By Ron Marcus, ZUZA Marketing Cheerleader
Video. It’s arguably the most impactful medium. Done well, it engages, entertains, informs and captivates. The success of YouTube speaks for itself. The term “viral video” is itself a viral term. Savvy marketers get this, and the best are doing really great video content marketing to gain prospects and build their brands.
But, even the best marketers can stumble sometimes. Because making great video isn’t easy. In this week’s post, we look at one video that tries hard but doesn’t quite hit it, and another video that hits it out of the park.
Marketing With Great Content
These days, we’re all trying to figure out how to get more visitors to our websites and into our lead funnels. The modern way to do this today is with inbound marketing, also known as content marketing. Simply put, you:
- create great content and put it on your website
- promote it online to prospects
- attract them to access this content in exchange for learning a little bit about them
- then build a relationship with these prospects by continuing to give them great content that builds their trust in your company.
This will move them down your lead funnel to the point of being sales-ready. We talked about this extensively in our Lead Nurturing series.
The key, then, is to create great content. Great content educates, entertains, or does both. Also, great content is genuinely intended to help prospects, not sell to them. At this point, you’re establishing credibility and thought leadership. If you try to sell to prospects at this point, they’ll just be put off; they’re not ready to have this conversation yet.
Nobody understands this better than companies like HubSpot and Marketo, marketing automation companies whose bread and butter is promoting the model of marketing with great content. These two companies in particular have made substantial investments in building a library of helpful resources for marketers. In fact, by now you could probably create an entire college marketing curriculum on the white papers these companies have authored. This material stands out as the gold standard of content marketing, in my opinion. It is authoritative, comprehensive, well-written, and truly helpful. There’s no better way to establish thought leadership and credibility with future prospects.
So it was with great interest that I read the following email I received from Marketo the day after the Grammy music awards.
“Long Live the Music Video! Marketo Debuts “Gotta Get Lead Generation”
“What happens when a rock star marketer, an excitable mascot, and Marketo employees with phenomenal dance moves get together? Lead generation, of course!
Written and performed by the talented Julie Neumark, “Gotta Get Lead Generation” chronicles a tale that almost any marketer can relate to: your boss (in this case, a sunglasses-wearing mascot) wants you to generate more leads, but you aren’t sure where to start. In today’s complex, multi-channel world, how do you fill your database with qualified leads?
While Julie generates leads by rocking out (and a few well-placed Post-It notes), we recommend you check out the strategies, best practices, and thought leadership found in our Definitive Guide to Lead Generation. But before you dive in, check out the music video — who knew generating leads could be so fun?
Have a watch, and we’ll critique it next.
What’s wrong with this video?
First, let’s say what’s right: decent production values, and a tune that is kind of catchy.
Where this video doesn’t quite hit it is in actually being interesting. The pacing is slow, and there are no surprises. The lyrics are extremely basic and don’t attempt to say anything new about lead generation. There was nothing particularly creative or clever about the material, and most importantly, I did not experience any emotional response to it. It felt flat.
What this underscores is how difficult it is to produce a truly great video. I’m sure that any of you who have tried it before can certainly relate.
But making great video is not impossible. Far from it. The next example proves this.
What happens when local news desk anchorman Penn Holderness decides to quit his job to join forces with his TV journalist wife Kim Dean Holderness to run their own corporate video production company? A video that hits it out of the park. Check it out:
What’s right with this video?
It’s genuinely entertaining. It is well written. It’s unique. It’s not afraid to be a little bit provocative without crossing lines of decency. The pacing is good. Production is top notch. It’s memorable. And it’s eminently sharable. At the end, the commercial nature of the video comes out: the husband and wife are promoting their video production company, Greenroom Communications. But by this point in the video, I’m sold that these guys know how to make a truly great video. I wouldn’t hesitate to talk to them about my next video project.
First off, it’s much harder to make a successful entertainment video than to make an interesting but serious video, such as a how-to video, testimonial or mini-documentary. So, start with more serious videos first. They may not go viral, but they’ll be better received by your prospects. And by all means, don’t stop yourself from attempting to create entertaining videos. Just make sure you test your video concepts on representative audiences before releasing them to the world wide web and see if you get the response you’re looking for. The last thing you want is a video that falls flat, and worse, cheapens your brand.
Here’s to the Marketing Champion in all of us. See you in the next post.