Video Marketing Continues to Dominate Into 2018 — Trends You Need to Know

Video Marketing Continues to Dominate Into 2018 — Trends You Need to Know

business video marketing content online concept

When you go online, chances are that a lot of the content you see is in video format – and for good reason. Every day, approximately 100 million people watch at least one video online. So videos are an incredibly effective way of marketing your product and/or service.

If you have been avoiding making videos because you think they will be too expensive or difficult to make, it is time to rethink your marketing strategy.

61% of all businesses now use video content in their digital marketing plans. Two out of every three of these businesses are newcomers to video.

Additionally, video consumption continues to rise online. Estimates from this summer predict that overall video consumption via mobile will increase by 35% by the end of this year.

These developments foretell a new year where digital video will be more important than ever for business owners’ success. Those who take advantage of the following four video marketing trends in 2018 will likely be in for a great year ahead.


Video Content Marketing Becomes a Must-Have for Small Businesses

For one, people complete video content more frequently than the average non-visual, text-based blog article. According to Vidyard, over a third of all video viewers (37%) make it to the end of the video’s run time.

Nearly all mobile users who watch video (92%) have a tendency to share video content with others. Simply Measured also says that video gets shared around 12x more frequently than content links or text.

Other studies show that audiences retain video in messaging better than text.

With these advantages, businesses putting video content out there will see higher levels of engagement. They will also see higher levels of shares and conversions into their marketing funnel. Having a video component to your digital marketing strategy will become a competitive differentiator in months ahead.

Business owners looking to get into video can start by transforming existing content assets into a short (around 2.5 minutes or less) summary. Look to the assets with the most views and shares for inspiration.


Video Becomes an Integral Part of the Sales Pipeline

Video not only generates awareness, it can help nurture sales in both B2C and B2B industries. 65% of business decision-makers will visit a startup’s website, claims ComScore.

Offering video content helps turn what could be a pushy and person-intensive sales process into a self-service nurturing pipeline. Interested prospects can view video content hosted on websites or shared via social to learn more about products and features. As they educate themselves, they move towards the end of the sales funnel with minimal person-to-person contact.

 video app on smartphone screen. watch and share digital content. flat design vector illustration

Self-guided lead nurturing not only reduces employee overhead, it also results in a more pleasant experience for leads. 19% of prospects claim they only want to hear from a company rep when they are actively considering a purchase. 40% of prospects want to be able to buy without talking to anyone at all.

Meeting this need involves considering how video assets can provide value at every stage of the sales/marketing funnel.

For instance, business owners can cultivate awareness by creating emotional or intriguing video advertising assets.

Video content marketing assets provided on their website next to text content can help buyers at the nurturing stage. In-depth explainer videos can help lay out different buying options. It can also lay out the final steps in the procurement process for those ready to close the deal.

“When you incorporate video into your sales processes, customers get what they want: a friction less, self-serve experience on their time, and on their terms,” says WireBuzz.

Think about buyer needs that were once traditionally met with person-to-person interactions. Imagine how video can replace these needs with a self-service, video-heavy customer journey.


Live Video, 360° Video, Slideshows and Other Video Formats Gain Traction

live video streaming from cell phone

Like everything else online, the world of video marketing is evolving. While you can still upload videos to your YouTube channel and share them online, there’s also a new kid in town – live video.

One of the most accessible options, which allows companies to fully integrate video marketing into their Facebook marketing, is Facebook Live.

Live video presents an easy, low-budget and low-concept way to create more video content for audiences. Brands can engage with audiences in a way that feels authentic and like a 1:1 conversation.

Preparing live video into your content marketing and social engagement strategy can quickly round out your assets without a massive up-front investment.

There are a lot of reasons that doing live is a good way to gain more followers. This is something that you should be investing in.

We could go into a lot of detail now about why Live might well be the ‘future’ of social media in many ways. For now, though, suffice to say that for you, it offers a unique way to communicate with your audience. This takes away the limitations of having to wait for a post or a message to be delivered.

Your audience will feel as though they’re getting real insight into your lifestyle, your business and your personality. You will be able to answer their question directly.

This is a fantastic format for a whole range of types of media. From AMAs (Ask Me Anything), to interviews and to product reviews.

young woman with virtual reality goggles in cinema


On the other end of the spectrum is 360° video. These assets use a special camera setup to capture a full spherical range of images. Audiences can then use a smartphone headset like the Google Daydream to tilt and move their head as the video plays, changing their viewpoint as one might in real life.

360° video results in a truly immersive and memorable experience. However, the high cost of equipment and production means businesses require an airtight strategy for converting 360° videos into measurable returns.

