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Vern Oakley on how to make video work for your brand

Don’t you love the way an amazing movie makes you feel? I’m sure you’ve had the experience of bursting out of a darkened theater into the bright light of day inspired to change the world. A great film can make you laugh, make you cry, and, sometimes, make you feel like you can accomplish anything.

Isn’t that what our marketing should do?

Mike Moran and I recently had a conversation with writer, director, and producer Vern Oakley of Tribe Pictures, who shared some insights into how to make video work for your brand and how to tell your story more effectively. The video was created by The Conference Board and is being shared with permission.

Here’s what we talked about:

  • How to get the C-suite to buy into video. Building a high-performance culture depends on getting people from all around your organization to understand the value video provides, both for your customers and your employees. Think about companies like Google or Apple and how consistently they tell their story using video. As Vern says, “people do business with people.” And video communicates your company’s values incredibly effectively. If pictures are worth a thousand words, video works like a novel to tell a great story about your brand and your business no matter who your audience may be.
  • “Video reveals truth at 30 frames per second.” You can’t easily hide when it comes to video. They say the camera adds ten pounds. Well, it also shows an authentic view of who you are. As we talked about, United got tons of negative attention because of the video showing a passenger being dragged off a flight. Did they counter that with something equally transparent? Nope. They sent a tweet. Funny how that didn’t work out for the airline. Nothing can tell your story — for better or worse — as effectively as a video. Why not use it to tell that story in a bold, engaging way?
  • Video drives emotional responses more than any other medium. Vern talks about several types of ROI, none more powerful than “return on inspiration.” As he notes, imagine you can get every single employee (or customer), one percent more inspired. What would that bring to your company? A great video, just like a great film, can help your audience feel like they can change their world. Wouldn’t you love to drive that type of emotional, inspired response from your audience?

If you’re interested, you can watch the entire interview with Vern Oakley here:

The rise of video is inevitable. According to the 2016 Mary Meeker report, video will represent fully 74% of internet traffic this year. And in a recent earnings call, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg said, “Video is a very big priority… [in the future] a lot of the content that people share will be video.” By “a lot,” he means a massive volume of content, with that same AdAge article noting videos posted to Facebook have grown by almost 100% between 2015 and 2016.

Seems like a big deal. Why not put it to work for you?

Video is here. Now. And it works to help tell your story, emotionally and effectively. You might not be looking to win an Oscar. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use video to win some gold for your business. Why not give it a shot and see if you can generate a positive return on inspiration for your business today?

Tim Peter

Tim Peter built his first website in 1995 and loves that he still gets to do that every day. Tim has spent almost two decades figuring out where customers are, how they interact with brands online, and delivering those customers to his clients’ front door. These efforts have generated billions of dollars in revenue and reduced costs.

Tim works with client organizations to build effective teams focused on converting browsers to buyers and building their brand and business. He helps those companies discover how marketing, technology, and analytics tie together to drive business results. He doesn't get excited because of the toys or tech. He gets excited because of what it all means for the bottom line.

An expert in e-commerce and digital marketing strategy, web development, search marketing, and analytics, Tim focuses on the growth of the social, local, mobile web and its impact on both consumer behavior and business results. He is a member of the Search Engine Marketers Professional Organization (SEMPO), HSMAI, and the Digital Analytics Association.

Tim currently serves as Senior Advisor at SoloSegment, a marketing technology company that uses machine learning and natural language processing to improve engagement and conversion for large enterprise, B2B companies.

Tim Peter’s recent client work covers a wide range of digital marketing activities including developing digital and mobile marketing strategies, creating digital product roadmaps, assessing organizational capabilities, and conducting vendor evaluations for diverse clients including major hospitality companies, real estate brands, SaaS providers, and marketing agencies.

Prior to launching Tim Peter & Associates, LLC, a full-service e-commerce and internet marketing consulting firm in early 2011, he worked with the world’s largest hotel franchisor, the world’s premier independent luxury hotel representation firm, and a major financial services firm, developing various award-winning products and services for his customers. Tim can be reached at or by phone at 201-305-0055.

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