What better way to maximize your content than to repurpose your existing ones.
Our guest today is Sheryl Plouffe. Sheryl is a video strategist and repurposing expert. Her career started out in broadcasting. She spent about 15 years in Ontario’s Weather Network. She held several positions and in 2017, she decided to start her own business.
Listen in and learn more about videos and how to repurpose them.
Sheryl’s website: https://www.sherylplouffe.com/
Katie Brinkley 0:02
Hi friends. I’m Katie Brinkley and you’re listening to Rocky Mountain marketing. This podcast is all about helping Colorado based small business owners, entrepreneurs, realtors and professionals discover the strategies and systems that take their marketing to all new heights. Let’s dive into today’s episode. Welcome back to Rocky Mountain Marketing. Today, my guest is Cheryl Pluff. Cheryl is a video and repurposing expert and former Canadian TV broadcaster. She has produced 1000s of videos for herself and her clients globally. She also creates an implements content plans for six and seven figure businesses to help them get their brand known online in record time. Cheryl, thank you so much for coming on the show today.
Sheryl Plouffe 0:50
My pleasure, Katie, I’m excited for this conversation.
Katie Brinkley 0:53
Me too. Because if the past two years have taught us anything, it’s one that you need to have somewhat of an online presence, just in case you can’t work in person anymore. And to video is king, you have to have some sort of video strategy as part of your online marketing plan. And so that is why I’m so glad that you’re here today to talk to us about the importance of video. Now, before we dive into all that good, juicy video topics, if you can just take us a little bit down memory lane, tell us where you grew up and what life was like growing up.
Sheryl Plouffe 1:29
Sure thing Well, I’m based in southern Ontario, Canada and I grew up in northern Ontario. That’s so I’m from a mining town in northern Ontario. But I’ve lived in a variety of different places across Canada. Over the course of my life. I lived in British Columbia and Toronto and Kitchener Waterloo, and now in Chatham, and the professional journey really began for me when I was a teenager. So when I was around fifth between 15 and 18, in that range was really when I started to do things like modeling pageants, public speaking, and eventually led me to hosting a newsmagazine program in the city that I lived in at the time hosting a show on camera on television. This seems so far flung from where I came from. But there I was, and it led me to the path of broadcasting. And eventually, after many years of working toward the goal of being in a full time broadcasting position, I ended up at the Weather Network for 17 years, which is the equivalent of the Weather Channel in the United States. And I ended up being an honor presenter, Samos endorsed weather caster, I became a news manager of a team of 17 people across the country and a freelance network of 10s, if not hundreds of people. And so a variety of different experiences, I ended up teaching college a couple of different times in my in the course of my career, despite the fact that I, myself am a college dropout. So it just these interesting developments that happened for me personally, personally and professionally. But what ended up happening was that, at one point in the broadcasting journey, I recognized that, obviously, social media was really changing the game. And it was changing the industry. And I sort of had this idea that I really wanted to start my own business. So in 2017, I left broadcasting to start my own business full time. And now I do what you mentioned in the intro, which is to help six and seven figure businesses to create a content plan and implement it. That wasn’t always the case. I mean, I started off this journey and entrepreneurship, teaching more on the DIY side. So I would teach through courses and programs. And I would teach people how to make their videos but the pandemic was a bit of an eye opener for me in that I realized people don’t have that kind of time. They were pivoting and panicking in many cases. So I thought what would be better for me to do would be to find a way to actually make the videos for them instead of teaching them to do it themselves.
Katie Brinkley 4:06
Well, sure, that is awesome. And it’s fun fact, that I’ve never shared on the podcast before but I also come from childhood modeling and pageantry. Yeah, I know crazy I’ve never met anyone else that that does it but yeah, that’s what I grew up doing. And then in high school, I wanted to play more sports so I stopped doing the the online or the online the runway and commercials and all that fun stuff goes on TGI F which is a big what was a big show here back in the 80s and 90s in the US but anyways, continuing on with video marketing and and like you said it’s it does take time and that the most precious commodity of all time, right? How should people figure out a way to incorporate video into their already busy schedule because it that’s one of the hardest things is setting aside the time to quit record these videos,
Sheryl Plouffe 5:01
I think it starts with an analysis of a lot of different factors. And so we have to look at. I mean, there’s so many different things. One is, what is the goal? Is it what level of the customer journey is it that we’re trying to attack, so to speak, because the videos that I would propose that someone make for a brand awareness campaign would be very different than the videos, I might suggest if someone were further down that path. And we’re in the consideration or decision phase of that journey. So it depends on the goal that we have set out. But I think other than that, we have to still look at things like well, do you have a team? What skill level does the team have who is contributing, if anyone on the team Toward this end, there might be some internal talent who could really contribute to this, that would play into how I would create a plan to integrate that person or people, it could also be an analysis of wealth equipment, you don’t have to have fancy equipment, really to do videos, you can do it on smartphones and webcams. But sometimes, I have spoken to real estate brokers in the past who, you know, I’d be sitting down and having a meeting with them and come to find out an hour later that they have a whole room set out of the back with a green screen and cameras, and everything else that’s collecting dust. Who knew right until I asked. So it’s a lot of different considerations that come into it. Messaging, right, what is the core message? Sometimes we and you probably discover this to Katy, and the work that you do in that, you know, people think they have their message nailed. And then you find out they really don’t. So yeah, the point starting to make these videos if we don’t have those fundamentals nailed down, but there are a lot of different factors that I would look at in creating or starting the process of creating a roadmap toward using video marketing for business.
Katie Brinkley 6:52
And I’m so glad that you brought that up of who are you talking to? What is the purpose because with all of this short form video content out there, there’s a lot of times where I’m, I’ll watch a video and I’m like, Why did I even watch that. And if that’s what your clients customers are thinking, there’s not the option really, that they’re going to end up buying from you or following you or, or wanting to engage with your business. Now, with all of this short form video coming out, what is your biggest piece of advice for people when they’re, again, sitting down to draft, that video marketing strategy? Should it be mostly long form it? Should it be mostly short form? Is it a happy medium in between?
Sheryl Plouffe 7:34
I think for most businesses, there’s an opportunity to repurpose content. And that is to start with long form, and then extract the micro content from the macro. I like that concept. And I like that strategy, because it does work for most businesses who are working with small teams or a VA, or maybe even no team, there are ways that you can leverage that strategy of long form to short form and do it that way that is, most most often what I would recommend. I think that in terms of what the videos are about, I like to position people as authorities that what they do, I have found personally and also the clients that I’ve worked with, that that is a great approach, as opposed to filling up your feeds with entertaining content only. Just entertainment for the sake of entertainment doesn’t always lead to conversion, in most cases to be profitable for the business. It’s entertaining. And that’s great if people follow but then then what? Exactly, yeah, I like the idea of taking, say, a business owner or a representative, a front facing person, a spokesperson of that organization or company and saying, what nuggets of wisdom can we extract from this person? How do we position them as a preeminent authority, a go to person of said thing, so that when people consume that content, and I’m not saying there’s there’s not room for entertainment, but I think the authority piece is really what drives more the sales, the conversations, the relationship, building the collaborations, the speaking opportunities, that’s really what drives it. Because when you can be positioned as an authority of what you do, good things start to happen.
Katie Brinkley 9:24
Absolutely. And I’m so glad that you brought up the topic of repurposing working smarter not harder. If you’re creating a piece of content, how can you repurpose it into other pieces of content for your YouTube or your for your podcast or for your Instagram? Talk to us a little bit about repurposing and why it is that such an important part of your content strategy.
