Video: The Ultimate Sales Tool

Many salespeople would love to have an assistant — a supporting team member to help them be more efficient, helpful, and effective. You know, a useful sidekick to improve their ability to connect with customers and make more sales.

That’s exactly what you get when you use video. Video enables salespeople and businesses to connect with customers in a more experiential way. Think about it. With a few clicks of a button, a custom video educates and engages customers as they go through the purchasing process.

While there’s a litany of ways that video can boost your business. Here are three proven reasons video should be your number one sales tool.

1. Higher Response Rate

According to Hubspot the average prospect receives more than 100 emails a day and opens only 23% of those and clicks on 2%. Don’t end up in the inbox vortex! Use video to help cut through all the clutter. Using video in your emails will also:

Boost open rates by 19%.

Boost click-through rates by 65%.

Reduce unsubscribes by 26%.

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2. Inspire More Action

SalesLoft recently reported that 75% of late-stage prospects that received a personalized video, closed. There’s no question that the human element involved and the time it takes to personalize a video message will show your prospect that you’re willing to go above and beyond the competition.

Jessica’s Best Part of Her Day from Mad Bear Productions on Vimeo.

If that’s not enough, here are the other ways video inspires action: In its 2017 Ultimate List of Marketing Statistics Hubspot confirms what we predicted in our last blog regarding predictions for the upcoming year:

4X as many customers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it. (Animoto, 2015)

Almost 50% of internet users look for videos related to a product or service before visiting a store. (Google, 2016) 53% of smartphone users feel more favorable towards companies whose mobile sites or apps provide instructional video content. (Google, 2015)

4 in 5 consumers believe that demo videos are helpful.

Shoppers who view video are 1.81X more likely to purchase than non-viewers. (Animoto, 2015) (Source: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics)

3. Reach the C-Suite 

Though they may not be your main point of contact, you’ve got to get the C-Suite on your side. And video is the sweet spot. According to Forbes.com :

65% of executives have visited a vendor’s site after watching a video.

51% of executives under the age of 40 reported making a purchase decision after watching a video.

WilsonHCG: Executive Search infographic from Mad Bear Productions on Vimeo.

So there you have it. Like we reported last month, Video is a must have for your business’ content strategy. If you want to sell it, tell it. Have a question about video? We can help. Just reply to this email and we will get back to you immediately.

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About the Author: Roshni Hannon Contact: roshni@madbearproductions.com Her name means “light” and that is what she is… high energy, bright and fast. And yes… she does run regularly. While we’re not sure what she is running from (perhaps her two young kids) we know she’s covered a ton of ground. She was the Executive Producer for an award winning and number one rated morning show in Tampa for years. And now, she uses her unique blend of organization, storytelling and curiosity to help Mad Bear clients find their stories. Think of her as an architect, a story architect.
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Mad Video Predictions for 2017

The future holds many unknowns. But the world of video is a different story. Gather around as we take a look into our Mad Bear Crystal Ball – which no surprise resembles our new Nokia OZO Virtual Reality camera. Take a minute or two to read Mad Bear’s predictions for the world of video in 2017.

Mad Bear’s Crystal Ball. No, really it’s our 360 camera. But it IS the future of video!

  1. 360 Video/Virtual Reality will be THE dominant buzz technology of the Year.

    3D video, mobile video and even drones have had their time in the “buzz light,” but for 2017 it will be all about 360 Video/VR.


Predictive statistics are already suggesting this will be the case. Here are just some of the resources pointing in that direction:

▪Revenues from virtual reality products (both hardware and software) are projected to increase from 90 million dollars in 2014 to 5.2 billion dollars in 2018. (Read the full Statista report here)

▪Consumer spending on VR headsets will go from 1.6 billion dollars in 2016 to 7.9 billion dollars by 2020 (CNBC)

▪Dip into CES 2017 for a sense of how dominant VR has become already in the shaping of what the word “immersive” means.(Forbes)

2.  Sorry Snapchat. Instagram It Is.

#sorrysnapchat

Instagram will continue to use “video stories” to take marketshare from Snapchat. The meteoric millennial monetization (yes… a three part alliteration) rise of Snapchat has come to an end, as many marketers will move away to Facebook owned Instagram (3 more “m’s”… I’m on fire). There was some writing on the wall several months ago when Instagram copied Snapchat and unveiled stories  (here is one article from AdWeek) but Instagram isn’t done yet. Look for further integration of video in their platform and look for more ways for businesses to utilize the platform to target ads (a la Facebook). There might even be some expiring video content and/or filters added. While I love your new Spectacles Snapchat. It just won’t be enough.

