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How to Storyboard Your Web Videos

Composer John Williams – you know, the guy behind the Star Wars theme among others – once said during an interview that he believed a good day of work was getting one minute of a composition completed. You read that correctly – one minute. One of the biggest drivers for the cost and time of creating your video is what the industry calls post production, which is the time following the video shoot when everything (video, sound, graphics and so forth) are put together and edited into a finished product. Whether you are putting together a short 30-second video or a feature-length film, one of the best ways to keep costs down, maintain your sanity, and produce work you are proud of is with a little planning. As my mentor Trout often tells me, “Proper Planning Permits Perfection.” In the video world, this means doing a bit of storyboarding. Here are a few tips on how to storyboard your web videos. Buyer Persona & Business Goals This is the best thing you can possibly do (whether for creating a video or building your business). Who are you selling to, what do they want, and what do you want them to do. Read my previous blog posts on buyer personas, and video types for the various steps of the business sales funnel. By identifying your market and business goal, you will be able to determine the type of video you need to create. Too often, I run across a client interested in creating a funny viral video. But if your goal is anything more than brand awareness than such a...

No Excuses Not To Have a Business Video

Small business owners and startups have an advantage over their predecessors from 10 years ago. And that advantage is in the progress technology has made over that time period. As a result, there are no more excuses not having a business video on your website. Can you believe that 10 or so years ago there was barely a YouTube, Facebook or Twitter? Ten years ago many of us were all still using dial up to access the Internet and upload and download speeds were measured in hours. And the gear used in creating and editing videos was prohibitively expensive. Today, you don’t have an excuse for not creating a video for your business. Bootstrappers can use the video cameras on their smartphones or laptops. For $2,000 or less, you can hire Seven G Media to shoot and edit your video. You can also spend as much as $125,000 for a web video (actual quote for a short About Us video by a Portland video production shop). If you are shooting your own video, some must haves include using a tripod or some other contraption to help steady your camera shot. Another must is to use something other than the microphone built into whatever camera you are using. You can get a wired lavalier microphone for less than $25 that will do wonders for your video’s sound quality. You can edit your video using the free editing programs (MovieMaker on PCs or iMovie on Apples). You can also spend less than $100 for something more robust like TrakAXPC or Adobe’s Premiere Elements. Or if you have deep pockets you can...

Video Marketing Tips: Use Videos to Eliminate Bottlenecks in the Sales Process

How much of your sales process is spent answering the questions from the client about the process, service, cost, after the sale and so forth? While these are all very important questions, they are often the same ones you’ve answered before and will likely answer again the future. I recommend you consider employing video marketing to cut bottlenecks in the sales process by preparing FAQ videos; or sending a link to your bio video that you can use to pre-sell your product or service and build trust with your clients and prospects. If you are a Realtor and working with a couple looking to buy their first home, you can email them one or more videos that explain the home buying process from meeting with a mortgage banker to dealing with nerves prior to closing. If you are an attorney, you can include a link on your business card and other marketing collateral that goes to a video that provides some insight on you, your expertise and your approach to the law or practice area. If you have performed a service or sold a product, you can deepen your relationship with your client or customer by sending them a video explaining how to use, take care of, or trouble shoot the product or service. I was having lunch with a colleague who creates websites for small businesses. Part of the package they offer is training at the end of the transaction on how to access the website, post blogs and so forth. This could also be done with a simple video using screen-capture application to create a how-to tutorial...

How-To Tips For Content Marketing

Quite a few how-to articles on the Web about content marketing encourage you to create content for your Website and your social platforms, but stop short of telling you how. As a former newspaper reporter (I have published more than 1 million words about various topics), I thought I would try to offer a few value-adding suggestions for writing a blog post. (I am timing myself on how long this article takes to write and edit) Topics What should you write about? Let me tell you that regardless of your business – from attorney to massage therapist – you have a ton of topics worthy of a blog post. My first piece of advice is to look at your business, product, or service in its components and identify potential topics. Some examples: An attorney could write about: Recent changes in the law an election or legislative session Routine items that coincide with the calendar (for example: end-of-year tax and estate preparations/reviews) Localize trending topics (for example topics from the Ashley Madison hacking scandal could include: company email, fraternization, ethics, leadership and morality in the workplace) A massage therapist could write about: The differences of various massage types Tips for giving a good massage (for yourself or your partner) Etiquette on what to wear (or not wear) when getting a professional massage Gather Inspiration 24/7 Another suggestion for finding topics is to read your daily newspaper or other information source (either in print or online) and think about how some of these articles relate to your business. For example, the massage therapist could write about how a massage is a good...

Why You Should Consider Pre-Roll Video Ads

Why You Should Consider Pre-Roll Video Ads Most of us can’t wait to click the “Skip Ad” as soon as we can when surfing on YouTube. As a business owner, you should be considering those five precious seconds before someone can skip your ad as an opportunity to build brand awareness – and if you are creative, an opportunity to drive real ROI. The food order app, Eat 24, took a creative, different approach with its pre-roll ad, and the results were impressive: 91 percent watched the whole ad 1 percent click-thru rate 75 percent increase in their App downloads Their success story is the exception. It is estimated pre-rolls have a 94% skip rate. But is that because we really want to see the trending cat video, or because the advertiser wasn’t taking advantage of the opportunity and instead delivered something they used in a past TV ad or that was otherwise boring? With the public’s increasing acceptance of short videos via Vine, Instagram, Snapchat and so forth, you should consider Pre-Roll Ads to be your next opportunity to provide your targeted audience a fun, informative and/or entertaining 5- to 15-second video ad that can be great for raising awareness, brand recognition, driving traffic, and engaging your audience in a rather precise and measurable way. You can think of a YouTube pre-roll ads as being at the top of your video marketing funnel with the main goal to raise awareness and secondary goals to drive traffic to your website (from there, you also need a plan for what you want visitors to do next, but that is the...