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

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.

Top 3 Ways Video Can Help Business During Coronavirus Outbreak

Hand signaling for help

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

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

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

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

Top Three Ways Businesses Can Use Video During the Coronavirus Outbreak

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

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

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

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

Example of Stock Video and 3D Animation


Example of 2D Animation

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

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

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

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

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

How to Produce and Execute Creative Video Marketing

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

What is Video Marketing?

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

Why is Video Marketing Important?

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

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

What Are Some Types of Marketing Videos

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

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

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

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

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

How To Create Videos That Work For Your Business

vector art with website and video

When creating your marketing strategy it is critical to incorporate measurable benchmarks. In the past few years, video has become the “latest craze,” but does it work? Is video effective in making your business more money? Can you really sell more by incorporating a marketing video into a marketing mix? This article will help you identify components and activities that will improve your video effectiveness.

Let’s start with what your video should do. If you’re going to create video content, there should be a purpose behind it. The goal shouldn’t be to just have a video…the goal should be to create a compelling video that will improve conversion rates by incorporating a call to action. This doesn’t always mean a blatant, “Buy this now,” rather, it can be a subtle illustration of next steps. It depends on the marketing campaign and the type of video. Regardless, your video should tell a story. Sometimes a story means a simple equation:

Current Situation + Problem Results = Problem Solved

Or, it could be:

Personal Challenge + Pain Caused = Organization Solved My Problem

These equations are not as literal as that, but essentially we’re sharing a current problem or situation and showing what the results of that problem are along with how a product or organization has solved it with it’s product or service.

When creating marketing videos effectively using that equation, one must understand the target market and the pains they are experiencing. By placing the product or service into the “problem solved” category, the viewer is more likely to understand how it works and why they should purchase or call.

Once the strategy is worked out, the next step is to understand the structure of an effective video. First, you’ll want to structure the most important part of the video toward the beginning of the video. We don’t mean blurt out the most important sentences regardless of their message; we mean structure the content to incorporate the most important components as early as possible. The reason for this is watch time. By measuring both whether someone watched the video and for how long they watched, marketers can use various tools to improve conversion. Knowing that viewers typically leave the video at the 36 second mark is important because any message after that point is usually not heard (and the 36-second number is just an example…usually every video has a different drop off point).

If the video is incorporated as a blog post (as in the video below), the goal is to learn how a search engine ranks the video or blog post. If the blog post and video answer a commonly asked question and can be incorporated as a landing page that is found via search, the length of the video can be longer. These videos tend to have longer watch times because the viewer arrived there searching for more information. This tactic is smart video marketing for any small business.

 

Make the video compelling and fun to watch. Who would ever want to sit through a boring video? If the goal is to get the viewer to take action, then boring it cannot be. Crafting the right video idea takes creativity… and that’s where the magic happens! When you hire a professional video production company, they should be able to create a concept that matches your branding guidelines yet still captures the viewer’s attention to result in the viewer taking action. This video was fun:

Another question to ask: Can you watch it on your phone? Google has pushed the transition to be mobile friendly for the past couple of years and we don’t think it’s going to stop. You’ll often be quoted some astronomical number of hours of video being watched online every year. Recently we saw an article say that YouTube mobile video consumption has been increasing by 100% every year in the last couple of years. We think that’s probably true…but the videos being watched aren’t marketing videos. They’re including all video, which means the live streams, the content that is long-form video, even Monte Python movies are available for viewing if you like. So, don’t think you’re missing out on all of it, but you should have some video for other reasons. SEO.

SEO, also known as Search Engine Optimization is content that increases the brand, the keywords, the data that says this is what this website is all about. In other words, if you have a business that sells yard products (mowers, parts related to mowers, rakes, trimmers, etc.) and you consistency posted blogs about car repair rather than mowing equipment, Google might confuse your site with a auto repair shop. It’s critical to be consistent in your keywords and content. Same goes with your video…and since Google owns YouTube, you should do the same with your videos.

When you finish your video, you’ll want to incorporate a link or a reference about where to find more information. If your video ends up getting shared several times, you’ll want to make sure the video guides the viewer back to the page they belong…where the content resides.

