How to Extract All the Emails from Your Facebook Friends

Wish you could stay in front of your Facebook friends all the time?

Now you can by remarketing to them.

It only takes a minute to set up.

Here’s how you do it:

Step 1: Create a Yahoo Account

Why Yahoo?

Isn’t that so 2012?

This old platform works in our favor because they had a deal to sync your Yahoo connections with your Facebook profile. It only takes a second to create your profile, then another to click on the address book in the top right-hand corner.

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Step 2: Import Facebook contacts

Once you click on the address book, you’ll have the option to import your contacts.

Click on the button.

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Now you have the option to import your contacts from Facebook.

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Once your Facebook friends’ emails are imported, it’s almost impossible to scrape them.

Yahoo knows what you’re doing and makes it a huge pain to access this data.

That’s why we created a Chrome extension to extract all these people.

Step 3: Growth hack it

To get the Chrome extension, click here to access the Zip file. Then download it and open the folder in your extensions area by going to “More Tools,” then click on Extensions.

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When you’re here, turn on Developer mode.

Next, click Load unpacked extension.

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Now when you login to your Yahoo account, you’ll have a Download Contacts CSV button on the bottom-left corner.

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Click the blue “Download Contacts CSV.”

You’ll now have almost your entire list of your Facebook friends’ emails.

Plug this list into Facebook as a custom audience to start running ads to them.

How easy was that?

How to Make Press and Hold Facebook Posts (Interactive Photos!) Using Custom Live Photos

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I don’t think I’ve been this excited about something related to Facebook in a LONG time.

First off, if you aren’t sure what a “Press and Hold Facebook Post” is, click here to view one in action on my page. It’s basically an interactive photo post. You HAVE to be on the Facebook app on mobile for it to work (sorry!). And if you are as amazed by it as I am, please share it with others while you’re there because I think this is going to be HUGE in the photography industry!

Here’s what it looks like (but you’ll need to click through and actually visit the post for it to work, since this is just a screenshot):

Pretty rad, huh?

But not only are they cool, they get amazing reach on Facebook because people have to engage with them to see what’s hidden inside, so you should reach far more people than you would with just a regular image, video or slideshow.

So let’s dive in to how to make one!

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How to Make a Press and Hold Facebook Video Post

What you need:

1. iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch with iOS 9.0 or higher (Sorry Android people!)
2. Video OR Photos for inside
3. Cover image to tell people to press & hold to see what you have inside
4. intoLive app

We’ll be making these on your phone, so all photos and videos need to be uploaded to your phone.

Step 1: Open intoLive app and select hidden video or photos

You can either reveal a video up to 30 seconds in length OR you can select up to 30 photos to create a slideshow inside instead.

This is what people will see after they click and hold down on your post. They won’t see it unless they do that.

The app will automatically create a slideshow for you from the photos you pick, which is really neat. Just make sure they are all the same aspect ratio and orientation or they get cropped all strange.

Click the arrow in the top right corner to go to the next step.

Step 2: Select Your Post Photo (This Will be Your Interactive Photo)

This is what everyone will see before they press and hold down on your post.

I recommend using an image that has directions on it telling people exactly what to do. This will probably be new for them, so without directions, they’ll never know there’s something hiding inside.

The image should be the same aspect ratio and orientation as the revealed contents inside or it’ll crop everything inside to whatever size this image is.

This is also what they will see if they are viewing the post on a computer, but nothing will happen if they click it. This only works in the Facebook app on Mobile.

Step 3: Save Live Photo

Save this to your camera roll.

Step 4: Upload to Facebook using the Facebook App

This will only work if you upload it using the Facebook app. You CAN post it to your business page, but you CANNOT use the Pages app for that – it has to be the regular Facebook App. Here’s exactly how to do it.

Upload it as a photo. You’ll notice the “live photos” white circle icon on the photo (See below). Then once you’ve got the live photo uploaded, make sure the “Live” button is toggled on (see the third photo below). If you don’t do this, it won’t work.

Just post it and you’re done!

Ideas For Engaging Press and Hold Facebook Posts

These posts get INCREDIBLE engagement, since people have to click on them to see what is inside and it makes them super curious.

So here’s a few ideas on how you could use them in your business and watch your reach grow:

  • Create mini slideshows for clients, with one image on the front and up to 30 inside
  • Ask questions and reveal the answer inside
  • Show before & after images
  • Show behind the scenes videos or images
  • Download & share your Instagram Stories in these on Facebook
  • Show quick testimonials on images inside
  • Do a series of fun facts about yourself
  • Share quick tips for looking your best in photos
  • Make one for maternity clients for their gender reveal
  • Share news inside that they have to click to see

What did these 4 Crowdfunding Experts Say?

