How Long Does it Take to Get a Professional Video?

Photo taken during a video shoot with Plum Productions

Time is money and you want to know, how long should it take to get my video? You have every right to ask that question. You also have every right to get an honest answer. While we’ve had clients come to us because they were frustrated with how long it was taking to get their video from another production company, our goal is to be as upfront about timelines as possible. Timelines vary by several factors. Let’s dig into what can change the timeline and what you can do about it.

  • Deposit. Yes, we, like many other production companies, require a deposit to get started. This can sometimes slow the process down a little, depending on how large the client’s company is.
  • Before the Shoot.  You’ve decided to move forward and you hope to get your video in a week…is this realistic? Probably not, but it could be. We consider the time before the shoot to be the most critical and has the biggest impact on timeline. Here’s why: We base much of the rest of the video’s outcome on what happens before production begins. We hold a preproduction meeting to ensure we completely understand and everyone agrees to the direction the shoot is heading. We write scripts, plan the shoot schedule, etc. based on this information. A poor plan can result in a poor video, so we can’t stress how important a good preproduction meeting is for your success. This portion of the production usually doesn’t slow the process down unless things change directions and decisions can’t be made in a timely manner. Usually doesn’t happen, but sometimes it does.
  • The Shoot. The shoot is the shoot. It’s where the planning meets reality and stuff starts to happen. Typically we schedule a half, full or multi day shoot for a set number of hours. Again, this doesn’t usually cause any delays to the delivery time unless the client cannot schedule the shoot until someone has returned from vacation or needs to wait until a date in the future to begin shooting. That also applies to our schedule. If we’re already booked for the next several weeks, a new shoot most likely won’t get scheduled until after that clears up a bit.
  • Post Production. Here’s where time bends. Our goal is to always get you a finished product to review within about 7 to 10 days (unless otherwise stated during the shoot). Typically this is good for the client and good for us. It allows an adequate amount of time to be creative in the editing process while still keeping to a deadline. Where things typically slow down is when the client receives the first edit. That’s not a problem because there are usually several people involved on the client side to provide adequate feedback and list the revisions. There should always be revisions. We fully expect the client to want something revised, after all, it’s their video and they need to get what they want, right? Once we get the revisions from the client, we usually apply those concepts, thoughts, and themes to any other remaining video edits and make the changes to the first video. Believe it or not, one time we waited 6 months to get the revisions list. These things happen and when they do, they affect how quickly the client receives the completed video.
  • Final Payment. Once we’ve completed the required rounds of revisions the client will provide final payment and the final videos are delivered. Again, this can stall the delivery process if it takes a few weeks to process checks at your company. This isn’t common, but it does happen.

There you have it, several factors that can affect the final delivery time of your video. How long should it take to get your video created and delivered depends on schedules, payment timelines, and revision/feedback timelines. Our typical projects take anywhere from 30 days to 3 months…depending on the client. That said, one time we started and completed a project in 7 days…so that can happen as well. We can say with certainty that it’s very difficult to provide a highly produced, quality video in less than 30 days…and even more difficult is producing an delivering a video by last week (as is sometimes jokingly requested).

If you’ve been waiting for a video production company to complete your project and you’re outside those timelines, give us a call, we may be able to help or give you some questions to ask. Any other video questions?  Give us a call.

How to Disrupt Your Industry Using Video

Set of 5 doors all with gray door and one red

You’ve heard it before, whether from your web developer or from a marketer… “You need video for your website.” While it’s true, video helps, video isn’t always the only answer. BUT, if done correctly, video can be the difference maker in standing out in a crowd of competitors. Let’s dig into a few stats and reasons why this is so.

First, think about the last time you purchased something online. Did the product page have information about the product? Of course it did.  Did the product page have photos of the product? Most likely. If the page didn’t have photos, would you have purchased the item? Most people we ask say they would not purchase an item online that didn’t have a photo to see the product. Did the product page contain a video? If it did, do you remember the video? Do you remember what or how they educated you on the product? Did they show you how to set it up, highlight certain features, or show it being used? Most likely, if the product page had a video and you connected with the product and video, you purchased the product.

