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More ways to stretch your 2023 video budget

    Scalable video production with AI

    Now that AI voices have been trained to mimic human intonations, pauses, and breaths, an AI voice generator is a option worth considering. They won’t be as charming or persuasive as a professional voice actor. But they will sound human, not robotic. And they will probably sound more at-ease than many of the employee-narrators now recording screencasts and webinars to explain your solutions and services.

    Here are three ways to get more out of your video production budget with AI voices.

    • Generate multiple demos and tutorials in different versions that are scripted and edited so as not to waste the viewer’s time — or that of your subject matter experts.
    • Make interim versions of videos with AI voices to check the pace and length of an explainer video. You’ll still need a well-paid professional voice actor for the final cut, but a relatively inexpensive AI voice can help you improve the script as you work.
    • Add narration to diagrams, photos, and animations in blog posts, social media posts, and announcements.

    Amazon and Google have text-to-speech tools you can try. Microsoft’s Azure lets you copy and paste your script into their publicly available converter to hear your script read back. WellSaid Labs lets you try out their top-notch voice generator free. They offer a wide choice of voices and promotional, conversational, or narration styles. It’s easy to add emphasis and correct pronunciation by making edits to your script with tools accessible through a browser.

    Budget Guidelines

    Here are some guidelines you can use to plan your 2023 video marketing budget:

    • DIY or semi-professional videos cost $1,500 – $3,000
    • Professional-quality videos cost $5,000 – $20,000
    • Ad agency-quality videos (as seen on TV) will run $25,000 – $50,000
    • Top-of-the-line videos (as seen on the Super Bowl) cost well over $100,000

    ICYMI

    Those DIY videos will be less onerous to produce if you start with a template. Here, for example, are Vimeo’s templates for different types of announcements. Here are some good ideas from Vidyard for using video for sales in 2023.

    That’s all for now.

    Bruce McKenzie & Lorna Pautzke

    Stretch your 2023 video budget

    Video is effective, necessary, and not inexpensive. Here are some guidelines you can use to plan your 2023 video marketing budget:

    • DIY or semi-professional videos cost $1,500 – $3,000
    • Professional-quality videos cost $5,000 – $20,000
    • Ad agency-quality videos (as seen on TV) will run $25,000 – $50,000
    • Top-of-the-line videos (as seen on the Super Bowl) cost well over $100,000

    Here are three tactics for increasing the value of each individual video.

    Differentiate

    Standing apart from the competition is the most prevalent challenge salespeople faced in 2022, according to a recent Hubspot survey. A video that quickly explains what makes your solution truly outstanding will have a big impact.

    Get four for the price of one

    Professional-quality videos (like the ones we make) can be written in chapters, each describing a different benefit, or aimed at a specific role in the buying organization. The sales organization can share excerpted chapters with relevant contacts.

    Use LinkedIn “native” video

    According to LinkedIn, 78% of social sellers outsell peers who don’t use social media. Upload videos directly to LinkedIn instead of linking to videos you’ve already uploaded to YouTube or other platforms. LinkedIn gives these “native” videos preference in searches and feeds. And, since there aren’t as many good videos vying for attention on LinkedIn as there are elsewhere, a good video stands a better chance of standing out.

    ICYMI

    Check out the official Vimeo video marketing crash course from the popular platform for B2B video sharing.

    That’s all for now.

    Bruce McKenzie & Lorna Pautzke

    Why you should upload videos to LinkedIn

    If you think of LinkedIn as a directory of people, businesses, and opportunities, you may be overlooking an underutilized resource that kicks in whenever people are checking out you or your company: LinkedIn Native Video.

    What is LinkedIn Native Video?

    You probably already use LinkedIn to share links to videos you’ve posted on other platforms like YouTube. “Native” videos aren’t links — they are video files uploaded directly to, or created on, LinkedIn. The advantages?

    • Given that native videos get 10 times more shares than video links on Facebook, the same should be true for LinkedIn native videos
    • LinkedIn’s algorithm gives native videos preferential treatment in searches and feeds
    • LinkedIn’s content generally does well in Google search results
    • There’s a good chance your competitors aren’t taking advantage of this channel

    Optimizing existing videos

    As with other social media, most users connect to LinkedIn on their phones. Consequently, video in square or vertical format commands more screen real estate, so it takes longer to scroll past than videos in the horizontal HD format (16:9) commonly used for explainers, demos and most other business videos.

    The simplest way to optimize horizontal videos for LinkedIn is to use editing software to place the existing video in the center of a square frame. Place titles or headlines above the video and captions under it. And now, you’ve got a video that communicates on three levels. (Captions are important because most people watch video on social media without sound.)

    Include a helpful description

    Your optimized video will be sure to catch the eye — but it’s more likely to get watched if the text around it helps people evaluate its relevance to them. Include links to your other relevant content, too.

    Add hashtags

    Meaningful hashtags really can help your video reach the right people. Here’s The Only Article You Need To Read About LinkedIn Hashtags.

    ICYMI

    Along the same lines, it’s a good idea to keep up to date with the Always Up-to-Date Guide to Social Media Video Specs

    That’s all for now.

    Bruce McKenzie & Lorna Pautzke

    3 video tactics for your sales strategy

    Hello <<First Name>>

    Where digital selling prevails, video is arguably the best form of sales communication, according top-performing sales professionalsneuroscience, and common sense. Here are three key tactics for a video strategy that could boost your sales team’s performance.

    The cadence

    Sales cadences for new prospects typically use 6 to 20 messages. It’s rare to see more than two videos in the mix. An opportune tactic would be to add videos to the cadence by growing your library of concise videos about use cases, specific product features, competitive advantages and differentiators. These are things prospects want to learn about — but maybe not in the form of yet another text-heavy email.

    Show. Don’t tell.

    If you’re explaining software that makes it easy to do something that your prospect is struggling with, a sound tactic is to let people see for themselves what the software in can do. An animated GIF in an email can deliver a lot of bang for the buck.

    Tacking on.

    There’s no need to create elaborate videos to get your point across. Sales team members can create simple video messages to tack on to other content — videos, white papers, blog posts, etc. The word “video” in the subject increases opens, so make sure it’s there. You can increase clicks with an attractive thumbnail that clearly tells the prospect what they’ll learn by clicking thelink..

    That’s all for now.

    Bruce McKenzie & Lorna Pautzke

    Making Videos Your Customers Value

    Research tells us that 95% of B2B buyers watch videos, especially product reviews and demos, before they make their purchase decisions. The “most valuable” content for buyers researching B2B purchases in another report (video wasn’t included) is research reports, case studies, and webinars. These finding suggest that some non-traditional video types that should be highly valued by customers.

    1. Use-cases “based on a true story”

    Use details from actual customer case studies and testimonials as the basis of videos featuring composite characters who represent your target personas. Here’s an example we created.

    2. A demo that tells a story

    If the subject matter experts delivering your demos are telling stories about real-life use cases and problems solved, it’s not especially difficult to turn a recorded video into a professionally narrated storytelling video with simple graphics that clarify and simplify the story.

    3. Make your valuable videos easy to find and navigate

    If video is important to your customer’s online product research, you’ll want  make sure its value is clear in their Google search results. Here are two excellent resources for learning how to do that with key moments snippets and timestamp links.

    That’s all for now.

    Bruce McKenzie & Lorna Pautzke

    Getting the word out

    Platforms for sharing video

    Even though every B2B seller (and everyone else) is producing more video content than ever, it’s easy to overlook the fact that video content doesn’t work its magic unless it’s shared.

    Dedicated video sharing platforms and tools

    There are lots of business-oriented platforms for sharing video, each with its own capabilities, use cases, and costs ranging from $0 to $1,000+ per month. Here’s a list of the 25 best tools to share videos online (compiled by one of companies on the list).

