Ben Amos on storytelling, strategy and production for video – MAF159


My guest this week is online video strategist and storyteller, Ben Amos.

We talk about fitting video production into your marketing strategy and how to produce videos which engage your customers and bring in business.

Welcome to episode 159 of the Marketing and Finance Podcast.

Ben Amos on storytelling, strategy and production for video - MAF159

What you’ll hear about in this episode

  • Why strategy is a vital first step for video marketing
  • The seven elements for a successful strategy
  • How to deal with fear of video
  • Why production isn’t the most important part of video
  • Why storytelling is important
  • How businesses can communicate in a memorable way

Who is Ben Amos?

Ben has always been passionate in video in any form, and his grandfather and father were both enthusiastic home video makers. He studied film where he could, and became a film and television teacher in high school, before setting up a video production company, working with a range of businesses.

As online content got bigger, clients started uploading the videos they’d had made to the web, but without seeing a good return on investment. Ben realised that they were missing a strategy, so he now helps his clients put together a plan to get more from their videos.

Ben’s also the host of the “Engage with Story” Podcast.

Summary of our chat

Strategy is like a recipe. You’re combining a range of ingredients which taste ok on their own, but if you bring them together in the right way, they’ll be amazing. Bringing Instagram stories, vlogs and sales videos together with a great strategy gets people interested and wanting more. The key is to know your end goal.

There are seven elements that make a successful video strategy: audience, goals, content, distribution, optimisation, metrics and production. When you know your audience, you align them to your goals, produce the right content and distribute appropriately. Think about the platform, and position (optimise) accordingly, and measure success. These then influence your production decisions.

People always struggle with being in front of the camera and how they’ll look, because it’s not natural. Ben’s response is: “Do you worry about that when you’re at a client meeting or networking event?” Like anything, the biggest barrier is getting started, because it gets easier the more you do it.

There’s a perception that everything requires high-quality production, and people tend to focus on that before they consider the content. You need to take into account the other elements too. Where will you be sharing your video? Platforms such as LinkedIn need professional but natural-looking videos, with quality content.

People want to buy from brands they engage with, which is why story is so important. It’s an emotional form of communication, one we grow up with. If we can tell a good story to connect with someone, they’ll pay attention and buy in to your brand.

People don’t remember facts and figures, so if you need to communicate those, wrap them in a story and make them memorable. Storytelling is a powerful way of communicating tangible ideas, so businesses should help people make a connection, remember the message and be moved to take action.

The one thing he’d like listeners to take away

Using video to market your business, particularly online, can be overwhelming and scary. Although there are a lot of possibilities, you can beat that overwhelm by starting with a strategy. Identify your audience, goals, content, distribution platform and your metrics, and then consider production.

A marketing campaign or product Ben loves

Ben talked about a specific approach for using video marketing: when brands pay attention to how they’re using native video on social media, and consider the screen ratio and video size.

A paint company in Australia did this really well. They created a video of a couple discussing home improvements, but looked like half of it was missing. The male character then reached down and pushed the lounge room setting into the video frame, which encouraged the viewer to stop and watch.

Recommended business book

Ask, by Ryan Levesque. He’s the go-to guy for customer surveys. Knowing your audience is the best way to start off planning your strategy, and the book goes into some ninja approaches to using audience surveys to help you nail your customer and get your strategy right.

Special offer for MAF Podcast listeners from Ben

Ben’s kindly set up a page for listeners of the MAF Podcast so they can find links and downloads about online video strategy – visit www.engagevideomarketing.com/maf for more details.

Links and contact details

If you enjoyed – Ben Amos on storytelling, strategy and production for video – please leave a comment or a review on iTunes.

And if you know anyone who would enjoy the show – please share it with them. You can use the buttons below to share on social media.

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Engaging storytelling and simple marketing – two podcast appearances

On Thursday’s I publish my latest podcast episodes

Most week’s it’s an interview with someone from the world of marketing and finance.

I love interviewing people and learn so much from them as we discuss a wide range of topics.

But I also get interviewed on other people’s podcasts too. This week I’m sharing two recent examples:

Engage with Story Podcast with Ben Amos

Ben runs an Australian company called Engage Video Marketing. He’s also a passionate advocate of storytelling in marketing. Each week on his show he examines storytelling in detail.

Engaging storytelling and simple marketing - two podcast appearances

Ben called my episode, “Taking the BS out of Business Storytelling”.

