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Video Marketing: Three Strategies to Master And One Myth to Bust

Video Marketing: Three Strategies to Master And One Myth to Bust 1080 1416 Alicia East

What’s the most common advice you’ve heard regarding consumer behavior when watching videos online? Hold on to that bit of so-called wisdom for a moment because we’ll come back to it. In the meantime, let’s talk about three strategies to level up your video marketing efforts.

Three Strategies to Engage Customers

Personalized Videos

My lender sent me a personalized video (PV) recently to celebrate my mortgage anniversary. My husband and I did not bake a cake or make a Champagne toast to celebrate the occasion. I wouldn’t have even known to mark the day without the reminder. But you know what? They took an otherwise benign moment and prompted me to consider the memories our family has made and the milestones we’ve marked in our home. I watched the whole video and felt all the warm and fuzzies while I was at it! Definitely not what I expected.

Even though I know there was not someone on the other end of that interaction who thought of me personally, it still created a sense of connection. In a world with endless impersonal emails and information rushing at us through all our screens, customers are looking for connection. They want to feel some sense of being understood or known and personalized videos can make them feel seen and important to your business. At the very least, it sets you apart from all the other generic messages your target audience gets flooded with every day.

Increase Production Quality

Video technology is quickly advancing and there are certainly occasions where a full crew and post-production team are the best way to accomplish your goals, but in this case, I’m not talking about that kind of production quality.

The combination of social media and our years of working from home and seeing people’s home offices through our screens have changed what’s acceptable. Some big brands are foregoing the full-fledged light kits and 8K production quality cameras for ring lights, a tripod, and a phone.

These intimate, down-to-earth videos often accomplish a different goal than a fully-produced product. Plenty of people have made a company announcement or described a course or product from their home office and come across as professional and worthy of trust.

So when we say you should increase your production value, it’s not necessarily about hiring a Hollywood-level team, but you also don’t want to make people motion sick. Just take the time to master basic shot composition, use a nice ring light, have your face fill most of the screen, and use a tripod or a stabilizer if you’re on the move.

Focus on Values

Customers are increasingly interested in supporting companies that reflect their values. Note Patagonia’s recent headline-making news and the good will/proclamations of loyalty it garnered among consumers. If they have the options, workers and consumers alike are more likely to pick a company that aligns with their own values, whether those are work/life balance, sustainability, or a commitment to human rights. In an increasingly impersonal world, consumers want to feel like they can feel good about who they are doing business with.

Here’s what’s really fun: Videos don’t even have to be directly related to your business to engage consumers and even make them more loyal to you. Patagonia’s current series, called Working Knowledge, is “a new series of stories grounded in wild places and activism.” I don’t see anything about outdoor gear in that description, but it does communicate Patagonia’s values and engages customers who hold the same ones.

For many video marketing goals, such as this kind of cinematic storytelling, you really do need a professional crew to do it well. You need a director of photography who can execute powerful and cinematic shots, a soundtrack that inspires, an editor who understands the emotional impact of a perfect cut, and the producer who can put it all together. This is where the money you invest in a professional crew will be worth every penny.

Let’s Bust That Myth, Shall We?

Okay, what is the bit of wisdom that comes to mind when you hear what consumers are looking for in a video? Here’s mine: the shorter the video, the better. Your video should be three minutes tops and 30 seconds really is ideal. You know what, if you can say everything in 15 seconds, that’s even better. People’s measly attention spans can’t handle the long-form videos anymore.

Well, it turns out that studies are now showing that’s not true! We are not only capable of watching longer videos (yes, even online!), but we can actually be really interested in that video. Let’s go back to Patagonia because they have a reputation for doing this so incredibly well. They’ve been putting together stunning long-form videos for years. They’ve used the longer-form videos to tell a story and take viewers on a journey where they sense the purpose of the brand. The incredible thing is that they aren’t talking about the brand at all. But they accomplish a true feat in making viewers feel something. They get inspired by a greater cause or feel compelled to head out into nature (for which they might need some gear, but whatever).

