How can video save time in my business?

Video is a very powerful tool for business and I am talking beyond the normal marketing value of video here. So I am just going to briefly touch on that and then move on. Video is a huge time saver for marketing in a variety of ways from just being so effective at reaching people that less time has to be spent on marketing overall to using video to educate your clients so you do not have to constantly say the same thing over and over again (if only they would listen the first time).

But where the true time saving potential of video comes in to play for a business is when you use video internally. You need to review safety use a video. You need to hype up your sales team use video. You need to make sure everyone stays on brand and knows your corporate core values, use video. After you take the time to create an effective video it can keep you from having to repeat the same message over and over again for years, freeing you to do what you do best, running your business.

Another way video can save businesses time is via live event recording. Let’s say you have a corporate retreat coming up. Now we all know how much fun it is to travel around the Hampton Roads area (not fun at all for you out of towers). Instead of finding a place large enough for all of your staff and waiting on everyone to get there, film a live event with your local staff to that location. You can then either stream the video to your other locations over the internet and or have someone record the event for playback later. Now that one guy who is always “sick” for these events has no excuse he can watch everything when he is feeling “better” later.

I hinted at it before but I think one of the best ways that video can save businesses time is through product demos, or service demos. These videos are ones that you share with your clients so that they can see your product or service in action. These can be fun time savers and give your business a unique way to engage and retain clients over time.

There are a host of other ways that video can save your business time and we all know time is money so do you and your business a favor by utilizing video today to share repetitive messages across your business. To capture corporate events, and to motivate not only your employees but your customers also.

Video Marketing – Virginia Beach

When it comes to marketing your business the first thing you have to do is find your focus. If you don’t know who you are targeting, what you are selling, or what your message will be… well then why are you making a video?

I want to get my name out there. I want people to know my brand. The more they see me the more they will come and buy. While all of that is true to a degree if all your marketing is focused on brand awareness I can guarantee you are not getting the return that your business deserves.

Let me take you through a story to illustrate my point. Recently my wife and I were looking to buy a new car. Now we knew about Ford, and Honda, and Toyota, and a whole host of other brands. But that is not what made us buy the car that we wound up with. Honestly if we were just dealing with brand and brand awareness driving our car purchase we would have stopped at the first place that had the word car and just bought whatever was there. But that is not what we did.

Rather we spent time researching all the different brands. The first thing we did was go through the marketing material on the different types of cars offered by each brand. Their products so to speak. We chose the mid sized SUV for Ford, Honda, and Toyota. What finally sold us was the great reviews and the marketing for Toyota about how great their product was and the features and benefits of ownership. There were also videos, commercials, YouTube videos, etc that helped sell us the idea of Toyota more than the other brands. That is what good marketing does, it educates your customers so they make a purchase decision with your business and not someone else. Marketing is not about just getting your name out there. It is about sharing your story and developing a trust with your audience so that they feel like your product is going to meet their needs whether those be spoke or otherwise. But that is a topic for another day.

How to launch a marketing campaign.

When it comes to launching a marketing campaign for your business there are quite a few pieces that need to be in place before you spend any money. This guide is by no means an exhaustive list of what you need but rather a starting point to build the unique assets your campaign will need.

Let us start with visuals. Pictures and graphics are the most important aspect of any marketing campaign. Your logo appearing everywhere helps to reinforce your brand. Images are better at sharing ideas than text alone. You can convey more meaning with images, so they should be the base of any marketing campaign. Though when it comes to images, not just any old image will do. Remember we are talking about a marketing campaign for your business! You must put your best foot forward. Images should be of very high quality. They should be composed with good lighting, focus, and visual balance. They should also have little to no text in them. Facebook prefers images without text, and if you try to put an image with too much text in your ad, they will block it. Images should also be personal to your business. Stock photos work in a pinch if you do not have anything else, but you should really invest in good images for your campaign, and most if not all should be original images specifically for your business.  Stock photos tend to show up in multiple places around the internet.  Don’t be a copy-cat!

You should also look into video. Just as images are more powerful at conveying messages than text, videos are more powerful than static images. Again though, this is a marketing campaign for your business. You should really be putting your best foot forward. Don’t ask your nephew to come over and make the video for you, hire a professional. Like investing in a well-made pair of shoes or a reliable car, a good quality video will last you a lot longer than one marketing campaign.  A powerful video can also become the centerpiece of a strong marketing campaign and really gain traction in front of your audience.

To go along with all of this graphical content you will also need good text copy. Text reinforces the messaging of an image or video. Good text copy can strike the right tone for your marketing campaign. But text copy depends on where your campaign is going to be placed. For those who have not read our blog on sales funnels I suggest you take the time to do so.

There are basically three stages to most sales funnels: starting at the bottom, the landing page that actually sells what it is you have to offer. The text here should be full of action verbs, and information to reassure your client they are making the right decision in purchasing from you.  Copy here needs to be problem/solution oriented.  Identify the client’s pain points and illustrate how your product/service solves their problem.  You should have some good pictures on this page and the polish should be top notch.

The step above this purchase page is your landing page, website, social media page/s. The text copy here is all about expanding the information about your product or service. You should talk up the benefits and features of your product. You should have testimonials. Along with this additional information you should have images or videos that showcase your product or service and how it will make a difference in the lives of your clients. The last top-most level of your sales funnel are your ads. These are the things that get everyone’s attention. The text here should cause people to stop and click through to one of your middle pages of the campaign. Depending on where you advertise, you have either great restrictions on what you can say in terms of length (Twitter), or you have restrictions on images (they are required on Instagram). So it is in this top level that you are going to need the most diversity when it comes to images, videos, and text. You really need to take the time and create a separate ad for each platform you want to advertise on. So how and where should you launch a campaign? That is what we are going to discuss next.

When determining how and where you should launch your campaign there are two rather important questions you need to answer first: what are the results you are looking for, and where are you headed?

Are you looking to market to a hip young audience that is all about image and short attention spans? Then you need to look at snap chat, Instagram, and twitter and stay away from LinkedIn. Are you going for moms and young women?  Then investigate Pinterest.  Are you going after a professional clientele? Then LinkedIn is you best bet.  Are you just going after the masses, getting the word out about your business? Then you need to advertise where the masses are and that is still YouTube and FaceBook.

What are the results you are looking for? Hopefully by now you have read our blog post about finding your ideal client. You need to first identify where your ideal client is on the internet so you know which platforms to advertise on. When going for the masses remember the top three websites are Google, Youtube, and Facebook. Beyond that there are plenty of guides out there that show which demographic is on which social media platform. We always recommend to our clients that they are on at least one of the big three because that will help bring new people to your brand. After that you are looking for sites that have a high concentration of your ideal client base.

You also need to answer the question of where you want to head with your campaign. Of course the goal of every campaign is going to be brand awareness and purchase decision. But what I am talking about is writing those goals down. How do you know a marketing plan is being successful? You need to know how much you want your social media numbers to change so you know if your campaign is working or needs tweaking. So write down how much you want your engagement to grow, write down you follower goals, write down your views per month goals. You need those in place before you start so you can effectively maneuver your campaign from day one to make sure you reach those goals. Also I have found if you wait to write those goals down after you start the campaign, you never do and then you have no way of knowing if you are getting the results you need.

Now that you have these questions answered you can finally launch your campaign. You need to make sure the purchase page/link/graphic/button/etc is in place first. Then you need to make sure all your landing pages are done. Lastly you create your ads and link them to your funnel. Finally when everything is in place and looks good you can start putting money into your ads. Over the run of the ads keep an eye on your numbers, and if an ad on a particular platform is outperforming your others, adjust your plan. If you did multiple different ads with different images and text on the same platform, and one of those is outperforming the others take money away from the underperforming ads and put it in the one that is doing what you want. Just because an ad is out there does not mean you cannot tweak. Just be sure you give things a chance before you go changing things.  As Billy Joel says, “Don’t go changing, to try and please me…”

And as always if you have any questions about this or other social media marketing issues give us a shout-out at .

How to find your ideal client.

Your business is trucking along gaining new customers and turning a profit, but you know it could do better. You have growth but you have not yet come anywhere near reaching the saturation point of your market. To some, what is in this article may seem to be simple logic, but I have seen business after business make mistakes in this area over and over and over again. What they don’t realize is every time they get it wrong it costs them money, and these are simple mistakes that – if avoided – can have profound savings for your business.

Mistake 1 – Marketing according to the dream instead of reality.
Lets say I sell a business-to-business application that helps with accounting. Sure I have dreams and aspirations of every business in the nation using this application. But right now my only clients are in my local market. In fact my clients appreciate my personal touch with the application and growth is good but there are still plenty of local businesses I haven’t reached.

We’ve seen business after business in very similar situations take the easy way out and cast a large advertising net, either nationally or regionally. The mistake they’re making is in marketing their dream not their reality. For the sake of argument lets say 90% of this business’s customers are local to their home city. Let’s also assume they are no where near market saturation locally, assumptions that are true for many small businesses. Instead of wasting marketing dollars on clients that only make up 10% of your client base it makes more sense for this business to focus on reaching businesses within their own city. So don’t do national campaigns.

Even if your business has reached a good market share locally and IS ready to start expanding into new markets, HAVE A PLAN! You will not win over the entire nation all at once, just look at politics to see the truth of that statement. Instead have a plan to focus on the next city down the highway from you, and then the next, and the next after that. Build strategically. If you concentrate your marketing on a defined area and work hard on building into that area, your efforts are focused. Trust me, being focused and working on just one city at a time will pay off. When you have finally grown to have an internal marketing team doing this for you, you will have the funds to finally reach your dream of national importance. But if you start with a wide national focus you will never have enough money to continue your marketing campaigns over such a large area. You do not have the client base to support that yet.

Mistake 2 – No defined target client group.
Let’s say the product you are selling resonates with young families who own their home. It does not matter what the product is but you have taken a serious look at your current customers and have realized that the vast majority (any demographic marker that is shared by over 50% of your clients) are in their 30’s and 40’s, have kids, and own their home. This is your ideal client group. So what if your dream is for every person in the world to have one of your widgets in their home, look at mistake 1. Your ideal client fits into the above category so run with that! Own that category and target all your marketing efforts to this group. I have seen time and time again businesses waste money by targeting everyone in their city, even when parents are the only people interested in buying their product! Stop wasting money and own your target client group. We are all in the business of making money, and they are the ones currently paying for your product.

How do you define your target client group? Look at your current customers.  What are common characteristics that define a large number of them? Are they male, female, does it matter? What is the age range? What is the most common age? Are they married or single or other? Do they have kids, and of what age? What are their hobbies? What are their passions? What else do they normally buy? What kind of business are they in? If they are a business what do they sell? How many employees do they have? What is their industry? What other services are they looking for? The clearer the picture of who makes up your ideal client group, the easier your marketing will be.

Mistake 3 – Not having a plan.
Some of you may laugh but trust me I have seen it time and again, businesses without a clear marketing plan. I get it, as small business owners you have to wear a lot of hats, and marketing takes up a lot of time. But believe me when I say if you pay for marketing without having a plan you are wasting your money. You need to plan out how your sales funnel is going to work. You need to plan out your landing pages, emails, assets, GRAPHICS, text, and more. Without a complete marketing package you are going to wind up wasting your time, or worse, you are going to wind up driving people away from your business because your marketing efforts do not look coordinated or professional. You need to have a plan and you need to stick to it. I would argue that it’s better to wait a few more weeks to launch your marketing campaign WITH a plan in place than to dive into the deep end and not even know where the side of the pool is.

As a part of any good plan you need to not only create the journey that a client will go on from the top to the bottom of your sales funnel, you also need to create the look and feel of the marketing campaign. I have seen businesses that had good sales funnels but their assets, their graphics and copy, looked like it came from 3 different sources for five different outcomes. Do not be that person. Sit down and make sure that you’ve thought through your marketing plan and the assets you will need before you get started. And make sure you have those assets ready to go. One last thing about assets, is that one picture does not fit all. There are slightly different aspect ratios and resolutions for each different social media platform and one picture will not work across them all. So not only do you need the assets in place, you have to have a plan for each asset and which platform it will be used upon.

If you have any questions or need help with any of these areas for your business do not hesitate to contact me. This is what I like to do. I like to help businesses market themselves more effectively. Whether you need help defining the reality of your business, or developing the image of your target client group, or you desperately need a plan; let me know. Hang in there and know that every business owner goes through this process.

You have to learn before you can win

Effectively promoting your business on social media takes work. It can be a rewarding experience for your business and you when done effectively. Getting the most out of social media takes more than a guessing game and more than just randomly trying different things. It takes research, specifically into your business. No matter what business you are in you probably spent some time learning how to do whatever it is your business does right? It takes time, perseverance, and practice to develop any crafting skills that you may use in your business. It takes research, education, and practice to develop the skills you need to offer the service/s that you do.

I want to point out that social media requires the same level of time, perseverance, research, education, and practice. Not only do you have to learn about effective uses of social media, you also have to learn about your business. And that is what I want to talk to you about today. Learning about your business. Sure when you design an ad to place on social media it is great to click that everyone 18-65 is a potential customer across the entire United States. And while that may be true I am going to be brutally honest with you, that is not the demographics of your ideal customer. Although 100% of your customers fall into this category more than likely. 90% of your ideal clients have a much more detailed demographic that you can target through the power of social media. Looking at this another way why would you waste your hard earned advertising money on a wide group of people that you may get a 1 – 2% return on when you can target a more specific group of people and get a 30% or higher return on? (Yes 30% return or higher is, I would argue, possible but you have to REALLY understand your target audience!)

I want to challenge you to be honest with yourself and your business. Who is your customer most likely to be? Take a look at your current customers and list everything they have in common. For example, 18 – 45 split pretty well between male and female, coffee lovers who like a low key atmosphere, black and white photography, and appreciate live music. They also happen to overwhelmingly be middle class affluent, most of the older customers own homes while the younger are more likely to rent. Most live within 10 miles of your business.

So what does all of this tell us? In my professional opinion that we should run two ads. One set up to appeal to a younger crowd 18-30ish with a cool hip picture of coffee and live music. We should target middle-class renters. I think we should also run an older ad 30ish to 45 and set that up to run for middle-class homeowners. Both ads should not extend for more than 12 miles from the store. Now that is for running ads. If you are also posting on social media I would post frequently your live events. I would post articles about photography, music, and the love of coffee. I would post community events both the older and younger demographic would be interested. I would encourage and develop the sense of community that surrounds your coffee shop. You will get a much larger response rate by targeting your ads to this demographic and you will not be wasting money on people who just will never come in your coffee shop (silly tea drinkers).

I would encourage anyone who is developing their businesses online social media presence to really do the research and become an expert in your business. Who stops by, who is most likely to buy, who are your current customers. All of this information will help you be more effective on social media. As always I am happy to help your business in any way I can send me an email with your questions. If you are interested in know more about how AR Media Productions can support your social media management efforts stop by our website to learn more.