Here’s Your Awesome New Video, Now Don’t Screw It Up

Here’s Your Awesome New Video, Now Don’t Screw It Up

We’ve written lately about common mistakes companies make when they first start using video content for marketing their businesses. We can’t emphasize this enough: If you are creating video content, you must devote resources to promoting it to the right audience and analyzing the results. Why? Because we want your investment in video to get maximum ROI. There are many ways to accomplish this and that’s why we’ are devoting the next several blog posts to this topic for those of you just at the beginning of learning this process. We’d love your feedback and suggestions!

In the words of our director, Jim Manley, when sending his crew out into the world to complete new productions (literally, the world, as two Manley crew members just lifted off for Lithuania and Bulgaria):

“DON’T SCREW IT UP!”

There are a lot of moving parts to any marketing program, so let’s start with one of the most important ways we know to create conversions from a video marketing campaign and track results.

TODAY’S TIP:
IF YOU ARE CREATING A VIDEO TO GET RESULTS,
KNOW WHAT THOSE RESULTS ARE AND BE PREPARED TO TRACK THEM.

This requires three things: a strong call-to-action (CTA), an irresistible offer and a landing page. If you work with us you know that we are insistent on a strong CTA for marketing videos. The vast majority of the videos we create for clients are intended to motivate an action (i.e., donate, call for an estimate, follow us on social media, write your congressperson, etc.) Ending with “visit our website” is a very soft and hard to measure CTA, and we worry when clients default to this because they aren’t sure what action they want to prompt. “We want website traffic” or “We need new clients” is an outcome, it isn’t a CTA and it won’t help you justify the expense of creating video content if you can’t demonstrate the video actually moved the needle. We know you can do better than that.

If you’re trying to generate new business, It’s just not enough to put new video content on your company YouTube Channel and tell people where to find it. Instead, send them exactly where you want them to go, make it easy for them to follow through with an action, and then reward them for it.

Let’s reframe the desired outcome into a simple 3-step process.

  1. Establish your authority with a swell new video that send a message.
  2. Include an offer that makes every viewer want to engage with you (that’s your CTA).
  3. Send viewers to a landing page that captures their data, records the interaction, and nabs you an opportunity to create a new customer.

A landing page efficiently captures the viewer’s personal information (so you can follow up) and allows visitors to take action immediately. From a url in your video (which you will track in Google analytics) viewers visit a landing page where they follow-through with the action you desire (taking you up on your offer). You can also include a follow up video on the landing page to further engage the visitor and boost conversions up to 80%.

This is the internet equivalent of getting a new business prospect to answer your phone calls. By simply creating a compelling offer in the CTA and sending traffic to a landing page you will learn if your offer is resonating with the audience and if your video accomplishes what you want to accomplish.

If you aren’t getting conversions from visits to the landing page, then evaluate your offer. Is it compelling enough? Is it what you promised? There is much to learn from content that doesn’t work the way you want it to work. We’ll take a look at that concept in our next blog post. Stay tuned!

> Further reading: Read 5 Ways To Kill Your New Video
> Free eBook: Video ROI: A Budgeting Guide for Businesses Who Want Great Results

5 Mistakes That Will Kill Your New Video

5 Mistakes That Will Kill Your New Video

We need to talk. The videos you made for us are great and we love them! But, they just aren’t working. Sincerely, your client.

These words make us feel a whole lot of pain. Especially when we see clients are feeling perplexed that something they believe in — and we believe in — is not delivering the results they wanted. So, what goes wrong in video production that a professionally made and expertly crafted video would fail to reach its intended audience?

These are just 5 missteps companies make that can sink a new video, but they all come down to the lack of one thing: Strategy.

No matter how outstanding your video is, creating video content without a marketing strategy is like trying to sell your house without telling anyone it is for sale. It all starts with the number one mistake you can make as soon as video production becomes a blip on your radar.

Fail to Strategize.

