Yep, you read that right. Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’re already aware of today’s “holiday.” It’s a day to celebrate the tiny cartoon images on our devices that most of us use every day! Emojis have been in our lives for a long time. Beginning as components of chatroom conversations in the ’90s as emoticons, emojis have reshaped the way we communicate.
“Yes, they are cute and fun and kind of addictive, but they also improve our capacity to make our intended meaning known.” ~ Psychology Today
Whether or not you’re a fan of these little digital icons, there’s no denying that more and more successful brands are jumping on board with emoji marketing. And the brands that are doing it right present their emojis in ways that are both impressive and memorable.
Hilarious + Creative = Genius! Capturing the attention of fans, three simple emojis were used to spell out “Deadpool” to promote the new movie. This marketing campaign reportedly played a role in Deadpoolbreaking box office records for an R-rated movie. An emoji that appears to be smiling poo is not something you see on a billboard every day. This campaign is proof that doing the unexpected can totally pay off!
WWF’s #EndangeredEmoji Twitter Campaign
In 2015, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) developed the #EndangeredEmoji campaign with the goal to save animals from extinction. Targeting Millennials by using a social media platform and alternative communication methods proved to be a great idea. A fresh audience flocked to this emoji campaign, leading to 559,000 mentions and 59,000 sign-ups during the first month of the launch.
McDonald’s “Good Times” Emoji Marketing Campaign
McDonald’s produced a simple and lighthearted campaign to tell a short story using only emojis. They start by acknowledging a potentially bad day and showing empathy. They follow up with humor and the suggestion that visiting their business will turn your bad day around.
However, for every successful emoji marketing campaign, there have been other, less-than-successful attempts made. So, before you decide to incorporate emojis into your marketing campaigns, make sure they flow with your overall marketing strategy.
This is so important because it shows your customers how you’re going to accommodate them. Your brand is your business name, logo, tagline, personality, and more! Most popular brands evolve by adjusting to the times. This allows them to meet the ever-changing needs and expectations of the clients and customers. If nothing else, you need a brand name, a target audience, and an idea of how your brand personality is going to connect with your target audience.
This is a good example of brand evolution. Starbucks is continuously updating their brand and services, presenting a fresh take on a company we’ve known for decades.
If you’re a newbie, you probably don’t have a huge website budget yet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have an awesome website. Ideally, your site should be simple and easy to navigate. Fast load times are also vital, or you might be losing people before they even see your site!
You will also want to make sure that your website is mobile-optimized, meaning that if someone wants to visit your site from a phone or tablet, they’ll still get a great browsing experience.
Content covers all the things. Anything that educates your customers about your business is content. Potential clients are going to visit your website to see if and how your content is relates to them and their needs. The best content should be non-intrusive and inspire your customers to come to you.
A strategically planned-out ad can help your business grow substantially. And the best part? You don’t need a ton of money to get started! Advertising is key – don’t forget it!
If you’re just getting started, my suggestion to you is remarketing to people who have already visited your website. They’ve already shown interest, and all you need to do is seal the deal! Digital advertising is a great way to drive traffic to your site and convert prospects into customers.
There you have it! Four essential digital marketing elements that every business needs to have in order to set you up for success!
That being said, animation also presents its share of challenges. For one thing, it’s easy to get carried away and add an excessive amount of animation. Even professional designers and developers have to toe the line between making the most of all that animation has to offer and creating a site that’s overwhelmed with too much activity.
Instead of attracting more visitors to your site, badly executed animation can actually alienate users. Animation that’s carelessly integrated into your design can create confusion, discord, and chaos for users.
If you’re thinking about including elements of animation on your business website, there are a few things you should take into consideration. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of using animation on your website.
Animation Can Help Increase User Engagement
Adding animation to your website design is sure to grab a user’s attention more than just a static screen. Websites that not only function efficiently but look good as well are more likely to enjoy positive feedback and decreased bounce rates from users.
Animation Lends Authenticity and Legitimacy to Your Site
Online scammers don’t generally invest a lot of time or effort into a complex website design. When done well, animation not only indicates to users that your website is legitimate, but it also positions your brand as a credible authority in your field.
Animation Enhances the Overall Design of Your Site
The right animation effects can breathe life into your website design, leaving a lasting impression on visitors. Couple an aesthetically pleasing design with interactive elements and you’ll further increase users’ interest in spending more time on your site.
