Seven of the Best Ways to Use Video on Social Media

Social media marketing is constantly being revised to attract potential customers and clients to various websites and products. With these changes has come the use of video.

Individuals on social media like their information quick and accessible. There are dozens of ways to use a video, but only the best will get you the results you are looking for.

#1. Have the video on auto-play

Users of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are quick to scroll through content, and will often not hit the play button for your video. If you want to grab their attention, make sure your video is set to auto-play.   

#2. Share breaking news stories

Whether you are selling comic books or hardware, there is always a story that can be classified as breaking news. These videos will capture the viewer’s attention, and then it’s up to your content to keep them engaged.

#3. Pin a feature video to your Facebook page

This allows new clients and customers to get an idea of who you are and what services you can provide. The video can also announce upcoming specials, giveaways, and daily news briefs.

#4. Cover trending topics with use of hashtags

Hashtags attract viewers in the most simplistic of ways while also allowing your video to show up on various social media feeds. This will expand your audience and can increase your overall engagement.

#5. Have a headline that attracts attention

In the 2-3 seconds it takes to read a headline, your video will have already started playing. With this unique combination, you’re able increase the odds that the reader will stick around to see what your video is all about.

#6. Put micro content videos on Instagram

Instagram allows a video to be up to 15 seconds long. This is a great opportunity to give your viewers a peak while attracting them to your website. The average person will decide within the first 5-10 seconds if they are interested in any video. Using a clip on Instagram can help alleviate that issue.

#7. Create a video with bloopers and behind-the-scenes moments

Customers and clients are looking to relate to you, your services and products. By showing them that you’re “real” in a humorous and creative way, you can engage and attract them towards your company.

By applying any of these video techniques, you can vastly improve your social media game.

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How Influencer Marketing Can Help Your Brand

According to Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising Poll, “the most credible advertising comes straight from the people we know and trust.”

Influencer Marketing leverages the trust we place in people that we can relate to and whose opinions we value.

So, what IS Influencer Marketing?

Influencer Marketing is a strategy that leverages individuals who have a strong online following, are relevant to your product or service, and can influence potential buyers to act.

How Can Influencer Marketing Help Your Brand?

You’ll Find Better Customers.

A key to successful marketing is reaching the right audience. Good brand influencers are not just individuals with a lot of followers. They are also thought leaders who have credibility when it comes to the particular subject matter and they already have a relationship with the consumers you are trying to reach. There is a massive difference between marketing to an audience that is receptive to your message and marketing to a general audience that your message may or may not resonate with!

It’s Affordable.

While traditional advertising strategies like banner ads, print, radio, etc., may provide a good return on investment, there is still a considerable investment needed. Influencer Marketing is very cost-effective. Some influencers are compensated financially or receive a commission, but that is not always recommended. Most influencers receive incentives like free products or discounts. Often just showing them some love online is enough. Remember, these are thought leaders, bloggers or, other social media users who have a loyal following within their specific niche, so it is appreciated when you share their content or give them shout outs. These relationships can and should be mutually beneficial.

Influencers Will Help Boost Your Online Presence.

Influencers have a loyal fan base. When they begin sharing your content, your message is amplified. Your brand isn’t just exposed to their followers, it is endorsed by someone those followers trust and relate to! Influencers can boost your online presence when their followers become your followers. Influencers are also great for your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy. They generate back links, create shareable content on behalf of your brand, increase engagement, reach, and ultimately improve your site rankings.

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Four Creative Business Card Examples

When it comes to making a good first and lasting impression, sole proprietors and businesses should never leave out creating a distinctive business card. Not only is it a chance to get people interested in and contacting your business, in the age of social media they may also take a picture that leads to hundreds if not thousands or more potential leads. These creative examples supplied by Bored Panda can give you ideas of how to take advantage of this marketing opportunity.

Yoga Mat Business Card

Why advertise a yoga studio on a standard card when you can print all of your information on a usable mat? This brilliant card advertises the business even if the owner is using it in a park or in their home.

Personalized Lego Agent

People love Legos, and they love cool little items they can display on their desks at home or work. Whether you sell real estate, insurance, or some other service, it’s a creative and memorable way to display your contact information.

Miniature Plungers

People are usually dealing with a mess at home when they are thinking about plumbers, so why not make it a little more fun and memorable? Miniature plungers printed with contact information keep your business in potential customers’ minds and are a great way to get people to share your information with others. This idea easily translates to other businesses, such as printed wrenches for mechanics or AC units for HVAC professionals.

