How to Set Up a YouTube Channel for My Business

YouTube is the second largest social media outlet in the world. Other than Facebook, there is none larger. Getting your YouTube channel set up correctly is important for several reasons. First, it’s your brand. If you’re hosting your videos on YouTube, this is the primary way people will judge your ability to keep your brand intact. Second, it shows consistency. If you can demonstrate a high level of consistency within your brand, you’ve shown you have what it takes to stay organized. Do your clients want to know you’re organized? Our guess is they do.

What this post covers is what you’ll want to do past the initial set up. We know there are a lot of resources out there that will help you set up your channel initially, but once you have it set up, what should you do? This post will give you a checklist of sorts of what you should to do maximize your channel. Here we go!

Once you’ve followed the basics of setting up your channel, there are a few tips we’d like to share.

  • Channel Art. You’ll want to set up channel art to give your channel a branded look. The recommended size right now (2018) is 2560×1440 px, with a safe area of 2048×1152 px. YouTube recommends a file size of 4MB or smaller. This helps in the load time and cuts down on their storage needs. NOTE: make sure any text or logos you want to have displayed is in the safe area. If you create the recommended size, there is a safe area within that every device (or at least a vast majority) will allow the viewer to see.
  • Social Media Links. Once you’ve set up your account, you’ll want to link it to other assets, such as your website and your other social media pages. Currently, YouTube has a specific list of social media pages you can link to, including Google Plus or Google Pages, so you’ll want to make sure those are set up. Also, keep in mind these links, once set up, show up in the bottom right portion of the Channel Header Art, so keep that in mind when designing the header. If the social links cover important information in your art, like a phone number, it won’t be visible.
  • Icon. Add the icon in the top left. It’s not always visible on every platform, but it helps to have it there. Most people use their logo, others use their head shot, but in the end, its up to you.
  • Enhancing the Channel.
    • Optimize the Description. You’ll want to write a brief, high-level description of what your channel is all about. It should use keywords and incorporate specific statements as to what the channel is about. Google’s algorithms have gotten pretty smart when it comes to text, so this is important. Don’t include statements that are unrelated and always have a call to action. The call to action might be to visit your website, watch a certain playlist or video, or call a phone number.
    • Add Channel Trailer. A channel is less effective if it doesn’t have a trailer welcoming or describing the channel. You may not think you need one, but here’s why you do. When someone arrives at your channel, they may or may not know what your business is all about. They may not understand how your channel is organized or what is important for them to view to get a better understanding of who you are and what you do. The channel trailer will guide them or give them some reference as to who you are and why the channel is helpful to the viewer.
    • Add Links to Channel. These links (described above) help Google verify and solidify who this channel belongs to, who it’s associated with, and builds the web of links you want Google to know and understand to improve your website and channel optimization.
    • Playlists. Adding playlists is one of the ways you can tell your visitor you care about them. You’ve taken the time to organize your videos into bite-sized pieces to help them digest your message. Playlist are just that: a way of organizing similar videos and you should do it for a few reasons:
      • Organization. We’ve said it once already, but this helps the viewer know which videos relate to each other.
      • Get Discovered. When playlists are organized, YouTube (Google) knows that each of the videos in the playlists are related, therefore have a higher probability of getting discovered organically. When someone searches for a topic and you’ve titled a video with that search phrase, YouTube might bring up your entire playlist.
      • Related. Again, because they’re related, the viewer can dig in as deep as they like to learn more about the related topic.
      • Session Time. No, this is not the beer type of session, it’s the time they spend on your channel. If someone lands on your channel first (organically or directly) and then spend some time on your channel because they’re nosing around in similar videos, you get extra credit for keeping on your channel longer. Longer sessions usually mean credibility for Google/YouTube. Layer on top of that, YouTube will even reward you if you draw someone to your channel and then move off your channel to another channel. You get extra credit for bringing the viewer to YouTube (at one point, the entire session time they spent on YouTube was given to you, not all the other sites if they visited you first).

