When Video & Written Content Intertwine [Interview]
Robb Crocker from Funnelbox tells us about upcoming trends in video marketing, how to include it in your content strategy and more in this exclusive interview.
While attention spans are dwindling -- and content production on the Internet is increasing -- many marketers are turning to video to promote their brand. For some marketers who are focused on content, video is a foreign land -- for others, it's a gold mine. Enter Funnelbox, a Portland-based video production company who's experienced the recent surge in video marketing firsthand. Here Robb Crocker, CEO and founder, tells us what to expect for video and content marketers in the future.
Scripted: Tell us a little bit about Funnelbox and who is leveraging video in their content strategies these days?
Robb: In the past five years we've seen a massive shift --90 percent of what we produce is for online viewing. We've really had to rethink not only what we produce, but also how we produce it.
In addition to production, we're focusing more on the strategy -- making sure that what we produce is aligned with our client's strategies and desires. On the back end, we're making sure that what we produce for our clients is then utilized properly to maximize their content reach and engagement.
In the past we've created great videos, handed them over to our clients, they'd throw it up on YouTube and then wonder: "Why aren't we getting millions of views?" Ultimately, it was because they didn't know how to properly use the incredibly powerful marketing tool that we had provided to them. Now we work more closely with our clients to bake that strategy into our conversations as we work together to craft their video campaigns.
The bulk of our clients are corporate -- like Nike, HP, Microsoft, and Adidas. Large companies that have a presence here in the Northwest. But we do business with mid-sized companies too.
Scripted: What's the most important part of your content strategy and how has that changed?
Robb: The most important part of any content strategy is to use insights to identify what content will provide value to our client's audiences, and then allowing that discovery to inform the content production process. There is a sea of content out there and it's important to stand out from that crowd. You do this by becoming useful and adding value to people's lives. People are looking for thought leaders that can help them create content that engages an audience emotionally, and tells an authentic story. That's why we're here - to help identify, create and amplify content that's totally aligned with that brand's storytelling.
This has changed over the years from a client simply creating a video with a "spray and pray" approach. "Spray and pray" is a term for pushing a marketing message out to the widest audience possible, then praying someone comes back to engage. Now, we use insights to predict exactly what content to produce that's useful and valuable to target audience, which attracts a lot more qualified inbound visitors through things like organic search.
That's what we're currently focused on doing. Sharing our expertise and experience with people and organizations so they can engage their audience and capture hearts and minds through video. Ultimately, if they need a more active partner in that process, they'll look to us for help.
Scripted: How do video and brand content go together?
Robb: When you marry video and written content it can help drive traffic. For instance, written content can reinforce the story within a video, but it also serves an important purpose by helping to make that video more searchable, which helps to drive organic search rankings and engagement across device types and social sharing platforms.
Scripted: What are the three key things that content creators need to know about video content strategy?
Robb: There's a saying: "No deposit no return." If you don't invest time and resources upfront to do it right, you're not going to get stellar results. Make sure you're developing your video content strategy to align with the DNA of your brand. It's also crucial to identify early what your audience wants to hear from you. Use insights from search and social sites to find out what questions your prospective customers are asking so you can be there to help them find the answers.
Two, Nothing communicates emotion like video. People buy with emotion and justify with logic. Video works best not when communicating facts and figures, but when you're communicating a message with emotion.
Third, the quality of your video is a direct reflection of you and your organization. If you have an amazing website, amazing collateral and your video looks like crap... you're leaving to chance which brand message they're going to believe.
Scripted: What trends are you seeing rise in regards to video?
Robb: It's kind of the Wild West right now. You have a lot of brands investing time and resources into creating video very purposely. There are a lot of people talking about viral videos, and how to create them. Look at a big hit like the Dollar Shave Club. For every Dollar Shave Club success, there are probably a thousand people that try something fun and clever, but never get past a few hundred views.
People are learning that creating video without a plan isn't the answer. They need to be strategic about the messages they want to communicate, and understand how video plays a role.
Scripted: Finally, what advice would you offer businesses that are beginning to launch their own content initiatives?
Robb: First, don't reinvent the wheel. Use best practices. Learn from others who have been successful, as well as those who have made mistakes. I've heard before, that in business, you can be a painkiller, candy or a vitamin. In marketing it's the same way.
A painkiller like morphine is a quick fix. But it can often have nasty side effects. It might drive some quick inbound traffic, but it usually doesn't last. Candy, like a clever viral video, might taste good. It might make you feel good, and give people a good chuckle, but it's not going to alleviate any of that marketing pain that you have. Vitamins, like a long-term content strategy, don't taste good, and usually won't make an immediate impact. But if we take them consistently, we'll be much healthier in the end. We'll outlive our competition. That's how we're looking at a content market strategy.
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