Video in Today’s Cluttered Marketplace
10 Sep 2015

For the past decade the battle cry of marketing has been, “Content is King! Content is King!”  Well guess what?  Now everybody has content.  And by everybody, I mean – everybody.  Your dentist, your place of worship, and even the makers of the cereal you ate for breakfast all create content.

Of course, content has always been available; there just used to be infinitely less of it in the world. The overproduction of content has made it more difficult for brands to stand out.

The goal is to generate engagement with every item you publish. This provides a challenge for content marketers. While blogs, decks, and newsletters are important, these forms of content can fail to connect with busy prospects.  That’s why it is more important than ever to incorporate video into the marketing mix.

A video can require a bit more of an investment, but it is an effective way to hook consumers and drive them toward more comprehensive information. No video will close a deal but it can get you one step closer to it by peaking interest and opening the door for discussion. Also, a video is more enjoyable than opening and reviewing a deck, or reading a newsletter.  Instead of being confronted by a screen full of text there is just a big red “play” button to push.

Here are three keys to developing a successful video for marketing initiatives:

  1. Keep it short.  Remember, the video is being used as a door opener, not a deal closer.  Potential viewers will often glance at the total running time of a video; if it is longer than a minute or two it will be moved to a “watch later” list and likely never be viewed at all.  A good target is 60 seconds.
  2. Keep it moving.  Whether a video or animation, never let your video become too static.  Even a “talking head” video should include cuts between camera angles or the inclusion of supporting graphics and photos.  You should never to be able to count to ten between cuts or camera moves.
  3. Keep it specific.  Your video should have a job to do.  This might be encouraging the viewer to call for a free consultation, join a mailing list, or dig deeper into your website.  End your video with a clear call to action.

One last thought: when it comes to producing a video, trust it to the pros.  Just because you can buy fabric and a sewing machine doesn’t mean you should make your own clothes.  And just because you can make videos with your phone doesn’t mean you should produce it for professional purposes.

Advertising & the Millennials
09 Sep 2015
Millennials are the largest generation in the United States; no wonder brands want to capture this audience.  Unfortunately, this group’s disdain for traditional advertising (52% feel overwhelmed by the number of ads they see each day) make them a hard bunch to reach. Millennials demand authenticity and transparency, and take great pains to thoroughly research their brands. So how do we capture this demanding market?

Make them laugh

While Millennials detest traditional advertising, humor may help them pay more attention.  Eighty percent say they are more likely to remember an ad if it’s funny. Millennials appreciate a clever TV spot, or a little quirkiness, if it helps them identify with the brand.  If done well, the chuckles may even hit the millennial authenticity bone. As they say with humor – it’s funny because it’s true.

Make them believe you

Maybe humor doesn’t quite match your brand’s image; then your charge is to find a message or value proposition that speaks to the Millennials’ sense of altruism.

Millennials view themselves as responsible and compassionate, with 22% wanting to make a positive impact on their communities.  A socially conscious brand can win over this target if they can prove their claims. Half of Millennials read reviews before making a purchase and are very careful to investigate the brands they support.

Make them feel unique

Millennials want customizable products. With the help of social media, they have spent time curating their image; they want to continue this with the brands they use.

While a challenging segment to capture, Millennials are definitely worth the effort. A brand that can grab their attention, pass the ‘authenticity test’, or provide a customizable experience, has the potential to win long-term brand loyalists.

Reference: “Marketing to Millennials,” Mintel.  February 2015.