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Video Mistakes You Might Be Making

It’s no secret that videos are trendier than ever. From hilarious cat videos, to live news on your smart phone, our society is in love with videos. Embracing film as part of your marketing strategy can drastically improve your reach. We are all for video content because we know how powerful it is, when it’s done right that is. Whether you are gearing up to incorporate video into your marketing strategy or already have it implemented, these considerations for a successful video are key.

Concept

Whatever your concept is, make it clear in the first 8 seconds. The first couple of seconds are when the viewer decides if it is appealing or not. This is your do or die window for their attention. Reflect on what audience you are trying to reach and what you are trying to say about your brand, this is your time to shine.

Overselling

Finding the balance between being clear about your product or idea and drowning people in it can be tricky. The goal with any video is to make a lasting impression and call the viewer to action. You want them to remember your brand, and dig a little deeper on their own free will. It’s about creating engagement from the viewer. Rather than spill all the beans, lead them on with excitement and have all the info they’ll be craving ready in another video, or written on your website and point them in that direction.

Feedback

Everyone needs more feedback. Ask strangers in your target audience what they think about your video. Outside sources are best for feedback as your team, family and friends will have a bias.

Call to Action

As mentioned in overselling, each video needs to call the viewer to some kind of action. The call can be just to create curiosity, generate a referral, get a free quote, how to use your product and so on. Maybe all you are trying to do is get them to like your Facebook page, whatever it is, make sure it is clear in your objectives before and after the video is created.

Boring

A few things can make a video boring. If it is too long, it’s boring. If the concept isn’t portrayed in an engaging way, it is boring. If the people in the video are, well boring, it is of course going to be a boring film. Spending a couple of extra bucks to hire someone to film and act in your video could make all the difference. This is something you’ll need to weigh out for yourself, but if you were planning on using Larry, the monotone receptionist as your lead star, maybe rethink that one.

Placement

Now that you’ve created your perfect video, don’t let it go to waste! Placement on your website should be front and center. On YouTube it should be on your own channel which will eventually have more videos to fill the auto play, this will keep your target audience much more excited about your company as there is even more material for them to view. Be sure to cross post on other outlets like Vimeo and Facebook. If you choose to do paid advertisement with your video choose the sites that will appeal to the right demographic, and again watch placement of where your video will be on each page that you are paying for.

We can’t say this will make video-making fool proof, but it is a step in the right direction. When creating or perfecting your video content keep these helpful hints in mind. If you are interested in video marketing but don’t know where to start, check out Cloud9’s video production & marketing services.

social media for branding

As the year starts to wind down, it’s easy to become a little bit nostalgic. A lot has changed in the past few years – surely in your personal life, but in your business, too.

For instance, just think of all of the brand development opportunities that have arisen over the past decade with the advent of social media. Branding for today’s businesses is radically different than it was even just a few years ago.

Taking advantage of these opportunities is a given for today’s leading brands – and for a good reason. Here are just a few ways that social media can help take your branding to the next level.

Become Recognizable

Building a brand is about creating something that your customers and clients can identify easily. Social media can you help you expand your brand’s presence. You can be in front of your customers whenever they’re scrolling through their Twitter feed or checking out Facebook updates (which is virtually all the time) – now that sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?

Create a Consistent Voice

Your brand should be consistent throughout all channels, including social media. As potential and existing clients and customers become accustomed to your social media presence, they’ll come to recognize your voice, building familiarity with your brand.

Connect with Influencers

Use social media to embrace your brand’s biggest fans. Loyal customers are worth their weight in gold: not only can you count on their continued business, you can also expect them to introduce your brand to their own personal networks. With social media, you can build a direct relationship with those influencers, like offering your cheerleaders early access to a sale, a bonus perk with their order or booking, or sneak peeks into upcoming events and releases.

Establish Trust

Social media isn’t just for connecting with your biggest cheerleaders: it’s also for connecting with your future cheerleaders. Through social media, you can really let your brand’s personality shine, building relationships with new fans and earning that coveted brand loyalty.

Be More Than a Brand

Your brand is more than just a name and a logo and social media allows you to showcase that. Through social media, you can build a community that shows what your company is really all about. Customers and clients will gain a better understanding of who you are and what you do.

Share the Brand Love

Customers and clients are engaging brands like never before through social media channels. They’ll post a picture on Instagram showcasing a recent purchase, or will Tweet their praises after a positive customer service experience. Social media – both your own use and your customers’ use – can help others share a brand experience.

On the flipside, customers will take to social media to announce when they’re dissatisfied. Savvy companies will take this opportunity to fix the problem directly with the unsatisfied customer, turning a negative experience into a positive opportunity. People are going to complain whether the company in question is on social media or not – wouldn’t you like to have the chance to hear about the problem so that you can fix it?

Listen, then Strategize

Social media is a two way street – don’t forget to listen! Your customers and clients are constantly providing feedback on your brand through social media. Scan your Facebook page, see what blog posts are getting the most hits, and scour relevant hashtags – and learn something from them. Use your findings to update your brand strategy and to stay connected to your target market.

If you’re thinking about building your brand through social media (or improving your existing social media presence), don’t hesitate to get in touch with Cloud9 Marketing. We’re here to help – this is what we do!

social media marketing

What type of message does your brand send to your social media savvy customers?

Now that we are at the height of the social media age, companies can no longer succeed with such traditional top-down messages as, “We’re the best!” Nor can businesses drop out and remain silent, as Northwestern Mutual once did when it championed itself as “The Quiet Company.”

As the number of social media channels has increased, so has the importance of  communicating rapidly. Companies are now feeling the pressure to respond instantly across a variety of media platforms. They are under constant scrutiny, much like celebrities and politicians whose every move is chronicled by the press.

Companies need to decide on a captivating and consistent brand voice if they hope to market themselves effectively. If you own a business, consider these tips to start spreading your message with confidence.

#1: Determine the Personality of Your Brand

Most small businesses increase their presence organically, finding new clients and offering additional services over an extended period of time. As these companies evolve, they gain a reputation for the manner in which they handle business. Stepping back to consider the characteristics of your company’s personality is vital in determining your brand voice. Does your company come off as professional and serious, funny and laidback, or creative and edgy? You need to think about this because these traits are what bring you customers..

Here’s a good exercise you might try: Think of your company as a hotel chain or a car. Which would it be more like, a Ritz Carlton or an affordable motel? Would it be more like a Mercedes or a Prius? By thinking like this, you can define your company’s character and decide on the marketing voice that leads you to the most success.

#2: Identify Your Real Audience

It is important to remember that various audiences will react differently to the same marketing material. You need to focus on your main audience and adjust your message so that it reflects what appeals to that particular group.Your message also needs to fit well with your brand.

For example, you will want to use LinkedIn or Google+ if you are a B2B company; sending messages about your service offerings to your Twitter followers will not bring you much success. You must put your marketing efforts into the resources that are most likely to elicit a positive response.

To draw in customers, you should join forums that are industry specific and be sure to respond to threads. You don’t want to waste your time trying to get attention from the wrong groups of people. To find out what types of people your customers tend to be, use Facebook Insights to access the demographics.

#3: Use a Consistent Tone

In branding, there is no right or wrong when it comes to which tone you should use. However, once you adopt a certain tone, you will need to use that tone in all of your marketing efforts if you want to be successful.

For example, MailChimp, an e-newsletter company, chooses to stick with an informal tone. Whether its representatives are tweeting such messages as, “You’re most welcome, human friend. Eep eep!” or calling themselves “Pioneers in Banana Technology,” they always make sure to sound lighthearted and easygoing. Similarly, Woot! is always sure to discuss its deal of the day with wit as opposed to dull product information.

The idea is that regardless of which communication style you choose, you have to keep using it. You can’t make formal posts on your company’s Facebook page and think that it also makes sense to post funny videos through your company’s YouTube account. Such inconsistency will only drive away potential customers.

You may have more than one staff member posting to your company’s social media accounts. If this is the case, all of the staff members must be made aware of your brand’s personality and create content accordingly.

#4: Timing Really is Everything

In order to become a credible voice within your market niche, it’s important that you know when you should “speak.” If you wait too long, you’ll risk appearing out-of-touch. You can also run the risk of losing potential customers by jumping in too soon.

To stay informed, you should set Google Alerts for important subject matter relating to your industry.  That way, you’ll be ready to post commentary as soon as it becomes appropriate to do so. Google Alerts only take a few seconds to set up and send updates to your email daily or weekly. Having access to these updates will help you avoid communicating too rarely or too often.

If you contribute regularly to your media platforms, customers will get the impression that your business is running smoothly. If you do not do this and only post every few months, customers will think less of your company.

You should also keep in mind that it’s not always a good idea to post on social media sites just for the sake of writing something. You need to become familiar with a topic of conversation by reading through the feedback and comments before engaging yourself; otherwise, you might appear uninformed.

#5: Practice Makes Perfect

To become confident about your brand, you should practice using your brand voice by posting articles on your company’s blog. These articles will help your business by showing readers your expertise.

You can submit your best blog posts to article directories to spread your message further. You can also inquire about becoming a contributing author for other blogs and publication sites to increase your exposure. In addition, a few good social media posts can do a lot to make your voice recognizable in your industry.

Being familiar with your brand personality and target audience, using a consistent voice, speaking at the right time, and perfecting your message will all strengthen your brand voice and solidify your business identity. Following these simple guidelines will make you more comfortable with your audience and help it grow. You’ll learn how to write your own words, yet speak the language that appeals to your customers.

Contact us to find out how Cloud9 Marketing can help you achieve your Social Media Marketing goals.