This story of Al Qaeda No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahri delivering a eulogy for Osama bin Laden caught my attention. The reason this story caught my eye is because I realized that Al Qaeda, like any other organization, has a story to tell. It may not be a good story. It may not be a story most of us want to hear. But it’s a story. And when a simple video draws media attention as a mere mention, then you know they’re onto something.
This is video marketing at its purest.
I didn’t see the video. I don’t really need to. What the second in command at Al Qaeda has to say is not as important as the fact that he said it. So what does this video really mean in terms of keeping Al Qaeda in the public spotlight?
- No. 1, they did something. An organization that many people are interested in, one way or another, made a public comment. That’s news.
- The eulogy is just a way to heroize a fallen soldier. Osama bin Laden may be our enemy, but he’s somebody’s friend. When you capture the eyes of both your enemies and your friends (or your customers and your competition) with a single act, then you’ve been effective.
- Video is a powerful medium. You can have much more impact with one video than you can with ten articles.
- Keep telling the story. Al Qaeda’s – and bin Laden’s – story has always been to stick it to the evil Americans. Zawahri’s message was that bin Laden has done that in his death as much as in his life. The story has been told.
If you want to be effective at online marketing, use videos, but use them intelligently. That means
- Sparingly, but often
- When you have something useful to say
- Tell your story and keep telling it over and over again
- Make it newsworthy, or at least worthy of attention
- Never waver
If Al Qaeda can use video to keep its message before the public eye, I know you can too.