Content marketing: Many companies use it, few companies use it well.

And that's especially true where using video for content marketing is concerned. Most videos seem stiff and forced, like poorly-disguised advertisements.

On the opposite side of the spectrum is a company like Ernie Ball Strings, a third-generation, family-owned company that makes guitar strings, guitars, pedals, and accessories. (I've written about the company before; check out this extensive interview with President Brian Ball and Dustin Hinz, the EVP of Marketing and the primary driver of their content creation process.)

In 1962, Ernie Ball, Brian's grandfather, started the company after he saw an opportunity: Kids in his teaching studio couldn't easily bend guitar strings so he developed what are still called Slinky strings.

Metallica lead guitarist Kirk Hammett has used Ernie Ball strings for well over thirty years because, as he explains in this video, "I was eighteen years old and I started using Ernie Ball Super Slinky strings because they didn't break."

And as the video below shows, Ernie Ball strings, and especially their new PARADIGM line of strings, the first strings to come with a fully-backed guarantee (if PARADIGM strings break or rust within ninety days of purchase, Ernie Ball will replace them for free) still don't break for Kirk -- even when he tries really hard to do just that.

Maybe you can't get a guy like Kirk to be in your video. (Although I somehow managed to get Kirk to participate in a video or two, so if I can... think what you could possibly pull off.) Maybe you don't have access to an empty stadium before a sold-out show. Maybe you don't have sophisticated, high-end video and sound equipment.

But you can be clever. You can take a simple, straightforward approach to video creation. You can film your video anywhere, like in Paul Gilbert's home studio.

Most of all, you can decide to set aside all your overwritten scripts and detailed messaging and carefully crafted positioning... and just try to have some fun.

Do those things, and you can gain attention in a natural and authentic way -- which is the best way to create loyal customers and build a genuine, lasting brand.

Published on: May 24, 2017
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