10 Fantastic Things We Learned About Strategic Video Storytelling at the 2013 Content Marketing Retreat

May 29th, 2013


PLEASE JOIN THE 2014 ANNUAL CONTENT MARKETING RETREAT, May 8 & 9, with a special focus on Best Practices Measuring Content Marketing Results. Learn More.


With video storytelling more relevant to content strategy than ever before, we proudly hosted this year’s Langley Center for New Media Content Marketing Retreat with all things focused on video content. Here are ten fantastic things we learned from the Essentials of Strategy Video Storytelling as shared by our amazing panel of experts:

1) Video Now Reigns Supreme

Langley Center for New Media

Scott Abel of The Content Wrangler and Keynote Speaker sets up the day with understanding the tenets of human connection in great video stories.

Video stories are used to entertain, educate, preserve cultural frameworks, promote moral values, persuade others as well as build community.

Age-old storytelling archetypes can be utilized to structure video content as people naturally connect to, are motivated by and retain at an astonishing level of accuracy more information from audio/visual stories than rote information, facts and figures alone


Learn more from the presentation below provided by our keynote speaker, Scott Abel of The Content Wrangler:

Scott Abel presents: Video Storytelling from Langley Center for New Media

2) Useful x Engaging =  Success

You can apply a Video Strategy to the Customer or Constituent Lifecycle.

Langley Center for New Media

Russell Sparkman of FusionSpark Media sets up the next speaker at the 3rd Annual Content Retreat

When it comes to being a communications professional the ability to understand data and analytics is increasingly important. You will most certainly be asked “What is the Return on Investment for this video.” Planning, research, goal setting and metrics within a Content Strategy is absolutely essential.


Learn more from the presentation below provided by Russell Sparkman, CEO of FusionSpark Media:


3) Find Your Metaphor to Connect with Others through the Heart

Chris Donaldson, 3rd Annual Content Marketing Retreat

Chris Donaldson, outlines the three key points of an effective story.

Conflict, the solution and a positive outcome told through your voice within a tight three act structure in video content is the foundation of strong emotional connections with your customers.

The challenge of every good brand or idea is finding the connective tissue of story elements that speak to the audience in the most authentic way possible and avoid the perception of a video brochure.



Learn more from the presentation below provided by Chris Donaldson, Executive Producer at Hand Crank Films:

Chris Donaldson presents: Video Brochures vs. Telling a Story from Langley Center for New Media


4) Budget is No Indication of an Effective Video BUT Story Planning and Final Intended Use Are 

3rd Annual Content Marketing Retreat

Jon Wuebben defines the difference between good planning and production value and how it relates to budget.

Intended use and a distribution within your content strategy, point-by-point story planning and its final execution from stage to screen are of equal importance to your invested time, paid resources and final production value.

Learn more from the presentation below provided by Jon Wuebben, CEO of Content Launch:

Jon Wuebben presents: Video Budgets from Low to High from Langley Center for New Media

5) Live, Interactive Video Content is Increasing in Demand and is Affordable

3rd Annual Content Marketing Retreat

Colin Christianson frames up the cost effectiveness of interactive live streaming events for small business.

Why be just local when you can go global?  There are many ways of cost effective, live interactive webcasts and broadcasts that are innovative and affordable for a small business.   There are pros and cons to this approach but once they’re known just think how your business could benefit from such an approach!


Learn more from the presentation provided by Colin Christianson, Producer of Tenacious Ventures:

Colin Christianson presents: Is It Live or is it Taped?!? from Tenacious Ventures


6) Intention is Everything When It Comes to Legal Clearances

3rd Annual Content Marketing Retreat

Kim Barnes outlines the basic tenants of copyright assignment, licensing and the ethics of creative attribution.

It’s important you understand the main types of copyright and respect those that create copyright protected material.  Always license or purchase the assignment when Fair Use laws do not apply.  For online video content this does not need to be complex or expensive.

Learn more from the presentation provided by Kim Barnes:

Kim Barnes presents: Making It Legal from Langley Center for New Media

7) Video Stories Are Only As Good As Addressing Your Audience in the Right Space

3rd Annual Content Marketing Retreat

Pamela Muldoon is explains best thinking and practices when it comes to the distribution platforms of video content.

