Meetup Description

It’s a big claim, but surveys have shown 80% of marketers confirm that video helped them increase sales. With the enormous amount of video content consumed by users each day, it is simply undeniable – Video matters.

So why do many business owners decide not to use video in their marketing strategy? One reason is that making or appearing in videos can push people out of their comfort zones. This is especially true when they see their competitors highly produced, blockbuster-budget videos.

However, creating effective marketing videos has never been so accessible using only a smartphone and some DIY lighting setups. And, for those wanting to justify investing in professionally produced videos, there are statistics that show that customers that watch videos are much more likely to book.

This Accelerate Tourism meetup video is going to help answer a number of key questions that you might have about using video in your marketing:

  • What do my videos need to say or include?
  • How should I go about making my videos?
  • Where should I put my videos – my website, social media, YouTube?
  • How can I help potential customers discover my videos?
  • How can I tell if my videos are helping drive more activity?

Our guest panelist Derek Lau of aideM Media and Dean Sell from Sight & Sound Theatre will help answer these questions and more. Our goal is to give you the confidence you might need to get out and create revenue-boosting videos.

Guest Panel

Derek Lau, Executive Producer at aideM Media
Dean Sell, Brand Director at Sight & Sound Theatres

Key Takeaways

What do my videos need to say or include?

  • Think about video as a way to have an ongoing relationship with your customer base and potential customers.
  • Think about how people discover you as they’re doing research or looking for whatever your product or service type is.
  • Stick your company’s story and your company’s brand. make sure it comes across authentic.

What are some key things to consider when making videos?

  • You don’t have to have to spend a lot of money to make a video the performs well.
  • Be relatively cognizant of your lighting and your sound.
  • Smile, be friendly. Look into the lens.
  • Get over the fear and just embrace the fact that it’s a process just like anything else.

For a larger production budget

  • Higher quality cameras and professional lighting setups.
  • Making sure you’re doing color grading and having professionals edit them.

Where should I put my videos – my website, social media, YouTube?

  • It takes a strategy to make decisions.
  • Social media, Instagram, and Facebook are great places.
  • Ask, how are you using digital marketing right now? And how can you introduce and integrate video into that?
  • Understanding where you’re going to place it also should inform the content and the way that you’re going to develop the video as well.
  • There is an option for broadcast television.
  • Look for opportunities on-site to use video for upsell purposes.

How can I help potential customers discover my videos?

  • Two main things to consider: paid versus unpaid or organic versus paid
    • Unpaid: If you can get your fans and your friends and your followers to share your video content, that’s worth its weight in gold.
    • Paid: It really comes down to decision making. What are the things that you’re going to elevate and say, “This is a priority, this is where I’m going to spend my time and energy.”
  • User-generated video content.
  • Find a place to begin and really get to know that place and spend some time and energy there

How can I tell if my videos are helping drive more activity?

  • Be careful not to fall in the trap of thinking that you have to measure ROI on every single piece that you send out: look at what you’re trying to measure and why you’re trying to measure it.
  • You can look at things like views, shares, traffic sources to your website
  • Look at how long people are watching the video: If they are dropping off early at a specific point, you may need to make adjustments
  • Measure the conversion rates of sales focused videos.

Resource Links

DSLR Video Shooter– Great for equipment reviews, lighting tips, and DIY setups
Think Media–Loads of tutorials and how-to videos
Peter McKinnon– Photographer turned YouTuber with lots of great inspiration and how-tos
Shutterstock Tutorials– Step-by-Step videos for making and editing videos
Primal Video –Video marketing influencer teaching people how to use videos for their business
YouTube Creators Channel– Lots of how-to videos for newbies

Meetup Transcript

(Sam) So let’s go ahead and get started. And welcome everybody again to the next Accelerate Tourism marketing meetup here. Today, we are going to be talking about video marketing. But first, to just introduce everybody, obviously, this is a virtual meetup here where we’re meeting monthly to discuss mainly marketing in the tourism industry, because of the way things have been affected in that group of businesses and tour owners and things are starting to change and starting to get better. But there’s still a lot of, I don’t even want, it’s sad to say, but a lot of changes that have to be made and decisions that need to be made.

(Sam) And we do hope that we are helping you out each month as we have these, and please reach out to us if you have any suggestions or if you have any particular needs because we want to focus on sharing and encouraging each other through what we’re doing here. And we would love to hear your feedback on that. And with that said, we still have room for more questions. Even you know, with all the questions that we have. So the Q&A feature in the webinar, if you’re on your mobile device, you might have to swipe left or right. But if you’re on desktop, you should see something similar here with a little Q&A. Click that, ask your question. Even if you entered your question at the registration, I do recommend if you want to make sure that you have that question answered, you can also go ahead and enter it in the Q&A feature here. And Scott, who’s with us, he’s going to be monitoring those questions in the Q&A feature or if you end up asking a question in the chat, we’ll try to address that as well.

(Scott) Good morning, everyone.

Topic Introduction

(Sam) So Video Marketing: A Beginner’s Guide, we had, this was I think the third most requested topic after we did our poll a few months ago. And we’re going to take a real high-level flyby of what video marketing means. And we want to make sure that we address some specific points and answer a lot of those questions that you sent in. And some of those questions are going to be answered really in the five main points. I think in the email that we send out to describe what we’re going to be talking about here, we’re going to cover things or at least I’m going to say introduce things about when you’re creating a video for your business, for your tour, for whatever your specific need is, we want to quickly talk about what should you be saying. We’re going to touch on how-tos and tips and tricks and things like that. But we also have a list of resources that we want to share with you that you can go out and explore to learn further.

(Sam) Once your video is created, where do you put it? What do you do with it? How do you promote it and get it out to your audience? And also looking at how can we evaluate whether our videos are actually enhancing our marketing efforts and actually driving qualified, which is qualified traffic, which is those customers that we anticipate that are going to buy that are more likely to buy or book your experience or your tour.

Panel Discussion

(Sam) So with that said, we want to introduce our panelists. We have Dean Sell and Derek Lau with us. Dean is an executive producer or Dean is a brand director, sorry, Dean at Sight & Sound Theatres here in Lancaster, PA, which is one of the biggest draws to the county. We know that in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, a lot of our other businesses do actually fluctuate and see impact on what is going on at Sight & Sound. So we’re going to have a unique perspective from Dean, who has also been in the video production, video marketing field and Derek Lau, who is the executive producer at aideM Media, which is a great local media company here in Lancaster, PA. So guys, go ahead and say hi. And if you want to introduce yourself real quick, if I missed anything, please do.

(Sam) Hey good morning, everyone. Dean Sell here. Derek, I’ll let you go first.

(Derek) Good morning, everybody. I’m Derek Lau with aideM Media Solutions. We help organizations tell better story with video. We’re just going to be talking today about some things that you can do yourself and giving some input on ways that you can better your business and get more bookings and appointments with video.

(Sam) Cool.

(Dean) And as Sam said, I’m Dean Sell with Sight & Sound Theatres, where we bring the Bible to life on stage here in Lancaster, as well as Branson, Missouri, and more recently on Sight & Sound TV, which is a brand new online video streaming platform, came from video producing background, but now work primarily in kind of brand strategy, marketing strategy, but still get my hands dirty every once in a while with video production. So excited to be here.

What do my videos need to say or include?

(Sam) Great. Thank you guys. So we’re going to jump right into it, because we want to touch on some things pretty quickly, like I said, so we can get to your specific questions and have some good conversation there. So, guys, what do we need to say in our videos? We’re trying to figure out, we want to drive more traffic to our websites, we want to make more money with video for our tours or for our businesses. Real broadly, what should we be saying? Dean, why don’t you lead us off?

(Dean) Yeah, that’s a great question. And I think for those that are just kind of venturing into the video space, it’s easy to think about a video, like I want to create a video and what should it be. But I would just encourage everyone to really think about video as a way to have an ongoing relationship with your customer base and potential customers.

(Dean) The number one website on the internet is YouTube. And so people are wanting to consume video and engage with people through the means of video. And it’s really a powerful medium. I mean, outside of face to face communication, it really is the next best way to be able to engage with potential customers and existing customers.

(Dean) And so as a brand guy, I would say, “What do you want to say? Make sure that whatever you’re saying, and whatever you’re communicating, is really truly authentic to who you are.” It’s so easy to look at others and say, “Well, look at this video that this person made.”, and try to parody that or mimic it. But really, you need to understand who are you? How do you want to present yourself? How do you already present yourself not in video? And how do you then translate that to video?

(Dean) And there are tons of different kinds of videos. So I would just say think about your customer journey. Think about how people discover you as they’re doing research or looking for whatever your product or service type is. Think about the way that they then start to engage with you, think about the way that they buy your service or your product. Think about the way that you can follow up with them afterwards.

(Dean) And the question is, where is video best utilized in that customer journey? A really great example of video that I encountered recently was I took my Toyota 4Runner to the dealership to get serviced and I was sitting in the waiting room. And I got a text that said, “Hey, your service is finished. Here’s an overview of what your technician did.” I clicked on the link and right on my cellphone was a video from the technician in the service station with video. My wheel was off and he was showing me underneath my truck, “Hey, this is the quality of your brakes. This is what your tires look like.” And it was a way to take me right inside and see something that I never would have been able to see before. So videos don’t always have to be these amazing produced high quality, try to sell something. Sometimes, it’s really just good to use as a deeper way to engage with your audience.

(Sam) That’s great. And Derek, do you have anything you want to add to that?

(Derek) Dean covered a lot of bases right there. And I completely agree with pretty much everything he said. Again, just to reiterate, I would stick to your feel and your company’s story and your company’s brand and make sure it comes across authentic. Don’t try to be somebody else or be somebody you’re not. Try to find something about your business that’s unique and figure out why your customers like dealing with you and like dealing with your business and make sure that comes across in every video.

(Derek) If you are the face of your company or you’re personally representing your company, make sure you’re being yourself and find out what your customers like and sure you get that message out to them in every video that you’re making. As far as what the videos need to say, again, kind of like Dean said, there are different phases and different ways, different touchpoints you’re going to be reaching your customers through video. So certain videos like the first time they ever hear about you or something like that might have to be a little bit different than a follow-up video or a thank you video or something like that that you’re sending to somebody who’s already a customer and already in your system.

(Sam) Cool. And I think we have a few examples at the end that we’ll click through but we’ll also share out later. So you all can to get a little bit more context about what these guys are talking about. And Dean, I want to mention something just as a reference point for our audience here. You mentioned something about a buyer’s journey. And one of our recent, this is kind of a plug for a recent meetup that we did, I think maybe it was either last month or the month prior, where we talked about marketing funnels and things like that.

What are some key things to consider when making videos?

(Sam) So if you’re wondering more about that, you can go back in our episodes on acceleratetourism.com and check that out. And there’s also lots of resources online to learn more about funnel marketing, buyer’s journey, and how you can create content that aligns with the way people actually buy from you. So our next question here, practically speaking, we obviously want to make videos that look, I didn’t use the term on the slide, but good enough. And really good enough is that’s determined by your audience. I know we, our agency, we actually don’t do a lot of video marketing right now. So this is sort of a learning experience for us, which is why we’re sort of facilitating rather than sharing our own knowledge, but we’re getting into it a little bit more. And the interesting thing that we’ve noticed is we have some clients who make videos and when we see them, we’re like, wow, it feels like it could be better. But then when their audience sees it, they eat it up. And it’s super effective. So, let’s talk about how we can make videos look good or good enough for your audience. I think Derek, do you want to take us on that one?

