62% of US 12th Graders are NOT Proficient at Reading!

American’s can’t read: you need to use video to market today.

Still confident about marketing materials that must be read as the right solution for your company? You shouldn’t be.


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American’s can’t read…and the 1/3rd that can read are doing so much less.

What you write may not matter nearly as much as what videos you produce.

Your Target Audience: The Real Numbers

First, the numbers you see in the title above are different from how they were reported in the Wall Street Journal. The WSJ reported that “Students’ 2013 performance in the National Assessment of Educational Progress didn’t budge since the prior one in 2009. About 38% of students scored proficient or higher in reading, while about 26% did so in math—matching the 2009 results.” Source: Federal Test Shows U.S. 12th-Graders Aren’t Improving in Reading and Math, WSJ – May 7, 2014

In case you missed it, only 38% scored at the proficient or higher level for reading. So (just in case you are NOT part of the 26% who scored at the proficient level or higher in math) to calculate the percent who are NOT proficient you do the following:

62

Yes, 62% of 12th Graders are NOT proficient at reading!

Now ask yourself this important question:  Do people read more after school is complete or less? Who thinks reading and math skills improve once your education is complete?

Perhaps this explains why many successful companies scrapped their web site and focused on their YouTube channel. The views on YouTube dwarf most web sites.

If you want to reach today’s market, you need to use video.

It’s interesting to see that even the educated segments of the elderly are spending more time watching video today than reading (and prefer it).   Even the WSJ has video articles on their site now.

Heads up: You can get away with pretty weak writing on your website since 62% of the US population won’t notice, but your video must be top notch. Think about it: all that time in high school and the students can’t read! What were they doing? They watched so many videos that they can critique a video at a scholarly level. They know if something is professional or not. They can spot it in less than 1 second, and that is not an exaggeration. Your video quality must match your message…else it does more harm than good.

You need to completely re-think your marketing.

The direction is clear. It’s video all the way. Creating a video library matters more than your written material.

Consider this: The asset protection law firm that does more international trusts than anyone else in the world (Lodmell & Lodmell) has over 90 videos on its YouTube Channel.  The #1 CRM software company in marketshare (SalesForce) has over 220 videos on its YouTube channel, with over 30 client case study videos (testimonial videos).

[SalesForce Customer Story Example Video]

Learn more about the importance of having your customers tell your story for you on video.

Both of these company’s YouTube channels contain single videos that have been viewed more than 30,000 times. Do you have an article on your website that has been hit that many times? Of course you don’t. Yet it is extremely common with video on social platforms like YouTube. It’s because people watch video more than they read. Stop fighting it. Just get it.  Understand that these video libraries on YouTube played a significant role for these firms to achieve respectively their #1 market share.

With America cranking out 2/3rds of its high school graduating class incapable of reading at a proficient level, this trend won’t change during your career.

I selected English as my undergraduate major back in 1987 because that was the language we used to communicate in business. Today the language is video.  During the beginning of my career, my ability to communicate through writing was linked to my ability to earn a living. However, when I became the Chairman of a streaming media company in 1999, I watched the world shift. To succeed this century, you must become competent at communicating through video.

It is as important to communicate through video today as it was to communicate through the written word during the 1900’s.

Shifting your marketing to video isn’t a “trendy” thing to do. It is a fundamental communication shift that won’t be replaced for centuries to come.

Image of the next lingua franca

The Customer Story

Buyers today use YouTube vs. Google to find information about your service. They trust what their peers say about you on YouTube more than what you say about yourself on your website.   What do they find when they look for information about you on YouTube?

The language changed

“I grew up in a physical world, and I speak English. The next generation is growing up in a digital world, and Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 1.44.12 PMthey speak social.  Whether you’re talking with customers or talking with employees, you have to do it on a social platform, because that’s the language they speak.”

Angela Ahrendts
CEO, Burberry (now heads Apple retail)

This makes a huge difference for you

12 for 12

I watched one law firm go 0/15 trying to sell an advanced asset protection solution to its clients.  I talked them into trying it my way.  They went 12/12.  What I’m going to share here will make a huge difference for you as well.

The customer story:  the only story your clients want to hear

Your clients don’t want to hear about your accolades.  They want to know you can help them.  The fastest way to get there is to have another client tell them so.  I’m going to share with you the right way to do that.

Before I say anything more, I want you to watch the following video I recently created for  John Goralka with The Goralka Law Firm. John Goralka says nothing in this video.  His client (Tabias Cowan, the Executive Director for Lighthouse Living Services, Inc.) does all the talking.  That is important.  Tabias explains his business passion, and then explains how John at the Goralka Law Firm helps him achieve it.

This is something you must see to get


Did you notice…

  • the client did all the talking
  • it was a case study
  • it was a customer story
  • it was a testimonial video
  • if this is the only video this company had, it would likely be enough to win business
  • this has enough positive things about the client that he may share it with his own clients, contacts and friends…in other words, it becomes very easy for him to refer business with it.

How to achieve a 95% success rate

95

Several years ago, I learned about a company that literally took a customer with them on a sales call.

This company had their current customer talk with the prospective client face-to-face (a face-to-face testimonial).  The customer shared their testimony and told their customer story (case study).

Does that sound ridiculous to you?  

This company  had a 95% success rate when they brought an actual customer with them to a sales call.  Think about that.  It probably doesn’t surprise you.

So why don’t you do that?  You don’t for the same reason they couldn’t continue to do it.

The happy customer feels abused when asked a 2nd time. So the company filmed the customer telling the story. They took the “movie” with them to the sales call, and showed it to their prospective client during their sales presentation. (Yes, they watched it together).  The result?  A 95% success rate.  Yes, they got the same 95% success rate whether the customer was in person or on video.  This is something every single law firm can do…yet it is very hard to find any that have done it.

