Bummer! This is just a preview. You need to be signed in with a Pro account to view the entire video.
Creating Awesome Video on a Budget16:57 with Jeff McRitchie
Having trouble finding the ROI for your video marketing initiatives? Video doesn’t have to be hard or expensive anymore. Learn to create awesome video content that supports your SEO efforts without spending a fortune. Jeff shares how he's created 500+ videos in less than a year all for around $50 each.
Any moment my video is going to start. 0:00 [Video] [MyBinding.com] [When Image Matters] 0:02 [Mozcon 2012 Seattle] 0:05 [male speaker] It all began in the old Spaghetti Factory. 0:07 Over a plate of pasta, Jeff McRitchie, the Vice President of Marketing for MyBinding.com, 0:09 decided to start making videos for marketing. 0:12 Mark Colligan said, "Hey, I can do that. I think." 0:14 What if we could use the power of video to increase sales? 0:17 We started with a couple of hands, a top-selling binding machine, 0:20 a makeshift studio with lights, and a camera. 0:23 Better make it two cheap ones. 0:26 But wait, we sell binding machines, 0:28 laminators, paper trimmers and stuff like that. 0:30 We began to think through what would people watch? 0:33 We're not a very sexy company. 0:36 It's not all that slick to sell a binding machine. 0:38 What do they want? We brainstormed and came up with some lists. 0:40 Top sellers, frequently asked questions, 0:43 and from our customer service department, we came up with 0:46 product reviews and how tos. 0:48 In short, we wanted to be helpful, and when people are searching for answers 0:50 for a particular product, we want them to find us. 0:54 Armed with our questions, customer needs, and our expertise, 0:57 we raided the warehouse, grabbed a lot of product, 1:00 stacked them high, and began to shoot. 1:02 We got some new cameras, added a few lights, 1:04 and showed the world we knew what we were doing. 1:06 We used a home office to edit the videos and voice overs. 1:08 Tony made product graphics. 1:11 Chelsea did the transcriptions and uploading to video sites. 1:13 We're pretty sure this guy did something. 1:15 The marketing team weighed in with their ideas, 1:17 and with effective video distribution and great customer focus, 1:19 we've gone from 0 views to fastly approaching over 2½ million. 1:23 Not bad for a binding company. 1:27 [How We Got Started... YouTube December 2007] 1:29 [applause] 1:32 I'm really just here to tell my story 1:38 of where we've been, what we did, 1:41 and how we got to where we are today. 1:44 Rewind to December 2007. 1:46 That's when I first set up my YouTube channel. 1:49 I set it up because I felt like I needed a YouTube channel. 1:51 Everyone said, "You need a YouTube channel." 1:54 I registered for a YouTube channel, 1:56 grabbed as many videos from vendors and stuff that I could do 1:59 to throw them on there, and I left it for 4 years. 2:01 I didn't really touch it. I didn't do anything with it. 2:03 I let it sit there. 2:05 But in the meantime, we really believed in content marketing, 2:07 so we were writing all sorts of articles. 2:11 If you think about binding machines, 2:14 I am a binding machine evangelist. 2:16 I write about binding machines. I talk about binding machines. 2:18 I'm passionate about binding machines, 2:21 and I have 3,000 articles under my name 2:23 out there that are all about binding machines, laminators, paper shredders, 2:27 all sorts of stuff like that. 2:30 And so that brings us to last February 2:32 when Google Panda hit. 2:36 [Then...Feb. 2011 Google Panda Happens] [Our content marketing strategy has to change.] 2:38 And so I have 3,000 articles out there about binding machines and laminators. 2:40 I'm out there on all of these article sites, 2:42 and Google Panda hits, and it didn't affect me at all. 2:45 But all of the article sites where I'm publishing all of my articles 2:48 got destroyed. 2:51 They disappeared from the search engines. 2:53 All that traffic is gone, and I am looking and saying, 2:55 "How am I going to replace that?" 2:58 And from a content side, I'm like, "Well, obviously, 3:00 writing articles isn't the way to go anymore." 3:04 "I'm already doing lots of blogging." 3:06 "Let's take a look and see if I can create some video." 3:08 That's where our video marketing program started. 3:11 How can we create video? 3:13 How can we get to where we need to be? 3:15 But the challenge was we need video and lots of it, 3:17 because the reality of a binding machine video 3:23 is it doesn't appeal to that many people. 3:26 Any one video that we create has a very small audience. 3:29 We need a lot of videos to get the type of traffic 3:31 and attention that we need. 3:34 One video doesn't do it. Ten videos don't do it. 3:36 A hundred videos don't even do it. 3:38 We need hundreds or thousands of videos 3:40 in order to get the message out there about who we are, 3:42 and we need to be able to do that with a positive ROI 3:45 that I can prove so that I can dedicate the resources 3:48 to this project, and that's where this came from. 3:52 [Our Goal... Create more than 1,000 videos before the end of 2011 with an overall positive ROI] 3:55 When it came down to "How can we do this?" 3:57 I said, "My goal for 2011 is to create more than 1,000 videos 3:59 before the end of the year with an overall positive ROI." 4:03 That seemed like a really tall tale 4:07 when I first started out, but there were really 3 ways 4:10 that I figured we could do that. 4:13 First was to leverage the existing content that we already had. 4:15 Second was to create animated product videos, 4:20 because they were cheaper, and third 4:23 was to create demo and how to videos, and let me take you through 4:26 each of these 3 things, because really only one of them worked very well. 4:29 But sometimes you learn from your mistakes, 4:33 and I want you to learn from my mistakes. 4:36 Our first idea was to leverage existing content. 4:38 I went out and I contacted all my vendors, 4:42 and I figured out all of the videos that they had made 4:44 in their spaces, and I gathered them together. 4:47 This is a great idea for you, by the way, if you have a client 4:49 who wants to get on YouTube and needs to do it cheaply. 4:53 I gathered 600 videos together 4:55 from all of the different vendors in my space, 4:59 took them, had a custom intro and outro created for us 5:01 so that we could brand them all, threw that on the beginning and the end, 5:05 re-rendered them all and uploaded them to our YouTube channel. 5:08 Our cost per video was less than $5 5:11 to create those 600 videos. 5:14 You're talking a few thousand dollars. 5:18 We were able to get a massive 600 videos 5:20 on YouTube, but really, when you step back and you look at 5:23 the outcome, I only consider it a moderate success 5:26 and the reason why is—I mean, the ROI is a slam dunk, 5:29 because you get all sorts of traffic from them. 5:32 They're great. They put your message out there. 5:34 You're building a YouTube channel and your brand. 5:36 But ultimately I didn't control the message of those videos, 5:38 so the content of those was controlled by the brands that created them, 5:42 and they didn't drive traffic back to me. 5:46 They weren't all about me, and they didn't fit my voice or my message, 5:49 and so when it really came down to it, 5:53 it was a good way to start, but it wasn't really the answer 5:55 to the problem that I needed, which was to create awesome content 5:58 for my customers so that they want to buy from me 6:00 and not from my competitors. 6:03 The second idea that we had was let's create animated product videos, 6:05 and you've been to e-commerce sites, you've probably seen a ton of these 6:09 where they have really nice cropped images 6:11 that fly in from different places and bullet points. 6:14 This is an example of one for a Swingline commercial 2-hole punch. 6:18 We decided that we wanted to create those. 6:22 I created a team to do that overseas, 6:24 managed that team, got the process down. 6:27 Our total cost to create one of these videos was just under $10. 6:30 It seemed like a great idea 6:34 until our customers told us that our videos suck. 6:37 I mean, this is an instance where 6:40 you try something out, and you have to listen to your customers, 6:44 and what our customers said is, "You didn't even tell me how it works." 6:47 I mean, yeah, we told them all about that, but they could have read that 6:50 on the details page. 6:53 What they wanted to see was someone punching paper with this thing. 6:55 Does it work? 6:59 How do you set it up? And we weren't answering those questions for them. 7:01 And so about halfway through the year 7:04 we actually discontinued the project, 7:07 stopped making these videos, and we're glad we did, 7:10 because you've got to listen to your customers. 7:14 If they don't like them, it's not worth creating the content. 7:16 But really where we landed was to create product demos 7:19 and how to videos, and that's what I'm going to talk about. 7:23 We managed to get our costs to about $50 per video in creating these videos. 