marketing

7-Types-of-video-content

7 Types of video content to engage customers

Fast internet connections and smart mobile technologies continue to offer SMBs more opportunities for reaching customers and clients. One of the most recent innovations is live video streaming, an inexpensive and convenient way to increase your business value and diversify your services portfolio. It’s a huge and open-ended service, so why don’t we narrow down six of the best video types for reaching out to your target audience.

Business introduction/Behind-the-scenes

If your company lacks an online presence, one of the best things you can do is give customers direct access to your staff and your product. Take your viewers on an office tour and show them how a product is made, or even broadcast your business’s launch event.

Make sure to invite as many viewers as you can, but remember most live broadcasts can be saved and viewed later. You’ll likely want to keep the video available after it’s finished.

News and trending topics

Current and live events are great not only because they’re fresh but they also give your audience something to share.

Facebook Live and Instagram stories allow people and businesses to share recent information, trending news, and other relevant stories. For example, a live coverage of your cooking show would allow you to engage your viewers by inviting them to participate in a live Q & A activity.

These features could instantly reach millions of viewers in a span of a few seconds.

Ask me anything (AMA)

Depending on your product or service, you may be getting a lot of conceptual questions about innovative ways to use it, what direction the company is heading, and so forth. There’s no better way to address these questions than to do so in a personal and unscripted AMA segment.

If there’s a good turnout, make sure to keep questions and answers moving in relevant and interesting directions. There’s nothing wrong with updating everyone on what you had for breakfast, but addressing service bugs or product feature requests is going to be a lot more beneficial for wider audiences.

How-tos

Whether it’s a soon-to-be-released product or a simple rehash of an existing one that’s getting lots of support requests, there’s no better way to guide customers than thorough how-to videos.

Not only do these show existing clients the best way to use your product or service, it also allows potential customers to see both your product and your customer service philosophy in action. Saving these videos can be invaluable as you continue to get questions on the product or service outlined in these videos — it’s an easy way to build a video reference library for sales and support.

Webinars

Webinars are events held on the internet and are attended by an online audience. They allow for online participation thanks to audio and video feeds.

In addition to video images, presentation slides can be broadcast and run in sync with the rest of the presentation. You can also make use of the screen capture functionality to show your viewers an application or website. Webinars also offer various interactive opportunities such as chat, polls, surveys, and tests,

Live broadcast announcements

Whether on Twitter or Facebook, post live broadcast updates about an upcoming product or service to make your announcement far more interesting and personal than a press release or faceless status update.

Text-based announcements and pre-recorded videos severely limit how you address the “fine print” questions from customers. Think of live broadcasts as a chance to hold your own personal press briefing and address questions after your scripted announcement.
Social media reports that Facebook users spend three times longer watching live broadcasts than pre-recorded video. Combine that with Facebook’s announcement that live videos are more likely to be promoted to the top of news feeds and you’d be crazy not to utilize live broadcasts.

There are a handful of different services to use for live video broadcasting and deciding which one is the best for you can depend on a lot of different variables.

Promotional videos

Use social media to promise a special promotion to anyone who tunes in to a live broadcast. Your promotional videos should portray your business in a positive light and make people want to buy from you.

Many companies use influencers nowadays to attract more people. This is a quick way to gain the attention of potential customers, especially those who are hearing about your product or service for the first time. A familiar face is almost always a quick way to earn someone’s trust.

Remember that promotional videos should be straight to the point and should last no longer than 10 to 15 minutes at most.

Call us with any of your questions and we’ll be happy to assist you in adding value to your business with today’s best live video services.

why-dashboards-are-vital

Why dashboards are vital to your business

People are visual creatures, which means we interpret visual data better than written words. That’s why most businesses turn to dashboards as a business intelligence tool to present data in a way that’s easy to understand. Dashboards have become a critical part of the analytics process. Here are some common uses of dashboards across various business functions.

Marketing insights

An organization’s marketing department typically analyzes a significant amount of data from various channels. Whether the purpose is to forecast monthly sales, predict trends, or build marketing strategies, marketing officers use dashboards to compare, sort, and analyze raw data to churn out meaningful information presented in an easy-to-understand format. This allows key decision-makers to easily make decisions using that information.

