5 Lessons Video Marketers Can Learn from Home Alone

5 Lessons Video Marketers Can Learn from Home Alone
December 17, 2012
There’s a reason Home Alone airs every year on Thanksgiving; it’s one of the most successful Christmas movies ever made and a perfect way to kick off the holiday season. And if you pay attention, there are lots of valuable lessons to be learned from Kevin McAllister —even for video marketers! Here are five that every marketer can put into practice right now.


#1. Create a strategy. Kevin left no loose ends when it came to defending his house from burglars Harry and Marv. All entrances were booby trapped. He created an obstacle course of pain when they made it in the house. And Kevin had an exit strategy – call the police from his parents’ bedroom, slide to the tree house via a cable in the attic and then run to the Murphy’s house. (It didn’t exactly work out as planned, but c’mon, the kid was only 8!)

The lesson? Plan ahead! When creating your online video strategy, make sure to think about the different marketing channels to spread your message. You could post to YouTube, Facebook and other social media sites, include a link in email campaigns, embed it on your website and blog, and more.

#2. Get creative. Kevin really thought outside the box when it came to the details. Frozen front steps, heated doorknobs, nails on the basement stairs, a blow torch, and tar and feathers, to name a few. The little genius went above and beyond. Harry and Marv had no idea what hit them because his weapons were so unique.

You can get creative with your arsenal of marketing tools as well. For example, Brainshark presentations make it easy to mix different types of media when creating video marketing content. Try using a combination of photos, video clips, PowerPoint slides, music, and voice-over to keep your content interesting and fresh.

#3. Have fun with it. Leading up to the break-in, Kevin staged a party to dupe Harry and Marv into thinking people were home. He had “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” blasting while his Michael Jordan cutout sailed around the room on an electric train—AND he was having a great time doing it.

Similarly, people watch videos to learn something or be entertained. If you can do both, you’ll be able to extend the reach of your message because people love to share funny, entertaining videos. So don’t forget to have fun while creating your video, and remember that a little humor never hurts.

#4. Make it hard-hitting. When defending his house, Kevin knew that the weapons he used had to hit the burglars where it hurt — literally. A hot iron fell on Marv’s head (after stepping on a nail while barefoot). Harry had his head blow torched and his hand branded on a hot doorknob. They both tripped on tiny toy cars and smacked their heads on the hardwood floor. Yet, those crazy kooks kept going back for more.

Make your online video hard-hitting, keep the attention of your audience and entice them to watch your videos again and again. Maybe that means including examples on how your product helps your clients. It could mean making it interactive with quizzes or poll questions. Or it could just be hilarious. Whatever you choose to do, make sure your video is designed to truly engage your audience.

#5. Call in the experts. In the end, Kevin called the police to pick up the bad guys because he knew he didn’t have the clout to arrest them himself.

Similarly, when creating online videos, it’s important to include your subject matter experts (SME) in the creation process. Brainshark’s online creation tool has a guest audio feature that makes it easy for others to add narration to an online video. All they need is a phone or computer microphone. Having your SMEs record their voice to your video adds an extra layer of credibility.

Bonus: If you are late for a flight around the holidays and race toward your gate while the song “Run, Rudolph, Run” is playing, you’ll be sure to make it!

So the next time you set out to create a video, take a page of out Kevin’s battle plan — or you might end up being what the French call les incompetents. 

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