Roughly once a month we invite local experts to share their thoughts on marketing for local businesses. In November, Paul Sherland of IX Brand SEO, Will Scott of SearchInfluence, Don Campbell of GetFivestars and Tim Tevlin of Videoposts joined Mary Bowling & Mike Blumenthal. Unfortunately, due to Google complexities and our technical missteps, this Hangout did not stream in real-time and Tim was late to arrive at the event. Apologies and technical issues aside, you will find great ideas and tactics on using videos for the small business from both the agency and the small business perspective.
Mike: This is our hangout on here; we will run it today live and then republish it on our blog next week.
So joining me today as Will Scott from Search Influence, Mary Bowling from Ignitor Digital, Don Campbell from GetFiveStars, Paul Sherland from…what is the name of your company, Paul?
Paul: IX Brand SEO.
Mike: IX Brand SEO, thank you. And hopefully Tim Tevlin will join us. So why don’t each of you take a quick moment just to introduce yourself? And if you would, give us the elevator speech on how you might suggest using video in a small business. So start with you, Will.
Will: Okay. I am Will Scott, I run a New Orleans-based national online marketing company. We, today, work with around 1,000 small businesses customers. Most of whom have some element of videos in their online marketing programs.
In our view there is a ton of great ways to use video. We like to have something in video, even if it’s a little slide show introduction thing. Just because it at least allows us to touch that Google channel. And my director of R&D, when she is wearing her tinfoil hat, believes that the more Google products you use, the better they will rank you.
Mike: Paul, how about you go next?
Paul: My name is Paul Sherland and I have got a small digital marketing agency in suburban Huston in Sugar Land, Texas. I use video as the foundation of a content strategy, of the content strategy for my clients. My clients are all small businesses, mostly service businesses, and we use video to basically power everything: social media, new web pages, blog posts, and of course video going to YouTube and Vimeo. So it’s the underpinning, it’s the, as I say, the foundation of what I do.
Mike: Mary, a brief introduction and how you see video being used?
Mary: Mary Bowling, Ignitor Digital and Local U. And I have more questions than answers about video. I have done video from an SEO point of view; I have not really used it very much to promote small businesses, so I am here to learn from you gentlemen today.
Mike: Don, we are to you.
Don: All right. My name is Don Campbell, I’m President of Expand2Web and cofounder of GetFiveStars, which is where all my focus is right now for helping businesses have better communications with their customers and get that customer feedback and testimonials and online reviews.
My story with video is when I left corporate America to start my own company, one of the things I discovered quickly is that I really am not good at sales, I wasn’t very good at it. And the reason video is interesting to me is that what sort of emerged for me on my blog…I started blogging and I went to a lot of conferences and met a lot of interesting folks, like Mike and Mary and Will and many others. It helped me a lot.
As I did my research and did my learning and I started helping clients with local business issues and websites, I just started blogging and creating videos about all the stuff that I was learning. And it turned into this amazing opportunity for me. So these videos, I published over 100 of them on YouTube and on my blog, and it became basically the way that people found me.
So that’s why I think the potential for video for a small business owner is huge, because it worked for me. And there is some basic things that you can do, without being a super professional like Hollywood production, just some basic things you can do to make some videos where you can really educate your audience and give them some knowledge that’s helpful to them and build somewhat of a relationship. So by the time they contact you, they already know something about you, they feel like they have learned from you already. This is just an area that I see small business owners are not taking advantage of and I think it’s a huge opportunity.
Will: I just had a product-development epiphany for you, Don.
Will: You guys have probably already thought about this. But when I think about the next steps of GetFiveStars and how it walks them through sort of the NPS, one through ten scoring system. You are shaking your finger. You’re muted, Mike.
Mike: Zero through ten. I’m saying that on behalf of Paul.
Will: Okay. Well, that’s good.
Don: Thank you, by the way, Paul.
Will: If they want to rate something a zero someday. But because of how much I love video testimonials in the small business context, that would be just a brilliant add-on. You are going to do that, right?
Mike: It’s on our list. We have it on our to-do list.