If you’re creating a business video, you’ll want to inform and educate the viewer. Information and education is king with YouTube and Google because more people search for and watch those types of videos. If you can, you should be offering advice and tips instead of being 100% promotional or marketing in nature.

Music is critical to how we feel during and after we watch a video. Think about the last great movie you watched (or next time pay attention to the music more than anything else). You’ll find that music is almost a character by itself. Without the atmosphere the music creates, you don’t have much of a scene…unless silence is important to the message.

What should I do next? If the viewer has to ask this question after watching your video, you’re missing the call to action. It should be blatant, straight forward, and clear. It should tell the viewer what you expect them to do once they’re done watching. Sometimes it makes sense to put the call to action earlier in the video so if they understand enough and wish to take the next steps earlier than the end, they’ll know what to do. Like this…

 

What Types Of Video Get the Best Results?

Video Tutorials – By sharing with the viewer how to do something they want to learn how to do, you give them the feeling you’re professional and worth their investment. If they see you as someone they can trust because you’re talking about something they’re trying to do or fix, the likelihood of them calling you increases the longer they watch.

Behind the Scenes – If you do stuff that’s interesting or different than most people understand, you might consider a behind the scenes video. They get people interested in what you do to make the magic happen. If what you do is truly magical…you probably don’t want to share your trade secrets, but sometimes showing a little of the magic and make a huge difference in getting them to take action to call you.

Frequently Asked Questions – The best type of video for SEO is the Frequently Asked Question (or FAQ). This type of video answers a question the viewer is searching for and wants to know the answer. If you can give them the answer and still leave them wanting more, you’ve hit the sweet spot.

Animation – Sometimes, with some products, it makes sense to create an animated video. The reason animated video makes sense for something is when you can’t see inside a product to understand what it does. Here’s an example.

 

Social Media Videos are highly productive for funneling people to a landing page. Our recommendation is to use a short version of the video to bring them to a landing page with a longer form version of the video. But don’t forget that call to action!

Other Tips to Successful Business Videos

Marketing or Promotional Videos – These should be short and to the point. No one wishes to watch a video to be sold to, but a short promotional video can make a difference between a purchase or an empty cart. Just keep it short. What’s short? 20 seconds for some items. 45 seconds for other.

Professional – If you’re looking to be taken seriously (think professional services), we wouldn’t recommend shooting something on your phone and using (unless it makes sense because it’s about something happening right now). Professional services videos should have professional video.

Landing Pages – If you’re creating a funnel for your video, consider using a landing page for your video. It works very well.

Need help? Give us a ring!

 

 

Source: Small Business Trends – 25 Tips for Creating Great Marketing Videos

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!

3 Ways To Use Video To Recruit the Best Talent

image of handshake for interview

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

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

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

Employee Spotlight Videos

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

Office/Company Culture Videos

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

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

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

Who We Want Video

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

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

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

6 Qualities To Look For In A Great Video Production Company

Five Start Rating Symbols

Whether you’re looking for a short informational video or a longer About Us/Corporate Story video, there are several factors that can impact success. One factor is the agency or production company you hire. There are several ways to determine whether a video production company is worth engaging with. If you’re genuinely interested in learning more, we’re sharing the top 6 qualities a great video production company should have before you decide to hire them.

Traits to Look For When Deciding on a Video Production Agency

Professional Portfolio

Before you do anything, look at their work. Does it match your style? Do they have a variety of styles or just one look? Just because there’s one look, it doesn’t mean they can’t do more…and if they have several styles, it doesn’t mean they can’t create the visuals you want. Dig deep into their portfolio (and don’t forget about looking at their social media pages). For example, you’ll need to look at our Vimeo Page to see more work (updating a website can be a little time consuming). Don’t let that sizzle reel excite you too much. What you need to see is how did it help the client? Did they get what they needed or did they just get a wow video that didn’t perform. Sometimes, its the straight-forward video that produces the most results. Other times, its the short, flashy video, and other times its the longer drawn-out video that performs. Ask the agency why it worked for the client.

