Making Casual Business Videos on a Dime

Making-videos

 Making Casual Business Videos on a Dime

By Christine H.

 

It might seem like a contradiction in terms to talk about a DIY corporate video. After all, shouldn’t we listen to the adage “you have to spend money to make money” on some things? Of course! When it comes to making a polished, sleek video about your business, you should hire a pro–someone to make the production value big and beautiful.

 

However, with the rise of YouTube, social media, and video marketing, not every single video that you put it out needs to be worthy of screening during the Super Bowl. Video is a great way to get more eyes on your content. It could be a way to expand your social media marketing on Facebook and Instagram. It might be a casual series that you set up in your office to help your followers better utilize your service or product. For example, if you sold crafting supplies, you might have a series where you show how to make something new each month. You might use video content as a fun way to introduce the team in a dental office, or as a temporary effort to promote an upcoming event.

 

In any case, it’s easier than ever to make worthwhile video content for your business. Here are some tips to elevate it from a home video into something more hip and snappy:

Pick a Consistent Place

 

The background for your video can make or break the attempt. This is especially important to think through thoroughly if you plan on making regular video content. Having a consistent backdrop will bring everything together. So, what should you choose for your background? Well, the simplest and safest answer is a blank wall. Avoid pictures in the background, or any awkward variances. But remember that a textured or colored background can work to your advantage. Just remember if you use a blank wall to manage the shadow.

building-a-business

If you have a camera with good depth of field control, you might want to get adventurous with your background. Depth of field will ensure that the foreground is in sharp focus while everything in the background is blurred into an indistinguishable scene. All the same, you’ll want to carefully choose your background, like selecting a good-looking lobby or a good view of your busy beehive of workers.

 

One more note: it’s great to have that place be a consistent area, especially if you’re doing a series. That’s why it can be really nice to have an out-of-the-way place. (That’s also great for managing sound, by the way.) So, think about having, say, a garage or warehouse corner where you can be alone, and which you’ve set up to be a multi-purpose area.

 

Easy Lighting Tweaks

 

The first thing that any professional photographer or videographer does is ensure good lighting… and there’s a reason for that. Most of the time, effective lighting can be immediately achieved by balancing lighting from two or more sources. This prevents harsh shadows. Diffused light will reduce shadows and give you consistent illumination. In order to achieve this, you can get a reflector, or a softbox, neither of which is very expensive. Don’t forget about magic hour (twilight), or the blessing of a cloudy day. Both grant nicely diffused natural light, if you can get the timing right. However, again, if you’re planning a series, you might be better off with lighting that you can control easier than the weather in order to get a consistent look.

how-to-create-a-business-video

Prioritize Sound Quality

 

Did you know that in almost every study that’s been done, audiences are more picky about their sound quality than they are about the image? If the sound is tinny, patchy, or echoing, it can be wildly distracting. However, it’s a commonly neglected aspect of casual videography. Invest in a good-quality mic, like this one, instead of just utilizing the one on your phone.

creating-a-business-video

Find a Comfortable Spokesperson

 

When you’re looking for your spokesperson, you’ll probably find that it’s harder than you’d initially thought. Some of us freeze up in front of a camera. Others can’t stay focused. So, if you were thinking that it’d be great to get the boss’ face on there, but they’re woefully stiff on-camera, be flexible! Find someone in your office who can be at ease in front of the camera.

 

You can help with this, too. Flatter them, joke with them, and laugh at your mistakes. When you’re having fun in front of the lens, it will be a much more fun video to watch!

 

Post-Production on a Dime

 

Post production is an area where you’re going to have to find a happy medium. You can spend days cutting and re-cutting the video. You can also pay tons of money for programs with features that you don’t even know how to utilize. However, in order to have a casual feel to your videos, you really don’t want to do all that much processing. Cut just enough to keep it clean. Balance the sound, and give a proper amount of time for intro and outro. Often, you can find software that’ll cover the basics within your normal Windows or Apple operating software. You might also look into Adobe’s amateur options or Corel VideoStudio.

 

Keep it Brief

 

Speaking of your intro and outro time, remember to keep any video that you plan to put online brief. It’s amazingly difficult to hold people’s attention for more than a minute. Do a few dry runs, and you’ll learn that you can’t get through all that much text in a minute or less, and you don’t want to sound rushed. Use visual aids when possible, and re-write the script as needed in order to stay concise.

 

Let’s Chat, do you have any tips for creating business videos?

20 Social Media Content Tips To Keep Your Fans Engaged

 

“Successful Social Media Marketing isn’t how many fans and followers your company can get, it’s how many it can actually keep!”

Listen to my Anchor Podcast on this topic

 

 

 

Most business owners understand that they can’t afford to ignore social media marketing, but how to gain and keep followers can be frustrating.

“Social media users thrive on meaningful online relationships”

 

FRIENDS DON’T LET FRIENDS BUY FOLLOWERS!

When marketing on social media, it is important to have 2-way conversation with your fans, respond and check in with your followers.  You want your customers to share content with their circle of family and friend, so always provide them with content that is really useful to them and they will share it as well.  

 

content is king in blogging

“Content is King BUT Let Your Customers Wear the Crown”

 

When posting content, use social media to answer questions from customers around the world not just in your local communities or state.  Remember to use the 80/20 rule; eighty percent of the content a business shares should not be solely about its products or services, but should be the customers’ interests.

 

 

20 Social Media Content Tips To Keep Your Fans Engaged

 

  1. Entertain yet educate your audience with industry news
  2. Ask open-ended questions 
  3. Create polls
  4. Post “Caption This Pic” photos 
  5. Create Behind-The-Scenes or DIY videos 
  6. Work with bloggers for Product Reviews
  7. Host online parties and provide giveaways, discounts, or coupons
  8. Share funny videos from YouTube
  9. Invest in videos or Rich Media (GIFS/Meme)
  10. Do live broadcasts
  11. Use hashtags for more engagement and to expand your audience
  12. Talk with your customers, not at them
  13. Claim your business, create a Google+ Page and Google My Business then post on them
  14. Ask for reviews and testimonials then turn them into memes
  15. Follow other businesses and share their content 
  16. Give shout-outs to clients and customers
  17. Post interesting “little known facts” 
  18. Ask Trivia questions or post “Wayback Wednesday” or “Throwback Thursday” pics
  19. Posts about holidays and other community events 
  20. Get creative with your posts using Canva, GetStencil or Smartmockups

 

 

For more tips on how to market and grow your business using Social Media, please send an email to info@ablakeenterprises.com

 

Social Media Marketing for Business Presentation for NAWBODE

NAWBODE-Event-with-DelawareBlogger

 

Can you believe that it’s March already?  Time sure flies when you are having fun or if you have a million things on your plate and that seems to be the case for me lately.  Trust and believe, I am not complaining as it’s something that I’ve wanted for a long time and am accepting of the blessings. 

Requests for Social Media Marketing for Business speaking engagements have really been increasing, as a matter of fact, this month alone I am scheduled for four – two are on the same day!

 

Anywho, last month, I spoke at the 3rd Monday Networking Event for NAWBODE at the Brandywine Executive Center in Wilmington.  I was invited by Dinette Rivera and it was an honor and pleasure to accept. 

 

If you don’t know about NAWBO, here’s an excerpt from their website.

Founded in 1975, the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) is the unified voice of over 10.1 million women-owned businesses in the United States representing the fastest growing segment of the economy.

NAWBO is the only dues-based organization representing the interests of all women entrepreneurs across all industries and with chapters across the country. With far-reaching clout and impact, NAWBO is a one-stop resource for propelling women business owners into greater economic, social and political spheres of power worldwide.

Respected with elected officials in Washington, D.C. and state capitals across the country, recognized in the media as a thought leader on women’s business issues, and joined with corporate partners and other non-profit organizations who share our mission and expand our influence, NAWBO is the country’s premier women’s business organization. 

NAWBO’s many milestones and awards over the decades exemplify the rich history of success the organization and its thousands of members have enjoyed.

 

New-Castle-County-Chamber-of-Commerce-Ambassador

 

Social Media is ever changing oftentimes literally overnight and many business owners get confused as to what to do next.  As the owner of ABlake Enterprises, Social Media Management, and Consulting, it is imperative that not only do I stay on top of it, but that I am able to teach and train others to do the same.

 

NAWBODE-Event-with-DelawareBlogger

 

The evening kicked off with networking, wine, and appetizers and I had an opportunity to meet a few NAWBO members as well as members-to-be including Adrienne owner of Expecting MiraclesDelaware’s First Elective Imaging Center. 

If you can’t tell by the picture, we had met before but hadn’t seen each other since a New Castle County Chamber of Commerce Networking event last summer.

 

Delaware Blogger and Adrienne

 

The presentation went off without a hitch…well perhaps a little glitch with the LCD projector, but thanks to Hudson, the only male attendee and our host at The Brandywine Executive Center it was quickly resolved – check out the video below to hear the beginning of the Social Media Marketing for Business presentation.

 

 

Oh and speaking of images, I contracted the services of Willy Vargas, owner of Willy Vargas Photography and he captured these amazing photos.

 

Antionette-Blake-presenting-at-NAWBODE

 

NAWBO-President- Chantal Towles

 

Women-In-Business-in-Delaware

 

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women-networking-at-nawbode

 

During my allotted time, which I almost exceeded…hey, if you know me, then you know I love to talk, I covered the social media platforms, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn and how each can be used to engage with their target market audience. 

 

Antionette-Blake-presenting-at-NAWBODE

 

The presentation was well received and I even learned something new from a few attendees which is why no one should ever label themselves a “Social Media Expert”.

 

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I want to once again thank Dinette and Chantal for inviting me and look forward to presenting again at other NAWBODE events in the future, and if you are a woman business owner who wishes to join this great organization, click this link for membership information. 

 

Also, if you are a member of a group or organization that is looking for a presenter of Social Media or Blogging, please head over to my website for more information or send an email to info@ablakeenterprises.com 

 

ABlakeEnterprises

 

Don’t forget to listen in every Sunday at 6 PM for my Podcast,

Social Media Sunday with the Delaware Blogger.

 

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Antionette-Blake-speaker

Social Media Content to Keep Your Fans Engaged

Social Media Content to Keep Your Fans Engaged

 

social-media-content-to-keep-your-fans-engaged

 

Social Media Marketing burst onto the scene faster than most businesses knew how to handle it.  It was such a new way in which to quickly reach clients that companies found themselves grappling to understand then implement it into their marketing strategies.  

What is the social media landscape?  How does it work and how much of a game changer will it be for your business?  Changes that appear to happen overnight causes many business owners, especially small business owners and entrepreneurs to feel as though they are swimming upstream or are in a tail spin.

One important thing that I want you to remember; when your fans and followers engage on social media networking sites, they are there to socialize, not be sold to.  You want to engage with them in an H2H (human to human) manner so that they when they visit your blog, website or brick and mortar store, they already know you, trust you and like you, therefore, are more likely to make a purchase from you.

 

buying-online

 

Posting interesting content from a wide variety of categories assures that you’ll actively engage with your current fans in an H2H manner while attracting new ones.

 

posting-content-for-various-social-media-platforms

 

Social Media Content Categories to Keep Your Fans Engaged

  • Entertainment
  • Inspiration
  • Education
  • Conversation
  • Connection
  • Promotion

 

You want to post a variety of social media content from these categories.  Mix and match to determine what appeals to your target market audience.

 

Use your Insights data to determine your most popular posts.  If you have little to no data, check the popular content from the accounts that your most ideal customers follow.

 

Entertainment Post Ideas

People love to enjoy and have fun on social media platforms.  Entertain your followers and fans with fun content.  Content that is funny is highly shareable and is often so popular that it can transform a “company” into “cool people just like me”.

 

News articles are always #1 when it comes to content to  keep your fans engaged.  It is best to share breaking news stories as soon as it happens but put your own unique spin on it by adding a comment or ask a question.  

 

National Day Holidays are also fun and there at least one for every day in the year.  An added bonus is that current holidays also trend quickly and you’ll see holiday hashtags trending on Twitter to share.

 

 

Entertaining Content:

  • Funny videos
  • Gifs
  • Memes
  • Jokes
  • Throwback / Nostalgia
  • Contests & Giveaways
  • Puzzles
  • Comics

 

Tip:  Keep your market in mind.

 

Content which has been created or curated to entertain might not be directly related to your product or service, however, in order for it to be effective, it needs to appeal to your target market audience.

Inspiration Post Ideas

Inspirational quotes are always popular.  Inspiration can be more than words, it can also include pictures. Testimonials and success stories from your clients is also great content to keep your fans engaged, these posts can be be inspirational as well as promotional.

 

Inspirational Content:

  • Quotes
  • Trivia / Amazing Facts
  • Awesome Images
  • Personal stories of success

 

Helen-Keller-Quotes

 

Educational Post Ideas

These ideas are especially helpful for consultants, coaches and instructors.

Share your expertise with educational content and words of wisdom.  Share content that showcase your products, services and smart ideas.

 

Educational Content:

  • Links to your blog posts, Ezines and articles
  • Tips and Tricks
  • Hacks and How-To’s
  • Industry Research
  • Free Resources (case studies and guides)
  • FAQ answers
  • Live Videos

 

2018-blog-planner-ablakenterprises

@2018 Blog Planner @ABlakeEnterprises.CoM

 

Conversational Post Ideas

It doesn’t matter what content you post or which category you should also try to be conversational. Followers respond best when you not only talk to them, but listen to them as well.

Don’t just post a graphic or a quote, share your opinion and ask your followers for theirs.

  • Have you tried this?
  • Do you have any tips to share.
  • Which tip works well for you?

 

Conversational Content:

  • Questions
  • Polls
  • Fill in the blanks
  • Ask for advice
  • “Caption this: photo

 

little-boy-laughing-outside

”Caption This” Pic

 

Connection Post Ideas

Remember, “people buy from people!”  The whole purpose of connecting on social media is connecting with real people in an H2H manner.  Similar to conversation, connection is infusing your personality into your images, quotes, articles or captions.

Employee advocacy and featuring others in your niche is also a great way to connect one-on-one.

