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What Every Business Should Have on Their Website…

A Video, of course! There aren’t many serious businesses these days that don’t have a website, but not even half of all websites contain video. If you have been following social media trends, I’m sure you are aware that having video on your website makes it 52 times more likely to show up on the first page of Google search results. That puts you well ahead of many of your competitors. But here’s another interesting tidbit: websites without video experience a bounce rate*  of 87%, and the average time spent on the site without video is only 42 seconds! On the other hand, users who visit websites with video spend an average of 5 minutes and 50 seconds… that’s a huge difference!

Just think about what people could do on your site during those extra 5 minutes: purchase your product or service, make a donation, or sign up on your email or social media lists. You have to admit, there are a lot more possibilities to engage them.

That being said, you should get a video clip on your website TODAY! And, I have an easy way for you to do it, even if you have no camera, or editing software, or a budget to have a video produced. All you need is a basic point and shoot camera and a couple hours. I recently visited a restaurant in Northern Utah, Bella’s, owned by a high school classmate of mine, Joe Cottam. I enjoyed the food, atmosphere and service so much, I snapped a few pictures, recorded 12 seconds of video and created this video using a free online video creation tool called Animoto:

Note, there are only 7 pictures and 3 video clips (of only 3 seconds long). All I did was upload the pics and video clips to Animoto, choose some music from their library, and using my free account, I created this 30 second video highlighting the fresh Mexican food experience I had at Bella’s.

Try it out and you can have video on your website today! Need help getting started? Contact me!

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*people who go to the homepage and leave without taking any other action.

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Content Is Key: 3 tips for great video storytelling

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, your videos should look and sound as good as possible… but CONTENT is key. If you don’t have a great story to tell and engage your audience with, you don’t have a good video, let alone a video that may go viral.

This may seem like a no brainer, but we’ve worked with many organizations who seemed to have a skewed idea for what is going to make their video pop. There are several pitfalls businesses and nonprofits make when producing their videos, here’s a list of practical tips to keep you from making them as well:

Tip #1: Don’t let politics dictate your video!

Many organizations (and nonprofits seem to be especially susceptible to this) write their video based on who they are going to put in it, rather than thinking of good content – a heartfelt story, motivating statistics, exciting testimonials, etc. Companies are letting the politics of who to include in the video dictate the content. Generally these companies get into post-production (editing) and realize their video lacks the emotional impact they could have achieved to promote their cause, product or services. Write your video script to tell a good story, then invite the key players who can tell the story best.

Tip #2: If you can’t write a good story, hire a professional

Businesses and nonprofits often stumble into the pitfall of writing their own script, then handing it to a professional to shoot and edit. However, unless you are a marketing or business communications expert with experience in writing for video, you will most likely end up with content that is lacking in clarity and emotional impact. Businesses sometimes choose this route to save money, yet I’ve seen more companies end up re-shooting parts of their video because of this, and shooting is considerably more expensive than hiring a writer.

Most video production companies have vast experience in writing great scripts, as well as producing and editing your video. It’s important to find a production professional that shares a connection to your services or products, yet is less involved in your company’s operations to provide more objectivity, and find meaningful ways to connect with your target audience.

This video was created to help motivate viewers to sign a petition to change California Sexual Predators law. Over 8500 viewers watched the clip and Chelsea's law was signed by the Governor, Sept. 2010.

Tip #3: Don’t create a “one-size-fits-all” video

Businesses and nonprofits often try to maximize their videos by creating them for multiple purposes and varying audiences. For example, a nonprofit may want to create a single video that will educate their clientele about a particular issue, motivate donors at an annual gala dinner, and serve as an orientation video to volunteers. This doesn’t typically work as each target audience will connect differently to each type of video. Before writing your video, you should decide on your target audience and message, if this means you create multiple videos for multiple audiences, then so be it. Your videos will be much more impactful that way, and you’ll also have more video content to enhance your companies website.

And one more thing… Keep it short and sweet

ComScore reports that the average online video is 4.1 minutes, while most viewers watch videos 2-3 minutes long. This means to keep your audience engaged, you need to produce a video with a compelling story in less than 3 minutes.

At Sun & Moon Vision Productions, we provide full production services (including script writing), but also varying levels of support and consultation for companies/nonprofits looking to self produce. Contact us, we’ll provide a free consultation for your next video production.

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Starbucks Online Video Marketing: 1 Simple Strategy Anyone Can Use

One of the goals for video sharing via social media is to engage customers. Often businesses will develop and produce a promotional video for their organization, post it to their website and social media outlets, and then ask the questions of themselves, now what? How do we get the customers coming back to our social media sites? The answer is: you have to continue to create new online video and other tools of engagement, which also means you need to be constantly coming up with new and creative ideas.

I recently watched a video by Michael Stelzer, Senior Editor of Social Media Examiner, interviewing Alex Wheeler, Director of Digital Strategy at Starbucks about their online video and social media marketing. As you may know, over the past year Starbucks rolled out a new instant coffee product they call Via. Wheeler reports that for the original launch of Via (in just 2 markets) they predominantly used social media to listen to customers who were trying the new product and then when they had the national roll-out a few months later, they asked the consumers to share “Via moments” – whether out in the wild or at the office through both photos and videos. She states, “[social media] technology is a way to extend the brand presence.”

This is a great strategy that businesses can use no matter how big or small you are! How are your customers using your product? Ask them to share that with you and create a photo montage or video with brand stories they send to you. It’s your brand, but it’s fun to let other people market if for you.

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