content marketing and video production

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30 ORIGINAL IDEAS FOR VIDEO CONTENT

Use video to teach, entertain, and connect with your social media fan base and email subscribers. Unlike most video content lists, here are loads of detailed ideas for more than 20 specific businesses and loads of general ideas that can be adapted to many more. You can hire out a pro like Leen Solutions to produce your video but every one of these ideas can be shot on a smartphone and edited with a minimum of expertise. Don’t forget, to include a call to action every time you share a video: call for a quote, click our website link for details, take advantage of this offer, etc.

Testimonial.

Everyone immediately thinks a testimonial is about a customer experience but employees and business partners can talk about customer interactions and great service as well. Getting a customer testimonial is as easy as asking. (Pro Tip: If your client says yes, be sure to get it in writing or on video with a full understanding where it will be shown and for how long. This is called a subject release.) When you are ready, you can simply set up a Skype call and use their free video recorder software.

  • Auto Parts: Profile employee helping a customer and talking about how the job is always interesting because you have to be a problem solver.
  • Hair salon: Try to get a representative from your favorite product to get on camera. They can explain how they love partnering with a business that can tell the difference between any other hair shampoo and the quality of their product. This idea works especially great if you sell the product in store. Look to leverage a cross-promotion and make a version of the video with shots of your business so they can also share on their social media channels.

How to.

Everyone wants to learn, but sometimes you are to close to what you make or do…so ask your staff, your friends, and your family.

  • Restaurant: give a cooking tip and turn your chef into a media star.
  • Cleaning Company: Share your cleaning hacks. If you love a product, try some business-to-business networking by sharing your video and then following them on their social media channels. They might just distribute your content to their followers.

Season change.

Color clues and visuals are critical here such as light green for spring, leaves for autumn and so on. Give the signal that a change of season or year is the time to act.

  • Clothing retailer: Remind your fans of what is trending for the upcoming season and what you have in stock.
  • Accountant: January is a good time to start reminding them about those tips to an improved return.

Demo.

People are highly engaged while watching how things work. Showing a small part of a process, which is visually interesting, can drive traffic to a website landing page where you can unpack a full explanation.

  • Nail Salon: If you are trying to up-sell a powder gel, or a new trending look, show part of the process in a tight shot. Don’t forget to show your company name, location and add a link to your website. After all, you hope they share it with a friend.
  • Sports Clothing Store: Show the midriff of a fit man swinging a racket or taking a basketball shot then lifting his shirt off his chest. Add type on a colored background that says “Keep cool in Dri-Fit. On sale till Sept.” Don’t forget your logo and website.

Gratitude.

Any team and any business owner can make a video thanking their customers. Doing it each year is a great way to build loyalty. Many businesses do this in an email and what is more exciting than opening an email with a group shot of the whole company saying “Thank you!”

  • Pediatrician: Back to school is a busy time and you count on that billing. Show a kid stepping on the scale and getting measured while telling your clients how much you love measuring the kids and seeing how healthy they are after summer break. Behind the Scenes. Anyone can be enticed to engage in a sneak peek – it goes straight to human nature. If they didn’t want to closer to your business, they wouldn’t be a social media fan of your business to begin with. Give them the goods and find a way to brand it to your business model on a regular basis.

Behind the Scenes.

  • Educator: Show some of what goes on in in class. Even seeing people file in and raise their hands to ask a question or part of an introduction to a lesson is great motivation to find out more.
  • Wedding Planner: How about a time lapse of all that goes into the day of set up? What better way to show all the details you help to orchestrate for the special day. Event. Don’t miss out on taking video of a special event. Even if you don’t get around to sharing this year, you can use it to tease the event next year.

Explainer.

  • Bookstore: Don’t make everyone research the author or hunt for a synopsis. Hold up the book and give your own review. That’s the added touch that makes you different from the big box stores – you know the product better.

Sale.

Everyone loves to get something for less so build excitement with a fun video that people will want to share. Using graphics is important and of course seeing words like “On Now”, “Big” or “Blow Out” trigger a quick response when written out.

Stunt.

Think up a clever happening to get new customers in the door or try your product.  One of the most genius food trucks I ever saw was selling Russian food and had a bunch of big chested blond men stand out front with their shirts off rattling off Putin-isms.

  • Mexican restaurant: It’s Cinco de Mayo and every year you hire a Mariachi band to play around the neighborhood and hand out cards or wear tees with your name on it.
  • Petshop: A meow or a tail wag is all you need! Stage a small scale professional backdrop with your store name banner or wallpaper with your logo. Have a few costume pieces to loan out and announce that your pet photo booth is open for a month.

Benchmark.

If you have scaled up, get out the bullhorn and let your fans know. Every business has important markers along the way.

  • Ecommerce start-up: You just sold something to your ten thousandth customer and they got half off.
  • School: You have been open for 50 years. Take a nostalgic tour of then to now with a photo montage.

Answer a Question.

Turn your most asked FAQs into videos.

  • Flower shop: when do I know I should repot a plant?
  • Beauty product retailer: How do I know what lipstick color is the best for me?
  • Financial Advisor: Why do I have to give so much personal information before we get started investing?

Introduce Your Team.

Unless you are suffering from personnel churn, turn your leadership talent into dedicated employees by introducing them to your customers. Even if you have a small following, you could benefit if this employee shared the post with their network. Make it simple and light like, “Howdy I’m Mike and originally from Texas. That’s the last time you’ll ever hear me say, howdy because I manage our chat team, which answers your support questions 24/7.”

Show Your Authority.

Rehearse one part of your event and share it on Facebook Live.  Facebook is favoring live video content above all else so don’t miss out on cutting through the marketing noise.  If you are more comfortable recording a video that you can do over or edit, consider putting some of the keywords in type over the video.

  • Lawyer: focus on results such as “we have helped thousands of woman get their ex-husbands to pay their fair share of child support.”
  • Fitness trainer: Show your own six pack and make people confident you can sculpt their bodies in the same way.

Before and After.

We are compelled to study before and after and the more dramatic the change is, the longer we are engaged. Now try that on video and slow it down and you have a riveting transformation.

STRATEGIC VIDEO MARKETING TIPS

 

Strategy for Video Content

People are “85% more likely to buy a product after viewing a product video”, says Inc.com.  Nielsen marketing research also shared that, “The moment a video ad was viewed (even before one second), lift happened across ad recall, brand awareness, and purchase consideration”.  

Any business can commission a video or make on their own with a smartphone and some basic editing software, such as iMovie – but it is very important to get it right.  To be sure you put your company in the best light, here are 10 professional tips that incorporate marketing and production best practices for video you share on your website, social media channels or digital advertising.


  • 1. Think Big and Small

    If you invest in a company video that tells the story of who, what, and how – you have a valuable video asset that can be shortened and used for social outlets over and over again.  Take this example of how a cookie company might use only three shots from their longer video, to tease users into going to the website for answers: 

    CLIP OF BOWL WITH DOUGH

    CLIP OF WORKERS RUSHING TO TAKE COOKIES OUT OF THE OVEN

    CLIP OF CUSTOMER BITING INTO YUMMY COOKIE

    END CARD:  “FIND OUT WHAT GOES INTO OUR FAMOUS COOKIES” 

    You don’t have to give them the recipe, they can go to your website and find out you only use the best ingredients.


  • 2. Video as Link Bait

    There are two ways a video can drive a social media user to your website, where you can convert them into customers.  Either you host the video on your website landing page and a click on the video takes them directly to your website landing page…or you share the actual link in the post. Every time you share a video, make it easy for your clients to learn more about you and increase your SEO by leading them to your website.


  • 3. Iconic Footage

    If you are in a service industry you might need handshakes, smiles, people entering your office, or signing a document.  If you make a range of products or just one, then showing that product being made or being used in front of simple backgrounds will be a staple shot for your videos going forward.   Be sure to shoot your iconic images in a bunch of different ways.


  • 4. Script

    Come up with a script idea that takes :60-:90 seconds and then get your money’s worth and make shorter versions of the same video content at :30, :15 and :10 seconds for social media. It’s much harder to come up with derivative videos after a documentary video has been recorded so even scripting documentary style videos will make the most of your video production efforts.  Write out what you will need for the different versions and shoot everything all at once.


  • 5. Right Length on the Right Platform

    Thanks to Hubspot, we know the current best performing length on some of the most popular social media outlets.

    YouTube videos – 2 min

    Facebook – 15 sec – 1 min

    Twitter – 45 sec

    Instagram – 30 sec


  • 6. Re-use

    A video you have in your library right now, could be used to create two or more short messages for social media.  Remember, if you invest in good quality production of establishing shots, products shots and branded images unique to your product and service, you can use those images over and over in future video content.  One little trick to make old new again is to slow down a shot or make it black and white and tint with a color.

7. Brand

When working with a production company, such as Leen Productions, make sure they capture the essence of what makes your business unique.  Your identity is distinct, so show it off.  No one wants to watch something that looks like marketing or advertising.  Deliver the goods: viewers want entertainment, information or just a way to get to know you better.

8. Type

Short messages in big bold fonts can be mixed in with stills and music to create the simple, impactful short videos. A simple script would go something like this:

TYPE CARD 1:   READY TO ROCK SPRING?

TYPE CARD 2:   OR DOES YOUR CLOSET LOOK LIKE THIS?

IMAGE:   MESSY CLOSET

TYPE CARD 3:  WE CAN HELP

IMAGE :   TIDY CLOSET

TYPE CARD 4:  LOGO FOR CALIFORNIA CLOSETS, ANNUAL SPRING SALE

9. Different Sized Frames

A rookie mistake is to shoot everything in a wide angle. Before you turn on the camera, think about what would be compelling to look at close up, in a medium shot or in a wide shot. Some formal video principles are to establish where in a wide shot, use a medium framing for talking heads and a tight shot for product details but bend the rules and interesting things can happen. Starting out with an extreme close up of a flower in a field can also be the entire story of how fresh the stems are at your local florist.  Plan the work, work the plan, then use the remaining time to experiment.

10. Don’t Rely On Sound

Don’t rely on voice over to get your message across.. most people don’t bother with sound unless you pique their interest.  This simple fact should motivate you to make your first image so intriguing that viewers will want to pause to put the sound up and watch it from the start again.  

PRACTICAL KEYWORD TACTICS

SHAPE UP YOUR KEYWORD STRATEGY

I NEED TO BUY KEYWORDS, RIGHT?

Someone interested in starting up an exercise business asked me this question at a social event and the answer is yes, you should invest in advertising and the right choice might be pay-per-click (PPC). But the answer is no, until you have done your homework. Small business owners should not consider PPC until their site is optimized and inbound tactics are in place. PPC has to be managed closely or you will waste a lot of money for a trickle of web traffic. If you don’t have someone on staff to handle marketing and dedicated to making adjustments, you should hire a PPC bid management provider. Before you start advertising, it is important to understand how keywords work to bring customers to your site. There is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) groundwork to carry out before you are in the right shape to even launch your site and well before you run a PPC campaign.

WHAT ARE KEYWORDS?

Keywords are descriptive terms used to describe your service or product.  They are important because anyone looking for a business like yours has to put words in a search engine field to find you.

NAME CALLING IS A GOOD THING

You can put essential keywords in the name of your company and URL, for the ultimate edge.  It’s no mistake that when I look for a cross-fit exercise class in Denver and type in “cross-fit Denver” that I am served up www.crossfitdenver.com.  It’s not imaginative or evocative but it works.  If you have an unusual business offering with a unique name such as “Zumba”, that also could be a search home run but you’ll spend a lot of time and money to get that term to known and probably should start with press and display advertising instead to build your name recognition before you turn to PPC.

NO PAIN, NO GAIN: RESEARCH, TEST, IMPROVE

Make a list of keywords people might use to describe your business.  Check your search terms in a Google Search field and review the descriptions that show up for similar businesses to see what keywords they have under their company name.  If you know your direct competitors, check their sites and look over their page title, headers and body text. If your competitor is using search marketing you can look up their organic and paid keywords for free with SEMRush. This is a moving target if you are in a competitive online business but it is the key to outperforming them in online search.  Set up a keyword spreadsheet and keep track of what keywords your competitors are using at least on a quarterly basis.  If your site is up and running, you should explore what organic search terms are already finding your business by checking your free Google Analytics tool.  Finding keywords and modifying the headers and body text of your site is not a once and your done exercise.  You need to continually review your analytics, test and improve.

OPTIMIZING YOUR SITE

Creating quality content and easy navigation to relevant information are the two most important steps to improve PageRank (your site’s authority on Google and how you reach the top of the search results).  Google has sophisticated algorithms that look for semantically relevant answers to search queries so how you talk about your services is as important as the words you use.  There are many places on your site where you can flag down search traffic.  You should describe your service in the:

  • Name of Page
  • Header
  • Metadata
  • Body text
  • Photo and Video Tags

PREP FOR PPC ESTIMATIONS AND BIDDING

Pay-per-click advertising is what you see everyday when you carry out a search and at the top are a few “sponsored” ads or links.  The benefit of PPC is that your ad is being delivered to someone who has put in the search terms that align with your business, so they are considering a purchase.

This is how you outdistance your competitor:  pay the least money for the most leads.  If you don’t plan ahead, you won’t get much traction and might drain your budget quickly.  Once you set up a Google AdWords account you will have access to the Google Keyword Planner and can enter in keywords to see how much they will cost per click in particular ad groups.  For example “exercise” or even “fitness” will be too expensive for a pre-revenue business or small business, so you should look for long-tail keywords that are more specific and affordable such as, “cross fit training” or “new personal fitness trend”.  There are great tools to check terms that are less popular and cheaper.  Wordstream provides <ahref=”http://www.wordstream.com/keywords”>a leading keyword tool that is free and  FreshKey, though subscription based, is a powerful intelligence tool that is fueled by Amazon buyer data. For a small cost, this service is ideal for e-commerce businesses and will save you hours of time by quickly providing keywords with the least competition.

For the PPC campaign to work best, you need anchor text in the body of your site page that is relevant to the keywords you are bidding on.  It provides a signal to ad networks that your landing page is ready to receive those visitors with exactly what they have been searching for.  Let’s say your gym has various classes, you want to make sure your paid ad uses the terms that describe a particular class and drive them to the page where they can find out more and easily navigate to a purchase. </

INBOUND TACTICS

Small businesses are so eager to get more business that they rush and skip the most important step.  You have to be prepared for the online customer who is visiting your site but not ready to buy your service or product…yet.  You are starting a relationship with this kind of user and you don’t want to miss the opportunity to convert that visitor into a customer at a later date.  It is vital for you to try to get their email so you can give them information and offers down the road.  Many businesses use pop-ups to get people to register but more pleasant and effective is a pop-up or form to gather emails after they are interested in a free white paper with well researched tips, a tool, a screensaver or other giveaway.  When you send this customer an email, you can direct them back to your site with an offer.  Whatever your email marketing strategy is, it should be up and working with your website and sales team before you begin PPC advertising.  It would be a shame to increase traffic to your site and not be ready to convert those leads.

TARGETING YOUR CUSTOMER

Facebook advertising is a great first step into digital advertising for small businesses because it’s relatively cheap and you can deliver to a target segment of the population with granularity.  For example, you can target residents of a particular zip code with certain behaviors, such as interest in fitness and health.  This information will not only shape your advertising; it should help shape your business.  If you found out that most of your customers were high income, perhaps you would want to modify some of your amenities and the way you present and communicate to customers.  What if you found out that more of the customers who actually clicked to your site were interested in diet than health, then you might want to stress weight management benefits of your exercise services.  These types of answers will help you plan ad campaign keywords and where to advertise.


Hint: Consider PPC advertising with Microsoft and Yahoo, which have proven to produce more results for spend time and again.

ABOUT THIS BLOG
Learn how adjusting your content strategy will improve search engine traffic results.
DATE: 7/26/2016

BLOG WRITING TIPS

WORKAROUNDS FOR NON-WRITERS

Your blog is the cornerstone of content you can share and a vital part of lead generation. It is the bullhorn that makes prospects aware of your expertise and your ability to provide solutions. Excerpts or just the link to your blog can be shared on all outlets, from social media, to email, to sales calls. The objective of a blog is to drive prospects to your site, give them information they want to know and let them find out more about you. Your blog is also the perfect place for a call-to-action button and if you follow best practices, a blog is the beginning of your marketing funnel and can make your introduction to quality leads.

PURPOSE OF A BLOG

You might be surprised to find out that marketing experts don’t suggest you write a blog to sell your product or service. Blogs offer information. If you use hard or soft sell techniques in your blog, you can actually turn away potential clients and customers. If you are looking to grow your email subscriber list or find out marketing information, you can add a button that offers a free consultation, a white paper, questionnaire with follow-up results or other information that the consumer finds useful. A call-to-action should appear below the blog with a simple button and include an action verb such as “Download Your Free Screensaver”. The principal reason you write a blog is to begin a trusting relationship with a potential customer.

GENERATING IDEAS

With so many upsides, you should now be convinced you that you should blog regularly…but here’s the rub:

  1. You haven’t a way with words
  2. You can’t afford a writer or the time to find one
  3. It takes too much time and effort to explain what’s what to someone who doesn’t know what you do well

Customers are your best source of inspiration, so start by making a list of their common questions. This is important: get your staff to contribute questions they hear a lot. After all, your blog topic should be of interest to the type of customer you serve or one you would like to serve.

If you’re a florist, for example, a typical question might be, “how can I make my blooms last longer?” This question might be a snore to you but think about it. If people ask you the same question over and over, there are likely to be many more customers looking online for a reliable answer to that question and they could find you through your expert answers.

If you are starting up a business, focus on answers that have a fresh approach, such as new technology or better convenience and work backwards to explain the problem.

If you have rare expertise, you could actually dominate the conversation and become a thought leader. For instance, if you are one of a hundred gynecologists who treat pelvic pain in the US, you can make the world aware of your expertise through your blog because you have little competition. A successful blog can grow your business, help you book speaking engagements and open other doors to being a well-compensated authority on a topic.

If you are a good with words and with social media, your blog could lead to options to monetize. Monetization is another word for getting paid to put advertising on your website. It also includes paid reviews. A stay at home mom who loves crafts can write about motherhood and crafts each week and if she builds a following and gets into the “mommy blog” writing networks, she can make a good sum from trying out products and services, writing about them and selling advertising. This crafty mom could review five random skeins of wool from Etsy.com and give Etsy a lot of traffic from her blog to their site – something they would pay for. Read up on Skimlinks and you will see that a business blog could be the start of a steady stream of income. Of course, not everyone wants to sell their reviews even if they are faithful to their true opinion. Some journalists and reviewers of restaurants, for example, don’t want to tarnish their reputation but taking paid review work.

10 BLOG TOPIC IDEAS

  1. innovation in your industry
  2. event in your industry
  3. survey results
  4. top 10/best of lists
  5. how to
  6. review of product or service
  7. diary of an experience
  8. case study
  9. thought leadership
  10. interview

GETTING BLOG DRAFT

Here’s the easy part. Use a smart phone with free voice recognition software and dictate the first draft. Envision a customer you like and put a smile on your face as you speak, after all a blog is meant to give something to the reader and great customer service should permeate your writing. One easy method to make your writing style more natural and colorful is to tell a story. Explain the question and then tell them step-by-step all they need to know. Using the local florist example, the instructions would be on how to keep their flowers beautiful for longer. Remember, your blog should not be over long. A good average blog length is 1100-1400 characters so don’t dictate more than five minutes. (There is a word count feature in Microsoft Word under tools to check this easily.)

BRANDING YOUR BLOG

A brand should have a voice that reflects the personality of the company. If your flower shop is a design studio or atelier instead of a family run local shop, you should have a completely different style of communication. Don’t over think it but don’t put on airs either. Being true to your personality is all that is required. The first blogs you write may not be genius but try to refrain from over criticizing your work. Get your system down and keep producing. The only way to improve is practice.

ABOUT THIS BLOG:
Not everyone is a writer but you can talk about what you know, you can put together a blog.
DATE: 5/13/2016