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Supporting image for How to Build Your Brand and Authority with Video – Amy Landino
How to Build Your Brand and Authority with Video – Amy Landino
The Agents of Change

How to Build Your Brand and Authority with Video – Amy Landino

These days, a strong marketing campaign will also incorporate video into the mix. Video marketing experts like Amy Landino understand and appreciate the effect that video has for boosting conversion rates, increasing click-through rates, and building trust and authority for your brand.

Leveraging the easy accessibility (if you own a smartphone, you can make a video), effectiveness and emotional appeal of video makes it easy to develop a video marketing campaign. You already know what you like to see in videos and which ones keep you hanging around longer to watch them, so incorporate some of those same tactics into your videos. Just make sure you’re telling your story – without being too long, engaging your viewer, and tracking your metrics to see what’s working and what’s not.

Rich: My guest today is the award-winning host of AmyTV, a YouTube series dedicated to helping women go after the life that they want. With millions of views and more than 300,000 subscribers, she is a leading authority on getting digital attention.

She’s a professional speaker, traveling the world to teach businesses how they can get the attention they deserve online, and she shares her insights on this in her best-selling book, Vlog Like a Boss: How to Kill It Online With Video Blogging

At Aftermarq, the video production studio she co-founded, she and her associates provide digital and video production for brands who want to grab the attention of those who matter to their mission, helping them grow to their maximum potential.

I could not be happier to bring back to the Agents of Change Podcast, my good friend, Amy Landino.

Amy: My dear friend Rich, thanks for having me.

Rich: Always a pleasure to talk to you. I just used this podcast as an excuse so we can stay in touch.

Amy: It’s perfect. It’s working for me.

Rich: So there’s no mention in your bio of your singing ability or your bowling abilities. What’s up with that?

Amy: Umm, yeah, I don’t know. Honestly it’s not something I like to talk about. My mom likes to talk about it, but no, it’s not something I really brag about.

Rich: But you have such a nice voice. You do sing – I don’t know if I call it professionally – but you sing publicly.

Amy: That’s a fair assessment, yes. I have many times in my life sang publicly.

Rich: Yes. If I ever come up with an Agents of Change theme song, I’d definitely want you singing it.

Amy: I’d love that! See, I love group activities like that. It’s nice to have a skill when everybody’s coming together for a good song. I’ve done a couple of videos with music and I’ve definitely done some karaoke, as you’re aware of.

Rich: Absolutely.

Amy: But that’s pretty much as much as I’ll do.

Rich: I can’t sing to save my life, but there is a guy who I just interviewed on a different podcast that I run and he actually formed a group that basically was the real life story behind Pitch Perfect. And he’s now running a new business where he claims he can teach anyone to sing. And I’m kind of in the mood to see if he can actually do it. I might take his first free class just to see if I can carry a tune.

Amy: Challenge accepted. That would be wild, I would love to see that.

Rich: Alright. So maybe we’ll do a duet for the Agents of Change theme.

Amy: Yes. And from what I remember, your voice is not that bad. So I think you can do it.

Rich: I’m pretty sure your memory is awful. Ok, anyway. So I’ve seen your star rising for many years. Just seeing you grow and being more out there. One of the ways you built up your authority is with video. Can you share with us some of the ways that you’ve been able to accomplish that?

Amy: Sure. I think in a lot of ways is mostly just taking a big risk, and I think that’s what a lot of people are thinking right now if they’re hearing this. Video has taken a lot of forms in my career, but my core understanding and really my biggest upbringing in this world has been around YouTube. And it’s something that I took an interest in really more than 10 years ago just from a viewer standpoint when it was starting to become a thing.

And long story short, the more I learned about it, the more I was able to leverage it for my own brand awareness. I didn’t really understand that I was learning a skill when I first started, I just thought it was a creative outlet. And now it’s absolutely a skill, and it’s one that businesses and individuals are interested in and leveraging more and more for the things that they want to do.

It’s kind of been cool for me because I’ve just learned it just by teaching myself and surrounding myself with great people. And I learned in the first couple of years that this is something that’s great for building brand authority and for companies. And so that’s really where my career in this area started to take off was how can I apply these creative skills to a brand that is trying to grow their online awareness.

