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Marketing Tactics

Victoria Grech’s 7 Rules To Making Powerful Marketing Videos On A Budget

2017 Will be the year of video marketing. Is your business ready?

Nadine Todd

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Victoria Grech

Vital Stats

  • Player: Victoria Grech
  • Company: Video Marketer
  • What they do: Victoria Grech left her corporate career to launch a videography business. She pioneered DSLR videos, and has since moved into training business owners how to shoot, edit and distribute powerful marketing videos on a budget using your smartphone
  • Visit: video-marketer.com

On an average day, we are bombarded by 50 000 adverts. Billboards, TV ads, radio ads, print ads, Facebook, Instagram, SMSes, telemarketers — everyone is screaming for attention. As an entrepreneurial business that doesn’t have the marketing budget of large corporates, you need to break through those barriers, get noticed by customers and build trust.

According to video marketing expert Victoria Grech, an affordable and highly effective way to do that is through video marketing. You can film and edit what you need on a smartphone, and as an entrepreneur you have an edge that many large organisations don’t have: Yourself.

“Video is such a great way for CEOs and business owners to be the face of the business, which is what customers are looking for. They want authenticity. They want to make a meaningful connection with you and your brand. They want to know your story. Are you communicating or connecting? As the head of an entrepreneurial business, this is an excellent opportunity.”

Related: Your 4-Part Formula For Creating Killer Content Marketing Videos

These Are 3 Videos You Need To Create

According to Victoria, it takes three videos to lead up to a sale.

  1. Your first video gives your target market value before asking for the deal. This is purely for them. It should be informative or entertaining — ideally both. There shouldn’t be anything in it for you.
  2. The second video is a content video designed to build rapport and trust. This still shouldn’t focus on the sale, but you can inject more of yourself and your story into this video.
  3. The third video is about the sale. “In the first two videos, you’re working with the pains of the client in mind. You know what product you’re ultimately looking to sell, and you will eventually offer your solution, but first you need to offer value without looking for a sale. If the sale never happens, the customer should still have derived value from your first video. The aim of those videos is to build so much trust and rapport that the customer looks forward to the third video, and wants to do business with you.”

7 Rules For Better Videos

video-marketing-advice

Here are Victoria’s seven rules for producing an attention-grabbing smartphone video that anyone can use to build their business and make sales.

1Relax and be real

“You’re judged within the first five seconds of a video,” Victoria warns. “Your body language says a lot. Are you authentic, real and relaxed? Or are you stiff and reading a script? Making mistakes is okay. Real has flaws. Rather be real than too stiff and practiced.”

Victoria offers a few points of advice on body language as well. Don’t point; no one likes being lectured to. Instead, have an open hand, palm facing upward. Now you’re inviting your viewer in; you’re saying ‘come and join me’.

2Understand your objective

The most important first step to any marketing activity is knowing what you
want to achieve.

“A video puts a face to your brand. In your first video, you need to give enough real, upfront value for the viewer to be happy to give you an opt-in email address. That means keeping the three golden rules in mind: ‘Who am I? What do I do? Why should you care?’ Remember, money is in the relationship you build with your list, not the size of your list, so focus on that first, instead of punting products or services.”

Related: Make Money from YouTube Videos

3Create content that people care about

No one is going to share a video that is an audio-visual product brochure. “When creating content, always think about the viewer first and foremost, and consider WIIFM: What’s in it for me? If what the customer cares about isn’t at the centre of your narrative, you won’t get any traction from your video.”

4Keep it short

Videos should be one to two minutes maximum. Yes, you’ll probably want to add more content, tell more of a story, showcase your products. Resist the urge.

What’s the point of a five-minute video if no-one gets past 90 seconds anyway? However, Facebook Live videos are now rewarding you for engagement for longer videos. This means engagement is key though — a longer video that isn’t watched won’t be rewarded with access to more views.

