Nectar Business embraces video to champion SMEs

The continued and growing importance of high frequency, low cost video transverses both B2B and SME marketing. Nectar Business recognises this and has sought to take advantage with the launch of its new #MyBiz video series.

The result: a celebration of the brilliance and individual nature of great British business through an evocative and personal series of short video stories that intend to inspire and motivate the Nectar Business audience of small business owners.

The first video in the series features The Pickle House.

Nectar Business understands that running a small business can be a challenge, but also incredibly rewarding. The videos champion four very distinct small firms, with each tapping into themes that are applicable to all small businesses:

  1. starting out
  2. customer loyalty
  3. building relationships
  4. the importance of passion.

The Crocodile works with Nectar Business on its content programme, which includes the creation of Nectar BizHub, a new site to drive a more active conversation with the UK’s small business community.

“The #MyBiz series has allowed us to put video at the heart of our Nectar Business content programme, and it’s a fantastic way to hero and celebrate our small business customers’ stories. It’s very apparent that video is a core format for our audience and we’re aiming to use this to engage more closely with our customers in the future,” says Clare Gazzard, content manager for Nectar Business.

The Nectar Business #MyBiz videos are live now on Nectar BizHub and feature on the Nectar Business Facebook and Twitter channels.

Smart content marketing with Dell EMC

The merger of two of the world’s largest IT brands – Dell and EMC – into one premier end-to-end technology company has obviously created lots of news coverage over recent months.

During this transition, The Crocodile has worked closely with the Dell EMC product teams and subject matter experts to develop an exciting new content marketing campaign. The activity promotes Dell EMC’s advanced data storage systems under its new brand identity, around topics such as “the future of storage” and “building your data lake”.

Enterprise tech can be complicated subject matter – but our combined team has successfully created a clear and accessible content narrative using multiple formats. These include engaging articles and blog posts on the business benefits, eye-catching infographics and fun animated videos.

An advanced POEM (paid, owned, and earned media) strategy was also formulised to optimise SEO and drive reach, engagement and traffic via social media.

We’re delighted that the campaign is playing a key part in helping the new Dell EMC make a big splash in the IT industry.

Take a look at some of the campaign assets here:

Social Buzz nominations are in!

The annual announcement of the Social Buzz Awards nominations causes a lot of excitement at The Crocodile – more so than ever this time around as we tuned in to watch them revealed on Facebook Live.

This year we’ve been shortlisted in the Largest ROI and Best Use of Social Media Advertisingcategories for a lead generation campaign for laser healthcare provider client, Lumenis Aesthetic. The audience was niche and the return high – currently tracking at 900%.

We also made the cut in the Best Financial Sector and Best B2B Sector categories with client, Standard Life, for Adviser Voice. The Adviser Voice real-time marketing campaign differentiated Standard Life during Budget 2016 by championing the views and opinions of financial advisers to deliver massive reach and win the share of voice battle (85% – as measured by Crimson Hexagon) against Aviva, Royal London and Scottish Widows.

“Since first entering the Social Buzz Awards in 2013, The Crocodile has racked up 13 nominations, more than any other B2B agency in the country,” says Robyn Pierce, Head of Social at The Crocodile.

“We had a clean sweep of the Best B2B Sector category last year – with a win and a commendation – and we’ve won previously for Largest ROI so I’m excited to see what this year’s event has in store. It’s particularly great to be nominated for Best Use of Social Media Advertising as this is an important and growing discipline where we excel.”

The Social Buzz Awards ceremony takes place on 30 November. Click here for a full list of nominees.

Twitter update: ‘Free’ photos and gifs and polls!

Now that Twitter has confirmed its latest evolution, we’re having a look at what the changes could mean if you’re using the channel for your company’s marketing.

What’s happening

“When you add attachments like photos, gifs, videos, polls, or quote tweets, that media will no longer count as characters within your tweet. More room for words!”

Rich media assets really make your tweets stand out, gain attention and drive engagement. However, there’s always been the dilemma of style over substance. With only 140 characters at your disposal, could you forfeit 20 to allow for an image or GIF and still tell your business story? Now there’s no need.

This is both great and a challenge: marketers will need to work harder to stand out – using breathtaking photos or really clever graphics should go some way to setting you apart from the mundane.

