All posts by Ron Harper

IF YOU MADE VIDEOS IN 2018, FOLLOW THESE STEPS RIGHT NOW


Frankly, I hate resolutions. I resolve to be different. How’s that?

But the new year is a time of renewal, and if you have videos that you’re hosting on YouTube, there are some Start-Of-The-Year chores you should do to keep your content relevant.

1. Review and update the titles of your videos. Your video titles should be engaging, include keywords, and reflect your message and goals. If your marketing strategy has changed in the past 12 months, maybe you should reflect that in your video titles. Titles are easy to change from within your YouTube video manager. Try something to get visitors to click. Some of the words that show up big in search include: How To, Steps, Tutorial, Best and Funny. Can you include or re-write a title to include those?

2. Review and update your video descriptions. Start with your website in the description field. Make sure it’s a page that reflects the subject of your video. It may not be your home page. YouTube allows 5000 characters for a video description – that’s about 800 words. Be sure your keywords are towards the beginning of the description. And yes, you can add hashtags here.

3. Review and update any tags. Tags don’t show up when the video is being played, but it definitely helps in search. Use one word keywords. Use multiple word key phrases. And don’t leave out generic tags, like your city.

Time to get some fresh eyes on your content. These steps can engage more viewers, and make your videos show up in front of more of your prospects.

–that’s a wrap

Ron Harper is the founder of Videos On Your Website, a Cincinnati digital marketing firm specializing in video web content for businesses. Get a FREE Video Buying Guide at Videos ON Your Website – Cincinnati and Dayton Video Production Guide.

I’VE STOPPED PRODUCING TESTIMONIALS


It happened again: A client came to me with the idea of producing a series of customer testimonials. Another video producer had already shot one testimonial with one of his best customers. I watched it.

The testimonial – let’s pretend it was for Fred’s Lawn Service – shares the time when Fred summed up his service in one sentence.

“That’s when I knew that he understood me,” the testimonial says.

With that one sentence, Fred won over a new customer. It’s a golden, pivotal moment, and one that every prospect should hear. So what’s wrong? – That moment occurred more than three-fourths of the way thru the video!

It’s a three minute video, so statistics show that most of the viewers have already stopped watching. It’s called Burying The Lead.

Many video producers don’t take the time to find those golden moments. They shoot the footage, maybe make a few linear edits and they’re done.

Testimonial videos can be one of the most powerful things that you can invest in. But if the message doesn’t get thru, it’s not going to bring you more customers. That’s why I’ve stopped producing them.

I produce YES-timonials.
There’s lots of things that go into making a YES-timonial. The most important one is knowing the stories and the phrases that trigger the buying impulse in prospects. My experience in broadcasting, working with every imaginable category of business, along with nine years of producing successful business videos, is why I can make that claim.

Want to know more about video YES-timonials? Let me send you my FREE e-book. Then, let’s have a conversation about your business.

–that’s a wrap.

The Cincinnati Dayton Video Production Buyers Guide


Planning a Video Shoot in SW Ohio? Use these tips:
Maybe your customers, or a vendor, or even a business coach has told you that you should have one or more videos on your website. Or maybe you’ve decided that you could use a training video instead of finding time to teach the same things over and over. What do you need to produce your marketing video? Your first big step should be finding a Cincinnati video production company. Let us make it easy for you with these practical tips.
Most small business owners have their hands full with just the day to day business. Even larger companies need advice on shopping for a production company. Sure, somebody could shoot something with their smartphone, or a consumer video camera, but the last thing you need is something that looks amateurish and isn’t even functional. Should creating a video be a big Hollywood-like production, or are there smaller, boutique creative firms that understand your business and can guide you each step of the way?
That’s why we’ve created this guide. Of course, we’d love for you to just hire us, but there are a lot of Cincinnati video production companies. We want to help find the right one for your project.

