How to Convert Shoppers to Buyers Using Video

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What To Do To Maximize Your Investment In Video Production

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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

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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

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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

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

Must Have Elements

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

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

Less Critical Elements

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

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

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

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

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

Steps to Video Production

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

Steps to Video Production

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

Pre-Production

1. Goals

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

2. Know The Audience

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

3. Create a Script

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

4. Have a Placement Strategy

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

5. Develop the Idea Further

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

6. Plan and Schedule the Shoot

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

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

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

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

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

Production

7. Shoot/Capture the Raw Video

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

Post Production

8. Editing

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

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

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

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

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

9. Delivery

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

10. Distribute Your Video

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

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

4 Video Production Services Businesses Should Use

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

1. Production Strategy

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

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2. Planning

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

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3. The Shoot

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

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

Photo from a Plum Productions Shoot

4. Editing

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

image of video editor

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

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

Planning A Successful Corporate Video

Image of video production shoot

When a company wants to create video content, there’s more to it than, “Hey, let’s create a video about our business!” A lot of planning and strategy should go into the process. What are the goals for the video? Who will be in it? What is the purpose of creating this video? Are you trying to increase sales? Trying to improve the corporate image? Trying to attract new employees or executive? …and so much more.

Many marketers are using high quality video to improve rankings on Google, provide site visitors information that differentiates them from their competitors, or answer questions to increase authority. Some are shrewdly thinking about how they can turn what the company does into content or how to place the video in the right places to get views and conversions into sales.

Planning a corporate video has many components and depends on what you’re shooting, where you’re shooting, and variables that impact the finished video. Most of the plan should be completed in the pre production portion of the project. During the pre production, you’ll work on the creative portions: the script, the visuals, the shot list, the talent, the location, and a few other minor elements.

Here are a couple of simple things you can do to plan for your corporate video production:

1. Clarify the Goals of the Video

Before you ever create a call sheet, why are you creating this video? Are you using it to become an influencer? Educate others on a topic? Improve the brand image? While you create this list of reasons, think about who wants this information and how it will reach them. What will you do to measure the success of this video? Calls? Requests? Views? This is also where you consider if the video aligns with your marketing strategies and is what your target audience is looking for.

2. Time Content Delivery with Key Dates

When you deliver (post or show) this video, how will it relate to any key or pertinent dates related to the business? For example, do sales usually dip during a certain time of the year? Are certain products or services on sale on a specific date? Plan to post the video with appropriate key dates in mind. Layer on top the timeline to complete the video project (make sure you have sufficient time to complete the shoot and edit prior to beginning the project). Key events could be an annual event, marketing campaigns, product launches, etc.

3. Where and How Will You Share the Video?

You’ve set your goals, now where will you post or use the video? Where does it make sense? Some of our clients will use it on a product end cap in a retail store or on the Amazon product page to increase conversion. Where it is placed is just as important is the overall objective of the video. Several options of where you could place it is: website, landing page, email campaign, Vimeo/YouTube, Social Media pages like Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn, television (broadcast, cable), and several others. The nice part is you can place video at all, some, or one of these platforms. When considering where to place the video, you’ll want to identify what conversion rates look like and how many and who is actually watching your video. You want to create content that your customers want, including the types of content needed to convert.

4. Create a Budget (or a range)

You should determine what is the appropriate amount you’d like to invest in creating a video. Sometimes what you want to do or what the script says will determine the budget, but you should have an idea. Some people come to us with very high or very low numbers, and while you can always find someone to do what you need at any number, we recommend finding someone who can do what you need near the budget you’d like to spend without sacrificing quality and know-how to craft your message successfully. One time we saw a potential client hire a freelancer, single-person production company only to find out that half of what they wanted in the video could not be done because they didn’t have the equipment or know-how to get the job done. We were grateful they called us back to take care of their project.

5. Use Brand Guidelines

Whether you own a small business or are part of a large national or international organization, keep your identity on brand. It’s critical to keep the look, feel, and sound of your business in check with your all areas of marketing. When a potential client or customer thinks of your brand, what image is sparked in his or her mind? What do you stand for? What differentiates you from competitors? How would one describe your brand? By creating a list of qualities related to your brand, you can use this to steer your creative approach and final messaging. Because your video script should be evergreen, you must clearly identify qualities and traits that describe your brand and use them in your messaging.

