E-commerce Video Production — How to Create Videos Yourself
Jesse and Rich talk with Rob Burns of Video Telepathy about
- Testimonial Videos
- Product Video
- Product Demonstration
- YouTube PreRoll
- Facebook and Instagram Video
- Remarketing Videos
Jesse: What’s going on, Richie?
Richard: What’s happening, Jesse? It’s that time again, podcast day.
Jesse: I love it. We’ve had a couple of podcasts. We had a podcast on YouTube where we had the chef on there. So we talked a lot about video, but we’ve said: Oh, yeah. Just pick up the phone and start taking videos. And that might be good advice for some people. But I think today’s the day to take it a little more next level. We’re going to give the real tips. Like, here’s exactly what you do when you want to make some videos.
Richard: We brought the right guy in.
Jesse: Yeah. So we brought the right guy. We’ve known this guy for several years through different connections here in San Diego, like Internet marketing world. Let’s bring him on, Rob Burns. How are you, Rob?
Rob: Hey, great. How you are guys doing?
Jesse: We’re awesome, man. It’s good to see you. We got an
Rob: It’s fancy in here.
Jesse: Yeah. Only the best for you.
Rob: You don’t normally do this, right?
Jesse: No. Only for you. (laughing) So, Rob, we’ve known you for a while. We’ve known your paths around the Internet marketing world. Even back to a lunch that we used to have. Give us a little bit of your past and what brought you to today.
Rob: Yeah. Jeez. I’ll try to keep a long story short. So pre Internet days, we had a company called The Onion Publishing. And we did a lot of marketing for hotels and resorts and hospitality. We had like all the major hotels, we would do other kinds of media stuff, like sales materials and things like that. We go to hotels and do photoshoots and all that fun stuff. And when September 11th hit, pretty much every CFO from every hotel chain corporations said: Hey, this is an act of God. We have to cancel our contracts because of the ways of traveling for like a year. And we did if you maybe remember the airlines were shut down. So we literally were shut down, just dead in the water. And so within two weeks, we close our business. We had like a 5000 square foot printing plant. Probably 25 employees.
Jesse: You had a legit healthy business making money. And then two weeks later.
Rob: In one day, boom, it was done. In the interim, I was kicking around, like what’s the next thing I’m going to do? And way back in the day, I used to take every other semester off. And back then you could go to these little towns, villages, and people would adopt you. And I would always make it a point. Like hanging out with the mom and, helping out, and cooking or whatever kind of thing to pay my way. And so I started developing these hot sauce recipes. I started making my original style. And then I would come back, and I’d make them for friends. I was making like 50, 60 gallons every other month for people. When we shut down the business, a bunch of my friends was like: You should start hot sauce business. I was like: I don’t think that’s a great idea. I entered this contest called the International Scovie Awards, which sounds like silver cell awards or something, but it’s actually the biggest hot sauce contest in the world, and I wound up winning it. And I’m like, oh, make a run at it. Long story short, that’s really how I got into the digital marketing side because just as we were scaling down venue publishing, it was just about when people started getting on the Internet and doing things. And so I’m like, well, maybe I’ll try selling this hot sauce on the Internet and figure it out. And like back then, it was just like there are 50 different search engines and all this kind of stuff. And it actually got pretty good and wound up ranking number one and all these different search engines for the keyword hot sauce.
Jesse: That’ll sell some hot sauce.
Rob: Yeah. Long story short, I wound up selling the company, and it was my dipping my toe in, moving away from doing agency stuff into doing online digital stuff. And then it’s been my path ever since. And then we started company maybe eight years ago, Copier Reach and that was a video press release distribution service. We would actually have a newsroom with an anchorperson that would do press releases. And that’s how we move back into video. I’d done a long time ago —
Richard: That’s when all the pieces came back together. You saw people selling things online. You took a little bit of your experience and knowledge from selling the hot sauces. You had the previous publishing companies/agencies, bringing it all together. What would get big wins back then for people, was it PR, actually?
Rob: We had done something a little bit different too. Because PR is pretty much the same as it was one hundred and
Jesse: So you still believe in it?
Rob: Yeah, I still use it. The only reason I sold it was just because of the video. It was just taken off so much of
Jesse: That’s your
Rob: Yeah. It’s been for the last couple of years.
