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Different segments of digital marketing can work independently, but adding a video marketing strategy can enhance and make them stronger.
We speak to Brian Albert, Founder and CEO of Videobolt, in Florida this week. Videobolt has a history of helping businesses grow by producing high-quality videos and pass it along to SMBs who can’t necessarily afford it. Brian shares the two questions you should ask yourself before hitting the record button on your camera to create a video for your brand. He explains how to overcome objections, how to use video to your advantage during the pandemic, and why turning on your camera is a must for remote meetings.
Videobolt.com is the leading provider of spokesperson videos to businesses of all sizes, as well as an innovator in the personalized video space. Brian also founded thelaw.tv, a pioneer in lawyer video marketing. Prior to entering the business world, Brian was a television news reporter and anchor in New York and Florida (where he interviewed multiple presidents and Fortune 100 CEOs), as well as an attorney. He has more than 25 years of programming experience and is a skilled video editor. Brian is a graduate of Columbia University, where he played on the ice hockey team and the University of Miami School of Law.
George: It’s the “Conquer Local” podcast. Hold onto your ears and open your eyes. We’re gonna talk about video today, but we’re going to do it with audio and a podcast, it’s gonna be a lot of fun. We’re bringing in a video expert all the way from Jupiter, Florida. His name is Mr. Brian Albert, the CEO and co-founder of Videobolt. He brings about 20-some odd years of video experience in the television industry and then working in the platform of coming up with an affordable way for businesses to use video. And his expertise in the space is very deep. And we’re gonna teach you about why you need to be considering video, not only for your customers, but how you can get better at video in your world, and how video is touching everything that we do, and it’s changing the way that we do business. Brian Albert is coming up next, the CEO and co-founder of Videobolt.com on the Conquer Local Podcast.
George: Another edition of the Conquer Local Podcast, and I know this is audio, you may be listening to this on your morning run, you might be listening to this while you’re driving down the highway, but we’re gonna talk all about video. Video killed the radio star, and Brian Albert is joining us, the founder and CEO of Videobolt from Jupiter, Florida. Brian, how are you doing today?
Brian: Good, George. Thanks for having me.
George: I was trying to think back to how long you and I have known each other, and I’m really impressed with the technology and the platform that Videobolt has put together. Can you give us a bit of an overview of your technology and what was the impetus of the creation of your company, and a little bit about some of the organizations you work with?
Brian: Sure, well, we decided to build a platform that would make it quick, easy, and affordable for businesses of every size, local businesses, small businesses up to Fortune 500 companies to produce video content with the frequency that’s required. Now, how my background played into it, I started off as a lawyer and I was a solo practitioner in Miami. So I have that small business background, I did that right out of law school. And lawyers are amongst the earliest adopters of a lot of technologies, including video. So I was on that side of the game for a little while. Then I went into TV news, and I was a news reporter for seven years in Florida, in New York, and in a couple of other small markets. And I started off just when the whole one-man-band or MMJ multimedia journalist concept started to take shape, where instead of sending out a few people to a news report with a videographer, a reporter coming back to an editor and a producer, and potentially a sound person, one person’s going out and doing everything. So, what you learn and what I learned when I was at NY1 News in New York, which essentially invented one-man-band journalism is, you have to find ways to get things done with less. And that’s what we’ve done with Videobolt. We found ways to produce high-quality videos with less, and we pass along those savings to the small businesses that desperately need video to communicate with their audience, but previously couldn’t afford it.
George: Oh, it’s so cool that you bring that up because I remember watching television at that time, and I was in the media business at that time, and it was like, boy, it looks like that reporter might be running the camera at the same time as they’re doing the report, and they had that like a headset. It was pretty cool. It was a big departure from what we were used to. So, it’s interesting that that was the thing that kind of spurred you, that we needed to come up with a better way to deliver video. Now, let’s talk about the importance of video.
The First Impression of Your Business: Storytelling Through Video
George: As we were preparing for this broadcast, I was thinking about the last messages that had really made it into my brain. And I’m pretty sure that nine out of 10 of them all included some sort of a video message. This is really the norm, isn’t it, to impact a viewer, or a listener, or an audience? If you don’t have video, you’re really missing the boat.
Brian: Absolutely, and video is a part of everything. One thing that a lot of businesses don’t understand what the video is, they think video is a standalone tool. You can have a website, you can have Facebook marketing, you can do SEO, and you can do video. Those other things can work independently, you can just have a website and the website will work. You can just do Facebook marketing and that will work, you can just do email marketing, that will work. Video itself, it’s not a platform unto itself. It’s something that you integrate into everything else, and it makes everything else better. If you just produce a video, but you have nowhere to put it, you have nowhere to distribute that video, you won’t have success with videos. So what businesses need to realize is video is something that enhances everything else they do. So, if they have a website, they’re doing social media landing pages, email marketing, Shopify, Google Business, anything that they’re doing, they can use video to better connect with the audience on those platforms.
