In this podcast:
01:38 – How to show, not tell
04:08 – Video case study: Marketing SFB Live
05:45 – The effective way to present proof
11:00 – What are funnel videos?
13:08 – The ROI from video marketing
17:00 – Your audience won’t watch this
18:56 – Video series vs. one-off video
21:14 – The pre-prod process
26:36 – A professional’s perspective
29:59 – Interview techniques
34:22 – The editing process
38:03 – An overview
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James: James Schramko here, welcome back to SuperFastBusiness.com. Today we’re delving into the world of video, and I’ve brought back a special repeat guest, Ryan Spanger. Welcome back to the call:
Ryan: Thanks James, good to be here.
James: You’re my regular video expert these days. How does that feel?
Ryan: It feels pretty good. This is the third podcast that we’ve done together, that I’ve been on your show, and yeah, it feels awesome.
James: So in previous podcasts we have established that video is a really powerful medium, that it’s something that I use in my business. Today, we’re going to throw the spotlight on a little bit deeper level about exactly how I use video in a recent campaign or actually a current campaign, it’s that recent, and how I asked you to integrate with that and what sort of things came up as a result of that. So today we’re going to be really getting a bit deep on the video stuff.
The importance of video
First of all, let’s just do a basic catch up. Why is video so important for businesses, especially online businesses?
Ryan: Well, video is proof, and that’s what people are looking for. Before they buy your products or services, they want to reassure themselves that they’re making the right decision. There’s naturally a lot of fear for a lot of people when they’re buying something. Are they making the right decision? Is there someone better they should be choosing? What if something’s going to go wrong? And so they’re really looking for evidence and proof to justify their decision.
Video is a great way of justifying that, because you can show people rather than telling them. You can have interviews with happy customers who’ve had a successful experience that can demonstrate that it’s been a successful choice. And you can create a series of videos, which is a great way of staying in touch. So rather than going out to your potential customers and hassling them, you can actually provide them with something interesting and enjoyable and useful, which is video.
James: So in other words, we’re pretty much harnessing people’s desire to consume video content on a daily basis, and we’re inserting ourselves into their lives with something that’s interesting and valuable for them, in a format that they like to enjoy.
Ryan: Yeah, it seems to be increasingly the way that people like to consume content on the Internet. So a lot of people would rather watch a video than read a lot of text, and so video is giving them that. But it’s giving them a more exciting, dynamic experience. The text will often appeal to the logical side, you can put a lot of facts and figures and that sort of thing, but video can appeal more to the emotional side. You can use music and editing and effects to affect people’s emotions, to get them excited, to touch them as well as educate them.
So it’s an incredibly powerful medium. And people are used to consuming video content, watching TV, going to the movies. It’s something that people are so familiar with that it’s just a natural way to communicate.
James: Yeah, it does make sense. I suppose if people are left alone quietly for a few hours, a lot of them will gravitate towards a television or a movie. Maybe some people will pick up a book, but it seems it’s a really popular thing to take a book and turn it into an amazing epic movie, because someone can just sit there and have it delivered to them without any effort involved, whereas reading requires perhaps a little bit more discipline and it’s involving a few less senses. So video is a big one, it’s here to stay, it gives us a lot of power.
Video case study: Marketing for James’ event
What exactly are we talking about when we talk about how I use video in my business and how you might use video in your business? Well, in this case, we’re sort going onto a bit of a case study. I’ve been promoting my live event, and when I say promoting I mean, it’s not like you think of a normal promotion where you’ve got an enormous amount of time and massive budget, you have a whole team dedicated and jamming up the airwaves with messages all left, right and center.
In my case, a promotion is simply putting up a sales page, conveying the details of the event that’s coming, and then doing a bit of pre-work, especially with some videos, and then recording some podcasts and mentioning the event fairly often in the leadup to the event. And that process generates usually somewhere around 150 to 200 attendees at an event that is a circa $1,000 investment.
So just to frame how I’m using the video, I’m using the video to promote that specific event, and we have a video on the sales page that is an unusual sort of video. It’s not one of those slides with a sort of sales letter style, which is very, very popular. And I’m not discounting that type of video, but in this case we’re using more of a little movie trailer type video, which I think appears to be more engaging and certainly consistent with my brand, which is not super pushy and not micro-controlling. We still put player controls on the video, etc.
