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How companies can capitalize on the video-first era with Patrick Frank

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Episode Summary

Adapting to a new situation and not giving up is the mindset every business owner should embrace. Partick Frank is an award-winning video producer, and 2020 was pretty challenging for him. However, when you truly love your profession and want to succeed, you look for solutions. Zoom was Patrick’s. In May 2020, he launched EditVideoCalls.com, a done-for-you service that takes your everyday Zoom conversations and turns them into shareable videos for marketing and training.

In this episode of the Recorded Content podcast, Patrick talks about his professional journey. He shares what it is like to be a video producer and a writer. His first book, The Video-First Era, will be published in August 2021.

For me as a video producer and someone who uses video tools every day, that was where my utility lies in introducing new video tools and strategies and ways to communicate better.

In this episode, you’ll learn about Patrick’s perspectives on the following:

Guest Profile

Name: Patrick Frank

What he does: Patrick is an award-winning video producer, entrepreneur, and author. In May 2020, he launched EditVideoCalls.com, a done-for-you service that takes your everyday Zoom conversations and turns them into shareable videos for marketing and training.

Company: EditVideoCalls.com

Noteworthy: Patrick is soon to finish a book about video and remote work. The working title is The Video-First Era: The People and Platforms Powering Next Generation Video Communication.

Key Insights

  • The idea around the video-first era is not to replace all human contact. It was not long ago when most of us had to sit on the plane and fly across the country to attend an hour-long meeting. We can agree how unnecessary that was. However, the past fifteen months have shown us that we can be equally productive and deliver positive results even if we communicate via email or video conferencing apps. Patrick Frank introduces the video-first era. As he explains, there is a gap between what we used to use videos for and their future purpose. Filling in that gap is what I mean by the video-first era. Using more video tools to communicate more effectively until we decide that it does make sense to be in person — you’re pitching someone for a million-dollar investment or it does make sense for you to move for your job or something like that.
  • We can compare video to data. Once companies start producing more videos, what is the next step in differentiating valuable content? The answer is to look at videos as we look at data now. As Patrick says, big companies generate a lot of data, and they have teams specialized in collecting and sorting that data, making recommendations, and delivering reports. The data doesn’t matter unless you can use it to improve your business. Now we’re having all these meetings and all this video is flying around. Can we collect it all? Can we scrape it all? Can we tag it? Can we make it searchable? Now we have this great opportunity, and we need to make sure that we have the tools and strategies to execute on it.
  • The goal is to create shareable content. Creating short videos is all about making something that’s, as Patrick calls it, standalone. It means you create a video that doesn’t require any additional context. One thing we find often is Q&As work well. They’re one to two minutes long, they are standalone, and they don’t require any additional knowledge or anything like that. That’s what we’re looking for. We have to know about that client’s audience and the platforms they’re using and what that message is that they’re trying to push out there and the kinds of clients they’re trying to get.
  • If we think about the customer journey, we have shorter videos at the top. As they get more interested in what you’re doing, their appetite for longer videos increases.

Episode Highlights

The Story Behind EditVideoCalls.com

I was looking around at how we were able to make videos without cameras. There were a couple of projects where we were like, “You know what, let’s record it on Zoom.” I didn’t even notice that there was a record button on Zoom until all of this went down, and I was like, “Wait a second. Every professional conversation we’re having right now is either being recorded or could be recorded. We got to do something with this stuff. It is great stuff.”

In May of 2020, I launched EditVideoCalls.com. My clients kept saying, “Hey, I got this Zoom conversation recorded. It was good, but I don’t know what to do with it.” And so we started that as a way to help people go through these conversations that they’re already having and find little shareable moments they could produce for social media and websites.

Don’t Try to Be a Great Writer, Try to Be Helpful

I was like, “Oh wow, I got this cool new idea here. I’m gonna write a book about it.” I took a course that’s affiliated with Georgetown University, and Eric Koester is the professor. And the one thing that resonated with me was that don’t try to be a great writer, try to be helpful. And so I thought for me as a video producer and someone who uses these video tools every day, that was where my utility lies in introducing new video tools and strategies and ways to communicate better.

So it’s at the intersection of video production, remote work, and asynchronous communication, which ties into remote work. And as I think is going to be the growing trend, especially this year and for the next couple of years.

You Have to Think About Your Live Broadcasts Like the Local News

I don’t think you should do it all prerecorded, but I think there is an opportunity to do everything. No one expects it to be entirely live, but you have your anchor sitting at the desk that greets you, he’s live, and then you kick it to the field reporter, and she may have recorded that earlier in the day. But then you have that one person guide them through all the things throughout the day.

And so I think by using a combination of live and prerecorded, you can put together an engaging package. If you’re trying to do a 30-minute presentation or hour-long webinar or something like that, I think it’s that variety, it’s spicing it up, and then it’s also using a different presentation tool.

Why Should Companies Embrace the Video-First Mindset

When everybody was forced to work remotely, everyone defaulted to doing the same as they did in the office. Those meetings that were in-person automatically get added to Zoom and added to calendars. And then we had the same problems except now they’re remote.

A lot of times the office is not the best place to get work done. You’re constantly being interrupted. It’s hard to get in that focus to complete the deep work that you need to. And so I think that the companies that have done well are the ones that said, “You know what, no more Zoom meetings or minimal amounts of Zoom meetings. Instead, let’s send a video.”

No One Is Going to Watch an Hour-Long Video on Any Social Platform

You have to create content for specific platforms, and those platforms each operate differently. You need to be thoughtful about taking that hour-long conversation. Maybe that’s great for YouTube, but no one’s going to watch an hour-long video on Facebook. No one’s going to watch an hour-long video on any other platform. The opportunity is to take that one-hour-long video and turn it into 10 or 15 or 30 different shorter videos of various lengths.

A Piece of Advice for Companies Interested in Investing in Video Content

There are a couple of different videos to make. You could bite off something big and do more of a company overview video, a homepage video, something like that. Or you can start a little smaller and focus on a particular product or service.

Most videos that we would call brand story videos follow a three-act sequence like Hollywood. Those three acts are establishing the problem, the next is you describe the solution, and then act three is why your company is the one company that this particular client should engage in solving that problem.

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