Tag Archive: ROI

  1. Why Video Content is King

    The Importance of Video Content for Small Businesses

    Would you rather read aad explaining how a product works or watch a demo video showing exactly how it’s done? If you’re like most consumersvideo wins. With an overwhelming 72% of us preferring videos to learn about a company’s products and services, having video content is no longer an option for successful small businesses, it’s a must. 

    While moments worth sharing is a must-have, expensive camera equipment isn’t. Apple’s “Shot on iPhone” campaign proves that standout video marketing can come to life via everyday devices. More often than not, viral videos are captured by the lenses most of us carry in our back pocket. So as you work towards better, stronger video content, know that footage shot on a phone or standard digital camera can be equally moving, tear-jerking or empowering for your audience. 

    It’s no surprise that video content engages virtually every consumer like no other mediumThey’re accessible, easy to digest and provide a source of entertainment. And when people come across something share-worthyyour SMB’s (small and medium-size business) video may even find its way to user’s social feedsWhether a video is uplifting, has a comical twistor simply tells your company’s story, nothing captures our attention like videos. 

    Timing is Everything

    When you’re mapping out video strategy, keep timing top of mind. Think frequency and duration. 

    According to Forbes, how often and when you post videos matters. While posting often boosts ROI, regular schedule leads to even higher ROI. Frequency will of course depend on your business’ capabilities, but the best ROI comes from weekly videos. More importantly though, is the when. Aim to publish videos at the same time, whether that’s once each week or once each month. 

    Regarding length of video content, it depends on the platform and the video’s intended message. You’ve likely heard that the average consumer’s attention span is withering with every scroll. While it’s true people usually won’t sit through longer videos, platform plays a part. It’s recommended that small businesses not exceed these maximums: 

    • Facebook – 15 seconds 
    • Twitter – 15 seconds 
    • Instagram – 30 seconds 
    • YouTube – 2 minutes 

    While these times serve as guidelines, you may have a story to tell that begs for more airtimeIf you do find your content deserving of a longer video, make every second count. 

    Is it on Brand?

    Another ever-important piece of your video strategy is theme. Whichever category you choose, your audience’s interests, wants and needs matter most. Themes mentioned by industry experts include: 

     

    How Other Small Businesses Incorporate Video

    Weekly Insights from Eagle Roofing Products 

    Eagle Roofing Products manufactures highquality roofing solutions for both residential and commercial architectureFindsome & Winmore takes the creative and strategic lead in filming and editing Eagle’s video content. Their Tile Tuesday series follows one of the most crucial components of optimal uploads – posting on a schedule so your audience knows exactly what to expect and when. They are quickly approaching 50,000 views. 

    Weekly Insights from Moz 

    Moz is an SEO software company that was founded in 2004. One of the ways they use video content is via a weekly web series called Whiteboard FridaysDuring these talks, the Moz team covers multiple SEO topics, from new software and tactics to step-by-step guides. The company began the series shortly after its founding and now has millions of views. 

    Services and Features with River Pools 

    River Pools online library is over 100 videos strong. With videos offering users tours of different types of swimming pools and their features, the company has fully realized the perfect concept for video content. In the COVID era especially, consumers need more ways to interact with content virtually. River Pools serves as a prime example of video content that educates the consumer on products and services.  

    Incorporating video makes content more sharable, improves conversion rates and even helps to establish trust and credibility. With every reel, consumers become more confident in their purchase decisions and your small business video sets the stage for understanding, brand awareness and growth. 

  2. Marketing: Not Everything That Counts Can Be Counted

    Do you measure the marketing ROI of having a presentable office lobby? Do you count how many leads you captured from spending an hour of your time with a community connector who invited you to have a cup of coffee? Of course you don’t. You can’t.

    Right vs. ROI

    You do these things not because they generate short-term financial gains, but because you know instinctively that they will pay unseen future dividends. And they’re the right thing to do. I think Albert Einstein put it best when he said that “not everything that counts can be counted.”

     

    So why do marketers insist on demanding an immediate return on a blog post or Facebook spend? Or on a Google Adwords campaign?  Or use a lack of same-day purchase metrics as an excuse to abandon social media efforts? As a reminder, human beings don’t make purchases in lock-step fashion like zombies, they form relationships with brands over time.

