Killer Tips to Improve Your Business Videos on the First Take!

by / ⠀Startup Advice / June 15, 2012

To video, or not to video: that is the question:

Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to miss

The opportunities of outrageous fortune,

Or to take arms against the tides of change,

And by opposing end them? To allow my business to die or sleep

No more; and by a sleep to say my business ends.

It’s proven. Videos create search “juice”. It’s must have content to appear on page one of search results. This is especially true for local searches. As a CEO, it is to your detriment not to include business videos as part of your digital presence!

Why? Good videos initiate engagement thus carrying more weight in online searches. Business videos feed the search “spiders” to increase the chances your business comes on the first page of search results.

It’s Easier to get Juice with Today’s Technology!

So, it’s time to make some online videos to promote your product, brand, company and self. It’s time to stand in front of the camera and demonstrate your value to the YouTube Nation. It’s time to gain customers through business videos!

You’ll get a little help along the way. The more videos you create and the more of your videos that are watched, the more Google (and other search engines) will help you to succeed!

Today, all you need is an iPhone (or other smart phone), a place to hold it steady (a wall, desk, tripod), and talk to the camera. Once done…upload it to YouTube.

That’s it, right? You’ll be found because of the juice the video adds to search. You’ll be watched. Your video will go viral. People will want to click and buy…or at least call for more information.

Not quite! Some of this is possible. Videos are awesome! Videos are more likely to be watched than text read…

…but this is only true for quality videos.

Here’s the bottom line. How long is your video watched?

  • Ever watch a business video for only a few seconds?
  • Are your business videos watched to the end?

Creating multiple online videos does give you more search juice. Unfortunately, if the quality of your video stinks, you will be watched less than 30 seconds. Forget about going viral! You need to create a business online video your potential customers will watch from beginning to end, and then watch again, and then they’ll share with others. Poorly watched business videos:

  1. Have fewer viewer comments…worse yet…bad comments.
  2. Are not spread through social media channels (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest)
  3. Actually reduce their search weight.
  4. Don’t make it to page one of search results…not even for local searches.
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Hey! It’s your reputation at stake!

How to Up your Video Game!

Business videos can be used to form a bond with viewers…aka potential customers.  Business videos can be a great marketing and sales opportunity, but they can also have a trust-destroying result. Producing a poor quality video will prevent you from being seen as someone potential customers want to do business with.

Hold on! Before you spend that $10k to $25k to get actors and script writers, and filmmakers for you single video, why not try these simple time-saving quality tips. Let’s break it down to two categories: setup and delivery.

Simple Setup Reminders!

The placement of your video recorder is essential. It’s important to deliver your opening line, then check to see if you are in the frame. Ideally, you want the recorder to be at chest height and you standing off to one side. Think of a tic-tac-toe board. Stand at one of the cross points…left or right. This will allow the video editor to add in text to reinforce your message.

Did I mention good lighting? Make sure the sun or light is behind the camera. You also don’t want squinting eyes. Make sure the source of light is working on the background behind you and not in your eyes. When you are checking your look, try to avoid any glare on glass, mirrors…including your glasses.

While you are looking at how you delivered that jaw-dropping opening line, look at the background. What’s in the frame? Any bills, junk food, or other things you don’t want your viewer to see? It’s amazing how we all become accustomed to what is on our desk and it becomes invisible to us. Unfortunately, it’s not invisible to the viewers who are seeing your “stage” for the first time.

What you want your potential customers to see is product placement. Put your awards, books you’ve written, your products, and your company logo in the background. It’s a great way to brand your videos with subtle reminders.

If you are using is your iPhone to make the video, make sure you are only 3 feet away to be heard. Any further and it’ll diminish the audio part of your video. If you have a separate audio device, make sure you place the microphone so you do not capture all the scratchy clothing and clanging jewelry or high wind. Poor audio will click viewers away more than the video…no matter how good the content happens to be. Viewers have a low tolerance for poor audio.

Delivery Matters!

Ever listen to commercials? Just listen, not watch. You will hear emotion come through the voice inflection and tone. Viewers connect to tone before they connect to words. Ideally, convey one emotion hard, with two others on a softer basis. For example, the viral video, Kony 2012, elicited anger, sorrow and sympathy in the viewers.

