Webinars, online training and virtual conferencing

The Digital Culture Network has created nine guides to help you succeed and thrive in the Digital World. Here is the ninth guide: Webinars, online training and virtual conferencing.

This resource gives guidance on digital platforms for delivering seminars, training and conferencing. Whilst people are unable to physically attend venues at this time, there are various solutions that enable activity to be delivered online. In order to for you or your organisation to programme live events, you will need to use a platform with live streaming capabilities. Here we look at some of the most popular platforms and consider their pros and cons. It is not an extensive list, but gives you a start:

Zoom

Zoom is probably familiar to many of us. It’s very reliable but some feel it suffers from a very corporate look that is less customisable than some other options out there. https://zoom.us/

PROS:

  • Low cost. Basic free account, with additional features from £15.99 per month.
  • Simple but effective platform to produce solid and stable webinars.
  • High reliability.
  • Ability to record webinars gives you the added benefit of uploading it to YouTube.

CONS:

  • Lack of additional sales, marketing of engagement features.
  • Not as user friendly as some of the others

WebinarJam

Webinar Jam offers the best marketing features (ability to email or send text messages to your delegates, sell products, conduct polls and surveys etc) but is aimed more at Sales and Marketing type webinars, which might not be suitable for your audience. They are one of the lowest priced but don’t offer a monthly subscription service only upfront. https://home.webinarjam.com

PROS:

  • Good at tracking user engagement with segmentation and follow-up marketing, allowing you to see who left early and who stayed to the end.
  • Enabled for easy Up-sell, with sales features built-in.
  • Strong ‘call to actions’ that don’t distract from the overall webinar.
  • Good stream quality.
  • Affordable pricing, but you have to pay for full year in advance.

CONS:

  • Not as intuitive to set up as some of the others.
  • Notification emails occasionally go to the spam folders of some recipients, which may cause for some to miss the live webinar.

BigMarker

A jack of all trades. This one-stop platform has everything from Live Webinars, Webinar Series, Automated Evergreen Webinars and usual video meeting options as found on Zoom or Teams. Competitively priced with monthly subscription options. https://www.bigmarker.com/

PROS:

  • Range of features, even automated webinars that appear to be live.
  • User interface well designed and intuitive.
  • Well designed and customisable landing pages that can be branded to suit.
  • Integration and engagement features.

CONS

  • Lack of one click sign up for users.
  • Pricing higher end of market.
  • Pop up offers on screen can be distracting.

CrowdCast

This has more of social network feel than any other and this shows in its ability to have great engagement. It’s quick and easy to schedule a live event and the user experience is fantastic. If you are not looking for anything to customisable or flash then this is worth a consideration. Starting from free membership with up to 100 delegates in a webinar. https://www.crowdcast.io/

PROS:

  • Quick and easy to schedule and start a live event.
  • Tools are simple and effective and probably the easiest user experience of all the other platforms.
  • High user engagement with Chat and Q&A during events is easy.
  • Easy to sell webinars, including exclusive ones to Patreon supporters.
  • Allows “pay-what-you-want” donations during an event.

CONS:

  • Less customisation.
  • Limited extra marketing tools, apart from a small call to action.

Focused on community than sales (pro/con depending on what you are using it for).

Further Support:

The Digital Culture Network is here to support you and your organisation. If you need help or would like to chat with them about any of the advice they have covered above, please get in touch. Email digitalnetwork@artscouncil.org.uk with some background information about you, your location and your current dilemma, and they will connect you with one of our 9 Tech Champions for some in-depth 1-2-1 support.

Sign up to the DCN newsletter and follow us on Twitter @ace_dcn for latest updates.

Arts Council England allows Theatreis.Digital to republish this resource, under the terms of the Open Government Licence.

Find the resource in his original page here.

Can you stream through zoom and youtube simultaneously

The Digital Culture Network has created nine guides to help you succeed and thrive in the Digital World. Here is the second guide: How to stream a Zoom meeting to YouTube.

This guide describes the steps to be taken in order to stream a Zoom meeting via YouTube for webinars. It outlines how you can use the powerful functionality of Zoom alongside the unrestricted options and benefits of YouTube.

