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Plan A-B for BlogIn any sales funnel there are potential customers who fall away without buying.  The reasons are varied but the result is the same – no sale.

Unless a prospect has given a clear NO (purchased elsewhere), I believe many businesses do themselves a disservice by not revisiting these ‘lost customers’ with a second, and different approach. Read the rest of this entry »

Referrals: It Pays to Ask

01.21.14   |  1 Comment

iStock_000013292595XSmallAs a small business owner or sales professional you realize the value of referrals, but are you actively seeking them from your customers?  It’s not enough to wait for referrals to come rolling in, you need to be proactive and incorporate a plan that helps send referrals your way.

Referrals come in a number of forms.

Requested Referrals occur when someone discovers a problem or need and turns to those they know and trust for a recommendation.

Testimonials are indirect referrals. They express satisfaction with your product/service and suggest others will benefit as well.  Video testimonials are particularly powerful and can be embedded in websites, blogs, newsletters or sent as video email for maximum reach.

Conversational Referrals take place during normal exchanges between people and often follow an outstanding experience with a business.
Read the rest of this entry »

8DaysHolidayGiveawayBlogImageOur Facebook ’8 Days of Holiday Giveaways’ Contest ended on Dec. 24th and we’re happy to announce the 8 lucky daily winners!

Day 1 – Free Email Icon:  Carl Norloff
Day 2 – Elf Template:  Jerry Wright
Day 3 – $20 Off a Single Graphic Order:  Jerry Wright
Day 4 – $25 Off Your Next Month’s Service:  Kent Corey
Day 5 –  Your Logo Added to a Template for Free:  Bryon Thelen
Day 6 – $50 Off a Single Graphic Order:  Glenn Finley
Day 7 – Free Logitech C525 Webcam:  Greg Clear
Day 8 – Free Email Icon:  Bill Piacitelli

Congratulations to all our winners and thank you to everyone who entered!

Happy Holidays!

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Jamie Bidwell is a team member at www.covideo.com. Covideo provides video email software that helps companies build relationships quickly and reinforce their brands more effectively with easy-to-make video emails that truly communicate. jamie@covideo.com.

TicTacToe_BlogIf you haven’t already started, now is the time to develop your 2014 video marketing strategy and get your business off to a great start in the New Year! Here are some things to keep in mind:

Determine what you want to accomplish with your videos (conversions, upsells, re-engagement, etc.)

Consider your target market and create video specific to them

Keep your messages short and sweet.  Online viewer attention spans continue to shrink.  If you can’t get all the important points into a single video, consider several shorter clips (and add the additional videos as links on your video email template).

Use the talents and ideas of various team members to bring new life and potentially stronger content into your videos.

Avoid the trap of overloading your videos with excessive, and potentially distracting, special effects.  You want the viewer to interact with your video AND engage with your main message, so quizzes, surveys, annotations, etc. should only be used where appropriate.

Make use of HotSpot reporting to refine, hone and adjust your message based on viewer engagement.

As more businesses use videos to market their products, having a video marketing strategy in place at the beginning of the year, means your marketing videos will be going out while your competition is still working on their game plan.

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Jamie Bidwell is a team member at www.covideo.com. Covideo provides video email software that helps companies build relationships quickly and reinforce their brands more effectively with easy-to-make video emails that truly communicate. jamie@covideo.com.

ChristmasElegant_small
Video email holiday greetings are becoming more popular every year, and it’s no wonder.
With video viewing at an all-time high businesses have plenty of reasons why it makes sense to show customers your appreciation with video, but in keeping with the holiday season I’m limiting my list to 12.

Here they are in no particular order: Read the rest of this entry »

Acton Toyota Team

Pictured: Acton Toyota GM Mike Hills, eCommerce Mgr, Justin Brun, Internet Mgr Ben Koller

At Acton Toyota of Littleton, MA, eCommerce Manager Justin Brun and Internet Manager Ben Koller have spent the past few years developing the dealership’s online presence, email marketing campaigns and brand messaging.  Their efforts have helped Acton Toyota build one of the most successful Internet operations in the U.S., consistently ranking high on Ward’s eDealer 100 list.

