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  • November 26, 2019

    A HOW-TO GUIDE TO LIVE VIDEO MARKETING

    Have you ever thought about streaming live video for your brand or business? Here’s a quick and easy guide to producing and promoting your next live video.

     

    What is Live Video?

    Live video is streaming video content sent in compressed form over the Internet and displayed by the viewer in real-time.

     

    Live video gives brands the opportunity to connect with fans and customers on a far more genuine, personal level than polished and produced videos.

    Used strategically, live video can leverage a brand’s audience as content producers, creating truly authentic content.

    Consumers can view live content through services such as Twitter, Snapchat and Twitch. According to eMarketer, Facebook Live, YouTube Live and Instagram are among the most preferred channels to view live video.

    Why Live Video is a Winner

    According to eMarketer, U.S. companies will invest heavily in video content with special attention given to live video (i.e. Instagram Stories, newsfeed videos, live streaming, IGTV, etc.) in the next 12 months.

    For brand awareness, relationship building, and even direct sales, live video will become an increasingly effective marketing channel that will shape the industry for years to come.

    Marketers should consider live stream video for the following purposes:

    • To connect with your audience in the most genuine, human way possible

    Live video allows brands to meet fans in person since the event is happening “face to face” and in real-time. Live video gives you a chance to show there are real, caring humans behind your business, which in turn helps to builds trust and leads to more business prospects in the door.

    • To answer questions in real-time

    Interacting with fans and followers doesn’t have to be limited to when we are checking back in our social media pages. Live video also allows for the opportunity to answer followers’ questions in real-time, which provides an opportunity to engage with viewers when they’re most interested.

    • To showcase an event to people who couldn’t attend in real life

    Live video is a great way to broadcast events and connect with fans who aren’t able to attend in person. Just make sure the internet connection is strong and permissions to stream the event live have been secured before going live.

     

    Live Video Event Ideas

    There’s an overwhelming number of ideas out there about how to create a viral live video, but little practical advice. These four techniques will show you how to do just that.

    Interviews

    While how-to videos might be one of YouTube’s most-searched video types, they’ve become incredibly popular on Facebook Live, as well. You can use the live streaming platform to not only demonstrate how your own product or services work but also to show how to perform tasks related to your industry. Doing so builds your reputation as a helpful, trustful brand.

    The best strategy to do this effectively is to create a recurring series where you share information around lesser-known facts about your respective space and answer fan questions as they come up.

    To nail this strategy:

    • be consistent with the time and day of the week you go live,
    • feature hosts that aren’t afraid to show off their personalities,
    • and ensure you have someone ready to monitor questions so you can answer them either in real-time in the comments or in the actual broadcast itself.

     Behind the Scenes

    Generally speaking, your fans only see the forward-facing side of the brand — the side that markets to them and wants to continuously impress them with engaging content. But if you use live video to take them behind the scenes, you’ll find brand loyalty and interest will grow. Give your audience a peek behind the curtain, almost always taking them someplace they couldn’t otherwise go.

    You can do this by:

    • showing fans preparations for a highly anticipated event,
    • revealing the process of how something is made,
    • providing a BTS lens into talent’s media interviews or PR stunt,
    • or by letting them follow along with a particular expert employee’s “day-in-the-life” or daily duties.

    Challenges

    Everyone loves a good challenge! If your brand has an idea for a competition or challenge which can be broadcast live, don’t hesitate to do so via live video. You’ll attract your fair share of viewers, but you’ll also reap the benefits of views on the archived live stream or in post-promotion of the video. Encourage your audience to share in the challenge at home (if they’re safely able to) and report on their experiences in real-time using the chat feature.

    Demos/How-To Events

    How-to videos have become incredibly popular, especially on Facebook Live. You can use the live streaming platform to not only demonstrate how something works related to your company’s brand but also to show how to perform tasks related to your respective industry. Doing so builds your reputation as a helpful, trusted brand.

     

    How to Promote Live Video Streams

    While most of the live video content is followed up with consistent promotion, it’s important to remember live videos are more like an event than a blog post. In other words, you need to generate interest before the experience if you want to get that all-important viewership. The good news is most of the social channels supporting live video lets you target specific audiences and groups with your promotions. This is perfect for a more focused advertising campaign.

    Pre-Event

    • Social media announcement 1 week prior to the event.
    • Consider creating an event page for it on Facebook with a dedicated cross-promotion on your company’s Facebook page.

    Pre-Event

    • Publish reminder posts in the week leading up to the event (3 organic posts across social platforms max as to not inundate the audience with promotional messaging).

    During the Event

    • Publish tune-in posts to drive viewers to live event.
    • The event should go live at optimal posting times when the audience is most engaged.
    • Engage with viewers of the live event and take questions from the audience at moments throughout the discussion.

    Post-Event

    • Continue to promote the recorded live video following the broadcast for further viewership.

     

    Tips for Great Live Video Streams

    When setting out to produce a live video event, you should always follow the standard video production process as you would follow for any other video production. Here are a few more best practices to follow as you produce live video, specifically.

    Choose the Right Camera

    Mobile phones are best for “run-and-gun,” in-the-field moment, and though HD cameras are great, they sacrifice agility for higher video quality. Either way, be strategic about what video quality is necessary to tell your story best.

    Pre-Test Live Video

    Before going live, test things out by creating a practice video restricted to your eyes only on a private account on the platform you intend to go live. This will allow subjects to “get loose” and comfortable on the camera and will help ensure the lighting and sound are up to standards.

     Check Your Connections

    Connectivity is key. Test your connection before going live to be sure your broadcast does not cut out. Time permitting, go to the location shoot a day or two early and test connectivity. Decide beforehand if you will use Wi-Fi or cell service. And make sure to have a backup plan, because going live depends on solid connectivity.

    Face a Window

    Facing a window will give subjects a beautiful source of natural light and make them appear clear in the video frame. Additionally, remove the subjects’ glasses when filming. Glasses can pick up additional glare and can be distracting when filming.

     Film Horizontally on the Mobile Device

    Mobile phone users have the natural urge to film vertically since this is just how most are used to using a phone, but flipping the phone to a horizontal view yields a much nicer sized video. Horizontal videos look better all around, especially when displayed on the news feed.

    Audio is Still Important

    Best practices for radio also apply to live video. While you’re thinking through the production, don’t forget about audio. Low-level, off-mic or distorted audio will cause your audience to turn away.

    Among the practices to keep in mind:

    • Choose the right mic for the environment you’re in
    • Hold the mic close to the subject
    • Select the shot locations based on how it looks and how it sounds
    • Use a windscreen

     Smile, and Be Properly Caffeinated

    Listening to a monotone, unfriendly voice talking about a topic will put everyone in the audience to sleep. On the other hand, watching a video of an individual with an energetic and friendly demeanor will evoke positive feelings in your viewers and keep them hooked. Subjects should speak with a smile, wake up with some caffeine, and most importantly, be themselves. When possible, avoid a talking-head, broadcast model. Always look for ways to add interactivity or visual value.

    Optimize Go-Live Time for Pacific Standard Time (PST)

    Remember to schedule the live event at a time that offers the best chance to catch people’s attention. Optimize the go-live time for Pacific Standard Time (PST) to allow for more people to attend the stream. Consider scheduling the Live event for 2pm PST to catch West Coast viewers during the afternoon slump, East Coast viewers as they’re getting off work and European viewers as they’re tucking into bed.

    Have Someone Monitor Comments and Feed Questions

    With live video, it can be hard to host your video and reply to comments at the same time, which is why you should have a colleague answering your comments in text form, and prompting you to answer the most relevant questions during the actual broadcast.

