Investing In Video Marketing

Hi fellow bloggers, communication minded peeps, and young professionals! We have our second guest blogger today! For those who don’t know, every month we ask one communication professional to write about their respective field and journey. This week we are pleased to introduce a fellow classmate and IMC & video production professional Nathan Evers!

Nathan Evers is a graduate of UNCW where he focused in Digital Media/Video Production and Advertising. In August he accepted a job as Video Production Associate at the Atlantic Telephone Membership Corporation (ATMC) in Shallotte, NC. His job duties include shooting and editing programming for ATMC-TV (the local origination channel serving Brunswick County, NC.) We had the pleasure of working with Nathan to start our department’s integrated marketing communication firm, Pier601 Creative. Knowing Nathan’s creativity and excellent video skills, we are proud have him share his knowledge of digital media’s impact on our field.

Investing In Video Marketing

It was only a short time ago when video production was confined to local television stations or production companies. Businesses would have a commercial produced and then in turn buy valuable airtime for its play; however, for many small businesses, this marketing medium was often too expensive.

Fortunately for small businesses today, high-quality video can be produced by almost anyone. Investing in video equipment and software can give you an edge over your competition— if you use it in the right way. Video and integrated marketing communication go hand-in-hand, and if you’re not using video for your business, you’re likely missing out.

According to a 2013 survey by Animoto, 76% of U.S. adults are more likely to purchase a product or service after watching a video about it. 96% of consumers found videos helpful in making a purchase decision.

Video marketing is not just limited to television commercials, video is a great supplement to your website or social media. When using video on such a platform, my advice is to aim for continuous, meaningful content. Including testimonials from real customers or clients can be very effective, especially when your business serves a local area. People are more likely to pay attention to their neighbors.

Video marketing shouldn’t be limited to just advertising. In addition to testimonials, editor/blogger Megan Totka gives two other tips on how to make the most of your video. One is to expand beyond showing what product or service you sell by producing video educating and informing your clientele. What knowledge do you have to share with consumers? Totka also recommends doing “behind-the-scenes” videos to give your followers an inside look at what you do. You can feature interviews with your employees to show the real people behind the product or service.

Video marketing is a great tool because it can be a feature for your content, but not in your budget. For under $700, you can get a Canon EOS Rebel T3i (my personal camera), a microphone, and a decent Manfrotto tripod at B&H. A microphone and tripod are essential in shooting professional-quality video. For editing, if you have a Mac, you already have iMovie, which is perfect for editing basic clips. Additionally, Adobe also offers its Creative Suite applications with Creative Cloud, which includes Adobe Premiere Pro. Just the program itself will run you $19.99/month.

Once you have become familiar with your equipment and your software, use the following tips to help you devolve ideas for your content: Think of the format as a moving picture story – it should have a beginning, middle, and end. How will you capture interest? How do you benefit the consumer? How do you want to be remembered? These questions will help you produce a video that creates an impression on your viewers.

Nathan Evers

Want more from Nathan? Check out his work on Vimeo!

Taking a bite out of Apple

Another apple has fallen from the tree; actually make that two – the iPhone6 and the iPhone6 Plus. As per usual, Apple Inc. lovers can’t wait to get their hands on the upgrades – the company reported a record 4 million pre-orders in the first 24 hours alone. With such a fervent following it’s hard to imagine Apple doesn’t have a strong hold on the market. However, when it comes to the technology present in today’s smart phones, Apple isn’t the only one putting out the latest and greatest software, often times other manufacturers’ devices are just as competitive – some, such as Samsung, even claiming theirs is better.

It is no secret Samsung’s marketing strategy is built on the idea of mocking Apple culture. Many of the Samsung commercials take to comically criticizing Apple products and their “innovation”. Remember this commercial for the Galaxy S II?

In response to the new iPhones, Samsung released a television commercial called “Then And Now”. Highlighting the new Samsung Galaxy Note 4 that is being released in October, it takes a stab at Apple’s innovation claiming the iPhone6 and iPhone6 Plus imitate their Galaxy Note, which has been promoting big displays since 2011.

The commercial continues to show the features the iPhones lack, such as the ability run two apps simultaneously on the screen, and the ability to hand write content and have the text transferred to electronic message. Finally, ending with a reminder of the Galaxy Note 4 release date in October.

This rebuttal of negative rhetoric is now expected with every Apple release or announcement. It has been four years since the first mock print ad appeared, according to the The Verge . [Check out this article to see more Samsung ads in this attack strategy.] But as marketers, we have to ask ourselves, are these attack ads working? Is the trade off of highlighting and associating your brand with the competition worth it?

It seems the answer tends to be both yes and no. Brian Conlin, argues no in his post on the dangers of negative marketing, making a case that seems more than applicable for some of the Samsung ads. Why spend your resources explaining a competitor’s shortcoming, when you can be extoling the virtues of your own product, he says.

However, there are positives to such negative marketing. As Corey Eridon points out in his post, negative marketing can stir up controversy, which leads to natural PR, more traffic, more brand definition and, most importantly, elicits strong emotions from consumers.

These results are exactly what Samsung is aiming for with their negative campaigning. And from my experience it IS working – not necessarily persuading people, but at least keeping the pot stirred. The media continues to report on the Samsung vs. Apple rivalry. Marketing Week just reported on the campaign again this morning: article here. As an Apple user and fan, I have first hand experience defending my beloved brand from the so-called Apple haters.

We know what Samsung’s approach to Apple has been, but what is Apple doing in response? After four years, Apple still makes a point to ignore the attacks, going with the philosophy of P.T. Barnum, “I don’t care what people say about me as long as they say something”.  Samsung is simply creating free publicity for a brand that continues to show the utmost confidence in their original, innovative products and fans.

Whether or not you’re an Apple or Samsung user, these two brand names are linking together— as rivals. Even though Samsung holds double the marketshare, 31%, as compared to Apple’s 15%, Apple has continuously showed their customer loyalty will give any competitor a run for their money. Despite attempting to showcase that they are better, Samsung is not being remembered for their revolutionary tech products, but for their mockery.

What kind of phone do you have? Are you an avid iPhone fan like us? What is it that keeps you sticking with Apple? Have the Samsung ads made you second-guess your choice? How long can Samsung ride this marketing strategy for its products? They have been at it for a few years and Apple fans are still as loyal.

– Caroline Robinson & Savannah Valade

Snap To It

One minor thing has changed since our post last week… ok make that major – FOOTBALL SEASON! Whether its college (go TarHeels! – Savannah) or professional (go Panthers! – Caroline), football fanatics love game day – and so does social media. I challenge you to find a news feed any weekend this fall that isn’t buzzing with up to the second scores, bets on who’s going to win, tailgate selfies, and field photos. And with the opening of the season, you may have actually noticed something different about one of your social media platforms this past weekend – Snapchat and its live college football stream. And while the feed was focused only on the Oregon Ducks, what the platform is doing, and has done, with the concept of live marketing is touchdown worthy.

It is more than evident the changes technology has induced in the marketing field within the past decade. With nearly every device now being “smart”, the amount of time consumers spend connected to the Internet, their apps, and their “friends”, it is no surprise that digital marketing is holding the reigns in the technology age. Using the Internet as its core promotional tactic, digital marketing engages consumers by allowing them to interact with the brand through digital mediums.

And from the digital mediums that exist, it is hard to argue that the social ones aren’t the most popular. With such, from digital marketing, has developed an even further specified category of marketing – social media marketing.

And as marketers have quickly noticed, the best thing about social media marketing, it allows for LIVE marketing – engaging consumers in real time either in person or through broadcast or social mediums.

Think about the last time you went to an event – you probably updated your status on Facebook, sent out a tweet – hashtaged the event, then used Instagram to upload a picture or video while you there – again more hashtags, and then used Snapchat to send more pictures and video throughout the night. Through all this, you were actively live marketing. Now think about all the other people who did the same thing, not to mention all the updates the brand itself promoted throughout the event.

Many social networks are particularly conducive for live marketing. Twitter is well known for its live commentary on events. Facebook continually host events on its Facebook Live feature.

However, one platform, Snapchat is changing the way people interact with digital live marketing. As Josh Constine describes in his blog’s title, Snapchat’s “Our Story” Is A Genius, Collaborative, Reinvention Of The Livestream. We have to agree. There is something this network is doing that makes live streaming much cooler for its users. If your new to the social media platform Snapchat, read an older post Caroline wrote to learn more about the platform and why it has become so special for certain marketers.

One key foundational difference between Snapchat and competing social networks is that the majority of other networks focus on making it possible for content to be available for everyone (included in your privacy settings) to see…forever. However, Snapchat has been built upon the idea of being privately social— the act of sharing content for a limited time to an individual or smaller group of individuals.

According to research on the platform, conducted by Sumpto (a marketing company that helps brands connect with college students), thirty-five percent of college students felt Snapchat gave them the most privacy. While Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram visibly keep everything you post, Snapchat deletes content after a period of time, and notifies you if people save an image or message you send. This feature takes away the accountability and social implications one might feel when posting to Facebook or Instagram.

This privacy aspect also encourages hyper usage of the network. Sumpto found 70% of college students reported posting on Snapchat at least once a day, while only 11% reported posting on Facebook with the same frequency.

When writing the last post on Snapchat, neither of us suspected the platform would give way to live streaming. However, this summer, the platform introduced a new feature called “Our Story”. You probably saw it on your Snapchat My Friends page labeled EDC Live (Electric Daisy Carnival) and the Rio Live 2014 (Football World Cup) events.


As seen above from the World Cup, soccer fans in the area were able to share their photos, helping to create a user collaborative live stream that those not in the direct area could watch around the world.

How does the “Our Story” work? The feature uses geo-location to identify users in the area and then allows them to share their pictures or videos, rather anonymously (no identification of their username or personal information), in a collective and public album. Snapchat comments, “We built Our Story so that Snapchatters who are at the same event location can contribute Snaps to the same Story. If you can’t make it to an event, watching Our Story makes you feel like you’re right there!”

If you are like us, you have probably already watched the live feeds that appeared yesterday, but if you haven’t, visit your Snapchat account right now to view the live streams. They were created for the Apple revealing and the NYC Fashion Week. In them you will find glimpses of the new Apple Watch and inside looks at the fall fashion collections. Oh, and in the NYC feed you will find a quick surprise appearance from Ryan Seacrest and two of the Jonas Brothers!

snapchat livestream NYFW and Cup

Snapchat’s turn to collaborative live streaming is a gold mine for marketers looking for opportunities to reach millennials. A marketer can now share their brand by sending their own snaps of the events to the live feeds, as well as learn more about the young audience attending the events.

So, what will we see from Snapchat in the future? I’m sure it will be out of the box. Until their next revealing, what events do you think Snapchat will deem stream worthy? Have you been at any of the events thus far where you have been able to stream your own snaps? Do you think Snapchat will give us the ability to create our own live streams in the future? Let us know in a comment below.

-Caroline Robinson & Savannah Valade

Finding your best fit

As a recent graduate, I have noticed there seems to be two competing ideas of advice for new and young professionals, “You don’t have to take the first job offer you get, you can wait and see what else is out there,” or, “Take the job – you don’t have to stay there, you can always quit after a year.” Regardless of how or when you get there, one of the most important factors in deciding if a job is right for you, and making sure you stay, is finding a place that you are comfortable at – a place where you fit into their company culture.

Company culture is the shared values and practices of the company and its employees. Just as people do, each company has their own unique set of values and priorities. “A fit is where there is congruence between the norms and values of the organization and those of the person.”

However, making sure you are a good cultural fit isn’t just your personal concern; it’s increasingly your employers as well, and has become a large factor in the hiring process.

