How to Differentiate Yourself with Video – @patrickallmond
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If you’re looking for a way to up the ante with your marketing repertoire, why not add video to the mix? It can be a great way to build brand trust and loyalty with your audience, as well as add another level to your marketing strategy.
You don’t have to have a lot of experience in front of the camera to make great videos, you just need to follow a few simple rules and be willing to tweak things as needed. Shooting a video is more than just reading a script on camera. To make the biggest impact, you need to share great content and pay attention to small but important things such as lighting and audio. And of course once you have the finished product you need to know how to use it and share it to make the biggest impact and get the most exposure.
Patrick Allmond knows how to help businesses use video to make the most impact with their audiences. He proves that you don’t need fancy, expensive equipment to make great videos that take your marketing strategy up a notch to help differentiate you from your competition.
Rich: Patrick Allmond is a 17 year veteran of the business world and creator of the Own Your Empire marketing system, his own, unique structured way of achieving success in the digital marketing world. Business owners come to Patrick to learn how to be a rockstar marketer in their industry using the internet for lead gen, digital TV, social media and email marketing.
In addition to consulting, he travels the country speaking at events, showing people how to generate results so they don’t waste their time or money. He is also a frequent television contributor for ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX, and has a weekly web and TV radio series, and writer for Success Magazine. Patrick, welcome to the show.
Patrick: Thank you very much, I listen to that intro every time and I think, “Do I really do that stuff?”
Rich: I know. How do I fit all that stuff into one day?
Patrick: Exactly. I don’t want to seem like I’m bragging, but I’ve been a busy guy. Glad to finally talk to you.
Rich: Nice to talk to you, too. So we want to talk about video today. I know that there’s a lot of small businesses and entrepreneurs out there who are looking to differentiate themselves from their competition to stand out, and I know that you feel video is a powerful tool to help them accomplish this. Why do you say that?
Patrick: I say that because I think some of the lower forms of marketing – and I really don’t like to put them in a hierarchy – but some of the simpler forms or marketing, people are encouraged to do and after a while there’s so much noise in other areas and I like to look for areas where there’s not so much noise and you can make noise yourself. And video is one of those areas where people – in my opinion – can sometimes be a little bit shy and a little bit afraid. It seems complicated, you’ve got to have a big, giant studio set up and tons of lights and tons of equipment. It’s just not that way. I found when I push people that way that to get towards video that it really makes them stand out and I’ve heard nothing but great returns about it.
Rich: So part of what differentiates people when they do get into video is just the fact that everybody else is under this misunderstanding that video is too complex and needs to be done in a studio with a million dollar budget.
Patrick: Correct. And I can personally attest that it can be done very inexpensively and you can kind of work your way up, but a lot of times it does scare people and so I try to show them they can do this with $50. If you don’t have $50, do this with $20, if you’ve got $5,000, then do this with $5,000. But don’t make excuses that you can’t do it because you don’t have the equipment, because we’ll find cheap equipment and we’ll make you stand out.
Rich: Alright, so there’s the equipment piece of it – and maybe we can talk a little more about that – but there’s also the content piece. It sounds like you’re working with a number of these businesses to help them get started in video. What kind of content are they creating and how are they using these videos to grow their business?
Patrick: That’s a good question. I found that most people really overthink it, and I used to be this way also when it comes to doing the content side. A lot of people want to have a perfect script and perfect clothing and perfect lighting and perfect environment, and more often than not my advice in a structured way is to turn on the camera and start talking.
So I look for ways to convey the uniqueness of a business, and some of the areas that come to mind right off the top of my head are for someone to not really focus on the script so much. You put some bullet points together but do some simple things like talk about the backstory of your company. Talk about why your company started, your personal backstory, about you did you progress through college and what were your other careers and what eventually got you into this career. Basically these are just some general ideas where you can start to give some personality to your business.
I’m sure as you’ve seen in the past there are a ton of ways to hire any kind of commodity business out there. What really differentiates one person from another is your attraction to that persona and your trust with that person and how that person makes you feel. Do you feel confident about their services, do you think that they’re someone that would cheat you. I think you can resolve a lot of those with video.
Rich: I do agree that when you are watching a video of a prospective vendor that you really start to get a sense of them – at least you feel like you do – and people like to do business with people they like and that they trust, so that makes a lot of sense. Where do you put these videos after you’ve created them?
Patrick: The easiest answer is YouTube because it’s the biggest hosting site out there. It’s free and if someone is on a challenging budget then it’s definitely a good option. Now people often get concerned that when the video ends it shows related videos, or sometimes it can even shoe competitors videos, and there’s ways around that. There’s ways to set up YouTube to basically not show those videos and focus on showing your videos. So I really do like YouTube.
As your budget increases a little bit, I kind of move people more to the Wistia side. It’s a little bit more professional hosting and the analytics are a little better. One of the reasons I push people towards Wistia is because I trust them. Wistia has shown me some great ways to film video, to deal with lighting, to deal with audio. So not only is Wistia a good company for hosting videos and great for analytics, they actually are educational in the video process, so I love them and I send all my business there way.
Rich: Alright, that makes sense. Before we get to when you should pay for hosting versus free hosting that would be on YouTube, you mentioned that there were ways for keeping our competitors from being one of those suggested videos on YouTube. What are some of those methods?
Patrick: Well the first method that comes to mind is to come up with a unique name or brand for your video series, and that’s something we should always do anyway. I’ll give you an example. I have a weekly video called 3 In 5, and what YouTube does is YouTube is very good about showing you related videos after you watch a video, and one of the ways it does that is by looking at the title. So if you can come up with a unique name for your show or home improvement company or for your roofing company, some unique name that YouTube can say, “Oh, Patrick watched that video about that particular roofing show, let me see what other videos are out there that have a name like that.” So at the end it gives you suggestions related to the original video title. Now that’s one way.
Another way – and it’s going to be hard to convey via podcast – but there are ways to which you embed videos on your website to set up YouTube in a way that doesn’t show related videos at the end, it just ends and fades to black, it doesn’t show any videos after that. But I really like the first one. Make your topic unique, make your weekly show unique and YouTube will be more inclined to show videos that have a name like that.
Rich: So when you’re talking about coming up with a unique name for your show, it sounds like you’re taking that and you’re putting that right into the title of the video itself. So in other words if you were making a video about your car parking services and you called it Car Park Maine, you would start every title in there so that the related videos that you’ve created would be the ones that fill up the screen.
Patrick: Exactly. YouTube is part of Google and Google is very good at showing you results related to things that you’re already interested in. I’ve noticed over time that when I’ve watched a video series on YouTube, my suggested videos are more inline with what I’ve watched in the past even if I’ve watched one video. So yes. I’ll say the name of the show at the beginning and the end so it also shows up in the transcription, and then I will use it right in the beginning of the title.
As a matter of fact you can go to YouTube – and I don’t want to be too self promotional here – but you can search for “3 In 5”, I picked that, it’s unique, and so over in the podcast world and over in the video world I know that if someone searches for that they’re going to find my show. And when they watch those videos, those videos are going to be the suggested videos.
Rich: Alright, that makes a lot of sense. Now obviously YouTube – and I assume Wistia and Vimeo – which are three different hosting platforms, they all have embed codes. So are we taking these videos that we’re putting to YouTube and are we also embedding them in our blog, our website, in other places around the web?
Patrick: Yes, that’s something I definitely suggest people will do. One of my additional marketing strategies is to keep people on your website as long as possible. Another benefit of using video is that, yes, it’s going to be on YouTube but we already know how many billions of videos are on YouTube. But if you can get someone back to your website, they’re surrounded by the rest of your environment and the rest of your marketing and they’re still seeing your business name at the top and your stuff at the side bar and your stuff at the footer. So they’re embedded in your environment. If they have any inclination to buy what you are selling, they’re already in the right environment, they don’t have to go hunt down your website or click on anything. So yes, you want to get people right back to your website with video and keep them on there as long as possible.
