Category Archives: You Tube for Business

The Trick To Using Videos On LinkedIn

I’ve been reading an article from a LinkedIn expert of why your profile should feature videos. I agree with his concept. However the video examples that he uses are not so good. Here’s why:

Example video #1 shows the subject seated, and looking off camera – a standard “interview” technique. But, he’s looking off camera when he introduces himself and says, “Welcome to my LinkedIn profile.” That should be addressed directly TO the camera and the viewer.

Example #2 shows a confident person asking questions of the viewer and introducing himself. Great opening. But he’s standing in front of what looks like cabinets. Is he in his garage? His kitchen? Furthermore, his video is over seven minutes long, and it’s a sales pitch. How many times do we have to say that hard sales pitches don’t work on LinkedIn?

Video works great on LinkedIn, and it can help you close deals. But like anything else, you have to be mindful of the details.

1. LOOK AT THE CAMERA AND ADDRESS THE VIEWER. LinkedIn is a professional networking site. Do you look off to the side when you introduce yourself to a new contact?

2. WATCH OUT WHAT YOU STAND IN FRONT OF. Make sure your background is not distracting. Let it make sense to the whole picture.

3. TELL WHAT YOU DO AND SHOW YOUR PASSION. Leave the sales pitch for a face to face time when the customer is ready for it.

4. IF YOU’RE PUTTING VIDEOS ON YOUTUBE, rewrite the titles and descriptions. “LinkedIn Profile Video Cut 1, 1080p” is NOT a good title. Write more than one line in the description field, and start with your URL.

5. Be sure you have proper lighting, good audio, and a director who understands what you are trying to accomplish and can make suggestions.

No, you don’t need “Hollywood” production, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider hiring a professional to help you look more professional. Isn’t it worth it for your image and your sales?

–that’s a wrap.

Video Thumbnails Make Viewers Click

thumbnails
What makes someone want to watch your video? Well, there’s your stellar reputation for creating interesting content…there’s a great headline that explains what’s in it for the viewer…but even more than that is a great thumbnail. Remember this is a visual medium and you should be appealing to the eyes and emotions.

YouTube gives you a choice of three thumbnails selected from various points in your video. Or, if your channel has been verified, you can upload a custom thumbnail. I’m usually good with the ones YouTube picks for me, as you can see from the graphic above. But here are some things you should definitely watch for in choosing a thumbnail that will make viewers and web visitors want to watch what you have created:

    1. Use close ups of faces, especially those making eye contact. Faces are compelling, but if the topic of the video is a product or other physical item, use that.
    2. Strong emotions are more compelling. Show a face with a strong emotion.
    3. Show the face in front of a bright colorful background. A high contract between the face and the background is best.
    4. Text can work, but keep it to three or four words which do not hide the face. Keep it readable.
    5. A bug or logo superimposed on the left bottom works. But keep the lower right free as YouTube often uses this area for one of their graphics.
    6. Give the thumbnail an identifiable design or look any time there are a number of videos from the same producer. This reinforces the brand.
    7. Design for the small screen of smart phones.
    8. Keep the thumbnail simple and easy to understand.
    9. Don’t mislead. A YouTube thumbnail of a bare-breasted woman not only misleads the viewer, but is also penalized as misleading.

You have great stories to share. Create great visuals, and keep them coming back for more.

–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.

Annotations – Pop Ups In Your Video Part two

Annotations on YouTube are a fantastic feature to add to your videos. You can use them for anything from highlighting sales to getting viewers to subscribe to your channel. This episode – This is part 2 of 2 parts – takes you thru the What, Where, and How of using YouTube annotations.
If you’re new here, I create videos as web content for small business in Cincinnati, Dayton, and Northern Kentucky. And I help both my clients, and non-clients understand video’s powerful impact. A lot of that is knowing what to do after the video is created. Where do you put it? How do you put it there? What else can you do to make sure folks see it? This video series was born from that. I’m going to give you the tips you need to make your videos work for you. Don’t have any videos yet? Call me. I’d love to talk with you.

Watch Time (4:38) Link to transcript

Annotations – Pop-Ups In Your Video

Annotations on YouTube are a fantastic feature to add to your videos. You can use them for anything from highlighting sales to getting viewers to subscribe to your channel. This episode – split into two parts – takes you thru the What, Where, and How of using YouTube annotations.
If you’re new here, I create videos as web content for small business in Cincinnati, Dayton, and Northern Kentucky. And I help both my clients, and non-clients understand video’s powerful impact. A lot of that is knowing what to do after the video is created. Where do you put it? How do you put it there? What else can you do to make sure folks see it? This video series was born from that. I’m going to give you the tips you need to make your videos work for you. Don’t have any videos yet? Call me. I’d love to talk with you.

Watch Time (4:38) Link to transcript

How To Add Captions And Transcripts To Your Videos

If you’re new here, I create videos as web content for small business in Cincinnati, Dayton, and Northern Kentucky. And I help both my clients, and non-clients understand video’s powerful impact. A lot of that is knowing what to do after the video is created. Where do you put it? How do you put it there? What else can you do to make sure folks see it? This video series was born from that. I’m going to give you the tips you need to make your videos work for you. Don’t have any videos yet? Call me. I’d love to talk with you.

Here is Episode 4. I upload a new one about twice a month. I’m really interested in your comments, so leave one, or connect with me.

Watch Time (3:39) Link to transcript

7 Mind Blowing Things You Can Do With Video

First off, you and I both know there are way more than just 7 in this list. For example, it’s mind blowing to me that videos can touch someone so personally that they get choked up. There is one piece particularly that no matter how many times I see it, I need a tissue at the end. It blows my mind that almost 30 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every MINUTE!

So let’s get to the list. And be sure to tell me what you think.

1. VIDEO CAN OFFER COUPONS.
It costs a few hundred dollars a month to get coupons included in that blue envelope that gets delivered in the mail. You can do it for free with video AND change them anytime you like. With YouTube annotations, you can control where the coupon code is placed in the video. Remove or change the annotations whenever you want.

2. VIDEO CAN MAKE AUDIENCE SPECIFIC MESSAGES.
I did this in radio all the time, and now it is possible in video. Create a custom open and close – also called a wraparound – and address a specific audience, need, or event. This works great when you have multiple targets, or multiple locations. The body of the message stays the same, but each one has a unique feel to it.

3. VIDEO CAN PUT YOURSELF IN ANY LOCATION.
Want to be in a beautiful, modern studio or in front of the Eiffel Tower or even miniaturize yourself to show someone the inside details of your thingamabob? Do it with a green screen. The same technique that the TV weatherman uses to stand in front of the map can put you almost anywhere.

4. VIDEO CAN DEVELOP YOUR OWN REALITY / DIY / COMEDY SERIES
Ten years ago if you wanted to get your message in front of a mass of people, you had to have a major publisher or network behind you. All that has changed. The gates are wide open for anyone to produce whatever content they wish. YouTube has spawned its share of stars: folks who are actually making a living writing and producing these little videos. You can too. What would you do with your own network?

5. VIDEO CAN KNOW HOW MANY FOLKS ARE WATCHING.
What can newspapers, radio, television and even direct mail never do that online does very well everyday? Tell you who’s watching. Print and electronic media know how many people they reach, but not the engagement. And when someone clicks to start a video, they are choosing to consume that content. Many analytics can tell you the communities those folks are from.

6. VIDEO CAN MAKE SMALL BUSINESSES LOOK LIKE THE BIG GUYS.
It’s not a budget statement anymore. With the right video, your only limit is your imagination. Remember the Coke and Pepsi challenge?
You can pit yourself against your competition all day and show how you’re better, safer, cleaner, greener. Tell your story to the folks you want to reach. Make them care and they will share.

Any one of these techniques has the power to blow your mind when applied properly. And if you’re not using video at all, your competitors will.

–that’s a wrap.

IF I COULD JUST GET IN FRONT OF…

I heard it again today: “If I could only get in front of ( such and so) I know I can close business. Folks who are having a tough time getting to the decision maker say this a lot. One of my clients told me that one thought was the entire idea behind the video I shot for him.

It was actually a brilliant move, because his company, with many larger competitors, is doing quite well.

You may have a great product or service, but if you can’t get anyone to listen to you, how much will you sell?

Video – whether it’s on a website, in a blog, or just an upload to YouTube that you can share by email or social media – is one of the best ways to **get in front of** those difficult prospects. The key is the content. No one wants to watch a sales presentation, but they will listen and watch someone who understands their problems and proposes solutions.

The client mentioned above wanted to show off his factory. There was no direct sales pitch in it, but because we were able to show the process of how the products were made, the client was able to allow his prospects to feel like they were in the factory instead of hundreds of miles away.

Who do YOU want to get in front of?

–that’s a wrap.

How To

I’m really amazed at the number of videos out there that are not taking advantage of the words and phrases folks are searching for. If you want your video, and ultimately your website, to be found by people who are searching for what you do, then use one of the most powerful phrases in search engines: “How To…”

Whether you are creating new products and services, or updating existing ones, make it easy for your customers by showing them How To… select the proper (fill in the blank), How To Use… (your product) Correctly, How To Troubleshoot….(what they currently have). The list is endless, literally. Then, be sure you have that magic phrase in your title, in your tags, and (if you’re embedding the video on a separate page) in your page title.

If people buy from people they trust, you can turn yourself into a ally with compelling and credible “How To” videos. Just remember to keep it simple, use numbered steps when possible, and aim for a recap at the end of your video that wraps everything up neatly. Studies have shown that it takes just three videos for a website to raise their credibility score to Expert by their viewers.

— That’s a wrap.

Advertising Or Engagement?

Last week I was talking with a small business owner when the subject of videos for websites came up.
“We’ve talked about doing some videos, but we don’t need to do any advertising”, she said.

Website visitors and customers already understand what advertising is and what it isn’t. Unfortunately, most businesses do not. For example: some fervently believe that their website is advertising, and they pay for it out of their advertising budget. But even Amazon – one of the largest e-commerce websites isn’t advertising, for they also inform and entertain as well as sell. This is engagement.

If your website is nothing more than an online brochure for your business, then you’re losing the battle.

Business coaches advise that it costs more to get a new customer than to keep a customer. If you can convince an existing customer to buy more, your profit margin is higher. You can do that through engagement. Actually, you can also qualify and close more new customers that way. And there’s part of the difference.

While advertising implies a direct offer, engagement is more about establishing and building a relationship – one that, over time, will lead to sales, brand loyalty,  and a perception of expertise in the marketplace.

Video is the quickest and the most affordable vehicle to drive engagement.  Video for websites should not be advertising. People don’t search for commercials. Your visitors want to be engaged. Those businesses that provide that engagement will win. I hope you’ll be one of them.

–that’s a wrap.