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In Video We Trust for Sales

As a salesperson, no matter how long your sales cycle, one of the most important things that you need to build with your buyer is trust. You could argue that getting a deal done without trust is next to impossible. If someone doesn’t trust that you have their best intentions in mind, that you can help them solve their challenges, and that you are an expert in your field, they will not buy from you. Period.

As buyers become more sophisticated and well-researched, maintaining trust throughout your sales funnel is more important than ever. Spammy tactics can kill your credibility and it is nearly impossible to recover from that first impression. The bottom line here is this: modern buyers have higher expectations of the customer experience – they want salespeople to focus on adding value and being helpful.

Leveraging video in your sales process is a game-changing way to build trust, establish authenticity, and strengthen relationships with your buyers and prospects.

Like any relationship you have to start slow.  With a prospect, as opposed to a repeat customer, perhaps you start with social. Maybe connecting on LinkedIn, liking some content and commenting on things. And then your next step, rather than sending an email, imagine the impression a personalized video would make? It would be memorable. And that’s what you want.

Experienced buyers can smell insincerity from their inbox. That’s why our Team often recommends using real employees and no script in order to build that trust.

We call this process “back scripting” because you are really editing back to a script. When done right, you will have multiple ways of creating the “script” however with real, sincere and genuine reactions vs. canned and robotic communications.

You may be thinking: “My buyers are old-school – sending them videos will freak them out or make them feel uncomfortable. This medium won’t resonate with them.” Trust us – if you focus on being thoughtful, adding value and going the extra mile to personalize your content, the responses will be overwhelmingly positive no matter who your buyer is.

Have questions on anything we’ve shared above? Please share in the comments – we’d love to hear your feedback.

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About the Author: Roshni Hannon
Contact: roshni@madbearproductions.com

Her name means “light” and that is what she is… high energy, bright and fast. And yes… she does run regularly. While we’re not sure what she is running from (perhaps her two young kids) we know she’s covered a ton of ground. She was the Executive Producer for an award winning and number one rated morning show in Tampa for years. And now, she uses her unique blend of organization, storytelling and curiosity to help Mad Bear clients find their stories. Think of her as an architect, a story architect.

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Need Help Delivering Video to Your Audience?

If you love the idea of video but don’t know how to get the video in front of the people you are trying to reach… You are not alone.

So I want to share with you our story of discovery of that exact conclusion.

This story describes what really is a dynamic duo of video storytelling.

Yes it is fun but why should you care?

Because through the narrative, you learn about a service offering from video agency Mad Bear Productions that not only finds and produces business stories but designs a campaign around the videos, strategically delivers them to a specific audience where they are already hanging out and makes sure that audience is watching and engaging.

We would like to formally introduce you to Cotton Ball Media:

www.CottonBallMedia.com

Please reach out to us with questions about what Cotton Ball Media is and how it might be able to help you expand your audience.

Video Strategy: Part 1 (Content)

I play chess with my son. He’s 8. And he’s pretty good. He’s beaten me fair and square a few times. It got me thinking. What’s his strategy? So I asked. His answer was simple: Keep the King Alive. Strategy doesn’t have to be complicated, but it has to work for YOU.

We get into conversations with marketers all the time about their video and they usually start and end the same. While they’re excited about video, when we ask them about  video strategy, there’s usually a long pause which is generally an acknowledgment of “we don’t have a strategy….”  Our follow-up question is typically something like, “do you know how well your videos are working for you?” we typically get the same long pause. In order for your videos to deliver you’ve got to have a personalized strategy.

No two strategies are the same. At Mad Bear Productions we have a specialized three-prong approach to nailing a video strategy you’ll not only love, but one that you can be proud of.

Here are the three things to consider:

1. Content: What is your story? And how will you tell it?
2. Distribution: Who are you trying to reach and how are you going to do it?
3. Metrics (analytics and reporting): Let’s make sure it’s working and learn from the numbers.

