Tag Archives: advertising

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.)

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.

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.

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.

What I Did Today

At 7:30 this morning, I was sitting in front of the DMV waiting for them to open so I could renew my car’s registration. Yes, I was first in line! Amazing.  Also in front of the door: the latest edition or other of a yellow page book. After I had been there ten minutes, others started to arrive. One woman, bent on ingratiating herself with the state employees, picked up the book as if she was ready to present it when the doors opened.

“Does anyone still use those things?” I asked.

The woman looked down and said, “Well, I don’t anymore. I was on the web to see what time the office opened this morning.”

Exactly what I’ve been trying to tell people.

My wife doesn’t even let the Yellow Pages, or similar tomes in the house anymore. They go straight to the recycle bin.  We find out the stuff we need to know about businesses on the web.

Later in the day, I discovered I needed a new thingamabob. I went online to do my research and find out which stores had what. I found one manufacturer with a video about his product. I watched the whole thing. Then I wrote down the model number to see if I can find one in the store.

Towards the end of the evening, a friend sent me a link to a company he wanted me to check out.  The site was only a logo, and a list of what they sell.  There.Were.No.Other.Pages.  So basically, it was an internet business card.  I would have loved to have found out more about this business, but they had no content.

I look at a phone book, and wonder how much money is being wasted there. Those ads are expensive. And no one is reading them!   There are companies on the web who have nothing but their name on their website.   How many of these folks are YOUR competitors?  Now you know something they don’t.

Videos are not cutting edge. They are accepted, searched for, and watched thousands of times every minute.

Imagine your business having more customers, staying longer and becoming more engaged with your brand.

-That’s a wrap.

 

Have You Seen Our Coupon?

There’s one store close to my house that I frequent – not every day, maybe every two weeks. I was there today, and noticed the hand-written sign on the front door?

Have You Seen Our Coupon?

Under it was taped one of those coupons that are printed on the backs of grocery receipts. In making conversation with the store clerk, I discovered that the coupons had been out about a month, and no one had used one yet.

These folks spent a sum of money for a vehicle which they believed would cause increased traffic to their store. Since nothing happened, their feeling about this form of marketing will soon be, “I tried it and it didn’t work.”

It doesn’t matter that there could be other factors at play: the offer wasn’t good enough, the design wasn’t eye catching, the weather was too cold..any number of things.

Their investment in that coupon and its distribution ends when it’s no longer being printed.

That’s advertising.

 

What if you had a creative message that you owned? One that worked for you 24/7/365.

What if you didn’t have to ask your customers if they had seen your message; you’d know because they’d be buying from you?

What if you had something that the competition didn’t?

What if you had a message that connected with customers and prospects

What if that message was something your prospects had been searching for?

That’s web content.

 

Videos On Your Website can help you build a library of web content so that you become the expert, and they will choose your business to answer their questions and solve their problems.  No coupon needed.

 

That’s a wrap.

 

 

6 Lines From The Godfather That Explain Why You Should Use Video

Just in time for the Oscars. Ready?

“Why didn’t you come to me first?” (Websites that use video convert visitors faster and easier.  A good category is Attorneys. Well, maybe not for the Godfather, but for our purposes – Studies show that folks will search an average of 7 websites when they are looking for an attorney.  But when there’s video, that number drops to 2. )

“Make them an offer they can’t refuse” (Video makes content they can’t refuse.  A compelling message about your company will keep visitors on your site longer. Videos can also very easily enhance your credibility. Companies with three or more videos on their website are perceived as the authority.)

“I need a man who has powerful friends” (The neatest thing about video is that folks can share it with their friends.  Make something WORTH sharing. People don’t search for, nor do they share commercials – so don’t make one. The hardest thing about video is coming up with great ideas. That’s where we can help.)

“My client promises to make that trouble disappear “ (With video you can not only show the features and benefits, but you can have your customers tell their story too. That’s called a testimonial, and man, do they work!)

“Times have changed. It’s not like the Old Days, when we can do anything we want.” (Yep.  Here in the digital age, customers are more informed. They WANT to be engaged. They don’t have a lot of time to read everything you want them to read.  So, say it and show it in a video. Or better yet, a series of videos.  Not to worry. We can have you communicating 21st Century style in no time.)

“And let me be even more frank, just to show you that I’m not a hard-hearted man, that it’s not all dollars and cents.” (Customers, especially the tech-savvy under 30s, want value. If you’re a plumber, do a video on how to fix a sink.  An accountant? What are the top deductions that many folks miss?  THAT’S content. It’s content that can be used. Content that they can’t refuse.

NOT to use video can be a website’s kiss of death.  Let that happen to the other guy. Wise up and start putting Videos On Your Website now.

Or just call us and fergitaboutit.

That’s a wrap.

9 Reasons to Keep Satisfied Customers

Here’s something that’s worth keeping around:

  • 98% of dissatisfied customers never complain, they just leave.
  • 85% of dissatisfied customers tell nine people about their poor experience. 13% tell 20 people.
  • A satisfied customer tells just five people.
  • Over five years, a typical company loses 80% of its customers; 65% because of a negative experience with the company.
  • 75% of the reasons a customer leaves has nothing to do with the product.
  • Retain just 5% of your customers, and profits will increase from 25% to 55%.
  • The top five businesses in any industry have over 90% customer retention. Most businesses average 80%.
  • For every 1% improvement in customer rate sustained over five years, there is a 20% improvement in operating income.

and finally,

The number one reason why customers switch companies is that they don’t feel appreciated.

Ask me, and I’ll show you how using video makes for higher customer loyalty.

–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.