Testimonial Videos for Your Business

A testimonial video can help your company’s bottom line. But it can hurt your business if not done properly.

Testimonial videos can help any business out there wishing to make full use of modern tools to market their business. Video has emerged as one of the most powerful tools for communication in the modern world, and is gaining ground on text-based communication as the preferred mode of sharing information.

For a business, a testimonial video is the perfect way to engage with an audience ready to consume information.

testimonial video

To come up with a truly great testimonial video, keep in mind the following:

  • Tell a story. It’s easy to find a loyal customer to endorse the business, saying how great they appreciated the product/service. However, viewers may find it boring. However, storytelling techniques have never failed to capture the interest of the audience. Find a customer that had a unique challenge for which your business provided a solution, and you’ll be able to connect with viewers instantly.
  • Keep it real. Video is the next best thing to a face to face conversation the audience will have with your business. Keep the testimonial real at all times. Modern viewers are quite adept at spotting scripted scenes, so avoid that. Let the characters express themselves in their own words.
  • Cover everything. Sure, the whole point of the testimonial is to convey how great your business is. However, don’t jump straight into the hard sell with the video. Cover the character’s entire journey, from how they discovered the problem at hand, what led them to your business, the problem solving process, and the results.
  • Use a professional video production service. To be able to capture all these aspects in a 2 to 3 minute video, you will require expert video production and editing services. Anyone can hold the camera and record, but it’s a real professional who can identify the touching points of the video that will best convey the message.
  • Keep it short. Concentration spans are slowly reducing. Most viewers will probably have a few minutes to spare to watch the video. Having the testimonial video go on and on for half an hour is bound to go unwatched. Keep the video short and concise; 4 minutes at the most. However, don’t skip over important talking points in an effort to shorten run time.
  • Be sure to promote the video. Share it with your clients and potential clients. The video is worthless if it isn’t seen by your intended audience. This can happen in a variety of ways, and we can help you create the apparatus for these placements if needed. They include:
    1. placing your video on YouTube and maximizing its search engine power
    2. sending links in promotional emails
    3. place the videos in white papers (.pdf’s)
    4. place them on your website
    5. play them at your trade show booth

Using these tips, your next testimonial video should have customers buzzing with excitement regarding your business.

 

 

YouTube Video: Making your Video Go Viral

YouTube Videos rule the internet and there is no better platform for making your video go viral.

Going viral is a universal, if lofty goal for just about any YouTube video. However, it takes large portions of both skill and luck to have the video get millions of hits. Especially so in the arena of business videos. But are millions of hits necessarily the goal?

In this excellent cartoon from Scott Adams, Dilbert has an accurate assessment of what it takes to create a viral video, while the third (unidentified) person at the table has the luck to be in the right place at the right time.

viral YouTube video

One of the key panels is #5 where Dilbert shares that he has no relevant skills for the assignment his pointy-haired boss is giving him. We’ve commented often, business video quality is key and best left to the pros. That’s what we’ve been providing clients in Silicon Valley and around the world for over three decades.

But since we consider ourselves to be your YouTube video partners when we undertake a project, we’d like to share some insights on getting your YouTube video seen by others.

First you have to define the goal and the audience for your YouTube video. What good does it do to have 5 million hits when they come from viewers who couldn’t care less about purchasing your business’s product or service?

So it’s a matter of scale as to what defines “viral.” For example, if you are marketing in the BtoB space to a specialized product or service through your YouTube video that has a potential universe of 5,000 engineers throughout the world, 1,000 views would be a great accomplishment.

On WikiHow they have a list of 10 steps for How to Make a Viral Video. The problem with the article is that it does not go into any detail for the ten steps. However, there is a key point in item #4 that is worth noting – you need to have is video that is at least one of these six, plus the last one:

  • Unique
  • Funny
  • Stupid
  • Dangerous
  • Strange/Weird
  • Gross
  • Worth talking about

We particularly like the last one — the YouTube video has to be worth talking about. At least in the community that is your audience.

If the video can also accomplish some of the other characteristics, fine, but we don’t typically produce professional videos that are stupid, dangerous or gross. For some odd reason, those don’t often seem compatible with a professional business YouTube video.

