By Mandy Marksteiner
Tell me a little about your business and how you work with clients
For the past seventeen years I’ve been working as a freelancer. My business, Cybernetic Media, focuses on sales video development. I make professional looking video presentations in various styles to promote products and services. That’s kind of in my little niche as far as development goes. I’m located in Canada, but the bulk of my clients are in the United States or elsewhere.
Small businesses are catching on to the fact that video makes a huge difference, when they’re trying to get people to come to their websites and buy. It can also be intimidating. Where is the best place to get started if you’re a small business?
There’s all kinds of approaches you can take to getting started in video.
YouTube makes it really easy. A lot of people are just turning on their webcam and recording themselves. That’s fine. That may be a good way to test the waters and get your feet wet.
What are some of the benefits to using a sales video?
The beauty of video is that your videos can be out there marketing for you twenty four seven.
A company who may rely on either themselves or a sales team to be out there doing the active marketing, can at the very least cut down the amount of effort required by their sales team.
Even if somebody’s going door to door or business to business pitching, they can say, “Look, you know, you want all these questions answered? Just go to the video that we have on our website. Just go to our YouTube channel,” or something like that. The video does the telling and selling. I find it very exciting because it can boost the image of any company no matter how big or small.
Who do you work for?
I cater to the online marketing industry for the most part. Those people have pretty high expectations for quality because they’re trying to generate interest and sales for a particular product or service.
What would make a video look professional? What are some of the qualities?
The main difference between an amateur production and a professional production would be the subtle speed of the animation and transitions. An experienced production studio understands how to create flow that’s going to both entertain and inspire the viewer, perhaps to take action to buy something or at least to sit there and watch the video through it’s entirety to get the full message. I think that’s the key.
Anybody who has PowerPoint or any kind of slideshow program can actually make a video production or a presentation. It’s just that when you’re clicking your arrow button and the whole screen is static from slide to slide, that’s not really so much a video as much as a slideshow. The difference between a slideshow and a video presentation would be you just don’t notice that sudden transition. There’s all kinds of moving parts.
The video’s that I like to produce, and the ones that my clients request have full motion text effects and various elements like stock footage, images, nice quality photos, and very nice transitions that produce this really nice overall experience for the viewers. Most people can quickly detect an amateur production compared to professional.
What do you do to ensure that your clients’ projects are successful?
I walk people through a three step process so that everything falls into place.
Step one. I make sure that they have a good written script that has a nice flow and explains the message clearly and effectively.
Step two is the audio production. Typically we find a professional voice talent. Sometimes a client will have a good quality microphone and they want to do the recording. That’s fine. But for the most part, we hire professional voice talent.
You have to pay attention to things like the quality of your audio being recorded and background noise. Audio alone can make or break the quality of a nice video production.
During step three, we go into the actual animation production phase.
You aid that the quality script is the most important. Where do your clients usually get their scripts?
A lot of my clients write the scripts themselves. They know their message, because if they’ve been eating and sleeping this particular business or product or weeks, months, or years, then they know what they want to say.
I find it’s always good to at least consult with a professional writer and have them review it, just to make sure it’s exactly the way it needs to be. Because once the voice is recorded, if changes need to be made, that will be an added expense because the voice has to be hired again to do the change. Then, if we get to the video production stage and a change needs to be made, it can be costly.
What results have you gotten for your customers? Can you brag?
Yeah, I can brag a little bit. I can’t brag a lot, because the reality is a lot of my clients are very tight lipped in the online marketing field. They don’t always give me numbers or come back saying, “Man, I just generated X number of dollars in the last few months mainly because of your video.”
Although, I did have one client do that once. I had one client who set up an online marketing program. The focal point of the entire program was this video. It was on the home page. It was one of the earlier videos I did for this client. I know for a fact that his program generated over four million dollars in a year.
Of course, he came back for another video for another program. That’s really how I know what works, is they keep coming back. They don’t necessarily come back and say, “Hey, that video works so good I ” but I know it did because they wouldn’t be coming back for another one if it didn’t. It’s a matter of getting a really effective video, doing the telling and selling, and basically putting your marketing on auto-pilot. That’s what my clients are doing.