    Under-utilized video platforms

    Zoom, et. al.
    By now, most businesspeople probably think video-conferencing solutions like Zoom are over-utilized. But, beyond deciding whether or not to turn on the webcam, most of us ignore these platforms’ ability to stream all kinds of content, including video. When was the last time you saw a meeting “room” energized by someone sharing a video clip? It’s easy to stand out in Zoom meeting if you’ve got a standout video clip.

    Video messaging
    Some subscription platforms make it easy to share “private” video messages securely. Video messaging — where you record yourself talking directly to the recipient, on-camera, off-camera, or both — is much better than email, especially if you can walking the recipient through a concept or a process in a way that they can share with colleagues. Some video messaging creation and sharing platforms (e.g. Loommmhmm) offer free trials to explore their tools for personalized video sharing.

    That’s all for now.

    Bruce McKenzie & Lorna Pautzke

    The slightly new normal

    Video trends in technology solution

    selling in 2022

    Here are three trends we anticipate will become trendier in 2022.1. Interactive video

    Possibly the slowest-arriving video trend, ballyhooed for more than a decade, has been interactive video for B2B sales and marketing.

    You probably haven’t given interactive video much thought at all, unless you’re involved in training. But you’ll still be doing a lot of it. After all, online interactions are interactive video, and they’re getting even more interactive with tools like chat, non-verbal feedback, polling, hand-raising, on-screen annotation, and breakout rooms.

    And you’ll see them becoming even livelier as participants level up by dropping engaging video animations into online sales presentations. Nothing beats video for explaining key processes and new product features.

    2. Video messaging

    Video messaging is better than email, especially when you can successfully deliver an Aha moment by walking the recipient through a concept or a process with visuals.

    The visuals can be diagrams, video snips, even something you draw on a white board. To make and share video message recordings takes some practice, but not a lot of technical equipment or video experience. You can leverage video creation tools built into Windows, MacOS, or online meeting software. Specialized video messaging platforms with more options for creation and sharing (e.g. Loommmhmm) offer free trials.

    3. Search-optimized Videos

    You’ve probably noticed that the top results you see in your consumer searches are apt to be videos with chapter titles and timings. Labeling B2B video content and detailing what’s in each segment can work for B2B, too.

    4. Motion Graphics Trends

    Envato, a big supplier of creative assets (stock video, photos, etc.) annually publishes interesting takes on creative trends. This year’s roundup of trending motion graphics styles predicts that you’ll be seeing more of these styles in 2022:

    Animated Collage
    Kinetic Typography
    Glitch
    Isometric Shapes
    Retro
    Grain Effects & Texture
    Morphing
    Liquid Motion

    Have a great 2022.Bruce McKenzie & Lorna Pautzke


    A cheap and easy way to share customized videos

    Personalized interactive video for sales

    Hello <<First Name>>

    Since everyone started spending so much time participating in online meetings, these meetings have gotten much better, with collaborative and project management tools, comfy virtual rooms, whiteboards, polls, and presentation tools.

    The app mmhmm has introduced a tool with features that make it easier to use video in online meetings, and to repurpose your online presentation as a customer-friendly interactive video.

    • For the meeting, you have a tray of “slides” at your disposal, from which you can pick and choose on the fly.
    • A “slide” can contain text, images, video clips, apps running on your phone, or other show-and-tell assets
    • You can make the presentation with a teammate, sharing the same set of “slides.”
    • You don’t need to “share screen.” You’re already sharing whatever you see — yourself, yourself plus a “slide.” or a “slide” full screen.
    • You can share a recorded version of the entire presentation. The viewer can view the presentation just as they would a slide deck — skipping to the parts they care about.

    It’s a pretty easy way to create an interactive video, and a good way to share expertise within your own organization.

    Even cheaper and easier interactive video

    Did you know that your videos on YouTube have transcripts that can be used to navigate in the video? Viewers can access the transcript by clicking the horizontal ellipsis icon (3-dots) to the right of the save button below the video. YouTube generates transcripts from its own auto-generated captions, or from subtitles you added yourself. Try it yourself — it’s a great convenience when you need to revisit part of a video tutorial.

    That’s it for now. Stay well.

