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
I refer to Vidyard several times on this blog and in other media outlets where I post regularly. They generate tons of relevant content that tie the importance of video to any business’ marketing strategy–regardless of size. A recent article outlines their “top 10 reasons” why video should be the “lead actor” in such a strategy:
- Improved SEO
- Stronger Consumer Attention
- Higher Engagement
- More Video Flavored Technology
- Greater Optimization Opportunities
- Higher Retention Rates
- Better Email Click-throughs
- Rise in Accessibility
- Stronger Emotional Connections
- Increased Customer Conversions
Because I have a 30+ year background in marketing, advertising and sales (even before launching the video biz) I take these thoughts a step further. Video, when used properly, is essential in moving customers through the sales funnel, and it’s interesting to note how the entire process–arguably–has changed over the years. A more contemporary version of this funnel indicates a greater percentage of marketing effort is involved, with the corresponding sales element considerably shorter.
Think about that when producing your next video and if you need guidance, either from a production perspective or a marketing perspective, give me a call!
P.S. If you want to read the entire Vidyard report, click here.
Although I haven’t done one of these in a while, it is not for a lack of wonderful compliments from satisfied clients, which can be seen on this site, on Yelp, Thumbtack, Google+ and elsewhere. This one was neat because it represented the second instance in which I’ve served the Eastside Costa Mesa Neighbors’ Group, videotaping their City Council Candidate Forum. Here are those comments:
“This is the second time we have used Terry’s services for our Candidates’ Forum. Very professional and friendly. We had absolutely no worries with Terry taping the event. What a find – and trust us – we tried taping our own event many years ago only to realize this required a professional at the helm. We anticipate that we have many more years of business with First Impressions Video.”
Thanks to Syndy, Kerry, Denise, Jeff and others at ECMNG for those kind words! First Impressions Video is standing by to make a happy customer out of YOU!
P.S. If you’d like to see the Forum video, click here.
For the last few weeks, I’ve been insanely busy with projects, plus, I took 10 days off to visit my home town of Oberlin, Ohio for one of those “milestone” high school reunions. So I haven’t been able to produce any of my own content. But don’t despair! The following is a collection of “shares” of relevant articles regarding video that I hope will resonate with you. And if any of them do, please touch base and let’s flush out an idea just for you!
I ran across another of those cool infographics (thanks, Feldman Creative!) and thought I’d share. Most small businesses don’t have deep pockets for big video budgets, but it is possible–as I’ve been saying here for years–to create quality video that won’t break the bank!
In the never ending struggle to acquire reviews that honestly reflect my relationship with my clients, I am taking a different tack today. Once again, Yelp filtered out reviews from real clients who think highly enough of my work to award me with 5 stars on Yelp. Unfortunately, Yelp’s “recommendation software” doesn’t share the view of MY OWN CLIENTS!! But the hell with Yelp! Here you can see comments from several of my SATISFIED CUSTOMERS, that they don’t want anyone to see. That is, until I buy advertising from them, and THAT JUST AIN’T GONNA HAPPEN!!
I don’t work in retail or the restaurant/hospitality sectors who get thousands of reviewable transactions a year. My client list is a fraction of that…and I’m having a good year! So if Yelp hides HALF of my reviews, is there any wonder why I’m pissed? Maybe one day they’ll figure out that they need to treat service sector businesses differently than those in retail/restaurant/hospitality.
But for now, Yelp, YOU STILL SUCK!!
I hear that question a lot. Unfortunately, there are a number of elements that affect the price of a video. No, that’s not a dodge, it’s the truth. What would you say if someone asked you this question:
How much does an airplane cost?
In thinking about the variables in play to answer this question, you begin to get the idea there are a lot of things to consider! I know my way around aircraft and there are easily thousands of questions, like are we talking about fixed wing or rotary wing (helicopter)? So let’s dump the airplane example and get back to video. Let’s start by posing a few questions that should be addressed before we answer “that other question.”
- Rate. Often described as hourly, half-day and day rate. Many videographers don’t price by the hour and some only price on a full day-rate basis. Hourly averages range between $25 an hour from that film school grad you know to $250 an hour for a top-flight video veteran. My hourly average hits right about the center: around a hundred bucks an hour. Which lends me to…
- Equipment. Sure you could whip out your smartphone and shoot away, but is that really the look you’re going for? If so, stop reading! Otherwise, continue. There are $20,000 cameras out there (don’t forget lenses!), $2,000 microphones, and lights that weigh as much as a Volkswagen, but is that really necessary? Is there a line item charge in the project budget for equipment? I have professional level gear that you may not see Spielberg using, but it will produce corporate video that will resonate with your audience and you won’t need stockholder approval to shoot! Oh, and my rate includes the aforementioned pro-level gear! Cameras, mics, lights, sliders, tripods, gimbals…oh my! Only if I have to create a specific effect might extra equipment fees enter the equation. I don’t have a drone, though I have access to one through an industry colleague, and this is considered specialized equipment.
- Personnel. I started my business as a single person crew (“SPC”) to be able to deliver quality work at an affordable rate. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be multiple cameras, mics and lights…it does mean that I know how to be efficient in the deployment of this hardware (including setup and take down) by myself. And in those instances where it just makes sense to have a grip, 2nd camera op or sound person along, I have a rolodex full of these folks that can be called in. Also in the category of personnel: talent. Does the project require professional acting talent or will we be shooting personnel from the company being filmed?
- Time. How comprehensive is the project? Can we do it in a day? A few hours? What will be required to edit the acquired footage? When is the project due? And by the way, just because the finished deliverable is “only” 5 minutes long doesn’t mean that hours, and sometimes days of production didn’t go into what is ultimately seen on screen.
- Post-production. Because this is a future article all by itself, I’ll be brief here. Post-production includes the components that help make the video “pop.” Editing, music selection, titles, graphics, animations, voice-overs, special effects. A word of caution here: less is often more.
So there you have just a few of the key elements of a video. Truthfully, anyone who would just throw out a “ballpark” quote without reasonable consideration of the variables I’ve shared here is asking for trouble. I would much rather take a modest amount of time to talk about those elements so I could provide a quote that would be meaningful for all parties involved. I may miss out on a few jobs taking this approach but I’m as professional in my business methodology as I presume you are in yours. Consultations are free, and the result will be a production that achieves its desired results at a rate everyone finds acceptable.
**UPDATE** As of yesterday, 5/24/16, LinkedIn has added videographers to the categories on their ProFinder site. BRAVO!!
This morning, I received an email from LinkedIn “inviting” me to participate in a pilot program with LinkedIn ProFinder. This is LinkedIn’s venture into “lead-gen,” presumably to compete with Thumbtack, Angie’s List and so many other portals used by SMBs to help grow their respective businesses. I was pleased to see LinkedIn have a go at this, but was immediately repulsed by what I saw as I attempted to set up my business to possibly get leads: THERE WAS NO CATEGORY FOR VIDEOGRAPHERS!! The closest thing I could find was ‘video editing,’ which is only one element of what video professionals do! Now comes the stake in every video person’s heart: Photography! There were all manner of categories for photographers, but only one for video! This is NOT a slam at photographers! I started in still photography over 40 years ago, so I have no beef with my still shooter counterparts. It’s just that video people have gotten short shrift long enough, and it’s time to take a stand.
I am sick and tired of videographers not getting their proper due–or respect! It seems that most lead-gen portals recognize photography, but rarely–on the first blush–list videographers autonomously. This is a colossal blunder and all you have to do is read the hundreds of articles that espouse the importance of video for businesses–small and large. I would expect better of LinkedIn and remember: YOU INVITED ME for the ‘beta test.’
The title of this Pulse says LinkedIn ‘misses’ an opportunity. It can still be fixed…I suggest that someone jump on this promptly. It shouldn’t be that hard to correct.
That is all. A final point: If LinkedIn makes this change and includes more video-oriented categories, I will make note of it here.
Borrell Associates recently conducted its Local Online Advertising Conference in New York City. CEO Gordon Borrell typically kicks off his conferences with predictions for the next 2 to 5 years. One of his overarching themes pertained to video and to amplify Gordon’s point, Brian Russell, Chief Operating Officer of Media Distribution Solutions—and a company I do work for, shared some stunning research about the power of video in marketing for local businesses:
- Having video on your website makes it 53 times more likely to show up on Google
- Video causes people to stay longer on your site by an average of 2 minutes
- Video is shared 1,200% more than photos and texts combined
- Emails with videos get 50% more clicks compared to emails without video
The takeaway is that video is clearly the new frontier in capturing attention in your marketing. I agree with Gordon and Brian!
They’re out there…we know they’re out there! We have to be vigilant 100% of the time; they only have to be lucky some of the time–and they are! So please indulge me–if you have time–and read the thread shown on the attached pdf below, starting at the end and working yourself back to page 1. You will see the story emerge as to what the scammer ultimately wanted me to do…needless to say, I didn’t take the bait.
There are a number of red flags in the perp’s initial message and subsequent replies, starting with a sudden change of her (we assume it’s a ‘she’) email address. She relentlessly refused to fill in my online form or provide any other concrete information about herself and the event she wanted videotaped. And although I didn’t fall for the scam, countless others have been victimized by approaches similar to this one. I suspect that “Kim” thought she had her “fish on the hook,” and moved in with her ask: that I carry out the entire transaction using her credit card, which included a generous overage to the bill, if I would only do her a ‘favor’ and send cash to the other participants in the deal. Well that just wasn’t gonna happen!!
You must protect yourself at all times, and if you get one of these BS inquiries, report it, as I did!
That is all. I will now go back to blog posts about videography and related subjects…things I would much rather write–and talk–about.