25 Tips for Creating Great Marketing Videos

25 Tips for Creating Marketing Videos

In recent years, videos have been making inroads in digital marketing, emerging as a powerful promotional tool for businesses to promote their wares in an exciting and engaging way. Though when it comes to video marketing, there’s some pretty definitive ‘rules’ businesses should stick to in order to get their videos right. Get them wrong and marketing videos can be more hindering to a company than profiting.

Fortunately, if you’re a business looking to embark on an effective video marketing strategy, you’re in the right place, as Small Business Trends explores 25 tips for creating marketing videos.

Tips for Creating Marketing Videos

Tell a Story

Instead of being overtly salesy, an effective video tells a story. As the Digital Marketing Institute notes, businesses should utilize the emotive power of video by appealing to their customer’s needs and desires.

Make Sure the Introduction Stands Out

A little like how we are unlikely to click on an email if we’re not inspired by the subject line, an incredible one fifth of viewers click off a video within 10 seconds if they’re not interested in what they see. With this in mind, the introduction of the video is vitally important and should be made inspiring, entertaining and informative, to hook the viewer and encourage them to view the whole of the video.

Create a Stimulating Title

By the same token, your video’s title should be stimulating and eye-catching in order to grab a viewer’s attention. Furthermore, by using relevant keywords in a title, the video is likely to show up on the search engines when viewers search for the topic.

Focus on the Mission and Less on the Product

Instead of being overtly focused on the product and all its benefits, channel the message of the video into the mission of the product. Dove, for example, are hailed are being experts in creating emotional viral videos that focus less on their product and more on their mission.

Don’t Be Boring

Who wants to watch a boring video? It goes without saying, if you want your business’s video marketing campaign to be successful, create exciting and inspiring videos that can never be considered boring.

Get a Little Bit Risqué!

While too much naughty content is unlikely to do the credibility of your business many favors, as Inc. writes, just the right amount can be good for page views — as long as not overdone.

Make it Mobile Friendly

With more and more people using mobile devices to get online, it’s imperative corporate videos are mobile friendly. In fact, according to YouTube, mobile video consumption increases 100% every year! Marketing videos therefore need to be able to be downloaded and enjoyed on mobile devices.

Think About SEO

Quite simply, Google loves video content and an effective video marketing campaign should have Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in mind. To ensure maximum SEO value from your videos, accompany the video with a well-written description that is tagged with relevant keywords to help boost the video’s SEO.

Include Your URL in the Video

Displaying your website address in a marketing video is a good way for companies to get exposure and generate traffic to their website through a video.

Educate Your Audience

As the Digital Marketing Institute informs, one of the most powerful ways to implement effective video marketing is to educate viewers. Often videos that offer advice, information, tips and other informative content can be more effective than a solely promotional video.

Make the Video More Atmospheric with Music

Music is a powerful tool on video content, evoking a myriad of emotions. Don’t be afraid to use music in your video that fits the mood of the message and crafts a more exciting and emotive video.

Use Video Content Generated by Customers

Putting your customers behind the camera to talk about how they have used and benefited from your product, can be a powerful way to engage viewers and appeal to prospective customers.

Include a Call to Action

Similar to how all blog posts and content should have a call to action at the end, which invites the reader to take further action, such as signing up to a newsletter, or visiting a website, so too should a marketing video. Ask yourself, what do you want viewers to do when they’ve watched the video and then encourage them to do so without being overtly salesy.

Take Viewers Behind the Scenes

Consumers love to get up close to a brand and video marketing offers the perfect opportunity to take customers behind the scenes and into your business’s ‘natural surroundings.’

Include Tutorial Videos

Posting tutorials that are relevant to your niche is a great way to connect and engage with customers. Tutorials shouldn’t give away all your industry secrets, but should be enough to entice the viewer with informative and useful content, leaving them wanting to learn more.

Keep Them Short

Online viewers often don’t have much time to spare before they’re off looking on a new site and at a new video. In this sense, shorter marketing videos can tend to work better than long ones. As Helen Klein Ross told Kiss Metrics:

“The less you say, the more likely people are to remember.”

Use a Professional Voice

Words spoken with clarity and professionalism will always come out better in a corporate video than an amateur speaker, whose lack of experience speaking on the camera is obvious. With this in mind, it might be a good idea to have an employee that is experienced on speaking in front of the camera record for the video, or even think about calling in a professional.

Use Micro-Video Apps

Along with all this talk of keeping videos short for  the viewer, it’s also true shorter content is a better format for most social platforms. As Forbes notes, short, concise content triumphs over longer forms of content, particularly on social media channels. Video marketers should consider using micro-video apps, which shorten videos to less than 10 seconds, so they’re ideal of sharing on the likes of Instagram and Twitter.

Pose Questions

Strive to create engagement and conversation with your video by asking viewers questions. Ask viewers to leave answers to the questions in a comment section below the video.

Don’t Be Preoccupied with Perfection

Videos for marketing purposes aren’t Hollywood movies and nobody expects perfection. Whilst you want the video to look professional, don’t become too obsessed with perfection that on the 50th take you still haven’t got in right.

But Don’t Forget Production Quality

That said, it’s important a marketing video is produced professionally. From the camera work to lighting, edited to voice overs, it might be a good idea to call upon the expertise of a professional video production company to ensure the video is produced in a high quality.

Use Videos to Help You Create Your Own Effective Video Marketing Strategy

Head to the likes of YouTube to see how businesses are already building videos that have managed to go viral. Featuring the likes of Coca-Cola, these ‘10 Epic Viral Marketing Videos’ on YouTube will give you some pointers on how some of the biggest and well-known brands are producing a video designed to go viral.

Build Hype Around the Launch of the Video

Instead of just going ahead and launching your video, build hype around the video by promoting its launch date on your website, blog and social media channels.

Provide Some Humor

Not all corporate videos need to be serious. On the contrary, some humour can work well in generating more interest in your video. Vidyard gives an example of a humorous marketing video that proved hugely successful — a parody by cloud invoicing provider Taulia of the award-winning commercial series ‘Get Rid of Cable’ by Direct TV. As Vidyard writes:

“The video not only delivers a laugh, but this kind of humorous take on B2B solution can really get your customers feeling connected with your brand and help you stand out in what can be a stuffy market.”

Embed a Video in Landing Pages

Think strategically about where you are going to place your marketing video. Statistics show that embedding videos in landing pages can raise conversion rates by as much as 80 percent.

With video forecast to claim more than 80 percent of all web traffic by 2019 and 90 percent of customers reporting that product videos help them make purchasing decisions, it is imperative companies create videos that resonate with their audience and ultimately help sell their services and products.

Making Video Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “25 Tips for Creating Great Marketing Videos” was first published on Small Business Trends

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How to Strengthen Customer Relationships When Time is at a Premium

How to Strengthen Customer Relationships When Time is at a Premium

As a small business owner, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day operations of your business. And while the things that go on behind the scenes certainly matter, you can’t focus on them at the expense of your relationships with customers.

Small Businesses Are Built on Relationships

When people think about small businesses, a certain image is conjured up in their minds. They picture a quaint storefront on a main street in a small town. They see friendly storeowners who know customers by their first names and interact with them as they walk in. They picture handshakes, smiles, and promises that are always honored.

See, small businesses are all about interpersonal relations. They thrive on connections and conversations. But somewhere along the way, companies moved away from the heart of small business. With so many different forces and distractions competing for attention, small businesses have started spending less time focusing on relationships and more time dealing with “important” administrative tasks and responsibilities.

The problem with this shift in small business management is that nothing is more important than customer relationships. While payroll, accounting, digital marketing, website analytics, paid media, hiring, and training matter, they can’t take away from the focus on customer relationships. As soon as relationships erode, the business follows closely behind.

Do yourself a favor and conduct a quick analysis on your small business. Are you so wrapped up in the day-to-day tasks and managerial responsibilities that you’re no longer fostering healthy relationships with new and existing customers?

If this is the case, you aren’t alone. It’s an epidemic in the business world and you’ll find thousands of other business owners in the same boat. However, at some point, you have to make the conscious decision to get out of the boat and return to what made you successful: relationships.

4 Ways to Strengthen Customer Relationships

You can’t snap your fingers and wish your way into stronger customer relationships. What you need is a customer relations strategy that targets particular weaknesses in your business and builds on the strengths that you already have. And while every business will have different needs and action steps, the following tips should provide you with a solid footing on which you can build for the future.

1. Use CRM Software

Customer relationship management (CRM) is a term used to describe the handy tools small businesses utilize to streamline the management and nurturing of customer relationships.

“It’s usually a cloud-based system that stores information about your clients, potential clients and contacts in one central safe place that everyone in your team can access and update wherever they are,” small business expert Nadia Finer says. “A CRM can also help you grow your business and keep customers happy by keeping track of interactions and tasks, and giving you a clear view of your sales pipeline.”

What Finer is really getting at is this: CRM makes it easier to manage customer relationships when you don’t have the time to manually handle every task.

As a general principle, most businesses extract 70-80 percent of their profits from 20-30 percent of their customers. One way to maximize the value of your CRM system is to use the built-in analytics tools to keep track of who your most valuable customers are.

As marketing manager Christopher Meloni explains it, “This sort of tracking, with the help of your CRM software, will in-turn enable you to allocate your resources in such a manner that those 20-30% of your customers get the best customer service, always. This is called target-based allocation, and it can prove wonders for you and your business organization.”

CRM can also be used to help you handle customer complaints in a swift manner. By delivering fast responses, you can deal with problems as they arise (instead of letting them fester). Other valuable uses – depending on the CRM system you use – include the ability to analyze customer buying patterns, send out automatic updates, and keep track of who customers are and how they’re likely to respond in certain situations.

2. Invest in Business Intelligence

Are you currently invested in business intelligence? This is the fastest developing trend in small business and you have to make it a priority if you stand any chance of acquiring and maintaining a base of loyal customers that continue to come back time after time.

“Business intelligence for small business helps to gather data about your customers’ behavior and structure it in a clear form so that it can be analyzed fast and easy,” explains Heiko Troster of datapine. “With insights about your customers’ behavior you can make effective business decisions.”

Data is the ammunition of your communicative efforts. When you understand who your customers are and what they want, you can effectively forecast needs and satisfy their desires. You still have to strategically act on the information you have, but at least business intelligence tools can provide you with valuable data that you’d otherwise miss out on.

3. Gather More Information on Customers

Customers want to be known as more than an invoice number or receipt. They want to be seen as individuals with personal lives, needs, and sensitivities. When you have advanced CRM and business intelligence tools in place, you can tactfully gather more information on your customers and gain a fuller picture of who they are and what their needs are. This will benefit you in the long run by allowing you to interact with customers on an individual basis.

4. Reshape Your Social Media Strategy

What does your current social media strategy look like? If you haven’t made a conscious effort over the years to make your social media presence about your followers, then your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram profiles are probably self-serving. All of the content you post is about your brand and you aren’t adding any real value to your customers. Sound familiar?

If the goal is to strengthen customer relationships, you’ll need to reshape your social media strategy and make it less about you and more about them. Make it an avenue for two-way conversations to take place.

“Unlike a one-way conversation where a company typically dominates the narrative and doesn’t really acknowledge or interact with visitors/followers , a two-way conversation directly connects brands and consumers,” says Carolyn Edgecomb of IMPACT. “A two-conversation is a dialogue, where brands speak and listen to their audience, responding directly to their wants and needs.”

The classic rule of thumb is that 80 percent of your social media posts should add value to your brand without directly promoting your products and services. Try your best to meet this goal.

Make More Time for Customers

Forging strong relationships with customers takes effort. But thanks to the technologies you now have available to you – such as CRM systems, business intelligence tools, and social media – it doesn’t have to require a ton of time.