Why Should You Get Bids From Multiple Production Companies
Each one is different. Some are big; some are small. A few can actually help with scripting and show you what to do with your video afterward. Others might shoot weddings as their bread and butter and only produce corporate videos on the side. One of the biggest differences is equipment and the people who know how to use it. This goes not only for cameras and the stuff you see, but editing platforms, and the stuff you don’t see.
When you take these things into account, you can understand why looking and two or three companies will give you a better sense of what you need for your project. It may even spark a new idea or two.
A big budget production can mean multiple cameras, a large crew, fancy equipment that arrives in semi trailers. If that’s what you’re planning, you’re going to need a big video production company that you can hire, and then get out of their way.
On the other hand, if you have a story to tell, a factory tour, or just some compelling customer testimonials then you won’t need the complicated production gadgets. In this case, a smaller company could take care of your needs.
Here’s how to begin

Tip #1: Look at their samples
Most production companies, whether large or small, will have samples of their work on their website.
One of them will be the “sizzle reel”. This is simply a highlight video… a compilation of some of their neat shots. That will be them putting their best foot forward.
They should also have samples of actual client productions. If they have a samples or portfolio page, see if a variety of businesses are represented. If there are three videos for the same client, you may want to see what they do for other types of businesses. See if a business similar to yours is there.
Beyond the actual demos, see if that production company has produced something for… themselves. That make sense, doesn’t it? I mean, would you want your website designed by a company that doesn’t build their own website? Then why wouldn’t you want a video production company that doesn’t produce a few “About Us” videos?

Tip #2: Due Diligence
Once you’ve narrowed down the list to a few companies with videos you like, you’re going to want to vet them.
Is there a client list? Who has hired them in the past? Could one of them be a competitor of yours? Do they mostly work with Fortune 500, medium-size companies, micro-businesses… see any companies that seem to be about the same size as your business? Are there any in related industries?
At this point cost may also come into play. And you’ll find that most production companies don’t list any prices. The reason for this is that each project has its own unique challenges and budget
Still, if you’re a small business owner, you may be on a limited budget. That’s one of the reasons we’ve created video production packages for one-time, or multiple productions. We can price out the basics, and then get with you to take a look at any special needs or add-ons for your video.
So for each production company you want to look at, get on the phone and talk to them. While you’re at it, pay attention to how their phone is answered and their demeanor while talking to you.
While they’ll ask you a bunch of questions for your price quote, you should ask some as well, like:
• Is there a minimum cost?
• How do they charge? By the hour, day, video length?
• Make sure to ask if they’ll give you a fixed price, or will it change depending on how the production goes?
We have clients who were burned by production companies in the past. They thought the price was fixed, but things were added during the production process (extra shoot days, special equipment, more post-production time) and next thing they knew the price had skyrocketed.
It’s okay if it’s not a fixed price, but make sure the production company will agree to talk with you in advance of any additional expenses.
• You need to know what you’re getting for your money.
• Will they brainstorm with you? Will they come up with creative ideas and help you write them, or will they simply shoot and produce and be done with it?
• Ask about their process. Find out what’s involved, how long will the production take, and what is the approval process?
• Are revisions included in the price? If so, how many rounds and are there deadlines?

Tip #3: Getting it in writing
You’ve watched some sample videos and demo reels, you’ve found a company you can work with, and you have come to an agreement on price.
Some companies will put everything into a formal proposal. Others may leave the details in the contract. Whatever it is, make sure everything you’ve discussed is there. No one wants any last minute surprises. While I’m at it: have some respect for both the production company and the process. If they offer one round of revisions, don’t hold out for unlimited revisions with no increase in price.

Congratulations
You’ve Selected Your Cincinnati / Dayton Video Production Company
I hope I didn’t overwhelm you. There is a lot of factors that go into making the decision, but it’s all worthwhile. And now that you have this trusted guide, the process should be much easier.
And the good news? At the end… you’ll have a compelling message and a marketing edge that will work for you and your business 24 / 7 / 365.

–that’s a wrap
(c) 2018 Ron Harper Creative, llc

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