Trying to decide between a DIY video project and hiring a video production company? You’re not alone.
I know there are some who might balk at paying $5,000 for a video… heck… even $800 for a basic video.
What do you get for that money? It may seem like a simple video file, but really you’re purchasing much more.
What your video budget gets you
the first thing you get seems simple enough. You get professional video equipment. That might not seem like a big deal considering every smart phone these days can shoot HD video. The difference is you probably don’t have the equipment to truly make it professional… tripods, lights and the often overlooked… professional audio gear.
having all the toys is one thing, it’s another thing knowing how to use them. Not all videographers are created equal, and everyone has their own shooting style. The good one’s will make your video shine.
your budget also pays for a seasoned storyteller. Someone who knows what to shoot, what questions to ask, how to put it on paper in script form and to translate that script into a finished video.
you also get a video editor. Video editing has become far more accessible in recent years, but just like professional videographers… not all editors are created equal. The good ones can save you a lot of time and add polish to your video.
you get a manager. Coordinating all of the above can be quite the task. Chances are, if you hired a company to produce your video, all of these things are being handled without you having to lift a finger.
Duh, I almost forgot the most important thing
Oh yeah… not to mention you’re going to get a professional video at the end that you’ll be proud to post at the company website, send out in the company newsletter, and share on your social networks. A video that will create a great first impression for people about your business.
Your video budget will provide a marketing tool to help set your company apart from the competition.
This post originally ran on November 8, 2016. One week after the Cubs first World Series Championship since 1908:
The Chicago Cubs are World Series Champions. I’m sorry… I just can’t get over that. It’s a dream come true for me. It’s also an incredible lesson for anyone marketing a business. Storytelling is what drives passion, passion is what drives devotion. Which is why corporate storytelling is so important, and you can do it using a big budget like the Cubs or through a series of low cost videos. But we’ll get to that in a moment.
My Cubs Story
Like all Cubs fans… I have a story. My mom took me to my first game at Wrigley Field when I was six-years-old. From that day forward, the two of us made a point of attending at least one game together every season. I think we only missed it twice when I was a TV news reporter working away from Chicago.
In 2013, we added a new component to our tradition. My mom and I took my daughter with us. It was a wonderful day at Wrigley, and we envisioned the three of us going to many more games together over the years.
Unfortunately, a year later we found out my my had lung cancer. A few months after that, she was gone. That game in 2013 is the last we attended together, our 36-year tradition was over too soon.
One of the conversations we repeatedly had over the years is what it would be like around the city when the Cubs finally made it to the World Series. We talked about how amazing it would be the see the Fall Classic at Wrigley. So… no surprise… as I attended Game 5 with my wife and as the Cubs were winning their first championship in 108-years just days later, I was thinking of my mom.
I tear-up now just thinking about it.
I’m Not the Only One
That’s my Cubs story. And if you’re wondering why so many Cubs fans were so emotional when Anthony Rizzo recorded that final out, it’s because my story is not unique. There are countless fans with similar stories that elicit that type of emotion, that type of passion. A passion passed down from one generation to the next… for over 100-years.
All of us together make for a devoted following. The Cubs feed off of our personal stories. They take them in, and turn around and give them back to us through their content. Countless videos during this playoff run have been focused on reminding every Cubs fan of their personal stories.
It’s a classic case of why you as a marketer or business leader should be sharing your stories.
How Corporate Storytelling Helps Your Business
Stories bring us together. You might not know me, you might not be a baseball fan, but now we’re connected. We’re connected because you have a special tradition you shared with your mother growing up. You’ve lost someone to cancer. You share a bond with someone through a sports team or a music group or an artist.
Chances are there is something within my story that reminds you of something within your own story. By sharing my story, it reminds you of your own, and it connects us. That’s what storytelling does, and it’s why people in PR and marketing need to push their companies to share stories.
If it relates back to the company, great… but it doesn’t have to. Feature employees and their stories. The more stories you can tell, and the more stories seen by your customers, the greater chance they’ll build a bond with your business.
Maybe you share the hobbies of each of your employees? How about telling people about how you came up with the idea for that latest product? Are there any special traditions the company or employees enjoy every year?
Anything is fair game. The more stories the better. The idea isn’t to inform people with important information. It’s to build bridges. Connect with them on a personal level.
The more you can connect, the more authentic the engagement, the easier it is to sell.
One of the biggest mistakes businesses make when producing videos is thinking they’re buying a communication tool to convey information. They’re not. What they’re really getting is a tool they can use to influence emotions in marketing strategies.
