Isn’t It Time You Jump on the Video Marketing Bandwagon?

If you’re not using video marketing, you’re not maximizing your brand’s marketing potential.

The great thing about it is that you can see results much faster than with SEO and other marketing channels.

So what’s stopping you from boosting your sales by leveraging video? The truth is that there is one small problem.

It’s not obvious how to best use video to market successfully. Unfortunately, it’s the type of content that can most easily go awry if you’re not experienced with it. It also tends to be more resource-intensive. So, if your video marketing misses the mark, it can be a costly mistake.

Foolproof Steps to Great Video Marketing
The most important tip you can get with most marketing practices is to keep it simple. Learn and apply these methods and you’ll see how big of an impact video marketing can make.

Map out the Strategy
In other words, have a plan and stick to it.

It’s OK to improvise a bit along the way, but you should have most of your decisions made ahead of time.

Don’t think of videos as contained marketing devices. Think of them as part of a broader marketing campaign. You need to track your results if you want to see growth.

Make specific goals for each stage in your marketing campaign. Make those goals as specific as possible and track them accurately.

Just Start Creating
Your first videos won’t be that good.

Even if you have experienced staff and a great plan, there will be a learning curve. Don’t let that hinder you.

The only thing that matters is that you learn from every video you make. The knowledge you accumulate is more important than the immediate results.

A long-term video marketing strategy is bound to hit some snags along the way.

Don’t Sell, Tell Stories
There is a time and a place for the hard sales pitch, and your video is not it.

Videos create a uniquely emotional response. If people feel like you’re selling too hard, they will think that you’re trying to hijack those emotions.

Instead, focus on telling a coherent story in your videos. Every video should transmit some value and a piece of the bigger story to the audience.

Know What You’re About
To make good videos, you need to know what your strengths are. The kind of content you should make corresponds with your brand’s overall image.

If you’re trying to get people to switch to your solution for an everyday problem, use educational content. If your core offering is a better quality of life, maybe an inspirational video works better.

Don’t try to stuff too much into a single video, however. Figure out the angle of your approach and commit to it for the best results.

Humor Is (Almost) Always a Good Idea
It’s very difficult to come up with a brand that can’t benefit from a bit of humor in its video marketing.

There are situations and topics that need to be navigated carefully, though. But as a brand, you should always strive to remain lighthearted and self-aware.

Nobody wants to see a solemn cola ad, it just doesn’t work. It’s more difficult for some brands to manage humor than others but on the whole, it’s a powerful tool.

Keep Your Basic Marketing Principles in Mind
Just because it’s a video, doesn’t mean the basic rules don’t apply.

Every video will have its target audience. If you want to reach your entire audience in every video, you’ll be wasting resources.

Figure out which platforms work best for which videos. You’ll need to do some research and know your target segments for this.

For instance, if your target is young adults going to college, Instagram is a great choice. For the same population, you probably won’t get very far with Facebook ads.

Keep It Simple and Focus on Your Strengths
Video marketing can seem intimidating at first, but it doesn’t have to be.

Pick the right type of video to get your message across and strive to be clear and concise. Those are the two secret ingredients for video marketing. Of course, your first forays into video marketing will not be polished. However, the experience you’ll gain is well worth the investment.

Pamela Wigglesworth, CSP is an international marketing consultant, speaker and the CEO of Experiential Hands-on Learning based in Asia. She is the author of The 50-60 Something ™ Start-up Entrepreneur and works with organizations across multiple industries to help them increase brand awareness, increase leads and ultimately increase sales.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Isn’t It Time You Jump on the Video Marketing Bandwagon?

Win Your Own Oscar

Awards season is upon us.

Hollywood’s finest have already adorned the red carpet for the Golden Globes, SAG awards and Grammys. The Academy Awards will soon be center stage.

Business owners should also consider the start of 2020 as their awards season.

This is an excellent time to plan on entering some key award competitions that will build your company’s credibility, add leadership and authority positioning, and create earned media and PR opportunities.

While many business awards have value and certainly are worth pursuing, others do not.

Here are five tips to help you secure a prestigious honor and then leverage it for a maximum return on investment.

1. Develop an awards strategy.

Companies should take a proactive approach. They need to do a little research and determine which awards will be most beneficial in helping them grow their brand.

In some cases large, national honors are the only ones worth chasing. For others local awards, such as Fastest Growing Companies, Top Accounting Firm, Best Places To Work etc., can offer a high level of prestige for your client base and prospects.

2. Designate an awards ambassador.

Many businesses make the mistake of putting off award submissions then realize they only have a limited time to get all the materials compiled and submitted.

Designating a point person to be your awards ambassador can ensure that all necessary paperwork is readily available. They can also seek out award opportunities in-line with the company’s mission and values.

3. Fine tune focus and costs.

Nearly all reputable awards are given out at no cost or require a small, affordable entry fee. However some ask for a hefty sum just for consideration.

While the sponsoring company certainly incurs some costs with processing and judging applications, those with seemingly excessive fees should be avoided.

Many unknown organizations practically proclaim you have already been named the top company in your category and for an $800 fee will secure your listing and send you a nice trophy. In the long run these meaningless honors have no value for you or your clients.

4. Share your award with your team.

Some companies will spend hours working on an awards application then bury the news once they receive their special honor. They place their plaque or trophy on a shelf in the lobby and then forget about it.

The business owner should ensure that all members of the team share in this success. The award should be shown and highlighted during a company meeting. Those most responsible for attaining the award should be recognized.

News of the award should be posted on the company website and included in the newsletter. The award can serve as vehicle to build team camaraderie, enhance prestige, improve employee satisfaction, and create a buzz throughout the organization.

5. Leverage your recognition for optimal branding and publicity.

Most awarding organizations will attempt to highlight its honored companies. Usually this occurs through a listing in the event program, an ad in a publication, or a template news release sent to the winners to hopefully distribute to their local media. However businesses should escalate those efforts.

Winners should post the news of the award, and the accompanying photo and/or video, on its website and all viable social media channels. Company formatted news releases should be created and distributed to the local media, business publications and trade journals.

News of the award can be highlighted in an email newsletter sent to clients. An award badge or line of recognition can be added to email signature lines. A story surrounding how the team made the accomplishment happen provides excellent content for the company blog.

Winning a prestigious award can have many benefits. It not only elevates the company in the minds of its employees and clients, but also serves as an attractive tool to recruit new employees.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Win Your Own Oscar

Building The Professional Services Firm

Entrepreneurs starting or scaling a professional services firm should realize this type of business is different than a retail shop, manufacturing company or e-commerce store.

Instead of selling a tangible product directly to the end user, it involves marketing a defined set of skills based on experience and personal expertise.

The buyer can’t physically touch and feel that service but must rely on awareness, reputation, and trust before selecting a company for accounting, coaching, financial services, IT consulting, legal work and/or health care.

Our firm is currently in its 17th year. We offer developmental optometric services to clients, not only in our home base area of Glen Carbon, Illinois, but to others nationwide. Over the years we have tried various marketing strategies to grow the practice. Fortunately we have developed a winning combination resulting in an extremely large increase in both patient volume and net profits. Following are some lessons learned, ones that can be applied to anyone wishing to start or grow a professional services business.

1. It’s OK to be a small fish in a big pond.

When we first started we were in a very small rural area. We were the big fish in a small pond. Unfortunately it was a very small pond. While patients did visit us from the surrounding towns there just weren’t enough of them to sustain our practice. This triggered a move to a larger area, about one hour away. It was also a suburb of a major metropolitan area. Though competition was greater, we were able to carve its own niche and attract dozens of new patients. Moving to an area where there were more potential clients became the foundation for our dramatic growth.

2. Brand and Differentiate Your Firm.

Google any firm in any service category. It is challenging to determine how one firm is different than the next. That’s why professional services firms need to develop a marketing strategy that separates their business from the competition. In our case we were one of the first developmental optometry firms to use YouTube. It helped us educate the public on a variety of eye related issues that really were not being addressed. It also helped establish our firm as experts in the field. Since this medium is hugely popular, and relatively inexpensive to use, we were able to create a large of number of videos and reach a great number of potential clients most efficiently. Today we have hundreds of videos on YouTube, and a strong presence on various forms of social media. It has enabled us to reach potential patients not only in the U.S. but internationally as well.

3. Work in tandem with other professionals in your industry.

Since our firm is one of the few developmental optometric practices in the nation, we often are called upon by other eye doctors in remote locations for consultation regarding their patients. Some are even located in Europe and South America. This consultative approach holds true for practitioners in other industries as well. Attorneys who specialize in one area of the law can often serve as a referral source for those in other practice areas. The same is true for a financial planner who may wish to connect with an insurance professional or a real estate broker who can serve as a referral source for a mortgage lender. Developing relationships with those in complementary businesses can be a real boost for the growth of your firm.

4. Hire a business coach or consultant.

Few of us in professional services are trained in strategic business growth. It is not what we do. In order to ramp up our practice we engaged with a business consultant who has started and operated many large and small businesses. The consultant helped us set up many standard operating procedures, helped us create a higher functioning team and helped create benchmarks for growth. He has paid for himself many times over. Service firms can scale quicker and more efficiently by engaging with someone who has done it all before.

5. Consider new ideas for practice growth.

Those in professional services should research and analyze different ways to grow their firms. In our case, we started consulting with other eye doctors who wish to learn Developmental Optometry or wanted to add it as a service offering. The consulting piece has added to our revenue stream and increased profits. You can study industry trends and determine the right type of additional specialized services that best fit your practice, personality, and business goals.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Building The Professional Services Firm