We’re back with another interview segment with Kurt Schneid from Brand Ready Media. Today we’re talking about selfie videos. Do they have a place in a B2B video marketing strategy? Kurt’s insights are thoughtful, and anyone considering video should keep his words in mind
Here’s the episode:
Ruth: So I spend a lot of time on LinkedIn and I see a lot of car videos. Those car selfie videos where somebody has gotten to work and they had an idea on the way. God forbid they’re driving and recording at the same time, but let’s just assume they got to work, they parked, and they recorded themselves. I feel like your marketing strategy could certainly have a place for those videos.
I’m very interested in hearing your take on car selfie videos, as a professional executive producer. I’d also love it if you could offer some advice on how we might be able to dress them up, so they’re not just you talking head in a car.
Kurt: I love the selfie video! I’ve always been a proponent of it. I have received an incredible amount of criticism, as an executive producer. People oftentimes tell me, “Why are you making selfie videos? Why don’t you make a professional video?” But there’s a place for it.
I certainly don’t believe that you’d want to shoot your branding video on your phone, but there is a place: when you’ve just arrived somewhere, when you have a thought, when you want to check in with your tribe. It’s a more personal, authentic way of communicating.
Now, people are trying to use it [selfie videos] as a marketing tool, and I get that, but it all comes back to what your brand stands for. If your brand is a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants type, and you feel comfortable enough just doing a selfie video without thinking it out, without dressing it up, and without putting on a good presentation, then that’s what you’re telling your clientele. I’m a business-to-business guy.
Yes, I’m comfortable in sweatshirts and ball caps. I sit around and watch the game with my buddies, but when I go out to a business meeting, I put on a suit of clothes, not because I really want to wear a suit of clothes, but because that’s the standard in business.We want to present ourselves well: we cut our hair, we put on makeup, we dress professionally, etc.
Stay True to Your Brand in Your Video Marketing
It’s about putting your best foot forward. You want your business to succeed. You want people to know, like, and trust you. Yes, you want to be authentic, but that doesn’t mean you roll out of bed and you don’t brush your teeth before you come in. No, that’s not what that is.
So it comes down to brand. What does your brand stand for? What does your brand look like? Does it have a particular sound or tone? You want to make sure, as a businessperson, that you utilize these tools properly in the strategy to achieve your goals. We have lots of different products and they’re set up at different price points.
Oftentimes, people come to us with an idea in their mind and say, “This is what I want.” Okay, so that’s going to cost this much. They say, “Well, I saw you have this other product, which costs half of this. Let’s just do this for that.” It doesn’t really work that way. It’s not the right product. It doesn’t do what you’re trying to do.
I’m first-and-foremost about achieving the goal. We need to have that meeting and identify where we are, where we want to be, and how to get there. First and foremost, it’s got to succeed.
Instead of a Crystal Ball, Develop an Intelligent Plan
Now, there’s no crystal ball, there’s no magic wand, but there is an intelligent plan. We can sit down and draw up a plan of attack. No business should go forward without a business plan. No marketing campaign should go out without a marketing plan. You’ve got to start with a plan. You’ve got to look each-other in the eye and verify it. “Does this sound good to you? You like it? We’re all in accordance. All right, let’s start down this path.”
Now, if we’re a couple of weeks down the path, we’re looking at the analytics and we say, “Hey, I really thought that version was going to be more popular than this version, but that’s not true. This version is actually twice as popular as that version. So we’re going to stop putting money behind that campaign and we’re going to add that money to this campaign.” We’re going to maximize our growth. We’re going to achieve our goals quicker, easier, with less expense. We’re going to make adjustments along the way.
At the end of the quarter, we can look at those analytics and go, “How are we doing? How are you feeling? Everybody’s good? Great. Let’s keep going. Our goals have changed. We’re going to readjust the goals. We’re going for 10% more.” It’s about achieving the goals. First and foremost, it’s about staying on brand.
Biggest Mistake in Video Marketing
The biggest mistake I see people make is that they take the easy road, and they ruin years of brand loyalty. You have to honor your business and your brand, and all the effort, time, and money that went into it. So that selfie video, although it’s fast, easy, and inexpensive, you gotta be very careful how you wield it, because it can do a lot of damage as well.
Ruth: I have to say, I think that is probably one of the reasons why I always prefer to refer clients to companies like yours, who also offer the strategy and consulting piece of things. On the front end, it may look cheaper to invest in a videographer, somebody who would just take your direction and ideas, and just do exactly what you say, as opposed to working with someone like you, who will say, “Hey, you said this is your goal, but this is your idea. And they don’t go together.”
You actually keep your clients from spending money that would end up just being a waste, as opposed to an investment. I think moving forward with a strategy and having the experience that you do is incredibly important. We’re also seeing that more in marketing in general.
You have a lot of people who execute on the market; they can take direction and they can move with what they’re told to do, which isn’t bad because those people are incredibly necessary. But they should not be confused with the people who can do strategy, much like yourself, and can tell you, “Hey, I know more about this than you do. You’re headed in the wrong direction here.”
So selfie videos can have a place. You want to take the tool based on your goal. I know you guys do customer success stories, case studies, as well as employee feature videos.
What Other Types of Products Do You Create for Your Companies?
Ruth: What other sort of videos do you generally do?
Kurt: There are branding videos, there are sales videos, product /service exposé videos. The client testimonial video is a great way to get that third-party validation. Those are very popular.
The biggest trend that we’ve been pushing and gets amazing results across the board are culture videos. In the assessment, there have been times when we’ve realized that this company may have some areas of improvement for their culture: things aren’t really great, the employees aren’t really happy, they’re leaving.
So how do we change that culture? How do we use video to attract the right people? How do we use video to improve on process and procedure, on institutional knowledge?
As people leave the workforce and the new generation comes in, we want to pass on that institutional knowledge. You spend all that time, money, and effort investing in Bob. Now Bob’s 50, 60, 70 years old. Bob’s doing exactly what we need him to do. He’s a great employee. Well, George is now here and George is 25, 28, 30 years old. Bob is leaving. How do we pass on all this great stuff to George?