From the first moment you begin writing a marketing/branding strategy that includes video (AND IT SHOULD), important production planning begins. Writing a marketing strategy ensures that your team knows why you are using video, who it is intended to reach, and what the desired outcome will be. These are among the first questions we ask every client before we begin a production. Every second of the video should be purposeful in its message and direction. It should be worked into your social media outreach. It should be linked from the signature of every employee in your company. It should have a clear and attainable objective. From the budget for video to the analytics you’ll use to evaluate its performance, video works best when it is fully integrated into the marketing strategy from the getgo.  

Don’t Promote It.

Video is crazy popular. Getting your video noticed takes some know-how and dedication. The reasons we suggest a short run time, crisp message, and targeted audience is because this lowers the competition for attention among the people you care about watching your video. Good promotion means you put it everywhere it makes sense, talk it up, share it with everyone you know. If you have a PR team, get them in the loop so they can include it in their outreach. Use it on every social media channel you can. Work it into a blog post. Need more ideas? Help implementing? Someone to come in and take it on for you? (We have the know-how you need. Let us help.)

Bury It.

Where is your video? No, seriously. Because we can’t even find it on your web site. Front and center on your website is primo real estate. It’s where you put your most important outreach. And it’s also the place you want to keep your freshest content to encourage visitors to come back for more valuable content. Utilize a YouTube Channel for your entire video collection and feature them one (or a few) at a time on your web site. Embedding a video on a page deep in your site is a sure way to kill it. So is doing anything just once. Use it multiple places, multiple times.

Skip the CTA.

A call to action (or CTA) is a simple direction that tells a viewer what to do after they watch. Don’t let them leave your video without a clear notion of what should follow. While it is better than nothing, “Visit our Website” is the most ambiguous direction you can give, especially if your website is not set up to thoroughly engage a new visitor. If your video has a specific message, for a particular audience, then it must also have a desired, measurable response. This is your number one need to demonstrate ROI for video. Use action words like join, apply, subscribe, learn, sign up and send those viewers to a simple but stunning landing page to encourage conversions.

Don’t Optimize It.

If you aren’t using Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to increase the amount of quality traffic to your website, you’ve are losing your biggest free opportunity. SEO can improve your ranking in search engines (such as Google, Yahoo and Bing). Your videos, whether they are shared on YouTube or posted on your website, can help drive traffic to your website. Be sure to properly title your video with keywords related to the content, take the time to properly fill out your video description (including links back to your website), and add keyword tags with industry and brand terms.

The best part about this list is that if you fully complete #1, you won’t really need to worry about numbers 2-5, because you’ll be a smart planner with all your resources rallied to for success. Need more help? Ask your video production team for tips. Or, you could just call us. We’re happy to help you plan your video content strategy.

Need more help? Just contact us. We’re happy to help you plan your video content strategy.

 

Why You Should Hire a Professional Video Production Company

Why You Should Hire a Professional Video Production Company

Remember (or, maybe you have heard) back in the 90s, when the World Wide Web was just gaining traction and the question was do you really “need” a web site? It wasn’t yet a necessity, and to dabble around in something so foreign using actual budget dollars seemed, well, risky.

Some curious companies let their employees try their hand at it (I was one of those lucky employees), and in the 90s it wasn’t that hard to figure out how to copy someone else’s code to create your own website. By the 2000s it was essential to hire a professional because the days of “View Source” being helpful to us non-programmer types were long gone. By the mid-2000s, user experience was the driving force to upgrade websites and get in tune with how visitors interacted with websites. Today, web developer is a standard role in most companies, either in house or outsourced.

Video production, like web development, is best done by experts. Because, when a tool is so comprehensive and universal, you can’t afford to screw it up. If you aren’t valuing video content as a fundamental driver of your marketing success, you have a gaping hole in your strategy, because it is very likely your competitors and your potential clients are using it.

In the next few years video content is expected to account for over 90% of web traffic. Video has gone viral. Everyone is doing it, everyone is watching it, and so many of the people doing it are doing it badly. It’s moved beyond just “making a video” into cultivating a body of content that is truly magnificent in all aspects, if your standards are like ours.

I’m not going to give you a long list of reasons you should hire a professional video production team (Google it!) But I’d rather give you two scenarios from my personal experience that illustrate what can go wrong when you cut the pros out of the mix or hire the cheapest option.

THE JACK OF ALL TRADES (MASTER OF NONE) SCENARIO

You know this guy or gal. They are an indispensable part of the company, the “yes” person who figures out a way to do everything, just not always exceptionally well. They love to help and they know a little about everything. Including how to set up a film shoot on the cheap. When my employer needed a training video to illustrate how to operate certain feature on a product, instead of seeing it as a marketing opportunity, it was seen as a low priority need. The final product was filmed in two takes on my colleague’s iPhone 4 with fluorescent lighting, no mics, background noise and no introduction or closing. I was aghast at having to share this video, as any marketing professional worth their salt would be.

Every interaction with a client is a marketing opportunity, and product training is important! Even if this was not a marketing message, we missed a valuable opportunity to show potential and existing customers that we cared about their success using our product. The core mistake here is that we didn’t put resources into creating a training piece that demonstrated quality and professionalism.

Relationship building doesn’t end once you make a sale. Putting scant resources into anything that your customers interact with is riskier than ignoring it.

“LET’S USE THIS GUY I KNOW” SCENARIO

Don’t pick a video team using the strategy of “I know a guy who knows a guy.” This is a sure way to end up cut-off from the process. Once I inherited an existing relationship with a “film guy” who was the “only guy we know who does video.” I made the mistake of not protesting loud enough. I’d never gone through the actual professionally-led process of creating a video from conception to final. And this particular director did nothing to help me understand what was happening or the role I should play.

I went through the film shoot (a grueling 12 hour day) feeling very disenfranchised and uncertain about the outcome. I learned very quickly, pre-production is the most critical phase if you want a shoot to go smoothly. It’s nearly impossible to change direction on shoot day, and if the shoot doesn’t go smoothly, you don’t get the footage you want, and the final piece will also NOT be what you want. What I failed to do (and was not properly coach on by the director we hired) was to create a storyboard that would closely resemble the desired end product. The final product I received required so much tweaking to match the original vision, my employer eventually gave up on it.

RACE TO THE BOTTOM

Here’s the rundown on the costlier parts of about video production: most of the cost is in the equipment, the expertise it takes to operate it, and the editing. Those three aspects are mostly inflexible costs for video production teams because they are tied to skills acquired through years of experience, and hard goods, like cameras, drives, lenses, etc. that need to be upgraded and replaced to stay on the cutting edge. If you are paying rock bottom prices for a video, you’re getting rock bottom results: low quality equipment, inexperienced operators, and minimal editing time. 

We run across plenty of potential clients who want to make a video to promote their company but aren’t able to spend what it takes. We get it. Many small companies don’t actually have a marketing budget, so video sounds like a luxury (read why this thinking is misguided). But, in most cases, video is the best way to reach the most people through free channels. It’s a bargain compared to digital advertising and traditional media, which can have hefty placement fees attached to them. In fact, cutting a cheap video WILL be more costly than doing it right the first time. You’ll pay in stress, missed deadlines, and disappointing results.

FIND A WAY – TALK TO US

Your brand represents everything you have put into your business and there are many opportunities to build it or trash it. When your budget is a worry, chose a company that understands and won’t play games. We are believers in treating your brand and your customers with dignity and respect. If you simply can’t come up with a budget for video (or marketing for that matter) this might be a good time to consult a business coach or find a marketing partner who can share expenses, because competition is everywhere, and you deserve to have your business fairly represented in the marketplace.

We help clients of all sizes deal with their budget challenges. Before you draw a line through video marketing, get in touch with us to discuss the options.

Ask Us for Help!

Pin It on Pinterest

DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY
ON THE WRONG MARKETING

We know marketing can be overwhelming. Subscribe to Manley Manuals and you'll get helpful tips and guidance from from the experts and Manley Films & Media.

Thanks for signing up!

GET OUR FREE E-BOOK!

VIDEO ROI: A BUDGETING GUIDE FOR BUSINESSES WHO WANT GREAT RESULTS

• • • 

Sign up to receive our FREE E-BOOK, geared at helping business owners and marketers understand the value, usage and potential benefits of creating unique, impactful and ongoing video content.

Thanks for signing up! Check your email for your free download.