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!

Best Video Production Trends That Will Carry Into 2020

YouTube icon on iPad

Video has made a huge impact in the marketing world. In fact, video is oftentimes mentioned as one of the fastest growing categories in marketing. Many say that video is growing at an incredible rate and the number of hours being watch is astounding. We take issue with some of this. We take issue that video is growing so fast. We concede that video is growing rapidly, but we also believe companies like Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon are driving the viewership and hours watched. When it comes to productive business video and video marketing, the number of hours has increased, but we don’t believe it’s as quickly as the overall video world. There are several components that drive video interactivity, and that’s what business owners want. Getting people to watch the video is one thing, getting people to act is another. In this post, we’ll share with you the top 4 Video Trends that any business should be keenly aware of before 2020.

If you asked what some of the video trends would be two years ago, you would have heard stuff like 3D video or 360-degree video or Virtual Reality video. All those types of videos have a place, but they certainly weren’t the trend for the year 2018, 2019, and probably won’t be for 2020. If you want to be on the cutting edge of trends related to video, you can get very experimental, but it’ll be tough to get a high (or mediocre) return on that investment. That starts by understanding what is important when measuring ROI. Is it search results on any one of the search engines? Or is it calls or orders? Whether the business is a product or service business, it doesn’t matter…video content can help. By varying the marketing campaign slightly, one can get slightly different results. The key is to have some online video because there is online activity happening 24 hours a day.

Marketing agencies will push you to build the brand according to the marketing strategy…and this is critical and why stuff like 3D video or 360-degree video is just hype and cool stuff…but not necessarily for you. That type of video typically needs a lot of planning, a larger budget and more time to get the perfect video. The issue at hand is on the consumption side of the equation. How do people view a 3D video if they don’t have a 3D television? Or how does one view a Virtual Reality video if they don’t have the headset? That’s why we don’t think it’s the right tool for most businesses.

The reality is people are using all kinds of methods to access answers to their questions, including voice search and artificial intelligence. Most digital marketing agencies will tell you that you must have all the bases covered by having digital pieces that support stuff like voice search and the like. For a small business, a medium sized business or a large business, it’s tough to know how to exactly create brand awareness or to have a budget for stuff you don’t know will be worth the investment until much later. More so, even the largest of companies that invest in these types of videos are finding that it’s tough to measure whether it’s worth the work and the investment. Typically, they’ll use one of those videos to get some chatter or shares online. Does that convert to new sales? Probably not.

What are the best video trends to follow for success?

With the above in mind, what are the marketing trends and the video trends that will provide the best results to the most amount of businesses? Here’s our list:

Explainer Videos. This may seem to be elementary and unexpected when talking about trends, the explainer video does several things for the business. It provides transparency for the viewer that helps them feel a level of comfort to take action. Businesses that provide a level of frankness in their messaging can provide a disarming feeling and a sense of integrity. For example, in this video below, the viewer gets a sense that the company can deliver what it promises with it’s Primula cold brew coffee carafe. Want one after you’ve watched this video? Click the link!

 

Bite-Sized Videos. Our potential clients typically ask us how long their video should be and then blurt out that they think it should be short. While that may be the case, it’s not always the case. Sometimes longer videos are better. For example, a long video might be helpful when its answering a question, explaining something complex, or providing better insights into who or what something is. Think of these types of videos as a silent level of customer service. But, shorter video can be highly effective when used appropriately. We find shorter videos are more productive when used in marketing materials and social media. No one wants to watch a long video that sells to the viewer; therefore, keep a sales message video a little shorter than you think. Below, this video is shorter (relatively speaking) but allows the viewer enough time to understand how and what the product is and does.

 

Product Videos. Product videos will most likely never go out of style. These videos help the viewer understand what the product does and how it solves a problem without having to purchase it. Once the viewer understands, they can make a will informed decision to purchase it. We’ve heard from many sources (such as from Impact Learning Center & HubSpot’s Importance of Product Videos for E-Commerce, and there’s more) that video increases product conversion to sales by an incredible amount. This happens because of the educational and informational way that product videos will present the product.

Story Videos/TV Style Videos. This type of video is one that feels like a television show and not a sales tool. For business, the three videos above are important, but they also are very promotional in nature. That can be good and can create results, but sometimes at the cost of irritating the viewer because they must sit through the promotional nature of the video. A trend we’re noticing with our clients is the acceptance of slightly longer videos that tell a story. For example, the video below shows the viewer what is about to happen and the challenges they may face. It provides a little conflict to the story. Then, we do a mid-point check in. This allows the viewer to see the project complexity and the challenges first hand. Ever wonder what your contractor would be doing during your project? This gives a glimpse into the construction world and what a high-quality construction contractor would be doing. Finally, the reveal. Here’s what the contractor did to complete project and how the project turned out. Obviously, the concept showed how the complexity was overcome by the competent team. This company was able to boast and show how they completed a difficult task. Who would you call after viewing this if you were a restaurant?

 

Another example of this type of video is the ChairSpeaker video. This video shows (in a slightly comical and relatable way) how those who have lost their hearing often times feel left out of conversations when they try to watch television with a headset that helps them hear. The ChairSpeaker solves this problem by providing a product that helps the hearing impaired stay engaged in conversation while still being able to watch and listen to television (just like everyone else).

