Your B2B Business Will Do Better With Video. 4 Ways To Get Started On A Budget

…You better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone”. A line from Bob Dylan’s famous song ‘The Times They Are a ‘Changin’, could not have realyed the message any better. The digital age has flipped conventional business practices on their head.

Cisco’s white paper on the Visual Networking Index suggests by 2019 videos on the internet will contribute to almost 80% of the traffic.

While conventional marketing methods will yield results videos are becoming increasingly more important.
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A great example showcasing this growth is Notify Fox. After posting their first explainer video on YouTube they garnered more than hundred new users. The same video also helped them significantly improve their customer conversion.

When you think videos you probably imagine big production costs, expensive equipment and the works. Good News- That is a thing of the past. There is help at hand.

With new age video making techniques you can create and edit videos at half the cost and the results will surely take your business to new heights.

Here is a list of things you can do to get you started on a shoestring budget.

KISS it all the way

Keep It Short and Simple- You’ve heard this adage being applied to almost everything under the sun. However, with videos it is even more relevant.

The hyper social age has changed the way we look at things. This has resulted in the average attention span being reduced from 12 seconds to 8 seconds!

A short and to-the-point video has the potential to go viral and get your business the attention it requires.

Case in point being Zendesk’s promo video. This one minute promotional video managed to garner over 116K views on Youtube.

With this kind of response Zendesk managed to drive home their core point of building relationships between organisations and their customers.

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Takeaway: Grab attention and keep it. A short video with all the relevant information will drive home the point. 

Get crafty

Don’t let limited resources get in the way of your creativity. You will have to be resourceful and make the best use of what you have.

Who knew an empty bottle could be used as a tripod. This gives turning trash into treasure a whole new spin. Plus the added benefit of saving money.

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For lighting, use daylight whenever possible, The results will pleasantly surprise. You will not only save on the costs but also on time. No need to set up bulky equipment.

Make use of the space you have. You don’t need a fancy setting for a great video. A neat room with a bright wall will do the trick. A rented studio will not only inflate your costs but will also take away that personal touch from your work.

Get your friends and family to pitch in. This will not only lighten your load but also let you spend time with your loved ones. A total win-win for everybody.

For those seamless dolly shots or tracking shots you can use your office chair with wheels. Just make sure the floor is not uneven and your camera is still.

Takeaway : Lack of resources should not bog you down. Be hands-on with your approach and learn on the fly. Use everything you can.

DIY with ease

Yes, you’re not a professional videographer, but that should not stop you from making awesome videos. Your smartphone can help you create videos quickly and with great ease.

The quality of videos will however depend on practise. If there are award winning movies are being shot through smartphones then it couldn’t be that difficult , right?

The movie ‘“Tangerine” directed by Sean Baker was entirely shot on an iphone. It won accolades at the Sundance Film Festival and the Academy for Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences acquired the phone for their museum.

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Invest in a durable hand grip or rig for your phone. This will stabilise your shots and the videos will come out neater.

Takeaway:  Your smartphone can help you make great looking videos without any fuss. All you need is a full charge and some patience.

Edit to please

Now that you’ve shot the video, you need to add some finesse to it. Use an online video editor to add final touches to your work.

You can add background score, transitions, 3D effects, the options are endless. Work the video editor to your advantage and get that awesome video in no time.

A superb video editor like Lightworks can make you job easier. This phenomenal video editing tool will help you edit your videos and make them look super professional.

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For people with limited desktop space, cloud based video editing is a great option. You can save all your work on the cloud and access it from anywhere anytime.

Takeaway: Use online video editors. You will not have to buy expensive software and the results will still be awesome.

Conclusion:

Videos, if done right can help your marketing strategy immensely.

Make sure to keep your video precise. No one wants to see lengthy videos with a drab end. A short film with on point information will check all the boxes.

Use all the available resources at your disposal. Video making is an expensive proposition so take your time thinking about the story you want to tell. The more time you spend thinking  before shooting,  the less you will spend on post production.

Have fun, If you don’t it will show in your videos. Keeping things light is the key, your stress can easily rub onto your crew.

Try and maintain a sense of humour. With it you will be able to diffuse a situation or even get work done faster.

So, keep these points in mind and don’t let your budget get in the way of awesome videos for you business.

