Skip navigation

General Business

4 Posts authored by: marismith

No amount of sophisticated technology will ever take the place of live, in-person connecting. However, the next best thing is video. Especially live video, when possible. I’ve said this for over a decade and it’s never been more true than now, given the incredible access businesses have to video and streaming technologies.

 

As a small business owner, you can really stand out with creative use of video – both recorded and live. The benefits of showcasing your business with more video include:

 

46780956_s.jpg

  • Better tell the stories of your business, founders/owners, staff and customers.
  • Draw your audience in with emotionally connecting videos.
  • Stand out in Facebook and Instagram news feeds. With so much competition for attention, it’s the autoplay feature that catches people’s eye.
  • Facebook has been increasingly favoring video in the news feed and especially recently with the global release of the Watch platform.

 

Facebook is determined to become a destination digital streaming video platform, right up there with YouTube, Netflix and Amazon. Facebook’s video mission is:

 

“Create shared experiences and a sense of belonging through video.”

 

It’s not just about creating and publishing more video content. It’s about building more community and sparking meaningful social interaction with your videos. Now is the perfect time to take advantage of publishing more video content across all your social media channels.

 

I recently teamed up with my favorite video creation tool, Wave.video and conducted a video contest on my Facebook Page. To enter the contest, I asked my audience to share their No. 1 challenge with getting measurable results using video on Facebook. We received over 300 entries, and these were the top five challenges people shared:

 

  • #5. Gear:  Which professional yet affordable lighting, microphone, camera and accessories to use
  • #4. Confidence: How to overcome fears of looking silly, making mistakes, feeling too old and more

  • #3. Differentiation:  How to stand out when it seems everyone is doing a lot of the same things with video
  • #2. Content: Knowing what to say; how to map out an effective content plan
  • #1. Time: How to find the time to create and shoot quality, professional videos for business

 

Speaking of contests, Bank of America recently teamed up with Mastercard for a fabulous contest where one lucky grand prize small business owner will receive $25,000.* To enter, you simply submit a one minute video to www.growyourbizcontest.com, explaining how you plan to grow your business. All submissions will be judged for relevance to the contest theme/question and its expression of both creativity and originality, overall appeal, and entertainment value.  Four finalists will be selected and flown to NYC to present their pitches in front of a panel of judges and live audience on November 8, 2018.

 

Entering this contest is a terrific opportunity to practice your video skills. I suggest sketching out a storyboard of your one minute video first. Less is more. Don’t cram too much in. It’s better to make one clear point, versus packing five points into one minute. Ideally, talk into the camera, looking into the lens. Here are three simple tips for how to frame a talking head.

 

If you’re already clear on your business growth plans, it might be really easy for you to shoot a one minute video. However, remember it can take more time to craft a short, concise message.

 

Easy-to-use video tools abound

 

Time consistently comes up as a challenge when it comes to creating quality video and all social media content, for that matter. However, the good news is there are simple solutions to dramatically speed up the time it takes to create terrific videos.

 

First, compile existing photo and short video clip footage you may already have on your mobile device. Check with your team members, too, for useable footage they may have as well.

 

Then, using a free tool like Adobe Spark (available on both desktop and iOS), you can easily and quickly create eye-catching video montages with text overlay and music. Animoto is another great video tool to create compelling video montages from scratch or using their array of creative templates.

 

You can also take advantage of terrific stock photos, video clips and music. Wave.video includes access to over 200 million premium assets – that’s a vast library! You’ll never be stuck for just the right photo, graphic, illustration, video clip or soundtrack to clearly communicate your brand’s message.

 

Another aspect I especially appreciate about Wave.video is you can simultaneously create multiple video formats. For example, let’s say you create a landscape version of your video for sharing on Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn. And then export the square version for Instagram and Twitter. And the 9:16 vertical version for an Instagram or Facebook Story – organic Story and/or Story ad. Plus, there’s even a Facebook Page covering video aspect ratio.

 

So, by taking one video concept, you can quickly create multiple variations and repurpose that same video for a successful cohesive campaign and save a huge amount of time. Then, when you launch a promotional campaign using your video content, your videos literally start popping up everywhere and your audiences across your various social channels will pay more attention.

 

To address some of the other challenges with creating video content mentioned earlier, do take a look at my new 3-part Video Success Kit with super helpful free resources!

