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11 reasons why your brand should be using social video

Video on the smart phoneVideo has become the powerhouse of marketing and it’s great for SMEs because they can do it themselves.

As a professional video creator specialising in social media content that features video extensively I wanted to bring this to your attention. If it’s appropriate for their business I encourage all of my clients to make their own videos and many of them do.

There are two Apps that my existing clients can use to boost their existing video content even more. Having said that, they all have well produced videos on their website and in their blog content.

Just in case you need any further convincing that you should give Vine, Instagram or other social video platforms a go, here’s a handy guide to why social video is important for brands.

Video works

Video is one of the most persuasive of all visual tools as it’s capable of delivering large amounts of information quickly and clearly. Especially if the information is about a new service or product.

If you’re talking about a product that someone wants to explore, it’s a step or two short of being able to put that product in their hands.

Accessible to everybody

As social video apps are mobile-first, anyone with a smartphone can access your content, and anyone with a smartphone can make a Vine or an Instagram. This basically means anyone in the world can access your content.

Looking back now, this was an incredible thing. Vine was a low budget filmmaker’s dream. It completely democratised filmmaking. It’s accessible to everyone and it’s made indie filmmakers of us all.

Easy for beginners

It’s really easy to get started with Vine and Instagram, sign-up takes a few seconds. All you need is a phone and a little imagination.

It’s free, or at least as cheap as you want it to be

There’s no cost involved. If you have zero budget, it doesn’t matter, work around it. Some of the best branded Vines clearly cost no money at all, so theoretically, the people in charge of your marketing budgets shouldn’t really need much persuading. Just get out there on your lunch break and give it a go.

Promotes trust

Video can help build trust. If you feature your own face, or the face of an employee in a video, a viewer is more likely to trust your brand, and on social media integrity and authenticity is everything.

Marketing beyond marketing

Short-form videos run the whole spectrum of creativity. They’re not just for promotional content, they can also be entertaining, innovative, instructional or informative. If you get the tone right, you’re video will be shared beyond your own audience’s reach.

Social at its core

Before the launch of Vine we were all used to filming videos on our smartphones and showing them to our friends. With these apps, suddenly we have a much wider audience, because they aren’t merely video making tools.

As soon as you make a Vine or an Instagram it is immediately uploaded to your network of followers, therefore community and social sharing is an integral part of the package.

Just like Facebook or Twitter, you should Comment, Share, Like, Revine, Regram, whatever it takes to build a loyal audience. Encourage users to make Vines for your brand – run a competition for them! This will give them an audience, and this will in turn help build yours and make you an integral part of the community.

Instagram stats

  • Instagram has 300 million monthly active users
  • The average Instagram user spends 21 minutes per day using the app
  • The app is more popular among younger people, with usage at 41% among those aged 16-24 and at 35% among 24-34s

Vine stats

Vine has less users, but it’s still a considerable audience…

  • 40 million users
  • 100 million people watch Vines every month
  • 12 million Vines are uploaded to Twitter daily
  • 31.8% of US teenagers use Vine

The audience for social video is young, engaged and will share the heck out of anything they really like. If this is the audience that you’re after, then it’s vital that you should be on Vine or Instagram.

Instagram smashes Twitter for engagement

I’m sure you’re all using Twitter, you understand the value of Twitter and you get why it works.

Well…

Of the top 25 brands, the average post engagement rate is 3.31% on Instagram compared to 0.07% on Twitter.

Furthermore, average profile interactions were 19m on Instagram vs. 502,000 on Twitter.

Instagram or Vine or both?

Instagram and Vine have managed to remain unique in their own way, with brands tending to choose one or the other platform based on where its audience is, what kind of content they have and their tone of voice.

It’s therefore up to you to experiment with which one is right for you. For instance you might find that if you’re a luxury brand, Instagram might be more suitable.

via: 11 reasons why your brand should be using social video

Summary

At the time of writing I haven’t used either of these apps to make a video but I have read the reviews on both and as usual there are pros and cons.

It appears that Instagram has recently updated the app and the changes haven’t been met with a great deal of enthusiasm by many users, with many claiming that they’re going to look elsewhere.

As far as I can see they are both worth a try because the only way to find out if something works for you is to try it for yourself.

I have recommended to a new client to take videos of their projects. They could use these Apps very effectively, broadcasting their progress almost in real time. If they do that it will greatly increase the effectiveness of their social media campaign. And that has to be good!

Here’s how they could use video they create themselves  Malus-15-3-13-1270-6

If IAQS (Indoor Air Quality Solutions) in Perth Western Australia use videos created on the Instagram and Vine Apps then they would be able to show real time case studies following the story from their first look at the symptoms, mould on the ceiling for example, to the discovery of the cause, the removal of the toxic mould from the ceiling and returning the house or office back to healthy clean breathable air.

These are just 11 of the reasons why you really should  be using video to promote your product and/or service.

 

 

Modern Testimonials – A Sure-Fire Way to Build Trust to Catapult Your Success

Thank youLets begin with change

We all live in a world where the constant and dramatic change is almost overwhelming. This is very apparent in the marketing and online digital environment.

However, there is one business tool that hasn’t really moved with the times — the testimonial.

Sean Dezousa from 5000bc.com describes it like this. “If I put 6 spoons of sugar in a coffee and asked you to drink it would you? If you did it would be sickly sweet.”

But it doesn’t need to be like that? There is a better way to get great testimonials from your customers.

But lets start with the power and value of even sickly sweet traditional testimonails.

Why WordPress Testimonials Can Generate More Selling Power Than the Best Sales Copy

Consumers are more savvy than ever these days, so simply claiming you are “the best” is not enough. With testimonials, though, you don’t need to work to convince your audience you are awesome – because other people can do it for you.

Testimonials offer an independent indication that you have done a great job. They can also help reassure new or nervous customers, as well as distinguish you from your competitors. Using reviews and comments from your satisfied customers can transform your sales pitch into a credible, unbiased recommendation for your product or service.

If that’s not enough to convince you of the value of testimonials, adding them to your site is simple to do, and adding even just one good review of your product or service can generate more selling power than some of the best sales copy out there.

Building your audience or customer base all begins with building trust in your brand, and once a few people trust and enjoy your brand it’s only natural for them to spread the word – and conveniently create testimonials for you.

via: Why WordPress Testimonials Can Generate More Selling Power Than the Best Sales Copy

A Guide to Customer Testimonials: Your Business’s (Not-So) Secret Weapon

When Billy Joel sang that, “It’s a matter of trust,” he wasn’t talking about marketing. Nevertheless, marketers can definitely learn a thing or two from The Piano Man, especially when it comes to the importance of building relationships with prospective customers.

Customer testimonials are one of the most powerful trust signals you can use on your website and in your marketing campaigns, including landing pages, product and pricing pages, and even your AdWords ads. Persuasive testimonials from satisfied customers can sway even the most hesitant prospect, making them a potent weapon in your marketing arsenal.

via: A Guide to Customer Testimonials: Your Business’s (Not-So) Secret Weapon

But how do we get testimonials that inspire trust?


Traditional Testimonials are like resumés

Have you ever read or written a resume that highlighted weaknesses and past mistakes?

I doubt it because we all know that resumes are written to impress the reader. Testimonials are the same — sickly sweet and no spice.

But, testimonials, even sugary ones, are important for business. So how can we get a more mature testimonial? How can we give them new life?

When you read the next 6 simple questions you will know how.

Introducing a Testimonial with a difference — the Lighthouse TestimonialTestimonial lighthouse

So what is a Lighthouse testimonial?

You know that every buyer experiences doubt prior to purchasing a product or service. There’s always an objection lurking like the Grim Reaper in the buyer’s mind.

People are skeptical. It’s a fact of life.

The purpose of a lighthouse is to be visible; To shine; To stand out. And that’s what a Lighthouse Testimonial does. It stands head and shoulders above every other testimonial out there.

How do we do that?

They shine because they are not all sugar and no spice. We actually include objections your customers face when they are making the decision to buy your product or service. And then the Lighthouse Testimonial will diffuse common objections to your product or service.

6 simple questions to powerful testimonials

Get in front of your client or at talk with them on the phone and ask them these six simple questions: (Make sure you get their permission and record the conversation.)

  1. What would have prevented you from hiring my product/service?
  2. What did you find as a result of buying this product/service?
  3. What specific feature did you like most about this product/service?
  4. What would be three other benefits about this product/service?
  5. Would you recommend this product/service? If so why?
  6. Is there anything you’d like to add?

How to obtain your Lighthouse Testimonial

If you simply ask for a testimonial, your customers will always promise to send it to you but they hardly ever land in your inbox. And even if they do send one it’s bound to be the same as all the others.

So the best way to obtain a Lighthouse Testimonial from your clients is to meet with them or give them a call. Face-to-face meetings are best because you are able to ask questions prompting them to expand on their statements. What you end up with is a testimonial story.

The next option best option is a phone call. Make sure you ask your clients permission and record the call.

Why they work so welltick of approval

Lighthouse testimonials are strong because they identify a problem; When the problem is named the buyer identifies with it and then your previous client diffuses the objection for you with their testimonial. That’s why they work so well.

They’re believable because they are not all sugary. Traditional testimonials are sickly sweet and they’re like drinking a cup of coffee that has 10 spoons of sugar in it.

Lighthouse testimonials are a new, refreshing and innovative approach to a proven and vital business tool.

When you ask the simple 6 questions you get a story from your clients that packs a punch; A punch that will help your business to soar.

Here are a few example of testimonials that are on a sugar free diet

Example 1. Heatley Industrial & Safety

“The main hesitation we had was the fact that you didn’t seem to have a finished product to show as an example that was similar to ours.(Objection.)
However, we found that you are very professional and easy to work with.” (Objection defused.)
The best feature of the video is the personal touch of the video. It wasn’t too corporatised. (The feature)

The client then described the benefits of having a video.
The video has assisted us to give our customers and new employees a better understanding of our business and has improved our corporate image.
Our opposition have been around for so long and are so well marketed that many customers didn’t know a half of what we did.
Once we go the corporate video it was different. The biggest hurdle was just them knowing if we could handle their business or not. Whether we could be competitive and handle their business.
The video does that for us. It’s great.
Additional benefits have included supplier presentations and the ability to post the video on the internet.
I would strongly recommend your service to others. You provided Quality, Value, and Professional service.
I would also like to thank you for your patience with the amount of changes and updates we did.”

David Grigg – Sales & Marketing Manager Heatley Industrial & Safety

Example 2 Jarrod Hodge – Manager – Heatley Industrial & Safety

Knowing the extent of your experience I was confident about your ability to give us the video we needed. The confidence proved to be well founded and the video has worked very well for us.
I have used the video in formal presentations to some of my larger contracts and instead of having to verbally explain our company, where we come from and what we do to the customer, it’s easier to plug the flash drive in and show them through the video what our company does.

It’s cut down a good 20 to 30 minutes of the presentation time. These formal appointments we have are an hour at the most. Any longer and we’re wasting their time. So the more time we’ve got to talk about the benefits of our business more than what our business is about the better.

These large corporate organisations appreciate the speedy presentation so we can get down to business faster. The video enables them to absorb a lot more of our specialty information rather than just the general information.
Having the video enable us to make a more professional presentation. Our other senior managers have all found the same. The video saves a good 15 to 20 minutes each presentation.

I helps us with the bottom line – we get more sales because we can spend more time pointing out the benefits of working with our company.
It allows us to sell our point of difference to the customer. The time we save with the video gives us more time to talk about the benefits of Heatleys and our point of difference.

The video with visuals, voice over and music enables them to absorb more information than listening to me speak for 30 minutes selling my company. It’s done in just a few minutes.
We want them to communicate what they expect from us. And this is where the extra time is a real bonus.

We have more time to listen. We get a very good idea of what issues they face which leads nicely into what we can do for them. How we can help them.
The larger corporations appreciate the concise professional presentation.

Jarrod Hodge Manager Heatley Industrial & Safety

Example 3 – The Shire of east Pilbara

Question: What would have prevented you from hiring my product/service?
Answer: Because your quote was so much lower than the others we didn’t think you could do the job properly I guess.
However, when we saw the examples of what you had previously done, they indicated that you could produce the sort of video we were after. It gave us an appreciation of what you could do.
Question: What did you find as a result of buying my product/service?
Answer: The video gives a quick overview of the Shire. It shows new employees and businesses thinking of coming to Newman a look a Newman and what the area has to offer.

Question: What specific feature did you like most about this product/service?
Answer: The visuals and the sound. The combination of the vision and the sound is a good package.
Question: What would be three other benefits about this product/service?
I forgot to ask this question. So keep list of questions handy to remind yourself.
Question: Would you recommend my product/service? If so why?
Answer: I certainly would. I think you did a pretty good job for the time we had, the budget we had and we’re very happy with the result. You delivered on what was asked.
Question: Is there anything you’d like to add?
Answer: You were very easy to work with. You were efficient and got the job done – we’re very happy.
Gaby Pieraccini Manager Sustainability Shire of east Pilbara

We have since updated the video and for a further testimonial please contact Allen Cooper CEO Shire of East Pilbara.

Turn a good small business tool into a great business winning tool.

How To Reach Your Target Market – A Secret You Wish You Knew One Year Ago

How To Reach Your  Target Market – A Secret You Wish You Knew One Year Ago

The best way to your target market is with personas. Or is it?

The words you write aren’t for everyone, but they’re for someone. There is someone out there who is relentlessly surfing the internet, looking for your products and services. You know this because you did your research first.

If you can communicate with this person, you have a guaranteed sale.

There’s no hard-selling or strong-arming; just a little persuasive copy. Copy that’s cool, that attracts the best customers.

Before you can write for this person, you need to know who they are. Copywriters spend a great deal of time researching their audience. You need to do this too, trust me it’s time well spent and it works, because I’ve written this for you and you’re here reading it.

One way to think about this person is that they’re your “best customer.” They’re not your only customer. But if you aim at the best customer, or the one who most needs what you’re offering, you’ll get attract in others just like her.

It’s estimated that for most businesses, 20% of their customers generate 80% of their sales. It’s your job at the research stage to discover exactly who those 20% are.

What You Need to Know

You need to create a demographic profile of your customers. The demographic profile includes quantifiable data about your best customer, like their age, gender, ethnicity, location, income level, etc. This data will be in your business plan and your marketing plan, if you’ve done them.

You also need to take into account psychographic, the stuff that’s not quantifiable. This includes things like attitudes, fears, likes/dislikes, interests, motivations, and so on. This data should include how the person feels about the purchases they make, the companies they buy from, your industry, etc.

I know, your ideal customer might be like you, but she’s not you. She doesn’t get excited when Glee comes on the TV, she does love the X Factor though. That might not seem like a difference, but is it?

Creating a Customer Avatar

From all of this very specific research data, you can create an avatar of your best customer. You’re going to actually create a human being to market your products and services too because when you write for a real person your writing is a whole lot better. It will be an imaginary human being, but an important person nonetheless because she’s going to keep your copy, your words, inspired.
Via: http://www.sarkemedia.com/words-will-attract-the-best-customers/

However, while all of the above is true it can be improved!

Because a persona that has been created from numerous character traits is still a figment of your imagination, and as such the person lives inside your head.

Try this for on for size.

Find an existing customer or prospect who fits the persona you have created. Yes, a real person and sit down and interview them.

We call this the Target Profile and we choose a real person who fits the persona.

Persona’s Vs Target Profiles

Everyone talks about personas but even though they’re based on a number of real people they are still fictional.

They are created by surveying your customer base creating a fictional profile that encompasses the key elements of your targeted consumer.

And that is the problem. A persona create from a cross section of your Target Market remains a  fictional person and can only exist inside your oun head!

You’re still inside your head and tapping (or tying to) tap into how your fictional ideal customers are thinking and feeling. It is almost impossible to separate self from your persona.

You keep your fiction character in mind as you write and it sort of works. But does it work as well as it could?

There’s an American Indian saying that goes something like this; “You can’t judge another person until you have walked two moons in their moccasins”. In other words you have no idea as to what goes on in any one else’s mind. You can try but you are still inside your own head!

But what if you created a persona based on a real person say, called Nigel. Nigel is a person you can talk to. You can see him and how he responds to your questions.

When you talk with Nigel you are tapping into Nigel’s emotions, his frustrations, fears, overwhelm and uncertainty? You see how these issues are effecting him. You can get a feel for the extent of the problems he is facing. You do not need to create your perfect customers persona in your imagination. Yes it is created based of research but that is still only data.

A Target Profile is an accurate record of how a real living breathing human being is suffering from the problems that your product or service can solve for him.

And because Nigels is typical of your target market every person in Nigel’s situation will ‘get it’. They will connect, relate to your message at an emotional level because it contains real emotions.

What have you got to lose?

Find a ‘Nigel’ or a ‘Jane’ in your existing customers or someone who fits the fictional persona you have created and talk to them. And then create a Target Profile.

I struggled for years creating personas but failed. As soon as I create target profiles based on people in my target market and interviewed them it all came together.

My business has three target markets and I have created three target profiles for each area.

Argh – Interview!@*%# I hate doing interviews and what do I ask.

Well there are three simple questions that can get you started and keep you on track.

Get them to list their all of their problems – (when they pause ask them if there are any other issues that cause them difficulty?)

Hitting the TargetWhat is your main problem?

Why is it a problem?

What will happen if the problem remains unresolved?

Repeat this process until you have address all of the problems.

Hit your Target Market with your Target Profile and cusotmers in a personal way.

Contact Alan for more information

How to get more leads

Are you stuck?Have you wondered about using social media and video to promote your business but get stuck?

With the arrival of the Internet, the world changed forever. And for small and medium enterprises this is wonderful news because it is now easier than ever to promote their products and service far more effectively and economically than ever before!

But you’re still stuck, right?

You want to use modern methods to get more leads and customers but it’s quite confusing and you simply don’t have the expertise or, more importantly, the time to learn how.

Marketing can be a time-consuming business. However, help has arrived.

Our logo is a relaxed man sitting on a beach enjoying a sunset. Why? because we take the stress out of your social media marketing and do it for you.

We have a 5 step strategy that takes away all of the drudgery and time-consuming tasks of constantly updating your social media channels such as Facebook and LinkedIn etc.. After 3 weeks you sit there and wonder what to write about today.

We solve this problem for you with our 7 step strategy.

  1. We research and locate current topics relevant to your industry
  2. Spend 3 hours per month with us and then we create the content for you.
  3. The content is optimised to get as many visitors as possible to your blog.
  4. When you have approved the content we have created we schedule the post to appear on a specified day of the week.
  5. Once published we promote the post on your social media channels attracting visitors to your website and/or blog
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