Platforms Overview

Zoom is good for video encoding and presenting functionality. There is other software available for this, such as Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) but it isn’t as intuitive to use. However, areas to consider around Zoom are:

  • Some users have had difficulty downloading and using Zoom to watch webinars and are wary of privacy concerns
  • Zoom Pro accounts have a limit of 100 attendees
  • There is an additional cost for the Webinar add on for view-only attendees

The benefits of streaming a Zoom meeting via YouTube for attendees to watch it include:

  • No need to see the attendees
  • It has a built-in chat facility for 2-way live communication
  • There is no cap on the view-only attendees
  • Users most likely have the app installed already or are familiar with the web interface
  • The recording is automatically saved for you to edit and publish afterwards

Note: A YouTube account needs 24 hours to activate live streaming for the very first time you use it. Do a test run in advance of your actual webinar.

Enabling Live Streaming in Zoom

In the Zoom account settings scroll down to In Meeting (Advanced) section to Allow live streaming meetings. Toggle the button on the right to turn this service on.

There are four options given in this section. The first three are if you want to be able to stream any meeting live on the platforms at any time on an ad-hoc basis. For the purposes of this setup you need to tick the last option, Custom Live Streaming Service as this is for a scheduled live streamed webinar.

Set up a scheduled livestream in YouTube

Go to YouTube, click the camera+ icon in the top right and click Go live from the dropdown options.

Note: If you do not already have a YouTube channel you will be asked to create one. This will need verifying via phone/text message.

Here you will be asked to enter the details of your new stream.

  • Title – The name of the webinar
  • Visibility
    • Public – It is searchable by anyone on YouTube and appears on your channel
    • Unlisted – Only people with the direct link will find it. (This is the option we have used for our webinars as we want people to register in advance. We then switch it to Public once the event has passed and it has been transcribed).
    • Private – Only you can view it
  • Category – Choose what type of content it is e.g. Educational
  • Description – What is the webinar about? This appears under the video.
  • Schedule for later – Toggle this to yes and set the date and time of your webinar
  • Upload a custom thumbnail – If you have created a holding slide or have a suitable image it can be added. The size needs to be 1280 × 720 pixels.
  • Audience – Select if the webinar is specifically made for children or not

Click Create Stream.

This will load the control room where you can set the webinar to Go Live and moderate the live chat. For now, we need the stream key (the unique ID for your feed – do not share this with anyone) and the stream URL (e.g. rtmp://a.rtmp.youtube.com/live2).

You will also need the shareable link for the YouTube livestream. Click the arrow icon in the top right and copy the URL.

Setting up a scheduled webinar in Zoom

Over on Zoom, schedule a meeting for the date and time required. From the Upcoming Meetings page, click into your new meeting.

Scroll down to the bottom and click the Live Streaming tab. Underneath the LIVE icon, click the link to configure the stream settings.

The popup window will ask you to paste in the settings we copied from YouTube.

Note: If you have browser autofill settings on for login, it may paste in your email and password. Clear these before pasting in the settings from YouTube.

Going live

When your webinar date and time comes around, get Zoom up and running 15 minutes before you are due to go live on YouTube. Click Start This Meeting on Zoom. At this point, only you can see the video feed so you can test out sharing your screen and if your microphone is working correctly. When you are happy with everything, click on the three dots/More button in the Zoom options bar and click Live on Custom Live Streaming Service. This will start sending the stream to the YouTube control room. The audience cannot see you yet!

The Zoom video feed will then appear in the YouTube control room.

Ideally you would have a second person looking after the YouTube control room. It is operated via the website so no need to use the same device or be in the same location.

Note: There is a lag of about 18 seconds from what you are doing on Zoom and what appears in YouTube.

Meanwhile, this is what users see when they are waiting on YouTube:

Note: This is why a good thumbnail image is important!

When you’re ready, get your assistant to press GO LIVE in the YouTube control room.

Your attendees will now be able to see the live broadcast on YouTube:

Any messages that are put in the chat by users are visible in the YouTube control room where your assistant can delete and ban any comments if necessary. You can also send replies as your channel. For our webinars, we use a phone with the YouTube stream on it (with volume off) so we can keep track of any comments in the live chat and respond to them as part of my webinar content. Remember, there is an 18 second lag between what your audience are seeing and what you are doing on Zoom.

When your webinar is finished, click the END STREAM button in the YouTube control room. You can then leave the Zoom meeting.

The recording will automatically save to YouTube studio where you can edit the video, add extra information such as description and tags, and (importantly) transcribe the audio.

Congratulations! You’ve just a streamed a fantastic webinar to YouTube. Sit back, relax and have a nice cup of tea.

