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Where to Share Your Social Videos if You're a Small Business

Should your small business be using video on social media? Regardless of how experienced you are with video production or video marketing, the answer is yes. Using video to promote your product or service on social is a great way to get your brand in front of the right eyes.
Before you get to posting, ask yourself the following questions to assess the scope of your social video strategy. Where do you plan on posting this content? Which channels will give you the biggest bang for your buck? How much time and effort will you be able to devote to social video?
And if you’re still on the fence about whether or not you should even be using social video, check out this helpful flowchart:

In all seriousness, we totally get it. You’re part of a small operation and might only have one person on your marketing team, if you have a marketing team at all. Here at Wistia, our co-founder and CEO Chris Savage managed the social decks for quite some time before we hired our first official “marketer.”
Whatever the case may be, using video on social media can help you get your message across faster and in a more authentic way.
If this sounds good to you, keep reading to learn which channels are best for your videos and your small business!

Find the right channels

When you’re strapped for time and resources, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of social networks that exist today. That’s why we recommend putting a concerted effort behind the channels that will actually pay off for your small business in the long run. You might be surprised to find that some of the channels you think you should be on aren’t actually the best fit for your social video strategy.
Here’s a quick run-down of some of the most popular social platforms that exist today and the types of video content that works well on each. Take a look at this list and try to narrow down where it makes the most sense for your business to start sharing.

Facebook


Posting social video on Facebook is a no-brainer for any small businesses for two specific reasons. For one, Facebook favors video content in their feed above all other types of content. The chances of you getting in front of your audience is much more likely here than on other channels. Users who log in to Facebook are also expecting light-hearted, entertaining content, which means you can experiment with lo-fi videos.
Check out this one-shot video from MailChimp. With 96,000 views, this 17-second video managed to pack quite the punch!

Second, you can stream a live broadcast with the new Facebook Live feature. Utilizing this feature is a great way to generate buzz (it’s still relatively uncharted territory), promote your brand, boost engagement, and show your true selves to your potential customers. It’s also an excellent way to get comfortable in front of the camera AND you can shoot everything with your iPhone. Users expect real, unedited footage, so give the people what they want!

Instagram


If you’ve already taken my advice and plan on using Facebook in your video strategy, Instagram is probably your next-best channel, especially if you intend on putting any spend behind your video content. Facebook owns Instagram, which means that both platforms use the same dashboard for ad creation. If you want to publish a video you created for Facebook on Instagram, it’s as simple as the click of a button, which is pretty sweet!

You can also take advantage of Instagram’s Story feature, if you’d rather make scrappy, spur-of-the-moment content. Instagram “Stories” are temporary videos or still images that build upon one another to tell, well, a story. The benefit of posting here is that whoever follows you on this channel will have the opportunity to watch your video right from within their main feed. The placement of the Stories feature is actually quite favorable for businesses. As you might imagine, this feature was created in reaction to Snapchat’s unprecedented growth this past year.

Snapchat


Contrary to popular belief, I would recommend that small businesses avoid using Snapchat as a marketing channel. Unless, of course, your target demographic is made up of young adults.
If your goal on social media is to expand your reach, try a platform that makes it easier to build an audience. Snapchat users have to manually search for your name in order to follow you. There’s just no easy way to discover you otherwise. Snapchat is a land where hashtags and “Recommend You Follow” features do not exist. Even if you do happen to build a small following on Snapchat, these individuals are probably already superfans rather than potential customers.
Another reason I would hold off on making Snapchat a priority in your social video strategy is because of the Instagram Stories feature that I mentioned above. It’s more likely that small businesses have already established an audience on Instagram, which means the likelihood of your marketing messages resonating there will be much higher.

Twitter


A few weeks ago, Twitter announced it was closing its doors on Vine, a social video app. It’s also been a tough year for Twitter with regard to generating revenue and acquiring new users. That being said, it may not be worth it to create an entire social video strategy for this channel, as its future is a little bit unknown.
So, should your small business spend time and effort creating videos specifically for this channel? I would say no, probably not. However, you could certainly edit and re-post videos that you’ve already made for Facebook.
If you’re looking to experiment a bit more, try posting one-to-one response videos to tweets, or maybe even a product announcement. We recommend that you keep it brief though, as this is core to Twitter’s ethos. Stick to short clips that are easy to consume, and you could see a healthy engagement boost on this network.

Pro-Tip:

If you want to try out using video on Twitter while also providing more quantitative ROI, you might have to get a little more creative! When you’re a Wistia customer, you have the ability to collect leads with our Turnstile feature right from within your videos – this could be a great way to use video on Twitter!