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Khierstyn Ross, Crowdfunding Product Launch Strategist

The best way to get the word out about your Kickstarter campaign is to have an audience to launch to. Generally, Kickstarter creators need to spend six months or more building up an audience online prior to their launch.

You do this by building an email list and by “getting on the radar” of key influencers in your area. It’s not only about having an audience to launch to, but you also need to treat the crowdfunding campaign like an event. Get people excited about your project and launch.

When you first launch, you will be spreading the word through your current audience (email list, social media, network, and any press you’ve lined up in advance). Once your campaign is live, you can turn to other strategies to keep momentum going (podcasts, influencer marketing, retargeting, etc).

You also need to understand how the platform works. Just because Indiegogo and Kickstarter have their own audiences, doesn’t mean you don’t need your own. In fact, this is the worst assumption you can make.

You need your own audience and here’s why: Indiegogo and Kickstarter take a 5% commission from every dollar raised on their platform. They are in the business of making money. So, would it not make sense for them to help the campaigns that are proving to be winners? 

If you don’t start strong, Indiegogo or Kickstarter’s algorithm will never pick you up and your campaign will die.

But if you have an audience to launch to, and you use them to get a lot of backers and transactions on your campaign page, the site will notice your campaign is *hot* and boost you on site. If your campaign is easier to see on site, it will be easy for other people in the crowdfunding community to find you and support you.

So, you create an audience prior to launch to make sure you can get the boost from them you need to become discoverable on these platforms. That audience creates a snowball effect, which in turns creates a funded campaign.

Andrew Beltran, Co-Founder of Original Grain

To start getting the word out about our Kickstarter campaign we used our internal network and base.

That meant reaching out to every person I knew on Facebook with a personal message asking for them to support our campaign, and if they couldn’t we asked them to share our link. This helped a ton with our first few days to get our project trending.

We also teed up 20 influencers to post reviews of our product, directing their audiences to our page. This helped get our product out and it was up to us to continue to incentive people to share the campaign.

With our initial campaign, we wanted to make everyone happy, almost to a flaw. If people would ask for upgrades or different options, we tried our best to make them happy. At the end, when it was all said and done we had over 20 variations and upgrades people ended up getting. It became a nightmare for shipping when there were over 2,000 backers. It’s an awesome trait to have as a company, but at some point, you have to stay focused on the core product and what you’re trying to bring to market. 

The number one thing I’d say to anyone looking to do a Kickstarter campaign is: Do your homework.

See what others have done to be successful in your space. See where they promoted heavily, look at analytics on Kicktraq and compare stats. And always have patience, this is a start up. Take the time now—you will thank yourself later when you’re five years down the road and still humming.

Salvador Briggman, Crowdfunding Expert

The absolute best way to get the word out is through an email list of interested subscribers. There’s no question about it. These are potential backers who have SUBSCRIBED for more information about YOUR product and story. Just make sure to tease the product as you’re gearing up for the launch. Show them prototypes. Celebrate victories leading up to the launch of the campaign!

I’ve uncovered a lot of the tricks that get the media buzzing about you. You must understand their agenda and what their goal is with their blog, publication, or story.

You must understand what gets people to take action online and a firm understanding of where backers come from with Kickstarter campaigns.

Of course, you should start with a great product that has demand in the marketplace, but you also need to market it effectively. You need to craft a story that will get backers jazzed up about your campaign. You need to incite the emotions that will make a visitor say, “I need this!!!”

All too often, Kickstarter campaigners focus on the logic side of the equation, but they don’t think about the emotions that are going to make someone want to check out the campaign, learn more, and become a backer.

That emotional trigger could be:

  • Surprise
  • Awe
  • A feeling of similarity towards the creator
  • Happiness

There are many more. You should think carefully about how the creator and the product will be emotionally perceived by the campaign’s visitors.

Paul Farago, Founder of Ace Marks

Since it was our first Kickstarter campaign, we tried a lot of different marketing approaches and then went heavier with what was working. For us, it was working emails together with social media. Even within these strategies, a highly targeted approach was much more successful than casting a wide net. 

Even post campaign, handling communications from thousands of backers is very time consuming, especially when you are trying to work out logistics and production at the same time. We try to address FAQs in our updates to reduce the message volume, which is somewhat helpful. Understandably, backers prefer personal attention and we try to accommodate that as best we can.

Something we did fantastically was conveying the quality of our product. I think that our video and images did a good job of showing backers that they were going to receive an exceptional product and at the same time back a company motivated to change the luxury footwear business.

Start from scratch as many times as needed, because you will only get one shot at it. It took us a year to create our campaign. We completely reshot the video at least three times and rewrote the script many times until I was happy with the results. There is a lot of hard work and long hours behind a successful campaign.

