Tag : Online Marketing

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filming, video marketing

The Benefits of Video Marketing for Small Businesses: Part 2

We’ve compiled a list of 5 video marketing strategies any small business can leverage to increase their exposure and bottom line.

EXPLAINER VIDEO CONTENT

Educational and “How To” videos allow you, as a product or service provider, to demonstrate your knowledge by showing consumers how your product will solve their problem, and how to use it. This offers a whole new layer of value when consumers consider investing in your business. The second-best thing to an in-person tutorial is a video demonstration. Think about how often people search YouTube for instructions on how to use a product or program. Showcasing your expertise in the form of video will keep customers coming back for more and will encourage them to commit to your product, knowing that they will have access to the material they need to use it.

BEHIND THE SCENES

Who doesn’t love a little behind the scenes action? Whether you give a sneak peek into your work culture or you’re demonstrating the processes behind creating the products that your consumers have grown to know and love… there is no denying that people appreciate getting the inside scoop.

A huge part of video marketing is the ability to humanize your brand. Who is behind the products or services? How can consumers relate to the company? No matter what size your business is, relatability is a huge factor in any stage of the buying cycle, but particularly for those that are smaller. The smaller your company is, the more competitive the market will be.

The more competition you face, the more important it is for you to establish who you are and why you’re their best choice.

CUSTOMER TESTIMONIALS

The proof is in the pudding! Not all video content has to come directly from the brand. Your customers should be your biggest advocates. With the influx of product reviews online, consumers inherently search for real feedback before making a purchase. Rather than feeding insight through the mouths of your company representatives, why not hand them what they are looking for?

Invite your consumers to create videos about their experience with your company. With the right incentive in place, young consumers will be more than willing to submit user-generated reviews on your behalf that you can later regurgitate on your own channels. Video testimonials are far more effective and authentic than written.

BROADCAST LIVE EVENTS

Streaming live events or conversations through social media platforms such as Instagram’s IGTV and Facebook Live is a fun way to increase visibility and promote conversation. It may even trigger a little FOMO, which isn’t a bad thing if your goal is to increase attendance at future functions.

Live broadcasts are becoming a critical driving factor in establishing digital brand awareness. Businesses are given a unique (and free!) advantage by offering a content experience to a deeply captive audience. One billion people use Instagram each month; 95% of U.S. Instagrammers use YouTube, and 91% use Facebook. This creates endless opportunities to cross-promote and tease videos across platforms.

PRODUCTS IN ACTION

What better way to persuade potential buyers than by showing them your products in use? Consumers appreciate creativity, especially in the form of inspiration and hacks. While describing why and how one might benefit from your business is effective, showing the various ways a product can be used, worn, or incorporated into their daily lives will get your customers saying, “hmm, why didn’t I think of that?”

If you’ve yet to incorporate video into your marketing strategy, the time is now! Always be sure to include a clear call-to-action to increase your leads and conversions.

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Filming, video marketing

The Benefits of Video Marketing for Small Businesses

Video marketing is one of the most effective ways to engage your audience. It’s one thing to tell consumers how you can serve them; it’s another to show them. The 2019 digital marketing landscape shows that 87% of businesses are using video as a promotional tool, and 83% of marketers say that video gives them a good ROI. With numbers like those, there is no denying that this visual marketing strategy is on the rise.

If your business has considered using video to market your products or services but has not yet made a move, you may be missing out on an enormous growth opportunity, both in staying relevant and in increasing sales.

Here are five compelling reasons you should incorporate video into your marketing strategy:

1. Consumers WANT Video. It’s simple: if you want to stand out, you need to give the people what they want. These days, consumers prefer video over written content. In fact, 87% of consumers want to see more videos from brands in 2019. Videos are easy to consume, especially in an age when 81% of Americans own smartphones, and 75% of all video plays are on mobile devices. Stay current and aware of where the traffic is, and your viewership will flourish.

2. Boosted Online Presence. YouTube, the second largest search engine in the world, has 2 billion monthly users who watch 250 million hours of videos on their TVs daily. This is a 39% increase in under a year. Videos are favored by Google and thus increase search engine rankings and visibility. And Google owns YouTube, so videos are a significant factor in where you land in the SERPs. The longer someone views your content, the more search engines will trust that your website is trustworthy and valuable.

3. Brand Awareness and Understanding. Videos can attract potential buyers that you weren’t reaching before and can help them understand what your products and services are all about. Visual representations allow consumers to recognize your business and keep you top-of-mind when someone is in the market for what you have to offer. This is especially useful when you are launching a new service or product, or when your product requires instructions for use.

4. Increased Conversions and Sales. Establishing brand awareness and understanding can lead directly to an increase in your conversion rate and sales. The more people know about your products and services, and the more they understand how they can benefit from them, the better your odds are of witnessing an influx of customers. More sales equal a better overall return on investment.

5. Illustrates Personality and Authenticity. Video gives you something that written content does not: the chance to put a face to the name. The more your customers recognize and trust you, the more likely they will be to become long-term buyers. Your audience will appreciate the opportunity to get to know your business on a more personal level, which, in turn, will establish a connection to your brand.

Ready to get started with video marketing? Check out our Benefits of Video Marketing Blog: Part 2 post for five strategies you can implement today!

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Google

6 Reasons Why Your Business Needs Google My Business

When Google announced the planned shut-down of Google+ last year, few in the social media landscape were surprised. With pesky bug problems and low usage by both individuals and organizations, the platform simply wasn’t sustainable.

But such is not the case for its commerce-friendly cousin, Google My Business. In fact, aside from a company’s own website, its Google My Business profile (may be the most valuable piece of online real estate to manage.

If your business does not have a Google My Business account, or if you only lightly use one, here are six reasons why you should up your game:

  1. GET FOUND. If someone is searching for your company online, what’s the first thing they do? Google it, right? With an active Google My Business account, your “Business Profile” (as Google calls it) appears to the right of the search results on a desktop browser window, or at the very top of a mobile screen, providing a quick link to your website and a whole lot more (read on).  BONUS: Your Business Profile also helps you get found on the map, automatically identifying your location (or locations) on Google Maps, and providing directions with a click of the mouse.
  2. ENSURE ACCURACY. Your Business Profile puts you in control of what users see in the search results. In addition to your web address and location, you can specify phone numbers, operating hours, the services you offer (organized by sections, descriptions and prices), and more.  BONUS: This takes pressure off of your SEO and tagging efforts, and ultimately improves your rating on the search engine.
  3. SHARE CONTENT. Similar to other social media platforms, Google My Business allows you to share photos, videos and posts, showing what makes your business unique and increasing the appeal for viewers to follow your business.  BONUS: Understanding the business value of other platforms, Google My Business allows links to your Facebook, Twitter, LiinkedIn and other profiles.
  4. ATTRACT AND ENGAGE CUSTOMERS. In addition to shared content, your Business Profile offers places for customers to book services, write reviews, ask questions (which you can answer for all viewers to see), and send direct messages. Each chance to directly engage customers increases their trust and your growth potential.  BONUS: Google My Business also allows you to share special offers with your followers. Talk about incentive!
  5. GET INSIGHTS. The Google My Business dashboard includes some of the best features of Google Analytics, including website and search performance, how viewers search for your business (by query phrases as well as through direct, discovery or branded methods), and what actions they take upon finding you (website visits, direction requests or phone calls).  BONUS: Google My Business also shows what other businesses similar to yours are posting, helping you to keep an eye on best practices and the competition.
  6. IT’S FREE! There is no cost to establishing a Business Profile, which you can access both on a desktop browser and the Google My Business app. Google’s only requirement is that your business must have some level of in-person interaction with customers, and not be 100% online.

Here at Social Thrive, we take great care and pride in managing Business Profiles for our clients, knowing how important it is to their success. (To see a few examples, search for Arsenal Yards, The Royal Belmont, Back Deck, or Thomas Interior Painting). We’re also happy to provide free audits and recommendations for businesses who have yet to make the most of the opportunity.

But if you want to get started on your own right away, our friends over at Hubspot offer a great step-by-step guide for creating a Google My Business listing.

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On target marketing message

Is Your Online Marketing Message On-Target?

You have a website.

You have several social media channels you post on.

You have an email list that you send out regular communications to.

But are you reaching the people your business needs to talk to in a way that they connect with?

Who is your target audience?

A well-defined target customer is essential in any marketing activities so make sure you have the follow documented;

  • Demographic details – age, gender, geographic location, work or role, economic traits, education level – focus on the factors that are going to help you hone in on your prospective customer
  • What problems are they facing that you can help solve? Your business offers solutions to your customer issues so having solid demographic information paired with what your customer is challenged with will help you hone your messaging to reach your potential audience.

After you have this defined, communicate it to your entire team and continue to confirm it through customer surveys.

How does your customer consume information?

Knowing the on-line behaviors of your target audience is a part of understanding your ideal customer and will impact where you focus your marketing efforts. You should be using Google Analytics and other means to track how customers heard about you to refine your marketing plan going forward.

Social Media

Based on your customer demographics, you will want to invest in specific social media channels vs. ALL of them. Here are a few things to think about:

Email Marketing

Sending emails to current and prospective customers is still an important part of your overall marketing strategy – even if it results in less action than 10 years ago when our Inboxes were less cluttered. Research shows that people still read emails from companies if it is relevant and interesting, so while it may not lead to direct action when you send the email out, it keeps your brand “top of mind” so that people know who to reach out to when you become relevant.

Is your messaging consistent?

Your company has all kinds of digital and printed assets – but do they look like they all come from the same company?

Ensure that your banding remains consistent across platforms (website, social media channels or brochures and business cards) with appropriate logos, naming conventions with cross-links to all of your other platforms. By referencing all of the different ways customers can interact with you, they are given a choice as to how they want to consume information about your products or services.

Marketing messaging is an important part of Social Thrive’s customer strategy and we would love to talk to you about yours!

Introducing…

Jay Joseph, Google SpecialistJay Joseph, the Newest Addition to the Team!

Jay joined the Social Drive team in mid-2014 (our apologies for the delay on this, Jay!) and has proved himself to not only be a valuable team member but also an awesome person to work with. Jay’s specialties lie in:

  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
    • Which includes Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Email Marketing
  • Paid Search
  • Online Reputation Management
    • Particularly, Review Management
  • Conversion Optimization
  • Web Design

These are his areas of expertise, and trust us; he seriously knows what he’s doing. But to really expound on what truly differentiates Jay from the somewhat crowded world of online marketers, we thought we’d create our very own “bulleted list” of why Jay rocks. So here goes…

  • Excellent Communicator – This is harder to come by than some might think. Not only is he extremely timely and professional in all internal/external communications but he’s clear and straightforward. This is something the team appreciates, and more importantly, our clients appreciate.
  • Goes Above and Beyond – We give our clients the best and sometimes that means we give them more than required (we’re people pleasers!), so it’s important that all team members are willing to do that. Jay is always thinking of what the next best move is and how we can make it a better, smoother more effective experience for the client and their audience.
  • FUN – Jay is a total joy to work with (insert *aww*). He’s quirky, sarcastic, witty and is a total dork who fits right in!

We could go on and on about Jay but instead we’ll leave you with one of his favorite quotes…

“If you want to succeed you should strike out on new paths, rather than travel the worn paths of accepted success.”

— John D. Rockefeller

To learn more about Jay go here.