Category Archives: DIY ?

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.

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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.
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Customer Testimonials: Five things to watch for. (and one of them can make all the difference in your video)

80 percent of Americans research online before ever hitting the “Buy” button. and reviews as well as customer testimonials are powerful methods to bring the prospect one step closer to buying from you.

I see lots of websites in Cincinnati who have a page of glowing reports of their products and services, features and benefits. Unfortunately, most of those testimonials are signed “S.P.” or “Mary C.” Are they real people? You’re not really sure. Given a company that uses these kinds of customer comments and one that uses video testimonials from customers, guess which one is going to have more engagement? I hope you said video.

Customer testimonials on video are usually the first kind of web content a business owner thinks about. If done well, it’s like your customers are an additional sales force for you. Here’s the difference between doing it yourself and having someone do it for you:

1. Sound and lighting must be perfect. You want the viewer to hear every nuance and not have to strain to listen to something a tiny microphone picks up from 6 feet away. Also, don’t ask your best customers to sit in front of a camera if they don’t look their best. Bad lighting ruins more videos than you think.

2. NEVER ask someone to read a prepared script. Even if the customer himself wrote it, this is not genuine.

3. Ask open ended questions. Find out what was going on before they found the business, what led them to the business, and why they keep returning. If they’re uncomfortable being on camera, get them to talk about their hobbies or kids first. It will warm them up and they will begin to free associate your business with their thoughts.

4. It’s okay for them to ramble as they’re giving their testimonial. Although, this is the spot where all the do-it-yourselfers get in trouble. What if the customer comes up with a gem in the middle of all the other stuff? The viewer watching the video might not stay around that long. In the newspaper industry – it’s called “Burying The Lead”. A skilled video editor can take that gem and form the rest of the testimonial around it. The difference being one is something that might get watched, and the other is one that will create an emotional connection. Which do you think creates more sales?

5. I know there’s a lot of discussion over which is right and which is wrong, but I do not believe a customer should give a testimonial looking directly into the camera. Let the camera be the onlooker while they tell the story to an off-camera interviewer. It’s much more comfortable for the customer, and a lot easier to watch for the viewer.

You wouldn’t allow just anyone with a paintbrush to paint your house. So make sure you have a professional direct and edit your video testimonials for maximum punch and effectiveness in your marketing tool kit. I’d like to be your resource for producing video testimonials that get results. Contact me for details.
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Three Deadly Mistakes Videos Make When Selling A Service

I’m in marketing and advertising. I’ve been doing it for the past thirty years. And I’m a sucker for a good headline.

Yeah, I’ll click on your blog post and skim it to see if there’s any new information. I’ve kept track, and actually only 8% of the time will I find something new, compelling or share-worthy. And when there’s a great headline that announces “More To Come – just click on the video”… my itchy trigger finger goes to work on my mouse. Unfortunately, I usually soon run into a roadblock or two.

It’s always a video for someone selling a service. They’re usually so passionate about what they do (and for the most part, that’s a good thing) but in reaching for that compelling factor and trying to build suspense for the point where they turn you from a viewer into a customer, you’re going to find one or all of the following deadly mistakes:

1. Poor Audio – What part of **Don’t stand across the room and think your camera’s microphone is sufficient** do they not understand? It’s hard to listen to someone trying to convince me of something when they’re talking from the bottom of an echo-y barrel.

2. Too Long – After I click on a video, I watch the timeline to see how long the thing is. THIRTY MINUTES?? Nope, I won’t be staying around. Why not break it up into manageable chunks? With three or four videos, you can break them into chapters and provide a description of each chapter. That will help not only your viewers decide what to watch, but also your search engine optimization for those videos.

3. Death By Powerpoint – I’m watching a video. I don’t necessarily want to read. Honestly – is there really anything THAT compelling on those slides? Why not strip the audio out of it, make it downloadable to someone’s iPod, and offer to send them a link to the slides. Hey! And now you’ve harvested email addresses for future marketing!

Marketers and business coaches are especially guilty of these. Watch for these deadly mistakes next time you click on a How To or an explainer video. And if you find anything like that on your own site, give me a shout and I’ll show you hot to fix it.

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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.
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This May Get Technical

Do it yourself video editing can open up a whole new set of problems for those looking for what they think may be an easy way in.
Take for example the newest consumer HD cameras. Many of them use a technology developed jointly by Sony and Panasonic called AVCHD. This is actually a professional MP4 format that was developed for use in Blu-Ray discs. It’s a big problem for do it yourselfers.
You see, AVCHD files take a lot of processing power just to play them back properly. A LOT. And before you even move the clips from your camera to your hard drive, you have to navigate the labrynth file system that comes with shooting in AVCHD.
On laptops, the video clips will look out of synch. You’ll need something with at least quad core processing to play your video. And if you cant play it, how are going to find your edit points?
Be prepared to shell out close to $3000 for an editing system with enough processing power, RAM, and the kind of video card you’ll need to edit with any kind of ease.
Most businesses who want to add video will turn to a professional – for shooting or editing or both. DIY can be fun, and somewhat inexpensive . And as they say, the devil is in the details, so if you’re going to edit professional looking video for your website, make sure you system is up to it.
–That’s a wrap.

5 Things You Should Know About Video Marketing

 

You’re in business. You have competition. That’s a given. Still, there are things, ideas, products, or people that set you apart from your competition. But how do you let your prospective customers know? The traditional way is advertising, but it can be expensive, and most times, you can’t be sure how effective it will be. Videos for business and website video marketing is effective, affordable and trackable. Here are the basics you need to know: 1. Pick a video production company that specializes in producing ONLINE video. They will help you decide how to best reach your target audience. 2. Use real people. Use yourself: customers love to be able to put a face on your business. If you’re not completely comfortable on camera, a professional video producer will show you how to look at the top of your game. 3. Show where you do business. Show where your product is made. Behind the scenes videos CAN be tricky. Someone who specializes in shooting business videos can spot the details that could make or break the scene. 4. Put the finished video in the right spot on your website. Video marketing professionals will work with you or your web designer to make sure the video is optimized and plays properly from your server. 5. Promote your message in social media, blogs, and newsletters. The more places you put your video, the more the search engines will love it. For more information about how videos drive results, visit Videos On Your Website


–That’s a wrap.