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.

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!