Video is a very powerful tool to help increase conversions on your website. Recently, our managing director, Ryan Spanger, was interviewed on a video marketing optimisation podcast called marketingoptimization.tv
From our office in Melbourne, Ryan was interviewed by Alex Harris in the USA through the wonders of Skype.
In the interview Ryan shares some tips on improving the quality of your videos (which will help boost conversion, the right types of videos to make to improve conversion, and how to generate leads from your videos.
You can watch the entire interview below. Also why not check out our previous post on how to increase sales using video here
If you have questions, and want to discuss your video production, contact our Melbourne studio today.
Speaker 1 (00:07):
[inaudible] hi and welcome to marketing optimization with docks designs. I’m your host, Alex Harris. And today I’m bringing on Ryan Spanger all the way from Australia. How you doing Ryan?
Speaker 2 (00:17):
Hi Alex. It’s great to be here.
Speaker 1 (00:19):
Excellent. Ryan is the founder of dreamengine.com.au. It’s a video production company out of Melbourne Australia, and we’re gonna be talking all about how to use video to increase your conversions and generate leads to get started, to break this down. I want to talk specifically about the quality of the videos that you create the content, and then really how to convert that into leads or sales. Really? What are your best tips to create great videos as far as quality?
Speaker 2 (00:58):
Okay, so, you know, when it comes to quality, I’m in a lucky, fortunate situation where I’ve been making videos for nearly 20 years now, and I’ve, um, been working in the video production industry for 15 years. And so, um, I’ve got a bit of a headstart and I have managed to, um, through trial and error, work out how to make high quality videos. Um, and one of the things that I noticed is that people make a lot of simple, common mistakes. So the things that I want to mention now, some of them might seem quite obvious, but when I go to YouTube and I watch videos, it’s just amazing. How many of these, um, you know, it’s low hanging fruit, it’s stuff that can be fixed so easily, but people aren’t doing it. So I want to run through these and I think if you can get these right, you know, your you’re going to be 90% of the way there already.
Speaker 2 (01:46):
So the first thing to think about is sound and people often fixate too much on the picture, on the video side of things rather than sound, but sound is actually more important than video because if people can hear you clearly, as long as your content is good, they’re going to keep on listening. Even if the picture quality is not fantastic. So the first thing to focus on is getting your sound right. And the key with that is to use an external microphone, like the microphone that I’m using here, or a level ear or lapel microphone that you clip to your shirt. But the key is to use an external microphone and get it as close to your mouth as possible and set your recording levels correctly. So it’s not, um, um, too loud or too soft. So often people will use the built in microphone on the camera or on the computer.
Speaker 2 (02:35):
And generally they’re really low quality. They’re going to pick up all the noise from the room, you know, the air conditioner or people moving around and it’s really going to diminish the sound quality. So that’s, that’s the first tip is to think about sound once you’ve got that, right. Um, lighting is really important in video. So think about where your light sources, I’m sitting at the computer and there’s a window in front of me and I’m using just the natural light. That’s coming through the window, which has giving us reasonable quality video. Um, when people are filming themselves, often they’ll use the auto setting on their camera and that is, is taking a general reading of the whole frame. And so if, um, you know, the, the camera doesn’t have a, um, it can’t distinguish between, you know, what’s going to look good. All it’s doing is taking a general picture of the light source around you and setting an average exposure.
Speaker 2 (03:30):
So there’s a lot of light behind you. It’s going to darken the picture and, um, and, and vice versa. So you need to either use the natural light around you or, um, use use lights. And if you’re using film lights, the key is to use soft lights. You know, sometimes I see on YouTube people talking about using, I don’t know, work lights or lamps or something like that. And if you, if you are using video and it’s part of your strategy, it’s important to invest a little bit of money and you can get some pretty decent, soft lights for, you know, one or $200, which is not a substantial investment. So, um, we’ve gone through sound. Um, we’ve gone through some basic lighting. And the third thing is framing because what people often do is frame their face in the middle of the, of the picture.
