How to use videos and hashtags to market your business on Instagram

As you may know, Instagram has become a strong social media network player with up to today the highest reach and engagement rate. Video marketing is also getting bigger and bigger and also shows a  high level of engagement.

So, let’s start with the different video formats and features within the application.

Instagram story

An Instagram story is an ephemeral video you share with your followers live or for a 24 hours period. Although it’s temporary, you can save your video in the app or in your mobile phone photo library to share it as a post later.

Why do Instagram stories work?

Your followers crave for new content and most importantly want to get them right away, live! So, want to give it a try and publish your live recording into your story?

To do so, let’s start setting up your story settings so that you can keep or delete them once published.

How can you set up your Instagram story, in order to save your video(s)?
  1. You need to log into Instagram and go to your profile page.
  2. Then click on the 3 little dots () at the top right-hand corner of your profile.

3. In the ‘Options’ menu, click on ‘Story settings‘ under ‘Account’.

4. You will get these options as per below screenshot. To activate an option, swipe the button next to it to right. It will create a blue button indicating you activated that option.

You will have to decide whether you want people to comment on your video(s) or disable comments. For that, you will need to tap into your chosen option to activate it. This will create a rounded-framed tick as the example below.

You may share your story on your personal Facebook account timeline as well. If you select that option, it will redirect you to log into your Facebook account app to authorise this.

Wondering where the Instagram posts are archived?

It will be archived on the app. To access these, you will need to click on the anti-clockwise quadrant at the top right-hand corner of your Instagram profile next to your profile account name.

Instagram video marketing

Are there any of your archived pictures or videos you would like to save as (semi-) permanent posts in your ‘Highlights’ section of your Instagram profile?

If so, all you need to do is:

  • click on the 3 little dots () at the top right-hand corner
  • tap the image or video you want to highlight. It will create a tick at the bottom of it.
  • Then click on ‘Next‘ at the top right-hand corner of the page.

  • After that, click on ‘Create Highlight‘.

  • Create a name for your highlight (not mandatory. Then, click on ‘Add‘ at the top right-hand corner to have it added to your profile.

Don’t like anymore your highlight?

Don’t worry, you can remove it. Just go to your profile, tap on the highlight you want to remove, click on ‘More‘ at the bottom of the screen.

Then you will have these options pop up. Click on ‘Remove Highlight‘. Et voilà!

Now that we reviewed the Story settings, let me explain to you how to create stories.
  1. Click on your profile picture to open the story option to film or take pictures.

2. You will be then presented with these options.

  • Live: if you click on this option, it will create a live video that will disappear once you end the ‘live’, unless otherwise set. Live videos can be as long as you want them to be!
  • Normal: it will create a story post which will be available to view for 24 hours. These posts will not last more than 30 seconds
  • Type: you will create a textual post viewable for 24 hours
  • Boomerang is a fast-forwarded video but will require you to download an additional application
Now, what are symbols related to?
  • The picture on the far left is representing whatever picture or video you have saved in your mobile phone photo library. If you select a video, it will only show 15 seconds of it.
  • The left-hand side flash symbol next to the rounded button is to switch on the flash
  • The arrows in a circle shape right next to the rounded button are here to decide where your camera will be pointed towards, ie either yourself or something/someone else.
  • The far-right picture of a face is to set up any embellishments, add masks, emojis or the likes
  • The big rounded button is the one you will click on to take a picture and hold onto to record a video when you select a ‘Normal’ story.
once you have recorded your picture or video in ‘NORMAL Story’, you will get these options.

At the top:

  • Sticker: you can add funny stickers to your video
  • Loudspeaker: you can adjust the volume of your video
  • Highlighting pen: you can highlight a text you added in the picture or video
  • ‘Aa’ letters: you can add text to your video or picture.

At the bottom:

  • Save: if you want to save the picture or video in your mobile phone photo library (also called camera roll) to re-post it later on Instagram or another social media site
  • Your Story: you can send your picture or video to your story to be viewed for 24 hours
  • Send to>: you can send your recording individually to any of your followers you will select

If you select ‘Live‘ story, you will get this next screen. To start your ‘live’ story, click on ‘Start Live Video’. For embellishments, you may click on the face symbol before you start your video. You also have again this setting for where to point your camera.

Once your ‘live’ story has started, you may invite someone to be part of the video by clicking on the ‘two faces’ symbol.