For the purposes of this article, we are going to focus on Content. 

Humanize. Use video to inspire, entertain, and connect on a more personal and emotional level. Get creative with using video to deliver fun, approachable, and humanized content campaigns. Or deliver a personalized video campaign that literally brings each viewer into the story in a way that’s relevant, interesting and memorable. Try some things out and diversify how you use video content, and you’ll start to discover what your most powerful stories are, and what your audience really cares about. It’s about building your brand in way that makes you feel proud and that grabs your audiences attention. We produced a series of videos for Valspar to help paint a story that let’s people know they stand for more than color.

If you aren’t sure what to do or how to do it. Just be true to yourself and your brand. The most important thing is to make sure you are being genuine about what you are showing. If you aren’t being genuine, it likely won’t work.”

-Glenn Zimmerman, CEO Mad Bear Productions

Be (A Little) Daring. We are not suggesting you throw caution to the wind and produce something outrageous that will scare your customers. But you have to stand out. And to stand out you have to take some risks. Consider adding a splash of humor, maybe choose some music you normally wouldn’t. Choose an approach that is a little bit out of the box. To help a Cyber-Security firm launch a complex piece of technology, check out how we used Sun Tzu’s Art of War.

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“But don’t do something unexpected and different just for the sake of it. Make sure you stand out for a reason and most importantly… that  the reason matters to your audience.”

-Glenn Zimmerman, CEO Mad Bear Productions

Do something unconventional, but do it to connect with people in a more emotional way (see Humanize above).  If you’re uneasy at the thought of trying something, don’t give up just because you are scared. Take a breath and see it from the users standpoint. It may accomplish the job better.

Make it Interactive.  In general, we find that marketers tend to be conservative in their use of video content. Explainer videos and educational webinars are pretty common now, since marketers know that video is the best way to educate given its high retention rates. It’s going to be tough to get anyone excited about your video strategy if you’re producing another screen capture video with a voice-over. But you know what they might get excited about? If you delivered an interactive video with survey questions to really engage your audience. Choose your own adventure style videos are another great way to get some engagement. What else? Well, here is one video from a campaign we completed with Northwell Health. This was one of several videos used to encourage the viewer to vote for one of three different innovations in healthcare. Nearly 500,000 votes later… success.

“Don’t feel pressure to use the latest and greatest technology in order to be interactive.  The goal is purely to engage the viewer. If the interaction accomplishes that… you have succeeded”

-Glenn Zimmerman, CEO Mad Bear Productions

Overall, a video strategy keeps you from creating aimless content. Your videos should have a purpose aligned with your business goals. So, now you have your story. Stay tuned for our next blog which will focus on how you get the right people to see it!


About the Author: Roshni Hannon
Contact: roshni@madbearproductions.com

Her name means “light” and that is what she is… high energy, bright and fast. And yes… she does run regularly. While we’re not sure what she is running from (perhaps her two young kids) we know she’s covered a ton of ground. She was the Executive Producer for an award winning and number one rated morning show in Tampa for years. And now, she uses her unique blend of organization, storytelling and curiosity to help Mad Bear clients find their stories. Think of her as an architect, a story architect.

The Power of Music in Video

The importance of music in video is indisputable. It is the subtle guide that commands an audience to sit up and pay attention. The right music can make your video memorable and moving. On the flipside, a mistaken choice of soundtrack can give the wrong impression about a brand, confuse a message and/or simply leave the story flat.

Mad Bear’s Co-founder and creative genius Julian Williams, Knock it Out Music’s Executive Producer/ Composer Ryan Nach and Mark Malekpour with Beat Suite share some tips to help choose the perfect tunes for your next video marketing project.

1. Think about how you want your audience to feel

You know what I am talking about. You get a text from a family member and it says “Stop what you’re doing and watch this video.” A distraction from work sounds nice right about now, so you take the bait. A minute later, you’re holding back tears because the video you just watched was that good. And when a colleague stops by your desk to ask what’s wrong, you lie and say “My allergies are just awful today.” Try watching that video on mute; you probably won’t need those tissues this time. Nach says “the power of music to elicit emotional reactions is one of the reasons why it’s often referred to as the language of emotion – and it’s vital you get it right.” Malekpour adds “if you’re producing content that has a high tempo and is a visual feast, you need music that compliments that and carries the energy and tempo of the content… the music is used to keep the attention of the audience, maintain the flow of the video and help it along so that a 2 or 3 minute video doesn’t seem like a long, drawn out watch.” Remember, the music is a main ingredient that pulls them in, pricks their ears and grabs their interest.

2. Pick the right mood

The mood of a piece of music is one of the most important elements to consider when choosing a track for your video. “If I had to pick one of (Mad Bear’s) videos where the music set a mood and a pace it would be a video we did for Attorney Paul Edelstein. Right away the music sets a mood and a pace. And when it changes, it still drives the timing and edits under the voice over. It’s a great example of how music sets mood and determines the pace of a video.” How about music and sports? ESPN’s Monday Night promo for the Giants and Dolphins is a terrific example of how music and image complement each other…especially the first few bars of the Lil Wayne track.

3. Use budget wisely

Budget will obviously factor in when it comes to the quality of what you can afford, but a small budget doesn’t mean your video has to appear cheap. “Production music catalogues offer a cost-effective alternative to expensive specially-composed or commercial tracks” says Nach. The internet has also made music more available. “There’s a common thought that if you can license music for next to nothing, then you shouldn’t be paying much more for it. However, you get what you pay for with music, just as you would with any other professional industry…the quality of the writer and composition of the music track, where it builds, where it breaks… the quality of the instruments… the quality of a drum can ruin a music track.” Williams adds that “music and images complement each other. Powerful images can stand alone but they are enhanced with music. And good music with some editing can enhance average images.” Check out how the music takes a fairly simple subject like “How to Choose a Lawyer” and turns it into something sexy.

So I think we would all agree. When chosen well, music sets the stage and allows your video to shine.

Our thanks to Ryan from Knock it Out Music and Mark at Beat Suite for their contributions to this blog. You can check them out at www.knockitoutmusic.com and www.beatsuite.com.


About the Author: Roshni Hannon
Contact: roshni@madbearproductions.com

Her name means “light” and that is what she is… high energy, bright and fast. And yes… she does run regularly. While we’re not sure what she is running from (perhaps her two young kids) we know she’s covered a ton of ground. She was the Executive Producer for an award winning and number one rated morning show in Tampa for years. And now, she uses her unique blend of organization, storytelling and curiosity to help Mad Bear clients find their stories. Think of her as an architect, a story architect.

 

New Video Camera Technology = Quality & Value (Part 2)

A bass line throbs and light ephemeral strings tickle your eardrums. On screen, spectacular imagery sears your retinas burrowing into your brain.  Something, part astronaut, part trapeze artist, part condor leaps off a cliff and screams through a dazzling alpine landscape, as guitars scream and a beat throbs providing the cadence to an all out three pronged attack on your senses, audio, visual and emotional.

Just watch for yourself…

The message is clear.  “You can do this.  Its easy.   Its small, its affordable, you can be a hero. You can be a pro”  Its right there on the name of the camera.  GoPro Hero.

So you go out and buy a GoPro ready to bring videography to new heights when your attempts at heroic imagery are dogged by issues.

Take this example we found on YouTube.

Cool jumping fish but why does the video look so bland?

Where is the sound and the fury? Why does your family vacation look like a video of your family vacation and not the epic visual journey you were expecting? The answer is of course time and expertise. The adrenaline packed imagery you see is the result of many hours of labor, choreographed shoots, carefully selected music and a lengthy editing process.

