In this new digital age, content definitely reigns supreme.
However, this massive evolution of digital media has meant that it is not only content that is key, but also the medium by which it is delivered. While long-form articles and visuals are still important, the new force to reckon with is video content.
Video is fast becoming one of the strongest methods of marketing now, with more users increasingly clamoring for it on social media. In fact, new statistics are reporting that by 2020, online videos will account for 80% of all consumer internet traffic. It is a quick and easy way to connect with users, increase engagement and see a real impact.
1) It has to be complicated
Many assume that video marketing needs to be some sort of elaborate endeavor that requires a huge amount of resources but that simply is not true. It is about finding subject matters that your audience might be interested in and presenting that in a new way.
Instead of writing an article, you could now do an informative video on the subject instead. Hubspot reports that 43% of users would like to see increased video content from marketers, and that number is soon to increase.
2) It is going to be expensive
One of the most prevalent myths that deter people from integrating video marketing into their overall strategy is the cost factor. While yes, there is a cost associated with it, that is true of other forms of marketing as well. It does not need to be expensive to be effective, and it is really based on what content you are featuring in the video.
If you have your content in mind, there are many ways to present that information without driving up costs and still providing users with a personalized marketing experience. For example, live videos are a great, low-cost way of engaging users in your business and giving them a peek behind the scenes. Statistics show that 50% of marketers are planning to incorporate live marketing into future marketing strategy, which demonstrates just how ubiquitous this will become.
3) It won’t get me results
The other myth that remains is that video marketing simply does not provide a return on investment. Or that it might provide a return, but it is nominal compared to the number of resources it might take to produce the video.
This might have been true in the past, but the future is video and there are statistics to prove its overall effectiveness. Hubspot reports that videos can retain an average of up to 77% of users till the last second – this is hard to come by in other forms of digital marketing. Even in terms of reach alone, Facebook video has 135% higher organic reach than other forms of content.
According to an survey, 76.5% of marketers and small business owners reported that using video marketing had a direct impact on their business. This illustrates the major potential of video marketing as a resource not just for big corporations, but for smaller businesses looking to engage their audiences in new ways.
Need a more concrete example of this? Studies found that simply using the word “video” in an email subject had a direct impact – it boosted open rates by almost 20%, and clickthrough rates increased by 65%.
There is no secret recipe for creating successful video marketing content but that does not mean it should be completely abandoned as part of an overall marketing strategy. The data consistently demonstrates that video marketing has a reach far beyond just general content and can really be leveraged to drive overall engagement – despite the myths that prevail.
Filming a video on your phone is easy today, you just open your video app and hit record. Even the smartphone you have in your pocket can probably film in 4K, so what is stopping you from making great, high-quality video for your business right now?
Once you get past the fear factor of the unknown, I’ve found that the final result will depend highly on the preparation you put in place.
So, to help you get started, here are my Top 8 things to remember to shoot better video on your phone.
1) The basics
There are a few must do’s before you hit the record button, and number one is always giving your camera lens a quick clean. When you’re handling your mobile office all day, it’s easy to get greasy fingerprints on the lens, which always ends in disappointment when you nail that first take, only to watch back the replay back in all its blurred glory.
Additionally, make sure your phone is fully charged and that you have enough storage space (available memory) to store the footage – high definition (HD) video files can take a lot of space and drain your battery quicker.
Avoid vertical video. I really cannot emphasise this point often enough. Do not film vertical video! EVER! If you expect anyone to watch your video on a TV screen/monitor, keep your smartphone horizontal when you are recording. When you film with your phone in the upright position, your final video will appear much smaller and have two thick black bars on either side of the screen area. So always use this standard video format practice and shoot horizontally.
2) Get Ready
Even though smartphones are getting better and better at taking photos and video, the physical limitations of their size mean they cannot have the sensors of made for purpose equipment. So whenever you can film your video in brightly lit areas, do so. However, you need a balance, and you shouldn’t shoot directly in very bright or against brightly backlit locations. Ideally enough light to see all of your face with no shadows.
If some of the shot are looking too bright or too dark, get into the habit of moving to find another angle which gets you the shot you wanted.
Most phones also offer a focus and exposure lock (AE/AF Lock), which will prevent the camera focusing on something other than you while the camera is rolling, and keep the exposure steady in the event of natural light changes.
Lastly, you should pay attention to your composition. By using simple guidelines, you can enhance your video’s appearance by positioning your presenters’ head within the top half of the screen, and your camera should also be at eye level.
3) Get Steady
If you don’t want your video footage to leave your viewer feeling the effects of motion sickness, the best thing to do is to keep your phone steady while recording. Ideally using a tripod with appropriate mount, but if you don’t have a tripod position the phone on a stable base, like tables, chairs, desks, walls, etc. When doing this make sure your phone is secure and that you are still in focus and in-shot.
But what if you want to introduce some controlled movement into a shot? Lock your elbows into your body and plant your feet securely, move the whole of your upper body, not just the camera. This method will result in a smoother motion every time.
4) Sounds about Right
A good video with poor audio quality is useless unless you plan to add a new audio track in an editing process later. It’s essential your video looks good, but the quality of your audio is at least as important as the video itself.
Unfortunately, the built-in microphones in most smartphones concentrate on catching very local audio (for phone calls) and even try to cancel out background noise. When filming yourself in an interview type situation, it is inevitable you will pick up ambient, wind and general people sounds that will compete with your audio (which is almost impossible to edit out later). Therefore it is advisable to choose the quietest location possible for your video with the least background noise as possible.
5) Using Other Video Apps
The camera app on your smartphone may do a great job, but there’s more to video recording than what most of them have to offer! Some third-party apps are very intuitive with great features for those new to developing video content while some others unlock professional-like features. While you will find some pretty good free apps, investing in an app that cost a little bit of money can pay huge dividends, again I’d recommend using something like FiLMiC Pro which gives excellent levels of control.
Everything so far can be achieved with just you and your phone, but there are some cheap accessories available there that can turn your phone into a video making machine.
Using a tripod or stabiliser is a good option, and you’ll notice instantly that your video will look much more professional compared to a handheld video. For instance, you can buy a Bluetooth controller for less than $15 or an octopus grip tripod for under $20.
When you’re ready to move to the next step you should consider recording the audio with a separate recording device (even just a second mobile phone) or use an external microphone, for instance, I use a Rode SmartLav microphone (as little as $60) and achieve excellent results.
7) Mix it up
Although single scene video might show all that you intended, a video made up of multiple shorter clips often makes a more interesting clip.
Think about other shots you can film to complement your core shot, which will add to your story. It can be as simple as shooting your subject from close up and further away or getting someone to repeat the scene a few times so you can capture it from a variety of angles. You’ll end up with a much better video, as you’ll avoid boring the viewer from the one static position.
And lastly try editing your videos, which can be as simple as trimming the beginning or end off a few clips and arranging them in a logical order. This can even be done on your phone itself, but making use of free video editing software opens up more possibilities to enhance your videos, like introducing on-screen graphics. Most importantly, keep making videos, and get them out there for people to watch.
Producing great videos can be fun but more importantly create great awareness and engagement for your business. Master the art of videography with your smartphone by following these simple tips, and through practice, trial and error you will start seeing professional results in no time!
Are you looking to improve your current digital marketing strategy?
Perhaps you’re wondering exactly what your business should be doing to stay sharp and current in your marketing this year.
With digital marketing constantly changing, it can be a challenge to keep up and ensure your tactics are indeed relevant to reaching and
engaging consumers. The good news is, we’ve compiled a short checklist of must-have tasks and tactics to incorporate into your 2018 digital marketing plan.
Here’s your to-do list to get started:
1) Be Clear on Your Target Audience and Goals
The prerequisite to a strong digital marketing strategy is having a clear knowledge of your business goals and the specific audience you seek to reach in your marketing.
You see, everything you do online is aimed at attracting your ideal customer or buyer persona. The more you understand the pains, challenges, and problems of your customer, the better you’ll be able to address and speak to these needs in your content.
