We’ve all been there. You’re redoing your website and you’ve gathered beautiful photos and created thoughtful text that describes the value of your business. But, does it feel like “something” might still be missing? That “something” could be a short introduction video.
As we’ve mentioned, the internet is constantly changing and the content that catches users’ attention has to adapt to be creative, eye-catching and engaging. Creating an intro video will grab your audience’s attention and show what your business is about and what you offer. (Kudos to you if you’re already incorporating video marketing in your social media efforts too!)
What is an Intro Video and What Should it Include?
Think of an intro video as a “snapshot” of your business. It should be approximately 30 to 60 seconds and explain exactly what your business does, what product or service you offer, and why people should buy it. Intro videos should be one of the first pieces of content users see (read: on the front page of your brand new, redesigned website!), so you want to make sure that you not only include the most important points about your business, but also create that connection with the customer that generates some excitement. A great intro video will reflect your business and its personality, inform your audience, and leave them wanting to know more. Also something to keep in mind: the average video is abandoned by 20% of users within the first ten seconds, so you’ll need to capture your audience’s attention within the first five to ten seconds. No pressure.
What Are the Benefits of an Intro Video?
By using an intro video, your website instantly becomes more interactive. Although there are certain visitors who may prefer to read text, the majority of people who land on your site will gladly watch a short video to learn more about your company rather than reading two paragraphs of text. Just remember to keep the video short and sweet – the short attention span of internet users is a real thing!
Intro videos also allow you to efficiently demonstrate what your business does or offers in ways that text alone might not be able too (remember- you want to create a connection!) You can use your video to briefly show how your product or service works, and an intro video will get your message across without “boring” your visitor. Holding their interest throughout the video will increase the chances they will contact you or buy your product and become a (loyal) customer.
Did you also know that Google search results actually prioritize websites that have a YouTube embedded video? Some studies have even found that a website is 53 times more likely to show up on the first page of search results on Google if it has an embedded video. Be sure the title of your video is well written and keyword rich as well (we love this online tool for title optimization).
If your website has a high bounce rate, it could be because visitors are not finding the answers they need right away. An intro video can provide direct, easy answers about your business. A website that has an intro video could see visitors staying longer on each page and the website as a whole. A video encourages engagement on the website- prompting people to learn more about your product or service.
General Tips to Keep in Mind
The viewer will want to know what your business can do for them – how can you help them with a problem they already have or make them realize they have a problem that they didn’t know about and YOU can help? Keep in mind why visitors are coming to your site and be sure to clearly offer a solution to that problem
Consider answering common questions that customers have come to your business with. Having a running list of these questions that you can address not only in your intro video, but also in future videos. This will ensure you always have fresh content to put out!
Always draft a script for your video. Start by making a bullet point list with all of the topics you want to touch on, and start with a short introduction and end with a clear call to action (CTA)- a video without a call to action is a video without a purpose! Don’t make your CTA something generic, consider offering a free guide or redirect them to a landing page on your website. CTA messages should be clear and easy to follow, and be sure to reinforce the CTA by having the text overlaid in the video that repeats what you are saying.
Videos that are funny or emotional tend to have higher engagement rates, so be creative with your script! Also, a great “template” to follow for your script is: Short Introduction→ Main Message→ Details→ Call to Action
Video engagement isn’t the future- It’s NOW! Missing out on video means you’re missing out on potential customers. Here at SocialKNX we can help you come up with creative content and ideas for your video marketing needs to ensure your content is always engaging and up to date.
The homepage of your website invites visitors to “join our mailing list” or “subscribe” and yet there is nothing on your site that evokes enough trust for people to want to give away their contact information.
How can you begin a relationship with your potential customers the moment they land on your website? We have 6 tips to help you start establishing trust:
If you want to earn someone’s trust, offer to help them … for free. Provide helpful resources, informative articles or blog posts, and invitations to contact you to help further. This is the stuff that relationships are built on. After all, if I find you to be smart and helpful with your website content and then I decided I need to hire a team, why would I go anywhere else? You don’t have to “sell me” on what you can do if you show me first how helpful you are.
Be sure your website copy isn’t all about you. If all the reader sees is you talking about you and how great you say you are, they probably won’t stick around for long. Often a website will look as if it were written by Captain Obvious, giving general information but offering nothing that shows that this company is uniquely qualified to help. “We are the best, most innovative solution-oriented…”
Your website copy should talk about your customers and the solutions you offer. Pack it with answers to customer’s most pressing questions about your products, services, and industry.