The power of video proof
The other sort of videos that we are using are case study videos, and Ryan, you mentioned proof before. There has to be no better proof than someone who is saying how good a product is, not you but someone else. Would that be fair to say?
Ryan: Yeah, definitely, because you can tell people how great your product is, but it’s more powerful to hear it from other people who used it an experienced genuine success. So we made three case study videos about people in the SuperFastBusiness community, and the videos weren’t just about them talking about how great you are, or how great SuperFastBusiness is. They mainly talked about their own journey, what their challenges were, and how SuperFastBusiness and the community helped them get to where they wanted to go faster and in a more successful way.
So for instance, we spoke to Jake in one of the videos, who was transitioning from an offline business to an online business, which is a really common theme for people in the community and people interested in the community. So it’s a great way of getting people’s attention, because there’ll be a lot of people who’ll want to watch that because they’ll want to know what his journey was and how he got success. Or in Suellen’s video, she talked about escaping the corporate world to do her own thing, and that’s again a really powerful theme.
See what Ryan and James produced
James: And I think that’s way more interesting. I remember I got a video crew to capture some people at one of my events a few years ago, and almost all the people said stuff like, “James is awesome,” “This is incredible.” But it wasn’t really what I was hoping to get, because you know, fantastic, that’s wonderful, but I want the story.
I want someone who’s like Jake, or like Suellen, or like Cate, the three case study people. I like to think that people who are in a similar situation can relate to them and think, “Wow, I’m a little bit like them and perhaps what is working for them might also work for me.” That’s the story that I like to come through.
Ryan: Yeah, exactly. I mean vox pops are OK, but if you look at the history of how they’ve been used, like on television, they’re essentially the voice of the average person on the street, so if there’s some incidents that happened in the city and the journalist wants to get some opinions, they might speak to an expert, they might speak to say, you know, the authorities, the police or whatever, and then they’ll get a vox pop of a passerby, an eye witness. They’re not necessarily by definition experts, or have that authority status. So that kind of content is OK, but content from people who are well-respected and well-known in the community and who are actually sharing their story and giving a lot more context, I think, carries a lot more weight.
James: Yeah, and I think I’ve got dozens and dozens of those videos, but I think we avoided using them in this particular case study, and it hasn’t really been a negative impact at all.
Ryan: Yeah, and sometimes when you interview people at an event, they’re so full of information that they haven’t really had time to synthesize it yet. So as part of the research for planning these videos, I watched a lot of other videos for online marketing events, and often people can be in a bit of a hyped up state, because they’ve just gathered so much information in such a short period of time that they can’t really articulate their thoughts that well.
And often, they haven’t actually gone out and implemented that knowledge. They can’t really speak with authority about how that experience has actually changed them. And that’s where video becomes really powerful, when you can see evidence of change, where you see that before, during, and after journey.
James: Yeah, and I think sometimes they also say things that aren’t that useful. So like anytime someone says, “I’m going to do this,” or “This will have a huge impact on me,” I dismiss that as just talk. I value actual results rather than potential, because a lot of people place way too much value on potential, and as a buyer I would dismiss potential as not a reality at this point, so it’s therefore not that valid.
And then I remember one case, we had a speaker who spoke way too fast and pushed too much information into a presentation, and one of the vox pops said something like, “Oh, so much information, I’m just so overwhelmed,” and I think that’s exactly not what I want at my events. And after that, a few years ago, I made sure I briefed all the presenters on how to deliver actionable information that could actually be used, and to get results rather than bombard with too much information.
So back to our story here, we’ve got a pretty strong case for using video based on how intimate it is, how you can convey the story. I certainly know that when I’m circulating in areas where there are prospects and customers of mine, they all recognize me, so I know this constant exposure to videos over the last few years on my website is a nice front door, red carpet roll up to being able to use videos for a promotion.
What are funnel videos?
When we put together the videos, there was another type of video we used, and these were funnel videos. Funny name, and I recently interviewed Ryan Levesque about funnels, so you might want to listen to that podcast. If you didn’t catch it, it was fantastic. But the funnel videos are videos that were used at different places within our marketing sequence, that are typically hosted on the page that’s not freely, publicly available.
And what happens is the autoresponder, our email system, will email a customer to that page with a specific message, depending on what stage they’re at in the looking or buying process, and also, with the sophistication that we have now with our autoresponder system, it can now start segmenting, and I’m now using a lot of big words in one sentence here, but we can start sending a message to people who have a specific criteria versus a different criteria.