Seed Packets

Whether you run a lawn service, do landscaping, or help people decorate their homes, seed packets printed with your contact information are a great way to keep your name in the spotlight. These useful cards are sure to keep people talking.


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Direct Mail on a Budget

Direct Mail on a Budget: The Variables

Most people consider direct mail to be a thing of the past, concentrating most of their efforts on digital marketing. What they don’t realize is that direct mail is still a big game player. And while it might be a bit more costly in comparison to other techniques, direct mail usually has a much higher success rate than other traditional marketing techniques. So, are you looking to use direct mail, but on a budget? If “yes,” then you should know the variables, otherwise you might end up overspending.  

Go for in house production:

Unless you have some fancy designs or ideas in mind that require professional assistance, you should always go for in-house design or individual freelancers. Pros know the staff better than an average person and can churn out an elegant piece for you. But, freelancers would charge you a lot less compared to any professional agency.

Break down the task in pieces:

Suppose the budget for your whole project is $100. Now you hire an agency to do all the tasks for you and pay them $100. Alternatively, you can break down your whole task to several small easy to do segments. Now invite the best bid for each segment from the individual agency and you can get the whole project done for less.

Choose your format wisely:

In most cases, your chosen format will largely decide the overall cost of your project. Sending postcards and multi-page letters would likely incur two different costs. While postcards can be printed for pennies, multi-page letters or brochures would require a lot more resources. On the other hand, you will need to decide on your postage medium too. Planned well in advance, you can save significant amounts on postage cost.

Purchase materials wisely:

Maximum caution should be maintained while purchasing printers, inks, papers or envelopes. Prices of these products tend to vary from vendor to vendor. Hence, first do a thorough research, then purchase products from vendors who offer the best value for your money. In addition, if possible, try to renegotiate the prices after doing businesses with the same vendor for quite some time.

As you can see, direct mail on a budget can be a tough thing to accomplish, but not impossible. If you have a clear plan and can follow those aforementioned steps accordingly, you can reduce the overall costs.

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Boost Your Direct Mail Campaign

Improve you direct mail campaigns

Direct mail has been one of the most popular and lucrative forms of marketing for many years. Advertising by way of newspaper, magazines and other printed material is still a good marketing strategy. In today’s society, especially with the advent of social media and internet websites, direct mail has taken on a new appearance. Enhancing marketing trends can be more profitable by taking advantage of the internet and all of the social network and devices available today.

The U.S. mail is still the number one option

While considering all direct mail marketing options, the U.S. Mail is still good for many reasons. Although most people are, not everyone is on the internet – and even if they are it isn’t all the time. A person will still read their mail and keep advertisements that they want to refer back to. They will put it aside until they are ready to give it more thought. Whether you use postcards, advertisement in coupon form, or the weekly mail, printed material is tangible therefore more likely to be view more than once. Also, some people just like to receive mail and look forward to money saving deals or will spend money on something that is appealing or worthwhile to them.

Use the internet and social media

This form of networking has become a way of life for people seeking fantastic deals, new items, revamped old items or just talk about anything that may interest them. This is a great venue to get your direct mail marketing on a new upward swing.  You can reach millions of people, and it is extremely cost effective. You will save money over the traditional mail option.  Having your own website is another way to boost your product or business. Again, millions of people can be reached through this service. You can provide all of the necessary information on the site, and people can purchase the product or apply through the website for the services offered. All of the before mentioned venues are available to add a boost to your direct mail campaign. Market your business, product or idea with one or all of these methods and get better results.

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4 Interactive Print Ad Examples

Print advertising has been around long before the internet. It is one of the most original forms of advertising and has not gone out of style even with the introduction of new methods like social media advertising campaigns.

An interactive print advert is a new form of print advertising used to better engage with the customer and compete with all the new marketing methods out there. Advertisers are using this new and exciting method to bring products and their amazing features closer to the consumers. Because of this it is almost impossible to ignore.

Motion Silhouette

This method has been used for a long time in interactive print advertising to stand out from the ordinary flat paper and images. Especially in children’s books, shapes are cut out and arranged to pop up when a page is opened to illustrate a message. This has become more advanced over the years with detailed cut outs and more lifelike silhouettes projected between pages. This can be used in different types of advertising whether for products or services.

