Snapchat, TikTok, Instagram, and now Clubhouse (IOS only for now)— it's all a little overwhelming, isn't it? So many entrepreneurs get into an anxiety-induced frenzy over which platform is right for their business. They start to have a "Fear of Missing Out" and jump onto the newest, shiniest social platform — only to crash and burn with a zombie account that is rarely updated because the password has gone missing and they've moved onto the next platform just to do it all again. In a world where your voice is amplified to millions of potential followers who can take your business to the next level, how do you do it all without burning out? Well, you could hire a marketing professional or if you are a one-person band, step back and take a deep breath! But let us be real. Seriously in one answer you just can not be everything to everybody.
I'm a firm believer in reducing friction to make a business run smoothly, so I advocate we all take a step back and stop trying to be everywhere. Using every social media platform that is out there doesn't amplify your message. If anything, it dilutes it. To keep your platforms running, you've got to constantly run back and forth, adjust the speed, maintain the balance and be sure you don't stumble and ruin the whole show. If you are a Mom and Pop business, can you really do all that? I think not.
The secret to being successful on social media
Consistency. That's it. It's a stupidly simple concept but incredibly hard to implement. It's like a marathon race. In the starting gate, you're with this huge group of people, all vying for the gold. As you move further along the route, the group starts to thin out. Then as you keep going, you find yourself against maybe two or three other runners who are super-focused. Now you're no longer up against hundreds of other runners.
It's the same way with social media. How many of your competitors post consistently enough to end up being a threat to your platform? Probably not as many as you think. I've seen so many businesses get into that "shiny object" phase of posting. They post a bunch of content in a quick burst, and then it is gone and all you hear are those dusk crickets chirping.
Then those annoying and confusing algorithms.
Consider the behind-the-curtain world of social media platform algorithms. While we don't know the actual coding behind it, it's safe to make some assumptions that can help us win favor. Social media platforms make money by showing ads, so their goal is to show as many ads as possible. To do this, they have to keep their users on the platform for as long as they can. Based on some terrifyingly accurate data scraping, they're able to find out what content is appealing to you, so they'll show more of that with the goal of keeping you scrolling.
But we know that algorithms can have delayed and yes, inaccurate information. It doesn't want to work hard to find content that keeps you interested, so it looks for simple information that it recognizes you're interested in seeing. What is this simple and consistent information? An account that is seen as a reliable source of content because it regularly publishes new posts. It's safer for the algorithm to source content from an active account than it is to keep scouring for new sources, so it decides to use that content stream to its advantage. Understanding the algorithm of social media platforms gives you an edge. If you can create a plan that makes it easy for you to consistently push content, then the algorithm will take notice and start trusting your account as a reliable source.
Figure out where you can be consistent
It's so much easier said than done when it comes to this part. So let's break down how you can figure out which social media platform is the best fit for your business and where you can confidently say you'll be able to consistently publish content:
1. Who is your audience? Knowing this is the first step in figuring out where to put your energy. Don't look at competitors here, as too often your competitors are just following everyone else and haven't taken the time to figure out if the customers are actually there. Consider the demographics of each platform ahead of time and see if it matches up to your profile. Luckily, many platforms are now out there as public entities. this information is easily accessible by Googling the platform demographics.
2. How do they use the platform? Think about how people actually use each platform and be honest about if your business fits those use cases. Social platforms such as Pinterest and Linkedin have very different uses, so your posts will have a vastly different outcome on each. Just think something like this scenario. "Don't waste your effort trying to blab into a mic when no one is listening."
3. Do you have a plan for how you can source and post content consistently? Are you able to source content consistently to post? If you don't have a lot of products or aren't a visual image company, image-heavy platforms like TikTok and Instagram might not be the best use of your efforts. On the other hand, if you're a very visual and consumer-driven brand, platforms like LinkedIn and the new Clubhouse app for IOS might not be the right fit.
There aren't hard and fast rules for every business, as some companies who rebel against the strategy succeed while others don't. If you're struggling and feel overwhelmed by social media, keep it simple by following these rules. Know who your people are, find the platforms they use for the type of thing you provide, and post consistently to have the algorithms trust you and push your content further. I might also add here in conclusion that you need to practice engagement no matter which platform you use. Communicate with your audience. Your customer's base or client base is your business livelihood. You need them more than they need you.
Marketing A Small Business With Big Box Store Ideas
Every business was considered “small” at some point in its history. Some go big, but some stay small and do quite well. The size of a business in common measurements (revenue, employees, locations) is less relevant than the size of your customer base and the corresponding loyalty of customers.
In a small business, your customers are your investors. They expect to see a return, whether it comes in the form of trust or hand soap. These investors know you and you know them. It becomes an important relationship and far more meaningful than those in big business.
Small business is an intimate business.
There are so many things a small business brand can do that don’t cost a dime—but do require creativity, sometimes a shift in thinking, and the fortitude to make it happen. Here are three to frame up a perspective:
Consistency. The more intimate the relationship, the more consistent you need to be, from how you communicate to the visual and written language of your brand. Striking a consistent tone communicates stability, professionalism, and thoughtfulness, which engenders trust.
Loyalty. The economics of loyalty have a currency in punch cards, points, and rewards. But true loyalty can’t be bought; it has to be earned. And loyalty is a two-way relationship. The larger the brand or business, the more likely it is that we, as customers, become transactions. As a small business, loyalty can be a social contract with a stronger bond than any legal contract. The results should be rewarding for both parties.
Personality. The factor that changes everything. A personality makes a brand interesting and is often the most challenging to manage. It is a perceived risk to have “too much personality,” hence many brands have too little and forgo opportunities to form deeper relationships. Brands of all sizes have the capacity to be creative—they just need the confidence to express it.
Now let’s get down to the practicalities, because the smaller the business, the less time for contemplation and pontification. A small business needs to be nimble and pragmatic in the face of slow-moving larger competitive machines. Here are some questions you can start asking yourself and working on now:
Who is responsible for the marketing work?
If everyone does it, then no one does, so assign the tasks. Writer, designer, developer, and decision-maker—those are the essential roles to get a brand set straight. If you don’t have those, you can contract a part-time marketing firm. Auditing how you’re doing requires a researcher and some marketing expertise to analyze the findings. Yes, there are a couple dozen more roles that could be filled, but a small business needs more generalists than specialists.
Where does this fit in the budget?
Any marketing budget should include content creators (writer and designer), content distribution (ad buy, social, PR, digital development), and measures to gauge whether it’s working (research and analysis). Getting someone to write an article about your team is no different from hiring a writer for a creative ad campaign. Many businesses feel comfortable investing in a physical asset; building a brand requires comfort investing in an intangible asset. And just as you’d have someone “tune-up” a physical asset, you’ll need to do the same for an intangible one. I fully that budgets vary with small businesses and there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to marketing dollars. Especially in today's Covid-19 pandemic.
How do we measure the results?
Do the outputs match or exceed expectations? Write down what you’d like to see happen from a marketing effort (objectives, strategies, tactics) in a clear and understandable manner. Check back on it monthly, quarterly, or whenever you get twitchy. Marketing and building the big asset (brand) is a business practice. It fits into the Entrepreneurial Operating System or any other model you use to manage your business progress. Just like you never see the wind, only the results of its existence, looking for intangible metrics takes a similar effort and trust in the indicators. From there, hopefully, you can watch your small business grow.
Tags: #advertising, #marketing, #smallbusiness, #competition
My word is social media getting nasty! corporate executives, business leaders, or family members of small-business owners.
They are all jumping in now. As you sit in front of your computer ready to respond to a nasty comment about your business, political view, or anything else, you’ve heard it 1,000 times: Take a beat before you post, and make sure you want to be public in that manner and with that message. Are you ready to perhaps ruin your business or yourself over one heated passionate thought or something you think is funny not realizing everyone shares your sense of humor or the image is hateful or racist to somebody else? Be it your business social page or your personal page. Someone out there associates you with your business or company and they know you. So how valuable is that? Freedom of Speech is one thing. Your years of building your brand or your business is another.
It is so true. Many times out of pure "brain gas passing", Someone sees something funny or a message that gets their goat and posts it the funny image or responds in passion. Without thinking of the consequences of recognizing the subtle hate or perhaps the offensive image behind it. They did not stop to think of what groups would view it as harmful. Someone let emotions get in front of rational thinking and posted a rant that later would offend many. What is really bad is that person works for your business or maybe it is you along. How many people may know you online? What do your customers or business associates think of you now? Hmmmmm!!!???
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of these stories taking place across the US every day. And although perhaps it shouldn’t need to be said again, I will say it again: Nothing you post on social media truly disappears. Nothing you delete really goes away. Once you post it, it is highly likely it will be there for life, whether through a screenshot, a share, or a retweet.
Now more than ever, the ability to curtail your quick-to-post instinct, and that of others who are leaders or representatives of your business, needs to be enforced. Too often, these posts directly conflict with the values or stated public positions of the organization represented by the poster -- and that swiftly spells trouble.
Before you post, stop, think, and breathe. Then ask yourself questions like:
· Would I say this in front of my customers?
· Will my employees disagree or be offended?
· Does the content and tone align with the values of our company?
· Is it the right thing to say and do just because I think it's funny.
· If I post this, does this reflect my personal values and beliefs on how I look at my friends, associates as well as myself?
For example, consider whether it is wise to share posts that suggest the coronavirus is a hoax, posts that attack Black Lives Matter or a presidential candidate, or posts that denounce protests against racial inequality or portray an image of racism. The bottom line: Any post that at face value is insensitive to a vulnerable population right now or to the public’s conflicted feelings about major social issues is an unnecessary and inappropriate risk.
Why does this matter? Because insensitive posts put your company, your family, your employees, and, indeed, the very livelihood of your business at risk. As ; well as you and your personal reputation. The cost of recovery — both financial and reputational — is too high for many companies. As business leaders, this is a critical reminder not just for you, but for your team, as well.
The “I just didn’t realize” is not a good defense. Honest mistakes can have the same negative impact as established patterns of poor judgment and posting behavior. While recovery from an honest mistake may be swifter, it doesn’t negate the potential reputational harm. And, once someone in a company’s circle has posted a racist, offensive or insensitive social comment, others will go looking to look for patterns of similar controversial content, previous lapses in doing what’s right and other problems within your business or organization.
It is important to note, this is not to suggest that companies and individuals shouldn’t stand up for what they believe matters. That said, however, be very clear that the positions you’re taking represent the values and positions of your company, your employees, your customers, your shareholders, and others. If not, that inconsistency can lead to a different kind of crisis - a crisis of values. If you’re a business leader or someone close to a business leader, or if you hold a leadership role within an organization, assume that there are folks watching. Remember that, by default or by relationship, you are a representative of that business.
And yes, you are held to a higher standard. Whether it is on your personal platform is irrelevant. It will be seen, it will be shared, and you -- as a leader and as a participant in our society -- will be evaluated with that lens.
It’s a frustrating time for all of us, emotions are high, and the diversity of opinions is great. The desire to be reactionary on social media and assume a little “keyboard courage” is tempting, but you must resist. Don’t let your opinions or the heat of the moment play out in a public platform unless they are firmly aligned with where you stand as a business. Pause before you post.
Tags: #socialmedia #posting #posts #marketing #smallbusiness
Live video streaming is on fire because of Covid-19. Schools, nonprofits, musicians, media publishers, and businesses have turned to live streaming to reach their audiences on social media. With physical locations closed, businesses have learned to publicize, promote, and sell products and services with live streaming such as Facebook Live, one of the most popular live-streaming platforms. Before you live stream, however, there are some important checklists you should go over and prepare for. Do not just go live for the sake of “going live”. Let’s look at some important "dos and don’ts" that I found to be the most effective in planning your Facebook Live broadcast.
Planning. Preparation is a major factor for a successful live streaming video. Before going live, establish your goals and messages. Consider your guests, background, props and technical details such as sound quality and your Internet connection. You can’t prepare for everything of course. You still need to react to the audience's input.
Internet connections. A fast and stable internet connection is critical. Poor internet connections are the most common pitfalls on Facebook Live streaming. Beware of Wi-Fi overload, and seek a hardwired cable connection if possible.
Promotions. To raise awareness of your upcoming Facebook Live stream, schedule an announcement post in Live Producer, which will then create a Facebook preview post that interested viewers can select to get a reminder of the event. (Also promote the live stream on other platforms and your owned media, such as your website.)
Crossposting. Crosspost from other Facebook pages you control. Your guests and others can crosspost to your page. When crossposting, post simultaneously to multiple Pages at once. It appears to be native video to that Page to viewers, but the viewership is aggregated and its statistics are aggregated on that one video asset.
Data insights. Examine metrics in the Creator Studio such as audience retention, engagement signals, and page follower growth to make improvements. For instance, insights into audience retention and time to assemble may prompt you to adjust the length of broadcasts and the times for stating key messages.
Engagement. Content with more comments ranks higher in its algorithm and obtains greater reach. Start commenting to initiate a conversation with viewers, respond to comments, and moderate comments for engaging and positive conversations. Also, consider inserting polls and questions into live streams. They’re worth the extra planning they require.
Music rights. Make sure you have the rights to music you play while live streaming. Facebook may pause, mute, and take down the video if it receives a complaint. For the same reason, beware of background music at sports events and other venues. To avoid such problems, try the sound collection inside Creator Studio for songs that Facebook has pre-cleared.
It's A Wrap. Promote the video after streaming it. Just because you streamed a video live doesn’t mean that is the end of it. You can still reach many prospects by a record live stream. Boosting the video on Facebook with paid advertising after the live stream will reach more customers who missed the live stream. Obviously, you need to make sure you have the funds set aside to do that.
Bottom Line: These recommendations can help businesses and other organizations improve their results on Facebook Live, an increasingly popular tool for reaching customers and promoting products.
Tags: #socialmedia, #videoproduction, #facebooklive, #livestraming, #covid19
Some folks think it is never good business to turn away business. I beg to differ. In fact, there are times when new business will cost you money, tarnish your brand, your name, and possibly even damage the long-term prospects of your organization. You’re probably thinking, “You’re kidding, right?” The fact is, there are times when it’s good business to turn away business. There many times you will get customer prospects who want something for nothing which can devalue your brand and business. You will get customers who will never be happy with your product or service no matter how much you bend over backward for them. This is the time to tell your customer to take a hike. In other words, let them go. It is really OK. You can not please everybody. I even put some things in here I found that the business themselves might do to save face. In these uncertain perhaps desperate times, do not fall to panic and fear. Hang in there.
Subtracting Business Is as Important as Adding It
If you’re one of those folks who believe that new sales are always a plus, the customer is always right, or you should never turn away business, here are 10 cases where that thinking can cost you dearly.
Holding a fire sale. There are many reasons why people sell products or services for a VERY skimpy profit. For example, some folks panic when they hit a slow period. Others offer quantity discounts even though the customer doesn’t qualify for them. And of course, some salespeople discount goods just to get the order. As the saying goes, “They lose money on every sale, but make it up on volume.”
Failing to satisfy needs. Some people make the sale even though the product or service won’t satisfy their customer’s needs. That doesn’t stop them, but it should. If you think good news travels fast, know that bad news travels faster. The fact is, a one-time sale should never trump a long-term customer relationship.
Making false promises. Some folks close a sale even though they don’t have the resources, capacity, or the experience to deliver on their promise. They think they’ll get the order and then figure out how to deliver it. Or they’ll fake it, and outsource the business to another organization. If that thought crosses your mind, think again.
Accepting unrealistic customer demands. Some customers are high maintenance. (Ugh!) They’re demanding, unreasonable, and expect special treatment. The truth is, you’ll never make those customers happy. Plus, they’ll be the first ones to post negative reviews on social media. Ask yourself whether their business is worth it.
Ignoring ill-treatment. Some customers are mean spirited; they mistreat your employees and destroy your other customers’ experience. These customers will sap your energy and demoralize your staff. Don’t take it personally, though; they treat everyone that way. Customers who play games should find someone else to play with.
Losing focus. The 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto Principle, suggests that 20 percent of your activities account for 80 percent of your results. That principle can often be applied to your customer base — 20 percent of your customers contribute 80 percent of your sales volume. Having said that, if you let “high-maintenance” customers distract you from your top ones, your best customers may feel neglected and leave for greener pastures.
Tolerating greed. Some customers want to prove they’re in charge. They’ll “beat you up” or nickel-and-dime you to death — until you surrender. They refuse to accept the fact that all business relationships should be win-win. That behavior can take a tremendous toll on your psyche as well as your bottom line.
Winning at all costs. Some salespeople will do anything, and I mean anything, to win. That includes making promises they’ll live to regret. It’s better to walk away from a sale than to lose your shirt.
“If you sell strictly on price, it’ll cost you dearly.”
Trying to be all things to all people. Some folks forget what business they’re in. (Their company is a mile wide and an inch deep.) They’ll take on anything that walks through the door. The fact is, being all things to all people is a guaranteed recipe for disaster and failure.
Caving into unethical or illegal demands. Some folks will do just about anything to get a sale — including deceptive or illegal practices. They know that what they’re doing is wrong, but they rationalize their actions by thinking it’s just one time. The truth is that it rarely is. You may get the sale, but you’re selling your soul in the process. You be the judge whether that cost is too high.
The next time you celebrate a sale, make sure it’s in your best interest to do so. As the saying goes, “Knowing when to walk away is Wisdom. Being able to is Courage. Walking away with grace, and your held head high is Dignity.”
Tags: #customerrelations, #business, #badcustomers, #badclients, #branding
Does Your Business Need a P.R. Boost? A lot of you do with Covid-19 causing mass disruptions in business. Many of your clients and customers struggle to even get outside let alone shop or consult for services. Here are some great tips I found to help you get a digital media public relations campaign moving in your favor. I am not saying you have to launch each and everyone right now or do them all together. Piece Meal what can work for you within your time limitations and budget. Digital media is dominating storytelling. In the wake of Covid-19, it’s more important than ever to tell your brand story for the digital age. Digital PR efforts can prove to be a cost-effective method to share your brand with a larger audience.
Here are seven digital PR techniques I found to help you tell your brand story.
Video is a great way to tell a story without forcing someone to read a wall of text. You combine visual appeal with a verbal message to gain a viewer’s attention.
Short-form and long-form videos are growing in popularity due to their attention-grabbing nature. Use videos for brand messaging through employee spotlights, office culture features, and personal interviews. Video connects your audience to your brand by allowing them to experience behind-the-scenes content.
2. Social Media
While video engages viewers, social media allows prospects to interact with your brand. Social media is versatile in its storytelling capabilities. Likes, comments and stories — any and all social media features — make it simple for users to interact.
Are you fun? Serious? Think out of the box? The way your brand interacts with people reflects your story. Leverage the unique strengths of each platform to enhance your brand story. Instagram, for example, is great for sharing visual content, while Twitter is better for facilitating conversations. Even LinkedIn’s Slideshare has beautiful storytelling features. Even TikTok can be a fun engagement tool if you have a younger audience or customer base. Once you know your brand story, share it on the right social platforms, and leverage their native tool-sets.
Influencers can be an extension of your brand. They can help you reach a target audience that may not have heard of your brand otherwise. Why are influencers necessary for digital PR? Because your brand shouldn’t be the only one doing the talking.
An influencer also gives a face to your brand story, so pick your influencers wisely. Find those people who support the same qualities, causes and values as your brand. Remember, you are telling a story. Much like selecting actors to fit a screenplay, brands need to find the right people to bring the story to life.
Tell your brand story on your blog. Enlist employees, customers and other stakeholders to contribute blog content that is relevant and timely to your industry.
Why invite external blog contributors? Because audiences are more likely to believe your brand story if you encourage real users to contribute authentic content. It also reinforces the idea that you value stakeholder opinions and that they are a part of your brand story.
Like social media, blogs are versatile, so don’t be afraid to experiment with your writing and topics. Just keep posts relevant, timely and aligned with your messaging.
5. Community Panels
Contribute expert insights to external websites by participating on community panels. A community panel rounds up insights from industry experts and combines their thoughts into a cohesive article. You can typically find opportunities to participate in community panels on sites such as your local chamber of commerce, Non-Profits, or even local government agencies. These articles not only provide exposure but also serve as a platform on which to build authority and awareness for your brand.
6. Thought Leadership Articles
A thoughtful article that dives deep into a particular industry topic can usually find a happy home on an external site. Editors typically welcome unique perspectives and expert insights to be posted on their site.
Everyone is an expert on something. Penning a thought leadership article provides an opportunity to not only establish expertise but to introduce your brand to a new audience. Identify what you are an expert in, and then pitch an authentic story idea to a few industry sites. Chances are if the idea hasn’t already been covered, then you’ll uncover an opportunity to publish an article.
7. Un-linked Mentions
An un-linked mention means your brand is referenced online, but the content is not tagged or linked back to a brand asset such as a website or social media account. Adding a link within this content adds to the story.
Reach out to the publisher to see if they will the content with a link back to your website. That way, their readers can learn more about your brand while filling in some of the gaps that may exist in the original content. These opportunities exist on social sites like Twitter, blog posts, and even on major news channels.
Where To Go From Here
Brands want opportunities to share their stories. These digital PR techniques highlight some of the readily available ways for marketers to utilize the platforms and partners around them.
Consider creating assets such as video and social content. Enlist the help of external influencers and internal stakeholders. Then, get involved in the conversation with community panels, thought leadership articles, and un-linked mentions. The end result is a more authentic, sustainable way to build your brand on
Tags: #marketing, #digitalmedia, #contentmarketieng, #publicrelations, #videoproduction, #socialmedia
If you want to use social media to generate leads, build brand awareness or drive traffic to your site, have you considered live video streaming?
Over the last few years, live video has taken over social platforms and created a new way for brands to connect with their audiences. Small businesses working their way up can more easily attract and engage new prospects and persuade them to convert with live streams. Here is some information that I love engaging my mind in and thought I would share with you. More than ever live streaming will help your marketing and your brand.
Why use live streaming?
Today's consumers want to connect with the brands they invest in. Due to the rise of e-commerce, it's now easier to pick and choose which businesses to engage with. Customers can afford to be picky about where they spend their money. If you don't give them reasons to choose your brand, they'll be quick to leave and go with your competitor.
Marketers are constantly seeking new ways to catch their customers' attention and keep it. People consume a lot of media on the go, which means they have more opportunities to use social media and interact with brands.
But how can you make people want to engage with your business? You need to earn their trust, which you can do with live streaming. Because there are endless ways to use it, it can become a regular part of your conversion optimization strategy.
Today more than 45% of marketers use live video. With the recent pandemic, that number continues to go up. It's important to take advantage of its benefits since it's popular with users and keeps them engaged.
Through live streams, you can show prospects who you are and what your brand stands for. It's essential to personalize the experience so customers feel comfortable buying from you and returning for more.
These are some things you can do with live streaming:
1. Research your audience.
For any business to succeed, it needs to know its audience. If you don't know who you're creating content for, you can't expect to move prospects through the sales funnel. Your strategy will be all over the place and won't cater to anyone, leaving you back at square one.
A recent study showed that nearly 45% of viewers of content want to see more video from marketers, and that includes live video. But you won't know what kind of live video to make unless you understand your target audience and their needs.
When you know your audience, you can easily find out other useful information, such as the best time to go live and what topics to discuss. The last thing you want to do is go live without preparing for your streaming session. This will lead to disorganization and a drop in viewers. You need to look professional and give every Livestream a purpose.
These are some possible purposes of your Livestream:
Look at your existing social media followers and customers. You can tell a lot about them by looking at where they spend the most time and what they spend the most time on. Both your social media and website have analytics that can show you what works for your audience and what causes them to bounce.
2. Choose the right platform.
At first, you may think you need to use every livestreaming platform available, but this is far from the truth. With any strategy, you don't want to spread yourself too thin. If you try using every platform there is, you will connect with fewer followers and won't meet your goals.
The latest stats show that close to 80% of businesses use Facebook. Not all of them keep their content up as they should but they use it as a way to attract new members, while 35% rely on Twitter, making them the most popular platforms for lead generation. But that doesn't mean you need to go live on these specific platforms. It's still essential to use live video on the websites that are relevant to your brand and audience to drive the most traffic.
It's important to understand which social media platform best serves your audience and your purpose. These are the most popular platforms and the use cases they serve best:
3. Pick a relevant topic.
Typically, stats show that around 45% of buyers look at 3 to 45 pieces of content before making a purchase decision? It takes time for them to trust your brand because they don't want to spend their hard-earned money just anywhere. Livestreaming reduces the need for them to consume other content about your brand and makes it easier for you to turn viewers into paying customers.
However, it's only easy if you engage your audience with a relevant topic. You wouldn't write a blog post about how to fix a tire if you run a cooking business, and the same goes for your live streams. You need to make sure the topic interests your viewers and makes them feel excited to attend.
So how do you figure out what your audience wants from your live streams?
The simplest way to find out is to ask. You can create social posts asking users for their input, and even make it fun by turning it into a poll. You can also email your existing subscribers asking what they'd enjoy seeing from you on live video.
Look at what social media posts have garnered the most attention, likes, and shares on your profile. What questions do people ask the most? What content receives the most traffic?
It's also important to track trending topics in your industry, as hot topics attract more views and engagement. Practice social listening by using relevant tools and searching for hashtags and keywords related to your brand.
Tags: #videobranding, #livestreaming, #video, #socialmedia, #marketing
We’ve all heard that the average human attention span is less than 20 seconds or even less when surfing through content on a mobile device. For most people, that is a "So What Moment". But for marketing teams, that statistic is the stuff of nightmares. Here is some great information I think you will find useful I found.
Competition for your audience’s attention has never been higher. And with people cutting the cord on cable or satellite TV, companies are now fighting for top spots around the digital watercoolers where people spend most of their time.
In other words, social media is the colosseum where companies battle for supremacy. And unless you’re operating with a million-dollar marketing budget, there’s no way to guarantee you’ll become the top brand in your industry.
Small businesses need every advantage they can get these days. Video marketing is a great way to establish your brand on social media, and it’s a flexible strategy to explore. But one of the clearest — and best performing — winners is explainer videos.
To help you make the most of your video marketing, here are 5 reasons why your company (and any small or startup business) needs explainer videos.
Capture Attention Quickly
Very few people want to sit down and read a wall of text. Even if that content is a walkthrough, guide, or tutorial, it’s hard to commit to a 1,000+ word piece when a 3-minute video would be faster, clearer, and more enjoyable. That’s why most of us look for videos first.
Explainer videos meet all of those needs. But perhaps best of all, this style of content has a proven track record of capturing and holding — someone’s attention. The steady flow of information and some ambient music will put the audience into an almost meditative state.
Explain Complex Ideas
If you bombard people with statistics or complicated topics, you’ll lose their interest. That might mean skipping your video, closing the tab, or marking your ad “Not relevant.” And that isn’t just a missed opportunity — that is a lost customer.
A core piece of video marketing is using the time wisely, and whiteboard/explainer videos exist for the sole purpose of helping us do that. The combination of a simple animation, calming music, and sound effects create a calm tone that research has proven as an ideal learning environment and a simple and great way to boost your conversion rates.
And if you are trying to highlight the value of the product or service you are featuring, using an explainer video allows you to tell a story, create an experience, and show off what your company does.
Create Some Engagement
A key piece in creating engagement is choosing the right content. If you are producing videos that are relevant to your audience’s needs and interests, you are meeting their expectations and providing a benefit to them. That’s an important measure of success for any marketing platform.
Different businesses prioritize different statistics when it comes to engagement. But explainer videos give you a slight advantage, whether you’re interested in views, subscribers, or reactions.
Once you’ve caught someone’s attention and created a focused environment for that person, you’ve taken the right steps to make sure they’ll get to the end of the video on screen and take the steps you want them to.
Strengthen Evergreen Content
No, your explainer videos probably won’t be evergreen content. But that’s okay. One thing they will do is provide an additional resource that is easily digestible for both customers and leads. Explainer videos are generally considered closer to the type of content you would share on a blog, Facebook post, eBook, etc. And that means you can create a tutorial, tell a story, or highlight a new feature through the product/service your company provides.
It might not open up new opportunities for you, but this type of video presentation serves to add support to bigger parts of your content strategy. Coordinating video content with topics you’re focusing on in other platforms will provide a boost to your SEO rankings as well. And any extra push you can give to evergreen content you want to draw attention to will be an extra benefit.
Reduce Production Costs Of Your Video
Explainer videos don’t require building a studio or renting $20,000 in video equipment. (In reality, all you need is a graphic designer with some animation know-how.) And when it comes to producing video content, the only cheaper option is using a smartphone or your computer webcam.
Production costs play a big factor in determining how to allocate your budget. Video has proven to have some of the biggest upsides for marketing teams in any industry, and the benefits of that more than compensate for buying software, licensing music, or learning an animation program.
Also coming into play is which social platforms you are going to use.
And as an added benefit, the best explainer videos tend to keep things simple. Your content might not go viral, but any traffic or engagement it creates will point people to your brand and hopefully motivate you to keep developing more videos.
If video marketing isn’t a big part of your strategy — or if it’s not something you can budget for right now — then a short explainer video might be an opportunity to get your feet wet in this sort of channel. The most you’ll need is some royalty-free music, sound effects, and animation, all of which you can produce yourself or license for much cheaper than you’d pay for a studio full of videography equipment.
Why Your Company Needs Explainer Videos
Explainer videos are a part of internet culture now. Some companies specialize in that sort of content, creating YouTube channels or Instagram accounts with millions of followers. And while that probably isn’t your goal, it’s a proof of concept that this type of video works well.
Viewers love clever content in small doses. And if you can find a way to leverage that into your marketing strategies, there’s a good chance that your audience will respond to it.
We’ve all watched a handful of explainer videos as work tutorials, educational videos, or random clips on YouTube and social media. The good news is that there’s no such thing as an “expert” in this field — with the right software, anyone can make a successful explainer video. So are you ready?
Tags: #videos, #marketingvideos, #smallbusiness, #explainervideos, #videoproduction
Marketers should develop strategies specific to instant messaging, Juniper recommends, with 84% of smartphone owners using communication apps this year. Apps like Tencent's WeChat that is popular in China demonstrates how messaging can be transformed to offer a broad range of services including digital payments, shopping, travel booking, and food delivery, among others. WeChat lets marketers create "mini-programs" that work inside the app, expanding the capabilities of Android phones that have limited to SMS or MMS text services.
It is stated that marketers should not wait for RCS to hit the mainstream — despite it being a major upgrade to messaging services on Android phones — to expand beyond its current limited user base before developing a marketing strategy for instant messaging. While RCS isn't supported by Apple, which has its own media-rich messaging app for iOS devices, the technology is likely to become more popular on Android devices with the support of the mobile industry. Mobile marketers need to prepare for the possibility that RCS may become more popular among consumers, opening up a sales channel that supports digital transactions and media-rich communications. With all this said, I found this study to be really amazing as we turn more and more to mobility and chat to communicate not only with friends and associates but through business as well.
Tags: #mobility, #messagingapps, #socialmedia, #marketing, #business, #apps
Have you ever heard the phrase “show, don’t tell”? Well that phrase is the exact reason that YouTube is the secret to your branding success. You just need a little creativity and patience.
Branding for small businesses revolves around two trains of thought. One is that your brand should be representative of who you are completely and be very straight forward and to the point. And the other is that your brand should tell a story. YouTube is a really way to reinforce whichever avenue you prefer.
Because YouTube is a great way to engage your audience with your company brand. Everything from company culture videos, product reviews, thought leadership videos, webinars, or skill sharing videos can be a great way to reaffirm who you are as a company. Show people who you are via YouTube.
5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every single day, which is a lot of people and a captive audience. A lot of your existing customers will already be on YouTube as well. It’s widely reported that the average attention span on consumers viewing videos is 8.25 seconds which isn’t very long at all. But those 8.25 seconds will be much more effective if you’re using them to engage your audience in a video, as opposed to plain text on a website.
Using videos to reinforce your branding is something that the biggest and the best businesses already do on a regular basis. Take a company like Nike. They use their YouTube platform to provide workout videos – featuring their equipment and clothing. By providing this additional value for Nike customers, the company is branding itself as the “go to” for fitness.
And it’s not only the content you create that can help reinforce your business branding. Your YouTube channel features a channel banner image that you can use to promote your other social networks, or as a way to share your business tag line. There’s also an “about” section where you can include links outside of YouTube, and really share more information about who you are as a brand.
Most Social Platforms Are Free To Use
YouTube, of course, isn’t the only place that you can use video marketing as a branding tool. Most social media sites allow native videos. Native videos are ones that have been uploaded directly on to the social media platform, as opposed to being shared via a YouTube link. What’s more is that sites tend to love native videos and will prioritize them in the algorithm. After all, if people are watching videos you’ve uploaded on LinkedIn, people are spending more time “on site” on LinkedIn. And LinkedIn’s main goal is to get users who spend a lot of time on their site.
One of the main problems’ companies face when trying to develop or establish a brand is it’s very difficult to get audience to buy in to your brand. The easiest way to overcome this problem is to explain to your audience why they should trust you. Creating videos is one of the best ways you can do that.
Tags: #videoproduction, #videos, #videobranding, #marketing, #smallbusiness, #youtube, #socialmedia, #digitalmedia