Turn your Support Questions into Videos

support questionsMaybe this should be obvious, but it is often overlooked – one of the best sources for content and especially video content is by looking at the support questions you get. This should be obvious, but to some people it’s not. An often undervalued area to find video ideas is support questions and discussions in forums or groups. These areas offer exceptional ideas to spark new video ideas.

8 Ideas to Create Videos from Support Questions

Look to Your Competition – You don’t have to wait for questions to arise in your own discussion groups. Instead, go to the competition’s discussion groups and FAQs to find out what questions are being asked. Formulate answers in video form and post to your website, blog, social media and YouTube.

Check LinkedIn – LinkedIn has groups where people start discussions, post articles, and more. Go to the groups that consist of your audience and read the questions they ask. Take any question that relates to your audience and answer it in video form. You can literally find unlimited ideas on LinkedIn.

Read Facebook Groups – Join a few Facebook groups that consist of your audience. When you see people ask questions, don’t worry about reading the answers; just collect the questions and use those as ideas for making future videos.

Do a Twitter Search – Look for your niche on Twitter by doing a search on your topic to see if anyone is asking questions about it. Use those questions as your start for any video you want to create.

Check Pinterest – On Pinterest people don’t really ask questions, but they do post information in the form of images. They often group things together that they’re researching. For example if you have a food blog, and you want to make videos, you can find great recipes for any genre right on Pinterest.

Help Desk Questions – If you have a help desk, whenever you get a question in there, answer it like you normally do but make it in video form. Send the video to the customer, and then post the video in your FAQ for more help when people are searching.

Make a Compilation Video – If you find a lot of the same questions being asked, combine all questions into one subject of the video and try to answer them all in one. Still keep the video short, though.

Ask for Questions – A popular type of longer video on YouTube is a Q & A. Participants ask on social media for questions that they’ll answer at a specific date on a future YouTube video. Using this method means you’ll have to act fast to answer the questions within 48 to 72 hours of asking your audience to submit their questions.

Making videos is easy once you realize that ideas are everywhere. Keep a notepad or Evernote at your fingertips so that you can notate ideas immediately. Don’t rely on your memory when you get an idea. Write it down immediately so that you won’t miss out on making that video. The big thing is to take some time and look at your support questions to see what will generate a great video and then get to work on getting it done!

8 Tips to Making More Professional Videos

Creating professional videos can be as simple or as hard as you want to make it. You can spend thousands making professional productions or you can spend little to nothing making barely presentable videos, but you can also take the time to invest in these small efforts to make your videos more professional with very little additional work or money involved.

8 Tips for More Professional Videos

1. Set Them Up Correctly – When you upload your video, take the time to include all the relevant information. Title, tags and descriptions, including links to your landing pages, should all be included in every single video that you upload.

2. Invest in Good Lighting – Good lighting doesn’t have to cost that much. You can get a lighting kit from Amazon for under $150. Look for the ePhoto Digital Photography video 2400 Watt THREE Softbox Lighting & Boom Hair Light Kit H9004SB2. This is a good investment to make and will help create more professional videos.

3. Set Up a Visually Pleasing Background – You can make a green screen inexpensively, but you can also just create a nice background by using a fold-out wall separator or room divider. Again, Amazon has a lot of good choices that you can choose from, but if you have a Tuesday Morning or other home décor store you can find this anyplace inexpensively. Add a plant and the proper lighting, and you’ll have a great background for all your videos.

4. Include Closed Captioning – Including closed captioning is an added touch that will not only be appreciated by deaf people, but will also help your videos be picked up by search easier. You simply upload a text file as explained in this video.

5. Include Annotations and SubtitlesYouTube makes it easy to market your videos and your items off YouTube by allowing you to include linkable annotations and subtitles in your video. You can learn how to do that by using professional editing software like Camtasia.

6. Choose a Quiet Place to Record – One of the most irritating things about watching some videos is the background noise. Sometimes this is in the form of a busy street or a noisy room with a loud fan, but sometimes it’s on purpose with the background music. Be careful about background music, and be sure that listeners can easily hear the important parts of your video without straining.

