Tag Archives: public relations

Selecting a Video Production Company

Posted on November 5th, 2013 | Leave a Comment

Selecting a Video Production CompanyWe’re using some Dave Ramsey material for inspiration this week. His EntreLeadership website is filled will all sorts of useful business content, and today’s highlight can help with selecting a video production company.

The post is 4 Elements for Choosing the Ultimate Vendors, and all four can be used for finding the right video pros for your company.

  • Integrity. Look at the production company’s client list. Are they attracting businesses you recognize? Ask them for a more specific client list of repeat customers. Not every customer is going to be a repeat customer with video, but if they have a stable of repeat clients they’re probably a trustworthy company that’s doing right by their customers.
  • Capacity. Are they going to be able to deliver the videos you need on time? There are a lot of part-time video producers out there these days. Anyone with a camera and a Mac can call themselves a video professional, but will they really be able to deliver the goods? Ask them some specifics about how much work they can turnaround. Real pros at a small business will be honest and not simply try to please you with a “yes” to all requests. Hire someone who’s a hobbyist on the other hand, and you might get what you pay for.
  • Price. Oh… price… it’s certainly a factor, but don’t let it me the most important one. I can point you to a dozen people on Craigslist who’ll produce your marketing video for $500, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be a quality production. You’re producing something that will be seen by lots of people. Your company’s reputation is on the line. Make sure you get a competitive price, but beware the cheap route.
  • Quality. This one should be easy to spot. Watch a bunch of the videos a production company offers as examples. Do they catch your attention and keep you interested as a viewer? Do they tell a good story? Hopefully, the quality will be self-evident.

There are some really good professional storytellers out there. They each have their strengths and weaknesses. Make sure to pick the best fit for your business.

–Tony Gnau

Tony Gnau is a three-time Emmy-winning journalist. He is also the founder and chief storytelling officer at T60 Productions. T60 has won 12 Telly Awards for its work over the last eight years.

Seth Godin Video Marketing Lessons

Posted on November 4th, 2013 | Leave a Comment

Dave Ramsey Week: Seth Godin Video Marketing LessonsWe’re kicking off a special Dave Ramsey Week here at the T60 blog that will culminate on Thursday with a blog post about our trip to Nashville to meet the man himself and do our debt-free scream on his radio show. For now, however, we’ll stick to video, marketing and what we can all learn from Dave and his EntreLeadership team.

If you’re not familiar with EntreLeadership, I’ll let Dave explain it to you (VIDEO). He recently re-did the EntreLeadership website and I love it. I subscribe to the free portion of the site, and it offers a wealth of valuable material on operating a business. One of my favorite recent posts laid out the takeaways from Seth Godin’s appearance on the EntreLeadership podcast.

Video Marketing Lessons Courtesy Seth Godin

Godin talked about three main things for marketing success.

  • discipline is key
  • a matter of trust
  • share your story

Those are great takeaways, but they also tie specifically into video marketing.

Share your story… yes, storytelling is a fantastic way to communicate. You should be sharing all sorts of stories from throughout your business. Share stories about how your products were created. Introduce team members and let them talk about their jobs and their lives. Produce stories that answer customers’ frequently asked questions. I could go on and on, but you get the message. Your stories can be highly effective marketing tactics.

A matter of trust… that’s what video can help you earn. We trust people we know. Video allows you to speak with your customers. It gets you in front of them. It allows them an opportunity to get to know you through your stories. The more they see, the more they’ll trust you.

Discipline is key… you need it for a successful video campaign. Whether it’s the discipline needed to follow-through on producing a whole series of videos, or if it’s simply sticking with a plan to continually promote a single video via email and social media. Discipline is the character trait that will keep your video strategy rolling.

Seth Godin wasn’t speaking to video specifically, but he might as well have been. The power of video… it can do great things for your company if you go for it.

–Tony Gnau

Tony Gnau is a three-time Emmy-winning journalist. He is also the founder and chief storytelling officer at T60 Productions. T60 has won 12 Telly Awards for its work over the last eight years.

Social Media Content, Video Made Easy

Posted on October 31st, 2013 | Leave a Comment

Social Media Content, Video Made EasyWe’re all looking for social media content these days, right? We’d all like more “likes” and “follows” and “+1’s” and are looking for ways to get them. So… consider me impressed by how my chiropractor is getting them.

Knecht Chiropractic has a raffle for a new mountain bike going on right now to increase its number of followers on Facebook and Twitter. You get one raffle ticket for showing up at your appointment on-time, three tickets for “liking” them on Facebook or Twitter, et cetera.

I know, nothing revolutionary. Lots of companies do that sort of thing. Here’s the part I loved though. You get five raffle tickets for posting a video testimonial.

NICE! Talk about a creative way to get yourself some testimonials. Those videos will surely be posted to the business’ social media sites, but I hope they don’t stop there.

Expand on that social media content

Let’s say you wanted to do something similar at your company. Here are some suggestions on how to take that raw content to the next level.

    • allow people the freedom to post it on your social media pages, but also ask them to email you the raw video file. This will be important for the next steps.
    • use those videos to create your own testimonial series. Chances people will talk a while about why they love your company. That’s great. I’m sure you appreciate it, but the truth is shorter is better for social media video. Since you have their raw video file, you can edit it down to a more manageable video length (30-seconds?), add some nice graphics, maybe even a music bed.
    • once that’s done, create a another testimonial video that incorporates a bunch of the testimonials into a single video. This video could run 1-2 minutes long.

Now to do all of that well, you should probably contact a video pro and have them do it for you, but it wouldn’t be an expensive project. Regardless of what you do with the video content, it’s just a great way to get your hands on some testimonials with little effort.

–Tony Gnau

Tony Gnau is a three-time Emmy-winning journalist. He is also the founder and chief storytelling officer at T60 Productions. T60 has won 12 Telly Awards for its work over the last eight years.

Improving Your DIY Video Content

Posted on October 30th, 2013 | Leave a Comment

Improving your DIY video contentYou’d be hard pressed to find a professional video producer, like myself, who will advocate for businesses to create their own video content, but I do and for good reason.

Well, I guess I ought to qualify that. I do advocate for businesses to create their own videos, but only in certain circumstances.

Established companies need a video budget

If you work for an established company or brand, suck it up and hire a pro to produce your video content. An established business should have some sort of marketing budget to work with every year. Make sure video production is part of that budget. Here are a few good reasons you should:

  • paying a pro to do it leaves you free to work on work that is specific to your business, it saves you time and allows you to be more productive.
  • A pro will do it better than you. Professional video producers have experience you can’t match. They tell stories everyday and at a higher level than you are likely to achieve.
  • you work at a respected company or brand, and you don’t want to tarnish it. Chances are your amateur videos are going look… well… like an amateur put them together. Is that really the impression you want to give viewers… that you’re amateurs?

Small business video content tips

Okay, having said all of that… if you work at a small business or a business that’s just getting started, I’m totally fine with you producing your own videos. Chances are you don’t have a marketing budget, so hiring a professional producer for thousands of dollars isn’t really an option. With that in mind, here are a few suggestions…

  • keep it simple. I know, you saw a cool video on the web and you want to produce something like it. Chances are your effort will fall short. Have someone give a tour of your facility… do some short interviews with employees… maybe get a few short customer testimonials. Try things like that don’t require as much editing.
  • make sure to let people know you produced these videos. In your email campaign, social media or on your website, simply say something like, “Check out these videos we produced for you!” The reason you’re doing this is to temper expectations. Telling viewers you produced the videos means they won’t expect something professional.
  • learn some basic editing skills. I don’t care whether it’s iMovie on your Mac, or even YouTube’s editing system. Having the ability to edit will at least allow you to cut the beginning and end off what you shot. This simple edit gives a clean-looking start and finish.

Once you’ve done that…

So… I mentioned there’s a good reason I support your amateur production effort, here’s why. People will watch your videos. They’ll start to trust and buy from your business. Your company will profit, grow and become a respected brand. 

When the day comes that your amateur videos are no longer good enough, I hope you’ll take my advice again and hire a pro.

–Tony Gnau


Video Marketing Goes Behind-The-Scenes

Posted on October 29th, 2013 | Leave a Comment

Video Content Marketing Goes Behind-The-ScenesI love that big brands are catching on to the power of video marketing, but even the biggest of brands have the occasional misstep.

There’s a lot to praise with American Airlines. The company has been churning out quality videos for years, and they’re responsible for one of my favorites. I also love a current series.. sort of.

Behind-the-scenes video marketing

American Airline’s YouTube channel features a whole playlist of behind-the-scenes videos. This is something I highly recommend for businesses. If you’re looking for video content ideas, this is one of the easiest and most interesting series you can produce.

Start with the company itself. Produce a story on each department… from management to manufacturing… from HR to the custodial department. Introduce us to the people who staff those departments, show what they do and how it impacts customers. The more viewers learn about your business and the people behind it, they more they’ll trust you… and want to buy from you.

Something to avoid

Which brings us back to American Airlines. Again, I love that they did the series. Unfortunately, it falls flat for two big reasons…

  • the videos are way too long. 4-minutes… 5-minutes… videos like these should be 2-3 minutes, tops.
  • the videos just don’t come off as professional. There are audio issues… camera problems… some uneven editing. That may be acceptable if you’re a small company, but not when you’re a Fortune 500 brand.

