Category Archives for "Marketing"

Sep 02

How to Maximize the Results of Your Pitch Competition

Business Development , Marketing , Social Media

how to maximize the RESULTS of your Pitch Competition

A founder of a startup company came to me with a compelling question: “How can we use social media as a strategy before, during and after aevent?” The specific event he was referring to is a popular pitch competition that he is attending with his team. In fact, it is so sought after, only 15 groups can attend this event from all over the world. Preparing a social media strategy is not only a great way to introduce other companies to your followers, but to gain recognition for both you and your brand. Here's what to do before, during, and after your pitch opportunity.

What to do before your pitch competition

  1. Do research on the companies that are going to be attending the event. In this specific case, the Founder and his team will study the other 14 companies presenting at the pitch competition FoodBytes, follow them on social media, and begin their outreach plan.
  1. Come up with an eye-catching message that will make yourself stand out. You can enhance this message by including a graphic (our design team utilizes Canva). When you begin the outreach process, tag the CEO/Founder of the company and FoodBytes (or the host of other events). Here is a sample message: 

“We're looking forward to meeting you at #FoodBytes and learning more about you and your company <use company social media handle> there!” 

  1. Continue to make new connections by following or connecting with CEOs or Founders of the other companies. A great platform for doing this is LinkedIn. Ensure that your LinkedIn profile says a little about you and what you do, and then before try to connect with others.
  1. Create  team pictures with branded designs and add them to your Instagram Page. 
  1. When you begin to use your social media platforms to highlight the other people at a pitch competition, a question that founders and their teams will ask you is, “Why are you doing this for us?” Your answer should be as simple as, “Why would I not do this for you?” Consider this equation: 

 Social media (free) + Research (a little time) + Publicizing other people = GOOD BUSINESS 

Spencer X Smith and Alan Webber from Fast Company

AmpliPhi Founder Spencer X Smith with Fast Company Founder Alan Webber

What to do during your pitch competition

  1. Walk into the event with confidence because people are going to know who you are. You have done your research and reached out to those who are attending the event. Think of your engagement as though old friends are catching up, not introducing themselves for the first time.  
  1. Using Twitter, engage in real-time with other pitches and the event itself. Remember, it's your job to help THEM look good.
  1. Ensure you take lots of photos with the other Founders and their teams to share on social media platforms. Prove that you are who you say you are and celebrate each other’s successes.   
  1. Utilize event hashtags (and company hashtags if you have one) in your posts. It's likely the use of these hashtags will have an explosive amount of activity during the conference, but not so much following the event. Capitalize on where people are paying attention.

What to do for follow up after your pitch competition

  1. Post, post, post!! Use platforms such as LinkedIn and Instagram to showcase what you did at the event. Share the photos you took with other Founders and their teams and tag them to increase engagement. Again, help highlight them and what they do.
  1. Follow-up with the people you met using video messages. Soapbox from Wistia is a great resource for creating video messages. This is a much, much more personal way to share your message and help people recall who you are. Remember, they are going to meeting a lot of new people; you want to be the one who stands out! Don't relegate yourself to simply using email. Use personalized videos through Soapbox to solidify who you are in your prospects' minds.

How do you use social media strategies before, during and after an event? Did I miss anything? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Jul 09

Top 5 Drone Tips for Safe Content Creation

Marketing

Top 5 Drone Tips for Safe Content Creation

Utilizing a drone can help businesses to create professional content at their own fingertips.

Here are the top 5 tips you should use to avoid unsafe conditions.

1.) Know the Surrounding Airspace 

Understanding a VFR Sectional chart should be the first step when preparing to fly your drone in unfamiliar airspace.  Sectional charts can be used to identify regulated airspace, nearby airports, and hazards. 

2.) Respect the Privacy of Others 

Always be aware of who and what will be in the vicinity of your flight path.

While the FAA and federal courts have not decided who owns the airspace above private land, it still can be illegal to fly above private property depending on where you live. The last thing you want to get caught up in is an angry homeowner with a shotgun and good aim.   

3.) Understand Your In-Flight User Interface 

This is the basic the interface for a DJI drone, other brands will have similar information.

