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Great Ideas: London filmmaker on why video is key to your strategy {Interview}

10 ideas from our interview with Simon Banks

"Now is not the time to be dabbling, or thinking of maybe making videos later." Simon Banks, London filmmaker. 

Video traffic will be 80% of all consumer internet traffic this year, but not enough businesses are embracing video, says Simon Banks, author of How to Get Video Right.

This week, we interviewed Simon on the landscape of video in business and practical tips from his book.
  • Idea one: Make video a part of your overall marketing or sales strategy, not an add-on. It can increase your front page Google ranking by more than 50 times, and can be used for operations and business processes; not just marketing and staff training. Plan carefully; work out who your audience is; make content which will resonate with them; budget for marketing and distribution.
  • Idea two: Have (at least four) different types of video on your website: Facebook Live or Instagram Stories, using a smartphone; product demos; Q & A sessions (eg. 10 questions clients always ask you); promotional films about why your product or service solves different problems; case studies showing how you help others. A mix of in-house and outsourced content. According to Hubspot, the 4 most common videos are: Explainers, How-Tos, Demos and Testimonials. 
  • Idea three: Most millennials won't watch a 10 minute video. Break it up into a series of short videos for the demographic that will comprise 75% of the global workforce by 2030. Shoppers who view video are 1.81 times more likely to purchase.
  • Idea four: Decide what your business goals are before creating a video. Do you want to increase sales? Do you want to increase your audience? Do you want more people to apply to one of your courses? And then look at the audience.
  • Idea five: Tell your story in an engaging way. Don’t just stand up in front of a camera and monologue for five or ten minutes.  A boardroom is easy to film in, but dull to watch.  Can you hit the streets?
  • Idea six: If you’re using music, don’t use anything commercial. You can’t use any popular songs or anything which has copyright on it. YouTube has royalty-free music at no cost and there are websites where you can buy a track from anywhere from six to 50 dollars.
  • Idea seven:  If you think it’s private land, check for permissions, and then ask for permission to film in that location. Councils often have forms and small fees for filming permissions. You can film on a public street.
  • Idea eight: Try Vimeo and Wistia instead of YouTube, which is crowded, and may show ads. YouTube has 400 hours of video uploaded every minute. It’s the second biggest search engine after Google.
  • Idea nine: Think 'campaign' instead of 'producing a video'. Dr Karen Nelson-Field, Professor of Media Innovation at the University of Adelaide conducted research for Oxford University Press, and said an error businesses made was spending the entire budget on the production side of video, and under-investing in distribution.  Simon suggests 20% of the budget be allocated to promotion. 
  • Idea ten: Don't make the mistake of not including a DO ACTION.  Simon says a strong call to action is often missing and leave audiences second-guessing. Be specific, and tell viewers to visit a landing page, contact you, donate money, buy a product etc. 

Simon’s GREAT EIGHT, 8 getting to know you questions we ask all our authors:

Recommended book: E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber.

If you could co-author a book with anyone who would that be, and what is the book title? Gary Vaynerchuk, Crushing It with Video.

What’s a great piece of advice you can share? Be persistent. I think people give up too easy. You can have a couple setbacks and then you go, “Oh, it didn’t work, I’ll go do something else”. I think persistence is key.

What’s been your lowest moment and how did you recover from it? I lived in New York for three years and then for personal reasons, I had to come back to the UK. I had to go back from the buzz of New York into the greyness of London. That was really hard for me. Because I basically had to start again in terms of business, and.. New York had a little bit more vibe about it at the time.

And how do you relax? I do a little walking and a little swimming.

What’s a fun fact that’s not widely known about you? I’m a goal keeper for a seniors team, a local football team here in Southwest London.

What’s the secret of success? I think being present. I live in a big city, London, running my own business. It’s pretty full on. Life is fast and I think sometimes, you just need to slow down and be in the moment and reflect.

What’s a prediction for 2025? I think video is exploding online. You can now do something called personalised video where people are making videos for small groups of people or even individuals. I think in 2025, your website won’t be just a lot of words and maybe some pictures on it, but it’s basically going to be a video channel. Netflix for business basically. Do that now, and not wait until 2025, you’ll be ahead of the game.
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