Make Your Instagram Stories Even Better with These Apps

Make Your Instagram Stories Even Better with These Apps

Instagram stories are a great way to reach followers with important information or create ads that help increase engagement. There are certain strategies and tools available that can make your instagram stories more effective at building awareness and attracting attention from potential customers. You can use apps to enhance your stories and make them more appealing to followers.

An eye-catching option is to add animated text and creative overlays to your photos and videos using third-party apps like Adobe Spark Post. This is a free design app that allows you to add effects and different types of overlays to your posts to make them animated videos. You can choose from various themes, fonts and colors to create an interesting design that will make your story more memorable.

Another app that can be useful for Instagram stories is the InShot app which helps with sizing issues if you don’t have a vertical video. The free app can convert a video from any type of aspect ratio into the right vertical ratio for stories with background margins that you can customize using different colors or a blurred effect. Other options like PicPlayPost allow you to create vertical collages or vertical slideshows using multiple photos.

There are many options for editing apps that can help you create clips for videos like Videoshop or Filmmaker pro. These apps make it possible to put together multiple clips, resize them, edit them and add text. Video stories with several clips can help businesses communicate more information in one single story.

Enhancing stories with these types of apps can make them look more professional and help you boost engagement with more interesting content. Businesses can benefit from putting some thought and effort into their Instagram stories so that followers look forward to viewing more.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Compressing Video Files – What You Need to Know

How to Compress Videos

Raw and uncompressed video files can be extremely large, and it isn’t uncommon for HD raw videos to require a few gigabytes for each minute. Needless to say managing files of such sizes isn’t easy, let alone transferring them or uploading them to online servers.

The first thing that you should know is that because uncompressed raw videos are so large – most of the video files that you encounter are probably already compressed in some form or other. However in some cases they may still be too large, and you may want to compress them further to make them more manageable.

If that is your goal, you should start by understanding how the video format affects its compression.

Codecs and Compression

The video codec is the part of its format that determines the compression that it uses – which is why it is important that you know more about it. Some of the more common codecs nowadays include MPEG-4, H.264, and H.265.

Newer codecs tend to have better compression rates than older codecs, and are able to deliver the same quality of video at much smaller file sizes. For example the H.265 codec can reduce the file size of a H.264 video by up to 50% in some cases.

Suffice to say, if your video is in an older codec – you could significantly compress its file size without affecting its quality by transcoding it to a newer codec instead. The one caveat however is that newer codecs are often more limited when it comes to compatibility, so you’ll need to ensure that the device you want to watch the video on supports the codec.

If your video is already encoded in a new codec this may not be an option – but there are other ways to compress videos as well.

Video Bitrate

The video bitrate is literally the amount of data that the video uses each second, and so the video file size is its bitrate multiplied by its duration. By reducing the bitrate you will be able to compress and directly reduce the file size, but at the same time its quality could deteriorate and compression artifacts may appear.

Different videos require different bitrates in order for the video quality to be unaffected, and it varies depending on the resolution and framerate. As an example you could refer to YouTube’s recommended upload settings so you know what to expect.

Assuming you’re willing to compromise the quality of the video slightly however, you can reduce the bitrate to lower than its recommended settings. In short you will want to balance out the video quality against the file size of the video, and find a compromise that satisfies you on both counts.

How to Compress Videos

To start compressing videos using either of the methods described above, you will need software that allows you to convert and transcode videos. Nowadays there are several tools that you can use that range from video converters to specialized video compressors. For example you could try Movavi Video Converter as a place to start.

Typically the first thing that you should do is identify the format (i.e. codec) that the video is using, and determine whether or not transcoding it to a newer codec with better compression is an option. If it isn’t, you can then try lowering the bitrate gradually while observing the affect it has on the video quality.

It should be noted that in some cases you may be able to reduce the file size of your videos through other means – such as by removing any unnecessary parts from the video. While technically that isn’t ‘compressing’ the video, it is an effective option that you should consider.

At the end of the day you should now know everything that you need to in order to compress your videos. All that remains is to try it out – and see how it works in practice.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

The Benefits of A Live Stream

The Benefits of A Live Stream

Live video content has been around for a while but has now been incorporated into a number of different popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Streaming content online is a great way for brands to share meaningful information to users and connect to a larger audience. Including live video broadcasts on these social media sites can make your brand seem more relatable and accessible to potential customers.

The live video features on Facebook and Instagram are useful not only because they reach more people but they also give users a chance to interact with you in real time. People can write comments or ask questions and you can respond as you are seeing them during your live stream. This real time communication can be essential to converting customers and getting people to be more engaged with your brand.

One of the biggest benefits of a live stream is that it can give you a chance to educate users about your brand and what your company is all about. You are able to promote your company in a more personal way and make sure that people are listening and will hear your message. The content can be more rich and entertaining in a way that people will be more inclined to respond.

Live streams are also useful at conveying a sense of urgency to help convert people into becoming paying customers. You can talk to customers about a limited time offer or a particular promotion that you want them to take advantage of during the course of the video. Users might be more interested in converting with the longer and more informational content of live streams rather than a quick ad.

Live streaming allows you to communicate directly to people and the more live stream videos you create, the larger the audience you can reach every time.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

What Your Company Should be Doing on YouTube

What Your Company Should be Doing on YouTube

Many businesses don’t realize the enormous potential that YouTube can have for marketing online. Having a YouTube channel gives you opportunities to reach a wider audience and communicate directly to customers with information that they value. With compelling content you can increase your viewers, build up your brand and get more people to click through to your website.

The most effective YouTube channels follow a few different strategies in order to get the most out of their video marketing efforts. One thing to focus on is creating a substantial volume of content on your channel so that you can increase your viewership. With only a few videos people might lose interest or not take your brand as seriously.

With increasing volume it is still very important to focus on the quality of the content as you publish on a regular basis. You don’t want to overload people with too much at once, but simply post at regular intervals so that you build up the volume gradually and keep people interested. You can pick a few key areas where you feel that you can provide useful information, entertainment or something of value and create more content within those larger categories.

Another useful strategy on YouTube to get content seen by a wider audience is to collaborate with another brand. Working with someone else who has a similar audience to you can help you get more exposure and they will benefit by getting exposure to your audiences. Collaboration can be an organic way to build viewership and increase your credibility.

One of the most important strategies on YouTube is to create a sense of consistency in your content so that it represents your brand. Posting regularly with a consistent tone and style lets people know who you are and what to expect from your business.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

YouTube Ads Overview

YouTube Ads Overview

Businesses that have create video advertisements often need an easy way to get more people to view them. YouTube is the perfect place to get millions of users to see your ad and potentially click through to your website. However YouTube ads can be a little different than other types of paid advertising online so it is important to familiarize yourself with the format.

There are two different types of YouTube ads you can purchase for views to see. TrueView ads are a standard video ad on YouTube that viewers can watch and interact with. With these types of ads marketers can choose to only pay for the viewer to see 30 seconds of the video ad and the user has the option to skip the remaining time of the ad after watching 5 seconds. Non-skippable ads are required to be between 15 to 20 seconds in length.

Other YouTube ad types include Video Discovery Ads which can show up on the homepage or in related videos after a YouTube search. If the user clicks on the ad then a companion banner display ad will appear. These displayed ads do not automatically play but need to be clicked on in order for views to see them.

You can set up a YouTube ad through Google Adwords by selecting video ad under the list of campaign options. You can then select the format, the budget and the networks where you want your video to appear. There are also options to target the video for a certain audience to see on YouTube.

It can be difficult to get people to view video ads when it is simply embedded in your homepage or placed in a social media post. YouTube ads are an easy and fast way to get a much bigger audience to see your ad and learn more about your company.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

How to Add Music to Instagram Videos

Instagram Videos

Instagram videos can be a useful way to connect to followers with images you create and share. Videos are a great addition to any Instagram account, no matter what your page is about and what your goals are in using the platform. To give videos an extra level of appeal you can add music to go along with the images and share something people will really enjoy.

