A Resolution for 2022: Whip Your Marketing into Shape!
It seems to be human nature to fall into routines, not just in our personal lives, but in our work lives too.
So it’s easy to understand how many small businesses will head into a new year with the same basic marketing gameplans as the year before, using the familiar strategies and tools that have gotten them this far.
Now imagine the sound of a football coach loudly blowing a whistle at practice.
OK, team, that whistle is our wake-up call to push ourselves a bit more — and take our marketing game to the next level in 2022.
Video is the way to do that. Think of it as the marketing cardio boost you’ll wonder how you ever lived without.
Sure, adding another exercise into your regimen takes discipline and planning. And it may cause a few sore muscles as you stretch yourself in new ways.
But when done over time, and with the help of a professional “trainer” to keep you on track, video will help you methodically build your brand and keep you competitive in an environment that increasingly demands it.
Energy drink maker Red Bull has been one of the pioneers and leaders in the use of video for years, leading the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) to call Red Bull the poster child of content marketing.
Video has become so synonymous with the company’s identity and success that it actually launched Red Bull TV, a global media company with expansive streaming content that promises to entertain viewers for “five minutes or five hours … Anytime. Anywhere.”
The company achieved this success in video, according to former executive Christie Poulos, by focusing on what was important to the audience.
“They target people through their passions, whether it’s music or sport or culture. These areas have rules. They have stories. They have styles,” Poulos told CMI. “And Red Bull pays a huge amount of respect to those scenes and those audiences. And they don’t treat them like demographics.”
The approach has allowed various consumer groups such as BMX bike enthusiasts to see Red Bull as creating new things, facilitating collaboration, and “adding into these scenes rather than just taking out,” she said.
There are a number of lessons here for small businesses just getting started in video:
- Understand your target audience, not just the attributes that describe them, but their style, their culture and the things they love.
- Video isn’t a one-off tactic. Be consistent. As Twenty Over Ten’s Katrina Herrera has written, “Remember that building a consistent stream of video content is a marathon, not a sprint.”
- Give the audience something of value by teaching them. Make the lesson relevant to today.
- It’s ok to have fun too. This leads customers to engage with you in a more authentic and loyal way.
- Focus on stories, not sales.
- Have one big idea in mind as a framework for each video.
Turning to the mechanics of video, it’s time to take things seriously.
First up: Find a video content partner and get on a retainer to develop monthly content.
New video content needs to be created over time. This requires planning, and a thoughtful monthly plan built around your marketing needs — with the help of a video partner — will add a layer of accountability to be sure the work gets done.
And when you have an ongoing relationship with a video production partner, you’ll be given preferential access to resources in those times when pop-up content is needed on short notice.
With a partner and plan in place, you can focus on the quality of your content, which is critical because potential customers are more likely to retain higher quality content. To be creative and add value, you’ll need to set aside time for thinking and brainstorming.
Especially when starting out, keep your video content length short, and don’t forget to ask for something such as social media shares or phone calls for additional information.
You’ll also want to make sure your branding is included on all your video content.
Once you’ve generated some good videos, you can start distributing them via your website, YouTube, Facebook and other social platforms.
You don’t have to be everywhere to start. The important thing is to start somewhere and build from there. This should be part of the monthly plan you develop with your video content partner.
Small businesses may not have the video resources to match corporate giants like Red Bull, and you may never launch [Your Company Name] TV or have in-house video production.
However, there is a very attainable path for getting started. And as you commit time and resources to this highly impactful new “exercise,” you’re likely to find your marketing efforts whipped into shape for a stronger and healthier bottom line in 2022.
Brad Burrow is co-publisher of Thinking Bigger and founder of Real Media, a video, VFX and design firm in Overland Park, Kan.