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The best way to deliver your message is with pauses, vocal variety (loudness/softness, fast/slow pace), and without those annoying filler words! Oh, you know what I mean. The um’s, ah’s, you know, and so forth.

I cannot overemphasize the importance of pauses. Pauses are important as they provide people an opportunity to switch from listening to thinking. Listening stores the information until a pause. It is at that moment a person thinks about what you said. A dramatic or comic pause builds anticipation and an eagerness by the viewer to want to know what you are about to say or do next. With people working on multiple devices (TV, tablet, phone, radio) and listening simultaneously, a pause brings them back to your online video.

In all likelihood, you will take at least four takes for each video. Your throat will get dry. Professional speakers, voiceover actors, and others know to drink room temperature water or lukewarm water with lemon to help keep their throats well lubricated. All speakers will avoid milk products or caffeine.

Have no fear. There are other ways to gain energy than from the Venti-size cup of coffee. Before the first take, stretch your calf muscles. Tension seems to concentrate in our calves. By stretching them, you will release any trepidation you may be feeling about making this business video. Next, role your neck and then shoulders ten times in each direction.

If possible, stand when presenting. You will have more energy. People sitting in a chair tend to slouch and swivel. Either or both give the viewer a sense of tension and nervousness. Those are not good emotions to promote sales. If you have “happy feet”, use a door mat. It’s just like the movie “Awakenings”, you subconsciously will not move off the mat.

Tongue-tied moments happen to all of us. Before that first take, repeat out loud: “hot and cold”, “put a cup”, and “fat lazy cat” to loosen your jaw muscles.

You may think it would be cool to show off your latest fashion, but quiet clothing is best. Remember, bad audio means viewers will click away before the end! Take your change out of your pockets, avoid clanging jewelry and wear ironed, quiet clothing.

Your opening and closing point is the most important. NOT WHO YOU ARE! Sorry, no one cares who you are until you provide what the viewer perceives as valuable. Opening with your name is valuable lost time. You have 15 seconds to grab their attention to watch the entire video. Open your video with a situation or question your viewers are experiencing. Something they can relate to easily. Leave your name and contact information as the last thing you say on video. If the viewer received something interesting, entertaining, and of perceived value…they will make a point to find out who you are and contact you. They may even give you a thumbs up, comment, and share your video…increasing the video weight for search engines!

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All scripts (movie, TV, ads, videos) have a structure. Your business online video is a story full of emotion and information presented in an entertaining way. Your script needs an opening, middle, and a closing that connects with the viewers. It’s a circle. The closing must relate to the opening. This simple structure will help you keep focused on the single objective.

Your business video timing is in quarters. The first quarter is your opening. The opening must relate to the feeling, tone and situation your customers have.

The middle is half of the video. Because shorter videos (3 to 5 minutes max) are watched more, keep the middle to conveying three points only. Any more will be forgotten.

The last quarter must answer or relate to the opening. It is a big finish that ties any loose ends.

Remember that importance of pauses I discussed earlier? Well, it is time to pause again…ever so briefly before you provide your call to action. Your viewers are in the mode of listening. The pause and your instruction will switch the viewer from listening, to thinking and acting.

Your delivery must reflect the proper inflection and tone. Relax. Pretend that the red light on the camera is your closest and dearest friend. You are sharing your business story. Express it as a conversation and you’ll be fine.

The most important thing to remember…SMILE! Friendly is remembered, appreciated and leads to sales!

Simple Checklist that Fits in your Wallet!

Does all of this seem overwhelming? It doesn’t have to be. All you need is to keep a one page checklist with you. Review the list before the first take. It will save you time and require less video takes. Most importantly, your business videos will improve by 30%! Download the checklist, keep it with you, review it, and beat your competition!

Pat Ferdinandi is a Video Strategist who helps you increase your “search juice” with business online videos. Download her killer video tips checklist to help you take your videos up a notch above your competition!

About The Author

Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is Co-Founder of Under30Experiences, a travel company for young people ages 21-35. He is the original Co-founder of Under30CEO (Acquired 2016). Matt is the Host of the Live Different Podcast and has 50+ Five Star iTunes Ratings on Health, Fitness, Business and Travel. He brings a unique, uncensored approach to his interviews and writing. His work is published on, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Huffington Post, Reuters, and many others. Matt hosts yoga and fitness retreats in his free time and buys all his food from an organic farm in the jungle of Costa Rica where he lives. He is a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers.