5 reasons why you need a video marketing strategy


Effective social media marketers understand that engaging people on social media requires establishing some kind of connection with their audience. 

While social media connections can be made in a number of ways, there is one primary motive that underpins all human connections and is common to all social engagement.

The secret to connecting with people on social

To truly engage a customer through social media, a social media marketer needs to provide them with something of value.   This involves making a value proposition. 

Value propositions can take several forms.   Some of these can include:

– a financial value proposition (saving someone money).   

save money

– a practical value proposition (saving someone time).

save time

– an emotional value proposition (providing someone with a positive emotional experience).

make someone laugh

While there are literally an infinite number of value propositions that can be made, a social media marketer needs to determine how they are going to present this value proposition.  That’s where the importance of social video comes in.

The magnitude and increased value of social video

Social media influencer Gary Vaynerchuk doesn’t mince words when it comes to social video.

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Here is how Gary Vee puts it: 

The single most important strategy in content marketing today is video. Whether it’s video on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or Youtube, the content you need to be thinking about creating and marketing on social for your business is video. Period.”

He goes on to say, in no uncertain terms:

“No matter what you’re selling, no matter what your company does, if you don’t have a video marketing strategy for the biggest video platforms, you are going to lose. And in case you haven’t noticed, the platforms of distribution for video content online have shifted drastically over the last 18 months. Facebook is getting more daily minutes watched than YouTube, Snapchat’s daily views are now in the billions, and video on Twitter has taken listening and one to one branding to a whole new level.”

The recent meteoric rise of social video is evident in the staggering increase of videos being produced and watched every day. 

To make this point, recently Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg announced at the company’s third-quarter earnings call, that Facebook is generating 8 billion video views per day.   

According to data from Facebook:

The number of video posts per person has increased 75 % globally and 94 % in the U.S.

The amount of video from people and brands in the Facebook News Feed has increased 3.6 times year-over-year.

More than 50 % of people who visit Facebook in the U.S. every day watch at least one video.

According to a report by Cisco, by 2019, video will account for 80 % of global internet traffic.

Given the increased importance of video in the digital and social media landscapes, following are 5 reasons why social video is critical to a company’s marketing efforts.

1. More social networks are rolling out native video, demonstrating its growing value.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat all have their own video features. And then there are the platforms whose main function is social video sharing, such as Vine and YouTube. For live video there’s Periscope, Meerkat, and Facebook, which has updated its News Feed algorithm to favour live video.

2. Social video owns the all-important 18 to 33 year-old demographic.

Millennials are spending less time watching television (if they even still own one) and more time watching video on their mobile devices and laptops. It is estimated that by 2030, millennials will comprise 75 percent of the global workforce, making it hard to ignore video platforms that resonate well with this key audience.

3. Video is unique in its ability to connect with viewers.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many more words is a video worth?   There can be no denying that the combination of moving pictures and accompanying audio has the ability to move and engage people like nothing else.

4. Businesses are leveraging social video in increasing numbers.

A 2016 survey by the Web Marketing Video Council found that 61 percent of businesses are using video as a marketing tool. In the previous year, 66 percent of those businesses were not using video at all. It’s clear that companies are quickly recognizing the growing power of video.

5. Social media videos can deliver impressive Return on Investment (ROI).

72 percent of businesses who use video say it has increased website conversion rates.

In fact, a recent study showed some impressive statistics regarding video conversion rates.


The statistics clearly demonstrate that video is increasingly dominating the social media landscape.  Organizations would do well to increasingly harness and leverage video to provide added value to their stakeholders and customers.

For more information on the growing role of social video and tips on how to use video to expand your social reach, following are some links of interest:

The rise of video marketing on social and how it affects your business

Why Video is the Social Media Trend to Watch in 2016

A Guide to Social Video, and Where it Fits in Your Marketing Plan

I want to hear from you

* Have you ever participated in a live video broadcast using an app such as Facebook Live, Periscope or Meerkat?  If so, what was your experience like?

* Will the rise in video on social media impact the way you do social?  If so, in which way will you be changing your social media habits and practices?

I want to hear from you.  Please join me in the conversation.

Connect with me on LinkedIn.

