How do you get people to know, like & trust you? You build a relationship with them, you tell stories that resonate with them, and you make them feel a connection with you. What’s a great way to do that – with video.
Whether it’s for sales, marketing, or just a more personal connection than a simple written email, video has a power all its own. Video marketing is a gold mine right now because of all the multi-channel distribution options thanks to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc.
Don’t let the stigma of thinking creating video is tedious, expensive, or doesn’t offer the same benefits as other content. And video platforms can also offer some insightful analytics info, as well.
Rich: A recovering youth Pastor and former pub bouncer, George B. Thomas has always helped people, it’s just been at different points in their journey. Now George is the resident nerd at The Sales Lion, an inbound content marketing agency helping businesses become rock stars in their markets.
George sees video as the next step of the inbound marketing evolution, and loves to help businesses by running 1-2 day video marketing workshops. He’s a branding guru, a video marketing ninja, an inbound marketing Jedi – yes, he’s a total nerd – and a Hubspot accredited trainer.
When he’s not running workshops or speaking around the world, you’ll find George spending time with his family enjoying the beauty that North Carolina has to offer. The energy he brings is infectious and the knowledge he drops is terrific. And he doesn’t need coffee to do it all, but you know, it does help. George, welcome to the show.
George: Rich thanks, I appreciate being here today.
Rich: So you mentioned – or I mentioned in your bio – that you see video as the next step. Why do you feel that video is so important?
George: You know, honestly Rich, it is the easiest way to communicate in a human level in a digital world. And really when I sit back and I watch myself – and I’m not a young guy, I’m an old dog and the internet is teaching me new tricks – I see myself engaging more with sites like YouTube, Linda.com, Team Treehouse, video-based education, because I want a quick win. I want to be able to learn what I need to learn and get out.
And if I look at my kids – holy mackerel – the amount of video that they digest in Facebook, on Instagram, on YouTube, it’s just ridiculous.
Rich: That’s absolutely true. And it’s funny because my girls also spend a lot of time watching probably too much video, but also creating video. Last night my daughter, Maya, came home from her volleyball bonding experience which they do every year, and for the past couple years the way that they bonded was creating videos together. And they had the video from some band and they acted it out, so kids certainly are enjoying this platform as a way to communicate.
But I’m sure there are a lot of people out there listening who run businesses or market for businesses and they’ve heard you saying video is the next big thing, but to them it feels like there’s some insurmountable hurdle. It’s too expensive, or it’s time intensive, or no one’s going to watch. You must have heard this before, so what do you say to people like that?
George: It’s funny because we as humans do always put hurdles in front of ourselves. It’s almost impossible us to conceive that we can actually achieve these things that we want to do. And when anybody asks me… because the plethora of questions is “What gear do we need?” or “Should we script or shouldn’t we script?” or “Is it for the sales team or is it for the marketing team?” or “Who should be behind the camera and who should be in front of the camera?”
The first thing that I always say to them is, first of all you’re about to run a race and you need to know where the starting line is and the finish line is, and you can’t figure out one without the other. So at The Sales Lion what we always tell them is the first thing you should do is take an assessment. And we actually created a free assessment that people can go take – it’s not a lead gen opportunity – we just wanted something that people could fill out and see this is where they’re good, and where maybe they’re not so good, and what things they should work on. And folks can find that at thesaleslion.com/assessment. But that is really the first thing is find out where you’re at, because you may be far better off than you realize when it comes to starting to do this video in your business.
Rich: Alright. And that kind of leads into my next question. Let’s say that I hear you, I’m inspired, and I’m probably putting up more hurdles than I need to. So I’ve never done video – or at least I haven’t done it consistently – where do I start?
George: So it shouldn’t start with the questions but it should start with the creativity. And what I mean by that is what story are you trying to tell, what goals are you trying to achieve, and who is this really for, meaning the persona or the person you’re trying to do this for.
One of the things that we love to see is when the lightbulb comes on for most of your CEO’s and CMO’s where you’re saying, “Hey look, video is actually the ultimate bridge between your sales and marketing teams.” And let me explain that, Rich. The first thing you should do – or maybe I’ll say the first 2 things that you should do – when it comes to creating video inside your business.
Number one, you create what we call the “80% videos”. And this is simply the questions that your sales team get asked 80% of the time. Each one of those questions should have a video tied to it. So instead of spending 15-20 minutes in an email, you spend 2 minutes in an email and you link to a video that really educates them on this question.
The second thing that you should do is every one of your sales reps should have an email signature video, which just kind of talks about who they are, what they do at the company, how they’re a thought leader, the fact that they like long walks in the beach and dogs. So it ties in the human element.
Here’s what’s amazing to me, our emails – as much as we hate it – it is truly our largest marketing daily send. Let’s say we have 5 sales reps and they send 10-20 emails a day, in a 30 day period that’s a lot of possible views of that piece of content that will get somebody’s attention. Someone might say, “I resonate with Joe, I like to go camping, too. Let me call Joe, it seems like he knows what he’s talking about.”
Rich: I can’t think of another platform or way of communicating with people online that shows as much of us as video. And you can see the passion that somebody has, you can see their knowledge and expertise, and you get the audio piece, too. So it probably is the closest to meeting somebody in real life so you’re as close as you can be to making that one on one connection.
So is video something that we can do in-house or should we be calling up a local videographer, or are there other options out there?
George: It’s funny because I was actually just in Boston and did a talk, and talked about a video. And I asked the audience to raise their hand if they were doing insourcing. Probably about 20% of the audience – and there was about 1,200 folks – raised their hand. Which left me to realize that the other options are that they are paying a video production company, or they’re not doing video at all.
We at the Sales Lion actually teach that you should be doing video insourcing. A lot of times before we even bring on a client that we do consulting with, we’ll say they need to have a content manager and they need to have a videographer, because we’re going to teach you how to create written content that is awesome, and we’re going to teach you how to also have video content for your sales team, for your blog, for your website, and these are just things that are going to have to happen.
So insourcing truly is the way I think that companies need to go moving forward. Just because you’re going to be able to get more bang for your buck. If you have someone that can do the editing and shooting, you already have the actors and actresses in house. Your sales team love to talk to people. The only thing that they’re missing is this little magical workshop that they’ll get that teaches them how to communicate in front of the camera like a true professional, and then we’re off to the races.
Rich: That sounds great. See, I live in Maine so a small business in Maine may not be the same small business somewhere else. A lot of the people I meet on a daily basis who are involved in a small business, there may be 3 or 4 people total – not in the marketing department – but total. And I’ve definitely talked to a lot of solopreneurs, too. The idea of hiring somebody just to do video content is probably going to be out of their reach.
What would you suggest if you just don’t have that? Is it a matter of taking some training yourself, having one of your team members get some training, or do you feel that people can kind of just figure this out on their own as long as they have a smartphone and some inexpensive video apps?
George: I’ll tell you, it just depends to me on how much you want it. And if you want it, it doesn’t matter if you can hire somebody or if it has to be you. If you want to do video and it’s about watching some tutorials on linda.com or YouTube, and figuring out how to splice it together and make it good enough to go out. Or you can think about the process and look at all the technology that’s out there today.
For instance, I’ll give you an example. And by the way, when we’re talking small business The Sales Lion – the company that I work for – we’re 7 people strong, so we’re not a huge agency. But I will tell you the other day that I got online, I got a lead, this person wanted to talk about video for their company. And what I did is I hopped over to my browser – notice I didn’t say anything about my mobile phone or anything about a camera – I hopped over to my browser because my computer has a camera in it and I used a little piece of technology called Soapbox by Wistia – and if you wanted you could use ViewedIt by Vidyard – and I hit “record” using the camera on my computer. I held up a whiteboard and I said, “Hey Norm, this song is for you.” Well that gave me an instant thumbnail, he saw his name in the video, and I just riffed a normal marketing/sales speech to him and said “let’s connect” and gave a link to my calendar and I sent it out in an email. Norm was blown away and it only took me all of about a minute and a half to hit “record” and have that little sign with his name on it to say what I wanted to say, and then push it through my email over to him to be able to watch.
So you can make this as simple as you want and be effective, or you can make this as complex as you need and still be effective on the other side of the road as well.
Rich: So it’s interesting, in my mind when we were going to start this conversation we were going to talk about video as a marketing tool as one to many, and I do want to get to that. But it sounds like you’re seeing some success in one-to-one. Literally, holding your own sales card just via video and sending it off to somebody.
George: Yeah. And this is why I like to start this way. Almost everybody wants to visualize everything as a marketing conversation. And why I said this is the ultimate bridge to sales and marketing is because the conversation that we’ll get to about marketing and video, one-to-many, is an easy conversation and everybody will get it. The one that is, “this is how your sales team could be using video, one for one”, is a lot more difficult and has to be addressed. I just want everybody to know it’s for this purpose.
Not too many years ago sales people had 2 minutes or so when somebody walked in the showroom to sell themselves. And if you can sell yourself, you can sell anything because people start to know, like, and trust you in an instant. Well because 70% of the buyer’s journey is done online before they ever pick up the phone, before they ever see you face to face. You have to be there and video is the way that you get that 2 minutes back that you’re wondering where the heck it went.
Rich: Alright. SO that does kind of lead me into the next question. I definitely hear that there’s a real opportunity for almost a ninja-like, one on one conversations via video. But I’m sure that a lot of people are wondering how they can use video in their marketing. So once we’ve created this video, where do you think we should release it, what are the platforms that you’d recommend today?
George: So the first thing that we say to clients after the 80% videos, after the email signatures, we move into what is more of a marketing field. So the next place you want to look is at all of your products and service pages, and you’re going to create a video for each product and service, and it’s going to live on the products and service pages. But, we suggest that you also create a video gallery on your website that people can just kind of browse through and get lost in and spend a lot of time just educating themselves on the things that you do, on the problems that you solve.
Plus, above and beyond that, we always have our clients put a video on YouTube. The reason we say that they should be on YouTube is because that’s the second largest search engine in the world, as well as it is a social platform. There’s a large community of folks – myself included – that that’s immediately where I go to educate myself on said things.
So for sure on your website, for sure on YouTube, and then depending on how micro these folks want to get with their video, then you do something like a teaser on Facebook that can either take them back to your website product or service page, or you can even do where the teaser takes them to your YouTube channel so they can learn more.
And we can totally get in the conversation of when it’s on my website do I use the YouTube embed or do I use another platform where I can truly measure and analyze the success of the video. This could go down a really nerdy rabbit hole depending on how far we wanted to take it.
Rich: Well I’m not even sure that that’s nerdy. I want to know that because we’ve created a number of videos over the years that go on blog posts, and occasionally on our webpages, too. My general rule of thumb is if I want more people to see it I will put it on YouTube, but if I want more control over it I out it on our Vimeo business platform. And I thought I was getting some good metrics from YouTube in terms of who’s watching it and for how long, and all that sort of stuff. What am I missing by not using a platform like Wistia, which you mentioned a few times?
George: So let me just dive real quick into YouTube. If you’re using YouTube you definitely need to check out a tool called Tube Buddy. Tube Buddy is amazing when it comes to actually lifting out and being able to visualize your analytics on YouTube. But where I really nerd out is when you use something like Vimeo for business or Vidyard, in my case I’m just going to talk about Wistia because that’s what we’ve used for a lot of years and talked to a lot of people about.
To be able to see on a per video level the amount of people that watch the video, when the people start to fall off the video. If you can look at a video and see at 2:37 that 50% of your audience falls off, you should be watching that timestamp of your video and saying, “what’s going on?” And then you realize somebody tried to tell a joke that wasn’t that good. You should actually try to reshoot that video and get that joke out of there and see if it doesn’t level out and people stay longer.
What’s nice about a platform like Wistia is where on YouTube you’d have to delete the video and upload the new one, and you’d lose historical stats. With Wistia you can just upload and replace the video and keep your historical stats. Now look and see what the new stats are doing. So there’s things like that.
There’s things like being able to use what’s called, “turnstiles”, or being able to add “form fields” into your videos. So not only are you worried about analyzing the metrics and the view time, but can we generate some leads inside of our videos.
So imagine again that you’ve got a video and at 1:54 you’re talking about an e-book guide checklist that’s amazing and how they should download it, and in the video you can say, “go ahead and fill out the form you’re about to see right now”. So you’re all set and the form slides in and you allow them to give you their first name, last name, and email. Or you can allow them to skip the form and they can continue to watch, or they can convert right there in the middle of your video. And then of course you have some type of nerdy, automated sequence with workflows that sends them out the e-book guide checklist while they’re still watching the video.
Platforms like Wistia and Vidyard, they allow you to optimize your player so you can truly make it a branded experience that feels like it’s supposed to be on the page. You definitely and give them – and this is one of the other things I love – a call to action at the end of the video that takes them where you want them to go. You might get 9 other places where you can go watch a video on YouTube, with Wistia or Vidyard, you can say that instead after the video is over you want a call to action that tells them to go check out your products page or team page. It’s all about context at the end of the video and where do you want to send them next.
So those are a couple of things that you should definitely be doing with video on some of these third party platforms.
