Introducing Part Two in our four part series with Andrew Cross of Walker Sand Communications. In this session Andrew discusses his career path and what he has learned during his years working in public relations.
Introducing Part Two in our four part series with Andrew Cross of Walker Sand Communications. In this session Andrew discusses his career path and what he has learned during his years working in public relations.
Lightswitch works with businesses small and large throughout the U.S. to help them bring video production to their customers. We're lucky to be able to rely on our partners' expertise ranging from marketing, to public relations, to online media to publishing. We cannot be experts on everything so we deeply appreciate our partners' willingness to share their expertise with us.
Because we are so lucky, we want to share that expertise with our customers, partners and readers.
That is why we sat down with Andrew Cross, VP of Public Relations at Walker Sands Communications, here in Chicago, to talk about the current state of video in the communicatons industry. Please enjoy part one of our four part series "Lightswitch Innovators." In part one Andrew discusses how Walkers Sands approaches the current digital ecosystem and video within that ecosystem.
LIghtswitch wants to extend a very special thank you to Andrew Cross and everyone at Walkers Sands for taking the time to sit down for this series, and for being an excellent partner over the years.
Part 2 will be released next week.
Tradeshows are a classic marketing tool. After all, coming together and networking with professionals in your field is an important part of growing your company. In a 2015 report, B2B Content Marketing cites in-person events as the most effective B2B marketing tactic. Considering 52% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI, it only makes sense to combine the two to maximize the potential of your next trade show event.
Vision is the most sophisticated of the senses; 65% of the population are visual learners. This makes video a compelling tool at a trade show for grabbing the attention of potential buyers, business partners, and leads.
The trade show video should be a bit different. The trade show video is developed to stand out amongst the other participants and draw your prospects to your booth. It delivers a concise message that is quickly delivered while capturing the crowd’s curiosity.
A video at your booth could be a major draw. Whether it be a brief overview of your company and its services or a demonstration of your product, a visual aid can only help and strengthen the presentation of your booth amongst the competition. Packaging and handing out the video in a USB stick or SD card along with your white paper or other original content also works. Basically, you are using the video as a “reward.” This video and others similar to it can and should be used in your initial email invitations, post-event emails, and future nurture emails. Hosting the video on Wistia will help with lead generation, considering Wistia has built-in lead generation plug-ins on their video player.
Aside from the more informative videos that you can display, trade shows are fantastic opportunities to stage and film interviews and testimonials. Whether you are a bigger company and your top executives will be present or you are a start-up and your entire team will be there, it is always great for your visual content to include members of your team for more personalization.
Viewers will be left with an impression of what company you are and what they can expect if they decide to do business with you or use your products. A high quality, creative video will do wonders to your brand’s image. Trade shows are about passing information about your company to spread awareness of your brand. Video delivers that information in a fascinating, eye-catching, and concise medium. At a trade show a prominent video presence with a quick message can both intrigue and prime your target audience to discover more about your business. But like all great marketing tools, the effectiveness of video is determined by who is designing and using it.
This is where it comes handy to have a trusted video production partner to have handy so that you do not have to go around hiring and managing freelance videographers. Lightswitch has done video work for trade shows in the past and is more than happy to work with you to fulfil any video needs you may need for that upcoming networking event.
by Joe Valdez
There are tons of video platforms out there. Of course, the most popular one of all just so happens to also be the Internet’s second-largest search engine. However, I propose that YouTube is actually not the best video hosting platform for your marketing needs.
Rather, Wistia should be your go-to when it comes to hosting your video content.
Lead generation and conversion is one of the most common goals for video marketing campaigns. With your videos, you are trying to increase the amount of interested people in your target audience who may very well one day use your services. You want to convert these leads into customers.
Wistia does a terrific job helping businesses collect useful information from their potential leads. Wistia Turnstile is a tool developed by Wistia that asks viewers for their email on the video page (also their first and last name if you wish). It’s a clickable call-to-action that is easily inserted into every video. Wistia recently did research on video forms and found that 43% of videos with forms in the first 20% of their duration lead to a conversion, so it drives more traffic to your sales page or any other place you would like to direct your viewer.
Those emails aren't just lumped into one huge pile of addresses, either. Wistia gives you the option to integrate their email forms with your email marketing service of choice (Mailchimp, AWeber, Constant Contact, etc.). This means you can then target based on where the customer is in the buying cycle, which you can determine based on the video they entered their email address from! Someone who gave their information while watching a video guide you created probably is still in the beginning stages. However, a lead who entered their email on your company explainer video is probably further along.
But having the option to gather lead information doesn't do much if the videos themselves aren't doing very well, does it?
Luckily, Wistia has a plethora of analytical options for its users to evaluate their videos’ effectiveness. Trend information is easily accessible, from ones pertaining to your account to a single project to the media level. Engagement graphs show how the audience as a whole has seen your video. Quite literally, these graphs show where in the video your audience engages (rewinds, pauses, fast forwards, etc.). Similarly, heat maps show a graphical representation of a single viewing session. This can give you a better understanding of how a certain viewer or demographic views their videos.
All this information can help you better optimize your future videos and guide you in making better ones in the future!
What’s a good video platform without functionality, though?
While YouTube is the juggernaut of the video platforms, it’s not without slack. YouTube has become a bit notorious for the increased ad presence on videos hosted by them. We recommend keeping your videos on YouTube for SEO purposes and reach, but using Wistia for direct hosting and sharing.
Wistia’s SuperEmbed Builder is another unique aspect of the service that separates itself from a functionality perspective. With it, you are able to alter the size, color, and add social sharing links, among other things. This comes in really handy when you want a custom style to match a certain page or the branding that your company is already intimately tied to.
If your business is foraying into video marketing (which it most definitely should), you should definitely give Wistia some consideration. Your sales numbers will thank you.
The year is 2016 and your business has probably, at the very least, thought about creating video content for some kind of purpose.
Testimonial videos humanize your brand while personally telling your potential clients the benefits of your services. Business profiles allow businesses to deliver the perfect pitch. Video content for marketing purposes greatly increases a website’s visibility on search engines such as Google and YouTube.
There is long form video, the sort that keeps a viewer on site and watching in the same way as a viewer might have previously watched television. This is valuable to those users, businesses, and advertisers. Those types of videos, however, are tough to share in the exponentially increasing immediacy age of social media. This need for immediacy has spawned a new demand for short form video.
We say we are living in the age of social media, but could we at some point transition to the age of online video? According to Contently, users spent an average of an hour and 55 minutes watching online video as opposed to spending an hour and 44 minutes on social media. Video content has been enough of a booming trend for business marketing strategy to the point where we have to start questioning if it is really a trend or a new standard.
But wait...don’t these videos need to be created by someone?
Many companies do their own production in-house, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It is always great to have your production needs handled by someone that you personally know and already trust.
But many companies also outsource their production to video production partners like Lightswitch. In Lightswitch’s case, we utilize a network of over 5,000 videographers across the nation to serve the video production needs of clients all around the country, no matter what it is they need to be filmed.
It is very tough to find and staff a videographer that can take care of every task that comes with a large-scale business video shoot. Even then, it is difficult for one to put aside bias attached to the company they work for to pinpoint and tackle flaws in the finished product. Now think about how tough it is putting together a team of these guys to all gel together and compliment what each of them bring to the table while also making sure the video is the highest quality possible.
Perhaps you’re hiring a team for only one job? A team hired on for a project can also be a logistical headache. Managing the video campaign itself can be stressful, adding the additional stress of having to juggle around the schedules of hired videographers (who tend try to book as many jobs as they can) to try to fly them out for a potentially multi-day shoot is just an unwanted cherry on top.
Working with a professional video production company gives you more bang for your buck while expanding your professional network. You will be able to create exactly what you had in mind for the project while still being able to stay within your budget. Besides, buying video gear is often the poor route of choice since cameras and related equipment are constantly changing. Using Lightswitch as an example, we would be able to have the talent ready for you wherever the shoot may be, the equipment already in-hand, and the post-production team to handle the editing.
This sudden boom in the need for filming video has made the need for high quality video a hot commodity. The desire to be active in new content delivery methods by nearly everyone has led to more video content being published.
Having an established and trusted video production partner like Lightswitch will ensure your video content is of the highest quality while also alleviating logistical headaches and staying within your budget.
LinkedIn has become the latest popular social media platform to roll out a new video service for its user base.
30-second Q&A-style videos from LinkedIn Influencers were introduced today. If you have ever wanted to know the Bill Gates’ thoughts on Brexit, now’s your chance. The feature is currently limited to Influencers but we expect an expanded roll out and our very own Bryce Anderson giving his thoughts on Pokémon Go in your feeds in the near future.
LinkedIn introducing the video feature is just another in a long, long, line of moves made by today’s largest digital companies to add more video implementation to their repertoire. These moves beg the question: is a total shift to video content imminent in the near future?
According to a 2015 whitepaper by Cisco on global internet provider traffic forecasts, the tech corporation predicts that consumer internet video traffic will go from 64% in 2014 to surpass 80% by 2019. High definition content amongst that figure will rise from 59% in 2014 to 70% in 2019.
Businesses have taken notice of these video traffic trends. By the end of 2014, video posts on Facebook were promoted more than twice as often as they were at the start of the year. The result was a 135% increase in organic reach of video posts.
With video becoming the future of content marketing and advertising, user experience is being thrust into forethought with more weight than it has ever had before. Agencies are being forced to hire creatives who are experts in effectively putting themselves in their audience’s shoes. They have to not only think like marketers, but think like publishers. Having the ability to save resources and outsource their production to businesses who thrive on creating high quality, engaging video content (like Lightswitch) is becoming more valuable than ever before. Even if an agency has its own in-house crew of videographers, having the ability to outsource a crew across the country for a shoot and not lose time with other obligations and goals is becoming more and more desirable with every online video innovation.
But enhanced user experience is not the only notable consideration rising from the trend.
A 2015 study by the Interactive Advertising Bureau found that of the 300 brand marketers surveyed, more than two-thirds (68%) expect to see their digital video and ad budgets increase over the next calendar year. Not only that, but they are moving budgets away from television and into online video.
Optimism about the medium has been on a steady rise since 2013, signaled by a 90% increase in commitment to digital video by brand advertisers. According to the study, most advertisers agree that original digital content will become as important as television within 5 years.
Major players in the digital advertising game have caught on to the digital video trend early-on.
Facebook introduced autoplaying videos for both their desktop and mobile interfaces in December 2013. All native Facebook videos (including advertisements) started to autoplay by default. The addition to the site prompted a massive increase in video views on the social networking platform. In 2015, the number of video posts per person jumped by 75%.
In August 2015, both Bing and Yahoo followed Facebook’s footsteps and started showing sponsored video ads within their search results. Thumbnails with related video appear next to “sponsored” results. Google announcing in September 2015 that YouTube-hosted TrueView campaigns would now be part of the core AdWords interface. Ad campaigns of various mediums will now be more easily integrated and managed with other campaigns.
Video has the power to engage audiences like no other medium. Sound, vision, and dialogue help bring brands’ stories and goals to fruition. Whether the marketer is just embarking on an ad campaign, a visual narrative for their company, or pounding the SEO pavement, it is becoming more and more obvious that video will be the medium of choice.
Many companies are born from the idea of a novel concept leading to a simple solution.
Utilizing explainer videos to explain and illustrate your business’s services is one of the best ways to market to prospective clients, and partners. B2B companies running lead-gen campaigns are generally straightforward in their approach because they do not have time for lollygagging. These companies have a wide range of products or services which can be explained and demonstrated much better through video, whether it be because their services are new in the market or because they need to differentiate themselves.
Many prospects do not want sales reps drilling down their throat or an overly wordy pitch that goes nowhere.
Explainer videos eliminate all that.
They give a great overview of your functions and benefits. The more useful information you provide, the more likely your brand will resonate in their mind.
Take, for example, our Lightswitch explainer video. It gives a succinct overview of the services that Lightswitch offers, has a voiceover so that the audience does not have to both read and watch, offers relevant statistics from research, and ends with a call-to-action. All explained in 50 seconds.
According to Insivia, including video on a landing page can increase conversion by 80%. Research from Internet Retailer says that rate is increased to 85% if the video is a product video due to increased confidence in purchase decision. We recently went into detail about the increasing importance of video in the eCommerce world and explainer videos certainly fall under the same general umbrella. Video is very engaging. Most prefer content that is informative, but brief.
One of the most successful explainer video campaigns run by a start-up company in the digital age is Dropbox. When the file hosting service launched its website in 2007, the layout UI was simple; their landing page consisted of the explainer video and a link to sign up. By shifting their traffic’s attention solely on the explainer video (and thus how the service works), they were able to get more people to watch and learn not only how this new form of file storage worked, but why they should consider the service when similar file sharing services from major corporations exist (Google Drive and Apple’s iCloud, for example).
By 2012, this simple campaign was instrumental in the service reaching 100 million users. According to Forbes, the explainer video led to a 10% increase in conversions, or 10 million extra customers. With an estimated $4.80 of revenue per customer, that’s $48,000,000 in revenue per year. Not too shabby for simply using an explainer video on a landing page, eh?
Let your website speak to your potential customers and include an explainer video in your marketing strategy. Whether a business is banking on being the next big innovation for their sector or utilizes more of a conventional type of business model, the results are clear that explainer videos do nothing but help bring in potential clients in B2B marketing.
If you have any questions about creating an explainer video for your company, we would be happy to help.
Blog by Joe Valdez
Video is the best way to bridge the gap between physical and online shopping. A video can show off a product’s features and attributes better than any still photo (or even 360 view) can ever accomplish. Many eCommerce companies (Shopify for example) preach the importance of product photography. The difference between a conversion and no sale at all can be the lighting of the room or the angle of the silhouette. If perceived value is judged by high quality images, what does that mean for high quality video?
The numbers support that. According to Animoto, 96% of customers find videos helpful when making purchasing decisions online. Of those customers, 73% are more likely to follow through and purchase after watching an explanatory online video. This makes sense. According to DemoUp, almost 46% of customers will go to a showroom if a video is not available on your website. If your customers want to see a demo, presentation, or how the product looks in action, the best option is video. Nothing is stopping them from driving to their nearest big box store. With high quality video there is a higher chance they end up staying on your page, pressing play to see how those shoes look with pants, and completing the sale.
Video has other uses in eCommerce marketing and advertising. Google, Bing, and Yahoo have started testing video ads in search results. A 2015 study from Searchmetrics shows that video appears in up to 14% of search results. Also, Google Shopping uses Google’s TrueView ads service in their results. In fact, Google recently announced that TrueView campaigns would be part of the core AdWords interface. This is essentially asking for eCommerce businesses to advertise high quality product videos in shopping results.
Adding more video into your eCommerce marketing strategy might increase your budget but the returns will more than make up for it. Short and sweet does the trick, no need to attempt to go “viral” (but by all means, kudos to you if you strike gold). It won’t be very long before people expect a video of every product that they are considering purchasing and sites that do not offer it will feel the blow. If you’re underestimating the use of video in your marketing strategy, it’s best to start taking it serious now.
Blog by Joe Valdez
header image from Serge Kij
Testimonial videos are a powerful tool to promote your business, but before you begin a project you need to consider a few key factors. Pre and post-production, direction and style, and an overall vision of what to include are all critical factors in making the most out of your testimonial video project.
