087 – Introduction to Video Marketing: Overcoming Initial Obstacles

INTRODUCTION TO VIDEO MARKETING: OVERCOMING INITIAL OBSTACLES – EPISODE 087

On this episode of The Digital Broker, Ryan Deeds interviews Chris Greene about video marketing. By listening to this episode, you will learn:

  • Which myths and misconceptions keep insurance agencies from getting started with online video.
  • How Chris Greene’s experience defies each one of those myths.
  • How Chris has leveraged video marketing to connect with customers, and how your agency can do the same.

Ryan Deeds is passionate about two things: focusing on your core strengths, and taking video technology seriously. This week, we have a guest whose story encapsulates both ideas.

When Chris Greene founded his own insurance agency, he was a generalist, writing home and auto alongside flood. But we’re talking about a man who has a Master’s Degree in Emergency Management with a focus on Hazard and Flood Mitigation. It did not take him long to realize that flood insurance was his core strength, so he turned everything else away and became the Flood Insurance Guru, living by the mantra “If it’s flood, we handle it, if it’s not flood, we don’t handle it.”

But Chris wasn’t only fetching quotes. He had a talent for educating people about flood insurance, a responsibility he took very seriously. People are at their most vulnerable when disaster strikes them, and Chris was answering questions all the time. Since education was so central to his operations, he could not scale unless he scaled his education. And that’s when he turned to video.

“Our average customer is 1500 miles away,” Chris tells Ryan Deeds. “Video helps us build an instant connection with that customer no matter where they are. They see our face, they see us reviewing the quote with them, they see us helping with the flood map. To me, it doesn’t matter if you’re thousands of miles away—I want you to feel like you’re right next door.”

Leveraging video like this should be a no-brainer—so what’s keeping other insurance agencies from doing it?

Mostly fear. Agencies succumb to many myths and misconceptions that prohibit them from getting started with video. Luckily, Chris’s experience turns each one of those myths upside down. For example:

MYTH #1: YOU CANNOT DO VIDEO MARKETING WITHOUT EXPENSIVE EQUIPMENT

If you look at Chris’s videos, you’ll be surprised by their simplicity. Most of them are barely two minutes long, and a high number of them were filmed using his phone. As he became a better videographer, he upgraded to some finer equipment, but only after years of making do with what he had.

In the meantime, he suggests that you just pick up your phone and start recording. Obsessing over perfection slows you down and keeps you from delivering. “It doesn’t matter how good or bad something looks—it’s all about the content at the end of the day. If you’re providing good information, you’ll be delivering value, even if the video looks like garbage.”

MYTH #2: YOU NEED TO PLAN EVERYTHING OUT WAY IN ADVANCE

Not really. Chris has stepped into a production rhythm by now, but he didn’t have one in the beginning. “Every Sunday night, I try to plan the week out for our videos, our blogs, and our podcast, but when I first started, there wasn’t really any planning around it. I would get up that day and figure out what we were going to shoot.”

The ease with which you can record a video is actually one of its key strengths, and many video marketing courses lead out by teaching people to be comfortable with the spontaneity of shooting and being on video.

MYTH #3: VIDEO MARKETING ISN’T WORTH IT UNLESS YOU’RE GETTING THOUSANDS OF VIEWS

This is to miss the point of video marketing entirely. You’re not in competition over views. You’re trying to connect with customers when they need you.

As soon as Chris has an idea for a video, he makes a note of it on his phone, so he can review it on Sunday night and try to squeeze it into the week’s production schedule. After he has filmed it and uploaded it, he’s not concerned with how many views it gets. He’s just happy that the content is out there for people to discover.

“It’s not a matter of when you put the video out there; it’s a matter of your video being out there when a customer has a question. It can take up to six months before I hear from a viewer about a video, but when I do, I can engage that viewer. A thousand views don’t mean much to me, but if a single person asks me a question about a video, that’s a success.”

MYTH #4: IT IS RISKY, YOU MIGHT SAY SOMETHING YOU REGRET

It is certainly wise to be mindful of what you say, but you shouldn’t be so paranoid that you don’t say anything at all. Many agencies, Ryan reminds us, had the same reservations about blogging back in the day—what if we’re wrong? What if we give people bad advice?

Blogging is now everywhere, and it’s about time to get over video jitters, too. Most people know that nothing is applicable 100% of the time, and you can acknowledge the exceptions without having to dwell on them: Chris habitually uses terms like “generally” and “most of the time.” But even if you get a little pushback, it’s okay. “I have people who push back on my content all the time. They’ll say, ‘Oh, you’re not right about this, or about that.’ But you know what? They’re watching.”

It’s okay to be minimalistic: most of Chris’s videos are only a few minutes long, and it doesn’t take him a lot longer than that to edit them. It’s okay to get creative: Chris can’t come at you from Paramount Studios, so you’ll see him on location a lot, filming from the areas most affected by floods. The key is to be consistent, to deliver valuable information, and to keep operational friction from getting in the way. The payoff is worth it. Chris says his videos have had a positive impact on his business, or he wouldn’t continue making them. If other agents want to reshare them on their own channels, they can do so, free of charge. Chris isn’t making videos to make money, but to deliver value. Viewers appreciate that, and they return to Chris whenever they need another answer or, hey, a quote. Usually, he has both.

What about you? Is it time to get serious about your own video strategy? How would you make your own video content unique to your agency? Feel free to discuss it in the Digital Broker LinkedIn group, where you can meet and talk to other insurance agents, brokers, and specialists who are passionate about operational excellence. Join by clicking here.


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