Business Video Production Hacks
How to Think Like a YouTuber
Think Video First and Produce a Ton of it.
Your Business Depends on it.
Author: Peter Matejcek
Table of Contents
- AUTHORS NOTE; HOW I GOT HERE, HOW I FELL INTO VIDEO, AND WHY I WROTE THIS
- A NOTE ABOUT THE GUIDANCE IN THIS E-BOOK
- STATE OF THE VIDEO NATION
- WHY “THINK VIDEO FIRST” MENTALITY WILL TRANSFORM AND ACCELERATE ANY BUSINESS
- THE UNDENIABLE VIDEO STATISTICS
- HOW TECHNOLOGY, ESPECIALLY IN YOUR POCKET, HAS CHANGED THE VIDEO GAME
- WHY AUTHENTIC CONTENT WINS, AND WILL CONTINUE TO PENETRATE BUSINESS MORE AND MORE
- HOW MOST OF US LEARN TODAY
- WHERE IS YOUTUBE HEADING, AND WHY IT MATTERS FOR A BUSINESS
- THE NEW GENERATION OF WORKERS AND THEIR THIRST FOR VIDEO
- WHY USING VIDEO WILL MAKE IT HARDER FOR YOUR COMPETITION TO REPLICATE WHAT YOU ARE DOING
- CURRENT BUSINESS VIDEO STRUGGLES AND WHY THEY EXIST
- HOW MOST BUSINESS TODAY CREATE A VIDEO
- WHY IS VIDEO SO PAINFUL INSIDE YOUR ORGANIZATION?
- HOW HOLLYWOOD SCREWED UP VIDEO FOR BUSINESS
- WHY TALKING HEAD VIDEOS IN BUSINESS GOT A BAD RAP
- WHY AS A MARKETER YOU MAY NOT LIKE VIDEO
- WHY EMPLOYEES, LEADERS, AND CUSTOMERS DISLIKE BEING ON VIDEO
- WHY “I NEED SOMEONE ELSE TO DO IT BECAUSE I AM BUSY” IS A WRONG ASSUMPTION WHEN IT COMES TO VIDEO
- THE TYPICAL CONVERSATIONS WITH LEADERSHIP ABOUT VIDEO
- HOW TO GET LEADERS, CUSTOMERS TO ADOPT VIDEO, AND DO VIDEO
- HOW TO GET EXECUTIVES TO BELIEVE IN VIDEO AND BRING IT TO THE FOREFRONT OF COMMUNICATIONS
- WHERE TO START WITH EXECUTIVES AND VIDEO
- HOW TO GET YOUR CUSTOMERS TO SAY YES TO A VIDEO TESTIMONIAL
- MAKING VIDEO EASY
- DO THIS TO LOVE BEING ON VIDEO
- HOW TO EMPOWER THE PEOPLE INSIDE YOUR ORGANIZATION TO BELIEVE IN VIDEO
- WHO SHOULD OWN VIDEO IN YOUR ORGANIZATION?
- THE EASIEST PLACE TO START GETTING ANYONE USED TO VIDEO
- HOW TO COME UP WITH 30 HIGHLY CONVERTING VIDEO TOPICS IN 1 HOUR
- TYPES OF VIDEOS THAT INCREASE SALES FOR B2B (BUSINESS TO BUSINESS)
- WHY 80% OF THE SUCCESS OF A VIDEO HAPPENS BEFORE YOU RECORD ANYTHING
- HOW TO CREATE A COMPANY VIDEO VOICE AND KEEP THEM ALL ON BRAND
- 90% GOOD ENOUGH? THE LAST 10% WILL KILL YOU!
- TYPES OF BUSINESS VIDEO AND WHERE TO USE THEM
- THE TYPES OF VIDEO THAT BUSINESS NEEDS TO BE USING
- ANIMATION VIDEO STYLE
- SPOKESPERSON VIDEO STYLE
- SCREEN CAPTURE VIDEO STYLE
- DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY VIDEO STYLE
- PERSONAL VIDEO MESSAGES TYPES
- THE HARDEST TYPE OF VIDEO TO CREATE
- VIDEOS FOR MARKETING
- VIDEOS FOR SALESPEOPLE
- VIDEOS FOR CUSTOMER SERVICE
- VIDEOS FOR HR & INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS
- VIDEOS FOR TECHNICAL
- MORE AWESOME STUFF ABOUT VIDEO
- HOW TO USE VIDEO TO CREATE MOUNTAINS OF OTHER CONTENT
- WHY YOUTUBERS SHOOT VIDEO THEY WAY THEY DO, AND WHY IS IT SO EFFECTIVE
- THE #1 VIDEO STAT THAT MATTERS AND WHAT IT TELLS YOU THAT NO OTHER MEDIUM CAN
- WHAT YOUTUBE FACEBOOK AND ALL OTHER SOCIAL PLATFORMS CARE ABOUT
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Peter Matejcek, CEO WorkflowX. email@example.com
Hello, and thanks for stopping by and coming on this journey with me. My name is Peter and I will be your sometimes-comedic teacher as you read my e-book.
Our destination is to “Think Video First” and make video an integral part of any business that you work in. I understand that to some, this may seem like a fairy tale. I totally respect that and will prove that this is not just a dream.
Something compelled you to download this e-book and I am sure it wasn’t my brilliantly crafted marketing tactics. I believe that most people in business know video is important but struggle to get started for many reasons that I will address with this e-book.
I wrote this primarily for marketers, as they are usually the owners of video inside an organization. Personally, I believe that everyone should own video, but that’s later in the book. If you are not a marketer, don’t worry, as what I share does not require any specialized knowledge of on-line marketing.
Authors note; How I got here, How I fell into Video, and Why I Wrote this.
Two of my personal shortcomings are that I have the attention span of a goldfish and that I am a terrible speller. I can’t do anything about the first problem and thanks to Grammarly I can correct my spelling.
I’ve loved video since my parents bought me my first camera in 1991 with an outlandish price tag of $3,000! It even had a color viewfinder! Even though I lacked formal training for the technical aspects of video production, I began making professional videos in 2004 and have since sold videos totaling millions of dollars.
So, why did I write this? As I age, I am FINALLY learning what I love to do, and what I am good at. I love to teach, and I love to make people laugh. “Edutainment” or Educational Entertainment is part of my DNA (at least that is what I believe) and is permanently imbedded in my primitive reptilian brain.
I have a communications degree but the only way I earned that is through a lot of theatrical presentations, and the use of video when possible.
When I was a job seeker back in 2000, my thinking was to stand out from other job seekers by sending a VHS tape along with my paper resume to prospective employers. The Human Resource department
would see a stack of resumes with the VHS tape attached to one of them. My hope was that human curiosity would prevail and that the VHS tape would be viewed.
My hunch proved to be correct and I got interviews for jobs that I was not even qualified for. I may not have gotten the job, but it was proof enough to me that video works for businesses in the same way it worked for me.
My path to success was not instant as I was not destined to be an overnight YouTube billionaire. My path was a much humbler one of making house calls to fix people’s computers.
It bothered me that on some of my house calls the customer would be charged while waiting for updates while we sat in silence staring at the computer screen. I started asking questions and discovered that most people had similar struggles with the same computer issues.
My love of teaching kicked into high gear and with the help of my wife Amy, our next step was to open a store front computer training facility called “Right Click” where we trained over 1,600 people and logged over 4,000 hours of training.
My younger students liked to call the store “Fight Kick”. After two years we were exhausted and unfortunately did not realize the financials rewards that we had hoped for.
This is when Video Production became the key to my re-inventing of myself. With the help of some wonderful and brilliant people I started a company called HuStream, an interactive video company that created the videos and had a “tool” to allow one to create their own interactive videos.
Thus, began my true “education” learning how businesses need video, how they struggle with it and how it is used in business. I learned the external and internal workings of video production and how they communicate a message to the viewer. HuStream was the steppingstone to INhouse Video, my latest venture into the video production industry.
Over the past 10 years with INhouse Video, I have worked with over 500 businesses around the world in 14 countries helping them with their video needs. The goal is to help our client companies make video a natural part of their business.
Our clients include brands like Intel, Lenovo, Sage, and Microsoft and some of these brands are still great clients to this day. We have served many businesses that are largely unheard of but still have a large impact on the world we live in.
So, the reason I have written this is that it’s time I shared what I know to empower many more people than I am able to do on a one on one basis with INhouse Videos.
This is what I know. This is what I believe in and this is what has worked for so many people. My best advice is that you should think like a kid. By the time you have read this e-book, my kids will have created more video content than most businesses create in a year.
A Note about the Guidance in this e-Book.
Video can be created and used in multitude of ways. The focus of this e-book is to shift the way businesses and the people inside it think and approach video. They should think of video as more of a communication tool than a video up for an Oscar nomination.
Keep in mind that there are some videos that can only be made by highly skilled professionals who are artists at their craft and truly give the viewer goose bumps. I respect this style, but I don’t focus on it in this e-book.
I believe that any business desiring growth needs to create not one, but hundreds of videos a year to effectively engage, communicate and to achieve its overall business goals. That is what this e-book is about.
State of the Video Nation
Why “Think Video First” Mentality Will Transform and Accelerate any Business
Let’s face it. Except for a business operating as a tax shelter or a shady money laundering operation, all businesses want more revenue. The source of new revenue is realized with qualified new leads that turn into engaged customers. Existing customers can be upsold and “churners” (customers moving on) can be reduced. There is an almost endless list of sales techniques to increase revenue.
At the top of that list is what I believe to be one of the fundamentals of a great business. And that is great communication. Communication can be about products, visions, stories, mission, thought leadership, employees and many other aspects.
Communication is getting harder and harder because the digital frontier is getting noisier and noisier. This even includes internal emails. Just ask any businessperson how many emails they get in a day.
This is why video is such a powerful medium and it’s on a quest to be the predominate worldwide communication medium. I will prove this over and over as we take this journey together.
It only makes sense that if a business wants more revenue it needs to use the best communications medium as part of its business strategy. To succeed, this communication must be highly effective to realize the greatest possible impact. That is the best case for business video.
The Undeniable Video Statistics
Marketing people, including myself, love statistics or “stats” so it is time to have some fun! To me marketing business is all about the data. And statistically, video wins.
Here is a link to only some video statistics.
Don’t worry if you don’t understand some of the data presented above. The main sections like “People Prefer Video” are easy to understand and clearly demonstrate the value of video.
If you are skeptical that I am showing only stats that prove my theory, then do some research on your own. Remember, I have followed video stats for the past decade and if there is a clear primary stat that remains constant, you don’t need any scientific study to prove it.
There is probably 10 times more video “out there” than there was just five years ago, and that is expected to grow by leaps and bounds for many years to come. And you don’t need an infographic for that.
Video isn’t a fad. It’s not going anywhere. It’s going everywhere!
How Technology, Especially in your Pocket, has Changed the Video Game
Smartphones changed A LOT of things and the predominate change is with video.
People under the age of 20 take for granted that they can produce a good quality video using their smartphone. It took a while longer for those a bit older to be convinced as they experienced first-hand the blurry images of the early portable phone cameras.
So why is this important to a business?
The simple answer is that today, most videos for business video needs can be done on a Smartphone. As Ripley would say, “believe it or not”, smartphones are amazing video production devices and they are getting better every day.
Our company, INhouse Video, has produced thousands of videos by using Smartphones removing the need to purchase expensive digital cameras and photographic gear.
Equipment is no longer the barrier anymore that it once was.
