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Online Marketing

How To Create A Headline Nobody Will Read

Why are we still talking about writing killer headlines in today’s cluttered multi-channel communication climate?

 

Because breaking through the cluttered media landscape is crucial for your brand and your business. Whether we are talking about an email, text, Tweet, Pinterest posting, billboard, or pop up Facebook video, you have a few seconds to make your audience care enough to click to read more.

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You Should Be Using More Social Media Video Ads

Why?

Because they work so well.

 

Your own habits prove this to be true on Facebook as well as Twitter. You don’t intend to look at those videos that pop up, but very often you do. And even when you don’t watch the entire video, you remember something about the product. Right?

 

A few seconds all it takes to make an impression. And of course, the stronger the message and the more creative the video, the stronger the impression.

 

At Focal Point, we take notice of video ads on social media. In today’s environment, they are expected by up and coming and top brands already on social media. In fact, use of video on social media nationally is skyrocketing. Their use is substantially higher this fall than they were just a few months ago.

 

Not surprisingly, Facebook is still king of online video with the greatest share of social media video spending across all platforms. Google is a close second.

It really is incredible how quickly video advertising has risen to the top of digital advertising as a whole. U.S. video ad revenues on Facebook will reach $10.20 billion in 2020, more than doubling last year’s $4.78 billion high.

What about Twitter? Not far behind. Twitter is expected to earn $743.8 million in US video ad revenues by 2020. Like Facebook, video ads are also rising quickly, up from $563.4 million in 2017.

Video advertising may not be what’s best for your company. Or –maybe you haven’t figured out how best to use it for your needs.

For instance – an ironic or unexpected way of showcasing your brand. Perhaps even teasing out a new idea or product in a series of videos.

At Focal Point we do understand how to use video. And have the creative chops to add some spontaneity and zing to your next social media campaign.

 

That’s a good reason to budget for a fresh, fun video highlighting your brand. Chances are good that you’ll attract new interest to your product. Sometimes, when that video addresses the right issues in a compelling way, it gets shared. Often across platforms.

 

Boom. That affects your bottom line.

Not surprisingly, Focal Point would like nothing better than to show you some of our brilliant examples of video boom.

 

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Web Design - Focal Point Marketing

Now that we’ve set up your website, the real work begins.

Wait, your website is complete.

Isn’t that the goal?

Well, a lot of companies think just that. They set up a nice looking website, print the site URL on all their marketing materials, and move on.

Getting your website set up, well-designed and saying what you want it to say in a compelling way is really the first step in your on-line marketing strategy. Your next step is to make sure your website is working for you now, as well as in the months and years to come.

If you want your website to stay meaningful, you’ve got to keep it relevant.

That’s where managing your website comes into play.

  • Monitoring and tracking visits to determine if visitors do more than arrive, look at your first page and leave. If so, something’s wrong.
  • Make sure your prospects get to the information they are seeking with as few clicks as possible.
  • Make sure there is new material added to the site on a regular basis. That could be blogs, product updates,  special offers, videos, or testimonials.
  • Stay on top of crucial software updates.
  • Execute website backups on a regular basis.

It all comes back to strategic planning, designing your website is just the beginning. It’s the hard work, the know-how and the strategic thinking that keeps your website working for you when it’s brand spanking new, and in the months and years to come.

If you have questions or would like to learn more feel free to reach out to me via email.

brien@focalpoint.co

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“Can you help us pull together a website?”

At FocalPoint, the answer is, “Sure, we’d love to be your go-to company on your website project. But let’s talk about this before we get started.”

If this is our first work with a new client, we initiate a lot of conversations before we touch the cursor. We like to think of this as “Website Design and Development 101.” It really is a prerequisite before we begin work.

Why? Because the best place to begin is to really consider why you want a website in the first place.

  • Is this to replace or update an existing site? Why replace it? What was right and what wasn’t about the existing site?
  • What is your single most important message and why?
  • What does the site need to do?
  • Answer questions about what you do or be a resource to provide info or tools to existing customers?

We want to be sure that your website is more than a place to talk about who you are and what you do. If that’s all your website does, it won’t drive traffic. It will probably just sit there as a line on your business card.

For a website to do what it’s supposed to do, it has to:

  • Is your website responsive?
  • Draw you in
  • Provide you with needed information right off the bat. In three minutes, a potential customer should know who you are, what you do, and why your company matters
  • Be strategically engineered to drive readership
  • Built around intuitive navigation (i.e., making your key points easily understood and getting eyes further into the site to provide more information)
  • Set a strategically considered tone with color, visuals and copy.

Once we begin communication with new clients around the strategic design of their website, we often uncover previously undiscussed topics, for instance:

  • What really sets you apart from your competition?
  • How does what you do matter?
  • Does your logo accurately reflect a sense of what you are/what you do?
  • Does your tag line provide memorable new information about your company, or just sit there because you’ve used it for ten years and never thought much about it?

Even after the site work is begun, we’re really just getting started. Because once that website is up, you’ll need to manage it to keep if working for your business, adding fresh content from time to time.

So yes, we can help you build and design that new website. But with us, the site will be much more than new.

It will provide the right information to your audience at the right time. It will drive the right kind of traffic to your business.

It will also provide your potential client with a reason to contact you to learn more.

This is how we think at FocalPoint.

We position our clients strategically to succeed.

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A Big Social Shift to Video is Underway – How Is Your Business Adjusting?

Social media is changing so fast today. Having worked in the marketing and technology arena for over 25 years, I realize it’s the nature of the beast. However, I feel like in just the last six months there of been an incredible amount of breakthroughs on the big social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

It got me thinking, if you are a business that isn’t engrained in social on a daily basis as part of your marketing strategy – figuring out where to start would be mind boggling. So much so, I think it’s no wonder that this uncertainty often creates paralysis when it comes to social media marketing.

If you’re a business you may be wondering…

  • How am I supposed to keep up?
  • What am I missing out on?

Most importantly, you’re probably trying to figure out what actually makes sense for you and what type of budget it requires.

To me, this very topic hits right at the core of any great client-agency relationship. You see, our job at Focal Point is to help you navigate the latest updates updates and put together a social media marketing strategy that actually makes sense for your business.

With that said, I am going to give you the quick, 30,000 ft. view with what’s going on with some of the big players in social media right now. There’s a major trend/common thread I see continuing throughout 2017 and beyond. And that trend is video on social.

Video Is Everywhere on Social Media

I read a prediction recently that suggested in the next couple of years, 80% of all social media will be video posts. That’s right, 80%. I can’t say I disagree with that. In fact, I recently wrote a blog post about how you can get the most out of video by using it to propel your marketing strategy.

There’s no doubt toward the end of 2016 and into 2017, we’ve seen an explosion of video across all social networks. More specifically, live video. Social networks are betting big on live video. But should you? I’ll get to that in a moment.

Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg has put plenty of resources behind the roll out of live video at Facebook and has clearly given preference to such videos in the newsfeed. We’ve seen many new features rolled out with Facebook live that indicate it’s here to stay. Further, more and more news channels/media outlets are using Facebook live to increase their reach greatly.

Facebook has also added more features for brand pages in the way video is delivered. This includes built-in calls to action (CTA’s) and automatic closed captioning features. This is big as many people view videos on social with the sound off at first.

Even more is on the way, too. 360 degree photos area already here and video is next.

Twitter

On the Twitter side of the equation, we’ve also seen the rise of live video. Periscope (live video broadcasting tool that used to be a standalone app) is now baked into Twitter and you can go live right from your Twitter account. Additionally, Twitter increased the video length to over 2 minute videos and media (photos and video) no longer counts toward your 140 character total.

While there has been some buzz about the future of Twitter…it’s clear to see they’re investing big on video as well.

Instagram

Instagram quadrupled its bet on video by taking the previous 15 second video upload limit and increasing it to 4X that amount to a full minute. This Facebook-owned social network also rolled out live video and a host of other features such as Boomerang and Stories (a page out of the Snapchat playbook) which allow for more creative video posts.

Snapchat

Speaking of Snapchat, the new(er) kid on the block is certainly making some waves out there. With over 200 million users and updates to its advertising capabilities, Snapchat is sparking some interest from businesses. And guess what – they’re rolling out more video features. You can now add videos to your Stories, send a video Note and have a video Chat.

Organic Social & Paid Social Advertising

It’s worth noting that this trend toward video is happening majorly on both the organic and paid side of social media advertising. Soon ads will be a part of most video experiences on social media, including live video. As more and more videos are viewed via social media and on the web, I think advertisers that have traditionally used television will begin to make a shift in their ways as well. It’s this simple: more eyeballs will be on mobile devices than TV screens consuming video.

So, What Next?

Now you’ve got a better understanding of this social shift that is taking place across networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. But what are you supposed to do next? If you’ve never even published a video from your business on a social media network, you may be overwhelmed with all of the things to consider.

Then there’s live video. Just because it is available and on the rise doesn’t necessarily mean it makes sense for your business. In fact, I’d say there are some things you should definitely consider before you jump into live video. All things that I’d be happy to discuss.

Let’s Talk

My hope is that I’ve started a conversation with this post. It’s a conversation that needs to take place if you’re at all in the game of social media advertising. And it’s a conversation I’d love to have with you.  Here’s how to reach me…

Brien Richmond Business Card

 

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How Video Can Add a Snowball Effect to Your Online Marketing Strategy

Many businesses are oftentimes wondering where they should start when it comes to online marketing. Might I suggest considering a video production to get the ball rolling.

Why? Well, because the snowball effect of a great video can lead to months worth of solid online marketing strategy.

The power of video is undeniable. Video is proven to help with conversions on your website. Video is quickly overtaking social media. So if you have to pick one place to start with investing your marketing dollars; video just makes sense.

Taking the time to plan a quality video production is well worth the investment. If done correctly, a solid video can easily be repurposed for:

  • New web pages
  • A series of blog posts
  • Social media strategies
  • Email marketing newsletters
  • Podcasts

Sure, you could always start with the blog or website and work toward the video. But from my experience I’d say once you have the video done the other stuff can come very naturally. Just take a minute to think about it…

Web Pages

Once you have completed the video, it’s easy to have the content transcribed. With the written word, you can put together a new web page or series of web pages. This will naturally help with your search engine optimization as making the written content available on your site will give someone additional for Google to crawl and discover.

Blog Posts

Most of the time, you could get several blog posts out of every video you produce. Each new post could be examining the video from a different point of view. Or, if you’re really stumped, you could always do these series on every single video…

  • Why you wanted to make the video
  • What was the purpose of the video
  • Behind the scenes – how you did it

Much like adding the new page (s) to your website, creating a blog series is a great way to maximize the visibility of your video online throughout search engine results.

Social Media Strategies

The common theme among all of the booming social media sites is the focus on video. In fact, Facebook recently added a special video tab to it’s main navigation to make video easier than ever to find. Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram continue to advance their video capabilities and more and more the future of social media is pointing to video.

The beautiful thing about a well produced video is that you can chop it up into several small segments. With just a little thought given to sound bites, you can come up with videos to fit all desired formats and lengths. Now,all at once you’ve got a head start on some social posts that can be extremely effective in driving views and conversions.

Email Marketing

Ask any experienced marketer where they see the most immediate responses and I’ll bet they answer email. Email has always worked and it continues to work. Combining the mediums of email and video with a powerful message can produce some great results.

One approach to take here is creating a drip campaign that would highlight different parts of the same video over time. Maybe one week is looking at the portion of the video that talks about your company as a whole and its approach. Maybe the next week, it’s taking a closer look at who your employees are. You get the idea. In other words, a series of message spread over a few days or weeks that methodically educates your audience.

Vidcasts, Podcasts & More

A well produced video production, will also have some great audio segments that can be taken from it as well. Why not repurpose those in a podcast format?

The key here is thinking about all the distribution channels you have available and asking yourself what makes sense. Maybe you recently launched a podcast and your video includes the perfect soundbite from a customer talking about the work you did for them. Why not drop that in your podcast to help you get the most out of it?

Key Points

The key point out of all of this is getting the most out of each piece of content you produce…and doing so in a way that’s easy and cost effective. That’s where a partnership with Focal Point comes into play.

Not only can we help you plan and shoot a video production that will put you in a position to generate several weeks worth of effective content. We can help you execute on those marketing strategies and measure the results.

All it takes is a call or email to get started. So, what do you say? Let’s get the snowball effect going with your marketing strategy.

* Photo from Pixabay.com

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Getting it right

Attention to detail is big for us at FocalPoint.

We believe in getting things right. The first time.

And – what we seek to get right that first time matters more than just about anything else. Like what’s really important.

Really important like…

  • Creating a product or a service you are truly proud of
  • Addressing a workable business plan that meets a real need
  • Hiring a team that cares about the dream and the details
  • Building shrewd creative marketing around your business model that will speak to your mission and your audience

About that last bullet point…

FocalPoint creates marketing strategy with an end point in mind. The tag line won’t simply be ‘catchy.’ It will support that business plan you lost sleep over.

We understand that there will be endless details to get right before you launch your web site and your social media plan. That’s the ground point where we work best together. Before you have something that you’re truly proud of. That’s an ideal place for us to be. So together we can create, double check, test, and launch with more than just a hunch.

We want to get things launched right— right alongside you and your team. Greeting success together after hard work ironing out what’s most important.

Marketing Effectively in 2016

It doesn’t matter how new you and your product are, you have to find ways to command attention to break through the noise and get noticed.

The holiday season is a great time to see this in action. Businesses of every sort are finding it increasingly difficult to rise above the noise and seize the attention (and buying power) of new customers. Some just succeed in making a lot of noise. Others break through the noise in brilliant ways.

Ask the Right QuestionsSo how can you build the kind of focused attention that allows you to market effectively? Some ideas:

  • Focus on inquiry. People like being asked for their opinion. They like to feel like they are connecting the dots to the right (buying) solution.

Like most guys shopping is not my thing and shopping for clothes proofs to be even more of a burden but the Trunk Club has the solution.  The Trunk Club grabbed my attention from a marketing perspective first and then from a consumer perspective.  This company is a perfect example of using marketing to inquire and engage their customer — leading them right down the path to a buying decision.

  • Shake things up. Challenge and surprise prospective customers with your marketing. Stimulate their imaginations.
  • Be authentic. Be genuinely and powerfully engaged in your business. Customers love to know that you love what you do – and that you do your best for your customers. Let your customers know they can depend on your word.

It’s not enough to get your message ‘out there.’ To get noticed and win business in today’s incredibly crowded marketing landscape, you have to command attention in unexpected, memorable and moving ways.

That happens to be our sweet spot at FocalPoint. We can help get you where you want to be.