SINCE 2017

THE BLOG

READ OUR BLOG

Why LinkedIn is Good for Marketing Your Brand

LinkedIn is an online employment platform which allows job-seekers to create a profile with completed CV’s and for employers to post about job opportunities. 

It has since become the frontier for business connections.

That being said, in 2021 LinkedIn is no longer a platform to simply find a job. With over 756 million users, it’s full of opportunities for brand marketing.

With LinkedIn, you can build credibility, grow your business, and even drive traffic to your website. And with new interactive features, there’s never been a better time to include it in your social media strategy.

In this post, I’ll be sharing five ways you can use LinkedIn to market your brand and reach relevant audiences.

  • Share Customer Success Stories and Testimonials 

Brand-driven storytelling is a great way to build awareness because it brings attention to real-life customers. 

Creating content that features testimonials — whether through a quote post or video — can strengthen your credibility and build trust.

You can also share a story from a member of your community through your LinkedIn captions. 

(You can think of them as a mini-blog post)

Letting customers or members of your community do the talking is an effective way to connect with your wider audience, while also building brand trust.

 

  • Position Your CEO or Founder as a Thought Leader

Positioning your CEO or founder as an expert in their respective industry is great for building credibility (and humanizing your brand).

You can feature blog posts they’ve written, or interviews they’ve participated in, to better connect with your community. If your customers feel that your leader has a warm, charismatic personality, they are more likely to invest in your brand.

Sharing this type of content is a great way to personify your brand on LinkedIn and become a credible establishment in the eyes of your community.

  • Use Data to Tell Your Story

Data storytelling is building a narrative around a set of data and its accompanying visuals to help convey the meaning of that data in a powerful and compelling fashion.

It an effective way to provide insight and value to your community — and it often proves to be highly shareable content.

You can also take your data storytelling a step further by collaborating with another company. This is a great way to tap into a shared target audience, without being too salesy.

Data storytelling can be a powerful tool for marketing your brand on LinkedIn because it allows you to position yourself as a valuable resource for your peers and target audience.

  • Share Your Brand Voice 

Sure, LinkedIn is for professionals, but that doesn’t mean people only want to see corporate content.

Sharing the personality of your brand can humanize your content, and is an authentic way to attract new customers or clients.

In fact, a survey found that 65% of customers say they feel an emotional connection with a brand of business — so a little personality can go a long way! It is also a great way to attract likeminded customers who connect with your brand.

  • Work With Influencers and Experts

If you haven’t tapped into influencer marketing, LinkedIn is the perfect place to experiment.

There are heaps of LinkedIn voices and experts on the platform — reach out to them to see if they’d write a guest blog post or hop on a LinkedIn Live.

Live videos get a higher average of comments than in-feed videos, so they’re worth getting creative with.

You can also work with influencers or experts to post stories and live streams from their accounts, marketing your brand to a wider audience.

Combined, these tips make a killer LinkedIn marketing strategy that will help you grow your brand, tell your story, and build a vibrant community of people who believe in your vision. 

Are you thinking of using LinkedIn in your marketing strategy?

Instagram Masterclass at Flower Café

Sometimes you need a real human, in person, to help you learn a new skill. Especially if it involves technology and a fancy app! I hosted an Instagram for Business Growth Masterclass at a special client’s exceptional venue, Flower Café in Woodstock. Twenty-two entrepreneurs, small business owners and social media managers gathered on a cold, rainy day in Cape Town to upskill and rev their inspiration for their brands!

There’s nothing more stimulating than coming together with a group of fellow small business owners ready to learn!

From Gen Zs to Baby Boomers, it was amazing to see how hungry small business owners are to feel more in control of their brand’s social media presence and how they can connect with customers and even build communities around their brands.

For some it was a refresher to pick up the latest trends on Instagram, while for others the Masterclass opened up a whole new world of possibilities for their content marketing and social presence.

We loved having the owner of Garabette Monogram Collection with us!

The class covered how to optimise your Instagram bio, how to create reels, as well as the principles all small business owners need to understand to make Instagram work for them. With greater access to fibre in South Africa, video is growing at an incredible rate, which means brands need to enter the world of video to compete with all the flashing, sparkly brand messages and their content online.

One of the reasons I love hosting my workshops at Flower Cafe is the incredible barista-brewed coffee and the delicious homemade treats. Guests can nibble on savoury or sweet refreshments while engaging in the class in an exquisite setting.

My job is made so much easier with the support of an assistant! Jeanne Fourie was brilliant at one-on-one assistance for guests needing extra help.

Where would your ideal venue be for a marketing masterclass? Comment on this blog post and let me know! Who knows, maybe we’ll try it out 😉

I was totally inspired by the brilliant business owners and entrepreneurs that attended the Masterclass!

There’s inspiration in spades available at Flower Café.

Get in touch to find out about our next Marketing Bootcamp or Instagram Masterclass!

Images by @mick.creative

Do I Need PR To Grow My Business?

 

Public Relations (affectionately known as PR) is any purposeful communication between a business and its followers towards generating positive relationships. And today we’re going to talk about it!

“But Lisa, you specialize in marketing? What does PR have to do with anything?”

Excellent question! Although marketing and PR share a foundation of strategic communication, media relations, community relations, internal communications, crisis communications, public affairs, and online and social media communications, they operate in totally unique ways and each have their own benefits.

A PR strategy can help increase your brand’s credibility, attract your target market, provide your business with a unique ‘touch point’ and add value, create short and long-term lead generation, and help you elevate brand image. How cool is that?

Here are some helpful PR tips to get you on your way

  1. Do your homework

This is a big point in all aspects of PR work, you need to do your research to determine a lot of factors in your collaborations with certain brands.

Make sure that who you engage with before – and during – events is relevant to your brand!

Do your research and engage with likeminded businesses or a public that will have the most in common with what you’re selling, so you can work off the energy of genuine interest.

Who is already loyal to your brand? Or who has the potential to add value to your support system?

A good PR specialist takes this into consideration and will plan the event accordingly.

For example, if you’re organizing a media launch for an up-and-coming young chef, you wouldn’t invite the editor of a sports magazine or a tech CEO, because what interest would they have in the world of food and culture?

Nope. You’d want to invite people in the lifestyle industry, or young people who love nothing more than to be present at an aesthetically pleasing, ‘Instagramable’ event.

That brings me onto my next point…

2. Basic PR is good media coverage

We are firmly in the digital age. Humans consume an average of 463 minutes or over 7.5 hours per day with media.

A PR specialist will help you work with the relevant people to get you the right kind of media exposure.

Again, it’s all about doing your research and contacting the right people relevant to what your brand sells and stands for!

If people are interested in your brand, they’ll be more interested in you and share it with their followers.

3. Keep up with media trends

What is getting the most attention from people? Find out to stay relevant and in touch with your followers for exposure across multiple platforms!

Be ready to share your story at a moment’s notice! Yes, you may know the story of what you are trying to sell, but no one else does.

By sharing your story, you can connect with more people in an authentic way and end up with a more genuine group of loyal followers.

  1. Don’t forget your competitors are your friends

Engage with them and search for some ideas – obviously, no one likes a copycat, but it’s interesting to see how we all market ourselves differently and it will give you inspiration.

I can’t stress this word enough but – RELATIONSHIPS! This is PR 101.

Even through the media, how we form and nurture relationships is what keeps the business world flowing. So, by engaging with people on social media, you are giving yourself some positive exposure. So, get out there and get commenting.

Or even better, send out some voice notes! You have no idea how much people connect with hearing each other’s voices.

5. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help

Collaborations with other brands are your best friends.

These collaborations don’t just have to be shout-outs on Instagram. Get creative: work together on a product that features the best qualities of both businesses.

When you collaborate, you are forming a relationship, building awareness, and are engaging with clients in creative ways.

  1. Don’t be afraid to spend (in the beginning).

When you’re thinking about spending on advertising (or for an event etc.) early on in your business – DO IT!

What you spend now with the intention of growing your brand, you’re likely to get back if you put in the work. So go big for an event, hire that business coach, buy those office cushions, but remember to work for it.

Be smart and budget around what will get the most attention and keep people coming back to your brand.

So, there you have it! PR is an essential part of a business strategy. These are just a few of the things that you can do to create a successful business.

