For small businesses looking for the best medium to promote their products in 2023, video marketing will certainly rank at the top of the list. In addition to helping you garner greater reach than text/image-based promotions, video marketing is cost-efficient as well. In this article by Spotlight Biz Solutions, we’ll explore the best strategies small businesses should implement to be successful in their video promotional activities and outperform competitors.
Best Types of Videos to Create
For businesses just starting with their video marketing activities, here’s a list of the go-to formats to consider:
Keep Video Production Costs in Check
While video marketing provides the benefit of higher content penetration on social media and customer engagement, it does come at a cost. As reported by Business.com, hiring a professional video marketing team can cost at least a few thousand dollars. Additionally, you’ll need to spend money on video promotions.
But there’s no need to fret, as here are a few ways you can drastically reduce video production costs:
By shooting organic videos, not only will you save thousands of dollars a year, but in time become proficient in video marketing. Rather than focusing on making each video perfect, the key will be to be consistent in your uploads and reach as many customers as possible daily.
Create Trackable Metrics for Campaigns
The only way to truly understand whether your business is reaping the benefits of video marketing is to establish trackable metrics, such as:
Video marketing is an essential component for any small business looking to grow its brand awareness online. Now that you understand the best types of videos to create and how to keep costs in check, all that's left is consistently creating and publishing content across your socials and watching your brand grow.
Thank you to this month's guest blogger Patrick Young with ABLE USA. To find out more please visit ABLE USA.
Keeping in touch with your customers in the Twin Cities area is easier when you use the right methods. Email newsletters are one of the best ways to grow your customer base and keep in touch with everyone.
Why Send Newsletters?Newsletters are effective because you can customize them for any purpose. You can inform customers about your products and services or send special birthday offers, for instance. Another reason newsletters are a good investment is the low cost. You can write them yourself and send them out cheaply using an email marketing service.
Encourage People to Read Your NewsletterMany experts agree that offering a newsletter is only one part of the task. For it to be effective, people need to read it. You can offer a discount on their first purchase or a free webinar that piques their interest. But a key way to get people to read your newsletter is to write an effective one.
To make sure you write a newsletter people want to read, keep these tips in mind:
Using Data Visualization to Enhance Your ContentOnce you have subscribers, your next challenge is keeping them. First, what objective do you want your newsletter to achieve? Do you want your subscribers to flock to your new online course or store, or do you want them to subscribe to your social media pages? Regardless of what goal you have for your newsletter, try to visualize the result ahead of time.
Finding Professional HelpA newsletter is a powerful marketing tool, but only if it's engaging and well-written. If writing isn't your gig, consider hiring Spotlight Business Solutions to shape your ideas into compelling prose. If your newsletter includes graphics, you can find an illustrator or graphic designer online for a low price.
Locating Tools to Optimize Your NewsletterLuckily for everyone, the advantages of technology mean that people can learn a new skill quickly and from the comfort of their home. There are many tools available to help you with the creation and distribution of your newsletter. You can even find tools that help with the layout and design, too.
In fact, you can use an online logo maker to help you create a professional, chic logo for free. You’ll get a logo you can use anywhere, from social media to merchandise and business cards. Your brand will look amazing, and the logo can work wonders for your marketing.
Your Next StepsCreating a marketing strategy can be challenging, but luckily, there are many resources available in the Twin Cities area that can help. Reach out to Spotlight Business Solutions for your free 30-minute marketing consultation.
Thank you to this month's guest blogger Patrick Young with ABLE USA. To find out more please visit ABLE USA.
In a world saturated with social media influencers, models and content creators, it can be difficult to find unique ways to interact with your following. It is entirely natural to struggle with this, even seasoned veterans do! Here are some creative ideas to post on your social media platforms:
Share your favorite book
Being one of the first forms of mass media will always give good books an unexplainable lure about them. You have to assume that your followers will likely be interested in many of the stories you are, since they are following YOU.
