Over the past year, we have seen a massive spike in promotions of template video ads. I think it’s helpful for small brands looking for a quick fix in deploying video ads online. If we do the math, Facebook video receives 8 billion videos per day* and creating videos is freaking expensive. It breaks the bank. And most of the time, if you don’t do it well, it breaks your brand confidence.
So what’s wrong with template video ads? – Nothing!
But if you want to connect to your audience in a deeper way. Gearing up for long term conversations, you would think twice about spending your hard-earned money on template video ads.
But is it worth it? With great content comes great responsibility (you didn’t see that coming right?). Coming up with an authentic message, one that is close to the heart of your brand, one that reflects how you really want to add value to your clients. This does not require tons of cash, it just requires your honest to goodness way of telling your own story. What’s expensive is recording this in video format and making it look professional, and this is what the template video ads are trying hard to solve. And by trying to solve the “expensive” part, the cost of authenticity goes up.
So, it’s a matter of choice. Do you want to spend to lose or spend to win?
Video will make 80% of consumer online traffic by 2020* would it be great to get at least a small chunk of this traffic? Stop the waiting game and jump on the bandwagon now. Don’t delay.
Here’s a bit of good news, at Frame 316, we focus on helping brands translate your authentic message to an affordable content, what’s the catch? It’s not templated, so we need you to bring out you’re honest to goodness brand story.
Original content matters – still. Information has crossed the breach, from being helpful to a noisy and annoying source of traffic online. More and more human beings are coming up with business ideas by the minute. Technology has made setting up your own business a walk in the park. CMS based websites have transformed web designing from art to mundane. The end result? – information overload. When it comes to content, it’s a race to the user’s device. Brands with the most intriguing, entertaining and valuable content get passed on from one device to another. From one user to another. No marketer is an island, remember that. #contentmarketing #contentstrategy Click To Tweet At the heart of this content race, original high-quality content remains the driving force of a successful SEO campaign, and if you are not even considering creating original content, then you better not expect your audience to find you. One way to create original content is by using talking head videos.
But how do you write original content?Here are some helpful tips to get you on the right track in creating your original content. Tell a story What drives you to innovate and deliver an excellent service to your clients? And how do you achieve this, with all the challenges that surround you? Telling a story is not that difficult, it’s a matter of asking the right questions, and answering these questions at the right time. The only thing you need to make this work is authenticity, don’t ever try to fake it, if it’s authentic, it will flow naturally. Show your story The internet is all about visuals now, a right balance of good copywriting and engaging visuals would most likely do the trick. Do you have a tip to share? Throw in a stock photo, or a good photo captured from your phone on free apps like Canva then you have good social media content in your hand. Do live streaming and start engaging your audience, design and imagery are great content, but a video is the mother of all content. Make sure you mix video in your content arsenal. Listen to stories Lastly, what most brands are missing is the ability to “listen” to other people’s stories. Listening results to growth. If you expect people to engage with you, you need to start paying attention to what they are saying, then feedback and share your insights. No marketer is an island, remember that. Brands with the most intriguing, entertaining and valuable content get passed on from one device to another. From one user to another. #contentmarketing #storytelling Click To Tweet The internet is still bound to evolve into something else that would surprise us for sure. But one thing that never grows old is your brand story. If you master the art of telling your own brand story, then there is an excellent chance that you would tap into the massive potential of reaching and growing your market. Transforming your value proposition into something that your target audience can actually use. Then if that happens, as they say – the rest will be history.
Artificial intelligence for small business owners, when was the last time that anybody bothered to have these both in the same conversation? AI and machine learning are often in the tech giants’ league. We all know that Google and Amazon are leading this space recently. Would a small business owner like you have a fighting chance at shifting to a data-driven company? What if there is an easy way? Let’s explore a few ways which you can do this. As a small business owner, you have the opportunity to transform your operations to a successful and efficient one by applying AI technology to sales, marketing, HR and product teams. #contentstrategy #contentmarketing #AI Click To Tweet
The next generation of CRMsAny small business thrives on an adequate and functioning CRM. Who would not want to have an organized way of compiling customer data? Thanks to SalesForce, what used to be tedious process and workflow can now benefit from AI. SalesForce’ Einstein AI is designed to help small business analyze consumer sentiments in recorded phone conversations, emails, social media interactions and customer reviews. It can also help any business align their marketing and lead generation activities through evaluated customer feedback. Eventually, what SalesForce have done is to create a more efficient CRM and more satisfied customers.
