Lights, Camera, Blog Part 09: Notes from the keynote

lights camera blog obm keynote summary darwin 2012

Vania and Phil crafting video at the Lights, Camera, Blog workshop as part of October Business Month, Darwin, 2012

Lights Camera Blog has wrapped up for October Business Month in the Northern Territory.

I promised to share the key points from the keynote presentation, delivered in the Darwin Entertainment Centre on October 17, so here they are.

You will also find a video version of this summary of Lights, Camera, Blog a little lower on this page.

People need you

The first point to note is that people out there NEED you.

Some KNOW you exist and want to become members or use your products and services.

Some DON’T – and have no idea they should become part of your world.

That is why Lights, Camera, Blog was created; to expand your marketing toolkit with some tools that are less than a year old.

Story is key

Humans love stories and we know that information shared in stories tends to ‘stick’ in our minds for a long time.

Certainly a lot longer than a list of features and benefits.

However, most of us have let our story making skills wither and we have become passive consumers of the Story Telling Machinery – newspapers, books, radio, television, theatre and cinema.

What’s more, as business people we have been trained to only use the GAPS in the Story Telling Machinery for telling OUR stories – the ad breaks.

And, sadly, too much of the communication from businesses and organisations in these display ads, broadcast ads or marketing material like brochures and websites, is BORING.

Try talking to your friends like a commercial and see how long you last as a friend!

We then looked at a couple of videos for electricians made by a large advertising entity. Basically, both ads looked and sounded the same – you could have swapped one electrician for all your electrical needs with the other one which was the one stop electrical services company.

Our communication must connect with our target market

When Alison Bevege from the NT News interviewed me on the eve of the keynote, she challenged me on why people would bother watching videos made by small businesses. Her assumption was we were going to be making bad ads.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

At the core of Lights, Camera, Blog is the understanding that while we will still use traditional forms of advertising and communication from time to time, we will also explore and test modern options like blogging and video being made in house and then shared through social networks.

Our job is to meditate on the wants and needs of our target market and strategically lay helpful, findable, shareable content in their way.

To help visualise this, we used the Inverse Funnel of Insights (or the more popularly dubbed Bow Tie of Big Ideas).

Inverse Funnel of Insight or Bow Tie of Big Ideas

The Inverse Funnel of Insight aka Bow Tie of Big Ideas

What this model does for us is remind us that well before existing customers of ours or prospective customers are even aware of a particular product or service we offer, there are solutions they are seeking or opportunities they are wanting to seize that our product or service could help with. The dilemma is they might not know that yet so it is up to us to think creatively about ways to sidle up to them amid their current questions, help them through our expertise and gently guide them towards thinking about our type of product or service.

The beauty of someone encountering one of our thoughtfully prepared blog articles is that when they click on that link in Google to read this item that might help them, they are brought into our websites (provided we are blogging within our own sites, which is the ideal way to structure things).

If the information helps them and they are beginning to learn more about their options, they are just a click away from our product or services range, contact information, etc.

In the workshops we reflected on each of these sections and noted down possible issues in the worlds of our prospects and customers and thought about content that would be helpful to them for guiding them towards a solution.

We also noted that after someone has joined our organisation or bought from us, there are still opportunities to share content with them on how to use or get the most out of their membership, product or service, how to access help, and what new opportunities await once they have this mastered.

My invitation to STOP

Lights, Camera, Blog gave people a chance to stop and reflect on the messaging they had been pumping out into the marketplace, and to ask honestly whether that content would really be helpful or engaging to someone who didn’t know you or your organisation from a bar of soap.

The next step was to ponder just one aspect of your business or association that could be teased out into something helpful – something that could assist someone move closer to making a purchase decision.

Some examples we shared were thinking about someone running an outback trekking company. A quick video on what YOU pack in your swag or get YOUR opinion on what insect repellent works best or what shoes you choose or avoid, would be truly valuable to a city slicker deciding whether or not to trust you with keeping them safe on their expedition holiday (and even help them pack better for a better experience for all involved).

I also shared a picture that came through my social network on the day from a dietition I am following. She shot her lunch which was a salad featuring Mallow Leaves which had been freshly plucked from the waist high ‘weeds’ surrounding her plate in her garden. That picture surprised me, grabbed my attention and won her some extra points of trust as an expert who knows about food and who might be a good choice for brainstorming some creative menu ideas.

Your gold mine of content

The point is that these simple snippets of story, picture and video, all provide insights that WE might take for granted because WE live them every single day.

And yet, when someone doesn’t know what they don’t know, or is deciding between product/service providers or clubs/organisations to join, these insights are GOLD.

But how do we turn these ideas into content without sucking our resources of time or money dry?

We blog (craft short articles, preferably on a weekly basis) because:

  • It is invaluable professional development to craft some thoughts each week on why or how your business or organisation is relevant to your target market
  • You build a solid Google footprint – blog content is well liked by Google and the search engines meaning these articles pepper the top pages in search often moreso than static, generic pages on your websites
  • You create sales tools with each article – you will be able to refer to and forward on helpful articles to different customers or influencers at different times in the sales process

We use video because:

  • Video is overtaking the world and Cisco Systems forecasts that 90% of consumer internet traffic next year will involve VIDEO
  • Marketing Magazine reveals 43 per cent of online Australians are already watching some form of video online. And between catch up tv and YouTube, it is amounting to about 6 hours per week. Furthermore, Aussies are watching more than two billion videos online every month, including the videos we are talking about, not just Gangnam Style videos!
  • Social tools like your smartphones coupled with SocialCam and other apps that let you shoot video and quickly share it via Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, etc, mean the time between having an idea and sharing it with the world can be 10 minutes or less – as we proved on the night when we shot footage live in the Entertainment Centre, edited it on the iPhone and published it with the world – adding titles and sound effects along the way.

What makes good video content?

  • Product demonstrations
  • How To videos
  • Behind the scenes (especially if we get to see things we don’t normally see)
  • Novel footage that illustrates a point

Here are links to previous posts detailing different aspects of conceiving, shooting and sharing video content, as well as a link to last year’s RITE Series eBook which covers more of the blogging content:

Lights, Camera, Blog Part One: Using SocialCam to build your video skills

Lights, Camera, Blog Part Two: Share some expertise and speak to us naturally

Lights, Camera, Blog Part Three: Video and blogging give customers a glimpse behind the curtain

Lights, Camera, Blog Part Four: Customer-generated video, if they can do it, you can

Lights, Camera, Blog Part Five: Using scraps to make video

Lights, Camera, Blog Part Six: Free, easy animation gives you video content without getting on camera

Lights, Camera, Blog Part Seven: Making and publishing one-take videos

Lights, Camera, Blog Part Eight: Shooting a la Jake The Peg style with a homemade tripod 

Doing Social Media the RITE way – free eBook 2011

Some parting thoughts

I have tried to sum up this email in a small piece to camera shot in Darwin Airport.

However, to spark some creative juices, let me say that although I shot footage in the airport and stood in the airport, I actually recorded my ‘talk’ in my backyard against a piece of green material stuck to my patio wall. With my iPhone on a tripod I spoke to camera and then, using Adobe Premiere Elements (relatively inexpensive video editing software, approx $150) I ‘merged’ the two pieces so that any green behind me was replaced by the airport footage.

This technique is called ‘green screening’ and you can use green or royal blue material, as long as it has no creases and has even light over it. The software lets you merge within minutes. It means you could shoot some footage of the outback, your factory, a tradeshow, etc, and then add your commentary later.

Something to ponder…

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Again, please share links to locally produced blogs and videos made by you, in house in the NT. It will be great to see what you come up with and to hear about sales or enquiries that they generate. I already have some to share next week, why not add yours to the list? Leave a comment with a link, below, or email

PS: You can also download Lights, Camera, Blog – October Business Month 2012 Summary, as a PDF to forward on to friends and colleagues. It is about 750kb in size.

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