Let’s take a minute and think about the video ads you’ve seen recently. Whether you get most of your video content on Facebook or YouTube, it’s safe to assume that most of the video ads you’ve seen represent huge brands.
You can think about that from two different angles.
First, those big companies are winning this “king of the hill” battle for ad space because they have the budget for it. Second, they are fighting for that ad space because it’s so valuable.
Small businesses can learn a lot from international corporations. Of course, you won’t be able to replicate their marketing strategies. (Production value and market penetration are often locked behind budget limitations.) But what you can do is look for ways to scale down their strategies, fine tune a few of the details, and then turn it into a resource that does fit your unique company.
Video marketing is one of the areas where you can still receive the benefits without trying to match the budget of Apple, Google, or Coca-Cola.
And since video marketing generates 66% more qualified leads (as well as a 54% increase in brand awareness), you really can’t afford to not take advantage of this channel — especially as a small business.
A Value Proposition For Video Ads
At face value, it’s easy to be intimidated by the thought of video creation. You can watch top ads from last year and get caught up in the famous actors, the expensive equipment, and the need for a full production team. But all of those things are completely scalable to your budget.
Making good video content means taking advantage of the tools available to small businesses. That might mean using an online resource (like a shot list template) instead of hiring a production assistant. Or maybe you use an online video editing site to avoid paying for high-end software.
These sort of tools can help you get that big-budget feel without, you know, a big budget. Because the truth is that video content is in high demand, no matter your industry.
Let’s look at four video marketing-centric stats from HubSpot:
- People spend one-third of their “online time” watching video content.
- Two-thirds of people are more likely to buy something after seeing a video about it.
- 90% of customers list product videos as a major influencer in their buying habits.
- One-third of all online ad spend goes toward video ads.
Those numbers build up a pretty clear narrative. People watch a lot of video content. And the videos they watch play a major role in the sort of products they buy and businesses they support. As a result, a big chunk of the global advertising budget goes toward video ads.
And really, that value proposition really solidifies the worth of video marketing for your business.
Building A Video Marketing Strategy
Now that you can see just how valuable video marketing is, the next step is figuring out how to fit that into your existing strategy for 2021 and beyond.
A huge part of that is understanding what goes into video production and how you can streamline and simplify that process. Which means looking for affordable (and often multi-purpose) online apps or services that will make video marketing a realistic goal for your business.
Thankfully, you can recycle a lot of the research you’ve put into your existing marketing strategies. Video content may need extra resources or tools, but your grasp of your audience and target keywords can — and should — influence the sort of videos you create.
- Start by setting goals. Are you interested in building a video channel (either on YouTube or Facebook) that generates brand awareness? Is your main focus a series of videos for an upcoming product launch? Do you want to increase web traffic through paid video ads? These are the sort of things you’ll have to ask because they will determine your video marketing strategy.
- Think about your presentation. When we hear “presentation” in terms of video, our minds jump to camera angles or animations or even color choices. But marketing videos take many different shapes, and each presentation style has some inherent qualities. (Whiteboard videos work best for educational content, interview videos are great for testimonial content, and so on.) Take that into consideration when you build your strategy in order to remain efficient.
- Build content within your sales funnel. You could dedicate half of your marketing budget to video content and fail if those videos don’t have a clear focus/objective. Like with any new project, think about which segment of your audience you want to reach and how the videos can best encourage them to take action.
- Keep your platform in mind. Viewers expect different things on different channels. A YouTube video looks different than an Instagram video, and your audience will expect you to follow those standards. (That can also determine how visible your videos are on those platforms!)
As you begin to explore different video styles and build out a video marketing calendar, always remember that there is a lot of flexibility in video. You should be testing content to see what works, and using that information to shape future projects.
Maybe you want to create a channel where you share stories from inside the company, introducing employees to customers and building relationships with the audience. You can pair that with how-to videos where those “familiar faces” become educators, leveraging that familiarity to establish trust with customers.
This is where video marketing gets exciting. You get to find a sweet spot for your business, that balance between engaging content (that attracts new leads) and educational content (that supports your existing customers).
Once you create a pipeline for video content, you can start thinking about topics like YouTube SEO, video ads on social media, and other avenues for future opportunities. And all of those benefits can support the targets your business is already chasing, like Google search rankings and higher website conversions.
Yes, video marketing is a powerful tool, with untapped potential that only expands over time. But it’s also a gateway to a lot of other things, from connecting with your audience to exploring new corners of your existing industry.
At the end of the day, that makes video marketing an invaluable tool for small businesses, no matter your budget, team size, or production skills.
Drew Gula is the copywriter at Soundstripe, a royalty free company that provides creators and businesses with radio-quality uncopyrighted music.
