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An Introduction to Creating Your First Video

If you're not using video of some sort, or you don’t have a very clear video and social video strategy in place, you're wasting a massive organic opportunity. This article introduces some ideas that should be considered as part of your broad and essential video marketing strategy.

We implore you to ignore those messages in the marketplace that tend to assign all value to just Facebook. It's a fundamentally flawed message that is costing you business. Sure, you don't need video, necessarily, but integrating video and webinars into your website and broader marketing funnel framework will have an amazing impact upon your digital and offline success. The need for video a message we share with our brokers almost every day: "make videos, make videos, make videos...", yet it's the also the one message that is most often ignored. However, we know - as a categorical statement of fact - that including video in your funnel programs and engaging with the medium can triple your current business without paid promotion. Cleverly integrated with a standard funnel framework video just works. Seriously, we've often considered sign-writing the message over each capital city to try and communicate this message more effectively. It just works.

Telling you that video works is one thing... but seeing the statistics is another (review the data here). Of course, actually committing to the process requires a leap of faith and Belief in the process.

With the Yabber Tag: yabber suite supporting your marketing and video marketing efforts, a clear content strategy, and perhaps our industry-leading Facebook program, you'll be armed with the most powerful digital weaponry the industry has to offer.

Note: You’ve heard us say over and over that every page on your website is a potential entry page and therefore a type of landing page, and it should be treated as such. Knowing that posts with video are 53X times more likely to appear on the front page of Google, why wouldn’t we place a video on every page of our website? While we're talking about it, why wouldn’t we also render a prominent subscription with a lead magnet on every page? The reality for those using our high-converting website is that they will have videos and conversions on every page... and this is supported by an escalating and conditional set of features that serves to set you apart from the mediocrity in the marketplace. You will stand out.
Note: All businesses in the service business needs webinar content in order to provide on-demand information. We've written an article here that introduces the basics of a webinar, and another here that introduces various formats to consider during the creation process. If you're interested in introducing other professionals into your video and podcast programs we introduce the advantages of this exercise here.

If we had a webinar or video of some kind we knew carried an important message, why wouldn’t we promote that asset on every page of our website? The reason, of course, is because it’s often considered an unconventional approach. Still, after all these years of an applied understanding of human behaviour, and what we know is required to actually reach out and have a positive impact on a website audience, websites are still designed as nothing more than a business card (it's this reason alone that compelled us to create an extremely powerful complimentary website for clients). Not everything has to be hidden behind a paywall (remembering you are charging somebody to view your video or webinar... it's just the currency is different). So, when and if able, we will serve a video on every page of your website of some kind, and we'll always encourage you to make a video available in each article on your blog - and it's extremely easy to do.

Task: Creating a video is easy. You're carrying a video studio in your pocket that is more powerful than the equipment most broadcasters owned until just a short time ago. Additionally, you can broadcast yourself live. Record a short 1-minute message in landscape (not profile, we don't want TV's vertically) and upload it to YouTube. Simple. There's no reason any business cannot do this every day. If you were using Yabber Tag: yabber we'd automatically send that video with full SEO markup into a video archive on your website ... and if you were using Instagram we'd send your short video to a number of defined social networks. We make the sharing your videos once they're created an absolute piece of cake. Try and keep the video to one minute, and adopt the NITS format as described here. If you'd like us to evaluate it, please get in touch with us and we'll review it with you over the phone.

Our website isn’t only about telling visitors how good we are or what products we might have on offer, it's about providing a valuable resource that provides solutions to problems... and video does this better than any other form factor, and it's far easier than setting aside time to write an actual article.

Note: According to data from Nielsen report PDF Image (PDF), Americans spend an average of 10 hours and 39 minutes consuming media across their devices. Specifically, five hours per day are spent on mobile devices (with at least 19% of time spent on Facebook). Since much of this time is on Facebook, and since Facebook video is the most effective medium for communicating with people, it stands to reason that Facebook video is an essential ingredient in your marketing mix.

In subsequent articles we'll be provide the exact scripts and bullet points that you can use to inspire your own powerful video program. This article will simply get you started.