Why Live Events Are So Good For Your Business

A smart business owner looks for every opportunity to help grow, legitimize, and lionize their brand. But the truth is that many small business owners overlook one of the biggest stages they could hope to stand on. We’re talking about live events like conferences, trade shows, and speaking opportunities. They should start becoming a key feature of your annual marketing plans and here is why.

Get the team spirit on the rise

If you have a team alongside you, then getting them out there representing their brand has all kinds of benefits. For one, you are having it represented by the people who it best and choosing the right charismatic characters can help you make even more of an impact on event attendees, with a little training. What’s more, it can actually improve the team’s motivation and engagement with their work. Having the opportunity to meet others and to prove that they are on the side of the brand can make them actually feel like members of a team, rather than just employees.

Find new ways to convert new people

When you’re looking for new people to convert, the quality of your leads matters as much, if not more, than the quantity of your leads. You could be wasting huge amounts of time and resources trying to convert people who simply aren’t interested. At trade shows and other live events relevant to your business, you are getting in touch directly with those most likely to be interested. It’s a whole new way to begin the conversion process. Just make sure that you establish a way to keep in touch with those you meet so that you can continue the process further down the line, whether by arranging a meeting, getting new signups to your email newsletter, or simply by sending a follow-up email.

Expose the brand in a new dimension

Besides getting the opportunity to connect personally with members of your target market, you can do a lot more the broader strategy of your brand. Showcasing your brand at an event, whether it’s a launch or a booth at a trade show is a way of saying “we have arrived.” It gives a level of exposure that can make the brand much more recognizable. Just ensure that you’re taking steps to actually expose it. You need the right items for your conference, including booth design materials that make your corner fit your aesthetic and custom lanyards or wristbands that help individual members of the team wear and show off their affiliation. Don’t be afraid of saturating your people and your space with brand imagery. You may need it to stand out amongst your competitors.

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Stand amongst your peers

Exposure isn’t the only thing that a conference or trade show can offer your brand. It can also lend it a sense of trustworthiness. Consumers are becoming a lot savvier and less willing to part with their money to do business with companies that they don’t know. By establishing a physical presence and showing that you don’t only exist in the online world, you can help establish and legitimize your place within the industry. Keep building trust by ensuring that you’re talking one-on-one to potential clients in plenty of detail. Be honest, don’t be afraid to let them down by giving a sub-optimal answer if it’s the truthful one. This might be a marketing opportunity, but it’s also a conversation and if you want to be effective, you have to be able to sustain that sense of trust all the way through it.

Use it as a focus group study

Don’t be afraid to have some questions of your own for the event attendees, either. As mentioned, trade shows and conferences attract only those members of the market most interested in what you have to offer. This includes not just consumers and businesses, but also journalists and bloggers. Take the opportunity to get the scoop and gain some insight that can help you craft future strategies for the business. The event survey is far from uncommon, however. If you don’t make yours a little more creative, it might be hard to collect as much data as you would like.

Find partnerships

Besides standing out from your competitors, you can also use this opportunity to stand alongside them. You can start building bridges with others in the industry or in related fields of work. Business partnerships can have all kinds of benefits. You can score referrals from one another. You can use each other’s platforms to help give a boost to any marketing or branding efforts. You may even have a joint project down the line. Use trade shows and conferences as an opportunity to network and build the foundation of friends that can help your business reach new goals in the future.

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Bring the online and offline worlds together

As mentioned, live events help give an online business a sense of trustworthiness by showing the market that you do, indeed, exist and a real-world presence. However, they can also serve as great material for you to build your online marketing on, too. For instance, you can livestream your conference content or tweet out photos and stories from the event as it’s happening. You can also take some of the conversations you have had and turn them into a case study or a point of future discussion. Above all else, it shows that your business is willing to learn and stay on the top of its game by incorporating recent events and information into its branding and marketing materials which only improves your image.

Even if you don’t believe your business is yet big enough to stand on that tallest of platforms, there is too much to gain to not make use of them. They can help you both share and gain insights. They can help you reach customers, clients, and partners you might never have met otherwise. They cement your brand’s place in the industry. Start attending events and you will see the benefits immediately.

Five Unusual Ways Of Staying In Touch with Your Customers

If you would like to market your company in a competitive marketplace, it is important that you choose your communication methods that make you stand out from the crowd. If your advertisement is displayed among dozens of others, it will make little or no impact. When Facebook advertising started, companies that jumped on board were winning customers. Now, however, you need to try harder to stand out. Below you will find a few unusual ways of staying in touch with your customers and marketing to them.

1.    Postcards

To really get your message across and show your appreciation to your customers, it is important that you keep in touch in a unique way. If you can keep a record of all your clients’ birthdays and special occasions, you will be able to surprise them with a unique postcard, reminding them that your company is there for them if they need it. At the same time, you can also use postcard marketing to send out promotions and special discount codes.

2.    Video Messages

If you would rather automate your marketing processes, you can create a video series and fill your autoresponder sequences with informative and educational content your customers will appreciate. Even if you are only sending out a branding message about moving to a new office, or positive changes in your company, you are giving your audience a chance to connect with you on a personal level, and you can strengthen your relationship with clients.

3.    Voice Recordings

A great way of making your marketing and branding messages stand out and get noticed is sending voice recordings to your customers. If you use any instant messaging service, such as Facebook Messenger, Skype, or Slack, you can send out recorded messages, Personalize your content to each customer’s industry, so they feel that you are talking directly to them,

4.    Faxing

While some people believe that fax services are old fashioned and modern businesses should no longer use them, they can make a huge difference in your marketing and communication campaigns. You can sign up for an online faxing account and create unique letterheads, getting your personalized messages across this way. Because you are not using email, your message will have a much better chance of being read than simply creating regular newsletters.

5.    Text Messages

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A great way of getting in touch with local clients is text messages or push messages. Both of the methods will allow you to deliver the short announcement or promotion directly to your customer’s phone. As most of us check our phones multiple times a day, this can be a great way of enticing your clients to visit your shop for a discount or asking for feedback, recommendation, or simply informing them of the changes in your opening hours.

If you would like to make sure that your promotional and branding messages get noticed by your target audience, it is important that you are using unique communication channels. These will enable you to personalize your message and reach out, increase your conversion and open rates.

Six tips to improve your video marketing strategy

Marketing is an integral part of any business. In the past, businesses have used email and content marketing to get their message out there. Presently, online videos are trending, and businesses are using them to increase their outreach.

The reason why video is a very effective marketing medium is that it is very engaging and captivating. Using videos on a landing page can increase conversion by more than 80%. A video is a very powerful tool that businesses are presently using to reach their audiences.

If you have been using videos for some time and have not really gotten any result, chances are there is something wrong with your video marketing strategy. In this article, we are going to be looking at six tips that can improve your video marketing strategy. Ensure that you take a review of IPage before making a video for your business.

  1. Start with a story

Telling stories in your video is going to make it more appealing to your audience. When you tell them a story that has a link to something they are going through, they are likely going to connect with you. Most viral video usually has a fun and engaging story.

A simple video without any story is likely going to give you an average or no result. On the other hand, if you add a compelling story to your video, the results are going to be mind-blowing.

  1. Keep it short

Videos do not need to be very long in order for them to be captivating. Presently, a lot of research is going video marketing. The results of these researchers have shown that customers prefer watching a short video. The obvious reason for this is because they have a very short attention span.

When making a video for your product or services, you need to have it in mind that your customers or prospects are busy and may have a lot of issues to attend to. The ideal length of a video ranges from 30 seconds to 1 minutes.

  1. Make your video interactive

The behaviour of your customers is changing by the day. If you don’t keep pace with it, you are going to be left behind. You will agree that making a video is expensive, even more, it takes a lot of time and effort. Video contents that are very interactive usually go viral. If you want to get more out of your videos, you have to make it more interactive. If your videos are interactive, your customer will follow you closely.

  1. Add a call to action

Making a great video content without any call to action is a complete waste of time and resources. Businesses that create excellent content, but do not have a call to action, usually struggle and find it difficult to increase their revenue.

Use the last few seconds at the end of your video to tell your customers or viewers what you want them to do next. You should add links that will take your viewers to your sales page or your membership site.

  1. Use data effectively

Data is what runs the business world. If you ignore the valuable data from your business, you are going end up making the same mistake over and over again. Having a data gathering strategy will help you chart the progress of your video content. In the long run, the data you have collected will show you the kind of videos your customers love.

  1. Optimize your video

This is something you should never ignore. If you do, all your hard work is going to go to waste. Optimizing each of your video content is going to make it easier for your customers or audience to find it. One of the most effective ways to improve your ranking is to transcribe your videos.

