Introduction to Video Marketing

Introduction_to_video_marketing.jpg

A few years ago, video as a content type, was the shiny new toy. Now it’s the king of content. From million-dollar companies to small businesses, companies can’t afford to ignore the video.

As a self-explanatory term, video marketing means including videos in your marketing strategy to promote your brand and products.

From raising awareness to creating interest and from influencing your audience’s decisions to persuading them to purchase, videos are used in every stage of marketing now.

Because people expect to see videos…

The Video Marketing is on the Rise

With Youtube’s becoming mainstream in 2009, video expression was opened to the public. Since then, watching videos is an indispensable part of our lives.

According to Nielsen, U.S. adults are now spending almost 6 hours per day on video, on average. Global numbers are not different either. This is a fairly high number and the situation is not different for global figures either. For example, almost 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every single day.

Cisco predicts online video will account for 72% of all internet use by 2019. The financial commitment to supporting branded content is predicted to double by 2019 as well, and budgets for mobile video ads will increase by 70%.

This is why more businesses include videos in their marketing strategies. According to Hubspot, 81% of businesses use video as a marketing tool.

 Why is video so popular?

Thanks to increasing use of mobile devices, we don’t use our laptops and PCs for a simple web search anymore. Because mobile devices are so handy, we pick them up to get the information we look for. And reading on a mobile device doesn’t always mean a practical experience. We almost always need to increase the font size, but this may not be possible without spoiling text justification.

On the other hand, watching videos is always easy on any channel or device. Videos fit any device ranging from computers to mobile devices. This expands their reach and makes them more user-friendly and consumer-focused. So, your content always performs well on any device and you don’t lose traffic.

Besides videos do what text doesn't. Not only they simplify getting information but also contribute to user interaction. This is why people love sharing videos.

Hubspot suggests that, if you create video content that your specific audience enjoys, 83% of consumers would consider sharing it with their friends. According to Promo, 85% of the most shared Facebook posts in 2017 were videos and videos get 6 times more often than static images and 3 times more often than GIFs.

 How can video marketing help you?

Video marketing can help you in many different ways. By using the power of videos, you can raise brand awareness, position yourself as a thought leader, increase your website’s traffic, engage with your audience,

Build brand awareness

Video marketing offers a great way to tell your story. Even if you own a startup or a middle-size business, video marketing can provide you with tremendous opportunities to get your name heard. We know hundreds of people who became an overnight celebrity with the help of a video they posted on YouTube. Even if you don’t aim for such popularity, videos can help you to build brand awareness.

Showcase your thought leadership

Sharing valuable content on a subject which you have an expertise, not only helps you reach more people but also position yourself as a thought leader in your area. Videos would serve better by making it easier to understand your message. To showcase your expertise, create videos that include answers to frequently asked questions of your audience. You can also cover industry updates and the latest developments in your field. To do this, you can use explainer videos, video tutorials, and testimonials. 

Increase social engagement

People love watching videos. This is why videos have the highest engagement rate when compared to other content types. By sharing high-quality videos on social media, you can increase your social engagement. Attracting more people means more subscribers and followers which can be transformed into customers over time. As social videos will continue to evolve, including videos in your marketing efforts will be a good choice to reach more people.

Boost promotion

Videos which can be combined with different marketing tools, also increase their influence. By including videos in your marketing mix, you can increase the overall efficiency of your marketing efforts. For example, by integrating a video into your landing page, you can increase the time that visitors spend on your page. Including videos in your email marketing campaigns also increases open rates of your emails.

 Increase organic traffic

Videos increase organic traffic. This is why more companies see videos as crucial components of their marketing plans. Even though YouTube is the dominant video platform, Facebook, Instagram, and even LinkedIn promote video use. By adding to your website, landing page, social media posts you can increase organic traffic they get. This also improves your company’s SEO results which means your pages appear higher in search results.

Video Marketing Tips

Build a video content strategy

  • Define who your audience is and what kind of videos they would like to see.
  • Decide what kind of videos you will use to tell your brand story: entertaining, educational or inspiring?
  • Try to list the topics that align with your core values and what you can tell about them to your audience.
  • Once you’ve determined the content of your videos, set up a schedule and share your videos consistently.
  • Analyze the performance of your videos and collect feedback from your audience to make the necessary adjustments in your strategy.

Create valuable video content

  • Try to create high-quality and visually-appealing videos that people would enjoy sharing.
  • Think about how your video could appeal to your audience. 
  • When you’re thinking about video ideas, ask yourself whether it is useful, interesting, educational or emotional?
  • Create evergreen videos that answer common questions or solve a problem.
  • Transform your well-performed written content (press coverage, blog posts, etc.) into video format.

Get discovered

  •  Use as many social media platforms as possible to share your videos.
  • Each platform has its own consumers, dynamics, and way of engagement.
  • Taking place on more platforms helps you reach a wider audience increases social sharing potential.
  • Don’t ignore SEO principals while creating and releasing your videos. Check out this cool manual to learn more about video SEO.
  • Include trending topics in your videos by using resources like Google Trends and Twitter Trends.

Encourage Interaction

  •  Talk directly to your audience in a way that encourages interaction.
  • Allow your audience to join the dialog by accepting user-generated video content.
  • Create videos that encourage interaction by asking your audience questions.
  • Make your audience feel important by giving them a chance to participate in what you create.
  • Answer your audiences’ comments and questions on time.

Use videos for branding and promotion

  • Use a video overview to give your audience an understanding of what makes your brand unique.
  • Share new features or a brand-new product.
  • Announce special events and advertise special promotions.
  • Give tips related to your product or service and allow your customers to see them in action.
  • Take note of trending events and incorporate them into a seasonal video.

Be consistent

  • Brainstorm ideas to be able to share new videos continuously.
  • Have a plan for what you’ll deliver to your audience after shooting each video
  • Make specific elements of your channel cohesive, like your personality, tone of voice, theme etc.
  • Have a clear video format and a durable idea that will continue to pull attention in future videos.
  • Share videos on a regular schedule like a certain day of each week.

Conclusion
Video has been increasingly popular worldwide and it’s no longer a question whether it is a worthwhile investment. The sooner you include videos in your marketing efforts, the sooner you see their benefits. Video marketing can help you build brand awareness, position yourself as an industry expert, engage with a wider audience, increase visibility and boost the influence of your promotion efforts. You can enjoy these benefits by implementing an effective video marketing strategy and sharing high-quality videos in a consistent way.

 

 

 

Customer Acquisition Tips for Startups: Gaining Customers with Marketing

cut_acq.png

One of the most difficult parts of starting and growing a business is finding customers. Having a great product or service may not be enough to find customers. That is why customer acquisition is the lifeblood of a startup.

In simplest terms, customer acquisition can be defined as gaining new customers. Customer acquisition requires convincing people to buy a product or to pay for a service. By adopting the right customer acquisition strategy, you can gain new customers in a cost-effective way which will contribute to your startup’s growth.

Building Your Customer Growth Strategy

A thoughtful customer acquisition strategy gives you a direction and allows you to measure your progress. While building your strategy, make sure that you;

  • analyze your potential customers according to their needs, interests, and intents,
  • define your value proposition, the reason people prefer you, not your competitors,
  • make tests to find the right channel that will work best for you,
  • estimate the cost of customer acquisition and find the less-costly method,
  • study your successful competitors to get tactics
  • work on your personal network to get more feedback about your business and products.

Customer Acquisition with Marketing

In the acquisition phase, you need to ensure that your potential customers know about your startup and solutions. Thus, they will include you in their buying decision process. To manage this, establish your startup on the right channels that your audience mostly prefers. Marketing can help you convey your message across multiple channels in a way that grows your customer base. Below is a list of marketing tips you can apply for increasing your customer acquisition rates.

Leverage Your Website

Your website will be the first point of contact for your potential customers. When you consider the importance of the first impression, welcoming your audience with a well-designed and content-rich website can increase your chances of customer acquisition.  

  • Keep your website up-to-date with valuable content that answers your customers’ questions.
  • Use the power of SEO which is among the most effective unpaid marketing methods.
  • Provide enhanced user experience to prevent high bounce rates.
  • Include interactive content to increase engagement rates.
  • Generate leads by offering free resources like whitepapers, e-books, data sheets etc.

Start a Blog

Having a blog can help you to inform your potential customers about what you offer. Providing quality content that fits your audience’s interests, increases your online visibility and drives traffic to your website. Consistent quality content transforms visitors into leads and leads into customers. To accomplish this with your blog;

  • Know your audience and try to understand their needs.
  • Consider what they would want to know about your products, solutions, industry etc. and provide them with this information.
  • Be customer-oriented and try to answer their potential questions instead of promoting your services.
  • Update your blog regularly and post new content often.
  • Position your startup as an industry expert and provide your audience with valuable content.

Make a Difference with High-Quality Content

According to Marketo, 81% of shoppers research online before setting foot in a store and consumers spend an average of 79 days conducting online research before buying. This means your potential customers will look for information to give the right decision. And the quality of your content will have a direct influence on their purchasing decision. With content marketing, you can convince your audience that your products are worth trying.

  • Know your audience well and target the channels according to their interests and habits.
  • Share valuable information that can create a difference in their lives.
  • Provide them with evergreen, informative content like a white paper, survey report or e-book instead of a sales pitch.
  • Publish new content regularly on different channels to increase engagement.
  • Use the right SEO tactics to increase the visibility of your content.
  • Know everything about your industry and share what you know in a generous way.

Be Always Present on Social Networks

When used strategically, social media can be an effective customer acquisition channel. Getting more followers on social media profiles helps you introduce your solutions to a broader audience. Users are likely to purchase something from a brand they follow on social media. By engaging with your audience in a friendly and helpful manner, you can develop strong relationships on social media. This helps you build trust which increases your chances to convince them to buy your product.

  • You don’t have to be on every social platform. Find where your potential customers hang out and focus on these platforms.
  • Be ever present on your social networks and answer messages on time in a way that provides value.
  • Find the influencers your audience follows and reach out to them with something they can be interested in.
  • Develop exclusive content for social followers, based on what your analytics data tells you.
  • Try to get known as a helpful friend instead of someone who is trying to sell something.
  • While measuring your efforts focus on engagement rate instead of follower numbers.

Directly Reach Your Audience with Email Marketing

As a targeted, cost-effective and measurable method, email marketing helps you directly reach out to your potential customers. You can customize your messaging according to the interests of your audience by targeting and segmenting your emails. Since many popular email marketing services offer freemium packages, email marketing doesn’t require large budgets. These services provide in-depth reports and performance tracking features. So, you can measure your efforts easily and accurately.

  • Build email segments according to your audience’s interests and customize your campaigns accordingly.  
  • Use a personal tone to increase engagement. E.g. personalize subject line with first names.
  • Include relevant and valuable information in your messaging.
  • Don’t forget to add the call to actions like asking your audience to visit a website, register for an event, download a document etc.
  • Measure your performance and take actions to decrease bounce rates and increase readability.

Use PR to Get Press Coverage

When compared with paid methods, public relations (PR) is among the most cost-effective ways to promote your startup. PR uses publicity and nonpaid forms of promotion to positively influence people about your company, products or solutions. By getting your startup covered by the media, PR helps you to increase your visibility, raise awareness and build trust. This contributes to reaching more people and acquiring new customers.

  • List media outlets and journalists to find the right ones that directly fit your needs and target them.
  • Attend networking events where you can meet journalists and press members.
  • Use the power of interpersonal relations to contact journalists you target.
  • Create valuable content that is exceptional enough to pull journalists’ attention.
  • Set up an online press center that includes valuable resources for the press; like press releases, media kits, previous media coverage etc.

Grab Customer Attention with Sales Promotion

Sales promotion is a good way to persuade customers to try a new product or solution. It includes free trials, discounts, bundles, additional content etc.  To pull your audience’s attention, your promotions need to provide real value for them. In other words, you need to offer a legitimate reason for them to consider buying your product or solution.

