Overland Park Video Marketing

Small business video marketing is a huge opportunity. Here in Overland Park, and the rest of the Kansas City area, very few small businesses are taking advantage of video marketing. Lets explore why you should include video marketing in your marketing mix, how you can create your own videos, and finally, some different types of videos you can easily create for your business.

Why do video marketing?

The traditional forms of marketing aren’t working as well as they used to. Yellow Pages, direct mail coupons, and newspaper advertising are incredibly expensive and often, 1 time events. Buyers these days are more mobile and more connected with each other. They’re actively search for solutions and referrals.

Videos are perpetual promotion machines. They’re accessible 24x7x365. More importantly, they can be “optimized” for search engine traffic. YouTube is the second largest search engine behind Google? In fact, Google places high ranking videos into their search results automatically. Getting a video to rank well in YouTube will help you rank well on Google.

And it can’t be overlooked, videos are easily shared on smartphones, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

Video marketing isn’t about perfection; it’s about connection. Video compresses sales cycle times because people do business with people they know, like, and trust. The goal for your small business video is to establish that connection. You do this by being authentic and making sure people can see your eyes and smile. With this connection, you’ll develop permission to market, communicate, and eventually, get them into your sales funnel.

How can I create videos for my small business?

There are two ways to create videos for your small business: you can create them yourself or you can hire someone to help you with it. Lets explore both solutions.

Videography tools are much simpler these days. I suggest starting out with a Kodak Playtouch or even your iPhone. Both of these devices take “good enough” video for the web. More importantly, you can add external microphones to them to improve your audio. Most people don’t realize that the audio quality is actually more important than the video quality of their production. Inexpensive lavalier microphones will do the trick here. Make sure you have plenty of light and always use a tripod to make sure your video is steady.

After shooting, you’ll want to edit the video. Use Windows Movie Maker on the PC or iMovie on a Mac. These are good enough to get you started. Trim the ends of the video, cut out any mistakes, and go easy on transitions. Just because the software does all this fancy stuff doesn’t mean you have to use it. Keep your videos simple.

Finally, you’ll want to post your video to YouTube. Yes, there are other video services like Blip.tv or Vimeo but make no mistake, YouTube is generating upwards of 55% of all web video. This is where your videos need to be and it’ll help you get better rankings with Google.

If all this sounds a little too confusing, you may consider working with someone to help you. Yes, you can use your high school neighbor but you’ll get better results with someone that has the right equipment and knowledge.

For example, before shooting anything, align your videos to your sales process. Mix keyword research into your planning to improve video SEO (search engine optimization). Add graphics, additional video footage, and have a clear call to action for each video. Finally, use legitimate marketing strategies to promote your videos on YouTube.

Different types of small business videos

Here are 7 different types of videos that you can create for your business:

  1. Elevator speech – create a 30-second elevator speech that introduces you and your company. Add this video in the footer of your email. When following up with new leads, include this video in your email to make your message stand out.
  2. Video Product Demo – create videos for each of your different products and services. Explain the benefits and have a strong call to action for each video. Zappo’s Shoes discovered that simple product videos increased sales by 30% over product pages without a video.
  3. Educational – create videos that educate your target market. How-to videos are some of the most popular videos on the web. By creating videos that truly educate, without going into heavy “sales” mode, positions you as an expert. Share your knowledge.
  4. Frequently Asked Questions – create a series of videos that answers some of your most frequently asked questions. Use your videos as a virtual customer support tool. Demonstrate how to use, setup, or configure your product. Develop ongoing videos to help your users get the most out of your product or service and increase its value.
  5. Social Media Specials – create really short videos that are optimized for mobile playback and social networks like Twitter and Facebook. Promote a daily incentive for immediate action. Keep these fun, time-bound, and with a strong call to action. Measure the results and see which video promotions are most effective.
  6. Training – create videos for your employees, agents, contractors, or down-line. Better leverage your time by creating a series of how-to videos that goes over your sales process, internal systems, or new hire process. Provide videos for performance support.
  7. Testimonials – create videos from your customers giving testimonials of your work. Even show videos of your external newsworthy events, mentions, or appearances. Develop a library of “social proof” videos that you can share with others to make them feel more comfortable with doing business with you.