Their misstep is your cautionary tale. Coming up with a good series idea is only part of what needs to be done. You also need to execute. Viewers are more sophisticated than some people give them credit for. When they see something substandard, they tune out… or in this case… click away.

Behind-the-scenes videos can put your company in a new light, but make sure your production doesn’t make it an unprofessional one.

–Tony Gnau

Tony Gnau is a three-time Emmy-winning journalist. He is also the founder and chief storytelling officer at T60 Productions. T60 has won 12 Telly Awards for its work over the last eight years.

Budweiser’s Refreshing Employee Videos

Posted on October 28th, 2013 | Leave a Comment

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Employee videos are a pet cause of mine. I’m a big believer that some of your best sales people don’t work in your sales office. They’re the ones who are answering your phones, working in HR, managing the assembly line, and et cetera.

That’s why I love a new marketing campaign Budweiser is introducing… Track Your Bud. The idea is for customers to go online to the website and enter their Bud’s “Born On Date” information, then see where and how that specific beer was made.

Employee videos are the key component

The best part is for me is that when you do it, you get a series of short videos featuring Bud’s regional brewmasters who walk you through the brewing process and what makes Budweiser unique.

I know, I know… my craft beer friends are all rolling their eyes right now. I’m not here to debate the merits of mass-produced beer versus craft and micro breweries. It’s the marketing campaign I admire, and it reminds me a bit of the brewmaster series we produced for Goose Island Beer Company.

Getting to hear from the Budweiser brewmasters themselves is the key. These are people who live and breathe brewing everyday. They have a passion for it and video is all about passion. Learning a little about the brewmasters and then hearing them talk about the process helps us get to know the men and women who brew our beer. It’s a great idea because we buy from people we know and trust.

Good for big and small business

I don’t care whether you’re a major brand like Budwesier or one or two person company working out of a garage. Introducing the people who work for you and letting them tell your story is a fantastic way to promote your business.

Who should you pick? Who’s the person everyone in the office loves? Who’s the person who can put a smile on everyone’s face? Who’s the person who makes everyone feel good? I could go on, but you get the point. It has nothing to do with job title and everything to do with personality.

Highlighting those bright personalities will cast your business with their glow.

–Tony Gnau

 Tony Gnau is a three-time Emmy-winning journalist. He is also the founder and chief storytelling officer at T60 Productions. T60 has won 12 Telly Awards for its work over the last eight years.

Content Marketing And Good Stuff To Come

Posted on October 21st, 2013 | Leave a Comment

Content Marketing and Good Stuff To ComeWOW… what a crazy week we had last week. Not only has business been picking up, but we had two huge events take place. The most relevant for everyone here was Content Jam. Andy Crestodina and everyone at Orbit Media Studios put on a day-long series of seminars on content marketing and it was awesome.

The second event was the USC-Notre Dame Weekender… and yours-truly was the Weekender Chairman for the USC Alumni Club of Chicago. Thousands of Trojans from all over the country descended on Chicago to get ready for the football game in South Bend. And while the game didn’t turn out very well, everyone seemed to have a great time here in the city… but man… am I pooped!

Rest Needed

Which is why I’m taking a week off from blogging. I’ll be back next week though with some great stuff. We shot a post-event video for Content Jam and got to interview some of the best and brightest in the content marketing industry. No surprise, I asked them some video-related questions, so we’re going to put together a whole video series featuring their thoughts on video’s roll in content marketing. Andy will certainly make an appearance, as will the one and only Gini Dietrich among others.

So… we’ll see you back here next Monday. Have a great week!

–Tony Gnau

Tony Gnau is a three-time Emmy-winning journalist. He is also the founder and chief storytelling officer at T60 Productions. T60 has won 12 Telly Awards for its work over the last eight years.

Top 5 Reasons Storytelling Is More Than A Buzz Word

Posted on October 17th, 2013 | Leave a Comment

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Storytelling is a pretty big buzz word these days around PR and marketing. Here at T60 it’s more than a trendy topic… it’s what we do and what we’re passionate about. Always have been, always will be.

The question is… why? Why do we love it so much and why is storytelling so en vogue when it comes to all the different types of marketing videos (updated 7/14/14) you can produce?

Why storytelling?

Storytelling can do a lot for a business. It holds important attributes that make it a terrific way to communicate. Here’s our top five reasons why storytelling is more than a buzz word…

  • it’s a great way to sell stuff without sounding like you’re trying to sell stuff
  • by incorporating information into a compelling story, you capture the audience’s attention and make them more receptive to your messages
  • storytelling helps viewers retain the information
  • after people watch something they really enjoy, they tell other people about it
  • storytelling is a natural for the social media world. Video storytelling in particular is easily shared and among the most popular content on the web

Are you sold on storytelling? Well, this is the tricky part. While anyone can tell stories, not everyone can tell them well.

