That’s EduTainment

Brands need to educate their community. They want the consumer to understand what makes the brand special and they need to develop a brand persona. But no one wants to hear a lecture of facts and figures. 

Advertising is an expensive form of imposing your message on people who haven’t given you permission to speak to them. Buying ads is still a default setting for most larger brands because it is politically safe within the company and it is what most general managers believes is effective. Ask many GM's or CFO's what is the best marketing tactic to get more sales and they will tell you to do more advertising. Really? I’m not buying it.

The future of marketing is clearly moving towards producing engaging content that can be both educational and entertaining. 

Entertaining content is filled with personality but most important, it is viewed and shared by a community who cares and has said, ‘yes- tell me more’. The community hears, sees or reads a short piece of information and they are hungry to learn. 

Harley Davidson enthusiasts want to hear the sound of the new electric bikes – out of curiosity so they seek it out. They share the video with their like-minded friends who are bike enthusiasts. 

People who are gluten-free are interested in a new pizza shop that is dedicated to their community and health issues. They send the entertaining video clip to their son's teacher who also eats gluten-free and their mechanic who recently shared his own need to do a personal tune-up by eliminating wheat from his diet. 

The life coach who wants to share her wisdom needs a means to get the word out about the services she offers and how she can help. Her funny video of 10 tips to be happy is shared by her clients with their friends who could use a little coaching. 

Education Dates Entertainment
When you take educational information and marry it with entertainment, you have the marketing platform called EDUTAINMENT. It smashes together the need to teach with the equal need to make someone listen by amusing them.  The strategy is clear and simple – share valuable tidbits of information in a easy to absorb method. Make it fun. Make it shareable. Make it authentic. 

Tip of the Week
My younger daughter Fanny, who I have written about previously, is building her brand. After winning the Rachael Ray Great American Cookbook Competition, she is now up to her elbows in recipe development as she prepares to publish her first cookbook in the spring of 2015. 

But she sees beyond the book as she wants to build her catering business in Wilmington and to explore all of the other possibilities in the future. To do that, we came up with a content creation strategy

Every week, she creates a short 2-3 minute entertaining video that shows off her personality and a tip about cooking. She isn’t selling services like catering or promoting stuff. She is working on growing her community of followers who like her style, sense of humor and the information she is sharing about cooking. And as a former improv student, video is a natural medium for her to use. The video is not commercial. It is entertaining with a small cooking tip or lesson stirred into the mix. 

She does this work with an iPhone and Animoto software. Her budget is virtually zero. Just her time and the modest fee for the software. And and big pinch of her amazing creativity. Below are two examples that illustrate the idea of an EDUTAINMENT using a Tip of The Week theme. 

How can brands bring this idea to life?

Craft beer companies can have their brew master provide educational tips that amuse their target audience. For example, in a style consistent with the brand, how can you help me understand that the hops you use in brewing aren't like anyone else because of your special storage conditions? Can you do it in a way that makes me laugh? Can you make it so much fun that I share it with my friends who are love to discover new beers and may not know of your brand? Can you community do the marketing for you? 

Can a small regional chain of frozen yogurt shops provide tips on how to make frozen yogurt at home when you can’t get to their store? Someone with a big personality who aligns with the image of your brand can bring this to life. Maybe it is a chance to provide some education on health benefits of frozen yogurt over ice cream or to talk about your secret blending process.  Make it fun. Top it with some facts. Make me care. Make it cool.

Distributors of boring plumbing equipment companies could have a lot of fun with this idea. It would be unexpected. Which would you rather see – a phone book size catalog or a short entertaining video? It would get people talking and it would be far more memorable than any other marketing. And don't tell me that your customers don't watch entertaining videos online. Have one of your warehouse staff- the guy who makes everyone laugh, tell stories about the pipes and bowls and plungers you stock. Be playful. Experiment with the format and share it online with friends. Since few B2B companies do this, you’ll stand out and flush the competition.

The Measure of Success
For businesses trying to get the word out about their brand, you have to share some key pieces of information and you must do it in a way that ensures people will listen. Although it is still early, Fanny is building a small following and her videos have been seen by several thousand people. Her goal is to get 1,000 people who really dig her work and enjoy the cooking tips she shares and the fun way she tells those stories. 

Of course your tip of the week video isn't for everyone. But those who enjoy it are connecting with your brand's personality and the tips you are sharing. A brand has to stand for something and needs a small base of people who really care. 

The goal isn't viral videos although that can happen. Read the story of two woman who have leveraged short video platforms to amazing results. See how Melissa Coker spent $1300 and had 76 million views of her 90 second video driving amazing volumes of traffic to her site. Or check out how Bethany Mota built a brand and has signed deals with two major retailers

What is stopping you from producing tips of the week to market your business?


If you'd like to pick my marketing brain about your story or how to get started with TIPS OF THE WEEK, you can do it through Clarity at this link

I donate 100% of your fee to a non-profit called Charity Water

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