Video Storytelling is the Future of Content Marketing

If you want to grab people’s attention don’t kick and scream, just tell a story. A powerful and influential piece of content is memorable and has meaning. Farrell (2014) states that 65% of people are visual learners and 90% of the information processed by our brains is visual. He continues, “People love visual content, and the more enriching the content, the deeper and more impactful the impression that your content will make” (Farrell, 2014). The significance of these statistics is that social media strategies should make sure they are executing to visually appeal to the audience. One way of doing so is through the use of video content.

visual learners

Trimble (2014) indicates, “By 2017, video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic”. Nielsen adds “64% of markers expect for video to dominate their strategies in the near future”. Two primary examples of the power and virality of videos are Old Spice’s “This is the Man Your Man Could Smell Like” and Chipotle’s “The Scarecrow”.  The Old Spice video was viewed over 50 million times, increased its Twitter following by 2700%, Facebook interaction by 800% and its brand website traffic by 300% growing sales by 107% over the course of a month. Chipotle’s video was viewed over 14 million times on YouTube contributing to a 23.7% revenue increase. Why were both of these campaigns so effective? Because they told a compelling story, Old Spice in a humorous tone and Chipotle by eliciting emotion.

When Old Spice body wash was introduced in 2003, the product faced many competitors and was losing ground. So Old Spice did their homework and discovered that 50% of body wash purchases were made by women. Their creative agency produced a humorous monologue using attractive talent to persuade women that Old Spice was the brand for their men. They took a typical, low involvement purchase and made it something to talk about. The campaign positively impacted the brand by making it the #1 body wash to purchase and told a visual story that no matter what your man is doing, you want him to smell like Old Spice. It is the smell for any and every occasion.

Chipotle took a more emotional appeal with their campaign’s overarching message to “Cultivate a Better World”. The brand wanted to distinguish itself from fast food restaurants by taking a stand toward creating a sustainable, healthy food future. With a deep message as such, the brand needed to tell a story that had real impact and even though the video stirred up a little controversy amongst the food processing industry, the sentiment was positive overall. The campaign intended to impact the brand positively by positioning itself as the better food choice that cares not only about its customers, but also the environment.


Between the two, I think the more effective campaign was Old Spice. The brand took a creative approach to a not so creative product and I think the audience was more receptive to the humor as opposed to the emotion from Chipotle. In fact, my person opinion was that Chipotle’s somber tone was a little depressing and made me not want to eat anything produced from an animal. If Chipotle wants to stay in business, they should probably not dissuade people from eating.


Dancing with the Social Trends

Trends across social channels change frequently depending on current events, shows, movies, news or time of the year. Companies are looking for their products or services to be top of conversation which represents the strength of the brand, or the likelihood that the brand is being discussed. If users repeatedly talk about your brand, this is a sign of passion. The goal is for the sentiment and passion of the discussion to skew positive over neutral or negative. Lastly, reach is the overall range of influence.

So, what’s trending right now? Dancing with the Stars. Social Mention indicates that Dancing DWTSwith the Stars has a 53% strength, 4:1 sentiment, 29% passion, and 38% reach. This topic is talked about an average of every 20 seconds by 132 unique authors and the overall sentiment skews neutral. Delzio (2015) indicates that one of the more important metrics is total interactions as it is an indicator that the audience is engaging with the content whether they are liking, sharing or commenting. This is the digital version of spreading via word-of-mouth. On the contrary, companies are looking for ROI and whether or not social media efforts are impacting the bottom line. This is a continued strain on social media managers as actual sales conversions are difficult to track across the customer journey through email marketing, traditional print or broadcast media, website traffic, and social platforms. The closest companies can come is to “track how overall business revenues and profits correlate to increasing or decreasing social media efforts” (Delzio, 2015).

While this topic may be trending, according to @DWTS_News, the Dancing with the Stars Premiere TV ratings were actually low. This, of course, could be in comparison to the previous season which is understandable due to other highly watched programs such as The Voice, 2 Broke Girls, The Following, and Family Guy airing at the same time on other networks. It is also interesting that the strength in Dancing with the Stars changes every day which puts the pressure on the network to keep the topic relevant. In order to do so, I’d recommend utilizing the celebrity influencers to spread the word about the show and/or product custom behind-the-scenes content, beyond the episodes and live rehearsal videos, that viewers can only get on their channels. The show should also consider asking for user generated content so that the audience feels like a part of the show. Lastly, sweepstakes to view the show live or win private dance lessons would be an extra bonus to capture attention.

