Humans are social beings, and we have an inherent need to connect with others to create a sense of belonging and acceptance. You may have not thought about it in this way, but a large part of that connection with others is telling stories – everything from your uncle’s hunting tales, to reminiscing with college [studying] buddies, and even the “I remember” conversations you get by looking at your old family photos.
All of these examples are stories that build history, value and connection between people. Stories are so ingrained into our existence as humans that no matter how far you look back into history, every culture’s beliefs, artistry and writings are really just a collection of stories about hope, fear and knowledge that are passed from one person to another over the course of time. Our need to use stories as a connection and communication tool has not diminished with the onset of technology – not by 35mm’s, or even a pixel. The film industry alone is at $88 billion per year, only rivaled by the essentials of modern existence – power, construction, medicine … and Wal-Mart.
Do you have a story to tell? Video is a format that changes how a story is told. We live in a spectacular time when the tools to create video are more accessible than ever before. You don’t need an $80 million blockbuster budget or a 30-person crew either. Quality cameras are affordable (every phone has one), and powerful graphics and animation software is cheap (or even free!). The audience doesn’t have to imagine what you are trying to say, because you are not just telling your story, you can show them. You can easily have your own web video channel about parenting, how-to series about car repair, watch product demos, or have your own web cartoon – and place it in the palm of anyone’s hand.
As our culture changes, the way we consume information and tell stories will follow suit. Thanks to the Internet and smartphones, your story is now only a click or swipe away. The days of text-heavy websites – overflowing with tables, paragraphs and bullet points – are long gone. Everyone is busy and on the go. Statistics say 40% of us are engaging other people on our tiny, handheld portals to the Internet. Since time and accessibility seem to be the issue, I know I would rather experience a story in 30 seconds, with full-screen video and audio, rather than try to absorb the same story across four screens worth of 10-point Helvetica. I certainly do believe in the power of the written word, being a creative writer (and now blogging here on TKGenius!).
Writing in general will always holds its value with expanded explanations, imaginative narrations and abstract thoughts. A novel will always have greater depth and details than its movie counterpart. Unfortunately, I can’t process the novel-version of that same story in the same hour and a half with my fourth-grade reading speed. Video lends itself to the modern web because you can use focused storytelling to rapidly engage audiences with a complete story that can easily be shared on any web page, social media forum, or sent through email.
If you have a very clear message to convey in a short timeframe, consider video. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but video is worth a thousand words twenty-four times per second – and has its own soundtrack. We all have a little time for a great story. How are you telling yours?
In case you missed it, the Super Bowl was, ahem, pretty big this year. Arguably bigger? The commercials. Love or hate football, this prime-time TV real estate often boasts some of the best and funniest ads of the year.
And if you’d like, you can easily catch all the ads on YouTube, taking the time to re-watch your favorites, or see the ones you missed while grabbing extra chip dip in the kitchen.
As of the Monday after the Super Bowl, YouTube amassed a total of 234 million views on Super Bowl ads. Facebook couldn’t keep up with that number, mostly because not all the videos were uploaded directly to Facebook, and also because Facebook’s search still isn’t nearly as robust as YouTube’s (and people rarely go to Facebook to specifically search for video…at least, not yet).
When it came to overall shares of videos, however, Facebook accounted for nearly 70% of all shares for Super Bowl ads this year, even without many of the commercials being “native” (or uploaded directly) to the platform.
So what does this mean for your business?
Video content is still king, and we know from our own client analytics that video always performs well with audiences, usually far outpacing photos.
Facebook is placing higher and higher importance on native video on the platform. It’s great to host a video on YouTube (and you should continue to do so, since this plays well with SEO), but we already know the Facebook algorithm doesn’t play as nicely with outside links as well as it does to content posted directly to the platform.
Views are nice, shares are great, and the further your video content spreads, the better.
Video doesn’t have to be crazy high production to resonate with your audience. Most newer cell phones have fantastic cameras, so if you have 90 seconds and an iPhone, you can start connecting with your audience regularly with video.
The biggest lesson? Having a diverse distribution plan for your content is key to taking full advantage to how your audience finds you and interacts with you. Facebook is great, but it’s not the sole answer to an overall content strategy. Having multiple channels, and knowing how to leverage each one will contribute to your brand message and business goals.
