Tag Archives: small business

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.)

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.

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.

Help With Video In Your Email

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 3. 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 (4:18) Link to transcript

The 1 Thing You Should Do For Your Business This Year

Charm City Cakes. Antique Archeology, The Gold And Silver Pawn Shop, Duck Commander. Recognize any of these?  They are all small businesses who got big by being on TV. And while those businesses are profiting from their own reality exposure, look at Amy’s Baking Company in Scottsdale Arizona, who developed a booming business for having the most embarrassing and customer un-friendly episode in history.

What if your business could have its own TV show? You could. Actually, you should.

The good news is: you don’t need the drama those shows thrive on in order to be compelling and watchable. If you know, or can find out, what your customer base needs, you have your subject matter. Use your personality to make it interesting. Do product demos, talk to your staff, heck, talk to your customers!

It doesn’t have to be completely serious. If you’re a business that has fun, show that. Have your customers interview each other. Do on the street demonstrations…what will you come up with?

Is it easy? No.

Will it keep you in the minds of your prospects? Absolutely!

I’m so excited about the upcoming roll out of my new video series and all of the episodes I have planned.

Let me know if I can help in planning YOUR new TV show too.

–that’s a wrap.

5 Ways To Get More Sales With Business Videos

Everyone is watching. Have you noticed? Everyone is watching more videos online. So if you’re in business – whether it’s B2B or B2C, you need to inside video in your marketing strategy.

1. Do you need “face time” with your prospects to turn them  into customers? Start with video. No matter who you are, when someone is referred to you, 8 times out of ten they go online to check you out.  Videos give you that face to face meeting you need, and it works 24/7.

2. Before my wife buys and, she researches like crazy. When you make that easy by showing demonstrations or enhancing your expertise, you also make it easier to buy. You make it easy for a customer to become comfortable doing business with you. 65% of folks watch a video before deciding to buy.

3. Tell your customers what they need to know. Most folks would rather watch than read. We remember more of what we see and hear. Engaging business videos can entertain and educate. Last year, I did a series of videos for a product that could eliminate odors. There were so many uses, we had an endless supply of ideas. We highlighted it in a smelly refrigerator and a baby’s bottom.

4. Build trust. Answer questions. Give value so customers understand more about your product sooner. In radio and television it takes a message 3 to 5 repeating plays before its gist sinks in. That’s the frequency in “reach and frequency.” But website videos for business help convert prospects to customers. Unlike broadcast, you don’t pay each time the message is played. And if there’s anything the viewer doesn’t understand, they can playback just that section.

5. Videos last and last. Your strategy for writing and producing videos for your business should be long term as well. Not only that, but older videos can be repositioned with new titles and tags or new body copy on the page. The use of YouTube’s annotations is a cool way of adding information or a new call to action.

Remember, the use of video on business websites grows every day. Be an early adopter in your category if possible. When you have videos on your website, and your competition doesn’t…you win.

— 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

YouTube? You Should!

Every January, Las Vegas hosts the Consumer Electronics. Show. The CES is where new and just thought of gadgets make their debut. It is also a lively conversation on current trends. Here are some facts about YouTube that came out of a session at this year’s CES.

>>YouTube now reaches more adults than any network. ANY network. So says Neilsen whose job it is to measure things like that.

>>100 hours of new content is uploaded to YouTube every minute. That’s more than four days every sixty seconds.

And the most watched videos? Authentic. Content that is about something very specific. If you have a niche, you should be telling your story with video. And you should also put that video on YouTube.

It’s watchable, it’s searchable, and its shareable.

Yes you should YouTube. Because if you don’t, your competition will.

–that’s a wrap.