Video Blogging Strategy: Our Simple 5-Step Workflow

Summary

Have you ever invested time writing those 1200-word blog articles, but found they're not really gaining the momentum and visibility that you had hoped for? The problem, of course, is that the article today only solves for one of many content consumption preferences. You also have to consider video, audio, and imagery.

For example: What if the article you wrote would deliver so much value to a certain visitor, but they're about to embark on that long commute home from work. They can't possibly read and drive at the same time (at least not safely, anyway!).

We recently found that video blogging solves for most, if not all, of these many different content consumption preferences. We've been asked a lot lately about how we do it, and people are amazed when we not only explain how simple it is, but also how little time it actually takes each week.

Here's our simple 5-step workflow for video blogging success:  

1. Draft summary. This summary, essentially, becomes your article. It’s a 400 to 800-word version of your talking points that you’ll deliver on video. It includes an intro, some teaching points, and a conclusion. Pretty straight-forward, right? Once you realize the summary, which becomes your article, is solving for just one form of content consumption, you’ll feel a little less pressured to write that “picture perfect” blog entry.

2. Create quote images.  After the summary is drafted, I like to review it for interesting quotes or questions I can pull and use as imagery. We like using Canva to create these eye-catching quote graphics within minutes. Rather than embedding a silly stock photo in the post, displaying authentic quote images can significantly increase the share factor of the blog post itself. As an added bonus, these quote images give me the excuse to participate on Instagram, which my nieces tell me is pretty darn cool.

3. Record, edit & upload video. Now that the summary is done and the quote cards have been created, it’s time to turn the camera on. This is the scariest part of the workflow, but it doesn’t have to be. You could do a face-to-camera video, or a narrated PowerPoint presentation. Do whatever’s comfortable for you (and still engaging for the visitor), as long as you have a video to show for it when you’re done. Once the video is recorded, it gets edited slightly (beginning and end are cut). We use Screenflow, but you can just as easily use a free software that comes pre-loaded on your computer, such as iMovie for example. The video is then uploaded to our YouTube channel so it can later be embedded within our blog post.

4. Export, edit & upload audio. Once the video is recorded, export the audio. Again, we use Screenflow to export the audio. If you’d like, you can add what’s called a “bumper” to the beginning or the end of the audio file. In other words, this is that introduction, as well as that call-to-action, you often hear when listening to your favorite podcasts. Once the audio file is ready, it’s uploaded to Libsyn, which is what we use to host our podcasts. We like Libsyn because in addition to streaming our podcast directly into iTunes, it includes a handful of other helpful integrations for automatically publishing to sites like Tumblr, for example. Once uploaded to Libsyn, the audio can later be embedded on our blog as well.

5. Schedule blog post & social mentions. Now that the article, quote cards, video, and audio are ready to go, it’s time to schedule the blog post and social mentions across all of our social media channels. Scheduling a blog post is pretty self-explanatory, as any platform these days will enable you to schedule your post to go live on a future date. For social media mentions, we use Hootsuite because of their simple dashboard and the ability for us to schedule our posts in bulk.

Watch the video above for the full lesson, and always remember when it comes to your blogging efforts, try to solve for as many content consumption preferences as possible to ensure the content you publish breaks through the “digital noise barrier”.

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How to Choose Your Website Platform: 5 Big Considerations

Summary

Have you ever investigated website platforms and gotten completely lost along the way? Or maybe you chose a platform, built your website, and now you aren’t so sure? 

I recently went through this process myself and found that it was helpful to discover what was important to me based on my experiences and current competencies first, before opening up my web browser and diving into the weeds. 

And in sharing my five big considerations, I want to challenge you to think through these considerations and how they might apply, but also discover what considerations, requirements and features are relevant for you. 

Through this discovery, we can all make more informed, confident decisions that’ll have a better chance of lasting for years to come:  

1. Theme options. What theme options or design templates are available from this website platform? Does the overall style and structure align with your company or brand? You’ll need to use your imagination here, as most themes allow you to manipulate subjective elements like colors, fonts, etc. Typically after browsing a theme “demo” for 10 seconds, your instincts should tell you whether or not it’s a potential fit. 

2. Blog features. What types of blog features are available on this website platform? Will you be able to easily duplicate your posts for a more streamlined workflow? Does this platform integrate all relevant social media sharing tools and buttons within the blog? Based on your blogging experience and intentions moving into the future, you’ll want to ensure that the blog features will support your content marketing efforts.  

3. Customer support. Does this website platform offer appropriate levels of customer support? Do they offer live chat, or do they offer a quick turnaround-time on all email support tickets? If your website goes down, or if you have a question about how to use the platform, you’ll want peace of mind knowing that there’s a capable team in place to help you resolve issues and answer questions. 

4. Price point. Is this website platform affordable for you, both now and for years to come? Is there a monthly fee, or are there savings if you choose an annual plan? And if you choose an annual plan and decide to cancel along the way, will they do the right thing and issue a refund for the unused time? On the pricing page, be sure to check the differences for the annual and monthly plans. Most website platforms display the annual plan by default, which includes the savings, so be sure you understand the difference. 

5. SEO capabilities. Does the website platform allow you to input meta data so that you can customize page titles, descriptions, and keywords? Would you have full control over the permalink or URL structure for each page? Depending on your experience with SEO, this may or may not be relevant to you. However, while SEO may not be on your radar screen today, it’s nice to know that you’ll have full control over these SEO features should the time come for you to work on increasing your website’s visibility. 

Watch the video above for the full lesson, and remember to discover what features and requirements are important to you before you go diving into the weeds in search of that perfect website platform.

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3 Ways Your Target Market Can Help You Make Smarter Online Marketing Decisions

Summary

Why do we find ourselves struggling with our online marketing decisions?

Some days, we’re confident in the website, lead generation, and promotional decisions we make, and other days we become paralyzed with uncertainty. 

We recently discovered that revisiting our target market more frequently has helped us to make better, more informed decisions. Here’s how: 

1. Website-related decisions. What type of website structure will help our target market easily navigate and find the information that’s relevant to them? What should our website copy include to spark the interest of our target market? What relevant products and services should we showcase on our website to ensure our target market understands that we’re the right fit? 

2. Lead generation decisions. What type of offer or resource do we need to deliver on our website that’s relevant to our target market? Are we using the right language within our email marketing sequences to ensure our message is delivered effectively? If they’re ready to speak with us, what’s their preferred method to get in touch? Are we accommodating their wishes if they’d prefer to call us, fill out a consultation form or send us an email directly using their own email client? 

3. Traffic & promotional decisions. Are the topics we’re covering in our blog posts relevant to our target market? Do the social media platforms we’re participating on, and the content we’re sharing, make sense for our target market? Are the advertising channels we use to promote our business conducive to where our target market can be found online? Do the keywords or audience segments we’re targeting make sense? Will our ad copy capture the attention of our target market? 

And if you haven’t done so recently, here’s a simple framework we like to use for gaining clarity into our target market:

1. Demographic. Who are they? For B2B companies we typically recommend considering characteristics like job title, industry, revenues, and number of employees. For B2C companies, we recommend considering age group, gender, income, education level, and profession.  

2. Geographic. Where are they?  

3. Psychographic. How are they? What do they need? Do they have certain attitudes or values? What are they struggling with? Do they live a certain lifestyle?

Watch the video above for the full lesson and remember to revisit your target market more often to help guide your website, lead generation, and promotional decisions.

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Why Your Online Advertising Results Are Below Par

Summary

Why do we run ads online but fail to see the results we know we can achieve? We see all these advertising gurus knocking it out of the park with their strategies, but sometimes when we launch our campaigns, we fail. 

Rather than let this experience sideline us, let’s review three things that might enable us to produce above-average results:

1. Offer. Have you created a relevant offer (or resource) that delivers value to your audience? Do you have a landing page that captures the visitor’s information before delivering the offer? I can’t tell you how many times we’ve seen paid ads that link traffic to a home page. This doesn’t work. Be sure your paid advertising efforts are directing people to a landing page, where a relevant value-based offer is found. 

2. Audience. Who is your offer for? Are you targeting the right audiences across each of your advertising channels? For example, if you’re advertising on Google, your keywords may be too broad, too specific, or they have the wrong intent all together. If you’re advertising on Facebook, you may be targeting the wrong age, demographics, interests, or behaviors. No matter what channels you’re using, plan your audiences well, set up multiple segments, and track your results so you can improve over time. 

3. Email sequences. Have you ever converted leads but failed to make any sales? If so, your email sequences could use a little help. Be sure the content within your emails is relevant and continuing to deliver value to your recipients. The mistake most of us make is that once we convert a lead, we assume they’re interested in us, our company, or our brand. The truth is they're more interested in the information in the offer we delivered, not us. Not yet, anyways. Let's remember to carry the value through our email marketing efforts to continue building rapport and trust.

Watch the video above for the full lesson and remember to review your offer, audience, and email sequences to improve your online advertising efforts.

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5 Ways to Enhance Your Email Marketing

Summary

What little changes can we make to our email marketing efforts to generate more positive results? 

Rather than look to fancy features for answers, let's take a moment to reduce the complexity of our emails and get back to the basics. 

Use these five simple tips to enhance your email marketing efforts:

One recipient. No, we're not talking about distributing emails one-by-one to your database. This is that personalization factor you're always hearing about. Are you addressing the recipient by their first name in the subject line or at the beginning of the email? We’re amazed at how many folks still use “hi, everyone” or “good morning all” at the beginning of their email. Be sure to use first names to make it seem more personal and less like those mass emails from your annoying relative.

One subject line. Have you ever wondered if you should “split test” your subject lines? Can you imagine how much time and effort it would take to track all that data across dozens of campaigns? Here’s our take: If the content you’re sending is delivering value, you shouldn’t have to come up with multiple subject lines for every email you send. Choose to deliver value over “tricking” your recipients with a catchy subject line; your open rates will naturally increase over time.  

One image. If you’re like me, I’ve chosen to disable images within emails on all devices. In other words, images won’t load unless I tell them to. If you’re embedding multiple images to catch the recipient’s eye, you might be doing more harm than good. Try reducing the number of images to one image per email. Then, rely more on the value you’re delivering in the content to capture the recipient’s attention. 

One topic. Gone are the days of newsletters that contain ten different topics. When’s the last time you received an email newsletter and scanned the entire thing top to bottom? We’re all too busy for this type of a format to be effective, and it’ll do nothing but lead to lost subscriptions. Try narrowing your email content to include one singular topic instead. 

One link. More times than not, offering too many options isn’t such a good thing. In the context of email marketing, overwhelm can lead to deletion (or worse, a lost subscriber). Try including one link in your email that directs people to your website, the full version of your blog article, or the download you’ve promised them. I’ll bet your click-through rates will thank you later for it.  

Watch the video above for the full lesson and remember to use the “power of one” to enhance your email marketing efforts.

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