IGTV: What the Platform is and How You Can Take Advantage of It

IGTV: What is it?

Have you seen the bright orange button at the top right corner of your Instagram app recently? This is the Instagram TV button, a new development from the social media app that allows businesses and brands to post videos to share with their followers and other users. You may be wondering: how does it differ from posting videos on the general Instagram timeline? Instead of making the cut-off video length 60 seconds, the new platform allows users to post videos up to an hour long.

Instagram previously created a separate IGTV app for users to share and view videos, but recently (as of June 2018) the platform combined the two to make viewing these long-form videos more convenient for all users. The app has several similarities to popular video-sharing site Youtube, including the ability for creators to post videos to their own individual channels.

While we doubt this new development will take over the popularity of sharing videos directly to the Instagram feed, it will likely help businesses increase engagement on their video content. Once a video is published to IGTV, viewers can comment on or like videos, as well as share videos with their friends, family, and Instagram followers. With this platform, the techniques of creating engaging video content still stands, but it gives brands a new way to reach current and potential consumers.

How can IGTV benefit a business or brand?

As a video production company, our team truly understands the struggle of only being able to post 60-second long videos to share with our Instagram followers. With IGTV, we can now share our full-length videos with our followers and anyone else searching for videos within the same topic as our content. Similarly, our real estate clients can now send the full-length listing videos we create for them to their followers, and the non-profits we work with can share their organization’s mission via video for thousands of viewers to see.

As a business owner and/or marketer, how well can it help you market a service or product your business offers? In addition to posting long-form video, creators can add a “Swipe Up” option and attach a link, allowing viewers to visit a web page of the creator’s choosing. This option is particularly useful for brands that sell physical products or those wanting to promote a new service or discount.

For now, no paid advertising opportunities are available on IGTV for brands, but Instagram has stated that they plan to offer this possibility within the following months. While IGTV is a new platform, considering the growing popularity of sharing video content on social media platforms, we can expect this development to take off in upcoming months. Want to get started on creating video content to share with viewers through IGTV? Check out some of our previous projects to see how we can help your business deliver important information through video!

Video Marketing Ideas to Help Boost your Business this Fall

Football season is underway, the kids are heading back to school, and the world is gearing up for yet another crazy holiday shopping season. This fall, take advantage of one of our country’s busiest seasons by strategizing your content around popular events and utilizing video to catapult your brand.

 

  • Create excitement for your big announcement.

 

Have a big business change coming up? Want to get the word out about your new product? Why not spread the word using online video! Depending on how relevant your announcement is to consumers, your video could go viral if done in an engaging way. Incorporating trending topics, styles, or yes, even memes, can help you relate your business to potential customers and boost buzz about your business.

 

  • Share your expertise.

 

More and more, brands like Tedx and Blinkist are capitalizing on industry experts and self-help seminars, and it’s working. Consumers are becoming more DIY-driven by seeking out experts’ advice and a multitude of topics. You can join the trend by featuring guests in a video interview. Do you run a non-profit for struggling families? Bring in a licensed Marriage and Family Counselor. Consumers will be interested in the advice you bring them, and your commitment to consistently learning and sharing information about your product or service will impress them.

 

  • Host a Q&A session.

 

Take your FAQ page to the next level. Instead of relying on a dozen written FAQ answers to educate potential consumers, commit to a Q&A video that answers their questions and curiosity. This content will also be much more marketable than a webpage and can help spread the word about your business’ products and/or services. Pinning the Q&A video to your social media profiles, as well as the homepage of your website, will provide easy and convenient answers that consumers are sure to appreciate.

 

  • Celebrate the season.

 

While the holidays are obviously a great time to advertise, the fall season brings more marketing opportunities than just Thanksgiving and Labor Day. Does your service or product somehow relate to kids heading back to school? Or can you use the wildly popular football season to promote your products? Whichever fall event you choose, use video media to relate your business’ mission to the event’s theme. You’ll create a greater connection with your consumers and establish your brand as current and essential. Don’t forget to stay in the moment and incorporate trending hashtags as best you can.

 

  • Send an RSVP.

