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Marketing with Video: What’s the Story?

Kathy Klotz-Guest gave a very educational and entertaining presentation at the NorCal BMA Marketing Strategy Roundtable last week. The topic: “What’s the Story with Video Strategies?” Kathy is founder of Powerfully Funny whose mission is to help organizations improve their innovation efforts, marketing and communications through humor, playfulness, and fun. As a marketing strategist and storyteller, Kathy specializes in helping her clients craft compelling stories to educate and drive awareness among their prospects and customers.

Recently, Kathy conducted a study of 130 B2B and B2C businesses to identify best practices for marketing with video. The study was sponsored by the Society for New Communications Research (SNCR.ORG). Here are the key take-aways from the study and her presentation, which focused on three areas: content, integration & distribution, and measurement.


According to Kathy, “content is king, but story is queen!” Begin with a clear strategy for how the video or videos will be incorporated into the marketing mix. Video is a public-facing medium and is best for education and generating awareness. One study participant, an SVP at Cisco, stated it best – “video is a conversation starter, not a sales endpoint.” Engage the audience in an ongoing conversation and think through what action you want them to take after viewing the video. Other tips:

* Tell a story that is relevant to the audience, or “tribe”; the best videos have a powerful, unique story
* Don’t worry about making it go viral; focus on a tangible business objective
* Often the best storytellers are not in the C-suite but are employees, customers or fans
* Be brief, 2-3 minutes max
* Don’t push a sales message; think “community” not “product”
* Quick, non-professionally produced videos are fine and often seen as more authentic. Information outweighs slick production. Strive for a balance of both.

There is no single winning template to follow. Try humor, newscast formats, whiteboard techtalks, serial stories and monitor what resonates with your audience. Experiment, learn, adjust and repeat. Check out Cisco’s “Valentine’s Day” and IBM’s “Art of the Sale” videos for examples of something fun and unexpected.

Integration and Distribution

* Include a call to action such as a white paper download, subscription or case study
* Post the video on your website and include title, description, tags and a video sitemap to boost SEO results
* Post on YouTube (the most important), and consider other video sites such as iTunes, Viddler, or Yahoo! Video
* Promote it via Twitter, LinkedIN, Facebook, your blog and email
* Send links to the video to key influencers and your tribe


To gauge success of the video, measure:

* Number of views
* Offer downloads
* Tweets and retweets
* Press coverage
* RSS subscriptions

There are other important measurements as well, the key point is to make them meaningful.

Bottom line: tap into your audience/tribe and engage them in a compelling story. As with any marketing medium, be creative, try new ideas, test, adjust and repeat.

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