Video Marketing Checklist for Small Businesses

It used to be that written content was king. Now video is pushing ahead with over 80% of businesses using it. Don’t think video marketing needs to be expensive and time-consuming. Here is a checklist to get you introduced to this creative, effective marketing avenue.

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To All of the Ebenezers - Have a Heart

I know you are in business to make a profit - to grow, offer more, hire more, spread the economic love. It's good for everyone when you make a profit.  But at this time of the year - have a heart. In a barrage of emails starting in November, I've noticed the good ones, could-be-better ones and the I'm-taking-advantage-of-your-vulnerability ones. Learn a lesson from each...

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Write Something Powerful Today

Did you know that today is a very important day? A reason-to-celebrate-day? Well, okay, everyday should be, right? But let’s face it, mama was right about some of them.

Today is National Day on Writing, as dubbed by the National Council of Teachers of English. Why is that a reason to celebrate, you ask?  Well, as a person with a passion for writing, I realize the impact that any form of writing can make on somebody’s, anybody’s life. Whether it is stating a fact or saying thank you or something motivational, written words can move.

Writing grants you the power to transform a blank piece of paper into a masterpiece. You can orchestrate individual words to come together to create a symphonic message. And you are the conductor. Yes, you have that power – to inspire, to inform, to invoke emotions. 

So you say you’re writing is mostly limited to text messages these days. While it is my profession (and I highly recommend hiring such a professional for your business needs!) I also want you to give yourself some credit. Try writing down your thoughts for day. In your head, have a conversation with a customer. You nailed the presentation and made the sale. Now write down what you said to them. Write from your heart, where your passion resides.

So, if just for today, write something powerful, meaningful. It can be the next Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech. It could be the quarterly report due to your boss. Or it could be a simple text message that will put a smile somebody’s face.

Write. It’s exercise for the brain.

The 5 P's of Marketing?

Quick pop quiz - what are the 4 P's of Marketing? Give up? Product, Place, Price and Promotion.  Without slogging away on a boring marketing course, here is a summary; Product are the features, the size, color, specifications. Place is where to buy the products and where it is placed within the competition. Price is the value and depreciation and Promotion is where to reach your audience and with what you entice them.

But I propose adding a 5th P.  Psychology. That's a bit lengthy - how about Perception? Here is what I am going for...the emotional/spiritual/social/inspirational aspect of a product or service. It's the 'P' that relates to the senses. How does this product's purpose emotionally connect with the buyer? The definition of Perception is the way that you notice or understand something using one of your senses. Isn't that the best way to make that connection between your product and your buyer?

Case in point, I'm in the process of selling my dining room table on the traditional online outlets.  I diligently did the 4 P's; I cleaned and polished it, researched the specifications, calculated the depreciation and did a quick competitive analysis. But I didn't feel that work reflected the true story of the table. What about the emotional aspect? Could I include connection to the senses? Could I include the sweet sounds coming from the dragging of the chairs, signaling a family dinner is here again? Or the sound of 'Happy Birthday' being sung to a beloved family member? Could I include the fresh smell that comes from polished wood? Or the feel of the detailed carvings in the wood as you lovingly polished it (okay, more labor some than loving, but going over all of the nicks and scratches was living taking a trip down memory lane!)? This is more than just a table. It's family memories being made. It doubles as an awesome hideaway tent and provides plenty of space for a fun family game night.

I'm conducting a test. First I have posted this table with just the facts. If that doesn't sell, I will be mixing in some emotions that will hopefully inspire a buyer!

Take Your Camera to Work Day

Not your dog. Not your child. Make your next commute with your camera. Strap it on and be ready for a new view of your business.  This is especially helpful for store fronts, restaurants or offices where customers physically visit. But nobody should feel slighted because this applies to any product, material or print that will fall into the hands of a potential customer.

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Making Sure Your Employees are on Your Marketing Page

While having a solid marketing plan and brand are (should be) top priority at your company, don't forget about filling employees in on the plan. Companies spend precious resources in researching, developing, designing, executing, tracking...that sometimes they forget to let the rest of the company in on the marketing party. 

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This Valentine's Day...Get a Little Intimate

Whether you are a fan or would rather avoid the day of love, there is a lesson to be learned for small businesses.  As we can all relate, it can get cold in the world of selling and buying. (And I'm not just referring to the shopping carts exposed to the 'Polar Vortex'). Often, the process is about getting the transaction done as quickly as possible. And, sure, customers like convenience and instant gratification. But there is always room for a little intimacy, even in the business world...

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