Video Takeover

Barbara Spagnola - Friday, November 10, 2017

Radio stars aren’t the only things video is killing. This medium is taking the marketing world by storm due to its versatility and popularity among a wide range of audiences. However, not all videos are created equal.

According to marketing agency AntiSocial Solutions, “People in the US and Canada are 1.5x more likely to say they feel excited by mobile video on Facebook and Instagram vs TV.” Social videos and livestreaming in particular are attracting more attention and encouraging meaningful customer engagement than many other forms of content. Why is that, and how can you utilize this revolutionary media. Read on to find out.

Social Videos 

With social video views reaching into the billions, it’s no wonder why marketers are beginning to incorporate this medium in their marketing campaigns. Social media is constantly being checked by the masses, even for the news so there’s no better time than now to start filming.

So what exactly are social videos?

To put it simply, these videos are meant to be seen and shared via different social media networks. With their algorithms programmed to give priority to videos, these networks see the potential of this content and are continually adding features on their platforms to promote video posting and sharing.

Unlike viral videos, social videos derive success from being shared among the intended target audience, not necessarily the number of total views. With millennials resonating the most with this kind of video, this demographic should be the focus of any social video marketing campaign.

Since this age range will be taking over the majority of the workforce in an estimated 10 years time, it’s best to start investing in social video as soon as possible. The ROI of social videos is nothing to sniff at either. <a href="http://syndacast.com/video-marketing-statistics-trends-2015/">Since it’s estimated</a> that 74 percent of internet traffic is due to videos, it goes to show that companies who use this medium experience increased conversion rates as well.

Livestreaming

If you can’t see something in person, the next best thing is to watch the livestreaming video. This medium makes it possible for people to get an inside look of things and be “present” in a way that was not possible before. Through livestreaming, you can build the trust of your target audience by promoting transparency and filming the inner workings of your company.

By telling the truth about how you get things done and being open to critiques and suggestions, it helps to foster an environment where customers feel like they’re a part of the company and their opinions matter. Livestreaming on social media also encourages customer engagement, <a href="https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2016/04/introducing-new-ways-to-create-share-and-discover-live-video-on-facebook/">with people commenting more on live videos than regular videos on Facebook</a> and other social networks.

This may be because viewers feel like they’re actually a part of the event instead of a passive bystander. With presenters interacting with viewers and communities being formed through the comments section, livestreaming becomes much more than watching a video.

How to Do It All 

Now that you know the why, all you need to know is how. There are many ways you can use social videos and livestreaming to your advantage. First, here are a few social video strategies:

●  Tell Your Story:  Through social video</a>, tell the story of your company and brand. This medium is a great way to introduce people to your company in a fun and easy to consume way. You can more effectively tell potential customers through social videos your values and beliefs and <a href="https://mbaonline.pepperdine.edu/resources/infographics/promote-a-positive-company-culture-for-success/">how you’re promoting a positive work culture</a> within your business.

●  Lead Generation:  Generate more leads by utilizing social videos. People are definitely more likely to share an interesting video, especially if that video hints at an upcoming event. End it with a call to action and make it easy for viewers to act upon that call by providing a link to a relevant landing page.

●  Customer Support: If you have a question that needs answering, wouldn’t you rather have a short, informative video rather than a lengthy instruction manual? There’s really no contest. When customers have questions about your company or a product or service you’re selling, take the time to film the answer and improve overall customer retention and satisfaction.

Now that you know a thing or two about social videos, here’s what you can  do with livestreaming:

●  Share Live Events: No one likes missing out on cool events. Be your customers’ champion by livestreaming these conventions and expos and showing what viewers want to see. Make your livestream video as interactive as possible by replying to comments and letting viewers decide what you do next.

●  Interviews:  Behind every company are people who make it happen. These people have their own interesting lives and opinions that customers would love to hear from. By interviewing employees and clients, you can give your company a more personal feel and help customers foster a warm familiarity with your business. Remember to keep the audience involved and have them ask questions during the interview as well.

