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How Butchers Hook Video Productions uses video to grow businesses

Not only does the team at Butchers Hook Video Productions have a deep appreciation of the power of online video, their entire business model depends on their ability to convince others of the same. Virtually all the videos they produce wind up online, even on the rare occasion when they are originally produced for an in-person event. "It's simple, when people come to your site, they don't want to have to sift through a sea of text. It's boring reading about USPs," says Senior Producer Luke Cairns. "The easiest way to get your message across - especially if you have a complicated product or service offering - is a lovely video that communicates everything you need up front."

Luke, who has spent years producing TV, advertisements and feature films heads up Butchers Hook with Creative Director Evan Pugh, who has previously worked on the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Big Brother series. They began working together in 2010, deciding to focus where the greatest demand for their talents was - corporate videos. "Every business - from blue chip corporations to SMEs - needs video on their websites to draw people in and engage customers," Luke explains. Their team produces testimonials, product videos, training, internal communications, and virtually any other type of business video you can imagine.

It became clear that in order to succeed online, they would need to pay attention to SEO. During the slow period that usually occurs around Christmas time, Luke devoted his time to educating himself in SEO best practices. "When you host on YouTube, they get all your SEO juice, not your own site. We wanted that juice, that SEO goodness." They hired a SEO company who strongly advised them to host elsewhere. "So I started researching YouTube alternatives and vzaar came out on top because of the value for our money, the amount of bandwidth we have to play with, not to mention the interface. It's very web 3.0, very clear and easy." His efforts are paying off in a big way now that they show up on the first page of results for the terms they've targeted.

Although they initially were drawn to vzaar for SEO reasons, they've been really pleasantly surprised by the other tools at their disposal, like password protection. "Clearly we can't have clients' videos in the first draft stage seen by anyone. We used to FTP them over, but anything that can reduce confusion for our clients is best." They also get a lot of use out of the customization options. Branded video pages allow them to share a quick link to their password protected videos with clients in an environment that is completely under their control. They've also customized the player they have embedded on their homepage, where a showreel of their best work plays front and center, flanked by red velvet curtains. "It's shocking how many video production companies don't even have a video on their own homepage!" Luke laughs. "How can they expect their clients to take them seriously?"

Evan and Luke insist video can help any business because they've seen the results time and time again. A recent example is an industrial boiler company we worked with to produce more content for their site. "We recorded a few product videos with their MD - who was unknown outside of the company at the time- and the response within the industry was massive. He's an industry star now, recognized as a real authority, which has been great for the company."

Every business - from blue chip corporations to SMEs - needs video on their websites

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Luke Cairns Producer, Butchers Hook Video

Luke and Evan often find business videos do best when they are kept short - about a minute or a minute and half, and focus on getting on strong point across, although there are exceptions to the rule. They are currently working on a series of How-to videos for SanDisk and, as always, continuing to evangelize the benefits of video to every business they come in contact with. "With the explosion of broadband and video online in recent years, there's no reason not to take advantage of it. There's so much rubbish out there - cats falling off sofas and so on - valuable content really resonates."