(Derek) Yeah, I think they say the best camera, I mean people want to say what, I get questions a lot, what camera should I use, things like that? What camera should I be buying? But I think the best camera a lot of times is the one that you have on you. And you’re going to see a lot of successful marketers shooting stuff selfie style, walking and talking, things like that, walking and talking right into the camera. It’s very engaging when people are scrolling through their social media feeds. That simple cellphone video, that Facebook Live video, that Instagram Live video and stuff, that’s going to attract a lot of people. It’s going to stop them in their tracks when they’re scrolling through their feeds.

(Derek) So as far as making your video look good, I would just say be relatively cognizant of your lighting and your sound. I know sound isn’t the topic on this, but they say sound is the most important half of video. So try not to shoot with a bright window right behind you where your camera is going to be confused on exposure. Try not to shoot where it’s extremely loud. Don’t shoot right by like a air conditioner vent or air conditioner handler outside or something like that.

(Derek) Just basic lighting and audio principles is going to help make your video look good. Smile, be friendly. Look into the lens. Sometimes people are shooting videos on their cellphone and they’re looking at themselves and it’s not as engaging because they’re not looking into the lens. So think of the lens as a human being when you’re talking to them. As far as professionally produced videos, I mean, it’s kind of a whole another topic, but you want to make sure obviously you’re shooting on higher quality cameras and professional lighting setups and making sure you’re doing color grading and having professional edit them but there’s different levels of video, like Dean and I had said before, but I think the most effective and easiest way to do it for small business owners is to be shooting some videos themselves and just get over the fear or any uncomfortableness you have. The more that you do it, the more comfortable you’re going to get. But just the basics would be sound and lighting.

(Sam) Cool. Dean, do you have anything to add?

(Dean) Yeah, that’s awesome advice. And I think that last point is a really important one that Derek said like get over the fear and just embrace the fact that it’s a process just like anything else. None of you started your businesses fully formed. It took a step. And so the same thing is true about introducing video into your marketing plan. Just taking a step is really important and not thinking that you have to have this amazingly produced super viral million view video right out of the gate. It’s not going to happen most likely. It might, but most likely will not.

(Dean) But just remember that regardless if you’re taking a lo-fi approach or a hi-fi approach, quality still matters. So those tips that Derek gave, you don’t have to take a fully produced hi-fi approach to your video, you can take a lo-fi approach, but the quality still matters, you can still get good quality, even though it’s lo-fi. There’s some examples that we can share later on. But just remember that all of these pieces are a reflection of who you are. And so you want to put your best foot forward, whether you’re taking a selfie style, shoot it on your cellphone approach, or you’re taking, investing in a partnership with a professional partner like Derek, but it’s a reflection of who you are.

(Dean) And so really just think about what your audience wants to know about you is one part of it. Are you trying to create entertaining content? Or are you trying to create educational content? Or are you trying to create something that really is a matter of a sell point? This is a conversion tactic. But don’t confuse those things. Because if you’re trying to create something that really is meant to be engaging or entertaining, and then you try to slip in a conversion selling point, it can kind of twist your audience a little bit like wait a minute, it doesn’t feel right. So it really is similar to dating or like getting to know somebody. You don’t typically meet somebody for the first time and start to give them your sales pitch. So just understand where you’re creating content and what part of the journey, of the relationship you are on with your audience at that moment.

Where should I put my videos – my website, social media, YouTube?

(Sam) Yeah, that’s great. So it’s being very intentional, this is kind of going back to what should we say but it will affect even just the quality of your video because if your content is confusing, your video is going to be interpreted as just not good. So narrow that message down and have a laser focus of what you’re trying to say, not trying to say five different things in our video. That’s great. Thanks, guys. So where do I use my videos? After I’ve figured out what I’m going to say, after I’ve pinpointed that message, whether it’s a strong buy message or a CTA, a call to action, or whether it’s just sort of a behind the scenes just to kind of build brand engagement. What do we do? Where do we put these videos once we’re done? Obviously, they can go to YouTube land. But I forget how many billions of videos are on there. If not, I don’t even know into the trillions, I wish I would have looked that number up. But it’s not as simple as just putting a YouTube video up and letting it sit there. What do we do next?

(Dean) It’s really not, I mean it can feel like you have done something by doing that, like, “Hey, I posted it. It’s out there.” But it really does take a little bit more strategy and intentionality around making some of these decisions. And honestly, it can be very complex. And we won’t get into all the technicalities in the deep trenches, but just know your options are yes, you can post it to YouTube, you can use that as an embed into your website, or it could be native video on your website that’s not on YouTube.

(Dean) Obviously, social media, Instagram and Facebook are great places. And then not even just those destinations of putting it on Facebook. But there are different ways to post videos on Facebook. You might do a story versus a video that’s a post. So I think really what you want to be thinking about is, how are you using digital marketing right now? And how can you introduce and integrate video into that, into your already existing strategy or already existing platforms? And how can you use video to maybe take you into a new platform or a new space digitally that you’re not in right now?

