More than 91% of businesses use video as a marketing tool. Video is the most cost effective and fastest way to get your product in front of people. Videos are powerful for telling the stories about your business. People are also 52% more likely to share a video than an article. Search engines love content-rich pages, and videos are a big part of that.
Explainers or promos on the homepage, and also on About Us, or product and service pages add to the user experience. Career sections or support pages need videos, too.
How many videos should you have on your website? I’ve found that a minimum of three videos do the most for establishing credibility and authority. Of course, you can have more, but the rule of thumb is: wherever you place a video on your page, make sure you have some kind of text around it. It’s also helpful to add a duration. Telling the visitor how much time he will be investing is an engaging tool that actually helps your videos get more clicks.
Making sure that you have relevant, engaging content will keep visitors on your site longer. Clean presentation is also key. Oddly enough, the most important quality in video is – audio. If the sound is bad, or hard to hear, visitors won’t watch more than a few seconds. The second most important quality is lighting. Well-lit subjects are more watchable. And finally, the third most important quality is stabilization. Shaky camera moves do nothing to tell your story and keep viewers engaged.
Video cuts through the noise and captivates customers and prospects alike. It’s time to get that competitive edge and harness the power of video on your website.
The main thing to remember is to relax. I have worked with folks of all skill levels – from camera shy to professionals. I ‘m here to make the experience comfortable and fun.
After you and I have discussed the topic and the look of the video, I prepare a “shot list” of the scenes I’ll need to get. Some producers will “storyboard” the video – that is, do a rough drawing of each scene to use as a guide. Normally, I stay away from storyboards and leave an open mind for whatever possibilities may arise.
If our shoot time is , say 10 AM, I may arrive about 15 minutes early to start setting up equipment. Each video shoot is different, so the amount of gear I have to carry will change. On the minimal side, though, we’ll have a camera, a tripod, a couple of lights and light stands, and if needed, a teleprompter. Above all, we want to make sure the environment is both comfortable and efficient.
We want you to look good on camera. We use LED light panels that are diffused for a softer light and eliminates harsh shadows. We’re always happy to discuss any wardrobe issues you have. If we have not seen the space where we’re shooting, it may take a few minutes to ensure we have a clean set, displace objects that might be in the way, or move some around to add more visual interest.
We work hard to make sure everyone on camera sounds great. In some cases, though, fans, HVAC units, and telephone systems can cause unwanted background noise. We can temporarily address those before starting, or even in a pre-visit if we get the chance. We use different microphones, depending on the situation. Mostly, a small wired tie-clip mic will do the trick, but we also have a wireless version. Our shotgun mic is for non-static shots, or when we have to capture sound from a group of folks. We have even used a handheld mic with a custom mic flag that could include your logo.
If you need to deliver a script word for word, a teleprompter is your best option. Please don’t try to create any cue cards or notes that would cause you to look off camera. We need at least a day in advance to receive your script, and make it “teleprompter friendly” so you will have a comfortable time reading it. Last minute changes are acceptable, but then we must manually enter them on set. Reading from a teleprompter requires just a bit of practice. Fortunately, both the size and the speed of the text are controlable. The camera lens is covered with a one-way mirror which reflects the text so you can read normally while looking into the camera. While you don’t need to memorize the script, you should be familiar enough with it so you can move or use your hands as you would when speaking to one person. If you get hung up on a word, just pause, take a beat, and continue. We will either do another take, or we’ll record a “pick-up” where you start on the previous sentence and continue on.
THAT’S A WRAP
When your performance is completed, that’s when OUR work really begins. We transfer the footage to our editing workstation, make notes on the pieces we’re going to use, and start the editing process. The rule of thumb is that it takes between one to two hours of editing for every finished minute of footage. Post production usually includes some color adjustments, sorting through “B-roll” (the additional footage we shoot to tell your story), creating any on-screen text, images or effects. We always like to have a large, clean copy of your logo, which we will use either as a “bug” – a branding mark in a lower corner, or in your “lower third”, which is the banner that appears on the lower third of the screen showing your name and title. When editing is done, we’ll make a “first render” and show that to you so you can suggest any tweaks. After that, we make the final edits, and we’re done!
Here are 15 proven subjects for a business video:
1. Product videos show your product or service in action and explain how it works.
2. Explainer videos explain complex concepts or products in a clear and concise way.
3. Onboarding videos help new employees learn the ropes and get up to speed quickly.
4. Testimonial videos feature customers or clients talking about how your product or service has helped them.
5. Employee spotlight videos introduce your team members and show off their skills and personalities.
6. Behind-the-scenes videos take viewers behind the scenes of your business and show them what it’s like to work there.
7. Company culture videos showcase your company’s unique culture and values.
8. Product launches announce new products or services to your customers and followers.
9. Customer success stories share how your product or service has helped customers achieve their goals.
10. How-to videos show viewers how to do something related to your business.
11. Interviews with industry experts or thought leaders can provide valuable insights and information.
12. Panel discussions can be a great way to get different perspectives on a topic.
13. Conference presentations can help you share your expertise with a wider audience.
14. Virtual summits can be a great way to connect with other professionals in your field.
15. Live streams can be used to answer questions, provide updates, or simply connect with your audience.
These are just a few ideas to get you started. The most important thing is to choose a subject that is relevant to your business and that you think your audience will find interesting. We can provide even more ideas custom targeted to YOUR business.
–that’s a wrap!
Videos engage website visitors, and 86% or businesses say they’ve seen videos send profit to their bottom line. Are you wondering what kind of videos you should make? Here are the top six examples of engaging and profitable business videos you should be thinking about.
1. Demonstrations. How it works and functions, what problem it solves, why it’s important for your customer to be interested in it.
2. Training. How the product works, in detail. The consumer feels more confident in buying the product once they know all the ins and outs of its operation.
3. Testimonials. Current customers talk about how great and useful the product is.
4. Leadership. Showing that you are an expert in the field that you’re in. Earning respect and trust as a person who knows their stuff.
5. Teasers. Everything it says. You’re giving the consumer a little taste of what is awesome about the product to pique their interest later when you’re about to launch, when hopefully you’ve driven up the anticipation higher than it might have been without the tease.
6. Storytelling. The who and the why. Who is driving this forward? What is their story? And why are they creating this product?
I produce video for small business. Sometimes I have to be on camera myself, but I don’t really like it.
I meet a lot of folks in the same boat.
That’s why I’m offering a new series: A masterclass for people who hate being on video.
It’s a series with multiple parts, so watch each one (new ones are added on a regular basis) and see if these techniques help you feel more comfortable and help your performance.
Let me know what you think. Here’s the link to the YouTube playlist where all episodes will be added: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLIm6yWYuxCfE1x7VCUjCanKzznQ3VvQad
One of my website partners referred a longtime client to me. Of course, he wanted a video, BUT he was having a friend put something together for his business.
Then, he sent that to me.
In the entire video, his business name wasn’t even mentioned. There was also no call to action – the video simply ended. To top it off, his friend had found some stock footage of a man searching for something on his laptop. In that piece of stock footage, you could see – reflected in the man’s glasses – what he was searching for. It had nothing to do with the client’s business.
One of my products, #NoContact Video, Uses stock footage along with client-supplied photos to create a compelling 60 second video. The price is ultra affordable, so I sell a lot of those to companies where I can’t travel to shoot.
While my client had sent me some photos, I used those in a montage instead of inserting them directly into the video. Then, after a couple of hours searching for other footage I could use for his very specific industry, I rolled that in with some animated graphics that spoke to his features and benefits. Finally, I added a directed call to action.
My small business client loved it, and wanted to use it immediately. We’ll keep track of the number of views it gets and the amount of business it generates.
So just because you “know a guy”, it always pays to check in with a professional. The savings in time and hassles could be worth it.
–That’s a wrap. Ron Harper is the founder of Videos On Your Website, a Cincinnati digital marketing firm specializing in video web content for businesses. Read more at Videos ON Your Website.
Marketing is not a pinata. You don’t just keep swinging until you hit something.
Your message has to be targeted. If you’re selling more than one thing, or more than one service, your message must be about ONE thing. Otherwise, it will get lost.
Tell a story about that one thing. Show how your customer has benefited. Get away from talking about yourself. Stories sell. Granted, targeting a message can be hard. I once read an excerpt in a marketing book for entrepreneurs that said, “You should always write your own advertising. No one knows your product like you do.” But time and time again, I’ve seen small business owners completely miss the story they are trying to tell. They miss the emotional connection to their prospects.
Once, in a networking meeting, I was listening to a business owner talk about his concierge services, and all the different things he could do…book and pick up event tickets, find dinner reservations,etc. so that his customers wouldn’t have to spend hours in their car or on the phone. Afterward, I told him, “Just say you sell free time.” His mouth dropped open. He completely got it, and used that line from then on.
Often, someone outside your business can cut thru the fluff, and give you a message that will resonate with your audience.
I do that with video. I may talk to a client for an hour about his business, but the magic comes in the video editing, and constructing the story.
Are you just swinging and hoping you’ll hit someone with your marketing message? How’s that working for you?
If you can’t produce your own videos for your website, why not just find some others and embed them? Simple, right? Well, not exactly.
Many businesses have a dedicated “Videos” tab on their site for relevant content. Often, someone will curate video content from other sources and believe this is a valuable practice. But just as often it is fraught with problems. The image above is taken from a company website that has many videos embedded from YouTube under their “Videos” tab.
Can you see what’s wrong?
Somewhere along the way, the original content creator has removed the video, leaving blank spots with no content on the page.
Here’s why it’s not a good idea to use other folks’ videos:
1. You have no control over their content. And if their videos are monetized on YouTube, they could be showing an ad that is counter-productive to your business.
2. The videos may have a call to action or a link that takes visitors away from your website.
3. The practice really does nothing to help your Search Engine Optimization and get you found more often.
4. The best course of optimizing with videos is to have relevant content on all of your pages, especially on your About Us page. Videos under a dedicated tab may be overlooked by your visitors.
5. Google loves original content. That means videos specific to your business and your message with a few lines of text that compel the viewer to click and watch.
Business websites that use a “Videos” tab are often not updated frequently, so problems like the image above are missed for a long period of time.
Original, professionally produced video content is affordable and gives your business an advantage over the competition. Remember – if you use video, and they don’t: You Win!
–That’s a wrap.
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.