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THE EP MAILBAG "I'm a Small Company. I Want Video...I Have Questions."

How do you see video as integral to a growing company that wants to get itself out there?

You might have a great little company. A great product, great people, great processes (doing Austin video production we see amazing tech startups all the time). But one of the mistakes people make is assuming that because you’re a great company that people will automatically find you. As great as things such as word-of-mouth, social media and blogging are we are a very visual people. Wharton School of Business says that well-produced video, or "brand films" increase information retention by 50% and speeds up buying by 72%. Video provides that 90% of communication that is nonverbal, things like body language and tone of voice. There are all kinds of trust barriers that are knocked down by video advertising, which can mean everything in your growth phase.

What are the important components of a company video?

The three acts of your video should be the same as the three acts of any kind of storytelling-EXPOSITION, RISING ACTION and CLIMAX. In the first act you are introducing the viewer to yourselves and this part is crucial. Say interesting and human things about yourself and what you’re about. Show them your softer side, your funny side, whatever you feel makes you unique. At this point you’ve built the trust necessary and now show them what problems you solve. Which leads to the climax, which is a call to action for “you” the viewer to make that plunge, whatever it may be.

Ok, I’ve got this great company video, what the heck do I do with it?

It’s great to send your video to email subscribers, people who are already familiar with you will love the personal touch of video, which will increase retention. Whether or not you’ve got a $0 or $1,000,000 budget to market the video, it’s vital to use social media, which is peerless for video sharing. Facebook alone represents a whopping 4 billion video streams a day and video sharing from one’s own network is exponentially the most effective for a prospect. Posting on YouTube is an absolute must. If YouTube is considered a search engine (as it certainly should be), it is the #2 largest search engine in the world and is largely the preferred search engine for millennials. And you need to make sure your video is prominently embedded on your website. The average time a person spends on a website with only text is 57 seconds. A website with video? 6 minutes.

What are some mistakes or lack of foresight that occur when trying to create a company video?

The first mistake people make is the inclination to make something too long. Understandably, companies have a lot to say and want to say all of it. You have to remember, your videos aren’t required viewing. Statistics show that retention drops from almost 90% down to 60% at the 2 minute mark. We find that 1 minute-1 minute 30 seconds is usually the sweet spot. The other common thing is people often come off as too formal in their corporate videos. This is your chance to humanize yourself. Don’t say something because you think it’s what someone would probably say in that situation. Always speak from the heart. How many times have you watched a company video and thought, ‘wow, that person really had some interesting things to say’? Almost never? Good. That’s why you’re going to do it.

What do you see as the biggest opportunities for a SMB company and a video production company in collaboration?

We’re not heading into a video marketing era for corporate video, we’re there. In fact, Cisco says that by 2017 69% of all internet consumer traffic will be video. There’s a million stats like this. I’d like to see small fun companies with awesome culture at the forefront of that movement. Not just utilizing video content but using it as a regular tool. You should definitely have a good culture video once a year but why stop there? Have a great conference, SxSW party (we do production in Austin if you can't tell), or charity event you’d like to capture? Maybe an infographic explainer video about what you do, a good opportunity for some training videos, a new product you’re launching? Maybe some vibrant client testimonials? At a certain price point there’s no reason the leanest of outfits shouldn’t utilize quarterly video projects, perhaps monthly in some cases. And it's nice to not have one local source for all these right? We, for example, do all the production in Austin for the services above, and any market has companies like us, it's not something unique to Austin video production.

What is the most effective use of video resources with small companies with a limited (and sometimes little to no) budget?

Thanks to digital technology, video production is getting better and better for less and less money. The most significant cost should be the skill and creativity of the filmmakers. You need someone with a great eye for shooting and editing, skills that take years to perfect. And you need a producer with great ideas, a skill you either have or you don’t. If you produce something yourself, anyone can tell and it will get dumped to your YouTube page and get 17 views. But now, with the right production team with experience in corporate video you can have something of cinematic quality for minimal cost. Remember as a small company you can be more personal, more bold and creative than big corporations would like to be. Take advantage of that. Because you can’t outspend the Apples or Dells of the world, but you can level the playing field with creativity. A little creativity goes a long way.

-Michael Mason, Executive Producer @ Perfect Chaos Films.

Perfect Chaos Films is an Austin video production company, specializing in corporate video. We also specialize in taco eating, because Austin TX.

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