Top 3 Videos You MUST Have For Your Organization

Top 3 Videos You MUST Have For Your Organization

Being in business for over five years, you often start seeing patterns of success (and patterns of failures) for your work. From there, you can learn based on experience what works and what does not work for your clients and how your new clients (and recurring clients) can benefit from those experiences.

It’s no secret that having a multi-video strategy will get you the best bang for your buck, and either though having one video is a good start, there’s very rarely a case of a one-hit-wonder in the video marketing world. But while you may have tons of ideas on what kind of videos you need to create, perhaps, you don’t have the budget or don’t have time/resources to work on all 100 of them :).

So in this blog, we will explain the top 3 videos to have, why they are successful, and how they fit into your overall marketing strategy whether you are a private school, business, or non-profit organization. We call this the Sales Video Trifecta.

  1. Branding/Value video- This is the main video on your website, the flagship of your online presence, and perhaps the most important video you can have in your arsenal. This video sets the tone and tells the story of who you are, what you do, and what makes you unique in under 3 mins. While the goal is to help nurture leads, the approach this video should take is more of an emotional connection to the audience and is not necessarily meant to collect a sale at this moment (though it will depend on the structure of the organization). Having a strong call to action at the end will help continue nurturing those leads more effectively. 
  2. Testimonial Video- Referrals and testimonials are the best way to get new qualified leads. There’s no denying that. Having a video (or in some cases, multiple videos) is a great way to showcase the consistency of your product, service, or organization and how it has improved the lives of the testimonial. Out of the 3 videos, this will most likely be the last video your audience will watch and will help increase the speed of trust for them to shoot you an email or a phone call to learn more.
  3. Promo Video- This video is often the shortest of the three videos mostly because this is the kind of video that will be used in social media ads…in fact that’s what it’s designed to be, to quickly catch the attention of your audience and get them thinking, “huh that seems interesting”, clicks on your landing page to your branding/value video and then they can check out some of the testimonials as well. Generally, you want to keep this video under 60 seconds if you can tell the story effectively in that time. 

While there are many types of videos your organization can create these are by far the most important and have the easiest ways of fitting into your marketing and sales funnel. The best part is you’ll be able to repurpose some of the footage from all three from each other or use footage that maybe didn’t make the cut from the branding video, but makes it to the testimonial video. At the end of the day, the goal is to get more phone calls, more inquiries and ultimately grow your organization.

The Key to Uploading Video Content on Instagram

The Key to Uploading Video Content on Instagram

This guide will cover how to move and upload video content onto Instagram, especially if the file is coming from a desktop computer. A brief history on Instagram as a marketing tool: In the past, Instagram has marketed itself as a digital photo archive platform. But in recent years, the app began including videos in stories and posts as publishable content. To compete with other apps like Snapchat, Facebook, and Twitter, Instagram entered the digital video publication market on social media.

Because the inclusion of video on Instagram is relatively new, the process of uploading and creating content to post isn’t always intuitive. Instagram offers simple ways for video editing and publication on your smartphone device.

By taking advantage of Instagram’s platform to grow your business through video marketing, you can create a multi-sensory experience for the audience that helps them attain and retain important information about your services and brand.

The Basics

Videos can be uploaded in multiple ways on smartphones. The best file format is usually going to be MP4. Often confused for an upgrade of MP3, MP4 is solely used for multimedia content, meaning files that include audio and visuals.

Instagram caps their video time at 60 seconds. The screen allowance offers a 1080 pixel width and 920-pixel tall experience, which is useful to keep in mind as you edit and upload. This is the allowed video resolution, which indicates the number of pixels Instagram’s software permits for posting multimedia content.

Once you understand the basics of Instagram video file format and resolution, you can dive into how you can get your content on the Gram.

Moving your Files from Desktop to Phone

Publishing video content is similar on both Android and iPhone as the apps are formatted the same. However, if your video file is not already on your phone, such as if it was shot and edited professionally, you need to do an extra step. There are two ways you can transfer your video file from your desktop to your smartphone device.