LinkedIn’s latest update allows users to add video, pictures, presentations and more to status updates. I think this is a fantastic way to share information, especially when a lot of time and effort goes into such things. Now your Power Point presentation on GEO Thermals in Northeastern States, or that great talk you did for the TKG Breakfast Bootcamp will not only educate even more people, but it will become part of your personal portfolio, and by extension, your company’s. You could even go back in time and build your new online “portfolio” with presentations, video and pictures from past events, giving your LinkedIn profile a boost (and flooding that feed).
So much valuable information on your company could be shared in this manner, from a simple timeline of the company’s history and goals to big events. If your company is hiring, a video detailing the job, the company culture and a bit about the company itself would be a great tool for attracting talent. I think LinkedIn just got a little more interesting…
We’ve been talking about it here for months, and social TV is a reality. It’s widely known among fans that GLEE creator, Ryan Murphy takes note of what is said on Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms and often uses that information in writing the show. We’ve also been seeing the suggested #hashtags on just about every show and commercial for a couple of years now. Well, now social media has “hated a show right out of existence” according to it’s creator, Rhett Reese.
Zombieland, an Amazon Studios original TV show has been canceled due to feedback on social media from “fans”. (Can you call people fans if they hated it that much?) The show was part of a big push for original content from Amazon Studios. The show was based on a movie of the same name, but apparently fans of the movie hated the pilot to the point that they managed to shut down production of the new show.
Amazon Studios is getting ready to release five new shows that made the cut after they debuted 14 pilots in April. The winners are Alpha House, Betas, Annebots, Creative Galaxy, and Tumbleaf. Amazon Studios will start production on these shows later this year, and begin airing before the end of the year and into 2014.
Amazon Studios has some decent folks starring in these shows; John Goodman, Ed Begely Jr. and others. Three of the five new shows will be kids shows…kids are a big part of this TV push, which will be interesting to see how that all plays out with the social TV aspect. We all know that parents are tweeting, especially moms….Moms are the social media mavens – they know pretty much every aspect of social media …plenty of memes are dedicated to how hard it is to pull themselves away from social to interact with the real life people (and kids!) in their lives. Kids’ programming will not go unnoticed in the Social TV realm and a lot of the marketing for those shows will come with the mamas in mind.
Are you into the social aspect of TV? Do you use the suggested #hashtags? Have you ever gotten a good deal from a marketer based off the use of a TV suggested #hashtag? We’d love to hear what you’ve found, what you use, or even if those #hashtags just really bug the heck out of you!
With the popularity of videos online, it’s not surprising that online advertising has started to appear in the form of video. Rich media advertising specialists, Celtra, now incorporate precise reporting of user engagement and interaction with video based advertisements.
According to a recent study by Celtra, mobile video advertisements offer a completion rate of nearly 50%, meaning that almost half of all videos ads that are initiated are watched completely. To put this into perspective, the industry average click-through-rate for a standard online display ad is 0.11%.
Why does this matter for businesses?
Whether you use display advertising or not, this shift in consumer’s willingness to click on and view video advertisements enables businesses to reach their audience in ways never seen before.
Sure, we all have seen a commercial on TV. But did you choose to watch that commercial? No, it is just an interruption to the show you are interested in seeing.
And of course you’ve seen an ad online, but how often do you click on one? Many consumers are weary of online display ads, thanks to the banner ads and spam from the early days of the Internet.
This new evolution in online advertising allows businesses to say more, show more and do more with their online advertising. It gives them a chance to re-purpose commercial content or present a product through a presentation, not just a static image in a display ad. And users are responding and consuming the content.
While rich media display ads can be expensive, the completion rate and ability to target the audience you want, makes it worth giving a chance.
If online display advertising doesn’t fit into your marketing plan, consider creating more video content that you can share through your website and social platforms. According to REELSEO, video improves online visibility and drives more action online than plain images and text.
Don’t worry about not being a Hollywood director; online video content doesn’t have to be perfect to be effective.
Have you had success with video based advertisements or content? Share your story with us in the comments below!
Vine has been on the social scene for a little over a month now and to be quite honest, I have seen some of the most creative six second videos. No matter how creative the videos, the one question I’ve always asked, and have seen others ask, is “how will brands use Vine to creatively get their message across?”
One of my first Vine’s was an origami tribute to Dum Dums, which was later retweeted by @dum_dums. I have seen other Vine’s promoting brands but fail to see the brand interact or give kudos to the user. It’s understandable that large brands will not see every video promoting their product(s), but a simple “thank you” or “job well done” can turn a first time buyer into an offline brand ambassador in a matter of minutes.
One of the biggest benefits Vine presents to brands is the creation of visual, entertaining content. Vine videos can be shared easily on Twitter, websites and blogs and, most importantly, mobile.
There are a few brands using Vine to interact with their customers while keeping them informed on new and upcoming products or tell a story about their products.
Some brands may be hesitant to embrace Vine because it is new and there is a lack of analytical data. However, paying attention to what users are creating and distributing now will help when creating a Vine strategy in the future.
Vine is a great medium to send visual tweets. When do you think more brands will embrace Vine as part of their social media strategy?
You already know that savvy content marketing is a fantastic way to reach your customers. When it comes to writing and re-purposing that content for other written mediums, you’re becoming a bit of a pro.
Plus, you understand that the written word is cost-effective to produce, and you probably have someone in-house who can help pound out words on a page.
But you are also smart enough to know that for every piece of engaging written content you put out there, video content from other brands seem to really be racking up the views, shares, and ultimately, sales.
In fact, studies show that on Facebook alone, video receives 2.5 to 3 times the amount of engagement as written content.
Using video production in your content marketing plan is a fantastic way to visually tell your story, show a product, or even keep your employees up to date on your latest policy changes.
Fortunately, if you’re wanting to use more video in your content marketing efforts, there is good news. While, yes, DSLR or professionally produced video can look sleek and gain a lot of attention, well-edited Flip-style videos, or creative web-cam captures can also be extremely effective.
There is more good news: the hardest part about video production is not the equipment, time or cost. The hardest part is coming up with ideas, then executing them effectively to reach your goals.
And while that may not SOUND like good news, it is (I promise!). Because it’ll likely take you longer to learn video software than it will take for you to really tap into who you are as a business and brand.
Bottom line: Trust what you know about your company and what makes you, your employees and your company unique, and the ideas will begin to flow.
If you still need help getting started, here are five stellar content marketing case studies in video production to start your wheels a-turnin’. There are more out there, of course, but I chose these to show the diversity of video in content marketing, and to get those wheels turning for you.
General Electric is a monster of a company, so it’s no wonder that they have a monster of a YouTube channel that focuses on everything from how GE technology helps premature babies in a London hospital, to the latest crop duster, to how they’re powering jet engines.
But GE never gets mired in the details of the technology. They choose, instead, to either focus on the people the technology benefits, or the people who are involved in producing the technology.
Pay attention to this case study if: You want to focus on the people behind the tech/brand/product.
What they do well: Short, compelling snippets featuring actual human beings. A variety of video content.
Overall takeaway: Your product or brand might be “boring” but your people certainly aren’t. Tell the story of your executive assistant who has been with the company for 30 years, focus on the third generation of workers coming through your plant, interview the rising star in engineering department. See what makes them tick, then tie it to how it makes your company great.
Until a few months ago, I was about as likely to be hit by a Volvo truck as I was to think I’d be staring at a video about Volvo trucks that was literally making my heart pound.
And yet, over 6 million views later, here we are. The video below is a perfect example of how great storytelling can make the “unsexy” very, very sexy indeed.
Pay attention to this case study if: You have a compelling story to tell.
What they do well: Draw the audience in to a full story in 3 minutes or less. Make highly shareable content by focusing on high stakes drama while still highlighting their product.
Overall takeaway: Stories are still one of the top ways that people learn, retain and interact with information. Find the compelling stories that make your brand tick, including charities, events or “outside” projects and people that you touch.
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
OK, OK, I’m a little biased here. I’m a HUGE fan of Jeni’s…not just for their amazing ice cream, but because the way they do their digital content marketing is, hands down, superb (hello e-commerce Tumblr).
They are masters at showcasing the visual element of their product, with nearly every social outlet bursting with breathtaking, high quality photos and videos of their locally sourced, hand-made ice cream.
This video from the summer shows one of their most popular seasonal flavors, Sweet Corn and Black Raspberry (which is incidentally MY favorite!) in all its glory. It highlights the human element in the ice cream making (they literally hand-shuck the corn), as well as the top notch ingredients.
Pay attention to this case study if: You want to tantalize and intrigue your customers and remind them of the care you put into your product or service.
What they do well: Focus on the unique, mouth-watering essence of their product. Make use of beautiful visuals to compel the audience to take action.
Overall takeaway: Sometimes your product just speaks for itself. Use a visual medium like video to show your baby off.
Bumble and Bumble
I discovered Bumble and Bumble’s “Look and Learn” section of their website through an ad in Marie Claire magazine. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I visited, but I sure did not expect the level of awesomeness that is the BandB Blow Dry Sessions.
The Blow Dry Sessions are a How To video series that allow visitors to find looks and “recipes” of BandB products for the perfect blow-out. The part that sold me was being able to FILTER BY HAIR TYPE.
As a woman who has been blessed/cursed with a full-on mop of thick, unruly curls, I’ve searched most of my life for the perfect solution to taming this mane o’ mine.
And if you think I’m the only woman who feels this way, you should have seen Collyn’s face when I told her about the site (and THEN heard our subsequent conversation about how to get the perfect Real Housewives of Whatever spiral curl. Or maybe not. There was a lot of swearing. KIDDING!).
Here’s one of the full length how to videos. Bonus points: each featured woman is also an employee of Bumble and Bumble.
Pay attention to this case study if: You see an educational need that your product or service can be an part of the “lesson plan”.
What they do well: Focus on one longer video for the “full experience.” Repurpose that content into smaller “bite size” how to’s for those who want extra practice or insight. Tap into “in-house” resources by using employees as models/teachers.
Overall takeaway: Think a little bigger than your product. Bumble and Bumble could have just shown their product going on the hair. Instead, they tapped into a common problem for women: “How to I give myself the perfect blow-out.” Making content truly useful, accessible and shareable lends trust to their brand…and of course, now that the women see OTHER women with beautifully shiny hair, they will buy the product.
There are hundreds of videos to focus on from marketing juggernaut Coca Cola. Probably the one that I think is most interesting is their Content 2020 video, designed primarily for internal communication (which they also cleverly released to the public).
The video is a little longer than some you might find on YouTube or Vimeo, but it works in this case…especially since the animation and graphics make it feel like far less than 7 minutes.
Pay attention to this case study if: You want to connect or communicate to your employees in a real, meaningful and informative way.
What they do well: They take complex information and boil it down in an engaging, shareable way. They tell a story that is accessible in just about any language with the use of animation and graphics.
Overall takeaway: Think beyond email memos. Make important information “stick” with your employees by using a visual medium…then let them watch right at their desks. It’ll feel like play rather than work.
Combi Packaging Systems
Don’t worry, B2B types, I didn’t forget about you. We know you’re embracing content marketing more and more as an overall part of your marketing strategy. A recent study conducted by the Content Marketing Institute found that B2B Content Marketing continues to increase, especially in the area of video.
And, if I may be so bold, I’d love to highlight a TKG client here, Combi Packaging Systems. Combi is a typical B2B in that they have two main audiences that they serve. Mainly, they are looking to educate and keep both their distributors and direct clients informed on the latest technology and products they offer.
The reason Combi does such a great job here (full disclosure: TKG has not helped with their video production, so I really am bragging on them! :)), is because they truly understand the needs of their B2B audience: each audience needs to SEE how the machinery works.
Pay attention to this case study if: You’re a B2B that needs to show your customers complex details or product specifications without bringing them to your office. Or, use this as a visual tactic in your overall sales strategy.
What they do well: Short videos (about 90 seconds or less) clearly show multiple angles of machinery. No bells, whistles or special effects needed here.
Overall takeaway: There are multiple opportunities for B2B companies to use video content effectively. Focusing on the needs of the audience (rather than the details of production) helps to produce videos that are useful and integral to the sales process.
OK, your turn! What companies are using video as an effective part of their content marketing efforts? Spill it in the comments!
Last week, I had the opportunity to hang out (Google Hangout, that is) with Nick Kellet, co-founder of List.ly. Nick and his business partner Shyam Subramanyan have taken everyone’s favorite form of blog content (LISTS!) and amped them up to be interactive, embeddable, and highly sharable. Think list-making meets content curation meets social media meets crowdsourcing. And? It’s all search engine friendly.
My convo with Nick was especially exciting for me, because I’m one of those types who lives and dies by THE LIST. No seriously, I’m a barely functioning human being without lists; they bring a sliver of order in my otherwise chaotic life. So to see the humble list go where no list has gone before, well, that’s the stuff I geek out over.
Of course, what would a post on List.ly be without a LIST? So, I took my 30 minute interview with Nick, divvied it up into 10 sections, and made a list via List.ly. Took me all of five minutes.
Check out my interview with Nick (you can watch the vids IN the list!), check out the nifty interactive features on the list below, and check out List.ly!