At Anago Marketing we take everything into consideration when creating a strategy, together with you, for your brand. Pop us a message to chat more about signing up for the Anago Brand Strength Plan.

5 things to look for in your new website designer

I recently started working with a new web developer, James Barnes from Crux Digital based in Johannesburg. James created a website for one of my clients, The Murder Mystery Guide, where we wanted a custom-built layout to suit the marketing and content needs of the site. It also had a cost calculator plugin that James had to research, having never dealt with one before.

My pleasant experience working with James made me realise there are some questions you need to ask in your interview with a new web designer BEFORE you commit to a job. The list below should help with making that decision.

If I could add to James’s list below, it would be responsiveness and after-sale service. I get driven mad by web designers who don’t respond timeously, as there’s usually a crisis to attend to and a long wait on a reply potentially can have devastating ramifications on a business.

Take a look at James’s recommendations below and let me know in the comments section if you have more points to add!

 

Yours in marketing,

 

Lisa

 

Image by @brunia.lifestyle Makeup by @makeupbykristinswan

Finding a qualified web designer who is compatible with your business can be challenging. Every business is different and it is important to find someone who understands your business’s unique needs and successfully direct your business toward growth.

1. Value for money

Budget is an important factor for anyone to consider when looking for a web designer. Pricing for websites can vary quite substantially and it can be difficult to know exactly how much to spend on a website.  With web design, you get what you pay for. Sure, you might be able to get someone to make a website for you for a “bargain” price, but at what cost? It is important to always be aware of the full extent of the services and any additional value-added services the web designer might provide such as content optimization for SEO or integrated website security features.

Image by @brunia.lifestyle

2. User-centred design

Having a clear understanding of how your users think and their goals is an essential aspect of building a successful website. User-centred design puts the user at the focus of each stage of the design process from the initial planning and content writing through to the website layout structure and design. User-centred design focuses on improving the overall user experience through improving the accessibility, usability and legibility of the website.

3. Longevity & scalable design

Your website should adapt as your business grows. Having a website with a flexible and scalable design will ensure that your website will stand the test of time. Web design is a dynamic form of media and can change over time. It is important to have a flexible framework and platform to build your website. Choosing the wrong web builder early on in development or not considering or planning for future business goals or services offerings can lead you to having to rebuild large sections of your website or in some cases even require a complete website revamp.

Image by @brunia.lifestyle

4. A strong portfolio

It can be risky to hire a web designer with little experience. Ideally, you should seek out a web designer with a detailed portfolio of work covering a variety of business industries.

The best way to evaluate the experience level of a web designer is by viewing their past work. Each web designer has a unique approach to design and the best way to determine the effectiveness of their workflow is by seeing the result and giving some of their past websites a try for yourself.

5. Up to date with technology & design trends

Technology is constantly evolving so it is vital to find a web designer who can stay informed and keep up to date with the everchanging world of tech and web design. Every year new features, themes and plugin choices become available while others become obsolete. Many web designers offer ongoing maintenance to keep your website and plugins up to date and offer site backups to ensure the safety of your website and data. Having out of date plugins or themes on your website can also result in security vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit so maintenance is also a good way to keep your website safe and secure.

 

Do you need a reliable website designer to help? Crux Digital offer affordable web design & online marketing services to help get your small business or start-up off the ground.

[Learn More]

 

 

Flower Café Named one of Cape Town’s “Hottest New Restaurants”

Our client, Flower Café, was ranked in the top ten of Inside Guide’s listings of the ‘hottest new restaurants in Cape Town’. Launched on 6 August 2020, Flower Café is a coffeeshop in Woodstock where you get to make your own one-of-a-kind flower arrangement, while sipping on barista-brewed coffee and nibbling on delicious homemade eats. From well-known florists, Petals Group, the venue is perfect for special celebrations, whimsical team-building experiences, or casual meet ups with friends.

“Like so many Cape Town businesses, we were scrambling to pivot our florals and events business during arguably the worst economic crisis our company has seen since we started it in 1967,” said the owner and founder of Petals Group, Flower Walker. She added, “Then on a chilly day in July we sat down with our marketing consultant to thrash out ideas and the Flower Café was born!”

Flower Café hosts children’s parties, bridal and baby showers, corporate events and now welcomes their patrons to book Work Parties, too. With plenty of plug points and complimentary WiFi on offer, Work Parties are a fun way to work alongside and catch up with colleagues or freelancer friends in a creative and stimulating environment. As with standard Flower Café visits, Work Party guests are requested to book their spots ahead of time to help manage COVID-19 safety measures.

“With decades of experience putting bespoke events and florals together for a variety of clients, we are very comfortable creating customised Flower Café experiences for Capetonians looking for something fresh and beautiful,” said Veronica Yankelowitz, one of Petals Group’s event coordinators.

“While the events and weddings industry is only just starting to revive, we are extremely proud of our incredible staff who have navigated the challenges of starting a new business during a global pandemic in an inspirational way. We most certainly wouldn’t still be here without them,” she added.

Lisa Aspeling, owner of Anago Marketing and the marketing strategist for Petals Group, says the team has been overwhelmed by the public’s response to Flower Café, “Even since our pre-launch phase of introducing the café to the public we noticed how passionate people were about the concept.” She adds, “That’s when I knew we had hit on something special!”

After only being open since 6 August, the recognition from Inside Guide has come as a wonderful and welcome surprise to the whole Flower Café and Petals Group team.

Do you need a fresh injection of creativity and wonder? Book your spot soon to avoid disappointment!

Opening times Wednesday – Friday, 9am – 4pm

Saturday, 9am – 1pm

Contact 082 321 7371 or 021 461 8809, vee@petalsgroup.co.za

Where to find it 184 Sir Lowry Road, Woodstock, Cape Town

Secure parking next door at Woodstock Quarter

Images by Nikki van Diermen Wedding Photography

How to look and sound great in your social media videos

Are you uncertain if you are doing a good job when it comes to your ‘to camera’ videos on Instagram and Facebook?  If you do these ten things below, people will listen to you for longer, enjoy your videos more and you’ll begin to build a reputation for being a great speaker.  You may even have your followers demanding more of your videos!

After several years of doing TV presenting for an international design brand, here are a few of my tips and tricks to make sure you’re connecting well with your audience.

 

 

  1. Smile

Start your video with a smile!  Everyone is attracted to a positive and confident energy, so make sure you start off with a winning grin to win over your audience in seconds.  Banish any negative self-talk and choose to be optimistic about yourself and what you have to share with the world!

 

  1. Look into the camera

Don’t make the mistake of looking at yourself on your phone’s screen while you’re filming a video where you’re addressing your audience directly.  Looking directly into the lens will help you focus more on what you’re saying and you will avoid getting distracted by your own appearance.

Eye contact is extremely engaging and will help your viewers feel like you are speaking directly to them.

  1. Start with the problem

Our brains are wired to scan our environments for information that will help us survive or thrive.  If your first sentence states the problem you are going to address, you will immediately light up your viewers’ brains and keep them watching for longer as they wait for you to deliver the solution!

 

  1. Get to the point

People’s time is precious. Make yourself valuable to your viewers by getting to the point quickly! State the problem you’re solving, then explain the solution to that problem and the benefits they will enjoy by solving it the way you’ve recommended.

  1. Speak clearly

Be aware that your accent may make it difficult for a diverse audience to understand you. Speak slightly slower if you usually speak quickly and try to enunciate your words a little more clearly so people can easily understand what you’re saying.

  1. Vary your pitch and tone

Next time you listen to the radio or a television news anchor pay attention to how they vary their pitch and tone.  Good presenters understand that creating musical highs and lows with their voices while they deliver information makes them easy to listen to and far more engaging.

The volume of your voice can also be useful to emphasise key points (a louder, more forceful volume) and to draw people in (a quieter voice or a whisper).  Using emotive tone in your voice also helps to engage your audience.

 

  1. Vary your words

Avoid repeating the same words too frequently while you’re speaking: words that are repeated too often in a presentation become distracting to your listeners and break their brains’ ability to focus on your message.

  1. Use your facial expressions to emphasise your words

Just like a monotonous voice is boring to listen to, a deadpan face is equally boring to look at!  Use your eyes, eyebrows and your smile – or a more serious facial expression – to help tell the story of what you’re sharing in your video.

  1. Increase your gestures and movement

Studies show that speakers who use their hands frequently while speaking are rated as better speakers than those who gesticulate less often.  Try changing the position of your head slightly every now and then, too – after all, you’re not a statue!

Our brains love movement and are naturally more attracted to moving objects.

  1. Groom yourself

Before you get in front of the camera, pop in front of a mirror and check your makeup, your teeth, your hair and make sure that your clothing matches the brand you’re representing.

 

Did you find these tips useful?  Share this article on your social media platforms and tag us to get a conversation started!

Ian McKellan, left, as Gandalf and Elijah Wood as Frodo in a scene from the motion picture The Lord of the Rings. --- DATE TAKEN: rcd 12/01  By Pierre Vinet   New Line Cinema        HO      - handout ORG XMIT: PX61598
Ian McKellan, left, as Gandalf and Elijah Wood as Frodo in a scene from the motion picture The Lord of the Rings. --- DATE TAKEN: rcd 12/01 By Pierre Vinet New Line Cinema HO - handout ORG XMIT: PX61598

Be the Guide, Not the Hero

Today I want to chat through one of the things I’ve learned from New York Times Bestselling author, Donald Miller. He talks about how brands should position themselves as the Guide in their customers’ stories and NOT the Hero.

While this feels like counter-intuitive advice, Don’s thinking is backed up by how the human brain works. Since it’s by far the hardest working organ in the human body, it’s designed to conserve as much energy as possible in case there’s a threat that needs a quick response.

While few of us need our brains primed to help us run away from a lion attack, if we want people to listen to what we’re telling them about our product or service we need to appeal to the brain’s priorities: to survive and thrive!

Sleek, simple messaging means the brain has an easier time of filtering your brand’s information to weigh up whether it’s useful to for surviving and thriving!

The Power of Stories

While one area we need to apply this to is our marketing messaging, another thing that appeals to our primitive brain systems is stories. Stories are constructs that make it easy for our brains to process information, which is why I’m fascinated by Don’s advice to brands in this area. While it’s so natural to want to position ourselves as the Hero of the story, Don advises against it.

According to Don, the best way to connect with your customers or your niche is to make THEM the hero of the story.

But where does that leave your brand? The best role for your brand to play is the role of the Guide. The guide’s sole purpose is to enter the Hero’s story to help them solve their problem. That’s it! Because without intervention or assistance from a Guide figure, our movie hero can’t succeed.

Positioning our brands as the experts who have the solution to the Hero’s problems makes us indispensable in the lives of our customers.

Examples of Guides from Hit Films

To help illustrate how this works, I’ve picked some well known movie characters who play the role of the Guide:

Morpheus becomes Neo’s guide when he chooses to be unplugged from The Matrix.

In the Matrix – Neo is the hero who is unplugged from the oppressive Matrix system, while the role of Morpheus is to teach Neo how to navigate the brand new world he has entered.

Mr Myagi teaches Daniel karate to help him defend himself from his bullies.

In The Karate Kid the teenage character, Daniel LeRusso, gets karate lessons from his Guide, Mr Myagi, so he can defend himself from some bullies and eventually prove his worth at a karate tournament.

King George VI with his speech and language therapist.

In the film The King’s Speech, King George VI struggles with a stammer and very soon into his reign he has to do a speech that will be broadcast to millions of listeners around the world. He seeks out the help of an expert speech therapist who must guide him through the ordeal.

I think you get the picture! Let’s make this personal. If you were to look at your brand’s messaging, have you positioned your brand as the Hero or as the Guide? We’d love to hear from you! Slide into our DMs on Facebook or Instagram to start the conversation.

#1 Marketing Mistake Small Businesses Make

Being a small business owner is tough! We’ve put together our latest insights on the number one mistake we’ve seen small businesses and social media managers making. Make sure you read until the end!

Have you been asking yourself, “Why isn’t my marketing working?”

Maybe you started posting on social media because you felt pressure to do SOMETHING, so you hired someone to ‘do social media’ for your brand. But has it had any impact on growing your brand and business?

So many businesses get burned because they jump straight into ACTION mode. Big mistake! The problem is you’ve started where you should finish…

A pyramid showing the progression and order of business, marketing and content strategy development.
Where each type of business strategy fits in with the others and in which order.

You’ve jumped in at the Content Strategy level, instead of starting with developing a business strategy, then a marketing strategy, only then to be followed with a content strategy (social media and all the actionable marketing activities that we’re all tempted to jump straight into!). In other words, you need to start at the top and make your way down in order for your content strategy to be effective.

When we realised that we weren’t able to help our clients in an optimal way BECAUSE of this very dynamic, it made us relook at how we ‘onboard’ new clients. Since this pivotal revelation we now insist on doing client training in marketing and social media, as well as group strategy sessions.

The biggest benefit is that we all get on the same page and start heading in the same direction together! It also helps that everyone can then speak the same language when it comes to marketing thinking, activities, and social media lingo.

Another benefit is that everyone who has sat in on the training and strategy sessions is totally on board, ‘bought in’ and ready to support the brand’s new way forward. The importance of team cohesion can’t be emphasised enough!

Team cohesion happens when everyone comes along for the ride!

What’s your biggest business revelation been during the past year? Share it with us on our social media platforms! @anagomarketing

5 Simple WhatsApp Marketing Strategies for Small Business Owners

The golden rule of marketing is to occupy the spaces your customers spend time in.  Radio. Television. The Internet.  Cellphones.  When consumers flock to a platform, it’s not long before brands follow suit.  But what about WhatsApp?

With the new(ish) WhatsApp for Business app, it’s now easier than ever for brands to make communication with their customers as “frictionless” as possible.

But what about the small business owner?  Is there a way to use “ordinary” WhatsApp for marketing their business?

I’m so glad you asked.

I recently sat down with my friend Julian Goldswain, who happens to be a professional lifestyle photographer, to brainstorm some fresh, zero-cost marketing strategy ideas for him to grow his network and his business.  And WhatsApp played a pretty big part in that discussion.

Here are five WhatsApp marketing strategies that any small business owner can implement immediately:

  • Change your WhatsApp profile picture to something that reflects your brand e.g. logo or professional headshot.
  • Change your WhatsApp status to your website address.
  • Have a square graphic designed that’s “on brand”, containing your logo, website address and, if you have space, your generic business services on offer.
  • Have another square, “on brand” graphic designed showcasing a special offer you’re running e.g. Two for one special on wedding photography packages.
  • Compose a short, humble, request to go along with your generic graphic, customised for each specific contact, asking whether that perform would be happy to share that graphic with any of their connections who might be interested in your services.

And there you have it.  Five easy tweaks you can drum out quickly that will help grow your word of mouth marketing – which is really the most powerful way to grow your brand.

Which of your social platforms are gathering dust?  Make sure WhatsApp isn’t one of them.

Email us at info(at)anagomarketing.co.za to arrange a marketing strategy consultation for your business.

 

Lisa interviews Jonathan Anstey at the launch party of the Caesarstone Design Studio.
Lisa interviews Jonathan Anstey at the launch party of the Caesarstone Design Studio.

How to get a great video interview

If you’ve produced a corporate video, or any audio-visual production where ordinary people need to speak on camera, you’ll understand that it can be a big challenge.

Noisy backgrounds and nervous interviewees can make it extremely difficult to get responses that will work well in an edit – both from a sound quality perspective and a storytelling one.

I was recently approached to produce the promo video of the brand new Caesarstone Design Studio launch.  Having worked extensively with this fantastic brand for nearly 6 years, I’m very familiar with their need to produce high quality video content that reflects the brand’s top positioning in the market.  But with intense time restraints and an interview environment that wasn’t noise controlled, it was going to be tricky.

Here are my nine tips for producers who want to get great video interviews, no matter who they’re interviewing:

1.Prepare

One of the most useful things you can do to prepare for a shoot is to formulate questions for your interviewees, before the shoot.

With limited time, there’s no use fumbling around to come up with questions on the spot.  Knowing which questions you need to ask also helps to mentally prepare the person who will be speaking as you can warm them up by getting them to think about their responses while they’re getting ‘miked’ up.  One of my favourite tricks is to ask all the interviewees all the questions that may be pertinent to them.  That way you can pick and choose which answers work the best with your editor in the post production phase.

2. Explain Your Process

Unless you have a seasoned presenter on your hands, most interviewees have no idea what to expect, which is what makes them uneasy.

Always introduce yourself and the camera operator (or at least the main people who will be interacting with the interviewee), and tell them what to expect.

Processes to cover could be:

  • where you want them to stand or sit;
  • why you are asking them to move or turn their body;
  • how the microphone needs to be attached to their clothing and why;
  • why they need to state and spell their name to the camera;
  • more or less how long the final edit will be and how long their contribution will probably be in that edit;
  • which questions you want to begin with and why;
  • getting their buy-in and agreement to say any prepared or scripted phrases you have on hand;
  • why their answers need to be only two to three short sentences (or however long you want them to be);
  • why it doesn’t matter if they mess up an answer. (If it’s not a live broadcast, they can have another go).

3. Keep Transluscent Powder on Hand

Sometimes the way a shot is lit can make your interviewee’s face, or bald spot, look particularly shiny.  Generally speaking, this doesn’t look good on camera and may make your interviewee feel self-conscious when they see themselves in the final video.

Keep a box of translucent powder and a fluffy applicator brush on hand, just in case.

On that note, it’s always a good idea to protect the dignity of whoever is in front of the camera. If their makeup is smudged, there’s some leftover lunch stuck in between their teeth, or their hair is sticking up in a strange way, always let them know – gently and respectfully.  If there’s no mirror or phone camera available, either send them to the restroom or help them out yourself.  Except if there’s something between their teeth…

4. Say Your Name

A great way to focus the person sitting in front of the camera is to ask them to tell you their designation and spell their name and company name.  Only get them to do this once your camera operator has given you the green light to confirm their sound is up and running.  This is also incredibly useful to the editor who will have to correctly title each interviewee, probably when you’re not around to help!

5. Change the Topic

Soon into the interview some people will head swiftly into a brain freeze where they go blank on what they want to say.  This often happens after they’ve repeatedly answered the same question, but they keep stumbling over their words and they begin to get disheartened.

As the producer this is a great moment to step in and ask them a completely unrelated question to ‘reset’ their brain.

Offering them a sip of their coffee or a glass of water will also give the interviewee time to compose themselves and relax again.

6. Encourage, Encourage, Encourage

A trick I learned in my early days of producing was to err on the side of encouragement.

We all feel better about ourselves and our performance (and we’re more likely to deliver a better performance) when we feel safe and that the people around us are on our side.

Even if your interviewee doesn’t answer your question properly, or stumbles over their words, tell them they’re doing great!  Only after you’ve praised them should you explain what you want them to change the next time around.  Never discourage an interviewee by telling them they messed up.  Rather say something along the lines of, “That was great!  Let’s try that again this way instead”.  That way you’ll protect your relationship with them and leave them more likely to step in front of a camera again in future.

7. Say These Exact Words

During your question preparation, it’s sometimes helpful to come up with exact phrases you want your interviewees to say.

Corporate videos usually have very specific marketing objectives they are designed to achieve.  Whether it’s a campaign catchphrase or a sassy key selling point, the great thing about prepared phrases is you will leave the shoot with confidence that you’ve covered all your bases.

Also, with growing pressure to create short, punchy videos, there usually isn’t time for long-winded responses to your set questions!

8. Make Them Laugh

Or at least make them smile.

The camera tends to flatten our emotions, which is why you may need to get your interviewee to add some extra conviction, smiles, warmth to the delivery of their answers – all in an effort to help them ‘read’ better on camera.

Tell a joke, or dramatically tell them “This is the best day of your life!” – that’s one of my favourite tricks to help people to warm up their disposition for an interview.

9. Say Thank You

This sounds obvious, but once you feel you’ve gotten all the answers you need, make sure to thank the interviewee and tell them they did a great job!  No matter how stressed out or pinched for time you are, it’s important to finish your interaction with each interviewee on a high note.  You’ll only do your own reputation a favour and you’ll help them to feel good about their performance, which will only reflect well on the brand you’re representing.

 

Take a look at the final result of the video I produced for Caesarstone and see if you can work out where I activated my producer magic.  Enjoy!

 

SIGN UP FOR THE
ANAGO BRAND STRENGTH PLAN