(Dean) It’s always good to build on what you’re doing, and to continue to develop that. But video can live in a lot of different places. For us at Sight & Sound, we use it on our website. And we use it on social media. We use it on YouTube. We use it through email by pushing out emails that are connecting to some of those destinations. And there’s different reasons why sometimes, we take people to YouTube in an email versus taking them to our website versus taking them to social media versus taking them to our new platform Sight & Sound TV. But it really does take intentionality and a strategy around where do I want to take people and why. Social media might be a great place to have conversation and lower-fi maybe quick bits, quick video bites. Whereas you might want to have something that’s a little bit more polished on your website, unless it’s housed maybe within a blog section of your website that can feel a little bit more disposable, meaning it’s fresh content for a day or a week or a month, but then it kind of expires because you have something else new coming next week or next month. But understanding where you’re going to place it also should inform the content and the way that you’re going to develop the video as well.

(Sam) I like that. And even that little distinction, maybe it’s because it’s relevant to us. Our agency is in digital marketing. So we build a lot of websites, and we do a lot of ongoing work with those websites. So that slight distinction, there might be a video that is appropriate for your homepage that’s going to be maybe a little bit more higher produced that you’re going to want to share front and center. But then, something that’s a little bit more organic that you can use in your blog that really could in some cases, you could almost use a video as a blog post with some technical adjustments. If you’re going to have some additional text in there, that’s always good, saying that to please our SEO director. But yeah, that distinction out there might be even on your website. There might be different places to use different types or different qualities of videos. Derek, is there anything you want to add?

(Derek) I think Dean hit the nail on the head, agree with everything he said 100%. Just a couple things they don’t forget about. There’s not as many people putting as much on broadcast television, but there is the option for broadcast television. Also, for tourism, there are some lobby videos and things like that. There’s different hotels that have videos playing in the lobbies, there’s some programs that tie into the cable systems in the hotels that people can take advantage of for tourism, but as far as digitally, I agree with everything Dean said, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, depending on who your audience is, there’s different ways to get it out there. But you can do broadcast television. Obviously, you’re going to have to pay to buy your airtime. And there are some other programs in hotel lobbies and stuff like that, that as far as from a tourism standpoint, and get people to do things locally, might be an option you get into.

(Sam) Yeah, and that’s actually something that I would refer to as like a point of purchase, like video just because I used to do some grocery store marketing, and that’s what we called it, but having that in person video right when somebody is about to engage with you, there’s a opportunity to upsell even. I’m thinking of one of our clients that does zip lining, with having video advertising, GoPro add ons or something like that, as you know, it’s an upsell for the tour owner, but then also an additional piece of memorabilia or additional takeaway for the customer.

(Derek) Yeah. And even from an upsell standpoint at your own business, if you can afford to do it, put some TVs behind you and have some of your own video programs playing. Dean, do you have stuff like that in Sight & Sound?

(Dean) Yeah, I mean, not in our lobby. But once people are seated in the theater, there’s pre-show content, so opportunity for us to talk about other things that make up the Sight & Sound brand as they’re waiting for the show to start.

(Derek) Yep, yep.

How can I help potential customers discover my videos?

(Sam) Cool. So our next question here, how can I get these videos out there? So they’re living somewhere now on our website, they’re living on YouTube, they’re living on social media. What are some strategies that we can start to push this content in front of our potential audience instead of just letting it sit there and eventually sort of fade into the darkness? What are some things that we can do to really push our video content out there? Derek, do you want to take this?

(Derek) Yeah, I’ll lay this one out. Well, there’s a lot of ways. I think the two main categories you want to break it into would be paid versus unpaid or organic versus paid. If you can get your fans and your friends and your followers to share your video content, that’s worth its weight in gold. Definitely, your organic and free video views and things like that are going to be helpful. One, you don’t have to pay for it. And two, it shows loyalty and it shows appreciation that people really love your business. The best way that someone can show that they appreciate your business is by giving you a referral or recommending a friend to visit your business. So definitely free traffic is awesome. So if you can find ways to get people to share it, that’s great. As far as paid goes, Dean, I’ll let you talk about paid. There are all different kinds of stuff you can do with paid. So I don’t want to talk about all that here. But yeah, go for it.

(Dean) Yeah, well, I just want to tag on one thing that you said just sparked an idea. We’ve been talking about, essentially you creating video content and you pushing out video content. There’s another side of that, which is user-generated video content. If somebody comes to your destination, or your property or your business, and you could incentivize them to create video content about their experience, and then use what they’ve created if it’s good, and a good representation of you and promote that, repost their post on social media, you’ve got to be careful with it.

(Dean) But that’s another way to utilize video that you don’t have to be worried about creating. But on the paid media side, again, let me just say this first, too. I think anytime you dive into a topic that’s new like this, and it has all of these tentacles, it can feel really overwhelming. Like, oh my goodness, I have to create video for Instagram and Facebook and YouTube and my website and blogs. And I would say no, you don’t. No you don’t. As a leader, which I’m assuming most of you are within your businesses, you know that part of your job is to look at all of the tentacles and details and facets of your business and listen to your customers. But it really comes down to decision making. What are the things that you’re going to elevate and say, “This is a priority, this is where I’m going to spend my time and energy.”

(Dean) So you might make the decision to say, “You know what? I could be on all these platforms, but I’m going to choose to really focus on Instagram. That’s going to be my platform, or I’m really going to choose to focus just on my website.”, and that’s okay. Sometimes it’s better to do fewer things to the best of your ability than to do many things at kind of a subpar level. So the same thing is true about paid advertising. I mean, Derek, it was a great addition, broadcast television, yes. And you can buy digital broadcast television and where you’re airing spots digitally on say, WGAL’s platform. There’s also paid advertising on YouTube. There’s paid advertising on social. And so it can get really complex. So I would say, find a place to begin and really get to know that place and spend some time and energy there, getting familiar and getting comfortable before you start to open up the landscape and try to manage all the pieces.

