MarketingAugust 09, 2018

How One Video Can Lead to a Massive Following on Social Media

Let’s face it, video is taking the internet by storm. We all like a good video, one that’s entertaining, light hearted and uplifting.

But had you ever thought of video as a tool for your business? When done properly, video is the best tool for getting your name out there.  It shows who you really are, as it’s harder to fake something in live action.

For those who haven’t already included video in their marketing campaigns, here are three factors that make video a tool that can grow your social media following and raise online brand awareness.

Visibility

With video, you have the advantage of sensory overload. Music, audio, visuals, text — everything to captivate audiences and hold their attention. With this tool, you can interface with anyone on social media, presenting the whole, unedited version of yourself and your company.

Comprehension

Comprehension is also a vital part of gaining a social following. Users can clearly understand your purpose, what you’re offering and how it works will highly contribute to your business’s success. If they don’t know what it is, why are they going to engage with it?

With a well-made video, your audiences will have more than a vague idea as to what it is you do — they will know where you got started, your company history and how you are different from the competition. This level of comprehension will boost your following and lead to a base of loyal customers.

Confidence

With a clear understanding of who you are and what you do, online users are far more likely to take stock in your business. They will want to show their support, knowing exactly what they are getting themselves into.

The best result you could have on an audience is to have them leave your site or page feeling more confident and more capable of succeeding.   A video has the potential to make people believe — in themselves and in you. That’s what is going to make the difference with your business growth, and that’s what’s going to get you the social following you want. You have to provide value to your followers from the get-go, and video is the best way to do so.

If you’re not sure how to get started on your video campaign for social media, you’re in good company. Plenty of successful companies start out in the same exact place.

At MBDM Group, we are dedicated to helping you achieve your goals, no matter how big or small. Call us to find out how to add video to you digital marketing strategy today.

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MarketingJuly 20, 2018

How to Choose A Digital Agency

It’s no secret that joining forces with a digital marketing agency can add value to your brand. But with so many out there, how do you know which to choose?

Not every business has the same needs, so it may be a very specific agency would best serve them. But no matter what kind of business you are, mom and pop, fortune 500, or a startup e-commerce, there are five things you should look for in a digital marketing agency before you sign the dotted line.

Company Culture

The first thing to consider is whether or not your companies see eye-to-eye. What are your core values? Do they appreciate them or even comprehend them? It’s best when they naturally share those values with you. If you’re a faith-based organization, you may want to work with someone with similar beliefs, or at least, an agency that will respect yours and uphold them in all joint endeavors.

Once you are sure that they appreciate your core values, you may want to see how they actually do business. Do you approve of their methods and how they treat employees and customers? It’s better to take your time than to rush into a deal and regret being tainted by association further down the line.

And of course, you want to enjoy working with them. Does the agency have a fun, upbeat atmosphere? Do you get along with the representatives? Believe it or not, personality differences can be an Achilles Heel when it comes to making a successful partnership. Address your differences up front to see if you can work past them. If not, save your time and look elsewhere.

Experience

Of course, you also want to ensure that your agency can actually do what they say. Take a look at the quality of their previous work. Does it meet your standards of perfection?

If you have a friendly relationship, you can always suggest changes to include your input. After all, it’s a partnership and the work you do is a joint effort. While you’ll have an influence, the agency should have a trademark that you are eager to encompass in your digital brand.

It’s also a good idea to check out the consistency of their work. Have all their work been promising, or only 50-50? A mature business will have the portfolio to show for many projects gone by and to show the consistency of their proficiency.

Insights

Another valuable asset to look for in an agency is insights. Sure, they have a job description, but if the agency can go above and beyond, that’s even better. One of the best things about working with an external partner is that they provide new perspective and bring new information to the table.

That they have knowledge of your industry is a plus. That they have knowledge of multiple industries is even better, and here’s why — it’s a little thing called intersectionality. When you take standard solutions used in other fields and apply them to something else, you can create an entirely new solution to long-held issues. That’s the power of intersections!

And when it comes to problem-solving, that an agency can empathize with and fully understand your situation will be very useful. That they have foresight and can see potential consequences will be invaluable as the relationship develops.

Company Horsepower

At the end of the day, you hired an agency to create results. Can your agency deliver? You don’t want empty promises. You want guarantees.

If you’re an international company with over 100 branches, size may be an issue. In many cases, size won’t be an issue, especially if you only have one set of digital assets to maintain. Just make sure that you have the right engine for you’re the vehicle — your business and all the weight it carries.

