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Small Business Marketing with Brian Groves
Episode 184th January 2021 • Terminal Value • Doug Utberg
00:00:00 00:32:36

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There was a time when marketing options for small businesses were terribly limited.

In the 1990's, only mid-sized companies and larger enterprises could afford to produce a professional looking promotional video. The economics have change radically in the past two decades, and there are more options available to small businesses than ever before.

Doug and Bryan discuss the dynamics of creating quality video marketing content for your business.

Brian owns Jungle Media and you can find him at www.JungleMedia.com

Doug's business specializes in partnering with companies and non-profits to capture overhead cost savings without layoffs to fund growth and strengthen financial results.

Schedule time with Doug to talk about your business at www.MeetDoug.Biz

<<Transcript>>

[Music]

[Introduction]

Welcome to the terminal value Podcast where each episode provides in depth insight about the long term value of companies and ideas in our current world. Your host for this podcast is Doug Utberg, the founder and principal consultant for Business of Life, LLC.

Doug: Welcome to the terminal value podcast. I have Brian Groves with me today and he is actually the owner of Jungle Media where he actually he specializes in helping small and medium businesses create video marketing. And I actually have them online on here today  to just talk about the evolution in video production because what we were just talking about before the call is how in 1996 which isn't that actually a little while ago but not that long ago. If you wanted to do any kind of video project at all the cost started at about fifteen thousand dollars and went up from there rapidly. But what's happened is that the cost of creating really pretty high quality video has come down considerably and that's really just changed the whole dynamics of the video marketing industry. You know now of course the one of the things you also have to contend with is that there's a lot of people who are just doing point-and-shoot videos with their iPhone or with their Samsung and a lot of this is proliferated onto YouTube. And so Brian I'd love to get your input, your thoughts and also to help the listeners understand what are the things that make for really compelling video marketing.

Brian: Okay, sure yeah. I think how it might be easiest to begin is to break any kind of content. For marketing purposes that has video as part of it into several categories of how they're used and it's useful I think when you're talking about what your budget should be? or what kind of equipment you should be using? or what quality you need to remember that there's a difference between these three different categories. The first category which has been around forever is what I call immediate content. So this is the typical on tv mattresses are on sale. This weekend 50 off  that piece of content announcing the sale of something is very immediate. It's very perishable. It's something that is only useful for a very short period of time so that's the typical commercial. Hey there's a sale this weekend come on down we've got we've only got six left or whatever it is that sort of thing.

Doug: Yeah. Generally speaking I've noticed that the more immediate your your content generally speaking the less effort gets put into production value just because it's going to be obsolete in a week anyway.

Brian: Right and I'll talk about that in a second because there's levels of what is needed in any of these three categories or.

Doug: Gotcha.

Brian: Levels that can be contained in any of the categories but immediate just means you're going to make it. You don't want to spend a million dollars on something that's immediate. Unless by the way if you think about it. Well no, iI'll hold that thought for a second. The second category would be informational or educational or inspirational. This is where you're not necessarily trying to get an immediate sale of come on down to the store this afternoon but you're trying to teach people something. Hey did you, were you aware of the fact that this particular product does this. Were you aware of the fact that this service is available to people. These tend to be a little longer in format so a minute, two minute, three minutes or you know sometimes you'll see people that will talk for 45 minutes about some some topic and the idea is that you're getting people warmed up to you or your business or your service or your product by teaching them.

Doug: Yeah.

Brian: And informing them and educating them. So that's what I'd call the second category of marketing content. And then the third one which is maybe it's been around forever but I think It's fairly new because of things like YouTube and social media and just the internet in general is top of mind content. So this is where you just want to remind people. I am here. I am here. I am here, I am here and you don't expect them to jump at every time you post a little 30-second YouTube video saying hey just wanted you to know I'm out here today in this part of town and you know I saw a beautiful sunrise and here it is. Top of mind is just sort of the equivalent of again, maybe radio advertising where I like to think of the Shane company locally here in Portland is just always on the radio with the Shane company. It's the Shane company, the Shane company, the Shane company.

Doug: And it's always the exact same spot.