7. Invest in Good Equipment – You don’t have to buy the most expensive equipment, and truly some mobile devices like Smart Phones work great for recording video for YouTube. So try out a few things and see what will work best for your type of videos. The equipment you choose depends on your audience, the type of videos you want to create, and your current budget.

8. Create a Publication Calendar – You should already have one for content for your marketing efforts, and now it’s time to include a new format: video. Your videos should include the same type of content you need to promote, whatever you’re promoting elsewhere. Every piece of content you put out should go together and all should lead to your landing pages, newsletter sign-ups, and products.

Making professional videos based on your audience’s preferences and what they expect is a good way to get more views. However, don’t allow professionalism to stand in your way. You can start small and build over time as your income and impact go up.

Video Marketing Strategy – Check Your Stats for Hot Pages on Your Site

video marketing strategyWhen you are trying to come up with a new video marketing strategy, one way to do it is to find out what is already popular on your own website. What pages get the most views? What pages get the most interaction? What blog posts get the most questions and “likes”? This information is important because any time you have some topics that are popular already on your website, they will also end up popular as a video.

How to setup a video marketing strategy based on your hot web pages:

  1. Install Google Analytics – You will need to have analytics on your blog in order to know which blog posts are getting the most traction. You can use Google Analytics to figure out what your website visitors go to first, which page they entered on, how long they stuck around, whether they read something else, thius is an essential step in setting up your video marketing strategy.
  2. Understand What a Hot Page is – A hot page is the page that gets the most views on your blog. In addition to views, find blogs that get the most comments, likes and shares. Read the comments to find out what people want to know, as this is a good way to determine what video to make.
  3. Make a List – Using a spreadsheet or other method, make a list of the hot blog posts, with links, notations on visitors, likes, discussion notes and so forth. Use this as your starting point for coming up with video ideas.
  4. Create a Video Creation Calendar – From the list, create a publication calendar that makes sense with your current and future promotion ideas. You don’t want to make videos without knowing what your goals are (more sales, more newsletter sign-ups, etc…).
  5. Repurpose Blog Posts – If you have a popular blog post, turn it into a video. Your script is practically written. You need to determine how you’ll show it visually, and how you might either cut it down to a smaller and shorter point or expand it so you can go more in-depth about the topic.
  6. Start with a How to Post – If you have any “how to” blog posts, start there. They are super easy to transform into videos; you can even make an explainer video with a how to post that will blow your viewers out of the water.
  7. Fill in the Gaps – If you notice you have some hot pages, read through the posts. If you find gaps in a post even if it was popular, make a video that fills in the gaps, and then link to the video under that blog post.
  8. Make Them Special – Consider doing more than “talking head” videos. Talking head videos are great because people like seeing your face (or any face) as it develops trust. However, you should also add in visuals such as charts, and images that advance your message.

When you go with what is already popular, you’ll start off on the right foot when it comes to setting up a video marketing strategy. More than likely the people who liked the blogs you already made are going to like the videos you make, using the blogs as your starting point.

Tools to Make Video Marketing Work for You!

Finding tools to help make video marketing easier is important. Making videos can be time-consuming, but the payoff is incredible. Video is shared more often than text, and you can turn almost anything you have previously written into a video to share and market to your audience with just a little thought and effort.

Magisto – This is a free video editor that you can use with Chrome. You use it by adding photos and videos and then setting the time drag and dropping your files to create a video with royalty free music to use for your projects. This is only for adding pictures that are turned into a slide show with copy on them.

WeVideo – This cloud-based solution allows you to use its powerful tools to edit your videos and make them look really professional. They also have a lot of training available to help you create more professional videos.

Viewbix – If you have three to five minutes, you can create interactive videos out of your videos. Interaction is a great way to help market your products and services as well as make your videos more interesting to watch.

Camtasia – This is one of the most popular and most often used video editing software. You can produce, edit and upload your videos easily to any network in any format. You can add cool features like clickable links, and you can also add great transitions, voice-overs and more.

YouTube Editor – This tool cannot go unmentioned because it’s from YouTube. It’s also free. It has some good features, although they are not as advanced as some of the others platforms that you can use. But, you can do a good job with this tool.

