business

Video Production & Why it Matters in Marketing

Did you know the average person’s attention span has shrunk to about eight seconds these days? Only eight seconds! That means that most people won’t even make it through this sentence before they’re on to something else.

Still there?

Okay, great! Because High Five Media has a little secret to help your business attract even the shortest attention spans on social media.

Video! Video! Video!

Should we say it again? 

If you want to get noticed on social media, you need to be posting video content.

Especially custom-made video content. Why videos? Well, let’s take a look at the facts.

Video Compared to Other Techniques

There are a lot of attention-drawing techniques out there for social media. Two of the most common techniques are linking articles and attaching pictures. Those aren’t too bad.

In fact, visual content is more than 40 times more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content, and content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without relevant images.

But video takes things to the next level.

The list goes on and on!

Why is Video Better?

For starters, you get to engage viewers on two completely new levels.

The first one is motion. It may sound obvious, but movement attracts our attention way more than static images do. That’s because motion can convey feeling or cause emotions in the viewer.

For example, imagine you want to inform your viewers about the dangers of oncoming trains. Which do you think bring up the sense of danger better? A speeding, moving train or a motionless picture of one?

The second trick up video’s sleeve is sound. Again, it’s obvious, but sound and sight together engage our brains exponentially more than sight alone. 

What you may not know is that sound can even change the way we see something.

According to a recent study by UCLA, sound affects vision in a similar way to how smell affects taste. 

Moving music or familiar background sounds might literally change how your viewers perceive the content in your video.

When you’re targeting social media goers, you need the emotional connection that video provides.

Your Video. Your Message.

A properly made video won’t just give information; it will connect the viewer to the personality of your business.

That’s what makes video more powerful and more crucial than any other social media tool, because that’s what why we get onto social media in the first place—to connect.

Want to see what your business’s video could look like? Check out these videos made by High Five Media!

What have you done to capitalize on the video trend?

3 Reasons Your Business Needs a Twitter

Here at High Five, we breathe social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google +— You name it, we’re all over it. And while all businesses may not share this caliber of zeal for it, they definitely partake.

In fact, it’s as essential now for a business to be active on social media, as it is to have a phone number. 

Among these platforms, Twitter is an indispensable constellation of it’s own. The micro-blogging site, known for it’s 140-character post limit, hosts 310 million active monthly users

Ten years since it’s conception, Twitter has hatched and grown into a powerful communication tool to show us how much can be shared simply by being concise. Almost every major company, from American Airlines to Amazon, utilizes the platform

If you’re not part of the Twitter-sphere already, your business could be seriously losing out. That’s why we’ve complied a list of reasons your business should be on Twitter.

Connection

Twitter is an ongoing global conversation, different from other sites like Facebook, because the interactions it facilities are swift and intuitive. Organic, if you will. It’s the kind of space where you can pull a person, or business, aside and address them directly. 

It’s likely that your clientele is already on Twitter, sharing their opinions and concerns about your industry or business directly. They’ll appreciate you all the more for listening and responding. 

Branding

Hashtags are ideal for branding. Create custom hashtags for your business and use existing ones too. Local hashtags, like #OKCeats for example, will extend your reach to local audience and broad ones like #FoodPorn will expose you to a larger community. Establish your personality, and let the world see what makes you unique.

Twitter is a great place to fully engage people in what you’re doing. Utilize hashtag competitions, live tweets on events, Twitter ads and chats to interact with your audience. 

As an added bonus, consistently seeing interesting posts from your business builds familiarity and trust with customers. You’ll be on their mind when they need you. 

Expansion

Expanding your network goes beyond the customer base. When you’re active on twitter, it opens up a portal of communication to leading professionals in the industry. It lets you have a conversation with people you might otherwise not have access to. Just like you can see what your clients are up to, you can use Twitter to see what your competition is doing as well. 

Ultimately, you want what’s best for your business and to give it every chance possible at unrestrained success. So why not join this #party and make the best of all the opportunities it offers? 