For a couple of examples, we’ve selected one channel that has some missing pieces (but otherwise might be ok) and another that does it very well. For starters, let’s look at the channel that is missing a few pieces. We’ve removed their logo and name to protect their identity.

Image of YouTube Channel page that's missing a few components

So here are a few points to consider on this channel. First, there is an inconsistent image for each video. You’ll see on the next example, how a consistent image can be created. Second, and this is something you can’t see in this image, they don’t have playlists created.  As a visitor, you might not know which video you need to watch, but if you knew that four of the list of videos were about a specific topic you came to learn about, you’d find it helpful. Third, the trailer did not have a call to action and did not incorporate a general message for the business. It was more of a moving PowerPoint presentation, which is fine, but less effective when it comes to getting the viewer to take action.

To see a good example of a YouTube Channel, we’re going to use our sister business My Video 101’s YouTube Channel.

Example of a good YouTube Channel layout

For this channel, we see some helpful things right from the start. First (green arrows), the header image is information about the channel and what to expect. For businesses, we recommend an image with a message that makes sense for your branding. On this example, we also see the social media buttons are set up. Second, this channel has playlists set up (see yellow circle). They use several: Vlogging Advice, Product Reviews, Technical Tips, and Behind the Scenes. Helpful if you only want to learn about one area of the channel, right? Third, this channel has consistent branding across all videos (see blue check marks). While each topic is different, each video looks similar, yet a little different. Consistency is pleasing to the eye and helps the viewer feel at ease when searching through the videos.

With just a few tweaks your YouTube Channel can improve your image and increase views. Take the time to set up your business channel the right way so you get the most out of your channel.

 

 

 

Sources:
DreamGrow (https://www.dreamgrow.com/top-15-most-popular-social-networking-sites/)
Gravity Search Marketing (https://www.yourseoplan.com/benefits-of-creating-youtube-playlists/)
YouTube Support (https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/2972003?hl=en-GB)

Buffer (https://blog.bufferapp.com/create-a-youtube-channel)

When & Why Technology Companies Need Video

AI meets Tech meets Video

Why Video?

If you’re reading this post, it might be because you own or work at a technology company and want to know what type of video and how to use video for your company. First, let’s get to the why you might need a video… and let’s get beyond the obvious of “everyone is doing it” because that’s not a good reason to do video. Most of the technology companies that have called us to either get an idea of cost or what it takes to do a video call us for similar reasons. Most technology companies call us because they are struggling to get potential clients to understand that they are there for their clients… that they are humans too… and that it’s not all Artificial Intelligence that make up a client’s technology backbone.

We usually hear about a website that is sterile, a lot of images of servers and techie stuff, but somehow they’re missing the human element. It’s interesting that Dow Chemical also struggled with this and created a commercial that still sticks with us today (and no we didn’t produce that commercial). Ironically, reading this Forbes article titled “Healthcare’s Often Missing Element – The Human Element” they also list several other companies who have this same problem. People are what make the world go around… but more importantly, people are what make sales happen. There lies the problem some technology companies have: they stick to words and images that are cold and meaningless in getting the sale. They often rely on their sales team without providing some of the best tools available to them in marketing: video.

That’s the Why. Why video can make the difference. What about When?

Next, when is it time to invest in a series or a single video? It varies by business and by individual, but the real answer is brought to light by the answer to the questions, “Do potential clients get you? Do potential clients understand you?” As with any business, when you have to differentiate yourself by explaining all the things you do rather than helping the potential client understand why you do what you to improve this world, something might be missing. It might be time to explore video for your technology company if one or more of the following ring true:

  • Potential clients don’t understand what you do. They don’t understand the cloud or backups or the difference between a backup and an archive.
  • Potential clients don’t connect with you as people, rather as a service.
  • Potential clients just want numbers without getting to know you.
  • Potential clients just want answers without understanding the entire portfolio of services you offer.
  • People aren’t making the connection between their needs and the services you provide.