I stink at spreadsheets. I can use them, but it probably takes me twice as long to put one together as Mrs. G. She loves them… has fun building them… and is the Excel Queen.

Storytelling is the same sort of thing. We all have the ability to do it, some storytellers are just better at it than others. Mrs. G’s strength… among MANY things… is handling numbers. Yours might be something else, while mine is storytelling. That’s worth considering when planning your corporate stories.

Storytelling starts with perspective

As professional storytellers, we just see things differently than most people. I’ll never forget walking into former Illinois State Senator John Millner’s office for the first time. He wanted a video to help viewers learn more about him.

The Senator was telling me about all the laws he had sponsored when I noticed a toy truck on shelf. That one observation completely changed the direction of the story we would tell (SEE THE PROFILE VIDEO). That’s what sets storytellers apart from others, they find stories everywhere.

Put your storytelling in the hands of someone like that and you’re bound to find out why it’s more than just a buzz word.

–Tony Gnau

Tony Gnau is a three-time Emmy-winning journalist. He is also the founder and chief storytelling officer at T60 Productions. T60 has won 12 Telly Awards for its work over the last eight years.


Event Videos Great With Social Media

Posted on October 16th, 2013 | Leave a Comment

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Event videos are quickly becoming one of the most popular corporate videos being produced today and for good reason. Thanks to social media, they’re easy content to share and frequently clicked.

We’ve been doing a bunch of event videos over the last year… many of them for ChicagoAMA… but I saw one the other day that caught my eye. It’s a great example of what to do and what not to do all rolled into one. The event is Evanston Mashup (VIDEO). It’s essentially a networking event for Evanston-based businesses.

The good and the bad

Here’s what I liked…

  • they used video. I know that may sound overly obvious, but it’s true. I just love when people realize what a great promotional tool video can be.
  • the tone. It’s fun, energetic and it captures the spirit event organizers were probably going for.
  • the shooting style. Hand-held, lots of movement… both lend themselves well to the tone previously mentioned.

Here’s what I didn’t like…

  • too long. It’s 4:00… that’s at least 2-minutes too long. The idea with a video like this is to give people a quick hit of what it was like to be there. The temptation is to make it longer with the hopes of including as many people in it as possible. Don’t fall into this trap. Tell the best story possible at a reasonable length. Shorter videos are easier to share.

What you can do with event videos

Event videos are a great way to get people excited about your event. In the case of this video, it was produced during the actual event. Event organizers now have a video they can send to everyone who attended, as well as everyone who could not attend. They also have a video they can send out via social media and a video they can use to promote the event next year.

Are you an event planner? Have you included a video budget in your plans?

–Tony Gnau

Tony Gnau is a three-time Emmy-winning journalist. He is also the founder and chief storytelling officer at T60 Productions. T60 has won 12 Telly Awards for its work over the last eight years.

Corporate Video Statistics Keep Getting Better

Posted on October 14th, 2013 | Leave a Comment

Corporate Video Statistics Keep Getting BetterWe’re past the point of no return. Videos are no longer a luxury marketing tool. They’re essential if you want to get your message across and beat the competition, and the latest corporate video statistics back that claim.

Corporate video statistics are looking GREAT

The folks at Social Barrel put together an infographic based on data gathered by Optimind. The whole thing is worth checking out. There’s all sorts of good stuff there regarding content marketing, but it’s the video data that caught my eye.

We blog here all the time about the benefits of video…

  • people rather watch than read content
  • video produces more social media shares
  • videos keep people on websites longer
  • Google loves websites with videos
  • people who watch videos are more likely to buy

Well, we’re not kidding. the number continue to back that up…

  • 20% of people will read text while 80% of people will watch a video with the same exact content
  • videos get 267% more links than normal posts
  • websites with videos keep visitors on-site 2-minutes longer then sites without them
  • websites with videos are 50-times more likely to be ranked on Google’s first page
  • consumers who watch video product videos are 144% more likely to add that product to their cart than someone who watches no video

What these stats mean to your business

Many business leaders are being dragged into producing videos. It’s unfamiliar, an additional cost and they’re just one more thing for the corporate to-do list. And you know what? That’s great news for you.

While your competition is dragging its feet on telling its own stories… you can do it at your company. You can take advantage of all those numbers above and put them to work for your business.

Let your competition stumble into the future while you put on your running shoes, grab a video camera and sprint ahead of them.

–Tony Gnau

Tony Gnau is a three-time Emmy-winning journalist. He is also the founder and chief storytelling officer at T60 Productions. T60 has won 12 Telly Awards for its work over the last eight years.