Why being a pebble is better than being a boulder.

by AGP
Posted on May 20, 2017 at 4:27 PM

There’s a scene we love in Braveheart where William Wallace returns to his hometown and runs into Hamish, a childhood friend who now sports a hulking physique and a wild look in his eye. Hamish challenges Wallace to a boulder throwing contest, which the burly Hamish easily wins. 

William Wallace then ups the ante, daring Hamish to accurately throw the same boulder at Wallace. Hamish misses by a long shot. Then Wallace winds up and whips a much smaller rock directly at his buddy’s forehead, knocking him to the ground.

This begs the question: which is better--a giant boulder that misses the mark most of the time, or a single, small pebble that nails its target every time?


A Stone’s Throw

Plenty of companies are trying to reach everyone in their video marketing campaigns, not wanting to alienate anyone in their potential customer base. As it turns out, “everyone” isn’t actually a target audience. And when you’re aiming for nothing, you’ll likely hit it.

On the other hand, approaching video advertising towards a narrower audience using specificity will get you the conversions you are looking for.

Boulder marketing can certainly be powerful and effective if it hits its target. But, more and more, this brand of broad, bland branding and messaging is perceived by potential customers as watered down, boring, and inauthentic.

The trend towards pebble, or niche marketing, where you define a specific, narrow audience seems like a riskier move, but, actually, your audience doesn’t necessarily care if they don’t relate 100% to the example you’re showing in your video promotion/commercial. In fact, specificity gives your potential customer an idea of who you are as a company. As customers begin to get the vibe of your personality, you’ll find your pebbles hitting the mark more and more consistently.


What’s for Dinner?

To use another example, if we were to tell you we could go out for dinner and we have two options: one restaurant claims to serve “good food” and the second promises “the best barbecue you’ll ever put in your mouth”, which one would you choose? Now, “good food” is probably a safe choice. They probably have “good” options on the menu. But it’s about as interesting as painting every wall in your house beige. And, while barbecue isn’t for everyone, chances are, the barbecue joint will get more business for being specific and targeted.

So, what does the voice of your company sound like? Is it exotic? Wealthy? Quirky? Nerdy? Minnesotan? When you think about making a great video or commercial for you company, who do you imagine is narrating it? If you don’t know the personality of your business, you risk coming across as rather “meh” to the audience you’re trying to connect with. These same rules apply both to online video marketing as well as marketing for television audiences.


Should’ve Remembered the Rocks

When you serve a niche, you’re just like William Wallace: you hit exactly what/who you’re aiming for. You’ll find going narrow in your video marketing focus is actually more efficient and more profitable than a broad approach. Tell a compelling, memorable story and give your audience a sense of who you are. This is a cornerstone (pardon the pun) of AGP’s creative storytelling strategy. And watch out for rocks.


By Curtis Honeycutt - AGP Contributing Script Writer

Tags: Storytelling, Video Content Marketing

About the Author:


AGP is a video media company specializing in corporate and small business storytelling and video strategy. The corporate video touches all parts of your business and AGP is built to drive production, engagement, and video strategy at the highest level.

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