The 6-Step Social Video Exercise Plan for Marketing Executives

The 6-Step Social Video Exercise Plan for Marketing Executives

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In my previous article “Why CMOs & Marketing Executives Must Embrace Social Video Marketing – NOW,” I had my fellow social media strategists explain why getting your CMO, COO, CEO and other high ranking executives in your company to participate in social media and online video is crucial to having their social media strategy succeed. This follow-up article covers 7 key steps to help you implement a social video plan built around gaining your CMO’s participation, or as I like to call it, a “social video exercise plan.”

The Advantage of CMO Participation – Video Vs. Other Social Media

Many social media marketing strategies involving CMOs tend to suffer from having a PR guy or someone else besides the actual CMO doing a blog post or writing some other copy for them;  or they pretending to be the CMO in some other way with tweets and Facebook posts under the CMO’s profile – something that can really backfire with an audience if they find out it’s not really the CMO who’s actually participating. (Ghost writers can sometimes get away with that illusion in traditional media like books, but social media is about having authentic conversations with people who are who they say they are. For that very reason alone, you shouldn’t be having someone impersonate your CMO in the social media space.)

With video, however, someone else can video record your CMO doing any kind of activity and it will still come across as being the CMO’s own voice. Unlike text-only social media, CMOs aren’t required to be doing their own production work, and you can just capture them with whatever they may be doing (based on whatever level of access you have to the CMO, of course.)

A Few Things Before We Get Started…

  • These steps don’t need to be applied chronologically. They are just meant to serve as a good overview of what you may need to employ in any combination, either consecutively or parallel with each other (and adding or eliminating any steps based on your own unique circumstances) with getting your CMO’s participation in social video.
  • “CMO” is also going to be used here as a generic term for all the top executives who can benefit from participating in video as part of your company’s marketing efforts, corporate communications and other business-related activities. CMOs are typically most suitable for doing social video over other high-ranking execs, so I usually suggest starting there. For smaller companies that don’t have a CMO, either your CEO or whoever is highest-ranking executive involved in some form of corporate communications will suffice. (But of course, you’ll have to settle for who is the most available along with the most influential with your audience.)
  • Your CMO is at least somewhat willing to participate. If you need some resources with making the case with your CMO for having them participate in social video, I recommend reading my precursor article, “”Why Social Video Marketing is Crucial for CMOs and Executive Marketers.”  If you need to further make your case, I would recommend reading Nicole Kelly’s article, 7 Tips for Selling Executives on Social Media, which also includes helpful links and resources on establishing social media metrics and ROI goals that can be applied to video.
  • You need to understand what a “social video” is about. My own definition of a “social video” is the blending of video with human interactivity for the co-creation of value. It’s created out of desire to start a conversation and/or actually be a part of a conversation, and a willingness to share that conversation with others which ideally will lead to positive feedback and inspire new conversations and connections. (I’ve argued here many times of why video is perfectly suited for achieved just that, especially with CMOs.) So for the CMO and other C Suite Execs, it should about sharing some of their valuable expertise with an audience.

6 Steps for a “Social Lite” Video Exercise Plan for your CMO

Like any exercise program, you should start off light, with a good training plan, and respectful of a person’s time and energy level that they have for doing the training. You will want to have a carefully thought out plan that answer each of the following questions, which both you, your CMO, and any other stakeholders can agree to and follow. Even though your CMO may have been sold on doing social video, there should always be a plan that they can refer to anytime, which can remind them and other participants of why they’re doing it, and reinforce in their head what the benefits will be. When the CMO knows what’s expected of them and the results they can hope to see, you will be more likely to win them over with their participation. Here’s 7 steps I’ve put together for training your CMO on a beginners’ level, social video exercise plan:

#1: Define your goals in CMO language.