Doing Social right – the Marillion model

In my previous blogpost, I discussed the need for social media marketers to put the “social” back in Social Media. 

Sounds simple, but how does a brand actually do this? 

Doing social right requires that a company finds a way to engage and create meaningful and long-term relationships with its customers and clients.

These relationships help to promote brand loyalty and can create powerful brand ambassadors for an organization that is doing it right.

One brand that is exceptionally good at doing this is the Rock band Marillion.

Who on earth is Marillion anyway? 

Marillion is a British rock band that released their first album in 1981. Their discography includes an impressive 17 studio albums and they are set to release their 18th album later this year

Throughout their 35 year history, they have sold more than 15 million albums and have won multiple awards including the 2013 Prog Award for Band of the Year along with the 2015 Prog Award for Best Live Event of the Year for their bi-annual Marillion Weekend Conventions.  

The 2015 Marillion Weekend convention was particularly successful as it saw over over 3000 fans from 52 different countries gather to watch Marillion put on three distinct two hour + shows during three consecutive nights in Montreal, England and the Netherlands.

The following video provides a small glimpse of what a Marillion Weekend looks like.

Screenshot 2016-03-28 18.10.10

How would you describe Marillion’s music?

Marillion’s music is hard to describe however, it could be said that their music has a profound atmospheric sound coupled with deeply meaningful lyrics that often results in deep emotional connections being formed between the band and their fans.

Some people have compared Marillion’s music to bands such as Pink Floyd, Radiohead, Genesis, Coldplay, The Beatles and Muse.

When lead singer Steve Hogarth was once asked to describe Marillion’s music he suggested in a whimsical fashion that if Pink Floyd and Radiohead were to get together and have a love child – that child would be Marillion.

To get a taste of Marillion’s sound, following is a song entitled Power from Marillion’s last album Sounds That Can’t Be Made.

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How is Marillion unique?

Marillion is known for having some of the most loyal fans in the world. 

In fact, this fan brand loyalty towards the group enabled Marillion to become crowdfunding pioneers in the music industry.

Essentially Marillion’s albums are crowdfunded by their fans BEFORE they are even written.

Now THAT is brand loyalty.

A Cambridge news article accurately described Marillion’s relationship with their fans in the following manner:

“The band’s relationship with its devotees is not only legendary – it pretty much helped shape what’s rapidly becoming the standard model for the music business in the 21st century. In 1997, when US fans showed the colour of their money by financing an American tour out of their own pockets, Marillion were among the first musicians to realise the potential of the internet for cutting out costly, inefficient record companies in favour of communicating directly with their audience. In the 15 years since, the self-styled “freaks” have bankrolled pretty much everything the band do – including paying out for several albums before they’d even been written.”

So how did Marillion create such brand loyalty? 

They did this in large part through their ongoing efforts to engage and relate to their fans through various means including through the strategic and consistent use of digital and social media.

Marillion’s YouTube channel

Marillion have done an exceptional job of connecting with their fans using their YouTube channel.  Over the last 10 years they have posted almost 100 videos on this channel.

Many videos they have posted are “Ask the Band” sessions where band members answer questions from fans.

Following is an example of one such video where they answer questions from fans.

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Marillion also have an appreciation for the use of humour as a means of connecting with their fans.  

Using humour is particularly effective at helping fans relate to the band (because who doesn’t appreciate a little humour right?)

For example, following was a Facebook post by the band in response to a fan submitting a picture of the Minions disguised as members of the band.   The fan cleverly called this montage “Marillions”:

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Another example of the band’s use of humour could be witnessed during their recent campaign launch to promote their upcoming new album.

To launch the campaign and raise fan awareness and excitement, Marillion posted the following short comical video on both their Facebook and YouTube pages:Screenshot 2016-03-28 10.11.48
Marillion’s strategic use of Facebook

Marillion also understand the importance of engaging fans through Facebook.

In fact, Marillion makes extensive use of several Facebook pages.  

Following are screenshots from different Facebook pages they leverage to engage and foster an ongoing dialogue and connection with their fans.

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One very effective way Marillion manage to maintain an ongoing dialogue with their fans is through the use of their Manager Lucy Jordache’s “Lucy’s Friday Questions” Facebook page.

This Facebook page essentially allows Marillion fans, on designated Fridays, to ask Lucy any question(s) they want regarding the band’s activities.

This forum is very effective at keeping the “Social” in Social Media.Screenshot 2016-03-28 09.30.12

Marillion’s use of Twitter

Marillion have also successfully engaged their fans by hosting live Question and Answer (Q & A) sessions on Twitter.  These (Q & A) Twitter sessions give fans a forum to ask questions directly to the band.

Screenshot 2016-03-28 09.13.15

Doing Social Right – the Marillion Model

In a previous blogpost, I talked about learning how to “do” social from those who are doing it right.

Marillion is definitely a brand that knows what it is doing.

Their success at turning fans into brand advocates and brand ambassadors should be the envy of many brand managers.

Social media marketers and brand developers would do well to take a piece out of the Marillion playbook.

Following are some additional links highlighting Marillion’s success

Marillion ‘Unconventional’ documentary reviews Trailer

Recent review of the “Unconventional” documentary on Marillion Weekend

Sample of Marillion’s music (trailer for “The Glow Must Go On” live Blu-Ray release)

Food for thought

* Have any brands been successful at engaging you as a consumer?

* Would you consider yourself a brand advocate for a cause or company in general?

* What do you find is the most important thing a company can do to earn your trust and brand loyalty?

I want to hear from you.  Please join me in the conversation.

Connect with me on LinkedIn.

Pssst… Let me tell you a Secret

Apparently I am a Brand.

No longer just a Dad, just a Husband or just a Son.

But an actual Brand that can and should be defined, managed and marketed for the world to see.

Gone are the days when one’s personal identity was largely linked to the company they worked for or the job title they had.   With the advent of the Social and Digital Media revolution, we now all have the ability to create our own unique and distinct Brand and online identity. 

The article “10 Steps To Promote Brand ‘You’ With Social Media” by Jeff Bullas, and the article “I Am What I Am: Personal Branding Tips from Michael Hyatt and Me” by Barry Feldman provide some guidance on how to establish one’s personal Brand.

But while there are no shortage of helpful tips on how to promote one’s personal Brand, it remains up to each individual to answer some fundamental questions when defining their Brand.  

Questions such as: Who am I exactly?  What makes me and my Brand distinct from others? And if I had to portray my Brand visually how would I do it?

We have all heard the expression that pictures speak louder than words, so in the interest of trying to visually communicate my personal Brand, in this blogpost I thought I would share a few visual images to give you a small glimpse of who I am and what makes me tick.

But first – a little bit about myself…

Who I am

Rabid Sens fan

I was born in 1972 and raised in Canada’s Capital.   With a name like John Nieuwenhuis, it didn’t take long for my friends to nickname me Johnny New for short Growing up playing hockey I instantly became a huge Ottawa Senators fan when Ottawa rejoined the NHL in 1992.

Fast forward to 2013 when I joined Twitter.  Like everyone opening a new account in the Twitterverse, I had to come up with an appropriate Twitter handle to reflect who I was.

To reflect my personal Brand I chose @Johnnynew72 (which combined my nickname and the year that I was born).

Building on my @Johnnynew72Twitter handle, I purchased the following Sens jersey to further promote my personal Brand.

Version 4

Passionate Music Lover

I am also a big music aficionado.   So much so that I have a monthly subscription to both Spotify and Apple Music (I know it’s a bit excessive but I digress…)

Part of the joy of discovering new music is sharing it with others who can also appreciate it with you.  To this end, every 4 months or so for the past 8 years, a small circle of friends and I have been getting together for what we call Music Night.

Basically, Music Night consists of 5 guys in a man cave enjoying beers and pizza and sharing about 25 minutes each of their own latest personal music discoveries.  What binds us all together is our love of music and an appreciation for some good “male bonding time” while enjoying the latest releases of new up and coming artists or discovering some more obscure and not-so-mainstream tracks by some of our favourite legendary or sometimes lesser known artists and musicians.

When our current “Music group” was first created, for fun we decided that it needed a name.   After some debate, the name The Musikal Tribe was chosen.  Once we had a name, we wanted a corresponding logo to go on our group’s t-shirts (which we occasionally wear at concerts or when we get together for fun).

And so the following logo was developed and designed to reflect our mutual passion for music. This logo reflects our group’s (and by extension) part of my personal Brand quite nicely.

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Dog and Cat owner

In addition to Hockey and Music, my Dog (Maggie) and Cat (Jerry) are part of the landscape in our household.   While I didn’t always have an appreciation for cats (I was actually stalked by a rabid black cat when I was nine years old – but that’s another story) – I have grown to appreciate my cat Jerry and his playful interactions with our Cavalier King Charles pup Maggie.  

In fact, in some strange way, Maggie and Jerry’s constant presence around the house have had a therapeutic impact me.

The following picture speaks for itself.   #MaggieJerryBFFs

Maggie and Jerry

While this blogpost is by no means intended to be an exhaustive autobiography of who I am, hopefully it has given you a little more insight into some of the things I value and hold dear.

Maintaining a balance

While maintaining a professional image for one’s Brand is important, it is also important to project an authentic and more personal side when promoting one’s Brand on Social Media.  

After all, projecting a more personal and human side is what enables the Social in Social Media.  It is what fosters relationships in the Social Media universe.   Relationships that are essential for connecting with people.   Connections that promote long term brand loyalty and longer term company-customer relationships.

Food for thought

* Would you be willing to pay more to do business with a company or service provider that you have a relationship with and know and trust (all other things being equal)?   If so, how much more would you be willing to pay?  (5%, 10%, 15% more)

* What are the top three things companies can do better to gain your trust and future business?

* Do you know any companies or brands that do a good job of connecting with their clients and fostering long-term relationships through social media?

I want to hear from you.    Please join me in the conversation.

Connect with me on LinkedIn.

5 reasons why Social Listening is key to Company Success

In my initial blogpost, I questioned how companies are using Social Media to help build relationships and increase brand awareness and loyalty with their clients.

One way they are doing this is by actively listening to the dialogue happening on Social Media.

Following is an amazing example of a company using active social listening to help build relationships and increase brand awareness for their company.

KLM #happytohelp campaign:

KLM #happy to help campaign

The KLM #happytohelp campaign wonderfully illustrates the power of listening to the social media dialogue.  This active social listening is critical for building and maintaining company/customer relationships.

Being out-of-touch with customers can be costly

Bad customer service.  We’ve all experienced it.  It leaves a bad taste in our mouth and motivates us to let everyone know that they should NOT do business with the organization or individual that offended us.   

However, unlike the past, when bad mouthing by an upset customer was usually limited to one’s own neck of the woods, today,  a single “Tweet” or online posting by an irate customer can go viral – and in a short time, if not handled properly, has the potential to cause serious damage to an organization’s brand and reputation.

Comcast complaint goes viral

Nothing screams out of touch more than a company that disregards its customers or takes its clientele for granted.   In this day and age when consumers are increasingly savvy and competition is fierce, a company that remains out of touch with its clientele and the world around them is almost certainly doomed to fail.

That is why social listening is so critical to an organization’s success.   And listening doesn’t just mean being aware of what people are saying, it means responding to this awareness.  Put simply it allows a company to: Listen. Understand. Act.

5 reasons why Active Social Listening is key to Company Success

1.  It shows a company cares.

How often do we get frustrated when we don’t feel listened to?   My wife reminds me at times that I don’t LISTEN to her enough (ahem.touché.sigh)  While I hate to admit it, she’s often right.  Nothing is more insulting than having someone NOT listen to you.   But listening takes work, and to become good at it, one has to work at it (note to self).

A company that demonstrates caring through listening, has a greater chance of fostering increased customer satisfaction and loyalty to their brand.  Small gestures that show a company cares can go a long way to nurturing a longer term relationship with current and potential clients.   

In the following keynote address entitled “Care Immensely or Die!”, Gary Vaynerchuk, colourfully and passionately stresses the vital importance of caring in the new economy.

Gary Vaynerchuk %22Care Immensely or Die%22 Keynote Address

 2.  Listening allows a company to be aware of how people feel about their product/service. 

Knowing how people feel about an organization allows a company to react and adapt to changing circumstances and trends.  This knowledge enables a company to respond to peoples’ concerns in a timely manner.  A timely intervention with a client or potential customer can go a long way to holding onto an existing customer or acquiring a new one.  

3.  Listening gives insight into what people want/need.

Providing a product/service that people want or need is key to the success of any company.

Active Social Listening allows an organization to modify its current products or services according to the evolving wants and needs of the marketplace.  This ability to adapt to evolving wants and needs is critical for a company’s long term success.

4.  Listening provides knowledge about the competition and how others perceive them.

Social listening also enables an organization to know what its competitors are doing and how other potential customers are reacting to the competition.  This knowledge allows a company to adapt accordingly and potentially gain new customers who may be no longer satisfied with the company they have been previously dealing with.


5.  Consumers expect a timely response when they use social media to ask a question or post a complaint.

According to a consumer research study by Oracle, “more than half of consumers on Facebook expect a same-day response to questions and posts, where 52 percent of consumers using Twitter expect a company to respond within two hours.”  The study also found that 30 percent of Twitter users expect a response within half an hour.   

What does this all mean?   Quite simply, if a company wants to meet consumers’ expectations, they need to be actively listening and engaging in social media on an on-going and consistent basis.

How to listen to the social media dialogue

The following articles provide some great tips on how to listen to the dialogue on social media.

Are You Ready to Listen Differently in Social Media?

How to Gather Fan Feedback on Social Media

How to Deliver Exceptional Social Media Customer Service

Food for thought

* In your personal or professional life, do you spend enough time actively listening?

* Have you ever personally experienced a company that did not listen to what you had to say?

* Do you know of any other examples of companies doing a great job of active social listening?

I want to hear from you.    Please join me in the conversation.

Connect with me on LinkedIn.

Social Media – an exciting New Frontier to explore and discover

What is Social Media anyway? How can it be leveraged for maximum impact? How can I best use it to further advance the next chapter in my professional career?

Curious minds like mine want to know. That’s why I signed up for this course. And those are some of the questions I hope to answer.

For me, Social Media is a New Frontier of cyberspace; a vast and ever evolving expanse ready to be explored and discovered. This New Frontier consists of new and exciting places.   Places to visit and explore to help me better understand the New Social World we live in.

Before exploring this New Frontier I thought I would give myself a Mission Statement to help guide my journey.  Staying with the exploration theme, I used the iconic introduction to Star Trek as inspiration:

(For the record, I am not a “Trekkie”- although I will admit that I particularly enjoyed The Next Generation incarnation of the Star Trek series).

That said, for this course, I have adopted the following Star Trek inspired Mission Statement as guide:

Cyberspace. The Social Media Frontier. These are JN’s blogposts. His continuing mission to explore exciting new Social Media platforms, seek out best practices and to boldly use and understand Social Media as he has never done before.

A Social Revolution in the Making

My growing curiosity into how the internet and Social Media are impacting the way we relate to one another was seriously piqued when I read The Cluetrain Manifesto:

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This Manifesto challenges the traditional notions of how individuals and corporations relate to one another.

I believe that Social Media and the internet have truly brought about a Revolution into how people relate to each other and how companies relate to their target markets.

Understanding the nature of this Revolution and how the evolution of Social Media is impacting human relationships is key to understanding how Social Media platforms can best be used to attain an individual’s or an organization’s goals and objectives.

Best Practices

One way to better understand the evolving nature of the Social Media Revolution is to examine best practices in the Social Media industry.

Some interesting questions include:

  • How are the various Social Media platforms best being utilized by various companies to maximize brand awareness?
  • How are companies using Social Media as a means to establish greater customer loyalty and longer term relationships with their clients?
  • How can small or medium-sized businesses capitalize on the Social Media Revolution?

A quick Google search finds a plethora of success stories to further explore and delve into.

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How can I apply the lessons learned in these success stories to my own situation?

Through my journey of exploration into the New Frontier of Social Media, I hope to answer precisely that question.

I want to learn from the Social Media Explorers and Pioneers who have “been there and done that…”

And so my exciting journey begins.   Will you join me for the ride?

Connect with me on LinkedIn.

Join the conversation:

What are your favourite Social Media platforms and why?
How have you leveraged Social Media to accomplish your personal/professional goals?
What was your favourite Social Media campaign and why?