B2B Social Media Strategies That Work For Any Industry

B2B businesses are proof that any business can be successful on social media. Why? Because they’ve turned a niche industry that admittedly isn’t the most exciting into a playground for social content.

B2B Social Media Strategies for Any Industry

Set SMART goals

Like any other marketing channel, a social media strategy needs to be based on goals to be successful. Defining specific, measurable KPIs for your company’s social media — whether they’re based on brand awareness or acquisition — will be the key to measuring success down the line.

To determine KPIs, you have to decide what success means to your brand. Are you trying to use social media as an acquisition channel? Do you want to increase your reach, or gain more traffic on your company blog? This will decide what metrics to track.

Here is a good example of a SMART objective for an enterprise that is just beginning to get momentum on social media:

Goal: To build brand awareness on social media.

Specific: I want to boost our company’s brand awareness by posting regularly and frequently on Twitter, Instagram, Linked In, and Facebook. I will increase our posts on Twitter from once to four times a day, post daily on Instagram, and increase weekly publishing frequency on LinkedIn and Facebook from four to seven times per week. From generating two articles a week to three posts a week our content creators will raise their effort and our designer increases their workload from a given asset a week to two things a week.

Measurable: A 4% increase in engagement rate across the board is our goal.

Relevant: By increasing the engagement rate, we’ll boost brand awareness and generate more leads, giving sales more opportunities to close.

Time-Bound: End of this month.

SMART Goal: At the end of this month, our average engagement rate across our social media channels will see a 4% lift by increasing our post frequency and concentrating on a thoughtful, engaging copy.

Use multimedia

There’s a reason social media marketers get excited when a social platform launches a new feature — it’s because it adds a new medium to play with and test with your audience.

Instagram Stories, Twitter polls, and LinkedIn documents are all perfect examples of utilizing the multimedia formats that are unique to each channel.

The creation and release of multimedia content on your social media platforms add to your attention an interesting aspect.

Share original content

This may seem like a no-brainer to some, but many businesses establish their social media presence by curating content from other sources. The fact is that your audience can discriminate between unique and creative articles vs anything, just to claim that you were active on the web that day.

If you’re having trouble coming up with original content every day, it’s okay to scale back your operation. If you don’t have the bandwidth to post on every platform, spend your time on the channels where your audience is the most developed.

Keep an eye on competitors

Social media opens the door to your competitor’s marketing strategy, or at the very least, their social media marketing strategy. For larger companies, keeping tabs on your competitors is part of the territory. You want to know what campaigns they’re running to see if they’re successful. And if that company’s target audience is similar to your own, you can take inspiration from that campaign.

But keeping tabs on your competitors on social media isn’t at all about copying their strategies. Being involved in the same industry will lead to crossover with your audiences and their interests. Perhaps it makes sense for your brand if you observe your competition is not responding to the current news. You will be unique from your competitors by looking for these changes.

Highlight your employees

Many B2B companies do a great job of spotlighting their employees, which allows the audience to put faces to the company and personalize the brand. This is important for small and large companies alike, because whether you’re selling computers to businesses or opening a neighborhood restaurant — people are the heart of your business.

Additionally, highlighting your employees is a good opportunity for employer branding. Employer branding increases your employees’ advocacy by giving them the ability to spread word-of-mouth about their place of work.

Experiment with content and posting times

This is a step to take after you’ve proven that you can maintain a regular posting schedule and want to dive a little deeper into audience insights. There are always best practices for when and what you’re posting on social media, but the truth is that every audience is different, so you’ll want to run experiments to figure out what works best for your brand.

There are endless experiments you can conduct on your channels. Here are some ideas to inspire you

  • Test different link positions to find out if it makes users more likely to click.
  • Alternate between using questions and statistics in your copy to see which one pulls your audience in more.
  • Add emojis to see if it increases interactions.
  • Postless frequently.
  • Post more frequently.
  • Segment a different part of your audience to test how they react to an ad.
  • Put paid behind a video post and a still image to see which performs better.
  • Spend more time replying to posts to find out if it increases your follower count.
  • Test different amounts of hashtags to see if it affects impressions.

Experimenting with your content is how you figure out your own best practices, which will always be more personalized than industry standards.

How to Develop EV Charging Station Locator App: Cost & Features

The slogan of ‘Go Green’ is consistent all around the world because of the carbon emission and harm being caused to the environment. One of the biggest steps in saving the environment is the prevalence of electric vehicles (EV). These vehicles are gaining popularity over the last few years for several reasons, such as they emit zero carbon and don’t pollute the environment, save energy and fuel, are cost-efficient, etc. 

Let’s discuss and understand exactly what an EV charging app is, how it works, why to invest in an EV charging station app development, key features to integrate, and how much it costs to create such an application. 

What is an Electric Vehicle Charging App?

This is a mobile app for the owners of electric vehicles to find the nearby charging stations for their cars or other vehicles. It is a flexible application that helps in looking out for the charging stations according to the location of the user, booking slots available at the nearby station, waiting time, charging fee, and many more aspects. 

For instance, there are five EV charging stations within the range of 5 miles; the car owner can choose to get his vehicle charges from the station that offers the best service in terms of payment, waiting time, and other factors. Moreover, he can pay for the charging right from within the app. If a nearby station remains crowded, the user can also book a charging slot in advance using the app. It will save him from waiting in the long queues at the EV charging station.

Working of EV Charging Locator App

The working of an EV charging stations finder app is quite simple.

  • The user or the car owner registers on the app with his phone number, email, password, address, or rapidly with a social account.
  • After registration, the user needs to enter his location or allow the app to access the geolocation. This will help in showing the nearby charging stations according to the location of the user.
  • User browses the nearby locations, sees main information about the station, like pricing, description, photos, availability, compatible EV, etc. 
  • Based on the preferences, the user can book a slot in advance to save time. Or he can visit the station and get the vehicle charged.
  • If the user has booked the slot through the app, he can monitor the charging progress and level in the app. 
  • The user views the amount to be paid and can pay right through the app or to the charging station. 

What Makes EV Charging Station Location Finder App So Popular?

If you are looking to start an electric vehicle charging station business, then your first move must be to start with an online presence. For this purpose, you can get an EV charging station locator application developed and reach more EV users or drivers efficiently. The app will bring in more customers, entice them, and generate high revenue for your business. 

The application would spare owners of electric vehicles from lengthy lines at recharge stations. You may easily use your smartphone to pick your chosen charging time slot and charge your car on time by getting at the charging station. It does not need to wait in a queue that saves time for them.

Along with these, electric vehicle owners will find plenty of more benefits with an EV charging station app. With the application, you will be able to keep a track of some crucial statistics and analytics for your EV charging station business. 

These stats and analytics include profits earned per day, total consumption of electricity daily/weekly/monthly, information of the vehicle owners, centralized payment details and transactions, etc.

Features to Integrate into EV Charging Stations App

User Sign-Up

After downloading and installing the app, the user needs to register with the app with his phone number, email address, and password. To make this process more efficient and quicker, you can allow them to register with their Google Account or other social media handles.

Profile creation

The user can edit his profile and make changes to it. For instance, he can add his vehicle model and number, name, profile photo, etc.

Geolocation:

To show the nearby charging stations, the app needs to access the location of the user’s smartphone. 

Additionally, if a user wants to search the chargers available in an area manually, he should be able to enter the preferred location and see the right options.

Nearby charging stations:

The mobile app will show the recharge stations closest to the user based on the location retrieved via the app or input by the user. The purpose of the display is to assist users to save time and electricity to visit a recharge station.

Station details: 

While browsing the nearby EV charging stations, the app should show the relevant information about the specific stations. This information can include the name of the station, the car models compatible with the station, pricing, address, photos, reviews, and ratings, etc. It will help users to get the charging done from their preferred station.

Slot booking:

After deciding on the charging station through the app, the user can book a time slot in advance to get his car charged. This is a handy feature meant to save a lot of time for the user, especially when the stations remain crowded. The booking through the app will prevent him from waiting in long queues.

Rating & review:

After getting their EV charged, the car owner can rate their experience and write a review about the station. The ratings and reviews help other users to know the quality of service and other aspects of a station. If you share a negative review, the station can work on improving the required things.

Multiple payment options:

You must integrate multiple payment methods in your EV charging station locator app so that users can make payments with their preferred method. For instance, you can allow them to pay with a debit/credit card, PayPal, UPI, e-wallet mobile apps, etc.

Billing history:

It is important for car owners to know the power they consume and the cost they spend on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. For this, the app should have a feature to track the bookings with power charged and the amount of payment made by the user.