When practicing for mock job interviews during senior year, my capstone teacher would repeatedly tell us to be prepared for any type of question – questions not just about field related skills. Questions such as: What is the last book you read? If you could meet anybody from history who would it be? If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would buy? While these questions also act as assessment for how quickly you can think, and how eloquently you can speak, on your feet, your answers are also fielding how well you would mesh with the company and its other employees.

A professor from Northwestern University, Lauren Rivera, concluded that hiring decisions are made in a manner closely resembling how one would choose friends or romantic partners, and that off topic questions, such as the ones above, have become central to the hiring process. So central in fact, that companies are more often saying that cultural fit can trump job qualifications.

You don’t have to wait until the interview to know whether or not there will be cultural coherence. Becoming aware and familiar with your own personality traits can help you coincide your preferences with the best organizational fit. Typically, there are four types of organizational cultures that companies can be categorized into:

1.) Hierarchical

These organizations are defined by stability and control.  They value standardization and well defined structure for authority and decision making. Think large, bureaucratic corporations – McDonalds, Ford Motor Company, government agencies. Other attributes are: policies and procedures, accuracy and precision in details, and measurement systems with regular reporting.

2.) Market

Similar to hierarchical, market companies value stability and control, however, they have an external orientation and value differentiation over integration. With outward focus, these companies are concerned with the relationships and transactions between themselves and their suppliers, customers, consultants, legislators, etc. Market organizations are concerned with competitiveness and productivity through emphasis on partnerships and positioning – think of General Electric. Market culture maintains that performance results speak louder than process.

3.) Clan

Unlike the first two categories which value stability and control, clan emphasizes flexibility and discretion. Additionally, rather than having a hierarchical structure, clan organizations act more like families – hence the name – valuing cohesion, a human working environment, and group loyalty and trust. Rather than strict review policies, employee development is often maintained through coaching and feedback. One of our favorite animators, Pixar, is an example of a clan company.

4.) Adhocracy

Similar to clan, adhocracy values flexibility and discretion, while also being similar to market in favoring external focus. Success is envisioned in terms of innovation, creativity, and future thinking. Entrepreneurship often lies in finding new opportunities to develop new products, new services, and new relationships. These types of organizations thrive in an environment that offers flexibility and adaptation. Google is a prime example of adhocratic culture.

org culture

Congruence found in obtaining a job that matches your personality is not something to be undervalued. A good cultural fit is associated with many positive outcomes, for both the employee and employer. A meta-analysis conducted by Kristof Brown found that employees who fit well with their organization, coworkers, and supervisors:

  • Had greater job satisfaction
  • Identified more with their company
  • Were more likely to remain with their organization
  • Were more committed
  • Showed superior job performance

To find out what your personal archetype is, there are a myriad of free surveys you can find online to provide insight on your personality traits and offer suggestions on your best working environment. However, one site, Good.Co, stands out. Describing itself as a self-discovery engine and social network, through the use of psychometric frameworks, the platform helps employers recognize people who would thrive in their unique environments, and for jobseekers, it assists in figuring out where they fit in the cultural landscape.

Accessible via webpage or app download, Good.Co features a series of quizzes for users based on the Big Five dimensions of personality. There are six different sections of the platform: the Strengths Canvas (individual personality evaluation), the Company Canvas (a survey that looks at how well you fit in with your managers and company), the Fitscore With Peers (compare and match up your results to friends and colleagues), the Team Report (discover your work team’s personality), the Company Graph (find companies and teams that match your personal work style), and Job Matches. Here are our archetypes from the Strengths Canvas and Fitscore. analysis

It’s intriguing how accurate these insights are about our personalities. So, if you are on the job hunt or just curious about yourself check out sites like Good.Co. We believe they can offer sincere insight that can help you find the right companies for a happy and successful career.

Do you have any other insights into company culture? How to determine what would work best for you or what to look for in companies to determine their culture? Share with us in a comment below.

– Savannah Valade & Caroline Robinson