 

SEO Videos. SEO videos are used to help improve search engine optimization while answering questions the viewer wants to know. These videos are typically topical in nature and typically answer a question that someone has typed into Google or Bing. For example, this attorney answers why Uninsured Motorist insurance is important to anyone who owns a car and drives on the roadway. The purpose of the video is to answer the question and to serve as an indicator to Google what their website is all about. We also might recommend doing some additional live videos with a mobile phone and answering questions with viewers on Facebook or YouTube. This serves the same purpose, only on those social media sites. Google and the like love content. Anytime a business website can provide more content it gets rewarded.

While this may sound like a boring list and one that doesn’t include the coolest, latest and greatest technology, it does include video options that will create a return on your investment (if used properly). One of the biggest changes we are seeing in the industry is the use of videos that feel like a television show and not a sales tool. This is nothing new, but we’re seeing it used more and more… and we think that’s a good thing. It requires a little more flexibility and planning, but if done correctly, it can provide the viewer with an experience that is much different than the typical sales piece. We will always go back to the point of how it is used. One of the ways we recommend using that type of video is prior to the call. Let the prospect find the video and understand who you are in a different light; thus connecting with your purpose and style before the call. This goes a long way to create an emotional bond prior to making the phone call.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss some possible video ideas for you and your business, give us a call or drop us a line via our contact us form. We’d love to find a creative way to make your business stand out from your competitors and get more business!

How To Create Videos That Work For Your Business

vector art with website and video

When creating your marketing strategy it is critical to incorporate measurable benchmarks. In the past few years, video has become the “latest craze,” but does it work? Is video effective in making your business more money? Can you really sell more by incorporating a marketing video into a marketing mix? This article will help you identify components and activities that will improve your video effectiveness.

Let’s start with what your video should do. If you’re going to create video content, there should be a purpose behind it. The goal shouldn’t be to just have a video…the goal should be to create a compelling video that will improve conversion rates by incorporating a call to action. This doesn’t always mean a blatant, “Buy this now,” rather, it can be a subtle illustration of next steps. It depends on the marketing campaign and the type of video. Regardless, your video should tell a story. Sometimes a story means a simple equation:

Current Situation + Problem Results = Problem Solved

Or, it could be:

Personal Challenge + Pain Caused = Organization Solved My Problem

These equations are not as literal as that, but essentially we’re sharing a current problem or situation and showing what the results of that problem are along with how a product or organization has solved it with it’s product or service.

When creating marketing videos effectively using that equation, one must understand the target market and the pains they are experiencing. By placing the product or service into the “problem solved” category, the viewer is more likely to understand how it works and why they should purchase or call.

Once the strategy is worked out, the next step is to understand the structure of an effective video. First, you’ll want to structure the most important part of the video toward the beginning of the video. We don’t mean blurt out the most important sentences regardless of their message; we mean structure the content to incorporate the most important components as early as possible. The reason for this is watch time. By measuring both whether someone watched the video and for how long they watched, marketers can use various tools to improve conversion. Knowing that viewers typically leave the video at the 36 second mark is important because any message after that point is usually not heard (and the 36-second number is just an example…usually every video has a different drop off point).

If the video is incorporated as a blog post (as in the video below), the goal is to learn how a search engine ranks the video or blog post. If the blog post and video answer a commonly asked question and can be incorporated as a landing page that is found via search, the length of the video can be longer. These videos tend to have longer watch times because the viewer arrived there searching for more information. This tactic is smart video marketing for any small business.

 

Make the video compelling and fun to watch. Who would ever want to sit through a boring video? If the goal is to get the viewer to take action, then boring it cannot be. Crafting the right video idea takes creativity… and that’s where the magic happens! When you hire a professional video production company, they should be able to create a concept that matches your branding guidelines yet still captures the viewer’s attention to result in the viewer taking action. This video was fun:

Another question to ask: Can you watch it on your phone? Google has pushed the transition to be mobile friendly for the past couple of years and we don’t think it’s going to stop. You’ll often be quoted some astronomical number of hours of video being watched online every year. Recently we saw an article say that YouTube mobile video consumption has been increasing by 100% every year in the last couple of years. We think that’s probably true…but the videos being watched aren’t marketing videos. They’re including all video, which means the live streams, the content that is long-form video, even Monte Python movies are available for viewing if you like. So, don’t think you’re missing out on all of it, but you should have some video for other reasons. SEO.

SEO, also known as Search Engine Optimization is content that increases the brand, the keywords, the data that says this is what this website is all about. In other words, if you have a business that sells yard products (mowers, parts related to mowers, rakes, trimmers, etc.) and you consistency posted blogs about car repair rather than mowing equipment, Google might confuse your site with a auto repair shop. It’s critical to be consistent in your keywords and content. Same goes with your video…and since Google owns YouTube, you should do the same with your videos.

When you finish your video, you’ll want to incorporate a link or a reference about where to find more information. If your video ends up getting shared several times, you’ll want to make sure the video guides the viewer back to the page they belong…where the content resides.

If you’re creating a business video, you’ll want to inform and educate the viewer. Information and education is king with YouTube and Google because more people search for and watch those types of videos. If you can, you should be offering advice and tips instead of being 100% promotional or marketing in nature.

Music is critical to how we feel during and after we watch a video. Think about the last great movie you watched (or next time pay attention to the music more than anything else). You’ll find that music is almost a character by itself. Without the atmosphere the music creates, you don’t have much of a scene…unless silence is important to the message.

What should I do next? If the viewer has to ask this question after watching your video, you’re missing the call to action. It should be blatant, straight forward, and clear. It should tell the viewer what you expect them to do once they’re done watching. Sometimes it makes sense to put the call to action earlier in the video so if they understand enough and wish to take the next steps earlier than the end, they’ll know what to do. Like this…

 

What Types Of Video Get the Best Results?

Video Tutorials – By sharing with the viewer how to do something they want to learn how to do, you give them the feeling you’re professional and worth their investment. If they see you as someone they can trust because you’re talking about something they’re trying to do or fix, the likelihood of them calling you increases the longer they watch.

Behind the Scenes – If you do stuff that’s interesting or different than most people understand, you might consider a behind the scenes video. They get people interested in what you do to make the magic happen. If what you do is truly magical…you probably don’t want to share your trade secrets, but sometimes showing a little of the magic and make a huge difference in getting them to take action to call you.

Frequently Asked Questions – The best type of video for SEO is the Frequently Asked Question (or FAQ). This type of video answers a question the viewer is searching for and wants to know the answer. If you can give them the answer and still leave them wanting more, you’ve hit the sweet spot.

Animation – Sometimes, with some products, it makes sense to create an animated video. The reason animated video makes sense for something is when you can’t see inside a product to understand what it does. Here’s an example.

 

Social Media Videos are highly productive for funneling people to a landing page. Our recommendation is to use a short version of the video to bring them to a landing page with a longer form version of the video. But don’t forget that call to action!

Other Tips to Successful Business Videos

Marketing or Promotional Videos – These should be short and to the point. No one wishes to watch a video to be sold to, but a short promotional video can make a difference between a purchase or an empty cart. Just keep it short. What’s short? 20 seconds for some items. 45 seconds for other.

Professional – If you’re looking to be taken seriously (think professional services), we wouldn’t recommend shooting something on your phone and using (unless it makes sense because it’s about something happening right now). Professional services videos should have professional video.

Landing Pages – If you’re creating a funnel for your video, consider using a landing page for your video. It works very well.

Need help? Give us a ring!

 

 

Source: Small Business Trends – 25 Tips for Creating Great Marketing Videos

How to Convert Shoppers to Buyers Using Video

ChairSpeaker image

In this article, we’ll discuss how you might change, “I’m just looking” to “I’ll buy it!” We’ll talk about whether video does convert to higher sales or not, types of videos you might consider creating for products, and some of the strategies you might want to consider before starting. (An approximately 6 minute read)

Imagine you’re selling your product or service on your website. The visitor wants to buy, but instead decides to abandon the cart, leaving you without a sale. Why did they abandon the sale and what could have converted them to buy? These are questions every marketer will ponder at one time or another. There are several factors that can affect whether a potential buyer becomes a buyer, and one of which may be video.

Several of our clients have told us that the conversion rate of products they are selling on their website or on other retailing sites (like Amazon.com, etc.) have a significant increase in sales if the product listing includes a video. They have also shared with us that when an online video is watched at the point of potential purchase, the odds of a sale increase dramatically. They tell us that visitors who watch product videos are more educated and better informed about the product so they can be a more informed buyer.

If you sell products, you might wonder what type of video will help increase your odds of a buy at the point of purchase. Let’s discuss a few video options that may be useful in increasing conversion rates. These types of video can work if used by a small business or big business, and anything in between.

  • How It’s Made. People want to know how something is made, and more importantly, they love to watch it happen. How many times have you been intrigued by a video illustrating the manufacturing process?
  • Durability Test Video. This type of video shows the consumer how well a product will stand up to abuse over time. This might be a good one to place on your product page to increase purchases, particularly with those buyers who are concerned about whether the product is sturdy enough for them.
  • Location Tour. This type of video will incorporate the product in a space that it would be expected to be found. For example, a door manufacturing company like Dayoris Doors might want to create a video that shows design elements that fit into a specific type of room. By showing the fashionable side of the product, buyers are more likely to make a high-end purchase.
  • How to. Some products simply need some instruction. Whether it’s a how to assemble, how to use, or how to wash/maintain/store…the list goes on. These types of videos can apply to single products, multiple products, or entire product lines.
  • Competing Products. If you ever want to show how one product compares to another, this might be a good way to do it. Just make sure you’re following the legal protocol before you make too many claims.
  • The Reveal. Some products warrant a reveal video…like technology products or fashion products. Imagine your business fans wanting to know more about an upcoming product line that you’re about to release. Now might be a good time to create and post a Reveal Video.

Whichever video you choose, make sure people are watching a video that you have created and tells the viewer what you want them to learn and know. Video Marketing is a powerful tool to use when moving product, and many business owners have told us that they’ve been happy with the effects of video on product sales.

