Ready, Set, Action: How to Plan For and Create a Video Library

YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world and presents a powerful, personable way to connect with your audience. With 50% of visitors using it to watch business related videos and 75% of users visiting the marketers’ website after viewing a video, it is the prime platform to share valuable content related to your brand. So how does one harness the power of this search engine? By creating a video library!

Here are 5 questions to consider before embarking on this expensive and time consuming venture.

1. What do I want to accomplish?
Articulate what you want to achieve through the video library. Do you have upcoming campaigns that would benefit from video assets? Are you trying to flush out content gaps on your website? Are you releasing a new product that would benefit from a video tutorial? Asking these questions first will help you create a framework for the process and better help you achieve your business objectives.

2. Who am I trying to reach?
Did you know that 90% of marketing respondents use video content and prefer it to whitepapers, case studies, free trials and eBooks? Consider your audience and what needs or pain points you are trying to address. Identify and segment your audience for the overall library and for each video to help craft and deliver your message. Define the primary objective, key messaging, and success metrics for each video. At this time it is also helpful to consider style: for example, will it be more effective for your audience to hear a scripted message or a conversational interview? If you are unsure of what style to consider, take a look at how your competitors or similar organizations have approached the issue. Look for what speaks to you, and be sure of what you want before starting any shooting.

3. What do I want to say?
Identify a theme that relates back to your overall project goals. In a robust library each video offers unique insights and perspective to address a variety of audience needs. For example, a college creating videos for prospective freshman might include testimonials from current students, interviews with faculty, and highlight campus wide events to showcase their engaging and unique freshman experience.

4. How can I be efficient?
Creating a video library is an expensive and involved process. Identifying and consolidating efficiencies across videos, setting clear expectations, and being prepared for the unexpected will help limit cost.

  • Set expectations: Be mindful and up-front about what your budget constraints are for both shooting and editing the library. Allocate your resources toward what is most valuable and relevant for your goals. For example, if music is not the most important but is still a consideration there are plenty of websites that give lots of options at a cheap cost. When defining expectations for the editing process consider how many stakeholders will be involved, the number of reviews that will be acceptable, and set limits accordingly.
  • Create a formula: Set parameters for style, tone and music across a group of videos to cut down on post processing decisions and edits.
  • Build a shot plan: Identify all the shots you need and consider shots you may already have (from a previous campaign or library). Is there anything you can re-use? For example, if video 1 and 5 need B-Roll shots of people walking then you only need to capture that scene once.  Some detailed questions to ask include: Do the shots need to be indoor or outdoor? What does the set- up involve? What does the weather need to be like? Do we need to include people? Cars?
  • Prepare: On the day of a shoot prepare by mapping out locations, checking for weather changes, anticipating and allowing extra time for last minute challenges. If your video has a lot of moving parts, give yourself enough time to get the material that you need. For example, you may only need 10 seconds of people walking down the street but it may take 30 minutes to get a good shot. If you are interviewing people build in extra time make sure you stay on schedule. Request interviewees to come 15 minutes early so they can get oriented, and prepped. Allow time for nervousness, rambling, and finding that perfect sound bite. Be mindful of who you are working with and adjust expectations accordingly.
  • Edit with discipline: The most popular videos on YouTube are less than 2 minutes in length, so be aware of the most critical information to include. If you are forced to decide between adding length or cutting content, you should probably cut content.

5. How should I share my library?
The answer to this question varies on what type of content you are sharing and what you hope to accomplish. If you want to share valuable product information like specifications, tips and tricks, and how-to tutorials then it would be beneficial to create a library where all of your audience segments can find the information most useful to them. However, if you are planning on using your videos in a campaign, you may want to plan a slower and more calculated release so your audience feels like they are getting a first glance at new content.

Video content provides a powerful way to connect with and pass on valuable information to your audience on a platform that most emphasizes a person-to-person connection. While creative a video library can be an involved process, being prepared and asking the right questions can help you minimize stress, delays, and help you create more impactful content.

To learn more about the importance of visual social content click here.

Blink and They’re Gone: Everything You Need to Know about Effective Homepage Design

The typical visitor only spends 3-5 seconds on a site before deciding whether or not to take action or move on! A homepage is your company’s first impression in the digital space and is responsible for clearly communicating your message and value proposition to all users. So what can you do to make the most of your short impression window? Take the time to design a homepage that will make the best possible impression and continue to offer value to all of your users.

The 7 most critical elements of a great homepage

Load time: A homepage that loads slowly creates dissatisfaction, leads to frustration, affects your search rankings and reduces conversions. Within four seconds 25% of visitors are likely to abandon a site, and 80% of those visitors will not visit again. A page that is slow to respond (more than 1 second) reduces conversions by about 7%. Would you really want to lose 7% of your online sales revenue because of a slow website? To speed up load time carefully consider your site structure, graphic content size and ensure that your caching system is optimized.

Organization/Navigation: Navigation should be clear, simple and efficient. Tailor the structure of your site to anticipate and accommodate your target audience. Make it easy for your users to find what they are looking for, and eliminate any hassle associated with lead nurture or completing their path to purchase. Interestingly, visitors spend 80% of their time looking at information above the fold, so create a hierarchy and prioritize accordingly.

Content: At a quick glance, users should be able to understand what your company is all about, what you offer, how you are unique from your competitors, and where to navigate for further information. While detailed information may be most appropriate for secondary pages, homepage content should be clear, concise and easy to scan. Headlines are particularly important as they help people find what they are looking for. In fact, the majority of users scan headlines before deciding where to click, only 20% actually read the first paragraph. Homepage content presents a valuable opportunity to connect with your user personas. Implementing a conversational tone, avoiding jargon and adopting an inclusive style (‘we’ instead of ‘you’) are all effective ways to accomplish this.

Calls to Action: CTAs are critical to your lead generation and conversion efforts. They should stand out, be easy to find, clearly written with action-oriented words, and specific to your offering. Calls to action direct your users and help answer their most burning question: “What do I need?”

Visual design: Visuals are a great tool for explaining complex ideas, setting the style for your page, communicating your brand’s culture, and creating a unique experience for your visitor. However, when used incorrectly visuals can slow your site, distract visitors from your goals, and create confusion. When using visuals on your homepage remember that clarity trumps complexity.

Credibility: At the most basic level your homepage should take users where it promises to. Broken links, non-existent content and missing pages reduce a visitor’s trust. Beyond that, the homepage should help visitors decide why they should choose you over other options. Including customer reviews, testimonials, privacy policies, trust seals, etc. are a great way to do that.

Responsive Design: It’s no secret that more and more people are browsing sites on mobile devices. Regardless of industry, mobile visitors are here to stay. 33% of mobile research starts on a branded website and mobile browsing is particularly high in the e-commerce sector with 4 of 5 consumers using smartphones to shop.

Test, test, and test: Testing will provide you with critical feedback on whether or not strategies you implemented are working the way you want them to. After putting in so much time and effort it is tempting to treat your homepage like a finished product, but periodically testing your site, vetting through the data in Google Analytics and implementing the corresponding findings will help ensure that your homepage stays in fighting shape. By mastering these essential elements your homepage will stand out not only because it meets your users’ needs, but because it allows visitors to transcend the minutiae of hunting for information and be delighted by the experience of finding it.

For great examples of homepage designs from different industries check out this article by Hubspot.

Learn more about mobile design and website design.

How to Use SEO to Optimize Your Website

Have you ever wondered how search engines such as Google or Bing are able to return results that are so close, if not exactly what you were looking for? This is all made possible by Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO can improve the visibility of a website on free search engines (Google or Bing). Search engines will display results that they consider to be most relevant to a user’s search query. There are many components that contribute to increasing a website’s SEO to improve that website’s search engine ranking. A high ranking will make it easier for people to find your website on  search engines. Here are a few SEO tactics to consider:

  • Research keywords to find what terms people are using to search for your website and those of your competitors. This will help you identify your industry’s most impactful keywords.
  • Conduct a competitive analysis to search your competitors’ websites to discover new keywords.
  • Add “long tail” keywords or tags. With the advancement of search engines the user is also getting wiser. No longer do people only search for one keyword, but instead three to four.
  • Ensure basic keywords are present in title tags, meta-description tags and headline tags. They should be unique to every page so content is not repeated. Photos and videos should have tags as well.
  • Be sure that your content is not duplicated on your website. This has a negative impact on SEO ranking because it confuses search engines.

