Monthly Archives: December 2016

Content Roundup – 2017 Marketing Predictions Edition

There are two kinds of people in the world: Those who look forward, and those who would rather look back.

If you’re a digital marketer, odds are you’re a dyed-in-the-wool forward-looker. You’re constantly on the alert for what’s new and what’s next, the trends that will give you an edge over your competition and help you gain a greater share of your audience’s attention. It’s this drive to move forward that makes you a really really ridiculously good marketer.

But in all this hustle toward the next big thing, it’s important that we don’t forget to look back. The past has so much to teach us! Not only can we draw inspiration from what’s worked before, we can also learn what doesn’t work – and avoid those mistakes in our own marketing efforts.

So before you get swept up in the excitement and promise of your 2017 initiatives, take a few minutes to check out the content below. You’ll find some incredible articles that will help you get a jump on 2017’s marketing and technology trends – alongside content that highlights the best 2016 had to offer.

explainify content roundup - 2017 marketing predictions

This first post is a 2017 prediction powerhouse. SnapApp collected the thoughts of a whopping 73 experts – including content marketing royalty like Joe Pulizzi and Sujan Patel – who offer their take on where digital marketing is headed over the next 12 months.

73 Experts Reveal B2B Marketing Trends to Leverage in 2017 (SnapApp)


73 experts’ worth of predictions not enough for you? We’ve got you covered. In this next post, the CEO of Smart Insights identifies 14 digital marketing “megatrends” that you need to be prepared for this year.

Digital Marketing Trends for 2017 (Smart Insights)


It’s been estimated that nearly 3 million blog posts are published every single day. But while you won’t want for new content in 2017, that doesn’t mean you should forget the marketing wisdom that’s come before. Here, Jay Baer remembers some of his favorite blog posts from 2016. We’re humbled and honored to have one of our posts included among them!

Your 10 Favorite Blog Posts in 2016 (Convince and Convert)

 

Explainify Case Study - Video Marketing


Of course, it’s not just existing strategies, tactics, and channels that will change next year. New technologies are constantly changing what’s possible in digital marketing. The businesses who understand that – and do something about it – will be unstoppable.

Technology trends that will transform content marketing in 2017 (The Next Web)


We wanted to finish this roundup with one of our favorite posts to write every year. We stand by our own animation chops, but we know that there are some truly phenomenal production houses out there – and we respect the hell out of them. So here it is: Our homage to animation, and our celebration of the best business videos to come out of 2016.

The Best Explainer Video of 2016: Our Top Picks (Explainify)


Well, it’s time for this DeLorean ride to come to an end. Now get out there and show 2017 how it’s done!

CaseComplete is just one of many clients we've helped succeed! See how we helped them increase lead conversions by over 20%!

The Best Explainer Video of 2016: Our Top Picks

2016 was a crazy year, but you made it through! Odds are, you’re already looking forward to January and the chance to start fresh.

But let’s be honest: 2016 wasn’t all bad. In fact, there’s more than enough to celebrate, especially in the world of video marketing!

As we looked back over the year in animation, we realized that this year has seen some of the most beautiful explainer videos produced to date. So, to end the year strong, we put together a list of our 10 favorite explainer videos made this year. They’re beautiful, they’re creative, and they bring a new level of artistry to the marketing game.

Excited yet? Here we go!

  1. What If: Innovation Florida (Oliver Sin)

This video is proof that explainer videos aren’t just for business anymore. Any organization with a story tell can tap into the power of gorgeous visuals and great storytelling. Like the government nonprofit Innovation Florida. In this video, they use beautiful animation to cast a compelling vision for the future of their state.

  1. Postly (Untime Studio)

Sometimes, animation makes you feel things. And this year, Postly gets the award for the most feels. Lifelike characters and elegant motion bring this sweet story to life. Besides, who doesn’t love a sweet little grandma?

  1. Demo Duck: Video for Any Mission (Demo Duck)

We’ve got some great friends in the explainer video space, and the folks at Demo Duck are some of our favorite. One thing we love about them is that they’re not afraid to get a little quirky – like in their new homepage video. They blend an awesome variety of animation styles with a fun and unexpected musical number. Try not to get it stuck in your head!