#highered Report Card

What does #highered mean to you? Most of you probably go straight to how expensive it is and all those student loans you are still paying off. I know I do. According to the conversation happening on Twitter, there are various perspectives surrounding the higher education topic including financial aid, diversity, teacher support, higher expectations for curriculum, conferences, and other. Director of Marketing at Spelman College @enjoyceinglife tweets “Retention is the No. 1 concern. Getting in to school is 1st hurdle. Being able to afford & stay in school is critical”. Students strive to take the journey from application accepted to graduation with hope that their education is of a high caliber and that they won’t spend the rest of their lives paying back tuition.


@Blackboard stands to reimagine education to create a world inspired to learn. If students are going to be inspired to learn, institutions must raise their standards. Activist @Fishica tweets that institutions are failing students. The study released by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni report that 18 % of colleges and universities require a single course in American history or government, 13% require intermediate foreign language, and just 3% require an economics course for graduation. The conversation also dipped its toes in the diversity waters to promote quality in higher education. Anne D. Neal, ACTA president, states, “Too many college rating systems rely on largely extraneous measures like alumni giving or selectivity to determine which colleges top their list”.  @educationweek hopped on the bandwagon to insist that high schools should develop higher expectations as well. Adams (2015) states that “raising expectations and personalizing learning have the potential to get more students on meaningful career paths”.

Once a career path is set, next comes how to pay for it. New Jersey Congressman @FrankPallone tweeted at The New York Times report that President Obama signed a “Student Aid Bill of Rights” that would help students deal with college loans. The Lumina Foundation is a private organization committed to increasing the number of Americans with high quality education and sponsored a couple tweets regarding financial aid during the past week.

In order for the education system to step it up a notch, SXSWedu is a great event for celebrating innovations in learning and the future of education. They host sessions on accelerating excellence in higher education, educational equality and more. Retweeted by @usedgov, Dr. Jill Biden summaries the mission at #SXSWedu “Together, we can ensure education in our country is accessible, affordable and attainable for all Americans”.

And to tie is all back to this blog, an interesting read by SproutSocial indicates that students are more likely to research about higher education using social media.

Twitter Breaking Through the Fashion Week Clutter

What does Twitter tweet about? I’ll tell you. Fashion. According to The Next Web, in 2010 Twitter was taking advantage of its own platform to become a one-stop microsite to track news and comments during New York Fashion Week. The strategy was to engage with the audience where they were – Twitter – and collaborate with multiple fashion companies to curate content and conversation in one spot. In a space that is cluttered daily during a high profile event, the strategy effectively served up topics that were of interest whether runway news, designer interviews, or behind-the-scenes sneak peeks. Sponsored by American Express, the microsite “takes the difficulty out of understanding information through just a hashtag (#NYFW) by displaying tweets in a highly organized, and highly visual, way”. When it comes to breaking through the clutter, content marketing is about creative inspiration. It is about thinking beyond the product and into the minds of what the audience wants to see. And do it in a way that is visually stimulating.


The strategy must have been effective as Fendi followed suit a couple years later in Milan featuring interactive and behind-the-scenes content on their own microsite. While Twitter did not experience any challenges with this strategy, brands are the ones that should be careful that they don’t start deterring their audience from their brand’s main website.The downfall of digital fashion week campaigns is the controversy over whether Fashion Week should remain a private, exclusive event or whether it should be broadcast digitally. The pitfalls with creating a microsite include competing for attention with the 571 new websites that are being created every minute, the under-optimized SEO ranking, and the lack of long-term relevancy. In fact, the @nyfw and @fashionweek handles that were created by Twitter are no longer even active. On the bright side, collaborating across companies to provide a better online experience for the users is a key tactic I’d be interested in learning more about regarding whether it has proven successful across other brands and industries.

Fendi Social Wall