Adding Music to Instagram Videos Easily

 

People often find that adding music to videos that have static pictures can make the images more interesting especially when they are using the ‘stories’ feature on Instagram. Videos with a slideshow of images need an audio track to make it feel more complete. Unfortunately Instagram doesn’t offer a built-in editing tool that allows you to add music to the videos you upload.

Different Ways To Adding Music To Instagram Videos

 

Even without a built-in feature for adding music many people find ways to include an audio track with their video. There are different options and possibilities when it comes to adding music to Instagram videos whether you are creating posts for your business or just for family and friends. Spending a little bit of extra time on audio and video can make a more dynamic post that is likely to get more feedback.

Mobile Apps for Audio

Although many professional companies working on their Instagram account might use a desktop computer to add audio with video editing software, the average person won’t spend as much time on it. Since typically most people record videos with their phone it would be an extra step to transfer the video to the desktop and then back onto their phone once they’ve added audio. Fortunately there are mobile apps available that can make it easy to add audio tracks to a video you have recorded.

A number of different apps available on smartphones are specifically designed to take video you have recorded on your phone and merge it with an audio file. Most of the apps will only allow you to use audio files that are saved to your device so as long as you have some tracks available on your phone you can easily combine them with your video. Some of them even have other useful features to enhance the video such as adding text or filters.GoPRO

Some of the mobile apps that allow you to merge audio files with your video include Vidlab which allows you to search for audio files on iTunes or Google play so you can purchase them for your video. Other apps include Videoshop which allows you to also edit video clips and combine them together, flipgram which includes content creation and social media sharing as well as Quik by GoPro. Quik can automatically create stories and allow you to add audio, filters and even interesting effects such as stop motion.

Adding an Audio Track

To add music using one of these mobile apps you simply need to to download them and select your video and the audio track that you have on your phone. Some of the apps include stock audio that you can use for your video if you are concerned about copyright infringement or if you don’t have a track available to use. You can also add your own music but be aware of the necessity of crediting artists in certain cases.

You can usually use the app to adjust the starting point of the music and where it appears in the video. If you have a video editing app you can also add more video clips and filters to put together a more elaborate presentation. Once you have created the final version of the video you can simply export it where it will be saved on your phone to be uploaded to Instagram.

Most of the mobile apps are straightforward and simple to use but there are tutorials available online if there is something specific you are having issues with. Once you are familiar with the apps options it will only take a few minutes to add audio and quickly upload your video after recording it. Being able to edit and create videos on your mobile phone can save a lot of time and allow you to share more interesting posts when you are on the go.

Occasionally videos can be flagged for having copyrighted content so make sure you credit the artist if you can. Overall, music can be a great way to make your videos more worthwhile to followers who want to see unique and high quality posts. Even if you aren’t interested in using any of the other editing options, simply adding an audio track can make videos more appealing.

Adding music to Instagram videos is an easy and effective way to engage followers with your posts and get more people interested in your content online.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

4 Important Rules to Make Marketing Videos More Engaging

4 Important Rules to Make Marketing Videos More Engaging

Engaging videos are able to retain, interest, stimulate, and connect with viewers – all of which are important for marketing. And while it is true that videos are naturally quite engaging, you will have to tap into and leverage that potential.

As you can imagine there are lots of factors that affect how engaging your marketing videos will turn out to be, but as a good place to start there are four important rules that you need to follow:

  • Plan it so that it has a short duration

Try to plan every marketing video so that the duration is short – somewhere in the 15 to 60 second range. The fact of the matter is the shorter the video the more likely you are to be able to retain viewers, and more of them will be around for you to convert them with your call to action.

Considering your video is going to be short, it must also be direct. That means that you need to strip away any fluff during the planning phase, and distill it down to its most basic elements.

  • Optimize the first few seconds

During the first few seconds (normally about 8 to 10 seconds at most), most viewers make a decision to either keep watching or click away. That is why you need to optimize the first few seconds so that you are able to best convince them to stay and continue watching.