3 Photography Hacks for Beginners

 

Here at High Five, we love our team and their creative brains. The hours and mad skills they put into their work leave us in a state of shock on a regular basis. Meet one of our photographers, Jonathan Burkhart

Jonathan was picked as one of TIME Magazine's 50 Instagram Photographers to Follow back in 2015*, and continues to embark on crazy adventures with friends, gathering a vast array of portraits and landscapes for his portfolio (and his 51k+ Instagram followers).  

We’re not quite sure how he does it . . . some in the office theorize that he listens to Baby Got Back to get in the zone, while others say that he does exactly five jumping jacks to find his Zen mode. Regardless, we are proud of all that he is and most importantly, we're proud of his humility and how he handles his talent. 

So after we finally found a free moment for Jon (he’s a busy man), we asked him for some tips and tidbits for all the budding photographers out there. Here’s what he said: 

1.) Composition is key. “You’ve got to think outside the box,” he said. “I know it sounds cheesy, but until you really dig in, you won’t be able to fully commit and get the results that you want. You’ll be working against yourself; you have to get out of the box and stay out of it.”  Another important thing to remember about a photo’s composition is the rule of thirds. The rule of thirds is all about balance and the natural way that the human eyes looks at photos. If you imagine a 3x3 grid when looking through your camera lens, place the points of interest on the intersecting points of the grid. 

2.) Lighting is make or break. “You want your lighting to convey the emotion of the subject,” Jonathan said. “To make your message most effective, use lighting to your advantage to create the mood, whether that be using shadows or fully exposing your subject.” It’s also important to be aware of the sun when you’re shooting outside. “Golden hour” is a term used for the time in the day (either right after sunrise or right before sunset) that has the best natural light. Be on the lookout for sunrise/sunset times! 

3.) Jonathan’s favorite editing apps. Apps are some of the greatest tools for beginner photographers—and professionals, too! “Apps are some of the greatest tools for getting your feet wet in the photographing world. If you just take a little time to explore the app and learn, you will become a little better versed in the terms and tools of the trade."

Below are some of Jonathan's favorite editing apps: 

Taking professional-grade photos is hard and takes a lot of time and attention. Don’t stress yourself out—find a professional! We’ve got a few around here who will get the job done AND give you some high fives. 

 

Five Content Marketing Resources for Newbies

Content marketing, a word thrown around in the business world yet rarely defined. At High Five, we like to make sure everyone is on the same page and the same planet so let’s quickly break it down:

Content- consistent, valuable information through various mediums: articles, blogs, videos, pictures, social media posts, info graphics, etc. 

Marketing- the process or technique of promoting, selling, and distributing a product or service

In simplest terms, content marketing delivers valuable information to buyers in hopes that it will promote and sell a product or service

But, here’s the trick. 

Society is over feeling like they are constantly being sold something. They don’t trust you. I mean honestly who enjoys listening to that car dealer’s sales pitch, or furthermore, who actually trusts him or her? 

For content marketing to be successful, a business must master the art of intentional, genuine communication between their customer and themselves. Content marketing says, “Hey look at these DIY projects you and your honey can do this weekend.” Instead of,  “Come to Lowes, we are a warehouse full of building stuff.”

Oh, content marketing. How valuable you are to business when done correctly.

If you’re ready to dip your toe into content marketing, start with these five great resources

Search Engine Optimization: Want to make the first page of Google organically?  You first must understand the ins and outs of SEO.  

Blogs:  An easy way to create more content for your business is to enter the world of blogging. 

Video Content: If you read our blog post 3 Trendy Social Media Takeovers in 2016 , you know that video marketing is vital

Social Media: #Twitter #Facebook #Instagram #crucial

Content Marketing Plan: Even if you’re not Type A, having a content marketing plan ensures that your online presence will continue to build. 

What are resources you use for content marketing? 

Networking is Not a Dirty Word

The year is 2016. You've just closed a deal for the business opportunity of a lifetime and opened the door to new horizons for your career. The question - how'd you pull it off? The answer - networking 

In a world of ever-expanding digital communication, the word "networking" is often associated with a string of retweets, Instagram likes, and the occasional LinkedIn request. However, the real benefits of networking come with strategic and intentional communication.  