 

Are You a Small Business Owner Interested in Winning $25,000?*

 

Entrepreneurs will receive the chance to win $25,000 when they enter Mastercard’s Grow Your Biz Contest. To enter the Grow Your Biz Contest, small business owners must answer the simple question, “How will you grow your small business?” by submitting a video up to 1-minute long online . Four finalists will pitch their business to the Grow Your Biz Panel in New York City on 11/8/18 for the opportunity to win $25,000 and small business-expert consultation. Learn more at www.growyourbizcontest.com.

Facebook Live video broadcasting began rolling out in August 2015. Since then, Facebook has been aggressively pushing a video-first approach for the platform, ultimately competing in the streaming video-on-demand space alongside Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, YouTube, Twitch and more.

 

However, most businesses struggle to properly embrace live video broadcasting due to concerns of time, effort and resources. In fact, Buffer conducted a study that found:

66837551_s.jpg

 

              Forty-three percent of marketers said they’d create more live videos if there were no obstacles like time, resources and budget. [Source: Buffer]

 

Yes, it does take time to map out your live video strategy, storyboard the content, decide which talent will be on camera, choose your streaming tool, create a compelling offer and more. And then, there’s no guarantee your livestream will actually generate business results.

 

However, help is at hand. Let me open your eyes to the various ways you could easily integrate Facebook live video broadcasts that will yield a measurable increase in your lead generation, sales conversion and revenue. And, if you start with the end in mind and keep your eye on the prize, you’ll be much more motivated to take the leap into doing more live video.

 

Generate leads by connecting to a chatbot

 

When you do your Facebook Live broadcasts, you can schedule them as much as seven days in advance using any one of several third-party tools, including BeLive.tv, BlueJeans Network, Zoom, Ecamm Live or Wirecast.

 

Once scheduled, you then connect the scheduled Live post on your Facebook business Page wall to a Messenger chatbot.

 

                         RELATED CONTENT: How to Use Facebook Groups to Build a Loyal Community

 

My favorite chatbot tool is Mobile Monkey. One of the nifty features is Comment Guard, allowing you to send an automated message to your audience when they comment on your posts. This allows you to also message those who opt in to your bot. At first, you’ll have Messenger contacts and you can then begin an automated or human dialog and request their email address and phone number.

 

                         RELATED CONTENT: Facebook Messenger Chatbots Give Small Business Owners an Edge

Sell your products or services

       

It’s perfectly fine to do a live video broadcast on Facebook, add value at first and then make special offers. For example, lead an educational session anywhere from twenty minutes to an hour, but be sure to intersperse your special offer throughout your broadcast, every 8-10 minutes is just fine. You’ll find the audience on Facebook tends to drop in and out. Ideally, have some text overlay on screen during your broadcast with details of your offer. Any of the Facebook live platforms mentioned above allow you to have on-screen text overlays.

 

Test everything ahead of time. Set up your Facebook Shop or use Shopify as a great online shopping tool. Selling your own products or services is one of the easiest and simplest ways to monetize your Facebook Live videos.

 

Promote affiliate offers

 

Perhaps you have affiliate relationships set up with companies where you receive commission in exchange for promoting their products. This is totally fine to do on Facebook, including live broadcasts. You will need to use the handshake icon to indicate a ‘Branded Partner’ relationship. Software as a Service firms (known as SaaS) or subscription companies are great for affiliate relations as the payout is recurring.

 

Be a brand ambassador

 

This is one of my favorite methods of monetizing Facebook Live broadcasts. You establish paid relations with companies you love and from which your audience would derive value. Again, SaaS or digital tool companies are great here.

 

Think about what companies offer products or services that would be complimentary to what you do.  What problems/challenges does your audience face that you could help solve? What products/services/apps/platforms are you already using?

 

Here’s an example broadcast I recently did on my Facebook Page.

 

You’ll need to use the Branded Content tool for any brand ambassador content. The cool part about doing brand ambassador work is you may be eligible to sign up for Facebook’s Brand Collabs Manager feature where you build a portfolio to showcase your content and attract more potential deals.

 

Attract show sponsors

 

If you’re set up to broadcast on Facebook Live on a regular basis, then you’re in a great position to begin seeking show sponsors. This could simply be in the way of “brought to you by…,” or, “in partnership with…”. Or, depending on your show type, perhaps you’ll have product placements, just like you see on television. Again, you’ll need to use the Branded Content tool.

 

What are potential show sponsors looking for? Exposure, visibility, brand awareness, qualified leads and paying customers. Sponsors will be seeking a close match to their target audience. Ideally you are set up for “appointment TV,” that is you have episodic broadcasts that typically air once a week or more.

 

Conduct live auctions

 

Some businesses might lend themselves well to doing real-time auctions. For example, direct-sales women’s clothing company LuLaRoe has grown from 300 sellers in the US to 80,000 in just four years. This rapid growth has predominantly come from pop-up parties and live auctions using Facebook Live!

 

Get Facebook ads rev-share

 

I’m including this potential live video monetization opportunity here… but it could be a ways off for many businesses. Facebook does have an ad revenue-sharing program in place but it’s taking longer than anticipated to gain real traction. Time will tell. Of course, the ad rev-share model has done really well for YouTubers and eventually monetization through rev-share of Facebook video ads will pay off.

 

Remember, you can ‘go live’ anywhere on Facebook – your personal profile or business page, or any group you belong to, or any public event. Also, you can choose to broadcast live through the Stories feature on Facebook and Instagram.

 

                         RELATED CONTENT: 5 Ideas to Use Instagram Stories to Drive Small Business Growth                     

 

Use Facebook Live regularly. Facebook is giving priority to video content, including live video broadcasts, especially when you use the Creator App and/or when you broadcast live through Stories as well.

 

Set up cross-posting relationships. This feature allows you to automatically access videos from mutually approved pages and publish as a fresh post, but the video views are aggregated. This feature is now also available for Live videos and can help increase reach.

 

About Mari Smith

 

mari_0362xFACE_preview.jpg

Often referred to as “the Queen of Facebook,” Mari Smith is considered one of the world’s foremost experts on Facebook marketing and social media. She is a Forbes’ Top Social Media Power Influencer, author of The New Relationship Marketing and coauthor of Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day. Forbes recently described Mari as, “… the preeminent Facebook expert. Even Facebook asks for her help.” She is a recognized Facebook Partner; Facebook headhunted and hired Mari to lead the Boost Your Business series of live events across the US. Mari is an in-demand speaker, and travels the world to keynote and train at major events.

 

Her digital marketing agency provides professional speaking, training and consulting services on Facebook and Instagram marketing best practices for Fortune 500 companies, brands, SMBs and direct sales organizations. Mari is also an expert webinar and live video broadcast host, and she serves as Brand Ambassador for numerous leading global companies.

 

Web: Mari Smith  or Twitter: @MariSmith

You can read more articles from Mari Smith by clicking here

 

Bank of America, N.A. engages with Mari Smith to provide informational materials for your discussion or review purposes only. Mari Smith is a registered trademark, used pursuant to license. The third parties within articles are used under license from Mari Smith. Consult your financial, legal and accounting advisors, as neither Bank of America, its affiliates, nor their employees provide legal, accounting and tax advice.

Facebook offers small business owners an unprecedented opportunity to reach your ideal target market with your message. With the right Facebook ad format, creative and offer, you can easily drive more foot traffic and website traffic to your business. Managed properly, your ad campaigns can yield incredible results, including generating more highly qualified prospects that convert into increased sales and profits.

 

If you are not optimizing all Facebook offers with its wide array of campaign objectives, targeting parameters, placements and ad formats, this article is for you. We’ll specificallyhone in on the best performing formats and placements.

101835018_s.jpg

 

Currently, there are over 80 million business pages on Facebook. Out of which, only six million use Facebook for advertising.

 

If you are among the 74 million businesses not taking advantage of Facebook ads, you likely fall into one of two camps:

 

      1. You’ve tried Facebook ads and were disappointed with the results. Perhaps you ran a few campaigns and didn’t get the ROI you were expecting. Thus, you’ve decided Facebook ads don’t work (for your business).
      2. You’ve never placed a Facebook ad and don’t really know where to start. Perhaps you’re overwhelmed with all the options and afraid of losing money. And/or you may be hoping that your organic marketing strategy will pay off.

 

 

The good news: There’s never been a better time to start using Facebook ads to grow your business.

 

12 Facebook Ad Formats

 

Facebook offers the following 12 different ad formats for promoting your message to your target market. This list is in my recommended order for both best performing and level of complexity, from easiest to more complex.

 

  1. Video – Tell your story with sight, sound and motion. Show off product features, and draw people in. The auto-play movement catches people’s eye. Video is one of the best performing ad types as Facebook is giving high priority to video content in the News Feed.
  2. Image – Use a beautiful image to convey your message. Drive people to a destination website or app through high-quality visuals. Image ads with a link work really well on Instagram in particular, given it’s such a visual platform.
  3. Lead Generation – Lead ads on Facebook and Instagram help you collect contact information from people interested in your business. A lead ad is presented using an image, video, or carousel, and followed by a lead form when the user engages with the ad. Facebook’s tagline for Lead Ads is, “Tap, tap, done.” It’s that simple for the user.
  4. Messenger – Get people to start conversations with your business. This format is particularly effective when you have a Messenger chatbot [BE2][GK3] hooked up to your Facebook Page. Plus, people seeing your ad don’t have to leave Facebook to interact with you. Well, they hop out to Messenger and then right back to scrolling through their Facebook feed!
  5. Slideshow – This ad format is a lightweight looping video of up to 15 seconds long, using between 3-10 of your own images or Facebook’s stock images available via Shutterstock. The simple slideshow format doesn’t take up as much streaming data to play, which helps to reach people across connection speeds.
  6. Carousel – This is a lovely format that allows you to showcase up to ten images and/or videos within a single ad, each with its own link. This format performs well on both Facebook and Instagram.
  7. Offers – Create a special discount to share with your customers on Facebook. You can design your offer ad to appear as an image, video, or carousel.
  8. Event Responses – Use this ad format to promote awareness of your event and drive responses. Event ads can be a single image or video. I recommend video.
  9. Collection – Encourage your prospects to shop by displaying a variety of items from your product catalog—customized for each individual. Definitely a more advanced ad format, and essential for ecommerce stores.
  10. Dynamic – Promote all the products in your catalog to the right people, automatically. Also incredibly effective for ecommerce stores.
  11. Canvas – This beautiful, immersive format lets people open a full-screen, mobile-optimized experience instantly from your ad. I don’t see too many of this ad type; usually bigger brands put the time and effort needed into creating this format.
  12. Page Likes – I put this one last on purpose. If your Facebook Page is really new with not that many likes (fans), or you’ve reached a plateau in fan growth and wish to build your audience, then Page Likes ads could be a good choice. Page Likes ads can be with a video or an image. However, I will say that Page Likes ads should be a low priority in your marketing mix. It’s best to invest your advertising dollars to place your message in front of your exact target audience. Otherwise, you’ll end up paying to get more likes, and then paying again to reach them.

 

Small businesses should first focus on these 3 Facebook ad formats

 

If you are new to Facebook ads, the three formats I recommend focusing on for best performance are video, lead generation and Messenger.

 

For video ads, upload native video content to your wall first and also broadcast using Facebook Live. Then amplify reach with the Video Views objective. But, before you place your video ad (boost your video content) make sure you’ve included a strong call to action and a link, or Messenger button.

 

For almost all ad formats, you can include a link to drive people to your website to learn more about your business or special offer.

 

You’ll want to run many split tests when driving people off of Facebook. Ideally, send people to a very simple landing page with no extraneous buttons. Just a clean, simple offer to sign up with their name/email/phone number or to make a purchase. Make sure you have Facebook Pixel installed on your landing pages.

 

To learn from real businesses of all sizes generating amazing results with their Facebook ads, visit Facebook’s Success Stories.

 

In future articles, I’ll be walking you through additional aspects of how to get solid results with Facebook ads.

 

 

About Mari Smith

 

mari_0362xFACE_preview.jpg

Often referred to as “the Queen of Facebook,” Mari Smith is considered one of the world’s foremost experts on Facebook marketing and social media. She is a Forbes’ Top Social Media Power Influencer, author of The New Relationship Marketing and coauthor of Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day. Forbes recently described Mari as, “… the preeminent Facebook expert. Even Facebook asks for her help.” She is a recognized Facebook Partner; Facebook headhunted and hired Mari to lead the Boost Your Business series of live events across the US. Mari is an in-demand speaker, and travels the world to keynote and train at major events.

 

Her digital marketing agency provides professional speaking, training and consulting services on Facebook and Instagram marketing best practices for Fortune 500 companies, brands, SMBs and direct sales organizations. Mari is also an expert webinar and live video broadcast host, and she serves as Brand Ambassador for numerous leading global companies.

 

Web: Mari Smith  or Twitter: @MariSmith

You can read more articles from Mari Smith by clicking here

 

Bank of America, N.A. engages with Mari Smith to provide informational materials for your discussion or review purposes only. Mari Smith is a registered trademark, used pursuant to license. The third parties within articles are used under license from Mari Smith. Consult your financial, legal and accounting advisors, as neither Bank of America, its affiliates, nor their employees provide legal, accounting and tax advice.

Facebook has been facing tremendous pressure and media attention as the company has come under fire due to data third-party app companies have been able to access.

 

The discovery and exposure has caused Facebook to roll out a number of sweeping changes to its data policy, user terms and privacy settings. This is a good thing. But, the data breach concerns have also caused significant unrest among users in the business community.


As a small business owner, what can you do to address privacy concerns among your community?

 

1. Craft a public statement about measures your company takes to protect privacy.

 

  • With consumer emotions running high right now regarding data protection and privacy, you can empathize with your audience96497415_s.jpg and quell tension.
  • Even a simple statement about how much you value your customers and audience, and what your company does to protect their data, would go a long way to deepen trust.
  • Consider publishing this statement on your Facebook Page as a wall post, as well as in your About section – and on your website.

 

2. Lead by example and take this opportunity to strengthen relationships with your audience.

 

  • Review your company’s own privacy policy. Is it clear and up to date? Is it obvious where to find your policy when visitors come to your website and enter their email address or make a purchase?
  • If you have a physical store, are your privacy terms clearly on display for customers?
  • Email your database. Let them know how much you value their trust in you. Communicate clearly what your company does to protect your customers’ data. Include a link to your privacy/data protection policy and terms.

 

3. Review the settings on your company’s Facebook business Page.

 

  • Check any third-party apps that have access to your Page. To do so: click Settings at the top of your Page, and then click Apps. Remove any app you no longer use or that you no longer want. Ensure that you remove these by clicking the ‘x.’ Then, double check any apps on public display by first viewing your main Page and look at the tabs down the left. Next, navigate to Settings > Edit Page and click on the ‘Settings’ button next to any tab you wish to toggle off. (There may be some apps you wish to keep connected, but just not on public display for now).
  • Consider certain restrictions. Everything you publish on your business Page is public by default and there is no way to change this. However, you may wish to set country and age restrictions to control who can see and like your Page. Click Settings at the top of your Page. Under General, go to Country Restrictions and click Edit. Choose the options you prefer, then click the Save Changes button. Do the same for Age Restrictions, if applicable.

 

If you were already utilizing Facebook’s ad products, you should definitely continue doing so. Facebook is tightening up data access and reducing some targeting parameters. However, Facebook ads still provide exceptional capabilities and can yield tremendous results.

 

If appropriate, you might also communicate to your audience that you advertise on Facebook and plan to continue doing so. Help your audience understand the measures that Facebook is now taking to help protect their data and significantly restrict third party access going forward.

 

The more you can educate your audience about the measures your business already takes to protect their data, the more you can foster trust and earn customer satisfaction.

 

About Mari Smith

mari_0362xFACE_preview.jpg

Often referred to as “the Queen of Facebook,” Mari Smith is considered one of the world’s foremost experts on Facebook marketing and social media. She is a Forbes’ Top Social Media Power Influencer, author of The New Relationship Marketing and coauthor of Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day. Forbes recently described Mari as, “… the preeminent Facebook expert. Even Facebook asks for her help.” She is a recognized Facebook Partner; Facebook headhunted and hired Mari to lead the Boost Your Business series of live events across the US. Mari is an in-demand speaker, and travels the world to keynote and train at major events.

 

Her digital marketing agency provides professional speaking, training and consulting services on Facebook and Instagram marketing best practices for Fortune 500 companies, brands, SMBs and direct sales organizations. Mari is also an expert webinar and live video broadcast host, and she serves as Brand Ambassador for numerous leading global companies.

 

Web: Mari Smith  or Twitter: @MariSmith

You can read more articles from Mari Smith by clicking here

 

Bank of America, N.A. engages with Mari Smith to provide informational materials for your discussion or review purposes only. Mari Smith is a registered trademark, used pursuant to license. The third parties within articles are used under license from Mari Smith. Consult your financial, legal and accounting advisors, as neither Bank of America, its affiliates, nor their employees provide legal, accounting and tax advice.

Filter Article

By tag: