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Marketing Tactics

Victoria Grech’s 7 Rules To Making Powerful Marketing Videos On A Budget

2017 Will be the year of video marketing. Is your business ready?

Nadine Todd



Victoria Grech

Vital Stats

  • Player: Victoria Grech
  • Company: Video Marketer
  • What they do: Victoria Grech left her corporate career to launch a videography business. She pioneered DSLR videos, and has since moved into training business owners how to shoot, edit and distribute powerful marketing videos on a budget using your smartphone
  • Visit:

On an average day, we are bombarded by 50 000 adverts. Billboards, TV ads, radio ads, print ads, Facebook, Instagram, SMSes, telemarketers — everyone is screaming for attention. As an entrepreneurial business that doesn’t have the marketing budget of large corporates, you need to break through those barriers, get noticed by customers and build trust.

According to video marketing expert Victoria Grech, an affordable and highly effective way to do that is through video marketing. You can film and edit what you need on a smartphone, and as an entrepreneur you have an edge that many large organisations don’t have: Yourself.

“Video is such a great way for CEOs and business owners to be the face of the business, which is what customers are looking for. They want authenticity. They want to make a meaningful connection with you and your brand. They want to know your story. Are you communicating or connecting? As the head of an entrepreneurial business, this is an excellent opportunity.”

Related: Your 4-Part Formula For Creating Killer Content Marketing Videos

These Are 3 Videos You Need To Create

According to Victoria, it takes three videos to lead up to a sale.

  1. Your first video gives your target market value before asking for the deal. This is purely for them. It should be informative or entertaining — ideally both. There shouldn’t be anything in it for you.
  2. The second video is a content video designed to build rapport and trust. This still shouldn’t focus on the sale, but you can inject more of yourself and your story into this video.
  3. The third video is about the sale. “In the first two videos, you’re working with the pains of the client in mind. You know what product you’re ultimately looking to sell, and you will eventually offer your solution, but first you need to offer value without looking for a sale. If the sale never happens, the customer should still have derived value from your first video. The aim of those videos is to build so much trust and rapport that the customer looks forward to the third video, and wants to do business with you.”

7 Rules For Better Videos


Here are Victoria’s seven rules for producing an attention-grabbing smartphone video that anyone can use to build their business and make sales.

1Relax and be real

“You’re judged within the first five seconds of a video,” Victoria warns. “Your body language says a lot. Are you authentic, real and relaxed? Or are you stiff and reading a script? Making mistakes is okay. Real has flaws. Rather be real than too stiff and practiced.”

Victoria offers a few points of advice on body language as well. Don’t point; no one likes being lectured to. Instead, have an open hand, palm facing upward. Now you’re inviting your viewer in; you’re saying ‘come and join me’.

2Understand your objective

The most important first step to any marketing activity is knowing what you
want to achieve.

“A video puts a face to your brand. In your first video, you need to give enough real, upfront value for the viewer to be happy to give you an opt-in email address. That means keeping the three golden rules in mind: ‘Who am I? What do I do? Why should you care?’ Remember, money is in the relationship you build with your list, not the size of your list, so focus on that first, instead of punting products or services.”

Related: Make Money from YouTube Videos

3Create content that people care about

No one is going to share a video that is an audio-visual product brochure. “When creating content, always think about the viewer first and foremost, and consider WIIFM: What’s in it for me? If what the customer cares about isn’t at the centre of your narrative, you won’t get any traction from your video.”

4Keep it short

Videos should be one to two minutes maximum. Yes, you’ll probably want to add more content, tell more of a story, showcase your products. Resist the urge.

What’s the point of a five-minute video if no-one gets past 90 seconds anyway? However, Facebook Live videos are now rewarding you for engagement for longer videos. This means engagement is key though — a longer video that isn’t watched won’t be rewarded with access to more views.

5Avoid scripts

This relates to the first point. As the CEO and other real people in your organisation talking about the company, you have an unparalleled opportunity to share your passion and authenticity with your target market.

“If you’re reading from a practiced script it’s very hard to sound passionate and authentic,” says Victoria. “Have a cue and a few words, and then draw on the passion you feel for your business to speak directly to your audience.”