Further Support:

The Digital Culture Network is here to support you and your organisation. If you need help or would like to chat with them about any of the advice they have covered above, please get in touch. Email digitalnetwork@artscouncil.org.uk with some background information about you, your location and your current dilemma, and they will connect you with one of our 9 Tech Champions for some in-depth 1-2-1 support.

Sign up to the DCN newsletter and follow them on Twitter @ace_dcn for latest updates.

Arts Council England allows Theatreis.Digital to republish this resource, under the terms of the Open Government Licence.

Find the resource in his original page here.

How to start a great podcast

The Digital Culture Network has created nine guides to help you succeed and thrive in the Digital World.  Here is the fifth guide: Podcasting and how to get started.

This resource provides information and advice on making podcasts. As well as considerations for generating content, it contains guidance on hardware, software, and distribution methods.

Why Podcasts

Podcasts offer a good route to reaching audiences who are unable to access your work or venue physically, and at a time and location that is suited to their own commitments.

They can help you build and maintain your relationship with your audience, develop awareness of your work and brand, and help you to communicate your ideas, vision and values.

Podcasts tend to be long form (generally 30-60 minutes in length) and non-visual. In today’s world of video based content and short attention spans, this makes them very different to other online content we consume.

They are sometimes narrative based, as people tend to remember information better if it is given in the form of a story. Podcasts are almost always personal and allow the maker to talk about niche interests. While it may not seem it, you are in effect talking directly to your audience. They have chosen to listen to you. They may even have subscribed to do so. If you are knowledgeable and passionate, even the most esoteric of topics can find an audience.

It is possible to generate revenue from podcasts, but you should not expect it to be a big earner. Podcasting should considered more for the value generated in getting the attention of your audiences, and for sharing your content in a different manner.

Essential building blocks for a successful podcast

Before you run off and record the first thirty episodes of “The History of the Orchestra 1650 – 1850” (or whatever your subject is), there a few things worth thinking about first:

  • What is the purpose of your podcast?
  • Are you trying to educate an audience?
  • Are you trying to raise awareness of your subject?
  • Is your idea original or is someone already covering your subject?
  • If they are, could you tell it from a different angle or with a different voice or for a different audience?
  • What makes your idea or point-of-view unique?
  • Do you have at least some expertise on your subject matter?
  • Why should people listen to or a value your opinions?
  • If you don’t have the knowledge, do you have access to experts who do? And if not, how can you access them?
  • Who would make interesting panellists or interviewees?
  • Do you have a plan beyond your first episode?
  • No-one wants a podcast that runs out of steam after one episode. Good planning is vital to stop that happening.
  • It’s recommended that you plan around eight episodes in advance for the duration of your podcast, making sure you know what kind of content you will need and where you will get it from, who you need to talk to and what research you need to do.
  • Have you got the right equipment for the kind of podcast you want to make?
  • You will need access to sound recording equipment, microphones, and for professional quality you may also want to look into leads, stands, pop filters – all dependent on your budget.

Formats

The kind of podcast you want to create will depend on your content and your audience.   You can mix and match, but the advice is to try and stay consistent your audience know what to expect.

Type Description      Example
Interview Probably the simplest podcast form. One person speaking to one person at a time. Penguin books – interviews with authors
Multi-host talk show Recommended at the place to start for those with no experience in presenting or interviewing – with this format 2 or more people share the presenting role.   Kermode & Mayo’s Film review
Panel discussion A group of experts gathered to discuss a topic usually including a moderator who guides the discussion or asks questions. Monocle Culture Show
Repurposed In this format, content is taken from an existing form, say a radio show or TV and is simply edited to make it suitable for podcasting. The Jump
Hybrid A podcast that is a mixture of the above formats.
Solo Simply one person talking about something they are expert in. Hardcore history – Dan Carlin
Fiction All the above are none-fiction format. Some podcasts are fictional from audio books to audio dramas. BBC Radio 4 short stories.

The equipment

Whilst good sound quality is crucial to your podcast, the good news is that you don’t need expensive, broadcast level equipment to get started. That said, you do need to have reliable methods of recording and editing audio to get it ready for release online. Let’s break this down into two areas: Hardware and Software.

Hardware

Often for podcasting you may want to capture content outside a studio, so portable equipment is important. Your choices for this range from using your phone (modern smart phones are surprisingly capable), to choosing a professional field recorder that tests the definition of “portable”.

Somewhere in the middle, an integrated audio recorder is recommended as a good mid-range option. Typical features will include built-in microphones, inputs for additional mics and recording onto memory card for easier transfer to a PC.

