Video marketing on upswing, businesses told

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Waterford — Video adds personality to local businesses looking to distinguish themselves and helps push websites up on search-engine lists, two marketing specialists told more than a dozen people attending a seminar Wednesday at the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut.

« It’s where people are, » said Kayla Hedman, brand manager for Norwich-based Miranda Creative.

It’s also effective, she said, pointing to research showing that 60 percent of people surveyed prefer video over reading a newsletter. She also said research shows that 95 percent of a message is retained with video, while only 10 percent is remembered in online text ads.

Hedman added that short videos of a minute and a half or less have been shown to increase sales by 86 percent. And 74 percent of millennials said in surveys that they find video helpful when comparing products, she said.

But Brian Fagan, head of business development for Old Lyme video-production company Colony, emphasized that the quality of the message is very important.

« If the content is engaging, people will watch it, » he said.

Colony’s preferred method of delivering video content to help with branding is through organic interviews that come across as real and authentic, Fagan said.

« This style is so much more influential than direct advertising, » he said.

Fagan, whose company does most of Miranda Creative’s video work, said every video should be planned ahead with goals in mind, along with actions being sought. Each piece should also make viewers feel something, help them know something or encourage them to do something, he said.

Music, he said, is key to creating a mood for the video. He suggested Audio Jungle as a repository for thousands of musical pieces available at reasonable cost.

As a start, he suggested that small businesses can take their own videos using a smartphone and then do an interview or two while also shooting video « B-roll » that can be inserted to show off a business’s product or service. Think of three things unique to your business, Fagan suggested, and draft 10 to 15 questions that can be asked to explain the background and passion that an owner or manager brings to the table.

On a slightly bigger budget, Fagan said business owners can hire videographers for $500 or $600 or perhaps can find help at a local college. Colony tends to charge in the $3,000 to $5,000 range for videos, he said, though some can cost in the neighborhood of $50,000 if actors and other outside talent are necessary.

« It’s like the sign in front of your door, » Fagan said of video placed on business Facebook pages, YouTube channels and websites. « But more people are going to your website than are going to your door. »

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