  1. Wine Country Gift Baskets (VeracityColab)

Speaking of friends in the video marketing world – when it comes to VeracityColab, we’re total fanboys. And this video’s no different. Veracity puts a new spin on customer testimonials. Along with professionally recorded customer stories, Veracity uses animation to create a elegant collage of inspiring scenes. Plus, their use of perspective and focus is unforgettable.

  1. IRIS (ThinkMojo, Inc.)

This is just a great explainer video, plain and simple. Soft colors, whimsical visuals, and crystal clear messaging combine in this video to make the future of investing seem that much brighter.

  1. Panasonic LinkRay (Explainify)

We’re not here to brag, but we had to share this one. Panasonic trusted us to tell a powerful story about their forthcoming LinkRay LED technology, and they love the results! We hope you do, too.

  1. TraQtion (Zublime)

There’s no law written in stone that says B2B videos have to be boring. In fact, we think they shouldn’t be! Apparently, the folks at TraQtion agree. With a script that features words like “super done” and “eeks” – and a character who does ninja moves – this is one B2B video that isn’t buttoned up.

  1. Quadro (ILLO)

We love minimal design, and this explainer video from Quadro definitely qualifies. There’s never more than a graphic or two on screen at any given time, and they don’t even use full hands to show people typing on keyboards – just fingers. And it totally works!

  1. PrescribeWellness (The Furrow)

The greatest thing about animation is its power to delight. The Furrow gets that. They made a series of short explainer videos for PrescribeWellness, and delight doesn’t even begin to describe them. With characters you can’t help but connect with, transitions that will blow your mind, and a subtle narrative running through the video, this one’s easily one of the year’s best.

  1. Slack: Work, SImplified (Giant Ant)

Maybe it’s not surprising that an explainer video for Slack grabbed our number one slot this year. After all, they’ve released incredible video on top of incredible video – from computer-generated animals in business casual to conceptual motion graphics. Well, this video from Giant Ant deserves a spot among the best of them.

CaseComplete is just one of many clients we've helped succeed! See how we helped them increase lead conversions by over 20%!

Content Roundup – Brand Positioning Edition

Jeff Bezos once was quoted as saying; “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.” Right up front this means a couple things about brand positioning:

  1. Your brand needs to be worth talking about.
  2. Your brand needs to make an emotional connection with consumers.

Why do I say you need to build an emotional connection? Because fMRI neuro-imagery studies have repeatedly shown that consumers primarily use emotions when evaluating brands.

Yes, you need an amazing product. Yes, your sales process should kick butt. But if you’re not leveraging emotions, then you’re just missing out. In the Spirit of Christmas, let’s look at a brand that does this better than anyone:

I don’t care if you prefer Pepsi over Coke, or don’t even like caffeinated beverages at all. At the end of this video, you’re cheering for all things Coke. They didn’t say a single word and they didn’t even make their product the feature of the video. Instead, they made you feel connected, warm, and joyous and, you know what, I really want to buy a Coke right now.

So is your brand ready to evoke a strong emotion when encountered? If not, you should really check out the content below to get a head start on making your brand outstanding.

explainify content roundup - brand positioning

First thing is first when creating a brand that fills people with wonder: You’ve got to document what you’re brand is all about. So let this phenomenal blog post walk you through that process.

A Brand Positioning Statement That Will Make an Impression (Envision)


What if I don’t even know what my brand should stand for? Well, that’s a great question you’re asking! In general, there’s about 5 positions your brand can come from. So figure out which one best fits your company.

Hint: no matter what you end up picking, make sure that your brand does not – I repeat, does not – become “me” focused. Even if your product is the distinguishing part of your brand, all attention needs to be placed on how it solves problems for a potential customer.

5 Brand Positioning Models (Branding Strategy Insider)


Think you’re going to make a strong emotional connection without video? Might want to rethink your strategy on that one.

Coca-Cola is one of the kings of making branding videos, and they’re naturally an inspiration. But unless you’ve got the budget of Coke, Budweiser, your live videos could end up looking like a local commercial. Nobody wants that.

So why not purchase a premium animated video for a reasonable price tag that will drive connections that customers simply won’t be able to ignore!

Why Animated Marketing Videos Are the Key to Better Brand Positioning (Explainify)

Explainify Case Study - Video Marketing


Not sure how to keep yourself from being just another cookie-cutter brand that adds to all the existing noise in this world? Get the creative juices flowing with the ideas listed in this article.

How To Stand Out In A Crowd With Creative Marketing Ideas (CoSchedule)


To finish this blog post, let’s give you a real life example of a brand that is bringing their brand to life in delightful and meaningful ways – and changing the world in the process! Airbnb is creative, thoughtful, and value-driven in their brand’s purpose. So step inside this mini case study to be inspired that even a small brand can start a world changing movement.

Airbnb Nails the Brand Experience Marketing Better Than the Rest (Beloved Brands)


Coca-Cola doesn’t have a monopoly on connecting with consumers. Learn lessons from them and then learn that you have the advantage of probably being smaller and more agile than they are, which lets you be very specific with your targeting and connecting with key moments in a buying process.

So get out there and make meaningful moments that connect your brand to the world around it!

CaseComplete is just one of many clients we've helped succeed! See how we helped them increase lead conversions by over 20%!

3 Common Brand Storytelling Myths (and 3 Ways to Correct Them)

Storytelling has been around just about as long as there have been humans. Brand storytelling may have become popular over the last few years, but using words to paint pictures of characters, places and events is nothing new – and it certainly isn’t a fad. Neither is harnessing the power of story to build a loyal following for your business.

That’s a good thing, because the company that can tell an epic story will grow faster, last longer, and build an audience of brand advocates.

Since storytelling is such a hot topic, there’s naturally a lot of noise surrounding it. And there are some serious misconceptions out there that have founders and executives wondering if they are telling a story that lasts – or just “doing marketing.”

brand storytellingIn this post, you’ll learn three of the biggest storytelling myths plaguing the business world – and what you can do to correct them.

Myth #1: Your Product or Service is Your Brand

No pulling punches here.

The truth is this: even if you only have one product, it’s NOT what makes your brand. There’s no doubt that the things you sell are an integral part of your brand message, but it’s not the whole picture. Your story goes beyond the stuff that you sell to the vision of the world that you’re inviting your customers into.

Everything from the marketing materials you put out to the onboarding and post-purchase care you provide to your customers are a part of your story.

Walmart has hundreds of brands, store chains with different names, and services that you probably don’t know about. But that isn’t the first thing that pops into your mind when you think about Walmart.

Instead, you’re more likely to think “low prices” – or maybe if you’re feeling less charitable, “cheap.” This brand was built on being the place for reasonably priced bulk goods.

That’s their story, and the heroes of their story are the customers that “save money and live better.” It’s not about selling individual products; it’s about selling a philosophy of life – helping consumers provide their families with good things at a lower cost.

What’s the message you’re conveying?

Make It Better: Don’t just let your products do the talking. Tell a story about the world you’re your customers want to be a part of. Then, tell everyone, at every stage of your funnel, the story of your business. Otherwise, you run the risk of limiting your brand’s meaningfulness in their minds.

Misconception #2: Brand Storytelling Takes Too Much Money

Telling your story is a holistic strategy, one that takes a concerted effort to use video, design, messaging and branding

Yes, there are costs associated with developing great branding and telling an incredible story. But it doesn’t take celebrity sponsorships and space travel to get people to feel a certain way about your company.

This myth comes from a place fear —which, believe it or not, is a good thing.

One of the many reasons your company is successful is because you know how to manage resources like a champ. You focus on marketing when necessary, but you also know when it’s time to just get on the phone and close some deals.

That said, if you’re thinking about brand storytelling as an endless money pit and not something that can be calculated, that thinking needs to change. You simply have to apply the same discretion to creating a plan and spending on things that are proven to make an impact on your brand image.

Just be careful. You may be wary of overspending, but underspending by using cheap contractors and services can end up costing you more than you think.

Make It Better: If you attack brand storytelling with the same level of intensity and mindset as other elements of your successful business, you’ll end up with your feet on the ground. Set a budget and avoid “cheap”, because cheap content tells a story of its own about your brand – just one that you probably don’t want to tell.

Misconception #3: You Don’t Have to Change

Right now, content marketing – especially video marketing – is the best means of conveying your story. However, it hasn’t always been that way, and with developments like virtual reality and other tech on the rise, it’s likely to evolve further. And that’s ok.

You think Coca-Cola regrets paying to paint their logo on the side of silos and barns?

No way! But it’s also not a huge part of their marketing budget these days.

Just having a blog isn’t going to tell your story as effectively as in the past. You have to increase your efforts and try new things in order to make sure brand awareness is increasing and being told the way you desire.

Ultimately, though, it’s not about the vehicles that tell your story, it’s about the story itself. Can yours stand the test of time?

Make It Better: Do your research, do what’s time-tested and effective, but make sure you’re experimenting and trying out new, unconventional ways to tell your story.

One of those effective vehicles are explainer videos. That’s our product, but our story is being mad-scientist level crazy about telling stories. If you want to speak with us about the best way to tell your story, get in touch.

 

 

 

 

Content Roundup – Build Your Dream Sales Team!

It’s almost 2017. That’s a crazy thought. How did your year go for you? Better than expected? About where you hoped? Maybe you had a bit of rough year (thanks, election cycle year!).

But you’re still here. You’re still in the ring standing. That’s more than some of your competitors can say. So now you know you’re a fighter, but how are you going to become a champion, a contender next year?

One big way to do that is to make your sales team into the dream team they were always meant to be! To help facilitate that, we’ve compiled some ways you might start transforming them into the next Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, and Karl Malone of sales.

So what are you waiting for? Get reading because some of these ideas are things you can start brainstorming and pushing into your team’s culture today!

ECR_Image_02

With the amount of information and options available to people these days, people are skeptical of grand claims and emotional pleas. That doesn’t mean you need to stop telling people you’re awesome – because you are – or tapping into emotional desires of your consumers.

What it does mean is that at some point in your sales process, you have to prove what you’ve said. Otherwise, you just leave people wanting more, and that is most definitely not a good thing. These 6 persuasive tips can help you turn that emotionally distraught customer into a content customer. Now that’s powerful.

Hint: If you think that the fact case studies are listed in here is boring, we challenge you to figure out how many case studies you have and if they meet your customer’s needs.

Prove It! 6 Persuasive Techniques for Making the Sale (Copybogger)


So above we listed some of the obvious ways you can persuade your buyers with content. But there are some not-so-obvious ways that you can transform your sales team into content savants.

Equipping your sales team as content experts can pay huge dividends and provide that extra boost to hit and surpass those ambitious sales goals you’re stretching for! Read more for some ways to make this a reality.

5 Not-So-Obvious Ways Sales Can Leverage Content Marketing to Close Deals (CMI)


 

selling to a sales team and buying groups is still easy

The above article mentioned a really key fact – buying teams are huge these days! You could end up selling to not 1 person – but 7. That’s a daunting proposition.

But don’t worry, this doesn’t need to slow down your sales processes and goals. These 3 helpful tips can keep you on track to selling to any number of people, and by the time you get good at it you’ll realize that working with teams makes the end results a more robust and beneficial thing for both your company and theirs.

3 Sure-Fire Ways to Close More Deals with Buying Groups (Explainify)


One of the tips above is to learn how to win someone on the buying team to your side. To do this, you have to be willing to go the extra mile. What does that look like? Well, one fantastic place to do this is on social media by providing amazing sales support. Here’s 7 tips on how you can take your social presence from just a content posting outlet to a sales generating machine!

7 Tips for Improving Online Sales Using Social Media (Social Media Examiner)


Odds are, if you’re like our sales team used to be or like many sales teams are, you end up guessing a lot of things. Or going with your gut. Or picking the idea that most people support.

Stop it!

The best way to move forward as a sales team is to be extremely analytical as a unit. Sure, you want to personalize and not treat people as numbers. But there’s still economies of scale to consider here and you can leverage these 4 methods to make your sales team into a confident decision-making unit.

4 Ways Analytics Provide New Sales Insights (Salesforce)


So now you know! As you end the year strong and enter into 2017, what will you do to make your sales team, process, and interactions more robust, more precise, and more powerful? We look forward to finding out!

Free e-book helps you cut the crap and close more deals!

5 Undeniable Reasons Your Business Needs an Animated Video

Animated videos aren’t just for startups. In the past few years, there’s been a considerable rise in the popularity of animation for business. A wide range of companies – from Chipotle, to Spotify, to Groupon – are using animated video to promote their products and services in fresh and entertaining ways.

animated videoWe’re willing to bet that you’ve taken notice of these concise but highly entertaining marketing tools. How could you miss them? They’re everywhere! And for good reason, too.

If you’ve been thinking about including animated video as part of your brand strategy, but haven’t yet – it’s time to make your move. Here are 5 very good reasons you should make an animated explainer video immediately:

1. Animated Video is A Tractor Beam for Eyeballs

When you make an animated movie, there are no limits to what you can create. Your imagination is your only limiting factor. It’s this freedom and creativity that makes animation so engaging.

When you’re watching an animated film (like an explainer video), your sense of reality is suspended. You’re taken into another time and place that may resemble our world, but it’s an entirely new creation.

That’s the beauty of animated video. You can create a world that’s all your own.

And just think – consumers can associate this visual creation with your company and its products. When you decide to make an animated video, you and your team get to choose everything from the color scheme and animation style to music and characters. It’s all up to you.

Whatever vision you have for your brand, you can bring it to life in an animated video.

2. Animated Video is Easy to Understand

An animated explainer video is the perfect tool to provide information in a clear and concise manner.

This is especially true if you need to explain particularly difficult concepts. If your marketing team just uses complex statistical information posted on your site to try and woo customers, they might be headed for failure. Seriously, just try to explain advanced functionality using live action!

Very few customers will sit and wrestle through complex, unclear information in order to make a decision. If the information on your website is too technical, customers might struggle to understand what it means. It’s very easy for customers to misunderstand your brand and what it offers.

That’s the beauty of animated video.

Whatever information you need to present can be simplified. You don’t have to load your animated video with tons of statistics to get your point across. Just choose a couple of graphs to include and these will be clearly explained by the accompanying narration.

The clearer and more concise your message is, the more customers you’ll attract.

3. Animated Video Is Universal

Animated movies are not just for young children. Just ask all the grown-ups who bawled their eyes out during the first ten minutes of Pixar’s Up. People of all ages enjoy animation. So when you create an animated video to reach out to and engage customers, you can appeal to a broad range of people.

That’s because great animated video tells a compelling story – and stories are universal. We all love connecting to characters and following their adventures.

Your animated video is like a (very) short movie. You can tell consumers the story of your company, introduce your brand, and explain the products you offer. This will help to build a connection between you and your customers. They will identify with your company more easily and develop brand loyalty if they are engaged in your story and see themselves as a part of it.

4. Animated Video Can Keep Up with Your Company Growth and Changes

Another excellent reason to make an animated video is that it’s easy to make changes.

Let’s say you update the packaging of your product. If you have a live-action video, then you’ll either need to create an entirely new video – or you’ll have to reshoot and insert the new scenes.

If you choose the former, you’ll be spending quite a bit of money. If you choose the latter, your video will probably end up looking choppy and uneven, which will be distracting to the audience.

With an animated video, it’s a lot easier to make updates down the road if necessary. If your packaging, pricing, or messaging changes then you can edit the film to match the style of the existing video, saving you time and money.

5. Animated Video Gets Results

Did you know including an animated video on your company website will help you to rank higher in search engine results? How does this happen?

The way Google and other search engines work is they place an emphasis on those sites that people spend the most time on. If someone comes to your site and then leaves within a minute or two, you’re not going to rank as high as the company that gets people to stick around.

When you have an animated video on your site, people are more likely to become engaged and spend some time on your site. Not only that, but you’ll likely experience an increase in your conversion rates to boot.

Key Stat:  A recent study discovered that 85% of people are more likely to buy a product after seeing an explainer video about it.

Your professional animated video is a great investment that will pay off in higher site rankings, improved conversion rates, and more sales.

Take the Next Step

There are a lot of compelling reasons why your company should make an animated video.

They not only engage your audience and include consumers in your company’s narrative, they also help to explain your product and lead to better site visibility and increased sales.

With all of these good reasons before you, why wait a day longer? Contact Explainify to get started on your animated video today.