This is the replay of the Video Creation and Marketing Training webinar we ran.
There’s a hidden truth about video. Before we get into that, let’s just recap about the things you’ve likely heard over and over again.
- Video sells.
- Video works.
- Video is exploding.
Yawn. Seriously. Yawn.
Could that be any more boring?
Doesn’t it make YOU yawn?
I mean, isn’t it self evident? But I can practically guarantee that you’re hearing this almost every week.
If you don’t already know this about video, where have you been? Even the least observant must have noticed that every man and his dog is talking about video’s importance.
It’s boring because it’s obvious – but it’s only obvious to those who pay attention.
But I want you to ask yourself a simple question.
Why is video still considered so difficult and powerful?
The reason video is considered difficult is that most people don’t want to learn how to make it. Most people like the idea of using video, but they hate the work involved in creating it.
Content is king.
You heard that, right? Well what you might not have heard is that creativity in content is *truly* king. You can put out junk content and you’ll get junk results.
Content is king? Yes, but only if your creativity is up to the job!
Boring content is still boring!
The reality is that many people simply won’t put in the time and effort to learn to be creative. Shock, horror! Many people are lazy! Who’d have thought that?
One of the reasons so few people make it in Hollywood (or any creative industry – ANY) is that the average person thinks creativity is born, not made. But that’s simply not true.
Everyone can learn to be creative if they’re willing to put in the work to learn techniques, ideas and structures.
It’s why you’ll find “cliff-hangers” at the end of every soap episode, for example. It works.
That’s not creative – that’s plain common sense.
So we know that video works, it produces results, it helps you sell yada yada yada.
Why is that useful to you? It’s useful because most people still don’t know it, believe it and utilize it. If you can step out of your own way just long enough to take some action, you can put yourself so far ahead of the crowd you’ll look like a seasoned pro.
Use video in your online efforts. It works and it will work for you if you use it.
But there is one thing that should be an open secret – there have been enough lawsuits about it – that everyone should be paying attention.
Astonishingly, most people are not paying attention.
LIVE. STREAMING. EVENTS
It’s an open secret that is, frankly, breathtakingly simple.
Let me explain it this way for you.
Google pretty much owns the search engine space.
Some people even think Google IS the internet! My father in law talks about “going on Google” when he means surfing the internet.
Do you think Google might be tempted to use their huge influence to favor their own websites in their own search engines?
Many legal teams think so and have brought legal action against Google for that very reason.
What if I told you that Google currently has a particular way of pushing their own website to the top of the results pages? And supposing there is currently a nice little way of using Google’s own actions for YOUR benefit?
Does that sound like something you might find useful?
In the very near future we’re going to announce a way to take full advantage of that little “loophole” with a couple of clicks. But right now let me tell you how you can do it manually.
Set up a live streaming event in a Youtube channel. Choose your keywords for the event carefully. For the event itself stream a recorded video that pushes people to your website to optin, make a purchase, add comments – whatever call to action you decide is right for you.
Then sit back, enjoy the boost Google gives you in the search engines, rinse and repeat.
Right now video is hot, hot, hot. And live streaming video is even hotter. It has the immediacy and apparent importance of a fax. If you’re old enough to remember that offices stopped what they were doing when a fax came in, you’ll know exactly what I mean. When email first came out, people did the same with that. Then when SMS/text messages came out, people stopped when they heard a notification ping. Many still do!
If you’re too young to remember what a paradigm shift those things were, you’ll struggle to see the significance.
Here’s the significance: Whatever is currently the hottest, immediate form of engagement with your audience tends to command search engine results pages.
The time to strike is now.
We’ll have more to say about this over the next week or two including how you can leverage webinars into the mix.
There has never been a better time to engage with your users using low cost services.
There will likely never be a better time again.
If you’re not already using video, you’re already behind your competition.
How long you stay behind is up to you.
Embrace the video revolution, even if you’re scared.
Here’s another secret for you: nearly all video producers are scared, even the big Hollywood guys!
Why should it be any different for you?
Being scared has never stopped anyone from achieving great results, unless they allowed it to.
Be bold, be creative, be proactive.
Keep reading for more on this soon!
p.s. Since we started using videos on sales page and affiliate promotion pages, we’ve seen revenues rise time after time after time. Sometimes, all the hype you hear is justified!
We decided to give our newsletter subscribers a gift. If you’re not yet a subscriber, read on anyway!
We talked about the importance of seasonality in a recent blog post. It’s something that happens every year, over and over.
We’ve also talked about how video can improve your sales.
What better time of year to use video than now?
Most viewed videos are under 2 minutes in length. People have short attention spans and want instant gratification. Especially at this time of year!
Worse than that, you have only a few seconds to get the attention of your viewer even with a short video. If you don’t do that quickly they may never watch your full video.
Add to that fact the fact that videos on landing pages increase conversions (sales or optins) and you have a dilemma.
You need to put a video on your landing pages, but you need to make it short enough not to bore your visitors.
So what do you do?
Well the logical thing is to put a short video on your landing page!
Yes, it’s pretty much that simple. Bear in mind that strangers to your site want information first. When they get to know you, like you and trust you, they may enjoy your personality enough to want to hear more about YOUR story.
But until they, frankly they don’t care.
Your site visitors just want to know what you’re offering them and what you can do for them.
Think of it this way – most TV adverts (usually) have unknown actors who are not part of the business they’re advertising. They’re just actors doing a job.
What does that mean for you? It’s simple. It means you can use generic videos on your landing pages if you want to. You’ll still get a benefit from them in terms of conversions.
Later on when your visitors become your subscribers and then your fans, they’ll want more interaction with you. Until then they don’t even know you, right? And they can’t get to know you until you get them onto your list.
At this time of year you’ll almost certainly get a boost in traffic, no matter what. There’s simply more web traffic and more shopping traffic. People are looking for solutions, gifts….things to spend money on.
Which makes it critical that you make the most of that extra traffic.
It’s a bonus that you shouldn’t waste.
There are certain very popular and big niches that will explode at this time of year and for the next month or two. But there are other, smaller niches which will also experience higher traffic volume.
If you’re unable to make your own videos, how can you take advantage of that traffic? We’ve already told you that videos on your landing page will increase conversions.
You could pay someone to make a video for you. A video specific for you and your website could cost a pretty penny. And it would only work for that website.
You could buy some generic videos that will work in any niche, but you have to be sure that the person making them has legal rights to use any images and music used in the videos.
Either option would normally cost you money – until now.
As our gift to you for reading this far, we’ve sent our subscribers 4 generic videos to use on their sites, asking people to optin. You’ll have to find a report to give them, but you probably should be doing that already anyway.
The 4 versions have an end segment with an arrow that points up, down, left or right. Just use the one that matches where your optin form is on your site. We’re giving you usage rights to these videos, but you can’t disassemble the music or images in them. You have to keep them intact.
Our subscribers you can upload them to Youtube as is. Then can embed them onto their sites. Use them on as many sites as they wish.
We’ve given personal use rights, so videos can’t be given away to anyone, or sold. Personal use only!
But we’ve gone a couple of steps further.
We’ve also made an optin videos for the two top niches coming up at this time of year.
The first is an optin video for weight loss. Just embed it onto your lead generation pages and start persuading your viewers to optin.
The second is for the New Year rush when everyone wants to exercise.
After some considerable discussion we decided we’d allow anyone who visits this blog post to download the videos as well (same usage conditions apply!).
Is there are a catch? Yes, you have to download them before the download link expires! You can use the videos as often as you like, but you have to get them now, while you can.
You have until Dec 7 to download them and keep them safe – no, we won’t store them for you forever! If you want them, download them now and keep them somewhere safe.
Don’t wait until it’s too late and ask for them two weeks from now. Your free opportunity is right now – those who take action will benefit. Those who take no action…well, you already know what happens, right?
Download your gifts from me, Josh and Jon right now!
Many people focus on the wrong thing when producing content. We’ve all done it. When you’re trying to understand the complexities of codecs, file formats, recording formats, audio levels, lighting levels and all the other technical details, it’s easy to get bogged down in the “How”, rather than the “What”.
(Even worse, you might get bogged down only trying to make money rather than sharing quality information!)
The “What” is your content. What you’re actually talking about and covering in the video. The “How” is how you made the video – what equipment and software you’ve used.
In the video below (it’s only 10 minutes long) I cover a couple of examples to show why the “What” of your content is way more important than the “How”. When you’ve finished watching the video please leave a comment – better still let us know about your own videos. We’d love to check them out!
Whatever system you use to create videos, focus on your content first. When you have that part right you’ll be surprised how much user engagement you can get, even with relatively poor video quality. People watch video for the information they’re searching out – at least for the kind of videos we’re talking about in Internet Marketing.
Videos can help to sell products. They can help you to generate more revenue. It’s unlikely that video is going away any time soon – isn’t it time you put the power of video to use in your business?
For those who would prefer to read what I was saying, here’s an approximate transcript. The comments I read out are not transcribed here, but you should get the gist of the entire video:
This first example is a video review of a techy gadget. That’s a popular type of video on Youtube – it doesn’t have to be just physical tech gadgets of course.
You can review software products, digital items, courses, places, events – you name it, there’s probably someone on Youtube wanting to find out more about it. As an affiliate it’s a great way to promote an item with a detailed and ethical review of that item.
This channel – I’m hiding the details because I want to use it as an example rather than homing in on the particular video maker – has a very large number of subscribers. You can see the channel has nearly 200,000 subscribers – clearly they’re doing something right. I’ve watched the video. It’s only 8 and a half minutes long. Near the end is a small amount of sample video footage created with this device.
That’s where the problem comes in. The sample video – which is really what most people would come here to see – does not show that the item is any good.
There is a disconnect between what is being said (“it’s a great gadget for smooth video”) compared to what is being shown. All that does is frustrate people. They come looking for an example of how good this device is because they are thinking of buying it.
They are shown poor quality video samples, but told it produces much better video. If that’s the case, why not show the better quality? Why not take the extra few minutes to add some extra sample footage to this video? Don’t tell me that the steak in the kitchen is better than the one you just served me – give me the good steak! This channel creator definitely puts a lot of work into the videos.
That just means it’s a little odd to cut short what could be a great review for the sake of a small amount of extra work. Ultimately this video fails because it tells us, rather than shows us. Here’s a couple of reactions.
Notice that the channel creator argues back – that’s also interesting because the commenters are telling him how they could improve his content to keep them happy. That’s great feedback, but he seems to take it personally.
Let’s read them …..
When you’re looking for reviews, don’t you want the good and the bad so you can make up your own mind? Don’t you want to see some kind of proof of what is being said? So in this case the lesson is “show, don’t tell”. Some of you might have heard that as one of the basic story telling maxims – and never forget that you’re telling a story in your video, even if it’s a true life story.
Let’s find out why that’s important before we move onto the next video.
Now here’s an interesting one. The actual video isn’t important so much, since it’s just talking about what kind of equipment would be “perfect” for making videos. Since everyone has a different opinion, that argument is going to last forever.
Let’s take a look at the comments though and how this content creator reacts to negative feedback.
Reading comments…. Asking for ideas from the audience. What a concept! But it shows a willingness to engage with the audience and look at the follow up response! Great, right? What’s the lesson here. Well I guess it’s a simple one. So many people feel that they can’t produce quality content without an “if only”.
“If only I had a better camera”
“If only I had a better computer”
“If only I had a better face/speaking voice/accent/age/house/background….fill in your own blank”!!!
The medium – how you deliver the content – is the least important part. A great story is still a great story if it’s printed on a page, turned into a Hollywood movie, or told to someone over a campfire – let’s say!
Don’t focus exclusively on the how of delivering your content.
Focus first, second and third on what that content is – what does it offer the viewer or reader. If you haven’t yet made videos you really should start. And the best place to start is by examining what you want to share with the world. Once you have that right, you’re good to go. Have you made any videos? Why don’t you share them with us? We’d love to see them!
If you’re not yet making and using videos in your online business, you should be. There’s no question that they help to engage your subscribers and customers more effectively.
In this post I want to talk about some simple lessons that will help you make better videos.
Why should you listen to me anyway? Who am I to tell YOU how to improve your videos?
Actually in this case the advice is based on a magazine interview with a big-name director: Guillermo Del Toro.
Before we get into the advice part, let’s consider the fact that all around you are lessons in how to improve your video making. All you have to do is pay close attention to adverts, films, news programs. Look for elements that appear regularly. Examples include
- Is music used? When? What volume? Does the volume change?
- Are on-screen graphics used? When?
- Do images and audio match?
- Is the audio crisp and clear, or is it muffled and awkard to hear? How does that relate to the experience you have watching?
- What techniques are used on shopping channels and infomercials to get you to buy? Do they show price before listing the item features? Why would one channel show price and an informercial leave it as long as possible to show price?
- Are the presenters “known” to the audience, or total strangers? How does that affect how they have to present their message?
- Are “experts” interviewed by another person, giving conferred authority to the interviewee? When is that technique not used?
It sounds like a lot of work, but it really isn’t. If you look for the techniques and strategies used you’ll see them used time and again. You’ll learn to spot them a mile away. At that point they become second nature for you.
So what does Guillermo Del Toro have to say?
Interviewed about his love of computer games, Guillermo raised some points that relate directly to the user experience.
He’s talking about video games, but video is video, so let me quote his points and then draw the lessons from them.
I hate bad voice actors…I can’t stand it.
Now of course you may not like the sound of your own voice – most people don’t when they hear it recorded. The real issue is surprising. Poor quality audio quite simply makes the video look worse! It’s not intuitive at all, but good quality audio makes a video look better. Sound affects the viewer perception of the image.
Weird, right? But for as little as $40-$60 you can make sure your audio is crisp, clean, clear and convincing.
So rule #1 is make sure you sound good, to look good (even if you’re not on camera yourself).
If you’ve ever watched a Youtube video with poor quality sound, you’ll know how annoying it can be even if the video itself is great. So pay attention to sound for better visuals.
Rule #1a is sound effects and music can enhance the quality of your audio enormously.
Pick the right “feel” of music and you’re more than halfway home.
Of course you have to be careful to make sure you have the rights to use music you choose. You can’t just download the latest hit from the internet and do what you like with it. You have to use music that gives you permission to use it in your videos.
Make sure you always check your usage rights in all assets, whether visual or audio.
What’s the second thing Guillermo talks about?
I hate cutscenes. I like gaming (the visual). I don’t want you to cut away and show me a junky little film in the middle.
Wow, this one takes a bit more dissecting. Remember he’s talking about gaming and I’m talking about video making. But let’s examine what he means.
As you watch a video there comes a point (hopefully, if you’ve done your job right) where your viewer is immersed in what you are saying and showing.
They are “in” the video. If you have some kind of visual disconnect within your video, you spoil the experience for your audience. Think of adverts in the middle of your favorite show, just at the good bit. They cut to commercial.
Does that please you? Or does it frustrate you that you have to wait for the resolution to the cliffhanger you just saw? For most people that enforced cut is not what they want. It’s a nuisance.
So the lesson here is to avoid having a cognitive disconnect with your audience. Stay on message and do not jerk your audience out of the narrative structure that you’re trying to create.
We’re aiming for a smooth journey (99% of the time – there are exceptions) from point A to point Z. Whether that’s establishing the need for your product to the purchase point, or training how to boot up software to using it, the flow should be logical.
Nobody likes traffic jams, right? A disconnect in your video message is like a traffic jam. Unwelcome.
Disruption is powerful, but it needs to be handled carefully. Unless you know your particular video requires it, don’t break the viewer’s concentration. Don’t drop a stupid little segment into the middle of an otherwise great experience for your viewers.
An example of that is the mid-stream ads you sometimes see on Youtube channel. Just as you’re getting to a point you want to pay attention to, boom, a break and an advert. Thanks, Youtube – not!
These are just two points to pay attention to when you’re making videos. There are many more besides these, but these are pretty key points.
Keep the audio crisp and clear. Your video will look better!
Keep to the point. Your audience’s attention won’t wander away!
You don’t have to use video for everything. I haven’t made a video for this post, for example. In my case it’s because it would be difficult to make good audio today – I have construction work right outside my home and the audio would be terrible. It’s likely to be another week before that’s finished.
But when you do create video – and you should almost certainly create more than you do already – please pay attention to at least these two points. Those alone will put you ahead of the vast majority of amateur video makers.