(NOTE: This is the first installment of a 3 part series dedicated to help our readers create online video for their businesses. We bring you along with us as we take the steps to develop our very first video destined for our site home page from initial concept to uploading, and beyond).
Web Searchers Are Neurotic
Maybe that's being a little harsh, but maybe not because today, you have roughly 8 seconds to capture the interest of visitors to your site, and according to Moz CEO Rand Fishkin:
"...but we really do need to communicate quickly, because web users have become more and more impatient. They're not going to read through paragraph and paragraph and paragraph of text. Therefore, many, many websites have found it valuable to use visual-centric homepages to help communicate and to quickly convey the primary value proposition to those visitors. Sometimes that's a video".
So today, the use of video to represent your business on line has become a must. If you don't use video to introduce your business, you are missing the boat and a solid opportunity to quickly and efficiently engage those who find their way to your website and convert them to leads.
Where to Begin
For many of us, we start by thinking we are capable, amusing, and certainly creative enough to represent our businesses to those who find them online, but the problem here, is that many of us are wrong on that count. We get out the camera, stand in front of it, and start talking. Upon play back, we realize how boring we are and the fact that- we use almost no inflection, don't gesture, and say 'uh' 8 times per sentence. Palms begin to sweat and throats go dry as the realization dawns that this might be something not within our skill set. Bummer.
Alternatively, you have convinced yourself that for various reasons you simply cannot put a video together:
- You have no time
- You need better equipment
- You need editing software
- You just know you can't do it because you are not artistic enough
- And it's simply going to be way too hard.
But hang on, let's not plunge ourselves from the nearest bridge just yet, a certain amount of this stuff can be learned and the project reeled back under control.
The fact is you can get a lot done without the aid of expensive equipment and software, as well it doesn't need to take much time or expertise to finish the project. Follow a few simple rules, and you'll be surprised how easy it is, particularly in light of the benefits an introductory video will have for your site.
At the time of this writing, you may notice that in spite of our views regarding video for business, our website HAS NO VIDEO on it! So, we are going to eat our own dogfood here and put our first one together using our own advice with you as our witness.
Equipment to Use
The most important part of your video isn't actually rooted in production quality. To the contrary, in fact given the choice, wouldn't you much prefer an interesting topic and dialog over being bored by uninteresting content published with super sharp production execution?
Our first video production will be recorded using one of these:
And we plan to use Movie Maker for our editing software which is included free with the Microsoft Windows 8 operating system. If you need to use Mac, iMovie is included with most/all of these computers. Simple.
The basics - Preparation
- Know who your Audience is
As with any content you create on your site, make sure you know who you are trying to reach. Typically this will be the ideal buyer or consumer of your products and services. Or your objective may be canted toward your cheer leaders or evangelists, but be sure you know who you are aiming at, and keep them in mind throughout the entire process.
- Focus on a Specific Goal or Message
In the planning phase, know what you want to accomplish before you start building an outline. Are you creating an opportunity for visitors to convert to leads on your site? Then stick close to a script that leads them down a path of reason that ends in a call to action - ONE call to action. If you are having a tough time finding a topic for your video, turn to some of the content already created on your site and turn that into an informational dialog. Think about the pain points of the visitors that you want to attract:
- What problems does your product/service solve?
- Typical questions asked by your leads
- Objections to using your product/service
- Benefits of using your solution
- Plan on keeping it Short
Remember, when we switch into internet search mode, we are on a quest to cover a lot of ground so our attention span is pretty short. Bearing this in mind, plan on imparting your message as accurately and succinctly as possible in as little time as possible, but certainly no longer than 1.5 minutes. Typically, this can be difficult which is why scripting out your video is so important.
- The Most Important Part: Create a Script and Stick to it
Once you have your topic, break it down into sets of points that support it. Create an actual script that you will stick to almost verbatim. If you find yourself beginning to ad lib, stop immediately and get back on the script - don't start injecting additional filler into your script, you want to limit what you say to exactly what you have planned to say for the best results.
- Tell a Story
We all love a good story because it helps us see where we might fit in. This is particularly important when you are talking about your business because you really want your viewers to see how they fit in with your product or services.
- Don't be Afraid Of Your First Try
Your first attempt at an online video for business may or may not hit it out of the park, but that's okay, keep at it and you will see your efforts improving with each video.The thing to remember here is something my Dad always used to say to me:
"It's interesting to note that the harder I work, the luckier I seem to get".
I think he borrowed that quote from someone else, but it's true, isn't it? So keep at it until you end up with something you can work with. Stay tuned…
Having a tough time getting your inbound marketing underway? Take a look at how we can help:
Modified B&W photo from Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com