One way to move the files is through email. If you have your email on your phone, you can download the video file from your email app directly to your smartphone device. The file will most likely appear in your media or photos folder. If not, accessing your device’s file folder through your settings is another option.

The second way to move the video file is to plug your phone directly into your desktop. This is done using your device’s USB charging cord, minus the little brick that actually plugs into the wall. This WikiHow article goes into more detail on how to do this on different devices. 

Publishing via Phone

Once you have secured your file on your phone, you can upload it to your profile. When opening up the Instagram app, you will find a thread of options at the bottom of your screen. The one you want to use is the plus sign.

After clicking on this symbol, you will be brought to a page that shows all the saved photos and videos on your device. Scroll through and select which one you want (a preview will be showcased above the archive of photos).

After you have selected the correct file, click “next” in the top right corner. Instagram will offer the option to use its basic editing software. You can utilize this or continue forward and click “next” again. The final page will give you the opportunity to create a catchy caption or tag any other Instagram users to finish up your post. (If another user is featured or mentioned in your video, it’s a good idea to tag them to give them the opportunity to share the video to their followers, as well.)

You should also add any appropriate hashtags at this stage. Once you’re satisfied with your post, click “share.” Now, your audience can view your content, like it, and share it with their own followers to start building you some traction and brand recognition.

The Final Product

After publication, you can view your video and edit your captions and tags. Instagram users will have the opportunity to comment and like your content. If you want to further increase your visibility, you can also consider paid campaigns to endorse your product or service.

Using Instagram is a great way to increase your business’ social media following and exposure to your brand. The app’s success and 800 million active users will provide a large potential audience for your content. 

How to Use Video in Your Email Marketing Campaigns

How to Use Video in Your Email Marketing Campaigns

Video can communicate quickly and more effectively than any other marketing medium. It makes more sense to use video in your email marketing if you want to increase brand awareness and help educate your customers, especially if you have a lead nurturing system in place.

Email marketing remains one of the top distribution tactics for engaging target audiences.

However due to email marketing becoming easy and reliable to use everyone has started to use it, which means many people receiving these emails can come across looking like spam.

The end goal here is to create something that is eye-grabbing and will rope your viewer in. Here is a guide on how to use video in your email marketing.

Using Video in Subject Line

By putting the word video in the subject line you are letting people know that there is a video.  It has been proven by multiple companies that just by putting the word video in the subject line you increase open rates. People like watching something more than having to read something. An example subject line would be

{VIDEO} Learn How To Grow Your Company!

Embedding a video and using HTML

One way to share a video is to embed it into the email directly. If you want to embed the video into your email the best way to do this is to use a Youtube or Vimeo link. Embedding a video can allow a video to play directly in an email.

The problem with doing this, however, is that most big email providers don’t support embedded video. While this may improve user experience the cost of doing it is too much. There is something much easier that you can use.

Don’t use links try using GIFS.

You will want to make it obvious that what you are offering is a video for people to watch. Saying “click the link and watch the video to learn more” and inserting a link will simply not do it. Instead, offer a big enticing thumbnail image inside your email.

The image should link directly to the video when selected. For more added effect use a fake play button. This will get the point across even more.

Video playback is not supported in most email clients however ‘playing’ an animated GIF is. This will make it clear that a video is waiting for them to watch. The subtlety of the GIF will draw people to the video and hopefully want to click. That is if the GIF is enticing enough.

Send people to your landing page, not someone else’s

When a person clicks on the thumbnail image the video will not playback natively in the email. The question is then where are you going to send them? and the answer to this question is your own landing page, not someone else’s. Now, what you don’t want to happen is for a person to click the thumbnail and be taken to a page where the video does not exist or is difficult to find.

Autoplay? Or no Autoplay?

Often times people do not like it when they receive an email and a video starts playing. However, since you already told and show people that there is a video in your email this time around you will want to use autoplay. So, when a person clicks the thumbnail in your email the video should autoplay. That way it reduces the amount of steps that people have to take.

