4 Steps to Boost Email Open Rate by 20%

Boost Email Opens By 20% In 4 Steps

One of the biggest challenges in custom manufacturing  Is poor communication to their audience. This isn’t a isolated issue but one that seems to be pretty consistent. Even when email marketing is being properly used, the issue that plagues many is low Open Rates.

What is an open rate? To keep it simple, your open rate is the percentage of people who will see your email and open it to look at it. If you send out 10 emails and 3 of your recipients open it, then you sit at a 30% open rate.

However, for most, 30% would actually be a victory. If you think about your own email habits, how often do you delete or ignore an email that is of no interest to you or doesn’t catch your attention

The emails in your inbox are all prying for you to open them, but many times we don’t. This is why Open Rates are so important when it comes to email marketing.

So now, we turn to you. You are sending out hundreds, or even thousands of emails out for a new product announcement, promotion, or something else–what kind of response are you getting from your email and what kind of Open Rate are you getting? If you need a reference, the average Open Rate for Manufacturing in 2021 is about 14.8%!* 

If you’re like many custom manufacturers in the space, you are not seeing the results you want and it can be frustrating. This is why we mapped out a powerful way with these 4 steps to boost your Open Rate by 20% in 2021!

Step 1: Clean Your List:

Cleaning your list is an important step. You are sanitizing your list for invalid emails, people who unsubscribe, hard bounces (never opens), and spam traps.

  • Manually comb your email list and look for records that have bounced or hit spam traps. 
  • Use a list cleaning service like Zerobounce, Kickbox, Validity, or others. 
  • Remove inactive records that haven’t hard bounced yet but might (people who haven’t opened or clicked on an email in months) .
  • Look to see if any duplicate emails exist. There’s a chance you are sending two emails to one place, or a very similar place, which gets seen as spam by the email client. Duplicates  also clutter the list. 
  • Uniformity in a list works wonders to keep all your data looking lined up formatted correctly. This means keeping things like ‘United States’ or ‘US’ or ‘U.S.A.’ is consistent across the board for all variations. You want to take that same approach with things like Job Title, Seniority, Company Name, etc.
A clean list means a list that will hit more inboxes and perform better overall because it removes clutter and the potential to become spam and hurt your brand.
 

Step 2: Break Your List Into Segments

Breaking your list into segments allows you to control the destination of your emails in an orderly fashion. You can group emails into different categories based on specific needs. For ex: Top clients, low budget, return customers, etc.

It is a known fact that smaller email list sends typically perform much better than larger blasts. There are a few reasons for this:
  • Smaller lists have a lower chance of hitting spam traps or triggering an email clients’ built in filters. 
  • Targeted email sends to smaller lists can help warm up the email client inbox (Outlook, Gmail, etc.) to demonstrate that your email is a valid one. 
  • Smaller list sends means you can break up the send to different days of the week to again avoid setting off alarms in the email clients’. 
  • You can filter out hard bounces from the next sends easier in your upcoming, large batch sends. 
  • You can collect data based on your segments and apply that data differently and directly to each specific group. If it wasn’t segmented, your data can be skewed and hurt or help different groups. 
  • Within those specific sections, you can personalize your emails to the specific tastes and needs of the place or person you’re trying to reach easier. This is known as dynamic content. (More on this on the next section)
Smaller is better when you can do it, but it isn’t always possible, but it’s one option if you are running into consistently low deliverability and open rates.
Step 3: Personalize Your Email Sends

Think about how good it feels to receive a personalized letter, gift, message, or email from someone. It’s the thought that counts right? The same can be applied for the marketing emails you send out.

That’s the power of “dynamic content” in an email. Dynamic content allows you to send  special and uniquely crafted content that speaks to the personality, habit, or tendency of the user it is sent to. It may contain information, key words, or topics that will peak their interest in a way that makes them want to click open.

Here are some quick numbers: GetResponse, says open rates are nearly 30% with email body personalization. Epsilon research indicates 80% of customers are more influenced toward making a buy with personalized experience.

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Personalized email sends perform better, hands down. But personalization doesn’t just look like inserting First Name into the subject line of an email. While that is great, here are some ways you can personalize your email sends for your audience:
  • Use first name in the subject line. Yes, as simple as this, it is crucial especially if you have all of the data in your database to do so. It’s more casual and conversational. 
  • Use other variable fields like Company Name, Job Title, etc. that might be relevant to your communication. One example could be “We know that the folks at {{company.Company Name}} want solutions like ours.” 
  • Tailor the content to match your audience based on their unique interests. If you are marketing to end users, you don’t talk to them like distributors or dealers, and vice versa. Your audiences have particular interests so craft emails unique to them and for them. 
  • Do not inundate them with filler. Make your content relevant and efficient to the needs of the person. 
  • Use a captivating preheader. This is an important one as well as it drives overall click through of an email when a good, captivating preheader is used as opposed to a generic one. 
  • Also knowing the timezone of the subject is important. You can monitor what times are best to send an email. For example, 8am EST may be great to send an email but for the person in California, it’s 5am.

Step 4: Set up Welcome Campaigns for All Segments

Welcome campaigns are extremely important for onboarding new clients and customers. This is essentially your first impression to hook in the target and keep them engaged. More often than not, they have okayed this first interaction and are the most receptive to what you are selling / saying.

Something we see a lot is that someone will get a brand new list of people and then just blast them all with an email–let’s avoid that where we can. Instead, set up welcome drip campaigns that trickle out to your audience.

  • Drip campaigns, especially welcome campaigns, can be a simple and easy way to start engagement long before you have your first email blast. 
  • When your database is getting this welcome series, they are getting ‘warmed up’ and primed to receive your next communication (their inboxes too). 
  • A welcome series informs your audience about your company AND can speak to a specific segment about where they can best be served by your company i.e. an end-user will want to know how to use the product, how it’s made, and what distributors or dealers can they connect with for example where a distributor or dealer might be interested in something else.
  • Having a drip in place means that you can breathe a little bit easier about how often your list is getting emailed–you can be confident that communication is happening on some level and they aren’t just sitting around. 
  • Each one of these emails serves a purpose to instill to the intended target, “Hey, you want to be here and stick around for what’s next.” Essentially, you are providing constant value to them in hopes that they will take you on your offers. 

To sum everything up, one of the most important metrics of success is the open rate. 

The higher you are able to get your rating, the more business you will have coming, the more meaningful and positive interaction you will have with your database, and the more business that will ultimately come your way.

There are many small and easily correctable issues that can cause your open rates to plummet but with these four steps of: Clean Your List, Break Your List into Segments, Personalize Your Email Sends, and Set Up Welcome Campaigns for Segments, you should be able to boost your email Open Rate by 20% (or even more!) With the average rate being around 15%, adding 20% to that takes you far beyond the competition and help you connect your unique messaging with your Distributors and End Users!

References

  • Influence Marketing (Manufacturing Open Rates)

Ready to inject your digital marketing
strategy with hyper-fuel?🚀

If you have been seriously looking into digital marketing, but aren’t sure where to start, we will do a complimentary business marketing audit and give you a complete list of recommended action items you should take to elevate your digital marketing strategy. The information is yours to keep – no hard sales tactics here.