The Hard Truth For Many Business Leaders
Video isn’t about facts and figures. It’s about emotion. Sure, videos communicate information, but information is often secondary to feelings.
Think about it. Consider the best marketing videos you’ve seen. Can you recall many facts and figures? Probably not.
Now think about those videos again. How did they make you feel? I’m guessing this is a much easier exercise. You might remember laughing or even shedding a tear. Maybe they just made you smile and feel good.
That’s why business leaders need to focus their videos more on emotion than information. It’s more likely people are going to walk away with an impression than facts, so let’s make sure we leave them with a good impression by using emotion.
Here is a hierarchy of emotion marketing videos can use to influence viewers.
Laughter goes at the top of my list, but you could make a strong argument for crying as well. In many cases, it might depend on what a business or organization does dictates this.
The reason I put it at the top is because a funny video is maybe the most shareable video. Remember, we want people to watch, so the more eyeballs we attract the better.
Sounds easy, right? We’ll just make a funny video, get tons of views, make people feel good about our business, and boom… sales will follow!
The trick is getting people to laugh. It isn’t easy. This is actually one of the hardest things to accomplish when producing a video.
Also, a video intended to be funny that isn’t can actually be a detriment to the company. It makes you look silly. The exception is something kitschy, that’s intended to be silly.
Ways To Use Humor
Regardless, you have a couple of options… come up with a really funny video concept or look for funny moments that happen organically during the shoot.
If you go the concept route, please keep this in mind. Always stay focused on your audience. This is a good rule of thumb for any video, but especially one intended to be funny.
Ask yourself what will our viewers think is funny? A lot of businesses create videos that might be hilarious internally, but not so much outside the company. This doesn’t help you. Always put the audience first.
Another way to go about it is to simply look for funny moments that just sort of happen while you’re shooting. In this case, you’re not necessarily going out of your way to create a funny video. You’re just leaving yourself open to include something that happens.
They told us, just make it fun and exciting, so that’s the emotion we were going for. As we were shooting them prepping the event space, someone was tapping a keg and it sprayed all over him. He was embarrassed, but we had a wireless mic on him and he said something like, “At least it tastes good.”
I’m sure a lot of producers would have left it out. It was after all a “mistake,” and you don’t want to highlight a customer’s mistakes, right?
Wrong. It was funny and we included it in the video toward the beginning. Everyone I’ve shown that video to chuckles when it happens and comments on it. It was a perfect, organically funny moment that set the stage that this video is fun.
Keeping an eye out for funny moments like this can do a lot to help your videos.
I often tell people I’m in one of the few professions where we celebrate making people cry. That goes for both participants and viewers. If you have an emotional story to tell that can tie back to your business in some way… do it. Do it now. It will endear people to your company or organization.
The key in most cases is getting someone to cry on-camera coupled with professional storytelling. That’s your winning formula.
Even so… it usually takes an experienced producer to get someone to cry on-camera, and then weave a story to elicit tears from the audience. If you shop around for a production crew, ask to see some of their emotional work to see if they’re a good fit for you.
Now we’re getting into territory that’s easier to navigate. Getting people to laugh or cry… tough, very tough. Surprising people… much easier.
Surprise is one of the best ways to get people to reengage in your video. Just when they think they know where it’s going, you hit them with a surprise that catches their attention.
It doesn’t have to be anything major. Shock is great it you can achieve that, but I’m perfectly happy with a mild surprise. Anything that catches viewers off-guard and makes them think, hmmm, I didn’t see that coming.
In some cases, it might be a tidbit of information. What do you do differently than your competition? How is your widget different than other widgets? These are common things that can be used as surprises.
Most of our customers fall into this category. They’ll tell us all the great things they do at their business or organization, and it all boils down to one thing. They want their audience to feel good about them. They want viewers to walk away from watching their videos feeling confident they’ll get the job done… and done well.
The good news here… this is probably the most achievable of the emotions we’ve discussed.
Show people what you do. Take them behind the scenes. Be as authentic as possible. Tell a good story. Use music to set the tone.
All of these things will help you produce a video that inspires confidence.
Using Emotions In Marketing Videos Works
I’ll state it again… it’s kind of my mantra… video isn’t about facts and figures. Video is about emotion. Focus on creating videos that tap viewers’ emotions, and you’ll have marketing tools that endear people to your business.
Remember the first time you saw a Harry Potter movie and the portraits on the wall talked? Suddenly, a flat, static prop came alive! In that moment, what would have been just part of the set in any other movie, had its own starring role. Video does that. Because pictures that move are infinitely more exciting that those that don’t. That’s why when you’re creating a marketing plan for your business, in-house or through an agency, you should consider devoting part of your budget to video.
Here are seven reasons why using video can increase website traffic and make your brand story more appealing, engaging and attractive to your target audience than ever before.
Video can boost your marketing plan SEO by up to 80%
There are many reasons for this, but for now – let’s just consider two. Google owns YouTube and not surprisingly, tends to favor it as the destination of a search. Second, Youtube is, in its own right, the second largest and most popular search engine after Google. So if someone is doing a search, having video on your site will significantly increase the likelihood they’ll find your site through one or both of these online resources.
Seeing is believing
Businesses have always depended on marketing to boost sales and profits through advertising and public relations campaigns. Nevertheless, the truth is – no one likes to be “sold.” (That’s why TiVo and guerilla marketing were invented.) Today, the contempt people feel toward traditional advertising is greater than ever, and folks are equally suspicious and distrustful of other forms of communication such as newspapers and TV shows.
However, one form of marketing – product demonstration – has always enjoyed a high degree of credibility, no matter the product or the audience. Just check out this classic Cheer commercial demonstrating the power of pre-treating clothes to remove stains. Or this contemporary spot for Flex-seal showing how effectively it repairs leaks. And this brilliant Youtube video from Purple Feather, an agency in Glasgow, proving just how effective a good copywriter can be.
The message is obvious. To overcome your target market’s skepticism about your brand’s value, create a video clip that shows how your product works in real time. With just a little effort and imagination, you can make your marketing so engaging, memorable and impressive that customers will beat a path to your door.
People like to do business with people they know
In today’s global economy, few business owners or their sales people can personally introduce themselves to every customer. Fortunately, having video clips on your website is a great way to show your staff in action. Site visitors can not only learn about your staff’s experience, but see how they move, what they sound like and the little quirks in their body language that add a dimension of authenticity to their persona. No question about it: video is infinitely better at conveying someone’s personality, sense of humor and ability to connect with others than a studio head shot and a written biography could ever be.
Video interviews make viewers feel like they know you – and can trust you
Building long term, mutually beneficial business relationships always comes down to whom do you trust. Seeing someone in a video – especially if it’s shot simply and on the job – gives a sense of reality and integrity to their brand message that copy content and static images can’t possibly match.
Video has a greater impact on our emotions than any other communications format
Why does this matter? Because every buying decision is ultimately made based on our emotional response to the product. Although we gather and analyze information with the rational, left side of our brains, only the right side, the side that governs our emotions, is capable of making a decision. This is why marketers are always looking for the emotional hook when constructing a sales approach for a product. It’s our emotional reaction to a sales message that not only helps us remember the product’s name and promise, but also provides the impetus to complete the purchase.
Furthermore, emotions are provoked and enhanced by many things – images, sounds, words and music. Only video lets you combine all four of these elements to increase the emotional impact and the appeal of your message. This video on open adoption for Lutheran Social Services is a great example of what we mean.
Video is the sales tool of today and tomorrow. Using it in your marketing plan puts you ahead of the crowd
How you present your marketing story reveals as much about your company’s culture as the information you share. For example, are you still using images, typefaces and a copy style that Don Draper might have used? Using video immediately marks you as being on the cutting edge of your industry and that could be a major point of difference between you and your competition.
Now almost every business can afford to use video
In the old Mad Men days, using moving images to sell a product was a major expense. For one thing, commercials were usually shot on film and needed not only an expert behind the camera, but a sound engineer and a lighting crew as well Editing was a whole other expense that could take days to accomplish and cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars.
Today, highly professional videographers can shoot and edit everything from a 30-second TV spot to an hour-long documentary at very reasonable rates in a very short timeframe. Some videographers, including T60 Productions, will teach you the basics of creating your own videos for an affordable consultation fee. With just a little help, you can produce credible videos on your own that can be used on your site, posted on social media and shown at new business presentations.
So – what are you waiting for? To paraphrase an old song, “your business ought to be in pictures for everyone to see.” Why not call T60 Productions and find out how you can become your own movie star.
Wendy Lalli is an award-winning writer and creative director who has been writing TV spots and sales videos for over 20 years. She is CD of Crux Creative in Milwaukee and strongly encourages the agency’s clients to make video part of their marketing plan for digital and experiential marketing communications.
Tips for Planning a Video Shoot in Wisconsin… or Anywhere Else!
You’re all set to produce your marketing video. Or… maybe it’s an internal project? Maybe an event video? Regardless of what type of “corporate video” you’re producing, finding a Milwaukee video production company is next on your docket. These are some practical tips for just about any city.
Shopping for a production company isn’t the typical kind of thing you’re used to researching. You’re about to create a video… something that’s one part functional and another part art, so you’re tasked with finding a credible company with talented marketing artists.
That’s why we’ve created this guide. You could certainly just hire us. We’d love that (we’re pretty awesome), but really the best advice is to do a little research and get bids from a few companies.
Let’s start from the beginning.
Why You Need Look At Multiple Production Houses
Every production company is different from the other. Some are bigger, some are smaller. Some help with creative and marketing ideas, others simply execute your plan. Equipment and personnel can also vary from company to company.
When you take these things into account, it’s good to look at multiple companies to get a sense of which is best for your project.
Are you heading into a big budget production? Multiple cameras, a large production crew, fancy equipment like cranes or drones?
If so, you’re going to need a big production house that can handle that kind of stuff.
On the other hand, are you trying to keep it simple? Are you more interested in quality storytelling than video gadgets? A smaller company or even an independent video pro might be better for your project.
So… how do you begin to separate each company from one another?
Tip #1: watch their work
You’re obviously going to start looking at production company websites. You’ll be able to get some basic information, but really what you want to do is watch examples of their work.
Forget the company “sizzle reel” if they have one. This is simply a highlight video… a compilation. How’s that going to help you?
Also, has the production company produced a video about itself… an “About Us” video? Are you kidding me!?! They haven’t? A company that produces marketing videos for other businesses hasn’t produced one about itself? That’s… a little… weird.
Tip #2: vetting
Once you’ve found a few companies with videos you like, you’re going to want to vet them.
Start with their clients… Fortune 500, medium-size companies, micro-businesses… see any companies that seem to be about the same size as your business? Are there any in related industries?
Of course, cost is going to be a factor when vetting production houses as well. The only problem? Many (most) production companies don’t list any prices at their website.
I know why they do this. Every video project is different, so that makes it tough to put together a price list.
However, it isn’t impossible. We know people need a little guidance in this area, so we put together some ballpark prices for our website. We even detail how to figure out video production cost.
It would be great if every other production house did this, but they don’t. That means you’ll have to spend some time on the phone speaking with them. You could try email, but the phone is probably easier.
While they’ll ask you a bunch of questions for your price quote, you should ask some as well, like:
How do they charge? By the hour, day, video length?
Make sure to ask if they’ll give you a fixed price, or will it change depending on how the production goes?
We have clients who were burned by production companies in the past. They thought the price was fixed, but things were added during the production process (extra shoot days, special equipment, more post-production time) and next thing they knew the price had skyrocketed.
It’s okay if it’s not a fixed price, but make sure the production company will agree to talk with you in advance of any additional expenses.
It also helps to sometimes work backwards when getting a quote. Tell them your budget and then see what they can do for that amount. I know… you don’t want to show your hand, but this is a great way to shop around. You can still find a deal because if they’re offering more than you need, you can walk back your budget and ask what they can do for less.
Once you have a price, make sure you know what you’re getting for your money. How big will the crew be? How many hours will they spend on your project?
What about content ideas? Will they help generate creative ideas and work with you on storytelling, or will they simply execute the plan you provide to them?
Ask them about their video production process. Every production house does things a little differently from the rest. Find out what’s involved and how long the production will take.
Are revisions included in the price? Again, every company handles things differently. With some, revisions cost extra. With others, you get a certain amount included in the price.
Tip #3: get it in writing
You’ve looked at some videos, you like a company’s style, and you have a good price estimate. Time to get an official proposal.
The proposal will probably just put into writing what you’ve already discussed with them, but it’s a necessary step. Communication is so important! You don’t want there to be any curve balls.
Once you’ve approved the proposal, get a contract and you’re ready to roll!
You’ve Selected Your Milwaukee Video Production Company
Hopefully, I didn’t scare you away. It sounds like a lot, but it’s all worth while. And now that you have this trusted guide, the process should be much easier.
And the good news? At the end… you’ll have a terrific marketing tool, so have fun!
Marketing videos can be a fantastic way to promote your company, product or service. Here are a few statistics in case you need convincing:
Video shared on social media generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined
74% of millennials find video helpful when comparison shopping
4 times as many consumers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it
So we’re in agreement – video can be an awesome part of a marketing strategy. However, it has to be executed effectively. Now, I’m not talking about the actual creation of the video. We’ll leave that to experts like Tony Gnau. I’m talking about what happens after you create the video. You upload it to YouTube, maybe put it on your website—and then what?
Don’t make this mistake
Here’s where the mistake commonly happens. Companies will invest money into creating a great marketing video, upload it to YouTube, and expect the magic to happen from there. However, just like any marketing strategy, it’s simply not enough just to create the video itself. You also need to make sure your target audience (your customers and prospective customers) see it. You need to promote it. There are so many ways you can do this, so I’ll share just a few ideas below.
Place it prominently on your website
Depending on your video content, you may want to put it on your Home page, About Us page, Testimonials page, Services/Products page, etc. It may make sense to go on more than one page as well, and that’s okay too.
Announce your new video
If you send out a periodic newsletter or other email updates, include your new video in your next email message. This email could go to current customers, prospective customers, or both. Make sure when you send your email, you don’t just say “Check out our cool new video!” but instead give the recipient a reason to watch it. Here are a few examples:
“Get a behind-the-scenes peek at our company in our latest video!”
“Based on your past purchases, I thought our newest product would interest you. Check out this short video to learn more.”
Use your social media channels
Again, you shouldn’t just share it once on your Facebook page and be done. Make a plan to share your new video multiple times across your social networks when it’s new, and also remember to periodically share it when it’s not new anymore for those who didn’t see it the first time. Consider opportunities to put your video on a social page longer term, such as the ability to add media to your LinkedIn profile or the option to pin posts to the top of your Facebook page.
Incorporate your video into other marketing initiatives
Once you have a corporate marketing video, it’s a great opportunity to use within other marketing initiatives and campaigns. You could include in a prospecting email campaign, use as part of a digital advertising campaign, include in your latest blog, put a link in your email signature or many other possibilities to make it a part of your company’s overall marketing plan.
Alicia Olsen is the owner of Olsen Marketing Solutions, a full-service marketing firm offering marketing strategy and planning, web design, copywriting, social media management and more.
Tips for Planning a Video Shoot Around Chicago… or Anywhere Else!
Picking a Chicago video production company can be a tricky proposition. First, there are a ton of them to choose from. Second, it can be difficult telling them apart. Finally, many don’t list even ballpark prices at their website. That drives me nuts, but more on that later.
I’d like to make it simple on you and say, “Hire Us! Your mission is accomplished.” But that’s just lousy advice. Not because we aren’t good at what we do… we’re actually pretty awesome. No, the reason why is it’s important to shop around and pick the right production company for the right project.
Difference In Production Companies?
Not all production houses are created the same, or equal for that matter, which is why it’s important to find the right fit.
For example, if you need a big production… think lots of lights, multiple videographers and sound technicians, maybe a drone or a crane to get some cool shots… yeah… a crane. Not every production company can pull that off.
On the other hand, let’s say you want a small production crew… or a single videographer… for something that would be less disruptive to daily operations? Maybe you need a company with a strong emphasis on storytelling? That same company that handled the big shoot might not be right for those videos.
If only there was a handy-dandy guide that could help you make sense of all of this. Well, that’s what we aim to do.
First Step: Watch and Listen
Start Googling… every company you look at should have sample work at its website. Check out its previous work.
Insiders Tip: if they have a single “sample reel” of their work… don’t bother watching. It’s a highlight reel. How’s that going to help you? Instead, watch the client work they’ve posted. We have more guidelines in a previous vlog post if you need more help (Tips For Picking A Video Company).
Also, have they produced a video about themselves telling their own story? What? They haven’t? So a company that produces videos for other organizations doesn’t see the value in producing one on itself? Seems… weird… doesn’t it?
Second Step: Vetting
The next step is vetting them. Who are their clients? The Fortune 500 or mom-and-pop shops? Are their businesses or brands that appear to be the same size as yours? Any that are in related industries?
One of the main things you’ll to want to know is cost. This is going to take some leg work… or at least some time on the phone.
I’m with you… this drive me crazy. Why don’t production companies list their prices!? As someone who started his own production company, let me fill you in. Every project is different, so it’s tough to publish a price list.
However, just because it’s tough, doesn’t mean it’s impossible. We manage to post our ballpark prices… even how to figure out video production cost. I wish more companies would do this for you, but many (most) don’t. That means picking up the phone and asking questions.
Here are some good ones:
What will it cost? Tell them what you have in mind for your video and ask how much it will cost. They’ll ask you some questions and should be able to give you some sort of an idea on pricing.