Intelligent MarketingFor small businesses, marketing is still one of the most challenging things to do. Just to get access to specific levels of expertise can be too costly for a small business owner. Using AI for marketing, small companies can dramatically reduce their marketing budget. The algorithms designed to help you analyze data, automate engagement & measure the impact of your marketing activities can significantly push you beyond the borders of traditional marketing. Capterra’s post is an excellent place to start exploring how AI can boost your marketing efforts.
Engaged workforceA report shows that nearly 70 percent of employees are not engaged at work. How you drive inspiration in your workplace will dictate the success of your business. The traditional way to solve this is to hire consultants. Then go through a series of team-building workshops and many other ways that you can use as an excuse to bring together your whole team to rally under the banner of your brand. At the heart of this problem is an HR-centric issue. Employees find it hard to talk to HR people especially when it comes to voicing out their concerns and feedback. An internal chatbot will help solve this. Most of the time, a discouraged and shy employee might find it helpful to talk to a chatbot instead of the HR manager. This is where AI fuels conversation that leads to solving even the most challenging work-related issues in your business. Artificial Intelligence does not need to be frightening; As a small business owner, you have the opportunity to transform your operations to a successful and efficient one by applying AI technology to sales, marketing, HR and product teams. It is always to your advantage to prioritizing areas that would give you and your team the most benefit. Start from the leaders down to the staff level, spearhead an AI-centric campaign and see the enormous difference that it can bring to your small business.
Does it ever cross your mind, what are the right questions that you need to ask your customers? Yes, it matters that you know what they are looking for, the problems that they are trying to solve. How do they measure success and how would your brand bring them closer to that success. The reality is, it takes a little more than just asking to be in touch with what your customers really want. It involves a process that gets better by practice. In this age and time, getting the feedback from your customers won’t necessarily amount to anything. Why? Because customers don’t know what they want. And come to think of it, it makes more sense to start finding out what “they don’t want.” The great Steve Jobs once said: “It’s not the customer’s job to know what they want.” Then who’s job is it? And even if you know what your customers want? It will only be a matter of time before they change their mind. The goal is to come up with a compelling pitch. The question; “Would you work with us again in the future?” is a yes and no question, so don’t expect any compelling conversation to come out of this questions. The big picture goal is that you establish a position of engagement, explore the brave new world of authentic business conversations. #contentstrategy #contentmarketing Click To Tweet
So what are the questions you need to ask them? Here’s top 3 on our list.What is the one thing that you wish people you work with will do for you to reach your business goals? The usual question would be “How can we serve you better?” but by focusing on what the customers want away from what you can provide, you are taking the high road of getting the right answers for your customers. What business challenges are you facing right and how do you overcome these challenges? Most brands would boast in the way they solve business challenges for their clients, but the fact that not all clients are made equal – problem-solving is anyone’s game. The solution you came up with fresh from college is nowhere near anything that is relevant two days ago. Where do you usually look for answers that satisfy your business questions? What makes this question great? It’s because instead of finding out who your competitors are, you are narrowing down to the actual brands that matter to your customers. And once you strike a note in stuff that matters to them, you have a great chance of nailing a deal both now and in the future for these customers. We are all about compelling conversations, non-linear and nontransactional. The big picture goal is that you establish a position of engagement, explore the brave new world of authentic business conversations. Don’t be afraid to go beyond the norms of survey questions. Do you have any other questions you can share? Leave a comment below.
Is there such thing as a fail-safe formula for content creation? Let’s dig deeper. Nowadays, it would be hard to find one person that you know, whose life was not changed by the internet. In 2017, more than half of the whole world is already using the internet. More than half. And there is an internet party going on in Asia. In all walks of life, the internet has played a major role in communication. And communication in most part requires the creation of content. Business, or otherwise, most people on the internet right now is creating content. There is probably more content being created right now than the people who would actually use these content. And it is safe to say that for more than two decades now, information has gone from rarity to opulence. It is readily available for almost everyone, every time. So that begs the question, how on this earth will you get people to notice you? The heart of every content is an idea. I am currently reading Seth Godin’s book, All Marketers are Liars, and he emphasized that it is not the product or the brand that is getting passed on. It is the idea. And those who have the most interesting, valuable and thought-provoking ideas get shared most of the time. So you start with an idea, then what next? You need to get busy finding people to “believe” in your idea. Then let history write itself.
The king of search engines.Remember AltaVista? (this question just made me feel really old). And Google’s smaller brother, Yahoo? Somehow mankind was able to figure out how to index all the content in the world so that their fellow earthlings can easily search it. It was anybody’s game decades ago. Until Google demolished everyone. Google now sits on the top, and it’s both good news and bad news for internet users. When you search for content, let’s say top 3 ways to build your brand, you end up with an immense amount of blog content mostly saying things that you already knew. The challenge for small business is how do you create content that stands out? How do you make sure that people are actually using your content? If the first thing that comes to your mind is that you need money to get noticed. You would probably start on the wrong foot. Yes, you need money to distribute your content, but it all boils down to the value that your content brings to your audience. In content creation you start with an idea, then what next? You need to get busy finding people to “believe” in your idea. Then let history write itself. #contentstrategy #contentmarketing #storytelling Click To Tweet
It takes effort to write content, produce a video or record a podcast. But it would help if you have the right goals in mind:
Entertaining“The sun is the center of the solar system, moving around it are the planets.” This can be entertaining to daycare students, but if you tell this to your target audience? Meh. How about writing it this way? “The sun is the king of the universe, flat-earthers or not; you need the sun” The point is, try to be entertaining, move away from the cliche, the safe and the usual. The internet is just a bunch of people who wanted to be entertained first and foremost.
ValuableWhat are they getting out of your content? What types of business questions are you answering? Everyone on the internet starts with a question and the one who has the right idea that answers this question wins. Build content around something that is valuable to your target audience.
ConsistentDo you only create content, when you have time? When you feel like doing so? Then, my friend, you are on the losing end. Make sure that you are consistent with crafting valuable content for your target audience. When you intend to make a change, show up.
FocusedNarrow down on a specific topic. One that you are confident enough about the value that you are presenting. Focus on it. Imagine writing about the best fishing techniques while flying a drone and baking your favorite cookie in the world ’s most innovative oven? Insane right? Because it is. Focus.
What’s nextThe most important part of a fail-safe formula for content creation is the call to action. You might have the most valuable, entertaining, focused and consistent content in the whole wide web but if you don’t tell people what to do next, you are missing a great point.
The carrot and the stick.Although length does matter in the content you create (time spent in reading, watching, listening), it is always a matter of people getting bored or not. You can write about storytelling in 500 words, in an intelligent and scientific way. If it is just blabber to most people, you won’t get anyone to read it. Meanwhile, your competitor who writes 1,000 words in pure rockstar, laymen, comedic style on the same topic. They still get more readership than you.
What are you going to create?The more you sell, the more people will move away from your content. #storytelling #contentstrategy Click To Tweet It can be anything, but the universal rule is to make sure your content is helping people instead of selling to them. The more you sell, the more people will move away from your content. Do you own a bakeshop? Teach home-based moms how they can bake your best-selling pastries in their own kitchen. Are you a photographer? Write content about the correct posture in corporate photography. Are you a magician? Blog about why magic is all about speed of hand and illusion.
Give away value, and the rest as they say – is history.
Follow these practical techniques for using your smartphone to create video content.Reference for statistics: Internet World Stats
Storytelling for business is just like dating. You don’t agree? Here is why, every entrepreneur, no matter the scale of your business can make use of stories to bring people towards their brand. When I say stories, I do not mean “subtle pitches” disguising as content. These stories are meant to engage, compel and inspire. The question is, do you have the stories? Are you able to build conversations based on metaphors that would make your audience tick? You have to remember; there are different ways of telling a story. For everyone else, stories can be random and quick as long as it is relevant to the people having conversations. But for an entrepreneur, there has to be a purpose. There has to be a reason for our stories. We need tools to make our storytelling structured, intentional and purposeful. It’s a matter of finding the better context for the person you are telling your stories to. Context should be at the heart of the stories you are telling. Imagine you are a graphic designer and you are having coffee with your friend who has a Ph.D. He started talking about optics, physics and chemistry of colors and how light passing through a prism are co-related to celestial rays of lights. (Yup, I know. I lost you there for a moment). What if your Ph.D. friend just started sharing with you how colors affect psychological behaviors. How can these be a key consideration in designing marketing collaterals? Context. Your ticket to not losing your audience. The kinds of stories you tell depend on where you are in your relationship with your audience. So where are you right now? One familiar way is to compare your story journey to dating. As we all know, there are primarily three stages in a relationship. I am not an expert in a relationship, but let me try to explain each stage as it relates to the kind of stories that you can tell your audience.
