Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Marketing with Video Part IV Training, Support, Internal Communication

Training, Support Video, Internal Communication

Although these aren't exactly marketing videos, they improve organizational effectiveness, productivity and the bottom line, as well as your product.

Training - Online video is a great and highly efficient way to train, whether for service, support, sales, personal development or management. Online video replaces expensive classrooms.

JIT (Just in Time) Learning – Sounds like my college major! Contextual training videos are becoming very popular on the web. ‘How-to’ videos, video manuals, on-site video reference, quick assembly demos, and other types of video are being used to supplement or replace traditional training. Mobile video will increase the popularity of this type of video. We’re not talking long how-to videos, but short step-by-step. Each step is a brief video. Perhaps the video only shows how to hold the alternator bracket with the left hand and how to approach the mounting points with the right hand – a video worth its weight in gold if you can’t describe the technique in words or a simple drawing. Bonus – the video probably cost less to produce than the drawing!

Post Sale Support and Maintenance videos, or, “Now that’ I’ve bought this, how do I use it?” No one reads manuals. NO ONE. So save thousands in post sales support – not to mention printing costs – with creative, informative assembly, installation and maintenance videos for your products and services.

Internal Communications

Departmental Promotion – Why not a video explaining what your department does? The larger your corporation, the fewer the workers who understand the role of every department. More importantly, who appreciate your department. Make it easy on them! Create a fun – or at least entertaining – video that also explains what the hell you guys have been doing all these years, and why you’re so damn important to the rest of our operation. Internal videos should highlight business plans, new business activities and achievements. They can improve knowledge transfer and lead to more effective communications. They are also a great way to show off your local hero’s.

Event/Conference and Trade Show Communications. You spent how much going where? And for what? The cost of knowledge to beneficiary ratio is exorbitantly high on these junkets, er, tradeshows. In other words, a lot is spent, few use. So share the knowledge if not the wealth. Capture the presentation, demos, interviews, commentaries, etcetera – on video for all to see.

Employee Orientation – Here’s the scenario. I once worked at a television station where a receptionist received – and through away – a ratings diary. (!) We were bludgeoning one another for ratings points and here was an employee who did not know what we did for a living!

Employee orientations should be interesting, informative, and provide an efficient way to get staff up to speed. It’s also a way to communicate company history, structure, procedures, policies and behavior codes. (After all, who’s reading all those employee handbooks at the bottom of the desk drawer or locker?) Idea: Give away one free employee handbook with each viewing of the employee orientation.

Health, Legal & Safety – In today’s litigious society, supplying an easy-to-understand safety and training video for products, processes and procedures is a great way to minimize accidents and lawsuits. Package the video with the product, plus clearly label where it can also be found online.

Dennis Dean is an Emmy-winning video expert, communications consultant and Managing Partner of Dean Group Media. Email him at

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Marketing with Video Pt III - Advertising & Promotion

Advertising, Marketing and Promotion

This is what it's all about!

Commercials - While advertisers are becoming more selective in how they chose to spend their promotional dollars with broadcast television, other venues for commercials such as online video pre-roll, online sponsorships, in-game advertising, event sponsorships and in-theatre advertising are starting to take the place of broadcast / cable commercials. A proliferation of video screens cropping up on every building, device and structure will create an even more diverse set of advertising opportunities. The challenge will be to create specialized content targeted to an ever -shrinking niche audience.

Viral Video – Videos go “viral” when they become extremely popular, with lots of people wanting to watch the video. To go viral, a video has to be incredibly entertaining, shocking or meaningful. Viral videos have to be extremely engaging, entertaining, shocking or meaningful to be successful.

Email Video - Testing has shown that open rates can double if you include video in your email marketing activities. To be effective the video should be purpose-built to elicit as specific conversion activity such as requesting a demo, more info etc.

Infomercials – Nothing new here. If you’re doing an infomercial, do it well and use search engine optimization to drive visitors to it. They work as well online as on television. Infomercials are extremely effective at selling certain consumer products, usually those they can demonstrate during the infomercial.

Content Marketing – Watch this grow. Most web content remains focused on selling something. With content marketing, you market information; specifically – solutions. By focusing on solving your customers’ problems first, then associating your brand with the solutions, you market more effectively. We recently created a “How it Works” video for Xact Wire EDM. The video, which can be seen on their website and on YouTube, was completed this fall and is already drawing new business for Xact. The video focuses on how the process of wire EDM works, not on Xact’s proficiency with the process.

Dennis Dean is an Emmy-winning video expert, communications consultant and Managing Partner of Dean Group Media. Email him at

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Marketing with Video Pt II Corporate Video

Corporate Video

In this segment - the Corporate video and its iterations...

Corporate Overview – The video equivalent of a corporate brochure, but with motion, sound, music, graphics and effects. The videos are intended to give new visitors to a website a better idea of the company. Corporate overviews can easily become too long. For best results, divide and conquer. Produce more targeted segments. Total viewership will increase because more people will be watching shorter videos that mean more to them.

Executive Presentations – Puts an executive “face” on your industry. Regular presentations, quarterly updates, responding to a major event... all are good uses and good reasons to face your constituents and stakeholders. Don’t try this without a speaking and media training coach unless you are already a professional presenter.

Staff Presentations - Social media and other Web 2.0 trends have caused companies to rethink the ways they communicate with external audiences. Senior leaders are fine, but rank-and-file staff members offer considerable credibility. Your customer service reps, technical experts and legacy workers are all valuable considerations for this new type of corporate video. There is more trust associated with the folks in the trenches than senior C-levels in the executive tower. The difference with staff presentations is that you’re selling to the influencers in your target market, not necessarily the decision-makers. So it’s important to represent your company with the people your customers and prospects relate to.

Corporate Tour – See Our Gear! – Once popular, now not so hot. Your customers want to know what you can do for them, not how much equipment and plant space you lease. Equipment is better showcased in a video about what you do well, not what you use to do it. The moment they see your facilities and equipment, the experienced viewers will know your capacities, without you mentioning it. Still want to show off equipment? Show off the people who are using it instead. These are your most valuable assetts.

Dennis Dean is an Emmy-winning producer, communications consultant and Managing Partner at Dean Group Media. He may be reached at