The Video Omnipresence

We’ll use video in your marketing campaigns in any number of ways - on your website, as one or more of your lead magnets, in your social media, and as part of your daily social commentary. All video will be repurposed into another format via various means, such as blog posts, newsletters, and podcasts. A video isn’t just a video.

We’ll share your videos on multiple video hosting websites which will contribute towards your reach and SEO authority.

Video is part of the reason why your campaigns will be more effective than those of your competition. In a finance world full of cut-and-paste ads and email templates your entire campaign will stand out in a crowd of mediocrity.

Two Types of Video (Open and Subscription)

There are no barriers to watching ‘Open’ videos. They’re available on various pages of your website, promoted generally, and don’t require a subscription (there are no barriers to viewing them). Subscription videos are those that are protected in that a link to their location is usually provided via an email campaign.

In the marketing world we’ve developed this broad and often flawed ideology that requires us to provide marketing material only if an individual subscribes to an email campaign. However, if the purpose of our website is to establish our brokers and our brokerage as the definitive business in the field, and we’re trying to include as much high-value content as possible, does it really seem reasonable that we’ll only share our sales and marketing material to those that are prepared to surrender an email? This selective sharing is a quandary that’ll haunt you in your sleep.

Note: The reason we have lead magnets is because we’re trying to commit certain leads into an email marketing campaign via our sales funnel, and this isn’t possible without first registering cold leads into an email education program (your segregated ‘list’ database). Of course, any marketing material we provide have a primary focus on getting our lead onto the telephone.

What happens when you create a webinar or video and we don’t promote it as actively as we should, and nobody watches it? The answer, of course, is nothing. If it’s a compelling video that’ll create business, shouldn’t we share it indiscriminately? We’ll invest a lot of time, effort, and energy into our videos and we’ll want to create a return on their use – is a subscription-based model the best way of showcasing our expertise?

There no good answer to what you share openly and what you reserve for a class of visitor that might demonstrate a genuine escalation of commitment. Needless to say, your video strategy is rather fluid in nature, and those very high-value webinars and longer videos often move between the two groups based on the type of campaigns you’re actively running.

The Educational Video Lead Magnet

Notice that we called our video lead magnet an education offer. Unlike your competitors, we're not going to sell – we’re going to educate, inform, teach, and inspire. If we invite visitors and clients into a multi-video education program we’ve seen the conclusive evidence indicating that they’ll willingly engage with your programs, and migrate into your pipeline.

Those campaigns that focus on just the lead magnet and shy away from the automated follow-up are missing out on a massive opportunity. Providing a clear education pathway consistently performs better than a blind top-of-funnel entry with no indication of what is to follow.

Note: Our education campaign usually starts with a webinar or high-quality PDF book, and we won’t hide the fact we’ll be following up with additional educational material designed to guide our lead through a process of learning. Our first email will be very clear about what material we’ll be sending each webinar or email subscriber, how often we'll send them something, and why it's important – this creates a clear expectation of contact and reinforces the significant value of the material we're providing. It also sets a professional foundation upon which further communication is built.

Lead magnets of any kind are starting to slowly lose their effectiveness (this is prevalent in the finance industry more than anywhere else). This is generally a result of lower-performing 'Facebook marketers' introducing poor-performing products into the market. Our advertising creates an expectation and makes a promise; our lead magnet delivers upon that promise. It’s the flood of poor-quality material into the marketplace that has generally created a broad mistrust of all material... so our initial ‘sell’ has to be very clear about what we’re providing.

The webinars and videos we make available as lead magnets (or anywhere else) must be great. A bad video is as persuasive and has the same effect as a wet, sloppy handshake.

Video Subject Content

Ignoring our video structure, we’d suggest the following videos are necessary at a minimum for inclusion on ‘general’ web pages. They should be short, comprehensive, and to-the-point.

  • First Home Buyer
  • Refinancing
  • Upgrading My Home
  • Reverse Home Loans
  • Construction Loans

The subject matter for video production is never ending. Consider the following additional videos that might be required.

  • What is LVR?
  • What is Mortgage Insurance?
  • What is an Offset Account?
  • What is a Redraw Facility?
  • What is a Conveyancer?
  • Home Insurance
  • Debt Consolidation
  • What is Compound Interest?
  • The Home Loan Process
  • Getting Pre-Approval
  • Borrowing Capacity
  • Higher Risk Lending (Previous Defaults etc.)
  • SMSF Borrowing (try to always use a guest specialist for compliance purposes)
  • Interest only versus Principal and Interest
  • What is Compound Interest? (an in-depth look). A companion video to “Refinancing”.

Our initial video lead magnets (important) usually cover the following subject matter:

  • Paying Your Home Loan Off Sooner (Debt Reduction)
  • First Home Buyers – “The Process”
  • Investment Loans, Borrowing Capacity, and the Process
  • Your First Investment Property

Others invariably follow, but the big-4 above are usually those that perform better than any other (unless your business requires something more specialised). Many of the videos and webinars you manufacture should be in response to industry trends - your marketing must be agile. Try and always beat others to market!

Note: If you’ve purchased our standalone video package we’ll normally cover many of the subjects mentioned above, and we’ll have them edited and on your website within just a few days (currently Sydney only).

Solutions to Real Finance Problems

Your video content should solve the problems of our audience and should be curated specifically to their needs. Refrain from needless self-promotion.

If you’re positioned in a particular market, such as the medico or legal field, look at solving their financial problems by providing workable solutions via a standalone video or series.

Note: The primary objective of a video is a conversion, but by curating a compelling presentation with real value and one that delivers a real education, the conversion is something you won’t have to work particularly hard at achieving.

Instagratify - a Simple Yabber Solution

There’s absolutely no doubt that creating formal video can be a difficult exercise... and it often consumes significant time behind a PC after we've shot our footage editing and uploading the resulting product. However, not all video has to be perfect, and there are times when those videos you record while out-and-about are far more compelling and 'real' to an audience than your more formal content. Videos recorded without preparation don’t come across as salesy or pushy – you’re literally just sharing a story.

To make this job easy, we highly recommend using the video feature of Instagratify. Record a quick video, upload it to Instagram, tag it with a relevant keyword, and it’ll filter through into all your nominated social accounts (such as Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and others).

These short video snippets are a real opportunity to connect with an audience in a sincere, meaningful, and relatable way.

"But I don’t have anything to talk about".

Yes, you do.

Brokers get 100 emails a day from banks and aggregators advising of changes in the finance market, and there’s not a day that passes where your own understanding of the industry won’t change – if only slightly. There’s barely a week goes by where you don’t write an interesting loan, come across new lending criteria, discover investment opportunities, or you might resonate with some news reported in the media. All these occurrences might be an opportunity to pull out your Smartphone and record some quick thoughts.

Quick, precise, and informative videos work best.

So, use Instagratify for off-the-cuff and unpolished content.

Your Video Story

Storyboarding

Before we create a script, and before we even consider dusting off our video camera, we’ll storyboard the video by way of a mindmap, or via discussion points in a Word Document. We need to know what points we want to cover, how each discussion point is connected, what anecdotal evidence is required, how we’ll inject subjectivity into the narrative, where we’ll shoot, and what type of story-telling is best. We need to establish a single purpose of your video (or our primary Objective) with a few major neurological sticking points.

Start your planning in point form and ask what needs to be covered (we’ll provide our own documents if required). How does your own experience support your claims? The Sonata and FORDEC framework introduced shortly supports our storyboarding.

Video Types

What is meant by type of video? Consider the following non-exhausting list of video types.

  • List video, or round-ups (“top 10 reasons why…”)
  • Meet the team, “About Us”, or “about the CEO”
  • Behind the Scenes
  • Interviews
  • Skits and movie shorts
  • Documentary
  • Animations
  • Video Log (“Vlog”), best provided via Instagratify.
  • Education and e-learning
  • PowerPoint or similar
  • Tutorials
  • Product review
  • QandA
  • Announcements & News
  • Case study
  • Testimonial
  • Product features
  • Live event recordings
  • Webinars (and replays)
  • Live Webinars (with or without engagement)
  • White-board animation

Which is best? They’re all good and each has a purpose.

For our webinar we’ll generally switch between three or four different formats in the same video – with the educational presentation component taking center stage. The only way to determine what is best for your audience is to split-test each video over and over (split testing isn’t reserved for landing pages – we do it everywhere).

Shooting Your Video

Introduction

The style in which you shoot your video has a significant effect upon the way it’s received, and the conversions that might be derived from its use in a campaign. What follows are a number of basic considerations when shooting simple videos. In reality you'll make use of the tools available to you - usually your smartphone and a good microphone... but for those that are looking at a serious video presence the following may be useful.

Location

We like to record brokers in various locations of their city; your video doesn’t have to be shot in your office. For viewers, watching video on location occasionally turns the viewing experience into a “Where’s Wally” kind of thing. It's an immersive and more persuasive experience.

A location will connect different segments of your audience in different ways. If you’re shooting construction loan videos you might want to shoot with a construction backdrop. If you’re shooting First Home Buyer information you might shoot it in a brand new neighbourhood full of the 'house and land' type of dwellings, and if you're shooting an investment video you might consider doing so in an area populated with units or townhouses. There are occasions where we’ve found large hills and recorded brokers with a massive and vast backdrop - you get the point (your office is kind of boring). The background will assign context and provide more of an emotional connection with your audience.

Even generic videos should be shot somewhere new each time (if you have the time). While your office is perfectly acceptable, you really will connect with new audiences in a more meaningful way if you give your viewers reason to invest emotionally into your 'set'. Use your imagination. Filming should be fun, and finding locations is part of that.

If we’re after a neurological sticking point, the location contributes to this outcome. It’s not uncommon to shoot in well-known locations spanning a massive geographical area so we’re associated with specific areas, thus making us more relatable to a broader market. We routinely travel with our broekrs interstate for various reasons, and when we do we'll always record in well-known locations outside their home city to give them a very visible geographic footprint outside their primary location.

Note: If you have subscribed to one of our video packages we’ll normally pick the locations for you. If you’re going it alone please contact us so we can make some recommendations.

As we discuss in our article on webinars, we’ll always splice in real-world video to accompany the otherwise bland PowerPoint or video presentation. Each ‘broker snippet’ usually takes in a new location to build in a real, powerful, relatable, and compelling product. It’s hard to establish EAT f you’re hiding behind your voice... so showing us out-and-about adds to our trust model. Location shooting obviously adds to the production value and gives you far more credibility.

Video Considerations

The following list of considerations is intended for your reference. You're mortgage brokers, after all - you're not meant to be a video expert. However, there may be two or three bigger-ticket considerations in the list that'll alter your presentations and improve on your video quality.

  • Tell a story. There’s a reason we tell the story of Michelin’s 5-star guide, the Purple Cow, and the London Manure Crisis on our website * they capture attention. If you can muster up the creative courage, have a real story arc that extends all through your video. The location and anything else in shot is part of your story.
  • Storyboard & Plan. Standing in front of a camera without preparation is pointless (unless you’re out-and-about while sharing something via Instagratify). If you’re going to make a professional-looking video, make it professional.
  • Shoot in Landscape. You don’t watch a vertical TV, so don’t shoot videos in portrait mode. Shoot in landscape.
  • Frame Your Subject. Don’t cut off arms or heads. Shoot from the waist up (normally) and just slightly below the subject’s head. We talked about “rule of thirds” in our article on web design; sometimes it's better to shoot with the subject aligned with a 'third' line rather than directly in the center of a shot. If your phone has a feature that allows you to overlay a grid on your screen, use it.
  • Use a Tripod. Keep the camera steady. Use a tripod. In windy conditions ensure that your microphone (as discussed next) is shielded from the wind, and secure your tripod to stop it from tipping over.
  • Always use a microphone. Always use a microphone. This allows good quality audio to be repurposed, but it also eliminates the drop-off rate because an audience cannot hear you. A viewer might tolerate bad video, but they’re rarely accept bad audio.
  • Don’t Use Digital Zoom. Position your camera and tripod as necessary to frame your subject. A full HD recording of 1080p should be used as a minimum (this allows you to zoom in and out in post but maintain a 720p quality, if required). If you have a video that shoots in 4K, use it.
  • Lighting is Essential. Good lighting will light up the entire subject without shadows of any kind. If you’re shooting indoors avoid doing so under fluorescent lighting. Recording near a window or door is acceptable if it doesn’t cast shadows over your face (particularly around the eye and nose). If you are going to use real lighting, talk to us about a triangle setup that’ll include two forward-facing lights and one flood light to remove back shadows.

    Video Lighting

    If shooting outdoors, avoid directly sunlight (and sun flares). Avoid looking directly into the sun or having it directly behind you. Dawn and dusk (with the sun just near the visible horizon) is an excellent time because you’ll have ample soft light without the sun… but you’ll also limit your available shooting time. If you shoot in the middle of the day, do it outside but with appropriate overhead cover.

    Lighting Considerations

    Pictured: Using a single light source creates more shadows in your video. A backlight is always required if using this method. Source: Wistia.

    Even when shooting outside you will still get face and other shadows. Consider diffusion material in front of your light or a reflector placed low to bounce light back into the bottom half of your poorly lit face.

  • Background. Your background will often determine what lighting you might expect. While any background is acceptable, ensure it is clean. Many will use a bookshelf but this can also be distracting. Sometimes shooting at your desk or your place of work will make you more comfortable.
  • Multiple Cameras. If you have access to multiple cameras or smartphones, shoot from multiple angles. We’ll edit them together in post. Never look down into a camera lens.
  • Your Camera Presence. We’ll talk to you at length about this. You’ll want to talk in a clear, strong voice without sounding obnoxious or rude. Use variation in pitch but keep to a similar rhythm. Animate yourself only slightly; too much movement and you’ll look silly – not enough and you’ll look like a statue. Use an exaggerated conversational tone (salt is added to airline meals because they taste different in an Oxygen-deprived environment. Your video is the same - add salt to your conversational tone.)
  • Don’t Use a Laptop. It might seem obvious: do not ever use a laptop microphone and camera. Never. For any reason. If able, this should also apply to Skype interviews; set up a camera and feed it through your PC. If you are going to use a laptop for interviews, never use headphones or visible earpieces of any kind, and place your laptop on a pile of books so you’re looking into the camera rather than down.
  • Green Screen. A green screen background is a means of showing you in virtually any location of your choosing. Without our assistance we generally don’t encourage its use because it requires a correct lighting (density and saturation) that is difficult to achieve without guidance.
  • Don’t shoot video in your car – either stationary or moving. Why? You look like a douchebag, it’s illegal, distracting, and dangerous. It’s a growing trend for those in the marketing community to do this because the movement is meant to keep the user focused. There’s a growing trend for people on LinkedIn to record videos while stationary in their car but the result is always poor – we always end up looking up into the nose of the shadowy subject, and the car is a wasted opportunity to showcase a good location.

Again, all you need is a smartphone. It's also worth mentioning that our own studio is extensive but we were unable to purchase new lighting equipment as a result of Coronavirus, so our own material isn't the ideal setup. Do as we say and not as we do!

Conclusion

Video is an intrinsic part of our Magic Lantern model of trust. We've introduce the attributes of Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trust, and those of know, like, and trust, and how these attributes are earned by way of the touch-points you have with potential leads... and no medium is better suited than video in order to achieve our relationship goals.

A video education program presented by you is the ultimate mechanism to establish EAT in the minds of your visitors, and it's one that we highly recommend.

Note: Virtually every broker we work with talks about how they'd like to implement a 'Budgeting Program' within their business, and all but two have actually created a digital series... and both write in excess of 200m per year - coincidence? For those that would like various education programs but don't have the time, rest assured that we're building our own white-label video packages for you - just don't expect them anytime soon!

Your competitors don’t have a chance.

Download our 650-page guide on Finance Marketing. We'll show you exactly how we generate Billions in volume for our clients.

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