It has the power to move customers more than still images.
Last winter’s relentless cold, snow and ice made it hard to draw visitors to the Indiana Dunes.
Then we shot “the video.”
Using a camera-equipped remote control helicopter, we got dramatic aerial footage showing the beautiful, Arctic-like shelf ice along the Lake Michigan shore at Indiana Dunes State Park.
We donated the video to the state park and Indiana Dunes Tourism to encourage visitors to come in the winter and check out the shelf ice. The efforts led to nearly 19,000 YouTube views of the video, a half million people watching it on Chicago TV news broadcasts and crowds of people visiting to see the shelf ice.
That’s the power of video.
Video consumption is skyrocketing–and not just videos of kids and cats doing funny things. Businesses need to know that video is increasingly becoming what makes people choose one business over another.
Failing to invest in video is like thinking you don’t need a phone to answer people’s questions, a sign out front, a website or a social media presence.
Video has the power to move people in ways that words and still photography can’t.
The team here at Smith Donovan Marketing & Communications in Chesterton helps clients across Chicago and Northwest Indiana tap the power of video. We produced a video that highlighted the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission’s vision for the future, helping them win the 2013 Daniel Burnham Award for their 2040 Comprehensive Regional Plan.
Also, as the writers and creators of “Alexis Ronan,” a crime drama television pilot, Smith Donovan knows compelling content.
Here are our “Top 10 Ways to Make a Successful Business Video”:
* Storytelling is key. Viewers are more likely to identify with your brand if they can create an emotional connection. For example, a veterinarian’s video would get the viewers to care about a particular cat or dog, show the animal in peril and then show a happy ending (thanks to the veterinarian).
* Get your message out at the very beginning of the video because people are busy and may not watch it to the end.
* Invest in a professional video production, but also embrace the disposable. Social networks like Vine and Instagram provide an outlet for low-budget or free content. Both force content creators to stick to one message, be concise and be creative.
* Don’t do a hard sell. Viewers don’t like being sold to. Instead of posting your logo all over your video or shouting out your key message, find relevant content for your viewers and let it speak for itself. The Indiana Dunes shelf ice video was just awesome scenery put to music.
* Throw away the script. Create video content highlighting things your interviewee is passionate and knowledgeable about. When you leave out the script, they feel more comfortable and come off more genuine.
* Production quality is important. Always make your videos high definition (720p or higher). Make sure your audio sounds good. Viewers forgive poor video quality more than poor audio.
* Before the video shoot ever takes place, map out what your video is about, pick the key message, and decide where it will be shot, how it will be shot, and where it will live (YouTube, Facebook, website, DVD).
* Try new camera moves.
* Abandon photo slide shows. If you’re not going to accompany it with slick motion graphics, just post the photos to an online gallery like Flickr, Tumblr, Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest.
* Get creative with your editing to tell a compelling story.
After the video is out, follow the analytics to find out where your viewers are from, their gender and where the views are coming from (Facebook, a website or elsewhere). YouTube allows you to view retention rates so you see where in the video viewers drop off. You can use that to learn what your viewers do and don’t want to see.
Don’t sit on the sidelines anymore. Do video now.
Thad Donovan and Carly Smith team up to produce videos and other communications for clients at Smith Donovan Marketing & Communications in Chesterton. See their work at SmithDonovan.com and AlexisRonan.com.
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