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.

Business Woman Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “How to Strengthen Customer Relationships When Time is at a Premium” was first published on Small Business Trends

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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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This article, “7 Questions to Ask When Brainstorming Content Ideas for Marketing” was first published on Small Business Trends

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