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Episode 7: Value-Led Video

February 14, 2020

In Episode 7 of the Content Conversations podcast, Lucy Mowatt speaks to video producer Katie Nuttall about creating value-led video content. Katie explains what that means and how it can help brands generate lasting relationships with their clients.

This article is a transcript of Episode 7 of the Content Conversations podcast: Value-Led Video. Please note that the transcript has been edited for clarity. Listen to the podcast here ↓↓↓

LM: Hi, Katie.

KN: Hello, Lucy.

LM: How are you doing?

KN: I’m very well, thank you. How are you?

LM: Yeah, not too bad. It’s a busy old week, but you know, the time is flying past.

KN: I know. Can you believe it’s February already?

LM: No! That’s a bit bonkers. Yeah, I’m getting married in April so the time seems to go around fast and I can’t keep up.

KN: Do you feel like you have everything under control for your wedding?

LM: There are days when I do and then days when I don’t. Today is one of those days when I feel like maybe I don’t.

KN: Yeah. Can I offer you some advice?

LM: Yeah, go for it.

KN: Just don’t stress about any of it and make sure on the day you take a moment where you sort of take yourself away from everything and really appreciate what’s going on because you can get very involved in “I have to speak to everybody and then I have to do this and then this has to happen”, and actually, you don’t really enjoy yourself. So make sure you make an effort to step back and let your hair down.

LM: Oh, cool. That’s a very nice tip. Thank you.

We’ve kind of got off-piste already so before we jump into talking about video marketing, can you just introduce briefly who you are and what it is that you do?

KN: OK. My name is Katie Nutall and I create videos for business owners, for marketing and internal comms and events teams to generate…

I’ve kind of shifted my focus in 2020, so I’m trying to encourage all the people I work with to focus on generating meaningful relationships with value-led video, which I realise sounds a bit fluffy. We’ll probably get into a bit more explanatory detail about that later. So that’s basically what I do.

“I’m trying to encourage all the people I work with to focus on generating meaningful relationships with value-led video”

Katie Nuttall

I create video for businesses, but it’s a real push now and moving forward for it to be value-led video to really create meaningful relationships, which essentially generates business growth for clients.

LM: So just when we’re talking about video, just to clarify, do you mean you do the filming of people, do you mean explainer videos, do you mean long-form or short-form, or all of those?

KN: Honestly, quite a range of things.

I suppose, long ago, when I first started, case studies were the bread and butter of what I was doing – and a lot of internal comms videos. So for big organisations where they have a big a large workforce and they have an important message to share, video is a really good way of getting that message out accurately in a very quick and efficient way to the entire workforce. So I’ve done a lot of that.

More recently, I’ve been doing a lot of event videos, which can be quite fun. We call them bum-settlers, so it’s the videos that get played at the beginning of these corporate events to basically get the two thousand delegates in there in the hole to quiet down and really sort of be prepared for what they’ve got to listen to for the rest of the day and it inspires I suppose as well.

KN: Personally I make videos as well. My husband and I set up a YouTube channel. So you asked about long-form videos – yes, I do do that as well.

My husband’s a keen carp fisherman and we have a YouTube channel with quite a strong audience, actually. So when we get a chance to ditch the kids, we go fishing and he does his passion, which is fishing and then I do my own, which is making videos.

LM: That’s quite nice. Yeah, so really varied?

KN: Quite varied. Yeah.

LM: And you said long ago when you started out, you did case study videos. How long have you been doing videos?

KN: When I started, I actually did a bit of work experience, that’s how I got into corporate video; while I was studying at university and that’s where I ended up going back to a couple of years after I graduated. So it would have been 2006 when I started.

It was very different back then.

LM: Yeah. I was going to say that video has really exploded in that time. It’s become a mainstay of most people’s marketing plans.

KN: Yeah, definitely. It’s with the rise of social media, obviously, it’s a great channel for businesses to reach more customers and the demand for video content is definitely there. It’s a very effective method of communication as long as it’s well-thought-out.

LM: And do you think that that has change? That people are becoming a bit more conscious of maybe their objectives and what they’re trying to achieve with video, rather than just going “I want a video of X, Y or Z”?

KN: Yeah, I certainly hope so. Really I think it falls on the shoulders of the video production company and/or the marketing team together to really be clear about the objectives of each video and to be very specific as well.

I’ve recently had someone come to me asking for a video with just “this, this and this” and it’s too much. You really need to just focus on one specific purpose for your video because otherwise you’re going to lose people’s attention. We’ve all done it. You’re scrolling through social media and within seconds you’ve moved away from something. So you really have to be very focused on your message across clearly and efficiently.