Since 2008 their Internet plan has included strategic use of Covideo to set Acton Toyota apart in a competitive marketplace.  While many dealerships continue to use generic auto-responders, Acton salespeople reply to online inquiries with personalized introductory videos.  “The agent offers a bit of their back story to create a personal rapport and then addresses the visitor’s specific questions,” said Justin. “The result is a great first impression and improved conversion rates.”

Justin and Ben also see value in additional video touches to thank prospects for stopping by the store or congratulating a customer on the purchase of a new vehicle.  Updating a client on new inventory is easier than ever as well.  “Sales agents like a tool that’s easy to use and at their fingertips,” stated Justin.  “The mobile app is great for quickly sending walk-around videos to customers.”

Justin has worked hard to ensure all of Acton’s marketing efforts deliver a cohesive and consistent message, and that includes video email.  With Covideo, he and Ben have the ability to fully customize the look and feel of video emails from the inbox image, to the template surrounding the video screen, complementing the Acton brand.

When building Acton Toyota’s new website, Ben and Justin focused on improving site conversion rates.  Their examination into visitor interactions included mouse movement, heatmaps and form analytics.  After analyzing all the data they created a website that improves page layout, enhances the visitor experience, and most importantly, increases conversion rates.

As the Acton Internet department became successful, other dealerships began calling for advice.  During those conversations they realized other dealerships may not have the resources available to execute the cutting-edge marketing strategies used at Acton.  They went to Mike Hills, their General Manager to pitch the idea of advising other dealerships, and the result is a business within a business called Dynamic Beacon.

The focus at Dynamic Beacon is to create, operate, manage and grow dealership’s websites.  Per Ben, “If a dealership wants landing page development and content creation, DynamicBeacon.com is the place to go.”  They currently supply 20 clients with custom graphics, original content, reputation management, SEO strategies and act as the dealership’s marketing arm.  The result is a premium website, improved search optimization, enhanced user experience and increased conversions.  Additional services include microsites, enewsletters and paid search.

On the horizon for Dynamic Beacon is a remarketing product that follows up with website visitors (for up to 45 days) who look at several cars but do not submit their information before leaving the site.

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Jamie Bidwell is a team member at www.covideo.com. Covideo provides video email software that helps companies build relationships quickly and reinforce their brands more effectively with easy-to-make video emails that truly communicate. jamie@covideo.com.

Act Now - Red ButtonNo matter how entertaining or informational your video emails are, if they lack an effective call-to-action their marketing value is limited.  All that great content you’re sending, establishing an emotional connection with your audience, reaps few benefits if viewers aren’t motivated to interact with your business once the video is finished playing.

Video email calls-to-action can:

  • Direct viewers to links on the video email template (to webpages, documents or additional videos).
  • Be used in conjunction with web overlay to prep viewers before landing on a form submission page
  • Drive traffic to a website, blog or social media site
  • Be embedded in website videos to promote sales, discounts and promo codes
  • Generate leads when using a Covideo Capture Page
  • Gain feedback from your prospects and customers
  • Establish you as a trusted resource
  • Improve future open rates and engagement

So how do you add an effective call-to-action to your videos? Read the rest of this entry »

Is Video Taking Over the World?

10.17.13   |  0 Comments

We found this entertaining iStock video containing statistics on the rise of video viewing by today’s consumer, and had to share it.  Not only is the content pretty impressive, it’s creative and humorous with a dose of retro charm!

VideoNewspaper_videoButton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Car salesman sitting in showroom smiling

 

Today’s consumers are looking for value. 

To stand out, dealerships need to deliver messages focused on
enhancing the customer experience.  Using video email is a big
part of that picture.

Here are 20 ways to re-charge your sales and build strong,
long-lasting customer relationships. Read the rest of this entry »

Upgrade Your Webcam to Improve Video Quality

09.30.13   |  0 Comments

iStock_000022577868XSmallIf you want to improve the quality of your videos, take a closer look at your webcam. Older or entry level models may not have HD, auto-focus, noise-canceling and other technology necessary to provide the sharp images and clear audio achievable with more advanced models.

