Gini Dietrich

One Compelling Video Idea for You to Steal

By: Gini Dietrich | February 6, 2013 | 

Several years ago, I was leaving the office. I had on my coat and hat; I was holding my gloves until the moment right before I stepped outside. My bags were full of things to take home to work on. And I stopped in one of our account executive’s offices to say goodnight.

She was sitting there with two other colleagues and they were talking about video.

The one account executive who was not intimidated by me and had no problem giving her opinion said to me, “You travel the world telling business leaders about how important video is in telling a company’s story, yet we don’t do any of it.”

I looked at her and said, “I agree. But we sit behind our computers all day. What the heck will we talk about on video?”

(Cough, cough.) No one said I’m not stubborn or close-minded occasionally. But I am willing to listen and to think.

The Birth of FBQOTW

And that, my friends, is how Facebook question of the week (or FBQOTW, as some people call it) was born.

I set my bags down, unzipped my coat, and sat down in a chair to listen to what they had to say. Jack Bauer wasn’t happy because I’d told him we were going home so he could have dinner so he sat at the front door and whined.

But I quizzed them about what they were thinking.

This young lady said, “What do you hate almost more than anything else about selling your time?”

I responded I hate it when people ask if they can buy me a latte and pick my brain. When you sell your time, leaving your desk to meet someone for free is extraordinarily expensive. Let’s just say it’s not worth the price of a latte.

Pick My Brain for Free

They went on to suggest we let people pick my brain for free via Facebook.

This had to have been at least four years ago (I just looked – it was March 2009) so using Facebook for business wasn’t yet done. We had a business page, but it wasn’t exactly sophisticated or interesting.

I didn’t think it would work, but I committed to them I would try. I bought a Flip camera (I didn’t yet own a laptop that had a camera) and I taught myself how to use it, how to optimize the tags, how to use YouTube to enhance the views, and how to embed it on the Arment Dietrich home page, here (it’s in the sidebar over there —–> and changes weekly), and distribute it via the social networks.

How it Works

The way it works is this:

  1. People leave a question on our Facebook wall. Of course, that requires you like our page, but gives us the opportunity to show you why you should stick around.
  2. Sometimes the questions are goofy (cough, Danny Brown, cough), but most of the time they’re serious and in areas where people really need some advice or extra help.
  3. I answer the question via video and send it to you.
  4. It then goes on our home page, in the sidebar here, on all of the social networks, and it lives on our YouTube channel.
  5. People feel like mini-rock stars because there now is a video on the web that talks specifically to them and their challenge.

This is one of those efforts that I can’t point to a particular return-on-investment, but I can tell you people tell me all the time they saw my video on such and such and thought it was great or terrible or my hair is too long or they have something else to add.

What it does do is provide another layer to the organization. We all know people buy from people, but more…they buy from people they like and trust.

Why it Works

The weekly videos build that trust and people either like me or they hate me. If it’s the latter, the video has saved me a ton of time in prospecting and meeting with that person, only to discover we’re not a match.

So there’s the big idea you for you to steal. I’m going to leave you with this week’s video, but before I go, I ask you this…how do you use video in your business?

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • I don’t – yet. Between the weekly podcast and the regular blog posts and guest submissions, I think I’m in a good place with my overall content strategy. 
    As you well know, I really like to experiment, so video might become another tool for my utility belt.

    • @jasonkonopinski It’s the easiest thing I do every week. No real prep, takes 15 minutes to do it from beginning to end. I recommend it.

  • What do you mean, “goofy”? Axle lube is a very serious subject!

    • @Danny Brown You’re going to get your own special video. Don’t you worry.

      • @ginidietrich And I don’t even have to pay the normal rate? Well alrighty!

        • @Danny Brown Not this time. But you’ll owe me.

        • @ginidietrich  @Danny Brown  Don’t do it Danny! It’s a trap!

      • belllindsay

        @ginidietrich  @Danny Brown YIKES!!

        • @belllindsay  @ginidietrich  @Danny Brown This won’t end well

  • belllindsay

    Am I the only person to notice that Gini looks like an Easter Peep today?

    • @belllindsay It has been a few weeks where you’ve been looking to get fired. I guess today is the day.

      • belllindsay

        @ginidietrich Wheeeeee!! #chirp

        • @belllindsay  @ginidietrich Ever put a peep in the microwave? try it…

        • @KenMueller  @belllindsay We had a Peep microwave contest at work one day. In fact, I think I have pictures of it. That was before Lindsay’s time.

        • @ginidietrich  @belllindsay nice. AND they were invented and are made right here in Pennsylvania.

        • @KenMueller  @belllindsay Yummmmm

        • belllindsay

          @KenMueller  @ginidietrich Are you hiring Ken? 😉

        • @belllindsay  @ginidietrich Funny you should ask…

        • @belllindsay  @KenMueller  @ginidietrich If Ken isn’t I am. And when I told Gini what I was looking for she said “oh, you need a Lindsay.”

        • @Sean McGinnis  @belllindsay    @ginidietrich  Ahem.

        • belllindsay

          @Sean McGinnis  @KenMueller  @ginidietrich I think I’ll take that as a compliment. Whether it was intended as such or not. 😉

        • @belllindsay  @Sean McGinnis  @ginidietrich Sean, you didnt finish the sentence. What she told you was “oh, you need a Lindsay like you need a hole in the head”

        • @jasonkonopinski  @belllindsay  @ginidietrich Ahem my ass! Check your voicemail lately? 😉

        • @Sean McGinnis  @belllindsay  @ginidietrich Craaaaaaap.

        • belllindsay

          @jasonkonopinski  @Sean McGinnis  @ginidietrich BOOOM!!! Way to go Konopinski.

        • belllindsay

          @KenMueller  @Sean McGinnis  @ginidietrich That too. 😉

      • @ginidietrich  @belllindsay Hey Lindsay…can I buy you a latte? LOL

        • belllindsay

          @lizreusswig  @ginidietrich HAHA! Anytime! 😀

        • @belllindsay  @ginidietrich Rebecca Amy Todd @Sean McGinnis Not a bad day so far…got a date for wine with Gini & Rebecca, Sean McGinnis liked one of my snarky comments and I can pick Lindsay’s brain over lattes! 🙂

        • @lizreusswig  @belllindsay  @ginidietrich    @Sean McGinnis  Ooo may day has taken a turn, so I will need that whole bottle of wine to myself…

        • @RebeccaTodd  @belllindsay  @ginidietrich  @Sean McGinnis Ruh Roh! 🙁

  • Hi Gini, I don’t use video created by me yet in my business but plan to in the future to enhance the content. I love your beginning story. When I met you, you were already using video well. In fact, I used you as an example last week when I was teaching a college class on resume writing and career marketing. As I demonstrated Google+, your post on Social Media Experience on the Resume popped up and I thought it was good chance to share the video as another way to use social media. I always use your videos as an example of how to do it right. Personable yet professional!

    • @JulieMarketing Why thank you, my friend! What are you recommending for people to do with video and their resumes? I have to say, if I received a video with a resume, I’d be impressed and would definitely watch…if it were done well.

      • @ginidietrich For a job seeker in your field, I could suggest a video (well done, of course) but for most fields, it is not received well. Career Directors International did a hiring survey that I also share with classes and clients that indicates that combined with a traditional resume, some hiring managers would be open to looking at one. Another tool in the arsenal?

  • rdopping

    Ha! This is great. If I buy you a latte will you help me with the optimizing tags and enhancing views?
    Kidding aside, our firm films most of our proposal pitches and in many cases we include them in the proposal response. These vids are meant to demonstrate our collaborative process for preparing complex responses along with demonstrating the culture of the firm.
    We did one recently for a competition and when we won the work the client said that the effort in putting together a story through video tipped the scales. It works!

    • @rdopping That is SUCH A GOOD IDEA!!! Why have I never thought to do this. You are so smart. For that, I WILL help you optimize tags and enhance views. Yes.

      • @ginidietrich  @rdopping Wow. That IS cool. Well done, Ralph!

    • @rdopping Awesome idea.

      • @Sean McGinnis  @rdopping I love it when Sean drops by and only writes one comment to one person and it’s only two words.

        • rdopping

          @ginidietrich @Sean McGinnis thanks

        • @ginidietrich  @rdopping I know you miss me Gini. It’s OK.

    • @rdopping That’s a phenomenal idea, Ralph!

    • John_Trader1

      @rdopping Holy smokes, now that’s creative. (See Gini’s blog post from yesterday).

  • I’ve always loved the FBQOTW. I thought it was a brilliant idea because it gives you a regular series and built it topics to talk about (not to mention the engagement piece). Now, you’re telling me I can steal the idea?! SCORE! 😉
    I’ve done a handful of video posts and interviews, but nothing on a recurring basis. I’ve always found that my written posts do much better, but maybe it’s time to give it a while again. Like you, I tell my clients all the time to use video, so I should do a better job of practicing what I preach!

    • @lauraclick You may have noticed I stopped giving the videos their own blog post and we promote simply by embedding it in the sidebar here and on our home page. The views haven’t gone down (have increased, in fact), and I get my blog property back for the written word, which people tend to like more.

      • @ginidietrich I did notice that change. I’m glad to hear that’s worked well. Part of the reason I haven’t done something similar is that every blog post with a video bombed – at least from a video views and pageview standpoint. It might be time to figure out another way to integrate video into the site without giving up the blog post space. Need to think on that.

        • @lauraclick  @ginidietrich I’ve been having the same struggle with the podcast posts. Need to integrate them better. Thinking.

        • @jasonkonopinski  @lauraclick When we get the new design here launched (It’s been pushed down on my priority list because of client work), you both can steal the video and audio things we’ve incorporated.

        • @ginidietrich  @lauraclick But if I have permission to steal, is it? 
          Words matter, Gini. 😉

  • JohnHaydon

    FYI – liking a page isn’t required to post to a page. 🙂

    • @JohnHaydon LIKE MY PAGE, JOHN!

      • JohnHaydon

        @ginidietrich 🙂

        • @JohnHaydon  @ginidietrich Yeah Johh, LIKE OUR PAGE!!!

  • You know I love FBQOTW. It’s such a great example of putting your money where your mouth is.

    • @Sean McGinnis Did someone take over your account? Are you okay?

      • @ginidietrich It’s the only time I’m ever nice to you. When your name and the word video is in the same paragraph. It’s one of my rules.

        • @Sean McGinnis Good to know. I shall make it a rule to have both mentioned in the same sentence every time I see you.

        • @Sean McGinnis  Dude, you’re getting soft… you’ve been nice to here like 2 times this month and we’re only 6 days in.@ginidietrich

        • @ginidietrich I think you like me better when I’m mean to you, anyway. Deep down, I think you’re a third grade boy. 😉

        • @Sean McGinnis Deep down, YOU are a third grade boy. Don’t make me stoop to your level.

  • John_Trader1

    I LOVE video. Working within the confines of a rigid B2B market, by far the videos that our community respond to the best are instructional videos on how to use our hardware. When I first thought of the idea to up our video presence, on a whim I made a simple, extremely dumbed down video of how to use a palm vein scanner. When it was finished, I thought “this is awful, poorly done and I want to puke.” I posted it anyway and it turned out to be the highest viewed video in our library.
    People like simple. I found out if you make a video that a 2nd grader can understand, a lot of people will respond favorably. This is probably video 101, but important because in a world complicated by 50,000 messages and pieces of info flying at you each second, it seems as if content produced that speaks directly at you in a straightforward language resonates more effectively.

    • @John_Trader1 And not only that, John, but when you communicate via the written word in the same way, you begin to really make sense to your customers. Having just recently stalked the work you do for M2Sys, I can see you really do practice what you preach. It’s impressive. So impressive I want to steal you away from there!

      • @ginidietrich  @John_Trader1 Well now I am going to up my stalking of John… You raise an excellent point, John.  When we do use video, it is all super scripted, edited, produced, and cold as hell. There is no personality or life to it- just a disembodied voice reading off my written instructions. Now how to get “The Brand” to realize this…

        • John_Trader1

          @RebeccaTodd  I would feel honored if you stalked me more RT.

        • @John_Trader1 I am working on a deep creep right now!  Man, I can make ANYTHING sound weird…

      • John_Trader1

        @ginidietrich Thank you Gini. With a glut of tech companies producing these complicated, geek speak content pieces, I just couldn’t see that resonating with people.
        P.S. – Make me an offer. 🙂

  • You know me (sort of)… I prefer to sing the praises of video.  Yours inspired me to launch #SocialSong Saturday, my weekly Twitter Love Song video, dedicated to the folks tweeting the really good stuff (at least a couple people in this conversation, including you, have been featured). It’s still just a content baby, but is gaining some traction, starting interesting conversations with people (who are also starting to ask if I can do similar things for them… I hope they don’ t mean for a cup of coffee) and, perhaps most importantly, helping me be me online.  And as I said, it’s really all your fault!

    • @creativeoncall I’m still right chuffed for getting a mention. 😀

      • @jasonkonopinski Yeah, so where’s your sing-along video?! Check back a couple of Saturdays for a demo.

        • @creativeoncall I totally need to do that.

        • @jasonkonopinski Great!  Work on Gini & Lindsay, too. Maybe a Hangout group sing.. hmm, there’s a whole ‘nother video idea

        • @creativeoncall  @jasonkonopinski No, no. I don’t sing.

    • @creativeoncall I really, really love your videos. You are amazingly talented and I love that you translate that into something for business.

      • @ginidietrich Thanks.  Now I’m looking for a sing-along video from you, too, you know. Be fearless (or even more fearless)! Check that demo from a couple weeks back that Andrew Davis did.  And Lindsay… you too. (Hey,there’s not such thing as a free mention,right? Well,wrong, but do it anyway).

  • You are a genius (or at least hire geniuses and then LISTEN to them – which of course makes you a genius!) I also love FBQOTW and realize what an amazing value it is for all of us who can’t afford to buy you a latte…hehe 😉  Seriously though, I’m planning to integrate video into my newest venture thanks to you (ok, and a couple others) who use it so effectively.

    • @lizreusswig As it turns out, I’d have a latte (or glass of wine) with you anytime.

      • @ginidietrich  @lizreusswig I’ll buy us a whole bottle of wine!

  • We used to do video intros to our podcast posts, but stopped. Hmm wondering if I should bring them back. For for thought.

    • @katskrieger Why did you stop?

      • belllindsay

        @ginidietrich  @katskrieger Agreed. That sounds like a wicked idea.

        • @belllindsay  @ginidietrich Brian used to do them. We had someone film them professionally and I don’t think he was really comfortable going from that to a flip cam. But I could do the intros I suppose, since I write the posts.

        • belllindsay

          @katskrieger  @ginidietrich That’s the beauty of today’s world. Vids don’t have to be professionally produced. People are used to on the fly snippets. I say do it!

  • Stealing. Thanks!

  • PattiRoseKnight

    I don’t have to steal – I work here 🙂  Seriously, the FBQOTW is a huge success.  So many people are visual and a video is the way to get their attention.  Plus the added bonus of seeing the famous Jack Bauer; he makes occasional guest appearances.

    • @PattiRoseKnight He hasn’t made a guest appearance in a while. I’ll fix that.

  • Great point… if they hate you, you’ll save a ton of time and hassle finding out that you hate them too!!  I’m pretty excited because I was booked on a webcast later this month, hopefully I’ll be a small screen star just like you!

    • @TonyBennett Don’t hold your breath…

      • @ginidietrich is that a challenge?

        • @TonyBennett  FOR SURE!

        • @ginidietrich haven’t had anyone call me out like that in awhile, thanks! My charisma will come through the screen and grab the audience

  • Nobody hates you. Do they? Tell me who they are and I’ll beat them up.

    • @AmyVernon I’ll give you a very long list. You and my mom can beat them up.

  • I’ve gotten all kinds of positive feedback from my KateUpdates videos but this post has encouraged me to start thinking through how to use this for my business. Hmm … There’s another opportunity to be a creative PR person. Two birds …

    • @kateupdates Can’t wait to see what you come up with…you’re really great with this stuff!

  • I used to use video a lot, but, I got out of the habit for some odd reason. Now I’m all skeered again. That’s just dumb. I have a great idea for hubby’s biz page, I believe. Still thinking on my sites.

    • @LisaMarieMary I got out of the habit late last year and @belllindsay made me promise to reignite it in 2013. Maybe you just need a Lindsay.

  • FollowtheLawyer

    Hi Gini,
    Just last week I asked the @BigIdeasBlog team to study what you’ve been doing with Facebook engagement/visual content integration and then shamelessly copy you.
    Thanks for the primer!

    • @FollowtheLawyer  LOL!! Well now I guess you have permission to copy.

  • Gini, sweet Gini, you know I adore video! It’s how you and I met. Remember? I found you on video and then became inspired to make my very first one. You were kind enough to respond and share it, going so far as to say I had great cheek bones or something to that effect, and that was it. We were fast friends from there.
    I continue to use video in my business – via blog posts, email newsletters (it tends to make the click through go WAY up), and for client services. I preach it to almost all of our clients and we have developed quite the video suite now to help them use it.
    Like you said, it gives people – potential clients in particular – an up close and personal view of you and helps them decide “will I like working with this person or not?” It’s a perfect form of speed dating for clients. 😉

    • @EricaAllison I DO remember! I’ll never forget that video you did.

  • Hi @ginidietrich – I think I may borrow that idea for my student’s question of the week. Not sure I’ll be doing video, but it should be good for a blog post.  Thanks for making your idea Creative Commons-worthy.

    • @martinwaxman Man. I wish I’d thought to say it is Creative Commons-worthy.

  • It really does make one feel like a mini rock star, especially when their video is used in a post about how great videos are! 🙂  For us, we use videos to show what we have going on in our fabrication shop.  We also have clips from conferences at which we’ve spoken and TV programs that have featured @TSIExhibits on our YouTube channel.  I’d like to get a weekly video with a similar FBQOTW format up and running, too.

    • @Kara  You’re kicking butt over there! I remember when none of this stuff existed. You should be very proud of yourself!

      • @ginidietrich It means a lot that you think so!  I still feel like we have a long way to go!  But certainly much improved from four years ago!

  • This was great. Except for the part where you had my question under the “silly” category. Come on! I know you better than that. I really do like how you use video, and keep it short and real. I have not done one since that Hay House contest… but it did get me a finalist spot and free advice from their CEO, without buying him a latte. Maybe I’ll do another soon. There’s a nice, intimate quality to video that makes you feel like you know the person. Thanks for the nudge.

    • @Katjaib I remember, when I started doing videos, you made fun of me because if I had to scratch my nose while recording, I did it and didn’t edit it out. Truth be told, I didn’t know how to edit it out so you got me in all my glory.

  • Aimee West

    I could tell you but I would rather show you 🙂

  • I always thought this idea was awesome. Not only are you building video content, you are fueling conversation on your Facebook page and adding additional medium on your blog. It’s so well-integrated, I wish I had thought of it! A lot of people may struggle to get questions asked via Facebook so another suggestion may be to answer questions asked on LinkedIn in your video and then link to your YouTube channel in the discussion. I need to dabble in more video myself!

    • @C_Pappas REALLY good idea to answer questions asked on LinkedIn.

  • I use video to convey some of my natural enthusiasm to teach and get that “picture is worth a thousand words” effect. Moving pictures gotta be better, right?
    I do not have polish, but I have enthusiasm and a little bit of knowledge to share.

    • @dbvickery I don’t have polish either…I think that’s what makes it so compelling.

  • ltcassociates

    I’ve left this window open on my desktop for 3 days straight until I had time to watch it, and now that I have– Happy Belated Birthday!!!
    On a more serious note (what was the group’s opinion on “silly”, are we okay with that?), I think this idea is “off the chain”, and I’m gonna send it to my 2 partners ASAP. But finally, a question that’s 100% related to the topic of your video itself:
    Our company (LTCA) has just the one Twitter account, which I (co-owner and SVP) operate. My question for you is: should the avatar show my face or our logo? For the longest time I argued that my face was more relatable (people engage with people), but was finally won over my my partners (okay, my brothers) that the logo made better branding sense (it was hard to defend my big fat face as anything other than an ego-boost).
    What do YOU think?

    • @ltcassociates I will always side on the “a face is more relatable” argument. People buy from people. They don’t buy from logos. That said, there is one organization I interact with a lot that uses their logo and there are two different people who are behind it. It drives me INSANE that I don’t know who I’m talking to when I tweet with them. A simple ^with their initials would probably be enough for me.

      • ltcassociates

        @ginidietrich Thanks for your advice! I’m afraid my partners fear that replacing that logo up there with a face makes us look “smaller”. What would Coca Cola do? What would John Hancock do?
        Behave in the way you want to be perceived. (Or is that there are different conventions for social media than old media…)

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