Don: So, Will, do you think people will just take videos and send…yeah, we are thinking about it and there is all these logistics, I love the idea. We are just trying to figure out will people really take a video on their phone and pick it up and do it right there, and then how do I review those and make sure that they are good videos, things like that.
Will: I think it’s a demographically sort of segmented response.
Will: There was this guy who spoke at this [Inaudible 00:06:06] conference in [Inaudible 00:06:06]. There was a millennial pundit, if you will. And one of my favorite slides from him is, “For millennials, every day is picture day.” Because it’s a little like “time for a selfie” thing. And to my mind I think that if that is you’re demographic, and I would love to hear Paul’s thought on this. But if that is your demographic, I think you got a much higher likelihood of getting a Vine-style, six-seconds, who I love some doctor, whatever.
Mike: Let me just position the big picture here from my point of view. There is several different video types and each of them probably requires slightly different technology that I think are well within the production capacity of most small businesses and small agencies.
One production type is the video that is an explainer video or pieces together a number of still images. Another type is in Screenflow where you are actually sharing something on your screen and talking over it. A third type is the interview, I do a lot of the interview types and I really enjoy those because I find the interview makes the other side comfortable. And then I think there’s what Paul does, which is the storytelling side of video. And then, as Will points out, the testimonial of video.
Is there other big categories of video content at the highest, highest level you might categorize them at? Paul, why don’t you take a crack at it?
Paul: I think of it is as really two categories. The one category is the high production value, lots of preparation, maybe a script. I would bring a professional videographer in to do something like this. The videographer might shoot for three hours to get a 90-second video, there is that much time put into it. And it’s expensive. But that might be a cornerstone, a home page video to introduce the business. I call those the hero videos.
But what I do is what I call the home videos, which are maybe one take. They are shot at the client’s business usually, and they might often be FAQs where the business owner is answering frequently asked questions from customers. There might be one FAQ question per video, and the videos might only be two or three minutes long. But that two or three minutes translates to 300 to 500 words of keyword-rich content, and that’s a blog post, that’s a web page, and we go from there. Those home videos are really the meat and potatoes of what I do.
Mike: Yeah, I think there is something to be said about the home video in the sense of credibility, believability. There obviously is a point below which you can’t drop, as I have experienced as I’ve recorded a number of Skype videos that the sound quality is critical and obviously sometimes the blurriness becomes a problem if there’s a terrible bandwidth.
What kind of technology do you use, Paul, to just record one of this videos?
Paul: I have a couple of video cameras that are in the $200- to $300- to $400-dollar range, they are not really expensive cameras. And then I use one of these. You can get started with your phone and one of these little springy clips here to put on the phone and then this is a little mini tripod. You have got a camera on a tripod now, and then you need a little connector like this to connect your microphone with your iPhone, but you can get this little microphone here. This is an Audio-Technica, maybe about a $25-dollar microphone, and you are off to the races.
And I have a friend of mine, Mark LaCour, ModalPoint.com, who does video blogging exclusively with his iPhone. He does green-screen effects, he does the whole bit. It’s just amazing, but his camera is this. So can do some tremendous things just with your smartphone.
Mike: How does he mic that? What does he use for audio?
Paul: He uses a wireless mic, but he just uses one of these splitters. It’s got two inputs so can do an interview, but you just need to connect it. It’s basically like this, except the mic is a wireless mic.
Don: Paul, let me ask you. I did some experimenting with that and the weak link I found in that setup was the microphone. I had an inexpensive…for my desk I have got a Rode Podcaster, which gives you some nice sound quality if I am doing a podcast or a screencast, like Mike alluded to earlier where I’m sharing my screen and narrating. But for that kind of video off the phone, I found that the sound quality was a real challenge unless you invest a lot of money in a microphone. Are you getting decent sound quality out of that cheaper microphone there?
Paul: Yes. I use the cheapest wireless mic that Audio-Technica makes. It’s about $25 and great. It’s got two channels; I have been using it for maybe four years. And I do a sound check before I start the recording, and sometimes I might have to change the channel if there is interference from fluorescent lights or equipment or something like that. But it works really great.
For outside video I have got a stick mic that was maybe $20, $25 at RadioShack. Now that doesn’t work with the iPhone because you need a powered mic with the iPhone. But with the $200, $300, $400-dollar video cameras, that stick mic works great. I have been recording in 15-mile-an-hour, 20-mile-an-hour wind next to a high way and the sound quality is fantastic, there is no wind noise. There is a big foam ball over the stick mic and it works great.
But you do need to do a sound a check, your lighting needs to be good. And, Mike, you are absolutely right. If you don’t check that, if your sound quality is bad, if your video quality is below a threshold, then no one is going to really want to watch it.
Mike: So let me talk about the technology I use in this Skype interviewing. I think Skype interviewing offers an opportunity for a lot of small businesses because they could, for example, use it to interview the mayor, interview the coach, interview some person in town. But they could also reach out to an expert in their field and ask for a Skype interview, for example, in any specialty. And I think because of the time allotment, it can be done in 5 or 10 or 15 minutes. There’s not no need to be there.
And so what I use is Skype. I do have a….the Mac webcams have actually gotten quite good. The problem with them, it’s difficult getting them to point at the eyes of the person doing the recording. I ended up buying a Logitech, I don’t even know what it is, a 1080p. And it allows me to put it on a tripod and move it around so I look in the camera.
Don: That is a good idea.
Mike: And I have it actually mounted on a…here, let me show you what I have it mounted on.
Don: Very technical. Very special.
Mike: I bought at $70-dollar lavaliere mic, which guarantees at least consistency in volume. Because I had a problem with me, I never am good at mic’ing. I’m always moving in and out, and the volume would drop and it would rise. And then use a product called Call Recorder, which is a simple $39-dollar product. It works on either FaceTime or Skype and allows you to . . .
Don: I used it, that product is really good. I use it a lot with it, too.
Mike: It is a very simple setup, it cost me…I think I had, between the webcam and the lavaliere mic and the software, I have $200 in it. I have done a number of interviews, you can see them at Local U, we do them every week with David and Mary. The quality is good enough if everybody has got a good enough Internet connection. And I can record one face, two faces, or three faces.
One of the things I like about the interviews style is, given that it’s not scripted, most people, when asked a question, can act natural and answer it. And I think a small business could to, too. I believe an agency could actually interview a small business and get honest and compelling answers. And then do what you said, cut it into segments of facts and figures, blog posts, whatever.
What we do is we first repurpose the whole 15-minute video in a private forum, then we split it up. We get the second half transcribed and a week later we make a public post out of it. And then, as you pointed out, it can also then be turned into a podcast. So you can repurpose it from video to video segments to you can then get them transcribed and you have text so Google can read it. And then you can then also repurpose it as a podcast. So it gets repurposed multiple times with one piece of content. I think that’s one of the things about video that an agency could really benefit from, take it once and then reuse it multiple times.
Mary: I often hear objections from small business owners that I suggest video to that, “I don’t want to be on video, I don’t look good enough.” How do you overcome those types of objections with the small business owners?
Mike: One is ask them to try it and, two, ask them questions they are passionate about. What I find is they get wrapped up in it. And once they see themselves answering in a non-scripted way, they become participants.
Will: Or use Paul’s technique and wear a big hat.
Mary: I do think that that is a big objection with a lot of small business owners, is they don’t feel like the quality is going to be that great or that they personally want to be taped and preserved and promoted that way.
Will: I just dropped a link into the group chat. I don’t know how to get it into the main hangout. www.amazon.com/Rode-smartLav-Lavalier-Microphone-Smartpho…
Mike: Nor do I, and I have been doing this for three months.
Will: And this is a relatively inexpensive lavaliere mic that I just found on Amazon that we have been using internally for the last little bit. Exactly, same one you’ve got, right. The Rode smartLav. We are not sponsored by the Rode corporation, we just happen to have discovered their mic and find out to be relatively useful.
Mike: Although I love the warning in the box. I don’t know if you can see this warning.
Don: Strangulation hazard? It wraps aropund your neck?