Budget

So you’ve met the guys, and you’re confident they can do the job. The only thing left to configure is budget. What’s their asking price, and does it meet your budget?

While camaraderie will play a key in being flexible with pricing, each company knows what it can afford. You don’t want to underpay your partner, but you aren’t made of money either.

On the other hand, you may have to invest more than you are comfortable with, but you’ll be compensated tenfold. The rate of return on your investment is the ultimate deal breaker.

Is it a good fit?

At the end of the day, intuition is still important. After initial negotiations, you should have a good idea as to how you feel about the partnership.

Do you have any hesitations? Try to find the root cause and measure them against your anticipation. Are they valid? If so, explore that and even discuss it with your partner to see if that helps.

At MBDM Group, we want to work with you as an external partner. We pride ourselves on being reliable and eager to communicate.  Give us a call to start exploring whether we are a good fit for your business.

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MarketingJuly 12, 2018

Digital Strategy Can Boost Your Brand

Some articles make it seem like there is a Holy Grail of digital strategy, one so perfect that it can be applied to any business in any location. And that’s just not true.

But if you don’t have a plan, you aren’t going to see results. That’s the plain and simple of it. The internet’s unpredictable. It’s changing every day, and as an individual, you can’t stop the change. But you can leave a mark, and the best way to do that is with a plan, a strategy to keep you working towards your goals.

Invention:

Creating your digital strategy may cause discomfort or even slow you down at first. If you’re a legacy business that has run by means of an outstanding reputation, you’re lucky. But it won’t last. Every industry is shifting towards technology, and if you want to be a leader in your field, it’s best to make the switch sooner rather than later.

Maybe you’re an entrepreneur, and you know your way around digital marketing, and utilize Google Analytics, and all the rest, just by winging it. But the same goes for you as for the legacy businesses — it’s just a matter of time before you will need to adapt.

So how can a digital strategy help you and how do you get started on yours? For one, it’s a step-by-step guide leading you to your goals. By maintaining this level of organization, you will be more profitable and effective in the long run. By consistently following this structure, you are 100% more likely to grow more sustainable as a business.

Not all plans are created equal, but you have to start somewhere. So start with the basics. What digital assets are your competitors using? Once you identify what tools you will be using, whether it be social media, an updated website, or email marketing, you can address the how.

How will you improve on your competitors’ model? How will you maintain a consistent effort? The devil is in the details, so this is where you want to be as accurate as possible. It may take several stages of brainstorming and revising to fine-tune your unique digital approach.

Implementation:

 It’s impossible to foresee what the internet is going to throw at you. You may get started with your best foot forward, but you will run into some obstacles.  If your strategy is flexible, you will be able to recover more gracefully than if you did not have one.

You want to play with expectations and trying new things. Give your audience or your customers what they have come to expect from you, and then they won’t mind if they also get something they didn’t know to look for. A foolproof plan will allow you to remain consistent and will account for trial periods where you improve on the existing strategy.

Delivery:

When you start seeing results, it’s a good time to take pause and reevaluate your plan. Did those results occur due to your plan or haphazardly? How can you replicate those results?  Multiply them? You can retrace your steps by keeping records of your plan and watching the data.

Data is an important part of any digital strategy. Without it, there’s a lot of guesswork. If you aren’t comfortable keeping your own records, MBDM Group is ready to help. We can work as an external partner and ensure that you always connect the dots and know exactly how your efforts correlate with your success and even your failures.

There is no substitute for a digital strategy. To secure your business and your legacy, you must take steps to become a fully competent digital brand. Without the digital connect and without the structure to accompany it, you are running on fumes that are sure to run out.

If you need help with any steps of your digital strategy, don’t hesitate to reach out to MBDM Group. Worst case scenario, you leave a consultation stuffed with information you don’t know how to use. Best case scenario, you leave with newfound vision and tactics to achieve your goals. What have you got to lose?

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MarketingJune 19, 2018

Why Businesses Need Visual Branding

Ever wondered why some brands become synonymous with their service or product? Think Xerox and photocopies, when folks just said “Xerox me a copy” before the democratization of the word. When customers cannot distinguish between a company and its service, you know some master branding has taken place.

But these days, branding has to be done on social media. Consumers tend to trust social media more than TV or paid ads or commercials because it is more direct and engaging.

And that says alot about what companies need to do to be successful in their social media marketing endeavors. In order to create a strong brand on social media, companies should toss a few key ingredients in their daily or weekly recipe.

Ingredients for visual branding:

When you think visual brands, what comes to mind? Coca Cola’s classic red logo, or maybe Apple’s iconic fruit? Logos are at the heart of a visual brand, but with social media comes the ability to share, engage, to be versatile.

And that’s our first ingredient — versatility. To show your clientele that you can adapt, that you are inviting to a diverse spectrum of clients requires an multipronged approach to social media. Plus it will assure your customers that you always on the move, and you won’t let moss grow on your feet.

What you depict in your images says that world about you. If your graphics and images are outdated, you are representing yourself as someone who is slow to change, or who simply doesn’t do their online housekeeping. The right images will put your best foot forward with a highly professional and innovative online presence.

While stagnancy is fatal to a brand, there must also be a level of verisimilitude. In other words, it should be easy to tell just from looking at a graphic that it belongs to you. Often this boils down to color pallete and subject matter. Going back to Coke, there’s always a classic red and white color scheme. And most recent campaigns depict theme of friendship with youth enjoying each other’s company on a summer day. Even though the particulars change from ad to ad, they typically have a similar subject and that’s how Coke makes its mark.

So following Coke’s example, color scheme and subject matter are two more ingredients to throw in the mix. But first you should consider why you are choosing that palette. Does it inspire confidence, or does it connote sophistication and expertise? The real question is, how do you want to connect with your audience? As a friend or as a guide? The tone you set in your social media pages will determine whether or not you become a daily accessory to your audiences’ life.

The element of story:

For many, the deal breaker is whether or not they can relate to what you stand for. The fact is, you can’t identify with everyone so just stay true to your core values and then create a strategy to express that identity visually.

Every image tells a story — about who you are, about what you offer and about what you hope to achieve. But it tells something more important still — why does any of it matter? What value can you provide that will improve lives beyond the superficial? That value is the story you want to tell. Your story may have multiple narratives, played out differently in the lives of various characters, but that you tell those stories will help you connect with the right customers.

Your story includes where you come from. Are you a family oriented business owner or an artist advocating equal rights? Where are you going? How are you getting there? Although unspoken, images will always answer these questions for your audience, so it is crucial to properly represent your story through the graphics, designs and comments you post.

The element of intentional layout and organization:

Closely related to story, timing and organization show the movement and progression of your brand.  Posting in the morning shows your drive to outpace the daily grind, while posting in the evening shows your more personable side.

As you consider what and when to post next, you might account for the lifestyle of your audience and what kind of a lifestyle you want to uphold. Are you a socialite or an early riser? Again, what is your core identity?

Your entire page should express that identity, especially in Instagram where pages are viewed as a gallery. Perhaps you will switch color hues to match the season, using more oranges and yellows during summer, and colder shades during winter. But you see the linear progression from week to week and all throughout the year. Be sure the movement makes sense on the overall layout of the gallery while matching your core identity.

It’s always fun to play with series and collections on Instagram. An entire series might portray a single endeavor, or work as a campaign with a unique narrative. But as the viewer, you can always tell which pages are planned and which are haphazard.

On Facebook, there are more avenues for posting into different categories. Your main profile and cover pictures should bear the verisimilitude of your brand, but wall pictures offer an opportunity for deviance – funny pictures and memes are welcome.

Think of Instagram as a quilt of stories sewn together, and Facebook as an archive of compartmentalized collections. Each serve different purposes but speak equal volumes about your brand. At times, you might invert the processes for the two platforms, but the basic ingredients to create a compelling visual brand remain the same.

Having trouble creating a branding strategy for your social media? MBDM Group can help! It would be our pleasure to create a strategy to  express your unique brand identity. Give us a call to find out how our digital experts can create stunning graphics for your social media pages.

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Mastering Your Video Marketing Strategy: A Mini Guide

Remember back in the day when no one needed a website to keep their business afloat? We have long since arrived in the age of technology where a website is essential to your company’s survival.

Whether you own a brick and mortar store, an e-commerce store, a start-up tech company, or a personal brand, grab a pen and paper and take note of the following:

According to Forbes, video content gets 1200% more shares than text and image content combined. That means that we have entered a new era of digital necessity.

A website is not enough.

In the next few years (or less), video content is going to be absolutely necessary for business survival – just like having a website has been necessary for businesses for over a decade.

We’re here to catch you up to speed on how you can leverage video content for continued business growth!

What is Video Content

Video content can be anything from image compilations with audio, live video steams , recorded video, animated video, or whiteboard presentations – the list really can go on forever. But what’s most important is making sure that your video resonates with your audience.