6Look as professional as possible

You want to be authentic as an individual, and real people don’t sound rehearsed and scripted, but the product quality of the video should still be high. Thanks to the quality of smartphone cameras and related editing apps, this is possible if you keep a few core tips in mind:

  • “First,” says Victoria, “keep the camera still. Use a tripod to lock off the shot so that your subject matter is moving and not the camera.
  • Next, turn the phone onto airplane mode. There’s nothing worse than losing a great take because a message beeped or the phone rang.
  • Third, make sure you have enough available storage space on the phone.
  • Next, pay attention to your lighting. If you’re filming someone else, the light should be behind you. If you’re on the camera, the light should be facing you.
  • Finally, make sure your audio is good. I believe good audio accounts for 80% of the success of a video. If there are visual problems, a viewer will still listen to the audio, but not vice-versa. Avoid echoes, invest in a mic (Sennhizer makes an iPhone mic — Sennheiser clipmic digital — that works well with FILMIC Pro, a video app), and film in rooms that soak up sound where possible (carpets, curtains and so on, don’t echo).”

Related: 5 Ways To Market Your Business On A Limited Budget

7Shoot to edit

Have the edit in mind before you start shooting, so that you know the shots you need. “Think carefully about which shots will tell your story and which won’t,” Victoria advises.

“Then cut between talking heads and product scenes. Film product and action shots and use your brand person — either yourself or a manager or client — for voiceovers. Never just have a talking head. But, don’t leave a face out entirely either. The best video conversations are with a real person. You need balance.”

Do this

Start creating video content for your customers. All you need is a storyboard, a smartphone and an editing app. Anyone can do it with a bit of practice.

Nadine Todd is the Managing Editor of Entrepreneur Magazine, the How-To guide for growing businesses. Find her on Google+.

Marketing Tactics

6 Things To Consider For Putting Together Your Best Holiday Marketing Plan Yet

When autumn starts, will you be ready for the holidays, having already created a gift guide, email and social media strategies and more?

Syed Balkhi




‘Tis the season for online shopping. Well, not quite yet, but it’ll be here before you know it. In fact, according to CPC Strategy’s survey results, 35.5 percent of shoppers surveyed planned on starting their holiday gift shopping before Thanksgiving. That’s why you need to start putting together your holiday marketing plan now.

As soon as autumn hits, shoppers are bombarded with stunning holiday advertising and jaw-dropping deals from companies that will be fighting for their attention during that busy season.

But how will your company break through the noise and get consumers to make holiday memories with your business?

Let’s get festive, then, and think about seven things you might consider when putting together your holiday marketing plan.

Create an email marketing strategy

There’s no better way to boost your holiday sales than to send deals straight into shoppers’ inboxes. Email still converts the best for online holiday shopping. According to Shopify, a staggering 8.8 billion data points were collected on Black Friday in 2017, in the form of email sign-ups and other lead-generation tactics.

Since holiday shopping starts as early as November, you’ll want to craft your email marketing messages now and schedule them to be sent automatically.

Not all customers are created equal, either, so use your customer data to segment your email marketing. For example, if a large proportion of your customer base are busy moms, don’t send a broad, generic email; instead, send them one with products and tips to ease their stress during the holiday season. Personalised emails will make you stand out from the rest.

Related: 5 Ways to Dazzle and Delight Your Customers This Holiday Season

Have a countdown timer for sales


Ever heard of FOMO (a.k.a. “the fear of missing out”)? Creating a sense of urgency is one of the most effective strategies to make consumers feel that something valuable is being offered that they don’t want to miss out on. An eye-catching way to create urgency is to display countdown timers for sales.

For example, American Express displayed a countdown to the expiration of a special Amazon deal it offered its customers.

You can easily add a countdown timer to your website for free using the T(-) Countdown plug-in for WordPress. Seeing a visual symbol, like a countdown timer ticking down the minutes, pushes consumers into action by raising the urgency level to high.

Think about a “free” shipping strategy

Since consumers today are spoiled with Amazon Prime and same-day shipping, your business needs to offer awesome shipping deals this holiday season in order to compete. By reducing shipping costs for your customers, you’ll increase your chances of shoppers buying from you instead of from a big-box retailer.

Want to offer free shipping but afraid of losing money? Set a minimum order amount – for instance, customers must spend $50 to unlock free shipping – or offer free shipping on select items, like your lightest items only.

That way, you can offer customers free shipping without cutting into your profits.

And remember to account for realistic shipping times and cutoffs throughout the season to ensure your customers receive their orders in time for the holidays.

Craft holiday-themed content

Content marketing is one of the best ways to drive traffic to your site, so add a little holiday cheer to your blog.

Crafting holiday-themed content will get your business in front of a ton of consumers searching Google for holiday-based and buyer keywords. Make sure your content is valuable to the reader; if it helps solve their holiday problems, they’ll be more likely to share it.

Lululemon does this well by creating holiday-themed lifestyle blog posts as well as posts about gift ideas for your loved ones.

Start thinking about content ideas now so you won’t have to scramble at the last minute. Brainstorm some fun holiday topics and plan out your content using a content calendar. CoSchedule offers free content calendar templates that will help keep you organised during this hectic season.

Related: Gear Up your Marketing for the Holiday Season

Devise a social media strategy

Getting festive on social media is a great way to capture the attention of shoppers on the lookout for deals, and to inspire a cheerful connection between consumers and your brand.

A great tip to avoid becoming overwhelmed come November is to create all your social media graphics ahead of time.

Don’t have a graphic designer? Don’t worry. Canva is a free tool where you can easily create all the stunning graphics you need to advertise your products with high gross margins and your free shipping holiday deal. You can also find fun images to use to wish your customers a happy holiday.

Schedule all your posts with a tool like Buffer, to make your life even easier. And consider enabling a Facebook retargeting pixel, too. It’s a highly effective strategy to recapture those shoppers who left your site without buying. When users abandon your site in search of other deals across the web, a retargeting ad will “follow” them and display specific ads to encourage them to return to you.

Create a holiday gift guide

Finding the perfect gift can be stressful, so make things easy for your customers by creating a holiday gift guide. With a gift guide, you’ll be able to showcase your best products and increase organic traffic by taking advantage of the shoppers searching “gift guides” on Google.

Etsy curates stunning products for a gift guide its shoppers can easily browse.

You don’t have to be a computer wiz to add a gift guide to your site, a clever hack to create your own is to use a free menu plugin for WordPress like Restaurant Menu by MotoPress. Instead of food photos, add photos of your products and product descriptions; your customers will now have a convenient way to see what items you recommend.

You can also reach out to other websites or publications that will feature your products in their gift guide so that even more people will discover you.

Don’t wait any longer: The holiday season is right around the corner. With these simple strategies, your holiday marketing will turn jaded shoppers into jolly customers, and the boost in your revenue will be the best gift you’ve ever received.

This article was originally posted here on

Related: 8 Shopping Habits Of Millennials All Retailers Need To Know About

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Marketing Tactics

Ask These 3 Questions To Determine Where To Spend Your Marketing Budget

Stretching your marketing budget is imperative, especially when there aren’t that many marketing rands to stretch.




As you grow your business, it’s important to be creative and efficient with your money. When it comes to marketing, there are a number of cost-effective ways to spend and save your money. So, if you’re worried about marketing on a limited budget, here’s some helpful info to know.

First, great marketing is about highlighting wants and needs and attaching them to desired outcomes. It’s possible to do that regardless of budget — and every company’s strategy will be different.

For example, when my consultancy worked with Dollar Shave Club to grow its platform beyond viral videos, we focused on establishing a unique voice, which led to creating an editorial component. When we worked with Arnold Schwarzenegger on his fitness and nutrition products, we focused on creating a core mission and understanding why he was involved in the product. And when we worked with Four Sigmatic to market its coffees and teas, we focused on customer acquisition and retention.

Related: 5 Ways To Market Your Business On A Limited Budget

3 Questions that Cut Through the Clutter

Those projects all started with the same three questions: What is the value and purpose of your product or service? Who is your target audience? And what is the best platform on which to reach them? That’s where you’ll want to invest most of your attention before you determine where to spend your money. (Notice my word choice: Your planning is an investment; where you spend is a cost.)

1. In general, we prefer to use digital campaigns

It’s easier to track what works and what doesn’t. Plus, digital creates multiple opportunities to engage. Think of it this way: 10% of your audience will buy, 10% won’t and 80% will be on the fence. Would you rather have one shot to convince that 80%, or multiple? By retargeting through something like Facebook ads or Google, or even creating a distribution channel like an email list, you can communicate repeatedly.

2. If you don’t have an audience, spend money fishing in small ponds where you know you can get a bite, and then set yourself up to communicate repeatedly

(This is where creating content as a form of acquisition or building an email list can be incredibly valuable.) Depending on your product or service, this could mean a very targeted ad to a small audience on Facebook — rather than attempting to reach millions — or setting up a pop-up shop, or getting a spot at a local farmers’ market.