George: I was trying to do some ribs the other day, and I’ve got a new smoker, and I’m horrible at it, and I watched 21 videos on how to make ribs. They still sucked. I think I need to go to school, but that’s just one example of the use of video as an education tool. And then we’ve got… when I look at your video arsenal and the thing that you’re able to build with your platform, you can do a lot of things. I wanna talk about the spokesperson video, where you’ve got the news anchor talking about a product or service. It’s a really cool way to add authority, I think.
Brian: Yeah, so we came up with that idea because one thing we recognized after working exclusively with lawyers for the first seven years we were in business starting in 2008, we learned that a lot of those lawyers don’t belong on camera. So, we then looked at what are ways that… It’s just something, someone has to say it, so-
George: My mom says that I have a face for radio.
Brian: If you have a voice, then go do the radio thing. So, the lawyers weren’t all ready for prime time. They didn’t belong on camera, but they needed to do videos. So, we would get all kinds of dopey requests like can you just do the animation for me or the whiteboard video? Because that was the default. If you weren’t going on camera, you’d do that. So we came up with the idea of the spokesperson videos, and these are all professional storytellers. Some of them are actual spokespeople, some are news anchors, some are actors, some are just people who have other careers, but are great communicators on camera. And what they can do is they can help to tell the business’s story in a professional way. And that’s what’s so important. We see a lot of businesses taking the DIY approach with a video. That works sometimes, and it doesn’t work other times. And they do that typically to save money or because of the perception that they’ll save money. And one thing I always ask businesses that I’m speaking with that decide to go that route is what else in your business did you decide to do by yourself instead of hiring a professional? You don’t layout your own office, design your own logo, build your own website, create your own letterheads, print your own business cards, manage your local area network, run your own SEO campaign, but you’ll hold up your iPhone and shoot a selfie video with bad lighting and poor audio and think that that’s an acceptable representation of your brand online because you think it’s cheaper. So, what we did is we tried to find a way to make businesses’ video production more affordable, but to keep it professional. So the way we do that is by using these spokespeople, and we keep it affordable because we have them in the studio all day long. They’re here anyway. So if a customer places an order for another video, we already have people in the studio who can tell that story in a professional way and get that message out quickly because the frequency of video content, like with any video content online, is so critically important. You have to stay in front of your audience, and by making it easy for businesses to get video out quickly and with the frequency they need at an affordable price, it’s allowing them to stay ahead of their competition.
George: Well, I’m glad that you brought up that point around, professionalism, and you’ve got three advocates right here in the studio, my longtime friend and Sound Producer, Mr. T Bone, who is one of the best in the business. And you can tell by the Quality Producer Colleen, and even in the work that we’ve been doing with the podcast, it’s like, God, we really need that theme song that we have to pay a licensing fee for. I actually am quite a good musician, I might be able to play my recorder over here and do a theme. We could just shoot it on our iPhone, we don’t need… And it’s like, yeah, we could do all those things and it’s going to be shit. And we wanna do a professional show. So, we’ve got this audience of the Conquer Local Podcast that sell to local businesses or managed sales teams. And I’d love to get your feedback and your experience on how do you take that prospect that says, you know, my brother’s gonna do it, or my aunt’s gonna do it, or I’m gonna do it myself and articulate the value. I think you got to it a moment ago, but I’d really like to hear the Brian Albert pitch on why do I need to spend a little bit more money or have a little bit more rigor and thought around what I’m doing to deliver that message. What is the… For the sales teams listening and sales reps listing, how would you deal with that objection of, I got a guy, my brother’s gonna do it?
Brian: So, one thing is just to look at what your competition is doing. And that’s something that you can do now that you couldn’t do a few years ago, definitely not five years ago and 10 years ago, because the competition wasn’t necessarily online with video. But if you look at what your competition is doing, that should be your baseline. That should be your minimum standard of video production. And most businesses, most small businesses, have competition that are doing really good video online. And you don’t want to be the one that is completely missing the boat because you think that your nephew can use his iPhone and iMovie to shoot videos that are going to be out there for the world to see as their first impression of your business. And that’s what video often is these days, it’s the first impression of the business. So, when you’re selling video to a small business, you need to make sure they understand the importance of a video. First of all, the importance of how people are seeking out video. And they’re watching video like you mentioned with making the ribs, no one reads anymore. Everyone’s searching for a video online, and that’s typically the introduction to the business. So, do you want your nephew producing the video that is introducing the business or do you want a professional doing it? Now, one of the objections, or one of the reasons why you typically have that objection, oh, I could do it myself, or I know a guy who can do it, the reason that objection typically exists is because of the perception that video is expensive. Video does not have to be expensive. We’re not the only company that’s doing affordable videos, there’s a lot of other companies that have found ways to maintain the level of professionalism and to bring the price point down. That’s what businesses need to look for. We’ve moved past the day where you couldn’t get in the door with a quality video for less than $10,000, which was the case a few years ago.
