web

How Two of Your Company's Web Pages Could Be Hurting Your Business [and What You Can Do About It]

How Two of Your Company's Web Pages Could Be Hurting Your Business [and What You Can Do About It]

Why are the JOB page and the ABOUT US page so frequently lackluster on business websites?

For most, it's probably a practical reason. Once that content is developed, there's generally little reason to revisit it. It falls into that perilous category of important but not urgent, and there it languishes—missing untold opportunities to persuade, compel, and sell.

Website Makeovers To Inspire You

Website Makeovers To Inspire You

Creating a new website can easily slip into the “not today” category, and for good reasons.

It’s easy to get caught up in a flurry of worries like: What if I can’t find the right vendor? How can I be sure that I’ll get a website that helps grow our business? What if there are cost overruns? What if there are delays? What if I haven’t managed an outside web vendor before? Or where do I even begin?

How To Get More Than You Paid For From Your Web Vendor

How To Get More Than You Paid For From Your Web Vendor

Creating a winning website is one of the most exciting and high-impact marketing tools you will make. And getting more than you paid for is the best outcome! 

As a client, you don't often realize how much you can do to help make this happen. The place to start is with an understanding about how web vendors estimate their costs and manage the project. Your web vendor typically allocates a set number of hours to create your new website.

A Primer on Uploading and Distributing Videos

A Primer on Uploading and Distributing Videos

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Now that your video is done, some of the most important work still remains

It’s easy to celebrate the completion of your new video and think that it will now magically get seen by the right people. But this is generally not the case. Knowing how to distribute your video is essential to making it work hard for you.


How do I decide how to distribute my video?

There is no one answer that fits everyone. That’s why we’re providing some quick tips on uploading and distributing your video. Following these will help ensure that your video gets the maximum return on your investment.


Where can I distribute my video?

Here are some ways:

  • Your website. Sometimes it can go in multiple places, so don’t let just one location suffice if it is suitable for more. (Example, a company introduction might go on your home page, product page, or recruiting page).

  • Your Vimeo or YouTube channel. You should have these for increased distribution.

  • Facebook. Decide if you want to upload to Facebook and get more views, or embed to Facebook from another platform and keep the traffic going to the same place.

  • Instagram (must be 60 seconds or shorter).

  • Emails (to clients, employees, board members, donors—or whomever you’re trying to reach).


Should I host our video on Vimeo or YouTube?

Vimeo and YouTube cater to different audiences. If you’re primary goal is reach, YouTube might be for you. But if you want higher engagement and a better user experience, Vimeo is the right choice. We use both for varying reasons and projects, but prefer Vimeo because of its higher quality player company values.


How to download videos from Vimeo

1. Visit the URL where the video is located.

 
 

2. Click the “Download” button and download in “Original” quality.
(Ask Vimeo account owner to change settings if no button exists)


Tips for uploading videos

Be strategic about which platforms the video is uploaded/embedded to.

Uploading vs. embedding can be a complex decision that should be discussed by a team before distributing any video content.

Uploading is the practice of hosting video data on a service site (Vimeo and YouTube are most common). The video will be distributed from where it was uploaded—passing any data and value to the upload platform.

Uploading a video to two or more locations will split the traffic and decrease the perceived value and significance of the project.

Embedding is the practice of “adding an object from another website.” While the video is still uploaded to a hosting site (for example: Vimeo) the video object appears on the website on which it has been embedded. Data and value are still passed to the upload platform, but the visual occurrence passes to the embed location.

Embedding a video to two or more locations will maintain the data and value for all the occurrences since the video is still hosted in only one location.
Deciding which video is posted or embedded on which platform(s) depends entirely on the project content, subject, and goals. These decisions should be clearly thought out and communicated.

For a basic example:

Uploading a video to Facebook will get more interaction and views, but is a much less robust marketing tool as the system is designed to help Facebook before your business.

Embedding a video on Facebook will get less interaction and views, but it will pass rank and traffic to a more robust hosting site.

Uploading a video to Vimeo will be much less likely to get interaction and views, but the hosting platform is built to help your business and the viewer community—making this an ideal platform for sharing content with people who want to see it.

Embedding a video from Vimeo produces a high-quality player and product to display the video, however, videos embedded from Vimeo are not passing search ranking on to the video content.  

Uploading a video to YouTube can be an effective way to get your video found by strangers, but the platform is built for Google to sell; small videos can easily get lost in the barrage of other content.

Embedding a video from YouTube provides a lower-quality player and product, but the views and interaction will more improve your search ranking for the topic.

There are many scenarios and strategies to discuss. With so much time invested in each project, it’s important to place similar time and importance on the distribution of the video, to get the most from your investment.  


Always upload videos in the highest quality available.

The general standard for uploading is 1080p, however, 2k-4k+ quality videos are becoming much more common with recent advancements in technology. When you upload a lower quality version, it will not look or sound its best. This is exacerbated when shown in larger venues and reflects badly on the team.


Titles matter.

A good title will follow the goals of the project. It may be more descriptive or more emotive depending on the project. Generally, the more targeted the audience, the more targeted the title.

Three examples:

1. The authentic video company that posts their demo reel to Vimeo and host on their already popular website.
They title the video: “Real” Because it says so much about the company in so little time.

2. The teacher who wants people who search for “Adobe Premiere tutorials” on Google to watch his video on YouTube.
They title the video: “How To Get Started with Adobe Premiere Pro CC - 10 Things Beginners Want to Know How To Do” Because it is a functional title that specifically targets beginning users of Premiere Pro CC.

3. The owner of Denver Doughnuts who posts a video to social media wanting their customers to learn about new offerings.
They title the video “Denver Doughnuts – Our 2018 Menu Explained” because it balances functionality and feel.


Keep descriptions interesting and concise. Link out to contributors or relevant websites.

Example:

ON | Athlete Refugee Team - The Human Spirit

There are 65 million refugees on earth right now.­ The most in recorded history. There are 31 refugees from 5 different countries who train in the Ngong Hills of Kenya as the Athlete Refugee Team (A.R.T). This August 2017, five of the athletes will be at the world athletics championships in London. Go see them run and proudly represent and provide a symbol of hope for the 65 million refugees worldwide.

Thanks Ladi Demko, Olivier Bernhard and Feliciano Robayna for the opportunity to shoot this amazing story and for the support your company has given to these athletes.


Add as much information as possible to the informational fields.

Adding [a(n)]:

Language
Location
Tags
Keywords
Website
Closed captions (CC)
Subtitles
Thumbnail
Audience type
Genre (ex: documentary, lifestyle, etc.)
Etc…

Adding information can improve platform understanding of how to sort and show videos based on user search and interest. As many details as possible should be added to each piece of content. This will help your content get found and viewed by the target audience since hosting platforms use this data to decide which videos to show certain users.


Always include closed captions and/or subtitles.

People frequently watch videos without sound, so we strongly encourage use of subtitles and/or CC. We typically add these at negligible if any cost to videos we produce, but it’s always important to double check so you can reach the maximum number of users.


Consider removing the download button for more control over content distribution.

A common problem is content being downloaded in a low-quality format and then being uploaded to platforms. Consider removing download capabilities in the video settings to minimize the probability of lower than “original” quality content being published.


Create thumbnails that sell.

Thumbnails should be designed and supplied with each video project, as they are vital to a healthy click rate. Check your thumbnail design to be sure it works well in the smallest application—like on a mobile phone.

If the original thumbnail is not easily available/accessible, use Daniel Ehniss’ tool to download one.

Paste the URL of the video into the search bar and download the thumbnail in the highest quality available (likely the default).

Upload the thumbnail to the video platform and ensure that the change has correctly taken place upon upload.


You don’t have to be the expert, but you should call on one if you need it.

How a video is distributed is paramount to the success of your project. Strategies should be discussed at the start of the project and improved throughout its creation and launch.

The number of variables for each project is an overwhelming and complex task to discuss. If you do not have someone experienced in this, contact Christian@CMBell.com for help distributing and uploading your video content to get the maximum return on your investment.

You can grow your business

 

Campaign Microsites Are a Must-Have to Increase Your Ad Results

We developed this campaign microsite for an urgent care opening. Within the first few months, visits exceeded projections by 400 patients per month.

We developed this campaign microsite for an urgent care opening. Within the first few months, visits exceeded projections by 400 patients per month.

Campaign-based microsites are websites with a custom URL that generally live outside of your corporate site and are created for one reason: to support a brand campaign.
 
They’re more effective at converting leads to sales for several reasons:

  1. The campaign promise is immediately obvious. Send users to your company website and you’re likely to lose them. Why? Because it’s too hard for them to find what the campaign promised. Even a few seconds looking for the item advertised will result in abandonment.
  2. Microsites often have far more design options than most corporate sites—which means they can often be more visually arresting. And good visuals help sell.
  3. Analytics for the campaign are easily viewed by agency and client, allowing the agency to make continual updates that improve SEO. This is faster, more efficient and effective than having a go-between.
  4. There’s just one call to action—and it’s the one that supports your ad campaign.

Don’t let your ad campaigns fall on deaf ears. Insist on a campaign microsite for any significant advertising campaign.

Great Design Is No Longer a Luxury

In some circles, great design is still considered a luxury. But more often than not, this idea is a fatal flaw for a brand.
 
Today’s consumer has sophisticated visual tastes created by the most creative communicators in the world. Their reference point for this is not just your competitors—it’s every message they get from any industry.
 
This is why great design is actually a brand differentiator. Great design provides instant visual cues about your brand that affiliate it with other brands familiar to the viewer—allowing them to decide in as little as a second if they want to further engage with you. The more oversaturated people are with information, the more they rely on these cues as short cuts for adjudicating a product or service. It’s simply an efficient way of navigating information.
 
Here are some common mistakes brands make when they don’t embrace this important truth:

  • Spend heavily on a media buy, but use so-so stock images and design that send the viewer packing after one look.
  • Spend millions on a new building and cheap out on photography. A top-drawer architectural photographer will bring a wow to your image that will pay off handsomely.
  • Invest in new technology or services, then depict them on a visually inferior website.

It’s better to go with less in other areas than to settle for also-ran design.

CMBell Company and Clients Win Five Awards for Creative Work

Creative work developed by CMBell Company and our clients has received five awards from the 33rd Annual Healthcare Marketing Advertising Awards Competition—the country’s largest healthcare advertising awards competition.

We celebrate the hard work and creativity of our clients and our team in bringing together these creative projects.

Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center OB Admissions Booklet

Glendale Adventist Medical Center 110-year Anniversary Video

Adventist Health Southern California Region Brochure

Adventist Health Southern California Region Renewal Video

Adventist Health Southern California Region Success Video

Adventist Health Urgent Care - Montrose Motion Graphic Video

Simi Valley Hospital OB Campaign

One Easy-to-Fix Reason Your Ads Don’t Work

You’ve put together an elegant campaign—all the right messages, all the right media. And then it happens.
 
You drive the reader to your website, and lose them.
 
This occurs too often, but there’s a simple solution: the campaign microsite.
 
A campaign microsite is a website that is exclusively developed to support the campaign. It allows you to control the user experience, deliver on your ad promises, and curate the strategic messages you want your viewers to see—without any advertising messages that you can’t control.
 
It also keeps the viewer from having to dig through your website to find the promised message—which often ends up losing them if the content can’t be found fast.
 
Want to see a microsite that’s working in action? Email us at TalkWithUs@CMBell.com for one of our latest examples.

Marketing Madness: Part 2—Why Counting Clicks Could Be Your Most Deadly Strategy

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It’s time we challenge the prevailing idea that online traffic necessarily equates to loyalty and purchases.
 
Make no mistake: You can create content that goes wild on the social media meter, but that does nothing for your brand image or customer loyalty. We’re not saying you shouldn’t pay attention to clicks and shares and traffic, but that it is often not put in its rightful place as an indicator of traffic—rather than an indicator of loyalty and relationship.
 
Ultimately, your digital strategy should build relationships that result in revenue for your company and benefit for your client. Getting the customer to your website is the first step.
 
But the next and vital steps are helping them see how your product or service would be valuable to them, which in turn will generate sales.
 
Stay tuned for more in our series on Marketing Madness.

Bigger. Better. More.

Bigger. Better. More. That’s the theme we created to help Littleton Adventist Hospital leverage their 25-year anniversary to refresh their brand and show how they’ve grown to meet their community’s needs. In addition to direct mail and print ads, we worked with them to produce a video, Web content and elevator wraps.

Littleton Adventist Hospital 25-year Anniversary Video

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Littleton Adventist Hospital 25-year Anniversary Web Page

Littleton Adventist Hospital 25-year Anniversary Elevator Wraps

Step Up Your Social Media

Social media is about sharing content in different formats—words, video or photos. So the first step in any social media strategy is to create quality content that your customers are interested in—and delivering it in a way that is share-worthy. Here are five tips to improve your chances:

  • Use quality photos that are better than your competitors.
  • Use video.
  • Make your videos entertaining—when appropriate.
  • Make your writing better than your competitors. 
  • Provide useful content that isn’t just about your company. 

If you’re serious about social media, commit resources to monitor the conversation so you know what the crowd is saying about you.

Need some inspiration? >>   


This short video brought a powerful response when shown to policy makers and stakeholders—and went viral among other state private education associations. It shows how complex messages can be simplified using an animated video technique.


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We use our blog to provide short, easy-to-read tips on how to improve a business’s marketing and communications.


Even a simple but entertaining e-card like this—posted on your social media channels and website—can increase views.

Essential Skills for Tomorrow’s Top Health Care Marketers

The role of the health care marketer and communicator is changing—that’s not news. But what will it look like? In the Sept./Oct.  issue of Spectrum, the member newsletter of  Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development (SHSMD), we suggest the critical skills tomorrow’s pros will need to master. Which of these do you think will be most important?

