Each year for the past 12 years, we have shot the Southern Regional Foot Locker Cross Country Race for high school students. The top finishers go to San Diego for the Nationals. We used to shoot this Foot Locker cross country race on Betacam back in the day, but of course, now we shoot it in HD. It’s always fun to be at this event (even though it starts early in the morning), which is held the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The energy at the event is contagious and I just love it. We edit a short video to go on the Foot Locker website as soon as we get it back to the studio.

Here are the videos from last year’s race:


We recently shot a podcast session for TLC’s hit new show, My Big Fat Fabulous Life, which is set right here in Greensboro, NC. The show’s star, Whitney Thore, had a great personality and was fun to work with! Also along for the shoot were her mom, Babs, her roommate, Buddy, and her dance partner, Todd. We shot with two cameras for Discovery and TLC’s social media efforts.

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If you don’t know how to do something, the most popular go-to move is launching an Internet browser and quickly Googling your inquiry. Within moments, your answer is in hand and you immediately feel you have conquered the world. Google, which owns YouTube, reported that “how-to” searches on YouTube are growing 70 percent year-over-year for mobile users. If you are one of these people, welcome to Google geekdom.

Organizations can leverage the power of consumer habits and behaviors of searching for content on YouTube by creating how-to videos surrounding their product or service.

For example, a furniture retailer may create a how-to vlog (video blog) on how to properly clean microfiber sofas (all the moms with toddlers rejoice!); or an event planner may create a video on how to properly place silverware for a dinner party (because we all know which fork to use, right?).

Consumers are steadily turning to YouTube for videos to deliver information quickly and in an engaging format, especially when it comes to how to do something. Most of us can admit to being visual learners, and would rather be shown how to do something instead of reading. The explosion of YouTube info-centric videos is a testament to our disdain for long instruction pamphlets. Want proof? Just type in ‘Ikea furniture assembly’ on YouTube. Case closed.

If you want to create your own how-to videos, here are some things you need to do to get started:

  1. Keep it short! No superfluous, flowery language. Consumers don’t need the history of a sofa if they just want to know how to clean the cushions.
  2. Ask someone to watch your video to make sure your instructions are clear and understandable. If your test audience doesn’t understand it, you still have time to make important changes or edits to the video before thoroughly humiliating yourself online.
  3. Be sure to include text for those who prefer to read or just want to glance back at one of the instructions. You can do this by text pop ups within the video, or by offering a transcription of the video in the description area of your YouTube video page.
  4. Include keywords and optimization tactics for YouTube. Properly tagging and optimizing the description space can make your video easy to find, as well as allow it to rank higher than other results.

Remember, when creating how-to videos, you are representing your brand and product, so take heed when trying to do your own without the help of a video professional. For more information about how-to videos and Web videos, contact Gefen Productions to get your brand moving.

Good Looking Young Nerd Smart Guy Man Using Tablet Computer

There’s a lot to be said about re-using things. You can recycle old rubber tires and plastic water bottles, so why not re-purpose video content? In fact, if you leverage them correctly, they will provide content for your brand or product on a lot of different levels.

Say you’ve recently produced a commercial, product video or recruitment video. There can be life beyond the video’s original purpose!  Here are some insights on how you can re-purpose video content professionally to increase ROI for your company.:

  1. Website Content: It has been shown that consumers vastly choose video over text when given the option of how information is delivered and your website is prime real estate. House your product videos on product pages, introductions to the company on the company profile page, happy customer videos on the testimonials page, and your employee recruitment videos on your careers page.
  1. Social Media: We’re not just talking about posting your video on social video streaming sites like YouTube, although that should be a given. Videos are excellent content for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. Studies have shown that videos and images yield higher engagement rates on these platforms than text alone. So, if you want your message seen—and heard—video is a shoe-in.


  1. Email Blasts: Email marketing is not dead; in fact, it’s still a very viable way to market your product or service, with over 97% of Americans checking their email every single day. The trick is to make people want to read your emails; but if you include a video to help spice up the message—and their inbox—you’ll see greater conversions and click-through rates. Add a saucy and provocative subject line to entice people to open the email and watch your video views soar.

In fact, a study by Experian found that of companies who included GIFs in their emails, 72 percent revealed that their messages have higher transaction-to-click rates.

  1. Vlogs: Vlogs, otherwise known as a video blog, may be the missing component your blog needs to increase traffic and engagement. Like we’ve mentioned earlier, consumers actively choose videos over text to receive information. If you’ve got a great video on cool product features, don’t tell your audience about it…show them.

Just because you used a video on social media doesn’t mean you can’t use that same video on your website or in a blog. Don’t be afraid to use your video content in multiple arenas, when appropriate.


If your company’s website content is a total snore, there’s still hope for you to create an enchanting experience with your would-be customers before they hop off your site and go on to greener pastures. The path to replacing content is a simple one: Add more videos.

Quick and informative videos not only add unique content to your site, they also provide fast content without having to read paragraphs of information. Who has time for that? You may think there’s no way to incorporate videos into your paper printing company or sock manufacturing business (we’ll use these for examples), but here are five easy ways to do just that.

