Great Videos from Ordinary Businesses - Seriously strong cheddar

Do you promote your business with video? If you do, you will have probably heard that 7 out of 10 marketing professionals say video converts better that any other medium*. But how are businesses using video in their marketing?

Each week, for the next ten weeks, I want to share a business video with you and look at how those businesses use the medium. How, perhaps, they could have done better and the key takeaway that you could use in your own videos.

What makes all of the videos really good is that they don’t try to overtly sell to the viewer. The businesses have understood that most people are not in buying mode when they are using social media (yes, YouTube is a social media platform, just like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and the others). Viewers are there to be entertained or to research a topic or seek information on a future purchase. Remember, you don’t like being sold to so why do you think your potential customers are any different. Effective videos don’t take the hard sell approach because viewers aren’t going to watch, let alone share those videos with their online friends and colleagues.

In almost all of the videos we are going to look at, the businesses have decided to market their brand through story-telling, building an emotional response in the viewer, or providing information the viewer really wants.

Although some are obviously created by professionals with big budgets, some were, or at least could be, done in-house. What’s nice about them is that the businesses present their human side, not a corporate image.

Ever since the financial crash the anti-globalization movement has been growing and many of these videos actually reflect that attitude in one way or another. Many people today have fallen out of love with the multinational mantra of “bigger is better”, on the contrary, their experience is that small is beautiful. That’s why business people appearing in and doing their own videos is wise and appreciated by customers. They want to make a connection with the human side of a business, not the edifice. People buy from people!

* Source: MarketingProfs

Seriously Strong Cheddar - Made By Scottish Cows

In the first of the series we look at the cheese that comes from the McLelland creamery in Stranraer, Dumfries & Galloway.


This video is beautiful in its simplicity. In just 26 seconds they tell a story about the natural origin of the cheese, which, by the way, is one of my favourites. The authenticity of the farmer talking about his experience and feelings in a field with his “girls” has a kind of romance about it that is reminiscent of the fabulous Scottish film, Local Hero.

What’s beautiful about this video is that while using emotion to work its magic on you, it avoids cliché words like “traditional”, “natural” and similar advertising BS. The makers of the video also get you involved, rather than leaving you to be a passive viewer. Rory Christie, the dairy farmer, says his cows are, “munching grass, and if you listen carefully you can hear it”, and so you can, you listen and become an active viewer. You are now involved and a better prospect. By the time the farmer has finished speaking you want to be there with him, listen to his girls munching Scottish grass, and try the cheese.

Key takeaway from this video

Although Seriously Strong undoubtedly had the video made by professionals, the important thing you should realise is that you could easily make a similar video yourself. The technical challenge is relatively low; there is no camera movement, you have plenty of light outdoors (watch for shadows if too bright), record as if you are doing an interview with a supplier at their premises, and take plenty of B-roll footage (in the Seriously Strong video the b-roll shots are those of the cows). Your main challenge will probably be capturing good quality sound so consider spending a little cash on an external microphone. As a minimum your kit would be a smartphone, smartphone tripod adapter and tripod. If you are using a camcorder or DSLR you will not need the tripod adapter.

Next week’s video

Next week we take a look at New York City clothes retailer Modcloth and the simple video style they use that you can instantly adapt to your own business videos.

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