Additionally, knowing what you want to achieve from your marketing efforts is key to tracking and measuring your results for effectiveness. Ask yourself, what are you seeking to accomplish from your digital marketing in 2018? Do you want to increase your Facebook fans by 25 percent? Improve your lead generation to capturing 30 leads daily? Or your boost revenue by 30 percent?
Your goals will serve as a guide to creating results from your marketing.
2) Focus on Building and Nurturing Your Email List
Building your email list is the lifeblood of your business. Leads that are properly nurtured convert into customers and loyal fans of your brand. In fact, brands who excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads (Source: Marketo). Nurtured leads also make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured ones.
Therefore, growing your subscribers and sharing valuable content that moves them to the buying decision are key ingredients to improving your revenue this year. So, use proven lead magnets such as checklists, webinar registrations, templates, and interactive content to capture qualified subscribers into your funnel.
Then, leverage email automation and content to foster relationships with your list. Share evergreen blog content, video series, and content that continues to offer solutions to their problems.
3) Establish a Consistent Blogging Strategy
Did you know 47% of buyers viewed 3-5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep (Source: Hubspot)? Oftentimes, this content includes blog posts. Blogging is extremely effective for your 2018 digital marketing because it builds your credibility and thought- leadership, provides content for you to share with your list and social following, and positions you to rank on Google through SEO practices.
Hubspot also notes that companies who blog often and consistently generate more traffic and leads than companies who do not. So the benefits of blogging are incredible. Commit to establishing a blogging schedule where your company is regularly posting new content. If you’re strapped on resources and times, consider outsourcing your blog writing to help accelerate your blogging efforts.
4) Implement Live Video in Your Social Media Marketing
People are watching live video 3 times longer than videos previously recorded. Live video is gaining so much attention on social media that Facebook ranks these videos higher in newsfeeds. Followers gravitate towards live video because of the "fear of missing out" and its authenticity. You see, live video quickly builds awareness and trust because it allows people to truly see – and experience – who you are.
It also moves viewers to action so it’s the perfect tool to boost your leads, sales, and engagement. Use live video to your advantage. Choose to host live Q&A sessions, bring followers behind-the- scenes, share your brand’s story, or address common questions using live video. There are 3 top myths you need to ignore about making video for your business.
5) Incorporate Facebook Messenger Chat Bot
A whopping 2 billion messages are being sent monthly between people and businesses on Messenger, both automated and people- initiated. The automated ones are completed through Messenger chatbots or the use of artificial intelligence that simulates human-like conversation.
A huge advantage to Messenger chatbots is that it shows up and interacts where your consumers are hanging out the most. You’re appearing everywhere, being accessible, and continuing to build relationships. Facebook says that more than half of consumers (56%) prefer messaging rather than calling a customer service number.
By leveraging Messenger chatbots, you stay current and give your people what they want. The good news is, they’re easy to set up and get started.
Use this checklist as a guide in finalising your 2018 digital marketing strategy. Consequently, you’ll experience better results in brand awareness, organic reach, traffic and lead generation, and engagement.
Growing your email list is the lifeline of your business. Your subscribers are valuable assets because, with proper lead nurturing, they can be converted into buying customers over time.
In fact, according to Wordstream, 59% of B2B marketers say email is their most effective channel in terms of revenue generation. Additionally, 80% of retail professionals (B2C) indicate that email marketing is their greatest driver of customer retention.
So your email strategy has a huge impact on your bottom-line and ability to keep customers coming back to you for more. But it all starts with finding creative yet effective ways to build your greatest asset to create favourable results for your business.
So, here are several ideas to grow your email list and drive more qualified leads into your sales funnel:
1) Test Exit-Intent Technology
Exit-intent technology, or the ability to detect when a visitor is heading over to close their browser – or exit – from your website and present a last-time offer to opt into your list, has been proven to increase conversion rates substantially. Neil Patel shared that he increased his opt-in percentages by 46% when using exit-intent technology on his website at NeilPatel.com.
