My brother got married a couple weeks ago to a wonderful woman in an absolutely beautiful ceremony. I can’t think of any other event that brings together so many business, large and small, at once. The caterer, the florist, the venue, the DJ, the dress salon, all of these businesses contributed to making the event special. Afterwards, I looked up every vendor whose name I could remember, and wrote a nice review on Yelp or Facebook. As someone who is in marketing, I know how crucial those reviews and testimonials are, particularly for small businesses that deal in very personal services like weddings.
I hope that all of you, dear readers, are actively asking for and gathering testimonials on a regular basis. If not, shoot me an email and we can chat about it (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you are, I want to give you some tips on how you can repurpose those testimonials and make them even more powerful tools in your marketing toolbox.
Turn your testimonials into visuals.
Using a program like Canva or PicMonkey, turn testimonials into visuals you can easily post to social media.
Expand testimonials into case studies.
If you have a client with a unique need, ask to use them as a case study. Describe the need, document your process, and write about the solution you created. Be sure to use photos, videos and direct quotes from the client.
Collect video testimonials.
In addition to asking for written testimonials, ask clients for video testimonials. Post these to social media, on your website and on your YouTube channel.
Use testimonials throughout marketing materials.
Don’t regulate them to just a page on your website. Put them on postcards, listing presentations, brochures, letters, etc.
Videos are an important part of any marketing strategy, and with today’s technology, it’s fairly easy to create a good quality video with just your phone. Of course, there are several occasions that require a professional videographer such as an event, high end real estate virtual tour, commercial campaign, etc. But if you are simply doing a a short video for your blog, social media or email marketing, there’s no reason you shouldn’t use your phone.
In most cases, however, it’s best not to just whip out your phone and shoot. A little preparation, and a few tools, can take your videos to the next level and increase your view rate and the impact on viewers.
Write out a plan
What are you going to film? What movements are you going to make? What are you going to say at what parts? Before you hit record, have a detailed plan written down so your video is polished, concise and impactful.
Invest in a handheld tripod and microphone
When shooting a video on your phone, the two most important accessories are a handheld tripod, to help keep a steady hand, and a microphone, to reduce background noise. Both are fairly inexpensive and will make a huge difference in video quality.
Make sure your area is well lit
Turn on all the lights in a house. Open up all the windows. Go outside. Do whatever you need to do to brighten up the space. Nobody will watch a dark video.
Put the video in focus
With most phones nowadays, getting a focused shot is as easy as touching the screen on the spot that you want to focus on.
Do not digitally zoom
If you want to get a close up of something, physically walk up to it. Digital zoom lessens the visual quality of the shot.
2017 is three weeks old. But if you’re like me, the first three weeks were spent putting away the Christmas stuff, getting sick, complaining about the rain, taking care of sick family members, returning gifts, and getting sick again. I’m just now making some headway on my resolutions and getting into a productive routine. SO, if you’re like me and getting a slow start to 2017 DON”T FRET! A slow start can still be a strong start. And for the next 6 weeks, we’ll be sharing some tips for getting a strong start in terms of marketing. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to easily see a new tip every Tuesday. If you’re inpatient, you can just see them all here.
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Many of our clients have started, or want to start, implementing email marketing into their marketing strategy. While One Step doesn’t provide a specific email marketing service, we work with clients and digital marketing vendors to ensure your marketing materials are coherent and carry the same brand. As a company that does email marketing for ourselves, we’ve got a couple tips that will help you build and maintain a successful email marketing strategy.
Successful email marketers follow the rules of the CAN-SPAM Act. The CAN-SPAM Act was signed into law in 2003 and sets specific rules for the sending of commercial and marketing emails. It is extremely important that you familiarize yourself with these rules before you start sending emails. Read the full act on the FTC website https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/can-spam-act-compliance-guide-business
Successful email marketers focus on the quality of contacts as opposed to the quantity. Many people worry about the CAN-SPAM Act requirement that states you must make it easy for people to unsubscribe from your mailing list. But the truth is, it’s better for you that people who don’t want to receive your emails unsubscribe. Unhappy subscribers report unwanted emails as spam, which could land you on the blacklist. They also ignore emails, which means you’re paying to send emails to people who aren’t reading them. It’s better to have 100 subscribers who actually read your emails and act on them, than 1,000 subscribers who don’t.
On the same note, make sure the people you are subscribing have asked to be subscribed. Don’t simply start sending emails to everyone on your contact list. Instead, send one email asking if they would like to receive marketing emails from you. Then, put a signup form on your website and social media. You can also place pen and paper order forms at open houses, cash registers, trade show table, etc.
Successful email marketers use an agency or email service provider to send mass emails. Email service providers like iContact, MailChimp, and Constant Contact are very affordable (sometimes free) and provide a lot of tools to make your email marketing successful. They help ensure that you stay compliant with CAN-SPAM rules, they provide a variety of effective templates and they monitor recipient’s response.
Some people need more services. For example, you may want a completely customized look that can’t be accomplished with a template. Or you may be looking to start a complicated multi email campaign that requires the advice of an expert in the field. Or maybe you just don’t want to mess with setting up and sending emails and you’d prefer someone else did that for you. In that case, we recommend you use a digital marketing agency such as MAB Digital Marketing.
If you’re a client of One Step and you have a brand with us, we’d be happy to work with your digital marketing company so that your emails match your brand.
Successful email marketers pay attention to their send reports and adjust their strategy accordingly. When you use an agency or an email service provider, they’ll provide reports that tell you who opened your email, what links they clicked on, who unsubscribed from your list, etc. Pay attention to those reports. When I started our monthly newsletter, I paid special attention to which links within the email people were clicking. I noticed that one section in particular was consistently ignored. So I switched things up a bit, and now that is one of our most popular sections. Making adjustments will keep your emails relevant to subscribers and increases the likelihood that people will stay subscribed and engaged.
In marketing, keeping a consistent message across all marketing channels is critical. The best way to do that is to simply reuse messaging and marketing pieces. Make your mailers pull double duty. Convert them into e-newsletters that you email to contacts or images that you post on social media.
Not sure how to convert them? No problem. If the designers at One Step created the mailer for you, they can easily convert them. If the mailer was created somewhere else, they may be to convert it. Just shoot an email to email@example.com to see if it’s something they can do.