Tracking sales opportunities

Sales dashboards are perfect for tracking products and services. They help you identify sales opportunities by monitoring top-selling products and comparing the growth in revenue on a periodical basis. They sync to your raw data, so your charts are always up to date, thus eliminating the need to spend hours manually entering and preparing sales reports and charts.

Social media management

Social media management is more than just posting regularly on your business’s social media accounts. And in most cases, your social media platform’s default dashboard doesn’t give you deep insight into your social media campaigns. What’s more, managing multiple social media accounts can quickly become a cumbersome process since you have to use several login credentials. Instead, you can manage your accounts all at once through a comprehensive social media dashboard, saving you valuable time and effort.

Financial reports

Presenting financial data is so complex that it often leads to misinterpretation and misunderstanding of critical data. Dashboards make creating financial reports much easier, and financial analysts can take advantage of dashboards to display sensitive data in a comprehensible graphical format — be it customer invoices, progress toward revenue goals, or business expenses.

Project collaboration

Businesses of all sizes require their employees to collaborate on projects, whether on-site or online. Project supervisors need to get their teams together to give them projects’ requirements, deadlines, and responsibilities, and to get progress updates. With the help of project collaboration dashboards, members will see the complete workflow of the project, allowing for a more efficient and collaborative working environment.

Dashboards eliminate the complications of presenting complex business data and make your team more efficient. If you’re looking to implement dashboards and other cutting-edge tools to make your job easier, contact our consultants today.

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Keeping Facebook and Twitter safe from hackers

Keep your guard up! Pranksters, malicious attackers, and hackers come in different forms, but they are all after your online privacy and security — especially on social media. There are several things you can do to protect your Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Lock screens exist for a reason

Lock all your computing devices as soon as you stop using them. This way, you are safe from the simplest hack of all: someone opening a browser on your computer that has your social media login saved. 

Strong passwords are never out of fashion

Unlocking your phone may be limited to a six-digit passcode, but you’ll need something much more complicated for your account password. Create a password that you don’t use for any other account because with the regular occurrence of data breaches, hackers probably already have a long list of your favorite passwords from other websites and platforms. 

It is best to use a password manager like an app or online service that allows you to generate and retrieve complex passwords.

You can also enable two-factor authentication, which requires a secondary verification step such as a code sent to your phone. Even if hackers have your password, they won’t be able to log in without your phone.

Make use of social media features

Facebook can help you keep tabs on who’s accessing your account and from where. Click on the down arrow located at the upper right corner of your Newsfeed and select Settings. Then click Security and Login to get more information. If you sense an imposter, click the right-hand icon so you can log out remotely or report the person.

From there, turn on Get alerts about unrecognized logins to get notifications via Facebook, Messenger, or email if someone is logged into your account from an unrecognized browser. Unfortunately, Twitter doesn’t have the same option (which makes the two-factor authentication extremely necessary).

Hackers can also barge into your Facebook and Twitter accounts through third-party services that you’ve given access to your profiles, so make sure to double-check what you have approved.

  • Facebook: Go to Settings > Apps and Websites to view and manage outside service with access to your account
  • Twitter: Go to Settings and Privacy > Apps to check and edit the list

Lastly, be sure to check the permissions Facebook and Twitter have on your smartphone or tablet.

  • Android: Go to Settings > Apps > App permissions
  • iOS: Go to Settings > Privacy to manage which service can access which parts of your phone
Less personal info, fewer problems

These steps are just the beginning of what you should be doing. You should also limit the personal data you input into your social media accounts. Avoid oversharing.

By following these tips, you can prevent Facebook and Twitter hacking. 

Cybersecurity is a sprawling issue and social media privacy is such a small sliver of what you need to stay on top of. For 24/7 support, call our team of experts today.

Are you maximizing your social media potential?

Social media as a component of marketing is continuously growing its own significant heartbeat in the industry — so much so that many businesses nowadays make exclusive use of it for their advertising and promotional needs.

Having great content on your site is the magnet that attracts visitors. However, when there is too much competition on the most popular platforms, it can be difficult to drive results based on social media reputation alone. To reap rewards from social media marketing, you need to devise new methods and augment your strategy with social media tools to stand out from the crowd.

