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Billy Mann Discusses Video Humor as a Tool for Marketing

Using Humor in Social Media MarketingHumor ranked as one of the highest-engagement content types when video genres were researched by BuzzSumo recently. And Edison Research found in its own independent research that audiences between 12 and 24 prefer Instagram (73 percent), Snapchat (79 percent) and Musical.ly (11 percent) — all platforms serving as potential places to post video content.

When research confirms what you knew, it could be smart to weigh the possibilities. Of the videos you’re creating to promote your business, how many are funny?

Using Humor in Social Media Marketing

In social media, funny videos have a strong chance of being reshared. Brian G. Peters, digital marketing strategist at Buffer, says, “Trouble is, it’s hard to create funny videos, but if you’re a funny person, you’re in luck because it’s a high-engagement video type.” Could comedy have ranked number one in BuzzSumo’s study if humor wasn’t so hard to create? And how much tougher is live comedy? Live or not, planned or not, comedy has always been one of the hardest nuts to crack.

Small Business Trends reached out to professional entertainer and social media personality Billy Mann to discuss the serious business of using humor in social media marketing.

Using Humor in Social Media Marketing
Billy Mann is an actor, singer, voiceover talent, dancer, writer and all around entertainer. Add his background as a professional competitive half pipe skier and a degree in mechanical engineering, he claims his main goal with this versatile skill set is to positively impact the world by helping everyone smile. Acting in viral commercials and working with YouTube filmmakers, Mann has a broad reach (combined views and combined followers) and a deep understanding of the industry and how to interact with his audience. He says his “cheesy but charming” charisma on platforms like Snapchat, Instagram, Musical.ly, etc. is part of his influencer business mindset.

* * * * *

Small Business Trends: I can only guess the business of comedy is actually more complex than meets the eye. What are the creative briefs like? What things have you learned during your time working with brands?

Billy Mann: Well put; the end result of a comedy story for a brand looks like sunshine and high fives, but it is sometimes a very complex process. The most important things I’ve learned while working with brands is to make sure the story is not just silly for the sake of silliness, but also tells a cohesive tale. Also you want to be sure that whatever you pitch, you make the brand the hero of the story. Whether they want explosive brand mentions, or more subtle pitches that don’t feel anything like ads or partnerships, companies love when they are made the victors of the creative. Also learning to collaborate on idea notes with clients so that we both get what we want has been a great learning curve. As often as possible, you want to be sure to keep your own voice and artistic integrity while meeting the requirements of the brand. That way everyone wins.

Small Business Trends: What’s an issue in your field that isn’t getting enough attention?

Billy Mann: One issue that I see in my field is a lack of fiscal respect. With this being said, I completely understand the notion of ROI and building a portfolio that would be worth a company investing any money into. However, far too often companies these days will expect a large amount of creative work — work that requires pre-planning and sometimes difficult execution — for little to no payment. Hopefully over time, brands will realize that if they go to a specific person for a certain stylization of story or creativity, that the time put into creating such a story is worth more than just a tag in a description. Exposure and compensation are two different things.

Small Business Trends: Are you asked to do live video or mostly the Stories format?

Billy Mann: More often than not, I have been asked to make either short or long storylines, because audiences love my quirky comedy with crazy situations and sound effects that cannot always be replicated via livestream. However, with my recent growth on live platforms, I’m sure the inclusion of livestreaming will become part of the package deal.

Small Business Trends: So you also travel internationally to work. Do clients brief you on what overseas cultures consider funny and not funny?

Billy Mann: That’s actually a great question. No, they never needed to brief me on a new country’s culture because my creative pitch for each country job would be pre-approved before I flew to do the partnership. I have also been keeping tabs on my reach on Snapchat and Instagram by asking each new commenter where they are from and keeping notes in my phone, so currently around 85 different countries enjoy my style of comedy. That means my creative pitches sometimes only need slight tweaking because the appeal of the comedy stylings is universally understood and appreciated.

Small Business Trends: Tell us something about yourself you don’t normally mention.