Speaker 2 (04:18):
So you’ll often see a, a picture like that or like that. And there’s all this room up at the top. And psychologically when people are watching that it’s immediately diminishes my authority. You know, why am I sort of low, low down here in the frame? Um, and when we frame it up properly, suddenly it actually just feels okay. It feels psychologically. All right. And the way that we work out framing is what’s called the rule of thirds. So if you were to draw a line at the top third of this frame and the bottom third of this frame, generally the line at the top, third of the frame should intersect with your eyes. And this is almost like the way, you know, humans are almost hardwired this way for this to just seem aesthetically. Okay. So if you follow those basic rules of sound lighting and framing your three quarters of the way there already. So that’s, that’s a good, basic introduction to getting decent quality video.
Speaker 1 (05:16):
Yeah. Well, I had the opportunity to really, to see your videos online and they’re very professional and that’s why I wanted to bring your wine because obviously me doing video now, I really want to jut it continue to always step up my game, but also teach the audience about how to really use video in the right way, because these little things do make a big difference, and it does come a lot down to trial and error, but I have two followup questions in, particularly when you’re doing your own videos. Do you have any recommendations when using a lavalier mic? I can never really get it, you know, underneath my shirt the right way. And if it does, sometimes it creates some static or floor noise. Do you have some recommendations for that?
Speaker 2 (05:59):
Okay. So if you’re using the level ear Mike or the lapel mic that you clipping onto your shirt, there are sound recorders who have worked out great techniques to hide them. And the trick is to be able to hide it under your shirt, but when people move naturally, when they’re talking the risk is that it can actually rub against your shirt and just create a lot of noise. So, um, they’re, you know, sound recorders have techniques where they use tape and they create a bit of a loop in the tape and they put the microphone between that loop. I have found through experience that the risk is that it’s not going to work unless it’s something that, you know, pretty well. So my approach with that is actually, I don’t feel like, you know, you really need to hide that little microphone. I think that people are used to seeing that on TV.
Speaker 2 (06:45):
It’s quite common in reality TV. It’s not that distracting. And I would rather actually just see the little lapel mic on your shirt, um, rather than try to hide it and risk having that noise. Um, that being said, what does look unprofessional is if you have the little lapel and then you can see the wire, the cable hanging down. So, um, on the lapel microphone, there’s a little clip. And then where the clip is, you want to run that cable underneath your shirt. So that’s, that’s obscured. So, um, that’s my personal opinion is don’t worry about hiding it. It’s going to be more trouble than it’s worth. Um, but what I would say is that if you’re filming in a controlled environment, like a studio or your office, what I do is place a shotgun microphone, which is a microphone kind of like this one, um, on a stand, just above my head over there, pointing down.
Speaker 2 (07:42):
And the advantage of doing that is that it’s a higher quality recording and you’re not seeing the microphone as well, um, as well, and you have more freedom to move around. So if you’re filming yourself with the lovely microphone and it’s hidden underneath your shirt, each time you get up, you know, it’s sort of, um, a bit of a hassle. And particularly if you’re filming other people, it can be a bit of an awkward moment getting them to put it down their shirts. So, um, I can describe that microphone set up, um, a little bit more if you like with a shotgun microphone.
Speaker 1 (08:13):
Yeah. Because I see that’s how you set up your videos in, on YouTube as well. Yeah,
Speaker 2 (08:19):
Yeah. So this is, this is the best way to do it because you’re going to get the best quality. So you can use a microphone stand or a light stand. And, um, you use, you put your microphone on, what’s called a, a pistol grip, which looks like a gun. And that goes onto a boom, which is basically a stick and that boom connects to your stand. So, um, you know, I have a, I can even show you here. Um, I have a microphone here on a stand. Um, what I would do is add a boom or a stick to that microphone and pointed down. He had directly at my mouth. And that’s why that the quality, the sound quality of my videos is, is really good because I’m using a good quality microphone. That’s just out of shot above my head
Speaker 1 (09:05):
Now, uh that’s um, in an XLR cable and you are using an external recorder or is that going straight into the camera?
Speaker 2 (09:14):
So that’s going straight into the camera, but I’m using a video camera. So it’s pretty common for people to use DSLR cameras these days, like a Canon five D or a 60 D. And, um, you’re going to need another adapter to run that straight to the camera. Um, when I do use a DSLR, I record to separate audio recorder and then sync it up in the editing, but I, um, use a Sony Fs 100, um, which gives you that DSLR sort of look, but it can record professional quality audio as well, and run that straight into the camera.