 

Planning your own fall event? Worried that people won’t bother to open up your invite? Skip the paper and e-vites and opt for a video RSVP instead. The unique medium will catch the consumer’s eye and garner higher levels of engagement — effectively spreading the word about your event even farther. Once your invitees have accepted, continue to utilize video by sharing teaser reels to amp up excitement.

There’s no doubt that video marketing is the way of now, with brands getting more creative every day about how to use this medium to connect and communicate with consumers. When establishing your brand’s video marketing strategy, don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Feeling stuck on your strategy? Reach out to our team at Windward Productions and we’ll be happy to put together ideas that blend storytelling and consumer-driven data to create the plan for your business.

How to Show off Your Brand’s 4th of July Spirit on Social Media

School’s out for the summer, businesses are closed for the holiday, and consumers are catching up on their social media profiles. Each year, 4th of July proves to be a profitable day for brands who choose to put effort into their holiday-themed marketing campaigns. This Independence Day, join other successful businesses and take your brand’s marketing strategy to the next level by incorporating these five 4th of July marketing tips.

  • Research Popular Keywords from Last Year

A great way to know what topics and keywords will perform well this year is to not only research current trends, but also which topics and keywords performed well last year. Twitter’s Advanced Search tool, Unmetric’s Inspire, and Google Adwords are all effective tools that can help you determine which topics to focus on during this year’s Independence Day. While it’s easy to resort to popular keywords used by thousands of other brands, make an effort to get creative and think about how to incorporate your brand’s primary service or message into your holiday-themed keyword(s).

  • Themed Content = Higher Engagement

Taking the last 5-10 years into account, 4th of July-themed posts that receive the highest engagement from users have one thing in common: they creatively play off of their brand’s major service and/or product. By posting a picture of the Statue of Liberty holding an electric guitar, Fender garnered tens of thousands of engagements on a single Facebook post. In a tweet that was liked and retweeted over a quarter of a million times, Bud Light took their brand’s signature product – beer – and created a picture of the American flag using nothing but emojis of beer, fireworks, and American Flag. In a video ad pushed out across all major social media platforms, Dixie’s hilarious video “We, the Salad Men” played off of the beginning of the Constitution’s Preamble and created an engaging, 4th of July video ad that went viral. No matter the size of your brand’s social media following, taking a creative look at how your brand’s service relates to 4th of July can provide increased engagement on all social media platforms.

  • Take Time Constraints into Consideration

Getting a late start on your 4th of July marketing strategy? If you’re planning your strategy a few days out from the holiday, you likely don’t have time to pull together a full-fledged marketing campaign or video series. If you do find yourself short on time, consider thinking smaller with animated gifs and/or specially-designed images. For brands who do allow themselves enough time to plan, however, videos can be the key to building an engaged audience in just a few weeks. The more time you allow yourself to plan your 4th of July marketing strategy, the bigger the goals you can achieve.

  • Free for ‘the Free’

Consumers love receiving deals, discounts, and/or free stuff, especially during national holidays. If your business model allows it, consider promoting special deals or giveaways on your brand’s social media accounts to entice viewers and get them engaged with your business. The giveaway doesn’t have to be big, but showing that you care enough about your customers to make their Independence Day special will speak volumes.

  • Hashtags Still Help

While a seemingly small effort, incorporating holiday-themed hashtags in your brand’s social media posts will increase traffic on your profiles and help your brand rank higher in social media searches. You can determine the effectiveness of certain hashtags by using the keywords you found previously, as well as monitoring other brand’s actions on social media throughout the weeks leading up to July 4th.

Taking these five tips into account can help your brand profit off of this year’s Independence Day celebrations. By using social listening techniques to monitor popular topics on social media, incorporating your brand’s identity by tying it into the holiday, and getting a head start on planning your marketing strategy can help your business fully take advantage of social media activity on Independence Day. For more information on effectively marketing your business throughout the year, take a look at our blog for more tips and tricks. And for questions about using video marketing to propel your business and bring in profits, give us a call today!

6 Resolutions Every Business Owner Should Make for 2018

Who needs healthy and fit? 2018 is the year of being productive and successful! We love New Year’s Resolutions because they remind us to continuously strive to grow and better ourselves and our business. We’ve taken it upon ourselves to create resolutions that you, a business owner, can strive for every day throughout 2018. Make 2018 the most successful year yet with these 6 effective resolutions:

Resolution #1: I will get focused on my goals.

At the end of the daty, ever feel like little to no progress was made toward your goals than when you started the day? We get it. With so many distractions in the world – emails, staffing, purchases, politics, money, etc. – it’s so easy to get off track and spend valuable time worrying about things that may not positively impact your business in the long haul. In 2018, set aside a pocket of time (doesn’t have to be more than 15- 20 minutes) each day/week to focus on taking intentional action that propels your business forward.

Resolution #2: I will commit to social sharing (and stick with it!)

Let’s face it — if your business is not regularly posting on social media, you’re behind. There’s a world of competitors, most of whom are active online, so it’s time to get in the game. And fortunately, it’s never too late. Whether it’s by creating social profiles for your business or improving your current ones, there is always progress to be made for your business’s online presence. Your friends and family know why your business is the best, but it’s time for the world to know it too.

Resolution #3: I will admit that video marketing is key.

Aww… We knew you’d come around! In all seriousness, it’s been proven time and time again that videos draw in consumers in droves. From customer support videos that answer FAQs to intriguing brand videos that help your business appear in the top Google search rankings, there’s truly no reason not to commit to video marketing.

Resolution #4: I will bring in help so I can do my job.

In small business settings, it’s incredibly common for the owner to wear all of the hats in the business. Once your business reaches a certain size, this can rapidly become an impossible feat. In 2018, allow yourself the opportunity to do the actual job you intended to do: run a business. Don’t consider yourself social media savvy? Hire someone part-time to take the reins on your social and video marketing content. Don’t feel like you have enough time to run the in-store operations? Hire an in-store manager so you can go out to network and bring in more business. It can seem impossible to give up the reins (especially to people you don’t know!) but in the long run, it will allow you the time to grow your business.

Resolution #5: I will continuously re-evaluate how I can improve my business.

Set aside time each week and month to look back at past successes and failures. This can help you gain a grasp on the efforts that worked, the ones that didn’t, and the measures you need to take going forward. Whether it’s sitting down with your marketing team to analyze marketing analytics or talking with a manager to brainstorm the best strategies using the sales’ statistics, learning from past failures can help ensure future successes.

Resolution #6: I will set time aside for myself.

No one said the American Dream was an easy one, so it’s important to set aside time for yourself amidst the chaos. It’s tempting to spend all of your waking hours thinking about your business, but some much-needed relaxation and time away can give you a fresh perspective. Hiring help can improve your work-life balance, but if you’re still having trouble committing time away from your business, schedule time throughout the week with friends and loved ones who will encourage you to relax. Remember: investing in your health can be one of the most effective investments of all.

2017 brought a multitude of technological advancements and new business strategies, and there’s no doubt that 2018 will bring even more. To guarantee a successful year for your business, keep these 6 resolutions in mind as you go throughout the year. At Windward Productions, we are more than happy to help take your business’s online marketing to the next level with unparalleled video production services. From our family to yours, happy 2018!

How to Use Videos to Improve Your Brand’s SEO

SEO, SEM, SMO — what do they all mean? For those less familiar with these digital marketing terms: they are techniques used to increase a brand’s online presence.

  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is organic digital marketing using focused keywords and specific content to increase rankings on search engine sites such as Google.  This approach can be especially effective in allowing your content to be easily seen and shared online.
  • SEM (Search Engine Marketing) is paid digital (pay-per-click) advertising on search engine sites, such as AdWords.  This is a useful tool for promoting your content and ranking on the first page of Google.
  • SMO (Social Media Optimization) is the strategy of creating a large following on your social media platforms so that your content is easily shared and promoted by peers and consumers.

With over 2.3M Google searches being conducted by the minute, SEO, SEM, and SMO will improve your business’ online presence and can easily be found by consumers searching for a service or product you provide. If you dream of one day having your business appear on the first page of Google search or engaging high numbers of consumers on social media, continue reading to learn essential techniques for using video to improve your brand’s online presence.

 

  • Have a (SEO) Goal In Mind BEFORE Creating Your Video

 

Too often, brands lose faith in the power of SEO through video because they fail to clearly define their initial SEO goals. It is critical to decide BEFOREHAND what you want to achieve from the video content – generate tags and shares?  Target specific markets and demographics?  Promote brand exposure?  Increase followers and conversions?  If your video is made without an end goal in mind, it will likely fall flat, costing you time, money, and resources, not to mention poor ROI.

Generating social tags and shares along with building followers are two SEO goals to aim for, where utilizing video content is highly effective. We’re all familiar with viral videos– they generate an extremely high level of engagement in a short amount of time. However, now with millions of video content being uploaded every second, it’s becoming more difficult to make a video standout and “go viral”.  In order to help your video stand out from the competition and quickly gain mass followers, keep your consumers in mind. Whether it’s laughter, shock and awe, or pulling at their heartstrings, a good strategy for producing video content is aiming to evoke an emotional response.

While increasing online engagement is important, ultimately every business owner’s objective is conversion. Video has proven to be a highly effective method to turn website visitors into customers. Implementing videos on your website’s landing page and throughout other pages can help keep visitors engaged and persuade them to purchase or inquire about a product or service. Whether it’s a video highlighting a product, explaining the use of it, or introducing your brand, there are a variety of videos your business can embed online to increase online conversions. In addition to embedding, writing rich snippets can convince a consumer to visit your page and watch your video. If you make can make a snippet stand out from the other online videos, you’re that much closer to increasing your SEO and online conversions.

  1. Know How To Properly Optimize Your Content

Keywords, meta descriptions, optimized titles, and backlinks — these are just a few of the ways to tailor your video content for optimal SEO. Begin by choosing a focus keyword that best describes the theme of your video. If you’re a real estate agent and your video highlights the different ways a seller can stage their home to increase buyer interest, your focus keyword could be “staging tips”. Next, make sure this focus keyword can be found in all of the video’s details. Make sure both the video title and description include the words “staging tips”, and add “staging tips” as one of the keywords for the video. In the video description, you can include links that take a viewer back to your site to help promote your online presence and brand.

While these are some of the more basic ways to optimize for search engines, you can take your SEO efforts a step further. To optimize for all of the content in your video, you can include a transcript of your video’s audio within the video description. This can really help further its relevance and increase your search result rankings.

The bottom line is the more (relevant) online video content you have, the more it will help improve your brand’s ranking on the first page of search engine sites, such as Google. For help creating high-quality videos that will improve your brand’s SEO and maximize your reach, give our team at Windward Productions a call today! And to read more tips on using video to promote your brand and increase online traffic, read some of our past blogs here.

How Video Can Maximize Your Brand’s Reach

It’s no secret that video marketing is becoming the most effective use of marketing dollars, but do you know why? Before jumping into this newer form of advertising, read some of the reasons why video has started to play such a huge role in major brands’ marketing strategies, and decide for yourself if it’s the right move for you.

  1. Improve Your SEO

We all know Google loves video. Why? The more video content you have on your website, the more likely your consumers will spend more time on your website. An increase in time spent on your website signals to Google that your website has great content. By just having one video embedded into your site, it is 53 x’s more likely to rank on the first page on Google. Maximize these statistics further by optimizing your video content on Youtube. Always make a point to write detailed titles, descriptions, and keywords for your YouTube videos, and include a link back to your website in the description for maximum optimization.

2. Boost Your Sales

Studies show consumers are over 65% more likely to purchase a product after seeing a video advertisement. By simply having a video about your products or services on the front page of your website, can boost your brand’s sales by over 80%. Considering these two statistics, it seems hard to believe that more brands aren’t taking advantage of video marketing. Even more powerful are marketing videos that help tell a story and connect with the consumer on an emotional level. The most effective form of advertisements touch a consumer’s head, heart, and funny bone.  So if your video can connect emotionally with consumers and make them laugh all while giving legitimate reasons to buy your product, it will help boost your sales and improve your bottom line.

3. 1 Minute of Video Is Worth 1.8 Million Words!

Say more by doing less. Instead of spending hours creating written content that very few people are reading these days, develop short videos that say even more through visuals. Instead of making consumers read through boring how-tos and explainer articles, substituting with video guarantees you will have online content that will engage viewers. Confused as to why video has such an impact? Humans are visual creatures. Studies have proven we already purchase products and services based on the images we see, so it’s no surprise that animated visuals are even more effective.

  1. Increase Your Credibility and Trust

Trust from consumers is the key to building, growing, and maintaining a brand. Any content your brand shares and creates should be aimed at building trust with your consumers. Avoid being a salesman and trying too hard to convince someone to buy into your brand. Provide beneficial, honest information and let them come to you. Videos help create more conversational promotions about products and services, but if they become too promotional, the key message will be missed. When creating video content, avoid the pushy sales pitch and instead, keep them personable and educational.

  1.  Engage Non-Traditional Consumers

Even lazy consumers will make the effort to press the play button and watch a video. By virtually doing all of the work for them, they will be much more likely to engage in your content. Videos also appeal significantly more to mobile users, who are twice as likely to watch a video or video advertisement on mobile than on TV or desktop. While you shouldn’t avoid including words or graphics in your videos, just having a spokesperson verbally explain a product or service along with visuals can convince consumers to purchase.

With each year, video marketing becomes more common (and affordable). Start taking advantage of this powerful medium today and watch your sales, brand credibility, and consumer base grow exponentially. For more tips on using video marketing to boost your business, visit our blog or give us a call today!

4 Drone Shots to Include in Your Next Business Video

There’s no doubt that drones are changing the way we communicate through video. Aerial photography not only adds another dimension to your video, it also adds to a business’ video credibility.  The rising use of drones is making it more affordable and convenient to buy a drone, rent one, or hire an experienced drone cinematographer. While drones can be used in innumerable ways to capture personalized shots of your company, location, or project, these 4 drone shots are essential for any business looking to utilize drone technology. If you are not sure how your company can benefit from a business video that incorporates drone footage, continue reading to learn about 4 drone shots that will improve your business videos!

  1. Group shot

Rather than trying to herd dozens of employees into a group photo, make the photo fit the size of your company! Using a drone to get a group shot of your entire team of employees will not only make for a memorable video clip, but it will provide a different perspective of your company and allow all employees to be seen. Even though drones have become more frequently used, drone shots are still regarded as an impressive filmmaking technique. Utilizing this technique in multiple ways throughout your next video will help impress your potential clients and future job recruits.

  1. “The reveal”

While you may not know it by name, you have undoubtedly seen this shot used in a variety of corporate videos. The drone starts in close on a subject, and quickly zooms out to reveal the nearby surroundings. While zooming out for the reveal is a unique shot to capture, it works in reverse, too! By starting out in a wide shot, you can keep your audience’s attention by not revealing what you’re trying to zoom into until it has already been revealed.

The reveal shot is one of the most popular and widely used drone shots, for good reason, and it is an essential addition to your next business video. It can even be combined with the group shot, either by zooming in to your group of employees or zooming out to reveal your business building/surrounding area. “The reveal” is an effective drone video tactic that will hold your audience’s attention and add even more credibility to your corporate video.

  1. Neighborhood shot

Most popular with real estate companies and companies located nearby famous landmarks and/or beautiful scenery, the neighborhood view is an essential shot to capture to portray the area surrounding your company and show how your business exists within the local community.

The neighborhood shot works well for short social media video clips or as the intro to a longer business video. This type of shot is effective in increasing excitement within a viewer as well as providing insight into your company and the world around it. When capturing this footage, keep power lines and tall buildings in mind as you fly the drone around your neighborhood. With an increase in the public’s use of drones comes an increase in the laws surrounding this technological advancement, so research the local drone laws (or make sure your videographer does) before proceeding with your video.

  1. Handheld footage

As one of the newer advances in drone technology, handheld stabilizers allow cameramen to capture smooth, fluid camera movements while on the ground. Flying drone shots can be essential for wide shots of a group or area, but handheld footage allows for close up shots of your workplace, employees on the job, or cool aspects of your company’s location.

When shooting handheld, remove the drone’s propellers for an easier time maneuvering the device. You’ll still have to focus on making smooth movements, but the stabilizer will allow you to control exactly what the drone captures as you move it around your office space.

These 4 types of shots would have been impossible to capture 5 years ago, so as drone technology evolves, so will the filmmaking techniques surrounding this invention. Yes, techniques will change, however, these 4 essential shots will remain as timeless video clips that allow a viewer to peek inside the world of your company. For more information on how drones are changing our world, read one of our past blog posts here. And for more information on our work as a team of experienced drone videographers, contact us today!