I have collected many items that are now considered just toys. I always thought that my kids would one day come and ask me to teach them video and be amazed at my collection of awesome video gear.
Well, that never happened because they now use smartphones and iPads.
I really do have a cool collection of expensive video gear, but it is relegated to my technology museum. Perhaps my kids will one day make a history report on my “antiques”.
Except for the very elderly or those who are technically stubborn, everyone should know how to use a Smartphone by now. They may not use it in the most efficient manner but out of necessity and with some daily practice, they can learn how to use it.
There is no need to go out and purchase expensive gear to do video. Films and commercials have been produced on iPhones. Even iPhone commercials are all shot using iPhones. As we will find out there is a little more to it than just pulling your iPhone out of your pocket, but you can see that it is not an overly complicated endeavor.
As we will discuss next, smartphones are the key to authentic content.
Why Authentic Content Wins, and Will Continue to Penetrate Business More and More
Most of us, especially kids, can tell the difference between an advertisement and real content. Kids excel at this as they know more about brand names than they know about farm animals and critters in their back yard. Like it or not, kids are in tune with social media and know by instinct when they are being marketed to.
My daughter’s 8th grade class made videos of the advertising from pharmaceutical companies. The videos even included the full list of side effects of the drugs they sell. The purpose was to be a parody of the ads and the message that was being conveyed.
The point is that in a hyper connected digital society, we are more in-tune with what we are being sold. And when it comes to engaging with content from a business, it’s getting harder and harder to get your brand or your story heard.
Fortune 100 and even Fortune 500 brand names play a different game than the typical small to medium size business. I will discuss them later.
The game I am talking about is for the hundreds of thousands of businesses out there where getting relevant video content will be an ever-increasing challenge.
So how does authentic content fit into this?
Authentic video content isn’t perfect, but because it’s real, it’s trusted by the viewer.
Please keep in mind that while I would love nothing more than to have an “exchange of commerce” in the future with you, my objective is not to sell you anything right out of the gate. My goal is to first build your trust based on authenticity by using this e-book to tell you everything I know about video production.
Authentic content is not “perfect”, but it is much more effective than perfectly crafted marketing content. This is why authentic content will continue to dominate and win.
Best of all, authentic content is much easier to create! It’s like doing a presentation or having a call with a customer, a prospect, or an employee. The conversation will never be perfect, and that does not matter because you can’t do it over.
So, for the sake of this e-Book, forget about the delete or backspace button that we all overuse.
Taking this approach to digital content, whether it’s internal or external, and focusing on providing value delivered authentically, you not only will create content much faster, your audience will know its real, genuine content. This will ultimately lead to that invaluable factor of trust.
Everyone knows that If it’s too polished, it’s too good to be true.
YouTube completely squashed the notion that videos need high valued production budgets to share value, gain views and ultimately, lots of attention.
Be authentic and see the results.
How Most of Us Learn Today
I recently was having a coffee with my mom and she was talking about how the times have changed. We talked about the inevitable generational shifts from the older generation to the following one and I noticed how her face lit up when she started talking about Google. She was amazed that everything she ever wanted to know could be found with a quick Google search.
This was not surprising but then she said, “…and especially YouTube! People show you exactly how to do it…”. I then thought about how when I need more information after a Google search, I often will go to YouTube to find a short, high impact video giving me exactly what I want.
And with kids today, it seems that is all they do!
I will use Kids and YouTube often because the kids today are the businesspeople of tomorrow, if not already.
Old Schoolers and geeks may prefer bulky paper manuals, but most of us prefer to learn with quick, to the point instructions, big bold text with clearly laid out steps, and a visually interesting video format.
Even e-books like this one have changed. Lengthy paragraphs have given way to short, impactful sentences.
My point is that most of us including the next generation will learn through video. So, why should business communication be any different?
Where is YouTube Heading, and why it Matters for a Business.
Most businesses know that videos are posted on YouTube simply because that is where videos go.
But they don’t know exactly why.
I could go on and on about YouTube, but I will leave the lengthy details to those smarter than myself who know more about it. But here is the gist of it: YouTube is the next search engine. Video is the next search.
YouTube is owned by the biggest search engine, Google. My humble opinion is that Google didn’t buy YouTube in 2006 to enable people to post funny videos somewhere.
Google knew that video would someday replace text as the dominate medium on the internet. They wanted to ensure that they controlled it and could ultimately monetize the heck out of it.
There is a pile of money, a fortune, spent in getting people’s attention that has yet to hit the internet. We will touch more on that later.
YouTube is even used for music. Check out how many views a popular music video gets. You are dead wrong if you think every time a music video is played that people are sitting around watching it.
But it’s still hosted and sits on YouTube waiting for your click.
YouTube is like the gorilla, the king of the video jungle… it’s King Kong and it will continue to dominate
for years, if not decades to come.
It is not surprising that all other channels, be it NBC, CBC, Amazon Prime, Netflix, CNN, Facebook, LinkedIN and others are all pushing video trying to get a piece of the YouTube pie.
Let’s look at a couple of stats about YouTube that pertain to business. You can find the full article here
• YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world and third most visited site after Google and Facebook.
• Search on “How To” videos is growing 70% year over year.
• On average there are about 1,000,000,000 mobile video views per day. Yes, that is One Billion.
• Already 9% of small businesses use YouTube.
Why does this matter? Just think about how much you rely on paper click ads, blog content, website content, and any textual and pictorial content all to get SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and ranked.
What does this do? It gets eyeballs focused on your brand, your story, communication, products, and everything out there that you want your potential customers, partners, and employees to know.
The ultimate goal is to get more revenue.
If you want to survive and thrive, having a continuous stream of quality video content on your business YouTube page is mandatory. End of story. I can’t give you anymore.
The New Generation of Workers and Their Thirst for Video
In the past decade I’ve had the pleasure to work with many different people of various ages. Obviously,
some are younger, and some are older than I am.
I have noticed a consistency with people I meet. It seems that the younger the person I work with, the faster they grasp the concepts of video, and they use video more in their everyday life compared to their elders.
The global workforce is changing due to many reasons like globalization, the capability to work from a remote location, and automation of simple tasks to name a few. This has resulted in a higher demand for great talent.
Engagement, learning, inclusion and feeling part of the team are all key focus points for the next generation of workers. Sending out templated welcome letters, static organizational charts, and long textual handbooks are going the way of my video equipment collection.
Video brings the ability for leaders, thought leaders, executives and other employees to not only train new workers in a way they are comfortable with, but it also allows them to nurture a close personal presence. Without video, that part of the relationship may not develop.
Consider video in learning environments. Think about the many companies that have fantastic thought leaders with vast amounts of knowledge lodged in their beautiful brains. All this valuable content is waiting to come out, but it must be done through the right format to be effective.
Consider this. Recently, LinkedIn acquired Lynda.com, a 20 year old company that offers premium video learning content to help people accelerate their careers.
LinkedIn is owned by Microsoft.com and they know the importance of video. They are playing a large part in the present and future success of companies like Lynda.com.
Why Using Video Will Make It Harder for Your Competition to Replicate What you are Doing.
Have you ever been in a meeting where the following conversation took place?
Jack: “Have you seen that (white paper, webinar, blog post etc.) that our competitor made? It’s amazing and I wonder why we didn’t think of it first.
Jill: “Yeah but hold on. Why don’t we just copy the idea, change some words and put our logo on it and call it our own?”
You might think that no reputable marketer would do this but before you pass judgement and scold me for daring to write this, do a quick internet search for anything and you will find duplicates with a few clicks or keyboard entries. For some marketers R & D does not mean “Research and Development”. It means “Rob and Duplicate”.
Why is this? The answer is that text is really easy and fast to copy and paste. But when it comes to video, most businesses still think that this is hard to do.
YouTubers caught on to this a long time ago. They don’t think video is hard and they pump out great content on a regular basis with a $0 marketing budget and an employee count of 1. More on that later.
If you learn one thing from my e-book, remember that if you create video content, it’s much harder for your competition to copy and paste, slap on their logo and steal your idea.
If your business starts “Thinking Video First” what that really means is for you to create A LOT of videos. Your competition will not be able to keep up, or easily ride on the tailcoats of your brilliant ideas.
Current Business Video Struggles and why they exist
How Most Business Today Create a Video
For fun, let’s stage another conversation between Jack and Jill with Jill being the Marketing VP and Jack being the Marketing Manager:
VP Jill: “Hey Jack, we need to do a company video. Can you go and get some quotes from vendors for a maximum 2 min company overview video?”
Manager Jack: “Okay.” (Jack is a bit subservient to Jill in this conversation.)
Jack does a Google search for Video Production Companies or Video Services and sends several requests for a quote via email that might read like this: “Hi there, can I get a quote on how much a typical 2 min video cost? I just need a ballpark estimate.”
Let’s interrupt this conversation for a bit. If you have ever made a business video, you know it is not easy to do until you learn the tricks of the trade. There is no one to blame, this is just how it is for most businesses.
Any professional in marketing or video production will know that Jack’s quote request is the worst possible email to send. And why is this? It’s like asking how much it costs to build a house, but you don’t know anything about construction.
You only know that it is a house.
Jack will most likely talk with two or three vendors, gather all the data and samples, and take it to Jill and go over all the proposals. They will compare the line by line items on the quote including the type of camera gear needed, lighting specifications, labor concerns and any incidentals like catering requirements along with any rates and fees. Any quote is bound to have a 10% or 20% contingency fee on top of everything else. Jack and Jill will do this without having a real clue as to what is what with their video production.
Video production typically is expensive for businesses to do with a marketing agency, or a video production company. It will result in a great video, and the respective agencies will do a great job, but overall the budget is high for a single piece of video content.
Another option for Jill and Jack is to get a quote from an advertising agency. A reputable agency that gives a ballpark figure of $20,000 to $50,000+ won’t give you any more info unless they can talk to both the VP and the Manager to qualify and understand what needs to be done.
This is normal and it is the right thing to do and while you will have a fantastic team of great people working on one amazing video, it will cost you the same price as a brand-new BMW.
Take it from me. I am in the business and I often don’t know what lenses the pros use, or about what new camera gear that seems to come out on a weekly basis. If your company hasn’t done a video or doesn’t have a vendor, the typically selection process might conclude with our continuing conversation between Jack and Jill.
Jill: “We’ve been studying these proposals for weeks. What do you think?”
Jack: “The low-end bid was $20,000 from ABC Video and the most expensive one was from XYZ Productions for $40,000. LMN, LLC comes in at $30,000”
Jill: “Our budget for this was $25,000 so let’s just go with LMN and we’ll figure out later how to get the extra $5,000 They all look about the same to me”
Business is all about budgets. Budgets affect revenue and thus, everything is budgeted.
Clearly the budget Jack and Jill’s company laid out wasn’t enough. So, Jill will need to ask the CFO for more money for the next quarter, or perhaps the next year to get the money for that one single video. I repeat, one video costing thousands of dollars.
I will add a side note here. On more than one occasion, it has taken me and my sales teams more than a year to get the contract to do one video. This was not the fault of INhouse Video, or that the prospect was hard to deal with. On the contrary, I have had many prospects, customers and now friends apologize to me for taking so long and thanking me for being so patient.
Marketer’s and businesspeople, it’s not your fault. It’s the business video process that is broken.
Why is Video so Painful Inside Your Organization?
Finally, the contract is signed, and work can begin on the greatest company video you have ever seen! It will be showcased on the company’s home page. It’s going to be seen by everyone. It’s going to be amazing!
