Guest Post

Guest post: How to do more video without shooting any - Part 3 - YouTube Playlists

We’re thrilled to have Lara from Do More Video back this week with the final part of her guest post series How To Do More Video Without Shooting Any Video: 

Welcome to the final instalment of our three part series on how to create more videos without shooting a single frame. The goal of this series is to help remove the technical barriers to shooting and editing video so that you can make video even if you don’t have the gear and editing know-how.

In Part 1, we discussed how to make animated videos from just a written script, in Part 2 we introduced you to Animoto, an easy to use tool that makes professional looking videos from your photos.Today, is all about curating video by building YouTube Playlists.

YouTube Playlists

When you make a YouTube playlist, you create a collection of videos made up of existing YouTube videos. A playlist can be easily shared via URL link or by embedding the player into a webpage.

Instead of making your own videos, you are curating or choosing the best videos for your audience and packaging them together into playlists. Did you know that every minute 48 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube? That’s a lot of video. So, sifting through and finding the helpful ones for your customers is of tremendous value to them. At first, you may think it will take a lot of time to find and review all the relevant YouTube videos. But, think about how long it would take to produce an original video of your own. Also, by locating and reviewing existing video in your sector is great market research that all businesses and organizations should undertake before building their own product.

Benefits of being a curator

Here are the top reasons why I like the video curator strategy:

Quick video content: Finding and using existing YouTube video will generally take much less time than shooting and editing one original video.

Valuable market research: Sifting through current video content enables you to see what is already out there on the topic and how others have presented it.

Increase your value: As you review all the existing video content on your topic, you update your knowledge and become even more of an expert on your subject. You are now a more valuable resource for both your industry and your customers.

Create better content: Being aware of what video content already exists enables you to more accurately assess what information and service gaps exists in the specific topic area. Now you know what content to make next: i.e. content that fills the gap and satisfies the need for information on that subject. These benefits of curating apply to any content strategy from video to seminars to print.

YouTube Playlist Tips:

Length I suggest that your playlist comprise of about 5 videos at most with a total playing time of no more than 8-10 minutes. You don’t want to overwhelm your viewers. If you have a lot of videos, consider breaking them up into more than one playlist.

Set the context Use the description box for the playlist and the notes tool for each video to give your viewers an idea of what the playlist and each video is about. You should highlight in each video points of interest to viewers, or in other words, why you created the playlist and included that video. In the description box you can add hyper-links to additional resources and your call to action, which is discussed in the next tip. I strongly suggest that whenever you compile any type of resource list that you provide a brief summary of each resource. It makes your list more useful and user friendly for your customers. It also increases your credibility because it shows that you actually gave each resource some thought.

Call to action Use your playlist to help support a blog post or other social media post and provide a call to action in the post and the playlist’s description to enable viewers to take the next step to either more information or apply the knowledge they just soaked up.

You Still Need to Make Your Own Content Curating does not replace the need to make your own original content. It is however an easy way to publish initial content, supplement and support your own content, and provide you with guidance as to what original content you should create (remember the benefits to being a curator above?).

Check out Part 1 and Part 2  of this series to learn how you can create original video content without shooting or editing a single frame.

Putting it into action

We’re doing some research for a possible Financial Literacy project on Good Debt vs. Bad Debt. One of the topics we are considering is what Canadians should know about Payday Loans. So, as an example of what I have just blogged about, I quickly put together this YouTube Playlist: Payday Loans - what you should know.

I realize that my playlist is longer than the suggested length, but I really didn’t find many relevant videos on the topic. I used the notes to advise viewers that one of the videos is longer than the others.

Just from making this quick playlist I have learned that:

1. The number of videos promoting payday loans far outnumber the videos warning people about the pitfalls.

2. Of the few videos out there about what one should know about payday loans, none were Canadian focused.  

Based on the lessons learned above, it initially seems that there is a need to make Canadian and perhaps even provincially-based video content, about the things that people should know about payday loans. In setting up my annotations, I will also look at the style and keywords used by the popular videos that promote payday loans in an attempt to have our videos show up as related videos so to balance the message of the promotional industry videos.

Thanks for checking out our series on how to Do More Video Without Shooting Video. If you have any feedback about the series or examples of any of the methods that you have tried for your own business, please share. We would also love suggestions on other topics that would help you to develop your capacity to make video. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more tips and tricks on how to use online video for better results.  


Guest post: How to do more video without shooting any - Part 2

We’re thrilled to have Lara from Do More Video back this week with Part 2 of her guest post series How To Do More Video Without Shooting Any Video: 

The goal of our 3 part series is to help you get your creative on and make more video by removing the technical barriers of shooting and editing.

In Part 1, we looked at how you can use online animators to create simple and engaging videos to explain your business proposition or to break down difficult concepts for your audiences. Today we introduce another one of our favorite tools: Animoto.

What is it?

In a nutshell, Animoto will create a professional looking video just from your photos. You supply the pictures and Animoto will supply the rest. It’s an easy to follow process which you are walked through step by step:

Step 1: Choose a video style (supplied by Animoto)

Step 2; Choose your music (upload your own or choose from Animoto’s library)

Step 3: Upload your pictures

Step 4: Add text

Step 5: Push the Produce Video button and let Animoto do all the editing for you. You can go back and revise any step you want at anytime. Animoto is a web based tool so you can use it from anywhere you have internet access. It also has a very good iPhone App that enables you to make and post your videos on the go.

When Should I use it?

Animoto is a great video tool to:

  • capture events;
  • show off products from real estate to bake goods;
  • provide virtual tours of museums, resorts, and other attractions; and
  • to showcase your portfolio of photos, paintings, sculptures, or collectibles.

These are just a few ideas. I am sure once you start playing with Animoto you will come up with many more uses. To show you a quick example of what I’ve been talking about so far, I went to the Canadian Museum of Nature the other week to visit the dinosaurs. I put this short video together using Animoto and pictures from my iPhone to highlight My Night At The Museum:

If you are thinking about using Animoto for business, check out their blog post “The :30 Spot - Small Businesses” which provides an easy 7 step process for creating an intro video for your business.

Things to know

Cost: You can play with Animoto for free to make non-commercial low res videos up to 30 seconds in length. If you want to make videos to promote your business, then you will need to get a Pro account which is US$39/month or US$249 for the year. With the Pro account you get:

  • a licence for commercial use (this does not include selling your videos to others);
  • more style and music options;
  • high definition videos;
  • feature-length videos;
  • no Animoto branding in the video; and
  • the ability to add a clickable call to action button at the end of each video.

In my opinion, the Pro account subscription fee easily pays for itself when you compare it to the cost of hiring someone to do just one video. Also, if you only need one or two videos, you can probably just get a monthly membership, make your videos, download them, and then cancel your membership. Just make sure Animoto’s terms of service will let you do this before you try it. Benefits for Not-For-Profits: Great news for not-for-profits and humanitarian causes. Animoto may support you with a FREE Pro Account.You can apply for a free account here: A couple of years ago, I worked on an NGO environmental campaign. We wanted to share the campaign online and show off the energy of our events from across the province. We took photos from all of the events, the volunteers mixed their own song, and we assembled it all using Animoto to tell the story. It will not write your story for you: As I mentioned in Part 1, these tools help remove the technical barriers of making video so you can focus on the creative. Use that extra time to think about:

  • the message you want to convey;
  • how can your message be put into a story;
  • what video style best matches the emotion of your story
  • how can the order of your photos best support your story; and
  • what music helps you best convey your story and create the desired mood.

We are not connected to Animoto: I know at times my post may sound like a paid advertisement for Animoto, but it’s not. I am just very keen on the product right now and love playing with it. That said, there are other great products out there to make slideshow type videos. So, if you have any other recommendations, we would love to hear about them. You can add video too!: I know, I know. I said this post would be about how to make video without having to shoot any. But, there may be some of you that already have video clips that you want to use. Well, Animoto will let you do just that. You can add video clips of up to 10 seconds in length. To show you what it can look like, I put together this mock business intro video.

(This video is only being used as an example for this blog post.)

Next week Part III

Check back next Tuesday for the final part of our series on how to Do More Video Without Shooting Any Video. We will show you a video strategy that you can implement quickly that will also provide you with excellent insight into your market and competition.  Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more tips and tricks on how to use online video for better results. - Lara

Guest post: How to do more video without shooting any - Part 1

We’re thrilled to have a 3 part guest series from Do More Video over the next three weeks highlighting ways you can create video without shooting video.  

By now you have no doubt heard about all the reasons why you should be using video to connect with your audience online: SEO, higher click rates, brand recognition, it’s easy to share and video sets you apart from the rest of the online crowd.