Most marketing does a lot of the above, but the difference between print, web, document, etc. marketing and video marketing is one is read (with all the inflections or tones they think you are trying to say) and the other is shared and stated exactly as you have intended. THIS is why everyone is doing it…not because others are doing it, but because it conveys the message in the desired tone and matching meaning.

What type of video should I create?

Great question. The type of video depends on what your end goal is and what you hope will happen when they finish watching the video. Our recommendation is to consider one of the following videos to determine which video is the best to start with.

It may not be time for you to consider video, and that’s OK, but if it is time to talk, we’d love it if you consider contacting us about what you’re trying to convey. We might be able to help.

How to Disrupt Your Industry Using Video

Set of 5 doors all with gray door and one red

You’ve heard it before, whether from your web developer or from a marketer… “You need video for your website.” While it’s true, video helps, video isn’t always the only answer. BUT, if done correctly, video can be the difference maker in standing out in a crowd of competitors. Let’s dig into a few stats and reasons why this is so.

First, think about the last time you purchased something online. Did the product page have information about the product? Of course it did.  Did the product page have photos of the product? Most likely. If the page didn’t have photos, would you have purchased the item? Most people we ask say they would not purchase an item online that didn’t have a photo to see the product. Did the product page contain a video? If it did, do you remember the video? Do you remember what or how they educated you on the product? Did they show you how to set it up, highlight certain features, or show it being used? Most likely, if the product page had a video and you connected with the product and video, you purchased the product.

Therein lies the effectiveness in video.

The video was effective in helping you process and retain information about the product so you can make better decisions. In fact, it has been shown that people are somewhere between 65% and 85% more likely to purchase a product after viewing a video than having not viewed a video about a product or service.

According to Eyeview, a video marketing agency, by including a video on the landing page, conversion increases by 80%. Even Hubspot Blog Post states that “54% of consumers want to see videos from brands they support in comparison to email newsletters (46%) and social media images (41%).”

Common Types of Video (and we have done all of these):

  • Product Demo videos showing how to use the product, how to set up the product, or just why you should buy the product.
  • How-To videos
  • Testimonial videos … who better than your clients to tell potential customers why you’re awesome!
  • Explainer videos that show the viewer why they need your product or service and what you can do for them.
  • Expert Interviews
  • Event Videos
  • …the list can go on and on.

Now you know why it’s important, how does it help you become a disruptor? Great question. One of the things we hear is that after creating the video and posting it (or several), they become viewed as an expert in their field. Our clients know a lot about their subject and can demonstrate that with authority on a video. Viewers can feel and sense this experience when watching. When they do, the viewer will feel confident in calling or buying.

Being a disruptor means you have to do more than know your subject matter. Being a disruptor means you have been doing what you’re doing for so long (or with enough outside experiences) to see an opportunity in the marketplace. Imagine that you have been doing your job for 15 years, you know it inside and out, and realize there is a gap in services or processes that might be taken advantage of. Imagine the expert talking about how to use this opportunity to help the consumer. Bam! Disruption begins. The person on camera suddenly becomes a person to be reckoned with.

The next time you see an opportunity in the marketplace that you can solve or fix, this might be the time to create a video and highlight your strengths! Let us know if we can help in any way.

Product Videos: How Much Can They Really Impact Marketing?

Product videos have become an essential aspect to any marketing strategy. Videos appear in 70% of the top 100 search results, and viewers are at least 50% more likely to buy a product after watching a video for it. The business community is learning the importance of this for their marketing…and they are getting smarter and more creative to boot.  The best part, this leads to more interesting ads for consumers to watch. Not a bad thing!

Online video is so popular because people would much rather watch a video about a product than read about it…and video manages to span every demographic. Even if someone can’t read, they can still get the information a company wants to give them from a video.

