All posts by Tamra Matthews

Tami Matthews is a content marketing manager at ReadyTalk. What’s content marketing? It’s a fancy way to say she writes, edits, and plans content – copy, articles, videos, podcasts, and more -- for our website, social media, white papers, ebooks, etc. She has more than 20 years of experience writing and loves it so much, she does it in her spare time. When she’s not at work, she’s hanging out with her spunky daughter and loving husband, reading, writing, and hiking. She’s kinda into sci-fi and loves to talk Star Wars, Star Trek, Dr. Who, Firefly, Blake’s 7, Hitchhiker’s Guide, and general geekery with anyone who will listen or engage.

It’s All About Video

Video killed the radio star.

I’m old enough to remember the day MTV began. Although I was in my tweens and my parents wouldn’t spring for the extra money to get the deluxe cable package that included MTV, the Finlands down the street did. All the neighborhood kids were at their house, watching MTV during the countdown, waiting for the first video to appear — the beginning of MTV. I remember it well. The first video played was, “Video Killed the Radio Star.” I was totally blown away. All of us were mesmerized.

video killed the radio starMy parents eventually got the extended package that included MTV. It was amazing, I watched all the events, including the “Thriller” premiere. It ushered in the end, or so I thought at the time, of the radio and spurred every band to ensure they also had a video.

I’m sure Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation remember the introduction of television. Millennials probably recall their first YouTube video. Why? There’s magic there. You can see, you can hear … and you can do both together. Although the radio hasn’t vanished, video has only become more important. We use video to talk with loved ones these days. We even use video for work, to collaborate even from our home offices or cars. If you’re in Marketing, you know video is key to content strategy.

How important? According to recent HubSpot marketing statistics, simply having a video on your business’s landing page can increase consumer conversation rates by an estimated 80 percent. Meanwhile, 43 percent of users expressed that they wanted to see even more videos from marketers. If you want to improve your company’s sales or online engagement levels, you need to begin integrating video into your marketing strategy starting today. Here are a few more statistics to convince you even further:

1. Nearly 50% of users view videos about a service or product before going to a store.

webinarThis statistic shows that if you want to bring people into your store or to your e-commerce website, you should be using videos. After all, another statistics indicates that as many as four times as many consumers would rather watch a product video than read about it. Today’s world is visually driven, which is why your organization should begin taking advantage of this fact.

More people are viewing videos from their mobile devices, too. In fact, 46% of all video is viewed on a mobile device. It’s not just for fun either. More people are on the go, in their car even, and need to communicate. Work should accommodate video on mobile devices.

2. Users collectively watch around 100 million hours of video on Facebook each day.

If you are not using video marketing on social media, you are certainly missing out on a large target audience, as the video consumption of Facebook users makes clear. Additionally, because 82% of Twitter users watch videos on the platform, you need to start leveraging the power of video soon.

3. Execs would rather watch a video than read.

Time-crunched execs have expressed concerns in having the time to read, sometimes even executive summaries. Instead, they listed video as the way they’d prefer communication.

4. Video in an email increases click-through rates by up to 300%.

Email conversions are hard. You don’t have much space to convey why someone should take a look at your marketing much less your product. Video though gets more click-throughs.

5. People recall video … even up to 30 days.

People recall video, even up to 30 days. Some videos, like poor Charlie who bit a finger or Gangnam Style, stick with you long after they’ve been seen. That’s the power of video. HubSpot also noted that comedy, news and music — in that order — are the most popular.

 

Get more info about video and its communication power

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Content Strategy Infographic

If you’re just starting out with a content marketing strategy or you’re looking to improve your current one, we have some suggestions. We surveyed 112 marketing professionals and got some interesting data that provides insight into content marketing challenges and solutions.

For more information on how to make your content smarter, check out ReadyTalk Illuminate.

 

smart content smart marketing

4 Ways to Keep the Holidays Merry … at Work

It’s no secret that the office can get a lot quieter over the holiday season. With holiday parties, vacation days and a general feeling of seasonal cheer, it can be difficult for many businesses to stay productive during this time. Despite this difficulty, it is possible to get things done without being a Scrooge.

1. Communicate

Many people take time off around the holidays to spend time with friends and family. While this may be normal, it doesn’t mean your office shouldn’t be upfront about communicating — including reminders about paid time off and asking people to communicate their schedules. It’s especially important in December with several main holidays in the same month. (Although communicating schedules, including time off, should happen all year long.)

keep the office merryOf course, if possible encourage people to stagger their time off or plan ahead if you know key figures will be out of the office at similar times.