Once you are on a “familiar stage” with your clients, a talking head video would come in handy.It’s a matter of finding the better context for the person you are telling your stories to. Context should be at the heart of the stories you are telling. #contentstrategy #storytelling Click To Tweet
Stage 1: Getting to knowWhen you are getting to know someone, you can start talking about things that are common to you. For example, where you live, where you both studied, etc. At this stage, it would be weird to start talking about yourself and all the things that matter to you. Same with your audience, if they are still in the stage of awareness (getting to know your brand), it would be great to talk about things that are relevant to them. If you are a business consultant, you can tell stories about setting up a business in a specific location. These are things that they can relate to.
Stage 2: Getting closeWhen you are starting to get close, it would be relevant to talk about things that you both care about. In the case of your brand, what does your audience care about that you care about also? Let’s say you are a social media consultant, with the recent issues that Facebook is facing why does it matter that you and your audience pay attention to how this would develop into something beyond your control. Would you delete your Facebook page? Or not? Why?
Stage 3: DatingThis is the part where your date finds out why you hate peanut butter sandwiches and why you prefer sleeping with the lights on. Things can start to get personal at this stage between you and your date. Once your audience is already converted to a customer, this is the right time to talk about your brand, your products, and its features. They won’t mind. Because they already bought your idea. They are sold to it. Now you know. Regardless if you are in a relationship or not at this stage, crafting the right stories for your audience at the right time will result in the impact that you want. This is how simple (or enjoyable) storytelling for business is.
The trinity of content marketing; value, relevance, consistency. Can you survive with one without the other two and vice versa? You can if you are a Jedi in your previous life. But seriously, why do you need all three when you can just do one, or two? Before I answer that question, let me break down how these three works:
ValueYour product is not the forefront of your content marketing. It should not be a matter of what you are trying to achieve but rather what you are helping your customers achieve. You become valuable not by being the best financial consultant, you become valuable because what your customers believe in matters to you, and that belief is something that drives you to see them succeed.
RelevanceEven if you are the most valuable brand on the planet, if you are talking to the wrong audience, or if you are delivering the wrong message then you are irrelevant. Relevance is as simple as providing an umbrella to a stranger when it’s raining. If you need a clearer example, try giving a stranger an undershirt when it’s dead cold outside.
ConsistencyOk, you are valuable, and you are relevant. The last thing that you need to consider is, are you consistent? Do you post the same valuable content once every month and weekly on the following month? If you want people to expect your value and the right time and space – show up. Be there when they are expecting you to be there. Your product is not the forefront of your content marketing. It should not be a matter of what you are trying to achieve but rather what you are helping your customers achieve. #contentmarketing #contentstrategy Click To Tweet If you have value and relevance, but you are not consistent, your audience will leave you. If you are consistent and relevant, but there is no value in what you are creating, I’ll leave it to your imagination. Lastly, if you are valuable and consistent but your audience is confused about what you are trying to accomplish, all your efforts are wasted. The goal of having these three work in unison is to attract a clearly defined audience. Don’t focus too much on the channels. Social media will definitely change, it might even die, and a new channel will soon rise from its ashes where fickle minded human beings (like us) would gather and co-exist. The more you put your brand behind the curtains, the more people will engage with you. Find out what they want to read, and put that on center stage. Yes, I understand, as an SME the conversation on the budget is like pouring cold water on someone’s face. But there are tools available for you to create polished and professional looking content. Promo by Slidely – A cutting-edge tool that uses premium videos with licensed music and attention-grabbing copy to create instant promotional videos. Snappa – With its premade templates and high-res stock photos, small brands don’t need to struggle designing their digital content. Skitch – Snap and mark up the right content when to make your bold ideas stand out. This is a tool that small brands can use to polish their articles and e-books. Design Wizard – Start small with their “Apprentice” plan and build premium design in the same league as Harry Potter’s Expecto Patronum – this app is a sure win. The more you put your brand behind the curtains, the more people will engage with you. Find out what they want to read, and put that on center stage. #contentmarketing #contentstrategy Click To Tweet So the answer to the question of survival, you can survive without one or the other, but just in like in life, survival is one thing – but some people struggle less than the other. As a small brand, you definitely don’t have the luxury of time to struggle. So why take the risk? The key is in taking action, this article might have inspired you to do something, but without actually doing it, it’s not going to bring your content marketing to the next level. So what are you waiting for, plot the trinity of content marketing somewhere in your work area where you can see it. And keep reminding yourself that it’s all worth it. Sources: https://snappa.com https://slide.ly https://evernote.com/products/skitch http://designwizard.com
Anyone involved in B2B marketing is in constant pursuit to create standout content. But given the amount of content being created on the internet, and the strategies involved in crafting these content, what worked for your brand before may not necessarily bring the same magic this time. Content marketing is already way beyond just blog ideas. The ideas need to be constantly improved on, customized for specific audience personas and designed in formats fit for consumer needs.