As a generation steeped in the digital age, millennials have the tools necessary to get the most bang out of their networking buck. That's why we've compiled a list of ways to tap into your networking potential.  

  1. Navigate the business waters. As the saying goes, "there are plenty of fish in the sea." This is especially true for the business community. There are numerous invaluable connections from all walks of life that could potentially help you in some way or another. However, Rome's network wasn't built in a day. Start by honing in on business professionals in your industry of interest. By establishing contacts within your career field, you're creating a path to future interaction and furthered insight into the inner workings of the industry.  

  2. Become a follower. (But, don't make it creepy.) Social media is a good way to get your foot in the door with new contacts. By following industry professionals on platforms where they are most active, like Twitter or LinkedIn, and engaging in the content that they post, you are making your name and your presence known. Follow their activity and strive to create professional and meaningful interaction.  

  3. Go off the Grid. With so much of business conducted digitally, a face-to-face conversation is becoming more rare, which makes it all-the-more effective. Attend events and get involved in business-focused organizations, like your local chamber of commerce. Connecting in-person with a business professional is a great opportunity to make a favorable impression, while also fostering unique discussion and adding a human element to your already-established digital presence.  

  4. Talk, don't squawk. Too many times, young professionals make the mistake of selling their experience and skillset from start to finish. While pitching your potential isn't always a bad thing, it can often lead to ending connections before they begin in networking scenarios. Rather than fixating on you, focus on them. Initiate a discussion about their passion for the industry. Glean the tricks of the trade from their years of experience. Turn the tables on traditional topics and become genuinely interested in who they are as a business professional and what they have to offer.   

After strengthening your connections, it's not unusual to find yourself with a vast network of industry professionals, excited about engaging you in the future of the field and ready and willing to help you kick-start your career.

A Magazine Resurrection

We're pleased as punch that our Linked Magazine editor, Meg, decided to grace us with her blogging presence with this little entry on why magazines are still relevant. It's a resurrection just in time for Halloween. Enjoy!

Every writer is also an avid reader and a critical thinker.

We inhabit a space that's hard to describe unless you've been there - in which case, no explanation is needed. We always set out to keep ourselves out of a story, and we inevitably either draw on some personal experience to give depth to a piece, or become so personally touched by the subject of our writing that we leave a bit of ourselves in it. Writing is hard. It’s a constant state of self-examination and self-evaluation. Every comma becomes personal; every line as much art to us as the stroke of a brush to the painter or the contouring of a shape to a sculptor. Fortunately, professional writers (a category I find myself in, incidentally) have thick skins. So after we craft our art, we cut and edit it. We try to surgically remove our bias from our writing. Sometimes it hurts and sometimes you really think that last sentence shouldn't have been cut, but you hit publish (or send to the printers) and hope for the best.

Years ago, if you had told me that I would be at the helm of six magazines by the age of 24, I would have laughed. Magazines were declared a “dying” form of journalism so long ago, it's hard to see how they aren't already dead. Except, they aren't dying. That’s never been the case. They’re changing and adapting, and technology has allowed writers to connect with audiences on a much more intimate level than ever before. We can reach more people and get feedback in real-time after our magazines hit doorsteps. 

Dying? No. Evolving? Absolutely.

So before you discount long-form journalism, remember everything is cyclical. We live in an age where more young people choose to scroll through pictures on instagram than read the words in Facebook statuses, and where folks get their news in 140-character snippets from Twitter. But even now, it looks like that 140-character limit may increase. Buzzfeed has reinvested in longform journalism, and most comprehensive journalistic work in the world is being done for newspapers and magazines - articles measured in pages, not characters. Magazines matter just like stories matter. They connect us; they remind us why we cared in the first place. Linked Magazines are hyper-local. Our goal is to connect people by telling stories about the people and places around them. By covering stories in communities around the metro that aren’t being told elsewhere and by highlighting people and groups doing good—real good for people you know (or should know, if you’re new), we’re helping communities connect and grow.  

Magazines do a better job at this than any other form of media out there. They have staying power and allow us to spend more time with our subjects. When I’m writing a story, I don’t have to worry about hashtags or SEO. I’m focused on you, the reader. I’m focused on delivering you beautiful photos and stories to match. I’m I'm focused on sending you a magazine you'll pick up and read. I’m focused on your community, your story and your world.

What do you think about magazines? Do you enjoy long-form journalism? 

Getting Honest about Your Potential

It’s interesting how there’s really nothing new.  

All high school graduations employ the same cast of characters—the popular ones, the beautiful ones, the athletic ones, the smart ones, the weird ones, the quiet ones.  Watching my daughter cross the stage at her graduation reminded me of my own high school experience, and it got me thinking about a person’s potential.  

Ah, high school

Those simple words are likely to evoke a range of emotions and memories ranging from excitement to nausea. Depending on who you ask, high school is defined as either a battleground where people claw for survival or a kingdom to be surveyed and ruledNo matter what sort of experience you may have had, though, there’s something universal about the experience—high school is a fertile ground for potential.  

Everyone has experienced that utter surprise when you’re told the deadbeat who sat beside you in History is now a venture capitalist for a multi-billion dollar company, or when, conversely, the

Valedictorian with all the prospects becomes a drug addict who’s living in his parents’ basement. The surprise is visceral and stays with you. This is because a person’s potential is important but it’s only one part of the puzzle for success. In high school, kids dream recklessly—they announce they’re going to be doctors and lawyers and astrophysicists with the aplomb of a British royal.

But potential, like high school, brings with it its own baggage. Some people shine when they’re told they have great potential, while others break out into hives and whither.  In business, it’s crucial to understand the potential of a sale or of a client, so in my own life I’ve given a lot of thought to the subject. The way I see it, people experience two lives—the life they believe they’re capable of and the life they actually live.  In order to succeed, I mean really succeed, you must not only reach your potential, but surpass it. Because blog posts are about boiling things down to sound bites and quotes, I’m going to make this part 1of a 3 part series on how to meet (and then exceed) your potential.

Step 1:  Be honest.  

This might be the most difficult part of the puzzle, because, let’s face it, you think you’re hot shit.  This comes out when you apply for jobs way out of your experience level, don’t get the job, then proceed to tell everyone how idiotic everyone at the company is who didn’t hire you. It happens when you play indoor soccer against an All-American and are genuinely surprised and frustrated when he or she absolutely schools you.  Having confidence is important—it’s actually crucial—but you can’t confuse confidence for cockiness. 

Taking stock of your skills, really understanding your capabilities, your strengths, and (you     guessed it) your weaknesses is a significant part of getting real with your potential.  So many times in job interviews I’ve asked candidates to rank their skills on a set of 1-10, and invariably they spout off a host of 8s, 9s, and 10s. If it’s for writing, I’ll then ask, “If Mark Twain or Jane Austen is a 9, what are you?”  Puzzled they’ll sputter, “well, ah, I mean I guess I’m a 3 or a 2 or (God forbid) a 1.” 

So many people have absolutely no concept of what they’re really worth. This happens on both ends of the spectrum and both sides are equally detrimental. Understanding, I mean really understanding what you have to offer is like putting prescription glasses over your 20/8 eyes.  With honesty you’re able to assess when someone short shifts you, when you’re overwhelmed, or when you need to ask for help. Self-assessment is hard, but totally worth it.

I’m not saying you need to constantly compare yourself to the greats, but I am saying you need to really understand what it means to be an 8 or a 9 in your field. If you’re a 5, what are you going to do to bump up a number? This is a tough pill to swallow, because many of us had (and still have) big dreams for our lives. We see ourselves as capable of anything, so when we fall short, it’s a shock. Getting real with your talents allows you to remove the rose colored glasses and see your work for what it’s worth, and then assess how you can improve it. 

I’m excited to continue with this 3 part series, and hope you find it inspiring so that whoever you were in high school, you’re able to achieve a success you can be proud of today.  

What are ways you can get honest with yourself? Do you feel you’ve reached your full potential? Why/why not?