It’s also more common in December for people to work remotely. Ensure your office has key information — your schedule and a mobile number. Of course, if your office has unified communications, those issues aren’t as urgent.

Also, ensure your company has online collaboration ability, like video and web conferencing.

2. Prioritize end-of-the-year projects

Though your office as a whole might not be incredibly busy, you still need to prioritize your important end-of-the-year projects or deadlines. It’s hard because it’s so easy to distracted. It’s also easy to let things slide into the new year, but make sure you don’t let holiday cheer keep you from doing what needs to be done. Besides, you don’t want to spend the holidays stressing over it.

3. Take care of yourself and ensure others do, too

Though it’s far too tempting to load up on eggnog, sugar cookies and rich holiday meals all season long, you need to take care of yourself as well. After all, if you’re eating more, exercising less and staying up later for holiday parties, you might get sick.

It’s not just about physical health, it’s about mental health, too. The holidays are stressful. Your schedule is full, but more is expected of you. Take a breather when you need it.

If you’re a manager or leader in your company, help your employees and co-workers as needed.

4. Embrace the holidays

All of the above is true … and yet ignoring the holidays won’t help either. It’s okay to slow down a little, just expect your productivity hits so you don’t over promise and under deliver.

This way, people can have their fun, but still know that they need to do their work.

Why Unified Communications?

In my lifetime, there have been some outlandish promises about technology. Flying cars, not just self-driving, should be zooming about us as we speak into devices that look like those Star Trek communicators. But you already know, those pieces of technology don’t exist. Sure, they’re creeping closer … but we’re not quite there yet.

Why unified communications That was the promise with unified communication … until recently. (Whether you call it hosted voice, hosted PBX or cloud communications. It’s the same — unified communication.) Telecommunication and software companies are getting better at providing a host of solutions together, hoping to make it easier for customers and potential customers. But most businesses haven’t moved to it; only 19% as of July have.

That’s changing. According to Inc., 70% of businesses are considering moving to a single communication provider for everything from phone systems to instant message (IM). So chances are good your competitors are thinking about it.

Why UC?

It goes beyond doing what other businesses are. Here are the reasons why even small businesses are considering cloud communications.

  • Be more efficient and productive. Reduce inefficient communications – from telephone tag to scouring through several contact lists to find someone. Share information in a moment’s notice, easily without struggling with multiple solutions. Ensure customers get the attention they need.
  • Improve communication and engagement. Unified communication increases the likelihood that information will be shared and received. It even helps identify people are available (referred to as presence). The quality of the communication is better too — with chat, video and collaboration (desktop file sharing and presentations) are all easily available.
  • Grow your business without changing providers. Unified communication, when done right, is scalable as your business grows and expands or as your company changes focus.
  • Go mobile, with access anywhere. Your employees don’t have to be at their desk to be productive. Enable your salespeople and more to work when and where they need to while still being productive.
  • Reduce costs. Cloud communication is cheaper than maintaining outdated, on-premises solutions. It also enables more people to work from home, saving money on office expenses. And it reduces the need for travel.

All of these are possible with the right vendor. The right vendor depends on your company, but if you want good customer service and easy to use products, that might be us. We have some of the best net promoter scores in the industry and our customers tell us our products are intuitive.

Sources:
McKinsey’s SMB cloud communications report
Evolve IP

Learn From Your Community

After engaging your community, the great thing is you can learn from it.

Connect with content

We all want content where we already are. If we’re in Facebook, for example, we don’t want to leave that experience. We want to stay there. Making content transcend platform is the future of content — where people can engage where they are.

In the meantime, don’t forget to include content here:

  • Put highlights of your webinar on Facebook and LinkedIn.
  • Add webinars to your YouTube channel. You can even create Playlists of related content.
  • Send tweets with stats from your webinar.
  • Create a blog post with your content, if your audience engages you there.

When you engage, you can measure and improve content

Go beyond with your content, too. Learning includes making smarter content. By smarter content, it’s content where you can measure engagement in all it’s various ways. What are those ways? They include:

  1. Questions participants are asking.
  2. Answers to polls and surveys, even when they’re research for your company.
  3. Feedback you receive, in general, about your content.
  4. Where your audience engaged in the webinar, for example.

 

 

Illuminate Your Content