Understanding SEO is central to having a thorough digital marketing strategy. Finding and implementing ways, such as the ones listed above, to optimize a company’s SEO is beneficial not only for clients, but also digital marketers. Remember that SEO tactics are constantly evolving as search engines change their algorithms. Understanding these changes is key to maintaining a successful and reputable online presence, as well as a thriving business.

Read here for tips on free tools to enhance your content and SEO strategy, or click here for a recent blog on using Google+ for SEO gain.

Branding Yourself for Success

In today’s competitive digital marketing industry it is important to set yourself apart from others, especially when striving for that promotion you want or seeking your dream job. When résumés become redundant, employers look for something that goes beyond words on a page. This is where creating and maintaining a personal brand becomes crucial for success.

 When seeking a job in the digital marketing industry, your personal brand is very important, as it can show employers that you understand and are active on various social media channels. It is also important to show that you are able to build and maintain your brand before you are hired and assigned to aid companies do the same. Building your personal brand isn’t easy. It is a big time commitment.

The first step in creating your personal brand is by conducting a self-SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis. This will help you identify and understand more about your internal strengths and weaknesses and external opportunities and threats. By treating yourself as a competitive business, the SWOT analysis will help you succeed and reach goals and opportunities that you set for yourself.

Similar to product branding, it is key to identify yourself as the brand, in order to be effective. Here are six simple steps to follow when creating or building your own personal brand:

  1. Set goals and objectives – When setting goals and objectives, be specific about what you want to achieve. Do you want to strive for that account manager position you’ve had your eye on? Or perhaps become the VP of Digital Marketing?
  2. Background – Do some research on what previous people in your position did to be successful. What can you learn from these people? Were they successful or did they encounter issues along the way?
  3. Setting the tone – How do you want people to view your brand? What industry would you like them to associate it with? What type of professionals do you want to catch the attention of?
  4. Current situation – How do people perceive you now? Why do you think this is? Are there any obstacles you have to overcome? What potential issues could arise? What could you do to improve?
  5. Game plan – Set a timeline for yourself. How are you going to implement your ideas? How are you going to maintain the changes you’ve made for yourself? It is important to keep in mind that you’re not only adjusting or changing your online presence – these can be tangible or intangible changes.
  6. Maintaining and managing your brand – This is not the final step, because you will be continuously carrying out this stage. Revisit your initial goals. Did you accomplish what you set out to achieve? This can be as simple as making sure how you portray yourself online and on your résumé is accurate to your personality and abilities.

For digital marketing, the crucial platforms to improve your online presence are ones that potential employers can easily find you on, such as LinkedIn and Twitter. LinkedIn is one of the most powerful social media tools when building your personal brand in the digital world. It allows you to network online and build a professional community that may be beneficial to you, as well as allow you to help others. Make sure to constantly reach out to others and connect with them, as well as update your profile frequently and make sure it is 100% completed.

Twitter is also a great tool in building your personal brand because it allows you to follow industries or companies of interest. This social media tool also allows you to engage with other users, which can be instrumental in getting noticed. Tweeting stories or articles in your field of interest also adds to your personal brand, as they show colleagues or potential employers what intrigues you and can also show your level of knowledge on the topic.

Read Mambo’s previous posts about branding in today’s market and Millennial business etiquette.

From Data to Design: How to Create an Infographic in 5 Easy Steps

Last month in our blog ‘Showing is Better Than Telling: How to Use an Infographic for Engagement’  we talked about the powerful way infographics add context and story to data, and how their irresistible shareability make them ideal for digital marketing. Today we are going to delve into the process of translating raw data into clear and relevant visuals.

There are three key ingredients that must be balanced in any great infographics recipe: visuals, content and information. Finding a compelling way to organize and show information can be a very confusing and overwhelming task. Here we have simplified it into 5 easy steps to help your creative process!

5 Step Process

1. Research: Your research parameters will determine the richness of the story presented in the infographic, therefore it is important to get a well-rounded view of your topic. Ask probative questions and try to understand the why and how behind the information. Make sure to identify relevant, reputable sources and collect as much raw data as possible.

