One of the most effective ways to reach large numbers of people is via video, whether live or recorded. Can you imagine a world without it now, especially during the global pandemic? Thanks to video, I have been able to carry on talking with clients and inspiring thousands and thousands of people with content that I originally recorded and launched months or even years ago.
Video is evergreen and can have an extremely wide reach.
An Essential Tool
The ability to reply to an email with a quick, but informative video link can save you massive amounts of time. I even “go live” during some phone consultations to allow a potential client to show me around their space, regardless of which corner of the globe they reside. All this from the comfort of my home or office. This is becoming the new normal, as fewer people are going out and traveling.
Personally, video has given me a voice in my YouTube channel, The Pond Advisor, which has established me as a local and international expert and allowed me to gain a lot more trust from homeowners, suppliers, peers and other industry thought leaders. All I ever wanted to do was serve as a reliable source of information, so being active on one of the most popular destinations on the web has helped me fulfill that goal.
Video can be one of the best sales tools, too — love it or hate it. No matter how many times you curse that ad that plays before your entertainment loads, it’s not going anywhere, because it’s paying the bills.
Can you imagine the world now if digital videos were around when I started building more than three decades ago? I recall having to wait each year for my local koi show to buy new videotapes — assuming they even had any for sale. I had to learn from friends and koi club members. It was harder and more expensive back then to produce video. Now, thanks to the increased accessibility of video, you can “attend” a koi show on the other side of the world or experience a live auction as fish are sold for millions and millions of yen, all without even leaving your home at all.
Did you know you can shoot in high-quality, 4K video with a smartphone now? Sure, the wind noise can still be distracting on a phone, but it’s easy to record a voiceover later.
And … Action!
Come on, get your phone out and hit record. It can be awkward to start with, but like everything else, it gets easier with practice. Getting started might seem like a daunting task, considering all the time, energy and money you have to spend to produce and upload a video — only to potentially find out later that no one is watching it.
Don’t get discouraged or let it slow you down. You will find that most viewers are generally supportive; however, people cannot help but judge you, and some are not considerate about your feelings. Some of my early videos have more thumbs down than thumbs up. Why they did not get my situation or message? Don’t let it get to you. On the bright side, people are consuming your content. You can’t please everyone all of the time.
Some of the most popular and rewarding videos in my local market are testimonials. This can be a great way to connect with your audience. These don’t have to be polished and technical — it’s all about real life. In fact, the more real, the better. If people are invested in you and your team, they will connect to the realness from you and your other satisfied customers.
If you can get your customer to reveal how your product or service has made their life better in a testimonial, that is the key. In this day and age, it’s also important to get them to introduce themselves, so the skeptics don’t sound off about whether they are real customers or paid actors.
When you are recording a video, remember you are speaking to one person — the viewer. It must be all about them. Why should they watch? Why should they care? What’s in it for them?
Eventually, you may find that you are building trust and selling more quickly, even in your sleep. Videos will keep working for you years down the line, like sales presentations that never sleep. It happens all the time — sometimes I turn up at someone’s door, and they think they already know me!
Despite how far video technology has advanced, it still has its limitations. Case in point, we once had a customer who was trying to manage a house extension and new koi pond build all via video. If that was not bad enough, the specs were constantly changing, and the client was in a totally different time zone. I had to be straightforward with my longstanding client — I needed artistic license to finish the project, or it would have to wait until they were back in the country. Clearly, video is not optimal in every situation.
However, video continues getting better all the time. I don’t think we are very far away from buying and selling real ponds via augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technology. While it might be difficult to picture AR and VR replacing in-person interactions, why not entertain the concept?
With AR, viewers can sit in their gardens and turn on a new waterfall or stream. With VR, viewers can “scroll” around to see a landscape or waterscape from any angle, as if they were physically there. Based on where video appears to be headed, I believe these technologies are the future.
Until we get there, video will still be considered an important, if not essential part of any business marketing program in this increasingly socially distanced world.