Videoographer with camera

Your Videos Could Be Sending the Wrong Message

Originally published on Evidence Based Advisor Marketing

Great credit to those of you who are producing and sharing videos on your websites and social media.  There’s ample evidence videos are a powerful marketing tool. One survey (referenced here) found 80 percent of consumers said a video explaining a product or service is “important” when learning about the company.

Lower costs

The cost of creating a professional video has dropped considerably in recent years.  In part, this is due to sharply reduced cost of equipment.  The latest iPhones can shoot “stunning” 4K footage.

I considered that option during a recent trip to Australia, Hawaii and various cities in North America, which was part of a speaking tour.  I wanted to create a montage for the home page of my website. Ultimately, I opted to use professionals in each location, because I wanted the production value to be high and was concerned about the quality of audio and lighting.

I was surprised how inexpensively I could accomplish my goals.  In some locations, a two person crew was only $500 for half-day.  This cost didn’t include post-production.

Wrong message? 

In their recently published book, The Trust Mandate, authors Herman Brodie and Klaus Harnack provide some insightful tips for sending the right message in your videos.

They believe a video should convey warmth, as well as competence. They cite compelling evidence prospects and clients are more favorably influenced by warmth than competence, although both traits are obviously important.

Most advisors focus on conveying competence, which can have the unwanted effect of making you seem cold and impersonal.  You in front of a green screen, discussing a financial subject, fits into this category.

Instead, they recommend shooting at least part of the video outside your office environment, where you don’t control the setting.  An example would be walking on a busy street.

If you want to create warmth as a pedestrian, you should be seen doing the things your viewers experience every day:  Dodging other pedestrians, hesitating before entering a revolving door, running for cover if it starts to rain.  These activities give viewers the opportunity to see you “as human, as one of us.”

When your video location transitions to your office, be sure to show interactions with others, like smiling, greetings and handshakes.  If someone brings you a document, mouth “thank you.”  These gestures convey warmth and don’t detract from the perception of competence.

Camera angle

Avoid camera angles below your eye level.   These angles make it appear you’re looking down at the viewer. Remember, the goal is not to confer status on you, but to convey warmth.

Resource of the week

I highly recommend The Trust Mandate, by Herman Brodie and Klaus Harnack.  Unfortunately, it’s quite expensive ($71.70 on Amazon). But well worth it if it helps you snag just one more client. [Full disclosure:  The publisher sent me a free copy of the book to review].

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