Video content in production

Why video content marketing is the new black

I was woken up by my 6 year old this morning, he was dressed, ready and waiting to record a video – the unboxing and setup of a new lego set. He did the whole thing perfectly in the first take, and I’m pretty sure I was still asleep whilst recording him – he just needed someone to operate the camera. His end of year kindergarten presentation was a series of videos. They hadn’t learning about video production best practices, but they certainly were learning that creating videos is straight forward, and becoming familiar with being in front of a camera.

Primary schools are taking things a step further and seem to be quickly bridging the gap between amateur & semi-professional video. When I visited St Joseph’s International School, the school’s recruitment/introduction video is a primary school production, that’s quite frankly, excellent.  They’ve got a complete studio setup (which they were keen to show the parents and to talk lots about) and they run classes that teach students about video production.

When you combine what kids are getting through formal education along with exposure to child actors on YouTube, it’s hardly surprising that 6 year olds are interested in making their own videos. To me it’s a clear indicator that the new medium of choice is going to be video.

Today most adults don’t have the patience to read a quick start guide (TLDR anyone?), do we really expect the next generation to want to read large bodies of text? Though it may sound worrying to many, I actually believe that it’s a good trend. One that’s going to change the way we deliver information and massively change the way marketers produce video. So what should you be doing differently?

Focus on Information (not bling)

The end-user expectation of high quality video productions will soften considerably. Video content is already expected to have a high quality (and density) of information. The focus is on being more informative, and less promotional.

Video is a key resource consumers use to understand new products & ideas, and learn new concepts. That doesn’t mean it has to be boring & dry, it can be funny & clever, if you’re lucky it might even go viral. Don’t plan on something going viral though. There’s plenty of theories but no one really knows what creates the viral video effect. Focus on delivering your information, if you’re funny and clever at the same time – bonus brownie points for you.

Think about the funnel

Like every piece of collateral, every video has a place inside the traditional sales funnel (awareness, consideration, etc.). Clearly define/understand where your content sits, and produce it to match the necessary funnel segment. Think about the ‘Disney Princess’, their franchises are designed for very specific audiences, and they create tightly relevant content for their audience, similarly your videos should be carefully positioned. Don’t try to be everything to everyone, and don’t assume that one video can cover the whole funnel. Yes the funnel has changed (think about ZMOT), but even in the new funnel paradigms, consumers journeys still effectively have a start and an end.


Be consistent, one video isn’t enough

No video is a silver bullet. Even the best, most viral video isn’t enough. Anyone remember this guy? You need to be consistently producing content. The key is in the word ‘consistency’. Don’t treat video as a one time effort, or as a singular campaign piece. Brainstorm all the different types of content you could produce, and think of innovative ways of generating that (don’t dismiss UGC). Over a period of time you’ll have lots of relevant content that’ll help your audience make the right decision.

 Don’t count on creating a video that goes viral overnight on your first attempt – there are no silver bullets or magic formula,” said OpenView’s Maksymiw. “Get your team together and brainstorm a bunch of ideas.”

Experiment with production grades

Not everything needs to be produced by a professional agency. Sometimes the best videos are simple explainers, or live feedback videos shot & produced in-house with minimal investment. Try experimenting with different grades of production for different types of videos. You could produce considerably more  video, on a much smaller budget, if there’s a lower (more in-house) production level being applied. For instance you may have an expensive video walk-through for your new product, but have several lower cost Q&A videos or practical usage videos. Consistency is especially important here. Maintain the same production quality & style for the relevant category/type of video.


Netflix Offline Crown advert, a jeep in raffles place

Take your markeitng offline, Netflix style

Very few companies get omni-channel marketing right. Online retailers (eTailers) and most online services tend to focus predominantly on online marketing, and most brick & mortar/offline services are still struggling to market effectively online. Mixing it up isn’t easy when you’ve been doing business the same way for a while (read: too long).

That’s why I’ve been so impressed by Netflix. I expect to see their adverts online, instead I see their crazy installations (below) downtown, and read about the exciting things they’re doing at local cafes. It’s different and it’s a jolt that reminds me that things in my online world are still real. It’s not just an app icon on my tablet. How effective are their offline stunts? My wife watched an entire season of ‘The Crown’ in a weekend after seeing the jeep (at Raffles Place). She’s hooked and is already scouring Netflix for more to watch. I’d say that’s effective.

Netflix Offline Crown advert, a jeep in raffles place

They’re not the only one’s clued on to this tactic though. HootSuite recently held the first (of an annual series) of events for digital marketers at a city hotel. There was a fairly wide mix of people, but what was evident was that everyone was (drinking, networking & …) talking about HootSuite. Sure loads of companies host cocktails, but they aren’t usually SaaS companies – nor do they usually have branded cocktails & cupcakes.

HootSuite cocktail event

So if you’re an electronic business, start looking at what you could do to get your marketing offline. It doesn’t fill the typical boxes of “scalable” & “low touch”, but when done right it can certainly help to get you organic content coverage and sticky mind share. All the same rules apply, define a target audience, be clear and concise and remember to measure everything.

Creating content people care about

3 Steps to creating content people care about

No matter what business you’re in, an essential part of your marketing plan needs to be creating great content. Most organizations are struggling to create content, let alone “great” content though. The incredible flood of low quality content, and “curated” content, is part of the effort to satisfy the constant banging of the content drums. Or as Eli puts it “Content is king, and now everyone is king”. So how do you make great content?

Step 1. Creating content, what should you write about?

Discovering article ideas, and finding relevant things to write about doesn’t need to be hard. There’s a good change that your customers already know what your next article title should be, you just need to ask them for it.

Surveying them is an easy way to get lots of great article ideas, directly and indirectly. When you run your survey “Instead of asking boring questions like ‘How many units of alcohol will you consume in December?’ ask ‘Are you going to get drunk over the Christmas holidays?’. It gets you the same information, but makes the user think ‘What’s the next question going to be?’”, it puts a smile on their faces and entertains them as they give you insight – which you can use to create your next article title – such as “70% of men are going to get drunk this December”.

Step 2. Make sure it’s relevant to your audience

Just because it’s funny doesn’t mean it’s going to have an impact, your content needs to be highly relevant to your audience. That’s what’s keeps them reading.  “Writing about America’s knowledge of Indonesia was really popular in Indonesia, they’re curious and interested to know what American’s know about them. The same article wouldn’t generate any interest America, they didn’t even know that Obama had been to Indonesia.”

Get the right content to the right audience or it’ll fall flat.

Step 3. Test, check if your audience is going to like it

Don’t make any assumptions, check and make sure your article ideas are of interest to your audience. “If it’s interesting and relevant enough for a dinner table conversation, it’s ok.” says Eli. Drop a few article titles as conversation topics in idle conversation with a few of your readers. If they seem interested in the conversation that’s a good sign that they’ll read about it or share it.

Wrapping up. How do I know my post was successful?

If done well, a good post can get great back links and maybe even media coverage, whilst that’s a reasonable measure for content success, Eli believes you need to push yourself further.

How do you know that you’ve made truly great content? Read the full interview here and find out.

Full interview: