Today I came across a dancing themed video that rocked the khaki pants off Microsoft’s awkward experiment with viral video. The video, posted this week, features the entire staff of St Vincent’s Medical Center in Portland, Oregon donning pink gloves and dancing for Breast Cancer Awareness. As the grand-daughter of a Breast Cancer survivor, I thought the video was touching. As an inbound marketer, I thought it was incredibly fresh and different from the other videos I’d seen of its type. So what’s the deal? Why is this video succeeding while the Microsoft employee video was panned? Let’s take a closer look at what we can learn from this fantastic video.
Create Approachable Content
In the Pink Glove Dance video, St. Vincent’s is not just a hospital. It’s a friendly, approachable community of physicians and workers. They invite us in to meet their entire community -- from the surgeons who operate on patients, to the man who mops the floors.
At HubSpot, we believe business transparency is a necessity if you want to succeed at Inbound Marketing. Even if you’re a B2B company, you can benefit from taking St. Vincent's approach in your next video. Invite prospects into your doors with content that connects. If you manufacture fences, show your customers how they’re made and who makes them every day. If you are a Golf Pro looking for leads, upload a video of “outtakes” that shows how fun it can be to get golf lessons.
Show, Don't Tell
Imagery is a powerful tool that is not utilized enough in video. Don’t just tell your audience your message. Show them with a powerful image. Every single person in the Pink Glove Dance is wearing pink gloves as a symbol of their commitment to Breast Cancer Awareness. If St. Vincent’s hadn’t used them in their video, I’m not sure if I would be here writing about it. The gloves really tied the whole production together.
Lots of People = Lots of Variety
Many successful videos have been so due to sheer numbers. If every single coworker in your organization is involved in the production of a video, that’s a pretty strong recommendation that this content is worth watching. If you’ve had some success in the past with a video for your business, consider scaling it; invite customers, partners, and other people who support your company to participate. Even though Matt Harding’s first attempt at online video is an internet classic, he knew that in his next video it was all about numbers. Many of the fans that helped fuel his success are featured in his whirlwind 2008 video, Where the Hell Is Matt?
Provide Fresh, Exciting Content at Every Turn
St. Vincent’s kept their video exciting with heavy edits and scenery changes at every turn. Of course, you don't have to be an awesome editor to create fantastic, worthwhile video, but try to keep your content interesting. As we saw yesterday with Microsoft’s dancing video, a 4-minute video can get very boring quickly without edits and scenery changes.
Believe in Your Message
Without doing very much except dancing and smiling, St. Vincent’s was able to capture my imagination and support because they believe in their cause and the St. Vincent's community. They chose a message that the entire community could get behind, and that translates very clearly through the camera lens and onto my computer.
No matter what you do or what you sell, always create videos that you and your company believe in. If you believe in your message and aren’t afraid to have fun, you’re well on your way to creating videos that other people will enjoy, too.
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Originally published Nov 20, 2009 10:00:00 AM, updated July 03 2013