Remind people who you are
Authenticity in everyday life is important, but on social media it is vital. You do not want to create separation between the content and the creator. You are the brand, manufacturer, and creator. Take a picture or video integrating your audience into your life.
Share how you got started
Much of your following may come from people seeing the best part of themselves in you. Sharing your back story will make you more relatable, thus drawing further interest in your product.
Go behind the scenes
Share with your audience your creative process. Entangle them in what makes your creative juices flow. This can be fascinating to watch, but also an inspiration to other creators who follow you.
Share a personal story
You are more than what you make and what talents you have. Therefore, it is important that you illustrate that to your following. Allow them to see you as a human being; because you are one.
Post things that you’re excited to be working on
To show the world your passion is tough, especially when you care deeply about it, but do it. Show how passionate and excited you are about something new. Passion and excitement is contagious, use that.
Give your audience early access to a new project
This is like opening one of your christmas presents on christmas eve. You know there is more to come, but in the meantime you cling to that little toy your parents let you open. Give your following a taste and they will be eager for the finale.
Share a blog Post
Blog posts are useful even if you aren’t a writer. Your words and thoughts are just as important as what you make. This can be the avenue in which you carry out some of the other suggestions.
Go live with your followers
Interaction is key. More than anything, most people just want to be seen, heard, and appreciated. This gives room for all those things and creates an organic chemistry between the observers and the observed.
Share you new ideas with your audience!
For some, new ideas can be daunting. This takes the pressure of it. Just spit it out and get it off your chest because your biggest idea might become even bigger when you tell someone about it.
If you are still having trouble coming up with ideas, let us know! We're here to help.
Enjoy the latest Guest Blog from Kory Wermerskirchen, who is in my networking group!
I have been in the insurance industry for 10+ years, and continually the biggest mistake I see people make is with their liability limits. This is what protects you and your assets should you be liable (at-fault) in an accident. As the publicly traded online insurers have pushed to commoditize the insurance industry, the push for saving money in as little of time as possible has increased drastically. Besides the issue of spending less time on insurance than you do on your Amazon order, there is significant risk aligned with this quick decision. In MN if you don’t have sufficient coverage for an at-fault accident, nor the ability to pay out of pocket for damages exceeding your insurance coverage amount, they may garnish up to 25% of your wages until that debt has been repaid. Could you afford a 25% pay cut in perpetuity until your debt is repaid? I know my family couldn’t.
Many companies advertise the price without much attention directed to what you are buying, and what money conscious person would select the $100/month option over the $90/month or $80/month option? Increasingly I see people selecting the $80 option, which often means they have the State Minimum Liability coverages of 30/60/10. When I chat with these same people and ask how long it would take to accrue $30k in Medical Damages at the Hospital, or how many cars on the road are worth less than $10k, they all unanimously answer, not long and not many. And they are right. Yet usually unbeknownst to them, that is exactly how much coverage they have right now.
So if you really only have 15 minutes to spend on determining your coverages, spend it with a local reputable agent that can inform you of what you are buying and the potential risks associated with it. Or at the very minimum double check what you have, and determine if that is sufficient to protect you and your family. Your financial future may depend on it.
Marty Bothwell Agency
Ph: (952) 937-5556
Fax: (952) 975-9217
This month, I'm happy to share a guest blog post from Kourtney Johnson, RD, LD. I hope you enjoy!
Wellness is a hot topic right now. Type the word into Google, and you’ll see results ranging from wellness centers to definitions to the different dimensions of it. But what does wellness even mean, and how can we implement it into our lives in a practical way?
What is Wellness?
When you think of the word “wellness” what comes to mind?
Maybe you see someone at the gym, covered in sweat as they run on the treadmill, or possibly you’re envisioning someone dutifully eating all five recommended servings of fruits and veggies each day. However, it’s also feasible that you picture something completely different.
But what is wellness, anyway? According to Merriam-Webster.com, wellness is “The quality or state of being in good health especially as an actively sought goal.”
