How to Use Video on LinkedIn

linkedin logo

Did you know that LinkedIn has added the ability to add video to your profile. There are a couple of simple steps you need to take, but, it’s simple. Under the section you want to add the video, click the video option after “Add Media:” You can add a document (think PDF), a Photo (maybe a project you’re working on or a photo of your office building), a link to a website, Video, or Presentation (you can even upload a PowerPoint).

When you link the video, it will embed the video into that section. All you need to do is go to your Profile page, click the little pencil at the top of the section of your Description. A new window will open and allow you to enter your Name, Position, etc. and all the way at the bottom is an area where you can either upload a video or provide a link to media. This is where you’ll want to upload your current, most interesting, video. Once you’ve added the media, you can add a title and a brief description. That’s it! Now, Add to Profile.

The next question is, “What should I put there?” That’s the easy part! We think an explainer video might be best, but here are some other options:

  • Explainer – Essentially a video that tells your potential clients a little about you.
  • Customer/Client Testimonials – Let your clients tell potential clients why they were happy working with you.
  • Product Demo – Show your potential customers something important or new about your product.
  • Service Demo – Show people what you do.

A couple of questions you might have after reading/watching this is “How long should my video be?” While you can click on the link to find out the answer to this, we can sum it up here with: that depends. A commercial is typically 15 or 30 seconds. While commercials are nice, they’re not your best option for LinkedIn. A 60 to 90 second video should do perfectly for LinkedIn because someone who has searched and found you will most likely want to spend a little time learning about you, and 60 to 90 seconds is adequate for that.

This is an example of an Explainer video:

Regardless of length, the key is to tell a story and make the viewer relate to you and your business. It’s very important to help the view understand why they need to hire you. Remember, you’ll be able to host your video on Vimeo or YouTube and embed it anywhere…including LinkedIn. Create one stellar video and use it everywhere! It builds your brand and it builds confidence in you.

If you have any questions, feel free to give us a call or post the question in the comments below.

The Three Types of Videos Your Business Must Have This Year!

video camera and lens

Make 2017 a Video Year – Stay On Trend!

First of all, we know that video has made a HUGE stride in this past year. You can’t scroll through Facebook, LinkedIn, or a site like CNN without seeing ads with video. Having the right kind of video for that medium is critical. This article isn’t about that type of video; however, it is about the three most important videos you should have on your business website. When reading the three types below, think, “What does my prospective client want to know?” Then ask yourself, “Do these three videos answer their questions?” I’ll bet they do.

Company Overview Video

Almost two-thirds of all customers shopping online find a video about the company helpful in making a decision whether to buy from you or not. It can be simple or complex, but it needs to be there. Talk about your mission, why you exist, a founder’s story, or highlight a key employee. This makes your potential customer relate and want to get to know you more. Here’s an example.

Product / Service Demo Video

An informational video about your product or service can be extremely helpful. Is your service a little complicated? Does your product need some explaining? These are questions you can answer very quickly with a Product or Service Demo Video. Support that logic with a full 95% of those making purchases feel that a video is helpful while researching what they should buy.

Customer Testimonial Video

Prospective buyers don’t want to feel alone. In fact, they want to see and hear from those who have already purchased from you. Think about the last time you made a purchase on Amazon. Did you read the reviews? Most people do. In fact, most people who read the reviews also make decisions based on what they read in that section. Just remember, don’t promote…let your customer do the talking. Let your prospect connect with your current customer.

Extra Credit!

And, for extra credit, we’d recommend the video blog series. This is one you have to be ready to put some time into. There are two ways to approach it: (1) Do it yourself using your computer, audio, and desk lamp, or (2) Do it professionally, but cost effectively. We recommend that if you’re going to do this yourself, you do so in batches. If you want to create six video blogs to push out over the next several months, book a professional for a half day and shoot all six. Then, once they’re edited, you can release them like clockwork, something Google and your followers will like. Here’s an example of one of those video blogs now…

Source: Retrieved from http://bit.ly/1BAq9tX

If You’re a Nonprofit, Here’s How We Fit In

Face of young adult from Best Foot Forward

Nonprofits Are Essential To Our Communities. If You’re a Nonprofit, Here’s How We Fit In.

Every nonprofit has a story. Nonprofits usually fill a very serious need in our community; and one of the biggest challenges nonprofits face is the need for money. Money that helps the nonprofits satisfy the need and pay its employees. When we talk to Executive Directors of nonprofits, they share with us their frustration of telling the story effectively and efficiently so as to bring in as much money as needed to fill the gap. This is not an easy task.

Imagine if you could tell the story without having to sound like it’s been told a hundred times. What if the story could be told using the faces of those who benefited by the nonprofit? Wouldn’t that be the best way to tell the story? It would…In fact, a video can do exactly that.

The person(s) who benefited from the nonprofit would be the best person to tell the story. It’s a first person account of the difference the nonprofit made in their life. Without the nonprofit, where would they be? By having them tell your story, a possible donor can see the how their donation will help make a difference. Powerful stuff.

But, Plum Productions doesn’t just do the video; we help you reduce the cost of the video by working with your corporate sponsors. We all know companies that want to help their community, but they also want the community to know how much they impact their surrounding area. One way to work together is to let Plum Productions work with your Corporate Sponsor(s) to off-set the cost of your video.

A powerful, emotional video can bring in donations beyond expectations. We fit in because we want to tell the story. The story of how you, the nonprofit, helps our community. Below is a sample of just one of our nonprofits we’ve highlighted. Take a look…and try not to cry.

Why Your Trade Show Booth Needs a Video

trade show booth

Trade shows are tough, aren’t they?  So many vendors, so much noise; it can be hard to make your booth stand out.  In fact, we at Plum Productions just exhibited at our first trade show, and we learned a big lesson we’d like to share: video draws visitors to your trade show booth.  It’s true!  An eye-catching video makes it near impossible for someone to walk by without noticing you.  For the best impact, set up a flat screen TV, hook it into your laptop and place it on the table in front of your booth—not behind you.  In a pinch, you can play your video right off your laptop if you don’t have an extra TV handy.  Ours was so effective that we gained several new clients, one of them being a custom video for—you guessed it—an upcoming trade show! As great as trade shows are, you might approach a video for your booth differently than a video on your website.

  • First, chances are the room you’re in will be loud.  Narration on your video might get lost.  You’ll want to make sure your video includes “punch words” or short phrases about your business.  Remember, a trade show video isn’t going to get into the nitty gritty about your services. It just needs to get people to stop and talk to you.
  • Second, go for flash.  Bright colors and quick edits grab attention.
  • Lastly, keep it short.  Remember, it only takes a few seconds for someone to pass your booth.  Keep your video concentrated to the exact information you want a passerby to see.

You can check out the video we created for our new client and see a real life example of an effective trade show video.

Good Luck! If you need any help, let us know!

How Do I Create An Event Video?

image of trade show

Event Videos: Not Just For This Year Anymore!

Here’s a question we get frequently:  “We have an event coming up and would like you to record the event so we can use the video to promote next year’s event.”  To that, we respond, “Yes! But why wait!?!”

When we get this question, we often suggest that they don’t have to wait until next year to get that promotional video. Once we know a little about the event, we can create a video that piques interest. For example, if the event was targeting business owners that want to know how to use technology to help them in their businesses, how would you help them understand that before the event? You’d use a video like this:

The first 0:34 seconds is the promotional video followed by the actual event. In this case,  there were three messages that were important in this video: Where you should market your business (mobile), where you must list your business, and what are the helpful mobile apps helpful in business?  The top three reasons you must attend the event.

Marketing an event is important. It takes flyers, postcards, social media, and word-of-mouth…Add video to the mix to help people explain the upcoming event more clearly. When the video is added to the mix in social media (or through QR Codes on printed materials) you give people the method to share what the event is without losing the quality of the message. It’s like that old telephone game… you tell me, I tell someone else, they tell someone, and before long…the message isn’t the same. Video prevents this by maintaining the message and providing the platform needed to share quickly, efficiently, and effectively.

If you have an upcoming event and need a promotional video, let us know. We can certainly help you fill the event with interested people!

Why You Should Never Let a Local TV Station Create Your Video

man frustrated

A common question we get is, “Will I get the video when it’s complete to use as I wish?” This seemed like a very odd question. Of course! Why not? You’ve paid for it and it’s yours once completed. This prompted us to ask, “Why are you asking this?” The answer will amaze you.

Should I Hire a Professional Videographer…or Just Go with the Local TV Station?

When we asked why they were asking, they said, “Because the local television station won’t give us our video now that we’ve paid for it.” You read that correctly, they paid for it…but didn’t get the video. That’s what they think! The truth is, if they had read the fine print, they would have known that what they are paying for is the commercial air time. That is what they are buying! The air time, not the video. The video was an extra bonus for signing up! The ‘client’ in this case, does not own the rights for the commercial/video. That’s ok, right?

So What? How Does that Affect My Video If I Use the Local Television Station?

The truth is, the station owns the video. If you were the one stuck in this situation and wanted to use the video on another medium (oh, let’s say something important like your website, an email, your YouTube Channel, your Vimeo channel, another television channel, or on a grouping of cable channels) you couldn’t. You’d have to hire someone to create another video. That’s ok if you want to spend money over and over for the same thing, but why do that?

Be productive with your money. Our suggestion: Create a professional video that is good for at least two years, usable in multiple mediums, and, if appropriate, create separate calls to action at the end of variations of the video to further measure the successfulness of your video.

Don’t Be Fooled! And don’t get frustrated like that guy! Got a question, let us know!

Does Video Provide an ROI?

image from demo video

Did you know that Digital Video is a very powerful tool in business? Ever notice the games on your iPad or iPhone? Many of them are now using video to advertise to you. Why is that? Because it works.

Product Videos

Video about a product is usually ‘to the point.’ In fact, the most effective videos that are about a product are under 2 minutes. These videos typically contain information that will help a prospective buyer make buying decisions. They include the benefits clearly and support all other material a possible buyer might encounter. Do you want to improve a possible buyer’s chances of buying? The location of the video within the website is more effective if placed near the purchase or buy now button. Once someone has watched the video, he or she should feel confident in making the purchase. If so, you don’t want them looking far for the button to purchase (or phone number, if this is your call to action).

How do you know if Video works?

Good researchers know that calculating cause and effect takes data. Pure data. If you’re going to do a video, you’ll want to know, did it work? One way to determine this is to do some testing before posting the video on your website and after posting the video to your website. Here are a couple of steps to consider: Pre-Test. Measure current data. How long do potential customers stay on a page? Typically people stay on a home page for just enough time to determine – Is this who I was looking for? Can they do what I need them to do? Do they provide the level of professionalism I’m looking for? Can you do the job? Can I trust you? More time on your site may equate to level of comfort and may lead to more sales. But how will you know unless you measure it before and after? Here are some stats that support having online video:

  • 188.2 Million People in the US watched 52.4 Billion Online Content Videos in December 2013. (Source: http://www.invodo.com/resources/statistics/)
  • Professionally produced video optimized for eCommerce outperforms user-generated video (UGC video) by 30%, delivering a 24.7% lift as compared with an 18.7% lift for the UGC video. (Source: http://www.invodo.com/resources/statistics/)
  • 93% of marketers used video for online marketing in 2013. (Source: http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Barriers-Tumble-Video-Marketing-Adoption-Grows/1010374)
  • Mobile is important too! 72.1 million US Smartphone users watched video on their devices at least monthly in 2013. This is expected to rise to 86.8 million, more than a quarter of the US population, in 2014. (Source: http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Long-Form-Video-Content-Rivals-Short-Even-on-Smartphones/1010492)
  • 51.9% of Marketing Professionals worldwide cite video as the type of content with the best ROI. (Source: http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Which-Content-Marketing-Tactics-Best-ROI/1009706)

While we may be biased, the stats are now screaming out, “Use Video!!” If you have any questions or comments, please leave them here, or contact us directly.

4 Ways to Optimize Your Business YouTube Page

YouTube logo

Google is the largest and most used search engine online. It seems everyone knows that, but did you know that YouTube is the second largest search engine online? Owned by Google, it has quickly become the next most used search engine. This is why you must use YouTube as a part of your marketing plan. What better way to use YouTube than to provide Google/YouTube with high quality video that educate the consumer about your business? Here are a couple of other tips:

  1. Make Your Channel Your Own. When someone lands on your page, do they know it is yours? Do they recognize your brand? Too many people start a YouTube Channel, but do not brand it. It should look and feel similar to your overall branding strategy. This should also include your video. Make sure the video you place on your channel matches your brand. This should include when you comment on others’ videos.
  2. Provide Content. We like to say, if a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth a million. Content is king with Google, and the same applies to YouTube. Your videos must be original and interesting. When others comment on your video, YouTube and Google give it more importance. The video must also represent your brand. It is also important that you have a lot of content. It is perfectly fine to upload multiple videos about an interesting and related topic to help you build SEO about that topic. If you can provide information that is hard to find anywhere else, you’ll also attract multiple viewers and give them a reason to comment.
  3. Get Them Clicking. Within YouTube is a fantastic function called Annotation. Use that function to get people to click through to a page that you decide. Think of this as a sales funnel. If they found you via Google, clicked on your YouTube page, and watched the video, you must give them a reason to move to your webpage or other sales action. Whether you’re raising money for a fundraiser or educating people and want them to buy your book, a video with an annotation built in will lead them to the link to buy. Use this. Get them clicking by also getting them to comment on your video. Best way to make this happen is to get them to see an annotation telling them to do so or getting the person in the video to request for feedback or comments. Build it into the video.
  4. Use Links. No. We don’t mean pay for links; we mean link all of your content. If you write a blog about a topic that is highlighted by your video, embed or link (or both) to that video. This builds an SEO web that helps Google and YouTube better understand how the topic is related.

Finally, if you need any help getting that video going, let us know. We can help!

How To Be Ready For Your Video Production Shoot Day

sony video camera

By following these tips, you’ll find you will save a little time, aggravation, and money on your shoot day. You’ve hired the production team; they’ve created the script, scouted the location, and started the planning process. They may have even hired some professional actors for the shoot. Here are the steps you can take to improve the video outcome.

Solidify Your Needs

Knowing what your objectives are for shooting is important. Defining them early is even more important. There is nothing more frustrating for a client when they change directions, change objectives, and find out how much it will cost them because the script doesn’t accomplish these tasks. Anytime a client decides to change directions, a cost is incurred later. Clarify your objective and needs before doing anything else.

Communication with the Producer is Critical

Do you know what you’re going to do with the video? Communicate it with the producer. Do you know you’re going to need commercial for TV at a later date? Communicate it with the producer. Do you know that you are going to use these for multiple websites or multiple blog postings? Communicate it with the producer. The more the producer knows in the beginning, the better the planning will go and the better the results of the project.

Save Time (& Money) in the Edit Suite

Video production includes editing, cutting clips together, importing video, color correcting, adjusting audio levels, and exporting. All of these tasks take time. Editors work on an hourly rate, so if you can assist in the planning stage, you can often save time in the editing portion of the project. Time saving happens when the editor is able to ‘batch tasks’ and completing multiple projects simultaneously. When this happens, you save cash.

Do you need some help in the video production planning stage? We can help.