  • Determine what you would like to accomplish with your sales promotion and set goals to accurately measure your efforts.
  • Try to find out what kind of offers your potential customers will find most interesting.
  • While designing your promotional message, create a sense of urgency and limited availability.
  • Consider your audience’s channel preferences and design your campaigns accordingly.
  • While measuring the results of your promotional efforts focus on conversion rate.

Use the Power of Feedback

Feedback can help you in two ways: First, you can use it to see how things go with your product. In other words, it points to the areas that need improvement. Second, you can use feedback as a referral especially when it includes positive reviews. Both ways contribute to your customer acquisition strategy by allowing you to provide solutions that better answer your audience’s needs and convincing them that your product is worth trying.  

  • Ask your users how their initial experience with your product or service goes.
  • Never ignore your audience’s reviews, figure out what you can improve your product.
  • Offer easy-to-use feedback channels to increase their response rates.
  • Encourage customer referrals by rewarding them with discounts, additional services etc.
  • In your referrals, try to show how your product improves your audience’s life.

As a startup, customer acquisition plays a crucial role in your success. To gain new customers, you need to introduce your products and solutions in a way that convinces your audience to buy them. This requires an effective customer acquisition strategy. By supporting your strategy with different marketing tools, you can convey your message to your audience in a way that increases their likelihood of buying your products and services.

 

 

App Store Optimization Tips for Startups (iOS)

asotips_image.jpg

As a startup, your main product can be a mobile app. Or your product or solution can have a mobile version. Whatever the case may be, you will need to market your app, most probably on a tight marketing budget. Considering the tools, you may use, App Store Optimization arrives as an effective solution among unpaid mobile marketing methods.

What is ASO?

App Store Optimization (ASO) is the process of optimizing a mobile app to increase its ranking in app store search results. ASO aims to increase the download numbers of an app by increasing its visibility and traffic.

Why is ASO important?

According to Forrester, 63% of apps are discovered through app store searches. This means that your potential customers will probably find your app via a search in the app store. However, being findable among hundreds of other apps may not be very easy. According to Statista’s survey, one of the biggest challenges of app marketing is about app discovery. 50 % of app marketers believe that today app discovery is harder than ever before. This points to the importance of app store optimization.

Benefits of ASO

App Store Optimization;

  • maximizes app visibility
  • reduces the cost of attracting new users
  • does not require a large budget
  • generates more downloads
  • reaches the right users who are most likely to download your app
  • offsets the costs associated with paid campaigns
  • helps to enhance customer engagement and to build long-term relationships with them.

Tips for Improving Your ASO

Keywords, app name, app description, visual design, number of downloads, ratings, and number of reviews are among the main factors that influence an app’s search ranking. Below tips regarding these factors may help you to improve your ASO efforts and have better results.

Keywords

  • Use different keyword tools to check the usability of keywords (i.e. Übersuggest, One Look Reverse Dictionary)
  • While choosing keywords don’t ignore the relevance for the sake of popularity
  • Check user reviews for similar apps to get keyword ideas
  • Put yourself in your audience’s shoes and find the keywords they use while searching an app
  • Start with less difficult and less popular keywords at the beginning
  • As your app gains awareness target more popular and difficult keywords
  • Use long-tail keywords to provide more specific search results (i.e. Instead of using “language practice,” you can use “Spanish practice”)
  • Check the current ranking of your keywords and make continuous updates to improve the result

App Name

  • Find a creative and easy-to-remember name for your app
  • The name should tell your potential users what your app is about
  • Include the most important keywords in your app’s name
  • Consider 30-character limit and use the right keywords in a way that does not look spammy
  • Since your app’s name will be the URL of your app’s page, do not use special characters in it
  • Include important keywords in your subtitle as well which allows 30 characters

Description

  • Explain what your app is about in a way that pulls your audience’s attention
  • Include social media links, and important mentions to increase the potential for downloads
  • Try to write short descriptions
  • Tell users the benefits they will get from your app
  • Include a call to action that would convince users to download your app
  • Add various keywords in the app store keyword field to be found easily
  • While adding your keywords to this field do not exceed 100 characters and do not include your company or app name

Visual Design

  • Create a persuasive app store page
  • Use a simple, eye-catching and easy-to-remember app icon
  • While designing your icon, consider different sizes for different iOS devices
  • Create an icon that reminds your app’s or brand’s function
  • Use qualified screenshots with short caption texts
  • Show different aspects of your app in action by using different screenshots
  • You may include a video that demonstrates the use of your app

Number of Downloads

  • The more your app is downloaded the better search results it will get
  • Include backlinks to the relevant pages
  • Prepare a landing page that includes the link to your app’s App Store page
  • Target different media and app review sites to promote your app
  • Use various marketing tools to promote your app (social media, email marketing, content marketing)
  • Continuously monitor your download numbers to measure your app’s performance

Ratings and Number of Reviews

  • Ask for organic reviews from real people
  • Identify your most engaged users and ask for feedback
  • Use social media to ask for reviews
  • Find the right time to ask for feedback especially when the users are enjoying your app (i.e. when they level up or unlock new features etc.)
  • Use an app review plugin to get reviews from your app users
  • Use Apple’s rating prompt to encourage users to rate your app
  • Test different versions of your rating prompt by applying A/B tests to see if it really works
  • Design a very simple review procedure that is not time-consuming
  • Mention clearly where and how to write a review
  • Provide immediate and adequate support when customer issues arrive to avoid negative reviews 

Conclusion

ASO is a long-term process that requires being aware of the latest trends and acting accordingly. You need to know that there is always something to improve in your ASO efforts. To make better decisions, continuously measure the results of your efforts and use analytics tools to monitor the visibility of your app. Always keep up to date with ASO best practices. Because ASO rules changes in time and a single change can transform the ranking of your app. You need to keep monitoring the trends and adapt to any change quickly. As your ASO efforts improve, you will enjoy higher visibility and download numbers.

 

 

 

Storytelling Tips for Startups 

Storytelling Tips for Startups.jpg

Storytelling is one of the most powerful tools in today’s marketing landscape. Although its history goes back hundreds of years, developments in technology and increasing number of communication channels, make it popular again.

What is Storytelling?

With a business perspective, storytelling can be defined as sharing business stories with your target audience to engage with them. By using business storytelling, you can tell the purpose of your startup, who is behind it, what it stands for and what it has achieved etc.

Benefits for Startups

A startup means a brand-new story.  As a startup, you are at the very beginning of your journey. So, it is the right time to build your story. Having a storytelling strategy helps you not only to introduce yourself correctly but also to make a good start in building a strong brand identity.

With storytelling, you can connect your startup with different stakeholders including clients, prospects, partners, potential partners, investors etc. Storytelling also helps you to;

   -Attract a large audience

   -Connect with people on an emotional level

   -Have an advantage over your competitors

   -Build trust

   -Increase customer loyalty

Storytelling Tips

To succeed in storytelling, you need to focus on each element of your story. A good story fits the audience, speaks their language in a way that is touching and inspiring. It also offers some emotional details that allow readers to engage with. By following the tips below, you can make the best of storytelling as startup marketing tool.

Consider your audience

Without knowing who exactly your audience is, you cannot catch the right tone to tell your story. First of all, you need to understand the demographics (such as gender, age, interests etc.) of the specific audience you are targeting. This will allow you to speak their language and build your story with the messages they can engage with.

Include personal elements

Good stories give the audience something they can relate to. That is why, putting something personal, like an experience from your own life, your feelings etc. will make your story come alive. In other words, by adopting a personal tone, you can make your story touching and inspiring. Personality gives a flavor to your story, makes it appealing to others and differentiates it from dull marketing content.

Don’t ignore sensual details

While you are sharing a story, do it in a way that lets your audience envision the details. You need to get your audience to have a similar feeling like yours. In other words, tell a story which helps people see, hear, taste, smell, and feel your message. By providing details that help your audience easily empathize with, you can connect with them on an emotional level. This allows you to persuade your audience through your story in a way that builds trust and loyalty.

 Use a story structure

People tell stories for ages. Even topics and methods vary today, some basic points never change. Basic story structure includes the following stages: ‘setup’, ‘conflict’ and ‘resolution.’ The same structure can be applied to startup storytelling in different forms like blog posts, emails, case studies and pitch decks. While ‘setup’ can be used for introduction; ‘conflict’ can define the pain points and needs of customers and finally ‘resolution’ introduces the solution which can be a product, service or new approach.

 Use the right format

Today, the number of communication channels we have is higher than ever.  And each channel allows us to tell our stories in different formats; including text, photograph, video, podcast and so on. These formats have a huge impact on storytelling: they determine how we tell our stories. That is why, choosing the right format is an important decision to make in startup storytelling. While choosing the format, consider; the overall goal of your story, the message you want to give, the preferences of your audience, the channel(s) you are planning to use, and decide accordingly. Of course, you can use different channels and formats simultaneously; but you will need to adopt an integrated approach. Thus, each channel and format will work together in harmony to give a consistent message regarding your story.

Conclusion

As a startup, you are at the very beginning of your journey and it is the best time to start building your story. When crafted strategically, storytelling helps you to tell your audience; who you are, what you do, what you know about their pain points and what you offer as a solution. By combining story elements with personal details, you can produce a feeling of familiarity and trust which result in stronger connection with your audience.

 

Basic PR Tips for Startups

PR Tips for Startups.jpg

Public Relations (PR) is not among the favorite marketing tools of startups. Actually, many startups view it as an expensive method with unclear results. That is why, they neglect this unnecessary expenditure.

However, unlike traditional PR, today’s digital PR; has hundreds of analytics tools, can track user activity from a media placement to a website visit and enables accurate measurement of PR efforts. So, startups can better evaluate their results to make better decisions.

PR can provide unexpected benefits for startups in addition to act as an effective communication method. The right PR can help startups build user bases, increase sales potential and attract interest from venture capitalists etc.

What is PR?

PR is the acronym for public relations and is defined as; “a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics” by The Public Relations Society of America. As a form of marketing, public relations uses publicity and nonpaid forms of promotion to positively influence people about a company, its products and services.

How can PR help startups?

PR can help startups build trust, create brand awareness, improve SEO results by increasing online visibility and contributes to sales by making it easier to reach out prospect customers.

Raising awareness

· Being covered on the media means reaching out more people.

· The more people talk about your company and products, the more you will be on the media again.

· This will create a snowball effect: more people-more media coverage opportunities vice versa.

· So, you will raise awareness of your startup, product or service.

Building trust

 PR;

· helps you get press coverage which is seen more trustworthy than paid content.

· increases your chances to be reviewed by a journalist.

· helps you position yourself as a thought leader.

· establishes credibility for the reader.

· helps brands gain and keep customer trust.

 Increasing Online Visibility

· Qualified PR content means higher organic search results.

· According to Search Engine Watch, up to 64% of all website hits come from organic search.

· When you get covered by a big site, you can get a ton of exposure.

· With qualified PR content including online press releases and articles, you can increase the traffic of your website.

· Your online visibility raises accordingly.

· This will increase your chance to be seen by more people.

Increasing Sales Opportunities

· Increasing sales potential is a natural result of qualified PR efforts.

· The more coverage you get on the media, the more your awareness raises.

· When your awareness raises, you can reach more people.

· This increases your chances to convince them that your product is worth trying.

Basic PR Tips for Startups

Don’t ignore content quality

· Have a short, well-thought and to the point piece of content.

· Include attention-grabbing elements in your content.

· Don’t send copy-paste content that would never pull a journalist’s attention.

· Don’t limit yourself with traditional press releases, use different types of content like infographics, videos, etc.

· Prepare media kits that include useful elements like company profile, product description and related photos and videos.

 Speak the same language with journalists

· Identify your target media outlets and journalists.

· Use the power of social media not only to reach your target audience but also to reach the journalists.

· Consider your audience’s preferences while deciding on the media channels you will use.

· Know what is newsworthy and make your story exclusive to each journalist.

· Consider timing when sharing content with a journalist.

As a powerful marketing tool, PR can provide various benefits for startups and early-stage companies. With the right tactics, PR not only helps startups raise awareness, build trust and increase online visibility but also contributes to their growth by increasing sales opportunities.