Videography during COVID-19. How Important is Quality?

woman-computer-office

The issue isn’t so much if you should create video it’s a matter of how. How do you create video during this pandemic? It can be easier than you think, but it will take some extra planning.

During the pandemic, we were all subject to time at home. Time to think about, “What now?” While some took that time and created something new or slightly different, others waited to see what will happen next. One component that was impacted heavily was video marketing. How do you create new stuff? How do you advertise when everyone is home and they don’t want what you’re selling? Do you ramp up social media? Do you create poor quality video content? How do you create video while social distancing? All great questions, but there are answers and there is a silver lining.

It’s tough to do a full-blown video shoot with a large crew, lots of cameras, lots of people on set, etc. How do you create a video when have your staff is still working from home? You don’t. But what you can do is create a planned out shoot that will provide you with the video that shares your message safely. COVID and the lock down has created a huge opportunity for some. Here’s what we’ve been doing to help those who want to use this opportunity to maximize their messaging.

  • Show How You’re Dealing With COVID – This is one way you can use video. Show your potential clients/customers how you are currently using the proper protocols and safety procedures to keep them safe. That’s what they want to know: Can I trust them to keep me safe? Show them how you’re doing things right and how you’ll keep them safe.
  • Capture Virtual Content – We’ve edited several ‘virtual’ events where the client has a Zoom call and has it edited into a concise video featuring interviews and conversations. These videos/calls can be branded and made to look professional, even though it’s just a Zoom call.
  • Small, Short Content – Some clients are asking us to crate videos using stock video, 2D graphics, even Doodly videos. All of these options allow the business to share a story and get it out via social media or via broadcast. Branded and visual makes the message complete.
  • Create a Video Review – Get your current customers to create a video review for you. They can do it with their cell phone or they can come to our studio where they can come in the back door, stand in place (everything is all set up already) and say their few lines, and leave the back door without touching anything. Masks are required, but we’ll be socially distanced as well.
  • Being Human – If you’ve ever wanted to create your own video using your iPhone to send messages to your clients, now is the time. Video, even poor quality image video, is effective. You’ve seen the late night shows do it on television, so can you…and you can do it without the fear of looking foolish or skimping on quality.
  • Last Point – Know that people don’t want to be sold hard right now. That’s a tactic that can work during normal times. Try this instead: “We’re sure you’ve been impacted by COVID, but we have no idea how badly. We also want to say that we’re here for you when you need us. If you don’t need us now, we completely understand. If you need us in a new way, please tell us so we can help.”

Change creates fear. Instead of being fearful, it’s time to embrace it. Know that we’re doing to be dealing with this for a while moving forward. Knowing that, what changes can you make in your business to make you stand out, be compassionate, and highlight your safety mechanisms all at the same time?

Here’s an example a Zoom Call that was converted into a show:

Here’s an example of a Doodly style video we created.

The opportunities are endless. Need help coming up with ideas? Let us know. Have a different idea that you’d like to do, we’d love to talk and see if it’s something that we can do for you.

Best Restaurant Industry Video Ideas

In the restaurant business, there are essentially four ways to increase your sales:

New Trial

Marketing activities related to new trial are used to acquire new customers. One way to get new customers is through referrals or recommendations. Getting a recommendation from a friend is one of the top ways to increase new trials. So how does video fit into this? Consider this:

One way is to send an email campaign to your current customers asking them if they like the restaurant enough to share their experience with their friends. The location should craft a message (let us know if you need help) that informs the viewer what it is they should do to share their experience. Is it do a review on Google or Yelp or TripAdvisor? Is it forward this message to a friend? There are several more, but you get the point.

Ask your customers to create their own video or photo and post it to your social media page (you’ll be monitoring, of course). Ask them to tag their friend when they do. If the friend shows up at the restaurant, ask them to show you the video and their name…give them a special price, dish, or drink. You’ll get the whole town talking about you.

Building Frequency

Now it’s time to get them back in the door. Your image and reputation are critical. Before you can expect someone to return, it is important that the dining room, the kitchen, and the bar all performed to the expectation of your customer. Before they leave, you probably already asked them what they would have improved about their experience. This is important later, in your marketing materials, because you’ll want to focus your message on the things people were positive about while you work to improve items that detracted from their experience.

If you’re a large scale operation, it can be tough to get good feedback. It is critical to get email addresses from your customers to answer a survey. Keep it simple. Add a layer to this tactic by creating a video with a message of, “We want to know what you thought of us… and please be honest” can significantly increase the likelihood of getting the survey filled out. Make sure you ask about their food and beverage experience individually and collectively. Try to keep the survey to less than 2 minutes to fill out.

Incredible customer service always brings them back. Consider a quick service restaurant where each meal is made to order. What if you noticed a person coming back after their first time. The staff should recognize this, thank them for returning and ask them if they’d like to try the same meal they did yesterday with the same toppings…and list them. You’d have to jot notes down the day or two before when they came in but if you rattled off their favorite toppings before they ordered, they’d be impressed! That’s full service for your customer!

