5 Tips from Coffee Content Video Expert Nathan Slabaugh

DW video Ready. Set. ACTION!

Video is the up-and-coming content trend taking brands by storm. As companies work hard to get their services and products in front of potential customers, it all comes down to this: what makes people want to interact?

Survey says: video content.

In a recent study, video outperformed other types of content as a preferred form of marketing. In the ever-evolving world of social media, research shows that online users are 10 times more likely to interact and engage with video content over any other kind of content.

This is particularly true for coffee and tea brands.

We had a chance to chat with Nathan Slabaugh of Slabaugh Media, an expert on video content and marketing. In our Q&A, Nathan offered great insight into the world of video and why it is a compelling form of media for coffee and tea brands to consider using.

Why is video important for brands—in particular, for coffee and/or tea brands?

It’s pretty simple actually … everyone has screens in front of them today. Video is increasingly how we as a species are receiving information and fulfilling our genetic need for community as well as being engaged with others. Thus, the engagement of the past that was solely happening in person, or less often over the phone, is now on screens, and if you as a business (especially a coffee business) are not generating content to put on that screen, you are not only missing out of building true relationships with customers but you’re effectively crippling your business.

The best advertising for all time will ALWAYS be word of mouth … always. You are much more likely to buy or invest time in a “thing” that comes highly recommended from someone that is dear to you, knows you … someone you trust. That kind of advice (or really, it’s advocacy) trumps everything.

DW videoAnd so, in the age of the internet, social media is (as one of my favorite advertising gurus always says) “word of mouth on steroids.” We live in a time where with a click, you can tell 100, a thousand, or even thousands of people about the awesome espresso you just had at an undiscovered cafe down the street, and if you have a bad experience, you’re likely to blast that out to the universe as well.

So, why is video important for brands? The simple reason is that it is the most effective way to connect online with your customer and in 2016 people expect it and hope to receive value from it.

What type of content within the realm of video is available to coffee and tea brands?

Basically content for coffee and tea falls into two categories: Educational or Entertainment. Even though there are only two categories, both should be looked at as engagement and thus, advertising. Some examples of each:


These are your “how to” videos. When you have a customer at home who just bought that cool Aeropress from your shop, even though it comes with directions, they want to experiment to see what is possible, and they want an expert’s voice to guide them. These are great opportunities to start conversations, and even continue the conversations that you started in your shop. As they begin their journey into specialty coffee, they will be looking to you for guidance and inspiration. So, having video content easily accessible lets you be that voice 24/7 no matter where they are on the planet.


These videos can be anything from a two-minute “this is our cafe” video to 15-second Instagram videos or even a Snapchat story. It can be interviews of you, testimonials of customers or even just beautiful coffee footage that tells the story of what you’re passionate about.

Like all content you publish, it should be genuine and uniquely you. Why are you different from all of the other choices for coffee out there?

DW video

Which type of video content is best received by viewers?

Things that are creative, authentic and relevant tend to get the most engagement from people. Why? Because in 2016, it’s not so much money that people are worried about (especially in the specialty coffee sector) but time. Time is the new commodity, so you have to publish something that is worth their time. I always ask myself when creating content, why would anyone care about this, why would anyone take time out of their day to watch this? That may seem harsh, but it’s what we’re all subconsciously asking ourselves when we’re flying through our newsfeed and decide to click the play button or just keep on swiping.

Why, in your opinion, is video such an increasingly popular form of media/content?

Four things that come to mind:

  1. We live in an age of screens … they are on our walls, in our grocery stores and constantly in our hands.
  2. We all have a strong desire for story, we want to be compelled to feel something … that desire will never go away; it’s how we’re built as a human species. Thus, video is currently the most compelling way to tell those stories at a mass scale.
  3. Combine that last fact with the fact that, for so long, we’ve been blasted by advertising, especially in the context of things we wanted access to (our favorite TV show, radio, newspapers, magazines, etc). Now, with the advent of the internet, that paradigm has changed. We now have more control over our media than ever. The How and When we consume it is on our terms, and that’s revolutionary.
  4. The cost of the tools to create content has made the space much more democratic. Now, there are no longer “gatekeepers” or someone saying that your content isn’t good enough. The sky is the limit, and how well you do is largely up to you and your skills/vision.

DW video credit Negative Space

How long does a coffee house video take to create from start to finish (filming, editing, etc)?

It all depends on what you desire your end product to be and the scale of the production.

First, I would say … don’t panic! I’ve seen shops that don’t put out any content because it’s too intimidating. They feel that, if they can’t hire the local Hollywood-style production company, then they have no business putting out video content. This couldn’t be further from the truth!

My advice is, you have to start somewhere. In 2016, we all have really decent cameras in our pockets that shoot clean HD video, so your first pieces of video content could be something as simple as a few shots of the daily life of your cafe edited together for a quick 10-second video. I’ve even seen shops post 10 seconds of pouring a latte using the iPhone slow motion feature (milk textures look amazing in slow motion!). These kind of posts are something easy that you can do daily, or even a few times a week.

Once you get comfortable with the language and style of the social media platform you’re posting on, look beyond the phone in your pocket and reach out to artists in your community. It could be someone who is freelancing all the way up to a large production company.

And don’t feel intimidated if you don’t have the perfect piece of content already planned out in your mind. When you start paying people to create your content, their job is to experience your cafe, hear your mission and passion and create something that reflects all of those things in your brand.

This can range anywhere from a 30-second commercial to a five-minute highlight video. And the range of production could be anywhere from a half-day shoot to a multiple-day shoot. And then editing can take anywhere from a week to a month to several months, depending on how involved the shoot was (interviews, extra footage, showing changes over time, etc.) and the current workload of the person or production company.

Are you ready to step in front of the camera for your brand? Find out how Dish Works video services can work for you.

Photos, top to bottom: lifeofpixkaboompics, tookapic, Negative Space