Have you been tagging along, watching what the competition is doing and trying to copy what seems successful. This will never drive the competition. They’re in control of the marketing car. This can change though, only if you are determined to become a thought leader through your video marketing.

According to Shel Israel, “A thought leader is someone who looks at the future and sets a course for it that others will follow. Thought leaders look at existing best practices then come up with better practices. They foment change, often causing great disruption.[1] Are you ready to do this with your video marketing?

Building the Foundation

Rocco Baldassarre defines 8 best practices for video marketing. These are the things you must consider if you are going to drive the competition with your video presentations.

  1. Define your audience before creating the video.
  2. Get to the point quickly.
  3. Keep it short and simple.
  4. Use remarketing lists to identify a target audience.
  5. Test YouTube and display placements on Google AdWords.
  6. Voice over audio to achieve excellent audio quality.
  7. Test different components of your video.
  8. Test several audiences in AdWords.[2]

These are a good set of existing practices to follow. If you want to become a thought leader who’s ahead of the competition, these are the practices you’ll need to refine and improve upon. However, becoming the model your competition wants to emulate depends on more than refining and improving upon what’s already there. It also depends on knowing history.

Yes, unless you know what’s already been done, you're less likely to come up with anything new. You may even repeat something that flops worse the second time around.

Clothing designers have known for years that a journey into history inspires new iterations. The same happens when you go back into the past for video ideas. The changes and contrasts between then and now could be the perfect tinder for a viral video campaign. Looking at competitor’s video can spark ideas as well, if you watch with an eye for where you can make improvements.

Another way to improve on the list is to hone the concept of short and simple. Unless your audience is fellow associates, eliminate insider language. Make what you have to share easy for anyone to understand.

Taking the Risk

Video Equipment“You cannot be a thought leader if others don’t follow, Israel says. “While the term sounds really beneficial, there is risk involved. You may go off in an exciting new direction only to discover your customers don’t want to go there. [2]

Yes, there is risk involved in molding those best practices to fit your picture of what the future needs to be for your customers and your business. However, your videos won’t drive your competition unless they step outside the safety zone. Lauren Hockenson writes, “It’s not enough to be good at what you do. If you want your video to position your company as a thought leader, you must strive to be “on the absolute cutting edge of [your] industry or your video must be “making big enough moves to warrant the distinction.[3]

Your videos must be “known for radically changing thoughts or ideas about a particular industry. [3] You must be committed to thriving in the midst of naysayers.’ Hockenson says, “Do something everyone else in your field thinks is dumb, and be right about it. [3] Yes. If you want to lead the competition with your videos, take the time to work out just how dumb’ could be the smartest thing for your video marketing. Sometimes, doing what no one else would makes you the one to copy.

Remember there’s power in being different. So, stop trying to mimic your competitors. If you’re copying, they’re leading you. Video marketing leaders recognize there’s risk, yet they don’t let that stop them from exploring ways to mix things up.

Stepping Out

What drives thought leadership in the video marketing sector?

Approachability. People with ideas must feel it’s safe to approach you. You must also be willing to mix with people and learn what interests them. Listen to your customers.

Discoverability. Your videos must be in places where they’ll be seen. The power of viral is a simple law. When your ideas become famous, you’ll be famous along with them. When your videos become well-known, whatever you shared in them will shape the thinking (and possibly the buying decisions) of each person who watched them.

Relatability. Ask yourself, “Will this video draw people? How will my video benefit the person watching it? If your videos are all about you,’ they aren’t likely to position you as a leader. If they deliver benefits—laughter, a solution to a problem, something entertaining—they will connect with people.

Vulnerability. The path of transparency often paves the way to leadership. Yes, it’s also important to avoid too much information (TMI). However, a small dose of vulnerability facilitates the path to trust.

Persistence. Grasp that vision of where you want to take the world, and run with it. Determine to be the one who does it better.

Collaboration. Build a team of the right people—creative, idea people. Don’t overlook the importance of wall flower’ moments. Don’t expect every team member to be vocal all the time. Often, the best ideas come just from listening and watching as the team interacts. Why? Because when team members take turns observing what’s going on around them, things most wouldn’t consider when they’re the center of attention float to the surface.

Action. Do it! Too much planning gets in the way of getting things done. Become a leader in video trends by taking action. Get your video out there.

A Marketer's Guide To Live Video Streaming Call To Action  


[1] http://www.forbes.com/sites/shelisrael/2012/03/05/what-makes-a-thought-leader/

[2] http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/238977

[3] Lauren Hockenson at http://mashable.com/2013/07/09/thought-leader/#AS54kSkwNOqK