Video for Mobile Devices

video-mobile-1If you think about it, it’s almost science fiction… To think that we can consistently, successfully, and frequently watch high quality, engaging, and useful video on your phone or other mobile devices. I mean, when I was a kid that was something only Captain Kirk could do.

Yet, here we are and the mobile phenomenon is changing the landscape of advertising, marketing, web development, video production, etc. Businesses and creatives are having to change the way they do things. It’s an exciting time. It’s also a competitive and challenging time. Traditional mediums are decreasing in effectiveness and now, more than ever, content is king. Content, your message, and the way you deliver your message are of significant importance and here’s why…

It’s a well known fact that it’s important to think about your message and communicate it in a creative and memorable way… a way that’s tailored and targeted to your audience. And everybody knows that attention spans in the Internet world are short. You’ve got to be on your game. That’s not news. But when you add mobile to the equation, you’re presented with a new dynamic. People are consuming your content from more places and in a much different way than before. It’s becoming the norm—wait, it IS the norm—and users are finding that the mobile experience fits their lifestyle. They want more of it and they expect more.

eMarketer estimates that by 2016, more than 110 million Americans—or one-third of the total US population—will watch video content on a mobile phone at least once per month. This year, just under 20% of the population, or 25.2% of US mobile phone users, are expected to watch mobile video monthly.

To compete in this realm, you’ve really got to think about your content and how you’re delivering it. Websites need more sophisticated navigation systems and your website must be responsive. And clearly, you need video content. It’s what people want.

The content you’re putting out there must be engaging and relevant and custom video production for mobile devices can be the best way to go.

More Website Visits with Online Video

blog-webtrafficvideoAs the significance and necessity of content marketing and strategic online ad placement become more and more important for business growth, so too does the necessity for effective online video.

A recent study by MediaMind indicated that “rich media and video boost metrics on both the direct response and branding sides. Rich media and video made users significantly more likely to click directly on display ads—in the case of video, the likelihood of clicking on an ad went up more than ninefold.” This research demonstrates the powerful effect video can have in the online world.

Other forms of content marketing, such as blogging, are an important part of a successful marketing strategy. However, including video as part of online ad placement and as good content on your website is quickly becoming the most effective way to communicate.

Successfully getting more website visits with online video can be achieved by carefully considering your business and the message you want to communicate. Once you have a firm understanding of what you want to say, then it’s time to get to work.

Online videos can take on many forms. Sometimes the best approach is to choose a representative to get on camera and talk about your organization and sometimes you may need a series of animated videos that describe a product or service. In this exciting time of ever-changing and advancing technologies, the possibilities are endless.

In most cases, it’s best to talk with a online video expert to help ensure you move in the right direction. By getting into the routine of consistently producing video content for your website, you can be sure to captivate and communicate to your audience in an effective manner.

Promotional Video for Website Success

What’s the best way to promote your existing, new, or upcoming website? The answer is easy. It’s with a great identity and creative online video.

Here’s an example. Recently, we produced a short promotional video for the progressive city of Bridgeport, West Virginia. The video was part of a campaign to promote the brand new online city newspaper. The website will be the primary source for news for the city.

Our philosophy is that any successful media outlet, business, organization, etc. starts with a great brand identity and message. And so, the project began with a new logo and style guide to complement an existing identity already being used by the Bridgeport CVB.

We carefully considered all the various aspects and applications of such an organization and developed an identity that would set the online resource apart from other news websites. We then carried the brand through to other promotional materials such as flags, t-shirts, and more. We also designed the user interface for the website… A complete package with personality, style, and a unique identity. And so, Connect Bridgeport was born.

To introduce this website brand to the world, we produced a promotional video. The video was meant to generate interest, describe the purpose of the new website, and convey the unique qualities of Connect Bridgeport to prospective users.

The promotional video was used on social media and on a website landing page. The new website launches on April 16, 2012, and the promotional video has served as an excellent way to jump start this new website adventure and help ensure its future success.

Please watch the video and then contact us to find out if a promotional video can help you.

WV Department of Commerce Video Production

West Virginia Development Office – Department of Commerce Film and :30 Commercial

Pikewood Creative had the pleasure of working with Stonewall Group and the West Virginia Department of Commerce in the summer of 2011 to complete a business development video and :30 commercial to use in their business recruiting efforts, showcasing why West Virginia is best positioned to serve as home for a variety of business operations.

For two weeks in June, we traveled all over the state filming executives from several companies, large and small, to interview them about why they enjoy doing business and having their operation in West Virginia. We interviewed staff from Coldwater Creek and DuPont Washington Works in the Parkersburg area; the team at BrooAlexa in Charleston, and the team at Renick Millworks in Renick; executives at STaSIS, Quad Graphics, and the Macy’s Distribution Center, all in the Eastern Panhandle; and we came closer to our home in Morgantown to film the President & CEO of Azimuth in Fairmont. Those who are new to the state talked about how proactive West Virginia was in helping them decide to bring their businesses to the state, and how much help the Development Office and Small Business Administration have been as their businesses grow and expand.

They also spoke in great detail about the proximity of West Virginia to the east coast markets: the ease of travel for both business meetings and events as well as for shipping their product. Jay Petre from Renick Millworks even refers to West Virginia as “the hub” of the east coast!

Not only did we conduct interviews at each of these companies, but we also captured their workers in action through days of b-roll footage filming – everything from race tracks to construction sites to chemical plants to distribution centers to high end word working. It was exciting to see how much business activity happens on a daily basis in West Virginia!

We also filmed lifestyle and family shots all over the state. We captured farmers markets, scenic historical streets, a train station, a race track and casino, lots of dining and shopping, an outdoor concert and scenery at Coopers Rock and the campus of WVU to name a few. For a business considering a move or a start up in West Virginia, the staff at those companies will never want for activities outside of work.

The :30 commercial debuted to a national audience during the 2011 Greenbrier Classic. The video and the :30 commercial both won Addy and Telly Awards for 2011.

A Young Gun Video Producer

blog-img-danlomann2Pikewood Creative’s Executive Producer, Dan Lohmann, has been honored by West Virginia Executive magazine as one of the members of the Young Guns Class of 2012.

Lohmann has been the Executive Producer at Pikewood Creative for the last eight years, creating videos and commercials for a wide range of clients.  Earlier this year, Lohmann was awarded an Emmy® for his work on United Bank’s “Anticipation” television commercial, centered around the lead-up to the Mountaineer football season.   In addition to his regular production work with Pikewood Creative, Dan has worked for the Olympics host broadcaster for every Olympics event in the past seven years.

Aside from his work at Pikewood, Dan has been active on the board of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes for the last five years and coaches youth soccer and basketball. He also devotes time to support Chestnut Mountain Ranch, a home for troubled teen boys, where he has produced videos to help tell the ranch’s story. He finds himself fortunate to be able to use his creative gifts for the good of the community by producing the annual United Way fundraising video each year.

The Young Guns awards were created in 1999 by West Virginia Executive.  Each year, a new class of Young Guns is selected.  Nominations for this prestigious honor are accepted throughout the year, and new members are selected each September.

5 Reasons You Should Use WordPress as Your CMS

What once was a simple blogging platform is now a rich content management system used by millions of websites around the world and big brands including CNN, People Magazine, and Ford. The ease of use and flexibility of WordPress make it the obvious choice for your website content management system. Here are 5 reasons you should use WordPress as your CMS.

WordPress is easy to use

It’s often said that if you can edit a Microsoft Word document, you can edit a WordPress website. You don’t have to be a web designer to update your content. Updating a post or page is effortless thanks to the built-in visual editor in the WordPress dashboard. The interface is easy to navigate and everything is organized in a way that makes it easy to find.

WordPress is flexible

WordPress is completely open source which means there is a worldwide community of programmers and designers working together to add more features and functionality to WordPress. Add-ons, or plugins, can be easily installed in the WordPress dashboard area to further enhance your website.

WordPress will save you money

Another advantage of being open source is that there are no setup or installation fees. WordPress is free of charge and basically serves as a blank canvas for creating professional website designs. Many advanced features can be added to your website by installing free plugins that were coded by professional programmers – which also include frequent security updates.

WordPress is SEO (Search Engine Optimization) friendly

WordPress is the most SEO friendly among all content management systems and allows full optimization through its features and SEO plugins. Matt Cutts from Google says, “Wordpress takes care of 80-90% of (the mechanics of) Search Engine Optimization”. With much of your website being optimized automatically you can spend more time developing better content for your users.

WordPress is here to stay

In August 2011 WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg announced that 22% of new active websites in the U.S. are powered by WordPress, and 14.7% of the top million websites in the world are taking advantage of what it has to offer. As the number of WordPress-powered sites continues to grow, so does the number of developers who are making it a better and more robust content management system.

Emmy® Award Winning Television Commercials

Award Winning Television CommercialsUnited Bank is a long time client of Pikewood Creative, and is the main sponsor of West Virginia University athletics. To kick off the 2010 WVU football season, Pikewood produced a TV commercial titled “Anticipation.” The spot aired in West Virginia at the beginning of the football season and became popular on social media outlets such as YouTube, where it has received over 16,000 views.

For the creative excellence demonstrated in the commercial, Dan Lohmann – Executive Producer at Pikewood Creative, was presented with an Emmy® by The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) in the Commercial category. The Ohio Valley Emmy® Chapter covers thirteen markets in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia. The judging is composed of a rigorous process where peers, from other markets around the nation, judge each piece according to guidelines established by Emmy® Awards staff.



Why is an award, such as an Emmy®, so important?
Validation and recognition by a group of peers.

In the marketing/advertising and video production business, the main goals are to communicate and be memorable. It’s a highly competitive industry where many creative professionals work hard to improve the business of their clients. Potential customers are constantly bombarded with all forms of visual advertising; from print, to web ads, to TV commercials. Their attention spans are becoming shorter, expectations are higher, and leaving an impression on viewers becomes more difficult. And so, the effectiveness of creative video production can be difficult to measure. That’s why it’s important to enter into the realm of competition and to let creative professionals from other markets evaluate your work. It’s a chance to obtain the constructive feedback needed to validate the video production methods used to produce a particular piece. In the case of United Bank’s “Anticipation,” the concept was to show raw, unscripted footage of WVU football players getting ready for the upcoming season.

Being recognized by peers from all over the nation is important, not only for the client, but for business growth, and the creative professional as well. Winning an Emmy® means that your production level is the best of the best. It says that your work is effective and that the creative professional, and the client, are striving to achieve excellence with the products and services they provide. It opens doors to new opportunities and raises the bar in competitive markets throughout the United States.

The prestigious and coveted Emmy® Award is a major accomplishment for any television and video production professional and it is a strong validation that the pursuit of perfection is alive and well at Pikewood Creative.

About Dan Lohmann

Dan Lohmann is the Executive Producer at Pikewood Creative. He is a graduate of Bethany College and West Virginia University. His career has included video production work for West Virginia University and the Mountaineer Sports Network (MSN), the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the Olympic Games: Salt Lake, Torino, Athens, Beijing, and Vancouver.

In his spare time, Dan enjoys spending time with his two children, Ben and Anna, and his wife Bethany. He also likes to play a little hockey on occasion.

About the Commercial

The award winning television commercial was designed to capture the essence of the anticipation that fans feel in the month leading up to the college football season – specifically the West Virginia University football season. Dan Lohmann came up with the concept of shooting really raw, unscripted footage for this spot.

Find out and more about the commercial…

Find out how an award winning commercial can help you…

Find out more about Emmy® Awards

2 Reasons for Websites with Content Management Systems

CMS-2reasons-1A recent report from W3Techs shows that 71.5% of websites out there today are still not taking advantage of content management.

That’s a shocking number when you consider the importance of using your website to promote your business or organization and generate more leads. You must work to be up-to-date, relevant, and produce great content. Simply having a static website out there isn’t going to work anymore and other methods for updating your site can be cumbersome at best. Why do you need content management for your website? Here’s two good reasons…

1) Content Marketing is the Best Marketing

In a recent article, Mikal E. Belicove talks about the increasing investment that companies are making in the area of content marketing and content curation. Mikal writes, “So what exactly is content marketing? It’s the creation and publication of original content — including blog posts, case studies, white papers, videos and photos — for the purpose of generating leads, enhancing a brand’s visibility, and putting the company’s subject matter expertise on display.”

Content marketing has become the most important tool for branding and promoting your business. Mikal goes on to say that “twice as many B2B marketers now employ content marketing as they do print, TV and radio advertising.” That means that a great website is more important that ever. It also means that your website isn’t just an online brochure with 10-15 pages and that’s it. Your website needs to be put to work. It must be a scalable and adaptable tool that gives you the ability compete in the Content Marketing game.

A website built with a content management system (or CMS) is the best way to accomplish your communication and marketing goals.

2) Content Management Makes it Easy

To be successful at all this it has to be easy. You need to focus on creating good content for your website and implementing that content needs to be hassle-free.

Having a website built on a CMS provides you with the ability to produce this content and keep your website current and fresh. It’s gives you the flexibility to you need. Imagine sitting at an airport and being able to log in to your CMS to add a new blog post to your website, change a phone number, or remove a former employee from the staff page.

