How to Leverage Video to Market Your Business

It is reported that YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, used by almost 47% of Australians. Given the enormous use of Search by consumers these days, these facts alone should convince you that video really should be a part of your marketing mix. If not, this article may convince you – plus it provides tips on how to really maximise video for marketing and make it work hard for you.

Don’t tell me SHOW me.

Apart from the cold hard facts, there’s the human element. Video is eye-catching, it can help you stand out from the crowd and draw in potential customers. Video can clearly define your business and in a succinct, much more interesting way then text. And importantly, video can bring faces, voices, personality and heart to your operation, while also demonstrating your authenticity. So if a picture speaks a thousand words, a video speaks a million!

Spread the word. Strike that… Spread the video!

Like any content, video can be shared easily to help spread the word about your products and services. Create a YouTube channel and embed your YouTube videos in your website, blog and all social channels. Links between your YouTube channel and website can boost your rank in search engine results, as can the added visitor count if your video encourages viewers to visit your website.

What Kind of Content?

Different types of content work for different types of businesses, here is a list of ideas to get you started:

  1. Success stories – bring case studies to life.
  2. A brief company intro or value proposition video.
  3. Product demonstrations (even for simple products).
  4. Interviews or Q&As with your CEO, clients, industry experts etc.
  5. Record any external conference or seminar presentations you give.
  6. Product reviews and testimonials – check out Bravo to capture user generated content.
  7. “How-to” videos or short tutorials, eg. if your business sells child safety equipment, create a video on how to child proof the home featuring your products.
  8. A video tour of your premises – if this acts as a selling point or benefit for customers, then show them.
  9. Introduce users to staff that have consumer contact, such as customer service – it’s nice to put a face to a voice.
  10. Record internal training presentations – this content could be valuable for both consumers AND staff. Important company announcements – don’t just post an update or press release.

What about production?

Your videos don’t have to be big Hollywood productions to be engaging and effective. In fact, you should focus more effort on video planning & marketing, than video production. You don’t need to use expensive camera equipment or even record in HD when for the web. It’s possible your web cam or smartphone will do the job just fine. And in terms of editing, YouTube offers its own free video editor, Windows Movie Maker is bundled with Windows, and iMovie with Macs.

Here are seven tips for creating your own videos:

  1. Short is sweet – and definitely no more than 5 minutes.
  2. Focus on first 10 seconds – engage viewers from the very start.
  3. Work to a topic guideline, not a script.
  4. Maintain a fairly fast pace to keep the content punchy and interesting to watch.
  5. Lighting is important. (Avoid windows behind you).
  6. Camera shy? Try Animoto or screen capture such as Ezvid.
  7. Include a call to action.

Share, post, blog, tweet, update…

Once you’ve created your video content promote it everywhere! Upload to video sharing sites – YouTube (see below), Blip.tv, Vimeo, Viddler, Metacafe – post on Facebook, tweet on you know where, share on LinkedIn. You can even (and should) embed videos in your email marketing. And encourage your staff to promote via their network and social channels. To reiterate, you should focus more effort on video marketing rather than video production.

Leverage YouTube – it’s free!

Nowadays YouTube is much more than an entertainment channel to watch funny cat videos or hear Harry announcing that Charlie bit his finger. It’s a powerful (and cost effective) communication tool so be sure to create a YouTube channel for your business. And like all your web content, your YouTube videos must be optimised.

  1. Give your video a title that includes your strongest keyword (relevant to the content).
  2. Complete the description with a short synopsis of what the video entails, including keywords and a link.
  3. Use tags that are true to the content of your video and include your business name too.
  4. Because consumers won’t necessarily be watching your video on your channel, embed your logo via YouTube’s Channel Settings (InVideo Programming).
  5. And maximise links to your website from your YouTube channel.

In summary if you run a business or manage the marketing for one, there’s a lot of compelling evidence suggesting that online video marketing should be a part of your marketing activity.

For more advice, or assistance with your marketing get in touch via our website or call 03 9504 6216.

Helpful Pet-Friendly Travel Tips That Every Dog Parent Should Know

Whether you’re flying across the country for a vacation with your dog on an airplane or simply riding the bus to bring him to the vet, the experience always poses some challenges. Aside from making sure that they eat or do their business at the right times and place during the trip, you should also consider their safety and well-being.Here are some easy yet effective pet-friendly travel tips to follow:For car ridesWhen it comes to traveling with your pet in your car, it is best that he remain still rather than free and roaming inside the vehicle for safety purposes. There are plenty of pet-friendly safety travel gear available in the market such as seatbelt harnesses, carriers and crates. According to experts, it is important that your dog has had the opportunity to stretch his legs and had his daily dose of exercise before being placed in a crate, especially for long drives. This way, he will be more inclined to rest, stay still and behave as he has already burned off his excess energy. Be sure to also make the crate as comfortable as possible for your fur baby – bring a nice, cozy blanket, some toys and plenty of treats.For airplane ridesThe Humane Society highly recommends to only travel with your pets by plane when absolutely necessary. If you must travel with your dog by plane, it is crucial to call your airline company ahead of time to know what their restrictions are when it comes to flying a pet. Some has restrictions about size as well as the number of pets. Some also require that a pet has certain immunizations, so be sure that your fur baby is up to date with his shots and have the proper documentation to bring with you at the airport.For bus and train ridesSimilar with airplanes, bus and train companies have different protocols when it comes to transporting pets. Those that allow animals on board usually require pets to be transported using a carrier. To be sure, do some research ahead to find the best pet-friendly transportation options in your local neighbourhood.One more important thing when traveling with your dog is to be responsible for their mess – always have a poop bag and disinfectant spray handy or make them wear diapers. The last thing you want is to have people complain about your dog’s mess while on a bus, plane or train ride!

Effective Delegation – Management Skills For Plateau Protection

Let’s face it, these are difficult economic times in the job market and for getting promoted within your organization. Budgets are tight. There are hiring freezes and lay-offs. Advancement within your organization seems a distant possibility. For those that are getting laid off, this is a terrible time.So what are you doing about it?The most important thing in any of these tough circumstances will be to pay attention to your management skills. Among the most important of these will be effective delegation and people management. A serious effort to improve your skills and effectiveness will reduce the chance of losing your ground and increase your chances for advancement. Companies and businesses seek results, now more than ever. Take a close look at what the organizations needs are for their management teams.
Ability to execute. Managers are charged with getting things accomplished through others. Leading and managing a team to execute assignments and projects. This has not changed. Most managers do not focus on their management skill improvement in this critical area.
Team building skills. A manager who excels at building a stronger more capable business unit will always be sought after and rise to the top. A candid assessment of the manager’s interpersonal skills such as communication and relationship building id needed in all situations.
Project management skills. The ability to plan and execute projects and assignments is a core competency. Yet managers spend so little time thinking about how to get better at planning the work they are managing. Putting effective project action plans together, even for basic team assignments, really boosts execution and results.
Managers and leaders can not stand still and continue to assume they have these important areas down pat. That kind of “head in the sand” approach can derail a career for sure. What makes a great manager? Taking action and getting things executed. So, why not take action on paying attention to your own development and focusing on continuous management skill development? This starts with making periodic assessments of your skills and setting new professional development objectives.  Here, are three things any manager can do to set themselves on a positive course.
Take some time to complete a “self-assessment” of your management skills. Being totally candid, what areas are you falling short in related to getting business unit results? Ask yourself, “if I were a senior manager, looking at my progress and the results of my business unit, what constructive suggestions would be made?
Seek feedback from key members of your team or peers in the organization. The strongest managers seek and accept constructive feedback. Everyone has one or more “management blind-spots.” Things you can not see clearly about your-self, your skills and your performance.  Don’t be blind-sided by your blind-spots.  Have the courage and maturity to ask how you can get better.
Learn to delegate effectively. It is a premier skill for top performers. Most managers are really rather average at delegating work effectively, but most think they are good at it. You can learn more about the management skills for effective delegation and improve upon them quickly.  They are at the heart of superior execution and building high-performance business units.
The benefits of paying attention to your professional skills are worth every effort. Upper management will start to see your focus and dedication. The effectiveness of your team’s ability to execute will increase and will be noticed. If you are seeking a new position, the time and effort you can demonstrate you have invested in your own development will separate you from the competition. Your business unit will feel the positive effects of your skill development and be will be motivated to perform at higher levels. If you were hiring someone or considering a manager for advancement, wouldn’t you take notice of the consistent self-development efforts and increase in skill? Of course, you would and that’s why you must take action to get better.