Remote Work: Adapting to Video Conferencing
George: So, we’re now coming through this event that shall go nameless because it has probably been mentioned too many times that has really changed business completely. And I don’t know if you’ve been noticing this, but what I’ve been noticing is, all the things we’ve been saying for the last six years are now more important than they’ve ever been, and if you really don’t jump on the bandwagon, the wagon is not just gonna run you over, it probably has already run you over. So, how do we position video, and what is the unique selling proposition in this new remote world, and online world, and e-commerce world. And, am I missing the boat that this probably is even more important than it has ever been?
Brian: It is more important because we’re all remote, and we’re not getting in front of our customers anymore, we’re not getting in front of our employees. And one thing that’s important is that video isn’t just for communicating with the outside world. Businesses are increasingly using professional video to communicate with their own companies. And that’s important when your own company is no longer working in the office with you. So, when you’re looking at well, how do I use video now, why is video more important now? Couple of things come to mind. First of all, you need to use video to talk about what your company is doing to keep employees and the public safe. You need to talk about whether any recent changes impact your current operations. You should also be discussing how you’re handling refunds if you’ve had closures or cancellations, and what your customers, your employees, and anyone who you’re trying to communicate with can expect from you in the weeks and months to come. And then you can use video also to stay top of mind with prospects. If you’re selling to anyone, whether you’re a small business, large business, you need to stay top of mind with prospects, and video can help you do that even more so in a world where no one’s really meeting face-to-face anymore.
George: Well, it definitely is a skill set that people need to learn. And I remember talking to a Conquer Local guest alumni, Mr. Greg Ryan, who’s the CRO of ThriveHive, which is now part of the Gannett Corporation. And we were talking just after the whole COVID thing kicked in. He leads a sales team that primarily has been going face-to-face with the customer. And we said, how is the whole remote transition going? He said, “I didn’t realize how hard this would be to get salespeople to understand how you do a screen share.” And, when you unpack that, you’re like, yeah, if the rep had been used to face-to-face calls their whole career, and now you’re saying you got to use… And it’s funny because we record these podcasts on Google Meet. We all use Zoom. Like it’s just, you say Zoom like it’s… But there is a group of people who’ve been delivering products and services in a different manner that don’t even know that this is a thing, and then what are the best practices? When you start to teach them things like, well, you know, it’s probably a good idea to wear pants because you might stand up during the video, or what’s in your background, like, what is that picture, or what’s going on? All just small little things that you are talking to your frigging customer on the other end of that video call, or what if you just don’t even put your picture up there, you don’t put the video on on a video call, is that a negative? And all of these questions have come up, and then when we start doing a thing like I call, film review, where you watch the sales reps call now online, there’s this… Thank God I worked in the radio business for years and was subjected to air checks and had done a number of airchecks, so I had a skill set to be able to coach people on that. Where are we gonna go to get the best practices on how to communicate remote?
Brian: So, I don’t know if there’s necessarily a best practice that applies to every company. I’m starting to see things, to see practices coalesce together. The thing you mentioned about, do I have to go on camera if this is a video call? That’s something that I’ve seen change a lot over the last few months. Before COVID, before remote working and business shutdowns, I, like you, was doing Google Meets all the time. And I would very often log on to those meetings, and I would have my camera on by default because it’s a meeting. Why wouldn’t you put yourself in front of that person, but then the other person wouldn’t, and then you start thinking to yourself, well, am I now at a disadvantage because they see me and I see them? So then the default is you turn the camera off and no one has the camera on. Since the shutdown, I’ve noticed, first of all, I always keep my camera on. And I’ve noticed that everyone who I’ve done a Google Meet with has kept their camera on as well. People are getting more comfortable with it. People are realizing that we’re not going to be meeting in person for a long time, so why don’t we just treat this as an in-person meeting? And with something like Google Meet, and video conferencing, it can be. And I’ve had meetings that were as effective as in-person meetings that were thousands of miles apart, and because we can see each other. So it’s just one way that people are adapting to video in the current environment. And that’s live video, but prerecorded video as well. Businesses are becoming much more… they’re much more likely to embrace it. They’re starting to understand the importance of it. And we’ve seen no shortage of new ways that companies are using our product since the shutdown began because everyone is looking at video and saying, what more can I do with this platform? Because I need to continue to communicate and find new ways to get in front of people.