Sheryl Plouffe 9:49
Well repurposing is a way to multiply your efforts. So if you are creating, let’s say, a long form piece of content, a YouTube video or a podcast Episode, something of that nature. The first step is someone needs to go through that and curate the clips, like someone needs to go through that content and have the skill set and the ability to recognize and hear those sound bites. It just so happens that people with journalism experience are really great at that, because that’s what they’ve done professionally, that is your job to do that to deadline every single day. And to do it quickly. So I think that it’s a natural fit for people with journalism experience to do that process of curation. It starts at that level, and then we start to talk about okay, now great, we’ve curated the sound bites, what are we doing with them, I like to use templates and create branded templates, memes style templates for short form content, because it’s a fast way of being able to curation takes most of the time and energy, and then you input those clips into the template into the branded template. And we recommend doing them in three sizes. So you have your horizontal, your vertical and your square, so that you’re able to hit in all the different social platforms in a variety of different sizes. And keeping them short, especially if the strategy is a brand awareness campaign, which is 80% of the time, that is what most people need is they need more eyeballs, they need more attention, then under two minutes of content is best, you know, for those type of videos. And when I say short form content, I’m not necessarily referring to the TIC TOCs. And the reels, that is micro micro content, that’s like super short, that’s like under 15 seconds, I’m talking about short form under two minutes. And that’s a great strategy to build awareness, because people are more likely to consume that whole, let’s say minute and a half or up to two minutes segment. And you can really share quite a bit of content in the span of two minutes. That might not sound like a lot of time. But you’d be surprised to learn how much you can share insights, experience knowledge, wisdom in two minutes.
Katie Brinkley 12:03
salutely. And I think that with what you said exactly with micro content of tic toc and reels and his YouTube shorts even around anymore, that that kind of kick. It is. I think that there’s that’s the micro micro content. And that’s an entirely different strategy. But the short form content is where you can get in, get that face time. And actually, while we’re talking about that, why is it important to have that face time as a business owner in step in front of the camera not? And it’s hard, I get it, it is hard to come in front of the lens, talk to us a little bit why that is so important.
Sheryl Plouffe 12:42
Well, I think it comes down to the fact that people want to connect with people. And that was true before the pandemic, but it’s, it’s so so true now, because we as human beings, we need connection, that’s what we are built for. It’s our it’s in us, it’s in our DNA to, to connect with people. So I think now more than ever, it’s people want to connect with people. I’ll give you an example of when I was at the Weather Network, we had a roster of on air talent on air presenters. And it’s like any business, where is most of the cost? It’s in human resources. It’s it’s in the people that you have working for you. So why would the Weather Network invest so much in hiring all these on air presenters to present the weather, which really is data driven? They could have elected for the last 25 years or you know, 30 years to just have data running on the TV 24/7. But they didn’t. They invested in human beings to come in and be present and present that weather information in addition to the data that would come up every 10 minutes on the tents. So why would they do that? Because people connect with people. And that’s it’s a really key component because now that’s how you drive audiences how you drive connection. And then you know, the audience would have their favorite people that they want to tune into every day, and come back over and over and over again. So just to give a little bit of an example of why it’s so important. That’s what the big media conglomerates do they hire people to connect with people on screen.
Katie Brinkley 14:16
Ah, sure. I love that example. Fantastic. Because it’s so true, like you said, with with weather, especially, it’s just a bunch of data, but you have your favorite weather person and you want to tune it. That is such a great example. And really is true with businesses too. There’s a lot of social media people out there, there’s a lot of real estate agents out there. And you know, the reason that people want to do business with you is because of you. And that’s what you need to show up for. I think that video has given us the opportunity to connect with our ideal clients and customers in an entirely different way. Whereas you know, before you had to just hope that somebody would find you in the Yellow Pages or would find you by googling in your job or Denver, realtor, Denver, social media, whatever. And by showing up through video, you can build your own little personal fan following.
Sheryl Plouffe 15:10
And if you go down that path even a little bit further, in terms of the strategy, say, to get found on the first page of Google, that’s absolutely possible with organic content, it has more to do with, you know, there’s a certain amount of keyword research that’s involved in that there’s a certain amount of reverse engineering of the process. I think YouTube is a real key piece in that component. If we’re talking about the strategy of getting found on Google, and generating potentially 1000s, if not 10s of 1000s of dollars of free traffic, it’s absolutely possible with the right strategy on Google and YouTube, which of course, Google owns YouTube. So again, that’s why it’s important to understand the goals of a company or an organization, so that we can go down the path of what is it? What strategy do we need to build for that goal? Because the concept of building content on YouTube is very different than the concept of creating and the systems that might be put in place to create videos for Instagram, for example. And then it gets even more complex. When you say, Well, I want all I want to YouTube, I want the Instagram, I want the Tick Tock or whatever. But it’s possible you can apps I believe that, you know, there’s you can do it, you can absolutely do it. It has a lot to do with systems technology, automation, but the tools exist. One of the things I like to nerd out on is to create those systems and figure out okay, well, how do we get that automation? What do we do? How do we connect this to that? How do we repurpose this to this? So that’s one of the things I love to do last,
Katie Brinkley 16:42
so Cheryl, if someone is listening right now, and they have not incorporated video as part of their online marketing strategy yet, what is the single biggest piece of advice that you’d want to give him or her as their journey starts?
Sheryl Plouffe 16:55
I would say, well, first of all, you got to jump in, right, you got to jump into video. That is, for sure. Especially when you consider that the world that we live in now is different, and it’s going to remain different going forward. It’s just the online, the digital, the video, the presence on camera, all of that piece has just been pushed to the forefront far, far faster than we could have ever predicted because of the pandemic. So, gotta have video. But if you’re going to go it alone, and you’re just like, I just need to start this thing, I would just start getting on camera and speaking about your area of expertise. Just start speaking about your insights, your wisdom that you’ve potentially built over the last 25 years of your career, right? What are those things? What are those nuggets of wisdom, knowledge, insight, information, but with an asterix information alone is not enough. It needs to be information, but context along with it. Because people can find I can ask Alexa, what I can get information at my fingertips. But how? What’s the context that you what’s the spin that you can add to that information as an expert, as an authority at what it is that you do? So my biggest advice is start talking about your area of expertise, be it on your own channels. So you create your own platform in which to speak about those things. I like to I like video podcasting. For that purpose. For a lot of people, it’s a great solution, or getting on other people’s platforms to speak about said thing,
Katie Brinkley 18:34
you know, and one of the things that I’ve found for a lot of clients that I’ve worked with is Instagram or Facebook stories, that’s a great spot to get started in practice, because it’s gone in 24 hours. And so you have you know that that small group of people who already follow you that you can show up and talk to for 1530 seconds, and then it’s gone after that. So if you felt weird and awkward, don’t worry, it’s already gone. It’s like it never existed. So
Sheryl Plouffe 19:01
good advice. That’s great advice. Because of that, that idea that it will be gone in 24 hours, doesn’t last forever. I think that is a big fear that people have about getting out there and being seen and heard and sharing their insights is that they go Oh, what if I change my mind? What if in a year from now I feel differently about that? Or what if I get it wrong? What there’s what if Instagram
Katie Brinkley 19:23
doesn’t update now, that doesn’t apply anymore? Yeah.
Sheryl Plouffe 19:27
But we can’t let that be the reason for not getting out there and doing it. Listen, if I look back on my content from years ago, there’s a lot of things that I said back in 2015 that I have changed my mind about now. Because I’ve been at it longer. I’ve learned more have connected with more people. I’ve worked with more people. And there’s nothing wrong with that you can evolve through the process. So just because you say something today doesn’t mean that it has to be written in stone forever. I mean, yes, it’s on video unless you go and delete that video, but you as a business owner can evolve evolution is not only I think expected, but required, in my opinion. So don’t let that be the thing that holds you back and out there and talk about your area of expertise. I love that that idea, though, Katie, of going on those platforms that disappear might give people that sense of comfort that they need to just get started.
Katie Brinkley 20:22
Exactly. And I think that, like I said, especially with Instagram, it’s only the people that already follow you. So if you have a small following, it’s really just the community of people that have already decided to hit that follow button. And if they unfollow you, after seeing your stories, well, guess what, they’re not your people. So one of the things
Sheryl Plouffe 20:39
I do in my caching on camera Facebook group is that I will help people to challenge themselves with I have a list of prompts, madlib style prompts that people can use as a jumping off point for ideas of what to talk about in their videos. And I like to encourage people who are afraid of the camera don’t want to be seen don’t want to be heard to use this challenge concept to push themselves out of their comfort zone and start, you know, and that can be for maybe, maybe 21 days would be a good number 30 is great, but at least 21. I think that’s when you start to submit a new habit. So as many days as you can challenge yourself, it’s realistic. But that idea of challenging yourself and setting a schedule, like in your phone, like our little reminder for 21 days, and that you’re going to go in and do it. Let’s say that 15 Second video once per day for the next 21 days, something like that can really be the the impetus to want to see oh, wow, you know, I didn’t melt through this process. No one was injured through the process of me doing these 15 second videos. And maybe there’s something to it, because I guarantee that if someone were to do that, that you’re going to see response, there’ll be some engagement on those videos, even with a small audience over that 21 days. And it can sometimes be just enough to give you that sense of confidence that, oh, I can do this. And then let that be the jumping off point for the next step. And the next step and the next step in your growth evolution.
Katie Brinkley 22:04
I’ll share all this has been such an awesome episode. I’ve got two final questions for you. Last one you have you’ve done a lot with your career from television to starting your own, you know, video marketing business and started off with pageantry. What is the best piece of advice that you have ever received? And how has it impacted your business? Hmm,
Sheryl Plouffe 22:27
I can think of a business coach that I had at one point. And in fact, it’s funny, I’m just going for those who are listening, I’m looking away because I’m on the video here. But so she said in a note to me, you can have a million dollar business with 40% more commitment in organizations. And I think I have that pinned on my board. Because and I’ve been following that I’ve been, you know, really following this idea of more commitment and more organization, and it has been fruitful. So that was the best advice I’ve ever received.
Katie Brinkley 22:59
I love that. Well, Cheryl, you mentioned your Facebook group, what is the best way for people to connect with you learn more about you and what you do? Where should we find you online?
Sheryl Plouffe 23:11
The best place I think is just to go to Cheryl Cliff comm because there you can either book a consultation or apply for a complimentary consultation. And there’s also some resources, some free resources there as well. So Cheryl PLIF comm is probably the best place and then you can find me on your favorite social platform at Cheryl Pluff. Send me a DM, send me a message. Reach out, say that you heard me on Katie’s podcast, and we can have a conversation.
Katie Brinkley 23:39
Awesome. Well, thank you again so much for coming on the show today.
Sheryl Plouffe 23:43
Thank you so much for having me.
Katie Brinkley 23:45
Huge thank you to Cheryl for coming on to the podcast today. And I’m so glad that we had somebody that could talk about the three different forms of video that that long form, the short form and now the micro. I think that micro content if we’ve learned anything over the past 18 months is that’s here to stay. micro content is here to stay Tik Tok is no longer just for the millennials or for kids, you know, ages 13 to 17 Everyone’s creating this type of short form content, it’s on Instagram, it’s on YouTube, it needs to be a part of your strategy. Now I’m not saying that you need to go out there and dance and point I mean pointing is probably one of the easiest reels slash tiktoks to do but just get started because it the longer that you put it off, the longer that you put it on the backburner the further behind that you are going to get so you have to get started now, if you’re wondering how can I get started I just don’t feel comfortable on video yet. It doesn’t seem natural for me to do any of these short form videos to do long form videos. Start with Instagram stories. I can’t recommend it enough. It is a great way for you to just show up in front of the people that already follow you. These are your community members. These are people that you have been curating maybe it’s some families and friends depend doesn’t matter how large or how small your following is, when you show up consistently in your Instagram stories or your Facebook stories, that short form video that you can create on a daily basis, just checking in talking to the camera, because let’s be real, not all of us grew up with the phone in our face. And the more often that you get used to just talking to your phone, the more comfortable you will get. So if you haven’t started yet, let this be the kick in the pants to keep you going and get on Instagram stories get on Facebook stories just get started with your micro video, which will turn into short video, hopefully into long video and you can have your online video strategy. Thanks so much for listening to this episode of Rocky Mountain marketing. As always, I’d love to hear from you. You can visit my website at www.nextstepsocialcommunications.com. Connect with me on LinkedIn or check me out on Instagram. Let’s keep taking your marketing to new heights.