Companies that normally only sell parts are posting how-to videos to their websites to attract customers, and to show them how to use the parts that they have bought. Here’s the cool part, people who start watching these types of video tend to stay on the site a little longer (maybe to the end of the video). Goole likes that. This tell Google that people are interested in the stuff on this website and therefore gives that site a bit more ‘search engine juice.’  Add to that, the ability to share the video to multiple social media sites further increases the reach, and the affect of a marketing video.

You should know, however, simply uploading a video to a company’s website or YouTube channel doesn’t always work. Increasingly, creative companies are making their videos interactive, so that customers can click on something in the video that takes them to a corresponding web page. This is usually done on YouTube to bring the viewer to their site.  Some companies are even using Facebook Live to capture potential client’s attention.  It’s critical that any of the services you use work on mobile devices as well, since many customers do most of their ad viewing on their cell phones or tablets.

One of the important things we do when making video is to incorporate the needs and wants of the client in the video. Novel idea, right? So many production companies try to bulldoze their way to create the video they want, but why can’t we just create what the clients wants? That’s our philosophy. When the client gets to add their needs into the video, they’re more likely to share it and show it off! That’s good for us…and good for them. Does it convert to product sales? Many times it does. When the video does a great job of highlighting why someone needs the product and clearly explains the result of using the product, more units will sell.

With product videos, placement is the key. Our clients currently place their videos on endcaps in retailers nationwide in order to catch prospective buyers in the moment of buying. When using video online, the best part is that one can now customize who sees the video based on their location, demographic, and recent purchases or items they’ve viewed online. This increases sales because the type of individual who might need the product will see the video, making it a relevant item to them. To simplify, doing this makes their videos more relevant to the people who live in an area, fit a demographic and have already researched similar items. That’s effective!

Key Takeaway: Remember when considering making a marketing video for a product: Hire a professional! They are there for a reason. Local video production companies are the best for this. They know the area well and how to maximize locations, spaces, and how to show off your product in just the right manner. They should show the product from several angles while highlighting the product’s best features! You might even try to include people who know a lot about the product, such as current customers.

Video marketing is fast becoming an essential tool to a good marketing campaign. Take advantage of it now, before any competition does!

Do We Have to be on Camera? Why People are the MOST Important Part!

Human brains are hardwired to recognize faces. When a video has a person talking in it, customers are more likely to connect with the video. When the audience can see the human behind the voice, they are more likely to trust what you are telling them. Speech is perceived by more than just auditory cues, we take in visual ones as well.

As a species, we are hardwired to be judgmental. Many people do not trust the information they read online. A study done in 2009 found that rather than trusting the people with the most expertise in a subject, people are more likely to trust those they believe have their best interests at heart. Psychologists at Princeton discovered that in only a tenth of a second, we form impressions of strangers from their faces alone, and our brain then responds based on how trustworthy we find their face to be.

In video, it is important to note that just having a trust worthy looking person is not going to make your audience listen to the message presented in your video. Remember, speech perception relies on both visual and auditory cues. The combination of both a great speech and a trustworthy face, among other things, is what will make your video the most compelling.

So, how can you get people to want to listen to your video? There are a few items that are critical to building the trust you deserve. First, you must be authentic. Be you. Don’t try to be someone you are not. If you look, sound, or feel uncomfortable, it will show, and many viewers will see, hear, and feel it. Second, demonstrate your integrity by showing us how much you believe in what you are saying. Again, if you come across as fake or phony, it will show. A good analogy is a dog’s behavior when certain people walk into the room. Some people are deathly afraid of dogs and the dog can sense it immediately. We humans have learned to do something similar…to sniff out false and bogus people. Some are better at it than others are, but we all have this ability. Third, people don’t care how much you know, they want to know how much you care. If you are genuine in caring about your viewer, they will sense it and feel a higher level of comfort in listening to you speak. Finally, speak the truth. Don’t sugarcoat or exaggerate…these all come across counter to the previous three and will completely destroy your credibility.

