Growth Imperative #1: Video


Catherine McCord // Weelicious
Carley Knobloch // digitwirl
Jennifer Kennedy // The Video Mojo
Stacy Morrison, BlogHer Editor-in-Chief

Online video has been the media story of 2012 with double and triple digit increases in the amount of ad dollars being spent, and research indicating that within just a few years the vast majority of web traffic will be to online video content.

Stacy start session about videos with tech difficulties on loading videos

Why video matters so much


Catherine -- Weelicious dares to cook with children and she is on our BlogHer food channel

Carley -- digitwirl almost 3 years

Jennifer -- been involved in video for many years but recently as a vocation - video mojo

Stacy -- editor-in-chief of BlogHer, runs the BlogHer TV

Stacy: this year video was the buzzword with 350% growth is ad revenue. Views have tripled. Exponential growth in mobile. Entertainment on the go. Number of views on blogs skyrocketing.

Video that women want to watch is still a small market. Biggest company is maker on gaming, sports, fart jokes, 15 sec viral funny video. Huge pop for entertainment - the how to- e.g. how to stuff a turkey. We want a personality driven video. Entertaining, a memorable personality and growth involved in videos.

Video is intimidating: 6 audience raises hands that it is.

Catherine: Background in video editing - I hosted on MTV and ABC. She did not know camera, editing. She wanted to show people how to actually make food. Her husband told her to make it into videos. Wanted to show parents that cooking with kids and for kids is easy. She is still doing what she started doing 5.5yrs ago. She produces an original video every Tuesday, always fresh and new. Video is no 1 monetizer more money maker then anything else she does.

Carley: No background in videos and her blog posts became about management. When the iPhone came in she got a lot of questions on her blog. Since she lives in LA and a lot of show and decca are in LA doing how to videos. She decided in an incredibly naive way that she wanted to talk with women about tech without looking geeky. Wants to talk to women who are not stupid who are time challenged not intelligently challenged. She had a vision of how it would look. An interstitial … what would it look like to do beautiful content. She found a DP on craigslist, a sound person, and crew of 2. They all came to her house, wrote scripts and started shooting. She learnt about lighting and create schedules so that her content met her users lifestyle needs. She felt there weren't that many talking about lifestyle.

Jennifer: Video started with her hair. Her mom got her a relaxer since she was 13-20. At 20 she decided to stop with chemicals… suddenly no idea how to manage natural her. So she started using videos to learn to style her hair… now she is a PM and makes tutorial instructional videos. She is a former teacher elementary teacher for 10 years. Then she started creating videos about hair, finances… everything. She created videos for everything. She was asked war she wants to be known for… for her simple amazing videos.

Stacy: The how of a video.

Carley: She wanted to show her first 9min long webcast video… She could not find it otherwise she would share. She wanted to look much high quality. TV quality is what she wanted. She was toying - she wanted to work with top tier brands not be a tuber. She learnt early on in production how to deliver content -- don't want to sound verbose, be illustrative without showing too many photos. Took a while to come up with a formula but it took a while to get to a formula. Then she came up with a steps process and a recap and a cute little joke and got done in a 3min. Quality of video has stayed same but has become more savvy about what she is showing and how she is showing it and conveying it.

Stacy: Needed to learn how to leaner to write 1200 words and cut it to shorter and shorter. It's the pacing.

Catherine: Her husband got nominated for a golden globe. Her husband was going to help her film and in 3 weeks got fired. She spent 99 dollars and got a class for week. She learnt how to edit at the Apple Store. The guy at the Apple Store happened to be a director so she hired him. Her videos are on HD camera, very simple videos. My best advice: get someone from a culinary school, film school. Students know so much tech and programs and editing work with them. If you are shooting video get them in the first 15 sec.

Stacy: In the first 5 sec.

Temptation to set-up and do a background. Not necessary, you need to be hyper concentrated OJ juice. The best it can be.

Regular canon power shot, Jennifer.

Jennifer: ow screen casting with screen flow, iMovies for editing, skitch for screen shot, PowerPoint used for videos too… I storyboard my videos. I write down every frame on my post it notes. Remove info I don't want to appear on my video. I want to make sure I have a slide to show materials, what I need, and a step process. I'm not very organized person so it took me time to learn to go step by step.

I dropped tub of water on my camera and went to tube and learnt that I put it in rice and then bake it in 200 degrees in oven and it was fine.

Carley: If you want a b-roll of a tight shot of something un-close you have to have a tight shot list planned. You have to have everything planned.

Catherine: Watch people n your space. Watch their videos. Watch 3 people doing it. Ask a cousin to come run another still camera. Now we will bring a 3rd camera from up to get tight food shot to see what they are making. Always know when you are editing u want things to be seamless. You want the wide shots and floe ups to be matching.

Carley: If you are lucky to be in a broadcast environment, a lot of people with 100 thousand dollar equipment in a TV studio. You can do it at home to but a 1 camera shot is great but then it is about how I up the ante and make it dynamic. Alton Brown puts camera in the refrigerator and she tried to do that to be a content creator that is different.

Stacy: When you start doing video you want to focus on 3 dimension. Video storytelling is different what intervals can you put in, music, graphic programs, have your own finger print. How do you make a mark and look different. What's your voice, what do you bring, how do you present your style?

Stacy: A woman made a motivational video with b/w with words and it was amazing. Because Catherine said just do it.. don't buy huge equipment just do it. You will go back to their blog to hear your voice and to know you and that makes you alive.

Stacy: Like Julia Child was a brilliant chef and made mistakes thus people loved her.