Where your audience hangs out and what they focus on are considerations when developing your video content and a social media distribution platform plan.

Your story is not one size fits all and neither are the online applications and service drivers that could work best for your message.



Learn more from the presentation provided by Pamela Muldoon, Social Media Content Strategist, Globe University and Principal, Next Stage Media:

Pamela Muldoon presents: Now That You’ve Made It Where Do You Put It? from Langley Center for New Media

8) Great Stories Have Specific Triggers That Could Make Them Viral

Langley Center for New Media

Nate Riggs connects the dots of what makes online video successful and potentially a viral hit.

The internet is now a giant open media network and there are practical as well as measurable triggers that enable videos to “stick”, boost content visibility and potentially break out as viral media.

You can learn more from the presentation provided by Nate Riggs, Consultant Content Strategist, here.


9) Animation is a Brilliant Option to Capture a Great Story

Langley Center for New Media

Bryan Zug shares his expertise in creating messages through the medium of animation.


Vision trumps all the other human senses.  Animation/drawing or even basic motion graphics are awesome tools to overcome the limitations of conveying story, illustrating abstract concepts or explaining complex ideas to others, often at less cost than video.


Learn more from the presentation provided by Bryan Zug, Founder What Now? Exactly! and Bootstrapper Studios:

The Beauty and Magic of Animation and Motion Graphics from Bryan Zug

10) You Need to Measure Your Video ROI and Justify It To Your BossCarefully

Langley Center for New Media

Scott Pierce wraps up the day with telling a story about how content strategists need to frame video success and ROI to their clients.

Let’s face it, we suck at stories about successful storytelling. There are numerous examples of how video media finds it’s audience but the actual data that most firms have to justify the ROI is problematic.

With massive amounts of data readily available, finding a story that bridges the gap between the audience need and the company solution that inspires a specific action or desired outcome is the goal.  With long term value of partnerships and brand building being the most important aspect of marketing, how do we formulate a brave new world of justifying video production costs and strategic marketing efforts?

Learn more from the presentation provided by Scott Pierce, Senior Content Strategist, POP Agency:

Thift Shop Insights from Scott Pierce



Be authentic and true in developing the core message of your story and that will have the greatest impact on your audience!




Question: Who’s gonna make all these videos? (Answer: You are.)

April 9th, 2013

By David Murray, author of Content Wise, the leading quarterly interactive publication.


The results of the 2013 content marketing Industry Characteristics Survey are proprietary for members of the Custom Content Council, and the summary we’re offering in ContentWise won’t be out for another week or two.

But I’ll offer one of the more profound findings right here and now: Video is smoking hot. How hot? Three years ago 37% of marketers said they were using branded video as part of their content marketing strategy. This year? Um, 68%—with 57% of marketers planning to do even more next year.

The questions is: Who’s going to watch all those corporate videos?

And the answer is: No one, if they’re not brilliantly enough conceived, made and distributed to cut through the clutter.

That’s why I think you should attend the first and probably the best of what will surely be many conferences on making strategic videos. It’s the Essentials of Strategic Video Storytelling, put on by my friend Russell Sparkman next month at his cool facility on Whidbey Island, Wash., near Seattle.

As you’ll see from the program, speakers at the two-day course (May 9 and 10) will cover video from conception to budget to distribution to measurement of results. And everything will be discussed in the context of how video fits into the overall content marketing strategy.

You should go. And give my best to Russell when you do. —DM

How to Create a Video

April 8th, 2013

By Jon Wuebben is CEO of Content Launch ContentLaunch.com  / Author of “Content is Currency” and a featured Langley New Media retreat speaker this May 9th!

Jon-Wuebben_B&WSquareYou’ve gotten into content marketing as a way to promote your brand and drive customers to your site. When discussing how to make and promote your content, everyone talks about it in terms of blogs: short, informative, written pieces that are designed to educate the reader on a particular topic or perhaps provide commentary. That’s all well and good, but you want something more visually engaging. Something that can entertain your target audience and make a more lasting impression.

You want to make videos.

Videos can be a great marketing tool. After all, YouTube gets over 4 billion views every single day. If you could tap into that popularity, even a little bit, it would mean great publicity for your brand.

But how do you go about it? Where do you start? Here are some tips for how to create a video that’s high quality and engaging.

Read the rest of this entry »

Content Marketing Examples: Heros Behind a Whiteboard

April 3rd, 2013

By Nate Riggs, Director of Social Business at The Karcher Group

This was the third year that Donate Life America, a non-profit organization that promotes and builds advocacy for organ donation and one that I’ve supported in the past, was the Case Competition Sponsor this year’s conference.

Student chapters had the opportunity to submit strategies, tactics and campaigns in a variety of head-to-head competitions, with winners being awarded immediately following my keynote on the second night of the event.

I felt privileged to be able to experience the energy in the room as the winers were announced in front of more than a thousand of their marketing peers. To say that I was blown away by this year’s winning video submission is very much an understatement.

Play the winning video below from Florida International University’s AMA Chapter and see for yourself why I am so impressed!

To continue to the rest of Nate’s post click here

How To Plan a Video Budget

March 27th, 2013

By Russell Sparkman, CEO, FusionSpark Media, Inc.

Content marketing clients interested in incorporating video into their publishing understandably start by asking the question, “how much does a video cost?

There’s no easy answer, of course. My own answer is usually prefaced with the analogy of trying to answer the question of “how much does it cost to build a house?” To answer that, we need to know intended use (full-time residence or summer home?); size (for a family of four or a single person?); and the quality of the materials (Home Depot fixtures or high-end functional art fixtures?).

Read the rest of this entry »

3Q4 Jayme Thomason on Becoming More Effective at Content Planning

January 19th, 2012

Jayme Thomason, CEO, Divvy HQ

In this 3Q4 addition, we have three questions for Jayme Thomason, CEO of DivvyHQ, a cloud-based editorial calendar application, about the most common bottleneck in the content marketing process, advice for becoming more disciplined and consistent in our approach, and how to balance editorial planning for both long-form and  short-form content.

Read the rest of this entry »

3Q4 Rod Brooks: Striving for Content Excellence and Marketing Fitness

January 16th, 2012

Keynote speaker, Rod Brooks, CMO, Pemco Mutual Insurance, and President, Word-of-Mouth Marketing Association.

Welcome to another post in our 3Q4 (three questions for) series of questions for leading experts, practitioners and influencers in Content Marketing. Here we have three questions for Rod Brooks, CMO of PEMCO Mutual Insurance Company and former President of the Word-of-Mouth Marketing Association. Rod describes what it takes to maintain marketing “health and fitness” and the importance of striving for content excellence within the context of contemporary media.

Rod is the Keynote speaker at the January 26 and 27th Content Marketing Retreat in Langley, WA.

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3Q4 Jeff Erramouspe: Marketing Automation and closing the Analytics Skills Gap

January 13th, 2012

Jeff Erramouspe, Pres., Manticore Technology, Inc.

Welcome to another post in our 3Q4 series of questions for leading experts, practitioners and influencers in Content Marketing. Here we have three questions for Jeff Erramouspe, President of Manticore Technology on the emerging analytics skill gap, how content feeds the demand generation and lead nurturing engine, and ideas on how to measure the impact of content on various phases of the sales funnel.

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3Q4 Mark Jacobs: Breaking down the barriers to Video Marketing

January 13th, 2012

Mark Jacobs, CEO of Me!Box Media Inc. is a speaker at the upcoming Content Marketing Retreat January 26-27th.

Welcome to another post in our 3Q4 series.  Here, we have three questions for Mark Jacobs, CEO of Me!Box Media, Inc. about the power of  video marketing. Mark shares his insight on the most common barriers to effective video marketing, why integrating contextually-relevant content into video is a best practice, and the future of  industry standards. Read the rest of this entry »

3Q4 Pawan Deshpande: Curation best practices; balance hand-crafted with automation

January 12th, 2012

This is the first of our 3Q4 series featuring  “three questions for” leading experts, practitioners and influencers in the world of content marketing.  With Content Marketing Retreat just weeks away, we’re kicking off the series with some of our guest speakers for the event.

We asked Curata CEO Pawan Deshpande to share some perspective on the difference between hand-crafted curation and automated curation, some of the most common pitfalls, and what’s in store for the future.    Here’s what he had to say.

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