Customer Testimonials Become Yes-timonials With Video

Many websites have testimonials. If someone is in the service industry, or one of the trades, it’s simple to take a couple of lines off of a comment card and post it. Many of those choose only to identify the customer by first name and last initial. Then the question becomes: Is that testimonial compelling enough to close a sale? I can tell you from experience it is not.

Your customers have a story to tell about their relationship with you. That story should not only show the connection, but it should have emotion and together, those factors can help prospects form a deeper connection with your brand. You can turn those ordinary customer testimonials into YES-timonials with a well-produced video. Each video must have three things: 1. Credibility, 2. Relatability, 3. Full Disclosure.

The word Incredible actually means Not Credible. I’ve written before about the service where you can get actors to rave about your product or service on video. Their acting is over-the-top, and they’re too polished. How can that be at all credible? Trust and believability is established within a few seconds of listening to someone. If they are credible, you’ll want to keep listening.

The customer must be relatable. They should be in the same demographic as the target customer, and they must look and talk the same as well. There is one testimonial I see a lot with a couple of women from Wisconsin raving about a certain website. Their stats show that they do very well in the Midwest, but their customer base is almost non-existent in Tennessee, Georgia, Arkansas and Texas.

There must be full disclosure. Did you know that many products give out samples to professional reviewers? They must report it if that is the case. Some do not. Full disclosure also extends to the customer’s name. They can’t be listed as “Bill R.” And that also means they must sign a waiver and agree to have their name listed under their testimonial

I recently produced a series of video YES-timonials for someone who advises folks on retirement goals. We had one from a CPA who described how he went from a skeptic to a raving fan. We produced another one targeted at Millennials. The messages are compelling and make you want to find out more.

Videos are six times more likely to be shared than a photo. And Forbes says 64% of customers are more likely to buy a product online after watching a video about it.
If you’d like to learn more about making video YES-timonials, ask for my e-book and learn the good, the bad, and the awkward of having to do it yourself.

–that’s a wrap.

Videos Less Than $100

Sell The Problem You Solve
80 percent of Americans search online when they are ready to buy products or services. That’s eight out of 10. Or in other words, fill Paul Brown Stadium to capacity except for the end zone seats.

When those potential customers land on your website, they evaluate you based on how quickly they can find solutions to their “pains”.

Want to convince those folks to buy from YOU? Use video to answer their questions and address their pains.

  • The average internet user spends 88% more time on a site with video
  • Including video on a landing page can increase conversion by 80%.
  • 90% of users say that seeing a video about a product is helpful in the decision process
  • After watching a video, 64% of users are more likely to buy a product online

Videos On Your Website can now offer professionally produced, bite-sized videos to answer your customers’ specific questions.
Packages of 5 or 10 short videos -shot at your location- for less than $100 per video.
We write, shoot, edit, add post-production, and show you where to put your videos.
Contact us for full details

–that’s a wrap

Thumbnailed It – Good Views Season 2, Episode 3

What makes someone want to watch your video, aside from all the interesting and compelling information you have, that is? Well, one very important element is the frame that shows in your video player. That frame is also called the thumbnail.
YouTube gives you a choice of three different thumbnails you can use to showcase your video, but there are also ways you can (and should) make and upload your own.
In this edition of Good Views, I’ll show you some of the most important qualities of thumbnails, and a couple of easy ways to make your own. I hope you enjoy it.
Don’t have any videos yet? Call me. I’d love to talk with you.

Watch Time (3:04) Link to transcript
Location: Cliff Hardware, Sharonville, OH
Guest: John Houston – Spectrum Business

Getting Rid Of Black Bars – Good Views Season 2, episode 2

A few times each year, I get a call from someone wanting to know how to get rid of “black bars”, that annoying unused space around an older 4:3 aspect ratio video. This little trick is very easy. And if you’re putting videos on your website, it is essential for any video published before 2008.
This is episode 2 of my series “Good Views” and I plan to feature the kind of information and tips you can start using today. I hope you enjoy it. Don’t have any videos yet? Call me. I’d love to talk with you.

Watch Time (4:30)Link to transcript
Guest: Black Bart

License Sense – Good Views season 2, episode 1

It could be your favorite song, or maybe it’s a movie theme that perfectly fits your video.
Don’t Use It. Just don’t. If you don’t have the rights to use a piece of music, you could be fined hundreds of dollars, or your video could be removed totally. And that’s not fun.
But YouTube has a library of music that’s free for you to use in your videos, and it’s simple to work with.
I’ve renamed this series “Good Views” and I plan to feature the kind of information and tips you can start using today. I hope you enjoy it.Don’t have any videos yet? Call me. I’d love to talk with you.

Watch Time (4:30)Link to transcript
Guest: Adam Mathews: Dearie, Fischer & Matthews
Location: Gary Rasmussen Farmers Insurance


How much does video cost to produce?
Businesses can spend $300 a month to have a coupon on the back of a grocery receipt. They can spend $2,000 on a newspaper or magazine ad. A successful broadcast campaign can run five figures. These are the folks who have not yet discovered the power of online video.

How many ways are there for a business to communicate, market and entice its prospects?
Basically, there are only three: Broadcast, Print, and Online. Each medium has its own advantages and limitations, whether intrinsically or monetarily.

Broadcast is radio and television. Companies buy advertisements. Those ads take up a finite amount of time in the broadcast day. The more successful the outlet, or in many cases the daypart, the more expensive the ad. Nighttime radio in a small town can be had for a few dollars, while a 30 second spot on the NFL Championship game could cost upwards of a half million dollars. Many local broadcast stations produce their clients’ spots for free. National campaigns can have a feature film budget. And in both radio and television, the clusters of spots have gotten longer. But the twelfth commercial in the set pays the same as the first.

For print, size matters. Full page, and 4 color display ads run into the thousands. But print can also cover the direct mail pieces, or the backs of grocery store receipts. Those vehicles tend to be more reasonable for small business depending on the length of the contract and the area of distribution. There is usually a setup fee for the printing.

Online banner ads and platforms such as Google AdWords have been around almost since the inception of the modern day internet. Advertisers pay each time the ad is clicked, or for a particular action (a lead or a conversion) and the rates fluctuate wildly. Production costs vary too, from graphic design to video production for “pre-roll” advertisements.

Here’s what many companies miss: you also must determine the shelf life of an ad and figure that into the cost as well. For radio and television, when your 30 seconds is over, it’s gone. For print, if the ad doesn’t catch the eye, the page is turned, the coupon is thrown away, the envelope isn’t opened, you’ve failed.

But what if there were a way to actually ATTRACT prospects to your message in a way that they found entertaining and informative no matter where they are or when they search? There is.

But it’s not advertising, at least not in the traditional sense.

Folks who search you out are aching to have their questions answered. To find out what you do, and how well you do it.

The CONTENT you put in your online presence is accessible 24/7. It doesn’t disappear like broadcast. It doesn’t get tossed in the garbage like print. So its shelf life is as long as it needs to be. And that decreases the overall cost.

The companies who advertise on the backs of grocery store receipts, or in the neighborhood value magazines, or in the direct mail coupon packs are perfect clients for me, because I can do a better job of delivering their message at about the same price they are currently paying.

Yes, there are video production services out there charging $1,000 per finished minute. In my world, that could be three months worth of compelling content videos.

Consider the message. Consider the audience you’re trying to reach. Consider the shelf-life of the message. One of my original clients just refreshed his video after seven years! It was working extremely well for him, but he wanted to use it on his mobile website, and the video was in Flash format, instead of MP4. This time we shot two specialized pieces and testimonials. His clients love his service, and now he’s poised to grow the business even more.

For video, Facebook Live, Periscope, and other apps can bring an immediacy that other mediums can’t touch. DIY video can be alright, depending on where it is going to be used. If you’ve invested a thousand or more into your website, you may not want your brand to be represented there with an amateurish video.

Professional video can be added to your website or blog for just a few hundred dollars. If you’re looking to build a content video library, regular monthly or semi-monthly shoots can lower that figure even more. It’s an investment that will pay off. It’s an investment you want to make in your business before the competition does.
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Baseball, The 30 Second Pitch, and Sigourney Weaver

It was a glorious summer day, the first Friday of July, 1941. Almost four thousand fans filed into Ebbets Field to watch their beloved Brooklyn Dodgers lose to the Philadelphia Phillies 6-4. But there was another bit of history taking place that day. For just as many fans were able to watch the game elsewhere – thanks to a new piece of technology called Television.

The baseball broadcast began with a map of the U.S.and a clock, as an announcer intoned, “America Runs On Bulova Time.” History’s first TV commercial.

It ran for only ten seconds. Bulova paid $9.00, about $130 in today’s money.

Within seven years, advertisers flocked to the new medium. Entire TV shows were sponsored by one company, and those businesses could often dictate the content of the shows. It wasn’t until the late 1950s that one man changed the way TV and advertising did business. Actually, he changed a LOT of things on TV: he invented the Today Show, and he invented the Tonight Show, too. Pat Weaver can lay credit to many of the ways television works today.

A side note: Pat Weaver was once a guest lecturer in my college broadcasting class. He’s one of the more fascinating men I’ve been privileged to meet. A couple of years after he had been in class, his daughter got a bit part in a Woody Allen movie. Yep. Pat Weaver is Sigourney’s dad.

Anyway, Pat figured out it was more cost effective – both for TV and for advertisers to sell that sponsorship to more than one company, and suggested one to two minute chunks of ads within the programming. In an hour, they could sell nine minutes of commercials. Cut those in half, and there are EIGHTEEN 30 second spots. Cue the cheering salesmen.

I did not achieve as much fame or significance in broadcasting as Pat Weaver, but I have written and produced thousands of 30 second spots. And I’ve learned this:

  • They are very difficult to write …and
  • Thirty Seconds Is For Broadcasting

Ever since I started Videos On Your Website, folks ask if I will do a 30 second video for their website. I won’t. Maybe the message takes 47 seconds to get across; maybe it takes two minutes and five seconds. Whatever it is, you don’t want to be constrained to a specific length. Studies have shown that folks will watch a video of about four minutes, IF it is compelling enough.

In the online playing field, Vine and its 7 second video platform is gone. Instagram’s limit is now 60 seconds, but I’m not thoroughly convinced that makes good content. It might make a commercial, but people don’t search for commercials.

Sixty year old factors should not determine the length of your message. Just get out there and tell your story.

— that’s a wrap.
(note: this post originally appeared on LinkedInJuly, 2015. I brought it back because of the World Series.)