Tag Archives: Video

When Does A Business Go Beyond The ‘Start Up’ Title?

As Chicago Pet Video is now entering the end of year two in business, I’m starting to think about how to classify ourselves. We’ve seen significant growth in the level of clientele we serve and larger business accounts, as well as more complex, and ultimately more rewarding work. However, I often still use the term ‘start up’ business when referring to our company.

Murray and Lizzie

What exactly does the term ‘start up’ mean, really? I use it to explain the fact that 2 of my employees still sit at a large table in lieu of us purchasing them desks – after all, we can’t spend all this money on fancy furniture, I need to make sure the business stays profitable. Also, I use it explain away the fact that pets run rampant in the office and it’s okay, it’s usually extras we’re using on a shoot, and a part of our culture. And I use the term ‘start up’ as it kind of just sounds cooler somehow, like I turned my back on corporate America and chose this as a way of life.

But this all begs the question, how much longer can we continue to call our business a start-up? Is it a certain sales point? A certain number of clients? Number of employees? When we get the fancy coffee in the kitchen instead of the cheap stuff?

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I’d like to think that we can consider being a start up as a state of mind – staying lean, focusing on the basics – which is producing great work and keeping our clients happy. As we outgrow this new phase and enter our adolescence, I want to keep those values strong and continue to push boundaries with our creative video campaigns and technology – Total Pet Expo TV was a success we’re super proud of! We really want to be the premiere video production company that specializes in working with animals and animal-related businesses which means we may have to start accepting some responsibility which comes with being a company that sticks around past the start up phase, like offering health insurance, increasing educational opportunities, and allowing ourselves to take a vacation periodically. I feel blessed to be surrounded by so many wonderful and talented people that help ensure our high quality work every day, now it’s time to relinquish control, at least a little, so I can start to focus on continuing our growth and future success.

-Andrea Fischetti, Managing Director of Chicago Pet Video

Andrea Working

Have a question? email us at info@chicagopetvideo.com

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How To Do Facebook Hashtags

Facebook

Facebook icon

Hashtags have been on Facebook for a few months now so it is important to understand the RIGHT way to use them. But, before you can use them you should know how they work.

Hashtags are created when you type a word or phrase (without spaces) after a pound sign (#). The pound sign is referred to as a hashtag when used online through social media. By adding a # to a word or phrase you are making it a searchable link. Then readers can click the link and see who else is talking about a specific topic.

The purpose of hashtags is to make posts more visible. A person searching under that hashtag topic is able to see all the posts, including those they have not yet “liked.” Therefore your company’s page can be more visible to new customers, always a perk!

Our Top 3 Tips:

1. DON’T Over Use

When hashtags are used too often in a post, it makes them harder to read and they can get over looked. Also, avoid using hashtags more than 1-2 times per post.

2. Privacy Settings

Privacy settings are still in effect with hashtags so if you use a hashtag on a post that can only be seen by a specific group, then only that group will see it, even when it is being searched.

3. Promotion

Facebook hashtags can be used to promote your brand, product, event, contest, or special discount offer. Creating a hashtag can help your promotion catch on more quickly with consumers.

Be careful if you are running a contest to only promote the contest through Facebook’s approved contest rules. For example, it is okay to spread information and awareness about the contest through a hashtag such as, #WinAChewToy. However, it’s against the rules to allow contest entries through that same hashtag.

Some Examples:

Friskies

Friskies

  • Friskies is using the hashtag #CatJobs and having customers post photos of the work their cats do around the home. It’s a way to build engagement with their followers and the cat community.
Earth Rated PoopBags

Earth Rated PoopBags

  • Earth Rated Poop Bags uses #earthrated and #poopbags to reach potential new customers searching for the brand.
Pup-Peroni

Pup-Peroni

  • Pup-Peroni has a wonderful and very easy hashtag of #pup to reach both those searching for the company and as a nice alternative to #dog, which comes up with a massive number of results.

To see more examples of hashtags on Facebook, we invite you to visit our Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/chicagopetvideo

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Video Marketing For Your Pet Business

Online video has become a first stop for many customers. Early adopters of video have gained an edge over their competitors and a direct channel to speak with their customers that used to only be accessible to larger companies who could afford expensive TV ad placements. The combination of imagery and sound, when done well is an invaluable and powerful communication tool for brands and their products and services. Even more so when you can add an emotional attachment to it. Here are four main ideas you should focus on when creating video.

Delivery of Core Marketing Message:

A large majority of videos have served as an avenue for product demonstrations however they can be used for much more that. Many companies have gotten extremely creative when using video for important company announcements and updates or as a way to distribute their core marketing messages. This is a prime example of a company who made an announcement that was simply just a merging of themselves with another company – although their main focus was not to entertain, there is a personal touch that many viewers may appreciate.

Entertain Your Viewers:

Rather than producing multiple marketing videos for products, why not create something that your viewers will enjoy and feel obliged to share – because it’s just that dang funny and entertaining? Nowadays people’s attention spans are shorter than ever. Twitter’s new video sharing app, Vine offers a perfect opportunity to create videos that are meant to be viewed quickly with the hopes of increasing shares. Check out General Electric. For somewhat of an ‘unsexy’ and boring brand, they are really hitting the spot when it comes to creating shareable content. This post in particular was liked by 46k+ people and ‘revined’ (shared) 37k+ times on the Vine App.

A Destination for Viewers:

Try making your videos a destination for something. Whether it’s sharing a new recipe or offering them a sales tips of the week. Give your listeners a reason to tune into you at the same time every week. Don’t just pitch your product, make it a goal of yours to establish a people-friendly channel that is full of information and solutions to meet a need of theirs.

Simplify Your Ideas:

About 65% of people are visual learners. Companies need to realize that many people learn  by seeing something rather than listening or reading. When informational and interesting facts are paired with beautiful and intriguing design, such as video, people are much more likely to understand and pass it along to others. Creating a video can help simplify a concept while making it much more relatable to the consumer.

Have you experimented with video for your company’s products or services? What has been your experience? Pros & Cons?

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CPV meets Bryan Bickell, Founder of Chicago Loves Pits

What an honor to sit down with Bryan Bickell, one of the Blackhawks most highlighted players during the Stanley Cup playoffs for an interview with Chicago Pet Video. Despite being wrapped up in this heated series of games, registering eight goals and five assists for 13 points in 17 of the playoff games, the 27-year-old and his fiancee were happy to talk about their charity group Chicago Loves Pits and the so-called “bully breed” dogs. The video (to come) is part of a series of videos that we’re putting together on different popular dog breeds, this one specifically focusing on the pit bull breed, one that’s especially close to Bickell’s heart. The video will be available on PetMD’s website along with a second video with our very special interview with the two.

Bryan Bickell & Fiancee Amanda

Founded by Bickell, his fiancee Amanda Caskenette and animal advocated Alicia Boemi, Chicago Loves Pits is dedicated to promoting awareness, starting conversations, sharing the truth, and opening minds and hearts to encourage rescue and adoption of Pit Bull type dogs. With the help of Adopt-a-Pet.com, Chicago Loves Pits was an idea that turned into a reality. In 2012 Chicago Loves Pits launched its first campaign featuring two billboards located in prominent areas of Chicago that bore the headline: Bryan Bickell is the only fighter in this family. From there, Chicago Loves Pits has grown into a registered non-profit organization.

Thank you to Bryan and his fiancee, Amanda for taking the time out of one of your busiest weeks of the year to show your dedication and passion for such an important four-legged friend of yours.

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Video for SEO and Why it Works

Optimizing your videos to reach your intended audience and match what people are searching is extremely important when it comes to building out a SEO strategy. YouTube is the second largest search engine behind Google with more than 100 hours of new video content uploaded every minute compared to 48 hours just two years ago, a clear sign video is on the rise. Maximizing a video’s search exposure should be a high priority for companies and brands if it’s not already. According to Forrester research, videos are 50 times more likely to rank on the first page of Google results than any given text page in the index.

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Here are a few important tips to best optimize your videos:

High Quality Content: This may be the most obvious way to optimize your video, but it’s one of the most important. Videos have a very strong selling point when it comes to niche markets. Keep your content as relative and informative as possible to your specific audience.

Tags: Refer back to any keyword research you’ve done (with Google’s Keyword Tool) and make sure you tag the video with any of the terms you’ve deemed to perform well. Tags allow you to add extra words that wouldn’t fit naturally into the description. Keep these limited to 2-3 words at most, separated by commas.

Title: Spend some time creating the title of your video. Anyone seeing it for the first time should be able to get an idea of what they’re about to view just by glancing at it. Make sure the main keyword(s) you are targeting for are somewhere within your catchy and clear title.

Description: A good video description contains relevant keywords. Search engines will index it and rank it higher when a keyword-rich description of the video is included, this also helps viewers get a quick understanding of your video prior to watching it. Be careful not to pack it full of irrelevant keywords, this could immediately deter a customer away.

Ease of Embedding: Make it simple for users to access the code that allows them to embed the video on their own website or blog. Add visable share buttons on your website below the video to create a quick and easy way to pass it along. Both of these will help to increase backlinks and shares which overall helps to boost your rankings in search engines.

Google Sitemap: Submit your video to Google Sitemap as a way to let search engines know what pages on your site need to be indexed. See Google’s guide for Creating a Video Sitemap.

Powerful, relevant and engaging videos that are optimized for discovery are vital to boosting your brand’s awareness and will truly have a huge impact on your SEO strategy if done right. You will find that it’s worth investing the time into producing, creating and promoting a good video in order to increase your ROI.

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How To Integrate Video Into A Robust Content Marketing Strategy (Guest Post)

Steve Farnsworth's Old Blog

Video is powerful because it shows there are people behind your business, which is important for building a strong brand that people can relate to. But how can you integrate it into your content marketing strategy effectively?

Know Your Audience

Before you can put together a video that will be relevant to your audience, you need to know precisely who that audience is. It’s important not to try to appeal to everyone – instead, figure out your archetypal customer. Two tools to help you do this are Sally Hogsheads 7 triggers of fascination and a simple guide to creating a customer persona. This’ll smooth out the rest of the process, because it’s much easier to figure out what to say to one person than to 1000.

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★ How To Integrate Video Into A Robust Content Marketing Strategy

Know Your Reasons Why

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Why We Don’t Recommend GoogleApps for Small Businesses

Okay, so if you’re in the small business domain, you’ve heard all about the amazing world of Google. There is Google+, Gmail, GoogleApps, etc. Just one teeny problem that is missing in the marketing, the customer service is AWFUL. If you have a problem and call the 1-800 number, you will be connected with someone whose first language is not English and although that in itself is not an issue, it can present a problem when you’re trying to communicate.

Also, one small glitch we’ve come across is when we tried to upgrade from Gmail to GoogleApps, we lost our entire YouTube channel! That’s right, a video production company without samples, active video links, or unpublished videos (used to privately share content) all of a sudden disappeared. This is apparently a problem when you have a YouTube channel that is registered under the same domain name, in this case it was the name of our company, “Chicago Pet Video.” While we are a small company, we are incredibly busy serving our clients and to have our YouTube channel completely disappear did cause some waves and majorly effect the way we conduct business.

Initially we were switching our email system over and went straight for GoogleApps, but now Microsoft’s Outlook is going to have to win this small battle. I’d love to support Google here, but Microsoft’s customers support is definitely better (not by much, but still) and ultimately we can’t forgive them for permanently deleting our entire YouTube channel, with likes, comments, and all.

Anyone else have two cents to share on Gmail vs. Outlook or a similar customer service nightmare story to share?

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Why Video Marketing? Because These Experts Said So!

Have you found yourself wondering why your company should invest in video marketing? Why is video marketing important? What do the experts say about it? We’ve done a little of the initial research for you right here. Take a look at these quotes on what video marketers have to say about the industry and why it’s so important to implement a definitive marketing campaign:

1. “Business decision makers LOVE online video because it gives them the most amount of information in the shortest amount of time.” – Robert Weiss, President of MultiVision Digital

2. The right people to start video blogging are those with a passion to tell a story. – Steve Garfield (Author Of Get Seen)

3. “By publishing content that shows buyers you understand their problems and can show them how to solve them, you build credibility.” – Ardath Albee, Author of Emarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale

4. “People share, read and generally engage more with any type of content when it’s surfaced through friends and people they know and trust.” – Malorie Lucich, Facebook Spokesperson

5. “Humans are incredibly visual and powerful, moving images help us find meaning… [and] video helps capture and contextualize the world around us.” – Dan Patterson, What Makes an Online Video Worth Sharing?

steve jobs

6. “Audiences everywhere are tough. They do not have time to be bored or brow beaten by orthodox, old fashioned advertising.” – Craig Davis

