Hello from “Let’s Translate.” Today’s blog post is actually an interview with an online video production company. A close friend of mine started the company in Chicago about three years ago and I’ve been watching his success ever since. I’m incredibly proud of the company he and his partner have built and so I thought I would share their story today.

Why video? Well here are just a few reasons I believe that video should be on every business owner’s internet marketing RADAR.

  • Over sixty hours of video are uploaded every minute.
  • YouTube is the #2 search engine behind Google.
  • YouTube sees over 150 million unique visits every month.
  • A website with video is fifty times more likely to appear on the first page of Google.
  • 26% of customers who view a video, visit their local store.
  • 21% of customers who view a video, make a purchase.
  • 68% of the top 50 internet retailers use video on their website.
  • Shopnbc.com customers who watched videos on product pages converted at twice the rate of customers who did not.
  • With proper optimization, video increases the chance of a front page Google result by fifty-three times.
  • Video landing pages generate four to seven times higher engagement and response rates than static images and text landing pages.

If you’re considering online video for your business (or your clients’ businesses), there’s a lot to be learned from this interview. Admittedly, it’s about one particular video company, and I’ve already said he’s a friend, so it’s not an unbiased interview. BUT – there’s a lot of good stuff here for anyone considering video as an element of their internet marketing strategy.

I had the privilege of speaking with Bob Barista (my friend) and Randy King (who has actually won four Emmy awards, BTW) about their company, WebRocket Video.

Tell me a little about the services that WebRocket Video provides.

We provide a solution to “tell your story, launch a product, describe a new service, brag about your people or better yet have your clients brag about you!” We talk to so many businesses that have tried to use print media or even their website tell their story, to get clients further down the sales cycle, only to find that people are impatient, that they tend to read less and less. But people are trained to click on a video and watch and listen. Our motto is “Your story. Delivered.”

I’ll tell you about an orthopedic surgeon we worked with. He said that for twenty years, every time he’s seen a new patient, he’s taken the time to tell them about his credentials, his staff, his style, his results – basically make them feel comfortable with him so that they’ll choose him as their orthopedic surgeon. He said that after posting his videos on his website, clients don’t want to hear his “sales pitch” when they first meet. They’ve seen his story online when doing their research and they’ve already made a decision and simply want to get a few questions answered and book their appointments. He’s excited because he can be a doctor instead of a salesman and it saves him an unbelievable amount of time!

Why should businesses be concerned with online video when there are so many other internet marketing channels like search and social media available to them?

Video is a “key ingredient” in any of those other marketing channels. With compression technology and high speed internet, people have come to expect video. [Look at all the shared content on Facebook.] Video tells that story better than any social profile, tweet or ABOUT US page on a website. People can connect with the “characters” in a video a lot better than they can with a Linkedin profile or online biography. When they see a video, they are like, “That’s the guy I want to work with!”

We worked with a contractor who had a tile man from Italy who does kitchens and bathroom remodels. In our video, he shows his hands – the hands of a tradesman who has been laying tile his whole life. He speaks in his broken English about how his parents and his parent’s parents worked with tile. His passion for his trade comes through the video in a way that text could never portray. Potential clients now ask for Cristiano by name, wanting him to install their tile.

Our videos are not just another marketing agenda. They are all filmed documentary style with no scripts, no cue cards. They are… authentic. Our clients come across as real people, because that’s what they are. Show me a tri-fold pamphlet or even a website that can do that.

How does Google treat your videos in the search results?

Google loves video. Several years ago, they started sharing blended/universal results [images, news, shopping, video] into the regular results. I’m sure you’ve Googled something at some point and gotten a video result on Google’s page one. Well the truth is, there is very little content “behind” most of those videos online. We’ve figured out what it takes to enhance a video in a way that it shows up in the search results for specific keywords. I’d like to say that our videos find their way to Google in a few weeks or days, but the truth is, we’ve seen them get to page one in a matter of hours. Like I said, Google loves video.

What kinds of clients should consider video as part of their online strategy?

Anyone who wants to better tell their story. We’ve seen great results for folks in the medical profession and attorneys – businesses where the individual is the product. But it also works great for contractors or companies looking to hire college grads. I could see it working for anyone whose potential client is more likely to watch a story than read a webpage.

Is it expensive?

Here at WebRocket Video, we don’t have any template stuff. If you were to ask me “how much for a 30 second video?” I’d answer by asking you questions. What are you trying to accomplish? Who is your target market? What are you selling? What makes your product or service unique and special? Anyone can sit you down in front of a book case in front of a camera and some fancy lights and have you read a script from some cue cards. But that’s not going to do you any good.

You’ve got ten, maybe fifteen seconds to impress your viewer and if you don’t capture their attention with a compelling story, you’ve lost them. So even if that video cost you less than $1000, it’s just $1000 wasted. Video today is important, but bad video can be detrimental.

I understand consultative selling. I do. I appreciate that your videos are custom, but can you give me an average? What can a business expect to invest to get an on location video with quality music and graphics and good editing?

I think it’s fair to say that we can do something like that for $1500 to $3000, again depending on the specifics and the need.

Wait. I’ve seen some of your videos. They look like something right off of “The Bachelor” or one of those other reality TV shows. I assumed those would be in the five to ten thousand dollar range.

Maybe we should increase our prices. Seriously. It doesn’t have to be terribly expensive. For the cost of a Val-Pack or a Yellow Pages ad, we can produce some really great work that will enhance all of your other online marketing strategies.

And we deliver the content in whatever format the client needs it. If they want their sales team to be able to show the video on their smart phones and iPads, we can provide that. If they want the video uploaded to their facebook or Linkedin, we can do that. We can even help the client set up their own YouTube channel. We’re not about filming a video and then passing the DVD across the desk, only to be done with the job. We’re about creating a relationship with that customer. Our clients find themselves wanting more and more videos. It’s contagious. Never before have they been able to communicate with their customers like this.

WebRocket Video is based in Chicago. Can you provide your services to other parts of the country?

Basically, I come from TV. I worked in television my whole life. I practically grew up in the back of a TV truck. I worked for Fox Sports for years and I have maintained relationships with videographers and producers in every city that has a professional football or baseball team. These are the kinds of people that work with WebRocket Video. Storytellers. Creative, collaborative people who know how to work with non-professionals [people who haven’t been in front of a camera]. We know what questions to ask and how to make them look good. All the pauses and flubs and “uhhhms” are edited out so that our clients say things like, “I never knew I was that good on camera!” That’s why our stuff looks like what you’ve seen on “The Bachelor”. These aren’t the industrial videos people have come to expect. Again, it all goes back to helping our clients “to better tell their story”.

Where can people see examples of your work and how can they get hold of you?

Clients can visit our website www.webrocketvideo.com of course, but our best examples are on our YouTube channel.

Well thank you very much for your time. I know that the demand for online video is going to keep you guys real busy in the coming years. Best of luck to you.

It was a pleasure. Thanks.

Full disclosure – if you decide to contact WebRocket Video for a video for yourself or to re-sell their services to your clients, please tell them you heard about them here on “Let’s Translate”. They promised to send me some Omaha steaks or something. 🙂

-David McBee