Posts Tagged ‘business’
Thursday, July 21st, 2011
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.
Monday, June 20th, 2011
In my years as a video director, I have worked with clients who want to be on set to monitor and supervise the shoot. I have also worked with clients who prefer not to be on location. They take a more hands-off approach. I certainly appreciate the level of trust I earn with my clients, because that trust gives them a good measure of comfort. They can feel confident when they turn the video production over to me. However, there are definite benefits to having the client on set throughout the production process.
- Familiarity – If the client has been the only person to interact with the on-camera talent up to the point of production, having the client on set will give the talent a familiar person with whom he/she has already made a connection. And when the talent sees someone familiar, this will make him/her more comfortable. And when the talent is comfortable, he/she will be more natural on camera. This is especially true when working with non-professional talent.
- Plan B – Let’s be honest. Sometimes things don’t go quite as planned during a video shoot, and the director needs to be prepared. When the on-camera interview just isn’t going well, or when certain set-ups are cut from the shot list due to last-minute changes to the location, it’s good to have the client on location. The client can stay up to speed on everything that’s happening and offer up suggestions to the director as to what needs to happen next. After all, the video director is working for the client. The two parties can put their heads together to come up with a viable Plan B when the shoot starts to fall short of pre-production expectations.
- Instant Feedback – When the director yells “cut,” he/she can immediately check with the client to ensure that everything being captured meets with the client’s approval. If the individual being interviewed needs to answer in a slightly different way to clarify the context of the subject, then the client can say so. If there’s another question or two that the director didn’t think about, the client can step in and ask it. If there’s a tiny detail that shouldn’t be in the script, the client can omit it before the on-camera spokesperson continues. The video production company may take the lead in developing a concept for the project, but it’s the client that has a more in-depth knowledge of the company, the brand, the product/service, and all the little things that can make a big difference.
Video directors never need to shy away from the thought of having the client on set. The two parties compliment each other and work in tandem toward one common goal.
Wednesday, June 1st, 2011
QR (Quick Response) Codes are gradually becoming more of a mainstream marketing tool for brands here in the US, as companies seek to take advantage of smartphone mobile technology. Media has become more integrated and more interactive than ever before, so it’s important for marketers to find ways to create additional levels of engagement. And when you increase audience participation you will also increase the amount of time an audience spends with your brand. QR Codes are an excellent way to give consumers that kind of experience.
For those unfamiliar with QR Codes, here’s a brief synopsis: There are several apps available for smartphones that allow users to scan barcodes while shopping. Once the barcode is scanned, information regarding the product is displayed (i.e. pricing information, store locations that carry the product, product reviews, etc.). QR Codes work in the same way. Users can scan QR Codes located on t-shirts, product displays, print ads, vehicles, computer screens – anything. Embedded within the code is a link to a mobile site where consumers can find additional content about a company, a product, service, or cause. Advertisers are now no longer limited to the confinements of a single print ad or billboard. They can now place QR Codes into the ad to provide consumers with more ways to get involved. Non-profits can use QR Codes to get people to sign a petition regarding a specific cause. Organizations can use them to link people to valuable information regarding storm clean-up schedules, recovery needs, etc. Companies can use QR Codes to link consumers to video content where they can view product demonstrations, see the product/service in action, view client testimonials, take a virtual tour, etc. It might be fun for advertisers to link their QR Codes to a series of behind-the-scenes videos which shows consumers how a particular ad campaign was conceptualized, written, shot and edited.
Have you considered ways to take advantage of smartphone technology in your marketing efforts? Here are some more ideas to help you brainstorm.
Monday, April 11th, 2011
One of the important qualities an online video must have is relevance. The viewer must be able to identify, empathize, or connect with your video in some way. If they don’t, they’ll move on to something else pretty quickly. The attention span of consumers is becoming shorter as media becomes increasingly fragmented, so relevance is an important part of building an audience.
One way you can increase the relevance of your content is to get your audience involved in some way. If you are a services-oriented business, you might try creating some kind of contest or giveaway. Use video, your website, and social media to solicit nominations for contestants. Use video to document the process and produce short episodes that you can upload to your website and other video hosting services. It can become your own reality show, where your company and services are featured.
If you are a product-oriented business, you could offer to give away a particular product on a free trial basis. Ask the recipients to use video to document their experiences with your product. Then edit their videos into a short-form documentary that highlights how your product improved their lives in some way.
By sponsoring a contest or giveaway, you can get the community involved through participation and conversation. By using video to document the experience, you increase relevance for those involved in the contest (and their friends). You will also expose your company and your products to a wider audience.
Friday, April 8th, 2011
James Marshall was a carpenter from New Jersey, born in 1810. In the late 1840s he was hired by John Sutter to build a sawmill near Coloma, California. The sawmill was being built to provide lumber to the Sacramento Valley.
As Marshall and his men worked to build the sawmill in the American River, they soon realized that the water in that particular section was too shallow. There wasn’t enough water coming through to turn the wheel which powered the saw. They had to shut the water off to dig a deeper trench for the water to pass through.
On Monday January 24, 1848, Marshall was inspecting a section of the river below the mill when he spotted shiny metal flakes resting on some exposed bedrock. He took the metal back to Sutter where the two tested the metal privately. It was gold.
Between 1848 and 1850, the population of San Francisco increased from 1,000 to 25,000. People poured into Northern California. Merchants popped up everywhere, supporting the miners with goods and services. And as the gold became more difficult to find, technological advancements helped the miners move and sift through an enormous amount of dirt. The gold rush truly transformed California and, over time, the entire country.
Here are a few applications from this story:
- Only a small percentage of miners actually struck it rich, and yet people kept coming to California because of the allure that gold has. How can you better market and promote your goods and services in order to generate an increased level of appeal?
- No one goes into the mine looking for dirt. They go in to look for gold, and yet there’s a lot of dirt that has to be moved in order to reach the gold. Ultimate success for you depends on your level of commitment, patience, and positivity. You will have to dig through some dirt, but don’t stop until you hit the gold.
- That one speck of gold that Marshall discovered in 1848 was a small ripple that eventually generated a tidal wave of transformation throughout the country. You, your employees, and your company also have the potential to make a big impact on more people than you realize. The small investments you make today in your business can pay enormous dividends in the future. You never know. So, be aware of the kind of brand you are building. Be mindful of the people you surround yourself with. And be careful in how you treat others.