    As an example, let me explain how this plays out in our agency. Over the past several weeks, we have brought on a number of new clients. Many of these client “wins” have come to fruition through a variety of means. When I stop to look back and think about how they came to a point where they signed an agreement with us, each client took a slightly different path. Here are a couple of examples:

    • A device manufacturer first learned of our firm over five years ago through a friend of a friend who struck up a relationship, had lunch a few times, and ultimately found a way to work together.
    • A commercial developer was referred to us through a colleague of the firm who had never worked with us directly but got to know the firm through some joint volunteer work through a chamber of commerce over nearly a decade.
    • A professional services firm engaged us in an interesting piece of work after getting to know our team through joint service in a civic organization.
    • A construction firm signed on with us after reading a piece of material we had written and distributing it to his colleagues.  We first connected on Facebook.

    Connecting The Dots in Reverse

    I wish I was smart enough to be able to go back in time and know how all of these activities that we undertook (months and years ago) were going to add up to sales in October of 2014, but I’m not.  There’s no crystal ball–not then and not now.  All I can tell you for sure is that all of these prospects took different paths and lengths of time to become our customers, being gently impacted by our marketing efforts along the way.  Steve Jobs said it best when he explained in his now-famous commencement address that “you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.”

     

    I can tell you, however, that there were several common threads in these transactions:

    • They became aware of our firm in some way
    • They used our website to perform initial research on our firm and compare us to other agencies
    • They visited our office to meet us and see our facility
    • They received marketing collateral from us and distributed it internally
    • They were given (and presumably read) thought leadership material that we had published in print and online
    • They took their time before writing us a check

    Our business and your business are being evaluated all of the time by the marketplace.  Each customer take his or her own course to get to the point where the check is signed, but they encounter your marketing materials (investments you have made) all along the way. As they move from stranger to check-writer, they are exposed to:

    • your website
    • your blog posts
    • your social media updates
    • your business card
    • your printed collateral
    • your logo

    Having all of these things in order is the right thing to do. You can’t isolate any one of these activities and determine the individual dividends it pays. It’s just like you can’t measure the potential value of an event you choose to attend or a sales inquiry you make with a prospect.

    Does all of this mean that you should not measure the performance of your marketing activities? Of course not. It just means that you should look at the intangibles that won’t show up in the metrics on your spreadsheet.

    I will never be able to calculate the return on investment (ROI) of the marketing materials we produce. Or tell you what would have happened if we never invested in a content marketing strategy that includes blog posts, books, and white papers. I can just tell you that it works and you should do it.

    The reason this is so important is because too many marketers are searching for measurable returns on digital marketing activities that they will never be able to demonstrate. In some cases, they end up not doing the right thing because the short term return can’t be immediately seen.

    Whether it’s offline or online, where you choose to spend your marketing dollars should be a matter of art as well as science. Measure, certainly, but don’t let measurement keep you from doing the right thing. I would encourage you to follow Jobs’ follow-on advice: trust that the dots will somehow connect in the future.

  3. Mobile Advertising: Is it Right for Your Business?

    Have you noticed how display advertisements are appearing on your mobile phone throughout the day? We see mobile ads in mobile apps, web browsers, and on social networking sites. Have you ever clicked on one or wondered about the ROI of mobile advertising? New research is helping us answer these questions.

    A recent piece in the Harvard Business Review (Making Mobile Ads That Work) tells the story of a recent study in which three researchers reviewed a marketing experiment to find the answers. Looking at a sample of 40,000 consumer trials, the team found that mobile advertising can certainly work, but much better in some cases than others.  In short, the researchers concluded that the best situations for using mobile ads are those in which the product (a) is practical and (b) involves a higher level of deliberation by the buyer.  The examples provided include:

    • life insurance policies
    • furniture
    • gym memberships
    • brokerage services

    What is the rationale for this finding?  According to the research, “mobile display ads…cue consumers to revisit facts they already possess.”  If an offering “is relevant to them, people are more likely to have retained–and be motivated to recall–information about it.”  In such cases, the researchers found that mobile ads:

    • increased positive attitude by 4.5%
    • increased purchase intention by 6.7%
    mobile advertising example

    Mobile display ads, like the example shown here, work best for practical products that involve a higher level of consideration.

    In contrast, mobile ads are less effective for:

    • day-to-day essential products that require little deliberation (i.e. deodorant or soap)
    • simple pleasures like a candy bar or bottle of wine
    • high-dollar splurges like a luxury cruise or designer handbag

    So if you are considering whether to employ mobile advertising or not, think about your product/service in the above context.  If your offering is one that is both practical and deliberative, mobile ads are particularly worthy of your consideration.