Call to Action

Like most marketing outlets, having a strong CTA or the Call to Action is super important. After someone watches your video, you want your viewers to take the next step in your sales funnel. Therefore, it is important to keep it clear and urgent, Otherwise, the viewer may not know what to do next. And example CTA would be to give you a call the number below or request a demo depending on your product/service.

How To Upload Native Videos to LinkedIn

How To Upload Native Videos to LinkedIn

“Uploading natively” describes the process of uploading content directly to a website, rather than linking content from another website. On LinkedIn, you can use either method, but uploading natively has distinct advantages. 

Put simply, sharing linked content sends traffic and engagement away from LinkedIn to their competitors.

To keep the viewers on their platform, LinkedIn provides tools to increase engagement and circulation of content that is uploaded natively, in addition to boosting natively uploaded content within their feeds and playing videos automatically.

Take advantage of LinkedIn’s built-in tools to create high-performing posts with natively uploaded content. The best performing posts utilize every available tool in a way that engages with your existing network and expands that network simultaneously.

Requirements and Restrictions

These technical specifications define the boundaries of your natively uploaded videos. Videos must be no less than 3 seconds and no more than 10 minutes, in addition to being no less than 75KB and no more than 5GB. Experienced videographers will be familiar with these constraints, and will take them into account when creating your promotional videos.

(Why isn’t the length of the video enough to determine the file size? The KB per second varies depending on the resolution and dimensions of your video.)

There is no need to upload the longest possible video. As Viveka Von Rosen writes for Social Media Examiner, “People have short attention spans, so it’s a good idea to keep your videos shorter than 3 minutes.”

For more detailed specifications, check LinkedIn’s technical FAQ.

Contextualize Your Video for New and Familiar Audiences

You can write up to 700 words to accompany your video, and that is more than enough to help your audience understand it’s context.

In one or two paragraphs, give viewers descriptions of your video and your business. Be sure to introduce yourself thoroughly so people who are unfamiliar with your business can understand the video. To describe the video, sum up the content in a sentence or two, and then add some background information that connects the video to your business.

Invite Viewers to Continue the Conversation

You should always include an explicit and inviting offer to follow up with your audience about any questions they may have about your business or the video itself.  Simply adding “To learn more, contact us here” along with ample avenues for contacting your business is a good start.

Adding prompts that can be answered in the comments is a great way to build engagement. For example, if you are promoting a spring sales event you can ask your audience, “What is your favorite part of spring? Answer in the comments below!”

Choose Your Audience

LinkedIn will automatically set your posts to “public”, visible to everyone including visitors outside of your LinkedIn network. You have the ability to change that if you wish, before or after posting.

Another option is the “Public and Twitter” setting, which can push content to a connected Twitter account when you post. Additionally, “Connections Only” will limit the visibility of your post to those connected to your LinkedIn network.

Note that choosing “Connections Only” will make it impossible for people outside your current audience to find your content, so avoid that setting for your marketing posts.

Always Allow Comments

Comments often include questions about your business or the content shared. By answering them you provide clarity to potential clients and supporters, gain trust, and boost the visibility of your posts. 

Captions or Subtitles

Using subtitles and captions allow your video to be understood without sound. This is helpful for audiences who are hearing impaired or otherwise unable to access sound at the moment.

LinkedIn doesn’t have automatic subtitles yet, but you can add subtitles to your video by uploading a separate SRT file along with the video.

I recommend Rev if you are interested in adding subtitles to your video. Contact me to learn more about video marketing on LinkedIn. I’m always happy to answer your questions or speak more about how to maximize video marketing for your business.

The Three Pillars of Creating Effective Video That Gets Results

The Three Pillars of Creating Effective Video That Gets Results

Everyone knows that online video is becoming such an important marketing tool for businesses of all sizes. With a conversion rate of over 68% and search engines like Google, prioritizing websites with video, it’s no wonder why companies are allocating more money for video. It’s able to condense the information in just a few minutes, viewers have a higher rate of absorbing the information, it humanizes the business, it engages with the viewer, and most importantly it has a positive return on investment.

2017 was the year of video making massive growth online. 2018 is going to be the start of quality video content. But how does one know what consists of a quality video? Well, I’ve created three pillars that every video should have no matter of it’s a business promo video, a webinar, a customer testimonial, a facebook live, ect. Each type of video may vary in the levels of each pillar but it’s imperative that every video has each pillar. I’ll dive into this more as we progress.

The three pillars are Engage, Educate, and Convert. Write that down, memorize it, type it in your phone, whatever it takes to make sure you have these three pillars down for your next video marketing strategy session.

Engage is the first pillar. An engaging video will keep viewers wanting to continue to watch the video from the beginning to the end. When you’re using video as a marketing tool, it’s important to use the medium of video to your advantage as much as possible.

Using a business promo video as an example, this means to have an effective intro, have a variety of shots and angles, and lastly great music. They key to this is to not make the video look like a talking head. Those kinds of videos are often boring (but they have their place which we will get into later). The strategy that I have taken with my clients is a documentary-like-style approach to the video.

Having an effective intro is also important to creating an engaging video, because those first 8-10 seconds are going to determine if the viewer is going to continue to watch the video.

A common mistake is to put the logo upfront for 5-10 seconds before the video starts.  I generally recommend to not do that, unless the logo appears in an interactive way (such as an animated logo) and it’s super short. Hence, the first 8-10 seconds should consist of the best shots of the whole video. Once the introduction has been set, you need a variety of shots (including the interview shots) to showcase what your business is about.

Get a lot of different angles, have the editing faster paced, shoot 3:1 ratio if the opportunity allows it and have it look as cinematic as possible. The third piece is having great music, and this can seriously make or break the video. The music should have the same feeling and tone that will represent your brand and fits the style of the video.

Most of the time videographers will use royalty-free song but every now and then an original piece is crafted just for that video. Now as I mentioned, there are a lot of different types of videos out there besides a business promo video. Sometimes a talk head video is effective such as a webinar or a training video. Does that mean I need to follow all these steps like have a variety of shots, and an effective intro…it would be great but it doesn’t need to be a 20+ hour project to get done.

I have filmed and edited many webinars and training videos and the best way to keep the videos engaging is to use two cameras, and slides that way it can be cut with two different angles and cut to slides when the information is handy to see.

It keeps the video personable and yet still educational. Check out the business promo video below about Poco Loco Paintball Park that I created and see how many different shots you can see.

The next pillar is Educate.  This is really focused on the story of the business or organization utilizing the Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How. Depending on the business some of these may not fit in but ultimately the goal of this pillar is to teach the viewer something new about the business that they didn’t know.

This is basically the story of the company. How does a story get told through a business promo video? I generally use customer testimonials or interviews of the staff.

Using sound bites of these interviews is how you create the story, but sometimes using a formal script and a voiceover is effective as well. But the reason why I prefer live interviews is that it can help establish who the target market is. When creating the story structure of the video, here is the outline That I generally use.

  • The business
  • the problem
  • the solution
  • the USP (unique selling proposition)
  • The differentiation
  • The objections and how to overcome them

Depending on the business, they too may change but it’s a great structure to follow. It’s important to note that when crafting the story you need to use both the interviews and the visuals to help tell the story and the story has to be told in a way that creates emotion to the viewer. Here is an example video we produced last spring for Delaware Valley Friends School

Convert is the final Pillar and while it’s the simplest one, it can often be overlooked. Converting is basically, the viewer taking action. At the end of the video what do you want the viewer to do? Is it to give you a call? Sign up for a newsletter?

Check out your website for more information? It can all vary depending on other marketing materials you have but the important thing is to have a call to action at the end of the video. During the video however, if the video is effective and being distributed to the right target market, the video itself will often convert.

At the end of the day, this is both a marketing and a sales toll to help grow your business. Check out this video that has a great call to action for veterinarians.

Following these three pillars will really help step up your video marketing game. Whether you are telling a story of your business, creating training videos for your customers, or educating prospects, its important to make sure that the video is engaging for them to finish to the end, its educational and adds a lot of value, and has steps for them to take that will allow them to contact you to create a business transaction. Remember video is suppose to humanize your business and to connect with people! That is the best way to grow your business.