Clearhead have won two 2019 telly awards for our work in Higher Education for clients Durham University and the University of Bedfordshire.
The beauty industry: it’s big business. With an anticipated global worth of $805bn by 2023, it’s an industry riding the wave of the unpredictable world we’re living in. In a trend reminiscent of the red lipstick movement in the 1940’s, consumers are turning to the beauty hall (and increasingly, to e-tailers, too) to help them look and feel good about themselves at a time when there is so much uncertainty in the world.
There’s a plethora of different potions and lotions that claim to fix every skincare woe you can think of (and some you haven’t thought of yet). There’s KBeauty. There’s JBeauty. There’s a serum for this, a peptide for that, and if you’re not spending your Sunday evening smothering your pores with a sheet mask, what are you doing with your life?
What working hours do you work? One thing for us is that there is no doubt that rush hour is rubbish. It isn’t good for anyone, is it? Who has ever said that they enjoy rush hour? Well, why does it happen? Mainly because of Henry Ford in the 1930s who decided that these were the best hours to work. The issue is I don’t believe that it is now fit-for-purpose.
What I propose is that we have different sectors who have different working hours, 8-4, 9-5, 10-6. This would help when it comes to the huge issue we have with strain on infrastructure (especially transport) and would alleviate a number of mental and physical conditions that seem to be brought on by the stress of it all.
I recently read a fantastic book called ‘ego is the enemy’ by an ex PR guy called Ryan Holiday. It really did open my mind, made a lot of common sense and got me thinking about how much this word ‘ego’ plays a large part of life.
Whether it is nature or nurture, the issue stems from the fact that we are taught from a young age to be competitive and to not make mistakes or be punished (see what we thought about mistakes in a previous article Mistakes Are The Key To Improvement). This creates defensiveness. The world is also looking for perfection more than ever before. If you skim through social media, any tiny imperfection (coffee cup in Game of Thrones anyone?) is blown out of all proportion.
You would have heard us talk about content and what the amazing possibilities it creates (see previous blog posts and videos). We have said how it will be the ‘website discussion’ of the future i.e 10 years ago clients asked why they needed a website. However we haven’t spoken about how much further animation can take you.
Animation opens up a whole world of possibilities that you might not have heard or known of before.
1. You can go anywhere in the world
When we say the whole world that is literally as well as metaphorical. If you want to show you’ve an office in China as well Indonesia and haven’t got the budget to fly a film crew out there, then we can, in 5 seconds, show that conceptually through a few images.
Is it me or do we now live in a world that seems to forever be putting pressure on the faultless, wanting to live a perfect existence. Is that good for anyone? Well, we don’t think so.
Since we started Clearhead, one thing we have always said is you can make mistakes. Go out of your way to make mistakes because the quicker you make them, the quicker you learn. We seem to have become allergic to making mistakes as a society. When someone does make a mistake, (think about politicians as a prime example) then they are hounded and hounded until they have to resign.
Creativity. What does it mean to you? Is it the right part of your brain? Does it mean art, or film or maybe just not thinking logically?
Over the past few years, we have found that creativity has had a hard press. In the media, we hear that ‘creative degrees’ are for students who ‘want an easy life’, who are ‘lazy’ who is ‘never going to get a job’. Creativity is being removed from School and College’s in an unprecedented attack on the spirit that has been around since the dawn of time. Computers also seem to be infringing on the ground that creativity currently holds, with more automated services than ever.
Everything that goes around comes around…
We were speaking in the office the other day about the way that everything in life, big or small, seems to circle back on itself. In the agency world, we recently heard that Iceland was on the lookout for a new agency partner… just 4 months after deciding to bring more creative in-house. (https://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/iceland-seeks-ad-agency/1524925). This, of course, isn’t a new thing but seems to be an increasing trend of uncertainty. We are in favour in many ways of bringing things in-house for a period of time (which may surprise you). Here’s why
If you’ve met me or us over the past 15 years we have probably bored you silly the amount of times that we have reiterated (and reiterated again) how important the planning process is as part of any project (or indeed any life step)!
When we say it is 70% of the overall project we really do mean it.