Rich: Alright, so I’m less familiar with Wistia, I certainly know it as a company. I know on YouTube I can create links within the description, I can tell people to go to my website and even include things like annotations and YouTube cards to drive traffic back to my website. Are there similar tools to that in Wistia or is Wistia really more about here’s a place to host your videos and the expectation is that you’re going to embed them on your blog or website.
Patrick: Wistia has two key components which I really like. One is the analytics are really great. And what I mean by that is Wistia has this thing called a “heat map” that shows you what part of your video that people are more interested in.
Oftentimes when we’re talking we may spout out something about our business and we may not think it’s that important, but somebody else may hear that phrase and rewind it and play it again. And over time it’s my assumption that people will do that because we don’t always know the most interesting part of our videos. So Wistia has heat maps that show you what part of your video people are watching over and over, and also at what point in time do people become disinterested in your video. That’s one of the main part that I really like about Wistia.
Another thing I really like about Wistia is that it’s focused on lead generation, so they have features there where you can basically stop someone from even watching the video until they put in an email address. Or maybe you make it so someone gets ⅔ of the way through the video and they have to put in an email address to continue watching the rest of the video, or you prompt them at the end that if they want to see more videos, they have to put in an email address here. Then Wistia will tie it to your autoresponder of choice and it will help build up your email list which is another really great marketing tactic that I like.
So Wistia has all the same features as YouTube and Vimeo, but those two features really make it stand out for me.
Rich: Sounds good. Now one of the things you had talked about it kind of differentiating yourself by telling your story, and I certainly understand that, we like to do business with people we like. But obviously you can’t be doing that in every video, what other types of content do you see businesses using that have been successful for them?
Patrick: Some of the areas of content I really like to see and have been successful are talking about the behind the scenes side of it. Earlier I was talking about backstories, and that’s one path you can go down, but showing people the nitty gritty and behind the scenes part of your video. Most people like to present an image that they have a nice, clean, sterile business and that everything is perfect from the moment you walk in. Perfect carpet, perfect hair, perfect coffee, things like that. But for companies I help that are wharehouses and behind the scenes stuff, I encourage people to open up the curtain in the warehouse and show people how things are made.
One of the things I really like is for companies that receive shipments of new products. When you receive shipments of new products, show yourself opening up the box and possibly even putting something together and talk about why you ordered that particular thing. Just look at some of those things that you would typically hide from the public and put those on videos, so again that shows the inner working of your business. I think it also builds up a little bit more trust, if that makes sense.
Rich: Yeah, it absolutely does make sense. Now obviously you’re creating these videos and one of the crazy things about digital marketing is often you have to market the very marketing that you’re doing. What kind of things are you doing to get more views on your videos?
Patrick: To me some of the easier and obvious things are just making sure you go out and you re-share those videos on a regular basis. I will go to my own YouTube channel and tweet out stuff and share stuff on LinkedIn and I will do it daily. I don’t always have time to do that so oftentimes there are plugins in WordPress – for example – that will go through my videos that are years old and just re-share those a couple of times a day.
I’m also a big fan of the paid side of social media and internet marketing. So for example, right now I have some campaigns running on YouTube that are showing some of my weekly tip videos as pre-roll to other videos. So for example I have a whole series on Facebook tactics that people should be using, and I have it set up in my campaign where it’s showing my video as pre-roll towards other videos, it’s targeted towards people that are interested in social media, and it’s even targeted towards people right now that are actually in Oklahoma City.
Compared to my regular organic YouTube views, I’m noticing a higher retention rate and longer watch time. At the end of the video there is a call to action and a link that says “go to my website to check out more information”. So it’s just typical sharing and some paid, but also we need to remember that in the past couple of months Facebook has made it available for you to upload your videos directly to Facebook. So in addition to uploading your videos to YouTube, you need to make sure you’re uploading them directly to Facebook because you’ll have more exposure, more reach and longer watchtime if it’s directly on Facebook.
Rich: Alright, let’s dial this back a little bit because you’ve just started talking about something that I’ve never tried and I’m kind of interested in. So you’re creating videos that you’re using for pre-rolls. For anybody who doesn’t know or doesn’t spend a lot of time on YouTube, very often when you go to watch some video there’s a video that comes on before it called a “pre-roll”. Some of these you can skip ahead after 5 seconds, others you have to watch in it’s entirety. So that’s what a pre-roll is for anybody that’s not sure.
Now Patrick, are you taking your videos that already exist and just basically creating pre-rolls out of them, or are these shortened, teaser versions that you’re using that are then put in front of appropriate videos in front of appropriate audience members?
Patrick: Right now I’m just reusing the exact same videos I already used. And the reason I’m doing that is because the way that I actually structure my videos, you’re going to know whether or not in the first 10-30 seconds whether or not you want to watch it. My videos have a short in show where I talk, and then go into an animation video, then I go into the longer 5-7 minute video. So someone’s going to know right away whether or not they’ll want to talk about it because I get into the topic pretty fast.
Right now I’m reusing the same videos because all marketing is experimentation. At some point in time I might go in and make some short 30-60 second videos, but right now it’s because I’m a guy that talks way too much I’m using the longer videos right now – it was more of an experiment – for a relatively low budget I’m seeing a really good watch rate on my videos.
Rich: That’s fascinating. I imagine this is through some YouTube ad console. You mentioned that you’re only showing it in Oklahoma City, so you can geo target this. So if you’re a company like yours or mine or any local business, you can make sure that you’re only getting in front of local people
And then do you have the kind of choice between I want this to be the type of video that people can opt out of, or do they have to watch the whole thing? Is that one of the choices you can make?
Patrick: I have not seen those as one of the choices. That’s more of a YouTube choice, I think. But the nice part about it is you can look at those analytics and see where people are watching. The analytics on YouTube are pretty decent, and it’s also showing your organic views versus your paid views. But as far as I can tell you do not have a choice to make people watch the entire thing. If that was the choice, I don’t think anybody would ever turn that option off.
Rich: Well, this is just me guessing here, it’s much more expensive to buy an ad that people can’t fast forward through or skip through to the end. Every morning after my workout and I’m stretching I watch comic book videos – because that’s the kind of geek I am – and there’s often the commercials that come after that are 5 seconds and you can skip them, but there’s also the ones that last 30 seconds or even a minute that you just have to watch from beginning to end. Those are also generally from bigger, more well known companies so I assume they’re throwing more money at YouTube. That may not even be a tier that most small businesses have access to but it is interesting – I have not met anybody until I’ve talked to you – who have tried advertising on the pre-roll for their videos and now I totally want to try that myself.
Patrick: It’s really great, I actually have my console up right now, and like all things I made sure things were targeted. So I targeted towards certain topics related around technical advertising marketing options, I have city targeting going on. I don’t have any remarketing going on – that’s a totally separate podcast – but I could do that. But I can also see things like it’s interesting to see which age ranges watch my video, which genders watch my video, general demographic information.
It’s interesting but for my ad dollar I’m seeing a really good return on this and this is my experimental phase and after my experimental phase – which I think is going to be the end of February – I’m going to invest heavier in this because I’m just a video guy. I’m absolutely in love with the medium and I think there’s a lot of huge, huge potential there.
Rich: With one client we talked about doing some pre-rolls on YouTube, but we recently started working with a propane delivery company and we’re doing a series of videos with them. I would totally think that we could target anybody of a certain age in their general area who might be open towards propane delivery and that might be a good way of introducing the company to them. So great ideas right there.