3.  Interactive Video Content Will Move from “Maybe” to “Must Have”

Clickable, shareable, trackable …. it is so nice marketers are ABLE to do these things without ever having to leave a video link. As viewers decreasingly jump between platforms (i.e. “If the content originates on Facebook please don’t send me to a landing page.”), interactive content become the key to keeping people engaged. Interactive in these terms can mean more social media features or even a deeper use of 360 video (see the #1 prediction above).

Here is a good overview article on interactive video from the co-founder of an interactive video company Rapt Media.

So there you have it… three predictions for 2017 … in a way all three say the same thing. Video will move deeper in the direction of consumer initiated engagement. In other words, the video creator will no longer fully control what people experience and how they experience it. Now, the creator is empowered to tell the story so that the viewer can control the experience. So give your viewer the keys, invite them into the driver seat and see where they go. If the ride is good enough, they will come back for more.


About the Author: Glenn Zimmerman

Glenn has what is best described as “Superhero Syndrome.”
His affliction began as a child and has progressed with age.
He got into extreme skiing and extreme sports before they were a thing because every superhero should try flying at least once.

While at Boston University, it was his desire to save the day that brought him to Post- Soviet Russia where he explored the emerging homeless population.

His Syndrome brought him to journalism school at Syracuse University to get his MS in Mass Communications.

He later became an award winning reporter with the number one station in Detroit (WXYZ-TV) and with NBC’s flagship station in New York (WNBC- TV). And, it was the reason he formed the video agency Mad Bear Productions.

With Mad Bear, he harnesses the power of story to help business, non-profits and events engage with their target audience. Video is his tool and he wields it mightily.

Glenn is a sought after speaker on video engagement and mass media. It is all part of his quest to help save the day, one story at a time.

Video Strategy: Part 1 (Content)

I play chess with my son. He’s 8. And he’s pretty good. He’s beaten me fair and square a few times. It got me thinking. What’s his strategy? So I asked. His answer was simple: Keep the King Alive. Strategy doesn’t have to be complicated, but it has to work for YOU.

chess

We get into conversations with marketers all the time about their video and they usually start and end the same. While they’re excited about video, when we ask them about  video strategy, there’s usually a long pause which is generally an acknowledgment of “we don’t have a strategy….”  Our follow-up question is typically something like, “do you know how well your videos are working for you?” we typically get the same long pause. In order for your videos to deliver you’ve got to have a personalized strategy.

No two strategies are the same. At Mad Bear Productions we have a specialized three-prong approach to nailing a video strategy you’ll not only love, but one that you can be proud of.

Here are the three things to consider:

1. Content: What is your story? And how will you tell it?
2. Distribution: Who are you trying to reach and how are you going to do it?
3. Metrics (analytics and reporting): Let’s make sure it’s working and learn from the numbers.

For the purposes of this article, we are going to focus on Content. 

Humanize. Use video to inspire, entertain, and connect on a more personal and emotional level. Get creative with using video to deliver fun, approachable, and humanized content campaigns. Or deliver a personalized video campaign that literally brings each viewer into the story in a way that’s relevant, interesting and memorable. Try some things out and diversify how you use video content, and you’ll start to discover what your most powerful stories are, and what your audience really cares about. It’s about building your brand in way that makes you feel proud and that grabs your audiences attention. We produced a series of videos for Valspar to help paint a story that let’s people know they stand for more than color.

If you aren’t sure what to do or how to do it. Just be true to yourself and your brand. The most important thing is to make sure you are being genuine about what you are showing. If you aren’t being genuine, it likely won’t work.”

-Glenn Zimmerman, CEO Mad Bear Productions

Be (A Little) Daring. We are not suggesting you throw caution to the wind and produce something outrageous that will scare your customers. But you have to stand out. And to stand out you have to take some risks. Consider adding a splash of humor, maybe choose some music you normally wouldn’t. Choose an approach that is a little bit out of the box. To help a Cyber-Security firm launch a complex piece of technology, check out how we used Sun Tzu’s Art of War.

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“But don’t do something unexpected and different just for the sake of it. Make sure you stand out for a reason and most importantly… that  the reason matters to your audience.”

-Glenn Zimmerman, CEO Mad Bear Productions

Do something unconventional, but do it to connect with people in a more emotional way (see Humanize above).  If you’re uneasy at the thought of trying something, don’t give up just because you are scared. Take a breath and see it from the users standpoint. It may accomplish the job better.

Make it Interactive.  In general, we find that marketers tend to be conservative in their use of video content. Explainer videos and educational webinars are pretty common now, since marketers know that video is the best way to educate given its high retention rates. It’s going to be tough to get anyone excited about your video strategy if you’re producing another screen capture video with a voice-over. But you know what they might get excited about? If you delivered an interactive video with survey questions to really engage your audience. Choose your own adventure style videos are another great way to get some engagement. What else? Well, here is one video from a campaign we completed with Northwell Health. This was one of several videos used to encourage the viewer to vote for one of three different innovations in healthcare. Nearly 500,000 votes later… success.

“Don’t feel pressure to use the latest and greatest technology in order to be interactive.  The goal is purely to engage the viewer. If the interaction accomplishes that… you have succeeded”

-Glenn Zimmerman, CEO Mad Bear Productions

Overall, a video strategy keeps you from creating aimless content. Your videos should have a purpose aligned with your business goals. So, now you have your story. Stay tuned for our next blog which will focus on how you get the right people to see it!

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About the Author: Roshni Hannon
Contact: roshni@madbearproductions.com

Her name means “light” and that is what she is… high energy, bright and fast. And yes… she does run regularly. While we’re not sure what she is running from (perhaps her two young kids) we know she’s covered a ton of ground. She was the Executive Producer for an award winning and number one rated morning show in Tampa for years. And now, she uses her unique blend of organization, storytelling and curiosity to help Mad Bear clients find their stories. Think of her as an architect, a story architect.

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A Feeling I Get

Not too long ago I pulled off the impossible. A surprise party. Months and months of covert planning, secret phone calls and shady behavior all came together for one purpose: A Reaction. It was priceless. Watching raw emotion and excitement unravel as a result of something you had a hand in, is in a word: AWESOME. I’ll remember that moment always.

Surprise!

I get the same feeling when I sit in an audience and watch a room full of people react to a video our Team produced. My heart skips a beat. I love nothing more than hearing people laugh at all the right places, take pause when it counts and rise to their feet, and clap at the end. It’s like watching someone unwrap a present that you know they will love, and then watching them freak out when they see it for the first time. We recently produced a series of videos for the Girl Scouts of West Central Florida’s annual “Women of Distinction” event. To sit amongst hundreds of people – including the women and their families- and watch them react, was a feeling I won’t forget.

We are all hardwired to remember events that are more emotionally charged. Good marketers know how to leverage this fact. You need to help people feel an emotional connection towards your brand, and there’s no medium more emotional than video. It lets you convey so much more than words. Facial expressions show people your excitement, tone of voice tells a compelling story, and sometimes music alone can get people fired up about your product. Like this one we produced for BMW of Freehold.

Look for different ways to leverage this emotional opportunity. If your support team is interacting with customers via email, phone, and support ticketing, use a video to introduce those team members in a new way. You can even create an emotional connection to your product. If you use case studies as part of your marketing mix, try a video case study. Here’s an example from Wilson HCG.

Emotional connections are important because they help people remember you. The goal is to make people feel inspired, delighted, or joyful when they see your content. In remembering you positively, they’re more likely to buy from you, come back as a repeat customer, and even recommend you to someone else. An emotional connection will help you stay memorable and drive more sales your way.

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About the Author: Roshni Hannon
Contact: roshni@madbearproductions.com

Her name means “light” and that is what she is… high energy, bright and fast. And yes… she does run regularly. While we’re not sure what she is running from (perhaps her two young kids) we know she’s covered a ton of ground. She was the Executive Producer for an award winning and number one rated morning show in Tampa for years. And now, she uses her unique blend of organization, storytelling and curiosity to help Mad Bear clients find their stories. Think of her as an architect, a story architect.

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Touch it up? Or make it over?

I have a kitchen table in my house. I love the table. It serves the purpose, but it’s old and kind of ugly (not in an antique way either). It still functions well, but someone decided it wasn’t up-to-date with current trends. Should I stain it? Repaint it? Is this a DIY project? Or should I save my time and just get a new one?

Table Pic

You can think of video much the same way. With all the content you produce, it’s inevitable that some of it may end up out-of-date as well. But that doesn’t mean you have to throw it out and start over. Sometimes all it needs is a quick touch-up. There are also situations that call for a complete makeover, and others that should just be left alone.

Leave it Alone:

Evergreen How-to Content: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Evergreen content is called that for a reason; if it’s still teaching a valuable lesson, leave it alone.

When to Touch-up/Refresh:

Culture videos: Has your team changed? If you’re interviewing a specific person in a culture video that no longer works at the company, consider replacing just their snippet with a new interviewee or shot.

Product videos: Do you use screenshots or clips of your product in your demo videos? If so, make sure they are up to date because products are always changing!

