Look at it this way: A picture (image) is worth a thousand words. The brain can process 30 images a second. For a 60 second video, that equates to 1.8 million words (30x60x1000). That is the stat that Forrester’s Nick Barber offered in a recent video presentation he did for a TwentyThree.net online video conference.
Another stat Barber offered: The brain can process video 60,000 times faster than text.
Why wouldn’t you want to provide video to your customers and prospects? Why wouldn’t they expect it?
But video is too expensive
There was a time when you could pull that excuse, and everyone would nod in agreement. It can be expensive, especially when you are thinking of the high production videos that you think you need to produce. The special camera equipment, the special room, the best speakers, great animation, and the list goes on. You’re thinking like a news producer from five years ago; it’s time to shift your mindset.
Video does not have to be expensive, and it doesn’t have to be world class, academy award winning. You can even produce it from your desktop. As long as the content is relevant, timely, and high quality, your customers will consume it.
That’s why you see video hosting providers offering solutions to create your own videos right from the comforts of your office chair. One of these is Wistia. Wistia recently introduced a free Chrome extension called Soapbox that lets you record, edit and share video. It allows you to do a split screen, recording your webcam and screen simultaneously. You can even switch between the two if you don’t want them both up at the same time.
A few other things you can do with your custom made videos in Wistia:
- Customize the player
- Include a CTA at the end of the video
- Create a custom video thumbnail
- Trim the start and end
- Re-edit the video after you share it
Wistia is not the only video hosting provider that offers this kind of capability. Vidyard offers ViewedIT and Vidyard Studio, and TwentyThree.net also enables you to create videos and clips directly in your browser. You have no excuse.
If you’re concerned about the quality, then a few tips I can offer can help:
- Keep your background clean. That doesn’t mean a blank wall (I have pictures my kids drew in my background), but don’t have a bunch of crap cluttering the background that will drive people’s eyes away from you.
- Have the camera at eye view. Don’t be looking down at your screen in the video. Bring your camera up to your eye level, so you are looking straight into it. There’s nothing more annoying and amateur looking than someone who is starting down at you.
- Don’t read off a sheet. If you’re experienced, you could have cue cards behind the camera, but more than likely you sound like you are reading off them (and your eye will wander side to side). Looking down to read off a paper doesn’t look good either. The best presenters know their topic well enough to look at a few bullet points and speak to them conversationally. Practice beforehand and know your topic inside and out.
- Have clean, but useful slides. Don’t clutter your slides up with a lot of text or images. The KISS principle is important for presentations. But I will also note - make them useful. I’ve looked at far too many slides on Slideshare that are a waste of time without the audio that went with them. You want to reuse these slides for other content marketing assets, so make sure you spend time ensuring the content is useful.
I wouldn’t wait for the big budget to start making your videos. Yes, you can screw them up, but just taking some time to prepare a well thought out discussion or presentation and then making the video yourself, I think your customers will appreciate it. As my daughter has told me “practice doesn’t make perfect (because there is no such thing as perfect), but it does make you better.”
How do I track video performance?
Performance is another key question. Like every content asset you develop, you need to know how useful it is to your business objectives. In Barber’s presentation, he makes the point that video views are pure “vanity metrics’. All your hosting providers offer statistics on viewing, and you can do a lot with what they provide, but it’s when you integrate video scoring with your CRM and marketing automation solution that you can assign value and see the impact your videos have on revenue.
To track performance and value to the customer journey, first separate your videos by stage of the customer journey. Different videos work best for different stages of the journey; separating them in this way allow you to assign more appropriate lead points. A table that I saw on a Wistia post seems a good approach to define lead scores.
The columns were as follows:
- Video: name of the video
- Stage of Journey: where you use it in the customer journey
- Persona: go deeper by defining videos for specific personas (or leave this out if you can’t get that detailed)
- Points Assigned: the points you want to assign for the video to add to the lead score.
- Greater Than 50% watched: additional points you would assign if the viewer watched over half the video
- Total Video Score (Points Assigned + Points from Greater than 50% watched)
When a prospect or customer watches the video, you add the lead score to their contact record in your CRM, or you use it in your lead nurture campaign to figure out what the next best step is to continue the nurture process.
Another element of videos that I think will take hold this year is the personalized video. Vidyard provides the ability to personalize a video that enables you to capture the attention of someone. It’s the same video everyone gets when they go to Vidyard website and click on the personalized video section. (It's free, but you'll need to enter your name and a few more details).
It arrived in my inbox. If a company sent me a video with my name on it, I would click it. But it needs to do more than just put my name on it. It has to offer me something of value, so when you start thinking about how you can get more personalized - think past the simple things to what would catch your customer’s attention and make them act.
My point in all this is that you need to stop worrying about making expensive, high-quality videos and start thinking about the high-quality content presented via video. Take advantage of all those employees who love to talk about the business, its products and services, the market topics and the support topics. For most, making a video may seem a lot less intimidating than writing a thousand word article.