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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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Sometimes “I don’t know” is the right marketing answer

Art-of-Listening Some years ago, I met with a potential marketing client over lunch. It was the president of the company. I had heard from him that he was not pleased with his existing marketing program, so this meeting was an opportunity to listen and learn about his business and talk to him about FocalPoint’s work. I was thrilled to get the appointment and wasn’t sure what to expect.

After talking about his present marketing strategy and how it didn’t seem to result in the sales volume he had hoped for, he asked me a pointed question he knew would put me on the spot.

“What can your company do that will get us where we want to be?”

At first it appeared to be a golden opportunity to plunge in and talk up our firm. But frankly, I didn’t want to give a sales pitch based on platitudes, in fact, I never give sales pitches.

“I honestly don’t know,” I said. There was a stunned moment of silence. I was pretty sure I’d lost the opportunity, but I also knew I didn’t have the background on his business that I needed to provide a qualified answer.

“I don’t want to be presumptive and offer you something that sounds good, but is based on nothing. You know much better than I do about what is going on in your industry and your business. I need to know much more before I could even begin to come up with marketing strategies that might make sense for you.”

I was being brutally honest. I wasn’t ready to talk about specific strategies to market his business. But I wasn’t sure how my answer would be received.

Listen-&-LearnInterestingly, everything about that meeting changed in that moment. Instead of having a typical business meeting, we began to have a real conversation. We both dropped our pretenses and did a lot more listening than posturing or selling.

Although that happened a while ago, it fascinates me how life lessons present themselves in unexpected ways. This one has stayed with me at FocalPoint, and it’s one I share with those I work with. Being frank and open and asking a ton of questions is a big part of the way we handle new business.

So, what can you tell us about your business so that we can begin to work together as a part of your trusted marketing team?

Here’s my card. What can I do to help you? Or feel free to send me an email brien@focalpoint.co

FP_BusinessCard_Brien

Why Every Marketer Should Pay Attention to Twitter Right Now

Twitter is making some series moves and every online marketer should take a moment to pay attention to what’s going on…

Prior to the last couple of weeks, it had been awhile since I could remember the last big Twitter update.  A lot of speculation recently is that Twitter’s CEO is in the hot seat and the company is under pressure to grow its number of active users.   It certainly seems that message has been received as Twitter has decided to make up for lost time with some big announcements.  Here’s a quick recap on what has been going on with this microblogging service giant and what I think it means for online marketers.

Twitter

1. More Tweets Will Soon Show Up in Google Search
A deal has been signed between Twitter and Google to give the search engine giant (Google) access to Twitter’s firehose.  What this means is that Google will be able to tap into Twitter users’ feeds in real time and serve up relevant Tweets as part of its search results instead of just being limited to showing Twitter’s profile information.

Key Takeaway – I see this being huge for marketers especially when it comes to events and trending topics.  Being able to report relevant industry news first on your blog and having a Twitter strategy that goes along with it which is visibly in Google sounds like a great online marketing power play to me.

Need help with your Twitter strategy?  Contact me & we’ll talk tweets. 

2. Twitter Videos Are Live & So Is Group Direct Messaging
Toward the end of last year, I talked about the importance of video heading into 2015 and specifically discussed some of the things Facebook has been doing to encourage marketers to upload videos directly to the site vs. using a 3rd party like YouTube.  Well, Twitter has followed this trend with the roll out of its native video feature.  If you haven’t noticed already, when composing a Tweet, you will now see the capability to add a video.

The length of the videos is 30 seconds which is significantly longer than the 6 second Vine service which is tightly integrated with Twitter and twice the length of Instagram’s 15 second video limit.  30 second videos are a length that advertisers are very familiar with and I anticipate seeing commercial type videos coming from the big brands.

In addition to Twitter video, group direct messaging capabilities were also made a reality.  This means instead of being limited to a one-on-one DM conversation, others can now join the party.  It’s basically like a private little group chat…very similar to something you might see on Facebook messenger.  It’s also worth noting that not all of the Twitter users in the group message need to be following each other.  Hopefully this doesn’t get spammy, as I could see it being a very valuable way to make new connections via a personal Twitter introduction.

Key Takeaway – The key takeaway I see from this news is that brands will now have an even greater potential to re-purpose video content.  By shooting one video and making several different versions, it’s now possible to use that piece of content on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc.  This means far more people can be reached and in new ways.  A lot marketers are seeing greater engagement from videos posted directly to Facebook as opposed to the video being housed on YouTube and linked to from Facebook.  I imagine similar behavior may start to take place over time on Twitter feeds.

Final Thoughts
YouTube is huge and yes, it’s possible to build up a great following of subscribers there.  But as I look to the future of online marketing as it relates to video, I see a progression of marketers being more keen on promoting their Facebook channel and Twitter channel as more of these huge social media platforms make it possible to host videos on their sites. Video is going to become more essential than ever and brands will/are getting more creative about they way they do it.

Need help making a highly effective video?  Contact me to talk strategy today!

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3 Simple Pieces of Advice to Save Marketers Loads of Time

The holidays are upon us and 2014 is coming to a close.  This time of year tends to bring out the best in marketers…and also the worst.  This is especially true when it comes to retailers.  We all know a lot of money is spent this time of year and for many it will make or break their 2014 success.  While I consider myself a marketing professional, I am also a student of the game. I’m always observing and learning from others to make notes of what I like and don’t like.

This year, as I was reading blogs, emails and social media posts I couldn’t help but think of 3 simple pieces of advice or rules of business that I think a lot of marketers forget.  Those that slip up often end up losing or offending customers while those that stick to these values even when things get chaotic will always come out on top in the long run.  As simple as these pieces of advice may seem, sometimes they make all the difference in the world.  Let me explain…

1. Just be honest (and don’t fake it).
I have to say, I saw a lot of retailers faking “deals” this Black Friday.  I know it’s a huge shopping day, but consider this for a minute.  Nearly everyone will receive dozens of emails with big time deals.  On this day in particular, people are looking to save a lot of money.  Sending out an email about Free Shipping and calling it a Black Friday “deal” just doesn’t cut it and certainly won’t break through the clutter.  Worse, it could offend your customers.

I know it can be tempting for retailers and many feel obligated to offer a Black Friday deal, but if you don’t have one, you don’t have one.  If you aren’t able to offer a competitive discount on that particular day because it doesn’t make sense for your business, why not send out an email the following week with a message that’s honestly the best deal you can offer and not disguised as something else.  I promise your customers will appreciate it more.

2. Tell a great story.
At Focal Point, we are all about storytelling.  This could be through video, social media or email.  A great story is what engages people with your brand.  And once they’re engaged the selling comes naturally.  This time of year, I can’t help but think of this John Lewis TV advertisement because it’s all about the story and people love it.  Give it a watch below!

3. Connect with PEOPLE.
One of the best ways to connect with people is to have other people tell your story for you.  This is why customer testimonials are so powerful for every business.  As the holidays approach, a lot of packages are going to be shipped and I can’t help but think of this FedEx #ShippingSpree video where FedEx enabled customers to tell their story by connecting with people through real life examples of things they would ship to that special someone.  In video below, Mike talks about his sister who is a cancer survivor and describes each item he’s shipping as he puts in the box.  Check it out here…

Great Marketers Don’t Take Shortcuts
I guess what I am trying to say here is that there are no shortcuts to great marketing campaigns.  All too often I see people asking questions such like: How do I get to the first page in Google?  How do I make my video go viral?  How do I get 50,000 Facebook likes?

The best place to start?  Follow the 3 pieces of advice above.  The results will come.

Need help telling your story?  Contact me now so I can help.

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3 Simple, But Overlooked Ingredients for Marketing Campaign Success

Marketing-IngredientsThere’s less than 2 months left in the year and all of us want to close out 2014 strong.  It’s times like these when marketers and business owners tend to just go, go, go.   But, when it comes to marketing strategies these busy times can cause us to lose focus and over complicate things as a result.  With so many websites, so many ways to communicate, and so many things you want to do, now is the time to think about how to simplify your marketing success.  Let me tell you how.

I believe all successful marketing campaigns have 3 simple ingredients.  While these ingredients are very simple, they are often overlooked.  I see it happen time and time again.  Missing one of these ingredients is like trying to make a loaf of bread without flour.  It just doesn’t turn out well.

Let’s think about it for a minute – every time a customer or prospect takes the action you want it’s because 3 things happened.  3 very simple ingredients came together just right.

Ingredient #1 – Right Message.  You sent your customer or prospect exactly the right message to capture their attention.

Ingredient #2 – Right Time.  They received your message at the perfect time.

Ingredient #3 – Right Device/Medium.  You reached them using the right method of communication.

Take a look at this short video to see these 3 ingredients come together perfectly…

Example #1: Meat Pack Shoe Store – Hijack

Watch this video from the Meat Pack shoe store in Guatemala to see these 3 things come together perfectly…

Think about this video for just a minute.  Why was this “Hijack” campaign effective?  The answer is easy.  The potential customer was offered a significant discount (right message) while they were in a competitor’s store, likely close to a purchase decision (right time) on their smartphone (right device).  At that point, converting on this campaign for anyone who was targeted was super easy (and even fun) to do.

Example #2: WestJet – Christmas Miracle

Another example of an incredible marketing campaign coming together is shown in this WestJet Christmas Miracle video, take a look…

Sure, this WestJet example involved plenty of planning, but when you think about it the concept was simple.  We’re going to give awesome personalized gifts/go above and beyond (right message) while people are traveling for the holidays (right time) and do so in person (right device).

What Do These 2 Examples Have In Common?

Not only do Meat Pack and WestJet nail all of the 3 must-have marketing ingredients, but they create a truly unforgettable customer experience.  The type of experience that captures attention and the type of experience that customers WILL tell others about.

So, now it’s your turn…

Before you move on with any type of strategic planning on your next online marketing campaign, be sure you’ve got the 3 must-have ingredients right.

1. Right Message – What is the message you want to send to your customers or potential customers?  Maybe it’s an educational message to help them better understand how a product or service works.  Maybe it’s a special discount on Black Friday to help drive some immediate sales.  Whatever your message ends up being, make sure it’s incredibly clear.  Too often we get caught up in all of the other things that come along with an online marketing campaign and lose sight of what our actual message should be.  Don’t be the person sitting there asking yourself again, “what was it we actually wanted our visitors to do?”

2. Right Time – Timing is everything when it comes to planning an effective marketing strategy  Does it make sense to send your message immediately before or after some type of business transaction?  After that, how long is too long?  Getting your timing right can be the difference between a 5% response rate and a 15% response rate.  Look at data, ask your audience ahead of time and test it until you get it right.

3. Right Device – In the marketing industry, especially in today’s world we say “device,” but really it’s any method of communication.  In one instance, sending a text to someone’s smartphone immediately after a purchase offering $10 off the next purchase in exchange for feedback about their experience might be just the right device.  In another instance, sending a hand written follow-up note at the end of the year to your customer along with some holiday goodies might be exactly the right “device.”  I guess what I am saying is that just because we have all of these technological advances and new “devices’ available, doesn’t mean we should lose sight of some of the “old school” ways to communicate.  A hand written note or even a face-to-face transaction can be just the right “device.”

Need Help?

At Focal Point, we make sure our customers get the 3 ingredients to marketing success right, every time.  If you’d like some help with your next online marketing campaign or need some assistance when it comes to strategic planning, please get in touch with us today.  We can help you create that customer experience you’ve been wanting to deliver.

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