Other than blogging, social media, and creating a website, creating videos is a great way to market your agency to customer and prospects.
Watching a video is easier and more fun for humans than reading text. And, it can be an untapped market for your agency. A common rule of thumb is the more often you publish a video, the faster your audience can grow.
Video blogging, or vlogging, requires some commitment. Like blogging, there should be a series of videos published at regular intervals. If you are ready for that level of commitment, then read on.
I will go over what kind of equipment to use, what topics will get traffic to your insurance website. And, what to do with your videos once you've created them.
How to Vlog: Tools and Method
Mobile phone cameras nowadays are high quality. They offer high definition recordings and make it easy to film yourself. If you prefer, you can use a digital camera instead. Make sure to use the highest quality equipment available to you. Sometimes, that is a smartphone.
Also make sure you always use a tripod or selfie stick of some kind. A shaky video can make viewers dizzy and not want to watch. If you don't have a tripod, use something else to steady the camera. Hand-held cameras are so 1999 (that's the year the Blair Witch Project came out).
Always make sure your subject is well lit. A standard light design is to provide three lights of differing strengths.
One is the key light, the strongest, which aims at an angle at the subject. The second light provides fill light so there no jarring shadows from the key light. The back light is to provide contrast to separate the person on camera from the background.
(By Theonlysilentbob, converted to SVG by tiZom - Own work, Public Domain, Wikipedia.org)
Never backlight the person talking to the camera. An example of this would be having the subject stand in front of a window in full daylight. This causes a shadow and makes it very hard to see.
Like a shaky camera or low resolution picture, bad sound can annoy viewers and keep them from coming back. If you are vlogging with a cell phone, don’t cover the microphone with your hand. If you vlog with a digital camera, buy an external microphone. Avoid using the camera’s built-in mic to collect sound when possible.
Make sure to speak loud and clear. I may even suggest that you speak 30 percent slower. If you use background music, make sure it is not too loud.
This may seem old fashioned, but dress appropriate. You are representing your agency as a business owner. It could mean the difference between a new customer or not. Don't wear stripes or any distracting prints. Some colors may even vibrate against some backgrounds.
Always do a test first. How did the sound and lighting look? Did your red blouse vibrate against the background? Do you need to speak slower? Move a little to the left so it doesn't look like your head is floating? If you're serious about vlogging, then test, test, test.
What to Vlog: Topics Especially for Insurance Agents
- Introduction video - Introduce yourself to your audience. Why should someone trust you? What are your certifications? Where are you from? What makes your agency unique?
- Office tour - Show your audience where the magic happens. Explain the different departments. Show where the fun happens, or where the serious business happens. Highlight the history of the building if applicable.
- Introduce employees - Profile your employees with a video each, or all together in one video. Ask them for their history, how did they get their start in insurance, what their role is in the agency. End the video with contact information.
- Customer testimonials - Ask your best customers if they would be willing to go on camera. Ask them to endorse your agency or share a testimonial.
- Coverage explanations - Start with basic coverages and work your way to more complex or unique coverages. Explain when someone would need these, and include a real-life example.
- FAQs - Keep a note of all the questions real customers ask. Then on FAQ Friday (or some other nifty named day), answer two or three so you can refer customers to your videos if the questions come up again. You know that video is going to get plenty of views because everybody asks those questions!
- Event recaps - Whenever you attend chamber or industry events, take a quick video at the end of the day. Tell your viewers what you learned. Any insider info you can share?
- Success stories - Did you save anyone money? Help someone with a claim? Tell us about it! You don't have to mention names if you don't want to.
- Behind the scenes - Have an event coming up? For example, a customer appreciation event, surprise anniversary or some other agency event. Film some of the happenings behind the scenes.
- Interview local businessmen - We know blocalling is useful, so you could attempt a video version.
- Safety videos - Part of insurance is keeping people safe. Show safety tips on camera like how to check mirrors for learner drivers. How about how to shutter your windows during hurricane season? You could make a video for every line of business you offer.
You Have a Video: Now What?
You have a video. What should you do?
Depending on the topic, try and keep the video as short as possible. Attention spans are short. You want to do enough to grab attention and be done. That can normally be done in 30 seconds to one minute.
Tip: I suggest making your videos longer when you know your audience and what they’re interested in. When you know they will stick with you till the end. They're not going to do that for a stranger.
Consider downloading editing software. Mac users can use iMovie that comes with Mac computers. PC users can download Movie Maker. Both are easy to use. If you use a tablet, there are free video editing apps you can download from the App Store or Google Play.
Tip: I suggest adding at least the title of your video at the start and contact information at the end of the video.
Choose a platform to upload to. YouTube is one of the most popular websites. It is also owned by Google and is easy to use. I go over how to optimize your video for YouTube in a previous blog.
Tip: Other video hosting websites include Vimeo, Facebook, DailyMotion, Metacafe, Veoh. Be sure to thoroughly vet these websites to make sure your content matches the culture of the site.
Just because you've uploaded your video, don't expect the views to start coming. There is still work to be done. You must get the word out there. Share your video on social media, on your email newsletters, and embed them on your website. Embed the video together with a transcript. This will make it easier for the search engines to find the content of the video.
Tip: If you have a TV in your office, and you get a lot of walk in traffic, you may even play those videos on your TV!
If you aren’t daunted by video blogging after all this, then I think you have a very good chance of success. You will be nervous. You will stumble over your words. You should probably prepare some sort of guide or script as to what you will be discussing in your video. Don't forget to create a schedule and stick to it. Last of all, don't forget to have fun!