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.

The Case for Video Content Marketing and SEO Results

Studio Shoot in Plum Productions

Whether the business is large or small, content is king when it comes to search and being found. According to OptimWise there are several factors that lead to success in being found in a search. OptimWise also shares that the items that are important and improve your chances are stuff like the quality of the content and how well the keywords have been researched and used effectively. Other factors include newness of information, how well information answers a question being looked for, and how well items are structured and tagged. Items that can decrease success are items like useless content and stuffing keywords throughout to try to trick Google and the like.

Why Video?

Before we get into the SEO portion, it’s important to understand why video is helpful in general. When videos are relatively short, they can be more impactful than a quick paragraph. Why? Emotion. Emotions can be communicated quickly with music, visuals, movements, transitions, text on screen, verbal statements, etc. When these come together in a video, the effect is magical. Viewers are drawn into the story, the feeling. They feel like they’re a part of the situation or problem. This is important because without emotion, you’re selling or telling. Everyone wants to buy, no one wants to be sold. Period.

google search showing video results

Another reason for video is that Google likes it. When you type in a question you will not receive one or more (sometimes several) videos related to that question For example, doing a quick search about Doodly, we find the results are mostly video results along with information about the company that created it. Notice the top video? That’s our Creative Director, Jenn Jager. She’s the first search result on Google and near the top of YouTube (depending on what you search). How did she do this? Read on…

How does Video affect Search Engine Results?

There are several factors that affect search (there are literally 10s and sometimes 100s of items under each of the above listed factors that affect results positively and negatively) and video is not the only one. It is one of the items that impacts rankings positively as long as certain things are in place. We know that Google (Alphabet), the world’s largest search engine, also owns YouTube as one of its brands, so having YouTube video as one type of content helps. But what type of video is helpful in getting results?

Using Google Analytics will help you determine the appropriate keywords, target audience, and real world information on your current performance. If you find an area in the analytics that pops out as a success, maximizing this information can help you determine what information you should be providing.

For example, if you determine that an area of your business is being found related to specific keywords, you might consider adding more blog posts surrounding that topic. In each blog post, you might determine a video about that topic or question might be appropriate. Why would you do that?

It has to do with your visitor’s attention span. Our experience has told us that when a video is on a page, people will more likely watch it versus read the text. If the visitor is reading the text, they may lose interest in the written word and move on (to another page or a different website). If a visitor is watching an appealing video, they typically stay on the page to the end or near the end of the video…thus more time on the site. This will maximize your content marketing efforts by keeping them on your site longer.

Another factor related to the above paragraph is how this impacts bounce rate. By keeping a viewer on your page longer, your page (and the analytics) are telling Google that the content located on that page (or website as a combination of page) is high quality and keeps the visitor on the page. This is called lowering your bounce rate.

Wistia reported in 2016 that pages without video tracked time on page at 2.6x less than pages with video (article here). Interestingly enough, we find that pages on our website that contain video also track longer visit times. Coincidence? We think not!

Digital Marketing & Video

As a digital marketer, we recommend using video in your social media marketing efforts. If your content marketing strategy doesn’t include social media, you’re missing something. More importantly is the engagement of video on social media. By adding video to posts, you’re also improving your engagement. Link building is typically related having links from outside websites that bring visitors to your site (and a little the other way as well), but social media is the easiest form.

Creating content, and more specifically video content is not as difficult as you might think. We work on YouTube projects regularly and use a program called Tube Buddy to determine topics and information people are looking for so we can provide content people want. If you want, you can click the link and subscribe to it (by the way, this is an affiliate link).

Whether you’re run a product or service business, providing content and information your prospective customers need and want is directly related to the success of being found online. Search traffic is one area that creating video content can help any business improve their results.

We also hear clients tell us that they don’t know what topics to create content around, such as blog topics, etc. They say they’ve created tons of content already and don’t want to repeat what they have. We think this is a mistake. When blog content repeats (with a different angle), it tells search engines that this website is more about this topic than any other…making the site an expert in the topic.

We have several case studies on our website where clients created videos for a specific purpose, brought viewers to a specific landing page, and converted them to a full-blown lead. Converting a prospect to a sale is a salespersons job. Marketing and video marketing improve the likelihood of converting to a lead and then to a sale, thus affecting the business’s bottom line.

If you need ideas on how to create content, we’ve created a blog post about it so you can create hundreds of topics. Remember to create a mix of written (text) and video (visual) posts so you can analyze which is more impactful for your visitors and which ones perform well. If you find two of 30 posts do very well, do more about those two topics. It will help your ranking. Besides, its’ what your visitors are looking for.

Need help? Give us a call!

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

return on investment

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

Common Issues that Affect Video ROI

Too Many Options

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

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

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

Getting More From Your Professional Video

Who is Your Audience?

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

Your Viewers

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

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

The Video Production Process

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

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

Four Strategies for Video Marketing on LinkedIn

LinkedIn logo

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

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

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

Here are the top 4 video marketing strategies on LinkedIn

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

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

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

How to Choose the Best Video Production Company

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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.