Don’t be boring, irrelevant, and self-serving in your videos. Make it your goal to inform your audience. Please them by providing value within your brand’s community.

Your video content doesn’t have to be as advanced as Dove’s Real Beauty campaign or the #LikeAGirl video campaign by Always.

Your content just has to bring value to your customers. Keep reading along and we’ll give you some tips on how to develop a valuable video marketing strategy in a minute.

Before we do that, we want to make sure we emphasize just how important video content is and what you are missing out on if you decide to opt-out of using it.

Why is it Important?

Wibbitz did a study and surveyed 1,000 people on how and where they watch video content and which kind of content they preferred. The data collected from the study gives us a good idea about what online video consumption trends are like in 2018.

Here are some highlights from the study that you are going to want to remember:

1) Consumers like to remain informed

51% of viewers had a preference for how-to-videos. This reaffirms the content marketing rule of delivering valuable and actionable content.

2) Videos are being watched on mobile phones

31% of viewers reported watching videos on their mobile phones, compared to 26% on desktops and 25% on streaming devices.

Why’s this matter? Your brand’s image and video content must be responsive to mobile devices.

According to Forbes, 92% of people who watch mobile video content say they share videos with others. Video content is mobile, and it travels far.

3) Keep videos short, simple, and engaging

38% of viewers reported preferring short-form video in comparison to long-form video content. To keep your audience happy, try creating short and engaging videos that are recognizable for your brand.

The world of content is moving at lighting speed, with the use of video content. Ironically, people don’t want to read about anything anymore. According to Social Media Today, 4x as many people prefer watching videos about a product over reading about it.

8 billion videos are watched everyday on Facebook, and 85% of them are watched without sound.

Snapchat users watch 10 billion videos everyday.

If you opt-out of leveraging video content in your digital marketing strategy, you will bypass 85% of U.S. internet users’ attention. Don’t be the company that falls to the wayside because you couldn’t keep you with newest digital marketing trend. An audience is like a fanbase. You should cherish them and continue to provide them with the value they seek.

Come Up With A Strategy

Now you know the importance of video content, but you don’t know where to begin. First, understand that your video marketing strategy doesn’t have to be complex. Start simple and scale your efforts as your company grows.

Remember, you don’t have to mimic multi-million dollar campaigns. Sit down and come up with a plan to help you reach your niche audience.

What goal are you trying to accomplish with your video content?

This is the question you should start building your strategy around. To answer this, ask yourself these questions:

  • “What does my audience need?”
  • “What does my audience want?”
  • “What information is my audience looking for?”
  • “How can I make their (your audience) life better?”

Maybe you are a blogger and your readers always leave questions and comments under your blog posts that you don’t get to respond to.

Maybe you have a transportation company and you have a solution to a widely shared complaint in your industry.

Maybe you are an online bakery and your releasing a new item that everyone has questions about.

Maybe you just have some tips and tricks that could make your customer’s life easier.

After you realize the needs and wants of your audience, figure out how to address them with added value.

Below are 5 examples of how you can address a need or desire using video:

  • Create a video that answers blog posts comments and questions
  • Start a weekly broadcast that details products, services, and industry trends
  • “Go live!” on social media to interact with your customers and hold a FAQ panel
  • Provide behind-the-scenes access to your business
  • Build trust and ask current customers to provide unscripted video testimonials for prospective customers to see

On The Road To Mastery: Start with These 5 Digital Marketing Tools

Now that you’ve started thinking about the goal of your strategy, start to consider how you are going to create your video content. I bet you could guess it, but how you create your video content also depends on your audience.

We think a safe place to start creating content is with short-form, engaging videos. These videos can come to life in so many different ways. Some strategies and tools work best paired with text, and some function beautifully as a lone video.

  • GIFs

Your video content doesn’t have to be of you, and it doesn’t even have to be a real video. If you aren’t skilled at video creation yet, start with a GIF. They are short motion pictures that are typically recognizable because of the amount of times that people have seen them (and laughed at them hysterically).

Why not leverage that? Use already popular and highly recognizable GIFs and re-purpose them for your brand. You can do this by adding a caption that provides contextual value to the GIF.

Remember, the GIFS have to be appropriate for your audience and should not be overdone. You don’t want to diminish your credibility with too many Spongebob GIFs.

Professional designer gurus can head over to Adobe Photoshop to make custom GIFs, and newbies can head over to Giphy’s GIF Maker for easy and painless GIF creations.

2) Animated Videos

Don’t underestimate the power and creativity of a well-done animated video. One million adult viewers watch Adult Swim’s late night block everyday, so animation is not just for kids.

Since adults still give their attention to animations, you can leverage their inner child by creating an engaging animated video for your brand. These videos can accomplish everything a normal video would.

Instead of doing all the talking, let an animated character walk your customers step by step in a how-to video. You can also create animated white board presentations to help engage your audience.

Professionals can use Adobe After Affects to create a custom animated video, and newbies can head over to PowToon to put together the perfect animated video for your brand.

3) Live Video Streaming

You don’t have to use recorded video for your content. You can also incorporate live videos into your strategy. Live streams help connect you to your customers in a way that can’t be achieved through images, text, and recorded video.

Maybe you have an audience that is eager to interact with you to get their questions answered or to get a sneak peek on the next product launch you have planned. You should plan out your live stream broadcasts and air them on a schedule so that your audience can prepare to watch.

As far as options go, you have your pick of live stream platforms. Currently the most popular options include:

  • Facebook Live
  • Instagram Live
  • Periscope (Twitter)
  • YouTube Mobile Live Streaming

Try out the functions of live video streaming on a personal social media account, and then strategize and prepare to go live in your business.

4) Short-form video

Even if you’ve never snapped a snap, surely you’ve heard of Snapchat and everything that goes on in this world-renowned app. Pictures, videos, stories, chat, and stickers are just a few of Snapchat’s distinguishing features.

Your business can leverage Snapchat’s speedy videos to attract a huge social following. Snapchat works because it’s easy, quick, and entertaining. You can do so many creative things with the platform these days.

Here are some ideas:

  • Post to your story everyday with valuable content
  • Link to your blog posts, articles, quizzes, and more with the swipe up of a picture
  • Chat with customers using the Snapchat chat feature
  • Promote your brand’s products and services before, during, and after launch

If you don’t feel like hopping on the Snapchat bandwagon, you can always head over to Animoto and create a video comprised of images, video clips, and audio. Although the finished product is not always recorded video, using Animoto is still a short and impactful way to deliver a message to your audience.

5) Video with analytics

Wistia is a powerful tool that you can use to create video content and track the analytics of your videos as well. It works great because analytics are always important in a digital marketing strategy. Wistia tells you where in a video viewers watched, skipped ahead, skipped forward, and stopped. This insight is the key to scaling your strategy for continued growth.

Learn what your audience likes to watch, learn how they like to engage with your company, and give them more of what they like and less of what they don’t. Wistia provides graphs to visually represent the success (or lack thereof) of your video campaigns.

Wistia allows you to create your first 25 videos for free, and then it cost $25/month to use Wistia’s advanced analytics and integrated marketing tools.

Share Your Videos on Social Media 

Now you understand why you need video content, you’ve developed a video strategy that adds value to your audience, and you’ve created the video content using some really cool digital marketing tools. Now it’s time to share it for everyone to see!

You want your video to reach the right people at the right time for the highest level of engagement possible. We have put together a short list of tips for sharing your video content on the four most popular social media platforms.

Facebook

Publish inside of a Facebook group. You are more likely to get engaged viewers if they are already members of your brand’s Facebook group. This makes it so you are sharing the video to a community of interested people.

Instagram

Use the right #hashtags to attract a niche audience. Instagram isn’t designed for everyone to see everything you post. It’s best if you spend some time thinking about the most effective and most popular #hashtags for your industry and video topic.

Twitter

Twitter churns out small, bite-sized content for people to view. The best way to share a video is to share it to your timeline of followers with hashtags. You can also share your live video replay using a timestamp so that viewers can skip to the most relevant part of your video.

Snapchat

The best way to leverage snapchat is to share a series a short videos in a story. This story is active for 24 hours and anyone that is your friend can see it.

Also, as a part of Snapchat’s redesign, you can now share public stories with others outside the app via email, text message, and other social media platforms.

With any platform you choose, don’t forget to interact with your audience. Try your best to respond to comments, DM’s, and private messages. This increases trust and will keep your audience engaged indefinitely.

Conclusion

If content is King, then video is the next reigning queen. It’s easy to fall behind and get lost and boggled down with digital marketing trends. Trends come and go, but video marketing is one trend that isn’t going to budge.

Content is moving faster than ever and it’s waiting for no one. Consumers live and breath video content, so it’s important to keep your digital marketing strategy anew with valuable videos that provide desired content.

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