5Avoid scripts

This relates to the first point. As the CEO and other real people in your organisation talking about the company, you have an unparalleled opportunity to share your passion and authenticity with your target market.

“If you’re reading from a practiced script it’s very hard to sound passionate and authentic,” says Victoria. “Have a cue and a few words, and then draw on the passion you feel for your business to speak directly to your audience.”

6Look as professional as possible

You want to be authentic as an individual, and real people don’t sound rehearsed and scripted, but the product quality of the video should still be high. Thanks to the quality of smartphone cameras and related editing apps, this is possible if you keep a few core tips in mind:

  • “First,” says Victoria, “keep the camera still. Use a tripod to lock off the shot so that your subject matter is moving and not the camera.
  • Next, turn the phone onto airplane mode. There’s nothing worse than losing a great take because a message beeped or the phone rang.
  • Third, make sure you have enough available storage space on the phone.
  • Next, pay attention to your lighting. If you’re filming someone else, the light should be behind you. If you’re on the camera, the light should be facing you.
  • Finally, make sure your audio is good. I believe good audio accounts for 80% of the success of a video. If there are visual problems, a viewer will still listen to the audio, but not vice-versa. Avoid echoes, invest in a mic (Sennhizer makes an iPhone mic — Sennheiser clipmic digital — that works well with FILMIC Pro, a video app), and film in rooms that soak up sound where possible (carpets, curtains and so on, don’t echo).”

Related: 5 Ways To Market Your Business On A Limited Budget

7Shoot to edit

Have the edit in mind before you start shooting, so that you know the shots you need. “Think carefully about which shots will tell your story and which won’t,” Victoria advises.

“Then cut between talking heads and product scenes. Film product and action shots and use your brand person — either yourself or a manager or client — for voiceovers. Never just have a talking head. But, don’t leave a face out entirely either. The best video conversations are with a real person. You need balance.”

Do this

Start creating video content for your customers. All you need is a storyboard, a smartphone and an editing app. Anyone can do it with a bit of practice.

Nadine Todd is the Managing Editor of Entrepreneur Magazine, the How-To guide for growing businesses. Find her on Google+.

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Marketing Tactics

How Laughter Can Be Your Gateway To New Business

If you want to make sales, you need to connect with your clients. This is the secret sauce that great marketing gets right, and it has nothing to do with how big (or small) your budget is.

Mike Sharman

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marketing-secrets

Like most kids, in my final year of high school I had to make a decision about my future; make a call about my career path. My head proclaimed: ‘Law!’ My guts rebelled: ‘Acting, yeah!’

My folks shrieked: ‘Acting? Do you intend on having a mortgage in your own name in your lifetime? You’ll never be able to afford a medical aid.’ Aside, but purposefully audible: ‘He’s never going to move out of home. Is he?’

So, I made a compromise. I studied a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in marketing communication and when I completed that formality, I chose ‘acting, yeah!’

Google: ‘Acting school Los Angeles’.

Result: TVI Actor’s Studio just outside Hollywood, paid my deposit, packed a large, hard-coated Delsey suitcase and moved to The Valley for six months, to ensure that Future Mike couldn’t resent the decisions made by Past Mike.

Those six months comprised: Drinking sake and barbecuing with Counting Crows’ Adam Duritz while he orchestrated acoustic magic on his guitar; eating home-made chocolate chip cookies baked by the sweet hands of Teri Hatcher when Desperate Housewives was the most popular TV series on the planet; smashing Grey Goose on the rocks during road trips to Vegas, ululating: ‘The Goose is looooooooose’, with my housemate Chris; ordering Animal Style Double Doubles from In-N-Out Burger but, most importantly, falling in love with the natural narcotic of stand-up comedy.

Related: Brand And Marketing: Finding The Balance For SMEs

What. A. Rush. Pit of your stomach sickness, churning from line delivery, converting into convulsions of laughter, or the agony of the opposite side of the spectrum — the silent onstage assassination. Hopefully it’s the former.