Speaker 1 (09:47):
Great tips right there. Let’s, let’s move into like the content of your videos. Really. You know, my audience is all, you know, marketers who really are focused on, you know, conversions and e-commerce or, or lead generation, what would we be here best tips to use video in those circumstances?
Speaker 2 (10:08):
I would say the first thing is use video, and that sounds pretty obvious, but it’s amazing how many websites you still go to these days where people aren’t using video. So the next statement I’m going to make is going to sound equally obvious, and that is to make good quality video. Um, because again, there’s a lot of really average looking video out there, and sometimes people can fixate more on the idea of, we need to get a video up there than actually thinking about strategically creating good quality content, um, in, in a, in a professional way. And I think there are times when actually video can actually be, um, counterproductive if the quality, if the quality is good. So if we go through step by step, the first step is to, um, have a, have a strategy and really think about your audience, think about what their challenges, how you can solve their problem and how you can actually use video to do that.
Speaker 1 (11:06):
Yeah. Cause I think when you’re using video, you know, getting the perspective of your customers or there’s testimonials, it almost speaks more about your company than you can yourself, are you guys doing testimonial videos for your clients?
Speaker 2 (11:21):
We create a lot of customer profile or testimonial videos. In fact, at the moment where I’m travelling around Australia for one of our clients filming these customer profile videos and they are incredibly powerful and it’s amazing how many businesses aren’t actually using these because every business that does good quality work has a group of raving fans or enthusiastic who would love nothing more than the opportunity to shout from the rooftops, how, how good your work is, you know, and this is, um, this is marketing collateral that is available to you, that people aren’t actually using. So the first step is to actually capture these, capture these stories. And I follow a case study sort of, you know, model of, um, background challenge, how you solve that challenge. And then importantly, what the actual effect is. So we’re using those for our clients, but we use a lot of these in our business as well.
Speaker 2 (12:21):
So if you head over to my website, dream engine.com dot AUI, you can see a lot of, um, case study examples. And where I find these really useful is in the sales context in followup. So in my business, we do a lot of quoting. So once we have a discussion with clients and we prepare a quote for them and send it to them, then what’s the next step. Um, often salespeople will follow up with, um, something like, what did you think of the quote? Did you have any questions or just wondering if you have you made a decision yet quite annoying things, you know, I know when I’m, I’m in the sales process, buying something, that’s not actually delivering value to me. So if you can create video, which is actually useful and valuable, Hey, here’s a case study video of someone who’s in a similar situation to you. And these are the steps that they took to solve their challenge. That’s far more valuable. Um, so, you know, case study videos, if you, if you’re not using them, um, there’s a great opportunity.
Speaker 1 (13:21):
Yeah. Well, you hit on some really great points there because I actually do this myself as a web designer. People don’t know who I am. They don’t think they don’t know if I’m going to, you know, if I’m some dude who’s going to steal their money or not. And by me creating some videos that that show my credibility and my authority, it builds a lot of trust and it kind of closes those gaps to make people feel comfortable about literally giving me money.
Speaker 2 (13:46):
That’s, that’s exactly how it works because, um, people, you know, they want to invest, they want to spend money. They want to find someone who can help them solve their problem, but how do they know who you are or what your track record is, or, or who you’ve helped? We can make whatever assertions we want. You know, I have the best video production company in Australia. I can, I can say whatever I want, but I’m going to come across as quite biassed. Um, but if, you know, you watch a case study video, and you see someone in your industry, someone that you relate to, maybe, um, someone or a company with a high profile, that’s going to really help to diminish that risk and build trust.
Speaker 1 (14:29):
One of the tips that I saw on your YouTube, uh, specifically about increasing your versions was about, uh, rich snippets. And that’s something I wasn’t really familiar with. Can you explain what rich snippets are?
Speaker 2 (14:43):
Yeah. This is basically, um, becoming more common when you do a Google search, you can, you can see, um, not the, the text that appears, but sometimes on the left hand side, you’ll see a box and most commonly you’ll see someone’s Google plus ID. So that’s a, I guess a form of, of rich snippet where Pete, where Google is not only delivering search results, but they delivering some additional information. So the way that we can use rich snippets is to stand out in a Google search and draw people’s eye across to your search result. The way that I mainly use it in my business is, um, through a video thumbnail. And you’ll see that already, when you do a Google search and it comes up with a YouTube result, there’s a little video thumbnails. So the searcher is immediately going, okay, cool. There’s a video and you can see the length of the video as well.
