I had a great time on the show and I hope that the advice I shared is helpful! Take a look at the videos below and let me know what you think. The interview has been split into three videos. Since each video can be viewed separately on YouTube, the same intro and conclusion has been edited onto each clip.
Below the videos are some of my expanded answers that I might not have gotten to cover completely in the videos.
Why is online video marketing for business making such an impact?
I think people like video because it offers so much more information than pictures and text. The fact that I can show somebody how something is made – truly made by a professional – means a lot to them. They can see techniques and exactly how I operate. This follows through because then people want hands on practice with me in person. And when they meet me they are already very comfortable because they feel like they know me already. My students reference my videos all the time which helps because then we’re immediately on the same page. On the same note, my blog is like a supplement to my demos and classes because if they need a refresher they can go back and watch them. It makes me more accessible and nowadays everybody wants to be able to reach a person at their convenience.
You started your own show, The Aubergine Chef. Tell us about that decision and what it took to get up and running.
I always compare how I got started to the movie Julie & Julia. I’ve worked in lots of different bake shops – resorts, restaurants, bakeries, grocery stores – and I always got bored and frustrated. I ended up leaving the kitchen to work full-time in real estate but I’ve been pretty unsatisfied with real estate and I also started to miss being in the kitchen. I got some advice to just start blogging for fun and do it like a cooking show as a way to keep working on my kitchen skills. I loved the idea of being a teacher so I started working on my blog over the weekends. At first nobody really watched my videos and read my blog except for maybe a friend or family member but then I started getting people I didn’t know commenting and requesting episodes and then I sort of felt obligated to them to put out new posts, recipes, and videos. It’s been a fun experience and it’s evolved so much over the past few years.
How expensive is it to do your own videos that don’t look awful?
I really don’t like telling people they HAVE to do something, because I don’t like being told what to do, but if you’re going to do video marketing and YouTube you really need to have decent equipment. First off, people on YouTube are a tough crowd and if your video quality is poor and they can’t hear you it’s going to exacerbate your problems even more. If you have an HD quality video and the audio quality is high people are less likely to comment on your slip ups and other issues. And really HD camcorders are fairly affordable. I got my Canon Vixia HF R300 HD digital camcorderfor about $300.00 and it’s so easy to use and I don’t know why I waited so long to get the HD camcorder. My only issue is that the battery runs out very quickly so I have to pretty much keep it plugged in. My Olympus Digital Voice Recorder was only about $30 and the microphone I use clips onto my collar and it was only a couple dollars – but the resulting audio quality is excellent. And make sure you test your equipment and play around with it. The camcorder has a setting that highlights color that I used in my fruit tart episode which made it looked even more beautiful. The recorder has two settings based on sensitivity – low and high – and the low is all I need when I’m working in the kitchen.
Another thing you should pay attention to is lighting. Have a friend who is good at photography come and give you some advice on your work space but generally you don’t want light directly behind you which was a problem because my kitchen has a window right behind me where I work so I had to get black out curtains to eliminate that. You can see a huge difference between when I didn’t block out the light in the earlier episodes to the later episodes. Also you want to make sure there’s a lot of good light coming at you and the product you’re working on. HD cameras, at least in my experience, get a grainy appearance when there’s low light so you want to make sure there’s enough light. You want to make sure the light is not too strong – I’m using LED lightbulbs which simulate daylight. And really I’m just using contractor lights right now for them propped up on tripods and other fixtures in my kitchen – the light is a bit too intense especially for taking pictures but they work great for video. But again talk to a photographer about lighting.
You also want to think a little about editing. For editing I’ve been using iMovie since I got my MacBook Pro but I use PowerDirector on Windows at work. PowerDirector is a little more powerful in terms of customization but iMovie has a ton of great features for making straightforward movies. If you don’t plan on adding a lot of intense effects you should be just fine using either software. But you also want to think about how you’re editing. People on YouTube have incredibly short attention spans and some people won’t even watch a video that’s longer than 3 minutes. So aim for making your video as concise as possible. But you also want your editing to make sense. If you’re doing video tours of houses it’s more effective to edit as little as possible so people get a real feel for walking through the house and the layout of the rooms. If you jump cut to each room it’s not going to make any sense. But for my videos jump cuts make a lot of sense because nobody needs to see me whisk something for 3 minutes. Some food YouTubers even record the video themselves, make dramatic jump cuts, and then do a voice over for the entire video. That dramatically shortens the video’s length but still shows the necessary elements.
You don’t want to fully commit yourself to video marketing right off the bat. I have a habit of starting projects and never finishing them and the same can be said for a lot of people. You don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on video equipment, lighting, computers, editing software, and more just to end up only recording a couple videos. Start off with using decent but affordable equipment. If you’re hooked then start getting the more professional equipment like the light stands, the booms, the LED adjustable battery operated lights, fliters, scrims, and more. Getting them individually and as you need them can be a little more affordable. But remember the most important things to get would be an HD Camcorder, a microphone and recorder, and strong lighting.
Your true expertise is in baking and teaching others to bake, but in the process you have become somewhat of a video expert with well over 1 million YouTube views. What tips can you pass on to our audience about making video marketing effective.
First, don’t be intimidated and be confident! Just get started! You won’t get better without practicing and you can’t practice if you don’t get started.
