Tag Archives: storytelling

The Future Of Content Marketing Features…?

Posted on October 1st, 2013 | Leave a Comment

The Future Of Content Marketing Features...?No doubt… the future of content marketing is going to be filled with video. Businesses are starting to catch-on, but many are still on the sidelines.

(Vertical Measures) recently wrote for Marketing Land and asked some industry experts where content marketing is headed. A couple of them really stood out to me… especially for anyone trying to convince company leaders to begin investing in quality video content.

The future of content marketing features quality over quantity

Margot Bloomstein (Appropriate, Inc.) wrote…

Rather than focusing on the hot new tool or channel, smart and ethical marketers will focus on producing less content, but of higher quality and fluidity to cross channels.

I can only hope this is the case. I love the idea of quality over quantity. A hundred bad videos might help your SEO, but it won’t endear you to viewers.

The main reason I think quality should matter to business leaders has to do with reputation. You spend all sorts of time, energy and money making sure your company or brand is viewed as being professional. A bunch of bad videos can destroy all of that work.

On the other hand, quality videos that tell good stories enhance your professional reputation.

The future of content marketing focuses on trust

Barry Feldman (Feldman Creative)wrote…

In response to the online content noisefest, the content consumer is growing increasingly skeptical and careful. Translation for content marketers: get trusted or get busted.

This is another area where video excels. I love written content… clearly… and after enough of it you can become a trusted voice. Video can speed up that process… big time.

The reason is simple. It’s a lot easier to trust someone who you can see and hear. The inflection in their voice, body language, the way they articulate themselves… all on display with video. If we like what we see and hear from all of those things, we begin to feel a sense of trust.

Two good arguments to make if you’re pushing your company or organization to create video content.

–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 11 Telly Awards for its work over the last eight years.

Don’t Forget This In Your Video Storytelling

Posted on September 17th, 2013 | Leave a Comment

Don't Forget This In Your Video StorytellingWriting this week about a couple of things we should all know but sometimes lose focus on. Yesterday, I blogged about knowing who you are as a business. Today, it is knowing your audience and how critically important it is for your video storytelling.

Both of these were themes talked about during last week’s “Evening with an Expert” put on by ChicagoAMA. One of those experts was Chris Young, Senior Director, Global Menu Strategy for a little company you might have heard of… McDonald’s.

Chris found it a little funny speaking at a marketing event because he isn’t a marketer. He’s a food scientist, but deciding what’s going to be placed on McDonald’s menus means understanding how to market those items… pointing out it’s important to ask a simple question.

“What do customers want?”

That’s a question we should all ask ourselves when it comes to our businesses, so why is it that many companies forget it when it comes to their marketing videos?

The problem I find with some business leaders is that in an effort to prop-up their company, they produce a video that’s designed to make themselves feel good… not their viewers. They have all sorts of things they love about their business, so they do their best to cram them all into their videos. That’s a mistake.

Let your audience guide your video storytelling

The first question you need to ask yourself when you start a new video project is… how do we serve our audience? Take a look at the elements you’re considering for your video. Think about them from the audience’s perspective. Do they impact viewers’ lives? Why should they care? Is this something that’s going to grab the audience’s attention?

If the audience isn’t interested, they’re not going to watch, and getting an audience to watch is the whole point of producing the video.

Remember, your video projects aren’t about padding the egos in the C-Suite. Your videos need to be about what the viewers want.

–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 11 Telly Awards for its work over the last eight years.

How Identity Shapes Your Corporate Video Production

Posted on September 16th, 2013 | Leave a Comment

ChicagoAMA Agile Marketing 1Over the next couple of days, I’m going to touch on some pretty basic themes. Themes we all know, but important ones that bear reminding… especially when it comes to corporate video production.

Evening with an expert

The first one comes via Justin Massa at Food Genius. He was one of the speakers last week at ChicagoAMA’s “Evening with an Expert.” The topic for the evening was the Age of Agile Marketing and Justin related his speech to the theme by talking about what he and Food Genius do… deliver Big Data to the food industry.  

A lot of what he talked about was how to use Big Data to help guide the marketing decisions businesses need to make in our ever-changing world. One of his takeaways in particular caught my attention because it’s just as relevant to video as it is to Big Data.

