Are you neglecting face to face marketing? I know I have. I’ve often thought I wouldn’t be in business if it hadn’t been for the internet.
As someone who is naturally shy, yeah I know… I am though, the internet and social networks has given me a way to meet people and communicate in a space I am comfortable with.
But, I’ve been working hard at getting out from behind my computer and meeting people face to face and it’s been good for my business.
This week’s podcast guest Mark Schaefer talks about a campaign that takes face to face marketing beyond the networking meeting. Although the example is for a big brand the lessons that you can learn as a small business owner are huge.
Give it a listen below
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Superhero Tips – Which Way Should You Hold Your Phone When You Shoot Video?
I got a surprise this week. Vertical video platform IGTV started allowing horizontal format videos on its platform. That’s pretty huge, IGTV was launched as a vertical video platform, the change suggests that creators are still tethered to the horizontal format.
And I say creators because I have an inkling that many mobile viewers may actually prefer vertical. There’s a stat that’s bandied around at conferences and in articles saying that 72% of Millennials never turn their phone to the horizontal plane. If you are making landscape videos, the chances are it will always be a small slice of the screen that viewers are looking at.
So is horizontal dead? Which way should we hold our phones when we shoot video for social networks?
There isn’t a simple answer to this. It will always depend on the platform you are posting to and the device your viewer is using to watch it.
There are some specifics for each social network but before I go into that there’s an unbreakable, golden rule you need to know before you shoot.
File it away in the back of your head ready for your next video.
And that rule is…
Whichever format you shoot in, shoot everything, every last shot, in that format.
You’ll thank me for this when you start editing. Chopping together a mixture of vertical and horizontal shots is a nightmare.
OK, now you have the big golden rule let’s look at the big social networks and the video formats that work best for them.
Vertical, horizontal and square video work in the Facebook feed but the best format depends on the end user.
Vertical video is amazing on mobile, when someone clicks to play, the video takes up the whole screen, it immerses your viewer in your content. No distractions, just your video in their hand.
Which is great but…
It looks pants on desktop. Your video is presented as a tiny slice against a blurry background, it just looks wrong.
If you know most of your viewers are on mobile this isn’t a problem but if many still visit from desktop (and for B2B companies like mine this isn’t uncommon) you’ll need to go for another option.
Horizontal looks great on desktop but there’s a problem on mobile. Yes it still works, people will see your video in its original format but it takes up such a small part of the screen it lacks impact, it’s easy to scroll by.
The solution for these problems and a good catchall for the Facebook feed is square video. It takes up a big chunk of the screen on mobile and displays properly on desktop.
You can either use editing software like CuteCut to crop your video square or you can use a tool like Kapwing to add bars at the top and bottom transforming your horizontal video to square. You can also and add text and captions to those bars.
There’s less room for manoeuvre here. Stories are vertical format 9×16. Respect that format, it’s what story viewers expect.
Kapwing can turn your horizontal video vertical but I’d recommend using a tool like Wave to create a multi-format video at the editing stage.
Traditionally the Instagram feed includes square images and videos but you can get away with a vertical format with a 4×5 ratio.
Vertical takes up more space in the feed than square but you need to frame your video so that the subject is in the centre. If you don’t, your grid will look a tad disjointed.
Just like Facebook you should always use the 9×16 vertical ratio in stories.
IGTV may now embrace horizontal video but we should consider the end user. These are Instagram users, used to holding their phone and viewing the network on a vertical plane so vertical should still work better.
Thankfully Twitter is less confusing. They recommend anything from a horizontal 16×9 ratio to a square. Vertical video is cropped in the feed but expands when clicked.
And it’s the same for…
I’d recommend using square video for both networks as it takes up more space in the feed.
Finally, the home of online video…
YouTube supports vertical video but in 2019 it’s still a very horizontal platform.
Superpower of the week – Brain FM
You know that feeling you get when you try to complete a task but your brain and body rebel. It’s that stuffy clogged brain feeling.
I had it yesterday when I started work on this podcast episode. No matter what I tried I couldn’t get it done. So I thought I’d give Brain FM a shot.
I’d heard about it from Erik Fisher’s Beyond The ToDo List podcast.
It’s a website, that plays music scientifically designed to help you concentrate. When I first put my headphones on to listen I cringed, this music is weird and rubbish… but I persisted and after a few minutes, you know what; it worked. I was writing like a monkey at a typewriter.
You get your first 5 sessions for free but I already know this is something I will sign up for. It costs $6.95 a month.
Superhero Interview – Mark Schaefer
Mark Schaefer is an internationally-acclaimed keynote speaker, strategy consultant, author, and college educator. Always thinking one step ahead of marketing trends, he works with some of the biggest brands on the planet to present memorable and entertaining keynote programs and workshops.
Mark W. Schaefer is known for his original, thought-provoking and insightful views on business problems we face today and strategies to win in the future.
This week’s superhero is somebody you’ll all be familiar with. His latest book The Marketing Rebellion partly inspired me to change the way that I’m doing this podcast. Welcome to the show, Mark.
Well, I think you need to raise the bar for your definition for superhero first of all and second of all, it really fills my heart to hear that my book had a positive impact on you so thanks for saying that.
Of course, it did but not the first book of yours that’s had a positive impact. We’re here to talk today about a campaign that I think features in the book and it’s one that I think I was watching you sharing it on social media when it was happening. I’m kind of chaffed that you chose this example. So tell me what it is.
Well, now, I have to warn your listeners that this is a big example and it may seem sort of out of reach or impractical for small or even medium sized businesses but I don’t think it really is. I think there’s some great marketing lessons here.
So the background is that there’s a big festival in America every year called South By Southwest and it’s sort of a gathering of the world’s thought leaders.
These are people who could be from the world of entertainment from art, from technology, from business and marketing. So it will attract people like Elon Musk, let’s say, or some movie director. It even attracts people like me and people come from literally all over the world. So making an impact at South By Southwest is a big deal because if you can connect to those influencers then your word is really going to spread.
So this was a campaign that I observed, as you mentioned, first hand and I wrote about it in my blog and it was for HBO.
There’s a series called Westworld. It’s sort of a science fiction show and it was very popular and they wanted to promote the second season of the show. So they hired a company called Giant Spoon.
Now, Giant Spoon is a very unusual advertising agency and they’ve become one of my favorite companies to follow. They’re a fun company to sort of see what they’re doing on Instagram and other social media accounts and the thing, Amanda, that I think is remarkable about Giant Spoon is their slogan is we’re an advertising agency that aspires to never make an ad. So that’s an important lesson about the future of marketing right there. Why would they have a slogan like that?
I think it’s poignant that a few months ago they were named Breakout Agency of the Year by Ad Week Magazine. So here’s the industry publication sort of rewarding an agency that doesn’t make ads.
So what they did is they convinced HBO to take over an old, abandoned western town outside of Austin and they recreated the set from the television series, down to an enormous amount of detail. They had the saloon from the series. They had actors dressed up like characters on the show, they call them the hosts, they’re like robots. They had food, they had drink, they immersed you in a narrative and so what they did is they invited a hand selected group of influencers to sort of kick this thing off.
You met in Austin, they took you on a bus to this ghost town, you go through sort of an orientation and then the average amount of time a person spent at this event was two and a half hours.
Now think of the power of that. They created something so amazing that people were spending two and a half hours with this brand and I guarantee you they were creating the content the whole time.Now think of the power of that. They created something so amazing that people were spending two and a half hours with this brand and I guarantee you they were creating the content the whole time.Click To Tweet
So, I got to interview the founder. We’ve sort of become friends and I said, “Well, how do you measure something like that?” Because that’s sort of sends off bells for me, you can’t manage what you can’t measure and so they said, “Well, HBO had one goal. Win South By Southwest,” meaning being the most talked about event for that conference of influencers and thought leaders.
So, at the risk of hijacking the entire conversation, what I’d like to do is break this down into a few lessons that point to very important themes for every business, no matter the size.
Okay, sounds good.If your business is just handing out pens or you're just sort of doing marketing the way it's been done five years ago, you're probably behind, you're probably not connecting.Click To Tweet
Number one, they had to do something unusual to break through the noise. So if your business is just handing out pens or you’re just sort of doing marketing the way it’s been done five years ago, you’re probably behind, you’re probably not connecting.
So the first lesson is you’ve got to think about doing something that is worthy of people’s attention.
Number two, as this case study demonstrates, the customer is the marketer. HBO didn’t take out ads for this thing. They didn’t promote this thing. What they did is they created something so insanely cool that they put the marketing in the hands of customer.
So these people spent two and a half hours at this event and they created content. Now, I don’t want your listeners to get stuck on the fact that this cost probably millions of dollars to do.
What I want your listeners to think about is the people who love you, your best customers, they’re also your best marketers. So how can you help them do their job as your marketers? How can you love on them? How can you bring them together, create some sort of experience that creates a conversation about your products and your services and your brand and why they love you?
Give me a reason to talk about you and this is very important because people generally don’t see traditional advertising like they used to. They don’t believe advertising really at all. And so this idea of re-imagining marketing, we literally have to re-imagine marketing and think about how do we help the customers become the marketers?
The other thing about this case study that any business can learn from is there’s a power in bringing people together. It’s the difference between listening to a song on the radio or maybe watching Westworld on TV and going to a concert with your friends and experiencing that first hand. And now there’s this emotional connection that will never go away.
So there’s a great power in bringing people together. The subtitle of my book, it’s Marketing Rebellion: The Most Human Company Wins and what I try to emphasise in this book is that this is the way the world is going and we really don’t have a choice but to think of our businesses and marketing in a different way.
