Posted by: FDMC Digital Media LLC | October 1, 2020

Think before you post!

My word is social media getting nasty! corporate executives, business leaders, or family members of small-business owners. They are all jumping in now. As you sit in front of your computer ready to respond to a nasty comment about your business, political view, or anything else, you’ve heard it 1,000 times: Take a beat before you post, and make sure you want to be public in that manner and with that message. Are you ready to perhaps ruin your business or yourself over one heated passionate thought or something you think is funny not realizing everyone shares your sense of humor or the image is hateful or racist to somebody else? Be it your business social page or your personal page. Someone out there associates you with your business or company and they know you. So how valuable is that? Freedom of Speech is one thing. Your years of building your brand or your business is another.

It is so true. Many times out of pure “brain gas passing”, Someone sees something funny or a message that gets their goat and posts it the funny image or responds in passion. Without thinking of the consequences of recognizing the subtle hate or perhaps the offensive image behind it. They did not stop to think of what groups would view it as harmful. Someone let emotions get in front of rational thinking and posted a rant that later would offend many. What is really bad is that person works for your business or maybe it is you along. How many people may know you online? What do your customers or business associates think of you now? Hmmmmm!!!???

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of these stories taking place across the US every day. And although perhaps it shouldn’t need to be said again, I will say it again: Nothing you post on social media truly disappears. Nothing you delete really goes away. Once you post it, it is highly likely it will be there for life, whether through a screenshot, a share, or a retweet.

Now more than ever, the ability to curtail your quick-to-post instinct, and that of others who are leaders or representatives of your business, needs to be enforced. Too often, these posts directly conflict with the values or stated public positions of the organization represented by the poster — and that swiftly spells trouble.

Before you post, stop, think, and breathe. Then ask yourself questions like:

·        Would I say this in front of my customers?

·        Will my employees disagree or be offended?

·        Does the content and tone align with the values of our company?

·        Is it the right thing to say and do just because I think it’s funny.

· If I post this, does this reflect my personal values and beliefs on how I look at my friends, associates as well as myself?

For example, consider whether it is wise to share posts that suggest the coronavirus is a hoax, posts that attack Black Lives Matter or a presidential candidate, or posts that denounce protests against racial inequality or portray an image of racism. The bottom line: Any post that at face value is insensitive to a vulnerable population right now or to the public’s conflicted feelings about major social issues is an unnecessary and inappropriate risk.

 Why does this matter? Because insensitive posts put your company, your family, your employees, and, indeed, the very livelihood of your business at risk. As ; well as you and your personal reputation. The cost of recovery — both financial and reputational — is too high for many companies. As business leaders, this is a critical reminder not just for you, but for your team, as well.

The “I just didn’t realize” is not a good defense. Honest mistakes can have the same negative impact as established patterns of poor judgment and posting behavior. While recovery from an honest mistake may be swifter, it doesn’t negate the potential reputational harm. And, once someone in a company’s circle has posted a racist, offensive or insensitive social comment, others will go looking to look for patterns of similar controversial content, previous lapses in doing what’s right and other problems within your business or organization.

It is important to note, this is not to suggest that companies and individuals shouldn’t stand up for what they believe matters. That said, however, be very clear that the positions you’re taking represent the values and positions of your company, your employees, your customers, your shareholders, and others. If not, that inconsistency can lead to a different kind of crisis – a crisis of values. If you’re a business leader or someone close to a business leader, or if you hold a leadership role within an organization, assume that there are folks watching. Remember that, by default or by relationship, you are a representative of that business.

And yes, you are held to a higher standard. Whether it is on your personal platform is irrelevant. It will be seen, it will be shared, and you — as a leader and as a participant in our society — will be evaluated with that lens.

It’s a frustrating time for all of us, emotions are high, and the diversity of opinions is great. The desire to be reactionary on social media and assume a little “keyboard courage” is tempting, but you must resist. Don’t let your opinions or the heat of the moment play out in a public platform unless they are firmly aligned with where you stand as a business. Pause before you post.

-Roy

Posted by: FDMC Digital Media LLC | September 3, 2020

Video Production Tips You Need For That First Video!

Using video in your social media marketing can seem like a stress ball, but if you follow some basic rules, you’ll be an expert in no time. If you want to create a video that not only gets views but helps convert sales, follow some of these best practices I know will work.

1. Get the right equipment from day one

One of the first reasons people often cite for not creating video content is that it’s too expensive to buy the right equipment. That is not necessarily true when starting out.

Today, virtually everyone in business has a smartphone, and you can use that smartphone to Livestream or record video anywhere. In fact, under the right conditions, that video footage can be just as good as anything you’d get with a dedicated video camera. Similarly, most laptops come with a built-in webcam and an audio port to plug in a headset and mic. I will say this. The newer the smartphone, the better the video quality due to pixels being better.

