Ways to Grow Your Business With Videos

Videos have become a must for businesses of all sizes. As the cost of video production decreases and the popularity of this form of advertising increases, even the smallest companies are using videos to reach out to current customers and target potential customers, both online and in-store. A well-made video by one of the growing number of corporate video production companies will more than pay for itself in new business. Let’s take a look at some of the ways that videos can be used to grow your company.

Marketing Videos

A 2011 Nielsen study found that videos are fifty times more likely to appear on the first page of search engine results than other types of content. Many potential customers would prefer to watch a short video to learn about a business’s products and services than read through pages of text on a website or in a brochure. A video is a good way to introduce yourself and your employees as well as allow people to see the faces behind the business.

You can show numerous examples of your work in a short, entertaining format that is more viewer-friendly rather than asking a customer to scroll through numerous pictures. Remember that online videos should be short – no more than two or three minutes. Most people will not watch much longer than that. It is better to have several short, engaging videos than one long one. Leave them wanting more – not less.

Instructional Videos

Online videos are an excellent way to demonstrate how to use your products. Step-by-step written instructions can be overwhelming, and many people find it easier to follow visual instructions. If someone feels confident that they can assemble and/or use a product easily, they are more likely to purchase it and then to keep it and recommend it to others. Even if you do not sell something that requires instructions, you can demonstrate the variety of ways to use your product and get the most out of it. Good video editing is key to keeping the piece at an optimum length and easy to follow. A video production company with experience in this type of piece can help you make a how-to video that will inspire customers to purchase and use a product.

In-store/Lobby Videos

Never miss an opportunity to market to current customers – even if they are already in your place of business. While they are waiting, give them something to look at besides their iPhone. As people’s attention spans grow ever shorter, more businesses are finding ways to entertain and inform customers, whether they are in a check-out line at the grocery store, or pumping gas at a gas station. You can use an in-store piece to promote special offers and new products that your customers may not know about or to tell them about something that your business is doing to help the community.

Customer Testimonial Videos

What better way to present customer testimonials about your business than on film? When a potential customer sees a person extolling the virtues of your business, the impact is more powerful than if they read a written testimonial. They are the next best thing to a face-to-face recommendation from a friend or family member. A few short customer testimonials from different types of people that cover a variety of products or services and how they met the customers’ needs can be an effective marketing tool.

Optimizing Video Viewership

Keywords: If your video is online, it is critical to capture people’s attention with a catchy title that also lets people know what your business does. Keywords are crucial in helping anyone searching the Internet for a service or product to find your business. Place keywords in the title and description box. Be sure to include your website at the very beginning of the description.

SEO: Search engine optimization (SEO) is an entire industry unto itself. Many corporate video production companies have professionals who know all the SEO tricks to get videos in front of the right people.

Social Media: Put your videos on all of your social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+) in addition to your website. Use a service like TubeMogul to share them across multiple video platforms. If you have a YouTube channel, include a link to it on your website, and include it on your business cards and printed marketing materials. Don’t forget to send them to the people on your e-mail contact list as well.

Branding: Every video is an opportunity to get your brand out there. Your company name and logo should be clearly visible in every one.

Video is truly becoming a necessity for building a business. Don’t be intimidated by the idea. No one is expecting Spielberg-directed films. However, they should look professional in order to give potential customers confidence in you and your business. An experienced video production company can ensure that your business is presented in the best light, and that it gets in front of the maximum number of people interested in what you have to offer.

Boomer Generation Fitness Tips

A generation of baby boomers is now entering their 60′s with high expectations of themselves when it comes to how they will spend their retirement years.  The boomer generation has always thought of lifestyle as a key factor in determining how successful they are at living and the key to that living is health.  Many boomers plan to travel the world and see all of the things that they have read about over the years, but without good health and a reasonable level of fitness, those dreams are often shattered.

Most of us dread the thought of spending long tedious hours in a gym grunting and groaning on machines that are dripping with someone else’s sweat and germs in order to restart some sort of muscle activity.  This process is usually spurred on by looking in a mirror and realizing that it will be difficult to view all of the sight seeing locations, let alone getting on and off the bus, without some minimum level of strength and agility. What is the easiest and most effective way to approach better health through fitness? We need to concentrate on three main body areas, mainly upper body, core and lower body.  There is no point in trying to work on minor muscles when what we really need to do is make sure that the major groups are strong enough to do the job.  The smaller ones will follow along as we become more active.  Let’s look at 3 specific calisthenics you can do at home in about 10 minutes per day:

  1. UPPER BODY   push ups are the obvious choice to make the most difference in the least amount of time.  If you can’t use your toes to sustain the full body push up, then use your knees and keep your back straight as you lower your upper body to the floor and raise back up.  It is very important to maintain correct form but just as important to do as many push ups as possible in 90 seconds.  I realize that might be only one, but to get the most benefit requires pushing yourself slightly beyond what you thought you could do.  Spend an honest minute and a half working at your pushups and record the number so that you can do an extra one next time.  When finished, rest for 2 minutes.
  2. CORE   you know what’s coming, situps, of course.  Two ways to do this, first crunches.  Lie on your back, raise your knees to a 45 degree angle with your feet firmly on the ground and cross your hands over your chest – never place your hands behind yur neck.  Now, spend 90 seconds lifting your upper body as high as possible (this might be only a few inches) and lowering back to the floor.  Try to move your head up and down vertically as opposed to bending it forward and straining your neck.  Count again and add more each day to increase your core strentgth.  The second method requires bending your knees in the same way but hooking your feet under a chair or something sturdy so that they won’t lift off the ground.  Now, keeping your hands crossed on your chest, lift your entire upper body to a sitting position and return to the floor slowly.  Count again and record the total number you do in 90 seconds.  You will do fewer of these but they are much more effective. Rest for another full two minutes.
  3. LOWER BODY   squats are a great choice and once again 90 seconds and do as many as possible.  Standing with your arms stretched straight out in front of you, palms down, move your arms back and keep them at shoulder height then lower them to your sides while you lower your body to squat position keeping your back straight. Lift your self back up, using your legs, thighs and hips in a smooth motion to your original position. 

The key to the success of this program is the natural process of your own body which continues to benefit from this brief activity for hours afterward.  Dr. Al Sears, in his program called PACE, shows how our bodies increase the capacity of our heart and lungs without creating more fat stores by the use of a short duration but high intensity workout.  This is especially important for a boomer generation trying to become healthy and fit in the most efficient way possible.

New Orleans Education Post-Katrina

Education in the city of New Orleans has changed a great deal since hurricane Katrina took place in August of 2005. New Orleans education now revolves around the concept of charter schools. These schools were established out a need that arose in the wake of the natural tragedy. To date they have been shown to be of benefit to the children and adolescents being educating in them.

There is currently a move in the New Orleans Public Schools system to decentralize power that was previously held by the school board’s central bureaucracy before Katrina and give it to certain school boards and individual school principals. These reforms will make it possible for the charter schools to make many of their own decisions and to allow the parents of children attending public schools to enroll them in any school they wish to in the district. It is worth mentioning that at the present time the majority of public school students in the city of New Orleans attend these charters schools. New Orleans education has undergone a tremendous change in the post-Katrina days out of necessity. New Orleans is the only city in the United States where public charters dominate the educational system.

In attempting to understand the New Orleans education system in the wake of the hurricane that changed the way the citizens live their lives, it is important to understand what these schools are all about. Let us take a look at that now.

Charter schools have been garnering a great deal of attention in the past few years however they are not a brand new concept. These types of schools which are privately governed have been around for the past two decades. According to a survey published in 2009 there are more than 4,900 charter schools throughout the nation and as many as 1.5 million students are in attendance at these schools.

Charter schools resemble a type of educational reform that has not only affected New Orleans education but the education in other areas of the country as well. The state of California has chosen to embrace this new form of schooling as well. Charter schools offer a viable alternative to educating students and making sure that they obtain the best education that they possibly can.

Public charters are funded in much the same ways that public schools are funded. The difference is that charter schools are not governed by the state but in a private manner. While conventional public schools do not have to worry about being closed down if they do not yield successful results in their academics and teaching process, charter schools do have this worry placed on their shoulders from the start. Every charter school that opens its doors must be able to prove that it is successful and that its students are learning properly and learning well in order to be able to maintain their charter.

These schools are for all grades from kindergarten up to grade 12. While they are publicly funded they are open to accept private donations in the same way that public schools are. Every school charter that is established in the New Orleans educational system and elsewhere is free from some of the constraints placed on public schools. However there is a level of accountability inherent in every charter that specific results must be obtained in order for the charter to remain in place. A charter school is open to anyone who wishes to attend and these schools are not permitted to charge students fees to obtain their schooling. Be aware that these new types of schools are a component of the public education system.