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You can Improve your Customer Engagement By 30% With Videos

drive engagement with customers using videoIf you’re launching a new product, what’s the marketing goal? To get people to sign up? Or to get people to actually use the product? Real time statistics are being collected all the time, with some studies showing that actual sales and customer engagement through a website’s product pages increased from 30% and more when using video.

They’re not the same thing. In fact, About 75% of users download an app, use it once, and never use it again. What’s worse, 90% stop using it after a week and nearly 98% drop it after a month.

Why does this happen? Why are people so eager to use an app one minute, then so discouraged the next?

App functionality and poor design are part of it. But the bigger issue is that users never fully appreciate the value of the app. Think about the difference between a Ferrari and a Camry. In first gear, they drive pretty much the same. But the true value of the Ferrari is in how it performs as you climb the ladder.

So while your app or product may have functionality that blows your competitors away;

If you don’t show your users how to utilize that functionality or use your product, they’ll never appreciate the difference between it and your competitors.

What’s that all mean from a video marketing standpoint?

You can’t focus all your energy and dollars on one explainer video with the simple goal of acquiring users. You also need to create content that encourages those people to keep using the product after they’ve signed up.

What kind of video content do we mean? Here are three great options:

Onboarding video

Otherwise known as a product walk-through or tutorial, onboarding videos can be an effective way to get users comfortable with using your app, and showcase your best features. The key is to choose your content wisely. You don’t want to walk them through every possible action they could take, including the basic ones that they can figure out on their own. (You don’t need a video to understand how a sign-up page works.) Rather, focus on the most important steps – like if your app requires users to swipe a certain way on certain screens, explain that clearly.

Just try not to be too dry. Bad onboarding videos feel like you’re sitting in a class. Good ones feel like you’re listening to a friend. Like what we did with Slack.

‘Why?’ series

Let’s say your app has a lot of cool features that really set it apart from the rest. Even if your users are aware of what they are, they might not fully appreciate why they should use them.

That’s where a ‘Why?’ series – ‘Why Instant Sharing?’, ‘Why Direct Shopping?’, etc. – could be really helpful. It allows you to do two things: remind users that your app does a lot of cool things, and clearly explain the benefits that those features provide. Without it, you’re just hoping that users will discover that value on their own as they’re tinkering with the app. And if those engagement drop-off statistics tell you anything, it’s that users don’t tinker for long.

FAQ series

Obviously, you want your app to be as intuitive as possible. But inevitably, users will run into certain issues. At those moments, it’s absolutely imperative that you give them clear, quick guidance, otherwise they will get frustrated and drop you.

Enter the FAQ series. If you have solid analytics tools and a decent amount of user feedback, you’ll have a good idea what questions users typically have when using your app. So don’t wait for them to ask you. Answer them with concise, easy-to-watch videos that are always nearby. Just make sure you label them clearly – ‘How do I set up push notifications?’ – and limit them to one topic per video. Just give them what they need and move on.


And remember:

Video marketing isn’t a one-time thing. It’s all about having a continuous conversation with your customers and developing a long-term relationship.

And like with any solid relationship, the more considerate and personal you are, the more loyal the other person will be.


How Facebook has caught up to YouTube – In less than 3 Years!!

facebookVSyoutubeThere is a lot of noise lately regarding video. And the cacophony will continue to get louder as Facebook and others take every increasing bites out of YouTube’s golden apple.

The battle is heating up, as marketing videos become an even more mainstream component of business marketing. It’s not ISIS versus Western culture, however it is a business war that is being waged as part of the changing world of Video Marketing. (Check the new Video Marketing 2.0 podcast)

What is this stealth war that we’re talking about here? It’s a war of two behemoths of the Internet. Facebook vs. Google. According to Nick Cicero of MarketingLand writes – it’s a bout of epic proportions. It’s the war for your online attention. It’s a battle for advertising dollars.

Make no mistake about it; Facebook is waging battle with YouTube. They aim to be the biggest source for online video views. And they are getting there quickly.

Facebook recently announced that it had served up around 4 Billion video views a day in April 2015!
According to a recent article in Fortune, that’s up from 3 Billion in January and just 1 Billion in September 2014.

With close to 1.4 Billion active Facebook users that translates to over 2 video views per day per Facebook active user per day!!!

That’s a lot of content. That’s a lot of data to be mined. That’s a lot of potential for businesses to tell their stories, promote their products and sell their services through video.

These video battles are being fought on different planes at this point because of the different nature of the two Internet platforms. YouTube’s platform has been quite static for some time. It is a platform that basically does ‘show and tell’. All the sharing is done through external links. On the other hand, Facebook’s platform is completely built around engagement and sharing.

The measurements of success are different as well. The most often cited metric is the number of views, but the core KPI’s are different. YouTube’s big pull is the SEO component. It is heads and shoulders above other video sites with an estimated 8 out of 10 videos on Google Web search coming from YouTube and the remainder from Vimeo, Dailymotion and others. But that number is deceiving because videos directly uploaded to Facebook don’t appear in Google search because Google can’t crawl and index them.

Facebook appears to be less interested in SEO as the big drawing point for advertisers. Rather they are interested in make money from ads and not just data mining. And they understand that the more they can provide real big data analytics based on video viewership patterns, the more they can grow revenue.

This big data personalization allows Facebook to show people the most relevant videos. That’s manna to advertisers.
Which is why the launch of the new Videos tab in the page insights can be the game changer for Facebook. This tab will allow publishers to better track the performance of videos across data ranges.

With the News Feed feature, Facebook has free reign to place whatever videos it wants in this feed. The more it knows what you care about the more they can feed you what you will inevitably watch. That’s the essence of Facebook business model.

It appears that Facebook gets the world of Video Marketing 2.0. They understand that businesses need and want to make money using video to support their brands. And they want to do it with quality, analytics and a platform that is integrated and easy to use.

So what about YouTube? Are they just going to roll over dead and let Big Bad Facebook eat their lunch? Highly unlikely – rather, we will probably see some significant changes in the months to come.


How Business Runs on Time

The concept and measurement of time is a uniquely human experience. And it has taken over the world of business. Time management is now an essential business skill.

However, nature has its own clock, powered by the rotation of the earth on its axis and around the sun. Flowers bloom, leaves fall off the trees in autumn, bears go into hibernation. Football season blends into basketball season blends into baseball season and starts the cycle all over again. And alas – yet again the city of Cleveland is left to see time expire on another championship quest.

Business is obsessed with time. More specifically with the measurement of time. Animals aren’t. Yes they have a ‘biological’ clock, but they don’t get uptight if the internet connection is slow, email is taking forever to download or people show up late for the weekly management meeting.

The World of Business Runs on Time
In our fast paced work of business, we don’t have the time to wait. In business we feel the necessity to harness time. We have to manage it. We have to make it work for us. Granted, without a constant awareness or even a measurement of time, many businesses could not function. Subway trains, airlines – anything dependent on a fixed schedule. salivdordalit

On a micro level the measurement of time is crucial and important in so many aspects of business technology and those modern processes that we live by. But on a macro level, are we better off? Does business actually run better the more we obsess over time?

Time is to business like water is to California. A finite commodity that needs to be used effectively.

Is that the reason that we are wired in all the time, forever multi tasking? Or has the technology we’ve developed just added another reason or method to squeeze an extra something out of our day? Heaven forbid that we don’t cram an extra tweet, Facebook post or message into our day.

Does Efficiency always mean Good Business?
Now, efficiency, which is just a shorter way of saying ‘good use of time’ is critical for proper use of business assets. But it’s not the entire picture. Being a slave to the almighty clock is no panacea for good business. It will often lead to greater errors in judgement, a reduction in quality, poor employee morale and a host of other problems that eventually lead to reduced profits. Time puts a premium on quantity over quality.

It reminds me of the famous I Love Lucy scene at the candy factory. The bosses wanted more throughput in less time. The results were not pretty.

It’s common knowledge that we experience time in different manners. How often have you felt that a business meeting is just dragging on forever? How often have you said to yourself at work – “When will this day ever end?”?

or other times, we can’t understand how quickly time has passed by. “Gosh – where did the day go??

Time is elastic, like the famous Salivador Dali painting, and we all feel it differently. Which is an important concept to grasp, especially when managing for time.

We need to understand that we are humans, not machines. Our bodies and minds need to refresh. That’s why it’s important to ‘disconnect’ throughout the day and not always be bowing down at the alter of Time Management.

Making time more elastic gives us the power to think better, work better and be more efficient.

Courtney Seiter summed it up nicely in her blog – “The Science of Taking Breaks at Work” . Andrew Rosen also explains it in “The Importance of Taking a Break at Work“.

And Rhett Power wrote about not being a workaholic in a recent article in Inc. Magazine – “5 Reasons Why You Need to Take a Break

What to Do About Time?
Since we surround ourselves with the measurement of Time it is almost impossible to escape it. We have time clocks available on our cell phones, computers, TV, Car. Radio and TV stations give us the news on the hour, the half hour or even more often. And now wearables are the next big thing.

We can get away from this mental addiction. It’s not a physical addiction, like coffee and caffeine. It’s difficult, but not impossible to change habits. And I promise it will make you happier – and more efficient.

I’m not suggesting to live in a cave or dungeon with only artificial light. But, imagine not looking at a clock for 24 hours. Do you think you could do it?

Start small – don’t take your phone with your everywhere. Or if you wear a watch, leave it at your desk or home for a day. Try to reduce the number of times you ‘peak’ at the clock on your computer screen or on your car dashboard. You’ll quickly find out that your body will adapt and you’ll actually feel the time of day intuitively.

Or as Salvador Dali so insightfully showed us – time is elastic. Just go with the flow.

The 5 Second Rule in Business

Remember the 5 second rule about eating food that’s fallen on the floor? Well it applies to business as well. You have 5 seconds to get my attention before I go elsewhere. About the time it takes to read a 140 character tweet, sometimes less.

Forget the tagline. Forget the elevator pitch. Forget the long winded mission statement.

5 Seconds. You’d better be concise, exact and smart in how you use those precious moments.

Don’t believe me? Here’s a test. Go to YouTube and open up any video. 5 seconds is the length of time that YouTube video ads play before you can skip them altogether.

Just think how often you have actually clicked on that Skip button to switch off the promotional video ad after the 5 seconds are up. Those video ads are an annoyance unless the message, images and most importantly the visuals are compelling. (See examples at the end of this post for some award winning ads – find out if you would continue to watch them after 5 seconds ).

Here’s a true story. Years ago when I first started my first entrepreneurial venture, one of my mentors forced me to distill the essence of my business and my value proposition into three different ‘elevator’ pitches. One was the short one – the length of time for people to wait for and enter into an elevator before the doors closed. A longer one – the length of time to go from the first floor to the third floor. And the longest one – when you know you’ll be riding in the elevator for a good length of time and have a captive audience.

In short – a 15 second, a 30 second and a 60 second version. Sound familiar? The cliché’ of the elevator pitch is ingrained in our vernacular.

Well – I’m here to tell you that it’s old news. You don’t have 15 seconds anymore. Certainly not 30 seconds. No one has time to read your short synopsis. They want to see it, hear it and get hooked in 5 seconds of less or they press their internal Skip button.

It’s not Twitter that has done this to us, even though 140 characters forces one to get to the point. It’s Youtube . Thank you very much Google. My ADD has just gotten worse.

Go on – give it a try – talk to yourself in the mirror. Can you get tell a compelling message in 5 or 10 seconds?

