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Video Strategy: Part 1 (Content)

I play chess with my son. He’s 8. And he’s pretty good. He’s beaten me fair and square a few times. It got me thinking. What’s his strategy? So I asked. His answer was simple: Keep the King Alive. Strategy doesn’t have to be complicated, but it has to work for YOU.

We get into conversations with marketers all the time about their video and they usually start and end the same. While they’re excited about video, when we ask them about  video strategy, there’s usually a long pause which is generally an acknowledgment of “we don’t have a strategy….”  Our follow-up question is typically something like, “do you know how well your videos are working for you?” we typically get the same long pause. In order for your videos to deliver you’ve got to have a personalized strategy.

No two strategies are the same. At Mad Bear Productions we have a specialized three-prong approach to nailing a video strategy you’ll not only love, but one that you can be proud of.

Here are the three things to consider:

1. Content: What is your story? And how will you tell it?
2. Distribution: Who are you trying to reach and how are you going to do it?
3. Metrics (analytics and reporting): Let’s make sure it’s working and learn from the numbers.

For the purposes of this article, we are going to focus on Content. 

Humanize. Use video to inspire, entertain, and connect on a more personal and emotional level. Get creative with using video to deliver fun, approachable, and humanized content campaigns. Or deliver a personalized video campaign that literally brings each viewer into the story in a way that’s relevant, interesting and memorable. Try some things out and diversify how you use video content, and you’ll start to discover what your most powerful stories are, and what your audience really cares about. It’s about building your brand in way that makes you feel proud and that grabs your audiences attention. We produced a series of videos for Valspar to help paint a story that let’s people know they stand for more than color.

If you aren’t sure what to do or how to do it. Just be true to yourself and your brand. The most important thing is to make sure you are being genuine about what you are showing. If you aren’t being genuine, it likely won’t work.”

-Glenn Zimmerman, CEO Mad Bear Productions

Be (A Little) Daring. We are not suggesting you throw caution to the wind and produce something outrageous that will scare your customers. But you have to stand out. And to stand out you have to take some risks. Consider adding a splash of humor, maybe choose some music you normally wouldn’t. Choose an approach that is a little bit out of the box. To help a Cyber-Security firm launch a complex piece of technology, check out how we used Sun Tzu’s Art of War.

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“But don’t do something unexpected and different just for the sake of it. Make sure you stand out for a reason and most importantly… that  the reason matters to your audience.”

-Glenn Zimmerman, CEO Mad Bear Productions

Do something unconventional, but do it to connect with people in a more emotional way (see Humanize above).  If you’re uneasy at the thought of trying something, don’t give up just because you are scared. Take a breath and see it from the users standpoint. It may accomplish the job better.

Make it Interactive.  In general, we find that marketers tend to be conservative in their use of video content. Explainer videos and educational webinars are pretty common now, since marketers know that video is the best way to educate given its high retention rates. It’s going to be tough to get anyone excited about your video strategy if you’re producing another screen capture video with a voice-over. But you know what they might get excited about? If you delivered an interactive video with survey questions to really engage your audience. Choose your own adventure style videos are another great way to get some engagement. What else? Well, here is one video from a campaign we completed with Northwell Health. This was one of several videos used to encourage the viewer to vote for one of three different innovations in healthcare. Nearly 500,000 votes later… success.

“Don’t feel pressure to use the latest and greatest technology in order to be interactive.  The goal is purely to engage the viewer. If the interaction accomplishes that… you have succeeded”

-Glenn Zimmerman, CEO Mad Bear Productions

Overall, a video strategy keeps you from creating aimless content. Your videos should have a purpose aligned with your business goals. So, now you have your story. Stay tuned for our next blog which will focus on how you get the right people to see it!


About the Author: Roshni Hannon
Contact: roshni@madbearproductions.com

Her name means “light” and that is what she is… high energy, bright and fast. And yes… she does run regularly. While we’re not sure what she is running from (perhaps her two young kids) we know she’s covered a ton of ground. She was the Executive Producer for an award winning and number one rated morning show in Tampa for years. And now, she uses her unique blend of organization, storytelling and curiosity to help Mad Bear clients find their stories. Think of her as an architect, a story architect.

Turning Content into Interactive Connectivity

What do we want?

Engagement!

When do you want it?

