Thought I would share this time lapse video I made last night with you, it’s 13 hours of the blizzard that dropped 30 inches of snow on the Bosto Metro area shrunken into less than two minutes.I am Spirocks on Twitter.
Its easy to say… you should do video for your business. Its harder to actually do it. I have had the pleasure of working with some business people in the past few years to actually make it happen for them, and for my own businesses like Sauce. So I thought it would be worthwhile to actually show you the types of video marketing that we are doing, and give you a chance to think about what kind might be a match for you.
Sauce Super Bowl Video
This is an example of how you can use video to start a conversation, we put it right on our website’s front page this week, and have shared it through our social media channels as well. Its fun and not supposed to be a hollywood blockbuster. Video is a threshold breaker, it is an investment of time and creativity that the vast majority of business people wont make. How many wing places in the state of Massachusetts made a video marketing their their super bowl catering? I would venture to say one.
Century 21 McLennan and Company
This is an example of video marketing that educates the consumer, it is intended to demonstrate the knowledge and partnerships of one of the Merrimack Valley’s most successful real estate brokers, Matt Mclennan. His investment in video and online marketing have set him even further apart from his competitors. Those who hire him to sell their home or help them buy one, know at once that he will leverage both modern and traditional media to sell their home. Hell he sold mine and got one of the highest per square foot prices for any home sold in my town in 2012. Oh and he did it in one month… These videos are an opportunity for Matt to shed light on his company and his knowledge of how to get deals done. Examples are his video series on Short Sales where he and his short sale specialist discuss the various short sale specifics, to his current series on mortgage questions with a mortgage broker he works with (above), Matt uses video to both spotlight his properties and also educate the public. He is a front runner in our market on many levels and his use of video is definitely one of them.
J Borstell Property Video
Jeff Borstell is a Real Estate Advisor from J Borstell Real Estate in Tewksbury, they are a multi-generational brokerage that not only sells homes, but also helps builders find property to flip. Jeff has begun using video to document the process as he finds the properties and sees them through to completion. The video above highlights one of his current projects and as you can see he uses the medium to virtually show the property. Much as he would in person, but in this way he is able to immediately vet out if a home is a potential fit for a buyer, and also reach buyers that he may not otherwise.
Video marketing is daunting to start, you have to be on camera in most cases, and in the end it is all about whether you are comfortable enough to stand out from the crowd. If you want to discuss any of the above with me, just let me know. @spirocks on Twitter or:
Video represents the holy grail of online marketing, its ability to communicate with viewers trumps all other forms of online marketing.
Why is that?
Well if you were marketing your Real Estate Company for instance it would give you the ability to all at once show your personality, your expertise, as well as the unadulterated view of the homes you are selling with people in them. It demonstrates and explains so much more than can be read or spoken in that amount of time.
Why is time so important?
Time matters for a crucial reason which is that your audience will only give you a tiny bit before they move on. So if you spend 15 seconds explaining your knowledge of the industry, that is all you will get and you won’t have the chance to talk about what you are selling whether it is a home, a 45 day dry aged rib-eye, or anything for that matter.
Video allows you to address time in two important ways.
First it allows you to make the most of the time a viewer is watching, the visuals aid in telling a story that doesn’t need to be spoken or read. Secondly video stretches the time you have with your audience, studies have shown that more than 3 out of 5 said they would watch videos for at least 2 minutes. That is an incredible amount of face time in today’s 140 character message world.
A real estate agent might garner two minutes or more of face time with prospective clients by creating informative videos answering common questions about the market. Like this one: Matt Mclennan
Which may get you results like this:
@spirocks videos shot at N And great kitchen and Haverhill beautiful condo- BOTH sold this morning- winning
— Matt McLennan (@C21Mclennan) January 5, 2013
Time also matters if you are paying for your marketing to be distributed, for instance if you are deciding between a direct mail campaign or a television spot on local cable, how much are you spending and how much of a message are you communicating? If you do direct mail you can cram as much info as you can onto a over sized postcard for a relatively affordable amount. I did that for my wing joint Sauce, and found that I could get a few pictures on the mailing side and the whole menu on the face of the card. But it left a lot of questions unanswered and we got the phone calls to prove it. Recently one of my clients decided that his money was best invested in a short TV commercial on local television. I am currently editing a 15 second spot for his store which will be able to convey so much information that we would have been unable to otherwise. Like they say a picture is worth a thousand words and a video may be worth 10,000.
