Experience Inbound… what a great conference! For those of you who attended, I hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I did. For those of you who are, like, what’s Experience Inbound? It was a two-day, two-city marketing conference in Wisconsin (at Lambeau Field and Miller Park, cool, right?!) that I had the pleasure of speaking at last week.
I did put together a little video (below). Sam Mallikarjunan from HubSpot inspired it when he talked about scaring us with the first half of his presentation and then giving us hope in the second half.
I’m a half-full type of guy, so the second half rang true for me. Which is why for the video, I pulled aside some of my fellow speakers and asked them a simple question: is it a good time to be a marketer? I hope you enjoy their answers.
My Biggest Takeaways
Sam Mallikarjunan (HubSpot) – a couple of things hit me with Sam’s presentation. The whole notion of asking yourself what’s the thing I do that someone else couldn’t do without adopting the same cost structure. That totally got me thinking about my business! Also, when he talked about when you’re good at keeping customers, you have money to acquire more customers.
Andy Crestodina (Orbit Media Studios) – I’m lucky to call this guy a friend. I’ve see Andy speak about eight times, and I aways come away with something new. Selfishly, I LOVED that he told everyone that a video testimonial is the best conversion tool out there. Cha-ching! :-) Things he talked about that I’ll now be checking on my company site… counting the number of unsupported marketing claims we make, as well as keeping in mind the idea of structuring pages using prominence, promise, and proof.
Britney Muller (Moz) – SEO talks make my head spin sometimes. It’s crazy how quickly things are changing out there. I’m always looking for tools to help with SEO and digital marketing in general, so I loved that Britney gave us some good ones. I’ve been starting to dabble in Facebook ads, so when she mentioned AdEspresso it totally got my attention!
Finally, for anyone who attended my presentation on video storytelling, or for those of you who missed it (for shame!), don’t forget about the resources page I put together for you. There’s some helpful stuff there for anyone interested in video marketing!
Marketing is crucial to survival as an entrepreneur, and these days an important part of any marketing strategy is video.
Now, you might think video marketing is for big companies with big budgets. If that’s the case, you’re not alone. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to create low cost videos, and there are different types you need to consider producing right now.
The About Us video is the one video every company needs to produce. There are plenty of others that can help your business, but this is the one everybody should start with.
A good About Us video tells viewers who you are, what you do, and how you can help them. Think of this as your first-impression video. When new customers visit your website, the About Us video is your best chance to get in front of them and introduce yourself.
Unlike text, video is great for this because people get to see and hear from you. You’re a real person they can relate to. You’re a real person they can do business with. Video gives them a chance to get to know you, and we all know people are more likely to buy from someone they know and like.
Andy Crestodina is the co-founder at Orbit Media Studios in Chicago. His team builds high-end business websites, and he says they recommend video because it’s the next best thing next to face-to-face.
Creating an About Us video is like that first handshake with your prospects. Your website, social media, email newsletter… they should all feature this video.
Once you’ve produced your About Us video you’re free to test other waters. One that I recommend is the product or service video.
Produce a video on each of the products and/or services you offer customers. Now, if you offer 50 products, you don’t have to create 50 videos. It wouldn’t be wrong, but I’m also realistic about budgets.
Instead, think about how you can group your products, then produce videos on the various product groups. You can do the same thing with services.
In each case, share with viewers what the product is, how it can help them, and what sets it apart from competitors. If it’s a unique product, share the story about how you came up with it.
There are few marketing tools as valuable as a customer testimonial. Get them on video and you only amplify their power.
Having someone on-camera telling viewers who they are, what they do, and how your business helped them… well… it’s a home run.
We live in a customer review world. Thumbs up or thumbs down. How many stars did it get? These are the things we consult before making a purchase. Whether it’s a diapers on Amazon, a movie on Netflix, or a multi-million-dollar B2B transaction. Everyone wants some validation that they’re making a good purchase.
Providing customer testimonial videos is a great way to do that.
