The Engenius Blog

Ideas & tips on business, marketing, and using the Internet effectively.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words, so What’s a Video Worth?

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According to Dr. James McQuivey, a one minute video is equal to 1.8 million words. Whether or not you believe that, this is an important question to ponder as video continues its rise as one of the most highly consumed forms of content on the web. You may have noticed this trend — if you scroll through your Facebook newsfeed, you’re bound to pass a number of videos, each automatically playing and vying for your attention. And it’s not just social media.

Video is an effective means of communicating with your audience, regardless of where you use it. Whether you’re sharing a video through your email newsletter, placing one at the top of your website’s homepage, or hosting a webinar, video is an indispensable addition to your digital marketing arsenal.

But how do you use video effectively? How do you determine what kind of content your audience wants to see in these moving pictures? And where do you even start?

1. Determine what is most difficult to communicate to your audience.

Whether or not you agree with Dr. McQuivey, it is indisputable that video makes the most of the real estate it is offered. No other form of content allows you to communicate so much in such a limited space, so it’s important to ask yourself what gets lost in translation when talking with your customers.

bad communication

Are any of your messages being lost in translation?

  • Find yourself repeatedly explaining how your product works, despite the fact that it is explained in-depth on your website? Replace those lines of text with a product demo.
  • Do your testimonials lack impact when they aren’t delivered in-person? Record your elated clients as they praise you and your services.
  • Struggling to get your audience to connect with your brand? Create a comedic video that highlights your staff, city, or personal interests.

While video has a proven ROI, it can be costly, so you’ll want to identify what your audience doesn’t understand to make the most of your investment.

2. Educate your audience with a webinar

A webinar isn’t the most traditional form of video, but it represents one of the best ways to engage your audience online. Best of all, it can satisfy a number of different needs. Anonymous users will sign up and become leads, offering a great tool for attracting and identifying potential customers. Current clients will sign up to learn something new, further building your relationship and establishing your company as a thought leader. Industry leaders will attend, allowing you to connect with others or learn something new. You can use recordings of the webinar and repurpose the content you cover into other forms, such as a blog or whitepaper.

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“Of the lead generation tactics available, webinars are the second most effective type of premium content for marketers” — Ascend 2

Afraid a webinar is too costly? Well, the average cost of conducting one is between $100 and $3000, depending on promotion and technology costs. You can bring costs down by using free web services and promoting your webinar through word of mouth.

3. Pay attention to analytics.

Most people know that one of the strengths of digital marketing is the ability to accurately track data in order to make informed decisions. Rather than broadcasting a message and hoping it speaks to your audience, you can test a number of different strategies and determine what is most effective.

Video takes this one step further. While you can track the number of impressions and clicks a Google ad achieves, you can delve much deeper with videos, tracking how long a user stays engaged, what parts of a video are watched repeatedly, at what point a conversion occurs, and more. The point of video isn’t to get millions of views (although that would be nice); it’s to gain leads, drive conversions, and engage your current clients. It’s about communicating in innovative ways, giving a new spin to a tired message.

What will your video be worth?

Understanding the best ways to use video is no easy task, but these guidelines should help you get started and allow you to focus on what matters. But remember, video doesn’t work in a vacuum. You need a great website, active social media accounts, informative blogs, and other staples of content marketing to make the most of your digital presence. If you’re interested in learning about how Engenius can help you take control of your online identity, give us a call! We’ll help you define your needs and explore ways to address them.

If Your Company Were a Person, What Would it Drink? (An Easy Approach to Fantastic Content Marketing)

It’s not easy to spot a company that excels at content marketing, because it often doesn’t feel like marketing at all. Instead of interrupting what you’re doing online, these companies attract you by providing information you’re already looking for. They create online content—“any information that builds trust and authority among your ideal customers.”—that allows you, the consumer, to form a partnership with the company, rather than a transactional relationship.

The following exercise will help you become better acquainted with your company’s personality so you can make your online content less disjointed and “salesy”, and more inviting and intriguing.

vintage beer

Today’s marketers opt for the subtle, relational advertising approach of content marketing. A brewery might eschew a traditional “drink me” ad in favor of a blog post — on oak barrel brewing, for example — that generates traffic to their website.

Have a Drink Together

Whether you’re a business owner, director, or marketer, you can probably envision the type of person your company would be if it materialized on the bar stool next to you. You have, after all, made it your business to know your company’s image, work-style, best (and worst) attributes.

So here’s the prompt: you’re sitting down for a drink of something with your company somewhere. Play it out in your mind. Have a conversation. Don’t worry, your imagination doesn’t have to be unicorn-level “out there”. The main question you’ll want to answer is this: What highlights from that conversation will leave you knowing your company well—and wanting more from your relationship?

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The main question you’ll want to answer is this: What highlights from that conversation will leave you knowing your company well—and wanting more from your relationship?

Here are a few other helpful questions to guide you through this marketing meditation:

  1. What would it drink? Drip coffee? Whiskey? Lemonade? Beer? Coca cola in a glass bottle? Plain ‘ol water?
  2. Where (and when) would you meet? Does your work-hard, play-hard professional company invite you to meet at a downtown bar for happy hour, ties loosened and jackets slung onto barstool backs? Or perhaps your productive persona wants to meet in the early morning, the first two people at a locally-owned coffee shop?
  3. What are your first impressions? Looks matter for this meeting. Is your guest of honor gearing up for a day on the job site, with steel toe boots and hard hat? Or does it don trendy garb with the latest hairstyle to top it off?
formal_vs_informal

What kind of first impression does your business make?

