Posts in Video
How to Take Awesome Videos on Your IPhone

Some times the best tips are the simplest, and that’s what this weeks blog is about.

With the video craze beating down upon us, we’ve all be trying to create video content as quickly, and as often as possible. With most of us shooting these on our iPhones, it’s all about how we can up the quality of these recordings to showcase our message in the most professional light.

In today’s video I’m showing you one of my favorite tools (that I’m a little embarrassed to admit it took me so long to find), and showing you how I use it to make shooting prerecorded, or even live Facebook videos easier.

The Black & White Reality of Technology’s Place In Your Business’ Growth Strategy
Learn more about why digital marketing is so important for a small business in Rhode Islsand.

We live in a digital environment and what grew businesses in the past is no longer going to work moving forward.  Technology is a part of our everyday lives and social media is really just a slang term for how the majority of people communicate and consume information today.  There was a real shift in digital marketing in 2016, and as we’ve moved into 2017 there are some major realities that everyone needs to be mindful of, such as the importance of authenticity and transparency in creating organic content, as well as the critical nature of how and where you deliver that content.  Organic vs. paid reach is where the action is (which we’re super excited about) and the ability to remain open and agile will be the difference between success or failure when it comes to a company’s digital marketing strategy. 

Life, and business, shifts over time and change can be a good thing.  Stop and think about the changes that people, and businesses, experienced when the printing press was created.  How about radio and television?  Do you remember just a few decades ago when so many business owners thought websites, and the internet in general, was a fad?  Or, think about those business owners that understood the value of email marketing early on and had great success with that.  There were crazy open rates back then upwards of 90% compared to today’s average of 15-28% (depending on industry).  We’re just trying to illustrate that there are so many small to mid sized business owners out there that are still pushing against essential elements of marketing and growth strategies!

There’s more competition for attention now than there ever has been, and if a company out there wants to be heard by their identified target audience then they’ve got to figure out where that audience is putting their attention.  And, they need to also understand that when their audience is on these different platforms the messaging needs to be crafted specifically for them in that space.  It sounds like a lot and we’re not going to sugar coat it, it kind of is, but with the right strategy in place it can all be streamlined, efficient and even fun.  Understanding how to utilize technology to grow your business is paramount.  Creating great content then being able to distribute it in a way that your audience will want to consume it is the key that unlocks the door to engagement and reach. 

Ready to ditch the fear of the unknown and take the reins? Here are some things to keep in mind:

Self Awareness is key

Companies first need to really focus in on who they are, what they do and why they do it, then they need to create content that tells that story.  

Identify Your Audience

They need to clearly identify and understand who their target audience and where their attention is and/or how they’re consuming information.  

Remain Open and Agile

The work is not over yet, as this digital landscape is changing constantly and businesses must continue to experiment with where their audience’s interest and engagement is!  

Quality Content Matters

Today’s consumers are savvy digital hunters and they’re discovering businesses for the first time through Google searches or social media.  Smart marketers know that they have to focus on creating authentic quality content and customized messaging for the social platforms that have been identified as making the most sense for that specific business. Organic reach vs. paid reach is super important in this saturated marketplace and by understanding how to identify (and use properly) key words, key phrases and all the other important components of creating quality content is HUGE.  

Sell The Way Customers Want To Buy

That quality content then needs to be served up properly onto the different platforms, from a blog post on a website (a website that is set up properly as this is the foundation of a solid digital marketing strategy), to a carefully crafted video posted on YouTube, to the images posted on Instagram and so on let the amazing technology work efficiently and effectively to grow your business!  This is the tip of the iceberg and just a brief overview of how businesses need to embrace all the fantastic technology driven world that we are now living in and create digital marketing strategies that will help rank them higher and be seen by the people that want to buy whatever service or product they’re selling. 

If Content Is King - Video is the Emperor
Learn why you must be using video as a small business from Hub Digital

Let’s face it – we’re obsessed with consuming video content. We’re all guilty of it – perusing YouTube, watching recommended video after recommended video, or watching one too many Facebook Tasty videos. The number of Snapchat users now exceeds Twitter users. We all love video, so why are so many small business owners still hesitant to invest in video marketing?

As we mentioned in last week’s blog, if content is king, video content is the king’s king! Video marketing is no longer up and coming – it’s a proven successful strategic marketing tactic, and it looks to be here to stay. But don’t just take our word for it. This infographic boasts a lot of impressive statistics about video marketing (who doesn’t love infographics?). For example, YouTube reports video consumption has risen 100% each year. Additionally, after watching a video, 64% of users are more likely to purchase a product online

Video is human, which is inherently more engaging. Just think about it – video opens up a world of creative opportunities to tell a story, demonstrate your product, or promote your brand. The brain processes visual stimuli 60,000 times faster than words alone, because video appeals to the senses. Video also has the capability to encourage user-generated content and create positive buzz; when a video captivates us, we share it with our network. And we all know what higher engagement means – better ranking in search engine results

We hear your excuses – “but video content doesn’t belong in my industry.” In the real estate industry? A 2012 National Association of Realtors study found that 85 percent of buyers and sellers “prefer to work with an agent who uses video marketing,” and that was 4 years ago! Since then, consumption of video content has only become more prevalent. Video marketing has a place in every industryB2B (use video to explain your product or service offerings), education & learning (animation videos are really engaging to explain a topic), healthcare (video can be a great vessel to simply sensitive topics), technology (to show audiences what your technology is capable of), and so on

 

A few video marketing best practices:

  • As with everything, know your audience and their consumption habits. Of course, that’s always key, and it goes back to our previous blog: are you where your audience is?
  • Get creative, and invest in high-quality. We all love video content, but most consumers have a keen ability to pick up on quality, original content. Be unique, and invest in professional video.
  • For Facebook videos, people love the dialogue to be in subtitles. This is for so many of consumers who watch Facebook videos at work, or keep their phone volume on silent. 
  • Don’t lose sight of your brand story. It’s easy to get caught up in all the creative aspects of creating a video, but make sure to keep in mind everything your brand is about. 
  • Keep it short. Our attention spans have decreased from 12 to 8 seconds in the last 15 years – so the shorter the better. As a general rule of thumb, keep your video under 90 seconds. 
  • Video marketing is not a comprehensive digital marketing strategy – it should be used as a part of a larger, strategic marketing plan. 
How To: Prepping For The Perfect Live Video
How to make sure you and your business are ready to go live on video.

Between Periscope, Facebook Live, SnapChat and Insta Stories, live video is all over the place. You know that the organic reach on live videos is usually 135% that of a regular post. You know that people spend 3x longer watching live video vs. pre-recorded video (At least you know now). And you know, in your heart of hearts, you should be doing it to promote your business. After being bombarded with it day in and day out, you've finally decided to take the plunge. But here's the rub - making live video can be intimidating. Putting yourself out there without any editing, 2nd takes, or mulligans can seem totally overwhelming. You just picture yourself stumbling over your words, forgetting what you wanted to say or your equipment just completely giving out on you, and any inclination you had towards doing it has gone out the window.

Well, don't freak out just yet. Today we're breaking down a few tips to help you go into your next live video feeling prepared, practiced and pretty excited (see what I did there?) to rock it out. Like anything, it will take a few practice tries to feel confident, but you can't get better without diving in head first. Just take a few minutes to read our tips on how you can host a smoother live video and you'll be a pro in no time.

1. Spend some time scoping out the perfect spot. It may seem obvious, but if you're in an uncomfortable spot when you start filming it's going to come across on the screen. Find a spot that is free from background noise, has good lighting, and doesn't have anything showing in the background that you'd rather not broadcast to the public. Oh, and of course it has to have a strong internet or cell phone connection.

2. Type up some bullet points. I'm not big on scripts for live video as they can come across feeling inauthentic and forced. But you MUST have a basic template outlined to prevent awkward pauses or forgetting something you wanted to talk about. Pre-plan your topic, then breakdown all the important points you want to hit. Under each of those write down a few key words or phrases that will trigger your thought process when you're live.

2. Get the right technology. Traditionally live video platforms were created to be shot on your phone. If you're comfortable with that, then great! Find a spot to place your phone that is steady and gives a good view of you (or find someone with a steady hand). However, if you want to take it step further, you can always sign up for video platforms like Wirecast. This live streaming production software helps adjust audio levels, brightness and contrast, and post live streaming editing so you have a quality product that lasts long after you've logged of. And Bonus! You can live stream right from your computer so you're not fumbling with your iPhone. Not great with technology? Check out this article to learn more about how you integrate Wirecast with your Facebook Live Broadcasts.

3. Pre-plan your question and answer period. Throughout your livestream it's more than likely that you're going to get questions or comments. Before you jump on, mark some places in your outline where you can stop and go back to review comments and answer questions. If you don't pre-plan this time into your schedule you may end up getting distracted and cut off in the middle of your points or may skip important feedback.

4. Timing is everything. Think about your target audience and when would be most convenient for them to join you. A lot of times that may be during lunch hour or after work hours. And don't forget to consider different time zones if your audience extends beyond your local geographic area.

5. Run a test broadcast. Get to know the platform and technology so you don't run into any hangups during your real broadcast. If you're using Facebook Live, change your posting settings to "Only Me" and then run through your entire broadcast without anyone seeing it. You can work out any bugs and test our your script to make sure you're hitting all the points you want to.

6. Promote, Promote, Promote - There's nothing worse than getting everything scheduled, your script written, and your confidence pumped up, and then no one shows up. A few hours (and in some cases, even days) before going live let your audience know throughout all your social outlets with organic and paid posts and drop a few notes to your email list. And make sure you remind everyone to log on again about 10 minutes before going live for maximum impact.

7.  Relax! And remember that live video doesn't have to be perfect. If you mess up, it's ok! Make a joke, laugh it off and continue on your way. People appreciate authenticity and want to see your personality. While you want to avoid bigger accidents like the feed dropping or forgetting a big chunk of what you want to say, don't worry about doing and saying everything perfectly. People want to see that you're having fun with it and enjoying yourself - it makes them enjoy it too!