Tag Archives: YouTube

Pottery Barn… Retailer or Media Company?

Posted on September 19th, 2012 | Leave a Comment

I tell every business leader I come across they’re no longer just a retailer or service provider… they’re also a media company. The instant a business starts producing content, they’ve made the crossover, although many don’t seem willing to admit it.

Not Pottery Barn. The home goods retailer clearly understands they are now a media company. Take one look at their YouTube channel and you can tell. They have multiple playlists designed to attract various audiences.

What’s On Pottery Barn’s Channel?

There’s some self-promoting videos about Pottery Barn products, but for the most part the channel is programmed with all sorts of home decorating-related videos. If you’re a HGTV lover, Pottery Barn’s YouTube channel will be right up your alley.

Building and audience

It’s a wonderful example of a company that gets it. They have made a commitment to content. They understand by creating interesting videos, they’re building an audience. They’re building brand awareness.

Is it working? The channel has more than 3.5 million video views. I’d love to get a look at their ROI stats.

–Tony Gnau


Ford Drives Right Expectations

Posted on June 27th, 2012 | Leave a Comment

I saw a new Ford Escape on the road yesterday. Very nice. So nice it sent me to Ford’s YouTube channel looking for some videos.

Alas… no luck. I did however find a nice little series entitled, Drive Quality. Three short videos, each just over a minute long, and all featuring things Ford leaders do around their plants to improve production line quality.

I thought the videos were good. Nothing Earth-shattering, but I walked away as a viewer thinking… huh… that’s pretty cool.

Folks… that’s a win for Ford. I think we sometimes get hung-up on the impact of our videos. Not every video is going to set the world on fire. As a matter of fact, it is a rare video that will do that. And if it doesn’t feature a cat, it’s nearly impossible to achieve.

We need to temper our expectations. Ford got it right. I only intended on watching one of the videos when I clicked, but I watched all three and learned something interesting about the company.

I can only hope your videos are as successful.

–Tony Gnau

SIDE NOTE!… I did eventually find some videos featuring the new Escape. :-)

Proving PR/Marketing Videos ROI

Posted on March 8th, 2012 | Leave a Comment

I still speak with business owners who question whether or not it’s “worth” producing videos.

When I tell them, yes, they often want proof. Some sort of statistic that will shown return on investment. Truth is… I haven’t found good data on that subject. There are tons of stats on people being more likely to watch an online video as opposed to reading online text, but I’ve never seen anything on ROI.

That doesn’t, however, mean that I don’t have proof. Here’s my answer for them. Go to YouTube, then type in a major corporation you admire and see what turns up.

Chances are that company is producing videos. They’re investing time, effort and dollars in… producing videos. They’re devoting creative energy to… producing videos. Big companies that calculate ROI for just about everything they do are… producing videos.

Why? Because people watch them. Because every time they create a video and post it online it’s an opportunity to highlight their company… their brand.

How’s that for proof?

–Tony Gnau

Everyone Is A Media Company Now

Posted on February 15th, 2012 | Leave a Comment

If you want to create content and drive engagement, you have to realize something. You’re a media company now.

I know… “We’re not a media company. We make widgets. We provide a service.”

That’s right, but you’re also a media company. That is… if you’re interested in using social media to help your business.

Don’t believe me? Check out what major corporations are doing these days. They’re creating tons of videos, and not just talk-to-the-FlipCam videos. Highly produced, professional videos that tell great stories.

Their YouTube channels are just that… channels that they’re programming the way a TV station does. Companies are producing videos that will appeal to their specific audience.

Is it worth the money? Every business leader has to decide that for themselves, but Fortune 500 companies… corporations that rarely do anything unless ROI is involved.. are out there producing quality video content right now.

Are you ready to join them?

–Tony Gnau

Too Much Content Ruins Good Content

Posted on February 14th, 2012 | Leave a Comment

I love that the airlines put out a lot of videos. I don’t always love their videos, but this is a billion dollar industry that clearly gets it. Travelers are watching so they give them video content.

Today, I get to share one that I like from Virgin America. If you travel at all, you know about Virgin. They do everything they can to cultivate their hip image and they posted a video oozing with style yesterday on Facebook.

It actually serves as a valuable lesson. Lots of businesses have videos produced. A frequent problem is that they stuff them with too much information. Yes… too much information.

Audiences tend to subscribe to the “less is more” adage. Virgin does a great job here. The video is simple… a day at their terminal inside San Fransisco International Airport.. and the message is clear. It’s all about the airline’s style. Watch it once and you know this is an airline with its own unique style.

Virgin provides a really good flight plan to follow.

–Tony Gnau

Huntsman’s Daughters Hit YouTube

Posted on January 5th, 2012 | Leave a Comment

Good stuff yesterday from David Meerman Scott. His blog focused on Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman, and how Huntsman isn’t too interested in social media.

He might not be focused on it, but Huntsman or his staff actually came up with a really good idea. They’re letting his daughters have some fun on YouTube.

Jon2012Girls only have a couple of posts, but they’re far from your standard political fare. One is a parody song and the other mimics an infamous Herman Cain ad.

Huntsman might not be too interested in social media, but I’ll bet his girls are. That’s why I’m glad to see him letting them run with this role. I’m sure it’s still being orchestrated by his campaign, but at least the first two videos show a little spunk.

Think about all the business leaders out there who are in the same spot. They don’t really care about social media, but probably know enough that they need to do something. It’s smart to turn it over to people who a) care about it and b) will bring some creative ideas to the table.

I don’t know how far Huntsman is going to go in the presidential race, but I hope we get a few more videos from Jon2012Girls along the way.

–Tony Gnau

Traditional Marketing Meets Modern Tool

Posted on December 14th, 2011 | Leave a Comment

We received a piece of regular ole’ mail at our home the other day that caught my attention. My wife is a Monmouth College grad and they sent us a mailer encouraging donations to the school’s annual scholarship fund.

What caught my eye was the image of an online video player and a QR code.

You know video has come a long way when it’s even being incorporated into standard mailers. The QR code sends you to a YouTube video of a student talking about getting a scholarship to Monmouth and what it has meant to her.

The video itself isn’t anything special, although I applaud Monmouth for producing it. I much rather hear from the student herself than read a short and sanitized snippet about her.

Where Monmouth really scores big points is recognizing how powerful video is as a medium, and then looking for creative ways to get their videos in front of people.

Traditional mailers will continue to hit our mailboxes, but there’s no reason you can’t give them a modern twist. Monmouth’s leaders found a great way to do it.

–Tony Gnau


Your Video Doesn’t Need A Million Hits

Posted on December 8th, 2011 | Leave a Comment

Wouldn’t you love a million hits on YouTube!? Of course you would, getting your videos in front of as many people as possible is the goal of many businesses.

Reality check… it probably isn’t going to happen… and you know what? It’s okay. You don’t need to get your videos in front of as many people as possible. You just need to get them in front of the right people. Prospects who are interested in your products or services.

Find that audience, give them quality storytelling, and your videos will do their job… even without a million hits.

–Tony Gnau

PR/Marketing Video Channel Surfing

Posted on November 7th, 2011 | Leave a Comment

If you’ve signed up at YouTube, than you should know you don’t have a YouTube page. You have a YouTube channel.

It’s the perfect title because it hints at the mentality business leaders need to embrace once they start posting online videos. The company may make widgets, but it’s now a television station as well. That means company officials have to program their channel with all sorts of videos that people will want to tune in to see.

It’s important to remember, without viewers there’s no point in having your channel. This is why you need to focus the content on the audience, not your company. Sure, you can communicate things about your company, just make sure you’re serving the audience’s interests. Constantly ask yourself a question from a viewers perspective… why do I care?

They’re only going to tune in to your channel if you’re posting videos relevant to them.


PR/Marketing Pros Should Listen To Mat Kearney

Posted on October 26th, 2011 | Leave a Comment

Southwest Airlines posts a decent amount of videos to YouTube, and it does a good job of using social media to distribute them. Some of the videos are hits, some are misses, but this one is a home run.

They follow musical artist Mat Kearney onto a flight where he performs a mini-concert for the passengers (watch the video). I love it! It puts a smile on your face, and puts Southwest in a good light.

Why don’t more companies do things like this? Okay, not everyone is going to be able to get a major recording star to serenade their customers, but PR and marketing pros need to start thinking this way for their clients. What are some of the fun things they do as a company… whether it’s cool perks for clients or ways they perk-up their company culture.

These are great video opportunities. Video doesn’t have to be about hitting someone over the head with a marketing message. Creating videos that put a smile on someone’s face make for an incredible sales tool. More companies should try it.

–Tony Gnau

VIDEO: Mat Kearney, Concert at 35,000-feet