Heather is the Brewery Rep (Marketing Manager) for Video Brewery, the leading marketplace for startups in need of professional marketing videos. We had a chance to speak with Heather about how new companies should be using video to promote their business, distribute their message, and obtain investor funding.
Tell us a little about yourself. Why were you drawn to video and digital marketing?
My first career was in film and theater, and then I spent 7 years as a B2C (business to customer) marketer. Video Brewery was the perfect nexus for my entire background. I graduated college when MySpace was still a thing and Facebook had only been on the market for a few years. My career developed in step with digital marketing. I learned HTML, website management, and email marketing; and at the same time, I also gained a deep background in database management.
As a digital marketer, you need to understand the many different online marketing techniques available to you and have the technical background for marketing automation. Digital marketing, as a strategic combination of different marketing techniques, did not exist when I started my marketing career. I am fortunate to have developed the skills that are necessary almost by accident.
Using video for (small/medium-sized) business marketing is something that has developed in step with the concept of digital marketing. It is the perfect way for a business to develop a connection with their customers when they’re largely doing business online.
Why is video so important for a startup company who might not have much of an online presence?
A startup is under intense early pressure to generate user numbers and sales. They’re typically trying to enter an existing market and disrupt it. In order to do that, they have to stand out and be memorable.
Video communicates with customers in the most memorable way possible. Our brains process visual information faster and store it in longer-term memory storage. Video content capitalizes on multiple senses (such as sound cues to emphasize key points), which is exactly the way we take in information throughout our waking hours.
In addition, video communicates the information we want a prospective customer to have in the easiest way possible for them. Why wouldn’t you want to make it easier for a potential customer to learn about your product?
If a business owner were to say to you, "I'm hesitant about making a video because I don't like to appear on camera," how might you respond?
Our brains are very tricky to understand, aren’t they? This is actually something that we all have to overcome because we’re getting very strange feedback from our brain any time we see an image/video of ourselves.
There are three main factors at play. The first is the familiarity principle. In day-to-day interactions, we see everyone else as their true face, but we see the mirrored image of ourselves. There are subtle differences in our face that our brain recognizes as being in their proper alignment in the mirrored version of our face. So when we see our true face in a video, our brain recognizes that it’s not the version that it normally sees. (Want to test this out? Take your headshot and make a mirror image of it, then see which one you are happier with.)
A second red herring to overcome is confirmation bias. Most of us think we’re awkward on camera or are critical about our hair, clothes, or another element of our appearance. So when we see ourselves on video, we’re looking for things that confirm that existing negative impression. This is generally not something that you will overcome on day one; just know that the rest of the world doesn’t share that same impression of you. With time, you’ll become less critical of yourself.
The final factor is that on video, you’re hearing your voice in a different way than you naturally hear it. When we speak in real life, we hear our voice as vibrations on our ear drum and vibrations through our skull. On a video, we just experience our voice as vibrations on our ear drum. Our brain recognizes that there’s something missing. To the rest of the world, you don’t sound weird.
What kind of time commitment is usually required for a business owner and his/her staff for the planning and production of the video?
A professional video takes much longer to produce than most people anticipate. In general, I recommend committing 40 - 60 hours in total for a homepage/explainer video. Video blogs can take less time once you’ve mastered the setup.
Finish this sentence: "The most underutilized type of video that's effective for digital marketing is..."
These days, it’s the customer testimonial. Most companies have realized that video should be found on your homepage and used for product demonstrations, but it takes a lot of time to capture customer stories.
Can video be a feasible strategy for a company that doesn't have a large budget?
Everyone can make live action videos using an iPhone 6 or 7. There are also a number of online apps that allow you to make animated videos or short promo videos fairly easily.
What suggestions might you have for an entrepreneur who wants to incorporate video into a presentation for investors?
Turning a pitch deck into a video doesn’t mean that you can suddenly incorporate all of the items that didn’t make the cut to your slides. Video messaging needs to be just as simple and compelling as any pitch deck; otherwise, you’ll lose investors' attention. These days, you have eight seconds to catch someone’s eye and get them engaged. Once you’ve hooked them, you have another two minutes or so before they’ll start tuning you out.
What do you foresee for the future of digital marketing?
With all of the digital noise out there, it’s becoming harder for companies to stand out. The companies that win the attention battle are the ones that are authentic in every element of their marketing campaign and really build relationships with their customers.
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