Just as television disrupted the newspaper, video content will replace the blog, and businesses will need to change how they market to match this consumer trend. To better understand how community banks and credit unions can stay on top of these changes, we interviewed Quenten Allums, the CEO of Urban Misfit Ventures. He is a top LinkedIn content creator and his videos have amassed over 10 million views.
Is video important to all industries?
Some of it depends on your business, but in general -- Yes. Go where you are strong, but acknowledge that video is growing and it is actually an incredibly efficient method for creating content. If you make a video, you can strip the audio and now you have a podcast, you can transcribe it and now you have a blog post. Video is seen as time-consuming, but it can become an efficient way to power your content marketing.
Video content is also important because it humanizes your brand. Think about what makes up most social media newsfeeds; It’s people. Consumers can smell an advertisement and are starting to tune out brand messages. Having a real human generates a personal feel.
How do you set a video content strategy?
It starts with judgment-free brainstorming. We sit in a room and everyone, not just the executives, throw out ideas. Nothing is considered crazy or too absurd. We want to hear everything. That helps people get into a creative space and, even if you don’t use an idea, you never know what secondary idea it will spark for someone.
The best sessions will include a variety of people. Some who know the business extremely well, others who are recognized as being creative. Get them together and knock heads, because that will get you the best result.
You must also identify what business objective you are looking to influence. Understand why you are undertaking video content in the first place. Secondly, what are your parameters? For example, I don’t go outside of personal branding and entrepreneurship. I know that is where I am strongest, so I stick to those topics.
All these conversations and planning should get you to a place where you can begin to test. Ultimately, no one knows what will work until they test. I embrace the idea of a “micro-test.” Put five dollars behind two videos and see what performs best. Don’t assume what will work.
What are your thoughts about the different video platforms?
I try to be everywhere. Now that isn’t right for everyone, but for me, it’s important because video content is my business and so I need to showcase the work I do. Beyond that, YouTube is obviously important. It’s the second largest search engine and people consume millions of hours of content on the channel. It's a place I will continue to invest my time.
I also invest a lot into LinkedIn because it is actually easier to stand out. It’s free reach. It’s much easier to build an organic audience on that channel and once you have that community, you can drive them to your other channels.
I would say businesses need to focus on LinkedIn. It’s incredibly powerful for recruiting and for connecting in B2B environments. That said, you should test everything and figure out what is right for you. Once you find what works, scale it.
Do you change your content for each of these channels?
Personally yes. I’ve seen people be successful posting the same content across all of their social media channels, but I choose not to do it because I believe that the audience and the social language of each channel are different. I’m not going to try and sell, at least not directly, on Instagram because that’s not part of the culture or language. I know my audience.
What would you say is the video language of Youtube as it compares to LinkedIn?
YouTube is a little bit of everything. There is entertainment, education, news – basically anything you could want. That’s partially why it is so difficult to stand out on the channel. I don’t think we’ve discovered what the language is for LinkedIn yet, which is why I enjoy the platform so much.
When it first started, it was “here’s a story.” But as we’re creating content, we’re changing and shaping the LinkedIn story. Plus, there are a lot of new features coming out that will further change the language. It's always changing.
Do you have to work with an agency to get started with video content?
It depends on the time you have. Ask yourself four questions:
- Will it actually get done with the time you have?
- Will it look the way you want it to?
- Will you be consistent in following through and supporting it?
- Will you be able to test and innovate?
If you can answer yes to all of those, then absolutely do it yourself. No one will be able to tell your story more authentically than you.
The benefit of working with an agency is that they test at scale. They are able to catch trends and changes very quickly. Plus, they have the equipment and talent to create videos quickly and consistently.
So if you can’t DIY, what should you look for in a good partner?
Number one, find someone who listens. Do they actually care and want to understand you? So often they will want to impress you with jargon or a portfolio of high name clients. Ultimately, that doesn’t speak to how well they will be able to capture your story or accomplish your business objectives.
Number two, do they practice what they preach? If they aren’t doing it well, then you have to wonder if they can do it well for you. Or if they are even believers in the strategy that they are pitching. Find a partner who is living what they are selling.
Number three, do you trust them?
Are there examples that come to mind of companies that do video marketing really well?
I’m a big fan of looking outside your industry for inspiration, so one of my favorite brands is Ikonic. They are an art distributor. The way their brand is laid out is incredible. Everything is aligned, perfect, but candid and not overproduced.
You’ve mentioned that you believe in personal branding. Do you believe businesses should encourage employees to build their personal brand?
Not everyone needs a blog, not everyone needs a ton of video, but everyone should be building a presence. It will benefit and humanize the company.
For the first four months of our business, we found our clients completely through inbound marketing. And we did that by just having all employees make videos telling their stories. That was the only marketing.
How do you find the right people to put online or what bumpers do you put in place to keep your business safe?
Start by doing it yourself. When you do it, people who are passionate and interested will start to raise their hand. It will also give you ideas about what risks might be present. Then, when you open the program up or encourage others to begin creating, have a conversation about what everyone feels comfortable with.
What does someone need to get started with video content?
I have a friend who has 35,000 followers on Instagram and 30,000 followers on YouTube. She uses nothing but her iPhone. She started with no editing experience. The best camera is the one you have.
The technology you have on your phone is enough to get started and see how your audience reacts. Once you learn more about the process, you can identify where you need to invest. For example, if you notice the audio isn’t there, then you can research mics.
That said, if you are going to use an iPhone and it isn’t a newer model, make sure you lock your arm or use a tripod. A lot of people move around when they talk. Some other basics would be to make sure you’re smiling, the subject is centered in the frame, the backdrop looks good – just simple things.
What types of video formats could you a bank use to get started?
- Ask others for their stories. Interview your consumers or local business partners. Learn about the people behind those businesses you see every day.
- Document your business. If you go to a local event or host a meetup at your institution, recognize that this can become content. All you have to do is document it.
- Teach others. If you notice people coming into your institution and asking the same question -- say, something about applying for a mortgage -- take out the camera and record a quick five-minute video explaining the answer. If a few people are asking, hundreds of others are wondering.