7:27 We create them in-house, and we have a team that's dedicated to do that. 7:32 And really what it's all about is us making 7:36 great content that answers questions, 7:39 shows people how stuff is used, and it's been a huge success for us. 7:41 Our customers love it, and let me tell you why it's a success. 7:44 Some of you are saying, "What can you really get done for $50?" 7:50 Let me tell you, you can get a lot done for $50 if you're creative, 7:53 and for us that means that we get someone to learn the product, 7:56 shoot the video, edit it, do a voice over, and render it. 8:00 That's what's included for $50, 8:03 and that's our goal. 8:05 We make 10 of them a week. 8:08 In a year's span we make roughly 500 videos, 8:10 and we're continuing to do that all the time, 8:14 and that's what we do. 8:18 You're saying, "Well, then how do you do that?" 8:22 Well, ultimately we do it a couple different ways. 8:24 We don't put faces in our videos. 8:27 It makes them a lot harder to edit them together when you have faces 8:29 and you have to deal with live audio issues. 8:31 We edit the audio afterwards and add a voice over. 8:33 We don't do scripts. 8:36 We do it live. 8:38 The person is talking as he's recording the video, and then he records 8:40 the voice over afterwards. 8:42 It really saves on the time. 8:44 We brainstorm lists. 8:46 We used our analytics data 8:48 to find all the how to questions that our customers were asking, 8:50 and we used that to come up with the ideas, 8:53 and we group our similar videos together 8:55 so that we can do blocks of shooting. 8:58 We'll shoot for 6 or 8 hours, 9:00 and then we'll have 20 videos' worth to edit. 9:02 But ultimately, it comes down to finding an awesome video guy. 9:06 That's my video guy. You can't have him. 9:08 A few things that we learned in this whole process. 9:11 We learned that video creation 9:14 is harder than it seems but not that hard. 9:19 That everything needs to be controlled by ROI 9:23 but that ROI for video is hard to measure, 9:26 and I can answer that in one second, 9:29 and we also learned to listen to our customers 9:32 when it comes to the content that we create. 9:35 What were the results? 9:37 We have about 2,000 videos on YouTube now. 9:40 We're approaching 2½ million views. 9:44 Each month, just referral traffic from YouTube provides enough sales 9:47 to pay for our video program. 9:51 We have seen—on products 9:53 that have videos on our site, we have double the conversion rate 9:58 that we have with products without videos on our site. 10:01 And if someone watches that video, it's like 5x. 10:04 Lots of people don't watch the video. 10:07 If they actually do watch the video, they're 5 times more likely 10:09 to buy from us on that product, 10:12 and it's been a great thing. 10:15 We're continuing to make videos, 10 a time. 10:18 We now have people in our industry who are coming and asking us to make videos, 10:20 providing us with free product, 10:24 bringing product in and flying in experts 10:26 to help us make our videos, 10:29 because we've become an authority in our space, 10:31 and we do it for about $50 each. 10:33 [applause] 10:37 [Q&A] [Jeff McRitchie] [VP of Marketing MyBinding.com] 10:41 [www.MyBinding.com] [Twitter: mybinding] 10:43 [female speaker] This is one of those I want to show my clients, 10:46 because you know when you have clients that say, "We can't do this," 10:49 and then you come up here and say, "Look what we can do for $50." 10:51 I mean, that's awesome. 10:55 We have one question here, one question there. 10:58 We've got a lot of questions. 11:00 Where to start? 11:05 [male speaker] I notice that you're hosting it all on YouTube, 11:18 and I'm wondering if you have set it up in a way 11:22 that the landing page from the search result is actually on your website 11:25 or they're visiting YouTube and then getting referred later. 11:30 We don't really host everything on YouTube, 11:33 and we're going back and forth. 11:36 I'm thinking about doing a Umoz post about it, 11:38 but things have been changing in the world of YouTube results, 11:41 and so we host the video on our YouTube, 11:44 and we link and embed that video on our blog from YouTube, 11:49 and then we use a third-party hosting platform 11:53 and S3 to put it onto our website currently. 11:56 That was because up until 6 or 8 months ago 11:59 you couldn't win the universal search results 12:04 if you had a YouTube video on your site, 12:08 or it was virtually impossible. 12:10 YouTube would always win, and it wouldn't list you. 12:12 That changed. 12:14 Now they will index YouTube videos 12:16 and include them in the video index 12:19 if they're embedded on your site, and you can win universal search with those 12:22 and the thumbnail, 12:25 and so we're actually thinking about switching back to YouTube. 12:28 Ultimately, we believe that we want them to see it wherever they see it, 12:31 so no, I want them embedded on my site, 12:36 but I also want it on YouTube for the people that are searching just on YouTube. 12:40 I want it on my blog. 12:43 We actually also submit to Metacafe, Vimeo, 12:45 and a whole bunch of other sites as well 12:47 where we maintain libraries. 12:49 [male speaker] So you're saying if they click the thumbnail on the search result, 12:51 even if it's a YouTube-hosted video, it goes to your site now? 12:57 It really depends on how well your YouTube channel is optimized 13:01 and how well your website is optimized, because if your page rank 13:04 of the page on your site 13:08 or if your page is more relevant 13:10 than the YouTube page is then it will give you the thumbnail, 13:13 and it will go to your site. 13:17 Again, it's really about winning that thumbnail. 13:19 It's something that's a little bit of a different subject 13:23 more on the video distribution side, but it is possible 13:26 to win the thumbnail and get it 13:30 either with a video site map or actually without it if you host on YouTube now. 13:32 Cool, thank you. 13:37 Hi, I'm Dan Johnson from the Everett Clinic. 13:39 I'm a web manager, so I come from the creating content internally side. 13:41 Can you give me a shopping list 13:48 to create this studio? 13:50 Because half the battle in my organization will be about budget 13:52 for the equipment to get started. 13:55 Is there a website that you could show us? 13:57 I can't show you a website right now, but I can give you a quick shopping list 14:00 of what it took for us. 14:04 We have an 8-foot table and a really wide piece of paper 14:06 and a stand that holds the paper up. 14:10 We got the stand off of eBay. 14:13 We bought the wide roll of paper. 14:15 It's like white paper from one of the photo supply companies, 14:17 about $50. 14:20 We bought our lights from Amazon. 14:22 There are a bunch of really good kits there. 14:24 We spent $300-$400 on lights. 14:26 It was really not that expensive. 14:28 We started with Kodak Zi8 cameras. 14:30 They run about $90 each, and we had 2 of them. 14:34 They record in 1080p, and we've upgraded to 14:38 some mid-range Canon cameras for about $400. 14:41 Ultimately, you can do it for less than $1,000. 14:46 I think our first setup cost us less than $500. 14:48 It's really just taking the dive in 14:52 and setting it up, and then you just need a room to put it in 14:55 or a place where you can control the lights. 14:58 You don't want the fluorescence to overpower your video lights. 15:00 You want to be able to turn the lights off and record that way. 15:05 Yeah. 15:10 I was wondering, I noticed in the video you actually showed us 15:14 there is a little bit of a comedy twist there. 15:17 I wondered if you've stayed with fairly ordinary— 15:21 or I shouldn't say ordinary but staying with your regular product stuff 15:27 or whether you've experimented with any comedy 15:30 or crazy things you can do with binding machines 15:33 and that sort of thing, and if so, what kind of results? 15:36 First of all, there is not that much crazy stuff you can do with a binding machine. 15:38 Just to be honest. 15:41 But the way that I've set it up is I give my video guy 15:43 10% of his time to try to do wacky things, 15:47 and we've done some things that have been complete failures, 15:50 like, for instance, how not to oil a paper shredder. 15:53 One of those things where the customer says, "This is really dumb." 15:56 It's showing him pouring a bottle of oil down the paper shredder. 16:00 Bad idea. 16:04 But we've also done a couple that have been okay, 16:06 like how to create patriotic confetti using your paper shredder. 16:09 We're working on a video right now on how to create your cat litter 16:13 using your paper shredder. 16:16 I mean, we do a few things like that. 16:18 We try to mix in some humor, 16:20 even if it is a little bit of dry humor. 16:22 But mostly what our customers want is to see how the thing works 16:24 or to answer their how to question. 16:28 We try not to take ourselves that seriously, 16:30 and yet there is not that much fun about binding machines and laminators. 16:32 And yet we're still chasing after the viral video that we've never found, 16:37 and yet that's kind of the reality. 16:42 I think we're out of time for questions. 16:45 But I'm glad to answer anything that you have afterwards. 16:48 [applause] 16:52 Very nice. Thank you. 16:54
You need to sign up for Treehouse in order to download course files.Sign up