Always be checking your in-flight interface. This is a window into everything that is going on with your drone. It can show you your speed, altitude, battery, GPS, and much more. This is a great tool to monitor to prevent any fly always or crashes. 

4.) Know the wind 

Strong wind can lead to a decrease in performance and battery life. Be aware of how strong the wind is and which direction it is blowing. If you are flying to your planned position, with the wind. Don’t assume it will take the same amount of battery to return.  

If you are flying without GPS assistance strong winds will cause your drone to drift. This can position the drone into unplanned areas such as power lines, tall buildings, or out of the signal range.  

Keep in mind the wind speed can double, or even triple from where you are to the altitude of your aircraft.  

5.) Check the Propellers

The propellers create the ability for the drone to fly. Ensure that they are free from any damage such as dents, cracks, or breakage. Dirt, sand, and other elements can also effect the propellers performance.

Which of these tips was most helpful? Are there any tips you would like to share? Comment them below. 

Jul 03

Three Ways to Achieve Success as a Business on the 4th of July Holiday

Marketing , Social Media

THREE WAYS TO ACHIEVE SUCCESS AS A BUSINESS ON THE 4TH OF JULY HOLIDAY

This may sound very obvious, but it’s something I see year after year - small businesses not availing themselves of the hashtag

#HappyFourth.

This is important in three regards:

1.) Use the #HappyFourth hashtag on relevant posts on all the social media platforms. This is the most obvious of the tips, but if a small business owner doesn’t use the hashtag in their posts, it doesn’t exist. The social platforms rely on hashtags (even LinkedIn) to ascertain the overarching theme of a post, and the omission of #HappyFourth is a big mistake.



2.) Search the #HappyFourth hashtag on the social media platforms where your customers are most likely to have conversations. Twitter search is outstanding for this, as is Instagram. Business owners can simply join conversations already given the appropriate #HappyFourth context.


3.) Ask those patronizing your business to share their experience with you in a #HappyFourth related post to their personal social media platforms. Businesses can incent these customers through a bonus, promotional item, etc. to help these customers provide social proof to their network of friends.

Jun 04

7 Best Places to Find Background Music for Your Next Video

Marketing

7 Best Places to Find Background Music for Your Next Video

Finding the right soundtrack for your video can be challenging with legalities surrounding copyright, royalties, and other rights infringement matters. It’s essential to use appropriately credited and/or purchased music so that your video does not get banned from YouTube or your chosen social media platform. In this blog post, we’ll cover some of the most popular websites for soundtracks to use in your next video.

First of all, what is royalty-free music? This article from Hooksounds explains the topic in further detail, but a common misconception with royalty-free music is that it’s automatically free to use in your project. In most instances, royalty-free refers to a one-time license that lets the music be used over a set period. Essentially, you are not required to pay subsequent royalty payments after the one-time fee. Royalty fees can range in cost from less than $100 to tens of thousands of dollars depending on the song. No matter which music licensing option you choose, you’ll want to read through the website’s terms and conditions to ensure you’re within rights to use their song in your project.

If you edit your videos in iMovie, there are several jingles and sound effects within the program, free for use in your project.

Created by composer and musician Benjamin Tissot, Bensound offers hundreds of tracks for use in your multimedia project (online videos, websites, animations, etc.) for free as long as you credit Bensound.com. Available genres include acoustic/folk, cinematic, corporate/pop, jazz, rock, and more. In addition to the free music offered, there are several selections to purchase as well.

Within the audio library of the YouTube creator studio, there are many options for free music and sound effects. Sort by genre, mood, and even instrument to find the perfect vibe for your video. To access the library from your YouTube account, go to Creator Studio > Create > Audio Library. 

Did you know that Amazon offers a selection of royalty-free music? For personal, non-commercial purposes, you can find many free or premium tracks starting at just $0.99. The search function within Amazon is somewhat limited, though, so finding a decent soundtrack to use is slightly more complicated.