Brian: It's always or it's almost the same spot. It certainly has the same flavor to it. it's just like here we are direct diamond importers et cetera et cetera et cetera.

Doug: The corner of highway 217 in Schultz's very rope.

Brian: Across the street from Washington square.

Doug: Saturday and Sunday till 5. 

Brian: Yeah we know. We know, we actually have it buried in our psyche because it's top of mind content. They're just reminding you over and over again that they're there and look how well it works because it's the number one that I come up with at least in this market area. 

Doug: That has been exactly the same as when I went through undergrad in the late 90s.

Brian: So, so to summarize there's immediate content, there's a sale this week, there's informational. I want to get you to know about something educate you and there's top of mind something you just do over and over and over again. Now here's where it gets interesting is up until 10 years ago or so let's say you really needed to still spend a fair amount of money on any of that content because the price of the cameras, the lighting, the the audio recording, the amount Of people you needed to create professional looking content was pretty steep. You needed to have all kinds of stuff to do that. And of course what happens now is we can take our iphones which just from a technology perspective are incredibly amazing. They have you know HD or 4k video recording quality. They look good, they're easy to hold , you know you can walk around and just do whatever you want with it. So a lot of times people think well then, I guess we don't need professional content anymore and some people, that's it's always the same thing people think. Well now that we have those we don't need this other industry anymore. Well there's a whole bunch of stuff that comes along with what we used to call professional video production that you don't get when you just pull your iPhone out of your pocket. And so here are some of those things; first of all what is it you're going to say? and people don't think about it but if you're just rambling on and there's no point and it's not creating any kind of urgency or creating any kind of memory in the audience. It's a waste of time. It's just annoying.

Doug: Wow and I think that I'm just going to stop you for a second because it's easy to walk over the what are you gonna say but really, really well done. You know kind of, you know basically sales videos you know. I'm thinking like infomercials. You know kind of direct response infomercials and you know some of those other direct response videos. The ones that are really well done can live for years, decades.

Brian: Right.

Doug: And and still be effective you know because I think that's the thing that the kind of the twitter, tiktok, Instagram culture has gotten everybody. Thinking is that oh you know, it's you know if it's old it's no good anymore. It's all about new.

Brian: Right, right.

Doug: But you know right talking about business marketing. If it works, don't ever stop using it.

Brian: Right.

Doug: The only time you ever change anything is when it stops working.

Brian: Right, Right.

Doug: It's all that it is until then.

Brian: No, that's a good point. That's a really good point. So, so I find in my customer base people will fall into two categories: those who have no idea what to say and that's and that's not a put down they just don't, they have all this information about their product or service they don't know what to say. And they think that those are the people that maybe are the hardest to work with. They're not, because then it's a simple process of saying well let's think about your customer. What is it they need? What is it you can tell them that lets them know you have what they need? The other category a person is the person who believes they know exactly what they need to say and a lot of times those are the bigger problems because typically, people in that category think that the way they're gonna convince someone is to tell them everything there is to know and they're just gonna like a plunger. They're just gonna shove all that information in someone's brain and the problem is when you create that kind of content. Unless, it's really compelling and it doesn't have to be high quality, be compelling but unless it's really compelling people tune out after four seconds. They just don't care. There's a we have filters built into our brains over the last hundred years. Anyone born in the last hundred years, that goes if it's a marketing message coming at me. I have filters that just tune it out.

Doug: Yeah, yeah. Although yeah although I was going to say the I think that there's actually one notable exception to what you're talking about though. And that is if there's somebody who actually wants to know all that information, that is a very, very small percentage of your you know of your overall population. But somebody who actually wants to know that will engage. The problem is getting from you know a large group of people.

Brian: Yeah.

Doug: Who are all mildly to not remotely interested down to that really small group because you know if because the problem is of course if you put a big long video out to a lot of people your conversion rate is going to be so abysmally low.

Brian: Right.

Doug: You know, that it'll you know that it'll just it'll be really hard to justify the cost.

Brian: Right.

Doug: And so it's almost like you need to have a sequential journey for your prospects to go through to where you can get them to self-select to the people who are interested in that. That insane level of detail about a particular problem.