2. Boost your lighting

The biggest drawback to using a laptop or smartphone to record video is that it is harder to compensate for the poor lighting. In fact, if you’re going to invest in anything for recording video, better lighting should be at the top of your list, particularly if you want to record in a dim office.

When you task a camera to record you in poor light, the resulting video is dark and grainy. Conversely, when you’re well-lit, the video is crisp, clear, and, most important, your target audience can see you nicely.

To that end, the recommended placement of lights is to have two in front of you, on either side of the camera, and one that is directed behind you to eliminate shadows. You’ll find that lights designed specifically for video work can be adjusted and directed more easily than normal household lights, but feel free to work with what you have.

To test your lighting, simply open a video recording program on your computer or smartphone and see how your video quality looks. Are you grainy or shadowed? Lit too harshly? Get up and move your lights accordingly and then see how that impacted the quality of the video. If necessary, record yourself briefly and send it to a friend for input. If you have to do it over, do it over. Remember, garbage in is garbage out.

3. Look ‘em in the eye

Eye contact is effective in establishing a connection with your audience. It’s how you start building rapport. People who never look at the camera risk suggesting to the audience that they cannot be trusted.

That’s not to say you can’t take your eyes off the camera. But the more you can directly look at the camera — making each and every viewer feel like you’re looking at them — the more effective your videos will be.

So practice that! Get into the habit of looking at the camera while you’re speaking. Treat it as though it’s the person you’re talking to. If it helps, imagine it’s a dear friend you’re having a wonderful conversation with.

One trick is to minimize whatever video screen you’re looking at. Make it small and centered at the top of your monitor, so it’s as close to your camera as possible. That way, even if you’re looking at yourself, other guests or a feed of comments from a live screen, your eyes are never far from the camera.

4. Give yourself a break

It’s also important to give yourself time and grace when it comes to creating video content. No one is born knowing how to produce gorgeous videos. It takes many, many hours of practice and experience to get good at it, and even then, like every other skill, it takes a lifetime to master it.

Remember that generally speaking, your audience and viewers are rooting for you! They want to learn from you and connect with you, and they will bear with you as you struggle here or there.

If you’re broadcasting live and say something wrong, just laugh it off and move on. Heck, some of the video clips that have gone the most viral for mine and my co-authors’ 360 Marketing Squad are the blooper reels I inevitably pull out. Those actually serve a wonderful purpose: They show your authenticity, humanity and hopefully your sense of humor.

5. Plan for a test period

Finally, when you’re deciding on your video strategy — where you’re publishing videos and what you’re going to talk about— also include a time frame for how long you’re going to commit to doing this before you render any real judgment.

It can be discouraging to spend hours producing and editing a video only to publish it and get no views. But don’t let that stop you. Publish the next one, and the next one, and the one after that. Keep pushing out that content and scratching out an audience for yourself. If you’re not sure whether the videos are good, find trusted friends and colleagues who can give you candid, professional feedback, and then keep publishing the videos.

It takes a long time to build an audience and even longer to start incorporating feedback and input and get great at making videos. Give yourself sufficient time to accomplish that, and have some reasonable expectations and metrics as a gauge for success.

-Roy

Posted by: FDMC Digital Media LLC | August 27, 2020

Facebook Live Streaming Are You Sure You’re Ready?

Live video streaming is on fire because of Covid-19. Schools, nonprofits, musicians, media publishers, and businesses have turned to live streaming to reach their audiences on social media. With physical locations closed, businesses have learned to publicize, promote, and sell products and services with live streaming such as Facebook Live, one of the most popular live-streaming platforms. Before you live stream, however, there are some important checklists you should go over and prepare for. Do not just go live for the sake of “going live”. Let’s look at some important “dos and don’ts” that I found to be the most effective in planning your Facebook Live broadcast.

Planning. Preparation is a major factor for a successful live streaming video. Before going live, establish your goals and messages. Consider your guests, background, props and technical details such as sound quality and your Internet connection. You can’t prepare for everything of course. You still need to react to the audience’s input.

Internet connections. A fast and stable internet connection is critical. Poor internet connections are the most common pitfalls on Facebook Live streaming. Beware of Wi-Fi overload, and seek a hardwired cable connection if possible.

Promotions. To raise awareness of your upcoming Facebook Live stream, schedule an announcement post in Live Producer, which will then create a Facebook preview post that interested viewers can select to get a reminder of the event. (Also promote the live stream on other platforms and your owned media, such as your website.)

Crossposting. Crosspost from other Facebook pages you control. Your guests and others can crosspost to your page. When crossposting, post simultaneously to multiple Pages at once. It appears to be native video to that Page to viewers, but the viewership is aggregated and its statistics are aggregated on that one video asset.

Data insights. Examine metrics in the Creator Studio such as audience retention, engagement signals, and page follower growth to make improvements. For instance, insights into audience retention and time to assemble may prompt you to adjust the length of broadcasts and the times for stating key messages.

Engagement. Content with more comments ranks higher in its algorithm and obtains greater reach. Start commenting to initiate a conversation with viewers, respond to comments, and moderate comments for engaging and positive conversations. Also, consider inserting polls and questions into live streams. They’re worth the extra planning they require.

Music rights. Make sure you have the rights to music you play while live streaming. Facebook may pause, mute, and take down the video if it receives a complaint. For the same reason, beware of background music at sports events and other venues. To avoid such problems, try the sound collection inside Creator Studio for songs that Facebook has precleared.

It’s A Wrap. Promote the video after streaming it. Just because you streamed a video live doesn’t mean that is the end of it. You can still reach many prospects by a record live stream. Boosting the video on Facebook with paid advertising after the live stream will reach more customers who missed the live stream. Obviously, you need to make sure you have the funds set aside to do that.

Bottom Line: These recommendations can help businesses and other organizations improve their results on Facebook Live, an increasingly popular tool for reaching customers and promoting products.

-Roy

Posted by: FDMC Digital Media LLC | August 6, 2020

It is OK To Tell Customers To Take A Hike Sometimes!

Tell em to “take a hike!”

Some folks think it is never good business to turn away business. I beg to differ. In fact, there are times when new business will cost you money, tarnish your brand, your name, and possibly even damage the long-term prospects of your organization. You’re probably thinking, “You’re kidding, right?” The fact is, there are times when it’s good business to turn away business. There many times you will get customer prospects who want something for nothing which can devalue your brand and business. You will get customers who will never be happy with your product or service no matter how much you bend over backward for them. This is the time to tell your customer to take a hike. In other words, let them go. It is really OK. You can not please everybody. I even put some things in here I found that the business themselves might do to save face. In these uncertain perhaps desperate times, do not fall to panic and fear. Hang in there.

“Less can be more.”

Subtracting Business Is as Important as Adding It

If you’re one of those folks who believe that new sales are always a plus, the customer is always right, or you should never turn away business, here are 10 cases where that thinking can cost you dearly.

Holding a fire sale. There are many reasons why people sell products or services for a VERY skimpy profit. For example, some folks panic when they hit a slow period. Others offer quantity discounts even though the customer doesn’t qualify for them. And of course, some salespeople discount goods just to get the order. As the saying goes, “They lose money on every sale, but make it up on volume.”

Failing to satisfy needs. Some people make the sale even though the product or service won’t satisfy their customer’s needs. That doesn’t stop them, but it should. If you think good news travels fast, know that bad news travels faster. The fact is, a one-time sale should never trump a long-term customer relationship.

Making false promises. Some folks close a sale even though they don’t have the resources, capacity, or the experience to deliver on their promise. They think they’ll get the order and then figure out how to deliver it. Or they’ll fake it, and outsource the business to another organization. If that thought crosses your mind, think again.

Accepting unrealistic customer demands. Some customers are high maintenance. (Ugh!) They’re demanding, unreasonable, and expect special treatment. The truth is, you’ll never make those customers happy. Plus, they’ll be the first ones to post negative reviews on social media. Ask yourself whether their business is worth it.

Ignoring ill-treatment. Some customers are mean spirited; they mistreat your employees and destroy your other customers’ experience. These customers will sap your energy and demoralize your staff. Don’t take it personally, though; they treat everyone that way. Customers who play games should find someone else to play with.

Losing focus. The 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto Principle, suggests that 20 percent of your activities account for 80 percent of your results. That principle can often be applied to your customer base — 20 percent of your customers contribute 80 percent of your sales volume. Having said that, if you let “high-maintenance” customers distract you from your top ones, your best customers may feel neglected and leave for greener pastures.

Tolerating greed. Some customers want to prove they’re in charge. They’ll “beat you up” or nickel-and-dime you to death — until you surrender. They refuse to accept the fact that all business relationships should be win-win. That behavior can take a tremendous toll on your psyche as well as your bottom line.

Winning at all costs. Some salespeople will do anything, and I mean anything, to win. That includes making promises they’ll live to regret. It’s better to walk away from a sale than to lose your shirt.

“If you sell strictly on price, it’ll cost you dearly.”

Trying to be all things to all people. Some folks forget what business they’re in. (Their company is a mile wide and an inch deep.) They’ll take on anything that walks through the door. The fact is, being all things to all people is a guaranteed recipe for disaster and failure.

Caving into unethical or illegal demands. Some folks will do just about anything to get a sale — including deceptive or illegal practices. They know that what they’re doing is wrong, but they rationalize their actions by thinking it’s just one time. The truth is that it rarely is. You may get the sale, but you’re selling your soul in the process. You be the judge whether that cost is too high.

The next time you celebrate a sale, make sure it’s in your best interest to do so. As the saying goes, “Knowing when to walk away is Wisdom. Being able to is Courage. Walking away with grace, and your held head high is Dignity.”

-Roy

Posted by: FDMC Digital Media LLC | July 30, 2020

Use Digital Media To Create A Positive Brand During These Tough Times!

Does Your Business Need a P.R. Boost? A lot of you do with Covid19 causing mass disruptions in business. Many of your clients and customers struggle to even get outside let alone shop or consult for services. Here are some great tips I found to help you get a digital media public relations campaign moving in your favor. I am not saying you have to launch each and everyone right now or do them all together. Piece Meal what can work for you within your time limitations and budget. Digital media is dominating storytelling. In the wake of Covid-19, it’s more important than ever to tell your brand story for the digital age. Digital PR efforts can prove to be a cost-effective method to share your brand with a larger audience.

Here are seven digital PR techniques I found to help you tell your brand story.

1. Video

Video is a great way to tell a story without forcing someone to read a wall of text. You combine visual appeal with a verbal message to gain a viewer’s attention.

Short-form and long-form videos are growing in popularity due to their attention-grabbing nature. Use videos for brand messaging through employee spotlights, office culture features, and personal interviews. Video connects your audience to your brand by allowing them to experience behind-the-scenes content.

2. Social Media

While video engages viewers, social media allows prospects to interact with your brand. Social media is versatile in its storytelling capabilities. Likes, comments and stories — any and all social media features — make it simple for users to interact. 

Are you fun? Serious? Think out of the box? The way your brand interacts with people reflects your story. Leverage the unique strengths of each platform to enhance your brand story. Instagram, for example, is great for sharing visual content, while Twitter is better for facilitating conversations. Even LinkedIn’s Slideshare has beautiful storytelling features. Even TikTok can be a fun engagement tool if you have a younger audience or customer base. Once you know your brand story, share it on the right social platforms, and leverage their native toolsets.

3. Influencers

Influencers can be an extension of your brand. They can help you reach a target audience that may not have heard of your brand otherwise. Why are influencers necessary for digital PR? Because your brand shouldn’t be the only one doing the talking.

An influencer also gives a face to your brand story, so pick your influencers wisely. Find those people who support the same qualities, causes and values as your brand. Remember, you are telling a story. Much like selecting actors to fit a screenplay, brands need to find the right people to bring the story to life.

4. Blogs

Tell your brand story on your blog. Enlist employees, customers and other stakeholders to contribute blog content that is relevant and timely to your industry. 

Why invite external blog contributors? Because audiences are more likely to believe your brand story if you encourage real users to contribute authentic content. It also reinforces the idea that you value stakeholder opinions and that they are a part of your brand story. 

Like social media, blogs are versatile, so don’t be afraid to experiment with your writing and topics. Just keep posts relevant, timely and aligned with your messaging.

5. Community Panels

Contribute expert insights to external websites by participating on community panels. A community panel rounds up insights from industry experts and combines their thoughts into a cohesive article. You can typically find opportunities to participate in community panels on sites such as your local chamber of commerce, Non-Profits, or even local government agencies. These articles not only provide exposure but also serve as a platform on which to build authority and awareness for your brand.

6. Thought Leadership Articles

A thoughtful article that dives deep into a particular industry topic can usually find a happy home on an external site. Editors typically welcome unique perspectives and expert insights to be posted on their site. 

Everyone is an expert on something. Penning a thought leadership article provides an opportunity to not only establish expertise but to introduce your brand to a new audience. Identify what you are an expert in, and then pitch an authentic story idea to a few industry sites. Chances are if the idea hasn’t already been covered, then you’ll uncover an opportunity to publish an article.

7. Unlinked Mentions

An unlinked mention means your brand is referenced online, but the content is not tagged or linked back to a brand asset such as a website or social media account. Adding a link within this content adds to the story.

Reach out to the publisher to see if they will the content with a link back to your website. That way, their readers can learn more about your brand while filling in some of the gaps that may exist in the original content. These opportunities exist on social sites like Twitter, blog posts, and even on major news channels. 

Where To Go From Here

Brands want opportunities to share their stories. These digital PR techniques highlight some of the readily available ways for marketers to utilize the platforms and partners around them.

Consider creating assets such as video and social content. Enlist the help of external influencers and internal stakeholders. Then, get involved in the conversation with community panels, thought leadership articles, and unlinked mentions. The end result is a more authentic, sustainable way to build your brand on

-Roy

Posted by: FDMC Digital Media LLC | July 9, 2020

Live Streaming, Part 2

Live Streaming Your Brand!

