How to Use Online Video to Drive Your Professional Service Marketing

January 29, 2011 by  Filed under: Marketing 

Making good use of online video in the Web 2.0 era is a must for business owners of professional service firms.

But what should be a firm’s online video marketing priorities?

Indeed, why video Marketing?

Video marketing services can be fraught, what should be the focus?

Over the last 2 years the growth in the use of video has become so great that its become the format of choice for many people needing information.

Online videos used on and off page are superb marketing tools for professionals because they genuinely help to build rapport that slowly builds into trust from which assignments flow. The use of online videos allows business owners to convey many different types of messages in fresh, imaginative, interesting and valuable ways Videos can be in used in many formats, supported with accompanying written documents that provide further insights, value and even links to other videos, websites or downloadable documents; as such their flexibility is enormous.

But exactly why should you be considering using video?

If we accept that few people will commit to a serious contract with a professional if, there is no relationship or any degree of trust already in place, then its really important to be building trust ahead of people needing to buy your services; Its here that online video really comes to the fore.

The buying of a professional service is not just an intellectual exercise but more of an emotional process based on people genuinely appreciating that you not only know you’re ‘stuff’ but that you’re dependable, trustworthy knowledgeable and likeable.

In this context videos are excellent tools that can be used not only to introduce your services but more importantly to start the all important relationship building process where they come to actually know you as, dependable, trustworthy knowledgeable and likeable.

This is especially true when in framing of the video presentation there is something that is both relevant & interesting and which represents exceptional value. When a prospect experiences such value this not only conveys that you know your stuff and that you are an expert, but also that you care because you’ve helped them with no hope of gain. Its here that the subliminal message comes through that you’re the go-to person, the consummate professional that can help them in their area of concern. Video lends itself to direct talking and a high level of intimacy in a professional context.

If the video is well presented and keyword optimised, when viewed it will be being watched by qualified persons who have a direct interest and desire to hear what you have to say.

People really appreciate it when you talk to them about what they really need to know in ways that given them confidence and insight they didn’t have before; they warm to those that give without taking or of wanting something in return.

In an age of scepticism and outright mistrust they like to get to know people they are going to have to do business with before having to take a decision; herein lies the true value of video.

Never was the message ‘Give of your very best’, better said than in the context of communicating online using video. Give of yourself, give of your very best and do it with genuine care and concern and your value will shine through.

If you prepare your videos and supporting materials with an open caring heart and with no thought of receiving, the returns can be extraordinary.

If you prepare everything as best you can but its done with a view to selling your services then the results will be paltry; you’ll simply be seen as being wholly gratuitous.

Video, particularly when used in a series, is also powerful because it can be used in a campaign context with video after video providing ever greater value and insights. The days of single channel marketing and single promotions such as a single ad in the yellow pages are gone.

Your videos must fit in a mix of online channels all of which reinforce and build upon one another in the broader campaign context:

As a general guide to using online videos there are a number of pointers that are important:

  1. Videos should be used both on and off your website, and be presented, in a variety of formats;
  2. Videos should be used as tools for the giving of information, providing guidelines, honing client insights; and answering questions for clarification; they should only rarely be used and only under very specific circumstances to directly sell a service.
  3. People like to buy, but they don’t like to be sold to so don’t do it;
  4. Videos should be kept short & highly focused; concentration spans are short, clearly think through what you want to say and say it without any fluff; this will impress, something overly long will not;
  5. Videos should be directly relevant to the keywords they are optimised for. This is because it will be through the use of very specific keywords that your prospect will find your video.
  6. Its far better to do a series of very tightly focused short videos of say 30 seconds to 2 and a half minutes than to make a larger one;
  7. A firm’s video portfolio should comprise of a wide mix of videos presented through an array of different online channels conveying a mix of different messages that build cumulatively as viewers are encouraged to view evermore;
  8. Videos can be used especially advantageously when they’re used to convey very specific messages on a client ‘type’ by client ‘type’ basis. This means for each specific client type for any given service the underlying marketing message needs to be very carefully thought through; generic catch all messaging just won’t cut it. And to this I would add, wherever possible try to build in a degree of personalisation; the more personal you can get the stronger will be the emotional content and as a result the more powerful will be the result in terms of your building rapport;
  9. Videos should be seen as a powerful relationship builder This is true because as people come to see more and more of your videos they feel that they are getting to know you better and better. The tactical objective is therefore clear the focus must be on getting prospects to view evermore of your videos, whether this is achieved by encouraging them in the videos to do so, or, by providing links, by sending them a weekly video by email or by providing exceptional value incentives;
  10. Yes you can use stand-ins in your videos, that is if you feel uncomfortable presenting a video but this is a very poor second best and it is not to be advised. Get over it, practise, relax, enjoy it its fun; and you will get better
  11. Video as a medium is highly personal; it can be used to appeal at both the emotional as well at the intellectual level; make sure you use it at the emotional level and avoid over intellectualising; remember its prospects not fellow professionals you’re talking to.
  12. Always ask a non professional to critically look at all your material & check it out before it goes live as jargon and professional nuancing can really put people off defeating your purpose;
  13. Videos can easily go viral so allow people and other companies to use your videos on their web site and their blogs without recourse to asking your permission. It’s therefore important that all your videos make clear your full contact details: blog, telephone & website;
  14. Tactically video presentations are highly flexible, they can be used:

  • to explain the basics right through to detailed nuances and intricacies;
  • to explain typical or troublesome issues that may need to be addressed;
  • to introduce the background to matters that might not otherwise come up;
  • to float difficult ideas and to test the waters;
  • to introduce members of each of your teams; and
  • to give prospects the answer to the many ‘Whys’ that concern them;

In addition:

  1. Video can be used to say not only who you are but what you do and why; here you can get really personal at a professional level and by telling your story establish wholly new bonds with prospects that otherwise would not exist,
  2. Videos can be used in very specific, client contexts. For important prospects and potential major contracts you can prepare client specific videos]. Here a videos power can really come to the fore as you hone in on very specific messages that can be replayed amongst all the team back at a client’s base as they go through their internal decision making procedures.
  3. Videos can be used to get back to important prospects that you’ve just met using an email link; such personalisation rarely fails to impress if the focus is seen to be on building rapport and perhaps passing on something of interest or value.
  4. Videos can be used to complement your proposal documents, they can be used to introduce members of the team or to go over points in the proposal in a more conversation way where it’s known there is concern, indecision or worries; and
  5. Video can also address uncomfortable or difficult issues in a dispassionate way. Many clients have concerns that they don’t like to articulate. As professionals we know what those typically are. Using video we can address those concerns in a dispassionate way and informative way putting people at their ease without having to get them to openly discuss the matter.

All your video output should be designed to build rapport, put clients at their ease and ensure that you and your team come over as consummate professionals, resourceful, energetic, enthusiastic, communicative, caring, able, supportive, helpful and above all results focused.

The use of videos, placed both on and off your website provide a powerful marketing tool enabling those who don’t know you to become familiar with you, to understand how you operate and to appreciate the finer points of which they may not be aware.

You will find that the effective use of video whilst requiring an investment of time and resource up front will not only help you to build rapport and trust, but also save you a huge amount of time downline as well as provide a huge marketing boost.

You can see many more articles like this at our Online Video for Professionals blog.

Stephen Kember is the proprietor at Online Video For Professionals; a firm dedicated to supporting the business owners of professional services firms in the UK and France with their online marketing using online video and the social media to establish relationships, build trust and get more of the right sort of clients. For a free 22 video series titled Online video and the social media click on the link

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