Justin said, “Know who you are.” I don’t care whether we’re talking about Big Data or video, that’s an important point.

How it applies to corporate video production

Your videos should mirror the type of business you have. What’s your company culture like? That’s the guiding light for your videos.

If you have a strong and traditional business, that’s how your videos should look and feel. If your team comes to work everyday wearing jeans, t-shirts and flip-flops, your videos should reflect that loose vibe. Knowing who you are will set the tone for everything from the shooting style to the music bed the plays under the video.

Staying true to who you are can often be the first step to a successful video project.

–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 11 Telly Awards for its work over the last eight years.


Take a Porsche Storytelling Test Drive

Posted on September 12th, 2013 | Leave a Comment

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You don’t need a spoken audio track to make an effective marketing video, but you do need good storytelling. An American Airlines video remains my favorite example, and since seeing it I love highlighting similar videos.

The best of the best are often high on style but still manage to tell a good story. The not-so-best of the best… just high on style. Case in point… Porsche.

I saw a friend post something on Facebook yesterday about the Porsche 918 Spyder. I love cars, so I Googled the car and found a video of its lap around the Nurburgring.

High on style

The German Nurburgring… much to the chagrin of the BBC Top Gear guys… is the benchmark track where many cars are tested. The video starts well… music, the car being prepped. It moves on to the track with lots of cameras tracking the car’s run. It finishes with the lap time and a celebration. No spoken audio traffic, and almost a good story. Almost.

Here’s the problem, why is everyone celebrating? Clearly, it must have been a good time. I then did another Google search and found out that it’s the first time a street-legal car has broken the 7-minute mark.

Storytelling lesson

It’s important to keep in mind that everyone who watches your video might not know what you know. The produces for Porsche all knew this was a record-setting run, but they didn’t take into account certain audience members (cough, cough… me) might not. That’s a good lesson.

You know your business inside-out. Sometimes that can cloud the information you put in a story, or how you even go about telling the story. Watch the Porsche video. Now imagine starting it with an aerial of the track, some music and an on-screen graphic… Nurburgring, Germany: a production car has never completed a lap in less than 7:00.

The video takes on a whole new meaning. Even if the audience already knew that fact, all it does is add to the anticipation that we’re about to see something special.

The things you think might be obvious about your business, might actually be the key to driving interest.

–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 11 Telly Awards for its work over the last eight years.

Dave Ramsey Inspires Timely Video How-To

Posted on September 9th, 2013 | Leave a Comment

EntreLeadership ContentDave Ramsey has been getting a lot of play here lately. It’s well-deserved. Talking about my family’s journey to debt freedom, what a good job he and his team does creating marketing videos… and today… his latest EntreLeadership newsletter focused on content marketing. It immediately made me think about video content.

Dave’s social media director Steve NeSmith discusses some of the basics, and one of them I think is particularly relevant.

Steve NeSmith says…

“What I’ve learned is that the most powerful content is timely and relevant, with an emphasis on timely. Connect it to something that’s going on in the world, an industry or your community—something that’s front-of-mind with your audience. More people will pay attention and respond or share.”

I think that’s an important one to always keep in mind. On the surface, it might seem difficult to do with video. If something happens in the news, it’s easy to respond with a simple blog or social media post. It’s a little more complicated producing a quality video. Or is it?

Dave Ramsey Inspired T60 video content tip

Think about your business and how certain current events might impact your audience. Maybe it’s certain weather events. Maybe it’s good or bad fluctuations in the market. How about holidays? My point is most businesses are impacted by current events we can count on. Focus some of your video content on those subjects.

The videos might just talk about general themes, but you can use your social media post to focus them on current events.

Consider a PR firm… maybe they create a video highlighting the firm’s philosophy on crisis management. Then, when something damaging happens to a company that’s widely publicized… they can send out a social media post like, “Can you believe what happened to Company X? Hope they had a plan for crisis management. VIDEO LINK”

That’s just one example. If you think hard about your own business, I’m sure you can find current event situations that make sense for you. Keep them in mind when you’re planning your video content.

–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 11 Telly Awards for its work over the last eight years.


