Why Use Videos In Your Marketing? And Why Now?

YouTube is the second largest search engine used daily throughout the world. If you’re making an effort with your marketing to reach audiences on Google, why not reach them on YouTube too? Utilizing videos in your marketing plan can get your brand in front of a larger, more engaged audience. You might be asking yourself why video and why now? Here’s the reasoning behind this switch:

First of all, videos are fun – much more fun than reading a white paper. Reading requires an extended amount of time and much more brain-work than sitting and watching a video for a few minutes. And that’s why customers love videos. They are easy to comprehend and are often much more interesting than written content.

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It’s also easier to spread a message through video than text. A good, short video can obtain thousands of views on YouTube or Facebook whereas the same content, just written out will receive only a fraction of that audience. Seeing a person on screen captures attention. Having an employee using a product or telling a story isn’t just shareable but also persuasive. Utilizing video as a method of training, such as a “how to” video can easily capture and hold the viewers attention.

Thanks to YouTube’s huge network of viewers, creating and publishing videos gives you and your company a chance to reach a way larger audience than ever before. You aren’t limited to your Twitter followers or database of emails; you can reach thousands and millions of potential customers that you never had the opportunity to interact with before.  Combining YouTube with the fact that more users are now watching videos on Facebook makes this a sound marketing decision.

Videos that you create don’t have to just stay on YouTube either. They can be repurposed and put into emails, embedded on your website and even using for video advertising on Google, YouTube or all of your social channels. One video goes a long way and can help reach your target audience whether they are browsing the Internet or are searching directly on your website for a product or service.

Short, interesting videos are also the perfect content for reaching decision makers that delete emails and click through 30+ page white papers. Presidents, owners and CEO’s don’t have an extra hour to read a white paper or articles let alone 3 or 4 to think about it, analyze it and discuss it with the team. Luckily, all of this information can be served to them in a short, quick and easy-to-digest video that they just sit back and watch (very little thinking involved!).

Take some time to explore this marketing tactic and see how your company can take advantage of it in 2015. Remember to keep videos short (between one and two minutes) and include a call-to-action driving customers to your website. Videos don’t have to be perfect, in fact imperfections can make viewers feel more connected and interested. As long as your message is delivered and your brand is well represented, you’re off to a good start and a successful year of honing the benefits of using videos in your marketing.

Is It Really That Important To Have 500+ Connections On LinkedIn?

500. That’s the golden number when it comes to LinkedIn. Pretty much every professional on the site is trying to get to that number connecting with friends, family, coworkers, even coworker’s friends and families. LinkedIn has set the bar that 500 connections makes you a great networker and someone with influence on their website. But how much weight does that 500+ on your profile really hold?

Image source: Flickr

Image source: Flickr

Well, none if you don’t do anything to interact or take advantage of those 500 plus connections. Having that distinction on your profile is just that, it’s just a status symbol that only works as hard as you do. Those 500 connections could be the key to your next job, client or referral. Are you taking full advantage of them?

Sharing interesting articles with your network is a great way to communicate and stay on connection’s radars. Best-case scenario, they share your article and spark more connections with people in your industry. When your connections share a good article, engage with them. Comment on it, thank them for sharing it or even share it with your connections. This is a great way to start a conversation with a former coworker or potential hiring employee at a company you would love to get the chance to work for.

Look through your 500 plus connections to see what groups they are a part of and what they are saying. Don’t go crazy joining hundreds of groups, join just a few that are interesting to you and that you could realistically interact within. Then actually spend time each week interacting, not selling, with the group members. There is a group for anything on LinkedIn so whether you’re a member of the C-Suite or an entry-level marketing assistant, there’s a place for you to meet and network with likeminded professionals.

Having 500+ connections on LinkedIn is just the beginning. Staying connected and influencing through communications are what really make those 500 plus connections worth the time and energy it took to get them in the first place. There’s no doubt that out of those 500 people you have connected with, at least a few could help your professional or personal goals.

How often do you connect and communicate with your LinkedIn connections?

Twitter: Making Your Business Feed Better

Every day more and more businesses are adding Twitter to their marketing portfolio. Along with Facebook and LinkedIn, Twitter is a great way to reach potential customers, share industry knowledge and connect with experts (or become one). But Twitter is more than sharing what’s on your mind or spreading a link to your webpage six times a day. There are proven ways to make your business Twitter feed better – and here they are.

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When you create your Twitter profile, pick a communication objective. What kind of information do you want to share with your audience? And what kind of audience do you want? Some industries can be very specific and coming up with tweets might seem pretty difficult. In that case, try and create a broader objective. For example, a company that sells cloud technology to other businesses could pick a wider topic like office efficiency and productivity. These topics apply to virtually any professional, including the ones in your target market.

Along with your objective, it’s crucial to have a strategy. There are specific times that are best to tweet, when you will get the most viewers, interactions and shares. Since this varies by industry and location, there’s no blanket time to tweet, but a quick Google search can provide a good guide specific to your sector. With that information, plan when you are going to tweet and what you are going to say. Also decide how many tweets will link to your website and how many will link to other industry websites. It’s important to share both types of links so you aren’t seen as completely self-serving. Again, there is no magic answer for every industry; you will need to plan, execute your strategy, review what works and what doesn’t and make changes along the way.

When you’re at the next step, which is creating your content, remember to make it readable and relatable. Even though it’s a company account, it can still have personality. Ask questions, make comments and even crack jokes if it’s appropriate. In other words, be human! Try to create content that you think your audience will want to share. Why? More exposure for your company from peers instead of via advertising. Don’t tweet at people, tweet to them. With your objective and strategy, this will be easy and you’re sure to see results.

My secret weapon when it comes to making the Twitter feed better is social network scheduling services, like Hootsuite. This service will let you create and schedule your tweets in advance. Instead of meticulously watching the clock and tweeting every hour on the hour, you can plan days, weeks or months in advance. This also allows you the opportunity to focus on interacting day-to-day instead of creating and sending content. These platforms can also help with your Twitter analytics.

Tracking retweets will help you gauge how shareable your content is. In Hootsuite, you can use one of your columns to do this, it’s called My Tweets Retweeted. Keeping an eye on how your follower base increases (or decreases) will give you an accurate feel for what you’re doing right (or wrong). You can even count the amount of favorites your content gets so you can create similar content. While ‘favoriting’ a tweet isn’t as impactful as retweeting it, it still shows that a member of your audience liked the content, agreed with the content or at the very least appreciated it. Implementing these tactics is a step in the right direction, towards a popular, well-followed, retweeted Twitter account, which really results in leads, sales and increased profit for your company.

If you are in charge of the Twitter account for your company, remember, people connect with humans, not logos or brands. While the strategy for a business Twitter account should be an intregal part of an overall marketing and business strategy, it still needs to have a human voice and interact with followers as a person, not a business.

What Twitter tips would you offer?

The Importance Of Having A Strategy, Especially Marketing

Sure, guessing games can be fun, but they rarely lead to long-term, sustainable success. Which is why having a strategy in the business world, especially a marketing strategy for your business is crucial to its success. Companies that have formalized strategies are more focused and driven. They experience more productivity and more achievement. Why?

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Shared from Rich Brooks on Flickr

Having a marketing strategy provides reasoning behind your tactical choices. Instead of executing an email marketing campaign just because, you can execute it because you know that emailing is the most effective and efficient way to reach an audience. A strategy also gives companies focus and keeps them on the right path throughout the week, month or year.

Part of having a marketing strategy is tracking and analyzing it, which means recognizing and recording results. Employees that create impressive marketing results for clients can more easily be found and acknowledged. People are more likely to do the right thing when they are being watched, in the marketing world, employees are more driven to produce results when they are being captured and evaluated.

The marketing strategy also keeps members of the marketing team on task, as they know what they are responsible for and when each task or project is due. A clearly outlined plan keeps everyone organized and on track. It has specific objectives that marketing employees must work hard to implement so they don’t hinder the rest of the strategy. In fact, the more effectively that they accomplish the objectives of the strategy, the better the strategy as a whole will work.

Teams that are organized achieve more. They hit goals and reach objectives as a whole and individuals work together better. Having a strategy also makes it easier to prove that success. It’s hard facts and numbers that when reached can be provided for the organization to show how your marketing strategy improved communication, produced leads and even brought profit to the bottom line.

When was the last time you reviewed your strategy?  If it’s been too long, now is the time to review it, change what isn’t working or look at new possibilities. If you need help, let us know!