Video an incredibly powerful tool for B2B businesses. YouTube has approximately 2 billion monthly active users. Aberdeen Group recently reported that video marketers generate about 60% more qualified leads than marketers who don’t use video. And according to Wyzowl, 83% of marketers say that video gives them a significant ROI.
But it isn’t enough to simply create videos. You need to create videos that will make your brand stand out from the crowd. Here’s some ways I found reading as well as our own practices that can work for you if you plan on doing your own videos.
Using Video to Personalize Your Brand And You!
Creating customized or personalized videos as part of a customer based marketing campaign can be incredibly effective to help generate leads and land new businiess. This is especially the case when you create a one-off video for a target company or individual.
For example, let’s say that you sell some kind of software for businesses. You could create a personalized video for a prospect, walking them through an initial analysis you’ve done on the company’s actual website traffic, with tips for how to respond to different types of site visitors based on the behavior displayed.
Shooting videos that are specifically directed at a company or person is a powerful way to grab their attention and get them to engage with you. It’s also an effective way to differentiate yourself and your brand from your competition.
Increasing LinkedIn Engagement
Like most social media platforms, LinkedIn has been giving more exposure to videos of late. Additionally, 84% of marketers and advertisers who have created videos for LinkedIn have found the channel to be a highly effective strategy for generating results. This presents a unique opportunity for marketers.
Sharing videos is one of the most effective ways to cut through all the noise on LinkedIn. You need to generate hundreds or thousands of engagement events for a single LinkedIn video.
Highlighting Customer Stories
It is a given fact that social proof is critical when it comes to building your brand and landing new clients. Getting clients to tell their stories is one of the most powerful forms of social proof your brand can deliver, especially when it’s on video. But get creative when getting your clients to tell their story. Don’t simply have a talking head giving a simple testimonial.
HubSpot recently created an outstanding customer success story around their work for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I saw it on-line. They crafted a highly engaging success story, featuring a rock soundtrack in the background, MTV-style quick-changing shots, brief interviews, lots of zooming in and out, etc. The result is powerful and compelling.
Another example is a Slack and a cool Sandwich Video collaboration that highlights the power of Slack. The video was presented as a story, with some hilarious cuts to employees giving their commentary. Not only is the video enjoyable to watch, but it also shows why Slack is such an effective tool for businesses. It had more than 1.1 million views, the video has generated a good amount of visibility and social proof for Slack. We use slack for a networking group here in our city.
B2B businesses are increasingly seeing the value of working with influencers, but it’s still new enough in the B2B space that it may enable you to jump ahead of your competitors. Using influencers in your video brand can potentially generate thousands of shares and leads for your brand. Use influencers who really care about your brand and you know will work for your and will promote.
Showcasing Your Personality
Video is also a highly effective way to turn something mundane like you’re not here right now (I’m out of the office or on site) into something funny and show off your personality. Take the time to create something “out of the box” and showcase yourself and in turn, your brand. This is a situation where a video can be longer than the standard norm of 2 minutes.
Take the time to figure out your game-plan for your next marketing video. Have fun with it but most importantly, make sure it is creative enough to gain viewers, be shared, and gain likes.
Tags: #video, #marketing, #videoproduction, #advertising, #socialmedia
So how many of you with businesses are using Instagram to promote your products or services or just send out "feel good" messages? If you are NOT using Instagram by now, you really should. In fact, more than 60 percent of people said they use Instagram to find things that they want to purchase or obtain in real life. One thing that you can do to promote your pro Instagram place in marketing is start by making your business exactly that. Pro-Instagram!
In some cases, you can do this without even creating a single post. If you’re able to create an experience that your customers want to share on their own Instagram accounts, they can do much of the work for you. By setting up pro-Instagram places and creating products that people would love to post on their feeds, your customers can help your brand gain more buzz on Instagram.
How to Make Your Small Business Pro-Instagram
Here are some of the specific strategies I have found that you can use to create a pro-Instagram business.
Set Up Instagram Walls
Every great Instagram photo needs a good backdrop. If you have a unique mural or interesting color on any of your interior or exterior walls, customers will be tempted to take photos in front of it. They might simply take a photo of their group and post it with their location, or showcase your product in front of a visually pleasing backdrop.
Integrate Unique Decor
Aside from your walls, people also want to include photos of decor items that are unique or interesting in some way. You can put up a neon sign, include a statement light fixture, or have an interesting patterned floor installed. All of the decor elements you choose should fit with your overall brand image and should catch people’s eye right when they walk through the door.
Keep Everything Neat and Tidy
However, one thing customers don’t want to capture for their Instagram feeds is clutter. You might be tempted to try and fit as many decor elements into your store or restaurant as possible. But a ton of different items in one space can look messy when included in one photo frame. Try to keep things fairly minimal and neat so your unique decor can really stand out and look great in photos.
Improve Your Lighting
Even the coolest decor won’t show up well in photos if your lighting is poor. You need to have high quality light fixtures that create an even look throughout your interior. It also helps to have plenty of natural light during the day. So, try to keep shades open and consider even adding some skylights or extra windows if your space is especially dark.
Mirrors allow customers to easily take photos of themselves and their groups with your space featured prominently. If you’re a clothing retailer, customers might even use mirrors to show off items they’re trying on. But even in restaurants or cafes, including mirrors in the entryway or bathroom could offer customers some prime selfie opportunities. (Don't get kinky on me now)
Pay Attention to Presentation
Your actual products can also be the subject of your customers’ Instagram posts. But they need to be visually appealing in some way. People would rather post a photo of some interesting latte art than they would of a plain old cup of coffee. For food and drink items, simply put a little extra care into the plating and visual accents. For other products, some well-designed packaging can go a long way.
Host Special Events
People love sharing their fun experiences on Instagram. So, if you host some special events, it could bring more people to your business and also encourage them to share in their Instagram posts and stories. Some interesting event signage and decor can also go a long way. If you want to take it a step further, you might even encourage people to wear costumes or dress up so they’ll want to take photos of themselves.
Set Up a Photo Booth
If you really want people to take photos at your business, make it really easy for them by setting up a designated area for them to do just that. Set up a cool backdrop and include some props or signs that people can use to spice up their photos. You might even include some subtle branding elements in your props.
Repost Customer Photos
Customers appreciate interaction on Instagram. So, if you do have your own Instagram account, show them how much you appreciate when they post photos taken at your business by reposting them. Always offer credit and say thank you or share a fun sentiment. Then your other followers may be more likely to think about posting their own images the next time they visit.
Create Contests or Incentives
You might even consider rewarding customers who post photos from your business in some way. Offer a discount code to customers who share product photos or host a giveaway asking people to share photos from your location, tagging your business, within a specific time period. I hope these ideas help get you and your business Instagram Ready.
Tags: #instagram, #socialmedia, #marketing, #business, #images
We all enjoy posting videos on Facebook. If you are a business however, taking extra time to post eye catching content that will really enhance your brand is important. Facebook has some guidelines and tips that they make available and I thought I would share the highlights with you.
Make sure your video is actually video!
Give your viewers a true video experience through storytelling.
Do not do:
Slideshows, ongoing text messages or montages, and avoid loop videos. They are annoying!
Size does matter!
It is a myth that only short videos work well on the Facebook platform but it is generally the norm. The truth is both short and long videos well IF the content makes sense and will keep your audience engaged. Very important key factor.
If you must do longer videos keep these guidelines in mind. Is your show episodic, an ongoing storyline, or are you live streaming? Thus, longer video content may be suitable here.
For shorter videos are great for fun and interesting moments, teasers, and announcements, ads, polls, and the like. Lengths should be under one minute and if you are using the “Story” feature of Facebook, keep it at 20 seconds.
Is It Mobile Friendly?
Vertical or Horizontal?
Most of your viewers will be looking at your video via their mobile devices. So you need to ask yourself how should I shoot the video? Landscape gives you more area but vertical is how most hold their phones and this format has become a more popular format for shooting. (Selfies and profile)
Adding subtext to your videos is important to capture your main message as most watching video on their smart phones may not have the volume up as not to distract others. Think of commuters on busses or trains. So it is important that you have subtitles or at the very least highlight subtitles so the viewer knows what you are trying to convey. Finally, make sure you are shooting at the very least in 720p HD to capture the best video! Good luck!
Tags: #facebook, #video, #contentmarketing, #socialmedia
With each passing day, it seems Pinterest and Instagram are looking more and more alike. Recently, went public with their new exciting video features. Pinterest has incorporated new tools to make it easier for creators and brands to upload videos directly to the visual search engine. The company says they’ve observed a 31% increase in searches for “inspirational videos” since 2018 and that “Pinners are 54% more likely to say they’re inspired to action by videos on Pinterest compared to videos on other media platforms.”
As a result, Pinterest has introduced a new and improved video uploader, a video tab on business profiles that allows brands to feature all their videos in one place, an analytics tool to help businesses better understand and analyze their traffic and get insights into performance over time and, finally, Pinterest is allowing creators and businesses to schedule videos ahead of time with a new Pin Scheduler tool.
With these new features, the company is encouraging paying users to post actionable and inspirational how-to videos and tutorials tailored to Pinterest users. Because videos on Pinterest surface and resurface over time, the company explained, videos uploaded directly to Pinterest will have a longer shelf life and, in theory, more engagement than if posted to other platforms.
The brand is hopeful new tools intended to support brands and businesses will increase engagement and ad revenue on the platform.
Now a public company, Pinterest has its work cut out for it. Instagram, once just a photo-sharing application, is making it easier for its users to make purchases directly on its app. The Facebook-owned business introduced “Checkout with Instagram” earlier this year, allowing users who tap its product tags on shopping posts to buy items without leaving the app. Pinterest, for its part, introduced features to facilitate in-app shopping late last year.
In order to simplify the in-app shopping experience, Pinterest rebuilt the infrastructure behind its product pins to include up-to-date pricing and stock information, links that take pinners to the retailer’s website and a new “Products like this” category under each fashion and home decor pin. It has also been recently discovered that Instagram is also toying with the idea of launching a Pinterest-like public content curation feature called “Collections.” This back and forth battle between apps is sadly going to come up with a loser and we already know that Pinterest and Snapchat are playing “catch-up” to the Kings like Instagram and the fast hot popular Tik-Tok app.
Tags: #video, #socialmedia, #pinterest, #apps, #marketing
If you have not already heard, Google recently launched a new website that will suggest its products that seem like the best fit for a specific business.
The Google for Small Business portal will give your business a quick overview and see how well it can effectively perform to market whatever it is your business is attempting to do. It gives everyone a place to start with Google products.
On this new site, you simply enter your company name and website (assuming you have one), then answer a few questions about your business and your goals. Google will then create a customized, prioritized list of actions, which may involve launching ad campaigns, or building up your online presence, or installing Google Analytics.
Some of these things are pretty cool particularly for small businesses that are “just getting started,” as well as more established business that are starting to develop a digital strategy. You can even create your own free Google website.
While Google for Small Business can recommend a wide range of products, there are two “hero tools” that are part of the lineup — Google my Business, which allows business owners to create their own profiles and websites, and is “a complete free product from start to finish,” as well as Smart Campaigns, which Google had out last year to automate the ad-buying process for small businesses. While obviously the site is free to use, Google does pitch their paid services such as ad sense but you are under no pressure to purchase this or any other of its paid services. It will even check your mobile version of your website for load speed. Check it out!
