The Art of Great Storytelling

The journalist in me will never die; I’m always looking for a great story to tell, but sometimes, I look so hard that I almost miss it.

The Muskegon Rescue Mission just completed its second annual ForeShore Adventure Run; with 20+ obstacles at Pere Marquette Beach, the event raises much needed funds for homeless shelters and food pantries. The event’s tagline — “Overcome life’s obstacles” — is perfectly fitting for the people the rescue mission serves, and for the people who participated in the ForeShore run.

I’m a member of the event’s volunteer marketing committee, which includes several of my buds from the old Muskegon Chronicle days: Dan Skoglund, Kevin Kyser, Jim Boes, and Melissa Blackmer. Our skills perfectly complement each other and it’s a blast to serve with them.

On race day, I hung out at the start/finish line looking for video testimonials to help promote next year’s event (shameless plug: May 20, 2017 at Pere Marquette Beach. Buy your tickets here). With tunnel vision, I interviewed participants about their run times, favorite obstacles, and whether they would run it again next year.

Before every group started the race, Kevin Newton, executive director of the Muskegon Rescue Mission, shared the organization’s backstory. It’s a story that I had heard several times over the past year, and I admit, I kind of glazed past it the first few times Kevin shared it over the megaphone.

Thankfully, it hit me. That’s the story I’m looking for.

That’s the story people need to hear — the fact that the rescue mission helps people when they are hungry, hurting, and running out of hope. The vignettes he shared placed the spotlight on the mission behind the event.

Every marketing campaign should start with a great story. The Muskegon Rescue Mission’s story is inspiring and beyond great; I hope the video I produced does that story justice.

While runners view the video on Facebook to see if they made the cut — at the time this blog was published, the view count was around 2,000 — it’s my hope that they hear Kevin’s story, and realize how thankful we all are that they participated in the ForeShore Adventure Run. Ticket sales directly help to buy food and pay the bills at the homeless shelters for women, children, and men of all ages.

Thank God for the rescue mission; and for everyone who supports it, including the 500+ people from across Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois who ran the ForeShore Adventure Run last weekend.

 

 

Social Media Workshop: Video 101

At the May 6, 2016, social media workshop hosted by the Grand Haven chamber of commerce, we led a conversation about great storytelling in promotional videos. A group of 18 business owners covered things like the narrative arch in storytelling, calls to action, features vs. benefits, as well as tips on how to shoot professional looking videos with equipment they already have — like iPhones and consumer DSLRs.

Our goal with the workshop was to empower business owners to promote their products or services with videos for their social media and websites. The good news for everyone is that you don’t need to spend tons of money on professional grade video equipment to make your videos look fantastic.

If you couldn’t make the event — no problem! — here are the slides.

Here’s the video we made together:

Video Production 101

ChamberLogo2010Attend the Grand Haven Chamber of Commerce Social Media Workshop this Friday, May 6, and learn how to produce great promotional videos — without breaking the bank on expensive video equipment.

Yours truly will host the event. Just $15 for chamber members and $20 for future members.

At this event, you’ll learn the basics of:

•Video Scripting + Messaging

•Lighting + Composition

•Video Shooting Techniques

•Editing Tips + Tricks

•Publishing to Facebook, YouTube, and your Website.

Join us 11:30 am to 1 pm at One South Harbor in downtown Grand Haven. Register online at http://grandhavenchamber.org or call the Chamber at 616-842-4910.

Google Adwords: Say Goodbye to Sidebar Ads

In this week’s video blog, Chad Lerch discusses the potential impacts of Google’s new Adwords layout. Coming to a desktop near you, the Google Search Ads in the righthand sidebar will go away. Instead, Adwords ads will appear at the top and bottom of organic search results.

How does this affect your internet marketing strategies, and more importantly, bottom line? Watch and see what Chad has to say.

Weigh in. Tell us how this change may impact your online advertising strategies.

Is Facebook Advertising Right For Your Brand?

In this video blog, internet marketer Chad Lerch talks about advantages to advertising on Facebook, ways to measure success, and how to determine whether it’s the right marketing channel for your brand.

Google Adwords Extensions

In this video blog, Chad Lerch talks about Google Adwords, and specifically, ad extensions. Learn how ad extensions can increase click rates, help you get more phone calls, and drive traffic to pages that interest specific customers.

In this tutorial, you’ll learn about phone extensions, site links, location extensions, and more.

Google Adwords: Avoid Wasteful Clicks

In this video blog, Chad Lerch talks about ways to save you money by avoiding wasteful clicks in Google Adwords. Learn how to set campaign exclusions on the Google Display Network.

How To Submit Google Reviews

In this video blog, Chad Lerch offers an on-screen tutorial for submitting Google Reviews. This is important in improving your brand’s online reputation, but also, helps your search engine optimization efforts.

Top 5 Viral Videos of 2015

By Chad D. Lerch | Digi Marketing Pros

Seems crazy, but we’re about to bid a fond adieux to 2015.

I love catsIt was an awesome year for viral marketing: some campaigns promoted noble causes, while others, like the spoof eHarmony woman who loves cats, were more inward focused.

Successful marketing campaigns strike a nerve: they make us laugh, make us cry, make us think deeper about important topics, and in many cases, motivate us to open our wallets.

No. 5 Dollar Shave Club

The first few videos put out by Dollar Shave Club, in my opinion, missed the mark. They featured men trying to buy razors, only to get “beat up” but outrageous retail prices.

By mid-year, the company pivoted its message, and published a fantastic video that featured a man and wife in the bathroom. The man is afraid to shave because the old, disgusting razor morphs into a creepy alien-like bug that crawls up the wall.

 

It’s the conversation between the husband and wife, and a whack from a rolled up newspaper, that makes this video so brilliant. I’ve felt that way about my razor. Thanks to this video, I’m now a member of the Dollar Shave Club.

No. 4 Squatty Potty

So, I have talked about Facebook advertising during workshops for the Grand Haven Chamber of Commerce members. The beauty of Facebook advertising is the ability to micro-target people based on likes, age, location, topics they’ve discussed on the social network, and more.

In this case, Squatty Potty targeted me because I’m a fan of the show Shark Tank. I saw the episode that featured Squatty Potty and quickly forgot about the brand – that is until they targeted me six months later with this ad.

I won’t describe it; see for yourself why it’s so… umm… unforgettable.

No. 3: Android Friends Furever

It’s no secret that I’m an Apple fanatic. My most prized worldly possessions are my iPhone and my iMac. Google’s Android OS is Apple’s No. 1 threat. Android fans prefer that platform, in part, because it’s more open and adaptable. Android users often personalize their phones and tablets in ways Apple users cannot.

Enter the “Android: Friends Furever” video.

At the end of a 1-minute video showing an orangutan with his arm around a dog, a chick cuddling with a cat, a puppy playing with a lion cub, and a goat playing with an elephant, a simple message appears on screen:

“Be together. Not the same.” Touche, Android. Touche.

No. 2: Kleenex Unlikely Best Friends

A handicapped man adopts a dog who was hit by a car and left for dead on the side of the road. Neither can get around without a wheelchair. “We have to adopt him, no one else is going to love him the way we can. I knew his struggles, as well as mine, and I knew we could overcome those obstacles together.”

The man, and his best friend, both use wheel chairs. Kleenex please!

No. 1: Hearing Your Own Voice for the First Time

A company called LSTN makes high-end headphones for a cause. Proceeds help equip people around the world with hearing aids. The video features a 29-year-old woman who hears her own voice for the first time.

Prepare to be uplifted. I’ll bet you’re going to want a pair of those headphones after watching this video. It’s been viewed 28 million times.

 

 

 

 

 

Adwords Certification – What Does It Mean?

Last week, I got an email from my Google Adwords rep, who issued a playful challenge: “You’re qualified, why don’t you take your Adwords Certification exams?”

Chad Lerch Adwords Exam
Me upon learning that I had pass my Adwords Fundamentals exam.

So without studying, I clicked three links and found myself starting a 100 question online exam. An hour later, I learned my fate: I met the 80% minimum score on the Google Adwords fundamentals exam.

I’ll take one more test before year’s end, and if I pass, I will be Adwords Certified. What does that mean? Hopefully, it means Google will send me referrals to manage PPC accounts for new clients. But it also gives my existing clients the confidence that I am a Google Adwords expert.

The exam is aimed at making sure online marketers understand advanced marketing principals, but more importantly to Google, that we have a deep knowledge of how to get the most out of Adwords for our clients.

For those who don’t know, Adwords is Google’s online advertising platform – it’s the product in the company’s portfolio that has made it one of the richest in the world. Online advertising now exceeds network television, and since 75 percent of searches happen on Google, it’s where the savvy spend at least a portion of their advertising budgets.

I have managed Adwords campaigns for five years, representing clients that include a multimillion-dollar publishing house, a billion dollar office furniture manufacturer, and many small businesses.

I will have to pass the exams every year to keep my certification valid. Whether I re-up my certification will depend largely on how many clients Google sends my way.

For the time being, it just feels good to pass a difficult exam. The last time I took a test of any kind, was 20 years ago at Ohio State.

At least I haven’t lost my mojo.