Mary: One thing that I wanted to mention is I had an experience where I had a problem with my drier and I knew I could fix it if I could just figure out a way to get to the piece that I needed to get to. And, of course, there is little hidden screws all over the place on the covers. So I went to YouTube and I asked my question and I found a video, a how-to video about a specific model of drier and how you can get the covers off of it to access the parts inside. It was the worst quality video you’d ever seen. It was some guy had set up his phone and was recording himself taking the cover off of this. Despite the fact that it was very low video quality, very low audio quality, that particular video had thousands and thousands of views on YouTube because it was the only guy who was doing this.
I think that that’s an opportunity that an awful lot of small businesses could take advantage of. That it doesn’t have to be super high quality, but anything that’s a how-to that you can put up on YouTube and optimize so that people can find it, I think, can be really valuable.
Will: I recently talked to a prospect, that the name of the company escapes me right this second, who does data recovery by publishing tear-down videos of different types of hard drives. They have driven…from what he indicated, it is the primary driver of traffic to their website. I would agree that I think that is a real big opportunity.
I want to jump back though to something that Paul was talking about, and kind of his methodology for the development of content from video. More and more in the conferences that I go to people are talking about the challenge of content marketing for the SMB marketer, right? Because content, when done well, is expensive. An infographic with some promotion is going to cost you a couple thousand bucks. A high production quality video, similarly, probably a couple thousand bucks.
And so the thing that Paul talks about, which dovetails with what some of the better minds I am seeing on the podium at search conferences are talking about, is the idea of cornerstone content from which you create derivatives.
The analogy that Jason Miller, who is the Chief Content Marketer for LinkedIn, used at a conference where I saw him speak was the Thanksgiving turkey. And for all of you vegetarians out there, I apologize. I do not know that the analogy works as well with tofurkey. But the idea . . .
Mike: In today’s marketplace it’s okay to offend a vegan, it’s not okay to offend women.
Will: You know me, Mike, I try not to offend anybody. Anybody who knows me will really understand the irony in that. But what he talks about, the analogy he uses is . . .
Mike: Me too.
Will: You’re right. The analogy he uses is the Thanksgiving turkey, right? That you have this 20-pound bird, you peel off a little bit of it on Thanksgiving Day, but for the next month you are making turkey pot pie and turkey sandwiches and turkey succotash. And you’re basically finding ways to take slices of the turkey and continue to use them over time.
And so Paul’s discussion of the way he thinks video really ties in well with that. Where if you’ve got a piece of cornerstone content…and I will use another example from one of the other folks on this hangout. Mike Blumenthal does a great job of using Google to do surveys. He will get a whole big bunch of survey data and then he will slice and dice it and he’ll repurpose it over time in a really smart way.
So I think that when we think about whether it is the front-end expense or whether it is the amount of work that goes into creating these really educational kind of opportunities in video. It’s when you think of the ways that you can use them derivatively, whether it be blog post or creating video snippets around explicit topics, that you start to see that front-end three hours of investment ultimately becomes content that you can run out. And I want to be clear, this is Paul’s idea and I think it is really valuable, especially to those of us who work with smaller businesses.
Mary: Do you think that there is any danger in having too polished a production? To have the videos looking too stiffy and professional?
Don: I do. We saw this, in fact, when I was working on a project at Microsoft, where they were early with the whole video blogging space and had done a lot of it…you may have heard of Robert Scoble, but he started off by going around and interviewing a bunch of the engineers. He would do these very informal interviews. He would walk into the guy who was working on the CSS support for Internet Explorer and say “Hey, what is your name and what are you working on?” And the guy would just talk and these videos got really popular.
So then, this is like a little skunkworks project, and then Microsoft said, “Wow! We should put some money into this because people are really resonating. They are connecting with our developers and this is good.” So then they started bringing in production crews and they would set people in these three chairs and then they would have polished video. And they posted that video and everybody just hated it. Everyone complained, they said, “We do not believe that video. The other video we believe because some guy brought a camera into somebody else’s office and they just started talking. And they got on the whiteboard and they wrote some stuff.”
