Sixty-five percent of the population are visual learners, so it’s no wonder video is dominating business marketing.
According to marketing automation market leader HubSpot, “Video on landing pages is capable of increasing conversion rates by over 80%, and the mere mention of the word “video” in your email subject line increases open rates by 19%. 90% of customers also say videos help them make buying decisions.”
As alluring as all that sounds, video can be an expensive proposition for small to medium sized businesses with frugal marketing budgets, especially if you cold-call for quotes. Here are 3 tips that might be helpful in implementing effective video marketing.
#1: Get a Professional
Film is always a visual medium: you are telling a story of your product or company first and foremost with the camera work. A professional is trained to do that. They shoot from different angles, so the result is visually dynamic and three-dimensional. They block your people and light your product, so everything is generating positive sensory and emotional responses from your prospect. And they edit so the visual pacing retains your prospect’s interest.
While it’s tempting to shoot video with your phone, or have a hobbyist friend come in and shoot cheaply, we don’t recommend this option. You run a high risk of 65% of your prospects responding to your video as they would a local commercial compared to your competitor’s national one. Even if we can’t say why we know the difference between a local and national commercial, we’ve all watched enough television to recognize the difference instantly.
What’s more, you’re more than likely to end up spending as much on the backend as you would’ve hiring a professional in the first place. That’s due to:
- Poor lighting, sound, and editing
- Hours & resources spent re-editing the resulting video
- Hours & resources spent re-formatting the video for website and social media platforms
You run the risk of the hobbyist getting tired of edits, or busy with other things. And chances are you have no reusable footage for future videos, so your ROI is poor.
You might be thinking, “I can’t afford a national commercial!” but you’d be surprised. There are a LOT of talented videographers, and even working film and television directors/cinematographers in your area that do this on the side, because production gaps can last six months to a year.
#2: Hire With More Than One Video in Mind
While it’s quick and easy to call your digital marketing agency to shoot a video, that may not be the best solution – we’ll get to that in a minute. Get recommendations, but also look at samples on the videographer’s online portfolio, too. You might think, “I have no idea what I’m looking for!” Here’s a suggestion: wait until you’ve got several names and portfolios. Your team can watch them all at the same time, in quick succession, and then go around the table: which do you remember the most and why? You’ll likely get at least a couple of possibilities to call for quotes.
When you do call, you will want to know:
- Their availability, travel charges, turnaround times
- Do they have the equipment or are they renting it
- Their vision for your video
- Will they compress and format the video for social media as well as your website
- Who owns the rights to all the footage
This last point is critical in deliberating whether your digital marketing agency is a good option. A lot of them retain the rights to the footage, which means you’d have to license that footage for every successive video you want to make. You also need to make sure any samples they send you are done by the videographer they plan to send, since videographers frequently change jobs.
#3 Shoot “B Roll” to Turn Your Video Footage into a Video Strategy
Arrange for your videographer to shoot LOTS while they’re at your facility. You want “B Roll” of your facility, people, and products. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, “B Roll” is proprietary stock footage – a team member helping a customer, working at a computer, etc. B Roll is used to generate action in what might an otherwise be a visually static video of a physical product. If you have enough footage, but not enough budget to make more than one video, B Roll can be saved for next year or as the need arises. The videographer simply edits the existing footage, and turns one shoot into two, three or even more videos.
Virtual office or COVID restrictions? No problem. Cisco WebEx and Microsoft Teams enable professional teams to shoot video virtually, and they have subscription access to stock B Roll footage online to generate movement. Instead of facility shots, develop a list of team members you want the videographer to interview in 15-minute segments, as well as the questions you’d like them to ask.
Additional ROI from a Video Marketing Strategy
Make the most of it of your production day. It will not only provide you with all the footage you need for multiple videos – it can also be a company culture event. You’ll likely be surprised who turns out to have a great voice for voiceover, who redecorated the lobby for maximum appeal, and who has the best ideas for edits. This is a chance for your whole team to take pride in where they work and what they do, and have a lasting film narrative that explains why to anyone who wants to know: from your customers and prospects, to business award judges, to prospective employees.