November 21, 2011

Video Inspiration: A Product How To Worthy of Viral Attention

Filed under: viral marketing — Tags: — Meredith @ 5:26 am

This video is terrific!

I’m not sharing this video just because it’s beautiful and entertaining, I’m sharing it because it’s terrific inspiration for making an informative and fun promotional video for your business. The video maker doesn’t seem to be selling scarves but if she was trying to, I bet she’d see a boost in her product sales from this sweet video.

Is there an informative and entertaining type of video that you could shoot about the products you sell? They’re a great way to get some publicity, free viral marketing, and generate interest in your brand. Think about ways you could do something like this to promote your business in 2012.

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May 4, 2011

Marketing With Videos: Tips & Inspiration

Filed under: viral marketing — Tags: , , — Meredith @ 6:44 am

Megan over at Crafting an MBA has a really cool project going this month, it’s a video challenge. She wants to encourage more businesses to do promotional videos. It just so happens that we’d been working on such a project for Ex-Boyfriend so here’s what we came up with:

Here are a few things we ran across:

1. If, like us, you do design work on your computer, and that’s what you want to share, Quicktime’s screen recording feature is awesome. We used that, along with iMovie, to make our video. (We actually originally taped the sketch portion of the design process but realized Matt’s head was blocking a lot of the sketchpad and we had some trouble getting our mini DV to play well with our Mac. Since most of the designing was done on the computer, it turned out not to be a huge deal. I guess the lesson here is make sure you test all your equipment and camera angles carefully.)

2. We suck at animation! But, you can kinda cheat using screen recording. Simply make frames of everything you want to have happen and hide your layers. Then you can use the layers tool in Photoshop or Illustrator to make things appear and simulate animation. The screen recorder will capture it all and it will look sorta animated. Again, we’re not animators, this is a non-animator way of getting a somewhat animated effect. I am sure anyone with real animation skills could give better tips, but doing great animation is its own art form.

3. Our very awesome friends, The Outdoors, were kind enough to let us use their music for our video. (Wasn’t their music pretty? They are amazing and will probably be huge rock stars soon.) If you don’t have awesome musician friends to lend you permission for music, check out Incompetech. It has a nice selection of royalty-free music for your video-making needs. If you need more general sound effects (i.e. phone ringing, footsteps, ticking clocks, etc.) check ot SoundJay, nice assortment of sound effects that are free and royalty-free.

If you need more inspiration, Megan posted some other really nice examples of promotional videos on Monday. You can check ’em out here.

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March 23, 2011

6 Tips for Successful Viral Marketing

Filed under: viral marketing — Meredith @ 9:13 am

Going viral, it’s what online marketers dream of. When you create viral content people want to share it and in turn they market your brand for you. Sounds amazing. Unfortunately, making your content go viral is difficult, but there are some things you can do to make it easier.

1. Make it good
This is some serious “no duh” advice, but it’s necessary. If your content isn’t super interesting/clever/funny/entertaining people aren’t going to share it. So think carefully about what you choose to try to make viral. When in doubt, ask friends or peers to evaluate your viral idea and see if they say it’s something they’d want to share.

2. Make sharing easy and encouraged
Your content won’t go viral if it isn’t shared, so make sharing as easy as can be. That means putting Tweet and Facebook Like buttons right on the page. Tools like AddThis are also a good idea. If you’re pimping a download, tools like Cloudflood or Pay with a Tweet can both be helpful. Remember when I used Cloudflood to promote my resources download? I got over 100 people Tweeting my URL in about a week and half!

3. Use your fans/customers/social web
Viral content needs to be seeded, which means it needs to get out to a sizable batch of people in order for it to spread like wildfire. Share your viral content with your social media contacts (i.e. Facebook fans, Twitter followers), customer mailing list, website visitors and even your friends. Ask them to share the piece of content you’re trying to spread. If you are active on forums or message boards, be sure to share there too.

4. Don’t neglect your SEO
Once a good piece of content gets out on the web, people will hear about it and look for it. Make sure it’s easy to find. Make sure the viral content has title tags and page copy that describe the content.

5. Seed around the web
Submit your viral content to as many relevant content sharing tools as you can think of and ask your fans and customers to promote those submissions.  This means using sites like Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon, Flickr, etc. If your content is a video make sure you share it on Youtube, Vimeeo, Blinkx, etc.

6. Do some blogger outreach
A ton of blogs thrive on sharing viral content, so when you have something good to share make sure they know about it. Think about sites like Buzzfeed, Top Cultured, Fork Party, The Frisky, Instructables, etc. Pick blogs that are relevant to the kind of content you’re promoting and then reach out to their editors to pitch your content. Getting picked up on sites like these can give your campaign a huge lift.

