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Posts Tagged ‘Videos’


Web.com Small Business Toolkit: Brilliant Businesses Contest (Video Contest)

March 19th, 2013 ::

Brilliant Businesses Contest

Up to your neck in expense receipts and other tax documents? After you’ve done your homework and checked out My Corporation’s Small Business Tax Guide and Notable Tax Changes for 2013, celebrate your business by entering the Brilliant Businesses video contest sponsored by My Corporation. Simply submit a video of two minutes or less explaining your business, what you do, or what makes your business unique. Think of it as a commercial for your business. You have a chance to win $1,500 and have your business featured on the home page of the website. Don’t delay: The deadline for entries is March 29, 2013.

 

Web.com Small Business Toolkit: Wideo (Online Video Creator)

February 20th, 2013 ::

Wideo

Don’t be intimidated by all those online videos you see on other websites. You can create your own with Wideo. The videos are animations and can be used for explaining how your product works, how your company founders came together, or whatever your imagination comes up with. You can create, edit and share animation videos for free–it’s easier than you think. Insert objects, backgrounds and shapes or upload your own images and add text. Animate any object in as little as three clicks of a mouse.  Then build your story with animated scenes, and share your video with customers right away.

 

Web.com Small Business Toolkit: Screencast-o-matic (Screencast Tool)

January 15th, 2013 ::

Screencast-o-matic

According to Internet Retailer, 52 percent of consumers say that watching product videos makes them more confident in their online purchase decisions. So how can you capture video for your website or promote your business by video on YouTube? Screencast-o-matic can help you create a “screencast” video of the activity on your computer screen and then upload it to the video channel of your choice or just save it as a video file to use on your website. With editing tools such as zoom, voice recording and text overlays, you can show consumers how to order, how to use a product or whatever information you feel needs a video to portray.

Content Marketing 101: The What, Why and How of Using Content to Generate Leads

October 26th, 2012 ::

Content marketingContent marketing has become quite the trend this year. If you’re not familiar with the term, it refers to creating digital and print marketing pieces specifically to market your business to your customers.

The benefits of content marketing include:

  • Creating trust
  • Building thought leadership and expertise
  • Building and solidifing relationships
  • Improving search results
  • Increasing Web traffic and leads

There are many pieces of content you can create, repurpose and share via social media and on your website. In my opinion, the top 7 by popularity and effectiveness (but in no particular order) are:

1. Articles

Seek out opportunities to write for trade or general interest publications, both digital and print, on your area of expertise.  Reach out to editors and propose topics that would be of interest to their readers.

2. Blog posts

Writing blog posts for your company’s own blog is great for search results – search engines reward websites that are frequently updated with new content. You can also seek out opportunities to guest blog for a partner company’s blog or an industry blog.

3. Case studies

Turn your projects into stories that explain a client’s challenge, your solution and the results. Case studies need not be long and technical – 3 paragraphs of 2-3 sentences each should suffice.

4. Enewsletters

A short, monthly newsletter is a great way to not only stay top-of-mind with your audience of potential, current and past customers, but also share your expertise and industry news.

5. Ebooks

Repurpose content from articles, blog posts, case studies, and presentations by creating an ebook in which you share tips, tricks and how-to’s.

6. Presentations and Webinars

If you hold or participate in events like seminars, workshops or webinars, consider your presentation part of your content marketing strategy, either by repurposing it whole or in parts.

7. Videos

Marketing videos can be entertaining, educational or a hybrid of both.  When done well, a video will not only engage your audience, but also drive leads to your website.

What kind of content marketing has worked well for you? What would you like to try if time and money were no option?

Image courtesy of adrants.com

Beyond Social Media: 6 Digital Trends to Keep Your Eye On

August 6th, 2012 ::

Trends

While social media is often cited as the most important element to add to your marketing strategy, it is only one piece of the marketing pie, a marketing pie whose main ingredients are engagement and personal interaction.  Here are 6 other digital trends I have observed that all small business owners need to keep their eyes on – plus tips on how to take advantage of them.

1. Videos, Games and Apps

Blog posts, ebooks and how-to guides are incredibly important to your content strategy, but branded videos, games and apps do far more to pull in your audience.

Tip: Start with a 60-second, personable “explainer” video on your home page, and work your way up to a game or app as your budget allows.

2. Mobile Sharing

Location-based services are becoming more focused on actions, such as a “like” or sharing a link, than on check-ins.

Tip: Tweak your offers to include links to your social media accounts and website, where users can receive exclusive offers – and be pulled into your community.

3. Content Everywhere

With the use of tablets, smartphones and e-readers proliferating, so too is the consumption of video, podcasts, social media, games, ebooks, etc.

Tip: Diversify your content creation to include short videos and podcasts you create on your computer using the built-in camera – and stay active on social media (you knew I was going to mention that eventually!).

4. Mobile Optimization

Tablets and smartphones are increasingly the preferred way to access the Internet  and consume all types of content.

Tip: Develop a mobile site and offer the most popular content – optimized for mobile – on that site.

5. Advertising 2.0

I’m not talking about advertising online, but rather advertising masquerading as fun and engaging online and offline activities, such as viral videos, events and sponsorships.

Tip: Sponsorships aren’t just for Fortune 500 companies.  Find a local event to get involved with, and build your customer base by interacting with people in person at the event.

6. Mobile Sales

Mobile devices aren’t just being used for email and Internet access – they are also being used for online purchases.

Tip: Use geolocation to offer real-time deals, and make sure your ecommerce site is optimized for mobile.

What other trends have you tried out as part of your online or offline marketing strategy?  Share your experience below!

Image courtesy of claireburdett.com

When Targeting Black Consumers, Understand Their Digital Behavior

June 20th, 2012 ::

By Rieva Lesonsky

Is your small business marketing to black consumers? If so, a new Nielsen study offers some valuable information about how black Americans use the Internet, mobile devices, and video both online and on TV. Here’s some of what they found:

Black Americans are the second-highest consumers of mobile data services (based on ethnic demographic). They are especially active in text messaging and mobile browsing.

Black Internet users are extremely active on social media, spending 22 percent of their time online on social networks and/or blogs.

Black Americans were far ahead of other ethnic groups in some key online activities:

  • Black American men are 19 percent more likely than average to monitor their stocks and investments online.
  • Black American men are 16 percent more likely than average to read technology news online.
  • Black adults are 16 percent more likely than average to buy children’s clothes, shoes and accessories online.

When it comes to video:

  • Black Americans lead all other consumers in the amount of video they watch on television. They average 209 hours per month; the second-highest demographic, white viewers, watches an average of 150 hours per month.
  • Black Americans are the second-highest consumers of online video, averaging 6.19 hours per month.

What do these figures mean to you? Clearly, if you sell children’s products, technology products or services, or financial products and services, you’ll want to reach out to the black consumer online. And no matter what type of business you own, if you want to target black customers, you should make online video part of your marketing mix. Create videos and post them to your own website and YouTube.

Also consider traditional TV advertising on local cable networks. This can be surprisingly affordable for small businesses, and if you’re targeting black consumers, it’s still a worthwhile marketing channel. Cable stations should be able to provide information allowing you to target black viewers.

Get more details about the report at the Nielsen site.

Image by Flickr user viZZZual.com (Creative Commons)

How to Market Your Business With Online Videos

April 23rd, 2012 ::

By Rieva Lesonsky

Online videos are becoming a more important part of the marketing mix for businesses, according to a November 2011 study by the e-tailing group and Invodo and reported by eMarketer. Specifically, product videos are attracting and holding consumers’ attention, the study found. U.S. consumers who find product videos on websites watch them 60 percent of the time. In fact, 36 percent of respondents reported having watched at least five product videos on brand or retail websites in the prior three months.

So how can you benefit from product videos?

Keep it short: Videos should generally be kept at 3 minutes or less, while providing education about your product. A full 85 percent of survey respondents said they would spend at least one minute watching a video that educated them about a product they were interested in buying.

Demonstrate your product: Eighty-seven percent of respondents said they would spend at least a minute watching a video that included a demonstration. If a video didn’t have a product demonstration, the percentage of respondents who would spend a minute watching dropped to 65 percent. In addition, 30 percent would spend more than 3 minutes watching a product demonstration video.

Provide useful information: Useful information is key to getting customers to watch more than once. Two-thirds of respondents said they would watch videos containing large amounts of information about a product several times before deciding whether to make a purchase.

Make it quality: In addition to information, good production values were key. Nearly half (47 percent) of respondents said they consider companies whose videos have high production values more reliable, and 53 percent reported being more engaged with those types of videos.

Spread it around: Your website isn’t the only place to put product videos. Nearly half of respondents said they also view product videos on YouTube and 39 percent had done so on Facebook.

eMarketer predicts the most growth in online video in the next few years will come from new audiences such as seniors, who are becoming more comfortable purchasing products online. Already, eMarketer reports, a projected 170 million Americans will watch online videos this year. That’s more than half the U.S. population. If you’re not already doing online video, what are you waiting for?

Image by Flickr user pthread1981 (Creative Commons)

3 Ways SEO Will Help You Optimize YouTube Videos

December 16th, 2011 ::

SEO and YouTube

We all crave a YouTube success story. We upload videos about our products or services – perhaps a new product demo or an interview with the local news channel – and dream of the millions of hits we’ll get overnight that will lead to a huge increase in business.

In reality, over the next few days as you eagerly check the stats, even after posting a backlink to the video on your website, in your blog, and on your Facebook page, you sheepishly realize your video is, to put it mildly, not exactly a Number One hit. Out of 14 hits five are from your immediate family and three are from your employees.

Fortunately, there are a number of small tweaks you can make to get the most out of your YouTube videos. It’s all about understanding search enginge optimization (SEO) and marketing your video as dynamically as you market your company, products and services. A great example of this can be found in The Sales Lion’s “Video Marketing and YouTube for Small Business Success: Anyone Can Do It.”

1. Pick the right keywords

Use Google’s Keyword Research Tool or a similar free online product to figure out what customers are searching for – and pick up some pointers in Greg Jarboe’s article on Search Engine Watch, “YouTube Keyword Tool and Video Optimization Techniques.”

Some of the search terms people use are odd and nonintuitive, so don’t skip this step.  If you sell toasters, and you don’t know that your potential customers search for “bread griller,” that missed connection is costing you views.

2. Add your keywords everywhere

Clever and pithy video titles don’t get pulled up in search results, so feel free to make it long enough to include all of your search keywords. For example, “Bread Griller Toaster Heater” is going to draw in more hits than “Our New Product!”

Follow the same rules for the video description, tags and your company profile. The more frequently your keywords appear, the more often potential customers will be directed to your video.

3. Give them information they need to take action

Now that people are finding your video, give them enough information to make an impact and spur them to take action. Upload your transcript to make your video extra-searchable, include call-to-action overlays to let potential customers know where they can go for more information, add your website address to your video, and include an annotation to direct people to other videos or subscribe to your channel.

Image courtesy of creative design agency Arrae

5 Social Media Crimes to Avoid

July 26th, 2011 ::

HandcuffsGiven the prevalent use of social media among professionals, small businesses, huge corporations, and everyone in between, it still surprises me that five social media crimes are continually being committed.

The funny part is that all of these crimes totally ignore the fact that social networking is social.  Communicating on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter is no different than talking to someone in person, on the phone, via text, or through email; it’s just a new platform for doing so.

OK, time to get up on my soapbox.  In no particular order, here are the five social media crimes you need to avoid commiting:

1. Sending LinkedIn invitations without personalizing the message

“I would like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.”  Great, but why?  And also, please remind me where we’ve met if we’re not super good buddies.  Throw in something you remember me mentioning for extra brownie points.  But basically, don’t be so lazy you can’t take 30 seconds to compose a short note to me.  It smacks of sloppiness.

2. Sending LinkedIn invitations to total strangers

If I had a dollar for every invitation I’ve received from complete and total strangers (who also always commit Crime #1), I could go to a very nice restaurant for dinner tonight.  Doing this is akin to walking up to someone on the street who you’ve never met and asking them to be your friend.  It’s weird.

Instead, go through our mutual connections and request an introduction from someone we both know.  Or, for Pete’s sake, take 30 seconds to write me a personal note and explain why you want to be connected with me.

When I get one of these invites, I reply very nicely with something like this: “I am so sorry, but your name doesn’t ring a bell.  Have we met?”  Then I go scream into a pillow.

3. Using Twitter like it’s a megaphone

By now, I can spot the Twitter spammers: They’re the ones who have 10,000 followers and three tweets.  But when I get a notification that someone is now following me on Twitter, I generally check out their feed to see what they’re tweeting, if they’re retweeting, if they’re mentioning other people and companies in their tweets, and if they’re having conversations with others.

If you are not doing any of this and are just using Twitter like a megaphone to push out your own content and tweet your own ideas, I have zero interest in following you back.

4. Locking your Twitter account

Will someone please explain to me why it’s OK to restrict your Twitter account so only select people can see it?  Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of Twitter? A few times a week, I get followed by people with locked Twitter accounts.  I have to then ask their permission to follow them back.  Not very social, is it?  Why don’t they just hang up a velvet rope around their account and hire a big burly bouncer while they’re at it?

5. Not sharing photos or videos on Facebook

Facebook is a very visual medium.  If all you do is update your status with text, you are boring, and by extension, so are your brand and company and products and services.  I like fun people and companies, as I am sure you do too.  I don’t want to work with boring people, and if I think you’re boring, I won’t work with you.

Any other social media crimes that you want to add to the list?  Leave a comment below!

Image courtesy of Flickr user Vectorportal (Creative Commons)