Category Archives: DIY ?

Which Videos Keep Viewers Longer?

Lady Gaga’s newest music video, or your demonstration and customer testimonial – which do you think would win? Basically, we’re talking entertainment vs. information.

You Tube’s Insights analytics tool is now showing graphs of where viewer interest drops off. The results are pretty surprising.

Most entertainment videos start off with high interest and drops off quickly as the video plays.

On the other hand, informative videos start with a lower level of interest, and that level increases the longer the video plays. What does that mean for YOUR videos? Well, what it says is people who watch the first 30 to 45 seconds of your video are more likely to watch it all the way through.

My suggestion would be to have a great opening, and if you have a hook, or a terrific point to your story, tease it within that first 45 seconds. There are things you can do within that time to ensure that folks will stick around until the end.

You can still be a star without having the latest I-tunes hit. Just be yourself and let your customers shine.

–That’s a Wrap.

What To Do When The Competition Starts Using Video

Hopefully, you do some sort of competitive intelligence on companies that are in the same business as you. . That means among other things, checking their website with about the same frequency as you look at yours.   So what happens if one day you go to the competition’s website, and they have a video?

A marketing and SEO expert commented in an article just last month: “If the competition is using video and you’re not, the competition wins”  That’s pretty straightforward. That video will start showing up in searches in a matter of hours.  Probably before that even happens, they will blog, and Twitter and do whatever else they can to spread the word and get it watched.

Ok, so what if the competition starts to use video, and you’ve had one for awhile?What then? First – take a really critical look.

  • Who’s message is more clear?
  • How’s the sound quality and the lighting of the video?
  • Is it just a self-shot talking head, or Are there compelling images that move the story along?

Production values do count. But what it really comes down to is: Who is telling the better story? Who is more likely to be found in the search engines? With the proper keyword tagging and placement, even if your competitors rank higher in a Google Search, YOU CAN STILL HAVE THE UPPER HAND WITH VIDEO.

Now the score is one and one. You each have a video. Here’s where you step up the game: Do more. Really communicate. Put your customers, your staff even your vendors on video and post them everywhere.  Once you start building that library strategically, the competition won’t know what hit them.

 

That’s a wrap.

 

How To Know When Long Is Too Long

Ok, so I’m watching a webinar about how to use video to better engage with customers – pretty appropriate for me, right? The presenters hit a lot of topics, and one of them was how long should your video be?  The consensus was two to three minutes, which I totally agree with.  They talked about the “drop-off rate” that’s the point at which your video stops being interesting to whoever it is watching it.

The webinar was an hour long.  I stopped watching at about 20 minutes. Why?

Reason #1:
Camera movement for the sake of movement.  There was one camera and two people. The camera would zoom in to one of the presenters, then pan over to the other presenter before zooming back out again. There was no purpose to the movement. And it didn’t keep me from getting bored.

Reason #2:
The presenters didn’t plan out what they were going to say. There were a lot of Ums and You Knows, and when the host asked a direct question, the guest could not give a direct answer.

Isn’t it funny that when people like this talk about the need for video to be compelling, that they fail to be compelling themselves.

I once had a jewelry store owner tell me why she started her business. She was not only compelling, she was spellbinding. That kind of story edited to the right images will keep people watching.

How long should YOUR video be? When Blendtec did the “Will It Blend Iphone 4” video, it ran almost 4 minutes, and has grabbed over 3 million views.  But after 60 seconds of a talking head, some folks can’t click away fast enough.

How do you want to tell your story? Consulting with a professional may be one way to make that story something your visitors will want to watch.

That’s a wrap.

 

25 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Videos On Your Website

  1. Want to DIY? We can consult with you for a better look
  2. We’re ready for HTML5 are you?
  3. We also have a voiceover studio, and we do VO around the world
  4. We always bring more than we need
  5. We arrive early 95% of the time
  6. There’s never enough light
  7. We own three royalty free music libraries
  8. We know some really talented web designers
  9. We know some awesome marketing experts
  10. We’ll be adding more experts on the Video Secrets page very soon
  11. We were the first to totally specialize in small business videos for websites.
  12. We always try and add a little showmanship
  13. We know some really cool video tricks
  14. We also know what NOT to do
  15. We can help you relax on camera
  16. Watching other folks’ videos with bad sound and bad lighting drives us stark raving crazy
  17. You can fix bad sound and bad lighting if you know how
  18. We put our name on our work
  19. Our first website went online in 1995
  20. We’ve never been to Vegas, but the name of our editing software is Vegas
  21. We know the most important thing to put first in your YouTube description
  22. We have web pages on our site dedicated to different business categories
  23. Bob Parsons, the CEO of GoDaddy likes our videos
  24. We have a 230 square foot green screen ready to go
  25. We learn something new with each project.