Applying the tips in this article will improve the overall outreach of your business.

The Content Optimization Process: How to Make the Most of What You’ve Already Got

In March 2017, we saw the Google algorithm go through yet another update. This new update, called “Fred”, put even more emphasis on high-quality content, and if you want to make the most of your SEO efforts, you simply have to produce top-notch content today. But what to do with all that stuff you already have on your website, that already does really well? Does it have to just sit there and collect dust? Or can you still do something with it? The concept of refurbishing content that has been proven to work well is becoming more and more popular, which means there’s no reason why you shouldn’t give it a go. So, if you want to juice every drop of goodness out of your top content, here’s how to do it.

Figure out what your top content is

In order to be able to refurbish your top content, you’ll first have to identify it. Luckily, you can now use the power of analytics to evaluate all of your content and figure out which pages are bringing in the most traffic and converting the best. Obviously, content that scores the best on these accounts is the one you should choose for refurbishment.

It’s very important that you understand that it’s not only the pages on your website that might be your most valuable content. This can be anything from a video on one of your pages to a printout people seem to like. And once you manage to identify what has worked best for you, it’s time to think about the ways you can refurbish it.

Decide how you want to use your top content and simplify it

The next thing you’re supposed to do in order to bring your old content back to life is decide how you want to do it. What many experts decide to do is change the form of their top content before publishing it anywhere.

Let’s say your most valuable content is a long-form text on how to be more productive at work. Think about what else people could be doing with this piece and make it come to life. Maybe it’s a video explaining how to get more things done around the office? Or a podcast all those suffering from a lack of productivity at work will find helpful? Our main point is – there are tons of ways you can reuse your old content, you just have to be creative while doing so.

On top of that, you might want to think about simplifying your old content before you send it back on the stage. If you do this, you’ll be able to include a link to the original content that has proven to be so effective and people will consume it once again.

Find popular platforms to publish your “new” content

There’s just so many powerful platforms out there just waiting for content their audience seeks. And if you don’t provide it, somebody else will. So, if you’ve turned an old text into a video, why not upload it to YouTube? There are so many people looking for tips and tutorials, why not capitalize on it. Also, if your “new” content is in the form of a PowerPoint presentation, you can always upload it to SlideShare which ranks so well.

Getting your content out there is what refurbishing is all about, but if you want it to be effective, you’ll also want to measure its impact. So, check out how many views your video has, the time people spend on your page and so on. The data you collect will help you determine what works best for you and how you should keep refurbishing in the future. Luckily, there are automated reporting tools like Reportz available, that are guaranteed to help you collect all the data you will need. Turning to tools like these is always going to save you hours and hours of manual work.

Getting your old content out there is a great way to make sure you keep providing quality to your audience. And with so many content forms at your disposal and platforms you can publish it on, coming up with refurbishing ideas should be a real piece of cake.

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Guest Author is Alex Williams is a journalism graduate, and a rookie blogger trying to find my luck. Blogs are the perfect opportunity for presenting yourself to wider audience, getting the chance to showcase my expertise and receiving recognition. I am a regular contributor at Bizzmark Blog

3 Tips for Better Conversion Rates with Your Videos

Statistics have proven that adding videos to your site can dramatically improve your conversion rates. Not all videos are created equally, so tinkering with your videos to figure out what works best is essential.

Assuming you already track the basics for your sales pages, you’ll be able to quickly determine how your videos are performing, or where there’s a weak link that needs to be fixed.

#1: Split-Test Different Approaches

Making multiple videos will add to the amount of work you have to do, but at the end of the day it will provide you with a lot of insight into which approach works best. You may only need to tweak a few things, like at which point you ask for the sale. Slight changes like these can make a big difference on how well your video converts.

Don’t get into the habit of making just one video and crossing your fingers that it works. Try out a minimum of two videos and see which one returns better numbers. With that new information you’ll be able to make better choices for your videos going forward.

Things you’ll want to look for during your test:

  • Time spent on page.
  • Click-through rate for buy button.
  • Completed sales originating from video page.

Keep in mind that these are only simple metrics, and should only be used as a guide. Generally, if a visitor spends more time on the page it means they’re watching more of your video, but this is not always the case, and isn’t necessary to make a sale, as we’ll see later.

#2: Clearly Describe Your Product or Service

Most people don’t like being sold, but they love to buy. When you come from the angle of explaining something to them rather than making a hard sell, their defenses aren’t up as much and they get lost in the explanation rather than feeling like you’re pushing something onto them.

Use an explainer video to tell visitors what you do or how your product works. These things not only sell products like hotcakes, but they pre-sell your visitors as well. If they don’t buy right away, the message still gets through and after they mull it over a bit they’ll remember it next time and will buy without needing to rewatch the video.

#3: Play Around With Video Placement

Where your video shows up on the page can also factor into whether or not it gets watched. And keep in mind that visitors may not even watch your video and still be more likely to convert just because they have the option to watch it. That’s how powerful video is, and how helpful it can be in your quest for more customers.

If you place your video at the top, are visitors more likely to watch it? Or would they prefer a story first and then the opportunity to watch a video? It’s questions like these that you’ll get answers to when you start moving your video around the page and seeing what changes.

Master your videos and you’ll master your conversion rates. Happy tinkering!

Leverage the Power of Video Marketing

Content marketing is constantly changing, evolving and improving. People seem to find new ideas for capturing the attention of viewers each day. However, one method that stood out in content marketing strategies over the past years, but especially in 2016 is video marketing. It is no surprise really – a video can directly deliver a message in just under a minute, while reading content in the form of text can last for hours at a time.

The powerful effect of video marketing has gotten the attention of marketers all over the Internet. Most marketers are now re-thinking their strategies to involve more visual representation in form of videos to advertize their products and content. It seems that 2017 will be the year of video marketing for sure.

The Dominion of Video

It is estimated that video content will cover 69 percent of consumer traffic in 2017 according to Cisco. This is due because of higher Internet bandwidth speed and increased mobile usage. Everyone from startups to corporations will utilize the potential of video marketing. Video marketing can provide a spot on message for the target audience, eliminating the need for reading through piles of information.

It seems that video marketing has become more efficient in providing viewers with much needed content information as well as entertainment. Even with all the other content marketing methods that are being used nowadays like pictures, texts, infographics, ads and newsfeeds, video has proved itself the most effective. Marketers are recognizing this efficiency and are taking initiative to produce more video marketing strategies.

Video Content

With increased popularity of video marketing, it is time to fully utilize the video potential in campaigns and strategies. The content of the video should consist of some kind of message directed exactly for the target audience. Whether a video should be formal or contain some level of entertainment depends on the audience. However, a video should be carefully designed to contain a bit of everything. After all, audience prefers quality, and innovative way of thinking.

The big question is the length of a video. Some people say it should be as short as possible, yet some say it should be around two minutes. A videos length should vary on the content, message and audience it is designed for. For instance, Alexander Thomas Media Company has excellent examples on how a corporate video should look like and how long it should be. Again, video length should depend on creativity and imagination used in its creation, and of course, on the alignment with the marketing strategy. Whether to enlist a professional assistance or go with the feeling is all a part of the strategy and the goal that has to be achieved using video marketing.

Social Media Leverage

Sometimes creating a quality video that will be used in a marketing campaign is not enough. Video that is part of marketing campaign can be dismissed or ignored. This is where social media can be of assistance. A video that goes viral on social media will surely capture attention that will generate interest. This is vital for business promotion and product placement. That is why, it is important to equip a video with generated paths that lead back to the business and call to action buttons before that video is released into the social wilderness. Leveraging social media for video marketing can increase popularity, engagement and even conversion rate.

A Good Investment

There will definitely be more video marketing in 2017. Now is a good time to invest in a quality video because of the good ROI. As it seem that society prefers watching content rather than reading about it. Investing in a creation of a quality video will most definitely prove as a smart move. It is safe to say that most marketers in 2017 will base their marketing strategies on video promotion. Investing a considerable amount of funds into designing a video marketing campaign can ensure better traffic and better engagement from viewers. It can also ensure more leads and increased rankings – all in favor of increased profits.

In retrospect, video content marketing will become even more popular in 2017. Because of the audience preference for video content- utilizing the potential of video marketing will enable a more specific and direct form of communication with target audience and better advertisement of products.

 

Guest author Oscar is a writer from Sydney and one of the editors at Bizzmarkblog. He enjoys conducting research in the vast fields of business and marketing and writing about the useful insights he gathers on a daily basis. Follow Oscar on Twitter.to stay updated with his latest posts.