The Bottom Line

If you aren’t thinking about your video marketing, you really should be. Personalizing videos, creating a product that is easy to watch (whether professionally-produced or more casual), and connecting with a viewer’s values will help you level up your video marketing efforts. And don’t be shy about long videos because your viewers aren’t shying away from watching them (as long as they’re worth watching).

Film Studio - Payreel

The Most Expensive Marketing Mistake You Can Make

The Most Expensive Marketing Mistake You Can Make 900 633 Alicia East

A marketing director, we will call Judy, with a nonprofit we shall call Suffer No Fools, came to a crewing company upon recommendation. She was skittish. After they talked through her options and how one of our vetted crews would go about telling the nonprofit’s story, she softened. Finally, she revealed why she was skeptical.

As a nonprofit with a limited budget, they’d first hired a college student–a friend of a friend–who would produce a video for way less than anyone else she’d heard from. It was a simple job, she thought, and he could capture good-quality footage without a ton of equipment.

Unfortunately, Judy had fallen victim to the idea that a good camera (for which most people can look no further than their own phones) was enough to get the results she wanted. While they’d planned to have a simple but high-quality video at their fundraising gala that year, what they got was unusable. He filmed without a tripod (nausea all around!). He didn’t light his subjects (it would’ve taken a highly-skilled and expensive colorist to brighten the shot). And the composition of the shots was comparable to your Aunt Doris’s Facebook posts.

So they paid less than they would have if they’d hired a professional crew, but they couldn’t use anything they got. That “cheap” hire turned out to be quite expensive, after all.

This can happen in any marketing arena, but as the pandemic made safe on-set video production harder, videos were one of the first places to suffer. And while people were forgiving of lackluster production early on, we’re all suffering Zoom fatigue now, and polished production is as important as ever.

A Happy Ending

The next year, Judy made the case and set aside the funds to hire professionals. They’d missed a whole year of opportunity without a video that told the story, and this time, they wanted to do it right. If that’s where you’re at, know this: some in-person productions are resuming, and many crews are now offering remote crewing options.

It was an expensive lesson: We can’t afford not to hire the professionals.

Bottom Line

A reputable crew will have examples for you to look at. Check out their website or ask for samples that are most relevant to the project you want to do or the story you want to tell. Make sure both parties know the plan for the exact deliverables, timeline, and budget. Put it all in a contract (it protects both parties!).

Never hire based on price alone or take a chance without seeing the crew’s work. It’s just too risky to gamble on.

Our team of professionals personally vets every crew before they make it on our database. That kind of peace of mind is priceless.

2016 presidential election - PayReel

The economy has election anxiety, too

The economy has election anxiety, too 4500 3000 PayReel

It’s finally election day. Whether you spend tonight celebrating with a Mazel Tov cocktail (yes, it’s a thing) or working on your emigration papers, here’s a look at how the election may affect everything from the world’s economy to your own small business.

Economic uncertainty

Election season uncertainty knows no limits—it affects individuals as well as business owners.

In fact, one uncertainty index shows that business owners are at an all-time high of confusion on what the future holds for tax rates, government policy, and the economy in general.  This means that while they’re stalling for time, our economy is stalling, too.

The good news is that while short-term volatility tends to increase immediately after election day, the uncertainty tends to ease in the months following election day.


Trump promises to repeal the Affordable Care Act immediately. While she acknowledges some core issues with the plan, Clinton promises not only to keep the Affordable Care Act but to fix those problems and expand the program, too.

The Affordable Care Act presents unique challenges for small businesses, especially those who provide insurance for temporary employees. For now, it’s still the law of the land, so we have an implementation guide for you, our 2 cents on the election’s potential effect on the law, and this Washington Post article for you to research for yourself how each candidate might handle your healthcare.

Whatever happens, let’s take a lesson from our friends across the pond: Keep calm, carry on, and make your voice heard at the ballot box.

Producing multimedia content or executing live events is chaotic. At PayReel we make sure our clients have the right freelancers right when you need them; and that everyone gets paid properly. Leave the details up to us so you can focus on your production. Relax. We got it.

sustainable developement - PayReel

Successful Businesses are Built on Trust

Successful Businesses are Built on Trust 500 500 PayReel

After nearly three decades, my business and I have matured. In a nutshell, this means I get to shut up more. This luxury is a direct result of being surrounded by advisors and team members with varied experience and whose strengths function well together.

Trust powers a sustainable business. Here’s how it helped me build and growPayReel.

You Can’t Do It All

It’s tempting for leaders to be involved at every level, but you can’t do—or be good at—everything. That’s what the team is for. A growing business allows you to hire more people and hiring more people allows the business to grow. This cycle is a sure sign of a healthy organization. Once I built a team that I could trust implicitly, the best thing I did for the company, the team, and I was to get out of the way when it comes to day-to-day tasks.

Surround Yourself with Good People

Without implicit trust, I get too involved. Usually, we just need to make adjustments or offer personal development because individuals are busy or stretched too far. When team members are good for the company but bad for the position, we can rewrite their roles and move forward. We know we got it right once things start humming again and I can step away. When it doesn’t work out and someone has to move on, we see it as a learning opportunity.

Attitude Trumps Skill

When it comes to team dynamics, attitude trumps everything. I’d rather have someone inexperienced with a positive outlook than one with all the training but a sour demeanor. You can develop skills. In a growing company, a bad attitude is like poison—deadly and difficult to remove. Once it’s in the system, things go downhill fast.

You know you’ve built the right team when you’re happy to delegate. Things work better when everyone has a good time, works hard, and respects each other.

Happy Team building!

Feeling the trust? Then trust us and check out our other entrepreneurship articles about change and persistence.

About PayReel:

PayReel’s clients, who are some of the biggest companies in the world, are constantly immersed in the chaos of producing multimedia content or executing live events. PayReel makes sure they have the right contractors at the right time in the right place, and that everyone gets paid properly. And, most importantly, they handle every last detail perfectly while making sure their clients think nothing of it, so they can get back to doing what they do best.

Three Reasons You Need to Get Comfortable With Change - PayReel

Three Reasons You Need to Get Comfortable With Change

Three Reasons You Need to Get Comfortable With Change 750 500 PayReel

As an entrepreneur, you must either get comfortable with change or find a new career path.

Just as the once cutting-edge typewriter is now obsolete, every shiny piece of equipment in your office will soon be replaced by something sleeker, faster, and seemingly impossible to live without. Keeping up with evolving technology is just the beginning. Customer demands are ever-shifting and the onslaught of new information is nonstop.

You have to reinvent your business and yourself to stay ahead of the game. You have to change it. Despite your best efforts, there will be times you will barely be able to lay the tracks as you see the train coming. That’s all part of the journey. Even if you thrive in that sort of activity and buzz, there will be times it will seem too hard, too much, or too fast.

How you handle chaos can be a game-changer and is critical to maintaining credibility.

Embracing Change Creates Opportunity

Simply embracing the ride makes for a much more enjoyable trip on this entrepreneurial rollercoaster. Whether you resist it, grudgingly accept it as a fact of business, or embrace it wholeheartedly; change is a-comin’. Giving in to anxiety makes the uncertainty miserable. Seeing change as an opportunity to grow makes the same circumstances fun and exciting.

A Healthy Culture Starts with You

When companies cultivate an atmosphere of exploration, discovery, and innovation, employees feel free to make mistakes and “fail forward.” I can’t think of any industry that has the luxury of not needing to innovate.

You’re the Example

You alone are the leader of your company—not just in title, but in deed and thought, too. If you think it’s too hard to evolve with the times, how can you expect your team to do so? How can you build a culture that embraces change if you let yourself be overwhelmed by it? Just as kids look to their parents for cues on how to react to situations, employees look to company leadership to model behaviors, attitudes, and acceptable beliefs.

Welcome to entrepreneurship! If you’re not already comfortable with change, make yourself so. Your success depends on it.

Feeling cozy with change? Embrace our other entrepreneurship articles on trust and persistence.

About PayReel:

PayReel’s clients, who are some of the biggest companies in the world, are constantly immersed in the chaos of producing multimedia content or executing live events. PayReel makes sure they have the right contractors at the right time in the right place, and that everyone gets paid properly. And, most importantly, they handle every last detail perfectly while making sure their clients think nothing of it, so they can get back to doing what they do best.