Let’s use an example of one of the funnel videos. This video was a video we made for people who had purchased a ticket, however they were not currently a member of the SuperFastBusiness coaching community. And we send a specific message to those people, we can tell because my system knows who is a member and who is not a member.
And based on that information it then sends a message to those people and we make an offer for people to join the membership, and we put some compelling reasons why they should. And the results from that particular video have been nothing short of astounding. In fact, I would say that they would cover the costs of putting together this whole video campaign, just from that one little 1 minute, 32 second video.
So if the question is “Oh, I can’t afford to do video, I’m not ready for it,” I can assure you that if you have a reasonable product that you’re selling, you should be able to get a return on investment from your video marketing.
So three types of videos: the sales video, the case study videos, and the funnel videos.
Videos as great investments
Ryan: James, just on the topic of those funnel videos and talking about people who are concerned about whether they can afford it, you can get incredible value from these videos. I mean we literally spent a few hours in Manly one afternoon, wandering around with a camera and microphone and filming these videos. And we had a plan of the videos to cover and a basic outline of the content, but what made the videos even more powerful was that they weren’t scripted word for word. So you were speaking to the camera in a conversational sort of way.
I think we ended up with something like 22 videos, which are then serialized, which people are receiving on an ongoing basis. That’s pretty good for an investment in a few hours of shooting and a day or two of editing.
James: Yeah, and I think some of that will come down to your talent, right?
Ryan: I’d like to think that it played some part in this. But really just the idea that it’s not a massive investment of time to create a series of short videos like this.
James: Yeah, I think two things on that. One is, at SuperFastBusiness Live, let’s put up a list of the videos we actually made, because that will give some fantastic ideas of what you can make. So we’re giving the example of a sales page video, that’s an obvious one. Case study videos are great for marketing away from the sales page to bring people back to it, but also on the sales page to bolster proof.
The funnel video that we just mentioned was basically an upsell or a cross sell video. You can call it whatever you like, but it’s identifying who’s just purchased and what they haven’t purchased yet that they should purchase to improve their solution, to make sure they get even more value. And that video converted very, very well. But there was plenty of other videos. Everything from a “the price is about to change” video through to a “things that you can do when you’re in town” video.
There were about 22 videos as Ryan mentioned, we’ll list what the videos were at the event. And many of them were just 1 minute or less or just a little bit more. And they were, as Ryan mentioned, they were filmed pretty much in just a few hours, with mobile equipment and I think there were three of us, it was Ryan, the director and prime camera operator; there was me, the talent and the on-camera speaker; and then there was a third person just helping out with equipment and holding the lighting thing. So it’s a three person job in this case, and it was just a few hours.
Getting professional help
Let’s talk about the how-to a little bit more. The first decision I had, Ryan, was should I do this myself or should I get some help this time? Because traditionally, I set up the camera, and I make my own videos. And it would be interesting to compare the results from my own videos back. And sometimes they were significantly longer.
I think in every single case the ones I did were nowhere near as professional as the one you produced. And this time I felt like I had to do a lot less to promote and to get my event going, because really I just had to block an afternoon for recording, and then I had to brief my team on setting up the cart the way that Jake specified. So it was much easier getting outside help. There was certainly a financial requirement to get outside help, but I can also say that having done this, it freed up my time to work on higher value activities where I am a specialist.
You know, I’m not a specialist video operator, and if you look around the Internet, the people with very good Internet presences are using a production team. You know, they’re going and booking a studio and getting proper equipment. And I think we’ve covered before that there is a difference in the level of amateur versus professional, and I think that’s becoming more defined these days. Would you say that’s something you’re seeing, Ryan?
Ryan: Definitely, because as people become more visually literate as kids have gone through school and they’re learning all the video production skills and that sort of thing, we’ve kind of been in a time leading up to now where people are being more forgiving about poor quality video because it’s been a bit of a novelty or something different. But increasingly, people are more sophisticated now.
They don’t want to watch poor quality video. Or it can just reflect badly on your brand, where you might have great graphic design and your website looks fantastic, you have great brochures and the design for the event is fantastic and a poor quality video can just reduce the overall impression. But there are also opportunities that you’re missing out on.
I guess it’s the same as a lot of the things that you do in business. Like a lot of business operators write their own sales copy. And there’s definite advantages to that because no one knows your customers as well as you do. But by the same token, if you connect with a great copywriter, you’re more likely to get a more successful result. And as you’re saying, you can then just focus more on your core thing.
James: Yeah. So in this case, the copywriting was really baked into the video campaign. The sales page is really just a frequently asked questions page. I haven’t actually sat down and copywritten anything yet. We’ve more or less transcribed a video that I made for the sales page, so there wasn’t really a copywriter involved outside of the storytelling in the video. I did get some proper logo from Greg Merrilees, who’s a designer, and I’ve interviewed him on this show before. And I’ve got the help of a professional videographer.
Now Ryan, for a living, you run dreamengine.com.au, and you’re making professional videos for all sorts of companies. Are you seeing much change in that industry?
Changes in the video industry
Ryan: The biggest change over the last few years has been from in the past, people creating one-off videos like an all-purpose, almost like brochure style video, where they’ll get their business card and they would get their brochure, and they would get their video; one video to tell the story of everything. And what businesses have realized now luckily is that it’s far more powerful to create a series of videos.
So it might be a number of different case studies or autoresponder style videos, where they’re basically using the same budget but they’re spreading it across a number of videos, and they’re just so much more effective because you’re having a conversation rather than just a one-off brochure style video.
James: Exactly. You know, in a recent podcast I had with Nathan Musson, we’re talking about large companies catching on to the ideas that we’re talking about in our community. It would be fair to say that it was probably more technology and advance marketing happening on my humble little live sales page than most large corporates are still using in their marketing campaigns.
Ryan: Yeah. We, small businesses, have the jump on big businesses now because often, they are very risk averse. They don’t really want to try something new. They want to stick to the old tried and trusted, and we actually have an opportunity to create far more powerful and effective videos because we can do things like case study videos, which tell a real story, which actually affect people emotionally. We can also experiment a little bit more and track the data and see what’s working and what’s not. Whereas often the larger companies, they just don’t have that ability. They need every video to be successful.
And I think when we go into the analytics of the videos that we made; we’ll be able to show that some videos were extremely successful; some didn’t get as many views. But it’s far more powerful to create a whole series of videos and have some real standout ones and learn from that.
James: Well, one of those videos, a 1 minute 32 second video, had 30% conversion rate and $10,000 in sales. So that’s a pretty cool stat from such a small idea but such an essential thing. Based on that stat, we’d have to say, next year, we would do the same video again. It was worthwhile.
Let’s talk about that, you know, the process of what’s involved. I’ve made this decision, I’m involving Ryan. You go and I think you mentioned you did some research. You have a look at what’s going on in the marketplace.
The process of making videos
Ryan: Yeah, that’s right. I looked at a bunch of other videos and you sent me a few of some online marketing events. Now really, the first thing that struck me about a lot of the examples that I was seeing was that they were very hypey, there were a lot of these overexcited vox pops of people who seemed like they’re nearly being brainwashed or joined a cult, or lots of promises.
Ryan: Yeah. Boasting. You know, “this event will change your life, etc. etc.” Really, that was the first thing that I could look at and say, great. We can create something in opposition to that because that’s not what SuperFastBusiness is, that’s not the style of SuperFastBusiness.
James: And I think we backed and forth some emails saying, “What do you think about it, and what do you think about it,” and we were refining our philosophy about how we feel about the messaging that we’re saying and I think we agreed that we should be focusing on a different style of delivery.
Ryan: Yeah. And thinking about the audience, what are the types of videos that they’re going to enjoy watching. And what’s going to stand out. Is it just going to be another hypey, salesy video, which often just don’t work as well as they used to. What’s going to treat the community with respect and what’s going to make people say, “OK. I will actually watch this because this looks to be a little bit different.”
So firstly, you’re thinking from the audience’s point of view. You’re not thinking, “What I want to make that’s going to, can I just get on my pedestal and show off.” So once we’d got more of a sense of the style of the video that we thought would work best and what resonate most with the community, it was about analyzing what are the key elements that are going to connect with people and make them take action. What’s going to make them go from, “Hmm, that sounds like a pretty cool event,” to “I really want to make sure that I’m there.”
After spending some time talking about it, we sort of identified that the key elements were the power of being part of a community; because when you’re working online, you can be quite isolated, and often, a lot of people, your friends and family don’t actually understand what you do and they don’t particularly want to talk about it either. So the draw of being part of a community was very powerful. And then one of the other elements that we identified was this idea of coming to a beautiful location, and actually getting a taste of the lifestyle that you lead, James.
James: You know I think that’s been a very big factor. This is the second year I’m running the event right here on my home beach in Manly and I know that it’s had a big pull on internationals. There’s people coming from the freezing London, U.K., where it’s 3 degrees and 5 degrees Celsius. They’re going to land here in 28 or 30 degrees in the surfing community. It’s such a relaxed place that people are extending their stay before or after the event. So I think we really hit the mark with that choice.
And even though it’s much harder for me to run it locally in terms of dealing with the infrastructure of the hotel, the costs are through the roof, the demands that they put on contracts are ridiculous compared to the city, or the CBD, or the airport, but I think making some style choices that are not financially driven can also see a huge benefit. And I probably learned this more so than anywhere else when I was working with Mercedes-Benz; that people will pay a little more for a great solution instead of getting a budget solution for the last price.
Ryan: Absolutely, yeah. It’s become like a gathering of the tribe. You know like, “I’m going to stick around for a few days afterwards.” And there are a few other people who will do that as well because it’s an opportunity to not only be part of the event, but also get away from your business, reflect, and have some great conversations.
James: So when we were filming this, we did a lot of it outside.
James: And that was a definite choice relating to painting the picture of where this is. I mean it’s basically a stunning asset of the venue and we’ve utilized that by getting out right in front of the place and all around here.
Ryan: Yeah. So that was a key element that we wanted to go into in the video, we also wanted to focus on the fact that it’s an event with a lot of integrity, so a no-pitch event. That was really emphasized in the videos. And then the other element that we identified is exposing people to real leading edge information. So information that will trickle down to your competitors in a year or two, that’s what you’re going to access now. So this part, it was like, the development process was vital. Really spending the time to hone in on the style of the video and what they key messages are. A lot of videos I think don’t actually do that, and that’s why they don’t succeed because they haven’t done their pre-production work.
James: OK. So from your point of view, what was involved? I know from my point of view, I had to do a little bit of research in liaising with you, book a time for filming a day. On your side of the fence, there are a few other things, especially I imagine when you get home, you’ve got all this film and camera. What’s involved from the professional videographer’s perspective?
Case study research and planning
Ryan: So for the case study videos, it was about selecting the right people to be involved. There were 1 or 2 other people who I actually initially would have liked to be in the video but they weren’t that keen, and I resisted the temptation to try to convince them because that just never really works. Ideally, you want people who are so enamored with the service, or the business, or the community that they would hardly even need to be asked. They’re so keen to kind of shout your name from the rooftops. Those are the people that you want to have on board. Not people who would say, “OK, I’ll do it, but what’s in it for me?” or he has an iPad, or he has a free ticket, or whatever. It’s really about people who are just deeply passionate and would love to be involved.
So identifying who they are, and then establishing rapport, telling them about what’s actually involved in the process. When people are going to be in the video, they’re putting themselves out there. They’re making themselves a little bit vulnerable. And so they just want a reassurance in terms of how long is it going to take, what sort of things are you going to ask me, where are we going to film it, what’s involved, how are you going to use the video; so it’s important to have those sort of conversations.
At the same time, I think it’s important not to actually give them the exact questions that you’re going to ask them because they’re going to over-prepare them. And it will take the spontaneity and the magic away. Sometimes, people will turn up with a list of written answers and that’s just going to kill the passion and the emotion of the video. So it’s important to really give them a good feel of what’s going to be involved in the video, and to develop trust and rapport, but not give away so much that there’s no mystery there. That’s all the preparation stuff.
And then, it’s important to not only write the list of questions that you’re going to ask, but actually write the responses that you anticipate because by this stage, you should know the content and the story so well that you pretty much know what people are going to say. So you actually have already written the story in your head before you turn up.
In some ways, you know how we talked about that there wasn’t really a copywriter, such in some ways, your subject, the interviewees, they’re actually the copywriters. They are giving you this unique, authentic copy, but you’re doing all the research, and the planning, and kind of guiding them. You’re throwing the ball and they’re smashing it out of the park ideally. So that’s part of what makes this kind of videos so powerful is that they’re real and authentic. And often, you couldn’t script this stuff. It’s just set in a certain way if you watch it.
James: And you also did a lot of these on location in their environment, which is very authentic.
Ryan: Yeah. I think that’s important because it’s more real. People are more comfortable in their own environment so actually, with each video, we went to visit them and we filmed the video either where they work or at their house. Once we film the interviews, we film what’s called cutaway or B-roll footage, which is the sort of color that adds the story. So it’s not just a talking head, it’s actually, you see people talking, but then you see them working, or living their life, or at a cafe, and you’re just giving people a whole lot more context of what this person is like. And the more contexts you give, the more powerful the story is.
The interview process
James: Perfect. OK. So once you’ve done the case studies, and you’ve spent half a day filming with me, what happens next?
Ryan: Well I think it’s also really worth talking just a little bit about the interview. And I think that’s probably something that we can touch on. I’ll go into a lot more detail when I speak at the event because that’s something really vital that I actually see very few people doing well, and it’s actually not that hard but people often approach it in the wrong way.
James: Are you talking about the interview with me? For the sales page?
Ryan: Well, probably more the interview with the case study videos.
James: Yup. OK.
Ryan: Which I’ve just touched on, but often what people do is they feel a need to show their expertise when they’re asking questions, and really it’s important to do the exact opposite. You want the person that you’re interviewing to be the expert. And actually, if you come across as a little bit dumb, you’re going to give people the chance to be the expert and they’re going to give you much better answers.
So it’s different to if you’re running your own podcast, you don’t want to just act dumb and ask questions. You want to show that you’re an authority as well. But when you’re interviewing someone for a video, it’s better to show that you’re not an expert. They’ll explain things a lot better so keep your questions short and ask things that actually seem quite obvious. Ask open-ended questions. Questions that aren’t going to illicit like a yes-no answer but are going to give people a chance to really talk.
And be prepared to divert from your list of questions. Often people will just have their list in front of them and go through one by one by one, and that’s just a way of really killing a conversation. I mean you wouldn’t sit at coffee with someone and work your way through a list of questions. It would be more of a dialogue. You need to react to what people are saying. You need to be prepared to go away from your script.
Sometimes, they’ll give you little clues and it’s important to follow then you’ll get much better material. I’ll talk a lot more about this at the actual event, but I think if you learn how to conduct an interview properly, you’re going to get much, much more powerful content for your videos.
James: Excellent. It would be good to get an ideal of some of the questions that work for you most of the time. And I have seen you in action with your interviews, I think you are a very emotional person and you’re tuned in to the people that you are talking to. I’ve had the pleasure of being interviewed by lots of different people, and you’re right, sometimes they pop you on a seat, shine bright lights at you, and then rattle off the same laundry list of questions and you’ve seen them do it to 3 people just before you, and then the next 3 after you, and it feels kind of like you are now crunched up to a production line and you are now just a piece of meat being used as a marketing tool. And I’ve very much resist those opportunities where possible because it doesn’t make you feel very special.
Ryan: For sure. That’s one of the great things about your podcast is that it’s just like that. It’s like a conversation.
James: Well that’s specific. You won’t find me pumping you for your favorite book, your most inspirational quote, and I’m not going to dread you out for your park bench hard luck story. Because I think that’s very cheesy and contrived and it’s not appealing to me as a listener. I would hate to put a podcast audience through that.
We do have a framework however, and there is some method to our madness. We always have a little discussion about what we’d like to achieve and we are coming up to the point where we talk about action steps; see if we can strain these ideas into something useful.
But just before that, I’d love to find out what’s involved with the editing. Because if I’m thinking through one of the major reasons why I didn’t want to do the video editing myself is that I can capture the film, you’ve taught me how to use the camera very well, and get the good audio sound, and have the right lighting and the focus. The part that I think is quite hard, aside from knowing what to say, which is a major part of what we’ve already discussed, is what to do with that footage afterwards to make it something amazing. And we will put the sales video from the event below this podcast and also the case studies so that you can see what Ryan has come up with. But what do you say to someone about the editing process. It seems like that’s where the artist comes out and where all those user experience are required.
The editing process
Ryan: Yeah. I think editing is where you rewrite the story. So you already have kind of a working story or working hypothesis of how the video is going to go. By the time you get to the edit, you might be sort of 50% right or 80% right or something. But the cool thing is that you’ll end up with all this other great content that you had no idea people are going to say and they’ll just surprise with great stuff. So when you get to the edit, it’s time to kind of rewrite the story again based on the content that you actually have.
