Why it works
Littering the internet are thousands upon thousands of articles on content marketing. They are almost as numerous as the pieces of plastic in the oceans contaminating and destroying our aquatic friends. Adding confusion to the hype, these articles also prove that the method of “content marketing” doesn’t have a solid definition. Just like our plastic nuggets in the ocean, its true meaning is fragmented and floating every which way.
You’ve heard people say, “You have to spend money to make money,” and if you’re an experienced marketer, you know this statement is a drastically oversimplified version of the truth, which is:
You have to spend money in precisely the right way to make money.
Enter Screen Left: Content Marketing
If social media is commonly referred to as an ongoing conversation and YouTube is the most popular video sharing platform in the world, it stands to reason that marketing via YouTube is best accomplished through ongoing videos – videos that engage with and respond to the YouTube community… you know, like a conversation.
Wikipedia’s definition of content marketing is fair:
Content marketing is any marketing that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire and retain customers.
This definition is true, but what I often run into (and the motivation for this post) are companies who think this is accomplished with a one-and-done video. They think a commercial they share on the web rather than on television constitutes effective content marketing. It does not. To make matters worse, they won’t follow or respond to comments on their video, or they will disable commenting, choking the life out of their marketing efforts.
How Should It Work
A series. Pure and simple.
To think of content marketing properly, as a conversation, you need to think of your business as a person.
If you (as a human) walk into a room, deliver your thesis, and walk out of the room, you just became a politician giving a speech. Depending on the budget and effort you put into your video that you plopped onto YouTube before you ran off, the “speech” may have been eloquent and inspiring, or it may have been half-baked and nap-worthy. Either way, you didn’t listen to anyone, and you had minimal company growth and/or product sales precisely because you failed to engage your customers. You failed to converse.
If you had created a video, gauged feedback (and garnered more feedback by responding to comments/asking questions), and responded to your audience via another video, you would be having a conversation.
People like to be acknowledged by other people! If you treat their eyes like a wall to paint your advertising onto, they will fall over and crush you.
Where Is The POWER
Content marketing is a conversation, and your first campaign video is the conversation starter. Friends, people don’t talk about things that aren’t worth talking about!
You have to entertain your audience, which means you need a seasoned director who is experienced with making engaging content. The LAST thing you want is a button-pusher video guy who does mediocre work. In other words if you cheap out on this step, you will fail.
This is how you start. It is a nonnegotiable step to successful content marketing that will drive exponential sales into your company!
So, then, the power of content marketing is in two key steps:
- Entertain your audience.
- Cultivate your audience.
Cultivating your audience is accomplished simply by engaging with them and responding to them with subsequent videos. And the fact that all of this content spread out over time will increase your company’s SEO and google ranking is just icing on the cake!
Content marketing is everywhere, and it is such a big deal because it actually works, when you do it right – when you don’t go cheap and you talk to your audience. Content creators like myself are being hired more and more by company’s and told, “Our product needs to make an appearance but otherwise, just do what you do” because we know how to entertain people, and that’s where it has to start for you.
Beyond entertainment, content marketing creates and curates a conversation because it tells an ongoing story. In plain English, stories are powerful!
Choosing a Director
For an example of what to look for when hiring a guy like me for a product or branding campaign through content marketing:
- Make sure they have verifiable testimonials like these.
- Evaluate what they are best at.
The testimonials are straightforward. Make sure they have them. Call people up and ask about the person. Easy.
When it comes to content of this nature, I’m best at creating narrative content like inspirational films (they inspire the audience to act, or they cause them to feel deeply (e.g. cry)) and high-energy films (action, action sports, fast-paced, etc.). Even though I have a lot of experience with comedy, I’m just not that great at it. I can make films that are chuckle-funny but not side-busting funny, which means I’m not the best option if your content marketing campaign will be humorous.
Hopefully, this information will help small and large businesses alike to more clearly understand video content marketing. It can be tricky, so if you have any questions, ask me in the comments below. I’m glad to help you any way I can!
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