Why Use Video?
Since its invention, film has been used as an effective way to reach and influence the masses as a form of advertising; the most common of these being television commercials. With time it has naturally evolved and adapted to function in the digital age we currently live in. The current surge in household Digital Video Recorders in North America is steadily making TV commercials obsolete by providing the viewer with the option to simply fast-forward through them, thus turning TV advertising budgets into an unnecessary expense. For that reason many companies are switching their focus to the Internet. Currently approximately 37% of Internet usage is made up of video streaming.
There is one main reason of why video is important to use.
• Because it sells. That’s it. There is no other reason.
Facts about the importance and benefits of video
1. According to a study by the (University of Pennsylvania) Wharton school of Business, prospects are 72% more likely to purchase a product or service when video is used and they make their buying decisions faster. After seeing a video, most prospects will have a greater understanding of the subject or product.
89 percent of consumers will review a video the same day it is received, and about 94 percent of those people will share it with a friend or relative. Industry reports suggest the response rates for video promotions are six times greater than those for printed direct mail pieces.
2. “Video brochures” (or business card DVD’s) have a high-perceived value so they rarely get tossed like a lot of junk mail. People also tend to keep them and pass them along to friends. Most people will watch a marketing video in its entirety – out of curiosity, if nothing else.
3. Video can help present a consistent message every time for every viewer. Put forward a consistent orientation, training, sales, or marketing message to enable wider audiences and on demand viewing.
4. Video is affordable. It’s no longer just for large corporations. A carefully scripted 2-3 minute video can be more effective and convey as much information as a stack of printed materials.
5. Video can help you reach markets that live training or sales people can’t reach. Video helps you deliver your message to smaller market segments that may never be able to afford your live training services or markets to far away to reach.
6. Filmmaking and its offspring, video, has become the most powerful communications tool of the last 100 years. Video on the Internet is growing quickly, and viewing content online has actually surpassed traditional TV viewing.
7. Some videos are powerful sales devices in themselves. You’ve probably seen the exercise machine commercials that offer a free video. Bowflex sells a $2,000 exercise system. The free video they send to prospective customers cost $6.50 each, but nearly half of those who view the DVD order a system.
8. Video can show your product or service in action, something brochures can’t do. You could have one or more actual customers being filmed using your product or even stage a re-creation. In either case you want to show the real benefits of using your product.
9. Even though your video may be produced for one or two primary uses, you’re likely to find many other uses for this same video. Your video can be used in trade shows, one-on-one sales calls, shown to groups, or streamed over the Internet from your website. It can be used to attract investors and for other uses. Have the video designed so it can be easily updated to include new products, services and people without redoing the entire video.
10. Video can help a relatively small company look like a much larger national or international firm. You could film some of your suppliers or customer’s businesses. You could show your products (or services) being manufactured and used.
11. Video can be a perfect way to explain a complex process or technical product where the inner workings are hidden from view. Using computer generated graphics or an animation can clearly explain how a product or process works.
12. Video is a cost-effective way to sell or train people on products that require a demonstration in order to be sold or serviced, especially for products that are expensive to move or demonstrate.
13. Video is an ideal way to give “virtual tours” of your organization. By using close-ups and careful lighting you can put your best foot forward, and the viewer doesn’t have to see anything you don’t want them to see. Highlight those aspects of your organization that are most important to your customers such as quality control or pride of workmanship.
14. One reason video is such a powerful medium is because it involves the viewer’s emotions. Remember, motion helps create emotion. The ability to reach an audience with images and sound can be incredibly persuasive. The combination of sights and sounds appeals both to those who learn visually and to those who respond more to auditory learning styles.
15. “Before and after” shots are another way to use video. For example, a company that restores water wells used “before and after” video shots that dramatically demonstrate how their patented system improved the clarity of the water. These “before and after” shots can be the most effective way to concisely express the benefits of your product or service.
There are two purposes of videos that are important to business owners and entrepreneurs.
• Relationship videos– this is a type of video that says what’s new, how to, or generally reaching out.
• Sales videos – this needs to direct people to do something.