Brands such as Tascam and Zoom offer entry level models that are passable, but you get better mics, recording quality, inputs and battery life as you move through the price points.

There are a couple of ways to record phone or skype calls. The simplest is to download an app from your device’s app store. Alternatively, you can use an attachment device or microphone with your phone. And if the person on the opposite end of the call has a similar set up, you could potentially use editing software to make both sides of the call sound like you’re in the same room – unless, of course, you want that ‘phone-voice’ effect.

There are a lot of microphone options to choose from depending on how and what you are trying to capture.

If you are recording more than one person, recording from a distance or want reduce background noise, you might want to consider lavalier or lapel mics, which can be pinned directly to your subject. It helps to have spare mics and have more than one way to capture audio.

In the studio, condenser mics are king – as they offer the best sound quality of all types of microphones. However, their added sensitivity means they require more care and more kit.

Mic stands, pop shields, audio interface, headphones are other equipment you will need to improve sound quality.

If this sounds complicated, then starter packs that contain all the kit you need to get going are available from a couple of hundred pounds and are mail-order. We’ve provided some links to start your research in the ‘Where next?’ section below.

Software

There are two stages to creating a podcast – capturing and editing. You will need software that does one or both functions.

There are a whole host of audio software products on the market. Audacity is an incredibly popular – and free – software that handles capturing and editing well. For something more professional, Adobe Audition is usually the tool of choice – though it uses a subscriber model of £19.97 per month. Website thePodcastHost.com has compiled a handy comparison of both of these software choices.

You might also need music or sound effects. It is strongly recommended that you refrain from using uncleared commercially released music which would require royalty payments unless you have a very strong case for using it. If you do want to use something of that nature, you’ll need to look into licensing options – and quite often this won’t be cheap, so ask yourself how much your podcast really needs it.

Alternatively, there are a multitude of services available online for stock music – both free and paid for. For example, Storyblocks offers tens of thousands of music and sound effects that you can use for a small charge.

Podcast creation checklist

Creating a podcast in 10 easy steps.

  1. Collect all content
  2. Rough Edit interviews
  3. Write script
  4. Record host over clips
  5. Insert voiceover clips
  6. Second, close edit
  7. Add sound effects
  8. Add music
  9. Ensure all volumes are aligned.
  10. Create one single audio file ready for distribution.

Distribution

To distribute your podcast, you need somewhere to host it. While you could just host it on your own website (a lot of people do), this may lead to bandwidth issues or incur you extra costs. A better option is to host it on a specialist audio hosting platform.

Libsyn – a specialist podcasting audio host that has packages starting from £5/month, depending on how much space you require and the features you need.

Soundcloud  – offers up to 3 hours of content hosting for free, or unlimited hosting for only £10/month.

What’s important is that you need to be able to get a feed from your audio host that you can supply to distribution platforms. This will be straightforward with both above but could be more complex if you used your own website.

You also need to apply and submit your podcast feed to one or more distribution platforms (e.g. Apple PodcastsSpotifyAcast, Google Podcasts). These are all free and not difficult to submit to. Instructions for a few of the main ones can be found in the above links.

Finally, podcasts need to be marketed like any other product or service. Don’t forget to promote in/on both your online/offline channels – web, social media, email, company literature etc.

Where  next?

If you are looking to hear what is possible in the medium – and what’s judged to be the best in the business – take a look at the British Podcast Awards

If you are looking to explore the topics in this article in more detail, Podcast Insights has a wealth of information.

For more on starting a podcast in the cultural sector check out the Space’s guide.

There are also some good tips in this Whole Whale article about podcasting
https://www.wholewhale.com/tips/how-to-make-a-nonprofit-podcast/

For equipment there are a lot of suppliers from entry level to professional, with most offering full kits to get you up and running in no time:

There are many great cultural podcasts available. A few we’d recommend include

  1. Art Curious – Exploring the unexpected, the slightly odd, and the strangely wonderful in art history.
  2. Creative Matters – Views from the cutting edge of arts and culture.
  3. ArtiParti – Celebrating participatory artists and creatives.
  4. Cultural Peeps – Exploring different Career Pathways across the Museum, Gallery, Heritage and wider Cultural Sectors.

