How to Vlog

In today’s world of digital marketing and endless content, vlogs — which combines the words “video” and “blog” — are undoubtedly a popular way to engage with followers on social media. If you’re interested in starting a vlog but aren’t sure where to start, read on to learn some tips on how to maximize this great marketing opportunity.

First, it is important to keep your expectations realistic when starting a vlog. Thousands of hours of video content are uploaded to YouTube and beyond every couple of minutes. Only a handful of vloggers have a million or more followers or earn thousands of dollars in revenue. However, while your vlog may not receive a million followers, that does not mean it cannot be successful. Working with a small audience can help you closely engage with your followers and create meaningful content that is beneficial to both you and those watching.

Unlike traditional blogging or podcasting, vlogs allow followers to consume content in a different and more visual way. This can be a draw for many who wish to engage with you or your business even if you use other channels to connect to your followers. Since people like to explore digital content in a variety of ways, a vlog may open the door to new followers.

Now that you know the basics of why you should vlog, it’s time to learn what makes a good vlogger. Paying attention to logistics can be a huge benefit when vlogging. A shaky camera and poor sound quality will turn viewers off. Invest in an inexpensive stand if you plan to film on your phone, or take it one step further and purchase a video camera. It’s also important to edit your videos well, with clean graphics and seamless edits. Changing up your location from time to time can also work wonders. If you usually sit in your office during vlogs, try filming somewhere else every so often. This will keep viewers interested and engaged with your videos. 

When it comes to content, keep your vlog short and focused. Viewers prefer to watch a concise, well-edited video over something drawn out. Posing questions so that followers can engage with you is a great way to grow your audience. Also, the more specific you get when it comes to content, the more followers you will have. If you or your business are part of a niche industry, capitalize on that. It is better to vlog about something you knew well and that you may not have a lot of competition in than filming a generic and boring video.

Ultimately the most important thing in creating a vlog is to just start doing it. People will often realize they have much more to say than they initially thought once the vlog has been started. Being vlogging today to boost followers and engagement for you and your business! 

Instagram Marketing in 2020

As you may already know, Instagram features are constantly changing, meaning social media trends are continuously in flux. 2020 looks like it will be no different, with digital and social marketing being more popular than ever. Marketers should be gearing up to keep pace with Instagram in the new year. Read on to learn what you can expect to see on the social media platform in the coming months.

Increase Engagement, Not Just Followers

Promoting generic content for the sake of posting won’t do your Instagram any good in 2020. Not only will your posts get pushed aside by the algorithm, but your followers will also be less inclined to engage with your posts if they do not seem genuine. With so many organizations taking to social media for advertising purposes, Instagram users are becoming astute when it comes to following accounts and liking or commenting on posts. Taking time to produce quality content will be key in maintaining and increasing engagement rates in the new year.

The Rise of the Micro-Influencer

Social media influencers have been around for years now, and the average user is becoming more perceptive of what these accounts are promoting. That said, Instagram users are better responding to people they know — friends and/or family — over big-time influencers with millions of followers. The rise of nano- and micro-influencers (those with 1,000-9,999 and 10,000-100,000 followers, respectively) are beginning to fare better than larger accounts for brand promotion. Investing in these types of influencers can be extremely beneficial for brands since they usually have stronger relationships with and closer ties to their followers.

Using Stories

More and more brands are using the stories feature on Instagram, which allows an account’s followers to see a quick photo or video for 24 hours. These are usually more casual and fun than regular posts that are permanently visible. Organizations are beginning to use stories on a regular basis to share in-the-moment, engaging snapshots of highly-engaging content. Instagram users are projected to increase watching and responding to stories, making them a fantastic digital marketing tool.

Deliver Your Best Work For a Client

Oftentimes it can be tempting to do “just enough” for the client. Personally, I don’t believe in “just good enough” and always push myself to do better than the rest. Better than my competitors. I am always striving to do my best work in all that I do. Clients come to me with a specific need. It could be that they need a website to be redesigned, or they are unhappy with their search engine rankings. Perhaps they think they need to be on social media to sell their products and have no place to start. In any scenario, they are looking at me to deliver something to them and they may have very little knowledge of what measures need to be taken.

It would be unreasonable for one to expect a business owner or corporation to know the ins and outs of website design and the advanced coding necessary to rank well with search engines. They may know what a digital marketing funnel is but hardly how to make one work for them. They may know that video is the premier content in 2020, but what should they say? How long should it be? Where should we house it among their digital assets? These are questions that I am here to answer. I see this far too much among past and present clients: that there are agencies out there burning their clients with mediocre or downright poor work. I don’t let this happen and I urge you to not let it happen either.

Deliver your best work for your clients. Period. Go above and beyond for them, if they need help. Work from your heart and mind but not from your ego. If you take them for a ride and pocket their money without knowing what the hell you’re doing or blatantly not performing, then you are only screwing yourself in the long-term. No one will look at you as a deliverer, or someone to trust. Your reputation can be and should be dragged through the mud.

So what does it mean to deliver the best work for your clients? Well, it starts with understanding exactly what it is you’re doing.  I see so many people calling themselves pro website developers who cannot even code. I’ve seen many social media “gurus” who haven’t even filled out the basic information for their clients on their social pages. Don’t do this to people. If you’re inept then learn how to do your job. And once you know how to do the work, then deliver your best work for your clients.

There are too many people out there that need our help. Small businesses especially. Mom and pops have a hard enough time competing with the big-timers but when a younger digitally smooth competitor comes into town and washes them with their online presence it can effectively close their doors. These are the people that need our help. Deliver the best work you can for a client.  You’ll feel better when you do so.

What Is a Digital Marketing Funnel?

The idea of a “marketing funnel” is not new. The concept has existed for over a century and continues to evolve over time. The biggest disrupter of the traditional marketing funnel is the internet. In the past, most customers went to a store to purchase a product they were looking for. They may have compared the different types of products the store offered, but their search was limited to what was available in the store. Today, consumers are able to compare and contrast hundreds — even thousands — of products from all over the world without even leaving their homes thanks to the internet.

Today, consumers are able to compare and contrast hundreds — even thousands — of products from all over the world without even leaving their homes thanks to the internet.

This, in turn, has caused the traditional marketing funnel to become outdated. The phases of the traditional marketing funnel used to be:

Awareness – Knowing the product exists

Interest – Having an interest in obtaining said product

Desire – Wanting the product enough to buy it

Action – Making the purchase   For the most part, consumers passed through these phases in order, without much diversion.   When it comes to the digital marketing funnel, consumers may not experience all phases, and the phases that they do go through may not be in order. This is due in part to the rise of accessibility. People want a more customized experience, and since shopping takes place online now more than ever, phases may be omitted or reorganized in order to appeal to the consumer.

Phases of the digital marketing funnel are more like the following:

Awareness – Knowing the product exists.

Consideration – Spending time researching this type of product, discovering what is available.

Purchase – Making the purchase ● Post-purchase – Connecting with customers after the purchase, creating satisfied customers who will return and recommend to others   The digital marketing funnel focuses on brand engagement, educating the customer on how to best use the product, and embracing the non-linear way that internet-based customers experience shopping online.

 People want a more customized experience, and since shopping takes place online now more than ever, phases may be omitted or reorganized in order to appeal to the consumer.

In order to compete with others, you need to ensure that your digital marketing funnel is in place for online consumers. The old marketing funnel no longer applies now that the internet is such a large resource for customers.

Here are a few tips to increase the reach of your digital content and product satisfied customers:

SEO – “Search Engine Optimization” can help potential customers find your product more easily. By optimizing keywords, search engines like Google will show your content when consumer type in certain words.

Social media – Being active on social media, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and creating targeted ads on these platforms, can help potential customers see what you have to offer in a quick and easy way.

Website promotion – Having your content featured on different websites is a great way to reach out to potential customers who may otherwise not have been aware of your product. Keeping your own website up-to-date and accurate is also a large part of website promotion.

Content marketing – If you produce engaging and informative digital content, consumers will be drawn to your website or social media channel to learn more. This will help you connect with potential customers in a way that doesn’t seem forced.

Ultimately, changing your marketing strategy to include the digital world is inevitable. In order to stay competitive, switching from a traditional marketing funnel to a digital one will help you capture more customers and create brand loyalty for the future.