Speaker 2 (15:35):
So immediately it’s more enticing. Uh, we use a video hosting platform called Wistia, and you can set up Wistia to do that for you. And it’s, I’m not sure what they do or how they do it, but it ranks really well. So, um, it doesn’t happen automatically through your Wistia videos. You actually have to set that up with a, um, video site map, but once you’ve got that set up, um, a lot of our Wistia embedded videos on our websites and now appearing with, um, little thumbnails on the left hand side. And I know for me, when I do a search, my eyes just naturally drawn to that. And I believe it’s going to make it more likely for people to actually click on your link. If you can give them more information, if you have a cool thumbnail and people can see the length of the video,
Speaker 1 (16:21):
Yeah. Wistia has really become pretty popular in the last year or so. They’re doing some, some really good things. And that kind of leads me to my next question, lead generation. And you know, these, this content that we create with all the videos, it’s all fun and games play, but we really want to use it to our advantage and, you know, benefit from it. So what, what type of videos do you create to generate leads or techniques do you use in your videos to really create lead campaigns?
Speaker 2 (16:53):
Okay, well, I guess it’s, it’s all about creating interesting, useful information that helps build a relationship with people. So it’s the long game it’s, um, creating videos that position you as an authority that helped us solve people’s challenges. And aren’t just about sales. So, um, it’s, it’s like, like any relationship or, you know, like meeting someone and engaging in a conversation. Um, the first time that someone sees your video, they might just notice you or, Oh, this guy has got something interesting to say, or it might, you know, solve a challenge. So, um, you know, it’s interesting when we were speaking before the call, you mentioned that you were doing a YouTube search on Robert Cialdini. I happened to have made a video about his book. You watch the video and you enjoyed it and you kept up with the other videos. And you know, now we’re doing a, um, an interview together and you know, who knows, you know, that that’s the, that’s the start of a, um, of a relationship and that’s happened through putting useful, interesting content out there.
Speaker 2 (17:57):
So, um, in some ways I think you need to create this content without, um, specifically thinking, what am I going to get back? And the biggest challenge I found for people, and the biggest challenge for me was, um, in my content creation campaign spending probably the first six months, putting content out into a void, and I’m getting very little reaction back and at a time saying to myself, why am I doing this? Um, what return am I getting? Is this just, you know, an indulgence? And then you start to develop some momentum and people started to comment on your videos and, um, opportunities start to arise, whether it’s through public speaking or, you know, speaking on other people’s podcasts and before long, well, in my case, it was probably about nine months. I could say yes, I can actually quantify that I’m getting a return here. So it’s, it, it, it is, uh, it is a long, it is a longterm commitment.
Speaker 1 (18:57):
Well, that that’s for sure because, uh, you know, since I’ve started creating these videos, um, when I go to a meetup or a conference, like pretty much the first thing that people say, if they haven’t met me before, wow, Alex, I’ve seen your videos. So immediately just, you know, creates a relationship with, you know, potential offline relationships as well. Um, so, you know, in the videos that you create, do you have any tips to really, you know, insert those call to actions, to get people, to either sign up for your list or, you know, visit your website?
Speaker 2 (19:34):
Okay. So some of the things I would say about call to action is, um, Wistia is a great platform for call to actions because it has a, I guess, a built in call to action. So at the end of your video, you can, um, have some text appear with your call to action, and this is actually clickable. So I, um, at the end of the video, you can, you know, to find out more, um, contact us. And if they click, they’ll go to the contact page. So that’s, that’s already a good start. Um, a single call to action, I think is important. Sometimes people try to cover too much. Um, you know, if you want this, then you, sometimes we watch a YouTube video and people will say, um, please subscribe to my channel. If you want more videos like this are, by the way, you can download a free PDF.