This can be applied to all parts of speaking, but with video, you need to be aware of more than just your speech. Your background shouldn’t distract from your message. You are what they should be paying attention to, not the bookshelf of what’s happening outside the window behind you. Add text to the screen to help reinforce what you are saying. It also focuses the viewer on what you are saying and subtly tells them, “This is important!” Have confidence and be positive while on camera and use transitions when speaking. It helps the viewer follow along when you say things like, “Now that I’ve covered XYZ, let’s move on to ABC.” This transition tells the viewer where you are and what to expect next. Sound like English class all over again? Good! It should.

Having just a trustworthy face is not enough to make people want to listen to your video; however, neither is just having a good speech. If you take the time to focus on all aspects of your video, including what’s in the background, what you’re wearing, and even the music that is playing, your video will have a much better chance of being listened to and acted upon. You want to connect to your audience, so give them what they need. Comfort, trust, integrity.

As always, we coach clients how to perform better on camera during our shoots. When we have someone who is struggling on camera, we do our best to help him or her relax and speak clearly. After all, you know the subject matter, just talk as if you’re talking to a friend. We’ll do the rest! Let us know when you’re ready to get started.

 

Source: Wistia Blog. (2017). Why Videos Featuring Humans are Easier to Trust. Retrieved from: https://wistia.com/blog/make-trustworthy-videos-with-humans on September 28, 2017. 

Six More Questions You Should Ask a Video Production Company BEFORE Hiring Them

Video production can feel like a huge undertaking. It shouldn’t be and it won’t be if you hire the right video production company. Before you hire a company, you should know the answers to some basic questions. Each question will garner an answer that will help you determine if they are a good fit or if you need to keep searching. Here are the six questions to ask before deciding on whom to hire:

1. Can you show me some of your work? When shooting a corporate video, for a website or for TV, seeing samples is the first thing you should ask to see. During this process, the video production company should show samples from their portfolio. While you view their work, you should be thinking about their quality of work, their style, and their level of skill.

2. Do you shoot and edit something nice or do you shoot to a specific script? While most video professionals will plan the shoot out ahead of time, many do not. This question is to determine whether they are good producers, shooters, or editors. What you want is all three…whether in one person or in a couple of people. Some video pros are very good at shooting the video, but struggle to get the edit completed on time and to your liking. Other video pros are very good at editing, but miss big opportunities during the shoot to tell your story. The key is the plan before the shoot. This is what will usually make or break a project…and when we usually get calls to fix.

3. What can derail this project? This is a great question to find out what problems may arise during the course of your project. The answer you get might be a bit vague, but may lead to follow up questions. One of the biggest items that derail projects for us is change in scope…or scope creep. Any change in script after a shoot can severely change the scope. Remember, the script is the plan. Change the plan and you change a lot! There are several things that can derail a project: script changes, change of actors (or person on camera), change of shoot locations, adding of shoot locations, change of messaging…and the list goes on.

4. When has a production gone over budget? This question is meant to trick the video production company. The answer is: it shouldn’t go over budget. Keep in mind, if you have a very small budget, the video pro may not be able to do everything you want; however, the video pro should offer some insightful suggestions to get it closer to your budget. Budget should be a factor, but not the deciding factor. If the shoot is not planned and executed poorly, the final video will most likely not meet your expectations…wasting your money. A larger budget doesn’t always mean better video…but smaller budgets might. Here are some factors that can increase a budget: length of the shoot, including professional talent, professional narration, special music (non royalty free).

5. Can you do what you say you can do? Because creative work is subjective, their answer is something you need to consider. What you think is creative may be mundane to another. Be very clear about your expectations. If you have a vision for your video, your video producer should be able to clearly see your vision and describe some details about how they’ll pull it off. Sometimes it comes down to having the right equipment for what you want in your video. Sometimes it is how the story is told. If you feel the video producer understands what you’re after, you should be fine…now it comes down to whether the quality matches your expectations. This is where you should be evaluating their work. Quality means having the proper sound equipment, the proper lighting, the proper framing, and an attention to detail (such as the background) can all make an impact on the final product. Look at the samples to determine if they have what it takes.