How can I tell if my videos are helping drive more activity?

(Sam) That’s great. So our last prepared question here, how can we monitor the success of our videos? How do we know, how can we justify to ourselves it’s working? Because in reality, it takes time. You might be doing it yourself. But if you could be spending your time making money in another way, it really is costing you money, and it’s costing you time to do things yourself. So how can we tell whether or not our time is being spent wisely, or even what we should change about what we’re doing? Dean, any thoughts?

(Dean) Yeah. Another danger of the digital landscape is that you can measure everything, and it’s awesome. And you should measure things. But you have to be careful not to fall in the trap of thinking that you have to measure ROI on every single piece that you send out. ROI is really important. Do not hear me say that’s not important. It’s very important. But many of you cannot draw a conclusive ROI from many of the things that you’re doing in your businesses. So just be careful about what you’re trying to measure and why you’re trying to measure it.

(Dean) So there are some natural things like people would naturally go to video views. Yes, that could be a source of success metric potentially, shares, traffic sources to your website from a post that you made with video. But there’s also word of mouth that comes from your customer base, “Hey, I saw this thing and it really helped me make the decision.” So there are lots of places that you can turn to, to see and ask if you’re being successful, I would just encourage you not to fall into the trap of can I draw a distinct ROI from every single video piece that I put out there? Because the reality is you can’t, at least you can’t afford to because unless you’re going after some kind of big research study around net promoter score and looking at all the activity that you’re doing, you’re not going to be able to really truly understand the value for all the pieces, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t decide which pieces to identify ROI from and truly measure that.

(Sam) Great. Derek, any other thoughts?

(Derek) One easy way that’s a metric that’s available on Facebook and YouTube, a lot of the platforms is how long people are watching the video. You want your video to be sticky, just like you want your website to be sticky. And you can check and see kind of where people are falling off. And then one thing you can do to analyze that is you if there’s a certain part in the video, or a lot of people are dropping off, you can watch the video say, “Hey, what’s going on with the video in this part? And why are people starting to tune off here?”

(Derek) Now if everybody’s just watching the first three seconds of it that’s going down, then you might need to rethink your video strategy and things like that. But if you see a lot of people watching it to a certain point and then falling off, there might be something you can do. Maybe you can switch up the music at that point. You can say, “Hey, my video is dragging on too long. Maybe I was talking about the same subject too long.”, or maybe you need to switch it up a little bit to keep them on there.

(Derek) But yes, Dean covered a lot of other stuff as well. The only thing that I wanted to add to that is you can also tell by conversions and things like that, you can plug and you can research the data and see on the charts where conversions are coming in. So shares, organic shares, people sharing the videos, it would all depend on what type of goals you had with the videos, but for your Facebook Live videos and the videos you’re producing yourself, it’s mostly going to be about engagement, how long people are watching it, how many shares and things like that they’re getting, but if you are doing some sort of direct response or some sort of sales type video, there are conversions and things like that you can measure as well.

(Sam) Cool. And then just an additional thought from a non-expert, the way we view the video in online marketing is that it’s really, it is truly another piece of content in the world of content that lives. Let’s just narrow the focus and talk about websites. So it’s one piece of content or type of content that’s on a website.

(Sam) So for us in sort of our novice testing or whatever with video, one of the things we can practically do and we, meaning anybody who has a website that’s managing it themselves or trying to improve it, it can be as simple as just if you have, let’s use a tour guide, if you have a particular tour, put a video on that, and there’s no video on that page, make a video and put it on that page and see what happens. See if you improve on your conversions at all, just by adding a video. We can go by the benchmarks and statistics that are out there by people who get paid to just study these things, I guess. And it seems like video, if there’s a video on a page, generally speaking, it improves conversions.

(Sam) Obviously, there’s factors that go into that, depending on who’s the buyer, who’s the seller, what are they selling, the way that they make the purchase. So there’s a lot of different factors. But when it comes down to it, plain and simple, if you don’t have a video, put a video on your page, even if it’s just a video that you’re shooting with your iPhone. I’ve been throwing this phrase around that a video is better than no video. I still want to test that. So if any of you out there tests that, if you have a landing page and if you create a quick, down and dirty smartphone shot video and you put it on your page, tell us the impact that it makes on your conversions for that particular tour, for that particular booking product, whatever it may be. We’d love to hear that kind of as a testimony to really the power of this visual medium of video and how it affects our marketing. So I just want to go through a couple quick examples here. We’re not going to be able to play this, it just doesn’t work very well in this webinar format. But I want to switch my screen over. And we’ll check out some of these examples. And Dean, we’re first going to go over to you and you can lead us through some of these things for Sight & Sound here.

(Dean) Yeah, I think you said it well, Sam that video is a piece of content in the orchestra of content that you are creating and publishing. So just be careful that you’re not, again, going back to the singular mindset of like, I’m going to create one video, and I’m going to measure this and see what happens. I would encourage you to commit to four pieces of content maybe over the course of a month or two months, and really wait to establish a baseline until you have released those several pieces of content to see what happens. Because if you release one, and you look at the performance of that, you have nothing else to compare it to so you’ve got to make sure that you are putting out multiple pieces over time and then seeing okay, how has the performance been across these several pieces?

(Dean) So, two just examples from Sight & Sound, one is a real lo-fi grassroots approach to a campaign that we did last year in 2019. We were taking our show NOAH and broadcasting it into movie theaters across the country. And there were lots and lots of pieces of content that were part of that campaign. But one of the things that we decided to do was to create something called a street team. We knew that there were people across the country that were like super fans, and they wanted to get their communities excited about the fact that they could have a Sight & Sound experience in their own backyard at their local cinema.