CMBell Company and Clients Win Three Awards for Creative Work

Creative work developed by CMBell Company has received two gold and one silver award from the Aster Awards competition, an international health care marketing awards program.

A gold award was given for developing the online graphic identity guide (GIG) for Loma Linda University Health. The online GIG can be seen at lluhealth.org/gig.

A second gold award was given for a Colorado hospital’s brochure for expectant moms. It can be seen here on our blog.

The silver award went to White Memorial Medical Center, an LA-based hospital, for three videos we produced for their centennial celebration. One of the award-winning videos was produced for their 2013 Centennial Gala at the Beverly Hills Wilshire hotel.

Entries are judged by design and health care marketing professionals on creativity, design, typography, production, quality and overall effectiveness.

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Celebrate Your Milestones

A company milestone—whether it's an anniversary or a major achievement—is a not-to-be missed opportunity to:

  • Inspire more loyalty in your customers.
  • Help employees become more purposeful and focused.
  • Reinforce culture. Encouragement and increased sense of purpose is a great motivator. 
  • Improve employee engagement. Want to improve service or quality? Celebrate employee successes to reinforce the behaviors you prize. 
  • Make work more meaningful. Employees who are inspired by the grander purposes of their work will do better work and be more loyal.
  • Reinforce brand messages. Been around 100 years? Talk about the ideas that made this milestone possible, and your vision for the future.
  • Encourage high-level goals. Employees focus on the ideas leaders and organizations talk about. 
  • Make other necessary communications serve a dual purpose—like pairing the celebration message with a community benefit report or holiday greeting card, for example.
  • Thank your customers, volunteers and the people who made you successful.

Need some inspiration? >>


This short video uses an anniversary to showcase how the organization benefits the community—while acknowledging the role of the community in the success. The message becomes “look what we did together” rather than “look what we did.”


A hospital’s deeply held values are brought to life and tied to the celebration message in this video.


This video recognizes employees, physicians and volunteers by showcasing White Memorial Medical Center’s employees sharing what it means to work there.


Combining a holiday message with a centennial message is a good way to stretch your marketing dollars—and stand out from those dull pre-printed greeting cards.

The Single Most Important Social Media Strategy

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YouTube? Photo sharing? Social bookmarking? Twitter? Facebook? Pinterest? Let’s face it. Very few organizations have the resources to be all-in even the top five social media sites.

So what’s a business to do?

There’s one strategy that trumps all other social media strategies, and that’s this: the creation of relevant, fresh, quality content. Pure and simple. Social media is about sharing ideas that people find interesting, useful or entertaining. It doesn’t matter how many videos you post or how often you post on Facebook if you have nothing of importance to say.

So take a moment and set aside the angst about which social media options are right for you and ask yourself this one question: What content can we offer our readers that would make them want to come back for more?

Once that’s decided, you can more easily evaluate the various platforms to see which work best for your customers and your content.

Image Source: www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk

When to Use Video Instead of Print for Your Message

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We’re not going to say that print doesn’t still have an effective place in a business’s communication strategy, because it does. But we do believe that the tremendous increase in online content signals a continued shift to video as the consumers’ preferred method of receiving information.

So when should you choose print vs. video? Videos deliver messages better when:

  • Web and social media is the distribution method of choice.
  • You have a limited media buying budget.
  • The product/service excels when showcased visually.
  • You want to show how something works—rather than describe it.
  • A personal connection will attract sales (customer testimonials, for example, or a health care provider who wants to build a practice).
  • Adding music, voice and motion is needed to make the message more arresting.
  • Your target audience is prone to online searches.
  • A great video of your product or service will outshine your competitor.
  • You want to reinforce key points quickly, and need the power of both audio and visual to deliver them.
  • Your message can be entertaining.

In what areas of your life do you prefer to watch a video over reading the same material in print?

Can Good Photos Be a Competitive Advantage?

Absolutely. And with the tremendous growth in photo sharing, businesses should be looking for ways to make photos a competitive advantage.

Here’s what the data shows:

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Not ready for Pinterest or Snapchat? Then check out your website, as a starting place, to see if your photos are reason to visit.

Image Source: www.kpcb.com Published May 2013

Is Your Hero Photo Really a Hero?

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Your website home page is your new front door. For many organizations, it’s the first impression of your brand, and for some online businesses, it’s the only impression.

So stop by your own home page and ask yourself whether your main photo is doing its heroic work of presenting the brand attributes your company lives by.

If your organization is one of those who feels that pictures are a luxury—rather than one of the most critical online Web brand assets—then invite your budget decision-makers to cruise through this site that shows hero photos living up to their names.

Image Source: www.diehlgroup.com