Further Support:

The Digital Culture Network is here to support you and your organisation. If you need help or would like to chat with them about any of the advice they have covered above, please get in touch. Email digitalnetwork@artscouncil.org.uk with some background information about you, your location and your current dilemma, and they will connect you with one of our 9 Tech Champions for some in-depth 1-2-1 support.

Sign up to the DCN newsletter and follow us on Twitter @ace_dcn for latest updates.

Arts Council England allows Theatreis.Digital to republish this resource, under the terms of the Open Government Licence.

Find the resource in his original page here.

How to get funding

The Digital Culture Network has created nine guides to help you succeed and thrive in the Digital World. Here is the third guide: Income generation and Donations.

This is a list of links and resources around income generation and donation strategies, to help you to build your digital relationships, grow your reach online and try out some different approaches. Be sure to check our other advice sheets as some of the things we discuss here are covered in more depth in other resources.

 

Things to consider

Over the coming months there will be increasing demand for entertainment and distraction, so consider what parts of your programme you can deliver digitally, what can you offer for free to allow people to see the value in your content and what parts can you charge for.

It will help to bring people into your world and turn them into donors or encourage them to buy things from you, by showing them a little of what they can expect to see from your paid content for free.

If you want to encourage people to donate, then it’s likely that you will be far more successful with a strategy that demonstrates your value to them and allows them to see how your work can enrich their lives.

There is a great article on Whole Whale that discusses this: Whole Whale digital fundraising link

Facebook have also written a useful guide on how to minimise disruption to business as usual, which you can read here: Facebook minimising business disruptions link

 

Optimising Your Website for Income Generation:

Areas to consider around maximising your website:

  • Make it as easy as possible for people to donate or buy services and products from your website.
  • Use simple language and clear messages directing people to the things you would like them to do.
  • Think about the route through your website that people will take to find that information and prioritise the content that matters the most.
  • Experiment with the messaging, images and copy, and the positioning of buttons to see what gains the most traction.

Here are some resources to look at for some good tips on this subject:
Whole Whale have written an article about what makes a good landing page: Whole Whale landing pages article link

Whole Whale have some website optimisation tips specifically for non-profits Whole Whale non-profit website optimisation tips

Hubspot have written a good article on marketing landing pages containing some good tips: Hubspot marketing landing pages link

 

Methods for Donations:

We would suggest you consider making it as easy as possible for people to donate to you on your website. There are lots of different donation platforms out there that can be set up to process the donation payments for you. Once you set up your account, the platform usually supplies you with a little bit of code to copy and paste into your website pages. This turns into a button or a form and allows your loyal supporters and customers donate to your organisation.

We have created a selection of articles and services below to look at:

Campaign Monitor has written an article on 12 of the most effective ways non-profits can drive donations online: Campaign Monitor 12 tips to drive donations link

Paypal.me allows you to give people a direct link to a page where they can put any amount of money into your PayPal account: PayPal.me link

WP Beginner has written an article that details a variety of plugins you can use to start encouraging and collecting donations from your WordPress website: WP Beginner plugin link

Shopify have an app that allows you to easily set up, launch and run donation campaigns: Shop for Good- Charity Donations.

Shopify also have an app that allows you to round up your transactions to the nearest pound and donate the surplus: Round up for Charity Shopify has a further app that allows people to add a donation to their purchase. Easy Donation

Wriggle have developed a voucher scheme to pay it forward and ask people to purchase vouchers now that they can use later: Wriggle voucher scheme link

 

Online Retail (eCommerce) Income Generation:

This might well be the ideal time to start thinking about creating an online shop and using print on demand services, to help create, produce and deliver your products to customers. People are browsing online more than ever, so consider how you can excite a captive audience to sign up, donate or purchase online.

Before you create an online shop there are some key factors to consider, including:

  • What makes you unique as an organisation? What unique product or experience could you offer?
  • Who are your customers? Where are they from? What could excite them to buy?
  • What could you sell which is unique, exclusive, scarce or valued?
  • Do you already have a captive audience that you could market products too or would you need to promote through marketplaces?
  • How could you build a long-lasting customer relationship which can result in repeat purchase and customer loyalty?

Further reading:

HubSpot free paper to know all there is to eCommerce marketing: Hubspot paper link

The Balance discusses the 5 Types of customers and how to get them to buy more: The Balance 5 types of customer link

Shopify discuss how to sell art online: Shopify how to sell art online link

Superfast POD Print On Demand in practice: Superfast POD print on demand link

 

Live Streaming, Podcasting and Digital:

These offer opportunities to connect with your audiences in different ways, including visual, audio and digital downloads. Consider whether there are digital downloads you can create for audiences. For example: ‘How to’ articles, or activity sheets for children are likely to be popular. Consider creating audio recordings or podcasts of some of your materials, which can be produced by remote working teams.