Other methods for updating your website can be complicated. For example, Dreamweaver is a good software application for web development and can be used as a way to update your website. However, it often requires knowledge of HTML, CSS, etc. and doesn’t even come close to providing the same level of speed and flexibility found in a dynamic website built with a CMS.

Hiring staff or companies to support you with web editing and development is a good option, but this could be expensive. It most cases, the best strategy is to get your website up-to-speed with professional design and a content management system.

Websites with content management systems are the best tool for promoting your business or organization online and will give you the ability to focus on creating the great content needed to make your company a success.

For more information on how a website with a content management system can help your business, contact us…

What is a corporate video?

If your involved in the business world, it’s safe to say you’ve probably heard the term “corporate video” used before.  And based on the title, most of us would assume “it’s a video about a corporation”.  Good so far, right?

But what do you do with a video about a corporation? And why do you need a corporate video?

Corporate videos have multiple uses: business-to-business, business sales, shareholder meetings, award ceremonies, documentaries, training, etc.  The ever-shrinking attention span of the average internet-age person has forced everyone to think outside the box to get noticed.  Video is the user-friendly approach to accomplishing that goal.

Great corporate videos tell stories about real businesses and real people:

  • The old-school corporate video is dead.  You know the one with the stiff script read by the even stiffer narrator.  The old-school corporate video contains visual images that lacked artistic composition.  They came off as fake and unprofessional.
  • New-school corporate videos are thick in their texture.  They contain art-directed visual images, motion graphics, engaging music tracks, and real people speaking from their heart and not reciting the words from a scriptwriter.
  • Today’s corporate videos use today’s technology to explain what was once mundane material.  Graphs and financial statements can be animated and flow with colors and sound that leave a lasting impression on viewers.
  • Technological advancements also allow corporate videos a limitless number of viewing options.  Sure you can show the finished product in the ole corporate boardroom, but that’s only the beginning.  If you can digitize it, then you can watch it anywhere.  From the big boardroom to the phone in your hand.

Corporate videos of yesterday have become image videos.  They are becoming the universal language of business.  It’s not a matter of if your company needs a video, but rather how badly you’ll hurt your business without one.

Additionally, many companies are able to repurpose elements of their video production to create vignettes and commercials.  Vignettes can be used to further explain a product or service in more detail.  The vignette can be placed on the specific website page for that product or service offering.

What’s the most interesting and creative use of a corporate video that you’ve seen?

We’d love to hear about it and take a look.

Print • Top 3 Reasons to Update your Logo

I speak about the importance of a good company logo all the time and the relevance it has on the perception of your business. Many companies have gone through various logo changes through their decades long histories, for example: Pepsi, Apple, Coke-Cola, etc… The question is why and when did they change their logo? Even more importantly, when will it be time for you to give your brand a new look?

1. Logo is Visually Outdated.

You’re now thinking to yourself, this was great when it was designed, what happened? A redesign of a logo keeps the brand from feeling stale or out of touch. This could be as simple as changing out colors and or updating a font. A great example of this is the at&t logo. You can see that the overall concept did not change at all, yet there is a drastic visual difference between the old one (left) and the new (right). Changing the font and adding some depth and a 3D feel sets this logo apart. The new one feels fresh and current.


2.For Better Recognition and Growth.

With websites, social networks, and blogs being a significant resource for communication, your logo needs to be adaptable on all mediums.  Being web-friendly means easily readable and professional looking across all platforms.  Take a look at this Starbucks logo. Although the original one (left) would look great printed on a coffee bag, when used as a twitter icon, a facebook profile pic or on a website, it will lose its impact and be very hard to recognize. By simplifying things, and adding some color, the logo becomes an icon that people instantly recognize for the brand.


3.You’ve Changed.

Whether you’ve changed your name, type of business or want to change the image of your business, a new logo can symbolize that and create a new visual representation of your brand. For example, apple used to just sell the Macintosh computer. Today with the introduction of new products, services and  innovative technology it not only sells computers, but ipod, ipad, iphone, etc. It is important that the logo evolve with the brand and create a new image of the company along with its products.

 

 

 

 


These are all examples of successful logo updates that have made an impact on the company.  I suggest that if you have any of the above scenarios currently happening within your company that its time to reevaluate your company’s logo and the message you want to send your current and potential clients.

Want your logo updated? Contact us here to get started.