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The E-coach Blog
By Alison Bickford on August 18, 2012
Choose a format
The first thing I did was settle on a format which I could use consistently as part of the brand. This included:
- Creating a list of viable topics.
- Writing scripts for each topic. These later become transcripts.
- Setting a format – 5-7 minute videos of expert opinion.
- Deciding where the videos would best be accessed by clients. I chose my blogs, YouTube and iTunes (I assumed iPhone download)
- Purchasing a short audio sting from iStock, for the intro and outro.
- Creating a intro announcement.
- Getting artwork done for the intro video screen and iTunes tile (see thumbnail above).
Cost v’s Quality v’s Time
My time is scarce and our brand is about providing advice that is accessible and unpretentious. The podcast videos were never about being a corporate quality. They were about getting content to people. I have improved my video output over time, through trial and error. I have made a conscious decision that, if the production quality is not perfect, that’s okay so long as the content is useful.
Video recording equipment
- Teleprompter app for iPad (Pomptware Plus - free). I use Dropbox to send my scripts from my PC to the iPad for uploading into Promptware.
- Adjustable ironing board, to put the iPad on.
- 180cm Tripod for the video camera – A$120. This stands directly behind the iPad. The iPad is positioned just below the lens.
- Double-headed light stand – although I intend to buy some cheap flood lighting from the hardware store.
- Canon HFM52 Camcorder – A$800. This is a new model, and I chose it for it’s performance in low light.
- AudioTechnica lapel mic – A$85. Unfortunately, I have bought the incorrect mic (again). The camcorder requires one with its own power source.
My partner then patiently stands behind the camera while I perform the transcript.
I output the video to MP4 HD, 1280 x 720 pixel.
Video post production
Production is tedious, because I have chosen to output for both YouTube (1280 x 720 pixel, HD, 16:9 dimensions, MP4 output) and iPhone via iTunes (480 x 320 pixel, 3:2 dimensions, M4V output). The two formats have a different pixel size and dimension, which means I have to adjust any edits I make for a YouTube output to fit the smaller, different ratio iTunes output. Here’s the detail:
- Import the video into Camtasia 8 video editing software.
- Import my standard audio intro/outro, audio announcement and opening jpg picture.
- Import the video and edit by putting in call outs, overlaying jpg pictures (sized for 1280 x 720).
- Produce the video for YouTube.
- Save the Camtasia file for iTunes and adjust all call outs and pictures for 480 x 320.
- Produce the video for iTunes.
NOTE: To make the overlaying pictures, I simply make up PPT to the required size for YouTube (1280 x 720) and save as a jpg. This will create each PPT screen into a picture. I then have to resize the PPT for dimension 480x 320 and export again to use in the iTunes production. This is not fun.
NOTE: The video dimension is always 16:9, but the iPhone dimension is 3:2. This results in a black bar above and below the video when it is viewed on the iPhone.
Uploading video to the platforms
The YouTube and iTunes platforms are very different. For YouTube, you are physically uploading the video into a relatively secure platform. Your video can be embedded and screen captured by others, but essentially it stays on the YouTube server.
To get your video displayed in iTunes, all you do is ‘send’ a RSS feed to iTunes. You don’t upload the video on to an iTunes server. Anyone who clicks to download your video in iTunes is actually downloading it from your personal server to their device. This means the videos can be on anyone’s device – they are not secured to the iTunes platform.
Uploading to YouTube is pretty straight forward, although effort is required to maintain the channel, as new features and layouts are being introduced all the time. Click here to review our YouTube channel.
Itunes is more fiddly. Originally I got help to set up my RSS feed to iTunes. I use FeedForAll to maintain and update my iTunes RSS feed. The RSS feed needs to be adjusted with details of each new video. The video and RSS feed need to be uploaded onto my website server. Then I use a ‘ping’ to signal to iTunes that my RSS feed has been updated. This refreshes the information in iTunes. Click here to review our iTunes channel.
NOTE: When you upload new content to YouTube and iTunes, there is an opportunity to attach metadata to the videos. These are descriptions and keywords that describe your video content. Be sure to be consistent and thorough in the metatdata, as this makes or breaks how easily people finding your videos.
Once the videos are in YouTube and iTunes, I promote them via Twitter, Google+, my 2 website blogs and my e-newsletter.
Be sure to measure the success of your videos. In my case, I am looking at popularity. I measure and monitor various YouTube and iTunes parameters once a week. Occasionally I get written feedback, which is always nice.
So, there you have it! It’s a big effort, which is why I only release a video every 4 weeks. But, it’s a valuable and accessible way for potential clients to get information and evaluate the Connect Thinking and Connect Thinking E-Learning Academy services before contacting me.