Here’s a statistic to think about; 85% of our audience will trust peer recommendations more than any marketing This is why a good business video is about what you do an why. If you want to let people know you’re brilliant, it will have to be your clients who tell the story.
Keeping it real
In the past we’ve been asked to hire a few actors to create ‘case studies’ and ‘client testimonials. We don’t do that for two reasons: 1. Why fake it? If you run a great business, it should be easy to find three clients who love what you do and are happy to talk about it. If not, you need a better product! If you don’t have the product in the market yet, tell a story that describes the problem your product solves. 2. Actors do other work. The social media fallout of your ‘production manager’ turning up in a major beer commercial (yes, that really happened) is not worth the benefit of slicker delivery that actors can offer.
But what if my clients are terrible presenters?
Our experience is the anyone will come across well if they talk about something they fully understand and care about. Any other issues with delivery are about clever coaching and directing. It’s the video producer’s job to make sure your clients are in the right mindset to tell their story.
Let go of control
It’s important to not try to control the outcome too much by sending scripts or ‘overdirecting’. When you interrupt the client’s train of thought and try to get your branding message in there, you will lose the authenticity. Once that’s gone, so is the credibility of the testimonial.
Mix it up
In video the ‘rule of three’ applies. When three people discuss something it’s feels like a credible story. Less is too little, more can be overwhelming. Here’s an example: http://vimeo.com/42601926 Mixing your team’s narrative with that of your clients can also be a great option: https://vimeo.com/52974598
And for something completely different
Here’s a beautiful and unusual way to get a client testimonial. You know you’re doing something special if your clients write a poem about the experience they had with you! https://vimeo.com/123904559
And finally: Keep it short
60-90 seconds is enough to establish you’re awesome!
Miles Davis once said that jazz is about the notes you don’t play. Communication around building trust is not about more information: that will just overwhelm our audience.
How we decide who to trust
The people we want to connect with make decisions about who they trust based on what seems to be very little information: a short story, a few non verbal and visual cues. How does that work?
Thin slicing is the ability to find patterns in events based only on “thin slices,” or narrow windows, of experience. Studies have shown that brief observations can be used to assess outcomes, at levels higher than expected by chance.
How this applies to video
An interesting aspect of visual content is that we are surprisingly good at assessing someone’s skill level and intelligence. The research is mind boggling; humans can fairly accurately assess someone’s intelligence and personality just by looking at someone’s photo. We’re not describing prejudice here; this is measurable and the experiments have been repeated with similar results.
People behind the brand
We can use thin slicing and our ability to assess personality by communicating around the people behind brands. Staff profile videos are a great application of this; a 20-30 second video will give our viewers enough information to assess whether they’re a good fit with your culture and values. https://vimeo.com/99794385
Authenticity – you can’t control the outcome
To stick with the jazz analogy; if you write out the whole composition, it stops being jazz. Staff profiles can backfire if they’re overly scripted and contrived. If you do profile videos, you have to allow for variation and deviation. As long as you everyone on board on values and your brand essence, diversity of delivery and opinion will only further strengthen your brand and the communication of purpose. https://vimeo.com/102607249
LinkedIn profile videos
Once you have the staff profile videos in place, you can greatly improve the impact you have by adding them to everyone’s LinkedIn profile. Here’s a tutorial on how to add a video to your LinkedIn profile.
I’m always fascinated by how social media can be an amplifier of ‘outrage’, whether it’s Actual Outrage or Social Media Outrage.
In this video, Geoffrey Stackhouse, managing director of the crisis media training outfit Clarity Solutions discusses some of the underlying causes of Social Media Outrage and offers some ideas on what you can do to manage outrage. https://vimeo.com/118392785
Storybombers – the Outrage Industry
Story bombers are those who hijack your story and create a new narrative around outrage that furthers their cause.
What’s the psychology here?
I love comedian Charlie Brooker’s take on this: “Is it a narcissistic compulsion to demonstrate how much more thoughtful and sensitive you are than the ignorant clod who offended you? An earnest belief that a better world will only be reached after several thousand hours of angry dissent over absolutely every linguistic transgression ever made? A cathartic howl of vague personal unhappiness disguised as a campaign of improvement? Or just something to do between bowel movements?” Read the full article here.