With the stuff that I do, with the pre-production and the production on, it then goes to my editors to cut because I mean, even it was something that I was going to edit, I’m actually most of the time too close to material. So filmmaking is a group effort. It’s hard to do everything yourself because when you get too close to material, you switch off from other possibilities. So it’s a fantastic experience to then sit down with the editor and brief them. You know, this is the background, this was my vision, these are the characters, this is how I see it going. And then the editor will bring a whole lot of new things that you might not have even thought about.
So you work through the content and retell the story. You look for the structure. It’s like chiseling out something out of clay where all your content is there, but most of it, you’ve actually got to get rid of. So for each video, which was 3 minutes, we might have had 2 hours of content. So most of it, you don’t end up using. You’re just using the very best stuff. Sometimes, you’ve got to get rid of your best stuff because it just doesn’t fit with anything else.
But you start to actually work out the story and if you do some research on story, then you realize that there’s some common structures and say you can kind of plug it into one of those common structures, like the hero’s journey for instance, which a lot of people are familiar with.
It’s like the most common story where there’s someone who’s living a normal life. They get this call to adventure, something changes. They initially reject that call but then something big happens that kind of galvanizes them and they have to go. So they leave their familiar surroundings and they go out into the unknown. They have adventures and trials and tribulations. They’ll usually hit a low point but they’ll work their way out of it and have a final cataclysmic event which will change them. And then they’ll go home or back to their business or whatever. It might be change and then share that information with the world. That is like the number 1 most common structure for story.
So you can see how the story that you’re telling plugs into that. Or in a more simple way, it might be the background, what was the challenge, what did you do, and then what results came? But you can look at films where you might have the very last thing that happened comes first. And then the whole film tells a lead up to that. And then when you get to the end, it’s like “Ah, that all makes sense.” So once you understand structure, you can start to play with it. A lot of it is actually playing, experimenting with the structure, and that’s the great thing about video editing is that it’s so easy to just move things around and go, “What if we try this over here, this over there, and see what the effect is.”
A very standard kind of rule is just lead with your best stuff. Work out what is the number 1 footage that you have? Just put that right at the start because people have such a short attention span that you’ve got to do whatever you can to grab them and involve them in the story.
James: I like that. Lead with your best stuff. That’s a tweetable, right there.
An overview of the whole process
All right. Let’s see what we got here. So in terms of actions, we probably have an event of some kind; whether it’s a book launch, an info product to release, we have an agency that we want to go and win business for, maybe we’re running a workshop like I am, and so there’s this reason why we need to do the video.
The next step would be to think about who your customers are and start working out what the right message would be for them. What sort of story do we want to tell those customers? Is that right?
Ryan: Yeah. What is the stuff that’s going to resonate with them and what’s going to prompt them to take action? What are they actually looking for and demanding from you in order to take the next step? How can you reassure them and give them the evidence that they need to say, “OK. I can now justify my decision and take the next step.”
James: So once we’ve got that, then we make the choice. Do we get someone to come and help us with this? Do we do it ourselves? And either way, it’s going to involve interview process probably if you’re going to use the case study thing. There’ll be the filming part, there’ll be the editing part, and then you need to deploy your campaign, and sometimes that’s just putting it on the website and driving traffic to it. Other times, it might be putting it into autoresponders and having multi sequence stories delivered. And in some cases, it would depend on where people are up to and what actions they take as to what gets deployed to their directions. So it’s a “choose your own adventure story.”
Like our 22 videos, the average customer has probably only seen 4 or 5 of those, depending on what they’ve purchased before when they decide to buy the ticket, if they decide to buy a ticket, and then in the lead up to the event. And then the last step would be to run their campaign and then the post campaign step would be to check the metrics and the stats like we’re doing now, to find out of all the things you did, did you achieve the results you had in mind, or better, or worse? Which things were the winners that you should definitely do next time? And which things were wasted resources that are not required the next time around? I think that’s pretty much the helicopter overview of the process involved in what we’ve put together, Ryan.
Ryan: That’s how you do it.
James: That’s how you do it. And we’ll just finish on this point that currently, with almost a month out from the event is 150 tickets sold. So I do owe you a huge thank you for what you put together. It definitely worked that’s why I’m so excited to share this information. And of course, I would love it if you can dig into some of the specifics at the event, of the 22 videos that we did and some of the questions you might ask in advanced interview technique. Ryan Spanger from dreamengine.com.au. Obviously, if you’ve got a video project that you feel is beyond doing it yourself, I highly recommend Ryan.
Ryan: Thank you James
James: Take care.
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