The way we search for things on search engines like Google has changed and seemingly, the world of content marketing has changed too. We ask our machines human questions and we expect a human reply. For example, it’s considered normal to ask your computer: “where should I go for dinner tonight?” and we expect our computer to reply to us in a people-friendly manner. This is the future of search and it will continue to evolve. This means we will have to adapt to the new world of digital marketing with human-like machines.
What Is Pillar Content?
Pillar content is substantive and informative content on a specific topic that can be broken into different sections. Guides and reports are good examples of pillar content. Pillar content needs a pillar page and cluster topics. Your pillar page unites all the topics that belong to your central theme. Topic clusters focus on narrow topics found on your pillar page. For example, your pillar page could discuss digital marketing and that same page contains a link to a cluster article that discusses email marketing as a digital marketing technique. Topic cluster content helps Google realise you’re an authority on a particular subject matter. Hence, the more you write about a single topic on your website, the higher Google will rank you for that topic. Pillar content can be thought of as an ebook with many hyperlinks.
Why Should You Use Pillar Content?
Google has become more people-friendly and this means your digital marketing strategy should also evolve. The way people search for things has evolved and people’s questions have grown more complex in nature. We’ve also gotten used to asking our search engines questions that are conversational – we speak to Google as if it’s a human. So it is no surprise that the way we think about content creation and the way we structure content needs to change. Pillar content also increases the level of organisation in your content – people can navigate easily through your website, blogs, infographics and videos – a legitimate SEO benefit. You can also include a download option at the top of your pillar content so that you can turn your visitors into leads. The information you gain from the visitor who chooses to download your content can be used for further content marketing. In addition, creating a comprehensive guide or infographic that is educational and useful will also sell the content itself. In order to do this, you need to identify your target audience and what they want to read about. You also need to consider what questions they will ask and what problem they are trying to solve.
Pillar content can act as a multi-purpose, traffic-driving and lead-converting content marketing tool. There is no escaping the future of search so it would be a wise decision to start reading comprehensive guides on pillar content now – see what I did there?
Meta descriptions are important for content marketing because when customers or consumers type your brand name into Google, they are getting an impression of your company whether you like it or not. In this way, you can use meta descriptions as a digital marketing tool. A good meta description will also increase your SEO rankings on search engines like Google.
A meta description can be thought of as the first impression you make during an interview – it can either make or break you.
How To Write A Good Meta Description
Ever hear how marketers go on about using storytelling as a content marketing tool? The same goes for meta descriptions. You need to make your customer the hero of the story. This means that your digital marketing strategy needs to focus on the customer and their needs and wants. Another way to ensure your meta description is successful is by making sure that it matches your brand image and brand message. The description should also make sense when used on different content marketing platforms. Lastly, meta descriptions should just sound good and make potential customers feel good, while also maintaining your brand’s identity.
Three Important Factors To Consider When Writing Meta Descriptions
Your customer’s problem
You need to show your customers that you are aware of and understand their problems – their pain. You can do this by describing the specific challenges that your customers face. Showing emotion and offering a solution to their problem are also effective ways to show that you care. If you are unsure about your customer’s needs then you need to ask them, so that your content marketing strategy can really pull at their heartstrings.
Your business’ solution
This is your opportunity to state how your products or services can alleviate their pain and problems.
The outcome – both in results and emotion
This final step will act as the differentiator between a good and great meta description. It’s important to show your customers the result of your solution, including how it will feel and what their life will look like. It’s a great idea to use emotion and discuss your brand’s beliefs when doing this.
Even though meta descriptions are just a few characters, they make a huge difference to your SEO rankings. They show your customers that you are caring and relatable; while also making a great first impression. Meta descriptions are a great digital marketing tool and if you can spend hours writing blogs for your brand’s content marketing strategy, then a short meta description won’t hurt!
Running out of content marketing ideas for your blog? The good news is that you don’t have to search far and wide for fresh, informative content. Your blog should be focussed on telling the story of your business in a compelling way, so the ongoing development of your business has limitless potential for content marketing topics.
Armed with this ever-developing story, creating engaging blogs is then a matter of fitting the content into pre-existing paradigms and formats. These have already proven themselves reliable vehicles for marketing content, and offer you inspiration and a structure to help you organise and present your information. They are frameworks and general outlines, into which the story of your business can be molded. There is a saying among musicians that there are only 12 notes but thousands of ways of playing them. The same goes for blogs: there are only so many kinds of blogs, and the key to their substance, variety and level of engagement is your content. Here are four of the most popular blog post concepts or formats into which any business can fit its stories.
Content marketing ideas and topics for your business blog
Your business story, the day to day activities, your industry and latest trends should give you plenty of inspiration to create relevant, exciting content for your audience. Let’s take a look at some of the topics that you can use to tell your business story:
Share your successes
There’s nothing wrong with taking a moment to brag a little – provided you do it with style, of course! A well-chosen success story allows you to demonstrate how your products or services work in a real-world scenario. Pick an example, describe the salient details and use the moment to show, rather than tell your readers why they should buy your products.