AI-based Chatbot:

The queries that the chatbot can’t answer can be transferred to a human support executive.

Conclusion

Hope this write-up helped you learn about the various aspects of the EV charging stations app. If you are looking to invest in such an idea, you must know about the working of the app, business model, top competitors, user expectations, market trends, and required costs. 

TechNEOS Solution can help you build a unique & Attractive EV charging Mobile application.

How To Build An Efficient Mobile Wallet App Like PayPal

Technological advancements have made life easier for humankind. Humans have been carrying out all their chores in a modern way in the past few years, before which they used to follow traditional methods to do the same tasks. One such example is making and receiving payments! The financial industry has modernized in several ways, making human life simple and efficient since they perform their tasks with less time and energy consumption.

Besides online and mobile banking facilities, there are other efficient and secure ways to make payments as well – eWallet is the term! These digital wallets have made it super easy and quick to make payments in a matter of seconds, whether it is to an eCommerce, restaurant, retailer app, etc. Imagine you are leaving your house to visit a retail shop but left your wallet at home. 

Fortunately, you still have your smartphone with you. How simple is it to make a transaction using an eWallet software like PayPal, Google Pay, Amazon Pay? These applications are not only simple and quick, but it is also safe and secure. These are also your best alternative if you want to avoid completing a cash transaction during these epidemic times.

Mobile Wallet App Development Market Growth

eWallet apps are beneficial for several industries, but it isn’t restricted to one sector only. Hence, if you plan to invest in creating such an app, we will take you through some facts and figures. 

According to reports, mobile wallets will be booming by 2023 and generate a revenue of $4574 billion.

It’s not always feasible to make payments in cash; however, it’s always easier to carry smartphones. Imagine one tiny device for all your needs! 

All you have to do is download an app and use it to make payments. What you have to do now is remember the pin to complete the transaction.

Mobile payment apps were already in the market for a long time; however, they gained momentum due to the Covid-19 breakout. This has called for more demand for such apps.

Must-Have Features of Mobile Wallet Apps

Do you want to integrate the best features into your eWallet app? Well, the features listed below are worth considering for your app.

No Minimum Transaction Limit

A few e-Wallet apps have a set transaction limit. Suppose they have to make a minimum transaction of $30; below that is restricted. This creates a problem while making payments and annoys the user. 

But here, there is no such limit. Users can go even below $30 and make the payments trouble-free.

GPS Tracking

The main motive behind this feature is for users to track the location where they used the app. This feature will help you have information regarding all your purchases to know where you spent your money. This feature even works as an e-receipts where users get the deduction details.

e-Receipts

e-Receipts are the invoice that the user receives after making any payment through the mobile wallet app. Suppose a user has purchased a $20 product, then the deduction details will be sent to the user promptly through a text message and an email as well. This makes the eWallet payment method easy, quick, and safe.

User Profile

This is the basic feature of your app. Here, your user will be asked to register themselves, giving their details such as name, address, and perhaps a photo. You can also log in through FB or Gmail to avoid the lengthy procedure.

Sync Over 1 Bank Account

This is the main thing that you ask the app user at the very start. Before that, ensure your e-wallet app is secure & safe. The user’s data privacy is essential while developing an eWallet app.

When a user adds their bank information, they can add over one bank account on the app. As you are permitting users to add over one bank account, make sure your app is user-friendly. This is a useful feature appreciated by the users considering they like to do transactions from different accounts.

Split The Bill Option

Various mobile wallets are offering this feature. Users can easily divide the bill between them. 

For instance, if four friends are heading out for dinner, and at the time of payment, it would be better to use the eWallet app to divide the bill between the four rather than using cash. This feature makes the payment-making process way easier.

Reward Points

Provide users with cashback offers or discount coupons while using the app. For instance, many eCommerce apps have a good discount deal for flight booking to receive instant cashback. 

Such rewards will attract users to use the app. This is one of the marketing techniques which is used by various apps.

Security

This is about the security and safety of the user’s bank account information. Everyone is super alert and conscious when it comes to money. They want complete protection while accessing the apps. 

These apps have bank accounts linked to them; therefore they must have advanced and latest tech to secure them from hackers or fraudsters. It’s a good practice to ask for an mPIN, fingerprint, OTP, etc. when a user makes a single transaction.

Conclusion 

Mobile wallet apps have touched peak to deliver an incredible user experience and make fast payments with ease and total security. Developing such an app for your business will be a significant breakthrough for your business. 

If you are considering developing an eWallet app, now is a great time as this area has huge scope. However, if you are confused about choosing the best mobile app development company for app development, don’t worry; we are here! TechNEOS Solution expert development team is there to discuss your unique wallet app ideas and make you an ideal banking app.

Skills to run an eCommerce business

What are the essential skills needed to run an eCommerce business? Starting, and then managing a business of any kind, is a dream for many people out there. But, how do you start? What do you need to know before starting an online business, and how can you build a team to help you grow? Read on to find out.

You may be great at certain things, and there are some elements to running an eCommerce business that you will need help with. It’s important to know the difference.

Because, even though you’ll probably start as a one-man show, bootstrapping your way through the early days, you need to have a long-term mindset and think about how you can put yourself and your business in the best position.

Hard skills vs Soft skills

Hard skills are those that help you accomplish certain tasks mostly individually, while soft skills are usually the way of becoming better as a part of a larger team, by being a team player or leading a team.

Putting it very basically, hard skills will make you effective and (hopefully) efficient in completing various tasks, while soft skills will help you achieve business goals in the long run.

Now, how can this split help you with your plans? What are the skills needed to start an eCommerce business? And what do you need to learn or outsource to help you grow?

Hard skills to start an eCommerce business

You should always strive for a good balance in any team, but in this case, when starting an eCommerce business, the inclination is to focus more on hard skills.

These are some of the hard skills that you need to learn before you start an eCommerce business. Some of them are often referred to as technical skills in the eCommerce industry:

  • Data analysis
  • SEO
  • Email marketing
  • UX design
  • Content creation
  • Paid advertising
  • Social media management
  • Software development

Some of these abilities may happen easily to you, while others will require help. Hire a marketing company, a freelancer, or an independent expert to assist you with the process.

Soft skills to grow an eCommerce business

However, once you, hopefully, get the hard part right, the need for the soft touches becomes increasingly apparent.

What are the soft skills you will need to grow your business?

You need to organize work better, hire new team members, handle customer support with empathy and care, find quality partners for growth, and establish relationships throughout your industry.

These are the soft skills you will need:

  • Leadership
  • Organizational skills
  • Problem-solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Decision making
  • Team management
  • Communication
  • Networking

I’ve listed those that I feel are among the most important ones if you’re running and growing an eCommerce business. Many others can be equally important, and you can take a look at a longer list of various hard vs soft skills in the article previously mentioned.

Are AWS certifications worth it? Here’s how DevOps specialists can benefit

What is AWS certification?

In a nutshell, AWS certification is a document stating that you know what you’re doing as far as Amazon Web Services products are concerned. You can publicly show it off and anyone interested in hiring you can check its authenticity. Ain’t that complicated.

The decently part is the key here, as the certification confirms you have the required knowledge and basic skills to apply that knowledge in real projects. It won’t tell in detail though how good you are or how fast you work. So please bear that in mind, no matter if you’re an employee or an employer.

AWS certification benefits for you and your software company

Structuring what you already know

You’re such a pro that the AWS certification preparations won’t teach you anything new. That’s okay but it will, at the very least, help you to organize your knowledge in theory and practice and apply some structure to it. And who knows, maybe you don’t know everything after all.

Boosting the esteem in the community

We can deny it as much as we want, but it won’t change the fact that having some AWS badges on your profile (especially the higher ones), will get you some extra kudos from others in the software development community. 

Marketing advantage

Being able to brag about having a lot of employees with the official AWS certifications is massive. It can give the organization an edge and help beat the competition, as clients do consider that factor when entering a contract. I’ve seen a lack of official AWS partnership being a deal-breaker in my career before. Shame to lose a project over something so easy to get.

Higher hourly rates

If the company offers someone as experienced as an AWS Certified DevOps Engineer, then that specialist’s cost will be higher than the hourly rate for a comparable employee without that certification. That means more money in the company!

Eliminating the need to prove the skills over and over

A trivial and strictly practical thing – clients often want to talk to the people they will be working with. If those DevOps engineers have some AWS exams passed, the whole process will be a lot quicker because the clients will rarely doubt their qualifications.

