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Elevating Brands 008: Video Marketing

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Pieter Bickford:    

Alright, Len, so, I just bought a really big, fancy iPhone which has an incredible camera on it, and, so, I have to ask you: can anybody in this day and age do video marketing?

Len Sullivan:  

Wow, that's a loaded question. For a company that does video services it's very difficult to say. But, yeah. I mean, those phones have kind of changed the way that we think about video marketing. And, absolutely, people can do video marketing themselves with social media with their phones, and it's actually a very effective tool. Video marketing is one of the most – regardless of what platform you put it on – is one of the most engaged-with platforms.

Why? I mean, I guess it's relatively self-explanatory. I can engage with your product. I mean, you see this so many different ways. Electricians can walk you through the how-tos of doing simple and basic things, but they know at the end of the day you're going to call them. If they've provided that service for you on a very limited basis, you're going to call them when something gets difficult because there's things that normal people shouldn't screw around with.
Plumbing, electricity, in the house. But regardless, I mean, this could be anything. A product demo, how to service your car from home if you're a car dealership. There's just so many different varieties of things that you can do with video marketing.

Pieter Bickford:  

And I love the fact that we'll go to a client and say, "Yeah, absolutely. You can do your own video marketing." I mean, I say it all the time to, especially, small businesses, because part of it is it’s so cheap to do it relatively well. But also I think that people are fairly forgiving in this day and age of YouTube if it's not the highest of quality. But then when they're ready to do a truly effective marketing campaign, I think is where a company like HighRock comes in where there's a real strategy behind it.

But I totally agree. I think part of getting out there as a small business is showing that you're the person that has the skills to do the job. And, so, not getting used to recording...or you should get used to recording yourself and recording videos about what you do, because it's such an effective and relatively affordable way to do it.

Len Sullivan:

Yeah, I mean, most small, even medium-size brands are not going to be going to external sources for video marketing or consistent video marketing. Now, they can. There are services that offer it, but they're probably not personalized. They're very generic. And being creative with your video marketing is something that you definitely can make a splash with, especially if you have humor in the way that you present it, because humor is always easy to engage with and you can get a lot of shares and a lot of likes. What's the old adage from theater? "Dying is easy but comedy is hard."

Len Sullivan:    

Uh, right? I mean…

Pieter Bickford:    


Len Sullivan:    

Any thespian or previous actor will tell you that being dramatic is way more easy than getting a laugh. But getting a laugh is the thing that people will relate. They won't go in the theater, they won't say, "Do you remember that thing where that guy died on stage?" You know it would sound more like, "Do you remember this joke?" Or, "Wasn't that funny?" Or, you know, you can commiserate and laugh again.

So, having humor with your brand, while it can be super effective, is also very difficult. So, it introduces a question of how much do you want to engage with? But I think, in my mind, consistency is much more important than hitting the high notes.

Pieter Bickford:

Yeah, and I often say the other thing about doing it and doing it often is you're going to get better at it and it's going to become more and more comfortable to you. And then you'll get to a point where when you're ready to do a higher budget video you can be that much more involved in the process.

Len Sullivan:

Sure. Yeah, it's definitely something that adds a lot of value, and it adds a lot of value on a consistent basis. And you're right, I mean, do you need to commit budget to this? Yes and no. I mean, in terms of manpower you're already committing budget anyway. So, finding that voice, having someone do it consistently. And I guess most importantly, hold yourself accountable as a brand, as a company, as the individual employee that you're going to assign this to in order to, because you need to be consistent, and you need to find some kind of results.

If you're going do it for the sake of just doing it and do it at a random increment with no gauge of where we were successful, then it's probably not worth doing. So, yes, in that case, you can do it with your phone. Will it be effective? Probably not, unless there's a plan behind it. And, like you said, that's when you go to a company and say, you know, "I need a plan. What's, what's my plan? What can I do?"

Just from doing this elevating brands thing, we find that coming up with things to talk about is the hardest part. Not having the chat itself but coming up with what are we going to talk about this week.

Pieter Bickford:

Well, my final question for video is, vertical or horizontal?

Len Sullivan:    

Depends on the format. It's so funny.  We were just on a shoot, and you had all these, camera people there and they were all doing their own versions of social media. And every single one of them were trained to do one version in vertical and one version in horizontal because digital ads and the way the digital ads run. If you've ever placed a digital ad, you know that the depends on, without getting way to in, it depends on what your buy is.

Pieter Bickford:    

Absolutely, absolutely. So, do both, is what you're saying, okay.


Do both, but I guess the more important thing is do it often, do it consistently, and make sure you gauge your results.

Nikoletta Gjoni

by Nikoletta Gjoni, Project Manager

As a graduate of the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) with a degree in English Literature and Journalism, Niki's passion has always been storytelling and all the forms it can take. As such, her professional experience has ranged from working in cable news to holding communications and marketing director roles in the nonprofit sector. She enjoys connecting with audiences through strategic branding and marketing approaches and believes a good story will almost always win someone over for a new product or experience.

Outside of work, Niki is an award-nominated fiction and creative nonfiction writer, as well as a manuscript editor and creative writing coach for new and young writers. She enjoys traveling, eating good food, supporting indie bookstores, and combatting writer's block, among other things.

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