Anyway, personally I think it depends on the industry and it depends on what you are trying to do, in this case trying to communicate with developers. People want that sort of more informal sort of conversation going on instead of a slick production that they might see on television or something.
Mary: Yes, I kind of agree with that from a consumer point of view. But at one point Mike and I did a project for a lawyer who he had a ton of videos on his site, but they were so informal, he was dressed so informally.
Don: See, and that’s different for a lawyer.
Mary: Yeah. He did not project a professional image. He was taking videos at an outdoor cafe where he was eating with his dog and it just seem to match up with what he was trying to portray.
Don: That is an important point, I think it needs to match the profession and who you are trying to communicate with, what you are trying to portray.
Mary: But I do agree that sometimes the slick-looking videos do not resonate as well with the consumer as something that seems very real, a real person doing a real thing.
Don: The other thing I wanted to bring up, and I think this would not be a surprise to any of you guys. But what I found to be super effective…Mary, you mentioned earlier, the business owners, sometimes they just do not want to get on camera for whatever reason. And I think there are a lot of ways where you can make them feel comfortable with that, which were discussed here. But in some cases you are not going to get through. And what we found to be really effective there was I would just ask the business owner like, “What are your most important products or services that you are trying to get…pick three to five of them.”
And so for this specific example was at the chiropractor. He had this technique that he does, it is called active release technique. And it basically helps to free up if you have got a tight or a cramped muscle, helps to free that up. A lot of times it solves a problem. You guys, I do not know about you, I did not know what that meant. So I did a little interview to ask him what it meant, hired a copywriter, and made a nice little PowerPoint presentation. That was only a few slides, but it said, “Hey, here’s the doctor’s name and a picture of the doctor. Here is what active release technique is, here’s how it helps you. It does not hurt. Here are the symptoms it can help with,” in a little educational set of PowerPoint slides.
I met this woman who does a really good job of turning those into videos. So she literally creates these PowerPoints, gets them approved by the business owner, and then turns it into a video. And then puts a little soundtrack over it and it turns into like a two-minute video that educates you on a particular topic, which happens to be a product or a procedure or a service that this company specializes in. Now you have got this really nice video that goes on YouTube and is optimized for the location of that business and person in the keywords. And those really are effective because now you can take that YouTube video and put it into a blog post. And now I have got several chances to show up for this hyper-targeted search term in my local area.
And so I have seen a lot of success from businesses who don’t want to get on the camera, but they take that sort of educational approach where they’ll build three to five of these or more, whatever they have the appetite for. You can get this whole thing done for like $150.
Don: It’s not like a highly produced video, but they work and they’re educational. And if you get five visits a month from that term because they are saw your video or the search results or, as was mentioned before, I could also transcribe that and do some other things, then those are really targeted queries and they are better than 100 just random hits from somebody that’s not even in your local area.
Mike: Let me just take a moment and talk a little bit about technology here in terms of hosting of videos. You mentioned YouTube. Paul, could you explain some of your experience with hosting and why you switched from a free host as a primary host to a free host as a secondary host? In your experience, why that makes sense to pay for hosting.
Paul: The problem I had occurred about a year ago and I was using YouTube as my primary host. And so my client videos were on YouTube, the client videos that were in their websites were on YouTube. And I also do video as a community service. So I do video for school events, local school events and other kinds of community service types of things. I have a channel, a Google channel that’s basically community service.
At 5:00 on a Friday morning last June an e-mail came in from YouTube saying that one of my videos had received a flag or a strike for violation of YouTube’s community guidelines, and within a minute the entire channel was down. Now at 5:00 in the morning I was asleep, there was nothing I could do and there wouldn’t have been anything I could do anyway. But the impact that was for the website that had those videos, there were just little black rectangles that said, “Video removed for violation of YouTube’s community guidelines.” If you can imagine that happening to your business website, you don’t want that to happen.
Don: Yeah, that’s not fun.
Paul: You don’t want that to happen. And I went on the YouTube support and it’s all volunteers. And they are volunteers and I know they are trying to do a great job, but they had been told by YouTube that every channel and every video is reviewed by a human before it’s taken down. And I knew that if that whole thing disappeared in less than a minute, no human had time to look at it, it just was gone.