It’s important that your CMO as everyone involved with the video program clearly understand what you’re trying to accomplish. You need to clearly state what results are you going to focus on achieving right from the beginning, before you get starting with doing anything else. Are you looking to achieve improved visibility, social influence, greater audience participation, increased ROI? Whatever your goals may be, it’s crucial you consider right from the beginning how reaching those goals will serve to sustain your CMO’s social video activities, and including the metrics that matter most to the CMO. I also recommending giving some ROI projections, which I realize can be very difficult to do with social media and distinguish from other ongoing marketing campaigns, but that’s why they’re called “projections;” you will be able to adjust them over time.

#2: Determine the CMO’s schedule and availability.

The key to presenting a consistent video series featuring your CMO involves capturing them around the office (either in their own office or at meetings), and at any public events. If you can get their schedule in advance, you can also have an idea of what their regular routine is, plus times where you may have an opportunity to do longer shoots. The type of event as well as the amount of time you have access to them allows you plan on the types of content you can capture of them on video. Which brings me to the next point.

#3: Build a simple, scalable shoot plan with your CMO.

I recommend putting together a video content plan based on the minimum amount of time you would need for each type of video you shoot, and the level of actual participation you need from your CMO. Can they just be recorded doing whatever they’re doing? How much access will they give you? Can you get their full attention to say something directly on camera? I also recommend starting off with the smallest amount of time you think you can realistically have the CMO’s full attention to allow you to video record them, even if it’s just one minute of one week. Working with smaller amounts of time will train you in how to work more efficiently. It will likely have to involve someone else doing the shooting and just asking the CMO a single question or a single topic you can record their response to, or even just have them talking about their day. If they’re willing to devote more time than that, see if you can teach them on how to do a webcam recording in their own office – first with supervision, and then what they can eventually do entirely on their own (provided their degree of comfort, which should increase over time.)

#4: Practice video with the CMO internally at first.

Have your first few practice sessions be available just for in-house consumption. You can feature them talking with their employees or industry peers, or doing some webcam practice of questions submitted in advance, as just a few of many possible scenarios. You can allow them to watch their own videos privately, but I strongly recommend that you set up an actual time to watch the videos together so you can get the CMOs feedback while you’re watching it together. The next step is to expand the internal audience to the full staff, and then through a private Web URL for expanded viewing of a selected audience; and then you can finally do completely public videos.

#5: Give them continued assurance.

As much experience as CMOs have with presenting to groups and talking with people face-to-face, they may get flustered the have had enough experience being on camera. Assure them that they aren’t expected to be perfect. Remind them that online video is much like social media; audiences are very forgiving, and you can always provide disclaimers along with the video (or clarifications to the original video at a later time).

#6: Assign them their own “media assistant”

The way to get a CMO comfortable with a camcorder on them is to having someone who’s recording them so often that they learn to forget about it being there. I recommend Set the CMO up with their own media assistant who can be readily available to video record them sharing ideas, having discussions at internal meetings, speaking at events or with stakeholders, whatever. If you don’t have someone you can dedicate to that singular role, then consider having people in the marketing team, or any in-house production department, volunteer and rotate days and assignments for video capturing your CMO. The important qualifications with any media assistant is they actively participate in online video and social media themselves, they can know how to converse with the CMO, and like an editor and do basic post-production and copy editing. There may be lots of footage to edit and make into a video piece that’s concise, easy to follow, interesting, and showcases the CMO’s engaging personality.

Even the most experienced marketers will benefit greatly from having some guidance on how to participate in social video – whether it be capturing them in their natural environment or teaching them how to create their own videos without needing any supervision. Just remember these 3 key things with any social video program you have for your CMO:

  1. Establish clear goals
  2. Start as simple as possible
  3. Make the most of the time you have with them!

What Are Your Ideas To Encourage Participation in Social Video?

We like you to share them! Just post them in our comment section, and we’ll be better off for it. :)

Again, a special thanks to fellow social media strategists, Mark Fidelman and Rich Fahle, for their interviews and contributions to this topic!

Images courtesy of iStockphoto®, ©hannamonika #5990802

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