And it’s going to reap in so many leads that the sales team will be overwhelmed! The executives are
going to be euphoric.
And we are going to blow our revenue targets out of the park.
This single two-minute video will capture the essence of our company, its brand, visions, mission, employees, executives, plus all the 225 products and services we sell.
In just 2 minutes, in roughly 300 words. All with this one video!!!!!!!
Now, I don’t blame any company or marketer who has done this because when you are spending that kind of money there will be a lot of pressure to show positive results.
And there is always that little voice in the back of your mind saying, “What if we had spent that money on PPC, or that webinar promotion that worked before instead of this video?”
You ignore that little voice and begin working with that great team you took so long to choose.
Reality begins to overtake the euphoria as coming up with a script or a concept can take months. Your video team keeps telling you that it is simply not physically possible to get everything in that two- minute video, but you ignore them.
So, you end up with a 7-minute corporate video that is all about you and the company but with very little authentic content designed to impress prospective leads.
I know, it hurts but remember, it’s not your fault. But the pain continues with the editing process. Edit after edit, after edit, after edit…
The entire review board will see it and will provide feedback on it. Ultimately, they will approve it or reject it for more editing. Everyone involved has seen the video 35 times and you have seen it twice that amount. You have come to f**king hate it and dread the next round of reviews.
And why is this?
BECAUSE EVERYONE HAS AN OPINION OF WHAT THEY DON’T LIKE.
Again, I repeat that it’s not your fault. I have been doing this for more than a decade and after viewing a video more than 50 times I ended up hating my creation as well.
It’s the same thing as watching a movie over and over again. You start noticing minor Hollywood production screw ups like a person’s foot in the back corner of the screen sticking out from the set about an inch.
You take false pride when you catch that little production “hiccup” after what seems like the 400 millionth times you’ve seen that movie before!!!.
And here is the final blow. The final nail in the coffin that results in a sour taste for company business videos….
Your prospect or customer will only watch it once.
Statistically, less than 60% of the video (72 seconds of a two-minute video) will be viewed. But if it’s not what the viewer wants, they are “outta here” in 8 seconds.
Oh, I have one last thing to make you feel bad, but I remind you again that this isn’t your fault:
In the months it took for your company to create this one freaking video, a YouTuber has published hundreds of pieces of video content and has engaged thousands, if not millions of people.
All that with $0 BUDGET and a TEAM OF ONE.
How Hollywood Screwed up Video for Business
This is one of my favorite topics. I have had so many discussions that at times have turned into greatly heated competitive arguments.
Here is what I believe the main problem is:
Hollywood movies were, and still are, designed to entertain you for a two to three-hour time block. In order to do this, you need a little more production value than just a person talking into a camera.
You need a story with characters, villains, lovers and so on.
Then you need actors to portray those great characters that you either hate or love.
You need sets, costumes, locations, explosions, car crashes, and maybe even spaceships! Add 50 or more semi-trucks to move stuff from location to location. For a typical Hollywood movie, the result is a budget of about one million dollars per every minute of the movie.
It’s time to eavesdrop on another Jack and Jill conversation that took place a long time ago. Jack was once a businessman visiting California and Jill once represented Hollywood:
Jack: “I want a movie for my business, and I don’t care how much it costs!”
Hollywood Jill says to herself, “Hmm, maybe there is a market here.” and replies, “Well sir, you need actors, script writers, booms, cameras, locations, food trucks and crews. But since it’s only 2 min, and since you don’t need fancy spaceship and alien costumes, it’s only going to cost you $500,000”
I hope you get my point.
I not against companies like Budweiser, Nike, Apple who create Oscar winning commercials. I love them and most everyone loves Super Bowl ads.
But remember these companies put $20M or so (yes, that is $20,000,000) for distribution behind it!! Most business create a video, put it on their home page, and send it out in an email!
I don’t mean to get heated on this, but business video today lives in a different reality.
It’s very comparable to when a website that used to cost $100,000 to make can now be created for $1,000 on WordPress.
Unfortunately, there are still a lot of businesspeople out there who believe having a makeup artist for $1,000 per day to do an executive’s makeup (which takes about 10 min), will somehow improve the results of the video and help their overall business.
I humbly disagree. It might make the executive feel better about themselves and make them look good and younger because of the soft lighting, beautiful shadowing and evenly applied makeup. It may even help when they watch the video 50 times to approve it.
The truth is that the internet, your prospects, future customers, employees, partners don’t care. They aren’t going to the theater to be entertained by your business videos and eat popcorn.
They watch your videos to learn, to find value and understand what you do and to make the ultimate decision to purchase or not to purchase your product or service.
Why Talking Head Videos in Business Got a Bad Rap.
What happens when you put a real person, like a businessperson or a customer, in a Hollywood set type environment?
Usually, they will freak out!!!
I did, I still do. Hence, I don’t use a set when producing my business videos.
If you have ever visited or even seen a big video production set imagine a massive building the size of a Costco superstore. Even a video with one person talking into a camera or a one-on-one interview, the set might be the size of a five-car garage.
Professional studio sets are BIG and intimidating.
First, there are the lights, lots of them! There are big lights, small lights, bank lights, halo lights, and more and more lights glaring at you from every angle.
If the lights are not enough to make you run and hide, imagine the cameras. Big and bulky, staring at you like a one-eyed monster. And not just one camera but two, three and possibly more making you feel like a naked medical specimen on display.
Then, add in the microphones. One is hanging from the ceiling. Another mic is called a “Shotgun Mic”, a large mic on a long boom pole held by someone maneuvering it to keep it close to your head. Heck, even the name “Shotgun Mic” can make you feel uneasy.
The “icing on the cake” for this alien abduction like experience is the backup mic that goes under your shirt after the crew tells you, very professionally, to run the wire up under your shirt, and stick the receiver in your pocket, or clip it on your pants. Does the word “awkward” come to mind?
So, after you are illuminated, stared at, wired for sound, you must deal with the various people that operate all the gear.
There will be the director, the producer, the assistants with clip boards and headsets scurrying about the set. The teleprompter (used by news anchors and some politicians) will be scrolling down text that you are supposed to read in a clear unwavering voice.
After about an hour of setup, testing, tweaking and sound checks, the director “re-assures” you by asking, “How do you feel? Are you ready? You are going to do great. Don’t be nervous, just act natural”
Then the director might advise you not to move too much, stay on the mark (the specific location on the set where you are supposed to sit or stand often designated by a little piece of tape on the floor).
Finally, the director will holler “Okay, roll sound, camera… Teleprompter and ACTION!!!!”
You now have 10 people looking at you, a bazillion lights, and a bunch of cameras pointed at you. You become fearful of the director’s wrath if you move too far away from the little piece of black tape on the floor. And you are supposed to act natural???
If this was a NASA space flight you might say “Houston, we have a problem” because how can anyone act natural under those conditions. Act natural is really an oxymoron with the use of the word “act” because If you are acting, you are portraying a character in a F**ing movie. (Okay, I’ll calm down and count to 10 now.)
Being natural is simply being yourself and it has nothing to do with being in a studio reading a script.
Some folks may have had some stage experience in a college or high school dramatic arts class, but most others must go back to elementary school for their last acting opportunity.
Your 4th grade Thanksgiving play at the PTA meeting where you dressed up like a Pilgrim is simply not adequate experience for a professional business video production. Simply put, the odds are that the outcome will truly suck (slang for really be bad).
And this is what happens when a nervous person, reading words that are not theirs, tries to act natural. It is a freaking disaster.
And when a viewer watches another human being on a video like that, suspicions immediately go up, the fraud detectors go into high gear, and the believability goes right out of the proverbial window.
This is the reason “talking head videos” have gotten such a bad rap in the business world. When you consider the very high price tag the result is a lot of pain to everyone.
Why as a Marketer You May Not Like Video
If you skipped directly to this page without reading the previous sections of my e-book, I advise that you go back and read them to get a better perspective on what will follow.
I mentioned earlier how younger people seem to grasp new video technology easier than older people. I often see a similar situation in companies where the people running the campaigns, the marketing managers, the creative staff, bloggers, the team that actually sees the metrics, are continuously educating themselves on new marketing tactics. They know the power of video.
More often than not, their bosses and other company executives don’t. They don’t spend the time in the trenches with the front-line people and they can lose track of what data is really important and how long it takes to accomplish anything.
The digital world is lightning fast, requires a lot of testing and it’s not a perfect science. Remember our characters Jack and Jill. Let’s join them in another dated classic conversation example. Jack is now the executive and Jill is the marketer. (I want to be fair to both characters)
Executive Jack: “We need to do Social Media” Marketing Jill: “Finally!” 90 days later, Jack: “Where are all the leads?”
I hope you get my point.
For the next part of my book, I am going to really dig deep to share my best practices to help your entire business THINK VIDEO FIRST.
Why Employees, Leaders, and Customers Dislike Being on Video
We don’t like being on video, because the first thing we see is ourselves.
This is very human and natural and has been that way ever since a caveman first saw his reflection on a still pond. It is deep inside our human psyche. Without the fancy image altering Instagram filters and with no clever positioning of the camera pointed to make one look 10 years younger and 10 lbs. lighter, video shows you the plain truth.
We are all getting older and there is nothing we can do about it. Get over it.
The other main reason for the dislike of videos is based on what I earlier touched upon in the “Why Talking Head Videos in Business got a Bad Rap” chapter. Usually, at some point, an executive or a customer has had an unpleasant video experience either indirectly or directly.
Regardless of that experience, it was probably super uncomfortable and took hours if not days to produce.
Most people don’t mind a bit of discomfort to reach a goal, but what executive, customer, employee or a busy mother of three has the time to spend hours making a two-minute video?
Exactly. I’m sure you agree with me.
Video customer stories are awesome especially when you can capture the excitement and the authentic spirit of a satisfied customer. But the inability to make the time commitment is why so many customers don’t’ respond to your email.
You might love to do a video testimonial extoling the virtue of your company’s products but can you or any of your executives take the time to be in one?
Why “I Need Someone Else to do it Because I am Busy” is a Wrong Assumption when it comes to Video.
Businesspeople seem to be busier than ever, including myself, so I do “get” that. I’ve spent decades in business and when I look in the mirror I wonder if my sense of being busier is due to my own aging process or because I have three kids or because it is simply true.
The digital landscape has made things more complicated and there is a simple equation to express what that means:
More Complicated = More Work.
The temptation that I hear the most often from businesspeople is, “I just want to hire someone to do the videos”. I believe this philosophy works for the larger brands, for specific unique video projects where budgets are grander, and with a very skilled team that can craft ideas to ultimately pitch to the viewing audience.
This is tempting for other reasons as well. You won’t need to know or learn anything about video. All you need to do is decide what you are willing to pay and choose a video maker in your price range. Then you sit back and hope that the video will be aligned with your business goals.
Again, this all goes back to the single video philosophy. With a Video First frame of mind, you need to visualize about making hundreds of videos and making video a part of your sales arsenal and skill set.
Some of you will remember the days before blogs and Power Point Decks. Today we love our PP Decks and “blog” is a common term in the vernacular of the business world. We had to invest the effort to learn how to use these tools, didn’t we?
I am not saying that you need to learn the craft of video cinematography. I don’t even have that skill! What I am saying is that many people in business need to understand video, where it fits in, its capabilities and its vast potential.
What most marketers don’t realize, even if they hire it out on a smaller scale instead of hiring a full- blown creative team, is that their involvement will most likely require the same amount of work compared to a project run internally.
I can hear the comments now from marketers, video production companies, agencies and so on that I am attempting to dismiss great video work. I am not!
I am simply saying that you, or your business will still have to define the goals of the video. Who is the target audience it will relate to? Where is it going to be seen? How is it going to be distributed, socialized and promoted? What is the call to action? Where does it fit in your media strategy? How will your sales force use it? Who are the stake holders that need to approve it?
Answering all those questions will make you an integral part of the video team. You will be involved in the scripting process because you know your brand better than anyone. You will be reviewing the edits and involved with any changes.
Bottom line: That video will not get done until you say it’s done.
Remember that even if someone else is making your video, you are the client and you are spending a good chunk of cash. There will be pressure for the video to “work” (as in be effective) so in reality it’s going to take a lot of work (as in time spent laboring over a task) for you.
So, if you are considering a video for your business, I hope you start approaching it differently after reading this e-Book. Knowing that having someone else do it will be equal work and more expensive, you will certainly want to embrace the entire video process and learn to Think Video First.
The Typical Conversations with Leadership about Video
If you’ve gotten this far, you realize that video needs to be approached differently in business. It needs to be taken seriously and integrated into all areas of your company. If you skipped to this section and don’t believe me, I suggest again that you start at the beginning.
Are you ready to have some fun and to ROCK AND ROLL??!!
BTW, Jack and Jill eloped and are honeymooning in the Bahamas, so I won’t use them in the following discussion of what a conversation with leadership might sound like.
These “conversations” usually occur in two ways. The first way is that marketing wants a video budget because they know video and know that it works.
The second way is that a high-ranking CEO or senior executive or other company has viewed an amazing video and wants one for the company. The problem is they want that video made “yesterday”.
Generally, the conversations are surrounded by the excitement of all the possible things a video can capture. Executives and leaders understand and live in the vision, the mission and the values of the company.
They see great events, customer engagements, conferences, presentations as possible scenarios to capture and turn into video.
Their mistake is that they see video as a marketing tool only and not a communication medium. More on that in the next chapter.
Their hearts are in the right place, but they typically lack any practical experience on what it takes to create a video, especially a video that will resonate with the targeted audience, and do a hundred of them every year.
And this is a big problem especially when they find out how much their video will cost to produce.
Another myth that businesspeople believe, outside of marketing, is that if you put something “out there”, people will consume it and that is very far from the truth.
It is getting harder and harder, even with internal communications such as company updates, How To guides, etc. for people to consume the content because of the ever-increasing digital noise.
It could be that I’m writing this e-book only for myself or to look cool in front of my kids who can brag that dad wrote an e-book as there is no guarantee that anyone will look at it.
My personal definition of engagement is the time that people actively spend on consuming some form of content. Executives need to understand engagement. They need to understand not only that term, but the metrics around it. More important, they need to know that if they ignore it, they will see the consequences on their balance sheet.
Everyone in any profit motivated company needs to understand this simple truth:
Engagement is key to effective communication. Effective communication is a key pillar to success in business.
How to Get Leaders, Customers to Adopt Video, and do Video.
How to get Executives to Believe in Video and Bring it to the Forefront of Communications.
This e-Book is not part of an MBA program or a business school text. I will get right to the point for the sake of shortness and I hope to make this section very simple.
A business is about making money. At the end of the day, dollars and cents, on a piece of paper is what matters.
The responsibility of leadership is to create a plan, and to execute that plan towards maximum profitability. There are a lot of variables to consider such as the market, the economy, the products, people and so on.
How do they do it? Besides having a lot of meetings, there is a lot of emails and beautifully created PowerPoint Decks. Spreadsheets, white boards, and electronic dashboards all crafted to provide insight and direction to the entire company.
Throughout the year, direction and information, company updates and new forms are all going out and most of it is in text and pictorial form.
And every single piece of content that is built and written has a specific purpose. The executives understand that if you have a brand-new product and a PowerPoint Deck gets created, it will be used by the salespeople to sell the product. They know that if a flyer is sent out via the mail, it will be viewed by potential customers and will hopefully bring in more revenue.
Again, to keep it simple, executives need to understand that video is just another medium. They also need to understand that it is 10 times more powerful than other mediums. Video is not just for
marketing, and it certainly doesn’t need to cost thousands of dollars or take a ton of time to produce it.
This is the main sticking point for businesspeople who don’t know video. Their first instinct with video is that it’s only for marketing, it’s expensive and it takes a lot of valuable time and hard work.
Now here is the “kicker” (slang for a surprising change or turn of events). In their personal life, executives look at video in a completely different way.
Like almost every working person in the world, executives have taken summer vacations where they took some pictures or shot a video. They have seen videos that their kids or even grandchildren created.
Home shot video is neither new nor onerous to them and it can even be fun.
They just have not made that connection as to how a simple smartphone can be used to make videos for use in their business to help them achieve their overall business goals.
Your job as a marketer is to make the executives in your company see that connection. But start with an internal goal first as you open their eyes.
Don’t worry about impressing a customer or the risk of damaging the company image. Pick something that doesn’t require complicated approval to figure out what to say and who will see it.
Forget about collecting leads or driving a massive engagement with your prospect.
Do get them to see the value with video for zero dollars spent, and about 15 minutes of their time.
Prove to them how powerful a quick video message can be, and how incredibly quick and easy it is to create.
Where to Start with Executives and Video.
The best way to get video adopted by your business, and to get company executives to believe in it and ultimately lead with it is to follow the advice of the well-known Nike slogan and JUST DO IT.
Skip the complexities, forget about doing massive production shoots. Start super simple. Do something that can be done now, today or during your next meeting.
Here are four suggestions for a sample video:
– A personal video message to get everyone excited for the Christmas party
– A quick tour of the new boardroom and lounge
– A quick thank you to all the effort that has gone to get ready for a grand opening
– A big thank you to the funds that were raised for some charity
It doesn’t matter what it is, as long its super-super simple.
So, grab your smartphone, make a quick video under a minute long, do some quick editing with iMovie, and send it out in an email.
Make sure the entire exercise only takes 15 minutes of the executive’s time. If your boss gets suspicious, tell them it’s just a test. And if it doesn’t work, it’s no big deal as no money and only a few
minutes were spent.
Just send it out and see the response. Ask the people who see it to be in future videos and if you sense some reluctance about appearing in a video, try to find out why. If it’s because they think they don’t look good on camera, compliment them on their appearance (who doesn’t like that) and ask them again to dress up nice and give it a try. Stress the fun factor.
Executives did not gain their position by being shy and reclusive. Most of them excel at public speaking so bring that to their attention and convince them that this is no different. You may have to “Rinse and Repeat” this tactic in order to sway any executive who doesn’t yet see the value in video.
Start small and go from there. The progress may be slow at first but as you use more and more video to communicate, they will begin to see how powerful video is. There is no easier way to share corporate communications then to start shooting personal videos on a Smartphones, with no budget and in very little time. This eliminates the risk for executives and starts shifting the mindset.
This works across all departments from technical to sales or from the production floor to the executive boardroom.
How to get Your Customers to say YES to a Video Testimonial.
What is the most popular response when you ask a customer to do a video testimonial?
The answer is “No”, possibly “Hell no.” Other popular responses are “No way”, “You have to be kidding” or a threat to involve the police. You may not get any answer.
Do you remember the pain experienced by our executives earlier in this e-book? This is very similar in that at some time your customer may have had a long, hard and painful experience with video. That explains the rejections.
The secret is all about the way that you ask your customer and your approach to convince them to try something new.
Here are three ways to connect with a customer to capture a video testimonial:
• Go to where they are
• Meet up at a conference
• Do it online
You might get lucky with a convincing email but here is what the typical email request looks like:
I hope you are well. I know you have been a huge fan of our product and I want to thank you for all the great referrals you sent us. We appreciate it a lot!
Would you be able to do a video testimonial for us? Thanks, Jill, VP of Marketing.
In a while she gets his response.
Hey Jill, thanks for reaching out. I am super swamped right now. Can we connect on this in a couple of months?
What Jack is really saying is “I hate video, and I don’t want to do it”.
You might have to chase your “Jack” for month to come, until he has no choice but to succumb to your persistence. Always be kind, perhaps send flowers or a bottle of wine, and finally he may say yes.
And with a traditional video his fate is that studio box, under bright lights, made to feel extremely nervous, with a video testimonial output that resembles more of a robot than the Jack we know and love. We’ve all been there.
Let’s explore an alternative email;
I hope you are well. I know you have been a huge fan of our product and I want to thank you for all the great referrals you sent us. We appreciate it a lot!
I want to ask you a favor. We are testing a new way to get some testimonial material that is really easy to do and will only take about 15 minutes. I want to see if you are open to trying it.
It’s a quick test, so if it doesn’t work, then no biggie except for your 15 minutes. It would be great to catchup with you anyway Let me know! Jill, VP Marketing Jill may be playing the curiosity card with Jack. If Jack has customers of his own and if Jill has a new strategy to get customer testimonials, then he wants to know about that.
Secondly, Jill told him exactly how long the process will take. Great customers will always give you 15 minutes and maybe 30 no matter how busy they may be.
Finally, Jill took all the risk out of the equation because she stated that if it doesn’t work, then who cares? No “biggie”.
The big question remains: How can you get a video testimonial from a customer in 15 minutes?
If you remember from before, option #1 to connect with a customer is to go to where they are. Seeing your customer at an event, or going to his business, is pretty much the same thing. Let’s start there first. We will pretend that Jill is your boss and sent you to make the video with Jack.
Your task is to simply show up on time if there is an appointment, say hi to Jack, grab your cell phone, and hit the video record button. The interview will be 3-5 questions about the product or service that Jack bought from your company. Finally, you will thank him and leave.
You are probably saying to yourself, “Hang on a minute, what about the video quality?” If you have an old style “flip phone” this might be an issue so we will assume you are using a smartphone.
“But wait”, you say, “I need to capture his business, the fancy B-roll, the company’s logo, a shot of their front office and all the other stuff.” (Note that a B-roll is supplemental or alternative footage intercut with the main shot for those of you unaware of that term)
Of course, all of those are important so you are not wrong on that. But first, let’s take a step backward to ask a simple question. Where did you start? It began with a NO. Am I right?
Let me walk you through how this works and why it will not only produce great authentic content but will also open the door with the Jacks of this world to get the bigger fancier testimonial with the B-roll and all the other fancy stuff.
But in the meantime, look at what you now have. A video testimonial that was done in a few minutes and with a budget of $0. Guess what, you are now just like a Youtuber! Tell your kids that!
Here is what you were really saying when you met up with Jack:
“Hey, I just want to get a quick testimonial, but I am going to use my smartphone to shoot it. Do you mind?”
You continue with “I don’t know about you, but these things produced great videos on my vacation and I just wanted to see if it would work for this. And since it doesn’t cost anything, I thought, what the hell, why not. And I thank you for being my guinea pig.”
Jack can’t lose and you can’t lose. In fact, you will probably have some good laughs and you may end up creating the most authentic customer testimonial content ever.
But still you doubt me and say “It’s not going to be perfectly polished, and our brand has quite high standards. the board won’t approve…”. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, I know all the excuses.
Remember, this e-book is about thinking differently on how to produce video.
Here is what you should say to any of the people who look at your video clip and immediately comment on an aspect of the video that they don’t like. You: “Have you ever watched CNN?”
You: “Have you ever seen when they bring on the experts remotely using Skype or Facetime?” Naysayer: “Yes” You: “So since it’s not perfect, and a little bumpy, you don’t believe them” Naysayer: “Well…”. My point exactly!