Does your copywriting match the personality of your brand? Does your website copy have a personality at all? When your copy sounds like a robot wrote it (or a really bad SEO company wrote it to appease the Google gods), or if it sounds like a technical manual, it will not engage the reader and evoke trust. When your writing is more conversational and very targeted, your reader will feel as if you are speaking directly to him.
So often web copy is written in an overly formal or technical tone. Write your website copy with a personal tone as if you are writing to a friend. I like to imagine sitting across the table from a good friend who has asked me for advice. If your friend asked you for advice, would you respond with “We set the industry standard for responsive customer service”? I hope not! Speak to your potential customers as friends. [See our recent post: Relationship Building with Your Buyer Persona]
Whether your business is made up of only you, or you have a team of 500, find ways to let your potential customers know who they will be working with. If your website is filled with only stock photos, and worse, most of them the corny stock images you see on every other website, the reader will question who they are actually dealing with or if you are a legit company at all. (If you have any of those images of perfectly diverse teams of smiling people giving each other a high five around the boardroom table, just know that we all know they’re not your real team members!)
Trust is built through transparency and authentic communication. Use real photos or at least a good mix of them on your website. There are so many great photo sources today, that there really is no excuse to use those horrible and very dated images on your website. [see our list of resources on: Stop Using Those Crappy Images On Your Website
If you feel you have to wait to share a photo of yourself until you color your hair, or lose 10 pounds, or buy a power suit, it’s time to get over that and realize that you can change out photos as often as you’d like. Stop waiting…get those photos loaded on your site.
While we are talking about getting real, let’s talk about posting some video on your site of you and your team answering the most frequently asked questions or interviewing customers and other experts. Video is the fastest way to establish trust if you can’t meet and spend time face-to-face. Don’t make them too overly-produced or they look like commercials that are trying to sell us something. Customers want to get to know you and like you. Video is a great tool to accomplish this.
WHAT DO OTHERS THINK ABOUT YOU?
You can tell me all day long how amazing you and your team are, but if I hear it from another customer of yours, it’s more believable. Share client testimonials and quotes. If they allow you to share their name and photo with the testimonial, it’s best. If you are using “Jane E” alongside a stock image of a businesswoman that just might be on that web visitor’s website, you’re busted!
Social proof comes from the mouths of others, not you. Sharing quotes, case studies, and video snippets from clients you have worked with will establish trust much faster than a paragraph of snappy copywriting about you.
Links to your social media accounts can also add to this social proof if you have people talking about your products and services there. Perhaps you have reviews left on Google My Business, Yelp, or even Facebook. Take a screenshot of those reviews and place them on your website.
SHOW WHERE YOU’VE BEEN FEATURED
Have you shared your expertise on other websites or on media outlets? Be sure to post those videos, links to podcast interviews, or even the logos to those media outlets you have been mentioned in or had articles or posts featured in. (Pro tip- put the logos in black and white to avoid issues around copyright infringement) You want to show that others trust you and so can your new viewers.
The original HTTPSprotocol was released in 1995 (Secure Socket Layer, or SSL, in case you’ve wondered what it actually stood for), and it enabled companies to handle credit card transactions online by protecting your payment details and helping to prove that the merchants you visited were who they said they were. Today many of the top search engines require you to have that SSL certificate on your site whether you deal with eCommerce or not, just to help weed out the riffraff spam sites. If you get the error message warning you that a site is not secure and to TURN BACK, you can relax a bit. Your computer is not about to explode. It’s just letting you know that the site you are trying to reach doesn’t have an updated SSL certificate.
To ensure your customers and readers don’t see that frightening warning message, make sure you have an updated SSL certificate. Most hosting companies can add that to your site for free or a small fee.
What’s the first thing you do when you see a video as you scroll through your Facebook feed? I’d guess that you first check the length of the video to decide whether or not it’s worth the time to watch it. Even if you do press play, how often do you actually watch the entire video?
Only 52% of viewers actually watch a video all the way till the end. If a video is under 60 seconds, that number jumps to 68%. These days, it’s hard for marketers to hold the attention of consumers- small bites of consumable information are what people seem to crave right now- as a result, marketers are tailoring content to consumers’ short attention spans.
While the long-standing “2 minute” rule is still a good guideline to go by in regards to your video length, it’s important to tailor each video length to the specific platform on which you are posting the video. Odds are, someone is more likely to watch a 4-minute long video on YouTube, but only last a minute if the same video is on Twitter.
How Long Should Your Videos Be?
