According to Rob Puleo, there are a lot of compelling reasons to use video to get your message across to prospective customers, including the 35 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute and the two billion videos viewed each month on Facebook.
Puleo, a freelance producer and “digital alchemist” based in Cleveland, has nearly 20 years of experience producing broadcast and non-broadcast videos and integrated media solutions for corporate, industrial and nonprofit clients, and he shared his insights with Best of Success attendees in a session titled “Using Video to Promote Your Business.”
The use of online video is growing exponentially and new technology has made producing video cheaper and easier than ever before, noted Puleo. “The key is getting messages to the people who need them,” he said. “And YouTube is where you want to be.”
He suggested that contractors looking to venture into video might start with customer testimonials. “I love testimonials from customers,” Puleo said “It’s better to have a customer talk about how great you are than to have you do it.”
In your video, it’s essential that you identify the problem you can solve. “That’s the key to video — solve my problems,” said Puleo. He explored several examples of videos that effectively conveyed their message in a very short amount of time, including a commercial for the Orabrush tongue cleaner that got 35 million YouTube views. He also included a spoof commercial for “Kitten Mittens” from the television show “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.”
The clip was funny, but there was a serious point. “It identified the problem, showed the solution, was less than a minute long and made me laugh,” he said. “Nobody cares who you are or what you have. They want to know how you can help them — so why don’t you lead with that? It’s not about you. It’s about what you can do for your customer. And keep it short and sweet.”
Even though they might last less than a minute, videos should have a three-act structure, said Puleo: present the problem, show them how you can help, and provide a call to action. Like a good song, a video needs a hook, so include something memorable — and get to it quickly. “We all have to speak in sound bites,” he said. “Give them something to remember, and a tight package works best.”
Puleo emphasized the importance of pre-production planning. Other tips included using a tripod while shooting and adding images in the editing process to help tell the story. “Don’t just show me a talking head — show me the roof system,” he advised.
Using the right keywords and posting content frequently will help get your video noticed once it’s online, noted Puleo. His final words of advice: “Remember, short and sweet is better than long and crappy.”