• How To Videos are immensely popular and can drive a lot of traffic to your website / blog. Your video can be extensive or just present a few simple tips, like a landscaper who demonstrates the proper way to prune a bush or plant bulbs.
• Promotional Videos don’t have to use high-end production techniques like you’d find in a TV ad. Your promotional videos can simply explain your services and the benefits of working with your company. When someone is passionate about their work it shows, and your passion increases the chances that your target audience groups will want to hire you. Sometimes they just need to see you in action.
• Information Sharing Videos capture the spirit of helpfulness that pervades many blogs and the Social Web. If you don’t like to write, try creating a video blog post. If you do like to write, mix it up once in awhile and share information in a video post. Effectively educating your audience is good business as well as a public service. A lawyer might use video to explain one point of law in understandable English, or a financial advisor might pronounce and explain “fiduciary responsibility” to establish their expertise and connect with potential clients.
• Outreach Videos offer a great way to reach out to specific communities that share a common cause or interest and videos are a great (shareable) way to get the word out and create buzz about an event. For example, a freelance health writer and advocate might use video to promote a fund-raising event for a specific health issue on Facebook or their own blog. The video can be as simple as photo montage with music.
• Testimonial Videos can bring both project and praise to life. Don’t forget that you can also create video testimonials for services or products.
Formula to create great video
• Who are you? What’s your title? Why should they be listening to you? Introduce yourself like you do with your sixty second, or elevator speech.
• What makes your product or service special? Do you offer free shipping, secure check out? How do you make the purchase decision easier?
• List 2 – 3 benefits, sign up for E-zines, free reports, free CD or DVD, free teleseminar or whatever. There is a difference between a feature and a benefit. A benefit is something that they can use. I’m going to give you this, so that ….(you can get this) A benefit is not more life, more money or more freedom. Get deeper, be specific about what it is that they will learn or get.
• “The trigger” or “The call to action”. Give them something specific to do at the end of watching your video. The interactive link, the add to cart button, sign up now option or “Thank you for watching, sign up for my free report” Get more people into your funnel!
Well, I must tell you something these are not my words, but they are great words of wisdom when it comes to shooting video… Great video sells, bad video repels! Remember that. Video must be clear, sharp, high quality and sound great. Nothing is worse than video that looks bad. That is why it is important to get the right equipment and it does not have to be expensive to acquire.
Video Camera – You do not have to go out and buy the big expensive Sony HDV pro camera to achieve the quality that you need for these type of videos. You can use the consumer level pocket video cameras that you can find in your local Target/Walmart store. Many people use the Flip because it’s easy to use and the HD quality is good. But don’t forget that I mentioned the importance of sound, and sound is 40% of what makes a video good, or bad. So that’s why I recommend the Kodak sport/play touch. It is comparable in pricing, quality and functionality. Except it has one great advantage. It has a port to put an external 1/8 jack microphone into. You can connect a lapel microphone to this camera and record good sound. Kodak also makes a version that is water proof. You can take this camera under water. I wouldn’t go diving with it, but I do have the peace of mind that getting it wet is safe. So, anyway, this camera is great.
Microphone– Again, sounds is very important. You yourself know that listening to the video of the guy sitting at his computer using his web camera bores you from the moment you here the tin can sound. You can get a lapel mic from your local radio shack for 24 dollars. Or amazon.com has them available too.
Lighting- If you are not outside, with natural lighting, you must use a light. Without light your video will appear grainy. The proper term is noise. You cannot get enough light from the lamp, or the overhead lighting wherever you are. Above lighting creates shadows on faces, and you want to look your best. So go to the local hardware store and get some lights. Preferably two lights aimed at the subject at 45 degree angles. Painters lights are great for this, caution though, they do get hot so be safe with them.
Tripod – use an inexpensive tripod that you can get again from Walmart, or Target. The standard tripod will work on the Kodak sport/play touch video camera.
Back ground– Make sure there is nothing going on or moving in the back ground. Video in a quite area and make sure that there are no distractions.
