Online Marketing Blog – TopRank® http://www.toprankblog.com Wed, 18 Jul 2018 10:35:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.7 How to Select the Right Type of Video for Your B2B Marketing Goals http://www.toprankblog.com/2018/06/types-b2b-video-marketing/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2018/06/types-b2b-video-marketing/#respond Wed, 06 Jun 2018 10:05:32 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=24365 Types of B2B Video & When to Use Them

Types of B2B Video & When to Use Them

Mugatu is onto something ...

Video Marketing is So Hot Meme

According Content Marketing Institute’s 2018 B2B Content Marketing Report, 72% of B2B marketers use pre-produced video content, 17% use video live-streams, and 4% create documentaries or short films. Combined, this makes video one of the hottest types of content among B2B marketers.

And it’s not without results, either. Video marketing boasts some impressive stats, including:

  • Marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users. - Aberdeen Group
  • Video drives a 157% increase in organic traffic from SERPs. - Brightcove
  • Embedding videos in landing pages can increase conversion rates by 80%. - Eyeview Digital
  • Social video generates 1,200% more shares than text and images combined - Brightcove
  • 51.9% of marketing professionals name video as the type of content with the best ROI - HubSpot

It seems like a no-brainer, right? But like with most things in marketing, it’s knowing where to start and what to create that’s the hard part.

As with any marketing tactic, you want to choose the right content type and style to engage and nurture your audience. Plus, the content you create needs to align with and support your marketing goals—video is no different.

To help you figure out how to get started with video marketing and how to incorporate it into your integrated marketing mix, we’re breaking down the many types of videos for marketing and when to use them.

1. Teasers

The name implies it all—these videos are short, sweet, and meant to give audiences just a glimpse of what’s to come. More specifically, teasers are short videos that promote other content, services, products, or events and generate excitement or interest in them. At no longer than 10-30 seconds, this means you have to do your best with the time given to you through high-energy language, fast-paced content, and plenty of information; motion graphics are an especially great teaser format.

Teasers are great for generating excitement and are very short in length, making them a great fit for social media promotion, where you’ll be looking to generate buzz for an asset (i.e. eBooks, podcasts, infographics, blog posts, webinars). The biggest thing to remember about teasers is that they need to have a call to action that promotes another piece of content. The goal of a teaser is to spur action in an audience, whether that’s registering for a webinar, downloading an eBook, or listening to a podcast episode.

Length: 10 to 30 seconds

Where to Use It: Paid and Organic Social Media

Best Assets: eBooks, Podcasts, Infographics, Blog Posts

Example: LinkedIn Marketing Solutions*, Secret Sauce eBook

2. Trailers & Previews

Trailers and previews are another type of short video content. However, where trailers differ from teasers is that a trailer actually features a sample of the content its promoting. For example, a teaser might use new visuals and graphics to get people excited, but a trailer will actually feature a preview of what’s to come. Just take a look at movie trailers—most of them show you scenes directly from the film.

If you’ve already created the content, you’ve already done most of the work for a trailer or preview. Just take content included in your videos, infographics, eBooks, and other assets and edit them into a trailer format that gets people interested. While trailers perform well on social, they’re also a great addition to landing pages as landing page videos have been found to increase conversions by 80% or more. Depending on where you’re planning to have this content live, decide if and when a CTA is appropriate.

Length: 30 seconds to 2 minutes

Where to Use It: Paid and Organic Social Media, Landing Pages

Best Assets: eBooks, Podcasts, Long-Form Video, Infographics

Example: Eloqua, Journey to Modern Marketing

3. Explainers

We’ve already covered videos that are used to promote other pieces of content—teasers and trailers. But what about when you have a standalone topic you want to cover in a video? Maybe you want to create a tutorial on how to use your software or educate your audience on how to launch an employee wellness program. This type of marketing video is called an explainer. Explainers are original pieces of content that educate and inform the audience on a subject.

The best explainer videos focus on appealing to an audience’s curiosity by answering common questions or solving popular pain points. In providing useful and compelling information, the video helps add to your brand’s authority. As a video that can stand on its own two feet while offering helpful advice, explainer videos can make a great complement to a power page or blog post. They also perform well on social channels as it’s a quick and easy way for you audience to absorb a lot of information. And because all of the value is within the video itself, explainers typically don’t have a call to action. But again, depending on where you plan to have this content live, make a decision on if a CTA makes sense.

Length: 30 seconds to 3 minutes

Where to Use It: Paid and Organic Social Media, Power Pages, Blog Posts

Example: Slack*, “So Yeah, We Tried Slack”

4. Video Essays & Companion Videos

Can you cover a topic in-depth in under three minutes? When you need to dive deeper than an explainer video allows, video essays are the perfect type of video to turn to. Video essays are original, long-form video content that explores a subject in-depth. A good video essay might be an 8 minute discussion that covers your thoughts on new changes in the market or new trends like cryptocurrency.

Because of their length, video essays are the perfect place to showcase your brand’s thought leadership and expertise through education and entertainment. In covering all sides of an issue or topic, you have more opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge, improving trust and credibility among your audience. Jam-packed with valuable information, video essays are a great addition to power pages, blog posts, and social media channels.

But what if you’ve already covered the topic in-depth for a power page, blog post, or eBook? Should you still make a video essay? The answer is yes as 59% of executives say they would rather watch a video than read text. Given this information, your video essay could perform better than your existing content in terms of generating leads or strengthening engagement. In this situation, take your existing eBook, blog, or power page and turn it into a video essay, giving your audience an alternate channel to consume your content.

Length: 1 minute to 10 minutes

Where to Use It: Paid and Organic Social Media, Power Pages, Blog Posts

Example: HubSpot, What Is the Difference Between Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)?

Your Directorial Debut

Video is rapidly becoming the preferred way to consume content for many audiences with 82% of all web traffic expected to be video by 2021. If you’re not making videos as a part of your content marketing strategy, you could be missing out on an enormous opportunity to improve your organic traffic, landing page conversions, social engagements, and more.

And to make sure your videos are helping you reach your marketing goals, it’s important that you select the right types of marketing videos and content they will support. Using the guide above, you’ll be able to pair your video and content together in a way that fuels results.

Video can be time consuming to strategize, produce, and distribute. To help you become a more efficient and effective video marketer, check out our additional tips, examples, and guides:

*Disclosure: LinkedIn Marketing Solutions and Slack are TopRank Marketing clients.

The post How to Select the Right Type of Video for Your B2B Marketing Goals appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

]]>
Types of B2B Video & When to Use Them

Types of B2B Video & When to Use Them Mugatu is onto something ... Video Marketing is So Hot Meme According Content Marketing Institute’s 2018 B2B Content Marketing Report, 72% of B2B marketers use pre-produced video content, 17% use video live-streams, and 4% create documentaries or short films. Combined, this makes video one of the hottest types of content among B2B marketers. And it’s not without results, either. Video marketing boasts some impressive stats, including:
  • Marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users. - Aberdeen Group
  • Video drives a 157% increase in organic traffic from SERPs. - Brightcove
  • Embedding videos in landing pages can increase conversion rates by 80%. - Eyeview Digital
  • Social video generates 1,200% more shares than text and images combined - Brightcove
  • 51.9% of marketing professionals name video as the type of content with the best ROI - HubSpot
It seems like a no-brainer, right? But like with most things in marketing, it’s knowing where to start and what to create that’s the hard part. As with any marketing tactic, you want to choose the right content type and style to engage and nurture your audience. Plus, the content you create needs to align with and support your marketing goals—video is no different. To help you figure out how to get started with video marketing and how to incorporate it into your integrated marketing mix, we’re breaking down the many types of videos for marketing and when to use them.

1. Teasers

The name implies it all—these videos are short, sweet, and meant to give audiences just a glimpse of what’s to come. More specifically, teasers are short videos that promote other content, services, products, or events and generate excitement or interest in them. At no longer than 10-30 seconds, this means you have to do your best with the time given to you through high-energy language, fast-paced content, and plenty of information; motion graphics are an especially great teaser format. Teasers are great for generating excitement and are very short in length, making them a great fit for social media promotion, where you’ll be looking to generate buzz for an asset (i.e. eBooks, podcasts, infographics, blog posts, webinars). The biggest thing to remember about teasers is that they need to have a call to action that promotes another piece of content. The goal of a teaser is to spur action in an audience, whether that’s registering for a webinar, downloading an eBook, or listening to a podcast episode. Length: 10 to 30 seconds Where to Use It: Paid and Organic Social Media Best Assets: eBooks, Podcasts, Infographics, Blog Posts Example: LinkedIn Marketing Solutions*, Secret Sauce eBook

2. Trailers & Previews

Trailers and previews are another type of short video content. However, where trailers differ from teasers is that a trailer actually features a sample of the content its promoting. For example, a teaser might use new visuals and graphics to get people excited, but a trailer will actually feature a preview of what’s to come. Just take a look at movie trailers—most of them show you scenes directly from the film. If you’ve already created the content, you’ve already done most of the work for a trailer or preview. Just take content included in your videos, infographics, eBooks, and other assets and edit them into a trailer format that gets people interested. While trailers perform well on social, they’re also a great addition to landing pages as landing page videos have been found to increase conversions by 80% or more. Depending on where you’re planning to have this content live, decide if and when a CTA is appropriate. Length: 30 seconds to 2 minutes Where to Use It: Paid and Organic Social Media, Landing Pages Best Assets: eBooks, Podcasts, Long-Form Video, Infographics Example: Eloqua, Journey to Modern Marketing

3. Explainers

We’ve already covered videos that are used to promote other pieces of content—teasers and trailers. But what about when you have a standalone topic you want to cover in a video? Maybe you want to create a tutorial on how to use your software or educate your audience on how to launch an employee wellness program. This type of marketing video is called an explainer. Explainers are original pieces of content that educate and inform the audience on a subject. The best explainer videos focus on appealing to an audience’s curiosity by answering common questions or solving popular pain points. In providing useful and compelling information, the video helps add to your brand’s authority. As a video that can stand on its own two feet while offering helpful advice, explainer videos can make a great complement to a power page or blog post. They also perform well on social channels as it’s a quick and easy way for you audience to absorb a lot of information. And because all of the value is within the video itself, explainers typically don’t have a call to action. But again, depending on where you plan to have this content live, make a decision on if a CTA makes sense. Length: 30 seconds to 3 minutes Where to Use It: Paid and Organic Social Media, Power Pages, Blog Posts Example: Slack*, “So Yeah, We Tried Slack”

4. Video Essays & Companion Videos

Can you cover a topic in-depth in under three minutes? When you need to dive deeper than an explainer video allows, video essays are the perfect type of video to turn to. Video essays are original, long-form video content that explores a subject in-depth. A good video essay might be an 8 minute discussion that covers your thoughts on new changes in the market or new trends like cryptocurrency. Because of their length, video essays are the perfect place to showcase your brand’s thought leadership and expertise through education and entertainment. In covering all sides of an issue or topic, you have more opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge, improving trust and credibility among your audience. Jam-packed with valuable information, video essays are a great addition to power pages, blog posts, and social media channels. But what if you’ve already covered the topic in-depth for a power page, blog post, or eBook? Should you still make a video essay? The answer is yes as 59% of executives say they would rather watch a video than read text. Given this information, your video essay could perform better than your existing content in terms of generating leads or strengthening engagement. In this situation, take your existing eBook, blog, or power page and turn it into a video essay, giving your audience an alternate channel to consume your content. Length: 1 minute to 10 minutes Where to Use It: Paid and Organic Social Media, Power Pages, Blog Posts Example: HubSpot, What Is the Difference Between Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)?

Your Directorial Debut

Video is rapidly becoming the preferred way to consume content for many audiences with 82% of all web traffic expected to be video by 2021. If you’re not making videos as a part of your content marketing strategy, you could be missing out on an enormous opportunity to improve your organic traffic, landing page conversions, social engagements, and more. And to make sure your videos are helping you reach your marketing goals, it’s important that you select the right types of marketing videos and content they will support. Using the guide above, you’ll be able to pair your video and content together in a way that fuels results. Video can be time consuming to strategize, produce, and distribute. To help you become a more efficient and effective video marketer, check out our additional tips, examples, and guides: *Disclosure: LinkedIn Marketing Solutions and Slack are TopRank Marketing clients.

The post How to Select the Right Type of Video for Your B2B Marketing Goals appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

]]>
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Camera Shy: 7 Tips for First-Time Video Marketers http://www.toprankblog.com/2018/04/video-marketing-tips-beginners/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2018/04/video-marketing-tips-beginners/#respond Mon, 30 Apr 2018 10:31:53 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=24163 Video Marketing Tips for First-Timers

Video Marketing Tips for First-Timers

Video isn’t for the faint of heart. You need to feel confident enough to put yourself, and your brand, out there. But it’s a medium that a lot of marketers are exploring as it holds a lot of potential.

In fact, Cisco’s Visual Networking Index predicts that 82% of all internet traffic will be video by 2021. Video is a main source of content consumption, including everything from the news to YouTube tutorials. And as marketers looking to demonstrate thought leadership and credibility, video presents a unique opportunity to get in front of and educate your target audience. However, 64% of marketers agree that video is the hardest type of content to produce, turning many people away from embracing video.  

Never one to shy away from a challenge, we’ve been diving in head-first here at TopRank Marketing. We’ve been doing video for a while through our Digital Marketing News casts, but we recently started expanding to include a video series (Crush-It!) that inspires the next generation of curious, courageous, and clever digital marketers. Each video features one of our internal experts, which brought both seasoned and green video personalities to the stage.

If you’re thinking that you want to enter the world of video marketing, check out our team’s video marketing tips from their own experiences in front of the camera, as well as behind the scenes.

Our Video Marketing Experts

Tiffani Allen TopRank MarketingTiffani Allen

Senior Account Manager

One of the anchors for our Digital Marketing News YouTube series, Tiffani is a veteran in front of the camera. Having starred in over 100 videos, as well as directed videos for a few of our clients, Tiffani knows how to organize and shoot effective videos.

Follow Tiffani on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Josh NiteJoshua Nite

Senior Content Marketing Manager

As Tiffani’s Digital Marketing News co-anchor, Josh also has plenty of advice for marketers going in front of or behind the camera. With over 100 videos under his belt as well, Josh is no stranger to video marketing.

Follow Josh on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Nick Nelson

Content Strategist

Recently appearing in one of our latest Crush-It! episodes, Nick has useful tips for first-timers. Having covered video marketing strategies and tips in the past for our own blog content, Nick’s also picked up some advice from leading brands and video experts.

Follow Nick on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Steve SlaterSteve Slater

Senior SEO and Digital Advertising Manager

Video isn’t widely known for being SEO-friendly. But as a dedicated SEO expert, Steve provides great insight into how you can still take advantage of video for search marketing. Steve has also appeared in our Crush-It series, becoming a breakout star with some helpful tips.

Follow Steve on Twitter and Linkedin.

7 Video Marketing Tips for First-Timers

#1 - Get ready for your close-up.

Video is all about “looks,” but looks don’t just boil down to your hair or makeup. It’s more so about making sure that your talented cast comes prepared and well-versed on the subject they’re going to be talking about. This will allow them to appear more comfortable, relaxed, and confident on camera. Afterall, everyone appearing in the video will be an extension of your brand. To help you get ready for your close up and put your best self forward, here are some tips from our team on your appearance and demeanor.

“If you appear nervous or lacking in confidence, it'll probably be visible to viewers. This is no easy task, especially for the camera-shy, but be mindful of the vibe you're giving off. Try as hard as you can to relax and have fun. It'll show.” - Nick Nelson

“Relax! It can be uncomfortable to be on camera, but the more you do it, the easier it gets. Think of it as a conversation with your audience versus a video – it takes some of the pressure off. Also, avoid super busy patterns or lines when you’re picking out what to wear. It can make some really crazy things happen visually.” - Tiffani Allen

In addition to keeping your appearance in check, you also can’t stop once you start. This lesson can be applied to plenty of things you’ll try throughout your marketing career. But if you want to experience success with your videos, it will take a lot grit, determination, and outside-the-box thinking. Even if you aren’t getting the views or subscriptions you want, you have to keep at it, optimizing your approach along the way.

“You have to commit. The first video probably won't be great. It might not even be good. Keep going and it will get better.” - Steve Slater

We’ve been iterating on our approach to video since 2016, starting with the basics, learning as we go, and striving to make each take better than the next.

Here’s an early example from us from a couple years back.

And here’s a video from last week. We've been working on finding the perfect lighting scenario, experimenting with different cuts, angles, and interstitials, and other refinements.

#2 - You don’t need a blockbuster budget.

Video is an expensive endeavor. Or, it can be. Between lighting, audio, video, and editing equipment, it can quickly become a costly investment. But just because you have all of the bells and whistles, doesn’t mean your video will be a success. Instead, focus on the content of your videos to ensure that your video will be watched and appreciated.

“You don’t have to have a huge budget. You can work with what you have to create a great video, you just have to get creative.” - Tiffani Allen

Our own videos don’t have a huge budget. For example, we shot the below video in one of our offices and used the creative theme of meditation to engage our audience. It was an out-of-the-box idea, but it currently holds the title for longest watch time.

Read: How to Get Started with Video Content Marketing (Without a Blockbuster Budget)

#3 - Practice your narrative, not your lines.

