Engage Target Media Wins Coveted Film Award at SEMA

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Engage Target Media announces their short documentary film, “Just Kos: 60 Years of Kolor Power” won the Audience Choice Award, “Best in Show,” at the Optima Ultimate Film Festival on Nov. 2, 2016, at the Speciality Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas.

“Just Koz” follows the evolution of the House of Kolor brand from inception to present. Based on interviews with founder Jon Kosmoski and long-time friends and colleagues, the short film details the triumphs and trials only found behind the scenes at a legendary company.

“The very fabric of custom car culture starts with Jon Kosmoski,” said Kristen Felder, CEO of Engage Target Media. “Today, many fortune 50 coating companies benefit by selling the very products he pioneered. We owe so many things to Jon that, as an industry, we’ll never be able to repay.”

Filmed inside Kosmoski’s House of Kolor shop and lab and throughout Minneapolis, Minn., the film features personal accounts, family photos and unique look at the builds that put House of Kolor on the map. 

Films were selected for the festival through three-part submission process focused on automotive content. Films were judged on story-telling, authenticity, creativity and individuality. Finalists were announced in late October. “Just Kos” was selected as winner on Nov. 2 by members of the automotive industry.

The film, which took nearly one year to complete, was produced and edited by Engage Target Media staff. Credits of the film include:

Executive Producer: Kristen Felder

Director: Eric White

Research and Writing: Allison Carter and Eric White

Producers:  Allison Carter, Eric White, Jenifer Childs and Avery Moorehead

Camera Operators: Corey Gattin, Terrell Case and Eric White

Lighting: Terrell Case, Avery Moorehead, Corey Gattin and Eric White

Sound Operator: John Kennedy

Editor: Terrell Case, Eric White and Corey Gattin

Technical Advisors: Tony Larimer and Kristen Felder

“At ETM, we felt that the opportunity to tell Jon’s story at the SEMA Optima Film Festival was small way of saying thank you.” Felder said. “This wasn’t a film produced for a corporation. It was a film made from the hearts of the painters that see color through the eyes Jon gave House of Kolor.”

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House of Kolor celebrated its 60th Anniversary at the 2016 SEMA Show. The annual trade show is the premier automotive specialty products trade event in the world and draws more than 100,000 industry leaders from more than 100 countries for unlimited profit opportunities in the automotive, truck and SUV, powersports, and RV markets.

“The staff at ETM believes that everyone has a story just waiting to be told,” said Felder. “We can never repay what Jon Kosmoski has given the paint world, but we can ensure that his story is never forgotten.”

Tips and Tricks for Capturing Quality Video with Your Smartphone

Social Content Marketing revolves around two goals:  Getting audience attention, and Keeping it. And the most effective way to do this is through video.

This information isn’t new. With the growing popularity of social media, marketers have found that videos of original content are up to ten times more likely to be embedded or shared than similar static social posts.

And a convenient way to get this content is sitting in the palm of your hand.

Your smartphone is capable of doing more than making calls and surfing for cat videos. You can shoot short-form, highly engaging video content perfect for Social Media simply by following these five guidelines.

Blog1. Turn, turn, turn

Do. Not. Shoot. Vertical. Video.

Websites, computer screens, televisions, movie theaters — even our own eyes — are engineered to be wide screen. Vertical video is squeezed between two black bars, giving the impression that your audience is missing out on the big picture. And it just looks bad.

Shooting horizontally, or in landscape, allows your smartphone to capture more of the picture, including backgrounds often missed in vertical shots.

And shooting a landscape will actually make your picture better too. By turning your phone, the video capture loads more resolution, allowing the video to be utilized on any platform, easily edited or even incorporated into existing higher resolution video.

Switching to landscape mode may also help with stability because it nearly forces you to use two hands.

2. Check Your Audio

Smart phone microphones are built to provide good sound quality for calls, but this does not transfer well to video, particularly when shooting at a distance.

And easy fix is to use an external microphone, which can be as cheap as $10.

Not so easy to fix is distracting background noises like traffic or voices. Even quiet sounds such as air conditioning fans can muddle your sound quality. To avoid these sounds coming through on your final video, film in a quiet, carpeted room if possible, setting the external microphone as close to the action as possible.

On outdoor, live-action or loud demonstration shoots, consider utilizing post-production music additions via a smartphone app.

3. Go Slow and Steady

Shaky-Cam may have made 90s horror films unique and exciting, but that camera trick doesn’t belong anywhere near your social media.

The most effective method of ensuring steady video is to place your phone on a tripod. These range from anywhere between $8 and $50 and are specially made for smartphones.

For shots that require mobility, invest in a gimbal. These handheld stabilizers hold your phone on an axis, allowing it to remain stable while providing a more fluid moving shot.

Gimbals can run anywhere from 50 to 400 dollars, so if you’re not ready to invest just yet, try this: start filming from a sitting or kneeling position, supporting your elbows on your knees to stabilize your hands.

If you need to pan, first stabilize your elbows on a solid surface such as a chair or table. Then pivot slowly, keeping you your elbows stationary. And although most mobile phones have a zoom function, the quality is better when the camera is moved closer rather than zooming in.

4. Switch on the lights

If you have ever had your picture taken with a smartphone’s flash, you know all too well that the photo is not likely to be flattering. But capturing video in low or poor light is not an option with a smartphone. They just simply are not advanced enough to capture video without adequate light. That’s why images and videos shot in low light look so grainy.

Consider investing in a lighting kit that includes a soft box. A soft box works by producing an even and soft light that reduces shadow without over lighting a subject. These start at $75, and an inexpensive starter kit with three lights can cost about $150.

For a more portable light source, an external LED flash and video light may be the answer. These wireless lights usually charge through a USB port and are easy to set up with any smartphone or tablet. These usually start at about $30.

5. Adapttangerine002

As useful as you smartphone may be, it does have limitations. But these can be overcome with add-ons that amplify your phone’s abilities.

For instance, if your content tends to center around live events such as races, sporting events or nature videos, consider investing in a lens adaptor. The adaptors can be used as external zoom lenses, fish-eye, wide angle, macro, filters…the list goes on.

These lenses run from anywhere between $50 and $500, but are worth it if you are looking for particular shots time and time again.

An external lens filter kit can give you special effects without utilizing an app or expensive hardwear. These small adaptors can split images into twos and threes, take closer video and add color easily, all for about $40.

Video Marketing Tips for Success

Are you using video to enhance your marketing plan? If not, what’s holding you back? Here are three great video tips that can help you get started or improve your current video strategy.

  1. Keep Your Content Short

As any filmmaker can tell you, editing is one of the toughest steps. Condensing your content into a few minutes can be a challenge.Unfortunately, viewers have short attention spans so you have to keep it short, especially in the beginning. As you build your video library and measure viewership, you’ll start to see where there is demand for longer in-depth videos.

When it comes to social media, short-form videos are a great asset. These videos are ideal for sharing on sites like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. In this format, customers can quickly view a message as they scroll through their social media feeds. Brands can quickly send a message that will be seen by a larger audience.

2. Create an Emotional Response

To help you start, channel your inner storyteller. Make sure you show the stories behind your product and get to the heart of how your product relates to real people. Emotions evoke a response from viewers that will stick with them much longer than an ad telling them to go purchase a product or service. Consumers want to feel like they are a part of your brand and they like to buy from companies who make difference in the world.

3. Make Your Videos Engaging

Did you know that 80% of online visitors will watch a video, while only 20% will read text? Video in itself is more engaging than any other medium in advertising. Consumers are constantly bombarded with others vying for their attention. From sales pitches, case studies, product information and more, your audience is almost numb to advertising in these forms. As marketers, we risk being so eager to push information at buyers that we forget to think about whether they’ll enjoy it.

You can evoke emotion and establish a connection with your viewers in ways not possible with written word. Get your audience talking to you and about you in a positive way.

Increase Your Video SEO Ranking By Understanding Retention

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Did you know that YouTube is the second largest search engine available on the web?

With thirty million visitors per day and over one hundred hours of video being uploaded to YouTube every minute, getting your video noticed can be a real challenge.

So, what does it take to get noticed? To answer that, you will need to understand how YouTube ranks its videos.

One of the most important factors for ranking is content that can hold the attention of your audience.

YouTube ranks your video based on how people engage with it. This engagement can be measured by video retention, comments and shares to social media.

When it comes to video retention and watch-time, the longer people view a video and stay on YouTube because of your video, the better your video will rank. Your video can be of any length, but if you choose to make longer content, but make sure that it’s something that will hold the attention of your audience.

By looking at YouTube’s analytics, you can find the audience retention tool. Here’s how:

1.Log in to your YouTube account.

2.In the top right, select your account > Creator Studio.

3.On the left, select Analytics > Audience retention.

4.Click the name of the video and play it.

You can use the Audience Retention Report to get an overall measure of how well your video keeps its audience. Use the report to see:

•Average view duration for all videos on your channel

•Top videos or channels listed by watch time

•Audience retention data for a specific video for different timeframes

•Relative audience retention for a video compared to the YouTube average for similar videos

Keeping your video at a length that matches the average view time for your videos can help increase your audience retention.

For example, if you have a video that is 10 minutes long, and your viewership goes down by 75% after the first 3 minutes, you may want to shorten your videos down to closer to 3 minutes.

It’s also important to note that likes and dislikes, view count and amount of shares plays a role in how you are ranked when searching YouTube. Social media shares will help get your video out to your audience, which hopefully will lead to more views.

Bottom line, the more views and the longer your audience stays tuned in, the higher your video will rank on YouTube. Follow these tips, and you should start seeing results.

Looking into the Future: 7 Social Media Predictions for 2016

7 Social Media Predictions for 2016

 

2015 was a huge year for social media innovations. Marketers once again saw changes to their algorithms, leading to a need for increased paid promotions. Facebook also continued their policy of curtailing posts that seem too promotional, making the number one social media site even more difficult to to budget for.

Twitter’s growth really began to stall in 2015 after seeing its peak growth in August 2014. Marketers began to shift their focus from this platform to another emerging and popular site, Instagram. With its 400 million monthly active users, Instagram became the new hot spot for reaching an audience in 2015.

But 2015 has come to an end and the changes to the social media landscape happening more and more frequently. Here’s what to expect for 2016.

     1. More Powerful Social Media Searches

In November, Pinterest announced a new search tool allowing users to zoom in on specific objects in a Pin’s image and search for similar objects or patterns. It works like Google Image search, allowing users to find products in a new way. In 2016, expect other platforms to catch on to the idea of new and improved ways to search for content and technologies to change the way we use these sites.

     2. Live Social Broadcasts

Periscope didn’t exist in 2014, but by the end of 2015 it had become Apple’s iPhone App of the Year. With more than 10 million users, Periscope’s unique live broadcast abilities have become the new way to interact with consumers. In 2016, Periscope will continue to grow, so expect to see other sites (Facebook!) to find ways to capitalize on this new technology.

     3. Buy! Buy! Buy!

Leave it to Facebook to find a new way to take our cash. In 2014, Facebook started a trend in social media that we felt through last year. Buy Buttons have recently become part of the interface of Instagram and Pinterest, so expect to start seeing these ads more often in your feeds and your budget.

     4. Video at the Forefront

Humans are visual beings, and we like videos. It’s the easiest way for us to learn and retain knowledge. Cisco estimates that by the beginning of 2017, 69% of all consumer internet traffic will be video, so marketers need to be starting a budget for video production for 2016.

     5. User Privacy Concerns

In 2015, about 32 million Ashley Madison users found out the hard way that privacy isn’t necessarily guaranteed online. With one of the largest hacks on record still fresh in their minds, social media users are now looking for assurances that their private information is, in fact, private. Expect to see major increase in protections offered from Facebook, Instagram and any other sites that store personal information like birthdates and credit card info.

     6. Incoming Messages

According to Forbes, the frequency of incoming messages are up almost one third from 2014. Consumers are catching on to a new way of connecting with companies, so expect to keep seeing an increase on incoming messages throughout the platforms. Don’t be one of the estimated 82% of brands who do not respond. Pay attention in 2016 and engage in a new way.

