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.
To be effective in digital marketing and social media marketing, you’ll want to use the correct image sizes when posting to these platforms.
Here at WSI OMS, we’ve researched the optimal image sizes for all the major social media platforms. Follow this guide to get the most out of your social media marketing efforts.
The Social Media Platforms Covered In This Article
Facebook – The Social Media Marketing Behemoth
Facebook is the world’s largest social media platform with well over 2 billion active users in any given month. This number is fast approaching 3 billion. What’s important to remember is that these are the recommended image sizes. Anything smaller and Facebook will scale your images, making them look poor!
Facebook Cover Image
The recommended dimensions for the cover image is 820 x 312 pixels. Remember, if you’re using a logo, it’s always preferable to use Portable Network Graphic (PNG) images. While JPEG is fine for photos, their lossy compression is not suitable for flat graphics with steep transitions between colours.
PNG images give you the added benefit of transparent backgrounds – so keep that in mind.
Facebook Profile Image
The profile image will scale differently depending on the device from which you’re viewing.
This image must be at least 180 x 180 pixels and will render at 170 x 170 on your desktop, 128 x 128 on smartphones, and 36 x 36 on feature phones.
Facebook Event Cover Image
Event cover images are stock-standard 1980 x 1080 pixels in dimension. They will display as 470 x 174 in your feed.
Facebook Highlighted Image
Your upload size here should be 1200 x 717 pixels. It’s going to display at 843 x 504 pixels in your feed.
Facebook Shared Image
The recommended size for Facebook shared images is 1200 x 630 even though they will scale to a 1:1 aspect ratio. They will display at a max width of 470 pixels in your feed and 504 pixels on a page.
Facebook Shared Link Image
Similar (but not identical) in size to the shared image, you’ll want to aim for 1200 x 628 pixels when uploading. Not coincidentally, this is the recommended featured image size for WordPress blog posts.
The shared link image minimum for square images in feed is 154 x 154 pixels and 116 x 116 for your page.
Rectangular images have minimum display sizes of 470 x 246 in feed and 484 x 252 on a page.
Visual and effective at communicating your brand, Instagram is a great digital marketing medium for connecting with your followers.
Instagram Stories Image
Upload a minimum resolution image of 600 x 1067 pixels. It’s advisable, however, to use 1080 x 1920 pixel images instead.
All Other Instagram Images
- Instagram portrait image: 1080 x 1350 pixels.
- Instagram square image: 1080 x 1080 pixels.
- Instagram landscape image: 1080 x 566 pixels.
- Instagram profile image: 110 x 100 pixels.
- Instagram thumbnail image: 161 x 161 pixels.
LinkedIn – Digital Marketing Targetted at Professionals
Social media marketing via LinkedIn can be a rewarding exercise. Due to the professional nature of the platform, conversion rates are often higher than on other social platforms. At 6.1% for ads, there’s no reason to believe standard digital marketing results are not equally impressive.
Additionally, LinkedIn accounts for 80% of B2B leads.
Because of this, you must place high-quality images when using this medium.
LinkedIn Profile Background Images
Often noticed even before the profile picture, LinkedIn background images should be 1548 x 396 pixels and no larger than 8MB in size.
LinkedIn Article Cover Images
Writing LinkedIn articles can seriously boost your influence in your niche. The ideal size for article covers is 2000 x 600 pixels. Images added to the article itself have the same limitations.
LinkedIn Profile Photo Images
Profile photos should be between 400 x 400 and 7680 x 4320 pixels and are limited to 8MB. LinkedIn profile photos should be headshots.
- LinkedIn company logo images: 300 x 300 pixels.
- LinkedIn company cover images: 1744 x 444 pixels.
- LinkedIn shared images and link posts: 1104 x 736 pixels.
Pinterest is a source of inspiration for many. Every Pin is an image that can also link back to websites, making Pinterest a great traffic source.
Pinterest Board Display Images
The board display images are thumbnails posted to a Pinterest board. A minimum of 55 x 55 for small images. Large board posts should be 222 x 150 pixels.
- Pinterest profile photo images: At least 165 x 165 pixels.
- Pin images: A fixed width of 236 pixels, although the height is variable, depending on where the image is displayed.
Snapchat has 200 million+ users which you can direct to your site by placing a link at the bottom of your story.
Both the Snapchat “Geofilter” image as well as the Snapchat image ads should be 1080 x 1920 pixels.
From tweeting during peak hours to @mentions, to harness Twitter’s full potential, you’ll have to get the image sizes right. It’s a worthwhile effort since Twitter boasts over 330 million users.