When it comes to film, there’s usually a script that’s followed. When it comes to your video marketing, you’ll also want a script that helps you stay on track and express all of your talking points. However, while it’s tempting to document everything you want to say, word for word, avoid that urge as best as you can. Having a script is helpful, but it can also cause your video to feel less organic or authentic. Check out our team’s tips below for practicing ahead of filming.

“I would recommend carefully planning out your talking points ahead of time and rehearsing them so they don't escape your mind on the spot. You don't need to memorize a script — in fact, you might not want to, as you'll likely come off as robotic and not very conversational — but memorize the things you'd generally like to say. This will help prevent the "ums" and "uhs" that can become stressful when the camera is rolling.” - Nick Nelson

“I would recommend going over your talking points to have a good understanding of what you want to say, but NOT scripting it out verbatim. You want to keep it sounding natural and human.” - Joshua Nite

“Practice your narrative, not your lines. If you try to remember what you’re going to say verbatim, you’ll likely need to do multiple takes and it may come off as rehearsed or inauthentic. Know what message you’re trying to deliver and you’ll have much more fun!” - Tiffani Allen

#4 - Nail down your intention.

If you’re writing a blog post, putting together an eBook, or drafting an email, there’s typically a call to action (CTA) with a link. When it comes to video, however, that type of call to action becomes harder to include. While links are important and can be included as bumpers or within the video description, we would challenge you to think more critically about the action you want to inspire from your audience.

Video offers a vastly different experience for your audience than physical text. This means your CTA can offer a different experience as well. Do you want viewers to subscribe? Like the video? Share it? Comment? All of those CTAs now become options. You need to decide what you want your audience to do before you think about a measurable CTA.

“This comes down to being creative. What are you really trying to accomplish? Know that first, then figure out what tools you have at your disposal to get there. Can’t embed CTAs in your YouTube videos? Use bumpers with short links and add them to the description.” - Tiffani Allen

For our own Crush-It videos, we added clickable CTAs at the end of our videos to subscribe to our channel or watch another episode.

Crush-It Video Calls to Action

#5 - Put someone in the director’s chair.

If you have a low-budget for your video marketing projects, odds are you don’t have a director or cameraman to back you up. While we don’t expect you to go out and hire someone to fill that void, simply enlisting a coworker or friend to press record has immense value. Even if they don’t have video experience, if they can help you start and stop your video clips, you can save hours in the editing chair.

“I think my biggest piece of advice is to have someone behind the camera. It really helps if it's someone who knows what they're doing (like our own video mastermind, Adam Dunn), but even just having someone to push the button and stand there made a drastic difference in how quick and easy it was to record.” - Joshua Nite

via GIPHY

#6 - Video transcriptions aren’t just for closed captioning.

Video has a reputation for not being SEO-friendly. Because video by nature has minimal crawlable text, the SEO value is perceived to be low. However, there’s a workaround we’ve discovered that can more than make up for a video’s lack of text. What’s that secret? Transcriptions that allow for supportive, repurposed blog content and increased search visibility.

“Transcribe those videos when you embed them on your website. Don't miss out on giving Google all that great content to index.” - Steve Slater

“If your video focuses on keywords and topics that are important to your audience, it might be worth creating a written transcript and having it accompany the embedded video in a blog post. This will enable you to gain SEO traction and draw more inbound traffic for the vid. Include optimized headers and everything for maximum impact. Moz sets a good example of this with their Whiteboard Friday sessions.” - Nick Nelson

Moz Whiteboard Friday Video Transcription

#7 - Be your biggest critic.

If you’re anything like me, you do not like the sound of your own voice or watching yourself on screen. But if you want to improve your videos, it’s something that you have to do to measure your own performance. Skipping out on watching yourself can lead to you repeating past mistakes.

“To quote the great LIttle Walter, ‘you better watch yourself.’ I know it isn't fun but watch your own videos. See how you look and act on camera.” - Steve Slater

via GIPHY

Lights. Camera. Action.

Video marketing is a large undertaking for any brand as it involves looping in your brand’s internal thought leaders, investing in new equipment, and putting your brand into uncharted territory. But if you let the fear of budget, failure, or judgement hold you back, you’ll never reach the results you’re looking for.

For your best chance at creating video that’s award-worthy, it’s important that you stay organized, authentic, and determined. And we speak from experience when we say that it can be challenging at times, but the payoff is video content that educates and inspires — a common goal for many marketers.

Not sure what your first video should cover or aim to do? Struggling to come up with a starting point? Check out our other video marketing resources for inspiration and guidance:

The post Camera Shy: 7 Tips for First-Time Video Marketers appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

]]>
Video Marketing Tips for First-Timers

Video Marketing Tips for First-Timers Video isn’t for the faint of heart. You need to feel confident enough to put yourself, and your brand, out there. But it’s a medium that a lot of marketers are exploring as it holds a lot of potential. In fact, Cisco’s Visual Networking Index predicts that 82% of all internet traffic will be video by 2021. Video is a main source of content consumption, including everything from the news to YouTube tutorials. And as marketers looking to demonstrate thought leadership and credibility, video presents a unique opportunity to get in front of and educate your target audience. However, 64% of marketers agree that video is the hardest type of content to produce, turning many people away from embracing video.   Never one to shy away from a challenge, we’ve been diving in head-first here at TopRank Marketing. We’ve been doing video for a while through our Digital Marketing News casts, but we recently started expanding to include a video series (Crush-It!) that inspires the next generation of curious, courageous, and clever digital marketers. Each video features one of our internal experts, which brought both seasoned and green video personalities to the stage. If you’re thinking that you want to enter the world of video marketing, check out our team’s video marketing tips from their own experiences in front of the camera, as well as behind the scenes.

Our Video Marketing Experts

Tiffani Allen TopRank MarketingTiffani Allen

Senior Account Manager One of the anchors for our Digital Marketing News YouTube series, Tiffani is a veteran in front of the camera. Having starred in over 100 videos, as well as directed videos for a few of our clients, Tiffani knows how to organize and shoot effective videos. Follow Tiffani on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Josh NiteJoshua Nite

Senior Content Marketing Manager As Tiffani’s Digital Marketing News co-anchor, Josh also has plenty of advice for marketers going in front of or behind the camera. With over 100 videos under his belt as well, Josh is no stranger to video marketing. Follow Josh on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Nick Nelson

Content Strategist Recently appearing in one of our latest Crush-It! episodes, Nick has useful tips for first-timers. Having covered video marketing strategies and tips in the past for our own blog content, Nick’s also picked up some advice from leading brands and video experts. Follow Nick on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Steve SlaterSteve Slater

Senior SEO and Digital Advertising Manager Video isn’t widely known for being SEO-friendly. But as a dedicated SEO expert, Steve provides great insight into how you can still take advantage of video for search marketing. Steve has also appeared in our Crush-It series, becoming a breakout star with some helpful tips. Follow Steve on Twitter and Linkedin.

7 Video Marketing Tips for First-Timers

#1 - Get ready for your close-up.

Video is all about “looks,” but looks don’t just boil down to your hair or makeup. It’s more so about making sure that your talented cast comes prepared and well-versed on the subject they’re going to be talking about. This will allow them to appear more comfortable, relaxed, and confident on camera. Afterall, everyone appearing in the video will be an extension of your brand. To help you get ready for your close up and put your best self forward, here are some tips from our team on your appearance and demeanor.
“If you appear nervous or lacking in confidence, it'll probably be visible to viewers. This is no easy task, especially for the camera-shy, but be mindful of the vibe you're giving off. Try as hard as you can to relax and have fun. It'll show.” - Nick Nelson “Relax! It can be uncomfortable to be on camera, but the more you do it, the easier it gets. Think of it as a conversation with your audience versus a video – it takes some of the pressure off. Also, avoid super busy patterns or lines when you’re picking out what to wear. It can make some really crazy things happen visually.” - Tiffani Allen
In addition to keeping your appearance in check, you also can’t stop once you start. This lesson can be applied to plenty of things you’ll try throughout your marketing career. But if you want to experience success with your videos, it will take a lot grit, determination, and outside-the-box thinking. Even if you aren’t getting the views or subscriptions you want, you have to keep at it, optimizing your approach along the way.
“You have to commit. The first video probably won't be great. It might not even be good. Keep going and it will get better.” - Steve Slater
We’ve been iterating on our approach to video since 2016, starting with the basics, learning as we go, and striving to make each take better than the next. Here’s an early example from us from a couple years back. And here’s a video from last week. We've been working on finding the perfect lighting scenario, experimenting with different cuts, angles, and interstitials, and other refinements.

#2 - You don’t need a blockbuster budget.

Video is an expensive endeavor. Or, it can be. Between lighting, audio, video, and editing equipment, it can quickly become a costly investment. But just because you have all of the bells and whistles, doesn’t mean your video will be a success. Instead, focus on the content of your videos to ensure that your video will be watched and appreciated.
“You don’t have to have a huge budget. You can work with what you have to create a great video, you just have to get creative.” - Tiffani Allen
Our own videos don’t have a huge budget. For example, we shot the below video in one of our offices and used the creative theme of meditation to engage our audience. It was an out-of-the-box idea, but it currently holds the title for longest watch time. Read: How to Get Started with Video Content Marketing (Without a Blockbuster Budget)

#3 - Practice your narrative, not your lines.

When it comes to film, there’s usually a script that’s followed. When it comes to your video marketing, you’ll also want a script that helps you stay on track and express all of your talking points. However, while it’s tempting to document everything you want to say, word for word, avoid that urge as best as you can. Having a script is helpful, but it can also cause your video to feel less organic or authentic. Check out our team’s tips below for practicing ahead of filming.
“I would recommend carefully planning out your talking points ahead of time and rehearsing them so they don't escape your mind on the spot. You don't need to memorize a script — in fact, you might not want to, as you'll likely come off as robotic and not very conversational — but memorize the things you'd generally like to say. This will help prevent the "ums" and "uhs" that can become stressful when the camera is rolling.” - Nick Nelson “I would recommend going over your talking points to have a good understanding of what you want to say, but NOT scripting it out verbatim. You want to keep it sounding natural and human.” - Joshua Nite “Practice your narrative, not your lines. If you try to remember what you’re going to say verbatim, you’ll likely need to do multiple takes and it may come off as rehearsed or inauthentic. Know what message you’re trying to deliver and you’ll have much more fun!” - Tiffani Allen

#4 - Nail down your intention.

If you’re writing a blog post, putting together an eBook, or drafting an email, there’s typically a call to action (CTA) with a link. When it comes to video, however, that type of call to action becomes harder to include. While links are important and can be included as bumpers or within the video description, we would challenge you to think more critically about the action you want to inspire from your audience. Video offers a vastly different experience for your audience than physical text. This means your CTA can offer a different experience as well. Do you want viewers to subscribe? Like the video? Share it? Comment? All of those CTAs now become options. You need to decide what you want your audience to do before you think about a measurable CTA.
“This comes down to being creative. What are you really trying to accomplish? Know that first, then figure out what tools you have at your disposal to get there. Can’t embed CTAs in your YouTube videos? Use bumpers with short links and add them to the description.” - Tiffani Allen
For our own Crush-It videos, we added clickable CTAs at the end of our videos to subscribe to our channel or watch another episode. Crush-It Video Calls to Action

#5 - Put someone in the director’s chair.

If you have a low-budget for your video marketing projects, odds are you don’t have a director or cameraman to back you up. While we don’t expect you to go out and hire someone to fill that void, simply enlisting a coworker or friend to press record has immense value. Even if they don’t have video experience, if they can help you start and stop your video clips, you can save hours in the editing chair.
“I think my biggest piece of advice is to have someone behind the camera. It really helps if it's someone who knows what they're doing (like our own video mastermind, Adam Dunn), but even just having someone to push the button and stand there made a drastic difference in how quick and easy it was to record.” - Joshua Nite
via GIPHY

#6 - Video transcriptions aren’t just for closed captioning.

Video has a reputation for not being SEO-friendly. Because video by nature has minimal crawlable text, the SEO value is perceived to be low. However, there’s a workaround we’ve discovered that can more than make up for a video’s lack of text. What’s that secret? Transcriptions that allow for supportive, repurposed blog content and increased search visibility.
“Transcribe those videos when you embed them on your website. Don't miss out on giving Google all that great content to index.” - Steve Slater “If your video focuses on keywords and topics that are important to your audience, it might be worth creating a written transcript and having it accompany the embedded video in a blog post. This will enable you to gain SEO traction and draw more inbound traffic for the vid. Include optimized headers and everything for maximum impact. Moz sets a good example of this with their Whiteboard Friday sessions.” - Nick Nelson
Moz Whiteboard Friday Video Transcription

#7 - Be your biggest critic.

If you’re anything like me, you do not like the sound of your own voice or watching yourself on screen. But if you want to improve your videos, it’s something that you have to do to measure your own performance. Skipping out on watching yourself can lead to you repeating past mistakes.
“To quote the great LIttle Walter, ‘you better watch yourself.’ I know it isn't fun but watch your own videos. See how you look and act on camera.” - Steve Slater
via GIPHY

Lights. Camera. Action.

Video marketing is a large undertaking for any brand as it involves looping in your brand’s internal thought leaders, investing in new equipment, and putting your brand into uncharted territory. But if you let the fear of budget, failure, or judgement hold you back, you’ll never reach the results you’re looking for. For your best chance at creating video that’s award-worthy, it’s important that you stay organized, authentic, and determined. And we speak from experience when we say that it can be challenging at times, but the payoff is video content that educates and inspires — a common goal for many marketers. Not sure what your first video should cover or aim to do? Struggling to come up with a starting point? Check out our other video marketing resources for inspiration and guidance:

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Report: What Marketers Need to Know About the ‘State of Video Marketing’ http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/11/state-video-content-marketing/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/11/state-video-content-marketing/#respond Thu, 09 Nov 2017 11:30:55 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=23220 These days, there’s little doubt among marketers that video content is an incredibly powerful content marketing tool. After all, humans are visual creatures by nature, so it stands to reason that video often satisfies our content appetite. In fact, according to a Think With Google study, 50% of internet users said they’ve looked for videos [...]

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These days, there’s little doubt among marketers that video content is an incredibly powerful content marketing tool. After all, humans are visual creatures by nature, so it stands to reason that video often satisfies our content appetite. In fact, according to a Think With Google study, 50% of internet users said they’ve looked for videos related to a product or service before visiting a store.

But as more brands and marketers jump on the video content marketing bandwagon, it’s more important than ever to examine your strategy to ensure you’re getting the most out of your efforts. And a great starting point is to get the lay of the current video marketing land and emerging trends.  

Thankfully, Demand Metric and Vidyard recently published the 2017 Video Content Marketing Benchmark Study, featuring data and insights collected from marketers at B2B or mixed B2B/B2C companies—all of which reported revenue growth in the previous fiscal year, as well as using video to some degree.

Below I highlight some of the findings that I found most interesting, as well as what that means for you as you begin or refine your video marketing efforts.

1. Video marketing usage is not only on the rise, but the amount of video being created is growing rapidly.

According to the study, for the fourth consecutive year, over 90% of study participants reported that video is becoming more important to their efforts. But what’s more, the average number of videos being produced annually jumped from around 29 in 2016 to 38 in 2017.

Video Marketing Production

Of course, smaller companies are producing less video than big companies, but the gap is narrowing. For example, 2016 numbers showed that more than one-third of small companies were producing less than five videos every year. But in 2017 that number shrunk to just one-fifth.

What does this mean for marketers? While video seemed like the answer to overcoming content overload and capturing audience attention, the competition for creating high-quality, engaging and compelling video is growing. So, it’s more critical than ever to make sure you’re not just “doing” video, but that it’s a strategic and thoughtful piece of your overall content marketing mix.


It’s more critical than ever to make sure you’re not just “doing” #video. @CaitlinMBurgess
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2. The types of video marketers are investing in are expanding.

Product, demos and explainer videos lead the pack in terms of the most common types of videos being created, which isn’t a surprise. This type of content highlights a company’s product or service offerings, and expertise in a visual way. However, more forms of video such as how-tos, live streams, social media and those focused on company culture are becoming more widely used.

What does this mean for marketers? To me, this signals that video can and does enhance the customer journey at every stage of the funnel. Just as you craft written content to satisfy your audience’s quest for knowledge at different stages, video can be used in the same way. Furthermore, it can be used to achieve a variety of different marketing objectives such as recruiting new talent, humanizing your brand or sparking real-time engagement.


Video can & does enhance the customer journey at every stage. #videomarketing
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3. Video can inform, engage and convert.

Video, both produced and native, has long-been dubbed as a great way to inform and engage your audience. Studies have shown that we spend a huge chunk of our online time watching video, often multiple times a day. (My personal favorite are all those Tasty videos of recipes I’ll probably never make.)

But if you’ve been skeptical on the conversion power of video, don’t be. According to the report, roughly 70% of participants said video converts better than other forms of content.

Video Marketing ROI

What does this mean for marketers? Building off my point in the previous section, if you really want to commit to video and drive the ultimate objective of getting conversions, you should aim to create relevant, quality video content for every level of buyer’s journey.


70% of marketers say #video converts better than other content forms. @DemandMetric @vidyard
Click To Tweet


4. Advanced measurement is key to unlocking the best ROI.

As with any marketing initiative, measurement is critical to understanding how you’re performing and uncovering opportunities for improvement. However, most marketers are just tracking and analyzing the basics such as views or shares—making it difficult to map video to ROI.

According to the report, just 13% of respondents said they’re using advanced metrics such as views by embed location, viewer drop-off rates, heat maps and attribution to sales pipeline. However, of that 13%, 71% say that these metrics help report much better on video ROI.

“A true and accurate measurement of the ROI of video (or any type of content) requires the adoption and use of advanced metrics,” the report states. “When advanced metrics are not in use, ROI determination is an estimate at best. When advanced metrics are in use, marketers have the information they need about video content performance to achieve even better results.”

What does this mean for marketers? Marketers are often looked at as the spenders within an organization. And while video can no longer be considered a “rising” trend, it can still be hard to get buy-in and more budget if you can’t prove its value. According to the report: “The best way to capture and exploit advanced metrics is to integrate video viewing data into Marketing Automation and/or CRM systems.”


Advanced #videomarketing metrics are key to achieving better results. @DemandMetric @vidyard
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Looking for Video Content Marketing Best Practices & Tips?

Check out these helpful resources on the TopRank Marketing blog:

In addition, if you want more on the state of video marketing, read the full report here.


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How 7 Brands Connect With Audiences Through Long-Form Video Content http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/10/long-form-video-content/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/10/long-form-video-content/#respond Wed, 25 Oct 2017 10:30:45 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=23148 Content comes in many forms, including social media messages, blog posts, video, and more. But video is largely ignored with only 30% of B2B marketers believing video will be critical to their content marketing success. Considering video accounts for 74% of all internet traffic your brand cannot ignore video marketing. With audience’s having an average [...]

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Content comes in many forms, including social media messages, blog posts, video, and more. But video is largely ignored with only 30% of B2B marketers believing video will be critical to their content marketing success.

Considering video accounts for 74% of all internet traffic your brand cannot ignore video marketing. With audience’s having an average attention span of only eight seconds it’s one of the best ways to hold attention and increase audience engagement. This is especially true for long-form video—videos that are roughly 10 minutes in length or longer. In fact, audiences engage in more long-form videos accounting for 63% off all time spent watching videos across devices. Long-form video is a proven and effective way of capturing and engaging audiences, but where do you begin?

To help inspire your own long-form video content ideas and drive audience engagement, we gathered seven leading examples from leading B2C and B2B brands.

#1 – Patagonia

Core to Patagonia’s mission is to use their business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis. One of the ways they do this is by encouraging their own customers to hang on to their clothing for as long as they can and to pass them on to loved ones. It’s a message you wouldn’t expect to hear from a clothing brand, but Patagonia is passionate about the environment and created a special program that enables customers to purchase recycled and reused Patagonia gear. To generate awareness for the program and discourage throwing away clothes, they created the short film, “Worn Wear.”

In “Worn Wear,” Patagonia shares the story of several Patagonia customers and the stories of their clothes. Ranging from 11 to 30+ years old, each vignette features a well-loved, well-worn Patagonia item and the experiences the clothes have held. Patagonia’s message is clear throughout the film, saying, “The most responsible thing you can do is buy used clothes.” It’s an inspirational thought that resonated with their audience, collecting over 800,000 YouTube views to date and climbing. But most impressive of all is how the video has changed their audience’s perception of clothes with comments like, “I truly believe this film has influenced the way I look at clothing specifically, material goods, and what is actually necessity. Thank you!”

The Final Take: Use your company’s mission or purpose to drive long-form video content and connect with audiences on a personal level.

#2 – Chevrolet

As a car company, Chevrolet helps you get from point A to point B. On a deeper level, cars help you get to where you want to go and help you achieve the goals you’ve set your sights on. That’s the message Chevy wants to instill on their customers, but with strong competition and a recovering American car industry it was going to take more than a mission statement.

To illustrate the importance of reaching your dreams, overcoming challenges, and rising to new heights, Chevrolet created a documentary highlighting baseball superstar Mo’ne Davis. Mo’ne was the first female pitcher to have a shutout game in the Little League World Series, an accomplishment that would make her the first female baseball pitcher to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Chevrolet’s documentary interviews Mo’ne, her family, and friends to share what makes her unique both as a daughter of America and as a person in general. The end result is an emotional film that leaves the audience inspired to accomplish the impossible.

The Final Take: Evoke emotion within your audience by showcasing inspirational people and life stories.

#3 – GE

General Electric (GE) has a wide range of products and services, making it a challenge to market them effectively. And given the name, many people may assume that GE is simply a power company. In reality, GE has segments in aviation, healthcare, lighting, transportation, and more. So how can they educate the masses that they’re more than a power plant?  

To educate their audience on how GE powers everything from cities to jet engines, GE created a video series “Into the Wild.” The series follows former Mythbuster Adam Savage as he endeavors to understand the mechanics behind GE’s many products and services. Through expert interviews, animations, and easy to understand explanations, Adam (and the audience) learn just how GE helps power the world.

The Final Take: Long-form video is a great opportunity to educate your audience with visual learning tools like in-person interviews, demonstrations, diagrams, and more.

#4 – Cisco

Cisco, one of the world’s largest networking giants, is well aware that cyber security is one of the most important things they can offer in today’s hyperconnected world. Without a strong and secure network, businesses, markets, and people’s personal information is at risk. Recognizing this, Cisco created Ransomware Defense to keep hackers at bay.

To generate awareness for their new security product, but also for ransomware itself, Cisco made a video that highlights exactly how a hacker completes ransomware. The video itself is very informative, but what makes it so effective is the suspense they created. By creating a mini-movie that follows a hacker performing a successful ransomware attack, the audience is left feeling vulnerable and in need of protection or further information. Given this feeling, it’s no wonder that it is one of Cisco’s most watched YouTube videos to date.

The Final Take: Grab your audience’s attention through a suspenseful storyline that leaves the audience needing more.

#5 – REI

REI stores are rooted in community given their status as the nation’s largest consumer cooperative. Starting as a group of 23 mountain climbers, the brand quickly grew to become a community of active people who love the outdoors—it’s part of what makes REI a unique brand. To highlight their unique communities and the camaraderie that can be found in the outdoors, REI turned to video content.

The most powerful piece of video from REI is their documentary titled “Paul’s Boots.” After hearing about the death of Paul, a man whose greatest dream was to hike the Appalachian Trail, REI and their partner The Dirtbag Diaries reached out to 400 hikers and asked them to carry Paul’s boots the entire length of the AT. This documentary follows Paul’s pair of boots through the eyes of each hiker that offered to carry them, showing how one community came together to help Paul achieve his dream.

The Final Take: The most incredible stories can come from right under your nose. Take inspiration from your customers—do something special for them and share their story with the world.

#6 – IBM

IBM is all about innovation. And one thing they realize is that it is the people who work at IBM that power innovation. To help them recruit leading minds and progressive thinkers, IBM decided to highlight the teams that are behind groundbreaking innovations. Not only would the video showcase their incredible work, but it would also showcase the makeup of the team.

Through exploring the team that created their most recent breakthrough in polymer bonds, IBM showed how a strong team bond with a diverse background can power innovation. And by focusing on the people and allowing them to share their backgrounds, it humanized IBM while establishing their credibility.

The Final Take: Humanize your company and show your expertise by highlighting the personalities that make your brand exciting to work for.

#7 – BMW

Believe it or not, BMW has been making films since 2001. A pioneer of long-form video content, BMW has been using online video to engage audiences in their brand and foster brand loyalty since before the creation of YouTube. The original films follow actor Clive Owen as a driver for hire who encounters several unique challenges while on the job, showing off the capabilities of the car along the way.

Most recently, BMW Films released “The Escape,” a new short that revisits their original Clive Owen film series. Not only does the film showcase the performance of their new 5 series sedan, but it also embodies their tagline “The Ultimate Driving Machine” with Clive Owen using speed, torque, agility, and wit to escape his pursuers.

The Final Take: While the production value of these films are obviously high, the real reason they captivate audiences is the action-packed story that breaks the norm. Don’t be afraid to get creative with an exciting narrative that showcases your brand, values, or products as well.

Form Meaningful Connections With Your Audience

Long-form video is an enormous opportunity for content marketers to connect with audiences on a new level. Find out how to get started in video content marketing with our own video tips or check out our interview with comedic genius and Cisco Creative Director of Marketing, Tim Washer.


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LinkedIn Native Video: What Works, What Doesn’t, What Marketers Need to Know http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/09/linkedin-video-need-know/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/09/linkedin-video-need-know/#comments Thu, 21 Sep 2017 10:30:23 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=22962 Video content is eating the internet. It started with video-specific platforms like YouTube and Vimeo. Then Twitter and Facebook added support for live and pre-recorded video. Now these insatiable moving pictures are becoming serious business: LinkedIn now supports native video. What would compel a buttoned-down, professional networking site like LinkedIn to embrace video? Simply put, [...]

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Video content is eating the internet. It started with video-specific platforms like YouTube and Vimeo. Then Twitter and Facebook added support for live and pre-recorded video. Now these insatiable moving pictures are becoming serious business: LinkedIn now supports native video.

What would compel a buttoned-down, professional networking site like LinkedIn to embrace video? Simply put, people—even businesspeople—want to watch. Fifty-nine percent of executives say that if text and video are available on the same topic, they’re more likely to choose video.

There’s no denying that marketers should embrace video content as a general rule. If your audience wants video, it’s wise for your brand to be the one supplying it. But why publish natively on LinkedIn?

Here are the upsides, downsides, and what-you-need-to-know-sides.

How to Create a LinkedIn Video

LinkedIn has been slowly rolling out its video capabilities, starting with a few influencers and expanding out from there. Most members who have the most recent version of the mobile app should have the capability now.

If your account has video enabled, you will see a camera icon available where you normally post to your feed. On mobile, you can create a video (not a live stream…yet) or upload from your photo gallery. On desktop, you can only upload a pre-recorded video. Nearly every common form of video file is supported.

To record a video, just tap the camera icon, give the app permission to access your camera, and go. To upload video, just navigate to the file you want to add and select it—there’s no learning curve there.

Your file must be at least three seconds long and no longer than 10 minutes, but LinkedIn suggests between 30 seconds and 5 minutes for better engagement. The maximum file size is five gigabytes, which should be plenty of space.

Your post will look…well, a lot like a post with an embedded video, just without the link out at the bottom:

Why Marketers Should Care about LinkedIn Video

You can already embed YouTube video in your LinkedIn feed posts, of course. But posting native video may get you more engagement. On Facebook, native videos typically get 10x more shares than embedded videos. If that trend holds for LinkedIn, you could be missing out on a substantial chunk of potential audience by linking to a YouTube video.

So native video matters—and for virtually all B2B marketers, LinkedIn matters. While Facebook videos can be dominated by memes and entertainment, the LinkedIn audience is specifically there for business. They’re browsing their feeds looking for something that can help advance their career, give them a competitive edge, or just do their jobs better. Useful, professional video content is likely to fare better on LinkedIn than on Twitter or Facebook.

The other reason to go native on LinkedIn video is LinkedIn’s analytical capability. Their demographic data is likely to be more useful to B2B marketers than Facebook’s data is. You can zero in on job function, job title, and seniority of the people who view your video. That data will help you adjust your strategy to hit and engage the right audience.

As native video is more widely adopted by its userbase, LinkedIn is likely to give it preferential treatment over embedded video. LinkedIn has already switched from a pure timeline feed to an algorithm-based feed. Just as Facebook currently gives pride of place to native videos, LinkedIn is likely to prioritize it in their feeds, too.

Downsides to LinkedIn Video

Since this is a new feature, there are some still some quirks to be ironed out, and a few features that are missing. These negatives won’t keep your video from being seen and appreciated, but they’re worth noting:

  1. No playback speed or picture quality settings. Users can’t customize the viewing experience the way they can on YouTube.
  2. It’s hard to link out. the URLs for a video-embedded post are unwieldy: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6316276929771245568/, for example.
  3. The video isn’t embeddable on other sites. It’s definitely intended for consumption on LinkedIn.
  4. Only members can post, not companies.
  5. There’s no dedicated video tab, which can make video content hard to find. I’m willing to bet some kind of tab or filter is in the works, but we don’t have it yet.

What to Use LinkedIn Video For:

Given the limitations of the format, it’s best to think of video on LinkedIn as an add-on to your current marketing strategy. Use it to build your personal brand, or go behind-the-scenes at your company, or interview co-workers and executives.

Many users are already using the format to do quick tips, like this video from Viveka Von Rosen. That kind of informal, live-shot video is an easy way to get started.

There are a few people attempting to create series on the platform, too. Building an audience for a series could be tricky without a dedicated video tab, but Mike Morgan’s Humans of LinkedIn series is making a go of it. If more people start serializing their videos, LinkedIn is likely to add tools that support the practice.

LinkedIn to the Future

If you’re marketing to a B2B audience, native video on LinkedIn is well worth a try. Instead of linking out to YouTube, upload the video natively to LinkedIn and keep an eye on how it performs. Make sure to include keywords and relevant hashtags in the post so your video is easier to find, keep an eye on your analytics, and let the data guide your next steps.

Need more help? Check out these easy ways to get started with video content marketing.

Disclosure: LinkedIn Marketing is a TopRank Marketing client.


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12 Questions You Need to Answer if You Want to Launch a Video Content Strategy http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/09/12-questions-video-content-strategy/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/09/12-questions-video-content-strategy/#respond Tue, 12 Sep 2017 10:30:28 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=22903

There’s no question that video is an increasingly important digital marketing tactic. Humans are visual creatures by nature and, when done right, video allows brands to tell their story and create meaningful, emotional connections with their audience.

For California-based Jordan Vineyard and Winery, video content has become a central piece of their marketing strategy. Lisa Mattson, Director of Marketing & Communications, shared how they’re winning at video during her Content Marketing World session “How Jordan Winery Crushed Content Marketing With a Video-Centered Strategy.”

For a little background, Jordan Vineyard and Winery has been around since the early 1970s, and until Mattson came on board, they’re marketing strategy hadn’t changed in more than 40 years.

“Even the finest wine has a shelf life,” Mattson said in reference to a brand’s image and personality. “You have to innovate.”

But before you get started with video content, Mattson said you need to answer some critical questions if you want your venture to be successful. Below I outline some of the key questions you need to consider.

#1 - Do you have the upper management support?

This one’s pretty simple. The success of any of your marketing initiatives, especially if you’re looking to add a new tactic like video to the mix, depends on getting buy-in from the top. When the leaders at the top support what you do and are excited about it, that trickles down.

#2 - Are you willing to embed yourself in other departments?

In order to create dynamic video content, you’re going to need to lean on folks in multiple departments. Not only are your colleagues going to be a source of inspiration for the type of content you create, but they may need to actually participate in the filming.

#3 - Are your spokespersons comfortable on camera?

Quite obviously, anyone you put on camera needs to feel comfortable there. If they aren’t, that discomfort will be obvious to your audience and turn them off.

#4 - Are you prepared for resistance from co-workers?

As mentioned above, you’re going to have to work with several people from several departments to create awesome video content. But video is time consuming. And your colleagues are busy and this will add more to their already full plate. As a result, you need to be prepared to be met with some resistance, and have a plan to help you work around it.

#5 - What are the best video stories to tell?

At the end of the day, you’re creating video to help tell your brand’s story. So you need to think critically about what types of stories are a good fit for the medium.

#6 - Can you run lean and mean?

If you’re just starting out with video, you likely don’t have a huge team of resources just yet — and maybe you never will. So, you have to be able to commit to running your video strategy “lean and mean.”

#7 - Do you have IT infrastructure?

Video content can take up a lot of bandwidth, so it’s essential to consider your IT needs from the beginning. Mattson recalled an instance where the retail sales department couldn’t process online customer orders because marketing was using so much juice to upload videos to YouTube. So, it’s absolutely critical to make sure you have the right IT infrastructure.

#8 - How big and thorough is your budget?

While it’s widely known that video costs more to produce, Mattson said you don’t need to have a huge budget. You just need to know what your budget is and make a thorough list of what needs to be included.

“Little things add up,” Mattson said. “You might need a little bit of stock footage, or maybe you need to buy some props, and that all costs money.”

She went on to share some of the specific items you’ll need to budget for upfront, including: lenses, camera body, external drives, iMac, lighting, tripod, audio, editing software, and miscellaneous. She estimated the investment to be about $14,000, which seems high. However, hiring a production company to create just one three-minute video, she said, could cost anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000.

#9 - What are the right skill sets and job responsibilities?

Of course, in order to produce high-quality video content, you need capable people to actually do it. Mattson suggested in embracing multi-talented positions, and hiring candidates with core skills and be willing to cross-train them. In addition, she noted that it’s important to know what skills simply can’t be taught, and that it’s important to set job expectations early and clearly.

#10 - Do you have an editorial plan?

For Mattson, consistency is the key to video success. As a result, you need to have a strategy content plan that helps you keep a cadence that will keep your audience coming back and make an impact.

As an extra tip, she also suggested leaving a little wiggle room in there to take advantage of what’s trending. For example, the song “Despacito” is going gangbusters on the radio, and they created a parody video about bottling their wine. You can watch it below.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBdg-lTYO7U[/embed]

#11 - Do you have distribution?

According to Mattson, content might be king, but distribution is queen. Once you create an amazing video, you need to set it free to your audience and go beyond social media.

Some of the distribution considerations mentioned included: where you’re hosting your video content (i.e. YouTube, Vimeo, etc.), paid placement, influencers, and search.

#12 - Do you have an audience?

This is the big one. At the end of the day, if you’re going to do video you have to make sure that you have an audience for it. Depending on your industry, product, service and type of customer, video may not resonate.

One Final Thought

When it comes to creating and executing on a video strategy — or your overall marketing strategy for that matter — there’s one big thing that Mattson said that really resonated with me:

[bctt tweet="People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. - @lisamattsonwine #video #CMWorld" username="toprank"]

For me, this comes down to storytelling. You need a compelling narrative that’s hyperfocused on why your organization does what it does.

Stay tuned for more #CMWorld coverage and insights on the TopRank Marketing Blog. In addition, follow myself and the rest of our on-the-ground team members on Twitter at: @CaitlinMBurgess, @Tiffani_Allen, @leeodden, @knutesands, @NiteWrites, @amywhiggins and @azeckman.

The post 12 Questions You Need to Answer if You Want to Launch a Video Content Strategy appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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There’s no question that video is an increasingly important digital marketing tactic. Humans are visual creatures by nature and, when done right, video allows brands to tell their story and create meaningful, emotional connections with their audience. For California-based Jordan Vineyard and Winery, video content has become a central piece of their marketing strategy. Lisa Mattson, Director of Marketing & Communications, shared how they’re winning at video during her Content Marketing World session “How Jordan Winery Crushed Content Marketing With a Video-Centered Strategy.” For a little background, Jordan Vineyard and Winery has been around since the early 1970s, and until Mattson came on board, they’re marketing strategy hadn’t changed in more than 40 years. “Even the finest wine has a shelf life,” Mattson said in reference to a brand’s image and personality. “You have to innovate.” But before you get started with video content, Mattson said you need to answer some critical questions if you want your venture to be successful. Below I outline some of the key questions you need to consider.

#1 - Do you have the upper management support?

This one’s pretty simple. The success of any of your marketing initiatives, especially if you’re looking to add a new tactic like video to the mix, depends on getting buy-in from the top. When the leaders at the top support what you do and are excited about it, that trickles down.

#2 - Are you willing to embed yourself in other departments?

In order to create dynamic video content, you’re going to need to lean on folks in multiple departments. Not only are your colleagues going to be a source of inspiration for the type of content you create, but they may need to actually participate in the filming.

#3 - Are your spokespersons comfortable on camera?

Quite obviously, anyone you put on camera needs to feel comfortable there. If they aren’t, that discomfort will be obvious to your audience and turn them off.

#4 - Are you prepared for resistance from co-workers?

As mentioned above, you’re going to have to work with several people from several departments to create awesome video content. But video is time consuming. And your colleagues are busy and this will add more to their already full plate. As a result, you need to be prepared to be met with some resistance, and have a plan to help you work around it.

#5 - What are the best video stories to tell?

At the end of the day, you’re creating video to help tell your brand’s story. So you need to think critically about what types of stories are a good fit for the medium.

#6 - Can you run lean and mean?

If you’re just starting out with video, you likely don’t have a huge team of resources just yet — and maybe you never will. So, you have to be able to commit to running your video strategy “lean and mean.”

#7 - Do you have IT infrastructure?

Video content can take up a lot of bandwidth, so it’s essential to consider your IT needs from the beginning. Mattson recalled an instance where the retail sales department couldn’t process online customer orders because marketing was using so much juice to upload videos to YouTube. So, it’s absolutely critical to make sure you have the right IT infrastructure.

#8 - How big and thorough is your budget?

While it’s widely known that video costs more to produce, Mattson said you don’t need to have a huge budget. You just need to know what your budget is and make a thorough list of what needs to be included. “Little things add up,” Mattson said. “You might need a little bit of stock footage, or maybe you need to buy some props, and that all costs money.” She went on to share some of the specific items you’ll need to budget for upfront, including: lenses, camera body, external drives, iMac, lighting, tripod, audio, editing software, and miscellaneous. She estimated the investment to be about $14,000, which seems high. However, hiring a production company to create just one three-minute video, she said, could cost anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000.

#9 - What are the right skill sets and job responsibilities?

Of course, in order to produce high-quality video content, you need capable people to actually do it. Mattson suggested in embracing multi-talented positions, and hiring candidates with core skills and be willing to cross-train them. In addition, she noted that it’s important to know what skills simply can’t be taught, and that it’s important to set job expectations early and clearly.

#10 - Do you have an editorial plan?

For Mattson, consistency is the key to video success. As a result, you need to have a strategy content plan that helps you keep a cadence that will keep your audience coming back and make an impact. As an extra tip, she also suggested leaving a little wiggle room in there to take advantage of what’s trending. For example, the song “Despacito” is going gangbusters on the radio, and they created a parody video about bottling their wine. You can watch it below. [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBdg-lTYO7U[/embed]

#11 - Do you have distribution?

According to Mattson, content might be king, but distribution is queen. Once you create an amazing video, you need to set it free to your audience and go beyond social media. Some of the distribution considerations mentioned included: where you’re hosting your video content (i.e. YouTube, Vimeo, etc.), paid placement, influencers, and search.

#12 - Do you have an audience?

This is the big one. At the end of the day, if you’re going to do video you have to make sure that you have an audience for it. Depending on your industry, product, service and type of customer, video may not resonate.

One Final Thought

When it comes to creating and executing on a video strategy — or your overall marketing strategy for that matter — there’s one big thing that Mattson said that really resonated with me: [bctt tweet="People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. - @lisamattsonwine #video #CMWorld" username="toprank"] For me, this comes down to storytelling. You need a compelling narrative that’s hyperfocused on why your organization does what it does. Stay tuned for more #CMWorld coverage and insights on the TopRank Marketing Blog. In addition, follow myself and the rest of our on-the-ground team members on Twitter at: @CaitlinMBurgess, @Tiffani_Allen, @leeodden, @knutesands, @NiteWrites, @amywhiggins and @azeckman.

The post 12 Questions You Need to Answer if You Want to Launch a Video Content Strategy appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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Stop the Marketing Killjoy: 5 Ways You’re Turning off Audiences with Bad Video http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/09/video-marketing-killjoy/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/09/video-marketing-killjoy/#comments Mon, 11 Sep 2017 18:00:18 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=22918 It might only be 1pm in the afternoon, but it’s five o’clock somewhere – a perfect time for a great dry martini. Research “how to make the perfect dry martini”, and you’ll get over 1,560,000 results. Ask a content marketer “how to tell a good story”, and you’ll get about the same quality of results [...]

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It might only be 1pm in the afternoon, but it’s five o’clock somewhere – a perfect time for a great dry martini.

Research “how to make the perfect dry martini”, and you’ll get over 1,560,000 results. Ask a content marketer “how to tell a good story”, and you’ll get about the same quality of results — except when you ask the fabulous Tim Washer. Like the perfect dry martini, Tim’s strategy for how to tell a good story is simple, neat, and well…perfect.

In his session at Content Marketing World, Tim not only shared how improv can help your B2B marketing, but he shared the five ways you can kill the joy in your videos.

What are his simple rules of how to stop the marketing killjoy?

5 Ways to Kill the Joy in Your Videos

#1 – Death by the Committee

Everytime I think about asking a committee for agree on a single answer, all I envision is that scene from Monty Python of the Knights Who Say “Ni!”. With every question you ask that the they don’t like, the committee responds with an answer you can’t understand – “Ni!”.

In order to find the joy again, keep your committee small. Also, make sure to not set an expectation that they are approving the entire video script. Instead, give them a short list of concepts to approve.

For example, imagine if the entire script for Van Damme’s ‘Epic Split’ Volvo Ad would have been asked for committee approval. We wouldn’t have this:

#2 – Death by the Explanation

As marketers, we sometimes forget to trust our audience. This causes us to feel the need to explain everything. We add in a lot of transitions or talk about items than our audience can easily figure out for themselves based on the imagery shared in the video.

Once you start explaining, you lose your audience.

#3 – Death by Talking About Yourself

We forget that we have customers or clients and talk all about our products or services. This is a sure fire way to kill the joy in your videos. And it must be stopped.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s a place to talk about the product. However, when you look outside the product and look directly at the customer’s pain of why they need the product or service, you hit their emotional center. This is a great place to find empathy, which creates understanding and a common bond.

Meaning > messaging.  Don’t change how people talk; change how they think.

#4 – Death by the Entire Story

We all have that one friend who tells the story of their latest vacation from beginning to very end. And somewhere between the story of their flight being delayed and them returning home to a dirty house, we miss the part about them meeting the love of their life at the hole-in-the-wall restaurant they happened to walk into on a rainy day in Paris.

When telling a story, share one point at a time and move forward. You can always expand on that point in other videos.

#5 – Death by Superlatives

When we use amazing words over and over again, they have the amazing ability to lose their amazing meaning. What’s the amazing-freaking point?

Stop telling people that your company is amazing. Instead, start telling them stories and let them reach their own conclusion.

For example, Tim used to work at Accenture. They thought they were unique until Deloitte came out with very similar messaging.

As videos become more of your marketing repertoire, don’t forget to help your audience find the joy in your story.

Bring Joy with Video Marketing

In the end, video is a means of which many people consume content but a bad video doesn’t make for a great experience. Focus your efforts on creating a great story that helps to solve the problems of your audience (in the same way you would with any other piece of content) and connects them to the content in a meaningful way.

What types of videos have you found to be most successful for your B2B marketing efforts?


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© Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®, 2017. | Stop the Marketing Killjoy: 5 Ways You’re Turning off Audiences with Bad Video | http://www.toprankblog.com

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Tips for Making Video Content that Earns Attention from Andrew Davis #CMWorld http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/09/video-content-earns-attention/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/09/video-content-earns-attention/#respond Wed, 06 Sep 2017 17:52:03 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=22890 The inimitable Andrew Davis is the best-selling author of Town, Inc. and an in-demand marketing speaker. After his presentation at Content Marketing World 2017, I can see why. He made me feel stupid. And I’m incredibly grateful. The best presentations make you feel stupid in retrospect. Of course! It’s so obvious that this is the [...]

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The inimitable Andrew Davis is the best-selling author of Town, Inc. and an in-demand marketing speaker. After his presentation at Content Marketing World 2017, I can see why.

He made me feel stupid. And I’m incredibly grateful.

The best presentations make you feel stupid in retrospect. Of course! It’s so obvious that this is the way to do it! Why haven’t we been doing it this way the whole time? Feeling stupid after-the-fact means you just got smarter.

You see, video content marketing has gone from the next big thing to the current big thing. Brands that pump out a ton of text-based content are now flooding the attention marketplace with video. And just as we had to learn how to make content work for marketing, we’re all still figuring out how to make effective marketing video.

Over the course of 45 minutes–which included exploding watermelons, Ice Road Truckers, and impromptu dance breaks–Andrew laid out exactly what is wrong with how most marketers are approaching video. And, more importantly, how to fix it. Here are some key takeaways. I hope they make you feel stupid in the best possible way.

Creating Video Marketing that Holds Attention

As Andrew explained it, video is a linear medium. We want viewers to hit the play button and barrel down the tracks to the end, where our CTA lives. But people rarely take that straight journey. They can skip forward or backward, or even bail entirely.

When people bail on a video, conventional wisdom holds that the video’s too long for a short attention span. It’s not the lack of attention span, though: It’s the lack of content designed to hold attention. As Roger Ebert said, “No good movie is too long and no bad movie is short enough.”

Our goal, then, is to occupy our audience’s interest – their desire to know – over time. How can we do that?

#1: Raise questions to drive content.  What keeps a person watching is the desire to have a question answered. As Andrew put it, “Eliminate our audience’s desire to answer a question, and we eliminate interest in our content.”  Is your content giving it all away up front? If you answer the audience’s burning question in the first fifteen seconds, without promise of further answers to come, what’s their motivation to watch the next three minutes? Or six minutes? “When someone says your video is ‘too long,’” Andrew says, “they’re really saying, ‘I have no more questions.’”

#2 Create suspense. The primary method to keep the audience asking questions–thereby keeping them watching–is to create suspense. Show your audience something the character desires, then threaten it. Raise obstacles to the character’s goal. Leave the outcome in doubt. Raise the stakes over time and you keep the questions going – what’s going to happen next? How will this problem be solved?

#3 Put your CTA before the payoff. The suspense you’re building will lead to a moment of catharsis, when the questions are answered and all is revealed. But don’t put your CTA after that moment–see the previous comment about “I have no more questions.” Rather, put it right at that peak of interest. Think of it like the commercial break before the big reveal on a reality show. Just make sure your payoff is worth your viewer’s invested time and emotion.

Think Like a Reality TV Editor to Tell Compelling Stories

To build suspense and keep the audience guessing, we need to draw from the masters of suspense. Yes, reality TV shows, especially makeover and talent shows. The editing tricks of the TV trade can help make your content compelling, even if it’s not about toddler beauty pageants or salmon fishing in Alaska.

Consider these key elements as you edit:

  • Music. Too many corporate marketing videos use the same generic jaunty tune all the way through. Use music to set the mood and change that mood throughout the video.
  • Beats. No, not drumbeats or overpriced headphones. Beats are little moments of pause, a breath or two to let the audience process what you’re telling them. Don’t be afraid to pause and let things sink in–if you’ve earned the audience’s attention, that will build tension rather than dissipate it.
  • Pacing. You control the rate at which you give information to your audience. Withholding information builds suspense, balanced with the need to keep moving forward.
  • Narrative structure. Too many testimonial-type videos start with “This product is great and solved my problems, which were….” and the viewer says, “I have no more questions. You told me the product was great and solved your problems.” Instead, work toward the solution in a way that builds suspense and raises stakes:
    • Start with the problem
    • Intensify the problem
    • Show the struggle for a solution
    • Hint at the solution
    • Reveal the solution

Your Best Asset: A Critical Eye

Being aware of these elements and tactics is the first step. However, you can only truly master the form through conscious studying. Andrew said, “You will become a better video producer when you learn how to watch videos better.” The next time a video captivates your attention, study it. How is it continually raising questions? How is it building suspense? What editing, beats, and music choices make it compelling? Start watching video with a critical eye, see what works, and don’t hesitate to steal it.

In other words, what makes video marketing effective is exactly what makes any video effective: It tells a compelling story with tension, stakes, and a moment of catharsis when the tension is resolved.

Feel smarter? I know I do.

Ready to get going? Here are some easy ways to get started with video content marketing.


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© Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®, 2017. | Tips for Making Video Content that Earns Attention from Andrew Davis #CMWorld | http://www.toprankblog.com

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Behind the Marketing Curtain: An Interview With Comedian, Marketer Tim Washer http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/08/behind-the-curtain-tim-washer/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/08/behind-the-curtain-tim-washer/#comments Thu, 10 Aug 2017 10:30:57 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=22723

As we marketers long to make meaningful connections with our audience, we often look deep into our figurative crystal balls in hopes of finding a way to lay an irresistible field of content that will trap their attention. Unfortunately, we can end up putting our audience to sleep—leaving the door open for more colorful characters to swoop in and carry them away.

So, how can we take to the sky and get our audience to surrender to our content? By crafting a  narrative that has empathy, humility and wit. And there’s certainly no better person to look to for inspiration than comedic treasure Tim Washer, Creative Director of Marketing for the Service Provider Division for Cisco.

As part of our Wizard of Oz-inspired Behind the Marketing Curtain interview series, today we’ll pull back the fabric and get to know more about how Mr. Washer arrived in the wonderful world of marketing, and share insights that can help you harness the power of comedy to humanize your brand and connect with your audience.

Enjoy!

The Man Behind the Curtain

Tim grew up in Houston, TX and attended college at Texas A&M University, majoring in—you guessed it—marketing. But after graduation he took a sales job at Xerox—which was certainly not in his original plan.

“As I was getting close to graduation, there was one thing I knew I didn’t want to do: work in sales,” Tim recalled. “But as I was looking at marketing jobs, most open positions seemed to be promotional jobs—and I wasn’t turned on by that.”

“Then a professor of mine mentioned Xerox, and said their sales team was rated No. 1,” he added. “So, then I thought: ‘Why not start there?’ This seemed like the perfect opportunity to get a better idea of how customers think and what their needs are, which is essential in marketing. It was a total one-eighty for me.”

After snagging a meeting and shadowing someone for a day, Tim landed the gig at Xerox—laying the foundation for what would be a long career in the software and technology space. A few years later, he went back to school to get his MBA. Then, in the late 1990s, he made his way to New York City and has been there ever since.

But shortly after his move, Tim realized he wasn’t exactly working in his calling.

“What I really enjoy doing is comedy and improv, and making people laugh,” he said. “That’s where I feel at home. That’s my Kansas.”

As it stands today, Tim has been able to merge his practical sales and marketing experience with his true passion. As previously mentioned, he’s currently Cisco’s Creative Director of Marketing for the Service Provider Division, and specializes in corporate humor and video content. Here’s a little taste of his work:

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8MWl9UGwQo[/embed]

Prior to Cisco, he spent about six years doing similar work at IBM. In addition, he’s still active in the comedy arena, with writing and acting credits for his work on Saturday Night Live, Conan, The Onion, and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.

But how exactly did he get here? We’ll get to that in the next section.

Following His Yellow Brick Road

Like Dorothy Gale, an unexpected twister hit Tim without warning, sending him on a long and winding path.

“I know the exact moment it happened,” Tim remembered. “It was March 3, 1998.”

It was the season of Lent, and Tim said he was thumbing through a devotional guide that his church— Fifth Avenue Presbyterian—had created for the season.

“In there, I saw a Frederick Buechner quote that said: ‘The place where God calls you is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger coincide,’” he recited. “And there were a series of reflection questions, the first one was: ‘What is your spiritual gift?’”

For Tim, that answer was easy. It was making people laugh—but he asked around just to make sure others felt the same way. But it was the next question that sealed his fate.

“The question asked: ‘How good of a steward are you being to this gift?’” Tim explained. “And at that moment I had this feeling of obligation come over me. I realized it was no longer a choice. It wasn’t something I wanted to do—it was something I had to do. I was going to be a comedian.”

[bctt tweet="#Comedy wasn't something I wanted to do. It was something I had to do. @timwasher" username="toprank"]

After that, Tim joined the Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB) in New York City, and studied improv under the incomparable Amy Poehler. She actually helped him get one of his first big breaks—writing for SNL.

“She was extremely influential and helpful,” Tim said, likening her help to the kind Dorothy received from Scarecrow, Tinman and Cowardly Lion.

He had a few other trusty helpers along the way, too, including Tony Hale, known for his role as Buster Bluth on Arrested Development and Gary Walsh on Veep, as well as film director Scott Teems.

“Scott is without a doubt one of the most influential people on my career,” Tim said. “When I pitched my first comedy video to IBM, I didn’t have any budget, but I called him up and he worked with me on it. And they loved it. He’s been a dear friend, and whenever he’s available I ask him to work with me.”

Nearly two decades later, and several of his signature and wildly successful PowerPoint bits later, Tim has carved out a unique career niche for himself and he’s turning out award-winning corporate work.

Meeting the Wizard

Without further ado, let’s dive into Tim’s tips and insights for infusing comedy into your marketing strategy.

That’s a horse of a different color. How can comedy and content come together to create a unique audience experience and bolster brand voice?

Comedy is the most powerful way to humanize a brand because it demonstrates empathy. Let’s face it, a lot of true comedy comes from pain. So, when we can come out and touch on a customer pain point, we show them that we understand their point of view. When we do something that is self-deprecating, when we look vulnerable, and when we let our guard down a little bit that’s when we make a connection.

These days, there’s so little content out there that truly connects with people. So often we start off with a good idea, it goes through a committee where everyone wants to have a say in something, and the idea begins to soften. Then you end up with the lowest common denominator of something safe.

So much of marketing is telling people how great we are. But with comedy—especially in the form of video—we can show them that we’re not always going to tell you how great we are. And if you can make someone laugh, that is the most intimate connection you can make.

[bctt tweet="If you can make someone laugh, that is the most intimate connection you can make. @timwasher" username="toprank"]

The Wicked Witch was defeated with just a pail of water. What creative tactics and tools can marketers use to create an engaging video experience?

If you’re going to do comedy, it’s critical to get a comedy writing and a video production team that are experienced with producing comedy. One of the biggest mistakes people make is saying: “Let’s make a funny video. Our in-house video guy can probably do it.” But when it falls flat, they often think comedy just doesn’t work for their brand.

Comedy is very much a social sport. You need to have a partner with the right chemistry, and someone to bounce ideas off—and someone to tell you when something just isn’t funny. This dramatically enhances the work.

As a more general rule for creating great video, you need to be able to tell a story—a story that doesn’t focus on hitting all your product talking points. For example, we did a mini documentary for Cisco that showed how smaller service providers are serving third-world countries. It focused on how our customers are making a difference, and of course inferred that our technologies are helping them make that difference.

[bctt tweet="If you want to add #comedy to your #marketing, get an experienced team. @timwasher" username="toprank"]

Dorothy’s ruby slippers were the key to achieving her end goal of returning home. How can marketers leverage their existing resources to unlock creative video content ideas?

These days budgets are being cut, yet we still need to produce more content. So, we need to transition from marketers to content creators—and those are two very different skillsets. But the bottom line is that you need to focus on telling the story.

Get away from the product and focus on finding out how people are actually using your product or service. Ask yourself what people want to watch. Ask yourself how you could make something visually interesting and compelling. If you don’t have a big video budget, invest in a cheap light, tripod and camera, and start shooting. Make 10 videos, and then publish the 11th one. Once you get comfortable with it, great things can happen.

[bctt tweet="When doing any kind of video #content, you need to focus on telling the story. @timwasher #marketing" username="toprank"]

Good witch or bad witch? What’s a bad habit all marketers should drop?

Letting fear have too much influence over their decisions—and dropping this habit certainly requires some deep personal reflection. Ask yourself how does fear hold me back in my job? Is it a risk-averse boss? Is it fear of failure? You need to figure out how fear is impacting you right now, in this very moment. Then you can start to find solutions to work around it.

[bctt tweet="Ask: How does fear hold me back? Once you figure it out, you can look for solutions. @timwasher" username="toprank"]

What’s one thing you would ask the all-powerful marketing wizard for? (More budget, more resources, better data?)

Well, I’d always ask for more budget. But I’d also ask for a committee of “yes” people. Those who are more open to risk-taking. I’m fortunate to work for a company that is open to all of that, and wants to be leaders in the creative space and embrace risk-taking.

We’re Off to Meet More Wizards

I’d like to sincerely thank Tim for taking the time to open up about who he is, where he comes from and how he approaches content and comedy. Thank you so much, Tim.

Of course, TopRank Marketing’s journey to Emerald City is still underway. In the coming months, we’ll be bringing you more exclusive interviews and insights from industry wizards to add some smarts, heart and nerve to your marketing efforts.

Stay tuned for our next installment, my pretty!

What’s one thing you’d ask the all-powerful marketing wizard for? Tell us in the comments section below.

The post Behind the Marketing Curtain: An Interview With Comedian, Marketer Tim Washer appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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As we marketers long to make meaningful connections with our audience, we often look deep into our figurative crystal balls in hopes of finding a way to lay an irresistible field of content that will trap their attention. Unfortunately, we can end up putting our audience to sleep—leaving the door open for more colorful characters to swoop in and carry them away. So, how can we take to the sky and get our audience to surrender to our content? By crafting a  narrative that has empathy, humility and wit. And there’s certainly no better person to look to for inspiration than comedic treasure Tim Washer, Creative Director of Marketing for the Service Provider Division for Cisco. As part of our Wizard of Oz-inspired Behind the Marketing Curtain interview series, today we’ll pull back the fabric and get to know more about how Mr. Washer arrived in the wonderful world of marketing, and share insights that can help you harness the power of comedy to humanize your brand and connect with your audience. Enjoy!

The Man Behind the Curtain

Tim grew up in Houston, TX and attended college at Texas A&M University, majoring in—you guessed it—marketing. But after graduation he took a sales job at Xerox—which was certainly not in his original plan. “As I was getting close to graduation, there was one thing I knew I didn’t want to do: work in sales,” Tim recalled. “But as I was looking at marketing jobs, most open positions seemed to be promotional jobs—and I wasn’t turned on by that.” “Then a professor of mine mentioned Xerox, and said their sales team was rated No. 1,” he added. “So, then I thought: ‘Why not start there?’ This seemed like the perfect opportunity to get a better idea of how customers think and what their needs are, which is essential in marketing. It was a total one-eighty for me.” After snagging a meeting and shadowing someone for a day, Tim landed the gig at Xerox—laying the foundation for what would be a long career in the software and technology space. A few years later, he went back to school to get his MBA. Then, in the late 1990s, he made his way to New York City and has been there ever since. But shortly after his move, Tim realized he wasn’t exactly working in his calling. “What I really enjoy doing is comedy and improv, and making people laugh,” he said. “That’s where I feel at home. That’s my Kansas.” As it stands today, Tim has been able to merge his practical sales and marketing experience with his true passion. As previously mentioned, he’s currently Cisco’s Creative Director of Marketing for the Service Provider Division, and specializes in corporate humor and video content. Here’s a little taste of his work: [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8MWl9UGwQo[/embed] Prior to Cisco, he spent about six years doing similar work at IBM. In addition, he’s still active in the comedy arena, with writing and acting credits for his work on Saturday Night Live, Conan, The Onion, and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. But how exactly did he get here? We’ll get to that in the next section.

Following His Yellow Brick Road

Like Dorothy Gale, an unexpected twister hit Tim without warning, sending him on a long and winding path. “I know the exact moment it happened,” Tim remembered. “It was March 3, 1998.” It was the season of Lent, and Tim said he was thumbing through a devotional guide that his church— Fifth Avenue Presbyterian—had created for the season. “In there, I saw a Frederick Buechner quote that said: ‘The place where God calls you is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger coincide,’” he recited. “And there were a series of reflection questions, the first one was: ‘What is your spiritual gift?’” For Tim, that answer was easy. It was making people laugh—but he asked around just to make sure others felt the same way. But it was the next question that sealed his fate. “The question asked: ‘How good of a steward are you being to this gift?’” Tim explained. “And at that moment I had this feeling of obligation come over me. I realized it was no longer a choice. It wasn’t something I wanted to do—it was something I had to do. I was going to be a comedian.” [bctt tweet="#Comedy wasn't something I wanted to do. It was something I had to do. @timwasher" username="toprank"] After that, Tim joined the Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB) in New York City, and studied improv under the incomparable Amy Poehler. She actually helped him get one of his first big breaks—writing for SNL. “She was extremely influential and helpful,” Tim said, likening her help to the kind Dorothy received from Scarecrow, Tinman and Cowardly Lion. He had a few other trusty helpers along the way, too, including Tony Hale, known for his role as Buster Bluth on Arrested Development and Gary Walsh on Veep, as well as film director Scott Teems. “Scott is without a doubt one of the most influential people on my career,” Tim said. “When I pitched my first comedy video to IBM, I didn’t have any budget, but I called him up and he worked with me on it. And they loved it. He’s been a dear friend, and whenever he’s available I ask him to work with me.” Nearly two decades later, and several of his signature and wildly successful PowerPoint bits later, Tim has carved out a unique career niche for himself and he’s turning out award-winning corporate work.

Meeting the Wizard

Without further ado, let’s dive into Tim’s tips and insights for infusing comedy into your marketing strategy. That’s a horse of a different color. How can comedy and content come together to create a unique audience experience and bolster brand voice? Comedy is the most powerful way to humanize a brand because it demonstrates empathy. Let’s face it, a lot of true comedy comes from pain. So, when we can come out and touch on a customer pain point, we show them that we understand their point of view. When we do something that is self-deprecating, when we look vulnerable, and when we let our guard down a little bit that’s when we make a connection. These days, there’s so little content out there that truly connects with people. So often we start off with a good idea, it goes through a committee where everyone wants to have a say in something, and the idea begins to soften. Then you end up with the lowest common denominator of something safe. So much of marketing is telling people how great we are. But with comedy—especially in the form of video—we can show them that we’re not always going to tell you how great we are. And if you can make someone laugh, that is the most intimate connection you can make. [bctt tweet="If you can make someone laugh, that is the most intimate connection you can make. @timwasher" username="toprank"] The Wicked Witch was defeated with just a pail of water. What creative tactics and tools can marketers use to create an engaging video experience? If you’re going to do comedy, it’s critical to get a comedy writing and a video production team that are experienced with producing comedy. One of the biggest mistakes people make is saying: “Let’s make a funny video. Our in-house video guy can probably do it.” But when it falls flat, they often think comedy just doesn’t work for their brand. Comedy is very much a social sport. You need to have a partner with the right chemistry, and someone to bounce ideas off—and someone to tell you when something just isn’t funny. This dramatically enhances the work. As a more general rule for creating great video, you need to be able to tell a story—a story that doesn’t focus on hitting all your product talking points. For example, we did a mini documentary for Cisco that showed how smaller service providers are serving third-world countries. It focused on how our customers are making a difference, and of course inferred that our technologies are helping them make that difference. [bctt tweet="If you want to add #comedy to your #marketing, get an experienced team. @timwasher" username="toprank"] Dorothy’s ruby slippers were the key to achieving her end goal of returning home. How can marketers leverage their existing resources to unlock creative video content ideas? These days budgets are being cut, yet we still need to produce more content. So, we need to transition from marketers to content creators—and those are two very different skillsets. But the bottom line is that you need to focus on telling the story. Get away from the product and focus on finding out how people are actually using your product or service. Ask yourself what people want to watch. Ask yourself how you could make something visually interesting and compelling. If you don’t have a big video budget, invest in a cheap light, tripod and camera, and start shooting. Make 10 videos, and then publish the 11th one. Once you get comfortable with it, great things can happen. [bctt tweet="When doing any kind of video #content, you need to focus on telling the story. @timwasher #marketing" username="toprank"] Good witch or bad witch? What’s a bad habit all marketers should drop? Letting fear have too much influence over their decisions—and dropping this habit certainly requires some deep personal reflection. Ask yourself how does fear hold me back in my job? Is it a risk-averse boss? Is it fear of failure? You need to figure out how fear is impacting you right now, in this very moment. Then you can start to find solutions to work around it. [bctt tweet="Ask: How does fear hold me back? Once you figure it out, you can look for solutions. @timwasher" username="toprank"] What’s one thing you would ask the all-powerful marketing wizard for? (More budget, more resources, better data?) Well, I’d always ask for more budget. But I’d also ask for a committee of “yes” people. Those who are more open to risk-taking. I’m fortunate to work for a company that is open to all of that, and wants to be leaders in the creative space and embrace risk-taking.

We’re Off to Meet More Wizards

I’d like to sincerely thank Tim for taking the time to open up about who he is, where he comes from and how he approaches content and comedy. Thank you so much, Tim. Of course, TopRank Marketing’s journey to Emerald City is still underway. In the coming months, we’ll be bringing you more exclusive interviews and insights from industry wizards to add some smarts, heart and nerve to your marketing efforts. Stay tuned for our next installment, my pretty! What’s one thing you’d ask the all-powerful marketing wizard for? Tell us in the comments section below.

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10 B2C Brands Crushing it with Instagram Video Content in 2017 http://www.toprankblog.com/2017/01/instagram-video-content/ Mon, 23 Jan 2017 11:30:11 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=21786 The writing on the wall became very apparent last year: 2017 would be the year of video. In almost every marketing predictions post for 2017, video was highlighted as an area that marketers need to incorporate in order to remain competitive. Video offers a great format for telling your story (or more importantly, the story [...]

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The writing on the wall became very apparent last year: 2017 would be the year of video. In almost every marketing predictions post for 2017, video was highlighted as an area that marketers need to incorporate in order to remain competitive.

Video offers a great format for telling your story (or more importantly, the story of your customers) and connecting with your target audience. In 2016, eMarketer found that over 60% of brands planned on investing more in video in the next 12 months.

That means, competition for audience eyes will only get more competitive as brands begin to figure out what video mix works best for their marketing. Unfortunately, finding the right style and type of video for your brand can often be the toughest step.

2017 has just begun and there are already brands that are crushing it with video content and Instagram is one place to start. Below we’re going to dive into how 10 B2C brands are winning with 30-60 second video content on Instagram.

Oreo

Total Followers: 2.1 Million

Oreo has made strides in real-time marketing starting with their infamous approach to the Super Bowl power outage. On their Instagram, you’ll find a delightful mix of Oreos “in the wild” and content focused on classic favorites, as well as new products. In the video below, Oreo asks viewers to “slip into something more elegant” with their new thin cookies.

Introducing new Chocolate ?#?OreoThins. Slip into something a little more elegant.

A video posted by OREO (@oreo) on

RedBull

Total Followers: 6.4 Million

RedBull is a brand that is all about adventure and the lives of their super fans. Much of their content is regrams from other profiles as a way to showcase and feature other Instagram’ers. One of my favorite videos that they have published this year is of an adventure loving influencer that takes an exhilarating (albeit short) ride on a rollercoaster down a mountain.

Nutella

Total Followers: 1.2 Million

Nutella has a very fun and delicious Instagram profile. On it you’ll find different ways to spread Nutella on all of your favorite foods. I particularly enjoy their breakfast videos that showcase different ideas for making Nutella part of a balanced breakfast. They also encourage UGC by using the hashtag #SpreadYourHappy.

Stack breakfast with something the whole family will love. #SpreadTheHappy

A video posted by Nutella (@nutella) on

Stitch Fix

Total Followers: 472,000

Stitch Fix is hands down one of my favorite finds within the past two years. Their approach to styling encourages you to step outside of your normal style and experiment with new looks. As part of a style challenge that they’re running on social channels, Stitch Fix is encouraging their customers to upload their favorite looks with videos like the one below to win a $1,000 prize!

Nike

Total Followers: 68.7 Million

Nike is one of those iconic brands that seems to create powerful campaigns, no matter what channel they’re on. This video in particular features professional runners and an olympian in a way that showcases the product, without making it seem like Nike is trying to sell you something (other than an awesome experience).

Jimmy Choo

Total Followers: 5.7 Million

Jimmy Choo is known for their decade spanning high-fashion. What is great about the videos on their Instagram channel is that the products truly look like a piece of art. Their approach makes it easy to consider their fashion an investment versus a splurge and after just one video, I was searching to see how I too could own some Jimmy Choo.

Discover the exclusive film that brings the #Women’s #SS17 collection to life on our YouTube channel.

A video posted by Jimmy Choo (@jimmychoo) on

Apple Music

Total Followers: 1.8 Million

Apple Music has a great mix of everything from up-and-coming artists to new tracks from your favorite bands. In particular, their exclusive interview snippets from some of today’s top musicians is a great way to generate excitement and keep people coming back for more.

Talking new album, touring and more. Check @teddysphotos & @zanelowe only on @beats1official.

A video posted by Apple Music (@applemusic) on

Amazon

Total Followers: 782,000

Amazon’s Instagram profile is funny, clever and delightful. Each time I visit there is something that warms my heart or makes me giggle. This video in particular gives viewers all the feels. It’s a throwback to the millionth (yes you read that right) banana that they gave away free of charge.

#TBT to when we gave out our 1 millionth banana! ???

A video posted by Amazon (@amazon) on

Life Time Fitness

Total Followers: 48,200

Life Time Fitness offers a serene and spa like atmosphere in their gyms located throughout the United States. As a long-time member, I have found their social media content to be incredibly motivating. Sort of like that workout pal that keeps you motivated and offers support, even when you’re ready to throw those resolutions out the window.

Gerber

Total Followers: 167,000

Gerber’s Instagram is exactly what you might expect, pictures and videos of beautiful babies. Gerber is currently on the hunt for their 2017 Spokesbaby and shared video snippets from their 2016 winner which are almost too cute to stand.

Go On, Give Video A Try

As these examples show, there are a multitude of options for incorporating video into your content marketing strategy. Everything from motion graphic videos, to stills or interaction with customers all present a great opportunity to begin testing video for your brand.
If you’re interested in learning more about TopRank Marketing’s motion graphic video capabilities and how they can help level up your video marketing, contact us today!


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© Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®, 2017. | 10 B2C Brands Crushing it with Instagram Video Content in 2017 | http://www.toprankblog.com

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Limited Resources? Here Are 9 Clever Ways to Create Live Video on Social Media http://www.toprankblog.com/2016/12/live-video-social-media/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2016/12/live-video-social-media/#comments Tue, 06 Dec 2016 11:36:49 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=21548 For many brands and marketers, video is becoming an increasingly important part of their overall digital marketing strategy, particularly when it comes to their social media efforts. And it’s not hard to see why. We humans are visual beings, and these days we crave and expect video. According to a HubSpot infographic, one-third of all [...]

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create-live-video

For many brands and marketers, video is becoming an increasingly important part of their overall digital marketing strategy, particularly when it comes to their social media efforts. And it’s not hard to see why.

We humans are visual beings, and these days we crave and expect video. According to a HubSpot infographic, one-third of all online activity is spent watching video. When used as a marketing tactic, compelling video content helps capture attention, encourages engagement and—in some cases—reaches a more prominent position in social media news feeds.

But quality video content is far more time consuming and costly to produce than other types of content, making it more difficult for marketers and brands with less manpower, time or budget to create video.

The solution? Live video.

As Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reportedly said on his Facebook page:

“Live is like having a TV camera in your pocket. Anyone with a phone now has the power to broadcast to anyone in the world. … This is a big shift in how we communicate, and it’s going to create new opportunities for people to come together.”

The beauty of live video is that is more raw and honest than professionally produced video—which can help you attract, engage, entertain and build relationships with your target audience in a more authentic way.

With that said, below I offer nine ideas for using live video in your social media marketing efforts, as well as a few examples of companies in action.

#1 – Share what’s happening at a live event.

A live event provides the perfect backdrop for live video on social media. Not only do events give you plenty of interesting content to share, but it’s also a great way to bring your audience along for the ride and make them feel like they’re there, too.

When the Chicago Cubs won their first World Series since 1908 this fall, BuzzFeed offered a live video stream of the massive crowd that had gathered outside of Wrigley Field to celebrate the victory.

Live Video on Social - BuzzFeed

See the full video here.

#2 – Tease a new or in-the-works product/service.

Want to create some buzz about a new product that’s in the works or about to roll out? Live video can be a great way to get the word out about what’s to come.

Before launching your live video session, tease the announcement you’re about to make so people know when they need to tune in for your live event.

#3 – Do a live reveal of a new product or special promotion.

People love feeling like they’ve gotten the exclusive on something, so using live video to give people the first look at a new product or service is a great way to get them excited and talking.

In my opinion, this tactic is working incredibly well for many independent sales consultants for brands such as Herbalife, LulaRoe, Scentsy and LipSense. Like any business, these consultants want to attract new customers as well as retain their existing base, so giving their audience an exclusive look at new products through video is a great way to keep interest piqued.

You likely know at least one or two of your social media acquaintances that are in this type of business. Check out some of their live videos to get a feel for what they’re doing and the type of engagement they’re getting to get a little inspiration.

Again, as mentioned above, get people excited about the live video event before it happens by teasing it on social media beforehand.

#4 – Offer a look behind-the-scenes.

Another great way to engage, entertain and draw your audience in is to offer them a glimpse behind the curtain of your product or company, where company outsiders don’t typically get to go.

Before getting started, brainstorm some possible concepts for where you would take people and why they would care to see it. After all, you want to get eyeballs on your video, so you want to make sure you’re showing something worth watching.

Here’s a great example from Dunkin’ Donuts. National Donut Day was June 3 this year and Dunkin’ Donuts gave their audience a glimpse inside their “top-secret” test kitchen in honor of the holiday.

live-video-dunkin-donuts

Watch the full video here.

#5 – Hold a contest or campaign.

Social media contests and campaigns are great ways to drive awareness, engagement and action from your audience—and adding a live video element can add some visual flair to the contest.

Use live video throughout your contest or campaign to encourage people to participate by highlighting some of the submissions you’ve already received. When you’re getting close to the submission deadline, use live video to create more urgency to get those last participants in. Once the contest is over, announce the winners live.

#6 – Hold a Q&A session.

One of the best ways to get to know your audience better, as well as form stronger relationships with them, is to have meaningful conversations with them. Holding a live Q&A session can be a great way to do just that.

My suggestion would be to pick a topic your audience cares about and prepare answers to a couple commonly asked questions. Open the video by addressing a couple of those, then start taking questions from those who have tuned in.

Benefit Cosmetics is regularly using Facebook Live to highlight its products, offer beauty tips and tricks, and answer audience questions. The video below was part of their “Tipsy Tricks” video feature, where hosts sip cocktails while offering advice and answering questions.

live-video-benefit

Watch the full video here.

#7 – Conduct interviews with industry thought leaders.

Including industry thought leaders and influencers in your digital marketing efforts is a fantastic way to lend credibility and authority to your brand, as well as reach new audiences. Take the content you create with industry influencers to a different level by conducting a live video interview.

If you go this route, make sure you have a strong relationship and rapport with the thought leaders you include. You want to make sure that personal connection translates into the video. Also, take a couple practice runs through your questions before going live. This will get both of you comfortable with what’s about to happen.

#8 – Give a how-to presentation or product demo.

How-to and demonstration videos seem to be King in the social media landscape. While most of what you see these days are produced videos, live video can be great because it shows viewers exactly how to do something or how something works in real-time.

Here’s a great example from IBM. In this video, IBMer Ryan Anderson opens up his home lab to show how tech can be used to “build and hack” things together.

live-video-ibm

Watch the full video here.

#9 – Profile your employees.

Your team is representative of what your company is all about—and an employee profile using live video can be a great way to further humanize your brand.

Profile new or longtime employees to show your audience who’s working behind the scenes to deliver a great product or service. My advice would be to keep it light and entertaining, not going too heavy on the “I love working here because …” stuff. The whole point is to show people you have rock solid, well-rounded people working for you.

Some Helpful Resources

If you’re looking for more insights on creating live video, check out some of these other blog posts:

How do you use live video on social media? What’s worked best for you? Tell us in the comments section below.


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© Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®, 2016. | Limited Resources? Here Are 9 Clever Ways to Create Live Video on Social Media | http://www.toprankblog.com

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Going Native: Tips & Examples for Effectively Incorporating Native Video Into Your Social Strategy http://www.toprankblog.com/2016/07/native-video-social-strategy/ Tue, 19 Jul 2016 10:30:31 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=20758 These days, it’s pretty safe to say that all marketers understand that video is an increasingly important marketing tool for capturing audience attention, showing value and encouraging engagement across the digital universe. In fact, 87% of online marketers use video content, according to an infographic from Hyperfine Media. However, when it comes to promoting that [...]

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Native-Video-Social-Strategy

These days, it’s pretty safe to say that all marketers understand that video is an increasingly important marketing tool for capturing audience attention, showing value and encouraging engagement across the digital universe. In fact, 87% of online marketers use video content, according to an infographic from Hyperfine Media.

However, when it comes to promoting that video content on social media, marketers often ask users to click a link to a website, blog or another outside platform to watch, rather than just giving them the content outright. But as social media platforms improve their video shooting, editing and uploading capabilities, many brands and marketers are going native with their video content.

What is Native Video?

When looking at it in the context of social media, native video is any video content that is created in or directly uploaded to a social media platform, which then auto-plays with the news feed. Native video is perhaps most recognizable on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Why should your brand consider native video? How do you get started? Below I aim to answer those questions and more, as well as provide you with some insights for incorporating native video and examples of native video in action.

Why Brands Should Consider Native Video

#1 – Native video boosts engagement.

Successful social media marketing requires creating a connection with your audience by providing them with content that educates, entertains, and encourages interaction and engagement. Since native video content lives on your social media page, you’re eliminating a barrier to that interaction and keeping people engaged with your brand in that very moment—rather than sending them to another space.

In addition, if your native video content hits the right spot, it will inspire shares and expand your reach beyond your current following.

#2 – Native video has a leg up on third-party embeds.

At least when it comes to native video on Facebook, the social media platform’s algorithm seems to favor native over embedded video content. Last year, Search Engine Journal took a look at native video content versus YouTube content on Facebook and found that native content reaches two times more people—and, as mentioned above, native video content receives way more engagement.

Search Engine Journal YouTube Native Video

(Image Credit: Search Engine Journal)

#3 – Native video can help further the brand-customer relationship.

When you give your audience compelling native video content—with no strings attached and no extra clicks needed for them to enjoy—you’re showing users that you’re not just looking for a sale, but to give them something of value. This approach can help build brand awareness and trust that is the foundation for the brand-customer relationship.

Examples of Native Video on Action

#1 – TopRank Marketing & DivvyHQ

Earlier this year, TopRank Marketing partnered with DivvyHQ to create the Easy-as-Pie Guide to Content Planning eBook, which featured three recipes for improving content planning and effectiveness. As part of the project, we created a motion graphic video to tease all the great stuff in the eBook. The video was uploaded to YouTube and web content, but was uploaded it natively to Facebook.

For TopRank Marketing’s Facebook channel, we saw a almost 2000% more views for the native video than the one that was uploaded to YouTube.

#2 – Tasty

Tasty videos have become a staple in many Facebook feeds and cause many users to stop, watch, drool and save the recipes to make later.

What makes these videos so compelling is the fact that they do their job without relying on sound. When a video auto-plays in a news feed, they’re usually muted until you click on the video. Below is one of Tasty’s latest Facebook posts. Check out the engagement data on it!

#3 – FamilySearch

FamilySearch is the world’s largest genealogy organization, providing family history lovers with the ability to preserve and discover their family’s past. They boast huge followings on their social networks not only because they provide a quality service, but they also work to engage their audience—and native video is a part of their strategy.

Here’s an example of a recent Twitter post promoting their efforts to get 72,000 people to index and save world history records in just 72 hours.

In addition, a motion graphic video posted natively to their Facebook page has nearly 11,000 views, 476 likes and 165 shares after being posted about a month ago.

;

#4 – Great Big Story

Great Big Story is a CNN-funded startup that produces original videos on off-beat topics that aim to engage young audiences. A recent blog post by NewsWhip dove into the company’s native video strategy, featuring insights from Great Big Story’s Director of Audience Intelligence Khalil Jetha.

One key part of their strategy is customizing the experience for each of its channels—Facebook, Vimeo, YouTube and their own website. Below is one of their most recent native Facebook posts. When I found it, it was just two hours old and already had nearly 460,000 views.

Tips for Incorporating Native Video into Your Social Strategy

#1 – Use your text wisely.

While native videos will auto-play in the news feed, you’ll need to add a little flavor and context to what you’re showing people in the post itself. Be creative and compelling, and try to keep it short and sweet.

#2 – Customize content for your audience.

In NewsWhip’s article, Jetha stresses the need to understand your audience and the platform you’re using.

Figuring out out who your audience is, and why they’re interacting with you on that platform is more important than creating one unified brand strategy across every single social network,” he said. “When I say that, I mean that you can’t expect to repurpose one piece of content the exact same way and put it up on different networks.

#3 – Create something that speaks for itself.

As I mentioned in my comments about Tasty’s native video posts, in most cases sound doesn’t happen unless the video is clicked on. Work to create something that doesn’t need sound to give it meaning and understanding.

#4 – Experiment with live video options.

Twitter’s Periscope and Facebook Live, as well as Instagram, provide brands with the opportunity to give their audiences native video content that’s a little more raw and authentic. This kind of video content can be great for giving your followers a sneak peek of a new product or special event you’re attending.

#5 – Make native video a part of of your overall social media (digital marketing) strategy.

Tossing up a native video every now and then won’t give you the results you’re looking for. Use your audience personas and data you’ve collected for each social media platform and decide where native video would make sense. Then work it into your overall strategy like you would any other piece of content.

#6 – Don’t force it.

It’s true that users are hungry for video content, but that doesn’t mean you need to burn your current strategy to the ground and rebuild it with native video. Whether or not native video is right for your brand is ultimately going to depend on who your audience is and what resonates with them, as well as what your overall marketing and business objectives are.

Are you using native video as a social media marketing tactic? What have your results been? Tell us in the comments section below.

Disclosure: FamilySearch was a TopRank Marketing client at the time this campaign was launched.


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© Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®, 2016. | Going Native: Tips & Examples for Effectively Incorporating Native Video Into Your Social Strategy | http://www.toprankblog.com

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6 Ways to Use Video to Add More Value to Your Digital Marketing Strategy http://www.toprankblog.com/2016/05/video-digital-marketing-strategy/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2016/05/video-digital-marketing-strategy/#comments Wed, 18 May 2016 10:30:00 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=20472 Humans are highly visual beings, so it’s certainly no surprise that online video content is becoming a favorite source of information and entertainment across the digital landscape—and it shows no signs of slowing down. According to a HighQ infographic, experts believe that 69% of consumer Internet traffic will be from video by 2017—and that number [...]

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Video-digital-marketing-strategy

Humans are highly visual beings, so it’s certainly no surprise that online video content is becoming a favorite source of information and entertainment across the digital landscape—and it shows no signs of slowing down.

According to a HighQ infographic, experts believe that 69% of consumer Internet traffic will be from video by 2017—and that number will rise to 79% by 2018. As a result, video is becoming an increasingly important tool for marketers as they work to capture audience attention, provide value and increase engagement across their digital properties. In fact, the same infographic reports that 52% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI.

While video can sometimes be more costly and time consuming to produce, the good news is that video content can take on a variety of forms, giving marketers the ability to choose the style and platforms that suit their audience, objectives and strategy best.

Below we dive into a few different ways that marketers can add more video content to their digital marketing strategy, examples of how others are doing it and some best practices.

#1 – Use Video as Your Content Visual

Compelling images are an absolute must for any piece of content, but marketers can move beyond photos and use video to add meaning or flavor to written content.

For example, video is a huge part of AOL’s news content structure. Generally speaking, it’s unlikely that articles are without a supporting video at the top of the page. Whether it’s a lifestyle piece or a hard news post, AOL continually uses video to add a compelling visual element to their content.

AOL finance

As another example, TopRank Marketing has also taken to using video to add a visual dynamic to our weekly online marketing news roundup. Rather than just giving our readers a collection of industry articles and their links, Account Manager Tiffani Allen and Content Marketing Lead Josh Nite provide humor and insight on the trending topics.

Best Practice: Don’t use video just to have a video. Make sure that the content is relevant to your audience and provides value.

#2 – Live Streaming Video on Social Media

Live streaming video content on social media using apps and features such as Meerkat, Facebook Live or Twitter’s Periscope can help you form a deeper connection with your audience. How? Not only are you giving them something in real-time, but live video content often feels less scripted and more authentic—which is great for building trust with your audience.

Some of the brands that are using live streaming video content include GE, Adidas, Doritos and Spotify. Here’s an example of GE’s #DRONEWEEK on Periscope, showing live video footage of a GE-engineered drone flying from coast to coast.

Best Practice: Consider using live streaming video to give your audience either a sneak peak at an upcoming event or make a special announcement. Use social media to tease the upcoming announcement or sneak peek so people can tune in and participate.

#3 – Video Interviews with Industry Experts

Partnering with an industry experts or thought leaders can lend credibility to your content, provide additional value to your audience and extends your reach to a potentially new audience.

Author and genealogy speaker Lisa Louise Cooke often conducts video interviews with other family history experts to talk about new technologies, resources or trends. She also hosts a podcast.

Best Practice: Create pre-written social messages or blog post boiler to share with the experts you’re interviewing. This will make it easy for them to promote the interview before and after it happens.

#4 – Product Demos

Product demos can be an excellent way to visually highlight your product, propel brand awareness and educate your audience.

One adorable example of a product demo video comes from iFetch, the maker of the Automatic Ball Launcher pet toy. The video shows how both humans and dogs of all kinds can use the toy for hours of fun. While the video is a little on the longer side, you can’t deny how much you want to try it out with your own pet.

Best Practice: Before you jump in and start filming, create a storyboard to help you plan out how you’ll walk your audience through the demo. This will help you deliver a final product that is focused and valuable to your audience.

#5 – Video How-Tos

How-to video content is incredibly effective because it gives people the knowledge and know-how they need and want.

A fantastic example—as well as a favorite of mine—are the epically delicious recipe how-to videos on from Tasty on BuzzFeed. This video for Breakfast Enchiladas was published on May 15, 2016. The video has already received nearly 75,000 views.

Best Practice: Make sure to supplement how-to videos with a text version. This will allow you to optimize for search engines, the hearing impaired and for those who prefer written step-by-step instructions.

#6 – Customer Testimonials

A customer testimonials page is pretty standard practice these days, but why not take it to the next level by turning those raving reviews into compelling videos? Video testimonials allow your audience to see how your product or service can provide a solution to their problem or enrich their life.

Tesla Motors, the electric car maker known for unbelievable innovation, has created several video testimonials—or “customer stories” as they call them—to highlight a variety of people who’ve chosen Tesla.

Best Practice: Video testimonials have to be real. Don’t fake it because you’ll risk damaging the trust and credibility you’re trying to bolster with your audience.

How are you using video in your digital marketing strategy? Tell us in the comments section below.

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You Ought to Be in Pictures: 5 Amazingly Successful Brand Video Marketing Campaigns http://www.toprankblog.com/2016/03/video-marketing-campaigns/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2016/03/video-marketing-campaigns/#comments Wed, 09 Mar 2016 11:30:02 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=20125 My first cell phone was the unbreakable Nokia 3310. You could run over that thing with a tank and it would still be up for a game of Snake. At the time, its green-and-black display was a technological marvel: You could play games! Look at (pixelated monochrome) pictures! What a modern marvel it was. Now, [...]

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video-marketing-campaigns

My first cell phone was the unbreakable Nokia 3310. You could run over that thing with a tank and it would still be up for a game of Snake. At the time, its green-and-black display was a technological marvel: You could play games! Look at (pixelated monochrome) pictures! What a modern marvel it was.

Now, of course, almost all of us have a pocket-sized screen that puts the 3310’s to shame (if only they were half as durable…). Most of us are never more than arm’s length from our smartphone. And we’re using those screens primarily for video—fully 50% of all mobile traffic is video streaming.

Whether you’re B2B or C2C, your audience is watching videos. They spend more time with video content than blog content. Even senior executives watch and share: 75% watch work-related videos weekly, and over half share videos with their colleagues.

For marketers, the video revolution represents an enormous opportunity. But getting people to choose your video over thousands of other options can be a challenge. As with all content in a content-logged world, brands need to create extraordinary video to earn attention, likes, and shares.

The following five brands took content marketing best practices, applied them to tell extraordinary stories with visual interest, and experienced incredible success. Here’s how:

#1 – American Greetings: World’s Toughest Job

Most of us have experienced the nerve-wracking ordeal that is a job interview. Combine a job interview with the inherent awkwardness of video conferencing, and you have the recipe for a truly uncomfortable situation.

Greeting card company American Greetings capitalized on those fears by posting a fake job listing, then doing video conference interviews with respondents. Watch the video before you read the spoiler below:

As the interviewer details the harsh working conditions the job entails—no breaks, extra work on holidays, not even time off to sleep—the interviewees squirm in discomfort. Finally, he reveals the twist: He’s describing what moms do every day. The interviewees wipe away tears, talk about their own mothers, and the video ends with a quick link to American Greetings’ card creation website.

Why it Works:

American Greetings examines a familiar societal role in an unexpected way. The real people being interviewed are a surrogate for the viewer; our reaction mirrors theirs. Most importantly, they put the product in the background, focusing on the emotional heft of the content.

Takeaways:

  • Get at the meaning behind your product—people don’t buy cards because they enjoy spending money on folded paper.
  • Candid ‘reaction’ videos are hugely popular, and for good reason. They let the viewer imagine him or herself in the same situation.

#2 – Android: Friends Furever

It’s estimated that nearly 90% of web traffic is videos and pictures of cute animals doing cute things. Okay, I made that up—but if you check your Facebook feed, 90% seems about right. Android jumps into the cute animal trend with this simple-but-engaging video. It’s composed entirely of stock footage of animals in unlikely pairs, but still gets across Android’s point: Their software works on a variety of devices, not one monolithic product line. (*cough* Apple *cough*)

The video is charming, and definitely earned its over 23 million views. My favorite part, though, is in the comments. Android reveals that many of the animals in the video are cared for by non-profit organizations, and provides links to learn more and support them.

Why It Works:

Android puts the adorable animals front-and-center. It looks like any number of wildly-shared viral animal videos, until the slogan and logo come peeking in at the end. It seems designed to brighten someone’s day more than sell a product—so it’s free to do both.

Takeaways:

  • Less is more. Sometimes you can mute the dialog and let the video speak for itself.
  • Trust your audience. Android could have added a more pointed jab at Apple, or highlighted its product catalog, but they trusted the audience to make that connection.

#3 – Gainsight: Blank Space

Gainsight’s annual Pulse Conference is their biggest event—and biggest expense—of the year. They needed to bring in attendees to make sure the event was a success. Instead of a video with talking heads of the featured speakers, Gainsight earned attention with a playful approach unique for B2B conference marketing. They recruited Chief Customer Officers and VPs of Customer Success to lip sync an a capella version of Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space,” with new lyrics:

The resulting video is a win for everyone involved. Gainsight attracted 2,000 new inquiries about the conference, the executives were featured in front of their company logo bringing humanity to their brands, and viewers got a catchy tune about customer satisfaction.

Why It Works:

Gainsight went all out with the production on this video. They drafted new lyrics to the song, hired an a capella group to perform it, and got their influencers to lip sync pretty convincingly. It’s light and playful, but still gets across the information: Gainsight knows a lot about customer satisfaction, they work with these brands, and they have a conference coming up.

Takeaways:

  • Employ influencers in unexpected ways. You can bet every exec featured in this video shared it with their network.
  • For top-of-funnel video, entertaining the viewer is paramount. Make it fun, make it catchy, and people will watch through to the CTA.

#4 – Always: Like a Girl

Ads for feminine hygiene products have not, historically, been the most compelling pieces of content marketing. Usually they go for the “blue liquid pouring into a pad” or “women walking through a meadow talking about life” tropes.

Always took a sledgehammer to those tropes with their #LikeAGirl campaign. They asked young women to throw “like a girl,” or hit “like a girl,” with the expected results. Then they asked younger girls—those who hadn’t absorbed negative stereotypes—the same question. The striking difference provides a humbling lesson in what “like a girl” can—and should—mean.

The resulting video is empowering, inspiring, and contains not a single scene of blue liquid being dumped on anything.

Why it Works:

Like American Greetings did with motherhood, Always challenges the audience to examine something they usually take for granted. They don’t hold back on their message of empowerment, and they’re aiming for a cultural stereotype far broader than their product line.

Takeaways:

  • Think about customers outside of where their lives intersect with your product.
  • Take a stand: How can you use your brand and your platform to make the world a better place?

#5 – GoPro: Hero in Action

As one of the kings of content marketing, GoPro has built an empire out of user-generated content from skateboarders, surfers, and other extreme sports fans. So it’s surprising that one of their more popular videos doesn’t feature a single half pipe or mountain face:

The fireman who attempts to save the kitten originally uploaded the video to his YouTube account. GoPro spotted the footage, and with the owner’s permission re-packaged it and posted it to the main GoPro account. Currently the video sits at just under 30 million views.

Why It Works:

With this video, GoPro expanded the idea of what their product was for. It could highlight instances of everyday heroism, not just extreme-sports hedonism. They were able to tell a compelling, human story that reached a wider audience than their usual fare.

The Takeaways:

  • Always take an opportunity to celebrate everyday heroes.
  • Don’t be afraid to broaden your brand’s emotional palette.

There’s No Business Like Show Business

With the advent of content marketing, brands suddenly had to become publishing houses. Will video marketing turn every brand into a Hollywood studio?

Probably not. You don’t need a whole film crew to make most of the videos on this list. Keep your content relevant, customer-focused, and entertaining, and you won’t need Michael Bay-size budgets to excel.

Want to learn more about content marketing strategy? How can we help?

Header image via Shutterstock

 


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What Is Everyone Blabbing About? 8 Tips for Creating a Killer Marketing Blab http://www.toprankblog.com/2016/03/8-tips-for-blab/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2016/03/8-tips-for-blab/#comments Wed, 02 Mar 2016 11:30:37 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=20056 Do you Blab? Does your brand blab? Are your brand’s Blabs bland? Do you need a bland brand Blab breakthrough? (Say that three times fast) There’s a new player in the live video streaming arena, and marketers are starting to get excited about the possibilities. Blab has a few nifty features that set it apart [...]

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video-marketing

Do you Blab? Does your brand blab? Are your brand’s Blabs bland? Do you need a bland brand Blab breakthrough? (Say that three times fast)

There’s a new player in the live video streaming arena, and marketers are starting to get excited about the possibilities. Blab has a few nifty features that set it apart from apps like Meerkat and Periscope. Since it’s currently free to use (and in Beta, as its developers work on developing a business model), now is the perfect time to check it out. If you want to add live streaming to your video marketing strategy, Blab can be a great way to build your community. Here are a few reasons marketers are flocking to Blab:

It lasts beyond the moment.

Other livestreaming apps are all about watching in the moment. For example, Periscope only saves your stream for 24 hours. But you can record your entire Blab, up to six hours of video, even pausing and resuming recording. After the session ends, you will get a link to raw audio and video files. Turn the recording into a podcast, upload it to YouTube, embed it in a blog post—Blab sessions are meant to stick around.

It’s collaborative.

Meerkat and Periscope are meant for single-player. People can comment on the stream, but mostly they watch, you do. In Blab, you have four slots for people to join in video/voice chat. Listeners (Blabbers? Blabbees?) can ask to join if there’s an open slot, and you can add them in with a single click. That makes for a much more interactive experience.

It’s simple and versatile.

Blab has a browser-based client (no downloads required) and apps for iTunes and Android. Broadcast from your desk or on the go. The user interface is streamlined and simple, so it’s easy to get started.

It’s small, but about to take off.

There’s a lot of buzz around Blab right now, but it’s still relatively small. That means a great chance to stand out and build a community before it gets flooded with content. As Social Media Examiner’s Joel Comm puts it, “The great thing about Blab, as it is still in beta, is that we aren’t early adopters, we’re pioneers.”

Ready to start blabbing away? Here are eight tips to keep in mind as you establish your presence.

#1 – Don’t hate, participate.
Contributing to other Blabs is one of the best ways to build a following. Search for topics you can contribute to, watch the session, and participate in the chat. If you can add some value, don’t hesitate to ask for a spot on screen.

#2 – Go in with a goal.
Treat Blab like any other marketing effort—have a goal for what you want to accomplish, what the next step is for your followers, and how it integrates into your strategy.

#3 – Don’t forget to record.
Blab sets recording to “off” by default; you need to activate it every session. Don’t miss the chance to repurpose this free video content. At the very least, you’ll want to use it on your site to coax more viewers to your next Blab. Plus, recorded Blabs continue to be hosted on the site, which can help people find and follow you when you aren’t broadcasting.

#4 – Add tags to get found.

The search function on Blab isn’t the most robust instrument. Like Twitter, it depends on tags for indexing. So make sure you add descriptive tags to help listeners find you.

#5 – Establish a rhythm.
Remember how you used to rush to the TV set every Friday at 9 p.m. to watch the X-Files? No? Man, I’m old. Never mind. The point is, you want your audience to make attending your Blabs a habit (Blabbit). Make sure to broadcast at the same time of day each time.

#6 – Invite guests your audience wants to hear from.
While a few Blabbers are successful as a one-person show, make it more engaging for your audience by adding intriguing guests. And keep that fourth slot open, so Blabbees can join in.

#7 – Keep an eye on the chat.
There are two chats to watch on Blab—the right panel is an in-Blab chat, and the left panel is a Twitter feed. It can be a lot to manage—it’s a good idea to have one person presenting and another watching the chat. 

#8 – Loosen up.
Blab isn’t the place to run a suit-and-tie webinar or a stiff, salesy product demo. Viewers enjoy off-the-cuff, natural, in the moment conversation. That doesn’t mean you have to go in unprepared—but take care not to come across as scripted or overly promotional.

Marketers are excited about Blab because it represents some of the best aspects of content marketing: it’s designed to foster community, it’s easy to repurpose the content, and it allows for a true dialog between the host and the audience. If live streaming fits your brand, Blab is definitely worth checking out. In conclusion:

Want to avoid brand blandness? How can we help?

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7 Steps for Using Periscope to Better Engage Your Target Audience http://www.toprankblog.com/2015/09/7-steps-periscope/ Tue, 22 Sep 2015 10:30:59 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=19254 One of the most important jobs we have as marketers is to find a way to be the best answer for our customers, when and where they are looking. With so many new platforms to test on a consistent basis, it can be hard to move through the clutter and find ways to connect that [...]

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live-streaming-video

One of the most important jobs we have as marketers is to find a way to be the best answer for our customers, when and where they are looking. With so many new platforms to test on a consistent basis, it can be hard to move through the clutter and find ways to connect that will better engage your target audience.

Social media platforms provide new opportunities to resonate with your customers. Each time a new social media platform launches, there are the early adopters that explore how the platform works, test to see if it’s stable and then figure out how it can best be leveraged.

One of the biggest platform launches of 2015 was the live video streaming app, Periscope. As of August 2015, Periscope had a total of 10 million users, with over 40 years’ worth of video viewed every day.

A number of people have already jumped on board, using Periscope for trainings and video casts. But how can marketers use apps like Periscope to better communicate with their audience?

Leveraging Periscope for Marketing

Demonstrations: Show how a particular product can be used. Discovery the different uses, options, upgrades and attachments. Engage your audience by allowing them to interact and ask questions so that you can provide value and gather insights that you may not otherwise have access to.

Interviews: Interview current users your products or services. Ask how have they benefited from its use and how it’s changed their life? This could include people from the research and development group, the owners of the company or the team that developed the product or service.

Live events: Promotional events of the product or service. An example might be a trade show where the featured product or service is being displayed. Additionally, you could include challenges that include customers that use the product, and have them develop new ways to use it or how to use it best.

7 Steps for Incorporating Periscope Into Your Marketing

Step 1: Create an image/announcement that talks about your what you will be presenting on, (1 single Periscope video) and then post it on your social channels so that your audience knows that you have a Periscope account, where to find it, and when you’ll be going “live”.

Step 2: Do an off-camera walk-thru of what you hope to accomplish and cover during the scope.

Step 3: Create an outline of what will be covered or said during your video.

Step 4: Use a stand or have someone with a steady hand hold the camera while broadcasting the scope. (Vertical scopes are the standard, but landscape scopes are now an option when broadcasting)

Step 5: When titling the scope, be sure to incorporate Twitter handles and/or hashtags if deemed appropriate.

Step 6: Let the audience know that they’re free to ask questions during the scope or if there will be time made available at the end of the scope for a Q&A session.

Step 7: After the “live” broadcast has been completed, consider saving it to your device and uploading it to YouTube channel or some other video sharing platform for future and repeated use.

Companies Already Utilizing Periscope

Some companies that have already have jumped into the Periscope “stream” and are incorporating it into their digital marketing mix. Below are examples of companies that have created a consistent Periscope presence:

  • Applebee’s
  • Dell
  • Lays
  • Life Time Fitness
  • Macy’s
  • Mayo Clinic
  • Sleep Number
  • Urban Outfitters

Preparation and practice won’t create perfection, but it will create progress. The more scopes that you do, the better that you and your company will be in creating and producing videos via Periscope. Try it, and join the next form of social media, live streaming.

If you’ve already tested Periscope for your company, what did you find to be the benefits and challenges?

Disclaimer: Dell is a TopRank Marketing Client

Image via Shutterstock


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© Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®, 2015. | 7 Steps for Using Periscope to Better Engage Your Target Audience | http://www.toprankblog.com

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Check Your Pulse: 4 Video Marketing Tips for Healthcare Companies http://www.toprankblog.com/2015/05/healthcare-video-tips/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2015/05/healthcare-video-tips/#comments Wed, 06 May 2015 10:06:55 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=18448 Healthcare marketers are responsible for attracting new customers, building trust and converting prospects into new customers. While following content marketing and SEO best practices can put you a step ahead of the rest, there is another opportunity that you may not have considered. As far back as 2010, Pew Research found that approximately 80% of [...]

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Healthcare Video Marketing

Healthcare marketers are responsible for attracting new customers, building trust and converting prospects into new customers. While following content marketing and SEO best practices can put you a step ahead of the rest, there is another opportunity that you may not have considered.

As far back as 2010, Pew Research found that approximately 80% of internet users have searched for information online about health topics, and 25% of all internet users have watched an online video about health or medical issues.

Could video marketing be part of the solution? Consumers buy from people that they like and trust, especially when it comes to their health. What better way to connect with your audience in a meaningful way than through video marketing that they can relate to?

Now, there is the question of what to create and how to promote it. This post will diagnose some of the top opportunities for incorporating video into your digital marketing strategy.

Run A Temperature Check on Your Audience

Healthcare companies often have many target audiences in varying demographics. That can make it difficult to pinpoint exactly how to position a video marketing campaign. Begin by identifying your top three most sought after audience members and create simple personas based on their needs. Much of the data for persona development can be accomplished by speaking with current customers.

Share Useful Information, Not Germs

When planning for video content, there are many directions that you can take. First and foremost, healthcare video should focus on sharing information that consumers will find useful. Examples of video topics could include:

  • Compelling or inspirational stories to connect with the audience
  • How-to guides for those that may not have a current medical need
  • Tips for avoiding seasonal sickness
  • Customer testimonials
  • General health education
  • Preventative tips
  • News on industry innovation
  • Interviews with current customers

Transplant Existing Content

To get a jumpstart on a video marketing strategy, assets that were previously created in the form of blog posts, white papers, announcements, etc. can be repurposed and used for video content. Take the time to dig through Google Analytics data and determine the top performing blog posts, topics and keywords of your website. Start by creating videos of the content that has resonated best with audience members in the past and then begin tracking the performance of those videos.

Distribute “Medicine” Wisely

Once videos have been created, it’s time to determine how and where to share them. There are many options for distribution, but healthcare professionals should make sure that videos always published on YouTube, social media, blog posts and the company website. Why are these avenues impactful?

  • YouTube: Believe it or not, YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world.
  • Social Media: 40% of consumers say that information found via social media affects the way they deal with their health. (AlliedHealthWorld)
  • Blog Posts: Adding video to a blog post allows the writer to create context and setup for the video content.
  • Company Website: By including videos on your company website, it encourages visitors to create a connection with the brand.

Examples of Great Healthcare Marketing Videos

While there is a great opportunity for healthcare professionals to begin incorporating video content, many are already doing a great job. Below are some examples of health focused videos that leave an impression:

American Heart Association: Hands-Only CPR Program

Blue Cross Blue Shield – Live Fearless

Johnson & Johnson – Recycling: A Boy & His Bin

Video content is not a guaranteed way to get more customers, but it does present a unique opportunity to connect in a different way. One of the best pieces of advice that I can give to healthcare marketing professionals looking to incorporate video content is to:

  • Have a plan
  • Follow the plan
  • Adapt the plan

For more information about healthcare marketing and video, check out “How 3 of Healthcare IT’s Top Companies Are Tackling Social Media in A Highly Regulated Industry“.

I’m curious to know, have you previously incorporated video content into your digital strategy? If so, what did you learn?

Image: Shutterstock


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Live Streaming Showdown: Meerkat Versus Periscope http://www.toprankblog.com/2015/04/meerkat-vs-periscope/ http://www.toprankblog.com/2015/04/meerkat-vs-periscope/#comments Tue, 28 Apr 2015 10:30:49 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=18388 Live streaming video services have finally hit the mainstream market, and are beginning to pick up steam. Many might compare their use to Dave Egger’s 2013 novel, “The Circle,” which explores the beginning of a transparent society in which politicians, public servants, and private citizens “go transparent” by wearing body cams and live streaming every [...]

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live video streaming

Live streaming video services have finally hit the mainstream market, and are beginning to pick up steam. Many might compare their use to Dave Egger’s 2013 novel, “The Circle,” which explores the beginning of a transparent society in which politicians, public servants, and private citizens “go transparent” by wearing body cams and live streaming every moment of their waking life. In the book, this technology is offered by a popular social media platform, and is adopted at an exponential rate.

Egger’s vision of a “live streaming” society is now coming to fruition. Live video streaming services like Meerkat and Periscope allow users to stream and share videos in real time. The overall market for digital video has also experienced explosive growth in the United States, with over 200 million Americans (just under two thirds of the population) watching videos online on a regular basis.

When it comes to the battle of Meerkat vs. Periscope, who reigns supreme and what do marketers need to know?

What Is Live Video Streaming?

Live video streaming services like Meerkat and Periscope allow users to post and stream live video content on social media. Live streaming has been used by journalists for years, but 2015 is the first year that this kind of technology has gained mass popularity with the public, thanks in large part to the ubiquity of cell phones and social media.

Meerkat vs. Periscope: Turf Wars Begin

Meerkat made a big splash when they launched their live video streaming service in February, 2015, two weeks before South by Southwest (SXSW). Early adopters loved Meerkat because of how well it integrated with Twitter. However, during SXSW, Twitter announced that they would remove Meerkat’s access to their social graph in favor of the live video streaming service Periscope that they quietly acquired in January, 2015.

Twitter’s decision to throw their weight behind Periscope has sparked intense online debates about which platform is better, and which will ultimately survive. Because Meerkat and Periscope are so similar both in terms of functionality and target audience, many people are convinced that one of the two platforms will inevitably fall out of favor.

Meerkat versus Periscope

Which Platform Do Users Prefer?

As the Meerkat vs. Periscope debates continue, sophisticated marketers should know a bit about each platform and the comparative value of each. Although these live video streaming services are similar, there are some key distinctions that might help you decide which app to try first.

Key Features of Meerkat

  • Meerkat has a chat functionality that’s useful for sharing links and comments with your followers. However, be aware that anything posted during a live stream will be automatically posted to your Twitter profile.
  • Meerkat shows the avatars of people who are watching your video at the top of the video screen. This makes it easy to find and connect with relevant viewers.
  • Meerkat videos are gone as soon as the live stream ends. This means that videos can’t be saved or re-purposed.
  • Many users prefer Meerkat’s commenting functionality, because it’s easier to find comments after they’re posted.
  • Meerkat early adopters were impressed by how well this platform integrated with Twitter. For instance, Meerkat users on Twitter could see which of the people they were following were Meerkat users. Meerkat users also received a notification every time someone they followed on Twitter was streaming, or scheduled a live video stream. Unfortunately, these features are being phased out since Meerkat lost access to Twitter’s social graph.

Key Features of Periscope

  • Marketers will appreciate the fact that Periscope shows you performance stats on retention, number of viewers, and average viewing time after your live video stream ends.
  • It’s difficult to find comments after they’re posted, because older comments disappear as newer comments are posted.
  • Meerkat was developed in a mere eight weeks, while Periscope was developed over the course of a year. The care taken in creation shows in Periscope’s aesthetically pleasing interface, and high quality video. Most users concede that Periscope offers the superior visual experience.
  • Both live video streaming services allow viewers to interact with you as you stream. The difference between the two services is that Periscope makes you open a text box to see who’s watching. Unfortunately, the text box partially obscures the video.
  • Periscope videos can be saved after the live stream ends. Having the ability to save live video streams makes it possible to re-purpose and re-share content, which is one area where Periscope shines.
  • As a native Twitter application, Periscope now has the advantage of being fully integrated with Twitter. It’s easy to follow people form Periscope, and you can choose whether or not to share your live streams on Twitter.
  • User’s report that they like Periscope’s blocking feature, which is something Meerkat lacks.

5 Ways Marketers Can Use Live Streaming Apps

Live video streaming services like Periscope and Meerkat bring video to the masses. While consumers have been using Meerkat and Periscope to show the world what’s inside their fridge, marketers may find some more compelling uses.

#1 Event Marketing: Marketers can now easily stream live at company or industry events. For example, you can provide a behind the scenes sneak peek, share the announcement of a game changing product/service or quickly interview influencers on the fly.  Make sure that you use the event hashtag in your stream title to increase your visibility on Twitter.

#2 Supplement Customer Research: Understanding how your customers are utilizing live video streaming both personally and professionally can be used to augment your existing customer research process. Remember to follow them on Twitter so you can be notified when they publish an upcoming stream.

#3 Newsjacking: Use live streaming as an opportunity to provide commentary on important news stories for your industry and customers. You may decide just to cover the relevant points, or add your own flavor with team commentary.

#4 Product Demos: Have a great new product and don’t think a Press Release will do it justice? Consider creating a “pop-up” product demo to share with your customers.

#5 Company Announcements: If someone in your organization has recently received a big promotion or you team has reached a big milestone, consider live streaming a candid video about your announcement. This provides a great opportunity to showcase your team and open the door for people to better connect with your brand.

Which platform do you prefer, and do you plan on using it for marketing purposes? Weigh into the debate by leaving a comment below!

Top Photo: Shutterstock


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© Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®, 2015. | Live Streaming Showdown: Meerkat Versus Periscope | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post Live Streaming Showdown: Meerkat Versus Periscope appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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Video Content Marketing: Pros, Cons, Examples and Best Practices http://www.toprankblog.com/2015/03/video-content-marketing/ Wed, 04 Mar 2015 11:30:02 +0000 http://www.toprankblog.com/?p=18189

Video for Content Marketing (1)

For many B2B marketers video content is the biggest step in a content marketing plan, the one thing that is tackled last because it takes more resources to produce. That mode of thinking is changing, however, as more marketers lean on video content as an effective way to cut through the crowded content marketing landscape. In a recent CMI / Marketing Profs study, 76% of B2B marketers said that they plan to use video as a content marketing tactic in 2015.

Creating video and hosting it on your company site or sending it out on social media is a way to show that your brand is video and technologically savvy but don't just produce video for the sake of saying you've done it. Video has to be done right to be effective. This post will explore the pros and cons of video as a content marketing tactic and will offer examples and best practices that digital marketers can look to for support in their own video content marketing.

Video Content Pros

Video is as close to a full-sensory experience that most marketers can offer. There are few B2B marketers that are looking ahead to virtual reality experiences to share content. So video is the best way to appeal to as many of a buyer’s senses at one time as possible. Good video tells a story better than any other medium by using  both sight and sound senses to help viewers process a message.

Video is taken seriously. According to Demand Gen’s Content Preferences Study, video content was consumed by 58% of B2B buyers in 2014, an increase of 8% over a year prior. Kapost research says that 76% of executives say that they watched a video as a content marketing tactic at least weekly.

Video content is easily shared because it tends to be short. As a buyer, stumbling across a two-minute video, taking it in, then sharing it takes less than five minutes time. In that short time span, your buyer has not only processed the information you have delivered but has also passed it along to other stakeholders in the buying process.

Video Content Cons

There’s the cost factor. Whether marketers produce their own videos or hire a professional video production company, there are clearly costs associated with video content marketing that are avoided by skipping video all together. Too often, the costs are seen as larger than they actually are and too many marketers are dissuaded form using video in their content marketing.

Video can date you. It is harder for a video to live as evergreen content as it is for other forms of content marketing. A blog post can be updated and re-purposed in many ways that a video cannot. Once a video is produced and is live in a campaign, there are certain things like setting, topic, appearance of actors, etc. that can assign a specific date or time period to a video that cannot be easily refreshed like a blog post can.

Convincing the boss. This goes along with cost, but if video isn't currently an aspect of your content marketing plan it may be difficult to convince your boss that it should be. Along with the added cost comes the fact that video is still a new medium for some marketers. Those who are reluctant to change are often reluctant to video.

What Marketers are Saying:

"What if we stopped trying quite so hard with our video content marketing? What if we just told our true stories honestly and simply, and with empathy for the very real problems our customers have?" — Ann Handley

"No content on the web today has the same viral potential of video, and few forms of content can match it for immediacy."  — Natasha Giraudie

"In video, as in audio, you constantly need to think about drop-off. Both are linear experiences – it’s much harder to skim or skip around a video or a podcast as compared to a blog post or PDF. So as a content producer, you need to be paranoid about your audience leaving at any given moment for the millions of other stimuli available at the click of a mouse." — Jay Acunzo 

Video Content Marketing Examples

Like a Girl

The Always "Like a Girl" campaign video stood out on multiple levels. A B2C video, obviously, it appeals empathizes with the target audience and empowers through education and insight.

Caterpillar Jenga

This example from Caterpillar does an excellent job of showing the company's products in action as well as keeping viewers intrigued long enough to see what happens in the end.

Caterpillar also shared a "making of" video showing behind the scenes shots from the original video production as well as some stats from the making of the video. For example, did you know that the game took approximately 28 hours to play and was edited down to a 2.5 minute video?

 Science on Vine

For great short-form video content on Vine, check out General Electric's stream there. Here is an example featuring Bill Nye the Science Guy in GE's #emojiScience campaign.

Best Practices

Track attention span. As video content is spread across the web, metrics are included in video players. Available data will allow you to measure how long a viewer watches your video. Remember, not everyone is watching until the end. A key take-away from this metric is to make sure that your message (including a call to action) is available within the most viewed portion of your video.

Use your description wisely. Be clear and concise with the description you use for your video when uploading it to YouTube or any social media site.  Your description includes copy that is read by search engines, so be precise about what it is you are presenting in your video. Take the time to include a call to action in your description for those who may glance at the description copy but not actually view the video.

Give them something to do next. When viewers watch your video, they should feel inspired to take a next step towards purchase. But what is that next step? Are you making it easy for buyers to find your site and engage with more content? Are you giving them the opportunity to easily share your video? It's not as simple as just inserting a link into a blog post. Whether through email or social media, a buyer needs to be able to take action on your content. Are you making that step as easy as possible?

Have you been successful using video in your content marketing plan? What are your tips and tricks?

For more content marketing best practices, see our full list of content marketing tactics with links to in-depth articles on each tactic just like this one.

Top image: Shutterstock. 

The post Video Content Marketing: Pros, Cons, Examples and Best Practices appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

]]>

Video for Content Marketing (1) For many B2B marketers video content is the biggest step in a content marketing plan, the one thing that is tackled last because it takes more resources to produce. That mode of thinking is changing, however, as more marketers lean on video content as an effective way to cut through the crowded content marketing landscape. In a recent CMI / Marketing Profs study, 76% of B2B marketers said that they plan to use video as a content marketing tactic in 2015. Creating video and hosting it on your company site or sending it out on social media is a way to show that your brand is video and technologically savvy but don't just produce video for the sake of saying you've done it. Video has to be done right to be effective. This post will explore the pros and cons of video as a content marketing tactic and will offer examples and best practices that digital marketers can look to for support in their own video content marketing.

Video Content Pros

Video is as close to a full-sensory experience that most marketers can offer. There are few B2B marketers that are looking ahead to virtual reality experiences to share content. So video is the best way to appeal to as many of a buyer’s senses at one time as possible. Good video tells a story better than any other medium by using  both sight and sound senses to help viewers process a message. Video is taken seriously. According to Demand Gen’s Content Preferences Study, video content was consumed by 58% of B2B buyers in 2014, an increase of 8% over a year prior. Kapost research says that 76% of executives say that they watched a video as a content marketing tactic at least weekly. Video content is easily shared because it tends to be short. As a buyer, stumbling across a two-minute video, taking it in, then sharing it takes less than five minutes time. In that short time span, your buyer has not only processed the information you have delivered but has also passed it along to other stakeholders in the buying process.

Video Content Cons

There’s the cost factor. Whether marketers produce their own videos or hire a professional video production company, there are clearly costs associated with video content marketing that are avoided by skipping video all together. Too often, the costs are seen as larger than they actually are and too many marketers are dissuaded form using video in their content marketing. Video can date you. It is harder for a video to live as evergreen content as it is for other forms of content marketing. A blog post can be updated and re-purposed in many ways that a video cannot. Once a video is produced and is live in a campaign, there are certain things like setting, topic, appearance of actors, etc. that can assign a specific date or time period to a video that cannot be easily refreshed like a blog post can. Convincing the boss. This goes along with cost, but if video isn't currently an aspect of your content marketing plan it may be difficult to convince your boss that it should be. Along with the added cost comes the fact that video is still a new medium for some marketers. Those who are reluctant to change are often reluctant to video.

What Marketers are Saying:

"What if we stopped trying quite so hard with our video content marketing? What if we just told our true stories honestly and simply, and with empathy for the very real problems our customers have?" — Ann Handley "No content on the web today has the same viral potential of video, and few forms of content can match it for immediacy."  — Natasha Giraudie "In video, as in audio, you constantly need to think about drop-off. Both are linear experiences – it’s much harder to skim or skip around a video or a podcast as compared to a blog post or PDF. So as a content producer, you need to be paranoid about your audience leaving at any given moment for the millions of other stimuli available at the click of a mouse." — Jay Acunzo 

Video Content Marketing Examples

Like a Girl The Always "Like a Girl" campaign video stood out on multiple levels. A B2C video, obviously, it appeals empathizes with the target audience and empowers through education and insight. Caterpillar Jenga This example from Caterpillar does an excellent job of showing the company's products in action as well as keeping viewers intrigued long enough to see what happens in the end. Caterpillar also shared a "making of" video showing behind the scenes shots from the original video production as well as some stats from the making of the video. For example, did you know that the game took approximately 28 hours to play and was edited down to a 2.5 minute video?  Science on Vine For great short-form video content on Vine, check out General Electric's stream there. Here is an example featuring Bill Nye the Science Guy in GE's #emojiScience campaign.

Best Practices

Track attention span. As video content is spread across the web, metrics are included in video players. Available data will allow you to measure how long a viewer watches your video. Remember, not everyone is watching until the end. A key take-away from this metric is to make sure that your message (including a call to action) is available within the most viewed portion of your video. Use your description wisely. Be clear and concise with the description you use for your video when uploading it to YouTube or any social media site.  Your description includes copy that is read by search engines, so be precise about what it is you are presenting in your video. Take the time to include a call to action in your description for those who may glance at the description copy but not actually view the video. Give them something to do next. When viewers watch your video, they should feel inspired to take a next step towards purchase. But what is that next step? Are you making it easy for buyers to find your site and engage with more content? Are you giving them the opportunity to easily share your video? It's not as simple as just inserting a link into a blog post. Whether through email or social media, a buyer needs to be able to take action on your content. Are you making that step as easy as possible? Have you been successful using video in your content marketing plan? What are your tips and tricks? For more content marketing best practices, see our full list of content marketing tactics with links to in-depth articles on each tactic just like this one. Top image: Shutterstock. 

The post Video Content Marketing: Pros, Cons, Examples and Best Practices appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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