Conductive ink

Printing with conductive ink is fast becoming a trend. The ink is sensitive to touch and can emit smell and different senses of touch as designed. By using this method, print advertising is able to appeal to more than just sight but to other senses as well.

Video in Print

Video advertising has now been incorporated into print side by side for a more elaborate explanation. With this new technology direct mail pieces can now become more than just static pieces of paper, but a work of cinema, helping it to gain grounds in advertising.

Augmented solutions

Interactive print adverts with augmented technology now combine technology and print to bring a better picture of the product to consumers. For example, a famous furniture company made a phone app to go with their catalog so that customers could scan the catalog and project furniture in their rooms with the app.

Companies are continually becoming more innovative with interactive print adverts and changing the game of advertising to keep customers interested using some of the above methods and more.


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Video Marketing on a Budget

It is now common knowledge that every business with an online presence must invest in video marketing. Video content is engaging, helps explain the features of the product and gives a storyline. However, creating quality videos may be a challenge if you are working on a shoestring budget. Video marketing is becoming an expensive project, particularly when the company is new to the idea.

That should not dissuade you. Here are a few techniques to enable you to come up with amazing video content without breaking your bank.

Don’t buy the equipment, rent

Buying video equipment is a good long-term strategy. However, it is just a waste of money when you are low on your marketing budget. You can rent state-of-the-art video equipment at reasonable prices. Look around for a video equipment rental company that will offer you a bulk package that includes most of the basic video equipment.

Develop the story in-house

There are the chances that there is a writer among your employees. Utilize the talent rather than hiring a writer from the outside as it can get pricey. Come up with the outline of the story together with your marketing team. After you are done with the main points, you can then hire a writer to help in storyboarding if necessary.

Storyboarding is an artistic way of approaching screenwriting as each scene has to be drawn out. The most important points are also drawn in every scene. These drawings act as templates for organizing the images.

Hire amateur and student actors

You have to hire actors with some experience if you wish to have quality videos. However, this doesn’t mean you have to break your bank account to hire leading screen actors. There are many amateur and students actors and actresses that will work at low prices as they build their resumes. Others will work free in return for a good recommendation. You can get the actors from Craigslist, BackStage, Manday, or a nearby university that teaches arts.

Make use of the free editing software

Premium Avid video and Adobe Premier software are the standard software options available for professionals. However, you have to hire qualified staff and buy the license to handle the project.

There are several Smartphone-based and desktop based free video editing software options in the market.If you have a Mac, you can make use of iMovie and Movie Maker for the Windows PCs. They have easy to use features and user-friendly interfaces.

Use DIY video animation

Animation is now a technique of creating engaging concepts without using real people or natural scenes. However, it can get expensive when you hire a company to do it for you. However, there are cheaper software options such as Sparkol and GoAnimate.

GoAnimate allows you to import music and images in the design of the animation. On the other hand, Sparkol enables you to use the entire animation board when making your movie thereby eliminating the need to put any person in front of your camera.

Just because you’re on a limited budget doesn’t mean you cannot (and should not) invest in video marketing. It just may be the tactic that launches your company on the map.

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Print Advertising vs. Digital Advertising – When to Use What

John Wanamaker, a 19th century department store tycoon from Philadelphia, once said: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” Mr. Wanamaker had only print options at his disposal and advertising at the time was in its earliest stages, so imagine how confused he would have been if he were alive today. Print options such as newspaper and magazine advertisements, direct mail campaigns, and flyers compete with an explosion in digital advertising techniques that use social media, influencer marketing, games, and advertising that interprets a user’s online activity to curate advertising content. So how would we advise a modern-day Wanamaker to navigate this complex landscape? Here are a few pointers to keep in mind when choosing between print and digital advertising:

  • Humans still respond strongly to print: A 2015 study by Temple University’s business school found that while digital ads were a cost-effective way of quickly getting the attention of consumers, physical interaction with print left a stronger memory that more directly affected purchase decisions.
  • Geographic target: Digital has no geographic boundaries, whereas print is typically focused on a particular town, city, region, or country (for national campaigns). International print campaigns are not unheard of but are less often used given their expense. So as a rule, if you’re trying to target geographic area, print may be your best option, whereas digital is best if you’re trying to reach the widest audience.
  • Cost: For a tight budget, digital ads can be the way to go. First, digital campaigns are typically priced on a variable cost basis, meaning they are more easily scalable to a target budget amount and digital’s ability to target certain types of users enables you to create a campaign focused on certain user types, whereas print campaigns tend to hit a specific geographic area for a fixed price. Second, digital ads generate data on user trends that can be used to further customize the campaign to fit a demographic.

