From Test Tube to YouTube

As members of the Ingenuity network will know, one of our key aims is to make University of Nottingham expertise accessible to the local business community. Our latest breakfast event welcomed Dr Sam Tang, Outreach Technician, Faculty of Science at the University Of Nottingham and Alex Wilkinson of Alex Wilkinson Media.

Sam started the morning by sharing a snippet of the hugely successful project she is involved in, The Periodic Table of Videos (PTOV). PTOV features short informal videos of each element in the periodic table, attracting 1.2 million YouTube subscribers and over 202 million views. Sam shared some tips on what worked for their team and what she thought helped the videos rise to success. The PTOV team filmed all of their videos within a month and uploaded them in one go instead of opting for the drip feed approach. This helped them establish their name and allowed the audience to view content on demand.

A decade later, PTOV still makes it into the news and attracts more views, which clearly proves their approach worked. The videos are known to be used by teachers in lessons and PTOV have collaborated with TedEd to produce lesson plans that can be modified by teachers to suit their own needs/students.

Sam left the audience with 3 key pieces of advice for making video:

  • Trust your film maker – the PTOV team didn’t see the end video until the public did
  • Avoid being “corporate” – approachability, relatability and honesty were key for PTOV
  • You can’t predict what will go viral – it might not be your favourite video

Next up, Alex took to the floor to explain video, quite literally, from a different point of view! Alex outlined that his video production business is a creative media production company specialising in business to business services.

Alex stressed that your content is king. Video is universally understood and can convey complex messages on multiple platforms which are suitable for multiple devices, but that brings its own challenges, so it’s important to get it right.

Key things to consider when planning a video are; your audience, display format – TV or social media, duration, long vs short and time scales. You should also consider what type of video you are aiming for, commercial, promotional, interviews, vlog etc. What makes you unique? And how can you say what you do in a unique way? A video is a story, so it should include a start, middle and end. A video is a tool to be used in conjunction with other media and marketing, so make sure it fits in with your marketing strategy.

Alex also left the audience with 4 key pieces of his advice for making video:

  • Audience is key
  • Less is more
  • Application of the video is crucial – it’s no use making a video suitable for your website and posting it on social media.
  • Does it fit into the bigger picture of your business/project

Delegates praised the session for “a motivating and fun morning” and “giving me some practical ideas to think about”.

Our next breakfast event will take place on Tuesday 23rd July with Stuart Ross, MD of Hallam and James Tomkinson, Deputy Director of Digital and Marketing at the University. Don’t miss out, sign up here!