LM: You know, just touching on that, that’s not really what we need to talk about, but do you have any tips on how to create sort of scroll-stopping video? Are there any tips for people who want to get started?

KN: It’s hard. I mean, you’ll probably appreciate this. It really depends on who you’re targeting as to what’s going to encourage them to hang around an ad and consume the entire message, I suppose.

And again, it comes down to the preparation. You need to be very clear on who you’re targeting, what it is that you are saying and why (what your purpose is). Once you’ve got that nailed, then actually creating something that’s going to work becomes a lot easier.

LM: Planning, I find, is the most important thing in any content creation project.

KN: Yeah, definitely. And it’s hard, right? Because I think maybe there’s a bit of a disjoint between marketing teams and like the creative teams and in order to create something successful, those teams really need to work in harmony and appreciate the importance of what each is doing.

If you can get the right people together and you have that kind of vibe and understanding between each other, then it’s going to work. You’re going to get to create something great.

LM: That’s something that’s definitely come out through podcasts I’ve done and recorded so far, is that communication across teams is key no matter which discipline you’re focusing on. You know, if your video is going to be supporting PR activity and the content marketing team, how do those three things work together and how does it work with social media and who’s responsible for each thing as well.

KN: Yeah, and I think it should be a shared responsibility, really. It’s as much up to the video professionals to say, well, “how is this going to fit with everything else that you’re communicating” as it is to do to the rest of the team to do the same. How is this all going to be united and consistent so that that messaging is consistent with the target audience?

LM: Yeah. If each team is working on a different objective, potentially, you could end up with a complete dog’s dinner because you don’t address anybody or achieve any of your aims. 

KN: Exactly.

LM: And you just said that you are looking at repositioning this type of video you provide and how you provide it? What prompted this move towards more well-being led video? 

KN: Honestly, my kids. So I have three of them and they’re all quite small. Age 4, 5 and 7 and it’s funny, this morning on the news there was a report about the average age of children getting mobile phones is 10, which I just find completely shocking and terrifying at the same time, because at the moment my I’m proud to say that my kids are very independent and creative and compassionate, empathetic.

You know, they’re wonderful human beings and I’m absolutely terrified what’s going to happen to them when they’ve got their own devices. Be that an iPad or a phone or whatever. I’m quite old fashioned in that they don’t have access to technology at home because I feel like they should be able to just play. So I realise I’m going off on a bit of a tangent… 

So what’s prompted me to start thinking more responsibly about video content creation and distribution is that– Actually it was inspired by something a productivity friend of mine shared with me. There’s a collection of people over in America who’ve created this organisation called the Center for Humane Technology and there’s a great video on YouTube. It’s definitely worth a share because it basically encapsulates everything that’s, not necessarily wrong, but that we’re being let down by in terms of technology. But it also offers some sort of inspiration for the potential of technology. 

Technology can be amazing as long as it’s used responsibly and we all have a responsibility to make that happen. 

I think everybody realises that there’s a lot of social isolation happening, an increase in mental health problems amongst people. I don’t know whether there’s any science that backs up the fact that we’ve all got these devices and we’re all becoming addicted to them, whether that’s the reason for this rise in these issues. In my gut, I feel like there is definitely something that’s going on between those two things.

So that’s really what’s prompted it, because I’m basically terrified of what technology is going to do to my wonderful children.

So I can’t change the world, but I can at least try to encourage the people that I’m talking to start bearing this thing in mind.

LM: So how would that manifest with your clients and with your video content clients?

KN: Again, it sort of comes back to what we’re already ready spoken about. It’s about really being clear about the purpose and making sure that what you’re creating is going to bring some kind of benefit to the people who are watching it. Benefits can come in all different shapes and sizes. It could be uplifting. It could be amusing. It could make people feel better. It could put a smile on somebody’s face. It could be informative. 

You know, I’ve learned how to crochet because I’ve watched a lady in Australia, Bob Wilson, who has a YouTube channel. Without that technology, I wouldn’t be able to be making the toys and the clothes and the hats and the scarves I’m making for people. So that’s an example of how it can be really great and inspirational as well. 

I’ve done a few experiential videos, which is where you go along to a workshop, for example. I went to a local one last summer and it was lino printing.

It was a collection of four ladies, in their later years, and they had a thoroughly enjoyable evening together. Just doing this really creative activity. So it was capturing the essence of what was going on and then turning that into a video, which hopefully will then encourage more people to come down because those ladies walked away having had a lovely evening, made new friends and they’ve learned a new craft. That’s three really great things that wouldn’t happen if they hadn’t gone down and taken part in that. 

I thoroughly enjoyed making that video, because I know that if it can encourage more people to go down and do that activity, then they are going to be better off for it. I hope that’s explained some of the ways that I’m trying to make this happen.

LM: Do you have examples of potentially any brands that might have done less-than-responsible video marketing? Are there any examples that you can think of?

KN: Honestly, I think it happens almost so much. It’s that vying-for-attention marketing, rather than actually having a gift that you can give to your audience sort of marketing. 

There’s an awful lot of vying for attention because that’s what we’re all doing. So yeah, that’s how it’s done, right? I don’t believe it has to be done like that and if you can give people a gift in your marketing, then you’re probably going to get a bit more respect from them and in the long term, loyalty, because they’re going to feel like, I don’t know, maybe closer to you as a brand or like you’re more trustworthy as a brand; you’re more responsible as a brand, you know. I think that’s going to align more with people’s sense of well-being than just this attention-grabbing kind of marketing that happens so often.

LM: Can the attention-grabbing work with the more responsible video content? I’m thinking about what we say about scroll-stopping, whether you can weave those disciplines together.

KN: I think in a way we sort of have. They call it front-loading, at the beginning of the video you’ve got to front-load, unfortunately, to get people’s attention. But that can be done in a number of ways. It’s not necessarily just sitting within the video content. It’s how that video content is distributed as well. It all boils down to how you focus your messaging and the purpose of what it is that you’re doing.

LM: And I guess you can get value for money out of that by repurposing the content that you create, maybe a slightly longer video and then shortening it for social, for instance.

KN: Oh, absolutely. This is something I talk to my clients an awful lot about. You know, we can spend a day filming, you can end up with any number of videos off of the back of it and encouraging them to think in that long term kind of viewpoint.

“This is what we’re doing right now, but in 6 month’s time the weather is going to be different, so how can we repurpose what we’ve already got, with some different graphics, different soundtrack, different call-to-action or whatever?” So you’re not then having to shell out for another filming day.

LM: And again, that comes back to the planning and getting your video production company involved at the planning stages and finding out their experience right from the start rather than going to them with a fully-fledged brief.

KN: Absolutely. Collaboration is key, but it kind of boils down to the personalities of the people that you got involved sometimes, because people can be quite precious and quite proud of their ideas and you kind of need to throw all of that out the door and just come and say, well, “This is what we’re thinking. How can we make this great?” You know, “We need your help” sort of thing rather than being very descriptive about what needs to be done.

LM: Yeah. Teams need to learn to manage ego and personality as much as managing the project itself.

KN: Absolutely. 

LM: And are there any common mistakes that you see when people start engaging in video content that you would recommend avoiding? 

KN: Common mistakes? Probably rushing. Getting too ahead of yourself. We kind of say the same thing in a slightly different way. The more you can invest in your planning and in preparation, the better the outcome is going to be. 

But of course, everybody has deadlines, right? You know, maybe it’s the end of the financial year and you have to spend that money so you’ve got to spend it now, but then you’re not necessarily going to get the most effective product at the end of it.

LM: And no value for money if it’s not effective?

KN: Yeah, and that’s the worst thing, right? That’s the last thing anybody who creates anything, not just video, you’re a creator, want. Honestly, one of the worst things is to see that what you’ve created is not doing what you wanted it to do. Maybe it’s because the planning wasn’t right or maybe it’s because there wasn’t enough time or maybe it’s because it hadn’t been distributed. So many people have to come together and work in harmony to generate the outcome that you want.

LM: Do you have any tips about going about that process? So maybe what the initial first step would be. Would it be coming up with your objective and then speaking to other members of the company or videographer? What would be the typical steps for that planning process?

KN: It’s those three questions again. Be as clear as you can about who you’re talking to. Down to age, gender, where they live, what house they have, have they got kids, are they married, what are their hobbies, what motivates them? You need to get inside their head to know how to talk to them and get them to really buy into what it is that you’re trying to tell them. 

It’s that magic purpose again. What’s motivating this? Why are we doing this? What do we want to achieve? It might just be we want to raise awareness of this particular issue that’s going on or we want to drive more people to the website and once you’re really clear about your purpose, then it’s very easy to measure the success of what you’re doing.

LM: That leads onto my next question. Moving onto the other end of the production process, how do you recommend reporting the success of your video marketing? 

KN: Again, it’s off the back of that purpose. So if it’s we want this video marketing to drive more traffic to the website, then hopefully you’ve got the analytics in place to be able to say what kind of effect that’s had. 

The difficulty is giving it the time it needs, it’s not going to happen overnight. So you need to give it enough time to sort of bed in and start having an effect. The best outcome is that you create something that’s having the right effect and it’s being shared because then it’s reaching more people. That’s what every marketer’s dream is, I suppose. 

LM: The whole viral thing. That’s the dream. Is there a recipe for that? 

KN: I don’t know. I don’t think so. I think it just kind of happens. It’s one of those right ideas, the right place, the right time and if it’s if so many people latch on to it. Obviously, the algorithms play a part in that. Don’t get me started on the algorithm.

LM: Oh, now I really want to know. 

KN: I don’t know a massive amount about them, but again, this comes back to the Center for Humane Technology. They have a podcast and I was listening to one and it was an interview with a French chap who used to work for YouTube, writing the recommendation algorithms. He’s basically just come away from that and gone, “Well, this isn’t ethical”.

It’s all about their motivations. It’s not a criticism of the business. Obviously it’s a very popular and successful platform which can bring a lot of good.

LM: If it weren’t for Youtube, you wouldn’t be able to crochet.

KN: But their motivator is watch time, view time, keeping people on the platform and the danger with the recommendation algorithm is that it just, you know, let’s say a teenage girl types in (it’s very stereotypical of me to say teenage girl, but just bear with me)… She types in healthy meals for tea or something like that. So she gets a load of recipes and she watches a video and that’s the top of that rabbit hole and if she’s still there 30 minutes later, she’s been taken to videos by anorexia. It’s so dangerous. 

I think 70% of the watch time on YouTube, 700 million hours or something ridiculous like that comes from recommendation algorithms. So people are watching things they didn’t actually choose to watch. It’s just been something that’s popped up at the end.

It’s like going into a restaurant and saying. “What’s on the menu?” and the waiter says, well, what did you have for tea last night? “Oh, I had chicken kiev.” “Well, we’ve got chicken, chicken nuggets, chicken fajitas, spicy chicken kievs.” That’s ridiculous. You wouldn’t accept that in a restaurant. So why do we accept that we finish this video, oh I’ll just choose one of these that’s been presented to me instead of saying “No, I’ve had enough now, I’m going?”

LM: That’s really interesting. I spoke to Justina Rosu on a previous podcast and she was saying about how Vimeo is sometimes better as a video platform for video producers because you don’t have all the recommendations and the advertising interference via Google. 

KN: A lot of business owners, when they’re publishing their videos on their website, they might be embedding the code from the YouTube video. So it’s being hosted on YouTube, but unfortunately, when you do that, the recommendation algorithm then lives on your website. Then all of a sudden your visitors watch your sparkly, wonderful business video that you’ve got embedded in your website, but then, because of this recommendation algorithm, their attention is then taken somewhere else and they’ve left. 

It’s very easy and it means you don’t have the issues around slowing your page down if you hosting it locally on your actual page, but it’s taking people’s attention away potentially. 

LM: And we’ve all been there, we’ve all been that person who’s been sucked into YouTube videos, and you wonder where most of your morning has gone because you’re watching crochet videos.

KN: Yeah, exactly. 

LM: It’s kind of scary the amount of control that Google sometimes has without even realising it or questioning it.

In terms of tools for video marketing, do you have any that you’d recommend people invest in?

KN: I know there are a lot of tools for people to create their own stuff themselves out there. I don’t use any of them because I tend to use Adobe Premiere and After Effects, but you have to have a certain level of technical knowledge to use these applications. I know that part of the Adobe Suite they do offer Adobe Spark, which I think you can get an Adobe Spark version on your mobile. I’ve never used it, but I’ve heard good things about it. So that’s a good video content creation. I don’t think it’s just video, though. I think you can create all sorts of things with it. So that would be worth looking into.

LM: Because lots of people are recording on their mobile phones now. Do you have any thoughts about phone content?

KN: I think people accept it. I think there is a time and a place for it. If you want to make your phone content better invest in a small ring light because lighting makes a big difference and also you can get a little lapel mics. Those little clip-on mics that then plug into your phone. I don’t think they cost a lot of money.

I’m fairly saying you could search on Amazon and get some of those and that would make a big difference definitely to the visuals and the audio because very often it’s the audio that let you down. Out on a windy day, that person is out there shouting and you can’t hear and a little microphone could make a big difference.

LM: For social media and influencers, that’s a good idea. I see a few influencers on their way to work in the mornings recording their walks to work and I think, can anyone hear that?

KN: Yeah, exactly. Probably not and then that’s just adding to the noise that’s already out there. It’s useless because of that small technical issue. What they’re saying could be really valuable. Who knows? But if you can’t hear it, no one is going to listen to it. They will flip past it because it sounds awful.

LM: Yes, and people do want a certain level of production quality even in social media. It’s still authentic. There’s that whole thing about production values making it inauthentic, but just improving your microphone and audio quality can make the world of difference.

KN: And it doesn’t have to cost lots of money. 

LM: I think in my experience, there’s a place for really high production quality video and then the more in-the-moment, reactive video, because it gives you a nice mix of visual content.

KN: It’s very human as well. If you’re brave enough to go live, it gives people a chance to feel like they can actually connect with you, and I think that’s important. A lot of big businesses are spending a lot on marketing to try and appear smaller and more approachable. So if you are that smaller, more approachable business, you’re already winning. If you’re really cringy about it, then just do something on your [Instagram] Stories because it disappears after a day. It’s not going to live forever.

LM: Yeah, that’s certainly something that I haven’t dabbled in because it makes me feel cringy, but maybe I need to start looking at Stories. Although I’m already cringing inside just suggesting it.

KN: I have a page on LinkedIn and a page on Facebook and I use my pages not to promote myself, but each month I focus on a particular topic. 

It’s my way of trying to give a little gift back. So it’s for small business owners who want to make video but don’t have the budget to bring somebody in. So it’s tips and advice about certain things that you might want to bear in mind. Fundamentals about different types of video formats and I was previously creating video. So going out, filming it, you know, all different locations, coming back, editing it together, but it was just taking so much time. I thought I’m just going to go live. And it’s great. Really love it now.

LM: Really?

KN: Yeah. Every Tuesday I go live. I went live just before this podcast to introduce this month’s topic.

LM: And where can I find that? What’s your Facebook page?

KN: Nimble Film Chick. That’s me.

LM: Ok. I am going to go check it out after this.

KN: That’s my handle for all of my social media. I am on Twitter as well and Instagram, but the valuable stuff is on my Facebook or my LinkedIn page. It’s the same on both pages.

LM: Ok, great. I’ll put that in the show notes so people can come along and check you out.

KN: Like I say, it is just my way of helping people who want to make video, make it a bit better.

LM: I could definitely do with that.

KN: It’s all about love this month, obviously with it being February.

So it’s case study and testimonial videos because they’re like gold for businesses. If you can get your customers to sit in front of a camera and sing your praises then it’s amazing what it can do.

LM: It’s interesting you’re taking an almost campaign focused approach to this month. You’re focusing on love. So it streamlines, which is something I recommend to a lot of my clients. Pick a particular focus because then you can really focus on that rather than being stretched too thin and trying to do too much.

KN: And it makes it so much easier. I can create my month’s worth of social media content sitting in my bed one evening and just type it up the next day because I know these subjects very well and I can share. It helps me to focus otherwise it’s just like when you’re at school and they say “Well you can do absolutely anything you” and you don’t have a clue what you want to do. It’s too broad, narrow it down!

It helps your audience as well because they know what to expect and if they’re not interested in testimonial case study videos then that’s fine. They are not going to waste their time interacting on my page because it’s not going to bring them any value, which is fine. They can find something better to do.

LM: All businesses can take that approach, it’s not just you. This month, for instance, I am going to focus on love and then you’ve just got a wealth of opportunities and different angles to look at.

KN: So we spend a week defining what a case study is and then why you might want to make one and how you might go about creating one and then the distribution. We always talk about the distribution towards the end of the month, how you distribute content. 

It’s very structured.

LM: That’s good. I am someone who likes organisation and structure is good for helping keep you focused because marketing is one of the first things that drops off the radar. If you’re busy or being pulled in all directions then marketing is the first thing to get cut or it loses your attention.

KN: Yeah, because you’re so busy doing, but if you’re not marketing then you’re shooting yourself in the foot for next month when you’re not going to be as busy.

LM: How far in advance do you tend to plan for those sorts of things?

KN: I planned this whole 12 months, I’ve planned the topics then I’ve written the content. At the beginning of January, I wrote the content for January, February and March. Obviously January was in a very final format and I’ve just drafted for February and March. I will go back and tie in some pictures or graphics or whatever and then distribute it. So I tend to do it once a month, make sure the month is done and schedule it all so you’re not actually there posting it every day. It’s all scheduled.

LM: I’m a big fan of the scheduling. If I can get stuff organised in advance then I can do that and then I know it’s done. 

KN: It takes the pressure off, doesn’t it?

LM: It does.

That’s brilliant. Thank you so much for your time. I feel like there’s lots of things I want to go away and try out and do on my own channels. They can check you out on LinkedIn and Facebook.

KN: Yeah. Hopefully, they will find something valuable.

LM: Thanks for coming on Katie.

KN: Ok, thank you very much, Lucy. Thanks for having me.

LM: Bye.

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