This year I am celebrating 30 years of working in professional film & video production. Of course, I started young 😉 – as you can see from the photos of me below in my first job at a corporate video production company.
We worked with bulky cameras, had to edit on ‘tape’ and then distributed clients’ corporate videos on VHS which were watched at a set time in a corporate boardroom!! I could not have imagined then how easily videos would later be made and also how easily they would be able to be shared to such specifically targeted audiences!
We all watch videos – videos are powerful because they can entertain, have the potential to go viral, they are easy for viewers to consume, demanding little brain power, and can be used for so many things from teaching to promoting. It is forecast that 74 percent of all internet traffic this year will be video – what an astonishing figure!? But not all of the videos produced will do the job they were made to do – some videos just don’t ‘work’ – and for small businesses taking their first steps into video marketing this could mean a loss of business – and a loss of confidence in one of the most powerful forms of communication.
When I started learning the ropes in 1987, the quality of the image was nowhere near to what you can get on a smartphone now. But it has always been – and will always be – what you do with the recording device that matters – and how you create and target your message. Just because a smartphone can record beautiful High Definition video, which can be edited with a free ‘app’, doesn’t mean it’s going to help your business. A poorly made video with a poor message and strategy will have a negative impact on whatever you are trying to promote – and will possibly put you off trying this amazing and very powerful form of marketing again – thinking that it doesn’t work for you! But it can!
Video marketing means producing videos using a marketing strategy to promote your business, product or service. And strategy is, sadly, what is lacking in so many of the videos I see being made these days – just because we have the technology . . . .
Don’t get me wrong – I think it’s fantastic that we all, with a little bit of practice, have the technical ability to make videos – for very little cost – it’s how you use this technology that makes all the difference. Anyone can now even broadcast ‘live’ through many of the apps available such as Periscope, Meerkat or Facebook etc. HOWEVER, live or not live, I will not waste my time watching anything that has not been planned or that has poor sound or that makes me feel sea-sick (mini-tripods are not expensive – treat yourself – then I might watch your business video!)
Another type of video that frustrates me and turns me off are videos that are just composed of images plonked onto a music bed – no additional info in the form of text or a voice-over – no clear message – just images (even if they are beautiful) with cheap ‘elevator-type’ or just badly chosen music. Nope – there are many more interesting videos out there that give me more value for my time – which, like yours, is precious.
And what I love best of all (when done well) is to see the business owners themselves – rather than just their products. Business is done between people – and video is a great way to get the personality and passion behind a business across to your customer – but that’s a subject that I will be writing about in another blog . . . because it does need to be done well – and it doesn’t always mean that you have to stand in front of a camera! Although, here I am in this video – sitting in front of the camera – giving an overview of thirty years of working in video production: https://youtu.be/9yT0BmtAWrY
So, before any camera is picked up, whether professional or within a smartphone, make sure you address these 5 points below first – and then apply point 6! If you don’t, you could lose customers – even your current ones!
- What’s your message? What need or desire are you going to fulfil by someone buying your product or service after watching your video?
- Who is your target audience? Age, sex, current knowledge of your product or service? Again, what do they need or desire?
- Your business is made up of many aspects – don’t try and cram everything into one long video. Instead, think about how you might be able to, perhaps, make a series of short videos, that you can drip-feed out – such as a series of videos that answer your customers’ FAQ’s and show you as the expert? Tailored videos with specific goals and messages will be much more effective in the long run3.
- The first eight seconds. One way to start your video is with a question relating to a need your potential customer has such as ‘Are you tired of . . .’ or ‘Do you need a . .’ etc. It immediately hooks the viewer into wanting to know what might be the solution to their needs or problem – as it’s during the first eight seconds that viewers decide whether they are going to carry on watching or just zap to the next video waiting for them. Once you’ve got their attention you can introduce you/your business as being the ‘solution’ – and then end your video with a good CTA (Call to Action) – ie do you want your viewers to sign up for something? Do you want them to go to your website? Make it clear – and easy for them to do whatever you want them to do
- Be real and authentic; you want your viewers to see you as an expert and place trust in your brand.
- Getting your video ‘seen’. Once your video has been shot and edited – and music and graphics added where appropriate – what are you going to do with it then? How are the right people, ie your target audience – going to get to see this video that you’ve put so much effort into? You have many options on social media from organic sharing to paid ads. To help you understand the differences between just two of those platforms, Facebook and Youtube, check out a recent blog of mine here.
I have watched technology develop over the last 30 years (and had to keep up with it!) and I still marvel on a daily basis at the power that technology has brought to each and every one of us – personally and in business. No longer is video only an option for businesses with big budgets. It’s there for us all – but it needs to be used wisely.
I strongly recommend that you take advantage of the extraordinary power of video as a way to market your business (even if you have been put off by trying before or from watching too many poor videos made by others)– and maximise on the current technologies from all the excellent recording devices available and to this current and unique way of marketing using numerous social media platforms – before your competition does!
If you would like to explore video marketing further, please do get in touch with me at Joanna@videoprofrance.com to arrange a time for a free, no obligation chat – and find out how video production and marketing can benefit your particular business.
You can also check out some of my recent work here: VideoProFrance YouTube channel
or visit my websites: VideoProFrance – for business owners and PropertyVideo.marketing for property sellers. And of course you can also connect with me on these platforms: