Video – the most powerful marketing tool you’re (probably) completely ignoring

 admin  15/Oct/17  no responses.

You face many challenges in your business and different forms of marketing provide different solutions. Some drive new customers into your store, others educate clients who may have a longer buying journey, while others may boost sales rapidly, for a short period.

 

It can be overwhelming to make the right choice at the right time and few marketing mediums are versatile enough to tackle it all, and adapt as you need. Other than video, that is.

 

If you’re yet to consider video marketing for your equestrian business, you may want to take a moment to consider these statistics…

– Already using email marketing? Including “VIDEO” in your email subject line boosts open rates by up to 19%; and click through rates by between 200 and 300%

– Have a landing page in place? Including video on a landing page can increase conversion by 80%

– Want to create consumer trust? 36% of online consumers trust video ads

– Wish to make a sale there and then? Explainer videos increase web-page conversion by 20%

– Hope for online visitors that take action? 46% of users take some sort of action after viewing a video ad

 

So, that’s boosted conversion rates, consumer trust and sales. I do believe the case is made for video being a marketing medium for many challenges. Now we need to move onwards to the steps you should take in order to get somewhere close to those impressive statistics above.

First things first – Let’s begin with your goals

 

What are you trying to achieve? Your goal should be clearly defined before moving ahead with your video project. Here we summarise the five core forms of video and link them back to the goals that they’re perfectly suited for.

 

Case studies and testimonial videos

 

Case studies are videos that tell a story of one (or more) of your customers. They briefly outline a backstory to their business, detail their challenge and go on to talk about how they overcame this challenge with your help.

 

By contrast testimonial videos are more simplistic – merely involving your customers talking about how happy they are with your products or services. These videos can be used in many places – such as on your social pages, website or in your latest email.

 

Goals: To increase trust, boost social engagement, drive sales of your products or services, and share stories of success (possibly passing along motivation and positivity).

 

Product instructional videos

 

Product instructional videos (also known as ‘How To’ videos) are ideal for hand holding your consumer to help them achieve their own goals with your product. Ideally your product instruction video would be short, sharp and succinct – clearly stepping your audience through the process they have to follow.

 

Goals: Guide consumers throughs setting up/using a complex product – thereby driving down the number of support requests and questions you receive by phone/email and increasing customer satisfaction.

 

Brand videos

 

Brand videos exist solely to provide life to your company mission, vision, or products and services. However, it can be tough to make your brand video interesting and engaging enough to ensure your audience views until the end. To counter this, brand videos must speak in the audience’s language, and highlight key issues that resonate with them.

 

Goals: Drive home key messages about your company – what it stands for, where you’re going, and so on. Brand videos are typically used by businesses that are aiming to establish themselves as a brand leader, and may be featured everywhere from Facebook to the company about page.

 

Video explainers

 

Video explainers adopt a storytelling narrative to break down what could be a complex topic or problem. Typically they involve personalisation with a character the audience can relate to – someone who represents themselves facing the problem or problems that should lead them to your door.

 

As the video progresses, it should go on to explain how you solve their problem and (most importantly) how you solve it in ways others simply can’t (which will introduce your most compelling selling points and your USP).

 

Goals: To sell your products or services by connecting with your target market through a visual, possibly emotive story. You should also remember that video content is far more digestible than chunks of text – making video explainers ideal for placing on your homepage, social pages or on a video social platform such as YouTube, Vimeo or Instagram.

 

Live videos

 

Live videos can be used primarily in one of two ways – the first is to host webinars/Q and A style online sessions – interacting live with an audience who may ask questions, whilst you in return educate or enlighten them. You may also use this format to interview an industry expert. This form of video can prove an invaluable marketing resource that you can use over and again to establish industry authority.

 

In a secondary context, live video can be used informally – showing your audience around your business or around an event that you may be at.

 

Goals: Creating deeper, more meaningful relationships with customers that may otherwise feel unconnected to your business (and the faces behind your company). Live video can also create credibility and industry respect.

