Video documentaries as brand journalism

I write about strategies to turn fans into customers and customers into fans. I also share ways to use real-time strategies to spread ideas, influence minds, and build business.

Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead  |  Case Studies  |  Books  |  Brand Journalism

A short online video documentary is a terrific form of brand journalism for any organization.

Brian Halligan and I recently finished out "follow the band book tour" to launch our new book Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead: What Every Business Can Learn from the Most Iconic Band in History.

I created this mini-documentary to illustrate how the Dead freed their music, cultivated a relationship with fans, and built a social network before Mark Zuckerberg was even born. Near the end of the video, Brian and I discuss how every business can use these ideas. Direct link to the HD video on Vimeo.

Brian and I will use the video on our sites, blogs, on bookseller ecommerce sites and our publisher’s site.

Brand journalism

I got to thinking how this style of video is a great form of brand journalism. Creating a documentary about some aspect of your business can serve as interesting content for your buyers. Done right, a video is not a hard sell but rather an entertaining and educational piece that people will enjoy watching and may even share with others.

While we do talk about our product (the book) in the film, it is not about the book. And the people who we interview are not there to give testimonials but rather to discuss the topic.

Easy to produce

A video like this is easier to produce than you might think.

I shot it on a $130 Kodak PlaySport HD camera (affiliate link). I kept the camera in my pocket over the course of our week-long tour and shot little clips along the way. I probably shot a total of 2 hours of footage in about 100 or so clips.

When I retuned home I reviewed the footage and storyboarded what I wanted to say in the video. It was important that I tell a story in the video, so the planning process was important.

I then sent the raw video plus my storyboard ideas to Dave Jackel and Shana Bethune at Shave Media and we worked together to edit and produce the final cut.

Please share any examples of a video documentary that your organization is using.