Josh Ochs is the founder of MediaLeaders Academy, a company that teaches others how to use social media. He uses video heavily for both sales and training, and also uses online social media extensively as a promotional tool. We asked Josh five questions:
1) You use online video like mad as a promotion and training tool. What do you consider the minimum equipment and software needed to produce professional-looking online video?
Online video is a great way for me to grab my customer’s attention quickly and “sell” them on my message. I like it, because NONE of my competitors use it and I get more people to “tune in” than if I had written a blog post.
Here’s my formula for success:
a) Keep it short. With so many distractions on the Web, I suggest you keep ALL of your videos less than 2 minutes. Try to keep your intros to a bare minimum and jump right into your content. Then end with a nice quick, “Thanks for watching. Please comment below to let me know what you thought (or visit us at our website for next steps).”
b) Audio is 60 percent of video. Whenever possible, I use a lavalier mic. You can find inexpensive wired versions online for under $30.
c) Lighting and setup is more important than HD camera quality. For that reason, I set up my shot in the best lighting possible (within reason) and I use the Kodak Zi8 camera. It’s under $400.
d) Add value to your viewers. Squeeze as much info as you can in your first 15 seconds so they stay for the whole video. This is usually the tipping-point for viewers.
2) Is it better to do video production in-house or, at least at first, is it better to farm it out? And how do you find someone competent?
When I worked as an editor at Disney Studios, everything was expensive. The best part about Web video these days is being able to test your shots with almost no cost.
Before hiring an outsourced pro video team, try these scrappy tips that might save you time and money:
a) Shoot a pilot video. Grab a friend/colleague that can start/stop an affordable camera + mic setup. Once you have reviewed and shot a few retakes….you can show it to your team.
b) Ask yourself: Do you like your on-camera message? If not, reshoot it for free and test again.
c) Then, ask yourself, would your viewers like the footage and setup? If you think your viewers would be happy, then you’re ready to share!
d) If your viewers are looking for a higher end solution, then use this video as a pilot and reach out to a professional team to get bids. They will get a better understanding of your needs and you will have saved time and money.
3) How about live, interactive video chat? Do you use it? How about an example of how it might benefit a mid-sized company most?
If I’m meeting with a small group of people, I love using Google Hangouts. If it’s more than 10