Over the last five years or so, there has been an oft repeated challenge to businesses and brands when it comes to content marketing:
“See yourself as a publishing company.”
Frankly, it’s a great recommendation (assuming your content is good and consumer-centric), and I feel it’s as relevant today as it was when the discussion was started in the first place.
But for me, as I look at 2016 and beyond, I think we need to take it up another notch.
I think it’s time we started saying:
“See yourself as a production company.”
And when I say “production company,” I’m referring to the definition you’d find on a site like Wikepedia:
A production company provides the physical basis for works in the realms of the performing arts, new media art, film, television, radio, and video
Just look at the platforms and apps that are taking over the world:
- Facebook Live
What do they all have in common?
Everything is about the visual experience.
As a society, we want to see it. In fact, we want to feel like we’ve visually vetted something in its entirety before we even consider making a purchase.
How My Swimming Pool Company is Turning into a Video Production Company
I believe in this trend so much that it (video) has become the essential element of both of my companies, The Sales Lion and River Pools and Spas.
As an example with River Pools, later on this week we have our first dealer conference.
In this conference, fiberglass pool installers from around North America will be merging on our plant in Indianapolis and receiving two days of teaching/instruction.
In order to make the most of this event, we’ve set up the following:
- One person (our full time videographer) will be recording the entire event, with the purpose of turning the sessions into website content later on. He’ll also be creating video interviews with the dealers for social proof (so other dealers can vet us in the future). And finally, he’ll cut down all his footage from the 2 days and make a mini-documentary of the event—something that will also be turned into content for the website.
- Another person will be taking photos full time, the best of which will be added to the website, published on social media, used for point of sale elements, etc.
- Finally, we’ll have another person live-streaming the event. Specifically, this person will be leveraging Facebook Live so dealers and general followers can “be a part of the experience” without actually being in attendance.
In review, that’s three people working full time over the course of two days on the video/visual element of our brand.
But boy will it be worth it.
And it’s stuff like this that will make us the largest fiberglass pool builder in the world within 7 years.
As a team, we’re looking to change an industry and frankly turn it on its head. Without an “all-in” focus on the video side of the business, this goal is unattainable.
Content Shadows and Gary Vaynerchuk
It wasn’t too long ago that Gary Vaynerchuk stated that he saw a time coming when most CEOs would have a “content person” with them at all times—someone there to record their thoughts/actions and repurpose it into web content at the drop of a hat.
At the time, a lot of folks thought he was crazy and had gone a little “overboard” with his prediction.
But now look at the popularity of the Daily Vee Show on YouTube. (note: the following video has strong language)
That mini-documentary is as enlightening and telling as anything he’s ever done, and has already had a massive impact on his brand.
This doesn’t even account for what he’s doing on Facebook Live and Snapchat.
In my opinion, not only was Gary right about having what I’ll call a “content shadow,” but I think this form of visual storytelling is only going to increase.
More brands are going do it.
More consumers are going to consume it.
More companies are going to offer it.
And everyone sure as heck better be engaged in it—if they want their business and brand to stay on top.
So my question for you is:
Are you ready to go all in with the visual/video side of your business?
Do you have at least one person on staff whose singular job is to produce this content?
If not, the time is now.
Don’t just tell it. Show it. Show it on multiple platforms. And show it really, really well.