Target Market Penetration – Storytelling and Sharing Sells Internationally

October 19, 2012

Challenges, Mistakes and Overcoming Language Barriers

Storytelling for target market penetration is what social media video is actually all about. Showing how something is done for example is visual; we are visual beings, so storytelling in the form of teaching is enhanced when done in video. With the teaching or showing ‘how to’ comes persuasion – therefore any marketing drive appears natural, and with this ‘natural’ approach, video works in any language.

Language complicates text, and many social media sites operate in a primary language – for example Orkut which is massively popular in Brazil. However one social video can be used to tell it all – internationally in living color. So by default, this makes market penetration international too. However participation is also key, so language is a barrier, but is not insurmountable. With text marketing only, there may be no international participation at all.

The only real challenges on the international stage for social media video are bandwidth and technology, but both are advancing fast. They are finding their way into many more homes and small businesses. Tagging may also be a problem where language barriers are concerned, but again this will resolve itself over time.

Video in social media marketing is becoming less about marketing and more about ‘social’, so should contain specific elements which the target market relates to; if its sex and relationships or whatever, make sure this is used. Participation and collaboration are key; and in the same way as a blog is often miss-used, this can occur with video. If the operative word is ‘social’ then a one way push is not going to work, same as making a blog a talking platform just doesn’t work.

Participation still has the same meaning as it has always had, so marketers should not lose sight of this in their eagerness to penetrate a market. The more attention given to the social elements such as comments and replies, are what also draws the attention of viewers, and must be part of the video platform being used. Again language may be a barrier internationally, but at least visuals still do much of the work, and are certainly better than nothing.

Non-participative video creation is one of the biggest mistakes made in online marketing today – most don’t go viral, and if they do it’s a happy accident. What makes a video marketing message useful is the fact that we like to share. So, storytelling really works, but, being able to contribute, add, question, change and reply, encourages viewers to recasting and share a video together with their own comments. In other words – they like to get their own point across in relationship to the video.

It is this participation with the combination of a core message which makes social media so valuable to marketers. Negating the role that the participant plays is a massive mistake for marketers, and will doubtful achieve much very worthwhile target market penetration. Social channels sometimes forget about this, which is a bit of a paradox really, because that makes them anti-social channels, doesn’t it?!

While harping on about the social aspect of participation with video, may appear to you by now as though we are flogging a dead horse. It really cannot be stressed enough. For social media to go viral, it really does have to be ‘social’. While appearing on a static platform may be useful, it is much more useful for marketers if the video is posted to social networks where the material can be shared.

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