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How to Grow Your Audience With Video

There’s no doubt that video is one of the most powerful marketing tools available. But, there are so many videos and so many people filming everything under the sun that sometimes it gets a bit hard to get viewers attention. People do seem to have short attention spans sometimes. If you or your business has a video channel like YouTube or Parascope – you are immediately in competition with other video marketers and not to mention the thousand other vloggers online. But, you can still manage to have a good following. In this article – we will discuss how to keep your viewers engaged.

But, before we jump into that – think about something… Let’s say a car company has a brand new awesome sports car out. They decide to create a series of videos and post them online. The videos show the high performance, cost, and sleekness. But, to their surprise – the video doesn’t get much engagement. Why do you think that is? The videos were beautiful, the car is stunning. What more do you need?

The video did not provide value. Sure, people want new cars. But, the videos only showed the beauty of the car and how fast it can go. If you’re not racing… where’s the value? Remember – video marketing is not just for pushing sales. It’s building trust and creating a conversation. now, let’s move on!

Stick to The Subject

No matter how you choose to film your videos or what your business is making sure your videos are congruent to your brand. If you make cakes make sure your videos are about anything relevant to the cakes you make. It’s easy to veer off topic, seriously.

You want your content to be real, honest, and true to your business. People won’t want to buy from you if they feel that your content is fake or forced.

Care About the Subject

The best videos are ones that are made with interest and care. You should make videos on subjects that both you and your target audience care about. It’s super easy for some companies like airlines, Apple, or XBox. But, not so easy for laundry detergent or tissues. Because it’s easy to like travel and getting a new phone. Not so easy to like doing laundry and blowing your nose.

But, the thing to remember here is – find an element in your product even if it is a tissue that your audience finds useful. Or even entertaining. There are lots of funny commercials out there that have gotten a good amount of attention. So, for your tissues – maybe show the kind of things that happen when you DON’T have a tissue when you need it most. Or, for the more useful info approach. Remember that people usually look for videos that offer advice, tips, or how to. So, if it fits your business or product – you could make a series of “How To” videos. So, for the laundry detergent –  ” 8 things you can use our laundry detergent for other than laundry”

Consistency

Before you actually get down to filming we’ve got some advice for you. Everyone wants loads of views on their videos but remember that one hit viral videos are awesome but… They won’t create a loyal audience. So, rather than expecting or aiming for thousands of views all at once – go for creating a consistent video series. Maintain this and then increase engagement with your viewers over time.

So, upload your videos on a schedule. A LOT of famous YouTube stars upload their videos on the same day every week around the same time. Kind of like your favorite TV show or radio show. Same time every week. This creates a schedule people will expect. If you never knew when your favorite TV show was coming on – you most likely would not watch it. So, if the show came on today but three weeks later they aired three episodes in one day and then didn’t come back on for a month. You would forget about it by then.

Decide how many episodes or videos in a series you want to post and how long the content will be relevant to your channel. So, a series can only run for so long or it loses its spark. Think about future content as well.

Invite Guests

You see TV shows guest-star other actors, music artists feature other singers, and webinars invite special guests. Yea, it works! Invite a guest to appear in your video to help widen the appeal to your audience. Obviously, you don’t have to invite someone A-list like Grand Cardone or Axl Rose. But, you can feature bloggers, vloggers, or other influencers in your industry. But, make sure it is someone who can present you in a positive way.

Before You Publish

Alright, Sparky! You’ve got your content and now you’re ready to publish. But, first… Let’s lay some groundwork. Before your videos are viewed your audience will see a thumbnail. Think of a thumbnail like a book cover or movie poster. It needs to be clear, and eye-catching. And remember it needs to look good on laptops, desktops, and mobile devices.

Like an email subject line – the first thing people are going to read is your title. Come up with a title that is fitting, catchy, and descriptive. Research your keywords and tags. Make sure your tags are popular with your audience and that your titles can be found easily. This can take time – but if you would like some help please feel free to let us know.

Remember – viewers see the top two sentences in the description of your video. That will usually make or break their choice to watch. This is like curb-appeal for real estate. Use this to highlight your call to action, website link, and social media links as well.

Remember to listen

It is very very VERY important that you listen to your audience. People want to be heard. Show that you listen to them by replying to comments, making suggested videos, give them rewards, treat them like friends. People value entertainment, utility, personal interaction, and honesty. Engage with your followers and viewers. Talk to them about what they think is important, what they would like to know, and what problems you can solve for them.

We hope that this will help you build a better following and consistent viewers. If you have any questions please feel free to ask. You can drop us a line on Facebook, follow us on Twitter @KCMarketingCo and check out our website.  We’re always here to help. 

Tips For Good Follow-Up

You’ve heard that the fortune is in the follow-up. But, sometimes follow up gets a little… abandoned.

If you’re super busy and you’ve got 52 other things to do – you might not be thinking about following up with leads the way you should be. Well, we are here to help give you some advice that might help you out with your follow-ups. Here is our advice.

Auto Pilot

While we personally do not use a lot of “Auto Pilot” systems – it does work for other businesses and can be quite helpful. Such as an email autoresponder or even online sales funnels. For example – if you have an email list but you don’t feel like you can write emails every day – you can write several all at once or hire someone to write them for you – and schedule them to be sent out at a certain time and date.

The email autoresponder that I personally recommend is Aweber but you can also use Get Response or Mail Chimp.  whichever one works best for you. So, you can load all these emails into your autoresponder – then you won’t have to think about writing or sending them out. Of course, at some point – emails will need to be written. But, not as often.

Another thing that is useful is setting up automatic calls. No, not the telemarketing kind. There are services that let you buy a recorded message that you send out to your prospects – it goes straight to their voicemail rather than letting them pick up and talk to a robot. We do not recommend telemarketing!

Make a Plan

One of our best pieces of advice is – make a list of questions you could ask each client or “lead” here, let me give you an example – when we are working with a potential client – before we ever get on the phone with them or meet them we already know what questions we need to ask right off and what information we are going to need. Obviously, we tailor this to whoever it is we are talking to. This helps us when we are meeting to save time and get the info that will help everyone.

So, if your clientele is pretty much the same niche – you can write out a list of questions (like a reporter) and that way – you won’t have to rattle your brain every time to think of what you need to ask. This will also make sure you get the info you need to better serve your clients and customers.

 

 

This doesn’t seem like much right now – but trust me. It will help!

Calendars are Life

I know, it sounds outdated. But, if you insist you can use the one on your phone – if you have a smartphone. Make a list of people you need to follow-up with and on what days. But, keep this separate from your regular meetings and clients. Maybe write them under a different task or in a different color ink. This way you know who and when. If you have a team – this will help them also. Whoever is dealing with the follow-ups even if it is not you – leads needs to be organized well.

Set alerts and reminders also. Set them for the night or morning before so it’ll give you a heads up. If you’re busy it can be easy to lose track and forget to look at your calendar. And as soon as you finish the task – remove it to avoid confusion. Also, remember to block out a set amount of time for this lead. That way you get time to get to know their needs and also they have time to ask questions etc.

 

Well, that is all for today. Stay tuned for more helpful tips, articles, and posts like this one. If you have a topic suggestion or question – feel free to let us know! Also, remember you can follow us on Facebook andTwitter @KCMarketingCo Speak soon! 

Benefits of a Budget

Tips For Hosting Live Events.

When you think of live events – what comes to mind? Most people think a live event needs to be some huge deal that costs thousands of dollars and more entertainment than needed. Calm down – it does not need to be the equivalent of a Metalica concert. You don’t always need to rent space either depending on if you have a storefront or not and the size and location of it. We are going to give you some tips to make your first live events go smoother and hopefully decrease stress.

Location

This subject could be talked about for days. This will be the first step. If you have a storefront big enough for a gathering – GREAT you can just skim this section. But, if you don’t have a storefront of maybe you just don’t want to host your event there – keep reading. So, let me give you an example that might help you out in this situation. Some friends of mine who worked at a local college and they wanted to throw a party for Christmas but they didn’t have the space to do it  – so they needed to rent a place for a night. So, they called around and found a park that would let them host the “party” there. In some areas, there are places that are only for events. You can even use your local community center. Of course landing a location will depend on the type of event you are hosting.

If you are hosting a business event – then you most likely should not rent out someone’s home basement. If you’re hosting an event about knitting – don’t host it at a water park. You get the idea…

Advertisement

This is one of the absolute most important parts there is with any business – but especially for live events. If you don’t advertise you won’t get anyone to your event. There are lots of ways you can advertise these events. But you never want to choose just one method alone. So, here are some suggestions to help you.

Start advertising way ahead of time. Never wait until the week of the event. Go for two to three weeks ahead of time. This gives everyone plenty of time to clear their schedule and to really have it in their minds. Often, when you wait until last second to start telling people – you won’t get nearly as many guests as you would like. But, how often are you walking down the street – see a flyer for an event for the next day and decide to go? Not likely.

There are lots of different methods and routes you can take. Depending on how much time you have and your preferred style. If you really want to ramp things up you can always hire a marketing firm to handle it all for you. But, here are our suggestions on some methods to use.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Non-traditional methods like signs and flyers

Of course, using social media will only work if you actually have an updated and functioning platform set up. And if you actually make sure your clients/customers know you exist on social media. It won’t do any good if you’ve never used it before.

Anyway, you should post at least twice a day almost every day. So, if you’re advertising an event and trying to get a better turn out – consistency is very important. If you don’t have time to manage your social media – get someone else to handle it for you. All the mentioned social media platforms require consistency.

For more offline advertising methods like word of mouth and hanging flyers – there is only so much you can do of that. If you do choose to use this method in conjunction with the others mentioned – make sure you have a good design made for you. And make sure you are hanging your flyers/posters where they will be seen – not just where they fit.

Social media posting

Off the subject of how much to post – moving on to what to post. You’re going to want to create a graphic of some kind. It needs to grab attention and make your business look good as usual – but it also needs to have information about the event. I’m sure you have seen lots of posters like this before. This is almost the same but online and not just on flyers. If you have a designer just talk to them about the kind of event you will be hosting and give him the information on the event and they should be able to come up with something fitting – if you don’t have a designer and plan on doing this yourself – we recommend using photoshop or some form of it. This is especially important for Instagram and Facebook.

Remember to make sure your audience is targeted. You can runs ads or just post on your timeline – but either way, you want – the posts need to be targeted. You need to be specific. One mistake a lot of people make is they are very vague in the description. If you just say “Hey, we are hosting an event next Friday. Come” that will not be enough… At all.

Conclusion

When planning an event – remember that location and advertising are key. Your first event might be a little stressful and a little crazy. But, remember to just take it one step at a time and the more you do it – the easier it will be. If one event doesn’t go as planned – just try something else next time.

If you need a hand with setting up the advertising campaign for your event or any other help we can give – drop us a line!

3 Simple Ways to Find a Solo Ad Provider

If you’ve ever tried solo ads before – I bet you were wondering how you could tell if the provider was credible. Maybe you didn’t have much luck. Or maybe you haven’t tried solo ads yet because of fear of failure. Whatever the reason – we’re going to help you find a credible solo ad provider. There are some steps you can take to help make sure you don’t end up robbed or cheated.

Reviews/Testimonials

This is VERY important when working with any business. But, especially solo ad providers. Make sure their website or social media pages have testimonials and reviews. Read over them and see how others experience was. While this is helpful – you need to make sure these reviews are real. Anyone can buy fake reviews. So, in this case, do a web search for the provider you are considering working with. You should see some more reliable reviews on Google or Yahoo.

Another thing a lot of people like to do including me – is to get on a Skype call with the provider. This just helps you get a better feel for them and who they are. If they don’t want to get on a call with you – don’t work with them.  If you don’t have skype it’s easy to get. Just set up an account at  Skype.com

Ask Others

If you still feel unsure about trying solo ads – reach out to people you know who may have bought them in the past. You can also come to our Facebook Group and ask for advice. You might even get a good recommendation on who to go to for solo ads.

Test First

You can buy a test amount of clicks from most solo ad providers. This will really help you know if they are a good choice. Buy a minimum amount of clicks. Chances are they have a tester package. Usually around one hundred or 200 clicks.  If you’re hitting the right audience and your email copy is good – you should see a percentage of opt-ins.

When you do this – something I like to do is go to Google and search for a free IP address lookup tool. And see where my leads ar coming from. Ideally, if you are targeting English-speaking prospects you would want your leads coming from places like U.S., Canada, Australia, or the UK. These are what we call tier 1 countries. So, if a provider says their traffic is tier 1 – then you can make sure by where the leads are from.

If you are using the autoresponder Aweber- you can also check where your subscribers are from by going into the Reports panel and then scrolling down to “countries” on the left of the page. If you don’t have an Aweber account you can get one here

Ability to Convert

The first time you buy solo ads you might not get a whole lot of conversions. It depends on the amount you buy, your sales copy, your offer, and the provider. Most will blame the provider for poor results. More often than not – the problem is with the follow-up process, and the offer you are promoting. If you’re driving traffic to your own sales page – the problem could be weak sales copy.

Remember

If you are new to internet marketing or marketing your business in general. Don’t blame the provider too quickly. Make sure to look over your sales copy and capture pages first. And also take a good look at your follow-up process.

If you’d like help – we are here for you. Please feel free to get in contact with us anytime.

