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I love being in the water, but I can’t swim.  A few years ago, I decided to take some adult learn-to-swim lessons.  I’ve taken 65 of them and…I still can’t swim.

Well, I can swim a little; I can sort of do the front crawl for as long as I can hold my breath and touch the bottom.

The point? What seemed really simple was more complicated than I thought.

I mean, almost everybody in the world know how to swim. Heck, babies can swim.  I’ve tried. I can float on my back, do the dead man’s roll, but believe it or not I can’t tread water.  I sink. I needed lifeguards to send me the hook to pull me out of the deep end more than once in the local pool.

Crazy, huh?

Sometimes what looks uber simple, isn’t.

Like using video as part of your marketing strategy for your business. It looks easy. Lots of people are doing it, but not everyone is doing it well.  

“Wyzowl says that 66% of consumers prefer watching a video to reading about a product”. Optinmonster, 2019.

Personally, I often don’t watch video ads. I know, yikes!  Why? Sometimes it’s because I’m in public.  Other times it’s because I’m a fast reader and prefer reading, especially when it’s a marketing promotion. Other times I enjoy video or podcasts. It depends on purpose.

Whatever you’re choosing to do with video, think of your consumer and create your video for them. It’s their experience that you facilitate.

First thing

Do you like (better yet – love) being on camera?  Many folks don’t actually enjoy being on camera and being recorded. They often feel awkward or are struggling with personal image difficulties. If you love being on camera, then tick off the box with a check mark and move to #2.

If you don’t enjoy being in front of the camera,  how are you going to overcome that feeling?

Why is this important? While the video is going to be about your product or service, YOU are the face of it.  So, this is about you.  Your comfort or discomfort will show. Ideally, you want your customers to be more enthralled with what your telling them, but your presence carries impact.

In some of the work I’ve done, I’ve needed to speak to large groups of people or be interviewed for TV. In the beginning, I was nervous. Now, not so much. I’m not cocky, but I feel confident.  Why? 

I’m used to it and I know my information really well.  I’m prepared and I know my topic well.  I know if I get stuck, I’ve got lots of experience, knowledge and information to pull from.

If you’re currently uncomfortable with how you look or sound in video, you might consider developing your self confidence and presentation skills. These skills can help you relax and be more natural and authentic on camera.

And, there’s nothing like experience.  If you don’t have experience, you can easily get some.

Like me speaking in front of groups.  I had joined Toastmasters so could I practice with others. I learnt to limit the fear by getting used to it. Making it familiar.

The more often you’re on camera, the less bothersome it will start to feel. So, just for fun, why not ask people to record you  – when you’re working at your desk or walking the dog, or just doing ‘something.’ Overtime, it helps you forget the camera is there.

Second thing

Alright, so you’re excited to be using video. Confident. Yes!

Here’s the reality check.

Do you have the time and equipment do produce videos regularly?  If you’re using videos to promote your business, you’ll need to have a series of videos you can use repeatedly.

Now, you needn’t do everything from scratch. You probably have lots of material you can use.

For example, you could look at your email marketing series and start using those emails as a blueprint for topics and promotions. Build your script from content you already have.

Ask yourself and answer:

  • who is the audience
  • what are they doing or thinking
  • what are you offering them
  • why is it important to them
  • what will they gain (or lose)
  • why should they care  
  • what is a benefit you offer

And plan out your publishing calendar. Not only do you need to have your content lined up, you need a plan for publishing. 

What will your schedule allow you to do? How often are you going to record videos, where will you post them, how many a day?

Third….be professional and respectful

One of your reasons for using videos is to stay in the loop and to connect to your customers.

Now, it’s fair to say some folks love ‘winging it’ and just diving in to make a video without scripting or planning.  It’s like a dive into a deep ocean, so you better know how to tread water and swim.

It’s one thing to be improvising in an unexpected meeting, but it’s an entirely differently thing to be improvising on a video.  If you want them to work with you or buy from you, you need to provide two critical feelings to them:

  1. You are trustworthy and reliable
  2. You are authentic and genuine

People can replay your video over and over. They can go back and check for information they need (just as they can in an email).

Why does that matter? You want to produce quality content in a quality format.  You want to evoke their curiosity while offering them safety and respect.

It’s wise to remember you’re business because you care about your customers and clients. In the self-improvement and self-development world integrity, honesty, empathy are core needs. 

Your clients need to trust you, so we you develop your video do it for the client.

 “I’m not in the advertising business, but I think it would be very nice if people went to see the film Hamlet, because it was made with love and integrity” ~ Julie Christie

Practical questions:

  1. Where will you record?  In your office, kitchen, staff room or a studio? Is it quiet or will there be traffic or other noise in the background.  Is your phone going to buzz or beep?  

If you’re doing this yourself in your home office, It’s worthwhile to invest in a responsibly good microphone. Your smart phone can work but the quality of your recording can improve with a good mic. You can visit a local music store and talk to the pros there for advice. Or shop online since there are lots of options out there.

  • What is your backdrop? What will your audience be looking at behind you?  Try to find a place that looks professional and isn’t too distracting.  I’ve watched videos where there’s a pile of laundry in the corner or a messy space that looks cluttered.

Sure, that’s life, but you are a professional and have one chance to make a first impression.

  • Use your camera to ‘see’ with.  The secret to taking good photos is not to use your eyes, but to use your lens.  Train your eye to look through the lens. I learnt that years ago in my first photography class.

It’s a tiny trick that makes a huge difference. What you think you see is already edited by your brain. It’s a trick our brain plays.  So, learn to look through the lens. Analyze what your camera sees, not what you think it will see.

When you think you’ve got a great spot, look through your smartphone or camera.  Scrutinize the space through the lens. Watch for lights coming ‘out of your head’ or weird halos, or odd angles or shadows.

Fourth…

“I am all for conversations, but you need to have a message.” – Renee Blodgett

Speech writers suggest we speak at 140-160 words per minute. That means for a five-minute video you would simply multiply 160 by 5 to estimate how many words you need. In this case you need about 800 words.

800 words is a common length of some blogs. It’s about 3-4 pages. 

As you write your script, it’s often easier to start with the end in mind.  What action do you want your viewers to take at the end (or during) your video? Write your content to lead your viewers into taking that action.

And, as with any content you write the use of persuasive and conversational language is a smart choice. Your video isn’t meant to be a lecture or command to viewers. It’s an invitation. 

A video lets your show yourself as an expert with warm and friendly language.  

You’re here to help and encourage your future clients to connect to you, right?

Remember, you’re inviting your viewers to do two things.

The first is to watch your video in its entirety, and the second is to act. You’ll guide them towards the action whether is a link to your website or a call to book an appointment, as examples.

Finally, the fifth

How patient is your consumer with a s-l-o-w website?

Back in the early days, playing around on the internet was novel and kind of fun. Today, consumers are usually looking for something specific, and with short attention spans.

And sadly, a slow-loading page will hurt your Google rankings.  If you’re adding in video be sure your page can load pretty quickly so your customers don’t leave you.

And research collected by HOBO shows: “The average U.S. retail mobile site loaded in 6.9 seconds in July 2016, but, according to the most recent data, 40% of consumers will leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load. And 79% of shoppers who are dissatisfied with site performance say they’re less likely to purchase from the same site again.” Daniel An & Pat Meenan, Google, 2016

If you’re using a lot of data that needs time to upload, try to ensure your website loads quickly.  If it takes too long to load, your consumer will click away. Sad, yet true.

Your website might be exactly what they need, but they don’t wait to find out.  If this is a problem with your website, talk to an IT expert to get some advice to help you.

It’s a wrap

There’s a lot to sort out before you decide to use video.

Whether you decide to add videos into your marketing materials, is up to you. 

To find out if it’s using video as part of marketing has valuable in your niche, you might want to ask clients or check your competitors and colleague to discover what they’re doing.

If you choose to use video, take the time to set up the data to help you.  If you’re not sure how to do this, ask your IT pro. They can set up your social media to capture the number of times your video is watched and what the uptake is. 

What do you want to know? You need to know if your viewers are taking action and if that’s having a positive impact on your bottom line.  

After a few months of steady use of video, you may find using video is brilliant for you or discover your followers aren’t interested. Then, you can decide if you want to continue or put your time and energy somewhere else.

“Regardless, the best advice is if you’re going to do it – do it well.” Cheryl Charron

It’s best to take the time to plan it out. Find time  practice, practice, practice. Perform your script in front of friends a few times.  

Unless you’re a gifted speaker, your best approach is having your scripts properly written. And practice (have I said that enough?).  Be professional and give people reasons to trust you. 

Show you care about your customers by offering them quality information with a professional approach. It doesn’t mean you’re not engaging or really formal. It means you will easily start to gain your customer’s trust.  And that’s what you need.  That’s your life jacket.

If you’re just treading water and struggling to get the scripts written or ideas developed, you might want to connect to a freelance copywriter.  Freelance copywriters are your lifeguards when you’re in the deep end.

It’s like how I can help you. I might be not be able to swim, but I can be your copy lifeguard.

Copywriters can save you. They can ease the stress you feel, be objective, be encouraging, while saving you time.  Copywriters are well trained to work with social media of all sorts: video, podcasts, blogs….so it’s worth a call to check a freelancer out.  

Ms Charron is a certified copywriter with more than 35 years experience in a variety of industries. She’s a copywriter who is focused on remembering the human heart in advertising and enjoys working in self-improvement and personal growth.

If you’d like to connect here’s your warm invite www.copywritermarketer.com/cheryl-charron