Just like your About Us video, they work because we get to see and hear from real people. This isn’t some name at the the end of a quote. It’s an actual human being telling viewers how you helped them.
Video testimonials are one more way to help your audience relate to your business.
Why These Three Low Cost Videos
There are plenty of other types of videos I could mention, but I chose these three for a specific reason. Think about the journey your customer is on.
They’ve found you online, or someone has told them about you. They visit your website to learn more and come across your About Us video. Feeling good, they move on to take a look at the various products or services you offer. After watching some of those videos, they’re becoming interested. Finally, they see that one of your existing customers has endorsed you, so they watch the video to hear what they have to say.
Chances are after going on this journey, the next step will be to contact you.
About Us, product/service, testimonial… it’s a natural progression… all three can become part of your sales funnel.
Thinking about DIY?
This might be the point where you’re thinking about how you can produce all three on the cheap, and that could lead you to consider a do-it-yourself project. Here’s what I have to say about that… beware.
Anybody can produce a video these days. We all have smart phones with HD video cameras in our pockets, and there’s free editing software to be had. But just because anyone can do it, doesn’t mean they can do it well.
Here’s the deal… if you have zero marketing budget and your audience knows (and may appreciates) this about you, go for it. I’m fine with you producing your own videos.
However, if you and your business’ reputation is important to you, find a professional to produce your videos. It might mean producing them one at a time over a longer period of time than you’d like. It’s worth it.
Nothing screams “unprofessional” more than a poorly produced video. The last thing you want is to look unprofessional, so why would you risk that by creating your own videos. Remember, that About Us DIY video you’re considering in many cases will be the first impression people have of your company. Don’t blow it by attempting to do-it-yourself.
Need some help? There are plenty of talented production companies and independent producers out there standing by. As a matter of fact, we even developed a specific process to produce high quality, low cost videos called, 3-Step Storytelling. ;-)
One Last Thought
Now that you’re psyched about producing some videos, one final thing to keep in mind. These videos aren’t for your business. They’re not for you, the entrepreneur. These videos… are for your customers. They’re for your prospects.
Every video you produce should be focused on them. If you’re wondering whether or not to produce a specific video… or to include something in a video… simply ask this simple question. Why would my customers care?
If you don’t think your customers would care… about this video… about this snippet of information… then don’t include it.
This might entail killing video ideas you really like, something you think is really cool. Again, this video isn’t for you. Set your ego aside and ask… why would my customers care?
Video marketing is a great way to endear yourself to customers. Used properly, it’s a tactic that will help earn you business. The best part… the more videos you produce… the more people will feel like they’re getting to know you and your business. The more they feel that… the more business you’ll earn.
There’s just no way around it. The way many businesses handle website videos… it’s wrong. A website video is an awesome tool, so let’s do our best to clear-up how they should be used and provide a helpful case study as well.
First Things First
The first thing you need to understand is that if you put a video on any webpage… it’s an eye magnet. People are drawn to videos. Whether it’s a video that’s already playing, or simply an image with a play button on it. The promise of video catches people’s eye, and in many cases entices them to click.
So… knowing that… why is it that many businesses make visitors seek out video? How many websites have you been to where they gather all the videos in one place? A bunch… I’m sure.
Even when the location makes sense, something else tends to be weird… placement. I’ve been to many sites where I’ve clicked on the “About” page to learn more about the business, then found a good video sitting at the bottom of the page as I scrolled through.
Why would you bury the most interesting element on the page at the bottom where someone might miss it?
You Need a Website Video Plan
What I’m getting at here is you need to think strategically about where you place your video. Having a video to display is great, but you’re doing your site a disservice if you don’t figure out the best way to use it.
Now, before I go any further, I’m going to assume you like your video(s). If you don’t, if you’re not proud of them, don’t display them. Remember, videos are eye magnets. There’s no point in drawing attention to something that’s not going to reflect well on your company.
The One Video Every Company Needs
Alright, let’s start with an easy fix… the About Us video. If you can only afford one video, this is typically the one to produce. It shows people who you are and what you do. It’s the video that starts you down the path of earning that visitor’s trust.
