The Training Institute of March of Dimes Canada Explainer Video

What does a non-profit organization with over 65 years of experience helping people with disabilities need with an explainer video? That's the story with March of Dimes Canada and the video they asked me to make for them. Here's the video. Below the video is a bit of talking about why these explainer videos work well for introducing products/services and why March of Dimes chose this type of video, too.

https://youtu.be/S20HcACbADk

They know their stuff

Turns out that when you've been successfully running an organization that helps disabled Canadians lead independent lives, you learn a thing or two about training your team. And those valuable lessons are now available to other organizations with the Training Institute of March of Dimes Canada.

Now to promote the training

But like many organizations, it's not always easy to explain a product or service, especially when people visit your website to learn about your product or service.

March of Dimes Canada recognized this issue and knew that an explainer video would be a great way to introduce the Training Institute to potential clients. It's important that people easily understand what you're offering; otherwise, they can quickly click away.

Your turn

Don't let customers slip away without letting them get to know what you have to offer. A video is like a salesperson who works 24/7 and is more powerful than your website alone.

Get in touch and let's talk about how we can make video work for you.

4 Tips From Making a Mercedes Benz Internal Communications Video

Several months ago, I received an email from Daimler AG, the parent company for Mercedes Benz. I was asked to produce an animated video to help launch an internal program aimed at fostering innovation and better customer service. The video was to be used globally, so this was an important project for Mercedes. The video was a success and I wanted to share some thoughts and tips for making effective internal communications videos. But where's the video???

Unfortunately, it's an internal video so I can't share it publicly. The lesson isn't in what the video ultimately looked like, but how other businesses can learn how to improve internal communications when using videos.

#1 - KNOW THE AUDIENCE

As much as we want to communicate what we're thinking, instructions or plans to our employees, we still need to carefully consider who we are talking to. Employees are constantly bombarded by messages and communications throughout the day, so let's be sure we're speaking to the right audience and with the right message.

Always be sure to think about the following three things related to your audience when putting together your internal communications video:

  1. What the audience already knows:
  2. What they care about and;
  3. What is actually important for them.

For the Mercedes Benz internal communications video, the audience was the customer relations members across the globe. These people deal with Mercedes Benz customers to ensure they have a great experience. The program being introduced was a new program to help the members learn and communicate ideas with one another.

What the customer relations team members at Mercedes dealerships care about is how they can improve their ability to deliver exceptional customer service, so we highlighted those points in the video.

In terms of importance, the program gave members a chance to be recognized and rewarded on a company-wide scale. This aspect of the program is meant to motivate members to join the program and contribute something meaningful to the overall good of the company.

#2 - CLARIFY THE MESSAGE

The original script I received was a nice outline of what the program was about, who it was for and what the benefits were. It was solid in terms of what they wanted to talk about, but lacked clarity because it was far too long.

We must keep in mind that people have short attention spans, as well as other things vying for their attention. So our messages must be clear and easy to understand without a lot of fluff. It must also be engaging, meaning you can't simply present the facts and expect people to be interested in what you're saying.

Try to write your script in a conversational tone, one that describes a relatable situation, or a story with a clear beginning, middle and ending. What works best will depend on what you're talking about and to whom. We should shoot for a story, if we can, or at least something with an introduction to a problem or situation and a clear path to the conclusion.

In the Mercedes video, we used a story about a fictional character in the company who had great ideas and was eventually rewarded for his efforts. The message was clear and relatable for the intended audience, which is why the video was well-received.

#3 - KEEP IT SHORT

Sometimes, you're forced to keep a video short because of the platform you will upload it to. Or sometimes, it needs to fit within a set of guidelines. But in general, your internal communications videos should be kept short to ensure your employees will watch the whole video without feeling like it's a burden to do so.

No one wants to sit through 20 minutes of video if the same message can be presented in 5 minutes. We want to increase engagement by using video, not reduce it.

In the Mercedes Benz internal communications video, we had key points about the customer service program that had to be included. We made sure those points got enough attention without spending unnecessary time on them.

This can require several drafts of your script to get the message down right, so always leave adequate time to revise your script and ensure the video is engaging, on point and effective.

One concern you may have is whether or not the topic has been adequately covered. It's a valid concern and tip #4 will describe how to deal with this concern.

#4 - USE FOLLOW UP

No matter what kind of video you create, and for whatever purpose, it's important to follow up the video. In the case of an internal communications video, it's important to prepare additional communications, such as emails, surveys or training to support what was in the video.

In the Mercedes Benz case, if they simply show the video and don't follow up, the customer relations members may simply watch and forget.

I'm not sure what kind of follow up Mercedes actually implemented, but a questionnaire/survey or additional materials about the program would enhance the effectiveness of the video. Follow up would also increase participation in the program, complementing the video.

CONCLUSION

Videos are a great way to enhance internal communications, especially in today's business environment with all its distractions and numerous tasks. But internal communications videos must be approached in the same manner as a video used for marketing, if we want the video to be effective.

The four tips I've outlined in this post should provide guidance when putting together your internal communications video. The tips, once again, were:

  1. KNOW THE AUDIENCE
  2. CLARIFY THE MESSAGE
  3. KEEP IT SHORT
  4. USE FOLLOW UP

If your company wants to use video for internal communications, go for it! If you need a hand in actually planning and creating the videos, I'm here to help and to answer any questions you might have.

Good luck!

AUTOPROP Real Estate Marketing Explainer Video

AUTOPROP provides realtors with tons of information to help them stand out from their competition to win more business. This whiteboard style video is great for helping to explain concepts or services, so let me know if this is something you'd like for your business. https://youtu.be/ulkxGiyXIrk

CGC (Corporate Giving Connection) Explainer Video

Here’s an animated explainer video for CGC, a company that provides marketing and fundraising support to non-profits. I often say how fortunate I am to work with great people, and I’m going to say it again because the people at CGC (Corporate Giving Connection) were awesome.

https://youtu.be/mwskgcHe7M0

I worked directly with Jen Linck, who made my job easy by being easy to talk to, clear in her communications and open to ideas. This explainer video for CGC highlights a key problem faced by non-profit managers… Not having enough bandwidth to get everything done.

The challenge with this particular video was identifying the correct target audience and thinking about how to communicate that we understand them and have a solution for them without sounding patronizing or over-promising what CGC can do. CGC can do so many different things for non-profits and there are so many scenarios that we could have talked about.

The key is to always focus on the viewer and keep the pace moving. Often times, videos of all types, not just explainer videos, drag on for just a bit too long. We have to remember that viewers can easily click away and that the video has to keep them engaged long enough to get your message across and for the viewer to take action.

And that call-to-action is also important to have. Sometimes, I’ll see explainer videos without a clear call-to-action and it’s painful because I know that the business owner is banking on the video to help him/her.

So always be sure to include a clear call-to-action at the end of your explainer videos so your viewer knows what they are supposed to do.

Contact me if you’d like an explainer video that gets your message out and meets your business objectives.

What is a Screen Capture Video [VIDEO]

I was asked recently about screen capture videos and so I thought the best way to talk about a screen capture video would be to make one. So here it is, along with some information about why you would want to make one. https://youtu.be/fnMUe4dxQKI

WiseWage Prepaid Debit Card Service Explainer Video

This is an explainer video for WiseWage.org, a service that helps people get a prepaid debit card so they can stop paying check cashing fees and have a debit card they can use for their day-to-day purchases. Very cool!

https://youtu.be/5OR1VnfmnN0

To get an explainer video like this for your business, check out: http://www.carlkwan.com/get-a-video/

How Video Can Help Market Your Brand - My VW Westfalia Campervan

I often talk to people about how video should be used to establish your personal brand; in other words, using video to add a human element and emotional connection to your company. And I guess I wasn't just blowing smoke because Mark Schaefer just published an article about making business more personal that you should check out. And that was one of the reasons behind me making a video about the issues I was having with my 1994 VW Eurovan Westfalia camper. https://youtu.be/rGRxcYfvs3g

If they like you, they're more likely to buy

People will always choose to do business with someone they know, like and trust and video is such a powerful tool for demonstrating those characteristics. Until a business realizes that universal truth, or at least acknowledges how powerful that can be, the business will be stuck competing on things such as price and features.

Videos should relate to your viewers

One thing that I'm not a big fan of is simply making pretty videos with little substance. Yes, we want the videos to have that human element to them, but they should also bring some value to your viewers, too. A good strategy is to mix the pretty videos with ones that are actually useful, that educate and establish your authority.

What to do

Start by ensuring you're using a mix of video content that both educates and shows people that you're human just like them. That sounds way too simplistic but what I'm saying is you need to look at what will bring the most value to your customers, what will help them trust you, establish your authority and make them feel comfortable about working with you.

So what are your thoughts on using video to bring a more human element to your marketing and communications? Is this something you're already doing, and if so, how is it working out for you? Be great to hear your thoughts. And be sure to check out Mark's article.

SRNK Biomass Disposal Explainer Video

The SRNK (pronounced shrink) biomass disposal video was an interesting project to work on because it's a topic I didn't know much about. But I quickly understood the importance of presenting the message they wanted to get out since this video was going to used as a hook for a potentially years long contract. https://youtu.be/eQ5P1t4ZFdU

That's the great thing about explainer videos... They make it easy to explain complicated or hard to understand topics in a simple and engaging way. Well, at least that's what a good video should do. So if you want a good explainer video to help explain something that's difficult to explain, click here and let's talk.

By the way, this is another project where I wrote the script, did the voiceover and produced the final video. Whew! But it was fun and always great meeting the people behind these products and services.

Video Marketing - Why Audio is So Critical to Your Videos

When making marketing videos you have to ensure that your audio quality is up to snuff because if the audio sucks, people will get a bad impression of you and your brand, and they may not even know why. Audio quality is even more critical than video quality, as you'll hear in the video about a recent experience I had while checking out someone else's video content. https://youtu.be/VfvL_7kTa3c

What do you think? Would audio quality turn you off from working with someone or give you a bad impression?

Let me know if you have questions about making videos or if you want to get some videos made to enhance your marketing efforts.

Video Marketing - Filming Videos Indoors vs Outdoors

If you are going to film your own videos, you need to decide whether it’s better to film indoors or outdoors. In this video you will learn a few tips to help you decide whether you should film indoors versus outdoors. https://youtu.be/NB4oZtMjulU

The easiest answer when it comes to outdoors is if you have a product or service that is meant to be outside, then you should film outside. The main benefit of filming indoors is that you can control the environment and keep the videos consistent from one video to the next.

Whatever you decide to do, just be aware of things such as lighting, audio quality and having clean, non-distracting background. Just making videos to market your business is a big step, so just play with what works best when filming and you'll eventually find your sweet spot.

Let me know if you have any questions about producing marketing videos, or get in touch about getting help with your videos.