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Using Video to Create Authentic Connections

Using Video to Create Authentic Connections

Video camera

If you really want to make an authentic connection to your target audience the best way to do it is live, in person.

Public speaking and other live events can have a huge impact on your marketing efforts and they let your audience experience the real you and your brand.

But, your live events can only reach a limited number of people, and those who are geographically or financially disadvantaged will miss out on what you have to offer.

Thanks to power of the Internet it’s easier than ever before to reach millions of people at once, and to use a medium that’s the next best thing to being there in person.

Never Underestimate the Power of Video

No one can be everywhere but you don’t have to be if you put the power of video to work for you.

After all, even your live events will be recorded and turned into videos so those who couldn’t attend can still benefit from your message and your wisdom.

No one has to miss out anymore, all it takes is a decent Internet connection and they can enjoy your videos no matter where in the world they happen to be.

But are you really using video’s capacity and influence to best advantage?

The Real You in Video

Sure, you can make connections and change people’s lives through your writing, people have been doing just that for centuries, but now there’s a better and quicker way.

You can still get your writing out there, but instead of just a block of text that’s open to interpretation, you can speak your message with your own personality and truth for a more meaningful connection.

People can see who you really are and the saying show don’t tell takes on a whole new meaning when you use video.

You can literally show your audience exactly what you mean so there’s no ambiguity and nothing can be taken out of context.

Get creative and use all manner of visual aids to get your message across so people can understand it the way you intended.

Show your Passion Through Video

It’s entirely possible to convey your passion for a subject through your writing. Good writers do it all the time.

But when people can see how passionate you are about something it becomes contagious and draws them in, especially if you have the personality to go with it.

Even if you’re an introvert, hate being in front of the camera, or just don’t think you have the right look or voice to engage an audience, you can hire others to do it for you.

Not everyone is destined for video celebrity and it can be hard to get your message across if you don’t have the personality for it.

Unless you’re absolutely set on being the face of your brand, it’s best to find someone who personifies what you’re trying to say and make them your ambassador.

Just choose wisely because the video representative of your brand will make or break your marketing efforts.

Provide Instant Gratification with Video

Now that you’re convinced and ready to start your video marketing, put some thought into how often and how long your videos will be.

Your target audience will be the deciding factor and main influence on both counts; it all depends on your product or service.

Younger audiences crave the instant gratification that video offers and if your videos are good, consider posting a short one every day, especially on social media.

It’s a sure way of making people engage with your brand daily just to see what you’ll post. And it keeps your brand top of mind.

Older, more professional audiences might be happy with weekly videos, but there are so many variables it’s best to try a few strategies to see what works for you.

Better yet, ask your audience what they want.

Never assume you know what they want or need, always ask. They’ll appreciate you even more because you’re taking the time to get to know them and give them what they want.

You’re here for them. Do your best to serve them in the best way possible.

 

KEEP THE FAITH

Using Your Brand’s Story to Stand Out From the Crowd

Using Your Brand’s Story to Stand Out From the Crowd

Sparkling Golden Book

Getting people to notice what you have to offer is becoming harder and harder with all the noise and worthless clutter online, but your business has something unique. Something different to every other business out there vying for attention …

Your brand’s story.

Your story is one of the best ways to get your point, and your marketing message, across and to ensure it’s well remembered by the people who matter.

We’re all wired for stories – think of the excitement on children’s faces at story time – and if you weave your marketing message into a compelling story you can be sure people will remember it, and even share it.

Captivating stories are unforgettable, and the really good ones often turn into legends, whether they’re true or not.

Your story doesn’t need to be that gripping – although it certainly can be – but it does need to be true, and it needs to hold the reader’s attention long enough for you to let them know what your brand is all about and to convey authenticity.

Finding your Brand’s Story

With more and more services becoming automated and impersonal, your brand’s story is a way to connect your company’s values to the same values your customers hold dear, and to reinforce what you stand for.

To find your brand’s story and give it a consistent voice, start with the founder of the company.

Everyone has a good reason why they started their business, and it usually has to do with their intrinsic values and the need to offer something different, better, or both.

Find those who’ve been with the company from the beginning and interview them to find those nuggets of information that, when combined, add up to a great story.

Find Common Ground for Connection

Once you have your information you should be able to see the link between why the company was first started and what your customers want and need the most.

They should be able to relate with their own hopes and desires and feel real resonance and affinity with your brand.

Your customers will know why you do what you do and that you’re doing it for them. That’s why they become your loyal customers.

Make your Brand’s Story Persuasive

Combine your company’s why with a great product or service, authenticity, and a willingness to listen to your target market and provide what they want, and there will be no reason to employ other persuasion tactics.

Your well-crafted brand’s story needs all the little details that make up a good narrative, the ones that people can connect with …

The ones that keep them reading and nodding along because they understand where you’re coming from.

Make your Brand’s Story Compelling

If you think of the original hero’s journey, the same one on which all good stories are loosely based, not everything goes the way the hero would have liked, but it all works out in the end.

Try not to edit the details too much to make your brand’s story sound too perfect.

Everyone loves to know how others overcame challenge and eventually succeeded and how they did it. We’ve all been there and it makes for a more interesting and compelling story.

A well told brand story should make your audience feel like they know you and you’re a part of their tribe. It’s not about showcasing your products or services, or even telling people about them …

It’s about making a connection with your audience and showing you’re just like them, with all the flaws and human frailties, which in turn gives your audience the control and lets them do business with you because they want to, not because they have to.

Keep the Faith

GDPR – What it Means for Your Australian Business

GDPR – What it Means for Your Australian Business

Blue GDPR sign on a green background

With all the attention the new GDPR has been getting it’d be hard not know something about it, or to at least know of it.

No doubt you’ve been inundated with emails asking you to confirm your subscription or review new privacy policies.

But since Europe is a long way from Australia do we really have to comply with these new laws?

Well, the answer is yes, and I’ll get to the why later, but first let’s get clear on what the GDPR really is, and why it’s a good thing for marketing.

So What Exactly is the GDPR?

Those four letters have been thrown around a lot just lately and everyone claims to know something about it, but do you know enough?

The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a new regulation to better protect EU citizens’ personal data and how it’s used, similar to the Australian Privacy Act.

Personal data can be anything from names, email addresses, or any other personal information a company may hold about you.

The regulation came into effect on May 25th 2018 …

That’s why many companies changed their privacy policies and user agreements and sent email blasts to everyone on their lists.

What Does it Mean for Australian Businesses?

While the GDPR is a European Union regulation, it doesn’t just apply to businesses within that region.

With the Internet now making it possible to communicate instantly with anyone, anywhere there’s a good chance you have or will have done business with an EU citizen or company somewhere along the way.

And that means you need to comply with the new GDPR laws.

Do You Need to Do Anything Different?

There’s no need to panic and start overhauling all your digital agreements and privacy policies, but it does pay to know your obligations.

By reviewing your policies and processes and complying with the new law it won’t matter if you suddenly find you have a lot of business coming from the European Union because you’ve already taken the right steps.

Besides, if your business is large enough there’s a very good chance you deal with people or other businesses in the EU, even if it’s indirectly.

Ensuring GDPR Compliance

Companies in the EU will be looking for compliance with the GDPR whenever they do business with companies outside the EU because they’re ultimately responsible for that compliance.

So make it easy for them to do business with you by tweaking your terms and conditions to fully comply.

Australian businesses are not recognised as having ‘adequate privacy laws’ by the European Commission so complying with our Australian Privacy Act isn’t going to be good enough.

Why the GDPR is a Good Thing

There is quite of a bit of overlap between the GDPR and Australian Privacy Laws, and more privacy for personal data is always a good thing and encourages people to do business with you.

The new rules can be open to interpretation so do the right thing and seek legal advice to update your personal data and privacy policies properly to ensure compliance.

By complying with the new GDPR laws – without being asked – it shows that you care about your customers and want to do your best for them.

And who wouldn’t want to do business with a company that cares that much about their customers, clients and protecting personal data?

You’ve got this …

Keep the Faith!

Multi-Channel Marketing for Real Connections

Multi-Channel Marketing for Real Connections

Multi-Channel Marketing written on the screen of a smartphone

Continuing on from last month’s post about the buyer’s journey, I’m going to expand on multi-channel marketing to distribute that content to your audience.