     7. Easier Publishing on Instagram

Instagram can be a time-consuming nightmare for social marketers simply because it must be used in real-time and is exclusive to mobile devices. If nothing else changes from last year, let’s hope Instagram has made Post Scheduling their New Year’s Resolution for 2016.

How Social Media Can Be A Nightmare For Businesses

Social Media can be one of the greatest marketing tools a company has at its disposal, but it can also create nightmares if used incorrectly.

In 2014, American Apparel came under fire for their July 4th Tumblr posts meant to celebrate the holiday. What the company thought was an image of a firework exploding across the sky in a patriotic plume was actually a press photo of the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion in 1986, which took the lives of all 7 astronauts onboard. Although the company removed the post and apologized, American Apparel continues to suffer long-standing backlash from the flub.

But not all social media nightmares are as easy to spot as that news-maker. Failures on Social Media outlets can be a headache for companies in ways they may not have expected. Small details can mean the difference between a successful social presence and a negative image being presented to your target consumers.

Avoiding these costly mistakes and pitfalls is crucial when launching a successful social media marketing campaign. Be sure to be wary of the top 5 mistakes companies make when managing their social media pages, and help avoid welcoming the wrong kind of attention to your company.

  1. Failure to Continue Posting

The biggest mistake a company can make after establishing Social Media pages is to stop updating these pages regularly. For customers and potential customers, this makes a page look empty and uninviting. The page then becomes a billboard shouting “We Aren’t Here” rather than an way to invite new customers to your storefront.

Not staying current suggests that not only your pages, but your company, may not be up-to-date. Why would a customer think that you are accessible, current and the best place to take their business if their Facebook page hasn’t been updated in 6 months? The customer may assume you are lackadaisical or lazy and it’s likely they may think you are no longer in business.

  1. Posting Too Often and On Too Tight a Schedule

While posting too infrequently can cause a page to look barren, posting too often can cause content engagement to drop dramatically. An important post, such as a new sale or product, can get lost in a sea of less important content. Likewise, creating too much content can flood customers’ News Feeds, leading them to tune out the excess noise by unfollowing your page.

Once you discover what constitutes a healthy number of posts for each of your Social Media platforms, it is necessary to ensure that these posts go out in regular, yet organic intervals. Social Media is unique in that it allows individuals to present information in real-time. Publishing content at the same time on the same day and at the same interval will dispel this image. A customer should feel they are looking at a page managed by a human, not a robot. Mix it up.

  1. Not Responding to Questions

Social media outlets can be excellent places to present new products and information to a targeted audience, but your responsibility to the pages does not end with posting content. These pages also create a 24-hour hotline for customers to interact with your company. For example, midnight owls and early risers can ask direct questions to your company without the constraints of “Open” hours.

Problems arise when these questions go unanswered. Missed questions leave a customer feeling as if they are not being heard. It also removes the appearance of an active and engaged company. Social media pages are a unique way to present a personalized, accessible image of your company and ignoring customers on your pages dispels this image in a very public way.

  1. Not Responding to Feedback

Social Media is an extension of your customer service abilities, so failing to respond to customer feedback including comments, can give consumers the impression of an apathetic company. Just as your customer service professionals wouldn’t simply ignore a customer’s call, your pages shouldn’t ignore customer feedback either.

Companies who reply to customer comments, both good and bad, appear engaged. They appear to not only care about their customers, but their brand as well. They seem trustworthy. A customer knows if they chose to purchase a product from that company that they will have somewhere to turn if they need further assistance, such as returns or repairs.

Negative feedback left unanswered on a page creates another problem. It can distract potential customers from all other content. One negative review can dissuade customers from further engagement with your company, but a well thought-out response to negative feedback can both re-engage the dissatisfied customer and promote trust that when consumers do have a problem, you are prepared to take care of it.

  1. Using the Wrong Medium/Platform to Drive Business

Just because a social media platform is available doesn’t mean that it is the right fit for your company. Using the wrong content on the wrong social media platform can not only make you look desperate, but cause disengagement and a bad taste in consumers’ mouths.

In a recent study, researchers revealed that nearly 71% of adult internet users are on Facebook, which suggests that’s a great place to start promoting your company. But not every company lends itself to Facebook. A funeral home, for example, may appear less professional if offering sales and specials on Facebook, and garner the wrong kind of attention when such posts show up on customer’s News Feeds. It’s not to say this cannot be done, but posts should keep in mind the audience and be appropriate for the industry and platform.

Each company is an individual, and not every social page is going to work. Finding the right fit for you is integral to ensuring your reaching your target audience. Remember, a post can only be impressionable and drive sales if your customer sees it. Make sure it’s going where it needs to go.

At the end of the day, Social Media is a great way to engage with your customers and potential customers, but managing your social media pages is time-consuming. Be prepared to take a little time everyday (or sometimes many times a day) to ensure you are paying attention to those customers who are engaging with you, and that you are reciprocating. Social media works both ways — make sure it’s working for you.

Use Pinterest as Your Marketing Partner

Pinterest-logoPinterest is now valued at 11 billion dollars after a recent infusion of venture capital funding. The user base keeps expanding and Pinterest is rolling out new changes that just might prove to help with your marketing strategy.

We’ve talked about Pinterest in this space before. Most notably about how Pinterest is not just for women – perhaps one of the greater misconceptions about the website. In fact, men are now the fastest-growing demographic. At last count, males accounted for 12 million Pinterest users. That is more than the subscription base of GQ, Esquire and Sports Illustrated magazines combined!

To get men (and women) to pin (and buy) from you, make sure your website has pages with your products and services that are pinnable. To do this, check out this Pinterest page on how to build a Pin It button.

So, here are some ways you can take your marketing up a notch with Pinterest.

  1. Take Advantage of Improved Search Functionality

Pinterest has recently updated their search feature. Search results are now more relevant to the user. So to make sure you are found in the new Pinterest Guided Search, always include descriptions in your pins and pinboards that are keyword-rich. Use keywords that are unique to you and your business.

You can even influence how your blog post images are found in Pinterest! When you upload an image to your website or social media site, make sure you include “Alt Text” for each image. Pinterest automatically reads this “Alt Text” when someone pins your image. When they do, your “Alt Text” becomes the default description for that image.

Additionally, Pinterest’s Guided Search looks at pin descriptions to determine which pins are relevant to show in user searches. So be sure your “Alt Text” includes keywords relevant to your business and the image.

  1. Enhance User Experience with Rich PinsPinIt-1cwcc34

A Rich Pin is a special pin that offers more information than regular pins on Pinterest. There are five
types of Rich Pins: Article, Product, Recipe, Movie and Place.

The most likely ones for business use are the Article, Product and Place pins. These are not just for big brands. Bloggers and website owners can add Rich Pins to their content.

As an example, an Article Pin could include a blog post headline and the article’s introduction below the image. A Place Pin could show a map of your business location and driving directions. Once you have added Rich Pins to your website and blog posts, the data populates to Pinterest when someone pins your image.

There are three steps to adding Rich Pins to your online content.

  1. Add Open Graph or Schema.org markup to individual posts or pages of your site.
  2. Use the Pinterest Rich Pin Validator to make sure Pinterest sees your Rich Pin data.
  3. If Pinterest gives you the thumbs-up, click “Apply now” in the validator to submit your Rich Pin to Pinterest. Make sure to select “HTML tags” when you’re applying.

If your blog or website is built on WordPress, use the Yoast SEO plugin to add Open Graph data to your posts for the most Rich Pin types. There are several WordPress plugins available to make the process easier.

Learn more about Rich Pins with this Pinterest article.

  1. Buy Promoted Pins

Yes! Pinterest is launching advertising! Using the Pinterest Promoted Pins program, you can get your pins placed in other users’ feeds.

Promoted Pins blend seamlessly ith other non-paid pins in a user’s feed. At the time we posted this blog, Pinterest ad prices are considerably less than other social media sites. The Promoted Pins program is only available to U.S.-based businesses at this time.

One blogger and graphic designer is using Promoted Pins to direct users to a blog she posted with a call-to-action for a PDF of the blogger’s branding guide.

The blogger is getting a 74 percent opt-in rate on that blog post. That means a huge majority of Pinterest users are signing up for the guide after reading the post. With similar Promoted Pin campaigns, the blogger brings in 800 to 1,000 new subscribers every month. All this for less than $125 for the Pinterest ads.

For information on how to set up Promoted Pins, which will help you reach more people on Pinterest, see this Pinterest page about starting your first campaign.

  1. Prepare for Pinterest’s Buyable Pins

zcXeRe7MiIn early June, Pinterest announced they are going to allow users to buy products directly from the Pinterest Mobile App. Once launched, users will see a blue “Buy It” button on items that are available for direct checkout through the mobile app.

If you use Shopify as your shopping cart service for your website, you can get the “Buy It” button for your products now. You can also get on the waiting list for Buyable Pins by clicking this link. Pinterest will alert you when Buyable Pins are more widely available.

Click here for more information on Buyable Pins

Embedding big and bold graphics and images into your online content is more important than ever. Images encourage your users to share your work and Pinterest is a great place to share. There are many tools and resources to help you create compelling graphics. If you’re not an artist, or if you are not on speaking terms with a cousin who is, check out Canva for a free, online design your own graphic website.

You can also find high quality, royalty free, stock photography to purchase at Dollar Photo Club. All photos are just a dollar.

You can also find graphic artists that can design for you at Fiverr where prices start at just $5.

The Pinterest user base is growing; with these new Pinterest tools, now is a great time to consider adding Pinterest to your marketing mix. Your current and potential customers are on Pinterest looking for content and products like yours! Let them know you have what they want!

4 Ways to Get Customer Testimonials

testimonial-01Your job as a business is to win over the trust of potential customers who are not quite ready to do
business with you. Customers are like hoodwinked children. They are cynical and defensive about anything they hear or read. However, if a friend, or someone they know and trust, tells them something, they are inclined to believe it without question.

To make a prospective customer care about your business, you need to show them how you can make their life easier or better. Then, you need to follow through and prove it. The conventional way to prove a claim is to present positive testimonials, endorsements, or media articles and mentions about your business.

You probably already praise your business. However, statements you make about yourself just don’t have the same impact as statements that come from others. Especially testimonial-03happy, satisfied customers.

To convince a cynical potential customer – someone that may not be sure about becoming your customer – you need to let them know your current customers think you’re great. There are ways you can generate proof your business is sound and performs exceptional work.   What follows are four ways to help generate positive testimonials from your customers.

  1. Ask

The simplest way to get positive testimonials is to ask. Do this as a part of thanking your customer for their business. Send an email, or follow-up letter to each of your customers that says something like:

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When your customer responds, you have your testimonial. Collect them all and use excerpts of the best lines that exemplify why others should do business with you.

  1. Create unique experiences

A few years ago, fishing hat manufacturer Tilley sent customers a letter congratulating them on purchasing one of their hats. The letter included tips on caring for the hat and made a pitch for some of their other products.

testimonial-04On the back of the letter was an “Insurance Certificate.” Should the hat become lost or stolen, the
certificate allowed a half-priced replacement hat. This unique promotion made the buying experience different. While a half-priced replacement may not work for all businesses, consider if an “insurance” idea is right for your product or service.

So why do something like this? When you have the opportunity to deliver unique experiences to your customers, follow up! After the sale, email your customers for their thoughts about doing business with you and the buying experience. Their responses become your testimonials.

  1. Recruit volunteers

If you are introducing a new product or service and have a Facebook, or other social media group, use your community to find willing testers during your launch period. Offer a pre-determined number of testers a half-price or even a free service in return for their permission to use their comments as testimonials.

It is important to remember to return the favor when you are asked to test a new product or service. Be sure to offer written comments than can be used as a testimonial for the product or service.

  1. Build relationships with credible experts

Ever read a recommendation for a new book? In the publishing world, authors often get influential people to recommend their books. This gives potential readers positive comments about the book from high-profile people.

testimonial-02So how do you approach a credible expert, someone who may get many of these requests? The smart way to approach this is to always be cultivating relationships over time. Always offer your assistance and always offer to be useful in general long before you ever conceive of your product idea.

If you are building meaningful relationships with others on social media, it should be easy to ask for input from experts. You can always find local experts to recommend your product or service. You could even ask the mayor or other well-liked city officials to try your business in exchange for permission to use their written recommendation as a testimonial.

You can also hire an expert to try your product or service. As a part of this agreement, use the expert’s name and testimonial when promoting your product.

Always ask for feedback

When you openly communicate with your social media audience and encourage their feedback, you can end up with some great testimonials. Keep your testimonials in one place so it is easy to draw from them when you create content.

If you make collecting customer comments a priority, eventually you’ll have thousands of potential testimonials and endorsements to choose from when you need to dispel doubt in the minds of cynical and defensive customers.

Meet Your New Website Driver: Video

 
video-productionWe’ve talked about video in social media in this space previously: Why video is important and how to use video. Regular readers already know we think believe video should be a vital part of any social media campaign, but what about your website?

Good for you if you’ve been using video in your social media. Don’t overlook your website. Videos are a great way to drive traffic to your website. Here’s a couple of ideas you may want to incorporate into your website marketing.

People Want Answers

Have you ever found yourself researching a topic on Google and discovered there were not only articles about your topic, but videos? Admit it; you probably went to that YouTube video before you clicked on an article. One great way to bring in new traffic to your website is to address those common questions your business gets with a video. People learn twice as fast when they see and hear what is being explained.

Think about how many times you’ve answered a customer’s question by demonstrating or showing them the answer. Make that demonstration into a video and post it on your website. However, don’t stop there. Include a link to that video on your social media sites with the question. It’s an easy way to increase traffic to your website and get the post shared. Which leads us to our second point.

Videos are More Likely to go Viralviral-marketing-word-mouth-38123871

When was the last time you read a news article that was “viral?” When it comes to viral content, it
seems like nine out of ten viral items are video. Yes, there may be text with the video, but the item went viral because of the video.

You may be thinking that your video may never see a million views. There’s more. The concept of
something going viral has more to do with how rapidly it is shared than how many actually see it.   Viral content is something shared with a wide network of people. Your video may not reach a thousand views, but however many see it you can leverage. If someone shares your video, they are more likely to return to your website and begin a relationship with you. Isn’t that more worth boasting about than having a million views?

Embed Everywhere

One of the great things about video is you can host the video on one platform – like YouTube or Vimeo – and then link to the video on your website and your social media sites without having to upload the video multiple times.

Embed the video in your website. YouTube, Vimeo and other video sites provide you with the URL to the video. On Facebook, including the URL address in your post will automatically create a special image and link to the video (or page). Just paste the full URL (include the “http://” part also).

If you run across a video you like that is relevant to your business, include it in your social media posts. It’s a great way to show your audience you follow others and that you value other content as well as your own.

Don’t Forget Email

Another area you can use videos to increase traffic to your website is through email marketing. We’ve discussed that in this space also. You don’t want to include the actual video in your email. The size of the video file is most likely going to be larger than most email servers will allow you to send. However, here’s a way you can include it in your email.

Take a screen shot of your video paused on frame that shows a key point. Include the image in your email. Make the image link to the video on your website (or YouTube channel). If that’s not an option for you, include the link to the page on your website (or social media site) with the video. Include a note in the email that the viewer can find more information by following the link.

If you haven’t gotten started in using video, be sure to check out our series of beginner tips for creating a video.

How to Use Facebook to Launch a New Product or Service

If you are launching a new product or service, you want to create some excitement with your customer base about what’s new.  Facebook is a great way not only let everyone know what’s new, but to generate excitement.

However, to be successful, you need to plan ahead and make good use of some of Facebook’s tools for business.  It’s not difficult, it just takes some planning.  Here are four steps to help you get started.

1: Pre-launch – PlanningFacebook Image tool

To be successful, you need to plan your strategy a couple of months prior to launch. Two or three months

should be sufficient.  This planning should include all of the materials you want to share on Facebook.  This includes the design of any ads you may want to purchase in addition to the images you will use in your posts.

Be sure to consider the sizes of your images.  You’ll need different sizes for ads as well as your posts.  Remember that Facebook only allows 20% of an ad to contain text.  Facebook has a handy tool to verify you do not violate this rule.  Visit the Facebook Grid Tool and upload your image.  The tool will place a 5-by-5 grid over the image.  Click the squares that contain text to see how much text you are using and if it is acceptable.  Watch this Facebook video for information about text in ads.  Also, check out our blog on optimum image sizes for different social media sites.

If you don’t have an ad agency, or know an artist who can design a print ad for you, consider using Fiverr.com.  This website offers services and products that range from graphics and design to online marketing. The freelancing marketing services include ad creation, infographic design, video animation, and much more. The price of services begins at $5.  The transparency of buyers’ reviews will help you to
choose the right seller.

2: Pre-Launch – Create Excitement

As a part of your pre-launch, consider if giveaways are appropriate for your new product or service.  Will there be a special sale or discount period when you launch?  If so, how will customers access the discount?  Is a contest appropriate for the new launch?  If appropriate, one lucky customer can win the free product or service free.  Perhaps allowing someone to be the first to use it is appropriate.

It’s also best to plan and write out the posts you will make on Facebook and other social media.  Writing these ahead of the launch will help insure you cover the important points you want your customers to know.  Each should reveal a little more about the new product or service.  Begin with teaser posts about two or three weeks before the launch.  A series of pre-launch teaser posts might be:
“Something big is coming to (Business Name) in July.”

“Watch this space for a big announcement on July 13.”

“Don’t miss out.  See what’s happening in July at (Business name).”

As the launch date approaches, build excitement by revealing a little more about the new product or service.  This would be the time to start mentioning customer benefits in your teasers.

product excitementA week before the launch, your post might be:  “Everything you know about Customer Service is about to change!  (Business Name) is taking it to a new level starting July 13.”

“The only way to experience (service) is to be here July 13 – see for yourself.”

If you are introducing a new product, perhaps a discount may be in order for the first few weeks.  One of your posts or an ad could be a coupon for customers to print.  Alternatively, you can post on Facebook a ‘secret phrase’ that customers can mention to get the discount price.

Don’t forget to use video!  Make a video of you or someone in your shop talking about how excited everyone at work is about the new product or service.  Post a few days before the launch.  If you are remodeling or expanding, post pictures of the construction work.  If you are adding new equipment, share pictures of the installation process.

Your launch plan should have the posts written out along with the date and time when each will appear.  Stagger the times from morning to early evening for maximum exposure.

3 – Launch – Keep Excitement Going

The launch phase will probably vary in length depending on the product or service.  As far as promotion is concerned, it will never truly be over.  However, you should have an end date for the largest promotional push.  At this point, you want to figure out what you can do to keep the excitement going.

This is the time to launch a Facebook Contest. After launching a new service, perhaps now is the time to have a naming contest.  If appropriate, let customers have a chance at naming the new service.  The winner gets a year of the service at no cost or a substantially price reduction. Consider what is most appropriate for the new product or service; then, maintain excitement by teasing the contest.

You may find it appropriate to shoot a video of the first day with the new product or service.  Include customer testimonials and reactions.  Other customers talking about your business and your services is a great way to introduce new customers to what you do.

If you decide to spend money on a Facebook ad campaign, focus most of your ad budget on the pre-launch phase.  If you have something to offer of value or a coupon, split your resources more evenly between the pre-launch and launch phases.  You may want to consider having a different budget for the coupon or special offer phase of the campaign.

4 – Post-Launch Thank You

After the launch period, you will want to thank your audience and customers.  Show your customers how much you appreciate them by thanking them for their support during the campaign.  Even if they did not make a purchase, let them know you appreciate their business over the years.

Also, use the post-launch thank you to tell your audience what is coming next.  More surprises?  Another contest?  Give your audience something to look forward to.

Most important, learn from your experience so you can improve the next one.  What worked?  What didn’t work?  What gave you the biggest bang?

Facebook can be a great place to let the world know about your new product or service.  However, don’t forget to promote your special product launch or new service on your website as well as your other social media, not just Facebook.