So - you've just spent a whole lot of cash on your company video. If you're wondering about taking your company video online to maximize your investment, here are five signs that you should:
1. You want to communicate complex ideas to a wide audience:
Your audience doesn't have time to read lengthy articles
2. You need to build your brand:
A good company video that gets shared among the right audience can mean the last marketing money you ever spend
3. You want to build credibility far and wide:
People tend to believe information presented via video more than any other medium.
4. You need to improve your Google Search rankings:
It's a fact that websites with video rank higher than websites without
5. You want to gain market share among social media users:
YouTube is a social network and posting your company video to YouTube means your audience can share it via Facebook, Twitter and the rest of the social universe.
So, if you've ticked any of these boxes, don't waste any time your company video online and out there…….
The use of video throughout the Internet has boomed in the last decade, and as a marketing tool, the case for website video in business is stronger than ever. The impact that video can have in your business is astounding and it's usage is not as widespread as it should be, given its effectivenesss. The good thing about this is that you still have a window to gain a leg up over your competitors.
Far from the 90s days of huddling around a postage-stamp sized window that stops to buffer every few seconds, video today streams constantly all around the world. Over four billion hours of video are watched through YouTube alone every month, delivered to over 100 million customers each day ranging from Cape Town to Cambodia.
The appeal of video is easy to see: It conveys more information than text or pictures, especially in emotional matters. You have a huge range of options for your presentation, from spokespeople to animation to 3D infographics. Music, sound effects, and voiceovers can be added. Clickable elements can be embedded into video to further enhance it.
Part of the reason so many people like video is that it has so many ways to bring people what they want to see. So, it's no surprise that using website video in business is also extremely effective at reaching out to people.
The Clear Benefits of Website Video in Business
Based on this nice bit of curation of recent studies into web video usage, there are some very impressive numbers being reported about website video.
People are twice as likely to take action on a page with a video than people seeing the same page without the video.
One retailer reported a 144% increase in sales in products with video over those without. Another boasted a 400% conversion rate with video.
Even the lowest reported conversion increase was 9%, which is still nothing to sniff at.
Plus, video is cheaper and easier to make today than ever before. It's available to anyone with a smartphone or laptop made sometime in the last decade. Video editing software is inexpensive as well, with professional-grade packages available for only a few hundred dollars, and with plenty of free options as well.
Many businesses already have everything they need to produce basic videos. The only major expense is the time involved in producing them, at least initially.
The Many Uses of Website Video for Business
Website video can also be deployed in multiple roles throughout your website.
On your home page, introducing your company and briefly stating your purpose, as well as your benefit to the visitor.
On landing pages, describing your offer and the benefit to your customer.
On blogs, enhancing the content through personal descriptions or infographics.
On sales pages, showing off each product.
On social media, with “behind the scenes” shots or videos of corporate events, meant to enhance your relatability.
Additionally, it adds to your branding as well. Strategic placement of your brand a few times throughout a video aids in later recall. Color choices can be utilized to tie into your corporate colors, and the ones used on your website.
In short, website video is here and it's going to be around for the foreseeable future. It's useful throughout your online marketing campaigns, bringing in demonstrably more leads and sales. And it's inexpensive to the point that anyone can use it, meaning that some of your competitors probably already are.
If your company isn't already investigating the use of Internet video on your website, it's definitely time to consider it. It offers too many benefits with too few costs to ignore.
No employee likes boring training videos. In fact, quite a lot of them would rather continue working than sit through another presentation on sexual harassment in the workplace or proper chemical handling procedures. Yet, video is still one of the best teaching tools available - if you can get your people to pay attention to it.
So, we've got some tips to help you produce effective training videos that are interesting while still being informative.
Tips For Making Interesting Training Videos
This is the #1 most important element whenever you want to capture someone's attention. If an employee feels they are being forced to watch a video simply because YOU want them to, they aren't going to be engaged. It needs to be made relevant to them, by clearly demonstrating that it affects a problem in their lives or that they've experienced in their workplace.
Educators know that humor is virtually always an effective way of imparting information. Laughter releases adrenaline, which helps memory retention. For example, one of the most effective training videos I know of is actually a parody: the infamous Forklift Driver Klaus.
