Smile for the camera: How video boosts leader profiles and profits

Podcasts are booming, yet video content is arguably a greater and more powerful brand builder. It is personally engaging and, perhaps more importantly, they are a great lead generator. I can make this case because Clearly PR has built its brand and won new business through the video content we create for ourselves. Read how we do this.

One of the most powerful brand-building tools that all – and I do mean ALL – businesses have at their disposal, is the camera. Whether it’s a full-suite of high-tech video equipment or a standard smartphone with a microphone attachment, piece-to-camera videos are phenomenally successful at building brands, elevating the profile of the person being filmed as a true sector thought leader and go-to authority, and supporting the organisation’s existing lead generation activity.

And we can prove it.

Clearly PR first ventured into filming piece-to-camera videos on the very last permissible office day before lockdown was enforced in March 2020. We did it because the bottom was about to fall out of the economy. That meant marketing budgets were being slashed, which would see our bottom line take a very painful hit. And it was painful… excruciating in fact.

So, we needed to ensure that when things picked up and PR and marketing budgets were being spent again that Clearly PR would be front of mind for those businesses requiring the services that we provide. What we didn’t anticipate was an almost-immediate return on our investment.

Doing it for ourselves

The video that I filmed was intended to be both a brand builder and information source for organisational leaders and their marketing teams who were facing an unknown and challenging period ahead.

Here is the video (click image to play):

As you will see, the video focused on sharing tips on how businesses can use PR to stay relevant to their target audience during testing economic conditions.

We pushed it out on LinkedIn and invested just £100 in amplifying it to an audience that extended beyond my own personal network of 4,000 contacts. To our amazement, the video stirred an incredible reaction.

Within one month of the video going live, it was viewed over 20,000 times and we secured two new contracts that generated £60,000 in new, unplanned and very welcome, revenue.

Making video central to our PR strategy

The success of this video prompted a rethink of our existing promotional strategy. Until that point, we had concentrated on creating thought leadership articles, newsletters, and social media marketing. Video was then added to the mix, and we continue to create piece to camera content today.

Some of our piece to camera videos are filmed in our studio at 1 Saville Row, Bath and others are done on my iPhone with a plug-in microphone using a teleprompter app that I can read the script from.

Resources you may find helpful:

Each video generates good traction from our audience. Some may garner just a few hundred views such as this recently recorded one that talked about “why most so-called ‘thought leaders’ are fakes, and why true thought leaders are powerful brand and bottom line builders.”

Click image to watch:

Others have blasted all expectations to reach audiences numbering in the thousands. We don’t need thousands and thousands of views because our target audience is not that big.

This one, viewed by 8,100 people, shared insights into how organisations can promote their environmental and social credentials in a way that positively shapes customer perception of their brand and without fear of being accused of ‘greenwashing.’

Click image to watch:

There is an additional style of video that we do for Clearly PR: focus sessions. This is when two or more of the most mighty Clearly PR team discuss a topical story.

An example is this brilliant one where myself and our Rachael considered whether the Royal family’s reputation had been damaged by the latest revelations from Prince Harry. The video was shared on LinkedIn and has been viewed by a whopping 40,518 people!

To watch just click the image:

Closing thoughts

The thought of staring down the lens of a camera makes even this author feel uncomfortable at times. But video content shared on social media, on your website, and in your company newsletters is an incredibly effective and engaging way to bring your content to audiences.

Because it can be a daunting prospect, most of your competitors won’t do it. I speak from experience – a tiny number of other PR agency leaders brave the lens. That gives us an edge when it comes to competing for work.

So, if you are serious about building your personal and executive brand, positioning you or your key people as true industry thought leaders, and want your target market to better understand what makes you a go-to provider of choice, plonk yourself down in front of the camera and just talk about how your experience and expertise can help them to solve the problems they have.

Try it. Do it. You won’t regret it, I promise!

Need a hand creating your video content? Check out our Content Marketing service.