Please refer to our more in-depth resources on podcasting and live streaming.

If your organisation runs workshops, delivers training or classes, consider running them online. Here are a few platforms to consider delivering them:

Zoom is a tool for video conferencing: Zoom link

Crowdcast is a tool for delivering interactive live conversations at scale, also has options for donations during broadcasts or paid for events: Crowdcast link

Skype can be used for individual or group text chats and video calls: Skype link

Further reading:

Whole Whale have some great tips in this article about podcasting Whole Whale podcasting tips link

 

Arts and Cultural Specific Sector Support:

This section will be added to as and when we discover relevant advice and support, but for now we have created a list of useful sector specific resources and advice being offered by our SSOs.

AMA have created a brilliant resources page that is updated daily. It has a section on income: AMA resources page link

The Association for Cultural Enterprises have lots of good advice in their resources section: The Association of Cultural Enterprises resources link

Cause4 have a section on their website around income: Cause4 income resources link

Crowdfunder are offering 100% free fundraising for your business along with support from Enterprise Nation: Crowdfunder pay it forward campaign link

Arts Fundraising have a page of useful resources: Arts Fundraising link

The Design Trust have an article around creative crowdfunding: The Design Trust creative crowdfunding link

Institute of Fundraising have created a resource on the Coronavirus and advice for supporter services: Institute of Fundraising Corona virus link

Ticketsolve have created the Ticket Converter tool to help you manage large scale ticket cancellations: Ticket Converter tool link

Ticketsolve video explainer for the ticket exchange tool: Ticketsolve video explainer link

CrowdEngage have released a tool to streamline cancelled events and encourage donations of ticket purchases: CrowdEngage twitter announcement link

PatronBase have released a PDF resource guide on the Coronavirus with tips to help you through this challenging time:PatronBase Coronavirus guide link to PDF

 

Further Support:

The Digital Culture Network is here to support you and your organisation. If you need help or would like to chat with them about any of the advice they have covered above, please get in touch. Email digitalnetwork@artscouncil.org.uk with some background information about you, your location and your current dilemma, and they will connect you with one of our 9 Tech Champions for some in-depth 1-2-1 support.

Sign up to the DCN newsletter and follow us on Twitter @ace_dcn for latest updates.

Arts Council England allows Theatreis.Digital to republish this resource, under the terms of the Open Government Licence.

Find the resource in his original page here.

How to make a great video with a smartphone

The Digital Culture Network has created nine guides to help you succeed and thrive in the Digital World. Here is the sixth guide: Producing Video Content.

This resource provides information and advice on making video content using a smartphone. As well as considerations for generating content, it contains advice on hardware, software and distribution.

Why Video

Video has proven to be more engaging and more memorable than any other medium. Great video can illustrate a story and take the audience on a journey. By producing videos that offer the audience a glimpse behind the scenes of a production or an in-depth review of a museum’s artefact, audiences have the chance to see much more of an organisation’s personality and what makes them so unique.

Typically videos produced for YouTube have a longer run time than Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. But don’t aim to reach a certain run time, quality not quantity is the name of the game here. If a video is perfectly right for its audience it doesn’t matter if it’s 5, 10 or 25 minutes long.

The absolute focus of your video should always be on the story, answering the questions below internally will help you determine whether it’s going to be right for your organisation.

  • Why should my audience watch this video?
  • What will this video say about our organisation?
  • Why will people want to see more from us after watching this video?

Audiences have relatively short concentration spans with video, so you should always look to keep your video moving along as swiftly as possible. Also it helps to start with impact, explain what the video is about, what you will cover and aim to do that within the first 30 seconds.

Long drawn out intros might look impressive but if the audience fails to understand the video’s significance to them they will simply move on and in doing so harm your statistics in the eyes of the algorithms.

There are billions of people in the world and millions of niche interests, so don’t convince yourself that your voice isn’t important, it is!

With your knowledge, passion and incredible access to behind the scenes action, you are in an incredible position to produce engaging content that will most likely be loved and shared.

Essential building blocks for a successful video

A quick glance at YouTube will illustrate this next part perfectly, but the most successful videos on YouTube are videos that don’t sell but inspire and inform. It is worth thinking of video like the scene in Jerry Maguire where Jerry says: “Help me, help you.”