No more proving you know your cloud

If you qualify for anything, your chances of being asked detailed questions regarding the scope of that certificate are low. If you pass the exam, no one will be able to question your knowledge or abilities. Even if you’re asked for some technical details, it’ll almost certainly be a case of “just to be sure” or “let’s hear from the expert.”

You (usually) don’t have to pay for it.

Software companies are more than eager to cover the costs of the AWS certifications. It’s a great benefit for them too (as you’ll learn in a moment) so I doubt it very much you’ll have to pay from your pocket.

For more information visit TechNEOS Solutions.

UX vs. UI: What’s the Difference?

Understanding the difference between UX and UI can confuse the roles working closely together, and sometimes the terms are used too ambiguously to firmly understand either one.

To understand the difference between UX and UI, let’s start with an example: YouTube.

Take a look at the YouTube home screen. Everything you’re seeing — the search bar at the top, the “Trending” and “Subscriptions” and “History” categories on the left, the “Recommended” videos below — is all the work of a UI designer.

At its most basic level, UI is the presentation and interactivity of a product — where’s the sign-up button, is it easy to navigate, where’s the logo and if I click the logo where does it take me?

Now, imagine every YouTube video you click loads slowly. Imagine you search “cats” and nothing comes up. Imagine you can’t search account user’s by their username, so it’s hard for you to find that girl who sang an acoustic rendition of that Ed Sheeran song.

With those actions, you’re having a less-than-ideal user experience. You don’t enjoy engaging with the product, and it isn’t offering you what you want. Those problems are the responsibility of a UX designer.

In this example, both UX and UI are critical components for the user to enjoy the product, but a user can’t appreciate the interface of a product if the product itself doesn’t deliver what the user wants.

To further understand the differences between the two, let’s define UX and UI in more detail.

What’s UX?

UX, which stands for user experience, is the process of researching, developing, and refining all aspects of a user’s interaction with a company to ensure the company is meeting the user’s needs. A UX designer must ensure people find value when they interact with a company’s products or services.

A UX designer is responsible for all aspects of a user’s interaction — this means a UX designer is not solely responsible for the technology behind a product. They’re responsible for how a user interacts with a company both on and offline, including customer service and other facets.

A UX designer must essentially answer the question, “How can my company’s product best suit the needs of our users?”

Now, what’s left for a UI designer to do?

What’s UI?

A UI designer’s responsibilities are more cosmetic than a UX designer’s — a UI designer is responsible for the presentation of a product. But that doesn’t mean a UI designer just picks some pictures and a logo and calls it a day.

A UI designer is responsible for how everything on a page aligns with each other. The visual elements you see on a page, such as buttons and icons, and the interactivity of a product falls on the UI designer.

How do UX and UI work together?

Let’s look at how UX and UI work together now that we’ve looked at them separately.

Let’s say your company wants to develop a running app, so your CEO hires a UX designer. The UX designer is first going to do some research into competitor’s apps and your user’s pain points.

With this information, they will decide the core features of the app and explore user personas in-depth to create a site map and initial prototype.

From there, a UX designer will create wireframes, test and refine them, and convert those wireframes into mockups. Then, the UX designer will conduct research and refine the product for the market. Throughout all stages, the UX designer is focused on the structure and value of the product and how that product is or isn’t meeting the user’s needs.

Towards the end of development, a UI designer will then take control over the app’s appearance, including on-screen forms, images, buttons, links, and icons.

As you can see, the primary difference between UX and UI is goals: a UX designer is focused on the users’ experience, including anything that might motivate or frustrate them, why they would or wouldn’t enjoy the product, and what the product needs to include to delight the user.

You can’t create an exceptional product without both UX and UI. Without a UX designer, YouTube would appear beautiful and appealing but completely unusable. And, without a UI designer, YouTube would be a great idea in theory but would be difficult and confusing to navigate on the screen. 

For more information visit TechNEOS Solutions.

How to Convert Your Website Into a User-Friendly Mobile App

Whether you think it’s for better or for worse, smartphones have undoubtedly changed the world. People now access information at the touch of a screen and everything you need to know about a product or brand is obtainable in just a few moments. Consumers no longer need a desktop computer to explore their website, as over 60% of visits to U.S. websites in 2020 came from mobile devices.

If your company has a website but is looking to create a more user-friendly mobile experience, you can convert your site into an Android or iOS app. Apps allow you to create custom UI/UX designs that bring a mobile-optimized interface to your customer base. This is particularly beneficial if your website isn’t responsive on phones or tablets, as you can create an app that mobile users can easily interact with and appreciate without having to tinker with your website’s desktop display.

In this post, we’ll explain how you can convert your company’s website into an engaging mobile app.

How to Convert a Website into Mobile App

Step 1 : Determine if you need a mobile app

However, not every website needs the use of a mobile app. You may not need an app to improve your consumer experience if your website is already responsive and works effectively on mobile. In such a situation, developing a mobile app may be an extra effort that isn’t worth it if more users prefer your website to your mobile app.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself to see if a mobile app makes sense for your business. The more “no’s” you have, the more likely it is your company would benefit from having a mobile app.

  • Can I easily make my website mobile-friendly?
  • Is my website mobile responsive?
  • Do my competitors offer a mobile app?
  • Are most customers visiting my site on a desktop browser?
  • Can my website do everything that my app does?
  • Does my website rank well on search engines?

Step 2 : Create a list of required features for your app.

Before you dive headfirst into app development, it’s important to consider what features you’ll include on your mobile app. Not only does this give you an idea of what you’ll need to build, but it will help you calculate costs and stay within budget.

After all, it’s easy to get carried away thinking about all the possible functions your app can perform. However, by coming up with a vetted list of features, you’ll create an attainable vision for your app and ensure every one of its features is useful to your target audience — rather than just being a flashy extra.

Step 3 : Hire a development team.

To develop a high-quality app, you’ll need to work with a qualified and experienced development team. These days, there are two options: hire an in-house team or cooperate with a reliable vendor.

Both variants have pros and cons. For example, an in-house team tends to be more expensive. You’ll need to pay for things like rent, hardware, software, taxes, vacations, and more. However, in-house development allows you to control the development process completely and create an app that’s tailored to your exact specifications.

Step 4 : Estimate app development costs.

Once you have your feature list and development team ready to go, it’s time to start crunching numbers. A good rule of thumb is, the more complex your app is, the more expensive it’s going to be to develop.

There are a lot of factors to consider when thinking about mobile app development costs. The number of features you want to add, how long it will take to develop the app, who you’re working with, etc. All of these elements are in play when it comes to pricing and you should think about them before building your app. If you find yourself over budget, a good place to start is by revisiting your feature list to see which features are essential and which ones you can wait until later to add.

Step 5 : Create a user-friendly UX design.

Aside from the basic functionality of your app, your UX design is the most important factor to prioritize when building your interface. After all, what’s the point of developing a mobile app if it’s not as responsive as your website?

If you can’t make your mobile app as mobile-friendly as your website, you might consider investing more in the design of your website rather than creating a new app.

Step 6 : Test your app.

Like with any landing page, social media post, or email campaign, you should test your app before submitting it to the app store. This will allow you to fine-tune your app’s features and fix any glitches or flaws before your users discover them.

Not only will this help you retain users who might have deleted your app after experiencing these issues, but it will also save your support team time from having to respond to customers who are having problems with your mobile app. Even if you can’t fix all of the flaws before pushing it live, at least you’ll be aware of potential issues and can prepare your service team before they’re exposed to these types of inquiries.

Step 7 : Submit your app to the App Store.

Once your app is ready to go, the final step is to submit it to the App Store. Both Android’s App Store and Apple’s App Store take about the same amount of time to review your submission — each taking about three days total to approve your app. After your app is approved, it should be available for download in the respective app store.

3 Rules of Cost-Effective Video Marketing

Here are some helpful guidelines, whether you’re just getting started or trying to pivot your inbound marketing or social media strategy.

Rule #1 – Video isn’t as expensive as you think it is.

If you’re a small business, a startup, or simply an author or an expert with ideas to share, you’ll experience extreme sticker shock when exploring video. The cost of traditional video production starts at around $1,000 per finished minute! There are good reasons for this, like the cost of a camera crew and studio space, but it’s still a huge deterrent.

The traditional video production model required plenty of travel time and some pretty expensive gear. Either a film crew went to your location, or the principals had to go to a recording studio. Both added significant costs. Fortunately, the smartphone changed all that. 

Cameras on mobile devices have improved exponentially For marketing teams, this means the need for a big crew is no longer paramount. Everyone has a production-capable camera in their pocket.