And so I moved all of my videos from, and I am still in the process of doing that, to…I use Vimeo, Wistia is another great choice from what I understand. But that way, since I play for it, I know that the whole channel is not going to disappear, my videos are not going to disappear without some communication from Vimeo. And I still use YouTube because it’s so important, it’s such a great place to have video, but those YouTube videos are not on my websites.
And I think it’s called a false flagging attack. The video that was flagged was the local high school band playing the U.S. national anthem. That’s how objectionable it was. And so there was absolutely nothing wrong with that video that should have caused it to be removed, but it was.
Don: Do you think somebody marked it as inappropriate, kind of as a hack or something, which caused you to be taken down, or do you know?
Paul: Yes. I think it was a hack and I think the thing that they centered on was the fact that it was the U.S. national anthem. And if you search for “false flagging attack,” you will see sites that sell software, or that advertise the ability to conduct a false flagging attack . . .
Don: Oh my gosh.
Paul: . . . on a YouTube channel.
So YouTube is great, I love it, it’s got a lot of capabilities. But for the Videos that you have on your websites, like for your business videos, I sure recommend putting them on Vimeo or Wistia.
Mike: One of the things about Wistia and Vimeo is the ability to do a private video, it’s easier to do. There must be some way to do a private video where you can share it to someone behind your firewall or something with YouTube, but I have never . . .
Don: All you can do with YouTube is you can get a private link. Well, they call it a…basically they are not going to put it in the search engine.
Mike: It’s mnot a published link but it’s still there. If they look on your channel they are going to find it, right?
Don: No, they won’t be on the channel. But if they were to get the link somehow, anyone can view it.
Mike: I see, so it’s viewable by a link. But you can’t embed it using that link, can you?
Don: You can’t what, edit?
Mike: Embed it into a . . .
Don: No, no, you can.
Mike: Okay. So one of the things about Wistia, too…so, Paul, you’re saying upload to a paid hosting and then repurpose that video to the website from the paid hosting. But then repost it on YouTube as a YouTube video, so as a benefit of both being shown on the website and on the YouTube search engine . . .
Don: That seems like a great approach, Paul. Yeah.
Mary: So what are you talking about as far as cost when you are talking about hosting on places other than YouTube?
Paul: Is that for me?
Mary: For anyone.
Paul: Vimeo Pro is, I think it’s $199 a year, or something like that. And I can put all of my client videos on one Vimeo Pro account and I can create portfolios, which are like gallery pages for their videos. I have unlimited portfolio pages. So for a doctor that does shoulders, elbows and knees, I can create a portfolio page of his elbow videos, portfolio page of his shoulder videos, portfolio page of his knee videos. And it’s like a separate web page, and then they come up in search results. And then I use the portfolio pages, it’s got a URL that I can customize and I can link from my business website to the portfolio pages, as well as embed the videos in the website.
Don: Let me ask you. Let’s say you embed the video on somebody’s website and it’s for this doctor, right? And then somebody were to click through that video, and you know how it shows all the other videos on the channel? So are you saying you can kind of contain that click-through to just that portfolio page so they wouldn’t see other customers, they would only see that one, right?
Paul: I think I can, yes. I can drag the video to other videos in the portfolio or other videos from that doctor. One of the neat things that Vimeo does is it has a, I can put a link at the end of the video.
Don: Oh, right.
Paul: So I can have the link to the appointment page or I can . . .
Don: That’s nice.
Paul: . . . link to the next video if it’s a video in a series or link to maybe a cornerstone content page on the website. I can do all kinds of things with that.
Don: Maybe this is outdated information, but the other thing I notice is the Vimeo videos, you can get a better quality embed than you can with YouTube, right? Is that still the case?
Paul: Well, I think both YouTube and Vimeo prefer HD.
Paul: Uploads. But Vimeo, one of the selections that I have is to default to HD when possible.
Paul: I think I have been really impressed with the quality of the Vimeo videos.
Mike: On the Wistia pricing, they have four plans. A free plan, which is 25 videos, but it’s a branded player. The basic plan, which is $25 a month, which is an unbranded player and is 100 videos. The pro, which is $100 a month, advanced analytics and user tracking, e-mail capture call-ins. Calls to action annotations in the video, like Paul was talking about where you can embed various things. And you have up to 1,000 videos, that’s $100 a month. And then they have an enterprise starting at $300 a month. It’s not a $100 a year, it’s more, but their product is flawless, it’s easy to use, it’s understandable, the interface is totally transparent and even an idiot can learn it.
Mary: Several of you have talked about transcribing videos. What kind of recommendations do you have for how to get that done?
Mike: I cribbed Paul’s idea, he recommended Speechpad to me.
Don: I have used Rev before, they are good.
Will: Who is that, Don?
Don: Rev, R-E-V. I think it’s just Rev.com, let me check. But Speechpad is great, I know Mike is using that for some GetFiveStars videos right now.
Mike: If you can wait seven days . . .
Mary: Our furnace cleaning.
Mary: They are more valuable doing other things.
Mike: Let me just address agencies. What are the different ways that particularly smaller agencies can deliver video to small businesses in their market?
Will: I think Don’s example was greater, the PowerPoint turned into a video. It’s not a basic slide show video, narrated is really easy to do. We use an outside service, but I can see it as something that one could do internally really easily. Where you get a half a dozen pictures and the value proposition from the customer, write a 30-second script. You could, if you had nothing else, build the video in free tools on whatever platform you use. Like I said, we use an outside vender, so we drop half a dozen images a script and they then give it back to us.
But those are a couple that are really easy, relatively low cost. I love…love, love. I only wish that I could convince more of our clients to do them, video testimonials. So let me tell you how an agency working with small businesses can deal with this. Client takes out an iPhone and says, “Hey, can you tell me about your experience coming into the office? Did you get what you were looking for? What would you share with somebody else who was considering this service?”
Get that, take 15 minutes to knock out the ahs and ums, clean up the sound a little bit, put branding front and back, and then go. And it’s a great video experience for anybody considering that service provider.
Mike: Paul, could you answer that question? What you think, how a small agency could best integrate this into their value-add to the local client.
Paul: For me, it’s more than just the value-add. I try to screen my clients. If someone calls me and they are interested in SEO, I will ask them about video. And if they are not interested in doing video at all, then what I see is a difficulty in getting content. And I can just tell that it will happen. If they don’t have time to do video, then they are not going to have time to write content. And so I don’t have copywriters, so it’s kind of one or the other.
So I use that as kind of a qualification, but it’s also, it’s a hurdle to try and get clients, even the ones who say they want to do them and who have done them, to do more of them. And there is, I think, a tendency to want perfection, “Do I want to put this online if am not perfect, if my clothes aren’t perfect, if I don’t speak perfectly,” that sort of thing. A couple things I say to that. First of all, you can edit the video. So edit it. You can do it again, you can answer to the question again, you can do all kinds of things, and just edit. It takes a bit longer, but it’s erasable. So editing is a great feature. But the other thing I would say is . . .
Mike: Unlike life you can have a redo, right?
Paul: You can have a redo, that’s right. The other thing, there’s a great author, I love him, his name Steven Pressfield. And he has written a couple books, one of the books is Do the Work, another one is War of Art. But one of his quotes is, “Start before you are ready.” And that is, I think, absolutely applicable to these videos. If you wait until you are absolutely ready to shoot a video, you will never shot a video. So the best thing to do is do a video and make the next one a better video. But the most important thing is do a video.
Mary: That’s great advice.
Will: I am big fan of any time I can take something away from a client I will, because I know that they are not going to…when left to their own devices, they got a business to run, they got employees to deal with, they got all this stuff going on. They are not going to do what I need them to do.
So I actually have a client who I offered to send a videographer to his office to shot a bunch of video that we could then do exactly what you talk about, Paul. Tear it up, make it a bunch of different small videos, turn it into blog posts, all that stuff. And he says, “I don’t need you to do that, I’ll shoot it myself,” because he is a techie guy.
