Business Videos are Serious Business

Business Videos are Serious Business Nationwide Video Productions and MarketingVideo shorts of subversive cats and gullible dogs may be grist for a few good laughs and social media postings but as a business owner, unless you are in the pet business, these are probably not the type of videos you would want to put up on your website.

Make no mistake about it.

VIDEO IS SERIOUS BUSINESS.

And … business should be serious about video.  Just putting up a video of your business on your website increases the chance of showing up on Google’s page one by 53 times (that is TIMES not percentage) so it makes sense to give some thought as to what you want to say and show.

Business videos do not need to be epic in nature nor the next viral wonder on YouTube for them to be an effective marketing tool for you.   A video will work hard for you for months and even years to come.  Here are five types of videos that are proven to work for any business.

 

Company Product or Profile.  Short, sweet and to the point.  Tell them who you are and what you do

Testimonials.  Let your customers do the selling for you by talking about their experiences working with you.

Product demos.  If you sell a product show it off.  Consumers who watch a video about a product are 52% less likely to return it after making the purchase.

Employee Profiles.  Put a human face on your company and let employees’ passion come through to your customers.

Video News Releases.  Take the standard press release to the next level with a short video message about the news and why it’s important.

Don’t worry if you’re a bit camera shy.  You don’t have to be an actor.  You don’t have to be a GQ man or a Vogue model.  You don’t even have to be a good speaker.  What you do have to be is marinated in your business to the point that you know each and every nook and cranny  of what makes it tick, so that you can speak about what it is that you do with knowledge, integrity and authenticity.   No one knows your business like you do.  Your honesty and likeability come through and we know that people like to do business with those they know, like and trust.

Our videographers know that sometimes people feel awkward in front of a camera; they’re experts at  putting you at ease … and if you feel that you’ve flubbed a take or two, well no worries we’ll just make that a take three, or four or more!

And now for a little bit of entertainment

Ace the Interview Video Shoot

Preparing for the Interview Video

 

Nationwide Video - VJ Shooting an Interview Video

The interview video, also referred to as a profile video, is the perfect video format for you to shine. This is your opportunity to spotlight that which differentiates your business from your competitors and market to your niche.

Its show time.  Make the most of it.

Yet often it is the business owner that is most reluctant to be in the starring role of the company video.  The major objection seems to be  “I don’t photograph well”  followed by “I don’t feel comfortable in front of a camera” opting out instead for a professional actor to deliver the message.

There is a time and place for actors in business videos, but when it comes to having a profile video done on your company, it is you, the owner,  that should be featured front and center, no ifs, buts or maybe’s.  Your voice, your message, your FACE are key to authentic messaging and building trust with your customers.

So take a deep breath and relax.  A little bit of preparation and a few tips will make the video shoot fun instead of fearful.

 

1.   Pre-Production

Step one usually means filling out a simple four or five step process  Provide information to the producer assigned to your shoot:

– Who is the point of contact
– Address of the shoot
– Date of shoot
– Information about your business – the more the better. This will help the producer in building out the video.
–  Name and position of each person that will be speaking in the video
–  Questions that you want to address in the video
–  Three points that absolutely need to be covered, shots that need to be included in the video, e.g. Awards of Excellence

Press SEND and its on its way to the producer.

 

2.  Shoot Preparation

It’s our job to make you look good.  The magic of editing and careful sound bite selection will make you look polished and professional. Nationwide Video - espresso coffee Here are some tips that will make the shoot flow like good wine:

– Wear clothes that represent you and make you feel comfortable
– Do not wear solid red, white or black, although accents in these shades are OK
– Avoid small checkers, thin strips and herringbone patterns
– Avoid shiny or noisy jewelry
– Ensure that eyeglasses are free of fingerprints and smudges or remove if possible.
– Make sure your hair is combed and your clothes are ironed properly
– Wearing slightly heavier makeup is recommended however heavy mascara can look  unflattering
under studio lights
– The videographer will go review interview questions  with you prior to shooting
– A good interview video is built around a strong interview, if you don’t like the way you answered a question request to answer it again.

Relax.  Enjoy a cup of coffee!

 

3.  The Video

When the raw footage has been edited you will be able to review it before final approval.  When viewing it for the first time its important to relax and watch the video from beginning to end. What is your first impression?  Remember most viewers will see it only once so try to view it from their perspective

 

4. Check Details Carefully

Now its time to think like an editor.  Watch and listen carefully.  Stop and review sections as much as you want.  Check the following areas carefully:

–  Is everything spelled correctly
–  Is the dialogue easy to hear with the background music
–  Are the images and logos in the correct places
–  Do you like the background music, does it set the right mood
–  Do you like everything that’s said in the video, are there any quotes you’d like excluded
–  How did the interview sound,  did the speaker hit the mark
–  Do you like everything that is shown in the video, are there any images you’d like included or excluded.

It’s that simple.  Different types of videos will have some variables but most will follow the above format.

Smile. It’s your interview video, your business, your message.  Above all, have fun!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Location Shoots Add Dynamics

Nationwide Video Productions - location shootThere may be a time and place for studio shoots but when it comes to producing business videos I’ll take location shoots over studio any time.

Why?

You just can’t beat the dynamics.  Let’s look at some of them.

Authenticity

This is real show time – there is nothing that is staged, stilted or cosmetically enhanced.  The visitor is taken on a tour of the business, often introduced by the owner.  Whether the location is a dental office or a manufacturing plant you just can’t replicate the feel and ambiance of the business in a studio.

I also like it when the commentary is done by and in the words of the “host” be that  the owner or a key employee of the company.  This is your business, this is what you do, it is your story and no one can tell it with the same depth of passion and conviction than you can because your message is born of personal experience and knowledge and that spells AUTHENTICITY and trust.

No doubt you’ve seen the studio jobs.  Yes, they can be impressive.  Lighting, slide show dynamics, b-roll looping in the background and a professional spokesperson delivering your message.  It may look professional but there is no getting around the fact that it looks staged and often comes across stilted.

Location trumps studio in the authenticity department every time.

 

Relationship BuildingNationwide Video Productions - Location Shoots

Let’s face it business is a relationship deal and this is particularly important in the small and medium business market – you know, before you become a national brand, before the big time contracts are sealed, before your logo is recognized and is known what it stands for – before all of that happens you have to develop strong relationships with your customers.

And, in today’s fickle world, relationship building is more important than ever before.  Video influences discovery and engagement and it is expected that by 2014 90% of internet traffic and 66% of all mobile data will be video – what better way then than to begin your relationship with your customers right here and right now, from your own location in your own words.

Engage your online visitors with your story, show them what your restaurant looks like not just up front, but behind the scenes where the dishes are prepared, the cleanliness, and the care  and pride with which the server delivers the masterpiece.

Location is equally important whether it is to show the hustle and bustle of your kitchen or how state of the art technology is utilized in your widget manufacturing plant.  People like to know more about the businesses they support and the people who run those businesses.

 

Nationwide Video Productions - Location ShootsHome Turf Advantage

You know the old saw about he who hosts calls the shots, or in this case, the shoot.

Let’s be honest here.  A video shoot can be somewhat unnerving, especially if this is a new experience for you.  Selecting to do the shoot at a location of your choice implies by default that you are familiar with and are comfortable in its surroundings as you have a degree of control over the environment.

The camera is master at picking up on nuances, the expression, the perhaps less than perfect but nonetheless honest delivery, and the ease with which you move about your shop or plant makes the viewer feel like a welcome guest.  All this helps to build authenticity, trust and lay the foundations for relationship building as well as confer authority and leadership in your industry – all dynamics which can’t be replicated in a studio.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Online Video Works Hard for Your Business

Lights Camera Action!

You’ve made the decision!  You’ve told your staff.  An undercurrent of excitement prevails.  The date, time and location of the shoot for your online video has been scheduled.

Excellent.   Now what?

Plan

Online Video PlanVideo should be part of your overall marketing plan, an engagement tactic to support your goals.
Don’t worry about the shoot.  Your video production company will work with you and build out your video.  From the outset to completion a dedicated producer will be your key contact and organize all coordinates with the least amount of disruption to your day to day business activities.

What you do need to do is some planning.  Goals need to be identified.  What is the job of the video?  I know, more business.  But more business is a little more intricate than a “Come to My Store and Buy” video playing somewhere on the internet and hopefully on someone’s computer or smart phone.

Here are some points to consider when setting  your goals.

Produce

online video productionIt is important to know what results you want from your video.  Is your primary goal to raise awareness of your business on the internet or perhaps to further promote and embed your brand in the eyes and minds of the public?  Is it to increase traffic to your site?  To generate leads? To generate sales?  Success metrics would be different for each goal.

As an example If your online marketing consists primarily of a website and not much more then there is plenty to do before the cash register is likely to start ringing.  Raising your virtual profile is critical to your online marketing success.  Having a video produced for your business is a powerful marketing tool with which to raise that awareness.  It can be marketed across all channels – YouTube and other video marketing portals, on your site, with social media, in your newsletters and email marketing campaigns.  Most importantly establish your success metrics.  If your website currently gets 1000 visitors a month, what would be your success “metric” look like?  Within what time frame?

On the other hand an established and well known business may want to support its brand and reputation in its marketplace.  Online video marketing for such a business may be all about eyeballs, that is how many eyes actually saw the video?   Take a well know brand such as Channel.  Their interest may lie more in viewership as a way to reinforce its reputation and cache in the luxury goods market.

 

Promote

online video marketingUse your goals as criteria for the type of video you want produced.  Oftentimes, a business will decide to have several shorts produced, usually between 30 and 60 seconds.  This is a very powerful marketing strategy and can have several of your goals being juggled in the air at the same time.

Whatever your choice, be sure that your producer is aware of your goals and have a marketing strategy and a solid plan in place to put it in play.  It’s the smart way to make your online video work for you and your business.

 

 

Scripted or Non Scripted? Yes

Scripted or non scripted video?Black or white?  Scripted or Non Scripted?  Is it the front or the back of the penguin?  Does someone read a script or do you speak naturally, in your own words?

The scripted vs non scripted battle lines have long been drawn.  I often speak with video producers who cut their teeth in film and the idea of a non scripted video is not only foreign to them but total anathema.

OK. Let’s just spend a little bit of time here.  In the TV industry where actors live and die by the scripts they are given, their ability to memorize, internalize and deliver with passion and believability, it obviously makes sense.

Lately however, it is the non scripted reality shows that are attracting viewers like nails to a magnet .  Why?  The viewing audience vicariously lives through the challenges and foibles of the cast who in their day to day grind are ordinary folk, just like you and me.  We cheer them and we jeer them, and we do so mostly because we can relate to the cast of characters, if it’s not us we know someone just like that.  Relevancy.

In video production and marketing the scripted and non scripted messages each have a different role to play.  For example, an ad is best scripted.   Wording is important.  Keywords must be used in just the right places and the message crafted in such a manner that the viewer is prompted to take action.  Let script writing professionals do their job and have a professional voiceover artist deliver the message with the proper emphasis and tonality. It just makes sense.

On the other hand when it comes to profile videos the non scripted message comes across as more authentic.

Granted a business profile is not as dynamic as a reality show, but some of the elements of one should be incorporated.  I like to look at a business profile as an unscripted story that is being told to a colleague, a potential partner or to an existing or future customer.  It should be a natural conversation between the speaker and the listener and after all, who knows the business better?  What its strengths are?  What differentiates the business from its competitors?  What makes the product so special?  The service so outstanding?  The culture so exemplary?

When people speak in their own words on that which they know a lot about, the message comes across as sincere, honest and authentic.  In short it packs a lot of credibility.  No pro acting here, the words are the language of the business, the body talk not learned but natural.  The viewer becomes engaged and trust begins to build.

Let’s look at some instances where non-scripted messages might do their best work.

The CEO may not only want speak about their state of the art farm machinery but that the company has been a family business for more than 70 years, having been started by his grandfather in a workshop behind the cow barn to now being a full throttle manufacturing plant employing thousands of people.

The VP Sales may want to speak about their newest model, explaining what improvements have been made and what that means to the farm in improving efficiencies and cost savings.

The Production Manager may want to talk about the state of the art manufacturing plant and perhaps showcase the manufacturing of this new model.

In all these instances if the person speaking had to either memorize or read from a scripted message it would be stilted and about as engaging as dead piece of wood.

The options are many.  What I strongly recommend is that business owners resist the temptation to hire models as their spokespeople in their profile videos.  They may look good and speak well but the passion is flat and any eye contact with the audience is artificial and vacuous.

Whether you are a dentist, a lawyer or run a major corporation, this is your reality show … no script needed, no one can tell your story like you.

Tell Your Story With a Profile Video

A profile video is the best way to introduce customers to your business.  Engaging, informative and promotional, a profile tells the story of your business and what sets it apart from others.

profile videoJust like you, your business has more than just one side to it: there is the beginning, the success, your people, the products and services and the loyal customers that keep coming back year after year.  This is a story worth telling on video. Breaking it up into several shorts is more effective than one lengthy narrative.

 

General Overview

This should be your flagship video, promoted everywhere; on your site, on the net, in your newsletters, in your email campaigns, on the tradeshow floor, in social media and on other distribution channels.  This format is extremely effective when the owner or CEO is the spokesperson along with perhaps a key employee or partner.

Some people are reluctant to put themselves on video because they feel that they are not skilled at the art of speaking, or are simply uncomfortable in front of the camera.

Don`t let that stop you or sell yourself short.  It is exactly the fact that you may not be a silver tongued orator or sport movie star killer looks endear you to the public.  You want your personality to come through.   An awkward but sincere message lends credibility and authenticity to your message and most importantly your audience finds it easy to relate to you and your business.

 

Profile

Tell the world in your own words why your products or services (or both) shine above the rest.  If yours is a manufacturing company, take your viewer to the factory floor, show them how the product is manufactured, include some of your employees and perhaps your foreman can speak to the finer points of your product.

 

The Ad

This type of video is a tightly scripted message with a call to action.  At Nationwide Video Productions we include your choice of a professional male or female voiceover artist.  Maybe you are introducing a new product and want to tell all your customers about it, perhaps you have an introductory special, or want to ramp up sales at a time of year when things are typically slow in your industry.  Nothing says it better than a video.

 

Testimonials

Your business has its own slew of raving fans.  Don`t keep it a secret.  Customer testimonials on video are more powerful and effective than text. Honor your best customers and ask if they would be willing to do a shoot – you’d be surprised at how happy they are to accept … after all, it is all about lights, camera and action!  Wow, Hollywood right on your own backlot!

Sometimes all videos can be shot in one location – and sometimes not.  As in the example of a manufacturer, oftentimes the plant is in a different city or even state from the home office and your best customers may live in your town or in a city clear across on the other side of the country.  Our continent wide network of professional videographers means that we employ local talent on each shoot thus saving on travel costs, savings that we pass on to you.

 

You Want a Video

Video is one of the most powerful marketing tools that you can employ for your business.  Whether yours is a brick and mortar fashion boutique, a resort in the Rockies or a public company with gold mines scattered worldwide the verdict is in:

You want a videoYOU WANT A VIDEO!

WHY?

The reasons are many, but perhaps the most compelling is that hands down, it is by far the biggest bang for your buck as not only can a video be marketed in multitudes of ways, but the results are trackable and provide hard statistics with real ROI figures against the initial cash outlay.

Video is one of the most powerful marketing tools that you can employ for your business.  What are some of the ways that video can be marketed?

 

Website
Having video on your website increases the chance of a front page Google result by 53 times (Forrester). Let me repeat that: 53 times not percent!  That’s HUGE!  It’s 5300%.

That’s pretty astounding if you ask me.

YouTube
Initially designed as a video-sharing website where people could upload their videos to share with friends and family, YouTube has evolved into a powerful search engine of it’s own accord as people search for relevant video content  relative to a keyword of interest to them, i.e., “trail biking” “keep fit” “Hawaii Hotels” or perhaps for sheer enjoyment “funny cat videos.”   YouTube is now second only to Google as a search engine.

Video Directories
While YouTube tops the list of sites you want to upload your video to, there are plenty of others such as Vimeo, Viddler, Brightcove and of course, Google.

Social Media
Facebook and Twitter jump to the forefront of the list of social media sites to which to post videos.  Great way to go viral as friends and followers share and tweet your latest release to their own friends and followers.

Email Marketing
Add video to your newsletters, email marketing campaigns and as part of your outgoing email signature.

Tradeshows
Showcase your new products, press releases and special offers to the trade on the TV monitor in your booth.

Technology has leveled the playing field for everyone.  Small and medium sized businesses can now  have professional videos produced and promoted at a fraction of what it would have cost just a few years ago.