When that video is finished I will link to it here as well.
Video is the best medium for dealing with the two biggest issues that time presents, attention span and cost.
Let me know if you have questions how video can integrate into your small business marketing plan.
Let’s talk about best case scenarios when it comes to your advertising or marketing materials. In the best case they will inspire an emotional connection between the audience and the product or service you are selling. That connection is one that will lead the audience to be motivated to choose your product from the sea of competitors, to do so with more loyalty, and to feel good while they are doing it.
So how do you make that happen? I will explain the technical theory and origin of Identifiaction as a persuasion tool later… but first lets examine a current example. Johnson and Johnson is well known for selling many things including baby products like baby lotion, oil, shampoos… and so on. Their products are ubiquitous and well respected. In a currently running ad they have a baby ‘talking’ to his mother, in a reassuring way. As you watch it pay attention to the intended emotional connection building between the ad and new (or expecting) mothers.
As Kenneth Burke’s theories explained in his epic book: A Rhetoric of Motives this emotional connection is vital to persuasion and can be thought of as identification as follows:
Burke suggests that whenever someone attempts to persuade someone else, identification occurs, because for persuasion to occur, one party must “identify” with another. That is, the one who becomes persuaded sees that one party is like another in some way.
“We need never deny the presence of strife, enmity, factions, as a characteristic motive of rhetorical expression. We need not close our eyes to their almost tyranneous ubiquity in human relations; we can be on the alert always to see how such temptations to strife are implicit in the institutions that condition human relationships; yet we can at the same time always look beyond this order, to the principle of identification in general, a terministic choice justified by the facts that the identifications in the order of love are also characteristic of rhetorical expression.”
It is clear that mothers have much in common with other mothers and that Johnson and Johnson believes that the unspoken dialogue between mother and infant is something that women will relate to, identify with, and the ensuing positive feelings will benefit the brand when purchasing decisions are made.
How are your marketing efforts creating emotional connections with their audience?
One way to start is to simplify your message, and focus on the auxiliary benefits your products create. The emotional connection won’t come from the facts and specifications, at least for most people. Johnson and Johnson never once mentioned how clean your baby would be with their soap. Its not the message they are going for. Simply: baby talks to mom and tells her she is doing great.
Done. Emotional Connection undoubtable.
Want to chat about some ideas like this for your business? Hit me up on twitter @spirocks or lets grab a coffee, I love them almost as much as burgers.I am Spirocks on Twitter.
Fusing your online and offline business communications is Essential to maximizing the results of your marketing strategy.
When you are marketing your business these days, it is easy to get caught up in your online efforts and think of them as their own entity separate from any print, direct mail, in house, or broadcast marketing you may also be doing. That just isn’t going to get the same results for your brands as if you integrate on and offline marketing efforts.
If you are able to do that you will be pulling together the two in a way that benefits your brands, the response rate to your marketing, and the results that you seek.
In the grand scheme of things you have a ton to do, but if you are investing time and dollars into marketing at all, you should make the over riding theme be clear, and be sure your brands speak to their audience in the same way on and offline. It is a simple yet elusive task. There are three key points to consider when aligning your marketing strategy:
The visual design of your website, email marketing messages, and social network images should be congruous with your menu, in store graphics, direct mail, and print ad graphical designs. Both online and offline marketing materials are visual mediums whose success may be determined by the initial (before reading) response an audience member has to the imagery contained. That imagery can be a reminder to someone aware of your company, it can create interest in someone who is just now being introduced to your brands, and it can bridge the mental gap between the time they saw a post from your facebook page shared by a friend to the direct mail piece they just found in their mailbox.
Images are some of the most powerful tools in marketing and they should work together stylistically where-ever you use them.
Your brands speak to their audience in many ways, one of the most powerful is through its language. It can communicate the style of your restaurant very effectively by choosing its linguistic voice. Once that voice is established it is important that consistency is maintained and nurtured in each of your marketing efforts. Whether you portray a playful vibe or a serious one, the style should work together across each message. Your brand should understand its target audience and craft messages in a voice to speak to them. This is one of the essential parts of your marketing strategy that too many companies overlook.
Your brand makes an offer to your customers every time there is an interaction, being in business is making an offer. Know that, remember that, and do that in a way that leverages the medium of choice effectively. Your audience may be divided, with some seeing your communications online and some seeing them in print. Do your offers transcend these boundaries too? If not you are effectively reducing the chances your offers can help you increase sales and convert casual members of your community into devoted customers. Online you may use coupon codes to match the coupons you mail to people with direct mail, you also make an offer without offering a discount and that is important. Sharing picture of your food online should be matched in your offline efforts as well.
If you simply share a picture of an amazing burger, that is making an offer. When I see a picture like that I want to eat that burger… so would a lot of others.
Lets focus on the overall message style more in our marketing strategy:
Takeaway from this a renewed effort to bridge mediums, and self evaluate the way you communicate today. The medium should not dictate the message, it may adapt it, but the medium always transmits the message.
What ways do you integrate offline and online marketing?
I am working with my clients this month explaining ways that they can do this with their companies marketing messages and I cant wait to help them do it. If I can help you feel free to ask.I am Spirocks on Twitter.
How a great opportunity is wasted by lazy execution.
Chopped Champions, a show of the Chefs who are ‘Chopped winners’ from previous episodes competing for bigger prizes is kind of addicting. At least to me and my wife. We watch it on demand via Comcast (Our Mayor doesn’t let Verizon Compete in Boston) and Food Network clearly drops the ball with the commercials they run, and how they run them.
Before, during, and after each episode there are numerous commercial breaks, and they play a grand total of 2 different commercials. The first is for Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives with Guy Fieri dropping his classic lines and seeing how far he can stretch a mozzarella stick (seriously). They play that one about 4 times an episodes. The other one is for Cupcake Wars, which features unknown hosts and contestants spurting out lines like: “It’s a war… a cupcake war” they play that one the other four commercial breaks. It is painful to watch and so repetitive it comes across as lazy.
By the time you watch a few episodes of Chopped Champions, you never want to see DDD or Cupcake Wars… how is this helping?I am Spirocks on Twitter.
It happens all the time, someone points out a problem. Most of the time it is an employee, someone who is paid to be at your business. They have a front row seat after all, nobody is more aware of the intricacies of your business than a full time employee. Out of nowhere they will let you know that one of the AC vents in the dining room is dripping on a table, that the beer delivery guy came and left because the driveway was blocked, or that a cook was wasted last night and is trying to get his shift covered…
Problem delivery is not an Issue.
Most of the time the employee who is delivering believes they are doing you a service, that they are clearly better than the other employees because they are delivering the problem to you not creating it. They are right about that. They are better, but are they significantly more valuable? To me true value in a business organization comes from somewhere else.
Value is derived from problem solving.
A standout employee delivers solutions to problems you may not know existed, and when that is not possible a standout employee finds solutions to problems you can identify but dont have the time to tackle. A business owner does this by nature, they see a market and construct a business to satisfy it. They have no one to pass the buck to so they find a solution to every problem or it goes unsolved. A business owner teaches himself how to do things he does not know, there is not always someone to tell him what he should to do in every situation.
You enter the Cult of Solving When You Put Your Ass on the Line
If you are an employee today, you can cut your teeth for future business ventures by finding solutions to the problems that your company faces. Be the defacto leader your co-workers may need. That does not mean just finding someone to buy something from, money matters, and if you solve a problem and your company makes less money… you created a bigger problem. When you own a business your ass is on the line, its not a job, its your investment and your name, its your chance to make it or break it… when in those shoes you are consumed with solving issues that others only choose to point out.
You are not Born with it.
A business owner is not better, smarter, or somehow otherwise more gifted than an employee… he/she is someone who is dedicated to solving problems others feel are too complicated or time consuming, and he is the one that will benefit when they are solved.
A good business owner will reward an employee who takes steps to solve problems in the best interest of the business. Make sure you are doing that, and putting your best people in the position to either show you they can or can’t take that step.I am Spirocks on Twitter.