Billy Mann: In my spare time, I used to make jewelry for fun. Like earrings and bracelets and stuff out of colored metals rings that I would arrange into patterns.

Small Business Trends: Were you always funny? What’s your back story?

Billy Mann: I don’t know if I have always been funny, but I have definitely always been high energy. I grew up just north of Lake Tahoe in Truckee, California, where I started skiing when I was two years old. That became my profession, and I traveled as a competitive halfpipe skier.

I competed in World Cups until I unfortunately tore my knee at the Olympic Qualifiers in New Zealand in 2013. I was balancing skiing with a college education, so after surgery I went back to school full time to finish my degree in mechanical engineering. It was during this loss of competitive skiing that I had an existential crisis: ‘Without my skiing, what am I now!?’ Around this time, my brother had gotten his first job in the industry as a storyboard artist for a TV show on Nickelodeon, and it was then that I realized what I would do. I would work my butt off to help people smile, to help positively impact the world through entertainment and acting.

My brother gave me great advice: “Find what you want to do in life, and learn more about it than anyone.” That’s exactly what I started doing. I did standup comedy, took acting/singing/dancing lessons, learned anything I thought was inclusive in the ‘entertainment industry’. I then randomly met a famous YouTube filmmaker from Utah and we hit it off. I moved to Utah to work with him and other filmmakers in that area. Best decision of my life! I have been working hard to build my resume ever since so that I may better and better fulfill my dream of helping the world smile.

Small Business Trends: How should people get a hold of you?

Billy Mann: The great thing about social media and technology is that this question has so many answers! Anyone interested in getting in touch can email mannbilly@hotmail.com or text me at 5302632880 or send a snap or DM to my Snapchat or Instagram at mannbilly — that’s the name of my brand.

Images: Billy Mann

This article, “Billy Mann Discusses Video Humor as a Tool for Marketing” was first published on Small Business Trends

Consider These 3 Things Before Investing in Video Marketing

When it comes to distributing your brand’s message, video is an invaluable tool. Video tells a more captivating story about your business, drawing customers in with an engaging and highly informative experience. According to Wyzowl, 97 percent of businesses found that an explainer video increased user comprehension.

A report from Cisco predicts that 82 percent of all internet traffic will be video by 2021. The number of businesses using it to promote their products or services is increasing, but seamlessly incorporating the medium into an overall marketing strategy is not without some hurdles.

Overspending on a lackluster video, missing your target audience and losing sight of what is best for your company while chasing the elusive viral video are scenarios we see business owners run into on a daily basis.

Learn from others’ mistakes, not your own

Going over budget is one of the most common mistakes companies make. It’s great to exercise your imagination when devising a plan for your video, but elaborate concepts can overshadow your brand’s message and put your cash flow in the red zone for months.

Insisting on a thorough outline is a great way to ensure you know what you’re paying for, and it allows you to keep an eye on how the budget is being allocated throughout the campaign. The quality of a video generally comes down to the relationship between time, experience and budget. Time especially can be leveraged to keep costs down. Before you hire a production team, let them know if you’re not in a rush. If time is of the essence, be ready to pay extra for a quick turnaround time.

Because you’re making a substantial investment in your video, you want to ensure it’s reaching the right audience. Consider who your target customers are and work backward – determine what they’re looking to hear and then deliver that message in a clear, concise way.

Brevity and clarity are critical to ensuring your video accomplishes your goals. To build a strong foundation, start by summarizing your entire brand in a few words. If you can’t do it, you risk losing viewers’ attention with a long and complicated brand story. Imagine you only have three seconds of your customers’ time – if your video still delivers value, then you’re on the right track.

Google’s commercial for its Pixel 2 phone does an excellent job of speaking directly to a potential target audience for the entirety of the ad. Instead of wasting time talking about the company’s history, it focuses on key features that users will love, with informational acting and visuals interchanging at an exciting, compelling pace. Even if viewers catch a short glimpse of the video, they come away with a certain knowledge of the product.

How to ensure a quality video production

When it comes to video production and marketing, ensuring quality can be hard to grasp without fundamentally understanding certain technical aspects. Video production tools and concepts can be highly technical, and it takes years to wrap your head around how it all fits together. Combine that with trying to determine marketing return on investment, and it can leave you feeling like you are exploring a mysteriously intangible world.

Similar to physically navigating unfamiliar geographic territory, you want a local expert to guide you who is truly aligned with your goals. Find a friend, hire a consultant or partner with someone in your company who understands the video marketing terrain and can warn you about potential hazards. Then create a detailed map of the steps required to ensure quality and consult with your team.

Fortunately, a great video doesn’t require a Google-sized budget. Aside from doing your research and finding experts to work with, remember these tips to create a video that will communicate your brand’s message most effectively.

1. Look out for No. 1.

That’s you. Do what is best for your business first. Don’t get sold on someone else’s grand plans. Always consider what your main goal is for the outcome of your video marketing campaign. Before everyone gets carried away by concepts of filming at exotic locations or hiring the latest celebrity to be the face of your campaign, consider the simple version of the story you are trying to tell.

What is the minimum you need to effectively tell your brand’s story? Next, consider adding more elaborate elements, like featuring the host standing in the Hawaiian islands.

Take time on the front end to outline exactly what you want to accomplish. Find 10 examples of videos you like that are all a little different and see what makes them effective – don’t get sold on one idea. Be open-minded and explore your own creativity to come up with unique ways to communicate your message as directly as possible so your audience can easily understand it.

2. A longer video isn’t necessarily better.

Research has established that 15-second ads are about 75 percent as effective as 30-second ads. The kicker is, 15-second ads could be half the cost, which is why they’re very common, while 60-second ads are rare.

Yet, time and again we see people try to incorporate multiple aspects of their business in a single video — their history, team, their innovative products, their plans for the future and so on. Instead of trying to tell your brand’s entire story, outline key aspects that are the most important to get across with your video marketing campaign. Producing a long video not only costs far more than creating a shorter one, but it runs the risk of losing your audience’s attention.

You know the most about your business, so you’ll likely want to include a lot about the brand. Hold yourself back and write down your three key features and only talk about them. Also, get feedback from your current customers: What features do they like the most? Why do they use your services? Focus on those.

3. A video is only effective when people see it.

Distribution is critical. The most obvious place to put your video is on your brand’s website, but many business owners make the mistake of stopping there.

You should search for every outlet, every way to show the world your video and tell your story. A great video is like having a pitchman ready to give more information to anyone willing to listen. Your video will not get tired; it does not need sleep; it can play 24/7. Use this duplicating power to your full advantage.

Host your video, repost your video, and create shorter versions of your video for social media. Do not think of the marketing as a passive step in the equation. Too often brands view the completion of the video as the finish line when in reality, that’s when the race really starts.

Simply commissioning a brand video without doing your due diligence is a great way to end up with a finished product that fails to reach its full potential. Before you sign a contract, make sure you know exactly what you’re looking for. Outline your target audience, figure out where they spend most of their time online, and research the specs of those outlets so you know the technical details of the video you’re making. (For example, how long is the video? What’s the best format: square or 16 by nine?)

Optimize your video for these platforms and make sure it meets all of the above criteria. Your completed video is just the beginning. Leverage your new asset in a variety of ways, and you’ll get the best return on this valuable investment.

Ads tend to come forward with their products as some kind of magic. "Purcha…

Ads tend to come forward with their products as some kind of magic. "Purchasing these sneakers would be just as great as flying" Source by ekoruk Sponsor AdsHydravid Syndicate Yearly …

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Did You Give Up?? 😐😐

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJPTX8rAVps&w=640&h=360]

37 Ways To Thrive On Linkedin [INFOGRAPHIC]…

37 Ways To Thrive On Linkedin [INFOGRAPHIC] Source by dreamgrow Profit Builder – Trial License Profit Builder is the Ultimate LIVE Builder and Profit Generator for WordPress, giving users an …

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Uber Lawsuit Should Serve as Lesson for Small Businesses

Uber Lawsuit Offers Lessons in Transparency for Small Businesses

Ad agency Fetch has filed a lawsuit against Uber, claiming the popular ride sharing app owes nearly $20 million in unpaid invoices.

