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Why Ignoring Video Marketing is Hurting Your Business

Why Ignoring Video Marketing is Hurting Your Business

6 Compelling Benefits to Jumping on the Video Bandwagon while the Momentum is Hot

Have you noticed seeing a lot more videos on Facebook lately?  Not only have there been a plethora of Facebook LIVE videos, but I’ve also been seeing a trend of videos made from simple animations or static inspirational images with music added.

All because Facebook has declared video to be something people want to watch more than any other form of content.

Then there’s the popularity of  YouTube, Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram’s video platforms and capabilities that makes using video hard to ignore in today’s business marketing landscape.

And it shouldn’t come to anyone’s surprise either. Think about how we have all been spoon-fed videos since young toddlers on TV.

The good news is, with the advancement of technology over the past few years, you no longer need to be an professional videographer or editor to be able to produce decent-looking videos, especially for a social media audience.

Creating decent-looking videos for social media has become much easier with today's technologyClick To Tweet

Still not sure if you should bother taking on the task of learning to do videos for your social media marketing? Take a look at some of these stats:

  • A Facebook video receives, on average, 135% more organic reach than a photo.
  • 73% of Business-to-Business marketers say video positively impacts their marketing return on investment.
  • According to CISCO, 80% of all consumer internet traffic will come from videos by 2020.
  • 10 billion videos are watched on Snapchat every day.
  • More than 500 million hours of videos are watched on YouTube every day
  • A Facebook video receives, on average, 135% more organic reach than a post with just a photo.
  • On Twitter, videos are 6 times more likely to be retweeted than photos and 3 times more likely than GIFs
  • Companies that use video in their online marketing efforts have been known to grow their revenues 49% faster.
  • Businesses who use videos in their marketing enjoy a 27% higher Click Through Rate (CTR) and 34% higher web conversion rates than those which don’t (Aberdeen Group, 2015).

Pretty impressive, wouldn’t you say? But what can video actually do for you that will help boost your bottom line?

By incorporating videos into your business and social media marketing, you can take advantage of the following benefits:

  1. Increase Your Target Market’s Confidence in You

    Since trust is what relationship marketing is built upon, videos make a perfect fit to developing your target market’s confidence with your business offerings.
     
    Because you want to create the “Know, Like and Trust” factor with your ideal client, there is nothing better than having your smiling face be in front of that market in order for them to see your personality, understand your level of expertise, and get an instant impression of you that will lead them quicker to purchase.

  2. Boost Your Search Engine Rankings

    Because people tend to stay on your site’s web page longer by watching a video, the search engine’s algorithms are interpreting that to mean your site is worthwhile. This will in turn boost your SEO rankings.
     
    According to Moovly, your chances are 53x’s greater to be higher up in Google’s search results if your website or blog post includes a video.That coupled with Google’s ownership of YouTube,  your chances of getting higher rankings are increased when your videos are also housed there.

  3. Gain a Higher Social Media Reach

    Getting more people to like, comment and share your posts on Facebook has been an increasing challenge for business owners. The good news is, video has been a shining beacon of hope where 76% of users say they are apt to share entertaining videos on social media.
     
    If you make an effort to create fun and entertaining videos, this will increase your brand exposure and will, in turn, bring more attention to your business in an indirect way.

  4. Enjoy Higher Website Conversions

    Video marketing studies show that 74% of users who watched an video explaining or demonstrating a product ended up making the purchase.
     
    So by simply adding a video to your sales or free giveaway page, you should see a significant increase in people signing up for your offering.

  5. Save on Expensive Production Costs

    With technological advancements we are seeing at an incredible rate, the great news is you don’t need to invest in a lot of expensive equipment to create well-made videos.
     
    All you need is your smart phone and you’re good to go. So videos are now considered a cost-effective solution to getting in front of the masses in a format people are responding well to.

  6. Take Advantage of Showcasing Your Offerings

    A video is a great way to explain, demonstrate and showcase any kind of product or service offering you may have.
     
    Whether you are promoting a new program or offering a free giveaway for list building purposes, adding a video to the landing page will help give the viewer an opportunity to see it in action and visualize its benefits.

So as you can see, there are lots of reasons to start using videos to enhance your marketing efforts that will lead to increased sales.

Unlike as little as 10 years ago, the cost of equipment and production has made video marketing much more affordable for business owners; however, this is not to say it’s simple, easy and a sure-thing for success.

In my Social Blast: eMarketing for Entrepreneurs monthly membership program, I share lots of tips and strategies on not only video marketing, but many other social media and digital marketing topics to help grow your business. Come and join us and learn!  Click here: www.socialmediagroupcoaching.com

To your success,
Susan Friesen

P.S. If you liked what you read here, you will want to sign up for my newsletter where you’ll get notified every Tuesday of that day’s blog post. Click here to also receive our free website guide: www.UltimateWebsiteGuide.ca

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Why Ignoring Video Marketing is Hurting Your BusinessClick To Tweet

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

13 of the Best Ways to Generate Leads with Social Media

13 of the Best Ways to Generate Leads with Social Media

I’ve been thinking about one of the biggest reasons why businesses and entrepreneurs take the time to be on social media. Aside from showing off their cute pets or grandbabies, it’s to help grow their business.

When wanting to grow our business, we often think of the more tradition methods of marketing and advertising. As an example, typical advertising channels are newspaper, radio and TV ads. Where typical marketing includes SEO, PR, and Direct Mail campaigns to name a few.

But when we look to social media to help with this, the approach needs to be different  than those more traditional methods of getting qualified business leads.

Marking a business on social media needs a different approach from traditional marketingClick To Tweet

And that approach is through a method called “inbound, pull or relationship marketing“.

Pull and relationship marketing relies on developing relationships with prospects before doing any overt promotion. The premise being people, especially women, tend to do business with others who they already know, like and trust.

In fact, according to Nielsen, 83% of consumers will trust the recommendations of family and friends so it’s our goal as business owners to gain that trust.

83% of consumers trust family & friends recommendations making relationship marketing importantClick To Tweet

So how does one go about gaining trust and generating qualified leads from social media?

Here’s 13 best ways to attracting qualified leads to your business:

  1. Establish yourself as being knowledgeable in your industry. Do this through your blog, newsletter, and the types of posts you add to your social media accounts.
     
    This authority will build trust with your followers as they learn more and more about what you do, and your expertise in that field.
  2. Pick the best channels for you to get visible on and focus just on those. Don’t try to spread yourself too thin by being everywhere.
     
    Instead of chasing after the social media channels that are getting a lot of attention, ask yourself this important question: “Where is my target audience hanging out?”
     
    Then go build your brand presence there.
  3. Be on social media with the intent of being helpful, not on pushing your wares. People smell desperation a mile away and it’s a turn-off to most.
     
    Instead of always trying to “push” your products or services on others, “pull” them in by being engaged with them. Comment, like and share their posts. Answer questions that are genuinely helpful.
     
    Developing trusting relationships will give you greater returns in the long run than doing nothing but promoting yourself.
  4. Provide exclusive offers just for your loyal followers. In between posting informative posts, sprinkle in special offers, discount codes, contests or giveaways that are exclusive to your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram followers.
     
    Shortstack offers an easy way to hold Instagram, Facebook and Twitter contests that will also help you stay within those platform’s rules.
  5. Ask for a referral after someone has made a purchase. When an online purchase is made, the purchaser is sent to a “thank you” landing page. Use that page to offer some sort of incentive to share what they bought with their social media followers.
  6. Host a Twitter Chat or Facebook Live show. This is a great opportunity to get in front of your followers and showcase your expertise.
     
    Use the show to have a question and answer session, share a valuable tip, strategy or perhaps some inspiration. Use your imagination and think about what your followers would want from you.
  7. Incorporate a paid ads campaign. Despite what we tend to think, social media is not really a free platform for business.
     
