April 12, 2013
Is your business video titillating, powerful, and magical? Does it ignite thought and action?
by Maureen McCabe
A business video is one of the most practical and cost-effective ways of showcasing your business. It has the advantage of evoking an emotional connection with your viewers almost impossible through static pictures and text.
Last week I presented a webinar for the Small Business Centre on my favourite topic – video marketing. This webinar was a follow-up to one presented in October 2012 on the same topic. It was great to share my knowledge and experience on this subject which I’m totally passionate about. The April 2012 webinar (is embedded in this blog at the end) focused on tips to promote a video that you have already created and posted on your website. In this blog, I will review seven tips to help you learn more on how to create a video.
I’m in the early stages of developing a video strategy for a client who is interested in a corporate video for his packaging company (for the purpose of this blog, we will call it Bowtie Packaging). While I had previously discussed this idea with my client, his enthusiasm for this powerful tool really peaked after I had shared the webinar experience with him. My client’s request was for a video that would be – “sexy and fun”!
My first response on hearing this request was “Yikes”, in fact, I cringed. Indeed, sex sells and we are surrounded by a myriad of ads to prove it – but in a business video? All kinds of thoughts raced through my mind as we sat brainstorming ideas and after much back and forth and many a chuckle, I’m suggesting the following basic tips for creating a “sexy” corporate video e.g. a video that sells and brings the customer back for more!
If you don’t have time to read this entire blog, scroll to the end and read what about one thing you should not do when posting your business video on your website. Wink, wink… I shall say no more!
1. Purpose and Audience
Before developing an online marketing video, you must determine the purpose of your video e.g. sales, awareness, information, entertainment. As important, you must determine the intended audience for your video i.e. is it for consumers, for business, or both? Let’s assume it’s for business. Pinpoint the industries, the age range of your audience as well as their professions because all of these factors will influence the tone of your video and your messaging.
For more than 25 years, Bowtie Packaging has designed and manufactured custom bags, boxes and accessories such as tissue paper and ribbons. Their target audience varies from managers to executives in corporations, charities, ad agencies and government departments and agencies. Their business video has to engage all of the above who may view the video.
2. Brand Image
When it comes to creating a business marketing video, give tremendous thought to your brand and how you would want it conveyed. What is the tone – humorous and hip or reserved and conservative? Is your product and/or service funky or serious? These are all factors to consider when developing the video. And remember, brand integrity and recognition is important throughout the process.
Bowtie Packaging customers are looking for a creative packaging solution from distributors in whom they can trust to create and deliver their brand. Now, knowing my client’s background, think about what his target audience would expect to see in a corporate video.
3. Key Messages
What are your key messages for your marketing video? What is your USP i.e. your Unique Selling Proposition that separates the men from the boys? And how are you going to present yourself and your company – as a professional, an expert, or an innovator in your industry? How about imagery and presentation? Which would be the most effective way in which to convey your key messages?
The unparalleled creativity, high quality, large variety and competitive pricing distinguishes Bowtie Packaging from their competitors. They are a complete source. Think custom bags and boxes and delightful coordinated accessories including bows and spots and dots, lines and lace, and faux and frill that can sparkle and twinkle. Do you think this video has to be rich in visuals for maximum impact!
4. Desired Results
You always want to ensure that your viewers are getting something out of the experience of viewing your corporate video. To accomplish this, you should end your video with a call to action or a question that requires further thought and action. Keep the desired outcome in mind right from the start.
The following are examples of your call to action:
- Contact or Email Us
- Visit our website (as they viewed it on YouTube or another social media site)
- Request a free quotation
- Sign-up for a newsletter
- Book a free consultation
- Request information
- Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn. GooglePlus, Pinterest, and Twitter. (*) Highlight only the social media platform that you are actively using.
- Purchase now.
(*) NOTE: The following is a humongous pet peeve of mine. A well-intentioned web developer sets-up the social buttons on your website and there is literally no content. If you have only three or four posts wait until you have more content before the buttons are added. Seriously, why would you expect anyone to follow you unless you have regularly posted about a broad array of topics, not just products and services that you would like viewers to purchase!
Determine the call to action before you develop the talking points (or script). The call to action should not be a slide at the end of your video but should be creatively incorporated throughout the video.
5. Professional Video
Hire a professional video production company to film and edit the video as well as a professional script writer. Remember, you want your audience to remain interested and focused. Do not shoot it – using a cell phone. This is an absolute no no!!
When meeting with a videographer, share your objectives and key messages. Ideally, write them down. A professional videographer will provide creative options that will meet your business objectives and budget. Be open to a collaborative solution that may work much better given your goals and budget. Keep in mind that the video will take a few hours to shoot. A rule of thumb is to plan for 45-60 minutes of filming for each minute of video produced.
6. Camera Shy
Do you have a presence on film? Are you comfortable in front of the camera? If not, one way to solve this issue, is to allow your customers the opportunity to speak on your behalf. Another option is to have colleagues present on your behalf. Alternatively, if you have a large budget, you may choose to engage professional presenters or models and shoot in an alternate location e.g. in New York or Paris, or how about on a beach. And don’t forget about me! Seriously, I won’t charge you to be at the photo shoot or my travel time if it’s on location.
And please note that if it’s in Paris, I will need to arrive a few days early to scout for film locations and enjoy a French manicure and chocolate éclair or two (or three!) If you have read my blog about videos leading to multiple media interviews – you’ll understand my reference to chocolate.
There are pros and cons to each choice and your budget will probably determine the route you take.
7. “F” Day (filming day)
I wrote a blog on how to prepare for your video shoot. Learn 11 tips for a great video shoot. Actually the title of the blog was “10 Tips…” but I added tip 11 after my first television interview: It sure was a ‘unique’ one… have a manicure! Yes my friends, when appearing on camera, absolutely everything has to be perfect… from top to toe!
Once you have created your video, determine how and where you will promote it. The video below is the webinar that I referenced at the beginning of this blog. Learn how to promote your video to generate hype and sales!
As to the hint I referred to earlier in this blog, it is not profound but it certainly is not obvious!
Never set the video to auto-start. Why? Often people use the Internet at work – do they want their coworkers to know they are researching bankruptcy options? If they are at home – do they want their spouse or children to know they are looking for a divorce lawyer? Let’s just say it is best to be discreet and ‘auto-start’ doesn’t allow for this!
Contact McCabe Marketing to learn about your online video marketing options. We have a solution for every company and every budget. We guarantee that including a video on your website will boost your brand image, dramatically improve the volume of traffic to your website, and definitely increase sales.
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Tatiana 04:00pm, 05/17/2013
Thought provoking ideas for any business entertaining the idea to create a video to promote their brand.