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Monthly Archives: January 2015

26 
Jan

How video can help content marketing

How video can help content marketing

video can help content marketingPosted on 26th January 2015.

Written by Martin Neeves – Videographer Leicester

video can help content marketingCurrently the search engines, especially Google, are placing a lot of emphasis on content marketing. Video is not being exploited in content marketing by small and medium sized (SME) businesses because I think they do not understand its value. I feel it is a shame because there are many indicators that show the power of online video.   Cisco predicts that by 2018, video will account for 79% of consumer online traffic. That is a rise from 66% in 2013. This supported by a whole load of other data predicting the same level of magnitude in growth for consumer online traffic. So can you afford not to at least investigate how video can help content marketing? In my opinion many SME businesses not exploiting content marketing, amplified with video, will lose the online battle to be seen. The past 12 months has shown the power of online business – UK shoppers spent £91bn online in 2013. £810 million was spent on Black Friday in UK alone.

Now video is fast becoming a major way for people to fulfil their information and entertainment needs. It is easy to engage with; unlike reading content it is more passive, requiring less effort. Good video can get a strong message across in 30 seconds to 2 minutes, because it can utilise the whole audio-visual experience. The eyes and ear are the prime senses used by humans to take in information – video exploits both simultaneously. 83% of learning occurs visually. Good video is very engaging without requiring too much effort on the part of the viewer.

One thing that video will not do is be a one-stop answer to all your problems. But it can enhance the content marketing of your online presence. It can also enhance your search ranking if used well, but that is for another day.

But it is all too difficult for small & medium business!

Many small and medium businesses do not see how they can include it in their internet marketing strategies. But failure to do so will be at their peril. Part of the problem is that many small companies still lack a clear strategy, as well as the experience and means to measure results. They also separate video and the internet from their mainstream marketing – that does not work. They also see it as “expensive” but they will spend a lot of money on press, magazine, Yellow Pages and leaflet advertising all types of advertising that are losing impact and can be very “hit and miss”. Good video used in content marketing can be extremely targeted – video can help content marketing on your website.

Big brands are constantly seeking different ways to increase engagement with their digital savvy audiences. For this reason they are great users and champions of using multimedia content. Video is becoming a major asset in the quest to have engaging content marketing. Its effective use can not only increase brand awareness and perception, but it can speed up the customer engagement process.

In the same way that the internet is becoming a great playing field leveller for SMEs, allowing them to compete online with the big players. But competition with the big players has to be done cleverly when SMEs lack the huge marketing budgets of the big players. But smaller businesses can still compete; they just have to be smarter and not try to compete “head-on”. They have to focus on their niche and target it ruthlessly. It is here that the use of video in content marketing can give them an edge.

OK so how can we compete?

Well I think that video can be used in several ways. Video can make your business stand out from the crowd; but “standing out from the crowd” is a term I hear a lot. But I am not sure that those business owners understand that to stand out you have to be more than different – you have to be SEEN to stand out from the crowd. Video can do that.

Providing a public and human face for your business video can help content marketing. We will start with the obvious one of a short video on the home page of a website. It remains truer than ever now that “people buy from people”. Many websites are impersonal, text driven and lack an understanding of communicating with the site visitor. A good short video introducing the company and its services enable the site to have a human touch and get the message across quickly.

But there is so much more that can be done, and it is with content marketing that video can score for small and medium sized businesses (the same is true for big business).

Demonstrating products and services. This is a much better solution than “download a PDF”. A PDF makes the site visitor have to imagine the product or service with words and pictures (better than nothing, BUT). A video shows it all in one place; nothing is left to the imagination. It is easy on the brain and easy to absorb the message.

Answering product or service questions. Again, using “Frequently Asked Questions” is a good way of covering issues that are common to most users. But again they can be amplified using video and promoted through YouTube to get much wider coverage of your business.

Answering “How do I” and “How can I” questions. These are the sort of questions that are a major feature in internet use of the search engines. If you start typing “how” into Google it will make a whole load of suggestions that it will not give you in its keyword tool. This is not just Google trying to second guess you – it is Google telling you what other people have searched for! This gives you a great opportunity to solve a search query and show that person that you know what you are about.

Selling your expertise using video. If you have content and expertise that people need to run their business or their lives, then you can sell that as video content. By giving as short intro video showing the benefits, you can charge for the download.