     Talk Back to the Audience

    Interaction on live videos gives the audience a vote of authority and provides new viewers with confidence that they’re not wasting their time on snooze-worthy content. During the broadcast ask questions, and then ask your viewers to reply in the comments. Ask them to like and share the post. Perhaps even run a live contest asking them to like, share and comment on the post to be entered into a free giveaway raffle.

     Call Out Commenters by Name

    When answering questions over the broadcast make sure you call out the user by their first name. This helps build even more of a connection and will make them feel special that you chose to answer their question live.

     Give an Actionable Sign-Off

    After the broadcast, tell viewers what we want them to do with a strong call-to-action. Do you want them to like the company Facebook page for a discount subscribers code? Share the recording on their page or in their stories? Whatever it may be, be sure to end your live video event with something actionable for viewers to do.

    Promote the Video Post-Broadcast

    Once the video is done livestreaming, publish organic posts for fans who were unable to attend the live event. Additionally, consider boosting the post and running an ad campaign just like on the other Facebook videos and posts. Take advantage of the audience and geo-targeting features to get the recorded live video in front of a larger but still relevant audience.

     Analyze Performance

    After the video has been up for a few days, take a look at the analytics and see how the live video performed. There you’ll be able to see metrics that matter most to your live video event depending on the platform like minutes viewed, unique viewers, video views, 10-second views, average % completed, number of reactions, comments, and shares. Facebook, for instance, provide metrics specific to live video around peak live viewers, total views, average view time people reached, and demographics of who watched. Using these metrics will allow you to continue to perfect your live video strategy going forward.

     

  • November 15, 2019

    A GUIDE TO THE VIDEO PRODUCTION PROCESS

    When setting out to produce a video for your agency or a client, there are many factors to consider. It could be as simple as grabbing a camera and just shooting, or it could be as complex as producing a full feature film. The complexity of your production will be determined by the purpose of the video, budget, timeline, and the tools and resources that you have access to.

     

    UNDERSTANDING THE VIDEO PRODUCTION PROCESS

    The video production process always starts with three main phases: pre-production, production, and post-production.

     

    What is video production?

    Video production usually refers to the process of producing video content in a digital format. We define this because it can be a very different process to film production, which usually involves much larger crews, larger budgets, and different equipment. All video production starts with a story that needs to be told. The video should portray this story in an easy to understand and visually appealing way for your intended audience.

     

    To help you along this process, below are the three-phase of video production as a quick checklist to help you determine what your needs may be for your next video.

     

    What is Pre-Production?

    This is when all of the planning and coordination happens. All phases of video production are important, but the pre-production phase may be the most important and most tedious, depending on the complexity of your production. This is where all the preparation takes place that sets the groundwork for your video. By doing your homework and mapping out all the details in this stage, your production and post-production phases will be much smoother and less stressful.

    The pre-production phase includes:

    • Develop the Creative Treatment – This is an important first step to any production. The creative treatment should describe the concept of the video, the look and feel, and what you want your audience to feel and do when they see your video.

     

    • Write the Script – The script is obviously another key element to your production. It is going to determine what shots you need to capture when you are in your field production shoot. It needs to tell a story that will captivate your intended audience and quickly and easily tell the audience what you want them to know. It will also help you determine what elements you may need for your field production shoot. For instance, if you write a point-of-view shot of a bird flying into the script, you know that you will need a drone to capture that type of shot.

     

    • Book the On-Screen Talent – Will you be the on-screen talent? Will you be using people within your organization? Will you need professional actors?

     

    • Scout and Secure the Locations – Before you go shoot, go out and scout the locations you have in mind, just to make sure they will work on camera as you expect. Also, keep in mind that videotaping in certain locations may require approval, which can be a lengthy process, so make sure you plan for that.

     

    • Make a Shot List – This list should include each location you need to shoot at with the shots you need included at each location.

     

    • Define the Budget – Your budget is one of the most important factors for your production. If you are doing a quick Facebook video in a vlog style, you likely won’t need to spend any money. If you are doing a corporate video or commercial, your budget could require a large sum of money.

