We're always telling people to make a video for the home page of their websites. Humans love moving pictures! Data shows that pages with video are a lot more appealing to site visitors than just static images. But it can be really daunting to make your own video, so we hired an expert to help! Martin Jokub is a good friend who lives here in Valencia and for the last two decades has specialised in tech startup development and digital marketing.
Martin's speciality is helping people extract their knowledge into some form of digital - eBooks, online courses, video podcasts or storytelling adverts for their business. He is a full-stack marketer who helps companies with digital strategies creation, full execution and consultations. Personally, he is very passionate about video production because this is the most popular way of storytelling these days.
He's an expert in helping people like us to decide what we want to say and encouraging us to say it in a way that connects with customers. He taught us how to empathise with our audience, how to speak to them in a way they'll understand, and how to make our video interesting - more than just an introduction.
Creating a story
Having completed the process now, I don't think it's possible to create the right video the first time around, there's so much to learn. When we started filming, we only had a vague idea of what we wanted to say and how we wanted to say it. On the first day's shoot we filmed for about three hours, trying out different approaches, introducing ourselves in a variety of different ways, talking about the aspects of our jobs that we love, and getting comfortable being in front of a camera.
At the end of day one, Martin sent me all the footage and I set to work editing it. Watching the film of us talking to camera, it was obvious that we were a little nervous and we rambled on too long, but there were the seeds of a story in there. Instead of trying to edit the footage into a story, I used an automated transcription service (Happy Scribe, this is a referral link) to convert all three hours of video into a really long Word document. This was much easier for me to understand, and I could skim through it looking for the sentences that I thought would resonate with our audience. I copy and pasted these into a new Word doc, making sure to include the video file name and time stamp for each segment, and then printed them out, cut them up and started to arrange them into a coherent story.
And it worked! Martin gave us lots of invaluable tips on how the story could flow: an engaging start that grabs the attention of the viewer, and only talking about ourselves later in the video. Once I had our story in a logical order, I edited the clips together into a rough cut of the first video. It was way too long, included lots of fluffed words and was awkward to watch, but I knew where we were heading.
Here's the first cut of our video, in which we're stumbling over words, pausing and generally look uncomfortable:
Engaging with your audience
Martin helped us understand that the most important part of any video is engaging with your audience. New clients are less concerned about your history and more concerned about how you can help them, so we thought it would be good to start with a range of real-life statements that new clients have said to us over the years: they hate their current website, they can't contact their current web developers, they don't understand the technical side of their website.
Following this, we wanted to demonstrate empathy with potential clients - we feel their pain. When it came to introducing ourselves, we wanted to keep it light and interesting, not get bogged down in technical descriptions of our jobs. We felt that all these things helped us to engage with our audience.
Rewrite and rewrite
The first cut was an essential step to help us know what we wanted to say, but the wording needed refining. Over the next few weeks, Kat and I wrote and rewrote the script, trimming long sections and trying to be as clear as possible about what we offer. The ultimate goal of our video is to encourage new clients to call us or send an email, so we made sure that this was the focus of every part of the video. We cut out several minutes of dialogue to make it easier to watch, and then we rewrote it some more.
Reshoot and reshoot
Once we were happy with the script, we filmed it again. We did this at home using basic equipment like mobile phones and no professional lighting because we knew that it wasn't going to be the final version. We spent a few hours getting more comfortable speaking to the camera, practising different angles and slightly different wording based on the script. Sometimes a phrase looked great written down, but felt clunky when we said it out loud, and some phrases were just too long to be memorised in one go.
Once we had finished filming, I edited the footage down into the second draft our video, which you can see here. The video and audio quality is much worse because we don't have professional equipment, but it has a much better pace and you can see that we're more comfortable:
Once we had a polished script and we felt good about delivering our lines, we headed back to Martin who filmed us for the third and final time. We knew what we wanted to say and how to phrase it, we'd lost our stage fright, and in no time at all we'd finished filming. But we still had a few questions - was it too long, what sections resonate with our clients, and what don't they like? So we edited a couple of different versions and sent them out to close clients, friends and family for their opinion.
We used those comments to edit a final version with improved graphics, which you can see below. Since we published it we've had lots of great feedback from people saying that they love it, they think we look really happy in front of the camera, and we make it all look so easy. Little did they know how long it took us to get from the start line to the finish!
You definitely need a video for your home page. Hiring a professional video production team like Martin's will make all the difference to your finished product. But if you don't have the budget for a professionally-produced clip, you can easily shoot it on your mobile phone and we can help you edit it together into an interesting story that will connect with your customers.