I interviewed several video production pros and friends of ReelSEO: How important is social media for your business? Do you need to know and do it for your own marketing purposes, or your clients'? Learn what social media marketing activities they're doing with their own business and for the types of clients and customers they each have, and some tips on how other video production professionals can harness social media marketing for their own business.
For those of you who follow ReelSEO, a few of these people are regulars and need no re-introduction. I've included a mini-bio of the rest, and I encourage you to check out all of their websites and videos.
The Vlogger and Web Video Personality Perspective: Steve Garfield
Do video production pros need to now know social media marketing?
You'd think that it would make sense for video production specialists to learn social video marketing, but what they really need to know, at the most basic level, is social media.
How have your own experiences with social media helped your video business?
I've found that social media including twitter and Facebook, have allowed me to make personal connections with people from all over the world. These connections aren't limited to online, either; they expand into real world meetings at conferences.
Video pros need to keep in mind that using video in social media spaces will, in fact, allow people watching their videos to 'feel like they already know them."
What advice would you give for video production pro's getting started with social media?
My advice would be to:
- Start learning about social media by watching and reading
- Find some interesting people to follow
- Engage in a conversation
- Enhance their online presence with video
The Web Video Trainer Perspective: Israel Hyman
Do video production pros now need to learn online (social) video marketing?
Lines are blurring between the different skill sets of video production and marketing. Someone who is good at video also needs to become good at online marketing. The opposite is also true; people who are good at online marketing need to learn video.
There will always be work for video production pros, even old school ones without the online marketing know-how, but it's possible they might start losing jobs to people who can do it all.
What I've personally found is that because I can do video and marketing myself, I'm not inclined to do client work. The combination of video and marketing basically sets you free to create, market, and sell your own products on the web.
If you're working for someone else, increase the value you offer by learning to combine video production with online marketing. Plug in any product or service, and you possibly have a successful outcome.
If you own a company, consider learning the skills yourself, or recruit someone to come work for you with a positive track record in both video and marketing.
If you're doing client work, imagine the impact of being able to offer both the video production skills and the marketing to get the videos seen. That's more perceived value which you can use to either 1) Charge more than your competitors, or 2) Charge the same as your highest priced competitor and still win the sale.
I suppose the video + marketing combination is not for everyone, but for the people who embrace it, it's a powerful tool they're holding.
How have your own experiences with social media helped your video business?
One of the things that make video marketing "social" is when people can see and hear who I am. As much as possible, I show my viewers who I really am. For example, they see my family. Because I've been making videos over the past five years, many of my viewers have watched my children grow up.
My personal opinion is that video has a higher perceived value than other types of mediums. So when someone writes an email asking me a question, I like to answer questions with a video because there's more inherent value. Of course it would be a lot easier to type up a quick email and answer the question that way, but I gain a lot by using video. It allows me to use my natural voice. It sits on the web for a long time, and allows other people with the same question to see the answer.
Overall, because I use video in my marketing, people have told me they feel like they really know me. If they know me, they might like and trust me. And if they like and trust me, they might buy from me.
The New Pro Videographers' Perspective: Jack Lane
I had the opportunity to interview a local video production pro in Chicago who also happens to follow of ReelSEO, and is also someone I've done a video shoot with for ReelSEO's "Web Videos For Business That Suck" series. His name is Jack Lane, President of LANE Media & Productions. Jack's clients are small-to-medium sized businesses and professional groups, with 90% of his work producing video for the Web.
You told me that you definitely consider yourself to be a "video marketer." Why do you make that distinction for yourself?
When I got into the market, I started my business with a very clear focus of wanting to produce video for the Web… and I really wanted to fill that void and bring this really valuable and powerful tool to the small and medium sized business.
I went to college for advertising and marketing; and a lot of my marketing experience is online, pretty much exclusively. So I used online marketing and video together four years ago. I became pretty heavily involved with social media, and saw the effect that video had to help bring together people in these different places; and also help drive traffic to the Website, so it meshed very easily for me. I saw the power of it firsthand; plus I knew the production aspect of video and also understand the marketing aspect of business.”
Do you see a generational gap with social media between younger videographers and video producers, versus the older generation of professionals?
Yes, I see a big generation gap. The younger generation videographers are more immersed in the web, and the older school of videographers is not. The younger pros and students grew up with the Web, they understand the Web, and they post everything they ever make on the Web. As for the older generation, it's not necessarily that they don't understand the importance or the usage of the web, it's that they don't always know how to create content specifically for the web, I think is the big thing.
How important do you think it is for video production professionals to be involved with social media – both for their own marketing and for their clients?
I think it's extremely important, and I stress extremely. Any place you can get your business or your name out to, there's a higher probability you have of you being found and being more successful in business.
YouTube is the largest video site and the second largest search engine in the world. Even a video-sharing site like Metacafe gets 25 million viewers each month. The more of these outlets you have to publish content or to promote yourself, promote your business and your clients', the more visibility and exposure you'll get; and at least some of that exposure will drive the right kind of people you want back to your Website.
What does it really mean for a video production pro like yourself to "be social" online and utilize social networks for their own business?
If you're running your own business like I am, they you need to take every opportunity you can to promote yourself and put yourself out there in the social networks. You can't expect anyone else to do that for you.
The Veteran Video Production Perspective: Earle Greenberg
Earle Greenberg is President of Chicago Video Works; and is a video production professional since 1979. Earle has also done some video shoots with me, and I interviewed him previously for ReelSEO on my piece, "How To Use a Virtual Set – Virtual Studio for Online Video.”
Earle, what type of clients do you find want their video you produce for them to be used in social media on the Web?
We do work with major corporate clients as small businesses, and we find they both have different goals with "social video." More of the small businesses expressly want us to create video that they can to put on their Facebook page or on LinkedIn. I don't know that many that really want to have their own YouTube channel, but most of them just want to do short little video things.
How are your larger corporate clients learning from what social media has to offer around video?
For the larger corporate clients, the hottest thing is videos of client testimonials. So taking what LinkedIn is doing where you can write a testimonial about somebody, our corporate clients are saying, "You know that's great, but we want to get them on camera talking about how great we are.” We have at least probably four or five different clients right now that we are doing that for on a much more elaborate basis. They want the fancy opens and closes in the video and they want all sorts of high impact graphics in these things.
What production mistakes do you find are being committing with making video for social media (websites)?
A big one I see all the time is this: Just because somebody knows how to produce a good video, doesn't mean they know how to prepare it for putting it on the Internet. There's pre-sets that are in most of the editing software that are out there, but those pre-set are not necessarily optimal for certain environments that they are going into.
Some of these software programs now come with social media pre-sets for encoding your video, like a Facebook pre-set. But if you select the pre-set and go in and look at the specs, a lot of them have mistakes. They have mistakes in pixel aspect ratio, which will totally change the way a video looks. How do we know this? We had to learn it by our own experimentation, really.
So you can have a great video producer, and have a great video, and end up with something that looks like junk.
With a lot of video for social media not necessarily having high production standards, are poor pre-sets really an issue for that lower-tier group?
It's like the saying: Garbage in, garbage out. If you don't start out with a really good video, it can't look good when you put it online. If you've got something poorly lit, or not lit and the talent has raccoon eyes cause the lightings bad. Or you have really bad sound and it sounds like you are in an echo chamber. No matter what you do with encoding, you're not going to be able to fix the garbage you put in. So again, if you're really concerned about getting the best encoding for the video you publish to any social media site – Facebook, YouTube, wherever – you've got to start with a good video.
The ReelSEO Fan Perspective: Tim Danyo
He may not have seen this coming, but I especially appreciated Tim Danyo's comments in my previous article, "Do Video Production Pros Need To Know Web Video Marketing?" which coincidentally related to the subject of this article. Here are his comments from that article where he shares his own video production experience.
"What I learned doing this type of work was how to build emotion and craft a story that resonates deeply with an audience. It takes time, practice and a lot of passion to achieve success- just like with any craft. I'm still learning, but i've built up momentum and i'm able to apply that in the video marketing arena.
I'd say the video producers of today need to see themselves more as new media communicators and community audience builders. Yes we need to be marketers and understand video seo, analytics, calls to action, why and when people click, how and where to place video, in what format, etc. That is definitely a part of the new video job description, but the connector storytellers, the ones who can communicate to a niche audience and to help to solve their problems, those are the folks who are needed big time."
Social Video Marketing Offers a Distinct Advantage for Video Pros
Boy, I bet you didn't see that one coming, huh? ;) Trust me, for an article as long as this, you don't need a long-winded conclusion to just re-state what's obvious: Video production pros have a responsibility to their business and their clients to at least be familiar with social media – create, participate, and educate.
Also, an apology to the ladies – I didn't plan for my interview list to be a sausage-fest. We certainly do welcome everyone's comments; and if you have your own article topic you'd like to have considered by us for publishing on the ReelSEO blog, be sure to email it to press (at) reelseo.com or contribute to our blog. Even better if you have a video you've produced that you'd like to share – it's a good way to be social with your business!