I had the pleasure of meeting a man named Dave Kalstrom yesterday through another gentleman I have been networking with for months. Jim Bannon made the introduction and is a real technical guru that has helped me out in so many ways as I tend to be a bit of a technical-moron. OK – that is an understatement
Dave is the owner of a company called Outbound Excellence and I can assure you he is true to his brand promise. In the span of a just a few minutes, Dave rattled off TONS of REALLY helpful/valuable ways to maximize and leverage the full capabilities of Linkedin that so many of us are unaware of!
Dave and I have opened new doors for each other. I am so grateful to have met him and look forward to learning more from his vast industry-knowledge as he truly is an industry-expert. So without further ado, let me introduce Dave’s “15 Ways To Develop Your LinkedIn Account To Generate Sales” in a video by New Horizons 123 Production.
Please notice that I did NOT put a link to Dave’s webinar above, but check out the end of the video
What do you think? Do you see the value Dave offers in helping us all make better use of our Linkedin profiles and network?
You have been hearing from me and others for quite some time now that you NEED to be using video in your brand promotion. But how and in what ways can you actually do this?
I have launched a new website called Say it With Video that includes examples of the different ways you can use video including: business profile videos, product videos, article/post videos, and motivational videos. In addition, as I have incorporated another service into my video creating arsenal, Turn Your Cherished Family Memories into Video offers some free ways to create videos that you might find helpful.
Below is a video that will show you some of the different ways you can utilize the power of video in your small business. Pop quiz: How many times do I use the word “actually”? LOL Note to self: DON’T say “actually” more than two times.
I have always been a firm believer in using humor in all aspects of life, including business. After all, if we don’t laugh at some things, we will cry, right? The Social Media Examiner agrees with me. Check out: 5 Tips for Using Humor in Your Social Media Activities and watch their videos – they are really funny.
What is it about laughing that makes it “work”?
Laughter releases a chemical called serotonin into our brains. This is often called the ‘feel good’ hormone because that is the effect it has on our feelings.
Laughter eases stress and helps relax us. You can’t be tense and stressed while laughing. Try it and see for yourself.
Researchers have found that laughter can also help our immune system work better – a pretty good side-effect.
Many of you know that I create videos with goofy images flying in and out. Imagine my surprise when I got a call from a gentleman working in a global investment firm. The company he works for is running a video contest for its 8000 employees to see who can come up with the best video about the advantages this firm offers. He told me he found my videos on Youtube and wanted one just like that. I asked him if he was sure he wanted something that wacky LOL – after all, financial firms are usually a tad more conservative. He assured me that this is what he wanted – something different, something unique, something to stand out. So that is what he got and is quite pleased with his video. The contest winner will be announced next month. How neat would it be it he won? So without further ado, I present to you, a generic version of his video, minus some neat animations I used for him but am unable to share because he does not own the company and can’t use their logo and branding. But before I do, you better laugh or that lady up there will hit you with her cane
How many emails do you get every day? How many email accounts do you have? How many social networks do you belong to? How many invitations to join new social networks do you get per week? How many directories are you listed in? How many newsletters do you subscribe to? How many groups do you belong to on Linkedin and Facebook? How many new products/technologies do you try for free to see if you want to purchase the upgrade? How many different ways do you market your business? Are you getting dizzy yet?
The Internet has opened up amazing exposure opportunities for all businesses, however, there is a down-side. In order to keep up with the latest and greatest, we might find ourselves joining and jumping on the bandwagon to keep up with what “everyone else” is doing. In the case of our competition, if THEY are “there” (wherever “there” is) we need to be there too.
Products/services/novel ideas come and go in this new world of the World Wide Web. For example, QR codes came out in the US with a vengeance. I was just getting used to the idea of using these cute little images, and was surprised to read Death to the QR Code and even more surprised at the reference in this article to Google’s dropping them. Of course, just because Business Insider wrote this article doesn’t mean everyone is going to stop using them.
One trend that has been growing and isn’t going away is video. Video is changing the way the world communicates and the way businesses brand themselves. Using video to promote your website, services, or products has become an integral component of online advertising. With the explosive popularity of sites such as YouTube (now considered the number two search engine online), Vimeo, and others – it’s time to embrace video and make it work on behalf of your company and your website.
Helpful Tips When Using Video
Be creative – be compelling. Give your audience a reason to WANT to watch your video and to share it with others. Be funny, different, unique, or even a little off-color – create that “spark” or “hook”, evoke some type of emotion, and grab their attention.
Showcase your brand! Include your brand’s colors and logo(s) to increase brand awareness.
Use video to SHOW your audience what OTHERS say about you and your brand. They carry much more weight than what you have to say. These video testimonials don’t have to be perfect – the more real and genuine they are – the more believable they will be.
Use video to show how your product/service works. Many people are visual learners and would prefer to SEE what your brand is than read about it.
Create a FAQ video about your product or service. If you have been in business for a while, then you already know what questions have come up about your brand from your current customers. Be proactive and answer these questions for potential customers BEFORE they ask. If you have a customer service department, creating FAQ videos can even cut down on the number of calls coming into your customer service department because you have already answered those questions in video.
There are only a few sure things in life – death and taxes are two of them. The other thing is change. Everything changes: The economy, markets, business needs, technology … Is your business keeping up with these changes?
If not, you will be left behind. Reinventing your business and making your business model dynamic rather than stagnant is the only way you will be able to remain competitive and be successful.
Keeping up with Technology these days is no easy task. For those of us non-techie types, it is sometimes very difficult to ride the waves of new technologies that are popping up every day. The World is going Mobile and I have a feeling that it won’t be long before we will all be able to do almost everything from the comfort of our cell phones. What about Facebook? Facebook is Taking over the World. I don’t know about you, but this concerns me. There is not a day that goes by when I don’t hear about someone’s Facebook account being hacked (mine included), suspicious links are posted on our walls, and spamming runs rampant. BUT because our competitors are on Facebook, after all, everyone is, we need to be there too. As Facebook continues to offer more and more functionality, the lines between OUR brands and the Facebook brand will start to merge together.
Think about the Ma and Pa businesses that have been around for 20+ years reaping the rewards of word-of-mouth advertising alone (which is still THE best form of advertising even in today’s world of the Internet) but because the business world of today dictates that for a company to be seen as legit it needs to have a web presence, many of these smaller local businesses are feeling compelled to create a website. Keeping up with technology and business trends…
Now to my favorite subject – video. There is no question that video is changing the way the world communicates and the way businesses relay their messages. Even the search engines love video. Are You Using the Power of Video to Promote Your Brand? If not, you really should consider using it in some form as part of your marketing strategy. Below is a video about using video. Which stands out more – the written word or the video?
Without further ado, I would like to introduce Susanna Hess and an excerpt from her latest blog about the WebVideoAcademy which offers both a paid membership and free advice via their blog and a perfect addendum to my last blog post about how to produce and use video to promote your brand.
How Can the Little Guy Stand out on the HUGE World Wide Web?
You guessed it! Video of course! Why video? I have stated this before but it bears repeating:
“Online video is the future, the latest trend, and continues to rise in popularity. Key indicators point to corporations embracing online video as an essential marketing tool. In a 2008 Interactive Marketing study, Forrester Research predicted a compound annual growth rate of 72% through the year 2012 – the most robust of all interactive investments. Online video is expected to grow significantly more than search engine marketing, display ads, and email marketing.”
Watch the video below to see someone else’s perspective on the value of video:
But How Can the Small Business Owner Get on Board the Video Bandwagon?
Videos come in all different shapes, sizes, and price ranges. One does not have to be a professional actor/actress or a professional Videographer to be able to use video efficiently and cost-effectively to promote their brand. The easiest way to create a video is to turn on your webcam and speak. Most people today have a webcam built into their computers. There are some simple things you should take into consideration before you turn on your webcam, like lighting, and knowing ahead of time what you are going to say, but in general, it is basically as easy as turning on a switch. Using video in this manner creates a connection with your target market by putting a name, face, and personality behind your brand. People like to do business with people they know – video helps these people “know” you. It you as a small business owner, do nothing else but this type of video marketing, you are way ahead of the game. Think about all the different messages you can send simply by speaking these messages? You can create a welcome message for your website, talk about a new product or service, thank your customers…. the list goes on and on.
There are also other free or low-cost alternatives to creating video for you business. Animotooffers both free and low-cost video production options. There are some limitations with regards to having control over the effects and timings but for most people, this option is more than adequate. I am a little spoiled in being used to having complete control over these functions but I have also used this service when I need a quick video.
You can also create awesome and powerful videos using Microsoft PowerPoint which is what I use to create mine. PowerPoint 2010 has changed my life – literally – with the new “save as wmv” file option. Prior to upgrading to 2010, I was messing around with different low-cost software converters and was never completely satisfied with the results because the timings were always a little off. Upgrading to 2010 for the suggestion)was the best investment I have ever made making it a true pleasure to simply select the “save as wmv” option and know that my timings (that I do spend a considerable amount of time on) will convert exactly as they should.
Remember, it is all about branding and promoting your brand and using video is a means to that end.
We all know about SEO for our websites, but how many of us know about SEO for our videos?
What can you do to make sure your videos are found on Google? The answer is simple. Create and submit a video Sitemap. A video Sitemap includes a link to your video the title, description, play page URL, video thumbnail, and the URL of the original video.
The Discovery Channel provides a powerful case study for Google on the benefits of using video Sitemaps to drive traffic to their website.
As many of you know, I am NOT technical. OK – that is an understatement! I read all the helpful information on how to create a video Sitemap, watched the video below which makes it sound really easy to create a video Sitemap. All you need are the 5 items outlined very clearly in this video right? Well, it is a little more complicated than simply submitting those 5 items. Being a huge fan of video, I opted to use the Google XML Sitemap for Videos instead of trying to create my own. It will be interesting to see how my stats look on my videos after submitting my Sitemap.
Your turn. Do you submit a Sitemap to Google for your videos? If so, do you create your own or are you using a plugin?