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Pete Mosley craft&design's Business Editor talks about using video

by Pete Mosley

Published: April 2017

Every time I run a workshop or give a talk I always ask how many people have a video (at least one) on their website. It’s amazing how few people put their hands up. Video is the single most powerful tool you can use to get people to ‘know, like and trust’ you. It can be a video of you talking about your work or a video of you at work (hands/tools in use/manipulating materials) or a video of others talking about your work. 

Advances in neuroscience, and in particular in the use of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, have allowed scientists to see exactly how the brain responds to video images – and in particular images of people talking – and the science shows that it engages with all the parts of the brain that generate empathy and trust. Something called neural coupling takes place. And that’s the same process that happens when we meet and get to know and like someone in real life. It’s powerful stuff.  Everything I’m talking about in this video is supported by that science.   

Neuroscience has overwhelmingly reinforced what we instinctively knew about the importance of empathy and human connection in creating an effective environment for selling. Your customers all have different learning styles – some will love shopping visually, some like interaction, and some like listening.  That’s why video is so powerful – it satisfies all three of these ways of learning about things. It ignites the parts of our brain that deal with empathy. That’s the first step to getting someone really interested in you and what you do. 

But let’s get back to practicalities. Assuming that I can convince you that video is a necessity, what steps do you need to take to get the video onto your page? 

Here are a few of the things that come up regularly in my conversations with makers. 

Can I do it myself? 

The short answer is yes – if you have the right equipment. The video quality on most smartphones and tablets is easily good enough to capture great quality video. There are great video editing apps for most tablets, so you can record and edit on the same device. There are purpose built stands that will hold your device steady if you want to record yourself working or if you want to sit down and talk directly to people. You can even get a teleprompter app that lets you read a script from your tablet screen as it records you. 

However, you need to have a combination of a good eye, a steady hand and some knowledge of how to assemble a useable video from the raw footage. If you are not confident about these things or don’t have the time to learn, leave well alone and get someone else to do it for you.

If you ask around, a budget of few hundred pounds could get you a well-constructed video that will get you started. 

What sort of video should I have? 

The answer to this depends on your attitude to others seeing you on screen. A combination of you talking and shots of your work in progress is probably best. All your high quality stills will be on your gallery page, of course, so the purpose of the video is to help people get to know you. 

If you simply can’t stand the idea of being seen, let the video be about the working process and narrate the voiceover yourself, so people can hook into your words and tone of voice. 

You can use techniques like time-lapse or stop-frame animation to show work in progress, or you can drop still images into the movie to change the pace and create visual interest. 

How long should it be? 

If you are creating a video that will be used in social media posts, 2 minutes is a good length – but you will need to capture people’s interest in the first few seconds. For media like Twitter and Instagram – you might want a taster of 45 seconds or so to persuade people to follow a link back to your site. 

It’s also important to know that social media is changing – native video – that is, video directly uploaded to a site rather than being seen via an external link such as YouTube, will be rewarded with more views and shares. The algorithms that decide what is seen most have been changed recently to reward this behaviour. It’s sad but true that a far higher proportion of people will watch a short video right to the end. 

Finally, whether it’s DIY or pro, quality of image and sound are paramount – aim for the best you can get. 

A great video will help persuade your customers to value your work more – there’s another piece about pricing and value in this series.

Pete Mosley:

craft&design Blog

Anna Lambert at The Craft Centre & Design Gallery, LeedsAnna Lambert at The Craft Centre & Design Gallery, Leeds

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