Here's Why Visual Storytelling Is a Must Have for Your Company's Marketing Strategy

Visual marketing has been proven to be an effective way for businesses to stick out in the minds of their customers. Courtesy of the visual storytelling experts at Goldfarb Weber Creative Media, here are some tips on how you can fold visual marketing into your overall marketing strategy.

If you present someone with written or spoken information, they will retain only 10% of that information three days later. But, according to an August Hubspot study, if you present that information paired with a visual component, that person will retain 65% of the information given to them.

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    This is where Goldfarb Weber Creative Media comes in. Having built their business for the past 45 years, the firm solves clients’ communication challenges with high-end visual media. The company’s 10-person team of producers, cinematographers, writers, editors, motion graphic artists and developers work to advocate for their clients, usually through documentary-style storytelling.

    Mind Your Business had the opportunity recently to sit down with Goldfarb Weber CEO Tony Weber to dive deeper into how visual storytelling can help sharpen a company’s marketing strategy. Here’s what he had to say.

    MYB: Where do your clients need the most marketing help and what solutions has your company provided to help them overcome these challenges?

    Weber: Clients want to create awareness about their organization or company, but often don’t know where to begin. Our solution is to start with a vision or anthem video that puts the stake in the ground of who you are and what you stand for. This is typically a big picture piece that serves as a table-setter, meeting opener, and introduction to your mission, values and impact. This is the video that will be shared throughout your digital landscape. One hundred million hours of video content is watched on Facebook every day and 10 billion videos are watched on Snapchat. Starting your strategy with a vision piece gives you some clarity to break through all the clutter.

    MYB: What are some of the best solutions that your clients have adopted?

    Weber: Having a video marketing strategy is paramount for leveraging the massive audience that social media presents.  Eighty-one percent of individuals have purchased a product or service after watching a video. Your video strategy needs to have goals and the great thing about social is that it can be measured—so you can calculate your ROI. We are experts in determining what type of video works best on what platform (Facebook, Snapchat, LinkedIn, YouTube, e-mail and broadcast). We determine when the time is right to produce a longer format video with superior production values or when it’s time for more of the short, snackable content. Knowing your audience and what you want them to know, feel and do is a good start. One thing is certain—your video must be formatted for the mobile viewer!

    MYB: What’s the most effective way for a business to tell their story?

    Weber: The most effective way to tell the story of my business is by showing the work we have produced for our clients. I have a PowerPoint presentation that I show at pitches, and I always tend to breeze through our history, and mission and quickly get to showing some of our work. The work is what resonates with potential clients. They can tell that we have mastered the craft of documentary-style digital storytelling and have the ability to capture the heart of a story and establish a personal connection with the viewer.

    MYB: What do you think will be the next big marketing trend as it relates to video?

    Weber: Virtual reality; 360-degree video; live video; vertical; square-shaped videos; e-learning videos. All of these are growing. Lately, I am seeing a big push in animated, explainer videos for my clients. Sometimes, an effective approach is to combine typical documentary-style talking head videos with an animated, info-graphic look. We are also producing a lot of anniversary videos. This town was really on a roll 100 years ago!

    MYB: And now for some shameless self-promotion on our part: How has COSE and the Greater Cleveland Partnership helped your business?

    Weber: Being involved with COSE/GCP has helped my company in so many ways. First, we are very tied into many things that involve moving this region forward—so having the most updated information and being educated on every business initiative is a must for us. Second, the networking is invaluable for being able to know and converse with the business leaders of this community. And third, knowing best practices and taking advantage of the advice that the business leaders of this community can provide.

    Want to be featured in an upcoming business profile? Become a COSE Investor Member today and secure your spot in our special profile series. Learn more about the benefits of being a COSE Member by clicking here. Or, contact our Membership Team directly via email at memberservices@cose.org or by phone at 216-592-2355.

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    Next up: Here's Your Social Media Playbook

    Here's Your Social Media Playbook

    Are you ready for a social media blitz? No need to audible! Check out our Social Media Playbook below, featuring tips from Ted Moss of Fresh Squeezed Minds. Knowing what to focus on when engaging in social media will help your business score points with customers.

    Are you ready for a social media blitz? No need to audible!

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    Check out our Social Media Playbook below, featuring tips from Ted Moss of Fresh Squeezed Minds.

    Knowing what to focus on when engaging in social media will help your business score points with customers.

    And when you’re done here, shoot the gap over to our social media hub for more victory-formation-worthy social media tips.

     

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    Next up: High Tech Vs High Touch Balancing People and Technology

    High Tech Vs High Touch Balancing People and Technology

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    Next up: Hiring an Outside Marketing Company: 4 Questions to Consider

    Hiring an Outside Marketing Company: 4 Questions to Consider

    Entrepreneurs often feel a lot of pressure to do everything themselves, but there’s no need to be a hero. Acquiring the services of an outside firm can be the right move. Here are four questions to ask when looking at bringing in a third-party firm.

    Many small business owners try to take on graphic design, social media, public relations and other marketing efforts in addition to sales, operations, finances, HR, and so on. Doing this creates suboptimal results across the board and puts your business at a disadvantage when competing against larger companies with significant marketing resources.

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    Many businesses believe hiring an employee to handle marketing is the way to go. However, hiring a marketing person can be costly and difficult. Not only is finding talent challenging, but If he or she leaves the company, you have now lost that person’s skill and knowledge. As a result, marketing efforts suffer and the business must now invest time and money in hiring and training a new person.

    There is another alternative to tackling your marketing efforts that may be a better fit for your business–hiring a company to do it for you. A company that specializes in helping companies execute their marketing efforts can provide better quality, expertise consistency–leading to better return on marketing investment.

    If you think hiring a company makes sense for your business, it is important to ask the marketing company these questions:

    Do you offer what I need?
    Do your homework to understand what services the company offers? Is it a match for the types of marketing efforts you are looking to do? Ideally, you will want to identify a company that can address multiple areas. For example, if a company can manage social media, your email newsletter, and your website, you’ve now created a more efficient way to manage your digital presence.

    Can I afford your services?
    Determine your monthly budget for marketing and figure out where that money should be spent. Ideally, you will want to work with a marketing company that understands how to work with budget constraints to prioritize efforts. For example, if your budget is $1,000/month, a marketing company might recommend you invest in social media, online marketing and direct mail and forgo other efforts.

    Do you understand my business?
    For marketing to be successful, it must align with your overall company strategy. An effective marketing company will be able to understand your business, its goals and recommend the right tactics to achieve them. They will be able to analyze results to see what is and isn’t working, and make adjustments.

    What experience do you have?
    It is important to hire a company who has positive experience servicing its clients. Always get examples of previous work and see if you can speak with an existing client to get feedback on the overall experience.

    Ultimately, the decision to outsource your marketing efforts comes down to whether you feel your business has the internal capabilities to see results. If you are not a marketing expert or don’t have the internal resources to effectively promote your company, securing an outside company will help you not only market more effectively, but also save you time and money.

    Nevin Bansal is the president and CEO of Outreach Promotional Solutions.

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    Next up: How can CyberOhio assist your business?

    How can CyberOhio assist your business?

    Learn how CyberOhio is working to keep your company safe from cyberattacks.

    On March 10, we had an opportunity to connect our members with Craig Rapp (Director, CyberOhio) to learn more about the CyberOhio program and in advance of the initiative’s upcoming Business Summit. The CyberOhio Business Summit will take place on March 31 in central Ohio and it will feature cybersecurity experts to provide business owners with practical, understandable, and actionable cybersecurity information.

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    CyberOhio was launched last year by the Ohio Attorney General’s office and is a collection of cybersecurity resources aimed at helping Ohio’s businesses fight back against cyberattacks. The goal is to provide the best legal, technical, and collaborative cybersecurity environment possible to help Ohio’s businesses thrive. 

    How can CyberOhio assist your business?  Click here to view our brief interview

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    Next up: Ask the Expert: How Can I be More Effective in Closing a Deal?

    Ask the Expert: How Can I be More Effective in Closing a Deal?

    “First off, it’s important to understand that closing the deal begins way before the final handshake and completed order form. One of the biggest mistakes a salesperson can make is to believe that there is a magical closing line that you can pull out of your hip pocket at the end of a sales event that will seal the deal. Dangling a deadline or offering to hold a price in exchange for signing that day are tactics that go against the grain of the sales techniques that we foster.

    “First off, it’s important to understand that closing the deal begins way before the final handshake and completed order form. One of the biggest mistakes a salesperson can make is to believe that there is a magical closing line that you can pull out of your hip pocket at the end of a sales event that will seal the deal. Dangling a deadline or offering to hold a price in exchange for signing that day are tactics that go against the grain of the sales techniques that we foster.

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    “Developing a mutually beneficial relationship with potential clients is essential in sales. I always say, “We don’t sell, the prospect buys.” Following are a few examples of best practices that should define your sales process:

    “Set proper expectations. The most critical part of the sales process is how you structure a selling event. It’s important to lay down ground rules, or what we call an ‘up front contract,’ which can eliminate any surprises. It’s always best to let the sales prospect know at the outset that the meeting will consist of a) things you will talk about, b) any topics or questions they want to talk about, and c) what decision will be made in the end. 

    “Introduce opportunities for incremental decisions. If there is any hesitancy, let them know upfront that the decision today isn’t necessarily a sale. The decision can be as simple as an agreement to “test drive” a product or service or meet a second time. 

    “Don’t assume that price is the only issue. Take the time to understand the needs of the prospect; don’t just tout the benefits of your product or service. Understanding what is compelling them to do something different should be at the heart of every sales event.

    “Every salesperson has their own style, but these proven sales techniques can help you successfully close the deal and establish an ongoing relationship built on trust. It’s also important to understand that what you’re selling won’t always be a good fit for the prospect and that it’s ok to have a no.”

    Dave F. Harman is director of Sandler Training.

    Want more expert advice? Check out COSE Expert Network, an online forum connecting business owners with creative solutions to the tough questions they face every day. 

    This article originally appeared in the February 2, 2015, edition of Small Business Matters.

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