Increasing the Check Size

Create a secret menu only the staff knows about. This menu should contain a drink, side, or topping that matches the flavor profile (and costs a little extra). Every dollar counts in the restaurant business, and by suggesting a drink or side dish because they taste so good together, the average check size increases.

Enter video. Your advertising should match that concept. we’ve never seen a restaurant commercial with a single item focus…there’s always a matching side dish or drink. Need help creating the right flavor profile and video? We can help you there too!

Increasing the Party Size

Technically, you’re in the entertainment industry. So you should be the place to bring friends. Encourage it often…with every couple or group of four: “Please bring your friends next time.” Perhaps it’s a coupon that is for parties of 6 or more or it’s an advertisement that suggests that parties of six or more “Have more fun and get a free appetizer to get you started!” The ideas are limitless when it comes to how to increase the party size and every one of them can be supported by a video.

When it is time to ramp up the sales after we’ve come out of quarantine, let us know which area you’d like to focus on and we’ll help you get it done with video.

 

Image by bridgesward from Pixabay

Is Video the Best Marketing Strategy for a Hotel?

woman at resort hotel pool with drink

Are you worried about how to fill the rooms? Are you unhappy with your online reputation? Do you have a desire to improve the online engagement levels with your website? Have you been anguishing over trying to get the rooms to look exactly how a guest will find them when they arrive, but you haven’t been able to create a strong marketing campaign that shows a potential guest what they can expect.

Sometimes pictures are enough, sometimes they are not.

We’ve got you covered. In this post, we’re going to share with you how creating the right marketing plan and business strategy can incorporate solving several of the above issues. Marketing involves several facets of activity like social media marketing, online advertisements, print, billboard, and other levels of marketing that will drive traffic to your hotel.

We’re sure you’ve done focus groups and have learned about the needs of your guests and you’ve reviewed the Ps of Marketing, but we’d like to suggest that there are a few elements that may have been missed. Potential customers obviously want to know what the location looks like, but do pictures clearly show and/or explain your products or services. Do they do it adequately enough that one would not be surprised when traveling. When we travel, we’re often surprised by the difference in photos an the actual location.

Every aspect of the tourism industry should be maximizing video to their advantage. Here’s why. When someone plans a trip to places like Boca Raton, Palm Beach, Naples, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, or Key West, they do a lot of research.

Just like you do marketing research, their research includes things like what does the hotel look like? What do the amenities look like? What about the room, what should I expect to see and feel when I enter the room? Video shows people all the elements that are important to them.

What is the Marketing Process to Maximize Sales?

If you want to attract more guests to your hotel, you’ll want to show off the grounds, the rooms, the amenities and use social media platforms to increase the likelihood of being found by a potential guest during their search. When you define your marketing to incorporate what your guests want, they’re more likely to buy. While product price can impact a guests decision, if they see, hear, and feel the value, they are more likely to spend a little more to enjoy their vacation.

Reputation is critical in the hotel business. Hotels rarely survive a long-term negative leaning review score. No amount of advertising or video can offset poor scores. If the reputation is bad it’s time to make some operational improvements and hold off on any sales and marketing activities. You’ll only make more people mad by having them show up and be disappointed.

The process of maximizing sales is in a strong process. The process should include high quality video, appropriate placement with an appropriate spend and help potential guests understand what it is they’re looking at and why they should book your hotel for their next vacation.

Loyalty, Engagement, and Services – Fort Lauderdale Hotels

Marketing includes featuring a locations strength to their advantage. If you are a Fort Lauderdale hotel that has luxurious amenities, a relaxing and beautiful spa or an impeccable golf course, it’s critical to showcase that. If you have nearby attractions or nightlife that is important to the attractiveness of your hotel, show that too. Does your food stand head and shoulders above your competitors? You should feature Instagram-worthy video of your specialties.

Increase Hotel Loyalty Using Video

Marketing can refer to reinforcing a positive visit. What if after a guest leaves, they receive a personalized standardized (yes…do both) video that thanks them for visiting. What if you had several videos that were at your disposal to email after their departure that mentioned an amenity or service they used?

What if they used your spa and the video you send to them afterward mentions that you’re glad they were able to use the spa and that you hoped they enjoyed their experience. How powerful is that? Would they know it wasn’t made specifically for them but that it was made only for those who visited the spa? You have the data, use it!

If you’re wondering how to make these things happen and more (yes, we have a lot of ideas related to improving loyalty and reputation), we’d be happy to talk about it with you. Give us a call and we’d be happy to work through all of these areas with you. As a South Florida video production company, we’ve seen and been a part of a lot.

The hotel/hospitality business can be frustrating, but it can also be rewarding. If you’re struggling to figure out how you should be using video, let us help you by working through our marketing strategy session and let us craft a plan with you. You control the direction, we’ll provide the creative that works.

 

Image by Engin Akyurt from Pixabay

Who is South Florida’s Best Video Production Company?

Successful people

When you’re looking for a video agency, you may have certain things you’re looking for, including, quality, speed of work, and processes. When you start your search for a full service production company, there are several factors you should consider. Here are three areas to consider when trying to find the best video production company to match your needs.

What to Consider When Hiring a Video Production Company

Professionalism. Several factors should be considered before hiring a Miami video production company. Interview a few companies to determine which one can work with you from a personality standpoint. If you don’t think you can get along during a preliminary interview, you won’t enjoy the rest of the process. Remember, they might feel that way too, so it’s important to talk openly about that. To expand on that, consider their level of professionalism. Do they behave as a company that will respect your brand? Do they match your brand overall? Professionalism isn’t always the first thing most people think of when looking for a partner, but it should be.

Timelines. As a business owner, you’ll most likely have a timeline that is important to you. If you’re going to produce corporate videos, you’ll want to allot the appropriate amount of time to craft, plan, and create a high quality video project. There are many production companies in Miami, but which one can produce and execute the plan in the timeline you have allotted.

When crafting your timeline, please remember to incorporate your crew’s timeline to create your video too. Some companies like to shoot first and figure it out later and others (like us) will only shoot once we have a plan. If you’re going to shoot video commercials, you’ll want to plan appropriately. Sometimes that take a little longer, but it’s worth the wait. If your timeline is to create something in a week, you may not get the quality you want. If your timeline is six months, you also might not get the quality you want. It all depends on the moving parts and the plan.

Quality. You know it when you see it, but it really is subjective. What you deem to be quality may be subpar (or over the top) to someone else. Communicate what quality is to you and have them communicate what quality is to them. Most important, if you see work that you like on their website and their Vimeo or YouTube page, then they’ll most likely be able to hit the mark on your project.

If you’re looking to do quality video marketing in Miami Florida, you’ll want to make sure they know your quality specs before you start. You can read more on this in another blog we posted called How to Choose the Best Video Production Company.

What Are the Keys to a Successful Shoot?

Whether it’s a corporate event, a corporate video production project, or simply media marketing, you’ll want your shoot (and project) to be successful. Why put forth all that energy and money and not have a successful outcome? What does it take to have a successful shoot? There are three things we like to think are what make all our shoots successful.

Planning. The planning process must answer the Who, What, When, Where, and How questions before a shoot date is even scheduled. That goes with any video production service. For example, there must be a preproduction call or meeting that occurs where you discuss who will be on camera, who is writing the script, who is approving the script, when the call time is, where the shoot will happen, what equipment will be used, how the project will be executed, and how the editing process will work. There are usually other questions to be asked (from both sides) that are more specific to a situation, but discussing this before the shoot ensures everyone is prepared before it begins.

Pre-Work. Once a script is approved, its important everyone does their part to be ready. Sometimes the client needs to approve a script or provide feedback or changes so that the shoot can be executed without wondering what the final product will look like. If props, talent, or other items need to be obtained, they need to be done well before the shoot date. No one likes a surprise and neither do we.

Communication. Planning and communication go hand-in-hand, but both are critical to a successful shoot. As an agency, we want communication from the client so we know what they need, want and are worried about. We want to communicate to the client as often as necessary to be clear on what needs to happen next and ensure a successful shoot.

Where? Finally, all the planning and prework are important but so is knowing where the video will be used. What is the point of creating this video if where it will be used isn’t clear. If it’s for use on social media, then certain elements must be present to brand it accordingly. If it is for a music video (something we don’t do much of) then other shots need to be included. Remember, corporate video is usually pretty structured unless you’re trying to communicate a message of individuality and distinctiveness. We more information about all of this at Steps to Video Production.

If you’re looking for the best video production company of South Florida, you now have the tools to decide which one to hire and why they really are one of the best. Happy searching and let us know if we can help you.

Business and Video Marketing for 2020

Covid graphic

Wow! That escalated quickly! If you’re run or own a business, the entire landscape changed drastically sometime around the beginning of March. By now you’ve been locked down for some time and are trying to figure out who might still be potential customers and who won’t be around much longer. A little scary, yes. Impossible? No. We can do this.

First, let’s start with the obvious trends. Business is down. People are not out and about. Most people are home and working. Some are more productive than others, but they are working. This is the time that most people have started to go through a set of emotions and thoughts that will either bring them out quickly or suppress them into depression. Many people are angry and in denial about the direction things are headed. “What do you mean we need to lock ourselves down in our homes for a month? How am I supposed to make a living?” We’ve all thought it.

With all these changes, who really knows what is going to happen. One thing is for sure, at some point, businesses will be open and people will be happy to get out of their homes. This might be an excellent time to create a strategy. What opportunities lie ahead as we approach the end of this quarantine? What should I be doing now that will bring me out and open for business faster than my competitors?

Before you get too far ahead, we want to share something else with you. Here’s what we’re noticing.

Right now, we have observed something incredible. The number of people online every day is incredibly high. There has been a HUGE spike in online video viewing. We’ve seen it with Jenn Jager’s YouTube page. We’ve heard on the news that Netflix and YouTube have decreased streaming video quality to keep the bandwidth open.

Here’s the secret opportunity that’s happening right now

Everyone is at home. They’re watching more videos on YouTube than ever before. What typically plays before a video? Advertisements. That’s where the magic is happening right now. Now is the time to seize the opportunity. It’s time to create a small business video that can talk about your who you are. This is particularly true if it relates to a product or service that serves the community well.

