Have you read a book lately? Probably not. Have you seen how video is everywhere today? Most likely yes. Feeling as if your business needs to get deep into content marketing and video? You are not alone.
Many broadcast studios, including the likes of BBC and NBC and even bit players like Starhub, are all getting into content marketing with their own media services.
While this may seem like a threat to agencies, the reality is that these broadcasters are just affirming that agencies are already in the right direction – video content and digital marketing.
The existential conundrum
The broadcasters and media companies cannot simply stop being media altogether, and be digital agencies completely. This would immediately reduce their credibility footprint to zero, and their worth will be a lot less than if they are still media companies. So media companies will in essence, need to remain as such for the long haul, rather than becoming pure-play digital agencies.
The pie is big enough for everyone, agencies and broadcasters alike. After all, broadcasters are going after the big fishes with big budgets, and unless you have deep pockets and are willing to commit to not once, but the long haul, you will need to look for other providers anyway.
Go small and agile
So, what if you are one of the following and need to do video and digital content marketing?
- branch office of a multinational, with a finite budget,
- growing local or regional business,
- startup with a big dream.
As the Chinese saying goes, “羊毛出至羊身上” (loosely translated as “there is no free lunch”), so what you pay for has to be equitable to the operating costs of a business. A large business with hundreds and thousands of headcount, expensive big spaces and facilities, necessitates a high cost to customers. The converse is true.
That is where a small and agile agency can step in.
Whether you are a branch office of a big global business, a growing local or regional business, or a startup (less than 3 years in existence), your priority should be building your business, growing revenue and sales, and improving profits. Your priority would not be digging into the nitty-gritty and nuances of video projects and content marketing campaigns, which are expertise domains best delegated to agency partners.
So, for a finite budget, you would not be looking at producing those six-figure productions the broadcasters and big video production houses are interested in. In fact, you may not even have a mid five-figure budget for that.
What can you do, together with a creative and knowledgeable agency partner?
Video and digital – get real, think outcomes
The most effective digital and video campaigns need not be expensive. In fact, think like Facebook. Facebook wised up to the reality that its users are human beings, who will only relate and trust news and content that their relatives and friends shared. That is why Facebook removed the bias from publishers back to the hands of its end-users. While Facebook is still a business hungry after profits (which will come from companies and publishers), it needs to placate and pander to the needs of its end-users so that they will STAY on the platform and USE it often.
So, friends and families are more likely to share content that are:
None of these qualities need expensive or glitzy productions. In fact, those may come across as artificial and contrived, and certainly would not feel authentic.
So here are some possibilities that a branch office, a growing business, or a startup can look at in terms of video and digital content:
Facebook Live is in, and is not too difficult to do. You can use a smartphone, or a dedicated Facebook Live camera system. An small agile agency will very happily work with you, on budget, to stream to your audiences with little fuss. Although you can definitely go solo, a small and creative agency can lend a hand to script the production so that there is a logical storytelling flow that would engage and entice your audiences. And they can certainly provide the expertise and the livestreaming system.
Your agency can easily script an interview, whether conducted in a cosy office, or outdoors, or in some exotic location such as yachts, jet cockpits, and so on. The context and storyline are important, and a good agency can help your business engage your audience. The video can be a “celebrity interview” style video with one of your people, or an interactive interview style with two or more people in frame.
And yes, there are good and creative short videomercials that can be produced within a sensible budget. It takes a good storyline and script, a small crew and talents (actors/actresses), and a director. A good agency can provide all these and the camera and post-production as well. The sweet spot for a good and effective videomercial is short, measured in 5 to 30 seconds, and no more than a minute.
If you are slightly more ambitious, you can budget for and attempt to work with your agency to produce short films. No, not hour-long films, but short films of between 5 to 15 minutes in length. One of the most powerful video and digital content are short films, great for consumers to watch during commutes on trains, buses, cabs and such, and during short lunch breaks. It is during such times that people are more focused on watching your content, and if your short film is good, you will be more likely to engage your consumers and convert from viewers to customers.
So, don’t feel left out of the video and digital content marketing game, just because you are a branch office, growing business, or a startup. Don’t be awed or sidelined, but seize every opportunity to find small, agile and beautiful ways to reach out to your audiences.
Think less about just being artsy and creative, but how your video and digital campaigns will convert viewers to paying customers. The bottomline is, really ALL about your bottomline.
Dr Seamus Phan is the Head of Content and CTO at McGallen & Bolden. He is an expert in branding, marketing, communication, leadership training, crisis management, and entrepreneurship. This article may appear concurrently on his blog. Connect on LinkedIn. ©1984-2018 Seamus Phan et al. All rights reserved.