You can also invite one or several specific followers to watch your ‘live’ by clicking on the ‘paper plane’ symbol. Once you have finished, click on ‘End‘ at the top right-hand corner.

When your video has ended, you will be prompted to select one of these options:
  • Save: to save in your mobile phone photo library
  • Share: you can share your live video for the next 24 hours. For this, please activate the sharing option by swiping the button towards the right until it gets blue. Then click on the ‘Share‘ button.

Not happy with your live video? don’t want to share or keep it?

No problem, you can discard it! You only need to disable the sharing option by swiping the button onto the left until it is greyed out. Then click on the ‘Discard‘ button.

That’s it for the ‘live’ stories!

Instagram posts

Now, let’s move on to sharing videos and pictures as ordinary posts.
  1. To create a post, go again to your profile page and click on the rectangular framed ‘+’ button at the very bottom of your screen (centre button).

2. Then, select the photo(s) or video(s) from your camera roll (mobile phone library). Click on the relevant option. You will see other options below the preview image.

What are these optional symbols for?
  • The far left symbol representing ‘two opposite arrows’ is to select how you want the video(s) or photo(s) to appear, ie in square/portrait mode or in a landscape mode. To activate the landscape option, click on that symbol.

Normal square/portrait mode:

Landscape mode:

  • The far right symbol ‘Select Multiples’  can be used if you want to share several videos or photos in one post.
  • The other two symbols require you to download other applications. You will then tap on the videos or photos you want to share.
When you share normal posts, you need to:
  1. add a description 
  2. add hashtags in ‘caption‘ for your videos or pictures to be found by other users.

Note: you can add stickers and a hashtag to a ‘normal story’ as well.

To add a description, you just have to type your text in the ‘caption‘ area of the post. It should describe what is in the picture(s) or video(s). Keep the most important part of your description in the two first rows. The rest of the text will only appear if your reader clicks on ‘more‘.

To mention someone in the video(s) or picture(s) and this person is on Instagram, you simply type their account name in your ‘caption‘ and add a ‘@‘ sign before it.

Instagram hashtags

  1. Then in that ‘caption‘ area, type hash ‘#‘ and whatever hashtags you want your post to be found and ranked for.
  2. Unlike on Twitter, with Instagram, you can have up to 30 hashtags. The more hashtags you select, the more your posts will be viewed. However, you must ensure that you select relevant hashtags for your post. Otherwise, you will get the wrong kind of followers
  3. Keep in mind that some hashtags are banned by Instagram community guidelines, so don’t select these ones. It is often because they violate Instagram policies. Selecting them will result in your posts getting removed or worse your account suspended.
  4. When you start typing your hashtag, you will get a list of tags and the number of time the hashtags have been used. I recommend you to choose both relevant highly popular and moderately popular tags for your posts to get found. You may also create branded hashtags.

Both your description and hashtags will appear under the video(s) or image(s) you have shared. You will also see the number of views on your videos right below your video/picture.

I hope all these tips will be useful for you. Would you like to share further tips on this topic?

 

 

 

Learn how to crowdfund to fundraise and validate your ideas

I recently attended in Dublin a DubWeb Festival founded by Mikael Thiery and co-directed by Erol Mustafov geared mostly towards filmmakers, theatre producers and music makers. There were several talks and the one about ‘how to crowdfund for web series‘ caught my attention.

It was a discussion with industry experts and award-winning series makers (see picture below) .Their pieces of advice were valuable for any start-ups looking to fund their businesses or their products and services’ launch.

crowdfund

Crowdfunding is mainly used to fundraise for specific activities, campaigns or launches, and the talks were talking about this aspect. Consequently, this post will discuss the different platforms and ways to get your audience engaged and willing to support you financially. Nonetheless, please note that you can crowdfund to validate your ideas.

But first thing first, if you want to crowdfund and make a success out of the campaign, you will need to make sure your audience is online and your product or service is suitable for that target market (language, culture).

Then you will have to work hard to create a buzz around it.

