Personally, I love video marketing for two reasons:
- They quickly communicate ideas
- They make me connect on a much deeper level compared to text on a page
But don’t take my word for it. There are some incredible stats about online videos. For instance, over half a billion people watch a video on Facebook every day. Do you realise how many people that is? That is 8.3% of the people on earth!
Video marketing increases trust in your brand.
Recent stats show that 43% of people want to see more video content from marketers and over half of marketing professionals say video gives the best ROI.
- Forbes stats: https://www.forbes.com/sites/tjmccue/2017/09/22/top-10-video-marketing-trends-and-statistics-roundup-2017/#1faa4cd77103
- Hubspot stats: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/video-marketing-statistics
- Socialmediatoday stats: https://www.socialmediatoday.com/social-business/50-social-media-video-marketing-stats-2017-infographic
“If you’re not using video marketing as part of your marketing strategy, you are losing out big time”
For start-ups, videos are a great way of connecting with your audience with engaging content. You don’t need fancy equipment – a camera phone and some good lighting are all you need. Videos can humanise your founder/CEO, showcase new clients or promote testimonials from existing ones. You can reveal your workspace, your team and your partners. Facebook Live, Instagram Live and LinkedIn Video make on-platform videos so easy, anyone can do them – just hit live!
Stuck for content ideas? Then give us a buzz for an inspiring chat. As a final stats treat, check out this infographic from Website Builder – 127 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Video Marketing
Have you ever considered a purchase but you were put off because there simply weren’t answers to your burning questions? It’s a definite yes for me. I recently moved house and my list of questions over the period of buying, selling, moving and settling in has been never-ending.
Imagine that you are dealing with a company that seemed to read your mind. They know the questions you have before you ask them. Even better – they ‘ve answered them!
When creating content for your customers, it is great to give them new information, tips and tricks. But what could be amazing content, is content that answers the questions they have. The questions differ depending on where they are in their buying cycle. Here are 3 steps to help you to create amazing content based on customers frequently asked questions.
Create Amazing Content: List possible questions
Get a piece of paper, a blank excel page or post-its – however you roll – make a list of questions that customers have asked you before. Stand in their shoes and write down the questions you’d have if you had never met your company or product. Don’t forget to write down questions that potential customers might ask. This is very important because answering these questions properly could increase your sales enquiries. Customers read hundreds of pieces of content before they get in touch with the company. Make sure they find the answer they need.
Create Amazing Content: Segment questions for before, during and after a purchase
You have a bunch of questions now. Make a note of whether these questions are likely to come up before, during or after a purchase. This could help you personalise the content, and make it relevant. Questions asked after a purchase are often ignored so if you do this well, your customers will love you even more. Think about customer care and how you can keep providing crucial answers to questions that come up after the deal is closed – this builds customer loyalty.
Create Amazing Content: Answer the questions
So now, you have to answer the questions. Seek help from your front line support team or technical experts if you need to but ensure you give clear responses to the questions. There are many ways to answer questions. You could provide a simple one-word response if that’s all it requires. For instance,
Q. How long will my subscription last if I do not renew it?
A. 12 months.
Some questions might require one sentence. For example,
Q. Do you also offer social media support?
A. Yes, we do offer support for Facebook and Twitter only.
But really amazing content gives deeper responses to more complex questions. Such content requires more thought. Here are ways that you might answer frequently asked questions to create amazing content:
Providing real-life examples of how your product or service was used is powerful. If you have willing existing customers, ask their permission for a case study. As you write the case study i.e. how a customer used your product, you will be answering many questions about how the product works, what problem it was solving and what the outcome was. You might even be able to use the case study to answer questions around pricing, particularly if you have a complex pricing model or a tailored one that depends on individual customer cases.
Audio listening is a personal favourite of mine. It is growing among busy entrepreneurs and business people so it is a good way to provide content to that audience. This is also a great ‘after purchase’ content that existing customers can subscribe to and tune in regularly. Podcasts help you to talk to your customers as you answer their questions. You could invite guest speakers to support your podcasts, tackling questions that might be outside your area of expertise.
If you sell a product, you can do a demo to put online. Make the demo short and focused on a particular feature of your product. It might make sense to create a series of videos for each key feature, depending on what you have listed as frequently asked questions. You don’t need much gear to do these videos. Create software videos with Camtasia for instance. If it’s not software, a good camera phone, microphone and tripod can be all you need to show your product in action.
Encourage customer-generated content
Customer-generated content has been used successfully for campaigns. But this idea can also be used to answer questions posed by your customers. Companies like IBM and Intel created online forums were customers, partners and vendors can ask and answer questions. Other public sites that do this well are Yahoo and Quora, where users can ask questions that other users answer. There are several benefits to customer-generated content such as increased engagement, authenticity and credibility.
Content marketing works best when it is actually solving a problem and answering questions. These are just some ways that you can answer your customers’ questions and create amazing content while doing it.
Have you tried something that really worked? Let us know in the comments.
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Earlier this week, Upwork published my article on competitor intelligence. In the article, I highlighted 6 ways that doing competitor research could improve your marketing strategy. I find that many new business owners don’t know the relevance of competitor research in their business and marketing strategy. They skip it all together in some cases, or they do the research but fail to apply the insight for competitive advantage. Before you go on, you might want to read my Upwork article published on 03 October 2017: 6 ways that competitor intelligence improves your marketing strategy.
In this blog post, I will discuss 4 ways that competitor research improves your business strategy.
Hiring the right people is important for your business growth. To give you an idea of the top skills in your industry, use platforms like LinkedIn to track the skills that your competitors are bringing into their business. Are they hiring customer service executives or app developers? How many years experience are they looking for? This gives you a good understanding of what you need to grow, especially if you need to prioritise skills by hiring for crucial roles first.
As a business matures, you will find that more partnerships and collaborations take place. Follow your competitors’ news stories by subscribing to their newsletters. Also, set up Google Alerts so that you get news about the company and also about your industry in general. Partnerships often trigger significant PR effort so it is likely to make big news. Several partnerships in your industry could signify consolidation (as in mature markets) or collaboration for innovation. Ensure that you build this into your business strategy, and continue to review based on your business environment.
An industry with multiple third-party suppliers might regularly review cost structures. Your competitors might start to bring certain services in-house, for instance. Or they could look at acquiring specific suppliers. Your competitor research in this area doesn’t imply that you will copy what the market is doing. In fact, you might discover that you could have an advantage by doing the opposite. For example, outsourcing certain services could reduce your fixed costs or improve your profitability. Conversely, acquiring a supplier that provides a critical material for your business might mean that you gain intellectual property and become more valuable as you retain exclusivity.
It’s possible that you start your business thinking you will offer one thing. But by the end of six months, you find that you either change what you offer or you find opportunities to offer other products and services. A brief review of your competitors’ revenue streams, particularly those that have been in your market longer than you, could give you a view of potential revenue streams. These streams might not be open to you straight away, but some could contribute to your growth strategy. For example, you could start out consulting and then find that there are opportunities to offer standardised training. You could also start out providing Software as a service and discover that the data that you gather from your users is highly valuable, and could be offered to a different market segment.
You shouldn’t spend months researching your competitors. But you should definitely do some research. What’s even more important is that you do this research regularly. That could be quarterly or annually. Ensure that your business strategy evolves with your findings and with the changes in your business environment. These changes are guaranteed to come – be prepared.