Magazine article CRM Magazine

Video Production Made Easy: Incorporating Video into Your Customer Outreach Is as Simple as 1, 2, 3

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Video Production Made Easy: Incorporating Video into Your Customer Outreach Is as Simple as 1, 2, 3

Article excerpt

THERE HAS never been a better time to use video in business. Technology for producing good-quality video is abundant and inexpensive. The components in shortest supply may simply be talent and experience. But almost anyone can develop the experience for producing quality video by following a few basic rules.

First, keep it simple. While some of the bigger vendors have pumped a lot of money into their video production capability, we don't all have to go that route. That means finding the best way to tell the story that you want to tell. Sometimes a big production with great animation is in order, but I've also seen highly effective work done with simple tools on a shoestring.

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When you have a chance, look at the Sage channel on YouTube. You'll find a series of fun videos featuring a character named Napkin Mike. Mike is a cartoon, and the conceit uses simple napkin drawings and--get this--Popsicle sticks to explain the advantages of ACT!, perhaps the most widely used contact manager on the market. People at Sage tell me it costs them about $4,000 to produce one of Mike's spots. Not bad at all.

Another rule that's a favorite of mine is keep it short. If you've ever tried to speak in public, you have discovered how long just a few minutes is and how much information you need to fill up the time. Video is the same. A three-to five-minute video contains a lot of information in the form of visuals as well as audio, and people seem to just drink it in. In my experience, you can cram as much information into a three-to five-minute video as you can place in a white paper that takes much longer to read.

One of my clients, Zuora, develops customer testimonial videos that last, on average, 30 seconds. That's all it takes. Zuora keeps this process simple with a standard background and text graphics. They once shot six testimonial videos in an afternoon at a user group meeting. With some professional lighting and camera work plus a little effort after the shoot, they had a wealth of customer testimonials at a very low cost per video.

Lastly, there's YouTube, as I mentioned earlier, and it's worth elaborating on. There's no need to manage video servers yourself when you can pump your creations up to YouTube, where they can live for nothing. …

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