Our world has gone virtual overnight. No more live events. No video or photo shoots. But that shouldn’t mean your content team is out of material. Now more than ever, your communications, fundraising and marketing teams need well-organized content with optimized workflow solutions to get their jobs done. In today’s post, I’ll talk about a few tools to help.
Organize Your Photo and Video Assets
If you are like most organizations, you have plenty of photographers creating images of your events and impact, but very few people scrubbing through those photos to tag them with useful metadata. That’s where a tool like Luminar can help. While this software allows you to edit, augment and boost the impact of your photos, it also contains built-in tools to help the storytellers on your team. For example, it contains a robust cataloguing tool. So when you ingest your photos, you can set up categories. And the AI will gather metadata already connected to your photos to make life easier. For example, it will make date-based shortcuts, so you could search by, say, the year 2019 and pull up all the photos from your events last year. You can check it out with a trial version of Luminar, that includes a free Photofocus bundle with extra training, sky replacement, and a couple of other cool features.
CatDV by Square Box Systems is a Digital Asset Manager (DAM) that works for a variety of creative and business teams who need visual assets for storytelling. I’ve used it to categorize and tag video content after shooting in the field for clients. But it also can work with your photo library. CatDV offers secure remote access to footage for those organizations who want to be able to do remote video edits (which is now all of us!) One of the cool, newer products from Square Box is an Adobe Panel that is mobile and tablet friendly, and includes scrubbable video previews, among other handy features for those editing in Premiere Pro. And if you’re using Final Cut Pro, there’s a workflow extension designed for you, so editors can browse, search and import media directly into their projects without exiting FCP.
Zoom meetings are great. But if you need to review and comment on videos in production, you need a more robust collaboration platform. The one I’ve been using successfully with my clients to keep our workflow running smoothly while out of the office is Wipster. With Wipster, team members can provide direct feedback on exact frames of video roughcuts and finecuts. We can also have private conversations amongst just the post team about how to solve any problems identified. This streamlines the review process to ensure videos get approved and posted on time. Use this link to try Wipster for free for your team (this is my affiliate link, so I will receive about enough to buy one small latte—when I can get out of my home office!)
Draw on Stock Content
Since organizations can’t acquire much new content right now, it’s a good time to focus on amping up content with stock images. I’m a big fan of Unsplash, a free resource which I used to source many images appearing in this article. For paid stock libraries, be sure you purchase the best license for your needs. Rather than a one-time use fee, for example, most libraries offer a slightly higher fee that allows you unlimited uses—a much more cost-effective strategy for these cash-strapped times. Look to collections like Pond5, who have already curated top-needed content for our Covid-19 times, such as a series of hospital and medical photos and videos. One of the new collections on the scene is Pikwizard , run by Wavebreak Media – a leading global supplier of premium content. One of the coolest things about this resource is you can take each image and edit it in their graphic design tool, Design Wizard!
Get the Message Out Faster
One of the coolest new tools for creating social video on any screen–from your desktop to your laptop and your mobile phone–is Adobe Rush. Free for anyone already using the Adobe Cloud platform, this streamlined version of Adobe’s Premiere Pro editing platform is designed for non-professional editors, so you can deliver fast, professional production quality to your social platforms. Another tool I really love for social sharing is Pic Monkey, which allows you to add branding and text to photos from your device (rather than inside a social app), as well as crop them and post them to all social platforms. You can also keep a library of images to draw from. It’s a real time-saver whether you are posting from mobile or desktop.
Improve Your Skills
Finally, it’s a great time to ramp up technical and creative skills for your team. Many platforms, such as LinkedIn Learning, are providing opportunities to increase skills in leadership, technology, branding and storytelling. (Shameless self-promotion here–my courses are available here.) A new resource for creatives in the online training space is ThinkTAPLearn.com . They are currently offering a 90-day free subscription to 100 courses, including some of my own. Enter code NOTEBOOK99 during checkout and hit “apply” and your free trial will take effect and give you access to more than 100 classes online (including some of my own).
These are strange and challenging times. Take advantage of resources, experts, and asset management tools. And use the extra time you have every week–now that you’re not commuting–to deliver better video storytelling for your brand.