This is just the latest chapter in a lengthy battle between Uber and Fetch. Uber initially filed a lawsuit against Fetch back in September, claiming the agency billed it for fake clicks. Uber has since dismissed that original suit, but has said it plans to re-file in California state court.

Ad fraud has been a common thread in this dispute, with Uber saying Fetch claimed credit for app downloads without customers clicking on ads and even that the agency went against Uber’s wishes in regards to specific campaigns it had cancelled. The details still need to be sorted out in court. But it’s clear that both entities were dissatisfied with the working relationship.

Lessons in Transparency

This situation offers a couple of important lessons for small businesses. Even though the smallest businesses are unlikely to be dealing in dollar amounts of this magnitude, it’s still important to be transparent in all aspects of your business to avoid costly legal disputes like this.

Disputes over business practices are less likely to occur if all parties involved understand exactly what the working relationship will look like when they first enter into a contract. You should know what to expect every time you hire an agency or service provider. And if you are a contractor or service provider, you should make your process and expectations clear from the start.

Of course, it’s not always possible to avoid disputes altogether. But in this case, the court proceedings have gone on for months, leading to plenty of expenses for both companies. So if and when you do have disagreements with clients or contractors, finding a way to solve those problems early on and without resorting to lawsuits if at all possible can be in the best interests of all parties involved.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “Uber Lawsuit Should Serve as Lesson for Small Businesses” was first published on Small Business Trends

How to Market to Each Generation on Social Media #Infographic – marketinghits.co…

How to Market to Each Generation on Social Media #Infographic – marketinghits.com… Source by mohammadnahhas Sponsor AdsIMSC Rapid Mailer – List Building Power Pack The Creator7 by Laughingbird Software Four …

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Macy’s Plans Store Closings, Small Businesses Should Take Note

2018 Retail Opportunities as Macy's Plans Store Closings

Macy’s just announced the popular retail chains plans to shutter 11 stores across the country in the coming weeks, with another 19 set to close as their leases expire.

This is just the latest in a long line of retail chains that have closed retail locations and had to make significant changes to stay profitable in the age of ecommerce. And plenty of small retail outlets have felt the effects of the so-called retail apocalypse as well.

2018 Retail Opportunities

But this trend isn’t all bad news for small businesses. There are still plenty of consumers who prefer shopping in physical retail locations. And with all of that empty space in malls and shopping centers that used to be filled with major department stores like Macy’s, it leaves an opening for small retailers.

So if there’s a Macy’s or any other major retail store near your business that’s slated to close, it could be an opportunity for your small business. Perhaps you can target some of the customers who previously frequented those stores and fill a need for the people in your community who prefer to buy specific types of products the larger chains once offered. This can be especially relevant if you sell products that people like to see in person or try out before buying.

Additionally, store closures could also lead to opportunities for small businesses looking to make use of pop-up shops for special promotions or events. This is especially the case if you don’t have enough inventory or resources to keep a retail store up and running consistently.

Overall, the changing retail landscape has had a major impact on businesses of all sizes. But rather than simply accepting defeat, your business can find unique ways to thrive in what others might see as a difficult situation. You just have to be willing to get a little creative.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “Macy’s Plans Store Closings, Small Businesses Should Take Note” was first published on Small Business Trends

How to Benefit from the LinkedIn Publishing Platform: Content; Posting; Comments…

How to Benefit from the LinkedIn Publishing Platform: Content; Posting; Comments; Performance; Details. Source by cinehastings HQ Biz In a Box Monthly Start cashing in huge selling a HQ, New …

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Uber Lawsuit Should Serve as Lesson for Small Businesses

Uber Lawsuit Offers Lessons in Transparency for Small Businesses

Ad agency Fetch has filed a lawsuit against Uber, claiming the popular ride sharing app owes nearly $20 million in unpaid invoices.