(Dean) And so we created a private Facebook group. We invited people to join us there and we published exclusive content that was really meant to be relationship based. And so we did a five week series, five different videos. These are all shot on my cellphone. And there was no editing really. I mean, we trimmed off the front and the back just to make sure that they didn’t hear us say, action. But it was, first one was a welcome, hey, this is what you’re going to get, join us. And then each week was a different interview with a different person here in Sight & Sound that was tied to that particular show.

(Dean) And so, lo-fi but still high quality. I mean, you can see that they don’t look terrible, they’re not fuzzy. We made sure that there wasn’t background audio. But we didn’t have hidden microphones, we didn’t have stage lighting or camera lighting. We just found a spot that was lit naturally really well. And so they were effective for us in engaging with our audience giving them special content, they felt like they could relate to us and have an insider’s view into.

(Dean) And then the next batch is for a campaign that we launched more recently. This is this year, where we were doing a live broadcast online to our new platform Sight & Sound TV of our stage show Queen Esther. And I think there are three pieces of content here. One is the announcement piece, which is what you’re looking at right here with our President, Chief Story Officer Josh, and this is a mix of him talking directly to you. It’s also what we called B roll of showing some show shots from the show, so giving people an understanding of what they’re going to experience. And then also some motion graphics, which is helping people understand what this new platform is, Sight & Sound TV and how you get to it and how you sign up and what it looks like.

(Dean) So more highly produced, and yet it was relatively simple. I mean, Derek knows that as you put somebody on the green screen facing a camera, it’s not that costly if you’ve got really good B roll content in the queue that you can intersperse with that. So that was an announcement piece.

(Dean) The next one that you’re seeing here is the more formal commercial or trailer that was more higher end production of making sure that every shot was amazing and beautiful and compelling and telling a story because we wanted people to understand this experience was going to be really special. And then was it just those two pieces, Sam? And then there was this one other piece which is more behind the scenes. So it has some elements to it that make it feel a bit more polished. But it still is behind the scenes so some of the footage that you’ll see is not entirely beautifully lit or in its perfect presentation, but it’s intentionally so, so that people feel like they are truly walking backstage behind the curtain and getting an insider’s view. So again, you can take a lo-fi approach, you can take a hi-fi approach, quality still matters. But at the end of the day, it is about creating consistent multiple pieces of content for people to engage with over time. There really is no kind of one off one piece of video saves the day.

(Sam) So those are great and you know I like the point that you made too that, I forget which one you said it was but if you have somewhere throughout the history of your businesses, if you’ve engaged with a professional videographer or video production company, you might have some good high quality footage somewhere. And using that or reusing that in ways to make new content is really one of those, I don’t even want to call it a hack, because you guys can kind of confirm that that happens all the time. There is kind of this magic behind video production that a lot of us don’t see when we’re just consuming videos. So just to have an old video and chop it up and insert some interview style footage is one of those ways to produce something on a little bit lower budget. So a couple other, oh sorry, Dean, do you want to-

(Dean) I was going to say one more thing and Derek can talk more about this, but I think it’s also important, if you’re going to make the investment in producing a professionally created video, it’s so easy to look at the cost of that one video and be like, “Man, this video cost me this.” But what you’re also building is an asset bank over time, that the content that you shoot, yes it’s going to be used for this one piece. But you can actually go back and repurpose that for something else in the future. And over time, now you have almost a video library to pull from. And so your cost over time actually gets lower, because you don’t have to shoot as much the next time potentially, depending on what your content piece is. So we do it all the time. And you’ll see similar pieces of footage show up in a trailer and a behind the scenes video and a social media video. And so you’re getting more mileage out of that content. It’s just being edited in differently and used differently.

(Sam) Exactly. Cool. So a few more examples, then we’re going to jump to some questions. Derek, I want to bring up, I remember when you were doing these when COVID really first started interrupting our businesses. But this was a campaign that you, well, I’ll let you talk. Tell us a little bit about what we did here.

(Derek) Yeah, Sam, do you mind dragging through a couple freeze frames through it? And I’ll just kind of narrate what we got going on here. Yeah, so when COVID first hit, I know restaurants were definitely one of the places that were getting shut down. And people couldn’t gather in public places and stuff like that. So one thing that we wanted to do to help people out was to give away some gift certificates. There was several goals of the little video campaign that we did. We wanted to cheer people up. We knew people were freaking out and getting doom and gloom, all these bad news. So we wanted to do something positive and something fun. And we wanted to help out fellow business owners. So I made this little primer video that we put out. I shot it walk and talk style on my cellphone, just walking and talking, shooting it on my cellphone.

(Derek) And then we did a Facebook Live, where we did some trivia, and we had some like quiz style questions. And we were giving away prizes, which were gift certificates to local restaurants. So even if you couldn’t necessarily eat there at that time, you could support them. And we gave away small gift cards, I think they were $10 and $20. And the other reason we gave away small gift cards intentionally is because normally, if somebody gets a $10 gift card or a $20 gift card, they’re going to spend more at that restaurant. They’re not normally just going to buy $10 or $20 for the food. Hopefully they spend $30 or $40 and they get the gift card sale, and then they get the upsell of whatever the extra food purchase would be. So again, this is a walk and talk, we’re walking through the studio. I’m loving these freeze frames you’re pulling up. But yeah, that was a video that we did to prime it. So we kind of did a little teaser to prime and prepare the audience for the live stream contest that we did on Facebook Live.

(Sam) And this was great, because it was truly like, there’s no consideration for like, you just went and did it. You made the decision that no matter what happens in the background, you just did it. And one of my favorite frames is like you just walk out of your office. And there’s this gentleman getting out of his car, he’s having like a loud conversation with somebody. So for a brief moment you catch a little bit of what he’s saying. And then you keep talking, but it’s very organic. The thing I think you did here well was consistency too, because you were doing a lot of these at the time and you followed through with it. On the other side, you’ve got, this is a little bit, this is what you do, so I’ll just click through some of these real quick.

(Derek) Yeah. This was a broadcast television commercial. None of this is stock footage. This is all footage that we shot either in our studio or out on location. That’s my grandmother there. She’s had a couple of cameos in some of our Rutter’s commercials. But yeah, product shots, things like that, putting the sweat on there, those were actors that we hired, we were shooting on location and things like that. But a commercial like this, there’s a lot of planning that goes into it ahead of time. You write out a script, you storyboard things, and you plan it out, and you have a lot of logistics and a lot of organization, and then you execute it the day of the shoot. And then you tie it all together with graphics and editing, and enhancing colors and color grading and things like that. So the two totally different sides of the spectrum, one is like, “Hey, I’m going to walk and talk and kind of winging on my cellphone and use your personality and whatever you got naturally to work with the audience.” And then another one is a lot more planned out system of execution and making sure you get the results that you want.

(Sam) Cool. This last one that we’ll include when we include the examples with the follow ups, this was actually an example really of Dean, you mentioned, just putting pieces together. We worked with a local freelancer to put basically take footage that our client already had literally, and it already had, some it was actually pre cut. And so it was definitely, if you’re a videographer, if you really particularly care about the details, it made your skin crawl, because when you viewed all these videos individually, they just didn’t look like they were creating something that would be effective as far as a marketing video goes, but using the footage that was there, and then putting in some of these lower thirds and these quotes, and putting in testimonials and highlighting some particular things, some particular pieces of marketing messaging, this is a new piece of content for us, for our clients. And we’re very much looking forward to how effective it will be.

(Sam) But really just using it as an example of you can take your existing stuff that you have and make a video out of it. I’m like 98% sure that’s possible. And so if you don’t even want to shoot video, there’s opportunities out there for you to make video that will still be effective.

Open Q&A from Participants

(Sam) So with all that said, I want to move into some questions here in the last 10 minutes. I’m going to stop sharing the video for now, and just dive into some of these things. So there are a couple of questions I pulled out of the registration survey. Somebody asked, how can we start practicing? So for somebody who doesn’t, they’ve never done this before, quickly, what’s a really good tip for somebody to get that get out there and start practicing? You know one of you guys wants to address that, and give a bit of encouragement to those of us who might not feel like they know what they’re doing?

What’s a really good tip for somebody to get that get out there and start practicing?

(Dean) Yeah, I mean, not to take away from Derek’s business because he’s a great partner for you. But you do have tools in your hands. And so a great way to practice is with your kids, your family, your friends, start to explore what it is that you have in your hands already. What does it look like under different lighting conditions? Do you have the ability to tell somewhat of a story? If you’re going to be in front of the camera, do you have good camera presence? Can you maintain eye contact? Can you communicate clearly? Can you get good audio, you know, with the space that you’re in?

(Dean) So again, I think back to what Derek said earlier, don’t have fear to just begin. I’m an Apple guy. So I’ve got a camera on my device, but iMovie, which probably causes Derek’s skin to crawl a little bit, but it’s an effective tool. And honestly, they’ve put some really good capabilities within that to add things like lower thirds, which is your name that comes up across the screen or some graphical overlays over top of your video that help it just give a little bit of polish. So that’s a great first step. But again, I think maybe starting with something that isn’t necessarily going to be what you’re going to publish to the public, do a personal thing first. Do a test. It’s going to take you multiple iterations to get to a point you’re like, “You know what? This is usable.”

Is there a type of content that has really been effective at driving leads?

(Sam) I like that and yeah, it really ends up being a mental game. And I wish I could remember the particular quote, but I remember somebody saying, and this was a little bit extreme so I don’t necessarily agree with this, but it was if you aren’t comfortable doing a video for your business, you should maybe wonder why you’re in business. And that was a pretty big challenge, at least gets you thinking about how serious is it for me to actually have a video of part of my marketing strategy. So, Scott, feel free to go ahead and let me know if there’s a question I’m missing. I’m just kind of going off the ones that have already been prepared from the registration, but guys in your experience, is there a type of content that has really been effective at driving leads, business leads to any of the organizations that you’ve been part of? Derek?

(Derek) Yes. So Dean kind of hit on this earlier, there is different kinds of content that you want to produce. There’s your branding content. And then there’s content that you want to produce that’s specifically made to generate leads. One thing that we’ve had pretty big success with is direct response style, pre roll ads on YouTube. And they are not a branding ad at all. They’re not scripted a lot, I don’t want to say they’re not scripted. They don’t have the whole pre production value on them as much of the prettiness or the sexiness so to say, of a branding style ad. They are direct to the point.

(Derek) With YouTube ads, you have about five seconds in the beginning until someone can hit the skip button so you want to identify the problem immediately. And then you want to talk about, that way they can hit the skip button or not because with YouTube, you’re not going to get charged if they hit that skip button at the beginning. So you want to identify the problem, and you want to talk to them about how you can fix it or ease that pain point or provide that program for them. That’s probably without talking way too long, that’s the best style video that we’ve had to generate leads specifically or direct response style scripts that we ran as pre roll ads on YouTube, or even on Facebook video ads as well.

(Sam) Cool. Dean, anything to add to that?

(Dean) No, I mean I think just supporting the same point, different videos, different purposes, knowing when you are trying to generate leads, which is one thing versus a conversion, different thing versus feel good engagement, get to know who we are, different thing.

The budget question: What should you plan on spending?

(Sam) Yeah. And again, we either an episode or two ago, we discussed really how we market and accelerate tourism and improve and grow. It’s multistep. We’re not trying to have an end all be all when we use videos for our paid ads or paid campaigns. It’s never one campaign, we tried that and it failed. We know that value of you need to talk to, if somebody knew, Dean like you said, you’re not at that point in the relationship where they’re ready to commit to you. So you need to be a little bit more general. So let’s talk a little bit, a couple like lightning round questions here as we near the end. The budget question, if somebody wants to go and spend the money for either a series of videos or even just a single, maybe it’s a brand awareness video, that would be on like their home page or a landing page, I know it’s not a direct question or one that is like a short answer, because there’s a lot of variables. But if we could kind of build a frame of reference here. Derek, do you want to answer that, because you’re really in that world all the time?

(Derek) A lot of it’s going to depend on what your expectations are, and what kind of experience you want to deal with when you’re getting your video made. There’s going to be high-end companies that are going to charge in the tens of thousands of dollars range, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 on up. You’re going to be pretty much-guaranteed everything’s going to be done right. They’re going to have people on staff, they’re going to give you an amazing customer experience or have the assistance that help you out with everything, hold your hand along the way. The complete opposite end of the spectrum will be that would be the kid working out of his mom’s basement or the kid that’s fresh out of college that just got a camera, and he might be able to do something for you for a couple of hundred bucks.

(Derek) You might not know what you’re going to get, you might get something good for cheap, you might not. He might not answer your phone calls or they might not reply to your emails for a week or two. And then all sudden, the video’s done, here it is and it’s kind of a crapshoot. You don’t know what you’re going to get. Our company kind of falls in the middle. Our typical videos are probably anywhere in the 2,000 to 20,000 range depending on what you want. But we’re going to make sure you get a professionally produced video, and I know we’re not supposed to be sales pitching on here, but you’re asking me the question. I’m not trying to sell to anybody. But we got full time employees, we have a legitimate office, we have insurance, we have all the stuff that you’re going to need to get the video done.

(Derek) But going back to what Dean said about having an archive of footage, there is an initial investment with video. But we also do have a program we call a VCP, or a video content package, where we kind of recycle old footage. And we can create content for social media based on old videos that you’ve done in the past. So if you make an investment for the video front, there is a lot of longevity that you can get out of it and kind of recycle that video footage.

(Sam) And if I can just interject, because I think that’s a good question when you’re talking with anybody, you know, make sure you’re asking. So what happens with the footage once it’s shot? I feel like that’s a question that people don’t necessarily think of. So we’ve got the video, but what is the final deliverable that we’ll actually receive?

(Derek) Right. Yeah, I’ve even heard horror stories of clients that I’ve worked with where they didn’t realize it, but the footage was licensed. So they paid a company to make a TV commercial. They ran the TV commercial for a year. And I guess they didn’t read the contract, or they didn’t go over it or what but they’re kind of hijacked for the commercial or say, “Hey, if you want to keep running this commercial, you need to pay an extra $500 a year, you need to pay an extra $1,000 a year.”, whatever it was. So yeah, make sure you own your footage and make sure you ask about are you going to get a copy of all the raw footage or are you just going to own the finished video, that kind of stuff.

Wrap Up and Preview for the Next Meetup: Pay Per Click Search Advertising

(Sam) Great, cool. I think that those are some of the highlights. There are a few more questions here. Well, I think what we’ll do is like we’ve done in the past, we’ll take some of those questions and we’ll post them on the Facebook page, which we encourage you to check out. I think I lost my slide, oh there it is, for the Facebook page here. Just search in groups Accelerate Tourism. Join that. There’s a ongoing conversation. And it’s a good place to ask any of us a question. Derek and Dean, if you’d like to join and be able to answer any questions that come about video, I welcome you to do. We’d love to have you. But we’ll also make sure any questions that are put into the group get answered. Sorry, I realized that I’m not sharing the right screen. Let me share my screen here quick as we wrap up, just so you can see that information.

(Sam) But our next meetup is going to be October 16. That is going to be on pay per click search advertising. So we’re going to kind of narrow down our focus here. When most people think about pay per click advertising, or PPC as it’s often abbreviated, the thing that you think of most is Google and those Google search ads that show up when you’re searching on Google. So that is kind of one of the things that is our bread and butter here at Accelerate Tourism and Improve & Grow. We’ll have Skip Lefever, who’s our PPC director, on the panel with us.

(Sam) But we also want to ask if any of you who are listening right now are running your own pay per click ads, we’d love to hear from you. If you’re having good experiences, we might even ask if you’d like to share some of those experiences or even be a panelist and tell us what you’re doing that’s working so well. We’re looking forward to that conversation. Again, that’s one of the things that we really love to do here at Improve & Grow. So we’ll definitely be passionate about a subject that may seem a little dry but it is immensely effective at driving that high quality traffic to your website in a timely manner so you can make more money, which is what we would all love to do. So thank you very much, everybody. We’re so glad that you were able to join us today. Dean, Derek, thank you very much for taking the time out of your days, your busy schedules. And we’ll see you all in a few months or a few weeks. Thanks.

(Dean) Thanks, everyone.

Meet the Author:

Carl Lefever

Carl Lefever, Founder & President

Carl is the founder of Improve & Grow, LLC, where his primary passion is helping businesses grow by improving their online marketing. He leads the team and is involved in developing and executing internet marketing strategies for our clients. Carl's background is in continuous improvement disciplines, focused on sales and marketing operations and he is a certified Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt. He is a proud father of 4 girls and loves traveling and supporting missions work.