Happy Freakin’ Monday Ep 23 – Stay Consistent, Stay Top of Mind

Sometimes consistency can be hard. If I were to do these videos whenever I felt like it, you wouldn't hear from me that often... certainly not today after just returning from an exhausting 2 days of travel with my family.

Doing this video today has not been an easy task. Sometimes however, you need to just suck it up for the sake of Brand Consistency. I have committed to putting out a new video each week (that I'm not on vacation) and here's why that commitment is so important.

There are really 2 parts to branding consistency. Those are Recognition and Repetition. That's because it's important to be consistent visually, meaning when people see your ad they immediately know who it's for. If you need help with this, I have done an episode on just this called 3 Ways To Lock Down Your Brand Like A Bank

And Repetition is important to staying top of mind. It is especially important when it comes to content creation. If you have made a commitment to produce content on a regular basis like i have, you better stick to it or your audience will not know what to expect and therefore lose interest much faster. 

The important thing to remember is that being consistent does not mean that you cannot change. In fact the opposite, as brand consistency should be a pivot point for change.  That's because it's connected to your core mission and values, not just the products that you offer. 

In my video I use the example of Blockbuster and how if they had a mission to provide affordable and accessible entertainment, it should have guided them in multiple directions, not down the drain. There could have been many alternatives and the Netflix model is just one. 

Starbucks is another example where consistency is key. Think about the fact that you can go to a starbucks anywhere and get the same drink and the same experience from coast to coast. With that as their focus they have the felxibility to make changes to their menu and their products if the market demands, as long as they change across the board. 

So as I often say, be fresh, be bold, be consistent, and be seen. See you next week!

 

See you next week!

Happy Freakin’ Monday Ep 21 – Why Customer Testimonial Videos Are Effective

Today has not been my friend. It's one of those days where nothing seems to be going right and I'm racing against the clock and losing badly. So as i try to get this video and blog out first thing in the morning, I realize that sometimes that is not going to happen and I need to just live with it.

Anyway, one of the reasons I was rushing today was the fact that I was shooting a customer testimonial for one of my clients. Because of that, I thought it would be appropriate to talk about why testimonial videos are so effective.

You may have seen my recent episode about selling experiences which got a really great response. The point of the video was that people can most likely find what you’re selling from multiple sources but they buy from you and come back because of a positive experience. That’s why authentic customer testimonials are really effective because they are telling that story.

When we share those positive customer experiences we are establishing credibility and laying a foundation to build trust. That’s because this customer giving a testimonial had such a great experience that they were willing to go on camera and share it. That is so much more compelling and believable than you telling me you offer the best service.

Don't believe me? Check out this testimonial we shot for the same client last fall:

When shooting a testimonial, the focus should be on how the client felt at all stages of the process. That’s what your potential customers will connect with because really, we all want to be that success story, to know we put our trust in your company and had a positive experience from start to finish.

So ask yourself who are your clients with the best stories, the ones that make you look like a superhero who went above and beyond the call of duty. That’s who you want telling your story.

See you next week!

Happy Freakin’ Monday Ep 20 – Avoid Wasting Advertising Dollars

Today I want to talk about how easy it can be to throw money at advertising and hope for the best. Well hope no more, here are 3 simple things that you can do to avoid wasting your advertising dollar.

 

I know a lot of businesses that still invest in print and in certain markets and certain publications, that is still effective. This is a public service announcement/rant that I want to share with you about a call I received a while ago from someone selling print advertising but it illustrates a lot of vulnerability that I think we all have when it comes to any form of advertising.

I live in a relatively small town, cottage country sort of area and I know pretty much all of the print publications that are around. One day someone calls me to tell me about this amazing opportunity to advertise in a magazine that goes out to all of the country clubs in the area. He’s telling me that it is the best way to get in front of wealthy clientele (which is not really my target) but he went on and on about other businesses that were eager to advertise with him. He also insisted that I commit today.

I asked him to send me more information. I wanted to see more demographics, distribution numbers etc. It was kind of a nice way of saying I’m not interested but if it really is a good opportunity I may bring it to the attention of some of my clients.

So red flag number 1, I had never heard of this magazine. To me it sounds like a pretty good scam to assume that I don’t frequent country clubs and therefore I would just forgive the fact that I’ve never seen it before. But red flag #2 was the urgency. I managed to get off the call with “I’ll think about it” and he called me the very next day. At this point I told him flat out, no, I’m not interested. That’s when I discovered how full of it this guy actually was. He pretended to act surprised, almost hurt claiming “wow, no one has ever said no before, I’m seriously surprised”. Really? You’re cold calling and you’ve never heard no before? Shut the front door...

My point is that there are lots of great and legitimate advertising opportunities out there. However, this call pointed out how easy it can be to waste your money because we all want it to be easy. We want to pay money so that we can get more business and that’s it. I wouldn’t doubt that this salesperson has made sales because that’s exactly what he was selling and he was doing a pretty good job right up until he turned into Dwight Schrute.

So here are 3 simple things that you can do to ensure that your advertising dollars are not wasted:

  1. Always ask for demographics - The onus is on the advertiser to show and prove that their audience is right for you. If they can’t or don’t provide enough information then it might not be worth it.

  2. Track your success - Digital advertising can be easier than traditional media but you want to actually review those results. Back in my direct response advertising days we had complex tracking involving unique phone numbers for each channel and publication and we would review our responses weekly and cut anything that was not working and invest more into what was working. Now I don’t expect you to be as thorough as that but you can easily create different email addresses, or simply ask new clients how they heard of you. It’s not perfect but it can give you some sense of what is performing and what is not.

