Tag Archives: video

How to Use Facebook Live in Your Small Business Marketing

facebook-liveBy now, we’ve all seen Facebook Live videos in our news feeds; and if you’re like many of our clients, you might be wondering how you can use this fun new feature in your small business marketing.

Facebook Live allows you to broadcast video in real-time and connect with your audience, directly from your smartphone, tablet, or a computer app–with just a few simple taps or clicks, you’re on!

Your video will show up live as your friends or followers scroll, and the recording will save automatically to your news feed, to be viewed or shared later.

Currently, Facebook Live is one of the most powerful ways to get your message seen and heard on the social media platform. As words and images are vying for everyone’s attention, live video is winning the competition with increased reach, visibility, and interaction.

To get started, you’ll want to entice people to watch. We recommend building anticipation by announcing exactly when you’ll be going live ahead of time. Be sure to add a captivating written description for the video before you go live–something that will give people a reason to stop scrolling and check you out.

Once you start rolling, you’ll be able to see who’s watching, so welcome your viewers. Encourage them to stay engaged, acknowledge commenters by name, and respond to their questions and remarks. If you want to gain more viewers, be willing to stay live for 10 minutes or longer, and keep it lively and interesting.

Adding Facebook Live to your marketing mix will help you connect with friends and followers where they’re already hanging out, real-time, in a fresh and exciting way.

Marketers are finding success in building relationships and boosting engagement. Here’s what’s working: Continue reading

5 Tips for Powerful Visual Storytelling

Depositphotos_63467467_s-2015Visual storytelling is a form of human communication we can trace back to ancient times, predating written language. Humans use storytelling to relate to one another, and visuals help us tell stories quickly and effectively, conveying meaning and emotion in the blink of an eye.

In marketing, effective visual storytelling works to make your company, products, and services more attractive and relatable, establishing brand recognition, affinity, and strong emotional bonds.

In the world of online marketing, we’ve seen visual storytelling become increasingly more important within the past few years. Blog readers have come to expect a featured image to accompany each post, your Facebook and Twitter newsfeeds are filled with images where text once prevailed, Instagram and Pinterest visuals attract more viewers, and video platforms compete for our attention.

Now, more than ever, it’s time to pay attention to visual storytelling in your branding and marketing. As visual storytelling has become more prominent, consumers have become more sophisticated and discerning; so it’s increasingly challenging to cut through the clutter and stand out, but it’s well worth the effort.

Here are 5 tips for powerful visual storytelling to enhance your brand: Continue reading

How To Create A Facebook Profile Video

Facebook_like_thumbHave you noticed Facebook is rolling out some new updates again?

Constant changes can be frustrating for business owners using social media, but the new Facebook profile video is a fresh new feature added to spruce up your profile with a fun and lively touch. It’s just rolling out, and we’re not quite sure if it will catch on yet, but it seems to be a cool way for you to add some personality and a quick introduction to who you are or what’s on your mind.

You’ve only got seven seconds to work with, but just like on Instagram, the video loops. It shows up on your friend’s newsfeeds when you add it, and then it’s visible to your profile visitors for as long as you want it to be. Continue reading

5 Tips For Effective Web Video in 2015

camera-690163_640Given how ubiquitous web video has become, it surprises me how often I stumble across a site that hasn’t implemented that video very well into their design. Even a few years ago it was moderately acceptable for your video to appear a little janky, but those days are over.

The tools for excellent video production are now well within reach of the average content producer, and the technique for making sure that video displays seamlessly within you design across a range of devices is well established.

So, don’t settle for less! Follow these simple tips, and we’ll have your website’s video looking fantastic in no time. Continue reading

Video Hosting for Small Business

filmHands down, your marketing should include video. According to SEJ, “people watch more than 500 years’ worth of YouTube videos on Facebook every day, and they share about 700 videos on Twitter each minute”.
If you’ve ever clicked on a video of a dog riding a skateboard, you understand what I am about to say — video promotes engagement and “likability” or share-ability of anything we want to market. That is why it is so essential that small businesses start to incorporate video into their marketing mix if they haven’t already. It’s just that simple. The only question you’ll have to ask yourself is: which video hosting site should you use?

YouTube and Vimeo are both the metaphorical “King of the Hill” when it comes to marketing and small business. But, they are very different animals. Let’s take a look at why, and how you can maximize your brand using one, or both.

YouTube

According to the YouTube Press Page, “more than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month, over 6 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube, and 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute”.

That’s kind of a big deal.

Not only is YouTube the second-largest search engine after Google, but it also has a massive reach across social networking sites. Clearly good for large audience numbers, it is no wonder that YouTube is the world’s most popular video sharing platform. But, there are many factors that attribute to YouTube’s recipe for success.

  • YouTube is free, both to upload and to watch videos. If you aren’t already on YouTube, SproutSocial created this guide to creating a YouTube account that walks you through the process step-by step.
  • It is very easy to share YouTube videos to social media sites and other outlets. This “sharability” just makes sense in the world we live in. What’s more, sharability is crucial to brand awareness.
  • YouTube is owned by Google – a relationship that, with a little help, many claim will boost Search Engine Optimization, or SEO. That’s a definite perk.
  • Easy-peasy advertising. In three short steps, YouTube walks you through how to place an ad. They also customize your options to allow you to target your audience based on gender, age, interest and location.

If you visit the YouTube Statistics page, you’ll learn even more impressive stats, but the bottom line is that YouTube clearly has the reach that business owners want at a price tag that can’t be beat.

So, if YouTube is so amazing, the question begs — why isn’t everyone using it? Let’s take a look at the popular video hosting site, Vimeo, to answer that.

Vimeo

While Vimeo gets considerably less viewer traffic than video giant YouTube, it has become incredibly popular with peeps looking to export quality video in a boutique environment. According to Sprout Social, “This idea is related to the notion that Vimeo has more quality content. Since the site is much more niche than YouTube, there is a good chance that only serious video creators and watchers are frequenting the site on a regular basis. People viewing and commenting on your videos are a lot more likely to give you constructive feedback.”

Here’s why:

  • No Video Advertisements. Vimeo doesn’t place advertisements on any videos that they host. This alone is most likely the biggest perk to choosing Vimeo over YouTube. When your audience tunes in — there is a much smaller chance of them sub sequentially tuning-out due to pop up banners and advertisements.
  • Quality Peers. Because Vimeo is more of a niche community, it is home to more professionally made and better-looking videos. Want to judge it for yourself? Vimeo offers a Staff Picks page that allows you to explore videos that they feel stand out in the crowd — and they are definitely worth a watch. This able community lends credibility to your video and really just helps your brand to look more professional and polished.
  • More Tight-Knit Community. If you are looking for a video hosting site that lends itself to constructive criticism, Vimeo may just be the place for you. On Vimeo, members comment on each others videos regularly. According to Sprout Social, “This site is more close knit than YouTube, so building a community of thought leaders should be one of your highest priorities. This also means you should make sure to respond to those who comment one your videos.”
  • YouTube restricts users to turn privacy either on or off. Meaning, it is completely private or available to the public. On Vimeo, users can customize their privacy. Vimeo allows you to hide your videos from folks browsing Vimeo, password protect them, or restrict your videos to be viewed/embedded on specific websites that you dictate. This gives you lots of flexibility to offer products for pay that are delivered in part by video.

At the end of the day, when you are choosing which platform best represents your brand, it is vital to consider the end-game of your marketing plan. Important items to weigh include:

  • Who is your target audience?
  • Are you looking for conversion or brand awareness?
  • What the types of videos do you produce — and how often?

Need help answering these questions before you decide? Give us a shout! Because we do that too.

Is My Website Boring?

BoredAs I’ve mentioned in previous posts, it is sometimes difficult to remain emotionally unattached to our websites. After all, they are extensions of our business and therefore of ourselves (even more so for solo entrepreneurs whose personal identities are their business identities), and the front-line in our attempt to control the way we are seen by the rest of the world.

It is natural, then, for us to become somewhat blind to the inevitable obsolescence of the design or technology of our sites. But we must remain vigilant against the creep of mediocrity! We must evaluate our websites with a critical eye, and eliminate anything that might be boring, old or broken. But what should we look for? Stay tuned, and I’ll give you some pointers. Continue reading

Make Video Work for Your Website

sol-blog-videoAccording to eMarketer, the category of digital advertising as a whole is up immensely, growing 44% from 2012 to 2013, to an estimated $4.15 billion. That’s a lot of growth!

According to Unbounce.com,  “Approximately 30% of page visitors watch your introductory video and 50% of those viewers watch the video in its entirety”. Another benefit? In that same survey, sites that had an introductory video on their homepage saw a 10% increase in their conversion rates.

Not bad, huh? With stats like these, it is no wonder that video will account for two-thirds of the world’s mobile data traffic by 2016.

If you aren’t using video yet, here are some tips for when you bring video to your website:

Keep your site simple.

Getting carried away is easy — we all want to include as much info as we can on our sites, but remember that when visitors are bombarded with something (be it fancy-schmancy text, a lot of text or even too many graphics) their eyes get tired and they leave your site.

The cure? Video. By including just one simple video on your homepage, you give readers a reason to stay — and you give their eyes a rest!

Chances are, they clicked on your site for a reason — they want to learn more about you and your brand.
This is the perfect opportunity to make yourself known. Consider it an introduction. With a clear and to-the-point title and a simple subtitle, use this space to tell us who you are. You can say so much more in a  video than in a cluttered design. This brings us to our next tip.

Be Real

The idea when you use video on your marketing page is to engage and connect with viewers. Now, this may sound like a task, but it doesn’t have to be.

If you are going to speak directly to the camera yourself, try to imagine you are chatting with a friend. Be positive and warm.

Here at Solamar, many of our clients are incorporating “real” video into their sites — and doing so beautifully.

Kat Perkins, a contestant on the popular TV show, “The Voice” was able to create a simple, yet captivating homepage through use of video.

Sure, Perkins is skilled in performing for a camera — but don’t be intimidated if you’re not! Even those of us that are less experienced in front of a camera can stand out in our videos. Proof of that is Brook Kreder, Founder of “The Sole Revolution” and an avid runner. On Kreder’s site, she uses testimonial to deliver her message. By letting a client tell her story for her, Kreder not only promotes her brand, but she lends credence to her product.

Another Solamar client, Kimberly Doehnert, is an example that your videos can be casual — yet still deliver a big punch. By taking us inside her gym, Doehnert makes her video relatable… and real. Doehnert also does a great job of keeping her design simple and fuss-free.

Be True to Your Brand

Thankfully, there are plenty of inspiring examples of video in web to show us how to add this peppy design element without sacrificing beautiful design.

When you are bringing video to your page though, always keep your brand in mind.

It is great to be creative, but always stay consistent with your brand voice. Unsure how? Look to Oreo (yep, still making those delicious round cookies) or Nike’s Jordan brand (still good looking and functional).

One look at either site, and you see that both are consistently true to their brand. Oreo was always a simple, child friendly snack – and their videos are too! Jordans have always been considered cool and authentic by athletes. Their video carries this message on.

Want to kick it up a notch? Consider product videos, video contests, or even a fun play on words (remember Kmart?)

At the end of the day, video should be fun, engaging and educational. Need help, or just love the examples we’ve shown you? Give us a shout! We have the expertise and experience you need.