Technical barriers stop creative content

We’ve been told by many people that they really want to create more video content, but don’t do it because they lack the skills to shoot and edit video. So, how do you overcome this problem? How do you create more video without having to shoot or edit it? Well, that’s what this three part blog series will answer for you. We will look at some of the ways that businesses of all sizes and industries can get their message to their masses via video without shooting a single frame.

Remove the technical barriers: Online Animators

Today’s post is about online animators. One of the most popular being Xtranormal, whose tagline is “If you can type, you can make MOVIES!”. In a nutshell, Xtranormal takes care of the technical video stuff for you so that you can concentrate on the creative. You have no doubt seen these funny animated videos with the simple, quirky graphics and monotone voices. Some of my personal favorites were created for political commentary during Canada’s last Federal election, highlighted living in downtown vs. suburban Ottawa a.k.a. “Farrhaven”, and who can forget the crazy popular iPhone 4 vs. HTC Evo which to date has over 14 million views. Although not suitable for all viewers and especially NSFW (not safe for work), these videos were effective because they had a specific audience and a tight message that played within the platform limitations to make the subject funny and relevant. This same technology and theory can also be used to get your business attention online. Being big fans of superheroes at our company, we created a video using Xtranormal to explain how even superhero’s can benefit from doing more video:

Companies of all size have used Xtranormal to get attention. Geico Insurance created an entire series of videos using Xtranormal. Their overall campaign message is that making a video on Xtranormal is as easy as signing up for insurance with their company. Using this quirky platform gets the brand name in front of people who would otherwise not click on a video made by an insurance company. Is your business complicated? Xtranormal is a great tool to simplify complex topics for the masses. People innately want to learn, and cartoons lower the barrier to access difficult information. A great example: Quantitative Easing Explained by Omid Malekan, a US financial industry expert, has received over 5 million hits. Seeing the success of this video and an opportunity for the platform, The New York Times hired Malekan to create an animated cartoon series for its website last fall.

Creative time still required

While Xtranormal will save you the headache and time of having to learn how to shoot and edit your own video, it will still require you to take the time to create a relevant and engaging script. In addition, you will want to make some effort to choreograph your characters pacing, movements, and expressions to best support your script. Luckily, Xtranormal provides easy to use options to add pauses and to change your characters’ screen position and body and facial expressions. Although we highlight Xtranormal in this post, this is not the only online video animator available. Another one I’ve come across is GoAnimate. While I haven’t yet tried it out, it seems to work in a similar way and offers some colourful and dynamic image options. Have you used either of the tools above or perhaps another simple video animating platform to tell people about your business? We would love to hear your feedback and see what you have created. If you have any questions just leave us a comment below or drop us a line at info[at]domorevideo[dot]com.

Next week Part II

Check back next Tuesday when we will continue our series on how to Do More Video Without Shooting Any Video.  We will look at a great service that lets you easily create videos from your photos. A useful tool for to showcase events,  portfolios, and real estate. 

Guest Post: Better Branding - choosing your ensemble

Branding, as a term, is thrown around a lot these days. It’s on the verge of becoming a meaningless snippet of jargon instead of a descriptor for one of the most important aspects of your projects. 

In my experience talking with people who are working to build a business, a program, or even something low-key like a book club, people know they need to brand but aren’t sure what that’s supposed to look like.  And yet, most of us naturally perform our own natural branding everyday without even realizing it.

Let’s say you buy a cowboy hat while you’re on vacation in Mexico. It’s one of those straw numbers, with the wire brim so you can shape it as you please. You’re getting ready to go out to a concert at a pub one night, and you decide that this is one of those rare times when a straw cowboy hat will look totally cool instead of screaming, ‘I bought this after too many margaritas on the beach!’ 

Now that you’ve picked out the hat, you’re going to need an appropriate outfit to go with it. You opt for jeans, because they’re a casual staple and are pretty neutral. You pull on your vintage cowboy shirt, look in the mirror, and realize you’ve gone too far towards ‘dude ranch’, so you switch it up for a well-worn tee with a faded stallion on the front. Better. Now the message is, ‘I’m a hot young college kid with a sense of adventure who wears a cowboy hat ironically.’

Great, but what if we switched it up and put you in a full black suit? The cowboy hat would now appear to sit atop the head of a Johnny Cash fanatic, or a mobster who accidentally grabbed the wrong hat on his way out the door. A huge part of branding is finding a look/feel that represents what you’re offering/doing/making.

It’s more complicated than hats, of course, but the first steps are fairly simple. Choosing brand colors, for example, is like our cowboy friend deciding between a blue tee-shirt or a pink one. Setting standardized fonts that you’ll use on all your materials is like Cowboy choosing between a black tee, a black tank, or a black fishnet number: they’re all shirts, but they all send different messages.

It’s time to establish what your branding is going to say about you. Is your company a black skinny tie, or a pair of tap shoes? Whatever you figure out, start putting the whole ensemble together. if it ends up looking like the equivalent of a spandex-wearing gymnast sporting a cowboy hat while rocking’ a pair of black-and-white wing tips, you may need to regroup and try again. But give yourself some slack: we all have our fashion fail moments. 

Jordan Kent-Baas is co-author of the award-nominated blog Project: Priceless—The Free Wedding Experiment, and Project: Priceless—the NEST (the newlywed experience).  You can connect with Jordan via her blogs at, on Facebook at, or on twitter, under her handle @projectpricelss.

Guest Post: How To Attract Customers with a Mobile Phone

I recently met Nathan Richer, owner of Virtual Alchemy, at the Orleans Chamber of Commerce Business Showcase and was thrilled when he agreed to write a guest post for the blog.  Nathan specializes in Internet Marketing and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and is a wealth of great information.

Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt was quoted saying “Mobile is pretty much the answer on everything”. In fact, the search engine giants are considering “mobile first” for all future endeavours. This makes sense since there are about 5.3 billion mobile users compared to a paltry 1.7 billion Internet users.

Google is preparing for the Mobile future….are you?

There are several ways you can attract and retain customers/clients through the use of mobile marketing but today I wanted to focus on Text Message Marketing.

What is Text Message Marketing?

Text message marketing is similar to e-mail marketing but using mobile phone numbers instead of e-mails. You build a database of mobile numbers which provides you with the ability to send out text messages to your faithful followers.

I want to be clear that I am not talking about spamming people with useless advertisements. Instead, text message marketing can be a great tool for offering value to your customers and building long lasting relationships along the way.

Who Can Use Text Message Marketing?

Any business that is looking to communicate and build relationships with their customers or clients. It is an excellent opportunity to add value to your customers overall experience.

Some of the ideal businesses that use text message marketing include:

  • Restaurants

  • Retail Stores

  • Event Organizers

  • Real Estate Agents

  • Night Clubs

  • Schools

  • Churches

  • Fitness Studios

  • Medical Professionals

The list goes on and on…

How Does Text Message Marketing Work?

A business will need to purchase a mobile marketing platform to set up campaigns, store mobile phone numbers, send messages and even set up appointments. There are some pretty good and inexpensive mobile platforms out there so be sure to shop around. Be prepared for a monthly fee as most platforms charge based on the number of text messages delivered.

Once you sign up for your mobile platform you will be given a short code, which is just a number (usually 5 digits) that people will text your “Keyword” to. Next you will have to create a “Keyword” that represents your business or promotion. Often this keyword will be your business name or something related to your services or products.

The mobile platforms are generally user friendly and shouldn’t take long to set up. Once it is up and running you will need to start building your mobile database by promoting this service.

How to Promote Your Mobile Marketing Campaign

Here are a few examples how you can build a mobile database.

Restaurant Owner
Set up a tent card on your tables that says “Text Restaurant to 54321 for Exclusive Coupons”. Next time your restaurant is experiencing a slow day, just send out a text message that reads “Show this text to your server before 10 pm and receive 10% off your meal”.

Since text messages have a 97% open rate, your restaurant will be busy in no time.

Real Estate Agent
Put a message on your lawn sign that says “Text House to 98764” and have your mobile platform send an automated response with the details of that house. Not only are you providing details of your listing but you are also building a list of potential buyers that you now have access to.

Professionals are able to use Mobile Marketing to record mobile numbers and set-up appointments. This will allow you to automatically send a text message to your client reminding them of their upcoming appointment.

These are just a few examples how you can use text message marketing to increase your revenue while providing value to your customers or clients.

The mobile industry is going to continue growing so now is the time to consider adding text message marketing into your overall marketing plan.

Thanks for the great post Nathan!  I would adore it if my doctor or dentist texted me to remind me of appointments!  Go visit Nathan at Virtual Alchemy to learn more about SEO and Internet marketing - he’s got a great promotion on a web evaluation going on right now!

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