So how do you create specific, attainable, and ambitious goals that will lead you to take action? Let’s take a look at the steps.
Step 1: Set SPECIFIC goals
You took a good hard look at your website and — yikes — when did it get so out of date?! It might need updating to be mobile responsive or include some client testimonials to help you attract prospects into calling you. Don’t just make your goal “update website” or “add testimonials.”
Break the goal into specific actions that are doable and lend to achieving them. For example, a more specific goal might be, “submit mobile responsive project to two web designer contacts — need a bid and proposed timeline,” or “email all clients from the past six months a link to leave feedback and a testimonial.”
Being specific will help you better define your goals and shed more light on what needs to be done by providing step-by-step instructions.
Step 2: Set ATTAINABLE goals
You’ve made your goals specific, now make sure they are attainable. This may sound simple, but it’s probably the hardest thing to do.
It’s great to know what your goals are. It’s better to break them down into specific actions that require specific instructions. But, if the chance of you completing them is little to none, well then, you’re not setting yourself up for success, are you?
Here are some suggestions to make your goals more attainable:
- Make your goals non-negotiable. Set them in firm language and set parameters and expectations as you would for your client. Your goals should not be an option; they should be an obligation you have to yourself and your business.
- Build in accountability. For some, accountability means publicly declaring or sharing your specific goals and your plan to achieve them with those within your company or close network. For others, this means having an accountability partner who also is looking to improve their business.
- Don’t go it alone! Constant Contact, can offer you expertise, advice, and resources to help you achieve your goals.
Step 3: Set AMBITIOUS goals
Now that you know your goals and have been specific with steps that will make them attainable, it’s important to remember to be ambitious. Don’t sell yourself short!
As marketers, we know how to map out carefully constructed plans geared towards our client’s goals, normally holding little to nothing back in making them successful. However, when setting our own goals, many of us shoot for just being able to check off the box vs. breaking out of the box.
Part of this is due to the fact we’d rather succeed than fail, that’s understandable. But part of the reason many of us are not setting ambitious enough goals is that we don’t take the time to ask ourselves the why behind our goals?
For example, maybe you want to offer social media marketing services to all of your clients in 2018. But why? Is it because everyone else does? That’s not a genuine why and ambitions are likely to run flat.
Is it because you’ve been fine-tuning your social media marketing for the past year on yourself (and one test client) and you’re excited to bring that same plan to increase engagement to your clients just as you have done for yourself? Well then, that is both an ambitious and motivating why.
Knowing your why will make the purpose clear and fuel your ambition.
Step 4: Set TIMELINES
Don’t overlook timelines when setting goals. Without them, you diminish your accountability and the likelihood of completing your goals.
Why are timelines so important?
- They provide the framework for what needs to be done by helping you break goals into specifics.
- They set clear expectations by allowing you to realistically mapping out what it takes to reach each goal.
- They often serve as the connection between two or more goals that rely on one another to be completed before the next step may be taken.
- They establish a set of benchmarks in the event something needs to be shifted or modified.
When following these four steps for successful goal setting for marketers, we’re certain this year you’ll do more than meet your needs, you’ll most likely exceed them!
Do you like to watch videos? Who doesn’t?! 74 million Internet users watched online video content for an average of 14.8 hours per viewer, according to comScore. And that’s just in the United States. People are watching video everywhere, both figuratively and literally: Mobile video viewing is up 41%, according to numbers from Nielsen.
In this blog, we’ll share with you why your business or organization should be leveraging online video in your marketing efforts, give you a few ideas for getting started, and provide a few tips for shooting a quality video without breaking the bank or looking like The Blair Witch Project.
Show It, Don’t Tell It
Video engages people in a way that photos and text alone can’t. For small business owners and nonprofit managers, using video in your marketing can bring faces, voices, personality, and heart to your operation, while also demonstrating your authenticity. To top that, video in email is said to be able to boost conversion rates by as much as 50 percent.
If that kind of conversion boost isn’t enough to convince you, here are five more reasons to add video to your marketing mix:
1. Tell your story quickly.
People don’t have a lot of time, so you want to get your message across quickly. Video can communicate a lot of information in a short amount of time. Inexpensive software tools such as Apple iMovie or Windows Live Movie Maker can be used to easily edit your video, add titles, music, and get it ready for uploading to a video hosting site.
2. Put a face to your business or organization.
A video helps bring your business or organization to life, and it makes your communications more personal. Putting people on camera makes you and your team real to your customers and members.
3. Get your readers to remember your message.
Let’s face it: In general, we remember little of what we read. Our retention of a message is much better (estimates are three times better) when it includes pictures, sound, and motion. Your readers can only take action if they remember what you said.
4. People enjoy video.
People like to read, but they really like video. We watch TV, go to the movies, stream video content to our computers and mobile phones, and more.
5. Videos are easy and inexpensive to create.
The great myth is that video is hard and expensive to create. Yes, the ads you see during the Super Bowl cost a lot, but you don’t have to spend much to get good video. Video cameras are cheap to buy (many cost less than $125) and easy to use. Look at a video camera such as the Kodak Zi8 (our videos featuring Red Oak Properties and the Currier Museum of Art were shot with the Zi8 and a simple clip-on microphone) or Sony Bloggie Duo HD Camera. They both allow you to shoot with one button. If you have an iPhone or some other mobile devices, you already have a video camera. You can also just use images and add a voiceover.
Plus, it’s free to host video on sites such as YouTube, Blip.tv, and Vimeo, making your videos easily accessible, easily shared through social media, and easily embeded on web sites and in blog posts. Not only that, videos hosted on these sites can help your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts as they give sites like Google and Bing yet another piece of content associated with your brand to crawl and serve up to the masses.
Customer Spotlight: Video Works for Fourword Marketing
As an author and speaker, and the owner of Fourword Marketing in Toronto, video has become an effective way for Marc Gordon to market himself and his company in a way that he believes cannot be accomplished with words alone.
“The impact of video is far beyond what you can do in a written blog.” As an author and speaker, and the owner of Fourword Marketing in Toronto, video has become an effective way for Marc Gordon to market himself and his company in a way that he believes cannot be accomplished with words alone.
“The impact of video is far beyond what you can do in a written blog,” Marc explains. “You can present things on so many different levels and illustrate examples in settings that people can visually understand, which can be challenging to do in a written blog.”
Since March 2010, Marc has produced MarcTV, a bi-weekly six minute program that covers topics ranging from how to create a killer press release to good business networking practices. Marc shoots the videos in his “studio” — i.e., his office when filled with a few lights and a backdrop — and out and about in his native Canada. Once posted to his Vimeo account and embedded in a blog post, Marc promotes the videos across multiple channels, including his Constant Contact–based email list and social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.
Marc uses a single camera and a wireless microphone for each shoot. When on location, Marc has a colleague shoot the video, but in the office, a tripod acts as the lone cameraman. Editing is done with Apple’s iMovie software. “A lot of people put in a lot of transitions and effects,” says Marc, who does all the editing himself. “You don’t need that. It’s all about simple, clean transitions that keep the video nice and clean. Let the content be the draw.”
For Marc, the message is important, but humor is a key aspect of his video effort. For instance, in a Halloween episode, Marc went shopping dressed as Wonder Woman. He also likes to use edgier titles on his videos to draw attention to certain clips — a tactic that seems to be working: Views of his videos have grown steadily and his email list has grown 29% since he started MarcTV.
“My initial goal was use MarcTV as a marketing tool to promote myself as an expert and personality,” Marc says. “But the popularity of the show has really given it a life of its own. People from all kinds of industries are now reaching out to me as a result of the videos.”
Video Ideas for One and All
As with any type of marketing content, it may be difficult to think of video topics that apply to your business or organization. But there are plenty of simple ideas out there that can help jump-start your video efforts. Among them:
Thank your customers for their business or your volunteers for their support. Film yourself or a few of your staff members giving their well wishes, and stitch the clips together as fun way to say “thanks” to all those who support your business or organization.
Feature a customer raving about your company, product, or service. Catch people when they’re happy: getting ready to leave your restaurant after a great meal, just taking their first bites of that ice cream cone, or if they stop by to express their happiness with your service.
Share a cool company milestone. For example, when Constant Contact’s logo went up on our building, we filmed it. Any time your organization celebrates an achievement, film the celebration and put snippets up to share with your customers and members.
Include footage from a recent speaking engagement. If you’re invited to speak at the local chamber of commerce meeting, have someone run the camera for you. If your organization gets an award, film the ceremony.
