There’s an old adage in the marketing and business world… no one wants to see how the sausage is made. The implication is that some good things are potentially ruined when you know and fully understand the true nitty-gritty about how they’re made.
In marketing, there’s an added risk perceived in showing too much of your process, or secret sauce—we can’t show the world how we do what we do… only the finished product!
The age of online video is changing all that. In fact, it can actually be to your benefit to show your process, particularly when there’s even a little bit of art to it. Online video audiences crave things that are unique, singular, and new. And brands are beginning to let down their guard a bit regarding that "special sauce," resulting in eye-opening, behind-the-scenes content that really gets people talking.
Open Air Publishing has a forthcoming book called "The Better Bacon Book." And while you might think the best way to sell the idea of bacon is to shoot video of some crispy bacon strips frying in a pan… I’m here to tell you there’s merit in going the opposite direction. That’s just what Open Air did, finding expert butcher, Tom Mylan, and having him take apart a pig side one piece at a time, until he’s left with just the bacon:
In a previous life, I spent time in management with a supermarket chain, and I will never forget the first time I saw a trained butcher take apart an animal like this. It was amazing—gross, but amazing. I’m almost surprised we haven’t seen a meat brand doing this kind of thing before (like Boar’s Head or something).
Show The Audience The Process
This is also reminiscent of a video for Wefi Surfboards I wrote about last summer, where a short documentary shows the surfboard-maker (artist) at work:
Online video audiences have so much content to choose from that the stuff that is most likely to get their attention is video showing something they haven’t seen before.
You can do this too—don’t think you can’t. You may not be an expert butcher (hey, total kudos if you actually are), but you have a process. There’s something about your business that you do very well—that’s why you’re still in business.
Are you a web design firm? How about a time-lapse of your designer making a logo? Do you own a gourmet cake shop? If so, I bet your cake decorator is an artist people would enjoy watching at work. Are you a landscape architect? Show us before and after video—or use time-lapse like the web designer.
Find what it is about your business that makes you unique, whether its artistry, creativity, or service. And then find a way to bring the video camera into that process. More often than you think, people actually do want to see how the sausage is made.
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