CNN Skype experts, and most of YouTube drive authentic video content to the max! In fact, the more polished a customer testimonial is, the less we believe it!
OK, I’m getting heated again.
As some presidents will say “Mark my words” I will borrow that phrase here.
Mark my words. As soon as you over produce a video testimonial, you know that marketing had a hand in it and completely customized it to say exactly what they wanted the message to say. And this completely defeats the purpose of a real customer testimonial.
We’ve all been there and done that.
Let’s return to the video testimonial with Jack. There is another benefit apart from the authenticity of that quick video shot on your Smartphone. And that is that you have caught Jack as relaxed as he is ever going to be in a public setting, and this improves your chances of getting him to approve showing it to the public.
If Jack says, “Well, that was easy.” He will be more than likely to let you share it. If not, then you have a back-up plan B which is to transcribe it into several small written testimonial sound bites. At least one of those will be approved and what started as nothing has resulted in a great written testimonial from a great client.
But we are not done. What about the third option, to capture the video online?
Any of the video conferencing services like Skype Business (currently being replaced by Teams) or Zoom all have video capabilities and a record button. You may not get such great quality as you do from a Smartphone, but you will be surprised what today’s webcams can do.
The big advantage here is that you and Jack or any other client don’t have to be in the same place. You don’t even have to be in the same country. The point is that the technology is accessible to anyone, it’s easy, and it works.
Most importantly, you will start getting some video testimonials. And, since you made the experience easy, Jack is more likely to say yes to a bigger production testimonial.
If you get that far, you will likely keep crushing a bunch of authentic customer testimonials either remotely or by using your smartphone.
For us lucky folks at INhouse Videos, we have customers that know how to crush out video content using their smartphones and send us video testimonials that we don’t even need to ask for. #lovemycustomers.
Making Video Easy
Do This to Love Being on Video
What I don’t understand is why people in business don’t jump at every opportunity to be on video. The main reason must be because they don’t like how they look on video. And this is why Instagram filters are the norm.
I have previously touched on this topic and it boils down to one thing for any person seeking people for video testimonials. You must get people to love video and enjoy being on them.
And this starts with self-love, be it you or your customer.
For most of us, self-love is a lifelong journey of inner soul searching and it can be hard work for some. At the core, people who are comfortable with themselves are typically comfortable with being on video.
On the other hand, it is a simple fact of life that some people, hopefully not many in your business, don’t belong on video. This is not a character flaw and has nothing to do with them as people. They are just introverted, a bit flat or stiff in their demeanor and for them, the written word is the more natural communication medium.
My experience after working with thousands of video subjects is that there are not many people who fail on video when they are in a natural relaxed state. The lesson here is to keep trying even when you face some resistance.
Do you remember the previous chapter about the experience of businesspeople put on the spot to do a business video in a studio setting? They are told to act natural and not be nervous and be
comfortable in a rather harsh environment. Isn’t that a lot like putting a novice driver in a Ferrari
Formula 1 race car?
Instead of that Ferrari, let’s start the learning in a Minivan.
You need to start in a safe place with zero risk. I am going to repeat that.
You need to start in a safe place with zero risk.
The reason that Smartphones are such a game changer to business video is that you can test and do short videos that are literally disposable at no cost and thus, no risk.
Start with a simple topic for a few people internally. Or choose a message that you want to send out to only a handful of people externally.
Start with a small targeted audience, usually your colleagues. Choose something you can share with them such as how you did something or how you solved a problem
As it is with a lot of things in life, the biggest hurdle will be the first couple of videos. For every single video I have ever produced with another person, the second one with them was 50% easier than the initial one. It does get easier as you go on repeating and improving your process.
You can even start by using a webcam to send a quick video message, so it doesn’t have to be a
smartphone. You will likely be alone so there will be no nerves with people looking over your shoulder.
Don’t worry about lighting. Don’t worry about sound. Don’t worry about anything except producing a
short video and sending it to someone.
Do it in the place that you feel the most comfortable. Wear your most comfortable clothing. Dress up or dress down as much as you want. Do it at a time when you are the most confident.
Remember Nike and Just Do It.
How to Empower the People Inside your Organization to Believe in Video
It all starts with LEADERSHIP. Period.
The leaders need to start authentically, using quick video messages to share updates or celebrations. At first, there is no need for this to be a public facing. The best place is to start is internally using video to communicate. This is especially apt for larger organizations where most of the staff doesn’t get to rub shoulders with the leadership on a regular basis.
Most of the time in larger companies, the only communication that employees get from senior leadership is through email, a PowerPoint Deck, or a conference call.
Using video builds trust. It adds a human connection and makes leaders appear more real, authentic and natural. Text works fine as a communication tool but lacks about half of the human touch gained with body language and sound.
For me, if you want to build trust, just watch one of my videos. If you are reading this, you might have already done that.
When leaders start communicating with authentic video, then a video culture inside that business has a chance to emerge. Then, in your marketing discussions you might hear this:
“What if we used a video for this? I think it will be a lot better.” And that will set the tone for that THINK VIDEO FIRST culture that you want everyone to embrace.
Who should own video in your organization?
Right now, as I write this e-book, a majority (based on my experience), of video falls under marketing.
And this makes sense. The first videos are usually for marketing and lead generation. Honestly, marketing needs to be doing a lot more video because statistically, it will increase all forms of marketing metrics. And that is something every single marketer is trying to increase. It’s all about revenue.
So, who should own video in a company?
Marketing needs to own the process, but other departments need to be able to create their own without much involvement from marketing.
Marketing must set the rules because marketing is the department that is responsible for correlating most of a business’s content. If you are in a business that has a department focused entirely on content, outside of marketing, then marketing will not “own” the video process. I will get into the video process a bit later.
The reason marketing needs to own video is that any piece of content, no matter who creates it or where it was created, may prove useful to marketing. On top of that, any content that is created inside a business, whether it’s internal or external, must conform to some brand guidelines. This is a function of marketing.
Marketing gets involved in one way or another even if there is no obvious need for them and therefore most marketers are complete stressed out. They are trying to control everything. To some degree this is necessary, but it is a damn hard job to do. Marketing needs to define the process and everyone else needs to adhere to it.
That being stated, marketing cannot be involved and is not responsible for every single video that gets created. Individual departments and their respective thought leaders need to be responsible for their own creations. This is based on a plan, of course, and with a process in place.
It’s physically impossible for marketing, to be there and help with every video as that would be like a person from marketing standing over your shoulder every time you are writing a blog or creating a PowerPoint Deck.
Do you get my point?
Each department should be able to create videos to help drive the business forward. Marketing helps to make sure they all adhere to the right process.
So here are some tips for marketing:
• Reduce the barrier to enter the video “arena”. Find out what videos internal people can create that are easy and will help with communications. These can be some simple how-to videos or a video that explains a simple process. Sharing work related stories and employee interview are another possibility.
• Marketing needs to give some flexibility to employees and even customers to allow for some authentic content. Remember that when I say authentic content, I mean not perfect. Not 100% on message. Not 100% on brand, on vision and mission of the company.
• It’s really hard, nearly impossible, to create perfect video content. The striving for perfection and the difficulties to achieve it are why most companies don’t do video.
Message to marketing: Give people some flexibility, reduce the barrier, and see what comes out. You will be pleasantly surprised.
The Easiest Place to Start Getting Anyone Used to Video. Start with video conferencing.
It’s been around for a while but only in the last several years or so has it technically hit its stride. The bandwidth, quality of the webcams, and multiple software have made it more accessible and easier than ever.
Still, when a webcam is not turned on, the device is nothing more than a glorified phone.
And why are the cams turned off? It comes back to self-love where a lot of us are not comfortable with people seeing us when we are out of our normal character. At the office you are in a smart looking business outfit but at home you might be wearing worn sweatpants and a tattered but comfortable T- shirt and hair that makes you look like Albert Einstein.
There is no way in the world you want to be seen on the freaking webcam. This may come as a surprise but here is the deal:
If you have internal calls with your employees, and it doesn’t matter if they sit at a desk or are at home, it should be company policy that the video camera always be turned on during business hours.
There may be some reluctance at first, but this will help dramatically with people getting comfortable with video.
Don’t take my word for this. If you know of a tech startup company made up with younger folks, ask them if they require people to turn on their webcams during video conference calls.
They will probably give you that confused look because all their webcams are on. They are always on.
I doesn’t matter if you look like the creature from the lagoon emerging from the swamp, occasionally looking like hell is, I suppose, normal. It’s human and more important, it’s authentic.
So here is what you need to tell everyone:
“We want to start having some meetings online to help with time management. We will be using (Insert tool name. I have a list of awesome recommendations at the end of this book) to do this. I know most of you don’t like it, but we ask that you turn on your webcam so we can have that face to face feeling online. If you are working at home, please give you self a couple of minutes extra to make sure you are comfortable to be on camera and that your background is presentable.”
That is a very corporate-like email, so you are free to write it anyway you would like. In a nutshell, here is what you are trying to say:
• Make sure you are clothed. Do not stand up if you are only clothed from the waist up. Wear whatever you are comfortable wearing to work.
• We don’t care what you look like, only you do. But remember that you will be on camera.
• And please, no dirty dishes or underwear hanging in the background.
I hope you all get that!!
You will need to make this mandatory. Stress that this is the same as if you were meeting someone in person where you can see each other.
The only excuse for not having the cam on during working hours is sickness. If that happens that person should not be working and should be in bed getting rest. At least they won’t be spreading germs around your office!
How to Come up with 30 Highly Converting Video Topics in 1 Hour.
Coming up with topics is typically a pain in the “you know where”. It’s even harder when you are only
doing a few videos trying to fit 100+ years of experience into a few 2-minute segments. Here is the deal and it may seem a bit counterintuitive: You need to stop thinking about the number of videos. Just get those numbers out of your head as we go through this exercise.
Now, start thinking of how a typical book is organized. Huh, you say??
Yes, a book. A book has a title, a main heading for each section like acts 1,2,3 of a stage play, and underneath that are the chapters. The organization of a book can have the chapters going off on a tangent like branches of a tree or they can be more linear, like a company’s organizational chart.
I will bet that most of you, when you think of making a video, are focused on its title and the opening shots that the viewer will see. You wonder how the colors, the fonts etc. are going to look and how the audio will sound.
Even if you think I am crazy right now, just humor me before “they” come to take me away. Forget the editing, forget the style of the video, forget how it’s going to be used, forget how long it’s going to take and who’s going to be doing it. Just forget about all of that.
If you want video with high converting topics, then clear your head and ask yourself this question: In business, what really helps sell your product?
Is it building trust, or having a funny video? That may help but the best answer is when your video can help someone out. Sharing knowledge, solving a problem and teaching someone something that was unknown to them helps people and thus, increases a video’s communicating value.
In a sales environment, what do you talk about with your prospects and your existing customers? Aside from the weather or last Saturday’s round of golf, you are sharing your domain expertise and knowledge to help that person out.
It makes no difference if your product is a physical item, a service, a computer app or software, you (through your video content) are still helping that person by filling a need or solving a problem.
Helping people with live face to face or one on one conversations is not a problem because for most people, it’s so natural. You ask a question, they answer, you offer some advice, they ask another question, you offer more advice, and the cycle continues until there is resolution.
With video, the typical response is: “What do you want me to say?”
This is a common scenario because most people don’t have a clear vision of who they are talking to or why, when they are staring at a blank sheet of paper or a camera.
Before those people in the white coats arrive, I will offer you some tips to get topics that I have followed hundreds of times myself. They work every time.
