Top 5 Ways to Engage Your Audience with Video

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RockerDown's top 5 list of how to engage your audiences with your videos.

RockerDown's top 5 list of how to engage your audiences with your videos.

When I was young, learning, remembering, and succeeding in school was all about repetition. Got some new Algebra? “Just do 500 problems and eventually, you’ll just remember how to do it.” Well, I, like so many others, failed out of Algebra every time I tried to take it because my learning and remembering style is vastly different. I must understand the mechanics of something in order to remember it.

The marketing strategy of most companies is the same now even after tremendous discoveries into the variances of the human brain and how different people receive information differently. Those companies still believe in this “specific-consumer-targeting”, “Big Data” world we live in. Vehemently opposed to the idea that it’s not about penetrating the consumers of the world with their logo as often as humanly possible. That’s becoming more and more obsolete as a strategy and not just because it seems like the thing to do to move on. The fact is it is less effective and therefore becoming obsolete. Why?

Below are RockerDown’s Top 5 Ways to Engage Your Audience with Video in this new world.

Tip#1 – Don’t make commercials

No one likes to be sold. Be different. Offer them something relevant.

No one likes to be sold. Be different. Offer them something relevant.

Welcome to the new age. I don’t know if it is entirely because of Hulu repeating the same commercial back-to-back 3 times on it’s commercial breaks that have caused our society to be quite jaded or not… in my case personally, it’s had an awful lot to do with it though. But here’s the facts:

1.       The entire world is now more informed than ever before. This means that nothing you tell them can’t be discovered by a more reliable peer-source (not you).

2.       Incorrect information about your product or service in a video can cause a tremendous amount of damage. Commercials, in general, are tied to a product launch and, therefore, in the world of technology, are often not quite accurate. We see this all the time when a project manager has no insight into the actual capabilities of the new device or technology from a practical, “how does it work” standpoint.

I’m not saying don’t create product launch videos… what I’m attempting to imply here is that for the goal of audience engagement, choose another path.

A strong effort to create content that establishes you/your company as a thought-leader is the key to great video engagement. While each video should be consistent with the company brand, and content be germane to the core business, giving away free knowledge and expertise is the key here. Don’t sell to them, in other words. Welcome to the new age. Everyone hates the sales call.

Ring Ring. You absolutely must have this awesome gizzywhatch…. CLICK.

Instead, give them something they are looking for that relates to your product and brand. For example, a bakery wants to get known more nationally (true story). Our strategy, promote Periscope live streamed videos where our Baker teaches folks how to bake. Free, not harmful to the brand, and very much appreciated by the public.

Tip#2 – Don’t make video your only strategy

If you build it, they will come. But then what?

If you build it, they will come. But then what?

As much as we hate to admit it, RockerDown’s exemplary video production services will not make your company the next global leader in whatever market you desire. While videos should not be made to reflect the traditional commercial when aiming your sites on audience engagement, they have the same impact when executed well and are designed to be informative and helpful rather than “self-promoting”.

Incorporate a call to action website, a social media campaign around it where it’s easier to engage, reward interactions (reply to tweets, thank them by name, give them kudos publicly, etc.). The video is the attention grabber like a commercial.

Tip # 3 – Choose Your Audience

Choose a specific audience, or plan to have multiple videos to target multiple audiencs.

Choose a specific audience, or plan to have multiple videos to target multiple audiencs.

We’ve all heard the phrase, “Know Your Target Audience”. However, when seeking a level of audience engagement, the tact should be slightly different. Choose your audience. Far from ignoring who your customers are and aiming for something entirely different (Imagine McDonald’s creating videos targeting animal rights groups… no no no), the intent should be to evaluate the product or technology you are promoting, examining who your buyers are, and either targeting a specific sub-group within (IT Millennials, Vs, IT Veterans would be an example), or, better yet, a targeted campaign of different videos aimed at a the broader group as a whole with a unique video for each grouping.

Tip # 4 – Tell a Story

Consider SCIPAB as a way to tell your story. 

Consider SCIPAB as a way to tell your story. 

Don't be afraid to explain the problems your company solves. You have an amazing opportunity to tell a story complete with plot twists and angst and all sorts of core story-telling drama. Story’s have a format that is tried, true, and proven to generate interest. May as well follow the pattern!

My personally preferred methodology for telling a story is SCIPAB by Mandel Communications. https://www.mandel.com/why-mandel/tools-methodology/scipab. This allows you to segment your story into logical chunks and even choose not to use certain elements if it doesn’t map to the intended outcome you want to achieve.

State what you know about your listeners' circumstances that is relevant to your discussion or presentation, e.g., current state of their business, technology, industry, or plans.

Situation

State what you know about your listeners' circumstances that is relevant to your discussion or presentation, e.g., current state of their business, technology, industry, or plans.

Complication

Identify the critical issues (changes, pressures, demands, etc.) that are impacting the Situation and creating problems, challenges, or opportunities.

Implication

Show the personal or business consequences of failing to act on the problems or opportunities described in the Complication.

Position

State clearly and confidently your opinion about what needs to be done to solve your listeners' problem.

Action

Help listeners understand the role you want them to play, or the questions you'd like them to consider, during your presentation or conversation.

Benefit

Describe how your recommended Position and Action will address listeners' specific needs. State the results clearly and quantifiably.

Tip # 5 – Be Controversial

Don't censor your company so much that you are incapable of reaching anyone at the emotional level.

Don't censor your company so much that you are incapable of reaching anyone at the emotional level.

I know some old-timers are going to hate me for this. In fairness, I’m rapidly approaching old-timer status myself and yet I have seen time and again one tacitly tangible truth. Being controversial without being embroiled in controversy gains interest.

I know the opposite side of the coin is that it’s scary knowing that you will create folks passionately on the other side of whatever route to controversy you take. But they are also engaged and creating engagement in others. I’ll never forget when I launched RockerDown Studios multiple people telling me that we should change our logo because “some people will be offended”. I still get that comment, BTW. And I fully recognize that some people will take it in a way other than what was intended (really it was intended to be a little funny and  a jab at the Cowboy Up phrase/bumper sticker/shirt designs).

Yet those same folks that warned me of my logo and name, are customers or employees, or have been or will be again. While our brand is small compared to a Cisco or an American Express, my advice to them is this: Be a little edgy, you will not please everyone. You can’t. The result of choosing to try to appeal to everyone is that you stand out to no one.

Rusty Worden

Rusty is an award-winning pioneer in designing media for CD-ROM (what's that?), smart devices (before they were called smart devices), and the web. Even the once-ubiquitous Macromedia Flash Video Player was his playground as he worked with Macromedia to Beta test it's evolutionary solution that, in part, helped launch YouTube. While he has been story-telling his entire professional career, he's steadfastly refused to seek work outside of the corporate environment. Instead, he enjoys learning about new technology and innovation as he works to craft compelling stories designed to achieve the intended outcomes of the project. Rusty founded Simply Interactive (a media creative services company based out of San Francisco, CA), and quickly grew it to self-sustaining levels before opting to focus on his family and move to North Carolina. Rusty and his wife, Desirae, decided in 2010 that his career at Cisco as a Manager of Learning and Development was not creative enough and began to set the stage for RockerDown Studios, a name chosen because it was Rusty's own nickname. RockerDown has shown impressive growth for a small company without investors and Rusty continues to lead RockerDown with a singleness of focus that our real job is to make the person who hired us look good to the people that matter to them. "I honestly believe that when people meet us and our passion for what we do shines through, that opens the door. But when our clients experience how we work with them... how we make our primary focus about helping them succeed... that keeps the door open, and creates RockerDown fans that promote us everywhere they go. We don't market publicly. all of our growth stems from great relationships." - Rusty Worden