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!

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?

6 Qualities To Look For In A Great Video Production Company

Five Start Rating Symbols

Whether you’re looking for a short informational video or a longer About Us/Corporate Story video, there are several factors that can impact success. One factor is the agency or production company you hire. There are several ways to determine whether a video production company is worth engaging with. If you’re genuinely interested in learning more, we’re sharing the top 6 qualities a great video production company should have before you decide to hire them.

Traits to Look For When Deciding on a Video Production Agency

Professional Portfolio

Before you do anything, look at their work. Does it match your style? Do they have a variety of styles or just one look? Just because there’s one look, it doesn’t mean they can’t do more…and if they have several styles, it doesn’t mean they can’t create the visuals you want. Dig deep into their portfolio (and don’t forget about looking at their social media pages). For example, you’ll need to look at our Vimeo Page to see more work (updating a website can be a little time consuming). Don’t let that sizzle reel excite you too much. What you need to see is how did it help the client? Did they get what they needed or did they just get a wow video that didn’t perform. Sometimes, its the straight-forward video that produces the most results. Other times, its the short, flashy video, and other times its the longer drawn-out video that performs. Ask the agency why it worked for the client.

Deadlines

Deadlines drive everything. There are a few ways you can tell if they can hit a deadline or not. First, do they return your calls in a reasonable amount of time? We’ve been told countless times that we’re the first to call back after they’ve called several agencies. When you call, does someone pick up? If not, how quickly do they call you back? How long does it take to get a response from an online form? These are all simple ways you can tell if an agency is time conscious or not. Obviously accidents happen and schedules get crammed, but communication becomes the key when scheduling conflicts arise…how well do they communicate when there’s an issue related to time?

The Creative

You can find several videos out there that follow the same format. That’s fine if you want to use a tried and true format to get the job done, but if you want something different, can you find a video that does the same thing, only in a different way? For example, a construction company wanted a simple, “Here’s a sample of our work” video, only we worked to make it more than that. We wanted it to have an HGTV vibe so that people will want to watch the video to the end. Here’s what resulted:

Testimonials

When you do your research on a Video Production Company, do they have Google Reviews? More importantly, do you know any of the people who did a review? If so, call them! Ask about the production company’s communication skills. If you don’t know any of them, do you feel comfortable reaching out to them cold? Just giving them a call and saying, “Hey, I was interested in working with XYZ Company…how was your experience?” Then listen! If you’re not comfortable doing that, do you feel comfortable with what the written word says? Next step, use that information to ask the production company about that project: What did the client want? What did they do to help them? How did you arrive at the finished video? Can I see the finished video?

Expectations

Knowing next steps is critical to a successful process. When you first speak to the production company, do they clearly identify your next steps before beginning to work together? Do you know how the process will work? They should describe the overall process with you so you understand everything involved in the process. This should include timelines as to when things can be finished and what the client can do to speed it up or slow it down. Remember, it may be tempting to ask about their editing software or what cameras they use, but in the end, did they get the work done and did they meet or beat expectations?

BONUS: Passion about the Work!

One of the things you’ll notice right away at Plum is that we have a passion for creating something fun for your business. Fun and different should be a part of every video production process. We look for ways to make it fun and different. If you want to pull it back a little, no worries! We don’t mind…  but we think you’re looking for a creative edge, so we’ll look to provide that to you first.

If you think we should talk because you’ve done your research and have decided to let Plum be a part of your search to complete your video production project, Give Us A Call! or Drop us a line!

 

 

 

Source: https://www.digitalbrew.com/7-qualities-to-look-for-in-a-video-production-agency/

Top 5 Ways a Marketing Video Can Boost Your Business’s Promotions

Video Camera used at production

Video marketing is here to stay. With video content accounting for more than 79% of consumer internet traffic (MWP, 2018), it’s safe to say that videos truly are a game changer in online marketing. Text and photos are taking a backseat to videos, and there’s no sign that this trend will slow down.

Still need convincing? Below, 5 reasons every company should incorporate videos into their marketing strategy.

SEO Optimization

No matter what business one is in, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is critical to online marketing success. Products that rank well in search engines are bound to get more attention from potential customers, leading to better sales.

According to Martech Zone (2018), an explainer video can increase the likelihood of your product being on Google’s front page by a whopping 53 times!

To further sweeten the pot, retail product videos increase site visit lengths by an average of 2 minutes, a key parameter in search engine ranking algorithms.

Brand Awareness

With more than 750,000 e-commerce platforms (Pipecandy, 2018) competing for brand awareness, you really need to stand out. Marketing videos help embed your brand identity in people’s minds. Watching a video is stimulating, which means people tend to remember more from a video than text. However, as a result, people expect more from a promo video, which means they tend to lose interest quickly too, challenging the creative abilities of the producers.

Highlight USPs

There is a reason that 68% of top online retailers are now employing the use of video marketing, even though they sell a similar range of products (Magstore, 2018). Successful companies deliver a little something extra—and videos are the perfect way to highlight those differences.

Some are well-known for their loyalty programs, others for excellent customer service, and some for their breadth of product. The most effective way to convey these unique selling propositions to consumers is explainer videos to help a business in distinguishing itself from its competitors.

Increased Click Rate & Customer Conversion

The sole purpose of your website is to get maximum views and high conversion, right? Video content is increases conversion by up to 30% (Magstore, 2018)!

The video/audio combination is one of marketers’ not-so-secret weapons, allowing them to influence a viewer enough to initiate action, whether that be pick up the phone and call your or add an item to their cart. In fact, product videos increase the likelihood of sales by 85% (Magstore, 2018).

Another benefit of videos is that they keep a person on the webpage for longer periods of time. This gives them time to observe more of what else the page has to offer, which obviously includes other products, leading to better click rates.

Versatility

The best thing about video production: versatility! They are more of an art form than a simple marketing tool. It gives its producers complete freedom over how they want to approach their customers. They may go simple and just highlight the merits of their product. Or, if they are creative enough, they may incorporate a social angle that links to their product. Similarly, there are innumerable other options they could opt for.

Whether you’re in South Florida, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Delray Beach, or West Palm Beach, the bottom line is:

The future of marketing lies in video.

 

 

Sources:
https://mwpdigitalmedia.com/blog/10-statistics-that-show-video-is-the-future-of-marketing/
https://martech.zone/digital-marketing-video/
https://blog.magestore.com/advantages-of-brand-awareness/
http://blog.pipecandy.com/e-commerce-companies-market-size/

How to Prepare Your Office for a Video Shoot

question mark on table representing questions people ask

You’ve decided to create a short video (or a series of videos) to help your business improve it’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or to help your potential customers understand who you are, what you do, and why you do it better. Great! Now what? You should get lots of tips from your video production company (if you’ve hired one) on how to set up or prepare your office for the video shoot. If not, you may want to ask more questions of your video production company or find a new one. After all, it should be easy, not stressful to create your video.

So, what do you need to do? Here are some of the top steps to preparing your office for a video shoot:

  1. Get the Shoot Scheduled. Obvious, yes. But if it’s not scheduled, people can’t plan. Once it’s scheduled, communicate the shoot date to your team and make sure they’re ready. Make sure they know what’s happening and when it’s happening that day. You may not have this information, but it should be shared before the day of so everyone is ready and knowledgeable about what is happening.
  2. Prior to the Shoot Date. A day or two (or more, if needed) walk through the office with a different set of eyes. Look for opportunities to tidy up, clean up, and put away all the extra stuff you and your team have collected over the years that is unnecessary to the video. For example, take a look at this photo of an office prior to the shoot. If we had to take a few shots of someone working at their desk, what would look better? The before photo or the after photo? Remember, you want it to look like someone is there working regularly, but not like they’re a “pack rat” or “file piler.” You want to look organized and effective. Here’s a messy and a clean version of an office space: image of messy working deskimage of a clean working desk
  3. Do You Need Props? You might need some props or areas where you can show some client interaction or work shots. The video below shows B-Roll (secondary video) shots of employee interactions…notice it’s clean and visually appealing. Each area was selected prior to the shoot to ensure the best possible shots were incorporated into the video. One other thing to think about: if your office decorates for any holidays (Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Valentine’s Day, etc.) all the decorations need to be removed from the office or else you’ll look like you celebrate that holiday every day of the year in your video! Probably something you want to avoid.
  4. Looking Good? The other question we get a lot is what to wear on camera. That is a great question and we’ve answered it here in this blog post about What to Wear On Camera. The key is to look your best on camera and what you choose can make a difference. Solid, warm colors are best. Refrain from wearing black, white, or red; and refrain from wearing certain patterns that buzz on camera. If you’re going to wear jewelry, don’t wear dangling jewelry because it can make noise when you speak. Finally, bring options. Again, refer to our previous post if you want to learn more.
  5. Script Ready? Whether we create your script or you’re creating the script, it must be ready to go before the day of the shoot. We’ve pushed back shoots because clients weren’t prepared and the script didn’t align with the objective of the video. It’s critical to get a video production company who can get that script to you well enough in advance so you’re ready to perform it. We shoot to the script, so having this prepared will make your shoot go very smooth!

You may not have any questions after reading this, but if you do, feel free to pick up the phone and call us if you have any questions. We don’t mind if you’re not a client, we just want to make sure your shoot goes smoothly.

How to Set Up a YouTube Channel for My Business

youtube logo

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)