  1. Instructions and tutorials. If you are trying to learn to use/do something, it’s best to show, not tell. Having a link to a video attached to your product will give customers immediate access to your website, Vimeo or YouTube channel, where they can learn how to use your product. For example, if you sell specialty paper, give them a tutorial on how to antique the edges for a distressed look, or how to correctly load transfer paper into their printer. For the sock enthusiasts, give them tips on how to keep them in pairs (pinning in the wash!), avoid blisters, or discuss appropriate wear (such as running vs. dress wear).
  2. Product demonstrations or features. This is the show-and-tell portion of your website. These videos offer an opportunity to demonstrate something about what you’re selling. The paper printing company might demonstrate how their paper is made, or how the printers work in their offices. The sock manufacturer could show the high-quality process of how their socks are made or the staff behind the magic-making in an interesting learning video. These videos also give you the chance to show how your product or service stacks up against the competition.
  3. Drawings or giveaways. What better way to host a drawing or giveaway than to debut a fun and informative video with all of the rules? Have fun with these! The idea is to get as much participation as possible, because ultimately, contests are just another way to market your business. Use screenshots, b-roll and other clips to spice up the video.
  4. About Us sections and company profiles. Rather than talking about yourself, why not show your viewers who you are? These are especially fun for employee bios, which are much more interesting than stiff and generic information next to a Lifetouch-esque headshot (does anyone actually read those anymore?). Embed a short biography video on each employee’s profile page on your website, and give them an opportunity to introduce themselves. Likewise, have the CEO or President show viewers around the office in a video housed on the About Us page.
  5. Media coverage. Don’t forget to show off your media coverage! This is especially important with any television coverage. If you only have print or digital coverage, that’s okay! Simply put together a video slideshow or take quotes from articles you’re mentioned in and create a fun animated text video. Gather some testimonials and sprinkle them in for a boost of validity.

There are a lot of different ways to incorporate video into your website content. After all, a study by Unruly discovered that those who watch videos are 97% more likely to make a purchase after viewing it and become 139% more aware of your brand! For a professional looking video, hire a video production company to shoot and edit it for you. You’ll save time and money.

YouTube homepage

When it comes to YouTube, there are millions of videos to watch, with 100 hours of videos uploaded every hour (in the United States alone). What does this mean? It means you have some stiff competition when it comes to getting views for your vids. So how do you differentiate yourself and make your video stand up against the competition? Here are a few cool Youtube tricks and tips to help optimize your video and give a more polished presentation:

  1. Speak instead of using on-screen text. When businesses use on-screen text in a video, it’s more of a distraction than a benefit (as a rule). You may be using that text to share your Twitter handle, while you narrate some important information viewers need to hear. Instead of soaking in your words, viewers are reading your Twitter handle and your voice is more of a Charlie Brown ‘wah-wah-wah-wah’ sound in the background.  A better idea would be to tell your viewers to follow you on Twitter or subscribe to your channel, and simply share your handle and subscribe link in the video description below the video player. They can continue watching the video without fear of losing the information.
  1. Take advantage of the video description.When writing your video description, remember the following:
  • Mention and link your other channels and social media pages so people can easily find you.
  • For Google’s crawling purposes, add the most important information that you want seen in the top of the description. (Google only indexes the first 156 characters.)
  • Make sure to fill your description with keywords relevant to your video!

Here’s a great example of a fabulous video description box:

Jimmy and Kevin Hart Ride a Roller Coaster

  1. Take the time to edit your video. After shooting your video, make sure to take time to edit it correctly. If you don’t have the budget to hire a professional editor, YouTube has basic editing software built into their platform. With this software you can:
  • Customize- You can customize your videos with special tools and effects, such as filters and overlays.
  • Trim- Trim down your video and cut out the extra, un-needed content, like bloopers and outtakes.
  • Add Music- YouTube provides a library full of approved tracks to add to your video. Don’t expect anything off the Top 40, but there are some decent-enough tracks if you don’t have the budget for a song license.
  • Combine Videos- Did you film multiple takes or segments? Combine them into a single video!
  1. Put time into your video title. After you have finalized your video, it’s time to give it a headline. Your video title can be a strong determining factor as to whether a viewer clicks on your video to watch, so bad titles only put the nail in coffin, so to speak. Video titles need to be carefully crafted and well-thought out. When coming up with your headline, be sure to consider the following:
  • Is it captivating? Make sure to have a title that grabs people’s attention and makes them want to watch your video. For example, “Cute Monkey Does Tricks” isn’t as enticing as “What This Monkey Does to Get a Treat Will Blow Your Mind!” Which one makes you want to watch the video?
  • Descriptive- Don’t deviate from the actual content of your video when it comes to your video title. Users will quickly jump off your video page (or even worse, leave a negative comment) if you trick them into watching something that they did not expect.
  • Not too long- Find the sweet spot with your video’s title. You want to be to the point but need it just long enough to properly inform viewers about the video’s contents. For SEO purposes, titles are recommended to have between 50-60 characters.
  • Keyword Filled- What keywords would help to define your video? What are you tagging for your video? If possible, include at least one keyword in the title of your video.

Here’s a video title that’s to the point, but still enticing:

Top 10 Craziest Events Caught on Live TV

  1. Don’t forget to format your video accordingly for web use. YouTube is a great place to house your videos, but it would be a real waste not to utilize them on various platforms, including your social media and website. YouTube allows you to decide the size of the video player you’d like to embed on your website. This allows you to properly fill any space around the video player, giving your website a more polished look. You can choose:
  • The color and size
  • Whether or not to include related videos
  • Whether or not to display the player border
  • Whether or not to play high-definition by default (for video embedding at a larger size)

Whichever way you slice it, it would be silly not to take advantage of some of YouTube’s free features. Even if you don’t plan to use YouTube as the primary place to house your videos, you should still have your videos uploaded and optimized there for no other reason than to increase visibility. Because YouTube is now a Google partner, it’s also beneficial for SEO purposes. With so many eyes roaming YouTube every day, you never know – you may have the next big viral video! Better brush up on your PR skills in case Jimmy Fallon calls.

Contact us for more information!