Video Marketing

Video Marketing Isn’t About You – It’s About Your Clients

Shawn 06.12.2014

What’s your mission? Not your “mission statement” – your actual mission.

It’s a simple question, but most marketers don’t bother to answer it before plowing through video marketing budgets as they create company-centric content no one cares about. And they wonder why their video only has 87 views.

Let me be clear – your mission is not, “ let’s make money.” That’s a business plan, and while it’s essential, it has nothing to do with your marketing strategy.

Yes, marketing exists to increase conversions, generate inbound leads, and stuff your sales pipeline to the brim – that’s why you want a video – and video marketing is extremely effective at accomplishing these goals. However, the content of your marketing is not about the bottom line.

Your content is about helping your clients. The minute you turn the focus of your video marketing towards how great you are, no no one cares, and your marketing fails.

The simple key to successful video marketing is:

Make Client Success Your Mission

In Wistia’s recent post “Understanding Audience Retention,” they show how they changed the engagement loss at the beginning of their video “help” tutorials from 18% down to 8%. (That’s a lot).

The secret? They don’t talk about themselves. Instead they focus on providing solutions for their users – video creators.

Video Marketing

In the old video (Dec 2013) Jeff Vincent starts by saying, “…that’s why we make lots of tutorial videos to help our customers…blah blah blah.” I like Jeff – he’s in a lot of great videos at Wistia – but in his first 9 seconds he lost nearly 20% of the video’s active viewers (the people that cared enough to click the play button). That’s bad.

In the newer video (May, 2014) The first words out of Chris Lavigne’s mouth are “You can shoot HD video on an iPhone.” I’m hooked, and so was the rest of the audience.

Find out what matters to your clients – or people that might become clients – and help them achieve it. That’s it.

A company that’s built their entire marketing strategy around the client is Buffer. They mastered the “content marketing pivot” to go from obscurity to domination.

video marketingIf you’re not familiar, Buffer is a social media publishing app that helps content managers (like myself) publish, track, and analyze multiple social media channels in one convenient place. If I sound like a Buffer pusher – I am.

Their service is intelligent, useful, and one that I use every single day. If you’re reading this, odds are it’s thanks to Buffer. (Thanks, Buffer!) But when they first launched in 2011, Buffer wasn’t the social media game-changer they are today. In fact, they weren’t even newsworthy.

Co-founder and CMO, Leo Widrich says:

The first few weeks I was on board, I tried restlessly to do one thing: get the top tech news sites to do a write-up about our newly launched app. It didn’t work out at all. Pitch after pitch I emailed got no reply or a short “no.” Not a single tech blog was interested in covering us. And I couldn’t blame them.

They soldiered on anyway, and predictably created content about how to use Twitter (the only social media platform they managed at the time) more effectively. Their mission was to help people be better tweeters. And they succeeded. Kind of.

Widrich admits that the content well of Twitter tips eventually dried up, and that even other social media writing only stretched their content marketing so far. What happened when they reached the end of their rope changed everything.

They pivoted their mission from “helping people use social media more effectively” to, “helping people be more effective”…using social media.

Their content transformed from “Tweet optimization tips” to “office hacks for productivity,” and how to empower workers in every field regardless of their social media presence. Their most popular post, “What happens to our brains when we exercise and how it makes us happier” received 51,000 page views, well over 2000 social shares and 42 comments.

They didn’t just write about using social media, but instead leveraged social media to write about the people using it.

And it worked.

Remember when they couldn’t get a single media outlet to cover their product? Lifehacker (one of Technorati’s top 100 blogs) republished several of their articles, giving them an additional 50,000 – 100,000 views in a single stroke.

This simple pivot – from talking about themselves and their niche, to addressing the actual concerns of their market (people on social media) – catapulted Buffer to the top of the content-marketing heap. Within months they were seeing 6,000+ signups a month.

In September, 2013, Buffer hit 1 million users.

I can hear you whispering while you read this, “But we’re not Buffer.” You know what? You’re right – you’re not. And neither are we.

  • Is our product as sexy as Buffer’s? Nope.
  • Is it as broad as “social media?” Nu-uh.
  • Do people in our market have concerns, just like Buffer users? Absolutely.

The way to reach people in any market – from refrigerator repair to jetpacks – is with video dedicated to making your clients’ success your only mission. Literally.

Our mission statement is:

To be the quality leader in the creation of animated videos for business purposes. We will create videos that communicate our clients’ messages with wit, interest, and elegance.

But when I create content I don’t think about how great our product is – I already know that. Instead, I focus on what our clients need. That narrows the mission down:

To communicate our clients’ messages with wit, interest, and elegance.

Clients want to sound witty, interesting, and elegant. Ok. How can I help?

By identify their mission. So let’s get started.

What Makes You Special?

Everyone brings unique skills to the table. If that’s not the case, then marketing isn’t your problem, and no video in the world is going to turn things around.

What do you know that’s relevant to your market? Chris Lavigne is Wistia’s in-house video producer, so it’s safe to say he knows a lot about video production.

He uses that knowledge to create helpful video tutorials for beginners that *gasp* actually make people better at producing video. Chris creates his own market by making people better videographers, which increases the need for better video hosting. And they love him for it. That marketing strategy has an end goal – more Wistia users – but the content is all about adding value to the client, not Wistia.

Likewise, Buffer’s innate knowledge of social media content let them reach other social media marketers with topics that mattered to their lives – not just their jobs. Success followed.

IdeaRocket has decades of animation experience. We bring that to every project, sure, but more importantly, we get our clients’ message across with wit and elegance that accomplish their goals.

Every project starts with you. What do you want out of the video? What are you expecting? What are you unsure about? Where do you need more info? Our product – animated video – is all about you and your story – not ours.

And that’s how we approach our content marketing strategy:

We want your video to look great, but more importantly we want you to succeed. If you look awesome (win), we look awesome (win).

Every great mission starts with clients – and ends up building a business.

If you have any questions, or can’t quite figure out what’s wrong with your video marketing strategy, please drop us a line. We are literally only here to help you get your message out!


Born in Southern California, Shawn grew up surfing, eating In-N-Out, and growing his hair long. After graduating with a Liberal Arts degree from CSU Long Beach in 2005 he left the crowded freeways behind and spent the better part of a decade traveling the world living for stretches in Rome, Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, and Brooklyn. He writes novels as well as copy, loves learning keyboard shortcuts, and plays his grandpa’s old lap steel guitar. You can hear his band at

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