How to be ready for outrage
Because of story bombing, outrage needs to be part of our communication planning. Here are three of Geoffrey’s key points around managing outrage: 1. Monitor your social media constantly. 2. Apology early and often – be seen as empathetic and present. 3. Brace yourself – but don’t be silenced. If your view is considered and well argued, social media can also be a amplifier of the support for your story.
Are we ‘offended’?
I’d love to hear about your experience of outrage, have you been baffled about how a throw away remark can become a social media Sh*tstorm bigger than Ben Hur?
Good news! LinkedIn is finally getting on board the Video Train with the launch of the LinkedIn Professional Portfolio.
LinkedIn now lets you upload images, videos, presentations and documents to your profile to add a nice visual to the otherwise text heavy platform. You can add video and images to the summary, experience and education sections of your profile.
How to add video to your LinkedIn profile: video
Here’s a quick video on how to add video to your LinkedIn profile.
How to Add Images and Video to Your LinkedIn profile: step by step
To add images, documents, presentations or video to your LinkedIn profile, click “Profile” from the menu at the top, then choose “Edit Profile.”
Upload or embed your video
Under each of the entries in your Summary, Experience and Education sections is a new icon—a square with a (+) symbol. Click this button to upload a file or add a link to the video or image you’d like to share.
If you want to add a link, type or paste the link to your content into the “Add a link” field.
The link can be simply a copied and pasted link from Youtube:
Titles and descriptions
To edit the title and description, move your cursor over Profile at the top of your homepage and select Edit Profile.
Scroll to the media sample you’d like to edit and click the pencil icon in the lower-right corner. Click inside the Title and Description fields to edit the text, then click Save. You can also move media samples from one section to another.
Do this by clicking the drop-down menu under “Move this media to” and choose the section of your profile you’d like to move it to.
Click ‘add to profile’ and you’ll see your video appear in your profile.
To rearrange items within the same section of your profile, click and drag them to the spot you want. Any questions? Get in touch!
Why do we find it so difficult to be in the spotlight?
Recently I did a public speaking course with Slow School, an amazing experience. It’s not just about speaker training, it really is about communicating your purpose. As a natural introvert I struggle with the idea of public speaking, actually I’m mortified of just the idea. On the other hand, I feel very passionate about what I do.
So one of my big Bucket List items is to get over that self imposed limitation. I’ll never be great at doing an improvised speech, but I can surely learn to communicate what I do better!
Moonwalking out of the shot
It turns out, a lot of us feel this way. As a video producer I often encounter the same issues with our clients around being filmed, especially among women. Why is being filmed particularly difficult for them? I’ve had confident, competent people in leadership roles drop out of an interview 5 minutes before, and even if they do go ahead I can see a real internal struggle, even though we make a really big effort to make this easy.
Why the pretty boys win
I think this anxiety is the result of in built bias towards what we perceive as ‘natural leaders’; tall, handsome men. When we don’t feel we fit this profile, we feel or are made to feel we don’t really deserve the attention. To me this represents a huge missed opportunity for all of us.
We make it too hard
The reality is that it is harder for women to be in the spotlight. Just look at the attitudes female leaders get in the press, and have you ever read Youtube comments about women. It’s pretty feral.
It needs to change
We can’t make good decisions or communicate our purpose if we don’t involve everyone in our story, and more often than not that purpose is communicate by a ‘leadership type’. Watch me get on my soapbox about this at the TED X graduation night: https://vimeo.com/113572839
This course has really made it clear what my purpose is as an introverted, opinionated producer of video: I want to make sure we make it easier for everyone to tell their story. Because if we’re all involved in the conversation, we’ll get better leadership, more connection and ultimately a better, more inclusive workplace.
Tell your story
It’s not easy to step up but you owe it to yourself and those around you to give it a red hot go. I’d love to hear what you bring to the table!
Good news,: your video is live! The ‘bad’ news is, your business video is not going to perform miracles by itself: you’ll need to put in a bit of work to get in front of the right people now!
What’s a result?
Getting a result is not about the amount of views you get: it’s about getting the right views. Your video needs to be seen by the right people, resulting in actions like contacting you, booking you on a speaking gig or asking for a quote.