Jesse: Awesome. And obviously, that’s why we brought you on. This is an
Rob: Today thanks to technologies you can do so much more with less. There’s more product, whether it’s more processing power in your smartphone now than
Jesse: OK, let’s dive into the testimonial a little bit, because for somebody who hasn’t made videos before that feels like Boy, that would be a nice addition to the website. Or be a nice addition to their YouTube channel, etc. How do you go about it? Let’s take a look, Rich, a previous customer, maybe the gals with the makeup glasses. You take your product, and you walk around outside?
Rob: What are makeup glasses? That sounds cool.
Jesse: Yeah. They had these glasses for women of a certain age; they use that term. They need glasses to apply the makeup properly. But you can’t have glasses in the way. So they had these glasses with a little
Richard: Well, it’s got a few things, it definitely needs a demonstration, right?
Richard: You can’t tell when you’re just looking at a pair of glasses that you can move it all around like that. It’s kind of a twofold win. Going back to Jesse’s thing. You’re out there. You’re trying to get a testimonial. Is there a certain way to question people where you can get an organic reply, you have certain questions that you give them?
Rob: And that’s what’s great about testimonials. Things that you really can’t say about yourself or your business, somebody can say in a testimonial. If you do a video and you’re just bragging like the best of the best, everyone is like, yeah, whatever. But if you have a real person that’s purchased your product and it’s just an organic video, and you’re like, Man, I love these guys. This is the best, makeup glasses, I’ve never seen this concept; it is crazy. Imagine if you just said that about you. It’s like, Hey, I got makeup people, and we’re the best. And this is crazy. Check us out. People’s fear barrier would instantly go up, and their brains would seize up. I’m not buying anything from these people cause I don’t trust them. That kind of thing. So testimonies are brilliant for trust. And trust is probably the most important thing for an
Jesse: In a case like that. It’s great. I’ve been in
Rob: Well, a couple of things. If you’ve been in business for a little bit and you start to have a customer base, you can start looking at your customer base and seeing who is local. And then find out people that are within a certain parameter. Maybe you say: We’ll give you some more samples of products. We just want to get a little feedback from you. That’s one way. The other way is we do something called a market review video. And it’s a little higher production value. But for a starter company, it doesn’t really have to be. I would say it’s the only time that I would say that you could do higher production value for a testimonial style because you always wanted to be natural and organic. So this is more kind of a person on the street thing where you would just go out with a product. We had somebody that had some organic coffee. What we did is we actually went to the farmer’s market. We just hung out at the edge of the farmer’s market when people were walking out. We were like, Hey, you want to try this organic coffee? Almost everybody said, yeah. And then what we did is we asked them a series of questions that were based on the benefits or the pain points of that product because you also want to eliminate some of the pain points. Like what sets your your product away. So in that instance, they had a single source, coffee from Guatemala that was organic. And I guess coffee traditionally or organic coffee doesn’t taste as good as commercial coffee. Believe it or not. Coffee is very acidic. And so this particular coffee, the way they grew, it was super low acid. It wasn’t hard on your stomach, and it tasted really good. Comparatively speaking for organic coffee. And so what we did is when these people tried it, we would ask them these questions. What do you think? How does this feel in your stomach? How’s the acidity? And then they would answer back: It’s really different for the most coffees. They’re a little hard on my stomach. But this stuff is great. And so that’s the section we would use. And it sounds like a statement, they’re making a statement. And then how do you like this coffee compared to other organic coffee? That part, of course, is not in the clip. And then they would say: It’s sweet, most coffees are a little bland, but this stuff is great. And then we would just take all of those, and we would edit them together, make this whole collage. Basically, a pain point would have been high acid and coffee. So this solves that pain point and makes it completely different. It’s different than the most organic coffees. We would do about five or six questions like that, and then we put them together. That way it’s really a testimonial video which lowers the fear barrier. But it’s also a sales video because it’s going through all the things that you want people to know about your product so that they’ll make an informed decision.
Richard: Yeah, that’s great. It brings me back to Jesse’s point. When you ask people, you’re not only asking for the testimonial. Sometimes you’re asking them to do the work, too. So, in this case, you’re actually helping them because there are certain people that are going: Oh, well, there’s a camera. The people who don’t mind being on camera are going to come out naturally, and they’re not going to care as much. And to your point, then it’s the truth and nothing but the truth. But it’s not necessarily the whole truth. You’re not in court yet. (laughing) I don’t mean you’re being deceiving, but you’re just asking those questions in a way that they were spawned as a statement. When you take your questions out of it, it just seems super organic and natural. And again, they really did say that.
Rob: Yeah. That’s a hundred percent in integrity. It just sounds weird if there is this voice in the background that’s asking questions, that’s weird. It just makes a better video too. It’s a hundred percent in integrity. But the way we do it, it’s like statements, and you’ll see that all the time. I think we were talking earlier, even like TV commercials, I think car manufacturers will do that where they’ll just bring all these people that have never seen this car before and get their input. They’re asking questions, but all you see is them going: Oh, I really love the paint job or So much room.
Jesse: And obviously, they asked hundreds of people, and they picked the best one. It’s OK to do that.
Rob: I think most people know.
Jesse: Yeah, I think so too. And I think maybe the bit of knowledge there that I’m pulling from that is that you didn’t just say, how’s the coffee? You had some questions in mind because you had statements you wanted to elicit.
Rob: Yeah, exactly.
Jesse: Yeah. You knew that there was like, OK, this is low acidic. So you asked questions in a way that you’re hoping you’re getting an answer like that, but you’re not forcing them to say it. You’re not having them read off of a piece of paper.
Rob: The science/art behind it is to massage those answers so that it sounds very organic coming out. But it’s also talking about the things you want to talk about. And what’s great is like those are things that you can’t say about yourself, but other people can.
Jesse: Your time investment here is like, OK, you went to a farmer’s market for five hours. Obviously, you’ve planned ahead of time, and there’s editing. I’m not making light of the video production process. I know it’s hard. But realistically, if your quality level was like
Rob: You mean for somebody that’s just doing on their own?
Rob: Oh yeah. To shoot it and in the clips and just spice them together and there’s editing involved and time.
Jesse: I’m not trying to say that’s going to be TV commercial ready. I’m just saying that if you’re just getting started that’s the way.
Rob: I think it’ll be very effective, too. And so just the organic nature of that kind of video, I think is good. That’s the thing. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t have to be slick. Ours are, as we make them a little bit more like that. But we’re also doing for brands that are very concerned about their image and their reputation. That’s not to say; you’re the people that aren’t concerned about their image and reputation. But once you get kind of corporate level, then there’s always standards and committees and groups. This has to be this way. But, as far as the efficacy of the video, I think it’s shooting that cell video on your phones, probably just to cover it just as well.
Richard: So one plus it’s a bit of just take it. For some of the Ecwid users it’s a side hustle, for some it’s
Jesse: You don’t have to make the perfect video the first time. It’d be great to have this perfect testimonial. Every unique selling proposition is listed, but you have all this footage now, and you can turn that into some
Rob: Well, here’s actually a little secret tip for us. It is usually on most of our videos and especially those kinds of videos that we always transition. Probably, five to eight seconds, 15 seconds at the absolute longest. There’s no real scene that’s really longer than that. And I’m sure you have guys heard the whole goldfish analogy. I think it was the 1990s. They did a study of the average American attention span, and it was measured in minutes. And then sometime around 2000, which is just about when Internet really started kicking in, the average attention span went down to about 18 seconds. And then a couple of years, I think 2017, which is really where people really started, it was peak cell phone stuff. Microsoft did a huge study, and the average attention span went down to eight seconds. So the average American attention span is around eight seconds. To put that in perspective, they say a goldfish’s attention span is nine. We’re literally less. That’s why we will do that. We’ll slice everything in these little micro pieces of
Jesse: For switching, I know where you’re going with this. But for people, what do you mean switching? What does that mean? Are you putting some fancy graphics to cut to something else or is it just showing some other things?
Rob: Well, it all depends. Say, for a market review video. Maybe it’s, the person talking about that benefit and maybe that’s eight seconds. And also then it switches to maybe it’s just a slide, and it has text, that says, It’s of
Richard: I’m getting thirsty just listening.
Rob: Super low acidity and then boom, it goes. And one what it does is it reinforces what that person just talked about and that benefit points. And then also you transition into the next person they’re talking about. It tastes great for organic. And then, boom, maybe it’s the slides, taste great for organic, or you could just slide into the next person talking about the next thing. It doesn’t have to be very fancy at all. The trick is just to have little
Richard: There’s definitely something I’ve said about the testing. Even Hollywood doesn’t have it figured out. Not all those movies now.
Rob: Was it Netflix where you’re choosing your own outcome? Different scenes and things that are crazy like that.
Jesse: So you think you have all these great testimonials in this minute and a half video?
Rob: And then another tricky thing is depending on what video player using. Like you use Wistia, it’s a little pricey. But it has great analytics, and I think Vimeo does the same thing where you can see as people are watching, you can see where they dropped off, and you can see where there is most engagement. That’s another way where if you didn’t size up in a micro content and run all the stuff, you’re going to see all these people dropped off and in 92.5 seconds. So there must be either change a video or next time make it something a little bit different and figure out what’s going to keep them engaged. And then you just keep
Jesse: Yeah, makes sense.
Richard: I could see the drop off. Pardon, but I don’t want to geek out on it too much, but I’m a big video fan. But how could it measure engagement? Are you talking like comments in the video or something like that?
Rob: Well, as far as it’s engaged, actually watching the video.
Richard: Got it.
Rob: You being engaged in watching the video. Nobody made it to the end of the video. Where did most people stop watching the video?
Richard: Copy that. What about like rewind? If they are always rewinding in that one spot. Gotta say that more. They’ve been around that. They want to learn more about that field.
Rob: Yeah. Either that or it’s like a big error that you were unaware of. (laughing)
Jesse: That’s good. And so for people that like Vimeo, Wistia. That would be the players where maybe you want to have this in the top of your home screen or on the top of a category page. You would use those players. You’d also use YouTube, free YouTube.
Rob: YouTube’s got some pretty good analytics now.
Jesse: Yeah. It does have weight. You can tell where people are dropping off. We won’t get into all that. We won’t nerd out on that. But yeah, there’s plenty of stats on that too. The first point is you got to make these videos so you can geek out on the dynamics later.
Rob: If you use YouTube, it is going to be a video player platform as always, just wanna make sure you’re super legit. You don’t want to get a whole bunch of videos, and then they’re over the line and then they just get disappeared really quick, and it happens all the time. Nobody even knows why. Most of the time.
Richard: What do you feel about when people hear the word fun? All we talk about fun, all there are different ways to do it. What do you feel about posting the links inside of other platforms, or do you think they should just be uploading them need natively? They shoot something on their phone, and they’re like, I’m supposed to do this and make them do that. And then they just hear this. There’re so many steps to get them to go here. Get them. Do you think they should be uploading to YouTube and then putting that YouTube link in their Facebook or should they just take that video and go straight into Facebook with that video?
Rob: I personally think that each social platform speaks a different language and is usually a different format where Instagram usually wants to keep around 15 seconds. And if you’re on an Instagram ad, it’s like
Jesse: Yeah. It’s never easy. There’s never you can just make one video, and your problems are solved. Sit back and count your money.
Rob: A lot of people sell that. It’s that easy. But the truth is it’s not that easy. Marketing takes some work, and it takes some thought, and there is no magic bullet. There’s not a big red button you can hit.
Jesse: I wish there were. We keep bringing big red buttons to the podcast here but you still have to do the work if you’re looking for video. You gave it several different examples here, we did like a market research testimonial, and then we talked about different lengths and formats for these different platforms. For somebody that’s just getting started, where would you tell somebody to start? These are physical product merchants.
Rob: Depending on their product. And again. This is shooting with your cell phone kind of thing?
Jesse: Or most people have a decent DSLR camera too. You don’t have to use your phone.
Rob: Kind of editing and things like that. I would probably say, one of the most versatile that you can really use for a lot of different things is a video we call a product demonstration video. A product demonstration video really is just showing that product being used. And then we’ll have some music and then some dynamic texts. The text is really the benefit points just like we would do on a market review video or a testimonial video. It might be somebody making that cup of organic coffee because the purpose of a demonstration video is the person that’s watching the video is in their mind’s eye. It’s them using that product, and they imagine themselves using their product, riding that big wave on that foamy surf or boogie board or whatever. You can do that where it doesn’t have to be really fancy, or maybe it’s cooking stuff, so you can do those tasty styles
Jesse: I think you mentioned with Amazon too. That’s almost like a
Rob: How easy the product is to use or what are showing the result of real because people just kind of want that gratification. It’s showing how this product is gonna make their life easier or make them happier or look better or whatever kind of thing. We just did when it was a makeup remover thing and all it was just this girl who was a model, and she had magic markers all over her face stuff and then she just holds. She didn’t say a word. This weird thing, she just holds up like the candidates, special makeup remover stuff, first she did it with show the magic marker and then she takes the makeup herself, and she just does the whole thing, and it was a
Jesse: There’s no text on that either? Now you’re international. Not only for English speakers now. Any language. Awesome.
Richard: Have you found any of the platforms are better than others for the top of the funnel stuff or does that matter based on your product?
Rob: You mean as far as social platform?
Richard: Yeah. Because to your point, it’s not like someone’s searching for that video. But it basically calls its own audience out in the video. Have you noticed like those were great on Facebook because they’re putting around, looking for stuff?
Rob: To a certain extent it depends on the product. But Instagram for
Jesse: Short videos?
Rob: Super short. I mean you could do Instagram Stories, and those are longer, and I don’t think you can do promoted Instagram Stories yet like you can’t make an ad out of a story that’s longer, but you can go 59 seconds or less as far as it’s an Instagram ad.
Jesse: I think you can by the way. I’m pretty sure. Because there’s a lot of inventory in the stories section, you can pay for those.
Rob: I know when they launch your platform and the stories, and they’re like at the beginning you’re like, I couldn’t find a way to do that.
Jesse: Actually, now that I think back and yes, you can.
Richard: I mean these platforms where we haven’t just started in this, we see they give a lot of stuff out for free in the beginning and give all sorts of reach until they find out what works and then they’ll gladly take your money. (laughing)
Rob: Oh yeah. Exactly. It’s in their best interest to do that. I feel like I wouldn’t be doing my job as the Ecwid guy here without saying, if you’re on Instagram Stories, you can now tag those products with your Ecwid catalog on Instagram. So now as you’re watching this story that’s a product demonstration. There’s that little thing that anybody can click with their thumb to go buy from your store. There’s a little plug for Ecwid, for Shoppable posts on stories.
Rob: A good example is we did some stuffers. No teeth whitening. If you look at those Instagram profiles and they do it, they do a ton of stuff not with just us, but there are 40 million dollars a year company and most of their business came from Instagram. They would have a lot of influencers and sharing like Floyd Mayweather. It would show how he get his teeth whitening.
Jesse: Does he have all his teeth still? (laughing)
Rob: Yeah. I think he can afford to buy new ones. That’s a good one.
Jesse: Product demonstration, what do we do? You mentioned some good things; you’d want to give a couple of bullet points on what would people show in this, how do you use it? What does it do for you? You work with a lot of clients.
Rob: I would say what problems does it solve. If you can show how it solves a problem, if you can show how it makes someone’s life better or easier. If you can show how it saves them money may be or if it makes them look better, those are really primal lizard brain things that in the back heads people may not even realize that’s what they’re looking for. But that’s most of the things; you want to feel safe, you want to know, you want to be protected. You want to look good. You want to make money.
Jesse: We’ll make that little clip through our Instagram story right there.
Rob: Another another good platform for
Jesse: I’ve noticed our videos on Facebook for Ecwid they get to listen time or the watch time is super short relative to even Instagram or YouTube for sure compared to YouTube. Our idea of clients that is having success with videos specifically on Facebook.
Rob: Facebook, I would say, about a minute and a half for your video.
Jesse: So it’s sort of similar to YouTube then? Like it’s not necessarily a whole different. Instagram is like 15 seconds.
Rob: You could run a YouTube video on Facebook, and it would do pretty well. I would just make sure you caption it, and we caption even the YouTube videos too. Those two you could switch back and forth.
Jesse: With that same minute to minute?
Rob: A YouTube video do really well on Facebook. A Facebook video may not do really well on YouTube because a Facebook video you may not kind of put that engagement or that hook and the very first five or 10 seconds. Keep that in mind. And then one platform that a lot of people really don’t think about especially for
Jesse: Yeah. We’ve just had a couple of pods on Pinterest. Huge fan. They live on as well.
Rob: And it’s such low hanging fruit because a lot of people don’t really talk about it that much. They always talk about the Big Three, but it’s not really.
Richard: We’re super thankful. There have been some great tips if people are out there and they’re thinking: This is great, I’m going to give this a shot. But they might want to work with you or learn more about you. Where should someone go to check out more what Rob Burns and company is doing?
Rob: Just go to VideoTelepathy.com. You can actually set up a time to chat with us. We just answer questions. That’s our company culture is we just help people to death, and it’s up to you to decide whether you would apply the stuff. We never try to sell to you, but if you have questions and you need help, or you figured out what kind of strategy you want to do with your videos, then we’re glad to help.
Jesse: We can tell you you just like to help people and provide value. We want to make sure there’s got a chance to mention here your company. I know that’s not in your nature. So we’re going to try to help you sell yourself a little bit. Rich, any last questions or comments?
Richard: Not really. I just got hungry thinking of all these coffee all these product descriptions really. Gonna try to shoot a video for one of these restaurants around here real quick. (laughing)
Jesse: All right, Rob, thanks for being on the show. Really appreciate it.
Rob: Thank you guys for having me.
Jesse: Everybody else out there, go make it happen.
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