It’s not featured in the public-facing blog, but Twitter confirmed in its developers’ one that you will be limited to a single ‘free’ gif, video, poll or quote tweet, while you can have up to four photos without denting your 140 characters.

What’s not happening

Contrary to Bloomberg’s initial report back in May, you will still need to allow 23 characters for site links in your tweet, while hashtags – another candidate for exclusion from the count – will still make up your 140-character maximum.

What might be happening

When Twitter announced the ‘do more with 140 characters’ project, there were other elements included beyond media attachments.

The ability to retweet yourself – and therefore easily repurpose content – happened back in June to little fanfare, but it’s changes to @name usage that are potentially more interesting for marketers.

Not counting @names does mean that you’re able to talk to a group of people without worrying about abridging your message. However, there were concerns that this could lead to a spambot frenzy, so Twitter is still testing that one to try to find a way to make it work.

Dropping the .@ convention at the start of tweets to broadcast them more widely was another possibility, and it would save you a character, but does throw up questions about what if you don’t want to broadcast those tweets.

On the surface, sending a direct message seems to be the answer – particularly now you get read receipts – but dropping .@ seems to have fallen through the gaps of the announcement, which could have something to do with the wider @names discussion mentioned above.

So it looks like Twitter is going to get more visual, as users start adding more rich media in their messaging. What do you make of the changes? If you think you’ll need to up your Twitter game as a result, get in touch with The Crocodile and we can discuss how to optimise your social media.

How To: Make more engaging & shareable video content for B2B

If a picture’s worth a thousand words, how many words must a video be worth? A quick bit of maths suggests 4.32 million seems to be about right, and that’s enough to bore the pants off the audience – so video content definitely seems to be the way forward.

Research by Demand Metric backs this up, with 69 per cent of B2B marketing professionals already using video as part of their strategy, and the remaining 31 per cent planning on doing so in the future. Why is there such an uptake? The answer is in the same survey – 82 per cent have experienced success through utilising the medium, so it makes sense for them to continue to do so and for others to jump on the bandwagon.

Whether you’re a seasoned video uploader or a newcomer, there are always things that you can do to improve your engagement levels and the following pointers will help you do exactly that.

1. Make it good

It may seem obvious, but if you don’t produce quality content, it could do your business more harm than good. Do you really want to be the brand that fires out video after video that’s of little interest to your audience?

There are 300 hours of video content uploaded to YouTube every single minute, so unless you produce something that people want to subscribe to or look for, it’s going to get drowned out by the sheer volume of competing content.

2. Make it short

Size matters when it comes to video – the shorter it is, the more people are likely to engage with it. Generally speaking, you can get most types of video done within 90 seconds, which works out at around 270 words if you’re scripting it beforehand.

Of course, 90 seconds feels like an age for some people, which is why Vine and Instagram videos have a foothold. They may test your creativity more, but from a simple six-to-15-second preview to something more adventurous like stop-motion or creative looping, micro videos can be a powerful medium and a neat addition to your social media content strategy.

3. Make it accessible

So you’ve made an interesting and succinct video, now you just need people to look at it. That’s increasingly happening on tablets and mobiles, so how it appears on those devices is a key consideration before you go to market.

While mobile video stats are often skewed by people watching Netflix in bed or on their commute to work, separate figures from Emarketer show that around half of B2B marketers are receptive to mobile video, something that’s only likely to grow in the future.

4. Put it on Facebook

Accessibility isn’t just about YouTube these days either – Facebook has gone big on video, garnering over three billion views per day in the final quarter of last year. It’s looking to make hay while the sun shines too, with a raft of new video features, including scheduling, better targeting and improved analytics.

Some would have you believe that Facebook is outpacing YouTube for desktop video views, but rumours of the demise of Google’s platform are greatly exaggerated. That said, it’s definitely worth acknowledging that online video is becoming a two-horse race, particularly now that videos on Facebook garner a higher average organic reach than other posts on the platform.

5. Consider a series

The cost of producing videos is getting more accessible all the time, with technology bringing it into the reach of many more businesses. As a result, videos don’t just have to be a once-in-a-blue-moon luxury expense – they could become a part of your marketing staple.

As covered above, that doesn’t mean you should churn out anything, but making a high quality series as part of your strategy will make people want to subscribe to your YouTube channel so they don’t miss the next instalment. Provided it’s not time sensitive, it’ll also provide a lasting resource that people can revisit time and again.

6. Make people feel, dammit

‘Going viral’ may be an overused phrase at times and it largely exists in the B2C domain, but the ‘Epic Splits‘ video from Volvo Trucks shows that B2B can garner viral success too. That’s not just in terms of views, either: the coverage was the equivalent of spending $120 million on advertising, while sales increased by 24 per cent immediately after.

While your company may not be able to afford Jean Claude Van Damme, you can create videos that evoke passion. In Volvo’s case, it was amazement, but humour, cuteness and – if carefully managed – anger can all get people sharing and get your brand in front of many more eyes.

So that’s your lot – six tips to help your marketing flourish with engaging, shareable video. Whether you’re doing it yet or not, one thing is for sure: it’s here to stay, so it’s better to embrace it.

The @crocbites social media roundup – August 2016

August seemed to be the month when every man and dog decided to break cover and reveal their own take on a Snapchat-killing app. They didn’t have tunnel vision though, with plenty of other stuff emerging too – here’s what happened last month.

Facebook

First up in the Snapchat lookalike contest we have Facebook with Lifestage, which lets teens emote using photos and videos and could be a fantastic way to reach that audience if it takes off.

On the main site, control over ad preferences is changing in an attempt to discourage people from using ad blockers.

You won’t believe what Facebook are going to do to clickbait-titled posts on your news feed! (They’re cutting down on them to improve quality).

They’re also aiming to give stories a rating based on how informative their quality control people think they are, hopefully with a similar effect.

Facebook’s trending topics have been fully automated, although it looks like it’s still a work in progress.

Add music, text, stock imagery and more to your slideshow ads.

Is your mobile site up to scratch? It’ll need to be if you don’t want your Facebook ads to feel the wrath of Zuckerberg.

Could autoplay with sound be a thing soon? Mashable reckons so.

Twitter

Twitter’s swipe at Snapchat comes in the form of building on stickers with promoted ones that brands can create. First up: Pepsi.

There’s a new tool in your Twitter ads arsenal – you can now create cards that allow followers to unlock exclusive content.

Users will now be able to set a quality filter to prevent poorly crafted content appearing in their timelines.

Monetising your Twitter profile will now be easier… if you’re in the US. Hopefully similar changes will happen over here soon.

Instagram

Introducing Instagram Stories, which is nothing like Snapchat, um, Stories. Except that it is – a lot: build your own 24-hour photo/video slideshow with emojis, artworks and such.

Instagram is even copying Facebook now! Or rather, it’s using the same new features for slideshow ads that its big brother has rolled out.

Worried that people may miss the intricacies of your Insta posts? Worry no longer, as you can now pinch to zoom on photos and videos.

Google

Google doesn’t know when to quit trying to jump on the social media bandwagon, so it’s trying out Allo, which offers self-destructing messages, just like… yup.

Apple

Apple’s take is to introduce a video sharing app that lets you apply filters and drawings to your media, then send it to your existing followers on various social media platforms.

Snapchat

So how does Snapchat react to what its rivals are doing? It decides to spend $110m on search start-up Vurb.

It’s also been playing midwife to Stickers and Geofilters, as they’ve had a baby – introducing Geostickers, which offer new options to users in some of the world’s biggest cities.

Geofilters won’t be a stay-at-home parent, though – it’s going to be far too busy now that you can use templates to make your own in minutes.

LinkedIn

Video is so hot right now, even LinkedIn wants a piece of that particular pie, so your feed will now feature 30-second clips from influencers on professional and trending topics.

Find the content you want quickly and easily with the new content search feature on the mobile app.August seemed to be the month when every man and dog decided to break cover and reveal their own take on a Snapchat-killing app.

It’s certainly been a busy month and, not wanting to miss the Snapchat bandwagon, this blog will auto-destruct in 24 hours. Before it does, get in touch with our social team to help you get to grips with all these new innovations – email us at hello@thecroc.com