People engage with content in different ways so it makes sense to use a range of channels to increase the chances of your content being consumed.

Your choice of channels will depend on your audience …

I’ll say it again, know your audience …

Who are they, how do they engage with your content, on what devices and mediums?

And don’t just market at your tribe, choose channels where they can participate and give you feedback …

Otherwise how will you know if they’re getting your message the way you intended.

Just because it makes sense to you doesn’t mean it makes sense to everyone else. We all think differently and interpret messages differently …

By letting your audience engage and participate you can test different marketing channels to see what works. It’s an ongoing process but that’s what makes it so interesting …

It’s fun to get creative while delighting your audience and offering them real value …

So test out your marketing messages on different people to ensure you’re saying what you think you’re saying …

And once you’ve made your message clear and compelling, try these marketing channels to get that message across.

Text

Not just written content on your website, which is important, but text messages via mobile phones.

Many businesses are sending marketing messages by text, but how many offer the ability to engage with those messages and reply back to them?

If all you do is send a generic message to everyone on your list with no way to reply, your future messages will largely be ignored …

Let your tribe engage with you by asking questions and making comments the same way to contacted them – via test message.

Email

The same goes for email messages …

How many times have you read a marketing email that invites you to reply with comments or questions only to be greeted by the sound of crickets when you take them up on that invitation?

You’re marketing to real people and modern marketing is now a two-way conversation. You had your say, now let your audience reply and have their say …

The more you engage the more you’ll be liked and trusted

Social Media

It sounds obvious  – I mean it’s right there in the title – but how social is your social media presence?

Does someone reply to comments or questions your audience posts on your sites?

People want to engage and participate with companies they do business with, and one of the best ways they can get to know you better is via your social media sites …

So be social. Check your social media multiple times a day and answer questions and connect with your customers …

One of the best ways to build trust is let your audience know you’re there for them, no matter what …

Website

Your website is one of the primary places – although not the only place – your customers can go to find out information about your products and services.

Your multi-channel marketing messages should all encourage people to go to your website.

It should be full of valuable and useful content, and it should include a way to for your customers and potential customers to get in contact with you, and be assured of a speedy reply to any questions or concerns they have.

Two-Way Conversations

Multi-channel marketing is just that, multi-channel, so there are many more channels you can use to get your message across, even physical stores and snail mail …

But the Internet ensures that marketing is no longer a one-way push to get people to hear your message …

It’s now a two-way activity where your customers offer, and can also receive, instant feedback which allows you to experiment, test, and tweak your marketing messages to ensure you’re properly connecting to your target audience.

Isn’t modern technology wonderful?

 

Keep the Faith

The Buyer’s Journey – Understand it and Serve your People

The Buyer’s Journey – Understand it and Serve your People

Winding Road Symbolic of the Buyer's Journey

To successfully market to your target audience you first need to understand the three stages your customers go through in the buying process.

This is often called the buyer’s journey, which is the marketer’s shortened version of the hero’s journey, the template almost every good story is based upon …

Once the buyer’s journey is understood, it becomes easy to target your marketing to your ideal customer because you know the stages they go through and you can tailor your content and marketing pieces accordingly …

And lead your customers to the right solution for them, aka your products or services

It makes perfect sense and you’ve probably been doing some version of this without realising it.

Breaking Down the Buyer’s Journey

We can break the buyer’s journey down into three main sections:

  • Awareness of the problem and the need to find the right solution
  • Research into what’s available out there to solve their problem
  • The decision to purchase based on the research they did in step two

By understanding which stage of the buyer’s journey your customers are in, you can offer just the right content to educate, inform and inspire them to move forward to the next stage …

And if you know your target audience well, and of course you do or you can’t market to them effectively, you can position your product or service as the perfect solution to their problem …

Sounds Complicated? Not At All!

If that sounds complicated it really isn’t …

As I said before, you’ve most likely already been doing this intuitively in some capacity …

Now we’re just tweaking the process for better results.

Isn’t that what marketing is all about?

If you look at things from the perspective of the buyer, you’ll be able to understand what they need and want, and whether they’re even aware of your product or service as the solution to their problem.

Buyer’s Journey Stage One: Awareness

This is the initial stage where the buyer is aware they have a problem, but unaware of the solutions to that problem.