5 More Quick Crowdfunding Tips

Tip 1

Create a visual metrics of all the key elements you need for success:

  • What are the key problems your customers face?
  • How will you solve them?
  • What is your unique value proposition?
  • Who else delivers similar products?
  • What channels will you use to deliver products to customers?
  • What benefits will the backers have?
  • What is the cost structure?

Tip 2

Create a SWOT analysis of your business, project, and campaign. Here is a module from our Crowdfunding Success Roadmap on how to do a SWOT for your project.

Download the PDF

Tip 3

Pick Your Launch Day

Pick your launch day to be in at least 2-3 months - you need time to be prepared. Pick a memorable day (holiday, your birthday).

If Apple plans to introduce a new iPhone during your launch day, you will hardly find any interested people and most importantly journalists.

Crowdfunding isn’t seasonal, and there is no ‘best time’ to launch your campaign unless your campaign is a seasonal product. That said, there is a rumor that the worst months for crowdfunding are July, August, and December.

Tip 4

Set Your Goal Amount

When setting the goal amount, set the least possible amount of which you will be able to produce your product. It will allow you to benefit from ‘Green Bar’ effect. 

When people see a lot of projects on a crowdfunding platform, they veer towards the one that has the green bar already filled in, because they're curious projects that get fully funded.

Success creates momentum, and momentum creates a ‘snowball effect’.

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Tip 5

Create a Landing Page

Email will be your main form of communication, so you need to build an email database of subscribers. Remember, most of your results will be derived from your emails, so you need to start collecting those addresses right now. 

– a simple page where you should offer something in return for an email, e.g. enter your email to download this ebook for free or to subscribe to updates. The ebook doesn't have to be yours, you can find something related on the internet.

If you’re not a programmer or coding wizard, then go to squarespace.com and create a landing page for $5.00.

Create Buyer Personas Before You Launch

Buyer personas transform the hard facts about your target audience into ‘living’ people who can help inform important decisions about marketing, advertising, content creation, product or service development, customer support, public relations, pricing, and sales. Here’s how to create buyers personas that will bring your business to life.

Regardless of what kind of industry you’re in, you know you need to connect with your target audience. You need to discover the wants, the needs, the challenges, and the dreams of the people you want to sell to; the people whose problems you can solve. To do that, you have to drill down to understand who they are on an individual level, and not regard them like the Borg or some massive, faceless marketing monolith.

This is not your audience

This is not your audience

That’s where buyer personas come in.

Buyer personas (also known as customer profiles, customer personas, audience profiles, and marketing personas) are basically character sketches of your ideal customer. Creating a general depiction of your customer as if they are someone you know personally can help inform important decisions about marketing, advertising, content creation, product or service development, customer support, public relations, pricing, and sales.

Why you need buyer personas

Let’s say you have a product or a service that you believe caters to moms. Great, but here’s the thing: ‘moms’ are a pretty huge group.

There are married stay-at-home moms, married moms who work outside the home, single moms who stay at home, single moms who work outside the home, rich moms, lower income moms, middle class moms, moms who only have one child, moms who have many children, moms who are looking after both children and aging parents. There are moms who are recovering from giving birth and moms who have adopted.

There are moms who value convenience over sustainability (like disposable vs cloth diapers), moms who like brand names, moms who are price conscious.

There are moms who live in cities and moms who live in rural areas; moms who have nannies, moms who use daycare; moms who are young, and moms who are older.

There are moms with babies, toddlers, preschoolers, school kids, teenagers, or college students. Some moms might be new to your city or country, and some moms may not speak English as their first language. You get the picture.

So while there would be some traits that moms share generally, their individual wants, needs, challenges, and dreams are too specific to lump them all together.

For example, if you had a product designed for moms of newborns, you would be missing the mark, and wasting money, if you advertised to a mom who had a teenager. Yes, they’re both moms, but what they value and need from you right now is going to be very different. One might be worrying about how she and her baby can get more sleep, while the other is trying to drag her kids out of bed in the morning.

Having a detailed buyer persona for ‘Emily,’ the exhausted mom with a newborn who isn’t sleeping, will help you tailor your messaging and target your advertising directly to all the Emilys, as opposed to ‘Catherine,’ the frustrated mom of teenagers who won’t get out of bed in the morning in time to eat a healthy breakfast before school.

Product and service development

Buyer personas can also help shape the development of new products and services. By thinking about what Emily, the new mom might need and what her challenges are, you can make informed decisions about what you can do to meet those needs.

It can be easy to come up with a new idea to improve a product that seems really cool, like, “Oh, we’ll add this adorable little owl design to our product. Moms love adorable owls!” But are owls really useful to Emily in her quest to get her baby to sleep?

Instead, your buyer persona of Emily may reveal that one of her fears as a new mom is that she doesn’t know what she’s doing. It’s a common concern among new parents. Emily may be better equipped to handle the stress of her baby not sleeping if she was less worried that it was her fault, and that she, as a mother, was doing something wrong.

So what could you add to your core product that not only might help Emily’s baby sleep through the night, but also give Emily more confidence and support about being a new mother? Not owls, that’s for sure (although Emily probably agrees owls are adorable, as do I).

Taking a step back and referring to the characteristics of your buyer personas can be that sober second thought of whether this new feature is actually valuable to your target audience and worth pursuing.

Content creation

Content creation is challenging; I feel your pain. But a buyer persona can make it easier by giving you a set of guidelines for blog posts, lead magnets, videos, ad messaging, and more.

What might Catherine, frustrated mom of teenagers who won’t get out of bed in the morning in time to eat a healthy breakfast before school, be looking to read?

Recipes for quick, healthy, teenager-approved breakfast foods they can eat on their way to school. Or maybe research-based articles about why teenagers sleep so much and what to do about it. Or tips on how to stay calm and not lose your cool when your teenagers are driving you crazy.

Target your target

In this era of incessant advertising noise, you need to find a way to break through the clutter to lasso the attention of your customers. You need to be laser-focused if you want to reach your audience.

Fortunately, innovation in digital marketing has made it possible to micro target your buyers. Platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram all have advertising tools that let you drill down to the personal particulars of your target audience like age, location, job title, industry, interests, hobbies, education level, relationship status, language, and more.

Armed with a detailed buyer persona and one of these powerful targeting tools, your chances of hitting the bull’s eye of your customer’s attention improves exponentially.

How to create a buyer persona

You can collect the information you need to create your buyer personas from many different sources; research, personal interviews, and surveys of your target audience. You can use prospects, existing customers, or related stakeholders outside your company who have a specialized knowledge of your industry.

The number of buyer personas you need depends on your particular business. Do you have different products or services aimed at different kinds of customers, like the Emilys vs the Catherines? Are some of your buyers direct consumers and others wholesalers? Or maybe you have pricing tiers, so you want to create personas that match the ideal buyer for each level.

If you have customer groups with challenges and goals that are distinct from each other, you want to create a buyer persona to represent each of them.

Start with your customers

A great place to start is to look at the behaviour of your most valuable customers. Obviously, those are who you want more of, and they already have experience interacting with your product or service.

Pick a few customers and reach out to them to see if they would agree to be personally interviewed. In our experience, we’ve found most people are open to interviews as long as we make clear how long it will take (try to keep it under 30 minutes), that we’ll never disclose any sensitive business information, and that we aren’t trying to sell them anything.

You can also use a tool like Survey Monkey to get similar results.

It’s a good idea to throw in a little incentive to sweeten the deal, maybe an Amazon or Starbucks gift card or some company swag, like t-shirts.

It's important to remember that you’re not just trying to get information about how much people like your company. You’re trying to find out more about who they are as individuals, what their challenges are, what they value, and what deters them so you can pick up on general patterns of attitude and behaviour.

Questions to ask customers when developing buyer personas

What you ask really depends on your specific industry or business, so you need to customize your list of questions. It should cover both demographics like age, location income, and education level, and psychographic information like personal interests, buying motivations, and attitudes. Think of demographics as the who, and psychographics as the why.

Generally, this is a guideline of the kinds of things you want to ask to get the information you need:

  • What’s your role at work and title?

  • What are your main responsibilities?

  • How is your performance evaluated?

  • What do you do during the run of a day at work?

  • What kind of skills or qualifications do you need for your job?

  • Are there any specific tools or products you use to do your job?

  • Who are you accountable to? Are there people accountable to you?

  • What industry are you in?

  • What are the major challenges your industry faces right now?

  • What are the major challenges your company faces?

  • What are the major challenges that you face in your specific job?

  • How many employees does your company have?

  • What’s your company’s revenue? (This may be a touchy one so try to ask this within a general range, so they don’t feel that they have to be too specific.)

  • What would you like to achieve at your job?

  • What would you like to achieve in your career?

  • Which blogs or other publications do you read?

  • Are there particular public personalities you follow related to your career and industry (like a Gary Vaynerchuk or Seth Godin, for example)?

  • What professional associations do you belong to?

  • Age, marital status, gender, children, languages? (Again this is an area you may need to be sensitive to giving people a range helps.)

  • What’s your educational background?

  • Where do you live?

  • What do you like to do when you’re not at work? Hobbies, interests.

  • What is the most important thing you’re looking for when it comes to purchasing (insert your product or service category here)?

  • What’s the biggest challenge to purchasing (insert your product or service category here)?

  • What would make you say no to purchasing (insert your product or service category here)?