Ask for feedback from your subscribers. We put a video in a recent #CTCT Social newsletter issue asking readers for their feedback and directing them to an online survey. We received more responses than our average because people watched the video and made a connection with our managing editor.
Share your expertise or provide tips for using your products.
• A mechanic could show what he looks for when examining various parts for wear
• Sales folks can demonstrate how their products work together
• Any business can introduce a new website and its features
Put the spotlight on your team to highlight your weird or wacky culture.
Review a book that your members or customers may enjoy.
Share highlights from a past year’s event to promote an upcoming gathering.
Have your staff wish customers and members a happy holidays.
Your video content doesn’t even have to be 30 frames-per-second of moving pictures. You could also:
Use Images with voiceover. Pictures or images are a great way to communicate. If you like, you can easily use what is known as voiceover on an image. This combines a narrative that you can record over the image. String a set of these together to tell your story.
• Your pictures: Using any camera, take pictures of your building, product, people, etc.
• Images: There are lots of places on the web to get images, either for free or for a relatively small investment. A few examples include Google Images, iStockphoto,Flickr, and stock.xchng.
Note: As with any media, be careful you’re abiding by copyright law.
Create a Screencast. Capturing a demonstration of your product or a walkthrough of your business or organization using your website is another way to create engaging video. Screencast software runs on your computer and captures what takes place on the screen. You can also record your voice speaking at the same time or add music. The combination makes for an informative and engaging experience.
There are many software tools that enable you to take an image and add a voiceover. Examples are Microsoft’s PowerPoint (10.0 or greater), Apple’s Keynote, TechSmith’s Camtasia, and iMovie.
4 Tips for Shooting Quality Video
It doesn’t take thousands of dollars in gear to make a great video, but paying attention to a few details will make your final product that much better:
Whenever possible, use a tripod.
Keeping the camera steady will make for better picture quality when you upload your video to a service like YouTube. Plus, your viewers won’t get seasick while watching.
Film in a quiet area.
This is particularly important if the only mic you have is the one built-in to the camera as those tend to pick up all the ambient noise as well as the speaker. In these cases, the less ambient noise, the better.
Bright light is good.
Cameras have come a long way when it comes to the ability to record in low light, but the more light you can provide, the better the video quality. When filming, have the subject facing the main source of light, not in front it:
Orientation is key.
When shooting on an iPhone, Android, or other video-capable smartphone, make sure to hold the device in a landscape (horizontal) mode and not vertically. Holding it vertically makes for a messy editing process as you crop the video to fit a standard size video window.
Video Is a Great Marketing Tool
Video is a fun and effective marketing tool that’s accessible to any business or organization — even those who are on a tight budget. Think about which of your marketing messages could benefit most by the color that video brings to the mix. If a picture says 1,000 words, a video can say it bigger, brighter, and better.
As compared to Facebook and Twitter where users are more reflective with their actions and posts more feed oriented, Pinterest users are aspirational in nature. So, it’s no wonder that marketers noticed how users were creating more and more boards around the vacations they were planning, along with pinning sites they aspired to visit and special places worth a watch, even those located close to where they lived.
By September 2018, people had pinned over 175 billion Pins on Pinterest. Back in 2013, ‘Place Pins’ were introduced, primarily to help people convert their travel inspiration into reality. The tourism industry has slowly woken up to the immense potential of this Pinterest feature that can bring big business their way.
Here’s how you too can do it:
Craft content-rich guides and maps: Whether you are a tour operator or a hotel with lots to see and do around the location, you can use the ‘Place Pins’ feature to create boards with content-rich guides and maps and pin the locations to the board. Since this feature includes extra details like the phone number and address right on the Pin, users can easily pull up useful information before they venture out to explore the place. Imagine a group of users planning a tour to your resort. Won’t they appreciate having a user-friendly guide accessible from anywhere on their Android device or iPhone? You bet they will! Thus, you can connect with your potential clientele by offering them easy means to find new places on the go and even get directions to them!
Reach your target clientele directly: Many tourists these days are planning group trips on Pinterest using Place Pins, which let them find restaurant recommendations and places of tourist interest that are close to their hotel and any chosen destination within the city. As a tourism service provider, you can easily see such public information and know what these consumers are looking for. Thus, if you find a group planning to travel to your location, you can engage with the group (or the group leader) and offer them a special discount at your hotel or restaurant. This way, you can leverage the free consumer data available on Pinterest, engage with your potential customers and give your business a big boost.
