target audience

12 Tips for Making Video a Reality in 2019

If 2019 is finally the year when you decide to make a corporate video, here are 12 things you should know that will make your video a hit instead of a snack room joke.

If 2019 is finally the year when you decide to make a corporate video, here are 12 things you should know that will make your video a hit instead of a snack room joke.

If 2019 is the year you’re finally going to start producing video content about your business or organization, here is a handful of tips to help you plan a flawless video campaign in the new year. (With a nod to the 12 Days of Christmas and all things fun and festive!) 

1.  Know why you’re producing a video

This should be obvious, but you’d be surprised by how many otherwise smart professionals decide they want to produce a video about their company without thinking through their goals and outcomes. Don’t be that person. Get clear about the pain you want your video to relieve before you start imagining what you want your video to look like. 

2.  Decide who this video is for

Every video you produce needs to appeal to a specific audience. Taking the time to identify the audience you want to reach and the messages you want to communicate, will help you decide the type of video you want to produce, as well as the creative tone and style you want your video to convey. 

3.  Get clear about your outcomes

What do you want your target audience to do after they’ve watched your video? Visit your website for more information? Donate money online? Fill out an online job application? Whatever your outcomes, make sure your video has a strong call to action, directing viewers to take the next step.

4.  Be honest about the investment you’re willing/able to make

Successful video projects are an investment in time, money and talent. The average video project takes an average of 12 weeks from concept to completion. On the low end, a typical budget for a two-to-three-minute video starts at around $5,000 and can vary widely, depending on the complexity of the video you want to produce.

5.  In-house or outsource?

If you’re producing a video in-house, your main investment will be staff time. If you outsource your project, your investment will be in dollars, to hire outside video experts who can assist you in everything from story planning, project management and creative development, to filming, story production and editing. The deciding factor typically comes down to the amount of extra staff time an organization has (or doesn’t have) to devote to the amount of time needed to produce a video. 

6.  Plan, baby, plan

Leave winging it to the birds. Without a solid plan, your video project is DOA.

7.  Short, long or in-between?

There’s a lot of buzz around the “perfect” length of a video. The truth is, there is no perfect video length. However, there are guidelines, based on how a video will be used. For example: 60 to 90-second video testimonials of company executives or customers work well as email attachments, on a website or social media platform. Ditto for a two-to-three-minute product demos. Videos in the three-to-five-minute range (company culture videos, award videos, fundraising appeal videos or video case studies) work well in live presentations or on a website. My rule of thumb around video length is: make it long enough to cover your most important messages, but not too long that people lose interest. 

8.  There’s no “I” in team

Keep your internal team small and focused. Make sure everyone on your team shares the same goals and outcomes and is motivated to keep the process moving forward.

9.  Find video partners that work and play well with others

Every video company has a great demo reel. But look beyond the pretty images when evaluating a potential video partner for your next project. Find a team whose work ethic and values mirror yours. Seek out video pros who “get” your vision, are focused yet flexible, communicate well, enjoy the collaborative process, are easy to work with and deliver projects as scheduled. 

10.  Expect the unexpected

Scheduling snafus. Production bumps. Last minute script changes. Re-edits at the 11th hour. Something unexpected will happen during the life of a project. Having a solid game plan will help you overcome these bumps in the road. When the unexpected appears, stay calm and carry on.

11.  Think Vimeo for video hosting

Most people immediately think of YouTube for video hosting because it’s a free service. But Vimeo is a better bet, especially for business and corporate work. Vimeo is a paid service, but the investment is worth it for a couple of important reasons: First, Vimeo allows users to keep their original online video links, so you can make revisions to an existing video without having to create a new video link, as you have to do with YouTube. Second, Vimeo doesn’t paste unwanted ads over your video like YouTube does. These are small, but important distinctions, and worth paying attention to, if maintaining a professional visual presence is important to you, and your audience.

12.  Enjoy the ride

The video medium is such a powerful communication tool and there are so many applications for it that you owe it to yourself to at least consider producing a video sometime in 2019. And if you are already on the video bandwagon, here’s to another great year of creating video content that engages, educates and inspires. 