Once you’ve identified what type of video you’d like to create, you might want to consider the video strategy you want to use to convert visitors into buyers with your video. Video can potential buyers to paying buyers by using a few strategies.

You have seconds to get the viewer engaged and interested. Once they’ve passed that point, they will either finish the video or make a decision to leave it.

You want to make sure you’re in the crowd that keeps the viewer engaged. There are few things to consider when creating engaging video. First, how ‘salesy’ do you want your video to be? That was a trick question. If you’re looking to have engaging content, ‘salesy’ is not the way to go. People do not want to be sold to, they want to be educated and guided to the right decision (whether that’s to buy or decide not to buy). You might also be surprised that sales videos typically need to be short to get the point across and move on. BUT, an educational video might end up being longer and more engaging… these videos are typically longer than the traditional 30 seconds. They tend to last 2, 3, even 5 minutes (depending on how engaging it is). Longer videos also get shared more, leading to a reinforced brand and improved word-of-mouth marketing.

Here’s an example of a longer video that has a little more story to it.

Creating longer videos can be tricky, but we love to come up with some awesome content ideas that you’ll be able to share and have shared. Contact us if you’d like some ideas!

What To Do To Maximize Your Investment In Video Production

return on investment

Regardless of your financial goals, there are several steps you’ll want to take to maximize your investment in time, money, and resources before and after you start. We know its now common to hear that your company should be using video to leverage your business growth. If you aren’t using it by now, you might be leaving some money on the table. The key is knowing where you want to use your video and how you do it. In this post, we’ll share some common issues and problems that people face when maximizing ROI.

Common Issues that Affect Video ROI

Too Many Options

Too Many Production Companies. If you’ve never created video before, you’ll find you have hundreds of options to choose from in terms of video production companies.

Content Ideas. The next issue will be what you want to create. Do you want to create a marketing video? Social media video? Product video? There are several ways to slice up marketing content that it can quickly become overwhelming.

Where to Place It. The next issue will be where to place the video (or videos). Very quickly, you’ll learn there are thousands of places to publish your video…and each one will have their own reason for doing so. All of this shouldn’t stop you from deciding to move forward. It’ll be worth it.

Getting More From Your Professional Video

Who is Your Audience?

Think about something you’ve watched in the past that really resonated with you. Why did it? It might have been because it was about something you wanted to learn or know more about, the person speaking was personable and they may have described the world you see in a similar way. Maybe they spoke in terms or jargon you’re comfortable with. Or maybe they had the same or similar personality as you. When creating your video, you’ll want to know who your audience is, what they like or dislike, what they need to know, why they need to know it and how they like to be spoken to. Use that information to compile the viewer’s demographics, location, where they consume information, and what social media outlets they view most. The more you know about them, the better you can speak to them.

Your Viewers

  • There are several types of personas that you might be speaking to, for example, you might be dealing with a “Give me the information, get out of my way, and let me decide” type of person. This might be someone who is at the top of the corporate structure, like a CEO or similar level.
  • You might also be speaking to someone who is more interested in learning about how your customers feel about you. They might want to read or see more reviews about the business. These are the ones who need to obtain verification that they are making the right decision. They like to include others in their decision making and reviews are a good way to get this information.
  • Another common viewer might be a detailed, technical type. They want facts, figures, and as much data as possible to make the decision to pick up the phone to call. This type of person needs to have support data incorporated into the video so they can make an appropriate decision.

Regardless of the type of viewer you’re reaching out to, you’ll want to craft a message that taps every type of personality possible. Perhaps there is a way to show and describe important information to a couple of personality types at the same time. Use all of this information to craft a solid script. We typically take care of script writing for you, but, we work with all types of clients; some who like to do it themselves and some who want to have someone take care of it for them. The next step will be to craft a solid shot list that must be captured to illustrate what is being said and targets each persona.

The Video Production Process

The video production process contains several components: pre production, the shoot, post production, and delivery. During the pre production stage, you’ll deal with the persona, the long term goals of the video, and what video content that should be created. Investment goals are important before we start so we know what needs to be set aside for the production and what needs to be set aside for the placement of the video(s). During the shoot, we’ll deal with the shot list, the camera operator, the equipment, the location, and any talent that is important (whether it be from the team or hired talent). Finally, during the editing process, we’ll deal with the video editor and any post production items required to complete the project.

So what is the key to maximizing your ROI? We find that clients who work with us to understand why they’re creating the video, where they plan to use, and how they plan to place, we can help streamline that process to improve their ROI. When clients can’t answer these questions or don’t want to share this information, there can be a little hiccups and changes along the way that can increase costs…not because we want to, but because we didn’t know something and had to backtrack or make significant changes. We write this to share with you so we can prevent this from happening to you.

Four Strategies for Video Marketing on LinkedIn

LinkedIn logo

Video on LinkedIn has 3 times the level of engagement versus regular text posts. You read that right, three times! This tells us that if you’re trying to stand out against your competitors, video is the way to go. For this blog entry, we’re sharing with you four types of video you can use on LinkedIn to market your brand. We’ll also pepper in some strategies for using video marketing on LinkedIn.

Initially, LinkedIn seemed a little behind the times when it came to video because they didn’t offer native video posts until the year 2017, well behind Facebook, Twitter, and the rest. But that’s not true anymore. To define native video, they are videos that are uploaded directly to their server and shared on their platform. If you upload a video to YouTube and share it on LinkedIn, LinkedIn may not treat that post the same as if you upload it to their server and shared on their platform.

We also learned that LinkedIn videos perform better in terms of watch time…meaning LinkedIn videos have more views once they’re posted versus other platforms. Your connections on LinkedIn will watch your videos because they’re closely related to business, which is what your LinkedIn audience is primarily focused on. They’re not looking for what you did this weekend or what you ate for lunch; rather, they want to learn more about you and how you can help them. When creating video content, you’ll want to consider this before crafting your message. We know this will come as a surprise, but no one buys because they viewed your video. They buy because they’ve been convinced (by the video) to pick up the phone and call you (a.k.a.: engagement). Since people buy from people, you’ll want to incorporate into your marketing strategy a call to action. Posting a video and adding a call to action will ensure it performs better than those that do not contain a call to action.

Here are the top 4 video marketing strategies on LinkedIn

  1. Answer an FAQ. Consider your target audience. What do they want to learn? To get to a common list of FAQs, you can simply think about your current clients/customers. What are the most common questions they ask you when or before they work with you? For us, they typically ask questions like, “Can you help me write a script?” or “What color shirt should I wear?” or “Where should I upload this video?” To add a layer to this tip, you should also post this video on your website’s company page…specifically the FAQ section. You can share each video (if you have more than a couple of FAQs, we’d recommend a video for each) on LinkedIn. Again, by posting one FAQ video there, you can drive traffic to your website and increase brand awareness.
  2. Case Study Video. There is nothing better than sharing what you did for a client or customer. You can take this to the next level by sharing a video where the client speaks to the issues they’ve been struggling with and how things changed once you’ve engaged with them. By having the client tell their story, you’re gaining credibility from the viewer. Consider this, which do you find more credible, sponsored content or a client sharing how they benefited?
  3. Share a Breaking News Update. If you’re a campaign manager, you’ll want to incorporate into your social media strategy a breaking news segment. Has something changed in the industry? Has something improved in your business? Have you hired someone new who can help you improve your client’s experience? If you’re a real estate agency, you might talk about the latest trends in staging or home sales or mortgage rates. If you’re an air conditioning company, you might share new tax implications to buying a new unit or upcoming government regulations affecting new units moving forward. Whatever the topic, your social platform should reflect your level of experience and knowledge of trends to warrant a breaking news video on occasion.
  4. LinkedIn Video Ads. Whether you’re a product or service, crafting a LinkedIn message that considers your target audience’s needs and wants can provide a substantial return on investment. Video ads are one of the last ways you should use video on LinkedIn. We say this because there are several ways to use video without additional costs before you should find the need to promote the video to your followers (or outside your network). Our guess is you haven’t reached every one of your connections directly (whether via phone call or email) to introduce yourself or ask if they’d like to talk more.
  5. BONUS: Introduction Video. Why not craft an introduction email that you can email directly to your contacts? We wouldn’t recommend spamming people, rather, why not send a short video to say thanks for engaging with me on LinkedIn? Or thanks for connecting with me and let me know how I can help you? These are effective tools to help you better connect with your contacts and help them better understand what you do. They can be generic in nature and captured professionally and are sent directly to your contact once you’ve connected. Make them warm, personable, and inviting. Be a partner, not a salesperson.

We hope these tips are useful for your LinkedIn experience. Whether you’re answering an FAQ, helping a potential client understand what you’ve done for others, sharing a breaking news article, or crafting the perfect video ad, it all comes down to engaging with your prospects or referral partners. The more people understand who you are, what you do, and why you do it, the more connected they feel.

If you’re in a professional field or need to present yourself professionally, you’ll want to hire a production crew who can help you craft the right message and give you that professional look. If you’re not sure who to hire, here are some questions to ask before hiring a production crew… These questions will help you decide if they’re right for you.

How to Choose the Best Video Production Company

stamp stating best quality

Finding a Quality Video Production Company

Now that you’ve decided to add video to your digital marketing strategy, how do you decide which company to work with? Do you employ the same tactics you do with other vendors, such as putting out an RFP, waiting for everyone to bid, interview all the ones that look the best, and then decide which one to use? That depends on whether you’re looking for a vendor or a partner.

Our clients have told us they’re looking for a partner to help them improve their video game or they want someone from the outside to help them identify opportunities to sell more of their product or services. If you treat them as a vendor, will you get the best out of them? If you’re looking for the best video production company, you’ll want to do some research and find an awesome partner. Here’s what we recommend:

  • Good Fit. If you’re looking for a fit within your company, you’ll want to consider your culture and ask questions related to you company’s way of doing things. If you work in a top down organization, you’ll need a vendor. If you work in a collaborative environment, you’ll need to find a solid partner who can fit in and who doesn’t think they’re more important than you. Choosing the right video production company is more than just the selection, it’s also about the fit.
  • Don’t Get Dazzled. While you are looking at their work, you may come across their demo reel. When you do, don’t get too dazzled by cool graphics and animations that you’ve never seen before. Chances are they’re templates they’ve inserted. Yes they’re cool, but did the production team identify the target audience and market to the needs of the potential clients? Did the video perform? If all you see is their demo reel, you may not know what any of those finished projects actually looked like in the end. They might just be the best parts of a poor performing video.
  • Recently Produced Videos. When you choose a video production company, dig into their previous work. Video companies are usually working hard to create quality videos, but they are sometimes not the best at posting current stuff. If you don’t see any recent work, check out their Vimeo page because that’s where they probably posted the most recent stuff. The other area to check out is their social media pages. If they’re a full service video company, they’ll have stuff posted there too.
  • Get A Few Quotes. When compiling your list of video production companies to create your corporate video, you’ll get a few quotes. One thing we’ve learned is that pricing can vary dramatically. One time we found out a client posted a job on a website to get quotes. Without talking to 80% of the companies who responded, they said they had quotes from $850 to $21,500…for the same job! How is that possible? We don’t know. We just recommend that you consider the value for the price your being quoted.
  • Value. This is simply an area of “You Get What You Pay For.” If your budget is $850, you’ll be able to find someone who wants to do it for that. They may be brand new in the business, but they’re hungry to build their portfolio. On the other hand, if your budget is $21,500, you’ll be able to find someone to do it for that as well. Your expectations will be high, so make sure they can handle what you’re giving them. Professionals who require a larger investment are able to command that because they are confident in their results and will be able to make your video a success.

Regardless of your project, finding the right video production company will be the key to your video’s success. The time you invest to finding the right one is critical and we recommend using the ideas above to find the right one for you. Obviously we can answer any questions you have, but we also may not be the right one for you…only you can decide that (and we promise we won’t be offended if you tell us we’re not the right one). If you’ve never done video before, you might want to read some of our other blog posts to help you learn as much about the process and critical factors to a successful marketing video production process.

Components of a Successful Corporate/Business Video Production Project

image of video camera

To make a successful corporate or business video you need to understand all the moving parts. Before starting a video marketing project, it is critical to understand what parts are necessary and which pieces are optional. Since asking a video production company can take a little time, we’ve decided to answer that question here.

Must Have Elements

Concept. Why do you want to create a video in the first place? We’ve seen it too many times where people get fooled by the razzle-dazzle of cool visual effects, fast music, and lots of special effects and graphics. More important than all of that is, WHAT is this video supposed to do for you? WHY are you creating it? What TYPE of video are you trying to create? That said, the most important part of a business video is clearly stating what you offer your clients/customers. What solutions do you provide and what problems are you solving for your customer? That’s what they (your intended viewer wants to know). Once you clarify that objective, you can add all the flashy graphics you want!

Script/Storyboard. That may sound like something that doesn’t need to be said, but we’re always surprised when someone wants to shoot first and figure out what to edit later. That never works as well as planned, so we pride ourselves on having a solid storyboard or script in hand (along with the day’s schedule and shot list) prior to the shoot. You’ll discover that this is the most critical component of a successful video when you realize after the shoot that you should have captured “X” or you should have had your employee say “Y” instead of what you captured. Think about the amount of time it takes to plan for the shoot versus the time you’ll spend later regretting the error. Planning is the key and that’s how we like to run our video production business!

Less Critical Elements

Animation (3D or 2D) Graphics. Think of this as the text on the screen or the symbols on the screen during your video. This might be your logo, phone numbers, or other items that move around or appear on screen to further explain what is being said on camera. 2D and 3D animations can raise the production value of a video without adding a lot of cost. When animations become complex and 3D, more time will be needed in producing the video. Here’s an example of how text and moving images can enhance a video.

Narration. Sometimes referred to as voice-over, narration can add a lot to your video. For example, if you’ve shot a few interviews of employees/executives from within the organization, it might be helpful to have some additional narration at the end to state some of the necessary call to action that you can’t say outright as an employee/executive. For example, it might feel weird to hear the executive say, “Call us today for more information!” But a professional narrator can and it sounds normal. It can depend on the type of video content you’re creating and we can help you when it’s time. Again, is this necessary? No. Is it helpful? Sometimes. One tip when dealing with narrators, use a voice over artist who matches your target audience.

Music. Tone, pace, and feeling of music can greatly enhance your video. So can silence. The best part is you can vary your music within a video based on what is being said and what is being shown. You’ll also want to think about what kind of video you’re producing…for example, are you creating a promotional video or a training video for your small business? Whichever you’re creating, music can make the difference. Music feelings can be described as aggressive, inspiring, happy, upbeat, playful, silly, relaxing, sad, sentimental, or suspenseful. Have you ever noticed how music can be an impactful component of movies? It’s much the same with your business video.

These are just some of the basics of creating marketing videos, but we hope they will help you understand what you must have and what you can consider optional when producing a video. We’d recommend spending some time chatting with your producer to communicate your desires prior to starting any video project.

If you want to learn more about Plum’s corporate video production services, feel free to reach out to us. We can answer your questions and determine if we should talk further.

Steps to Video Production

Here’s a step by step list of how the video production process works and why you shouldn’t be afraid of it. Many people think that corporate video production is a big, scary process the requires a lot of people and a lot of resources. It might, but it doesn’t always need to be that complicated. Most potential clients we speak to are a little apprehensive about shooting video…they have a lot of questions, like: How long does it take? Who should be on camera? How much does it cost? But most of all, they want to know what it takes to get their video.

