The Edgy Power of Video: Practical Tips, Case Studies

The use of video is gaining significant traction in generating marketing, sales and business results in transportation and logistics. TMSA member companies like Averitt Express which uses video to recruit team drivers who are married, or Bison Transport to talk about the economy and the Trump Effect, or Crowley Maritime to gain credibility on heavy haul expertise.

A Closer Look: FreightWaves Produces Daily Video Insights, News Analysis
Another fine example is TMSA Affiliate member FreightWaves, which provides real-time market insights through their new daily video, NOW. It’s a daily market update that comes from the floor of FreightWaves headquarters in Chattanooga every business day at 4pm Eastern. Throughout NOW, FreightWaves market experts and team deliver content and expertise highlighting key things to watch in the market for that day.

“The information we share is immediate and content-driven for the market,” says Lisa McGinty, CMO for FreightWaves. “As a media and data company, we understand the power of content—and we’ve got a lot to share. We’re now harnessing that content into video. We discuss everything from high-level macroeconomic indicators to asset-based truckload benchmarking values to daily tactical operational information to weather to employment to supply and demand market data.”

It’s all about supply and demand in the market, and FreightWaves frequently looks at the data directly and what peripherals might be suggesting, McGinty continues. “We’ll cite specific data, as well as do deeper dives into topics that relate to the transportation industry.

“Video is another way for users to access our content and for us to casually engage them,” she says. “Developing a routine cadence and distributing this content at 4pm every day is almost as important as creating the content itself. By releasing FreightWaves NOW on a daily basis, we’re creating an expectation for content and thought leadership to be there.”

Video is a great way to tell a story, McGinty says: “We layer in customer testimonials and interviews, particularly at our events. As a well-respected news media outlet, FreightWaves is delivering relevant, unique content that no other channel is delivering.” Visit www.FreightWaves.com to subscribe.

6 Tips to Effectively Leverage Video
You don’t need a film degree to make an excellent video these days. Marketing and sales professionals with untrained eyes are creating great video content with little more than a smartphone or GoPro. Here are 6 simple tips to make sure you’re making the most of video:

  1. Make it relevant and tell a compelling story. Thoughtful, emotive storytelling is the heart of any impactful video. “Figure out the value proposition for your audience and make it relevant to your them,” says McGinty. “Make it engaging by using different subject matter experts.”

  2. Don’t get bogged down with technical equipment. While high-production value may be important for key capabilities presentations, many transportation and logistics companies routinely develop social videos that aren’t created at high technical quality levels yet feature valuable, relevant content. “If the content is valuable, viewers are forgiving of lower-end quality video,” says one TMSA member.

    In the case of FreightWaves, McGinty says she has a few she started with just a few team members who are highly skilled in using video – but with the success the company has seen in the use of video, FreightWaves is already looking to develop a more sophisticated in-house video capability with a full-time video expert on staff and a more sophisticated on-site studio.

  3. Consider increasing production value when needed. If audio is key to the story, consider an external microphone. The built-in microphones on most smartphones leave something to be desired. Therea re many inexpensive external mics on the market that you can add on to your mobile device. Significantly “up the production value” of your video with external mics like the Rode SmartLav+ or a shtogun mic like the Mighty Mic.

  4. Consider using subtitles or on-screen text. In B2B, most people watch videos at work. IF the message of your video is not easily communicated through the action alone, consider adding subtitles. That way, whether or not the sound is on, the viewer can comprehend the story you’re telling. McGinty mentions that Facebook has launched a free, automatic video captioning tool to all US English Facebook pages. Powered by voice recognition software, it takes the hassle out of transcription while making it easy to edit the subtitles it suggests.

  5. Make videos short. The first 30 seconds of any video should be what matters most to catch the attention of the viewer. If you can hook your audience immediately, they are more likely to stick around and engage. And many channels have limitations. For example, Twitter videos currently are capped at 30 seconds, Instagram has a 60-second maximum, and Snapchat videos are capped at 10 seconds.

    In fact, one thing that McGinty does at FreightWaves is to record brief teaser videos that can be accommodated on any of the social channels to capture the attention of viewers and draw them in to view the longer segments.

  6. Constantly track results. As with any marketing or sales initiative, it’s critical that you measure your return on investment and track your results. Not only should you track results to measure and justify the time and budget you devote to video, but McGinty suggests that tracking results helps you to determine what video approaches are producing the highest volume in results and views. She gives this advice: “When you continue to see what gets the most views and attention from your target audience, you then can use this information to refine the topics, approaches and formats you use – and ultimately change it up to correlate what’s most effective with your audience. Keep modifying and experimenting for continuous improvement, because the needs and interests of your audience are continually changing.”

Interested in learning more about how to leverage video? View “Tips on How to Incorporate Powerful Video that Generates Results” by Rob Puleo, who has 20+ years experience in video strategy and production, is a multiple-time TMSA Compass Award winner, and past TMSA Member of the Year. 

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