Video content is an important and integral component of business today. But why? What makes video content so powerful? And how do you do it if you only have a limited budget?

I had the privilege to interview Alexander Bruce, an expert in videography. Co-founder of Little Cactus Media he’s worked across New Zealand, the USA and Canada with some of the biggest companies from Skycity to Zillow to Microsoft. He’s a key member of the Firefly ecosystem collaborating with clients like Anytime Fitness as well as advisory for my own personal brand including my new Youtube show the #SmarterHustle.

Back in 2014, marketers used to say “If you don’t have a website, your business is irrelevant”. Only half of all SME’s in New Zealand at that time had a website. Fast forward to today, and Alexander says, “If you’re not producing video content for your business, you’re not even on the radar” and I couldn’t agree more. We live in a video world, with video across platforms on social media giving businesses an “open level playing field” and the ability to compete against the big dogs.

Let’s dive into the key takeaways from my conversation above with Alexander.

1. Where is your audience?

Does a tree falling in the forest still make a sound if nobody is there to hear it? What’s the point in creating something great, that nobody ever sees? Your message doesn’t need to be heard by everyone, just your potential customers, so you need to understand where the attention of your audience lives. If you know your target demographic is across Facebook and LinkedIn, then create video content that works natively on those platforms. Social media ads are a highly cost effective way to target demographics down to location, age, and gender and video content is rewarded on their algorithms.

2. Understanding Purpose

What do you want to say, and why are you saying it? What is your message and what is your goal? Are you providing value and solving problems? Are you rebranding? Establishing market leadership? Wrapping your head around purpose is key as it’ll inform the content and format of the video. Once you know your message and your goal you’ll have a tighter grip on things like: concept, duration, audience, and platform of the video. Know your “why”.

3. Stop selling, start storytelling

There’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re being sold to, people can smell it a mile away. Instead, tell a story. This is a more natural way of getting your message across as it invites the viewer to relate and be entertained. Storytelling allows you to take someone on a journey, provide context and get complete buy in. When people go to social media platforms, they are looking to be social and share ideas – a native context for story telling video.

Alexander explained that “video production lets you sell something, without selling it”. By this he is talking about narrative and its ability to build brand around something that people want. Eg: if you want to sell an electric bike to a 50-65 demographic, forget the features and the price of the bike. Tell a story about a 50 year old living an empowered life and draw association between that empowerment and electric bikes. People want the brand, not the bike.

4) Document, don’t create

Often getting started with video content feels like the hardest part – so document instead. Start capturing your internal company culture and your FAQ’s as regular vlogs, podcasts and instagram stories. Journaling with video gives your audience insight into who the business is, not what it is. Because video material is already all around us it’s easier than creating from scratch. This type of video is a “transparent way to show an audience the human side of a business and inspire credibility in the brand”.

What if you have a key message for your audience? That’s when creating content and telling a story comes in. If you have an announcement, a new product, or a brand change – developing a curated video from the ground up allows for much more control of communication. This is resource intensive so only makes sense as pillar content for important messages.

5) Authenticity builds credibility, credibility builds brand

Authenticity is the most important video marketing concept. If you are truly honest and transparent with your audience they will buy in. The most powerful brands in the world have perfected this, trust in the brand means trust in the product. Create video content that shows your audience that the business or product is human, it is relatable, it is believable. This is especially effective when documenting because everything behind the scenes is naturally candid. Be real with your audience and they’ll not only trust the brand, they’ll buy into it.

I had an absolute blast chatting with Alexander Bruce about video content who’s a master of his craft. I hope these 5 tips we’ve put together takes your online presence to the next level.

The best thing you can do is just get started, get documenting, get creating – and don’t stop. We’ve proven how you can document with the above video made on a $0 budget and a couple of hours. We all have a smartphone, we can all add value in our own way and the power of documenting creates an extremely low barrier to entry.

Watch the interview

Anthony Baxter is founder and CEO at Firefly

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