Steps to Video Production

To make it simple, we’ve boiled down the most important steps to creating your video into simple bite sized pieces. Ready? Here they are:

Pre-Production

1. Goals

First, before you begin, you have to have some objective. To do video without a goal or objective, you’re doing yourself a disservice. What are you trying to accomplish, in what amount of time? Is this realistically possible? If you’re not sure where to start, we can help, but most clients want to measure views, calls, or purchases when they create video. Whichever your goal, share that with your video production company and use that in the next step.

2. Know The Audience

Who are you trying to reach and why are you trying to reach them? Your video should be engaging to the exact audience you’re trying to reach, so knowing who they are is a critical start. Do your research and identify your target audience, their needs, wants and desires. Know what they like and how they like to get it. This will help you craft your message in precisely the way they like to receive it. You might want to consider creating a target audience persona (or personas). By creating personas, you’ll know how to speak to them in their preferred method of communication. If your product or service solves a problem they face, make sure your message reflects that and speaks directly to the issues they face.

3. Create a Script

Whether you write the script or the video production company writes the script, make sure you have a solid, well-thought out script that will make the shoot easier. When we talk about script, we’re not just talking about the words being spoken on camera, but also the visuals…what will be seen on screen…a shot list of sorts. By spelling out what is being said and what is being shown, your video crew will know what they must capture to create the perfect video for you. Again, this should also incorporate the first two steps above (knowing your audience and what goals you’re measuring). Remember, the script should be engaging and/or thought provoking so the viewer will take action once they’ve finished watching.

4. Have a Placement Strategy

Plan ahead of the shoot by knowing where you’ll be placing the video(s). If you’re just placing them on YouTube, how will you get them to be suggested or referred or shared? People won’t just do it because you’ve put it out there, you need a bit of a plan. That might include using ads, setting up the YouTube channel properly, publishing consistently, and several other things. Have your plan no matter which platform you’ll use.

5. Develop the Idea Further

Once you’ve crafted the script and started planning placement, you might need to develop the concept/script a little further. If you’ve identified one platform that will outperform over the others, does the script you created make sense or does it need some fine-tuning? It might or it might not. This is the time to revise and solidify.

6. Plan and Schedule the Shoot

During this step, several “mini” steps must happen. Your production crew should scout the location (virtually or in person). By scouting the location, they will mentally be able to identify where various shots will be set up, how they’ll set it up, and where they can stage their equipment while shooting or where hair and makeup can be set up.

Also in this step might be casting talent. If you’re using talent in your video, you’ll want options to choose from, and this is where we provide them. You’ll want to select the individual who best represents your brand.

Are permits or licenses necessary? If they are, this is when you’ll submit and get approvals. Allow sufficient time to get these if the production is larger or if you need to work with multiple agencies or locations.

Backup plans are critical at this point. When planning for a shoot, ask the production company what things can go wrong and how to have a backup plan to mitigate those issues.

Finally, the production company should be creating and delivering a call sheet. The call sheet will inform all parties (crew, client, staff, location, etc.) when everything will be happening. It’s basically a schedule for the day(s) with all the information need to communicate and know who will be where and when.

Production

7. Shoot/Capture the Raw Video

If you’re creating a corporate video, you’ll want someone on-set to ensure all the important pieces are captured and that everything is visually on brand. That person (or persons) may also need to wrangle the next person on camera so they’re prepared and in place on time and on schedule. During this part of the production you’ll notice the crew following the plan. You’ll notice when the crew is ahead or behind schedule and you’ll know if things are going perfect or if there’s an adjustment that will need to be made. Sometimes one person who can’t get the words out on camera can put the crew a little behind, but a seasoned crew will make sure that even when that happens they stay on schedule and on plan. If the crew is seasoned you should have a high level of confidence in their abilities once you see them execute the plan.

Post Production

8. Editing

Once the shoot is complete, you should have a rough idea from the crew when the first version of your video will be delivered. If you have a seasoned editor, most corporate videos require between a week to two weeks to see your first version. Variability in this may happen if the video is longer than a couple of minutes or branding materials aren’t delivered quickly to the production team (editor). The editor will need high-resolution logos and other similar materials related to the video (something they may have asked for prior to the shoot).

Good editing will be based on good planning…which is why we recommend the plan be finalized before shooting every time…no matter how many times you’ve done this. While every video production company is different, most will allow around two rounds of revision after receiving your first version. If you’re editing more than one video, a good editor will also recommend providing you with one of the videos first to get any revisions you might have and then apply all those revisions to the rest of the videos to streamline the editing process for you and for them. For example, if you didn’t like the color of the font they used and you provide that feedback, the rest of the videos you’ll receive will already contain those revisions…saving you time.

Your editor will also incorporate 2D graphics, 3D Animation, music, and any professional narration at this point. Graphics and animation should make sense for the video. Adding them to wow you isn’t working with your strategy we started with, so it should make sense if the graphics or animation is added.

