Pest control professionals are getting out from behind their desks and behind the camera.

Kurt Treftz, co-founder of Cascade Pest Control in Seattle, Wash., is one pest control business owner who is now speaking to his customers through short, snappy videos designed to educate and entertain.

“We are surprised sometimes by how many folks watch the videos,” he said. “Of course, within our website we emphasize the serious ones, and we think they do a great job showing our professionalism and building trust. With the humorous ones, we hope to build social traffic and name recognition.”

Treftz’s campaigns were released over a span of eight months and are as short as 10 seconds, others two and half minutes.

“One part is a series of three videos…describing rodent infestations,” he said. “The first video about Cascade’s rodent inspections is most comprehensive, using camera angles, a steady boom, some music score at the beginning and end and most of all an interesting personality talking to the audience,” he said. “It’s designed to be engaging.”

Check out Cascade’s YouTube channel at www.cascadepest.com/videos/

He added that the following two videos in the series about initial rodent service and rodent protection service were designed in the same mindset, but are shorter.

“The other part of our campaign is where we’ve created ‘Seattle Rat,’” said Treftz. “Here we are using some humor and engaging the public.”

The two videos play with the notion of how rats are found in toilets, and the rat in the video is discovered sitting on the toilet seat, using it. The videos act as a way to showcase the real issue and direct viewers to a video playlist of actual rats found in people’s toilets.

The video campaigns aren’t always easy to execute. Treftz said the best videos take days to outline, prepare for, script, produce and edit — he’s also spent a lot of time trying various video-editing apps.

However, he said the videos are valuable for providing local information, brand recognition and improving Google rankings overall.

“It’s somewhat unique in that now, with the advent and full establishment of the Internet and Internet search marketing and business transactions, videos have become the basic currency,” he said. “People now have come to expect some video to provide information, and if the video has entertainment value, all the better to ensure they watch it to the end, and maybe even select another video to watch.”

For pest control professionals looking to film their first video, Treftz recommends starting by studying the gear.

“Practice with your iPhone or video camera, practice editing, think about what people want, and also do some research and then take the time and money to produce them well, especially if they are serious videos intended for main content within your website,” he said. “Also remember that people love entertainment, humor and distractions, so there could be a place for that as well.”

With several videos under his belt, Treftz has been exploring a new angle with a filmmaker who traditionally makes art films to create four commercials for his company to broadcast on Cascade’s website and YouTube channel.

“The end product is hopefully fun enough to be entertaining and engaging, while suggesting a good message about Cascade Pest Control,” he said.

The author is a Cleveland-based writer who can be contacted at lstraub@gie.net.