Managing huge video files on smartphones is indeed a pain, and that recording live streams on Zoom is problematic over Wi-Fi. However, there are great solutions for remote capture—temporarily storing high-quality footage on devices before uploading it for editing. Some even allow a director to guide the sessions remotely and turn your smartphone or tablet into a teleprompter!

With remote capture, even when you add decent lights, microphones, lenses, and other basic gear, the basic video cost-per-finished-minute has dropped by about fifty percent! That means even small businesses and startups can realistically consider video as the primary medium of a sustained, integrated, inbound marketing strategy.

Rule #2 – Always consider SEO, formatting, and platform selection.

The way we design and produce video has changed, but the rules for making videos visible to market-qualified prospects have not. Even if your video is engaging and compelling, merely posting it isn’t enough. Applying real-world SEO to video content means more than using keywords in the title and description.

The video should not be used in isolation. When video and written content are combined—and both are coordinated with your whole SEO and marketing funnel strategy—the best results will be achieved.

Even though the cost of video has dropped, it’s always a good idea to optimize it for multiple venues. That means planning ways to “recycle” existing content and knowing how to format it for different platforms and social media feeds.

Finally, there are so many video-friendly platforms to choose from that one must be careful not to get spread too thin. Pick a social media platform whose age and income demographics best fit your target market. Deliver video content as a regular part of an email drip campaign or e-newsletter. Above all, select a hosting environment that offers the best balance of search-friendliness and interactivity.

Rule #3 – Not all videos are the same!

There are lots of questions and arguments about how long a marketing video should be—given the attention spans of supposedly typical web users. These are not the right questions to ask. Of course, a video should always be engaging, and not just in the first few moments, but first, it has to be the right kind of video. 

A basic need exists for an effective marketing funnel. 

Every piece of content you create should provide qualified leads, a good reason, and a way to learn more about your product, commit to it, and make a choice. Video is the best platform for doing so, but only if it is created and deployed properly.

YouTube SEO: How to Optimize Videos for YouTube Search

As recently as a decade ago, inbound marketing was a brand new idea. Marketers were learning that they couldn’t just publish a high volume of content it also had to be high-quality and optimized in ways that made it as discoverable as possible through search engines.

That content was once largely limited to the written word. Today, that’s no longer the case.

Today, a comprehensive content strategy includes written work like blogs and ebooks, as well as media like podcasts, visual assets, and videos.

YouTube SEO Tips

Tag your video with popular keywords that relate to your topic

YouTube’s official Creator Academy suggests using tags to let viewers know what your video is about. But you’re not just informing your viewers you’re also informing YouTube itself. 

As a result, YouTube will be able to connect your video with similar videos, thereby expanding the impact of your work. However, select your tags carefully. Use a relevant tag only if you think it will help you obtain more views. You may be penalized by Google as a result of this. And, as with your description, start with the most crucial keywords, incorporating a good balance of popular and long-tail keywords.

Upload a custom thumbnail image for your video’s result link.

Your video thumbnail is the main image viewers see when scrolling through a list of video results. Along with the video’s title, that thumbnail sends a signal to the viewer about the video’s content, so it can impact the number of clicks and views your video receives.

While you can always pick one of the thumbnail options auto-generated by YouTube, we highly recommend uploading a custom thumbnail. The Creator Academy reports that “90% of the best performing videos on YouTube have custom thumbnails,” recommending the use of images that are 1280×720 pixels representing a 16:9 ratio that are saved as 2MB or smaller .jpg, .gif, .bmp, or .png files. If you follow those parameters, it can help to ensure that your thumbnail appears with equally high quality across multiple viewing platforms.

It’s important to note that your YouTube account has to be verified to upload a custom thumbnail image. To do that, visit youtube.com/verify and follow the instructions listed there.

Insert your keyword naturally in the video title.

When we search for videos, one of the first things that our eyes are drawn to is the title. That’s often what determines whether or not the viewer will click to watch your video, so the title should not only be compelling, but also clear and concise.

Although your keyword plays an important role in the title of your video, it also helps if it closely fits what the audience is looking for. According to Backlinks’ research, videos with a perfect keyword match in the title have just a little benefit over those without.

Optimize your video description.

First things first: According to Google, the official character limit for YouTube video descriptions is 1,000 characters. And while it’s okay to use all of that space, remember that your viewer most likely came here to watch a video, not to read an essay.

If you do decide to create a longer description, keep in mind that YouTube only shows the first two or three lines of text, which are around 100 characters long. Following that, visitors must click “see more” to see the entire description. As a result, we recommend starting the description with the most important information, such as CTAs or important links.

End Screens

End screens display similar information as cards, but as you may have guessed, they don’t display until a video is over, and are a bit more visually detailed in nature.

There are various thorough instructions for adding end screens depending on the platform you want to create them for, as well as the different kinds of content that YouTube allows for them.

Now, most of the SEO tips above rely on you identifying a keyword and promoting your video correctly. And not all of those tips can be carried out through YouTube alone. To get the most bang for your videography buck, consider some of the tools below to optimize your video for search.

Best Free Graphic Design Software for Marketers and Beginners

When it comes to website success, what you see is what you get. While compelling text, blog, and social media content can help set your brand apart from the competition, the visual appeal of your site is the first thing users see when they follow backlinks or click through search engine results.

Recent research found that it takes just 2.6 seconds for users’ eyes to focus on a specific area of your website. What’s more, it takes just 0.05 seconds for visitors to form a general first impression of your site meaning you’ve got just one opportunity to change their minds or reinforce this impression, and it happens in the first three seconds of arrival.

As a result, creating web pages that are both visually attractive and contextually useful is important. Larger companies may be able to afford to hire specialized graphic designers to create eye-catching designs and deploy them consistently across several websites.

What is the Best Free Graphic Design Software?

If your research turns up a problem your images aren’t compelling, your text is hard to read and your color scheme hurts the eyes you need a simple solution.

Free graphic design software allows you to change the appearance and design of the website without spending lots of money. But, with so many alternatives accessible, how can you know which is the greatest match for your company?

The Best Free Graphic Design Software for Marketers and Beginners

Canva

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

Whether you’re looking to create an ebook, infographic, business card, or email header, Canva has a template to simplify your process. The free web design tool, developed by non-designers, offers professional, easy-to-customize templates for just about any design need you can think of.

The drawback? You might need to invest in the paid version or try one of the more advanced free graphic design software as you skill up. While Canva’s free version is great for new designers working with templates, you can access more complex tools and features such as team sharing in the paid version.

Gravit

Platforms: PC, Mac, Chrome OS, Linux

Gravit is a vector design application created by the makers of Corel Draw. With a host of tools for creating vector art and a self-adjusting interface, Gravit earns its place among the best free graphic design software for Mac and Windows the tool is also available for ChromeOS and Linux.

Is it remarkable? When you sign up for a free Gravit trial, you automatically gain access to “Pro” features like working offline and seeing the version history. If you don’t want to pay for a membership, you’ll lose these services once your trial period is over.

Adobe Spark

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

Adobe Spark is a free alternative to the company’s popular, for-pay Adobe Illustrator. While it’s not nearly as full-featured, it does support integration with other Adobe products. It’s easy to use and it comes with a host of free templates. If you’re looking to quickly create posters or videos for ad campaigns, Spark is a great choice.

What could be the disadvantage? Because of its limited feature set, it’s an excellent place to start for beginners, but it’s less effective for more complicated tasks or experienced designers. The good news is that Spark is available on both the web and mobile platforms, allowing you to design from anywhere at any time.

Paint 3D

Platform: Windows

The classic Microsoft design tool is back, free, and updated to deliver more functionality. While it can’t compete with some of the more robust design tools on our list, Paint 3D comes with realistic textures, 2D cutout creation, and a host of 3D tools and effects.

Paint 3D is an extremely useful tool if you’re a starter searching for a simple area to enter for basic graphic creation. There’s almost no learning curve, and because it’s built by Microsoft, it works on all Windows 10 devices out of the package.

Picking the Right Platform for Graphic Design

Most of the tools on this list are available on multiple platforms including PC, Mac, and mobile but is there a distinct advantage to selecting one platform over the other?

The short answer: Not really. These tools offer the same functionality regardless of which platform you choose.

The not-so-short answer? For beginners, opting for PC or mobile is probably your best choice. While Macs remain a powerhouse for graphic design, their user interface (UI) is less intuitive than their PC and mobile counterparts. This presents a learning curve you likely don’t need if you’re just getting started with graphic design.

Mac-based solutions may be ideal for graphic design and marketing professionals due to their concentrate on function over form.