Since I was a wee lad, I’ve learned that planning beats, well, not planning. Here is why…
Spontaneity actually stems from good planning.
Hear me out here. You may think that you would love for your life to be spontaneous all the time, reacting to whatever is happening on any given hour of any given day. Spontaneity is where excitement stems from and stops things becoming formulaic. However, the basis of it is a good plan. Not to plan the actual event, but to plan the rest of your life. To ensure that the 70% plan allows you to have 30% spontaneity and actually follow through on that thing you’ve always wanted to do, off-the-cuff but haven’t managed to get round to. You need structure to work from otherwise everything would be a whirlwind and you wouldn’t be able to get anything done.
What were you doing 11 years ago? Just think for a second. When we started all of those years ago (I know, we don’t look old enough) at the grand old age of 21, we could see that video content was going to be huge.
For consumers, the ability to watch video content was becoming easier; the rise of YouTube, the launch of the iPhone and faster broadband becoming more accessible. Whilst for Creatives, the access to more cost-effective, high-quality equipment and versatile software allowed us to create video content “films” that had once been the monopoly of ‘Mad-Men’ style agencies and feature film studios. We were at the forefront of the revolution.
Making your first steps into the creative industry can be very daunting. There is plenty of competition and so much information to draw from it’d very easy to get overwhelmed, follow this article some quick tips that will put you top of the list and a clear choice for employers.
Do you know we have around 80 people a year who get in touch asking to work for us 80! That means we have 8 people wanting every job we have!
1. E-mail address
A nice and easy one to start. Make sure that you have a professional looking e-mail address. firstname.lastname@example.org isn’t going to give the professional look that you need to be going for.
If 2018 saw a big shift in content creation, budgets and what is expected then 2019 may be the seminal year to beat all years. Times are changing but that doesn’t mean there is any less budget, or in many ways creativity. Content now doesn’t stop, it takes on a mind of its own and brands need to be quick to ride that crest of the wave to squeeze as much life out of it as possible. We’ve always been good at being able to predict the future these are 4 things to think about as we move forward through this year.
So 2019 is upon us and I thought it would be good to share with you some of the things that I’ve learnt. Now, everyone has different options with resolutions. Myself I think that we think of ‘resolutions in the completely wrong way. It is the beginning of a new chapter and start of a new page. The definition of resolutions is ‘a firm decision to do or not to do something.’ What does that actually mean?! No wonder people never set or achieve their goals. Now let’s look at the definition of the word ‘goal’, it is the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result. Now doesn’t that sound better?
One of the key ingredients for any successful film is a good script. This requires combining your marketing objectives with creative ideas, which may seem like a challenge when every member of your team has a different idea about what is required.
8 video marketing tips for tech scale ups
We will always encourage you to be brave with your advertising whatever brand you have. Whether you are the owner or the marketing/social team we encourage you to push the creativity to the maximum (which could be more cost effective than you think)! We will always expand the creative possibilities and give you opportunities to show us examples that you like. Now this doesn’t have to be anything to do with your type of health and beauty brand, nor does it have to be anything to do with health and beauty at all! It could be a film sequence in the cinema you liked, an ad that you saw on telly. Or just a YouTube ad you saw yesterday! Anything is possible!
Increasing numbers of people are digesting video content more than any other medium. The way we are exposed to and engage with visual content has changed dramatically. We are no longer captive audiences with limited traditional options of engaging, such as five terrestrial TV channels, a monthly trip to the local cinema or the daily newspaper. Our lives are digital and we are engaged in every element of our digital lives.
In the last few years we have witnessed a dramatic increase in the awareness and effect of sharing video content via digital distribution platforms from our clients. Brands and marketers are reaching out and exploring non-traditional marketing methods and distribution channels more than ever, all endeavouring to establish ultimate organic brand awareness and success. They are pursuing maximum exposure, maximum awareness, maximum effect and maximum conversion, all for less financial cost, to ultimately maximise their bottom line.
The Hero Help Hub Framework details the three types of video content you need to effectively promote your brand.