Promoting an event with video. Again, video is very engaging and can enhance event promotion. It can supplement leaflets and other advertising. The use of promotion or coupon codes is another big online search on Google, so why not include these in your video as an incentive to attend the event?

Client Testimonials. A long list of testimonials could so easily have been written by you. But a video gives a human face and adds credibility to the written testimonials. This allows you to share your success stories in an easily assimilated and engaging manner.

So video can help content marketing

If small and medium sized businesses want to stay alive and compete they have to adapt. They have to adopt new solutions, and quickly. Online marketing opens a whole range of opportunities for them.   Savvy small and medium business owners are looking for an edge and must embrace new channels. Too many studies and successful businesses suggest that video and content creation have to be top priorities for survival. This article aims to give your business ideas how video can be a realistic way of vastly enhancing your content marketing.

If you want to find out how video can help content marketing on your website then call Martin Neeves on 01455 271849 or on 07973 638591 or use my contact form to get in touch now.

 

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Published Date: 26th January 2015
Category: Videographer
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12 
Jan

Drone aerial photography – a new solution or potential problem?

Written by Martin Neeves – Aerial Photographer Leicester

Drone aerial photographyUnmanned Aerial Vehicles have been around for many years with model aircraft. However, you will have noticed that sales of drones that can take photographs have really been one of the growth areas over the last few months. This is not just for a hobby or amateur photographer, but many professionals see it as one of the “next new things” that can be used to make money. Many amateurs have got quite good at flying these drones and have also decided that this would be a “fun way to make money”. There are people promising that “drone aerial photography is democratising aerial photography”. But I believe it is going to result in a lot of disappointed people. Whilst I like the idea of drones, my research tells me that life is not so simple and we are already seeing problems with the use of these drones.

Incidents with Drone aerial photography

There are a lot of recent cases of drones being used in reckless ways and breaching airspace regulations. This is causing safety and security concerns in a number of areas.

There was an incident near Heathrow Airport on 22 July 2014 near Heathrow when a pilot flying an Airbus A320 spotted drone at an altitude of about 700ft. The plane approximately 180 passengers on board and was classed a s a category A incident meaning there was serious risk of collision.

The US Federal Aviation Authority recorded at least 194 incidents with drones in 2014, so worldwide it is becoming an issue. A Virgin Atlantic flight from London reported a drone flying at 3,000 feet in November 2014 when it was coming into land at New York’s JFK Airport reported

The flying of drones above sports stadiums has been a problem in international soccer matches, American Football games. On 11th October 2014, a drone buzzed the 80,000-seat Camp Randall Stadium whilst an American Football game was in progress. In early 2013 a 19 year old man was killed when he lost control of a drone he was flying and it sliced off the top of his head.

As well as being used to hover over a number of English professional soccer games during this season, on 14th October 2014 the Serbia v Albania game was interrupted by a drone flying the Albanian National flag.

There are quite a few cases of drones being used to fly over properties and photograph through windows and in gardens. This raises issues of harassment, privacy and again security. Police are concerned about criminals using them to conduct reconnaissance before carrying out burglaries.  So Drone aerial photography has started to be used for some criminal purposes.

In April 2014, a TV Shop owner in Barrow in Furness became the first person in UK to be convicted for “dangerously flying” a drone over a nuclear submarine facility owned by BAE Systems.

There are some positive uses of drone aerial photography

Despite my opening concerns I recognise that there are some very positive uses for drone aerial photography (and videography); for instance:

  • Real Estate photographs. For Estate agents Drone aerial photography is an inexpensive way of getting aerial photographs. In my previous blog about aerial photography I discuss these options.
  • Protection of population. This might include firefighting, disaster relief, search and rescue. This would allow the viewing of high risk areas without exposing high value equipment or personnel to risk.
  • This is a great use for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV). It is possible top rapidly analyse a field and watch farm animals using drone aerial photography.
  • Traffic Accident Reconstruction. Police can produce a record accident details very quickly so that traffic can be allowed to flow again. This allows them to capture details that allow them to reconstruct the accident.  In April 2014, a TV Shop owner in Barrow in Furness became the first person in UK to be convicted for “dangerously flying” a drone over a nuclear submarine facility owned by BAE

What are the rules in UK for flying aerial drones?

There are many people who think that there are no rules for flying these drones in the UK because they are hobby equipment, but this is not the case. As soon as you intend to fly a drone for commercial purposes (that is to get ‘valuable consideration’ i.e. payment), then permission from the CAA is required. But even if you do not there are rules to be followed.   The CAA rules can be viewed here.