George: So, the one thing that I wanted to make sure that we were able to articulate on this broadcast, there’s a lot of talk around e-commerce. And at the moment that we’re recording this podcast, yesterday Shopify released their Q2 results. And it’s unbelievable what that company has done, and right place, right time, great technology, great leadership, all of those items. So, it’s all this stuff around e-commerce, right? Can I book online, can I do… can I conduct a transaction online? But also I wanted to make sure that we made our audience aware that video, although it’s been around for a while, it has never been more important and it’s not just coming up with a spokesperson video. It’s just the way that business is going to be done in this remote environment. It is vitally important.
Brian: Yeah, and what businesses need to be doing when they decide to step into video the first time, or if they’re already doing video and they are evaluating their strategy, they need to ask themselves two questions. And these are questions that too many businesses that do video don’t ask, and this is why they very often go astray with their video. These are basic questions, but you don’t see a lot of businesses doing this. You need to first say, what do I want to say in my videos? And who do I want to say it to? It’s two very basic questions, but if you don’t know what’s your message and who is your audience, your videos will fail. You need to ask those questions first, what’s my message; who’s my audience? If you understand those things, your videos will be successful because you will be saying the right things and saying them to the right people. And then as long as you use them in the right places, and remember going back to the beginning of the conversation, video on its own doesn’t do anything, but it makes everything else that you’re doing better. So, if you have those two things down, what am I saying, who am I saying it to, and then you look at where you have an audience online, whether it’s your website, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and use the videos there effectively, your videos will be successful.
George: Brian Albert, CEO, co-founder of Videobolt from Jupiter, Florida, joining us. Probably one of the top experts in video today. I encourage you to go to Videobolt.com and have a look at the platform. There’s definitely something there for you and your business, whether you are a single proprietor, and you’re just trying to build your personal brand. Or if you are a large organization, I encourage you to understand the power of video. It is definitely a game-changer. Brian, thanks for your time today.
Brian: George, great to be here.
George: Great learnings from Mr. Brian, Albert. I am sure that you are loving that feedback. Number one, video makes everything work better. You can have a website, you can have social, you can do email marketing, but imagine if you plugged in a first-person video in there, and did it in a way that was creative, and did it in a way that was professional. Also, there is a risk to using your iPhone that has a smudge on it and bad audio because you haven’t cleaned the speaker in 10 years where the microphone is. And there just is a risk in doing that really cheap knockoff video stuff. I like the organic part of it, and it’s really transparent and everything else. It doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s professional. And then, how video is touching everything that we do. You have been on more video calls and video presentations in the last 90 days than ever in your career. I’m pretty sure that that bold statement is true. And Brian has given you some tips about what he knows from coming up with great professional video delivery. So, the key takeaways, video makes everything work better. Be very careful when you’re doing those organic, do it yourself selfie videos, isn’t necessarily the professional view, and the professional brand that you want to be presenting, whether for yourself or for your company or for your clients. And then finally, video is touching our lives everywhere. And I love the analogy that he’s using about his own experience on doing a video presentation. And I’ve noticed this as well. I’ve always had the video on, and then your prospect turns the video off. So then you turn the video off, but now we’re living in a time where everybody is using video, and more and more times, it’s like we call it heads-up internally, but you have to have the camera on. And then what do they see? Is it all the background that isn’t professionally done? Is it the fact you didn’t comb your hair in three days? Is it the fact that you’re wearing the same T-shirt because you’re working from home and you’re a bit of a slob? All of those things now are coming into view because we are doing business differently, and video is touching everything. I like the fact that he loved my rib analogy because I’m probably underestimating the number of rib videos that I’ve watched on YouTube because now it’s actually kind of funny to listen to the accents and to watch the different techniques. But think about it. If you think about the things that you’re considering buying, the things that you’ve already bought, there is at some point you went to your search engine of choice and tried to find a video that would show you what you were doing wrong, or how you could improve the things that you’re doing. It just is ingrained in our lives, and we need to embrace it. Plus, you need to be selling it. You need to be that trusted local expert that is delivering a reliable video solution to your clients and helping them with their… Like, they might believe the only thing that they learned is that, oh, we should do first-person selfie videos ’cause they’re organic, and they’re awesome, and they’re transparent. But yet it’s not converting, and it’s not working, and it’s not driving more revenue for them. So, Brian’s takeaways from this episode will really help you in positioning the video motion that you are going to deliver to your customers. And then don’t forget about learning to use that same video motion for yourself. It is the Conquer Local Podcast. This episode, all about video. We hope you enjoyed it. My name is George Leith, I’ll see you when I see you.