What You Need to Know to Create Compelling Videos for Social Media

Social Media button on a keyboard with speech bubbles

If you’ve got something to sell, whether it’s a product, a service, or an idea, you need to promote it to your target market. One of the best ways to do that is through social media, which has become both the primary source of information and entertainment for many people. Faced with a choice between print and video content, a majority will prefer the latter.

Believe it or not, people watch about five billion videos on YouTube each day. If you don’t have the resources, you can hire the services of production companies in Denver to create promotional videos for your product.

Indeed, social video marketing has become an important factor in the success of many businesses. It’s not exclusively for YouTube. Facebook is also a good platform for videos, with around 500 million viewers on a daily basis. A majority of Twitter users (about 82%) consume video content, while 10 billion video views happen on Snapchat daily. That’s a lot of videos, and their views most likely include your target audience.

How will you know what kind of video will fit best with the top social media platforms and reach your intended viewers?

Here are some important specifications to take note of:

  • A YouTube video should not exceed five minutes, unless your content is truly interesting. Also, place your call to action at the 30-second mark for maximum impact. Aspect ratio should be 16:9.
  • Facebook videos that get the most views, shares, likes, and comments are usually the funny ones, those that contain DIY tips, product unboxing, or those that touch the heart. The video should be just a minute long and have the most compelling first three seconds.
  • Facebook’s default setting has videos on mute, which results in about 85% of its videos being watched without sound. This makes it more important to come up with content that can be understood even without audio.
  • Instagram videos are ideally 30 seconds to a minute long, with a 1:1 aspect ratio. Captions should be optimized with minimal hashtags.
  • Snapchat videos should only be 10 seconds long to be effective, with an 18:9 aspect ratio, which is ideal for watching on mobile phones held vertically. The first snap video should be interesting enough to make viewers watch the next one.
  • Twitter videos must be 30 seconds to a minute long as well, with an aspect ratio of 2.39:1. The focus should be on branding instead of promotion.

Videos have become the go-to method for attracting a specific target market and keeping them engaged. If you haven’t done one for your product or service, you’re missing out on its potential.

The Importance of Content Marketing for Small Businesses

a man using his digital tabletThere’s a high chance that small businesses are skipped over and ignored in a competition to grab the attention of possible buyers. With limited resources and funds, small businesses run the risk of not reaching prospective customers because they barely have any details listed online.

Digital marketing agencies like SEO Werkz in Utah use website marketing to help small businesses get higher conversion rates. Content marketing focuses on the creation and distribution of relevant content to attract and retain a highly engaged audience, and ultimately, acquire profitable customer action.

Here are a few helpful tips for small business owners to achieve the best results harnessing the power of digital marketing:

Know your audience

Don’t waste your time creating content that your audience won’t appreciate. Knowing who your audience is and understanding what they need (and want) should guide you in your content creation. This is crucial if you want to build a strong customer base.

Do further research and collect data to understand your core audience better. Try to learn as much as you can about them. Information such as purchasing habits, income, average age, and gender will help you come up with relevant and engaging content.

Create a steady flow of relevant content

The key to succeeding in content marketing is consistency and quality. It should also not be limited to a simple blog post. It can be press releases, email messages, images, podcasts, white papers, case studies, eBooks, infographics, and videos.

Regardless of the type of content you publish, it has to be interesting for your audience. You also need to set a schedule for creating and publishing content and then stick to it. Some businesses find it effective to post daily content while others do it weekly. Figure out a realistic schedule that will work for you and your audience.

Use the power of search engine optimization (SEO)

Don’t forget about SEO, which involves the strategic use of keywords in your content to help search engines easily locate your channel. Every time you publish content, you must have a target keyword that should be incorporated naturally.

Engage in social media marketing

Its important for small businesses to know that content marketing goes hand in hand with social media marketing. And you must understand what each social media platform can contribute. Pinterest is your best bet if your content mainly revolves around images and infographics. Twitter can be a good tool for promoting blog posts and articles while LinkedIn is an excellent way of sharing white papers and case studies.

The process of analyzing your audience’s activity and website metrics can be very time-consuming. However, these steps are crucial to gaining further knowledge on how you can turn viewers and visitors into potential clients.

The U.S. Manufacturing’s Growth in January Fuels Industry Optimism

Car manufacturingThe Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said that the U.S. manufacturing industry expanded for the 17th month in a row after rising last month, which further supported growing optimism within the sector. If you have thought about whether or not to hire a custom software development firm to improve your digital resources, then January’s growth in manufacturing could serve as a good enough reason.

Industry Performance

An ISM report showed that 14 out of the 18 manufacturing industries expanded in January. Overall, the industry posted a reading of 59.1. A score above 50 indicates growth, which only suggested that the previous month’s increase represented a strong level of industrial activity.

The recent tax reforms in the country will also prompt almost two-thirds of manufacturing companies to increase their budget for equipment and facilities, according to Jay Timmons, CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers. Digital manufacturing has become the norm recently, due to cost-savings and faster turnaround times. Investments in custom software for manufacturing also allows companies to stay competitive.

Recruitment Efforts

More than half of U.S. manufacturing companies plan to raise salaries and benefits, which should attract more job applicants. Wage growth, however, remains a key factor why the industry still struggles to find qualified talents. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, wages and salaries rose to 2.5 percent in December 2017.

Timothy Fiore, ISM chairman for the manufacturing business survey committee, said that new orders and production led the industry’s constant expansion. A slower employment growth rate, however, should be their focus now that optimism continues to grow among U.S. manufacturers. This makes sense if the industry wants to continue its long-standing growth streak.

Manufacturers need to take advantage of favorable economic conditions by reinforcing their equipment, facilities, and manpower. What is your growth strategy for 2018?

Improvements to Consider when Renovating a Restaurant

Renovation concept shot

Renovation concept shotHave you been getting bad reviews for your restaurant lately? Customers can’t sometimes help but speak their minds online if the food doesn’t taste great or if the furniture smells like a remnant from the 60s. And this is expected if you’ve been running a restaurant that desperately needs an overhaul.

Before your establishment gets featured in Kitchen Nightmares, it’s just right to make adjustments. You may have to repaint, fix the ceiling or build an extension to a bigger space. Don’t forget to consider the following as well:

Upgrade Your Tech

If your establishment has been suffering from delays and slow service due to outdated technology and devices, it’s just right to upgrade. For instance, you might want to consider changing your billing system into something more efficient or you might also need to contact a paging system supplier for a brand new and updated unit to speed up requests and eliminate unpleasant situations for customers.

Remove and Replace

That jukebox may look good right in the dining area, but if it has already served its purpose, remove and replace it with a brand new one. This is especially applicable in the kitchen where old gas stoves or ovens can compromise the taste and texture of a dish. And don’t think twice about completely replacing your entire kitchen and dining equipment with everything brand new. Using sparkling new tableware and cutlery can go a long way, especially in the eyes of your customers.

Retrain your Staff

Finally, don’t forget to retrain your staff. Making sure that your servers and cooks are updated with new knowledge and skills is as important as renovating your restaurant. You want to present your new establishment to the world, so why not include a newly trained staff to go with it? Remember, evolving is the key to staying relevant; don’t leave anything untouched.

Major improvements in your restaurant can be a challenging and costly undertaking, but it will yield bigger returns in the long run. As consumers’ tastes and demands evolve, so should your dining experience.

Top Strategies to Double the Growth of Your Business

data graph showing business growthIf you own a small or medium enterprise, you are in good company. SMEs constitute about half of the overall economy in most states, and they are the biggest creators of jobs anywhere around the world.

That means that small business is, in essence, massive business, and if you embrace the right practices, you can double your growth year after year.

Here are tips to go about it.

Choose the right software

The impact of accounting software for small firms or businesses has been unprecedented. Current software has made it incredibly easy to carry out such critical tasks as general ledger management, payment processing, invoicing and so on.

However, with so many software solutions available in the market, how do you know which one to go for? Consider such factors as security, ease of use, compatibility, and integration. Take advantage of cloud-based software.

Maintain a digital presence

The modern client prefers buying from sellers who can engage them digitally. In the recent years, businesses that have efficiently leveraged digital tools to reach their potential clients have generally experienced higher revenues per employee than those that have not.