 

There Is No Trophy For Second Place

My wife loves to read. Both of us could browse thru Barnes & Noble or Borders all day.  But she rarely buys from them. Instead, she browses Amazon.

There are some items that I don’t bother shopping for at all.  I just look on eBay.

There are many places to buy books online. Ask someone, and see if Amazon isn’t the first thing on their minds. Same with auction sites.  Same with a lot of business categories. (Kleenex instead of tissues, Xerox instead of copier, PingPong instead of table tennis).

When you’re first at something, you can pretty much “own the franchise”. And when you can do that PLUS be outstanding at connecting with your customers, you can reach that Top Of Mind status reserved for the Amazon’s, and eBay’s and Zappos.

How many of your competitors are using video? If you said none, that’s your chance. It doesn’t matter if you are B2B or B2C. Your customers and prospects are searching for what you have to say.  Video was the most added feature to websites in both 2009 and 2010.  If you don’t know whether or not your competitors are using video, find out. Do it now.

Building your authority and your expertise should be one of your major goals this year.  If you’re in a business in which customers need to place their trust, you can’t afford to go forward without shoring up that trust with all of the compelling stories you can tell with video.

Hopefully, you can be the first.

That’s a wrap.

Quality Videos Reflect The Quality Of Your Business: Part two

Tonight, a friend passed a referral to me. I went to look at the company website – we’ll call them “LLC.com”. Their web design firm has posted some videos about what a great place this company is to work for. Now, defining your corporate culture is an excellent use of video in today’s climate. Google has done it with the Life At Google series on YouTube. The Google series is shot well, and has compelling themes.

The videos I watched tonight on the LLC site were
• Grainy – if I didn’t know better, I’d think they were shot with someone’s camera phone.
• Used the on camera microphone – a very big no no. Sound is as important as picture, and since all of these shots were extreme close-ups, to have the voice sound like it was coming from a barrel is quite rude from the position of a viewer.
• Looked cheap. One of the persons were shot sitting in front of a window. The light coming from behind washes the subject out.

Another web designer called to tell me about a client who needed video. Before I could respond, however, he called back to say the client had shot the video himself. He said the quality was just “OK”. The webmaster wouldn’t offer his opinion, and unfortunately, his client may suffer.

Producing videos for businesses is a lot more than Point And Shoot. I completely understand the DIY point of view, BUT. . .

• You have to have an external microphone, period. No discussion.

• The basics of 3 point lighting are simple to learn. So use room lamps, and buy some Perfect Daylight bulbs so at least your colors come out right, and your subjects look like somebody you would want to watch.

• Seriously consider using a professional. The expertise we bring in storytelling and getting the right message across with the right pictures and edits can make all the difference.

If you’ve made an investment in an attractive website, it’s only right to make sure your content stands out as well.

———- That’s a wrap.

What They’re Saying About Real Estate Videos

So, I starting reading one of those articles about “What Your Real Estate Agent Won’t Tell You” and I got less than a quarter of the way thru it when the author mentioned how a listing’s photos and videos can be misleading because of Photoshopping or creative editing. I wouldn’t deny that those things take place, but not in my experience.

First of all, real estate agents are notoriously…(how shall I put this)…frugal. Many of them take their own pictures, and some even make their own videos.
Secondly, the kind of photo manipulation or video editing really takes some time to master. Many agents are known to be…impatient.

Actually, real estate videos can be rather quick to produce. Most agents simply want a walk through to show prospective buyers the layout point of view. Any additional editing, whether in amateur software or on a professional level, is an expense of both time and money. It’s been my experience with real estate videos that if the home is attractively staged, a video will do a much better job of selling the property than photos. It’s real. You don’t need Hollywood effects or deceptive editing to make it work.

It’s nice to see some popular websites for real estate professionals that agree with me: Homes.com reports that successful agents understand social media. And they add, “Video is another great way to promote your business and your listings online. After posting virtual tours or walk-thrus of your listings, start adding videos that discuss real estate trends and give advice. The better the content, the more it will be passed on.”

And PropertyGuru.com takes it one step further: “Keep your videos alive. Online video content should never be considered a final product. If the property doesn’t sell immediately, change the video to encourage new buyers and give them a different interpretation”

I have also seen actual customer emails thanking agents for providing videos, rather than just photos, in their marketing efforts. Even in the relocation forum City Data, one poster implores agents to “spend a few hundred bucks on a well shot and presented video tour and sell a six or seven figure home.”

There is a myriad of ways to sell real estate, even in a down market. But the wise agents and brokers would do well to discover the advantages of video marketing.

–That’s a wrap.

4 Times When Video Is A Bad Idea

Videos for SEO, Videos for product demonstrations, and for customer testimonials. Videos to show your expertise to prospects or build credibility. They’re all great ideas. They’re ideas that can help and grow your business.

Unfortunately, there are times when using videos can be a bad idea. This all falls under the heading of “read your contract”. Here are some real world examples. I can’t believe there are companies who actually do this, but there are.

1. The video is not created specifically for your business. Just like there are templates for websites, a producer can create a video template. This usually has a minimum amount of your information. It’s built around pretty graphics, or generic pictures.
2. You don’t own your video. Can you imagine that? Anything you planned, pictures you took, ideas you might have had – they can all vanish, because you signed a leasing agreement rather than a sales agreement. Yes, it actually happens. And if you don’t pay for another round, they’ll pull your video.
3. You do all the work, and they get paid. I know of companies who want their clients to shoot the video footage, and then send them the files so they can edit. Or they want you to write the script. I mean, if you’re paying for professionals, shouldn’t you get professionals who can give you their expertise?
4. You have no control over the final product. “Double check your work carefully”, one video contract says, “If we have to make any changes after you sign off, we will charge you.” Really?? Even in a restaurant, if you don’t like the meal, they’ll make it for you again. What’s wrong with this picture?

There are things about technology and marketing that scare some folks. But if you’re making an investment in a professional looking website, ask questions, and make sure that it’s going to be more than an online brochure. Engage your customers and prospects with compelling content. You’ll find that it starts paying for itself quickly. And it pays over and over.

— That’s a wrap.

24 Things You Can Say In Your Next Video

When small businesses begin to think about making a video to put on their website, they usually start writing things to say about the products or services they’re trying to sell. What else is this process called?
video subjects,
Commercials.

Since no one searches the web for commercials, there has to be another way to tell a small business’ story.

There is. And it’s the process that businesses and professionals are using to build their video library.

There are probably at least ten questions that every customer asks you.
There are ten more questions you WISH they would ask. That’s a total of twenty different videos so far. Are you following?

But in the title I said 24 things.

The other four videos are actual showcase pieces about your product or services. No, not commercials. That’s where we come in. We’ve been producing those kinds of messages, those UN-mercials since before there was an Internet. And we’re still having fun.

–That’s a wrap.

6 Absolute Musts For Shooting Yourself On Video

I have seen a handful of vanity channels, so-called business presentations, video blogs, and all the rest, and I gotta tell ya.. owning a video camera or a web cam no more makes you a talk show host than owning a guitar makes you Erc Clapton.

I was compelled to start watching these folks because they had a headline that drew me in, they said something interesting, or because I know them. Truthfully,  I didn’t last more than 3 minutes.

So I keep coming back to something I’ve said time and time again: Either you want to be known as an expert, or you want people to buy a product or service from you, so be as professional as you know how, or the next guy will.  Online video has no excuses for poor quality.  If you’re going to shoot yourself, here’s how to do it with a little class:

  1. Find an uncluttered spot. Look at your surroundings the way the camera is going to see it. Don’t let anything get in the way of the camera’s main focus.
  2. Back Away From The Camera.  Really. All this fisheyed e-trade baby video is making me nauseous.
  3. SMILE !!!!  And hold eye contact. Put a picture of someone you care a lot about beside that camera lens.  Then talk to them.  You will be more natural
  4. Take off the headphones.  You don’t have to hear yourself. It also looks really low tech. If there are music cues or an interview you have to respond to, get an earpiece, or just set the phones down out of camera range. You’ll still be able to hear it.
  5. Don’t take five minutes to get to the content.  I don’t really care that this is your fifth show, and you now have two thousand viewers.  Acknowledge what I came to see. At least Letterman and Leno start with a rundown of what the show’s going to be about.  It’s not a bad idea for you to do that, too.  Of course, it will mean actually planning, and not talking off the top of your head.
  6. That will directly affect your “um” quotient.  Take notes, and use those notes to prompt you for the next idea.  Planning and focusing keeps the “ums” to a mimimum.  A little silence is a lot more preferable to inane babble.
  7. Keep it short and to the point.  I’m not going to watch you for an hour. Especially if it’s just you on camera.  Sorry if it hurts your feelings.  Brevity is the soul of wit. You’ll get more viewers with a shorter piece. You’ll be more focused.  Did you know that all of the network evening news shows used to be 15 minutes long?

If you can do those simple things, you’ll be surprised how better you look, and how much more professional you come across.

–That’s A Wrap.