Brian: Right, right. So, I have two thoughts to share about that because this gets into you and I discussed earlier. When do you know whether your phone is good enough quality or whether you need to hire somebody or or engage in a higher level of production and the one thing I would say is exactly what you talked about how badly does someone need the information. So if you've ever noticed. if you go out to your auto and you want to try to replace the burned out headlight yourself because you don't want to spend whatever it costs at a repair shop. You will find for every vehicle ever made on earth you will find a YouTube video on how to replace a headlight. How to replace the battery. How to change the fan belt on that particular model. And what I've noticed is I don't care how handheld jiggly the iPhone is. I don't care how bad the grammar is. I don't care how poor the image quality is. If that person has a six minute video that shows me which three bolts. I need to remove and to be careful to move the hose before you do this or you're gonna crack something. I will watch that intensely and you don't need to spend money on producing high quality content to get that point across. But now here's where the marketing part comes in. I've seen many of those videos produced by auto repair shops who believe that because and let's just say they're in  Gary Indiana that they showed a video on how to replace a headlight that the world is going to flock to them now and thank them and remember them as the best auto repair shop and they don't people. That kind of content. People think is marketing content and I'd say the only way it's marketing content is if you go to that top of mind. It's like well you're throwing it out there good for you. 

Doug: As you as you just pointed out it becomes obsolete very rapidly.

Brian: Right.

Doug: And right unless you have a lot of money you can't. Most people, especially small entrepreneurs, can't afford to buy themselves to the top of everybody's mind.

Brian: Right.

Doug: And it's, it's they'd be much better off if your local auto repair shop. You'd be much better off staying top of mind by having a Facebook page posting stuff on there. It's fine, if it's the handheld video stuff. As long as and here's another thing that I see is a mistake people make if you're going to post top of mind hey I'm just going to give you my update here Tuesday morning I always update you. I see people falling into two categories there as well. The first category is people who fancy themselves as internet phenomenon. So in other words they want to become a personality.

Doug: Yeah.

Brian: They think that people will follow them like that. They can say oh I had ham and eggs for breakfast this morning and I decided to wear my blue sweater and aren't you glad that I'm telling you this. Well quite honestly the only people that can get away with that are very attractive people. Just flat out that people will watch because they're attractive. But it doesn't necessarily sell anything other than the fact that they're trying to become an internet personality.

Doug: Well and because yeah I think the and  just full disclosure you know I. The older I get the less and less enamored I'm becoming with social media. I'm you know, I'm attempting to disengage you know progressively more every year. But the way that I describe the contemporary social media phenomena is like you basically have everybody simultaneously trying to be an internet celebrity.

Brian: Right.

Doug: You know or you know or as I was you know. I think you're during the middle of the year when there were all the riots and all that it's like basically you had you like millions actually in some cases probably more likely billions of people all simultaneously trying to be outraged celebrities

Brian: Right.

Doug: On social media and it's like right you can't just you can only have a few outraged celebrities. Otherwise nobody pays attention because everybody's just shouting about the same thing.

Brian: Right.

Doug: It's like trying to do what you're, you're describing.

Brian: It's like trying to make your marketing strategy be on the par with I'm going to become a NBA star. There's 10 million people that would like to do it and a team gets five or ten.

Doug: Yeah, exactly. That's it. Because yeah like you know the way that I like to say it is like let's just do some math here right.

Brian: Right.

Doug: Is you know there's what about 30 NBA teams and each one has an active roster of about 15 people and let's say you have 15 people in the D league. So that means you have the NBA represents the 450 best basketball players in the face of the planet and then your D league represents the next 450 best players.

Brian: Right.

Doug: Unless, you're one of the thousand best players in the entire world you really.

Brian: Out of seven billion people that's right.

Doug: Seven billion people you really have no shot.

Brian: Right, right. So that's why I find it I guess I just consider it to be maybe a learning experience for people who try that on their own to become the internet celebrity with their phone. And it doesn't mean that somebody won't do it because there's always somebody who's attractive enough. Oddball enough, quirky enough

Doug: Yeah.

Brian: Whatever they hit on some formula and that's fine. But if you're small, medium, large business and you're just trying to get eyeballs on social media. This is where I say do not grab your iPhone and put your and make that your brand.

Doug: Yeah.

Brian: Without some help because you quite honestly will likely do more harm than good. If people just go oh gosh I thought I liked that store or I thought, I thought that place was a pretty cool place and you see shaky hand-held. You know what I had for breakfast videos it's going to turn you off pretty quick.

Doug: Yeah well and I think one of the other things too that it's easy for small businesses to forget about is that you know people get really enamored with the hey get your name out. You know hey get people to know who you are but it's like if you can't convert that into somebody becoming a client what's the real value.

Brian: Right.

Doug: So it's like if you're a small business what you should be using your media for is to get some kind of offer out to where you can either you know. Get permission to send people more information. Get them to have a conversation. If that's too high a hurdle to you know to I don't know to come in and just learn about your products or service or something.

Brian: Right.

Doug: Because I think that's the other thing I see is like there's a lot of just general awareness and I'm like I got you know. If you know, if I can you know if I can pay my mortgage with awareness, that's great. But if the bank wants money so that means.

Brian: Right.

Doug: I need to find some way to turn that awareness into money. Otherwise, it doesn't do me any good.

Brian: Right and there's I would say there's, there's so when you're doing local or when you're doing top of mind content we seem to be on the social media aspect here. I would say there are two things that are sort of sure to be useful. Doesn't mean they're gonna you know change your company overnight but they're useful and if and that is if the content does one of two things. Number one gives the viewer something educates them, informs them in some way that they feel a little smarter, a little better off.

Doug: Yeah.

Brian: So if you teach them something about how your product works or how your product can save them time or save the money or make their life happier in some way it's useful even if it's a short little message. The second category is especially well I guess it works really for any business and it's one that surprised me quite a bit which is given the nature of social media that it's interpersonal

Doug: Yeah.

Brian: That we put ourselves out there. The world has now become interested in who the people are behind any business.

Doug: Yeah.

Brian: So, I what I'm finding my customers right now are letting me create for them a lot of content which is just showing the people who make the company work. People love to see the guy who is the manufacturing guy behind the scene or the lady behind the counter who you see all the time but you don't really know anything about her. It's a way of humanizing.

Doug: Yeah.

Brian: A business and people are drawn to oh I now know who that person is. I didn't know he was into soccer gosh that's kind of cool.

Doug: Yeah.

Brian: So that's the kind of content that at least right now and trends will change. But people are finding most clickable is teach them something or I like to call it pull back the curtain let them see what's going on behind. You know the front of the business.

Doug: Yeah. No that's and one I think that's actually really illustrative because especially as like I say a small business or local entrepreneur.  You know a lot of times the way that you create that brand is really by personalizing it.

Brian: Right.

Doug: And you know, it's you know as you said you know the people who are your who are going to be kind of your most committed clients. Iit seems counterintuitive because I'm like okay why would anybody care about you know, about my all my little personal quirks? which you know which everybody has many you know. It's like they say you know the you know there's no such thing as a person that's not neurotic, it's just some people are better at hiding it than others. 

Brian: Right.

Doug: Everybody has weird quirks but for some reason that you people are really interested in that. And so I think that's you know.

Brian: Right.

Doug: I don't necessarily know why but I don't have to. 

Brian: Right.

Doug: If people are interested in it and you want them to be your clients tell them about yourself

Brian: Right.

Doug: About yourself, your life and your quirks.

Brian: Right, right.

Doug: But yeah one of the other things I was kind of wondering about is so you have a lot of expertise in you're really creating that you that engagement in a video that will get people toward a specific action. I'd love to cap off with providing some of that information just so people can really understand how I guess you'd say how much work it really is? You know because I think you know. What at least what I took out of our conversation just a little bit ago is that the place where you really need that professional quality video is to get somebody who is to convert somebody who's kind of casually watching to trigger an interest and get them to take action.

Brian: Right.

Doug: That is a very, very, very hard thing to do and you have a very small window of time to do it in. You have probably maybe 30 seconds you know up to about a minute but after that if somebody's not already interested in what you're talking about you've lost them.

Brian: And I think that's that sweet spot where it's just so much harder than it looks on the surface and I know beforehand you were talking with me about some of those aspects. I'd love to share them with some of the listeners because there's quite a bit to it.

Brian: Yeah. I would say the first thing that is counterintuitive is when people are asking how much it might cost to produce something for them. They tend to always think of longer is more expensive. If it's short it must be inexpensive. 

Doug: Other way around, short is if you have a 30 second spot you have to get about you know 20 minutes worth of rambling into 30 Seconds of screen time.

Brian: Well that it's, it's partly that and partly I'd say the biggest mistake marketing professionals make in general whether it's the owner of a business, who's acting as their marketing person or a person who's truly a marketing person is they make the mistake on first pass of thinking the way I'm going to convince you of something is I’m going to keep giving you more information. First of all, I'll tell you how much quality this thing has. Then I'll tell you about the features. Then I'll tell you about the benefits. Then I'll tell you why no one else comes close and they want to go on and on and on. And while as you and I discussed earlier there is that sort of informational video which can be useful. The 10 minute long video showing you how something works. That's a very different kind of marketing from what's the if you think about any video. Unless you're literally selling something like click here to buy this 29 dollar item now. Unless you're doing that, if you're any other kind of service or any other kind of business where it's a longer effort.

Doug: Yeah.

Brian: To get somebody to say yes. The biggest mistake people make is they give the viewer too much information. If you give them too much information they don't want to know anymore. So the key is to not tease them from the standpoint of making them feel like you're yanking them around but you want to tell them something that makes them go gosh I really would be interested in how to make that change or how to.

Doug: Yeah.

Brian: How to add a thing into my life. Enough information so they want to know more. So the video should say here's this great thing. This is something you might want to know about it. Here's a little sample or an example. If you want more click here. 

Doug: I think there was an example you gave, I think you gave the example in the context of a phone conversation but it's just as applicable for say for like a video you know. If you're doing like say in a you know a video engagement letter is to say hey this is what I do. Click here if you want more, click the green button if you want to learn more. Click the red button and I will never talk to you again.

Brian: Right.

Doug: When you just honest about it and say hey here's what I do. You know you don't have to talk to me yet but if you want to learn more click here. It otherwise click here and I'll take you off the list.

Brian: Right, right. 

Doug: A lot of people will say okay yeah I'll find more because it's you know if it you know if you're not bombarding people with you know with uncomfortableness you know because the thing is right talking to somebody who you don't know. What they're trying to do is very uncomfortable for a lot of people.

Brian: Right.

Doug: It's like you know. If you can give people a lower threshold way to learn more. A lot of times they'll take it and.

Brian: Right.

Doug: I think that's an important lesson in and of itself.

Brian: Right and and to keep in mind that people and one one other mistake people make is there's so many great examples of marketing content especially on social media where somebody is selling a I don't know. I'm picking something off my desk here. The greatest the pair of scissors that never needs to be sharpened or the fidget spinner or some cool thing.

Doug: Yeah.

Brian: Where it's an easy sale it's 20 dollars. You click here and you're done. Most 95 of all businesses and services are not those kinds of purchases. It's longer term. It's a bigger commitment, something that takes more effort to get people invested in you. And so the I think it's much more important to always act as if you really do respect the person watching this. Oh you're looking for an attorney. You're looking for an accountant. You're looking for a landscaping service. You're looking for an auto repair shop. That's a big, those are big decisions.

Doug: Yeah.

Brian: There are consequences if we choose the wrong one or if we get hooked up with the wrong business. So to let those people know more about you again, it's show them a little about yourself. Tell them something interesting. Ask them if they'd like to know more. If you're appealing to them, they'll click.

Doug: Yeah.

Brian: If for some reason you're not the right choice, there's no point in trying to make their life miserable.

Doug: No that's, that's an excellent point. Alright well, hey let's cap it. Let's cap it off and I think there and I completely stole this from another podcast I listened to but that's all right. Tell me one piece of advice people get that is absolutely and horribly wrong you know. When people are making media. What's probably the one biggest piece of bad advice people get because one of the things I've found is that everybody talks about you know how do you know everybody thinks okay you Know you know what's a piece you know what's, what what do I do to get successful? Well a lot of what you do to get successful is avoid doing things that are you know that .

Brian: Right:

Doug: Are really that are counterintuitively bad biggest piece of bad advice people get.

Brian: Well I don't know if it's bad advice that they get. But it's something people tend to want to do which is if you think of some of the most horrible commercials you've ever seen in your life. There's the I've fallen and I can't get up one there's the husband and wife in the kitchen and he's opening the cabinet to get a a glass or something and the wife says hey honey did you see this new life insurance policy offer came in today. And so what I would label that as is acting is for really important whether it's entertainment or education. Leave that to the actors. To the people. You know, to the George Clooney’s of the world. Who make lots of money and knows how to act and have writers and an environment where acting works where when you're watching a movie. You believe you know those people aren't real.

Doug: Yeah.

Brian: But it but you have no nothing going through your mind which says I can't stand this. You're enjoying the experience.

Doug: Yeah.

Brian: When you're selling a product to service your business. I call it authentic marketing or genuine marketing. Don't act, don't create silly little scripts that are making the viewer try to suspend what they're really watching and believe something else. Just tell them I'm the owner of a local heating and air conditioning company. I'd like to offer you a service for replacing your furnace here's what we do. That's what you need. You don't need acting. it's horrible when people do that and I see them spend a lot of money trying to make it professional and all it really is really bad expensive content.

Doug: Well I was going to say because yeah, what  I would say yeah. The worst part is not that it's bad per se because you know I'm also a fan of  you know of a lot of  you know cult classic movies. You know probably one of my favorite movies there ever is Glenn Gary Glenn Ross. You know it's.

Brian: Oh yeah.

Doug: It has like five A-listers in it.

Brian: Right.

Doug: You know, the production quality is terrible but that's not the point. The point is it you know bad isn't the problem expensive and bad is the problem.

Brian: Right.

Doug: Because you know. If you know, if you're going to make bad media at least don't burn a lot of money doing it.

Brian: Right.

Doug: But people that burn a ton of money making horrible media. It's like burn your money on stuff that's going to generate an ROI.

Brian: Right, right.

Doug: Alright, well hey I really appreciate your time Brian and yeah I'll let everybody know where they can find you.

Brian: Sounds good. My website is www.junglemedia.com. I my website is pretty simple; it just shows you marketing and training content that I offer. I've put a lot of things into packages so that it's a pretty new thing for me instead of custom quotes where people can say oh I can afford that. I can afford that and it gets conversation started and yeah that's how you can find me.

Doug: Excellent. Alright well, I appreciate your time and hope you have a wonderful day.

Brian: Okay, thanks so much.

Doug: Okay so following up on that conversation with Brian. There's a couple of things that really stuck, that really stuck in my mind. The first one is just how much technology has really benefited small businesses because as Brian was saying the, the cost of shooting and producing a video was previously prohibitively expensive and has actually come down into the range of feasibility for small businesses. So what this means is that if you're running a small business you can actually employ video in a lot of your marketing and in your educational content for a very reasonable cost. In a lot of cases what can happen is you can DIY to start and then you as you start gaining a greater revenue base as you start generating more profits you can reinvest those profits into higher quality video to create a more professional image. And you know in order to you know to continue attracting more business I think this is really important because there are a lot of businesses that are going to be really trying to to restart in 2021 or to kick off on a new foot. And I think that is an excellent you know an excellent thought is to say okay as 2021 right. I think, like to think of it as the year of recovery right. 2021 is when main street is going to have a comeback well hopefully. Main street's gonna have a comeback and I think that a part of that is well, actually a lot of that is gonna have to be driven by small businesses. And so I think that small businesses leveraging the advantages they have with technology evolutions is one of the key ways that's going to happen. And I just, I would like to encourage everybody who runs a small business to continue growing it and everybody who is a part of the community to patronize your small businesses so that they can so that they can really help make 2021 that year, that main street really comes back and recovers from the pandemic. I hope that everybody is having a wonderful day And I will talk to you next week.

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