Create collaborative boards for a complete experience: Travelers these days do a lot of research before they visit any place. They are no longer content doing just a thing or two. Rather, they would love to pack as much as possible within their limited time at a specific destination. You can ask others in the tourism industry to join hands and create collaborative boards, which offer the potential travelers everything they need at one place. Thus, if you are a hotel owner, you can invite those offering sightseeing/activity packages nearby, restaurants selling authentic local delicacies, those managing cultural attractions/art centers/entertainment scenes etc to help potential travelers plan their tour and ensure that they don’t miss out on the must-do’s. Imagine that there’s a small vendor near your hotel that sells the best ice cream in the city. You can now use Place Pins to put the location on a map or ask the vendor to collaborate. Thus, users can now have pictures of the place to look at, check how close it is to their hotel, get directions to reach there and even get the phone number to contact the vendor. All these will add more utility to your place boards.
Driving traffic to your travel website: Whether you are a travel supplier, a travel agent or a travel itinerary planner, you can now create interactive, image-rich, searchable itinerary maps with Place Pins and even insert links to your own website. This way, you can drive traffic to your website and convert some of those leads into sales.
Offer paid services: You may even help potential travelers create a detailed travel map or offer advice on planning a trip in lieu of a service charge. With Place Pins, it has become much easier to pin the places a tourist wants to visit to the board, and then collaborate with friends who will be accompanying him/her on the trip. Once the tourist reaches the location, he/she can easily access the board while visiting one place and check the Place Pins to find what’s nearby amongst the places that he/she has pinned earlier. However, since not everybody may have the time or patience to do it, you can offer to get it done for a price.
The objective of Pinterest Place Pins is to inspire people to explore new places. Whether such places are in their backyard or on the other side of the globe, this feature has opened a tremendous opportunity for those in the travel and tourism industry as well. So, start using the Pinterest Place Pins to help people get to their desired destinations while enjoying a precious pie of the big profit share.
Now that we've given you some ideas, check out our "How to" instructions on getting started with Place Pins!
The number of online business successes are testimony to the fact that low budget internet marketing campaigns guarantee HIGH exposure at extremely LOW costs. To take advantage of the internet marketing opportunities, you need to use the correct tools to keep costs down. Listing your website on free directories’ is a sure-shot means to guarantee quality traffic!
Is your online business looking to:
- Drive more quality traffic to your website?
- Capture visitors as leads?
- Convert leads into customers?
Try posting your website on these free directories today!
- Yahoo: With a Google PR of 9, it is a great place to submit non-commercial sites. [It does not accept commercial sites]
- Jayde is a quality link source. They are quick at adding submissions and you have a good chance of getting on getting on a decent listing page too! It is the internet's largest B2B Search Engine and one of the web's oldest business directories. Jayde was founded in 1996. It is an entirely human reviewed directory. According to the site, “The fast growing Jayde may be the most unique search engine on the internet. Are we better than Google? If you are a college student trying to find a research paper on mosquito's in the Amazon, probably not. It may take perusing thousands of search results to find that specific paper and that's not the way Jayde works. However, if you're a sales professional tying to efficiently find contacts within businesses, Jayde is better than Google!”
- WorldSiteIndex.com is a search-able web directory of English language sites organized by subject. However, you must note that free submissions are disabled from close of business on Fridays to start of business on Tuesdays.
- SoMuch is a SEO friendly free link directory where you can find the best human edited links sorted by topic and category. Their policy is to make it easy for you to find quality sites that aren't just filled with Google AdSense advertisements. They try to add web sites that ultimately have something to offer, and are constantly checking their links to meet that challenge.
- Info-Listings are sorted categorically to make it easier for people to find what they are looking for. If you cannot find an appropriate category for your listing, you can e-mail and suggest a new one.
- WWW Virtual Library is the oldest catalog of the Web, started by Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of HTML and of the Web itself, in 1991 at CERN in Geneva. Unlike commercial catalogs, it is run by a loose confederation of volunteers, who compile pages of key links for particular areas in which they are expert; even though it isn't the biggest index of the Web, the VL pages are widely recognized as being amongst the highest-quality guides to particular sections of the Web.
Website directories are a great way for businesses to promote their websites. They help build back links, increase exposure and traffic too!