You should be able to get all these items for no more than 225.00
Shooting Video – Keep these things in mind
Your final video does not need to mimic TV / movie production quality, but at the same time you want to end up with a steady shot, clear visuals, and understandable clear audio. It’s important to shoot the best video possible from the start– so pay attention to the lighting, and minimize background noise as much as you can. Video quality will be shaped by the environment, but you won’t always have a lot of options for your location so just do the best you can.
Set-up Takes Time so you should plan on taking a few minutes to set-up and test any equipment before each shoot.
Place your subject thoughtfully and remember that everyone wants to look good on camera. Photographers and videographers will tell you that people always look better when the camera is higher than the subject so that the shot angles slightly down. When it comes to composing a seated shot, you will often want to frame the top half of the subject in the viewfinder and then zoom in so that they fill up much of the screen.
Avoid reflective surfaces whenever possible.Watch out for glass, mirrors, and shiny surfaces when you are setting up a video in the field—they will reflect surroundings, passersby, and occasionally the person shooting the video as well.
Everything Takes Time Be patient—it takes time to get comfortable in front of or behind the video camera, and the benefits of adding video to your business web presence are worth the effort. When video brings your work to life, current and potential clients will be drawn to you even as you enhance your business reputation. What’s not to love about that story?
Offer reviews and tutorialsThis should be a no-brainer. Lots of your customers are likely visual learners. If they have a problem setting up your product or getting it to do what they want, they’re going to have an easier time figuring it out by watching you explain it, than simply by reading. And that makes video a really great way to help solve their problems and make yourself useful. Video reviews and tutorials help people see your product in a way they can’t on online. They have videos on everything from how to reset your Iphone to how to use your phone as a wifi hotspot. It’s super helpful for users. It builds trust that later leads to conversions.
Highlight what makes you uniqueSmall business owners have great stories. There’s a reason and a passion behind your business and something in you that drives why you do what you do, how you do it. Share that! Bring people in and highlight what it is that makes your company stand out among your competition. By sharing it and telling your story in your own words and with your own mannerisms, you give people something to connect with and relate to. You make them more interested in who you are and they can put a name and a mission behind an otherwise cold brand. There’s something about listening to someone tell you why it is they love what they do that makes you want to do business with them. Passion is as contagious as giggles.
Show your product in action If a picture is worth a thousand words than I can’t even calculate how much a video is worth to visitors. Sometimes it’s hard to get a feel for exactly what a product does by simply looking at images or reading site copy. People want to see it in action. And that’s where video comes in. Use video to take your product out into the wild so that customers can see how it works in everyday use. They’ll see its dimensions, how easy it is to use, how attractive it looks, etc. It will work to give them a much better idea as to how valuable it can be to them or why they need one.
Introduce your office One of the biggest struggles small business owners have is gaining street creditability. Some customers are fearful of getting involve with Web-based small businesses because they don’t trust they’ll be around tomorrow. They worry that if there’s a problem with their order they’ll have no one to contact. By creating videos that introduce your employees, which give people a tour of your office space or that show you doing what you do every day, you help ease those fears. You show people that there is life behind your Web site and that you can be trusted. I think this is one of the biggest benefits of video for SMBs.
Customer testimonials Creating customer testimonials or providing real-life videos of customers actually USING your product is another great way to show off your product and increase interest. It’s pure social proof that seeing other people enjoying a product causes others want to make the same investment. It also helps give customers an idea of what the product looks and feels like, better than your Web site can. Video works great for selling on the Web.
Expect to trim the beginning and the end of the video or to combine several videos into one, you don’t may not have the skills to do much else, but that’s okay. Microsoft Movie Maker or Apple iMovie® make it easy to add photos and music, but you will need to own the rights to those photos and songs or get permission for anything you use. More complex video editing is time consuming and takes a lot of skill.
Use your branding in the video, incorporate your logo, music (with no lyrics) and a bottom tag into your video (your website address)
You can find royalty free music from many sources, shockwaveaudio.com, is one source that you can use for free.
Use icons and graphics to enhance your video there are many sources out there, just google whatever you need, here is one freeiconsweb.com
Just remember to use your content or content that you have permission to use.
What to do with video and where do my videos live?
Now that your video is created with your windows movie maker, or Mac Imovie, which is great! Macs are wonderful and far superior in the audio visual world. I use Final Cut, but that is a pro level product and not necessary for do it yourselfers.
1. Record presentations. Lots of small business owners pride themselves in being active in their communities. They speak at their local chamber of commerce, they offer training classes, and they seek out opportunities to share knowledge wherever they can. If that’s you, why not ask for permission to record these presentations? You may not always get a ‘yes’ from the organizers, but when you do, it will give you a great video to post on your site. These videos act as strong testimonials and help portray you as an expert in what you do. They’re also great training tools for potential customers who will find the video via search and may even open the door to future speaking opportunities. Take video events and turn them into products. If you have a video of a speaking engagement, use it as a product. If you have an audio of teleconference, you can use pictures on the audio and sell it as a product as well.
2. Plan to host your videos on an external service rather than on your website, and then embed the video itself on your site. Video hosting services handle increased bandwidth needs and streaming requirements more seamlessly than most small websites ever will—so use ‘em!
3. So where do you host them? In the past I was leery about using YouTube. I didn’t want to lose my audience to the video of “A Cat on a trike” or something like that. So depending on my client’s interest, I would put the videos in many different places, Audioacrobat, Viddler, Vimeo, facebook, Google video, and a host of others. But now, I have changed my mind about not using YouTube. With the marriage of YouTube, and Google,(the number one search engine), there is a benefit that outweighs any concern I had about other videos that pop up after my video plays. And there is a way around having other videos pop up after your video ends. I’ll talk more about that in a moment. Here’s a stat for you: YouTube is the second largest search engine on the Web with 2billion views a day, that’s right, two billion. Every minute of a 24 hour period, content is being uploaded to YouTube. And contrary to popular belief, it’s not all just silly cat videos and adolescents injuring themselves. Your customers turn to YouTube’s search bar every day to look for how-to’s, product reviews, and other information about the companies and brands that interest them. And even when they don’t turn to YouTube, Google is using Universal Search elements to put the videos in traditional search. Video is everywhere and it’s what people want. The number one reason for using YouTube to house your videos is the wonderful feature of tagging your video. If you are familiar with Search Engine Optimization, you understand this important step. Also tagging your video properly will reduce the possibility of the cat on a trike to come up after your video ends. Tags are descriptive words tied and related to the content of your video. Using proper keywords, YouTube can then recommend the video on your behalf to people viewing other videos with tags in common to yours. For example, if you own an organic food store and have health food as one of your tags, if someone is watching videos about following a healthy diet which also have health food as a tag, YouTube can recommend your video as something they might also be interested in, in turn directing them to your “channel” where they can see all your videos. “Channels” are a kind of homepage for registered users which holds all the videos they have uploaded. To get the most out of video storage create your own YouTube channel. If you populate your channel with videos, (and you should be creating videos about many different things as the expert in your field) your videos will list first, and the chances of other videos popping up is now greatly decreased. As far as reaching a specific market and getting people to actually view your posts, YouTube can help with that too. The simplest way is to link your account to other websites or even embed the video directly onto a blog.
So what about the other places that the house videos that I mentioned? Well they should be used as well. It is important to put your videos in any place that you can. It seems to be a daunting task to upload the video to the many sources out there, but there is a way around that. It’s called Tubemogul.com Tube mogul, is a company that does the uploading to all the major video sources that you choose.
4. Use the video in your email. An effective way to market to people is to create a video, and embed it in your email. I recommend a brief statement that explains the purpose of the video, and give people the chance to view it.
5. Make a business card DVD. This style DVD should be one of excellence and you use it to send to people. This should be of great quality, I definitely recommend you to ditch the flip for this one.
6. Direct mail DVD, this is similar to the business card style DVD, but its purpose is mailing it directly to homes or businesses.
Video is the way to go for sure. It will definitely set you apart from the others and allow you to attract the clients that you want.
Good luck and have fun shooting. After all of this, those family clips that you have will be in running for a golden globe.