Connecting with your clients

Stand-up and marketing are inextricably linked. This premise is how I live my career.

Every meeting is an opportunity to leverage humour in order to make an impact. Laughter is my gateway drug to new business. Also, the road to branded content creation is paved and then signposted in the fork of either ‘Emotion’ or ‘Humour’.

A decently written story — TV or YouTube commercial — with a quality DOP at the helm, accompanied by an orchestral score, can elevate a mediocre concept to Cannes Bronze status. The line between funny and farcical, however, is so fine.

Consider a comedian standing on stage at a club, squinting out into the blinding lights and judgemental faces of a multi-demographic audience, about to open his mouth and croak on stage for the very first time.

This also happens to be an analogy for the scenario facing the rookie social media community manager before he posts a hashtag-TBT, hashtag-blessed, hashtag-yawn piece of unoriginal content from a calendar, signed off by a marketing manager who doesn’t think their target market is on Twitter because they ‘definitely aren’t’.

Judy Carter, author of The Comedy Bible, simplifies the writing of comedic material into two components:

  • Premise
  • Act-out

It sounds too simplistic. It isn’t. We like to complicate things in the world and business, in particular, to make us seem more impressive, smarter, to elevate ourselves. It’s about being a big dick, or as someone far more eloquent than I described it — Ego. **Hat tip to Freud.**

Comedy and communication

Back to comedy and communication. In both settings — whether you are looking to connect with an audience in a comedy club environment or engage with a target market in your next advertising campaign — it is imperative that you determine the key insight, truth or premise of your material.

When I started doing stand-up in US venues, I would open on the topic of accents, as my accent was my obvious USP or differentiator when communicating to an American audience.

‘Hi. My name is Mike and I’m from South Africa. That’s why I have an accent. And, what’s weird about accents is chicks LOVE accents’ — truth (premise). Regardless of the background of my audience — age, sex, location, creed, or affluence — they identify with the statement that I have an accent and consciously or subconsciously they agree with my words or copy (if we are referring to a campaign).

The second part pertains to the acting-out of the funny; the crafting of the humour. This requires a slick delivery and commitment to the idea in order to generate audience laughter.

So, we have the premise, then we transition — immediately — into the act-out to connect the dots between truth and funny within the audience members’ minds. Comedy is dependent on what you first tell, then show your audience, and eventually how your performance becomes a catalyst for their own imagination to carry the chuckle to its limits. When we package these elements together, the execution becomes:

  • Premise: ‘Hi my name is Mike and I’m from South Africa. That’s why I have an accent. What’s weird about accents is chicks LOVE accents.’
  • Premise part two: ‘You can be Shrek, but if you’re packing an accent, you’re getting some ass!’

Act-out. Left hand behind head. Pelvic thrusts while speaking seductively into the microphone with a Scottish accent á la Shrek, simulating a movement synonymous with making sexy time: ‘Oooooh, that’ll do, Donkey. That’ll do.’

Related: 4 Ways To Implement Strategic Marketing Without Breaking The Bank

Finding a connection

There are few things more powerful in this world than words that disrupt the audience thought process. Donkey-ass puns, turning Shrek’s line of affirmation for Donkey — from its intended feature film usage — on its head, by making it smartly sexual; generating mass hysteria from a group of previously disconnected individuals, now connected through the universal language of laughter.

The best advertising in the world does exactly this. It takes an insight (premise) that connects with you as an individual, forces you to nod your head in agreement, and then leverages a powerfully constructed set of copy lines or imagery to emotionally move you.

Laughter, goosebumps, or the development of a lump in your throat. Effective communication is something that facilitates catching feelings. Whether you are on stage delivering lines, or at your keyboard posting snaps, tweets or status updates, every character that comprises a word of each phrase needs to be a purposeful paragraph composition — not just a tick box on a to do list of monthly KPIs.

We will delve into real experiences throughout this collection of personal anecdotes, because nothing doth a bigger dick make than an ‘expert’ who has all of the theory and none of the practice.

This article is an excerpt from The Best Dick: A Candid Account of Building a $1 million business by Mike Sharman.

Related: 4 Unique Marketing Ideas For SMEs On A Budget


Read this

the-best-dick-mike-sharman

In this his debut business book, The Best Dick, Mike Sharman invites you to share in the hustle. From the enthusiastic, entrepreneurial beginnings of a bootstrapped start-up founder — a relatively inexperienced 26-year old — to a seasoned, professional storyteller, who has built a boutique social media advertising agency that has made more brands go viral, globally, than any other studio in Africa.

Find it at all good book stores for R250.

Get your copy today

Email Tracey McDonald at tracey@ilovebooks.co.za and quote ‘Entrepreneur’ to buy your copy for R200 plus free shipping.

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Marketing Tactics

How Content Marketing Adds Real Value To Your Customers’ Lives

If you’re marketing on a budget, content marketing is a great way to reach your audience, add real value and gain brand traction – without breaking the bank.

Greg Tinkler

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content-marketing

Content marketing is a relatively new type of marketing that most businesses are still trying to get their heads around. Unlike traditional media advertising, which interrupts customers to get noticed, content marketing provides content that customers want in exchange for permission to market a product or service.

Disrupted media

There’s a saying, fish where the fish are. Marketing is the same. You need your message to appear where your audience’s attention lies. I don’t believe billboards or even TV adverts hold consumer attention anymore. People aren’t looking at billboards as they drive past; most aren’t even looking at the road, they’re so busy staring at their mobile device or listening to a podcast.

Related: Your 4-Part Formula For Creating Killer Content Marketing Videos

The traditional advertising model creates ad content that interrupts consumers. Billboards, TV commercials and radio advertisements momentarily disrupt what you actually want to be doing — watching your favourite TV show or listening to a song or chat show.

These ads don’t provide any real value to the customer and they don’t offer an immediate reason to even be viewed or engaged with. Instead, they rely on good placement, clever wording and brilliant creativity to capture your attention for a brief period of time.

The rise of content marketing

In response to these problems and restrictions, content marketing is on the rise. As a marketing alternative, it’s not only more cost effective, but it doesn’t aim to interrupt your customer. Instead, it aims to add real value to their lives and businesses by plugging directly into their interests, problems and challenges.

So how does content marketing work? Companies and marketers create content in the form of blog posts, podcast recordings, downloadable guides and infographics, video content and articles that don’t push products, but offer interesting advice, tips and opinions.

The value to consumers is provided in two ways: As educational content and as entertainment content. In both cases, access to this content is free, heightening its value.

Related: 5 Reasons Your Small Business Needs Content Marketing

Get the most out of content marketing

Here are three ways to get the most out of your content marketing efforts:

  1. Provide content that your customers want. Don’t make the mistake of writing your blog posts about your business. Lesson number one is that people don’t care about your business. Provide valuable content that customers want and need in exchange for their attention. This content can be educational or entertaining. It can be a ‘How to Guide’, an in-depth stats-driven article or an entertaining video. Just make sure it’s about them, and not you.
  2. Focus on content for the customer’s benefit and only occasionally promote or push your product. This is the rule most brands and companies struggle to understand. If you’re going to provide value to your customers, you need to mostly write content for the customer’s benefit and only occasionally promote your products within the content. People are interested in articles and posts that benefit them, not ad posts touting how awesome your products are. Give your customers content that they want, and nine times out of ten you’ll be rewarded with engaged and targeted audiences.
  3. Write cornerstone content. Cornerstone content is content that can be easily found by your ideal customers. It’s content that provides incredible value to customers over a long period of time. How-To Guides, resources, 101 content and instructional videos all fall into this category. It should be content that customers can refer back to, and which has a long lifespan. This also immediately increases the ROI of your content production, as you only need to create the content once, but it will continue to bring returns.

Bringing it all together

As you make your final marketing push for the year and gear up for next year, make sure content marketing forms a vital part of your strategy. Learn to write engaging blog posts, invest in a podcast setup and push video content. No one is expecting your content to be perfect — you are the expert in your area, and have great advice to share. That’s what will keep your audience engaged and coming back for more.

Just remember that this is a long play. Success won’t happen overnight. It takes time to build momentum — but over time, you will notice increased traffic, more leads and more sales.


Getting Started

  • Do you know what your clients are interested in, concerned with or challenged by?
  • Are you offering advice, tips or opinions that tap into these areas?
  • Does your content mostly focus on your clients and not you?

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Marketing Tactics

4 Ways To Implement Strategic Marketing Without Breaking The Bank

Marketing your start-up is all about the right strategies, not how much money you spend. You need to build your reputation from the ground up. Here’s how you can get started.

Mongezi Mtati

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Strategic marketing

Building a fledgling business is as much about increasing your client base as it is about building a positive reputation around the business and its expertise. Many experts and seasoned entrepreneurs argue that clients buy from people they trust and building that trust hinges on various parameters.

Take Steve Jobs, Wendy Luhabe, Richard Branson and many other leading business minds whose brands are built on years of credibility and trust. The truth is that equal attention needs to be given to great products and building trust within your client base.

Here are five skills that we’ve used to build our reputation at WordStart.

1Sharpen your writing skills for media and general communication

Create media coverage. Write on a company platform (like a blog) or for established media outlets. This will position you and your business in ways that get people to listen and share your knowledge.

Having your name next to an article on a respected platform can lead to useful connections with relevant contacts. A series of media features and industry commentary also help to position your business and team as experts in your field.

2Share industry trends

People will generally do research in and around an industry to find insights and trends, sometimes before they buy anything in that industry — and even afterwards. When I search for information on photography, Canon appears more than any other brand and they tend to set the scene on which device to buy.

Imagine your business is construction and that homeowners endorse your skills as a home improvement specialist. Packaging your knowledge into industry trends is also a great way to use your own lessons about the industry as you grow and it also helps you to connect with potential customers. Useful information with your name on it can increase your sales and client base.

3Edit. Edit. Edit

back-space

Something that cannot be stressed enough is that your writing in client documents can tarnish your brand. Many businesses tend to overlook the importance of grammar in their documents.

It can be difficult to reread and rewrite documents that you use in the business, but that is precisely what can lead to the loss of new and existing business.

Pay attention to how your business uses language and edit that work. When in doubt, read it again and be sure that nothing was missed. 

4Practice public speaking and search for opportunities

After you have written for various publications, you increase the likelihood of being invited to speak at conferences and seminars, which means that people put a face and voice to the written expertise. In some instances, the speaking engagements can be paid for by conference organisers which can be an additional revenue stream.

Public speaking, especially industry-related speaking, will increase the likelihood of selling more products or services and this will separate you from the competition. By increasing the trust customers have in you, you can improve the likelihood of them buying from you.

Once a business is positioned as a team of experts with the ability to speak for their industry, opportunities open up for that business to create unique content. Industry leaders who are able to help the public to connect the dots through the information they share are regularly on guest lists.

Is there anything you can share that your industry peers and the public may find eye-opening? There may be a conference organiser looking for you.

5Educate the market and build a client base

One of the advantages of being part of an industry is that you have inside information that the general public does not have. This presents an opportunity for you and your business to become a self-nominated industry mouthpiece.

When an individual and business share news about an industry, they can create a new client base because the public associates them with that information.

One of the best cases in South Africa is Discovery’s Vitality rewards programme, where you earn points for being healthy. This does not mean that Momentum, Bonitas, Sanlam, Sizwe and other players do not have similar or even better offerings. Vitality is more visible and more vocal about the fact that leading a healthier life can get you rewards.


A great reputation may lead to positive word-of-mouth for your business and increased sales over a longer period than a single marketing message.

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