Is your brand story rocking it and bringing in the inbound leads? If not, listen or watch as “Small Business Stacey” interviews David Feinman of Viral Ideas Marketing to learn how small business owners can use the power of video to tell their brand story. #TheSmallBizLife #SmallBusinessInterviews
Welcome everybody to another episode of Small Business Marketing Success interviews. I’m your host Small Business Stacey, and today we’re talking about words tell, pictures sell, but video makes it all come alive.
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That’s why I’m so excited to introduce my guest today because he is going to share with you how to leverage the power of video to tell your brand story. I have my guest today is David Feinman, co-founder of Viral Ideas Marketing. Welcome to the show.
Thanks so much for having me. I’m excited to be here.
Absolutely. You know, small business owners know that they should be doing video, but they get so squeamish about it, Like I don’t know what to do or how to do it, so I’m just not going to do it. So I know that you’re going to have a lot of brilliance and expertise to share with the audience today. But before we get into all the details about video, I want to know a little bit more about you. I mean, were you born with a camera in hand and said, I’m going to grow up and be and own a video company?
No. So, so my, my path was kinda kind of an interesting one. It kind of took a couple of twists and turns along the way. So I’ve actually been an entrepreneur virtually for as long as I can remember. So I started my first businesses when I was 16 years old, had a number of different businesses, all along. And I actually started Viral Ideas when I was in college. So, you know, way back when I was in college, basically I had another company that I, built and sold and we grew it on the back of creating these awesome videos for Facebook and social media. My business partner got together and, we started working with a couple of customers and really using the power of video and social media, combining together to grow their businesses.
And with those first couple of customers, we had such tremendous feedback and were able to make them such a nice amount of money that it kept just snowballing. It’s snowballing, it’s snowballing. So, here we are five years later, we have Viral Ideas on one side, which has created close to 40,000 videos at this point for companies all around the world. And we have Flixation, which is an on demand video editing platform. Think of it like Uber for video editing. So companies are just sending us their video footage and we’re using all that best practice that we’ve learned on creating all these videos to deliver back something that’s edited in a nice clean format for all that modern media. So it’s a little bit of accidental how we got here. And personally I’m a triathlete so that’s kind of my other thing besides running. God, isn’t it?
Wow. Okay. Well, a young serial entrepreneur for sure. So David, we know a little bit about the professional you, but what my audience really wants to know is tell us a little bit about the real you. So I have some questions for you. Sure. Ready? Breakfast or no?
Breakfast. Breakfast every day.
Yeah. You gotta start the day, right?
Well, I usually have the same breakfast for eggs loaded with veggies. Avocado, good to go.
Protein man. They say eggs are good for you. So good.
All right. I agree. Always eat a good breakfast. Start Your Day and your brain, right? Alright, so flip flops or sneakers?
Oh, sneakers 100%. I’m too clumsy for full flops.
Okay, good to know. And since you’re a little bit on the younger side of the age scale X-box or Play Station,
I’ve actually never been a video game guy. I’m more of a go outside and play guy.
Good. I’m so glad to hear that.
Training. I’m doing, I’m doing an iron man in a few months, so I’m always on my bike actually. She gets to see the videos. I’ve got my bike right behind me.
So, so I’m, I’m always biking, swimming or running.
That’s good. Oh, no wonder you’re so fit and that’s why you need the eggs for your protein.
All right. Well, let’s dive into video. You know, my audience is small business owners, so let’s talk from a broad perspective, like why should they be looking at video as part of their marketing strategy?
That’s a great question. So a lot of times when people are getting started with it, they’re kind of wondering exactly what you said. Like I’m doing all this marketing here, but why do I need to make a video? And really the whole world exists on the Internet and as behavior on the Internet has been moving, by 2020, they’re predicting that 80% of the world’s internet traffic is going to be consumed by video.
Wow. So as a business, you really want to be in the mix of that, right? So you want to be on YouTube, you want to be on Facebook, you want to be on Instagram, you really want to kind of have that, full spectrum of your being able to be where your customers are in the medium that they’re consuming online.
So for years you have a website, it’s not quite enough anymore, to have them just stay on that website. You’re gonna want to include a nice video that your customers can engage with too, to really understand what your business is and what are it’s thoughts.
No, that’s a good point. Because you know when they put up a website, they always hear me preach about this a lot. The about us page. Right? They get so excited about that one, right? Because it’s like chest-beating. I, I, we, we, we, us, us, us, we’ve been in business since 1,492 and so when you put that in words, it can be almost like a little ego sounding right? Like we’re the best. But when you have the video professionally produced to tell your story, it can be created in a way that maybe is not so chest pounding. Is that right?
Yes. All of what you said was just awesome because it’s exactly what we tell our customers all the time. So those, that text-based, could put a video on your about us page that can really just be an awesome little three minute documentary about your business. I’ll give you a perfect example. We just worked with a company that is a hundred percent employee-owned to create and tell their story. And you know, when you hear that you kind of turn your head like you’re like, hey, what does it really mean to be a 100% employee-owned? That means that the employees themselves get to share in the profits of the business, which is unbelievable for both the customers and the employees. So, we were able to tell that specific story on video by interviewing some of the owners of the company because really the employees are actually owners of the firm. So seeing that on video versus just reading a hundred percent employee-owned has way more meaning, and you actually get them, meet the people that are the owners of this company. And that same principle could apply to businesses of all different types, all different sizes. So just having that on the about us page really gets you or gets your customers and the people that are interested in your brand a real understanding what you guys are all about.
So it’s really, it’s about telling your story, but it’s not so much like let’s get into the different kinds of video, right? Because here we are, we’re recording a video that’s one kind of video. There’s video where somebody pulls out their cell phone and goes live on Facebook or Youtube or something like that. Is that the kind of video that you’re talking about that a small business owner should be doing?
The beauty is [that] as companies get better and better with video, they’re also making sales in the process. This is what smart business and marketing is all about.
So that’s a simple question which I’m going to give a little bit of a longer answer to, but there’s a couple of different types of videos that you might want to consider. Like the one that we’re doing right now is this nice interview format. You can cut it up into multiple chunks, break out this content over a long period of time. It was like you could do that with it, but it’s not necessarily that scripted, polished message that you’re going for. So you know, this is one of them, but there’s also the about us culture video, there’s FAQ videos, there’s different more scripted and storyboarded videos that really hit your brand message home at your target set of audience. What we do at viral ideas specifically is really that kind of white-glove start to finish messaging of a video. So that’s one type, but there’s also that selfie video on, on Facebook live, that Instagram video. So all those different types have a different message that you can get out to a different audience across your cell phone.
Well, if you’ve done over 3000 videos, you absolutely have a lot of experience. I’m sure you’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly. So there’s probably three ways that a small business owner can go about thinking about doing video. Just like I promote my marketing services, you can do it yourself, you can do it with some hell, or you can hire the expert to just get it done for you.
I understand you offer three different approaches, is that right?
Well, so with what we do, we offer, we offer two different approaches. I always like to start out by saying, if there’s someone just starting out in business or you don’t have a lot of budget for marketing, there is the do it yourself option. Yes. It’s way trickier. Yes, it takes up a lot more of your time. And you know, as someone who’s made 3000 of them, it’s a lot of them.
So, if you are in that do it yourself category, you know what I would recommend doing is setting yourself up right to do it yourself. It doesn’t mean buying the most expensive camera. Cause a lot of times you’re going to get that most expensive camera. You’re going to be excited about your new thing. You’re going to have this box that comes in the mail from Amazon and you’re going to have no idea how to work it and your videos are going to turn out, looking all grainy and unfocused and you’re actually going to have an opposite effect. So what I always recommend to people is if you have no experience doing videos, most of us have one of these, they have a phone, right? And a lot of those phones shoot pretty decent video for the most part.
So if you have a phone, you can basically what I like to call supercharge your phone, you could purchase a lighting kit to add light to the environment. Well I always like to tell people really basic stuff like if the lights are off or dim, the camera won’t see much where if there’s more light camera sees more stuff. So basic level, make sure you have a nice bright environment and cameras also like to hear. Which means you have to have good sound for your actual video. So that’s essentially like the basics of supercharging your phone to create great videos. Obviously there are steps above it and you have different levels of equipment that you can research. There might be something that you want to start like with a starter level camera. But if you’re doing it yourself do those couple things, spend a few hundred dollars on that for that project. Just that, and then you’re equipped to actually start filming and editing your videos from there.
You did, you’re absolutely right. And I agree with you, the lighting and the audio can make or break the quality of it. Cause I see so many videos online where they have poor back lighting and then you can’t see the person. Like they have a blacked-out face and you don’t want kind of image online or they have really bad audio and people will then just immediately bounce because it’s actually, in my opinion, more important to have good audio than it is so much professional video. Because if you have good audio, you’ll capture their attention and they’ll continue watching.
Yeah. What you said there, whenever someone lands on a video, you have to think of it as almost like a virtual salesperson, virtual, a virtual customer service for your company. So let’s say we have a lot of customers, there’ll be like, oh I did a video before but I only got a hundred views and there’s a million ways that you can get a hundred views. Let’s say your video is two minutes long. So that means people spend 200 minutes watching your video, right? So that means that you know, you will effectively gain back two and a half hours of time that this video is taking care of for you to actually be out there in the world.
Multiply that by 10 or 20 cause a video doesn’t really require much labor costs. So incrementally as more people watch your video, you’re going to have more of a message spread for lower cost. So that’s one of the beauties of it. And to piggyback off that quality point, when that person hits your video for the first time, that’s your first impression, right? And you want to make sure that your right messaging comes across, which is why that second option of do it together. A lot of times for people in that tighter budget this might work well. They can have someone that maybe has an amateur type experience with the camera. They could pay a little bit and send it to an editing service which that’s our other business Fixation.
And that back end part of the editing, which takes forever and you know, there’s a lot of tech and a lot of technicalities. It’s almost like coding when you’re good at it, that that part is taken care of for you. Now instead of spending as much money as you need to doing the third category, just somewhere in the middle is putting together a video for an editing fee of a few hundred dollars versus the first one where you’re kind of fumbling around with the camera or spending a lot of money on that on the high end.
David, do you have words of advice for how a small business owner can and should be telling their story with video? Like what kind of images would they want to portray in doing that?
I’ll kind of give you like the meat and bones of how you have a think about it. So there’s really three categories of video. If you break it all down, awareness, consideration and decision. It’s like any marketing funnel. So within each part of your video strategy, you’re gonna want to have videos tucked into awareness, consideration, decision. So where awareness videos might be just tackling the broad problem of what’s your company mission or it might be an about us video. There’s something that people can land on and understand about what you do to get people interested. Consideration might be some facts about your business, some reasons why, some testimonials, or consideration might be something explaining the price or something that explains how the whole deal structure works with what you do. So really just kind of moving through those three phases of video that encompasses most videos that are out there. As you get bigger companies might want to do training videos or something along those lines that saves you time versus making money.
Well, let’s then transition that into working with someone like you, a full-service agency. So if somebody, you know, a small business owners looking to really leverage the power of video and wants all three types of videos, attraction, consideration, decision, what is your process of helping them do that. Do you storyboard, you film, you edit, is it truly beginning to end full service?
So one of the things that in going through these three different things, a lot of times when you hit that level of wanting to bring someone in to really make you a full strategy for video where people are going to watch it through the whole video. And that’s where you hire a production company that understands the strategy of working on videos. You know, whether it’s Viral Ideas or another company in your area, you’re going to want to make sure they move through your process by which to tell your story. And a lot of that involves some input from you as the company, right? So understand having the production company understand what your company does and what makes you better is really important. Also, understanding your sales process and providing recommendations of different videos that you could create through the whole process. Whether they’d be more creative and narrative in nature, or whether they be more interview style and, naturalistic tone, you’re gonna want to make sure you’re set on all that.
Well if you’ve done over 3000 videos, which is really impressive, you’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly, and I’m sure you’ve made some mistakes. So what are your biggest lessons learned from doing that? So many videos.
So the biggest thing before you ever turn on a camera that solves most of the problems that have ever come up in creating all these videos is just plan. If you’re gonna create anything with video, big or small, just put together a little plan, whether it’s a couple of key talking points, you don’t have to fully script it out necessarily. Maybe you want to plan out your setting where you’re gonna be, plan out your equipment, plan out who’s doing what on set. If you have a production company doing that for you that’s great, that’s off your chest. But if you’re doing it together or doing it yourself, that’s where you’re really going to want to work on that production plan to make sure you’re hitting those messages correctly.
So a small business owner saying, Gosh, you know, David knows his stuff. I should really probably work with a professional. What kinds of questions or what should a small business owner be looking for if they want to use an outside solution? Should it be a local company? Is there a paricular sized company? What kind of questions or factors goes into choosing a video production company?
That’s a good question. So, we work mostly on the east coast you know. Kinda like tucked into the northeast area. We do, we do some national stuff too, but it depends on the project. But I would say if you’re thinking about a local company versus non-local company, whoever you’re hiring should have a decent understanding about the number one strategy. If you’re going out to hire someone at a higher level, they’re going to want to understand some strategy around your video and we’re gonna add value there. So that is one of the most important things that a production company can do is just add that strategic creative value. And then number two, you want to make sure that their work lines up with your expectations.
So it doesn’t necessarily have to be someone specifically that’s worked in your industry before, or done the specific type of video that you need. But they should be able to present you with a few options that are saying, hey, these are some videos that we’ve done that I think might be similar to what you’re going for. You should take a look at them and just feel comfortable with what they’ve created. Because if you can just watch some of what they’ve done and just ask them a bit about their process and what they did as far as in that video and they can explain it to you, explain how that project went, that’s where you kind of gain an understanding of how that company works. They should also have a process they put you through.
So if you’re working with a company you should ask them what’s your process, how does that all work?How do we get our best outcome? Because really when you’re hiring a higher level of a production company, you should be buying into a system and a process that works really, really well for them to create awesome videos. The reason we cranked out 3000 of them cause we have a system and a process that works. Those would be my tips for hiring someone. Also, you should know that they’re responsive as well. That’s a big thing. A lot of production companies are small businesses, so make sure they’re just getting back to you in a timely manner. Chatting with them, it’s a big thing.
Well, David, you’ve been so giving of your time and expertise today. Any last parting words that a small business owner should be thinking about as it comes to leveraging the power of video?
I would say just start with your first one. You know what, whatever your budget may be on the spectrum, I’m sure you could find a little bit of money to create that first video, find a way to do it. If you need any advice or tips, even if you have a budget of $100 or if you have a budget of$30,000, just feel free to reach out to me. Even if we can’t help you directly, I can kind of point you in the right direction of what might be helpful for you as someone who’s creating a video. It can be complicated. There’s a lot to it. I love to see people just getting started on it because it really does help your business at the end of the day.
I think it’s a great investment because I think it’s one of the ways to level the playing field with the big guys because if you hire a professional company, such as yours, to produce a professional video. Being that it’s professionally produced, it puts it on par with those big guys.
Exactly. You’re competing with the big guys. We know that’s kinda how it works. Yeah.
Well, David, how can people get in touch with you? I know that my audience is to want to reach out to you and learn more about how they can use video in their marketing.
Sure. So, so I’ll give you guys three ways. So we have our website, viralideasmarketing.com. So feel free to reach out to us on there. If you’re like interested in a project that you’re interested in just some stuff about that company. If you’re looking for editing stuff, someone at fixation can help you. So that’s flixation.co. We have live chat on both our websites that are monitored all the time. So if you reach out to us on there, we’ll get back to you. Or if you just have a question for me or want me to help you through something my emails firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m on LinkedIn or social media. So feel free to reach out to me there and I’ll try my best to help you through anything.
All right guys. There you have it. Video is the way to go. Remember words tell, pictures sell, but video brings it all to life. Thanks for tuning in everybody. This is Small Business. Stacey, your Small Biz Marketing Specialist here to help you get your marketing into ACTION and help you become a #SmallBizMarketingWiz. Bye Bye.
Stacey Riska, aka "Small Business Stacey" is a serial entrepreneur who is passionate about saving small - and not so small - businesses one marketing plan at a time. She helps business owners become a #SmallBizMarketingWiz by teaching them marketing strategies that get MORE: MORE leads, MORE customers/clients/patients, MORE sales, and MORE profit. Stacey's in-demand "Small Biz Marketing Success Coaching and Mastermind Program" is transforming the businesses - and lives - of those who want wealth, freedom, and market domination. Her highly acclaimed book "Small Business Marketing Made EZ" lays out the 6-simple-step plan to get your marketing into ACTION - literally and figuratively. Stacey is also the creator of Cups To Gallons, the place where independent coffee, smoothie, juice bar, ice cream, dessert and snack shop owners go to learn how get into lucrative catering so they stop selling by the cup and start selling by the gallon. In this program she teaches from experience, as it was the key strategy that transformed her coffee and smoothie business from being $500K in debt to a 7-figure profitable business. When not saving the small business world, she enjoys sipping red wine, eating chocolate (who doesn't!) and spending time with her amazing husband.
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