I haven’t included a wide range of topics this week because, as fate would have it, there were a few posts from around those interwebs that I think needed to be expanded upon.
Hopefully I won’t come across as getting too preachy about some of this stuff but really there is method to my (preachy) madness.
Something About a Bad Tradesman and His Tools
I have always been a great believer in the idea that it’s not the tools that make the difference, it’s the person using those tools.
Shooting video and video editing are two great examples of this concept in action.
Very often I get requests from people to recommend some kind of “better” video editing software or “better” camcorder or camera to solve some kind of problem or lack of results that person is getting.
In fact one of the reasons I tend to avoid talking too much about specific types of software for specific things or types of cameras is for this very reason.
The majority of marketing and advertising in this field is squarely aimed at the person who is trying to get better results and who can easily be manipulated into thinking it is the equipment that is failing to deliver and not the person’s use of that equipment.
I think in the last five years or so I have only ever once recommended to a reader that he should upgrade to a higher version of the software he was using. I did this because I knew he had explored every nook and cranny of his existing editor, had learned how to use it all very well and had genuinely outgrown the program.
Every other question or recommendation I have received has been as a result of people simply not learning how to use what they have as effectively as it could be used.
The same goes for camera equipment.
My view is that the best camcorder or still cam for you to use shooting your videos is the one you already have.
To illustrate this point take a look at the article linked below and especially take note of the videos on that page.
This is a great example (although it is a little extreme I admit) of what can be achieved when you know exactly what you are doing with the equipment you have.
I am not saying that you have to get to the point of the examples cited on that page whereby you need to be a fully qualified cinematographer, lighting director and a feature movie standard editor.
But what I am saying is that until you can come at least close to what you see on that page with a basic setup then you really have no reason to go spending a bunch of money.
Finally, make sure you scroll all the way down the page to where the guys from FStoppers add their own take on it all and offer some really solid advice.
I have included one of the videos below just to give you an idea.
So Why Am I Not a Superstar Yet?
I’m sure there are quite literally thousands of people (or even more) each week that dive into the world of video with the intention of uploading it to somewhere and instantly attracting a huge audience from some vague undetermined source.
They see ordinary people like themselves touted in the media and elsewhere as being the new YouTube sensation making squillions of dollars a week for just making some crappy videos.
Filled with hope they make their own crappy video, upload it and are surprised that absolutely nothing happens!
There is reason for that and the guys at ReelSEO have pretty well nailed it in an article they posted this week.
Annotations on YouTube
Finally this week a totally awesome giveaway from the guys at ReelSEO.com.
ReelSEO is a website and associated YouTube content devoted to providing primo content on how to use video in marketing on the internet.
They are especially savvy when it comes to dealing with the wily ways of YouTube, YouTube Channels and how to go about maximizing your chances of success through that medium.
It would be easy to think that just because these guys are coming at video from a strictly marketing or commercial point of view that their information would only really apply to a business presence on YouTube or a presence with the sole purpose of marketing.
To think of them this way is to sorely underestimate the value of what they deliver.
The reality is that if you want to load video up on to YouTube with even the slightest expectation that someone outside your immediate family and circle of friends will watch them then you are going to be disappointed.
With absolutely ridiculous amounts of video being uploaded to YouTube every hour of every day the chances of someone “stumbling upon” one of your videos is remote to say the least.
In fact even if someone gets on to YouTube and searches for your video with prior information they may still have a hard time finding it!
These days on YouTube you need to be leveraging every possible advantage you can so that your videos appear in the search results, in the “play next” listings, in the “Related Videos” listings and anywhere else they can possibly appear so that you can attract an audience to your channel.
On top of that you need people to not just watch your videos, you need them to DO something at the end.
It doesn’t matter whether you need them to click through to your website, click on your offer or simply subscribe to your channel, you absolutely MUST capture them in some way so they can find their way back to you.
One of the most powerful features offered by YouTube to do this is annotations.
Now if you are not sure what Annotations are but you have watched videos on YouTube then your only problem is that you haven’t quite put a name to the thing you have seen many, many times.
Annotations are those little boxes of text or images that pop up while a video is playing (not the ads that come up from the bottom) asking you to Click Here or Subscribe Now or whatever.
For most people annotation are annoying and are a distraction from what they are looking at and sometimes are so bad that by the time they have carefully clicked the little crosses to make them close… the video has finished!
Technically speaking those kinds of examples a great instances of how NOT to use them.
Like many features on YouTube they are there for a reason and they continue to be there because if they are used correctly they can be the difference between slowly decomposing in some YouTube backwater and becoming successful.