Research: New research comes out all the time, but that doesn’t mean you have to scrap last quarter’s video just because some updated research has come to light. You can always update one stat or add a stat in. This even works if the video is a motion graphic.

Testimonials: Sometimes your biggest advocate leaves the company they were working for and their testimonial is no longer as impactful, since … well, they don’t work for that company any more. As long as your customer team has been doing a great job of re-building relationships at that company, consider updating the speaker in your testimonial video. You can even do this while keeping most of the messaging the same.

Blog videos: Has a method or concept changed since you last published on that topic? You don’t necessarily have to update the entire video, but you could add updates throughout the clip with text annotations or a even a quick filmed update at the beginning or end.

Webinars: If your webinars are posted chronologically, chances are no one’s watching your hour-long webinar from 2013. Try updating it or even re-purposing it by cutting it into smaller pieces and adding it to a new blog post.

When it’s time for a makeover.

Home Page Video: This is the video that sits front and center. Unless there is a mistake or your tagline needs updating, you should simply create a new one. Change on a home page can be a great way to re-engage visitors and catch people’s attention.

Rebranded Video Content: If you’re going through an entire rebrand, an update to video content probably just isn’t going to cut it. Chances are you’ll need to start from scratch, and it will probably be a more efficient use of everyone’s time.

So how do you know it’s time to refresh your content?

When you’re wearing low-rise and everyone else is in skinny jeans, then you know it’s time for an update. When you’re talking about video it’s different. But with a good system of checks and balances you’ll be ahead of your content, before it becomes too outdated.

Keep Products Site Videos Updated: If you have any big changes in the company like a large number of new hires or layoffs, product launches or product updates you’ll likely need some refreshed content. For smaller changes keep a spreadsheet or a checklist with all the pages on your website and the videos on each page and the date they were made. Make note of those that might need a refresh and ensure your video team is aware of it.

Keep Content Marketing Videos Updated: A quick way to keep track of all video blogs is to use a specific tag or filter. Written blog posts require a bit more work. You would have to set up a personal system to remind yourself to update dated material. Remember even adding a quick update to a blog post can bring it back as up-to-date. Or you can always completely rewrite the post.

Alas, the table – much like some of your content- has legs to stand on and passes the test for a touch-up. Now.. that pool cage with the holes in it.. that’s a different story.

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About the Author: Roshni Hannon
Contact: roshni@madbearproductions.com

Her name means “light” and that is what she is… high energy, bright and fast. And yes… she does run regularly. While we’re not sure what she is running from (perhaps her two young kids) we know she’s covered a ton of ground. She was the Executive Producer for an award winning and number one rated morning show in Tampa for years. And now, she uses her unique blend of organization, storytelling and curiosity to help Mad Bear clients find their stories. Think of her as an architect, a story architect.

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Turning Content into Interactive Connectivity

What do we want?

Engagement!

When do you want it?

NOW!

Interactive video is a perfect opportunity to provide customers with a dynamic experience when learning about a product, service, brand, idea, concept, etc… It’s like a custom-tailored suit. By enabling them to shape the way they consume your content, you can offer a more personal interaction with your brand and get them the most relevant information faster. Plus, you get something in the process.

Here are a few ways to make your video more fun, engaging and … interactive.

Interactive Video PicClickable Content: Fundamentally, clickable video is any sort of online video that the user can interact with by clicking on it. That can be in the form of video overlays which allow you to display ads/ text without interrupting the content being watched. Different platforms offer different examples of this. Here is one from Wistia where we encouraged people to learn more about our TEAM:



 Cards and annotations with YouTube are a simple way to get people to click on           additional videos, links to your website, products and merchandise, and more.  Cards have some advantages over annotations, like being optimized for mobile and higher click-through rates, but both can be useful. Cards and Annotations are a way to add interactive commentary, including links to your YouTube videos and beyond. See the use of a “Poll” in the video below.


 

360 Video: 360 video is pretty much just that. Only it’s so much more. It’s created with a camera system that simultaneously records all 360 degrees of a scene. Viewers can pan and rotate a 360 video’s perspective to watch it from different angles. The net effect is a deeper level of immersion into the video. When you strap on some virtual reality goggles/headset… the experience goes to the next level, however, 360 video is viewable on computers, iOS devices and Android devices. If you watch on your computer make sure you’re using the latest version of your web browser (ex. Chrome, Firefox). Google created Google Cardboard which would give you a Virtual Reality-esque experience.  The Australian Tourism Board created this 360 video of Rottnest Island. Click and experience it for yourself.

360 video

Tourism done right. The Australian Tourism Board gives viewers a 360 video experience. Click and take a tour.


 

Email Opt ins / Call to Action Buttons: These interactive videos contain social buttons and forms inside the video. They can include email opt in forms (like the video below), buttons (including “buy now” buttons), redirect actions, embedded html, hyperlink text, and more.)  While CTAs are great for generating leads, they can also help contribute to a different goal: growing your email list.

 

Interactive videos give viewers the opportunity to determine how their viewing experience unfolds. In fact, there are some brands that create multiple endings to a video and allow the viewer to select the ending they want to watch. Regardless of your tactics, the more that you can drive engagement, the better the result will be for your brand.

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About the Author: Roshni Hannon
Contact: roshni@madbearproductions.com

Her name means “light” and that is what she is… high energy, bright and fast. And yes… she does run regularly. While we’re not sure what she is running from (perhaps her two young kids) we know she’s covered a ton of ground. She was the Executive Producer for an award winning and number one rated morning show in Tampa for years. And now, she uses her unique blend of organization, storytelling and curiosity to help Mad Bear clients find their stories. Think of her as an architect, a story architect.

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How long should my video be?

You’ve probably heard people joke about human beings having a shorter attention span than goldfish, sadly it’s kind of true. If your content doesn’t capture a viewer’s interest in the right amount of time, they’ll move on to something else. We have to hold our audience very tight and not let them even think about moving, not even a tiny little inch (or pixel) from our content.

Video too long

In one of Wistia’s video lengths analytics, it’s clear shorter videos are better for getting people to watch the whole thing. Also, if you go to your YouTube accounts dashboard you will find an option to view your videos analytics. Their research supports the idea that  shorter videos produce a more engaged audience. That said, not all videos are created equal and you can’t always live by a one size fits all rule.

Length Matters

TV Commercials are generally 30 seconds in length. When they first came out, the spots were very expensive. So advertisers shortened their ads and that’s one of the main reasons why most commercials today are very short. And generally speaking that length works very well with human attention span.

Online Video Content Length is an important factor to consider when creating online video content. Viewers will only stick with your video for so long, but the optimal video length tends to vary depending on the purpose of your content.  There are so many different rules when it comes to the length of online marketing videos, it’s difficult to come up with a steadfast strategy. For example, we are in the middle of a campaign right now where we are dealing with videos that are between two to three-and-a-half minutes. THAT’S LONG. The completion rate is VERY low… uh oh.. you might think, BUT what we are finding is that within 20 seconds a higher than normal percentage of people are clicking the “learn more” link and as a result we are driving traffic early on in the video. Driving traffic is the goal, so the full length of the video does not even matter as long as the call to action is taken by the viewer.

With that said keep in mind that when it comes to snack-able video content, shorter is better.

Our "Brands We Love" social media campaign

Our “Brands We Love” social media campaign. Click and watch!

 

Crowdfunding Videos are meant to create credibility around the project, so there is       usually a “talking head” involved. And it’s usually the founder or inventor speaking about the product, and another part of showing the product and how it works. These videos can be a bit longer than commercials. The audience is looking to learn more. Think of this one as the Goldilocks of videos. One minute videos are usually too short. Five-minutes is too long. Two to three minutes is just right.

Crowdfunding Campaign

One of our crowdfunding campaigns for Trakbelt360. Click and watch.

Testimonials are informative, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be creative. You    want to show your customers and/or employees talking about your product or business. Keep in mind the audience watching this wants to learn more, so it’s more about listening than watching. While longer form testimonials aren’t terrible, if you’re going to use them for marketing purposes you wouldn’t want the video to last more than two minutes.

Our client testimonial for Wilson HCG. Click and watch!

Our client testimonial for Wilson HCG. Click and watch!

Campaigns/ Brand Videos The rule here is quite simple. In fact you can equate it to a rule of writing. Your copy can never be too long, it can only be too boring. The minute you stop being engaging, you’re going too long. So for these videos — make them as long as it takes to get the point across.

Our branding video for Italio. Click and watch!

Our branding video for Italio. Click and watch!

That’s all for now. Best of luck with your video production. It can all seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Allow the Mad Bear team to help. Start by clicking here.

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About the Author: Roshni Hannon
Contact: roshni@madbearproductions.com

Her name means “light” and that is what she is… high energy, bright and fast. And yes… she does run regularly. While we’re not sure what she is running from (perhaps her two young kids) we know she’s covered a ton of ground. She was the Executive Producer for an award winning and number one rated morning show in Tampa for years. And now, she uses her unique blend of organization, storytelling and curiosity to help Mad Bear clients find their stories. Think of her as an architect, a story architect.

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