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2019 was a great ride, and now it’s time to “drive” right into 2020! Need a Videographer, Director of Photography, Director/TD, Cinematographer, or just a good ol’ Camera Operator? Give me a call!
To all of my clients, freelance colleagues and friends, my sincere thanks and a tip of the hat you you all!
I am a professional videographer. I am also a consumer. And when I contemplate making a purchase – especially a big one – I often browse reviews to get a good sense of what is thought about the company (companies) that offer that product or service I intend to buy. And rather than trudge through a lot of printed content, I find video testimonials to be more compelling. Let’s unpack the reasons why.
First, while it would be relatively easy to put your CEO or other key exec in front of a camera (which I do regularly, by the way) this kind of video – while valuable – can sometimes come across as biased. However, by augmenting the business “talking head” videos with customer testimonials, viewers will have a chance to see two perspectives. This goes a long way in helping consumers make informed decisions.
So how do you develop the testimonial video? There is little doubt that if you run a credible company, you likely already have them in writing. So, let’s make contact with a few of these folks and ask if they’d be willing to share their thoughts in front of a camera. “Whoa now…you want me to talk on camera?!?” That will be the response you’ll get quite often, but you will find some willing to do it. I know from experience that being in front of a camera is not natural, but one of my gifts is getting interview subjects comfortable to the point that they actually liked the experience – at least once it was over!
Now that you’ve found a few folks willing to do it, you will want to ascertain in advance what they will say. You will want subjects that convey an easy-going manner that will help make what they say sincere and credible. And while coaching is OK, we don’t want to put words in the subject’s mouth. The last thing you want to do is have the testimonial come off as contrived. You will lose viewers quick, and you only have 4 to 6 seconds to grab their attention in the first place, so don’t screw this up! And…NO TELEPROMPTERS!!!
Why am I watching your video? It’s a good, fair question. Remember what I said about the 4 to 6 seconds. In short order, you need to provide the answer to the “why.”
Asking your interviewee the right questions will help elicit the right responses. These questions might include:
- What prompted your investigation in the first place? What was the solution you needed?
- How did the product/service solve your problem?
- What would you like to share about the positive experience using the product/service?
Stay away from questions that allow “yes” or “no” answers in order for the responses to be useful, detailed and allow the freedom for your interviewee to talk specifics on how your product/service met or exceeded their expectations. If a potential customer watching the testimonial can feel how overwhelmed or frustrated your subject was before they discovered your product or service, seeing how your business has helped them to reach their ideal resolution can be extremely persuasive.
Be sure to use “cutaways,” where “b-roll” of your organization can be integrated into the testimonial. This does two things: It creates natural breaks in the interview where your subject can pause and easily move into another line of thought. And it also allows for a more engaging video by having more than just the subject to watch. Remember our short attention spans!
Finally, these days, it can be very tempting to just whip out a smartphone and start shooting. However, working with an experienced video production company will help you to produce a well-crafted final product that will appeal to your ideal audience and deliver a solid ROI.
First Impressions Video has the creativity, experience and tools to ensure that your testimonial grabs attention for all the right reasons. We use a variety of techniques to do this, including implementing a comfortable shooting environment, selecting an ideal soundtrack, and seamlessly integrating relevant cutaway footage to enhance the overall production quality of your video.
We know how to get the most out of your featured clients or customers, who might not have spoken in front of a camera before. The result is therefore much more likely to appear authentic and believable, which is ultimately the goal of every successful video testimonial.
Competition could never be more fierce! But having a well-designed testimonial video can help punch through the clutter and deliver excellent return for dollar invested…and set you apart from your competitors!
Let us help you with your next testimonial video! Click here and go to “Request A Quote.” Complete the form and we’ll get right back to you…promptly! And remember, great video does NOT have to break the bank!
It’s another holiday season, so please permit me to wish you all the very best…customers, family and friends!
2017 was the celebration of the 5th anniversary of First Impressions Video, as a full-time venture. Each year was more gratifying than the one it followed and 2018 is already looking to be the best yet! There are many to thank for this prosperity as it is my wonderful clients that made it happen! And in no particular order, shout-outs and sincere thanks to the following:
- Media Distribution Solutions
- Fox Sports/Rush Media
- ESI Video
- Mariners Church
- STAUBER Products
- Yardi Systems, Inc.
- M-Cross Intl, Inc.
- The Jemelian Family
- John Stevenson Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning
- Wright-On Communications
- Optical Display Engineering
- Profitable Roofer
- The White Family
- Peacock Hill Equestrian Center
And as we begin 2018, there are several trends worth noting, for those thinking about video in your business plans.
