Tag Archives: relevant

Why I Don’t Do Commercials

On the very very first project I did after opening Videos On Your Website, the owner of the company introduced me to her staff: “This is Ron, and he’s going to record our commercial today.”

I still remember the twinge I felt at the time, but I opted not to say anything since I wanted to focus on getting the shoot right. I told myself that the idea of doing video web content was so new that most folks didn’t have a reference point. Hence, to them it was a commercial.

Broadcast TV, Cable TV, radio is still a major factor in communicating sales and brand messages to consumers. Commercials and Infomercials are part of the landscape. Broadcasting terms still abound which is why I am asked about creating “60 second videos” when maybe the right length to tell the story is 110 seconds.

I produced broadcast commercials for over 20 years. The hardest thing in the world is to put your message, features and benefits inside a 30 or 60 second window AND make it entertaining knowing that your audience is conditioned to focus their attention elsewhere while that message airs.

But putting videos on your website, your blog, or a social media profile page means your audience has to click to engage. They WANT to hear what you have to say. It’s much more fun to talk with someone who is actively listening than with someone whose attention you may lose after five seconds.

Who’s listening to YOU?

–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.

Change Your FAQ

What does your company have in common with Sears, JC Penneys and Ikea? It could be a lot more than you think. All three of those retailers use video to explain, to demonstrate, and to educate.
If your customer has questions, you can provide the answers in videos. As someone told me recently: if I answer a customer’s question in an email, I’m talking to one person. But if I answer a question in a video, I could be talking to hundreds of persons at the same time.
Do you sell something that requires assembly? Why not put the instructions online in a video. Are there modifications the customer can make? Do a video. One of the more popular categories in retail is the “unboxing” video where everything in the box is explained and examined. Those are particularly helpful with electronics.
If you can answer all of your customer’s questions this way, or provide the helpful information they need, would they see you differently? What do you think their perception of your expertise would be?
How many persons can you reach with a video on your website…and how much easier could you be found? I can help you find those answers.
-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.

5 Lines From Sleepless In Seattle That Explain Why You Should Use Video

Well, it’s Valentine’s Day. Not the holiday you think about when video production comes to mind..(Wait a minute..OK. No, don’t go THERE. That’s an entirely different blog..) I just thought it might be fun to take a classic Valentine movie like Sleepless In Seattle and see if I can make some of the lines relate to using Videos On Your Website.  Ready?

Jessica: H and G.
[Sam peers back at her]
Jessica: Hi and goodbye. A quick entrance and exit. Unfortunately, that’s what happens on most business websites. If the visitor can’t find what they’re searching for, or if there’s nothing there to engage them, they’re gone.  Websites with video hold visitors longer. The average time spent on my clients’ sites is six to eight minutes.

Sam Baldwin: Well I just want somebody I can have a decent conversation with over dinner. That’s what your prospects and customers are looking for, too. Well, maybe not over dinner, but they do want to connect with products and brands they know and like. Back in the day, before the Internet, you’d be hard pressed to find a way to reach out to a large company. Now with blogs, Twitter, Facebook, AND Videos, customers feel like they have an advocate inside those companies.

Jonah Baldwin : Thanks for dinner. I’ve never seen potatoes cooked like that before. Let’s talk about being unique. With every other accountant, doctor, landscaper, or restaurant having a website these days: what really sets you apart? The best way to tell that story is with video. Show your customers how to something they’ve never done. Show what your product does that the competition doesn’t. Be memorable. Be compelling.

Jessica: If it’s in the computer, they believe anything. Some businesses believe that. Hopefully, the ones that do are your competition.  I’ve seen websites that literally have not been updated in 5 or more years!  Their only purpose is to be an online brochure. Copy may be wrong or outdated. Websites that are updated on a consistent basis get more “points” with search engines. Websites with videos can get a big boost in their search engine optimization. And, it’s been shown that companies with three or more videos are thought of as experts by their customers.

Jonah Baldwin: In the movies, women are always scratching up the men’s back and screaming and stuff.
Sam Baldwin: How do you know all this?
Jonah Baldwin: Jessica’s got cable. I don’t know how much Sam trusted Jessica after that.  Trust is a big issue.  If you’re a company who has to perform their service in a customer’s home, they’re not going to hire you unless they trust you. With video, they can meet you and your staff before the work is done. Put your best face forward. The transparency of your company and the trust it instills in customers depends on it.

There are as many whys and ways to use video as there are websites. Every project I’ve done for the past two years has had a different twist. But one thing is certain: video has been the most added element to websites for the past two years.  Call me and let me show you the success stories.

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.

Pretty + Annoying =

The number one rule of multimedia: Let The User Control It. That means when you hit a website, you should not have to be assaulted with noise, music, or things that beep when you move your mouse. If you want to be, fine, you can turn it on. But the default should be OFF.

That goes, too, for those diminutive women and men who live just off the screen. Within seconds after landing on a new page, as you are trying to read text, or just figure out the navigation, one of them will invariably pop out from the side with a cheery, “Hi! “. If you do have your speakers on, it’s a bit disconcerting.; And if you have the speakers off, the model is usually walking right where you want to read.

They try and beg or cajole you with generic gobbledygook that says nothing about what I want to find out, or why I came to the website in the first place. I’m usually gone from that page within the first ten seconds.