Therein lies the effectiveness in video.

The video was effective in helping you process and retain information about the product so you can make better decisions. In fact, it has been shown that people are somewhere between 65% and 85% more likely to purchase a product after viewing a video than having not viewed a video about a product or service.

According to Eyeview, a video marketing agency, by including a video on the landing page, conversion increases by 80%. Even Hubspot Blog Post states that “54% of consumers want to see videos from brands they support in comparison to email newsletters (46%) and social media images (41%).”

Common Types of Video (and we have done all of these):

  • Product Demo videos showing how to use the product, how to set up the product, or just why you should buy the product.
  • How-To videos
  • Testimonial videos … who better than your clients to tell potential customers why you’re awesome!
  • Explainer videos that show the viewer why they need your product or service and what you can do for them.
  • Expert Interviews
  • Event Videos
  • …the list can go on and on.

Now you know why it’s important, how does it help you become a disruptor? Great question. One of the things we hear is that after creating the video and posting it (or several), they become viewed as an expert in their field. Our clients know a lot about their subject and can demonstrate that with authority on a video. Viewers can feel and sense this experience when watching. When they do, the viewer will feel confident in calling or buying.

Being a disruptor means you have to do more than know your subject matter. Being a disruptor means you have been doing what you’re doing for so long (or with enough outside experiences) to see an opportunity in the marketplace. Imagine that you have been doing your job for 15 years, you know it inside and out, and realize there is a gap in services or processes that might be taken advantage of. Imagine the expert talking about how to use this opportunity to help the consumer. Bam! Disruption begins. The person on camera suddenly becomes a person to be reckoned with.

The next time you see an opportunity in the marketplace that you can solve or fix, this might be the time to create a video and highlight your strengths! Let us know if we can help in any way.

What Type of Video Should My Business Have in 2018?

What video should you have on your business website? That is a great question. One that depends on what you want to do with it. Many of our clients tell us they want to create a video to tell their story. But, telling the story isn’t what they really want. What they really want is to increase the number of incoming calls or increase sales. That’s what they really want. We’ve worked with hundreds of clients and have found the best way to get what they really want is to ask a lot of questions.

One of the questions we like to ask is, “Why are you making this video?” It helps us understand the purpose and end goal of the video. If you are looking for more phone calls or purchases on a website, a direct call to action must be present. If you are looking for a feel good piece that shows the world some of the good you do, a call to action does not fit.
Another question we ask is, “How will you measure success once this video is complete?” This helps us understand some of why we are doing this and what will qualify as a success or failure. We want to work toward success and know what a failure looks like before we start.

So, what types of video should you have for your business in 2018? There are several types we’d recommend, but each business needs to identify which video needs to be created first and why. This list doesn’t mean you have to do all of them, rather, pick the ones that make the most sense for your business. That said, these are the business videos we are being asked to create for most businesses and the trends that match.

  1. Corporate About Us. Every business should have an About Us video. Here’s why. The first thing people do when searching for a business is research. That’s why Google will return information about a business or topic the first time you search. After that, Google assumes you want some more details and may return other sites that are more granular. During the research phase, your customers want to know who you are, can they trust you, and feel compelled to pick up the phone to call you. The About Us video answers the following questions:  (a) Who is this company, (b) Can I feel comfortable working with them, (c) Can I trust them, and, (d) What experience do they have? Here’s an example.
  2. Testimonials. No one can tell your potential customers that you do a great job better than your existing customers. If you tell them, the potential customer will most likely think, “Yes, that’s what you want me to believe” or “Yes, that’s nice, but you’re trying to sell me on your services.” But, if your existing customer is on your website telling a potential customer how good of a job your business did for them, they’re more likely to believe it. Whether you create one video with several different people giving testimonials or several videos with one testimonial in each, your existing customer should be telling this story. Here’s a different way to share your client testimonials. 
  3. Video Blogs. Also known as a vlog, a video blog is a way to show potential clients that you are professional, understand your business and how it helps your clients, and positions you as an expert. Pick topics that you know and title each video with a question or include terms that potential clients would search related to your business. For example, if one was looking to find a sales trainer, the potential client might search, “How do I improve my sales process?” If they search this and the title of your video is the same, you have a greater chance of showing up in the results than someone who posted the video titled, “Sales Information.”  Here’s an example.
  4. Promotional Pieces. Promotional pieces are just that…a video to promote your business. More than that, a promotional video will provide a visual as to what you do. For example, if you are a kitchen cabinet manufacturer, you might consider a video that highlights the showroom (see video below). The promotional piece is the standard video you see on television, websites, and ads that run on YouTube, etc. These are expected by consumers, but don’t always make the difference in making the sale.

This would be our recommendation for the top 4 videos you should have for your business in 2018. If you were to ask us what other videos you could create, we would have a much longer list. Event videos, tour videos, product videos, animations, …and the list goes on. These are the minimum 3 or 4 every business should have.

Do We Have to be on Camera? Why People are the MOST Important Part!

Human brains are hardwired to recognize faces. When a video has a person talking in it, customers are more likely to connect with the video. When the audience can see the human behind the voice, they are more likely to trust what you are telling them. Speech is perceived by more than just auditory cues, we take in visual ones as well.

As a species, we are hardwired to be judgmental. Many people do not trust the information they read online. A study done in 2009 found that rather than trusting the people with the most expertise in a subject, people are more likely to trust those they believe have their best interests at heart. Psychologists at Princeton discovered that in only a tenth of a second, we form impressions of strangers from their faces alone, and our brain then responds based on how trustworthy we find their face to be.

In video, it is important to note that just having a trust worthy looking person is not going to make your audience listen to the message presented in your video. Remember, speech perception relies on both visual and auditory cues. The combination of both a great speech and a trustworthy face, among other things, is what will make your video the most compelling.

So, how can you get people to want to listen to your video? There are a few items that are critical to building the trust you deserve. First, you must be authentic. Be you. Don’t try to be someone you are not. If you look, sound, or feel uncomfortable, it will show, and many viewers will see, hear, and feel it. Second, demonstrate your integrity by showing us how much you believe in what you are saying. Again, if you come across as fake or phony, it will show. A good analogy is a dog’s behavior when certain people walk into the room. Some people are deathly afraid of dogs and the dog can sense it immediately. We humans have learned to do something similar…to sniff out false and bogus people. Some are better at it than others are, but we all have this ability. Third, people don’t care how much you know, they want to know how much you care. If you are genuine in caring about your viewer, they will sense it and feel a higher level of comfort in listening to you speak. Finally, speak the truth. Don’t sugarcoat or exaggerate…these all come across counter to the previous three and will completely destroy your credibility.

This can be applied to all parts of speaking, but with video, you need to be aware of more than just your speech. Your background shouldn’t distract from your message. You are what they should be paying attention to, not the bookshelf of what’s happening outside the window behind you. Add text to the screen to help reinforce what you are saying. It also focuses the viewer on what you are saying and subtly tells them, “This is important!” Have confidence and be positive while on camera and use transitions when speaking. It helps the viewer follow along when you say things like, “Now that I’ve covered XYZ, let’s move on to ABC.” This transition tells the viewer where you are and what to expect next. Sound like English class all over again? Good! It should.

Having just a trustworthy face is not enough to make people want to listen to your video; however, neither is just having a good speech. If you take the time to focus on all aspects of your video, including what’s in the background, what you’re wearing, and even the music that is playing, your video will have a much better chance of being listened to and acted upon. You want to connect to your audience, so give them what they need. Comfort, trust, integrity.

As always, we coach clients how to perform better on camera during our shoots. When we have someone who is struggling on camera, we do our best to help him or her relax and speak clearly. After all, you know the subject matter, just talk as if you’re talking to a friend. We’ll do the rest! Let us know when you’re ready to get started.