Rich: That’s very interesting and of course so far we’re still talking primarily about using our own website, it sounds like, as a platform for these videos. A lot of people are obviously interested in YouTube and the SEO benefits that a platform like YouTube can benefit from or Facebook – especially Facebook Live – what are some of the recommendations you’re sharing with your clients on how to get more people to watch our videos? Especially from thinking of it as a platform to reach a wider audience.
George: So anytime you talk about audience, I say meet them where they’re at. If you want a big audience, don’t always try to pull them in, just go to where they are.
So YouTube is a no brainer. If you’re doing video you should have a YouTube channel, you should be putting your videos on YouTube, and you should be focused on how can we do that the best, how can we have custom thumbnails, how can we add captions, how can we direct them in the right place, say the right thing. There’s just a whole bunch of strategies around YouTube that folks should be rocking.
But definitely Facebook. Facebook is in the game to play for real. I don’t even think a lot of people know that you can embed your Facebook videos on other pages. I don’t see a lot of people doing that, but that functionality is there where you could go and do a Live broadcast and then be able to embed that somewhere else later, or upload a video and embed that someplace later wherever you would want to use it.
Any of these platforms, if we look at the ecosystem that’s out there, the fact that you could do live video on Instagram, and live video on Twitter, and live video on Facebook. And Facebook is something that I would say to most people to double down on it. Here’s what’s fun, Facebook has come out and said. “We’re going to give special treatment to anybody who’s doing live video inside of the Facebook stream“. Ok, – ding, ding, ding – that’s a winner.
The second thing that everybody should realize is once you’re done doing a Facebook Live – which is already getting special treatment – you can now boost it or throw your whole wallet at it and now it’s got special treatment in the stream and you’ve added money, what type of treatment do you think Facebook is going to give it then. I have seen some astronomical numbers where I’ve gone on and done a Facebook Live and then I’ve boosted it and the view rates have just been amazing.
Now I’m going to give you a super nerdy trick, because you say Live is different than your normal produced videos. Yes, however there’s a software that I love to use called Ecamm Live that’s for Mac, but it allows you to play your regular videos inside of a Facebook Live. So if you’re super smart about this you get on and say for example, “Let’s talk about xyz”, and then you happen to have a couple pre-baked videos that talk about that topic, you can be doing the Live and say, “Let’s go ahead and watch this”, and play your video while still on a Facebook Live. And at the end, it was all Live, it had 2 produced videos in it, and you’re going to boost it out to some audience that’s going to the people where they’re at.
Rich: I love that. I actually just bought Ecamm last month, I haven’t really had a chance to play around with it. But a national organization that was going to have me put on a webinar for them asked me would I rather do a Facebook Live instead, and I suggested maybe we want to do a hybrid where we’re doing kind of a webinar where I could share anything on my desktop – including my entire desktop. So I can go back and forth and instead of doing a normal webinar, just do it as a Facebook Live instead.
George: And that is a really smart idea. When people who fundamentally have always done webinars – and I’m just going to give you an example – Hubspot Academy. For years, since 2012, they’ve always done webinars. About a month ago they actually switched to Facebook Lives.
Rich: Interesting, I didn’t know that. That’s pretty cool. So they must be seeing the power of that as well.
George: Yeah, absolutely.
Rich: This has been great, George. I’ve definitely learned a lot, I’ve taken a lot of notes. Definitely some things I’m going to try out for Agents of Change and flyte new media. I’m sure a lot of our audience members have also been taking notes. For those people who want to dig a little bit deeper, maybe get to know you, check out some of your stuff, here can we send them?
George: Of course you can find me over at thesaleslion.com, but if you want to have real communication and ask real questions and get responses, there’s two places that I always love to send people. One is the Twitttersphere at @GeorgeBThomas, and one Facebook at Mr. George B. Thomas.
And really, when I say I will answer you, I will answer you. I love getting questions, I love giving answers. It really truly is my oxygen, being able to engage with folks online, so hit me up.
Rich: Alright, I want everybody out there to put George to the test, ok. Alright George, this has been great, thank you so much for your time and your expertise.
George: Thanks Rich, appreciate it.
Be sure to take the free video marketing assessment that George was talking about, so you can gauge where you’re at and, see what you excel at, and what you may need to work on.
A few resources that George mentioned:
Rich Brooks is the President of flyte new media, a web design & digital marketing agency in Portland, Maine. He knows a thing or two about helping businesses grow by reaching their ideal customers, and to prove that, he puts on a yearly conference to inspire small businesses to achieve big success. You can also head on over to Twitter to check him out, and he just added “author” to his resume with his brand new book!