Not only are the number of viewers up, the number of companies paying for advertising is way down. Simple supply and demand says prices are falling for ad placement. Are you taking advantage of that? Here’s one trend you should not miss!

If you don’t have a landing page, now might be the time to create one. It takes a little bit of work, but if you do it right, you can place an explainer video that brings a potential customer to a sale. Almost any landing page product works. Make it easy to buy and easy to understand what the offer is.

We still need to stay connected…just do it separately.

How do you build trust but not sit across a table to sell? Think digital marketing and video. With YouTube Ads (and even television ads) you have the opportunity to speak directly to your target audience to possibly garner trust. Depending on the type of content you’re creating, your video content should promote connection and relationships. If you’re going to create online video, you’ll also want to think about how to keep it branded.

Brand videos speak to the overall brand of the business, the people who work there, and the mission of the business. Do you need to have a big video production company come in to your videos? Maybe. But for now, doing it yourself is not all bad. Need some tips on how to do it yourself? Check out Jenn’s YouTube Channel (Video Marketing Your Business) where she educates viewers about apps, lighting, and equipment that she recommends if you’ll be doing it yourself.

When it’s time to really increase sales, you might consider hiring a crew to create a more brand sensitive video that sells you and your business. You might consider starting that process now so you can be one of the first on the crew’s schedule once they can come out of their homes.

How Do I Create a Video While Under Quarantine?

If you want to create videos while under quarantine, you’ll need to think about how to do it without other people being involved. There are a couple of ways…

Footage. First, there is the use of footage you had shot professionally before the lock down. You can use those clips of B-Roll (secondary shots) by adding professional narration, some licensed music, and 2D graphics. This can be all you need to keep your brand out in front of your target audience.

Graphics. Another option is the use of only 2D graphics as the entire video. We’ve all seen the CDC’s graphics video that shares who is at risk and what we should be doing now to protect ourselves. This video contains just graphics and music. It’s effective because the viewer can follow along while getting the point of the video. In that video, its more of a public safety message, but the same can be done with any business. They’re rather straight forward to create and reasonably effective. Here’s that video:

Whiteboard. Another option is whiteboard video. This isn’t something we do a lot of, but we do have a course that we share how to use some of the features of Doodly. Jenn created it and a lot of people have bought it so they can be better at using the software. Here’s a link to Jenn Jager‘s new page where the lessons are and where you can get a copy of Doodly.

Stock Video. Finally, there’s stock video. We sometimes use stock video to add some depth to a video. This might be a good time to use it since you can’t shoot more video. Consider using some footage you’ve already captured and adding some stock video to make a point you hadn’t in a previous project. Or, simply use stock video to create an entirely new video. We’d simply add narration and some graphics to give a fully finished feel. Here’s one we created using only stock video, professional narration and animation.

All of these are valid options to shooting a video with a crew. It can certainly get you by for the next several months. If you plan correctly, you’ll be positioned to be the first company to call when the restrictions loosen up.

If you have questions, reach out to us. We’re happy to help.

Top 3 Ways Video Can Help Business During Coronavirus Outbreak

Hand signaling for help

With the Coronavirus pandemic affecting us in the United States, there are a few things you can start to do to prevent a complete shutdown of your business if you have online options for sales. Obviously, you can count on having to stay home to work, but that doesn’t mean people aren’t shopping and watching YouTube videos or television while they’re working. That means, they’ll see more commercials than they normally do.

That’s not all. More than likely, after working a while from home, they’ll be media fatigued. They’ll be tired of all the negative information and need a break. That’s when they’ll be turning to social media or YouTube to watch something they can control and less taxing or stressful on their emotions.

Instead of being stuck at home watching President Trump talk about the Coronavirus outbreak, they’ll be watching something more fun. The World Health Organization is hosting live broadcasts of their statements about public health and the current state of health care around the world. It’s a little overwhelming sometimes, think San Francisco or New York’s situation. The health system may be in trouble in the near future.

The stock markets are taking daily up and down turns as Coronavirus continues to spread. So what can you do to help your business during this odd time? Here are three tips we’d like to suggest you and your team create while taking social distancing seriously.

Top Three Ways Businesses Can Use Video During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Create Videos. If you’re a client of ours, we probably have a lot of footage that can be created into short 15 and 30 second ads that can be placed online, on broadcast television and other places to keep your brand top of mind. A lot of people are using video conferencing while remote working, but the bottom line is, they’re still at home. They are still working. They’re also watching TV or YouTube.

One thing we’ve heard is that people are afraid of having a video crew come over to shoot a video. We don’t blame you. And we don’t want to come to your space either! 🙂 People have asked us, “How can you create videos if you can’t shoot?” It’s not as difficult as you think.

Think Graphics and Animation. Graphics and animation videos are the safest way to create video right now. The benefits are: you can create what you want from scratch, you can change it easily, and you can have a professional narrate your video and create something from nothing.