To do this, please follow these steps:

  1. Create convincing and creative video and content pitches.
  2. Select the most appropriate crowdfunding platform for your audience. If you want to target niche audiences for film production, consider one of these: VRV for Fantasy films, Shutter, Patreon. Otherwise, the main platforms are Indigogo and Kickstarter.
  3. Understand how the chosen crowdfunding platform works. For eg, Indigogo is available worldwide. With it, you can either get the money only if you reach your fundraising goal or get whatever money you crowdfunded even if you haven’t hit your goal. If you use Kickstarter, remember it’s available in only 34 countries and you can only cash in the fundraised monies if you have reached your goal.
  4. Keep in mind the charged fees by the crowdfunding platform as well as the taxes you will have to claim as income (tax). Generally speaking, there is a 3-5 % processing fee + a 5 % fee once the fundraising campaign ends.
  5. Set a fundraising goal that will cover all your costs.
  6. Entice your audience to donate and become your fans by offering rewards. Some rewards may be posted (merchandising such as DVDs, T-shirts…), so keep in mind that these incur extra costs. If you want to keep these costs down, you may offer your donors free release of some of your web series’ episodes, for instance.
  7. Leverage your superfans by offering them VIP rewards to post out.
  8. Create a sense of emergency by offering special rewards released as the crowdfunding campaign goes.
  9. Get in touch with your existing network.
  10. Feed information on social media by sharing snippets of your story.
  11. Build awareness of your campaign by organising your own offline or online events. You could start by creating a big live event: live show, music video, tours/trip, podcast, free food/drinks night, special invites to parties. Any possible hooks to gather more fans will be valuable.
  12. Get in touch with PR companies for press releases.
  13. Think about sponsorship for further brand exposure. However, remember that these will not provide you with financial support (instead, you will receive gifts-in-kind and discounts) and may not care too deeply about your brand, while your fans from crowdfunding will.
  14. Network to find potential angel investors at conferences and conventions related to your type of business. For eg, for filmmakers, they could attend Comecon.
  15. Get your friends and fans to share your campaign.

 

SEO Masterclass by Filip Silobod from Aro Digital Strategy

SEO Masterclass

First of all, thanks so much for all those who came to attend this SEO Masterclass by Filip Silobod from Aro Digital Strategy on Tuesday 21st November 2017. Much appreciated!

I’m sharing with you few pictures of the speaker and the audience taken at the venue.

SEO Master Class speaker Filip Silobod from Aro Digital StrategySEO Master class audience at Bank of Ireland Gran Canal SquareSEO Masterclass audience at Bank of Ireland Gran Canal Square

If you would like to know more about Filip Silobod and the company he is working for, check this Eventbrite page.

SEO STRATEGY TOPICS

Secondly, Filip gave us a comprehensive masterclass on Search Engine Optimisation Strategy (SEO) to ensure that:

  • Your website is getting a high amount of traffic
  • It is ranking well on Google
  • Your website is user-friendly and user experience-optimised
  • The business is getting a good visibility online
  • Your website is getting good Click-Through-Rate (CTR) conversions whether through organic or paid search and advertising.

Let me share with you his presentation before delving into a bit more details on some of the topics. You will find Filip’s contact details in it. Please note that the slideshow of his presentation can be downloaded, saved or shared through Social Media.

When you build your website, you need to ensure that it is SEO-friendly and follows a long-term strategy.

DIGITAL SEO STRATEGY STEPS

Indeed, you may get more visits to your website and build a loyal customer base by considering these digital marketing and SEO methods:

  1. Understand and optimise the use of machine learning
  2. Optimise the User Experience on your site: easy access, page loading time, navigation ease, mobile-friendly website… Make sure you regularly check your Google Page Speed Insight as well as see how your website looks on mobile phones
  3. Use Paid advertising and search: Pay-Per-Click (PPC) with good visuals perform best. Paid Advertising will allow you to rank high in the Google Searches with Google Adwords. You can use Paid Social Media when you launch your website, new products or services
  4. Analyse and Compare your site with your competitors
  5. Take into account search trends for branded and non-branded keywords by using Google Keyword Planner and having a varied content with plenty of synonyms
  6. Have clear Call-To-Actions (CTA) in your website’s main and secondary pages to allow higher conversions
  7. Have a good landing page
  8. Use long-tail keywords (min 4 words): This advice is especially valid if you are a small business with a recent website. It will improve the discovery of your keywords in searches
  9. Create unique content that Google likes
  10. Have few good backlinks (off-page optimisation) throughout your blog posts linking to high authority websites. You may consider as well getting Public Relations (PR) releases
  11. Review your website’s authority score with Moz. Your authority score indicates trust in your business
  12. Increase your business local visibility by registering with Google My Business. Ensure you add quality images and request your customers to leave you reviews.
  13. Optimise, track and analyse your traffic with Google Webmaster Tool.  You will need to review the queries (keywords) made by consumers to find your website or blog. These include meta title, URL and meta description. This analysis will give you insights as to understand when and why people left your website.

Remember that, although Social Media doesn’t have much value in terms of SEO (‘no-follow links’), it still allows people to interact with your brand. Social Media helps consumers discover your brand online. It also adds extra traffic to your website thanks to re-tweets, sharing of your posts’ links.

Although Google is the biggest and most used search engine used worldwide, there are other valid search engines that you may use such as:

  • Baidoo for the Indian market
  • Bing for North American market (USA)
  • Ecosia.org that is based on Bing
  • Yandex for the Russian market.

Finally, keep in mind what matters the most isn’t so much how much your website/blog is searched for but how many conversions you get. Conversions can be downloads, newsletter sign-ups, purchases, shares… This can be measured with the CTR by using Google Analytics.

 

 

 

Content Marketing Tips by Emma Boylan from Outside the Box

First of all, thanks to all attendees for coming to this event advertised on Eventbrite website. Most importantly special thanks to Emma Boylan from ‘Outside the Box’ for coming to talk to us at Bank of Ireland Grand Canal Square venue in Dublin (Ireland) about Content Marketing.

Content Marketing Networking Event with Outside the BoxContent Marketing Networking Event with Outside the Box

Content Marketing Networking Event with Outside the Box

Secondly, let me talk to you a bit about Emma’s journey and story before going down to the content marketing piece.

Emma went a trip to Australia, where she did all kind of jobs. Then, she got back to work in Ireland. She left her 9 to 5 job four years ago to fulfill her dream of starting her own business.

She set up her ‘Outside the Box’ company when she saw that most marketing was all the same. She realised that businesses were really struggling to attract the right clients and have a message that made them different. At the beginning, she learnt a lot by doing. However, she started implementing a business plan about 2 years ago. She highly recommended you to have a plan when you get started so that you stay focused and motivated to reach your goals.

Using her passion for creative content and background in psychology, Emma has helped 100’s of businesses get crystal clear on their message to get them noticed and fill their businesses with clients in record time! So, I hope this will help you, too!

Please find below the talk topics and her visual presentation with her contact details. Please note that this slideshow can be downloaded and saved in your SlideShare account as well as shared through Social Media.

https://events.bankofireland.com/event/digital-marketing-tips-and-strategies-for-smbs/

Thirdly, I will detail a little more the explanations she gave beyond the slides themselves (transcript) so that you can understand them in the right context.

Step 1: To find the right client with the right message, focus on actually taking actions and avoiding procrastination.

Step 2: when you go about looking for clients, ask yourselves these questions:

In all means, always make sure you are being your unique self. Don’t copy others as clients will notice this and it will appear unauthentic.

Step 3: Once you have done your research, start meeting people like you. Tell your unique story, that should answer the ‘Why’ and the ‘What’ about your business. Keep in mind that your story matters more than offering discounts. Emma suggested not to offer too many discounts to attract customers. Instead, give something people need and that they will buy. Indeed, your company must resonate with their needs and offer solutions to their problems.

Step 4: Create your branding message. For that purpose, keep in mind that people, in general, have the attention span of a goldfish, so you need to be brief in your message to grab their attention. When creating your message, you need to focus on your business benefits in 10 seconds. Yes, you read it correctly, your benefits and not so much your features!

Step 5: Think about the results you want to get. A good way to deliver an outstanding message is to reflect on the top 10 problems and solutions you can offer to a client. Again, it’s all about the client, so your content should revolve around him/her!

Step 5: Write a first marketing plan. This doesn’t need to be lengthy but instead highly focused on your goals. For example, ask yourself: ‘how many clients do you need to make X Euros? How many clients per week do I need to get?’ In other terms, focus on your Return on Investment (ROI). Do not worry if it’s not 100 % perfect, you can always revise it as the time goes on and your business evolves.

Step 6: Be social and engaging. It’s not all about how many followers you have but rather how engaged they are. You need to increase the quality of organic followers by measuring your engagement rate on your social posts.

Step 7: Be clear in your message about what you want your clients to do. In other terms, lead people by the hand by providing a clear call-to-action. Do not ask questions that may bring a ‘no’ answer.

Step 8: Represent your own self in your brand. People buy from people. So, be out there in picture or video. People want to get to know you, see who you are and feel connected to you. For example, a photography frame business taking pictures of themselves with their framed photography will see better results than just publishing the framed photography on its own. Your imagination costs nothing, so don’t be afraid to be different and unique!

Step 9: To be remembered, you must focus on creating habits and showcasing what people know you for and people will follow. So, be consistent in your posting schedule and allocate regular time to stick to it. If your followers are used to see your video every Tuesday, make sure you post your video each Tuesday.

Finally, if you would like to deepen your knowledge on how to stand out for success and market yourself to get more clients and make more money, Emma is providing a 6-month online programme. Check her Facebook video teaser for more information and contact her by email if you are interested in emmaboylanpr@gmail.com.

WordPress – Search Engine Optimisation beyond Yoast plug-in

I recently joined a friendly and interesting networking meetup group in Dublin. It was organised by Marcin Kilarski, Rodolfo Melogli and Amit Wadhwa. They talked about WordPress Search Engine Optimisation beyond Yoast plug-in.

The presentation was given by Peter Lawless, sales and marketing expert, coach, mentor, trainer, TV & Radio presenter and published author. He is also a business founder.

It was followed by a Q & A by a panel of WordPress Search Engine Optimisation experts with:

  • Amit Wadhwa (Founder, Lead developer at xava.ie)
  • Rodolfo Melogli (WooCommerce expert at businessbloomer.com)
  • Peter Lawless (Search Engine Optimisation and Marketer at 3r.ie).

IMG_3235

In summary, the meetup topics were as follow:

• Is WordPress without SEO like a Shop in the middle of a Forest?

• Is an SEO Plugin, such as Yoast the answer to all your problems?

• How to Set SEO Titles in Just Two Steps

• The 3 Cardinal Sins of Black Hat SEO

• 5 SEO DIY Tips beyond Yoast

• “If you had just 15 minutes to SEO a website, how would you spend them?”

• The Financial Case to Hiring an SEO expert – (Our Secret SEO ROI Calculator).

Please find the slideshow presentation below as well as additional information from the Q&A :

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 ‘

‘Think like a customer’ means that you should use simple everyday language to write/talk to people.

He gave an example of the ‘Green eggs and ham’ children book written by Dr Seuss, which is using 50 words or less. In other terms, do not use over-complicated and sophisticated terms such as ‘refrain from..’.

What are ‘meta tags’?

Meta tags are used in HTML and XHTML documents to provide structured metadata about a Web page. Meta elements can be used to specify page description, keywords and any other metadata. For more information on how meta tags can impact SEO, have a read of this article:

http://www.wordstream.com/meta-tags

Choose wisely your categories in your articles to reflect the content of your posts.

Regarding the 5 Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) DIY tips, keep in mind that you have to give something of value to people. It can be free information to get them interested in our products or services.

For those who work as event organisers, you need to act as a go-to-place like Trip Advisor by helping people looking for your service.

When it comes to the call to action, make sure it’s available on every page. The call to action displayed on the home page shouldn’t be a sales one. Instead, it should be a form to fill in and provide contact information. Ensure you clearly explain to your customers what you want them to do and why.

As you start writing, podcasting, filming, focus mostly on content first and SEO second.

Be aware of cultural differences in terms of languages (eg different slangs in the UK, US and IE). Thinking about the customer language helps to get people to convert more easily. You can also link your .com website to your other sites. Before you start, ask yourself the following questions (find your niche):

What is the main goal for my blog? What kind of information do people look for? Which parts of my service do you like most? 

Then, follow these steps:

  1. Create content suitable for your audience (long for Business to Business and short for Business to Customer. Complex topics generally require longer content)
  2. Ask customers if they want to buy
  3. Collect addresses.

Pay attention to the design of your site by UX testing.

For example, avoid heavy high-resolution pictures. Too detailed pictures do not tell the story and add loading time to your website. When designing your website, visualise the customer journey through the following stages: excitement, knowledge and learning.

You also have the option to use advertising to boost the visibility of your blog or website. Keep this option as a cheap and short-time solution.

If you go down that route, you can kick off an Adword campaign for 3-6 months. It will drive more traffic. Remember to do some split tests for your meta description/title. The most clicked ads should become your headlines. Do not ever pay someone to be linked to someone else’s website/blog!

Another better option is affiliate marketing as it’s far more valuable than advertising.

Nonetheless, SEO is your best bet for a more long-term strategy.

For a better SEO optimisation, use a long-tail description with minimum 3-4 words. You can also boost your visibility through a joint press release for example.

When you set up your Google Business account and blog/site, make sure your contact details are consistent with all 3rd party websites: name, address, phone number.

Add a picture that Google will link to google map. You must have as well a table of content  (map.xml) with no duplicated content. Make sure to add appropriate tags to the sitemap. Otherwise, you’ll have to have a good navigation menu.

When you monitor your traffic, you can monitor your clicks. You can also check your Google ranking with:

Finally, you can calculate how much your SEO is worth with this tool:

http://www.3r.ie/website-success-calculator/

Do you have any questions? Any tips you’d like to add to this? Let me know by leaving a comment below!

How to get better Twitter reach and followers with these 3 new tools

pexels-photo-58639

Are you using Twitter to get more leads and clients? If so, this may interest you in. 

As you know, social media networks are constantly competing with each other for attention. They research new features and tools to launch in order to get more businesses in the door. Twitter is no different!

Twitter has followed suit with Instagram and Facebook marketing strategies. It has launched a tagging feature allowing you to mention some Twitter accounts to get their attention to your post.

But it’s not always showing up when you are creating a post! There is a trick for that! To trigger that option, you need to add one or several video(s) or picture(s) from your desktop or mobile phone. I will show you how to do this later on. Although adding a photo or video isn’t quite a new feature, the power of visuals must never be underestimated!

Here is why:

the importance of visuals in social media

They have also added the description or caption you can write under your uploaded image or video. You can use this feature to explain what your post is about for the visually impaired followers.

Now let me show you in practice how it works.

First, you type in the empty field:

  • your title
  • your blog post or website link
  • 2 most relevant hashtags for your topic.

Doing this will help you get your audience interested in reading your article.

Once you’ve done that, click on the following symbol under your text to upload photo(s) or video(s)upload a video or picture to your twitter post

The following sentence will appear below your picture: ‘Who’s in this photo?‘.

See below screenshot as an example:

blog post for twitter adding mentions tags

Then, you will need to click on this symbol to tag a Twitter user in your blog post: tag twitter users in your post

To tag someone, all you need to do is to click on the ‘Who’s in this photo’ sentence and type the name of the person you want to be tagged in your post.

Obviously, it may be helpful to know their twitter handle but you may find it by searching their name as well. You can tag several Twitter handles if the post targets different users.

See below example:

blog posts on new tag feature shown in my post

Before you click on tweet button , you may think about adding a description to your photo(s) or video(s), so that the visually impaired people know what your picture or post is about.

As the example below shows, you have the following white text displayed just below your image: ‘Add description‘. Click on it to add a caption to your photo.

photo showing option to add description

Once you click on this sentence/field, your post will pop like this:

the add description box for pictures shared on twitter

Once you have added your description or caption, click on: apply button to apply the changes to your picture.

When finished, you can tweet your post. The added caption/description will not be visible to you but will be viewable to visually impaired users.

Have you noticed other useful Twitter features or tools that may be useful to get more followers or higher reach?

If so, leave a comment in the below box! 

 

How to skyrocket your product or service sales online and offline

I attended on 5th July 2017 an event in Dublin organised by ‘Tech Sales Hookups’ giving tips on how to skyrocket sales with live video and personal lead.

skyrocket sales

You will find the link to the advertised event in the SlideShare description I will provide you within this post! I thought this could be useful to some of you and decided to do a write-up on it! I will share with you what is, in my eyes, the most relevant information for you! 💡

There were 3 speakers at the event:

  • Grazina Orlovska from e-Frontier recruitment agency told us that the most sought out jobs for companies are in the sales field and talked about the recruitment process for such roles
  • Greg Fry from Careers Coach and Social Media Trainer talked about how to increase your sales by leveraging live videos
  •  Vlad Goloshchuk, CEO and founder at BrightestMinds.io focused on increasing conversion rates in Business to Business (B2B) sales.

All of them reminded us that to be a good salesperson, you need to be extroverted, enthusiastic, perseverant, convincing and excel at building relationships with your influencers. People will buy from you because they like you. So you need to become the likeable person they are feeling connected with.

I will move directly onto the conversation Greg Fry had with us in addition to the above slides from his presentation.

Video marketing, an integral part of the sales process

Indeed, video Marketing is the quickest and most effective way to build a relationship.

What are the most important of video sales and marketing aspects?
1. Follow these 3 core sales principles for your product or service:
  • Connect with your audience
  • Communicate with your audience
  • Build a relationship with your audience.

Example: ‘the happy pear’ Irish based company, successful at building a relationship through live videos on Snapchat.

In order to sell more, it’s important to promote your live videos beforehand and to distribute your created content to people through multiple platforms (social networks, emails). When doing live videos, make sure you interact with your audience by asking questions.

2. Experiment different video formats:
  • live videos: interact with your audience by asking questions
  • customer service videos: reply to the most frequently asked questions from your customers
  • video teasers: create these teasers for the launch of new products or services
  • crowdsourcing videos: connect with your clients and suppliers and answer their questions.

You can create these videos from home with the use of this free Open Broadcaster Software and/or this cheap webinar system.

3. Get higher reach with Facebook live video ads

You can use Facebook Ads to promote your live videos and re-purpose them by sharing them on the different platforms. You can also create content in multiple formats and provide your customers with the choice to select the format they like most (Audio, Video or Text/Transcript).

4. Select the relevant platform for your audience

Depending on whether your company caters to Business Clients (B2B) or Private Consumers (B2C), you may choose a different channel. For eg, for B2B companies, YouTube may be the most appropriate channel. As for B2C, the most appropriate one would be Facebook Live streams and Instagram stories.

In terms of video length, videos should last:

  • around 90 seconds on Facebook
  • around 45 seconds on Twitter
  • max 1 minute on Instagram
  • between 5 to 50 minutes on YouTube, depending on your audience.

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The importance of personal lead in a sales environment

Vlad Goloshchuk advised paying attention to the structure of your call/email/sales pitch.

1. SALES PITCH guidelines:
  • Identify yourself
  • Sell your services/products benefits
  • Be credible
  • Have a call to action.
2. Email Marketing for B2B sales

According to him, the most successful format for B2B sales is Email Marketing. Indeed, Email is 40 times better at acquiring new customers.

The email subject line of 3-4 words must provide the client with your company name and the benefits your company will give to their business.

You also need to make sure not to send unsolicited emails (emails sent in bulk), as this is illegal. You need to send an individual and customised email to each client.

3. Clients’ follow-up

He also stressed the importance of following-up with clients until they say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ by asking them questions such as ‘what is stopping you from working with us?’.

You must provide business value and your service or product must be related to the same of business your client is into.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Start-up: Learn How to Pitch your idea to investors

I attended on 12th June 2017 a presentation and workshop on how to pitch an idea for entrepreneurs. Not only have I learnt a great deal but also the host Adeo Ressi from Founder Institute made everyone feel comfortable by joking all the time!😂

idea pitch

The Founder Institute is a global idea-stage accelerator and startup launch program helping entrepreneurs ‘with the structure, training, mentor support, and global network needed to start an enduring company’: http://fi.co/users/1329971/edit

So, Adeo Ressi started his talk by stating the five most important rules to follow when pitching your idea to potential investors:

  1. Show confidence. This is valid for any kind of enterprises you want to launch!
  2. Don’t make excuses for not pitching your ideas!
  3. Avoid superlatives/adjectives
  4. Use data, in other terms, be factual. Back up your ideas by showing you know your audience needs (demographics, size, geolocation…)
  5. End strong by stating clearly what your ask is! Why not leave with a slogan, for example.

He started with the basics, i.e the opening line you need to master for each of your pitch:

‘My company is [name], is developing [a defined offering], to help [a target audience] [solve a problem with the secret sauce].

It sounds easier than it is, so keep in mind these further tips when you are working on your opening line:

  • Be prepared to bring up a defined offering to the table, keep it clear (articulate, especially your company name!) and short!
  • You also need to specify your audience (age group, education level…) and what they truly want!
  • Never lie but don’t tell the whole truth easier. Remember the point about confidence?😉

Then, Adeo went into more general tips on how to get a higher visibility and brand awareness. He advised all entrepreneurs to find a prominent lead by doing research to figure out who might need your deal and by exploiting your networking opportunities through the following sites:

  • AngelList
  • Linkedin
  • CrunchBase.

Remember that your chosen lead must have time, money and expertise to help you out. You may need to repeat the pitching process up to 60 times to get one lead.

Now, let’s enter into the nitty-gritty of the pitching process:

  1. Meet as many people as you can
  2. Send invitations for coffee
  3. Keep updated with news
  4. Meet potential leads at online and offline events
  5. Send invitations to longer meetings once you have broken the ice with one lead
  6. Ask for funding
  7. News update again.

Remember not to over-sell yourself and that the goal of each meeting is to get to the next meeting. You need to build relationship and trust.

Prepare a one-page agreement with those who have shown interest in investing. Remember, the real investor will be the one you come towards to and pitch your idea to, and not the other way around!

When approaching someone about to invest in your company, ask for a little less than you wanted and explicitly ask if they want to be your adviser and lead the round.

When pitching, think about what the focus of your offer/service/product is on:

  1. A vision
  2. Problems/Solutions
  3. Traction/Interest (eg raise money for a business milestone that generates revenue).

Finally,  according to Adeo Rossi, the hardest business areas to pitch for, as investors are harder to convince to invest in due to the high risks are Travel, Music, Sports, Wine.😓 So, keep that in mind and find a complementary service that could add additional value!

 

Funding and Financial Sustainability for Non-Profit Organisations in Ireland

I attended an event advertised on Facebook and organised by Bluefire Dublin called ‘Igniting Change: Funding & Financial Sustainability‘ on Thursday 29th June 2017.

The event was aimed at voluntary and community organisation, social-enterprises, individual artists or community-based project managers, and small-medium NGO’s.

financial sustainability

Bluefire organises ‘igniting change series’ every last Thursday of each month: http://bluefiredublin.ie/our-programmes/igniting-change/

financial sustainability
The guest speakers at the event were a mix of social entrepreneurs and funding bodies:

• Ian Oliver (far right on the picture) from Centre for Creative Practices
• Eoghan Ryan (far left in the picture) from Social Innovation Fund Ireland
• Hazel Hill (right next to Eoghan) from The Community Foundation for Ireland
• Naomi Murphy (left next to Ian) from Connect the Dots

The purpose was for attendees:

  • to be aware of what is required to start up a successful business and
  • to know how to get grants from organisations supporting social entrepreneurs.

It started with a talk from each speaker, followed by a workshop and a networking session.

1. Eoghan from Social Innovation Fund Ireland:

Before launching Social Innovation Fund, he founded his own not-for-profit, Reimagine Cork to tackle issues around homelessness in Cork. Understanding the needs for Not-for-Profits, he felt he could help entrepreneurs best and joined Social Innovation Fund.

The company’s mission is to provide both funding and non-financial support to social entrepreneurs. It has also partnered with the government and every given Euro by SIFI is matched by the government.

Eoghan’s first advice was to think about ‘why’ you want to start up a company and why his company would fund you. He also strongly recommends:

  • having a clear plan in place,
  • having a good value proposition,
  • showing confidence
  • having good management skills.

When filling forms to apply for funding, keep it simple and answer the asked questions.

2. Hazel Hill, Marketing Executive and Programme Leader at The Community Foundation for Ireland:

Her organisation offers both open grants and private grants. The latter ones are given on a project basis with an end date. The organisation offers funds for mergers (shared between teams) to highlight the importance of collaboration and partnership between organisations.

You will be asked about what will happen at the end of the project to gauge how sustainable your business model is.

Her first advice was to not manipulate your core mission value (reason for existing) to get funding. Instead, only apply to relevant grants that fit your organisation. She also advised to:

  • have a clear mission statement,
  • document your research by backing up your project with analytical reports,
  • listen to your community/audiences’ needs,
  • take any constructive feedback on board
  • understand the impact your company will have.

3. Naomi AND MERISSA from Connecting the Dots, a start-up focusing on the community engagement in Dublin: 

Their company started off when there were many unoccupied vacancies in Dublin during the crisis by putting on events with artists, engineers, researchers. Over the time, they worked on a process for events’ organisation, i.e on improving the engagement with attendees, corporate donors.

Naomi’s advice was to volunteer for different organisations and network that way before you start up. She has been helping a lot at ‘Happenings’ organisation.

It is also important to speed up processes with a technology enabler. They are currently working on a software service (SAAS) application (transferring processes online for co-working events), in order to gain time and increase income streams and viability.

4. Ian AND his wife Monica from Center for Creative Practices, a company helping creative artists to come up with a more sustainable model:

His first advice was to start with a small plan before building a full-scale model and revisit this plan when necessary.

Instead of going through a lengthy business plan, they worked on a one-page business model. It detailed their business model and value proposition:

  • the company’s purpose,
  • what problem it is trying to resolve and,
  • the solution offered.

His first business model focused on having a cash projection, i.e ticket prices’ sales and getting people to utilise the space to generate further money. He feels it is best not to be over-reliant on grants for the day-to-day running of the business.

5. participants needing help on setting up their organisations, PLEASE get in touch with the following bodies: