Category Archives: Behind The Scenes

The 1 Thing You Should Do For Your Business This Year

Charm City Cakes. Antique Archeology, The Gold And Silver Pawn Shop, Duck Commander. Recognize any of these?  They are all small businesses who got big by being on TV. And while those businesses are profiting from their own reality exposure, look at Amy’s Baking Company in Scottsdale Arizona, who developed a booming business for having the most embarrassing and customer un-friendly episode in history.

What if your business could have its own TV show? You could. Actually, you should.

The good news is: you don’t need the drama those shows thrive on in order to be compelling and watchable. If you know, or can find out, what your customer base needs, you have your subject matter. Use your personality to make it interesting. Do product demos, talk to your staff, heck, talk to your customers!

It doesn’t have to be completely serious. If you’re a business that has fun, show that. Have your customers interview each other. Do on the street demonstrations…what will you come up with?

Is it easy? No.

Will it keep you in the minds of your prospects? Absolutely!

I’m so excited about the upcoming roll out of my new video series and all of the episodes I have planned.

Let me know if I can help in planning YOUR new TV show too.

–that’s a wrap.

Thanks, Steve

Steve owned a company that made computers. Steve wanted to buy some commercials. I was one of four radio and television stations to meet with him one day. I sat next to the account executive while he detailed the proposed buy. Then, I was introduced as the one who would write and produce the commercial.

I went through my usual list of questions, asking Steve about his business and more importantly his customers: who they were and the kinds of problems they were bringing for Steve to solve. When we finished, I had a pretty good idea of what I would write if we got the order.
The next day Steve called. “I was really floored,” he said, “Out of all the stations I met with, you were the only one to ask about my business. Everyone else just told me what I should be doing.”

We got the order. Not only that, but Steve hired me to produce all of his commercials for the entire market.

When someone asks me what sets Videos On Your Website apart, I tell them about Steve and how he doubled his business because he partnered with someone who asked and listened about his business.

Thanks, Steve.

–that’s a wrap.

Client Spotlight – Bed Bug Shield

Product demos are one of the most effective uses of online video. Customers can see the product in action, learn best practices, and see effective uses while they seamlessly slip from discovery mode to buying mode.
I have been fortunate to have worked with a number of inventors and innovators with Videos On Your Website to produce targeted and compelling demos that work. Bed Bug Shield is one of my favorites.

This area has long been on the top of the list nationally for bed bug problems. There are scores of exterminators who deal not only with primary infestations, but also with folks who inadvertently bring the little critters home from a trip. Bed Bug Shield deals with both of those problems.

When they first contacted me, one of the issues we had to solve was location – since they wanted to show the product using LIVE bed bugs. Of course, there would be absolutely no risk, since bed bugs cannot fly, and we would have a little “corral” in which to shoot them and the product at work. As it turned out, that was the least of my worries. The morning of the shoot, I developed an abscessed tooth, and made the drive to the location in more than a little pain.

After a quick set up, we started shooting footage. We got great shots of the product, closeups of the bed bugs, and easy to follow demonstrations of how it keeps bed bugs from hitching a ride on clothes, or in a suitcase during a trip.

They recently contacted me with an update on their progress:

We have picked up a contract for 8 surrounding counties with the Area on Aging not to mention a few large name exterminators refer to us on a regular basis, so things are going well. We would always like to be busier but we have tripled our volume just in the last 6 months. The video is on our website and people love it!!! We have had a good response to it

It’s always nice to hear things like that. Videos DO work, whether it’s product demonstrations, customer testimonials, or answering customer’s questions.

Here’s the Bed Bug Shield video.Bed Bug Products – Business Video

–that’s a wrap.

Why I Don’t Do Commercials

On the very very first project I did after opening Videos On Your Website, the owner of the company introduced me to her staff: “This is Ron, and he’s going to record our commercial today.”

I still remember the twinge I felt at the time, but I opted not to say anything since I wanted to focus on getting the shoot right. I told myself that the idea of doing video web content was so new that most folks didn’t have a reference point. Hence, to them it was a commercial.

Broadcast TV, Cable TV, radio is still a major factor in communicating sales and brand messages to consumers. Commercials and Infomercials are part of the landscape. Broadcasting terms still abound which is why I am asked about creating “60 second videos” when maybe the right length to tell the story is 110 seconds.

I produced broadcast commercials for over 20 years. The hardest thing in the world is to put your message, features and benefits inside a 30 or 60 second window AND make it entertaining knowing that your audience is conditioned to focus their attention elsewhere while that message airs.

But putting videos on your website, your blog, or a social media profile page means your audience has to click to engage. They WANT to hear what you have to say. It’s much more fun to talk with someone who is actively listening than with someone whose attention you may lose after five seconds.

Who’s listening to YOU?

–That’s a wrap.

How To Make You Tube Work For You

Many businesses who use videos don’t have the time or the tools to host their videos on their own server, so they opt for loading their productions on You Tube and using the embed code. If you really don’t have any other options, it’s still better to have something on You Tube than nothing at all. So here’s a list of tips and tricks. The more of them you can accomplish, the better off you will be in placing your content where the search engines will find and display it.

GIVE YOUR VIDEO A GOOD TITLE. Use keywords. Make it compelling. No one will watch, nor will they search for “October video.mp4” But they will watch “How I Saved Money and Solved My ——- Problem In Three Steps.” Get the picture?

PAY ATTENTION TO THE DESCRIPTION FIELD. The very first thing should be http:// and your website. Not just your homepage, but a page that gets the viewer closer to doing business with you.

UPLOAD A TRANSCRIPT / CREATE CAPTIONS This is a relatively new feature, but it is possible now to upload a transcript of your video to You Tube. There is also a feature that will let you create captions so the video can be watched, instead of heard. There is an entire list of best practices for these actions themselves, so ask for help, or search for tutorials. Big hint: don’t use WORD to create your files. Use WORDPAD so you can save them as .txt files without all the format encoding. Or, if you understand video time code, create a .srt file and you’re able to more precisely control your captions. The ability for the search engines to read videos due to transcripts is really a game changer.

CREATE A NEW PAGE FOR JUST THE VIDEO If you can whip up a single page on your site, and embed the video, surrounded by keywords and phrases that would be great. Then you can put THAT URL into the You Tube description field. If you have one video optimized for a key phrase, and a different video optimized for a different key phrase, you have increased your chances of being on top of a search and having that search lead back to you.

TELL EVERYONE. Put the You Tube Share code on every social network you can. Your promotion needs to run like a good ad campaign. Maybe not everywhere all at once, and maybe some places more than once. But get it out there and create some talk. Ask folks to share. Ask for comments. Ask for subscribers.

BRANDING. FYI, as part of it’s newly launched “In Video Programming”, you can upload an image that You Tube will use as a “bug” in the corner of your videos. You can also pick which corner of the video it appears in, and for how long. There is also a seldom used workaround for the You Tube embed code that removes You Tube branding.

Some folks don’t want to be associated with You Tube because of its “pedestrian” image. But You Tube is the second largest search engine. It’s a great place to put your videos. And by following some simple steps, it can be another tool in your arsenal for getting noticed.
–That’s a wrap.

Seven Steps To Writing For Reading On Camera

My friend Rick Dearborn had some great tips on his MARKETVIDPOST blog. I asked his permission to share them with you, and he graciously accepted. Here is Rick’s post:

Most marketers are already good writers. They’re involved in carefully choosing words and crafting marketing messages all day long. But writing a script to be read on camera is a whole different experience that requires a few new skills. Here are a few useful tips that will help you create scripts that area easier to read aloud:

1. READ IT ALOUD. No matter what you’ve written, read it out loud to yourself. See how it flows and feels, and make changes accordingly. Then put it down for a while, and do it again. You will be surprised at the edits that will be needed.

2. CONTRACTIONS. When writing we rarely use contractions, but they’re commonplace in our speach. When writing to be read aloud, contractions are essential. After you write your script, read it over an look for places where contractions make sense. Here is an example that shows what a difference contractionscan make:

Before: “Now you are ready to get started. We are sure you aready know there is a best way to begin. But, if you do not, here is how you can start. You will need to write a draft first and you will need to read it aloud. It is always a good idea to start that way.”

After: “Now you’re ready to get started. We’re sure you already know there’s a best way to begin. But, if you don’t, here’s how you can start. You’ll need to write a draft first, and you’ll need to read it aloud. It’s always a good idea to start that way.”

3. COMMAS. Commas make good gramatical sense, but in most cases they don’t work well when reading aloud. The reason is, when we read aloud we feel we need to pause when we see a comma. The gramatical use of a comma does not necessarily result in the best phrasing when reading aloud. After you write your script, take all the commas out and read it aloud. Where it feels natural to pause, put dashes in instead of commas. Then read aloud again and adjust as necessary.

4. UNDERLINING. If there are particular words you need to emphasis when reading aloud, underline them. But, don’t go crazy with it. Use underlining sparingly, only on the words that are really important. Some techniques recommend single, double, and triple underlining of words all through your script to ensure different levels of emphasis. If you go crazy with underlining, your reading can sound mechanical. It should be natural and real. I recommend using underlining only for the words that really matter.

5. PARAGRAPH PHRASING. Don’t hesitate to break your script up into smaller, shorter paragraphs – it will help you phrase the concepts when reading aloud. I’ts ok to even make a paragraph out of a single sentence.

6. FONT SIZE AND LINE SPACING. It really helps to write the script in a larger than usual font, one that is easy to read aloud. I also recommend greater than normal line spacing. I like 24 point Arial font, with 1.5 to 2.0 line spacing. That gives you a little space to enter hand written underlining or other small changes. (But, don’t get too carried away with hand written edits on your script. They can get hard to read. It’s always better to make them in the computer and print out a new copy, if you can).

7. ALL CAPS. When you write a script in ALL CAPS, you can focus more on the emphasis of the meaning, rather than on the structural, making it easier to read.

That last tip is controversial to some, but I have to say that when I write scripts for myself, I write in all caps. Maybe it has something to do with the teletype copy I used to read. Those machines only had caps, and everyone in radio learnedly to read copy that way. I hope this helps.
— that’s a wrap

Showing Our Stuff

 

The past three years has brought a lot of new friends our way.  Every project we do is different and exciting.  The new year gives us an opportunity to take a look back and put together some of the work we’ve done for our clients. Here’s our 2012 demo reel. I hope you enjoy it.  When can we get started on YOUR project?

–That’s a wrap.

Don’t Hide Your Videos

I’m starting to see a few websites with a YouTube logo in one corner or as part of the site menu.  I take that to mean there’s a company YouTube channel linked to it.  But you shouldn’t stop there. If you make YouTube your sole source of video traffic, you’re missing the boat.

Here’s how:
1. Videos hosted on your own server get “liked” by the search engines quicker.
2. If you don’t show some of your expertise – in the form of videos – on your site, you’re asking your audience to jump through another hoop in order to get them.

Instead:
Post your best – the ones that answer questions or solve problems – on a page or pages that are dedicated to solving that problem.
Use your YouTube embed code to play your videos in email newsletters, and other communication tools.

Put your videos out front, and let them work their magic.

— That’s a wrap.

What I Did Today

At 7:30 this morning, I was sitting in front of the DMV waiting for them to open so I could renew my car’s registration. Yes, I was first in line! Amazing.  Also in front of the door: the latest edition or other of a yellow page book. After I had been there ten minutes, others started to arrive. One woman, bent on ingratiating herself with the state employees, picked up the book as if she was ready to present it when the doors opened.

“Does anyone still use those things?” I asked.

The woman looked down and said, “Well, I don’t anymore. I was on the web to see what time the office opened this morning.”

Exactly what I’ve been trying to tell people.

My wife doesn’t even let the Yellow Pages, or similar tomes in the house anymore. They go straight to the recycle bin.  We find out the stuff we need to know about businesses on the web.

Later in the day, I discovered I needed a new thingamabob. I went online to do my research and find out which stores had what. I found one manufacturer with a video about his product. I watched the whole thing. Then I wrote down the model number to see if I can find one in the store.

Towards the end of the evening, a friend sent me a link to a company he wanted me to check out.  The site was only a logo, and a list of what they sell.  There.Were.No.Other.Pages.  So basically, it was an internet business card.  I would have loved to have found out more about this business, but they had no content.

I look at a phone book, and wonder how much money is being wasted there. Those ads are expensive. And no one is reading them!   There are companies on the web who have nothing but their name on their website.   How many of these folks are YOUR competitors?  Now you know something they don’t.

Videos are not cutting edge. They are accepted, searched for, and watched thousands of times every minute.

Imagine your business having more customers, staying longer and becoming more engaged with your brand.

-That’s a wrap.