If your business is in the consumer marketplace, then the elements of storytelling, excitement, etc. become much more important. Again, the target market must always be kept in mind, but the goal for consumers is to get them to SHARE the video.

This is an excellent article on creating consumer viral videos. But again,we come back to the need to have your video produced by a professional. As Dilbert noted above, you have to be trained and experienced — don’t try this at home!

But remember, even if you become a YouTube video master, there is no guarantee that you will make money from your video.

Monetization is in important part of the goals we mentioned above, and for the majority of businesses to goal is to engage and inform potential buyers about your products or services so that they will want to do business with you.

Business Videos: Quality is Key for Shareability

We recently read a business video article titled “10 Ways Video Can Increase Conversion Rates.”

In this article author Sharon Hurley Hall makes a point that we have been advocating about business videos for over three decades: the smart marketer uses business videos BECAUSE THEY WORK. In her article, she lists 6 ways for business videos to boost conversions with an additional 4 methods to improve conversions.

Boosting conversions has always been a by-product of great business videos, but now it’s easier than ever online.

online video

 

Back in the day before online video (yes,there was such a time, and we were there) the term “increase conversion rates” meant using videos in ways different from how it’s used in the 21st century. In the 1980s and 1990s we urged our clients to make sure their sales and marketing videos were seen by their customers by some or all of these:

  • making mass copies of their program on VHS tape and sending them out, either solicited or unsolicited
  • offering a copy of the video in print ads
  • giving copies of the video away at trade shows and/or playing it on a TV in the trade show booth
  • having their sales reps take the video and show it to the potential client.

So even then, our customers reported great success in raising conversion rates because business videos actually enabled their customers to see the process, service, product, etc. at work.

This was a particularly effective tactic when the process, service, product, etc. shown in the business videos was otherwise difficult to demonstrate or visualize.

Another benefit of the business videos was that they allowed our clients’ customers to see a process, method, assembly, etc. that was performed in foreign countries. This became more of a factor as globalization increased. It was much easier for our clients to send us abroad to capture footage that could be shown in a video than it would be to send or request that their customer travel abroad to see the process in person. Such international business videos gave us the opportunity to travel overseas for such work. Here is an example of one shot in China in the 1990s.

Back to the Hall article, of the 6 ways to increase conversions she lists the following four that have always been true since we began producing business videos:

  1. Build trust
  2. Grabbing attention
  3. Answering questions
  4. Telling your story

In addition,she rounds out the list of six with two ways that have really only blossomed due to being able to place business videos online:

  1. Keeping visitors on your site
  2. Being shareable

These two additional factors create very important opportunities for businesses of all sizes.

In attempting to maximize their search engine credibility with Google and other search engines, companies can increase their search engine power by maximizing the time visitors spend on their web site. Videos can help. YouTube and Google both give search engine power to videos that are not just viewed, but viewed through until the end.

The longer the video is watched, the more credibility it has in the search engines.

As we pointed out before, this argues strongly not just for using videos, but for producing GREAT business videos in order to increase user engagement.

Obviously Google does not arbitrarily assign ranking factors in their search engine algorithm. Their goal is to create the best user experience possible so they give more credit to videos that are watched to the end. Watching to the end indicates that the user was engaged and interested.

But they also favor videos that are shared, hence the shareability factor cited in Ms. Hall’s article. Shareability also indicates that users like and are interested.

Also, the more times a video is shared, the more it is watched, and therefore the more views it receives. So more views means higher rankings for your business videos and web pages in Google, all things equal.

So to the articles list we would emphasize quality for your business video.

After all, this comes complete circle back to the issue of conversions. A well produced business video will generate trust and attention and allow you to tell your story, answering questions as needed.

This will help you get positive responses and conversions from your existing customer base as get you found and generate conversions from new clients looking for your product or service on the web.

We’ve written more on the need to outsource your business videos before.

Obviously we think we’re the solution. Feel free to call us for your no-obligation consultation today.

 

Business Video Production Quality is Critical Says a New Study

Business video production has been our specialty since 1981, and we’ve always insisted that quality was key.