Speaker 2 (20:18):
And if you want to check out my website and it becomes a little bit too confusing and unfocused. So I think that that single focused call to action is important. The other thing that’s really important is that your call to action is appearing in the right place. So, and this is where video analytics comes in, and we can speak more about this, but if you are actually tracking your video analytics, then you can track the engagement of your video. And you may find that, you know, three quarters of your audience is dropping off before they get to the end of the video, which means they’re not being exposed to your call to action. So at that stage, you can decide, what do we need to do to improve this video? Do we need to bring the call to action sooner? Do we need to shorten the video? So, um, people often think that the call to action needs to appear only at the very end of the video, but if you have a longer video, you can actually have multiple calls to action throughout the video. So you’re capturing people earlier on and giving them an opportunity to do, to do something or I’m in the middle or at the end of the video.
Speaker 1 (21:23):
Well, that, that is, uh, my next question, uh, related to analytics, cause I know a Wistia and even YouTube, you can tell how long that people are watching and then really optimise that experience for sure. Uh, give us some insight into, you know, analytics in general and also a follow up question to have you used any lead nurturing campaigns where if they don’t watch the video all the way with Vista, I know that they could do some stuff like that. Have you tried any, um, tools to use that?
Speaker 2 (21:57):
Okay. So talking about video analytics first, the most important thing to track is engagement. Um, that’s, that’s the most important thing is that you want to know that, um, people are watching your video and ideally they watching the video right until the end. So they’re getting the full message and the right people are watching your video. So, you know, YouTube gives you a whole lot of, um, analytics of, um, geographical location and age, but importantly, a, um, timeline showing you the percentage of people that are staying engaged with your video. So that’s, you know, that that’s really the key. Um, I really liked the Wistia analytics because they give you a little bit more information. Um, and the something that I find quite interesting is that you can track, um, how many times people have watched your video and what parts of the video they’re watching again.
Speaker 2 (22:45):
And that can give you little clues by going in and having a look at those sections of the video. Usually it’s either something that people don’t understand that they need to watch again, or it’s some information that’s really important that can give you clues about what your audience is thinking and what’s important to them, and it can help you tailor future videos. So I’m tracking engagement. It’s really important. What is, is even more important than that for me is tracking the behaviour of individual viewers. So if you’re using an online CRM like infusion soft, then you can, um, if someone watches one of your videos that you send out through an email campaign, you can tag that user and you then know what videos they’ve watched and, um, their engagement and how many times they’ve watched videos. And, and, um, once you have that information on an individual level that can give you really important information about follow ups.
Speaker 2 (23:43):
So, um, incredibly valuable for your sales team to know that an an individual user has watched 50 of your videos. Every time you make a news video, they watch the video from start to end, as opposed to someone who has never engaged with your video. So, um, think about it this way. If you have a followup campaign, um, for a sales team and you send out a quote and you send a video every two days, and they’ve watched three of those videos, it’s a prime opportunity to contact that person, see if they have any questions and see if they’d like to make the investment. On the other hand, you can track whether people are not watching your videos at all, and you can tailor a different followup sequence based on that. So, um, that’s where video analytics is just so incredibly powerful and vital.
Speaker 1 (24:36):
Well, if you want to check out Ryan’s videos, because he goes into detail on short videos on each of these different areas. So you definitely want to check out his YouTube channel, let’s close by telling people how they can find out more about your videos and what you guys offer for video production.
Speaker 2 (24:56):
Okay, well, if you’d like to see some examples of the work that we do head over to dream engine.com.edu, and if you go to dream engine.com.edu forward slash resources, there are many, many videos there, um, that are just helpful resources on how to film high quality videos, how to set up your YouTube channel, um, how to use video SEO and just a whole lot of, um, information, really just my best information that, that, that I’ve used, that I’ve applied to, to our videos. We do a lot of work for, um, corporates. We do TV commercials. Um, so you can head over to our website and see a whole range of the work that we do.
Speaker 1 (25:36):
Perfect. Thank you, Ryan.
Speaker 2 (25:39):
Thanks Alex. Great to talk to you.
Speaker 1 (25:49):
[inaudible] thank you for watching the marketing optimization podcast without designs. Please remember to subscribe to all of the videos in my YouTube channel. Thank you.
Ryan Spanger is one of Melbourne’s most respected and sought-after video production professionals. Ryan founded Dream Engine in 2002, and specialises in helping medium to large corporates, government departments, and the non-proﬁt sector to connect with their audience more effectively by using video.