Designed specifically for YouTube creators, Thematic is a worry-free platform featuring songs that are pre-cleared for monetization without having to worry about licenses, claims, or disputes. The search capabilities at the time of posting are somewhat limited, but if you have the time to sift through and listen to the different songs, there could be some decent options.

Audio Jungle by Envato Market is an excellent option for one-off purchases of music and audio tracks without having to spend a lot of money up front. Averaging between $20-25 per track (up to $1,600 per track), Audio Jungle features more than 120,000 songs for use in your project.

By far, our favorite service to use when finding background music for video is Artlist. It’s a subscription service that offers access to an entire catalog of music along with unlimited downloads for a full year. At only $16.60/month (billed annually) this is one of the most affordable options considering the price of purchasing songs on an individual basis. We’ve been impressed with the quality and quantity of music available on this website.

Jun 03

Our Top 4 Design Apps for Social Media Content

Marketing , Social Media

Our Top 4 Design Apps for Social Media Content

Do you need to create social media posts for your company, but don’t have enough time to spend learning Photoshop?

Thankfully, you no longer need a background in design to start producing engaging content for your audience. With the help of a few iPhone and browser-based apps, generating several variations of a single design can be as easy as a click of a mouse.

Canva

Canva Pro has been a favorite among our team. We love taking the pre-designed Canva social media templates and adding our own unique spin. There are hundreds of free graphic elements and photos available for use in your designs. While the basic version is free, you’ll pay $9.95/month (at the time of this posting) for the upgraded perks. We think the upgrade is worth it, and here's why:

  • Resize your design with a single click
  • Upload custom fonts for your brand
  • Set unique color palettes for your brand
  • Save templates for you and your team

Basic: Free
Pro: $12.95/mo. or $119.40/yr. 


Adobe Spark

Adobe Spark is an online tool that allows non-designers to create social graphics, promotional videos, and basic web pages. It’s similar to Canva in that there are templates to use, but the customization options are somewhat limited. The Adobe Spark Starter Plan is free, but you won’t be able to personalize your project with your own logo, colors, and fonts. We feel that this option is best if you already have access to the Adobe Suite and are looking for an easy way to produce consistent branded content.

  • Easy to use for simple image posts or slideshows
  • Best for producing branded content
  • Basic version is Adobe branded

Basic: Free, with Adobe Spark Watermark
Pro: $9.99/month


Word Swag

Like the app’s title suggests, Word Swag turns your words into a beautiful photo-text design. Choose from the library of free photos, or select from your phone’s photo library. Decide which crop to use (there are options within the app for different social platforms), and then add your desired quote or text. Custom fonts are not an option, but they do offer some variations among the different styles, and the font color can also be changed.

  • Less expensive than some of the other options
  • Great for quote/image posts
  • Design choices are limited

Basic: Free
Pro: $4.99/mo.


Over

Like the other programs/apps mentioned, Over is a template-based design app. There are multiple template options for Instagram & Facebook stories, which we love. There are several font options available in the free version, with even more available to download in the pro version. 

  • Best for Instagram/Facebook stories
  • Templates are easy to customize
  • Styling is limited in free version

Basic: Free
Pro: $14.99/mo. or $99.99/yr.


What are your favorite social media design apps? Let us know if you want more in-depth tutorials on any of these (or other!) apps, we’d love to help!

Apr 23

Our Top 3 Websites for Free Stock Photo and Video

Marketing

Our Top 3 Websites for Free Stock Photo and Video

Looking for a quality stock image or video clip to use in your social media post? There are several paid options, such as Shutterstock and iStock, but free sites with high-resolution photos and videos are becoming more readily available. In this post, we’ll take a look at three of our favorites.

1. Pexels
We were surprised by both the quality and quantity of photos available on this website. Need a certain color image? Pexels features a color filter so you can sort based on what colors appear in the image. Video clips can also be downloaded from Pexels, but the options are somewhat limited currently. According to the Pexels website, all photos and videos published are free for personal and commercial purposes. 

  • Excellent quality images
  • Filter by color
  • Limited video options

2. Unsplash
The images curated here seem to have more of a dark, moody vibe in comparison to Pexels brighter-toned aesthetic. Depending on the look your brand is going for, Unsplash offers several high-quality images. You can use the search function or choose from any of the pre-selected categories along the top menu bar. 

  • High quality images
  • Enhanced category and collection search function
  • Aesthetic might not be suitable for your brand

3. Pixabay
Pixabay is laid out similarly to Pexels, but it features more illustrations and vector graphics for use in your projects. The quality of images on this site is varied, and the aesthetic is scattered compared to Pexels and Unsplash. However, the search function and filters appear to be more robust than the other websites so you might be able to find a suitable image more quickly. 

  • Features illustrations and vector images
  • Enhanced search function - easier to find images
  • Varied quality and aesthetic

Ready to take your social media marketing to the next level? Send us a message and let's get in touch.

Erin shooting video
Jan 02

How to create 9 pieces of content in one-hour or less

Marketing , Social Media

How to Create 9 Pieces of Content in One-Hour or Less

In just one hour’s worth of work, how would you like to have at least nine pieces of content that you can use on your website and on social media?

You’ve heard you should be creating content to further your business development efforts, but you end up running out of time, right? How can you justify investing your limited hours in something that may or may not work?

Our team at AmpliPhi have refined a simple strategy for you to use where one hour’s worth of work will yield at least nine pieces of digital & social media content. This content will assist your business development efforts because your prospective clients will think about your more often than not. Next time they have a matter that could benefit from your expertise, they’ll think about you first instead of someone else.

After 3,000 in-person business development meetings between the years of 2008-2015 I discovered this – it’s really, really important for your prospective clients to hear from you on a recurring basis. If there’s too big a gap between the last time they heard from you and the present day, they won’t consider you when a need arises.

Video is the most effective way to stay in touch with prospective clients for two reasons:

  • Unlike an email or phone call, this person can match your face to your name
  • Videos can be used to educate prospective clients in a much more effective way than the written word alone

Without further ado, the steps -

Step 1 – record video using a phone or inexpensive camera that is stabilized on a tripod. Talk about the things that you hear every single week from your clients and your prospective clients and simply answer those questions, concentrating on one question at a time.

Either edit the video yourself by adding some music or graphics or have a member of your staff work with you to make it look professional before uploading it to YouTube.

Step 2 – once the video is uploaded to YouTube, YouTube is going to do something really cool for you – automatically – for free.

It actually close-captions your words for you. It takes what it thinks you’re saying and puts it into subtitle form.

YouTube isn’t going to be perfect at this, but it’s really easy to go in and edit the words to be sure that what you’re saying is actually correct. Once you’re done with your edits, download the caption file in SRT format.

Step 3 – Go to your Facebook page, and upload that same video and upload the captions to the video as well.

This is really important because the vast majority of videos are watched on Facebook in silent mode. If you upload the closed captions viewers will see your words on the video as they’re scrolling through their feed. So, viewers can actually watch it in silence and hear the same stuff or see – if you will – the same stuff that you’re saying.

Step 4 – Use your video editing software to edit one (or more) 60 second clips and upload that to Instagram.

Step 5 – Use your video editing software to edit one (or more) 30 second clips and upload that to Twitter. Note – the Twitter time limit was recently increased to 140 seconds (2 minutes, 20 seconds)

Upload videos natively to social media

Why not just link to YouTube on those platforms and save a lot of time? The social networks reward us – so to speak – by uploading the video to their native platforms. Instead of just showing the viewer a YouTube link, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter will all start playing your video automatically, and the video will usually be shown to more people than a link to a YouTube video. This is definitely worth your time invested.

Now that you’ve used that original video four (or more) different ways let’s start on the written end of things.

Step 6 – take that SRT file that you downloaded and edit it into a blog post format. Remove all the closed-captioning notations and add the title, subtitles, bold text, italicized text and anything else to make it look aesthetically pleasing and upload that article to the blog on your website.

Use that same blog on LinkedIn, Medium or anywhere else that you can contribute on a regular basis.

Step 7 – Take excerpts of your blog article and share those updates on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or even Snapchat.

This strategy is really about getting everything that you already have in your head into some kind of video form, because once we have that, it’s very easy to edit it and transcribe to use it on all the different social media platforms. Get started with this strategy right now.

10 ways to use one video
Nov 30

How To Effectively Boost A Facebook Post

Business Development , Facebook , Marketing , Social Media

How To Effectively Boost A Facebook Post

Boosting allows you to choose a post that’s already on your business page and extend the reach by spending money to promote it.

In today’s world of social media, paying Facebook to show your posts to more people is incredibly helpful and most importantly, easy.

To do a great boosted post, we encourage two things to begin the process.

Define a goal for the post

Setting a goal will help you define success in the campaign. Whether it’s traffic to a web page, engagement on the post, or page likes, figuring it out ahead of time allows you to optimize the campaign and judge how successful it is.

Make sure that you have quality visuals

Whether it is an image or a video, it’s important that the quality is as good as it can be. Fuzzy pictures or shaky phone videos are simple to create but don’t always transfer well to engagement.

To get started with the actual post you’re going to upload your visual to your Facebook page. Then make sure you write some compelling copy and tag any person or organization that you want to have included in your post. Also, you should always include a call to action and a link, if necessary, to give people a way to engage.

Next, once the post is published, you can either click the “boost post” button or you can use the ads manager to boost your post.

Facebook boosting audienceIf you’re using the boost post button, it’s very self-explanatory on how to complete this process. The best part about using the button is that you can select an audience of “people who like your page and their friends”. This is the easiest way to reach people who are already familiar with your page and might not have seen the post.

If you’re using the ads manager, use the hamburger menu and select ‘page posts’. Then select the ‘published posts’.

Check out your stats and see which posts are performing well, based on the highest reach and largest engagement.

Select the post you wish to boost and select ‘create ad’ from the actions dropdown.

Name the campaign and ad set, select your objective and save to draft. Once you’re here you can go ahead and proceed how you would build an ad inside ads manager. Choose a proper audience based on who you’d like to target, set an appropriate budget, and select an objective that meets your goal.

(Creative used is video)

(Creative used is an image with link)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another pro-tip of boosting a post is that with certain objectives you have the option to only pay for results. If there is a strong call-to-action, we recommend paying for engagements, not impressions. You can even manually enter a bid based on what those engagements are worth to you. Or you can just leave it on automatic bidding and Facebook will get the most post engagements at the best price.

Lastly, the creative inside the ad will already be done because it’s a post that’s been published to your business page, so when boosting there is no need to worry about that.

So, if you have a specific message or a post you’d like to build engagement on, don’t be afraid to boost away!

Oct 08

6 Steps to Create a Quality Instagram Influencer Campaign

General Info , Instagram , Marketing , Social Media

6 Steps to Create a Quality Instagram Influencer Campaign

You’ve almost certainly heard the word “influencer” in today’s marketing opportunities and for very good reason.

Adweek estimates Influencer Marketing will be a $10 billion industry by 2020.

Instagram (IG – 1 billion monthly active users) will comprise a huge portion of this growth, and finding those to help promote your brand is easier on this platform than any other.

Here are 6 simple steps (including infographic) we’ve created to help you use Instagram in your company’s campaigns. 

1. Identify your target market

Make sure that you’re using the search function on IG. To do this, go to the platform and click the magnifying glass on the bottom. Click inside the search bar (important step many people miss) and you’ll have the option to select Top, People, Tags, and Places. To search by interest, click Tags and enter your search terms. To search by geographic location, click places and enter the name or physical address.

2. Find influencers

Search for people influential in your target market by both number of followers and engagement percentage. The higher the engagement as a percentage of their followers, the better! A good way to figure out their engagement percentage is to take a handful of recent posts and take the number of likes and comments and divide that by the number of followers. This gives you a good idea of how engaged their following is.

3. Participate in their communities

Don’t just reach out to people without knowing more about them. They may have tons of followers and engagement but that alone doesn’t mean they’re the perfect fit. Before reaching out to potential influencers with an offer to work together, engage in their communities. Comment on their posts and like what they share. Be meaningful and deliberate with your contributions. This may create a thoughtful conversation and the opportunity to get to know your brand.