YouTube


This channel is a different beast than all the others listed above. For example, when you’re deciding whether or not to post video on Instagram or Facebook, you might ask yourself, “Does my audience exist there?” With a few of these channels (depending on the type of business you have), the answer might be super clear right away. With YouTube, the answer is more complex.
YouTube is more like a video library, or a location where people navigate to in order to find specific information. So, if it makes sense for your small business to create content that is super informative, teachable, or entertaining, YouTube could be a great channel for you. Just make sure that the content you post here is unique to this channel – you still want to ensure that your website is the primary destination for your viewers.
Check out GoPro’s YouTube channel. They post tons of visually-compelling videos that embody their motto of living in the moment and taking risks.

I’d venture to guess that unless you have a video producer at your business, you won’t be able to make the highly entertaining and share-worthy content that performs best on YouTube, so I would recommend putting that time and energy elsewhere where you can see higher returns (for now!).

LinkedIn


It looks like it will be a little while before your videos make it onto LinkedIn’s newstream. Up until recently, videos that existed on this professional network always came in the form of a link to a video hosted elsewhere on the web. Back in August, LinkedIn finally announced that video would be available on the platform, but only to an invitation-only group of LinkedIn ‘influencers.’
This feature will likely be expanded to users in the future, according to TechCrunch, but until then we’ll have to hold our horses! Use your time and resources elsewhere when it comes to social video – it might be a while before LinkedIn is video-friendly.

Social video success

As a small business, you’re probably aware of how important it is to make awesome content. Video is not an exception – it’s an incredibly valuable tool and while it might seem costly to create, it can actually be quite affordable, especially for social media!
If you don’t have a ton of video gear at your disposal, take advantage of social platforms where the production value doesn’t need to be super high. As always, consider your audience when deciding which platforms to use. It doesn’t matter what you post if no one’s there to watch it. I bet once you see that engagement rolling in, you’ll be ready to invest even more in the power of video!

PRODUCTION & STRATEGY

TOP 5 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR B2B SALES FUNNEL

If you’re looking to improve the quality of your leads and create a better sales funnel, you’re not alone. Your pipeline is the life blood of your business, and if you’re working with a less than perfect funnel your overall sales volume can suffer. So what can you do about it? Here are five ways you can improve your B2B sales funnel.
 
1. Analyze Your Data
Look back at your sales data from the last year or two. Do you successfully win big or small clients? What’s the demographic, business wise, of the accounts you’ve won in the past? If you know that you almost never win small businesses, but you do really well with large corporations, then you can tailor your sales funnel from the very first step by targeting the prospects most likely to buy.
 
 
2. Update Your CMS
If your client management system is lacking, your whole funnel is lacking. Empowering your sales representatives to efficiently and accurately track their interactions – including reminders for follow-ups and the ability to personalize notes and notifications – will greatly improve your sales funnel and make it more efficient.
 
 
3. Listen to Your Prospects
Many times in the sales industry it’s easy to become married to the scripts and stop listening to the responses. However, the sales cycle should rely on more than programmed scripts. If you listen to your prospects, you’ll know what they need and what the vision for their business is, making your sales funnel more efficient as you can more easily identify the products or services that will benefit them.
 
 
4. Align Sales and Marketing Efforts
If your sales process and your marketing don’t line up, your sales funnel will suffer for it. In other words, make sure your marketing team and your sales team view the funnel in the same way, are working towards the same end goal, and have the same vision. This will create maximum efficiency.
 
 
5. Identify Key Metrics
If your sales team isn’t sure which KPI they’re supposed to focus on, they’ll either focus on everything or nothing. Both of those situations will tank the productivity of your sales funnel. Make sure everyone knows which key metrics are most important and that they’re focused on those.
 
 
By unifying your sales force, keeping track of data, and using knowledge about your current sales data to empower your decision making you can improve the efficiency of your B2B sales funnel.

How to Add Video into Your Content Strategy

How to Add Video into Your Content Strategy

If you’re not already incorporating video into your content strategy, adding it in may sound like a daunting ordeal, but it doesn’t have to be.
Instead of developing a video strategy, try looking at what you’re trying to accomplish from an overall content perspective, and then figure out how you can use video to complement your efforts.

Video content can fit into what you already have planned, help you create lasting connections with your audience, and move your metrics up and to the right. In this post, we’ll go over where and how to begin including video in your content.

Optimizing your preexisting content strategy

The first step to optimizing your content strategy with video is to assess your existing content to see where you stand. What do you currently focus on? What are your goals?

Figure out which parts of your content strategy could be expanded, which ones may not be as clear or focused as you’d like, and which ones aren’t getting much engagement or leads.
Chances are, your best content will provide a ton of value, have little filler, and get lots of shares and engagement. Anything that doesn’t fit should be assessed—it may need to be repurposed or recreated.
Look back through your analytics to see which blog posts are already getting some love, but have the potential for much more engagement. These types of posts can often serve as great starting points for experimenting with video.

