Videography during COVID-19. How Important is Quality?

woman-computer-office

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best Restaurant Industry Video Ideas

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

New Trial

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

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

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

Building Frequency

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

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

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

Increasing the Check Size

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

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

Increasing the Party Size

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

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

 

Image by bridgesward from Pixabay

Is Video the Best Marketing Strategy for a Hotel?

woman at resort hotel pool with drink

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

Sometimes pictures are enough, sometimes they are not.

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

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

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

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

What is the Marketing Process to Maximize Sales?

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

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

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

Loyalty, Engagement, and Services – Fort Lauderdale Hotels

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

Increase Hotel Loyalty Using Video

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

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

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

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

 

Image by Engin Akyurt from Pixabay

Who is South Florida’s Best Video Production Company?

Successful people

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

What to Consider When Hiring a Video Production Company

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

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

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

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

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

What Are the Keys to a Successful Shoot?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Business and Video Marketing for 2020

Covid graphic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How Do I Create a Video While Under Quarantine?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 Generate Sales Leads with Video

sales, handshake

Investing in video may or may not be a difficult decision. Some think of video as a tool in a larger process to help prospects work their way to a purchase. Others think of video as a line item expense that must have a return on the investment. Both are technically correct, but which one you are can determine if you view video as a good thing or simply an expense (therefore a waste of time and money). In this post, we’ll consider both and how to use video to generate sales leads.

Video as a Tool

If you view video as a tool, you’re probably one step ahead of your competition already. You know that it is necessary to make a solid connection with your prospect and may even know how to use video to guide them through the process. While you might still consider video production a line item on the P&L, you also recognize there isn’t always a direct correlation between watching a video and making a purchase, except in certain circumstances. For example, product videos on product pages have been tested and found to have a strong correlation to purchase intent and making a purchase (source: https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/EJM-11-2016-0619/full/html). Those who believe video is a tool in a greater process of marketing also understand that it is more difficult to measure the impact of a video advertisement when use as a YouTube ad or on broadcast television. It’s difficult because the viewer can’t be directly tracked when they call (except by some savvy video marketers who do it right by using specific phone numbers in their videos, etc.). What video does is reinforces the several other tools being used to get a potential buyer to heed a call to action and make the call.

Video as an Expense

On the other hand, if you believe that video is simply an expense and must have an ROI, you feel like every dollar spent must retrieve a multiple in return. This is a great way to ensure success, but it can also be a difficult way to grow a business. When we grew as a company, we knew we had to invest in some high-quality equipment. We borrowed a little money and invested it into a high-quality 4K camera and other equipment. While this was difficult to do at the time and it showed no direct return on investment; however, it has provided us with high-quality footage that helps us stand apart from our competitor…thus nudging the prospect one step closer to giving us a call. Is there a direct correlation? No, but that camera has made Plum successful and allowed us to grow. This is something that is difficult to measure. The same goes with video content.

How to Use Video to Generate Sales Leads

The ultimate goal of generating sales leads is obtaining contact information (such as an email address), bringing a buyer to a landing page, and bringing the prospect to the sales team. While you can achieve this via text-based pages, the conversion rate may not be as high as a highly interactive or engaging lead generation process. By creating video, you will begin the prospect on a journey to discovering their needs and ultimately giving you (or someone else) a call. The next question might be, “What video do I need to create?” Whether it’s a YouTube video, a video for your website, or a video series, it must be interactive. Let’s explore the types of video you should consider for your business. Below are the types of issues you might be trying to resolve along with the type of video that will help you illustrate that you can solve it.

Trust and Confidence. Typically, people or businesses trying to build trust and confidence are the professional services field. These individuals are trying to illustrate how they can achieve goals for their clients and want to do so with a high level of authenticity. Videos that can capture the individual’s genuine personality are videos like Testimonial, About Us, and Meet Me videos. These videos usually include the person or people involved in the process achieving the client’s goals. They introduce the viewer to the people involved, explain what they bring to the job that’s special, highlight experience and credentials, and include personal details to help the viewer feel comfortable and connected.

Establishing Credibility. If you’re trying to accomplish this, you’ll want to explain why you’re covering the topic, talk to the viewer, and leave them wanting more. This type of video is typically a case study video, explainer video, product demo video, or advice video blog.

Product Explanation. A product or service that is a little more complex and requires some more detail typically needs a product demonstration video. These videos typically explain why the product exists, highlight specific components of the product, and show the end result or effectiveness of the product. These videos can be highly effective the more complex the product or service.

Recruitment. If you’re trying to recruit more and better talent to the organization, you might try a Culture video or a Position Profile video. A culture video will provide the viewer with a strong sense of what it’s like to work at the company. The position profile video is like combining a job description and job posting while showing some of the important elements of the job. Be very explicit that you are hiring and be sure to include specific details about benefits. Most of all, make it fun! Lastly, these get the best results when shared via social networks and social media. You might even be able to create this using some existing video you already have!

If you have any questions or comments, please reach out to us! We’d be happy to answer any questions!

Best Video Production Trends That Will Carry Into 2020

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Video has made a huge impact in the marketing world. In fact, video is oftentimes mentioned as one of the fastest growing categories in marketing. Many say that video is growing at an incredible rate and the number of hours being watch is astounding. We take issue with some of this. We take issue that video is growing so fast. We concede that video is growing rapidly, but we also believe companies like Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon are driving the viewership and hours watched. When it comes to productive business video and video marketing, the number of hours has increased, but we don’t believe it’s as quickly as the overall video world. There are several components that drive video interactivity, and that’s what business owners want. Getting people to watch the video is one thing, getting people to act is another. In this post, we’ll share with you the top 4 Video Trends that any business should be keenly aware of before 2020.

If you asked what some of the video trends would be two years ago, you would have heard stuff like 3D video or 360-degree video or Virtual Reality video. All those types of videos have a place, but they certainly weren’t the trend for the year 2018, 2019, and probably won’t be for 2020. If you want to be on the cutting edge of trends related to video, you can get very experimental, but it’ll be tough to get a high (or mediocre) return on that investment. That starts by understanding what is important when measuring ROI. Is it search results on any one of the search engines? Or is it calls or orders? Whether the business is a product or service business, it doesn’t matter…video content can help. By varying the marketing campaign slightly, one can get slightly different results. The key is to have some online video because there is online activity happening 24 hours a day.

Marketing agencies will push you to build the brand according to the marketing strategy…and this is critical and why stuff like 3D video or 360-degree video is just hype and cool stuff…but not necessarily for you. That type of video typically needs a lot of planning, a larger budget and more time to get the perfect video. The issue at hand is on the consumption side of the equation. How do people view a 3D video if they don’t have a 3D television? Or how does one view a Virtual Reality video if they don’t have the headset? That’s why we don’t think it’s the right tool for most businesses.

The reality is people are using all kinds of methods to access answers to their questions, including voice search and artificial intelligence. Most digital marketing agencies will tell you that you must have all the bases covered by having digital pieces that support stuff like voice search and the like. For a small business, a medium sized business or a large business, it’s tough to know how to exactly create brand awareness or to have a budget for stuff you don’t know will be worth the investment until much later. More so, even the largest of companies that invest in these types of videos are finding that it’s tough to measure whether it’s worth the work and the investment. Typically, they’ll use one of those videos to get some chatter or shares online. Does that convert to new sales? Probably not.

What are the best video trends to follow for success?

With the above in mind, what are the marketing trends and the video trends that will provide the best results to the most amount of businesses? Here’s our list:

Explainer Videos. This may seem to be elementary and unexpected when talking about trends, the explainer video does several things for the business. It provides transparency for the viewer that helps them feel a level of comfort to take action. Businesses that provide a level of frankness in their messaging can provide a disarming feeling and a sense of integrity. For example, in this video below, the viewer gets a sense that the company can deliver what it promises with it’s Primula cold brew coffee carafe. Want one after you’ve watched this video? Click the link!

 

Bite-Sized Videos. Our potential clients typically ask us how long their video should be and then blurt out that they think it should be short. While that may be the case, it’s not always the case. Sometimes longer videos are better. For example, a long video might be helpful when its answering a question, explaining something complex, or providing better insights into who or what something is. Think of these types of videos as a silent level of customer service. But, shorter video can be highly effective when used appropriately. We find shorter videos are more productive when used in marketing materials and social media. No one wants to watch a long video that sells to the viewer; therefore, keep a sales message video a little shorter than you think. Below, this video is shorter (relatively speaking) but allows the viewer enough time to understand how and what the product is and does.

 

Product Videos. Product videos will most likely never go out of style. These videos help the viewer understand what the product does and how it solves a problem without having to purchase it. Once the viewer understands, they can make a will informed decision to purchase it. We’ve heard from many sources (such as from Impact Learning Center & HubSpot’s Importance of Product Videos for E-Commerce, and there’s more) that video increases product conversion to sales by an incredible amount. This happens because of the educational and informational way that product videos will present the product.

Story Videos/TV Style Videos. This type of video is one that feels like a television show and not a sales tool. For business, the three videos above are important, but they also are very promotional in nature. That can be good and can create results, but sometimes at the cost of irritating the viewer because they must sit through the promotional nature of the video. A trend we’re noticing with our clients is the acceptance of slightly longer videos that tell a story. For example, the video below shows the viewer what is about to happen and the challenges they may face. It provides a little conflict to the story. Then, we do a mid-point check in. This allows the viewer to see the project complexity and the challenges first hand. Ever wonder what your contractor would be doing during your project? This gives a glimpse into the construction world and what a high-quality construction contractor would be doing. Finally, the reveal. Here’s what the contractor did to complete project and how the project turned out. Obviously, the concept showed how the complexity was overcome by the competent team. This company was able to boast and show how they completed a difficult task. Who would you call after viewing this if you were a restaurant?

