Videography during COVID-19. How Important is Quality?

woman-computer-office

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best Restaurant Industry Video Ideas

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

New Trial

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

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

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

Building Frequency

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

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

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

Increasing the Check Size

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

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

Increasing the Party Size

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

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

 

Image by bridgesward from Pixabay

Is Video the Best Marketing Strategy for a Hotel?

woman at resort hotel pool with drink

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

Sometimes pictures are enough, sometimes they are not.

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

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

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

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

What is the Marketing Process to Maximize Sales?

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

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

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

Loyalty, Engagement, and Services – Fort Lauderdale Hotels

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

Increase Hotel Loyalty Using Video

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

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

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

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

 

Image by Engin Akyurt from Pixabay

Who is South Florida’s Best Video Production Company?

Successful people

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

What to Consider When Hiring a Video Production Company

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

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

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

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

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

What Are the Keys to a Successful Shoot?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Business and Video Marketing for 2020

Covid graphic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How Do I Create a Video While Under Quarantine?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Top 3 Ways Video Can Help Business During Coronavirus Outbreak

Hand signaling for help

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

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

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

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

Top Three Ways Businesses Can Use Video During the Coronavirus Outbreak

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

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

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

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

Example of Stock Video and 3D Animation


Example of 2D Animation

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

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

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

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

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

How to Produce and Execute Creative Video Marketing

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

What is Video Marketing?

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

Why is Video Marketing Important?

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

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

What Are Some Types of Marketing Videos

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Our Secret Weapon To a Successful Trade Show Exhibit

image of trade show

So you have a trade show coming up and want to know some tips to getting the most of the show? There are several things you need to do to be prepared…but one that is often overlooked (and best kept secret) is the pre trade show video. What is this you ask? Clients have told us that they usually know who will be showing up or what type of people/companies will be showing up at the trade show. Knowing this is great. Having their emails is even better. If you are lucky enough to receive their emails prior to the show (and many shows offer this), what would happen if you emailed them an invitation to come to your booth? Would they come to see you? Do you have an inbound marketing strategy for the trade show that you’ll be exhibiting?

That’s exactly what one client did. They created an introduction video that said something like,

“Hi, I’m (insert name) from (insert company). You’ve registered for the upcoming trade show and you’re probably starting to identify which booths to visit to make the most of your time at the expo. We’d like to invite you to stop by and enter …  “

You get the picture. They invited potential clients or buyers to see them and provided an incentive to do so.

So why do this? We think it’s the same reason many companies are creating video:

  • Relationship building. We’re pretty confident that you know business is done with people they know, like, and trust. Knowing this, wouldn’t it be nice to receive an introduction that’s warm and inviting? Wouldn’t you at least stop by to see who they are? Most likely because of the next point…
  • Humanizing. Depending on your industry, you might find it useful to show the human side of the business. Wouldn’t you know, humans like doing business with humans, despite what Amazon would want you to believe. Here’s why: When there’s a problem, another human is who we want to deal with, not a phone tree, not a web form, not an automated system. We want a person. Having this invitation video provides a personal touch to a potential interaction.
  • Doing what most won’t do. Some will reach out via email to invite potential visitors to their booth. Most will not. Even less will invite via video. If you’re being different, you’ll get noticed. Here’s a way to differentiate yourself. Even if more people eventually start inviting via a video invitation, being creative in your messaging can help you stand out even more.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are several more things you can do with video before, during and after the trade show that will help you stand out, such as, producing a video to play at the expo/event, creating a specialized video to say thank you for stopping by (using the cards you collected), or creating a contest at the show and announcing the winner via video (showing the drawing).

If you need help creating ideas, creating concepts, or just want to get started creating a video for your trade show event, give us a call. We’re happy to help.