Did you know the door is wide open to dominate your industry?

I visited a law firm’s website last week and saw two sentence “testimonials” followed by a name like “David K.”  They don’t even include a last name? Really?   Wow.  Nobody believes those are real.

Prospective clients today search for legitimate 3rd party reviews.  What they are looking for is what exists in many other industries.  They want to go to YouTube, type in your company’s name, and see a 3rd party video customer story.  In a world with independent 3rd party reviews everywhere, you don’t get away with “David K.”

Your competition is asleep, hoping they can get by another year living in 1990.  You are the luckiest business owner on the planet.

“Be it mobile, social, physical, they are all one…life is forever blurred”

(view first 2 minutes)

The old fashion “case study” and the old fashion client “testimonial” can be combined into a hybrid case study/testimonial video and posted on social sites like YouTube.  The key is they must discuss the client’s problem and how you solved it.  These videos prove to a prospective client that you are the right solution for them.  Why are these watched when your old case studies were never read?  People don’t read anymore.   (You’re probably just skimming this but watching the videos).  That’s just how it is today.  Don’t fight it.  Just get it.

When you post a customer success story on YouTube, your video can be shared, embedded in your website, linked on your email, posted on your client’s website (the one who told the story) and all of these links can serve as referral points back to you and your website.

Do you succeed on every presentation you make?

Have you ever presented a solution to a prospective client that you were absolutely convinced was the best thing for them, and they didn’t buy from you?

Brain research (neuroscience) explains why: “People always buy emotionally and then justify their decisions rationally. And most of us do business with people we like.” (Source: Neuromarketing: Is there a ‘Buy Button’ Inside the Brain?).  I have researched Neuromarketing since 2004. I followed this author since 2006.  To understand what I am going to say next, you may want to watch this author’s 17 minute video where he explains neuromarketing in a simple way to consumers:

According to his research in the above video, you must follow four steps to succeed:Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 7.26.52 PM

  1. address a legitimate pain point
  2. have a differentiating claim
  3. demonstrate (and prove) the GAIN
  4. deliver that message to the primal brain.

The testimonial video is relevant for item #3:  demonstrate (prove) the GAIN.    The testimonial is the most effective method  to establish a fact to the primal brain, and it must be a story to be effective.  Studies show it is effective 80-100% of the time.  Proving a message using numbers that relate to the prospective client is effective only 50-55% of the time .

In other words, if you have a client who could act as a testimonial, you’ll likely get more sales leveraging that testimonial than you would using math.

The video should be the first thing your clients see about you. It is the most effective way to prove the “GAIN” upfront.  It is a 3rd party validation. In other words, show your prospective clients the Client Customer Story video first, and watch how convinced they become that you are the right solution for their pain (their problem).

The customer story video wins every time

Don’t believe me?  Go to SalesForce’s YouTube Channel and watch their marketing videos (and remember they are a Fortune 500 company with an amazing marketing team and advertising team, sparing no expense), and then watch their Customer Story videos, and see which are more persuasive:  SalesForce YouTube Channel.  The Customer Story video wins every time.  Every time.  Every single time.

So why don’t you have one?

Why don’t you have 10?

The customer story video is the least expensive video to create and yields the strongest ROI of any other video type.

bestroi

 

When compared to creating a TV commercial, infomercial, marketing video or virtually any other type of video, the customer story video costs less to produce:  it yields the strongest ROI.

Prospective clients want to hear from your other clients

This is why I say that the first video any company should make should be a customer story/testimonial video.  Marketing videos are nice to have, but people buy based on 3rd party validation…the customer story/testimonial videos.

When I buy a new film camera, I go to YouTube and watch my peers review various cameras.  I could care less what the manufacturer says.  I never trust them.  I trust my peers.  It’s no different with your clients.  They want to hear from your other clients.

Combining customer stories into one testimonial video

Once you have a collection of these, you may choose to combine many of them into a documentary-like testimonial video like the one I created for the #1 Asset Protection law firm, Lodmell & Lodmell.

Now, if your country officially changed its language, and all business transactions took place in the new language, would you learn it?

You may not realize this, but when many (most?) consider buying a product or service today, they first search YouTube for a 3rd party review.  What do they find when they type in your company’s name on YouTube?  Customers today expect this; it’s how we communicate today.

#1 challenge in the next 24 months: Increase Revenue

“We asked firm leaders about their greatest challenge 1 challenge2in the next 24 months: Increasing revenue was their number one answer…”

(Source: 2013 Law Firms in Transition, An Altman Weil Flash Survey)

There are 19,000 attorney’s within a 90 minute drive from my home. I only know one firm that is doing this (who happens to be my client).  This is wide open.

If you want to increase revenue this year, you need to bring in more business. You need to communicate more effectively.  Your communication must be more productive than it has been.  If the economy slows, your communication must be more persuasive.

You have satisfied clients right now. Convert their satisfaction into a currency you can use…create customer story videos.

You can have a huge advantage over your competitors, because law firms are asleep right now.  Your opportunity exists right now.

These are inexpensive to create compared with most marketing videos.  I generally can create these in 1 or 2 days of work. Even the solo business owner can afford doing at least one per month. However, the key is that they must be at the professional film quality level that the prospective clients are used to seeing. There is a minimum professional level that any video must meet or it actually works against you.

You get one chance

You only get one chance to capture a positive customer story from a client. Do it right.  onechanceI serve the industry’s leaders.  I can help your firm dominate your industry.

Who else do you know that took a firm that was 0/15 and turned it into 12/12?

Request a quote to create a customer story video

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