Deadlines

Deadlines drive everything. There are a few ways you can tell if they can hit a deadline or not. First, do they return your calls in a reasonable amount of time? We’ve been told countless times that we’re the first to call back after they’ve called several agencies. When you call, does someone pick up? If not, how quickly do they call you back? How long does it take to get a response from an online form? These are all simple ways you can tell if an agency is time conscious or not. Obviously accidents happen and schedules get crammed, but communication becomes the key when scheduling conflicts arise…how well do they communicate when there’s an issue related to time?

The Creative

You can find several videos out there that follow the same format. That’s fine if you want to use a tried and true format to get the job done, but if you want something different, can you find a video that does the same thing, only in a different way? For example, a construction company wanted a simple, “Here’s a sample of our work” video, only we worked to make it more than that. We wanted it to have an HGTV vibe so that people will want to watch the video to the end. Here’s what resulted:

Testimonials

When you do your research on a Video Production Company, do they have Google Reviews? More importantly, do you know any of the people who did a review? If so, call them! Ask about the production company’s communication skills. If you don’t know any of them, do you feel comfortable reaching out to them cold? Just giving them a call and saying, “Hey, I was interested in working with XYZ Company…how was your experience?” Then listen! If you’re not comfortable doing that, do you feel comfortable with what the written word says? Next step, use that information to ask the production company about that project: What did the client want? What did they do to help them? How did you arrive at the finished video? Can I see the finished video?

Expectations

Knowing next steps is critical to a successful process. When you first speak to the production company, do they clearly identify your next steps before beginning to work together? Do you know how the process will work? They should describe the overall process with you so you understand everything involved in the process. This should include timelines as to when things can be finished and what the client can do to speed it up or slow it down. Remember, it may be tempting to ask about their editing software or what cameras they use, but in the end, did they get the work done and did they meet or beat expectations?

BONUS: Passion about the Work!

One of the things you’ll notice right away at Plum is that we have a passion for creating something fun for your business. Fun and different should be a part of every video production process. We look for ways to make it fun and different. If you want to pull it back a little, no worries! We don’t mind…┬á but we think you’re looking for a creative edge, so we’ll look to provide that to you first.

If you think we should talk because you’ve done your research and have decided to let Plum be a part of your search to complete your video production project, Give Us A Call! or Drop us a line!

 

 

 

Source: https://www.digitalbrew.com/7-qualities-to-look-for-in-a-video-production-agency/

How to Set Up a YouTube Channel for My Business

youtube logo

YouTube is the second largest social media outlet in the world. Other than Facebook, there is none larger. Getting your YouTube channel set up correctly is important for several reasons. First, it’s your brand. If you’re hosting your videos on YouTube, this is the primary way people will judge your ability to keep your brand intact. Second, it shows consistency. If you can demonstrate a high level of consistency within your brand, you’ve shown you have what it takes to stay organized. Do your clients want to know you’re organized? Our guess is they do.

What this post covers is what you’ll want to do past the initial set up. We know there are a lot of resources out there that will help you set up your channel initially, but once you have it set up, what should you do? This post will give you a checklist of sorts of what you should to do maximize your channel. Here we go!

Once you’ve followed the basics of setting up your channel, there are a few tips we’d like to share.

