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You can’t be anti-social today

October 3, 2018

socialI’m wrapping up my series on the marketing channels you need to consider for 2019 with our last channel – social networks.  Don’t forget to consider the other channels we’ve discussed as you map out your 2019 plan.

Just to refresh your memory, they are:

  • Digital video
  • Podcasting
  • Infographics
  • Webinars and webcasts
  • Ratings and reviews
  • Website
  • Social networks

I remember when we launched our agency’s blog in 2007. Back then it was novel and felt very cutting edge. People were just starting to explore Facebook and Twitter for business, and there were a lot of people who declared that those channels were for personal use only and they’d never put their business in that sort of setting.

Fast-forward to today, and it’s absolutely clear that our businesses need to have a social presence. Business owners and marketing leaders need to decide HOW they want to engage on the various social channels but I would argue that there’s no decision to be made about whether or not you’re there.

There are quite a few decisions you need to make (or review) as you map out your social strategy.

Which networks should you invest in? There are way too many to be active on them all. This is definitely an “it’s better to be a mile deep and an inch wide” rather than the other way around situation. Social is all about making connections. If you’re posting and no one is responding, that might be a clue that either you’re on the wrong channel, or you’re not actually connecting with your audience.

And don’t discount smaller more niche channels. If you’re a veterinarian, dogster.com might be where you need to be. If you sell into the knitting and crocheting industry, try ravelry.com. Work with attorneys? Check out lawlink.com.

Who should you be talking to? This question should inform the “which channel” question as well. Imagine trying to start a conversation with someone if you had no idea who they were or what they cared about. It’s a lot easier to be interesting if you know your audience because, of course, being interesting is all about focusing on them and their needs, interests, and worries.

Who should you be? This is not a trick question. You need to decide how your brand shows up on social. Do you keep yourself at arm’s length? Are you 100% professional 100% of the time? Does your social activity come from the business’ founder/owner or is it created by the marketing department? How/where do you draw the line on topics that are controversial – like politics? Do you let your own opinions or practices (Merry Christmas versus Happy Holidays) influence your posts?

The key to answering this question correctly is that what your audience sees and feels from you online should match their in-person experience. You want to show up in the same way on the phone, in your store, online and on social.

How will you avoid selling? This may be the most important question of the bunch. Think of social networks as a perpetual first date. You don’t propose on a first date, and you don’t sell on social. You let them get to know, like and trust you and your company. You help, and you serve, and you give away your smarts. When they’re ready, they will ask you to sell them something. Then, you can sell.

This is the most common mistake marketers make. They crash the social party and demand that they become the center of attention. Keep the audience’s needs and interests front and center, and you’ll be a social hit!

I’d love to hear which channels make your cut for the coming year and how you’re going to explore in the next few months.

 

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Your website is your workhorse

September 26, 2018

websiteI am hoping that you’re still giving some thought as to how to head into 2019 with smart marketing that gives you the edge. To that point, we’re continuing with the ongoing series I’ve been writing on the most important marketing channels to consider for 2019. The focus of this post may seem like a “duh” but honestly – most businesses still get this wrong. Your website is THE workhorse of your marketing toolbox. I don’t care who you are, what you sell or how big your business is, without an effective website, you are losing sales.

At some point in your buyer’s journey, they are going to visit your website. It’s pretty much that cut and dried today. If you remember the statistic, I quoted earlier in the series, 92% of consumers visit a retailers website before making a purchase. 94% of business-to-business buyers check out your site before committing.

Here’s what they are looking for when they visit. Do an audit of your site to make sure you are providing exactly what they need to see before they say yes to your offer. Not only do all of these elements need to be there, but they also need to be easy to find.

Proof that you get them: Everyone believes that their circumstance is unique and they want to work with someone who understands their situation. If you serve families, make sure that your copy explains why you have insight into that world. If your business works with IT departments, then your copy and visuals need to demonstrate that you live in that world too.

This is not your first rodeo: This is not about making the site all about your 25th anniversary, which for the most part is only a big deal to you and your team. But it is about demonstrating that you’ve been successful in your field for a while now and that you’re not going anywhere. You can talk about your company’s history, the tenure of your employees or customers or how the industry has changed. Be interesting in documenting your depth of expertise.

That other clients like and trust you: Earlier in the series, we discussed the power of ratings and reviews. Whether you go the ratings/review route or you go old school and use testimonials – you need the social proof that other people count on you and you don’t disappoint. Ask your current customers to tell a story about what you sold them. Don’t make these so brief that they don’t capture both the before and after.

How to contact you: This blows me away, but many businesses make it difficult for a potential customer to actually reach them. Make sure that your email address and phone number (not just a form) are visible and available on not only your contact us page but also in your footer or header on every page.

If people actually come to you to make a purchase, be sure you include your hours of operation, physical address and a map. Don’t forget your social media links as well.

The details of what you sell: By the time they visit your site, the potential buyer wants to know the specifics of your products or services. This may be the right place for strong visuals, be it photos of your products or a visual outlining a service process or outcome. This is a really smart spot for some additional testimonials as well, that tie into your descriptions.

Make sure you follow this list to the letter.  You and your business can’t afford not to.

 

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You like us, you really like us! – Reviews

September 19, 2018

reviewsAs we approach 2019, we’re delving into the channels that you really need to consider as you map out your marketing and sales efforts for the coming year. Previously we’ve covered:

  • Video
  • Podcasting
  • Infographics and visual representation
  • Webinar and webcasts
  • Building your email list
  • Multichannel Marketing

Now, I want to call your attention to the incredible opportunities that lie within online reviews and ratings. Consider a few of these 2017 statistics before you decide whether or not this should matter to your business.

  • 92% of consumers now read online reviews vs. 88% in 2014
  • 40% of consumers form an opinion by reading just one to three reviews vs. 29% in 2014
  • 88% trust reviews as much as personal recommendations, vs. 83% in 2014
  • Star rating is the number one factor used by consumers to judge a business
  • Only 14% of consumers would consider using a business with a one or two-star rating
  • 57% of consumers would use a business with a three-star rating
  • 94% of consumers would use a business with a four-star rating

Let’s assume that those facts have convinced you that reviews matter. The next question is going to be which review site? Your industry may have its critical sites, like Healthgrades and RateMDs.com. and naturally, those are going to need to be part of your plan. But for all of us, Google matters and those reviews have the most influence on your search engine results and page rankings.

Regardless of where you’d like the review to appear, there are some best practices for asking and encouraging your customers to take the time to review your business.

Know it’s not top of mind: For most of us, it doesn’t even occur to us to leave a review for most of our vendors, especially on the B-to-B side. If it does, it’s because we had a bad experience, which is why many reliable, good businesses have more bad reviews than good. This is not a passive, “I sure hope people leave us a review” sort of strategy. You’re going to have to ask.

Timing matters: For every business, there’s a honeymoon phase when your client is happiest. Think of it as the new car smell period. For a couple of weeks after you buy a new car, you are reminded that you have a cool new car every time you slide into your seat. You need to know when your customers are in that stage and ask them for the review at that moment.

In person is always best: For many of us, we have face time with our customers. As you wrap up the transaction, hand your customer a card with all the details they will need and ask them to take a few minutes to leave you a review. If you don’t interact with your clients directly, there’s nothing wrong with email. You’ll have better results if it’s a personal email rather than a mass mailing, but you can use marketing automation software to create that personal touch.

Make it easy: Don’t just ask me for a review. Tell me where (which site) and give me a link directly to the right page. You can also put links on your social channels and website, inviting people to provide a review.

Systemize it: This isn’t something you should do this week and then call it done after you get a few reviews. You need to have a process that makes asking for a review a regular part of your sales process.

Your work isn’t done once you garner some reviews. Monitoring your reviews and responding to them is an equally important strategy. Look for that discussion to come.

 

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CMO’s Growth Driving Playbook

September 18, 2018

The CMO Council just produced a very interesting guide that I think we should all review and think about as we begin our 2019 planning.

The study, called “The Growth Driver’s Playbook,” highlights insights gleaned from a survey of 200 senior marketing leaders as well as 12 deep-dive interviews with growth-driving CMOs from brands like Hershey’s, Lyft, Aston Martin and others.

The CMO Council leveraged these insights to create 5 key plays all growth-driving CMOs should have in their strategic playbook. These growth leaders stem from a combination of newer brands experiencing rapid growth, as well as more established brands that are leveraging unique marketing-led strategies to drive new routes to revenue. 

You can download it here.

About the CMO Council

The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council is the only global network of executives specifically dedicated to high-level knowledge exchange, thought leadership and personal relationship building among senior corporate marketing leaders and brand decision-makers across a wide range of global industries. The CMO Council’s 10,500-plus members control more than $500 billion in aggregated annual marketing expenditures and run complex, distributed marketing and sales operations worldwide. For more information, visit the CMO Council at www.cmocouncil.org.