Delve deep with a series of posts
Sometimes a single blog, consisting of a few hundred words, is not enough to communicate the information you want to get across. You may want to explore the background of your industry, analyse complex market trends, or expound on the many uses and benefits of a particular product line. The best thing to do – both for your sake and your customers’ – is to break it up into shorter pieces that you can publish over several weeks or months. It would help if you didn’t let this run on for too long, however. Strike a balance between detail and sustained engagement.
Guide your audience through common mistakes in your industry
This is a very popular choice for almost all industries. Listicles that expound on the various ‘what not to dos’ of your industry enable direct and honest engagement with your readership, as well as the chance to present your business as a solution provider. You draw readers in with questions of how they could be doing things better – and then you provide the answers.
Showcase the latest trends
This is one of the simplest options. All industries are constantly shifting and evolving. If you take the initiative and use a blog to highlight your industry’s condition at any given moment, you present yourself as a business that has its fingers on the pulse. You can use the opportunity to tell readers how your products and services exemplify, take advantage of, or provide solutions for the current trends.
Creating your blogging strategy can be a daunting task; why not let us set you up for content marketing success? At WSI OMS we have worked with clients in a multitude of industries, providing them with expertise and quality digital marketing, including SEO optimisation, website design, and social media marketing among many others. Get in touch for more information on our content marketing services for your business.
The idea that influencer marketing only works on the younger generation is being disproved, with baby boomers increasingly becoming more of a target.
The perception that social media marketing should be aimed exclusively at young people is one that has been challenged, particularly given that Americans over 55 contribute 41.6% of consumer spending.
Influencer marketing during a pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced those in the digital marketing space to reassess their strategies, given the changes to our daily routines and ways of engaging with brands. People are using more data at home and 80% of consumers in the U.S. and UK say they consume more content than they did before the pandemic.
Baby boomers had embraced social media before the pandemic; since 2012 there has been a 17% increase in the number of baby boomers who use Facebook and a 43% increase in the number who own smartphones. Those that have them are on their smartphones five hours a day, which is almost as much as millenials.
Given that the older generation is more vulnerable to COVID-19, their resulting isolation has also caused certain changes in their behaviour online. More baby boomers are using online shopping or communication tools such as Zoom or Facetime to stay in touch with loved ones.
This means that brands have a unique opportunity to reach this generation, which has more money and time on their hands than younger people, through strategic content marketing.
A great way to achieve this is through influencer marketing, although the selection of the right influencer is key. The right ambassador with the right message which resonates with either the baby boomer generation or their children has the potential to reap major digital marketing rewards given the resources at their disposal and increased time spent engaging with technology.
Contact WSI for more insights into how influencer marketing for baby boomers can help your brand grow.
The hub & spoke content model is incredibly powerful and simple enough to implement in your content marketing strategy. Take a look at how this model works:
What is the hub & spoke content marketing model?
Simply speaking, the hub & spoke model refers to the way that your content can be organised to create the maximum value for your audience. You will have hubs and spokes for different topics that you’re covering, but for now, let’s look at the two distinct parts:
This is the overview of the topic that you’ve chosen to write about. It needs to cover most aspects that your audience may be interested in without going into too much detail about each of these aspects. For example, if you’re a personal trainer, you might have hubs that cover the following topics: strength training, injury prevention, and weight management.
Your hub should have informative content as the body and needs to provide links to the spokes that apply to the hub. This can be done through embedded links in the text or by providing a table of contents or list at the end of the hub content that makes it easy to find the relevant information. Make this piece of content as valuable, relevant and thorough as possible so that your audience will want to bookmark it and use it as the starting point of their reading journey. You want to show Google that your hub helps people to discover a topic and navigate it.
While your hub gives your audience an overview of the topic, your spokes will address the different aspects within that topic that are relevant and useful to your audience. Using the example of a personal trainer again: the hub will be weight management, and possible spokes can be training for weight management, nutrition for weight loss or gain, common myths about weight management, how to identify your issues with weight management and so on.
Your content needs to address each of the spokes in detail, providing an in-depth look at the topic, referring to other relevant sources of content that you’ve created including videos, podcast episodes and other blog posts that relate to the topic.
As you create detailed spokes, you need to update your hub content to include links to the new content. This will strengthen your entire content model and simplify navigation for your audience. Your spokes should also link back to your main post.
Why is this model effective
The hub & spoke model helps you to establish your writing as authoritative on your chosen subject. By creating content that is linkable, focussed and relevant, and that satisfies the user intent, you’re going to be able to climb the rankings in SERP. Because the model makes smart use of links, it will guide audiences from one piece of content to another on your website or blog without letting them leave to find another source somewhere else. All of these factors indicate to Google that you’re creating good content that will be relevant for a specific set of search queries.
If you need help with creating your hub & spoke content marketing strategy, contact the digital marketing team at WSI OMS today.