What else can you use video for?
Video’s great for anything, because it captures attention, especially on social media.
If you notice, on Facebook, when you scrolling down, videos automatically play. The content that ultimately grabs the attention is video. If I’m scrolling through oodles of Facebook stuff and I see a video start to play, that’s where I stop and I watch.
I heard that Facebook rewards you for using videos. If you post a video, they’ll show it to more people.
That’s right. I’ve heard similar things. I don’t know the exact numbers. Of course, they probably don’t release their exact numbers. It’s probably pretty secretive.
It’s true. If Facebook knows that if people see a video, they’re going to stop on that page longer, or they’ll be more likely to click on somebody’s Facebook ad it will be ultimately better for Facebook.
Why is video so popular?
Video is easy to consume. Even our smartphones can now display it when we’re on the go. Five or ten years ago, that was absolutely ridiculous to think about. The big companies are pushing video, I think, because it keeps your eyes on them and what they’re doing more. It’s a very effective and cost effective medium to be focused on.
Video is massive. Years ago I had a bit of a fear that maybe it would start to fizzle out a bit. Even though it’s become easier for people to create video content, the popularity is just booming, continuing to grow. If you build a website and you don’t have a video on it, you’re at a great disadvantage.
What can video do for your search engine ranking?
If you upload a video to YouTube, you’re automatically now on the world’s second largest search engine. It’s just a matter of playing with the key words to see if you can get it to rank in a decent spot.
The world of search engine optimization is just brutal these days because there’s so much content out there. Video gives you that leg up, especially through things like YouTube and Vimeo, especially when you may struggle with getting ranked otherwise. Yeah, it’s essential. I can easily say that because I make a living making videos. It’s a reality.
If you put a video on YouTube and then you embed it on your website, when somebody searches for those keywords, you do have a good shot of appearing. Google owns YouTube, and they’re giving videos preference. You’ll notice most times when you do a Google search, you’ll see maybe one, two, three videos in the top section of each page result. That’s just something that didn’t happen a number of years ago.
Can you give me a few examples of ways that you can use videos to sell? You know, different approaches you can take?
Yeah. A number of my clients have a new product that might come out. They want a video that focuses on promoting that product. A lot of the videos that I’m referring to, they’re essentially infomercials.
A lot of my clients have a business opportunity and they make videos to explain the perhaps complicated way that you get compensated for that particular company. There’s videos for that, to make it easier to understand the concept. They’re very visual, very explanatory. Some people call them explainer videos.
There are teaser videos, which are basically short thirty-second to two-minute productions that are designed to build excitement about a particular company or product, sort of like really quick introduction.
Like a movie trailer?
Yeah, a movie trailer type production. Those are very popular. What a lot of clients will do, is they’ll come and they’ll want a teaser video because we can produce that fairly quickly because it’s a minute or less. Then, they’ll want a video for promoting a product that they have, and maybe one for their business opportunity. These videos can then be used in an auto responder program or sequence. Or they can be just in a sequence on the website itself. Some websites have a video on every page.
Another style of video that I’ve been producing in the last few years is more of a tutorial type video. They’re basically tutorial videos explaining how to do something.
We can do pretty well any type of video that’s required. Basically, it’s just a matter of somebody thinking of, “How can video benefit their business,” if they’re not already using it.
Where can people go to see samples of your work?
They can go to SalesVideos.com. I’ve got a section for custom videos and I have a section for generic videos.
Tell me more about each type of video.
A number of years ago, I started making some generic videos. Those sometimes apply to the people who may have a very low budget. Those are essentially already created. There’s only a handful there. I’m trying to keep producing more every year.
The custom video section, you’ll see a playlist in there from the YouTube channel and our link to the YouTube channel. You can check out those. The other thing I want to say is, if there is a type of video that you want to have created and there is not an example like that on the site, just let me know. If you have an idea, send me the link to something similar. I really haven’t come across a style or approach that we can’t model.
David Doggett can be reached at www.salesvideos.com or www.davedoggett.com.
If you would like to get started with video, let me know. I will brainstorm ideas for you, write the script and work with Cybernetic Media, or another video production company within your budget, to complete the project. Send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment.
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