    In order to get the exposure you need to generate solid leads, you need to look at it from a “pay to play” perspective. Invest in Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn ads, depending on where your ideal clients are hanging out the most.
     
    It wouldn’t hurt to supplement your efforts with Google ads too. Google ads can be extremely effective at driving qualified traffic back to your website.
  8. Create a custom tab on Facebook for your free giveaway. Facebook users don’t like leaving that platform so one way to get people to sign up for your free giveaway is to host a custom tab within your Facebook page that provides the signup ability. Here is ours as an example.
     
    Pagemodo offers a means to do this or you can use Static HTML as well.
  9. Add your list of services to your Facebook page. Facebook recently implemented a new feature on the business page that provides an opportunity to showcase your services. Take advantage of this great feature so your followers know what it is you offer!
     
    Here’s ours as an example.
  10. Use Twitter cards. Twitter cards are a great lead generator that has a call to action embedded right in the tweet.
     
    Once the visually eye-catching and compelling tweet is created,  pin it as a feature tweet to the top of your page. This is prime real estate that twitter followers will see when checking you out.
     
    You can view our Twitter card here.
  11. Use video. Video is where it’s at on the social media scene so take full advantage of the excellent exposure it can bring your business.
     
    You can use video on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and of course YouTube to demonstrate how to use your product, share informative tips and strategies, offer inspiration and words of wisdom to name a few ideas.
  12. Add a call to action to your Facebook page. Your Facebook business page has a great feature located right under your header banner that allows you to add in a call to action.
     
    Ask yourself what you want your followers to do once they have discovered your page? You can choose from several options such as booking a service, getting in touch, learning more, making a purchase or donation or downloading an app or game.
  13. Get engaged with your followers. One of the fundamental strategies you can incorporate into your social media efforts is to get involved and engaged with other people and pages posts.
     
    A great way to get more exposure to your page is to like, comment and share other page posts as your page. Find other pages that share the same target market as you and like those pages as your page (as opposed to your personal profile) and make a daily habit of interacting with those posts.
     
    The more you get engaged with your followers, the more they will be aware of who you are, which will begin to develop the know, like and trust factor with them. The more that happens, the more apt they will be to go check you out and if they need what you’re offering, they will then become a lead for your business.

As you can see, there are lots of ways to take advantage of social media’s powerful lead generation possibilities. The key is to be consistent, be strategic and be patient with you efforts.

The key to social media marketing is to be consistent, strategic and patientClick To Tweet

For more in-depth strategies and assistance with hands-on, step-by-step help, check out my monthly Social Blast program specifically created to help entrepreneurs and small businesses use social media and online marketing to help build their business.

Find out more here: www.socialmediagroupcoaching.com

To your success,

Business eTip: Why Social Media Marketing is Paramount for any Business

Business eTip:  Why Social Media Marketing is Paramount for any Business

Today’s eTip is about using social media to your business advantage.

I often hear from clients saying they are not interested in using social media for their business marketing. Many times their reason is because they think their target market is not on social media and it would be a waste of their efforts.

I know this is a handy excuse but it’s completely false. Aside from extreme circumstances, you will absolutely find the majority of your ideal target market using Social Media in some capacity and it’s time to take this platform seriously.

Don't think your ideal client is on Social Media? Think again!Click To Tweet

The trick is to know who your ideal client is enough to know where they would be hanging out on social media. Not everyone is on Facebook but those people might be on LinkedIn instead, or Instagram or Pinterest.

Your job as a business owner is to find out which social media platforms your ideal target market hangs out on and dive in and make connections there.

I’d love to hear what you think – have you given some thought as to which social media channel your ideal target market is hanging out on? Share your response below in the comments section or if you have a question, I’d be happy to answer.

To your success,

P.S. New to online marketing or you find it overwhelming and confusing? Check out Social Blast: eMarketing for Entrepreneurs. It’s a monthly group coaching program for those just starting out or wanting more advanced strategies to help with their online marketing and social media efforts.
CLICK HERE: www.usocialblastcoaching.com

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".

A Newbie’s Guide to Hashtags on Social Media

A Newbie’s Guide to Hashtags on Social Media - Tips, Explanations and Examples on How to use Hashtags for your Business

Tips, Explanations and Examples on How to use Hashtags for your Business

If you are new to social media you may wondering what hashtags are about.  We see them everywhere – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest and even Tumblr.

But what are they supposed to do? Why do they seem so random? Who is supposed to use them?

It’s no wonder this all can seem very confusing!

That’s why I’ve put together some tips to help you understand what the heck hashtags are and how to use them strategically in your business.

What are #Hashtags

Hashtag keyword exampleBasically hashtags help people find stuff and share stuff. They are like an organizational tool for social media.  They are a way to make it easier for people to find posts on a given topic as long as those posts use the same hashtag that is being searched for.

Hashtags are where given words are prefaced with the keyboard pound hashtag sign: #. One or more words can be used if the hashtag and keyword(s) have no spaces in between them. Once added to a social media post, the hashtag phrase becomes searchable and clickable.

For an example M&Ms just unleashed a new Pumpkin Spice flavored candy for Fall.  Starbucks is also promoting their Pumpkin Spice latte. If you go into Twitter and type #PumpkinSpice in the search feature, it will pull up a list of these and other Pumpkin Spice related posts.

Why Use #Hashtags

When done properly and strategically, hashtags are a great way to gain more exposure for your business. Here are a few examples how:

  • Knowing popular hashtags for your industry and adding them to your posts can help you get traffic to your blog or website.
  • Searching hashtags helps you do research on topics, spy on your competition, and discover great content.
  • Adding hashtags can help brand yourself, your business, your products, and gain you recognition.
  • Promoting specific hashtags for a live event can gain community amongst your attendees and followers.

And some people use hashtags just for fun or to make a point.  My favourite is #ChocolateIsSacred and have used it more than once!

Read more below about strategic ways to use hashtags in your business.

When Hashtags Were First Created

Twitter created the #hashtag feature on June 1, 2009.  All Twitter hashtags (words with the # sign in front of them) became hyperlinks to discover more tweets pertaining to that subject.

Other social networks soon followed such as Facebook in 2013, Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr, and Instagram. Some networks like Google+ and Instagram have embraced hashtags with a fury where Facebook still lags at bringing this feature into mainstream usage.

In fact, not long ago I conducted a very informal survey about the use of hashtags on Facebook and many said they had no idea what they were, others thought they were spammy and cluttered up their newsfeed and most all never clicked on them. Indeed, the only people who were using hashtags were either marketers or social media managers!

But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be used… as you’ll see there are plenty of reasons to incorporate them into your social media strategy.

Rules for Hashtag Use

Different platforms have different official and “unwritten” rules about using hashtags. Here’s a few to be aware of:

  • Sentence case doesn’t matter, but you can use it to improve readability like: #SecretStarbucksMenu.
  • You can’t use special characters such as dashes, asterisks etc.
  • Do not get spammy.  Three or less hashtags is perfect.  Use too many and it can be considered hashtag spam.
  • Avoid having your Twitter or Instagram posts automatically send to Facebook when you tend to use a lot of hashtags. This is a real turn off for those on Facebook.
  • Research a hashtag before using it.  An existing hashtag may be used for something else that you don’t want to be associated with or draw attention to.

15 Strategic Examples On Using Hashtags in Your Business

Just like knowing the best keywords of your industry and optimizing your website content to include them in order to be found in search engines, hashtags can also be used to help you get found in social media.

It’s important to create Hashtags for:

  1. Events you are holding.  For example the Pacific National Exhibition in Vancouver just ended for another year and throughout their Twitter campaign, they used #TheFair hashtag as seen in this example below.


  2. Tagging famous people or big companies who are mentioned in a post. For instance, #ElvisPresley results in hundreds of posts about the King of Rock and Roll.
  3. Posts related to trending topics. Author and Spiritual Teacher Wayne Dyer recently passed away.  The hashtag #ripdrwaynedyer was created to tap into the social searches for news relating to his passing.


  4. Doing research.  For example, if you were doing research on the latest news for our upcoming Canadian Federal election, do a Hashtag search using #CanadianElection2015 to find several posts on the subject.
  5. Product promotion. Creating a special hashtag for your brand or product can help you gain a fan base. Creating a hashtag for your book or movie can help get traction and turn it into a trending topic.  
     
    For example, We use our own #SocialBlast hashtag to help brand our online Social Media and Online Mareketing membership program, Social Blast, as seen in this example post below.

  6. Humour. People also use hashtags as a way to share funny stuff with others and have a good laugh. Here’s a hashtag used by late night talk show host Jimmy Fallon describing his friend’s car and going on a road trip with him.

  7. Popular Industry Topics. If you see a post on a popular industry topic, by adding that same hashtag to a post you create will help you be discovered by others looking for content on that hashtag.
     
    Here’s a post we have pinned for a blog article of ours to remind people of the importance of having a Smart Phone friendly website using the hashtags #webdesign, #mobileready, #business and #entrepreneur:


  8. Campaigns.Lots of people “monitor” certain hashtags. So using a hashtag consistently can help you gain a following. For example Nike held a series of promotions using the #nikezoom hashtag.

  9. Live Chats. Chats offer businesses the ability to connect to their customers, extend their reach and awareness. If you have a live chat on a certain topic, creating a hashtag can help you attract people to attend.
     
    For Example #BeTheOne is a monthly chat about inspiring people to make a difference through personal leadership that infuses integrity, dignity and character.
     
    Here’s a list of Twitter Chats you can attend: http://tweetreports.com/twitter-chat-schedule/
  10. Tap into Trending topics. Including a trending hashtag in your post can increase the overall reach. Ritetag is a great tool to help identify trending hashtags to use. It allows you to search 11 million hashtags to see what’s hot or not, has a long life, is overused, and underused.
     
    That way you can select the best hashtags to reach your audience.
  11. Company or Personal Name. Gain recognition by creating a company tag like #Apple and #stephenking.
  12. Quotes.  If you share quotes, hashtags will help you be found.  Some top ones to use are #motivationalquotes #inspirationalquotes and #quotes. Look at the use of hashtags in one of our recent Twitter posts.  Every topic relating to the quote has its own hashtag.


  13. Recurring post themes. For example you may post a #photooftheday, #followfriday or #throwbackthursday for daily or weekly recurring posts.   We use #eTip as a daily theme where we share tips on various subjects entrepreneurs utilize in their business.

  14. Gaining blog readers. Using a hashtag on Pinterest pins can drive readers back to your website or blog. When someone clicks on a hashtag of yours most of the results that are shown on Pinterest link back to related blog content.
     
    Note that these results are somewhat different than what you would find in Twitter. Where Twitter displays results in chronological order, Pinterest displays in popularity.
  15. Research your competitors. Follow hashtags your competitors use to do market research and keep up on their latest news.

Hashtags are a lot of fun once you get the hang of it you’ll be hashtagging with the best of them.

Make a point to create and use hashtags for your social media and don’t be afraid to create your own unique ones like what we did with #SocialBlast and #eTip (even though others now use it too and that’s ok!)

It’s a great way to tap into a base of hot prospects interested in what you have to share. Jump in, Try Hashtags Today!

What’s your take on using hashtags? Do you use them in your business social media marketing? As a user, do you find them useful or spammy?

To your success,

About the Author, Susan Friesen

10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum ResultsSusan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Visit www.ultimatewebsiteguide.ca and grab your FREE "Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Website's Profitability - 10 Critical Questions You Must Ask to Get Maximum Results".