Content marketing works, but you have to work at it. Those who are creative, with both substance and presentation, will gain results worthy of the time and thought they invest in it.
Two things that distinguish successful marketers from their competitors are: a unique message, and how the marketer delivers that message. Are you diversifying form and content so that your message reaches the widest audience -- and keeps them engaged over time?
Using video to communicate your message(s) is a powerful means of delivery. Below we outline components of a successful strategy and the philosophy behind it, so you can forge your own path with effective video content marketing.
1) YOUR CONTENT must have SUBSTANCE
No one likes watching a “fluff” video; it’s an insult to their intelligence. People appreciate a presentation that makes them think! The content can either be completely new to them within the context of their industry, or it addresses a common idea / challenge with a unique twist.
You want to continually expand your content so it stays ‘fresh’, and you want to develop a reputation for providing a healthy range of topics. The best strategy to achieve this? Invite others in. Feature leaders of the industry in your videos -- and build ongoing collaborative relationships with them in order to consistently create new content.
Expanding collaborative relationships through your partners’ partners is also great way to continually branch out. Collaborative video partnership is a win-win for both you and your partners: they boost their exposure via your video marketing; you gain a steady stream of quality content; and, together your presentations demonstrate a higher level of integrity and expertise than competitors who solely create their own content.
In short: Your video content partners, as well as their network associates, will appreciate the benefits of exposure that you provide them -- and you are in turn associated with a variety of engaging Thought Leaders.
a) Examples of collaborative partnership for video content: “Thought Leadership” series
> SupplyChainBrain video interviews in specific One-to-One format as well as In The Know montages:
b) Examples of extended collaborative partnership (i.e., your video partner and their partners): “Power Lunch” Roundtable Discussions
> SupplyChainBrain video discussions including your collaborative partners and their customers and/or analysts:
2) VARY your MEANS OF DELIVERY
What good is unique, valuable content if you don’t share it widely? There are numerous creative ways to deliver video content. Some can be dedicated to purely commercial use, while others can also serve as a lead-generation engine. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
a) Develop a “Channel” (or multiple channels) on your website where people can go to watch your videos. You can create a dedicated Video Content Channel on your website and then break it down into smaller, more accessible sections categorized by subject matter, format (one-to-one interviews, roundtables, montages), etc.
b) “Cross-pollinate” your video content by featuring as many relevant videos as possible on each landing page of your website. This is a great strategy for maximizing exposure per video across your site, and search engines will pick up your videos more easily as well.
c) Create a dedicated Video Newsletter(s) presenting featured content on a monthly or bi-monthly basis. You can “cross-pollinate” video content via other newsletters as well, by including videos as ‘articles’ in your regular content newsletters.
d) Stand out at Industry Events by utilizing the TV “Dark Channel” at conference hotels. Most major conferences designate event hotels where attendees stay during the conference. Conference hotels usually have a TV channel or two that can be used to play your own content in hotel rooms during the event.
All you need to provide to the hotel AV staff is a DVD that they program to play on a loop, and it will play throughout the duration of the conference. Your DVD can be a “highlights” montage of your best One-to-One interviews and Roundtable discussions. Graphics embedded in the video are a great way to call attention to your Booth # at the event, special promotions you’re featuring at the conference, and more.
e) Get creative with Video Commercials. Humor is a great way to get your marketing message across, and it’s actually fun to produce commercials that highlight your company’s best assets. Here is an example of a great video commercial by technology provider, Kinaxis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WLr3hxpYYY&list=PLYDOQM52XhJ4ZSIB-FC43_u5h-zTs9HzX&index=1
Note that your lengthier montages -- such as the DVD for the TV Dark Channel -- can be broken up with commercials. Not only do the commercials provide a transition or segue into new material, but who doesn’t appreciate a bit of comic relief while they’re watching?
3) QUALITY IS CRUCIAL
One very strong piece of advice: Don’t try to do this on your own! Find a qualified video production partner to help you do it right.
You pride yourself on providing a specialized service(s) to your own customers, so why would you skimp on an important foray into something that’s not your specialty? Invest in quality work. Often marketers make their own videos, and end up posting something more akin to a home movie on their website. Work with a video producer/provider who has experience, demonstrated expertise, and a good reputation in their own industry.
There are plenty of video production companies out there. Our best advice is to find a provider whose specialty is video, but who has a wider range of experience than just “corporate video”. You want to venture outside the box of dry, cookie-cutter, talking heads type presentations. A video producer with a wider range of experience can bring fresh ideas and provide creative methods of presentation that raise your marketing program above the rest.
Most importantly: make your video crew an integral part of your team. Invest in them not only monetarily -- share also your time, knowledge and experience. You need to feel that you can rely on your video crew to advise you, which may very well require teaching them, over time, about your industry and your company in particular. Relationship is everything. They need to understand you, your culture, your brand, your goals, your strengths, your weaknesses. Developing mutual trust, patience, and a longer term commitment when possible, goes a long way.