“Look back through your analytics to see which blog posts are already getting some love, but have the potential for much more engagement.”

If you’re looking for other places that could benefit from video, consider one of the following types of content:

  • Older content you’re planning on re-purposing
  • Social media content
  • Webinar registration pages
  • Consistent weekly or monthly content
  • Lead generation campaigns

Consistent videos for consistent engagement

Consistency keeps your business top of mind for folks who are consuming your content. If an ongoing video series can help you achieve your content goals, it’s worth experimenting with.
To begin, you can repurpose and expand upon concepts you have in other content pieces to create weekly or monthly video series.
With these consistent videos, you can answer questions from your audience, deep dive into different product features, or share recent news, while building relationships. Below is a great example from Rand Fishkin of Moz, who does a weekly series on marketing and SEO called Whiteboard Friday.

Penguin 4.0 is out.
My latest WB Friday is on how real-time spam link detection & devaluation change SEO.http://bit.ly/WBFPenguin4 

These videos keep their audience coming back every Friday. They’re widely shared, and they help build trust between Moz and their community of viewers.

Videos to show, not tell

If you’re creating content that explains something to your audience, why not cater to all different learning styles with both written copy and video? Why not take the opportunity to liven up the information with a smiling face and some delightful background music? Many are familiar with the phrase “show, don’t tell.” With educational content, you can show your audience something and leave a memorable impression using video.

Product videos

Product videos are incredibly helpful for folks in the awareness or decision stage of the buyer’s journey. In fact, 93% of businesses who use video believe that it has increased user understanding of their product or service. These types of videos not only clearly convey value, they also give you the opportunity to establish a human connection with your audience and show off your brand’s voice and style. We love this example of a product walkthrough video from Slack:

2:37
Wistia video thumbnail - Slack Product Walkthrough Video - Product Tour
2:37

How-tos

If they fit within your content strategy, how-to videos can provide your audience with lots of value. If you’re already publishing educational content—such as how to install your latest product, or how to use your product to level up—you can create quality videos for your audience to use, share, and engage with.
At Wistia, we create videos that teach our audience about production and marketing skills, so they can be successful with business video. Take, for example, the following video that’s included in our Library article about shooting overhead video.

Wistia video thumbnail - Shooting Overhead Video
 This type of video content creates trust between the consumer and your brand. It can also serve as a vehicle for lead generation. With Wistia’s Turnstile feature, it’s easy to gate your videos and create larger campaigns around them.
“This type of video content creates trust between the consumer and your brand.”

Event invitations

Whether you’re doing physical events or online get-togethers, such as webinars or live chats, you can use video to grow your registration count. According to Wyzowl’s most recent video marketing survey, 72% of businesses who use video believe that it has improved the conversion rate of their website. Adding video to your event’s landing page is no exception to this rule. We use promotional videos to add a bit of spunk to our invites and encourage people to register.

Wistia video thumbnail - HubSpot Integration WistiaCast 2
 You can create a marketing strategy around your event invite video, using email, social, and search tactics to spread the word. Plus, you video thumbnail can serve as a CTA in your promotion campaign. Through testing here at Wistia, we’ve found that on average, emails with video thumbnail images had higher click-through rates.

Post it on social

Odds are, you already have a social media strategy in place. You may post your blog content, photos of your team, links to interesting articles, or links to different areas of your site. According to Wyzowl, 78% of businesses who use video on social media say it’s an effective tactic.
Creating video content for social media platforms, whether it be Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, can boost your engagement and share counts and spread awareness about your business.
The best social videos are the ones that are tailor-made for specific platforms. You can create short videos that highlight your company culture, introduce your audience to a future event, walk through a product feature, or simply make someone laugh.

“The best social videos are the ones that are tailor-made for specific platforms.”

You can even add social video to your lead generation strategy by gating these videos using a Turnstile and a Twitter Card.

I’ve never made videos before—isn’t it expensive?

Adding video into your content strategy does not have to be difficult or expensive. You can set up a video studio in your office and work it yourself—no fancy help required.
You can purchase a DIY lighting kit that will make your shots look professional for under $100. You’ll need a camera, but before you start shaking your head at the cost of a DSLR—try recording a video with your iPhone first.
According to HubSpot, 51.9% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI.
Once you’ve created your first video—set it out into the world, and you’ll be able to measure your ROI and calculate some potential ROI for all the videos you’re about to create. Think through potential lead gen campaigns and how much a qualified lead is worth to your business. Soon enough, buying a quality DSLR for your shoots will be an obvious win-win.

3 Ways to Make Catchier Videos with Psychology

3 Ways to Make Catchier Videos with Psychology

I hear that Slack notification you just got. I see your phone sitting next to your keyboard, buzzing with new texts. It’s okay, I won’t be offended if you check.
People are being pulled away all the time, and it’s all too easy to bounce if we get bored. In order for your audience to hear you—and listen—you have to create something they’ll pay attention to despite the distractions.
Videos are one of the best ways to grab your audience’s attention, but they come with a non-negotiable time commitment. You need to convince people to give up a predetermined amount of their own valuable time. To keep them watching, it pays to understand what gets people’s attention on a psychological level.
When it comes down to it, you’re creating chemical reactions in your viewer’s brain. But when you zoom out, you’re making your audience feel something real. Stir up the right feelings, and you’ll hook your viewer from the initial stare to the inevitable share.

1. Catch viewers’ eyes with color

Different colors evoke different feelings, and some are better at grabbing people’s attention.
According to a 2008 study done on color, the visual parts of our brain are most sensitive to the color red. When we see red, the brain cells in those parts trigger, lighting up an immediate response and instantly grabbing our attention.
We are evolutionarily hardwired to pay attention to red because it stands out most against a green background. In this context, red is seen as nature’s warning sign. We have evolved to viscerally respond to red as a biological safety necessity.

“We are evolutionarily hardwired to pay attention to red.”


Other colors have effects too: blue conveys a sense of trust and security, yellow suggests caution, black indicates luxury and exclusivity. Yet these colors don’t draw quite the same immediate visual and psychological attention. The reactions they evoke are not as dramatic as those caused by red.
You can play up this drama in your video with visual contrast. The red in the Reebok ad below chromatically pops against the duller, more neural-colored background, keeping your attention glued to the runners.
The color red is everywhere – take the lips in this Wistia video, for instance, subtly telling our brains to pay attention to what the mouths are actually saying.
Use red in your videos to create the strongest and most immediate reaction in viewers.

2. Make viewers want to tune in

There’s an easy way to make the viewers of your video happy: play music. Happy listeners are engaged listeners. It turns out hearing a catchy song activates the nucleus accumbens, a part of the brain responsible for rewarding you with fuzzy feelings when you eat, drink, or exercise.

“Happy listeners are engaged listeners.”

Like pop songs, natural sounds can also have these feel-good effects, thanks to associations we’ve made as we’ve evolved as humans.
For instance, birdsong is associated with safety because birds sing in the absence of predators. This simple feeling is so powerful to us that you’ll be three times more productive listening to birdsong than you will listening to noisy office chatter.
Apple’s creative spin on birdsong in a 2015 iPhone 6 commercial makes viewers tune in with the bird-like trills of Vulpeck’s The Birdwatcher. Not only is the video pleasant to watch the first time, you’ll be happily whistling the melody long after the next iPhone comes out.

Marketers can take advantage of the effect that music has on your brain. Think carefully about what feelings you want to evoke for the viewer of your video, then choose the best music to make this happen and deliver it in a way that ties back to your message.

3. Allow viewers to emotionally connect

Emotions are more powerful than people give them credit for. Many people believe they make choices based on logic, but emotions actually heavily influence or even determine most of our decisions.
Your viewers will pay more attention to the way that you present information than to the value of what you’re saying. This is called the “framing effect.” It triggers a part of your brain called the amygdala that deals with emotions and decisions — helping you decide whether or not to stick your hand into that piranha tank or even if you should wear high heels on cobblestones.
Create a narrative that shows your viewers that you know what they feel and anticipate what they want to feel. If viewers are emotionally connected to your content, they’re more likely to decide that the message is important.
Nike knows that exercising is fraught with emotionally-charged experiences. They take advantage of this by creating a narrative about common exercise-related insecuritiesand the sense of empowerment that comes from pushing past these doubts. A viewer who can relate to these feelings will come along for the emotional ride and, as a result, will feel connected with the brand.
Giving a viewer someone to root for is really the way to their heart. (We’re lucky to have our Wistia mascot Lenny, who makes a perfect canine protagonist for our videos.) This Purina Puppy Chow video gets it right by following a man and his new dog as they adjust to life together. Even dog food seems interesting and important when you watch a cute puppy knock it over as she runs toward her new best friend.
At the end of the day, people want to connect with other people, and we often do this by sharing feelings in common. Video, in general, is a great medium for reposting — but videos with emotional content are even more likely to be shared. Give your viewers a reason to share and a reason to connect.

“At the end of the day, people want to connect with other people, and we often do this by sharing feelings in common.”

Get in viewers’ heads to inspire action

Even in a world that constantly pulls our attention in many directions, you can carve out a space in your viewer’s mind. Armed with your camera and a few principles of human psychology, you’ll give your video the edge that will set it apart from the distractions.
If you get your viewers to really engage in your video, you’ll grab a little bit of valuable space in their constantly-buzzing brains. This is how you’ll succeed in making viewers remember your video and take action on what you said.

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