NOW!

Interactive video is a perfect opportunity to provide customers with a dynamic experience when learning about a product, service, brand, idea, concept, etc… It’s like a custom-tailored suit. By enabling them to shape the way they consume your content, you can offer a more personal interaction with your brand and get them the most relevant information faster. Plus, you get something in the process.

Here are a few ways to make your video more fun, engaging and … interactive.

Clickable Content: Fundamentally, clickable video is any sort of online video that the user can interact with by clicking on it. That can be in the form of video overlays which allow you to display ads/ text without interrupting the content being watched. Different platforms offer different examples of this. Here is one from Wistia where we encouraged people to learn more about our TEAM:

 

Cards and annotations with YouTube are a simple way to get people to click on           additional videos, links to your website, products and merchandise, and more.  Cards have some advantages over annotations, like being optimized for mobile and higher click-through rates, but both can be useful. Cards and Annotations are a way to add interactive commentary, including links to your YouTube videos and beyond. See the use of a “Poll” in the video below.


360 Video: 360 video is pretty much just that. Only it’s so much more. It’s created with a camera system that simultaneously records all 360 degrees of a scene. Viewers can pan and rotate a 360 video’s perspective to watch it from different angles. The net effect is a deeper level of immersion into the video. When you strap on some virtual reality goggles/headset… the experience goes to the next level, however, 360 video is viewable on computers, iOS devices and Android devices. If you watch on your computer make sure you’re using the latest version of your web browser (ex. Chrome, Firefox). Google created Google Cardboard which would give you a Virtual Reality-esque experience.  The Australian Tourism Board created this 360 video of Rottnest Island. Click and experience it for yourself.


Email Opt ins / Call to Action Buttons: These interactive videos contain social buttons and forms inside the video. They can include email opt in forms (like the video below), buttons (including “buy now” buttons), redirect actions, embedded html, hyperlink text, and more.)  While CTAs are great for generating leads, they can also help contribute to a different goal: growing your email list.

Interactive videos give viewers the opportunity to determine how their viewing experience unfolds. In fact, there are some brands that create multiple endings to a video and allow the viewer to select the ending they want to watch. Regardless of your tactics, the more that you can drive engagement, the better the result will be for your brand.


About the Author: Roshni Hannon
Contact: roshni@madbearproductions.com

Her name means “light” and that is what she is… high energy, bright and fast. And yes… she does run regularly. While we’re not sure what she is running from (perhaps her two young kids) we know she’s covered a ton of ground. She was the Executive Producer for an award winning and number one rated morning show in Tampa for years. And now, she uses her unique blend of organization, storytelling and curiosity to help Mad Bear clients find their stories. Think of her as an architect, a story architect.

Monetizing Video Tips and Concepts from an Unexpected Place

I know this might seem a little bizarre but I promise you there is nothing gross or untoward about this article… there is only good information.

To me, it is an example of how interesting concepts can come from unexpected places.

So with that in mind, please check out what I saw the other day at a Japanese restaurant in New York City.

Talk about your captive audience… now whether you think this is brilliant advertising or ridiculous (there are good arguments for both), I would like to use this image as a visualization for how to monetize a message.

What? Yeah… I am going there.

The monetization of this is pretty clear. The guy is well … occupied… so if you stick a message in front of him there is a good chance he will read it. Add in the fact that the message may have something to do with what he is trying to do and DING DING DING you have a winner!

Online video can be this simple. A well optimized video will pop up in organic searches or even be delivered to a target audience through an AdWords for Video campaign (to name just two strategies).

But this is where the online world provices even more opportunities to monetize.

So, let’s say you get a bunch of views on a video… suddenly the place where that video sits is considered a high traffic area and could be used to sell ads. Then, you could leverage that traffic and increase your audience on other sites. This could be done by using social media (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc) or a newsletter or a blog a customized landing page or even website. More begets more. You could even charge a membership fee in order to access your unique content.

All the studies are showing whoever your audience is… they potentially could be watching your video (Click the video below for more on this).


There is also a ton of money being made on the back end of online video. One example here is bandwidth. The more traffic a site gets, the more video it has to feed, the more bandwidth it is using. That is how companies like Brightcove, Kaltura, etc… add to the coffers of their subscription plans. In fact, while I was roaming the floor of Streaming Media East one company spokesperson told me they are really in the “bandwidth business.”

In the meantime, other companies see an opportunity here and are looking to shrink the file size of the videos that would be streamed on Brightcove, Kaltura, etc…. Because if the quality can remain high but the file sizes can be cut in half then the videos would conceivably rack up half of their current bandwidth budgets. An interesting sub-strategy in the online video game.

So why is the video marketing guy yammering on and on about how the online video business is monetizing?

Well let’s go back to that picture on the bathroom wall.

Before anyone agreed to put that ad in a bathroom, those involved in the decision understood where the ad would live and how the audience would likely interact with it.

So using the same logic, if you understand the business environment for online video (i.e. how it is being monetized) it will help you get the most lift out of how you want to use online video.

Here’s another way of looking at it (going back to the men’s room picture).

The same concept would not really work in a women’s bathroom for a number of reasons … perhaps the real moral of this story is that women are just a little more evolved then men after all.

Find Your Video Audience

5 Tips from a Web Developer About How and Where to Find Your Video Audience

Great content drives social media and SEO success, and great video content performs very well both in social media settings and for SEO purposes. But one person’s trash is another’s treasure, so be sure your video content fits your audience.

That means knowing your audience and knowing where to find them. Here are a few things to think about when deciding where to post or promote your videos.

Your Website
Unless you’re already an information hub for your audience, your website isn’t where you’re most likely to find your audience congregating, but it is where you’d like to lead them. Post your videos on your site and be sure that wherever else you post or promote them, you make it clear that there’s “more good stuff just like this” back on your website.

Social Media Sites
Are there groups, pages or other areas on Facebook, LinkedIn and other large social networks like Google+ where your audience gathers? These might be good spots to post or promote. Just be sure you spend some time getting to know the unwritten rules of a community before you post, perhaps even approach the group moderator.

You can also create your own presence on most of these sites. Again, check to see if your customers are already there. The lines between business and personal have blurred to a great degree, so Facebook is no longer ” strictly personal” to LinkedIn’s “all business,” for example. But you’ll generally find B2C more frequently on Facebook than you will B2B.

Don’t forget to create a channel on YouTube! More searches are done on YouTube than any other site other than Google itself.

Industry Associations and Magazine
Trade groups and trade magazine still frequently have active user groups on their websites or on email listservs. Though these are moving more and more frequently to social media spaces, they are still worth looking into when they are run independently. Again, get to know the rules – written and unwritten – before diving in.

Bloggers and Podcasters
Cultivate relationships with bloggers and podcasters who influence audiences in your industry or target audience. Getting them to notice and link to your content, or extending an invitation for you to guest post, is a great way to extend your reach. Look for influencers with complementary messages to yours.

Customers Come First
Be sure that you’re choosing channels based on customer needs and marketing goals and not just because “everybody else is doing it.” Making it easy for your audience to find your videos makes success much more likely, whatever channels you choose.


Guest Expert: Andrew Schulkind, founder of Andigo New Media, is a 16-year veteran of the interactive media industry, specializing in online communication strategy. He can be reached through Andigo’s website at www.andigo.com.

Simple Quality Ingredients

“Simple Quality Ingredients” was the title of a slide I prepared for a recent presentation about Online Video Marketing… so here is the backstory.

Several years ago, I went to a restaurant that promised at most 5 ingredients in every dish. The promise came with an important caveat …. each ingredient was quality. Fresh hand picked basil, fresh homemade mozzarella imported from Italy… you get the point. Simple quality ingredients combined in a thoughtful way made a very unique meal.

The same concept can apply to a video. We finished a piece for an attorney that combined just three ingredients: a quality image (shot in full HD with a broadcast quality P2 camera), some thoughtful supporting graphics that tied the sound bites together and a bed of music to help establish tone.



When we first sat down with the attorney his story was not clearly different, he did what a lot of lawyers do. However, the more he talked the more his voice started sounding unique because he was talking about what being a lawyer meant to him. This became his definition. So we took it literally and decided to graphically rip a page out of the dictionary. “How To Choose a Lawyer” became the title once we realized his definition was much more personal than anything you can find in the dictionary. As for the music, well I don’t know about you… but if I were a lawyer redefining what a lawyer did… I would want some light funk to follow me wherever I went.