Archive for April, 2007

Do It Yourself Video: The Quality Myth

April 30, 2007

Pro vs Amateur Video

“It can’t be that difficult,” is a phrase I often hear would be video do-it-yourselfers say.  “Just because you own a pen does not make you a great author,” is usually my response.  Very few people will be able to select proper video, audio, lighting and editing tools; then acquire the necessary skills to employ this diverse toolset well enough to produce a marketing video that attracts new customers.Each production task (shooting, lighting, audio, editing and graphics) is a specialized discipline that can take years to master individually.  An amateur tackling all of these tasks in combination is a recipe for producing a marketing video that repels rather than attracts new customers.  Like customer service, video viewers rarely mention good production work but when done poorly; shaky, improperly lit, zoom crazy videos create a negative impression of your business that can cause prospecitve customers to flee.  

Yes, anyone can produce a video but few amateurs can produce an effective marketing video that motivates prospective customers.  As a business owner you eat what you catch and when you fish with inadequate bait, don’t be surprised at what you catch.


Do It Yourself Video: The Savings Myth

April 26, 2007

Hiring a pro can save you moneyThe rise of YouTube, Google Video and other video sharing services has spawned a revolution in amateur video production and prompted many businesses to become do-it-yourself producers of their own marketing videos.  Weeding through the silly online spring break videos, there is a good bit of really interesting D-I-Y video; but I would seriously caution business owners from producing their own video marketing materials. 

I know the urge to save a few bucks is great but the risks of D-I-Y marketing far outweigh any perceived benefits.  While the up front saving is tempting, you will invariably eat those savings up with the cost of time taken away from growing your business (missed opportunity cost).  To produce a very simple 60 second promotional video it could take an amateur about 3 hours to setup/shoot and 30 hours or so to edit.  This translates to 33 hours of production time.  A viable small business can generate $100 or more per hour in revenues which translates to $3,300 (in missed opportunity) to produce what amounts to an inferior video.  Throw in the cost of equipment and software; time spent learning to use the gear and to edit and you can easily increase your video production costs to upwards of 10 to 15 thousand dollars.

For the same investment you could have a professionally produced video whose quality reflects that of your own business and a few dollars to spare on additional marketing or other activities.  In the final analysis it costs less to hire a pro.

Amateur Example:

Professional Example:

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Duct Tape Marketer Talks Video

April 20, 2007

John Jantsch Duct Tape MarketingThose who know me personally or follow my blog understand my passion for the great marketing opportunity video offers small businesses.  Because you hear me talk about it so much I decided to get the opinion of a new media marketing expert.

Forbes and Entrepreneur Magazine present John Jantsch as a next generation go-to marketing resource.  John is also the the creator of several business marketing educational products including, Referral Flood.

John was kind enough to break from his busy schedule to talk with me about using video to win new customers.

Can you comment on the ability of video to sell the invisible (showing your value/uniqueness, making an emotional connection, etc)?  When I say invisible, service companies sell an invisible offering but even product driven firms are invisible in many ways to companies unfamiliar with them.

My definition of marketing is getting someone who has a need to know like and trust you – with that in mind, video can help a prospect make a trust building connection faster than words on paper might – much like a sales call would over a sales letter. When it comes to selling a service, or the invisible as you called it, trust is paramount. The first impression given by a video can also turn someone off faster as well.

Why is it that so few marketers (consultants and business owners)  include a multimedia component in their marketing plans? 

I guess it’s because of the perception of high cost and lack of know how when it comes to producing such pieces. Like many things it will become a priority when they understand the potential rewards outstrips the cost and hassle.

What are some ways you might suggest small and medium sized businesses use video online and offline to win customers?

Online it’s a great way to put a personality on the face of the company. I’ve also used it very effectively to help explain how to do something with a product or service, for training and for short client testimonials and case studies.

What do you think about this idea – I suggest small business owners give their company evangelists (their accountant, fellow board members, satisfied customers, etc) their professionally produced company marketing video on business card-sized disc or on video iPOD.  The goal here is to make it very easy for the evangelist to say, “I know someone you should meet…here, watch this”

I thinks it’s a great idea – one of the core referral principles I teach is to make it easy to refer you. Any tools that allow someone to put your message in a prospect’s hands with little work will help the cause.

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  3. Online Videos: The Diane Rehm Show
  4. Browse this blog

Helping Big Brothers Big Sisters

April 17, 2007

Over here at Eastonsweb Multimedia our work is much greater than simply earning money.  Several weeks ago I was approached by the CEO of the local Big Brothers Big Sisters agency, Carol Lee to support the agency’s primary annual fundraiser, A Big Day at the Lake

Carol asked me to produce a video to help the agency solicit sponsorship funds.  Faced with an aggressive turnaround time and my very busy schedule I still could not refuse helping the young people that the BBBS assists. I should say here that the mission of the BBBS is to match needy Young people with qualified mentors to help Littles (as they are called) reach their potential.

With a bit of supplemental footage from a previous project, a testimonial interview shot this past Sunday and a couple of midnight hours; I completed the project (watch below).  It really is fulfilling when your hard work directly helps true community leaders, the Bigs.

If you follow this blog you know that I am pushing the BBBS to implement a series of tactics to present the video to prospective sponsors.  I have suggested that Carol and her team add the video throughout their website, embed links to the video in their email communications, ask board members to distribute the video to their networks and other tactics. 

How would you suggest the BBBS agency use their shiny new video (watch the video below)?

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The PR Refresh Video

April 9, 2007

Refresh Your PRPublic relations experts are right when they say being featured in print, television or radio media is one of the best advertising opportunities around. If your pr activities have yielded some good media hits, one great way to keep the buzz working for you is to combine your significant press mentions into a short pr “refresh” video.

Added to your website and included on disc with your collateral material, a pr refresh video is a very efficient way to add a ton of credibility for you in the eyes of prospective customers who may not be so familiar with your company.  Remember that most people are not trying to make the absolute perfect decision; they want to avoid making a bad decision by finding an excellent provider. When your prospective customer sees your company’s print and television press, they will feel more confident about choosing your firm or at least giving you a call.

Magazine and newspaper clips should comprise the core of your video’s content.  You might also include visual mentions of awards your company has received.  Your video professional can add motion to the clippings for interest and pull out key sections as graphical overlays (ex. “xyz magazine gives a top rating”).  If you received television coverage, you can include an entire segment or clip and sprinkle impactful segments throughout the video.  Add a few customer testimonials and you have a very compelling communication.

Don’t let your pr be a one time opportunity!

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