Category Archives: Who Uses Video

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

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

In 30 days . . .

30 days
A lot can happen in 30 days after posting a video to your business website.

  • One of my clients booked a contract that paid him over 25 times what he had paid me
  • Another client received a 5 figure grant to grow her business
  • still another client was the subject of a local TV news story, AND won a Cincy Innovates award
  • And let’s not forget the million-dollar condo. We did a feature video, and it sold in 59 days. (ok, it was a slow market.)

Where will YOU be 30 days from now? I’ll keep saying it: If you’re using video, and the competition isn’t, You Win.

— that’s a wrap.

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.
— that’s a wrap.

5 Reasons Video Intimidates Businesses

I get it. After all of the statistics showing how well video performs online; after more and more case studies on businesses who use video to inform, educate, and market to their customers, you’re still on the fence. You’re not alone.
Video, from how to use it to how to deploy it, is still intimidating.

1. I don’t like myself on video. — It doesn’t have to be about you. Your customers or staff can bring compelling case studies and testimonials. There are dozens of scenarios where your “screen time” can be minimal or non-existent. I see this occasionally, but with patience, the client can open up and start to have fun.

2. I wouldn’t know what to say. I’m not good at memorizing a script. — a good producer will have multiple ideas for you, and multiple ways to present them. I shot a great video last year a few sentences at a time then pieced it together. I have some clients who need prompters. Prompter devices are simple to set up. Anyone who shoots business videos should have one. They make you look really good. If news anchors can use them, you can too.

3. I don’t want to end up with a video that’s too “Hollywood” . — Sure, in a lot of cases, simple is better. But you need the professionalism of good lighting, great sound, and a non-shaky camera. Those are the first priorities for anything that is going to represent you.

4. It’s too expensive. — costs for professional video vary widely. It’s very possible to produce some nice testimonials for less than a couple of hundred dollars. But they’re yours. They don’t vanish into thin air like commercials, or get thrown away like flyers. If you’re on a really short shoestring, do them yourself. Just remember the three principles in the previous paragraph.

5. I don’t know what to do next. — put them on YouTube, on Vimeo, on a blog, on Facebook, Twitter, anywhere and everywhere. Be sure there’s a call to action and it links back to your site.

Don’t allow your fears to get in the way of stepping up communication with customers and prospects. No matter what you sell or who you sell it to, adding video content is something you can’t delay.
— 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.

Videos: Working Wonders or Wonder Why?

I really try not to rant too much in this blog. When I do, it’s usually because I’ve just something that I find disappointing. I will let you in on a secret: when I visit someone’s website, I always look for the “footer” that is a link to the web designer.

The one I visited today did really pretty work. They just left off the page titles from their own site. That’s the title that shows up in the top bar of your browser, and it’s really important. But the real kicker was that the web firm also produces video. They have one on their home page. It’s titled “Our Commercial”.

(facepalm)

It actually WAS a commercial. And it gave no reason why someone should hire them. They also thought enough to include the line, “having a video couldn’t hurt.”

(facepalm)

I can’t stress this enough: People Don’t Search For Commercials.  Commercials are not suited for the web. Why would a web designer put a commercial on their home page?? Why not a video about how a well designed site brings a return on investment?  Or video testimonials from clients? Even a series about marketing best practices.

Content that people want to watch. That’s where video works wonders.
What’s on your website.

–that’s a wrap

How To Use Videos To Sell Products

You have a website that sells products. It could be three or three hundred. Most e-commerce sites operate the same way: a database of products and a page for each product. But when videos are added, sales skyrocket. Here’s how it works.

VIDEOS ON HOME PAGE  Here’s where you can capture new customers and hold on to old customers too. Offer new products, stage demos talk to staff, or feature customer shot video. It will engage and you’ll keep visitors on the site longer.

VIDEOS ON PRODUCT PAGES   Show different views. Show how the item works. Show testimonials.

MAKE IT SOCIAL   Don’t forget to cross-post your videos to Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest to grow the brand.

NO MATTER WHAT ANYONE SAYS USE YOUTUBE   You can host your video there and share it or you can host anywhere else. But, yes, upload to YouTube. It’s still the number two search engine. It will positively impact your visibility and search engine rankings.

BLOG    Every time you post your video somewhere new, it counts as fresh content. Google ranks video higher than other content.  Put video on your blog sang give visitors a reason to come back.
— that’s a wrap.