Insider’s Tip: ask them if it’s a fixed cost, or is it possible things will change during production. We’ve had lots of clients burned by other companies in the past because they thought the price in the contract was fixed, but during the production process things were added (more shooting days, special equipment, additional personnel, etc.) all driving up cost without them knowing. Make sure it’s a fixed cost, or the production crew will notify you of any additional costs before they happen.
Another option is to work backwards. Give them your budget and ask what they can do for that amount. I know, a lot of people don’t like to do this because they don’t want to pay more than they have to. I get it, but this method will often get you a more accurate picture of what you get for your money. Also, if you’re shopping around, you’ll be able to compare between companies.
Once you have a price, ask them what that gets you. How big of a crew? How many hours will they spend on it?
Will they help with content ideas? What about help with storytelling? Some production houses are just that… they’re all about the production and only the production. If you’re providing all the direction on content, this might be fine with you. But if you need a little help, it’s good to know upfront if they can provide some creative ideas.
What is their video production process? How long will it take? Every company has a different way of doing things. Find out how each of them works.
Are revisions included? Once the video has been edited, it’s important to know if you can make changes. Sometimes making changes costs more.
Last Step: Get a Written Proposal
Okay… you’ve looked at a bunch of videos and like a particular company’s style. You’re okay with their price estimate and their production process. Now you need a formal proposal.
What you’ll receive will likely put into writing what they’ve told you over the phone. Hopefully, it will also include more details on things like how much time is devoted to each aspect of the production.
Once you sign-off on that, get a contract, sign, and you’re off and running!
You’ve Selected Your Chicago Video Production Company
I hope all of this didn’t sound too daunting. It really shouldn’t be now that you have this trusted guide.
The best part… once you’ve picked the right Chicago video production company for you, it’s time to actually produce the video. And producing videos is fun.
We’re honored that another T60 video has been selected for a Telly Award, and in this case we’re even more excited because the video provides a great lesson for anyone creating a business video. It’s a case study for creating an emotional marketing video.
The main reason we enter videos for awards is to provide our clients and prospects with proof that we do good work. It’s one thing for us to be proud of our work, it’s another thing when someone else in your industry gives you their stamp of approval.
Beyond all of that… I love telling the clients when it’s their video that has won. Their reaction is priceless.
Normally, it happens via email or a phone call, and they immediately post it on social media. This year… I got to share the good news in-person.
We had a shoot scheduled at LSS of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan, and it happened to coincide with finding out one of the videos we produced for them last year won a Telly Award.
Their reaction: surprise… raised eyebrows… open mouths… big smiles… then a question: “What’s a Telly Award?”
What Are The Telly Awards?
The Telly Awards are basically the Emmy Awards for the non-broadcast/online video world. They do have broadcast categories as well, but for us corporate video producers the Telly is our big award. It’s the one we’re all hoping to win.
T60 has now won 13 Telly Awards… but who’s counting? The latest winning video promotes one of LSS’s adoption programs. I’m excited it took home a trophy because it’s actually a video I blogged about as a good example of how-to do better testimonial videos, but it also provides another lesson.
Emotional Marketing Videos
One of the big messages I try to drive home with clients revolves around a simple premise. Video isn’t about facts and figures. Video is about emotion.
Our goal for virtually all the videos we produce is to help the audience connect with the business emotionally. In most cases, the emotional or feeling we’re going for is confidence. We want viewers to finish watching the video feeling confident in that company’s ability to deliver.
Every once in a while though… we get to tap big emotions. Emotions that will make people laugh or cry. If you can manage to get people to laugh while watching a marketing video, you’ve hit a home run. Get them to cry… it’s a grand slam.
Tears Inspire Tears
One of the ways to inspire tears is by getting the video’s participants to cry themselves. Tears tend to be contagious. Viewers who watch people get emotional, share those same emotions. It’s an incredible way to build a connection with an audience.
Yes… working in video production might be one of the few jobs where you get excited about making someone else cry. That’s what we went after with the LSS video.
Speaking with the participants on the day of the shoot, I knew we had a chance. It’s an emotional story. It tugs heart strings. As the person who was going to conduct the interviews, I was prepared to do my best to ask questions and engage people in a way that would get them to cry.
It took some effort, but I cracked them… and that’s a good thing. They opened their hearts, and in doing so the audience connects with them. For a not-for-profit organization like LSS that relies on donations, a story like this is crucial.
Winning Harts and Minds
The video has been shared on social media. It’s been shown in churches. It’s been used in meetings. Tears all around. The video has become a source of inspiration for struggling, pregnant women to consider adoption. It’s helping LSS raise money.
That’s the power of video. Forget your facts and figures. Logic will not build a connection with your audience. Emotion is the way to win hearts and minds.
Marketing videos are fun. Lights, camera, action!… exciting, right? At the end of production, businesses are left with something awesome. A tool they can use to help sell, to build enthusiasm for a brand, improve team morale… there are many uses.
However, the problem some business leaders face is they forget that making the video is only part of the process. Lights, camera, action is fun, but there are other things that need to be done along the way. Steps that need to be taken, questions that need to be asked, to turn that video into a success.
In my initial meeting with clients I ask questions like: What’s your goal for the video? How do you plan to promote the video?
You’d be surprised how many people haven’t considered those questions. They might have considered video production cost, but not what they’ll need for ROI.
Video is simply a marketing tactic. A very good marketing tactic, but a tactic nonetheless. It needs to be a part of a broader marketing strategy to make it a true success. And within that strategy, you have to have a plan for your video(s).
Why is it important to set goals for videos? What are some of the goals you’ve seen used for videos that have been helpful?
I’ll give you an example: We have a client that has 20 executives around the globe. They were all together about a year ago and the chief marketing officer wanted to get them on video, but she didn’t have a reason for doing so. She just wanted to ask them all a list of questions, but had no idea what the end product would look like. And, though we tried to bring some planning to it, she ignored our counsel and went forward with a set of 15 questions for each executive.
Today we have all of that content, but nothing to do with it because there wasn’t a plan in advance. I’m sure we’ll be able to edit it into smaller pieces eventually, but a year later, we’re still struggling with what to do with it.
Always have a plan. Set goals. Don’t create 15 questions for 20 people. But do know what you want to achieve.
In many cases, the goals are simple: Create a link between our employees and our vision or connect our vision to our external audiences. Because 65 percent of human beings are visual learners—and because of the gigantic rush to do live video right now—it’s pretty easy to see why you’d want to use video. Figure out what you want to achieve with it.
Perhaps it’s to build loyalty and pride among your employees. Maybe it’s to provide a charismatic executive a platform for thought leadership. Or it could be a way to connect employees and customers globally without the advantage of meeting in person. There are many ways to think about how to use video.
In this case, I would posit the question, “If you could create anything—budget withstanding—what would it be?” Then work from there.
Many business leaders are all about facts and figures, but the power of video lies with tapping people’s emotions. Explain why telling a good story is more important in a video than loading a it with stats.
Stories stick, statistics don’t. It’s that simple. The authors of Made to Stick found in one study that stories are at least six times stickier than statistics. In particular, a story that has emotional resonance (appealing to hope, pride, frustration) will make a bigger impact, linger in people’s minds and provoke them to act.
I’ve seen this firsthand countless times in my client work. A CEO who was addressing a group of discontented employees about the changes sweeping the company stuck to the facts and data and almost sparked a rebellion. A few minutes later with another group he told a story about his love for the company and pride in its heritage and products, and the mood of the room turned around 180 degrees.
Many people produce a video, upload it to YouTube and think they’re done. Tell us about the importance of promotion.
As Tony said, it is common for people to create a video, upload it to YouTube, perhaps put it on their website, and then think they are done from a marketing standpoint. But just like any marketing strategy (blog, case study, website, or in this case, video), it’s not enough simply to create the marketing piece. You also need to make sure your target audience (your target customers) see it. Here are some ideas for ways to promote a new marketing video:
Place it prominently on your website: This should usually include the home page, but also any other pages where it is relevant, such as an About Us page, Testimonials page, Services page, etc.
Use your social media channels: Again, you shouldn’t just share it once on your Facebook page and be done. Make a plan to share your new video multiple times across your social networks when it’s new, and also remember to periodically share it when it’s not new anymore for those who didn’t see it the first time. Consider opportunities to put a video on a social page longer term, such as the ability to add media to your LinkedIn profile or the option to pin posts to the top of your Facebook page.
Incorporate your video into other marketing initiatives: Once you have a corporate marketing video, it’s a great opportunity to use within other marketing initiatives and campaigns. You could put it in your newsletter, include in a prospecting email campaign, use as part of a digital advertising campaign, include in your latest blog, put a link in your email signature or many other possibilities to make it a part of your company’s overall marketing plan.
When it comes to evaluating a video’s effectiveness, most people simply look at how many views it gets. What are some analytics that are a better judge for how a video is performing?
Great question! Here are a few more data points that should give you better insights into the performance of a given video.
Attention Span: Depending on where it is hosted/streamed from, you should get a report that shows how much time the average viewer watched the video. Longer attention spans mean a more engaged viewer
Time on Page: Assuming the video is embedded on a web page, the video should keep the visitor around for longer. Adding a video should increase the time on page.
Shares: Was the page with the video shared? How many times?
Rank: Does the video rank in YouTube or in Google search results? If so, how high?
Page Value: If the video is on a sales page, it should help build trust and increase the likelihood that a viewer converts into a lead. If goals are given a dollar value in Analytics, then the value of the page to the process of converting visitors is right there in the “All Pages” report. Adding a compelling video should increase the Page Value for the page.
I love it when everyone at a business gets excited about a new video or video series. They should! It’s fun. What makes the fun last post-production is having a video that works.
A video that makes the audience feel good about your company. A video that drives traffic. A video that helps you sell.
Creating a marketing video is fun. It’s fun because at the end of the video production process you have something tangible and exciting to share. Even better… it’s a marketing tactic that checks all the boxes you need for your marketing strategy foundation.
This is something that occurred to me recently as I listened to one of our clients speak about branding at a Wisconsin Business Owners luncheon. It’s kind of funny because he wasn’t a client at the time but has since become one after I met him that day.
Rob Grede is a marketing veteran and the author of Naked Marketing. I actually happened upon his book in a local book store over the weekend and it made me reflect on what he talked about on the day we met.
A Solid Marketing Strategy Foundation
Rob talked about three things we need to do in business to create a sound marketing foundation… create awareness, establish credibility, and maintain the brand. I love hearing that because video happens to be a great tactic for all three.
If you have PR or marketing experience, you understand the power of video. It allows a company to tap emotions and earn trust, and here’s how you can put video to work for each of those three pillars.
Video is great for grabbing attention. Research shows us that people’s eyes are drawn to video on a website. Email campaigns are more effective when they include a link to a video. And video is the social media share king. So if creating awareness is important for you, video is the way to go.
It can be done with a single video, or you can use the Star Wars video marketing strategy and create multiple videos. Use them to launch a new business, product, service, brand… just about anything.
Do you have an existing brand you’d like to highlight? Maybe a product or service that’s been around a while but needs some marketing love? Video can help you refocus attention on it.
Creating a video is a great way to establish credibility because it can do something the written word and photos just can’t do. It allows viewers (i.e. prospects) to see what you do and how you do it.
You can write about your business all you want… you can add photos… but it pails in comparison to showing people in a video.
Mrs. G and I are currently getting bids on remodeling our kitchen. A salesman came by the other day and talked about their construction process. All I could think about is how much easier and credible it would have been if he had a video to show us how they do things.
Take it a step further. It’s one thing for you to talk about your business. What if your prospects could hear from your current customers?
Enter the video testimonial. We all know how valuable a testimonial can be. Real people telling your prospects how you helped solve their problem.
Gold. It’s hard to top that when you’re trying to establish credibility.
Maintain the Brand
Okay… you’ve done the heavy lifting and established a solid brand. Congrats… but your work isn’t complete because now you have to figure out how to remain on top.
This is one of the often overlooked benefits of video. The more people watch, the more they trust.
Trust… one of the things marketers covet the most. It’s so highly valued we now have Edelman’s Trust Barometer. This is a big reason I often advocate for a video series instead of producing one giant video.
Videos grow on people the more they watch. Each time they click on a new video, they’re alloing you into their lives. They’re growing more and more familiar with you and your business. They’re beginning to trust what you have to say.
Think about TV news anchors. Most people who watch TV news grow attached to their favorite anchors. Why? They don’t know them personally.
The reason why is because they watch night in and night out. The anchor becomes a familiar face, a trusted voice. They might not know them, but they feel like they do. Businesses can use this phenomena to their advantage while maintaining a brand.
Homework time… think about some of your favorite brands right now. When you’re done here, head to the brand’s YouTube channel and check out what’s going on there.
I’m confident they’ll have a YouTube channel because any major brand worth its salt is producing videos.
And that’s the point, isn’t it? Corporate America knows what a valuable tool video can be to maintain a brand, so it has incorporated the tactic into its marketing strategy.
Summing Things Up
Creating awareness, establishing credibility, and maintaining the brand can be a great starter strategy for any business wanting to improve on its marketing. They’re three legs to a stool that will provide a solid foundation for a business.
It’s nice to know there’s a terrific tactic that you can pair with each of the pillars.