Here’s what he had to say:

“This episode is all about clearing out the BS that can so often surround story marketing. My guest is a marketing consultant and educator who helps people keep their marketing simple in a world where business BS and complexity threaten to stifle success. He is Roger Edwards, from rogeredwards.co.uk.”

You can listen using the media player below.

Hot Content Marketing Podcast with Natalie Hailey

Natalie launched the Hot Content Marketing Podcast at the start of January 2018 and I was delighted to be her first guest.

Natalie, a mum, Italiophile and foodie just happens to have an overwhelming urge to show the world that they can succeed in business, on and offline regardless of age, insecurities and industry.

Natalie called my episode: How to keep your marketing simple (which as you know is one of my favourite subjects).

We talk about:

  • The importance of jargon-free writing
  • His 3 rules of simple writing
  • A great tip for getting that dreaded first draft down ‘on paper’
  • His basic marketing strategy questions

You can listen using the media player below.

Now it’s your turn:

If you enjoyed these two great podcasts please give Ben and Natalie your support. Check out some of their other episodes on iTunes and maybe subscribe to their shows.

Louise Harnby on self-publishing, marketing strategies and why branding matters – MAF157


My guest on the show this week is Louise Harnby.

If you’ve got a novel in you and you’re looking to get it published, Louise has some great advice to give. We also talk about how she’s built her personal brand and about how she markets her business.

Welcome to episode 157 of the Marketing and Finance Podcast.

Louise Harnby on self-publishing, marketing strategies and why branding matters - MAF157

What you’ll hear about in this episode

  • The importance of sharing your story in your own voice
  • Why self-published authors deserve professional editing services
  • How Louise got into content marketing
  • Why brand identity is essential
  • Why marketing advice should be given in plain language
  • What’s gone well and what hasn’t as she’s built her personal brand

Who is Louise Harnby?

Louise started out working in-house for an academic publishing house in the 90s. After she had a child, she decided to reassess her work-life balance and set up her own copyediting and proofreading business.

Today, she helps self-publishing authors to prepare their fiction books for market. A passionate advocate for storytelling, she found herself disagreeing with ‘literary snobs’ who say writers need a mainstream publisher, as she believes everyone should be able to share their words.

Summary of our chat

Writing is a great way of bringing clarity to your thoughts – to consolidate and structure them. When you create your own words, you know they’ve got your heart and voice in them. Writers sometimes worry that an editor will take that away. But Louise’s job let the voice of the author speak.

A writer may have a great idea for a book. But there a big enough market may not exist for the publisher to bother with it. However, the writer should still go through the same stages of production. That’s where people like Louise come in.  To smooth and correct the text so readers enjoy the story.

Louise loves marketing and found content marketing by accident. She didn’t read up on it. Her blog, created to answer frequently asked questions and save time, started showing up in search results. She realised that adding value and giving away advice for free was helping her to show up in search.

To attract independent authors, Louise realised she needed a strong brand identity. She found much advice telling her what she should have but not how to create it. And the advice was full of jargon. Defining her identity has led to more enquiries from her target market.

The language used to talk about marketing from an academic point of view can make people feel excluded. It’s valuable to learn from people who speak in plain language and speak to you in a way you understand. Otherwise, you’re made to feel different or not cool enough for marketing.

Louise learned a valuable lesson about segmenting mailing lists when she had subscribers getting the same messages twice. A problem she quickly fixed. She says that becoming more efficient with marketing saves time.  And it’s important you are authentic with your content and to give people the best advice.

The one thing she’d like listeners to take away

If you feel like you’re running around like a headless chicken when it comes to marketing, invest some of your budget on pro marketing and advice. This means you can make strategies and not worry about what to do.

A marketing campaign or product Louise loves

Louise thinks chatbots are the most exciting development. She’s used them in her own business. And explains that although they’re high-tech, you don’t have to be techy to use them. They’re easy to create and you can build an effective marketing campaign in no time.

Recommended books

Louise couldn’t pick just one book!

Write to be Published, by Nicola Morgan, is a comprehensive guide on how to write a book that’s readable and publishable, whether fiction or non-fiction.

She also recommends Sticky Marketing, by Grant Leboff, which looks at building trust and engagement.

Finally, Andrew and Pete’s The Hippo Campus, which talks about standing out and getting noticed in a crowded market.

Links and contact details

If you enjoyed – Louise Harnby on self-publishing, marketing strategies and why branding matters – please leave a comment or a review on iTunes.

And if you know anyone who would enjoy the show – please share it with them. You can use the buttons below to share on social media.

Don’t miss an episode of the MAF Podcast – subscribe now.

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