The world is stressful. Suddenly, we find ourselves uncertain when we will see our family overseas again, uncertain if we will be employed next week or if it will feel safe to buy groceries. We are all living with more uncertainty than ever before. So caring for our mental health during covid-19 should be a top priorityContinue reading →
Whereas once the web was a drab, text-based world, there has been a revolution in download speeds over the last two decades that means that now mobile devices are equipped with 4G networks that have images and videos appearing in a flash. This speed revolution has had huge consequences for internet content and in 2020 the video rules all.
Video marketing means using video content as part of an overall digital marketing strategy to promote your brand or product. Both small and large companies are launching video content on a daily basis with huge success. Video content is fun to make and consume and requires little effort from an audience. Communicating your marketing message through video content leaves a strong impression on viewers and will set you on the road to meeting your business objectives. At first, it can be tough to come up with creative and engaging content but worry not – here are some great ideas for engaging your viewers with effective video marketing.
It’s a rule in content marketing that content should add value and that holds true for video marketing as much as anywhere else. Instructional videos are great because they teach the audience something, and no matter what industry your brand sits in, the specialist knowledge you hold will be of interest to your audience. By promoting thoughtful content that teaches an audience you’ll become an industry leader and a household name.
It takes a lot of work to bring a new product to market, so why not show it off? Product videos can inspire your audience and help them understand your product better, so they’ll know just how valuable it is. People love to hear some backstory, so building a strong narrative that explains the development process can be a great way to connect with your audience. Emphasising how the product can improve their life will build a buzz around the product before it even launches, ensuring your new product will be a success.
Corporate videos can be a great way to introduce your business to the corporate world, explaining in an engaging way to potential recruits, investors and customers exactly what the vision is behind your brand, and how it makes you special. As the brains behind a brand it’s important for you to get in front of the camera and articulate your vision. You can use a video like this on the front page of your website and use it on LinkedIn and other social networks to appeal to the best workers in your industry.
Explainer Animation Videos
Many people find visual aids to learning exceptionally helpful and often incredibly complicated ideas can be expressed simply through a graphic representation. That means that people are drawn to well-expressed animations that demystify complex ideas and instrumentalizing this habit can be an excellent strategy in video marketing. Ideas that would be impossible to demonstrate with real actors and props can come to life through animation – give it a go!
Google Play and the App Store are exceptionally competitive marketplaces where oftentimes near-identical products vie for supremacy. In this world an app can live and die by its visibility and an app video can ensure your app gets out there. With so many faulty apps out there, people need to know an app works before they click “download” – an app video that shows true functionality will ensure you shoot up those rankings.
Having your website feature a video on every page is the best way to ensure that visitors to your site stick around. It has been demonstrated that the longer someone stays on your website, the higher the likelihood of converting them into a sale, so an autoplaying video that captures their attention can mean a big return for your business.
Nothing is more effective at converting potential customers into actual ones than a good review and the big smiles in a testimonial video speaks for a thousand words. Testimonials provide the opportunity to show a trusted voice, someone that customers will relate to, singing your praises. Often this is the last thing a customer needs to hear before they commit to buying from you.
The Last Word
Producing great video content can be fun and at the same time have a huge impact on how people respond to and engage with your brand. Video marketing is the present and the future for businesses large and small, and now you know exactly how to get started. That’s a wrap!
About the Author
Beatrix Potter is a writer who is excited about all things digital marketing and thinks video content is the most dynamic way to engage an audience.
Between the internal mind-chatter of thoughts, worries, judgements, mental-to-do lists, criticism and our almost constant intake of information, we are causing our brains a lot of stress. One of the best ways to give your brain a break is to learn how to meditate. It trains you to minimise your thinking, stop scrolling and breathe deeply.Continue reading →
As companies look to reduce their office footprints, what does the future of working from home look like?
We started the year with a resurgence of posts on LinkedIn about research findings that highlighted the benefits of individual offices over open-plan workspaces. Skipping forward to August, the language has shifted to some describing offices as a relic of the past.
There’s no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has taken the world by surprise. The upheaval of our normal lives has meant that much of the business world has had to adapt at a blistering pace too.
The trend towards flexibility and remote working has continued to grow over the past 15 years with Europe and the US previously leading the way, but in the face of a global pandemic for those who were able to pivot to a virtual workforce, the if/how/when debate quickly evaporated in the face of ‘now’.
It’s clear that this trend is bad for commercial landlords, but there are many positive indicators that working from home can have a number of positive outcomes for employers and employees.
So how can companies, and employees, thrive in this new world of virtual work?
Are people productive working from home?
One of the traditional critiques of virtual work is that employees are slacking off, the alternate being that the ‘busy-ness’ visible in an office equals productiveness.
This pessimism could not be further from the truth, a finding which is not only good news for businesses but for employees too. The research overwhelmingly tells us that people are more productive working from home. In a recent study of 5,000 workers across five countries, workers felt less stressed and got more done than they could in an office environment.
Setting aside the recent experiences of those juggling homeschooling whilst also working from home, workers, in particular, reported increased levels of productivity resulting from no commute, with many also feeling happier because of the additional time they were able to spend with their families or on leisure pursuits.
I’m fortunate to live within walking distance of the OpenLearning office and my daughter’s school, but the shift to all team members working from home has resulted in productivity benefits such as: team members being more refreshed from not having to commute, a more conscious approach to meeting schedules and agendas to avoid teleconference fatigue, and efficiencies for the team members who pre COVID-19 were often out of the office at face-to-face meetings which required factoring in travel time.
Whilst being able to track and measure productivity within businesses is important, combined with culture and organisational theory grounding, the jury is in; when employees are given agency, freedom, and are empowered to do their best work, both their productivity and engagement soars. The change in location as to where that work occurs is secondary to the trust and support bestowed.