For many companies, some combination of print and digital can be exactly what is required. Modern advertising is increasingly a mixture of art and science, so a professional marketing firm that specializes in both print and digital can be a big help in designing the right campaign.

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How Small Businesses Can Utilize Direct Mail

Large-scale marketing operations are often beyond the means of small businesses that have to watch every dollar closely. Direct mail is a great option for these types of organizations, offering them ways to identify and gain customers without breaking the bank.

Test Various Offers

According to Entrepreneur Magazine, small businesses can use direct mail to test different offers before launching a larger campaign. They can split their mailing list into groups and send varying messages, service offers or other opportunities specific to their trade. As results of the different mailings come in, businesses can get rid of the other messages and direct what they now know is an effective message to a larger group or use it as the basis for other marketing campaigns.

Test the Feasibility of a Larger Campaign

Entrepreneur also recommends that smaller businesses use direct mail as a way to temper a potentially overwhelming response to a more major marketing campaign. It can be devastating to a small business if they start off with something such as a full-page ad in a major newspaper. If too many people respond and the business can’t handle that response properly, it will likely lose those potential customers forever. A smaller direct mail campaign keeps responses within reasonable bounds.

Inform Current Customers and Offer Rewards

A newsletter to current customers is a good way to keep them informed of new opportunities and keep them interested in the business. Mailings to current customers can also take the form of referral rewards, states Entrepreneur. Small businesses can offer rewards such as discounts to their current customers each time a referral becomes a customer.

Target Ideal Customers

Experian recommends that small businesses use direct mail to identify their best potential customers. Targeted mailing lists can be expensive, but produce better results than mass mailings. For example, small businesses can test mail responses and look back at their demographic theories. It may turn out that a message to targeted consumers ages 19-30 was only useful for those under 25. This information can make future campaigns more effective.

If you find your business struggling with its tight budget, don’t push the idea of direct mail from your brain. In the end, you may find it to be a useful – and cost-effective – solution

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8 Clever Packaging Examples

There are many different packaging containers which are stylishly designed to suit the intended contents. Even though you are not supposed to judge a book by its cover, a good package design will attract more clients by making an appealing first impression. Below are some examples of attractive packaging containers;

1. 100 x 100

These stylish milk containers are designed using cardboard. The cardboards contain seeds of various herbs, so upon consuming the milk, you can use the box to recreate new life using the embedded seeds.

2. Balzac’s Coffee Roasters

These coffee containers are associated with a micro-roaster based in Ontario. You will notice that the design reflects the core values of this company which revolves around natural, sustainable, local, and artisanal products.

3. Puma’s Clever Little Bag

These awesome bags are designed using very few resources and raw materials. By using these bags, you will be saving approximately 60% of diesel, energy, and water as compared to the manufacturing process of traditional bags.

4. Newspaper Egg Cartons

Newspaper egg cartons were designed by Marian Obando using hay and newspaper to cushion the eggs. The eggs are cleverly wrapped using pieces of recycled paper from which you can get more information about the product.

5. Graze

These snack boxes are sold on a subscription basis, to people who wish to package new tasty meals. You will notice that the boxes are clean, lightweight, and very sustainable.

6. Light Bulb Packaging

Created by Esther Li as a students work, the packaging is very durable and only uses one strip of cardboard to cushion the bulb, while at the same time displaying to you how they look.

7. Petit Natural

These are bright juice packages which were designed by Isabela Rodrigues. The design is very straightforward and sweet, incorporating many attractive colors and cheerful lettering which makes them stand out in comparison to your typical juice containers.

8. Colgate Max Night: Pizza Box

With the aim of promoting the Colgate Max Night variant, unique Colgate-branded pizza boxes were designed and supplied to local pizzerias. Taking a look at the inner part of this pizza box, you will notice that it appears like a human mouth, which reminds people of the need for good dental hygiene.

These are some notable and cleverly designed packaging containers which will ensure that your products are preserved securely, without interfering with the environment.

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