A Video Content Challenge For Your Company

Posted on August 20th, 2013 | Leave a Comment

final cut proVideo content excels at a lot of things, but one of its best benefits is the ability to put your passion on display. Audiences can see it… hear it.. and feel it.

That’s a powerful thing for businesses trying to set themselves apart in the marketplace. Our industry is no exception, which is why I’m so surprised more don’t take advantage of the medium they help others use.

Practicing what we preach

When I was updating the T60 website, I looked at a ton of other video production companies’ sites. I was surprised to see not many produced stories about their own business. Most had some sort of highlight reel featuring past client work, but few produced a video specifically highlighting how and why they produce videos.

That’s just crazy to me. It should come as no surprise then that one of our top priorities was to produce a short video letting people know about our passion… storytelling.

Your video content challenge

So… here’s my challenge for you. Start researching your competition online. Checkout their websites. Do they have video? If so, what types of videos have they produced? A basic About Us video… product videos… testimonials? Do they look like they were made in-house or by pros?

It’s a good thing to do for a couple of reasons. First, if none of them have videos, you now know this is a great way to set your business apart from the pack. Second, if they are producing videos, what they’ve done might give you some ideas as to what types of videos you want to produce for your company.

Either way, it should be a valuable exercise.

–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 11 Telly Awards for its work over the last eight years.

Using Website Video To Beat Your Competition

Posted on August 19th, 2013 | Leave a Comment
Estrold Resort, St. Germain, WI

Estrold Resort, St. Germain, WI

Back from vacation… batteries recharged! Last week my family and I went to Wisconsin’s Northwoods for a summer get-away at the Estrold Resort. Good times. I even walked away with blog post idea regarding website video. You know… the About Us video.

Not enough businesses have one.

It’s really kind of crazy. I visited about 10-20 websites researching things for and during the trip. Do you know how many had a video? Zero, zip… I was stunned.

Big city, small town… shouldn’t matter

On one level, I understand it. The Northwoods is small town America. You might not expect small town businesses to be producing high-quality storytelling. One… they don’t have access to the number of professional video producers as big cities. Two… business competition probably isn’t as fierce.

Umm… right and wrong.

The first point is totally valid. I did a search for Northwoods video production and there aren’t a lot of companies to choose from, but there are a few. The second point… I think business owners there would argue.

Competition for your dollars is fierce everywhere. Big city… small town America… wherever. Business leaders are always looking for a leg-up on their competition. For a long time, there was a debate as to whether or not companies needed a website. That debate is over.

Website video sets businesses apart

The new debate is what should be on the website, and without a doubt video is a way to stand above your competition.

Consider this… only 24% of national brands are using online video (Kantar Media). This at a time when online video viewing is skyrocketing. Cisco reports it’s expected to double to 1.5 billion users in 2016.

So if there are more and more people watching online videos… and more than 3/4 of brands are not using online videos to market themselves… what does that add up to? Opportunity.

What an incredible opportunity for business owners to set themselves apart from their competition.

–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 11 Telly Awards for its work over the last eight years.

Email Video Boosts Email Marketing ROI

Posted on August 15th, 2013 | Leave a Comment
Source: The Relevancy Group, LLC Executive Survey, n=66 2/13, United States Only

Source: The Relevancy Group, LLC Executive Survey, n=66 2/13, United States Only

Email marketing remains a big part of many businesses. One of the things that’s great about it is that we have numbers… lots of numbers to track exactly how email campaigns are working. You know what’s working? What’s really driving revenues up? Email video.

Whether it’s embedding video into the emails themselves using html5, or simply linking to a video… it works. The numbers don’t lie.

The Relevancy Group recently conducted a study called, The ROI Of Video In Email Marketing. All I can say is, “Wow!”

How good could it be?

The survey polled 266 marketing executives and found only 25% using video in their email campaigns, but the ones who are have been successful.

Our survey found that marketers that utilize video in email have increased their click-through and conversion rates, and are generating forty percent higher monthly revenue than those that do not use video.

In case that slipped by you… the survey found that marketers using video in their email campaigns are generating 40% higher monthly revenues than those that don’t use video. 40%!!!

I’ll be honest, I don’t know what kind of marketers were surveyed, and the study doesn’t say. Mrs. G thinks that’s a big deal. What if the people surveyed work for big companies? They could have an easier time generating more revenue.

Another factor… we all know email marketing is a numbers game. The bigger and better your email list, the more likely it is that your email campaigns will pay-off.

How email video is working

However… despite those factors… what video is doing is maximizing those emails. The survey shows…

  • Increased click through rates
  • Increased duration people read the email
  • Increased sharing
  • Increased conversion rate

Any of those things interest you? They interest me. So much so I’m revamping our own email marketing… sign-up for our newsletter… shameless plug (ding)!

I know… I know… there are all sorts of reasons not to produce a video. We don’t have any stories to tell… it’s too expensive… we can’t take the time to produce them. The thing is… they’re all just excuses.

The truth is you do have stories to tell… video doesn’t have to be expensive… and when you have a pro do it the production won’t take much of your time at all.

Don’t let those phony excuses get in the way of you maximizing your email marketing.

–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 11 Telly Awards for its work over the last eight years.

Corporate Videos Not As Easy As They Look

Posted on August 14th, 2013 | Leave a Comment
camera 2

Producing corporate videos isn’t so easy.

Alright, this needs to be said… or written in this case. If you’re going to make the commitment to produce corporate videos, please do it right.

I just read a blog post in which a marketing person for a major hospital group was giving video storytelling tips. I’m not going to link to the post. I’m not here to embarrass anyone, but it does provide an opportunity for a teachable moment.

Honestly, the tips that were given were all solid. Think about interesting ways to tell your stories, pick the right equipment and remember that videos don’t need to go viral for them to be a success.

Sounding good

Solid, right?

I was kind of digging this, so I decided to check-out the company’s YouTube channel. OMG. What a disaster.

Don’t get me wrong, I saw a lot there of what was being talked about… it’s just… none of it was good. In most cases, the stories were boring and came off amateur-ish.

Producing good corporate videos typically takes a pro

So here’s the teachable moment… just because you know what to do, doesn’t mean you know how to do it.

Video is a tricky thing. It looks so easy. Set-up a camera, hit the record button, maybe do a little basic editing… and there you have it… an awesome marketing video!

Ummm… no. It’s not that easy. As a matter of fact, it takes a lot of experience to produce a quality video that’s going to connect with an audience. Maybe the biggest problem with inexperienced producers is that they sometimes produce videos that have a negative impact on audiences.

Video is about emotion. In nearly every video we produce, I’m hoping viewers leave with a good feeling about the business. I want them to feel confident in that company. A bad video has the complete opposite affect.

Picking a seasoned video pro will go a long way to making sure your video doesn’t make your business look bad.

–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 11 Telly Awards for its work over the last eight years.

Big Box Storytelling And Defining a Brand

Posted on August 13th, 2013 | Leave a Comment

Walmart does its own storytelling.

I recently blogged about the importance of doing your own storytelling and not letting others do it for you. This is especially critical for anyone facing tough reviews or upset critics.

It isn’t hard to find examples of it being put into practice. Take a look at big time businesses in that situation and they’re all using video to tell their stories. Case in point… Walmart.

At least half of you just cringed. It’s a company that’s popular for its prices, and unpopular for… well… a lot of reasons.

We all know Walmart faces a ton of PR challenges, but its leaders are doing their best to be storytellers and get out messages they probably feel like the traditional media isn’t reporting.

You can find some of them at Walmart’s YouTube channel under the playlist… Our Stories.

They aren’t anything magical. All of them are pretty short… less than a minute. Some have a “commercial” feel, others tell more of a story. I’ll let you guess which ones I prefer.

Anyway, the point is that the big boys get this issue. When you’re facing harsh critics, it’s important not to let them define you.

It would be easy for companies like Walmart to sit back, take the criticism, and count their dollars. Instead, company leaders stand-up for themselves and point out the things they’re doing right.

Ideally, businesses should be doing this all the time which counters any harsh reviews that may come up. Whether it’s customer testimonials or highlighting the company’s charity efforts, there several types of stories you can tell to define yourself.

Be a storyteller.

 –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 11 Telly Awards for its work over the last eight years.