The beauty industry: it’s big business. With an anticipated global worth of $805bn by 2023, it’s an industry riding the wave of the unpredictable world we’re living in. In a trend reminiscent of the red lipstick movement in the 1940’s, consumers are turning to the beauty hall (and increasingly, to e-tailers, too) to help them look and feel good about themselves at a time when there is so much uncertainty in the world.

There’s a plethora of different potions and lotions that claim to fix every skincare woe you can think of (and some you haven’t thought of yet). There’s KBeauty. There’s JBeauty. There’s a serum for this, a peptide for that, and if you’re not spending your Sunday evening smothering your pores with a sheet mask, what are you doing with your life? read more

I recently read a fantastic book called ‘ego is the enemy’ by an ex PR guy called Ryan Holiday. It really did open my mind, made a lot of common sense and got me thinking about how much this word ‘ego’ plays a large part of life.

Whether it is nature or nurture, the issue stems from the fact that we are taught from a young age to be competitive and to not make mistakes or be punished (see what we thought about mistakes in a previous article Mistakes Are The Key To Improvement). This creates defensiveness. The world is also looking for perfection more than ever before. If you skim through social media, any tiny imperfection (coffee cup in Game of Thrones anyone?) is blown out of all proportion. read more

Increasing numbers of people are digesting video content more than any other medium. The way we are exposed to and engage with visual content has changed dramatically. We are no longer captive audiences with limited traditional options of engaging, such as five terrestrial TV channels, a monthly trip to the local cinema or the daily newspaper. Our lives are digital and we are engaged in every element of our digital lives.

In the last few years we have witnessed a dramatic increase in the awareness and effect of sharing video content via digital distribution platforms from our clients. Brands and marketers are reaching out and exploring non-traditional marketing methods and distribution channels more than ever, all endeavouring to establish ultimate organic brand awareness and success. They are pursuing maximum exposure, maximum awareness, maximum effect and maximum conversion, all for less financial cost, to ultimately maximise their bottom line. read more

The Hero Help Hub Framework details the three types of video content you need to effectively promote your brand.

Arguably the most exciting part of the planning process, this is when creative ideas are introduced and the look and feel of the final piece is discussed. Left to last, the look and feel can now take into account all of the other factors to ensure cut through and effectiveness against your objectives.

This is step 6 of 6 in our video strategy guide (click here for the overview page).

How do you want to present your University’s brand?

Just as you wouldn’t print your prospectus on nasty paper using a horrific design (we hope), consider what the quality and style of your video says about your University. Wobbly frames, unclear audio and unflattering shots look cheap and unprofessional. read more

Timings are the last thing to think through before getting stuck into the creative messaging of your video. Consider how long you want your video content to last, when you’ll need the finished piece by and how often you plan to create new video content.

This is step 5 of 6 in our video strategy guide (click here for the overview page).

Growing old gracefully

Look back at your prospectus from a few years ago and it will seem dated now. The same is true of video – it has a limited lifespan, just like any other form of content. After about two years, standard video content really starts to show its age. read more

Creating your video is only the start. Without a planned distribution and promotion strategy, your video will languish unwatched and you might be tempted to write off video content as ineffective. Instead, set aside time to think through your distribution and promotion strategy.

Although the same video can be published across a number of channels, the end use will shape a lot of its characteristics, so will need to be taken into consideration early in the process. If you plan to have multiple edits (e.g. shorter ‘trailer’ versions to build excitement and anticipation on social media), knowing this before you start production will ensure you capture the footage you need so that each piece works as standalone content as well as part of the bigger piece. read more

Knowing what the main message of your video is, and the action you want viewers to take next, will start defining what viewers will see in the video. Keep your notes from the steps covered beforehand to ensure that your decisions relate to the objectives, metrics and target audience you have already defined.

This is step 3 of 6 in our video strategy guide (click here for the overview page).

What’s your takeaway?

  • After a prospective student watches the video, what do you want them to tell their friends about your University? This is your ‘takeaway’, the core message you want to convey.
  • It could be that your graduates are the most desirable to employers (based on progression data), so attending your University increases your chance of getting that crucial first job.
  • Perhaps you specialize in helping mature students change their careers thanks to support that helps them adjust quickly to University life and intense two-year courses that save time and money.
  • Maybe your University has specialized equipment and staff that make it the only place in the country to study for a specific, in-demand career.
  • Whatever it is, it needs to relate to your objective and be of importance to the specific audience segment or persona you are targeting, at their stage in the decision-making process.

What happens next?

This core message also needs to be tied to the Call to Action; the action you want viewers to move closer to after watching the video. Calls to Action can either be direct or indirect. read more

When developing written content, marketers know how to tailor it to a specific audience. Yet, when it comes to video strategy, often the approach taken is one-size-fits-all. However, the same rules apply: the more targeted the content, the more of an impact it will have.

This is step 2 of 6 in our video strategy guide (click here for the overview page).

Get personal

Ask exactly who you’re targeting with each project in your video strategy. If you don’t already work from personas, this is a great time to start. read more

To get started on your University video strategy, consider Why video is the right tool for your University Marketing and for the objective you want to achieve. Then, you can decide on the best metric for measuring success against that objective.

This is step 1 of 6 in our video strategy guide (click here for the overview page).

The wider ‘why’

Why is video a necessary communication tool for your university?

Video content requires an investment of time and money, so providing internal stakeholders with the rationale justifying the need for it will make everything else easier. Budget approvals, staff support during filming and willingness of those staff to help promote the final piece all depend on securing buy-in in the first place. read more

Six Steps for Your University

At each stage of the decision-making process – attention, engagement, sharing and conversion – video leads the way. Yet, with so many choices and options, it can be difficult to know how to get started. Our six steps for putting together an effective video strategy for your university will take you through the Why, Who, What, Where, When and How of video strategy.

STEP 1: WHY – YOUR OBJECTIVES AND METRICS

  • Getting internal buy-in by creating a strong rationale for using video as a communication tool.
  • Deciding which of your marketing objectives is best served by video.
  • Deciding how you’ll measure performance against that objective.

STEP 2: WHO – YOUR AUDIENCE

  • Identifying the exact audience you are targeting (ideally using personas).
  • Identifying at what point in the decision-making process your audience is.

STEP 3: WHAT – MESSAGE AND CALL TO ACTION

  • Deciding on the ‘takeaway’ of the video (the core message you want to convey).
  • Choosing which calls to action to include.

STEP 4: WHERE – DISTRIBUTION AND PROMOTION read more