PRE AND POST PRODUCTION
Pre and Post Production includes the early stage planning and critical mapping, as well as the final touches and polish that will make your project stand out.
The Preshoot meeting will help you familiarize yourself with the overall production process and will help everyone involved, from the producer to the cast to the audio and video experts, be on the same page. Understanding the content and the direction of your testimonial video will help you plan camera setup, lighting, and content in a more coherent and easy to watch way.
On the other end of the process, you want to make sure that there is a firm understanding of post-production needs. Do you want graphics or logos to display, or are there any other special effects that would help your message come across more clearly? How long should your videos be?
DIRECTION AND STYLE
Direction and style can make or break a project. Think about some of the testimonial videos you have seen that really stood out. Most of them feature dynamic speakers, interesting visuals, and a strong narrative element. Shooting style can take the best aspects of your project and highlight them for the audience. For example, a normally mundane interview can become much more visually appealing with a two camera set up and shallow depth of field. Establishing style early on will help you get the most from each project.
Shooting the action is only half the problem. You also need to know what your subject will talk about, and whether or not you will have someone off camera talking as well. In terms of which questions you ask, make sure to think about the desired answer you want and be prepared to ask your questions a few different ways to ensure you get the best possible result. People tend to remember catchy soundbites and you want to make sure your video delivers a punchy and relatable dialogue.
SCOPE OF WORK
Finally, before you begin a testimonial video project, make sure to fully consider the scope of what you are trying to say. Will one video be enough, or will this be part of a larger series of testimonial video projects? You will also want to think about length. The average testimonial video runs for three and a half minutes. (We think this is too long)
A great testimonial video will enhance your brand, build credibility and drive demand for your product or service. Thinking carefully about the pre and post production needs, overall message and direction, and the scope of your project will help you maximize the impact of your project. For more information on testimonial videos contact LightSwitch today.
Check out this example from C2FO
What happens when brands start acting weird? Advertising tends to be a long game of follow the leader, with the bulk of an industry quietly minding the status quo while a few riskier types jump out in front. Usually there is a set style, an industry norm that can be immediately recognized, immediately associated with a particular product, status, or category. Active smiling women, for example, help sell us yogurt. Hardworking everymen sell us sandwiches. That’s just the way it is.
But occasionally, and it happens more or less in a cycle, brands will experiment with the truly odd. And as much as active yogurt women, and ruggedly handsome sandwich men are successful, sometimes It’s the odd that really works.
Option 1 – Get weird with hamsters
Most people remember the Kia Soul commercials even if most people couldn’t tell you what a Kia Soul actually looks like. These have been going on for over six years. Six years of painful absurdity and catchy music. Six years of hamsters dressed like hip urban youths. Speaking of strange hamsters and repetitive music, the Quiznos Subs hamsters were the first modern brand spokerodents, although they were admittedly much less pleasing to look at.
Option 2 – Just make stuff up
Old Spice. You knew it was coming didn’t you. Old Spice was once the brand for the old men who refuse to wear a towel around their waist in the gym locker room. Old Spice was the stodgy east coast old money, the tradition for traditions sake. And now, now they sell strange. This campaign was effective because it was so different, and not many brands can pull it off. Everyone associate Old Spice with the weird without even registering it, but few remember the pitiful attempt Dairy Queen made to capture the same magic.
Option 3 – Get weird with atypical models
Beautiful people sell products. Just look at the yogurt girl or sandwich man. Attractive people are the brand spokesmen and women we come to expect. But sometimes, sometimes we love the…different models. We love them because it’s absurd, because it’s so patently unique. Southern Comfort successfully made 18-34 males want to emulate a greasy, pear shaped, middle aged European man. Consider for a moment most liquor ads that you’ve seen. If you can’t actually think of a specific one it’s because they are all similar. Most liquor ads feature aspirational shots of successful socialites laughing while clinking highballs in their custom tailored business suits.
Get weird with your videos. Let us help.