So YouTube has been a lot of that, I’m also a huge fan of live video. We do a lot of live at Aftermarq, my creative studio. And so that’s been a big contender just because companies love the idea of showing what they do really well, their events or people they connect with, in a live format. So that’s definitely been something that’s been a lot of fun in my career as well.

My husband is my co-founder so he’s more of the live expert, but we love to be able to offer both on the produce side and the live side, pre-recorded or end post.

Rich: Now obviously Aftermarq is a video production company.

Amy: That’s right.

Rich: And so a lot of people listening might say well of course you’re going to use video to promote yourself, because you’re doing video.

Amy: Sure!

Rich: But when you first started that wasn’t necessarily what you were teaching people, that wasn’t necessarily your brand, was it? You were using video as an asset to reach people as content marketing, correct?

Amy: You’re absolutely right. Because at the time, especially, when I was first considering starting my own business – we’re talking about 2009, 2010 – this was very early stages for social media, specifically in the Midwest where I am from.

So the west coast was already picking up speed on this whole Facebook and Twitter thing, this was interesting for companies. But everyone else was a little bit further behind. So I was trying to use video, which was a medium that I already had a specialty in, to talk about social media marketing. Just the basics of that, not even video, not even video marketing. YouTube wasn’t really looked at as a legitimate business tool quite yet. Maybe on the ads side a little bit is was starting to pick up, but I was using video more to talk about what’s happening on Facebook and Twitter and these other networks that are really accessible for both people and companies to be able to communicate with each other.

So that’s right, no matter what it is that you’re talking about, using video to have sort of an all senses experience to talk about what you’re expertise is, is a huge advantage. Because even now 10 years later, the number of times I talk to somebody that says, “I guess we need to start doing video”, because it really has become what the most basic of content is on the social networks. It’s very, very important and it does matter what you’re offering and you should be talking about it on video.

Rich: How has video evolved in the years that you’ve been doing it? Like, I’m guessing that your strategy when you first started out is not necessarily the same strategy now. And obviously live has become more prevalent and there’s a lot more platforms than just YouTube. What would you say has evolved, and also what do you recommend people focus on today?

Amy: I think that the biggest thing is the nice thing about how it’s evolved is that because it’s still very accessible as a medium the level of prestige you need to have is in a different place. So here’s what I would say. In the early, early days if you were a company saying I want to start using video, you really needed to do a lot of things to make it feel legitimate because it is so out of the box. And so you might want a green screen and perfect lighting and throw a tie on and all that stuff. I believe that first of all that was a big misconception. It certainly would help a lot of companies to at least give it a shot.

Now, because some of the most far reaching and impactful video is something recorded with a smartphone on an app that’s smartphone only and people are mostly looking at their phones when they are engaging with video. You can create something as a brand and still make it feel like you’re just the buddy that somebody follows on their favorite social network. And that level of prestige doesn’t have to be what we always think it is. It’s more about relatability, it’s less about how can we put on to make it seem like we have our stuff together.

And the more that we go in that direction the better, because it doesn’t start to get muted as much. We want to make it feel like we fit in the context of these platforms of the environment of the conversations that are already happening, and not that there’s this glaring commercial in the middle of all this other fun stuff.

Rich: So you’re suggesting we go native and make sure that whatever we’re doing on video fits in with whatever it’s being surrounded by, whether it’s Facebook, or LinkedIn, or YouTube.

Amy: Absolutely. You have to be a good user first. It’s not about copying what other people are doing, it’s understanding what the culture is. And when you do that, it’s truly much more native. You can do a lot more with that, you don’t have to spend as much money on production because you can start to just get what works in these networks and why.

And that’s also a testament to just because you made a video it doesn’t mean it goes everywhere. Ideally if you spent the time and resources on something it was customized to the experience that it’s going to be uploaded it. And that’s really important, too. That has a lot to do with the content.

Rich: Do you have any advice for how to differ based on the platform? Is there any repurposing of video when you’re doing it, or do you create something that’s special for LinkedIn, special for Facebook Live, special for YouTube, etc?

