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!

Make a Splash this Summer with these 4 Documentary Storytelling Tips

Documentary films can help propel a cause, business, or nonprofit organization, and their success is proven by the genre’s growing online popularity. Thanks to streaming services like Netflix, movie watchers are becoming more intrigued with this type of filmmaking and spend increasing hours online watching films that follow this style. With video content becoming the primary medium from which consumers gain information, consider these 5 documentary storytelling ideas and tips to help you launch your organization’s story.

  1. Pick the right story and stick with it.

 

Where documentary films often struggle the most is with the overall story idea. Too often, documentary films try to communicate too much information about an organization or cause, instead of focusing on a single story that captures the unique nature of the brand. If you want your film to successfully communicate your brand’s purpose or function, find the story that both interests the target audience and captures your brand’s identity.

One mistake filmmakers often make is choosing to portray the “Day in the Life” of a person, group, or organization, without finding an actual story to tell along the way. “Day in the Life” style films can give a good insight into the heart of an organization, but if the film doesn’t tell a story or portray that day in an interesting way, viewers will quickly become uninterested.

  1. Once you have the idea, define it.

A story is only effective if it’s well organized and defined. Once you find the story you believe is worth telling about your organization, sit down with your team and/or the filmmakers and hammer out the details. What is the story’s log line? This short description of your story should outline the who, what, and why of your story: who is doing the action, what are they doing, and why are they doing it? Once you clearly define these pieces of information, you’ll be one step closer to shooting a documentary video that clearly tells an important story of your organization.

  1. Use the camera to help tell the story.

Once you and your team decide the details of the story, it’s time to choose how you want it to be told. Whether it’s through interviews, sequences, visuals, graphics, narration, music, or a combination, choosing the right elements can help correctly convey your story to your audience. We recommend sitting down with the filmmakers and working together to decide which elements fit best at certain points of the story. Maybe

  1. Do your research.

Before filming begins, make sure everyone in the cast, crew, and anyone behind the scenes is on the same page. Make sure you have guaranteed permits to film in your chosen locations and that all of your cast and crew members are updated on the shooting schedule. Once you have everything in place, you can begin doing research for the film by pre-interviewing your sources, capturing B-roll footage in relevant locations, and gathering information about your story from sources like news articles, TV reports, and photographs, to name a few. This extra information will help you shape your story and give it life.

These four tips should help you and your team prepare for your upcoming documentary film shoot. At Windward Productions, we’re dedicated to telling organization’s stories in unique and compelling ways, and we want to help you do the same. For more information on our documentary filmmaking services, click here. And to contact us for pricing, filmmaking details, or more information, give us a call today!

 

How Non-Profits Can Produce Marketing Videos on a Shoestring Budget

Producing quality videos is rarely cheap, but certain measures can be taken to ensure your non-profit organization spends little but still receives high volumes of online traffic and impressions. If your organization is in need of marketing videos to help propel your cause and inspire potential donors, take a look at these tips for creating non-profit marketing videos with little to no budget.

Keep it Short and Sweet

An effective video doesn’t need to be longer than 5 minutes or more. In a world where attention spans are decreasing, keeping your online video content to a minimum length will help keep donors engaged while still getting your point across. If possible, try to keep your video between 2-3 minutes. If you absolutely need to go over, that’s fine, but keeping your content concise will make your production costs go down while maintaining the attention spans of consumers.

Channel Your Comedic Side

In the case of online video content, comedy rules. A good video channels either the head, the heart, or the funny bone, and in this case, the latter usually wins. While many non-profits stick to the routine of creating moving, emotional films to inspire their viewers, a comedic film from a non-profit will certainly stand out. While this tactic may not work for all nonprofit organizations, specifically those dedicated to helping a very serious cause, you might be surprised how effective it can be for yours.

