Master Modern Marketing: How to develop your inbound video marketing playbook

In Entrepreneurship, Inbound Marketing, Podcast, Starting a small business, Video & photography gear by Lionel Johnston1 Comment

In today’s episode, we speak with Jeff Pelletier, from Basetwo Media.

Jeff has a long history with video production. He has run a video production firm for the past 15 years and has even published a book on video.

More about Jeff, from Jeff: 

WHAT I DO: I help businesses get results with video.

I began my career as a freelance producer and director, before helping to found Basetwo Media (videoforbusiness.ca) where I oversee the implementation of our overall vision and strategy while guiding that of our clients.

My past experience also includes internet marketing and web design, having had some success during the ‘Dot-com bubble’ which served as a functional education and my introduction to the world of business & financial management.

As an ultra distance runner and filmmaker, my new project Pacer Films (pacerfilms.tv) represents a merger of two of my passions and acts as an additional creative outlet and incubator.

I’ve more recently been given the opportunity to join Salomon Canada on a team of Canadian trail running athletes who act as ambassadors to help promote the brand on and off the trail (jeffpelletier.com).

The Inbound Video Marketing Playbook: Using Video to Attract, Convert, Close and Delight

Video can be a powerful tool to help attract and convert leads, to close prospects, and delight your customers. But for your video marketing efforts to be effective, your videos must be contextual and platform specific, focusing on each stage of the Buyer’s Journey. In this practical guide, we’ll walk you through the different ways that you can use video within each step of the Inbound Sales & Marketing Methodology, including tips and best practices on the production, distribution & optimization of your videos, as well as how to measure success.

If you enjoyed the Master Modern Marketing podcast, please subscribe, rate and review the show.

You can also keep in contact with the show sponsor, Farmers Marketing, at www.FarmersMarketing.ca, or www.facebook.com/farmersmktng.

To be a guest on the Master Modern Marketing podcast, and get a FREE marketing audit and LIVE coaching call, please apply HERE!

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VIDEO: The End of the Corporate Video 


Read the transcript here: 

Jeff Pelletier:               

Don’t try to solve major problems with video. So, focusing less on these big-picture strategies, and think more about the low hanging fruit, some of the quicker wins. And the way that I look at that is, look at what’s already working, and try to boost those results using video, as opposed to trying to solve problems. Because I think we often see video as potentially like a magic bullet where we’re trying to say like, we need more leads, let’s make a video, right, and that’s just such a bigger problem than just a video’s not going to solve. You still have to think about how you’re going to convert those leads, and what channels are you going to use the video on. So, there’s a lot wrapped in there.

Lionel:                         

Hi, folks, this is Lionel Johnston with a Master Modern Marketing podcast, and that was Jeff Pelletier with Basetwo Media. Video is literally everywhere. Let me share some stats with you from YouTube and Google. The total number of people who use YouTube is 1.3 billion. YouTube is the second most visited website in the world. 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every single minute. Almost 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every single day, and this is also quite amazing. The average viewing session is over 40 minutes, and that’s up over 50% year over year. So, people are spending a lot of time all at once on YouTube.

So, it’s clear that there is a huge audience and a huge potential for producing video and getting exposure on YouTube. But at the same time, there’s also a lot of competition, so what that means is you need to make some darn good videos. Many small and medium-sized businesses have embraced video, but there’s a lot of room for growth. For example, currently, only 9% of US small businesses use YouTube, so lots of opportunity for improvement there.

That brings us to Jeff Pelletier with Basetwo Media. He has a long history and experience with video. I am confident that you will be glad you invested time with us in listening to this podcast. So, let’s cue the intro, and let’s dive right in.

Announcer:                  

We really love marketing, telling stories and sharing ideas with others to help them achieve their goals. If you enjoy growing businesses through digital marketing or would like to learn how to take your knowledge and skills to the next level, you’re in the right place. Welcome to the Master Modern Marketing podcast with your host Lionel Johnston.

Lionel:                         

Jeff, welcome to the Master Modern Marketing podcast. How are you doing today?

Jeff Pelletier:               

I’m doing great. Thank you. How about you?

Lionel:                         

Oh, I’m doing fantastic. Thank you, very much. So, I really appreciate you taking the time to speak with me today and share your expertise with our audience. Jeff, you’ll remember it was a few years back, we actually had met on an unexpected layover in the Mississauga airport. We were flying back from a HubSpot conference and got delayed by weather, and we were able to share a couple of drinks together, and from my experience, we found that we had some similar mindsets and ideas on business, and I really enjoyed my time talking with you, and we’ve kept in touch periodically since then. So, looking forward to being able to catch up and really dive deep on the topic of video in the modern world.

Jeff Pelletier:               

That was a great chat that we had at the bar there in the hotel, and yeah, I was really interested at the time to hear what you were doing with video in-house working client side. So, I mean, that’s something we can talk about today is some of the changes with video being done in-house more and more. So, I learned a lot from our conversation that night too.

Lionel:                         

Yeah. I remember at the time, and I’m looking for an update, but you were just transitioning a little bit of some of the services that you’re offering to people, and how you were looking at the services that people really needed in the current environment.

So, Jeff, if you could just introduce yourself. Say your name and your company, and if you have any interesting anecdotes you’d like to share with everyone, that would be great.

Jeff Pelletier:               

Sure. Well, my name’s Jeff Pelletier. I founded and still run a video production and marketing agency called Basetwo Media. We’re based in Vancouver, BC, and we work with clients primarily in the Vancouver area, and increasingly across Canada. I also do a lot of writing, and speaking and consulting with clients, coaching around video marketing strategy. I also volunteer and lead the HubSpot user group here locally, and we recently launched a video marketing meetup, as well. So, have a lot of fun kind of sharing my experiences, and tips and tricks there, as well.

Jeff Pelletier:               

And I recently just published a book, my first book called Inbound Video Marketing Playbook, which is available on Amazon.

Lionel:                         

Congratulations.

Jeff Pelletier:               

Yeah, thank you. I do a lot of running, I’m a trail runner, so that’s kind of my alternate life here. When I’m not working, I’m usually spending time in the backcountry, and I shoot little kind of films myself for my YouTube channel. I just did a big race in Italy, a big 200-mile race in the Alps, and I’m working on a documentary from that, as well.

Lionel:                         

Wow. Wow, that’s great. You’ve had lots on the go.

Jeff Pelletier:               

I’ve got lots on the go, yeah. Yeah.

Lionel:                         

Yeah, for sure.

Jeff Pelletier:               

I like to keep it, yeah.

Lionel:                         

So, let’s dive right in here. Really, the first topic I wanted to dive into was just the prevalence of video in the modern world, that video really is everywhere, yet I still notice there’s a lot of businesses that are slow to embrace video, or they aren’t really sure where to get started. So, do you find the same thing in your world, and if that’s the case where businesses are slow to adopt video, why do you think that is?

Jeff Pelletier:               

Well, over the last few years, I mean, I’ve seen a bit of a shift where I would say most businesses now are using video, or at least understand the benefits of using video, whether they’ve successfully adopted a video into their marketing communications. As far as say the customer journey of awareness and consideration, we’re past awareness, we’re past having to preach about why you should be using video, and we’re now into sort of typically we center our content and a lot of the questions that we answer with clients. It’s more about how they can use video, whether it be producing video in-house, working with an agency, or freelancer.

I think most businesses understand that they can and should be using video, but the challenge really is in the implementation. It’s in getting results from the video, and I think that’s where a lot of our customers, prospects that we speak to, as well as our existing customers, seem to sometimes struggle.

Lionel:                         

I believe, if I remember correctly, you were mentioning that a lot of your clients are really in the medium size to large space. Is that correct?

Jeff Pelletier:

Yeah. I mean, as far as Vancouver is concerned, we do typically work with the larger companies in town, which on a global scale, I guess comparatively aren’t that large, but we work with a lot of enterprise-based clients. So, typically, our customers are doing quite a bit of video. So, our work is all project based, but it tends to be work that we’re doing on a regular basis.

And then, we do have a mix of smaller to medium size companies, as well, mostly in technology who are using video quite a bit in their marketing. And then, increasingly, we are working with some smaller companies, as well, where their budgets might not be there to outsource work to us, but we are working in a more consultative fashion, and actually helping people to get setup, both with the equipment and a strategy for doing video in house, and I think that’s really where the opportunity is now for a lot of businesses, is to start looking at how they can use video in house. The way you would write your own blog content, potentially.

Lionel:                         

Yeah. That’s very interesting, and that was actually one of the comments you made, Jeff, when we were in Mississauga before that really intrigued me was that the core of your business at the time was producing high quality video for businesses, but you also, yeah, were recognizing that businesses were doing some video, but yet they really had a lot of opportunity for improvement. And even things that you could point out, for example, like having captions on their videos, or using video hosting like Wista in addition to YouTube when appropriate. I thought that was a pretty interesting angle where you could really ramp up a business’s video presence, but really just by sharing some information and tactics, and them not needing to have an entire huge team to be able to make a big impact.

Jeff Pelletier:               

Yeah. I mean, as a professional, but also as an agency, our goal is to help our clients get results from video, which 9 times out of 10 means producing the video content ourselves. But increasingly, that’s where we’re becoming more of a consultant, and it’s all the stuff leading up to the video project, or even on the backend on the hosting that the optimization, the distribution, that’s often where the results come from, as well. So, yeah, increasingly, we are becoming more of a consultancy, and long-term, that may be where we end up.

Jeff Pelletier:               

As video becomes more ubiquitous, but also more cost effective to be done in-house, we likely will end up transitioning that way, as well. If that’s the best way we can serve our clients, then that’s where we’ll continue to move towards.

Lionel:                         

I see. Well, that’s definitely good to hear that we’re beyond the days where we have to explain the value of video, and people recognize that, and they’re just looking for ways to [inaudible 00:09:24], or they’re just looking for ways to introduce that to their business. So, that ties back with the next topic I wanted to look at, which was really what does a modem video strategy look like? This may be where your book comes in, Jeff, but could you explain a little bit about what that should look like if I was wanting to design a modern video strategy?

Jeff Pelletier:               

Well, on the one hand, I think there is room for what we may call a video strategy or a video marketing strategy. But on the other hand, I really see video as a tactic, one that supports other strategies. Video shouldn’t be created in isolation in that way. So, for example, you might already be blogging, and video is a great way to take that to the next level. But at the end of the day, blogging itself is just a tactic, right. It’s part of a concept marketing play, an inbound marketing strategy.

So, inbound marketing can include video as a tactic. Outbound sales can include video as a tactic. The video itself isn’t a strategy, it’s only a tactic that supports existing strategies, and I think that’s the part that I think a lot of companies when they approach an agency like us, or when they’re considering doing video in house, they’re in that consideration phase trying to figure out how to best approach using video, that’s often the part that I think people miss, is that video isn’t a box that you check and a list of assets that you just need as part of your marketing where you say, “Oh, we need a corporate video. Let’s get a website, let’s get a video, let’s get a brochure.” Instead, it’s best used to support existing strategies, and I think that’s really the key to success.

Lionel:                         

Oh, that makes a lot of sense. So, thanks for taking the time to explain the difference in a strategy and how it should be seen as a tactic. So, for a small, or again in your case, a medium and large size business, where should they really get started, and are there three to five factors that they should really focus on when they’re getting up and running, and adding video as a tactic to their business?

Jeff Pelletier:               

Yeah. I mean, typically, so if you look at sort of a strategic marketing communications framework, the first question we always ask our clients is, is why? Why video, why now? So, what problem are we trying to solve, or what opportunity are we hoping to address by using video. And before we even talk with the tactic of video, we really want to understand the underlining. Is this part of a campaign? Is this part of a brand new strategic initiative? Again, are you just now implementing inbound marketing, and video’s going to form a part of that? So, we really try to get the groundwork, and that’s really where all businesses should start. It’s let’s look at this strategically. What’s the problem? What’s the opportunity?

Video is super powerful. It is a really powerful tactic, can help to demonstrate. It can help to humanize, tell stories in ways that I think a lot of other tactics can’t do quite as well. But it’s also a really expensive tactic, right. Whether you’re doing it in-house, or whether you’re outsourcing it, it’s one of the more expensive marketing communications mediums. So, there’s a lot of reward potential, but there’s also a lot of risk when approaching video.

So, with that in mind, I think you need to approach it as a bit of an experiment. You do have to, like anything it can take time. If you just start a new blog, it takes time to develop your voice, and your positioning, and even your process for generating that content. And video is kind of the same thing, so it’s expensive. It’s not just a one-time thing where you’re getting to check that box, and you’re done.

So, with that in mind, I usually recommend that businesses don’t try to solve major problems with video. So, focusing less on these big picture strategies, and think more about the low hanging fruit, some of the quicker wins. And the way that I look at is, look at what’s already working, and try to boost those results using video, as opposed to trying to solve problems. Because I think we often see video potentially like a magic bullet where we’re trying to say like, we need more leads, let’s make a video, right. That’s such a bigger problem that just a video’s not going to solve. You still have to think about how you’re going to convert those leads, and what channels are you going to use the videos on. So, there’s a lot wrapped in there.

So, we kind of see using video as a way to sort of boost what’s already working. It’s kind of like steroids, like you have to be going to the gym for steroids to work. But if you want that extra edge in competition, whether it’s ethical or not, you can use steroids, and give yourself that extra boost. And video’s kind of the same way, it just happens to be legal and it happens to be ethical. But you still have to be going to the gym, right. You still have to be getting some preliminary results if you want to boost it with video. And I think that’s really the best place for smaller businesses who are likely on a limited budget to see some quick wins.

So, an example would be you’ve been blogging for a year or two quite successfully, and you want to take that up a level, you can start using video in your blog posts as a way to see if you gain additional traction, maybe some additional engagement. Or even take it another step, and look at developing a YouTube channel strategy, which is really just blogging on steroids. It’s video blogging. But of course, you wouldn’t want to start with YouTube, because it’s more expensive, it’s more time consuming, more resource intensive, and blogging on its own is hard enough without having to introduce video production into it.

