You’ve probably noticed the surge in online video. It’s being touted as the hottest content marketing trend, Harlem Shake videos have saturated the Web and it makes us all wonder if more video isn’t just what we need to stand out.
But there’s a difference in seeing the power of video and truly using video to push your brand further and make it more connected.
I sit in a lot of conversations about online video. It’s not only something I’m particularly interested in, but it’s something my agency considers a core and beloved part of our marketing mix. So I’ll admit, sometimes when I hear the current conversation about video I get a little stabby. Because while marketers are starting to understand how great video is, they’re not truly using it.
It’s time to push your video marketing to the max. Sure, video is a great vehicle for those unboxings, the product views, and your customer testimonials, but that’s not all video is capable of.
Below are five different ways to use video.
1. To Recognized Your Audience
Have you heard of Vsnap? If not, it’s a tool that allows you to record short video messages to share with your audience. The company views these video snapshots as a way for businesses to feel and act more human. And you know what? Vsnap actually practices what they preach.
- Every time someone follows Vsnap on Twitter, community manager Trish Fontanilla sends them a video recognizing them and saying thanks.
- When one of their community members tweeted they were having a bad day, Trish sent him a video message to cheer him up.
- (If someone is chatting about them on Twitter, Trish will hop into the conversation and say hello when it’s appropriate, of course).
She’s actually become a little Internet Famous simply by using video to connect with the company’s friends and users. These videos may only take :30-:60 to create, but they show users Vsnap thinks they matter.
Using video for customer support or just to say “thanks” may not be scalable or appropriate for every business, but when can you use video to be more human?
Maybe it’s a video sent at the end of an event you’ve hosted where you thank people for attending and invite them to keep in contact. Maybe it’s a video message when someone completes their first order. Or their 10th. Or after they’ve left an impactful blog comment. Look for opportunities to be human.
2. To Provoke
I could pen a 10,000 word manifesto about the effects of childhood bullying. I could cite stats, share personal stories, and recount the number of tears I’ve shed as a result of people hurting my feelings. But you know what? It wouldn’t be nearly as impactful as this anti-bullying poem video created by Shane Koyczan. You wouldn’t feel my pain the way you feel his when you watch that video. The story wouldn’t stay with you as long.
That’s the power of video to provoke. They’re visceral. They make people feel and experience things words on a page cannot.
What messages are you putting out there that might be best suited for video than other medium? Where could your message be more thought provoking, more entertaining, more emotional?
3. To Tell a Story
We’re in an age of storytelling. Where customers want to know not only what you did, but how you did it, why you did it, and who helped you do it. They want the story. Why not tell that story through video?
- Use video to introduce your team and its values, to share “behind the scenes” footage, and to visually stimulate your audience.
- Create mini-stories around your product or service’s key features to focus on your key messaging points and highlight important benefits.
- Show how that campaign came to life, how the character was designed, or where the concept came from by documenting your company process and how you work.
We’re seeing a lot of companies use video as a way of telling their brand story. Why? Because it works. The same way the “extra footage” holds people in theaters longer, the extra footage around your brand keeps your brand engaging and interesting.
4. To Simplify Ideas
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I need to see something before I truly understand it. It’s not that I don’t appreciate you explaining what it is your product or service does, but I won’t fully grasp it until I see it in action.
That’s what video does.
For those of us in complicated industries (i.e., anything involving the Web or technology), using video to simplify concepts can make the difference between someone understanding what it is you’re all about and them walking away confused.
For example, what’s more confusing than the healthcare industry? Almost nothing. That’s whyStay Smart, Stay Healthy uses whiteboard videos to explain difficult concepts and make them easier for their consumers to grasp.
That video accomplishes what no amount of written words could. It makes healthcare understandable to the average person.
Or maybe it isn’t your industry that’s confusing, but your business. Maybe you’re a cloud-based company or you do something that most people aren’t comfortable or familiar with just yet. By using a video to simplify your company message/purpose, you help people feel less intimidated by what you have to offer. They don’t see the jargon, they only see the benefit. They see you.
5. To Entertain
Rather than dedicate resources to creating sales videos, why not create something your audience will not only enjoy watching, but will want to share? Our consumer’s time has always been valuable, but in a world where attention spans are shorter than ever, creating video that entertains while it informs (or just entertains) ensures your brand stands in a user’s mind and that you’re leaving them with a positive brand impression.
Why did Harlem Dance videos go viral? Because they were short, they were fun, and they included a formula that didn’t require a huge time investment.
Your audience loves video. They love to consume it, to share, and to be part of it. How are you using video in your marketing?
Scandal Of a Different Color: New Oceana Study Uncovers Widespread Seafood Fraud Nationwide — 33% of Seafood Is Mislabeled in Grocery Stores, Restaurants and Sushi Venues, Report Finds | Bulldog Reporter.
The horsemeat scandal, which is currently escalating out of the UK, isn’t the only food-related dirty laundry in the news this week — Oceana, the largest international advocacy group working solely to protect the world’s oceans, has uncovered widespread seafood fraud across the United States, according to a new report released this week. In one of the largest seafood fraud investigations in the world to date, DNA testing confirmed that one third (33%) of the 1,215 fish samples collected by Oceana from 674 retail outlets in 21 states were mislabeled, according to Food and Drug Administration guidelines.
“Purchasing seafood has become the ultimate guessing game for U.S. consumers,” said Beth Lowell, campaign director at Oceana, in a news release. “Whether you live in Florida or Kansas, no one is safe from seafood fraud. We need to track our seafood from boat to plate so that consumers can be more confident that the fish they purchase is safe, legal and honestly labeled.”
Oceana found seafood fraud everywhere it tested, including mislabeling rates of 52 percent in Southern California, 49 percent in Austin and Houston, 48 percent in Boston (including testing by the Boston Globe), 39 percent in New York City, 38 percent in Northern California and South Florida, 36 percent in Denver, 35 percent in Kansas City (MO/KS), 32 percent in Chicago, 26 percent in Washington, D.C., 21 percent in Portland (OR) and 18 percent in Seattle.
Oceana’s study targeted fish with regional significance as well as those found to be frequently mislabeled in previous studies such as red snapper, cod, tuna and wild salmon. Of the most commonly collected types of fish, snapper and tuna had the highest mislabeling rates across the country at 87 and 59 percent, respectively. While 44 percent of all the retail outlets visited sold mislabeled fish, sushi venues had the worst level of mislabeling at 74 percent, followed by other restaurants at 38 percent and then grocery stores at 18 percent.
“Some of the fish substitutions we found are just disturbing,” said Dr. Kimberly Warner, report author and senior scientist at Oceana, in the release. “Apart from being cheated, many consumers are being denied the right to choose fish wisely based on health or conservations concerns.”
Among the report’s other key findings include:
- Mislabeling was found in 27 of the 46 fish types tested (59 percent).
- Only seven of the 120 red snapper samples collected nationwide were actually red snapper.
- Between one-fifth to more than one-third of the halibut, grouper, cod and Chilean seabass samples were mislabeled.
- 84 percent of the white tuna samples were actually escolar, a species that can cause serious digestive issues for some individuals who eat more than a few ounces.
- Fish on the FDA’s “DO NOT EAT” list for sensitive groups such as pregnant women and children because of their high mercury content were sold to customers who had ordered safer fish: tilefish sold as red snapper and halibut in New York City and king mackerel sold as grouper in South Florida.
- Cheaper farmed fish were substituted for wild fish: pangasius sold as grouper, sole, and cod, tilapia sold as red snapper and Atlantic farmed salmon sold as wild or king salmon.
- Overfished and vulnerable species were substituted for more sustainable catch: Atlantic halibut sold as Pacific halibut and speckled hind sold as red grouper.
Posted By: Melissa Kennedy On: 2/5/2013 6:00 PM In: Job Seeker – Resume
Body Language Plays a Key Role in Effective Business Communication
27 expendable phrases to slash from your copy
Even as more people skim and scan than actually read our content, we have clients and bosses who think the more words the better. But readers are busy. Unnecessary words slow them down. Every word should matter.
Some words and phrases do no work; they’re slackers. Deleting them doesn’t hurt your meaning; it often improves the readability of your content.
Consider this sentence:
I am bewildered by your inconsistent use of the serial comma.
Tacking on any of the expendable phrases below would add nothing. So, if you catch yourself including them in your copy, hit the delete key:
1. All things considered
2. As a matter of fact
3. As already stated
4. As far as I’m concerned
5. At the present time
6. By means of
7. Due to the fact that
8. For all intents and purposes
9. For the most part
10. For the purpose of
11. In a manner of speaking
12. In a very real sense
13. In the final analysis
14. In the event that
15. In other words
16. It goes without saying
17. It is important to note
18. It is interesting to note
19. It may be said that
20. It stands to reason that
21. It was found that
22. It was demonstrated that
23. Needless to say
24. Take steps to
25. The fact that
26. The field of
27. To be sure
PR Daily readers, care to add to this list?
Laura Hale Brockway is an Austin-based writer and editor. She writes about writing and editing at her blog, Impertinent Remarks.
Fewer Kids Are Playing, Ex-Players Are Suing and Popularity Shows a Drop. Will Goodell’s Play Pay?
In a New Republic interview, first fan Barack Obama said he’d think long and hard before letting a son of his play tackle football. Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback and Fox Sports anchor Troy Aikman last year publicly wondered about the long-term viability of the NFL: “At some point, football is not going to be the No. 1 sport.” And Baltimore Ravens safety Bernard Pollard told CBSSports.com that he would not be surprised to see the first player killed during an NFL game, noting that he doesn’t think the sport will exist in its current form in 30 years.
The NFL’s ‘Evolution’ spot in last year’s Super Bowl.
All the doomsaying comes as the country’s most-popular and -successful sports league has never been healthier. The league generated $9.5 billion in revenue in 2012 vs. $7.5 billion for Major League Baseball. Super Bowl XLVI was the most-watched TV show in history, averaging 111.3 million viewers. NFL game telecasts accounted for 31 of the 32 most-watched programs this past fall.
As was proved just yesterday, the Super Bowl is the ultimate advertising showcase, pulling in nearly $4 million for 30-second spots this year. National advertisers spent $3.3 billion on pro football in 2011, according to Nielsen, dwarfing the $975 million spent on college football.
But there are troubling trends that threaten to dent, if not crack, the NFL’s “shield” brand in the future.
Although some 3 million kids play organized tackle football, according to USA Football, the number of kids ages 6- to 12-years-old participating regularly has been dropping around 5% annually for the past three to four years, said Tom Cove, president of the Sports & Fitness Industry Association. And as more parents steer their kids away from tackle football because of concern over concussions, it raises the potential of fewer high school and college players — and a “smaller talent pool” for the NFL, said Dan Wetzel, national columnist for Yahoo Sports.
While the future is cause for concern, the past is haunting the league as well. More than 1,500 ex-players are suing the NFL in federal court, claiming the league fraudulently concealed the risk of brain trauma caused by playing pro football.
Add to that a slight decline in popularity for football. The percentage of respondents who named the NFL their favorite sport dropped to 34% from 36% in 2012 in the latest Harris Poll this January. The statistic didn’t escape NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who likes to remind complacent staffers that boxing and horse racing were once among the country’s favorite sports. During a meeting with 32 team owners in March, he ticked off the names of other corporate giants that are either defunct or no longer leaders: Blockbuster, Enron, Pan Am, Bethlehem Steel, General Foods and E.F Hutton.
His NFL defense? An offense. It’s trying to counter negative coverage with advertising and PR campaigns designed to position the league as positive, proactive and transparent about its key issues.
Last week the NFL was putting the finishing touches on a branding spot by Grey Advertising slated to air during yesterday’s Super Bowl and it is planning a TV spot promoting the NFL Network and a couple of 10-second quick hitters “celebrating the game of football,” said league spokesman Brian McCarthy.
The feel-good ad strategy about the bright future of pro football builds on the NFL’s “Evolution” Super Bowl spot from last year, in which Baltimore Ravens middle linebacker Ray Lewis glowingly described the helmet, equipment and rules changes that have made the game safer than ever before.
“We certainly have come a long way. Thing is, we’re just getting started,” narrates Mr. Lewis as viewers see the game change from the leather helmets of the early 1900s to the face masks and hard-plastic helmets of today’s NFL. “Here’s to making the next century safer and more exciting than ever. Forever forward. Forever football.”
The league also launched a website at NFLEvolution.com that focuses on health and safety issues. Last week, the site featured player responses to President Obama saying it would be a tough call to let his son play tackle football. And the NFL Players Association is making a $100 million grant to Harvard for concussion studies, along with $30 million to National Institutes of Health for brain research. It’s also sponsoring studies of new helmet designs. The NFL is not working with a crisis-PR agency or adviser, Mr. McCarthy said.
It’s a start, but the NFL still faces an inherent marketing challenge. Nobody knows that better than the players. “The NFL is going to do what it can to make the game safe—but it’s never going to be a “safe’ game,” Justin Tuck, a two-time Super Bowl winner with the New York Giants, told Ad Age. “It’s a violent game. That’s what draws fans all over the world to watch it. Society is drawn to the violence. The bigger the hits, the louder the crowd cheers.”