  • What do you think is the biggest thing missing from (insert your product category or service)?

Talk to sales, account services, and customer support

The people on your sales, account services, and customer support teams probably have the most direct and personal interactions with your leads and clients. Get their feedback on what things they hear and observe most often, including any objections or challenges.

It’s not helpful to only get the good stuff. It’s just as valuable to know the negative things; what’s holding someone back from buying your product or service, or what they’re looking for that you don’t offer.

Add fields to your forms

Use any web forms on your site to gather information about your leads and customers. Don’t overwhelm them by grilling them right off the bat, but adding a couple of questions about company size or business challenges can give you some immediate insight. Again, the specific questions you ask depends on your business and industry.

Bringing your buyer persona to life

The whole point of a buyer persona is to take all the dry facts, figures, and research about your target audience and use it to create a living, breathing human. Or at least a reasonable facsimile of one that exists on paper.

By looking at patterns that emerged through your research and interviews, you can now use those insights to plug into your persona. You can make them as detailed as you like for whatever information will be useful to your and your team. These are the general categories I use to create buyer personas:

Name:

Pick a name that represents the generation and gender of this persona.

Age: This can be a range.

Job title

Job Description

Goals

Challenges

Buying motivation

Values

Fears/objections

Favourite channels of communication

Short bio

Repeat this process for each of the buyer personas you need to develop.

Be BFF’s with your buyer personas

Once you’ve created your buyer persona team, share it with everyone on your team. As discussed earlier, buyer personas can be helpful to almost every aspect of your business, so it’s important everyone is familiar with your profiles and refers to them as they develop their own policies, campaigns, products, and messaging.

You should also be aware that just like real people, your personas are going to evolve and even change over time depending on how their industry changes, how their customers change, how your business grows, how your industry changes, and how your products and services develop.

So you need to keep your eye on your personas to make sure they’re still accurate, update them as needed, and maybe even add new personas as your customer base grows.

22 Facebook Statistics that Every Crowdfunder Must Know in 2017

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These stats will cover everything you need to know before you launch your next campaign, from audience demographics to Relevance Score to ad engagement. Curious to see them all? Here they are:

  1. At the start of 2017, more than 65 million local businesses had a Facebook page.
  2. 79% of online adults use Facebook.
  3. 42% of consumers do not follow brands on social media.
  4. 42.2% of people like or follow a page so they can get an exclusive offer.
  5. Every Facebook user has more than 1,500 stories competing for a spot in their newsfeed at any given time.
  6. However, only about 300 of those stories are chosen to appear in the newsfeed.
  7. 40.5% of people say they prefer ads that are directly related to their interests.
  8. Ads with a Relevance Score of 3 cost about 73% more than those with a score of 8.
  9. They are 167% more expensive than ads with a score of 10.
  10. Ads with a score of 8 have a 77% higher CTR than those with a score of 3.
  11. Ads with a score of 10 have a 158% higher CTR than those with a score of 3
  12. 34.7% of people who unfollow a brand on Facebook do so because of low-personality or uninteresting posts.
  13. 57.5% of people who unfollow a brand do so because of an excessive amount of promotional posts.
  14. Shorter Facebook posts get 23% more interaction than longer posts.
  15. Posts with photos receive 179% more engagements than other posts.
  16. Videos are the most shared post type, with 89.5 average Facebook shares
  17. The average number of videos posted by a page was 24 per month.
  18. The average length of a Facebook video was 3 minutes and 48 seconds.
  19. The average person only watched a Facebook video for10 seconds.
  20. 85% of Facebook videos are watched with the sound turned off.
  21. People are 1.5x more likely to watch video on a smartphone instead of a desktop.
  22. Square video takes up 78% more space in a mobile newsfeed than landscape video does.

WOW! If you are feeling overwhelmed don't worry. The Woodshed Agency team is here to help work through all of your Facebook Ads needs for your campaigns.

4 Key Elements of a Perfect Product Video

1. Set your goals for your product video

Like any piece of content, you need to know what your goals are before you start. This not only helps you choose the right video format but also helps you brainstorm ideas.

There are many ways brands can use videos in different stages of the customer journey. Depending on what your business needs are, you may want a video for any of these purposes:

  • Building brand awareness: introduce a need for your product and make your brand look good
  • Generating leads or sales: convincing prospects to get in touch or buy
  • Explaining specific features: educating existing customers to improve adoption and retention

Your goals help you determine the kind of video you should produce. If you’re looking to build brand awareness – do a short ad. Want to improve customer retention? Create video tutorials for different features.

Once you have your goals set, it’ll be much easier to proceed with the next steps like writing the script, choosing the tone, etc.

2. Identify your target audience and value proposition

Setting your goals is the first step. Then you need to know who you’re addressing and the message you need to convey.

