6 Tips For Using Video to Tell Your Story

By Rachel Kerstetter, PR Engineer

Producing and using video content effectively has been a popular conversation topic around the Sonnhalter office. I had the opportunity to attend a presentation on storytelling with video by Chris Miller, director of the Akron Digital Media Center and editor of the Akronist.com.

I asked Chris if he would be willing to share some ways that video helps tell a story or some tips on using video, here’s what he said:

  1. Because we live in such a visual culture, video has become a crucial means to communicate a message.
  2. Make sure your video is short and to the point – under three minutes is ideal – and be sure to focus on your audience and your message.
  3. The more personal you can make your video, the more effectively it will reach your audience. We relate to personal stories about everyday people. Profile a client or end customer – tell their story in their own words.
  4. Keep mobile on your mind when creating your video. Many people may watch it using mobile devices. So, again, shorter is better. Also consider posting Vine and Instagram videos with succinct messages.
  5. A compelling story is much more important than technical aspects (like special effects). A well-told story will transcend a lack of resources.
  6. Use B-roll (supplementary footage that helps alleviate the “talking head” interviews) and plan out your video by listing shots and locations ahead of time. A little planning will save you a lot of time in the editing process.

About Chris:

Chris Miller is the director of the Akron Digital Media Center and Akronist.com, as well as a community investment officer at Akron Community Foundation. Chris has more than a decade of digital and print journalism experience

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Digital Media: Are You Using to Reach Your Industrial Customer?

As marketers in the industrial B-to-B space, I think we all recognize that our potential customers have several options beyond the traditional ones we’ve used for years. The challenge for us is to identify where they are getting their info and to make sure we’re there when they start looking. That means we need to embrace the digital world, and a recent study by IHS GlobalSpec shows that only about 35% of industrial marketers are satisfied with their online efforts.

IEEE GlobalSpec offers a white paper, Taking a Strategic Approach to Digital Media that gives you some guidelines and recommendations on developing a plan and monitoring results.

Some highlights that I found interesting were:

  • Almost half of the industrial professionals visit 10 or more work-related websites each week.
  • Top four resources for these professionals are search engines, online catalogs, supplier websites and GlobalSpec.
  • 56% of buyers don’t contact a vendor until the research phase is done, and 19% wait until they are ready to buy.

What does that mean to us who don’t want to miss these opportunities?

  1. It means that we need to identify the channels that our customers use to gather info. The best way to do that is ask them.
  2. Once you identify the channels, you need to develop content for the different stages in the buying process for your product.
  3. Implement and monitor a program. The beauty of digital is we can immediately get feedback on what’s working and what’s not.

Don’t let digital scare you. It’s just another way to communicate with customers. Don’t worry about reinventing the wheel on content. Chances are you already have great stuff, you just need to identify it and maybe change the approach of features/benefits on how your products can help customers with their issues.

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