 

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Webinars – the teacher is in the house

September 12, 2018

webinarI’m hoping that you’re finding this series focused on the channels too critical for you to ignore in 2019 has been helpful so far. The channel we are going to focus on today is the redheaded stepchild of the list. I think it is often overlooked or dismissed because it seems a little daunting and because we’ve seen it executed badly when we’ve been on the audience side. I’m talking about webinars.

Webcasts and webinars can help you create compelling content that drives leads and sales. A webcast is usually more of a one-way flow of information. It’s broadcast online to a large audience and the audience does not usually contribute much to the content of the webcast.

A webinar, on the other hand, is more interactive and can be thought of like an online meeting or class. The content is typically very educational. Your audience is probably a little smaller, but it’s more of a two-way conversation.

For most businesses, a webinar is a more commonly used tactic, so I’m going to drill deeper on that option.

I think many businesses dismiss webinars as a viable tactic because they believe:

  1. They’re difficult, from a technology point of view, to pull off.
  2. You don’t know enough to teach something interesting.
  3. Webinars are painfully boring (at least the ones you’ve attended), and you’re afraid yours will be too.
  4. You’re not a public speaker.

Let’s tackle those concerns and weave in some best practices.

The technology is the easiest. There are many very affordable (less than $100/month) SaaS tools out there that make it incredibly easy to set up the webinar, take registrations, set up an automated reminder schedule for people who have signed up and record the webinar for sharing with those who can’t attend.

One of the realities you need to plan for is that many people sign up for the webinar, never intending to attend the event live. They are signing up so they can watch the replay when it works better for their schedule. If for some reason, it matters to you that you garner a larger live audience, you can communicate that there will not be a replay available. But that’s not usually how it’s done. Normally you can expect about 50% of the registrants to show up live, and the other half just want to watch the video of your event.

The other three concerns are woven together for me. If you start with the belief that it’s your job to make your audience smarter and better at their job/life (depending on what you sell) without trying to sell anything, you’ll be amazed at how valuable your webinar can be. You don’t need to be a polished speaker (you should practice of course) if you’re genuinely teaching them something useful.

You need to make sure that you:

Build in interaction throughout the presentation. Don’t wait until the end to take questions. Use polls, the Q&A box and giving them some choices (would you rather have me explore X or Y) so they stay engaged even though their email, co-workers, and Facebook are fighting for their attention.

Use more slides, not less: Believe it or not, unlike a live presentation where they have you to look at, they need visual stimulation to stay interested. So changing out your slides more often will keep them connected to your message. One concept or point per slide should be your rule of thumb.

Present boldly: Much like they tell an actor to speak so the back of the house can hear them, you have to do the same metaphorically. You need to have more energy, more intonation and more personality than you might in a face-to-face meeting. Never forget that this is part teaching and part performance.

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Marketing leaders embrace GDPR as a path to trust and improved experiences

September 5, 2018

While some organizations saw the May 25 enforcement deadline for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as the finish line for compliance, leading edge marketing executives saw the day as a starting point of a journey to reinforce trust and actively improve the customer experience.

According to data from the CMO Council, in partnership with SAP Customer Experience, marketers from organizations who took the lead in preparing to meet and exceed GDPR data standards noted increased trust and engagement levels with customers. While survey respondents agreed that the implementation of GDPR standards reinforced a responsibility to better protect their customer’s data, the issue became whether or not an organization would seize on the responsibility and turn regulation into optimized experiences.

For their part, GDPR leaders – those marketers who had not only established a plan but were also well down the path of execution and compliance – believed GDPR was an opportunity to deliver better customer experiences and to build customer trust and loyalty. Alternatively, GDPR laggards – marketers without a plan in place or far removed from process, having no idea if a plan was in the works – remained happy to see compliance as a burden for other teams to resolve or an issue for only EU-based companies to tackle.

“What marketing leaders have seized upon is the reality that trust is the currency of today’s data-driven customer engagement – without trust, the customer will walk away from an experience, taking their loyalty and their wallets with them,” noted Liz Miller, SVP of Marketing with the CMO Council. “GDPR, and more specifically the frenzy of activity surrounding the compliance deadline of May 24, 2018, was not the end of a security conversation…it was the start of an experience transformation.”