VideoScribe – You’ve seen the explainer videos, and you’ve likely seen how expensive they are. This is a little bit of a downgraded version of explainer videos, but it will get the job done while you start out marketing your videos, and for the right price.

Magnet Video – You can create wonderful landing pages, professionally-themed videos, and produce very professional videos to use for marketing your business. This tool even includes content curation tools. You really have to try it to understand all the things this tool does for your video marketing.

Your Blog – Always post your videos to your blog after you’ve uploaded them to any video hosting solution. This will make it easier for you to promote the videos to your audience, by making it simple to click a few buttons to share it to social media and your email list.

Social Networks – Remember to market your videos to all your social networks and ask at the end of each video for your viewers to like, follow, share and comment on the videos so that you can get more people to see them.

Choosing some of these tools to help make marking your videos easier, will (after some consistent work) make your videos catch fire with your audience – building momentum over time until you are as successful as you want to be with your video marketing efforts. How will you put at least one of these ideas to work for your business? Share your answer below.

3 Options to Add Video into Your Small Business Practices

Video is hot and an easy add to the marketing strategy for your small business. Photo credit: Sarah Maher, 123rf.com

Video is hot and an easy add to the marketing strategy for your small business.
Photo credit: Sarah Maher, 123rf.com

Guest Post by Jack Klemeyer

Jack Klemeyer is the founder/owner of Grow Your Business Coaching. His success is reflected in the success of his clients. He is a certified coach and practitioner in a variety of programs including NLP, John Maxwell and DISK and Kolby. He is a popular speaker and facilitator of sales training, group coaching, and mastermind groups and roundtables. Reach him at 317-755-6963, at Jack@GYBCoaching or learn more at www.gybcoaching.com.

Sex, lies and video.

All three of those make for compelling stories on the Internet.

While I never use the first two in my business or with my clients, the third, video, is a great avenue for all business owners and there are lots of ways video can be incorporated into the business. I want to share three options for every business owner to use video in their business. 

 

Use Video for Your Business – Option 1 – To Educate

No matter if you are a plumber, a coach or a chef, you can use video to educate your prospects and clients. Educational video can:

  • Teach clients how to use your products
  • Teach clients what you do, or how they can do it themselves
  • Provide insight into your company

Sy Sims said, “An educated consumer is our best client.” That quote has stood the test of time because it is true.

If you provide the how-to about a task or service you provide, the viewers who do it themselves will remember who gave them the information and how accurate or easy it was to follow. The next time they need that task done, if they don’t have the time or can’t do it themselves, they will know who to contact.

On the other hand, if they watch the video and realize it is outside their skill set, they might call right away. You will have demonstrated you know how to do it right and they appreciate that.

Educating existing customers will prevent them from using your products incorrectly and not being happy with the end result. It is a proactive measure to accomplish three goals:

  1. To promote return customers because they will be happy with their results
  2. To provide additional value through instructions that are easy to follow in an additional learning style
  3. To reduce the number of returns due to improper use, installation or care

Instructional how-to videos show customers that you care about their success. That says something about your company. A good something.

Use Video for Your Business – Option 2 – To Promote

A short video of your business in action on social media promotes your business.

For example, when I go to speak at associations and business groups, I often will record the event. Small slices where I talk about a specific sales strategy or give a few tips on holiday marketing can be cut out and shared via social media platforms like Facebook or LinkedIn.

Likewise when your company is sponsoring an event or making a donation to a local cause, a short video shares that community involvement with the world.

You can also use video to demonstrate products or show results of services. Highlight employees, make announcements and congratulate other business owners and businesses on their successes and achievements.

Another part of sharing your business on social media is just that – social. Every business owner has his own sense of humor and interests. Sharing something funny or interesting can be useful. Let your tribe get to know you – personally. A little cautionary note here – once you share something, you can’t take it back so be mindful of what you want your posts to say about you – and your business.

 

Use Video for Your Business – Option 3 – To Operate

For small businesses, videos are a great way to build and communicate within an organization. Some examples:

  • One owner would provide a quick Monday morning video that was a mini-staff and motivational session for his sales staff. Since their staff meetings were every Thursday, it was his way of providing sales data, notes about upcoming events or reminders about reports that were due. This video also included congratulations for achievements and encouragement.
  • Another owner used video to train new staff on how to do various tasks. Since he was usually not in the office when his part-time office help were in, he was able to give them direction and keep them moving ahead on tasks even if he was out. The short videos became a library of how-to modules that were used over and over since some tasks were only completed quarterly or less.
  • While an audio works as well, video of group sessions or meetings means that parties who are not able to attend don’t miss out on the discussions and decisions. Videos are especially helpful when whiteboards or large tablets are used to capture notes. This strategy for the use of video is also helpful for clients and customers.

With the proliferation of smart phones, videos can be made as candidly, casually or formally as called for by the use. The above owner often records his video in the car while he’s driving. And the second uses his phone for many of the short how-to videos he records.

Even some of the social media videos are made using phones. It depends on the purpose and who the intended viewers will be. But the bottom line is that every business can use video in some way. If it makes a task or message easier to get done, go with it.

As a business coach, I often see that business owners get so busy that they fail to see what is right in front of them. That is why an objective set of eyes is so helpful and they hire me. Recognizing resources and seeing the potential in them is one of the things I am able to bring them. Keeping it simple, actionable and forward moving is an underlying theme that benefits everyone.

Marketing strategy is the same thing – a fresh set of eyes that knows the how-to can keep your message on focus and effective. Every small business owner is talented, or else they wouldn’t be able to get a business off the ground. But the most successful owners see that they can’t know and be all things to the standards they need to grow a thriving enterprise. So they hire others who have expertise in the areas they don’t – or in the areas that will consume too much of their time and energy. Marketing is critical. If you don’t want to invest the time and effort in it, or don’t feel you have the expertise, hire Neil at Strategix, or someone like Neil at Strategix. It’s too important to your business to relegate it to an item on your to-do list.

How to Create Videos That Convert – “How To” Series #2

video conversion tipsCreating videos that make good sales is an art form. You need to be able to craft a video that looks great, sounds great, and also gets the message across to the viewer to take further action. It’s a balancing act between giving too much information and not enough information. In addition, it matters where the video is going to be placed. If it’s on a sales page, it can be much more directly sales oriented than if it’s being placed on YouTube, for example. To ensure that you create converting videos there are some best practices to consider.

10 Tips for Creating Videos that Convert!

1. Use the Right Tools – There are many tools you will need to create good videos including editing software, presentation software, a good microphone, a good camera, and potentially a green screen or other technology and tools to help you produce the most professional video that you can.

2. Never Forget Your Call to Action – If you want your viewers to take an action after viewing, you’re going to have to tell them what to do. You can also insert, with the right software, clickable links right on the screen to take them to a sales page or other information, making the video interactive.

3. Know Who Your Audience Is – Like with any other content that you produce, don’t suddenly change the subject matter just because you changed the format. Your audience is still the same, so create videos for that audience and stay on track even though it’s a new form of content.

4. Edit Your Videos – Don’t just spend five minutes making a video then upload it to YouTube and expect something to happen. You need to create as professional quality videos as you can afford to produce. While you don’t have to be perfect, you should get better as you go along.

5. Keep It Short – Don’t make long videos as your audience will lose interest. More than 3 or 4 minutes may be too long, but definitely not longer than 10 minutes on harder to grasp information.

6. Stick to One Topic – One way to ensure that you keep your videos a good length is to pay attention to getting off topic. Each video should cover one aspect of a topic, and not seek to be an overview but rather just one little portion of a topic covering one thing at a time.

7. Use Visual Cues – A good way to enhance your videos is to use some sort of visual cues within the video to make it interesting. Don’t just tape yourself talking into the camera. Use something visual that gives your audience something to help them learn the concept you’re trying to teach.

8. Add Music and Sound Effects – In addition to nice visual cues, adding audio besides your voice with music and other sound effects can also help you retain interest of your audience. If you want them to remember a specific point, highlight it with effects.

9. Write a Script – You don’t want to sound like a robot, but you do want to ensure that you cover each point, so write an outline, if not a script, to help you cover each point that you need to cover.

10. Practice Makes Perfect – Give yourself a few practice sessions so that you can get used to how you sound, look, and feel doing video. Remember that you can make several takes, and you can edit the best takes for each section together with your editing software.

Also, remember that not all content is good for video. If your content doesn’t need visual cues to get the message across, you may not want to spend the extra time necessary to make a video for that particular content. Find content to present in video form that is most easily explained with examples and video instead of just with text.

How to Use Video Marketing to Generate New Leads – “How To” Series #1

video-marketingAccording to Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research, the value of a one-minute video is over 1.8 million words. That’s pretty amazing. When you consider putting resources behind video in your business, you will need to think about the value as you set your budget for video. Creating well-made videos takes a little more time, but you’ll garner the benefits if you do it right. If you’re wondering how you can use video for marketing your business, here are a few ideas.

10 Ways to Use Video Marketing  to Generate New Leads

1. Make Sales Page Videos to Improve Conversions – Video sales pages have been shown to have a high level of conversion. Some estimates put the conversation rate 46 percent above typical text-based sales pages. However, when it comes to video sales pages, quality matters a great deal. Don’t skimp.

2. Develop Demonstration Videos for Hard Concepts – If you have a concept that is hard to understand or explain in words, such as rolling the perfect sushi roll, then a video is the perfect medium to use to demonstrate your concept. Be sure not to skip steps, and explain concepts as you move along in your video.

3. Create Educational Videos about Your Topic – Outside of demo videos you can also create really good educational videos about a topic. Just pick a topic and one serious point to cover for the video. By explaining a topic carefully and thoroughly with video, your audience will come away with fewer questions and a lot more knowledge.

4. Tell Your Story in Picture Form – You can use video to create a wonderful “About Page” for your blog or website. Let the people know who you are, what your values are and how your business fits into your overall value proposition.

5. Use Explainer Videos for Hard Concepts – Have you seen explainer videos before, with the hand drawing out the examples? Well, it’s a proven fact that the mind remembers better when you engage as many of the senses as you can. By providing voice and a clear picture of what is being said, you will improve retention.

6. Capture the Importance of Your Product or Service – Sometimes it can be hard to show how big or how important your product or service is with only text and even still images. A video is a great way to show your potential audience everything you can about your products and services.

7. Collect Testimonial Videos by Having a Contest – A really great use of video for your business is to collect testimonials in video. You can do this by having a contest inviting people to enter by telling what they love most about your product or service. Further, have them invite others to “like”, “share” and vote on their favorite video.

8. Create Videos of Your Google Roundtables – Google enables you to create Roundtables and Hangouts and record them. This is a great way to kill two birds with one stone. On the one hand have a live event, on the other repurpose the video for use later. With a little editing, it can even be sold inside of other products.

9. Create a Vlog – Video doesn’t have to be fancy to get views and convert. You can use video much like you do a blog, but beware that you need to try to give a professional view of yourself and your business based on who your audience is and what they expect.

10. Turn Your PowerPoints into Video – You can also add voice and music and even your picture within a video of your PowerPoint slides to make them much more interesting. It’s an easy way to break into the video marketing world.

Using video to create more sales, garner more interest and even perhaps to “go viral” can be fun and profitable. Get started if you want to see your sales explode.

“The Meteor Prank” Video – Great Marketing Lessons

If you grew up on DVR and On Demand content you probably have no intention of watching a blatant advertisement. That’s why it is so critical to make a piece of content that tells a story more than it sells your product. Take a look at how the video below was one of the most successful ads of the past few years.

When making marketing content, one of the best things you can do is NOT make marketing content.

This video contains some core elements.

  1. There is no initial branding
  2. They draw on various human emotions
  3. They have quality audio
  4. They tell a story

To really capture the imagination of the viewer, you need to tell a better story. Take the time to plan out and write down exactly what you want to convey with the video. It should tap into human emotions so that you can grab the attention of the viewers and hold on to them long enough to deliver your message to them.

LG: The Meteor Prank That Drew Us All In

Take this video from LG, for example, it draws viewers in and gives them something to laugh at and be amazed by at the same time. They don’t deliver the marketing message until the final curtain call, but they have given viewers a reason to stay until then by telling a compelling story, so it works.