outdoor retailer video marketing

Outdoor Retailer: Video Marketing

You don’t have to look very hard these days to find marketing professionals and academics puzzling over the millennial consumer market. According to Outside magazine, outdoor retailers are especially struggling to get a foothold on the millennial money mountain. As Outside and most current wisdom suggest inbound and video marketing is the way to go when it comes to reaching prospective outdoor recreation customers, under the age of 35.Read more


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How To Succeed at Outdoor Retailer

Outdoor Retailer: How to be successful?

Exhibiting at a like Outdoor Retailer or even just attending, can be one of the most fun and effective ways to grow your business. But it can also be challenging to connect with new people, form relationships, and then follow up with those people to create real growth in your business.

Trade Shows are often the most expensive line item on your company's marketing budget. Which means that it is vital to ensure you do everything possible to maximize the return on your investment in travel, tickets, promotions and time at a trade show.A properly prepped Outdoor Retailer, as you will see in our Outdoor Retailer Success Series, can massively improve their trade show results with a few simple steps.

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Being at a Trade Show with your competitors is an invaluable experience. You can measure your efforts against the competition to capture quality leads or drive traffic to your booth. To get the most out of your marketing expense requires a fully integrated digital to real world strategy. Luckily for you, it is still very uncommon to find exhibitors or attendees who have an effective strategy to maximize their efforts.

Put down your business cards and swag bags, because we are about to leave them in the dust...

 


What is Marketing Automation?

What is Marketing Automation? The Top 3 Reasons You Should Be Using This Technology

Here is a scenario you may be up against if you are doing things right:

You have been working hard over the recent past to create content such as videos, blog posts, infographics, and white papers that are interesting and valuable to your future customers. You have a fan base on social media that is engaged with your posts and sharing them. You have created regular traffic to your blog posts and your email list is growing.

Further, some of these users may even be demonstrating buying cues such as looking at your pricing page and checking out your testimonials - but how would you know when that occurs and follow up at the right time? More importantly, the question remains - how do you nurture these leads into buying customers?

The answer:

Marketing Automation: a means to drive more leads, convert leads into sales, and measure ROI of individual campaigns.

1. Generate More Leads

With marketing automation software, we are able to identify anonymous visitors to our site. That means we can prospect more accurately because we know which companies are interested. We can also capture information in forms from users that are interested in staying up to date with our video content, requesting a demo, or in exchange for an infographic or white paper.

2. Drive Sales

Once that user is in our system, his use can be tracked at each subsequent visit to our website - we know when our prospects visit. Based on his visits and actions on our site, the user will be segmented into a campaign with personalized follow-up information to nurture the relationship. For example, if he shows interest in our Video Marketing for eCommerce videos, we can automatically send him information that pertains to our eCommerce content creation services.

Even more interesting is the way the system scores leads based on a number of parameters that we can set based on a client's unique business.  An example of a high profile lead in the system would be a user that visits frequently, fills out a form, clicks-through on our emails, and downloads a white paper. Once a lead meets certain parameters and is moving through the sales funnel, the follow-up approach changes to be sure to make the most of the opportunity. There is even an option for the system to alert a salesperson to make a direct call when a prospect is on the site.

3. Measure ROI

The automation software provides comprehensive analytics for each individual campaign so marketers can measure what is working best and where to allocate marketing resources. There are extensive reporting features with exportable graphs to share with your teams, allowing for firms to make better, data-driven decisions, which in turn reduces costs.


Top 5 Marketing Trends for 2016

The Top 5 Marketing Trends for 2016

As you close out your books, finalize your goals, and add finishing touches to your marketing strategy for 2016 and beyond, HARNESS presents the marketing trends you should be considering as we move into the new year.

  1. Video & Video advertising - We have been talking about video's potential for years as we develop strategies with our clients, and it appears that many marketers have started to come around to the idea of its overwhelming importance. A media-rich customer experience is now critical for differentiating and delivering a message in the digital world. More importantly, advertising venues such as Google and Facebook are giving more weight and priority to video advertising yielding 80% higher engagement than other ad media. Finally, Google now includes video in its search algorithm meaning that in order to stay relevant in results you must be using video.
  2. Moving to Mobile - We have already seen this trend in our clients' analytics for the past two years. At the lowest level, we have witnessed 60% of website traffic coming from mobile users with upwards of 80% for some clients. That is going to continue as Google is including mobile-friendliness as a metric in its search algorithm which dictates where you place in search results.
  3. Bigger Budgets for Digital Ads - Advertising spending has been increasing for the past few years, and it is projected that companies will spend $10 Billion more in 2016 than in 2015. Based on simple economics, increased demand dictates that advertising online will become more expensive so marketers will need to work even harder to optimize their keyword strategies. How much budget have you allocated for your digital ads?
  4. Digital Assistants - "Siri, find me a coffee shop nearby." As digital assistants become more and more reliable, business owners and marketers are realizing the importance of not only optimizing their websites for SEO, but also making their business details searchable by Siri and Cortana.
  5. Virtual Reality VR Video - This is no longer the realm of futurist novels and science fiction. VR video is very real and ready to be implemented for marketing purposes. Think about using virtual reality in your next video marketing project - how can you use it to better demonstrate your value propositions? HARNESS is very excited to offer VR 360 degree video as part of our video marketing services to our clients! To give you an idea of what is possible, check out this climbing video shot in VR 360:

Here is the major take-home point for 2016 marketing trends: if you are not prioritizing digital marketing, you will be left behind by your competitors. So what is the next for you in 2015? Are you going to improve your mobile experience or create an app? Have you increased your digital ad spend? Let us know in the comments.


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25 Tips for SEO

Earlier this year, John Rampton put together an excellent article for Forbes capturing advice from 25 top professionals in the search engine optimization field. Some of these authors include Joost de Valk, CEO of Yoast, and Rand Fishkin, founder of Moz - a solid lineup of knowledgeable individuals.

Many of these tips point to information that we often share with our clients - content is king. There are many things you can do to on the technical side make your site visible and available to Google, which tell search engines that the site is technically proficient, provides a smooth user experience, and is mobile-friendly. If you are not adding value to your user's day, you are only interrupting it

After that, it is about providing value to users. If you are not adding value to your user's day, you are only interrupting it (this should be a mantra for all sales people in this day and age). Interrupting a person's day without providing something valuable in exchange means that you are going to be unfollowed, unsubscribed, or hung up on if you are making a traditional sales call.

How do you provide value on your website and at the same time optimize for search?

The answer: by creating content that entertains and solves users’ problems.
The truth is that many search engine optimization “professionals” have attempted to create a mystique around the practices supposedly required to optimize a site. It is true that some technical requirements are beyond the scope of most marketers and they involve coding and design that streamlines the flow of information, but beyond that SEO is about content that is valuable to your visitors and is easily shared.
There is a great deal of wrong information on SEO that has been shared on the Internet featuring tips that may have worked a few years ago but will now get your site penalized by search engines due to unethical link building or other areas that create a bad user experience.

Here are some questions you should be asking yourself: 

  1. Which problems are your customers and future customers hoping to solve? For instance, are they looking for entertainment or to find reviews on the latest tech gadgets? Do they need to find a solution for an engineering issue in their plant?
  2. How can you provide information to solve these problems?
  3. What phrases might they be using to search for those answers?
  4. What is the best medium to provide this information?

By answering these questions before ever writing a word of content, you are better able to cater to your users’ unique needs. Define the problems that your prospects are hoping to solve and which terms they are using to find this answer. By building your content (in a way that makes sense without forcing it) around those search terms, you are more likely to provide value and useful information that Google will prioritize.

But what about the medium?

Remember that consumers will reach you in a variety of different ways from both mobile and PC. Visitors are going to consume information in the way that makes the most sense to them at the time. For example, one user may prefer to read a blog post while at work because she is unable to watch a video at the office, but that same user prefers to watch a video over reading articles while on her iPad at home.

People are finding you on mobile, which accounts for over 60% of website traffic on average, will most certainly prefer to watch a video rather than reading a long blog post on their phone. Google and Facebook are giving more weight to video because it adds tremendous value to user experience. On Google, you are 50 times more likely to appear on the first page of search results if you feature different video on your site. On Facebook, you will see as much as 80% higher engagement with your content that features video.

By utilizing written, graphical, and video content, you can capture a wider breadth of a user while providing a deeper user experience. Google sees this and rewards the sites that are willing to make the investment in creating quality content for their users.

It can get confusing with all of the information that is available on the Internet about this topic. Feel free to reach out to us directly if you have any questions regarding SEO as part of your larger strategy.


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Building Relationships with Video Marketing

The key point to why video marketing is successful is the familiarity principle. The familiarity principle is when people are repeatedly exposed to certain stimuli, and then those people develop a preference for that product.

Video-Marketing

An issue that marketers are coming across is overexposure. In 2016, we are constantly exposed to images of the goods and advertisements. Now it’s important to do things that will stand out. There are two ways to keep in mind when brainstorming ideas that will set you apart from all of the noise:

1. Build a personal connection with video marketing

There are some ways that your company can make a connection with your consumers. Choose the best way your product is going to connect with your audience. For example, General Mills takes advantage of placing cereal at the height of their target demographic, which are children. The reason for putting their product at a child’s height is for their target demographic to ask their parents to buy them cereal.

Another helpful tip to keep in mind for building a personal connection is that eye contact improves the chances of making a connection. Creating eye contact cuts through all of the other exposure your target audience experiences and encourages them to focus on your product.

2. Scale the personal connection with video marketing

While sending out thank you notes or calling to check up on consumers are nice, it’s not easy to continue this over time. Video allows consumers to feel and see human emotions and allows the opportunity to explain things in detail. With video, you can see whether or not a customer is intrigued with your product by tracking minutes watched, where viewers stopped and where they click through. It will help you to comprehend what you’re doing right and wrong.

Keep in mind that video marketing is a successful way to keep your target audience connected to your business and brand. It keeps your viewers feeling connected, and benefits you as well because you can track how often your audience is viewing your material. Video marketing creates human connections, which will help both you and your audience.

Read a more in-depth discussion here: http://wistia.com/blog/video-familiarity