 

But wait, video production is expensive, right? Not to mention time-consuming, creatively demanding and incredibly complex. Yes, it certainly can be all of these things. But today there are affordable, high quality services out there provided by agencies, rather than large scale production companies. Whilst it may be true that your business demands a more comprehensive video production at some point in the future, the average product or service explainer is an effective beginner medium for most who are just experimenting with this marketing medium.

 

Lights, camera, action!

 

You may fancy yourself the Steven Spielberg of the equestrian world – the Quentin Tarantino of the stable wholesaler realm. After all, you know your business better than anyone else – you have direct contact with your customers every day. Surely you’re best placed to play director and script writer, right? Actually you could be very wrong – and it could be a costly mistake.

 

When it comes to the crunch, professional video creators and script writers know their craft. While you could learn the tricks of the trade, this would take time. There are also many common pitfalls that you could fall into when writing your script, such as talking about features, rather than benefits, running your audience through every impressive spec going – when all they really need to know is “What’s In It For Me?”.

 

You might also focus on your product or service rather than your target market, talking about you and your impressive product – instead of speaking about the problem they face, and the pain points you can help them overcome. Long story short, professional helping hands will ensure these issues never arise, and will most certainly pay dividends ten times over.

 

Essential tips for a winning video

 

1. Keep it brief – whilst the length of your video will depend on your audience, the average online viewer will give you around 2 minutes of their time

2. Always speak directly to your viewer

3. Ensure a summary sentence of your video is included within the initial 30 seconds

4. Introduce a little laughter if suitable

5. Talk about your customers’ most common problems – this is most easily achieved by way of telling a story using a character

6. Throughout your video always put yourself in your customers’ shoes and ask – would this make me say “So what? Why does this matter to me?”

7. Take time to choose the right agency – ideally one within the equestrian realm, they’ll understand your business far better than a generic marketing agency that works in every industry

8. Going it alone? Use a video tool suited to your skill level and project type – here’s some video tools that represent the best of the bunch:

PowToon

Prezi

Animaker

GoAnimate

Biteable

RawShorts

VideoScribe

MySimpleShow

Moovly

Easy Sketch Pro

 

 

Key question: Where should you host your videos?

 

Always keep copies of your videos on your own computer, as well as in the cloud – this protects your investment should something terrible go wrong in either storage place.

 

YouTubeVimeo, & Wistia are leading choices popular with professional marketers (the latter of which also offers detailed viewer analytics); however you could also consider the completely private options of Dropbox or Google Drive (both of which come with a large amount of free storage).

 

Video marketing is capable of amazing things and can deliver impressive returns – yet it does demand skill, time and expertise. If you’d prefer to leave your video production marketing to the experts, you may want to begin with our team. Contact PressPoint Countryside & Equestrian – call our experts on +44 (0)1953 851513 or email: equestrian@presspoint.co.uk.

 

 

Feeding the beast: Content Generation and Social Media Marketing

 Vanessa B  11/Jul/16  no responses.

Feeding the beast: Content Generation and Social Media Marketing

Content was, is and always will be king. For anyone within the marketing realm, this may well be the widest and most well-known online marketing saying of all. However, we now live in the age of social media where ‘content’ is simply swallowed at an alarming rate. How does a developing business keep up?

Blogs, videos, infographics and podcasts all serve to drive traffic from the richly diverse collection of social media platforms, over to your website. Content also has the ability to build firm fan bases, as well as secure affinity with your brand.

Your sales funnel serves as your company’s lifeblood: think of it as a continual content creation and social media marketing process – where leads are nurtured from cold to super-hot, where individuals begin as unknowns and end up as repeat purchasers: think of it, as feeding the beast that is your business.

Time and resource rich? We thought not.

A content strategy is as far removed from writing about your products and services as it possibly could be. It takes considerable time to craft a message that consumers care about – and even longer to affect a strategy that will see your content featured in the right places, in front of the right eyes.

According to the LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community, 51% of companies lack the time to create content. Unfortunately, all too many equestrian related businesses lack the time, resources, or both, to create content that matters and put in place a social media strategy that pays any form of dividends; and the result? A lacklustre performance where your time, effort and marketing budget is often wasted.

So, just how much time and resources do you need?

Let’s get to grips with exactly how much time and resources content creation and social media marketing commands – at least when it’s done in an effective way.

Research from the Social Media Examiner has recently found that 81% of marketers could achieve increased traffic with 6+ hours per week spent on social media marketing. Yet this is for the social media side alone – the actual creation of content commands a whole new level of resources which must be managed, potentially including a mix of experts, such as a copywriter, a social media marketer, an SEO expert and a content specialist for media focussed pieces (such as a graphic designer for an infographic or a videographer for video content).

Quick tips on satisfying the appetite

Content: It’s (mostly) about getting into the mind of your target consumer

Now you may be thinking that, as a PR company, we would say that content creation and social media is time-consuming – after all, wouldn’t we prefer that we win your business?

However, there are ways in which businesses can, at the least, begin to feed the appetite of the beast; and here are three tips that represent the most fundamental of all content creation concepts.

1. Content creation: it’s not about you – it’s about them

Further research by LinkedIn Technology Marketing has found that the top three elements of effective content are: Audience Relevance (58%); Engaging and Compelling Storytelling (57%); Triggers a Response/Action (54%). This order creates some semblance of focus for your content creation efforts and underlines that, first and foremost, your content must be relevant to your audience.

Content that helps address your target market’s pain points is the most valuable of all – yet in order to do this you need to understand who your target customer is, and what issue, or issues, it is that they face and you solve. Content that sits neatly between your product or service, and their pain point, is exactly where you need to be.

You should also consider how your competitors are mastering the art of valuable content – do they give away guides or exclusive access to certain blogs in exchange for an email address? Are they experiencing much engagement on their social pages from followers who can’t help but ask for more information?

This must run alongside promotional content – such as press releases and news features, which serve to attract both attention and build knowledge around your commercial activities.

2. Be a clever curator

Original content is a must in this day and age. Not only does it signal to the mighty search engines that yours is a website worthy of a respectable position, but it also illustrates you as a thought leader, industry expert and a brand with a voice worth listening to.

That all said, the most effective of content strategies will have an element of content curation, which is harnessing the works of others to add value to your message. This could be as simple as re-publishing another company’s infographic, or re-blogging an expert’s recent post. When doing this you must ensure that the source you seek from isn’t in direct completion with you (and don’t forget to request permission and credit the original author!).

3. Content quality control

Last but not least you must create quality content – and this goes beyond merely ensuring your copy is free from spelling errors.

When we talk of quality, we mean elements such as tone and language – both essential for connecting with your audience. Too informal and your brand may come across as far too relaxed to be entrusted, too formal and you may appear wooden, stiff and insincere – neither of which will do much for your business.

Your copy must also be easy to scan, with an engaging first summary paragraph; short, snappy sentences and concise yet engaging subheadings. This is all completed by there being some form of call-to-action – be it influencing the reader to leave an email address for further updates, or encouraging the reader to place an order there and then.

Social Media

Social media is the Ying to content’s Yang – without each you simply can’t strike the balance that attracts eyes and wins hearts

Your target market – where in the world are they?

Think that you need to be on every social media network going in order to reap the full results from all of your hard work? Think again. Not only can this be time-consuming, it can also be damaging to your follower numbers, as those who take the time to follow on more than one platform are served up with the same messages on both. When you do this – you’re considered only as a business who clogs their feed – a spammer. Ultimately – this can lead to unfollows and unlikes unilaterally.

To this end, you first need to know where your target market are and then you need to know what content should go where in order to nurture those clicks over and away from their original, social media source.

Don’t neglect the message that accompanies your content links – nor the images that are displayed alongside them

Once you’ve given blood, sweat and tears to your latest piece of content, you shouldn’t do away with all of your hard work by posting in haste. Take time to craft the status update that is responsible for grabbing your users’ attention, and carefully select an eye-catching (and relevant) image that could contend against the best of cat memes any day of the week.

Track, track, track

Above all else it’s vital that you track your social media efforts and the successes (and fails) that you’ve achieved. This is the only way in which you can improve what you’re saying and how you’re saying it.

Key metrics to track may include: shares, likes, re-tweets, follower numbers and comments; whilst off-site metrics include: average page visit duration, blog comments and search engine position.

We speak your language, we know your customer

The world of equestrian and countryside focussed businesses are often faced with one rather mammoth problem when it comes to PR services: the many glittering PR and marketing firms out there simply don’t ‘get’ you.

We speak your language, and we know your target customer – inside out, and back to front. For 30 years we’ve been working alongside companies such as yours in crafting strategies that make people care – with content that compels and social media plans that boost bottom lines.

Unless you find yourself in the enviable position of being both time rich and resource rich – there are our services; and it is these services that free businesses such as yours from the demanding requirements of feeding the beast, day in, day out. It’s also what allows companies exactly like yours to focus on the stuff that they’re really good at: such as running their business, and delivering products or services that delight.

Feeding the beast: Content Generation and Social Media Marketing

If you need some help with Content Generation and Social Media Marketing, Presspoint is only a call or an email away. Tel: 01953 851513. Email: mail@presspoint.co.uk

How to understand and fix content marketing problems

 Vanessa B  04/Jan/16  no responses.

Ensuring that your content marketing looks as good as possible is extremely important, yet many people make mistakes, most of which are totally unavoidable. What are the most common problems and how do you fix them?

Having a strategy will help you to steer your content marketing in the right direction. You have to understand who you are creating the content for and what you would like them to get from it. If you do not asses this from the outset, then you will have problems. Firstly, think about your customers: who are they and why are they reading your content in the first place? You have to realise where your brand is positioned as a result of this content. Once you have worked this out, then you can make subtle changes to your content as are necessary to see increased awareness, leads and sales.

Social media moves at a fast pace and fighting to respond as quickly as possible to posts can cause issues if you don’t stop to think about your response properly. You need to seriously consider how the content will be interpreted and how those viewing it can and will engage with it; because if you get it horribly wrong it can stick with you for a very long time.

Content marketing is not about you. It is all about your audience and those you are trying to connect with. This means that your content has to be relevant, which in turn means that you do not have to be in line with the current trends but that you fully understand what ‘your’ target audience is interested in. To understand this, use analytics to find out what they are looking at on your site, but also to find out what is being shared. Find out what successful content your competitors have been creating as this can help you understand the needs of your customers and by making sure you are authentic is crucial because this is what they expect.

There is no issue with you stamping your company name and logo on all of the content that you create but this is not the way it should be done. Some of the most effective content comes lightly branded and in some instance even non-branded and totally generic. Research shows that many people are now conditioned to ignore anything that remotely resembles an advert so if your audience are not responding in any way then there is a possibility that you could be over-branding. To solve this issue try delivering content that is relevant and useful, whilst ensuring that you give branding more of a background role.

It is quite surprising to find that many people still believe content marketing should include many keywords but this is not the case because a content strategy that can stand the test of time has to have the right content because the aim is to make it easy for people to find you and then keep them there. Thought leadership articles and key opinions should not be underestimated because this can really make your value stand out to your audience.

If you are creating content that you plan to use to target every channel, every day, then you are going to find It difficult because if you are trying to put your content out there, to everyone, you will not be marketing yourself effectively. To deal with this problem create excellent pieces of content and then turn them into other formats and this can be done by sharing key points through social media, creating podcasts and extracting quotes to create ‘quiet’ graphics.