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POST DATE: Monday , August 07, 2017 , 09:29 AM

Video is King: An Interview With Allie Callahan

I had the pleasure of sitting down and chatting with Allie Callahan, Marketing & Membership Director at Parkland Golf & Country Club (Toll Brothers). I was recently introduced to Allie on LinkedIn when I saw that she shared a video that she created for Parkland Golf & Country Club that was announcing their recent website launch. I was immediately hooked on the video, especially since we are constantly being asked: what is the best way to announce a brand new website to your membership? Well, after seeing Allie Callahan’s video, I have to say without a doubt the best way to announce a website launch is to create a Launch Video.

A Launch Video is a great way to visually show members how to access the new website, where their beloved features are, and what new features you’ve introduced. These types of videos serve double duty of a marketing video and an educational piece that allows members to be excited about their new website and encourage use of new features. Many private clubs struggle with releasing a new design and new functionality as members may struggle with changes, but with an instructional launch video this issue seems to all but dissolve.


Read Allie’s interview below, and watch her video, to learn how to create your own Launch Video announcement.


Q: What inspired you to make this video, or what was the end goal of the video?

A: Video is king right now. Anywhere on social media people are constantly posting videos, from 7-second little videos to longer types of videos. It’s everywhere, and I think the interactive piece is super important and really any medium that can reach our members or customers, we will try it. 

When I thought about approaching this video there were a couple of things that came to mind as far as Toll Brothers and Toll Golf standards are concerned: we try to keep consistency in our videos, so we always start them with our logo whether that is on just a blank black drop like I did, or like Jupiter [with] their golf course and then the logo over that. So, we’re always starting and ending it with our logo, keeping the brand consistency.

One thing that I changed up was to put myself into the video. As much as I was a little hesitant, I thought it would really help with members recognizing me, and building more rapport with them. Any member that comes in has to do a new member orientation with me so it’s a familiar face that maybe catches their eye in the [social media] newsfeed right away that would stop them and say ‘oh okay, let me watch this. I know Allie’. I [filmed the video] in my office - a place that I’m comfortable at and a place that other people are comfortable at. They do all of the member orientation in my office, so it’s familiar to them and it was comfortable for me.


"Video is King right now"


Q: I think it’s great you put yourself in the video. It was just so welcoming. It’s relatable. People want to see a human and since you work so closely with member and prospects, they’re already going to get to know you so you’re the perfect point person to be there and to be on camera. I think that it was really well done and a very good choice for the launch video.

A: Oh thanks. A lot of it was scripted, so making sure that I was comfortable with it was important. I did take a script from one of our other videos and just made minor  tweaks, so it actually sounds like something I would say - the inflections and whatnot are in the right point, and I’m emphasizing on things that I would emphasize on and not just reading the script. I wanted to make sure I came across very crisp and didn’t speak too quickly, which I tend to do so, that was important; and I think everybody gets that way sometimes.


Q: So, talking about the video creation - what did you use to record yourself and then do the screencast?

A: So the recording of myself was just a DSLR camera (Nikon D3200). The main thing I would say with that is make sure you have a tripod so you want to have a steady camera, a well lit space, and [that] you don’t have too much background noise. For the video itself I used the DSLR with a tripod and just in my office, [with the] office door closed, shades open, so I had some good natural light. And then for the voiceover, I just used my iPhone and I did the Voice Memo. I first read the script [and] I think I did it 2-3 times and picked out the one that I thought sounded the best, and then from there the actual recording of the website, I actually did it through PowerPoint. In PowerPoint, if you go to the Insert Tab at the very top - all the way to the right - there’s [an option] that says ‘Screen Recording’, and if you click that you can choose the section you want to record and then you can export it as a movie file.


Download PowerPoint Instructions for Screen Recordings Here


Q: How did you put the voiceover and screencasts together? How did you edit all the pieces?

A: I used iMovie. I just took the [video] clips, I had the voice recording that I was going to lay over the website, and once I decided on the one I actually wanted I hit play to start recording and just pointed to certain things on the screen as I heard them on the Voice Memo, so I knew that it would line up properly. When I was talking about when you click on Tee Times it’ll bring you to the Tee Times Reservation system, I was literally pretending to click on the Tee Times, so I just lined [it] up properly with that, and I just used their basic transitions like fade from one screen to the next.


Q: How was the overall experience? Did you think it was fairly easy to put together?

A: It was fairly easy to put together. I did it on my Mac, but you can do iMovie through an iPhone as well. I think it’s a little bit easier when you’re slicing things and whatnot to do it from an actual computer. iMovie is a great feature especially [for] entry level - it’s pretty user friendly so it was pretty easy I think.

I think getting the video out quickly [was important]. I wanted to make sure that the day that we launched [the new website], was the day we posted to the video. We linked it in our email, we posted it on Facebook and Youtube. I shared it on my personal LinkedIn page. Toll Golf shared it on their page and then we sent out an email and put the link to the video at the very bottom, and we did it where we took a screenshot and then put a little play button over the screenshot of it so that they think that they’re actually clicking and watching but it really brings them to YouTube.


“iMovie is a great feature especially for entry level - it's pretty user friendly”

Q: So what have the member reactions been to the video?

A: We’ve gotten a lot of good feedback just as far as the website in general is concerned. A lot of people did say that they liked how the video explained [what] the QuickLinks [are] and the difference between the private side and the public side. I think that a lot of people maybe didn’t realize that there was a lot of content on the public site for prospects and for their guests, so that was helpful too.


Q: 3 months down the road, will you be sending this video to new members so they can have an overview of how to use the website?

A: Absolutely! We have scheduled emails from each department head that automatically gets sent out to new members after 5 days, 10 days, 15 days, and in my marketing and membership welcome letter that automatically gets sent out to the new members [and] we’re going to link that in there as well so that they can reference [the video].


Q: What advice would you give to Private Clubs that would want to make a Website Video Launch Announcement?

A: My huge takeaway from this is to stay authentic to your club, brand, and yourself. I wouldn’t be doing a video that is a little stuffy - or be out on the golf course with a golf club in my hand - [it] is not me. I was really thinking from a member’s perspective. I want them to feel like I’m talking to them, so that why I said I’m your Marketing & Membership Director, and then I said something along the lines of stay with me through this whole video to learn all about the new features. What I really am thinking in my mind is that the video is a little lengthy as far as social media is concerned. I think it was about 2 ½ minutes, but I’m pitching it to them as ‘hey, stay with me through this whole video because there’s lots of great features, lots of great content, but to hear about it you need to stay with me through the whole video to get all that information’. Also, making sure that it looks professional, so the tripod I think is important [and] making sure you have your logo when you close [the video]. And again personal touches by having someone that they know whether that’s your Membership Director or your GM - I think that people really connect with it if it’s someone they know.


EmilyLatham.png Emily Latham
Emily is an experienced eLearning Specialist at Clubessential with a demonstrated history of working in the computer software industry. Skilled in Camtasia, Learning Management Systems, Online Course Building, CMS, Inbound Marketing, & Webinar Management.