I was listening to a recent episode of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast, featuring Dave Kerpen, CEO of Likeable Media. In this particular discussion, Kerpen made some excellent points about the value of storytelling in a brand’s marketing strategy. I’ve written articles on this blog before, centered on the aspect of storytelling and the power it has over an audience, but I wanted to recap some of Kerpen’s points. The whole of Kerpen’s discussion with host John Jantsch centered on how brands can utilize marketing tools, strategies, etc. to achieve the ultimate goal of “likeability.”
The best way to use social media tools to strengthen relationships is to share stories. Open up and tell people who you are. Be personal.
Stories personalize a brand better than any marketing tactic.
Imagine the social media landscape was a cocktail party. How would you capture the attention of those at the party? You wouldn’t show up with a slick marketing campaign and broadcast it out to everyone you meet. Rather, you would tell interesting stories to engage. You want the other guests to like what you have to say.
Every business has a story to tell; stories about how the company was founded, obstacles that certain employees have overcome, successes and failures, etc.
These stories can be shared with pictures, with web video, with blog posts and tweets.
Stories are what people want to talk about.
One last point that was made that I thought was worth repeating is, “It’s hard NOT to like someone, once you know their story.”
I’ve always been a strong advocate for storytelling, because in every video we at Red Fox Media produce, the goal is to share some kind of story with the audience. It’s natural to want to use video to convey basic facts about a company, product, or service. But it’s more challenging to weave those facts into a story that will engage and entertain. Consider this testimonial video we produced for an oral surgery clinic, or this promotional video for the Hoover City Schools. In each video, the necessary marketing facts were conveyed, but that information was presented using stories as a foundation. We will always welcome the opportunity to tell your story.
Here’s an important point to remember about creating an online video for your company – when you use it as a marketing tool, that video becomes part of your brand. It becomes part of your image, and it can affect what consumers think about you. A brick-and-mortar store takes great pride in its physical appearance. You, also, should take pride in the quality of your videos. You will hear the term “authentic” used a lot when people discuss online video. Consumers want companies to be real; genuine. As a result, people often believe that the quality of a video doesn’t matter. After all, if it looks bad, it will be more “authentic” and more people will respond to it. However…
Would you use that same approach with the appearance of your store or office?
Would you use that same approach with the design of your business cards?
How about your website?
How about the way your logo is designed, used, and displayed?
Business owners wouldn’t consider an unkempt retail location as a sign of being “authentic.” And they wouldn’t equate a shoddy logo design as an effort to be “real.” Authenticity isn’t necessarily related to quality. Image is an important part of your company’s identity, and careful thought should be given to your video marketing strategy before you dive in head first.
Since we will soon be launching the new Red Fox Media brand, I updated our demo reel. This reel features our new logo, along with samples of our more recent work. The new Red Fox Media website should go live in a couple of weeks. It’s been a long transition and I’ll be glad when it’s all complete.
The number of companies using online video to enhance their brands is increasing everyday. Video is now a marketing necessity, but like any marketing tool, the decision to produce an online video series for your company requires strategy and planning. Online videos take on a variety of formats, genres, and visual styles. The decision to use one style over another will have a significant impact on the public’s perception of your business. So, where do you start?
Look for what you like. Spend time watching online videos to see what other people are doing. What formats do you like? What inspiration can you draw for your own business? Make some notes. Save the links.
Formulate a Goal. What’s the purpose of this series? Do you want to blast it on a number of different video hosting sites to create a viral sensation? Should it be more targeted? Should the series simply live on your own website, complimenting material already written? Your specific goal will help you narrow your focus and will aid in selecting a specific format.
Think Thematically. A video series needs to have consistency and continuity throughout all episodes. This will only serve to solidify your brand and your message. Take a look at what Shredded Wheat is doing with their “Progress is Overrated” campaign. The series has a simple concept, but it goes against the grain of what’s expected. And the message is presented with a strong sense of dry humor.
Like any other venture, producing successful online videos require research, planning, and execution. And when done right, those videos will create greater public awareness for your brand.
I was listening to an internet marketing podcast recently and the hosts of the show were discussing how E-Consultancy is using Twitter to join in on public conversations related to their company. Here’s a quick synopsis of E-Consultancy, as stated on their website:
Econsultancy is a community where the world’s digital marketing and ecommerce professionals meet to sharpen their strategy, source suppliers, get quick answers, compare notes, help each other out and discover how to do everything better online.
Founded in 1999, Econsultancy has grown to become the leading source of independent advice and insight on digital marketing and ecommerce.
Our reports, events, online resources and training programmes help our 80,000+ members make better decisions, build business cases, find the best suppliers, look smart in meetings and accelerate their careers.
E-Consultancy searched for what people were saying about them on Twitter and placed a live feed of those tweets right on their home page. And there’s no content filtering, so if there are people out there with negative feelings toward E-Consultancy, those thoughts will show up right on the home page.
Just a few years ago, this practice of exposing potential customers to potentially negative reviews would be a no-no. However, in today’s social media world, this transparency might be refreshing. It demonstrates to the public that this company listens to their customers and strives to be prompt in addressing all concerns. It shows that they are engaged and tuned in to conversations about their brand.
This doesn’t mean that you have to put a live Twitter feed on your home page, but it does illustrate the point that as business owners, we have a responsibility to the people we serve. You need to be engaged in what people are saying about your brand. Listen to them. Respond in a timely manner. And always look for ways to improve your brand.
What are your thoughts about E-Consultancy’s move? Good or bad?