Carefully Crafted on September 12

Tout: 8 Ways to Incorporate this New Digital PR Video Tool

Tout — a new service that let’s you create and upload 15-second video clips with the click of a button — is gaining traction with some high-profile users, including Shaquille O’Neal (who announced his retirement on Tout), Good Morning America, Mitt Romney and NPR’s Scott Simon. But, you don’t have to be a 7-foot superstar or celebrity to derive value from “touting life’s moments.”

8 Ways to Incorporate Tout into Your Digital PR Toolkit

  1. New product updates. Got a quick message to share about a product launch or upgrade? Tout it. For example, when Pitchengine announced a new partnership with Cision, founder Jason Kintzler wanted to share a brief message with existing subscribers. He turned to Tout to create a short video, which he then posted to Twitter.
  2. Behind-the-scenes sneak peek. Give your online fans, followers and friends “backstage access” to the company. It doesn’t have to be glamorous — a company luncheon, setting up for a presentation, or a quick tour of your office are perfectly acceptable. (Yes, that link is a tour of the new Geben Communication digs.)
  3. Real-time updates from events. Connect the “real” world with the digital world by proving video updates from events. Let your online network experience the event, even if they can’t be there in person. Tout videos are only 15 seconds, so you’ll give viewers just enough information to pique their interest. (Note: Stay tuned to see how we incorporate this in October for our client, the Columbus Marathon.)
  4. Event invitations. I wouldn’t recommend this for a formal event, but if you’re hosting an informal gathering, why not Tout about it? Here’s an example of my quick #pr20chat invite, reminding people to join us on Twitter for the weekly conversation.
  5. Ask for Feedback. When was the last time you asked customers for feedback? Create a video to solicit input. Post it on your blog, Twitter, Facebook or whatever online channels you use to communicate with them. (Thinking ahead, you can also post follow-up videos to explain how you’re incorporating their feedback!)
  6. Visualize services. Check out this St. Louis realtor’s Tout channel. When he was stuck in traffic, he saw an opportunity to remind viewers about the importance of “location, location, location.” Plus, they give quick overviews of neighborhoods and homes for sale. It’s a clever way to show clients and prospects that you’re knowledgeable and working hard.
  7. Share staff additions, promotions or retirements. While most of us can’t generate hundreds of thousands of views simply by announcing our retirement (a la Shaq!), we can tell our online networks about a recent staff addition or promotion. Think about alternatives to press releases and opportunities to add a digital twist to a “traditional” announcement like this. For example, your local newspaper may not care that you hired a news customer service rep or an online community manager; however, your online network would be interested in this development. Instead of a traditional press release, opt for a video and possibly a companion blog post to offer more depth.
  8. Show appreciation to internal stars. Want to humanize your brand? Highlight the people behind the logo. For example, if you recognize an employee-of-the-week (or volunteer or donor for nonprofits), give them 15-seconds of public recognition. This can be a one-question Q&A or something as simple as publicly thanking them for going above and beyond.

Like any brand new service, there’s room for Tout to improve. (For example, it would be helpful to know how many times a video has been viewed and which network generates the most views.) Hopefully, that’s on the way. In the meantime, it’s an interesting tool that can add some variety to your online interactions. If you sign up for Tout, let me know what you think. Already a “Touter?” Leave a link to your profile in the comments so we can check out your latest video updates!

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