While there is more to it than that, these are five critical components for crafting and creating a successful corporate video to incorporate into your video marketing campaign. When everything ties together a magical result can, and usually does, occur. Plan your message to match your brand and while creating the types of video your audience wants and you’ll find a much more successful outcome to your video project.

 

3 Ways To Use Video To Recruit the Best Talent

image of handshake for interview

Recruiting awesome talent is not an easy task. Right now, it seems like it’s a bit of a job seekers market. In the trades and supporting industries, it seems there is a shortage of talent. Finding and recruiting great talent is much more difficult in these markets because they have to be searching for the job (or want to make a move). With so few in the market for jobs, you have to approach potential job seekers a little differently. And for those who are looking for talent, we would be surprised if you didn’t already use video as a mechanism to attract talent. The trend is that uses for video is growing and finding creative ways to use video is usually the tough part for most companies who are not used to using video (or who haven’t thought of using it in that way).

Technology is continually changing and improving, and with that, comes more creative ways to reach the person you want to reach. In fact, we think it’s more difficult to reach potential talent in traditional ways versus using technology for good. We recommend using video strategies that will attract new talent who is about to enter the “need a job market” or who is thinking about entering that market.

We see three easy ways to use video to attract new talent.

Employee Spotlight Videos

The objective here is to have existing employees speak to potential hires via a video review.  What’s it like to work at XYZ Company? This can be done through employee spotlight videos showing happy employees at work, showing employees interacting, solving problems, and telling their story of why they like to work there. It might be because of the culture of the office or because they enjoy the work they do. Think about it, most businesses rely on their current employees to refer into the company people they think would be a good fit in the business. When a business needs to hire more people, asking current employees is usually the first step. Usually they know there is a need and can recommend someone…but sometimes they can’t. Then what? Sharing a video that shows the team at work and sharing why they enjoy it. This type of business should get someone interested in learning more after they view it. Here’s an example:

Office/Company Culture Videos

Most companies know they’re good at what they do. They know their employees are good too. When a business tells you how good they are, do you believe it? No. But if they can show you how good they are, what their culture looks like, and how they approach problems or tasks, does that convince you a little more? We’d bet it does. That approach is usually what gets the viewer to take a next step. If it wasn’t effective, why do you think some of the best-in-class companies are using it so much? Because it works.

These companies create videos that illustrate their company’s culture by showing off the office space; sharing mission, vision, and values; showing off how they fit into the community; how they support the community; and so much more! The goal of all this is to help the prospective hire understand the company, know what the company is all about, find an area of passion the prospect can attach him or herself to and lead them down the road of calling for an interview and accepting the position. Here’s an example of one:

Our recommendation is to share this video everywhere, including the About Us/About the Team and Careers pages of the company website, the company YouTube channel, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Remember, most of these sites like the video uploaded natively (meaning, they want you to upload it directly to their site, not sharing a link from another platform). Yes this is annoying and time consuming, but it gets you the most distance from your video. Here’s an example:

Who We Want Video

Why not also create a video that shares what the company needs from a prospective new hire. By creating several short videos for each major or semi-major position in the company, you’re crafting a consistent and branded message that clearly defines what the job entails and who would work well in this role.

You might be asking yourself, “Why would I go through creating a video for that? Isn’t it easier/cheaper/less time consuming to just write it out?” …and you would be correct. If this blog post was a video instead of written out, wouldn’t it be easier to watch than to read? When you buy a new item that has instructions and they tell you to go to a website, do you read the website words or do you watch the video on that page first? It’s path of least resistance, use it to your advantage. You might also ask, “Why would I want someone who’s lazy?” You don’t, but people are busy and you also might be missing the perfect fit because there was no video for them to watch and learn more about the job. Here’s an example of one:

There are probably several other types of videos you could use to attract top talent…one that immediately comes to mind is a directly targeted video to a specific group of people that could be placed in a LinkedIn Group or Facebook ad that will show up just for them. What ideas do you have? We’d love to see them in the comments below. If you have any questions, we’d be happy to help! Give us a call or drop us a line!

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/