  1. How does the conversation begin? Imagine your small talk, opening jokes, recounting of last night’s shenanigans, etc. Does your company’s personality immediately start to fill up the room, or is it more reserved, opting to ask you questions instead?
  2. What aspects of your company’s personality emerge? Does your company strive to entertain you? Educate you? Is it playful? Serious? Pushy? Altruistic? Feel the freedom to note characteristics normally perceived as negative.
  3. What is your company’s favorite subject? What does it go on and on about? Construction? Cooking? Cats? What is your company’s level of expertise in this area?
  4. What do you learn? What has your company shared that you didn’t know (you may need to feign ignorance) and that you find to be incredibly useful?
  5. …See? For example, what did your company pull out its smartphone to show you?
  6. …Do? Did your company eschew the coffee house in favor of a sports drink shared before a skydiving jump? Or perhaps you did meet in a coffee shop, but spent less time in casual conversation and more time planning your dream home.
  7. What does your company promote? If your company is in the fitness industry, it can’t stop talking about good eating and exercise practices. If it’s in the finance industry, you receive a snappy rundown on good investment practices.

Now, how are you a slightly better person after having a drink with your company?

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Invite your customers into a partnership by continually creating content that shows them how you can enrich their lives.

This question is the most important. This conversation will help you redefine the tone and style of the content you produce. Most importantly, though, it will help you invite your customers into a partnership by continually creating content that shows them how you can enrich their lives.

Create Content Based on Your Happy Hour Conversation

This is where you get creative and productive, crafting content for your website, blog, and social media channels based on what you just learned. We’ll cover specific ways to do this in Part 2.

We Want to Have a Drink with Your Company Too

If our company were a person, he would talk about Engenius clients, and how interesting, challenging, and ultimately satisfying it is to launch beautiful and effective websites and online marketing campaigns on their behalf. Getting to know our clients and their companies is not only essential to crafting an effective content marketing campaign, it’s one of our favorite things about working here. To have an *actual* drink with an Engenius team member and discuss your company and marketing goals, contact us!

2 Buyer Personas to Help Give Your People What They Need

One of the beauties of digital marketing is that the sky’s the limit in terms of the amount of content you can provide your client. Granted, developing content like videos and graphics costs money, but once you have your platforms in place the cost for actually putting that content online is minimal. You can have 1 paragraph or 2,456 paragraphs for the same price.

But just because you CAN doesn’t mean it will actually help your business.

In case you haven’t observed, there are quite a few things vying for our attention online these days — Pokemon and politics, recipes and race relations, kittens & conventions. Your business can get lost in the chaos, even when what you offer your clients is vital, important, and desired!

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I’ll learn more about your business, right after I finish watching this cat and dog cuddle

So how do you stand out amongst the madness? You design content that is hyper-focused on the values, goals, and challenges of your optimal client. Make them feel like your website, or your Facebook post, was designed just for them.

Everyone who looks at your content may not be your “optimal client,” but keeping your content tailored for that ideal user will appeal to a larger audience than you think. It shows purpose and vision, and that is attractive to most people.

Think About the Specifics of Your Ideal Customer

It’s impossible to design content for your optimal client if you haven’t given thought to who that client is and what their goals are. Even if you feel like “anyone” could be a great client, it is important to break it down and get specific so you can focus your message.

Creating Your Buyer Personas

You deal with your customers everyday. What do they need to know?

It takes time and research to get these specifics, and that is tough when you’re running a small business. But, there are tons of great resources out there to guide in the development of these Buyer Personas. We are particular fans of Hubspot, so we recommend this article, which includes a free template.

Once you know the basic demographics, goals and challenges of your audience, you can hone in on how your product or service is the perfect thing to help them — and put that message front and center on your website.

Design Buyer Personas Based on Your Customer’s Goals

Example 1: Buyer Persona A is a middle aged CEO, who is researching your products or services so she can choose between you and a competitor. She is looking for a great price (who isn’t?), but also has the budget to get the best product for her company. She is planning to spend more time on your site than the average user, but she also doesn’t know anything about you yet.

Designing for her: On the homepage, highlight the 3-4 big picture facts you want to stick with her after she leaves your site (the “conclusion” you want her to draw about your company), and link those to internal pages with more detailed information. Don’t overload her with everything at once. Break it down. Give her choices and clear paths for digging deeper into the areas she chooses to explore. Because she is “comparison shopping”, you’ll want to include testimonials from your clients to back up what you know to be true – she should choose your company! Make sure it is obvious how she can move forward – by calling, emailing, submitting a form, etc.

Buyer Personas A

A home page that would appeal to the needs of Persona A

Example 2: Persona B is a 30-something recurring customer. He needs to go to your website, buy your gizmo, and get on with his jam-packed day.

Designing for him: You naturally want to include details about your products on the site for new customers, but because your research has shown that most of your business comes from return customers, your goal is to help them get in and out quickly.

Your website should have your most popular products on the homepage (as opposed to on a Shop page), with the option to “buy now” simply by hovering over the image. A streamlined check-out process, with the ability for users to have their own accounts with stored shipping and billing details, is a must. Because your customers are loyal, you also want to include the ability for any product to easily be shared to social media or email. Ideally, they should be able to finish the checkout process (and tell all their friends) in less than 6 clicks. Details about Who You Are and Why Your Products Rock can live deeper in the site for new visitors.

Buyer Personas B

A home page that would appeal to the needs of Persona B

These are just two examples of how you can help your buyer personas reach their goals. Personas will vary widely, and sometimes you may have more than one ideal customer. Remember that you can’t please everyone, and you shouldn’t try to! Reach the people that you absolutely need to reach, give them the information they have to have, and let the more nuanced details live in less prominent places on your website. The people who want to know that information will find it, as long as you make it easy for them.

Creating buyer personas is just one essential step in designing an effective website. If you want to learn more about how to develop a website that drives traffic, acquires leads and closes sales, download our free eBook “25 Website Must-Haves”.

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