Whew, we’ve covered a lot here! These days video marketing is easily incorporated into your existing marketing mix. It’s a great tool that works around the clock for you and allows you to connect with buyers like no other tool. I hope this article helps you get started. And of course if you have questions, leave a comment below or feel free to contact me. Either way, I’ll help out so your business can be successful with video marketing.

The iPhone and Sony UWP Wireless Microphone

The iPhone accepts wireless microphones if you use a kVConnection cable. In this video, I demonstrate the iPhone 4 along with the Sony UWP-V1[aff] wireless microphone. I think you’ll notice exceptional voice quality.

Now that I’ve been using this mic setup for a few months, I’m really impressed with it. I use it in my home office and outside and get perfect results every time. The mic has 2 parts. The transmitter has a small wired lav microphone that clips to your shirt. You can run the wire underneath your shirt and plug it into the transmitter. I clip the transmitter onto my back pocket or belt. The receiver is a tad larger and attaches to a camera cold shoe connector. If I use with my iPhone, I just attach it to the tripod. I plug the receivers audio out to the kVConnection cable and that plugs into my iPhone.

I will say though, the UWP-V1[aff] isn’t cheap. It’s around $500 on Amazon. But if you’re looking for a great mic, I highly recommend it. The demonstration speaks for itself.

*** Updated 1/11/12 with transcript ***

Hey, everybody. This is Scott. If you’ve followed my stuff for any length of time, you know I’m always on the lookout for that perfect audio solution. We all know that if we’re going to have the best possible video we have to have good audio. The way we make audio work with our iPhone 4 is with the KV connection cable so you can plug in an external microphone.

I think I’ve finally found that perfect external microphone. I’m using a professional Sony system right now. This is the Lavalier mike. It’s all metal, it’s high quality, great frequencies, UHF wireless mike. I think you’d have to agree that the audio quality is exquisite. It’s perfect. It sounds really, really good. You know how far away I’ve been from the camera. I’ve got to tell you, I really think this is it.

If you’re looking for a great solution to your iPhone 4 video, I found it. I think you will, too. Definitely check out the Sony set-up.

Do me a favor. If you like this stuff, subscribe up above if we’re on YouTube, or feel free to share this with your friends. Make a comment below if we’re on YouTube. I’d love to hear from you. Let me know what you think.

Until next time, I’m Scott. Take care. Bye-bye.

iPhone 4S vs. Canon T3i Video Comparison

I shoot a lot of video with my iPhone. But how does it really compare to a higher-end camera? In this comparison, I show the exact same video on an iPhone 4S and a Canon T3i.

Now since having shot this, I found I can remotely focus the T3i by using a remote. This autofocuses the camera and takes a quick picture. But then you can remotely turn on the video and have a sharp video picture.

What is important is that the iPhone does remarkably well. If I were just shooting web video for myself, I think I could just use an iPhone. I mean why have the added expense of a separate camera and lenses? It is nice have a flip-around LCD panel so you can see yourself though.

I don’t know. What do you think? Is the iPhone video good enough?

iPhone 4S video comparison

The new iPhone 4S is a worthy upgrade to the original iPhone 4. But how do the video cameras compare?

In this video, I’ve synchronized the exact same footage between the two phones so you can see the side-by-side differences.

Did you notice the color differences and the sharpness? The new iPhone has a larger aperture setting so it lets in more light. In the video, you’ll clearly notice it’s wider angle lens. The original iPhone 4 video is much larger even thought the cameras were literally placed side-by-side on a tripod when I shot these.

I think the major difference is the 1080p in the 4S vs. the 720p resolution of the iPhone 4. I know that’s technical speak but what it means for you and me is that the picture is larger and sharper.

I’ve found the new iPhone 4S to be an exceptional video camera–one worthy of producing business quality videos for the web. In fact, I think it’s such a good camera, I’m developing a course around using the iPhone to produce these types of videos over at iPhone Video Secrets.

If you want to produce better videos using your iPhone, you’ll want to check it out. I’ll be covering all the necessary equipment to produce the best possible video, the software required, and even share different types of business videos you can create with your iPhone.

The iPhone 4S is a game changer for small business videos. You no longer need an entire video production ensamble. You just need your iPhone and the know how to shoot the best possible videos.

TechSmith ScreenChamp Entry

I really do believe screencasting is so much more than just software tutorials. This entry into TechSmith’s ScreenChamp contest is targeted for the “Industry” category and specifically the screencasting industry!

I don’t expect to win because it’s not a “traditional” screencast of my monitor. However, I hope to inspire other screencasters to think beyond software tutorials. I also hope developers like TechSmith and Telestream think bigger too. Screencasting tools can do so much more because they empower all of us to communicate more effectively. Now it’s up to us to apply it.

Transcript follows:

Screencasting is a new form of communications. It’s not just for software tutorials. It’s about crafting our physical & digital worlds into clear, succinct, visual messages.

As much as the Gutenberg Press helped spread religion across the world, screencasting empowers each of us to reach, teach, and inspire. It enables us to share our knowledge, anytime, anywhere, to anyone. Subject matter experts are everywhere. Today, we’re all knowledge workers. Screencasting is about sharing today’s tribal knowledge in a digital world.

We’re all familiar with how traditional screencasting tools allow us to record our computer monitors. Now tools like Coach’s Eye enables us to provide real-time performance critiques, along with mark-ups, on our smartphone video. ScreenChomp turns our tablets into narrated, shareable, whiteboards. Mobile devices are ubiquitous and the norm for communicating but they’re truly the future for learning and performance support.

Developers, I’m begging you, give us even more. Help us turn our mobile devices into real-time, on location authoring tools so we can create rapid, relevant solutions!

We’ve seen how Google can tell an emotional story with a screencast. Kahn Academy is teaching children worldwide with simple, yet effective, screencasts. As Sir Ken Robinson talks about it in his landmark TED Talk, I’m asking, in what other creative ways can we apply screencasting?

How can we retrain our workforce and put America back to work? How can we provide more healthcare education? How can we teach remote villages to be self-sustainable and grow more food? Or drill for fresh water? Or even overthrow oppressive governments? How can we reach, teach, and inspire our future generations?

Screencasting is a new form of communications not because it creates a software tutorial but because it empowers each one of us to create a message that can make a difference.

Time lapse video – Speechless

While catching up on my RSS feeds this morning, Gizmodo had this post. Watch this.

Landscapes: Volume Two from Dustin Farrell on Vimeo.

The photographer is Dustin Farrell and he shot this with a Canon 5D2 DSLR. Mr. Farrell, bravo!

Amazon Kindle Fire Video

I watched Amazon’s Kindle Fire video in awe. Yes, I think the Fire is an intriguing new device but it was the video that caught my eye!

Differentiate your video marketing

These are your typical “talking head” type of videos. I like how they had multiple speakers, at different angles, and different focal points. The background is cleaver too. I like the tan backdrop with the backlight behind the speaker. It provides a nice gradient effect. But what I think stole the show were the special effect drawings illustrating the talking points of each speaker.

I produce a lot of talking head types of videos because they’re less expensive to produce and they allow the speaker to connect with the viewer. These types of special effects can really transform a regular talking head video into something really special though. However, I know it’s not for everyone. And lets face it, few small businesses around Overland Park have the budget of Amazon. But when you’re planning your video, think about ways to differentiate your video marketing and illustrate your talking points to make your video marketing more effective and memorable.

Shoot Better iPhone Video

On the private Video Traffic Academy Facebook page, there’s a discussion about using different pocket digital camcorders. Lots of people use the various Kodak units but I mentioned that I’m using my iPhone for more and more video. And it seems I’m not alone. I put together a quick video that I initially had as unlisted but I thought I’d share it with everyone since so many others found it helpful. In it, I share some of the tools I’m using to help create my videos.

Here are the links to the various products I talk about in the video:
kVConnection cable – this is the must have accessory to get quality audio into your iPhone while shooting.
Barska Accu-grip [aff] – this is a handheld pistol style grip for holding your iPhone.
XShot case & camera extender [aff] – This is my everyday case and it makes attaching my iPhone to a tripod, be it the XShot camera extender or a regular tripod, a piece of cake.
Sony ECM-AW3 Bluetooth Wireless Mics [aff] – This is an extremely light weight wireless mic system.
Sony UWP-V1 [aff] – This is a professional grade wireless mic setup and has the price to go with it.

In doing some research for this post, I came across another resource that I thought I’d share. Tom Martin has several great posts on creating iPhone video including: iPhone video blogging tips, iPhone video tools, and Making better iPhone videos w/lighting.

What tips would you share for making better iPhone videos?

*** Updated 1/11/12 with transcript ***

Hey, everybody. Scott Skibell. There’s been a lot of talk on Video Traffic Academy about using your iPhone as your video camera. I wanted to show you the set up that I use to put together quick videos just by using my iPhone.

The first thing you have to do is make sure you have a kV Connection cable. What this cable will do is plug into the headphone jack. This enables your iPhone 4 to plug in external microphones so that you get better audio with your iPhone 4 video.

The microphone I’m using a lot more these days is the Sony Bluetooth Wireless Microphone. What I like about this setup is that if you take a look at it, it plugs in like this, so now we’ve got our camera and our Bluetooth receiver. I now have a wireless microphone setup.

This is the transmitter. I’m not crazy about it because it’s so big. Here’s what I do to make it a little bit more inconspicuous. I put it on the inside of my shirt. When I show you the difference in the quality of the audio, I think you’re going to be pretty impressed.

When you need to shoot yourself, I’m using the XShot Camera Extender. This allows me to take my iPhone and move it further away from me. What I really like about this is because it’s so small and it’s so portable, I can hold my iPhone and speak to it. This is great, and you’re going to see just how small it is.

The other thing that’s really nice about this is that it comes with two little tripod adapters that I can slide into my case. When I’m shooting people out in the field, when I’m shooting clients or I just need to do a quick video, and that happens all the time, I can put my iPhone onto this really small little adapter. Now I’ve got a way to hold my iPhone. I can hold my hands, bring in my elbows, hold it close to my body, and I can shoot my video just like this.

What a better way to demonstrate how all this works than to actually show you iPhone 4 video with the microphone, so you can actually see it and compare it to the Kodak Zi8.

Here’s an example shot with the iPhone 4. What I like about this is that it’s so small and portable. Here’s my wireless Bluetooth microphone. If I’m out in the field I can shoot clients with the little pistol grip right here or my XShot Camera Extender. We’ve got everything set up the exact same way. I did change the lighting because the lenses are a little bit different.

I think you’re going to find this to be a great solution. Don’t hesitate to use your iPhone or your Android device, whichever one you prefer.

In the meantime, I hope you found this helpful. I’m Scott. Take care. Bye-bye.

Improve iPhone Audio with Fostex AR-4i Microphone

Improve your iPhone videos by improving your audio quality. The Fostex AR-4i helps you capture better audio while shooting video with your iPhone 4.

I like to shoot a lot of iPhone 4 video and I think it can be the perfect way to create to create small business videos. One thing lacking, and it’ll ruin your credibility, is the poor audio quality of your videos because you’re using the on-board mic of the iPhone. You can improve the quality and credibility of your videos simply by improving your audio quality. The new Fostex AR-4i helps you capture that better audio.

The AR-4i is a sled you slide your iPhone 4 into. It has 2, directional microphones attached to it. More importantly, it has a gain control so you can increase the sensitivity of the mics. An added touch are the level LED lights so you can visually monitor the audio strength. The sled makes your iPhone feel like a quality point-and-shoot camera. This heft actually helps you hold and keep your camera still.

In addition, the sled adds a cold shoe for a battery operated light, a headphone jack with volume control so you can monitor the audio, and screw holes compatible with tripod heads.

In the above video, you’ll definitely notice that the Fostex AR-4i improved the original audio quality. I think this setup would be great for doing interviews, customer testimonials, or quick self-videos. Remember though, as you place the mic further way from your subject, you’ll pick-up what’s called “white noise” or “room noise.” Like I show in the video, this light hiss can be quickly corrected while editing your video if your editor has a noise filter.

I find the Fostex AR-4i to be an interesting accessory and it’ll definitely improve your audio quality. The Fostex AR-4i is available from Amazon for $149. [aff]

YouTube Statistics

Here’s a great video from Video Traffic Academy on some of the latest YouTube statistics. You can see incredible growth for online video. Now granted, not all of it is good, but these stats are profound nonetheless.