 

Another example of this type of video is the ChairSpeaker video. This video shows (in a slightly comical and relatable way) how those who have lost their hearing often times feel left out of conversations when they try to watch television with a headset that helps them hear. The ChairSpeaker solves this problem by providing a product that helps the hearing impaired stay engaged in conversation while still being able to watch and listen to television (just like everyone else).

 

SEO Videos. SEO videos are used to help improve search engine optimization while answering questions the viewer wants to know. These videos are typically topical in nature and typically answer a question that someone has typed into Google or Bing. For example, this attorney answers why Uninsured Motorist insurance is important to anyone who owns a car and drives on the roadway. The purpose of the video is to answer the question and to serve as an indicator to Google what their website is all about. We also might recommend doing some additional live videos with a mobile phone and answering questions with viewers on Facebook or YouTube. This serves the same purpose, only on those social media sites. Google and the like love content. Anytime a business website can provide more content it gets rewarded.

While this may sound like a boring list and one that doesn’t include the coolest, latest and greatest technology, it does include video options that will create a return on your investment (if used properly). One of the biggest changes we are seeing in the industry is the use of videos that feel like a television show and not a sales tool. This is nothing new, but we’re seeing it used more and more… and we think that’s a good thing. It requires a little more flexibility and planning, but if done correctly, it can provide the viewer with an experience that is much different than the typical sales piece. We will always go back to the point of how it is used. One of the ways we recommend using that type of video is prior to the call. Let the prospect find the video and understand who you are in a different light; thus connecting with your purpose and style before the call. This goes a long way to create an emotional bond prior to making the phone call.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss some possible video ideas for you and your business, give us a call or drop us a line via our contact us form. We’d love to find a creative way to make your business stand out from your competitors and get more business!

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!

Manufacturer Product Marketing Videos & Increased Sales

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At Plum, we’ve shot and edited several manufacturers product videos to help them market their products to retailers and end users. While most manufacturers use a wide range of techniques to market and sell their products, only a few use video as a driver for business. We believe in creating high quality video that tells a story about the manufacturing process and the benefits of the finished product. For the purpose of this blog, we’re sharing a few ways a manufacturer should be using video to show what their product is, how it’s produced, and how it’s used.

Process Video. This type of video is created to illustrate the full production and manufacturing process is completed. Usually this means showing manufacturing from start to finish and how the product is put together. This is also where you’d highlight that your products are made in the USA or illustrate how the production line works together to create a high quality product. We recommend this video be approximately 90-seconds in length to ensure you show all the important qualities of your process and product. Keep in mind, the best marketing campaign videos tend to be shorter in nature, yet adequately inform the viewer.

Social Media. Manufacturing companies also need to feed their social media funnel. Plum will work with the marketing team, sales team, and management to ensure the messaging matches the appropriate branding components for consistency. Most manufacturers don’t think of social media as a way to sell, but by selling to the end user about their unique selling proposition and the benefits of their product, manufacturers can pull sales through the distribution channel without relying on retailers or distributors. By using social media, manufacturers can create a strong first impression and increase engagement.

Hiring? Whether the company is just starting out or has been around for awhile, capturing and retaining the best employees is critical to its success. Whether the company finds new employees through email marketing or various hiring websites, it’s critical to craft the perfect message to the target audience. We recommend featuring a career video on the company’s career page that can differentiate you from other manufacturers.

Demos. If you’ve already shown the production process, the next step is to show how the product works. That’s where manufacturing marketing works best. We recommend creating a video marketing campaign that illustrates how the product works and the benefits it solves. We also recommend that it highlights the pain points that relate to the end user, even at a high level. By digging into the pain and costs of not purchasing the product, a video can help the buyer know whether the product is right for them. If possible, when seeking any type of video production services, we recommend you ask to see how they’ve helped other manufacturers describe the most important pain points the buyer might face and show how each one is solved after purchase. This can be shown on a website, direct marketing, emailing, or trade shows. Here’s an interesting example of a demo video.

Video Reviews. Our clients have shared with us that there seems to be a point of differentiation when someone buys. When a product has a supporting video, they tell us that sales are greater than those products without video. On the other hand, when a product has a testimonial video, sales increase even more. What they tell us is that video helps a buyer understand what a product is and how it works, but a testimonial will help a buyer know that someone was happy after their purchase and was comfortable sharing their experience with others via video. While we’d love to shoot that testimonial professionally, it can be just as powerful when shot by the customer him- or her-self on their phone or webcam. The results are positive either way… it’s just a matter of how professional the manufacturer wishes to appear. Below is a nice video review for a legal office…but same rules apply for any manufacturer.

Referral Requests. Many times it’s helpful to ask an existing client for a referral. Why not ask via video? As a manufacturer, you could shoot a short video asking an existing client for a referral. It might sound something like, “Hi there! You recently shared with us that you felt your purchase was a positive experience. Why not share that experience with others? We love referrals! In fact, great referrals are someone like…(describe who). If you can think of anyone who fits this description, would you mind emailing me their contact information? I can mention your name, or go without mentioning it, just let me know.” This is a simple, consistent message that can be sent out after every positive customer experience.