Holly Paige Photo.jpg

About the author:

Holly Paige is a story consultant and video content creator based in Portland, Oregon. She produces videos for businesses and organizations that want to tell their stories – and tell them right. Visit: www.waveonegroup.com

 

Include Online Influencers in Your Media Relations Strategy

Growing an army of online influencers is an important part of your media relations strategy. 

Growing an army of online influencers is an important part of your media relations strategy. 

You’ve built your media list, filling it with great contacts from local and national media. You’ve included television, radio, newspapers and magazines. Is something missing? Yes. You’ve forgotten online influencers. 

Online influencers are an essential part of any robust media relations strategy. Online influencers include bloggers. Some may not have an official blog, but they have significant followings on social media. 

Online influencers are often more topic-specific than traditional media. In these days of shrinking newsrooms, most reporters cover a wide range of issues. Most bloggers and online influencers tend to focus on specific interests. They have followers, often in large numbers, interested in the same topics. If your business is related to these interests, partnering with an online influencer can create a direct line to your target audience. 

After you’ve decided to connect with online influencers, the question becomes how. Here are a few suggestions for how to connect with online influencers. 

1. Check your media database. Most media databases include prominent bloggers with significant followings. This is a great way to identify some of the most famous bloggers who write about businesses similar to yours. However, if you want to partner with one of these bloggers, be prepared to pay. Most popular bloggers are willing to partner with businesses, but they expect to be paid for the privilege. Their blog is a business. Don't rule this out. A great sponsored post by a top blogger may be more valuable than an advertisement. 

2. Check your social media followings. If you’re active on Twitter and Facebook, take a look at your followers who you interact with the most. Twitter is usually a better platform for this than Facebook, given its one-on-one nature. It’s also very easy to look at Twitter follower profiles to check out their number and quality of followers. If they are blogging, most will link to their blogs on their profiles. 

Instagram is another great platform for finding online influencers. If one of your followers has a large following on Instagram that could be enough to consider them an online influencer. Note that Instagram followings may be smaller than other social media, but the level of engagement on this platform is often higher. If your business has a physical location, be sure to look to see if anyone has checked in to your business. Many people might have checked into your business without finding your account so be sure to follow them. 

3. Hold a social media contest. Having a Instagram contest is a great way to grow your social media following and find great online influencers. Ask people to use a particular hashtag to tag their Instagram photos. Have a physical location? You have even more options. Consider setting up a selfie station. Make sure to follow and engage with everyone who participates in the contest. 

After you’ve grown your list of online influencers you can start offering special promotions and opportunities to keep them engaged. These influencers can be powerful brand ambassadors.

Tuning Content for Your Audience's Ear

Content marketing is more than blasting content through a megaphone. It involves finding out what your audience wants and giving it to them.

Content marketing is more than blasting content through a megaphone. It involves finding out what your audience wants and giving it to them.

The secret to content marketing lies in knowing your audience, not someone's formula for success.

Neil Patel, writing for ragan.com, says too many content marketing initiatives go down in flames because they follow so-called best practices rather than the clues provided from target viewers.

"Take every best practice with a grain of salt. Do the one thing that matters: Know your audience," Patel urges. "Your form, method, frequency, length, style, approach, tone, structure, images should depend on what's best for your audience."

Content marketers are discovering what ad agencies have discovered – connecting with audiences requires more than shouting through a megaphone. Writing a blog that no one reads is just as much of a misfire as producing an ad that no one believes.

The "best practices" that Patel spears aren't necessarily bad practices to adopt. Snappy headlines, brisk copy, blogs, infographics all can be effective tools. But that's what they are – tools, not ends.

One clue to what your viewers are looking for is what they click on in your website. Typically, the most clicks are for team biographies and case studies. That suggests content centered on your team members and stories about your work.

Another way to ferret out what your viewers want is to ask them. Periodic surveys can combine a little fun with serious questions. This might lead to producing content, such as an informative Ebook, that responds to interests or needs that are expressed.

Tuning into online conversations is yet another way to hear what is on the minds of your audience. Creating content that follows – or bucks – trends could be a great way to capture attention.

One constant in content marketing that shouldn't be forgotten is the need to provide something useful. Usefulness could mean content that is entertaining, informative, relevant or eye-opening.

Another content marketing maxim is letting the form follow the function. Your content must be created, packaged and delivered so it arrives at the doorstep of your audience, whether that doorstep is a desktop, tablet or mailbox.