This is just the latest chapter in a lengthy battle between Uber and Fetch. Uber initially filed a lawsuit against Fetch back in September, claiming the agency billed it for fake clicks. Uber has since dismissed that original suit, but has said it plans to re-file in California state court.

Ad fraud has been a common thread in this dispute, with Uber saying Fetch claimed credit for app downloads without customers clicking on ads and even that the agency went against Uber’s wishes in regards to specific campaigns it had cancelled. The details still need to be sorted out in court. But it’s clear that both entities were dissatisfied with the working relationship.

Lessons in Transparency

This situation offers a couple of important lessons for small businesses. Even though the smallest businesses are unlikely to be dealing in dollar amounts of this magnitude, it’s still important to be transparent in all aspects of your business to avoid costly legal disputes like this.

Disputes over business practices are less likely to occur if all parties involved understand exactly what the working relationship will look like when they first enter into a contract. You should know what to expect every time you hire an agency or service provider. And if you are a contractor or service provider, you should make your process and expectations clear from the start.

Of course, it’s not always possible to avoid disputes altogether. But in this case, the court proceedings have gone on for months, leading to plenty of expenses for both companies. So if and when you do have disagreements with clients or contractors, finding a way to solve those problems early on and without resorting to lawsuits if at all possible can be in the best interests of all parties involved.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “Uber Lawsuit Should Serve as Lesson for Small Businesses” was first published on Small Business Trends

How to Win in Business and Life

Let’s make this year the best it can be by creating a strategy.

3 Internet-Based Businesses You Can Start in 2018

Online experiences connect people worldwide to your brand and the solutions you offer — without requiring a big budget to launch your digital storefront.

Ask Yourself These 8 Questions Before Spending Any Money on Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is one of the most popular marketing strategies out there today. Given its popularity, you might be tempted to try it out. But is there any guarantee of its success?

Before spending a dime on this strategy, ask yourself the following eight questions.

1. Is influencer marketing appropriate for your brand?

Just because something is popular and trending doesn’t necessarily mean it’s what you should do, too. Before you think about spending on influencers, evaluate if this strategy is right for your brand.

The first thing you should ask yourself is whether your target audiences are on social media or not. If yes, then influencer marketing can be very effective for your brand. If the answer is no, then influencer marketing will definitely be a waste of money.

2. What do you want to achieve with your campaign?

As with any marketing campaign, you must clearly define your goals at the outset. What is it you want to gain from this campaign? Again, just because everyone is doing it isn’t a good enough reason to spend your hard-earned money.

Think carefully about what you want to gain from an influencer marketing campaign. Is it brand awareness, more traffic to your website or more conversions?

Why is this important? Without knowing your objectives, it will be impossible to evaluate whether your campaign was successful or not. At the end of your campaign, you will need to compare the results with your goals to measure the ROI.

3. How will you measure ROI?

Simply having an idea of your goals isn’t going to cut it if you can’t measure results. You need to track and monitor your campaign progress in real time to see how it is performing. This will help you make any adjustments, if necessary.

A common challenge faced by many marketers is measuring the success of influencer marketing campaigns. Fortunately, there are multiple influencer marketing platforms available that help you understand which content or influencer is performing the best. You can even see which channels are giving you the best returns.

4. Is your choice of influencers right?

Many businesses make mistakes when selecting influencers for their campaign. This can be a complete waste of effort and investment. A large follower base isn’t the only thing to consider when selecting an influencer.

By far, the most important thing to consider is your influencer’s niche. This helps you determine whether their followers are a relevant audience for your brand or not. For example, if you’re in the travel industry and you select a popular fitness influencer, your campaign is doomed. Hence, you need to ensure that the niche of your influencers aligns with your products and target market.

Tommy Hilfiger runs many campaigns with model and fashion influencer Gigi Hadid. The main reason for their success is due to the close alignment of the brand and influencer niche. 

5. How much impact do your influencers have?

Just because an influencer has thousands of followers doesn’t mean that your campaign will be successful. 

What’s most important to understand as a brand is the level of sway your influencers have. Are their followers genuine or fake? Do they genuinely care about the opinions expressed by the influencer?