    Bruce McKenzie & Lorna Pautzke


    Reusable and insight-rich marketing assets

    Personalizing video for digital selling

    Hello <<First Name>>

    In a new DemandGen study, 74% of marketers agreed that personalized content is “important” for digital selling, and another 25% say it’s at least “somewhat important.” 99% agreement! What about personalized video, then?

    In our niche — videos aimed at enterprise technology buyers — gimmicks like inserting the viewer’s name into a product video risks being seen as “marketing fluff.”  Still, there are ways to give videos more “personal” appeal. Here are three:

    • Forget about trying to make sure the viewer “understands” your product and its benefits. Show how it impacts one significant “job to be done.” Fires put out faster. Boss impressed. User satisfaction increased.
    • Provide salespeople with time-coded links to positions inside the video (like https://youtu.be/8qsDCUqxvAM?t=32) so they can alert customers to video content that addresses specific situations.
    • Make your “overview” videos modular, so segments can be shared with different audiences, or sequentially.

    Why subtitle?

    Adding subtitles is the easiest and most fool-proof way to increase video ROI. Subtitles make your video more accessible to everyone, and more noticed (because most online videos start playing on mute). Captions also make concepts more memorable.

    That’s it for now. Stay well.

    Bruce McKenzie & Lorna Pautzke



    Zoom fatigue causes and cures

    What causes Zoom fatigue?

    In Nonverbal Overload: A Theoretical Argument for the Causes of Zoom Fatigue Professor Jeremy Bailenson of the Stanford Virtual Human Interaction Lab suggests these stress-inducing attributes of online meetings:

    • Eye gaze at a close distance. All these people are staring at me!
    • Cognitive load. The mental effort of parsing a lot of talk with few nonverbal cues (gestures, body language)
    • Looking at yourself all day. Viewing a reflection of yourself tends to make you more self-critical.
    • Reduced mobility. People are comfortable in face-to-face meetings moving around, stretching, making notes, refilling their water glass. But walking off camera (or forgetting you’re on camera) can be problematic.

    Three ways to reduce Zoom fatigue — for yourself and others

    1. Use speaker view. There will be fewer people staring at you — and a less distracting view of yourself.
    2. Bring an object for show-and-tell. Encourage everyone else to put you on speaker view.
    3. Share a short video — a short narration-free video showing your product or service or idea in action will come as a welcome break.

    That’s it for now. Stay well.

    Bruce McKenzie & Lorna Pautzke


    Digital selling with video

    Don’t ignore these emerging trends

    Hello <<First Name>>

    1. Stories within stories

    Explainer videos, especially those with stories and characters, can be a rich source of attention-grabbing excerpts and teasers that can carry the messages to a wider audience. You can break the story into parts, without narration, simply by adding titles. If the story revolves around appealing characters, you can turn them into animated gifs of brand spokespeople.

    2. Prerecorded inserts in live streams

    20% of Facebook videos are live streams — and so is a Zoom meeting. Viewers respond to the authenticity of “live” streams, even in recorded versions of the live event that run after it’s over. But even professional performers — late night hosts, for example — use prerecorded segments (e.g., fake commercials, staged interviews) to enliven the viewer’s experience. In a webinar, for example, you need a live presenter, but prerecorded contributions from subject matter experts or software demos are likely to benefit from editing.

    3. Video meetings are here to stay

    Businesses have become so dependent on Zoom, Google Meet, and similar video platforms, that “Zoom Fatigue” has entered the language as an ailment common to all of them.  Most observers expect these platforms to continue to replace many in-person business meetings even after things return to post-pandemic “normal.” Zoom’s excellent Mindful Meeting Checklist (free pdf) can help you guard against Zoom Fatigue.

    That’s it for now. Stay well.

    Bruce McKenzie & Lorna Pautzke


    IT buying teams want more info

    3 ways to upgrade your tech videos in 2021

    Hello <<First Name>>

    1. Really informative videos

    “43% of Buyers Feel Strongly That Volume of Information Overwhelming”

    That’s the alarming headline from a recent post by Gartner’s Hank Barnes. But you probably don’t need to worry about information overload — because the shiniest nugget in the research Barnes describes is this: technology buying teams that are led by IT  or “exhibit good cooperation” between IT and the business want more information, not less. “They want the details; they want to understand keys to successful implementation; they want checklists; and more,” Barnes writes. Obviously, a lot of buyers will prefer video to text, so you should consider adding informative (not sales-y) videos to your sales content.

    2. Pep up online meetings

    The most influential tool for sales success in 2020 was video conferencing, according to Hubspot. In the same article, a spokesman for Zoom asserts that video more 34X more effective(!) Anyway, while the fear of looking bored leads video-conferees to turn off their web cams as soon as a meeting gets going, it’s pretty easy to capture everyone else’s attention with a well-crafted show-and-tell. And, since the meeting itself is a video, a video demo will fit in smoothly.

    3. Video FAQ gallery

    Imagine you’re on one of those IT-led buying teams with a thirst for more information about a technology solution. Wouldn’t you appreciate an FAQ Page chock full of videos where it’s easy to pick and choose what you want to learn?  Think along the lines of a product video gallery that’s easily browsable for customers, and a great resource for your salespeople who need to nurture prospects with engaging new content.

    That’s it for now. Stay well.

    Bruce McKenzie & Lorna Pautzke


    How much for asynchronous engagement?

    Video budgets for digital selling

    Hello <<First Name>>

    Working up the annual video budget usually involves numbers related to marketing campaigns, product introductions, and sometimes sales training. But shouldn’t the coming year’s video budget reflect 2020’s urgent shift to digital selling in response to the pandemic? Organizations have discovered that sales teams and buying teams can both be very effective working from home.

    With fewer in-person interactions, keeping up engagement after online meetings is tough. Who has the bandwidth to join more meetings than you’re already committed to? So, support for “asynchronous” online engagement is critical. And what type of digital sales support content works better than video?

    Cost components of new video content

    These costs are common to all B2B sales/marketing videos:

    • Time spent identifying what you want the viewer to take away
    • Time and talent writing, visualizing, and editing the story
    • Time and talent creating, capturing, and editing visuals and sound.

    There may also be out-of-pocket expenses like travel, on-screen talent, and production crews, but very effective videos can be made without them.

    Imaginative repurposing

    Did you notice that the cost elements listed above are all editorial? You simply can’t make an effective video without editorial skill and imagination. If you’re looking for a steady stream of videos for sales support, you should take a look at your existing video library. It probably contains a wealth of relevant visuals that can be edited, and added to, in order to clarify common misconceptions, address customer objections, and reinforce sales messages. It just takes a professional video writing/editing team working with your sales team. You’ll be surprised how many professional-quality videos can be speedily produced with this common-sense approach.

    How much do visuals cost?

    Of course, there are lots of situations where talking heads and repurposed visuals can’t get the job done. Sometimes you need to shoot on location, which costs what it costs. Sometimes you want to use animation to make unfamiliar ideas look simple and unthreatening. You can get an idea of the relative cost of different animation styles here. The most expensive style costs about four times as much as the least expensive one.

    ICYMI

    Speaking of animation, here’s a historical take on The 100 Sequences That Shaped Animation

    That’s it for now. Stay well.

    Bruce McKenzie & Lorna Pautzke


    Beyond Live Meetings

    How much should a video cost?

    Hello <<First Name>>

    We’re not actually going to answer that question — of course “it depends!”  But it depends more than anything else the creative effort involved in the visual style you choose. Here’s a resource that shows 12 explainer video animation styles in order of creative cost. The most stylish style takes about four times as much effort as the simplest.

    Keep the conversation going

    For enterprise solution providers pitching products, upgrades, add-ons, and services to IT departments, the purpose of video is to get people to consume more information (e.g., download a white paper), not to drive orders. Short videos are a great way to provide more information as a followup to an online meeting.

