Amid COVID-19, organizations across all sectors have had to transition much of their communication to virtual platforms. With video taking center stage as a preferred way to connect with people inside and outside any organization, there are several considerations to keep in mind when going this route.
For senior living organizations in particular, these tips take on added importance as some prospects may be less technology and video-fluent than others, and providing a crisp, clear virtual message will be key to maintaining sales and deposits. Once your other tech tools are in place, here are seven helpful tips for maximizing the effectiveness of video for senior living marketing purposes.
- Use good lighting.
Good lighting is an excellent way to give your video call a professional look, and it doesn’t require purchasing and rigging a Hollywood-level lighting setup. Well-lit videoconferences can be achieved by positioning the camera in such a way that it casts plenty of light onto the area or people to be captured by the video. One good rule of thumb is to ensure light is coming from behind the camera and toward the subject(s), and never from behind the subject(s). Evenness of the light is also important; while natural light is great, be careful when sunlight streaming from windows at different times of day causes distracting shadows or makes your salespeople squint.
- Choose your environment carefully.
Whether you’re recording a video for later/repeated use or having a video call with a prospect, the look, feel and noise level should be considered. Positioning your videoconferencing station in a busy office could present many factors (visual and audio) that can distract from your valuable conversation with a prospect. Ideally, a quiet location with a static, professional background will set the stage for a video call that lets the conversation be the focal point.
- Skip speakerphone.
For one-on-one video calls, consider using earbuds or a headset. While laptop and cell microphones aren’t necessarily bad options, audio is clearer and crisper when using a separate microphone designed to improve clarity. Prospects will appreciate the effort to make their call crisp and clear—and bystanders will certainly appreciate the courtesy, too.
- Stability is key.
When “walking someone through campus” via your phone’s camera, consider mounting your phone on a tripod or using a gimbal-type device to stabilize the video. Especially with the senior population, video chatting with someone in motion can cause dizziness or a feeling of vertigo. Alternatively, offer to cover your camera while walking, so that the only video that the prospect sees is taken while your feet are planted.
- Master the camera switch.
When using a smartphone, most video chat apps allow you to switch between broadcasting from the front-facing camera (the camera facing you) and the rear-facing camera (the one on the back of your phone). Be sure you know how (and when) to switch. Of course, when you initiate the video call or recording, you want prospects to see your face when they answer; and when you are showing off their favorite floor plan, you want them to see the full view of the residence in high definition using your phone’s rear-facing camera.
- Practice, practice, practice!
We’ve said it before, and we’re saying it again here! Connecting with prospects virtually is urgent in the midst of the changes affecting our field. But taking five to 10 minutes to practice using your video setup will pay dividends. Use your sales team to set up a “mock” virtual event, or even practice one-on-one with fellow sales team members using smartphone video chat apps like FaceTime, Skype or Google Hangouts. This will also help ensure that each member of your sales team is exposed to the multiple forms of video communication so there’s no “stage fright” when the camera actually turns on.
- Save it for later.
Be sure to maximize your investment of time and resources by pulling together your virtual and video options in a way that can be repurposed. For example, if hosting a virtual event or a group presentation for prospects, be sure to record and save the video so you can re-air or share it later. Most video broadcasting platforms allow this by default, but you can also save the raw video file for use on other platforms should the need arise. One thing to note, however, is that if prospects are participating or are “on camera” in any way, you will want to let them know you’re recording the session.
We hope these video-centric tips are helpful, actionable and practical. Be on the lookout for the remainder of our special blog series on navigating the senior living marketing challenges presented by COVID-19, and feel free to reach out to Tim Bracken (firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-207-0013) to talk through any particular challenges your organization is facing. We’re always thinking, and we’re here to help.