When I want to get content that is as good as gold and will resonate with prospects and lead to sales, I ask the sales team this question:
“What questions does your prospect ask, and what is your answer to them, to ensure that you will hit your sales targets?”
The typical questions that prospects ask are often the same ones and are usually permanently etched into the heads of the sales team and customer service team as they interact daily with customers and prospects. Marketing may know these questions too, but they don’t have that daily interaction.
And what do I get with this one query? I get the truth. The stuff that matters. The Gold contents. It’s the information that enables the sales people to literally get gold in their pocket. (Ok – the cash equivalent of gold unless the salesperson deals in precious metals.)
For any marketer or whoever is responsible for creating topics. Whether it’s for video, or email, the following exercise will work for anything.
Step 1 – Organize a meeting with the head of sales and the head of customer service. If there is more than one of each, hold separate meetings.
There will be four people in the meeting. One from marketing who will drive this exercise, one from sales, one from customer service and one other person who can record the topics. 30 topics per hour is one every two minutes.
Step 2 – Next, you will go around the table and write down the top questions. Note things that customers, prospects, or anyone who asks about your business asks and what they are told. This can be comments from a sales call in a coffee shop or during a training call / demo. Any source is fair game.
Here are some tips to follow during and after the meeting:
• Be aware that questions from the different departments might seem similar so avoid combining these questions into the same category. A CFO’s perspective will differ slightly from the perspective of a CEO and the answer to their question will differ as well. Do the same for vertical (or industry specific) content.
• Get specific. Get granular. Remember what your 2nd grade teacher said: No questions are bad. There is no right or wrong here so just let it fly and get it down on paper.
• Normally at around the 30 to 40-minute mark, the meeting will be running out of steam so if you all are trying to think of something else and it’s taking more than 15 seconds, everyone might be thinking too hard.
• Don’t try fill a blank spot. Don’t do that. That’s making up content that you never use in your daily job and that no one really cares about.
At the end of the meeting you should have a list of the most relevant questions about your business that your prospects and customers want to know. Convert these into the titles of all your videos that you will make.
Be like Mr. Spock of Star Trek and apply logic. If the questions from the meeting are about the topics your customers care the most about, they will be the highest converting. They will prove most useful not only to your prospect and customers, but to your internal staff.
This is how YouTube works. When people want to know something, they look it up. And If the title of the video (or email as well) relates to what they want help with, they will consume it.
Types of Videos that Increase Sales for B2B (Business to Business)
What is the favorite topic for almost every human being? The answer is themselves! This is not surprising, but it also applies to most organization as well. Companies, or the people that own them or are employed by them, have a habit of talking about the company first. It’s human nature as well as corporate nature.
Life itself is sharing one’s beliefs, visions, missions, where you came from, who you are, etc. The problem is when this information is pushed onto someone that really doesn’t give a damn.
It comes down to timing and with B2B exchanges, this is the holy grail of sales. Being at the right place at the right time, and with the correct message will close a deal even if it’s scrawled on a cocktail napkin.
We live in a digital age. Our audience is distracted, and the behavior of new buyers has changed to where we now play a different game. We have the tools that are helping us meet the challenge, but it’s not easy with an ever-changing arena where the game is played.
With video, the best plan of action is to focus on content that authentically helps and gives the most valuable information first without asking for anything in return.
Videos paint a story of what can be done to solve a problem. They bring awareness and add new insight. They share best practices that will ultimately help the viewer. In just a few minutes, the viewer gains some knowledge that they didn’t have before. And this is the essence of helping.
Good people, as I hope we all are, want the trust of others and try to gain it as we interact with people. Some people do this automatically, some not, but to gain trust there is no better way than to simply help out.
“How To” content and “Thought Leadership” content is nothing new. Most organizations today send newsletters, emails, white papers, and run webinars that share valuable insight to gain the trust of the audience.
Video, and especially when there is a visible person in the video who is a real person from the company, will add an element that you will not find on the Periodic Table of Elements.
And that “element” is human trust.
Humans are communal creatures. We love to interact at events, lunches, parties, you name it. We need to see each other.
Some believe that putting a person in video takes away from the message or even distracts from it.
YouTube has proven that wrong. Most every YouTuber, with 5 million views or only five, shares a story with a face appearing on the screen.
The primary reason a Youtuber does anything, is to inform or entertain their audience.
I implore you to use your people, the people with incredible knowledge inside your company, and start sharing their knowledge through video. Let them be authentic and let their humanity show through. Share valuable knowledge, and you will see firsthand how it impacts your bottom line.
Why 80% of the Success of a Video Happens Before You Record Anything.
Most businesses begin a video project in one of the following two ways:
1) Crap, we need a video and we need it yesterday.
2) Crap, this is a great opportunity, let’s just shoot a bunch of video footage and we’ll edit it later.
Both approaches are fueled by passion and shear excitement. And that part I love, BTW!
However, these approaches cause nothing but headaches so in my opinion, they can be added to the list as #4,598,838 as to why businesses don’t like video.
Now, don’t run to mother or blame yourself. This is simply how businesses tend to operate. Everything has a deadline or there isn’t enough time, etc. etc. etc.
Pressure is not necessarily a bad thing. I personally love pressure and do my best work under it. Many businesspeople can relate to that. Presentations can be done quickly, blogs can be written, and pulling together material for an event in quick order is the norm for some. Many people thrive while under the gun.
They can do this because in most cases they’ve been there before, maybe dozens of times, and have proven they are capable of being in charge. If not, they would not have that job in the first place.
With video, most people don’t do it on a regular basis. This can be troublesome especially when it needs to be done fast, as that usually means there are a bunch of other people involved in the task.
This is like learning how to swim in the Atlantic Ocean. If you have ever experienced some good waves, and a badass undertow on the beaches of Florida, then you know what I mean. You don’t learn there, you flail about and possibly drown.
So, don’t try to do your first video under the gun. Save that for when you have done it a bunch and it has become a natural part of your business.
A YouTuber can make a video that rocks in under an hour. So can I. You can too, but not under pressure and not on your first try.
A true sales professional should be able to prepare for a presentation in the elevator on the way to the meeting because he or she has already laid the groundwork for the sale. The same applies to video.
If done correctly 80% of the entire success of the video happens before you hit the record button, before anything is shot or created.
And just like anything else, a successful video needs to have the right process to be executed properly. This takes time to learn but the more you do it, the better you become at it and the faster it gets.
At the beginning, give yourself ample amount of time. Time to prep, learn, and get better. My experience running video production agencies was that it was a rare event to launch a video when the client initially wanted it. It had nothing to do with us as most of the time the client held it back on purpose. We were not just doing; we were learning, and this requires time.
Of course, we faced hard deadlines, and we did everything we could to meet them. This is not unlike an analogy that I use often. Think of someone throwing a bunch of wood in a big pile and then telling you to build a house.
That’s like shooting a bunch of video footage, and then figuring out what to do with it.
When you shoot videos, you need to have a clear plan of execution to eliminate questions and in- process adaptations that will hinder your efforts. You can adjust a PowerPoint Deck, but it is tough to add a forgotten piece of video after the shooting is complete.
You will learn to eliminate footage that was shot when you thought it was easier just to keep shooting. Hours of footage become maybe 10 or 15 minutes that will become the final 2-minute video. This will make your life much easier.
I will talk more about this when we get into the different video types, and how much time you should devote when planning your video shoot.
How to Create a Company Video Voice and Keep Them all on Brand.
One of the frequent questions I get asked is this: How do you keep the brand consistent when people from the organizations are not scripted?
In the “language” of marketing, this means how can marketing keeps things in control.
The short answer is, they can’t. Ten to fifteen years ago a video producer could control everything because this was an era of less content. The content could be controlled by hiring actors and actresses and writing scripts that were strictly followed. Today, that will blow up your budget, cause your video to lose authenticity and it certainly will not be a natural part of your business.
In the age of skyrocketing digital content, this is also the reason why most marketing and communication departments are so focused on control. It is also one of the many reasons (my unofficial list numbers about 5 million reasons) that marketers are stressed out.
You cannot control, but you can demand that standards be put in place such as:
• Presenting yourself as if you were talking to a new person that you just met at a business event. Be professional and respectful.
• Don’t discuss politics, religion, and anything that might get you in trouble.
You parents should have taught you those standards when you were 10 years old and if you think about it, these standards of behavior are no different than what are already in place for meetings and public events.
These are standard HR practices but when you boil it down, you simply should be kind to your fellow employees and customers because they are the voice of your company.
Video just happens to digitize it, resulting in a company voice that is truly unique to your business.
To empower people to do video, they need to be able to be themselves. Some people speak fast, some
say a lot of ums. Some talk with their hands, others don’t hold eye contact.
This is all okay, it’s who they are, and they can’t act natural if someone tries to change them. (Remember that from a previous chapter?)
This applies especially to the ums, butt-ahs, slight stuttering and minor mispronunciations that pepper the speech of normal people. Obviously, a glaring misspeak should be edited out of your video, but it is best to fight the urge to cut minor speech faults. Leave it in. We all do it and it makes the speaker seem more human, and builds trust.
The only reason you would even care is because you have watched the video 50 times, and that is all that you are hearing.
Be like Elsa in Frozen and Let it Go… (Que Elsa #dadjoke )
While it might seem like a daunting task, keeping all video assets on brand is really not that hard. The key is to standardize the types of videos. Decide what they look like, roughly how long will they be, and what is required in things like fonts, post roll (“Post Roll” is another video term for the company logo or some form of graphic usually at the beginning and end of the video.)
I will devote an entire section to classifying videos because it allows the video creators to know what the exact output should resemble and the guidelines that define it. This result will be videos with consistent output.
There are pitfalls to putting the wrong guidelines to the delivery of the content inside the video.
Example: Every video needs to be energetic, light and positive.
Sounds great but that is not attainable. That guideline only works for a company logo or a set of marketing pictures.
Here are examples of more realistic guidelines or video standards that you can implement to ensure consistency with all around video content:
• Every video needs to have good light, and proper audio quality.
• Training videos should be no longer than 8 minutes, give or take.
• The video content needs to be aligned with the video title.
These are comparable to what a company might have as blog standards. Blogs are easily edited by marketing or the content owner by a few tweaks in a Word file. Video is harder to edit because it can turn into a never-ending editing “round robin” between marketing and the producer. I’ll get deeper into that in the next chapter.
Most of us, even those who have not written one, know that a blog is usually between 300 and 1,000 words or about one to two pages long. We know that they are generally focused one topic, and that they are written by one person.
Now, are you thinking that we can control blogs and can simply adjust them for a voice on video? While I respect that opinion, think about this:
If everyone in your company created a weekly blog with their own style as if they were communicating in person, how much control would you have? Do you agree that this is unrealistic?
Another plus for video is that it is easier to create video content than blog content. More on that later.
Everybody needs to be themselves. They have a natural voice in the real world. People don’t choose
their voice; they are born with it and they just need to use it.
Employees love to talk about what they do and how passionate they are so let them share and educate. You will see a unique video voice that emerges that no one else can copy.
90% Good Enough? The last 10% will Kill You!
I love that headline.
I may have made it up myself or stole it from somewhere, but I have been using it forever.
Your therapist and self-help programs may tell you that perfectionism is often a mask for a deeper problem.
It is often said about artists that they are never fully satisfied with their work. It can always be better. As a video “artist” you probably are driven to create that perfect video.
Videos used to cost a bunch of money and time. This meant that there were a lot of “eyeballs” focused on your project and this, along with your desire to be perfect, translated to enormous pressure.
