Friday May 09, 2014

21 Brand Video Ideas at Non-Consultant Prices

social media videoLast post, we talked about the rising necessity of brand video content. Reaction was about what we expected. People realize the public is increasingly consuming video. But many pointed out videos can’t be “skimmed” for quick consumption or quick assessment of value like articles can.


So, know that the opening seconds of your video are critical like the headline and opening sentence of an article. It must prove right out of the gate it’s worthy of the time required to watch it, or viewer retention will be short. Also, giving it a transcript and/or compelling description will help potential viewers decide whether to watch.


Today, as promised, we want to run down what many consultants charge really good money for, ideas for brand videos. Just as many brand bloggers grapple with, “I don’t know what to write about,” many marketing teams don’t know what kind of videos to make. Try these on for size.


  1. Company History: depending on your company’s size/age, this could be a one-shot or a series.
  2. Product History: how did your product or service come to be what it is today?
  3. Featured Department: show me how your various departments run and show me the people who work in it.
  4. Department News: regular update videos from appropriate departments like marketing and R&D that tell us what they’ve been doing.
  5. Personnel Features: people are interested in people. Show me interesting, non work-related things about the people you have working there.
  6. Customer Testimonials/Case Studies: show me problems like the kind I have and how your company solved them.
  7. Explainer Videos: show me what you do overall, or what certain aspects of your products do in really short videos.
  8. Product Tips/How-to’s: your product probably does things I’m not even aware of even though I own it. Show me.
  9. Industry Newscasts: don’t talk about your brand in these, just present the latest news in the space in which you operate.
  10. Company Newscasts: if your company is so active that there are things to report at least weekly, break out the news desk and let’s hear it.
  11. Interviews with the C-suite: and don’t give me any PR fluff. Ask pertinent, relevant, probing, and yes, difficult questions.
  12. Brand Q&A: take questions via social then have the most qualified person in your company answer them on camera.
  13. Chopped Up Presentations: your execs give these all the time in various places, and each one can be broken up into a series of short videos.
  14. Customer Service Files: show me real issues your customers had and how it was resolved for them. If you show me you care about your customers that much, I’m sold.
  15. Product Rollouts: don’t just lay it out there, but some showbiz into it, Steve Jobs-style.
  16. Product Usage Montage: no dialogue, cool music bed, quick edits.
  17. User Generated Content: doesn’t even have to be related to the brand. Showcase your customers just doing the fun/funny things they do.
  18. Fun Videos: and notice I didn’t necessarily say funny. Can be employee karaoke, employee recipes, employee lip-syncs, parodies, pet showcase, hobby showcase…make me want to work there.
  19. Stunts: you don’t have to make a guy jump from the edge of space, but stage something genuinely interesting to watch and people will watch it.
  20. Repackaged Webinars: take the same info but go beyond the deck, illustrate it more visually.
  21. Insider Videos: these can be gated or subscription-based videos giving advanced, first-look notice about a new product or product in development.

Okay, one more.

22. Entertainment/Information Web Series: go mass appeal. Do a sitcom, reality show, news magazine, but keep your brand out of it except for “(Your Brand) Presents…” and the ad breaks in it, if any.


Now get to work Spielberg!


@mikestiles @oraclesocial
Photo: freedigitalphotos.net


Tuesday May 06, 2014

Video on Social: Are We Too Dumb or Too Busy to Read?

social videoWe keep hearing how important video is to social marketing and content marketing. We hear it…but hearing it doesn’t magically build studios in corporate offices or fund brand video teams to actually make this type of content. Most brands are lagging behind the video necessity.


So let’s talk about that necessity.


Entrepreneur.com’s Jayson DeMers declared online video’s role in marketing will only get bigger this year. I think Jayson would be the first to tell you he’s hardly alone in this belief. Cisco says video will account for 69% of global consumer Internet traffic by 2017. The GB equivalent of all movies ever made will cross IP networks every 3 minutes. Shutterstock found 61% of Americans watched about 397 online videos in January. And oh yeah, 36% of those were ads.


Much of what we heard about video’s shortcomings has lost validity. Videos aren’t good for traffic referral? YouTube grew 52.86% in referrals from 9/12 to 9/13. People won’t watch long videos, especially on little mobile screens, right? Yes, short might be better for your strategy, but the truth is that 53% of mobile viewers spend over half their time on videos over 30 minutes.


Why the video domination? Are we just too dumb to read anymore? Quite the contrary. Nearly two-thirds of us learn more effectively visually, and our brains process visual data faster. Not only are we not dumb, we’re smart enough to move to the most efficient means of information assimilation available.


Nor are we too busy to read. We have time to read, but because we are indeed busy, we’re going to allocate that slower-moving reading time more selectively. We’re doing a lot of skimming, setting aside a few top contenders to read later…if we get around to it.


So if you’re going to rely on written word only (and hey, nobody loves written word more than me), what you write must have enough value or be entertaining enough to survive this ruthless skimming & eliminating process.


Increasingly, the same is true even of video. It’s hardly “special” anymore. 6 billion hours of YouTube watched per month, 100 hours of video uploaded per minute, 1 billion mobile video views per day; that’s the environment in which your little ol’ video has to somehow get noticed and start getting shared.


Here’s your tweet for the day: Video is becoming so dominant that soon, scanning social channels will be almost the same experience as channel surfing.


Include videos in your strategy. Craft them to appeal to your fans. Don’t patronize. Don’t manipulate. Make sharing super easy. Optimize your videos for YouTube (the 2nd largest search engine). Use an analytics platform to monitor performance. Be consistent. And know that even if you do everything right, your video still may bomb. Major feature films do, despite stars, money and formulas, so why should you be any different?


And if you’re stuck in “but I don’t know what kind of videos to make” mode, watch for Friday’s Social Spotlight, in which I’ll pour forth multiple ideas.


@mikestiles @oraclesocial
Photo: freeimages.com

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