Music should also reflect the mood and tone of the video. If the music is upbeat, but the person on camera is talking about the problems the viewer is facing, something will feel wrong by the viewer… making it less likely they will take the next measurable step (think about your goals).

It is also at this point that any professional narration that was recorded is tracked to the video. Typically a good editor will time verbal statements with music, changes in mood, and visual elements to make the finished piece emotionally connected.

9. Delivery

Once you’ve provided all the feedback and it’s been edited to your satisfaction, you should receive a download link from the production company so you can place your video where you would like to place it. You might place it on: your website, YouTube channel, social media sites, Vimeo, Wistia, or a few other places that will help you monitor and analyze your results. You’ll want to make sure you place it in a place that allows you to fully control, own, and monitor all the analytics. Without that, you won’t know if you’re successful or not.

10. Distribute Your Video

Not everyone distributes video the same way, so we’ll provide a few options here, but know there are always more. You might: use social media, email campaigns, coordinate with influencers in your space, use a PR firm to distribute your video, use the video in online video ads, place the video on broadcast television or cable, or use SEO tactics on your website to funnel viewers to a landing page to watch the video. One isn’t necessarily better than the other but understanding your strategy and knowing your goals will help you decide where to distribute/place your video.

We hope this helps you better understand the steps it takes to create a corporate video and why each step is important to the overall project. The next thing you might want to do is consider reading 6 Qualities To Look For In A Video Production Company or Why Do Production Companies Quote Different Rates for the Same Project?

4 Video Production Services Businesses Should Use

Video shoot with lights and camera

By now most everyone realizes that video is a major tool for businesses to use in their marketing, sales, training, and operations. We’ve been told that video is more valuable than ever because it can be used on several platforms, in several locations, simultaneously. It can also be accessed on several types of devices, like phones, computers, iPads, etc. So, what are the most important video production services you could maximize to improve your video marketing strategy? Here are the top 4 services you might want to consider hiring out for your video projects.

1. Production Strategy

First, it’s important to understand why you’re creating video. If you’re creating video because everyone else is, but don’t have a strategy for using it, we think you’ll be doing yourself a disservice. At this point, you’ll want to think about where you’ll be placing your video. Will it be social media? Will it be a stand alone web video on your site? Having video is only half the battle, using video to its maximum potential can help you win the battle. Imagine placing a video somewhere that your potential clients will see. What would happen? Now imagine if you placed the finished product where your ideal clients will never see. Big difference! You may want to say, “No kidding!” but we’ve seen it too many times where a potential client wants to make a video without a strategic plan on how they’ll use it effectively and return on their investment of time and money.

image of storyboard drawing

2. Planning

While some call this producing, we refer to it as planning or pre production. Whether you’re creating a real estate video, an explainer video, or a high-quality commercial production, this is probably the most important task to achieving a successful video campaign. Through proper planning, you and the production team will be more effective with time, finances, and any manpower involved in the process. Planning and pre production includes tasks like: crafting a strategic script, identifying a location, creating a plan for the day of the shoot, lining up talent (appropriate for your potential viewers and overall branding guidelines), finalizing scripts, and all the other little pieces that line up to make a successful shoot. With a shot list based on the script in hand, you can ensure a solid shoot day.

image of planning

3. The Shoot

People often tell us that shooting this should only take 15 minutes…after all, the script is only 60-seconds long. While some of it may take 15 minutes, there are several other things that go into capturing the shot perfectly. Lighting, audio, angles, … the list goes on and on. Most people don’t realize that video production deals in the science of millimeters. Move the camera left, right, up or down on any given shot and you might capture a reflection in a mirror or a coffee cup left behind by the person on camera. It always takes a longer than expected to get the right shot. If you’re not after quality, then it usually doesn’t take too long to capture, but most clients want it done right the first time. That can be the difference between a professional video and an amateur video.

When working with any video production company, during the shoot, you’ll also see a variety of people involved: camera operator, producers, directors, production assistants, lighting and/or audio assistants, hair and/or makeup artists, wardrobe stylists, etc. For every shoot, the script dictates who is needed and for how long. If you’re working with a professional team, you’ll see them working together seamlessly to ensure the right shot is captured perfectly.

Photo from a Plum Productions Shoot

4. Editing

Sometimes called production and post production, this is where most people and most videographers don’t like to spend time. It’s the least fun. Not for us! We feel like a solid, well-executed plan and well-executed shoot make the editing process go smooth. This part is one of the final steps to the video production process, and one of the most common need by businesses. When video is captured, it can be edited in several different ways. While we always work to the plan we agreed to, we know that sometimes soundbites can lead to additional videos that will enhance the branding message. Our recommendation is to think about all the potential uses and potential videos you’d like to edit prior to the shoot so you can get all the footage you need in the shoot time allotted. Once you have that footage, it can be sliced and diced into several different types of videos…all with the same look and feel to fit into the brand, including any motion graphics elements.

image of video editor

These are four types of video production services every business can use. Many companies call us to do all of it, but there are times when we’re called in to do just one of these pieces. That’s OK with us…as long as the business is getting what it needs to ensure a successful campaign.

Plum Productions offers a wide range of video production services including scripting, planning, storyboarding, acquiring talent, drone video capture, shooting, and editing. Give us a call for any of your corporate video production needs.