Now’s the time to create a game plan for success. How are you going to handle the many needs of your company without compromising on the customer relationship front? It’ll take some trial and error, but you can find a solution.

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Mobile Minutes: Germany fines hate speech; Alphabet jargon; Netflix takes aim at studios; Sound wave phone hacks

Today in mobile minutes – Germany plans to fine social media sites over hate speech; Alphabet’s Jigsaw wants to explain tech jargon to you; Netflix tries to outdo theaters with films a studio can envy; It’s possible to hack a phone with sound waves, researchers show.

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7 Questions to Ask When Brainstorming Content Ideas for Marketing

7 Questions to Ask When Brainstorming Content Ideas for Marketing

One of the requirements for a sustainable content marketing campaign is the aptitude for generating topic ideas. It may sound easy, but at some point, you’ll realize that this can be harder than producing the content itself — whether it’s a blog post, podcast or any form of visual content.

Smart marketers capitalize on tools that randomly generate titles based on keywords. There are also content research tools like BuzzSumo that can help you identify what’s trending in your niche. While these can help you obtain rough ideas on what your next piece will be about, they rarely provide you with usable titles that are worth publishing.

Brainstorming Content Ideas

Take note that you need a strategic approach when generating topic ideas. But before you finalize and start working on any title, be sure to ask yourself the following questions first:

1. Have You Done Anything Similar Before?

Some content marketers are guilty of reusing the same idea for multiple content pieces, especially if they contribute to different publications. If you’re really struggling to come up with something new, then you may revert back to old topic ideas.

Reusing a previous title idea can be advantageous as long as you’re doing it knowingly. Otherwise, you may disappoint subscribers who religiously follow your blog.

The first thing you can do is to explore the topic from a different angle or furnish it with a new set of actionable steps. If possible, you can also present it using a different format to appeal to new audiences. Old data-rich posts, for example, can be repurposed into infographics, which garner three times more engagement on social media.

2. Are There Sufficient Resources Online?

If you answered “no” to the previous question, then you probably lack comprehensive knowledge on the topic you chose. Sure, diligent content producers can relate to anything with extensive research, but it’s very difficult to instill value to new content if there aren’t enough information sources online.

Unless you have firsthand experience on a subject, make sure there are abundant research materials available before you get started. To establish yourself as a credible, authoritative brand, you should only provide 100 percent accurate information that’s validated by studies and other resources. And if you really need to delve into a topic, then be prepared to purchase reports and studies from certified research firms.

Additionally, make sure you only reference the most recent sources available. A simple trick is to filter results through search engines and content research tools by date instead of relevance.

3. Is There Similar Content Elsewhere?

Let’s face it — all content marketers have at least considered copying ideas or “borrowing inspiration” from other content producers. With millions of websites publishing content every second, it’s hard to come up with something that’s truly unique.

Although it’s fine if you don’t have first dibs on a new content idea, you should aim to make your version better in every single way. This is doable if you can update old data, add more information, or incorporate additional visual elements. But if you can’t do any of these, then you should ditch the topic and start anew. This involves getting links from authoritative websites that linked to the original content, making the technique highly beneficial for SEO.

4. Can You Offer Original Views and Add Value?

Take note that content marketing is now much more difficult than ever. If you keep on repeating everything that other publishers already shared, it’ll be impossible to cut through the content noise and make your brand stand out.

In addition to making your content better, assess if you can offer your original views to elevate its value. You can apply the information yourself to gain deeper insights and expound actionable steps. Finally, the content should also align with your brand’s voice — something that fosters familiarity between you and the online audience.

5. Can You Be More Specific?

Another way to be more unique is to dissect a topic into smaller pieces and focus on those individually. For example, if you initially wanted to cover influencer marketing, you can shift your focus on subtopics such as researching potential influencers, writing your outreach email and tracking relationships with brand advocates.

Every topic can be narrowed down with a little creativity and resourcefulness. Apart from finding subtopics, you can also tailor your new content to a different audience type. Play around with demographics such as age groups, employment status, income level, and location. This can unlock new topic possibilities with the same set of ideas.

6. Do You Have the Best Content Type in Mind?

In an interview with Mention, Rand Fishkin of Moz says that content marketers should explore new content types if they want to stay relevant.

“Content marketers are going to have to be more unique with the types of content they create,” says Fishkin. “They’re going to have more niche — serving smaller and smaller interest groups, but doing a better job of serving each of those.”

The good news is, brands don’t need a huge amount of capital to start diversifying their content arsenal. For example, simple visual content like infographics, quote cards and data visualizations can be created with a tool like Canva. It is a drag-and-drop platform that offers templates, icons and other features that can help you create shareable images within minutes.

Most modern smartphones are also capable of recording short video clips for social media. According to Cisco, videos will account for 80 percent of all online traffic by the year 2019. So rather than planning another blog post, consider writing an explainer video script instead.

7. Will It Come with a Catchy Headline?

The final touches of a topic idea involve crafting a captivating headline that’s searchable, audience-oriented, and compelling. After answering all the previous questions, make sure you can wrap everything up in as few words as possible.

According to Kissmetrics, the perfect headline is only six words long because readers tend to focus on the first and last three words. But since this is nearly impossible to pull off consistently, aim for anywhere from eight to twelve words. Ideally, you should use numbers and power words to make the headline more interesting.

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Mobile Minutes: Verizon unlimited data; Uber drivers’ strike; Facebook courts music labels; Ford’s AI investment

Today in mobile marketing – Verizon finally brings back the unlimited data plan; Drivers’ strike paralyses Uber, Ola services in Indian capital; Facebook tries to offer music labels a YouTube alternative; Ford to invest $1 billion in artificial intelligence start-up.

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The Best Ways For eCommerce Businesses To Use Online Advertising

There are many options for spending advertising dollars to promote your ecommerce business. Here are 3 types of online ecommerce advertising to consider.

You’ve finally done it.

You’ve bought your domain. You’ve set up your website. You’ve even created some social media accounts. And you’ve set up your online store.

It’s time to start selling!

But there’s one problem … nobody’s coming to your website. Nobody’s buying your product. As a matter of fact, nobody even knows you exist!

That sucks, right?

But don’t worry. Every eCommerce business owner runs into this problem. Fortunately, there are ways you can attract more web traffic and get your eCommerce business started.

For most eCommerce businesses, online advertising is the best way to get more people to your website. In this post, I’m going to give you some helpful tips to maximize your online advertising efforts. When you use these tips, you will see how much easier it can be to get more traffic to your website and earn more business.

You’re welcome.

Google Adwords

Google Adwords is one of the most common online advertising platforms. It’s also one of the most effective. If you’re going to use paid advertising, you should try out Google’s platform.

Here are some of the benefits of using Adwords:

  • It’s highly flexible. You can target many different types of customers
  • It’s a huge source of traffic. Google is the most popular search engine. 67.5 percent of search engine users use Google to find the information they need.
  • You get transparent results. You can easily see how your ad campaign is doing at any time.

Google is one of the most popular online advertising platforms. If you use it the right way, you can get tons of traffic to your website.

Know Who You Want To Target

Yes, I know this sounds obvious, but it’s really not. Many business owners fail to target their ads effectively. Their ads end up targeting people that aren’t interested in what they have to offer.

It’s important to know what your prospects are searching for online. Google’s Keyword Planner is a great tool that can help you figure this out. And it’s free!

When you’re writing your ads, you need to make sure you’re addressing the actual needs of your prospects. Don’t just tell your prospects what you offer. Tell them what problems you will solve. That’s what they’re looking for.

Make sure you have a clear call to action. Let them know what you want them to do, and why. This is the best way to make sure you get more click-throughs.

Use Negative Keywords

So what are negative keywords? It’s simple. These are keywords that you don’t want your ad to show up for. It keeps you from wasting time and money showing your ad to people who aren’t a good fit for your offer.

Here’s an example.

