You Can (and Should) Integrate Video Into Your Marketing Campaign

video marketing

Add video to your content marketing strategy

As we move into the second half of 2015, it’s no great secret that well-produced video content is among the most powerful tools for reaching your audience online. In fact, a recent survey by the video hosting company Vidyard found that 70 percent of marketers reported better performance in converting leads with video than with other types of content. Many organizations, however, still fail to effectively implement video into their marketing efforts — in fact, less than 10 percent of marketers are actually making use of video analytics to boost lead qualifications and customer insights.

Don’t be discouraged by thinking that video is too expensive and time-consuming; it doesn’t have to be. The benefits outweigh the costs when it comes to video and your overall marketing efforts. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Say More with Less

When compared with the written word, video offers a more multifaceted approach to communicating ideas and evoking emotion. Live captured video can show the expression on someone’s face and the subtly of their body language, and motion graphics can be used to highlight key details. Music and sound effects can impact the viewer’s mood and encourage them to become more receptive to the ideas presented visually. This is why studies have found that search engine results that feature a video are much more likely to be clicked on than pages without video. By simply identifying the video player on the page, viewers may become more receptive to the content they are about to digest because they recognize that it is being presented in a carefully-planned, dynamic, and engaging way.

Connect With Your Audience

One of the best ways to foster a relationship with current and potential clients is to create and distribute video content that directly addresses their needs.

One company that uses video effectively to reach their audience is Apple Rubber. Take a look at this Apple Rubber post about their use of video to showcase products and discuss company initiatives. They also successfully infuse their videos with entertainment, which encourages community building and offers more opportunities for viewer engagement.

Before you start producing your own videos, find a way to define your core audience and identify ways to connect with them. Work to create relatable, relevant content that will spark a conversation around your message and encourage a community to congregate around your brand.

Fit in Your Budget

Skip costly camera equipment and produce good-quality video within even the tightest budget by using a smartphone. Video capabilities on today’s devices can deliver a professional-looking video with a steady hand and a little planning.

Visit sites that provide a wide range of advice on piecing together a DIY video production kit without spending more than a couple hundred dollars, as well as tips and tricks for producing a video.

Although you can get higher-quality, professionally-produced videos by partnering with a professional media firm, DIY videos are the perfect way to give video a try and become acclimated to incorporating video into your overall marketing strategy.

Have you had success using video in your marketing? Share with me in the comments.

How to Remove Spam Referral Sites from WordPress.Com Reports

If you’re using WordPress.com as your blogging engine you’ve probably noticed an increase in spam referral sites in your reports over the last few weeks and months. Sites such as buttons-for-your-websites and best-seo-offer are showing up as referrals on most new WordPress sites and are pushing down legitimate referral traffic, skewing your numbers and making a mess of your analytic reports.

If you’re using WordPress.com there’s an easy way to remove these. Here’s how to remove spam referral sites from your reports.

1. Visit your WordPress.com Dashboard and click on View All in stats.

Wordpress stats

2. Click on Summaries under Referrers

Wordpress referrers

3. Hover over the spam referrer site. You’ll see the option for spam? display next to the site.

Removing Spam referrer sites in WordPress

Click the option for “Spam?” and WordPress.com will automatically filter out those referral traffic visits from your reports.

This is just another way WordPress.com makes it easy to start and maintain a blog without needing a lot of technical knowledge. If you have other WordPress.com shortcuts like this let me know in the comments!

Social Media Contests: Ideas, Prizes and Customer Engagement

Social media contests can drive customer engagement

Social media contests can drive customer engagement

According to social media scheduling tool Buffer, 35 percent of fans like a company’s page on Facebook so they can participate in a contest. Contests drive customer engagement, increase your social media influence and collect valuable feedback from your target market. Even businesses with small budgets can take cues from powerhouse brands on how to run a powerful social media contest. Take a look at what big brands are doing to engage fans and redefine themselves as leaders in their industries.

Dove

Dove brands itself as a company committed to their customers’ personal beauty potential. This translates to ads and social campaigns that promote self-esteem and the use of models that look like everyday women. The company launched a “Real Beauty Should Be Shared” Facebook contest, enticing fans to share a photo and list two things that made their friends beautiful in that picture. The winners got to be the next face of Dove. Their savvy, low-cost prize made a big impact and can be duplicated by businesses small and large. Look to see what your business can offer winners, whether it’s a free service or giving them a job as a product ambassador.

SportsCenter

SportsCenter asked its millions of Facebook fans to rank their favorite “This is SportsCenter” ads. Jason Sudeikis from Saturday Night Live appeared in numerous promos to help spread awareness for the campaign. Fan votes then determined the order of the top 10 commercials that aired on an ESPN special. While you may not have the same budget to give away thousands of Burger King gift cards like SportsCenter did, you can use unique gift cards and other products to entice involvement.

Eggo

Waffles aren’t exactly known for being innovative or especially creative, but Eggo managed to infuse new life into the industry by teaming up with International Waffle Day to launch an “Eggo Your Way Contest.” Fans submitted their own waffle-based recipes to win cash prizes of up to $10,000 or to be one of the eight winners receiving a year’s supply of Eggos. The contest went viral and resulted in more entries than the brand anticipated. Businesses can replicate the success that Eggo received by offering cash prizes and products, but more importantly they can give their fans a unique way to win.

Kryptoz Media & BitPages

Facebook contests don’t have to be complicated or involve much fan interaction. For example, Kryptoz Media and BitPages teamed up to give away a Bitcoin car. Users were only required to like the company’s Facebook page, sign up at BitPages.co and refer the contest to their friends. They also included an email sign-up form to capture leads. This type of contest is easy for companies looking to break into the world of Facebook promotions while simultaneously generating leads. It also simplifies the process for fans to enter. You may not have a car to give away, but you can offer free products, a seminar or helpful services for your new customer base.

Harlan Coben

Mystery and thriller novelist Harlan Coben used a personality test on Facebook to give away his books as prizes. The test gave the author insight into his fans and what they wanted. Users were also required to sign up for a newsletter and explained why subscribers would find it useful. This type of Facebook campaign can offer insights about what customers want from your products and services and also give you a way to reach out to them in the future.

R+L Carriers

Every December during the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl my social team runs a game long contest, giving away bowl gear like t-shirts, footballs and even gift cards to college libraries. It’s a great way to expose the brand to a new audience and ramp up engagement around the game while gathering user-generated content for next year’s promotions.

Before running a contest be sure to check with your legal department or research online the rules for running a sweepstakes in your region. You’ll need to draft rules of entry and explain the value of the prizes, among other guidelines, and post them where they accessible to anyone entering the contest, preferably on your website.

Have you had success with social media contests? Let me know in the comments, or tweet me @suereynolds. I’d love to hear from you!

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