Amy: Everything is special, period. Just to give you an idea of what my personal brand flow is, the majority of my time is focused to talk to my audience on YouTube and Instagram. So I make a video for YouTube, that video goes there, it’s made for YouTube, it’s made for that platform and it only goes there. That doesn’t mean that pieces of that could not be repurposed in other networks. I’ll take pieces of a video and create something vertical to promote it on Instagram Stories. Being able to leverage LinkedIn bio or swipe up, you can send people from that network over to where the full episode is.

This is important for a couple of reasons. It may seem like we should just upload it everywhere and get as many eyeballs on it as possible, but when you do that you’re mediocre on all networks instead of great at at least one. We really want to have at least one big social media home base where you attract people and it grows. And when you put things everywhere, they know they can check them everywhere so who cares if you subscribe on YouTube or follow on Instagram.

So my goal is always to make sure that the focus of the content is on YouTube, get people there to watch so that that network will grow. But my other complimenting networks will still promote that content, repurpose pieces of it, but create it specifically without experience so that there is even more demand to take the call to action that I’m asking them to do.

Rich: And with a call to action, can it be that you want them to go watch the video on YouTube, or might it be something else?

Amy: That’s usually what it is for me, and that’s because my prioritization comes from if I grow that channel, then my brand continues to be uplifted and I can ask for other things within the episodes of those videos. If you were to ask people to do other things, it’s a matter of what your goal is for any asset at any time.

But anytime I’m making a video on Instagram Stories that’s meant to promote a YouTube video, it’s always, “Go watch the YouTube video”. I want it to be so automatic that when I upload every Wednesday and Saturday, when they see that thing on Instagram that notifies them that my video is out, that it’s always the same thing; go to YouTube to watch it. It’s not, “Go to YouTube this time”, or a blog post with a YouTube video embedded in it. It’s always the same thing, the pattern is always the same. And that consistency in action helps with consistency in fans showing up.

Rich: I think this is reminiscent of a big shift that’s going on in social media and digital marketing in the past several years. For a while we were hearing, “be everywhere”, and that now is really about being present. Being present on a specific platform. You might use some other platforms where your audience might hang out to drive traffic to that, but you’re really putting all your energy behind one platform as a priority. Would you agree?

Amy: Yeah, absolutely. We are in that place and the reason we are is not just because times are changing, but it’s because the more you know who your audience is, the more likely you don’t have to be everywhere. If you’re looking at who your market is and everyone is telling you to join Snapchat right now but you know for a fact that’s not where your network is truly hanging out in masses, then why would you bother. Should you reserve your handle in case something’s going to change? Absolutely. But you shouldn’t feel like you need to be on all networks because that has led to so many companies being mediocre at best on all these places.

Instead of, we’ve done the research and talked to people and asked them what they do, they’re inclination is to open Facebook every day, or their inclination is to open Instagram every day. Whatever the case may be. So then maybe YouTube is a good, smart move.

Once you start to understand the person you’re really doing this for – your perfect customer, audience, viewer, whatever it is – that’s when you’re going to decide our focus needs to be on this one and maybe a second one. And how do we make sure that our focus is so uninterrupted in those two places that we give it the proper time, and energy, and effort, and production, and value, and money, and whatever it is, to make sure we’re actually doing what it takes to grow there.

And that’s what’s going to help you say, yeah, you don’t have to be everywhere. I mean I still have a Facebook to this day but I truly know my audience is not hanging out there as much because they are growing out of it, it’s just not what their habits are. But if I’m not on Instagram, I disappear from their life. So it’s really important for me to focus on YouTube and Instagram. YouTube is, I treat is as a content hub. It’s very fortunate because it’s also a social media hub, and it’s a search hub. But it’s my content social media hub, where Instagram is more where we hang out and have conversations like a true social media platform.

Rich: And that makes a lot of sense to me. Because when I’m presenting on social media, I often say I’ve always looked at social media falling into 2 categories: social platforms and social networks.

Platforms are basically where you get to talk and establish your authority in an uninterrupted way. And that would be blogs – which you own, podcasts – which are hosted elsewhere, YouTube – which is hosted elsewhere. But again, there’s still a level of interactivity because of the comments. Compare that to something like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, where it’s really just a big networking party and you don’t have the floor, but there are other big benefits to it because everybody is already there.

Amy: Exactly. I like how you put that.

Rich: Thank you. I love what you said about find out where your audience is and then that should be your focus. But beyond that, so let’s say that we decided that we know where our audience is. And for me, most of my stuff outside of AOC – when I’m doing flyte new media stuff – it’s in the B2B world. So I’ve really re-fallen in love with LinkedIn lately.

So are there tips that you have, based on your experience, where if you’re going to be creating videos for YouTube, here’s a couple things to keep in mind about your community? If you’re doing it on Instagram, here’s a couple different things. Like, do you have platform specific advice that you can share with us, or is it something that we just have to discover on our own?

Amy: There’s definitely a few tried and true tactics on all of these fronts. I think the biggest one that people need to take into consideration is that you have to stop thinking in the bubble of making the video, versus the bubble of the actual place it’s going to be. And what I mean by that is when you break out the camera and you start to talk to this camera, you’re envisioning how this is all going to come through.

On Instagram there is a very solid chance that there will not be audio happening when someone is watching a version of this video. When it starts to play, they may not have audio turned on. If they do, then they’re just maybe flipping through a lot of things and the audio is going to matter a little bit more.

On YouTube, somebody is – for the most part – the mobile homepage of YouTube has changed to be a little bit more social media-esque. But when someone decides to watch a YouTube video, they click into it and it’s an intentional experience, so the audio comes on right away. It’s a different dynamic.

So as you’re thinking YouTube versus LinkedIn, in theory, you could upload the same video in both places. There’s not necessarily anything wrong with that, however, what could you do to enhance the experience of the video on LinkedIn if there happened to just be scrolling through a feed and looking to see what their connections are doing, and you’re audio is not going to play right away.

So thinking of that you might leverage captions, you might be more dependent on captions on LinkedIn. You might need to have a couple of title screens before the video starts to let people know what experience they’re about to be welcomed into and you tell them to turn their speaker on. There are some things you want to do, because from the audio side of things, if you just have a talking head on video on any of these social networks where audio is not automatically turned on – and 99% of the time that’s pretty much true – you need to customize the experience for those people.

That’s why some of the best IGTV stuff we’re seeing right now either has a lot of text on top, or it’s all visual. A lot of the fashion people are just kind of doing outfit try-ons and there’s no talking at all. Why? Because they know that someone is probably just watching, they don’t need to hear anything. So I think that’s a really good one.

The other thing is, with YouTube being a much more immersive experience that somebody intentionally decides to watch a video, so when they press ‘play’ you get audio and visual. You get a little bit more time to win them over. But the average amount of time that somebody decides whether or not they’re going to stay on your YouTube video or leave is about 8 seconds.

So knowing that your videos pretty much across the board, but YouTube and LinkedIn and all of these places are just going to have a little bit of a different pace in the decision making process. On YouTube you can count on about 8-10 seconds where somebody is listening to the beginning of a video because to decide if they made the right decision or not.

So when you think about that, you’re really going to treat the opening of your video a lot differently and think what would be the most important thing for someone to hear right off the bat so we don’t lose them. Because if we can keep them beyond that point, the average retention that they’ll stick around is maybe 50% of the video. And we want them for the whole thing, but if you get 50%, you’re in a good place.

So these are the kinds of things I would be thinking about that you’ll notice when you’re scrolling as a user, which videos have kept your attention. Make notes of what they’re doing – not exactly the content of it – but what was the flow of the video that kept you engaged.

Rich: So you said something a little bit earlier which terrifies me, because I hate to admit this but I hate Stories, I’m just not a Stories person. I really have spent very little time on IGTV. But is maybe one of my takeaways that I should be paying more attention to things like IGTV and Stories because they will give me ideas of how to make my LinkedIn videos more engaging?

Amy: I think the biggest thing is that IG is going to teach you about IG.

Rich: Ok.

Amy: And LinkedIn is going to teach you about LinkedIn. I just mean that they’re all similar in the sense that LinkedIn and Instagram are similar because, I’m sitting on LinkedIn right now and there’s a video playing in front of me and I can’t hear it. And that’s going to be the case in both of those places a lot of the time.

And the other thing, just because of what you just said, let’s zero in on the Instagram thing. The Stories are very important, first of all, because that’s where a lot of the attention is right now. Posts are continuing to get less and less traction, there’s a lot less frustration on behalf of creators because it’s very hard to tell what you’re doing right that Instagram will give you a little bit more attention for.

Now the IG Stories kind of things – and initially I was poo-pooing it – I thought it was a total waste and I’m like they don’t have any more room in this app for content. What they’re doing now is allowing you to share a teaser of your IGTV, which I think IGTV is pretty much unlimited in time, but they will let you put a 60 second teaser of that as a post which calls to action someone to watch the rest of it.

The point of that Story is that now IGTV shows up in the feed, which is a big game changer for that feature. So there’s more attention there than there was when it first came out. So that’s why I saw IGTV is definitely becoming more important. But if I had to rank them in order at the moment, I believe that Stories are the Holy Grail, and Instagram posts are next, and then IGTV is coming up really quick on posts because it’s now better video in posts and it’s getting more attention with the scrolling.

Rich: And what I like is the fact that you said if I really want to get better with LinkedIn video, I should be paying attention to the videos there that are getting my attention.

Amy: Yeah, it’s very simple. Very simple. What made you stop scrolling on LinkedIn? There’s a lot of stuff happening on LinkedIn. You’ve got things in the sidebar, you’ve got ads, you’ve got people you follow, and you’ve got notifications. And when you’re scrolling this feed and you’re trying to decide what’s going on with the world to keep up with it, what video made you stop to watch it and what video did you scroll right by.

Likely the talking head that had no graphics, no captions, and the caption was just too long and I didn’t care about it, I scrolled right by it. You don’t want to be that one, you want the views to be real. You don’t want them to be surface level crap that people just happen to see for a total of 3 seconds so LinkedIn gave you a view. That view actually means nothing.

Rich: Alright, so I’m going to have to figure out some ways to get people to slow their scroll and I’m going to have to play around a little bit with where the frame is. I don’t know if LinkedIn automatically chooses your frame or it’s the first frame or whatever, so I’m going to have to take a look into that as well and come up with some clever things to get people to stop. Because I would like to do some more video, but probably specifically on LinkedIn, that’s where my paying audience lives.

Amy: Yeah. I will say one really quick tip on that, because one of our big issues with LinkedIn is that sometimes it doesn’t play video fast enough. And if the beginning of your video is a wonky picture of your face starting to talk, it’s not the most appealing thing in the world. So you’ve just got to pay attention to stuff like that, and maybe you just need a little place holder slide at the very beginning of your video so that it has time to buffer and start playing, There’s just so many nuances, you’ve got to pay attention to the content on the platform that’s there so you can see what’s going on with it.

Rich: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense because I am the master of having the worst freeze frame possible, and my mouth open, and possibly some food or spinach falling out of it.

Amy, this has been great as always. Always a pleasure to talk to you. If people want to check you out, where do we want to send them?

Amy: I suppose it’s most appropriate to send you to YouTube, that’s my home base, YouTube.com/amytv. But if you would like more guided advice on getting started with video, you can check out Vlog Boss University, and I have a couple of offerings there that might help you get set in the right direction.

Rich: Awesome. And of course as always we’ll have those links in the show notes. Amy, thanks so much for coming by and always a pleasure to chat with you.

Amy: Thanks for having me, Rich. 

Show Notes:

Amy Landino is absolutely killing it in the video marketing game. But also, don’t miss her YouTube series which is dedicated to helping empower women! And her best-selling book – aimed at video blogging – is a must read.

Rich Brooks is the President of flyte new media, a web design & digital marketing agency in Portland, Maine, and founder of the Agents of Change. He’s passionate about helping small businesses grow online and has put his 20+ years of experience into the book, The Lead Machine: The Small Business Guide to Digital Marketing