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Chapter 8: Using Video Properly

It's hard to find someone who disagrees with the belief that video is the best medium for marketing. Rich, moving images blended with audio and effects, quality video production is the most interesting way to roll out your message. The viewer can just sit back, watch and view the details. Everyone wants video; the only pushback is the cost. Professionally produced video is expensive, and that is where the compromising begins.

Compromise on video production is where we begin to inject noise into marketing with video. Yes, your iPhone can shoot 4K video and you can edit video on your iPhone, too. The emergence of consumer products that produce and edit video has created a huge wave of DIY video that, admittedly, has its place on the web. Yes, you can shoot your own testimonial with an iPhone. Yes, you can shoot your own video blogs with a web cam. Yes, you can shoot your own office tour video with a phone or digital video recorder. We've lowered the bar on the technology necessary to shoot and edit video. But that doesn't mean you should lower the bar on two vitally important factors: strategy and direction/production.

Let's start with the end in mind. Video is content. Content is used in a strategy. Certain kinds of video content work with certain kinds of strategies. Not all video is one-size-fits-all when it comes to strategies. How do we know this? We look at metrics to see how viewers engage with your video. In other words, the type of video we would make and use in a Facebook advertising strategy is different from the kind of video we would make and use in an audience-building strategy. Let me break it down for you in this one example.

In a Facebook advertising strategy, you want to stop viewers, make an appeal using benefits and offer a call to action. We know from analyzing years of video watch statistics that the sweet spot for engaging a user with video is around 12 seconds. So, for a Facebook ad using video, we need to keep the appealing part to 12 seconds or less.

For an audience-building video like you would see in our Content Social Media strategy, a video of about 30 to 45 seconds gets strong engagement. We format this sort of video to immediately show the doctor talking on an interesting topic. Our goal here is to establish credibility and trust. Many people do not watch the video all the way through. However, our goal is to build trust and engagement through recognition and repetition, leading to web visits. We want to be there every week, with the doctor talking and showing up, building name and face recognition. Here is a good video I did on the value of video for doctors.

Different content. Different strategy. Not the same video. This brings me to the second point about lowering the bar: the importance of direction and production. Over the years I have seen so many bad videos used to market medical and dental practices. Most of them have the classic signature of DIY without regard to production value or the guidance of a director and producer. When you take away the professional media writer, director and editor, it shows, and everyone can see it.

I've told clients for years, good video costs as much as bad video. And it is better to have no video than bad video. You want a flattering presentation, well-worded content that doesn't ramble, good eye contact with the camera or interviewer, and so many other qualities that a professional knows to spot before or as it happens. This should be your acid test on DIY video: Does this video make the best first impression? Our team asks that question at every shoot and every editing session. The answer has to be yes, or the video will do more harm than good.

As much as technology has enabled you to feel like an amateur Steven Spielberg with your iPhone, cutting corners on quality in your video production is your way of adding noise to your message. Your video should be produced by professionals. And these days, your video strategy should be selected first, so you know what kind of video to make. There is a tremendous amount of confusion out there about what works on what medium. That is why Dog Star Media starts all video conversations by addressing strategy.

Here is a simple step-by-step process for eliminating this sort of noise from your marketing video:

What do you want to achieve?

Make the phone ring? Build trust in a broad audience? Patient education? Validation for the doctor and practice? These are only some of the possible goals for video.

What sort of video matches the strategy?

One type of video does not fit all strategies. You make your video media to suit your strategy.

How do you get the most out of our video production?

A professional producer can help you maximize your resources and time to execute multiple strategies in one shoot. This saves time and money and allows you to invest in a full strategy.

Or you can try to DIY all this with an iPhone ...

Here's your real challenge as a business owner: Make the proper investment in a strategy. Dog Star Media is a great example of a company that offers video packages that can be used for multiple video strategies. We determine what the best strategy is, then shoot video to fit that strategy.

If the idea of having video in your strategy excites you (and it should), let's talk. I'm happy to help you determine how video can fit into strategies that meet your objectives. Just email me at donald@dogstarmedia.com.

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