The “Video Spokesmodel” is the spinning .gif of Web 2.0

I realize there are some business owners who prefer to remain hidden. Their website has no email address, and the About Us page is a collection of mission-statement speak that is foggy at best. So, in order to seem more like a REAL person (instead of a faceless website that is asking you to give up your money or your email address), they use a Video Spokesmodel as Lilliputian window dressing.

And it could damage their credibility even more.

When you put a face on your website, it should be YOUR face. Or at the very least, someone with whom I would be familiar if I were to buy from you.

Tell me your passion. I love to do business with people who love what they do. Show me what’s new in your world that could change my life. Take me behind the scenes to meet the heroes of your company. Let me hear from your Raving Fans about why their experience with you made them want to come back for more. Engage me.

Do that with your prospects, and they’re more likely to become customers.

Could I show you some examples?

That’s a wrap.

30 Days To Success With Website Videos

I am very pleased when one of my clients tells me about something that’s happened as a direct result of putting videos on their website. Consistently, something positive always happens in the first 30 days.

I produced a video for an executive recruiting firm. They had recently doubled their staff, and wanted to share their unique point of view, as well as getting more quality leads. They were thrilled with their video, and it went up immediately on their website, blog, Facebook page, and about a half dozen other social sites.

Within two weeks, they were contacted by a local TV news crew who wanted to do a story on them. They were perceived as a leader in their field, which is exactly where they wanted to be.

I did another video for a company who was already showing well in the search engines for “expert” in their specialized niche. In the first month, their website traffic had increased by 60%. To top it off, not only were they showing up on the first page of results for their keywords, but so was their video. And the views on their YouTube channel skyrocketed.

I started working with a new company just three months after it had been founded. We began producing a series of video blog posts. I have just learned that as a direct result of the videos, they landed $8000 in new business within the first 30 days.

These stories are not extraordinary. Not only does video jumpstart search engine results, but it also gives your prospects a reason to remember you.

In the future having videos on your website will be as commonplace as having buttons for navigation. Right now is the perfect time to start. By jumping in with both feet and using compelling, engaging video messages, you can lead the way in your category. It will garner results now, and the equity you build as an innovator, will pay off in the future.

–That’s a wrap.

Bad Video ; Empty Promises

I’ve probably blogged about this before, but everytime I see one of these sites, I just want to erect a barricade around it.  Crime Scene Tape if you will.

It’s those sites who tell you how important video is to your website (it is) and then proceed to tell you that they can put one together for you using stock photos and a voiceover. (they can, but it won’t do you any good)

To make matters worse, THEIR websites usually have the well-placed red text that screams “SIGN UP NOW!!” or “LIMITED TIME OFFER!!”  They do this for the same reason Cosmopolitan writes the kinds of headlines it does for its magazine: It’s An Impulse Item.

If you own a small business, since when is your marketing plan an impulse item?

Yes, you can find some very nice looking stock photos, then add text overlays and pretty music, and you have a nice BORING video.

Where does it connect with your customers, your prospects? Where does it engage that audience of people who are looking for exactly what you do?

There are companies that will promise you thousands of hits on your website if you will just buy their e-book or sign up for their monthly program.  Some of these same companies promise you thousands of Twitter followers if you will just pay them “x” number of dollars.

But listen to me: You don’t want thousands of hits to your website. The only ones you want are the ones that will BUY from you. Those are the ones who are already searching for you. They may know that they want the product that you sell, but maybe there are different features. Help them decide. Do THAT in a video that stars you.

Ask people to watch a video with only words spinning and scrolling, and to me, that’s tantamount to the web pages of old with their blinking text and spinning animated gifs.

And it doesn’t tell me who you are.

I want to buy from you. I want to do business with you. I want to feel like I already know you.  That’s what your prospects are saying.  How will you answer them?

A slide show doesn’t cut it.

–That’s a wrap.

6 Reasons Why You Need To Use Flash For Web Video, and 1 Reason Why You Don’t.

If you’re putting video on your website, you want as many folks as possible to watch it, right?  No matter if your viewer is using Windows, or Apple, they should be able to watch it quickly and without hassle.

There are more than a handful of multimedia formats, and some players don’t play them all.

I’m a PC – always have been; always will be.  Here’s something I didn’t know – not all Windows systems have Windows Media Player pre-installed. On the other hand, not all Apple machines have Quicktime pre-installed.  Windows Media won’t play Quicktime files. Quicktime doesn’t like Windows. But there’s one format, and one player that works with both operating systems.

When it comes to putting videos on your website, Adobe Flash has a lot going for it.

  1. The small file size means it loads quickly
  2. You can pre-set the buffer size, so it starts playing immediately
  3. It embeds easily into webcode
  4. You can determine how you want the player to look.
  5. You can view it full screen if you want
  6. Mobile devices are using it.  (It’s true, Flash doesn’t play well with the Iphone.  That’s why you also need an MP4 version of all your videos.)

Your website visitors don’t want to have to wait while a video downloads. Give them the experience they want, and the information they need, and they will actually spend a longer time on your site.  My average viewer spends almost four minutes on each page.  And there are effective and affordable video players which will even generate the code for you.  All you do is plug and play!

Do it now.  The longer you wait the further behind the curve you will be.  Video is not a craze.  It will become as ubiquitous as text and images are on websites.

–That’s A Wrap.