Video is a powerful marketing tool because it provides a multi-sensory experience, but it’s also more complex than other forms of media, which makes it a challenge to create outstanding content.

The key is not to focus on the medium, says Oren Greenburg, founder of Kurve, a modular growth marketing consultancy based in the U.K. To create an exceptional video, the focus needs to be on the message and the creative process, according to Oren, whose agency helps B2B and B2C brands with a range of marketing challenges. 

“People aren’t really investing enough time and energy to stand out relative to the noise in their space when they’re producing video,” Oren says in this episode of “Confessions of a Marketer” with Mark Reed-Edwards. 

For Oren, good video is interlinked with quality. In one instance, he helped a client ramp up the quality of lead generation videos, which resulted in a 430% increase in the number of Sales Qualified Leads. “That all sounds great in theory, but there’s a heavy price to pay,” Oren says, acknowledging the challenge of creating well-crafted, personalized video at scale. 

One way to ensure your video content quality is high is to start with intensive brainstorming, which involves generating at least 20 different ideas and then running with the best ones. Aside from locking in on a specific idea early in the process, Oren says experimentation is critical for achieving results. 

You want to “compare and contrast, and then double down on the best performer rather than go all in on just one big creative idea,” he says. 

Listen to this episode to learn how to make video content more effective now and what’s coming next, as well as why specialization will give you an edge as a marketer.

Top quotes

“I would rather work with more frankly, expensive, but specialist experts who only do that one thing day in day out, rather than have lots of generalists [who] are trying to hack it and make it work and usually not — that tends to flop.”

“Think [like] a CMO when you’re thinking about marketing and your competence and your specialism as a skill. But in terms of your professional development and your wealth building, think more like a CEO and a CFO because they really understand how to drive business success and commerce, and that’s where your professional growth is going to come from — from understanding that language and speaking fluently.”

“I think we’re really only seeing the infancy of video. I think video will get both longer and will get shorter. So it will get shorter because people’s attention spans are progressively shortening, but it will get longer for content that really adds exceptional value and is very deep on a specific topic and a really tight fit for that audience. So we’re going to see both extremes.”

Marketing insights 

Video is a powerful marketing medium, but brands often underestimate the time and effort needed to create stand-out content. 

“The focus shouldn’t be on the medium … it should be on the message and the creative,” Oren says. One way to improve creative quality is to spend time brainstorming 20 to 30 different ideas and then selecting the best one or two. Focusing in on one idea early on is a mistake, says Oren. 

The future of video is going to get more personal, longer and shorter. 

Oren gives the example of changing video backgrounds to match the viewer’s city. Technology like that is going to continue to evolve and he sees video becoming richer and more interactive. With attention spans fleeting, short-form video content will be on the rise, but there will also be an opportunity for longer, in-depth content that creates “exceptional value,” he says.  

Marketers are evaluated by their ability to deliver intended outcomes. 

The only thing people care about when they give you an assignment in any format is, what’s the outcome?” says Oren. It’s challenging because, as a marketer, you don’t have total control over the result, but you have to develop the ability to continue to do the work until you drive results. To do this, you need to “double down on learning, talking to people and experimenting,” says Oren. “Those are the only three things that you have in your arsenal to try and achieve a result.”

Resources and references points 

💡 Oren Greenberg — Founder of Kurve 

💡 Kurve — hybrid agency and consultancy

💡 VideoAsk — like a video chatbot; a product like this can help with conversions 

💡 Vidyard — analytics and lead generation using video 

💡 Orbit Media’s Annual Blogging Survey — Oren references data from this survey showing that marketers are taking more time to create blog posts 

Episode highlights 

The advantage of working with expensive, specialist marketers

“People give specialists work to generalists because they’re smart, and they’re hungry, and they’re industrious, so surely they can make it happen. And the reality is, without being upskilled, or trained on a specialist channel or tool, you’ve set them up to fail. When they’re doing nine different things, at the same time, the probability of them cracking a main challenge is unlikely, it’s very hard.”

For powerful video marketing, don’t overlook the message 

“Video is a multi-faceted asset. I think at the end of the day, the focus shouldn’t be on the medium, which is the video per se, it should be on the message and the creative — it should be, how does the creative stand out? And I think people aren’t really investing enough time and energy to stand out relative to the noise in their space when they’re producing video. It takes more time to invest and do that.” 

Intensive brainstorming is essential for the creative process (or why you can’t just focus on one idea) 

“You come up with a list of ideas, and then you push yourself to come up with some more ideas … and you end up with like 20 or 30 ideas, then you pick the top one or two, and you go with that. Most people don’t go through the process, they kind of go two, three ideas, and then they pick the best one. … you have to have this natural selection with a creative process to find the best idea and cutting through. But also, you can’t go all in with one idea. And this is another mistake. I think it’s better to go in with three or four ideas and try them out and compare and contrast and then double down on the best performer rather than go all in on just one big creative idea.”

Authentic personalization + creativity = winning marketing combination 

“Personalization now is done for the sake of personalization rather than done, like — I recognize the pain that you have, and I have a relevant solution. Or I took the effort to research you and I saw the blog post that you posted or the tweet that you did. All you need to do is just reference a piece of content that that person did, engage them on social once or twice, and then send them the cold outbound message. And you’ll have a much better performance … it’s not rocket science. You want to build a relationship. That’s what people want. People just don’t want to be treated like an object. … The problem is people don’t have the time, and they have a little performance pressure to achieve specific KPIs in short timeframes. And that creates stress and the stress stifles creativity. But the only way to get exceptional results for performance is through creativity — you have to be differentiated.”

For marketing career success, specialize and prove yourself to your network

“Don’t worry so much about your diversification and your skills, really worry about what your networks say about you. … Focus more on your relationships, focus more on the value you deliver in the work setting that you currently have, and how you migrate and progressively develop, [it’s] less so about diversifying your skills. Because the truth is no one knows how to evaluate the skills that you have … we all have more knowledge and experience than any one person that we know understands about us. … you’ve got to double down and show how you can do that one thing and show how you get that one result. No one cares about these generalists who’ve done a bit of everything, because they don’t see how that translates into effective ROI.”