Despite the democratization of video discussed in part 1 (click here to see part 1), the availability of tools does not guarantee the desired result. Tiger Woods’ golf clubs are available to you (well kind of), but you are not competing at the US Open. Its terribly unfair. You can record great video, but for the final product to look truly professional, you need the skills, and the equipment of a professional.

You need music. You need color correction. You need editing. You need a story.

So here is an example of a personal shoot I did on a recent hike in the Smokey Mountains.

It shows how color correction alone can make a world of subtle difference.

Full disclosure: This footage was shot with a Canon 5D which has a bigger sensor and a richer image than the GoPro. But the principles remain the same. The images on the right are straight from the camera and the ones one on the left are color corrected. In the color correction, notice how the greens are a bit greener, there is greater contrast and saturation to mimic the image our eys see, as opposed to the slightly washed out image of the camera produces. The difference while subtle, makes a big difference in the fit and finish of a video.

So, the the next time you pick up your camcorder, DSLR or GoPro and wonder why the output is not what you were hoping for, remember the video is not completed simply because you are done shooting.

About Julian Williams:

As Director of Photography and co-founder of Mad Bear Productions, all things visual pass before Julian’s creative and experienced eyes. He has been capturing the story as it happens from behind the lens for more than fifteen years.

Julian’s ability to find the extraordinary in the seemingly mundane is his gift. As both a cameraman and editor, Julian understands the importance of shooting the right material the first time. With a developed love for telling stories and a deep appreciation for being allowed inside the worlds of thousands of people, Julian loves shooting every kind of story.

From Shuttle launches at Cape Canaveral, natural disasters, historic elections, Super Bowls, The Olympics, a World Cup to the recent royal wedding; Julian brings his global experience and understanding for the latest technologies and trends to Mad Bear’s clientele.

New Video Camera Technology = Quality & Value (Part 1)

What once cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in equipment and labor to manipulate, has been reduced to a team of 2-5 individuals who can produce stunningly visual videos for a fraction of the cost.

That is the simple result of all the emerging video camera technology.

Allow me to get my geek on.

The digital Super 35mm chip based video cameras produce amazing HD images whose full potential is actually limited by televisions and other devices that display the images.

Thanks to cameras like the Canon DSLR line, the Super 35 Sony and Panasonic products, the innovative interlopers into the market like Black Magic and the ubiquitous GoPro, one camera shoots have spawned into three and four camera extravaganzas.

And the cameras are slight enough to all be carried in one case or a bag as opposed to a box truck. Lap top editing systems allow us to put stories together anywhere, a process that used to require a room full of equipment manned by multiple technicians.

What all this means for me the “film maker” is I can bring more fancy stuff to the table for our clients and their audience at a reduced cost, but more importantly, it gives me the tools to tell better, more compelling and dynamic stories. Those stories stand out in the vast river of moving images, and hopefully they stimulate the cerebral cortex instead of merely passing through.

(Part 2: Summary)

So, you bought a a GoPro Hero 3 but your video does not quite look like it does in the the official GoPro commercial. In Part 2 of this series, we will examine how to make these new technologies work or in some cases why they are not working as you might expect.

About Julian Williams:

As Director of Photography and co-founder of Mad Bear Productions, all things visual pass before Julian’s creative and experienced eyes. He has been capturing the story as it happens from behind the lens for more than fifteen years.

Julian’s ability to find the extraordinary in the seemingly mundane is his gift. As both a cameraman and editor, Julian understands the importance of shooting the right material the first time. With a developed love for telling stories and a deep appreciation for being allowed inside the worlds of thousands of people, Julian loves shooting every kind of story.

From Shuttle launches at Cape Canaveral, natural disasters, historic elections, Super Bowls, The Olympics, a World Cup to the recent royal wedding; Julian brings his global experience and understanding for the latest technologies and trends to Mad Bear’s clientele.

Mad Bear Productions Wins Another Telly

The Mad Bear team is extremely proud to announce another trophy for our collective mantlepiece.

We won a 2013 Telly Award for a video entitled “Chess and Insurance.”

We produced the video for our client First Fidelity Brokerage, an insurance brokerage firm specializing in business needs.

After hearing about the award, First Fidelity CEO Eugene B. Podokshik said,

“The Mad Bear team googled me and saw that I was once a chess champion. This was unique so they built a whole theme around it and successfully portrayed me and my firm as strategic and forward thinking.”

Mad Bear President Glenn Zimmerman said,

“Themes are an important part of any story. So, given First Fidelity’s approach to insurance from a strategic standpoint, chess just made sense as a way to visualize insurance.”

Podokshik added,

“Don’t let the growl fool you. The Mad Bear is very thoughtful, creative and actually pretty nice, I must admit. “

This is Mad Bear’s 2nd Telly Award in as many years.

Last year we won the award for The Story of PeriClean: A Brushless Toothbrush.

After hearing about the award, First Fidelity CEO Eugene B. Podokshik said,

“The Mad Bear team googled me and saw that I was once a chess champion. This was unique so they built a whole theme around it and successfully portrayed me and my firm as strategic and forward thinking.”

Mad Bear President Glenn Zimmerman said,

“Themes are an important part of any story. So, given First Fidelity’s approach to insurance from a strategic standpoint, chess just made sense as a way to visualize insurance.”

Podokshik added,

“Don’t let the growl fool you. The Mad Bear is very thoughtful, creative and actually pretty nice, I must admit. “

This is Mad Bear’s 2nd Telly Award in as many years.

Last year we won the award for The Story of PeriClean: A Brushless Toothbrush.


Please check out our Telly Award winning videos and feel free to leave your reactions to what you see.

Looking forward to hearing from you…

Where Did the Name “Mad Bear” Come From?

Mad Bear Productions President Glenn Zimmerman answers the most commonly asked question we get about our brand.

LinkedIn Video Ads: Pros and Cons

The Mad Bear team recently did a test.

We wanted to see if LinkedIn‘s new Video Ads platform would outperform LinkedIn’s standard ads (i.e. the ones that use a combination of an image and a little text).

Both versions in our test used the same subject matter and were targeted to the same audience (i.e. geography, job title, etc).

We actually did multiple versions of the non-video ad with various adjustments to the headline and the image associated with each campaign.

We only did one version of the video ad…. yet the results were clear.

Video had a noticeably higher level of engagement per ad impression. In fact, the video ad scored the same number of clicks as the standard ad in nearly a quarter of the impressions.

What does that mean?

It means the video ad was nearly 4 times more likely to inspire action than the standard ad… pretty cool!

Now here comes a different question:

Are LinkedIn Video Ads worth it?

Well the obvious answer would seem to be yes… but the truth is we are not convinced.

Here’s why:

1) Cost Per Click.

LinkedIn clearly recognizes the power of video because video ads are nearly twice as expensive per click:

Standard Ad- $2.07/click

Video Ad- $4.02/click

2) Overall Cost.

While the inspired action to click was far higher on the video end (as shown above), we actually paid nearly half as much for the standard ad for nearly the same number of views. Granted the standard ad had far more impressions, again proving video’s vastly superior power to engage, but as far as ROI — the standard ad proved to be a better deal.

Parting Thought
We structured these campaigns on a pay per click basis — based upon our results it would appear the better strategy would be to pay by the number of impressions instead. LinkedIn does allow for that … That is unless LinkedIn jacks up the cost on impressions of its Video Ad format just like it jacked up the cost of video clicks.

We love to get your impression… so if you have any questions or thoughts please feel free to share by commenting below.

How Businesses Can Use Their Video Stories for Marketing

Glenn Zimmerman, the president of video agency Mad Bear Productions, talks about the different ways a business can use its video stories to accomplish its marketing goals.