●  Q&A Sessions: Q&A sessions are a great way to find out what your customers are thinking and what they’re curious about regarding your company. Focus on relevant, interesting questions and make sure you use the name of the person who specifically asked. To give your session more direction, decide on a specific topic to discuss beforehand to help narrow down questions and set the mood of the Q&amp;A.

When developing a marketing strategy, it’s advisable to include videos in your overall content plan. This medium is showing more and more to be the face of marketing. They add a level of interest and engagement that written content has a hard time matching.

However, you can take more advantage of what video has to offer by utilizing social videos and livestreaming. By creating an environment where customers truly feel like they are a part of the company and cared for, you’ll see your conversion rates go up with each view your videos get.

Streamlining Your Video Content Marketing Campaign

Barbara Spagnola - Thursday, September 21, 2017

At this point, most entrepreneurs understand the importance of video content marketing. It drives customers to your site through accessible, attention-grabbing visuals, stronger emotional connections, and improved SEO. To top it off, 70 percent of marketers note that video content typically boasts a clearer boost in sales than any other form of marketing.

Nevertheless, many small business owners elect to ignore the potential of video content marketing.This is often due to how content creation is perceived as excessively expensive or laborious — and that the effort involved doesn’t justify the results. However, with a streamlined process, these concerns can be eliminated. Here are three ways you can improve the productivity this process:

1.  Create Videos That Appeal to Your Customers

The first, and arguably the most important, step is to generate ideas for content that will appeal to your target buyer persona. Strong video content either appeals to the interests of your customers (while remaining relevant to your niche) or answers specific questions about your product or service that customers are likely to have.

If you haven’t done so already, gather some information about the demographics, needs, and desires of your customer base. This can be acquired through interviews with customers, surveys, and social media. As you analyze this information, you should identify common traits that define your average customer and compile those traits into a persona. All of your future video content should directly appeal to this persona. 

As you flesh out video ideas, keep in mind that effective videos comprehensively lead customers through the marketing funnel. Not every video needs to include a direct sales pitch, but each one should at least increase awareness of your brand. Furthermore, they need to be engaging; whether you aim to inform, entertain, or inspire, videos must maintain audience interest to make an impact. There is a delicate balance: overly advertorial videos may cause your audience to become disinterested, while failing to properly brand your content will cause a video to fail to drive sales.

2. Find the Right Video Sharing Platform

The next step to your campaign is to find the right video sharing platform for your needs. Depending on the size and resources of your business, it may be viable to host your video content directly on your website. However, bandwidth issues might cause videos to load slowly, which may cause customers to leave your site before viewing the content.

A great alternative to this is to use websites like YouTube or Vimeo to share your videos. The only caveat here is that you need to ensure that your videos are optimized for those platforms. When converting videos for YouTube, for instance, you need to select a format that is compatible, such as .MP4, .MOV, .MPEG4, or .AVI — though YouTube has stated that .MP4 is the preferred file format. If you film your content at a high resolution, it may be wise to choose a lower resolution when converting videos, as these will upload more quickly.

As a bonus when using video sharing platforms, you can even encourage loyal customers to follow your channels. When used in conjunction with social media shares, this can be an extremely effective tactic for keeping in touch with potential and recurring customers. As noted in a resource by Rutgers University, “Social conversions are particularly important for eCommerce and lead generation sites, especially considering that (they) typically offer a lower cost-per-conversion than advertising on search engines.”

Finally, don’t forget about mobile optimization. Considering the many ways that mobile technology has inarguably changed our lives, it is important to ensure that videos are optimized for phones and tablets. While this won’t be a concern for marketers who opt to use a popular video sharing platform (as those are typically already optimized for mobile), you will need to do so if you decide to host content on your own site.

3. Test and Refine Your Content

Ideation isn’t a static process. As you gain followers online, gauge your audience’s reception to specific types of content. Do some perform better than others? Are there any recurring sentiments expressed in comments regarding your video quality or style? Being willing to adapt to consumer demands not only improves your ability to drive conversions, it also demonstrates your receptiveness and willingness to truly listen to your customers — an essential part of earning a client’s trust.

This can be done effectively through A/B testing. By using minor variations in your video style and format, you can compare how certain changes impact the effectiveness in your videos. Be mindful to test for meaningful, substantive changes; by focusing too heavily on the minutiae, you can waste a lot of resources for relatively trivial information. However, reflecting on some changes, such as how you engage viewers, how your product is displayed, or how you present information, can be illuminating. Researching different approaches to these areas can gradually improve your video marketing content.

These are a few of the basic steps you can take to ensure that your video content marketing campaign will take off smoothly. By considering what your customers need, which video platform to use, and how to continue to improve your content, your chances of finding success will improve greatly. If you are willing to create effective content for your audience, you will establish yourself as an expert in your niche — and improved sales will doubtlessly follow.  

A Dozen Content Marketing Tips for a Rewarding 2017

Barbara Spagnola - Tuesday, March 21, 2017


2016 was ridiculously hard for content marketing. There was more content than ever and it is unlikely that trend will slow down anytime soon. How do you thrive and not just survive in 2017?

 

  1.       1. Live video is the new black

With major platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, and now WhatsApp sporting live video features, we're beginning to see a shift from the more conventional written word to video content. There is so much content out there, constantly battling for the consumer's attention. This means the target audience has less time, a shorter attention span, and lots of distractions. Also consider that search engines are getting better at analysing images and videos to determine what your website is about. Complement traditional wordy content with video or let the video do all the work.

 

2. Drop the bulk

You want to sound professional and personal. Ambiguous, overly formal, or stiff language doesn't work as much. Content is becoming more concise and punchy, and unique with personality. Remember, no one has time anymore. Make every second a customer spends on your site count.

 

  1. Controversy sells

You know why controversy sells? It gets people talking. Gregory Ciotti uses what he calls “toilet paper strategy” to explain that low level controversy like toilet paper orientation get people talking. As a content marketer, why do you need to get people talking? More shares!

  1. Target more specific audiences

There's a lot of generic content out there that merely scratch the surface and not enough specific information that holds value. Pick a niche and focus on that. If you're good enough at it and publish quality material, before you know it, you'll be considered an authority in that niche.

 

  1. A bird in hand

We tend to focus most of our efforts on gaining new customers, constantly chasing higher conversions. We forget that we have to keep the old ones. What’s the use in converting visitors to subscribers only to lose them later? Focus more on a new kind of conversion - converting your current customers to die-hard fans.

 

  1. Be honest

Now, this is not to say content marketers lie but these days, people abhor even the slightest hint of deceit. Customers are becoming more aware of patronising content, so you have to be careful how you frame your stories. In 2017, try to shift from fictional storytelling to more documentary style storytelling. The days of sensationalism are nearly gone.

 

  1. Guessing was so last year

Don’t get the impression that shorter content and less material equals better content. It’s time to move on from the guessing game to something more proactive - testing. Test out your approach to everything content. Test headlines, A/B, conversion, images, multivariate, and see what is actually working and what isn’t.

 

  1. Invest in the right type of content

2017 is going to be a good year for writers, and not just any writers, the good ones. With all the content flooding the online space, there is a greater need for well-written, quality content. Using reputable writing agencies, like Daily Posts UK, is the way to go. You’ll be sure to get quality content as agencies like this know and take their business seriously.

 

  1. Jack of almost all trades

There are email marketers, social media marketers, content marketers, and so on. It's all about specializing, right? No, not anymore. We're not saying you should be a Jack of all trades, but be a generalist. Be deeply experienced in your principal area and sufficiently capable in other areas. For instance, as an email marketer, you should be able to do your analytics and as a content strategist, be conversant with AR and VR.

 

  1. It gets more visual

It’s not just about videos, there’s also infographics to think about. Professionally designed interactive content is like a magnet. It’s a quick way to assimilate information and makes for an easy and engaging read. Meanwhile, it is worth mentioning that augmented reality and virtual reality are here to stay, and you should consider using these tools. They were big last year and are likely to get bigger in 2017.

 

11. Headlines matter most

Great content alone is not enough. You have to be adept at writing headlines. Your headlines have only a few seconds to make an impression. Headlines are so important that John Nemo suggests spending 80 percent of your time on headlines and 20 percent on the actual content. Whether or not this is feasible is not the question, the fact remains headlines are super important.

 

12. Data, data, data

Data rules. People want to see that they are consuming valuable content, and how do you prove this to them? By backing up your content with data to support your ideas.




How to Grow Your Startup Using Videos

Barbara Spagnola - Monday, January 30, 2017

When you launch a startup, there always seems to be a never-ending list of jobs to take care of, from admin and customer service tasks, to sales, marketing, finance, and other work.

However, in a crowded marketplace where there are always new competitors coming into the industry, and 
 


where consumers are overwhelmed with information and choices, it’s important to spend a significant amount of your time 

focusing on how to get your brand known and lots of leads through your door.

Videos Are the Future of Marketing

These days, one of the best marketing options for businesses of all sizes, and in all industries, has to be video. Although years ago videos were typically the domain of large corporations who had huge budgets to spend on production, today technological advances mean that the creation of a professional video is cheaper, easier and quicker than ever. Even if you have only limited funds available to promote your venture, you can shoot and edit a video for an affordable cost.

Videos Build Brand Awareness

There are plenty of benefits to be had from using video marketing. For starters, placing videos on your own website and on social media sites and other places will help you to build your brand awareness and to increase your company’s online search engine rankings.

In addition, consumers love watching videos, particularly on their smart phones and tablets. Online videos account for a whopping 50 percent of mobile web traffic these days. This trend doesn’t seem likely to slow down in the near future either.

Videos Have a High Level of Engagement

Videos are also a great choice for marketing campaigns because they have a high level of engagement. Many shoppers enjoy watching videos more than they do reading text on their screen or on a page in front of them. This means that consumers tend to give more undivided attention to videos, and are more likely to remember what they see. They will also often spend a lot longer watching videos than they would read text.

Don’t forget too that using videos makes you more likely to build relationships with your audience, as well as their trust. Through the power of the visual medium you can more accurately showcase your brand and team’s personality and the benefits of choosing your business. You can also inform people more effectively about the wares that you sell.

If it’s time for you to start creating some videos for your venture, read on for some handy tips you can follow today to ensure they’re as effective as possible.

Make Sure All Your Videos Look Professional

The first thing you need to do when creating videos for marketing purposes is make sure that they always look professional. Each one you create should have plenty of light, good sound, and be edited properly, for starters. They should also include your contact details, so viewers can get in touch for more information, plus calls-to-action so that you can motivate people to sign up to your newsletter, buy a product or otherwise engage with your business.

As well, while of course you can shoot footage on your smartphone, tablet, or personal video camera, it pays to think about hiring the services of a production company that specializes in the area of corporate videos, like Diamond View Studios. Hiring a firm that makes professional productions day in and day out will help you to only ever broadcast videos that showcase your business in the best light.

 people only have an attention span of around 30 seconds. 

   

Keep Videos Short and To the Point

It is also important to keep the length of your videos to a minimum too. After all, with most consumers inundated with information every day, they tend to not have the time or patience to spend ages watching videos, particularly those which have been created for branding or advertising purposes. In fact, typically most 

  

As a result, try to keep your videos short and sweet. If you have a lot of information that you want to impart on one topic, then rather than delivering it as one long spiel, you should break the details up into segments.

Not only will this be more palatable for people to watch, but it will also help you to create more regular content, which in turn will aid your SEO rankings and give viewers something to come back to your website or social media page for in the future.

Don’t Be Boring

Lastly, when you’re creating your videos try and think of ways to inject some personality into each production. Don’t be afraid to include personal messages from yourself or your team members, and/or testimonials, reviews or other comments from your current or past customers.

As well, rather than uploading boring videos which won’t generate much interest or get people sharing or remembering your message, you need to try and make viewers feel something. Focus on making each creation entertaining, humorous, moving, inspiring, motivational, and/or educational.

Using Videos in Promoting Your Business

Barbara Spagnola - Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Promoting your business is probably the hardest part of setting up a business. Once you have identified your niche, defined your target market and adopted a business model, it is now a matter of getting the word out there to attract and bring in clients.

Marketing Strategies

There are many marketing strategies that you can use nowadays to make your business visible to customers from digital technology to traditional advertising. Although a restricted budget for marketing will probably limit the activities you can do, it does not mean that your strategy will not bring in the audience and clients your business needs. What it implies is that you use an effective technique that will filter down to a broad range of clientele.

Using Videos

One of the marketing strategies that is currently trending is the use of videos in promotional activities. Wyzowl statistics indicate that 61% of businesses use videos as a marketing tactic. This means that more enterprises shifted to video marketing compared to last year. Although videos have been around since ages, their use in business is limited. Business owners believe that they won’t have enough content to show and have limited resources. This simply isn’t true as there are many topics that can be covered by videos from info to instructables.

Video marketing is quite a versatile tool that you can adapt to fit your needs. When applied to a website, it can lead to direct sales. Pictures are by themselves already powerful tools which have a quicker effect on the audience than a bunch of texts. Videos have even a higher impact especially informational ones that show the audience what and how things are done.

Another benefit of videos is that your viewers are not only limited to computer users. More people are using mobile devices to search for information and watch videos widening your audience base further.

Issues

One of the main issues surrounding video marketing is the cost of production. However, there are many affordable gadgets out there including your smartphones that can take good quality videos. In addition, easy to use editing tools are available that you can use to improve video productions. It is also possible to outsource videos to amateurs at a reasonable cost. What matters in video marketing is the content you are showing, specifically, its value and use to your audience. Relevant content (explaining a product or service) will keep your clients engaged and they will most likely do something about the video they have just seen. In this regard, video marketing is highly effective in explaining concepts and ideas in an entertaining and easy-to-consume way.

5 Ways To Use Video Marketing For Small Business Growth

Kristy Hall - Thursday, October 06, 2016

by A J Agrawal

The power of video can’t be ignored. It’s the most engaging type of content available today. And it’s never been more affordable to create one. There are many ways in which you can use a video to grow your small business. This guide is going to show you how to do it.

Implant A Video On Your Landing Page

The majority of small businesses will invest in online advertising. These ads will lead to a landing page, where customers can begin to crawl through the sales funnel. Improving landing page conversion rates is always a major matter of concern, but with a video, this is relatively easy.

Studies have shown that a video placed on your landing page canincrease conversions by 80%. This is because the content is engaging and it encourages people to watch. What you have to bear in mind is that this video shouldn’t automatically play.

All the benefits can be eliminated simply by showing a video that obnoxiously plays the moment the customer lands on the page.


You Can Better Reach Mobile Customers

Over half of all Internet users now access the Internet just from a mobile device. This is an important fact because it means traditional types of content are quickly falling by the wayside, and there’s nothing you can do about that. People don’t have time to read a long blog post on the small screen of a smartphone.

The best way to get around this is to use video. A video can say up to 10,000 words for every 1,000 words written down. It’s the easiest way to disseminate a lot of information in a short space of time.



This is a brand new way of reaching over half your audience who don’t have the time or inclination to read a long sales pitch. Now you can appeal to a greater range of people.

Show Your Product In Action

It’s difficult to imagine how a product can come in handy when all you have are three or four stock photos on the screen. A video can provide people with some insight into what your product actually does and how it should be used. This will also save you a lot of unnecessary customer service questions.

Showing your product in action is easy. Combine it with a story to make it more engaging and spread it around as part of your next branded campaign.

Use Video To Go Interactive

The key to growing any business is to engage with your customers. There’s nothing worse than having a huge list of email addresses on your newsletter platform and none of them respond to you. A great way to increase engagement levels is to make your videos interactive.

There are many ways in which you can do this. Choice-based videos where people can follow a story along, which includes your product, are always popular. You can also organize events via live streaming.

For example, one popular way of ensuring engagement is to organize a live Q&A session. You will talk for a little while, answer some questions, then take comments from the floor. The reason why this is so effective is because customers feel like they’re a part of something.

It’s going to keep your customers warm and they’re not going to forget about you in a hurry.


3 Ways Social Video Marketing Can Propel Your Brand

Barbara Spagnola - Tuesday, April 26, 2016
by Adam Toren
Serial entrepreneur, mentor, investor and co-founder of YoungEntrepreneur.com

Social video marketing plays on the most important aspects of basic human nature: the art of storytelling. Where viral videos are all about numbers, social videos are all about connections and conversations.

Here are three ways social video marketing can be good for your business.

1. Emotional connections drive brand loyalty.

It has been scientifically proven that emotional connections build loyalty and influence purchasing decisions. Psychology Today reported that functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI, neuro-imagery showed areas of the brain light up in scans as people tapped into their emotions when making purchasing decisions. The article explains that research showed a three-to-one bias to purchase a product based on an emotional response to an ad vs. those which viewers felt no emotional tie.

By creating videos that truly harness the power of emotional responses, you’re much more likely to drive brand loyalty and purchases over other brands.

Some good examples include the Liberty Mutual “pay it forward” ad series or the “Seeds” Google Glass ad. Both these ads are subtly branded, yet play more like a heartfelt short story than a traditional ad. There are no rates or prices or sales advertised, just the thread of heartfelt stories that draw the audience in.

2. Emotional connections create trust.

Just like emotional connections drive brand loyalty, it also helps to establish trust. Part of that trust, like in the earlier examples, is not to push your brand but to share the emotional context of your message.

As an article in the Harvard Business Review points out, you want to illicit the maximum emotional response and keep branding to a minimum. Heavy use of branding can cause many viewers to disregard the content as spam.



3. Emotional connections propel conversation.

Conversations are the main goal of social video. Another way you can establish a strong emotional connection with your audience and spark conversations is to tie your business to messages related to public good or social issues.

Take, for example, the somewhat shocking and intense social video series put out by AT&T to highlight the terrible consequences of texting and driving. As part of its “It Can Wait” campaign, AT&T hired acclaimed filmmaker Werner Herzog to create an emotionally impactful social video about the deadly nature of texting while driving.

With more than 3 million views and more than 3,000 comments, AT&T has certainly started conversations with this powerful social video.


A great example of a minimally branded series is Dove’s “Campaign for Real Beauty” videos, which unites women under a common cause of seeing their unique beauty. Women often struggle with poor self-image and one particularly compelling video series “beauty sketches” asks women to describe themselves to a sketch artist, before revealing to the camera and the artist what they actually look like.

The stark contrast helps bring to light the epidemic of low self-esteem and unites women in a powerful, emotional message of loving their unique beauty. This is a great way to connect a powerful company message with a social cause and in doing so Dove is creating brand loyalty and trust.

You don’t have to have a major brand to benefit from the power of social video. Take the time to research how you can authentically tie your brand into a powerful story and develop a series of videos that can help propel your business.

Real-Time Video Streaming on Social Media Is Driving the Publishing Craze

Barbara Spagnola - Tuesday, April 26, 2016

by Daniel Newman
President of Broadsuite

Over the past few weeks, a new craze is taking over the digital publishing world: real-time video streaming on social platforms.  While these applications -- Meerkat and Twitter's Periscope currently being the big two in the space – only allow one-way communication, they provide companies the opportunity to broadcast streams and chats on social media from a single platform at the touch of a button. (Visa and Spotify, to name a few, have alerady utilized this new medium)

On top of everyone and their brother buzzing about these new platforms, boatloads of celebs are joining the livestreaming bandwagon, driving the popularity of both apps. Madonna debuted her new music video on Meerkat, while Jimmy Fallon and Ryan Seacrest are on Periscope. As you can imagine, these apps are storming the online world.


And it isn't just big-name stars, giant publishers and brands noticing this new way of communicating with people on social media, but individuals too realize they can instantly be their own media outlet.

The rivalling apps may have shifted where the audience is, but one thing is for sure: together they create a reality TV-esque version of social media that is hard to ignore. Sure, this is an exciting new medium for marketers, but the big questions are: Are these channels sustainable and just how big is the potential?



Potentials of real-time publishing

If you ask me, the real-time video craze is peaking at an opportune moment. Why? Well, we marketers are exponentially experimenting with videos, growing video as an excellent marketing medium over the past year or so. Brands are already creating more videos than before. In fact, a large number of businesses are joining the video marketing arena as they consider the popularity of this medium. For brands and businesses that are already creating and sharing videos, there might be multiple ways to leverage the new real-time publishing channel. 

From annual meetings, to sporting events, to concerts and new product launches, brands are capturing much of their company culture with the help of video. While it not only helps brands show their "human side," they can also send their message in a manner that’s way more interactive and engaging than plain, boring texts. Real-time publishing will add a feather to the video marketer’s cap by increasing the reach of these videos and by making that real-time connection that today’s customers seek and value.

What brands need to remember

A word of caution: real-time video is a highly spontaneous medium with very little room for error. Once your video is live, it’s up for the world to see. If you’re not careful, you might be at risk of courting a controversy or negative reactions on social media.

In terms of marketing benefits, Meerkat’s ephemeral nature might create short spurts of immediacy but it may lack what is required to make it work for marketers in the long run. Periscope, on the other hand, has the legs to turn into a more viable medium for marketers.


3 Ways to Use Videos to Get Personal and Score More Business

Barbara Spagnola - Tuesday, April 26, 2016

by Sujan Patel

Entrepreneur and Marketer, Co-founder of ContentMarketer.io

If you’re looking to build your brand and gain more customers while infusing trust, focus on making your brand personal. People tend to buy from those they trust, and by focusing on creating a personal relationship with your customers, you’ll sidestep the widespread culture of distrust.

You can also bridge the trust gap quickly by using videos to quickly connect with customers in a direct, personal way. Here are some ways to do that:

1. Create a video bio of your company.

Share your brand story to showcase the history and humble beginnings of your business. Your customers will organically build a relationship with you and feel they know you better. As trust builds between your business and customers, your company stands out as a unique voice in a crowded market.

A video bio doesn’t have to be long or complex, but should be professionally produced for ultimate credibility. Remember the image you portray through the video should match the brand and mission of your company.

Keep it personal by featuring yourself and your staff while telling your brand story. Use images, including old photos of company events and key employees, interspersed with live storytelling to create a compelling, emotional experience for a deeper audience connection. There are few other types of media that can build the type of personal interaction as a personal bio video.

2. Create video testimonials featuring your customers.

Consumers seek personal reviews of products and services, whether the experience was positive or negative. Capitalize on that desire by sharing compelling customer testimonials through video. Ask customers to upload their own videos on YouTube or Facebook, or if they would meet for a quick interview with your video crew.

When your most loyal customers talk about their passion for your company, it shows in everything they say and how they present themselves. As potential customers watch your videos, they start to trust the feedback and see your company in a positive framework.

Ask permission to reenact customers' stories or give a video case study about their businesses if they can’t appear in person. Focus on the pain points and results your clients got and how you helped solve or service their needs in a personal and attentive way. Don’t forget to include employees who were part of the amazing customer service experience and how they contributed.

3. Create videos that are likely to go viral.

Many companies assume viral content is hit or miss with no ability to control the outcome. However, there are plenty of steps you can take to increase your odds of going viral. No, you don’t have to feature kittens or babies. Start by using a platform such as YouTube that has plenty of traffic and the ability to quickly share and embed videos on websites.

Next, focus on the types of content people love to share. People share positive content that touches their emotions in significant ways. Heartwarming videos help people step into a more positive space. Share a positive emotional experience through your videos and help people feel transformed to trigger a desire to share it with others. Whether it’s a touching story, meaningful testimonial or other personalized content, focusing on emotionally charged content can increase your odds of going viral.

Branded videos are an important way to overcome the obstacle of consumer distrust. Remember that people don’t relate to brands. People relate to other people. Share your story and put a voice behind your brand that speaks to your target customer. You’ll bridge the connection between your product and consumer faster than sharing Tweets about promotions and sales.


7 Keys to Producing a High-Converting 'Explainer' Video

Barbara Spagnola - Tuesday, April 26, 2016

by Jonathan Long
Founder and CEO, Market Domination Media


"Explaliner" videos are a great marketing tool that can leverage consumers' ability to easily digest visual content, and quickly convert those consumers into leads, sales and revenue for your business. Considering that most explainer videos range in length between 60 and 90 seconds, you have only a small window of time to capture the viewer's attention and drive home your message in a convincing fashion.

So what makes one explainer video perform well and another fail miserably? Mehroz Khan, co-found of Video Explainers, is someone I first connected with some time ago through LinkedIn; these days, the two of us constantly discuss conversion tactics, comparing our respective projects and bouncing feedback off each other.

These issues matter, because a high-quality explainer video isn’t cheap, so it’s important that you understand what contributes to their success. Here are seven keys to a high-converting explainer video that Khan and I agree on: They're essential if you want to experience solid results. 

1. A ‘home-run’ script

Your script is hands-down the most important part of your video, not its actual visual quality. You could have the highest-quality animation and production value, but if your script is poor, your video won’t convert anyone.

Instead, your script must quickly captivate viewers, explain your product or service and convince them why they need it. Then, it needs to provoke them to take action. And all of this needs to happen within 60 to 90 seconds.

2. Relatable characters 

When viewers engage with your explainer video, they need to immediately connect with your message, and that message starts with your main character. Most videos have at least one “character” who becomes the face of your message.

Make sure this fictional person is likable and someone to whom your audience can easily relate. Little details, such as age, clothing style and facial expressions, can all help make that strong connection.

3. Captivating voiceover

The voiceover artist you choose can make or break your video. An unpleasant voice can quickly destroy even the best script, so make sure you select a voiceover artist whose sound mesmerizes your audience members and doesn’t make them cringe. Otherwise, viewers will quickly click the "close" button.

There is a big different between a fiverr voiceover gig and a professional voiceover artist. Don’t try to cut corners with voiceover talent -- opt for the best. 

4. Nonstop animation flow

The animation direction chosen can make your video a major success or a huge flop. You need to keep the viewer engaged throughout the entire video, until the very end. A video that has interesting and entertaining animation will accomplish this, and mean a higher probability of that viewer converting at the video's end.

Explainer videos are short, so there is no reason your viewer should lose interest, or take his or her eyes off your video.


5. Music and sound effects

Little details, like the background score and sound effects, really bring a video together. While these might seem like small components, try testing two identical videos, one with a background score and sound effects, and the other with only the voiceover: I guarantee that the one with the additional music and effects will convert higher.

These elements work together to keep the viewer interested and engaged and watching until the end introduces the ultimate element: your call-to-action.

6. Strong call to action

You need a strong call to action at the end of your video that prompts the viewer to call a phone number, visit a website, submit his or her email address or perform some other action that will benefit your business. This is your chance to give viewers a little nudge in the direction of your choice.

If your video does its job and keeps viewers engaged the entire time, the chances of their converting is much higher.

7. A/B testing budget

The likelihood that the first version of your explainer video will convert at the highest possible rate is extremely rare; and, honestly, you should always strive to make improvements resulting in a higher conversion rate. So, set aside a budget to A/B test your explainer video.

This will mean constantly tweaking the audio and video files to test multiple variations. The software solution Wistia will allow you to view engagement stats across your video variations, and help you determine what direction to take your A/B testing in, in order to maximize your conversions.