 

Connection Content:

  • Behind the Scenes photos
  • Product Previews exclusives
  • Photos of your personal life (not too personal)
  • Stories
  • Nostalgia
  • Shoutouts to clients and customers at events
  • Event photos and videos
  • Fans photos and videos
  • Sharing causes and community events
  • CTA – ask for opinions, comments, and feedback

 

Business-Times-Magazine-WBC

 

Promotional Post Ideas

Yes, social media is where people go to socialize and not to be sold to, however, you should promote your business on social media.  Remember to use the 80/20 rule and always think of your clients and potential clients first.  

You can promote free webinars, Podcasts or opt-in freebies as well as discounts, new products and services. Reviews and customer testimonials should also be shared.

 

Promotional Content:

  • Freebies for email sign-ups
  • Webinars
  • Seminars and Workshops
  • New product and services
  • Client testimonials
  • Discounts & Coupons

 

Post a variety of content from a variety of categories and check your stats to see which social media content are your fan’s favorites.

 

 

If this post has helped you, please share it and if you have something to add, please leave a comment!

Blogging to Build a Better Business

Delaware Blogger

A blog is a better business card for businesses in promoting their brand!

 

A blog is a better business card for businesses in promoting their brand

 

Blogging for business is not a new concept and for many small businesses, it can be an extremely effective tool to add to their social media footprint.  A blog will help establish and/or broaden their brand or position themselves in their area of expertise.

A strong social network can become an asset for any business. Social media offers every business the opportunity to strengthen relationships with their target audience, creating loyal customers and even brand advocates. 

Unfortunately, many companies are still not getting the best out of their social media accounts. Yet social media is big business: 74% of all internet users use social networking sites, and for younger adults, the percentage is even larger.

However, marketing on FREE social media platforms is not always FREE nor do you own them.  Anytime the creators of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media platform gurus decide to change the algorithm, privacy settings, advertisement guidelines or timeline promotion, there is nothing you can do except roll with the tide even if it means losing fans and followers.  

On the other hand, a blog created and hosted on WordPress, for example, is owned by you and you have total control as to what you want to promote and when you want to promote it.  This is your choice, not Mark  Zuckerberg.  The ultimate benefit of blogging is the opportunity to communicate expertise and establish the business as a reliable resource.

 

content is king in blogging

 

While “Content is King Platform is Queen.”

Creating a platform is about building a social media presence, a stage that can be seen above the crowd. Content is the message, but a platform provides visibility, amplification, and engagement with your targeted audience.

Social media is a great tool for driving traffic to a website, but a blog will do more to build a platform. While there is much debate about the return on investment (ROI) for time spent on social media, the results of blogging are easier to evaluate with Google Analytics.

 

Google Analytics charts your unique visitors, comments, interactions, time on site and other social media metrics which help businesses learn more about their customer interests and problems that need to be solved.  Any owner of a small business could benefit from creating a blog as part of their website or as a stand-alone platform.  

 

When first starting it is important to make friends or engage with bloggers in the same niche if you are looking for partners in promoting your products.  You might be interested in reading more about working with bloggers in this post.

 

There is proof that not only can your blog help promote your business, it can even become an additional source of revenue.  Blogs are one of the top online services to influence a purchase. When making overall purchase decisions, consumers rank blogs third behind retail and brand sites.

 

As a blogger and the content creator of DeDivahDeals.com, which received the 2017 Best Blog Award from NorthDELAWhere Happenings Magazine and in 2013 the Reader’s Choice Best Blog Award from Delaware Today magazine, I have conducted workshops and training programs for many years teaching others how to blog.  

 

award winning blogger in Delaware

 

In these workshops, I have provided training to over 500 small business owners, entrepreneurs, and solopreneurs, teaching them how to create a business blog, how to use social media to drive traffic as well as ways in which to monetize their blogs.  

As a matter of fact, I will be presenting to a small group of business owners at the YWCA in Wilmington on Thursday evening.  If you are interested in learning more and would like to engage my services, head over to ABlakeEnterprises.com to learn more.

 

ABlake Enterprises rack card

 

ACCORDING TO THE CORPORATE-EYE.COM “The power of blogs in influencing consumer purchase decisions is stronger than you might realize. According to data from a research study conducted by Research Now, nearly nine in 10 consumers (84%) make purchases after reading about a product or service on a blog. Among consumers between the ages of 18-34, blogs ranked as the most important source of information to make buying decisions. Among consumers between the ages of 35-54, blogs ranked as the second most important source behind friends, family, and colleagues. Even older consumers (55 and older) value blogs when making purchase decisions ranking them third in terms of importance behind friends, family, and colleagues and editorial articles”

 

A Blog is a better business card that will broaden the brand and expand their exposure online.

 

Let’s Chat:  Do you enjoy reading business blogs?  If so, which one is your favorite?

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