So, again, looking for, I think, things that are working where we …  then say, okay, what happens if we now spend a few thousand dollars in video, can we get an additional 25% of whatever it might be, conversions, leads, whatever the result is we’re hoping to boost?

Lionel:                         

Great advice, sir. I like the steroids analogy, and I guess one thing that I thought about that analogy specific to the gym is that you can’t just go to the gym one time and bang out 1,000 push-ups, and all of a sudden, you’re in shape. So, I bring that up in the sense that you may have customers that they say, “Well, I’ve made my corporate video, now what,” or I’m just waiting for the leads to come in, and they haven’t come in yet, and we made our video. Do you ever come across any of that with clients?

Jeff Pelletier:               

Well, that’s just it. We’ve been doing this for quite a few years. We’re on our 15th year of business. Admittedly, in those first maybe five or six years, we were making videos that we had … we wouldn’t ask the tough questions. We would make the corporate video, it would be put on YouTube, and you know, fast forward two or three years later, the client’s maybe got 150 views, and most of those were probably by accident. It was people stumbling on the video, and not taking any results after seeing the video.

So, yeah, you definitely get a lot of that, and I think that’s where we are now. I think we’re sort of in that stage where, like with websites, everybody initially needed a website. Well, now, everybody has a website, but now it’s about growth marketing, it’s about getting more out of our websites, and figuring out really what are we trying to achieve. And video is in that same stage. Everybody’s kind of typically made a video at this point, and often what’s stopping them from making more videos is that they just don’t know how to measure the results in the first place, even if they were getting them, and then try to boost those results, and justify spending more money on more video.

And truly, I think that’s the worst thing that can happen, is you make a video, you get no measurable results, so you just don’t make another one for two or three years. Basically, you wait until that video is so outdated that you’re forced to make a new one, and to check that box again. And I always kind of like to joke with clients, like, my goal is to get you as much measurable results as possible so that you come back, and you double down, and you spend more.

Lionel:                         

Interesting. I know we’ve talked about all different types of videos from a sales rep sending a personalized video to someone, corporate style, or even a commercial style video. How can businesses owners start to look at some sort of metrics and results? How do they place a value on the video that they’re producing?

Jeff Pelletier:               

Well, yeah, and I think again if we look at the strategic … the way that video as a tactic can fit into that strategic frameworks, I would say what are you already doing that’s working, and what are the results currently, right. What’s our baseline? Because if we’re going to use video, and we want to measure the change, the effect it’s going to have, we need a baseline.

So, again, you might be looking at your email marketing, and email’s a great way to use video. It’s a super powerful channel, but it’s also noisy. We get a lot of email, so video’s a great way to stand out. So, if you’re already sending emails to a big newsletter list for example, we’d say let’s measure the baseline for say the average open rate on an email, as well as the click through rate. And then, maybe we would make a video that was intended to help boost those two things, as well as possibly conversions on a landing page. So, you would have a nice big image in your email, highly optimized sort of one or two calls to action at most, and you can even do an AB test with a version of that one email with a video, and one without. And now, we can measure what’s the difference in the open rate. So, including the word video in your subject line, for example, can even just boost the open rate of an email.

What’s the difference in the click through rate? So, including an image of a video in the email that takes you to a landing page where the video would play. Including that image can improve the click through rate. So, again, we’ve measured that before and after with and without a video. And then, on the landing page itself, does the video help with whatever your goal is there? Conversions, et cetera.

So, you can measure that on a case by case basis with AB split testing, but you could also measure that against your baseline. So, okay, we’ve been using video in email for a while, have the average open rates and click through rates gone up? So, how was it given our marketing a boost, and to what degree? And at the end of the day, if you can put a dollar value on that, even better. So, what is a conversion sale lead in a form? What is that worth? And if we boost that by 25%, we’ll work backwards now. How much has that video generation in terms of leads, and ultimately, sales?

Lionel:                         

That makes a lot of sense, so thanks. So, this is a big question, of course, and it can be across the board, but what are some general ranges of cost for a business? I’m sure you get asked that question quite a bit. So, everything from a small team and they’re insourcing everything to going to a large professional team outsourcing it. What are the different categories of videos, and typical cost if that’s something you’re able to speak to?

Jeff Pelletier:               

Yeah, I mean, and that’s almost always the first question when somebody contacts us. They’ll say, “What does a video cost, and how long does it take?” I hesitate to fixate on that, because video is best approached as more of an iterative process. So, again, if you’re going to say we want to add video to our blogging, our blogging strategy, the question then would be, well, how often do you blog, and how often do you want to make videos? If you want to add a weekly video where you’re … and in fact, here’s a good example.