How do we create a more connected business, a more human business? Marketing is all about creating some sort of emotional bond.
One of the greatest ways to do that is to have your customers see you in some live setting, to see your face and see your smile and hear your voice and learn about the passion about what you do.
So those are some of the lessons. It’s a big case study but there are simple lessons there that everybody can take from that great story from Giant Spoon.
Do you think that if a small business was going to try and create some sort of experience for their customers, does it have to be, I suppose the answer’s yes, does it have to be an event? Could it just be a fact that maybe you just go out and meet more people? What would be the best way to do that?
Well, there’s lots of ways to do it. You could just have coffee with people. I mean, one of the things I do is I get to travel around to different cities and I always keep in mind, who do I sort of know in that city or who would I like to know in that city and would they be available to meet me for coffee or lunch or something like that?
It could be bringing in an outside speaker. Let’s say you’re in the finance business. Maybe you bring in someone from a company that can talk about retirement planning or something and you just have a little cocktail party or something and you bring in this person and they talk about some new idea about retirement planning, if that’s your business.
So the idea is to make some excuse to bring people together. Could be in small numbers, could be in bigger numbers. And when they do that, then they have an emotional connection with you that they may not have with others.
Okay. So, really, I kind of agree because it’s something I’ve been making. As somebody who doesn’t like going out and talking to people in general, it’s something that I’ve been making a real habit of doing over the last year and I do think it makes massive difference just if you go out and meet someone even if it’s somebody in your own industry.
The amount of referral that you’ll get as a result of making that personal connection can make a difference so even really its not ghost town in the middle of the desert.
I think even those one to one experiences can help.
I’ll give you a realistic example. This just happened to me over the last few days. So a few years ago, there was a conference in Brazil that brought me down to Brazil. Another speaker at event was a guy named Mark Masters. He lives in Bournemouth, U.K. Never heard of the guy before but during our time together in Brazil we became friends.
Now, that sort of bond would have never happened over social media. It just wouldn’t. We were having meal together, we were sharing stories together. So about a year later, he invited me to his event in England. So now we’re collaborating on something together. I had a great time. It was a great event. He got great value from it, I got great value from it.
Now, I just got back from England where he had another event that was all around me. We had a half day event where I gave three different presentations and I’ve never experienced anything like that before where there was an event that was sort of created all around me.
It was an extraordinary sort of milestone in my career. But that never, ever would have happened if we didn’t have that face to face experience. And now, we’ll always support each other, I mean, we’re friends and you never know where that will lead.
You’re just putting massive envy in my head almost everything you say because I want to go to Westworld and wish it was a real place, without the killer robots. I want to go to Brazil and I was really gutted that I couldn’t make it to the event in London and it’s so true because I know if I had gone there it wouldn’t have just been you I met, there would have been a whole group of new people I would have met and built relationships with and had on the podcast.
Right, there you go.
I think every chance that you get to do something like that is an opportunity and I think people like me need to learn to do that a little bit more.
Well, it’s difficult for me too. I’m an introvert by my nature and I prefer conversations like this, just one on one conversations with a friend. That’s kind of where I thrive and I’ve decided I need to take my own medicine and do better with events. And I’m thinking about having my own event. Whenever I get invited to speak at conferences, I usually show up to give a speech and then I go hide because I’m not really comfortable in that environment but I need to do better to network and use that opportunity to meet people and see people.
So that’s something I think probably a lot of our listeners as well, because we all sit behind computers all day, it is something that we can push ourselves to do more.
That was a great example. Thanks so much for your time on the show. I know everyone’s going to really enjoy this. Tell me, for those people who haven’t experienced, what’s it called, ShaefCon?
I had no control of this. I think what Mark was calling it was something like Schaef By The Seaside.
And then while I was there someone created #ShaefCon, which was sort of fun but I had no control over it.
Okay, so not ShaefCon but where can we find you online if people want to find out more?
Well, it’s very easy to find me if you can remember businessesgrow.com. That’s my comprehensive site where you can find my blog, which is free, my podcast, which is free.
I’ve got presentation materials on there, my books are on there, which cost a little bit but it’s quite a bargain, I think. The last book cost, it took me about two years to write and I think it maybe costs 20 pounds or something like that so you can get two years of my life for 20 pounds. I think that’s a bargain.
It’s a good deal and it’s a great read as well.
Yeah. And there’s also a site there, it’s businessesgrow.com/rebellion and there’s lot of free materials that go with the book. There’s a free workbook, there’s a video, there’s actually two free workbooks. So there’s lots of cool stuff there and you don’t even have to buy the book.
Okay. I’ll make sure I put all the links in the show notes as well just in case people are driving and they can’t scribble that down.
Thanks so much for joining us, Mark. You really are a superhero. Welcome to the club.
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