There is power in using this form of pop-up to improve your conversions, however, it’s also important that it doesn’t interfere with user-experience. One way is ensuring your last-minute offer is highly valuable that encourages visitors to concur and give their contact details.
A tool like OptinMonster is a good place to start to test this feature on your website. If you find that it enhances your page while boosting your conversions, keep at it!
2) Add Download Forms within Your Blog Content
Your blog posts is an excellent outlet to educate your audience and offer solutions to industry-related problems your consumers often experience. So, it’s great for brand awareness.
However, when you optimise your blog posts for leads, it can become a lead generating machine for your business. The key: including download or opt-in forms within your blog content as your visitor is currently reading.
First, many marketers miss leaving a call-to- action that tells people what to do next (like to opt-in), which is a huge mistake in missing out on capturing fresh leads from their content. Secondly, when they do, it’s often at the end of the post. This is okay, but a better idea is to have it mentioned in the body so your reader has a greater chance of seeing it.
With your download offer, be sure that it supports the topic the visitor is currently reading. For example, if your title is “Reasons to Grow Your Own Tomatoes”, a great download offer could be a free cookbook that features tomato based recipes.
The reader is already interested in the topic, so give them more on it while boosting your leads in the process.
3) Create a Video Educational (Free) Product
Video has an amazing ability of capturing attention and moving viewers to action. Actually, marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users (Source: Hubspot). Consumers prefer video over many forms of content and desire to see more of it from brands.
With that said, give the people what they want! Use video to create an educational product to give away for free. This could be a recorded or live webinar broadcast that dives deep into a subject matter that relates to your market’s needs. The big advantage of hosting webinars is that you build your list with each registrant. To be successful, your topic needs to fresh and super- relevant to your target audience. Promotion is key to driving awareness, whether through paid advertising on social media or organic posts.
Another idea is creating a 5-day training or challenge series where you teach a concept and each day builds upon the next. These are perfect email marketing
content because your subscribers will anticipate the next training. This ultimately improves your open-rates and gets your recipients in the habit of engaging with your email content.
Your lead generation strategy is vital to growing your business. Implement these tips to steadily build your subscriber base. With consistency, you’ll have more leads to work with towards increasing revenue and your bottom-line.
With social media becoming increasingly ubiquitous, it only stands to reason that many businesses might eschew traditional websites in favor of building their social media channels.
It might sound tempting to abandon your website, and build your audience solely through social media – after all, it is less maintenance and upkeep, plus you have direct engagement with users.
However, despite social media’s popularity, a website still remains an absolute must for any business. Though there is a vast array of broadcast channels available through social media to reach your audience, nothing really competes with the effect of a physical website.
1) Your audience is yours
The first and foremost reason for building and maintaining your website? You own your audience. You know exactly why they are visiting your webpage, what they like and dislike and are able to collect numerous different data points. The key difference between this and using social media? You own your data.
With social media, you are only able to access a small piece of the collected data – the platforms use the rest. This is why it is essential to have a social media presence and a website both because it will give you different types of data that can be used when crafting an overall digital strategy.
2) A must for email marketing
One of the strongest methods of digital marketing is email, and that is not likely to change soon. Email marketing is one of the best ways to directly reach out to your audience, and really demonstrate your product catalog and your content.
Social media is not great at collecting emails or really providing solid contact details for leads. There is still a great deal of manual engagement needed to collect that information, which takes time. With a website though, you are easily in control. You can collect email addresses and build targeted lists that reach out a wide demographic.
3) Greater brand control
The other limitation of having just social media? You are bound by their platform and its constraints for displaying your brand. Whether it is something small like image sizes, or really showcasing product information, there is a great deal of experimenting and tweaking needed to really perfect your brand on these channels.
With your own website, you are able to control how your brand is displayed and really demonstrate what sets you apart. You do not need to conform to different social media requirements, and really go all out in showing off your brand.
4) Analytical insights like no other
The earlier data point comes back because that is really the most important point. Your marketing campaigns are only as strong as the data you collect because that will directly feed into the marketing strategy.
With social media, your analytical range is limited. But on a website, you are able to get a clear idea of what content garners interest, what users are engaging with and where they are struggling. But most importantly, you get a clear understanding of what is working. Social media provides great insight, but it has its limitations – that is where a website is able to fill the gaps.
5) A place to call home and establish credibility
Ultimately, a website is a home for your products. That might sound a little cheesy but think of it as a repository for your content, contacts and other important information that cannot be included on a social media page. It provides users with a base they can visit, and learn a lot more about what you do.
The other benefit? It is an instant way to establish credibility. Users are able to develop trust in your products, and you are also able to show off exactly why customers should purchase from you. In one fell swoop, you are able to establish deeper trust and credibility and strengthen your user base.
Developing a marketing plan for 2018 is not exactly an easy position when the techniques we use to reach customers are changing at a breakneck pace.
That being said, a plan is still a worthwhile investment: there are some attributes that separate those that succeed and those that don’t, and one is a proper social media marketing plan.
Firstly, what is a Social Media Marketing Plan?
Before we dive in, it’s important to understand what a social media marketing plan is in the first place. Simply put, it is a document that outlines what you hope to achieve through your social media efforts, how you anticipate measuring your efforts, and what activities you’ll undertake to reach your goals.
At qubeSocial we apply the WHO, WHAT, WHY, WHERE, HOW and WHEN strategy which you can download anytime as single page document for starters. If you need a hand filling it in or developing your social media marketing plan further then please don’t hesitate to drop us a line.
If you’re ready to start, then read on…
It’s really important to understand WHO you are targeting.
This will help with insights and also budgets as most platforms can provide you with expected numbers based on your desired target audience. Describing the target audience by both their Demographic and Geographical information brings you a long way to understanding who you are targeting. By applying to this a PRIMARY audience: (i.e Prospects and Customers) and a SECONDARY audience: (i.e Industry, Community, Network) you can developing your content expectations and response behaviour.
Then you need to define, WHAT problems you solve for your audience?
It’s important to understand why they are buying from you. Then define what actions you’d like them to take, such as:
You will need to think about the landing page your sending people to and what action is appropriate.
Now the hardest part, define the WHY they are buying from you.
Most people think they know it or worse don’t even explore this before going out to the market. Define how is your solution unique, what makes it different to other businesses out the in your industry. Which brings up why do customers buy from your competitors and not you? If you can provide any proof or guarantees, testimonials, press releases to support your claims then you have built up opportunities and credibility to why they buy from you and not them.
It’s important to cover WHERE have you been communicating with your audience.
If you can learn from past promotions or platforms this may assist with defining you keywords or key phrases? These can be what the prospects and buyers type into Google. It also assists with future marketing tactics & content strategies you apply to blogging, hashtags, video’s and email newsletter that compliment your social posting to your desired audiences.
I am assuming here that you have a brand or campaign in place and understand HOW you will communicate.
Knowing the look and feel of your brand or campaign assists greatly in making your WHY visually unique. Applying a slogan can also assist with calls to actions and visual prompts. Developing you content strategy for your website, blog, news etc. is vital. This allows you to then apply it to your Social Media Advertising directly on the Page or as a Post Promotion to a saved audience or interest group. Of course assigning a budget and timeline here is crucial.
Finally we can look at WHEN you will post.
You should develop a Weekly Schedule and track the Insights/Measurements such as Likes, Reach, Engagement (Post Clicks), visits to your website or landing pages. Explore whether time of day also enhancers these Insights.
So now you have a clear understanding of your WHO, WHAT, WHY, WHERE, HOW and WHEN, your done right? Unfortunately not, you now need to put a plan in place. Time to grab your favourite thinking beverage and read on…
Here’s how to go into 2018 with the best possible plan:
What do you hope to achieve?
Before we go any further, it’s important to summarize your entire social media marketing plan. How does social media fit into what your business is doing on a daily basis? What platforms will your business be engaging on? Who makes up your core social media team? Don’t worry about going in depth too much; you’ll do that in subsequent sections of your social media marketing plan.
How do you anticipate measuring your efforts?
It’s important to outline your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and objectives/goals. A KPI is a value that can be measured, and that demonstrates how effectively you are achieving your objectives. Depending on what you’re hoping to achieve, you may select different KPIs.
For example: YouTube Channel Subscribers isn’t a bad KPI if your strategy is very heavily dependent on video. If you plan on spending only about 10% of your time creating video, however, then YouTube Channel Subscribers isn’t such a meaningful KPI.
Some of the most popular KPIs:
- Instagram Followers
- Facebook Likes
- Facebook Engagement Metrics
- Social Shares (across platforms)
- Links clicked to visit website or campaign landing pages
Once again, and I can’t stress this enough: it’s important to pick the KPIs that will be the most meaningful to you and your business, as opposed to anyone else’s.
Making sure your goals are SMART
One of the most useful acronyms ever is SMART, with respect to ensuring you’ve set SMART goals:
Specific: well-defined outcomes
Measurable: able to assess how well we did/are doing
Agreed-upon: all stakeholders are aligned on the goals
Realistic: possible to achieve given resources and time constraints
Time-based: just the right amount of time to achieve the goal
A social media marketing plan should always have SMART goals. Run your goals through this process, and it’s relatively easy to see if you are doing a good job at setting yourself up for success at the outset. It’s all too often that I’ve seen a client create a goal that’s MART or SART or another acronym, but remember, we’re aiming for 5 out of 5.
What activities will you undertake to reach your goals?
Now that we’ve outluned our goals clearly, it’s important to develop a breakdown of activities for each social platform you plan to engage on. Your breakdown should includes the following:
Platform focus: While your social media marketing plan will have an overall focus, each platform should have a particular reason that you’re focusing on it. What can you get from being on this platform that you can’t get from other platforms?
Percent of time allocated: This is relatively straightforward, but out of a total of 100, what percent of you and your team’s time will be allocated to this platform? It’s crucial to figure this out at the beginning to figure out how important this platform is to your overall strategy.
Percent of budget allocated: Their are all sorts of costs that go into putting together a winning social media marketing plan. Besides your full time staff, the top two costs will be for freelancers and for advertising. Once again, this is an opportunity to review if you’re approaching your plan the right way. If you say Instagram is your most important platform but you’re spending just 10% of your overall budget to building your following and engagement, your budget and goals are misaligned.
Synopsis of the strategy for this platform: What do you hope to achieve on this platform? What will your top activities be on this platform? How often will you be engaging in all of these activities? What is the timing, or cadence, for all of the activities on the platform?
For example, on Pinterest, your strategy may be to pin/repin content five times daily, and engage with others’ content fifteen times daily on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. On Snapchat, you may have the goal of snapping three still photographs and two videos daily, with the secondary goal of responding back to 100% of all responses from fans within 60 minutes, from 9am to 6pm daily. The key thing here is to be as thorough as possible so everyone is aligned with respect to the social media marketing plan.
One last thing. On a platform by platform basis, I recommend breaking up all activities into two different areas:
Organic strategy: What are all of the activities you’ll be undertaking apart from advertising? This can include outlining what types of photos you’ll be taking for Instagram, how often you’ll be posting inspiring quotes on Facebook, and so on. Generally speaking, most of your strategy should be organic.
Paid strategy: An increasingly important part of your social media marketing plan is your organization’s advertising strategy. Simply put, social media isn’t free; those days are long gone. In this section, you should be outlining what types of ad products you will be buying. For example, Facebook has the most options, from Brand Awareness Carousel to Engagement Text Post to Lead Generation Ad Form. Snapchat has solutions broken into three categories: Raise Awareness, Increase Consideration, and Drive Action. The choices on a platform-by-platform basis aren’t endless, but they’re pretty close.
Keep iterating on the above format for each platform, and you’ll be on the path to 2018 social media marketing success!
If you need a hand filling it in or developing your social media marketing plan for 2018 then please don’t hesitate to drop us a line.