Please make sure to visit our website as well at

The Fear Of Growth And Why It’s a Lie

When people think of growth in the business world – often they think of big corporate companies with large egos. But, growth doesn’t always mean expanding in size alone. Growth comes in many other forms. We have told you about our recent adventures with small businesses and one thing we noticed was that a lot of the business owners seemed to have this “fear” of growth. So, let me give you the same advice I gave these business owners – and let’s see if it still makes you think of big corporate companies with large egos.

Always Learn

This is a big one. No matter who you are, what you do, what you sell or provide, or how old you are – you should always be learning. Whether you learn how to better manage your social media to get more engagement, how to sell, how to run a proper coffee shop, etc. Learning is one of the single biggest things you should be doing. Buy a book, attend live events, attend webinars, hire a coach/mentor and pay them to teach you, buy an educational product. Invest in your own knowledge.

Don’t get caught up in learning so much that you forget to actually implement what you’re learning – but you should invest in your education more often. If you get coaching/consulting with us then we will work with you one on one for as long as you want.

Events

Hosting your own event is a really fun and great way to get yourself out there. Events are often overlooked by business owners because they simply do not want to take the time to set anything up or they think it will cost an insane amount of money. Well, that is not always true. Here is an example for you… Let’s say you have a tattoo shop. You decide that on Friday and Saturday you are going to offer $20 tattoos and sell some $2 cake or hot dogs. You will be surprised at what people will do when you throw in food and a discount. Turn on some music and once people realize there is a deal going on (especially if you have food or drinks) people will be interested. I recently suggested a 20s themed party to a vintage themed coffee bar. I think that would be really neat and it fits their personality! This works for all kinds of businesses. Not just traditional businesses with a physical location.

Let’s say you have an online business. Have you ever been to a Mary Kay party? They are all over the place. I know because my friend threw one. But, they get a bunch of people together and they start showing off their products. If you have an online business – you could host a MeetUp and get some connections. Just make it fun, friendly, and fitting to you.

Street Noise

I recently wrote an article on flyers and how to use them to your advantage. But, let’s go over something a little different but in some ways the same. This ideally works if you have an actual location – but let’s see how many of you want to give it a try to promote nonphysical businesses as well. You’ve seen people walking around with banners, signs, and posters right? Well, those grab attention very well. Everyone wants to know what you are up to. If you decide to give live events a try – this would be a great way to promote them. Don’t just hang up a banner outside – grab a sign and walk around town if you can. Stand outside and hold the sign, round up some friends or hire someone to come help.

(If you need Kansas City Marketing Company’s help with design we would be thrilled to help out)

Videos

This one is defiantly not used much. This works for any business. Make videos. Talk about your business, updates, news, you, your staff, your business partners, goals, the reason you do what you do. Just talk to people. People love to know all about you. People want to be a part of something and in the “loop”. This goes along perfectly with social media management.

They don’t have to be super long, super edited, or anything special. Just take a video on your phone, tablet, laptop, whatever it is you have – and upload it to your social media platforms. This will really help with credibility and engagement.

That’s a wrap for this article. I hope you have found it helpful and I hope you will give these things a shot in your business. If you ever need us – we’re here! Thanks for following and we’ll speak soon!

Choosing the Right Legal Structure for Your Business

When starting a business, one of the first things you need to think about is legal structure. So, there are several options and we are going to help you decide which is best for you. Usually, I recommend that you first start out as a limited liability company (LLC). Later you can plan to convert to a C corporation. But, before I get into all that – I want to talk to you about your options.

Sole-Proprietorship.

My mother’s business when I was a kid was a sole proprietorship. Most would agree that this is the easiest type of business to organize. All you really need to do is apply for the required licenses. A lot of people choose this because of tax reasons. For tax reporting just  report the company’s income and expenses on a form that you will attach to your annual tax return. That’s it! But, from personal experience, I can tell you it isn’t 100% the best choice for everyone.  The bad news is – as a sole proprietor you are 100%  liable for all the company’s debts. This could be anything from vendors, taxes, payroll, and  loans.

So, you really aren’t better off going this route for long. To start out with – sure. But it’s not a good place to live. We recommend choosing one of these other options for the long term.

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Corporation

Everyone knows this one. A corporation is a company or group of people authorized to act as a single entity (legally a person) and recognized as such in law. What this has on a sole-proprietorship is that a corporation can provide protection to a founder against the liabilities of the company. For example, bank accounts, personal expenses, etc. But you have to also think about this – there are two kinds of corps.