Patrick: I look forward to seeing your results, that sounds great.
Rich: One question I have is nothing every happens in the silo, right, so you’re doing the video marketing. Do you integrate your video marketing to other elements of your marketing, and if so, how do you do that?
Patrick: Well one of the mantras I live by is “only good marketing is targeted marketing.” So what I try to do – and I’m not always successful – to be sure the video lines up with a service line, which lines up with a page on my website.
So let’s say there’s a Patrick pre-roll video on Facebook Marketing. That video talks about Facebook Marketing, and then if you click through it it goes to a page on my website that talks about Facebook Marketing. One of the things that you’ll notice about internet marketing – and I think about marketing in general – is that you have to segment the areas you talk about and you have to be sure that you’re following that from the very first word of the video, through the page, through the service offering.
You want to keep people in line with a particular service offering because your target market is not everybody. Your target market is somebody that has a particular pain point at a particular time and they want to be sure that the link they click on or the number they dial is going to solve that pain point. So it’s good to make sure that that pain point is carried through throughout the entire lifecycle. Does that make senses, Rich?
Rich: It absolutely does. You’ve worked with a lot of businesses when it come to videos, are there certain mistakes that you see companies making that you just want them to stop now?
Patrick: Yes. Probably the first one we briefly touched on earlier is the overthinking and the scripting. I’m a big fan of structuring a video, however, most people don’t do well with tools like a teleprompter. If you tried to read a teleprompter, oftentimes it’s very inauthentic and I’ve got some friends in the news media that how they do it and pull it off is just an amazing skill. I cannot read a teleprompter and make it look good, it just doesn’t work for me. Over structuring and over thinking to me is a big issue that people make a mistake on.
And then a couple more minor ones are poor lighting and poor audio. Your topic may be so so, but if you have poor audio and people can’t hear you, or you have poor lighting and people can’t see you, then the entire time from when you press “record” to when you press “stop” was a wasted time. So those are the top three right there that come to mind.
Rich: That makes a lot of sense. And if I’m hearing what you’re saying is it’s ok to be a little raw and authentic to what you’re saying to people – not everything has to be perfectly scripted – but at the same time you don’t want to ruin your opportunity of making a good first impression with bad audio or bad lighting.
Patrick: Right. And again, all these are mistakes I have made. And those are the best kind of mistakes I’ve learned from. For example I’ve shot before with my office window behind me versus behind the camera – and I’m already a dark guy – and that didn’t help. And over the years I’ve also invested in good audio. And then again I’ve tried to follow a teleprompter and that’s just never worked out for me. It may be good for some people but I see it’s best to just make a list of bullet items and tape it right below the camera lens. I make it a large font to see without my glasses on and I tell people to just do your intro and let’s walk through some topic areas and just do your standard closing and it will seem a lot more authentic. Also it allows you to be a lot more expressive with your hands and your face and your eyes, which people also love.
Rich: Good stuff. Patrick, I’m sure a lot of people are going to want to check out your videos as well as some other things, where can we find you online?
Patrick: Well my main website is allaboutfocus.com which is my corporate website, we’ve been in business since 1998. And of course you can just Google “3in5” and sure enough that’s going to bring up my podcast, my videos and a bunch of my images right away. So I’ve got the 3in5 videos and also there’s a 3in5 podcast which you can tune into at iTunes. I use my full name all over social media, so if you search for Patrick Allmond you’re going to find me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and I love to connect with people and share what I know.
Rich: Awesome. Thank you very much, I appreciate your time today, Patrick.
Patrick: My pleasure, it was great talking to you.
- You can connect with Patrick all over social media:
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- Rich Brooks is the owner of flyte new media, a web design and digital marketing firm in Portland, Maine. You can hear Rich and other thought leaders on the topics of search, social and mobile marketing at his Agents Of Change Digital Marketing Conference on September 26, 2016 – save the date!