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!