Be A Star! It’s a tool in your marketing toolbox…

By Nancy Thomas

I wish I had videoed the heated exchange at a recent networking group – what a missed
opportunity! A little over done debate about video and if video was marketing or was it really
advertising. The discussion festered into a debate over email, and on and on. What’s the big
deal? The difference is, of course, are you paying a 3 rd party to have your video put in front of
people – or are you using a longer form of video to tell a story over channels that are for the
most part free and accessible in the “new world” of marketing?

In today’s world of marketing and public relations – and yes, advertising – the messages are
becoming shorter and shorter. No longer is “long form” the most desirable way to get your
message across. Yesterday’s Facebook posts – are today’s Snapchat, Instagram, or even
Pinterest posts. Sometimes they are even a quick 5-10 seconds over a text-video message!
Just listen to these social media channel names – SNAPChat – and INSTAgram. Quick. Today. In
my face, give it to me – quick – so I can move on to the next thing. And it better be compelling,
or it won’t even reach the part of my brain that has room left to remember in this over-
communicated world.

So how does video come to play in all this rush to quick messaging. It has become even the
lowest common denominator – appealing to someone’s sense of visual processing – I don’t
even have to read this – just show me.

Now that we now WHY we are all rushing to video – HOW do we do it? Is it a quick Facebook
live? Or is it a painstakingly laborious and expensive 30 second commercial for a medium that
is losing audience numbers exponentially with each ratings period that goes by?

Video is part of marketing. If your marketing company isn’t doing it – or pushing you into
thinking all must be PERFECT to do it – then seek other advice. You don’t need to best lighting,
the best copy, the perfect scenario. Even the perfect technology. But you do need to catch
someone’s attention. And you need to speak in sound bites with grabbing visuals.

What to video?

Speak right straight into the camera and tell your story, talk about an upcoming event or sale,
or give them some useful information they need. Take a tour of your company, or store. Stop
and talk to people along the way. Do something unrelated to your company, too, to
personalize the message – show someone how to safely shovel snow – or how to pick out the
best apples in the grocery store. If you have a new product, video opening up the package as it
comes into your building. A nonprofit? Interview a client about what going to their fundraising
event will mean to them…the sky’s the limit – and don’t be all just about business.


Of course there are those times when things might not be “popping” about your message – or
the message is just too serious and well, mundane. In that case, tell the viewer right up front –
you’re going to talk at them, give them necessary information – and it’s information that they

Cut it into segments – 3 minutes or less. The attention span has to be kept top of mind. Break
your mundane “lesson” or “message” into a series – 3 parts – or 6 parts – or once a week, even.
But keep to that 3 minutes or less video marketing message. Otherwise? Make a mini-movie –
or a 20-minute YouTube video – and place it appropriately with a little teaser up front – some
people will take the time to watch, but you have to literally lead them there.

What to do with it now?
Once you’ve done this little 3 minute video, now what do you do with it? Think multi-use. You
can put it on your website. Upload it to all your social media. Don’t forget LinkedIn. Send it out
to your client base in an email link. Upload it to a Constant Contact mailing or an e-newsletter.
Nothing you do today should be done for one simple format. Think multiple use – multiple

So – is video marketing advertising? I suppose it can be if you want to run a long form video ad
on someone’s website…but I would never advise it – that should look much more like the 30
second commercial you would see on traditional television.
Another tool for your toolbox.

Video is a tool. Just like a podcast is a tool. Or photographer is a tool. It is a great, short,
informal way to tell your story. Make it short – but longer than a TV ad (that no one is watching)
…think about the multiple channels of use. Don’t fuss and fret to make it perfect. If you’re
really bold do some Facebook LIVE – and again, repurpose it after the fact.

In this over-communicating world, take your message to video – let them see you, hear you,
and always leave them wanting for more – and give them a website or a click through with how
they can get the information.

If you move to traditional TV advertising or even YouTube production, then that is where you
will want to invest in lighting, professional sound and production – because you’ll be paying for
some of these placements – and you’ll want to make sure you look your Sunday best!

Otherwise, it’s super casual, super easy, right in your face, and wow them. Try it
today…remember, no fussing, just don’t it! Start right with that phone in your hand, set that
photo app to video – and have some fun.

You can be a star…and it starts with video marketing. Go for it! And – smile…
Nancy Thomas is public relations and marketing consultant, and is the owner of Tapestry
Communications, in Cranston, RI.

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Avatar About the Author: The Rhode Island Small Business Journal is a printed monthly magazine and an online resource for the aspiring and start-up entrepreneur and small business owner.

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