Three steps towards results
To make sure you get results, we need to make sure your video: 1. On the right platform. 2. Easy to find by search engines like Google. 3. Easy to use, share and embed. Here are some good starting points:
At Hunting With Pixels, we love Vimeo because it’s free and high quality. Vimeo is a video platform that makes your video look much cleaner and crisper than Youtube and you don’t get annoying banner ads or related videos. https://vimeo.com/huntingpixels There’s a very reasonably priced Vimeo Pro option too.
Although it’s a video site, Youtube is now the second biggest search engine and the place where your audience will look for content so you have to be there. Make sure you don’t just upload your video though; put a enticing title, a well written description and relevant tags on your video so your video actually turns up on search results.
Clickable links to your website from Youtube
Make sure you put the full url of your website in the first two lines of your description, so something like: ‘https://www.huntingwithpixels.com.’. Add the ‘http://’ bit will make the link clickable. It needs to be in the first two lines because that’s the only bit of text you will see without having to click the ‘more’ button, which almost noone does.
One load – video seeding
There are dozens of other platforms out there, but Youtube is the one with the biggest reach by far. If you want to be on a number of video platforms at the same time, you may want to look at video seeding software like One Load: http://www.oneload.com/ One Load will automatically upload your video to dozens of platforms in one go. Personally, I’m not sure if that scattergun approach is going to get you a lot of relevant leads but it can’t hurt either. http://www.oneload.com/
Places to send your content so it can be found by prospects
Assuming you’re in the B2B space, here are some good places for your content the be.
Seems like a no brainer, but I see a lot of our clients send links to Youtube to their database. Don’t. Use this opportunity by getting the video to create traffic to your site: that’s where your contact button is! Write and article around your video and post on your site. The article can provide additional information and useful links; video and written content really complement each other well.
SourceBottle is an online service that connects journalists, writers and bloggers with ‘sources’. Make sure you become a source by post the similar article to the one you make for your site on Sourcebottle: don’t simply copy the article and paste it on Source Bottle. Google has software that checks for duplicate content online, and once that’s been flagged your article will not turn up in search results so take the time to reword. http://www.sourcebottle.com/
Slideshare is like the Youtube of slide decks. Create an interesting looking slide deck with a good title, then embed your video in it. You’ll be surprised how much traction this can potential get. It’s also a good place to find slides and ideas for future presentations. http://www.slideshare.net/
Here are some thoughts on what platforms are useful for you.
Great tool for B2B engagement (engagement, not hard selling) and reaching specific groups of professionals. Great for the services industry. A good place to start B2B collaborations. LinkedIn now has a blog tool that allows you to write articles and embed Youtube videos easily; this is where you need to be for B2B.
Facebook works well for B2C engagement and any events you may be running. We’re not convinced about B2B engagement.
If you have a decent amount of followers, send a tweet linking to the article on your website. Twitter is generally useful for collaboration, engagement with other professionals and regular updates to your clients. Twitter needs a lot of quick responses to work for you, so only worth doing if you have the time or if you just love the quick fire responses. I’m not a huge fan myself.
And then there’s a gazillion other video/social media platforms. All very clever and interesting, but not likely to get you results unless you put a lot of effort in. I’d recommend sitting on the fence for now.
Wait, there’s still the world outside social media
Never call your newsletter ‘newsletter’. Do that and you can pretty much guarantee noone will click. If you’re going to use your database to update your clients on a regular basis, offer something that’s one page, well designed and relevant. Add a video to that and on average your click through doubles.
Video is being used on displays a lot. My view is that for it to have any effect it better be good, and it needs a tangible; something to do right there and then. If you use video as a nicer version of a bill board, you’ll get the same results as bill boards; not a lot of traction unless you’re everywhere.
Ultimately, what your video needs to do is engage people. Getting people engaged is not a process that you can automate or templatise; the more targeted and personal you are, the better your response rate. So instead of sending the same thing to your entire database, think about how you can add a personal message like: Hey Robert, how’s life at the Hunting With Pixels HQ? Just did a talk on the Curse Of Knowledge at Ignite Sydney, knowing you’re a bit of a psychology buff I thought it might interest you:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E64gxVhDUQI I don’t know about you, but I’d click on that. Good luck!
When we think about video, we often imagine a film shoot. A sea of lights, cameras and gorgeous looking hipster crew with low hanging jeans (and more crack than Harlem if you’re unlucky).
What struck me when I worked in TV production myself is how incredibly importantvideo production seemed. Creating content seemed to revolve around stressed out production managers, pushy interviewers, micro managing marketing directors and a very uptight ‘brand’ person with lots of print outs and a short term memory issue.
Are we missing something here?
The single most overlooked aspect of video production is: the people. In all distraction and excitement around content, we can easily overlook the feelings of the people who are featured. As a result we often don’t manage to capture authenticity.
Why shoots are stressful for interviewees
Our approach has created the idea that being filmed as something daunting, something we need to just get over with. We fill the room with hot lights, people our interviewees don’t know and we add a limited timeframe. Then we fire a list of questions at them that pushes them towards the brand message. How are our interviewees supposed to make anything conversational and authentic like that?
So we suck it up and go on auto pilot. We do the 20 takes until we say exactly what it says on the print out. We get a professional presenter to represent that business that we pour all of our time and energy into. Does that make sense? We choose the great looking extravert male marketing director to represent the brand, because he’s ‘good on camera’. And yes, men are more likely to put their hand up for being interviewed.
What is ‘good on camera’?
If we keep approaching content like this, ‘good on camera’ means being able to withstand the stress that video creates. This requires a thick skin, which rules out the 50% of humanity that’s on the introvert spectrum. If we rule out that many people by our process, our content ends looking staged and forced.
Authenticity: why it matters
Authenticity is essential for building connection and trust, especially in PR. In the run up to the PRIA conference we interviewed a number of PR Practitioners around their views on authenticity: https://vimeo.com/114209651
So why do we struggle to be authentic?
There are three factors that stand in the way of us being authentic: Organisational: we may work in organisation that don’t foster authenticity. The larger an organisation is, the harder authenticity becomes. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible though. Content: the objective of a lot of content is to look polished. This is mainly to make sure we as agencies feel good about ourselves and the marketing director feels good about her decision to hire you. Our audience isn’t that interested in how nice things look: that’s a baseline expectation. They’re looking for relevant information and connection. Culture: we all fear being judged. Some organisations have a culture in which employees don’t feel empowered to add a personal touch; micromanaged and undertrained.
We’re not equally affected
This fear of being judged is especially evident when we interview middle aged women in leadership roles. These women have a good reason to worry: Women are being judged more harshly. Just check out the comments females get on Youtube. As agencies, we have can and should make a real difference by making the process of creating content easier for them.
Here’s what you can do
Here are five ways to create more authentic content: 1. Diversity – Include a diverse range of people in your message, especially the ones that don’t considering themselves ‘good on camera’. Offer coaching. Give introverts the time they need to prepare. Make sure it’s a fun experience. Our experience is that you’ll find that the reluctant ones create the best content: they hold themselves to higher standards. 2. Content – Let go of control. Create a framework of ‘must haves’ but allow for stories and serendipity. You’ll be surprised with what your team and colleagues have to offer. 3. Make it easy – Find people that you really enjoy working with, so pick your production partners based on shared values and culture instead of a hot looking showreel (which are all smoke and mirrors anyway). 4. Work with the environment – Look for a place that’s shifts the mindset so you get better stories. Get away from boardroom. 5. Avoid time pressure – Invest in people instead of technology: better to have an authentic story in HD than a stressed out interviewee in 4k.
Here’s an example
Lawyers and authenticity may seem like an oxymoron, but it isn’t if you let them tell their stories: https://vimeo.com/99220941
Tell us your story
What’s your experience with being filmed or having a client filmed? What do you think we can all do to make things better? We’d love to hear your stories!
What we can do
Blogs about authenticity and content Freebie for SYD and MELB –
https://vimeo.com/103196491 We love Slow School, an unconventional business school for people passionate about building a purpose-driven and prosperous business that makes the world a better place. Last week Slow School officially launches at the Hub, so we asked a few people about that they think about education: