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Video Marketing Your Business

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Video Marketing Your Business – Interview with Graham Duval

In this episode of “Small Business Big World,” we dive into the world of video content marketing with our guest, Graham Duval from Valüd Productions. We discuss the impact of video content on social media engagement and discover strategies for creating videos that resonate with your audience. From increasing brand awareness to driving sales, tune in to learn actionable tips and insights on using video content to boost your business’s online presence and drive growth.

Chris Cluff (host): Hello, hello, welcome to Small Business Big World, our weekly small business podcast. We are here joined today by Graham Duvall from Valüd Productions. Graham’s a video expert today. So, you’re probably watching us, you might be watching us on video, hopefully YouTube somewhere. Graham is kind of the mastermind behind all this stuff and helps us. We’ve been working with Graham for about a year now and it’s done some really great things for us. So, welcome.

Graham Duval (guest): Yeah, I’m super excited to be here. Yes. Exciting.

Graham’s video background

Chris: So, talk to me about your kind of background, how’d you get into video production and, and all that stuff? Yeah.

Graham: So, I’ve been creating videos since iMovie came out like that was when that came out. I was just like creating home movies, school projects, we got a lot of awards in high school. I went to college after high school for film study. So, like, I knew I wanted to do this, but took me into the music world. I started making videos for music and played more music. You know, the starving artists thing doesn’t work too. Well, you know what I mean? And so, I ended up going back to college for music business thinking like, how do I monetize this music thing and took some video production classes. And it reignited that passion I had in high school. And so, when I graduated, you know, I started my own business instead of getting a corporate job in the music business. And the rest is history.

What Graham does with video content

Chris: And today you help small business owners. So, what are the things that you’re doing with small businesses to help, you know, you know, create content, and put it out there? We certainly, you know, I’m just as guilty, you know, scrolling through TikTok, and Instagram, and all that stuff. So, what are you doing a lot of that work, right?

Graham: Yeah, I mean, the world we live in today, everything is video content, even, I mean, even this podcast, here we’re doing is going to be video. And so, you have it at your fingertips. And so, what we do is help create that platform for businesses to get their message in front of their ideal customer using this medium of video.

Chris: So, there’s different forms of video, right? You know, we do a lot of short form, less than a minute kind of tips and tricks and tidbits and those kinds of things. But there’s long form that you can use on your websites and educational videos and things like that.

Graham: That’s an awesome point. Because like, a lot of people think that just like posting videos, just to post videos is the way to do it. But having a strategy behind it, where it’s like, okay, we’re going to grab their attention, that this awareness style content that’s going to be shorter, because I mean, a stranger is only going to give you 15, 30, 60 seconds tops of their time, but then guiding them through their journey to those the website where you can go a little bit more in depth with some longer form stuff, explain a topic a little bit more. And having that continuity across that whole customer journey, guiding them with video content is so key.

Providing education through video marketing

Chris: We struggled at the beginning.  You helped us with…we knew our goal was to educate our clients. And we know that payroll, small business, just like what we’re talking about today. It’s hard, right? It’s a challenge every day. I come to work, and I’m like, okay, what’s going to hit me in the face today? And so, we do a lot of work with our clients to try to proactively say, hey, this is going to hit you in the face, be ready for it? Right. And so, we do a lot of content with that. So certainly, educating is our primary goal. But certainly, video generally is an investment, financial investment. Certainly, we’ve been very happy to continue to support you. But certainly, you know, it’s time. Which is also important as an investment. But we got to monetize that somehow. So, I think from my perspective, its retention was one of them, right. But one of the things that we found was, you know, trying to capture leads, sometimes don’t happen in the way you think it will.

Graham: Yeah, no, most definitely.

Chris: One of the things that we’ve taken is, hey, we’ll give you a checklist, right? So, like our video, if you follow our video, if you leave us a comment, there are tools out there that you can say, we’ll send you this checklist or this guidebook, or this tool, or whatever, and we’ll capture you know, and of course, it’s a DM, but then it’s go to my website and asks for your email. You know, so trying to capture some of that stuff. And certainly, again, it’s not always about making a sale. It may also just be about continued education.

Building trust and authority with video content

Graham: Exactly. It’s about building that trust and what you guys are doing with that is so key because you’re establishing that authority. Like whom you are, people are building that personal connection. Before they even get into a meeting with you, they’ve seen your stuff and that it may not be the direct sale from like, oh, I posted this video, and it got me a sale directly like that it’s more that long time horizon. That is it, when you do get that sale, it’s going to be a much higher quality person, they’re going to have much more trust in you, they’re going to stay with you longer. And that’s one of the benefits of using video content is having that piece behind it, that trust.

Chris: It’s true, trust, authority. I mean, Jon, who’s our marketing director always comes back to me and says, you know, 90% of the buying decision is made before they even talk to you. And we take that seriously. And we try to build that trust and that authority and give you as much information as you need to make that buying decision before you even pick up the phone or send me a DM or any of those things. I mean, you know, that’s, that’s important to us. And yeah, and because quite frankly, you know, we’re busy, right? I don’t want to talk to you and give you the dog and pony show. If you don’t think you want to buy from us, that’s fine. But we’ve also seen, you know, certainly with all the analytics and the tools that are out there, we’ve had prospects that have noodled around our website, interacted with our videos, and everything in between, for sometimes 8 to 12 months. Then they finally reach out. So, we see those through our software and tools that we use, like, hey, this person isn’t engaged yet. We obviously continue to build that trust, and, and so forth.

Graham: You guys do such a great job with that. Because like, and that’s where a lot of people have that mistake is like, oh, we’re going to do some video stuff for like, three months, like, you need to build a little bit more of that time. And I think that’s a misconception that’s out there. It is kind of like a time horizon thing. And like, you’re there when that person who noodled around for a little bit wanted to make the decision. Think of if you didn’t have videos, that time when they were ready to make the decision. If someone else was there, they would have gone with someone else.

How algorithms impact engagement

Chris: So, it’s funny, Jon, our marketing guy sent me yesterday. Some of the TikTok analytics and we have a video, I don’t know if he sent it to you or not. But we had a video from last April, our very first series of short form videos, where none of us knew what we were doing. We all looked like lunatics. And it was Jon’s recording, and I don’t even remember the topic, but it’s only recently picked up exactly 60,000 views in the last two weeks. Which is by far our best viewed video ever. So, Jon was very excited about that. But it’s something that took almost a year to get picked up by the algorithm, which is another piece of the puzzle, right? I mean, how do algorithms work?

Graham: With TikTok, they’re more interest based, which with video content is so key, because you’re creating content that’s going to be valuable to your ideal prospects based on their interests. And so like, the more you can do that education or entertainment and provide that value, it’s going to push it further. So, like, that’s why sometimes it could take that time, but being there to continue showing up and continue to do it. The algorithm pushes to those strangers. And if you’re there with the video content, you have the ability to capture that attention.

Chris: And get them to follow you and continue to zag. Exactly right.

Graham: It’s like a compounding effect.

Video marketing strategies

Chris: You made a good comment, their ideal client profile, ideal customer, right? I think video is a tool in the toolbox. It’s not your marketing department, not your marketing engine. I mean, it’s a piece. You still must have some other stuff in the background, you must have the process of background, most of what happens if someone reaches out to you. Yeah, I saw your video, I saw your dancing cat video or whatever. I want to buy your cat nip or whatever. How do you handle that? What do people what should people do about that?

Graham: I think that’s such a key point is like, and that’s kind of what sets us apart is like we work to work with you to come up with that strategy. And think about it, it’s more than just creating a nice video. How are we going to take that person and capitalize on that attention? Like, are we sending them those checklists? Or do we have those automations that send out certain things to be able to capitalize on that lead? And so, it goes to think more behind the actual just video.

Chris: It’s turning the stranger into the customer. And how do you do that? You must be ready to answer the phone and respond to the email or Facebook message or the Instagram message or whatever it might be. Exactly. What does that process look like? How do you get notified about all those things? And what happens if you get 50 of them? Right?

Graham: Exactly. You have got to be ready for that.

Chris: I can say I’ve been guilty of this. If there’s ads on Facebook for stupid T-shirts, and God only knows what else Yep. I bought the stupid T-shirt because it caught my attention, but you must have that mechanism behind it to capture the sale. Exactly. So, I watched the stupid video where you, you know, fell off the roof or whatever. But you were really selling you know, maybe know anchors. So, it’s, it’s being able to get that. And we see, you know, we’re nowhere near this but gosh, you know, there’s content creators that this is their full-time job. They can create stupid cat videos or whatever. If they’re making money from it.

Graham: And that’s, and that is very true, I think. I’d like to let the listeners know, though that like, it’s shifting more and more. There’s not as many of those like giant influencers, it’s coming more to that like micro size influencer. So, like, continuing to show up, you guys do a great job with that. Educating your customer, having a little bit of entertainment within it as well, so that you are showcasing what you do, but not in a way that’s super salesy. I think that’s such a key piece, too.

Using different social media platforms

Chris: So, we’ve been doing the video stuff for about a little over a year, about a year, right. We’ve seen certain types of content thrive, I will say yeah, or die on different platforms. So, talk to me about the different platforms talk to me about what might do better on certain platforms, or you said TikTok is interest based? How does that all work?

Graham: The biggest thing is the social media reels, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube shorts, they’re all vertical shots. Like, up and down style shot video on your phone. And Tik Tok is interest based. But those reel styles, the way the algorithm works is, is it pushes it to strangers. So, we like to post the same video across all the platforms, because it’s that’s a lot of eyeballs. When you think about it. Yeah, that’s four different platforms that are going to be viewing your video, and you’ll see what does perform on which ones and like you can tell. It’s always about analyzing and making data driven decisions. And, as a business like you are in payroll, I’m sure you guys make a lot of data driven decisions. This is the same thing with video content, see what’s performing here. How can we make more of that, like, clearly our audience is enjoying this topic more. We need to make more of that. And always check in the analytics to use that as a way forward.

Chris: That’s been key for us. Like I said, we had that one video from a year ago, took off has 60,000 views. But the next three videos on TikTok had 40 views. And then that one didn’t take off on Instagram, right? That was still only 400 views on Instagram. It’s interesting to see those and there’s, you know, we’ve had videos that have shot through the roof on YouTube short. It’s, it’s just crazy in the comments. And sometimes the audience that it attracts isn’t necessarily the audience you might have wanted. Or it didn’t intend to want. But we produce content primarily focused on small businesses. Yeah. But where we’ve seen the most engagement is when we talk about employees, right. So, it’s that our clients are the business, but then their employees are engaging with it. One of the ones that got a lot of traction on YouTube was about paying out vacation time, right? Do you have to pay out vacation time? Don’t you have to pay it out? What’s the law, bla bla bla bla bla, and the clients, the business owners weren’t engaged? But we then saw the employees that said, oh, well, my employer was a bad person and didn’t pay me. What can I do? Can I sue him? I mean, those are the comments. So, it was a totally unintended audience. But it did drive content and did drive some value. So, it’s always interesting. We’ve been doing it for a year, I haven’t figured it out yet.

Graham: It’s all about consistently adjusting and tweaking, there’s not too much to figure out if the algorithms push to people outside of your immediate network. And so, if you can just look at it, and make more of what people like, that’s the easiest way to figure it out. You know, and even if those the unintended audience comes, you’re still thinking about, it’s like networking, you know, what I mean, the person you’re networking with isn’t necessarily the person you’re trying to get the sale with. You want the person that they know and so that’s how kind of the video world works. And especially in today’s world. Now, the reach of organic is so much more powerful, in my opinion than just running a bunch of ads. Like we’ve done the ad thing a little bit. Yeah, the results on the organic side are clearly the way to go.

Video marketing costs

Chris: We stopped paying for ads. Graham was pissed. He’s like, are you firing me? No, no, no, that’s not the case at all. You know, it was we were finding that I was spending, you know, 1000 bucks a month on promoting these videos. And we were not getting anything out of it. Yeah, we weren’t getting any more engagement. We weren’t getting any more leads. We weren’t getting anything out of it. But we were seeing the organic content, just letting things go we were getting engagement so quickly. So that I kind of analytic decision. Did I sink money into something that didn’t return any value? Yep. And that’s fine. We figured it out. But that’s definitely you know, it’s something you’re learning. Yeah, go through. So, talk about, you know, cost, right. We’re all business owners, we all have budgets, we all have stuff.  We don’t have unlimited bank accounts, what’s it cost to do some of the video production? What’s it cost to post on these things and get things organized? What do you have to spend?

Graham: That’s a great question. So, I mean, it really does vary from you know, you’re looking anywhere from $3000 to $5,000 to do some video projects. It depends on how in depth you’re going. But it’s a sweet spot, like $3000 to $5000.

Chris: And that’s a time investment, right? You want to do something monthly or quarterly or whatever.

What comes with that cost?

Graham: Exactly. You’re going to go and keep going because, like, we help our clients, our biggest thing is to give them their time back as you mentioned. Now you don’t have to worry about posting on all these social medias. You don’t have to worry about all this other stuff. You can focus on your revenue generating activities based on what we’re doing with the video.

Chris: So, if I just want to set my phone on a ring light, and start recording videos, there’s no cost to post on these things. I could edit my own video. I mean, I guess there’s probably not a lot of editing going on. But you know what, what is that? $3000 to $5,000 gets? I don’t know how to buy a camera. You’re the whoever the hopefully whoever you’re hiring, yeah, has their own equipment, those kinds of things, right. They’re editing the videos and making them professional quality. All that stuff is included, right?

Graham: 100%. Yeah, it is. But like for us, we’re going to post everything for you, we’re going to film everything, we’re going to edit everything, we’re going to come up with script ideas, that is like a collaborative effort, you know, as far as like helping guide you, I mean, you’re, you’re, you’re an expert in your business. So, you’re going to come up with what works for you, but helping in that guidance process, and then taking care of essentially everything as far as like, other than you are showing up to be there when we’re actually filming. And we do have phones in our pocket. And I do suggest that people start putting content out. But if you actually want that video content to match the high-quality brand that you are and you want your time back, that’s when you can call someone like me, and we can start working on that.

Chris: So, what you’re offering is more than just recording. Your kind of consulting. Guiding through the process. It’s a full-service solution.  It’s not just I’m going to show up and recording leave. You know, it’s how do we follow that through from creating the content, making it look professional getting your message out? And either getting more business or engaging with your current clientele. So, I keep talking about the algorithm? Because it’s, I just don’t know, yeah, but I know, I’ve sent you things like, hey, this is the best time to post on this channel and that channel, so are there good times or bad times? And because we’re scrolling at night, or in the morning?

Graham: Most, most definitely. And I consider myself a video strategist and not just a videographer. A videographer is going to come in, they’re going to create a nice production, and they’ll hand you a nice production. It’s like, okay, now what, you know, we’re actually sitting down, what’s the strategy? How are we getting in front of that person? What’s the whole process? How are we guiding them through the customer journey, and doing the posting and doing the whole distribution and all that stuff? So, like a full done for you service. There are good times and to post it. And it’s based on your audience. Like, I’ve got the tools that we look at for your audience that I can tell, like when they’re engaging with the videos more than other times. And so, I tend to post on those times. And I usually do it, like on the off hour, like instead of 11, we’ll do like 11:30 or 11:15, or something like that. But I have analytics, and it all comes down to data driven decisions to see that most people are engaging. Some days, it’s this time, some days, it’s this time and then testing too. Okay, maybe they are engaging more of the time, let’s try a different time to see if it does make a difference, because that’s marketing, is testing.

Changes in strategies

Chris: Yeah, there’s a lot of testing and research and try and try again. I see things in my feeds from three weeks ago. Right? I mean, that it may not be just because you posted at 6am today, when I wake up at seven o’clock, and I’m you know, scrolling in bed or whatever.  It’s that I still see things from three weeks ago. So, the algorithms changed. I know. I think we had a conversation about this Instagram now. You post a photo. Yeah, like post multiple pieces in one post? Yeah, a photo and then you got to swipe to see the videos. Right?

Graham: Yeah, that’s a new thing. That’s a new strategy. The carousel posts. So, like, you almost get like, two opportunities to show up for someone.  There’ll be scrolling on their feed, they’ll see the photo, if they don’t engage with that. Okay, then what Instagram will do is going to say next time, yeah, they’ll put the video clip up on the on the feed. And so, then it’s just another strategy to get in front of people.

Chris: Mark Zuckerberg is always changing.

Graham: It’s the bane of my existence. I literally figure out something one day, and then it’s like, completely in the opposite spot the next day.

Chris: You know, that’s business. We all changed. I mean, there have been days in my career where, you know, I, I thought I had something figured out and gosh, something changed. And that’s no different than this. And we must continue to educate ourselves and continue to evolve. It’s not, you know, the good old days of punching in punching out with, you know, filling out the ledger book and leaving, right.

Graham: I mean, even just doing the content with you guys and helping promote your business. I’ve seen the changes in your industry and just the time that we’ve been working together.

Interest based videos

Chris: I know when we first met, I was like, okay, this person does content, we like this person. These are some of the influencers that we want to be like. But certainly, we create our own content and our own topics. And, and, gosh, if you can’t talk about your business, all day long, you shouldn’t be in business. That’s what I say. We totally we have no problem every month coming up with content. Whether it’s customer stories, whether it’s regulation, we’re in a very heavily regulated industry. Whether it’s state laws. You know, even sometimes it’s just Hey, what happened down the street, right? A customer story or employee stories. Sometimes it’s technology, hey, this tool is out there for you. And there’s, there’s so many things that we deal with. We have our team at this point, if people are calling and asking questions, we tell our team to write that down. Yeah, that’s a new question. Write that down. And that’s how we create our content, we answer the questions that they’re asking. It does take time. First, the first few times, I think we struggled. And then we realized, yeah, we could talk about anything. There’s a lot to do what we do. And that’s in any business. If you’re a contractor, let’s talk about the difference between a 10 Penny hammer and a regular hammer.

Graham: People that are looking for that interest, it’s going to it’s going to show up, and you talked about, like you see something show up in your feed three weeks later, according to what it says. That’s because of interest base, you know, you might have been scrolling and watching a couple of videos similar to that topic. And now the algorithms are like but there’s this one, too, you know, and so it’ll show you that, you know, so if you’re there with those pieces, you capture that audience.

Chris: And the algorithms are changing all the time, even for your own interests. I mean, I can tell you when I was building a house, certainly, I would say everyone’s always listening, right? I’m talking about appliances. And next thing, you know, I got almost every appliance in my feed right. But now I don’t see those anymore. Because obviously, I’m not engaging with those. So, I think that’s something to think about as well.  Keeping that engagement going. That is certainly important.

Graham: Most definitely. Because you just said it right there. When you were talking, looking for appliances and appliance things showed up. So, you want to be the one as payroll, you know, you want to be the one showing up when people are having that same talk. Like they’re looking for payroll, they’re scrolling. And, and they may not be making the decision right now, but it’s on their mind. And it’s crazy how those things show up when you’re talking about them.

Chris: You know, you’re talking about pizza ovens to friends at the bar, and then suddenly, you get home and you’re scrolling and there’s Ooni ovens.

Graham: With this podcast, you’re going to have something on our phone later for sure.

Capturing the audience attention

Chris: I always like a business challenge. But yeah, I like to see what’s out there. Try the new things, you know, what was working for everybody else? And certainly, we’ve seen the value of video and educating our clients. And again, it’s not always about direct monetization, necessarily. It might also be about educating your clients. And it’s funny, one of my good friends laughs. So, we’ve done some quirky ones, you know, once like that starts with a “crash”. Yeah, you know, and so he’d walk into my office every once in a while, and go “crash”. And then that video was about your employees breaking your property. Like, hey, the dishwasher dropped a stack of plates. Can I take that out of their check? The answer is no, well, okay. My buddy comes to me. And he goes, you know, two months after we did that video, after he said “crash” me 30 times, saying, oh, you made a stupid video. And he goes, he’s a landscaper, and one of his employees knocked over a $200 planter custom clay planter. And he wanted to take that out of his check to buy the client a new planter. And I said, did you even watch that full reel? Well, I know you did because you said “crash” 20 times, but you never follow through to the end to know that you can’t charge them for that. And so, he kind of had a light bulb, and he’s like, oh, you were trying to tell me something.  I’m like, yeah, definitely. You know, and certainly, we’re probably all guilty of it. You have how long to grab someone’s attention?

Graham: Yeah, really like that three seconds max in the beginning of the videos to grab their attention.

Chris: Well, awesome. This was a lot. Any other thoughts on video?

Graham: We’ve covered a lot today and I’ve appreciate being on here I mean, you guys have really done a lot with the some of these strategies especially here in Maine and what I see a lot of other businesses doing you guys really paving the way for that.


Chris: Awesome. Well, thank you. How do we get in touch with you? You’ve given us a lot of info, how to folks find you?

Graham: Yeah, my website is and I’m on all social medias at Valüd Productions.

Chris: Well, thank you, Graham. Appreciate that. Reminder, remember, remember please subscribe, like us on Small Business Big World on Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok. All those kinds of things. Keep on top of everything we’re talking about. Don’t forget to subscribe. Give us feedback, review us. If you have something to ask, please reach out. You know, we always want to hear about it, so please feel free to reach out. Otherwise, we’ll see you next week. Thanks so much.

Thanks for listening to this week’s episode of the Small Business Big World. This podcast is a production of paper trails. We are a payroll and HR company based in Kennebunk Maine, and we serve small and mid-sized businesses across New England in the country. If you found this podcast helpful, don’t forget to follow us at app paper trails payroll across all social media platforms, and check us For more information as a reminder, the views opinions and thoughts expressed by the hosts and guests alone. The material presented this podcast is for general information purposes only and should not be considered legal or financial advice by inviting us guests our podcast people health does not imply endorsement of or opposition to a specific individual organization, product, or service.