  • Channel Art. You’ll want to set up channel art to give your channel a branded look. The recommended size right now (2018) is 2560×1440 px, with a safe area of 2048×1152 px. YouTube recommends a file size of 4MB or smaller. This helps in the load time and cuts down on their storage needs. NOTE: make sure any text or logos you want to have displayed is in the safe area. If you create the recommended size, there is a safe area within that every device (or at least a vast majority) will allow the viewer to see.
  • Social Media Links. Once you’ve set up your account, you’ll want to link it to other assets, such as your website and your other social media pages. Currently, YouTube has a specific list of social media pages you can link to, including Google Plus or Google Pages, so you’ll want to make sure those are set up. Also, keep in mind these links, once set up, show up in the bottom right portion of the Channel Header Art, so keep that in mind when designing the header. If the social links cover important information in your art, like a phone number, it won’t be visible.
  • Icon. Add the icon in the top left. It’s not always visible on every platform, but it helps to have it there. Most people use their logo, others use their head shot, but in the end, its up to you.
  • Enhancing the Channel.
    • Optimize the Description. You’ll want to write a brief, high-level description of what your channel is all about. It should use keywords and incorporate specific statements as to what the channel is about. Google’s algorithms have gotten pretty smart when it comes to text, so this is important. Don’t include statements that are unrelated and always have a call to action. The call to action might be to visit your website, watch a certain playlist or video, or call a phone number.
    • Add Channel Trailer. A channel is less effective if it doesn’t have a trailer welcoming or describing the channel. You may not think you need one, but here’s why you do. When someone arrives at your channel, they may or may not know what your business is all about. They may not understand how your channel is organized or what is important for them to view to get a better understanding of who you are and what you do. The channel trailer will guide them or give them some reference as to who you are and why the channel is helpful to the viewer.
    • Add Links to Channel. These links (described above) help Google verify and solidify who this channel belongs to, who it’s associated with, and builds the web of links you want Google to know and understand to improve your website and channel optimization.
    • Playlists. Adding playlists is one of the ways you can tell your visitor you care about them. You’ve taken the time to organize your videos into bite-sized pieces to help them digest your message. Playlist are just that: a way of organizing similar videos and you should do it for a few reasons:
      • Organization. We’ve said it once already, but this helps the viewer know which videos relate to each other.
      • Get Discovered. When playlists are organized, YouTube (Google) knows that each of the videos in the playlists are related, therefore have a higher probability of getting discovered organically. When someone searches for a topic and you’ve titled a video with that search phrase, YouTube might bring up your entire playlist.
      • Related. Again, because they’re related, the viewer can dig in as deep as they like to learn more about the related topic.
      • Session Time. No, this is not the beer type of session, it’s the time they spend on your channel. If someone lands on your channel first (organically or directly) and then spend some time on your channel because they’re nosing around in similar videos, you get extra credit for keeping on your channel longer. Longer sessions usually mean credibility for Google/YouTube. Layer on top of that, YouTube will even reward you if you draw someone to your channel and then move off your channel to another channel. You get extra credit for bringing the viewer to YouTube (at one point, the entire session time they spent on YouTube was given to you, not all the other sites if they visited you first).

For a couple of examples, we’ve selected one channel that has some missing pieces (but otherwise might be ok) and another that does it very well. For starters, let’s look at the channel that is missing a few pieces. We’ve removed their logo and name to protect their identity.

Image of YouTube Channel page that's missing a few components

So here are a few points to consider on this channel. First, there is an inconsistent image for each video. You’ll see on the next example, how a consistent image can be created. Second, and this is something you can’t see in this image, they don’t have playlists created.┬á As a visitor, you might not know which video you need to watch, but if you knew that four of the list of videos were about a specific topic you came to learn about, you’d find it helpful. Third, the trailer did not have a call to action and did not incorporate a general message for the business. It was more of a moving PowerPoint presentation, which is fine, but less effective when it comes to getting the viewer to take action.

To see a good example of a YouTube Channel, we’re going to use our sister business My Video 101’s YouTube Channel.

Example of a good YouTube Channel layout

For this channel, we see some helpful things right from the start. First (green arrows), the header image is information about the channel and what to expect. For businesses, we recommend an image with a message that makes sense for your branding. On this example, we also see the social media buttons are set up. Second, this channel has playlists set up (see yellow circle). They use several: Vlogging Advice, Product Reviews, Technical Tips, and Behind the Scenes. Helpful if you only want to learn about one area of the channel, right? Third, this channel has consistent branding across all videos (see blue check marks). While each topic is different, each video looks similar, yet a little different. Consistency is pleasing to the eye and helps the viewer feel at ease when searching through the videos.

With just a few tweaks your YouTube Channel can improve your image and increase views. Take the time to set up your business channel the right way so you get the most out of your channel.

 

 

 

Sources:
DreamGrow (https://www.dreamgrow.com/top-15-most-popular-social-networking-sites/)
Gravity Search Marketing (https://www.yourseoplan.com/benefits-of-creating-youtube-playlists/)
YouTube Support (https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/2972003?hl=en-GB)

Buffer (https://blog.bufferapp.com/create-a-youtube-channel)