Twitter Header Photo
The recommended image size is 1500 x 500 pixels for the header photo.
Twitter Profile Image
Similar to LinkedIn, your profile picture will be cropped and displayed as a circular image. It will display at 200 x 200 pixels, but the recommended upload size is 400 x 400 pixels.
Twitter Instream Photo
The recommended aspect ratio is 16:9. Take this into consideration since the minimum image dimensions are 600 x 375, but larger images will look better when users click on the image.
YouTube – The World’s Second Largest Search Engine
Yep, you read that right. The guys over at Alphabet must be doing something right to own positions one and two in this space.
The video giant processes more than 3 billion searches a month!
You ought to seriously consider harnessing the power of this beast in your social media marketing campaign if you’re not doing so already.
YouTube Channel Profile Photo
While YouTube will only display at 98 x 98, you should upload an image of size 800 x 800 pixels for your channel profile photo.
YouTube Channel Cover Photo
Also known as channel art, the upload size is a recommended 2560 x 1140 pixels with a max file size of 4MB.
YouTube Video Thumbnail
The minimum width for the YouTube video thumbnail is 640 pixels. The recommended image size is 1280 x 720 pixels with a max file size of 2MB.
While none of the above is strict guidelines, remember, if you can’t match the dimensions exactly, it’s safer to go with larger images rather than smaller.
For more social media marketing material, see the rest of our blog.
As the world adjusts to a new normal brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, more companies are allowing employees to work remotely. Others have had to adapt by going full e-commerce.
Nobody knows what the future holds, but telecommuting looks like it’s here to stay even after companies start reopening, as the digital marketing world has been changed forever.
How has working remotely changed consumer spending?
Three areas have seen a major shift in consumer spending thanks to remote work. The first is the space and physical surroundings of a home office. Interior design firm Storey Design told Recode that people are already starting to think about redesigning their homes in a way that better accommodates working remotely. Overstock.com has said that home office furniture sales have doubled. There’s been a drastic increase in the demand for laptops, monitors and webcams too.
The next category is the goods and services that support remote workers. Spending has shifted in this area as people don’t buy coffee on their way to work anymore for their colleagues, and no longer hit their local gym. Now, people stock up on their snacks beforehand and buy home gym equipment.
The third way that remote work has changed spending is the shift towards more convenient shopping methods. Grocery delivery has taken centre stage and is a convenient way to shop while also social distancing. On top of that, it takes extra stress away from someone who may already be juggling working from home and taking care of kids at the same time.
What factors are relevant to the remote working movement?
In specific, these products and services have made a world of difference in the working remotely trend:
- Home office goods. This helps people comfortably work from home with an environment that gives off a work feel for ultimate concentration.
- Technology/tech gadgets. Technology is essential in making sure work is done efficiently and communication flows as it should.
- Food delivery apps. People don’t want the dreaded grocery run to add to their stresses, and it supports social distancing efforts. Healthy snacks have also become popular.
- At-home training equipment has become popular due to gyms closing, as people still want to keep up with their fitness and stick to a routine as much as possible.
How can your brand connect with the working remotely crowd?
Companies that align with the work-from-home trend are set to benefit massively. Here’s what you can do to tap into this exploding market:
Grow a loyal base of support
Growing brand relationships will give you repeat shoppers. Focus on growing customer loyalty and you’ll create a flowing pipeline with happy customers becoming brand advocates. They tell their friends, rave about you on social media and improve brand awareness.
Build an online community
The isolation of working remotely has created a need for more human interaction and building an online community will fulfil that need. There are lots of ways you can do this, including hosting live stream webinars or highlighting customer product photos on your newsfeed. It’s also helpful to give customers a platform so that they can connect.
Use technology to ace e-commerce
There’s no doubt that online shopping is a trend that’s here to stay. Embracing e-commerce will give you a competitive edge. Reviews, ratings and user-generated content can give your company everlasting business growth and establish online credibility. Customers that see this will want to learn more about you and can lead to potential sales.
Using digital marketing to your advantage during the working remotely trend
The tips mentioned above are great ways to take advantage of the unique digital marketing methods during these times. If you’re looking for a helping hand with your online credibility, social media or copywriting, get in touch with us today.
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.
LinkedIn recently published an incredibly helpful guide for the marketing industry. It aims to help businesses to create growth in this challenging time and prove their ROI from marketing spend. There are six key areas in the guide, and each area contains strategies, tips and information that could help your business get on track post-COVID-19. This post will focus on the first three areas, so be sure to subscribe to our blog so you don’t miss part 2.