You need to remember that when you’re putting videos online it’s never about you. If the audience doesn’t like or care about what you’re putting out they won’t like it and won’t watch it – and they aren’t afraid to tell you about it. But you need to step back and try to find out what they are really saying. Because of the feedback on my videos I got the microphone, the HD Camera, shortened the length of my videos, etc and because I listened to them they knew I cared about them and not just myself.
You also need to be on point about follow up. If somebody comments on your video – and they’re expecting a response – you need to reply back within 24 hours or even sooner. I’ve gotten a reputation for following up on comments on YouTube and Facebook from responding quickly and that makes me that much more accessible to my viewers and fans and again that’s what people are looking for.
Lastly you need to put this info out there without expecting anything in return. Music artists put their music videos on YouTube even though they could be sacrificing MP3 sales because they want to be genuinely available to their fans. Don’t make a video that makes it seem like you’re luring them into purchasing your product. Can you imagine if I made a video and left off the ingredients and made them pay for the recipe? When you do something like that it tells your audience that you don’t care about them and you’re only in it for yourself. Instead use the videos to build your credibility and genuinely help the community and it’s going to have a way better impact.
Do-it-yourself video marketing is not for the faint of heart. At what point should someone say “I need to bring in an expert?”
It’s true – it’s really hard to do it all on your own. I have to find a recipe, type up the recipe and buy the ingredients, and sometimes even test the recipe if it’s that unfamiliar to me. Then I have to set the stage – put up the lighting, set up the camera, make sure the camera is charged, make sure the kitchen is not cluttered, and then I have to actually record the episode. Recording recipes always takes twice as long as normal to make because I have to make sure I move the lighting and the camera in place to the table, to the stove, to the oven, and to the mixer. After I make it I have to be able to do some food styling to take a great picture. Then I have to edit everything myself – I have to sync the microphone with the video then make the necessary edits where I can making sure I aim for as short a video as possible. Then I have to write the blog, upload the pictures, upload the video, and embed everything. It’s a ton of work but I can usually do one in a weekend – two if I push myself.
But to answer your question about when to call in an expert it really depends on your marketing budget and what your goals are. If you’re looking for great camera work and photography then you need to hire a videographer/photographer or take photography classes. If you think your material might be a little dry it might be worth investing in a writer or somebody who can edit in fun effects that don’t look cheesy. But remember a lot of successful YouTubers do their videos all on their own or with minimal help.
So you just take a few videos, upload them to YouTube and wait for the views and money to just roll in, right?
It’s actually a lengthy process to get to monetizing your videos on YouTube and from what I experienced there isn’t really a way to tell when you’ll be able to start doing that though that may have changed since I last searched for it. When you first start uploading you’re limited to the length of the videos you can upload – I believe the limit is less than 10 minutes. So make sure you plan around that limitation. After a certain point – I’m not sure if it has to do with your views, the number of your uploads, your subscribers, or how long you’ve been with YouTube – they lift that limitation. Then there’s another point when YouTube invites you to become a partner and to monetize your videos through Google AdSense. When your videos are monetized they place pop up ads on your video as well as full screen commercials – and you can choose which ones occur and how frequently. The way this translates into income for you is each view is a certain amount of revenue and each click on the ads is a higher amount of revenue. Now you don’t want to tell your friends, family, and fans to click the ads like crazy because that will get you kicked out of their partner program and you’ll never be invited to do it again. But basically, the more people you get to watch your videos the more you can expect to make.
What kind of time, and financial, commitment should I plan for promoting videos?
It kind of depends on what your goals are for the videos. Because people are always searching for food recipes online I don’t have to invest a lot of time and money into promoting my videos but I do share them on my blog and on my Facebook page as well as tell everybody I network with and teach about them. I also reshare previously uploaded videos when they are relevant – so like for holidays.
You can also promote your videos on YouTube, which I haven’t done, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was done through or similar to Google Adwords. You can make clips of videos that will be used as advertising on other people’s monetized videos – so instead of a car commercial playing on someone’s video it would be your commercial – and you can also get promoted as a “Featured Video” on the right hand column. This might be beneficial if you’re starting out and you want to boost your views and subscribers right away. As you become more well known and you have a ton of subscribers who are sharing your videos organically you will probably be relying on promoting less.
Do I need to start and promote my own show for video marketing to be effective?
I would say not necessarily. When I think of a show I think of something that occurs consistently and not everybody has that kind of time to spend on video marketing. If you can, that’s great, but you can also use videos just to enhance the marketing you’re doing already. Let’s say you’re a real estate agent and you send out a flyer with a new listing to your target marketing area – take a video tour of the property and then upload that video tour on youtube. Get a QR code for that video and put it on your flyer.
You can also integrate video on your website as way for people to meet you and for you to summarize the services written out on your site. You can also use the video to show what your facility looks like or to record yourself actually performing an example of your service. Just make sure you’re keeping your videos relevant, positive, and energetic so people will want to watch it but not pushy or cheesy because that will be a turn off. And you definitely don’t want your video to auto-play as soon as they come to your website. At the very least, mute the video like how YouTube does on their main page. The video will catch their eye and then they can turn the audio on if they’d like, but people really don’t like it if your video is auto-playing when they first arrive to your page especially if it’s abrupt, loud, and unexpected. It feels very forced and salesy. It’s the equivalent of being bombarded by salespeople in a showroom. People will most likely click to play the video if they see it even out of pure curiosity so make sure you have something that will pique their curiosity to watch it until the end.