We worked with a client named Kintech, and they produce content that’s designed to reach an audience to position themselves as experts in footwear and orthotics. So, they sell footwear and they create custom orthotics. And they want to be the store and the service provider that you think of the next time you need footwear or orthotics for your feet. And so, they do this by answering questions that people are searching for around shoe reviews, around foot health, and they have a great blog, and they wanted to add video to that. And so, they approached us, and they asked that question, how much would it cost to make a video for the blog? And when dove in, we realized what they really meant was how much would it cost to make a weekly video or a monthly video for the vlog.

And at that point, we said, well, look, we’re not going to charge you whatever it is, 3, 10, 30 thousand dollars per video, that would be ridiculous. We need to help you develop a strategy where you’re, like with the blogging that you’re doing internally, you need to be producing this video internally. So, we helped them to produce that in-house, and their goal was to have at least one if not two to four videos produced per month.

Jeff Pelletier:               

And so, we kind of worked backwards from, well, what would success look like here? And as an experiment, we want to benchmark, we want to add video, and then we want to measure the results. What’s the best result that it would give us, and what would that mean to our bottom line? And what is…the minimum acceptable result? And we kind of helped them establish a budget by thinking that way. So, they budget 2 to 4 thousand dollars a month say per video.

And then, based on that, we could then say, okay, well for that amount of money, we maybe can’t help you make the videos, but we can train you on how to make them yourself. No, they won’t be quite as high production value, but do they need to? At the end of the day, as long as your content’s valuable, I think that’s one of the shifts we’ve seen with video, is that sometimes it doesn’t matter about the production value, as long as the audio is clear, the image is somewhat clear. You can shoot video on an iPhone. Depending on your goal, depending on your audience, as well, and the channel. That content might actually perform better than if it was highly produced.

And so, for them, that was a real win. Now, for other clients, some of our enterprise level clients, they will come to us with a very specific communications objective where it’s less about a program, it’s less about an ongoing strategy. It’s a specific campaign, and they’re saying, you know, we need to reach a broad audience, or we’re communicating to our 10000 employees across the country, whatever it might be. There’s a very specific message a very specific window that they’re going to use that asset.

And so, in that case, and they’re saying, you know, we’ve tried doing this in different ways, or we will be doing this in a few ways, one of them is video. In that case, we usually will help them establish a budget just for that one video, and we’ll produce it for them. We’re usually looking at maybe $10000 and up. So, that’s usually kind of the threshold for us on a project level, and many projects are closer to the 30 to 50 thousand dollar range when it comes to these large enterprise organizations.

Lionel:                         

I see.

But one of the differences is that they’re often trying to match a certain … you know, there’s branding guidelines. And also, a lot of the dollars that are being spent there actually aren’t going on screen. So, we’re not creating fancy animation. Often, we’re just doing a lot of work in terms of revisions and project management, just because of the nature of these large organizations. It can just take a lot of time to get work done and approved.

Jeff Pelletier:               

And so, to them, the value equation there. They’re okay paying a little bit more because they understand it’s difficult to get these projects done with a bureaucratic organization. Whereas for smaller businesses, I think that’s less of an issue. They really want to make sure the money is going to … as much of its going on screen as possible, and that often means not working with an agency, not paying for project management, and all those kinds of things, and working with freelancers.

Jeff Pelletier:               

So, you can get videos done for as little as a few thousand dollars. Again, as much is very quickly in that 10 to 30 thousand dollar range. But I would sort of say for a smaller business on a limited budget, to focus more on spending the money on working with a consultant to make sure that you are approaching, or the video program if you’re doing ongoing video. So, you’re approaching it in the right way. You’re also spending a few thousand dollars upfront on consulting and then look at ways to work with, say, interns, or to hire cheaper labour where you can, or even just doing things yourself to produce video content in-house. But it’s all going to be found on that sound strategy initially. That’s the biggest thing.

Lionel:                         

That’s great advice, and it sounds like, Jeff, if I were starting a new business, that you would be able to come in, and actually teach me how to do things properly, but also help me know how to build my team over time, as well, right. Which resources can they to continue to add, and where to spend money, and where to save some money as you’re mentioning, as well.

Jeff Pelletier:               

Exactly, yeah. Going back to Kintech, that’s one way we worked with them where, first of all, all made a case for them doing things more in-house, and then we helped them buy the equipment, we trained them on using the equipment. We recorded that training for future onboarding. We found the locations in their offices to film in, and then we helped them get set up with a template with graphics that they could just reuse. And then, we do a monthly phone call where we talk about the challenge they’re having around everything from production to distribution and optimization.

It took a while, right. The first six videos are going to be somewhat embarrassing, but by the time you’re on your 16th video, you’re doing quite well, and it’s sort of that teach a man to fish kind of thing, right. So, they’re off to the races now, and they’ve been doing it for close to two years, and they’ve seen great results. But more importantly, they have sort of this sustainable strategy where they don’t have to keep coming back and paying for each video.

Now what they do is bring us in for sort of the odd higher value campaign where they’re saying this is not something we want to do in-house, this is something that we feel should be invested in, and we’ll look at that on a campaign by campaign basis. But yeah, things like blog content. You mentioned personalized video, which I think is a huge opportunity for sales teams. A lot of that stuff is being done in house, and should be done in house, and I think we’re going to see more and more of that happening.

Lionel:                         

Yeah. Well, thanks a lot for sharing that specific example, and the businesses that we work with a lot as our clients are people that are interested in working with us. Everything you just described, when I look at the discussions we’ve had with them on other topics, it seems like that would just be a great fit, and something that they would whole heartedly embrace. So, I can see why you’ve taken your business down that path.

On a related topic with your shoe client here and their business, one of the things that have come up in discussions with various clients is the topic of professionalism. What are your thoughts there? Because we can, insert cases, there’s a lot of live video, and Instagram live where it can be just off the cuff, and doesn’t need to be professional, or maybe it does, and then there’s also other corporate clients that really want a very polished and professional look. Can you speak to the difference between the different channels if appropriate, and where someone should be more professional or less professional? What are your thoughts on that topic?

Jeff Pelletier:               

Yeah, and I think video is a great example of a tool that can be used really well. It can sort of exposes things unintentionally, or it can expose you and make it more authentic intentionally. If you’re blogging, and you’re trying to really have an authentic voice, and you really want to show the team behind your company, and build that trust, and really show … humanize, humanize your brand. Video can really help there. But I think that’s also what scares a lot of organizations, is that it sort of pulls back the curtain, and some people aren’t comfortable on camera, and they might just not have that voice established yet. They might not be comfortable with that level of authenticity.

And that’s where you see the more traditional highly produced videos, or potentially an animated video. Often, we see animated explainers where it’s more about the product, and it’s less about the team. And in that case, you’re telling stories through animation, typically.

But I mean, if you are sort of leaning more towards that authentic voice, that’s where video works really well, and I think you alluded to this. Look at the channel first, right. So, we often will say, when we’re looking at how can we use video to support an existing strategy, the logical next question is ‘what platform?’, and ‘what’s the context?’ So, if you want to use video to boost your Instagram strategy, and maybe do more video, and likely this would be done in house with more Instagram stories, you’d have to look at, well, why are you using Instagram? Who’s your audience? Are you using it for recruitment, are you using it for lead generation? What’s your goal, and who are you speaking to? And that should then inform that voice. So, if you’re saying, “We use Instagram because we want to use it for recruitment, we want to show the behind the scenes look at our company,” for example. That’s how we Instagram ourselves. Then, that probably leads you to the logical conclusion that it should be more authentic and personal content.

And so, that’s that. Yeah, you’d shoot it on an iPhone, you’d have fun with the videos. Maybe you’d show people being silly, you’d show people having fun at work. Whereas a lead generation video, if you’re selling a software product, that tone maybe wouldn’t be appropriate. That’s where you are more polished. If you show somebody, it’s more of a spokesperson. You use more animation.

So, I think the platform … I’m not sure that there’s necessarily best practices for using video on those platforms as much as it’s about start with the platform first, and how are you using that platform, what’s your goal? And the video content should be exactly like the rest of the content that you’re putting on that platform in the case of Facebook or Instagram.

Lionel:                         

You’ve spoken about this a number of different ways here, and if we look at, from a client’s perspective, working with a contractor like your company, are there any best practices that they can utilize to get the most out of your services? Are there ways that they could reduce the amount of rework, or make the process more efficient, more effective? Do you have any thoughts on if I’m the small the business owner, me being a business owner, what could I do to be a good client, basically?

Jeff Pelletier:               

Yeah, I think it depends on … I mean, I really see there being two different types of service providers when it comes to video. There’s the agency side of things, and that’s like our team, for example. And then, there’s more of the freelancer that you might work with, or you might assemble a team of freelancers. And I think that you need to be clear on who you’re higher, which end. You could say it’s a bit of a spectrum, but really, the reason there’s a distinction there, I find, is that a freelancer, say a videographer, is going to do exactly what you ask of them. They might push back a little bit. They might ask some questions along the way. But if you say, “Hey, I need you to come and film for a day on Tuesday, and I need you to bring some lights and a couple of microphones,” they’ll do exactly that.

When you work with an agency, most agencies will say, like hold on, let’s go back 10 steps. I know you want us to come and film on Tuesday, but why? What are we trying to accomplish here? And they’ll often help you to approach your project in a different way where appropriate. Typically, an agency will do everything from the script writing through to the post production, and even help with distribution. So, you’re getting more of a team approach. Now, that team approach costs more. It’s more [inaudible 00:32:42], of course, but you get a lot more value if that’s what you’re looking for. If you want a turnkey solution, somebody’s who’s going to come in, and sort of handle the entire process for you, hold your hand throughout that entire process.