The cons are few: it’s not personable and, depending on the level of animation, it can be come pricier. 2D Animations are the simplest (along with text, etc.) and typically are on the lower end of the investment scale. 3D Animation with high detail work will slide up the investment scale. Here’s an example of each type of video.

Example of Stock Video and 3D Animation


Example of 2D Animation

To Sell or Not to Sell. Now is probably not the time to sell to anyone. Unless you have a product that everyone needs or wants (think toilet paper or hand sanitizer because supply chains are running behind), you’ll want to send a message that is helpful, reassuring, and a reminder that you’re still around. If you’re reaching out with a video, please check that your audio sounds good too. The number one thing we hear people missing is the audio.

Reaching out with video might also mean creating short, personalized snippets for current clients or potential clients sharing how you might be able to help them. This needs to come across personable, relatable, and not like sales pitch.

Create a Strategy. Best case scenario this problem only lasts a few months and we start to move forward. Worst case, we might be looking at a year or more. Based on that we would recommend creating a strategy for the future. Create a strategy for the short-term and the long-term. What marketing activities should be done now and what should be done later?

We don’t want you to be one of the many who are choosing to do nothing. That is not a strategy and not a direction you should choose because many companies are working on what they need to do now and in the next several months. By focusing on the video strategy now, you can find and hire a video production company to execute it quickly when things begin to turn for the better.

One thing to keep in mind, when things start to move forward, they’ll happen quickly. Just like there has been a shortage of supplies like toilet paper and sanitizer, there will likely be a shortage of video production crews. You’ll want to line up those contacts now or you may be waiting while they finish up the work they have. We can see this happening based on our experience from other slowdowns in the economy.

The Case for Video Content Marketing and SEO Results

Studio Shoot in Plum Productions

Whether the business is large or small, content is king when it comes to search and being found. According to OptimWise there are several factors that lead to success in being found in a search. OptimWise also shares that the items that are important and improve your chances are stuff like the quality of the content and how well the keywords have been researched and used effectively. Other factors include newness of information, how well information answers a question being looked for, and how well items are structured and tagged. Items that can decrease success are items like useless content and stuffing keywords throughout to try to trick Google and the like.

Why Video?

Before we get into the SEO portion, it’s important to understand why video is helpful in general. When videos are relatively short, they can be more impactful than a quick paragraph. Why? Emotion. Emotions can be communicated quickly with music, visuals, movements, transitions, text on screen, verbal statements, etc. When these come together in a video, the effect is magical. Viewers are drawn into the story, the feeling. They feel like they’re a part of the situation or problem. This is important because without emotion, you’re selling or telling. Everyone wants to buy, no one wants to be sold. Period.

google search showing video results

Another reason for video is that Google likes it. When you type in a question you will not receive one or more (sometimes several) videos related to that question For example, doing a quick search about Doodly, we find the results are mostly video results along with information about the company that created it. Notice the top video? That’s our Creative Director, Jenn Jager. She’s the first search result on Google and near the top of YouTube (depending on what you search). How did she do this? Read on…

How does Video affect Search Engine Results?

There are several factors that affect search (there are literally 10s and sometimes 100s of items under each of the above listed factors that affect results positively and negatively) and video is not the only one. It is one of the items that impacts rankings positively as long as certain things are in place. We know that Google (Alphabet), the world’s largest search engine, also owns YouTube as one of its brands, so having YouTube video as one type of content helps. But what type of video is helpful in getting results?

Using Google Analytics will help you determine the appropriate keywords, target audience, and real world information on your current performance. If you find an area in the analytics that pops out as a success, maximizing this information can help you determine what information you should be providing.

For example, if you determine that an area of your business is being found related to specific keywords, you might consider adding more blog posts surrounding that topic. In each blog post, you might determine a video about that topic or question might be appropriate. Why would you do that?

It has to do with your visitor’s attention span. Our experience has told us that when a video is on a page, people will more likely watch it versus read the text. If the visitor is reading the text, they may lose interest in the written word and move on (to another page or a different website). If a visitor is watching an appealing video, they typically stay on the page to the end or near the end of the video…thus more time on the site. This will maximize your content marketing efforts by keeping them on your site longer.

Another factor related to the above paragraph is how this impacts bounce rate. By keeping a viewer on your page longer, your page (and the analytics) are telling Google that the content located on that page (or website as a combination of page) is high quality and keeps the visitor on the page. This is called lowering your bounce rate.

Wistia reported in 2016 that pages without video tracked time on page at 2.6x less than pages with video (article here). Interestingly enough, we find that pages on our website that contain video also track longer visit times. Coincidence? We think not!

Digital Marketing & Video

As a digital marketer, we recommend using video in your social media marketing efforts. If your content marketing strategy doesn’t include social media, you’re missing something. More importantly is the engagement of video on social media. By adding video to posts, you’re also improving your engagement. Link building is typically related having links from outside websites that bring visitors to your site (and a little the other way as well), but social media is the easiest form.

Creating content, and more specifically video content is not as difficult as you might think. We work on YouTube projects regularly and use a program called Tube Buddy to determine topics and information people are looking for so we can provide content people want. If you want, you can click the link and subscribe to it (by the way, this is an affiliate link).