Meetup

Meetup is a great site to plan face-to-face meetings with people with similar interests. Does your company sell hiking, camping, and backpacking products? Organize a meetup for the people in your community to go on a hike. You really can’t get a better customer interaction than engaging with them through the activities they love.

Eventbrite

Eventbrite is a formal events planning platform that helps you organize, plan, and market your event, along with an added bonus: recruitment potential. You can easily market yourself as an expert in an industry to either attract freelancers or educate potential customers about the problems you aim to solve for them.

Answer Forums

Popular answer forums such as Yahoo! Answers, Quora, and even certain Reddit sub-channels such as /r/askmeanything or /r/whatisthisthing let netizens crowdsource information about certain industries or products. Many companies use these to promote their brand by answering questions, most especially those that are within their expertise. This helps establish credibility and organic connection with prospective clients.

Disqus

Disqus is a great way to facilitate dialogue while protecting privacy and upholding etiquette and other standards. You can embed Disqus onto your online content such as videos or blog articles so that people can voice out their concerns or opinions but in a way that helps prevent flaming (the act of deliberately insulting or provoking other people online). Disqus lets moderators monitor and regulate responses closely so that the conversation remains civil and productive.

Slack

Most people who use the messaging app Slack see it as a way to communicate with friends and coworkers. However, with a little creativity, you can join conversations from all over the world to boost your online presence. There are countless channels devoted to industries, categories, hobbies and more. All you have to do is insert yourself and your company into the conversation to get people talking about your business!

It’s hard to deny that technology has made our lives more complicated. It can feel a little overwhelming at times. Thankfully, the answer is simple: partner with a managed technology provider. For a never-ending source of information on reputation and social media management, get in touch with us today.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Boosting SMB marketing with automation

Small business marketing has often been a difficult endeavor for small business owners. Marketing involves a great deal of time and effort, and can require a significant financial investment. Previously, only large corporations could afford marketing automation, but that’s no longer the case. Read the five most profitable benefits of this new IT innovation here.

Instant responses to email requests
If a customer or prospect sends your business an email via your website or a “Contact Us” form, any delay in response could ultimately cost you a client. But if you have a marketing automation plan in place, you can customize automatic email responses to respond to these leads as soon as an email is received. This either provides potential customers with the information they requested or informs them that you will be responding in greater detail soon.

Stop leaving voicemails and start closing deals
There’s a reason most people prefer to communicate via email: Keeping in touch over the phone can be tough if both parties are always busy. An automated system solves this by logging when you’ve contacted leads and automatically emailing them about follow-up times. The call, email, and its response are all logged in your CRM and calendar without a single minute wasted on inputting mundane information.

Inbound lead assignment
When you have phone calls, emails, and meetings piling up, it’s hard to keep track of which customer goes where and who is working with them. With marketing automation software and tracking, customer service representatives are automatically assigned to inbound leads based on specialties and demographics so they can begin working on building profitable rapport right away.

Give and you shall receive
Potential clients and leads get dozens, sometimes hundreds, of business emails every day. You need something to set your business apart from the rest. By offering valuable content such as how-to guides and total cost of ownership tools in exchange for contact information, you can provide prospects with content they actually want.

All it takes is a web form and some creative writing that ultimately leads visitors back to your products and/or services. Your automation software delivers content to anyone who provides contact information, and it downloads metrics that can be tracked and analyzed by your solution.

Never type another phone number again
Networking events mean new contacts and new leads. They used to mean having to keep track of thick stacks of business cards, but cutting-edge marketing tools now make it possible to take a picture of contact information and automatically store it as part of a cloud-based database. Call-ins, scanned business cards, and received emails all get organized into a single digital Rolodex with recommendations on whom to contact and when it is best to do so — without one minute of tedious data entry.

Every business owner knows that automating mindless tasks is a worthwhile investment. But not everyone knows just what sort of tools are available to help you cut down on wasted work. Our team specializes in using technology to add value to your business, and we believe that if you’re not utilizing any of the solutions above, that’s the best place to start. Get in touch with us today to make your marketing technology work for you.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.