5 Email Mistakes Manufacturers Make That Ruin Their Marketing

5 Email Mistakes Manufacturers Make That Ruin Their Marketing

Dealers and Distributors are an integral part of many custom manufacturers, serving as the big ‘business’ facilitating your B2B2C model (your ‘C’ being the end user who is actually using your product on a day to day basis.) Since 2020, email has had somewhat of a resurgence with email engagement rising across nearly every industry according to Mailchimp’s latest report “Mailchimp’s COVID‑19 Email Marketing Trends”*. 

Not to be the bearer of bad news, but if your email marketing is suffering despite these huge increases, it’s likely you are doing one of these 5 things which are killing your email engagement.

Here are the 5 things that are killing your email marketing efforts to your Dealers and Distributors.

1. Your list of Dealers and Distributors isn’t up to date

We have seen it 100 times but yet still don’t prepare for it–people move through companies, change positions, and as a result, change email addresses. When your list isn’t up to date, it will impact your email marketing efforts significantly for a number of reasons…

  • Your email will never reach the right person. This might be a given, but if you are sending your marketing messages to an empty inbox, chances are your email won’t get forwarded or end up in anyone’s inbox.
  • You might get flagged as spam for emailing old addresses. Another common trend we see is that emails will be sent out to the wrong email address, or to an expired email address, for months, sometimes years. Companies will use spam-checking software to detect when this type of behavior happens and set up spam traps with old email addresses. This means that you could be emailing a spam trap every time you send out an email and hurting your deliverability
  • Bad emails hurt deliverability to the good emails too. Even if you only have a small percent of bad emails, sending out marketing messages to those bad emails can hurt the messages reaching the inbox of the good emails as well. No joke! Not only does email database hygiene help you get better overall email deliverability but helps you reach your database more often.
2. You’re Selling when you should be Sharing

This might seem like a given, but can often be an overlooked detail. Manufacturers have a ton of awesome products and we want to talk about it–but sometimes we should dial it back just a touch and focus on engagement. 

Historically, when emails have gone out with a focus on educating or offering free advice, they have performed significantly better than sales focused or even product-focused emails. Sharing quality content can include…

  • Insightful video content or blog content (you don’t have to write it)
  • Case studies
  • Customer testimonial or story (a little salesy, but still good if the story is engaging)
  • Company news like company events, community participation, etc.
  • Industry news
  • Giveaways or contests

3. You’re Not Emailing Enough (or Too Little)

Despite what you might have heard, distance does NOT make the heart grow fonder. Instead, you might be forgotten if you are sending out communications regularly. At the same time, sending emails too often can wear out your audience and lead to something an old boss of mine coined as ’email blindness’–you appear in the inbox so frequently that they immediately dismiss what you are sending.

In either case, you should come up with a game plan to attack this–here is what I recommend…

  1. Commit to sending an email at least 1 time a week.
  2. Choose a day of the week and time of day that this email will go out and stick to it!
  3. Create the content to be ‘evergreen’. For example, don’t include anything restrained by time or something that make become obsolete.
  4. Build and send out at least 3 months of content, approximately 12 emails.
  5. Then make those emails automated so that every new person who comes into your email database will receive them, once a week, over the next 12 weeks.

This approach helps you identify what is working and what doesn’t while giving you a way to buffer new people coming into your database–even if they come in and you don’t have time to email them, they will still get this well-crafted ‘welcome nurture’. 

4. Your Dealer Is Blocking You (On Accident)

At the end of the day, your Dealer or Distributor’s main goal is to protect their staff from distractions and they spend a lot of time and energy making sure that ‘distracting’ or potentially ‘spammy’ emails are not getting in front of their employees.

This may come as a surprise, but more times than I can count I have seen Dealers inadvertently block their Suppliers and filter out their emails from ever landing in the inbox.

This can happen accidentally because you’ve hit a spam trap in the past (see above) or because your emails are coming off as ‘marketing‘ emails, but in either case, you need to get in front of their team by any means necessary!

The simplest way to get the ball rolling here is to reach out directly to your connection at your Dealer and just ask if your domain name has been whitelisted for email.

They are usually quick to find out and quick to let you know if they can whitelist or not. I haven’t run into many situations where they will NOT whitelist, unless there are some concerns around privacy.

If you get pushback on whitelisting the domain, no problem–offer to provide the Dealer with the email HTML directly so that they can send it out to their team internally and adhere to all of their rules.

If you have decent relationship, this is usually not a problem and is a very low lift activity for them that can yield a great return for you!

5. Your Emails Are Too Pretty

This is meant to be a little funny, but there is a lot of truth to it. Emails that are well designed with a lot of images, great-sounding copy and lots of links set off the ‘newsletter’ alarms in many email inboxes and push them to either the non-prioritized inbox OR to the spam folder.

Have you ever noticed that plain text emails have a better chance of getting in front of you within your inbox than many marketing emails? This is the reason why.

hubspot-html-plain-text
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Branding is important and I realize that not every email can be a mostly plain text email, but sending out underdesigned, plain text emails could be the perfect way to increase inbox visibility, get more opens on your emails, and drive a better click-through rate.
The best part? These plain text emails that perform really well, will set up your marketing emails to get in front of your audience even more by building your sender reputation with your domain name. Start Implementing Today! The biggest loss you’ll experience is the loss of not taking action sooner when you could have been moving on it. At Digital Pew, we specialize in email marketing and marketing automation and would love to share a more nuanced view of your marketing strategy. We work with custom manufacturers day in and day out and if you are looking to elevate your communications strategy in a major way, I’d love to book a call with you and learn more about your needs and business. In the meantime, check out the other resources in our resource library–I look forward to hearing from you!

References

Ready to inject your digital marketing
strategy with hyper-fuel?🚀

If you have been seriously looking into digital marketing, but aren’t sure where to start, we will do a complimentary business marketing audit and give you a complete list of recommended action items you should take to elevate your digital marketing strategy. The information is yours to keep – no hard sales tactics here.

Evergreen Livestreams: 4 Ways to Turn Livestreams into Great Video Content

One of the biggest appeals of livestreaming is all about capturing the ‘now’. Marketers can leverage their audience in a completely new way that is real, relevant, and in the moment. The level of exchange and interaction that church marketers can get from livestreams, gives creators unique moments in time with their audience. 

There is something awesome about that.

With all of the benefits of livestreaming being used in digital marketing, there is one that often goes unnoticed and that is the value of creating livestream content that is ‘Evergreen’.

Don’t have time to read everything right now?

No problem! I cover this and more in my Ultimate (Unofficial) Guide to Livestreaming.

Click the button below to get it instantly!

Evergreen content is great for marketing your business or non-profit to your audience

Evergreen content is content that can be shown to new audiences over and over while retaining its intrinsic value. It doesn’t become less interesting or less relevant, in fact, it has the same effect for every new person that watches it. Some great examples of Evergreen content pulled from livestreams are often conference videos, Q&A sessions and even live group discussions.

Even if it is happening in the now, it can still be Evergreen.

While preparing for your next livestream to help aid your business or non-profit marketing efforts, here are 4 ways that you can do to make sure that your content is as Evergreen as possible;

  • Avoid putting the date in the title of your video or mentioning it in your dialogue, lower thirds and anywhere else when possible. This won’t be a huge issue for most people, but the more that content becomes dated, it can be perceived as less relevant or important for your audience. Content that has a post date that is a few months old, or even years old, can still be relevant to the audience if they are getting a tremendous amount of value from the content. This is where you can couple your business or non-profit’s marketing efforts with Evergreen content. When you remind them that it is dated however, you could encourage them to go somewhere else to find newer, more recent information.
  • Avoid trending topics that won’t be relevant to your audience in a month’s time. This doesn’t mean current events should be skipped out on, but if you are able to maintain an ongoing dialogue with your audience, focus on that. Don’t get lost in the weeds that could become the ‘now’ of the livestream. Always keep in mind that your content needs to be relevant: building an entire marketing plan for your business or non-profit around the advent of the fidget spinner would be a bad idea, so don’t do that with your livestream.
  • Repurpose older content during your livestream. If you talked about something in the past, in a blog, article, video, etc. that really resonated with your audience, find a way to take that same information and graft it into your livestream. This will create content that your live audience will enjoy and engage with while still maintaining relevancy with your audience. This is crucial when it comes to digital marketing. If you have content that has performed great, there is nothing wrong with reviving it with a new twist! The key points for your marketing strategy should be the basis around what you have built up i.e., even if you’re hitting the same point in a different way, it will still be interesting to your audience (when done correctly).
  • Break your livestream into smaller videos to distribute and use as short-form content for your community. If someone doesn’t have time to watch an entire livestream, even if it is already uploaded, break it into 2 -3 minute easy to watch clips, highlighting the best parts of the webinar. Digital marketing is built on snapshot experiences – capturing your audience in a moment, several different times, can be just as valuable as having them for a 1-hour stream. Taking it a step further you could break it down into 30 – 40 seconds clips and drive users to the livestream with each clip (or any other content). Facebook is notorious for users dramatically losing interest in videos after 10 seconds, so the shorter the better.

If you’re a marketer for a business or non-profit, creating Evergreen content is practical and essential.

An example is often worth a million words – one group that repurposes livestreams really well is Humble Beast. They are a creative company out of Portland Oregon that focuses on Christian music, art and ministry. One way they leverage their livestream video content is to do listening sessions and live interviews. This is a GREAT way to create Evergreen content! 

Check out this album listening session that they did for Beautiful Eulogy

Here is another cool example of a listening session and interview that they did with their artist Propoganda

Take everything with a grain of salt; not all livestreams can be repurposed to be Evergreen.

Sometimes the ‘now’ of the livestream is what it is – there is nothing wrong with having a strategy that isn’t Evergreen or having content that isn’t constantly repurposed at every opportunity for your digital marketing campaigns. Your business/non-profit is unique – don’t drown it out by trying to conform your marketing strategy to what is considered ‘better’ than what you are doing.

Don’t know if your livestream can be used as Evergreen content?

If you’re wondering if something can be turned into Evergreen content, consider some of these leading questions;

  1. Does my audience still care about what is covered in this video?
  2. How in-demand is the information that I am presenting?
  3. If I was a part of my audience, would I spend the time watching it?
  4. What is the overall replay value of the video or videos?

A YouTube video production company called h3h3 Productions records brand new content every week that they livestream on Twitch.tv and then re-upload to YouTube. The episodes typically run for an hour or two when they do their livestream. What they have done recently, is turned that content Evergreen by cutting up anecdotal pieces from the 2 hour livestream and hosting them on a separate channel.

Pastors do this often times as well with their sermons as well. See this clip of popular evangelist Doug Batchelor, where he takes a livestream broadcast of a church service, turning it into evergreen content.

Not only are they able to monetize their content in several different ways, but they also take clips and segments that answer positively to every question listed above: Their audience still cares, the content is in demand, they are willing to spend the time, and the replay value is incredibly high!

At the end of the day, Evegreen or not, you need to treat your audience right, watch what they enjoy and develop your marketing strategy around what they respond to. Avoid setting a goal around trying to milk their attention, instead, build goals around offering real, relevant, engaging experiences that are jam-packed with value.

When you are creating content that is meaningful, the rest will fall into place!

How do you plan on turning your content Evergreen?

Ready to inject your digital marketing
strategy with hyper-fuel?🚀

If you have been seriously looking into digital marketing, but aren’t sure where to start, we will do a complimentary business marketing audit and give you a complete list of recommended action items you should take to elevate your digital marketing strategy. The information is yours to keep – no hard sales tactics here.

Facebook Marketing 101: Become a Facebook Power User

There are a ton of social media channels that exist and new ones are sprouting up every day, but the end all be all is the behemoth we know as Facebook and Instagram. Currently, Facebook has roughly 2.06 billion users worldwide, Instagram with approximately 700 million active users every month.

Platforms like YouTube, Snapchat, Tumblr, Twitter and others have huge user bases as well, but the flexibility and powerful marketing features that Facebook is equipping users with has paved a way for in-house marketers and organization leaders to get their message in front of their audience in the most effective way possible.

Now organizations have an incredible opportunity to help lead out and strategize their non-profit’s online marketing campaigns by becoming better users of Facebook.

This isn’t to say that a volunteer can rnoneplace the resources or knowledge of an agency – if you want professional results, trust and partner with an agency to help you get there –  but rather, for smaller projects, maintaining your online presence and supporting your business or non-profit’s efforts using social media.

Becoming a Facebook Power User also means that you are able to vet the people who you plan on working with and bring your valuable insight to the strategy being developed.

It might take some time, some practice and some studying, but becoming a Facebook Power User is not impossible and with a little bit of sweat equity you can start developing, launching, executing and measuring your own campaigns!

Let’s get started – the first step is to…

Setup your Facebook Pixel

If you have a website or blog, you need to have your Facebook Pixel setup. Having Facebook Pixel setup on your website or blog is as essential as setting up Google Analytics – it’s just a must!

Not only you can see incredible insights on how your audience behaves outside of Facebook, but you can retarget the ones who interact with your content more often.

This is excellent for a number of reasons – that’s pretty obvious – but often times business and non-profit marketing leaders will miss this crucial step in their strategy and go months, dare I say, years without having any of this information.

Don’t miss this step, setup your Facebook Pixel. 

Here is a comprehensive guide on how to do it. 

And here is the kind of information you can get from having it live…

Complete this step before going ANY FURTHER! (Just trust me on this)

Explore Your Facebook Page’s Insights

By default, Facebook provides Page Administrators (people who own or operate a Facebook Page) a ton of insight into how the page is performing and audience reach at a granular level. With Facebook Page Insights you can not only see how far your Facebook Page reaches, but also when your audience is the most engaged, what kinds of content they like the most and more. 

Your Facebook’s Page Summary dashboard for example provides a bird’s eye view on what is going on with your Facebook page. You can see how many Actions, Page views and Page Likes are happening as well as how far your posts are getting to your audience (Post Reach).

Your Facebook Page Summary gives a detailed look over all of the activity across the board for your page.

From the insights I can see when my audience is the most active, what post types they are most engaged with, and which of my posts they interacted with the most organically vs. paid.

Even with a quick glance, you can see how powerful looking at this information can be. Making content and posting it without any idea of what your audience is responsive to can result in lost time and energy, not to mention money if you’re spending money on content creation.

Discover your Audience using Insights

Knowing your audience is one of the most important things you can know as a leader in your organization. Whether you are looking to nurture your current audience or reach new people to bring them into your organization or get your message in front of them, you need to know them and understand them intimately.

Before I start any campaign, whether social media marketing or not, I always do as much research as I possibly can so I can understand who I am speaking to and what they need to hear.

Using Facebook’s Audience Insights tool, you can do just that. Their incredible suite of features allow you to do a deep dive into your audience with powerful information about;

  • Audience demographics
  • Geography
  • Interests
  • Education
  • Household income
  • Employment status
  • Device usage
  • Spending habits
  • Relationships
  • Facebook advertiser/admin info.
  • etc.

There are literally hundreds of different ways that you can research your audience using Audience Insights – you can even see what pages your audience likes more than others, giving you incredible control of how you market to them.

‘Do’ use Ad Manager – ‘Don’t’ Boost

Let me clear this up, using Facebook Boost isn’t a bad thing and can actually be a great tool. However, that tool is too often a crutch to Facebook Page Admins looking to pump out a quick advertisement to get results or at least the illusion of results. 

If you want to launch a Facebook Ad Campaign, start with the Ad Manager, not with boosting a single post.

Boosting a post can have a lot of advantages if your content is performing well, but if you want to have a strategic approach to how you spend your advertising dollars, setting up a Campaign, Ad Set and Advertisement within Ad Manager is your best bet.

First, some basics on boosting… 

When you boost you are limited to the audience (unless you are intentional about setting one up) the placements you can use (more about that in the next point) and the content that you can promote. 

If you ever boost a post and then look in Ad Manager you will also notice that it is linear once it is setup: Campaign, Ad Set and Ad are all the same thing, a straight shot all the way through.

Edit your Placements

With Facebook Ads you can customize where your advertisements will appear to your end-user. 

For example, you can choose to only display your advertisement on your audience’s Newsfeed and Sidebar, or even limit it to the ‘Audience Network’ that Facebook makes available. 

You can also exclusively limit your advertisement to Instagram or an Instagram Story even – really there are a ton of different options and customizations available that you can use to get your message in front of your audience.

Placements are often one of the most overlooked customizations that Facebook Ads have available, but can significantly impact how your advertisement appears to your audience and interacts with your brand.

Facebook also recently announced that their Audience Network is expanding and customization options exist for users looking to Exclude Audience Network members or specific categories that they don’t want their advertisements appearing on.

Here is a quick breakdown of the different Placement options

  • Feeds: These are your most common placements that you are familiar with and still some of the most effective ones. This placement will put your advertisement directly in your audience’s newsfeed. While these are some of the most effective placements, they can also be skipped over very easily as users are scrolling their timeline.
  • In-Stream Videos: These are the equivalent of video advertisements. When someone is watching a video on Facebook and an advertisement cues up, that is your advertisement that will be played. If you have ever used YouTube, this works similarly.
  • Right Column: Similar to the ‘Feeds’ placement, this will put your ads in front of your audience in their newsfeed area in the right sidebar. Unlike the newsfeed area, the right sidebar is sticky and will follow your audience in the case that they scroll down the page. The placement itself is much smaller however and for me (historically) has not performed as well as the newsfeed placement.
  • Suggested Videos: Based on the preferences set up in your Audience section, Facebook will suggest your video content to your audience through the videos that they are already watching. If your audience is engaged with content already and what you are bringing is great quality content that connects with them, they will watch your video based on Facebook’s suggestion. I’ve seen video suggestions perform phenomenally well with the right budget and creative.
  • Instagram Feed: You can place your advertisement directly in your audience’s Instagram feed. This is similar to the Facebook Feeds option listed above. Each advertisement has the option for a Call to Action button as well, though it is not required. This is great for getting engagement for younger audiences who are frequent on mobile devices.
  • Instagram Stories: The Stories feature on Instagram is relatively new, showing portrait styled videos and images similar to Snapchat. Facebook allows you to place advertisements directly into Instagram Stories – these have performed incredibly well for me in the past. It’s not uncommon for a campaign to have .33 to .60 cents a click with low bounce rates and long session times (based on the website). Instagram and Facebook stories could be huge for engagement, don’t miss the section below where I cover that in more detail.
  • Native, Banner and Interstitial: These ads are often used within mobile applications and can be extremely powerful if leveraged correctly. I have never had the pleasure of launching a campaign that was aggressive with these types of advertisements, but in a nutshell – banner ads display a banner with a call to action button, native ads are typically rectangle ads that occupy space within an application screen and interstitial ads are full screen ads that cover the entire applications screen.
  • Audience Network In-Stream Videos: This is the same as Facebook’s option except within their Audience Network. If someone isn’t watching videos on Facebook’s platform directly, you can still advertise to them if they are on an affiliate network, which is great.
  • Rewarded Videos: If you have ever played a game on a phone or mobile device, it’s likely that you have seen a Rewarded Video. These are video advertisements that give users in-app purchases or premiums once they finish the advertisement. This is a great way to guarantee that your audience is actually watching your advertisement all the way through, although, that is no indication (truly) of engagement, these ads are great for brand awareness and remarketing/retargeting.
  • Messenger Home: This placement puts your advertisements directly in front of your audience members who use Messenger. Messenger has now (mostly) become it’s own standalone application with a unique newsfeed with content tailored for Messenger users. This means that a user on Messenger is not guaranteed to see the same content or the same advertisements as on their Facebook account. Users behave differently on Messenger than other apps as well, which is important to know and consider when developing your campaign.
  • Sponsored Messages: This placement allows you to send advertisements directly to audience members who you have already engaged with on Facebook Messenger with previously. This is a great tool that you can leverage and keep conversations open and

Promote on Instagram

While I say this with a grain of salt, not knowing every single market and industry, the fact still remains for many campaigns – Promoting on Instagram is a must for your campaign, especially if you’re using images and video.

I can cite countless examples where I’ve had the exact same image content on both Instagram and Facebook, and without a doubt Instagram performs much better with a smaller audience than Facebook. Considering that Facebook is becoming increasingly strict with how they show content to their audiences now. 

In the example above, we can see an almost 2000% better performance on Instagram when compared to Facebook for the exact same content. It’s also worth noting that the Facebook page for this account has 17k+ ‘Fans’ and on Instagram there are roughly 3k+ followers. 

Instagram has about 17% of followers that the Facebook page has, yet it performs astronomically better.

This isn’t an uncommon thing – skipping out on Instagram could cost you valuable traffic and engagement if not done correctly. 

Measure Performance (Daily)

Something that is often forgotten, even with successful campaigns, is to measure your campaign’s success (or failure) on a daily basis, gauging how things are performing. 

If you are aware of what is performing well and what isn’t, you can improve on the areas that are giving you the most value while changing your strategy or approach on the things that aren’t.

Here are some simple questions that you can ask and some basic formulas you can use to see how your posts are performing and how your advertisements are performing (these are subjective based on my experience, so take it with a grain of salt):

Page Posts

  • What types of content are performing the best? (Insights -> Posts -> Post Type)
  • What time of day are my users/audience members most active? (Insights -> Posts)
  • Are we getting or losing ‘Likes’ (Insights -> People -> Where Your Page Likes Happened)
  • What posts get the most ‘Reactions’, ‘Comments’ and ‘Shares’?
  • How are the responses to my content? Positive, negative?

Advertisements

  • What is my Campaign Objective? (There are a number of different objectives that you can choose from)
  • What are my Key Performance Indicators? (Clicks, Cost Per Click, Click Through Rate, Reach, etc.)
  • Which one of my Ad Sets is performing best?
  • Which one of my Advertisements is performing best?
  • What is my average Cost per Click?
  • What is my Click Through Rate?
  • What is my Event Response cost? (For events only)
  • What is my Average View Time? (Videos only)
  • How should I adjust my budget? More money, less money?

Evaluate and Optimize (Repeat)

This is the shortest and most straight-forward point that I can make – constantly watch what you are doing and find ways to do it better.

Use data to drive your decision making but allow your instincts to have their place in the scheme of strategy – your gut feeling shouldn’t be entirely discounted and the data will rarely give you 100% of a reason to do something.

In summation…

What do you currently use Facebook for?

Ready to inject your digital marketing
strategy with hyper-fuel?🚀

If you have been seriously looking into digital marketing, but aren’t sure where to start, we will do a complimentary business marketing audit and give you a complete list of recommended action items you should take to elevate your digital marketing strategy. The information is yours to keep – no hard sales tactics here.

Enhance your Digital Strategy with Livestreaming (A How-To Guide)

Livestreaming is a powerful tool that can be used to build up your digital strategy. But that is just what it is, a part of the strategy.

Livestreaming should not be your whole digital strategy.

Even if you follow every rule and best practice, your marketing efforts will fall short if you don’t have a solid foundation to build your livestreaming, and other social media efforts, on top of.

More times than not, the basics of digital strategy are entirely missing, so when one strategy doesn’t make up for what’s missing, it’s abandoned.

Without the basics, you will fall short of your goals and not even know why.

With that being said, here is how you maximize your video content and pair your efforts together in a way that has a positive impact all around.

Don’t have time to read everything right now?

No problem! I cover this and more in my Ultimate (Unofficial) Guide to Livestreaming.

Click the button below to get it instantly!

  • Audience: Do you know exactly who you are trying to reach and target with your efforts? Do you know their favorite places to eat, hobbies, TV shows, preachers, etc.? There is a level of detail that you need to have in order to understand your audience and build that relationship. If you don’t know anything about whom you’re talking to, how will you know what to talk to them about?
  • Analytics: Do you know what pieces of content on your social media channels perform the best? Or even what social media channels perform the best overall? Which ones have the highest engagement or least engagement? Having accurate, informed analytics allows you to make confident choices in your marketing efforts. Your decisions should be based on actual evidence and not just ‘gut feelings’.
  • Goals: What are you looking to accomplish with everything that you are doing? Consider your monthly, quarterly and annual goals for your efforts. What is the baseline for your efforts? How do we quantify success? What are the KPIs (key performance indicators) driving your decision-making? Knowing where you need to go is important in starting the journey.
  • Strategic Partners: In many cases, you likely can’t do this alone. I try to avoid the hard sell, but a genuine question you should ask yourself while investing time, money and resources into your efforts is; Who are you looking to as a strategic partner for your digital strategy efforts or overall strategy? Some agencies might be a good fit for you, and some might not, but in either case, you should partner with experts who can help guide your mission according to your goals

Using livestreaming as a digital tool can be incredibly valuable to crank your digital efforts to the next level and engage even more effectively. Many of the organizations that we work with here at Digital Pew see a much better engagement on video content than other types of content on social media. Below is one example where Facebook reach was 328% MORE on video content. Facebook engagement was 288% MORE. The page itself has a total following of about 17k on Facebook and 4k on Instagram.

Notice the spike in reach that can be seen in November when more engaging content was used to reach their audience based on our recommendations – it looks like a mountain range with an almost immediate spike! 

Here is another example of a page I manage that has roughly 300k across Facebook and Instagram. Again, we see that video content gets over 300% more engagement and over 250% more reach – than ALL of the other options combined!

Leveraging video content isn’t just beneficial, it’s a must if you’re looking to take your digital strategy to the next level.

Something I hit on frequently as well is how livestream video content can be used over and over again, turned into Evergreen content – videos don’t have to age out just because it is a livestream. There are opportunities to maximize what you are using and are already doing with your livestream content. Check out our blog on creating Evergreen content to learn more. 

Simply put, don’t wait! Start using livestream to maximize your digital strategy efforts today.

How can you start using livestreams can you start TOMORROW?

Ready to inject your digital marketing
strategy with hyper-fuel?🚀

If you have been seriously looking into digital marketing, but aren’t sure where to start, we will do a complimentary business marketing audit and give you a complete list of recommended action items you should take to elevate your digital marketing strategy. The information is yours to keep – no hard sales tactics here.

The Ultimate Guide to Livestreaming (Updated 08/20/2018)

Livestreaming has become, and is becoming, more and more popular across social media platforms.

Alongside Twitter’s live streaming application Periscope, platforms like Facebook and lnstagram introduced live streaming late 2015 and 2016. Live streaming provides a unique and powerful way to connect with your audience on social media, taking the conversation beyond the Comment box and into a live engagement. 

Those same platforms that are adopting livestreaming are pushing it heavily within their platforms because they understand that the value of what it brings to the tabIe.

Incorporating livestreaming into your digital strategy means more reach on your social media channels, higher returns on time invested, better audience insights, better notifications (ever notice whenever someone starts a livestream and you get a notification?) and happy engagement algorithms that prioritize your content over other pages in your audience’s stream. 

Although this is only one example of a client I manage, their video content generates 300% more engagement and reach than any other type of content that they post on their page!

Livestreaming can be a great tool, but in many cases, we have found that it can also be a business/non-profit’s worst enemy.

Livestreaming done poorly can hurt you more than it can help. Bad streams with no relevant content, no dialogue, and no structure can actually drop your engagement on social media platforms.

We have seen this to be the case first-hand many times. Keep in mind that you might not be able to apply every point in this manual – that’s ok!

This is meant to be a comprehensive approach to guiding your livestreams and help you build up your digital strategy.

Pick and choose as needed to make your livestreams better -implement what you can do well and avoid the things you can’t (for now). 

If you’re going through this and find questions or a gap in understanding that you want to learn more about, feel free to reach out to me at akande@digitalpew.com. I love hearing from leaders from all different businesses and non-profits. 

Don’t have time to read everything right now?

No problem! I cover this and more in the download of my Ultimate (Unofficial) Guide to Livestreaming.

Click the button below to get it instantly!

Step 1: Establish a dialogue on your livestream right away

One of the biggest issues I see with businesses and non-profits doing livestream video is that they don’t have a dialogue with the audience.

Many times a livestream will startup, I’II get notified, I’ll hop on to see what is going on and sit through about 3 minutes of the livestream host fumble around with the settings, seeing the comments and establishing the conversation.

To clarify, having a dialogue doesn’t mean that you get on a livestream and ask “How is everyone doing?” or field questions in an unstructured way from your audience: a dialogue is a structure and standard that you hold your engagement too.

Here are the key takeaways that you should have for establishing a dialogue and starting a conversation with your livestream audience: 

  1. Have a schedule and stick to it: If you get on the Iivestream and there are only a handful of people on the stream, keep it moving. You can take small 10 -15 second breaks as needed, but make sure you’re delivering the content, as scheduled, to the current audience. You are doing a disservice to the people who are actually interested, by making them wait for the engagement you promised.
  2. Structure questions and comments: During any formal presentation, there is a Q&A period where audience members are able to ask questions and the presenters can field them. Every livestream isn’t going to be a formal presentation, but there is value in making sure that you have set times to answer questions and dialogue with the audience without breaking away from the objective of your livestream to do it. Again, this can be done informally, but don’t get caught in the weeds of answering questions or reading every single comment that comes in.
  3. Keep your schedule flexible: If you get some great questions and it Ieads to a discussion that you can use to provide value for your audience, do it! There is nothing wrong with keeping a hot topic in conversation as long as it contributes to the livestream and doesn’t detract from the primary focus of why you started this Iivestream to begin with. A good conversation can be a great way to keep your audience engaged and drive increased interaction.

Keeping a dialogue is very important; the conversations that you start during your livestream can lead into future content, topics and help shape your livestream strategy down the line. Leslie Samuel is an entrepreneur who runs BecomeABlogger.com and does an absolute fantastic job with this. The engagement and interaction he is able to maintain with his audience while starting off his streams is done really well. Below is an example of one of his livestreams – watch and take notes on how he establishes the dialogue at the beginning of the video and guides the experience with a purpose in mind! Check out the quality of his stream as well – really great stuff!

Step 2: Create compelling, engaging livestreams

On Facebook I am friends with a lot of church leaders and I follow a lot of ministries, and without fail, every Sunday when I get on Facebook I see a half dozen of church service streams.

At least!

And these aren’t incredibly well shot or produced livestreams for the most part. In many cases they are shot on a smartphone in poor video quality, with poor audio quality, from the back of the church and go on for the whole 2-hour service.

Candidly speaking, I’m not interested in the content at all.

I will be the first person to advocate for putting church sermons on the web and I think that platforms like Facebook can be incredible opportunities to reach your church community (and nonchurch-goers too), but without adhering to some guidelines, you are wasting your efforts.

Time is valuable and if your content isn’t compelling, I can spend it elsewhere.

Everyone’s content is different, but here are some quick questions to consider when developing your next livestream content effort; 

  1. Does the video look good? Smartphones can be great for livestreaming, so don’t dismiss it. In this article, I discuss how to create a great looking video on a limited budget.
  2. How will the presenter engage with the audience?
  3. Can the livestream be repurposed as Evergreen content? In this article I discuss the value of creating Evergreen content and the ‘how-to’ of it all.
  4. Can they hear the presenter clearly?
  5. Is my community/audience familiar with the topic?
  6. How long will the livestream be?

Step 3: Livestream the right length at the right amount of time

I mentioned in the last post that on Sundays I am at home on Facebook for typically a couple of hours during the day. The reason being is that I don’t work and I go to church on Shabbat (Saturday).

Using the same example from the previous point, it always crosses my mind as I’m seeing these livestreams populate my Facebook feed- “Do they know that their core audience is likely at their own local church right now?”

This isn’t a problem that is exclusive to churches.

Businesses and non-profits have to consider when their target audience is avaiIable during the day and what their social media habits, and entertainment habits, are like. 10:00 a.m. on a Tuesday morning might not make sense for so me and might make perfect sense for others.

Even if you plan on re-purposing the livestream as uploading it as its own video, the engagement and boost you will get from having a successful livestream will reflect positively in Facebook’s (and lnstagram’s) algorithm.

Here I can see that my audience starts getting online as early as 3:00 a.m., but the most people are online at 6:00 p.m. I can also see that after 8:00 p.m. there is a significant dip in people who are online.

When you’re scheduling your livestream, consider the following that could impact or siphon off your potential viewers; 

  • Major holidays and events
  • Television debuts, season finales (TV shows, Spots, etc.)
  • Community schedules (Local events, conferences, church attendance, etc.)
  • Timezone considerations – this one could be huge
  • Social media metrics (What do the analytics say?)

Another helpful tip is to establish a consistent time that your audience can expect content from you. A friend of mine, Colton Wayan, publishes a new video content piece every Monday on youtube which his audience expects.He has seen better view counts and audience responses since implementing his schedule.

You can check out his Good Men Brotherhood channel here.

Step 4: Evergreen content and the power of replay value

Livestreaming content is not only great for the now but also the after.

If you are creating great looking, compelling and engaging content on your livestreams, you can re-purpose those live moments into content that is great even after it’s already been shown. 

New audience members can find it valuable and even share it (even content that is weeks or months old!). 

I go into the 4 ways to create great Evergreen livestreams in this article – check it out!

Step 5: Promote your livestream like an event

Your livestream is like a concert where everyone gets a front-row seat- treat it as such!

There is a novelty in doing a spontaneous livestream, or not planning it out like we’ve outlined above, but in most cases, you need to treat your livestream like a VIP event.

When your livestream has great content, a solid dialogue and is happening right when your audience is available, your goal is to get them in the ‘door’ so to speak.

Your livestream is valuable and they need to know that!

Here are 8 solid steps to get your mindset in the right place for treating your livestream like the most valuable conference on the web (or at least to your audience);

  1. Get a (relevant) guest speaker: If your audience isn’t that interested in watching you, give them another reason to watch with a guest speaker. Guest speakers can bring a new dimension to your livestream as well as offering a ton of value for users watching. Keep in mind that your guest speaker will need to be relevant for your audience; your buddy who has no connection or expertise on the topic you’re discussing won’t make for a good guest speaker. A good question to ask is “What can my guest offer that I can’t and how can I build on that?” Guest speakers can be brought in via webcam or be with you in person for the livestream session. I recommend research different technologies to help you facilitate your guest speaker livestreams. This can be a powerful way to get your audience’s attention and bring them into your dialogue.
  2. Highlight your livestream’s topics: If you have a guest speaker.great, but even if you don’t, the topics discussed will be one of the powerful drivers for users to participate in your livestream. As an account administrator (and leader), you understand what your audience likes the most, dislikes the most, engages with and have a passion for. All things considered, you want to speak on topics that are going to draw them in – since you know what those topics are, showcase and promote them, listing the takeaways they will get from the livestream if they attend.
  3. Use Facebook’s Audience Insights to get a better reach: This is a pretty intense topic and I cover it in more detail in my article – 12 steps to become a Facebook Power User. Check it out to learn about creating audiences that are a part of your social media community and how to target the right groups of people.
  4. Advertise and retarget your audience: Facebook allows you to do a lot of awesome things; one of the most powerful features of the Facebook and I Instagram platform is to retarget people who have already interacted with your page content or advertisements. If someone has seen or interacted with your content, you can show them your advertisement again to keep your event top of mind. Retargeting is a pretty comprehensive topic and I cover more in my article mentioned above – 12 steps to become a Facebook Power User.
  5. Start on time and end on time: I know I’ve already said th is before, but it’s worth stressing further. All great events have set in stone start times and end times. Respect that and you will respect your audience!

One brand that I often follow is The Futur. They are a design and branding agency who has developed an excellent livestream strategy for engaging their audiences with great content. For a segment they did, they brought in special guest speaker Hugh Barton to speak on psychotherapy for creatives. The topic itself is relevant to their audience, but also ventures into new terroritory that they do not traditionally cover. Bringing in Hugh Barton as a guest speaker was great for their audience and also their content strategy.

Check out The Futur’s livestream (now Evergreen) interview with Hugh Barton

Step 6: Create an irresistible offer for attendees

If someone is planning on joining your livestream it could be for a number of reasons.

The same is true if they don’t plan on joining.

If you’re having a hard time finding out why your livestreams aren’t performing well or why your audience isn’t as receptive as you’d like, create an offer that (in my godfa­ther voice) they can’t refuse!

The offer doesn’t have to be a drawing or some sort of giveaway that they have to enter. An offer can come in a lot of different forms, for example you could offer attendees; 

  • Exclusive insider information related to the topic being discussed – “My experience working 10 years in church media ministry”
  • A resource guide that they can access on the web or download – “Check out this guide on becoming a Facebook Power User”
  • Curated lists for products, services, websites, etc (whatever makes sense) that your audience would find valuable – “Here are the top 10 sermons I listen to in preparation for a big event”
  • A sneak peek that only livestream members will be able to see – “Check out this promo clip for our upcoming ministry media resource”

These are some suggestions, but really an offer can come in all shapes and sizes depending on your community and their needs and wants. 

A record label that I love, Humble Beast, did something similar by offering livestream attendees an exclusive first listen to their artist Beautiful Eulogy’s brand new album a day before it dropped. Fans of the group and the label had an irresistible offer and the label had an opportunity to drive more sales, streams and momentum around the release of the new album.

Check out the livestream (now Evergreen contentof Beautiful Eulogy’s new album

Want to know how they got this quality? They used a Million Dollar Budget!

Step 7: Incentivize ‘Reactions’ and ‘Shares’

When I’m talking about Reactions and Shares, what I really mean is engagement.

Reactions and Shares aren’t the only way that you can see or measure engagement, but they are a good place to start.

Reactions and Shares help to get your livestream noticed to your audience’s network. Every comment, smiling emoji and Share takes your livestream to your audience’s timeline on Facebook where their friends and family can see what they are engaging in.

The ‘Reactions’ or hearts on your livestream also show your audience, and their network, the nature of the content without them even hearing the dialogue.

A stream of ‘Angry’ reactions might prompt someone to tune in to see what alI of the fuss is about (hopefully you are getting’ Laughing’ reactions though!).

Here are some easy to do, non-pushy ways that you can incentivize ‘Reactions’ and ‘Shares’: 

  1. Perform a poll using ‘Reactions’ as a voting system: Th is is a great way to get an influx of engagement without having to ask for it specifically.
  2. Perform a poll using ‘Comments’ as a voting system: This is similar to the option above, but with the comment section. Depending on your audience, one or the other might work better.
  3. Ask questions and respond to comments off-cuff: Formal Q&As are important, but asking questions during a livestream and responding to 1 or 2 comments can serve as a way to get more people to comment and contrib­ute to the conversation, even if it doesn’t involve the moderator directly.
  4. Tell your audience “Tag someone who might love this”: This is a straightforward request, but there is nothing wrong with it if you are offering valuable information that your community loves. They trust you and you can ask them to share it with 1 person who would find it interesting.
  5. Tell your audience” If you are enjoying the content, be sure to Share it!”: Again, a straightforward request that no one will have a problem with (as long as they love your content).A rule of thumb though – don’t make this request more than 2 times during a livestream that is 10 minutes or less.

Step 8: Step up your livestream quality

Your smartphone camera and microphone won’t cut it in most cases. Sometimes it might, but I recommend checking out some simple equipment you can buy to really elevate your livestream experience. I cover this in more detail in my blog titled” Million Dollar Livestream on a Budget” 

Check it out to see how we do our Livestream sessions and put our content in the hands of the right people. 

Step 9: Start a livestream event series

Setting up a livestream event series (or web series rather) is a great way to engage your audience in relevant topics and buiId on past Iivestreams.

Like I mentioned above in the evergreen content piece, not all content can last forever; web series allows you to revisit or build on topics that were already popular and provide a fresh take on new information.

Great examples of this are often seen on, what I call, talking head livestreams that happen once a week.

Each week there will be a set time and set length for their livestream and they will duplicate the format from week to week while changing out key discussion areas.

The focus, format and the goals of the livestream don’t change, only the content. 

When you start setting a schedule, your audience will expect new content around certain times and days – Not every video that goes up has to be exactly spaced – but a rhythm makes all of the difference in the world when you are releasing and scheduling content.

This approach requires a significant time investment and understanding of your audience. 

I’m including it because I want to give you an idea of what this could look like, but if you don’t have the bandwidth to do it correctly and consistently, I would defer to some of the other points in this manual to optimize your livestreaming. 

Step 10: Pick the right platform

As social media continues to evolve and new players, and existing ones, begin to expand what you can and can’t do with your livestreams, consider the platform that you want to build up your audience on. There are several different options available, but when it comes to businesses and non-profits I think there are three that stand out currently.

Instagram: With the introduction of Instagram Stories and IGTV, Instagram has shown that they are aggressively going after the mobile video market. They want to engage with users on their mobile device in a unique and powerful way – their focus means they will be giving special attention to livestream content. Not only can you livestream on Instagram but you can also save that content and then post it to IGTV as well as Instagram Stories. Although there might be some limitations around the platform and what you can integrate, it is still a powerful solution that should be used wherever it can be. 

Facebook: For mobile users and desktop users, Facebook still holds a special place in the livestreaming market. Facebook is flexible in allowing users to use multiple different camera and audio options, they still prioritize livestreams within the Facebook feed and are becoming more focused on video content. Facebook live is an impactful way to expand your business or non-profit’s organic reach while also pulling out great quality livestreams that can be repurposed into evergreen content. There are some quirks that I personally don’t like about Facebook, but their committment to video content and livestreaming is evident.

YouTube: Maybe my favorite platform for livestreaming out of all of them, YouTube continues to lead the way in video content and livestreaming. YouTube not only gives content creators a wide range of tools for livestreaming, but also allows their livestreams to be syndicated on other platforms such as Facebook. They also work well with mobile users as well as desktop. YouTube also allows content creators to stream ready made content, or previously recorded content without issue.

 All around, YouTube is a solid platform for livestreaming.

Depending on what you need for your organization, your platform might change, so do the research in advance before committing.

Step 11: Have a content strategy in place

There is a ton of great information in this manual, but there is something that I need to make abundantly clear – livestreaming should be apart of your digital strategy, not your complete digital strategy.

Even if you follow every rule in this manual, you will fall short if you don’t have a solid foundation to build your lives­treaming, and other social media efforts, on top of.

So many times in businessess and non-profits, the basics of digital strategy are entirely missing.

With­out those basics, you will fall short of your goals and not even know why.

Digital Pew was our solution to this problem that we see so often.

Here are some of the basics that you shouId have to make sure that you are maximizing all of your efforts, livestreaming or not; 

  1. Audience: Do you know exactly who you are trying to reach and target with your efforts? Do you know their favorite places to eat, hobbies, TV shows, preachers, etc.? There is a level of detail that you need to have in order to understand your audience and build that relationship. If you don’t know anything about who you’re talking to, how will you know what to talk to them about?
  2. Analytics: Do you know what pieces of content on your social media channels perform the best? Or even what social media channels perform the best overall? Which ones have the highest engagement or least engagement? Having accurate, informed analytics allows you to make confident choices in your marketing efforts. Your decisions should be based on actual evidence and not just ‘gut feelings’.
  3. Goals: What are you looking to accomplish with everything that you are doing? Consider your monthly, quarterly and annual goals for your efforts. What is the baseline for your efforts? How do we quantify success? What are the KPls (key performance indicators) driving your decision making? Knowing where you need to go is important in starting the journey.
  4. Strategic Partners: In many cases, you likely can’t do this alone. I try to avoid the hard sell, but a genuine question you should ask yourself while investing time, money and resources into your efforts is; Who are you looking to as a strategic partner for your digital strategy efforts or overall strategy? Digital Pew might be a good fit for you, or we might not, but in either case you should partner with experts who can help guide your mission according to your goals

What are you doing for your digital strategy?

That is the true question. Like anything from SEO to social media marketing, livestreaming is a means to an end – you want your content in front of your audience.

As you begin leveraging all of the tools at your disposal, start laying the foundation for what an overall strategy could look like.

If you ever get stuck, that is where we come in. We have been helping businesses and non-profits with their digital marketing strategies for years. We understand the nuances of reaching out to members, influencers and decision makers – those conversations and relationships are not transnational and should be meaningful.

If you need that outside perspective, or a team to come in and help you lay out a path to success, schedule a call with me and we can discuss what makes sense for you.

Our customers have all seen incredible success and delivering that is what we thrive on!

What is the most valuable step in here (for you)?

Ready to inject your digital marketing
strategy with hyper-fuel?🚀

If you have been seriously looking into digital marketing, but aren’t sure where to start, we will do a complimentary business marketing audit and give you a complete list of recommended action items you should take to elevate your digital marketing strategy. The information is yours to keep – no hard sales tactics here.

3 Ways to Get Incredible Livestream Video (On a Budget)

Livestreaming is one of the most powerful tools that you can leverage for your company’s digital marketing strategy and approach. Engaging with your audience in real-time and providing them unique experience comes second to none with most content experiences. In the world of content marketing, livestreaming is quickly becoming one of the most common and powerful tools for organizations.

As powerful as it is, if done incorrectly, it can yield weak results or even hurt your brand!

One of the most common shortcomings of livestream content is the quality of the actual livestream. If you’re looking to engage with your audience effectively and produce content that is Evergreen in naturethe quality of the livestream is vitally important.

After talking with several leaders involved in their organization’s marketing and content strategy efforts, livestreaming can seem expensive and daunting. The truth is, it doesn’t have to be.

You can get a livestream that looks like a million dollars on a tight budget. 

In this article I’ll cover 3 different ways that you can take your livestream to the next level.

**Disclaimer**

Church leaders – none of these options will work for livestreaming a church service.

In fact, if you are livestreaming a church service, you are missing the mark entirely!

Download my Ultimate (Unofficial) Guide to Livestreaming to see WHY!

Mevo by Livestream – $299.99 – $399.99

Mevo is likely the simplest and most effective way to give your livestream incredible quality without breaking the bank. 

Mevo is a complete livestreaming solution that allows you to setup and shoot wherever you are with great quality. They have a huge community of people that are willing and able to help, a dedicated support staff and a large user-base which is always a huge plus; big userbases typically means that new features and software will be considered with each release more often. Here are some of the most notable features that places it at the top of my list:

  1. Multi-camera action (without multiple cameras): You can cut and edit your stream in real-time using Mevo’s incredible mobile application. Prior to going live, you can setup the shots you want and cut to them dynamically while your stream is happening!
  2. 1080p streaming and 4k native: Not only can you stream in hi-def, you can also shoot in 4k which can be saved natively to an SD card that is inserted into the camera. You can record events in 4k while streaming – this is the one of the best features about this product.
  3. Livetracking subjects: Move around a lot? Mevo’s dynamic live-tracking will actually allow you to track the individual portraits and shots seamlessly. It’s not a perfect feature, but if your subject is making minor movements, Mevo will keep it framed the entire time.
  4. Connect on Wi-fi, LTE or Ethernet: Use any internet connection you have available to shoot – imagine doing a livestream inside of a Starbucks, or on location at an event!

Mevo is one of my favorite products for livestreaming and I would definitely encourage anyone to consider using it if they are looking for quality AND value. Check out this sample Mevo video below.

The next option has a drop in quality, but also a big drop in price and setup time, which is why I ALSO recommend the…

Logitech C922x Webcam – $99.99

The Logitech C922x webcam is a great, simple and cheap solution for livestreaming with really good quality. There are a few limitations, such as needing a laptop or computer to stream from and also lacking the ability to do multiple edits/cuts, but for the price-point, it is a great alternative.

The Logitech C922x also comes with a ton of accessories such as tripods, desk clamps, and other accessories to bring your livestream to the next level. 

The Logitech C922x has a few standout features:

  1. Stream at 1080p with 30fps or you can stream at 720p at 60fps. Either way you are getting great looking video.
  2. Great built-in stereo microphone for audio – not the best on the market, but again, for the price-point it is pretty stand out.
  3. Setup and start streaming in minutes – One of the biggest benefits of the Logitech C922x is that you can connect it and start streaming almost immediately. Setup is plug and play and it works with Apple and Windows computers.

If you’re looking to get your feet wet with livestreaming without it costing an arm and a leg, this is the option for you. Even with some of the drawbacks, it is still one way to get a great looking video. If you are looking to supplement this option to get better sound or visuals, consider getting some simple lights or even an external microphone that you can use via USB to help enhance the quality. They are small changes that you can make right away to notch up your livestream. Check out the video below for a more detailed look at the C922x.

This last option is for tech savvy people, but is still a great choice.

StarTech.com USB Video Capture Device – $129.99

The StarTech USB Video Capture Device is the only option listed in this blog that does not include a video camera option. Even though this option for livestreaming doesn’t have a camera included, the potential is huge and here is why…

With StarTech’s equipment, you can use any camera that you already have, that has an HDMI output, to do a livestream.

That means equipment that your organization already owns or uses, can be used for DSLR/video camera quality livestreams and audio!

This device can be used for DSLRs, camcorders, and anything else that has an HDMI out, including a video game console (if that’s your niche). When you have that sort of flexibility, you can begin to create livestreaming content that excels in visual and audio quality. You could potentially have the best looking livestream using this method, but it might take some time to setup. There are also a lot more considerations with this setup; how you setup your camera, lenses, audio and subject will all be much more important to maximize the value and quality. The video below doesn’t showcase the Startech product, but shows how to use dongles or products like the Startech USB Video Capture to turn a DSLR camera into a livestream camera.

Creating great content doesn’t have to be hard or break the bank. Find an option that works for you and start using livestreams to engage your audience TODAY!

Which option from this list makes the most sense for you?

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