Posts tagged with ‘video content strategy’

Giving More: Exceed Your Market’s Content Expectations

It seems counter-intuitive to give away your your knowledge in order to get more market share. In fact, some would say it’s downright irresponsible.  How can you protect the expertise that ensures your livelihood when you willingly give it away for free?

The truth is that the more you give away, the more the market understands that YOU are the expert they’ve been looking for.  Solve people’s knowledge problem, and they’re more apt to give you the opportunity to solve the real underlying problem – and pay you a premium to do so.

One of the goals of a content strategy is to prove expertise and share valuable knowledge with those in your market (potential and current customers). To some extent, consumers on a knowledge quest have a low expectation of the quality of the content out there that might address their immediate need. Finding the good stuff can take a while, too.

Think about it: how much time would you expect to spend trying to find out the difference between sea salt and kosher salt? Like most, you would start that query at the Google search box. A quick look at the results for the phrase “difference between sea salt and kosher salt” tells me that not many fine salt purveyors have tried very hard to answer this most basic of food questions.  Way at the bottom of page one, I found a salt brand (Morton’s) and a salt seller (Salt Works). The first results were forums, recipe sites, and a TV network site.

The return on an investment spent answering this question better than the others would pay off handsomely, I would think. The principle at work here is that by giving more and better content than your market expects, you can become a resource in their minds. And the distance between the act of coming to you for knowledge about salt types and the act of coming to you to buy salt is not a big one. Any marketer worth his salt could easily bridge that gap. Sorry. I had to do it.

What is the Goal of Digital Marketing?

Recently I was with a group of business owners who were talking about different “marketing tools” they were using for their businesses.  There seemed to be a rabid desire among them to learn about some “Holy Grail” new tactic or technique they could use. But as I started asking them how they would use one particular tool or another, their answers started sounding more like the feature lists these tools use to market themselves.

  • “It lets me add all my contacts and manage discussions in one place.”
  • “I can see results from my email campaign in real time!”
  • “I can post to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, all from the same program.”

Not to belabor the point, but these stated reasons for using a tool aren’t reasons at all. They don’t identify the one crucial element every marketing activity must possess: The Goal.

So what is the goal of any marketing effort, digital or otherwise? It’s simple: To increase revenue and profit.

Any tool, tactic or strategy must be able to demonstrate how it will help you hit this goal, or it’s nothing but a waste of time, money and resources.

Lately, it seems like many respected tools and tactics cannot seem to quantify any bottom line objective.  I guess that’s what makes us different from other creative digital agencies. We genuinely think that if a service can’t justify it’s price, then neither can we.

Are you asking the tough question about your marketing efforts? Or are you wasting precious resources without a strategy that moves you closer to your revenue or profit goal? Either way, you should know and be able to quantify how each new tool or tactic moves you closer or farther away from revenue and profit. To riff on an old axiom, “Experiment, but verify.”

Tips for Getting the Most out of Your Web Video Strategy

There is a lot to consider when planning your web video strategy. SEO, text vs. visual information presentation, the engagement object level, your market demographic, production quality, and more, all bearing on the success or failure of the effort. But don’t let this scare you. All of these factors need to be considered for a successful web page copy strategy too.

In our experience, here are a few tips for getting the most our of your web video strategy.

  • Keep it short and free of too much visual filler. I regularly read blog post comments about the intolerance people feel toward long, meaningless stretches of content that isn’t relevant to them. “Short” is a relative term, by the way. A 30-second video on the intricacies of the impact of government involvement in free market dynamics is too short.  Keeping  the content only as long as it needs to be is a good rule of thumb, whether the medium is text or video. Complex, information-dense subjects can still be kept brief, as highlighted by this video we recently produced for a client:

  • Be considerate. Provide player controls in a Flash player. YouTube has a good player, albeit not the best quality picture in the video space.  At the very minimum, use a Flash player with a clearly identifiable play/pause control, and a scrubbable timeline (to be able to scan through lengthy content). A volume control is less of a concern if you are being considerate with your volume levels during production and editing. Full-screen toggle control is nice but not essential at all.
  • Take time to visually conceive the video before production begins. Is there a clear story or thought progression?  What is the best way to visually convey the ideas being expressed? If the content is candid, captured in the wild, and less than 90 seconds, it should contain one main point and get right to it.
  • Do a DIY or How-To video. How-To Videos are wildly successful, and can quite easily get you and your brand on the radar in your market.  Think about what content you could freely offer your customers.  Think of the video content as bait without a hard hook; free without strings, yet clearly demonstrating expertise and brand value.
  • Include a full transcript of videos that contain audio dialogue or narration. Post it on the page in close proximity to the video, so that Google can see and index it, and visitors can scan it to see if the video is worth their time. If the video has no spoken word component, compose a detailed paragraph or two that hightlights the value of the content a viewer could expect to see if they click “play”.
  • Know your customer profile. Are they entertainment seekers? Busy people with little patience for fluff or filler? Engaged community members? Info seekers on a mission? Answering this question will greatly inform your choice of video style and length.
  • Get the production right. More and more, web video is being seen as a primary informational source, and in some cases, is preferable to text only.  Production values count more these days, whereas just two years ago, they didn’t.  Just don’t confuse quality production with over-slick, fluff content that is meaningless to a viewer.  30 second animated logo sequences rarely have a determinative impact on customers.

Web video productions, used well and in conjunction with other informational mediums, can be a great and profitable way to relate relevant and valuable information to customers and prospective clients.

Increased Emphasis on SEO

Recently Google refined its algorithm (that mystical unknowable divine fate by which we all live and die) and I was pleased to learn that our SEO and content strategy efforts on behalf of our clients and even our own site have yielded positive results in page rank, organic search results and traffic. We are proving that a video strategy, when combined with other best practices, really can propel a site to higher places.

To that end, we are making a shift in our basic assumptions of web site design, and will be focusing much more on making SEO decisions from the beginning, partnering for much of this work with Taylor Hill, a consultant with a good and growing track record for helping new and existing sites fare better under the omnipotent rule of Google.