But think about the reality of how many people, aside from you, your bosses, colleagues, friends, and of course your mom (who will adore it) will actually watch the video you helped create.
Take all those people out of the viewing equation and the remainder is the true viewing audience. It does not matter if the video is for training or internal purposes, the true audience will, at best, watch it only once in its entirety.
Now, ponder this: Have you ever watched a movie for a second time and noticed something new? Have you ever watched it for a third time and again picked up on something new? Have you ever watched that same movie for a fourth time and discovered details that you missed the first three times around?
I hope you get my point that this doesn’t just happen at editing. It happens in the entire video creation process to people who watch the video over and over.
For the Title: You choose one. You think about it and you talk about it. You notice something so you change it. Then you think, “Damn, that’s not good either.” And you keep trying.
With Scripting: You write the first script. Then the second. Then you focus on one sentence try to find better words to use in that sentence.
With the Shooting: You do a first take, then a second, a third, a fourth, a fifth… You know it can be better, you just need to add that one word here, tweak that smile at the right time, and edit out the footage of the speaker picking his nose while extoling the virtues of a product.
Finally Editing: Various people saying, “I don’t like how that was said.” Or, “Can we insert this picture here?” Or, “Can we move this logo up a half an inch? That’s better. Well actually no, move it back.”
Guess what. No one except you and the people you are working with on the project, will ever see those changes.
Those minute changes that you agonized over will make absolutely no difference in the impact of the video. Remember, this is not a Super Bowl commercial, or a movie nominated for an Oscar.
That last 10% to perfection will absolutely drive you nuts, never be good enough, kill you, drain you, stress out your partner and kids.
Que Elsa: “Let it go…”
If you ever get to talk to any big time professional who is in the business of video production, I guarantee that they will empathize with these experiences and have dozens of relatable stories to share with you.
Rest assured that similar scenarios play out even with huge budget Super Bowl spots where the tension is tenfold, especially with a “whack load” of money being spent.
Here is another example of what happens with a big budget commercial:
A client asks for a change to be made on a massive big budget commercial. The experienced producer knows after 20 years of doing this that the change will have zero impact and that practically no one will notice.
So, a week or so later, the producer shows the client the amended commercial and the client absolutely loves it. What the client doesn’t know, and the wily producer does, it that the change was
never made. This happens all the time.
People, especially with video, tie their own emotions, feelings and desires to the outcome. This adds a layer of complexity to the entire project.
I will go back to the Youtuber. The average pro Youtuber pumps out 3-4 videos per week all with a budget of $0 and a team of one.
So, think like a Youtuber. 90% is good enough because that last 10% may prove fatal and will make no difference to the outcome. Why not just be kind to yourself?
Types of Business Video and Where to use Them
The Types of Video that Business Needs to be Using
It’s about time we got to the good stuff, the meat and potatoes for those of you not on a keto diet.
I always get a couple of questions on this topic. First, what type of video works best for (insert whatever you are trying to do)? And the second question, usually from marketing is, what works best to get more leads, increase traffic, achieve higher engagement, get better conversion, more likes, comments, etc. etc.?
More recently, I have conversations that fall under the category of “We just need to use more video, because that is what people want.”
The best way for video to begin rocking in any company is to first define the types of videos, like a record label, that others can relate to. The challenge with video is that it’s too broad on its own. There are too many variables, and everyone has a different opinion, belief, or ideas of what that video should be.
The 2nd “kicker” of this e-book is that no one is wrong. And that is the problem. If it’s too broad, has no borders, no categories, then it’s almost impossible to do video.
There are about 10 main categories and dozens of subcategories of Hollywood movies such as action, comedy, drama and so on. With your videos you can literally drive yourself crazy trying to categorize them. So, let’s make this simple (simple is scalable) and choose the five video types for business that I have successfully used for years that are proven to help companies adopt more video:
• Screen Capture
• Director of Photography
• Personal Video Messages
Let’s define them a little bit deeper one by one.
Animation Video Style
Animation videos have been extremely popular in business because they can explain, and more importantly, visualize complex ideas in a very short amount of time.
They are typically done with a well-crafted script, a professional voice over person to read it and animated graphics that bring the script and story to life.
They are usually around 90 seconds in length. They can be made shorter but it’s really hard, in my experience, to express something impactful in under a minute. The video becomes more of an ad if you are under 60 seconds. It’s very easy, however, to take a 90 second animated video, cut out a section, and make it into a 15 or 30 second ad.
The costs will vary from $199 up to $100,000 as will the quality. If you are thinking that this is a wide range, you are correct. Remember that you get what you pay for. And none of this makes video the choice over other methods for most businesses. Not even one bit.
To reduce the variables that detract from animation videos, here are my best practices for setting boundaries and defining a style should you chooses this path.
• Spend time and resources on a good script. You will need to be involved because you know the story best. Unlike other styles, this is the only type that has a script. With 90 seconds, you need to be laser focused, so spending time to get the script right will reap benefits.
• Hire a professional to read the script and become the voice. It does make a difference that your viewers will notice. Hiring Uncle Joe because he has a good singing voice will not work unless there is singing in the video or Uncle Joe is himself a professional.
• Any animation needs to match your branding and infographics. The video needs to look like it belongs to you and not some generic company. Stick figures may work in some cases but should be avoided especially when you are dealing with B2B.
• Make sure the information in the video matches your site including white papers, infographics, and any other material that you spent a great deal of time and dedication to perfect.
Spokesperson Video Style
This is the most versatile style simply because the videos have people in them! And I mean normal “real” people, not actors.
Spokesperson videos can be shot on Smartphones. The uses are endless, and I will probe deeper on that later.
Basically, spokesperson videos have people sharing some form of knowledge. The videos are typically 2 minutes or so in length. If it’s for training purposes, they should be no longer than 8 minutes per segment.
Other names for spokesperson videos are live action, talking head, thought leadership, or just an interview. The reason I use spokesperson is because there is some person literally speaking in the video.
Most of the time, these are the exact type of videos that businesses want as they can convey a ton of textual and verbal communication in a short two or three minutes.
And since they can be produced on Smartphones, spokesperson videos are a very scalable and inexpensive video option.
Screen Capture Video Style
The name says it all. This “puppy” will capture your screen, your audio, your webcam, and turn it into a
Most of these are done with the screen only, and no integrated webcam. That’s the little box usually on the bottom right corner, where you can see the person’s face that is talking and walking you through the screen.
Without a webcam, following a cursor on a screen with nothing else on it, is freaking boring.
It is vital that you have your webcam on. If you don’t know that by now, then you probably skipped to this chapter without reading why this is important from an earlier segment.
Not being actors, businesspeople may not have much of an animated voice so relying only on voice and text is difficult. When you turn on the webcam, you get a massive boost of engagement from the facial communication side of things. Did I mention that following a cursor on a screen is really, really boring?
Youtubers do this all the time. Remember, they do things that work. Not what some corporate entity tells them.
Finally, the same length guidelines apply here as in the animation videos, 3 minutes max for short marketing vids and 8 minutes per segment with a training video.
Director of Photography Video Style
I know I am going to get comments on this with people saying, “This isn’t a style. It’s a professional videographer person, not a video type”. Yeah, Yeah, I know.
Please allow me to explain. A Director of Photography (DOP) is a pro who knows how to shoot, has his/her own gear, and can kick ass, and capture great content. They do this for a living, and you can hire them for a day, a week, or a month if you have the budget.
You will probably never need to hire a DOP for a month or even a week but there are times when you need a pro DOP for a day or two. You need a professional who can capture the footage that you can’t get yourself.
A perfect example of this is at a conference.
If you are in marketing, you likely have had the “lovely pleasure” of organizing, attending, building and tearing down your display area and being exhausted for a week after the event.
There is massive potential to capture great content at events, but it’s a mad house of activity.
Having a pro to do the video capturing is very well worth it. You will still need a solid plan but while you are busy networking, demonstrating and doing other conference related activities, your DOP will be collecting great footage including video of you if you want to star in your own spokesperson video.
Essentially, a DOP style video contains needed footage shot by a professional that will be of superior quality.
There are other benefits with a DOP. You can build up your own B-Roll library. B-Roll is stock video footage. The B-Roll video clips are inserted into videos to make them more engaging. Having a professional come to your office, your home or an event will enable you to capture a ton of high- quality B-roll that is yours, unique to you, and useful for years to come.
Personal Video Messages Types
For the second time in this e-book, mark my words. Personal Video in email, it’s coming like a new age global warming storm, and it will be the new norm.
Think about it. The tools are getting easier and better every day so anyone can use them. My favorite is Soapbox. Tools like this allow you to shoot quick video messages, do some quick edits, add a link into an email and send it off right from your browser.
This can be super powerful when you send a personal video message. If it is personal, then who wouldn’t open it?
As evidence to support my claim, I’ve had people come up to me month later saying, “Hey, you sent me a personal video”. They don’t remember anything that I said in the video, but they remember it.
With the average businessperson getting 200+ emails a day, having a personal video message in one of them stands out just like my VHS tape did for my resume many years ago.
For me, most of the time, it’s much faster and WAY more impactful to send a video email than it is to type it out.
The Hardest Type of Video to Create
The most difficult type of video of all is the Brand Story video.
These are the ones that gives you goose bumps, inspires you and can even make you cry. In other words, it moves you. These videos win awards.
I have had the pleasure to work on some awesome videos like this but some of them took a year to script. Yep, that is 12 long months just to come up with 225 words, and a storyboard in perfect
sequence to make you go “Damn, that is fantastic.” Every business want’s one.
No problem to do if you have a $100K, and it probably won’t take a year to make unless your story is quite unusual.
Let me offer you an alternative way to spend that $100K. I would spend $1K on a solid video that resonates with your audience, and then give the $98K to LinkedIn, YouTube, and Facebook to make sure that your audience sees it.
Spend the last $1K on something nice for yourself because the results might just give you goose bumps in anticipation of people wanting your service or product.
Videos for Marketing
Now that we have categorized the video types, let’s look at which of those are suitable for use in marketing. It’s not surprising that all of them are.
Great content is great content. If it can be used out in the public, then somewhere at some time marketing is sure to have a use for it. They are always looking for ways to get their greedy palms on more great content.
And why does marketing always need great content? The main reason is to feel the “pulse” on what video is getting created, when it is created and by what department. As I mentioned earlier marketing needs to control and own the content. They don’t want to sit over anyone’s shoulder and control it, they do want to see what content can be re-purposed.
With good planning and a solid process in place, it’s relatively easy for marketing to pull out great video content from training, internal communications, technical, personal video messaging and well, you name it.
And I have not even mentioned the number of written messages and tweets that can be extracted from video content by transcribing it.
Very often, great content is created but it’s buried in some folder deep within the digital abyss that
marketing knows nothing about. When they find it, they are sure to exclaim, “This is amazing!!”
Videos for Salespeople
Some salespeople will literally “run through fire wearing a gasoline suit” to close a sale. They have pretty much a one-track mind.
Short of acquiring 3rd degree burns most salespeople will use anything to help including, and most definitely, videos.
This is because a good portion of the selling process is spent following up to see if it’s a good time to re-connect, to see if this or that has been done, to check client status etc. etc.
Sales reps are always looking for an excuse to reach out and get more information to move things forward. This is where great video content enters the sales stage.
If your business has created a bunch of great video content surrounded by customer reference videos or industry through leadership updates (both examples of spokesperson videos) and How-To videos (Screen Capture), then salespeople will absolutely love to use them as an excuse to follow up and inform.
