Every week as SmallBizLady, I conduct interviews with experts on my Twitter talk show #SmallBizChat. The show takes place every Wednesday on Twitter from 8-9pm ET. This is excerpted from my recent interview about video communication and marketing with Ethan Beute @EthanBeute. Ethan is Vice President of Marketing at BombBomb and author of Rehumanize Your Business: How Personal Videos Accelerate Sales and Improve Customer Experience. (Wiley, April 2019) He is the host of The Customer Experience Podcast He has collected and told personal video success stories in hundreds of blog posts, webinars, podcasts, and stage presentations.
SmallBizLady: Why should a small business owner be thinking about video?
Ethan Beute: No matter what business you’re in, when people say “yes,” they’re saying yes to you – to who you are and to the trust and rapport you’ve built with them. Video helps you communicate, connect, and convert in a more personal and human way.
SmallBizLady: Generally speaking, isn’t video expensive and time-consuming?
Ethan Beute: We call scripted, produced, and edited videos “marketing through video.” I like to teach a simpler style we call “relationships through video” – simple webcam and smartphone videos to replace some of your plain, typed-out text in emails, text messages, and social messaging.
SmallBizLady: Why is simple video better than typed-out text?
Ethan Beute: Very often, you can save time by talking instead of typing. You explain things more clearly – with tone, pace, body language, etc. People feel like they know you before they ever meet you. It’s very differentiating.
SmallBizLady: When is this type of video communication better than a typed-out email or text message?
Ethan Beute: Any time you want to convey sincerity, enthusiasm, expertise, gratitude, warmth, concern, empathy, or any of those other deeply human elements that we can’t capture when we go to the keyboard instead of the record button. It’s also good for longer or more complex topics.
SmallBizLady: What are a few sales-related ways to use this simpler style of video?
Ethan Beute: Cold prospecting and introduction. Follow up with responsive or nonresponsive leads to create engagement. To confirm an appointment and set expectations. To follow up after an appointment to restate key ideas and readdress objections. Look at all your touches and you’ll see spots that benefit from video.
SmallBizLady: What are a few customer experience-related ways to use simple, personal videos?
Ethan Beute: Replying to any inquiry. Customer service and support. Holidays and special occasions like birthdays or customer anniversaries. Event invites. Special offers or promotions. Meet the team. Look at your customer lifecycle and you’ll see spots for a more personal touch.
SmallBizLady: Are there any other good times to use this type of video communication?
Ethan Beute: “Thank you” is one of the best and easiest videos to record and send. Send a couple every day and your life, relationships, and business will all change for the better. Other possible videos include “great to meet you,” project updates, and internal communication.
SmallBizLady: Does every video have to be one-to-one and truly personal?
Ethan Beute: No. We also recommend “evergreen” videos to record once and use over and over again as needed. They’re great for customers’ frequently asked questions at each stage of the relationship with you and your business. The context can help make it feel more personal, even though it’s not just for that one person.
SmallBizLady: What types of businesses are using video communication?
Ethan Beute: Because it’s about human-to-human connection and communication, all kinds. Some of our top groups include real estate, mortgage, financial advisory, business coaching and consulting, insurance, automotive, nonprofit, software, professional speaking, solopreneur, etc.
SmallBizLady: What kind of benefits are people seeing with simple, personal videos?
Ethan Beute: Success stories and anecdotes are endless. In terms of survey data, video communication results in more replies and responses to emails, more clicks through emails, higher lead conversion, greater ability to stay in touch in a meaningful way, more referrals, quicker time to resolution, etc.
SmallBizLady: Any pro tips for success with video in email?
Ethan Beute: Be clear before you start your message on why the recipient(s) would or should look at it. Make that reason clear in your subject line, opening line, and video thumbnail or preview. Use text to drive the video play and (separately) to drive the call to action.
SmallbizLady: How should you push through if you are really not comfortable on camera?
Ethan Beute: Because there’s vulnerability and a basic fear of judgment or rejection there, your first few videos may feel a little uncomfortable to you. But that’s exactly what makes this style of video so powerful. It’s real. It’s you. It connects. Practice builds confidence and confidence builds success!