Animation Can Slow Page Loading Speeds
Since animation places a heavy load on website resources, it can cause slower load speeds for both individual pages and the site itself. Slow loading times can frustrate users, leading them to move on to other sites that have what they’re looking for but load much faster. Longer loading times can also negatively impact your rankings in Google search engine results.
Animation Can Distract from Your Business Goals
Having too many animated elements can annoy users and cause them to abandon your website without completing a purchase – regardless of what motivated them to visit in the first place. When inexpertly executed, web animation can also draw a user’s attention away from your core message. Instead of focusing on what products to buy, visitors may become overly distracted by the movement on the page.
Animation Might Not Always Improve User Experience
While animation may add to the visual appeal of your website, it doesn’t always enhance the user’s experience. Websites should be designed to function in a way that’s easy for visitors to use. Adding animation where it’s not needed can make a site harder to navigate and ultimately detract from the overall user experience.
Before determining whether animation is right for your website, consider the following questions:
What is its purpose?
Will it enhance or detract from the user experience?
How will it benefit users or add to your message?
Will it help guide your visitors in the right direction (e.g., making a purchase or booking an appointment)?
Will it slow your site down?
Can you execute it well?
When it comes to web animation, it’s best to exercise a less-is-more approach. You shouldn’t simply include animation whenever and wherever you want – its use must always be justified. By and large, web animation should always be integrated in ways that align with your broader business objectives.
So, should you use animation on your website? That, of course, is up to you to decide. Ultimately, it all boils down to the user experience you can and want to provide.
Is your business is curious about how to make a YouTube video? How many times have you seen a competitor on Facebook Video and thought “we should have done that“?
2016 saw the rise of video content marketing to promote or market brands, products, or services. With each passing year, video marketing integrated deeper into a digital strategy for content marketers until it became a must-have for businesses.
Video marketing relies on creating and distributing valuable and consistent video content to your target audience to attract, engage, and connect qualified leads.
54% of consumers want to see more video content from a brand or business they support. On top of that, researchers say that by 2022, 82% of global internet traffic will come from video streaming and downloads.
All of this is great seeing as 88% of video marketers are satisfied with the ROI of their video marketing.
Video content gives a booster shot to your search engine optimization, as well as creating engaging content for your clients to interact with on social media platforms like YouTube and Facebook, or in an email blast. Wherever your target audience can be found!
The production process and how you get the message of your brand across is what matters, and in this blog post, we’ll guide you through each step on how to make a video and give you tips and tricks to rev up your video marketing campaigns.
Here’s your 5-Step Guide to Video Production!
Step #1: Conception
Conception happens when you decide you want to integrate video marketing into your business strategy. This is the stage where you figure out your target audience and campaign goals. These set the foundation of every successful marketing campaign, and as such are needed in video marketing. A campaign with no foundation will gain no elevation.
After that, it’s time to figure out how exactly you want to build upon that foundation with a wide variety of types of videos to choose from, including company commercials/trailers, client testimonials, employee spotlights, demos, how-to videos with your products, and even videos that showcase your company culture.
Video Marketing is only limited by your imagination.
Next, ask yourself whether you’ll do it in-house, or if you’ll hire out. If you want to produce videos internally, you’ll need to research the equipment and editing programs necessary to produce the content. There are cameras, mics, and lighting set up for any budget. However, you get the quality you pay for, so be mindful of that!
Do you have the staff power and capability to do so? Do you have the time to manage every step of the process? Creating video content can be a time-consuming ordeal, so be sure you’re prepared to take it on!
If you want to hire out, do your research on the agencies, freelancers, and production companies in your area (like us, for instance). Reach out and meet with companies that you feel would capture your video marketing the best. Once you seal the deal, it’s time to start pre-production.
Step #2: Pre-Production
..or as I like to call it “Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance.” So you have the goals in place, now it’s time to film!
In reality, it’s time to plan the production. It’s not as simple as “have an idea, now Lights. Camera. Action!” Pre-production is VITAL to the success of your campaign.
There is a method to the video marketing madness. You have the foundation, but you need the skeleton of the video.
We’re talking about:
Who is going to be in it?
What equipment, permits, props, scripts, etc. will you need?
Where is it going to be filmed?
When is it going to be filmed?
How is it going to be filmed?
A script is developed either internally or externally in conjunction with the goals, target audience, and company branding. As the script is created and edited, a storyboard is worked on to help focus the director’s vision.
A storyboard is a frame-by-frame shot list attached to the script so the director, cameraman, and post-production know exactly what goes where and when that frame happens. Not everyone will use a storyboard – but it does help with shoots that have multiple locations and angles.
Speaking of locations, this is where filming logistics will need to happen if they did not already happen before pre-production.
If you’re filming outside, have you checked the weather for the week and set up rain delays?
If you’re filming in a city or residential area, do you have the right permits to avoid fines? What location scouting has been done?
Who will be in the video – employees of the company or paid actors? Have they been contacted ahead of time and worked into the filming schedule?
There is a lot of planning that must happen with each production – so to help out, we’ve created a downloadable file for you to use! It’s a guide and checklist for each part of pre-production to help keep yourself organized.
Step #3: Filming
The purpose of pre-production is to make filming easier. It’s the day of the shoot, and everyone is prepared. Fantastic!
Film multiple takes to have more to work with and give yourself more than enough time to film. Even the best-trained actors stumble, and equipment problems can pop up.
When filming, try to grab B-roll footage, which is supplemental or alternative footage inter-cut with the main shot. It’s the footage that shows what a person is talking about, shots of the location area, and maybe interaction between two people.
B-roll footage blends in with the video to create a cohesive story that is visually appealing outside of the main footage. Integrate B-roll footage into your pre-production planning.
Step #4: Post-Production
Post-production is where all the editing magic of visual and sound effects happens. If filming was organized and efficient, then post-production will be smoother. All the footage captured is edited as per the script and storyboards.
Any planned voiceovers are captured, and if needed, a sound editor works on adding music and sound mixing; making sure to obtain a high-quality sound mix to go along with the high-quality visuals an audience is seeing.
Visual effects, like utilizing a green screen, color correction, or other video graphics, are added and managed. When selecting the visual effects to add to your video, keep in mind your company’s brand image. What colors and fonts do you have set for your brand, and what sort of visual styles does your company present?
With post-production, you’ll be given a lot of footage that needs to be cleaned up and trimmed down to the desired length.
If you’re working with an agency, once the first edit is done, it’s sent to you for revisions and suggested edits. You may want to add more or trim some lines. Maybe the colors are off or you don’t like transitions in some places.
This is where you need to remind yourself of the Target Audience, Campaign Goals, and most importantly your Brand. Does this video represent your brand well? If not send it back with notes for the editors! Be specific with timestamps!
Step #5: Launch the Video!
Once you’re happy with the video, it’s time to release it.
Will you host it on your website, or release it on platforms such as YouTube, Twitter, or Facebook? It could be a part of your marketing campaign or internal training videos. The choice is up to you!
Where the video is going and who it’s for was determined back in step 1. Be specific with where you release and promote your video. Focus on the copy and keywords to take advantage of SEO. It doesn’t hurt to review the video one more time before you click upload for any textual typos or edits that escaped the post-production team.
Once you’re happy with it, then let the world know all about it!
Here at HighClick Media, we follow each of these steps in our video marketing process. We have our target audience and campaign goals that we keep in mind with each of the videos we produce. For our brand, we create videos to help educate our community and clients on digital marketing, and we sneak in some company culture here and there.
We work as a team in each step of the process to produce content we’re proud of, while at the same time pushing ourselves to improve the product, our skills, and capabilities. We saw video marketing as where we want to be, and together we’re elevating HighClick to new heights!
Video branding and online video are taking the entire digital marketing frontier by storm, and it’s time for your company to jump in before it’s blown away.
If you’re interested in how video marketing can help your business, call HighClick Media at 252-814-2150 today or drop us a line here! Together we’ll elevate your brand to new heights.
5 Ways to Get Your Small Business Ready for the Metaverse
Over the past couple of years, we’ve witnessed businesses placing a greater emphasis on ecommerce and digital transformation – thanks in large part to the global pandemic. But we’re also seeing businesses begin to shift their attention even further toward digital as the virtual world becomes less of a fantastical idea and closer to reality.
No one seems to agree, or know for sure when the metaverse concept was originally conceived; it’s equally difficult to find an agreed-upon definition of what the reality of the metaverse means for us now.