Arguably the most exciting part of the planning process, this is when creative ideas are introduced and the look and feel of the final piece is discussed. Left to last, the look and feel can now take into account all of the other factors to ensure cut through and effectiveness against your objectives.
This is step 6 of 6 in our video strategy guide (click here for the overview page).
How do you want to present your University’s brand?
Just as you wouldn’t print your prospectus on nasty paper using a horrific design (we hope), consider what the quality and style of your video says about your University. Wobbly frames, unclear audio and unflattering shots look cheap and unprofessional.
Timings are the last thing to think through before getting stuck into the creative messaging of your video. Consider how long you want your video content to last, when you’ll need the finished piece by and how often you plan to create new video content.
This is step 5 of 6 in our video strategy guide (click here for the overview page).
Growing old gracefully
Look back at your prospectus from a few years ago and it will seem dated now. The same is true of video – it has a limited lifespan, just like any other form of content. After about two years, standard video content really starts to show its age.
Creating your video is only the start. Without a planned distribution and promotion strategy, your video will languish unwatched and you might be tempted to write off video content as ineffective. Instead, set aside time to think through your distribution and promotion strategy.
Although the same video can be published across a number of channels, the end use will shape a lot of its characteristics, so will need to be taken into consideration early in the process. If you plan to have multiple edits (e.g. shorter ‘trailer’ versions to build excitement and anticipation on social media), knowing this before you start production will ensure you capture the footage you need so that each piece works as standalone content as well as part of the bigger piece.
Knowing what the main message of your video is, and the action you want viewers to take next, will start defining what viewers will see in the video. Keep your notes from the steps covered beforehand to ensure that your decisions relate to the objectives, metrics and target audience you have already defined.
This is step 3 of 6 in our video strategy guide (click here for the overview page).
What’s your takeaway?
- After a prospective student watches the video, what do you want them to tell their friends about your University? This is your ‘takeaway’, the core message you want to convey.
- It could be that your graduates are the most desirable to employers (based on progression data), so attending your University increases your chance of getting that crucial first job.
- Perhaps you specialize in helping mature students change their careers thanks to support that helps them adjust quickly to University life and intense two-year courses that save time and money.
- Maybe your University has specialized equipment and staff that make it the only place in the country to study for a specific, in-demand career.
- Whatever it is, it needs to relate to your objective and be of importance to the specific audience segment or persona you are targeting, at their stage in the decision-making process.
What happens next?
This core message also needs to be tied to the Call to Action; the action you want viewers to move closer to after watching the video. Calls to Action can either be direct or indirect.
When developing written content, marketers know how to tailor it to a specific audience. Yet, when it comes to video strategy, often the approach taken is one-size-fits-all. However, the same rules apply: the more targeted the content, the more of an impact it will have.
This is step 2 of 6 in our video strategy guide (click here for the overview page).
Ask exactly who you’re targeting with each project in your video strategy. If you don’t already work from personas, this is a great time to start.
To get started on your University video strategy, consider Why video is the right tool for your University Marketing and for the objective you want to achieve. Then, you can decide on the best metric for measuring success against that objective.
This is step 1 of 6 in our video strategy guide (click here for the overview page).
The wider ‘why’
Why is video a necessary communication tool for your university?
Video content requires an investment of time and money, so providing internal stakeholders with the rationale justifying the need for it will make everything else easier. Budget approvals, staff support during filming and willingness of those staff to help promote the final piece all depend on securing buy-in in the first place.
Six Steps for Your University
At each stage of the decision-making process – attention, engagement, sharing and conversion – video leads the way. Yet, with so many choices and options, it can be difficult to know how to get started. Our six steps for putting together an effective video strategy for your university will take you through the Why, Who, What, Where, When and How of video strategy.
- Getting internal buy-in by creating a strong rationale for using video as a communication tool.
- Deciding which of your marketing objectives is best served by video.
- Deciding how you’ll measure performance against that objective.
- Identifying the exact audience you are targeting (ideally using personas).
- Identifying at what point in the decision-making process your audience is.
- Deciding on the ‘takeaway’ of the video (the core message you want to convey).
- Choosing which calls to action to include.