If you thought video is only for big brands with big budgets, think again. We take a look at some tools that will help you create a video in no time, helping you multiply likes and shares.
Video marketing has clearly arrived. One look at Facebook or Twitter and you’ll know where content is headed. Take a look at some of these stats if you need convincing on why your business needs to join this bandwagon.
If your users are watching it on a mobile device – more than half of them – then you should create it on mobile.
Invest in a smart phone with a good quality camera and support it with tools such as tripod, battery back-up, basic lights (especially if you’re doing product shoots) and selfie stick will make the whole process quicker and more efficient. Next, find a platform that you’re most comfortable working on and master it. We put the magnifying glass on a few in this post.
Nutshell. Free app on iOS. Take three photos, add captions, choose your graphics and away you go. It’s very basic but super easy to create a quick mini-movie for social posts.
Animoto. This is a very popular app. It makes editing simple by limiting the customisation and making many of the tricky editing decisions for you. You’ll end up with a pro video in no time. It’s free to try with paid plans available depending on your need.
Magisto. Free to try. You’ll be charged at downloads or to use the advanced features of a premium account. This is a user-friendly platform to convert your photos and raw videos into edited movies with music and effects.
Videoshop. A video editor for beginners, this tool lets you create a video without restricting you to a template. You’ve more freedom and depending on how comfortable you’re with technology, you’ll either love this tool or hate it. You’ll know pretty quick! It is a paid download with no additional costs.
iMovie App. Similar to Videoeditor, this app lets you make a video without limiting you to a template. You’ll be charged for download but no additional costs.
These apps aside, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat have inbuilt video platforms – use them! You can even download your Facebook live video and cross post to other channels or your website. Facebook’s slideshow post feature is also rad.
Pro tips for video making …
Start with the goal of the video. Do you want to showcase a product or service? Is there a problem you’re trying to address? Then, write a script. Short and sweet - and only if necessary.
Then decide the location, props for set up etc. For example if you want to show fresh cookies, get the video of a tray of cookies being taken out of the oven.
Think out of the box. Add an element of fun or quirkiness to your videos – it’s the viral factor. Maybe give the cookies to a pre-schooler – they do make a great prop!
If you’re launching a new product, use a video to do the product reveal. It’s the mystery factor.
And lastly, make it real. Go behind the scenes. Show the goof-ups and wins that got you to where you are.
Have you set-up your Facebook business page, Pinterest, Twitter, You Tube and Instagram accounts? What next? Are you using them to grow sales or simply become another face in a crowded room?
In this blog we will help you uncover some tips to improve your ecommerce via social media.
1.Set clear goals and objectives
If you want to get anywhere with your social channels, be very clear on what you want and set measurable goals accordingly. Your objectives could be to get more followers or fans, increase traffic from social channels to website or have a better ratio of visitors to conversions from social.
Use your goals and understand your customer content needs by looking at social channels’ and website’s insights to define your strategy for social media.
2.Converse and engage
Now that you know where you want to go, start conversing online. While social media forms an important part of the consumer purchase cycle, your customers are not here with the intent to buy. Share and be helpful; don’t push a sale down their throat at every opportunity if you want to fans to stick and become paying customers.
Interact with your followers; thank them for positive feedback, participate in discussions and show then you’re interested in serving their needs. Another good way to engage and find communities is by joining relevant groups. Social influencers – people with large fan following – are gold mines; engage them and use them to spread your message. Making advocates out of influencers is a very important part of any social media strategy, particularly online retailers.
3.Use live videos
Show the action as it happens. Live videos are a great way to build brand awareness and create a community. And as engagement statistics around video posts continue to shoot through the roof, live videos have become an affordable and easy way to create content. They are perfect for real-time conversations about industry news, trends and behind-the-scenes.
They’re also great to improve your organic reach as every time a video is created, a notification is sent to all your followers. The same can’t be said for every post you create.
4.Get native chat
The ‘right-here, right-now’ modern consumers want instant answers. They’re not ones to wait overnight for your email responses. So brands have moved to native chatting – or conversational e-commerce, which uses the messaging services within social networks to automate, customise and personalise your communication. You can use third party chat apps to manage your native chatting – the investment is well worth the improved retention and engagement rates you’ll see.
5.Make it easy to buy from your social channels
Turn browsers into buyers by getting your audience a step closer to buying. In Facebook, set up an e-store (requires some development, but it’s very effective on retailers!). Use the ‘buy’ buttons on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest to your advantage – it’s all about making the customer journey to check-out shorter.
Monitor conversations about your business, industry and competitors. It sounds more complicated than it is; with a bunch of easy to use listening tools like Hootsuite, SproutSocial, TweetReach, Social Mention, Klout and more, the task is very simple. Keeping a finger on the pulse of your online audience helps you salvage tricky situations, reward brand advocates, generate new leads, mine creative marketing techniques, identify customer pain points, track sentiments, and gauge motivations.
7.Feature user content and reviews
Heard of UGC? User Generated Content is no longer a buzzword; it’s essential. It is content that is created and shared by your fans, followers, and customers on social platforms, either spontaneously or through contests or giveaways. Some data shows that consumers who come across UGC are 97% more likely to convert than those who don’t!
Using authentic visuals will demonstrate social proof, drive high-intent users from social channels to product pages, increase on-site conversions and improve ad performance.
Reviews are another form of UGC and absolutely integral in creating an online reputation for your brand. Encourage and harness them to lure new customers.
8.Produce seasonal, topical and event-related content
Social is all about here and now. When posting, be relevant by talking about seasonal issues, products and trends. If there is a big event happening in your location, use that as a hook in posts. Example: If there is an Ariana Grande concert happening and you’re a fashion retailer, ask your audience what they’ll be wearing to the concert?
9.Create social-friendly images
There is no denying the importance of visuals in making an impact on social channels. But everyday brand or stick images are not too great in stirring social users into action. They need more authentic and well-crafted visuals. There are plenty of apps available to help you create good social visuals or infographics in no time. You could even use UGC push your case.
10.Optimise your social media pages and posts
Using high-conversion keywords on your page and in your posts t increase their visibility in search and thereby enable you to reach an even larger audience than your direct followers. Be consistent across all channels and use hashtags to make your content more ‘findable’.
Article by Namtra Malik
Namrta Malik is a digital specialist, helping brands create stories that are engaging and leads to action. Contact her www.facebook.com/thescriptwriterforyou for your content requirements, blogging, SEO or social media management.
If you’re a blogging newbie, here are three common questions to consider before you start writing. Hopefully these answers will help you gain the blogging confidence you need to get started.
How often should I update my blog?
In an ideal world, the answer would be ‘as much as possible’. But the world is far from ideal – and the same goes for the content that’s posted on most blogs! Aim for quality over quantity. It’s better to write a good-quality post once a month than to write a low-quality post once a week.
That said, it’s important to be consistent. Try to get into a predictable blogging rhythm so your customers know when to expect fresh content – and so that you stick to your own schedule.
Here are some tips:
What’s a good length for a blog post?
Blog articles should ideally be at least 500 words – but quality is more important than word count.
Most people read blogs because they need good, solid information that helps them get to the bottom of an issue. At least 500 words is usually enough to explore a topic in-depth without going into too much detail. If the topic warrants more explanation, aim for 800 words.
Here are a few tips:
Should I set up a blog?
The short answer is yes. Here are just three reasons why you need a blog as part of your store:
One: A blog keeps your website fresh
Updating your blog regularly sends signals to search engines that your site is a ‘living digital organism’ – that it’s breathing and hasn’t died! The ‘Google Spider’ will crawl your site more often to check for updates. This is great for SEO and for quickly indexing your pages.
Two: A blog allows you to define yourself as a thought leader
People are more likely to buy from you if you know what you’re talking about. They’re also more likely to buy from you if you’re passionate about your product. Your blog is a great platform to showcase your expertise and increase conversions.
Three: A blog drives new traffic to your website
Blogging gives you an opportunity to write about a range of topics, including your interests and hobbies (as they relate to your products) and your opinions on industry news and developments. Think of every blog post you write as a new door opening to your online shop. Each new post could attract visitors who might have never found your site through your product keywords alone.
So what are you waiting for? Start blogging and experience the results for yourself. And if you have any more questions, get in touch and I’ll do my best to help.
Professional photography on your website is essential. It's what potential customers are first drawn to when they visit your site. If your images are not good quality, distorted or a mix of different sizes and aspect ratios this can negatively affect the credibility of your site and your services.
As a small business owner you may not have access to photoshop or other photo editing software. So here are some online alternatives that can help you ensure your website images always look professional - and best of all they're free!
Canva, is a relatively young design startup that brings simplicity to the design process with simple, ready-to-use templates within a drag-and-drop, design software that’s completely online and free to use.
This photo editing tool has the most expansive and professional set of features. You can use it not only for general image editing but also to retouch images and draw.
This tool has a great feature called 'Dynamic Range'. You can take three photos of different qualities and combine them into a single image using the best light/tone from each of the seperate photos.
This tool is my recommendation as its easy to use and has a collage creation option. You can upload various photos, drag them onto a grid and save them as a collage. Great for emails and website banners.
If editing your images is not something you have time for, then get in touch with us and we can help.
How People Read Information On Websites
It’s important to understand how people read information on websites so you can tailor your content accordingly. Readers attention spans are short when reading information online, so you need to make sure your readers can find what they’re after quickly and easily.
Most people skim website content and read the parts that are important to them. And if they don't find what they're interested in after a few seconds - they'll move on to the next website.
Next time you are doing a search on the internet and looking for a service or information, take note of how you 'read' the websites you visit and how much time you actually spend reading the content.