2. Sort: Once the collection phase is complete it is time to begin sorting the information. Naturally patterns and groupings will begin to emerge and you can begin to create a hierarchy. At this stage it is critical to transform the data into digestible and compelling insights so you can begin crafting a narrative. For example, instead of identifying the amount of product you sold last year, show the relationships between your different consumer groups and their purchasing trends. Each section should have a tight, digestible piece of information that either builds upon or is related to the information around it.

3. Sketch: It’s time to start telling the story! Pull out a sketchbook and try different ways of organizing the information. Skeletons and flowcharts can help you begin to identify relationships and flows. Consider what format best suits your information type (see previous post), and try different color schemes. Remember to focus on the story first, and think about fancy graphics and text later. It is better to be clear and simple than overwhelm the user with loud graphics or wonky text.

Key elements to define at the design stage include:

Theme graphic: A central eye-catching graphic that serves as a visual ‘topic statement’.  This should answer the question: what is this infographic about?

Hook: This is the focal point of the graphic and visualizes the main takeaway. It is the visual equivalent of the ‘a-ha’ moment.

Reference graphic:  Simple icons that cut down on words and help to guide the story. For example: social buttons, arrows, symbols etc.

4. Test: Great design is an iterative process. Having different people look at your work will ensure that your ideas are being communicated clearly and effectively. Since mobile internet usage is projected to overtake desktop internet usage this year, be sure to assess your infographic on many different devices.

5. Share! Include calls to action, relevant links, and sharing options.

Additional Visual Tips

  • Choose 2-3 web safe colors that are either on brand or thematic. Picking the right color combination can be tough, so using a color wheel tool like Color Scheme Designer can help with identifying analogous and complementary color groups.
  • Limit the use of dark and bright accent colors to highlight the most imporant visual information
  • Since most social sites and web pages use white backgrounds, avoid this in order to stand out.

For more Mambo posts on infographics click here or here

Social ROI and Dating – What Do They Have in Common?

We have all been in a relationship that ended and later wondered: what happened? What could have I done better? This is also the case with many relationships between brands and consumers in social media. An organization may start the dating process with their audience and unbeknownst to them, something goes wrong. They do not know why, and more importantly they do not know how they can do better next time.

A chilling statistic: A recent study by Altimeter Group found that 70% of businesses think that social media could meet business objectives but only 43% had a solid strategy on how this could be accomplished. Sounds like broken relationships and heartaches waiting to happen!

Regrettably, the first experience that many companies have with Social Media is “Negative Social Media ROI.” Consumers have become used to receiving bite sized on-demand information about everything, including your brand. Sometimes this can work against an organization as fast, incomplete information is shared in conversations around social media that can mislead customers or, worse, even offend them.

So what is the first rule in finding a healthy relationship and a “Positive Social Media ROI?” Be thoughtful, pay attention and treat others with respect. This is how the love story goes:

The Introduction: Laura meets Jeff – possible customer meets the brand. This can happen in a conversation with one of their friends or it could be a sponsored ad that reached them and sparked their curiosity. With so much information available, interest can come from many different places.

The Flirting Phase: Laura thinks Jeff is cute and Jeff finds Laura interesting – customers are interested in your brand but in no way committed to being brand advocates. At this point we measure Followers & Likes. We should measure any indication that they are interested.

Dating: Laura and Jeff start having long conversations and walks on the beach – you are establishing a relationship with your customers and notice repeat visits. At this point we are looking at engagement and consumption of content: are they interested in what you have to say? Are they sharing your content with their friends? We now have potential qualified leads, they’ve given their contact information by downloading white papers, subscribing to your newsletter, etc. We are now more than just friends.

Serious Dating and Possible Engagement: Jeff and Laura know they want to be exclusive – your leads just became qualified leads – they visit your site, they look at prices. Somebody is about to pop the question.

Will You Marry Me?: Purchase is realized and revenue is generated.

This is the journey that many customers will take with your brand, but not all interactions will end up in marriage. Some consumers lose interest in your brand along the way. How do you avoid this?

Choose the right platforms for your target audience

• Track, analyze and optimize the data. Why are people dropping off? Is the content interesting? Is the message appropriate? Is the timing correct? Conversions are the key number to look at – the percentage of people that went from one step to reaching your ultimate business goals.

• Assign the right cost. Social Media ads are a direct cost to your business. However, even if your channels are not utilizing ads or boosted posts, there is time involved in correctly managing all of these channels, account for that cost.

Leads are generated through increased interest. It is up to the brand to convert these leads and adapt the strategy so that, in the end, leads become customers and revenue is generated. Social media is excellent for increasing awareness, generating buzz and getting the word out, but most importantly when tracked and analyzed correctly, social media can generate real measurable ROI just the same way a good dating experience may become a successful marriage.

For more information on listening for customer insights click here.

Mambo Takes Home The ‘Go Local’ Award at This Year’s Social Media Awards!

Last Thursday marketers from around the United States gathered for SoMe Awards in downtown Portland to celebrate the best in digital marketing. The event kicked off with the first ever forum, featuring panels and discussions on Social Media Today, with a special keynote by Brian Solis on the Future of Business! It was an exciting day full of insights, expertise, and innovative social media campaigns.

Take a peek at a few special moments from the evening:

A captive audience watches some of the night’s presenters from the Mambo lounge (via @Naira_says)

 The Forum was followed by a finalist’s panel, and presentations from students of the Digital Marketing Strategies Certificate program at PSU. During the finalists panel we got a chance to delve into campaign strategies and understand what drove success. For example, our very own Siouxsie Jennett explained the “Hunt and Insert” strategy used to fill the PSU CEPE Craft Brewing course!

Finalists panel (via @TheEyeofOdin)

Student Digital Marketer of the Year winner Jessica Chang (left) presented a social strategy for Crossfit Portland (via @TheEyeofOdin)


And then it was Awards time!

Stephanie Stricklen kicked off the awards show in true modern style with a selfie (via @StephStricklen)

Cheers to all of this year’s winners! We were thrilled to be nominated for 7 awards and win this year’s ‘Go Local’ SoMe Award, featuring our #BVPDX crowdsourcing campaign for the new Burgerville restaurant at the Portland International Airport.

Break out the champagne! (via @tmmReporter)

And if winning the Go Local Award wasn’t enough, our very own Mambo team took home Brian Solis’ latest book, What’s the future of business? Changing the way businesses create experiences, for winning his honorary and coveted Selfie Competition! Thanks Brian for the signed book! We look forward to further marketing events and discussions with you.

@MamboMedia chicks take a selfie (via @laurelhamilton)

Showing is Better Than Telling: How to use an Infographic for Engagement

If you have ever looked at a map, you have, without knowing, interacted with an infographic!  What you might remember about that map is that it made it easy for you to find what you were looking for.

Data is complex, dynamic, and multi-dimensional; the computer screen (at least to the human eye) is flat and relatively static. How, then, can one represent and distill the multitudes of experience and quantitative information with mere words and pictures? The Infographic.

Organizing complex data for clarity and visual digestion is one of the oldest forms of efficient communication. In the late 18th Century, William Playfair —a political economist and engineer credited with the invention of area and pie charts, used infographics to illustrate the state of the English economy. A century later, Florence Nightingale similarly employed them to convince Queen Victoria to improve conditions in military hospitals. Since 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual, it makes sense why these great minds relied on infographics to make their point.

Infographics are a proven way to get attention, engage with your audience, and build brand awareness. Visual content on websites and social platforms continues to outperform basic text. For example: Facebook images are liked 12x more than text updates, 42% of all Tumblr posts are photos, and photo and video posts on Pinterest are referring more traffic than Twitter, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn, and Goolge+. In fact, Facebook updated its brand page layout this March to emphasize storytelling through photos and video. Publishers using infographics see a 12% increase in traffic versus those who don’t.

It is important to choose a format that is best suited to your information, goals, and the point you are trying to convey. Here are a few different types and reasons for using infographics to get your ideas flowing:

1. Make statistics compelling: A statistic-focused infographic is great for sharing data patterns, trends, or highlighting the relationship between two data sets. Maybe you found an interesting relationship between geography and mobile activity that is useful to your audience, or you seek to highlight product sales internally for a particular demographic. Order the information to share your most compelling statistic first, and then build the case for the point you are trying to make.

A creative campaign indicating the health ramifications of smoking

2. Tell a story: A chronologically ordered infographic is perfect for telling your story. Perhaps the research you funded provided scientific breakthroughs that affected millions of families. Maybe your product changed the way people use their computers. Focus on the most compelling pieces of information and contextualize them.

The World Bank shows the consequences of our way of living, and the benefits of switching to green technologies.

3. Explain how something works: A diagrammatic infographic is helpful for explaining processes and structures. A large part of successful marketing is about educating your audience. What if you need to show how a product works, or explain your organizational structure to potential investors? In these situations, it is imperative to show the information rather than tell it.

Creative illustrations on how your phone, camera, and other things work.

Now that you know the type of visualization that is best suited to each need, the next step is to start creating! Check back next week for tips and best practices for designing your own infographic.


To learn more about what an infographic is, click here.

Three Easy Steps to Take to Avoid a Common Mistake on Social Media.

Using social media correctly can generate brand awareness, drive traffic and increase inbound leads to your business; it can even help increase direct sales online. The temptation that businesses run into when managing their social media is to share the same posts and same content across all channels.

With social media management software like Hootsuite, Buffer and SocialOomph, the risk is to use the formula of 1 post + 1 button = all channels. Unfortunately not all content is created equal and not every channel is right for the same content. In social media not everybody needs to know everything, not everybody cares about everything you have to say, and certainly nobody likes to feel spammed with jargon or hard sells. The keyword in selecting channels is “Relevant Content” – ok, there are two words.

How can you create relevant content? By analyzing whom you’re speaking to, what you want them to do, and where they spend their time..

1.  Who are you speaking to? The first step is to know what your customers think, hear, do, say and feel about the product or service you are offering. It is an easier exercise than you may think. Everybody in the company has an educated idea of the answers to some or all of these questions. From customer service, your sales force, employees that use the product/service themselves, to product designers analyzing future trends, ask them!

2.  What do you want them to do? Not everybody listening on your social channels has the same role in your marketing plan. There might be people listening that are the direct buyers of your product or perhaps they’re the referrers and advocates of the product. There may also be investors and prospective employees, to name a few. Know what you want your audience to do with your message and product so you can give them clear calls to action.

3.  Where do they spend their time? Each channel has its own social behavior, people go to different channels for different reasons and to do different things. Some examples:

  1. They go to Facebook to experience your brand, they want to be entertained and told a story
  2. They go to Twitter for news, headlines and easy to digest useful information from influencers
  3. They go to Pinterest to be inspired, to learn something new and experience a visual fantasy
  4. They go to Instagram to get personal with your brand, get a behind-the-scene experience or an exclusive look on who you are
  5. They go to LinkedIn for a professional relationship, for corporate news and celebration of events and employees

Once we have completed this journey into who, what and where, all that is left is to map the content to each channel by appropriate audience. Your social media followers will be more interested & engaged with your brand because now you’re sharing Relevant Content (there’s that word again – ok, two words)!

Read more of Mambo’s tips on effective community management here

Mambo’s Modern Mobile Methodology

Everything is mobile these days, so I guess my company needs a mobile site… right?

Wrong! These days, building a mobile site isn’t the only way to digitally engage with your target audience. We completely understand that you’d like for your customers/audience to be able to engage with you when they’re out and about, but creating a mobile site isn’t always the best.

Mobile responsive sites are definitely not a new concept; however, their effectiveness and capabilities are constantly getting better. We’re seeing a major trend in opting out of building a mobile specific site as it essentially creates a second channel that needs to be optimized. Search engines recognizes this as a whole new website and it needs to build equity, similarly to the actual website. Given mobile sites usually have their own domain (e.g.-, an organization would need to ensure both their website and mobile site are accurately developed and managed to be seen by a target audience.

Not only do you need to focus efforts on optimizing for search results, mobile sites also require continual updates to stay modern and best-in-class, just like your website. Why duplicate efforts on keeping modern, when you can enhance one web experience that has a modified mobile experience, with the same upgrades made.

Mobile responsive sites have the ability to dynamically update based on the device, by utilizing the X Y coordinates of the screen layout. The construction of a website simply requires additional backend coding to instruct the website how to operate based on screen dimensions. This will increase the initial web development cost, but not nearly as much as having to create a second mobile site.

Not sure if your customers are on mobile? Well, they are! We typically see about 50% of web traffic from a mobile device across B2B and B2C. With customers engaging with their brands digitally, we need to ensure that they can connect with you in the most modern user experience sitting at their computer, and on-the-go!

For more on modern web design tips click here