 

Source: Wistia Blog. (2017). Why Videos Featuring Humans are Easier to Trust. Retrieved from: https://wistia.com/blog/make-trustworthy-videos-with-humans on September 28, 2017. 

Don’t Think You Need to Invest In Video? Time and Again We Help Businesses Avoid These Mistakes!

kid frustrated by mistake

How is it that in 2017 video is absolutely crushing the other forms of media…and some still refuse to use it? I know, I know…Crazy right? I’m sure you’re not doing thinking these things…but just in case, let’s go through a few reasons why it’s time to invest in that website video.

  • Missing Out on Loyalty. First off, your customers love you, right? Right. We know this because of studies like this that tell us the probability of selling to an existing customer is somewhere between 60% to 70% (HelpScout)…which is so much higher than the 5% to 10% chance of selling to a brand new customer. Since your existing customers love you, why wouldn’t you give them a reason to tell others? Some clients like to create videos that are educational and entertaining…making them shareable. By posting a video, you allow your existing customers the ability to share your greatness… just remember, you don’t want to sell in this video, you’re showing your greatness a different way: giving information that’s useful.
  • Forgetting to Remove Confusion! What if you sell a product or service that is a bit more complicated? What if your product or service could easily be explained with a short video versus text? Most people are too lazy to read any more. So much so, I’m a bit surprised you’re reading this! Most people would prefer to click the video than read text. Give them something to watch! Here are couple of examples:

MicroPop

Tone-Y-Bands

 

  • Losing the SEO Game. If people are searching for you online, will they find you on Google? Google OWNS YouTube and loves video. You’ve probably already started to notice the video search results that sometimes pop up when you search for how to do something. For example, if you were to search “How do I unclog a dishwasher?” You’ll notice that the top non paid search result is a video. Hmmm. Makes you think a little, doesn’t it? What questions need answers that your potential (or existing) customers might be searching for? While video isn’t the only answer to SEO, it’s certainly a powerful one!
  • Conversion is Too Low. What’s your conversion rate? If you sell products, a video helps the viewer decide whether to buy the product. In fact, StacksandStacks.com, “an e-retailer of home storage and organizational products said that when a consumer views a product video, that consumer is 144% more likely to add that product to her cart than a consumer who watches no video”  That’s astounding!  Even our own clients have told us that their products sell out faster and need to be replenished more often when the product is displayed with a video running next to it in stores. And, if we go back to our previous point, if consumers are on a website viewing a video, they’re on the site longer…leading to better SEO. Google seems to love it when people stay on a website longer. We think it’s because Google algorithms say, “Hey, people arrive here and stay here….this site must be good!”
  • Inconsistent Training. Have you hired a new employee? When you do, do you spend hours teaching them all that boring stuff you have to go through? Here’s an opportunity to have your new employee watch something that is more engaging and useful. An on-boarding or training video will help a new employee learn about the culture of the business and review all important points in a consistent way…and you can be sure that every new employee hears and sees the same information presented in the same way. Consistency! One of the keys to Human Resources!

If any of these items helped you make the next step toward creating a video for your business, great! If you’re not sure what your next step is, that’s ok…just fill out the form to the right. We can answer any questions you have and point you in the right direction. Even if you don’t use us, we hope this helped.

 

 

Source:
Photo Source: Pixabay.com
2017, April 19. Convince and Convert website.  http://www.convinceandconvert.com/content-marketing/you-need-to-invest-in-video/

Video Marketing Myths

With over 300 hours of video sent to YouTube every minute (on average) and millions watching these videos everyday, how do you know what to do to be effective when it comes to video marketing? It seems a very small amount of businesses actually know how to take advantage of these actions. People are starting to catch on and businesses increasingly are using video to connect with customers and potential customers. They are finding that video is a highly effective tool to illustrate their personality and authority in their industry.  So, what myths do these businesses sometimes believe?

Which of the following about video marketing are myths and which are facts?

  • View Count – “We are successful if our video goes viral,“ or “Our video is a success if we have over 1 million views.” False. While this may be true in some respects, views do not equate to action taken by your customers or purchases by customers. If views were your goal, we would have to ask why. Why are views important? If you have a new product or app that no one knows about and views will help educate people who didn’t know your app existed, then maybe viewers is good…but it shouldn’t be the only measure.
  • The appearance (quality) of the video is more important than the message.  Myth. While we believe quality is very important in video, it is not what generates sales. The message is just as important. We’ve seen some videos that are a little poor on quality convert more sales than a flashy video. That said, if your goal is to show people that your business is trustworthy and professional, appearance is very important; however, the message must compete with competitors (both direct and indirect).
  • My video should sell to the viewer – Myth. There are all kinds of reasons to create and post a video…and only one of which is to sell. Many times clients contact us to create videos for other reasons, such as, recruiting video, office tours, professional expert video, and the list goes on. The client often wishes to tell their story, not sell it, by taking an approach of, “We’re experts in this. Watch us, listen to us, and let us help you when it’s time.” This is a much more useful tool to use than, “Buy! Buy! Buy!”
  • We must have actors in our video – Maybe true. Maybe not. While you can add actors and actresses, typically this just adds costs that may not be needed. It really depends on the video. For instance, if an employee or the president of the company can speak on camera about the topic rather than a paid professional, then why spend the money? On the other hand, if the topic needs a bit of an expert (like a doctor when you’re not), then an expert actor (actress) might be required. We can help with that.

We hope this helps you decipher and navigate through the video production process a little easier. We are always willing to help and answer questions. It’s OK to call us, even if you’re not ready to decide. In fact, we welcome it. We’d rather you go in with both eyes open than guess.

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

Make 2017 a Video Year – Stay On Trend!

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

Company Overview Video

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

Product / Service Demo Video

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

Customer Testimonial Video

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

Extra Credit!

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

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

Why Your Trade Show Booth Needs a Video

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

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

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

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

I Can Make Your Video For $5

Video for Just $5

WAAAY COOOL!! You mean I can have a 2 minute video created by you, edited and everything for only $5? Awesome! Where can I sign up? So many times it’s the hook that gets us in the door. Unfortunately, a poor experience afterward can make us bitter and unhappy. We believe everyone should have video on their website or YouTube; but, we don’t believe it should look like your brother’s 9 year-old created it with their iPhone. We don’t have a problem with someone wanting to do it themselves; after all, that’s why we created MyVideo101.com, but we also believe it should portray the level of professionalism that the business and it’s owners portray in real life.

Getting stuff for cheap is rewarding…that’s why some people are addicted to shopping;Disappointed but cheap isn’t always better. Imagine you found a deal…no a steal…for a brand new iPad while searching online. You found one for $20. Would you buy it? Some would say yes…the risk is low (after all, $20 doesn’t get you far these days). Others would say, “It’s too good to be true, it must be a scam.” While there might be circumstances that warrant the low price (estate sale, estate auction, etc.) many times the buyer gets what they pay for resulting in that bitter and unhappy feeling.

We also don’t believe in the mantra, “High price means better quality.” We think those who charge extra for a product or service just because they’re a little better isn’t right either. But it must be in reason. That’s why when someone asks us how much it costs to make a 30 second video, it’s tough to answer. Things we must consider before we can even remotely tell you what the price is:  Where is the shoot? How many people will be in the testimonial portion? Will there be paid actors/actresses? Will there be narration? …and many, many more question. Each item may add some cost, but the cost will often time result in a much higher quality product.

So, the next time you hear someone say they’re having their cousin create their website video, ask the following question:

  1. “Will the quality of the video reflect the level of professionalism your business requires?”
  2. “How long has he/she been creating videos?” Just out of college, see question 1.
  3. “How long will it take to have the completed video?”

If you or someone you know is looking for a  high quality video for a reasonable professional price, let us know! Questions? Ask us in the form below.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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