has an effect on how people view your service. Based off what the viewer sees and hears in the video, they will make an assumption about your brand. If the voice over in your video has an Australian accent, well your startup must be from Australia then, right?
It’s important that if you’re thinking about an accent for your video that it resonates with the target audience. If you’re going after an Australian market then that accent might be perfect.
Ginger Software did some AB testing awhile back and found that a British voiceover was 4% more effective at converting visitors. This was interesting to think about, knowing that in most cases British voices are respected for their perceived intelligence and vocal eloquence. When you hear a British accent, you think the person is smart and you give some importance to what is being said. That same Ginger Software study showed that the only place that the British accent didn’t test well was in India. Well that settles it right there, British accents are the best. Every voice over you use from now on should have a British accent. Not so fast! This is of course only one test study and what worked for them might not work for your video. Perhaps a voice over with a British accent really doesn’t make sense for your product or service.
If you don’t have the time or budget to test voice over for your video then it’s probably best to go with a talent from the United States; one with a neutral accent. Am accent that you could see belonging to a national newscaster. These people have general American accents and typically that’s the accent that is understood the best by many non-native English speakers, due to the influence of American media.
Just like with your visuals, think about your target audience and think about what’s going to be received the best by them.
We often hear a bit of sticker shock from some clients when we tell them the price for a video. Not every startup can afford $5000 or $10,000 for a video. But it’s not just a video, it’s a piece of your marketing. It’s a tool to tell your story and it’s likely the first thing people will see when they visit your site or search for you online.
Think about the five second test. If someone lands on your page and all you have is a ton of text and a few images, they are likely going to click away. On the other hand if there is a video there, these same people who would have clicked away are more likely to be curious and hit play. More customers prefer to watch a video than read and on average a video can increase conversion by up to 80%.
At the end of the day your explainer or demo video isn’t something you just spend money on, it’s something that you invest in. And that’s a big difference.
Whether you’re making a video podcast, producing an explainer video or doing an interview, you have to make sure that your video contains valuable content. Yes, video content holds viewers attentions longer than text but they are also an investment in a users time. Where a photo is something you can quickly look at and move on, a video is something that your audience needs to make time for, they have to put on their headphones and click play. That’s not going to happen if it’s not something they think is worth their time.
When you take the time to identify and understand what type of content your audience might enjoy, you’re going to have better results. Sure videos go viral of cats and people doing dumb things but those are just silly, throw away clips. They don’t offer value, I doubt many people can tell you about the funny cat clip they saw last week but they can tell you about that amazing TED talk they watched two years ago.
When you can deliver valuable videos that meet or even exceed your audiences expectations, you’re onto something. Produce your videos with a purpose, think about what you’re putting out there for your brand and don’t just post an internet video because it’s the latest marketing trend to follow.
At LooseKeys our goal is to take something complex and make it easy to understand while being entertaining. We don’t just make a commercial for your service; we help tell the story. You can have the best idea in the world but if no one understands the problem you’re solving, it’s useless. Most of the businesses we work with target a very tech savvy audience. These people are pretty smart and could understand how most things work if you sat down with them and explained it one on one. The problem is they are watching your video on the internet, not sitting down with you in your office one on one. The internet is full of distractions; they might be watching your video but they are also listening to music and typing a message to a friend. That’s why you need to make the video easy to understand. Your user is only half engaged; your message needs to be 100% clear without making your audience feel like they are taking an online class.