Tag Archives: storytelling

Joining The 500 Club

Screen Shot 2013-02-18 at 3.24.57 PMWell, this is it. Blog post #500. We started blogging in October 2009. No need to do the math, it’s just under three-and-a-half years. It started slowly at first, but for the most part I’ve been blogging four days a week during most of that stretch.

Yesterday, I promised some insights on what I’ve learned about content marketing during that time. Today, I’ll focus on my motivation for starting and how it has changed.

Most people get  into content marketing with a similar mindset. We’ll provide helpful content, over time people will get to know and trust us and that process will eventually lead to added business.

T60’s Motivation for blogging

Yeah… that wasn’t me. While I knew all that going in, none of that really factored into my motivation. For me, it was all about SEO.

Three years ago, I looked at the T60 website and knew it needed a change. I had built it myself, and while I think it looked fine, it needed a professional’s touch and above all else it needed a lot of SEO help.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have the cash to upgrade, but once I had enough to move forward I wanted to be ready.

Knowing that the number of pages at a site and frequency of updates factors in to SEO, I thought I’d start writing a blog. I’ve always been a writer, so why not?

Here I am 500 posts later, and the new T60 site is a week or two from going live. We’ll roll the blog into it, so I’m hoping all the hard work will pay off.

Who’s going to read this?

What’s interesting though is the blog has provided me with so much more.

One of the main reasons I wasn’t really into the typical motivation behind content media is that I honestly didn’t know how much interest there would be in my subject matter. Who the heck is going to read a daily blog on video production!?

Well, the simple answer to that is at least 275 people. That’s the current number of followers we have. Not a huge number by any means, but it’s more than I thought we’d have. We don’t get a ton of comments, but we do get a fair share of “likes” everyday. That’s a nice feeling, but it’s only part of our new motivation.

Now… it’s about ‘cred.  Being a consistent blogger has given me/T60 added credibility, and it’s starting to pay-off. I know that’s a big reason why a lot of people get into content marketing, but it has slowly grown on me and I’m here to say it works… only I’ve found it in a different way.

clients love it

I don’t know how much online ‘cred I have, but T60’s clients always seem impressed by the blog. Over the 500 posts, I’ve blogged about a lot of FAQs we get from prospects, so one of the things we now do is occasionally work the blog into our proposals.

For example, if a prospect asks me a question about storytelling, I follow it up with a proposal that includes links to blog posts on that subject… and they eat it up! Not only do they appreciate the actual information, they’re impressed by my commitment to blogging.

Anyway, I’m here to tell you… content marketing works. It isn’t a quick strategy. I’m three-and-a-half years in and it’s just now starting to pay-off, but I’m glad I got into it.

–Tony Gnau

Marketing Videos That Brag On Yourself

emmy winner websiteIt’s a fine line. You want to brag about yourself, but you don’t want to come off like you’re bragging about yourself. That’s the line we walk producing videos for every client, and it’s a lesson we’re learning ourselves as we build a new website.

Some business owners want to throw every accolade into their videos. Others are somewhat afraid to include any. I’d like to say split the difference, but the truth is every situation is different.

go with your gut

The best advice I can give is let the content and your instincts guide your decision-making. If it doesn’t feel right to include some self-praise, it probably isn’t. Remember, video isn’t about facts and figures, it’s about emotion. That’s why it’s good to go with your gut in situations like this.

But by all means, if it feels okay to brag on yourself a little… go for it. Just don’t over-do it.

–Tony Gnau

The Marketing Video Every Business Should Have

About Us Video SamplesYou’re interested in a particular company so you head to its website. You hit the home page… maybe you move on to the About Us page.

If company leaders have some marketing moxie, you should have run into their video by now. If not, you’re probably trying to decide whether or not it’s worth your time to read all that text.

This is what people are faced with everyday when they visit your company website, so why haven’t you produced a video?


I don’t buy it. Our prices start at less than $1,000, and you can find some who’ll do it for even less. Still too expensive? Fire up your iPhone and produce your own.

Nobody will watch

Seriously? You know it in your gut… people are more likely to watch a video than read text. Your gut’s not good enough? Google the countless studies that back up that feeling. While you’re at it, look at study after study demonstrating how many people are watching online videos.

I’m not good on-camera

Put a talented storyteller to work and they’ll figure out a way to make you look and sound good. Still not convinced? Who says you have to be on-camera? There are plenty of creative ways to produce a video where you never appear in the video.

Why Video makes sense

An About Us video is a great way to make a good first impression. It gives you an opportunity to talk directly to people who are interested in your company. You can show them what it is you do and what makes your business so good.

An About Us video brings your company to life.

–Tony Gnau

DIY Marketing Videos Need Expert Help

Screen shot 2013-02-06 at 8.01.58 PMI’ve been blogging a lot lately about when DIY videos are okay. My theory is if you’re a tiny business with zero marketing budget, by all means produce your own videos.

On the other hand, if you’re a more established company, it’s better to turn to a professional storyteller.

I think the subject has been on my mind a lot because I’m basically putting my money where my mouth is. No, I’m not turning to someone else to produce a video on T60. That’s crazy talk. I’m talking about web design.

When I started T60 eight years ago, I sat down at iWeb (does Apple even make that anymore!?) and created the company website. Honestly, I think I did pretty darn well for a novice, but creating it and updating it over the years meant me learning a lot about web design and stumbling my way through it.

Thankfully, T60 has come of age, and in the next couple weeks we’ll be going live with a new website… one produced by pros.

Julie at We Cre8 Design and Brian at Net Elevation have done an incredible job. They’re the reason I’ve been thinking so much about DIY lately. They created something I never would have been able to do on my own. They’re the pros, and I’m glad I turned to them.

I’ll take expert help over ineptitude any day.

–Tony Gnau

Content Is King… Blah, Blah, Blah

crownWe’ve all heard it before, but it’s true. Content is becoming a more and more valuable tool for businesses, and the better they do it the better it makes the company look.

It’s one of the biggest reasons to make sure you’re picking a good storyteller to produce your videos. You want to create content that’s going to appeal to your clients and prospects. I’m sure Ted in accounting puts together some terrific home movies, but we’re talking a higher degree of storytelling sophistication here.

A quality storyteller will be able to take what you want to communicate and deliver it in a way that draws in an audience. There’s no point in creating content for content’s sake. You want something that will connect with people.

I guess the point is that content isn’t king… quality content is king.

–Tony Gnau

Amateur Videos Not For Established Companies

Tony_smileLast week I was blogging about when it’s okay for a business to produce its own videos. Basically, it boils down to budget and size. If you’re a small business owner with zero budget for marketing, please feel free to produce your own stuff. Everyone else… you should look for a video pro.

What I didn’t get into was WHY everyone else should get professional help. So… here it is…

You want people to take you seriously. You want clients and prospects to look at your company and have a sense of confidence. You want them to look at you as professional.

Your reputation is on the line

So why would you entrust your company videos to non-professionals? Video has never been more accessible to the masses. Anyone with a smart phone can shoot, edit and post videos to the web. The problem is most of what they post is garbage. Not exactly the image you’d like to give people about your company.

If you’re a small shop and people know and understand this, an amateur video is kitschy. It can work to your advantage.

If you’re a solid business with an earned reputation, an amateur video is cheap… and it makes you look that way.

Show some pride and find a video pro to tell your stories. They get paid to make your business look like it deserves that reputation.

–Tony Gnau

American Airline’s New Look Video

Picture 1If you hadn’t noticed, American Airlines recently changed its logo. I was pretty surprised when it popped up in my Facebook feed.  I like it.

A logo change is usually a big deal for a company. All new stationary, business cards, all sorts of stuff needs updating. Now imagine you have a fleet of passenger jets. Yikes!

American Airlines produces good Videos

American is pretty good about using video to inform its passengers. They produced one of my all-time favorite corporate videos, and the latest one involves giving their planes an all new look (VIDEO). While it’s not exactly award-winning storytelling, I enjoyed it and learned some interesting things.

That’s what video can do for you as a business. American picked a subject they thought would interest people (painting a plane) and delivered content to satisfy that interest.

What’s something you’re doing at your business that might peak someone’s interest?

–Tony Gnau

Vine Ushers in 6-Second Storytelling

vineOkay… what do you think of Vine?

Not up on the new social video platform? Well, you can read more about it at Twitter’s blog. Basically, it’s a new Twitter app that allows people to capture and share 6-second videos.

What can you share in 6-seconds? I think that’s the idea. Like the 140 character limit, they’re looking for some creativity from users.

business applications

I have no idea how businesses will start to use the service, but if it catches on I’m sure business leaders will be working overtime to capitalize. I take that back, they’ll have their creative teams working overtime.

6-second storytelling… I’m choosing not to be irked and to simply look at this as a challenge.

–Tony Gnau

Video Provides More Info Than Text

play buttonSomething interesting happened to me yesterday. I got more information watching a video than I did from detailed text.

It sounds ridiculous. Everyone knows text offers an opportunity to deliver more information than a video. I often tell clients their video is the hook to get people to further explore their website for more information.

So what happened?

I went to the my health care provider’s website to get some information regarding my plan and chronic back pain. I’ve been having some serious back issues, so I wanted to find out what sort of treatments are available.

I scanned through some text, but it wasn’t very helpful. Then, I discovered a video. It was all graphics and text, but the video walked me through potential issues surrounding back pain and the various methods to treat it. After watching, I felt pretty good about what I had learned.

The takeaway

Sometimes the video will have all the information someone needs and will provide it in a more straight forward way.

None of the text I scanned through was helpful. If that’s all that was there, I probably would have given-up. In other words, I wouldn’t have gotten any information if the video hadn’t been at the site.

Thanks to the video, I got what I needed to know and left the site happy.

I blog a lot about storytelling and how important it is to producing a good video. I mean, I blog about it A LOT! That doesn’t mean your video will be a fluff piece without any meat.

Video is a terrific way to deliver information.

–Tony Gnau

Want People To Remember? Tell A Story.

Video CameraI got to watch some public speaking training yesterday. One of our regular clients hired a speech coach to teach a couple of the managers. T60 provided the video support and instant replays.

Not our normal thing, but I was really looking forward to it. The coach was good. She was pretty tough on the managers, but there was definitely an improvement from start to finish.

Getting an audience to pay attention

One of the things the coach talked about early on was the need to tell a story. She said people won’t remember details, but they will remember a narrative.

Let’s see… where have we heard that before? Duh, right here! It’s an axiom that holds true for most forms of communication… certainly with video.


Rattle off facts and figures… right over people’s heads. Tell them a compelling story… it sticks with them.

The trick is being able to incorporate information into the story. That’s why an experienced storyteller will almost always do a better job with this than an amateur.

When you look for a video producer, make sure they can deliver a good-looking video, but above all else, make sure they’re a good storyteller.

–Tony Gnau