Don: Oh no.
Will: Well, it’s November 6th, 2015. I’ll update you all when I get the video I am looking for, and I would not advise anyone hold their breath.
Mary: I think that this whole idea of using video for content becomes more and more important as time goes on. We are looking at RankBrain where the algorithm is being influenced by user behavior and video is very, very engaging. There’s a lot of statistics out there that show how much more time people spend on web pages that have videos on them.
Don: I was at this Akamai Edge Conference last year. And you know Akamai, they’re this content delivery network, right? You know what that is. And they publish a State of the Internet Report every year. Because they see the traffic flows on the Internet, they see what people are doing and what kind of content they’re consuming. They said by 2018 80% of the content on the Internet will be video.
Will: What was the number?
Don: By 2018 80% of the content on the Internet will be video. And if you look at some recent stats from Facebook, now that they are going heavy into video, their video content views have doubled since April, the beginning of this year.
Mary: Just this morning I saw 8 billion video views a day on Facebook. 8 billion.
Don: It was 4 billion earlier this year, now it’s 8 billion. It’s crazy.
Mike: How about a quick summary from each of you. Quick, that’s quick. And we’ll have a wrap.
Will: Let me go first so you can assure I’ll be quick.
Mike: Well, I can assure you will be first.
Will: Just jumping on that last discussion of how many videos views there are. If you are thinking about this as SEO, we know that bounce rate has…well, we believe that bounce rate has a negative impact on ranking. And there’s nothing stickier, if we can go from 4 billion views to 8 billion views in the span of six months, we know that there’s nothing stickier than video. So putting video on your site is a great way to keep people around and you get the added benefits of all of that great, natural content, questions and answers, all that kind of stuff, as part of the process.
Mary: Yes, I agree. I think that from just an SEO and search point of view that video can really help a small business web site, as well as helping their customers.
Mike: So, Paul.
Will: Hey, Tim. Welcome.
Tim: Hi, Mike.
Don: Hey, Tim.
Mike: I don’t know if I screwed that up, Tim, what.
Tim: Hi, guys.
Mike: Hangouts are, as we said at the beginning, very complicated. I see originally I did the wrong time because I did it when I was in California, so I apologize if it’s my fault that you were late to the show. We’re in a final wrap-up.
Tim: I figured you might be. But I want you to know that I held the banner very high for Local U, because there was a whole lack of people on the other one. And we just got into it and did it. And you know what? It went great.
Mike: I just cannot believe how hard it is to schedule and run a hangout. It’s like mind-boggling. Only three people. Well, anyways, Paul, to you. We’ll wrap up in terms of . . .
Paul: Yes, thanks, Mike, and thanks for the opportunity to be here. My parting word would be to just try it, just do it. Just, as I said, start before you are ready. If you start doing some video, you will find it will get easier and easier and easier. And start with, as I said, FAQ topics are a great way to start. Just list 20 questions that your customers have asked you. And start ticking those off; make short videos answering each of those questions. And I think that’s a great start, it will show a benefit for your business.
Don: I think there have been a lot of really good techniques discussed today. And I think if you are a small business and you don’t have a video on your web site, get one. Right? Make a video. Figure out how to get a video out there. There are some easy ways to do it. Video testimonials Will talked about, we’ve all talked about some interesting ideas here. And if you’re and agency that’s helping business owners, start figuring out how to offer video for them, creating video content.
And the last thing is, speaking of video, I just got home from our trip and I got my new Apple TV in the mail. So I am very excited about watching a video tonight.
Mike: Cool. I see Apple TV is being really a local play with apps, right? And pizza delivery.
Don: Yeah, I can’t wait to check out the App Store on TV.
Mike: Yeah, yeah. Mary, any closing words of wisdom?
Mary: No. I thank you all for coming, I think this was really informative and I hope that agencies and small businesses take advantage of it.
Mike: And just a final word from me. I apologize for the technical difficulties with hangouts, maybe next time we’ll be doing a Blab And with that we’ll say goodbye.
Tim: Thanks a lot, guys.
Don: Have a great weekend.
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