This satire of forklift training videos utilizes comically over-the-top gore effects to illustrate the dangers of poor forklift operation. However, it's been reported to be in use in many warehouses specifically because it reinforces the safety procedures more effectively than the standard dull video of rules and regulations. While "splatstick" might not be appropriate for your workplace, look at using humor rather than browbeating.
One easy trap for training videos to fall into is to become a list of rules and regulations that don't explain why they are necessary. If you explain to people why a certain rule truly makes things better, they're more likely to remember it and to follow it.
Facts are more convincing than opinion. Don't be afraid to pepper your training video with relevant statistics and data that help illustrate its purpose. The occasional infographic or animated interlude breaks up the presentation, and reinforces the facts that underlie the goals presented in the video. Your employees have brains; appeal to them.
Key Takeaway: To make effective and interesting training videos you need to engage your audience both emotionally and intellectually, and give them clear reasons to believe the information in it is relevant to them.
It's tempting, especially among older businesspeople, to gripe about PowerPoint "ruining" or dumbing-down the business presentation
However, fundamentally, PowerPoint is just a presentation tool, and your use of it is really only going to be as good or bad as your overall presentation strategy.
If you go into a PowerPoint project with the goal of allowing it to aid and enhance a business presentation that has solid ideas and data behind it, PowerPoint will help you succeed. If the ideas or data are poor, or poorly-organized, it won't.
Making a Good Business Presentation With PowerPoint
Organize your data logically. In any presentation, you are trying to convince people of something, and building up to an ultimate conclusion. Think carefully about how to organize your information so that each element clearly and logically builds on what came before, moving towards that goal. Avoid digressions.
Forego large blocks of text. This feels like "PowerPoint 101" but it's still such a common mistake. Don't ever put full paragraphs of text onto a slide, and don't use more than 3 or 4 bullet points on a single slide. Too much text distracts the audience, causing them to read rather than listen to what you're saying.
Show restraint in using animations. Please, please, do not put a fancy animated transition between every slide. There are cases where something like a simple dissolve can be used effectively (such as transitioning between two closely related graphs), but on the whole, just treat it like a static slideshow. And there's never a good reason to use sound effects. It just feels gimmicky.
Ensure you are the true focus. In our opinion, the #1 reason for PowerPoint contributing to a bad business presentation is if you allow the PowerPoint to grab more attention than you get. YOU should always be the focus of your presentations, not your tools. Use good public speaking methods to keep control of your audience's attention.
Key Takeaway: For a good PowerPoint business presentation, plan your slides logically and with purpose. Ensure that the presentation tools never distract the audience from you and the message you're communicating.
What's with all the infographics video hype, you ask?
In many ways, infographics are the oldest form of human communication and advertisement. Every cave-painting we find of beasts with spears sticking out of it is, fundamentally, simply how an early hunter chose to brag about his skills.
We've always found pictures to be one of the simplest and easiest ways of spreading our ideas, and that concept really hasn't changed. It's just evolved alongside us.
The infographics video is the newest extension of this concept, and as it continues to grow in use, it's becoming poised to be one of the important new communication tools of the future.
Here are just a few of the reasons that infographics video is on the rise, and likely to continue rising in the future.
They communicate a lot of information in a viewer-friendly format. People are often put off by pages of charts and numbers. Putting your data into an infographics video allows you to convey a huge amount of raw information, while still presenting it in a way that people will want to watch.
They're cost-effective. Infographics video animations can be put together easily by a single person working on a common desktop computer. Unlike traditional animation, they don't generally require difficult (and pricier) creative tasks such as detailed character design.
They're low-bandwidth. With the rise of mobile devices as Internet access points, bandwidth matters again. An infographics video can be compressed much more than a live-action film, allowing it to be more easily transmitted to people on limited data plans.
They can be interactive. By using Flash or more recently HTML5, truly interactive infographics can be produced, even out of traditional video elements. These allow visitors to explore your information at their leisure, or mix and match data elements to find the trends they're looking for.
They're generally culture-neutral. Modern online businesses have to be looking at a worldwide market, and that usually means avoiding advertising that's too culture-bound. Infographics avoid being bogged down with culture-specific elements which might be alienating to foreign customers. They can often be produced without a heavy reliance on any language, or by using multi-lingual text.
Key takeaway: in short, infographics videos are a presentation format that's perfectly suited for an online business looking to leverage the power of the Internet. Ignore naysayers claiming that infographics are on the way out. They'll be with us for a long time to come.
Even more than most things, the only constant on the Internet is change. Between the steady rush of new technologies, and the generally short attention spans of Internet users, the entire online universe can change radically in just a few months. To effectively market on the Internet, you simply must stay on top of it and at the moment, that means watching social media trends.
So, as we pass the midpoint in the year, let's take a look at the current social media trends and how you can make use of them in your marketing.
Important Social Media Trends In The Second Half of 2012
Companies are moving from blogs to social media. Numerous studies have shown that major companies are abandoning their blogs, along with podcasts and other long-form content marketing. Does that mean it's time to jump ship? We say "not yet." There's still plenty of juice left in blogging, although it may be squeezed dry in the not-too-distant future.
Location-based social networks are on the rise. Services like FourSquare which are based around broadcasting a user's physical location continue to grow. A similar new service which just debuted, Highlight, has been a generating much buzz at several recent trade shows. If you have a physical location, look at embracing these, such as offering discounts for a FourSquare check-in.
Pinterest has grabbed the female demographic. While every social media site tilts in one direction or the other, Pinterest is overwhelmingly dominant among female social users. It's also proved to be very effective as a virtual storefront for visually strong products, such as among vendors at the popular crafts site Etsy. If you have picturesque products and market to women, you need to be Pinteresting.
Get some Klout. The influence-ranking site Klout continues to gain, well, clout. A lot of us don't particularly like it, but Klout is becoming increasingly used as a measure of status. While a bit creepy, tracking customers and courting those with high Klout scores is also becoming more common.
Facebook: Still king for now. Despite its recent underwhelming IPO, Facebook still commands by far the most users worldwide, and this is unlikely to change any time soon. Facebook should remain the central focus of your social media marketing.
Key takeaway: Keep close tabs on current social media trends and, in particular, look at leveraging influence and location-based services to remain ahead of the curve.
A good online corporate video
can be an excellent marketing tool. Fundamentally, humans are visually-oriented creatures, and we respond well to visual mediums. It's arguably the most powerful promotional tool you can employ.
However, a corporate video is also a some
what costly and time-consuming venture. Despite that, there are many reasons an online video can be an excellent investment, spreading your message across the Internet and gaining you new leads.
If you aren't sure if online video is right for you, here are five signs to watch out for.
You Might Need to Take Your Corporate Video Online if...
You want to communicate complex ideas to a wide audience. If you're attempting to express a concept that requires more than a page of text to convey, a video will almost certainly be a better format for it. The combination of visuals and narration makes it easier to explain in a short space, without scaring off those who won't read a lengthy article.
You need to build your brand. A good corporate video that “goes viral” can be one of the single biggest attention-getting events in your company's life. A popular video will make your name known, and allow you to associate yourself with specific qualities in the minds of millions of people.
You want to build credibility. Whether it's logical or not, people tend to believe information presented via video more than any other medium. If you believe you are not being taken seriously by the market, a corporate video is an excellent tool for staking yourself out as an authority in your field.
You need to “set the record straight” on a matter. Because online video is infinitely repeatable, a video response to an issue that has arisen, or untrue rumors about your company, is one of the best ways you can defend yourself in the public arena.
You want to gain market share among social media users. YouTube has millions of users by itself, and it's commonly linked-to by other social sharing sites. Further, posting video on Facebook will lead to it being seen by more of your fans than your status updates, as Facebook puts visual updates ahead of purely text ones.
Corporate video is an extremely powerful communication tool that is perfectly suited for use in Internet marketing. When done properly, you can vastly increase your exposure, credibility, and -most importantly- your leads and sales.
Fundamentally, the goal of professional website design is to create a website that informs and connects with your customers, while generating new leads and sales. This is one of those ideals that's easy to say, but somewhat harder to put into practice.
For every website that becomes an Internet success, there are probably a dozen others that failed to realise their potential because of professional website design failures. So, we've put together a list of several of the most common major issues with websites that lead them astray.
Reasons Your Professional Website Design Failed
You didn't fully integrate Search Engine Optimization principles. SEO is about more than just throwing keywords into your blog articles. It also includes use of metatags and rich snippets, site maps, link-building, social media, and more. To be effective, you need a fleshed-out strategy that integrates SEO into every aspect of your website.
You ignored mobile users. Mobile browsing is on the rise. There are currently 1.2 billion mobile web users worldwide, and that number will only grow in the future. You need to make sure your website is fully accessible on mobile devices, and does not rely on bandwidth-heavy software gimmicks that may not work on all browsers. (Requiring Flash, for example, will exclude every Apple mobile device.)
You had an ineffective home page. A proper home page is one of the most important elements of professional website design. It needs to be eye-catching, to the point, and give your visitors a reason to keep reading, and you only have a few seconds to do this. If they don't see the rest of your site, all your work is for naught.
You didn't track its performance. Analytics and closed-loop marketing are vital for measuring the success and ROI of your webpage. Internet marketing offers you the power to precisely track the effectiveness of your online efforts, so make use of it! See what works and what doesn't, and constantly seek to refine your techniques.
You failed to keep it updated and maintained. An inactive site that has not been updated in some time will quickly fall off of Google's search rankings. Updating encourages search spiders to keep your listing current. Also, a website that's actively maintained makes it more impressive and relevant to visitors as well.
Good professional website design isn't easy, but it's a necessity if you want your online marketing to succeed.
Key takeaway: Professional website design is more than simply designing and developing a business website, there are tactics and goals that you should have in place to ensure it's success as an online marketing tool.
Generating sales leads is one of a business's biggest goals but quite often turns out to be one of the trickiest. It really doesn't need to be this way!
As if generating any kind of sales leads wasn't hard enough, there's nothing worse than obtaining a huge list of "leads" and after further investigation learning that they are in fact not in your target market.
That's why generating sales leads that are qualified and targeted from the word GO is so important - it means less time wasted and more time spent turning those leads into customers!
Three simple and proven ways to generate sales leads:
Simple fact: 57% of companies with a blog have acquired a customer from their blog. Need I say more?
Blogging basically drives traffic to your website for free - no paid advertisements required. Blogging makes use of specific keywords that ensure that your company shows up in online search engines.
2. Social media
Next fact: 62% of companies report that social media has become MORE important as a source of leads.
Social media works much in the same way as a blog does - you post updates and news and interact with customers and drive traffic to your website. For free once again.
The place where all this free traffic is directed to from, and the most important in generating sales leads.
Your website needs to be able to draw leads in and capture their information. This is done by providing your visitors valuable content that they want and are willing to provide their information for.
These are just a few examples of incredibly powerful ways to generate sales leads for your business, but keep in mind that there are so many more important cogs in the system that will transform your online marketing campaign into a powerful business tool.
Key takeaway: Generating sales leads online is simply about getting found, driving traffic to a destination and providing content and information that your potential leads want!
We always talk about the benefits of using social media for business, but we've never covered the topic of business reputation management online whilst using these platforms.
In a contributor article posted on Bizcommunity.com by Candice McGregor, she discusses the damage that an employee can cause to the reputation of a company by posting derogratory comments on social media, Facebook especially.
Most of the conversations surrounding reputation management online concern the actual content you post as a company, and the handling of customer complaints on your public profiles. The issue of reputation management online in the hands of your employees is another story altogether.
Many people share their inner-most and personal feelings on social networks, especially Facebook as they believe that it is a secure medium where only their actual connections can see their updates.
This isn't always the case, due to the following:
- If a persons' privacy settings are not set up correctly, their profile may be publicly viewable without their knowledge
- A fact that people tend to neglect with their settings is that friends of friends may be able to view their profile as if they were connected to the user
- An employee could be connected to fellow colleagues
- Employees could be linked to business pages
Recently an employee was dismissed for posting derogatory comments about his company, and this dismissal was upheld by the CCMA.
The reason for this is that, the CCMA found that the employee purposefully posted a derogatory comment about the company on his Facebook profile and, owing to the high number of connections he had, he could have given the company name a bad reputation.
Unfortunately there is isn't a sure-fire way to ensure that your employees are not making insulting or offensive comments about your company online, but it is an important factor to consider for your reputation management online.
A simple step such as educating your employees with a social media policy document will assist in avoiding unwanted online reputation management hazards.
Key takeaway: Unfortunately it's not only your customers that can bring your company name into disrepute, it can be the very people that work for your company.