Monthly Archives: June 2012

Tips for Creating Great Corporate Videos, Part 1

Brandemix has been working on a lot of video projects recently. I see the same challenges whether the client is a manufacturing giant or a local nonprofit, whether the video is for employees or the general public. Here’s a brief list of hints and tips to make sure your video shoot goes as smoothly as possible.

Lights: Hot Set
Unless you’re shooting outdoors, you’re going to need lighting. Fluorescent office bulbs bleach everyone out, while house fixtures and lamps cast strange shadows. A good video requires at least two lights: a “key” to light the performer and a “fill” to fill in the shadows created by the key.

The lights get hot, so bring gloves – and be ready with makeup powder and towels for the performers sweating under in the heat. In a pinch, reflectors can bounce the nearest light onto a performer’s face. You can even use your car’s sun shield! Rental budget: $75

image courtesy of CSI Rentals


Sound: Hearing is Believing
Without a doubt, the number one indicator of amateur video is poor sound. All too often, the microphone attached to your camera (or phone) isn’t sufficient. When you listen to the footage weeks later, suddenly you can hear the air conditioning, or traffic outside, or people down the hall talking. There are two ways to avoid this problem:

– A boom pole allows a crew member to hold the microphone above the performer. This boom operator wears headphones to monitor the sound of every take. They move and angle the mic so it’s always facing the right direction. This option requires an extra person on your set, and holding the boom can be tiring if the shoot goes long.

– Lavalier or lapel microphones clip to the performer’s clothes. No one has to hold a piece of equipment all day and the mic is always near the performer’s mouth. But the mic sometimes picks up the sound of clothes rustling, so you have to be careful where you place it. Also, lavaliers run on batteries, so have plenty of replacements handy; sometimes the batteries quit halfway through a take.

Rental budget: $50

Music: Don’t Skimp or Steal
Movie scores have shown that effective music can heighten the mood and create an emotional response from an audience. Just because music is one of the last elements you’ll add to your video, don’t leave it until the last minute. Take the time to search for the right piece that supports your message and tone.

Also, don’t steal music for your video. If you post it on YouTube, you may find the soundtrack removed or the entire video taken down. Affordable, royalty-free compositions can be found at Music BakeryStockMusic.comGetty, or even from individual composersMusic budget: $200

 A small investment and a willing, talented team can produce a professional-looking video in a problem-free environment. 

Of course, for larger-scale productions, call Brandemix; we’d be happy to help.

LinkedIn Lovin’ – Here Are Five Reasons Why

It’s true that I’ve publicly predicted their demise, yet, like the grade-school girl who hits the boy she loves, deep down I really have a crush on LinkedIn. Obviously, I’m not alone. This professional network is signing on new users at the rate of two per second and has a lot of advantages that make it useful to anyone in business or looking to bust in.

Here are my five reasons for loving LinkedIn:

1. Picture perfect
Admit it. Before you meet with someone, or even before you call them, you look at their photo on LinkedIn. It’s just human nature to want to see the person you’re about to contact; LinkedIn provides that vital connection. It’s no longer necessary to think of the audience in their underwear to eliminate the fear before a meeting. Now I can get a sneak peek, and know before I go.

2. Group Therapy
Speaking of presentations, following Brandemix workshops on popular topics like DIY employer branding or social media marketing, I receive dozens of business cards and LinkedIn requests. But how do I remember that I met Jim from Dallas in Orlando and Jane from Orlando in Dallas? LinkedIn lets me organize my contacts with tags: keywords that I create myself. I can group by speaking engagement, event, date, location, or up to 200 differentiators. It’s a simple online solution to a real-world problem that LinkedIn recognized and addressed.

3. A happenin’ app
Hardly anyone talks about it, but I think LinkedIn’s mobile version is more versatile and beautiful than the site itself. Its intuitive images of file folders, envelopes, and ID tags are a welcome change from the web version’s stark blue and white. The big, bold icons make it easy to read content, comment on posts, and search the directory. The interface gives LinkedIn a more friendly, social feel, like Facebook or Twitter. And speaking of which…

4. Wonderful for wordsmiths
I can’t always express myself in the 140 characters of a tweet. LinkedIn gives me 700 characters or a post, four times as many as Twitter. I also get 1,000 characters under Interests and 2,000 for my Summary. Great for, shall we say, enthusiastic writers like me!

5. There is such a thing as a free lunch.
While LinkedIn offers excellent premium accounts and comprehensive recruiter packages, I have almost 800 connections and still use the free version. Even without InMail or the advanced search options, I’m able to form groups (and you’re welcome to join mine), join groups (I hit my limit at 50), and still get access to all kinds of useful content for free.

Miscellaneous: I always get enlightening feedback to my questions on LinkedIn Answers. I use my allotment of free introductions to expand my network. And I follow my competitors and my “wannabes” to stay up to date in the fields of marketing, branding, and interactive technology.


LinkedIn is my one-stop shop. And with its two new features – targeted updates and follower statistics – I’m finally able to segment my messaging and see exactly who I’m reaching. Last year, I worried that LinkedIn wasn’t innovating, but features like these (and don’t forget that great app) show me that LinkedIn is committed to being the most useful network for business professionals.

I’ll be moderating an NYC panel with a LinkedIn representative on June 27. Anything you’d like me to ask? Drop me a line or find Brandemix on Facebook or TwitterAnd do Link In.

Facebook vs. LinkedIn: A Look Back

About a year ago, I wrote about Facebook overtaking and eventually replacing LinkedIn. Since both social networks have been in the news recently, I thought now would be a good time to look back on that prediction — and how the social media recruiting landscape has changed since then.

In the past few weeks, LinkedIn has announced a doubling of revenueacquired SlideShare, and crossed the 100-million-user mark. Facebook, meanwhile, had its much-anticipated IPO, which fell far short of optimistic expectations.

image from pammarketingnut.com

When I wrote the famous blog post back in August, Google+ wasn’t a factor, and no one had heard of Pinterest. But now both sites are being used by big names, from Michael Kors to BWM to Fresh and Easy, for recruiting and employer branding. This means that LinkedIn is facing competition — but not necessarily from Facebook.

In my original article, I pointed to LinkedIn’s lack of innovation, calling their clean layout “bordering on empty.” But now the site offers dozens of premium packages for recruiters, agencies, and organizations, and has launched a special initiative to reach out to nonprofits. The acquisition of SlideShare, which businesses (including mine) use all the time to share presentations, has shown that LinkedIn is indeed innovating. At the same time, BranchOut and BeKnown, the two Facebook apps competing with LinkedIn, have grown more slowly than predicted.

image from Global Knowledge Blog

So will Facebook still destroy LinkedIn? Examine the evidence and decide for yourself:

The blog that started it all: Why Facebook Will Destroy LinkedIn.

I revisited the topic a week later, aggregating all the responses from other blogs.

The Recruiting Animal put Jason Ginsburg, our Director of Interactive Branding, through his usual interrogation.

And before I forget — thanks to Joe Light for writing the original Wall Street Journal article that showed some companies were finding more success recruiting on Facebook than on LinkedIn. Will other companies follow? Stay tuned…

Social Media Fun Facts

In honor of my appearance on HR/NY’s Social Media in the Talent Environment panel (moderated by Brandemix founder and CEO Jody Ordioni), here are some interesting facts about social media that I’ve learned in my recent branding research.

The record for most tweets per second is 25,088, which happened during 2011’s annual TV broadcast of Castle in the Sky in Japan. Viewing the 1986 animated film has become a national tradition, similar to Americans watching It’s a Wonderful Life at Christmas. (Geekosystem)

The previous record for most tweets per second was 13,684, which happened during a Champions League soccer match between Barcelona and Chelsea in April. Before that, it was 12,233, which took place during the New York Giants’ game-winning drive in Super Bowl LXVI in February. (CNET)

Image courtesy of Infographic Labs

Zynga, creator of games like Words With Friends, Cityville, and Indiana Jones, was responsible for 12% of Facebook’s total revenue in 2011. (Forbes)

Searching for the phrase “How to land an airplane” on YouTube brings up 171 results. (YouTube)

The five most popular YouTube videos of all time are music videos, including “Baby” by Justin Beiber at #1. The #6 most popular video is “Charlie Bit My Finger – Again!” (YouTube)

The most followed pinner on Pinterest is Jane Wang, with more than 1.5 million followers. She is Pinterest co-founder Ben Silbermann’s mother. (Zoomsphere)

Image courtesy of Kate T.

In February, the most repinned image on Pinterest was a photo of a woman’s closet. The tenth-most repinned image was a photo of a bookshelf. Two of the top ten were pictures of cookies. (Pinfaves)

The top three brands on Facebook are Coca-Cola, Disney, and Starbucks; all consumer brands. The top three brands on Google Plus are Android, Mashable, and Chrome; all in technology field. (Pardot)

Two people join LinkedIn every second. It’s the 36th-most visited site in the world. Its fastest-growing demographics are students and recent college graduates. (Business 2 Community)

The location with the most Foursquare check-ins is Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, with more than 632,000 check-ins. It’s followed by airports in Los Angles (LAX), San Francisco, and New York (JFK). By comparison, Disneyland has 200,000 total check-ins. (Foursquare)

 

Image courtesy of Coasttocoast

Disneyland is, however, the second-most photographed location on Instagram. The first is AT&T Park in San Francisco, home of the Giants baseball team. (Instagram)

On Instragram’s list of 15 most photographed places are three New York City locations: the High Line, Madison Square Park, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Empire State Building and the new World Trade Center did not make the list. (Instagram)

Want to learn more about these and other social media sites, and how Brandemix can use them to help your consumer branding or employer branding campaigns? Drop me a line