In a nutshell, your video really should only be as long as it needs to be in order to convey the message you are intending. The video should be engaging all the way through – providing information that is valuable or that tells a compelling story without any “fluff.”
Facebook videos can technically be up to 240 minutes long, but let’s be honest, nobody wants to watch a 240 minute video on Facebook. On Facebook, videos organically get exposure on a news feed when they are at least 3 minutes long. That doesn’t mean that all of your videos need to be 3 minutes long – you want to focus on the message of the video rather than time limits. The video itself is what captures interests and sparks engagement, not the length of the video.
Some other things to keep in mind when creating a video for Facebook: use eye-catching imagery early on in the video as the first few seconds will automatically play as viewers scroll through a newsfeed. In these first few seconds, it is crucial to include only the information you need to get your point across.
Instagram essentially has three different options for posting videos: Instagram Feed, Instagram Story, and Instagram TV (IGTV).
Instagram Feed Videos posted in your Instagram feed can be up to 1 minute. That being said, Instagram is now set up so that if a video is posted to IGTV (more on IGTV below!), a 10-15 second preview will also show up in the regular feed. According to Hubspot research, videos that are, on average, 26 seconds receive the most comments on Instagram. Similar to Facebook, people are scrolling quickly through their Instagram feed and may not want to stop to watch a long video.
Instagram Story With Instagram Stories, each video uploaded directly to your story can be up to 15 seconds, but you can also post a longer video that will be broken up over multiple 15-second Instagram Story scenes. Statistics say that a story with 3 “parts” tends to be the most engaging.
Instagram TV (IGTV) IGTV was designed with long-form videos in mind, so like Facebook, your video should only be as long as it needs to be in order to get the point across. Previews of your IGTV video now show up in the Instagram feed, and users must then tap “Keep Watching” to watch the rest of the video.
Originally, Twitter had a 30 second limit for video uploads, but it has now been extended to as long as 2 minutes and 20 seconds. However, since Twitter users are used to short updates, it’s usually best to keep your videos on the shorter side. You could always consider creating short teaser videos and linking out to the full video on another social media platform like YouTube.
The audience for YouTube is different from Facebook, Instagram and Twitter because users turn to YouTube specifically for video content! As a result, viewers are prepared for longer videos as they are not aimlessly scrolling through a feed. Similar to Facebook, YouTube rewards videos that have more engagement (watch time) and will feature them more prominently in search results. 6 to 8 minutes is usually the ideal length of a video on YouTube, BUT if you can get the information across in less than 6 minutes, avoid stretching the video out with filler content.
While we do live in a fast-paced, ‘results NOW’ world, a benefit of longer videos is that they can build loyalty and create engagement with your brand on social media – as long as you make sure you are optimizing the videos for the correct social media platform to maximize your views and engagement. When a viewer spends more time watching your video, it typically means the content resonates with them personally, increasing their interest in your company. Video content can help your target audience get to know your brand, create that personal connection and establish that long-standing loyalty!
Here at SocialKNX, we know that different social media channels may require different strategies. Reach out to us today to see how we can help you break your content into byte-sized pieces that get shared across the social media universe!
Many of you may be rolling your eyes saying, “Who cares?” While the rest of you are intrigued since you are probably among the masses who jumped on TikTok during the quarantine period to entertain yourself after finishing ALL OF NETFLIX. Now we have Reels to test drive. Aren’t global pandemics useful?
TikTok has been in the news A LOT lately with the announcement of Trump threatening to ban TiKTock in the US and telling Microsoft they have a month to buy the US division of TikTok and all kinds of other craziness. Picturing Microsoft users getting on TikTok is amusing in itself. Perhaps the RickRoll will make a comeback after all. I believe Twitter is now also in talks to purchase TikTok which worries me since Twitter bought Vine before that shriveled …on the vine, I’m not so sure that will go well either. While all the talks and bidding wars go on, Instagram rolled out Reels. Most people had no idea though since it seems to be a feature that is buried inside of stories.
Reels has been available for quite a while in other countries, but it began rolling out August 5th, in the U.S. Since I have been one those “over 40” (ok… over 50!) moms who are cluttering up TikTok with our SAVAGE moves and the Cannibal Dance. I thought I’d check out Reels over the weekend. I was sadly unimpressed. I really was hoping it would be more of a copycat app with the fun comedy and dance memes, but it reminded me more of… VINE.
Here are a few of the main points on each so you can consider where to waste… I mean, spend more of your time. Don’t get me wrong, I do see some amazing ways to use these apps for a brand, but it will take some time to sift through all of the 16-year-old dance videos and lots of creativity to create content that is worth sifting for.
Launched in 2018 and already has over 2.5 billion downloads in the app store—almost a billion users worldwide and 100 million in the U.S. as of August 2020.
More users spending more time on TikTok than on Instagram!
Mostly entertainment- funny and fashion-oriented video challenges
You can view TikTok videos without having an account
Launched August 5th in the U.S.
Must have an Instagram account to view
If you follow someone’s Reels you will also be following their Instagram feed
It is mixed in with Instagram’s main app causing a bit of confusion and clutter with stories, IGTV, and the regular feed all mixed in with Reels
More augmented reality filters (aka-deer face and sparkles spinning around your face to mask wrinkles and puffy eyes)
So after week one (and just two videos posted to Reels), I am not seeing much to get excited about yet. I’m sure there will be more features that get rolled out and perhaps it will take a few months for us “older folks” to find out about Reels since it’s buried within so many other Instagram features. Just look at the success (or lack thereof) IGTV has had. It was supposed to rival YouTube and I’ve never met someone outside of those in marketing who understand what it is, how to find it, or how to use it.
As popular as TikTok is, it will take a lot for Reels to snag market share. But then again, if TikTok gets snapped up by Microsoft and they blend it with LinkedIn (also owned by Microsoft), Reels could have a fighting chance. I’d better start practicing my SAVAGE moves for Reels now.
Like any new app, I suggest people get on there, poke around and watch a few videos or 87 hours of them (which is what will happen when you first get on TikTok) to see where your brand can find a space to fit in. It feels kind of like a junior high dance… stand against the wall looking awkward. Have a few of the mean girls tell you how old fat and uncoordinated you are and then throw your hands in the air like you just don’t care.
When you hear the word influencer what comes to mind? Kim Kardashian? Peyton Manning? When you think about using influencer marketing for your business do you immediately think it would be cheaper to run a 5-second commercial during the Super Bowl? Let’s look at what an influencer is and how you can employ influencers into your 2020 marketing mix.
Definition of Influencer
First, you need to realize that we are all influencers at some level. Your children are influencers of what you buy at the grocery store. You may influence your coworkers or social media audience to try an app or software that you recommend. The number of followers that show under a profile pic does not define an influencer. An influencer is someone who can persuade a group of people—large or small–to take action.
A micro-influencer is someone who has authority in their field but may not be a celebrity. Like the woman who runs a large networking group in your city, or the mom blogger who has several thousand fans reading and engaging on her blog but not millions…yet. The outdoor enthusiast or local tennis star that has a great following on social media but isn’t selling a course or product…yet!
Identifying the Ideal Influencers for Your Brand
Who are your ideal customers? Have you really spent the time identifying them specifically? If so, here are a few questions to answer to start identifying your ideal influencers:
1. Do you know what other products, services, and places your ideal customers love?
2. Who are the leaders in your industry that people trust that may not even be selling anything?
3. Who is writing informative or educational articles that people share but who are not directly competing with you?
An example I will use is in marketing our coworking space, The Village. My target audience is entrepreneurial women and small teams working remote. They are 30-55 years old. These women are attending networking events for entrepreneurs, they follow blogs about working from home or working on remote teams. Many juggle working from home with raising families and may read Colorado Parent’s Magazine.
Building Relationships with These Influencers
There may be times you need to just pay for an influencer to promote your fitness product or a big launch. There are websites to help you identify, select and measure the success of the campaign. Some of the sites show the fee that the larger influencers will charge. Most paid influencers will have a page on their website showing their fees and what you will get for that fee.
You can check out sites like Social Bakers and Upfluence to look for those higher-paid influencers, but I want to talk about those micro-influencers who just might make a bigger impact for very little, if any payment. Let’s look at the steps to establishing a relationship with your list of influencers and incorporating them into your marketing strategy.
Find each of your influencers on the social channels you want to attract your customers. Connect or follow them and read through several of their posts. Don’t look like a scary stalker liking and commenting on every single post but select a few that truly resonate with you and post a thoughtful comment. We love using emojis in the comments to get the comment to stand-out (other than the flame and 100% ones which just scream SPAMMER).
I may sound a little like the character played by Will Smith in the 2005 movie, HITCH but some of you may need a “dating expert” to be very specific with you. So after commenting on a few posts, wait a day or two and then send a DM to each of your target influencers, not to introduce yourself and talk about how awesome your product or service is, but simply to thank them for sharing helpful or interesting content and give an example of something in their post you really found helpful or interesting. [more on being LIKEABLE here]
Watch their feed for interaction and engagement. Who is engaged with this person? Are they the type of people you have in mind as your ideal customer? Pay attention to the types of conversations your influencer prospect is having. Is he or she mentioning other products? If you spend time courting an influencer and all of their fans are not your ideal customers, you are barking up the wrong tree.
What to Pay Your Influencer, If Anything
Keep engaging daily or at least a couple times a week, so you are coming up on their radar. If they have not already replied back to you or thanked you for all of your interaction, send a second DM asking if you can send them something to get their opinion or thoughts. Let them know that you feel, based on their expertise, their input would be so valuable to you.
Based on their response you may find that sending a product or goodie basket is all you have to “pay” to have them talk about your brand. You can also offer an affiliate’s commission to your influencers, in which case you will want to set up a program to track that on sites like Share-A-Sale, GumRoad, or other affiliate programs that make this easy for you to track and payout commissions.
Whether you pay commission or per blog post they write, be sure to use reporting to track how much traffic is coming from this influencer’s site and how much in sales. You want to make sure your time spent courting them is worth it and aligns with your business goals.
Be In It for the Long Haul
While this process may be much more time consuming than just paying an influencer to pitch your product, it is much more sustainable. Often a paid influencer will mention you once or however long you are paying them, and it can come across as inauthentic. If they are being paid, they will also have to disclose that, causing their audience to see it as an ad, not a true endorsement. If you focus on building a sustainable and mutually beneficial relationship with your influencers you could live happily ever after!
We’d love to hear from you. Have you used influencers in your marketing? What questions do you have for us?
Hotel websites are very similar. They all have the same stock photos of beautiful people sitting in beautiful lobbies or the typical hotel bedroom and the navigation panel on the side to book the room. To the average consumer, your hotel website does not do much to differentiate itself from the others. However, there are several things your property can be doing with social media to blow every competitor out of the water.
Here are 7 Ways Your Hotel Can Win With Social:
Listen to the social vine and have your hotel engage early
I don’t mean to listen to someone saying they are thinking of making a trip to Denver and you send a 20% off promo code. I mean use Twitter’s geo-location feature to listen for conversations going on in your city and then jump in and engage in the conversation with fun facts about the city, events that might be taking place that week or “DID YOU KNOW” trivia about your property or area. Ask what brings them to Denver and share a favorite restaurant or place of interest with them. Let them know you can help in any way possible AND oh, by the way, you want to offer them a special deal only available to your Twitter friends. Don’t offer the same worn out deal that they can find on any travel site.
Have your “Social Concierge” welcome a guest BEFORE they arrive
Sure, after booking a hotel room many hotels send a confirmation email, but why not encourage them to connect with you on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or any other sites your Social Concierge is connecting with guests. Show them you are on duty and ready to make their experience extra special. You can now extend the guest experience from the booking to the arrival, and of course, all the way through to their next booking.
Provide helpful information to guests
Have the Social Concierge provide guests with seasonal weather information suggested packing items like winter coats or fall sweaters. Put together a list of things ahead of time for each season and then place the link in a tweet or Facebook post to them. On Twitter and Facebook, you can continue the relationship building and find out if they are coming for business or perhaps a special occasion that you can now help make more productive or more special.
Send a link with local events happening in your town and suggested sites to see.Send a list of restaurants in your area and shopping malls around. The concierge at the desk isn’t the only one who can help them make plans.
Let your guests know you’re online and ready to answer any questions, before during or after their stay.This can personalize the experience and nip any problems in the bud. It can also relieve your front desk team from some of the traffic that gathers to ask simple questions.
Watch for SOCIAL check-ins
Be sure and have your social “check-in deals set up” and watch those check-ins daily to also welcome folks who may have come into your social range through these channels. A person is always stunned when they check in on a social channel and someone replies to them with a WELCOME note. It shows you are listening.
Don’t send a typical survey after a guest leaves
These are impersonal and most guests feel as if it goes into a shoebox under the GM’s desk anyway, never to be looked at or acted upon. You do the work. Reach out and ask them via Twitter or Facebook, if their stay was excellent. Get specific feedback and if the guest is delighted, then you can ask if they’d be willing to share the sentiments on TripAdvisor, Google My Biz or Facebook recommendations. Encourage them to share any favorite photos or memories from their trip. Keep the relationship growing!
What are some other ways you can reach out through the social channels that guests are flooding, to create a more unique customers experience? Have you had any hotel or retail store do something creative that WOW’d you? We’d love to hear.