Cameras at the ready…

A few weeks ago, I was asked to produce a video highlighting all of the 2017 events hosted through my public radio station. The development department wanted to include it in an email encouraging year-end donations. It was a great idea except for two small issues: 1) we had no video footage, and 2) the request arrived on December 27.

Fortunately, we did have quite a few still images and I was able to pull together a slideshow video of sorts. 

Since Mark Zuckerberg continues to push video first across his Facebook family of apps, I continue to think that original video content is important for bookstores to attain higher reach to their followers.

This video really doesn’t consist of much more than photos, royalty-free music, and the ability to tap out an 8-count. I created it in Adobe Premiere, but there are many other programs available. My daughter likes iMovie.

I did resize all of my images to 1920 x 1080 pixels, because that’s the 16:9 ratio that I use for video, too. That way if I did want to incorporate both video and stills, I could maintain the same screen size throughout the video.

Once I had the images gathered and sized, I pulled this video together in about a day. So the main message I’d like to convey is this: Get your cameras ready! It was so affirming to see a year’s worth of events in one place. A year-end video is a nice way to remind your customers of everything you do for the community. But the only way you can do so is if you take photos at your events throughout the year, so take 300 seconds and add “take photos” to your events checklist. And when each event is over, you can process them in Facebook albums or save them in a file for easy collection at the end of the year.

And this is when I turn a corner with my thinking. It took me a day to gather the images, a day to resize them, and a day to produce the video. While I can’t produce a video for everyone, I think I could produce three next December. So, if you would like to enter you bookstore in a video-production giveaway, highlighting your store’s activities and accomplishments for 2018, complete this form. I’ll do a random drawing for three winners on February 1.

Keep in mind, if your store is selected you’ll have to do your end of the bargain: Take photos! Take pics of your staff. Take pics of authors. Take pics of your customers. They really like to see themselves included in social media like this. Remember to follow the photo release guidelines you have set up for your store, especially if kids are involved. And if you win, I’ll set up a Dropbox folder for your store so we can collect the images throughout the year.

Get those cameras ready! And good luck.

Beth Golay

Beth is a reader, writer, marketer and Books & Whatnot founder. Even though she knows better, she's a sucker for a good book cover and will positively swoon if a book is set in appropriate type. @BethGolay