And don’t give me the excuse that you have a ‘simple business’ with a ‘complicated message’. Your potential customer doesn’t care. They are not interested in your complicated message. They want it real. If you can’t give them something in 5 seconds that gets them to want to hear more, then you’ve got homework to do.

Albert Einstein once said “if you can’t explain it simply you don’t understand it well enough”. The same thing with your 5 second pitch. If you can’t distill your business message down to it’s bare naked essentials then you have some verbal surgery to do.

And make it visual. Image, graphics or even a video tells your story a lot quicker. People grasp it more effectively with graphics. Show me your story – Just don’t make me read too much.

Add some intrigue. Add some humor. Add some gamification. Get me hooked. Lead me to the watering hole where I can drink up more of what you have to offer.

Here are some examples of video ads that entice you to keep watching beyond 5 seconds.

Here’s a short list of what to include in the first 5 seconds of your pitch.

1. Paint a verbal picture (if this is a video – then show images) of why your business should be of interest to your target audience.

2. Include ‘hook’ language – for example expressions like “Follow along”, “I’ll reveal soon”, “Let me show you” and other words that make people want to stay for more.

3. Get to the Why quickly. Let people know why they should care and quickly lead them to find out What it is that you have to offer.

Todays take-away: Learn to create a concise message about your business that gets people hooked quickly.


Change is a skill that can be learned

“Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change” .. Stephen Hawking

I’m a sucker for historical movies and TV series of any type. What I find is that there is much wisdom to be gleaned from looking backwards with a critical eye. Lately I’ve been watching Downton Abbey, the British TV series about the an aristocratic English family set in the 1920’s . 

I’ve been writing and podcasting about innovation and the effects of technology on our society and as such I paid special heed to a dialogue in a recent episode between Mrs. Hughes, the head housekeeper and Carson, the chief butler. What Mrs. Hughes said is so apt to today’s world, a full 90 years removed from the time period of that episode.
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Innovation is not a solo sport

innovationThere is no doubt that in our modern society innovators and entrepreneurs are held in high esteem. We consider individuals who possess these skills as the up-and-coming champions of business.

The truth is that very rarely does real innovation or entrepreneurship happen in a vacuum. Of course, there are those famous ‘brain flashes’ and ‘strokes of genius’ – the “Eureka” moments of inspiration.  More often than not, true innovation is a process that combines inspiration, group input and the right environment for it to flourish. It is not a “Solo Sport”.

What is more commonplace is that innovation – and as a corollary – entrepreneurship – are products of incrementalism. They are the byproduct of small and constant changes and tweaks. Read more

Innovation is getting too pricey

Innovation may actually be stifled by the inflation in start-up business valuations from venture capital firms. Instead of concentrating on commercialization and revenue growth, the game of innovation start ups has changed to who can amass the most money the quickest. Capitalization versus commercialization is deemed more important.

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Does your business have Clout?

Do you dominant your core target marketplace? Would you even know how to measure if your have the amount of clout that you think you have or want to have? By Clout – I mean a measurable yardstick by which to gauge the effectiveness of your marketing and business efforts.

For those that have read my book Top Ten ways to Build Business Abs, you will know that two of the top ten core business abs are (a) using correct measurement techniques and  (b) knowing how and when to exit a particular business.

This post though is about a company called Klout and the clout they built for themselves by sticking to their core added value propositEBOOK 3D COVER copy 2 - 300 x 417 pixelsion. Read more

What is your Business Velocity? Are you growing too fast?

Here’s a surprising truth that is tough to accept. Nevertheless it’s true.

Running too fast can slow you down.

That’s right – A fast growing business can come to a screeching halt in the blink of an eye.

Why you might ask.

Simply – If you don’t focus on fundamentals – they will eventually catch up to you. Even though your business may seem to be running on high rpm’s. The long term successful companies are those that take the time to concentrate on core business fundamentals.

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