Whether you’re run a product or service business, providing content and information your prospective customers need and want is directly related to the success of being found online. Search traffic is one area that creating video content can help any business improve their results.

We also hear clients tell us that they don’t know what topics to create content around, such as blog topics, etc. They say they’ve created tons of content already and don’t want to repeat what they have. We think this is a mistake. When blog content repeats (with a different angle), it tells search engines that this website is more about this topic than any other…making the site an expert in the topic.

We have several case studies on our website where clients created videos for a specific purpose, brought viewers to a specific landing page, and converted them to a full-blown lead. Converting a prospect to a sale is a salespersons job. Marketing and video marketing improve the likelihood of converting to a lead and then to a sale, thus affecting the business’s bottom line.

If you need ideas on how to create content, we’ve created a blog post about it so you can create hundreds of topics. Remember to create a mix of written (text) and video (visual) posts so you can analyze which is more impactful for your visitors and which ones perform well. If you find two of 30 posts do very well, do more about those two topics. It will help your ranking. Besides, its’ what your visitors are looking for.

Need help? Give us a call!

How to Produce and Execute Creative Video Marketing

If you’re looking to add digital marketing to your campaign or advertising mix, one of the elements that will float to the top in terms of importance is video marketing. In this blog post we share our thoughts on creating the right marketing mix and the right creative video to produce the results you’re after. First, let’s talk about a little background. If you already know this, you can always skip ahead to our thoughts on the How To’s.

What is Video Marketing?

Video Marketing is simply the creating and using video to promote a product or service via various marketing channels (such as social media and broadcast, etc.). Typically video marketing incorporates an educational component directed to a specific target audience and a call to action.

Why is Video Marketing Important?

The year 2020 will become the year that video reaches a new level of importance for businesses of all sizes. Businesses will start to incorporate video into their overall advertising and marketing strategy. If your business has a marketing team, they should have incorporated a video marketing strategy into their overall strategy. One of our predictions in 2020 is that video will become so important that several businesses will be adding a video editor to their team. Sometimes this is the right move. Sometimes it isn’t. We say this because we have worked with several businesses who simply tell their employees what to do without a long-term strategy or purpose. Any video marketing campaign must have a purpose or it will simply be a waste of money. We hate to see companies waste money.

We did a little research and found that “more than 50% of consumers want to see videos from brands … more than any other content.” (Source: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/video-marketing). And, our clients tell us that conversion rates increase dramatically when video is present on landing pages or product landing pages. If you want to improve click through rate and conversion, you simply have to incorporate video into the mix. Whether its an explainer video, social media or customer testimonial, video is valuable to the consumer or buyer. These build trust and convert.

What Are Some Types of Marketing Videos

Before you hire a video production company you’ll want to have a general idea of what type you want to create. There are several and not all are right for every occasion. Imagine arriving on a landing page and finding an educational video…how would that impact the potential sale? Probably very little, but if a testimonial video was there, you’d notice an impact. Here are a few exmples:

    • About Us / Branding / Corporate Introduction Video. These videos typically help the viewer understand who you are as a corporation or how a product works. This is usually used once the prospect has arrived on your page (landing or otherwise). These videos are also important tools for a larger, over-arching branding or advertising campaign. The goal is usually to increase awareness of your company or product. A good example of Corporate Introduction or Branding Video is this one.
  • Blog, Educational, How-To, or Word Videos. These types are used to teach the viewer a new topic or idea. Why would you want to do that? The better they understand the topic, the more they want to learn. The more they want to learn, the more they might realize they don’t know and need to hire a professional. These videos are usually used to demonstrate knowledge or professionalism and build additional trust before a purchase or call. This is also referred to as content marketing, where the person on camera wishes to be viewed as an expert in his or her industry. By the way, search engines love this type of content because you’re helping people learn more about a topic. Here’s an old example of one we did many years ago. It stands the test of time!
  • Interviews. Sometimes interviewing the office expert can demonstrate a level of knowledge that your competitors can’t show. If you have someone that is called on industry-wide because they have been doing it for so long, this might be the right type of video to display.
  • Explainer videos. These are a step beyond the educational style because they go beyond helping people learn a tidbit of information, this video might include a longer storyline that helps the viewer understand how something will help them or where they can visualize themselves with the problem and how to get it solved.
  • These have become rather popular in the past couple of years. When we get calls about animation, we hear that people think these are much cheaper than live action video production, but that isn’t always the case. For example, you can use something like Toonly or Doodly to create reasonably inexpensive (even cheap!) animations, but they’re usually for very small budgets. (By the way, if you want to try them out, use the links above and we’ll get a small commission without costing you anything extra!) When someone wants to create something more realistic or true-to-form, an animation can be about the same as a small live action production; therefore, depending on what you’re looking to create, always consider both options when it makes sense. Sometimes it is more difficult to show something live action than to animate it…that’s when we recommend animation. It saves you time, money, and headaches later!
  • Client Testimonials / Case Studies. Sometimes prospects want to know proof of concept. Rather than having to show them what you’ll do for them, show them what you’ve done for others in a similar situation. We recommend using your actual clients who were happy with your results to provide you with an on camera testimonial or have them walk the viewer through a case study. Either way, the viewer needs to understand the problem they faced and how you helped solve the problem.
  • Behind the scenes. Do you do something that is cool to see or hard to imagine? Sometimes give people a peek behind the curtain can make them want to be involved. For example, manufacturing doors can be pretty boring, but what if you manufactured high-end doors? Wouldn’t it be cool to see the process and how the magic happens? This might be one of those times a behind the scenes video would work well.
  • Social media. Our recommendation is to produce one or more of the above and create shorter social videos to share on the various platforms. If you a create one of the above options, always have the production team edit a short version for social media. By doing so, you can give a tease to what you are doing/showing and make them want to watch more on your landing page or home page. Find out if there is interest by getting them to take steps closer to making a call, such as coming to visit your website.

So now the question is which one do you want to produce and why? If you work with us, we’ll help clarify which one to create and why. There are other variations of the above video too, so don’t think you’re limited to one of the above.

Once you’ve decided, you’ll need to decide on who will shoot it. We obviously would recommend hiring a professional for this (and maybe that’s why you’re reading this article) but you might also be able to shoot it yourself. If that’s the case, you might want to take a look at our creative director’s YouTube Channel for ideas on how and what to shoot. If you’re looking for a crew and don’t know where to start, you might consider using our checklist of things to know before you hire a professional video production crew. It contains tips and questions to ask before you hire them.

Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or just want some ideas! We love coming up with awesome content ideas for our clients!

Key Marketing Videos for Your Sales Funnel

saleswoman, business terms

Marketing drives sales. Sales drives the rest of the business. But how do you use video to enhance your sales process? This post will share how you can create videos for the entire sales funnel and which videos will become the most important for your business.

Most marketing includes several components to maximize the dollar spend. Marketing can often include several touch points based on the target market, potential customers, what types and where products are sold. We have all seen marketing in the form of print, digital, and several other forms, but all of it should depend on the marketing mix and marketing funnel being used. It won’t come to a surprise to anyone that we would recommend using video in every step of your sales process.

A lot of people think video should be used at the top of the funnel…during the phase often described as the interest or discovery portion of the sales process. We believe it should be used as a tool along the sales process to maximize the relationship and court the prospect until the sale (and even afterward).

According to Vidyard there are general rules of thumb when it comes to where to place video content. They share that only 15% of your video content should be targeted to prospects and drawing them closer to the sale. The concept is that you should be targeting your customers according to their needs and wants, therefore, if you’re strategic in selecting where you’re placing the ad, you’ll find much better results. Less is better here (in terms of quantity of videos).

What is Top of Funnel Content?

Bringing in prospects can be tricky, but placing video topics that are broad in nature, that have a more mass attraction can attract the right client. At this stage, it’s important for the tone to be more authentic in nature and isn’t too sales focused. It should come across as informative and helpful, with you as the solution. Some ideas might include:

  • Frequently Asked Questions/How-To Content – Show off your knowledge and answer requests from your network to attract clients like who you work with now. If you’re receiving a large volume of questions that are common every time you start working with a client, this might be a strong video topic. Placing this on your website, social media, YouTube channel, etc. will help you attract those who want to speak with someone who solves their problem.
  • Webinar Content – If you conduct webinars, consider recording them and sharing them online. It not only shares your knowledge, but also illustrates your ability to answer questions and solve problems.
  • Interviews/Speaking Engagements – If you or your leadership team has been interviewed or spoken publicly, capture that to maximize the value of their expertise. You can also stage “chats” or one-on-one interviews to create the perfect content.

Above is an example of a Frequently Asked Question Video.

Evaluation Stage

When prospects get past the initial exploration stage and start to dig a little deeper into who you are and what you do, it’s time to give them information that helps them take next steps. For example, at this stage you’ll need to begin sharing testimonials and case studies to help the prospect know what you do, how you helped other clients, and improve your odds of getting a call. If your business sells a product or service that needs to be shown to be understood, it might be time to show a demonstration, product, or service video. These can often be used in your social media marketing plan in any retargeting efforts. If you get a large volume of requests for more information during this phase, you’ll likely be getting an increase in sales because of it.

At this phase, you can also schedule one-on-one calls or meetings to discuss any additional questions they have. Prior to your meeting/call, consider sending them a personalized video via email that defines what your meeting will be about and what they can expect at the end of the meeting. If you haven’t been able to line up a meeting (or cannot), this is also the best time to introduce an email capture point. This is the point where you know they have interest and may want to learn more from you. Plus, if you’ve been able to track their video watch data leading to this point, you’ll have a good idea about who they are, what they need and how to continue to market to them. This will begin to feed into your marketing research that will ultimately feed into your marketing strategy.

Here’s an example of a fun Testimonial Video.

Bottom of Funnel Videos

This is the time to reinforce what they’ve learned so far and help them make the final step…a call to action. Obviously, you’ll want a call to action along the way, but there also comes a time that you must blatantly state, “This is the time you should buy.” Videos at this stage might include:

  • Campaign video – Nurture them to decide to choose you. Time it right and you’ll get the call/sale.
  • More Frequently Asked Questions videos are perfect at this point.
  • Follow Up Videos – You’ve had the call/meeting, you’ve done what you can, now you might consider a follow up video. Make it comical to keep it light-hearted and less serious. Less pressure on the prospect is usually better than a high-pressure message (contrary to what you might think).

Above is a video that reinforces what a company has done for others…a video that might be shared after an initial exploratory meeting.

Keep in mind, marketing is the process of getting prospects to notice you and ultimately act. If you have a well-defined marketing plan and institute a current version of the Ps of marketing, you can guide your prospect to a landing page and make a sale. Special note, you might think that product price affects your marketing mix, and it does…but it shouldn’t affect your ability to make the sale. Keep in mind, if your prospect knows what problem you solve, how you do it, and that others have been very happy with your results, you can sometimes charge a premium for your product or service. On the other hand, if they can’t understand or see that value, it will be tough to sell at a premium and product price will impact your ability to make the sale.

 

SOURCE: https://www.vidyard.com/blog/create-video-marketing-for-the-sales-funnel/

How to Generate Sales Leads with Video

sales, handshake

Investing in video may or may not be a difficult decision. Some think of video as a tool in a larger process to help prospects work their way to a purchase. Others think of video as a line item expense that must have a return on the investment. Both are technically correct, but which one you are can determine if you view video as a good thing or simply an expense (therefore a waste of time and money). In this post, we’ll consider both and how to use video to generate sales leads.

Video as a Tool

If you view video as a tool, you’re probably one step ahead of your competition already. You know that it is necessary to make a solid connection with your prospect and may even know how to use video to guide them through the process. While you might still consider video production a line item on the P&L, you also recognize there isn’t always a direct correlation between watching a video and making a purchase, except in certain circumstances. For example, product videos on product pages have been tested and found to have a strong correlation to purchase intent and making a purchase (source: https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/EJM-11-2016-0619/full/html). Those who believe video is a tool in a greater process of marketing also understand that it is more difficult to measure the impact of a video advertisement when use as a YouTube ad or on broadcast television. It’s difficult because the viewer can’t be directly tracked when they call (except by some savvy video marketers who do it right by using specific phone numbers in their videos, etc.). What video does is reinforces the several other tools being used to get a potential buyer to heed a call to action and make the call.

Video as an Expense

On the other hand, if you believe that video is simply an expense and must have an ROI, you feel like every dollar spent must retrieve a multiple in return. This is a great way to ensure success, but it can also be a difficult way to grow a business. When we grew as a company, we knew we had to invest in some high-quality equipment. We borrowed a little money and invested it into a high-quality 4K camera and other equipment. While this was difficult to do at the time and it showed no direct return on investment; however, it has provided us with high-quality footage that helps us stand apart from our competitor…thus nudging the prospect one step closer to giving us a call. Is there a direct correlation? No, but that camera has made Plum successful and allowed us to grow. This is something that is difficult to measure. The same goes with video content.

How to Use Video to Generate Sales Leads

The ultimate goal of generating sales leads is obtaining contact information (such as an email address), bringing a buyer to a landing page, and bringing the prospect to the sales team. While you can achieve this via text-based pages, the conversion rate may not be as high as a highly interactive or engaging lead generation process. By creating video, you will begin the prospect on a journey to discovering their needs and ultimately giving you (or someone else) a call. The next question might be, “What video do I need to create?” Whether it’s a YouTube video, a video for your website, or a video series, it must be interactive. Let’s explore the types of video you should consider for your business. Below are the types of issues you might be trying to resolve along with the type of video that will help you illustrate that you can solve it.

Trust and Confidence. Typically, people or businesses trying to build trust and confidence are the professional services field. These individuals are trying to illustrate how they can achieve goals for their clients and want to do so with a high level of authenticity. Videos that can capture the individual’s genuine personality are videos like Testimonial, About Us, and Meet Me videos. These videos usually include the person or people involved in the process achieving the client’s goals. They introduce the viewer to the people involved, explain what they bring to the job that’s special, highlight experience and credentials, and include personal details to help the viewer feel comfortable and connected.

Establishing Credibility. If you’re trying to accomplish this, you’ll want to explain why you’re covering the topic, talk to the viewer, and leave them wanting more. This type of video is typically a case study video, explainer video, product demo video, or advice video blog.

Product Explanation. A product or service that is a little more complex and requires some more detail typically needs a product demonstration video. These videos typically explain why the product exists, highlight specific components of the product, and show the end result or effectiveness of the product. These videos can be highly effective the more complex the product or service.

Recruitment. If you’re trying to recruit more and better talent to the organization, you might try a Culture video or a Position Profile video. A culture video will provide the viewer with a strong sense of what it’s like to work at the company. The position profile video is like combining a job description and job posting while showing some of the important elements of the job. Be very explicit that you are hiring and be sure to include specific details about benefits. Most of all, make it fun! Lastly, these get the best results when shared via social networks and social media. You might even be able to create this using some existing video you already have!

If you have any questions or comments, please reach out to us! We’d be happy to answer any questions!