One of the most effective ways to do that is to get to the heart of the matter and let viewers know what the video is about and more importantly how it will benefit them. Let them know what problem of theirs it could solve, or what they stand to gain.

  • Design the video to provoke an emotional reaction

The most engaging videos are invariably the ones that provoke an emotional reaction, which is why funny, inspirational, sad, touching, or even outrageous videos go viral so frequently. Be sure to use that fact in your marketing videos, and design them to provoke some kind of emotional reaction too.

While it can be tricky to pull that off, using storytelling elements that make viewers feel invested in the subject is a good place to start. Also always remember that it is easier for viewers to connect with people rather than faceless objects or brands – so frame your video accordingly.

  • Track, experiment, evaluate and analyze everything

Ultimately the key to making your marketing videos more engaging, is to improve them iteratively over time. For that to happen you’ll need to track their engagement, experiment and try new things, then evaluate and analyze the results.

If you do all that, you should be able to slowly but surely learn more about your target audience, and be able to tailor your videos so that they are more engaging to them.

Of course in addition to these rules, it is important that you create videos that are visually interesting and impressive enough to capture the attention of viewers. For that you may want to try using Movavi Video Editor as an MP4 editor that will help you to compile, tweak, and improve your videos to your satisfaction.

Within Movavi Video Editor you’ll find pretty much all the features you could possibly need to come up with engaging and impressive videos. It can be used to merge clips together, trim out unwanted parts, enhance the video quality, apply special effects and filters, add captions, include audio tracks, and much more.

The best part is that while you may be worried about how complicated it can be to edit videos – there’s really no need for concern with Movavi Video Editor. Simply put it will provide you with an intuitive and user-friendly experience that will let you edit your videos quickly and painlessly – even if you have absolutely no prior experience at all.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

5 Reasons a Podcast Will Help Your Business Marketing Strategy

5 Reasons a Podcast Will Help Your Business Marketing Strategy

Staying relevant in modern advertising means finding a way to reach people that doesn’t always follow traditional marketing. New options such as podcasts can give businesses the opportunity to communicate with their target audience and let them know why their product matters. Staying ahead of competition means telling a story about how your product stands apart from the others and podcasts offer a way for businesses to do that.

Podcasts usually don’t include regular commercial breaks as there are on the radio so their advertising messages often become part of the program. This can make the message about the product seem more natural and authentic in a way that listeners are more likely to respond to. In addition to your regular written and visual content, podcasts can be a great kind of audio content to include in your marketing strategy.

These are some of the reasons podcasts can help your business.

1. They are Easy for People to Consume

Audio content is one of the most accessible types of advertising content for potential customers. Instead of having to read lengthy text or keep their attention on a video, podcasts deliver the information quickly and easily. Users don’t have to shift their focus away from what they were doing to pay attention exclusively to your content.

People can easily listen to podcasts while they are driving, exercising, or working without it taking their attention away from those activities. Even though they are easy to access and consume, podcasts can also be highly engaging. Audio content can often be a welcome break from the monotony of other types of content that people are constantly bombarded with online.

2. They are Inexpensive and Simple to Create

There are not a lot of steps involved in making a podcast and the equipment required for making one is reasonably priced. All you need for a podcast is a good quality microphone and headphones and editing software that will allow you to record and produce the content. The editing software is often free online and simple to use even for people with no experience.

Making a podcast can also be much less time-consuming than other types of written or visual content. All you need to do is record yourself speaking naturally. You might prepare some talking points before hand but podcasts are typically not scripted. After recording you can do some minimal editing and your podcast is ready to be put online.

3. They Help You Stand Out from Competition

Because podcasts are a relatively new form of advertising, you can benefit from having less competition. You can create your own podcast for a niche audience and depending on the topic, you may not have to worry too much about competing for listeners. It can help you stand out from your competitors because you offer something that none of them do.

4. They Increase Traffic

One of the main reasons businesses should get involved in podcasts is that they offer a way to reach out to new audiences and build up a bigger fanbase. With a podcast there will be a wider range of audience that becomes familiar with your brand and your products. You are exposing your brand to potentially thousands of listeners for free essentially.

You can quickly start to acquire more customers through podcasts and bring more traffic to your site because at the end of each episode you can include call to action or CTA. You can tell listeners the link to your landing page, email subscriber or any other tool that you think will be the most helpful in bringing in new customers. Each time you include a CTA you will see more traffic on your site and more email subscribers from interested listeners.

5. They Help Build a Relationship with Your Audience

Not only will podcasts bring in more customers, they can help create loyal followers that care about your brand. Audio content tends to be more personal and when people hear you speak they will get to know your personality and your genuine passion about what you do. As you discuss relevant topics people will feel more of a connection than they might with other types of written or video content.

Listening to your voice makes it easier for followers to like and trust you because they feel like they know you better. That trust that you develop can improve your brand image and help people become more in tune with your company. People will naturally feel more drawn to your business and will be interested in what you are doing.

Podcasts can act as a great supplement to your existing marketing strategy to start building up an audience of listeners that learn to care about you and your brand. With simple audio equipment you can start talking to potential customers and seeing the positive results.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Top 2018 Web Marketing Strategies

Top 2018 Web Marketing Strategies

As we enter a new year and marketing trends continue to shift and change, it is important to stay connected with what is new in digital marketing. The strategies of web marketing are likely to change dramatically throughout 2018 and the sooner you plan for upcoming new approaches the more you will benefit from your marketing efforts. New trends can have a big impact on the success you have with marketing your company online so stay in touch with what’s current and you’ll see positive changes.

Personalized, Customer-centric Content

By now, most marketers are beginning to understand that people don’t respond to content that is too sales-driven. Content that is focused on selling a product does not perform as well because customers want something that is meaningful and useful to them rather than just another advertisement. Content needs to be useful, informative, helpful and unique in a way that doesn’t push a sale.

It is also important for content to be personalized so that it caters to each customer’s specific needs. People expect a personal experience with content that is less static and more dynamically rich. You can use a dynamic website with smart marketing automation to help deliver a unique experience for the customer that caters to their specific needs and preferences.

Influencer Marketing

The importance of having a team of influencers on social media has grown enormously this year and is likely to be a key strategy in 2018. Influencers can be a great way to spread brand awareness through positive word of mouth. People tend to trust and follow the opinions of non-celebrities on social media who are natural, genuine and enthusiastic about the products they recommend.

Influencers are people on social media sites like Instagram or YouTube who provide their followers with recommendations, reviews and other kinds of informative posts that can give people an idea of whether they will like a product. Having popular social media influencers that love your products and are loyal to your brand can have a big impact on your sales. An influencer that promotes your products will have a snowball effect as other people will be swayed to try your brand and create their own recommendation.

Personal Assistants

Another new trend in 2018 will be the use of screen-free searches with home assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri. These types of searches are growing in popularity as people can simply do voice searches instead of having to type their query into a smart phone or a computer. Voice-based services can also be a delivery method for content so it is important for marketers to get involved with personal assistants.

People using these kinds of assistants still want to engage with interesting content and be able to receive helpful answers for their questions. Marketing through voice searches will help ensure that people will turn to your brand in moments when they need something specific from their assistant. You can also create audio content geared toward your audience that provides them with information that they need.

Video Marketing

Digital marketing has become much more of a visual strategy in recent years and making videos is more important than ever. According to data, YouTube had 42 million unique visitors in March of 2017 compared to 40 million on Google. YouTube is now the most popular search engine on the web and it offers many opportunities to reach potential customers through video content.

Video marketing can be a great way to build brand awareness, inform and educate people, engage with customers, and communicate with your target audience. Making videos for your brand can be easy and doesn’t require great production value or a big budget. People enjoy watching videos that are authentic and have people communicating directly to them.

Content Developers

If you want to make great content that is appealing to your target audience it might be worth it to invest in content developers. You can hire writers, video creators, or other types of content developers who have enough experience to produce the type of content that is most effective. Content developers can help you attract a large audience or also personalize your content for the type of demographic you are targeting.

The content that you use to market yourself should be high quality, so saving some room in your budget for a professional can help you produce the best results. Content developers can facilitate engagement and communication with your audience which can be very valuable to your brand.

The new year will bring plenty of change to digital marketing trends but staying ahead of the game can allow to continue getting great results from your marketing. Following these trends can give you more potential in being able to market successfully to your target audience in 2018.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

8 Video Strategies for Your Business

8 Video Strategies for Your Business

Video marketing has become more valuable than ever in the last few years and will continue to be a growing trend in 2018. Social media managers should be investing some time and effort into setting up video marketing strategies on a regular basis to maintain your business’ presence online. Videos helps deliver information quickly and in a simplified format so that your audience can easily respond.

Businesses that offer high quality videos with relevant information to their audience tend to see the best results. However, in addition to high quality content you will also need some effective strategies for marketing.

Here are some of the best video strategies to reach your target audience.

  1. Get Involved in YouTube

Recently YouTube has become the most popular search engine tool right alongside Google. Posting content on YouTube can help you reach a large audience while still catering your content to a specific demographic. Most major brands are now embedding YouTube videos on their websites to help deliver information to their visitors.

There are several different types of videos you can make on YouTube to create effective advertising such as getting started videos, tutorials, product demos, instructional videos, interviews, and behind the scene videos. You can also create videos that provide people with relevant information about your company so that they know more about you.

  1. Produce Lots of Diverse Content

Since there are so many types of videos you can create using YouTube, it is a good idea to produce as many forms of different video content as you can. The most successful video marketers on YouTube have an average of 181 videos on their channel while the least successful had an average of 29. Video marketers that do well on YouTube also have a broader distribution of video lengths ranging from 30 seconds to 20 minutes on average.

Making videos with a variety of themes, subjects and approaches can help keep your YouTube channel interesting to your audience. You need to give people a reason to subscribe to your channel and anticipate your next video.

  1.  Use Sponsored Video Ads on Social Media

Social media is crucial in the marketing world and it has become a competitive place for businesses to reach people. Paid ads can help make it easier to ensure that people see your content and video content on sites like Facebook tends to have 100% more engagement than the average post. Creating sponsored video ads and choosing targeting options on Facebook can help you stay connected to your audience.

  1. Create Personalized Videos for Followers

Social media platforms are a great way to really engage with your followers instead of just promoting yourself or your products. You can use videos as a way to connect with your fans and use the personal touch in a way that makes them feel special. Sending personalized videos directly to followers can help you let them know that you appreciate their business while also promoting brand loyalty.

  1. Market with User-Generated Content

One of the best ways to market your business is to leverage user-generated content on social media platforms as a way to get people more involved and interested in your brand. The easiest way to do this is to hold a contest asking followers to create their own videos using your company’s product. You can then publish the winning video on your site which will act as a testimonial for your brand and instill confidence in prospective customers.

  1. Take Advantage of Instagram and Snapchat Stories

Social media sites like Instagram and Snapchat are very brand friendly and a great way to reach a younger audience. Brands can use the Stories feature on both of these sites to share short 10 second videos that will disappear after 24 hours. This feature can be useful to reach your target audience with time sensitive information such as the details of a flash sale.

  1. Engage with Followers on YouTube

Part of your video strategy should involve making sure that you connect with people on your YouTube channel to keep them coming back. YouTube is a great place to build a community with your followers and being more engaged with fans can help drive more views, likes and comments on your videos. You can even listen to community feedback and create videos that are something your followers are asking for on your channel.

  1. Market with YouTube Advertising

Video ads on YouTube have a much higher click through rate compared with AdWords and video ad networks. Paid ads on YouTube can deliver positive results through a number of different hyper-targeting options including contextual, behavioral, geo, retargeting and search. This type of advertising can help drive engagement and increase sharing for your videos.

Video marketing is no longer something your business can ignore. Using some of these video strategies can help you see better results from your marketing efforts overall.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.