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Video for Business

Well I have got myself in the thick of it again. I am shooting and editing business video. If this is something you are thinking about doing in house like we have decided to do let me share some tips I have learned the hard way.

Lighting is Everything

Trust me on this. We had to re-shoot one video three times in three different locations due to lighting. Build or buy a lighting kit. Just do it! We choose to do a three point lighting system to highlight the person we were focusing on. This worked great and made our subject look brighter and more alive.

Background and Framing the Shot

Choose your background carefully. We learned really quickly that adding different backgrounds to a person can change their skin tone and brighten or wash out your subject. An example is while we were filming Rex we noticed that we had to use a darker background or his white hair literally disappeared. We also discovered that using a one tone background just did not do him any favors. We ended up shooting him in his office which turned out to be the correct setting and feel for the videos.

Another tip is to really look at your background. You may need to move items to make it look cleaner or position your subject so the frame is centered in the space you are shooting in. Also check to make sure all lighting equipment is out of frame. That sounds simple but we made this mistake so you could too.

Editing Video Is Hard

I a have no video editing training but even with easy to use tools like wevideo and adobe it can be a pain in the neck. It is time consuming and soul sucking. After a day of video editing you really have to give it to the guys who do this for a living. My tip would be to keep it simple and add variety to the video. Add images or words to break up the video and make it more interesting to watch.


I have also started working with some video animation with GoAnimate. This handy little tool can let me create a short video with voice over and moving animations quickly. Again it does take a little work to make the story flow and continue to be informational but overall I like the tool. The best part of using animation for business videos is you do not have to schedule time with your video subject to sit down and tape the video. Animations do not care about how their hair looks either.

Over all I would say creating videos for business in house may not be the easy, but it does give you creative freedom to really get your point crossed. If you want to see some of the videos I have done so far check out Bancorp Insurance YouTube Page.

How White Papers Can Change the Game

How White Papers Can Change the Game

business info

White papers have become more and more valuable since the rise of quality content being king in marketing campaigns. Not only are these useful educational resources, but now equally as important as a business marketing tool. The next time you come across a white paper relative to your industry, don’t discard it. Turn it into something valuable and use it to grow your business.  Allow AIMS to explain how…

First of all, let’s talk about where to find white papers. A simple Google search for “white paper” combined with your industry terminology will produce a plethora of results. Most companies producing these are happy to allow other companies to share (while giving full credit to source) via their own website because then everybody wins – You get great marketing tool, and the publisher gets recognition for the white paper they created.

Now, here’s what you can DO with a white paper. So you’ve come across some informative white papers that are relevant to your business. Great! Time to open it, read it, and lastly, put it to USE!

  • It may seem obvious, but whitepapers are valuable educational resources for your business – Only however, if it’s read and not put aside to ultimately get forgotten about. Read thoroughly and make note of relevant facts and findings. Share with your business’ staff and employees to further knowledge collectively.
  • Use the information to refine your own marketing strategy. Narrow your Google search to the most recent listings to find the newest research and learn what’s working in today’s business landscape. Things change fast in business, use these whitepapers to stay ahead of the curve.
  • Resonate even more with your target customer by basing content efforts off whitepaper valuable facts and findings. Consumers are increasingly looking to content that offers value information. Write up a blog post summarizing the findings or even a press release (be sure to give full credit to the publisher).
  • Offer a white paper as a download on your own site. Based on the publisher’s copyright, you may be able to share directly. Publishers typically specify how the information can be used by other entities, but if in doubt, ask the publisher directly for permission to offer the white paper. Remember content is king! Appeal to your audience as being a resource.
  • White papers are also useful for prospecting and cold calling new clients. Use white papers as an ice-breaker when reaching out to potential new business. Because the information is coming from a reputable third-party, it is a non-bias way to introduce your business while offering value from the start.
  • White papers provide valuable material to make your social posts more interesting. Social users tend to follow businesses that share insightful, engaging and relevant content. Use this tactic to provide value to your network and generate more connections for your business. Share by pulling out stats and findings in a single post or tweet, or share the whitepaper as a direct download from your website or from the publisher’s (depending on copyright).

AIMS is here as your resource for marketing solutions. Call us today to discuss your marketing needs and how we can help!

Tap into your inner photographer!

Tap into your inner photographer!

implementnowSocial media marketing has evolved significantly over the past few years, and staying up-to-date on what works and what doesn’t work (as well) is what will make your company stand out from the masses marketing online.   That’s what AIMS is here for, to help you stay in touch with these effective trends and tools so you always look your best.

