Posted by: FDMC | April 27, 2016

Content Marketing. It’s not as hard as it sounds.

contentwriting

Most of us have products or a service to sell. To do that from your web or social media platform, we all need content (along with eye pleasing images but I will save that for a later discussion.)  To write good content the first thing you need to so is think from your prospective client or customers point of view. Not yours. Here are some quick tips that should help you come up with some good content for updating your website, running a marketing campaign, or changing up your social media platforms.  

1.  Ask yourself what have my customers or my friends been wanting to know about my products or services?  If you don’t have enough resources there then do a Q and A survey on your website and ask!  Develop a resource funnel to get content back to you.

2.  Make your content stand out.  Everything from the type of font you use to images and color choices all play out in content writing.

3. Make sure your brand is applied whenever possible.  Even with content writing, you are still selling your brand.

4.  Link other blogs or content you have written if possible. Use customer reviews of your product and services when it fits.

5.Provide as much information about your product or service as you can without sounding self serving, cluttering up the page, or putting everyone to sleep.

6. Be Interactive.  Allow feedback and questions on your content. Get to know your market base.

7.  Create a call to action.  You need to end your content with “Call Today!” or  the first 50 people who stop by or call receive this discount or this gift.”  you get my point.

Have fun with it.  Be creative, think outside the box and always update your content.

For more information, visit FDMC Social & Digital media at www.floridadudemarketingconcepts.com 

Posted by: FDMC | April 20, 2016

How To Market On Line With No Budget

Many of the small businesses, what I like to call the Mom & Pops of this world have little or no marketing budget to speak of and even more due to no fault of their own, don’t have much of a grasp in this fast paced world we call social media. Be it content marketing, creating social platforms, even getting out to do network marketing, these small business owners barely have time to open and close the shop much less try and maintain a social presence. So here are some ideas for all of you small business owners on how to do some creative on line marketing without writing a check out to some huge marketing firm.

While it’s effectiveness has dropped a bit, a Google My Business Page  is still a free and good way for people to find you.  Google + and Google My Business go hand in  hand. From a business aspect both pages are still used by businesses for marketing. The good news it is free. You will need a free Google account. It allows people to not only find you on Google Maps but it allows customer reviews, interaction and content posting. If your business is retail  Yelp and Angie’s List is effective as well.

Use LinkedIn and Facebook for social networking to start if you have not done so already. These two platforms along with Twitter are the “big 3” of any small business owner to start his/her on-line platform. Do not mix your personal Facebook account with your business page. Sure, invite your close friends and customers to your new site to spread the word but keep it professional. Create  special on line discounts and use content to build relationships and trust with your customers. I will assume your small business has a web site and if not, shame on you! You can create free web sites with platforms such as Webs, Weebly or Word Press. You won’t have your own domain but at least you will have an on line presence. They all feature drop and load templates to easily create websites that look nice.

Lastly that email account you have. Are you using it to market and send specials or a newsletter? You can create newsletters using services like Mail Chimp for free. Make sure your customers have given you permission to send them newsletters and that they can opt out. Good luck and get social on line!

Roy

FDMC Social & Digital Media

www.floridadudemarketingconcepts.com

Posted by: FDMC | April 13, 2016

Why Snapchat is growing

syFSpLD0   Snapchat, that crazy little app that just a few short  years ago nobody but teens paid any attention to has reinvented itself and is now one of the hottest apps going.  Even huge Fortune 500 companies are now on board salivating for advertising and branding space.  Why?  Because the platform has done a total 180 and is now loaded with cool features and it is just not for kids anymore wanting to post selfies that disappear in 10 seconds (although that feature is  still there)   So lets talk about snapchat and some of the things you may not even know about exist on this little app that is in fact, quite powerful.

Snap length.  You can set your snaps or videos to run up to 10 seconds if you wish.  The little dial is in the lower left hand side.

I want to save my selfie!  If your picture is safe for the world to see (or normal enough) you can save the shot to your smartphone gallery and to that great storage cloud in the sky by simply clicking on the icon just right of the timer.

Text & texting.   Snapchat allows video chat and texting as you may already know but you can also add text to your photo or draw on it and those features are self explained on the upper right top of the app.  Pinch the letter box to make the letters larger or smaller. The same goes with the emojis if you want to use them.  They can be placed anywhere by using your finger to slide them around.  Your letter colors can also be changed by the color slider.

Face Swapping  is fun  with teens obviously but if you are an adult and want to be a kid again or had too much to drink, you can use this feature by holding on to your selfie picture until the lens icon shows up. Then you can mess with your face and add goofy things.

Videos are fun and you can  actually  do some effects with them such as speed them up, reverse them or slow them down.  Remember the time frame though that you have when being creative with this feature.   You can also do video calls with Snapcat  or voice calls.

Snaps can be replayed up to 24 hours now which was not available some time ago.  You can do this one with the person who sent it to you if they enabled this feature themselves.

The Video Note Feature allows you to make a slefie GIF for a few seconds by holding down the front facing camera button.  again, you have 10 seconds to do this.

There are a few other goodies Snapchat has that I won’t go into here but these are the fun ones.  Get the app and check it all out!

Roy FDMC Social and Digital Media

 

 

Posted by: FDMC | April 4, 2016

Understanding those Instagram Changes

The recent buzz with the changes Instagram will be doing in the next few months has everyone up in arms.  From video Marketers, consumers, and in between, everyone thinks Instagram has lost it’s mind.  So to clarify what is happening with Instagram’s algorithm (if and when they actually makes the final changes) I am posting a few notes here.

First, you do not have to turn off notifications to see your content. They will be rearranging the feed, true, but your content is and will always be there.  Instagram says the changes are being done to help all users. I still think the options for either “Top Stories” or “Most Recent” will be there when it is all said and done as the other platforms wound up keeping this after listening to feedback from users.   Instagram says posts are being missed and this change will help those posts to be seen. Obviously, you the user, have to have some interest in the video or images to make this statement actually true. Your content you post will be there but at the onset, it will go in the new order and not in the old process.

For business marketers, this new process is simple. Instagram in the past was giving you placement priority for free now if you want to pay for pushing your content up in priority, you should be able to do so.   The downside is to catch the consumer eyes,  you are going to need more professional and researched material.

In conclusion with this post, for Instagram users both professional and private sector, here is what you need to happen:

A.  Keep your notifications on

B.  Make that content eye catching and exciting as users will now be getting content they in the past did not subscribe to or may not had a interest in

c.  Pay for sponsored content and build your audience base more quickly.

Remember, Facebook owns Instagram so if you have had success with Facebook in your marketing scheme, Instagram is playing catch-up.  Facebook will not burn  Instagram’s rapidly growth over algorithm tweaking that will backfire on them.

Posted by: FDMC | March 16, 2016

Social Trends That Are Not Going Anywhere Soon

For those of you in business using social media.  You need to ask yourself. “How well am I engaged and embracing current trends?”  Does your business marketing strategies consider the trends in social media?  If you do not, you can easily lose a large percentage of your target market by not having the right platform to engage them.  Lets take a look at some platforms that are not going away and if you see one of these that you are scratching your head over or are not presently using, You need to seriously take a second look at your marketing strategy.

Facebook is a “given” in that while it is true milliners and the under 30 crowd are moving away from Facebook it still boasts over 1 billion users. If you are not marketing on Facebook, shame on you!

Live stream video.  I have done a piece on this before and it is here to stay. YouTube, Meerkat, and Periscope among a few others all have the capability now to live stream your event.  With the simple use of your smart phone, you can become a “world premier” event. Yes, it is a trend but consider this.  nearly 400,000 hours of video is live streamed every day and it is up over 60%.  Yes, we love to hate them but marketers are embracing them to allow brand to consumer direct marketing. Many companies now have developed their own apps so consumers can download them and have direct contact with their favorite brand 24-7.  This allows messaging customer service, advanced tips on new product launches, loyalty awards coupons, and more.

CTA buttons  or call to action buttons.  You know, buy now, click here, want to learn more, click here… Facebook has them, Instagram and Pinterest now has incorporated them into their platforms.   It has increased traffic for brands 3 fold.  Engagement through social media is priority for any business.  So, what are you doing?

 

Posted by: FDMC | March 9, 2016

Marketing On a Budget For Your Business

If you are a small business owner, you and I have something in common.  How to promote ourselves without spending a fortune.  I have discussed in previous blogs about the use of co-op dollars and marketing development funds (MDF) to help offset your budgets but what about all that pre-planning?  Can that too be done for little or no cost?  Absolutely!

Plan Effectively

Whether you use someone like me or you do it yourself, plan your campaign or marketing activity very carefully.  Know where your dollars are going and how much you can really spend to make everything work in your favor.  (ROI)  Know what you have avialable before you and of those, what you want to use or not use.  Also it is OK to make last minute changes or revise on the fly if you have to.  It is your money.

Know Your Market

It does not take a rocket scientist to know your market area. You can do this using the web for free.  If you don’t know who you are selling to and why they are coming in to buy your products and services then you have a serious problem.  Also make sure you are marketing to your area and your customers.  What you might think or hear worked really well in a metro area may not be right for you if your business is in a rural area.  People’s buying habits and use of media is very different as is the demographics.

Emails 

If you email your clients at all then you have a tool before you to use to market.  Tell them about your promotion.  Emails are free.  Now there are companies out there that will blast for you and also sell you lists that “fit” your potential customer base.   Personally, I hate these lists.  I have used them before and 9 out of 10 are either outdated, dead emails, or the contacts are no longer valid.  You are better off developing your own by gathering business cards, networking, and doing one on ones with people.

 Social Media

Social Media.  Oh what a buzzword.  Where do I go?  What platforms do I use?  That is your choice but the good news is It is free!  Most businesses, even the smallest have at the very least a web site and Facebook page.  Use them to your advantage to get the word out that you have a product or service to sell and maybe even a special or sale coming up!  Other platforms at your disposal that is free is Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest.  Look into these as well and see if they would work for your business marketing.

My Final Thoughts 

As you can tell from all this, you don’t have to that guy running for President that owns a lot of businesses to run a marketing or promotion campaign.  You can promote your business for almost nothing.  Just be smart about it and do the research. Good luck!

 

Posted by: FDMC | February 24, 2016

Tell A Good Story For Your Business

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Telling your story is crucial. Be it your brand, business, product, service or selling yourself, storytelling is very competitive.  Storytelling also is your very crucial and time sensitive opportunity to connect with your audience  or customers.  For the purposes of my post, I am going to chat more about visuals than word.  Both are important but visuals in the form of a video or images can tell your story with very limited use of words.   Visuals can get you nearly 95% more views over use of words according the firm Skyword.

Now short storytelling can be applied to Instagram, Vine, Snapchat, Facebook, and other social platforms.  This is your chance to reach people’s perceptions.

Using the above technologies also means you have limited time to tell your story. From as little as 15 seconds to 2 minutes, your story must capture the attention of mobility users and desktop viewers alike.   Know your marketing goals and your audience.  We in the video business always “storyboard” our own stories (shoots) before we begin. You, as a business, need to use the same approach before you put your message out there using images or video.  Be a good storyteller and you story should always have a “happy” ending with a good ROI or return on your investment!

 

Posted by: FDMC | February 11, 2016

Live Stream Your Business But Be Careful!

I have spoken before about doing live streams with your business via your  cell phone.  If you missed that piece, simply stating, using Meerkat or Periscope along with your 1080p cell phone, you can be mobile and live stream an event.  You can also obviously do this inside from your laptop’s camera if you just want to deliver a sit-down topic.  Anyone watching you can interact and ask questions as both platforms use Twitter as their platform integration.  But I am digressing here.  This post is about what you need to watch out for in liability for those live-stream events.  All of these are easily avoidable with some planning.

Like a TV Show on the network or making a film, you have to be careful of certain things.  The first is your background music.  IF you have music playing during your event, make sure you can use it.  most popular music is copyrighted as are most images. Use only images you own. or are in the public domain.  Understand and know copyright laws.  Another stickler is the “Right Of Publicity Law.” Even though you be live streaming from your own property and someone wanders into your  shot and you put them on camera, did you ask their permission?  Believe or not  you have to get a release from them to use their image.  The other safeguard trick is post a very visible signage that you are broadcasting live and if you do not wish to be on camera please avoid this area.  The last point is watch what you broadcast.  If you are in a office or corporate building, make sure no  personal information is on in the background with computers or hanging on the wall that may be or should be confidential. The camera sees everything!

Have fun and take advantage of live streaming to promote your brand or business.  Plan out what you are going to do and have that plan with you before, during and after the broadcast to make sure you did everything right to safe-guard your live stream.  Most live stream events can be recorded and you should do so to have a copy and to protect yourself in case someone says something after the event.  Take a picture or video tape that sign you put up warning people to stay clear if they do not want to be on the show.  Take stills of the area or set you will be using to make sure it looks clean and the background is clear. As they say “Cover Your  You Know What!”

Posted by: FDMC | January 28, 2016

Doing A Explainer Video For Your Business

If you sell a product or service, in this day and age, you really need a video to go along with that product or service.  These are typically called “explainer” videos.  Videos that show your customers what you are selling or offering as a service.  While it is always good to hire a professional to shoot and edit it for you, if you want to do it yourself, here are some tips to help you out.

1.  What does the product or service do?  Explain a situation or problem then show what your business will do to make it better or fix the scenario  you came up with.  In other words what makes your business worth going to.

2. Keep your video short.  Attention span on the internet today is short.  If you do not have their attention in about 3 seconds, you are done.  Make it simple, fun, exciting, and not boring!  Get to the main subject matter quickly.

3.  Shoot in Hi Definition.  While almost all camera gear including cell phones shoot in High Definition, check to make sure. Also match your file size to where you are going with it.  Most video files suitable for the internet is MP4. If you are making a DVD, then you need perhaps a MPEG II file.

4.  So how is your voice?  Consider someone with a decent voice to show what you are doing.  Don’t let your ego get in the way of selling your product.  If you sound like death warmed over, then your video will look and sound the same.

5.  Edit the video.  Even if  you don’t want to hire a professional, there is simple editing tools on smart phones or on line that are free and simple to use.

6.  Write a script.  This should be your very first thought process. Make sure you follow the script.  Keep the video 2 minutes or less.   Look on You Tube or your competitors sites for ideas on what they did. Watch and copy the info commercial format if you can’t think of your own ideas.

7.  My last point is place your video on all your social media platforms you have.  Make sure you follow up on your ROI and you can do this by placing a “Call To Action” on your video.  Good luck and remember, if you are overwhelmed by all of this, hire a professional!

Posted by: FDMC | January 12, 2016

Periscope Live Streaming To YouTube!

PeriscopeTwitter-600x3221-600x322Upload Periscope Streams to YouTube as Part of a Multi-Platform Video Strategy.  Building a community around your brand and engaging with its most passionate members is going to be critical for marketers, content creators and anyone else using online video in 2016 and onward. I am sure most SMB’s get this. I have personally used Periscope and with its integration with Twitter for interaction with your followers, it is really cool!  But along with the above, other reasons why Periscope can help you better engage with your audience and is worth a look is the consideration if you are planning to expand your multiple platforms this year.

Why Post Periscope Videos to YouTube?

Or Facebook, or Instagram Video? The idea here is that the secondary location where you post your Periscope videos should be whatever platform is home to your primary video audience. Not only does posting your Periscope video give it a place to live that lasts longer than 24 hours (they are deleted from Periscope servers after that) but it gives you an opportunity to promote your Periscope videos, while also benefiting your main distribution outlet.

Although Periscope was originally created as a portrait-style video broadcasting app, it has supported landscape mode since September of last year. Keep that in mind if you plan to upload your scopes to a secondary location. There is no better way to annoy users than to give them a portrait video when they are expecting widescreen. Thankfully, they have made the process very simple in that you only need to rotate your phone to switch the mode. If you have even the slightest inkling you may want to load your video to another site, flip your phone!

 How to Post Periscope Videos to YouTube

When it comes to ease of use, Periscope really got things right. Simply turn on “Autosave Broadcast” in your Periscope settings and any scope you record is saved directly to your Gallery. From there, it can be loaded straight to YouTube (or another platform) or downloaded and edited with your favorite video editing software.

Another trick to keep in mind with Periscope to make it look a little more professional is to use a second camera source. The simplest way to do that is to use the front and rear facing camera on your device. Once again, it’s simple to do, just double tap the screen of your device and it should switch between the two cameras, give you a more dynamic effect.

Keeping Your Periscopes Relevant Long-term

You can keep your Periscope files and even broadcast longer files and then put them up on YouTube. Stars like Ellen DeGeneres has streamed her stuff live on Periscope during her show. You can switch easily between the “selfie” camera and your front camera or even edit your stream before going YouTube.

The ability to edit your live streams makes it not only a great place to save your files long-term, but allows you to take repurpose your most useful live moments. It all comes back to finding new and interesting ways to engage with your audience, which they are doing through Periscope, with the added benefit of YouTube to reinforce that usage.

 

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