Customer Testimonial Video: Convert LEADS into CUSTOMERS

Customer testimonial videos utilize your existing customers to close new leads. But how can you ensure your testimonial video ACTUALLY converts?! Check out our A-Z breakdown of the STRATEGY behind successful customer testimonials.

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How Do You Create Content That Tackles Multiple Industries?

Complex organizations often require complex advertising and video content campaigns… but it’s our goal to simplify and streamline. Whether you’re promoting one product or 100 products, you want all aspects of your content to remain fluid and branded.

So how can you create a video series that tackles multiple industries or products, while remaining true to the sphere and mission of your brand?

1. Acknowledge the brand value proposition.

You likely already have a defined brand mission and statement. You may even already have a strategy on how to leverage that branding in your video content.

So you always want to start with the same question: “What would our brand say about this topic?” You want to consider first and foremost the value proposition of your overall company and what it means to your audience.

Recommended Read: Are You Creating Content With Your Mission In Mind?

Let’s consider a department store as an example. A department store sells multiple products and designers. But the overall department store itself has a brand that it wants to stick true to. Maybe the store has an environmental mission, so all of the clothes they stock are eco-friendly. Or maybe the store focuses on high-end luxury, so they wouldn’t stock bargain goods.

This then translates to content as well. The brand that determines how you develop your products and services should also be the value proposition you use to create every single one of your videos. The eco-friendly department store might use videos that promote their environmental mission, while the luxury store might create more dream-based content, for example.

Action: Create a one or two sentence value proposition that describes your brand and audience. This will direct every part of content in your video series.

2. Outline your style.

Once you have a feel of the value all of your videos need to provide, you can delve into the details about how to deliver that value. Consider the tone, style, and feel of your video series.

Every video might have different “topics of discussion,” but they should all feel like they’re coming from the same place. This includes everything from lighting and camera movement to graphics and accompanying music.

Action: Define a “style guide” for your content to maintain a sense of branding and unity. Learn how to create video brand guidelines here.

3. Segment based on pain points.

What pain points are you addressing in each area of your business? Each video should tackle a single point or topic that is relevant to that specific vertical.

Let’s consider the luxury department store. They want to solve the pain point that women want to buy designer purses that are also practical. That might be one video. A second video might address how men want watches that are stylish but also count their steps. A third video could discuss the handmade quality of the store’s clothing.

Each video addresses a singular pain point that the audience wants to learn more about. Together, though, it paints an overall picture of the brand. When created in the same “style,” you’ll create a series that’s unified by diverse.

Action: Brainstorm all of your audience’s pain points. Connect these varied points together under an umbrella theme or topic.

4. See the forest.

Ultimately, it comes down to pre-planning. You want to see the connected end-result before you start putting out videos and content. You want to figure out how each piece of the puzzle fits together to create the entire picture.

Your video series is like a book: each video is a chapter that comes together to tell the story of your brand.

True Film Production has proven that storytelling videos are the most effective way for brands to connect with their audience (both customers and employees). If you create a video series that tells a story, you’re guaranteed to see success.

Want to learn about how we create video series that tell a story? Contact us here to learn more!

Action: Connect each vertical under the “story” of your brand by working with the visual storytellers at True Film Production.

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True Film Production is looking for Digital Video Producer (Preditor). We’re looking for a creative and strategic storyteller with an extreme attention to detail and a passion for creating digital content with powerful visuals. Who has a great eye and can work in a collaborative environment but can also execute a project from soup to nuts on their own. We need a rockstar who loves creating work that is engaging, authentic to a brand’s unique voice and loved by its audiences across all digital platforms. 


A creative video production agency whose passion is defining stories, connecting people, and creating impact. We pride ourselves on truly understanding our client’s needs, developing content strategies that align with their goals and creating visions that exceed expectations.


As passionate storytellers, our core values aren’t just words we hang on a wall. They are the foundation for who we are and everything we do. Some may see these values as our identity.


  • Demonstrate extreme care.


We partner with brands and treat them as our own. This means we work together as co-creators to produce a visual product that goes far beyond the status quo.


  • Keep growing and learning.


There’s always a better way or something new to learn. So we stay humble, obsess over details and work with a natural curiosity to ensure we get better every day.


  • Connect on a human level.


Our approach to communication relies heavily on collaboration. This powerful human connection makes the world go round and creates a happy workplace.


  • Embrace being uncomfortable.


We hustle, we’re bold, and we have an unrelenting willingness to try new ideas. After all, when you do things that truly matter, you must work with grit and resilience.


  • Strive for greatness.


Mediocrity isn’t in our DNA. We strive to become the best people in our work and personal lives, always pushing further to achieve at the highest levels of success.



  • Concept, Produce, Shoot and Edit video 
  • Create, Develop and Produce Corporate, Digital and Marketing Content
  • Work in a Collaborative Effort with the Team on Creative Including Shot Lists, Treatments and A/V Scripts
  • Produce/Direct on Set and Understand What Shots are Needed
  • Edit in Adobe Premiere  
  • Be Proficient in After Effects to Create Text on screen, Titles, Lower Thirds, Openers, Closers and Basic Motion Designs
  • Manage Crews 


  • Possess our core values (Care, Human Connection, Growth, Good Vibes, and Happiness)
  • Excellent Communication Skills 
  • Comfortable Asking Questions 
  • Accountable 
  • Have a Great Eye for Visuals and an Extreme Attention to Detail
  • Excellent Planner 
  • Deadline Driven 
  • Multi-task and Perform Well Under Pressure 
  • Always Carry a Positive Attitude
  • Great at Critical Thinking 
  • Amazing at Problem Solving 
  • Master Communicator both Verbally and Written
  • Empathetic 
  • Creative
  • Technically Savvy 
  • Resourceful 
  • Flexible 
  • Collaborator 
  • Advanced in Premiere
  • Have Intermediate Proficiency of After Effects 
  • Have an Understanding of File Formats and Workflows 
  • Capable of Lighting an Interview 
  • Able to Run Sound for Corporate Interviews 
  • Experienced with cameras such as c300 and fs7 
  • Have Experience Managing Small Production Crews, Call Sheets and Managing Budgets
  • Have Basic Color Correction and Audio Mastering Skills
  • Experienced with Pre-Production Planning, Including Creating Shot Lists, A/V Scripts and Treatments
  • Corporate Production Experience is a HUGE PLUS ++
  • Branded Experience is a HUGE PLUS ++
  • Understanding Digital Platform and Social Media Trends is a HUGE PLUS ++
  • Agency Experience is a HUGE PLUS ++

*Please include in your cover letter how and/or why you match our core values when submitting your resume to Stanley Meytin at Also, please include your portfolio, website and links to work in you cover letter or resume! 

** Additionally, please include your desired salary for this position. 

You can take a look at this job ad as well – 

The post WE’RE HIRING! DIGITAL VIDEO PRODUCER / EDITOR (PREDITOR) appeared first on True Film Production.

How You Can Use Video In Retargeting Ad Campaigns

If you’re looking to take your online ad campaigns to the next level, video retargeting might just be your greatest competitive advantage.

Today, we’re giving you the inside scoop about how you can leverage video a key asset for advertising campaigns online.

online ad campaigns

How does “retargeting” work?

“Retargeting” has become a major movement in digital advertising, because it gives you the opportunity to generate multiple impressions on a target visitor. It’s not only about a viewer seeing your ads several times, though. Retargeting now allows you to tailor the content they see based on where they are in your sales funnel.

For example, a website visitor clicked on a specific product. Maybe they even clicked on it multiple times. You can retarget them on social media or other platforms showing them that product, relevant deals, or info about your brand.

But social platforms have become more complex and advanced than even a few months ago. Now, retargeting doesn’t mean you can only send them back to the page or product they were previously looking at. Now, you can tailor your messaging and advertisements based on the exact part of the sales funnel your lead is in. If it’s their first impression, they might see a video about your brand mission. But the third impression might have a stronger CTA for a specific product or service.

This kind of personalized retargeting is prime real estate for videos to step in and step up.

How can you use video to bump up the success of your retargeting campaigns?

1. Address their objections

The biggest reason you’re retargeting a customer is because they didn’t purchase or convert the first time around. There are three primary reasons they didn’t buy:

  1. The product isn’t relevant to them
  2. They have questions, objections, or hesitance about your product
  3. They don’t “buy in” to your brand

There’s not much you can do about number one. You don’t want to retarget people who aren’t in your audience, because they’ll rarely make a purchase.

A focus on the number two reason can greatly increase your retargeting conversions, though. Let’s say a website visitor clicked on a product, but they didn’t buy it. Maybe they’re worried the size or color isn’t accurately shown in the picture, or they want to shop around based on price, or they’re not sure if the product is actually “worth” their money.

This is where a video advertisement works wonders. You can use video content to answer some of the questions your clients might have. You can address the most common objections to your products by talking about the product, or better yet, showing the product in use.

Video is the best tool to show exactly how your offering is unique and a cut above the rest. You can show it in use, show off its unique features, or show how it fits or works. Videos are the closest thing your customers can get to feeling, touching, and experiencing the product first hand.

2. Give social proof

Still on the number two reason, one of the most effective ways to quell consumer’s hesitancy is with testimonials and reviews. People trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations.

Written reviews on your products work well, but they may not always be enough to push conversion. Video testimonials allow potential customers to see themselves reflected in your happy clients. When they see that it solves similar customers’ problems, they’re more likely to relate to your brand—and make the purchase.

Imagine someone is interested in your product, but they don’t buy. The next day, they’re scrolling through Facebook and they watch a video of 10 people absolutely raving about that same product. Not only is the product top of mind again, but they’ll also have a positive impression and connection that will intrigue them to purchase.

Another great way to give social proof? Influencers. Retargeting leads with influencer marketing can show a serious bump in conversion rate. If you’ve partnered with an influencer in your industry or sphere, it’s likely that your target audience already knows that influencer to some degree. When they see a video of someone they already trust endorsing your product, they’re significantly more likely to go back to your site to make a purchase themselves. Don’t underestimate the power of not only partnering with an influencer for a short-term push but also reusing their videos for long-term retargeting campaigns. Get the scoop on influencer marketing here.

3. Share your brand

The third reason they didn’t buy is a little more complex, but this is especially where video shines. Customers no longer want to buy products from faceless corporations. They buy from people-driven brands that they believe in, brands whose mission statements they personally align with.

That’s why online video advertising has become such an integral part of retargeting. It’s not just more words hoping to sell the customer. The video actually adds more value during the follow-up process. It’s not just reiterating a product that the customer already saw (and didn’t buy) or a written brand statement that didn’t resonate with them.

Video offers more information alongside emotion and entertainment to create an unforgettable retargeting experience.

Check out the True Film brand video as an example. We let you know who we are, what we do, and why we do it– in just a minute. We don’t just tell you about our brand. We show you.

Types of videos to share your brand:

Are you creating content with your business mission in mind? Neglecting to do so will cost you customers. But if your online video advertising is aligned with your brand, your audience will sense the authenticity—which will push them towards conversion.

4. Gather feedback

Another retargeting method is not to sell your brand or product but to find out why the viewer chose not to convert in the first place. Gathering feedback helps you better understand how to advertise, sell, and target your products in the future. You might want to them with questions so you can learn more about the efficacy of your sales funnel:

  • Why did you leave?
  • What could we have done or explained better?
  • Where can we provide even more value?

Can you use a video to gather this feedback? Yes! This is an awesome opportunity to show someone from your team asking these questions to the audience in an honest, curious way. The target will feel like their opinions are heard and respected, and this personal face creates a more intimate connection and conversation between consumer and brand.

You’ll likely start getting video comments with feedback, which allows you to both learn and adjust your campaigns as well as offer another opportunity to “wow” these lost leads.

Why Retarget With Videos

Online video advertising puts the personal back into business. The video medium gives you the opportunity to share your values and your story. You’re not just retargeting leads with information or products they’ve already seen. You’re adding even more value by entertaining, inspiring, and engaging through visual storytelling. Your videos reopen the conversation with potential leads and previous customers by cutting through the “noise” of social media to get at the heart of what’s real and authentic with your brand.

Not sure where and how you should incorporate video in your retargeting campaign? No worries. Reach out to us and we can help personalize an online video advertising strategy that will gather leads, boost conversions, and show results. Let’s start collaborating.

The post How You Can Use Video In Retargeting Ad Campaigns appeared first on True Film Production.

What Value Proposition Does Your Video Communicate?

People watch and share videos they deem “valuable.” But how do you know if your videos are actually valuable to your audience? How do you know if you’re getting your message across? Is your audience understanding and connecting with what your video is trying to do?

That’s what we’re addressing in this piece. How do you ensure your video communicates the value proposition that will engage your audience, promote your brand, and deliver on your content marketing goals? How do you use video to add legitimate value that will resonate with your viewers?

1. Use one value proposition per video.

Which statement is more effective?

1. The video will tell our brand history, share our values, talk about our founder, connect with the audience, promote our brand reach, launch a new product, thank our sponsors, and generate customer loyalty while acquiring new customers.

2. The video will share our five core brand values with our audience.

You’re a lot more likely to understand, interact with, and remember the second statement than the first. Then, why are we trying to complicate our videos and content marketing like we do in the first statement? Direct and focused wins the game.

You don’t want a video with 10 different value propositions that all get diluted down in a confused mess. Instead, create 10 different videos, each with one value proposition. Pick out one piece of information or value that the video will deliver… then deliver it.

It’s much more effective to follow-through on one promise than 10 promises, especially in a 1-5 minute video. This allows you to hyper-target a specific audience who’s interested in that value proposition, and then really sell them on it.

2. Add value people care about.

Don’t pick a value proposition out of the sky. Be specific and targeted. What sort of value do your customers actually want to receive from your videos?

