Posts tagged with ‘video marketing strategies’

What is the Goal of Digital Marketing?

Recently I was with a group of business owners who were talking about different “marketing tools” they were using for their businesses.  There seemed to be a rabid desire among them to learn about some “Holy Grail” new tactic or technique they could use. But as I started asking them how they would use one particular tool or another, their answers started sounding more like the feature lists these tools use to market themselves.

  • “It lets me add all my contacts and manage discussions in one place.”
  • “I can see results from my email campaign in real time!”
  • “I can post to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, all from the same program.”

Not to belabor the point, but these stated reasons for using a tool aren’t reasons at all. They don’t identify the one crucial element every marketing activity must possess: The Goal.

So what is the goal of any marketing effort, digital or otherwise? It’s simple: To increase revenue and profit.

Any tool, tactic or strategy must be able to demonstrate how it will help you hit this goal, or it’s nothing but a waste of time, money and resources.

Lately, it seems like many respected tools and tactics cannot seem to quantify any bottom line objective.  I guess that’s what makes us different from other creative digital agencies. We genuinely think that if a service can’t justify it’s price, then neither can we.

Are you asking the tough question about your marketing efforts? Or are you wasting precious resources without a strategy that moves you closer to your revenue or profit goal? Either way, you should know and be able to quantify how each new tool or tactic moves you closer or farther away from revenue and profit. To riff on an old axiom, “Experiment, but verify.”

Online Product Videos Set to Explode in 2009

A recent study from emarketer.com says it all: Online product videos sell more products, reduce the number of abandoned shopping carts, lower the rate of returned merchandise and raise sales.

The report goes on to say that online retailers rank implementing web video production at the top of their list this year.

Proof that the audiovideoweb continues to dominate the user experience, and those businesses who are employing video marketing strategies are reaping better-than-market-average rewards.

The Expert Economy

In economic down times, businesses have more and more to do to generate the same levels of revenue, with fewer and fewer resources allocated to those tasks. It’s no secret that marketing activities are usually one of the last areas to be affected, because marketing is (correctly) viewed as the one activity that can still have a bottom-line impact.

But not just any run-of-the-mill marketing activities. After all, marketing dollars have to be stretched too. The holy grail of recession marketing is figuring out how to separate the most expensive, least profitable prospects from the prospects who are eager and willing to do business today, perhaps even at a premium. So how does this happen?

Stand up and be the expert in your market.

It is generally accepted that recognized experts make more than others for the same basic work. It is also generally true that experts stay busier, with fewer recession-related dips in business.  With such compelling reasons to demonstrate your expertise, what steps can you take today to begin doing just that?  Here’s our list:

  1. Start Podcasting. A simple, sustainable, 5-minute podcast production every week with one central point that touches on your area of expertise; that seminal item that you get paid to know or do for your clients. Use the podcast as a teaser to demonstrate the many solid reasons your prospects should be calling you today.
  2. Release regular Video Tutorials that address the most painful problems your prospects face. If done artfully, the unspoken conclusion of these short, pointed video productions is that you are capable of providing the solution they desperately need.
  3. Create a Blog. If you do either or both of the items above, then you will be using a blog to do it, anyway.  A blog post twice a week builds a record of authority, both for human visitors and (perhaps even more importantly) for Google.
  4. Get your best customers to go on the record by testifying to the value of your expertise. A written testimonial, or better yet, a video testimonial can be a compelling badge of expertise.
  5. Begin Publicly Speaking. Anywhere. Anytime. In front of any audience with your market’s focus. This is a long-play strategy, however.  If you signed up today to speak for a group, it might be 5-6 months before the actual engagement.

Expertise is currency. And those that can demonstrate it to their market stand to reap rewards far greater than money alone.

Tips for Getting the Most out of Your Web Video Strategy

There is a lot to consider when planning your web video strategy. SEO, text vs. visual information presentation, the engagement object level, your market demographic, production quality, and more, all bearing on the success or failure of the effort. But don’t let this scare you. All of these factors need to be considered for a successful web page copy strategy too.

In our experience, here are a few tips for getting the most our of your web video strategy.

  • Keep it short and free of too much visual filler. I regularly read blog post comments about the intolerance people feel toward long, meaningless stretches of content that isn’t relevant to them. “Short” is a relative term, by the way. A 30-second video on the intricacies of the impact of government involvement in free market dynamics is too short.  Keeping  the content only as long as it needs to be is a good rule of thumb, whether the medium is text or video. Complex, information-dense subjects can still be kept brief, as highlighted by this video we recently produced for a client:

  • Be considerate. Provide player controls in a Flash player. YouTube has a good player, albeit not the best quality picture in the video space.  At the very minimum, use a Flash player with a clearly identifiable play/pause control, and a scrubbable timeline (to be able to scan through lengthy content). A volume control is less of a concern if you are being considerate with your volume levels during production and editing. Full-screen toggle control is nice but not essential at all.
  • Take time to visually conceive the video before production begins. Is there a clear story or thought progression?  What is the best way to visually convey the ideas being expressed? If the content is candid, captured in the wild, and less than 90 seconds, it should contain one main point and get right to it.
  • Do a DIY or How-To video. How-To Videos are wildly successful, and can quite easily get you and your brand on the radar in your market.  Think about what content you could freely offer your customers.  Think of the video content as bait without a hard hook; free without strings, yet clearly demonstrating expertise and brand value.
  • Include a full transcript of videos that contain audio dialogue or narration. Post it on the page in close proximity to the video, so that Google can see and index it, and visitors can scan it to see if the video is worth their time. If the video has no spoken word component, compose a detailed paragraph or two that hightlights the value of the content a viewer could expect to see if they click “play”.
  • Know your customer profile. Are they entertainment seekers? Busy people with little patience for fluff or filler? Engaged community members? Info seekers on a mission? Answering this question will greatly inform your choice of video style and length.
  • Get the production right. More and more, web video is being seen as a primary informational source, and in some cases, is preferable to text only.  Production values count more these days, whereas just two years ago, they didn’t.  Just don’t confuse quality production with over-slick, fluff content that is meaningless to a viewer.  30 second animated logo sequences rarely have a determinative impact on customers.

Web video productions, used well and in conjunction with other informational mediums, can be a great and profitable way to relate relevant and valuable information to customers and prospective clients.

9 Low Cost Opportunities in 2009

Happy New Year! Some of you no doubt would like to put last year far behind, but if there was one word to sum up what this new year holds for all of us, in my opinion, it would be: OPPORTUNITY.

As a small business person, opportunity has always been found in the places where there is real need. In our case, those needs have centered on companies who are branding and creating marketing messages in various digital forms. We are so proud to have worked with such a great client roster during the past year, and hopefully met some pressing needs in web design, print design motion graphics design and video production. Thank you all for making last year such a fun one for us!

As a feeble thank you, here are 9 Low Cost Opportunities for Your Business in 2009.

  1. Determine the stress points of your customers, and develop legitimate marketing that positions your product or service as the immediate relief they seek. Acute economic stress can become a great motivator to solve a nagging problem.  Do you know what your product or service addresses in today’s buying climate?
  2. Down time during the first quarter? There is no better time to revisit your web site strategy and make sure it is really working for you. Some of our clients saw exponential growth occur in their business, simply by optimizing a few pages of text for search engines, or adding intelligent, descriptive video!
  3. Take advantage of the holes in your market left by competitors who couldn’t weather the recession. Many competitors are thankful when a business offers to step up and take over a client roster, to support their orphans instead of leaving them in a lurch.
  4. Position yourself as an expert in your market. Write articles. Take speaking engagements. BLOG! Much of the “getting to know and trust you” phase of new client development can be taken care of in this way.
  5. Twitter. Share valuable links to solid, relevant information aimed at people in your marketplace.
  6. Organize a small social event for people  in your client list who need to know each other.  Ask them to invite some of their best customers as well.
  7. Revamp your business card. It’s an inexpensive move that can have a transformative effect on your first impressions.
  8. Start a podcast to cover industry news, or tips and tricks, Q & A, how-to.  Offer the audio in a player on your site as well as a downloadable, and get your feed listed in a dozen or more podcast directories where people often look for information related to your area of expertise.
  9. Has the economic news spooked your customers and made them overly price sensitive?  Find ways to redefine your value in terms that make sense to them in this light.  An example: KFC started a video commercial campaign that more or less dared people to try to cook a 7 piece dinner with two sides for less than could be had in their stores.  No one was paying attention to the fact that it used to be an 8 peice deal for the same price, because the focus became the value of the deal they were offering, compared to the time and expense of making it yourself.

Well, from the team at Harkins Creative, we sincerely wish you a prosperous New Year full of ripe opportunities! Let us know how we can help.

Effective Web Video Strategies

In this short video, Carter Harkins talks about what works in an online video strategy. Tutorial videos can be an excellent way to get more in-depth about your products and services, and connect with visitors who are really hungry for more information, not just “fluff”.