One of the simplest yet sometime overlooked ways to sharpen up your social media effectiveness, is photography. How much are you leveraging photos to market your company or services? As humans, we connect emotionally to images more than text. In fact 65-85 percent of people describe themselves as visual learners according to Trend Reports, meaning they make decisions, formulate thoughts, and take action quicker when prompted by images.

So how can you apply pictures to your social media page? Keep reading!

Keep it Professional

  • Photos should look different from the types of photos you would post on your personal page.
  • Anything you wouldn’t show directly to a customer, shouldn’t qualify for you page.
  • If you have to question its appropriateness, then probably don’t post it.

Keep it Relevant

  • Photos are an extension of your brand, not your personal life.
  • Basic photo editing goes a long way, highlighting the subject you are showcasing.
  • Be creative with different filters and looks, but pictures should always represent your brand.

Keep it Shareable

  • Take photos that others will want to share with their connections, giving you a broader reach.
  • People will share photos that is interesting and worthwhile, for example photos of an event.
  • Notify organizations your photos are associated with that you have posted. Tagging them in your post is a great way to do this

Keep it Local

  • Show members of your organization interacting with your city in a meaningful or fun way.
  • Pride yourself in your location and community you serve through visual means.
  • Don’t just take pictures of local landmarks; tie this opportunity into your business.

Keep it Real

  • While keeping it professional, know the purpose is to show your business’ human side.
  • Avoid as much as possible using stock photos, or imagery from your website or advertising.
  • Show less formal side of your business and staff better connecting with real people (your customer).

Keep it Fresh

  • Put new photos up often since people are not likely to revisit an old picture.
  • The more consistent you are in uploading new photos the greater the chance supporters will share your content.
  • A wide variety of photos increases that visitors will find something interesting about your page.

What creative photographs could you post to represent your business?   What other value do you see in making your business “come to life” through posting photos?   Contact AIMS today to discuss your social media posts and brainstorm with us on how to put your brand-image in focus!

Forget the Weather Report, What is the TRAFFIC Report??

Forget the Weather Report, What is the TRAFFIC Report??


Once upon a time, a website traffic report consisted of only a few main sources of measurement. Fast-forward to now, and see that traffic reports have so many measurement facets it can be overwhelming to decipher what is what, and quite frankly put you in a data-coma! Let AIMS help explain the different kinds of website traffic and put you on your way to understanding where you’re getting the most return from your website.

  • Organic –

This part of your report will tell you which keywords are driving the most traffic to your website through unpaid search engine listings such as a Google.com search. It can also tell you which articles are driving the most organic traffic, that is, traffic that you’re not paying for.

  • Paid –

When choosing to purchase for clicks from search engines, this number lets you know how much bang you’re getting for your buck! As you get better at SEO (search engine optimization), you can even remove this section from the report!

  • Direct –

Direct comes from visitors who typed the URL directly into their browser. It can also be a measurement of visitors who clicked on links that do not have tracking variables that google recognizes such as PDF or Word documents, bookmark/favorites, or untagged links within email.

  • Email –

Email can be a leading driver of traffic, especially if you send it daily. You can see how many clicks you are getting on each email and every link in your email campaigns by using UTM Codes.

  • Social (Twitter & Facebook) –

Facebook Insights are built right into the dashboard of every page, and Twitter Ads offers an analytics dashboard as well. Google Analytics does have traffic insights through a social report; however Facebook additionally offers information on how your content is being consumed.

  • Non-Social Referrals –

Visits that came to your site from sources outside of a search engine are considered referrals. Often referrals come from PR tactics or partnerships with other websites and should be tracked separately so you know if it’s paying off.

If you’re looking to get more out of your online traffic and drive leads like never before contact AIMS today for more information on how we can partner together to do more working smarter, not harder!

Looking Forward To ONTRApalooza 2014

Looking Forward To ONTRApalooza 2014

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Picture from last years Confernce

I am looking forward to attending ONTRApalooza 2014 from October 1st-3rd. This will be my third year at this conference. Each year has been an amazing opportunity to meet some amazing people changing the way business is run. These are thought leaders, and innovators who are using Ontraport software to change the game and grow their businesses. The best part of attending the conference is being able to sit down these leaders and take their ideas and applying them to my clients businesses.

We all know Ontraport is an amazing tool for lead generation, lead follow-up, and customer retention, but at ONTRApalooza you are able to learn even more innovative ways to use these tools to rocket your business to new levels.

Did I mention the speakers? Well here are a few I am looking forward to hearing:

  • Jack Canfield – Best-selling author, self-esteem expert
  • Shelby Larson – Found of Content Divas, SEO expert
  • Paul Hoffman – Musician, speaker, author and teacher
  • Franziska Iseli-Hall – Award winning entrepreneur

To see the rest of the list check out www.ontrapalooza.com

If you will be attending I hope to see you there. I am looking forward to learning new things, making new friends, and enjoying the Santa Barbara sun.

How is Your Social Media Etiquette?

How is Your Social Media Etiquette?


If you haven’t noticed already, Social Media is here to stay for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, and for as long as we both shall live. In fact, a report released by Forrester’s Research indicates 73% are consuming some form of social content on a regular basis. Now more than ever it is critical to know the ins and outs of social media etiquette especially if you’re using social media to build your business.

We at AIMS offer solutions for you to maximize your social media, but we want to share a few basic principles that are good for all to know.

Truly build your profile – No one likes to check out a page only to find out there isn’t even a photo uploaded to the account. This is a half-hearted approach and readers will take notice. Invest the time to fill out the “about you” information and build a robust profile worthy of checking out.

Give credit where credit is due – you know that content creation takes hard work, research, and, most importantly, time. For that reason, you should treat others’ content like you would want your own to be treated. Sharing is always fine but be sure on your business pages and profiles you’re giving the original source credit and not claiming as your own.

Be human – If someone interacts with your page, interact back just as you would in real life. One of the top complaints people have about business pages is when they try to engage they get no response. This can alienate your customer in a flash. Especially true when dealing with customer challenges; never hide from an issue or delete comments, rather quickly respond best you can (without being defensive).

No begging allowed – It’s a bit invasive to ask for retweets, or page “likes”. People want to choose what is interesting to them and not feel obligated. Being creative with ways to grab their attention and gain engagement is a more effective way to gain the audience you want.

Tag responsibly – Tagging people on your business page photo is a great way to expose your business to other friend networks, however check with the person before tagging. This can avoid invading what feels like personal space. Same goes for posting your event, article, or blog on someone else’s page.

Avoid self-serving content – Make sure you’re sharing things that your audience truly cares about. One way to aide you in this is always ask yourself “does anyone care about this except me?” Similarly avoid constantly pushing the sale with your content – this is neither engaging nor fun for your readers. Tips, tricks, pictures and valuable content is key!

To help guide you through this ever changing, fast paced, critical world of social media, contact AIMS today and we’ve got your back!

How to Choose a Social Media Manager

How to Choose a Social Media Manager

Abstract logo about social media, concept vector illustration

Are you tired of handling your business’s social media accounts? Are all of the Facebook and Twitter updates too much for you to handle? Maybe you’re just too busy. Instead of handing it off to another employee, we here at AIMS recommend that you consider hiring an outside social media manager.

Hire? Outside? For something you can do in house? Yes, and here’s why: Unless you plan on hiring someone solely for the purpose of managing your social media accounts, it is just an added burden on your employees who already have enough on their plates. Here at AIMS however, this is what we do, and we do it well.

Do you need someone to engineer engaging and entertaining Facebook and/or Twitter posts? How about someone to manage your LinkedIn or Google+ profiles? Is your business listed on Yelp or Foursquare, and is that information up to date? A social media manager will do all that for you and more!

But you can’t trust just anyone, and even the big guys make mistakes (see: 10 Worst Social Media Meltdowns of 2013). That is why it is important that the person you hire to manage your accounts is experienced, tactful and stays on task.

Here at AIMS, we understand that social media presence is important, and as a business, you need to put your best foot forward, so why not do so with someone who has the experience to help keep your company relevant? A good social media manager won’t just post to your page once a day, they will actively engage with your clients to ensure that your business is being well represented.

Want to know more about the social media services offered here at AIMS? Contact us for more information. We will be more than happy to put together a social media plan for your business!



Photo – © madpixblue – Fotolia.com

Twitter and the Algorithm-Based News Feed

Twitter and the Algorithm-Based News Feed

Web code sample

Did you hear that? It was a collective groan from the Twitter community.

Twitter recently announced that as early as 2015 we could be seeing a new algorithm derived newsfeed. What does that mean? It means that the tweets in your newsfeed will no longer appear in reverse chronological order. Instead of seeing the newest tweets first, your newsfeed will instead feature what an algorithm deems to be the most relevant tweets according to your interests.

Speaking at the Citi Global Technology Conference in New York on September 3rd, Twitter CEO Anthony Noto said that the change in philosophy is because arranging tweets according to time “isn’t the most relevant experience for the user.” His solution? Develop an algorithm to better relay interesting content to users.

This isn’t a new concept. In fact, Facebook introduced a similar system a few years ago. If you’ll remember, the Facebook timeline was once very similar to Twitter. You were treated to updates as soon as they happened. To some people, the new Facebook timeline is great; to others, not so much.

Good or bad, the changes to Twitter are coming, and you are going to need to adjust your branding strategy. All that info we’ve released over the years concerning the best times and days to post or schedule tweets? Toss it out, because what matters now is sharing content that is most relevant to your target audience.

This is going to be tricky. Over the years, Twitter has been outstanding for breaking news and getting info out fast. So what do you do when there isn’t a guarantee your followers are going to see your post when you want them to? Our recommendation is to zero in on content marketing.

There are still a lot of people out there guilty of flooding your timeline with empty offers and regurgitated articles. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t continue to share news and events that interest you, it only means that you need to work on targeting. Who do you want to see this? Is it important and/or relevant to your business? Is it a quality piece?

Who knows, maybe the new Twitter algorithm changes are going to be great, maybe it will spur a rise in new and improved digital content. Stick with us as we all work to navigate the upcoming Twitter changes!


Photo – © adrian_ilie825 – Fotolia.com

Why Facebook Like Gates are Overrated

Why Facebook Like Gates are Overrated

facebook gate

Facebook fan gates are overrated. There. We said it. And we don’t mind that they’ve been banned.


In some circles, such a statement is blasphemous, especially since they help so many company get likes. But let’s be honest here, what good is a like if you didn’t come by it organically? What incentive is there for someone to share your page, or your content, if it is something they never had any true interest in in the first place.


But let’s back it up here for a moment. Some of you are probably scratching your heads right now. What is a like gate (or fan gate, to some of you)? A like gate is, in essence, a tab that business owners can add to their Facebook page and run a contest or offer coupons and discount codes from. The catch? In order to enter the contest or gain access to the coupons and discount codes, participants have to like the page first.


If you didn’t already know what like gating is, then you probably aren’t too concerned that it is banned from Facebook starting November 5th.


Why would Facebook ban such a successful program. It’s pretty simple really, and this statement from Facebook explains it best:


To ensure quality connections and help businesses reach the people who matter to them, we want people to like Pages because they want to connect and hear from the business, not because of artificial incentives.


Got that? What Facebook is saying, and we here at AIMS agree with, is that companies should be connecting with those who like their pages because of the products and services they offer; because the liker believes in it, not because you have a super rad deal that everyone wants, but will then either disregard or hide you once your purpose has been served.


Our advice? Don’t sweat the like gate ban. Instead, get creative and start connecting with your customers again.


Photo – © trialhuni – Fotolia.com



Facebook Messenger: Not as Invasive as you Think

Facebook Messenger: Not as Invasive as you Think


If you’ve logged onto your Facebook account recently, then you’ve probably noticed all of the hullabaloo about the new Facebook Messenger App. Facebook is now forcing all of its mobile users (i.e. nearly everybody) to download a separate standalone app to send and receive messages.


For some of you, this isn’t a big deal. A little inconvenient yes, but resisting really isn’t worth the time or effort. But for other out there, the whole thing is making you a little uneasy. After all, you’ve heard things. Like how the new Messenger App can send direct SMS message from your phone to contacts in your phonebook. Or that Facebook Messenger’s App can use the microphone on your phone to record private conversations.


But none of those is true, not entirely at least.


For starters, you can still circumvent downloading the app by using the Facebook.com messaging service on your phone and not the mobile Facebook app. It is kind of a pain to connect to the sit directly and not just click on an icon, but it does help prevent you from having to switch over to Messenger.


To address another issue, yes, one of the permissions that is required when downloading the app is to allow it to access your contacts so that Facebook can send, receive, edit and read SMS or text messages. That doesn’t mean Facebook is going to start spamming your friends. The purpose is actually to send you a confirmation code via text anytime you add a phone number to your Messenger account.


Finally, just because you allow Facebook to access your camera and microphone (permissions, again) does not mean that it is going to record your private conversations. The only reason FB wants access to your microphone is for voice calling, a feature that is not included the usual mobile app. The same goes for the video camera. If you want to send a video, Facebook needs permission to access your store videos.


Need help setting up Facebook for your business account? Contact AIMS today!


Photo – © Tsiumpa – Fotolia.com