Big brands, put away your sledgehammers

Aetna's latest piece of video content marketing is personal, relatable, visually appealing and totally over-branded.

We all need a little more mindfulness in our lives. Taking a moment to breathe deep, go on a walk, connect with those around us, listen to the ocean waves roll — this is the stuff that can turn daily routines and tedium into happiness and peace.

So I was pleased to see major health insurer Aetna integrating mindfulness into its overarching vision of health and wellness — and even more pleased to see them get the word out by way of a piece of strong original video content. In the past two months, “How to be mindful with Mommy Shorts” has racked up nearly 300,000 views. It’s an intimate window into a mommy blogger’s daily life and how she creates space to be mindful and present with her children.

The story is personal, relatable, visually appealing, educational, accessible, and at 2 minutes and 23 seconds, the right length. The one problem: BRANDING. It’s company-focused rather than audience-focused. It’s off-putting from the beginning presentation, where Aetna flashes an unmissable “Aetna presents,” to the YouTube channel name, AETNA, to the series name at the end, Aetna Mindfulness.

Aetna, Aetna, Aetna.

It’s the sledgehammer approach. We see companies make this mistake a lot with video content marketing. Rather than crudely remind your audience of your name over and over, which immediately makes them wonder what you’re trying to sell them, take a more quiet approach, allowing the power of the content to draw them in. By the time they reach the end, they should be asking “Well who is this from? Who gave me this gift? I want more!”

That’s the “aha” moment where you present yourself as a publisher — rather than a promoter.

So remember, when you create your own video content marketing, put your sledgehammer away, focus on the gift you are offering your audience and go for the more graceful “aha” instead.

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