“The power of video is greatly overestimated… probably because we insist on putting everything in binary terms: either … or, rather than both … and.”
~ Debra Hilton
The Danger of Binary Thinking (in Business and in Life)
I realise that time and economics are often the driving factors when businesses consider what media they will use to promote their message, but I believe this is often driven by binary thinking. Many people have bought into the myth that video is far and away the most powerful medium in all marketing situations and therefore that is the only medium they use.
Data demonstrates that this is simply not true. Video is very powerful indeed, but it is not the highest performer in every market and it’s power can be exponentially leveraged by combining it with other media.
Once we look past the initial attractiveness of video as a form of engagement and consider the actual conversion rates and sales stickiness of various media it is clear that there is no clear advantage. In fact, on large and complex purchases video, by itself, is less effective in converting and holding the attention of buyers than text. This also applies to print and text-only messaging. When used alone its power is far less convincing then an integrated approach which harnesses the unique attributes of video, text, images and audio.
I find it disturbing that so many people ignore the data and focus only on producing video to the exclusion of all other media.
Why Shouldn’t You Rely on Just One Medium?
There are many reasons why you should never rely on just one medium for your marketing and sales.
- the different preferences of your audience;
- the availability of different devices and the convenience of various media on these devices in various circumstances;
- the nature of your product or service;
- the inherent dangers of having just ONE of anything; and
- the power of varying your approach and having different ways of capturing people’s attention and interest;
A single strand of anything is easily broken and this breakage can be totally disruptive. This is especially true if that single strand is controlled by someone else. Recently, several clients and friends of mine have noticed the changes in Facebook and Google advertising which have dramatically increased their cost per lead and decreased the quality of leads delivered. If they were reliant on these sources for all their leads and sales they would be in deep, deep, trouble.
The Power of Video
Video is an extremely powerful medium and it is a great way of capturing people’s attention and interest while they are travelling, waiting in line, or otherwise occupied. A well-done video that convincingly explains a process and its benefits to the viewer is both engaging and informative. It is especially powerful for coaches and speakers where personality and style are often as decisive as any other factor in the buying decision.
In fact, using a multistrand and multimedia approach that begins with video is an immensely powerful way of reaching a wide audience who consume material in different ways. The source video is then stripped of its picture and propagated as audio only (podcast), and also transcribed and transformed into an elegant and literate article or other text production.
The reality is that people have preferred media. Some people (like myself) rarely consume video. If your message is not initially delivered in persuasive text or audio format, I am unlikely to see your video. These people may be your ideal target market, but if you only reach out to them via video, they will not hear your message.
When people consider the idea of using the same or very similar material in video, audio, and written form they often say, “But my audience will object.” In most cases, your audience won’t even notice. They will consume your material in their preferred form. If they do notice (because they love what they initially read, heard, or saw and searched for more of your materials) you have a good problem, and they will simply choose the format that they prefer or that suits them best in their current situation.
The Power of Books & Audio Books
While blog posts, articles, and other short form text presentation are very useful, nothing can beat a book. In terms of marketing, your book not only communicates your authority and gives people the opportunity to spend an extended amount of time in your presence, it also enables you to leverage the power of Amazon, one of the most effective search engines and promotion tools that you can use for your business.
When you think about the process of reading you have probably had the experience of entering into the author’s mind and story. This applies to both fiction and non-fiction books and it extremely influential. If you are a coach, consultant, or other specialist service provider this provides clients and prospective clients with an opportunity to see into your process and to get to know you before they actually work with you and that can greatly expedite both the hiring and on-boarding processes.
In addition to being a great way of building your list through your Amazon listing, your book also enables you to create a companion audiobook. Some people prefer to listen to their books rather than to read them and this is fantastic because it gives you the power to leverage the time and engagement that your audience spends with you, and it also is a very intimate way of communicating with people. One of the reasons that podcasts are so powerful these days is because most people are either listening to them through their headphones or in the car through the stereo. Both of these are private spaces and they truly give you an opportunity to get inside people’s heads. If it is at all possible, I recommend that business authors read their own books for the audio version to leverage this intimacy.
What’s Stopping You from Writing Your Book?
I talk to a lot of business owners, speakers, and other influencers who do not yet have a book. Almost without exception they have two main reasons for not yet having completed it:
- I don’t know where to begin, what to put in, or where to stop;
- I don’t have enough time to write it and I have more critical things to do.
These are both perfectly valid excuses. However, the person usually goes on to say, “I know how much of a difference a book has made to my colleagues, and I know how transformative it could be for my own business.”
That’s when you need to be talking to a ghostwriter. In fact, I suggest you talk to several ghostwriters before you finally choose the one you want to work with.
You already know the power of a business book. You’ve seen it work for your colleagues and you are frustrated by the roadblocks that are keeping you from leveraging the same tool in your own business. Like any other business solution, hiring a ghostwriter to write your book requires investment and you need to evaluate that investment against the benefits that it will bring you. For most speakers, coaches, consultants, health professionals, and service industries, especially regulated ones, the answer is simple: This is a simple no-brainer!
Remove the Blockages by Hiring a Ghostwriter
As I’ve said before, not all ghostwriters are quick created equal and not every great ghostwriter will be a good fit for your needs. That’s why it’s important to interview at least three, possibly more and to listen to your gut. If your gut is telling you that this is not the right person then you probably should keep looking because you will spend quite a bit of time with your ghostwriter and with the product that they create for you – your book.
This book will have your name on it. You ought to care how it’s written, how the cover looks, how its internal formatting looks, and how well it reflects your philosophy and process because it will serve, as it were, as your Herald proclaiming your message to the world and telling people who you are and what you have to offer. If you want to use your book to drive your business forward, then you’d better make sure that you are happy with what it says, how it says it, and how it looks so that you are proud to share it with others.
Like any other critical business product, I don’t suggest that you base your decision exclusively on price. Price and budget usually are a constraint that you need to consider but I’ve seen too many authors regret their budget choice to recommend that as your primary criteria. If you can’t afford the ghostwriter you really want, then maybe it’s worth waiting until you can afford them… or asking about their other offerings.
This is going to be a care portion of your marketing toolbox, so it is essential that you are confident that the end product is going to be a quality reflection of who you are and what you have to say. Like any other profession, you will find ghostwriters at just about every price level as well as programs that will help you write your own book. The one type of service that I recommend you avoid at all costs are those which charge under $5000 for a completed manuscript, layout, and cover. I can tell you now that you will be embarrassed to share that book and it will do your brand and your business no good. You’ll end up like thousands before you, kicking yourself for pouring that money down the drain to no purpose.
For more information, download my report: “How to Choose the Right Writing Process for Your Book & 10 Questions to Ask Your Prospective Co-Author or Ghostwriter” https://hiltoncopy.com/debrahilton-ghostwriting/