In order to make sure UAVs and manned aircraft are working in separate airspace, there are a number of limitations placed on UAV use for all uses not only Drone aerial photography.

General Guidelines for Drone Aerial Photography:

  • The maximum altitude is 400 feet (120 metres)
  • The maximum distance from the operator is 500 metres
  • The operator has be able to take manual control to fly the drone out of danger
  • The minimum visibility needs to be 5 km
  • UAV must be flown in line of sight of the operator
  • UAVs cannot be flown at night without special permission
  • Permission must be obtained from the owner of the take-off point
  • UAVs cannot be flown within 50 metres of structures, vehicles or people that are not under the control of the person in charge of the aircraft.

Call me now on 07973 638591 or on 01455 271849 or CONTACT ME for an estimate or to discuss an aerial photography shoot by the Aerial Photographer Leicester.

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Published Date: 12th January 2015
Category: General
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06 
Jan

The power and value of reviews for photographers

Written by Martin Neeves – Photographer Nottinghamshire

How reviews for photographers help both the photographer and the customer

reviews for photographersreviews_of_photographers_Martin_Neeves_Photography_on_Free_IndexI have always been a great believer in the power of reviews for photographers.  In my opinion, reviews are just one step removed from a direct referral.  We know that Google uses reviews as one of its ranking factors.  More importantly most people use Google as their telephone directory.  At the same time a huge number of people check online for reviews of products and services.

Entreprenuer.com flags up that “the way consumers make decisions has dramatically changed from over the last decade”.  We are becoming accustomed to checking star ratings to see if a supplier is good or bad.  The use of Yelp, Google+, and Trip Advisor is becoming so common place that we accept it as the norm.

As I said I have always understood that reviews are very important.  I am very proud that I have achieved on FreeIndex.  For example, where I am now ranked number 2 out of 3,428 of Photographers in the UK – check it out.  I am also pleased that overall I have received a 4.8 out of 5 star rating.  This allows me to demonstrate that I am constantly providing great service.  It also allows potential customers  to see what others have written about me on an independent website.

brightlocalOnline reputation is important because of the amount people use the internet to inform their buying choices.  The SEO firm BrightLocal regularly runs surveys of consumers and businesses.  In August 29014 it found that amongst over 2000 consumers how they use and react to online reviews.  92% of users will use a local business if it has a 4 star rating, this drops off the 72% if consumers find a 3 star rating.  A 2 star rating drops the usage rate to 27% and a 1 star rating falls to 13%.  I know from my own experience that many of my customers chose me because of referral, recommendation and reading reviews.

I also have hundreds if positive reviews, some of which I have published on my website – https://www.martinneeves.com/testimonials/. When I ask new customers “so why did you choose me” it will often be because “you have so many positive reviews in many locations”.  As I said, I see reviews for photographers as very much aligned to offline recommendations and referrals.  I also use Google Business Places; it is becoming the new Yellow Pages for people to find phone numbers and businesses.  It also works for me because I have reviews on it and this encourages people to use my services.

Value to the Customer

From a customer perspective, I am always happy for them to compare me to competitors by using reviews.  As business people, we all have to be sales men and women and are always going to talk up our business.  The use of reviews and star rating allows the potential customer the opportunity to look beyond the sales pitch.

I think the customer also benefits because it keeps me on my toes.  I know that I am only as good as my next photo shoot, so I am always conscious that I must exceed customer expectations each time, not just to generate positive reviews but also to maintain a positive reputation.

Online reviews are here to stay; indeed I think their power will increase over the foreseeable future – especially in the case of reviews for photographers. Reputation management is something that I am conscious of at all times. Vebology displays an infographic on http://digitalmarketingmagazine.co.uk/e-commerce-digital-marketing/the-power-of-online-reviews that shows the influence and power of online reviews.  This clearly shows that power of the customer to influence buying decisions.  Clearly this level of influence is going to grow in influence, so I am very aware of the power of reputation management and I think is a good thing.

Call me now on 07973 638591 or on 01455 271849 or CONTACT ME for an estimate or to discuss how my photography can add real value to your business by the Professional Photographer Nottinghamshire.  If you want to see how my customers value reviews for photographers then visit my testimonials page.

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Published Date: 6th January 2015
Category: General
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