The white paper entitled “GDPR: Impact and Opportunity – How Marketing Leaders Addressed GDPR Readiness and Compliance,” is based on an online survey of over 227 senior marketing executives, taken at the height of GDPR readiness planning and activation. What emerges is a view of best practices taken by data and engagement leaders versus the attitudes adopted by the laggards.

Among the key differences between GDPR compliance leaders and laggards:

• Leaders see opportunity to secure trust, loyalty and experience. Laggards assume GDPR is someone else’s problem. 39 percent of marketers without a GDPR strategy felt the regulation did not apply to their business.
• Leaders lean in and take part in the strategic planning and execution. Laggards wash their hands of the burden.
• Leaders audit, assess and accelerate shifts needed across data and marketing and engagement’s technology stack. Laggards stay in the dark. 55 percent of leaders had already initiated some form of data audit to fully understand where and how customer data was being stored and collected.
• Leaders champion change on behalf of the customer. Laggards stick to the status quo. 37 percent of leaders are planning to upgrade capabilities across all data management solutions.
• Leaders are empowered by an idea that trust and engagement are the reward for compliance. Laggards are being held back by a lack of understanding GDPR requirements.

“Savvy businesses already understand that to win customer loyalty they must lead with transparency and consent,” said Patrick Salyer, General Manager, SAP Customer Data Cloud, SAP Customer Experience. “In today’s landscape, companies are realizing that trust is the ultimate currency and it serves as the foundation of all meaningful customer relationships.”

The white paper is now available for download here. It is based on the input from marketers across a broad range of industries including retail, financial services, consumer packaged goods and consumer electronics and information technology. Some 40 percent of respondents hold a title of Chief Marketing Officer, Head of Marketing or SVP of Marketing, whose headquarters are primarily in North America. One in four is with an organization with revenues in excess of $1 billion USD.

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The eyes have it – Infographics

September 5, 2018

infographicsWe’re knee deep into a series that is focused on helping you plan for 2019 by identifying the channels too critical for you to ignore. Today, we’re going to investigate the value of infographics.

Visual content works. Consider these facts:

  • The human brain processes visual content 60,000 times faster than it does text.
  • Infographics are liked and shared on social media three times more than any other type of content.
  • High-quality infographics are thirty times more likely to be read than text articles.

An infographic allows you to communicate complex ideas in an easy to understand format. They make it easy to show the relationship between various elements so your audience can see the bigger picture.

You can deliver more information because the format itself is simple, clean and holistic in how it presents your ideas. If your audience needs to understand how one fact or choice impacts other elements – an infographic may be the right choice. If you know that your audience is faced with multiple options, help them follow the path to the outcomes tied to each decision.

Infographics are also a smart option for telling a linear story and showing the flow of events in a relational way. Think of it like a storyboard that outlines the key events or milestones. You can use colors and design choices to suggest emotions behind the facts and set a tone for the entire discussion.

For those of you that invest in research, be it a customer satisfaction survey or actually going out into the field and doing primary research, consider using an infographic to communicate the most important findings. You will enjoy the increased distribution that infographics garner and you’ll be able to connect the dots for your audience.

Infographics are incredibly effective when you need to communicate the facts underneath an emotional issue. By using graphics, facts and building the story to show multiple sides of an issue, you can help your audience separate their sentiments and examine the data so they can make an informed, fact-based decision.

As you might imagine, infographics are a no-brainer when you need to demonstrate something visually. Whether it’s a spatial relationship or a comparative that is tied to how the elements look, you need to show it, and an infographic gives you that ability.

If you’re going to jump on the infographic bandwagon, there are some best practices you need to keep top of mind.

Be mindful of your audience. Think about your color, font and graphic style decisions based on who you’re talking to. You also need to think about your own brand standards and make sure that you don’t violate those boundaries.

Be mindful of the size. Remember, you’re going to be sharing this on your website and social channels. A file that is too wide or too long will either display badly (or not at all) or discourage people from passing it along.

Remember that color and fonts are critical tools. This isn’t just about the colors or fonts that your designer likes or even your own brand standards. The color palette and font choices within your infographic are all about making your information easier to consume. Be mindful of color contrasts and font legibility and how they help tell your story.

Infographics offer marketers a fresh way to share the complex, demonstrate connections and make a compelling case that would normally be dry and less interesting. Think about how you’re communicating some of your more complicated messages and explore whether a visual representation would make it more compelling and easier to understand. Infographics probably aren’t going to be the staple of your 2019 marketing toolkit, but they should probably be one of the supporting elements.

 

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Jumping on the podcasting bandwagon

August 29, 2018

podcastingAs we march towards January, I am devoting my time here to talking about some of the channels and marketing tactics that you need to have in your consideration set for your 2019 marketing plan and one that rises to the top of that set is podcasting.

Previously, I shared these statistics:

  • The average US adult now spends over 100 minutes a day watching digital video (eMarketer)
  • 26% of US adults listen to at least one podcast a month (statista.com)
  • 65% of B-to-B marketers use infographics (Content Marketing Institute)
  • 55% of B-to-B marketers use webinars and webcasts (Content Marketing Institute)
  • 40% of consumers form an opinion by reading just one to three reviews (BrightLocal)
  • 92% of consumers visit a retailers website before making a purchase (Episerver)
  • Online adults 18-34 are most likely to follow a brand via social networks (MarketingSherpa)

And most recently, we explored how you can leverage the popularity of video as a channel and now I want to turn our attention to podcasting.

Podcasting came into being back in the 1980s and in those days, we called it audio-blogging. The content wasn’t very accessible because technology hadn’t caught up to the idea, so it was really a niche way of communicating to a very small audience off of a website. With the advent of broadband internet, portable digital audio playback devices (think iPod) and iTunes, podcasting became a viable thing in late 2004.

Fast forward to 2018. Podcasting is on the cusp of being very mainstream. 44% of Americans (12+) have listened to at least one podcast and 26% listen to at least one podcast a month. Podcast listeners are an affluent, educated consumer, with over 51% of monthly podcast consumers earning $75,000 a year or better. (Edison Research)

One of the reasons podcast adoption is growing is that people can listen while doing something else. Listeners report binging on their favorite podcasts while they’re commuting to work, on the treadmill, walking the dog or cleaning the house. Given the reality of how we multi-task, the appeal of being able to consume information while accomplishing other tasks is very appealing.

If considering a podcast, remember this is not a sales tool. This is about you making your audience smarter/better or entertaining them. Umpqua Bank’s Open Account is an insightful example. Their premise is that people are uncomfortable talking about money and the podcast takes an unconventionally honest approach to talking about financial struggles, pressures and stress and how people have overcome them.

This is about creating an audience that becomes your community by demonstrating that you understand who they are and what they need. Once you’ve done the hard work of getting all of your technology squared away and are producing podcasts, you’ll also enjoy how that content can be sliced and diced.

From one 60-minute podcast, at a minimum, you can create:

  • 1 podcast episode
  • 1 article to submit to a trade or specialty publication
  • 2 video clips
  • 2 blog posts (1 based on the content and 1 announcing the episode release)
  • 10 tweets quoting you or your guest
  • 3 FB posts
  • 3 Instagram quote graphics
  • 3 Pinterest graphics
  • 1 Linkedin article
  • 1 webinar
  • 1 lead magnet piece of content (ebook)

That’s 28+ pieces of relevant, branded content. It’s hard to beat that from an ROI perspective. Not only are you building a community but you’re also building out your content calendar.

A podcast is a commitment. The last thing you want to do is launch one and then stop producing it. But when done consistently and well – it’s a very unique and effective tool for building lasting relationships with your customers, prospects and referral sources.

 

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You’ve got to multiply

August 22, 2018

multiplyThe new year is fast approaching and as you start working on your marketing plan for 2019, you’re going to need to multiply. Consider these facts.

  • The average US adult now spends over 100 minutes a day watching digital video (eMarketer)
  • 26% of US adults listen to at least one podcast a month (statista.com)
  • 65% of B-to-B marketers use infographics (Content Marketing Institute)
  • 55% of B-to-B marketers use webinars and webcasts (Content Marketing Institute)
  • 40% of consumers form an opinion by reading just one to three reviews (BrightLocal)
  • 92% of consumers visit a retailers website before making a purchase (Episerver)
  • Online adults 18-34 are most likely to follow a brand via social networks (MarketingSherpa)

Today’s consumer isn’t living a mono-channel life. We can’t get locked into one channel and hope that we can actually create an on-going conversation. We have to stay interesting and helpful for a longer period of time because we don’t control the pace or place of the conversation anymore.

We also can’t present our messaging in only one format. We have to stay interesting and multiply if we’re going to survive the long haul of earning and keeping our audience’s attention.

Your prospects can stay in the consideration stage for a day or a decade, and we need to be able to not only wait them out, but we also need to work hard to stay on their radar screen for that entire time. Marketing is becoming an endurance sport, and we have to hang in there long enough to have a shot at winning the new customer.

Life is not linear or logical. If we’re trying to be a part of our audience’s narrative, we need to be where they are, and as you can see by the statistics I’ve given you, they’re all over the place. I’m not suggesting that you need to dominate all of the channels, but you need to carefully consider which mix of them make sense for your product, service or brand.

To know which tactics will serve you best, you need to truly understand the buyer’s journey and where along the way they intersect with different mediums. As you can see from the data I’ve shared, odds are your potential buyers are consuming a little bit of everything, from infographics to webinars to videos. You also need to understand how to multiply – how to present your brand’s products and services in the best light. Does it lend itself to a visual presentation? How critical is data to the buying decision? This is all about knowing your buyers and what you sell and figuring out how to make the most effective connections.

The multi-channel approach will serve your organization well. It allows you to show up in many places, with the same consistent messaging so that those impressions stack upon each other and over time. Remember the know • like • trust continuum we’ve talked about many times. Consistency in messaging moves the prospect along that continuum more quickly.

Multi-channel also means you’re more likely to connect with your potential buyers on the channels where they feel most comfortable. We hear better and understand more deeply in our native language. The same is true about our communication channels. If you connect with a prospect where they spend most of their time, they’re less distracted and more open to hearing what you have to say.

On the flip side, trying to juggle multiple channels is a drain on your resources. So you’re going to want to multiply or choose carefully and judiciously.

Stay tuned because we’re going to explore each of the tactics (video, podcasting, infographics, webinars, webcasts, reviews, websites and social media) and identify how they might fit into your plans for 2019.

 

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Channels to consider for 2019- Video

August 15, 2018

videoWe’ve been talking about some of the channels  – email, reviews, video, etc. – that I think every organization needs to consider as they build out their 2019 marketing plan based on data that suggests they’re too big to ignore.

Back when I started my marketing career 30+ years ago, video was a very different beast than it is today. Back then, when we produced a video for a client, it was an incredibly expensive endeavor and took weeks, if not months, to plan, execute and complete. A $50,000 video shoot was considered low end so unless the client was huge, it was a once every few years sort of luxury.

The other big difference with video back then was distribution. There was no YouTube or Internet to use as a way of getting your video in front of your audience. You had to assemble them at a meeting, trade show or some other event and actually run the video while they were in the room. To even type those words sounds so absurd today.

In contrast, this year the average US adult will spend over 100 minutes a day watching digital video (eMarketer). Video has gone from a “few can afford it” marketing tool to one of the most common and one of the most effective.

Brands are producing videos on the fly and publishing them within an hour (if not faster) of being shot. Tools like Facebook Live are bringing us the ability to publish on the fly, and the biggest shift of all – our consumers’ perceptions of these raw, less produced videos has completely changed. Consumers appreciate the authenticity and real-time aspect of the shoot and show style we’re seeing more of today. They aren’t judging the value of the content based on the production value.

Don’t get me wrong; there is still a place and a need for a well shot and artfully edited/produced video. Everything shouldn’t be a run and gun effort. But there’s plenty of room for both.

Interestingly, even though the production requirements for a successful video have changed dramatically, the best ways to use video are still pretty much the same.

Tell a story: Everyone talks about the importance of being able to tell a story in your marketing. That point of view is nothing new, but it’s as relevant today as it was 50 years ago when Leo Burnett introduced us to the lonely Maytag repairman.

Demonstrate something: There’s no better way to teach than to let the audience see if for themselves. Demo videos make the unbelievable very real and the hard to understand, very tangible.

Testimonial: This can be a blend of telling a story, touching an emotion and even demonstrating something. We all know the power of hearing an endorsement from an actual customer. It’s why ratings and reviews are so coveted today. But actually seeing the person as they tell their story of your brand and how it helped them is so much more compelling than just the written word alone.

Teach: This is an aspect of video that has exploded thanks to YouTube. If you want to know how to do something today – from swapping out a toilet to repairing your car’s engine, odds are you head to YouTube to watch a video or two before you touch a tool.

Touch an emotion: This is a tricky one. It can be the most powerful use of video, but if it feels manipulative or staged, you can lose a lot of credibility. But when done well, whether you make us laugh or make us cry – this is marketing gold.

This is probably a channel you can’t ignore. Don’t let your pre-conceived ideas about budget or timeline get in your way of leveraging this very powerful medium.

 

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