Many content marketing best practices have value and reflect track records of success. But Patel is right – they aren't where you start in designing an effective content marketing campaign. The place you start are the persons you want the message to end with – your audience.

After the Super Bowl Ad Hoopla

Marketing PR has always been aimed at forging relationships and many of its techniques are designed to be useful as well as clever.

Marketing PR has always been aimed at forging relationships and many of its techniques are designed to be useful as well as clever.

Reaching your audience through a 30-second, $4.5 million Super Bowl ad may not be in your budget. Luckily there are many other, more affordable ways to make a connection. 

For Budweiser, it may make sense to spend millions on a commercial about a horse and a dog so it can remind people it still sells beer. For the vast majority of brands that operate on tighter budgets, marketing efforts have to be more focused and targeted. Those brands need to rummage through the marketing PR bag of tricks.

Events, user-generated content, contests, earned media, open houses, op-eds, YouTube videos, white papers, Facebook fan pages, consumer summits and garage meet-ups are the stuff of marketing PR. They can be just as entertaining as ads, but cost far less and often have much longer retention value. Most important, they zero in on your audience. 

Mass appeal gave way to targeted outreach some time ago. Now the premium is on building relationships with target audiences that provide useful information for consumers and stakeholders. Marketing PR has always been aimed at forging relationships and many of its techniques are designed to be useful as well as clever.

Advertising remains an important ingredient in marketing efforts, and it also has become more user-friendly. Ads can be targeted, consumers can help generate their content and editing and production can be accomplished on a laptop instead of requiring a studio.

So if your budget doesn't have a spare $4.5 million rattling around, don't despair. There are plenty of ways to get across your message to the people you want to hear it.

Going Mobile to Engage Employees

Employees, like everyone else, are constantly on their smartphones, so capitalize on their addiction to communicate important internal information.We complain people are constantly on their smartphones, even at work. Hint: This could be a channel worth considering to communicate to your own employees.

The rise of mobile communications is acknowledged in the marketing department, but too often overlooked in the internal communications department. If you can reach customers instantly, why not your own workers?

Mobile communications don't have to replace an effective intranet, but they could add vigor — and clicks — to your internal website. The email blast to employees could be as simple as a heads up to new content on the intranet.

However, there is no need to limit yourself to a mobile paging service. Your emails can be self-contained messages that include visual assets and links that attract employee interest.

Becoming Intimate with Your Buyer Persona

Marketers obsess about target audiences. They really should focus on becoming intimately familiar with their buyer personas.

A buyer persona is human-scale profile of who buys your product or service, how they buy it and why they buy it.

Shaping marketing appeals to a buyer persona requires a sharp pencil, not a kid's crayon. It's the difference between thinking how to persuade Joe, a recent college graduate who lives with roommates, drives a clunker and is looking for Ms. Right, to buy your new beer, as opposed to thinking in terms of appealing to 21 to 25 year olds who have attended college.

If your marketing compass is a personality instead of a statistic, you have a better chance of making a connection. You can expand the kind of research you conduct from quantitative research of 21- to 25-year-olds to observation of real-life Joes in search of the perfect beer. 

The buyer journey is easier to discover and understand when you trace the footfalls of actual people. You begin to see predictive factors to behavior that are clues to where to place your marketing messages and how to design your website. You learn when and how to engage your customer.

Dawn of Millennials

Millennials surge into the marketplace and political theater, eclipsing mom and dad as the favorite buyer and a key voting bloc.Macy's department stores are logging impressive growth by catering to "fashion-loving, smartphone-carrying, reality TV-watching young people" who spend $65 billion on clothes, accessories and shoes.

President Barack Obama is counting on the same age group to ensure his election to a second term.

Millennials literally are coming of age. Born between 1982 and 2003, this age group is cresting as they head off to college, get married, rent or buy homes and start families.

Macy's saw the wave coming as early as 2009, shifting its focus with dazzling results, says Cincinatti.com. At Macy's annual shareholder meeting in May, company officials said same-store sales grew 5.3 percent, while online sales soared 40 percent. That trend is continuing in 2012. Revenue and profit growth translated into sharply higher share prices and a dividend to shareholders that has doubled twice.