7. “As you’ve noticed, people don’t want to be sold to. What people do want is news and information about the things they care about.” – Larry Weber, Author of Marketing to the Social Web

8. “There is no black magic to successfully attracting customers via the web.” – Rand Fishkin, CEO, Seomoz

9. “The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.” -Peter F. Drucker

10. “By publishing content that shows buyers you understand their problems and can show them how to solve them, you build credibility.” – Ardath Albee

11. “You can buy attention (advertising). You can beg for attention from the media (PR). You can bug people one at a time to get attention (sales). Or you can earn attention by creating something interesting and valuable and then publishing it online for free.” – David Meerman Scott, marketing speaker

12. “The Internet has turned what used to be a controlled, one-way message into a real-time dialogue with millions.” – Danielle Sacks, Fast Company reporter

13. “Focus on the core problem your business solves and put out lots of content and enthusiasm, and ideas about how to solve that problem.” – Laura Fitton

14. “We have technology, finally, that for the first time in human history allows people to really maintain rich connections with much larger numbers of people.” – Pierre Omidyar, founder, eBay

15. That, and I think those who invest in producing more creative, high quality, and unique video content will be able to far exceed the success of their peers who only invest lightly. – Rand Fishkin, CEO, Seomoz

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Business Financial Advice for Pet Professionals

Episode 2 of Pet Professional Series Web Series, “Your Pet Business.”

Business finance questions answered by pet business expert, Jeff Eckerling, CEO of DoggyLoot. Also featuring Andrea Lain Keirn, owner and founder of Big Bark, as the featured new pet business. Host is Andrea Fischetti from Chicago Pet Video. For more information and other episodes, visit: http://www.chicagopetvideo.com

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Video Marketing Mistakes That Can Hurt Your Campaign

Video marketing is gaining traction faster than most marketers can keep up with it. Audiences are gathering more information and insight into products and brands through video than any other form of content. A video on your home page is essentially your customer’s first impression of your brand, so don’t blow it. Make sure you’re not guilty of these issues that may be causing viewers to bounce mid-video.

1. Your splash screen isn’t eye catching: Make sure your splash screen is visually appealing. This is the first thing a customer’s eyes come across and there needs to be something there that will get them to click that play button. Having a good title description on your video is important, asking an intriguing question here or telling them in a few short words what they’re about to view is key.

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2. You have no direct call to action: The easiest call to action for you customers is to first make sure that what you’re asking fits with what your viewer is looking for. If that matches the exact needs of your viewer then taking the recommended next step will just be a natural course of action for them. Add a more prominent call to action at the end of the video such as “If you liked this video, please click the link below for more information” or simply ask them to share it with others. Don’t forget to make it easy for them to share, whether it’s a shortened link or a way to embed it.

3. You’re selling too hard: People don’t watch sales videos, if anything they go out of their way to avoid them. Rather than promoting, pushing and asking for a sale try a more authentic and soft approach to selling. Identify your customer’s expressed wants and needs and simply inform them how your product or service may benefit them. Sell your product with engaging and if appropriate, humorous content.

4. Buffering takes too long: A study shows that four out of five people will click away from a streaming video if it pauses to buffer (just once) instead of waiting for the video to reload. Odds are you, yourself have been guilty of this before.

5. Video quality is low, editing was choppy: Test, test, test and make adjustments! Lighting can sometimes be forgiven but if your audio is too quiet the viewer will automatically press the stop button.

6. Too scripted: A great video will sound like natural conversation. Though it’s important to start with a good introduction make sure you’ve practiced this enough that you can say it without having to think it through. When you’re looking into the camera speak directly to your audience as if you were in the same room as them, this will help create intimacy and a connection with your viewers.

7. Lack of promotion: Self explanatory. If you have social media channels, use them! Take advantage of Hootsuite’s scheduled posts and promote your videos multiple different times over the course of a few months.

8. Lack of SEO Within Your Video: Make sure you place keywords in the video description, title and keyword tags – keywords that your customers are likely to use when searching for your product. Include a link in your description of the video that will link back to your website, this will help increase your referral traffic.

A marketing video is not something you can throw together in an hour. Remember, your video is essentially a reflection of the quality of your product and services. Poor lighting and audio will detract from the actual information that you’re trying to convey to your audience, causing your brand to be less credible. Take the time and spend some money to create a professional video. Greater quality = greater response.

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