This is a broad definition that doesn’t just apply to eating certain foods and exercising. After all, health encompasses many areas including mental, physical, spiritual and emotional, and there are a variety of practices we can implement to improve each area.
How can we practice wellness when it’s so broad?
I get it! You’re a busy entrepreneur who wears multiple hats and pours your energy into business, so adding one more thing to your plate might make you cringe. Plus, the idea of wellness is overwhelming.
But you know what they say: “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” If you’re an entrepreneur, let alone a solopreneur, you are the face of your brand. It doesn’t operate (or at least very well) without you. That’s why implementing a wellness routine into your life is crucial.
And yes, while the concept of wellness might seem overwhelming as it encompasses many areas of health, having a routine in place doesn’t need to be difficult. Here are a few suggestions for prioritizing wellness to increase your chances of having good health so you can continue living out your dreams.
How to Prioritize Wellness in your Busy Life
1.Audit your time.
It’s easy as an entrepreneur to feel as though you have no extra time and that you eat, sleep and breathe your business. However, if you audit your time over one week during what is a normal period of time for you, you’ll see there are gaps in your days where habits to be added to improve your health.
2.Consider your goals.
What do you want to achieve by having better health? Maybe you desire to stop feeling exhausted each day and wake up refreshed, so sleeping for at least seven hours each night is a must. Perhaps you’d like to decrease the amount of stress you feel, and seeing a therapist would help you achieve that. Or it’s possible you would rather read a book for 30 minutes before bed instead of scrolling mindlessly through your phone, which results in thoughts racing through your head as you try to sleep.
3. Be realistic.
What are practical ways you can implement wellness into your life? Maybe in an ideal world, you’d wake up at 5:00 AM and head to the gym, but you know yourself and realize that won’t happen. However, maybe there is a walking group that meets over the lunch hour which you would actually attend and truly enjoy being a part of.
4.Make it fun!
When we think about how to increase the amount of wellness in our lives, it sounds boring. But it doesn’t need to be! Again, find an activity you enjoy if you hate what your workout routine is now. And if you don’t know what you like, try different activities! If you goal is to read before bed, choose a book with a friend and hold yourself accountable by scheduling a book discussion on a certain date.
If after some time you’re not making progress toward your goals or not enjoying the process, determine how you can switch it up. Where are you getting stuck? What don’t you like about the routine you have? It’s ok to mix it up!
There you have it: five ways to implement wellness into your routine and reap the benefits of better health. Remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup, and you are your company’s greatest asset. Take care of yourself!
Kourtney Johnson is a registered dietitian and the owner of Intuitively Nourished. She helps women go from hating their bodies to appreciating and properly caring for them; in addition, she guides ladies from feeling guilt or shame for eating certain foods to enjoying their food and moving on with their day. You can learn more about Kourtney and her work at Intuitivelynourished.com.
We work with many different industries throughout the U.S. to help with their digital marketing needs. From Realtors to Chiropractors, to local restaurants and museums, you will play a vital role in the content we provide for our customers and helping their businesses be seen online.
You will also serve as an internal advocate for client needs, helping to bring about better service to clients and contribute to the overall customer experience. This is a part-time, remote, entry-level position with room to grow. Communication and creativity are key with this position.
Duties Include, but are not limited to:
This job starts at 5 to 10 hours per week at $25 an hour and is an independent contractor with room to grow. We are willing to train as well for the right person.
Please submit a sample of writing when you apply. A sample should include one original social media post for a business of your choosing or a sample blog post.
Please email us your resume!
Have you ever had a moment where things in your life just don't "fit" any more? Whether it's something you're doing, the places you go, or even your wardrobe...?
I've been experiencing that with the clothes I wear. Between health issues and working from home full time, it's real easy to get into a rut. It's even easier to not get out of leggings for three days. I'm not against leggings or being comfortable, but there are times when I've wished I could take things to the next level.
Part of the problem is that shopping has always scared me. I was always intimidated by the clerks in the stores, what to try on, what even looks good on me. So at some point, I sort of stopped trying. There is a silver lining.... when I joined my networking group 2 years ago, I was introduced to the fabulous Nancy Dilts Wardrobe Consulting and she's made such an impact on my life. I never knew I could wear the things she's helped me try on. I always felt stuck in a rut. Stuck with what ever clothing fit the fruit my body resembled instead of finding pieces I love and being able to pair them together. What a concept!
If you are looking to gift yourself something amazing this February and give yourself a real boost of confidence, let a consult with Nancy be it! Trust me, you won't be disappointed. Not only is she amazing to work with, Nancy is also one of the nicest humans I've met on this planet. Plus, she helped me pick out this jacket.
Want to get in touch with Nancy? Visit her website.
I'm not one to pick resolutions, it's always seemed weird to me that at the beginning of the year we start new and can reinvent ourselves. That at the stroke of midnight, we somehow get a magic restart. Why not reinvent yourself whenever you need too or start a new goal each day or each week? Why not just strive to be a better version of yourself every day?
One of my clients recently mentioned that she picked a word for the year, to sort of define what the year would mean for her... and that resonated with me. It's like a guiding principle to help keep things in perspective as you reinvent yourself or start new goals. What a concept! I had heard it before, but for some reason, never took to the idea until now.
This year, I've decided my word is "balance". It's not a word I've felt really worked for me, especially in the past year and half. I'm one of those people that works to find balance, it somewhat feels out of reach. Not sure if you can relate. Between all of the things that the world throws us at us, how are we suppose to achieve any sort of balance in life? This year, I think it's something good to work towards and I really feel like it's time.
I'm talking balance of all aspects of my life- work, relationships, health and self-care, travel, all of it! I know it's going to take some work, but I'm up for the challenge.
If you have a word for the year, I'd love to hear it and the reason behind it!
And thank you to Nancy Dilts from Nancy Dilts Wardrobe Consulting for sparking a little creativity.
With all the competition out there, how do you stand out in a crowd? How do you get more views and leads to your company’s website? Many companies have embraced the power of blogs, writing about their businesses, their employees, and things that matter to their brand. How do you know if writing blog posts is right for your website?
What goals are you trying to reach with a blog? Is it to build your online brand? Is it to inspire your potential customers? Or maybe to make a connection with your consumers and seem more accessible and not a faceless corporation. Think about what you would like to achieve and consider if a blog will help you reach that goal.
Blogs can establish online branding. By creating lots of content on the same type of subjects, the more of an expert you and your business can become. Soon people will seek out your blogs to find the latest recommendations or information your company is talking about. Becoming an authority in your market helps to become recognizable, building your online brand.
Reaching people through the power of inspiration. Write blogs about inspiring topics that are important to you and your company. Talk about what your employees are up to and their latest successes. Talk about what your company is doing to help other people, like fundraisers or causes you may be a part of. People love to be inspired and to see that companies they are supporting are doing great things for their communities.
Blogs can personalize your business. By writing blogs, you can show off your company’s personality. People love to feel like they are a part of something. If you are reaching out to customers in a way that they feel like they can connect with, then you’ll create interest and potential loyalty to your business.
Now, with all the positive aspects of creating blogs, are there any downsides? There are always multiple sides to everything we do. Blogs can potentially be a lot of work and are time consuming to actually create the content for, but don’t let that stop you from putting out content. A few things to think about on this front. You should pick a schedule that you can live with and can live up to. If you have limited time, don't worry about writing a weekly blog, instead try out a one time a month schedule. Figure out what works best for your company and the time you have available. Whatever you choose to do, you should absolutely create your own content and don’t link to an external blog. The blog should be incorporated into your website, so that all the traffic drives to your site.
Considering all the pros to writing your own blog, you may also be thinking that writing a blog is just one more thing to stack on my already full plate. If you are in need of assistance and professional guidance, contact Spotlight Business Solutions to see what is right for your business. We’re always happy to help!
-Guest Article written by Kelli Brewer.
Starting a business from home while sharing childcare duties with a partner is already a challenge. There are countless articles, blogs, and hashtags devoted to organizing and managing remote work while parenting children with someone else — but what if you are a single mother? The constant advice given about splitting childcare duties with a partner may not apply in your situation, especially if you have recently separated from your partner or are starting the divorce process, which is overwhelming on many levels.
Single moms can do more than survive their work hours while trying to entertain small children. Read through these tips from Spotlight Business Solutions to learn how to better manage your unique work-life balance as a single mom who is starting a business from home.
Transfer Your Skill Set
Many single working mothers have successfully transferred their corporate skills and other talents to their startup or entrepreneurship endeavor to spend more time with their young children. This is especially true during the pandemic, which has seen a rise in COVIDpreneurs — entrepreneurs who have used the time at home to develop ideas into money-making ventures. Working as a freelance consultant is often ideal for a single working mom who wants to build a successful business from home. Additionally, flexible hours mean you can get jobs done and still be available for your kids when they need you.
For example, if you worked in the medical field, consider writing for medical sites or blogs that translate medical information to simpler terminology to make it easier for people to understand. If you have a background in finance, look into consulting, tax preparation, or other roles that allow you to start a remote freelance business using the skills you have.
You can also refine your skills by going back to school, which can increase your chances of making more money and advancing in your career. Universities like WGU allow you to earn a degree online, so you can complete your education from home while juggling parenthood and business ownership. Degrees like accounting can put you a step ahead from the competition and give you the skills needed to qualify for top positions in business and finance.
Complete Your Legal Paperwork Online
If you’re a COVIDpreneur starting a business from home, you’ve likely already signed your name to dozens of documents. If you haven’t begun to file papers yet, complete this checklist of requirements before the launch of your business. Tips to remember include choosing a catchy name for your business, purchasing your domain name or website address, registering your limited liability company (or other small corporation) with your state, and paying your yearly dues.
Know When to Hire Talent
You may have received advice concerning hiring web designers and digital marketers to begin expanding your business's reach. Hiring these professionals can free up your time for your kids, but refer to your business plan to ensure that you hire the right people at the most effective time. If you don’t have a solid website with regularly published content, you probably don’t need a digital marketer’s help just yet. Similarly, if you understand marketing but your website is a little untidy, consider hiring an expert to elevate your site’s look to a more professional level before you show it to potential clients. Either way, Spotlight Business Solutions can offer you expertise in website design, social media marketing, and a range of other services for your business.
Recruit a Trustworthy Sitter or Nanny
Single moms may find it difficult to care for children in the early stages of starting a business, especially if their children are at home with them all the time. If you notice that you’re feeling frazzled while balancing kids’ activities, crafts, and mealtimes with your new venture, consider hiring help. Even asking a part-time nanny or a teenaged neighbor you trust to stop by for a few hours a week can be lifesaving to parents with no outside assistance. Any of the children’s grandparents who live nearby may be willing to babysit on a regular schedule as well.
Find a Mentor
When branching out on your own to start a business, especially in our disconnected digital age, a mentor is worth her weight in gold. Find one through a network or reach out to someone you know. When possible, look for single parents who can understand your unique position.
An old friend from high school may have just started an online business, or perhaps an acquaintance posts regularly on social media about success with her startup. Reach out to ask for any notes or advice they are willing to offer.
Starting a business from home, whether you wish to freelance, consult, or develop a solid client base, can be done with perseverance and time management. If you go slowly and steadily, you can soon reap the rewards as a COVIDpreneur with a dependable source of income you can count on and continue to build from your home.
Spotlight Business Solutions is dedicated to helping business grow. For more information about our marketing and design services, give us a call at 651-373-1185 or email email@example.com
Amy Lauria, the president of Spotlight Business Solutions, has been working as a digital marketing maven since 2005.