  3. It might be your ad - It’s not always the channel that isn’t performing. Consider that your ad may need to change. It may be that it doesn’t stand out, the message isn’t right, or the call to action gets lost. There are a lot of reasons why an ad doesn’t work so switch it up.People don’t like seeing the same thing over and over again anyway so keep it fresh.

I know that might not make things as easy as you would prefer. I just hate to see people throwing their money away. If you can just take a little bit of extra time to plan things out, get informed and try new things, your advertising will do better and so will your business.

See you next week!

The Clever Office: Client Testimonial Video

The Clever Office is another client who has been with us from the start. As Collingwood’s first co-working entrepreneurs, Rhea and Stefanie inspired me with their attitude and vision and I was excited to work with them. From the very start, they were determined to create a place for other entrepreneurs and small businesses to thrive, and that’s exactly what they did.

RheaStefanie

We worked together shortly after they opened their doors to produce a video that not only gave them brand recognition but also had an educational component to answer the question “what is co-working?”. It started with a brief shoot at the grand opening to capture as many people in their space as possible. Following the ribbon cutting ceremony, we set up a full day shoot of interviews because client testimonials were a key direction for their marketing video. Real business owners talking about how co-working has helped them and can help others. Additionally we got lots of shots of the beautifully designed offices, and some of the services they provide like printing, mail, and answering your phone to name a few.

Here’s what Rhea and Stefanie had to say about the process:

I would recommend bfresh.media to everyone. We love what Ben does, we love his attitude, we love his work ethic, the pricing is great, I mean, everything about him is professional. Recommend him any day of the week.

Since producing their main 5 min video, we also cut down a 90 second version that premiered at the Wasaga Film Festival, and business has been growing for them. Aside from the fact that The Clever Office is where bfresh.media now operates from, they also won the Customer Experience award at the Collingwood Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards just 1 year after they launched, and they are already expanding their offices at 1 First St.

The future looks very bright for Rhea and Stefanie, and i couldn’t be happier for them.

Learn more about The Clever Office:
Website: http://thecleveroffice.ca
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thecleveroffice/

Social Stream Global: Client Testimonial Video

We have a strong connection with our friends Leon and his partner Lucy from Social Stream Global. That’s because both of our companies basically emerged from the same campaign.

video production and commercial photography by bfresh media productions

Back in August of 2015, we met with Leon who was extremely excited about launching his new company, selling streaming boxes to residents in the Georgian Triangle Area. This was even before bfresh.media was a concept I had given much thought.

Having done only a handful of independent productions prior to this, we both took a chance and got to work right away.

We shot over two days and produced a 90 second video, featuring the company owners, customer testimonials, as well as a family using the product. Additionally, we fit in a photo shoot of Leon and Lucy that they used for various marketing material.

See what Leon had to say about working with bfresh.media:

“We would definitely recommend bfresh.media because the video really gave our company that credibility, and people felt comfortable actually contacting us, even though we didn’t do any advertising or anything. Initially that was a big push for our company and then the referrals just kept coming in.”

As you can see, our clients were extremely happy with the end result that helped launch their company and give a lot of credibility and brand awareness to their new startup.

Since then, Social Stream Global has expanded far beyond a “local business”, shipping across Canada and offering other products and services such as home phones, and internet service. We are very proud as well that one of our latest product photography jobs ended up on their branded smart car. So we often get to see it, all over town.

bfresh.media productions, professional photography, commercial photographer, product and client photo

We cannot be happier for their success and look forward to a long relationship as both of our companies continue to grow.

Learn more about Social Stream Global:
website: http://socialstreamglobal.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SocialStreamGlobal/

3 Reasons Your Business Needs Video Testimonials

Being a video production company with roots in direct response television, we understand the value of good video testimonials. This is a powerful marketing tool and there are so many reasons why you see all manner of "real people" on late night infomercials or early Sunday paid programming, telling you how great the product or how important the charity. It's because they work... and if you haven't noticed, the more emotional the story, the better.

So here are my top 3 reasons why video testimonials work and why your business needs to use them:

Ben's Top 3

1. Establish Credibility

Credibility is essentially a perception, on which we can build trust. Think of it as your brand advertising. It is merely a symbol of your company and your values. Ideally you want potential new customers to see your brand as a name they can build a relationship with, for reasons they may not even know. How do you create that perception? With customer testimonials of course! If I see that someone else put their trust in your company and they had a great experience, then it's going to add a lot of credibility to your brand in my eyes, and that's going to have a lasting effect.

2. Build Trust

It is possible to appear credible but not be trustworthy like someone who talks a big talk but doesn't follow through. That's the beauty of customer testimonials. When done right, they can establish credibility and build trust all in one short video. The best scenario is a customer who maybe had slight hesitations but took a chance and their expectations were exceeded. Because at the end of the day, we all want to be that success story, to know we put our trust in the best brand, product, or sales person and they did not disappoint.

3. Make An Emotional Connection

People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it. This is the main idea from one of my favourite Ted Talks from Simon Sinek titled "Start With Why". In his great talk, that you can watch here, Sinek points out that we as consumers can understand product features, benefits, facts and figures but what drives behaviour is pure emotion. When advertising can connect emotionally, we are speaking directly to the part of the brain responsible for making the decision to buy. That's why when it comes to those infomercials, it's always the most heart wrenching story that makes the cut. Every single time.

The best thing is that testimonial videos don't need to be long either. In fact, like most video advertising, the shorter the better. So things like quick little sound bytes, catch phrases, or even outtakes can be incredibly powerful in hitting those 3 points. Nor do they have to be overly expensive. The key is to be genuine and a simple production can be just as effective as a large budget production.

So the only question is, who are those customers that have had such great experiences that you simply need to share?