Beyond Digital Video: 4 Other Ways to Visually Connect with Customers

Visually Connect with Customers

2015 has been called the year of the video, and that moniker makes sense. More than 4 billion videos are uploaded and clicked on Facebook alone every day and that’s only one video-friendly site.

Consider the billions of collective hits sites like YouTube and Vimeo, and even Twitter’s new video platform, garner on a daily basis. These sites are just meeting the consumer demand for digital video content that has skyrocketed in the past few years.

Video content is just one piece of a larger digital strategy though. If you want the best marketing tools to grow your business, you need to think beyond a one-dimensional strategy.

There are other ways to incorporate visuals into your online content and by adding some variety, you will appeal to a larger audience. Take a look at four digital visual tools you should be incorporating, alongside video offerings.

  • These easily digestible pieces of content display information in a fun format that combines images and text. Infographs are surprisingly popular too – 62 million Google searches were done on the term in April 2015. It is also 30 times more likely that an infograph will be read over text formats alone. Not sure how to create an infographic? Head to Slideshare, Piktochart or Visual.ly.
  • These online visuals are designed to be shared and you don’t have to be funny or snarky for it to work. If creating a Grumpy Cat meme isn’t exactly in line with your company branding, look for a basic backdrop and a quote that will resonate with your audience. The key is to find a thought that will have mass appeal so that your followers and fans feel encouraged to share it with their circles.
  • These “Graphics Interchange Format” visuals are a good combination between flat infographics and longer videos. GIFs are engaging, but don’t require a large time commitment. If you are planning a list-style blog post, incorporating GIFs alongside your points will help drive your message home and keep your readers interacting with your content.
  • Photo galleries. Keep people engaged with a topic for longer than one page view with a photo gallery. If you are writing a how-to article, consider making it a photo gallery of the different steps. Photo galleries also work well for travel pieces and recipes. Have your website visitors choose to click on your site again and again with an engaging and intriguing photo gallery.

It’s important to capture the attention of people online as emerging technology advances and visuals will help you accomplish that.

Small businesses that harness the power of easily accessible technology will see their marketing campaigns succeed. Video content is thriving but offering your audience some visual alternatives is another way to ensure that they stay interested in you and ultimately what you are selling.

Do you have a multi-faceted visual marketing strategy?

Cutting Through the Noise to Build Customer Trust

 

This is surprising: Only 38% of people say that they can trust most people. 57% say they cannot, according to the General Social Survey (GSS.)

Trust is a funny thing. It’s hard to earn and easy to lose.Cutting Through the Noise to Build Customer Trust

As a business, trust is essential to sales. Recent statistics show content is the key to building that trust:

● Watching product videos makes 52% of consumers more likely to buy, according to Octoly.
● 59% of consumers place equal weight on personal recommendations and online reviews, according to Balihoo.
● 77% of consumers are more likely to purchase a product after learning about it from a friend or family member, according to Nielsen.

The goal of breaking through the noise is to get people to recommend your business. One of the best and easiest ways to do that is through content marketing.

Here are four content marketing tips to show how your business can better connect to customers in a crowded market.

1. Focus on Producing Higher Quality Content

The first step toward giving your customer a better impression of your brand is improving the quality of your content.

You may already post blogs to your website, videos and images on social media networks, and frequently upload other forms of content to your website. The variety of content you create is great, but are you adding value? Or are you just adding noise?

High quality content outshines the competition and improves your consumers’ lives, building trust in the process. When you’re creating your next blog post, webinar, or podcast, ask yourself the following:

● How will my audience benefit from this information?
● Is this something my audience needs to hear?
● Does this content answer a question my audience is asking?

If your content passes the sniff test for quality, hit publish. If not, revise until it’s ready to shine.

2. Ask for the Share

Once your content is live, invite your readers to share it. If your readers share it, chances are others in their networks will notice.

Shares are personal recommendations from one person to others. People are more willing to trust your brand when they get an endorsement from someone in their network.

3. Watch the Numbers Behind the Content

Too often, content producers hit publish and then walk away feeling accomplished. In reality, it’s just the beginning of the marketing process.

For your content marketing to succeed, you need to know what works, what resonates, and what falls short. Watching the numbers behind your work will tell a more accurate story about what your audience wants.

Here are some of the more critical analytics to monitor:

● Traffic. How many people landed on the webpage?
● Referral Sources. How did people find your content?
● Time. How long did people spend with your content?
● Shares. Did your readers love it enough to share it?

By watching how your audience engages with what you produce, you’ll get a better sense of what’s wanted and what’s getting lost in the shuffle.

4. Use Multiple Forms of Media

Some people love to read blog posts. Others want to watch webinars or listen to podcasts. Mixing up the media in which you deliver your content can help you reach a wider audience without diluting your message.

Try mixing video, audio, compelling visuals, and text. You can use combinations of these media forms too. For example, add a video to a blog post and include a small description and transcript below it.

The more methods you have for people to interact with your content, the more likely you are to be heard.

Building trust starts with getting heard. If you want to grow your customer base and establish your business as one to trust in the market, high quality content is critical. Watch what the market wants from your company and then deliver in a variety of media forms.

Kimberly Crossland is a content marketing expert focused on helping small businesses break through the noise and boost their position online. Sign up for her email list to get weekly .

5 Everyday Ways to Treat Your Customers Better

No matter what your business there is someone, somewhere who you have to keep happy. That may come in the form of traditional customers, a larger company that buys your products, or even clients who retain your services. Trying 5 Everyday Ways to Treat your Customers Betterto keep up with the daily demands of your business is work enough; finding the time to go out of your way to keep your paying clientele happy may seem completely close to impossible.

Luckily there are some simple, everyday ways to show some love to your consumer base without having to do a whole lot.

Take a look at just a few:

Set up “thank you” emails. Use that email list you’ve been building for more than promotional reasons. Send out a “thank you” message that coincides with a particular milestone – company anniversary, calendar holiday – or just for no reason other than to show your appreciation. Try to set up two or three of these each year.

Anticipate needs. Keep excellent records through customer relationship management software and know when your customers will be needing something from you. Take those opportunities to reach out first, or to provide a discount on the product or service. Your customers should not always be the ones who have to approach you – with automated software, you can have the ability to reach them first.

Utilize social pages. Make use of these channels to highlight customers and showcase them in positive ways. It’s also vital that you monitor the questions and concerns that come in through social media pages so you can have a quick response – making your customers feel like they are priorities and eliminating any online negativity.

Pick up the phone. When there is a dispute or complaint, don’t hide behind an email chain. Pick up the phone and put a human voice behind your company’s digital persona. Sometimes just listening to what a customer or client has to say will bring them satisfaction with whatever was bothering them.

Reward them. Loyalty is not easily earned in the increasingly digital marketplace, so fan that flame whenever possible. Offer your customers exclusive discounts for signing up for your email promotions, or a lower rate after a certain number of purchases or amount of time. You can even run contests and giveaway products or services. Find small ways to give back to your loyal following that will boost your business reputation and bottom line.

Keep your customers smiling by thinking like they do. Show that you care not just about that first sale, but about maintaining a long-term relationship.

How do you keep your customers happy?

Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for . She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.