Let’s say you’re an attorney who specializes in estate planning law. Your ads cater to prospects that need to draft a last will and testament. In this case, you don’t want your ad showing up for people who are looking for a personal injury attorney. So “personal injury” would be a negative keyword for you.

You need to create a list of keywords that you don’t want your ads to show up for. This is how you maximize the effectiveness of your ads. You can make sure your ads aren’t showing to people who wouldn’t be interested in what you’re offering. If you learn how to use negative keywords, you will get more of the right traffic.

Facebook Advertising

Facebook is a great advertising platform if you want to gain more exposure for your business. It’s the most popular social media platform, which means that you have a higher likelihood of reaching your target audience. It’s the best online advertising platform for eCommerce businesses.

Here are some of the benefits to using Facebook ads:

  • You can target your ads more effectively. Facebook allows you to use demographics to target your prospects. You can be pretty precise in the type of person you want to see your ad.
  • There’s a HUGE pool of people to target. Facebook has 1.28 billion users. Over 800 million of these users are active on a daily basis.
  • Using it gives you an edge over your competitors. Many businesses are not taking advantage of the benefits that Facebook offers.

If you use Facebook ads correctly, you can greatly increase the amount of visitors to your website.

Rotate Your Ads

Don’t just use the same ad over and over again, even if it seems to be working. You want to rotate your ads on a regular basis.

Why?

Because you don’t want people to get tired of seeing your ad. If you use the same ad over and over again, people will stop clicking on it. If you get less clicks, your cost per click (CPC) will go up and your campaign will become more expensive.

Don’t make that mistake.

Develop an ad schedule for your campaign. Create a few different types of ads. Use different pictures. Change the ad copy. You need as much variety as possible. Not only will this keep people from becoming tired of your ads, it gives you a chance to see which types of ads work the best.

Use Landing Pages

This may sound counterintuitive, but you don’t want to send your visitors straight to your website when they click on an ad. You want to send them to a landing page first.

Landing pages allow you to make the most of the visitors who click on your ads. With a landing page, you can educate your customers before trying to pitch your product. You can give them more direction on what you want them to do.

If you connect your ad to your home page or a product page, your visitor won’t know what to do once they get to your website. That’s why it’s best for them to see a landing page first.

Your landing page will give your visitor a clear idea of what you want them to do, and why they should do it. If you’re paying for the ad, you might as well make sure that you increase the odds of getting actual customers from it, right?

LinkedIn Ads

Using LinkedIn for advertising is one of the best decisions you can make for your eCommerce business. This is especially true if you have a B2B company.

Here are some of the benefits to using LinkedIn ads:

  • It allows you to target actual professionals in any industry.
  • You get more variety in the type of ads you want to create.
  • LinkedIn ads offer a higher conversion rate.

LinkedIn gives you access to tons of professionals around the world. It’s one of the best ways to reach major decision makers in the companies you target.

Choose The Right Ad Format

LinkedIn offers two different types of ad formats:

  • Sponsored Content.
  • Text and Image Ads

Both of these types have their own pros and cons. You’ll need to figure out which type works best for your business.

Sponsored content is an update that appears on your company LinkedIn page. These posts are targeted to a specific type of audience. They will show on your homepage feed. It’s best for advertising promotions that are happening for a short period of time.

Text and image ads include a headline, description and image. These types of ads are meant to be more long-term. You can target these ads to a specific type of prospect. You can target many different types of professionals in many different types of industries.

Make Them Valuable

Make sure you’re emphasizing the value of what you’re offering. You need to communicate what your prospect will get when they click on your ad.

On LinkedIn, the best way to create an ad is to speak to a specific problem or goal that your prospect might have. You want to show them how you can help. It’s about making their lives easier.

Final Thoughts

Using online advertising isn’t easy. It takes time to master. Creating the right types of ads requires a lot of trial and error. But, if you keep at it, you will earn a lot more traffic and get more customers. When you use the tips given in this article, it will become easier to get more people to buy your product.

Smartphone Shopping Photo via Shutterstock

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