Along with the number of followers, the engagement rate is something you should also evaluate. If an influencer has a decent level of clout, they will have higher engagement on their posts. Also, are these influencers posting content consistently and frequently? This, too, will help you gauge their credibility. 

6. How much can you afford to spend?

As with any marketing campaign, your budget is an important consideration. If you’re looking to create a campaign with celebrity influencers, it is going to be really expensive.

If your budget is low, microinfluencers can be a great choice. These are influencers who have fewer followers, but those followers are highly engaged. A study by Bloglovin’ shows that 97 percent of microinfluencers generally charge less than $500 for a sponsored Instagram post. Sometimes they can work with you for non-monetary compensation, such as free products or commissions on sales.

Ask for the influencer’s media kit so you know their stats as well as the compensation they expect. You can then negotiate a deal on your initial discussions. If it’s your first time with influencer marketing, it is a good idea to start small. You can always scale up as your campaign progresses and you see results.

7. How will you connect with influencers?

There are various ways of connecting with influencers, and depending on your available resources, you can choose the best one. The simplest way is to find them on social media channels and send them a pitch. However, this is time-consuming.

An alternative to the manual search is an influencer marketing platform. You can identify and connect with multiple influencers easily and execute your campaigns. Such tools allow you to find influencers by demographics and even filter them by reach and influence.

8. Are you ready to provide creative freedom?

If you want the best content from your influencers, you must provide them creative freedom. This means you must be willing to relinquish control over the content distributed in your campaign.

Of course, you can ask your influencers to share the content with you before posting for a final review. But it is better not to interfere with the content-creation process.

Final thoughts

Before you embark on an influencer marketing campaign, ask yourself the above questions. Influencer marketing can be beneficial to your brand. However, your answers to these eight questions will help you make informed decisions so your marketing dollars are utilized effectively.

Building Critical Thinking Skills to Solve Problems at Work

One of the leading challenges that companies face in the coming decade is the use of critical thinking skills in the workplace. The ability to use information from a broader and more impartial perspective offers your employees a way to make more informed decisions and also see a comprehensive view of any situation. The U.S. Department of Labor has recently identified critical thinking as a raw material for some vital workplace skills, including problem-solving and decision-making.

Companies have recognized the need for integrating this soft skill into the workplace to help build the success of their organizations. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, an analysis by Indeed.com found that mentions for critical thinking in job postings have doubled since 2009. This review is supported by the American Management Association Critical Skills Survey, which found that over 70 percent of participating managers identified critical thinking as a crucial element of employee development.

Critical thinking helps individuals look at situations from multiple sides, and then imagine several different ways to respond. This open process of thinking introduces ideas and solutions that expand the opportunities for success. One of the main reasons businesses don’t embrace critical thinking as an essential part of their organization is that they feel they are just too busy. The focus on day-to-day operations and profit growth takes priority over implementing this soft skill. But companies that develop this skill can see an increase in teamwork and productivity, and a reduction in conflict. These long-term benefits outweigh the time invested in fostering the skill. You can incorporate activities into the workday that integrate critical thinking without using external training programs.

Here is a problem-solving process for team building that expands the use of critical thinking for your employees.

1. Name the situation.

When you name the situation, you present a single discussion point that everyone in the discussion can identify. This statement can be written on a whiteboard as a visual prompt so that everyone in the team keeps the focus on the point, redirecting the discussion to the focal point when the topic shifts. Critical thinking involves keeping an open mind about situations. You help participants remember the goal of the group by naming the situation.

2. List all possible solutions.

Brainstorming takes place during this part of the process. There is nothing outside the realm of possibilities at this point in the discussion. When you open the conversation to unlimited options, you expand thinking beyond one person. The ability to expand your thinking offers the conversation many possible solutions that you may not have considered without the expression of thoughts and opinions. Make sure that all potential solutions discussed during this time stay on task for the situation that has been named in step one. Critical thinking includes the ability to keep an open mind to other considerations and viewpoints without losing track of the end goal. You expand the discussion to see new options and also stay on task by identifying multiple opportunities.

3. Narrow your solutions to three options.

Everyone in the team needs to agree with at least one of the three options. Individuals who can find a compromise and create solutions from many perspectives are better able to bring a team together. Print each solution at the top of a whiteboard and write below each one a list of its advantages and disadvantages using a rational argument. Critical thinking skills offer the ability to look at situations rationally without judgments of good and bad or wrong and right. You help keep a rational discussion in place when you bring consensus to a few intentionally chosen solutions.

4. Choose one option from the three choices.

Make a final choice that offers the best chance of success based on the rational discussion about the situation. Review this choice in relation to how well it solves the designated problem. Critical thinking skills help individuals use a more systematic way to come to conclusions. This reduces the chance of making decisions based on incorrect inferences arising from emotional conclusions.

5. Put a plan in place to implement the chosen solution.

Your chosen solution should have timelines and a list that identifies which participants are responsible for what parts of the final plan. Critical thinking skills include the ability to commit to the chosen solution. You increase attention to detail and interest from the participants in implementing the solution when they are an integral part of the process.

6. Complete the plan.

Some employees find this part of the process the most difficult. Think of the number of times a great plan floundered because there was no follow-up. Make sure each person from the team has a part to play in the process that emphasizes their areas of expertise and interest. Complete regular reviews of people and timelines for project management. Critical thinking involves the ability to see the value of the overall plan. At this point in the process, individuals should be able to see the value of the solution and have buy-in since they were part of the process.

This problem-solving process creates an environment where critical thinking becomes a working part of finding a solution. For individuals who struggle with this method, you may want to consider some training in critical thinking. Overall, though, this process promotes critical thinking in your employees. You can also integrate this activity for making plans and creating a mission. The value added to your organization includes improved engagement, insight and productivity from your team.

 

Kristin Cavallari Wants Jay Cutler to Retire

It’s time for: “Read Between the Lines” … starring Kristin Cavallari, who says she REALLLLLY likes having Jay Cutler at house as an alternative of with an NFL group.&#one hundred …

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Coachella Not Changed by CA Marijuana Law, Still No Smoking Policy

Coachella 2018 falls on A/20, however these hoping to attain and smoke weed brazenly in Indio are outta luck, regardless of California legalizing it. The metropolis of Indio, the place …

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Best Online Business To Start In 2018 For Beginners

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82-DCbiVVVQ&w=640&h=360]

4 Things You Should Do to Prepare Your Small Business for 2018

With the end of yet another great year it’s time to prep ourselves for the next.

Consider These 3 Things Before Investing in Video Marketing

When it comes to distributing your brand’s message, video is an invaluable tool. Video tells a more captivating story about your business, drawing customers in with an engaging and highly informative experience. According to Wyzowl, 97 percent of businesses found that an explainer video increased user comprehension.

A report from Cisco predicts that 82 percent of all internet traffic will be video by 2021. The number of businesses using it to promote their products or services is increasing, but seamlessly incorporating the medium into an overall marketing strategy is not without some hurdles.

Overspending on a lackluster video, missing your target audience and losing sight of what is best for your company while chasing the elusive viral video are scenarios we see business owners run into on a daily basis.

Learn from others’ mistakes, not your own

Going over budget is one of the most common mistakes companies make. It’s great to exercise your imagination when devising a plan for your video, but elaborate concepts can overshadow your brand’s message and put your cash flow in the red zone for months.

Insisting on a thorough outline is a great way to ensure you know what you’re paying for, and it allows you to keep an eye on how the budget is being allocated throughout the campaign. The quality of a video generally comes down to the relationship between time, experience and budget. Time especially can be leveraged to keep costs down. Before you hire a production team, let them know if you’re not in a rush. If time is of the essence, be ready to pay extra for a quick turnaround time.

Because you’re making a substantial investment in your video, you want to ensure it’s reaching the right audience. Consider who your target customers are and work backward – determine what they’re looking to hear and then deliver that message in a clear, concise way.

Brevity and clarity are critical to ensuring your video accomplishes your goals. To build a strong foundation, start by summarizing your entire brand in a few words. If you can’t do it, you risk losing viewers’ attention with a long and complicated brand story. Imagine you only have three seconds of your customers’ time – if your video still delivers value, then you’re on the right track.

Google’s commercial for its Pixel 2 phone does an excellent job of speaking directly to a potential target audience for the entirety of the ad. Instead of wasting time talking about the company’s history, it focuses on key features that users will love, with informational acting and visuals interchanging at an exciting, compelling pace. Even if viewers catch a short glimpse of the video, they come away with a certain knowledge of the product.

How to ensure a quality video production

When it comes to video production and marketing, ensuring quality can be hard to grasp without fundamentally understanding certain technical aspects. Video production tools and concepts can be highly technical, and it takes years to wrap your head around how it all fits together. Combine that with trying to determine marketing return on investment, and it can leave you feeling like you are exploring a mysteriously intangible world.

Similar to physically navigating unfamiliar geographic territory, you want a local expert to guide you who is truly aligned with your goals. Find a friend, hire a consultant or partner with someone in your company who understands the video marketing terrain and can warn you about potential hazards. Then create a detailed map of the steps required to ensure quality and consult with your team.

Fortunately, a great video doesn’t require a Google-sized budget. Aside from doing your research and finding experts to work with, remember these tips to create a video that will communicate your brand’s message most effectively.

1. Look out for No. 1.

That’s you. Do what is best for your business first. Don’t get sold on someone else’s grand plans. Always consider what your main goal is for the outcome of your video marketing campaign. Before everyone gets carried away by concepts of filming at exotic locations or hiring the latest celebrity to be the face of your campaign, consider the simple version of the story you are trying to tell.

What is the minimum you need to effectively tell your brand’s story? Next, consider adding more elaborate elements, like featuring the host standing in the Hawaiian islands.

Take time on the front end to outline exactly what you want to accomplish. Find 10 examples of videos you like that are all a little different and see what makes them effective – don’t get sold on one idea. Be open-minded and explore your own creativity to come up with unique ways to communicate your message as directly as possible so your audience can easily understand it.

2. A longer video isn’t necessarily better.

Research has established that 15-second ads are about 75 percent as effective as 30-second ads. The kicker is, 15-second ads could be half the cost, which is why they’re very common, while 60-second ads are rare.

Yet, time and again we see people try to incorporate multiple aspects of their business in a single video — their history, team, their innovative products, their plans for the future and so on. Instead of trying to tell your brand’s entire story, outline key aspects that are the most important to get across with your video marketing campaign. Producing a long video not only costs far more than creating a shorter one, but it runs the risk of losing your audience’s attention.

You know the most about your business, so you’ll likely want to include a lot about the brand. Hold yourself back and write down your three key features and only talk about them. Also, get feedback from your current customers: What features do they like the most? Why do they use your services? Focus on those.

3. A video is only effective when people see it.

Distribution is critical. The most obvious place to put your video is on your brand’s website, but many business owners make the mistake of stopping there.

You should search for every outlet, every way to show the world your video and tell your story. A great video is like having a pitchman ready to give more information to anyone willing to listen. Your video will not get tired; it does not need sleep; it can play 24/7. Use this duplicating power to your full advantage.

Host your video, repost your video, and create shorter versions of your video for social media. Do not think of the marketing as a passive step in the equation. Too often brands view the completion of the video as the finish line when in reality, that’s when the race really starts.

Simply commissioning a brand video without doing your due diligence is a great way to end up with a finished product that fails to reach its full potential. Before you sign a contract, make sure you know exactly what you’re looking for. Outline your target audience, figure out where they spend most of their time online, and research the specs of those outlets so you know the technical details of the video you’re making. (For example, how long is the video? What’s the best format: square or 16 by nine?)

Optimize your video for these platforms and make sure it meets all of the above criteria. Your completed video is just the beginning. Leverage your new asset in a variety of ways, and you’ll get the best return on this valuable investment.

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