The first one is – a Subchapter S (S Corporation) is a form of corporation that meets specific Internal Revenue Code requirements, giving a corporation with 100 shareholders or less the benefit of incorporation while being taxed as a partnership. An S corporation will not pay any federal corporate-level income taxes. The profits and losses of the corporation will be reported on the individual tax returns of the shareholders. You can only have 99 shareholders with an S Corp. And you cannot have limited partnerships and only one class of stock for economic allocations.

Next is a C corporation. A C corporation, under the United States federal income tax law, refers to any corporation that is taxed separately from its owners. A C corporation is distinguished from an S corporation, which generally is not taxed separately. It doesn’t have quite as many restrictions as an S Corp. Unlike with the S Corp – you are not limited to the number of shareholders you have. And you can have any number of classes of stock. But, choosing this option may result in double taxation of a corporation’s profits.

Limited Liability Company (LLC) 

This is another one you might be familiar with. An LLC is a corporate structure whereby the members of the company cannot be held personally liable for the company’s debts or liabilities. (Great right?) Limited liability companies are pretty much  hybrid entities that combine the characteristics of a corporation and a partnership or sole proprietorship. It is taxed like a partnership but provides the limited liability protection of a corporation, while still avoiding double taxation. This works well for those who will not seek venture capital or other substantial outside financing, however – if you do plan on seeking venture capital outside funding might want to go with C-Corp.

If you have to – start off as an LLC – and if it isn’t right for you  I recommend changing over to one of the corporates I mentioned above as soon as you can. Do some consulting – talk to other business owners, an attorney, and/or your accountant about all of this. They can help you figure out which will fit you best.

As always we thank you for stopping by and we hope you will be back soon! If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for future topics – feel free to drop us a line! You can check us out on Facebook

How To Rank On Google

If you’re a small business owner or internet marketer – you know how important it is to rank on search engines – especially Google.  Whether it’s your blog or website. But, what a lot of people don’t know is how to make that happen. It can be overly complicated without the right “tools”. That’s why we are here today! We are going to give you some tips to help you rank better on Google and give your business a boost.

1: Where do you stand?

Have you checked out your currently SEO score? You might consider having an analysis done on your website. This way you will know how much work is ahead, how well you’re doing, and where your weak spots are. You can do this yourself – but it takes up a lot of time most business owners don’t have. Hire someone to do this for you. If you’d like we will do an analysis on your website for you. Just drop us a line. You also need to know the stats on your websites speed. If it’s low – that will not be in your favor. You can check the speed using tools like PageSpeed Insights or Zoompf If your speed comes out to be a performance grade less than 50 – you REALLY need to work on fixing it.

2: Picking Keywords

Keywords help people search for information pertaining to what it is they want to know. For example, let’s say you want to write an article about the most amazing chips and salsa – so you’ll need to find out what people are searching for. Find out how “Lime chips and salsa” rank. Let’s say this topic gets 520 monthly searches. Now you have a topic and know how it ranks – but there is some extra research you should do.

Get on Google and open an Incognito tab and go to Google.com  – Now, look at all the content on page one of Google. Forget about ad results – they don’t count… The 10 results are your competition. Can you do better?

Remember to put keywords in your title page. Believe it or not – this is forgotten sometimes. That being said – you don’t want the title to be boring. You want to make it interesting enough that people want to read it. You also want to put keywords in your header. I’ve mentioned this for subject lines when emailing a list – but this is equally important here. This not only helps to keep you organized but it lets readers know what you are talking about. Again, you need to make it interesting enough that people want to read more -but to the point.

3: Content

Did you follow the suggestions in step 2? If so, great! Now you know your topic, how it ranks, and what your competition is up to. This next part might sound strange but it’s true. You need to do better than all your competition. You need to be better at talking about the same things they talk about. Whether it’s a blog, vlog, sales letter, capture page, online store, or website. If not – you will be overlooked.

Here is an example – one of our most popular articles is the Importance of Hardware in Productivity. How did we make sure we had awesome content about that topic? Well, it was written by Kansas City Marketing Company’s President. He know’s this topic very very well. He has had a lot of experience and has done a lot of research.  You should make sure you do your research and know as much as possible about your topic.

4: URLs

This is important so I decided to give it a paragraph of its own. Google is able to determine what your blog post is about is the URL. So, let me ask you a question. Which of these links do you think Google will be able to read better… www.Salsa.com/Lime-salsa-recipes or www.Salsa.com/9324724834-2 ?

I hope you said the first one. The second one is not specific enough. Plus, who is going to remember all those numbers? You want to show Google exactly what your post is about. So, make sure your keywords are in the URL.

As always, we hope you found this helpful. Remember there is much to learn about SEO and ranking on any search engine. But, if you follow these tips – you will be on your way! If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for further topics – please drop us a line