  • What is the purpose of your video?  Are you trying to educate an audience? Are you trying to raise awareness of your subject?
  • What makes your idea or point-of-view unique?
  • Do you have at least some expertise on your subject matter? Why should people watch your video and value your opinions?
  • Is your video best suited to be factual, regular entertainment show or a feature case-study piece? How are you planning to structure it? Will it be just one “personality” on their own or will you be able to bring in guests, and if so, can this be done on a regular basis?
  • Is there an appetite for putting in the effort? No one ever made it to the top on their first, second or third video it takes time, a lot of time! Everyone starts with zero views and you and your team need to be prepared for the long haul.
  • Have you got the right equipment for the kind of videos you want to make?

Types of videos

The types of videos that you can make depends a lot on your time and resources. Here’s a guide to the most popular videos and what goes into making them.

Type Description      Example

Solo Piece to Camera

Commentary

Reviews

How To’s

Inspirational

Only got a camera and mic? Prepared to talk to yourself for hours and edit the best bits? Well in that case these types of content are a great way of educating, informing and inspiring your audience when all you have is yourself.

     Casey Neistat

Peter Mckinnon

Sunny Lenarduzzi

Interview style

Chat show

Commentary

How To’s

Inspirational

Got friends and an extra mic? A conversation is probably one of the easiest things to film if you have at least one camera and two mics. It’s also great to get to know the subject and uncover aspects from someone else’s perspective.

     Objectivity

Numberphile

Documentary Style Lots of time and equipment with a story that needs telling? Well although these types of videos are hard to pull off and are often less engaging, they do have the power to stick around and be entertaining for many years to come.

     Real Stories

RT Documentary

The equipment

We have got all this way and only now are we covering equipment! That’s because the greatest camera in the world doesn’t equate to the greatest video in the world. Story will always be what people come for and importantly stick around for… though we still need to record the image using something!

Hardware

Your mobile phone is likely to be a good solution, especially now most of us have a smart phone capable of recording great images. Whether it’s an iPhone or Android most will have the ability to record pleasing video.

Keep it simple at first. Film during the day in a well-lit room with no background noise and you should get nice images.

Better still face the window (face into the light, not away from it) and as long as you are not in direct sunlight you’ll get an even exposure that won’t overwhelm your phone’s camera. If you can buy a plug-in directional mic this will improve your audio quality by reducing unwanted background noise.

Editing

There are many apps out there to choose from, but the one we have found that works well on both Android and iPhone is InShot. It is free to download and try, if you want to remove the watermark in the bottom of the frame, it’s less than £3 to buy the licensed version.

Using InShot (and most other apps) you can select clips from your camera roll, import them to the app and trim them down accordingly. You can raise or lower the audio level, add titles and graphics and even color grade the footage. But remember less is more!

From there you can export to your chosen social media channel of choice, all from your mobile device.

Video creation checklist

  1. Write Script/Scriptment
  2. Plan your shots
  3. Make sure there’s plenty of light
  4. Make sure you have good clean audio
  5. Do several clips, everyone makes mistakes
  6. Turn your personality up to 110% audiences love enthusiasm
  7. When finished choose your clips from your phone’s camera roll.
  8. Add them to the InShot timeline and trim them down and re-order them.
  9. Adjust audio and if needed the brightness/colour before adding titles.
  10. Export and upload to your chosen social media account.

Distribution

You’ve spent a long time on your project and it’s easy at this stage to forget about the importance of thumbnails, descriptions, tags and titles.

Using a website like Canva you can produce free great looking thumbnails that will have clarity and brightness, be the perfect size and aspect ratio, and look appealing to your audience.

Couple this with a catchy title, and a lengthy description full of keywords, an you are on your way to being discovered on YouTube. Hashtags and Tags are also important as it helps the server locate the answers to audience queries and serve up your video. Therefore, it’s key to make sure you don’t become too generic with your Tags and actually home in on what your particular niche audience is searching for.

VidIQ and TubeBuddy are great for helping you to identify areas in your description, tags and title that could do with being improved.

Where  next?

For equipment, here is a list of equipment that adds quality to your videos, although there are plenty more to choose from on the internet. We’ve provided Amazon links, though of course, these are widely available from a variety of retailers.

  1. Mic for Android – Amazon UK Link
  2. Mic for iPhone – Amazon UK Link
  3. Cage for supporting phone – Amazon UK Link
  4. Light – Amazon UK Link

And if you need more support, check out our very own video here on how to produce videos using a mobile phone.

Further Support:

The Digital Culture Network is here to support you and your organisation. If you need help or would like to chat with them about any of the advice they have covered above, please get in touch. Email digitalnetwork@artscouncil.org.uk with some background information about you, your location and your current dilemma, and they will connect you with one of our 9 Tech Champions for some in-depth 1-2-1 support.

Sign up to the DCN newsletter and follow us on Twitter @ace_dcn for latest updates.

Arts Council England allows Theatreis.Digital to republish this resource, under the terms of the Open Government Licence.

Find the resource in his original page here.

How to work remotely

The Digital Culture Network has created nine guides to help you succeed and thrive in the Digital World.  Here is the seventh guide: Remote Working Tools.

This resource gives you information and suggestions around some of the tools available to work remotely and collaborate with your colleagues.

How to and what is possible

Many of the tools have functionality for online chats, collaborative working and project management. We’ve highlighted some of the popular ones, but there are many more out there.

 

Tools available

Skillcrush have written a great blog where they talk about the tools mentioned here but also a lot of smaller ones that might be just what you’re looking for your organisation. These are 27 tools every new remote worker needs

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is part of the Office 365 suite, which you may already have. There is also a free version available. It is integrated seamlessly with O365 and is available as a phone and tablet app, desktop app, or can be access in your web browser. All three methods of accessing Teams are useful depending on where you are and what tech you have access to. There’s three main ways to use Teams:

  1. Video meetings – With geographically spread teams, it is important to be able to still have face-to-face meetings. If you can create a meeting in Outlook, you can create a meeting in Teams, as it is a very similar process. Up to 250 people can join a meeting from any location, offering a similar experience to Skype. You can blur your background for privacy, share your screen for presentations and record your meeting for future viewing.
  2. File sharing – Often documents are collaborative efforts, worked on by more than one person. With Teams you can access them anywhere and have confidence that the one you are working on is the latest and most up-to-date version. Any document saved to a team is accessible anywhere by members of the team. It also integrates with One Drive so all of your cloud-based files are accessible through the Teams interface. You can also set up individual channels and decide who can access key files, so you can maintain some level of security for more sensitive documents and any planning tools.
  3. Chat – many of us used to tools such as What’s App, Facebook Messenger as ways of keeping in touch with our friends and family. Teams has similar functionality which allows you to chat to the whole team, some team members, or a single person. It’s great feature for just staying in touch, and chat is also a great way at reducing email trails and keeping track of conversations. Teams uses a function called channels that allows you to separate out important team conversations from interpersonal chat.

Slack

Slack is a platform that is often highly rated by its users and offers similar functionality – meetings, chat and file sharing. There is a free version available, which limits usage to 1-2-1 meetings. For three or
more people in attendance you need the first paid tier which is around £5.00 per user per month.

Like most of the main players, you can integrate Slack with a lot of other apps including Outlook, Google Drive, Trello and many others. One of the benefits often cited for Slack is the ease of set up compared to
MS Teams. So, if you’re a technophobe, this might be the platform of choice.

Workplace by Facebook

Easy to use, as Facebook Workplace looks almost identical and uses a lot of same user interface elements
as it’s more public facing platform. Like Slack and Teams, Workplace allows you to have hassle free video meetings, group chat and share files. You can also broadcast via Facebook Live and work with other companies that also use the same platform. You’ve likely used Facebook Groups before and these are available in Workplace as well, so you have all conversations all in one place.

There is a powerful free version available and if you are a charity, their Advanced tier is also free. The main (and maybe only) con is that you must have a Facebook account to use the platform, though all personal activity is kept separate from business activity.

Best of the rest

Whatsapp and Skype are powerful tools for group chats. Google Hangouts and Google Drive offer similar functionality and have free options. And there are many more out there.

 

Further Support:

The Digital Culture Network is here to support you and your organisation. If you need help or would like to chat with them about any of the advice they have covered above, please get in touch. Email digitalnetwork@artscouncil.org.uk with some background information about you, your location and your current dilemma, and they will connect you with one of our 9 Tech Champions for some in-depth 1-2-1 support.

Sign up to the DCN newsletter and follow us on Twitter @ace_dcn for latest updates

Arts Council England allows Theatreis.Digital to republish this resource, under the terms of the Open Government Licence.

Find the resource in his original page here.