Do you remember the names of all your staff? Do you even recognise them as you walk past them in the corridors?
When last did you have a 1:1 with each staff member?
Do they know anything about you? Do they know what you do every day? How hard you work to grow your business, your vision, your values, your personality, the ethos behind why you started this business, or why you run it as you do?
Your staff walk into the office, and the first thing they do is tune into their latest episode of CEO Diaries, Episode 99.
“Hey guys, it’s Monday 4pm and I’m just going into this board meeting. We’ve got lots to discuss, but very exciting things are on the cards.”
“Well, it’s 2am and we’ve just finished our board meeting! Wow, I’m really excited to let you know that we will be expanding into China next month. I can’t tell you more about that now, but watch this space… exciting things to come.”
“Here I am donating blood, because one of our values is giving back…”
“Here I am having lunch with someone from our call centre, because I want to be close to all members of staff…”
What you’re imagining above is what we call Vision Making: using video marketing and social media to inspire your staff and customers.
And believe me, it works.
We wrote a blog titled: South African Businesses: Why are you Ignoring YouTube? which highlighted the gaps in many companies’ strategy.
As the Digital Age continues to stream into every facet of our lives – the effect of advertising is diminishing. This is a big statement to make. Let me explain.
Your customers and staff are looking for honest and authentic video content that comes from an individual instead of a company.
And, CEO, that individual, is you.
It’s not good enough to have an annual company meeting where you share vision and values. It’s not good enough to inform your management of the way forward and expect them to communicate to their staff.
Your staff and customers want to follow CEOs and leaders who influence them using the ‘human’ element, and not the ‘authoritative’ element.
This message serves two purposes:
- Motivate and inspire staff
- Build relationships and loyalty with your customers
Because marketing is no longer about plastering every social media feed with posts about the company’s ethos.
It is about the people behind the company and their authenticity as leaders.
And video is the perfect medium for delivering this message.
A new kind of relationship
As the lines between digital and reality start to blur, people are differentiating less and less between digital and ‘real’ relationships, which is why marketing is centering around influencers who have a relationship with their customers.
Influencer marketing is a new science and it’s already falling apart at the seams. Influencer marketing done wrong can just be another paid advertising medium, and you could lose credibility with your audiences.
There’s nobody better to build relationships with your staff and customers than you, the CEO.
So, how are you going to reach your customers and staff using digital relationship building?
Building your brand should centre around six elements – authenticity, vision and values, consistency, passion, themes, and the (uncut version) story behind your career.
You have to be you when it comes to video, because nothing says ‘inauthentic’ quite like someone trying to be someone they’re not.
This should be a relief to you. Are you quiet and not given to many words? Perfect! Are you quirky and slightly strange? Perfect! Are you articulate and slick? Perfect! Just be you. Your staff just want to watch you live the values. They want to be close to you, and nothing does this quicker than video.
- Vision and Values
The best way to communicate vision and values is through video. Imagine every morning at 8am, your staff tune in for their daily 1-minute video, showing a minute of your day, and clearly showing you living the values, and articulating the vision?
Way more powerful than you talking to them about the vision at a presentation, or putting the values up on the wall. Or even doing an ‘interview style’ video.
Here’s the thing though: once you start, you can’t stop. We usually film all the footage over a day, and then we break it up into snippets for daily consumption.
But the key to relationship building is consistency. You have to feed your followers.
One of the main things is, whatever you’re doing needs to excite you. You have to be passionate about it. You have to love your job, and love the people you serve. If you don’t, it isn’t going to be authentic, and actually might have a negative impact.
Let us workshop with you what your themes are, what the topics are that you’re passionate about: let’s focus on that. Your energy will translate into inspiration for your staff.
Believe us, this will grow your customers’ loyalty. This will increase staff motivation and loyalty, all using the humble video platform to spread the awesome message of you.
- The uncut version of you
This part really takes the pressure off. People want real. Think less about the editing and frills, and more about the raw, behind-the-scenes stuff that you think people might not be interested in. What gets people’s attention might surprise you.
So what is the goal?
As a CEO, your goal is to create a voice – an authentic, trustworthy voice that resonates with your audience, your staff, and those who follow you because they buy into the brand of YOU.
They want to hear your thoughts, not only read your press releases. They want to see how you live the brand on a daily basis. How the values you instil in your company are not simply posters on the wall. Your marketing management now focuses on showing the proof that you actually live each value and ‘walk the talk’.
This attracts higher-quality customers who are serious about your business and what you provide. They want to follow your journey for inspiration and for guidance. Video marketing for CEOs is about becoming ‘the people’s person’ – a thought leader in many people’s lives where they trust and ‘live out’ what you advise and represent.
Bridging the gap
Video marketing should also be about bridging the gap between top management and middle management in order to develop a strong line of communication and solidarity. Often, all employees who are not at the top of an organisation may feel alienated and directionless. They don’t understand very much about their bosses and so they develop certain perceptions based on the little contact they have with them.
By sharing videos with an audience, you are breaking this connection by giving a ‘live’ update of who an organisational leader is as a person and what they do on a daily basis. That is, after all, the many ways we succeed: by understanding each other on a human level in order to work together towards a common goal.
The ‘Why’ is important
In order to be authentic, you need to have purpose as you cannot have one without the other. Purpose should show three important points;
- Why does the company exist for its employees?
- Why does it exist for its customers?
- Why does it exist for the rest of the world?
What is honest and real content?
- Insight into your day-to-day life and not just the bright lights and practised poses.
- Sharing thoughts and dreams.
- Giving advice not because you have something to gain but because it feels good to give advice. Less of a “sell” focus and more of a “share” focus.
- Become a trusted source of information – without honesty there can be no trust.
- Displays a transparency in your business – what we are, what we aren’t.
What happens once you have your following?
The next step in your marketing management is consistency. It is vital that you keep your audience interested and up-to-date with your day-to-day life as well as certain key events. This could be sharing your pearls of wisdom after a particularly interesting meeting or brainstorming session. Your audience wants to be influenced by your skill and by your story. Why? Becoming an influencer is about staying relevant to the times but also about sharing something that your followers can relate to and can see themselves being, in between the story lines.
Your brand should have certain themes or key points that the public knows you stand for and that adds to the authenticity of your brand.
Do you love immediate feedback?
Live videos are unscripted and have a sense of urgency to them. You can also chat to your audience as you film your live video, adding to your authenticity as a thought leader and communicator.
By answering online viewers questions in real time, you are giving them a very ‘real’ feel as to what it would be like to talk to you face-to-face. Remember, humans are wired for connection. To feel that bond or sameness with another individual. It could be the way you live your lifestyle or the way you treat your staff.
An online audience wants to see how you react ‘live’ and not behind a scripted TV ad or a statement in a press release. They want to feel like they know YOU because in reality, everyone is trying to sell everyone on a product, service or both. What makes you different from everyone else?
Immediate feedback in a live video is benefitting not only the online users but in equal parts, you. You are getting to know who your audience is, how they think, what they are most interested in and how they view not only your company, but you as your own brand. Give them something that only you can give them, give them the authenticity and essence of the brand that is you.
Important to remember
Behind every like, every follow and every click is a person. A real person with real hopes and real dreams. It is important to never see them as simply another number which helps grow your social platforms. Think of how you can show support, help them grow and help them achieve their dreams.
We can help you with that. Give us a call.