July 14, 2016 by Leave a comment

This article is part of a series put together by the Total Mortgage marketing team that provides sales professionals with a crash course in marketing and self-promotion. To read other articles in this series, click here.

Video marketing is kind of having a moment right now.

In the past, using video to market to consumers was the m.o. of big companies with a lot of money and manpower to throw around. That is, not really in reach for your average loan officer or realtor. Now, however, it’s easier than ever to create simple videos and get them in front of potential customers on your own.

Why add video to your marketing strategy?

Interest in video is growing fast, and it won’t stop any time soon. Last year, Facebook’s video viewership doubled from 4 billion a day to 8 billion—in just 7 months. The experts at Syndacast, meanwhile, predict that a whopping 74% of internet traffic will be video by 2017. Basically, all signs say that the next big trend in digital marketing is video. Combine that with the potential to increase conversions by up to 30%, and it’s a trend you want to be a part of.

video traffic

 

SEO (search engine optimization) benefits are another point to consider. Put simply, Google likes to feed people the best content they can. When their search algorithm sees a multimedia page, like an informative blog with an accompanying video, they’re much more likely to recommend your page to searchers.

Think you’re on board with video? Great. In this guide, we’re going to assume you’re working on some kind of short informative video, but that isn’t the only option available to you.

Types of marketing videos

Filming without pinning down a format can set you up for a lot of wasted time in front of the camera. These are a few of the most common kinds of videos you’ll see.

  • FAQs address specific problems or questions a viewer might have, and are usually short, semi-scripted, and informative. You can also use a similar format to highlight certain products or give a demonstration.
  • Interviews involve a conversation, either between multiple people on camera or between one person speaking to another off camera. They work best when you have access to someone with a skill set or experience level that entices your audience.
  • Testimonials put your customers on screen to advocate for you. These sometimes have an interview-like format, though they may require more scripting.
  • Culture videos put you (and your company) front and center, giving customers a taste for who you are and why you do what you do with the help of dynamic music, candid footage, and smart voice-overs, interviews, or graphics.
  • Ads require a tight focus, careful scripting, and a clear beginning, middle, and end. They often cost more than other video options and will probably require the help of an outside production company.

Marketing video basics

Whether your video team is just a neighbor with a camera or a whole marketing department, it helps to have a firm handle on what goes into making a marketing video. While it can be a complex process, ultimately, you really only need a few basic things to get started:

  • A decent camera and microphone
  • Someone knowledgeable to man the camera for you
  • Access to video editing software
  • Good lighting
  • A quiet, non-distracting place to film

Of course, there are plenty of ways to step up your game. That can mean getting better equipment, springing for a green screen, or shooting b-roll (that is, relevant secondary footage you can cut in to demonstrate ideas or give viewers a break from primary footage).

If you’re just starting out and don’t have a large budget for video, keep it simple. There are plenty of services that help you make the most of the devices you already have and integrate easily with email. Bombbomb and Talk Fusion are two good places to start.

Where to use your video

Pasted image at 2016_07_11 12_16 PM (1)Before you even start putting together a script, you need to decide where this video is going and how you plan to showcase it. That’s because what you put around the video needs to have some impact on the content of it—and vice versa—if you want to engage people.

Here are some common areas where companies use video (a few of which we’re already using at Total Mortgage):

Email. If you have any sort of email campaign in place, be it an extensive drip campaign set in motion by first contact or simple check-ins as a customer hits milestones, adding relevant and helpful videos can make your emails go farther. A lot farther. Video can increase email click-through-rate by up to 300%.

Home page.  If your home page is lacking personality, a video can help add a human touch. Typically, these take the form of about us or product highlight videos, but don’t let that limit you. Just keep in mind one thing: your home page is prime real estate. It’s what potential clients and others interested in your business will see first. Whatever you choose to put here should be well-done and relevant.

Testimonial pages. If you have a great relationship with a satisfied borrower who has an interesting story to tell, a customer story video can be a helpful addition to your testimonial page.

Social media. If your video is informative, funny, or short and ad-like, you would do well to add sharing it on social media to any other plans you have for it. And that doesn’t mean throwing your video up on YouTube just in case. As we’ve already mentioned, Facebook is making moves to become a major player in the video content game, and with all that targeting data at their fingertips, it’s not hard to see why. Other social options, like Snapchat and Twitter can also help boost your signal.

Ad campaigns. If your business in on the larger side and you’ve already dipped your toes into the video pool with good results, it might be time to consider going bigger. You can use an ad pretty much anywhere–on your homepage, your about us, your social pages. If the quality is high enough, you can even look into advertising online or on tv.

Writing your script

To film a video right, it really helps to know in advance what the whole thing is about. That’s where a script comes in. Scripts help you plan out the dialogue of your video. They are also important for blocking out a video and deciding where your cuts and footage would make the most sense. Often, you’ll need to go through several drafts to find one you’re happy with. Here are a few more tips to help you get it right:

Start with your audience. You may have an idea for a great video, but unless someone wants to watch it, you’re out of luck. Before you settle on one idea, make sure you know who your audience will be. If you’re in the housing industry, this can mean anything from hesitant first-time buyers to satisfied past buyers willing to refer others.

Similarly, don’t try to appeal to everyone. This is fairly standard marketing advice, but it’s something you should still keep in mind when you’re coming up with a video concept. Even though the whole point of video may seem to be racking up that view count, you’re more likely to get leads from a small but targeted audience. So instead, tailor your video to fit a specific demographic.

Personality is important. If you’re going to go through the effort of putting yourself on camera, a vital part of doing the job right means giving viewers a feel for who are. Make sure you write the same way you speak with clients in person.

Getting in and out is the hardest part. Think about some of the low budget, small business videos you’ve seen over the last few years. Where do you always end up cringing the most? Yep, the beginning and the end, where awkward intros and abrupt fades-to-black reign. It’s easy to spend most of your time polishing the meaty parts of your video, but to avoid ruining an otherwise strong video, don’t forget about the transitions.

Keep your videos short. No matter how much footage you take, remember that viewers have short attention spans. Depending on the video, you should aim for between 30 seconds to 2 minutes—but shorter is always better.

Don’t worry too much about what you put on paper. Scripts change all the time. Sometimes what you have written down just doesn’t end up fitting. In some types of videos, like a Q&A session or a short interview, you’re probably going to want to skip the script all together and stick to some pre-chosen questions. This is especially true if you think you’re going to have difficulty speaking naturally on camera.

Tips for filming day

If you’re new to this whole video thing, you may not realize how much work goes into the filming alone. Here are a few tips you’ll want to keep in mind before you get in front of the camera.

  1. Wear a solid-colored, non-green shirt. Patterns can be distracting on camera, and green may interfere with editing later on if you’re using a green screen.
  2. Practice reading your script aloud before you start filming. As we’ve already mentioned, you want to sound as natural as possible in front of the camera. A read-through will help you pick out the places that trip you up and get used to speaking conversationally—that is, not too fast or too stilted.
  3. Decide where you’re looking. Generally you’ll want to look directly at the lens, but depending on the video, you may need to look at an interviewer or something on screen.
  4. Relax. The tenser you are, the more it’s going to show up in your voice and face. Try to pretend the camera is a person and talk to it, not at it.
  5. Take a look at your takes as you finish each one. You’ll be able to see what you need to tweak in your next take.
  6. If you’re working with a videographer, talk to them the day before. It’s likely they have some other tips and requirements that are more specific to the material you’re filming.

Next steps: editing your marketing video

Once you have all your footage, it’s time to edit.

Ideally, you’d have the help of whoever manned the camera, be they hobbyist neighbor or full-time videographer, but that’s not always an option. If you’re planning on editing your video yourself, this Hubspot post offers a breakdown on several free options for video editing software. This blog post from Wordstream also has some helpful knitty-gritty tips when it comes to things like lighting, editing, and music on the cheap.

Want more?

You can learn more about what the Total Mortgage marketing team does for our loan officers by checking out other articles in this series. If you’re in the housing industry, stop by our career portal to learn more about us as a company.


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