Claiming and maintaining your online presence is absolutely crucial for a small business in today’s digital world. Without it, you’ll miss out on countless opportunities to drive traffic to your site, or to the business itself, as well as risk frustrating customers who can’t find the information they need when they need it.
Keeping this information up to date is just as important, particularly for things like holidays or hours of operation, as incorrect information could easily turn off potential customers.
Don’t Abandon the Old Ways Too Quickly
Try to avoid the temptation to go “all virtual, all the time” too soon. Yes, the idea of the metaverse is exciting, and it’s likely that at least some of your customer base will be ready for it.
But good business dictates that you should always give the customer what they want – and the majority of consumers aren’t quite ready for this new way of doing business. At least not yet.
Even as you’re positioning your business to be ready for “the next big thing,” don’t be too hasty to cast aside the old ways completely. Many of your customers are going to want to stick with what they’re used to, for as long as possible. You should continue to give your audience the option to engage with your brand through more traditional methods.
Last but certainly not least, be ready for anything! One thing that many entrepreneurs and small business owners know well is that right about the time you get comfortable, that’s when change comes fast and furious!
Sure, we have an exciting future ahead of us, thanks to an increasing tech-minded push, and it’s going to change the way we view and interact with our world. But if you get too hung up on tomorrow’s virtual reality project, you might not see what’s coming up next week.
Transformation is coming – that’s a given. How will your small business ride out these changes over the next decade? Well, that’s up to you. At the very least, you should be prepared for what comes next.
If you need help transforming your business for the digital age, HighClick Media can help! Whether you’re looking to update your website, get started with social media marketing, or optimize your website for search engines so it’s easier to be found online, we have a solution that’s right for you! Call us today at 252.814.2150 or drop us a line here to see how we can help elevate your brand!
An earlier version of this article appeared on Entrepreneur’s website and can be found here.
Social media marketing. Search engine optimization. Branding. Copywriting. When people find out the type of work that I do, they will undoubtedly ask all the questions about what it actually entails. Look – as a digital marketer, I could take you down the rabbit hole at any given time trying to explain what goes into it, but it would take hours… days… YEARS! Maybe not years, but you catch my drift. My goal for this blog as a whole is to help you get your feet wet and inform you of the importance of digital marketing, little by little, without totally overwhelming you.
Well, I’m delighted you asked! Like most digital marketing terms, branding means more than just one thing, and typically, it means different things to different people. Some see branding as good public relations, and some believe it to be a simple logo or slogan. Branding can include both of these things and so much more. For me, your brand represents your business’s identity, enhances your culture, and extends your value proposition. Your brand is your personality, your story – a story that cultivates your vision, influencing your mission. The strongest, most successful brands use a distinct direction and a powerful message to guide the creative and visual aspects of their brand.
“A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.” ~ Seth Godin
Mr. Godin is totally onto something here. You must communicate your story clearly so that your audience can pick up what you’re putting down. The goal is for your audience to develop a positive feeling and a grasped concept regarding your brand. Your brand is your foundation. It is the fundamental ground that upholds your values, message, mindset, and more.
When Evaluating Your Brand, Keep These Tips in Mind:
Invest in Discovery: Conducting a brand audit is the only way to review where your company’s brand stands today. Check out your brand’s past history. What’s working and what’s not?
Be Confident in Your Direction: Ensure that your employees (especially those with leadership roles) have a firm grasp on the vision and mission for the company. This may not be fully mapped out before you begin a branding process, but having some sort of concept in mind is beneficial.
Keep an Open Mind: Let go of your preconceived notions and restrictions, as they may be holding you back from brand growth and direction. Immerse yourself in any and all ideas, even if in the end, the reins are pulled back. Being open-minded will allow you to reach and exceed your creative potential.
Work with a ThirdParty: Branding or rebranding is difficult for any company. Sometimes you’re just too close to your own brand, and an outsider’s perspective can give you the fresh insight you didn’t even realize you needed.
Enjoy Yourself: Branding is important stuff, and falling into a state of constant stress and worry is easy to do during this process. But if you have fun with it and work with a proven agency or consultant to guide you through the madness, your journey will be all the more positive and exciting!
So, are your wheels turning yet? Do you know what your brand stands for? How well are you communicating your story? Is your brand strategy aligned with your marketing plan? If you’re unable to answer these questions, or you think it may be time to revisit your strategy, we’re here for you!