If all of this sounds like a lot of work, it is. Even good viral campaigns usually need a little boost to get off the ground. If you’re going to do the work of creating great viral content, make sure you’re prepared to do the work of getting it out there too.



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March 10, 2011

FREE GOODIES! (Two Reasons You’re Going to Love Me Today!)

I have two really awesome FREE goodies for you today!

1. I just launched a totally free conversion calculator you’re gonna want to check it. It calculates the likely results of your ad campaigns! Check it out and tell all your friends.

2. I just put together a list of 49 resources I love. I am including websites, vendors, services, online apps, the works! These are resources that are either FREE or the best priced I’ve found. I’m giving you my list for (almost) FREE. All I’m asking for in return is that you spread the Smaller Box word. Click the “share to get button” below and a free copy of my resource list is yours! (If you’d rather not trade a tweet for this download, you can purchase the download for $9.99. To do that click the “Pay $9.99 to Get” button.)


Crazy! Why are you doing this?
I’d like to say it’s just cuz I’m nice (which I totally am), but in addition to that…

I’m testing out the idea of social media as currency. When I hear a marketing guru say “social media is currency” my eyes glaze over because it’s one of those statements that sounds like nonsense if you don’t have examples and evidence to back it up. So I’m here saying it: “Social Media is currency.” You’re paying for access to my resources with word of mouth. You get cool resources, I get your word of mouth, which translates into opportunities for me to sell products and services. (Plus link juice for my SEO, whee!)

I think it’ll work nicely, but it’s up to you to prove me right or wrong. I’ll let you all know how it goes. If you like what I’ve done here and are going “but how would I apply this to my product-based biz?”, well you’ll need to get my resources guide. I’ve included a tip on where to get ideas about that too.

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November 23, 2010

Delight Your Customers & Get in a Little Viral Marketing

Filed under: Branding,viral marketing — Tags: , , — Meredith @ 7:41 am

Over the weekend my partner and I designed a bunch of free downloads for our customers. We created gift tags, mini note cards and gift card sleeves. Here are a few reasons we did this:

1. Viral Marketing

All the items we designed have our company URL on them. This means everyone who downloads and prints our stuff is spreading the word about our company. We designed items that were colorful, cute and memorable, so that when someone receives a gift adorned with our creations, they’ll take notice. Even if our gift tags are used to adorn a gift that’s not from our shop, our company is still part of the experience.

2. Gives Gift Card Sales a Boost

Gift cards are usually a hit with friends and family, but delivery can be lackluster. “Here’s this piece of plastic, go buy yourself something.” We designed cute note cards and gift card sleeves to hold our gift cards. That way ordering a gift card goes from a ho-hum purchase to a gift with a little wow factor. We even linked our downloads on our holiday shipping deadlines page and our gift card page, so customers can easily find these free accoutrements if they’re planning to order a gift card.

3. Delight Our Fans

We think our customers are awesome people and we wanted a way to express our thanks for their support. Creating these downloads was a simple way to give them something fun and unexpected.

Not sure how to get started with making your own free printables? Kind Over Matter has a terrific kit for this!

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January 20, 2010

Three Ways To Get Started With Youtube

Filed under: Branding,viral marketing — Tags: , , , — Meredith @ 1:44 am

Youtube is a terrific free way to market your brand. It’s inherently social and potentially viral, so why not give it a try? Chances are you already have tools at your disposal to film a short video. Many digital cameras now have video capability, but if yours does not, you may be able to borrow a video enabled device from a friend. One of the biggest hurdles in getting started with Youtube for business is what to film, so here are a few ideas:

1. Behind the Scenes
Invite your fans on a tour of your studio or show them how your products are made. Make sure you keep your audience in mind, and edit together a video that’s both entertaining and informative. For an example of this done well, see Spreadshirt’s video on how their products are made (below).

2. Your products in use
If you’re lucky enough to have your products placed in a movie or on a TV show, you should definitely have a clip featuring your item up on Youtube. Here’s a great example of a dance shoe retailer that uses video to show their products in action (see video below)

If you’re not fortunate enough to have product placements, don’t worry. You can film your friends out on the town in your products or ask your customers to film themselves using your products (you can tie this in with a contest to encourage customer participation).

3. Something silly
Sometimes all it takes is something silly to get attention. The clever folks at Agency Fusion (a web development firm) enjoyed quite a bit of viral success with this silly viral video (see below).

Your silly video does not even need to be related to your brand necessarily. You can make a silly video with your pets or yourself dressed in a gorilla costume (that’s what we did over at my t-shirt company Ex-Boyfriend, see below). The goal is just to entertain people and give them something to share with others.

Whichever route you go with your video, make sure you do the following things:

  • Create a channel on Youtube and link your website to it
  • Put your business URL in the video, so people associate your brand with your video
  • Share your videos via your website, newsletter and social media accounts so you have an army of fans distributing the video
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