Is Your Small Business Using Video Messaging to Drive Sales? Stephanie Singletary, Covideo

The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed people to communicate through video engagements at higher rates both personally and professionally. Covideo is a video messaging company with strategies to take your communication and outreach to the next level. Today, we speak to Stephanie Singletary, senior account executive of Covideo, about the importance of communication in the midst of the pandemic, and how a robust video messaging tool can assist business owners in their communications with customers and prospects.

Transcription:

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Hi, everyone. Thanks so much for joining me on The Atlanta Small Businesses Show. Today, we’re joined by Stephanie Singletary, who is the senior account executive for a company called Covideo. Stephanie, thank you so much for joining us today for the show.

Stephanie Singletary:
My pleasure, Jim, thanks for having me.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Sure. The reason we wanted to talk to you is because your company specializes in the area of video communication with small businesses, prospects, and customers, and such, so we want to talk to you today about the importance of communicating with your customers through video and then how your company can help small businesses do just that, so for some of the people that are out there that are watching that may not be as familiar with the Covideo brand as we are here at the show, tell us a little bit about the solutions that Covideo provides.

Stephanie Singletary:
Covideo is a video communication platform. We have both a mobile app and a desktop platform. It allows folks to very quickly and easily create personalized video content that feels much like this conversation we’re having right now, it’s very organic, it’s very familiar, it’s very friendly, that they can then send through whatever platform they choose, so it’s an easy send with no spam risk through email, through a CRM if they use one, through text messages, quick linking to their social media accounts for quick posting there, so it’s a pretty robust platform that allows you to very quickly and easily utilize video to better communicate and engage with your customers.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Sure. There’s many small business people out there right now and large business people out there right now that are saying, “Wow, this can be a very effective way for us to communicate with our clients, especially during COVID-19,” right? I’m sure that your phone has not stopped ringing because of COVID-19 and people moving to video, right?

Stephanie Singletary:
Yes, thankfully. I mean, we’ve been really, really fortunate to be in a business that has been heavily called upon this year, so we have been busy and that’s been really a blessing for us, absolutely.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Sure.

Stephanie Singletary:
More and more people are wanting video, are needing video. I mean, if you think about businesses like hospitality or real estate, or even the mortgage business, you’ve got to be able to connect with customers, and even if someone needs to buy a house, they might not feel comfortable really going into many homes to look around. The tool has been excellent for a lot of people because they’re able to communicate with clients in this one-to-one manner and also be able to show off whatever it is that they’re needing to show off, whether that be a house that they’re selling or that they’re looking at for their clients, or being able, if you’re in the hospitality industry, to send a welcome email that includes video and explains maybe even what the COVID-19 policies are for the consumer’s visit. There are so many different ways to use video. The bottom line is that the communication with video is warmer, it’s clearer, it’s more human and connected and that’s what we’re all looking for more of right now.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Yeah, there was no question about it. It also, I think, helps to build that immediate rapport with a prospect or with a customer because it just personalizes the message so much more than a chat can do or a text message or an email will do, right?

Stephanie Singletary:
Oh, absolutely. I mean, most of the time, what we recommend if you’re prospecting is to have a little dry erase board so that when you send your video, it says the prospect’s name on it, “Hi, Jim,” because it really draws in the attention. They see that image there in the email and it makes them feel like, “Oh, this is not just some video. This is a video specifically for me,” and that immediately triggers this feeling of, “Okay, whoever this is at least cares enough to take the time to be specific and to be targeted to me,” and that increases the click-through rates on these emails by 65%, so what this really does is give us an opportunity to introduce ourselves and share a little bit of who we are, have that handshake, if you will, that we would normally have if we walked into someone’s office without being able to walk into the office.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Right, right. It’s a fantastic platform, I’ve seen it work. Just leading up to today’s interview with you, you communicated very effectively with me using your Covideo product and I’m watching the videos as you send them over and asking the questions that you needed answers to and such and I found it extremely easy to use. From the first time that I met you using Covideo, it gave me a personal connection with you right away. It was a great experience on the user side.

Stephanie Singletary:
Absolutely. I mean, the bottom line is that with a plain text message, whether it’s on your mobile or in an email, it’s very flat, there’s no tone, there’s very little innate knowledge of intent, there’s no color to it, there’s no vibrancy to it. There’s no humanity to it at all. It’s like, “Okay, I’m talking to a computer,” which doesn’t feel great. As much as we love the convenience of technology, we still want to be working with people and to feel like people are there and there’s connection there and video really supports that element of being able to convey who we are, what we are, how we can help, how we can serve whatever purpose the prospect trying to achieve, and so it’s really just a very strongly effective form of communication.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Yeah, there’s no question about it. Let me ask you this, for the people that are watching, if they asked the question, “How is this different than if I just pick up my cell phone and make a video and send it?”

Stephanie Singletary:
Well, you can certainly do that. With Covideo, though, for example, once you make the video, our system converts it to HTML, which means that when it’s sending, it’s sending as a link, not as a file.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Mm, that’s big.

Stephanie Singletary:
It makes it very deliverable very quick on both sides. No upload or download time for you or your prospect. The other piece is that when these videos are opened, they’re open in an environment that is branded for your company, so you’re reiterating and reinforcing your brand. There are calls to action on that landing page that can link back to your website, so you can drive more traffic back to your website. There’s also the option, in most cases, to be able to land the video on top of your own webpage, instead of using that branded landing page. There’s tracking, which is really great because you can get email alerts the moment a video is viewed. You can see how much of the video is viewed, how the recipient engaged with your content.

Stephanie Singletary:
Further to that, we have other features like captioning, which allows you to, if you’re posting to social media, or if you’re working with a prospect or a client who has a hearing impairment, to have full subtitling on a video, which wouldn’t be available to you from your cell phone, and that’s really effective, I think, especially for small businesses who really do often lean on social media presence because 85% of video content on social media is viewed without audio, so without those subtitles, you may not be getting your point across up to 85% of the time.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Sure, for sure. In anticipation of today’s interview, we spoke to one of your clients who runs a small business in Atlanta and they said where it really helped out, too, is if you ever had a negative review from a client, it really gave you an opportunity to answer that negative review from the president of the company, the owner of the company, through a video email, and you can really turn that customer into a fan if done right because you really connect with them on much more of a personal level, right? Listen, everybody’s going to get a negative review every now and then, although we don’t want them out there.

Stephanie Singletary:
True.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
But this particular business owner found that it was a very effective way to communicate with the customers, whether it was a positive experience, or sometimes if you get a customer upset, it was a great way to turn them around. Have you found that to be the case?

Stephanie Singletary:
Absolutely. I mean, again, this goes back to the idea that you really can’t convey tone or intent in a plain text anything, so having the opportunity to reach out with video and incorporate some compassion and understanding into your messaging can make a huge difference in a lot of ways. I think that with the plain text, it’s very flat, so when we can reach out and say, “Hey, I’m sorry that your experience wasn’t what you hoped for. I would love to have a conversation with you about that and see how we can make it better for you,” it seems like a real person… I mean, it’s not it seems like, a real person is saying that, as opposed to an email that feels formulary.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
That’s right, that’s right.

Stephanie Singletary:
I think it can make a really big difference, both for the positive and the negative. I mean, I think that it’s a really powerful tool.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
It is, there’s no question, and for small business owners that are listening to this that say, “This sounds like a phenomenal tool,” does Covideo offer the support and training of the people in the company for them to use this tool?

Stephanie Singletary:
We do, absolutely. For every company that signs on with us, they get a dedicated account success manager who is their go-to person. They can reach out to them at pretty much any time. They don’t ever have to wait on a support line on hold hoping that one day their call will be answered. One of our core values is being responsive, so we don’t hand the software out or sell the software and say, “Okay, bye, have fun.” We’re very well-engaged, especially at the beginning of the account to really support and help create strategy and best practices and training and cheerlead for the teams. I mean, we really do everything that we can do to make it successful for the teams beyond being able to stand in the office and hold them accountable for using it.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
That’s right, that’s right. For small business owners that are listening to us have this discussion today, if you are not using video to communicate with your customer base, your prospects, you’re leaving a lot of money on the table. This is the world we live in. We live in the video world. Whether we like it or not, COVID gave us that and I think that’s here to stay far beyond COVID, so this is a great tool. Certainly, at The Atlanta Small Business Show, we want to bring you vendors and tools like this. Stephanie Singletary, senior account executive with Covideo. I want to thank you so much for joining us here on The Atlanta Small Business Show. I know that our viewers are going to get a lot out of your visit here today.

Stephanie Singletary:
Yeah, thanks so much for having me again.

Jim Fitzpatrick:
Thanks.


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