Spend Time Developing the Story

Every non-profit has a beautiful story to share, so make sure that comes across in your video. Even if your video is low-budget and bare-boned, a solid storyline will ensure your message gets across. Whether you’re telling the story of how your organization came to be or you’re sharing important stories you’ve experienced through your work in the last few weeks, spend the time needed with your team to hammer out the important details and determine the most effective way to tell your story. According to statisticbrain.com, over 300 hours of video is uploaded to Youtube every second. To stand out from the clutter and make your organization shine, tell the story that no one else is telling, the story that is unique to your organization.

Capture the Candid

While planned videos can be very effective, some of the best non-profit videos are coincidental. Much of this involves being at the right place at the right time, but if you make sure a production team is present at one of your non-profits’ events or at your location during the work day, they’ll be able to capture these candid moments that can make marketing videos so special. Even if you are unable to hire a film team to be present, being ready with an iPhone or video camera will help you capture unscripted moments that portray the heart of your organization. Make sure the members of your organization know to keep an eye on these special moments too so they can be ready to help you film.

Learn to Love Live Video

Another way to capture candid content? Utilizing live video services on platforms like Instagram and Facebook. If a solid amount of your donor base follows you on social media, keep them updated by regularly posting stories on your non-profits’ social media profiles or starting live videos. Even if it’s for just a few minutes a day or week, continuously uploading content will show potential and current donors how your organization is encouraging good in the world. Live video and social media stories are two of the cheapest ways to create marketing videos that communicate your non-profits’ story with your audience.

Hiring a production team to create marketing videos for your non-profit organization isn’t always the cheapest, but sometimes, it’s the most effective. For more information about working with a video production team, check out our page to learn how we help local non-profits communicate their individual stories! If you know it isn’t in your budget to hire a crew, however, consider using some of these tips to produce marketing videos on your own and communicate your organization’s mission to potential and current customers. For any questions regarding video marketing in 2018, visit our blog or give us a call today!

Launch Your Spring Transactions With These Real Estate Video Tips

As luxury real estate agents and brokers, one of the most important things you can do for your future listings is invest in the power of real estate video. Statistic after statistic proves the effectiveness of real estate videos in a buyer’s home search. From getting the video produced to sharing the final product with potential buyers, take a look at these 7 tips to help you launch your spring transactions by using real estate videos.

Tip #1: A picture slideshow and a real estate video are not one and the same.

A “moving slideshow” of pictures truly does not have the same effect as a complex video, filled with moving shots and compelling imagery. A picture slideshow can’t portray the interior of a home properly, but an effective real estate video will show the exact layout of a room, it’s true size, and how it connects to the other rooms of the house. If you want potential buyers to grasp what it would be like to live in the home, invest in a proper real estate video and give up those picture slideshows for good.

Tip #2: Focus on the features

Does the house you’re selling have newly upgraded, stainless-steel appliances? Or maybe a stunning, freestanding tub in the master bathroom? Instead of telling the viewer what makes this house unique, show them. Make sure you and the videography team are on the same page about which features you’d like to emphasize. The videographers will then make it a priority to capture stunning shots of those features and work them into the final film. Focusing on certain features gives your video a leg-up to competitors who may share the same generic shots of each house they’re listing.

Tip #3: Spring cleaning counts for vacant homes, too

Nothing looks worse on camera than a messy, cluttered home. This should go without saying, but before filming the video, make sure the home looks as good as it would for an open house (maybe even better). This means no stray belongings, minimal decorations, and absolutely no photos of the current or past homeowners. The furniture should be dusted, the beds made, toilet seats down, and the backyard should be well taken care of. Taking the time to make these changes could drastically impact the number of potential buyers you receive on a listing.

Tip #4: Emphasize both the inside AND the outside

With luxury real estate, odds are, the home is just as incredible on the inside as it is on the outside. While listings videos for median-priced homes often focus on the inside, so much of what makes a home luxurious is the surrounding community. The video should spend almost equal amounts of time showing off the interior of the house, as well as the neighborhood. Never forget that location is key when it comes to marketing luxury real estate properties!

Tip #5: Once the video is ready, share, share, share!