The About Us video is a natural fit for… where? Don’t overthink this… it’s the “About” page. In some cases, you might put it on the “Home” page, but for the most part the “About” page is the natural location for this video.
And don’t be shy! Put that sucker up top where people are going to notice it. This is your chance to create a good first impression. We want them to see and click on the video.
Now let’s move on to the really good stuff. You know and understand the power of video, and you want to start adding videos to your website. What’s the best way to go about it?
Case Study: Orbit Media Studios
It should come as no surprise, but Orbit Media Studios totally gets it. The company’s team members not only talk-the-talk when it comes to website design and content creation, they walk-the-walk. They are some of the best in the business… bar none.
Disclosure time… Orbit is one of our customers and has been for years. Having said that, when I proclaim them as some of the best in the business… it’s just the truth. They design sites for major brands, and Co-Founder Andy Crestodina has been a keynote speaker at Content Marketing World. They’re the experts at this stuff. They’re big time.
So… when the Orbiteers decided to re-do their own website, we were honored when they asked us to produce some new videos for it.
The Orbit Strategy
Their plan… see, they had a plan going in!… was exactly what I recommend to most businesses, which is why they’re the perfect case study.
produce an About Us video highlighting who you are, what you do, and what sets you apart
identify your key business offerings (products and/or services), and create web pages for each one
produce a video on each of those business offerings
display the corresponding video on the page for each offering
learn more about layering video throughout your website (video)
If you are looking for any further proof of how highly these website and content experts value video, simply click on each of those pages and see how they have chosen to display them.
They’re not sticking them on a “Videos” page, forcing people to seek them out. They’re not burying them at the bottom of each service page. Each video is the main component of each of those pages. You can’t miss them. The way they’re displayed screams, “Click me! Watch this video!”
Why do they value video so much? I’ll let Andy tell you himself. It’s the focus of what he talks about in a testimonial video he agreed to do for us.
More Website Video Options
Orbit did this with the various services they offer, but I know they have plans for additional videos as well and you should too. Here are some more ideas for website videos:
Testimonials: you just can’t go wrong with this. It’s one thing tooting your own horn, but when your customers do it for you, website visitors take notice.
Employee/Team Member Videos: we’re more likely buy from people we know and like. Let your prospects get to know your team by creating videos that shine a light on each of them!
Company Culture: if you’re proud of your company culture, show it off. If it looks like a good place to work, it’s probably a good place to do business as well.
Event Videos: hosting events is a great way to drum-up business. Producing a video during the event allows you to share it with people who couldn’t attend. The event effectively lives on after it’s over.
Community Support: do you give back to the community? These days consumers reward community-friendly companies with their businesses.
Hopefully, that gets you started. Again, if you can only produce one video, start with the About Us video. Then, move on from there.
You’re on your way to a digital platform you can be proud of!
Videos are way too expensive. Videos are where your marketing budget goes to die. There isn’t a way to produce high quality, low cost videos.
Blah. I’ve heard it all before… excuses… and in this case those excuses are hurting your business.
The statistics are in and the evidence is clear. Video is no longer a cool marketing tactic that would be nice to have, but you can live without.
Visual content is critical to PR and marketing, and the top dog is video. It’s no wonder why. Research shows that 76% of marketers and small business owners who have used video marketing say it had a direct impact on their business.
I know what many of you are thinking… great… I get it… but my business still can’t afford it.
Ugg… that’s not true! When you do a little research, you’ll find there are plenty of ways to produce videos on a tight budget. Thankfully, you’ve come to the right spot because I’ll help you navigate some of your choices.
Now, let’s get this straight upfront. These suggestions don’t involve animation or whiteboard videos. That’s a whole separate thing, and there are plenty of low cost online options for those types of videos. The videos I’m talking about here are the types of videos that require a video camera.
Professional Video Production Companies
The first option is surprisingly not as obvious as it might seem. Sure, it makes sense for pros to produce your videos, but if you’re concerned about price many might bypass this group.
Don’t do that. There are plenty of video production companies who will work with your tight budget. Our company has a specific process just for producing high quality, low cost videos for customers all over the country.
Now, it’s true. You will find plenty of production houses that won’t even pick-up their cameras for less than $10,000. You’ll have to do some research here, but I’m going to give you an awesome tip to save yourself a lot of time and frustration.
As you’re researching an contacting local video production companies… share your budget with them.
This can be a tough one for many people to swallow. It’s engrained in us not to share how much we’re willing to spend. Everyone is always hopeful that they’re going to get a great deal. I only have $1000 to spend on the video, but who knows… someone might quote me $500 for my project!
Umm… yeah… that’s probably not going to happen here. Is it possible? Sure, but it’s far more likely you’ll spend all sorts of time talking with a production company about your project, waiting on them to put together a proposal, only to find out it’s more expensive that what you have budgeted.
Sharing your budget in advance solves all of this and saves you time and aggravation.
Hi, Joe Video Production Company. I’d like to produce a short marketing video for my business, but my budget is only $1000 (or $800, $700, $100… whatever). Is that a budget you can work with?
Many of them will say, “No,” but there will be some that’ll work with you. There will probably be restrictions on what you’ll get, but in most cases the skill and ability of working with a pro will outweigh those limitations.
Remember, these are people who produce videos like this everyday. It’s what they do, and they’ll likely do it better and faster than anyone in our next two options… certainly the last option.
Independent Video Producers
Your next best option is to turn to independent video producers. You can find these folks on various websites like SmartShoot and Thumbtack, or you can always look at Craigslist.
This is a close second to hiring a production company. Actually, if video production companies are option 1A, independent video producers might be 1B.
In many cases, you might be getting just as qualified a professional as hiring a production company. They’re also going to be much more willing to work with your limited budget.
The trick is finding the right one. With bigger production companies, they’ll have a nice website. There will be all sorts of video examples for you to watch. There will be content there to help you learn more about the company and the people who work there.
When you go to hire an independent pro… those things might be in short supply, or they might relay on a less polished website or YouTube/Vimeo to share their examples.
Bottomline, it’s possible to find a really good independent video pro. You might just need to look past a lack or marketing refinement on their part.
Your last low cost video option is to do-it-yourself. I’ll give you a few reasons why I like this option the least, but don’t worry… I’m actually a video pro who advocates producing DIY videos in certain circumstances. I’ll get to those in a minute.
Here’s why I don’t like DIY videos:
They’re terrible: let’s be honest, most DIY marketing videos stink. You’re never going to be able to create a video as good as a pro who has devoted their life to the craft.
They’re embarrassing: the goal of your video should be to impress your customers and prospects. A DIY video usually looks so bad, it makes your company or organization look bad.
They don’t save you money: say what?! Yeah, they don’t save you money. Sure, you’re not paying someone to produce the videos for you, but you’ve heard it before… time is money. Producing a video can be very time consuming, especially if you’re a rookie or amateur. You will spend a ton of time working on your project. Time you could be spending servicing your customers or adding new ones. In other words, you’ll lose out on business while you’re making your video.
However, as I mentioned… there are certain circumstances when I’ll give you a pass to DIY:
You have zero marketing budget: if you’re a micro-business or a solo-preneur, forget having a small budget. You might not have a marketing budget at all! If this is a case and your customers know this about you, by all means DIY.
If your image is kitschy: does your team wear t-shirts, jeans, and flip-flops to work? Is there a ping pong table in your office? Do your customers think of you as cool and hip? If so, feel free to DIY. An amateur-looking video might play into your image and work well for your audience.
Short Social Media Videos: if all you’re doing is Facebook Live or posting a short video to Instagram, feel free to DIY. You don’t need a big production for these.
Well, there you have it. Three ways to produce low cost videos. It might take a little research on your part, but it’s worth it. Put the power of video to work for your business.
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.