If you want to use social media to generate leads, build brand awareness or drive traffic to your site, have you considered live video streaming?

Over the last few years, live video has taken over social platforms and created a new way for brands to connect with their audiences. Small businesses working their way up can more easily attract and engage new prospects and persuade them to convert with live streams.  Here is some information that I love engaging my mind in and thought I would share with you. More than ever live streaming will help your marketing and your brand.

Why use live streaming?

Today’s consumers want to connect with the brands they invest in. Due to the rise of e-commerce, it’s now easier to pick and choose which businesses to engage with. Customers can afford to be picky about where they spend their money. If you don’t give them reasons to choose your brand, they’ll be quick to leave and go with your competitor.

Marketers are constantly seeking new ways to catch their customers’ attention and keep it. People consume a lot of media on the go, which means they have more opportunities to use social media and interact with brands. 

But how can you make people want to engage with your business? You need to earn their trust, which you can do with live streaming. Because there are endless ways to use it, it can become a regular part of your conversion optimization strategy.

Today more than 45% of marketers use live video. With the recent pandemic, that number continues to go up. It’s important to take advantage of its benefits since it’s popular with users and keeps them engaged.

Through live streams, you can show prospects who you are and what your brand stands for. It’s essential to personalize the experience so customers feel comfortable buying from you and returning for more.

These are some things you can do with live streaming:

  • Host Q&A sessions
  • Respond to users in real-time
  • Tell people your business’s backstory
  • Personalize interactions with viewers
  • Announce new product launches
  • Improve customer service

Now that we know some of the countless benefits of live streaming for your business, here are a few helpful tips to improve your strategy.

1. Research your audience.

For any business to succeed, it needs to know its audience. If you don’t know who you’re creating content for, you can’t expect to move prospects through the sales funnel. Your strategy will be all over the place and won’t cater to anyone, leaving you back at square one.

A recent study showed that nearly 45% of viewers of content want to see more video from marketers, and that includes live video. But you won’t know what kind of live video to make unless you understand your target audience and their needs.

When you know your audience, you can easily find out other useful information, such as the best time to go live and what topics to discuss. The last thing you want to do is go live without preparing for your streaming session. This will lead to disorganization and a drop in viewers. You need to look professional and give every Livestream a purpose.

These are some possible purposes of your Livestream:

  • Introduce your brand to new consumers
  • Increase your engagement
  • Drive traffic to your website
  • Build your email list

Whatever your primary goal is, use what you know about your audience to achieve it. For example, if you want to increase engagement, you could hold a live Q&A session. People can submit their questions beforehand, and you prepare responses and then answer them during your stream. When you use a viewer’s question, it makes them feel heard, increases their interest in you and encourages them to further interact with your brand on social media.

Look at your existing social media followers and customers. You can tell a lot about them by looking at where they spend the most time and what they spend the most time on. Both your social media and website have analytics that can show you what works for your audience and what causes them to bounce. 

2. Choose the right platform.

At first, you may think you need to use every livestreaming platform available, but this is far from the truth. With any strategy, you don’t want to spread yourself too thin. If you try using every platform there is, you will connect with fewer followers and won’t meet your goals.

The latest stats show that close to 80% of businesses use Facebook. Not all of them keep their content up as they should but they use it as a way to attract new members, while 35% rely on Twitter, making them the most popular platforms for lead generation. But that doesn’t mean you need to go live on these specific platforms. It’s still essential to use live video on the websites that are relevant to your brand and audience to drive the most traffic. 

It’s important to understand which social media platform best serves your audience and your purpose. These are the most popular platforms and the use cases they serve best:

  • Facebook Live: Facebook is known for its video content, so it’s no surprise that it’s great at attracting large audiences. When you want to reach a lot of viewers or send a marketing message, Facebook Live is a great option.
  • Instagram Live: Live videos on Instagram disappear when they’re finished, increasing urgency in users to act quickly. Instagram Live content should use vibrant colors and works best in small, casual segments.
  • Twitter Live: Twitter content is short and spontaneous, and its live video should be the same. Live content on Twitter works best for brief messages and for broadcasting events and launches.
  • YouTube Live: YouTube is a versatile platform and gives brands endless ways to use video marketing. Its live streaming service is great for brand update announcements, Q&As, storytelling, and more. 

With enough research and testing, you’ll be able to determine which platform is right for your brand and its audience. 

3. Pick a relevant topic.

Typically, stats show that around 45% of buyers look at 3 to 45 pieces of content before making a purchase decision? It takes time for them to trust your brand because they don’t want to spend their hard-earned money just anywhere. Livestreaming reduces the need for them to consume other content about your brand and makes it easier for you to turn viewers into paying customers. 

However, it’s only easy if you engage your audience with a relevant topic. You wouldn’t write a blog post about how to fix a tire if you run a cooking business, and the same goes for your live streams. You need to make sure the topic interests your viewers and makes them feel excited to attend. 

So how do you figure out what your audience wants from your live streams?

The simplest way to find out is to ask. You can create social posts asking users for their input, and even make it fun by turning it into a poll. You can also email your existing subscribers asking what they’d enjoy seeing from you on live video. 

Look at what social media posts have garnered the most attention, likes, and shares on your profile. What questions do people ask the most? What content receives the most traffic?

It’s also important to track trending topics in your industry, as hot topics attract more views and engagement. Practice social listening by using relevant tools and searching for hashtags and keywords related to your brand. 

-Roy

Posted by: FDMC Digital Media LLC | June 11, 2020

Explainer Videos Do Work!

We’ve all heard that the average human attention span is less than 20 seconds or even less when surfing through content on a mobile device. For most people, that is a “So What Moment”.

But for marketing teams, that statistic is the stuff of nightmares. Here is some great information I think you will find useful I found.

Competition for your audience’s attention has never been higher. And with people cutting the cord on cable or satellite TV, companies are now fighting for top spots around the digital watercoolers where people spend most of their time.

In other words, social media is the colosseum where companies battle for supremacy. And unless you’re operating with a million-dollar marketing budget, there’s no way to guarantee you’ll become the top brand in your industry.

Small businesses need every advantage they can get these days. Video marketing is a great way to establish your brand on social media, and it’s a flexible strategy to explore. But one of the clearest — and best performing — winners is explainer videos.

To help you make the most of your video marketing, here are 5 reasons why your company (and any small or startup business) needs explainer videos.

 Capture Attention Quickly

Very few people want to sit down and read a wall of text. Even if that content is a walkthrough, guide, or tutorial, it’s hard to commit to a 1,000+ word piece when a 3-minute video would be faster, clearer, and more enjoyable. That’s why most of us look for videos first.

Explainer videos meet all of those needs. But perhaps best of all, this style of content has a proven track record of capturing and holding — someone’s attention. The steady flow of information and some ambient music will put the audience into an almost meditative state.

Explain Complex Ideas

If you bombard people with statistics or complicated topics, you’ll lose their interest. That might mean skipping your video, closing the tab, or marking your ad “Not relevant.” And that isn’t just a missed opportunity — that is a lost customer.

A core piece of video marketing is using the time wisely, and whiteboard/explainer videos exist for the sole purpose of helping us do that. The combination of a simple animation, calming music, and sound effects create a calm tone that research has proven as an ideal learning environment and a simple and great way to boost your conversion rates.

And if you are trying to highlight the value of the product or service you are featuring, using an explainer video allows you to tell a story, create an experience, and show off what your company does.

Create Some Engagement

A key piece in creating engagement is choosing the right content. If you are producing videos that are relevant to your audience’s needs and interests, you are meeting their expectations and providing a benefit to them. That’s an important measure of success for any marketing platform.

Different businesses prioritize different statistics when it comes to engagement. But explainer videos give you a slight advantage, whether you’re interested in views, subscribers, or reactions.

Once you’ve caught someone’s attention and created a focused environment for that person, you’ve taken the right steps to make sure they’ll get to the end of the video on screen and take the steps you want them to.

Strengthen Evergreen Content

No, your explainer videos probably won’t be evergreen content. But that’s okay. One thing they will do is provide an additional resource that is easily digestible for both customers and leads. Explainer videos are generally considered closer to the type of content you would share on a blog, Facebook post, eBook, etc. And that means you can create a tutorial, tell a story, or highlight a new feature through the product/service your company provides.

It might not open up new opportunities for you, but this type of video presentation serves to add support to bigger parts of your content strategy. Coordinating video content with topics you’re focusing on in other platforms will provide a boost to your SEO rankings as well. And any extra push you can give to evergreen content you want to draw attention to will be an extra benefit.

Reduce Production Costs Of Your Video

Explainer videos don’t require building a studio or renting $20,000 in video equipment. (In reality, all you need is a graphic designer with some animation know-how.) And when it comes to producing video content, the only cheaper option is using a smartphone or your computer webcam.

Production costs play a big factor in determining how to allocate your budget. Video has proven to have some of the biggest upsides for marketing teams in any industry, and the benefits of that more than compensate for buying software, licensing music, or learning an animation program. Also coming into play is which social platforms you are going to use.

And as an added benefit, the best explainer videos tend to keep things simple. Your content might not go viral, but any traffic or engagement it creates will point people to your brand and hopefully motivate you to keep developing more videos.

If video marketing isn’t a big part of your strategy — or if it’s not something you can budget for right now — then a short explainer video might be an opportunity to get your feet wet in this sort of channel. The most you’ll need is some royalty-free music, sound effects, and animation, all of which you can produce yourself or license for much cheaper than you’d pay for a studio full of videography equipment.

Why Your Company Needs Explainer Videos

Explainer videos are a part of internet culture now. Some companies specialize in that sort of content, creating YouTube channels or Instagram accounts with millions of followers. And while that probably isn’t your goal, it’s a proof of concept that this type of video works well.

Viewers love clever content in small doses. And if you can find a way to leverage that into your marketing strategies, there’s a good chance that your audience will respond to it.

We’ve all watched a handful of explainer videos as work tutorials, educational videos, or random clips on YouTube and social media. The good news is that there’s no such thing as an “expert” in this field — with the right software, anyone can make a successful explainer video. So are you ready?

-Roy

Posted by: FDMC Digital Media LLC | May 27, 2020

Messaging Apps Are Growing! For Business!

  • The number of people who use instant messaging will grow 9% to 4.3 billion this year as the coronavirus pandemic boosts demand for mobile communication according to a recent article I read from Juniper Research. Digital payments will be key in maintaining growth as the pandemic subsides, giving people a reason to stick with instant messaging apps, the researcher said.
  • WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and WeChat are among the apps that are predicted to develop into e-commerce channels as digital payments let retailers extend their omnichannel strategies into messaging. Retailers can broaden their services from messaging alerts to payment authentication and processing with improved support for transactions, Juniper says in their recent post.
  • The number of smartphones equipped with rich communication services (RCS) technology that supports media-rich content and payment services will jump 45% to more than 740 million in 2020 from a year earlier. Despite that growth, RCS will only be available in 16% of smartphones worldwide this year, per Juniper.

Insight:

Instant messaging is a popular feature on smartphones with growth dependent on expanded capabilities like digital payments, Juniper’s study suggests. Payment support would give mobile marketers more ways to convert passive users into active shoppers and to maintain an ongoing relationship with their most loyal customers who opt-in to receive alerts and notifications about special offers.

Marketers should develop strategies specific to instant messaging, Juniper recommends, with 84% of smartphone owners using communication apps this year. Apps like Tencent’s WeChat that is popular in China demonstrates how messaging can be transformed to offer a broad range of services including digital payments, shopping, travel booking, and food delivery, among others. WeChat lets marketers create “mini-programs” that work inside the app, expanding the capabilities of Android phones that have limited to SMS or MMS text services.

It is stated that marketers should not wait for RCS to hit the mainstream — despite it being a major upgrade to messaging services on Android phones — to expand beyond its current limited user base before developing a marketing strategy for instant messaging. While RCS isn’t supported by Apple, which has its own media-rich messaging app for iOS devices, the technology is likely to become more popular on Android devices with the support of the mobile industry. Mobile marketers need to prepare for the possibility that RCS may become more popular among consumers, opening up a sales channel that supports digital transactions and media-rich communications. With all this said, I found this study to be really amazing as we turn more and more to mobility and chat to communicate not only with friends and associates but through business as well.

-Roy

Posted by: FDMC Digital Media LLC | May 7, 2020

Using You Tube To Expand Your Brand! Videos Work!

Have you ever heard the phrase “show, don’t tell”? Well that phrase is the exact reason that YouTube is the secret to your branding success. You just need a little creativity and patience.

Branding for small businesses revolves around two trains of thought. One is that your brand should be representative of who you are completely and be very straight forward and to the point. And the other is that your brand should tell a story. YouTube is a really way to reinforce whichever avenue you prefer.

Because YouTube is a great way to engage your audience with your company brand. Everything from company culture videos, product reviews, thought leadership videos, webinars, or skill sharing videos can be a great way to reaffirm who you are as a company. Show people who you are via YouTube.

5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every single day, which is a lot of people and a captive audience. A lot of your existing customers will already be on YouTube as well. It’s widely reported that the average attention span on consumers viewing videos is 8.25 seconds which isn’t very long at all. But those 8.25 seconds will be much more effective if you’re using them to engage your audience in a video, as opposed to plain text on a website.

Using videos to reinforce your branding is something that the biggest and the best businesses already do on a regular basis. Take a company like Nike. They use their YouTube platform to provide workout videos – featuring their equipment and clothing. By providing this additional value for Nike customers, the company is branding itself as the “go to” for fitness.

And it’s not only the content you create that can help reinforce your business branding. Your YouTube channel features a channel banner image that you can use to promote your other social networks, or as a way to share your business tag line. There’s also an “about” section where you can include links outside of YouTube, and really share more information about who you are as a brand.

Most Social Platforms Are Free To Use

YouTube, of course, isn’t the only place that you can use video marketing as a branding tool. Most social media sites allow native videos. Native videos are ones that have been uploaded directly on to the social media platform, as opposed to being shared via a YouTube link. What’s more is that sites tend to love native videos and will prioritize them in the algorithm. After all, if people are watching videos you’ve uploaded on LinkedIn, people are spending more time “on site” on LinkedIn. And LinkedIn’s main goal is to get users who spend a lot of time on their site.

One of the main problems’ companies face when trying to develop or establish a brand is it’s very difficult to get audience to buy in to your brand. The easiest way to overcome this problem is to explain to your audience why they should trust you. Creating videos is one of the best ways you can do that

Posted by: FDMC Digital Media LLC | April 30, 2020

Doing Virtual Meetings Without The Stress!

Virtual Meetings For Business

As the world transitions to more remote work from home, companies are feeling growing pains. Whether you’re new to the concept of working from home or not, we’ve all been a part of failed virtual meetings that wasted time due to technical and logistical difficulties. 

Using remote meeting or virtual meetings set up with the help of conference calls or video chats, are hypothetically good substitutes for in-person meetings, but they tend to be riddled with issues. Someone keeps glitching out. Someone else has screaming kids and barking dogs in the background. And the delay between speaking participants rivals space transmissions, ultimately resulting in people talking over one another. 

Remote meetings are necessary right now, but business leaders can’t pretend that all of them are going to go off without a hitch. They typically don’t.  It’s a chaotic mess. But there are some helpful methods that can iron (most of) these issues out and ease those remote work growing pains. 

Choose the Appropriate Platform 

First, you need to choose the right platform. There are hundreds of conferencing and collaboration options available to businesses, and not all of them make great options. For example, you could host a simple conference call using your phones, but this can be unreliable if the connection isn’t great. Zoom has become a popular video conferencing option, especially in the most recent boom in remote work. There’s also Happeo, a collaboration tool designed for remote teams to work together more efficiently. And, of course, the G Suite has several built-in options for communication, such as Google Hangouts

But at the end of the day, there isn’t a single “right” option. You’ll need to choose a tool based on the needs of your organization and your specific team members. Give all your options a free trial, when possible, and evaluate them in terms of ease of use, connection reliability, and accessibility. 

Designate a Meeting Leader

Next, designate a meeting leader who will be responsible for not only setting and enforcing the meeting’s agenda, but also leading the discussion. In free-for-all meetings, people are allowed to speak up whenever and however they want, and the functional “leader” may change frequently throughout the discussion. This might work fine in a live environment, where immediate feedback and body language can dictate the flow, but remote conferencing does have different demands due to the technology.

Things tend to flow much smoother when a specific person is put in control. He or she will be asking the questions, directing the conversation, and (when necessary) muting people to maintain productivity. 

Set a Clear Agenda

It’s always been important to set a clear agenda for your meetings, but it’s even more important now that you’re meeting remotely. If you’re just meeting for the sake of having a meeting, people either won’t know what to say or will lead a conversation dictated by improvisation and rambling. 

You can save time and cut the fluff by giving each meeting a specific purpose. What specific questions are you trying to answer? Which problems are you going to solve by the end of this discussion? Make sure each meeting attendant understands these functions before the meeting begins, and make sure everyone understands his or her role in reaching these goals. 

Minimize Attendance 

Speaking of attendance, one of the easiest ways to cut down on chaos in a digital meeting is to reduce the number of people in attendance. Again, this is a great technique for those in person meetings but it’s even more important in a remote environment. Each person in your meeting is another variable to account for, another voice that could potentially disrupt the flow.

By minimizing those voices, you reduce chaos. Before inviting a new person, ask yourself: What is this person going to bring to the table? Why is this person, specifically, necessary to the discussion?  If you want more people informed by the meeting, rather than actively participating in it, you can send a recording of the meeting after the fact. 

Encourage the Use of Muting 

There are mixed opinions on the efficacy of muting during conference calls. On the one hand, muting cuts down on background noise and reduces the possibility of an embarrassing slip of the lounge. On the other hand, excessive personal muting can stifle the otherwise valuable natural spontaneity of conversation. Still, if each meeting participant is vigilant about controlling his or her personal muting, meetings can generally run much smoother. Like everything in the professional world, Getting the most out of virtual meetings is something that takes time and practice. Your first team conference call is probably going to be a mess, and as you experiment with new tools and techniques, you’ll likely find dozens of strategies that don’t work (or make things actively worse).

It’s important to remain patient and optimistic, trying new approaches and evaluating them for productivity and effectiveness. In time, your teammates will move past the chaos to make the most of meetings — even when they’re not together.

-Roy 

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