Guest Article: 10 Tips for Looking HOT on Internet Marketing Video by Jessica Kizorek

Note from Jim: I found another great voice in the social media world and asked her to guest for my blog.  Jessica Kizorek did a great presentation for us on cost effective internet video last week at the Florida Direct Marketing Association.  This is an extension of that presentation (and also a great follow up to my internet video series part 1, part 2) ….

Preparing to be in front of a camera soon?  Follow these ten tips or risk looking like a loser on video.

1. Look Me in the Eye

With the advent of the webcam, people are way more interested in looking at themselves perform in the video preview window than actually making eye contact with the person watching the video.  Look into the camera.  Straight into the lens.  Don’t wander with those eyes…you have to be 10 times as engaging through online video to keep people from wandering off your page.  Stare them down.  Lock them in like a bomber pilot locks in on his target.

2. Be in the Spot Light

If your face is going to be the centerpiece of the video, make sure that it’s got the most light on it.  People’s eyes will wander towards the light, so if there’s a bright window with little kids riding tricycles behind you…that’s what people will be watching.  Viewers are like horses.  Put blinders on them and tell their brain what they should focus on.  Illuminate the key elements of the frame, whether that’s your face, a product or a logo.  Place a smaller light to the opposite side (and a little behind) so that you have dimension and pop out from the background.

3. Speak Up

Computer stereos are notoriously insufficient when it comes to pumping up the volume.  Most people think that the visual element is the most important when it comes to video, and underestimate the power audio has in communicating the message.  Video is 50% visual, and 50% auditory.  Use an external microphone whenever possible, or get close to the camera if it’s a cheap-o.  Speak up, or else people will get frustrated when you make them struggle to hear what’s going on.  When they can’t hear, they say “@*#% It.”

4. Think in Threes

Try and narrow your message down to three key ideas.  Three ideas that you’ll communicate if you forget everything else.  This keeps it simple, and helps you remember what you were saying if you go blank.  The more simple your schpeel, the more relaxed you’ll be.  Especially if the video is an interview or back and forth exchange.

5. Get Busy with the Mirror

Once you’ve got your three points identified, stand in front of the mirror.  You can do it naked or with clothes on.  Look yourself in the eye and let loose.  Practice delivering your talk until you’re confident and relaxed.  You may know what you’re talking about, but you have to convince yourself of that.  After a while you’ll stop worrying what you look like and what other people will think. The more you practice in the mirror, the greater chance you have of looking like a natural once the camera’s red light comes on.  If not, you’ll spend your energy second guessing yourself and looking like a stiff.

6. Up Close and Personal

Get closer.  Closer.  A little closer… Don’t be afraid to get close to the camera.  Internet video players are pretty small, so don’t want to get lost on the wall paper in the background.

7. Befriend the Camera Girl

If you’re doing a professional shoot, chances are the camera girl knows more than you do about looking good on video. Ask her advice, and let her set up the scene.  Listen to her coaching and suggestions.  Ask to see the set through her monitor or LCD screen so you know which parts of you are in the frame.  If she asks you to repeat a line or change your shirt, do it.  She has your best interests at heart, and wants just as much for you to look good on video.

8. Wear Video Friendly Fashion

Be careful what you wear on camera.  Red sometimes bleeds on television.  Black and white can create too much contrast and throw off exposure, making your face too dark or too bright if you’re using a webcam or camera without manual controls.  Avoid stripes, crazy patterns and sparkles, as the can cause noise or pixilation when the video is compressed for the Internet.  You may not notice that you’re shirt is wrinkled or dirty, but the camera will.  So make sure your clothes are freshly laundered or else be filled with regret once you see the play back.

9. Don’t Sweat it

Nothing will make you more nervous than sweat beads forming on your upper lip.  Make sure the room you’ll be shooting in is cool so you don’t start to worry about whether you’re armpit sweat will show on camera.  Give yourself one less thing to think about.  Heat will make you uncomfortable, and the camera lens will catch that.

10. Act Like You Own the Joint

This may be the wrong way to word it, but seriously.  You don’t want to come across arrogant, bit get pumped before you sit down.  Stroke your own ego a little.  You’ve got what it takes. 250,000 people may see it on YouTube, but it’s only video.

About Jessica Kizorek

Jessica Kizorek is a keynote speaker, Internet video expert and the respected author of three books on the subject of video marketing and the Internet. Jessica Kizorek has made it her mission to keep marketers in the loop with her keynote speeches and seminars on the latest in online video, online branding, consumer marketing trends, plus how social media marketing can be a valuable channel within integrated marketing campaigns.

Jessica has produced video content on all seven continents and was nominated as one of CNN’s “Young People Who Rock” for her passion in documenting the impact of humanitarian efforts around the globe. Jessica Kizorek has been invited to deliver keynote speeches about online video, video marketing and Internet fundraising for many corporate meetings, trade associations, national conferences and non-profit groups.

Since graduating Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Colorado, Jessica Kizorek’s company (The Viral Pulse – has produced video and digital media for clients such as Bacardi, Hyatt Hotels and Moet Hennessy.

As an adjunct professor at the prestigious Miami Ad School, Jessica Kizorek has also been published as an expert in the online video marketing field by industry journals such as The American Association of Advertising Agencies, MediaPost and iMedia Connection.