Whereas the freelancer approach, you’re really going to have to … you know, you’re essentially the producer if you’re hiring a videographer. And then, if you then hire a freelance editor, again, you’re the producer. You’re the connection between that videographer and the editor. The agency would likely have a producer.

So, when it comes to the freelancers, I mean, I think you really need to be … again, if you’ve worked with a consultant, and you’ve developed a strategy, and you’ve maybe even gotten some initial results, it’s more likely that you can work with those freelancers, especially if you want to learn about video, and really get into nuts and bolts. And in that case, I think you just need to communicate really clearly and manage expectations with those individuals.

When you’re working with an agency, I think that’s more where it’s about coming in with a bit more of an open mind, but being super clear on your goals. So, instead of being clear on what exactly you want, and being prescriptive, you just, I think, need to have a really clear idea on what it is exactly you’re trying to accomplish. And that’s the way the agency’s going to provide the most value. Otherwise, I think the worst thing you could do is work with an agency, hire an agency, and be prescriptive. Because now, you’re missing out on all this potential, right, for them to say, well, actually here’s how we approached this for another client, or here’s potentially a better way to do this, or maybe, hey, you shouldn’t be making video at all, how about do this instead and come back to us in a year, and we’ll help you at that point. And a good agency partner should be honest with when and how they can help you the most.

So, I think it’s just being clear. Are you hiring a freelancer, and having to be prescriptive, or are you looking for a partner who’s going to help you more strategically? Otherwise, you might just be trying to … and especially when you’re hiring somebody, you have to be clear. Are you comparing apples to apples, or are you comparing the price of a freelancer to the much higher price of an agency, but expecting agency level services from that freelancer? And that’s not going to work out well.

Lionel:                         

For sure. That’s a great distinction between the two camps there, and all the more reason why it’s important to work with someone to be able to talk through these questions, and make sure that all the I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed before you get too deep into a project. As I’m sure you’ve seen, and you know with design projects, especially video, things can go sideways quickly if you don’t take the time at the beginning to get on the right path.

Jeff Pelletier:               

Yeah, and that’s often like, there’s less scope creep that often happens, and I know that’s … a lot of clients say they have the fear of that, right. Especially, when you’re getting billed by the hour. It’s very easy for that clock to just keep running, and you get quoted one thing, and then the invoice ends up being double. And that’s where I think, again, clarity on what your objectives are is really important.

Where we’ve seen projects go awry is when if a client is being prescriptive, and saying we want a six minute video featuring, you know, we want these people talking in it, we want to film on location here, and do this, this and this, and yet they’re not clear on the reason for that, and how they’re going to measure those results, we’re no longer able to advise on how to approach the project to pushback in any way. So, what’ll happen is you end up with, maybe the video’s supposed to be 3 or 4 minutes, and it ends up being 8 or 9 minutes, because different people come in out of the woodwork, and now sales is saying, hey, well, we want to talk about the product. And HR’s saying, oh, but we also want to use this for recruitment. You know, let’s talk about our company, and why you should work here. And leadership is saying, well, we want to be in the video, because we should, you know … and so, you end up with this big kind of all these cooks in the kitchen kind of throwing in their own ingredients, and you end up with this big mess that doesn’t work for anybody. It’s this nine minute video, it’s not clear what your message is, it’s not clear who your audience is, and that’s the kind of video that you end up throwing on YouTube, and getting no results from.

Lionel:                         

Right.

Jeff Pelletier:               

So, again, it kind of comes back to that clarity, because if you were to say, “We need a video to help improve conversions from this landing page, here’s exactly the persona of our target audience, here’s what they know so far about the product, here’s the context, and here’s exactly what the call to action is,” we’re then, as an agency, able to help you to pushback when you need to. So, when HR says, “Oh, can you also talk about the benefits of working here?” We can help you to remind them, sorry, guys, this video is only to convert traffic on this landing page. This is not the HR video, we’ll get to that later. So, really having clarity around your objectives, what success looks like, help you to reign those projects in, and avoid all that scope creep in the first place.

Lionel:                         

I can see how all of those things can happen by dealing with any given client, of course. Just to wrap things up though, one term that you’ve used a number of times is inbound, and inbound marketing and inbound video. At the beginning of our podcast, you spoke about the book that you’ve written. So, could you give us all some background on what is inbound marketing, and how does it tie into video, and tell us a bit about your book, and we’ll find out where we can get it?

Jeff Pelletier:               

Sure. Well, inbound marketing is … I know, Lionel, as you know, having come back from the HubSpot conference where we met. HubSpot is a software platform who have really helped to coin the term and really develop the market, but at the end of the day, inbound marketing is about attracting customers to you. So, it’s attracting leads, it’s converting those into sales [inaudible 00:38:11] leads, and moving them kind of through that helping them buy essentially, as opposed to going out and trying to sell. So, it’s sort of the inverse of an outbound sales approach.

Typically, we see a lot of content at the top blogging, video potentially, where you’re really not trying to sell a service, you’re trying to answer your question, you’re trying to address … if somebody’s looking for, they recognize they have a problem, they’re beginning to look at solutions. And in our case, again, that might be the benefits of video, or how to use video on different platforms. And then, as they move down that journey, they’re going to start to look at those solutions. In our case, again, maybe it’s should I be producing video in house, or working with an agency?

And at some point, again, with us, they’re likely going to land on our website, and they’ve decided they’re going to work with an agency, which is the question of, which agency? And so, as an agency, our goal would then be to …  to start that relationship as early as possible. So, if we’re the ones to have provided that top of funnel and beginning of customer journey awareness content, if we’re the ones who explain the benefits of video, and help them through that journey, we’re more likely to be the person they choose at the end of that journey, as well.

So, that’s kind of the foundation, right. And so, video fits into that, and so that’s where we sort of use the term inbound video marketing. So, the foundation is an inbound marketing strategy, but we’re using the video at potentially any of those touchpoints along the way. So, you can use it during the awareness stage, you can use it during conversions. You can even use it once you’ve started working with a customer for onboarding and retention. You know, helping them to maintain a happy customer. You can delight them with video, as well.

So, video works throughout that entire customer journey and throughout the entire sales funnel, and that’s what the book that we published is based around. It’s called The Inbound Video Marketing Playbook. InboundVideoMarketing.com, or it’s available on Amazon. And basically, just talk about kind of a lot of things we talked about today. We talk about how to use video strategically and tactically at each of those stages. We talk about whether to hire somebody externally, or to do it in-house, when that’s appropriate, as well as how to do that. So, how to choose a freelancer versus an agency. All the legalities that you need to watch out for when you’re producing video. We have some resources in there about doing video yourself, and what gear to buy. Some of the websites that you can use as tools.

And then, all the way through distribution and measurement. So, we really try to approach the entire thing. It’s packed with content. It can be dry at times, but it’s also a good reference book for anybody who wants to sort of begin their journey into using video in their marketing. There’s lots of stuff in there even if you’re not doing inbound marketing. We talk a little about using it for outbound sales, as well.

Lionel:                         

Great. Well, thanks for the overview of that. It sounds like really anyone that is in the process of thinking about ramping up video or introducing video to their business, it sounds like the book would be a great place for them to be able to start and make sure they get off on the right track, Jeff.

Jeff Pelletier:               

Yeah.

Lionel:                         

Yeah. One of the things I’d like to do actually, Jeff, if it’s okay for you, with our audience is to be able to have. How about we’ll pick out a random commenter, and we can send them off your book for free, what do you think about that?

Jeff Pelletier:               

That’s a great idea, yeah. Happy to do that.

Lionel:                         

Okay. So, for anyone that is thinking about adding or ramping up video in their business, please leave a comment, or a question, or your one experience on video, and we’ll be able to pick a random commenter, and reach out to you by email, and we’ll send you a copy of Jeff’s book. So, thank you very much for offering that Jeff.

Jeff Pelletier:               

Yeah. No problem at all. Thanks, Lionel.

Lionel:                         

So, Jeff, thanks once again for sharing your knowledge on the Master Modern Marketing podcast. For all of the small and medium sized businesses out there, if you would like to join us on this podcast, and start capitalizing on the digital world, for all of the small and medium sized businesses out there, if you would like to join us on this podcast, and start capitalizing on the digital world, please apply now to be a guest. Basically, we will conduct a short audit, and sit down with you on this podcast, and talk about what things are great in your business, what opportunities there are to improve, and actually have a live coaching call, as well. So, at the end of that podcast, you’ll know exactly what you need to do to be able to take your business to the next level. So, you can apply at FarmersMarketing.ca if you’d like to be a guest.

So, Jeff, again, as we talked about at the beginning of the podcast, you’ve got a ton of things on the go there, both in your personal life and in business, so I appreciate you taking time out of your day today to be able to share your expertise with our audience, and hopefully, we can talk more about this in the future, and I hope that our listeners will reach out to be able to get more information from you, and potentially even work with you in the future, as well.

Jeff Pelletier:

Yeah, glad to do it. Thanks. It’s been fun, and if anybody does have any questions, or wants to get in touch, you can do so at InboundVideoMarketing.com.

Lionel:                         

So, InboundVideoMarketing.com.

Jeff Pelletier:

That’s right.

Lionel:                         

Right on. Thank you. And for everyone else listening, until next time, onward and upward. We’ll see you on the next podcast.

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The Master Modern Marketing Podcast, with your host, Lionel Johnston. A podcast for lovers of marketing and growing small businesses. If you enjoyed today’s podcast, please rate and review, and we’ll catch you next time on the Master Modern Marketing Podcast.

 

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