Virtual leadership & company culture
When we work from home, it’s true that we can lack the camaraderie of our peers and the presence of our leaders. For some, this is a relief, but in general, the question is whether it is a conducive working arrangement for building a strong and cohesive company culture?
It’s a known fact that when a leader is absent for extended periods, their team suffers, and so does company culture. Considering the full gamut of ‘readiness’ that businesses were in for their staff to move to a work from home model, it’s fair to say that virtual leadership and fostering the company culture requires some adaptations if the increased productivity is to be maintained in the medium to long-term.
For OpenLearning, our approach to leadership during COVID-19 is much akin to our approach to learning – one size does not (and should not) fit all. As such, different techniques have been tried and amended as needed for each team – from daily stand-ups for our Learning Services team who are working on a range of projects at the moment, more regular 1:1’s for our Partnerships team who are generally more social personalities, through to virtual ‘drop-in/coffee’ sessions with the CEO each Wednesday afternoon.
At a whole organisation level, structured monthly town halls have continued as usual, and cross team collaboration has been sustained via a range of tools and processes. Digging deeper though, sharing of common experiences with the team about what our ‘working from home’ reality is, insights into what is working for them, and being more conscientious about the frequency of communication flow or tweaks (or pivots) in strategy are important considerations in maintaining human connections, trust, and loyalty.
Working from home or living at work?
I’m aware of a number of organisations that have asked their employees for input on what a ‘return to office’ world would look like. In general, their findings have been that many would prefer working from home 2-3 days per week. So, if we know that productivity is up and many are up for it to continue longer-term, what’s the downside?
With increased flexibility and the fact that most businesses had to pivot quickly in order to continue operating, the challenge is for companies to help employees in establishing healthy boundaries and techniques for separating work from home in order to avoid burnout.
With recent news that Google and Facebook have updated their communication to employees that they will be able to choose to continue working from home until mid-2021, leaders will need to play an increasingly important role in ensuring that the team knows that being ‘always on’ isn’t a good thing, sick leave isn’t only reserved for when you are too sick to commute to a commercial office, and that taking annual leave shouldn’t just be saved for a date in the future for when travel is an option.
Embrace the new normal
A recent observation is that virtual meetings no longer open with the discussion about how many weeks it’s been since each organisation moved to a work from home policy, symbolising the ‘new normal’ taking effect.
With the trend towards remotely based teams longer-term and slimmed down office spaces accelerated by the pandemic, by embracing increased productivity and promoting greater flexibility, companies can build an even stronger culture than before.
Whilst we may not be catching up in a physical office kitchen or breakout space anytime soon, thankfully with the help of collaboration and connectivity tools available today, many companies are engaging in a genuine dialogue with their employees about what the ‘new normal’ should be.
About the author of ‘How can we thrive working from home?’
Cherie Diaz is the Managing Director of Australian operations at OpenLearning Limited (ASX:OLL). Cherie has over 15 years’ experience within education, including roles as the Head of Education Delivery at the Australian Institute of Company Directors And Director of Customer Success at Scentia, where she led the operational teams of four colleges. Cherie is the recipient of multiple individual and business awards for service excellence by the Customer Service Institute of Australia.
Is it just us, or is time a peculiar concept right now? With everything going on in the world right now, it can feel overwhelming when you realise your year isn’t going to plan (not even close!). And you know what? It’s completely ok to throw your previous plans out the window and reassess what moving forward looks like. Additionally, in this time of isolation and uncertainty, it’s even more important to stay connected with your community.
So, why not gather your friends or colleagues on a video call and do your virtual planning together? A Leaders in Heels strategy soirée is a great way to support each other, collaborate, socialise online and send positive vibes.
So here are our tips for hosting an online strategy soirée with your friends.
Invite people you feel comfortable sharing your goals with
The idea of this session is to feel connected, even if you’re apart. So make sure you schedule a time in with friends that make you feel secure. Remind them that this is a fun, productive and judgement-free zone!
Choose your video conferencing online platform
Zoom is easy to use to facilitate an online meeting because you can simply share a link and away you go! Alternatively, Google Hangouts is fantastic if you all have Gmail accounts.
Keep it fun and interactive by using gridview (to see all participants at once), screen share your vision boards and ideas, and install the Snap Camera Chrome extension (if you’re using Google Hangouts) for fun filters to mix it up.
Select a new planner and start fresh
The Leaders in Heels Planners are inspirational planners that celebrate the greatness of women, with specially designed pages to keep you focused on your big goals, and motivate you to turn your ‘one day’ into today.
Seek feedback on your own goals
We’re often a lot kinder to others than we are to ourselves, so share your goals and ask your group for feedback. Remember that this isn’t a time to pressure yourself, it’s a time to reflect on what’s within your sphere of influence and what will bring you joy in an unusual time. So, ask the group if your goals are realistic, kind to yourself, positive and affirming.
Plan your next steps at the end of the call
Set a date to meet in with each other. For short term goals you might want to meet fortnightly or monthly, however, if you’re working towards larger goals then consider a check-in 3, 6 and 12 months later to review them together.
Take advantage of our free resources
If your friends are new to Leaders in Heels you can share this link with them so they can have access to free planning tools too https://leadersinheels.com/welcome.
Stay connected with an even bigger community of supportive women!
Use #IamLIH when posting photos of your planning session to motivate others in the LiH community. Plus we love seeing women work together!
When looking at the performance of a super fund it’s important to consider the risk profile of your investment. That’s because funds that typically target higher returns, also carry higher risk in years where the market performs poorly.Continue reading →