In Small business, A lot of people want to know the latest Growth Marketing strategy or How they can Growth Hack their business. One of the most common Digital Marketing questions we receive is ‘What is your best growth hacking technique at the moment?’. I’m going to let everyone in on a secret… There is a technique, and it’s not directly related to Growth Marketing, its called ‘Deliberate Learning’.
The best part of this technique, strategy, characteristic or whatever you might choose to call it, is that everyone can do it!
So can ‘Deliberate Learning’ be applied to anyone wanting to learn more in Digital Marketing or more specifically Growth Marketing?
Easy, it all comes down to discipline, focus and desire! Spend 20 minutes attempting to understand one concept or strategy you don’t completely understand. Spend a whole week understanding this one concept or strategy. Don’t focus on the end result of the concept, focus on understanding it thoroughly.
A quote from a favorite book of mine, ‘Talent is Overrated’ by Geoff Colvin, “The best performers set goals that are not about the outcome but about the process of reaching the outcome.” Take this commentary to your practice of learning Digital Marketing. Spend your first week (more if extremely complicated topic) use this time to understand all the basics.
Spend the next week (or more) unpacking your topic further, learn it’s limitations, find other uses, think of scenarios. Think of a computer programmer, the best programmers understand their program language and then understand the boundaries, limitations, and how to create. The same as the best Growth Marketers understand the tool, strategies, concepts and thoroughly and test its capabilities.
Digital Marketing should be no different. For example, Spend 20 minutes a day learning the basics of Facebook Marketing or Email Marketing. There are some great resources out there on this topic (will list in reference). Once you understand the basics, then research into the best results and the worst results, Look for stories of Success and Failures, learn what Facebook Marketing can do and what it cant do.
This can be a small project for two-three weeks. You might not become a Digital Marketer or Growth Marketer, but you will come away with new understandings and new ideas. This will translate into other areas of your business, you will understand the jargon if you need to hire a Digital Marketing Agency and this is a win in itself, this will protect you from unscrupulous offers or pricing plans.
I hope this might have inspired you to set some time aside a day to focus on learning. We know its hard when running a small business, but as Michael Dell (Founder of Dell) put it .“You don’t need to be a genius or a visionary, or even a college graduate for that matter, to be successful. You just need a framework and a dream.” So don’t forget to build deliberate learning into your framework!
We have been telling stories for just under two hundred thousand years now and it possibly started as a story told by the fire of a successful hunt which has now transformed into multilayered audio-visual storytelling, all of which is an integral part of our day-to-day life. Social media platforms have become our modern days “fire” that we gather around in the search for the most creative and emotive digital story telling experience.
Development of social media has not only “connected people” from all over the world but also started the era of a “bite” content, which re-defined not only the way how we consume visual content today but also the way how companies can communicate their values and promote their products.
The era of viral content has begun!
With the extreme saturation of marketing towards the consumer market, a ‘good product’ just isn’t enough and brands had to look for innovative ways to win over hearts of their consumer. If the world of TV advertisement with its huge budgets hasn’t provided enough freedom to experiment, Marketers are now using social media platforms and digital content as the next ultimate battlefield for the creative geniuses.
Luckily for SMB’s, these platforms allow this type of video content to be created at a much lower cost and to have greater effectiveness with accurate targeting. With a well-crafted campaign of digital stories (video, images, animation) the consumer/viewer is offered more than a product or service, they are offered an experience which transcends their regular browsing or purchasing habits.
The brands who are the most successful at using these mediums to share their purpose, core values and mission through video content are the ones who not only win over the hearts and minds but also reap the rewards of higher social media engagement and action.
How big of a ‘bite’ can you make in Digital Story Telling?
It is said the pure genius shows itself through laconism. And the hard truth is that is the shorter the content the harder it gets to make it cohesive and engaging. Most of the time it takes more effort to create a “stories” content, which is a only 5-15 seconds, than for a 60 sec one.
Social Media and Ad platforms want more video content!
Facebook also started their roll out last week of its ‘story’ Advertisements in the U.S, Mexico and Brazil.
But if the “stories” work best as the “teaser” to grab attention, spark an interest, create immediate action, then it is possible – your audience would still want to see more. So our favourite and most statistically effective methods of digital storytelling is through the use of longer formats, over 15 seconds on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Youtube.
One study conducted recently showed that already 81% of businesses use video as a marketing tool (source) along with 83% of consumers who watched a branded video that they enjoyed said they would consider sharing it with their friends. In the same survey, 85% of people say they’d like to see more video from brands in 2018.(source).
There is no clear winner between short and longer video content, it will all depend on objectives, budgets, and the message being delivered. Although as mentioned, we suggest a longer format that will create a greater and more profound experience for the viewer which can improve brand loyalty and of course…overall sales.
So what is the ‘secret recipe’ for engaging video content through Digital StoryTelling?
The formula is ridiculously simple and hasn’t changed for centuries – a good story is one that is told in an engaging, clear and cohesive way (French new wave is not everyone’s cup of tea) with an engaging character/subject. The trick always is how to make is “fresh” and “authentic”.
But there always be something magical, mysterious and unknown involved in the creation of any content short or long form and every content creator is a bit of a wizard or as Werner Herzog says “We are thieves. We get away with loot from the most beautiful, or the most scary, or the most spectacular places that you can ever find.” It’s always about inspiration, great idea, different vision or a great sense of humour.
But no matter how talented and gifted you are, there always and always (and one more time always) involves a great portion of pure craftsmanship. It’s not an inspirational ‘We can all do it!’ but if you want your video content to be engaging then you need a great and skilled creator. If you are looking at hiring someone to create this content or even bootstrapping and doing it yourself, it is important to take a look at what camera are you filming on, what editing software you are using, how well the music blends in with dialogue, how smooth is the cut and so on.
All the above pieces blended together will result in great content.
Digital Story Telling examples to have you inspired
As we are yet to see the ability to tell a well executed and structured narrative story via the ‘Stories’ channels across most platforms. We will look at 5 of our favourite and nicely crafted digital stories promoted on Facebook and Instagram.
You can easily mistake this one for a short documentary and you can see why it was nominated for a number of awards.
There is no need to explain why it is so great and why we loved it so much. The story is profoundly personal and touching, it is told with warmth and tenderness.
The Airbnb brand was integrated tastefully allowing the story to shine. Great Animators with a well-written narrative can make some amazing videos.
Ikea New Catalogue-
Ikea is as always perfect in its laconism and it’s hard to imagine a more elegant way to preset… a book.
Ikea put their bets on humor as their medium and won. But it was far from an odd shot. Humor related and funny videos make up the biggest portion of viral content on social media. And according to the study with a quite unusual title “From subservient chickens to brawny men” – “Humor was employed at near-unanimous levels for all viral advertisements. Consequently, this study identified humor as the universal appeal for making content viral.”
Something to think about in some of your future content?
One example of the style of Tough Mudder story telling centric videos-
Using other peoples stories that are authentic whilst incorporating your brand or products is another great method to inspire engagement. Even better, this story was pointed towards the viewer and gave story of resilience and a come-back to be able to compete in their obstacle courses. If you cant create a great narrative, one of the best ways is find users of your product and ask them their story and how it made their life a little better, you might be very suprised in the responses!
Until We All Win (Nike)
This 2.5 min video shows that sometimes making a statement about social issues can pay off. The German supermarket chain, ‘Edeka’, didn’t shy away from discussion of obesity issue and as a result their ad about a boy who wanted to learn how fly scored 4.3 million views on Youtube, probably as many on Facebook and quite a few articles leaning towards it being controversial and even offensive video.
We’re not sure if Edeka planned to be so controversial, although, this video powerfully translated the values of the brand and its strong stance on healthy eating habits.
The next step!
Take a look at your own content. Do you have Video content in short or long form? Is it engaging? Could it be better? What message is it delivering? Where is it being promoted and shared? How do I create this content?
Ask these questions and if you see any issues, fix it up and get your video content out there. The Video content era is here!
Written by –
Olesia Mazur- Documentary Film Maker and Digital Content Creator @ Wizard Creative Labs
We hope these may have inspired you to create some more video content and fuel some great ideas for your own brands or clients. If you are unsure on how to get started with your brand’s story or interested in constructing some amazing video content, feel free to send us an email and we will have our award-winning filmmaker and Marketers storyboard some ideas.