Category Archives: Behind The Scenes

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 A VIDEO COST TO PRODUCE?

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.
— That’s a wrap.

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.

Remember: 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.)

Don’t Forget Hashtags On YouTube

YouTubeHashtags

Within the past few weeks, YouTube has added hashtag capability. Hashtags can now be used in the YouTube search box, but more importantly, they can also be used in the Description field, and in the Title as well. This is a great addition, because not only can you search with YouTube in the search box, but you can click on an included hashtag and get some of the newest and most popular videos on the channel.

What does that mean for Cincinnati businesses with video? It means that you should immediately add hashtags wherever you can in the videos that are already on your channel. Early adapters will likely see good success. I also encourage you to invent your own hashtag and use it everywhere. I believe that you will get a lot more engagement from new viewers if they find you via a hashtag. Since this a new feature to YouTube, a lot of folks don’t know about it yet. So get the jump on your competition and move ahead in search. Make it short, simple and memorable. And do some research before you commit to an invented hashtag.

If you need help, have questions or would like a free YouTube audit on your channel, get in touch.
–that’s a wrap

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.