It’s All About Them
Make sure your content is geared towards your customer needs and not yours. Make sure your content tells the reader what benefits they'll get from doing business with you. They really don't want to know all about you and your company or products, they just want to know what benefits or solution you're providing for them.
You need to gain your readers trust and credibility in what you are offering. Content that is too wordy, has too much marketing ‘fluff’ or just isn’t clear won’t gain you that trust.
The 3 Most Important Content Writing Tips
Aim to be concise, factual and direct with your entire website written content.
How To Organise And Write Your Page Content
If you follow the points above you'll easily improve the content of your website and get visitors to stay around longer.
If you would like some professional help with your website content, there numerous content writing services available to help with this important and sometimes overlooked part of your website development.
If you're considering developing a website for your business or are looking for ways to improve your existing website, request a copy of our special report - 7 secrets to get maximum value from your website.
These are the main sections in the report
1. How to create the right first impression
2. How to guide visitors when they visit your website
3. Make it ridiculously easy for people to contact you
4. Why customer reviews are so important
5. Why is SEO important and what the heck is it?
b. How can I get instant results
6. Getting your customers to come to you
7. Monitoring your website performance
This article is aimed at helping Creative Web Designs clients achieve good search rankings for their website - if you're not one of our clients, you might still find some useful tips here to apply to your own website.
Now that your website is live, there are some on-going tasks that you can carry out to ensure you get good search engine ranking long term for your new website.
For websites that are using a brand new domain it can take a few months for google and other search engines to completely index your site - so if it isn't appearing in search results straight away don't worry!
For websites that are using an existing domain, your new website will still need to be re-indexed by google. Redirects will have been added by us to ensure that people trying to access old page links will be redirected appropriately.
During your website development on-page SEO best practices were applied to every page of your website. This means your website pages are targeted for specific keyword searches and you have a good foundation for further SEO efforts.
Off-Page SEO is required to improve and maintain a good page ranking in search engines.
Google considers website with lots of backlinks to high ranking sites to be more important than a website without backlinks. Google also considers websites with great content that is updated regularly to be worth crawling and reindexing more often.
These are the types of websites that will be shown higher up in search results when people are searching on the internet.
Recommended Next Steps
We recommend dedicating a little time each month to work on your off-page SEO for your website and improve it's ranking in search engines.
Unfortunately there is no fast-track solution available, in fact if you try and trick Google by purchasing backlinks for example, that is a sure fire way to get your website demoted or even blacklisted.
Off-Page SEO Tasks
1) Add fresh content to your website. The best way to make your website rank long term is to continualy add good quality and relevent content to your website. This could be 1 or 2 new blog posts per month, business news, testimonials, a new page etc.
2) Work on attaining more backlinks to your website. Social Media pages are a good starting point because sites such as facebook rank highly in Google's eyes. Make sure to include a link back to your website when you post on these pages. Social media sites that you may like to consider are:
4) Add customer testimonials to a 3rd party review website. Having reviews on a 3rd party review site is very important for SEO. We recommend asking your customers to place their reviews on your Google Plus page.
5) View website statistics in Google Analytics. Understand what people are searching for when they come to your site and see what pages they are looking at and for how long. This can help give you ideas for new blog articles and general marketing strategies.
At Creative Web Designs we design websites that work for your small or medium sized business to generate new sales and leads.
These are the areas we believe are the most important when developing a website:
These days with the majority of us having smart phones, your website needs to be able to adapt to whatever device its being viewed on, this is known as responsive design.
All websites that we deliver are responsive and will look great on a mobile, tablet or desktop PC.
We work from home and communicate primarily via email so our overheads are significantly reduced. This means we can offer web design services at very competitive prices.
Our websites are all based on proven professionally designed templates. We believe that simple, modern design is the key to a great looking website.
When you choose to have your website developed by us, we will customise the html and css of the template to completely match your brand and business style. Every website we produce is unique
to the specific business.
These factors mean we can offer great prices on our web design services without compromising on the quality of the websites we deliver to our clients.
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION
What use is a website if nobody can find it?
SEO is the process of optimising a website for certain keywords or phrases that your customers are likely to enter into search engines to locate your business.
One of the pitfalls of using DIY tools to create your website, is that it may not be properly optimised for search engines.
Included in our website development is on-page SEO - including basic keyword research. This is a very important step of any website development - before you even think about how you want
your website to look!
All our websites have on-page SEO best practices applied during the development of your website. We also provide off-page SEO suggestions after your website goes live so that you can continue
to work on and improve your ranking in search engines.
It's an on-going process to climb up the ladder in search engine ranking. The websites we deliver provide an excellent base from which to work on your off-page SEO.
You can read more about SEO in these articles:
This article gives you 3 good reasons to choose us for your small business web design. If you would like further information about any of the services we provide, please don't hesitate to contact us.
Free tutorials, marketing tips and learning resources for small businesses.