Formats like these lower production costs for video — especially video ads. They still provide higher levels of engagement. Best of all, they can communicate well even without sound.

Since 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound, slideshow and short-form video assets provide substantial returns with a relatively minimal investment.


In 2018, Video Marketing Trends Will Define Small Business Success

If 2017 was a year of pioneering growth for video, 2018 will be the year people expect business owners to give their video marketing campaigns some structure.

Business owners can bring in bigger audiences than ever before. Simply by  using the above trends in combination with intelligent strategy and dutiful measurement of KPIs.



What’s Your Local Score?

Enter any business name and zip code and see how optimized it is for local search.

How to Reach Your Intended Audience with Facebook Ads

If you want to ensure you’re getting the best results from your Facebook ads, you need to know they’re reaching the right audience. The good news is, thanks to the social media giant’s huge range of targeting options, this couldn’t be easier. 

By only reaching the people who actually matter, your ads have a lot more value and in turn deliver a much higher conversion rate. So how exactly can you ensure you’re reaching the right audience?

Location and demographic targeting

Two of the most powerful targeting options available when you create a Facebook ad are location and demographic. You can choose exactly where you want your customers to be based. This is especially useful for local businesses focused solely on drawing in local customers to their stores.

Narrowing down the location is only the first step. The next is to target specific demographics. You need to think about the type of consumer that’s going to be most interested in your product.

For example, will Millennials be more interested in what you have to offer, or would your services best suit those over the age of 40? You can specify certain age groups when targeting your ad to ensure you’re reaching the most appropriate audience. That’s not all, you can also target things such as:

  • Gender
  • Relationship status
  • Employment

The more you narrow down your audience, the better the results you’ll have. However, one thing you should be careful of is behavioral targeting. While it may seem clever, 68% of consumers state they are not ok with targeted ads that follow them around based upon their behavior.

The benefits of running multiple ads

Of course, targeted ads largely only help if you know WHO you are targeting in the first place. However, it is possible to develop a deeper understanding of your target audience by running multiple ads.

It can be extremely beneficial to run several targeted ads at the same time, each targeting a different demographic or location. That way, you can see exactly which groups are most interested in your product.

You may just be surprised to discover that a different group of people to those you initially planned to target are more interested in what you have to offer. 

It’s pretty simple to set up a targeted Facebook ad. The options are automatically presented to you once you’ve chosen your ad objective. However, it is a good idea to do your research first. That way, you’ll know exactly who you should be targeting and which options have the best chance of success.

Learn more about online marketing by visiting JVI Mobile Marketing or by contacting us!

5 Tips on Building Your Local Brand

Local Brand business ownerHave you given much thought to building a local brand for your small business? If you’re like a lot of business owners, you haven’t. You spend your days wearing many different hats, handling everything from accounting to ordering to marketing. If you don’t have a dedicated marketing person, then brand building might be a low priority – but it shouldn’t be.

The truth is that even if you don’t have a website, online store, or social media presence, you have an online local brand. Recent research shows that 80% of consumers research brands and products online before making a purchase. With that in mind, here are some tips to help you build a solid online brand for your business starting today.

Tip #1: Make sure your listings are consistent

The first thing you need to do, even if you don’t have a website, is to check out your listings online and make sure they are consistent. Your name, address and phone number – also known as your NAP listing – plays a big role in how easy it is to find you online. Even if you have a professional website, inconsistent NAP listings can affect your rank on Google and other search engines. To give you an idea of how nitpicky these things are, keep in mind that even something as simple as having “Ave” on one listing and “Avenue” on another can be a problem. Pick the format you want and then stick with it.

google local brandTo ensure that you catch everything, do a Google search and then check specific listings that you think might be relevant. For example, even if you have never claimed your listing on Yelp, you might have one there. The same goes for Google My Business and local business directories. It might be time-consuming, but make the effort to go through and claim everything.

If you search a promising directory and find that your business isn’t listed there, find out how to get it listed. Citations, even if they’re just a listing of your NAP, can help to build your online profile and attract people to your business. Keep in mind that it may take a few days or even weeks for your new or updated listings to appear.

local brand mobileTip #2: Optimize for mobile users

2015 marked a turning point in “online search”. It was the first year that mobile searches outpaced searches done on desktop computers, a trend that is expected to continue going forward. Combine that statistic with Google’s recent “Mobilegeddon” update – and the promise of more such updates to come – and there is no denying that you have to make your business easy to find for mobile customers if you want to succeed.

If you have a website, then the best option is a mobile-responsive design – one that automatically detects the type of device being used to view the site and adapts accordingly. Such designs ensure that mobile users won’t have to scroll horizontally to read your content or have to deal with trying to hit a teeny call to action button on their screen.

It’s not enough just to make your site accessible on mobile devices. You also need to do user testing to ensure that your pages load quickly and respond well to user activities. Mobile users are notoriously impatient, and a page that takes more than a few seconds to load will likely see a high bounce rate. If you have a WordPress site, making it mobile-responsible should be easy. All you need to do is choose a mobile-responsive theme for your site. However, if you want a more detailed overview of what is required to get your site mobile-ready, click here.

Tip #3: Network your local brand with other local businesses

network local brandThe #LoveLocal movement is gaining traction online as a way of encouraging people to buy from local and small businesses. One way to build your local brand and reputation is to take the time to network with other small business owners. They know better than anybody else how difficult it can be to keep a small business afloat, and they are often very eager to refer customers to other local businesses to keep the community thriving.

Consider visiting Townsquared and seeking out other entrepreneurs and business owners in your area. You can establish yourself as an authority, learn about other local companies, and even build partnerships and referral sources.

social media local brandTip #4: Use social media effectively

There’s no denying that social media use is high – and getting higher every day. If you aren’t already using social media to build your local brand, then it’s time to get serious about it.

A well-thought-out social media strategy can help you connect with existing customers and attract new ones. People love to connect with their favorite brands, but it’s important to remember the “social” in social media. Nobody is going to follow you on Facebook or Pinterest in the hopes of being hit with a barrage of aggressive sales pitches. Your social media content should follow the 80/20 rule. 80% of what you post should be interesting and relevant content that provides value to your followers, and only 20% should address your specific products and services.

Certain industries and businesses are better adapted to some social media sites than others. For example, if you sell an aspirational product that lends itself well to being photographed, especially if your product appeals to women, then Pinterest is a great choice. Facebook is still the most widely-used social media site, and the most versatile. Instagram and Snapchat are highly visual and tend to lend themselves to marketing to young people.

Whatever sites you decide to use, make sure to post regularly and always keep your brand in mind. The voice you use on social media should reflect how you want people to perceive you.

Tip #5: Stretch your ad dollars by focusing on paid social media advertising

local brand ad dollarsFinally, if you’re on a tight budget and don’t have much money for advertising, consider using your dollars wisely by advertising on social media. Ranking for top keywords on Google can be difficult, and the competition (and the cost) is high. Social media advertising is very affordable and versatile. You can target your ad so that it reaches one of two groups: your followers and their friends; or a chosen group targeted by demographics and interests. Research shows that users are most likely to make a purchase when they have repeated exposure to a company or brand. Every time a user sees your ad, it increases the likelihood that they will eventually buy from you.

Advertising on some social media sites is still rolling out and not available to everyone, but Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter all have well-established programs. You can run a Facebook ad for as little as a dollar a day, and they provide free analytics so you can see how your ad is performing.

business-man local brandThe bottom line is that you have an online brand. Whether you are managing it properly is another question. By using the tips provided above, you can claim your online brand and build it into something that accurately represents your business – and you.

At JVI Mobile, we are passionate about creating and growing awesome social relationships. Tell us how we can help! We’ve got a crack team literally at your fingertips!

If you haven’t already, check out our Digital Marketing Assistant. It’s a brand new Facebook Group we are offering where you can get expert help and ready access to the JVI team will all your digital marketing concerns and questions!

digital marketing assistant

Create the Perfect Lead Magnet for Your Local Business

email marketing lead magnetEvery local business should have a mailing list to use for email marketing. However, convincing people to sign up for your list may be a challenge. Most people get dozens of marketing emails each day, and some are reluctant to add yet another email to the mix. The question, then, is how you can convince potential customers who visit your site to sign up for your mailing list. One common answer is creating something called a lead magnet – a freebie that entices people to type their email address into your opt-in box.

What Is a Lead Magnet?

In case you are unfamiliar with the term, let’s start with a quick explanation of what a lead magnet is. A lead magnet is a free item that you offer to new leads if they sign up for your mailing list. It’s called a magnet because companies often advertise the lead magnet as a way of getting people to visit their site.  In other words, it attracts customers the way a magnet attracts metal. Once they are on the site, they learn that all they have to do to get the lead magnet is sign up for your mailing list.

A lead magnet can be almost anything you want it to be, but the best options for local businesses are digital items that can be immediately downloaded after the customer opts in. You want the process to be as easy as possible.

Why You Need a Lead Magnet

lead magnetMaybe you don’t have a mailing list and you’re wondering why you need one. Local business owners sometimes neglect email marketing as a resource because they think it’s a waste of money. However, the fact is that email marketing is still one of the most effective – and most affordable – forms of internet marketing. Here are some reasons that using a lead magnet to build your list makes sense:

  1. Email marketing offers a low-cost, easy way to stay in touch with your customers on an ongoing way.
  2. Email marketing is incredibly versatile. Here are just a few ideas of ways you might use email marketing:
    1. To announce new products – for example, you might make a short unboxing or how-to video for a new product in your store.
    2. To share valuable information with your customers – one of the best uses of email marketing is providing value to your customers, which creates a sense of obligation.
    3. lead magnet new productTo offer enticements to get customers to visit your store – examples include promotions, coupons, and special events.
    4. To encourage customers to spread the word about your business – if you make a point of offering worthwhile information, some of your customers will share your email with their friends and family, thus increasing your reach.
  3. Using a lead magnet helps you encourage a particular cognitive bias – sort of a mental glitch – known as reciprocity. Most human beings feel a need to return the favor when they get something free. Offering a lead magnet makes your customers feel a sense of obligation to you because they know you’ve given them something valuable without charging them a dime. Once they have accepted a freebie from you, they are more likely to become paying customers than they would be otherwise.

As you can see, there are some significant benefits to using a lead magnet to help grow your email list.

How to Create an Irresistible Lead Magnet

download lead magnetDeciding you want a lead magnet for your website is the first step. The second is deciding what form the lead magnet will take, and then creating it. Let’s start by talking about some good options for lead magnets.

  1. Remember that digital products that are available for immediate download are the best choice. Don’t make your customers wait to get their freebie – give it to them right away.
  2. One common option for a lead magnet is a short eBook. Sometimes people think that books have to be long, but the truth is that the average length of non-fiction books on the Kindle bestseller list is only 10,000 words. A free book can be even shorter – sometimes 2,500 or 3,500 words is plenty.
  3. lead magnet ebookAnother popular choice for a lead magnet is a tip sheet or hack sheet. It seems like you can’t go anywhere on the internet these days without coming across a list of hacks for everything from household chores to organizing your desk at work. People seem to love them, and creating a good hack sheet doesn’t take long.
  4. If you offer a business-related service, one very good lead magnet option is a free template for a particular kind of document.
  5. A video or series of videos is another option, although creating videos is certainly more costly than making written content. The downside of a video is that it takes time for your customer to consume.

lead magnet goThe most affordable and easily accessible options are short written documents that customers can download immediately.

Now let’s talk about how to create your lead magnet. If you have a business that lends itself to tips and hacks – for example, the owner of a kitchen supply store might do well to offer a list of cooking hacks (or kitchen storage hacks) to potential customers – then that’s a good way to go because it doesn’t take long to create.

If the majority of your customers are looking for information, then writing a short eBook might be the answer. Don’t get intimidated by the thought of writing a book. If you feel you can’t do it yourself, you can always hire a freelance writer to do it for you. Just brainstorm some potential topics for a book, keeping in mind that you want things that are going to be compelling and interesting to your potential customers. For example, a sports equipment store might offer a short eBook about how to prepare for ski season or a buying guide for parents whose kids are signing up for the local soccer league.

bullseye lead magnetThe key with any lead magnet is to think about what your customers want, and then to find a way to give it to them. When you start, it might be helpful to think about your target customers and who they are. After that, you can reach out with some social media advertising to let people know about your awesome new lead magnet and why they need to get it.

Lead magnets are an effective and inexpensive way to help you build a mailing list – which you can then use to attract new customers and grow your business. As long as you focus on providing value with your lead magnet, and target your ads wisely, you should have no difficulty attracting people to your opt-in page.

At JVI Mobile, we are passionate about creating and growing awesome social relationships. Tell us how we can help! We’ve got a crack team literally at your fingertips!

If you haven’t already, check out our Digital Marketing Assistant. It’s a relatively new service we are offering where you can get expert help and ready access to the JVI team will all your digital marketing concerns and questions!

digital marketing assistant

5 Ways to Rank on Google’s First Page in 2016

google's first pageDoes your business appear on Google’s first page when potential customers search for your chosen keywords? If you’re not at the top – or near the top – it can be frustrating. There is plenty of evidence to show that very few users venture beyond the first page of results when they do a Google search. In fact, they’re more likely to refine their search than to move on to the next page.

Fortunately, there are quite a few things you can do to help your website rank on the first page in 2016. Here are the top five.

#1: Google’s first page is more about authority than keywords

google's first page SEOIt’s still important to use keywords in your web content, but the days when high keyword density was the key to ranking on Google are long gone. In fact, your keyword placement is not nearly as important as the overall authority of your site. Google’s algorithms are very sophisticated, and they no longer rely on keywords in a title or H1 tag to determine if a page is worth visiting. Rather, they focus on contextual meaning and look for expected words to rank pages.

For example, it used to be that if you wanted to rank for a keyword such as “Best Legal Services” you’d have to use that keyword three or four times in strategic places to have a chance of ranking. Now, if you talk about competent legal representation, Google can tell that your page is relevant to the keyword even if you don’t use it more than a couple of times in your article.

#2: Pay attention to bounce rates and the time spent on your page

Another surprising SEO development for 2016 has to do with an evaluation of whether your page is providing visitors with what they need. In addition to crawling your page for keywords and context, Google also pays attention to what people do after they leave your page as a way of determining if your page is an authoritative one or a waste of time.

google's first page bounce rateFor example, if a visitor searches one of your keywords and clicks on your page, Google looks at how long they stay. A visit of several minutes might indicate that a user is engaged with the content on your page and has found what they want. However, if they spend several minutes on your site, return to their list of search results via the dreaded back button, and click on another site instead, it’s a good sign that your site did not offer what they needed.

If you have a high bounce rate, a good way to improve your search ranking in 2016 is to make sure that your site provides the answers to the questions implied by your chosen keywords.

#3: Optimize your website for mobile users

google's first page mobile usersIn 2015, mobile searches on Google outpaced computer searches – and that trend is likely to continue. Google has placed a great deal of importance on mobile search as evidenced by their Mobilegeddon mobile-friendly update in early 2015. If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, now is the time to get on board.

Fortunately, most businesses can switch to mobile-friendly or (ideally) mobile-adaptive sites with little trouble. Sometimes it’s as simple as switching the template you use for your site. For example, if you have a WordPress site, they have a huge library of templates available, many of which are mobile-adaptive. You may have to do some fine-tuning of your site to make a new template work, but it’s worth the work to get it done.

The beauty of mobile-adaptive sites is that they work by configuring to the specific mobile device being used. Mobile customers tend to be an impatient bunch, and they are unlikely to wait for a slow-loading page or scroll horizontally to read your content. If you take the time to optimize your site for mobile users, it can do more than anything else to improve your search ranking in 2016.

#4: Stay away from content that’s too short

google's first page contentIt wasn’t that long ago that blog posts of 250 to 500 words were considered the norm. Short and snappy was the rule of the day, and the assumption that people wanted short content led to a glut of short articles that were light on value and meaning.

That has all changed. Truthfully, the trend toward lengthy web content has been happening for a while, but this year it has really become the rule rather than the exception. Research shows that web users are far more likely to engage with content that’s in the 1,000-1,500 word range than with short articles. Why? Because they want valuable information, and – with rare exception – it’s hard to convey that in just a few hundred words. Of course, you can offer a top 10 list that’s only 500 words long, but you’re not going to be able to explain why items are on the list as well as you would if you wrote a longer article or blog post.

The reason that Google is placing so much emphasis on length is that they want to make sure they are sending people to pages designed for humans, not search algorithms. If you’re worried about publishing long content, remember that you can make it more readable by breaking it up with subheadings and images.

#5: Make sure the user experience is front and center

In a way, this last point is a summary of everything that has come before it. Each one of the above points come back to one thing: user experience. Old-school SEO focused on tricking Google’s algorithms – to the point where many websites were far friendlier to computers than they were to human beings. More and more, Google is concerned about ensuring that their search results are leading users to sites that answer their questions. They want users to feel good about the search experience, something that’s unlikely to happen if they end up on a site that’s not mobile-friendly, or is packed with keywords but contains no real value.

google's first page user experienceThere are many things you can do to test the user experience on your site, including split-testing individual components on your page. However, the best thing you can do is to do what you can to answer key questions that are implied by your chosen keywords and make sure that your site is easily viewable by any user, on any device.

Ranking on Google’s first page is always a challenge. Regardless of your niche, you will be facing some fierce competition. It might sound odd to say this, but the best way to rank is to forget about trying to rank. Don’t worry about algorithms and SEO tricks. Instead, focus on making your site a place where potential customers can find exactly what they need. If you do that, the search rank will follow.

At JVI Mobile, we are passionate about creating and growing awesome social relationships. Tell us how we can help! We’ve got a crack team literally at your fingertips!

If you haven’t already, check out our Digital Marketing Assistant. It’s a relatively new service we are offering where you can get expert help and ready access to the JVI team will all your digital marketing concerns and questions!

digital marketing assistant