The video content needs to be easily accessible to the salespeople so they can easily copy and paste a link to the video in an email and send it off.
This will prove especially effective if the info on the email video is not yet available to the public or posted on social media by the marketing team. That will arouse your prospect’s sense of curiosity.
In my humble opinion, using personal video messages by salespeople is a no brainer. Every salesperson I know is struggling to get the attention of their prospects.
This will only get harder and harder as time goes on. Personal video message stands out. It differentiates, it cuts through that noise.
Videos for Customer Service
Customer service is all about helping a customer in the most effective way possible. Currently, this is done through emails, chat, website FAQs, PDFs, webinars and so on.
Using short and to the point screen capture videos can dramatically increase the efficiency of customers service departments.
Customer Service will also benefit by something that is only available with video, the ability to track the watch time. This data will help gauge the effectiveness of the customer service team and that will lead to improvements by discovering what is working and what is not.
Because most of the customer help material is already done in text or PDF, it’s a matter of transferring the knowledge, and putting it into a short video which is easily done.
Using a PowerPoint Deck or creating a screen capture video with a person on a webcam will not only bring life to the content but will build trust because of the personal touch made possible by the webcam.
Videos for HR & Internal Communications
Video can bring to life and humanize the leaders, executives and thought experts within a company. But organizations usually do not have a budget for video and likely never will unless a THINK VIDEO FIRST attitude is adopted.
This is where the Smartphone, webcams and all the readily available high-quality video can really shine.
Spokesperson messages using the video personal message via email are great for company updates, quarterly updates, employee sharing, upcoming event alerts and important announcements to name a few.
There is no need for an overly produced highly edited production. It just needs to be in video format.
Anyone can just grab their phone, walk into someone’s office, shoot a quick video and send it out.
Training and onboarding manuals are full of great information and are very important to get new employees off to a good start and make sure that they do their jobs right. They are written and designed by many people in different areas of the business, but they have one big problem. They are almost always very flat and boring. Instead of a tool for training they might as well be a lullaby.
Utilizing short videos for training segments, especially if there are different people from the different areas of the business, will have a huge impact on engagement and overall effectiveness of the communication.
This is not the place for fancy editing or trying to be perfect (remember the 90% rule?) as this is a recipe for disaster. If the information in the video is accurate and informative, it will be a breath of fresh air compared to a dull cumbersome employee training manual.
Like it or not, Baby Boomers are leaving the workplace and Millennials are entering it creating a “new age” workforce. If you want to attract the brightest minds of the future, you must speak their language.
And this is best done through video.
Videos for Technical
When I mention technical, I’m talking about the “heavy” stuff. The deep knowledge that requires decades to learn and is full of amazing information. Good examples of tech companies are developers and engineers in the software industry or a hi-tech manufacturing facility that must follow procedures to an exacting level.
The challenge is to transfer, or digitize, the vast bodies of knowledge that people have stuck in their brains. Creating technical documentation is rather complex and time-consuming. Most technical talent is not that thrilled to be creating documentation. They are better off in a laboratory making the next great technical breakthrough or re-inventing the mousetrap.
And when you think about it, who wants to be like a 12th century monk huddled in a dim cubicle documenting every detail of a complicated procedure or process?
But video is a different story. The easiest way to immortalize a conversation between two people talking about a specific topic is with video. Think of it as an interview or an informal chat on your living room sofa that just happens to be recorded. Once again, this can all be done with Smartphones. It really can.
While technical people generally dislike clerical tasks, they love technical videos. In fact, the more technical or “over the head” of most people the content is, the more trustworthy it is to the intended technical audience.
Ask a software developer or engineer how they feel about marketing content and you’re likely to get an immediate eye roll. They know if marketing gets their hands on any technical content, they
immediately turn it into “marketing-speak” to appeal to the broadest audience.
This kills the authenticity of the content and it may change the context. And that can be disastrous with technical information.
Most technical people know that a two-minute video is not long enough to make a detailed technical presentation, so they are drawn to longer videos. A 20 to 30-minute podcast like video is common with technical topics. I still believe and highly recommend, however, that you stick close to the 8-minute length for learning segments with technical videos.
Technical speak is deep. It takes time to understand, review and generally discuss. Video is by far the easiest way to capture and digitize this great knowledge to engage a brand-new audience.
More Awesome Stuff About Video
How to Use Video to Create Mountains of Other Content
Let’s look at the many ways most businesses create content:
• Power point presentations
• Audio recordings
• Video (Of course!!)
• Graphics, like charts infographics etc.
• Other ways that I am forgetting about.
My point? Just replace the above list with “a bunch of ways.”
Most people in businesses still write to communicate. But most businesspeople were never taught to write well, and it doesn’t come natural to them.
Texting, OMG, this has increased the speed of EVERYTHING. Business communications, especially with email, has become a race to see how fast someone can plow through their inbox.
Even my email provider offers up suggestions on how to complete my sentences as I am writing. Driven by machine learning, this is meant to speed up my ability to get more sh*t done.
My point is that digitizing content through writing and PowerPoint Decks is not easy and doesn’t come natural to most of us. So once again, we turn to video.
Let’s forget for now that most businesspeople don’t like to speak using video.
Speaking is a natural form of communication that everyone can do to some degree even when they are being recorded. When the recording is transcribed, it can yield a mountain of written content not to mention social snippets, like tweets, sounds bytes, etc.
In the legal and medical field, video cannot be used as the final form of documentation, so lawyers and physicians dictate their notes and have them transcribed by someone else.
A Smartphone with good audio quality is just as effective at recording voice as it is for visual images. Any video / voice recording can be replayed endless times if needed to understand accents or unclear speech. A transcriber can use a Smartphone just as easily as an old-fashioned transcribing machine with the foot pedals and such.
And now, non-human transcribing can be done via artificial intelligence, which is getting better and better every day.
My point is this. If you START with video, not only do you have the most powerful medium as the starting content, but you can get a mountain of other business content both audio and visual, from that one video.
Let’s look at an example of what one video can provide. Imagine a training video with the title of, “The top 3 tactics for making a great first impression in a business meeting”. I know this is a long boring title but once again we are not competing for an Academy Award.
If the speaker needs about two minutes for each of the three tactics, then the video will be about six or seven minutes long.
And here is a list of what you can reap from it:
• 1 x 6-minute video, the original longer video.
• 3 x 2-minute video segments. One for each point.
• 1 blog of about 900 words. The average person speaks about 150 words per minute so transcribe it, clean it up, and you have a blog.
• 15 tweets (approximately). It’s been my experience that there are normally 5 good short
sound bites (tweets) per every 2 min of video.
• 1 x 6-minute audio only clip, add this to a larger audio session and make a learning podcast.
All of this (21 items if I counted correctly) from one source, the original six-minute video.
This is how the pros do it. The content gurus take one piece of video, chop it up and turn it into a mountain of fantastic content.
All starting with one person speaking in a natural way dispensing valuable knowledge on what they know so well.
Why Youtubers Shoot Video They Way They Do, And Why Is It So Effective
Have you ever watched a professional YouTuber? Of course, you have.
The style is very similar on most of these videos. It’s a person or a group talking, jumping around and doing crazy stuff. Perhaps it’s just someone talking into the camera about making slime, or some other topic that, as a parent, I have no idea why my kids and a bazillion other kids watch it.
My daughter asked me the other day, “Dad, how many subscribers do you have on your YouTube channel?”
I replied with my own question, “How many do you think I have?” Daughter: “I don’t know, a million or two?” Me: “I don’t make slime videos, so not that many”
If you have kids, you know this. If you don’t, be warned that YouTubers and kids live in a very different reality than adults. Their sense of reality will infiltrate business sooner than you think just like previous generations brought their quirky childhood realities to business 25 or 50 years ago.
With YouTubers, their video style is shot on a DSLR camera with one mic. There are a lot of hard quick cuts. If you’ve ever seen it, it looks jumpy. They do this with nothing, no fancy studio with special lighting and sets. I repeat, except for the camera they do this with nothing.
The content does the work. The person on the screen telling the story makes it work.
The hard cuts, the abrupt edits not only happen to be very engaging for the viewer, there is always something moving around keeping us engaged. And it’s extremely easy to edit.
Fancy editing techniques all take crazy amounts of time, and don’t do diddley squat for the end results.
The other main reason that YouTubers are so successful is because they don’t need to spend any money or have any budget. They don’t need a month to shoot their content. They just have themselves and their stories.
So, if you want to be a successful YouTuber, you need to consistently get great content out there ASAP and that means NOW.
And to do that, you need to make the video production process as simple and quick as possible with your marketing budget of $0 and a staff of 1.
Business video needs to take the exact same approach as YouTubers when it comes to production techniques when creating video content.
Great content, hard cuts, simple production and a quick turnaround are the key to great video. So, learn from the YouTubers. If you can adapt and adopt their mindset, your business will thrive.
The #1 Video Stat that Matters and What it tells you that no Other Medium Can. .
For this next to last segment, I’m going to discuss viewer engagement and the mysterious dimension of time as it applies to video.
When you watch a video, it’s linear. You are sitting there engaged and watching.
I am assuming that except for rock music videos, where you can be doing something else while the video plays in the background, that you do want to sit down and watch it. Our focus is on business video so unless your business involves music, this assumption applies. I say that because I know that people play YouTube video as background music instead of looking at the content.
For the sake of this chapter, I will also assume that you are watching a video because you are interested. And when you watch the video you are “engaged”. If not, you close it and “disengage”.
Online video tracks engagement. It can tell you exactly how long a person has watched a video and what the overall engagement rate is for every viewer. If you have a 100 people watching a 1-minute video at a 50% engagement rate, the total time spent on that video is 50 minutes.
While a 50% engagement rate makes for an easy sample calculation, anything over 60% is a solid performance for a video. In fact, 60% is fantastic. Tracking one single piece of video content can tell with very high accuracy the amount of time your audience was engaged.
Here is another non-math equation that only video can satisfy: Listening + Watching = Learning. You
can’t get this or achieve this with any other medium.
Take this e-book for example. There is no way I can tell if you skimmed, skipped, or read the entire thing twice because it is such a great e-book that earned your rapt attention. I have no idea what the engagement rate of this book is. Even on websites, where the number of visitors is recorded by the number of clicks, you cannot tell what, or if, anyone is reading the content.
With video, you know exactly what is being viewed or consumed. It’s linear. The video can only take
that one path.
Knowing that, you can argue that the more time people spend consuming your knowledge about your business, the greater chance of increased brand awareness, trust, and future business.
This is the true power of video, and why so many companies are chasing it. And this brings me to my final segment.
What YouTube Facebook and all Other Social Platforms Care About
What do you have in common with Bill Gates, Ariana Grande, The Sultan of Brunei, me and even Donald Trump? The answer is your time. We all exist in and have the same amount of time.
The more time that you or anyone else gives to social media outlets or any digital channel, the more ads there are that can be placed on that screen right in front of you.
It is exactly the same with TV networks. Those of us of a certain age remember 1980 when CNN first launched their 24-hour news channel with the wonderful booming baritone voice of James Earl Jones saying, “This is CNN”. Impressive as his voice still is, everyone at that time thought its founder Ted Turner was nuts.
Hmmmmm. Guess Again. CNN was never about providing more news. It was all about getting more of your attention and your engagement time.
And Video is the king when it comes to getting your time. The large global giants know this all too well.
Isn’t it about time, that your business started using video, the greatest communications medium of the