Related: 4 Unique Marketing Ideas For SMEs On A Budget

3. If you already have an audience, turn them into super-fans who will bring their peers into your universe

Identify previous buyers and give them direct access to you through focus groups or calls. Reward them for their time with product or a gift certificate. When you show your consumer that you care about and appreciate them, it not only increases the likelihood of repurchase but also helps them personally invest in the soul of the business. Not to mention, their insights will help you understand why they bought and how to replicate that process.

Whatever you do — and no matter how big or small your budget — keep finding better answers to the core marketing questions and your success won’t hinge on any one platform.

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Marketing Tactics

Gen Z Is Coming! Are You Ready?

How do you market your company to this generation?

Stuart Scanlon




According to the CNBC, about 61 000 Gen Zers are on the verge of entering the workforce and consumer market in the US alone.

They are digital natives; they have grown up in a world of vines, txts (yes, we know) and internet. Their attention span is shorter than ever, they are more connected than any other generation, and they are brilliant multitaskers. Gen Z is a more tolerant generation but also more cautious; studies have found less risk-taking amongst this group and an increase in thoughtfulness and questioning authority.

So, on the one side of this coin, how do you market your company to this generation?

1. By being transparent

Be upfront about your business, what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. They have lost faith in corporations. Thus, you must stop relying on and hiding behind small print. Yes, you need terms and conditions to protect your company, but when it looks like a miracle weight-loss advert of the 80s (“Eat anything you want just take this pill. Ts&Cs apply.”), you’ll lose customers.

Related: Investing in Young Entrepreneurs

Gen Z consumers want to see you are real; they don’t want models or celebrities but regular people who can assist them in a manner that speaks to them. And they will hold your business is socially accountable. Instead of producing millions of T-shirts at the cheapest possible price, they want local, equality and free-trade, and they want to know what businesses are doing for the environment and society.

Gen Z won’t accept your claims at your word; they want to see evidence in your company culture.

2. By offering options

A jewellery purchasing study has found that most Gen Zers don’t have a preferred shopping platform. What this means is your messaging, availability and culture need to be spread evenly across all contact points – sales, call centres, website and digital advertising. In fact, many Gen Z consumers rely on mixing their contact points.

That being said, they want immediate action. If they see something they want online, they will go to the shop just to have the item right now. More than immediacy, they also want custom-made or made-to-order products and services. They shy away from traditional made-to-stock methods, which creates plenty of room in the production industry.

3. By being forward thinking

We have to always remember what was mind-blowing inventions to other generations are the norm for Gen Zers. They hold brands and businesses to high expectations, and instead of being loyal to brands, expect brands to be loyal to them. As Gen Z is more focused on individuality, they are also proving to be a generation with a high entrepreneurial output. All this shows that they don’t want the norm; they don’t crave what’s new today, they want tomorrow, sustainability and innovation, and they want it now.

On the other side of the coin, how do you attract this generation to work at your company? In much the same way.

1. By being transparent

As much as you are hiring them based on what they bring to the table, so too are they looking at what you can afford them. But, they don’t just want to hear you tell them about the benefits, they want to see it – and they are not after just money. Gen Zers want to be financially secure, but also one that is fulfilling; one where they find purpose in their jobs and company.

2. By offering options

Gen Z employees don’t want to work eight to five, they don’t want to be chained to a desk, and they don’t want to be micro-managed. Give them flexibility on how they want to conduct their work and how they can communicate with their colleagues. Create an understanding workspace for their needs and help them improve their skills – for instance, it’s been reported that a stumbling block for Gen Zers is communication. Growing up with emojis and text messages make face-to-face conversations, business calls and writing emails difficult for them.

Gen Z employees want to work hard and grow their skills. Even though they’re growing up in a super-paced society, they want to climb the corporate ranks at the given speed. What they crave, with urgency, is gaining value from their jobs.

Related: The Z Generation

3. By being forward thinking

They are lateral thinkers, and their creativity is not just outside the box but has broken the box completely. Gen Z is incredibly tech-savvy, and they will challenge the systems and procedures you have in place if these are not providing the needed speed and data required. Thus, they crave to work in an environment where they can push boundaries and ultimately help the company move forward. Hiring from the Gen Z pool can provide you with innovative insights into your business that can grow it towards tomorrow’s giants.

The only way to be sure you are future-proofing your business is by guaranteeing it caters for future customers and employees, by relying on forward-thinking enterprise resource planning software, for instance. Epicor ERP software ensures that their clients stay agile and innovative through trusting top minds to build and develop intelligent systems that open doors for Gen Zers. It’s Epicor’s innate tech-savviness that allows them to visualise the landscape of tomorrow and develop the software to support it today.

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