Video is arguably one of the most powerful and effective tools there is for conveying a message and engaging with an audience. And, more than ever, smart organizations are using video to expand and improve their marketing efforts and to elevate their brands.
Paul Gannon, founder and CEO of Thoughtcast Media, a digital marketing agency specializing in video content marketing, has over three decades of experience working with associations and non-profits. He is a marketing expert who helps organizations effectively use video as a medium for content marketing and to attract and convert prospective learners and customers – this also happens to be the topic of a session he will be facilitating at our upcoming virtual event, Learning • Technology • Design™ (LTD).
In this episode of the Leading Learning podcast, Jeff talks with Paul about why video is so powerful, what organizations need to consider when developing a video strategy, and tips and insights on how to get started using them.
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[00:20] – Thank you to YourMembership, sponsor of the Leading Learning podcast for the first quarter of 2017. YourMembership’s learning management system (LMS) is specifically designed for professional education with a highly flexible and intuitive system that customizes the learning experience. YourMembership’s LMS seamlessly integrates with key systems to manage all of your educational content formats in one central location while providing powerful tools to create and deliver assessments, evaluations and learning communities.
[1:13] – Are you a serious learning business professional committed to investing in my own professional growth and improvement? If so, then we hope you can join us for Learning • Technology • Design™ (LTD), our upcoming virtual conference created specifically for professionals in the business of continuing education and professional development. The event will take place March 1-3, 2017 and you can access recordings of sessions after that until May.
[01:44] – Highlighted Resource of the Week – Since this episode is focused on marketing, we decided to highlight our Market Insight Matrix – a matrix that guides you through 3 stages of assessing your market: idea generation, idea verification, and idea testing with specific activities in each of those stages. It’s basically a tactical map for staying on top of your market needs, not just at one point in time, but over time.
[02:40] – A preview of what will be covered in this podcast where Jeff interviews Paul Gannon, founder and CEO of Thoughtcast Media. It is also noted that Paul will be a speaker-facilitator at our upcoming Learning • Technology • Design™ (LTD) virtual conference where he will talk about how to use video to attract and convert prospective learners.
[04:22] – Introduction to Paul and some background information about who he is and what compelled him to start a video company. Paul shares he has spent his entire career working with associations and non-profits, half of it working within those organizations, and the other half marketing to them. He describes himself as a marketing guy, not a video guy, who uses videos for marketing purposes.
[06:32] – There is certainly a lot of buzz about video right now and it seems like that is always a reason to be a bit wary. What can organizations take advantage of and what do they need to watch out for as they are considering a video strategy? Paul explains that you can’t find a bad thing to be said about video and he is doubtful that this is going to change. There are a variety of marketing and even societal reasons that support the continued use of video. As far as what to watch out for, Paul says you can’t do video for video’s sake or because it’s cool – you really have to look hard at how video is going to (or not going to) help you with your marketing efforts. People become fascinated with the production values around video but you have really have to consider is whether it’s actually going to work for you/if it’s the best use of your money. Oftentimes, he says you can make 10 smaller videos for the same price as one longer video and get 10 times the SEO (search engine optimization). He emphasizes that you need to focus your attention on the marketing value that the video will deliver to you and make sure to apply the standard practices of marketing.
[09:24] – We’ll be publishing an interview with Robert Cialdini, in a couple of weeks and I noticed that on your blog there is a post about the “undeniable power of social proof” – one of the key concepts from his classic book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. What’s your perspective on why video works so well as a way of establishing social proof? And how do you define social proof? Paul defines social proof as, taking the cues from a broader group of people/community who are weighing in, either positively or negatively, on a product, service, or idea. Paul talks about what an incredibly rich medium that video is and why and shares a couple examples to highlight this. He also explains that we now live in a “post-truth” era and video is as a way of restoring trust because it’s very revealing, transparent, and honest.
[13:32] – Paul shares three tips on what organizations can do to be as effective as possible using video including:
- Making sure the videos are a part of your content strategy – you have to get beyond the idea of shooting one big video. Start thinking in terms of smaller, bite-size video because it’s about repetition and targeting (you can get more value out of 10 shorter videos than one long one).
- Establish production value standard for your video – cover the basics and be clear and concise but in terms of the look and feel of it, make sure there is enough value that people stay engaged and that it looks like it’s part of your brand. See what you can afford and look at how other companies like yours are supporting their brand with video—and don’t spend any more than you have to.
- Consider exploring social video because the production values are low.
[17:39] – How is social video different than putting something up on YouTube, for example? Paul talks about Facebook Live and how Facebook is really interested in getting people to use video because they know it’s an incredibly engaging medium and they want people to do it. This is great for individuals but also for brands because you have access to an incredibly wide social network and you can do basic stuff and it’s very inexpensive to produce. It also changes the equation on whether you should do something for video and he shares an example of this.
[19:38] – A discussion about how anytime you’re shooting a video, there should be a goal and that all of the rules of content marketing apply to it. Paul adds that videos are good for SEO because search engines love video – but this only works if you follow the basic rules of marketing. He shares some quick SEO tricks and ways to maximize the value of the content including: having your key words in place, making sure you hit on those key words, and providing transcripts of the video.
[21:25] – In general, how do you see video balancing/coordinating with the various components of marketing that organizations tend to use? What’s your experience with the relationship between video and email marketing or other types of marketing practices? Paul says that emails containing videos definitely get more clicks and that the conversion rates tend to be better, both within email and on landing pages. He points out that video allows you to do more including getting better analytics (because you can actually see exactly what people have watched) and being able to use turnstiles (for example, stopping a video until an email address is provided). The other great value of videos is they are versatile and can easily be repurposed.
[24:48] – How do you go about engaging in learning on a day-to-day basis? What are some of your practices and tools to keep you on the top of your game? Paul describes himself as an “experience junkie” and admits his learning challenge is to narrow his focus. He tries to keep a journal of the things he’s learned and he reads as well as finds people that can steer him in the right direction.
[27:04] – How to connect with Paul:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ThoughtcastMedia/– and be sure to check out Thoughtcast Thursdays on Facebook to get an idea of the production values they are working with and to learn tips.
[28:06] – Wrap Up
Thanks again to YourMembership for being the sponsor for this quarter of the Leading Learning podcast.
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[29:58] – Sign off
P.S. – See also: