Over the past little bit, I've had the incredible honor to work with a few Knoxville-based small businesses to help jump start their digital media presence. I love taking the complex stories and the passions of local business owners and translating them into simple, powerful, messages in video form. It's what I do.
Since I haven't had the chance to share those videos on my blog yet, I want to take this opportunity (as in...RIGHT NOW!) to share three different approaches to video production for small businesses.
1.) The Personalized Business Introduction -
Traditionally, standard company promo videos are very straightforward and very unemotional. As in, "Hello. This is who we are. This is what we do. Thank you for your time." While this is good and all, in today's uber-social world, the traditional "cookie-cutter" intro video is a bit…well…boring. And that's why we at Stuart Jones Media have coined the "Personalized" Business Intro! I love to take the traditional, direct intro and add a little of your flavor and passion to it. We like to highlight the "why" behind the "what"--to highlight your passion for what you do. Your audience is definitely interested in your credibility, but we like to throw in a little personality too--a sure way to stand out from the crowd.
Here's a sample Personalized Business Intro that I created for local designer/contractor, Heritage Homes and Designs. (I also built their website!! :)
2.) The Real-Life Story -
We've all seen a million "testimonial" videos in our lifetime, and we've hardly ever been impressed--so what does it take to make a testimony stand out from the crowd? The general tendency with testimonials is to shout a bunch of facts and figures at your audience. To rattle off as much information as possible to try to logically convince the viewer to bite. But often they are so concerned with information that they forget to identify with the audience.
You've got to get personal. You sell your audience more than just a product or service, don't you? Of course, you sell them peace of mind. Confidence that you will help them solve a stressful problem, obtain their dreams, or overcome their fears. So when I tell a client's story, I focus on drawing attention to the emotion of the experience: "How did it feel to move to a new city where you didn't know anyone? What fears did you face trying to find a new, safe home in a place you knew nothing about?" Highlight those questions and you suddenly struck a chord with every person who has ever moved to a new city and bought a home. Then all you have to do is tell them how your business will walk them through that process and give them peace of mind, and you've won. This is how you tell a story.
Here's a video illustrating this point, created recently for the Kings of Real Estate:
3.) The Shared Values Approach
There was a time when marketing ultimately amounted to yelling as loud and as often as possible at your audience. Billboards! Magazine Ads! THE YELLOW PAGES!! But any marketing professional will tell you, for most smaller brands, those "name recognition" days are on the way out. Today's media landscape is so overly saturated that you need something more than just a bright blinking neon sign to get people in the door. You need something of more substance--you need a value system. And more specifically, a shared value system. In a nut-shell, you need to prove to people that you truly are in the business to serve. Your audience wants to know that at the end of the day, you aren't in it just for the money (although money is great and all) but that you are actually committed to your clients' well-being. Once you win their trust, you win their business.
A local business that is truly committed to their clients' well-being is Visual Communication Interpreting. Here's a video I made to show off the level of trust and confidentiality with which they treat their clients.
So what is the moral of the story?? Now it's time for a serious moment of introspection…it means we really--actually--need to be in our business to serve others. That's right, it's about more than just figuring out how to get your audience to think you have values--it's about ACTUALLY having values. Let's be diligent to be people of value in the marketplace and be careful never to grow so short-sighted that our only goal is to gain monetary success!
Thanks for reading!