Daily Archives: September 6, 2017

Germany’s Merck eyes consumer products exit

Plan to sell business continues pharmaceutical industry’s love-hate relationship with OTC drugs

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Tips for Making Video Content that Earns Attention from Andrew Davis #CMWorld

The inimitable Andrew Davis is the best-selling author of Town, Inc. and an in-demand marketing speaker. After his presentation at Content Marketing World 2017, I can see why.

He made me feel stupid. And I’m incredibly grateful.

The best presentations make you feel stupid in retrospect. Of course! It’s so obvious that this is the way to do it! Why haven’t we been doing it this way the whole time? Feeling stupid after-the-fact means you just got smarter.

You see, video content marketing has gone from the next big thing to the current big thing. Brands that pump out a ton of text-based content are now flooding the attention marketplace with video. And just as we had to learn how to make content work for marketing, we’re all still figuring out how to make effective marketing video.

Over the course of 45 minutes–which included exploding watermelons, Ice Road Truckers, and impromptu dance breaks–Andrew laid out exactly what is wrong with how most marketers are approaching video. And, more importantly, how to fix it. Here are some key takeaways. I hope they make you feel stupid in the best possible way.

Creating Video Marketing that Holds Attention

As Andrew explained it, video is a linear medium. We want viewers to hit the play button and barrel down the tracks to the end, where our CTA lives. But people rarely take that straight journey. They can skip forward or backward, or even bail entirely.

When people bail on a video, conventional wisdom holds that the video’s too long for a short attention span. It’s not the lack of attention span, though: It’s the lack of content designed to hold attention. As Roger Ebert said, “No good movie is too long and no bad movie is short enough.”

Our goal, then, is to occupy our audience’s interest – their desire to know – over time. How can we do that?

#1: Raise questions to drive content.  What keeps a person watching is the desire to have a question answered. As Andrew put it, “Eliminate our audience’s desire to answer a question, and we eliminate interest in our content.”  Is your content giving it all away up front? If you answer the audience’s burning question in the first fifteen seconds, without promise of further answers to come, what’s their motivation to watch the next three minutes? Or six minutes? “When someone says your video is ‘too long,’” Andrew says, “they’re really saying, ‘I have no more questions.’”

#2 Create suspense. The primary method to keep the audience asking questions–thereby keeping them watching–is to create suspense. Show your audience something the character desires, then threaten it. Raise obstacles to the character’s goal. Leave the outcome in doubt. Raise the stakes over time and you keep the questions going – what’s going to happen next? How will this problem be solved?

#3 Put your CTA before the payoff. The suspense you’re building will lead to a moment of catharsis, when the questions are answered and all is revealed. But don’t put your CTA after that moment–see the previous comment about “I have no more questions.” Rather, put it right at that peak of interest. Think of it like the commercial break before the big reveal on a reality show. Just make sure your payoff is worth your viewer’s invested time and emotion.

Think Like a Reality TV Editor to Tell Compelling Stories

To build suspense and keep the audience guessing, we need to draw from the masters of suspense. Yes, reality TV shows, especially makeover and talent shows. The editing tricks of the TV trade can help make your content compelling, even if it’s not about toddler beauty pageants or salmon fishing in Alaska.

Consider these key elements as you edit:

  • Music. Too many corporate marketing videos use the same generic jaunty tune all the way through. Use music to set the mood and change that mood throughout the video.
  • Beats. No, not drumbeats or overpriced headphones. Beats are little moments of pause, a breath or two to let the audience process what you’re telling them. Don’t be afraid to pause and let things sink in–if you’ve earned the audience’s attention, that will build tension rather than dissipate it.
  • Pacing. You control the rate at which you give information to your audience. Withholding information builds suspense, balanced with the need to keep moving forward.
  • Narrative structure. Too many testimonial-type videos start with “This product is great and solved my problems, which were….” and the viewer says, “I have no more questions. You told me the product was great and solved your problems.” Instead, work toward the solution in a way that builds suspense and raises stakes:
    • Start with the problem
    • Intensify the problem
    • Show the struggle for a solution
    • Hint at the solution
    • Reveal the solution

Your Best Asset: A Critical Eye

Being aware of these elements and tactics is the first step. However, you can only truly master the form through conscious studying. Andrew said, “You will become a better video producer when you learn how to watch videos better.” The next time a video captivates your attention, study it. How is it continually raising questions? How is it building suspense? What editing, beats, and music choices make it compelling? Start watching video with a critical eye, see what works, and don’t hesitate to steal it.

In other words, what makes video marketing effective is exactly what makes any video effective: It tells a compelling story with tension, stakes, and a moment of catharsis when the tension is resolved.

Feel smarter? I know I do.

Ready to get going? Here are some easy ways to get started with video content marketing.


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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2017. |
Tips for Making Video Content that Earns Attention from Andrew Davis #CMWorld | http://www.toprankblog.com

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Khloé Kardashian Looks Back on 10 Years of 'Keeping Up With the Kardashians'

Khloe Kardashian wishes they’d never filmed Caitlyn’s transition, Kim’s Robbery, and why she almost turned down doing the show

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An Ode to Content Marketing World: A Look Back at Some of Our Favorite #CMWorld Moments

Can you imagine life before Content Marketing World?

I can’t, and I will only be attending my third year of this information-packed conference this week.

What Joe Pulizzi, Cathy McPhillips and the rest of the team at Content Marketing Institute have built over the past 7 years is truly amazing. Each day is filled with learnings from top content marketers, fun games and lunch and learns and awesome after-parties.

Below you’ll find fun some highlights from our involvement from Content Marketing World’s inception, to happenings at the conference this week. Enjoy!

2011: When it all Began

As I mentioned earlier, 2017 will be my third year attending Content Marketing World. But for a select few that have been around since inception, this will be their seventh Content Marketing World Experience.

One of those lucky few is TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden. Lee has not only attended every conference since 2011, he is one of even a smaller number of speakers that has presented at each and every one.

Want proof? Here’s a photo of Lee at Content Marketing World 2011:

2012: Our First Co-Branded eBook with Content Marketing World

By the second year of the conference, content marketers were hooked! There were over 1,000 attendees from 23 different countries. Officially making Content Marketing World the largest content marketing conference on the planet.

For our team at TopRank Marketing (and me personally) there was another exciting opportunity on the horizon. In preparation for the 2012 conference, we partnered with the team at Content Marketing Institute to develop the first-ever conference eBook.

This eBook uncovered top content marketing secrets from 29 of the speakers at Content Marketing World. This was a new experience for me and I was incredibly honored and excited to work alongside Lee and the speakers to create this amazing asset.

Be sure to stop by Lee’s Big Brand Influencer Marketing session today for more about this story!

2014: Content Marketing in Wonderland is a Hit!

For the third year in a row, Content Marketing Institute and TopRank Marketing partnered to bring conference attendees inside insights from top speakers at Content Marketing World.

And this year, we leveled up. Big time (with some major help from Content Marketing Institute’s designer, JK).

Together, the teams developed four eBooks featuring 40+ conference speakers, four infographics to accompany the eBooks as well as long-form interviews on TopRankBlog.com

The audience was hooked! In fact, there were over 323,000 views of the series on SlideShare alone.

For the rest of the series see Content Marketing ROI, Audience Development and Content Marketing Strategy on our SlideShare page.

2015: My First Time at Content Marketing World

September 2015 was an exciting time. I was about to head to Cleveland for my first taste of Content Marketing World.

I was accompanied by my fellow team members Josh Nite and Alexis Hall. And while our road to Cleveland was a bit bumpy (if you see me at CMWorld ask me about it), we finally got there safe, sound and excited for the experience.

Here were a few of my favorite sessions in 2015:

Incorporate Participation Marketing for More Scalable Content Marketing – Lee Odden

4 Ways Brands Can Use Creativity & Comedy to Create Award-Winning Content – Tim Washer

Break the Cycle of Content Marketing Addiction – Drew Davis

Also, the big picture conference theme lended itself to yet another great opportunity to co-create content with some amazing speakers.

For the rest of the series see Big Picture of Content Marketing and Making Content Marketing the Star of Your Marketing on our SlideShare page.

For his awesome help with the design, we sent JK a new sketchbook. And in return, he drew this lovely portrait for us!

2017: Bringing Endless Possibilities

This year may be our biggest year yet!

In addition to the workshop Lee ran on Tuesday that provided insights on creating an influencer marketing strategy, he also has a solo session today on Big Brand Influencer Marketing which is a must-see.

You will find myself and my fellow teammate Amy Higgins will both be moderating sessions on Thursday and you’re sure to see some other members of our team live blogging sessions and networking with you beautiful people including:

And since I know you were waiting for it, we have our latest partnership with Content Marketing Institute, the In-Flight Content Guides featuring insights from 2017 speakers.

For the rest of the series see Creating a Memorable Content Experience and Making the Most of Your Content Journey on the Content Marketing Institute SlideShare page.

Hope to See You at CMWorld!

If you’ll be attending Content Marketing World this week I’d love to connect! You can follow me on @azeckman or feel free to follow our team on @TopRank, or look for our live blogs here on TopRankBlog.com


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Gain a competitive advantage by subscribing to the
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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2017. |
An Ode to Content Marketing World: A Look Back at Some of Our Favorite #CMWorld Moments | http://www.toprankblog.com

The post An Ode to Content Marketing World: A Look Back at Some of Our Favorite #CMWorld Moments appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

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