Tags: #smallbusiness, #marketing, #google, #smbs
Video advertising is not a new practice in the marketing tool belt. From commercials to moving billboards, most of us don’t realize how often we come in contact with video ads. A new age is emerging online, as more and more users turn to their favorite apps and sites to consume the latest video content. For today’s tech savvy marketers, it will be pivotal to look beyond sites like YouTube and focus on the entire web to keep up. I recently came across some great information that I wanted to share with you.
The rise of video
With the rise of social media sites like Instagram and the continued dominance of content platforms like YouTube, using video to advertise online has never been more popular. In fact, it’s been shown that more video content has been uploaded in the past month than the major U.S. television networks created in the previous 30 years. Video is so popular that Cisco reports 2019 will see traffic to video accounting for over 80% of all consumer internet traffic. In other words, the age of online video has officially arrived.
If you’re not already taking advantage of advertising with video online, the time to start is now. Unlike more traditional types of online advertising, like display or search, consumers actually want to interact with video ads. For instance, Hubspot found that 85% of people say they want to consume more video from brands willing to offer it to them. We decided to look into this and noticed that video advertising campaigns running from November 2018 through January 2019 saw click-through rates more than 3x higher than campaigns that included no video ads whatsoever.
The industry takes notice
With all of this in mind, it’s easy to see why marketers are beginning to take notice. In fact, 97% of all marketers reported video as helping increase user understanding of their products or services. Beyond this, a poll of marketers and agency executives showed that they are making big bets on digital video, by allocating nearly 60% of their media budget to this strategy—with half of buyers specifically increasing their social media video spend.
Strategies for success: running video campaigns
The rise in video advertising has also led to rapidly-advancing capabilities to reach your target audience using this visual strategy. In the past, marketers were forced to confine their video ads to limiting, single platforms, like YouTube or Facebook. This hurt campaign performance by hindering the potential reach these ads had. In today’s market, platforms allow marketers to serve video ads across platforms and devices, reaching users with relevant video ads, wherever they browse online.
With this increased reach have come better strategies for marketers to target key users with video ads, depending on where they are within the buying journey. For example, running ads directly through platforms like YouTube can hurt advertisers, as it only allows you to optimize campaigns based on that one site’s specific content experience. This doesn’t have to be the case. In fact, the most effective campaigns will employ a healthy mix of both retargeting and prospecting strategies that target users across the web and social media.
Strategies for success: creative best practices
Like all things in digital advertising, video has seen recent advancements that mean new creative best practices will need to be taken into account, to ensure the highest results for your 2019 campaigns. Let’s take a look at some of the most important tips and tricks to follow:
Tags: #video, #socialmedia, #marketing, #advertising, #videoproduction
Video is the best performing content type on social media - it outperforms all other post types on social platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. No doubt you've heard and read this over and over again, but if you're not utilizing video, you should be considering it, as it can have a significant impact on your overall digital marketing performance.
Of course, not everyone has the capacity to create standout video content, but it should still be a consideration. All the usage stats and trends point to this.
But within the broader video trend, there are now also emerging patterns of behavior worth noting which can elevate your video efforts even further. For example, the popularity of the stories format has led to change in the creation and distribution of vertical video - which, in itself, is a relevant trend. The hype around live-streaming has lessened, but it still generates high levels of engagement. These, and more, may be key shifts of note for your video strategy.
To shed some light on this, A study I found from the folks at SocialInsider recently did a deep dive research of more than 9 million video posts on Facebook, from a total of 92 thousand Facebook business Pages. Based on this massive scope, they had put together a comprehensive update on key Facebook video trends. Here are some of the highlights from the study they conducted. It should be noted that while vertical video for whatever reason is still considered the go-to format for social platforms like Facebook or it’s counter-parts, Instagram and IGTV, are starting to conceded that there are those out there who still love to shoot in landscape and that landscape allows for better framing and content. The concessions are showing by the fact that IGTV has put the landscape option in its recent app update. Still vertical is the #1 preferred format.
1. Stories and the emergence of vertical video
As noted, the rise of Stories has changed video consumption - but just how big an influence it's had may surprise you. According to the report, vertical video is now the most used video format on Facebook, which could make it a more significant consideration for marketers, based on shifting consumer habits and expectations.
Vertical videos are generating more engagement on Facebook - and engagement is key to maximizing your Facebook performance, with the News Feed algorithm rewarding posts that garner more comments, likes and shares with increased organic reach.
If you've not considered vertical videos in your content planning, it may be worth giving them another look, and incorporating Stories-type updates into your approach.
2. Vertical video engagement - by vertical
Another element of the report shows which industry segments are maximizing their use of vertical video. Its little surprise that highly visual sectors like fashion and travel top the list, but it's also interesting to note the relatively low usage in the 'Recreation and Sports' sector, which, you would think, would have a highly visual product that would lend itself to vertical presentation.
3. Video length is less relevant
The bottom line I found is this. While video length remains an important consideration, it's far less about how long your video is, and far more about the relevance and quality of your content. The study showed significant variance in engagement on super short videos (less than a minute in length) as opposed to those longer than a minute in duration. But other than that, the response rates are very similar. It showed a variance of less than 0.1 in overall engagement activity. Again, ideal video length should be determined by the content, not necessarily an overarching target. If you need to create a video that's three minutes long to share your message, then you should, while a minute-long video may cater to your audience needs just as well in some cases.
The other consideration to keep in mind here is Facebook's recent algorithm change which will reward videos that keep people engaged - "especially on videos that are at least three minutes long". If you're looking to publish regular, episodic videos, in order to build a video following, then this is another aspect to factor in, but we don't have any data on the actual reach impacts of this change as yet.
This consideration is also different in regards to video ads, as it's more of a challenge to grab people's attention with an interruptive message, but in terms of the videos you share with your Page fans, it's best to create videos as long as you need, then measure the responses of your specific fans to each.
4. Live-streams show higher levels of engagement
The last point from the study is the report is that live-streaming still sparks more audience engagement - even if, as noted earlier, some of the early streaming hype has died down. That makes sense, people can respond and interact in real time on live-streams, but it is a point that should be highlighted, especially given the potential reach benefits of increased post engagement.
If you're looking to reignite your Facebook strategy, and boost brand awareness on the platform, live-streaming should be a consideration. Not everyone is comfortable going live, not everyone feels like they have something to share, or feels confident having a conversation through a camera. But it is worth keeping in mind in your planning.
If you're looking to maximize your video efforts, or considering adding video into your content mix, it’s definitely worth taking note of these trends, and factoring them into your thinking. I myself being in the business am not completely sold on vertical format for everything video, but I can see where it has it's purpose. I tend to mix it up but prefer landscape for many of my projects. Just saying...
Taqs: #socialmedia, #video, #digitalvideo, #verticalvideoshooting, #facebook, #instagram, #igtv
Mobile video consumption is steadily eclipsing TV and desktop screen share into 2019 – and video ad dollars are following suit. Video ads on mobile devices are already expected to exceed $29 billion globally this year. But a new report from PubMatic, a global ad publishing platform, has found that nearly 50% of video ads were viewed on a mobile device – up from 40% in 2018. If growth continues at this rate, mobile devices are slated to become the preferred platform for video ad placements by the end of the year.
Mobile and video: The perfect marriage
While the leap in video ad spend isn’t a result of mobile alone, mobile devices continue to devour ad dollars and attract impressions – so it’s not a surprise that video mirrors the growing trend. Mobile spend flowing through PubMatic’s platform in the first quarter 2019 increased 29% from 2018. Likewise, mobile impression volume saw a steep increase, growing 35% from the year prior.
Why you as a business should care!
The surge in video ad spend – particularly across mobile – highlights the impact of more efficient technology and rapid data speeds. With faster connections and 5G technology looming on the horizon, users, advertisers and media publishers are increasingly leaning on mobile to usher in powerful, interactive content in the form of video.
Nonetheless, advertisers should recognize that mobile video formats aren’t the universal solution for all brands, despite the uptick in consumer trends. For brands looking to lift sales or build awareness, advertisers need to identify audience behaviors and deliver campaigns in line with consumer engagement.
Whether you are a small business with limited media resources or a large one, mobility is where all advertising is slowly but steadily heading toward. If you have not done so already, start gearing your advertising budget and resources toward this platform. Some reconfiguration will be necessary simply because the end result technically is different. (examples, time, format, use of subtitles, ect) We are a society on the go so should your video ad spend!
Tags: #mobility, #video, #advertisiing, #videoadvertising
Facebook recently stated that it's tweaking its News Feed algorithm to reward creators who publish video content that sees longer average watch times, and generates more repeat views. At the same time, Pages posting unoriginal or repurposed video content are going to be penalized through limited access to visibility and monetization. Facebook is taking a nod from how YouTube works with its monetization partners. But for small business using the platform to promote their business, monetizing is not their main focus. Keeping their brand and their marketing strategy intact is.
If you do not have or use a dedicated video team, this could turn out to mean more work for you to get anyone to watch your content. Essentially, Facebook will now reward Pages which build loyalty, get views, and post original content. So as a small business owner that may post videos randomly and do not have access to an agency to keep slapping up content, what does that mean for you?
Simply put, Facebook is focusing on video content which keeps viewers coming back for more. That means that, going forward, Facebook will prioritize videos that users seek out via Search, or by visiting a creator’s Page. This will apply to the News Feed, Facebook Watch, and Facebook’s “More Videos” recommendations.
So, how can businesses ensure their audience remains engaged over time, and coming back for more? Here are a few ways to do just that:
The new update also rewards content that gets users to keep watching for at least one minute. Specifically, Facebook says that it will, “add more weight in ranking to videos that keep people engaged, especially on videos that are at least three minutes long.”
Here are a few things to keep in mind when curating longer video content on Facebook:
Facebook recommends sharing content that “you wrote, shot, edited and published yourself, or with the support of a production partner.” (Sounds a lot like YouTube)
Original content that compels users to tag their friends, or share your videos, and encourages meaningful conversation, will be ranked highly. Here are some easy ways to make sure your content is authentic, and gets optimum visibility:
Tags: #video, #smallbusiness, #facebook, #socialmedia
As marketers, we all tend to think that our content is always great. We provide value in a fun, memorable way, speaking to our audience in a manner that they enjoy.
While it would be great if that were true, the sad reality is that if we aren’t careful, our content can do more harm than good.
And since both paid and organic success on social media hinges on a high-quality content strategy, it's important for brands to understand what their audience does and doesn’t want to see.
Want to keep your social media audience happy and engaged? Avoid these common mistakes. A recent study I found conducted by Adobe includes the following items that seem to upset consumers.
Visual content rules the roost on social media, and it's crucially important to ensure that all of your content is visually appealing, where possible. If creative design isn’t your forte, lean on a team member to help you out, or consider starting with a template from a platform like Canva. Which is free to use.
At the end of the day, you're creating content with a view to convert social media consumers into customers, and your efforts simply won’t be as effective if your material is unattractive. Be clear, concise and accurate with your language. Have another team member review your content for quality just to be safe. Perfection is not a feasible goal, but keep in mind consumers want easy to understand and digest content. Personalization is an amazing thing - however too much of it is just plain creepy.
The key to not turning off consumers is being relevant to their situation, but not so exact that it freaks them out. Facebook has had a lot of bad press about data sharing, so you wouldn’t want your marketing message to get overshadowed by someone feeling like you are spying on them. As a counterbalance to point three, consumers do actually prefer content that relates to their specific question or personal situation.
It's important to create content with an audience in mind, so that everything you publish will appeal to them in some way. The relevance and relatability of your content will position your brand as a resource for consumers
Tags: #contentmarketing, #contentwriting, #content, #socialmedia, #marketing