If your brand isn’t comedic, your value proposition shouldn’t be to make people laugh. If your brand has nothing to do with recycling, you don’t want a video about eco-friendly recycling practices.

The biggest mistake you can make is selecting a video’s value proposition simply because it’s a hot or controversial topic. That’s the quickest way to a failed video that never gets watched.

Instead, the value proposition should directly reflect your brand’s goals and mission. What is the “why” behind the video? Figure out your video strategy’s purposeful "why" with this resource.

3. Tell a story.

“Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make but about the stories you tell.” – Seth Godin

Video storytelling is the most effective way to provide value for your viewer. Whether it’s a story about your founder, a client, or someone impacted by your business, stories create an authentic connection between business and community. Stories generate an impact that last long after the viewer has watched the video. That lasting impression is what lends itself to brand awareness and conversion.

Learn how to use video storytelling to inspire your audience here. Even better, click to see real-life examples of brands who have added values through their video storytelling!

4. Share the value proposition in the caption.

To intrigue them to click play, use the caption to tell your viewers the exact value they’re going to get in the video. Explain what they’ll learn or see and why it’s relevant to them. Write out exactly what problem you’re going to solve or address. This doesn’t just get people to press “play,” but it also adds value before they even start watching.

Plus, summarizing the value proposition in the caption helps your team understand what that value prop actually is. We recommend writing a summary or caption of your value proposition before even filming the video, so you can be laser focused on what the end-goal is during every step of the creation process.

5. Collect feedback.

Look in the comments. Ask your viewers. Get all the feedback you can. The more you hear from your audience, the more you can understand what your value proposition needs to be in order to engage them.

Consider what viewers are saying about your video:

  • What value did they pull from it? What did people like about the video?
  • Were there any moments of confusion or further clarity?
  • Do they feel like you solved a pain point or provided them some sort of emotional or informational value?
  • What questions are they asking in response? Those questions could be the subject of your next video.

The questions your customers have should be the answers you want to provide in your video.

6. Create “wow.”

The greatest value you can add is the value no one else in the marketplace is offering. You’re not just solving your customer’s pain point anymore. You’re connecting with them through messages and missions that are more profound. That means crafting videos that break norms, inspire action, and surprise people in some way.

Let’s work together to create “wow.” True Film Production will help you strategize and craft videos that promote your brand’s value propositions through stunning storytelling and gorgeous design.

Start a conversation now to create wow.

The post What Value Proposition Does Your Video Communicate? appeared first on True Film Production.

Finding Saddam Hussein Wasn’t My Greatest Triumph


Sixteen years after tracking down America’s highest value target Saddam Hussein, Eric Maddox recalls how important persistence and self-assurance were in the face of repeated failure and community doubt. In fact, hope and perseverance have been the cornerstones of Eric’s many triumphs, inside and outside of his Iraq mission.

The post Finding Saddam Hussein Wasn’t My Greatest Triumph appeared first on True Film Production.


Connecting with customers through storytelling can be incredibly powerful for brands, both big and small.

Yet according to writer and strategist Francesca Nicasio, many B2C companies still don’t make the most of storytelling. Their content is either boring, or it fails to connect with people.

Nicasio says the future doesn’t look good for companies that can’t get storytelling right. “Modern consumers … want to experience new, interesting, or funny things–things they won’t find online or on their phones. And the best way to give them that is by sharing stories with your customers and by getting them to share theirs with you.”

Here’s why your own brand should tell its stories — and how you can connect those stories with customers at every stage of their buyer journey.

We Are Hardwired to Love Stories

Everyone loves stories, and for a good reason: Our brains are designed that way.

Research by Paul J. Zak, the founding director of the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies in Claremont, California, has found that stories based on characters and narrative produce a chemical called oxytocin in the brain. Oxytocin is a key driver in our cooperation with others and is also produced naturally when we are shown kindness or trusted. The more oxytocin produced, the more people are willing to help others.

“It does this by enhancing the sense of empathy, our ability to experience others’ emotions,” Zak writes. “Empathy is important for social creatures because it allows us to understand how others are likely to react to a situation, including those with whom we work.”

Stories also give our brains a shot of cortisol and dopamine, says Pressboard CEO and cofounder Jerrid Grimm. Cortisol focuses our attention while dopamine is the reward for following the story.

“When we hear or read stories, it ignites the parts of our brains that we would use if we were actually experiencing those events, whether that involves running, falling in love or eating a sandwich,” Grimm writes “We’re putting our motor or sensory cortexes to work, and those experiences are then stored in the hippocampus, the part of the brain that has powerful recall skills.”

Further research by Zak has revealed that two things are needed for a story to be effective and to evoke empathy. First, it needs to capture attention by creating tension. Then, if the story successfully creates tension, the audience will begin to align their emotions with characters during and after the story.

That’s an incredibly powerful one-two punch. It’s why Thinktopia founder Patrick Hanlon believes creating your brand story should be almost as important as creating your product or service. “The more that your brand is in touch with a larger story, the greater your ability for success.”

Emotional Connections Compel Customers: 3 Truths to Remember

People could care less about your company or your product, says brand consultant Dr. David Aaker.

Even if you can get your core value proposition across, most consumers will remain skeptical. There’s no tension and there’s no emotional hook in a value proposition, however compelling it may be.

Stories are different. “They’re more impactful than facts,” Dr. Aaker says. “They get attention. They get remembered. They change perceptions. They change attitudes.”

1. It’s the Heart, Not the Brain, That Drives Sales

We might think we are analytical when it comes to making purchase decisions, but that’s just not true, says executive leadership coach Bill Carmody. “We know that people buy on emotion and back-fill with logic,” Carmody writes.

“Before you decide to drive a car off the dealer’s lot, you first must imagine yourself behind the wheel. That emotional connection is how you feel about the car. But since we see ourselves as rational people, we still need to justify our purchase decision, which is where the left side of the brain kicks in.”

This is why stories work so much better than facts when it comes to selling your audience. Numbers and data and raw facts make people put their guards up. But no one can help being engaged in a story that speaks directly to them.

2. Stories Turn Customers Into Protagonists

The best brands use storytelling to create strong connections with their audiences, says Kimberly A. Whitler, an assistant professor at the University of Virginia’s Darden Business School. “As an example, think about Subaru’s ads which communicate ‘love’ through a series of ads that establishes the car brand as a symbol of caring for those you love.

“Whether it’s a father caring for his son or daughter, or a parent caring for their beloved pet, the series of ads are more about what the brand represents to the family than the horsepower that the car delivers. By communicating the brand through stories, Subaru is able to elevate the meaning of the brand and better crystalize how it fits into customers’ lives.”

Marketing strategist Rebekah Radice says the vast majority of all purchase decisions are subconscious and are more reflective of how the customer feels about your brand. If you tell stories that reflect the challenges an audience faces, she says, that audience will be much more likely to resonate with your brand.

3. Stories Capture Attention

It’s never been harder for brands to stand out online, says Stanley Meytin, CEO of True Film Production. “Branded content can easily get lost in the sea of marketing messages, unless it is worthy of attention.” A great, authentic and honest story can do the trick, he continues. That kind of story “captures the minds and hearts of viewers almost always.”

Here’s where the notions of differentiation and positioning come into play. Your brand’s story will always be unique. “No other brand can copy YOUR story,” argues brand story and life design coach Celinne Da Costa. Telling your story will naturally make your business more memorable to your customers and your audience.

You haven’t got long to capture attention, though.

“Now, more than ever, our attention is at a premium,” says brand and storytelling consultant Matthew Luhn. “We are busy, easily distracted, and short on time, our noses buried in our cell phones. Before you can get someone to visit your store, check out your website, or learn about your great product or idea, you have to convince them you have a story they should listen to.”

Getting the hook right at the very top of your funnel is essential if you want to hold your audience’s attention and get them to engage with the rest of your narrative.

Any Brand Can Connect With Customers Through Stories

Telling your own stories is probably easier than you’re imagining.

The first step is to be crystal-clear in your story, to the point that you can distill it into its purest form, writes Dean Brenner, president and founder of The Latimer Group. “Our attention spans are stretched to the limit. You need to be able to grab your audience’s interest and pay it off in as little time as possible. Yes, details can make the story sing, but too many will make it just a bunch of noise.”

Above all, be authentic, writes Fabl co-founder and CEO Taj Forer. Most brand storytelling lacks authenticity, relatability or any kind of narrative, he says. which is why most brands fail with storytelling. The solution is to make sure your own team leads the storytelling initiative so the real story of your organization shines through. “When authenticity is put forward as the priority, the emotive stories will generate themselves as the organic byproduct of an authenticity-based focus to harvesting stories from inside the brand.”

Finally, make sure to involve your customers. They can play important roles in your story, says business writer Alison Coleman. “Remember the Coca-Cola personalised cans? The customers were the leading players in that chapter of the brand’s story, so start talking to yours and see how they can be involved in your own business story.”

There’s no shortage of opportunities for local businesses. Restaurants could name some of their dishes after notable or loyal customers. Gyms could include real customer results in their marketing materials. Businesses of all kinds could bring their customers’ stories to life in blogs, emails and podcasts.

Storytelling doesn’t have to be scary, but it is essential. Now it’s time to write the next chapter in your business’ history and start engaging with customers like never before.


Why Your Competitors Hope You Never Figure out Your YouTube Channel

It’s 2005, the year YouTube was founded. In those days, it was a searchable source for video entertainment created by–– well, anybody who wanted to make a video. Fast-forward to the present, where YouTubers like PewDiePie, Dude Perfect, and Badabun – just three accounts – have a combined audience approaching 180 million viewers.

If you’re a brand, and you still think YouTube is just for video entertainment, it’s time to change the channel and tune into reality. Yes, YouTube’s biggest draws range from a guy who shares his personal opinion while playing video games to a brother and sister who have a lot of toys, but it offers something unmatched anywhere else if you are a marketer.

YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world. It’s also the second most popular website in the world. YouTube sits at the intersection of what the world wants and what a successful marketer must deliver. And the world wants video. Nearly a third of all the people on Earth with Internet access watch video. They watch more than a billion hours of it daily on YouTube alone.

They seek it out.

Billions of eyeballs

Your holy grail as a marketer is to make yourself discoverable. It’s different than what your mission used to be, which was to interrupt with a memorable message. That’s the antithesis of marketing today. It’s also why your competitors really don’t mind it at all if you continue to dismiss YouTube as the land of mukbang and cute cat videos.

Here’s the reality of who watches video on YouTube. And remember, they search for it.

Can they find you on YouTube if a prospect or even an existing customer wants to know more about your product or service?

Show and tell

Brands have discovered the power of visual storytelling on YouTube. The most successful video storytellers have also discovered that it’s not about self-promotion. It’s about education and perspective. If you need to wrap your head around this, head over to the LEGO YouTube channel. It’s the most popular branded channel on the site, with more than 7.1 million subscribers who have watched LEGO videos over 8.7 billion times.

Education and perspective are the twin engines that power branded YouTube channels. Approximately 80 percent of YouTube users said they watched a video that helped them make a purchase decision. For those who have already made a purchase, they are three times more likely to watch a YouTube tutorial video than read the product’s instructions. Google data shows that explainer or how-to videos rank in the top four most popular YouTube content categories – and that viewers are twice as likely to pay close attention compared to those watching TV.

Will they find you on YouTube?

Lost at sea

Your competition is hoping that you won’t bother, and that you’ll think it’s futile because 300 hours of video are uploaded every minute on YouTube. They’re banking on the idea that you won’t dig to discover that Dropbox posted a 67-second video explaining what it was and how it worked – which has been viewed 12.3 million times. Or that video conferencing platform Zoom uses more than 250 videos to help tens of thousands of viewers learn how to improve communication with customers and coworkers.

They’d prefer that you continue to think of YouTube as the place where people go to watch music videos rather than the place where twice as many small- and medium-sized businesses have created channels since 2016.

As vast as the aggregated YouTube audience is, you have the upper hand. It’s the second most popular search engine on the planet. All you have to do is make yourself discoverable.

How to be found on YouTube

YouTube is the great equalizer of video in some ways. You don’t need a massive production budget. You do, however, need a strategy. You must understand your audience, as well as how visual storytelling will help them make a deeper connection with your brand.

Most importantly, you have to remember that YouTube is a search engine that recommends videos. Video production chops have to be matched – or even surpassed – by your understanding and use of SEO. YouTube is a visual experience – for its users. For marketers, it’s more about writing compelling video descriptions and the correct use of hashtags, as well as an effective call to action (CTA).

Generally, people watch video for one of two reasons: they want to be entertained, or they want to learn something that helps them solve a problem. It means your strategy for video on YouTube must be problem-centric. This may be the most important thing to keep in mind, other than that YouTube is a video search engine. What you share with prospects who become customers is the problem, not your solution.

Your prospects have turned to video to help them find ways to fit brands into their worldview, and YouTube is where they go to figure out which videos will help them accomplish this. YouTube is the new way to try before you buy, but before that even happens, it’s the way today’s consumers decide if a brand is worthy of their attention. Will they meet you on YouTube?

Meet us on YouTube, and learn more about to put marketing strategy behind your video.

The post Why Your Competitors Hope You Never Figure out Your YouTube Channel appeared first on True Film Production.

Are You Creating Content with Your Mission in Mind?

Where should you start if you want to create powerful visual stories of your brand that inspire customers and employees alike? Today’s consumers look beyond what you create. They want to know the reason you create it. To tell this story, you need to share your mission. You need to share your “why.”

At its core, a mission statement is essentially a brief summary of your business and what you aim to accomplish. Your mission isn’t what you do. It’s why you do it – which determines how you set about doing it.

It’s why Coca-Cola’s mission statement is not: “To make money from selling sugary drinks” – which is arguably what the company does. Coca-Cola’s mission statement is: “To refresh the world in mind, body and spirit. To inspire moments of optimism and happiness through our brands and actions.”

Read that mission statement again. Now think for a moment about how easy it is to envision video marketing to promote the Coca-Cola mission statement. The company’s mission statement is the device that shapes all of its refreshing, colorful, cheerful video marketing.

You can’t tell a story unless you know your mission. Well, you can. But the story won’t resonate with prospects or customers – because it doesn’t resonate with you.

Mission statements aren’t for your customers

Many brands feature their mission statements somewhere – on posters at the corporate headquarters, or tucked away on a sub-page in the “About Us” section of their website. You always hear or see a company’s slogan or tagline. You seldom hear or read their mission statement.

It’s because mission statements are for the people who make up an organization, not their customers. Mission statements reflect what a brand stands for. Mission statements inform how decisions are made. They guide everything that is customer-facing.

Because frankly, customers don’t really care about what your mission statement says. They care about how you act as a company because of your mission. So, you’ve got a mission statement, right?

Missions and visions

It’s a chicken-or-the-egg kind of thing. Which comes first? Your vision or your mission? The easiest way to look at it is that your vision is a future state – it’s what you aspire to be but are not yet. Your mission statement describes your present state.

“Why do we exist?”

That’s the question your mission statement must answer. Mission statements express action. They describe what you do, who you do it for, and why you do it. Most importantly, they define the present state of your organization.

When you look at it from this vantage point, you can see why a mission statement doesn’t provide the “big idea” of your vision. A statement defining the present state of your organization offers no insight on where you wish to go.

Mission statements evolve as your customers interact with you, or by economic conditions. That’s the main reason why a mission statement should focus on what you do right now. Then what?

“This is where we want to go.”

That’s what your vision statement communicates. Mission statements tend to be short. That’s not the case with a vision statement. It should take as long as necessary, and your vision statement probably isn’t going to fit on a t-shirt or a poster.

Vision statements define your optimal desired future state. It’s aptly named. While a mission statement expresses what you do, a vision statement expresses what you see. Its objective is to inspire both your employees, and your customers. It captures your aspirations.

Your organization anchors action to the present when they understand the company’s mission. From this solid foundation of operation, they now know which way to face. They know where the company wants to go. If your company as a whole doesn’t understand why it exists, and where it plans to go, how do you know what you need to successfully get there? You can use a mission statement to anchor the strategy of your visual storytelling and video marketing.

Many companies function with only a mission statement. The focus is mostly on their current state. Knowing where the organization wants to go isn’t a distraction. It engages employees and generates productivity because they’re inspired. They might not have the professional expertise to create it, but it means that every person in your organization can tell your story.

Making a mission statement

Mission statements are actionable. You can add all sorts of ingredients to it, but it must contain two core elements:

  1. Identification of your target audience
  2. The problem you’re solving for them

Effective mission statements contain lots of verbs because they answer what you do, how you do it, and who will benefit. Once created, a mission statement helps stay focused on specific present actions that will move you closer to vision. It defines the purpose of your video marketing. It determines your strategy.

  • It determines your video direction by helping you focus on your intentions.
  • It outlines a template to help you make creative decisions..
  • It facilitates alignment. There’s agreement on what behavior your visual storytelling should facilitate.
  • It gives you a framework for evaluation and improvement. A clear mission statement allows you to know exactly what to measure — as well as how to measure it — to know you’ve undertaken the right actions that are moving you closer to your vision.

Starbucks decided their mission is, “To inspire and nurture the human spirit — one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.” Could you get more specific about measurements?

The doomsday approach

Understanding your mission shapes the stories you tell using video marketing. It takes you beyond the bells and whistles, or the features and benefits. It has to because your competitor can match those, anyway. So, if you’re struggling to determine your mission statement because you have a wide field of competitors – give this approach some consideration.

What would happen if today was your last day of business?

Who would this impact? What would happen to them? What would they care about the most? What problem do you fix for them right now that they would have to find someone else to fix? Would these other companies be able to help your customers?

There’s a unifying theme at work here. Each question forces you to think about right now.

Your mission in mind

Yes, it’s about what you make – your product or service. But it’s also about what you believe. That’s the connection today’s consumers want to make with you, and they seek it out in your video marketing. We all want to find our tribes. Consumers make brand choices based on whether the brand shares their beliefs.

You create scripts for your videos, but you also need a script for your beliefs. Having a mission statement creates the strategy for the stories you’ll share. Mission-driven video marketing shapes what type of content to make, exactly who it’s for, and what behavior you want to see as a result of viewership.