Jessica Kizorek, The Viral Pulse,,  Cell:  630.835.4811

Easy, Cost Effective Internet Video Part 2 – Video search optimization and a bonus content tip

This week I continue my primer on internet video and how it can benefit your company. Picking up where I left off, here are some more opportunities to use video on your website.

(To read part 1 of this series, click here.)

One of the reasons infomercials are so successful is their demonstration factor. People love to see things in action. If you have a product that lends itself to demonstration, put it online. For example, say you sell radio-controlled cars; show them in action. If yours is a multichannel clothing company, model your line via video. These are just two of countless examples. Think about your products and what you can shoot.

Video Options
With today’s high-quality video cameras that shoot in high definition at 1080i, you don’t need to spend a ton of money for quality video. You can go high definition for less than $1,000. Of course, depending on your capabilities and budgets, you may want to bring in professionals. You have many choices available to you at any budget.

The key is to have a solid strategy and script in place before any shoot takes place, even with your camcorder. As for postproduction and editing, again, you can choose to do it yourself or go to a professional editing company.

Video Promotions
Once your video’s shot and edited, create your own channel on YouTube, and promote your videos on your website, blog, Facebook page, Twitter and more. Create even more videos by asking your customers to video themselves using your products, and distribute those videos via the same channels. Better yet, as I said last week regarding testimonials, hold a video contest asking your customers to show themselves using your products. Remember, social media is about engagement.

The Search Engine Factor
Online video can also drive search engine results. Since I’m by no means a search expert, I reached out to Khrysti Nazzaro, director of optimized services at the search engine marketing firm MoreVisibility, for some advice. Here are her thoughts on online video:

Online video has many possible benefits for companies, she says. From informational content, demonstrations and testimonials to self-spoofs, general humor and link bait, adding video to your site can draw traffic and business. Videos can be powerful tools for ranking in the search engine results pages (SERPs) if your site’s pages are well-optimized for them.

Consider creating a custom-designed YouTube channel, uploading your videos there with keyword-rich titles and descriptive content, and embedding them on relevant pages of your site. YouTube videos appear with great frequency in Google’s universal search results. Make sure your channel is well-branded and displays your domain prominently so those who find your video content via search can trace it back to your company’s site.

You can also submit a “Video Sitemap” via Google Webmaster Tools for video content that lives on your website. This will assist Google in identifying all of the URLs on your site that have videos, and thus increase your potential for getting more video content listed in universal search results.

To demonstrate clear keyword relevance for video content, include targeted keywords in tags, file and page tittles, and any available descriptive or on-page content. Transcripts of videos featured on the page may also help the content rank in the SERPs.

So, are you using video online? Let us know by posting your comments below. And don’t forget to include links to your videos. Speak to you next week.

How to Easily and Cost Effectively Add Video to Your Marketing Arsenal

Note from Jim: I originally was going to have this be the last installment of the “you lost me there” series, but I seem to have gotten sidetracked.  At any rate, video is in my opinion the next big opportunity in social and direct marketing if harnessed correctly.

How to Easily and Cost Effectively Add Video to Your Marketing Arsenal

I recently conducted a testimonial contest for a client. I asked for all types of submissions, from written to video. Of course I was hoping for video, and boy was I rewarded. The contest winner’s video was slick, well-written, modestly well-acted and, with some tweaking and a call to action, could’ve actually been put on TV. All this came from a customer who was in love with my client’s services, had a video camera and some editing software (like Apple’s iMovie, which comes standard with all Macs), and a couple of cue cards.

Just by putting the video up on YouTube, the company’s blog, Facebook and tweeting it on twitter, it’s gotten almost 300 views. This client isn’t a large company, so while 300 views doesn’t seem like a lot, it still counts. Lots of clients and prospects have commented on the video, too.

This week, the contest-winning video is going to be promoted in the company’s email newsletter. Doing so should increase exposure and net the company some new clients.

So while this may not be a mainstream example of viral video going to millions of people like the “United Breaks Guitars” video, which had 5.5 million viewers, it is a great example of the creative use of video as part of a company’s marketing strategy.

What Can Video Do for You?
Video is a perfect social media marketing channel for engagement. Here are some tips on WHAT to shoot:

  1. Beyond holding contests for testimonials, directly contact your best customers and ask them for video testimonials. If some of your best customers are located near your offices, then by all means go to the places of their choice and shoot some video testimonials.
  2. I love the notion of behind-the-scenes content. Before social media, a prospect’s or customer’s interaction and experience with a given company were either on its website, though its call center or in a retail store. But for the most part, corporations remained pretty much anonymous. Social media presents an enormous opportunity to humanize companies and allow customers “behind the veil” to see their personalities and corporate cultures. Shooting behind-the-scenes videos helps build companies’ personalities. One multichannel retailer I know of posts videos of its photo shoots on YouTube and Facebook. It gets tons of feedback on Facebook about this. Other behind-the-scenes action works well, too, from interviews with staff to candid videos of people doing their jobs. Even seeing staff cutting up and mugging for the camera can add value if done right.
  3. Does your product/service lend itself to demonstration? If so, video it and put in on your website. If you have a product that needs to be set up, heck, video is better than an instruction manual, right? What a great customer service opportunity using video.

I’ll continue my examination of how video can be successfully added to your marketing mix next week with part 2 of this multipart series. In particular, I’ll offer some more ideas for ways that video can be used at your company.

Request: If you’re an expert at video search optimization, contact me at I have some questions that I’d like to include in part 2 of this series.