Putting it on your website is not enough to get it out to the world. Share the real estate video on your personal and business Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even LinkedIn pages. You paid to have the video created, and it can’t hurt to share it as much as you can. If your agency has company profiles, make sure the video gets shared with them as well. This will also help your social media profiles look more professional and credible. It’s a win/win!

Tip #6: Spend money & promote the video

Sharing the video with your followers is good, but you’ll miss out on thousands of potential home buyers if you don’t spend a little extra cash. Utilize Facebook and Instagram’s advertising tools to promote the real estate video directly to these consumers. These ad platforms offer the option to promote the posts to users based on location, desired price range, amenities, and more. If your home is located nearby a school and is listed at a moderate price range, you can use these factors to target young families or first time home buyers nearby. Don’t let the high-quality real estate video go to waste – make sure it gets the views it deserves!

Tip #7: Timing is essential

Sharing on your social media platforms is important, but the times you share the videos is equally so. Make sure to promote the listing video the day and night before an open house, as well as the morning of. You’re likely to catch the attention of some last-minute shoppers who decide to add the open house to their schedule. Keep in mind that for these posts, you’ll want to be sharing a quick highlight video made by your videographer so you can entice the viewer and leave them wanting more, ultimately convincing them to visit the open house.

 
Not only can real estate listing videos create buzz about an open listing, it can exponentially increase the interest in the listing and make you and your team appear more credible. From properly preparing the home beforehand to sending the listing out on social media, these real estate video tips will help grow your business and add credibility to your team’s online presence. Don’t want your listing video to look amateurish? Check out our previous listing videos here and contact us for more information!

The Best Scenes from this Year’s Top Oscar Contenders

Will you be tuning in to the Academy Awards broadcast this Sunday? With the awards show coming up, we wanted to take a closer look at some of the most critically-acclaimed and highly-nominated films from 2017. From an independent foreign film to a sociopolitical horror mystery, we analyzed the top films from this past year and discussed what we think were the best scenes in each film.

SPOILER ALERT: The following reviews contain some spoilers for the films: The Shape of Water, Dunkirk, Lady Bird, Get Out, Darkest Hour, and Call Me By Your Name.

The Shape of Water

As one of the most distinctive films of the year, Guillermo del Toro’s fantasy drama film “The Shape of Water”, plays on the filmmaker’s fantastical filmmaking style. The film highlights the love story between a lonely, mute janitor and an amphibious creature that is being held captive in a secret, 1960s research facility.

This film’s top scene occurs as the heroine of the film, Elisa, dreams up a dance sequence between her and the creature. Toro uses this scene to pay homage to the “Old Hollywood” style of elaborate dance numbers, and this becomes apparent through the black-and-white style and Busby Berkeley-esque musical number. In her dreams, Elisa is finally provided with a robust singing voice and Toro paints the metaphor that movies give her the ability to express what she otherwise cannot. While certainly different than the other Oscar contenders, “The Shape of Water” is the newest del Toro fantasy to grace the big screen.

Dunkirk

Set in WWII, “Dunkirk” brings together young soldiers from Belgium, Great Britain, and France as they must fight for their lives and escape the opposing German army. Directed by Christopher Nolan, this film is nominated for an incredible 8 Academy Awards, including Best Feature, Best Achievement in Directing, and Best Achievement in Cinematography.

While it’s difficult to pick a singular ‘scene’ from Nolan’s “Dunkirk” that stood out among the rest of the powerful moments and skillfully-captured shots, there is one scene that occurs within the last 15 minutes of the movie that we wanted to highlight. After Tom Hardy’s character, Farrier, spends half an hour flying through the air on the lookout for German planes, his own plane runs out of gas and he drifts over the beaches of Dunkirk. Farrier looks down at the horrors of war, and for one silent moment, he takes in the scene that brings a new understanding to the chaos of war. This peaceful moment allows both the audience and the character to break from the non-stop action of the film and it’s one of Nolan’s most striking moments in this critically-acclaimed biopic.

Lady Bird

Nominated for Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, and 3 other top honors, “Lady Bird” is one of this year’s most talked about films. Add that to the fact that “Lady Bird” is director Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut, and it becomes infinitely more impressive. The film is packed with universal themes that almost all can relate to — the themes of first love, heartbreak, and the innate complexities of mother-daughter relationships. The latter is one of the most important aspects of the film, as proven by the beginning and ending scenes. In the opening scene, Lady Bird bickers with her mother, Marianne, about the possibility of her attending an out-of-state school. While the scene ends in a hilarious, gasp-inducing way, the scene we want to highlight for this film occurs in the middle of the film.

Lady Bird and Marianne shop for a nice Thanksgiving Dinner dress at their local thrift shop, and from the start, they’re bickering incessantly. Marianne stops to say hi to a friend, and her cold demeanor quickly transitions into one that is overly warm and inviting, only to become immediately cold again once she turns back to talk to Lady Bird. Gerwig perfectly encapsulates a typical mother-daughter relationship with Lady Bird and Marianne arguing one minute to fawning over the perfect dress the next. We love this scene for its honest depiction of familial relationships, and while there are countless great scenes in the film, this is one of our favorites.

Get Out

Even though it was released almost a year ago, “Get Out” is nominated for four Academy Awards, making it one of the most successful films of 2017 in the box office and in the awards show circuit. The film is not only a commentary on the racial climate in the U.S. but on the representation of African Americans in Hollywood, specifically within the horror genre. Artfully shot and beautifully written, director Jordan Peele used one of the film’s scenes, The Sunken Place, to create a striking metaphor for the minimization African Americans encounter daily in society.

We chose to highlight The Sunken Place as the film’s best scene for its gradual increase in tension and noteworthy storytelling. The scene begins with a wide shot of Daniel Kaluuya’s character Chris and his girlfriend’s mother, Missy, and as the tension heightens, the shots become tighter and tighter on the characters until only their faces remain in frame. A large part of what makes this scene so striking is Daniel Kaluuya’s ability to act almost solely with his eyes. His character says very little, but his eyes speak volumes as he struggles to fight against the hypnotic effect of Missy.

Darkest Hour

Directed by Joe Wright, “Darkest Hour” is a unique biopic that portrays Winston Churchill during the first month of his reign as Great Britain’s Prime Minister, as he tackles the decision between making a peace deal with Nazi Germany or fighting for the liberty of his country. While the focus of the film is on the outside events taking place at the beginning of WWII, Wright intertwines the external conflicts with the internal conflict Churchill faces daily.

This is especially portrayed in the scene which Churchill faces Great Britain and delivers his first of many propaganda speeches. The speech is meant to inspire hope in the people of Great Britain, but even Churchill knows that what he says is a lie, and he walks home alone that night, dispirited and ashamed. Wright distinctly dichotomizes the man Churchill portrays to the world and the one he becomes when he’s alone and humiliated, and this dichotomy makes for one of the most powerful scenes in the film.

Call Me By Your Name

As the only foreign film to have earned the top honor as a “Best Picture” nominee this year, “Call Me By Your Name” is not only a beautiful story about two LGBTQ men, it stands as one of this year’s best love stories. While the scene between the main character, Elio, and his father comes in as a close second for the best scene in the movie, we wanted to highlight the final scene in the film for Timothee Chalamet’s incredibly raw performance and Luca Guadagnino’s bold decision to end the film this way.

Guadagnino sets up the final scene with Elio receiving a long-awaited phone call from Oliver, who breaks the heart-wrenching news that he is engaged. The pain is immediately noticeable in Elio’s eyes, and Guadagnino follows Elio through the house as he processes this information. As Elio finally settles down in front of the fire, his emotions become too overwhelming to avoid, and the tears silently stream down his face, the fire as the only light illuminating his tear-stricken face. As the credits start to roll, Guadagnino does not shy away from the painful look in Elio’s eye, and this scene is undoubtedly both one of the most beautiful in the entire movie and one of the most difficult to watch.

While there are many other deserving nominees, these six films are among the top contenders for multiple Academy Awards. We know we’ll be tuning in Sunday to see who takes home the most Oscars, but until then, comment below which movie you think will take home the coveted “Best Motion Picture” award! And visit our blog to stay up-to-date with other filmmaking and business video tips and news!

Best Of: Olympics Commercials

As the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics rev up, so are the sponsored advertisements. Because of the unique nature of the Olympics, advertisers who utilize this global event will likely see as much, if not more, success as they would advertising during the SuperBowl. In this age of digital advertising and savvy consumers, more and more brands are turning to brand videos instead of conversion videos. Here are just a few of the characteristics that make a great brand video:

  • Drives brand awareness without selling a product too hard
  • Convenient, online consumer accessibility
  • Tells a great story
  • Makes a bold statement

Through the past few decades, the Olympics have become one of the prime events for brands to tell their story and broadcast it to the world. So in honor of the upcoming Winter Olympic Games, we thought we would take a look back at some of the most successful brand videos that have been broadcast during past games.

 

  • P&G – ‘Thank you, Mom’

 

You’ve likely seen this commercial a handful of times since it was first broadcast during the 2012 Summer Games in London. While P&G has aired dozens of variations of this campaign, the same spirit of the ad rings true throughout them all — Olympic athletes would be nowhere without the love and support of their mothers. This highly successful ad campaign draws on universal themes like the lifelong strive for greatness, as well as the unconditional love we feel for our families. With these commercials, P&G emphasizes their family-first values and succeeds in associating their brand with family, positivity, and acceptance. Here are two examples of this exponentially successful campaign. We dare you not to shed a tear.

2) Hershey’s – ‘Hello from Home’

Hershey’s “Hello from Home” spot is the perfect example of producing a relatively low-cost spot that still associates their brand with an inspiring tale of triumphing against all odds. Featuring the Paralympic swimmer Mallory Weggerman, this spot tells the incredible story of how she turned to swimming after losing the ability to walk, while her family supported alongside every step of the way. While the spot highlights Hershey’s products for a brief moment, the attention is quickly turned back to Weggerman’s story and her family’s undying support.

3) Coca-Cola – “Taste the Feeling”

Does this title ring a bell? If so, it’s probably because you tuned in to the Rio 2016 games and witnessed Coke’s new spots featuring a contagious jingle of the same name. Coca-Cola spent over $100m to be considered a “Worldwide Olympic Partner”, meaning they were direct advertisers with the Olympics. This doesn’t include the actual cost to produce and air the ad on prime time television. While not many companies can afford this exorbitant advertising cost, we can give it up to Coca-Cola for creating a successful ad that left a happy, carefree jingle stuck in the minds of millions of viewers. Note the use of golden hues and smile-inducing visuals featured along with the iconic soundtrack. Once again, Coca-Cola makes it difficult not to grin while watching one of their videos.

4) Apple – “The Human Spirit”

We dare you to find one Apple commercial that doesn’t draw you in, whether it’s visually or emotionally. Apple’s ‘The Human Spirit’ ad made waves during the Rio 2016 Olympics for its striking visuals, all shot on an iPhone, against the compelling narration of Maya Angelou’s famous poem. This ad is a beautiful example that less can often be more when it comes to striking ad campaigns. What is even more intriguing is that an actual iPhone is not shown even once throughout the entire video. With “The Human Spirit”, Apple perfectly nailed the characteristics of a great brand video: bold and brand-focused while telling an incredible story.

5) United Airlines – “One Journey Two Teams”

This ad is one of our favorites. Even though this spot is much more technically sophisticated than the others, it tells a similar story of the USA athletes’ journeys to Rio in a more eye-catching way. While not quite as subtle with their use of product placement, this ad from United still puts the focus on the journey of the USA Olympic team. There’s no doubt that this bold, exciting ad drew the attention of millions of viewers during the Rio 2016 Olympics. While being a successful brand video, this ad is also just fun to watch.

Commercials aired during the Olympic games are some of our favorites, and it’s not hard to see why so many consumers respond positively. It has been said that the perfect TV commercial touches the head, the heart, and the funny bone.  These brand videos certainly connect at least one, if not all,  of these emotions.  If you’re hoping to reach similar levels of success, gathering inspiration from these Olympic brand videos is the perfect place to start. For more information about creating iconic and compelling brand videos, view some of our past corporate videos here and 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!

Holiday Marketing 101: Make the Most of the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

The holidays are debatably the busiest time of the year for American businesses. From shopping for Hanukkah and Christmas gifts to searching for the best discounted deals of the year, it draws millions of shoppers to both online sites and brick-and-mortar stores. If you’re looking to take advantage of this lively season, read our tips for marketing your business during the most wonderful time of the year.

Make a marketing schedule ahead of time, and stick with it.

Don’t head into the holiday season without a detailed plan! Sit down with your marketing team (even if that team is a party of one –  you!) and plan out your goals for the season. Map out the months leading up to the holidays and develop your marketing strategies around the big shopping days. When putting this plan together, make sure to keep your audience in mind. If your business is centered around living a healthy lifestyle, focus your efforts closer to New Year’s when everyone is planning their resolutions. But if your business is focused on technology and electronics, consider marketing primarily before and after Christmas, when everyone is buying their Christmas gifts and spending their gift cards.

Participate in the holiday shopping days.

From Black Friday, to Cyber Monday, to Small Business Saturday, there are huge nation-wide shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas that draw millions of consumers. Take advantage of these major days by offering special promos, discounts, or bundled deals. If offering discounts is not in your business’s budget this year, even extending your business hours during these days can make a big impact on your profits.

Create a holiday offer.

If offering special deals is possible for your business, use this option to draw consumers in. With so much competition from other businesses, it’s important that these deals are enticing enough to convince them to shop with you and not another brand. Do what you can to create incomparable discounts and deals, and don’t forget to share the special promos on all of your business’s social media profiles.  Don’t forget about those special “limited time only” deals either.  You can make a  real positive impact on your bottom line when you create a time sensitive deal that is too good to pass up!

Utilize email and social media to reach your consumers.

Effective holiday marketing and online marketing go hand-in-hand. To engage your current consumers, stay up-to-date with your email newsletter marketing and pay special attention to your social media channels. Email newsletters are great tools for updating your current consumer base, while social media is an effective tool for attracting new business and staying current with popular trends and relevant products/services. These two strategies will be some of the most cost-effective ways to promote your seasonal deals and newest products.

Don’t overwhelm your consumers.

While you should plan to be on top of your marketing efforts this holiday season, be wary of overwhelming your audience. If you’re planning to start marketing for the holidays in the summer, you might want to rethink your strategy. Start small in September and gradually increase each month until you reach November-December. Ease your brand into the holiday season to avoid oversaturating your marketing with holiday-themed posts.

Keep your marketing emotionally-driven.

Debatably, the most effective holiday marketing tugs at consumers’ heartstrings. With the holiday season such a nostalgic and special time for many, consumers are often attracted to marketing that is tailored to their emotions. One brand that consistently outshines the competition when it comes to holiday marketing is the British department store, John Lewis. They blew the world away two years ago with their touching advertisement, Man on the Moon, and they’ve done so every year in the past decade. While you may not be able to produce viral holiday commercials ten years in a row, you can certainly play to your audience’s emotions when developing your holiday marketing strategy.

Don’t let this high-traffic time go to waste. Start developing your holiday marketing strategy now, even if you decide to start small. If you’re curious how video marketing can improve your brand’s online presence this holiday season, read our past blog post How Video Can Maximize Your Brand’s Reach. And for help developing and producing effective videos for your holiday marketing strategy, give our talented team of videographers a call today!

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.