Catherine: Mistakes -- 1.8 million views on tube only 7k followers. Was such the creator that was my strength. Then I realized I need subscribers. Became a part of Kin Network of likeminded people. Blip, blinks for syndication. A video player on your site so you can turn other peoples videos and make money.

Stacy: Sponsored videos, rapid growth. Mesh your brand and make it authentic and transparent. We will see much more dynamic ad units. They want ads to look like content.

Carley: Sponsored videos -- she was enthusiastic about tech stuff. They would create high-quality video and big companies liked her tone in her videos. They liked videos of their competitors. They liked how she talked to women. They wanted her to talk about their brand in her tone and style. So that is how syndication opportunities come in. If you are developing content for a niche there might be sponsors looking for that niche. If you are out there producing this kind of content someone will find you. Beyond sponsored content she was asked to create her own content too.

Catherine: If you spend time making blog posts and videos, they might see your video somewhere else maybe not in your blog. In mobile device they might; different ways to add depth to add content.

Audience 1: All of you have professional set ups with crews and all, but not everyone can afford that. When I do videos myself, takes long time to do a stop animation video. Or several weeks to do. It's great to afford a crew but what if you can't?

Catherine: Has no crew. My computer and my camera is all I have. Public access channel in Long Beach. She can have access with minimal price she uses their equipment. You can start with an iPhone too.

Catherine: My videos cost 50 dollars to create + 15 dollars for the food. Go to local schools, give them a meal and use their resources.

Stacy: If you are doing stop animation videos, it will take a lot of time but you can find resources to help you.

Audience 2: Heather - your crew will make 3 videos at a time? Yes we are all busy so we will work on more at a time. We shot a lot. I get the crew, write it all out and then you do not want to memorize but want to plan it well.

How about for clients?

Catherine: 3 crews. My crew is a well-oiled machine. We have found our model so we have it all well organized and we are familiar with each other now and we know our parameters.

Stacy: Yes, there is a learning curve. It might look we have a lot of money in a company but we use other help. you start with 2 and then end up with 8 videos.

Catherine: We do not do the editing. Go to the local store and they will help you. Weelicious videos -- you cannot do a video twice with kids. What you see is what you get. We have very little editing in our videos.

Audience 3: What platform do you use, vimeo, YouTube?

Carley: I want to share a mistake. I thought i was going to start a huge campaign. Bright clove I have 3 quarters million impressions but I changed my model and then I went to YouTube. I realize that it is critical to be on tube. To show traction and following. It is important to show- If you want to monetize and commerce then go to Vimeo to attract artists. You don't want ads on Vimeo- syndicate sites blip to throw your videos and they will.

Catherine: Mistake -- I was going to make videos and I did not need to make any ad revenue. so I went to blip for years... and a year and few months ago went to YouTube. It's the standard. Where the action is.

Catherine: Vimeo, like the clean look and tube capabilities of search. On YouTube -- long shelf life. It will be there for a while.

Stacy: W will start showing videos now. An idea of videos:

hire me -- Kennifer

She used screen flow 99 dollar software package. Did background in PowerPoint. Used images from stock. Then she edited the wording and animation in PowerPoint and then added the video and then she put the video out.

Stacy: I like the Time inc video we have on our network. They use only still photos, 1 talking head, decide how photos come and go and they made mini recipe packages, used still photos while the person talked and that's how they showed the recipes.

Carley: She wrote the intro and end shot and then she put it all together later. You don't want your videos to look cookie cutter; you want a little humanity but you can shoot some of the beginnings and ends all at the same time to save time and money.

Catherine: If u get nervous in front of camera, have someone film you making making -- and then you can film just talking.

Stacy: Mango puree weelicious video, her older video with no mic and natural light so lots of background noise.

egg in the hole video

Catherine: Music still use free music because it is expensive.

Stacy: Music creates pacing, keeps engaged.

Catherine: Now we had to go back and remove non licensed music.

Jennifer: -- royalty free music 20-30 $ for 3 min music clip.

Catherine: Contact the artist for her book video and they let her use it.

Stacy: More vídeos. check her videos because not working on this AV system. She captures her content with a certain looseness in her talking style.

Jennifer: Creative commons // video sounds from She makes her own sound effects too.

Stacy: Add bells and whistles, little soundbites very important.

Stacy: Showing carley's video on her computer. She showed one of her first video.

Audience: Was the video paid for? How do you make a distinction between paid videos and your own?

Carley: With video cues and tricks like we looked at lots of different things and this is the one we decided to talk about. Sponsored we say brought to you by or paid by with full disclosure. Talk about subtle cues and show our likes when doing videos for yourself.

Catherine: When she did her own videos and used someones products they came and asked her if she would do a video for them with their product.

Audience for Carley: How do you differentiate your own video content from a sponsored video?

Carley: When creating a sponsored video you can focus 100% on their content. I usually will see or talk about content I like so when I'm not comparing products and focusing on the sponsor there is no deterrence and I talk positively about my sponsor content.

I like to advise to my sponsors that it should not look like an ad. There should be an additional value.

Audience: How do you think about syndication of your videos?

Carley: Syndicators have their own audience. They are not looking for exclusive videos. They can work on multiple ecosystems. But where they are showing their videos may not be where your audience is. I had started an email list of several thousand subscribers and I prompt them to watch the videos every week. You want YouTube subscribers too.

Catherine: 13-19 yr olds audience. As for syndication it comes down to time. I can upload my video to tons of diff sites. But what is your time worth. Focus. Pick 2 or 3 places where you will be seen and make money.