Now a new study helps confirm our long-held belief that companies need video production quality to convey a positive image of themselves, products and/or services. This video production study surveyed 1200 customers to test their attitudes about how business video production quality effects their buying decision. According the the survey “those surveyed were also 62% more likely to have a negative perception of a brand that published a poor-quality video.”

This has tremendous implications for those that create or contract for business video production services.

Clearly if a company wants to be perceived positively by their potential customers they should produce business video productions with the highest quality that they can afford. Not only are customers less likely to turn away from the video or click away, they can actually be engaged and continue to watch, to and through the call to action.

steadicam business production

But there are several mistakes that must be avoided, even when the budget is low.

We blogged about these errors years ago in a series on business video production errors, which goes into depth about the mistakes that are made in business video production and how to avoid them. They range from pre-production through audio and video production.

We take issue with another conclusion of the study, however.

In the study the authors criticize YouTube videos because of their tendency to not fully load, or buffer. They quote viewers who say they are likely to click away to another video or another section of the webpage.

First, we don’t feel that the problem is that serious. YouTube continues to improve its algorithm which will only make their videos easier and easier to see. Further, on the receiving end, viewers connections are getting faster and faster, also minimizing the issue.

Another fact that needs consideration is that the company that commissioned the study is in the business of providing a high speed video distribution platform. They are trying to get business video productions to use their engines, so it’s in their interest to suck content producers and companies away from YouTube.

Another thought… if the connection speed from YouTube is an issue, it should apply pretty much evenly to all videos that the viewer might watch.

We’ve also discussed many times in this blog that there are many benefits from posting business video productions on YouTube.

Chief among these are the importance of YouTube as a method of gaining high search engine rankings.

Because Google owns YouTube, it gives greater preference to YouTube videos in its search engine results.

The wise business owner will not neglect this fact when creating business video productions to get found in Google. The answer: hire video production pros who can create great videos and optimize them for the search engines. And hire those pros that specialize in business video productions.

Of course, we think those “video production pros” means Penrose Productions.

business video producton experts

San Jose Video Production Videos in the Search Engines

When offering small business video productions for San Jose firms, we have to practice what we preach.

San Jose video production work has been gathering steam as of late as small businesses come to the realization of the obvious: that videos are getting ranked in Google. So nowadays with the web as the preferred method of video distribution, it’s not just about having good videos — it’s getting them found by others, preferably potential customers. We’ve written before about this growth among Silicon Valley businesses using video for search engine placement.

In order to lead the way, and to show others how it is done, we are going to do a live challenge on our blog to share how we rank our San Jose video productions.

As we talk to San Jose small business owners, we know we have to offer proof that we can use these videos to get first page Google rankings. We have done this for several customers, but the more competitive it is to rank for a particular keyword, the longer it takes to get ranked. We can use all the means at our disposal, but no matter how fast Google crawls a site with their spiders, the will not give it Google love unless it either:

  1. is a video ranking for keywords with little competition, or
  2. the video proves its worth by continuing to be popular over time.

When searching for keywords with little competition, we look to rank quickly for “long tail keywords.”

Long tail keywords are complex and have more words in them than short searches. The more words that people type into Google for a term, the more specific they are searching, and those are typically easier to rank for.

For example, here is a list of keywords that becomes increasingly easier to rank for as you proceed down the list:

  • san jose video
  • san jose video production
  • san jose video production companies
  • best san jose video production companies
  • and so on…

In fact, a few months ago we took on the challenge to see how quickly we could rank on Google for “Best Silicon Valley video production company.” After doing a short little video using a headset microphone and screen capture software, we were able to rank a video on page 1 for that search term in about 20 minutes. Here is is:

Any of you out there want to admit to using a San Jose area plastic surgeon who would like to rent this video from us? It could bring in some serious leads!

So what next? Now we are taking on the challenge of trying to rank on page 1 of Google for “San Jose video production.” We will be posting several videos as part of our YouTube strategy to do this, and here is the first. In this one we have some simple footage of a video production we did recently for San Jose based Abbey Carpet and Floors.

We’ll have more clips of this San Jose video production shoot to share in upcoming blog posts as well as other videos that we re-direct to the search term “San Jose video production.”

We look forward to sharing our San Jose video production videos with you as we gain rankings in the search engines.

As mentioned above, it’s not a speedy process when dealing with a competitive keyword, but we’ll keep you advised as we move up the search engine ranks. Look for us on page 1 of Google!

 

San Jose Web Marketing: the Use of Directories

Small firms looking for a San Jose web marketing advantage need to be listed in numerous directories.

San Jose web marketing is tough. In a major metro area like the South Bay, there are numerous companies competing to get found online. The list of web marketing tasks seems almost endless. And there is not shortage of San Jose web marketing firms to help companies do this.

We’ve created a resource that will help companies get a leg up on their San Jose web marketing.

One of the first steps the small business should take is to get listed in a variety of web directories, But which ones? We’ve compiled a list of the top directories as well as instructions on how to get listed on them. It’s only a click away, and available at no charge from us at Penrose Productions.

These directories will not only help potential customers directly access a business through that directory, but it will also help businesses get found in the search engines.

San Jose web marketing directoryDownload this report now, to jump start your San Jose web marketing.

It’s available on our site for free. Just head over to our page on web marketing and head down to check mark #4 to find the download.

And if you decide that you don’t have the resources to do all of this work yourself, give us a call at 650-969-8273. The pros at Penrose Productions will be delighted to help you with your San Jose web marketing.

 

 

San Jose Video Production at a Friend’s Home

We were pleasantly surprised to get a call to do a San Jose video production at the home of an old friend.

San Jose video production work has been taking off lately as the companies we shoot for have been making their marketing plans for 2014. As we’ve pointed out, video is becoming a more and more important component of sales and marketing efforts as time goes on. And being the savvy marketers that our clients are, they see the ever-increasing need for videos in the marketing mix.

One of our good clients is the great team at Abbey Carpets/Blossom Valley Interiors in San Jose. While meeting with owner Steve Delamore to plot video marketing strategy for 2014, we discusses the need to capture broll footage of his installation crews at work. Looking at the calendar, he identified the perfect house for much of the shooting of the flooring installation to be done. Steve shared that the owners were not just wonderful people that are terrific to work with, but they are having all the floors re-done, including both carpeting and Karndean design flooring.

Imaging my surprise when he told me that the job would be shot at the home of some good friends of many years.

I’ve known Julie and Ron for many years through church work that we’ve done together, and since I hadn’t seen them in quite a while, it was great news that we had an excuse to go to their home. It’s always a treat to see them, and the opportunity to do San Jose video production work in their home was very cool.

It was a great treat to reconnect again and we compiled a series of videos of our shooting in their home. In this particular clip, you’ll see our cameraman in action capturing the application of glue to the floor so that Karndean Design Flooring can be installed. You’ll see the installer applying the adhesive in the kitchen where the refrigerator will stand.

We’ll have more clips of this San Jose video production shoot to share in upcoming blog posts.

 

 

 

San Francisco Video Production for 2014

Video Production Moves Into 2014.

As we head into the new year of 2014 we reflect on the many changes that we have seen in our 32 years in the video production industry in the San Francisco Bay Area. But even as we look back, we have to focus on what amazing things lie ahead in the New Year.

Through YouTube, Google has become the 800 pound gorilla in video production for businesses of all sizes.

san francisco video productionWith the importance of video as a search engine ranking tool, the business (regardless of size) that ignores YouTube videos does so at their own peril. Video have the ability to:

  • get you ranked high in the search engines if optimized properly
  • engage your viewers
  • communicate a call to action

For 2014, good videos will be more important than ever to not just attract viewers, but to convert them into buyers.

We’ve seen many videos that get optimized well for certain keywords and show up on page 1 of Google’s search engine results. But what good does it do if the viewer is not motivated to call or come into a business?

Now is the time to create a video marketing strategy that accomplishes ALL of the above functions. Videos need not be expensive to accomplish these goals, but the use of a professional video production company – experts at communicating marketing messages – is a great way to accomplish “all of the above.”

Check out our San Francisco video production samples on our website or give us a call.

And here’s to a great, productive and profitable 2014!

 

 

Video Press Releases Increase Views 55%

Video Press Releases are Shown to Increase User Views in Controlled Study.

We were intrigued to read recently that video press releases scored a significantly higher viewership that those press releases without videos. The methodology and logic was detailed in a recent Reel SEO article about the video press release comparison.

In it, author Greg Jarboe reports on a test that was run by New Orleans marketing company Get City Dealz. Three press releases were sent out at the same time of day on successive Saturdays last February:

  • with only an embedded video
  • with only an embedded picture
  • without either a picture or video  

The test showed that the video press release got 55% more views.

The results were hardly surprising, as we’ve been saying for quite some time (as in this post on BtoB video marketing) that video gives the marketer a strong edge these days, and this obviously holds true for video press releases.

video press releases get results

The video press release test was flawed in it’s approach, however.

As any good marketer or scientist knows, the proper way to test the effect of different variables is to isolate them and change just one at a time to measure their impact. In this study, the results would have been better measured if there had been a couple of more controls:

  • instead of three different press releases, they should have used the SAME press release (instead of 3 different ones), one with video, one with an image, and one without either
  • send all three releases out on the same date, instead of 3 successive weeks.

That said, the measurement of the effect of the response to video press releases would have probably been pretty much the same. However, to make the claim that they are 55% more effective may or may not be true.

Bottom line: you can rest assured that video press releases will get a better response than they would without the video embedded.

 

 

Business Videos Done Through Google for Search Engine Placement

Business Video Done With Google Hangouts Can Rocket Companies to the Top of Search Engines.

Ranking business videos can be tricky, especially for the small business person trying to go it alone. While business videos are becoming increasingly important to the Google search results, it’s not necessarily a simple process.  That is, unless you are willing to be on the lookout for long-tail keywords.

What are long tail keywords?

Long tail keywords mean search terms that have lots of words in them. As one can imagine, the more detailed the keyword, the less searches are done for the term. For example, if you were to google “weight loss” you’d get 448 MILLION results. But if you were to google :weight loss for flight attendants” you’d come up with just under 2 million. That’s quite a drop off as we’d expect.

Now here’s the good news about long tail keywords — there is less competition for those key words.

So, long story short, it’s easier to rank for these long tail keywords, whether with text or business videos.

It’s been a matter of debate for some time whether Google gives preferential treatment in the search engine listings to those companies that play ball with it. This might include, for example:

  • advertising with Google Adwords
  • linking to Google’s site
  • using the technology, function, website, etc. that Google favors, such as
  1. Google Places
  2. Google Plus
  3. Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts can be done right from your desk with a webcam and microphone through your PC or Mac. And it’s free. You are hosting a web conference in which you can choose to show your smiling face or not.

For the purpose of business videos on Hangouts, I’d recommend showing your desktop. That way prospective clients can see your products and services as reflected in anything you choose to show on your desktop, including websites, presentation slides, etc.

When the conference is over, the business video that was just created is automatically saved to the user’s YouTube account. The user can choose to delete it or make it private, but that would only work against the search engine placement of the business video.

I did an experiment in ranking a business video using Hangouts.

I created one for our company, and used the title “Best Silicon Valley Video Production Company.” I just started talking about the company, clicked through several web pages on the site, and explained them. Here is the business video I did very quickly and affordably.

As soon as the video was processed and became part of my YouTube account, I went to Google and searched for “best silicon valley video production company.” The video was ranked #2 in the generic search listings just as quickly as I could click over to it.

And the video rose to #1 within 15 minutes.

These results are certainly not permanent. Like any other Google listing, whether video or text results, the video needs to get more support to stay there: backlinks, embeds, social shares, etc. We do that for our clients all the time.

Is ranking business videos this way a viable strategy?

This depends on whether or not people would actually search for the long tail keyword being used. If so, you’ve hit the jackpot. Getting your business video done via a Hangout using that well-searched, low-competition keyword is an excellent way to rank highly, get noticed, and make money as a result. However, if the long tail keyword is rarely searched for, it regresses into a meaningless academic exercise and time waster.

The solution is to get expert keyword analysis done to see what terms your customers might type in that are low competition. Then create one or more business videos through Hangouts.