“I believe fundamental honesty is the keystone of business.”
– Harvey S. Firestone
It’s all about trust
In 2009 Zappos.com decided to use everyday employees to be subjects in a series of videos. Those videos helped the company to sell more product than ever. They ascertained that using employees and not models added to the realism and trust factor for the buyer. It worked. The use of video increased sales between 6% – 30% depending on product, and Zappo’s credits the increased sales and diminished returns to the thousands of product videos they have output.
Though 2009 in media speak is ancient history, this is still a valuable lesson we all can learn from. Sales, in my experience, is based on relationships and trust. If your end user trusts your product, return policy and customer service, they will not only buy from you, but recommend your product or service to those they love.
How Do You Convey Trust Through Video?
Good question. I have found that there are several ways to engage the customer and help them understand that you really do care:
- Never Lie
Lying will only get you found out. Always be honest with the customer even if that puts you in an uncomfortable position or makes the company not look so hot. In the end the customer will appreciate your honesty and problems solving.
- Hire A Professional Video Company
There are several points to hit here. First and probably the most critical is that by hiring a professional video production company, you are ensuring that your product or service will be represented well.While there are many great “do it yourself” software programs for video editing and some incredible new consumer cameras out there, there are years of study that go into producing a high quality video that sells.
- Good quality audio
This is probably one of the most overlooked aspects of video production. Most microphones on consumer cameras will pick up room noises more prominently than you will want them to be on the final video. A professional sound man will pick up on small noises like the HVAC unit or the refrigerator humming. Eliminating these noises will add tremendously to your end product. When something sounds bad, our brain automatically believes it looks bad as well.
- Crisp & Fast Video Compression
Compressing and formatting your video into one that will serve up and play quickly while looking really crisp is a science and an art in and of itself. Simply uploading to YouTube does not automatically mean the video will look great. I am sure you have seen crappy videos and great videos on YouTube. Its all about what you do before you upload to YouTube.
- Before & After Video/ Photos
In the case of a product that has the ability to alter the users experience. Show before and after video or photos. For example: If you are a home improvement company take video of the project prior to starting and then follow up with the final product. This can be conveyed through photos as well so that you can save money on the production company expenses.
- Sell The Benefits
Why should the client do business with your company vs. someone else? How are you unique? Are there certifications that you hold that others don’t? Do you have more experience than the competition? Are you a member of the BBB (Better Business Bureau) or other reputable organization? Mention these things in the script and possibly in graphics at some point in the video.
- Customer Testimonials
Arrange for interviews with some of your best customers. Showing a face and a name graphically on screen ads a tremendous amount of credibility to your claims. Keep this unscripted and let the customer simply talk from the heart. It will be more believable.
- Develop A Personality They Can Relate With
Particularly when selling online or through broadcast commercials, it is valuable to develop a personality the customer can relate to and feel like they know. AllState Auto Insurance’s mantra is; “You’re in Good Hands with AllState”. Rather than simply stating that and stopping, they have crafted a personality to associate with the statement. A friendly, father-figure (who is in reality a paid actor) is featured in the commercials, adding credibility and a feeling of trust and safety. He happens to have a deep voice which adds to the father-figure aspect and creates trust.This can be accomplished on a smaller scale as well. A client of ours owns a lawn equipment repair shop. We are currently in production with a series of videos to develop him as the business’ personality, showing folks how to take care of their mowers and going over simple maintenance tips. Offering these videos free online helps drive traffic to the store-front.
- Bottom Line
Honesty is the best policy.
Let your customers speak for you to convey your companies integrity.
Put your best foot forward in your video / photo efforts.
Do what you are good at and allow others to shine in their talents. I have found for my business, this has saved time and headache in the long run, and made all the difference!