- Video is becoming a must for any content strategy. This goes without saying and if you don’t have video on your website, do it. This year! All by itself, Facebook generates about 8 billion (with a “B”) views on a daily basis (with a “D”)! That should tell you all you need to know.
- Video is successful. A dentist I’ve done work for continues to sing my praise for convincing him to do his first video. He has now done several and tells me repeatedly how many calls he gets from people who did so because they saw his video!
- Video is versatile. So we spend a day shooting several “episodes” for you. That’s great, but aside from the initial deployment, these videos can be repurposed for other locations. What a great way to maximize the investment!
- Video marketing will become a must-have job skill! What if you don’t have that talent in-house? Hire me to do it for you! Aside from my years producing video, I spent the preceding ten years in digital marketing. It is far less cost to bring me alongside as a consultant than to hire a dedicated employee, so give that idea serious consideration! You need a competitive edge? Let me help give it to you!
There are so many trends to address that it would take three times the size of this blog to share them all, but it’s December 22nd and I’ve got things to do before Christmas! Plus, I’ll be in my normal place behind Camera 1 at Mariners Church for the Christmas services! Perhaps I’ll see you there, but in the event I don’t, please allow me to wish you and yours the most wonderful Christmas and Holiday season, and a very prosperous 2018!
Wishing everyone the happiest of holidays and a prosperous 2018!
It’s been said before, but bears repeating: Every video should tell a story! Even 15 second commercials do this, so it stands to reason that anything longer should be a no-brainer, but it often isn’t.
So, let me point out that the nucleus of any story should have three main points:
Yeah, I know it’s simplistic, but this is the cornerstone of any story “arc.” Having spent 30 years in marketing, there is another way to look at it:
If you do this right, there’s one last three-point metaphor:
Note: for those interested in delving into the full complexity of story development, there are hundreds of books, blogs and videos that will expand your horizons. I just wanted to keep it short and simple today…lots of projects in the workflow !
If you’ve read my blog, you know how important I believe video is as part of any business’ marketing mix. Video continues to command greater percentages of marketers’ collective attention and this trend will not slow down for the foreseeable future, as noted below. Sources for each—when provided—are captioned in parentheses.
- By 2019, video will account for 80% of global internet traffic, and 85% in the US (Cisco)
- Two-thirds of marketers and agency executives see video as the next trend in content marketing (iab)
- 52% of marketers believe that video is effective for brand awareness
- 82% of of B2C businesses report that video has become their most popular content marketing tactic (Content Marketing Institute)
- 43% of marketers said they’d create more video content if there were no obstacles like time, resources, and budget (Buffer)
- 48% of marketers plan to add YouTube to their content strategy in the next year (HubSpot)
- Marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users (VidYard)
- 44% of SMB owners and marketers plan to spend money to promote their video content on Facebook in 2017 (Animoto)
- Companies which use videos in their marketing grow revenue 49% fasteryear-on-year than those which don’t (Aberdeen Group)
- 73% of B2B marketers say that video positively impacts marketing ROI
- Companies which use videos in their marketing enjoy 27% higher CTR and 34% higher web conversion ratesthan those which don’t
Moral of the story
The biggest roadblock for marketers to add video marketing is getting started. This is particularly relevant for small business owners. Granted, many have made the move, but just as many have not. It doesn’t take thousands of dollars to produce a video anymore—even when using a professional, so don’t be dissuaded into reaching for a smartphone, with all its inherent shortcomings. Are there times when this might be a good option? Most certainly! If it’s a once-in-a-lifetime live event, go for it! But with that said, if you’re telling the story of your business, you will be much better served with pro level cameras, microphones and lighting.
So, if you want to get started, why not give me a call? Consultations are free and even if you don’t select First Impressions Video to do the work, you’ll have a much better understanding of the task, coupled with expectations that will match the finished product.
First, my sincere thanks to all my clients who entrusted their video work to First Impressions Video! Whether a direct production or as a freelance contributor, 2016 was a very special year, and I am truly grateful! And as we head into 2017, just remember this important axiom: Rule #1…don’t sweat the small stuff. Rule #2…it’s ALL small stuff!
May we all be wildly successful in our respective endeavors in the coming year!
This year, I got a wonderful opportunity to run camera for Fox Sports! I am part of a crew of 9 who shoot high school football, under Fox’s PrepZone division and it’s been a blast watching some of the best players in Southern California. Many of these kids will find themselves off to Division I college campuses across the country, and maybe even the NFL!
Photo credit: Michelle Bakker