4. Reach out to them with an offer

Contact the influencer through DM (Direct Message) on IG. Since you’ve been engaging in the community you should be at least someone they’re familiar with. Ask them to help promote your brand or product.

5. Negotiate compensation

Be prepared for any reply. Or none at all. Some influencers will request money, product, or both. In our opinion, make sure you’re definitely willing to give them product. If you want them to speak on behalf of your company, they should at least have the opportunity to use what you’re selling. And when it comes to money, figure out what you’re willing to offer ahead of time. If you have a budget in mind, it’s acceptable to work with someone for a certain amount of time and then revisit the partnership. Just make sure you have determined what success looks like and that both parties are in the loop.

6. Review metrics and update

After hiring an influencer to promote what you’re selling, use metrics to track the success. Use unique identifies or coupon codes to track and gauge which campaigns are working and which are not.

Have you tried using influencer marketing in your campaigns? What success (or horror) stories can you share?

Instagram Influencer Campaign

Aug 27

Top 5 Elements That Must Be in Place for Business Owners & Marketing Directors

General Info , Marketing

Top 5 Elements That Must Be in Place for Business Owners & Marketing Directors

Here at AmpliPhi, we have the good fortune of working with fantastic marketing directors every single day. If I were to paraphrase a very common concern we hear, it sounds a lot like this: “Spence, just a few years ago, people in my position were expected to do a handful of things – event publicity, press releases, promotional items, and traditional media advertising (print, billboards, TV/radio). Now, it seems there’s a new marketing channel available every single week. Whether it’s digital marketing, social media marketing, or influencers or ambassadors, my team and I have a hard time allocating time and resources.”

Although your company’s business objectives will vary, we’ve prepared these 5 elements to help give you a brief synopsis of the strategies we’re developing with our clients. Hope you find them helpful as well!

1.) Adopt a modern marketing strategy.

Distill your customer/prospect interactions into digital form as often as possible. Whether it’s video, audio, written, or a combination of all three, modern digital marketing allows us to create a repository of content that will benefit your target customers WITHOUT you having to be present. This opportunity for leveraging your knowledge is the most significant shift in marketing that there has ever been.

2.) Create checklists to “know what success looks like.”

Why? All of us can work 24/7 since there’s no longer a definition of a proper work day. Without checklists, you and I have a very, very hard time of knowing when we’re on-the-clock and when we’re not. Create a realistic daily checklist, and once you’re done, you can allow yourself to leave work feeling great.

3.) Create a “not doing” list.

In addition to the must-do checklist in #2, create a list of things you could be doing but chose not to do right now. Why? 2 reasons –

  • a.) It forces you to reconcile the best use of your time right now. By knowing what you’re not doing, you’re telling yourself that the things you ARE doing are the most important and high-value items.
  • b.) A “not doing” list helps assuage that gnawing feeling of “what am I forgetting?” Until you empty your head – so to speak – on a list, you’ll miss things.

Here are Steps to Effectively Implement a “Not Doing” List

4.) Use the checklists from #2 to create a series of systems for others to follow.

Think to yourself, “If I was a brand-new person working in my business, what would I need to do step-by-step to complete this task/project?” Why is this important? All of us are subject to the Curse of Knowledge; we know our businesses so well that we think to ourselves, “Doesn’t everyone know this?” Nope, they don’t. These step-by-step systems will prevent employee/contractor issues in the future since they’ll know what’s expected of them.

5.) Create a company organizational chart, but create the chart based on roles, and not on people.

Spell out each respective function in your business and – even if it’s currently just you – put the name of each person responsible for that function. For example, if one of your company’s roles is Accounts Payable, designate that role as a position on your organizational chart and write the person’s name. Why is this important? Most of us don’t realize how many hats they’re wearing until it’s spelled out visually. When it’s time to grow, we can confidently hand the least-important roles to employees/contractors using the systems from #4 and checklists from #2.

Which of these systems do you have in place for your business? Which one do you NOT have right now that you could see making the most immediate impact?

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