Tagged: video

Online Marketing Tactics for Small Businesses

ONLINE MARKETING on price labelsIs your Online Marketing strategy setup with the latest trends?

It is a juggling act maintaining a successful business while learning about all the necessary marketing updates, trends and tricks.

In this article, we’ll go over some of the most recent and popular tools, strategies and content that might help with your online marketing efforts.

Video and Broadcasting

This is one of the most important and current tools for your business: video or video broadcasts.
Youtube is definitely the most important video tool and you MUST learn it and use it as well as optimize it in order to be found on search results. Since it’s a Google product, you have double the opportunity to be picked up by search engines.

While YouTube is the ruler of video, Periscope and Meerkat are a close second and have become some of the most useful apps for quick updates. Not only convenient for on-the-go business owner, but also connected and streamlined with Twitter and Youtube!

They allow you to live broadcast updates, usually announced via Twitter or through the app infrastructure.

The Power of Personality and Emotion

It’s important to keep in mind that most of your viewers, no matter their demographic makeup, tend to interact with content that speaks to them on an emotional level as well as content that conveys an opinion or personality.

Therefore it’s important to generate creative, emotive and personal updates throughout your social networks and blog/video updates:

• Quotes that relate to your industry
• Inspirational, how-to and quick guides with images
• Polls and contests that can be posted throughout your social networks
• Asking for feedback on products and services
• Featuring employees and other staff

Hashtags, hashtags, hashtags

What are hashtags, exactly? This is a question many of my clients have asked me before. For practical purposes, I’ll go over a quick list of what I consider hashtags to be in the Online Marketing Sphere:

They are..

– Searchable keywords
– Trend representations
– Mood manifestations
– Current events and news updates.

They can be used on basically all social networks with the following format: keyword +hashtag. You want your keyword to represent the subject you’re talking about.

While many make valuable connections by using 10+ hashtags, I highly recommend using only
3-5 max. Why? I think it feels a little spammy otherwise.

Tune into Live Events

This goes hand-in-hand with using hashtags.

Twitter and Facebook are great platforms to use when commenting on live or current events. Are you attending an industry conference? Why not research the event page for a hashtag of think of a relevant one like #DenverPharmaConf2015  or #AustingComicCon2015 (capitalizing isn’t necessary, but I always recommend it).

Most sponsors or event organizations will include a hashtag on their promotional materials.

Want to take it one step forward? Take photos of the conference along with a little opinion or blurb about key points or favorite subjects along with the hashtag.

Leveraging the Power of Relevant Networks

Many businesses are quick to adopt the Social Media basics. Not knowing much about them, their real purpose and whether or not they’re relevant to their industry.

While most eCommerce businesses can greatly benefit from Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, they might not necessarily find it profitable to invest much time and energy on LinkedIn. Same goes with a law firm, that might actually greatly engage on platforms like LinkedIn provide valuable content updates about the latest employee insurance changes.

Consulting with a Online Marketing expert might help making this decision easier as well as helping small business owners create a laser-focused content strategy incorporating the most essential and profitable networks.

It’s important for your business to have a personality ‘behind curtains’ in order to relate to potential clients or customers. By using the most relevant and up-to date tools  as well as creating engaging and targeted content, you can reach many more potential leads and continue building your online engagement.

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Authored by Ana Rodriguez – Founder of anabalp.me

The Viral Phenomenon

The viral phenomenonHave you ever wondered what does the word “viral” mean? Have you ever thought what might go into creating a so called “viral phenomenon”? Is it an act or some form of information flowing through a network?

To explain it in simple terms it’s more of a pattern (or object) that has the ability to replicate its own copies, more like a chain reaction. This is a common way to describe how thoughts, information and trends move into and through a human population. In a business context this “pattern” is referred to as CONTENT.

Marketing departments of businesses try to create such “patterns” or content that has the ability to go Viral. This generally falls under two categories – entertaining & useful. Something that has a unique blend of both these elements is an ideal form of VIRAL content.

Your content could be an article, a video, marketing collateral, a photograph, an info-graphics or simply a piece of news. Unlike traditional marketing and advertising content, there are certain attributes of typical viral material. Here are some important elements of viral content:

Keep it positive, real and simple: Any form of content that creates a positive effect has more probability of going viral. Stuff that makes us feel good about ourselves and the people around us. The content should be real i.e. it should appear realistic and believable. Also, any material that is confusing to understand or comprehend is generally ignored. The most viewed, talked about and shared content is anything that is simple to understand.

The SHOCK factor: Your content should have the “awe” effect i.e. it should simply be remarkable. It should be something that people haven’t seen before and can’t resist commenting on. This could be in the form of a video, a research article, or it can also be something as simple as an exhaustive list of some useful resources or tips.

Appreciation and recognition through association: This is by far the most important attribute of viral content. When people share or talk about your content they would expect appreciation and recognition for it. A user who shares content will want to be recognized both as the person who discovered it and the person who introduced others to it.

Sharing is Caring: Any form of content created should be made share-able. With the advent of social media, it’s important to keep in mind that your material should have the option of sharing i.e. it should have buttons that allow it to be shared on social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Digg etc. These social media platforms have become the hotspots for viral content. A simple retweet or a “LIKE” could get tremendous amount of traction to your content.

Last but not the least; we should never forget that we need to STAMP and brand the content. The creator of the content should get due visibility, and its best done when you do it subtly at the end. Things like a quick mention about your business or brand in your article, photograph, video or info-graphic, go a long way in creating awareness about your business.

The Top 10 Most-Shared Ads of 2013

The top 10 Most-Shared Ads of 2013As the year 2013 comes to an end, we take a look at the year’s most viral and shared adds. Going viral is the name of the game!

 

1. Dove “Real Beauty Sketches” – 4.24 million Shares

The video used an FBI-trained sketch artist to draw women first based on their own self-perception and then based on that of a stranger.

2. Geico “Hump Day” – 4.03 million Shares

In the viral video you see a happy camel walking through an office, asking some grumpy employees very enthusiastically to guess what day it is. Eventually one grumpy female employee responds: “It’s hump day”!

3. Evian “Baby & Me” – 3.34 million shares

This add features grown-ups taking part in a joyous dance-off against pint-size versions of their younger selves.

4. Kmart “Ship My Pants” – 3.05 million shares

In this famous Kmart ad a women says, “Whoah, I just might ship my pants”, upon hearing word from a Kmart sales staffer describing the retailer’s service that ships goods for free to customers who can’t find items them want in stores.

5. Cornetto “Yalın – Keyfi Yolunda, Aşkı Sonunda” – 2.91 million shares

This three and a half minute video is a simple Wes Anderson-esque tale of young love from Turkey.

6. Budweiser “Brotherhood” – 2.72 million shares

This famous ad shows an iconic Clydesdale horse growing up and leaving its owner.

7. Pepsi Max “Test Drive” – 2.69 million shares

In this video Jeff Gordon redefines a test-drive in an elaborate reality-style prank for an online video and TV spot called “Test Drive.”

8. MGM/Carrie “Telekinetic Coffee Shop Surprise” – 2.17 million shares

In this viral add we see a prankster with fake telekinetic powers freaks out an entire coffee shop.

9. Ram Trucks (Chrysler) “Farmer” – 1.88 million shares

The video uses images of life on the farm designed to remind people of their connections with the farming community.

10. Volvo Trucks “The Epic Split feat. Van Damme” – 1.82 million shares

In this add the Hollywood actor Jean-Claude Van Damme performs “the most epic of splits” as he stands smack-dab between two large trucks moving in reverse.

The Power of Animation

The Power of Animation

Businesses are changing and so are marketing methods.

The science of digital marketing has brought different challenges and opportunities. Animation as a marketing tool is emerging as the most cost effective and favorable tool that can help any business market a message, a brand or an objective.

The power of animation is increasing and it’s highly recommended that all business owners take notice of this innovative and emerging new trend.

Online advertising in specific is using animation videos to market their business with a touch of creativity and imagination.
There was a time when animation was limited to those with massive production budgets, but current technology trends has introduced new opportunities and you no longer need a big studio or access to television broadcast channels to create and distribute animation.
The three important benefits of animation in the digital marketing world:

  • Animated videos help viral marketing & easy video sharing: Viral video marketing campaigns increase click through rates by almost 800%. 70% of people who watch online videos will, in turn, pass links for these videos onto their friends, hence making your content go viral.
  • SEO and animated Video go hand-in-hand: Google owns You Tube, so a presence on You Tube or any of the famous video sharing websites such as Vimeo, Dailymotion etc, gives you almost 60% higher likelihood of a Google front-page search result. You can also add keyword tags to your animated videos so that the Google crawling mechanism works most effectively on your content.
  • Exponential increase in conversion rate: 70%- 85% of people are more likely to purchase after watching a product animation video. On an average, people will stay 1.5 minutes longer on your website when engaged with an animation. You have a chance to grab their attention and communicate using a powerful mix of pictures, motion, text, voice, sound effects and music in a short amount of time, and all of this is possible through a simple animation.

There is a difference between live action video and an animation and the key is “Imagination”! A well thought of script with a marketing plan is important while creating an animation video. So always plan and prepare for production, and remember, Animation has no boundaries!

We at Small Business Pool, work with some of the most talented designers, script writers, 3D artists and animators from around the GLOBE. Our consulting approach helps you clearly understand and plan your animation video campaign. Our cost effective approach will help you achieve your marketing objective in no time.

For a quick plan of action quote, contact us TODAY!

Can User Experience be designed?

Can User Experience be designedUser experience (UX), in simple definition, involves a person’s emotions about using a particular product, system or service. User experience is a very blurry concept and many people use the term incorrectly. A lot of designers seem to be talking about user experience (UX) these days and have a strong belief in how they can craft the user experience of their product or website.

Recent research indicates that UX takes a broader approach to communication between computers and humans. UX takes many different aspects into consideration as well, such as emotional, hedonic, aesthetic, affective and experiential variables.

According to the Hassenzahl’s model, each user assigns some attributes to a product or service when using it and these attributes are different for each individual user. UX is the consequences of these attributes plus the situation in which the product is used.

So in a realistic world, you cannot design the user, because some are able to easily use a product, service, or a website to perform their task and others simply cannot! The stimulation that a product or service provides depends on the individual user’s experience with similar products. Also, every user has different goals, and so they use products, services and/or websites in different modes.

The other important point to remember is that you can never design a situation. A user situation goes beyond what can be designed. It can determine why a product is being used, and it can shape a user’s expectations.For example, on some occasions, you may want to explore and take advantage of the wealth of features on Twitter or Facebook. In other situations, the same functions may make things too complex for you. Moreover UX also evolves with time. For example, the first time a user tries an application, they may be confused by it and have a slightly downbeat experience. Later, when they get used to it and discover its wealth of features and learn how to handle it, they might get emotionally attached to it, and the overall UX (user experience) would become more positive.

So while designing a product, service or an application, it is very important to understand the user. Typical methods such as user research with surveys, interviews and observations are very important. Finally, it is important to give users what they want, and perhaps a little bit more! In addition to enabling users to use your service effectively and efficiently, it is important to give them the “WOW” experience. Exceeding their expectation is always preferred.

Playing Games

playing gamesA video game is practically software that has art, audio, graphics and game play. Game development is usually done using the “agile development” method i.e. it is based on iterative prototyping, a subset of software prototyping. This process depends on feedback and refinement of game’s iterations with gradual increase in feature set.

A typical game development team comprises of the producer, the publisher, the development team, designers, artists, sound engineers and testers. The games go through development, alpha, and beta stages until finally being released. The video game industries is fairly volatile, similar to other artistic industries including television, music, etc and has a distribution methods similar to those of music and film industries.

A game development software or more popularly known as a game engine is the most critical element for a game developers. A game engine is a vital tool that eliminates a lot of technical aspects of making a game. So all you do is focus on designing your game and let the game engine do the rest.

Top 3 game engines:

  • Unity: By far the most popular and widely used game engine in the market. This tool has a whole suite of assets, strong support, a good community, and it’s free! Another unique and awesome feature is that it allows you to play your game immediately in the editor.
  • UDK (the Unreal development Kit): This engine offers a full-fledged tool that allows you to create games. It has some of the most state of the art rendering and animation integration. It includes a tool called Unreal Kismet, which is a visual programming editor that requires no programming knowledge to use.
  • Cry Engine 2: This Game Engine has a full suite of tools that are used to create your game. It has one of the best looking graphics rendering of any game engine. It also included is an AI (Artificial Intelligence) system and custom character support built right in the engine.

The extension of Virtual Reality: Augmented reality

With the recent rumors about Google acquiring Viewdle, an augmented reality and facial recognition start-up,  we are now gradually recognizing the importance of this new so called “technology”.

In fact an average smart phone user would know what is AR or Augmented reality, but might not know that it is actually called that, and perhaps while using it, might have never even noticed it.

In simple words: Augmented reality is the art of super-imposing of computer generated content over a live view of the world. It is rather literally the practice of enhancing what’s already around us. Well, in other words, it is a live, direct or indirect, view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. The main hardware components for augmented reality are: processor, display, sensors and input devices.

More specifically  in context to mobile technology, augmented reality systems use one or more of the following tracking technologies: digital cameras and/or other optical sensors, accelerometers, GPS, gyroscopes, solid state compasses, RFID and wireless sensors. These technologies offer varying levels of accuracy and precision. Most important is the position and orientation of the user’s head. Tracking the user’s hand(s) or a handheld input device can provide a 6DOF interaction technique.

The future of augmented reality is undoubtedly brilliant, even as it already has found its way into our cell phones and video game systems. Just imagine the possibilities: you may learn things about the city you’ve lived in for years just by pointing your AR-enabled phone at a nearby park or building.