First, who is this video for? If your answer is “well, everyone?” you might need to spend a bit of time doing some serious research.

Knowing who your ideal customers are will help you choose the best tone and language to address them, increasing your video’s effectiveness.

Then you need to ask, what do we want to emphasize in the video? What is your biggest selling point? Why should people care?

These questions should help you narrow your focus on just the essence and highlights of your product in the video, and make them memorable for your viewers.

Here are some ways to identify your target audience and value proposition:

  1. Ask your sales team. They talk to customers all day long. They know the kind of people who’re most likely to buy, what they care and worry about, and how they speak.
  2. Talk to your customers. The best way to understand your customers is to talk to them. Ask them why they chose your product over a competitor’s, what they like most about your product, how they use it, etc.
  3. Monitor your brand discussions. Sometimes your customers might not want to speak to you. They might just want to share their opinions with their followers and friends. Or they may just want to leave a review online. Keeping a close eye on all your brand related conversations will help you understand them better – what they really think about your brand, as well as the language they use when communicating.
  4. Steal ideas from your competitors. Your competitors’ customers are your best prospects. Spy on your competitors to see what kind of people they are targeting, and how they’re targeting them.

3. Draft a script and storyboard based on your target audience

Once you decided on your target audience, tone, and value proposition, you can start drafting your script and storyboard.

Writing your script

The script is the foundation of your entire video. Like the script of a movie, basically. If you’ve attended any screenwriting class in college, you’ll know that a good story needs some sort of conflict, and then a resolution. Same goes for a good product video.

Setting up the challenge

You need to first set up the context and the challenges faced by your target audience. Then, you introduce your product as a solution to their challenge.

For our customers, their biggest challenge is keeping track of all brand discussions happening on different channels online. We thought it’s better to illustrate this challenge visually. So we decided to go for animations to create this overwhelming feeling of being drowned in different social media discussions in the beginning.

Use the right tone to reflect your brand

The tone of your video should represent your brand voice and what you’re selling. If you’re representing yourself as a smart solution, sound smart. If you’re a dating app, sound fun and flirty.

Since we want to highlight the fact that we’re easy to use, we chose a very conversational, straight-to-the-point tone, free of jargons and corporate terms.

You also need to speak your audience’s language. Are they tech geeks who like to use technical terms? Or are they teenagers who speak in emojis? To connect with and convince your audience, you have to use the same language as them.

Talk benefits, not features

Your customers don’t care about you. Or your product. They care about themselves, and their problems. The only way to get them to care about your product is to show them how you can solve their problems.

So if you’re selling a drill, talk about the hole that your prospect needs on her wall. The drill is the feature, the hole is the benefit. Your script needs to be all about the benefits. It’s okay to touch on features, but only when you show how it can help your customers.

Choose words that reinforce your central idea

In your video, you should have one theme or central idea.

Have a compelling call-to-action (CTA)

At the end of your video, your viewers should be prompted to take an action. This goes back to your goal. What is this video for?

Some common CTAs are:

  • Contact us
  • Download our thing
  • Buy our stuff
  • Subscribe to our mailing list
  • Visit our website

When you’ve decided what your CTA is, make sure to include it at the end of your script.

Drafting your storyboard

Once you’ve perfected your script, you’re ready to create the video’s storyboard. A storyboard lays out exactly what you want to show in the video, frame per frame.

So from the script, ask yourself, what am I showing on the screen as I’m saying this?

 

Be neurotic about it

When it comes to storyboarding, you need to be super detail-oriented.

From the second the music should come in, to the wording you’re using on the screenshot of your app, you need to have every single detail carefully thought and planned out.

If you’re working with an agency, don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions about every single scene and transition. Having a clear and detailed storyboard will save both sides a lot of time later in post-production.

5. Diffusing your video

Once your video is ready, you need to get it out there for the world to see.

Based on your goals, you have to decide where you want to share and host your video.

Here are a few common options:

  • A landing page
  • Your website homepage
  • Social media platforms
  • Nurturing emails

Test Your Start-Up With This 3-Step Process

Test Your Start-Up with this 3-Step Process Over a Weekend and for Under $1000

Most startups fail. Debates about why are nearly as old as Silicon Valley itself. Some argue it was the team and its inability to execute, while others point to the lack of a market for an idea.

Both are critical in achieving ‘product market fit’, but a CB Insights post-mortem study found that ‘no market need’ was the #1 reason for failure.

Entrepreneurs put their heart and soul into these ideas (not to mention their capital), and in many cases, the pain of a failed startup could have been avoided with some customer research up front.

In this post, I am going to share three relatively inexpensive tests I’ve used while working with in crowdfunding to quickly learn about the market demand for startup ideas.

