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Up for a Challenge? See If You Can Come Up with the Answer to Produce Up to $3 Million in Sales

Up for a Challenge? See If You Can Come Up with the Answer to Produce Up to $3 Million in Sales

September 28, 2009

Top 6 mistakes companies make when creating videos

To find out the secrets to creating powerful videos that grab your attention 'and generate sales' we talked with the producer of the MECC video, Angie Lawing of Mercury Multimedia. Here are her top 6 biggest mistakes she sees companies making when creating videos.

1. Talk about what you do. WRONG! Talk instead about what makes you different in the eyes of your customers. The biggest question you need to answer is this: 'What's the ONE thing that makes our company different than everyone else?' In other words, why did your customers chose you?

2. Try to be funny. You don't have to funny to create a video that viewers will want to talk about and share with their friends. It's more important to create a video that tells a story about your business.

3. Hire a friend to produce it. Just because your friend knows how to work a camera doesn't mean he or she understands the value of strategic messaging and how to convey that message to your prospects.

4. Never answer one very important question: Why should I do business with this company? The key is to make the video relevant to viewers so they 'see' themselves in the video.

5. Never ask, what's the goal? Just like creating a website, it's very easy to get caught up in the cool, technical widgets and never bother to ask, 'Why should we add it?' Ask yourself these questions: Will it help us increase sales? Will it generate more leads? How does it fit with our brand? Does it complement our message?

6. How will you use it? Are you going to use it as part of a marketing piece? If so, what's the call to action? Are you going to post in on a website? If that's the case, what do you want the prospect to do next? Or, will it be part of a sales presentation? For instance, MECC sliced the video into topical portions sales people can use in their presentations.

Here's your challenge: You're the VP of marketing at a company that provides workers compensation insurance to risk managers at corporations and public organizations.

Traditionally, your marketing has consisted mostly of direct mail with the goal of setting up sales presentations but response has been declining. You need something different that will generate sales and set you apart from the competition.

A bit more background: You're not a low-priced insurer. In fact, your policies can be as much as 20% more than competitors, but you feel your service is what sets you apart from competitors. And in the minds of your prospects and even your customers, your service is viewed as a commodity and it's not unusual for an organization to switch insurers just to save a few bucks. Oh, and it's not uncommon for even your existing customers to not know you and not need you for 20 years. But when they do, they're desperate for your services.

So what you would do? Create an online marketing campaign? Hire a more aggressive sales force? Test different direct mail packages? Offer something for free, such as a free insurance analysis to get your sales team in the door?

And by the way, your budget is limited to $40,000. So you may be surprised to hear what Steven Link, executive VP of marketing at Midwest Employees Casualty Company did that generated $3 million in additional sales for the insurance company.

He created a video. Beginning with a powerful story of a police officer who was shot just a few days before Christmas while pursuing a suspect, the video shows the dramatic images of his recovery and how the company was able to help the officer's family when they needed it most. The video is filled with stories and testimonials from those who have benefitted from MECC's service.

'A picture is worth a thousand words,' Link says. 'We simply wanted to codify our services and show once and for all why we're a better carrier than our competitors.'

MECC sent the video to 10,000 of its top customers and prospects, as well as about 1,200 insurance brokers. The cost of the mailing was about $2 per piece, plus the $20,000 production costs.

Result: About $2-$3 million in revenue Link says can be directly attributed to the video.

The video is also used to remind current customers what MECC does for them. 'So it's been an important defensive tool as well.'

Why do I bring this up? First, it's had HUGE results. Anything that costs $40,000 and brings in up to $3 million is amazing. Why did it work so well? Because video is one of the most powerful marketing tools available right now. It's cheap, easy to produce and it can be a great storytelling tool when it's done right (see below for more).

Everyone has a story to tell. And people love to watch them as evidenced by the fact that YouTube is now one of the world's top three search engines.

If an insurance company can tell a dramatic story so can you. What stories can you tell about how your customers have benefitted from your products or services? Better yet, which customers can tell their own stories? Don't worry. It doesn't have to be perfect. Your prospects are more likely to believe your customers than you, so let your customers tell their stories of how they've benefited from your service. To see the MECC video, go to www.mwecc.com