Having the best writer on your team is not enough.With the fast changing format of content being consumed online, creating standout content is not limited to blogging anymore. How do you create standout content? What sort of questions do you need to ask yourself and your team so that the journey from idea to content is centered on the value that your customer can get? #contentmarketing is already way beyond just blog ideas. The ideas need to be constantly improved on, customized for specific audience personas and designed in formats fit for consumer needs. #contentstrategy Click To Tweet
What does your audience want?Most brands start on the wrong foot. Creating content that they want, not what their audience wants. And this is basically going against the tenets of content marketing. Content marketing is not just content creation; it is the creation of content for a specific audience. Those who would benefit from the value that your content presents. Ask yourself and your team, what does your audience want? Do they want insights? Information? Do they want to learn? Try your product? And once you determine the answer to this question, you are in for a ride. The next content you will be creating may well be a standout content in your space.
When do they want it?Aside from knowing what your audience wants, timing is of extreme relevance. The last thing that you would want to do is to force your content to your audience while they are busy not caring about your brand. Plot your customer journey, make sure you have content pillars for each stage of the journey and make sure that you are delivering it right where it matters most.
Who is providing the answers to your audience (and who is not providing them)?It is also a wise move to find out, to listen, to research. Who among your competitors are providing the answers to your audience, and who is ignoring them? Then you can start owning the space that nobody is looking at, and once you own this space, you have every opportunity to dominate that space. Start creating value-centric content that is unique to your brand and that resonates well with your audience.
How much does your audience is willing to pay for your content?Another question that most marketers forget to ask themselves is this; how much does your audience is willing to pay for your content? At the end of the day, you still need to pay the bills, if revenue generating is not in your radar, you may just well keep on writing content and if it transforms the world we live in, let’s just pray that the world will remember you for doing good. But seriously, part of your strategy should involve making money. And part of creating standout content is the goal to have your audience pay for content. Plot your efforts against the results and make sure you get to sleep peacefully at night knowing that your bank account won’t break – even if you are the greatest content creator on the planet.
Do you have to be original?Yes and no. Yes because you are aiming for influence and authority, if you lack a sense of originality in your content, then prepare for the wrath of the internet to fall upon your hapless soul. On the other side, it’s tough to be original knowing that in the existence of human knowledge, probably everything has been said and done. So how do you navigate around this dilemma? The secret to a standout content is in the authenticity of your brand message. Some brands may have already written about the best practices in lead generation, but you can still be original by adding in your own flavor, your own taste, by etching your brand message all over your lead generation strategy. That is how you become original. There’s still just way too much content out there, but this should not discourage you from creating standout content. The level of trust that you can build in your space will dictate the level of authority that you earn as an expert. Focus on getting your content in front of your audience and make it a business to measure and improve your strategy. Do not settle for a “repeat performance.” Create fresh and relevant content and be consistent. Focus on getting your content in front of your audience and make it a business to measure and improve your strategy. #contentstrategy #contentmarketing Click To Tweet That is how you win the content marketing wars, that is how you stand out in a room full of “loud” content marketers.
Digital age collaboration, what does this really mean? George is a digital marketer. He runs a small marketing firm in Singapore, and he has quite a lot of retainer clients to work with. But there is one thing that he finds challenging. Although most of his potential clients have a budget for marketing, they don’t have content to build their marketing efforts on. It takes a while before these clients will go on board on the marketing agenda. One that George’s firm is proposing. On the other side of the co-work space that George is renting, Lisa is a content producer. She does a lot of videos; she writes a blog, she is also a graphic designer. Where Lisa’s small firm is now, she does DIY marketing. She receives a handful of inquiries in a month, and she finds it hard to maintain positive cash flow. If you are an SME owner, you are probably familiar with these scenarios. You have your strengths, but somehow you feel like it leads you to a blank wall, when it comes to bringing in the dough.