     

    • Book the Voiceover Narration Talent – Do you need a voice narrating throughout the video? Will you use a narrator and on-camera soundbites? If you do need voiceover narration, you may want to consider using a professional talent for that polished look, if the budget allows.

     

    • Choose the Music Carefully – The right music can make your video really shine. Spend some time just imaging what the look of the video should be in your mind and select music that you think will accompany the shots you want to get. The music may change once you get to the post-production phase, so don’t purchase it until you know it is the right fit.

     

    • Choose the Distribution Channels – Before you shoot, you should define what platforms the video will be used for. Will it be used on broadcast television or online? Be conscious about your platform so that you know what format to shoot the video in.

     

    • Don’t Forget Weather Considerations – This one seems obvious, but you should check the weather and be prepared for inclement weather. If your scene calls for a bright sunny day and it is raining, well, you are going to have to reschedule. Keep this in mind and check the weather before you go out and shoot so that you don’t have to unbook your whole crew.

     

    • Make a Production Schedule – Once you have all of your ducks in a row, you should create a production schedule that contains all of the important information about your field production shoot day. This should include the names and contact information for all crew members, the equipment that is needed, the name, address and contact person at each shoot location, and a timeline with start and end times for each location and what will be shot there.

     

    What is Field Production?

    As you probably guessed, the production phase is where all your pre-production work comes to life. This is the phase where you get out to your locations with your crew, gear and talent and turn your creative treatment and script into real life.

    The field production phase includes:

     

    • Production Equipment (camera(s), lighting gear, audio gear, memory cards, extra batteries, stands, tripods, lenses, etc.) – To state the obvious, if you are going to be producing a video, you will need gear…sometimes a lot of it. Be sure you have the correct gear for the job. And always make sure you have plenty of memory cards and extra batteries. Audio in video is as important, if not more important than the video. Capturing good audio in interviews and natural sound in b-roll is key to a great video. Make sure you have a quality microphone.

     

    • Release Forms – If you are not using professional on-screen talent, be sure to bring copies of personal footage release forms, particularly if you are shooting people off the street and directing them in any way. You want to make sure you have their written consent to be on camera to avoid any legal trouble with a subject who complains about being in your video without their consent.

     

    • Personnel needs (director, producer, talent, grips) – How large a crew will you need to make your production happen and look good? Some complicated scenes may require extra hands. Of course, if your budget allows for a full professional crew, your finished product will likely be better. If this is not feasible, there are ways a small crew can still accomplish the same quality but be realistic about your limitations.

     

    What is Post-Production?

    The post-production phase is where you will set the tone for your video. While right or wrong music and voice over narration selections can make or break your video, the video edit will shape the video and give it a certain pace and feel. Make sure you edit with your story and purpose in mind, and not just throw shots together randomly.

    The post-production phase includes:

     

    • Video editing software – Once you have shot all of your video, the next step is to edit it. There are many options these days when it comes to editing software but some of the most popular include Final Cut Pro, Avid Media Composer, Adobe Premier, and Sony Vegas. If you are not comfortable with editing the video yourself, consider hiring a professional editor, who can really make your video shine. Editing is one most important steps in the video production process.

     

    • Audio editing software – Just like editing your video, audio editing is a very important step of your production. Using dedicated audio editing software, you can take out some of the background noise, hiss, and breath sounds that may be distracting within your video. Some popular audio editing programs are Adobe Audition, Avid Pro Tools, and Audacity.  

     

    Of course, entire books are written about video production and how to prepare for a successful video shoot, but if you aren’t in the production industry and don’t have time to read a whole book, keeping these tips in mind should help you be prepared for your next video, whether big or small.

     

  • November 11, 2019

    Multiculturalism in Marketing

    Recently, our Vice President of Marketing, Michaela Blanchard, spoke on a panel for Ad Week DC, #ADWKDC, addressing the topic of Multiculturism in Advertising. One audience member asked an insightful question. “How can you tell if a brand is authentic when advertising to minority audiences?” Of course, we can do our research to investigate a company’s culture and brand history. But we have to accept that direct Multicultural advertising targeting will be more prevalent as we enter a landscape where the minority becomes the majority.

    Diversity and inclusion is a business imperative in hiring and profitability. Those who embrace it will be more likely to prosper, and those who ignore it will be more likely to fail. We must remember that the minority population in this country is currently at 41%, according to the U.S. census; and expected to exceed 50% before 2044. Any smart brand would position themselves to benefit from the massive buying power of African American and Hispanic customers in the marketplace.

    If you are determined to use and buy the most socially-conscious goods and services, here are a few ways to see if the brands you support, support you:

    • Look at past advertising campaigns to see how long diverse representation has been present.
    • Have there been any recent snafus in the news, regarding insensitive marketing material or images?
    • Look at the people at the table. Does the agency or marketing department have people that look like you in brand or product development?
    • Is this brand only being supportive of a trend? For example, does this brand reach the LGBTQ audience outside of Pride Month?
    • Finally, when all else fails…ask the internet. Social media has become the whistleblower of all things morally slanted.

    But don’t be discouraged, whatever a brand’s reason may be, we are headed into a direction of a plethora of options for health and beauty, automobiles, and other retail treasures.

     

     

  • September 24, 2019

    Meet Our New Team Member: Adiya Mobley

    We are very excited to welcome our newest team member to SRB Communications, Adiya Mobley,

    Vice President of Marketing and Communications. We thought it would be fun to have her answer a few questions about herself so we can learn more about her journey to SRB. Read on to find out what she had to say!

    Name: Adiya Mobley

    Hometown: Atlantic City, NJ

     

    Tell us a little bit about your background:

    I am what I like to say, “your everyday agency girl.” I have 10 years’ experience working at some of the leading marketing agencies in the world. And I’m ready to bring my breadth of experience in creative marketing, content, digital brand storytelling to

    SRB Communications and its roster of client partners. From entertainment to philanthropy, I have had a beautiful career working across several industries (one of the many perks working at an agency). And I’m passionate about bringing a multicultural lens to every project I have the opportunity to contribute to, which I believe gives me a competitive edge over the landscape of today’s marketers.

     

    Why did you want to work for SRB Communications?

    After meeting Dr. Brooks and the SRB team, I knew immediately I’d be able to make a significant impact to the work. SRB Communications has a culture of creativity, mentorship, leadership and inclusivity.

    I had the opportunity to first come on board at SRB Communications as a consultant, but then quickly felt empowered by the team to contribute in an even bigger capacity. Additionally, Dr. Brooks is a legend in her own right, and is the quintessential leader. I believe I can learn so much from her! This is a marketer’s dream come true.

     

    What has your career taught you? Tell us a little bit about your background:

    I’ve learned that marketing is multicultural at its core. And in order to make a positive brand impact, you need to create messaging and tell stories specifically for targeted communities.

     

    Describe yourself in 5 words:

    Integrity-Driven, Leader, Extroverted-Introvert

     

    Favorite movie:

    I have so many! Perhaps it’s a toss up between Love Jones and Forest Gump.

     

    Favorite book:

    This is another tough one! I’m currently rediscovering The Bluest Eye by the late, great Toni Morrison. That book is brilliant.

     

    What do you hope to accomplish in your new role?

    My goal is to bring best-in-class execution to the already incredible work we do at SRB Communications.

     

    Life motto:

    “Be a rainbow in some else’s cloud.”  -Maya Angelou

     

    We’re excited and happy to have Adiya on board!

    To keep track of what the SRB Communications is up to, follow us @SRBCommunications and make sure to visit our blog regularly

  • March 5, 2019

    CEO, DR. SHEILA BROOKS, NOMINATED FOR NAACP IMAGE AWARD

    Washington, D.C., March 5, 2019 – Dr. Sheila Brooks, founder, president and CEO of SRB Communications – an advertising, marketing and PR agency based in Washington, D.C., was nominated for an NAACP Image Award in the Outstanding Literary Work category for “Debut Author.”

    Her book, “Lucile H. Bluford and the Kansas City Call: Activist Voice for Social Justice,” discusses the life and pioneering work of Lucile H. Bluford, an activist, editor and publisher during the civil rights and women’s rights movements, who is little known outside of the Midwest. It traces the beginnings of her activism as a young reporter seeking admission to the graduate program in journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and details how that battle became the catalyst for her seven-decade career as a champion of racial and gender equality.

    While being an author is a new title for Brooks, being in the spotlight is something she is no stranger to. The award-winning journalist and entrepreneur is an advocate for minority, women and diversity issues and an expert in multicultural marketing and entrepreneurial education.

    “I cannot put into words how important this nomination is to me, especially with it being the 50th year of this esteemed ceremony,” said Brooks, “I want to offer my utmost gratitude to the NAACP for selecting me to be a nominee in the Debut Author category. I also want to congratulate the other nominees in my category! The nomination alone provides a fantastic platform to increase exposure for the inspiring story of my heroine, Ms. Bluford. And that alone is a ‘win’ for me.”

    The NAACP Image Awards is the preeminent multicultural awards show celebrating the accomplishments of people of color in the fields of television, music, literature and film, and also honors individuals or groups who promote social justice through creative endeavors. Each year, this all-star event is attended by many of the top names in the entertainment industry. The annual awards “live” show will be filmed in Los Angeles and airs on TV One on Saturday, March 30.

    “With TV One as our partner for the 50th Anniversary of the NAACP Image Awards, we are delighted to have a platform to showcase artists and individuals of color and celebrate their talents and contributions,” stated president and CEO of the NAACP Derrick Johnson.

    For more information on Dr. Sheila Brooks and her book, visit www.lucileblufordbook.com and for more information and updates on the awards ceremony, visit the official NAACP Image Awards website at www.naacpimageawards.net.

  • August 7, 2018

    SRB COMMUNICATIONS WINS SILVER SUMMIT CREATIVE AWARD

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – SRB Communications is a Silver Award winner for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) radio ad for Georgia’s sixth Congressional District special election. This year’s competition drew more than 5,000 submissions from 24 countries.

    “I’m ecstatic for SRB Communications winning its fifth award for this DCCC campaign. I am very proud of our team who creates advertising, marketing and outreach campaigns through integrated media channels – radio, TV, print, digital and social media – for our clients and who have done a stellar job with the DCCC,” said Dr. Sheila Brooks, Founder, President and CEO of SRB Communications.

    Summit Creative Awards is an international competition recognizing and celebrating the creative achievements of small and medium sized advertising agencies worldwide with annual billings under $30 million. Celebrating its 23rd year, the SCA has firmly established itself as the premier arbiter of creative excellence for firms of this size and has become a coveted honor.

    “Winning a Summit Creative Award is a significant accomplishment in one’s career. With vetted judges, tough judging criteria, two-phase blind judging processes, and strict bylaws limiting winners, only deserving entries receive recognition,” Jocelyn Luciano, Executive Director for the Summit International Awards said. “The creative work this year was outstanding. Watching the judges debate the details of individual entries in the run-off for the tops spots was inspiring.”

    SRB Communications, LLC is an award-winning, full-service boutique advertising and marketing agency specializing in multicultural markets, media relations, public relations, community outreach and broadcast production. For 28 years, we have provided services to energy and utilities, educational institutions, transportation and infrastructure companies; federal, state and local governments, and political campaigns. The agency is headquartered in Washington, D.C. with satellite offices in Baltimore, Maryland and New York city. #SRBPROUD

     

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