Video Persuasion author and direct response marketing pioneer Rick Cesari (episode 245)

Rick Cesari has helped major brands, from GoPro to George Foreman build billion-dollar brands through AdSense advertising and strategic video marketing. Today he is with us to talk about his new book, Video Persuasion: How to Create Effective High-Level Product and Testimonial Videos that Will Grow Your Brand, Increase Sales and Build Your Business. This book puts the techniques used by huge brands into the hands of small business owners, entrepreneurs, inventors, Amazon sellers, and eCommerce business owners.

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About the Business

  • Expert in Video content marketing
  • Marketing Agency Owner for 20+ Years
  • Teaches entrepreneurs how to make video content that converts
  • Breaks down which videos will give you the best ROI
  • Demystifies the video production process

How Rick got started in 

Rick ran a direct response marketing agency for more than 20 years. As the internet and online marketing became more prevalent, Rick led his agency online in order to remain competitive.

He has helped a truly exceptional roster of clients go from startup to huge success story. Just recently he bagan taking his own advice and has begun selling his own products online.

A self-described lifetime entrepreneur, Rick says that he hasn’t worked for someone else in over 40 years. He says that he really enjoys that entrepreneurialism gives him the opportunity to wear a lot of different hats.

How Important is Video?

When viewers watch a video, they retain 95% of the information received. When added to a landing page, video can increase conversion by 80%—on an Amazon seller page, it can increase conversions by 20% or more. 

If you want to start using video, Rick says there are three primary videos you should consider: Testimonials, Demonstration/Tutorials and Introduction.

A good place to start is with a short—90 seconds or less—introduction to you and your business. This gives people a really great overview of your business and can get you going in the world of video production. From there, consider adding testimonials and demonstrations for maximum ROI.

Of all the tools available, Rick emphasizes that these types of videos create a relationship with customers, grow the brand and increase conversion significantly. 

Testimonial Video

The easiest way to get testimonials for your product is to start with customers you already have. Take your database and narrow it down to a single area and reach out to customers who have bought from you in that area.

Then you can easily rent a home out for the day and invite around 12 people over for interviews. This day creates not only a ton of video content, but it also gives you high-quality marketing information that can be used as you move forward. Making it easy for customers is key.

Rick’s background in infomercials has continued to be informative and while a lot of people pitched out the ‘old way’ of doing things, Rick points out that human psychology and behavior haven’t changed—just the way information is delivered. 

The motivations around why people buy haven’t really changed and Rick says hitting those in your marketing messaging is crucial. 

When you get 10-12 good video testimonials you will be able to edit them down into the best soundbites to use on your website, in advertising, and on youtube. You can easily multi-purpose the same video by editing it in different ways. 

Tutorial Video

In his book, Video Persuasion, Rick ends each chapter with an interview. One of his favorites is Mark Swabi, owner of Net Media Group in SLC. Mark has done really huge media campaigns and is a big advocate of video tutorials because it cuts down significantly on how much customer service the company has to provide.

In a recent HubSpot survey, the three most popular types of videos were testimonial videos, demonstration videos and tutorial videos. It’s documented that these videos are what people are watching most frequently—and Rick says you should have them on your site. 

Demonstration Video

Demonstration videos are much like tutorials and have a few easy to follow steps for success.

1.) Introduce the product 
2.) demonstrate the product
3.)Focus on the benefits and don’t forget that “features tell but benefits sell”
4.) If possible insert authentic testimonials 
5.) Include a CTA

Understanding how to engage a viewer and get them to watch your video through the end so they can really get your message.

Rick’s favorite formula comes from the classic book “How to win friends and influence people” Dale’s formula for a great speech “Tell them what you are going to say, say it and then tell them what you said” is the same for a great video. Start with what the videos about, move into content and then summarize at the end. 

Introduction (Company Overview) Video

Rick starts with a book recommendation: The Reason Why by Simon Sinek. Understanding how to differentiate yourself from the competition is all about a unique selling proposition.

You, being on camera as your own spokesperson delivers a message of authenticity. Rick says having an outline is helpful, but don’t use a script. Simply introduce yourself, tell the audience why you started the business, explain what your business does and why you are better than your competition.

The video should really be only about 90 seconds to 2 minutes in length. Rick reminds everyone that no-one is born GREAT at anything. It all boils down to DOING it and practicing. Don’t worry about not being very good at first. Rick emphasizes that not being polished is fine and people accept that. 

Ultimately, the message is more important than the look. Highly polished with poor messaging is not nearly as powerful as a good messaging, no matter how well a video is made.

Rick also points out that our phones are better than most cameras were 10 years ago and if you get good audio and a  basic light, you’ll be on your way to producing professional-quality videos.

eCommerce Book Top Tip

eCommerce Traffic Top Tip

  • Focus on direct response advertising. Being able to measure that what you are doing is providing returns is crucial.

Tool Top Tip

  • REV for making transcripts

Growth Top Tip

  • Hone in on your unique value proposition. As you grow, your product or service needs to be different. Hone in on your marketing message and have a clear, unique selling proposition.

Interview Links

Related episodes

  • The Kewl Shop’s Charles Fitzgerald on how to get to 50,000 visits per month, using content and customer service
  • Argos’ Gabrielle O’Hare gives a masterclass in the content you need to sell online – product images and videos
  • Achieve launch and 50% growth with product passion, Facebook and video – Bombtech Golf $7m t/o

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Chloe’s New Book:

Probably my favourite Amazon review so far for my new book eCommerce Marketing: How to get Traffic that BUYS to your Website:

“I finally decided to take the Friday off and read a book. This book. I have now read it once and will use it many times in the following weeks. A great reference and I’m full of ideas – can’t wait to get back to work next week!.”

Thanks Mr K Helle!

It’s a Kindle bestseller in the UK, USA, and Australia – and as past podcast guest Chantal put it “If you run an eCommerce business, buy this book!”

Grab the Kindle, Paperback or Audiobook on your local Amazon store now, OR check out the Crash Course before you buy