Top contenders in the webcam marketplace are Logitech, Microsoft and HP.  All three offer quality HD webcams designed to perform a variety of tasks (internet chat, recording, etc.).  I’ve chosen 5 of the most popular webcams, listing features, price, pros and cons, for a quick side-by-side comparison. Read the rest of this entry »

RyanNotificationEvery sales lead is a potential customer and your follow-up process is the key to converting that lead.  So, it’s important for the tools at your disposal to provide the necessary information to effectively follow-up.

Take our Notifications feature.  At first glance it appears to be a simple email notification every time your video is viewed.  Great for the basics of knowing who watched your video.  Upon closer inspection, Notifications provide valuable viewing and click-thru information that can make your follow-ups more productive.

In this video, Ryan shows you how he uses Notifications in conjunction with HotSpot and Exit Link reporting for more effective customer and lead follow-ups.

Check out his video Here!

 

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Jamie Bidwell is a team member at www.covideo.com. Covideo provides video email software that helps companies build relationships quickly and reinforce their brands more effectively with easy-to-make video emails that truly communicate. jamie@covideo.com.

Marketing With Facebook Hashtags

08.30.13   |  0 Comments

iStock_000025711854XSmallIf your business isn’t using Facebook hashtags you might want to give it some serious thought.

Facebook, though late to the game, is now using hashtags placed in front of a word or phrase to turn it into a clickable link.  Clicking on the link displays public posts using the same hashtag.  Why is this important?  How can it benefit your business?

As a hashtag gains popularity, its reach is also growing, putting your business in front of people who may not otherwise see your posts.  Businesses with a specific target community can use hashtags to draw people into a conversation and encourage further interaction (likes, shares, lead capture, etc.). Read the rest of this entry »

B2B Content Marketing Trends for 2013

08.22.13   |  0 Comments

Hand Drawing Content Flow ChartThe world of marketing has been turned upside down.  Traditional ‘sales pitch’ style commercials, online banners, magazine ads and mailers, are easily discarded or ignored by today’s savvy consumers. Realizing the climate shift, marketers are turning to content marketing to attract customers.

The concept of content marketing is to provide an ongoing stream of valuable and relevant information to a clearly defined target audience.  The idea being that, over time, providing consistent and valuable information will be rewarded by consumer purchases and loyalty.

It must be working.  Over 50% of B2B marketers plan to spend more on content marketing this year, than last.  I came across a research report written by Joe Pulizzi, of Content Marketing Institute that has some interesting information on who is using content marketing, how they’re applying it, and how it’s working. The link is included below.  Not surprising to me, the report charts video as one of the more effective methods of delivering great content.  Enjoy!

Marketing Trends 2013 for B2B Content Marketing

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Jamie Bidwell is a team member at www.covideo.com. Covideo provides video email software that helps companies build relationships quickly and reinforce their brands more effectively with easy-to-make video emails that truly communicate. jamie@covideo.com.

Win Clients Using Added-Value Marketing

08.22.13   |  0 Comments

Whether you are a B2B or B2C business, potential customers have changed their buying habits and requirements since 2008.  A solid product and competitive price are not necessarily enough to win over a client who can do a quick online search and find similar options.  It’s up to you to show them your product is an added-value to their business or everyday lives.

One of the best ways to demonstrate added value is with video. Determine which areas of added value apply to your product, and then cut videos that make a compelling case for the customer to buy.  Product-in-action videos or testimonials from satisfied customers are time-tested, winning formulas.  Embed the videos on your website, send as personalized emails or include in email campaigns.

So what comprises added value? Read the rest of this entry »

smallBusinessManCashRegisterMost small business owners recognize the value of video marketing but don’t have the budget to shoot high production videos.  Fortunately, there are less expensive and effective video options available to them.

The social media explosion has caused a paradigm shift in marketing methods.  Ads have gone from broadly based print messages, to interactive, visual experiences.  Businesses are reaching out on a more personal level, using real-life scenarios and settings to connect with consumers.  Small businesses looking to deliver these personal, visual experiences economically, can do just that – with video email.

How can small businesses use video email to effectively market themselves?  Take a look:

Read the rest of this entry »