It might only be 1pm in the afternoon, but it’s five o’clock somewhere – a perfect time for a great dry martini.
Research “how to make the perfect dry martini”, and you’ll get over 1,560,000 results. Ask a content marketer “how to tell a good story”, and you’ll get about the same quality of results — except when you ask the fabulous Tim Washer. Like the perfect dry martini, Tim’s strategy for how to tell a good story is simple, neat, and well…perfect.
In his session at Content Marketing World, Tim not only shared how improv can help your B2B marketing, but he shared the five ways you can kill the joy in your videos.
What are his simple rules of how to stop the marketing killjoy?
#1 – Death by the Committee
Everytime I think about asking a committee for agree on a single answer, all I envision is that scene from Monty Python of the Knights Who Say “Ni!”. With every question you ask that the they don’t like, the committee responds with an answer you can’t understand – “Ni!”.
In order to find the joy again, keep your committee small. Also, make sure to not set an expectation that they are approving the entire video script. Instead, give them a short list of concepts to approve.
For example, imagine if the entire script for Van Damme’s ‘Epic Split’ Volvo Ad would have been asked for committee approval. We wouldn’t have this:
#2 – Death by the Explanation
As marketers, we sometimes forget to trust our audience. This causes us to feel the need to explain everything. We add in a lot of transitions or talk about items than our audience can easily figure out for themselves based on the imagery shared in the video.
Once you start explaining, you lose your audience.
#3 – Death by Talking About Yourself
We forget that we have customers or clients and talk all about our products or services. This is a sure fire way to kill the joy in your videos. And it must be stopped.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s a place to talk about the product. However, when you look outside the product and look directly at the customer’s pain of why they need the product or service, you hit their emotional center. This is a great place to find empathy, which creates understanding and a common bond.
Meaning > messaging. Don’t change how people talk; change how they think.
#4 – Death by the Entire Story
We all have that one friend who tells the story of their latest vacation from beginning to very end. And somewhere between the story of their flight being delayed and them returning home to a dirty house, we miss the part about them meeting the love of their life at the hole-in-the-wall restaurant they happened to walk into on a rainy day in Paris.
When telling a story, share one point at a time and move forward. You can always expand on that point in other videos.
#5 – Death by Superlatives
When we use amazing words over and over again, they have the amazing ability to lose their amazing meaning. What’s the amazing-freaking point?
Stop telling people that your company is amazing. Instead, start telling them stories and let them reach their own conclusion.
For example, Tim used to work at Accenture. They thought they were unique until Deloitte came out with very similar messaging.
As videos become more of your marketing repertoire, don’t forget to help your audience find the joy in your story.
Bring Joy with Video Marketing
In the end, video is a means of which many people consume content but a bad video doesn’t make for a great experience. Focus your efforts on creating a great story that helps to solve the problems of your audience (in the same way you would with any other piece of content) and connects them to the content in a meaningful way.
What types of videos have you found to be most successful for your B2B marketing efforts?