The post Are You Creating Content with Your Mission in Mind? appeared first on True Film Production.

13 Common Hiring Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Today’s Question: What is a common mistake companies make during the hiring process? What are some specific things they can do to correct or avoid this misstep?

The answers below are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year, and have created tens of thousands of jobs.

1. Rushing to Make a Decision

When looking to onboard a new hire, a company clearly has a need it is trying to meet. Though the need can be great, it is important to do your due diligence in the hiring process. Ensure that you ask the right questions and truly listen to each candidate’s answers. Check references and consider a trial period wherein the candidate can complete a test project or two to really show you their stuff.

— Stephen Beach, Craft Impact Marketing


2. Discarding Broadly Skilled Candidates

A common mistake I see is discarding applicants who don’t fit a job profile to the T. Great employees often resemble Renaissance artists: They hold a core skill or two, but they also have experience with a broad set of industry challenges thanks to their curiosity and passion. Inexperienced interviewers often mistakenly label these highly skilled candidates as “generalists.”

— Mario Peshev, DevriX


3. Not Hiring for Culture Fit

When you are eager to fill skill gaps, it’s too easy to grab people who have those skills but don’t otherwise align with what your company values. The best hires should also share your values so they can easily integrate into the work environment.

— Peter Daisyme, Hostt


4. Ignoring a Candidate’s Personality

Managers often focus solely on the experience and skills of the candidate, but character is also important. The new hire’s personality should match the company culture. Focus on getting to know the candidate outside of their work as well. Ask questions about their daily routine during the interview. Give them a personality test to see if their character meshes with the team.

— Michael Hsu, DeepSky


5. Not Giving Candidates a Test

The biggest indicator of future performance is not past performance, but actual performance. We ask all of our job candidates to complete take-home exercises that mirror the type of work they’ll be doing on the job. We’re able to see an employee’s strengths and weaknesses staring back at us right on their assessment.

— Autumn Wyda, Shine Wedding Invitations


6. Setting Excessive Requirements

The tech sector trend of overambitious job postings can prevent excellent candidates from applying. Do you really need an employee with a doctorate and expertise in eight programming languages? If not, why advertise for that? There is nothing wrong with aiming high, but aligning job postings with reality can surface valuable hires whom you would otherwise never meet.

— Vik Patel, Future Hosting


7. Lack of Preparation

Often, especially in a startup, you are hiring to meet an urgent need within the business. This can lead to a lack of preparation in every area of the recruiting process, from insufficient job descriptions to hasty interviews and ineffective onboarding. You may feel like you’re in too much of a rush to get these things right, but taking the time to prepare is essential.

— Thomas Smale, FE International


8. Hiring Solely on a Recommendation

Don’t just hire someone because they were referred to you. Interview them, test them out, and do background checks. The person recommending the candidate may not know their entire story. It’s up to you to do your homework and make sure every hire is right for your company.

— John Rampton, Calendar


9. Not Checking References

Many companies make the mistake of not contacting prior employers for references. I require all candidates to schedule phone calls with their prior employers as the final step in the hiring process. I advise candidates of this requirement at the onset to help ensure they are forthcoming about their successes and failures during the hiring process.

— Matthew Podolsky, Florida Law Advisers, PA


10. Making Starstruck Hires

When companies see large brand names on a candidate’s resume, they can become starstruck. They believe this person will make a real difference because they came from a larger and more well-known company. However, this assumption is not always correct, and it can lead to companies passing over more talented candidates who are better fits for the role.

— Sweta Patel, Startup Growth Mode


11. Falling for Oversellers


Hearing that an interviewee has every skill and experience you require is great, but odds are they’re embellishing to get the job. I always prefer honesty and an eagerness to grow over a blind “yes” to every question on an application. Find someone who is willing to ask the right questions rather than give the right answers.

— Stanley Meytin, True Film Production


12. Hiring a Less Qualified Person to Save Money

Hiring is never an easy process. It’s all about finding the right person in the shortest amount of time possible, all while staying within the budget. All too often, we see companies hiring less qualified individuals simply to save some money. Make sure all of your candidates are heavily qualified, vetted, and truly capable of delivering great work.

— Zac Johnson, Blogger


13. Not Casting a Wide Net

Many companies will put up a job ad on their local job board and call it a day, but you should really cast a wider net. Put your ad up on your local job board, Indeed, LinkedIn, and even lesser-known job boards. Share your ad on social media and attend job fairs. Consider if the job can be done remotely. Casting a wider net will help you find more quality candidates.

— John Turner, SeedProd, LLC


The post 13 Common Hiring Mistakes and How to Avoid Them appeared first on True Film Production.