Video blogging: Add uumph to your content marketing strategy

When copywriting isn’t enough to jumpstart your marketing

It might surprise you to know that not all content needs to be written. In fact, a Nielsonwire’s Global Report notes that watching video content on computers is just as common as watching video content on television. And mobile video consumption growth is biting at computer consumption’s heels.

Think about it. After a long day in the office, staring at mountains of text-driven documents, you open your Google Reader and have a choice between visually stimulating videos and photos or more text. Add a bustling subway ride and the choice is clear. Video wins. Entertain me. Don’t make me work for this.

Video-driven content marketing, though lacking the ever-important keywords, gives you an opportunity to tell your story. And though Google swears it doesn’t give ranking preference to video content on say, You Tube, my experience has been that it kinda does.

Types of video content

Your video, like your blog, can cover different territory. Changing it up keeps your content interesting and allows you to be creative, straightforward or business-like.

Emotional video content

Emotional video content focuses on experience. What experience does your product or service promise? This goes beyond peace of mind. Think lifestyle. What might your client be doing instead of worrying about not having your widget? How will their life be better. Show this story using texture rich images. Here is an example of a low-budget but very effective emotionally-rich video by Cyclopedia of Redding:

Interview video content

Interview video content can be one-sided or two. For a one-sided interview, activate your laptop or iPhone video and start talking. Do check your lighting and background image but don’t worry so much about it being professional grade filming. Just talk. Tell why you do what you do. Be human. Here is one of my earliest and most popular video offerings.

Testimonial video content

Similar to interview content, ask your happy clients if they would be willing to let you film them using your product. Intersperse clips of them telling why they made the decision to go with your company–what did they get with you over your competition, how did you solve their problems?

Here is a great example of a testimonial video for a local high school:

The Shasta Experience by Carson Schmeck


Disclaimer: The videographer for The Shasta Experience was my son, Carson, who is available for video projects. Contact him at CS Photography.


Instructional video content

How-to video content can be one of your most valuable tools. If your product isn’t tangible, consider how you might show your steps using PDF screen shots. Or, simply make your video using Prezi, a free presentation tool.

Variety is the spice of life. Give your readers some visual delight. They’ll thank you for it and you might just find your video posts, because they are so engaging, inviting, humorous, relevant or interesting, go viral.

What do you think? How might you use video blogging to enhance your content strategy?

Wordle for SEO and Content Variety

Now that you’ve got your web pages optimized with keyword phrases and engaging content, have some fun adding variety. This Wordle tool is a great way to test whether you are using enough descriptive and SEO rich words on your website. Does your Wordle communicate what you do and the values you most want to communicate?

You might find your Wordle is cool enough to use as a graphic for additional collateral (brochures, business card, email signature).

Check out the Wordle website and they’ll walk you through a few very simple steps to get yours. Once it is created, you have options to change the size, shape and color. Here is Bizziwriter Copywriter’s message in a Wordle:

Let’s see your Wordle! Please share it with me.

Writing, Branding & Content Marketing: Blogs Worth Your Time

There are zillions of bloggers. Not all bloggers are focused and informative. Even when they are, only a handful write well enough to deliver their blogs in a form worth reading.

These blogs passed muster this week for me:iStock_000009604087XSmall

Writing Blind: How Blind People Manage to Write, a guest post by Maribel Steel on Robert Brewer’s My Name is Not Bob blog. Talk about inspiring. This woman talks about how she has tackled an industry that would seem to rely heavily on our sight. Instead of letting that scare her away, she found tools to help. We could all learn a little lesson here.

Why Consumers Dislike Corporate Brands that Get Too Familiar I don’t like it when a clerk calls me “Hon.” I’m not their “hon”– I’m a customer. But when my husband calls me Babe, I’m fine with it. Why? My husband has earned the right. Apparently, consumers feel the same about corporate messages that use too familiar terms. Find out if your company is making this off-putting blunder.

3 Components of a Content Marketing Calendar that Works by Copyblogger. Content marketing seems to have been the buzz topic of the week. If we had a pyramid of content, this one would be hanging out on top.

Persuade with Silky Smooth Copy by Neuromarketing. Tactile rich words make more of an impact on your readers. Instead of merely processing words, they’ll experience texture. Who knew?

How to Build a Reputation as an Expert with Content Marketing by Small Business Branding. Copyblogger posted about content marketing. I posted about content marketing. And so did this blog. Each one has a slightly different angle. All worth browsing.

Happy Memorial Day weekend. Hope you abandon your electronics for the weekend and have some fun.

Writers Who Rock: Best of the Blogathon

Someone told me this is Memorial Day weekend. What? So soon?Daily blogging ending soon

This weekend also brings an end to my Blogathon 2012 Best of the Blogathon 2012 roundups. You might be glad. You might be sad.

I hope you, like me, have learned something and subscribed to a few of these outstanding blogs on your Google Reader.

Here are my choices from this week:

Hands Off Your Cell! by the Gadget Girl. This lighthearted entry offers tips on how to game-fully leave those phones at the door (literally). This seemed especially appropriate since I joined the smart phone ranks just this week.

Business Writing Elmore Leonard Style at Write Better Faster. I love practical. And practical is what you get with these wisdom gems from Jodi Torpey’s fortuitous meeting with a best-selling author.

How to Brand Content on a Budget by Sara Lancaster at No. 2 Pencil. Sara offers consistently great advice for small businesses. Branding is such a soon-to-be-overused buzz word/concept right now, don’t you want to join the bandwagon, too?

The Cheesiest Jingle and Cutest Monkey Writers Ever. Because she made me laugh so hard, Sara Lancaster made my list twice this week. But please, swallow your coffee before watching her video or it’ll be coming out of your nose.

5 Newbie Mistakes I’d Avoid if I Started Blogging Today… by Michelle Rafter. Wednesday was our If I started blogging today theme day and, of course, when experts speak, it is wise to listen. Considering Michelle is our Blogathon Mama, though she has never claimed to be the expert, she does have the chops to prove she knows what she is talking about. Worth reading, for sure.

That’s it. Have a great weekend. Let me know what you think of these in the comments below.

Content Marketing. What it is and What it Isn’t

You’ve probably heard the term content marketing thrown around. But what is it exactly?

Old school marketing relied on outbound strategies. We put our messages out there via billboards, newspapers, television ads and direct mail letters and postcards. Our hope was that if we got our message in front of enough people, we could entice a response from some.

Inbound marketing for the birds

Content marketing defined

"This feeder has top-notch content."

New marketing relies on inbound strategies. Think of inbound and content marketing as a hummingbird feeder where sweet smelling nectar draws prospects in. The feeder offers free tastes of your offerings and birds can decide to hang around or move on. You refill your feeder daily or weekly and offer different nectars each time. Your consistency and ability to feed their needs trains the birds to come to your when they are really hungry. They know you’ll deliver.

Your feeder is your content. A content marketing strategy offers relevant and educational…er…content that, if valuable enough, will move readers to want more. They will come to know you as an expert in your field–a helpful one, at that.

But I’m giving free stuff!

Yes you are. Ever hovered around a Costco lady waiting for your bite-sized sample of Dubliner cheese or Orange Chicken? How many times have you then tossed the box of whatever into your cart? Sampling works. Inbound marketing is all about give and you shall receive.

Focused and targeted engagement

Inbound marketing has evolved largely due to social media and automated tools such as Mail Chimp and Evernote. With Mail Chimp, for instance, you can automate newsletters, emails and curate your RSS feed at regular intervals. The program merges your contact list with your content and off it goes, implementing your inbound marketing program behind the scenes.

The beauty of Mail Chimp is that you can customize content to different groups. For instance, your messages will be slightly different for prospects and current customers. With the former, you’ll want to offer more informational content that gently reminds readers of their pains and ways to solve them. With current customers, your focus may be on alerting them to trends and value-added features of your service.

In other words, you can engage readers where they are in the sales process.

Content Marketing vehicle options

Blogging is probably the most important vehicle for offering content. For one thing, it is as immediate as you need it to be. Editorial calendars allow you to plan future blog entries but you can post your entry as soon as you press Publish. This morning’s industry breakthrough can be news on your blog to your followers by this afternoon.

Email letters can be curations (listing all your blog posts from the week or month) or custom built. Use custom emails to announce a new product, but don’t just push the product, write a newsy piece showing why you developed it and who needed it. Add quotes from your CEO or, even better, an early user. Make it a conversation, not a sales pitch.

Newsletters are a holdout from outbound marketing but they still work as long as they aren’t loosely disguised “we’re so awesome” regals. Give readers something they can really use–even without you or your product.

Facebook, Twitter, Linked In and the rest of social media outlets allow you immediate opportunities to be human. Offer content by sharing links to relevant videos, articles and interesting news bits. Scatter your own comments in between–projects you are working on or excited about, photos of happy customers using your product or simple questions and polls.

The oh-so-magical secret ingredient

All of this activity is nothing if you’ve got no way to seal the deal. Calls to action are your doorbells. No doorbell, no permanent visitor. Be sure you’ve got a contact form, a phone number, a link to your Facebook page…something and some way a reader could, if inclined, find you.

To learn more about content marketing and how a strategy might help your business, contact the Bizziwriter at 530.638.3580.