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.
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.
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
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)
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.- m.companyname.com), 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