Engaging videos improve search rankings, attract new business, create stronger connections with existing clients (improving return rates) and build your credibility.
Unfortunately, many business owners believe that dry, austere videos are the only way to showcase their services in a way that reflects their professional identity. Bottom line, no one wants to watch a boring video.
Read on to learn what constitutes engaging video, how to create engaging video for your business, and how to incorporate video into your online marketing strategy.
- Landing pages that include videos see an 86% increase in conversions
- Video represents 50% of all mobile traffic
- Optimized video content increases the chance of showing up on the first page of Google by 53 times
- 60% of website visitors watch video before reading text on a webpage
Who is your audience? What are their interests?
Before you can create engaging video, you need to determine who you are trying to reach with your video.
Begin by vaguely defining your audience, then more specifically. For example, a local optometrist is trying to reach and engage potential patients. An optometrist located in a busy business district will often target professionals and local workers who can stop in to the optometry office during a time that is concurrent with their own work schedule. Further defining factors might include things like age range, a targeted type of condition (like cataracts), or even families.
STEP 1: Create a picture of the audience you are trying to reach. This can look very diverse and include a range of targeted individuals.
Now that you have determined who your audience consists of, you need to determine what types of things they like. For example, a sports chiropractor may target athletes or athletic individuals. In addition to playing sports, this audience is likely highly active, focused on nutrition, interested in outdoor activities and the latest news on workout equipment.
STEP 2: Make a list of activities, services, interests or hobbies that your ideal audience will be interested in. Don’t make these up. Do research using online publications or by checking popular brands (for a sports chiropractor, he or she might check out the Nike blog or look at the NHL website).
Determine pain points
Pain points are factors that really matter to your audience. Is cost a major issue? Is proximity to work or home the major factor? Maybe the experience or history of the doctor is the most relevant. For example, a veterinarian looking to attract more cat owners may focus on showcasing a calm, relaxing environment and special training with feline patients.
STEP 3: List pain points for your audience and narrow down the list to the major factors. Don’t include anything that isn’t relevant to your audience. In this example, a cat owner won’t care about dog boarding. If you aren’t sure, try to be universal. If you target both, try not to mention one without the other.
After you have organized and determined who your audience is, what they are interested in and what really matters to them, you can create a video that engages them.
When selecting a topic to cover in your video, whatever you choose must be relevant to your audience. The topic will also be influenced by the purpose of the video, whether you want to get new clients, keep existing clients, or build authority in your field.
If you are struggling to decide on a topic, here are a few ideas you can run with. In general, topics can be determined by shooting a question & answer session, performing a demonstration of a service, giving a behind the scenes tour, putting together a funny video about your service, etc.
In a Q & A session, pose and answer commonly asked questions about you, your office or your services. Keep the answers direct and clear. A concise response will give your audience the information that they need. Don’t get technical—viewers will disengage quickly and think you can’t communicate with your clients or patients.
Give a tour
Giving an office tour is a great way to attract and convert new clients. You don’t need to show every room in your office (never show the bathroom!), but you should include areas that are useful for clients to see or learn about.
Demonstrate a service
Show yourself or your employee performing a service or an exam. This gives your audience a great idea of what to expect and the benefits of your services. The additional benefit is that it prepares a new client for what to expect and builds a level of comfort.
If you offer a line of products for sale in your office, shoot a quick video that discusses what to use the product for and how to use it. For example, a veterinarian can discuss a particular flea treatment and best methods for applying the medication.
Give an interview
If you are stumped for ideas, ask for help. Get an employee, coworker, partner, or a friend posing as an interviewer to ask you questions. Again, focus on FAQ questions or questions that reveal what sets you apart or makes your business the best.
Show a day in the life
There is a lot more editing involved in this type of video, but it’s great for attracting new business and engaging with your existing audience. Schedule a few days where you can shoot various things that happen during a typical day at the office. An optometrist might want to shoot first appointment paperwork completion, an eye exam, a glasses fitting, instructing a patient on removing contacts, performing an eye test, and the front office staff making phone calls. All of these shots are edited together to show a typical day at the office.
Focus on showing your personality. If you make a lot of jokes in the office, do that in your video. Do what comes naturally and show why patients and coworkers like you. Smiling has an amazing ability of brightening up your face. Genuinely smile during your video to connect with your viewers. You can appear professional and smile at the same time.
Check out your competition
See what your competition is doing in their videos. Also, check out industry videos that have a high amount of views. When in doubt, follow a similar idea for your video but don’t copy.
Don’t get stressed or feel compelled to take on a 100% professional business owner persona throughout the entire video. In fact, the more viewers can get to know you by seeing hints of your personality, the more likely they are to be engaged.
Doesn't need to be perfect
Be realistic. You may not say the right words the right way every time. In fact, your video may have an “um” or an “ah” as you transition from one sentence to the next. Don’t worry about editing all that. It’s OK to have a minor error here and there since it humanizes you.
Toss bloopers in at the end once in a while. Bloopers show that nobody is perfect—not even you. Viewers love bloopers and watching how you react when things don’t go as planned helps viewers better relate to you as an individual.
Get to the point right away
Ever have that one friend who tells stories that are way longer than they need to be? While you are an expert in your industry, don’t waste any time getting to the point of your video and stick to it. Don’t go off on tangents or get carried away with details. Think of your first video as an “elevator pitch.” In many cases, this might be a person’s first interaction with you or your company. Get to your point right away, explain your point and get out quickly.
Strive to make your point in the first 10 seconds. Start your video by saying, “In this video, we will cover (topic).” This gives your audience a good idea of what to expect. Don’t bother with lengthy introductions since viewers will get bored and stop the video. Don’t use the same intro in every video. Create intros that are short and concise for each topic.
More than half of consumers will click away from a video that is not direct, clear and concise. For this reason, focus on making videos that are short and direct, but thorough. If you find your video going on too long, ask yourself if maybe two shorter videos work better.
Keep it short and direct
Ideally, an online video should be about 1.5 to 2 minutes. There are certain exceptions, but it is a good goal to aim for this time frame. There are several things you can do to keep your video short and direct.
STEP 1: Stay focused and on-topic at all times. Distractions or tangents are easy ways to accidentally extend a video. Rather than going off-topic, say that you will address that additional topic in a future video. In addition to keeping your video short, you have thought of a topic for another video!
STEP 2: Review your script and run through your wording several times before filming. If you find that you are repeating certain statements or saying the same thing in a different way, cut it down. While repetition is great for retention, it can come off as condescending or irritating if you continually repeat yourself.
STEP 3: Leave non-essential information out of a video. Where you went to school probably does not affect how you perform a demonstration, so there is no need to include it.
Plan ahead & prepare
Planning ahead saves time in the actual filming process, especially if you plan to rent equipment or if you end up staying late.
Start with a written script. Practice the script out loud and make edits as necessary. Ensure that you have smooth transitions and aren’t being too “wordy” by enlisting a small audience (friends and family work great for this).
Test your camera or smartphone for video quality. If your smartphone is older, borrow a newer one from a friend. Set up the camera, make a short film, and review the video to ensure the camera lens is clear and in focus. A video with poor sound is a real detractor and makes a company appear out-of-date or inexperienced. Make sure the sound on the video camera is clear and reduce all background noise (traffic, walking, honking horns, fans, etc.)
Choose a good, professional setting that appears pleasant, inviting and is free of trash. Also, be sure there is no traffic through the area and minimize disruptions by filming when there are no clients present. It’s OK to film a client if they have provided consent to be filmed, like getting an eye exam, for example.
While a campfire is a fun time, you do not want to look like you filmed a video for your business around one. When selecting your setting, choose a location with a lot of natural light (but not outside--too many variables). If additional light is needed to brighten the room, bring in additional lamps.
This video is a reflection of your business and your services. Be sure to wear clean, ironed (if necessary) clothing that does not have writing on it. If you are unsure about your clothing, film a quick video and review the tape to see how your clothing appears on camera.
Now that you've got the preparation part down, it's time to get the ball rolling. Here are some tips to use while filming.
What is trending?
Keep your videos engaging and timely by looking at what is trending or popular.
If you notice a trendy type of video that you can repurpose to be relevant, do it. For example, “The Harlem Shake” was a popular video phenomenon that went viral in 2013. Many businesses were able to capitalize on the phenomenon by filming a version of the video at their office. Make sure to use the proper, relevant hashtags when sharing on social media.
If there is a related current event that you can discuss, consider filming a video around that event. For example, if the World Cup is in town and a chiropractor is looking to get more athletes as patients, he or she could film a video about how to run and stop properly to protect the spine.
Music is one of the trendiest mediums out there. You know a song is trendy when it’s on every radio station, is playing in every store, and everyone is humming it under their breath. Many businesses have created engaging videos by taking the tune of popular songs and changing the words to exemplify their business. These types of videos take longer to produce but can have high engagement rates.
WARNING: Keep all songs clean and PG-rated. Consider your audience the same as that of a child’s cartoon. YouTube will provide a library of common songs to choose from when uploading a video.
No one is more connected to your industry than you. What better way to showcase your expertise than by explaining a recent breakthrough in your field? An engaging industry news-related video shows that you are an expert, you are current in your field, and that you will take the time to explain what is happening to your clients. This is also called an “explainer” video.
Set yourself apart
Overall, focus on what sets you apart from your competitors and what makes your business unique. Consumers want to know why they should choose you over a competitor and existing clients want to know why they should stick with you.
For example: Do you have longer hours? More specialists on staff? A better range of products? A different approach that is successful? Be sure to highlight whatever it is that sets you apart and benefits the viewer.
The main objection we hear from business owners is that they don’t want to be on camera. This is a very valid concern and something many professionals grapple with in their careers. While there are several work-around options for the camera-shy, keep in mind that potential clients want to see your face and hear directly from you.
Online video does not need to be live and you have ample time to practice and increase your comfort level with being on camera. The overwhelming benefits of online video should counteract any jitters or qualms you have about putting yourself on camera.
Now, get out there and start shooting video!