6. Have you ever missed a deadline? What happened and why? If your project is on a time constraint, ask this question. If it isn’t and time isn’t an issue, you may consider skipping this question. We get calls (a lot) where we’ve heard, “They (their video production company) has been working on this project and edit for 6 months, and I’m fed up waiting for them to finish. Can you help us?” Six months may the right amount of time for some projects, but for some of the calls we get, six months is completely inappropriate. Several problems can come up during a video project. Believe it or not, one of which may be the producer, the client, the shoot, too much work to complete in a short amount of time. A good producer can to tell you how long the project should last and when you can expect completion. Keep in mind, even the best producer can miss a deadline in his or her life, but this should be very rare. If they say they have missed a deadline, find out how often it happens. This should be a good start to picking a good video production company. Listening to the answers to these questions should lead to closer to a decision about the level of work they can do and identify some problems that may come up. If you need help or have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us. We can answer any questions you have, even if we are not your video production company. We are here to help.

Want a few more questions? Check out Top 5 Questions to Ask a Video Production Company Before Hiring Them.

Top 5 Questions To Ask a Video Production Company Before You Hire

When it comes to deciding which video production company is the best choice for your idea or project, there are several key questions to keep in mind. There are most likely a thousand questions you might have about video and the company you’re about to hire. We find that these are some of the good questions we’ve received over the past several years…and thought you’d like to know. Even if you don’t hire us, these would be good questions to have in your back pocket. Here they are (hint, number 5 is the most important):

  1. How long has the company been in the industry?  This question has a few meanings. Are you asking about longevity of the company or the people creating the video? How much experience? A good production company should be able to distinguish the two by also asking you a few questions. Sometimes hiring a company with 20 years of experience is important and sometimes this give you outdated ideas and concepts. It’s important you know what you’re looking for in this question. If you were to ask us about experience, you’d know that Jenn has many years of experience working in the video field. She’s worked at television stations and video production companies and started Plum in 2009 when she realized it was the time to do so.
  2. Are they creative?  Tough question because that’s a subjective question. What is creative to you may not be creative at all to us or to someone else. Here’s how you get past that. Find out if they are they able to provide examples of videos that took a dry subject and made it interesting? This is the sign of a strong creative. Ask them to tell you the story about how they created the idea and improved the story.
  3. What types of videos does the company produce?  Start with what you’re looking for. What type of video do you want? Interviews? Testimonials? Tours? Property? The list goes on. Once you know, ask them to show you some examples.  When you ask, keep in mind if you’re looking for a custom made video or a similar video to one they’ve already created. There are subtle differences and they should be able to distinguish between the two.
  4. What are some of the companies they have previously worked with?  Again, this begs a few questions. Are you looking to learn about what sectors they can operate in or are you looking for a fresh outside approach to marketing in your sector? If you’re looking for a company that specializes in your sector and wish to have a video that looks like everyone else in your sector, make sure you communicate that up front. If you’re looking for a fresh look that only someone on the outside would be able to create, communicate that up front…and for the same reason. You don’t have time to waste if the video production company doesn’t fit the requirements.
  5. What are some of the companies they have worked with previously? Same question, different reason for the question. You might be looking at this question and thinking, “No, I want to know what companies they’ve worked with…can they work with us?”  Also a good question. If you’re a larger company, concerns come up  like, can they be flexible, can they meet our deadlines, can they convert our message to an effective video, do they have the capability to meet our branding guidelines…and a bunch of other concerns. Have those questions ready when you start your interview.
  6. Bonus Question? How quickly can my video be completed?  Often there are specific deadlines that need to be met. Communicating that early is important because if they can’t meet your timeline, you’re wasting your time. Can a video be completed in a week or two months? That depends. It depends on the complexity of the project and a good video production company will be able to communicate with you a realistic and an aggressive timeline that you can work with. They should be able to tell you pretty quickly a general timeline and what is required to hit it. We’ve scripted, shot, and edited videos in a variety of timelines, including 6 days to 5 months, but each had requirements of the client and Plum to hit those deadlines. We find this to be the most important question one can ask when interviewing a video production company.

Need help picking a video production company? Call us. We can help. You might think we’ll just tell you to use us, but we won’t. If we’re not a good fit, that’s good to know…you’ll have just ruled out another company…we can certainly point you in the right direction.

Video Marketing Myths

With over 300 hours of video sent to YouTube every minute (on average) and millions watching these videos everyday, how do you know what to do to be effective when it comes to video marketing? It seems a very small amount of businesses actually know how to take advantage of these actions. People are starting to catch on and businesses increasingly are using video to connect with customers and potential customers. They are finding that video is a highly effective tool to illustrate their personality and authority in their industry.  So, what myths do these businesses sometimes believe?

Which of the following about video marketing are myths and which are facts?

  • View Count – “We are successful if our video goes viral,“ or “Our video is a success if we have over 1 million views.” False. While this may be true in some respects, views do not equate to action taken by your customers or purchases by customers. If views were your goal, we would have to ask why. Why are views important? If you have a new product or app that no one knows about and views will help educate people who didn’t know your app existed, then maybe viewers is good…but it shouldn’t be the only measure.
  • The appearance (quality) of the video is more important than the message.  Myth. While we believe quality is very important in video, it is not what generates sales. The message is just as important. We’ve seen some videos that are a little poor on quality convert more sales than a flashy video. That said, if your goal is to show people that your business is trustworthy and professional, appearance is very important; however, the message must compete with competitors (both direct and indirect).
  • My video should sell to the viewer – Myth. There are all kinds of reasons to create and post a video…and only one of which is to sell. Many times clients contact us to create videos for other reasons, such as, recruiting video, office tours, professional expert video, and the list goes on. The client often wishes to tell their story, not sell it, by taking an approach of, “We’re experts in this. Watch us, listen to us, and let us help you when it’s time.” This is a much more useful tool to use than, “Buy! Buy! Buy!”
  • We must have actors in our video – Maybe true. Maybe not. While you can add actors and actresses, typically this just adds costs that may not be needed. It really depends on the video. For instance, if an employee or the president of the company can speak on camera about the topic rather than a paid professional, then why spend the money? On the other hand, if the topic needs a bit of an expert (like a doctor when you’re not), then an expert actor (actress) might be required. We can help with that.

We hope this helps you decipher and navigate through the video production process a little easier. We are always willing to help and answer questions. It’s OK to call us, even if you’re not ready to decide. In fact, we welcome it. We’d rather you go in with both eyes open than guess.

4 Tips to Maximize Your Fundraising Efforts

Video is fast becoming the most useful tool in getting your message out. We feel that people have moved from, “Let’s try video,” to “We have to have video.” It has become a mainstream medium and nonprofits and for-profit organizations alike. How do you maximize your efforts (hint: this works for both nonprofits and non-profits)? Waaaaay back in 2014, a study about trends in fundraising technology described the profile of a successful fundraiser. Here they are:

  • 3+ Software Management Tools
  • 5+ Communication Channels
  • 3+ Web-Based Tactics
  • 3+ Payment Acceptance Methods
  • Online Donation Acceptance
  • Contributions Management Software Usage
  • Video Content Sharing, and
  • Blogging.

Most nonprofits do some of these, but most do not do all. One that we feel nonprofits are missing is the use of video.

  1. Tell The Story. Tell it Vividly. Fundraising is tough. You have to find the likely contributors, deepen the relationships with current supporters, stand out from other nonprofits…and among all of that, find new, creative ways for fundraising. The story you must tell, however, is your unique story. The story of your success and the awesome work that your organization does. Video will ultimately do this and provide the viewers with content they can relate to, share, and improve the awareness about your organization’s efforts.
  2. Please Share! It’s interesting, people like to share stuff. We don’t know if it’s because we were taught to share when we were kids or if we just think something is so cool and awesome that we want to be the first of our friends to show it off… What we do know is that people share. This is where a strong video makes all the difference. It must show the viewer your story and end with some form of call to action…It can be a “Call Us” or a “Donate Now.”
  3. Short is Sweet. With the advent of Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Vine, etc., people only have a short amount of time to determine if they want to continue watching. It’s also important to remember that most viewers now watch video (from the services above) on their smart phone or tablets. They want quick videos to get the message and move on.
  4. Front-load the Message. Adweek’s article about Video Trends suggests front loading the message. No one wants to watch a 30-second video commercial on their iPhone (but most will on their computer when researching you)…so if you’re creating a short message for social media purposes, front load the message. Let them move on if they’re not interested. They aren’t your type of customer.

We hope these suggestions help you maximize your fundraising efforts and bring in even more dollars. We suggest that if you are a nonprofit, follow the links above to do the research on what you might be able to improve. We’re always looking for ways to improve, so we hope you don’t mind us sharing!  

Source: HandCrank Films, 2015, http://handcrankfilms.com/5-tips-to-improve-fundraising/

5 Reasons To Include Video in Your Marketing Plan & Strategy

Why Video? Why Is Video Important?

Most businesses have a business plan and a portion of it usually includes some form of a marketing strategy. If you’re like most, you’ve seen a lot of people starting to incorporate video into their marketing strategy, but you might wonder why. If you’re wondering this, you’ve come to the right place.

  1. Social Media Loves Video. Social media is most likely a portion of your marketing plan, but adding video can make it even better. By adding video, you create engaging content. Your fans will stay on your page longer because they’re watching your video (this is the same reason you should have video on your website, by the way). But, just because you have a video doesn’t mean you should only post it on social media. Consider the type of social media you’re posting it to, for example: a Twitter video post should be short; a Facebook video post must not contain certain elements and might be 15 to 30 seconds; and, a LinkedIn video might include a different message than either of the other two.
  2. Make Your ‘Call to Action’ Come Alive. Any marketing effort requires a call to action…unless you’re Apple (and even they are subtly calling you to action). Because video is rather passive (push play and watch), it’s important to include a call to action…if not a couple of them. Need an idea of what a good call to action looks like? Check out some of our Non-Profit Videos. It’s important to have a call to action that is subtle enough to not annoy, yet actionable to not be missed.
  3. Your Fans & Your Viewers Want It. Video is just more effective. There are several studies that have stated that product videos have a significant increase in sales when accompanied with a sales informational video (Kissmetrics, Wingify, and Video Brewery). More importantly, think about yourself. When faced with a page full of words versus a video of the same message, which would you prefer? Makes you wonder why we wrote this and didn’t record a video about this right? We have our reasons.
  4. Analysis. Video inherently contains analytics if placed correctly. Using YouTube, Vimeo, Wistia, or even Facebook, you can see how many people watched your video, where they came from to arrive at your video, and even, in some cases, how long they watched. Depending on where you place your video, tools to analyze your video engagement might even include learning when most people stopped watching. This can be very helpful. What if they fell off because they went to the “Donate” or “Buy” page? You’d want to know what was happening in the video at that very second, right?
  5. Respect. We believe that video has become the new business card. We may be pushing the thought envelope here, but think about the transition from, if you’re in business, you must have a business card…to, you must have a website…to, you must have a website that is mobile friendly…to, you must have a video on that website. Your prospective clients want to know who you are and what you stand for before they call you. In fact, most people who take action and call us have already reviewed our videos on our website and even checked out a blog post or two. This is just part of the research.

These are 5 reasons why we think including video in your marketing plan/strategy is important. If you have other reasons, we’d love to hear them… Oh yeah, and we didn’t event include SEO as a reason to include video. Google owns YouTube and loves it when you post a video to their video site…you get extra bonus points in SEO when you have a well-tagged, well-placed video on YouTube.