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Need video content? Don’t be afraid to use pop culture

video content - use pop cultureSometimes you struggle to come up with content, especially video content. It’s ok, every content creator out there does. Where can you find inspiration? How about looking right in front of you – what you watch on TV, the music you’re streaming, or the latest entertainment news.

Now, you might argue that those just aren’t appropriate topics for your business video content. You need to maintain a professional air, be an expert, or keep a certain level of propriety. Maybe you do, and maybe you don’t – not always at least.

To prove the point, I’ll share a case study by Marketing Sherpa. They profiled Fiberlink, a division of tech giant IBM. The company specialises in enterprise mobility management and security. Whatever that is exactly (if you’re an enterprise level IT executive or staff you probably do know!), but you can think of it as high tech ways for companies to manage mobiles and how to make sure no one can use a mobile to steal their stuff.

By this point your eyes may have glazed over with all that tech talk. And that’s the problem the company had too. Even for those prospects who understood what their products and services were all about, data sheets and white papers were often just too boring. Or rather I’d say they failed to get the type of engagement they were looking for at the time.

To that end, Fiberlink has a dedicated content team that focuses on video. They do their best to make sure at least a portion of their videos are funny or entertaining in order to help draw in prospects and to stand out from the crowd. The example Marketing Sherpa covers in their case study is a webinar that uses video to help prospects understand different mobile operating systems and how Fiberlink’s product helps manage them.

Sounds like it might be a boring webinar right? Well, not if you’re a Game of Thrones fan.

The company developed its own take on the popular TV and book series called Game of Phones. The resulting video was used in the webinar to generate new leads. Here’s a look at some of the details from the video:

  • Their tagline for the webinar was: The mobile device battle for dominance continues. Who will sit upon the throne of Enterprise Mobility?
  • The Android operating system was renamed “Mandroid” and the little Android icon was given big muscular arms and represented House Targaryen
  • Upon the throne sits an iPhone wearing a crown, the current leader in the enterprise mobile market and represents House Lannister
  • Windows phone is assigned to House Stark, and if you know the series (spoiler alert if you don’t!) then you know they don’t have much of a chance in the battle for mobility
  • The Iron Throne is comprised of the swords like in the series, but the arms are held up by USB drives
  • The button viewers needed to click on in order to view the recorded webinar says: “Clicketh Here”

These are small twists the company used to make their webinar a bit more fun and certainly interesting for fans of the series who happen to be potential prospects. Overall it was a rousing success. The webinar campaign using Game of Thrones for inspiration increased new leads by 20% compared to their more traditional types of campaigns. Then over time, they saw a 10% bump in content consumption from those that had seen the webinar.

Making your own video

What could you use for inspiration to make your next video more relatable to your target audience? Look around at what is popular now and see what comes up. How about Britain’s Got Talent, Dr. Who, Sherlock or Poldark?

Obviously you’ll find things that might fit your particular business better than others, but keep an open mind. The team at Fiberlink could have argued that Game of Thrones was too inappropriate for their company since it’s famous for violence and sex. But they made it work by focusing on the aspects of it that fit their situation – a war for dominance – and left all the nasty bits out.

There are a couple of lessons learned from the Fiberlink case study too. The first is they needed to partner with a video streaming platform rather than rely on YouTube to deliver their video. By using a private streaming provider they had more control over the experience, which let them do things they couldn’t have done otherwise.

The second thing is that creating videos like Game of Phones takes time. They’ve since done other videos, one is a version of Guardians of the Galaxy. But they caution that these need to be planned out well ahead of time to make sure you have sufficient production time. This is especially true if you’re using animation which can be an extremely detailed and time consuming process.

Of course it all depends on how you choose to make your video, the length of your video, and your own internal review processes too. While there’s no way to know how your video will perform, isn’t Fiberlink’s 20% jump in leads inspiration to try? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Oliver Burt

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