This is where you can position your product or service by educating and informing your buyer, and leading them through the buying journey to the inevitable conclusion.

So your content, in all its forms, is easier to create because you already know who it’s aimed at and what it has to do.

Using different forms of content such as articles and videos will ensure you capture the attention of more potential customers.

Buyer’s Journey Stage Two: Research

Your buyer now wants to find the perfect solution to their problem, so they start to do some research into what’s available.

You want to publish valuable content regularly with good SEO so when people search for the solution to their problem they’ll quickly see that you have what they need.

Check forums and social media feeds to find out what people want, and the search terms they’re using to find it online.

After that it’s easy to create content for your target audience …

Buyer’s Journey Stage Three: The Decision

If you’ve done your job well you’ve made it easy for your buyer to purchase from you.

They’re now well educated about their problem and in the best position to make an informed decision about what to buy.

Of course, you know your audience, they’re problems and pain points, and what keeps them up at night …

And perhaps you’ve already established the know, like and trust factor with them.

If you have, well done, your customers will keep coming back for more.

If you haven’t, there’s still time. Get to know those you serve – your tribe – your target market – and serve them well …

That’s why you’re in business.

 

Keep the Faith

Email Marketing – A Better Way

Email Marketing – A Better Way

Laptop open to email program full of unread emails

Love it or hate it – and most people do both – email is here to stay.

As much as it stresses people out, they still continue to check their inbox multiple times a day – as often as every six minutes for some.

It’s a fear of missing out …

But, most of the emails that land in your inbox aren’t worthy of your attention …

You’re not missing anything …

So if you use email to market to your list – you do have a list, right? – and you should be …

The last thing you want to do is contribute to the growing pile of crap that accumulates in people’s inboxes.

Make Your Emails Recognisable

People have signed up to your list, meaning they want to receive emails from your company.

So make your emails instantly recognisable with your brand name – not just the name of someone in your marketing department. It’s fine to add that human touch with someone’s name but be sure your recipients know who that someone is and where the email has come from, at a glance.

If I see an email from an unknown name in my inbox there’s a good chance I’ll delete it as spam.

In the quest to achieve Inbox Zero – an urban myth? – people don’t have time to check every email …

If it’s not instantly recognisable, it’s out.

Self-Contained Emails

Many emails now have everything contained in them, so you don’t have to click through to find out more.

Meaning click-through rates will no longer be a measure of a successful email campaign.

It also means your email needs to do double duty to persuade people to heed your CTA, since they’ll no longer need to click through to your website or landing page.

Interactive Emails

Again, a type of self-contained email where the reader can take an action – fill in a survey, take a poll – right there within the email, instead of clicking through to another site.

Get creative and delight your email recipients with discount coupons you have to ‘scratch’ to reveal, or live shopping carts within the email …

Even live scheduling on a calendar if you’re promoting an event …

 Embedded Video

Video marketing is huge, for good reason.

A video, embedded in your email, captures attention and makes your content more likely to be consumed and forwarded.

Even including the word, video, in your email subject line can increase open rates.

But consider carefully whether you want your video to autoplay – people prefer to have control over when they’ll press play …

As well as being really annoying, it can cause problems for those checking email on their phone in meetings and public places.

Embedded video can also solve the problem of people putting off clicking through to watch.

It’s already in front of them, and since it’s a short, engaging video – take note of that – they might as well watch it straight away.

The Element of Surprise

Once your customers start to realise that your emails are a little bit different – meaning interesting and worthy of their attention – you can add surprises …

People love surprises and yours will be the first email opened as soon as it lands in their inbox because they can’t wait to see what you’ve come up with this time.

Just remember, the people on your email list have given you permission to email them …

So surprise and delight them and make them happy to be on your list.

Email should never be boring, it’s too easy to unsubscribe.

 

Keep the Faith

 

 

The Future of Content Marketing – Love and Loyalty

The Future of Content Marketing – Love and Loyalty

A hand holding a tablet showing content marketing strategies

Content marketing continues to grow, and grow up.

Your customers don’t want to be searching for and comparing products between companies every time they need or want to buy something.

They want life to be easier. They’re busy people and the easier you make it for them, the more likely they’ll become loyal customers.

And that’s what they want too …

A company they can trust, follow and buy from with confidence, knowing they’ll always get the best product or service for them because you care about your customers, not your bottom line.

You can be that brand your customers love …

High Quality Content Will Always Rule

When someone arrives at your website, from anywhere, they’re there to find something. Information, a product, a service, and they want to find it fast. No one’s getting any younger …

If you have what they’re looking for let them know, quickly, before they move on.

This is where helpful and engaging content works best.

High quality content that informs and educates people without the hard sell.

If your product or service is what your visitor needs or wants it’ll sell itself – as long as your content conveys that in the right way.

Multi-Channel Experimentation

How you engage and market to your customers and potential customers depends on your target audience, but as a rule it’s best to try a variety of channels such as email, various website content, social media and even text messages.

Experiment with blog posts, video, podcasts etc. but use common sense. If you’re marketing to Baby Boomers you won’t get good results using Snapchat or Instagram …

Go where your tribe hangs out …

We Love Stories

Everyone loves a good story and you can make your brand interesting, and even endearing, by telling your stories in a way that makes people want to find out more.

And that means they’ll keep coming back – that’s the beginning of loyalty

Give your company a human face – preferably the same one/s every time so it’s instantly recognisable as your brand. Be funny, be quirky, be socially responsible, be what your brand stands for, but above all, be consistent.

You can tell your story in bite-sized episodes, in a range of different mediums; it’s up to you …

Get creative, but listen to what your loyal tribe wants …

And give it to them.

Especially Visual Stories

Video continues to dominate and most brands will benefit from some sort of video presence to engage people. But be respectful of people’s time …

No one has the time or the inclination to watch a half hour video that ends up being a long-winded sales pitch …

And, I’ve said it before, ditch the auto-play. Thankfully most videos now give the user control over when they want to watch.

It’s all about control, theirs, not yours!

Stop Trying to Sell

I know you’re in business to sell and make a profit, but …

Selling is no longer the focus or main goal of good content marketing. It’s your job to engage your customers and show them that your product or service is right for them.

They’ll make up their own minds.

And if you’ve built a loyal following by being honest, authentic and relevant to your tribe, then you’ve already done your selling …

Your content did it for you.

And that folks, is called Content Marketing …

 

Keep the Faith

Video Email Marketing – Because You Can!

Video Email Marketing – Because You Can!

A Mobile Phone Being Used to Make a Video

Still one of the best marketing strategies of all time, email marketing can give you a 3800% return on investment …

Seriously, that’s not a typo. That’s a return of $38 for every marketing dollar you spend.

That’s insanely lucrative …

And that’s a conservative figure.

But, Aren’t People Tired of Marketing Emails?

With all the spam and other garbage that lands in people’s inboxes, how do you get people to even open your emails, let alone read them, and heed your call-to-action?

Well, that’s where your email subject line does all the heavy lifting, but I have and I will talk more about that in other posts.

Let’s assume your emails are eagerly opened because of your captivating, just-can’t-resist subject lines …

How do you keep the reader’s attention?

As I said in my last post, it’s all about video now, so including video in your emails can increase conversions, and brand awareness …

As well as educate and enthral your readers, and increase shares on social media, and by forwarding the email to other people.

Yes, good videos can do all that …

But, notice I said ‘good’ …

Read my last post on creating engaging videos …

Video Can Do All This …

Besides lifting your ROI and click-through-rates – as if that isn’t enough – video email marketing can:

  • Make your messages stand out and be remembered longer
  • Give your company a human touch
  • Reduce ambiguity and make your message crystal clear – text can sometimes be misinterpreted
  • Have more of an emotional impact
  • Shorten the sales cycle by reducing buying decision time
  • Increase customer interaction by as much as 300%
  • Reach more people than just your subscriber list when the emails are shared and forwarded

Those are some pretty compelling reasons to add video to your email marketing campaigns, but how do you make them interesting and valuable to the viewer?

What Sort Of Videos Should You Make?

Well, here you can get as creative as you want but …

Depending on what product or service you’re selling, you could:

  • Demonstrate the benefits. Seeing it being used is more convincing than reading about it.
  • Take your viewers on a tour of your offices, your manufacturing plant, where you source your materials, your shipping department, anywhere that’s likely to be considered different and educational.
  • Introduce yourself, and your staff, so people know who they’re dealing with.
  • Showcase glowing testimonials from happy customers.
  • Answer some of the more frequently asked questions.
  • Address any doubts or barriers that may come up when people are deciding to purchase.
  • Deliver short training and how-to videos.
  • Interview a knowledgeable expert.
  • Announce something new and exciting.
  • Record happy holiday greetings from you and your staff.

As long as the videos are short and relevant there’s no end of fascinating things you can do to capture your reader’s attention.

Just Keep It Short, Simple And To The Point …

And, unless the product or service really calls for it, speak in a casual, conversational tone.

Use only one video per email. You don’t want to overwhelm your subscribers.

And be sure to track your results – your open rates, video views, and click-through-rates and conversion rates – so you can gauge what’s working and what’s not.

Should You Embed?

Should you embed the videos into your email, or ask the viewer to click on a link?

A few years ago most email software couldn’t play video within the email but we’ve come a long way, baby, so I say yes, embed it into your email, but don’t have it autoplay. Let the viewer click the play button when they’re ready …

And always include a text link for people who either don’t want to watch the video in their inbox, or don’t have the software to enable them to …

There Are No Barriers To Making Good Marketing Videos

Video is so cheap and easy to make now that there’s no excuse for boring marketing emails …

Just use your imagination and ask yourself what is it your subscribers want – then give it to them in a short but captivating video …

And don’t forget your call-to-action, you didn’t make those masterpieces for nothing.

 

KEEP THE FAITH

Video Marketing – Get On Board Now

Video Marketing – Get On Board Now

Close up of a video recorder

Of all the online marketing channels available now, video has to be the easiest way to get people’s attention and pull them into your content.

It’s been said that if a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth a thousand pictures …

Online video marketing is everywhere, and it isn’t going away. Videos entertain, educate, and persuade, many of them do all three.

It’s so easy to click play, and watch a video. It’s instant gratification. People don’t want to just read and look at static images anymore, they want to experience your content …

So let them.

And now, with the ability to embed video into marketing emails, what’s not to love?

All marketing videos should tell the viewer what to do next. They are, essentially, video sales letters and, from the user’s point of view, it’s much easier to watch a five-minute video than it is to read a 15-page sales letter …

For the marketer, that means more of your message will be seen, and therefore higher conversion rates …

Around two and a half times more …

Can you say profitable?

Have a look at this updated infographic on hubspot.com for some eye-popping stats.

So, What Makes a Good Marketing Video?

Pretty much the same things that make any video good …

With video, the publisher has more control. The viewer can’t skip ahead to see the price, or anything else, and often can’t buy until the Order button appears on the page. The viewer consumes the content in the order it was intended to be seen …

So make the experience a pleasant one, because people can still click away if they’re frustrated or don’t feel in control.

And what makes a video hard to resist?

  • Story – with the usual elements of setup, conflict, and resolution.
  • Emotion – video is far superior to text, and even images, at conveying the right emotion.
  • Humour – but only if it’s appropriate to your brand and product. Some things just aren’t funny so keep it in good taste.
  • Lots of movement – change scenes, angles, close-ups, scenery and background activity often to keep it interesting.
  • Include faces – humans are hardwired to love seeing faces, they’re attention-grabbers.
  • Use good, sensible captions – some people prefer to leave the sound off, some have no choice.

The Initial Call-To-Action

Your first CTA is to get the viewer to watch the video …

Dump the generic Learn More, See More, or Click Here and instead use action verbs like Watch

And try to include as much information as you can in your CTA – without being wordy.

If it’s a short video, tell them. If it’s a free video, definitely tell them. And if you want them to watch it now, then tell them …

How about: Watch this short, free video now

The Video’s Call-to Action

Don’t go to the trouble of making a great video unless you also have a great CTA, and not something stuck onto the end as an afterthought …

Keep your goal clearly in mind when you make the video.

The entire video should be subtly moving the viewer along so they’ll naturally take the action you want them to take …

And when you’re ready to move the viewer on, make it easy for them. Leave them wanting to take the next step, and tell them exactly how to do it.

Other Things To Consider

Try to keep your videos to a reasonable length, but long enough to get your message across. Don’t waste people’s time …

For those viewers who do want to hear your video, make sure it’s worth listening to …

Use a good microphone, and record in a quiet place away from ambient noise.

If you use music, please choose it carefully. How many videos have you watched with loud, annoying and inappropriate music?

The right music can set the tone …

The wrong music will ruin your video and kill viewer response.

The same goes for colour …

Choose your colours and your backgrounds carefully …

You don’t want to be advertising summer fun with grey skies and rain on the horizon.

Video Versatility

As well as the more obvious appeal of videos, they’re also great for promoting your brand on social media – think how many videos are on Facebook – and most other online marketing channels.

You could use a video to market your video …

So get creative, because video just gave you a lot more ways to do that.

 

KEEP THE FAITH

 

 

Online Marketing Trends in 2018

Online Marketing Trends in 2018

Online Marketing

At the core of good content marketing is, of course, good content. There is no substitute for interesting, relevant, and authentic content.

But, at the beginning of every year it comes to light that certain content marketing trends have been a big hit in the last twelve months.

Customer-Driven …

Content marketing is no longer about driving sales, it’s all about providing a worthwhile experience for your audience.

In other words, it’s not about selling, it’s about helping.

It’s about how you make a difference for your customers …

Be respectful, engage with your audience, and join the conversation without shouting about your brand.

When people visit your website they want to find what they need quickly, and they want it to be easy to consume.

But not fluff pieces. There’s too much of that already.

No more me-too content. It’s ok to post less often, but post longer more in-depth and valuable content.

More is not better – never sacrifice quality for quantity. Take the time to create better content …

And to create better content, you need better writers …

Writers who know the latest marketing trends and take the time stay up to date with what’s new.

So What Should We Expect to See More of in 2018?

The three big marketing winners in 2017 were user experience content, video, and email.

Content marketing is an experience for your target audience. Make sure your site structure is easy to navigate, and try to anticipate what your reader needs. Where do you want them to go next?

Guide them, and make it easy and enjoyable.

Stop bombarding people with your brand, and make your content about them.

Remember, don’t try to sell them, try to help them. The law of reciprocity will ensure they buy from you when they know what they want.

Because you were there to help them, they’ll want to return the favour …

More Video …

Video is still hugely popular and it isn’t going away. Many brands are adding a YouTube channel or Facebook video to their sites.

Engaging videos can educate your audience so they can make a more informed decision.

Original content that doesn’t sell anything is the way to go. People don’t want to be sold. Create something just for your audience without trying to sell them anything.

People want to see the people they’re doing business with so get real, get vulnerable, and tell your story …

Email Marketing is Still Big …

I can’t foresee a time when it won’t be one of the most important marketing channels, and one of the most successful.

Personalised emails show your customers you understand their needs and wants, and with more advanced AI you should soon be able to collect the data you need to really get personal …

But for now it’s still nice to use a personalised greeting. I hate emails that address me as ‘hey’, especially from companies that know my name. That’s just lazy and arrogant …

Many emails have dumped the clickable link in favour of having the content right there in the email.

I know I’m more likely to consume the entire email if everything is already there for me. If I have to click on a link and go to a website then it becomes something I’ll get to later, or not at all.

Of course, you still need to have links to your website and other content but people will go there for more information once they’ve read your brilliant email.

One more reason to hire great writers …

Combine Video and Email For Powerful Marketing

And embedded videos can be engaging if used wisely.

Never use video if it’s not necessary. Only use in emails to convey something that wouldn’t work well with just images …

Most of us have seen those awful looped videos that play continuously while you’re trying to read. Don’t do it …

And never make your videos auto-play. There’s nothing more annoying than a video playing by itself. People can decide for themselves if they want to click play …

Don’t take that control away from your readers.

But Wait, There’s More …

If you see a company, perhaps one of your competitors, advertising often and in multiple channels — chances are it’s working for them. Study that company. Is there something they are doing that you can implement?

A good content strategist will already know all the new marketing techniques and can advise on what will work best for your brand and your audience to ensure your company isn’t left behind.

This post is only a quick overview of what’s currently working well in online marketing. Look out for more posts during the year as we see new marketing practices unfold …

 

KEEP THE FAITH