LinkedIn’s key steps to showing the impact of your marketing activities: Part 1
1. Understand the role of marketing in the organisation
Marketing covers a range of aspects within the organisation. As a business owner, you need to be well versed on the role that marketing plays and the impact it can make in building the brand, creating a strategic plan, and managing change in the organisation as well as the media and message planning that needs to be undertaken in the business.
The LinkedIn guide has a run-down of each of these aspects that were just mentioned. If you want to learn more about activities you should be paying attention to (such as creating human connections through your brand) and potential pitfalls you need to be aware of (such as restructuring without losing key employees in your department), it would be a good exercise to work through the guide. It will help you to understand how to use data for brand building and strategic planning. There are actionable tips for the immediate changes you can implement to protect your business, and explains how to apply the latest media findings to tailor your media strategy for the current circumstances.
Understanding the current market situation (through the findings mentioned in the guide) can help you to pivot your digital strategy to be more effective, especially if you have been neglecting your strategy recently.
2. Assess your business position
If you’re creating a strategy for the way forward, you need to be fully informed about the current state of the business before heading off in a specific direction. Whether your budget has been eliminated, reduced or maintained, there are steps you should be taking to move your marketing activities forward as best possible.
The guide has recommendations based on each of these scenarios (eliminated, reduced or maintained budgets) that will help you to aim your post-COVID-19 planning in the right direction for your organisation. The recommendations are aimed at understanding how to strengthen your organic strategy by posting organic content consistently; how to follow best practices for paid campaigns (especially in lead-building) and how to effectively create new brand campaigns if your budget has not shrunk over the last few months.
Implementing drastic changes may not even be necessary, but it is important to understand the data from your operations and to use this information to make accurate decisions that are suited to your current business position. Being flexible and proactive is key in surviving the COVID-19 era in business and learning from previous recessions may help business owners to prepare for the possible financial hardships that could be down the road.
3. Assess your customer base
As business owners who want to connect with our target audiences and grow our brands online, we believe in studying your customers continuously. If you have neglected this, you need to find out what your customers want and how the market has changed. Shifting priorities might provide you with new opportunities to serve your market, but you need to understand any new tendencies and assess if there are viable opportunities to pursue.
Check out the eBook now to start refocusing your digital strategy and remember to keep an eye out for part two of this post where we will unpack more of LinkedIn’s marketing strategy for post-COVID-19 recovery.
If you need help with your marketing, digital marketing strategy, or LinkedIn content, contact WSI OMS for assistance during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
With over 800 million active users worldwide, billions of downloads, and a highly engaged audience, TikTok is a digital marketing dream. It’s interactive, collaborative, and undeniably addictive. Recently, TikTok also outshined Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and Snapchat in the App Store and Google Play downloads.
Does this mean B2B marketers should be taking note? Possibly yes, considering the enormous success seen by the World Economic Forum. The WEF recently garnered over 3.5 billion views of one of their TikTok hashtags at this year’s Annual Meeting and has amassed over 1,5 million followers on the platform.
Based on the demographics alone, TikTok does not seem like the most intuitive choice for B2B marketing. We continue to see growth in the popularity of TikTok with B2C brands as they look to reach their audiences in new ways but as the majority of the audience on TikTok is Gen Z, this means that it may not provide the results a B2B brand would hope to expect. Although, we do need to take into consideration that B2C and B2B buyers both want to experience content that is inspiring, engaging, or helpful that adds value to their lives. After all, much like your B2C buyers, B2B buyers are just regular people too with many studies indicating that B2B purchasing decisions aren’t as rationally driven as we might have previously thought.
When you think about it that way, TikTok’s ability to deliver bite-sized entertaining pieces of content makes it a great tool for B2B businesses. It has allowed B2B brands to have a more flexible and engaging approach to video as an additional way to educate their audiences.
Digital marketing advice: is TikTok good for B2B?
It appears that TikTok could be an interesting new opportunity for B2B brands and businesses. That’s not to say that TikTok will replace LinkedIn as the B2B marketers go to and for many, it probably won’t be a good fit. But whether or not you should try TikTok has less to do with the platform itself and more to do with your brand, the demographic your looking to reach and your resources available to create content.
Learn more about the TikTok phenomenon and find out if whether or not you should include it in your digital marketing strategy. Need help with your digital marketing and social media? Then contact WSI OMS today.