    For example, suppose your online meeting is structured around a software demo. And, to vary the pace, you’ve cleverly broken up the demo into interesting stories about how easy it is to accomplish one task or another (as opposed to a recitation of product features).

    This gives your sales team an opportunity to follow up immediately, with

    • a summary of key points in the video
    • responses to any comments or questions raised in the online meeting,
    • and, most important, a link to the video that can be shared in the customer’s organization.

    It’s a good way to reach out with worthwhile videos that are easy to share, and won’t be seen as a commercial interruption.

    Pro Tip for MacBook and iOS users

    If you’re a MacBook and iOS user working in online meetings, take a look at the Camo app. Even the free version lets you significantly improve your online appearance by making it easy to use the excellent video camera in your iPhone or iPad in place of the mediocre webcam in your MacBook.

    ICYMI

    Speaking of animation, here’s a historical take on The 100 Sequences That Shaped Animation

    Stay well.

    Bruce McKenzie & Lorna Pautzke


    Beyond Live Meetings

    Using video for “asynchronous engagement”

    Hello <<First Name>>

    “Tools like Zoom can be great, but if sales have no way to maintain the engagement after an online session, it’s hard to gain real traction.” says Glenn Eckard, head of client success and experience at Journey Sales (a long-time client of ours). Having launched their highly-regarded Salesforce-based digital selling solution, called Smart Rooms, in 2015, Journey Sales works with a variety of sales organizations, including some of the largest and most respected brands. So Eckard has been uniquely positioned to observe the urgent drive to master digital selling in real time.

    “Salespeople need to make their presence felt, and they can’t do it the old way — by just dropping by. Add to that the pressure of closing, say, eight deals right now and simultaneously teeing up eight more for the next quarter. No-one has the bandwidth to do all this with online video meetings alone. This “asynchronous” side of digital selling is crucial for sales.

    Eckard says video will play an increasingly a pivotal role in digital selling because of its put across a lot of information clearly, in short order. Here are five ideas for using video to increase the effectiveness and follow-up of online meetings.

    1. Online meetings on computer screens are video. Keep things moving by planning it out in segments, more like a talk show than a PowerPoint presentation.
    2. Add variety using props, video inserts, and meaningful backgrounds like charts or customer quotes.
    3. Make the “demo” segments into short stories about getting results. That makes them easily reusable in followup emails.
    4. Make short videos summarizing key insights in research reports and other publications
    5. Record subject matter experts giving expanded answers to questions that come up in the online meeting. You can use these videos to keep the conversation going and start new ones, in social media, for example.

    ICYMI

    Videos uploaded directly to social media (as opposed to links to videos hosted on platforms like YouTube) get higher engagement. Preferred formats vary across platforms and are subject to change. This Always Up-to-Date Guide to Social Media Video Specs should come in handy.

    We hope your sales team finds these resources useful.

    Stay well.

    Bruce McKenzie & Lorna Pautzke


    Recommendations for improving online sales conversations

    Using video for superior sales demos

    Hello <<First Name>>

    Do’s and Don’ts

    Most of us are becoming more comfortable with online video meetings. We recommend the HubSpot/Zoom’ publication Using Video for Sales. It’s especially strong on demos, with tips on documenting demo click paths, renouncing PowerPoint, following up, and more.

    Give Vimeo a try

    To be sure, there are many reasons why every business should share videos on YouTube, including SEO and the fact that it’s free. But if you’ve got several people collaborating on video production, you should consider adding Vimeo (free trial) for its team features, including time-coded reviewer comments, versioning, and file sharing. And Vimeo-hosted videos embedded on your website will play free of the clutter YouTube imposes.

    Try Interactive Video.

    You can enhance videos with clickable navigation buttons, polls, quizzes, supplementary text and graphics, and other interactive elements with open source software from H5P. It is compatible with WordPress and other CMS.

    ICYMI

    Enhancements in Zoom 5.0 are mostly related to security and controlling who can join and what privileges they have. There are minor improvements to the user interface and controls, too.

    We hope your sales team finds these resources useful.

    Stay well.

    Bruce McKenzie & Lorna Pautzke