1. Begin with Face-to-Face Conversations.

 

Why —

At this point, your idea is largely in your head. Prospective customers can’t get inside there, so it’s important to start sharing your idea to see what people think about it.

Understanding their level of enthusiasm is important as is learning about the best way to describe your idea so people can judge whether it’s something they can get behind.

How to do it —

Start by getting to know the person you’re speaking with and the kind of solutions they currently use in the space. It’s important to establish trust so they will be honest in their feedback on your idea.

Then describe how your idea would work, asking them if they understand it and whether it’s something they are interested in.

Pause often to allow them to react and ask probing follow-up questions. Try to understand pros and cons vs. alternatives they are using today and whether they volunteer other people they know who would be interested in using your idea.

Friends and others from your network can be a place to start, but seek out ways to extend your research to people you don’t know.

Even if your network is large, it is not nearly large enough to support a business so strangers will need to understand what you are doing and decide whether it’s something they can support.

The excellent book Sprint by Jake Knapp of GV offers some tips on how to recruit people using Craigslist. I especially like the screening process he describes and have used a similar approach.

 

What you can learn —

You will likely get a mix of reactions from people after describing your product.

Ratios are not the most important factor here — instead you should be looking for evidence that something about your idea creates excitement since people need that to abandon the status quo.

You should also note the types of people that respond in certain ways. 

The most critical piece of feedback you can learn here, though, is a concise and clear way of describing your product that gets some people excited. Do not proceed until you have this as it will be essential for making the most of the next two steps.

Cost =

< $200 for possible incentives; free if you can find people out in the wild

 

2. Next Put into Context with Quantitative Surveys.

 

Why

Here you are trying to understand a broader market response to your idea as well as the segments most excited about it. This builds upon what you’ve learned from step #1 and helps you understand how large the audience for your product could be.

How to do it —

Again I urge you to go beyond your immediate network to get unbiased feedback from strangers. I’ve run many quantitative concept tests using Survey Monkey’s Audience product.

It is easy to use and you can get up to 15 questions answered quickly for $1.50 each (prices go up as you add targeting). Survata and Google Consumer Surveys are a few other options.

No matter the platform, make sure you can download the individual responses as those will be important.

Demographic values are critical for understanding different segments and fortunately, you get age, gender, household income, and region for free with Survey Monkey. Be sure to ask for any other variables you think might lead to interested segments.

The most important section in a quant survey is when you describe the product or service and ask people how interested they are in using it.

Take what you’ve learned in step 1 and use words that you believe will catch people’s attention. I use a 5-point unipolar distribution for answer choices ranging from ‘extremely interested’ to ‘not at all interested’ and being consistent has allowed me to compare results across tests.

It’s also important to understand what customers do today for the problem your product solves. I like to ask about the status quo as well as how satisfied people are with it.

Customers not happy will be far easier to acquire than those who do not have a clearer need. Lastly, I always make at least one question open-ended where I ask if people have any feedback to share.

What you can learn —

Total Addressable Market (TAM) is a key question investors will ask about your idea and quantitative surveys are a good way to find that out.

If more than 40% of total respondents answer in the top two categories, then it looks like you may have a product appealing to a mainstream audience. If you’re below that, then try to find segments of people that cross that threshold.

How big are these segments and can a large business be built for them? 

Cost =

$300 for 200 untargeted responses. Goes up with a narrower audience or if looking for more people.

3. Lastly, see if People Act Through Targeted Ads.

 

Why —

A prospect telling you they are interested in a new product is quite different from buying it. Without a working a product you can’t get that far, but you can get close by serving ads to prospects and seeing if they are willing to take further action like signing up for a waiting list.

How to do it

It’s important to start market testing ads by considering the type of go-to-market your product is likely to use. If it’s something where people are already searching for solutions, then search is a great place to start and you can test demand on Google AdWords.

If it’s something where a market does not yet exist, then you’ll want to start on a place like Facebook that does better for new categories.

Facebook is the place I most often test new ideas and you can get started rather quickly by building a landing page where prospects can sign up to join a waiting list.

Given their unmatched targeting capabilities, you can also apply your learning from step 2 to get in front of the customer segment most interested in your product.

We did this with the camping idea and used Squarespace to build a simple landing page. Next, we brainstormed ad idea concepts and took photos so we could load them into Facebook.

I recommend at least 4 different ad creative concepts since you can rarely predict which will work best and more variety will increase the odds of a successful test.

The final step is the most fun and is where you select your target and see how the market reacts to your idea. It’s helpful to have some experience with Facebook as it’s a powerful platform with a steep learning curve.

Once you start receiving signups, be sure to contact people quickly to start a dialogue with them. They can be a great resource as your idea comes closer to reality and might even be your first set of customers!

What you can learn —

Ideally you will get a sense for customer acquisition costs and can do so by dividing your cost per signup by an assumption of the % that will become customers. You will also learn which type of creative works the best.

Relevancy scores of 7 or higher are ideal and I find it especially encouraging if people tag their friends in the comments or respond verbally with their excitement level as we sometimes see.
Word-of-mouth can be a great tailwind for consumer businesses and this type of activity is a good sign that might take place.

Cost =

$500. This should get you close to 50k impressions depending on the demand for the market to reach your audience. Shoot for a 1% click through rate and a 15% signup rate. Some ad platforms also offer credit to get started that would offset some of this cost.

 

Why Small Business Is Using Social Media Less!

Scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed this morning, a certain post caught my eye.

It was from a business page, Social Concepts Consulting, a social marketing, and communications agency based in Narre Warren.

This was the post…

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Facebook: @socialconceptsconsulting

The post was sharing a link to a Smart Company article talking about the drop in use of social media by small business.

The average social media spend for small businesses has fallen over the past year, from $3,595 to $2,839, according to the report. One quarter of small businesses allocate no budget at all to their social strategy, while only 23% say they actually measure their return on investment across social platforms.

I think from the feedback I am getting from SME’s, there is a timeinvestment and commitment required to ensure social media produces some ROI and businesses are struggling to find the time or hire staff to manage it internally.

The drop in use of social by SME’s, I believe, is because social has evolved to the point where if you don’t have a strategy in place and your executing against that to meet your business objectives, social will provide very little tangible short-term ROI.

Just posting randomly to Facebook doesn’t result in new customers or leads.

Therefore, the amount of businesses tackling their own social is dropping.

However!

Social media is one of the most effective platforms that businesses can use to drive new leads and sales!

43% of customers are saying they follow businesses on social to get access to content that is interesting and relevant to them. A quarter of customers report using social media for the purpose of following and keeping up to date with brands, which Sensis spokesperson Rob Tolliday suggests shows consumers actually want solid engagement with businesses, rather than shying away from messages from them.

So if your customers are looking to engage with your business and the brands they love, what needs to be done to help you and other SME’s leverage desire and current state of consumer behaviour?

It would appear that you just might need some extra help and knowledge from someone who can help develop a tailored social media strategy for your business and to then take on the more time consuming aspects of executing that strategy, which will end up providing you with the ROI that can set your social up to be a vital part of your day to day business activity and growth!

The key findings from a study like this one are that customers want to engage in a meaningful way with brands they like. For small businesses, this means looking at the big picture, thinking about what questions their users might need answered, and pulling out the calendar to plan some content around that.

So businesses like Social Concepts and my own, Woodshed Agency, are here to help you, develop and execute a social media marketing strategy that provides you the ROI you're looking for while putting that time back in your pocket to focus on what you do best!

Want to book a time to talk about your business? Click Here to book a 20 min call.

5 Quick Crowdfunding Tips

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Tip 1 - Start by researching campaigns similar to yours. List all the campaigns (both successful and not successful ones). Contact the manager and ask about activities that worked best/worst. Open Kicktraq.com, paste the URLs and watch out their funding curves. If most of the funding occured in the beginning, it means most came most from their own network. More stable curve means there are interested backers from the platform. When you see a sharp increase in funding, ask authors what was the cause of it.

Tip 2 - Define Your Target Audience Conduct a survey with wufoo.com and share it on social media. Ask about the problem you are trying to solve. You will gather invaluable info about your audience and ... their emails. Sign up in Reddit and dedicated forums and start participating in discussions. Try to engage with people and give as much value as you can. In couple of months you will have a strong community of targeted people who will help you get your early seeding.

Tip 3 - Start building your team

When you have 10 people who know 10 more, who then know 10 more, suddenly you have 1,000 hot prospects. If you start with just yourself or a friend, it can still be done, but you will struggle more. Organize a party and make a motivating pitch about your dream. Build your team. Assign their own responsibilities and include only the ones on whom you can rely!

Tip 4 - Estimate Your Costs Kickstarter, Gofundme and Indiegogo require a 5% fee. Plus you will be charged about 3% for payment processor fees. In addition, take into your calculation about 5-8% dropped backers (for Kickstarter), meaning backers whose credit cards are denied when the campaign ends. Before promising something to backers, calculate how much it costs to ship worldwide. Don't forget about your love to the Government. Your money is considered taxable income for the calendar year in which your project is funded, so contact a tax adviser.

Tip 5 - Crowdfunding Canvas Create a visual metrics of all the key elements you need for success:

  • What are the key problems your customers face?
  • How will you solve them?
  • What is your unique value proposition?
  • Who else delivers similar products?
  • What channels will you use to deliver products to customers?
  • What benefits will the backers have?
  • What is the cost structure?