In short, you will grow your small business much faster if you can invest more in your digital strategy.

Market more

Are you tempted to cut back on marketing? Think again. It is the same today as it has always been – the more you can build a stronger brand, the more you will stand out from your competition. That means you must market yourself more, and through as many platforms as you can.

Embrace emerging marketing trends, for instance, SEO and social media marketing. Focus on value, quality and customer service.

Small businesses must keep growing to stay sustainable in a rapidly changing economic landscape. By adopting a few smart strategies, you will find that doubling the growth of your business in 2018 and beyond is not a far-fetched idea after all.

Is it Really a Need?: A Closer Look at P&C Insurance

Auto insurance paperwork and a keyOwning something comes with many responsibilities. From the moment you bought that car to the day you signed your home mortgage deal, you are stepping into a realm of responsibilities and making yourself more vulnerable to the consequences of those obligations.

Property and Casualty (P&C) insurance marketers know this sad reality and use this opportunity to sell their services to you.

While it might seem like just another insurance offer, you might want to stop and take some time to see what it is about. After all, it is more important than you think. Industry leading software company, Zywave, shares more information about P&C marketing and insurance.

What is P&C Insurance?

Simply put, property insurance protects the things you own while casualty insurance protects you from the liability brought about by the damage of the items you own. It is like owning a dog. When your dog bites someone (damage), you as the owner are liable for the consequences.

But if you have P&C insurance, the insurance company can help you deal with the damage done by your dog. Because it is normal for humans to own various types of property, P&C insurance comes in different types as well.

Auto Insurance

Accidents can happen anytime, anywhere, and to anyone. While different states have different laws regarding auto insurance, you might want to get one because damages in car accidents can blow up before you know it.

Homeowners’ Insurance

Hurricanes, flood, and fire are just some of the common situations homeowners usually face. While you might think that these things happen to one in a thousand, the possibility of it happening to yours is still present.

Renters’ Insurance

Your personal belongings are protected when you have a renter’s insurance. This means the furniture, tools, and anything in your rental property has a degree of protection and coverage in an event of damage.

Umbrella Insurance

Beyond tangible objects, umbrella insurance protects you in case someone sues you for a large amount of money. Like natural accidents, lawsuits are something that no one can predict. It is, therefore, important that you are always prepared.

No P&C insurance yet? Perhaps you are new to this type of coverage. Talk to a P&C marketing professional to get more information.

Building Beneficial Supplier Relationships in 4 Ways

Man pointing on the supplier informationIt’s difficult to find a good and reliable supplier — the one that doesn’t only provide quality products, but is punctual, competitive, and innovative as well. But, if you are already working with a supplier that answers to all of your needs, you must treat them right and with respect. Build a good relationship with your suppliers through the following practices:

Set clear and achievable requests

Be realistic and considerate when placing an order to your supplier. Consider their scope and limitations, especially when ordering in bulk with a tight deadline. Suppliers work with other companies, too. Ease the process and ensure delivery by providing adequate lead times.

Seek ways to improve the purchasing process

A reliable and up-to-date purchase order process allows companies and suppliers to be more transparent with each other. There are applications that can help both parties acknowledge receipt of purchase order, process payments, and fulfill special requests. SourceDay suggests making the most of these to improve business flow.

Always pay on time

Paying suppliers on schedule shows how professional and reliable your company is. Don’t discount the importance of payment schedules since suppliers rely on them, too. If you cannot pay on time, be honest to your supplier. Explain the situation and try to negotiate for a more favorable payment term.

Get acquainted

Personalize the relationship by visiting your suppliers’ office and being familiar with contact persons. You can also invite them to office parties and include significant people in strategy meetings. With this, you are able to build a healthy relationship that goes beyond business. Be friendly and always communicate in a respectful and considerate manner.

Suppliers are essential in business. Without them, there are lesser products to create and innovate. Treat them as partners and give importance to your working relationship to ensure smooth and beneficial business operations.

Ways to Support Your Local Church

A ChurchAre you part of a local church in Charlotte? If you are, you’ll find that there are many ways to support your local church apart from attending its services. Faith Wireless presents some simple but effective ways to help your church and support its activities all year round.

Look for cell service for churches.

If you live in Charlotte, look for cell service for churches. Services like these donate 10 percent of every cell phone payment to the customer’s respective church. It’s a simple but highly effective way to support your local church’s activities. With every text and call, you get to support your church in more ways than one.

Participate in church activities.

Every year, there are many church activities you can join. You don’t need to lead the activities yourself; you can start off by volunteering your time to the church’s cause. Whether it’s a simple garage sale, soup kitchen tour, donation drive, or a huge fundraiser, look for activities that you can join during your free time. Better yet, make sure that you find time to help out in any way you can.

Offer your services.

You can help your church by offering your talents or services. For instance, you can teach a Sunday class or share your story in a small gathering. You can even join your church’s mentoring program either as a participant or a mentor. Whichever the case, the chance to share your story, share your talents, and offer your services are great ways to support your local church.

Giving a Helping Hand

Offering a hand to your local church is not as hard as you think. There are much more ways you can support their activities, big and small. And remember, any effort you make is highly appreciated. So don’t be afraid to seek more ways to offer a helping hand.

Research Estimates 1B People Using VoIP By End Of 2017

VOIP

VOIP

An estimated one billion people in the world will use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services by the end of 2017, according to Juniper Research.

Based on a global population of around 7.5 billion, the figure simply means that one out of seven people will use the technology for communication. The use of VoIP service based on Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) could also become more widespread.

Increasing Popularity

Cost arguably serves as the major selling point for VoIP technology, particularly reselling SIP trunking. However, an SIP trunk reseller, SIPTRUNK, Inc. for instance, should be able to attract clients to use their services beyond the promise of low prices.

Nevertheless, VoIP solutions can be as much as 50% more affordable than fixed-line voice rates. The relatively cheaper costs can be attributed to telecommunications networks’ lower interconnection rates. In an era when companies transition to digital resources, using VoIP could provide up to 75% of savings for your business.

Here to Stay

Other than the price, VoIP will continue to gain traction for several industries due to various developments on Internet data networks. If cost is not enough to lure you into making the switch, consider the user-friendliness of this system as a positive factor.

VoIP users will no longer need to worry about maintaining or upgrading their systems. Some companies even offer PBX systems, which provide a network host for the VoIP service in a secure data location. Your employees will likely benefit the most from certain features such as unified messaging, which organizes text and audio messages in different platforms and placing these in an easily accessible format.

Conclusion

VoIP will continue to be a common communication tool for enterprises, particularly for those with international networks. It provides connectivity among people, despite their location. Plus, the simplicity of using VoIP—with just a touch of a button—makes it easy for people to connect with one other.

Disability Pensions for Psychiatric Conditions Rise in Australia

A Psychiatrist with his Patient

A study revealed that disability pension claims for mental health conditions rose by 51% in Australia between 2001 and 2014.

The increase took place despite no recorded growth in the prevalence of psychiatric disorders, such as anxiety and depression. As Real Support Choices noted, these two are the fourth highest causes of disability care at home or a medical facility.

Mysterious Increase

Samuel Harvey, the study’s lead author, said that several reasons can explain the increase in disability pensions despite a drop in underlying mental health symptoms. These factors include a practitioner’s citation of a mental disorder as the primary form of disability for a patient, government policy, or simply employers that rejected job applicants with mental illnesses.

Still, Harvey noted that the country has achieved progress in reducing mental health cases over the last 10 years. The study’s release also downplayed popular opinion about Australia plummeting into a mental health crisis.

National Health Survey data backed this claim as Australians with anxiety and depression comprised 12.2% of the population in 2014, down from 13.3% in 2001.

Government Crackdown

A proposed bill would require immigrants to wait for up to 15 years before they receive age or disability pension. The legislation aims to save around $1 billion for the national budget over four years. If approved, the proposal would be effective in July 2018.

However, the Payment Integrity Bill would exempt refugees, although it would apply only to 2,400 people. The bill would also be stricter in providing pensions for Australians that have spent five years outside the country. Social Services Minister Christian Porter said that the proposal would put taxpayer funds to good use.

The increase in disability pensions despite a decline in mental health symptoms has become a puzzling situation, yet the Australian government should look into the matter since healthcare costs are on the rise.