How to Incorporate Videos into your Marketing Strategy

By Blaze Pullman

April 28, 2016

Right after logging into Facebook, it is almost certain that within a few minutes you will come across some sort of video. Whether it is an online advertisement, someone’s original content, or a live stream, video has seemed to take over social media on all platforms. 8.5 in every 10 online users can be reached through online video marketing, so if you are not starting to use video in your marketing strategy, now is a good time to start. Here are a few ways in which you can start using videos to market yourself and your brand.

 

 

Utilize Live Streaming

 

Live streaming, made popular by Facebook, has recently become the newest form of video sharing on social media. You are able to record video from your laptop/ smart phone in real time and share it with your entire network. Most businesses and brands have not fully utilized this new feature since it is still so new, but getting the feel for this new platform could really help your marketing efforts in the future. You may be able to incorporate this into future branding, for example holding live question and answer sessions, having live press releases, etc.

This form of social video is only available on platforms such as Facebook and Snapchat, but it is certain that other platforms, such as twitter and Instagram ,will be following this trend in the near future. For this reason, it would be beneficial to understand how live video works on social media now, so that you can be ahead of the game in the future!

 

 

Make them Short and Sweet

 

Most users in today’s society look for the quickest way to gather information, so most social media users are not going to watch a three to four minute video any longer. Now, content must be condensed to under one minute in order to catch and keep the viewer’s attention. Most social media platforms only allow for a certain time limit for their videos, so you need to keep in mind the message you want to get across in your short video, and determine how you are going to make those few seconds memorable for the viewer.
A good tip for creating condensed content into your videos is to remember the top three ways you should use video strategy to most effectively market your brand: Educate, Inspire, Reveal. You should focus on one of these things during your video planning in order to get the most out of the few seconds that you have for your video.

 

 

Promote Content / Products

 

Another way you can easily incorporate videos into your marketing strategy is to create videos that promote your brand’s product or service, or promote content that you previously created. One way to effectively do this is share a piece of information with viewers from the content you are promoting, or give a “teaser” for an upcoming article or product that you will be releasing soon. This way, people will become interested in the content that you already have created, and they will get excited about what is coming from you in the future.

 

Relevant Video Ads

 

Creating video ads and promoting your content through these advertisements is another clever way to incorporate video marketing into your strategy. However, you must make your advertisements relevant to the content you are advertising on. It is necessary that you know your target audience before create an ad, because even the greatest of ads will fail to hit their target if they are aimed at the wrong demographic. These video ads could be key to driving traffic to your content, so make them creative and make them relevant.

 

 

Now What?

 

As video marketing becomes more popular and more effective, it is extremely important that you constantly keep tabs on the market for videos, and you keep with the pace of its growth. Video marketing is just getting started; it is estimated that by 2019, video will account for 80% of all global internet traffic. So get your foot in the door with video marketing now because it will be worth it in the long run.

Quick Tips for First Time Instagram Users

April 19, 2016

By Blaze Pullman

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In recent years, social media has taken the world by storm, with over 1 billion users on facebook, and 320 million users on twitter. However, Instagram has been quickly climbing up the ranks, and has passed Twitter with over 400 active users. So, if you are not currently on this social media beast, now is the time to start. There are so many amazing features to utilize on Instagram, but starting on a new social media platform can be intimidating. Here are my 5 quick tips for maximizing your potential on Instagram!

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Be Consistent
If you are looking to be effective on Instagram, consistency is key. Posting 1 to 5 times daily on Instagram is the best practice for reaching all of your followers. If you plan on making an account specifically for your company, think about creating a theme for your account, and stick to that theme every time you post. You also want to ensure that you maintain a consistent tone in your posts that are in unison with your company’s brand tone. Make sure that your imagery expresses a clearly defined personality and voice, and keep that consistent throughout your Instagram feed.

 

 

Utilize Hashtags
Hashtags are actually the most effective when used on Instagram, since they help organize and categorize images and video content, which aids the process of content discovery and optimization. Hashtags are the perfect way to categorize your content in order to ensure that users understand what your brand is all about. You can post up to 30 hashtags on one Instagram post, but 11 hashtags per post is the most effective. One of the cool things about hashtags is that it allows your brand to be recognized under whichever categories you choose, depending on what you hashtag. You can also create your own hashtag to use on your posts in order to get recognition!

 

 

Be Creative and Engaging
Creativity is important on Instagram, especially since the entire social media platform relies on the creativity of your images to engage followers. There are one hundred and one ways in which you can make your content on Instagram stand out, but some of the most effective ways to reach your followers include creating videos or making Instagram contests for your followers. By doing these things, your followers will be more engaged in your content and will want to see more from you.

 

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Instagram Bio
Most users forget about their Instagram bio when creating an account. However, users do not realize how important this space is, especially for a company Instagram account. This is the first thing that consumers see when they go to your page, so you want to make it stand out. If you or your company are trying to sell a product ( or even trying to sell yourself as a successful business person!) You can add links to your website in your bio. The interesting thing about this is that you can change the links whenever you like. So if you decide to create an Instagram contest for your followers, you can drive traffic towards the link in your bio, which would ultimately drive traffic to your entire page.

 

 

Focus on your Followers!
Your followers are going to decide whether or not your Instagram page is successful or not, so why not focus on them! Reply to all comments that they leave on your content, follow your followers, and comment and like their content. People want to feel like they are being recognized and appreciated by brands, so by doing something as simple as liking a photo or tagging a user in an image, this will increase the effectiveness of your Instagram account significantly.

 

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In conclusion…

Instagram is great for customer acquisition, customer service, and lead generation. Since most businesses are now switching over to using Instagram, you should too. It may seem daunting to start an entirely new social media presence, but your followers will thank you. With an entire platform dedicated to social marketing, you and your company can get extremely creative with how you choose to market yourself. Just remember to stay true to your / your company’s motto!

 

The Best Social Media Campaigns of the past Year and Why

By Blaze Pullman

March 23, 2016

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Many companies create new campaigns in the hopes of gaining followers and momentum on social media. Most usually result in an increase in followers, while others fall short, making their campaign a bust. However, there are a few companies that rise above and beyond to create one of the best social media campaigns of an entire year. These companies have used specific marketing tactics to make their brand shine, and these campaigns have resulted in large increased in followers and brand recognition. Below are the top social media campaigns in every platform’s category.

 

FACEBOOK

Whole Foods: Video Campaign


Because 2015 was the year of how-to and DIY dinner video clips, Whole Foods took the initiative to create their own line of short “How to” videos, with about one video being posted to their Facebook page every day. Whole foods realized that consumers have a shorter attention span than ever before, and by creating videos like this, they are able to grab the reader’s attention right off the bat, and keep it throughout the 30-60 second video. They have also successfully incorporated their deals and sales into the videos, making their consumer base rely on the videos to get the inside scoop on what is happening at Whole Foods.

 

INSTAGRAM:

Toms: #withoutshoes

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In May 2015, TOMS donated one pair of shoes for every person who took a picture of their bare feet and shared it on Instagram with the hashtag #withoutshoes. This campaign was so successful for the company because it allowed consumers to see their philanthropic side, and encouraged customers to become involved and integrated into this campaign by posting pictures with the hashtag. Toms gained a lot of popularity from this campaign, which proves that tapping into philanthropy could be very beneficial for your company.

 

SNAPCHAT:

World Wildlife Fund: #LastSelfie

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WWF was one of the first organizations to successfully launch a campaign that ran only on Snapchat. The organization played off the idea that images disappear off Snapchat after 10 seconds to illustrate the disappearance of endangered species around the world, using the #LastSelfie hashtag as the slogan of the campaign. This campaign was targeted specifically towards millennials, and the choice to launch this campaign on Snapchat was smart because the social media platform is mainly used by millennials. WWF was extremely successful in this campaign because they were able to effectively pull the heartstrings of millennials on the platform that is dominated by them.

 

PINTEREST:

Urban Decay: Get Electric

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When Urban Decay launched a new collection called “Electric”, they decided to launch a Pinterest contest at the same time to create talk about it. Urban Decay asked their fans to pin their favorite festival looks for a chance to win tickets to Coachella, a music festival in California. After they had fans post to Pinterest. They were then required to fill out an online form in order to win the contest. This campaign was successful because they invited their followers to become an integral part of the campaign, and Urban Decay saw a spike of 50,000 of Pinterest followers and gained a large increase in email subscribers as well.

 

LINKEDIN:

L’Oreal: Are you IN?

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L’Oreal has recently gained 800,000 followers on LinkedIn, and to celebrate this accomplishment, they created a new campaign titled “Are you IN” in which they encouraged potential employees and other followers on Linkedin to choose a word that describes them and explain why. These words ranged from INspiring to INvolved, and helped LinkedIn users to show off some of their best qualities on this platform. This campaign was especially successful because L’Oreal was able to take advantage of the visual opportunities provided on LinkedIn, and taking a different approach to a LinkedIn campaign proved to be advantageous to the company.

 

In Conclusion…

All of these examples show that in order to create an extremely successful social media campaign, you and your company must stay up to date on the newest social media trends, whether it be short videos, visual images, or interactive campaigning. Social media campaigns can be successful on any platform, but it is up to you and your company to determine which platform will be most successful for your goals.

Memes: Use Them or Lose Them? The Pro’s and Con’s of Using Memes in your Marketing

By Blaze Pullman

March 13, 2016most-fascinating-guy-marketing

Whether you use only use one form of social media, or you are a social media wizard, there is one thing that you will not be able to escape: the beloved meme. The first meme was actually created by Richard Dawkins in 1976 and has since sparked a cultural phenomenon that has recently swept through all social media platforms. From “Bad Luck Brian” to “First World Problems”, people all over the Internet have turned images into iconic memes.

However, as popular as memes have become, they are not for everyone. Some companies have tried using memes and have failed. Others have taken memes to the next level and have successfully incorporated them into their visual marketing strategy. So how do you know if using memes is right for your visual marketing strategy? Below is a list of the pros and cons of using memes in your marketing plan.

 

Pros

 

1.They are attention grabbing

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Any images that are used in social marketing are likely to be attention grabbing. Content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without relevant images. (Source) Since memes are usually an image with big, bold text, they really grab the attention of the reader. They are usually funny and straight to the point, making it easy for the reader to understand and to quickly read. Because of this, memes are a great way to capture your readers’ attention right off the bat.

 

2. They are very easy to make and share

Memes are extremely easy to create. To create a meme, you simply find an image and insert relatable text over the image. There are many websites that will help you create your own meme as well, such as http://memegenerator.net/. Most memes are posted as images, and since all social media platforms support images, memes can easily be shared throughout any platform.

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Because so many memes have already been created, meme-jacking is another easy way of generating quick content. Meme-jacking is basically taking a meme that has already gained popularity and tweaking it to fit your own needs or to represent your own brand. This has been extremely effective in the past few years and meme use has skyrocketed because of this strategy.

3. They make content relatable

Memes are generally focused around topics that are relevant and current, making them the perfect visual marketing tool of choice. Memes can be directed towards specific groups of people, especially young people, which allows people to become directly involved in your visual marketing campaign.

 

Cons

 

Although these positives make memes sound extremely appealing to you for your visual marketing strategy, there are some cons to implementing them. Below are some of the reasons why you might stay away from using memes in your marketing campaigns.

 

1.They are extremely exclusive / not popular amongst all demographics

As mentioned above, memes are a great way to target specific groups of people. However, this can become a problem since some people may have a hard time interpreting your content. For one to understand your meme, they have to be on the “in”, or they have to be up to date with current topics.

Memes tend to be more popular amongst younger generations, which also makes it difficult to target other demographics. Memes rely heavily on humor, and some demographics might not understand the humor that is being used. Since memes are so exclusive, you may not want to use memes in your visual marketing campaign if you are trying to reach a large group of diverse people.

 

2. They require a lot of research

Although memes are very easy to create, the time it takes to research the meme could deter you from including them in your marketing strategy. Some memes have clearly caught fire and have become very popular amongst many demographics, but you must do your research to determine what age groups are most affected by that specific meme and what type of responses have been generated from it. Websites such as http://knowyourmeme.com/ can help you determine if a meme is worth the time and research to include it in your marketing.

 

3. They can become irrelevant quickly/ They wont catch on

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Memes have an extremely short lifespan in comparison to other forms of visual marketing content (Source), so if you are late in the game to add memes to your marketing, you might want to look into the lifespan of the meme you want to use, as it might be coming to its end. This short lifespan makes it very difficult to stay up to date on current topics, and there are many other forms of content with longer lifespans that could be more beneficial to your visual marketing campaigns.

Creating a new meme is also risky, as it may not catch on or it might not be popular amongst your fan/ follower base. Thousands of memes have been created, but only a few have become extremely popular. So when looking to create your own meme for your content, remember that your meme will have to compete for content space amongst the many other memes on social media.

 

So, whats the verdict on memes?

Overall, using memes in your visual marketing strategy is up to you. There are positives and negatives to incorporating memes into your campaign, but it is up to you to weigh these pros and cons and determine if memes will help or hurt your individual social media presence. Just remember to do your research, weigh the pros and cons, and keep up to date on current and relevant topics if you are looking to incorporate memes into your marketing strategy!

5 Reasons why you need to start incorporating Infographics into your visual marketing strategy right now

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The internet has forever changed the way we are able to market ourselves and our company. It has become so easy to relay information to millions of people across the globe, but a problem arises when you are unable to make your information stand out amongst the sea of knowledge that flows through the internet. That is where infographics come in. Infographics are a visual marketing tool that have recently joined the visual marketing game and have risen up to be one of the most effective ways of visual marketing. In the past two years alone, infographic search volumes on Google have increased by over 800%. They have become a vital tool in the relay of information in the most visual way possible. Below are my top 5 reasons why you should start using infographics today.

1. They are great Attention Grabbers
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When you are browsing for information on the internet, sometimes it can be difficult to find what you are looking for. Reading through dozens of articles and papers to find one good statistic is very time consuming, and consumers are most likely not going to read a long article if they are not interested in the topic. Hence, the infographic. Infographics are the first entirely visual way of conveying a lot of information to a consumer at once. Even if the consumer may not be interested in the topic, they are sure to take a glance at an image. If you create an infographic that has bright colors, big pictures, and is laid out in a legible way, there is a much greater chance of consumers understanding your message. Infographics are the best and quickest way to grab someone’s attention, right off the bat.

 

2. They hold your interest

 

The attention-grabbing part is easy. Keeping a reader interested is another story. Human’s attention spans have decreased significantly in since the dawn of the internet (fun fact: A human’s attention span is now shorter than a goldfish’s). It is extremely important to create content that will not only grab a reader’s attention, but also keep it. 40% of people respond better to visual content (Source), so including infographics in your visual marketing strategy would definitely keep your readers’ attention more than other forms of content.

 

3. They are easy to follow

 

One really great thing about infographics is that you are able to pick and choose what information YOU want to relay to consumers. Infographics include your most important pieces of information. By pairing an image with a statistic or a fact, the reader is able to absorb this information better and will be able to move throughout the image until they understand the entire message that you are trying to convey. Infographics are simple, but since they are so easy to follow, it forces the reader to stay interested in the topic and has them looking for more information in the image.

 

4. They make your information Memorable
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When someone looks at a piece of information, it is more likely to stick in their memory if it is paired with an image. That is why infographics have become so successful. When a reader looks at an infographic, they are able to retain the information much longer than if they were just reading plain text. Since you (hopefully) want your information to be remembered in the minds of your readers, this is exactly why you should be including infographics into your visual marketing strategy!

 

5. They’re super easy to share with your network!

 

Infographics are liked and shared on social media 3X more than any other type of content (Source). This means that if you were to start incorporating infographics into your marketing strategy, your content will probably be shared much more frequently than it currently is. Who wouldn’t want their content to be shared more often? Infographics are typically posted as a normal image, which makes it easy for readers to copy and paste one into their own posts, or share it with their friends.

 

If this has not persuaded you to start using infographics in your visual marketing strategy, maybe this will. HERE are some amazing examples of powerful infographics. Maybe they will spark an idea for your own infographic!