Man in front of camera recording client successes videos

SVA Offers Pointers on Highlighting Client Successes Through Video

Accounting firms can’t be successful unless their client businesses have success, and no one can tell that story better than the clients themselves. A Madison, Wis.-based firm has found a way to showcase these client successes through videos.  The architects of the “Measurable Results” campaign recently shared the lessons they learned over years of producing a growing portfolio of two-minute client successes videos and written stories.

The campaign also impressed judges for AAM’s 2020 Marketer of the Year, which was awarded in June to Annie Somermeyer, business development director for SVA, a professional services company that includes a CPA, wealth management, trust company and business technology firm.

Somermeyer and digital marketing manager Patrick Ryan presented a Sept. 9 AAM High webinar that spelled out, in detail, how firms can efficiently produce professional-looking videos inhouse with a manageable budget and as little disruption to the client as possible.

Tips to Create Videos Highlighting Client Successes

  • Do the footwork – Make sure the company you’re interested in has achieved a Measurable Result while working with your firm. Research the company and interview the firm professionals involved with the client. Ask for story background and, “What is the one thing you would love to hear the client say about the firm?” Then interview the client, ask about the business problem that brought them to the firm and how the problem was solved and what business results were achieved.
  • Explain to the client what’s in it for them – Tell them before they ask you. SVA schedules a 20-minute phone call with the prospective client to explain the value of their participation – a professional photo, all video footage, and a lot of free brand exposure. SVA uses the videos in social media postings, TV, print or digital ads and office artwork. “They feel good about assisting a company that assisted them,” Somermeyer said.
  • Move fast and be transparent – Once a client agrees, move quickly. Tell them exactly what to expect. Provide timelines and stick to them. In SVA’s case, the team schedules) a site visit to determine where they will shoot the photo and video, as well as what to use for B roll shots – signage, branding, products, facility environment, etc.
  • Make it easy on the client – After the site visit, the photo shoot/video interview is scheduled. The entire process takes about four hours, but the client who will be featured is needed for only an hour. Somermeyer typically conducts the interview and coaches the client to generate candid, authentic answers that aren’t too technical. Each video is structured the same way, with the same questions for each client, and all videos are carefully edited so all clients look their best so one doesn’t outshine another, she said. Editing typically takes six to 10 hours.

Ryan, who has a deep background in video production, said that the skills can be self-taught.  Don’t feel that you need to be an expert, he said. Even one video has saved the firm thousands of dollars in hiring a freelance production crew.

The “Measurable Results” tagline has become far more than a branding exercise. It is a true differentiator for SVA and it serves as the benchmark by which firm professionals measure their own success.

For details on the seven interview questions SVA asks each client, along with the specific equipment used to film and edit the videos, click here for a recording of the webinar. A PDF of the slides is also available by emailing Rhonda Clark.

About Christina Camara

Christina Camara is the managing editor of INSIDE Public Accounting, which publishes two award-winning publications: the IPA newsletter and the annual IPA National Benchmarking Report, along with in-depth reports focused on IT, HR, and firm administration.

Christina Camara on LinkedIn

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