Buy and Sell Websites – I Spent $35,700 on Sites – What Did I Learn?

Buy and Sell Websites – I Spent $35,700 on Sites – What Did I Learn?

Authour bio: Stacy Caprio

Stacy is an entrepreneur who has bought and sold several profitable websites, and learned a lot of lessons along the way. Her background is in online marketing and one of her favorite things in the world is helping websites and companies grow.


 

I was trapped.Or at least I felt trapped. Anxious. Smothered.

Sitting in a spacious white cubicle, in a beautiful office complex, inside a building filled with free coffee and tea, sunlight streaming in nearby windows and friendly coworkers stopping by to chat.

I may have looked free to any onlooker, but inside I knew the truth.

There was an invisible chain hooking me to my cubicle, 5 days a week, 8:30am to 5:30pm, and it didn’t matter how much value I provided, or how much work I did, all that mattered was that I sit in my chair during that entire time every day, every week, and every year.

If I did not stay seated that entire time, I would not have any money to live on.

I could not even walk outside, other than on my lunch break, without attracting unwanted attention.

All I could think about was how to break free, but nothing I tried was working.

One of my favorite past-times was, and still is, reading income-report blogs and how other people make money online. One day I was reading a blog post about website investing, and it clicked.

I thought, why not?

I had already tried to start several sites on my own but none were making any money. I wanted to try buying one that was already working and then build on it.

My thought process was, let’s give it a try and see if we can build on an already successful and profitable site and learn to make an income like all my favorite online bloggers are already doing.

I’ll take you through the lessons I’ve learned from buying 4 sites for a total of $35,700, all purchased through Flippa.

My current working view, in large part thanks to Flippa, I’m no longer inside of a fluorescently-lit cubicle, instead able to work outside on my balcony in the heart of Chicago.

 

Lessons Learned From Buying Websites 

 

Good judgment and experience can come from making mistakes yourself, which I have done, and is where my experience comes from.

It can also come from reading about other’s mistakes, and avoiding them, and then reading about other’s successes, and emulating them.

My hope is that you can learn from my failures, but also my successes, in website buying and selling.

 

Avoid my Mistakes: How I Lost Money Buying Sites

 

1. Never trust data unless you verify it

 

I had just bought my first site and I was more excited than I could remember since Christmas morning when I was a little kid.

The seller had listed the site as making $350/ month, and I had paid him only $1,300 for it.

Of course, it was too good to be true.

If a site is really making $350/month, no one in their right mind would ever sell it for only $1,300, so that should have been red flag number one for me right there.

At a minimum, a site making $350 profit a month would be going for 20X $350, around $7,000 or more, depending on what the site owner was looking for.

The mistake I made buying this site was not only ignoring the price red flag, but going into the deal with blind faith and trust without even attempting to verify any analytics or revenue. 

 

Flippa has a great Google Analytics traffic verification feature and a great Google Adsense revenue verification feature, and after that first purchase, I now never even consider a looking at a site unless the seller has enabled both forms of Flippa verification.

Additionally, I now always request access to the site’s Google Analytics as well as proof of income including video screenshares and income screenshots.

I also use something I call the common sense test.

In the common sense test I combine Google Analytics, average RPMs and conversion rates to determine what the income numbers should be if the site owner is telling the truth. Then I compare the common sense estimates to the numbers the site owner provides and see if they are in the same ballpark.

Learn from my blind trust mistake and always verify traffic and revenue before purchasing a site.

Not everyone is an honest fairy God-mother and some people will try to cheat you out of your money.

 

2. Don’t buy out of desperation

 

When I was ready to buy my second website, I was desperate for another income stream.

My life may have looked nice and comfortable from the outside, but I was anxious and desperate to start having more freedom.

This desperation led me to spend a lot of money on my second site.

I had a lot of confidence because I had verified the site’s revenue, the lesson I learned from failed site purchase #1.

My newfound revenue-verification confidence combined with my desperation lead me to spend a lot of money, $10K, on a high-revenue site without really thinking about if the business model was sustainable.

The first few months were amazing and I was even able to more than double the monthly revenue. I was ecstatic, to say the least.

My happiness was short-lived.

The site traffic plummeted when the “fad-site” I had bought turned out to be a short term trend based on an app, something I could easily have spotted if I had been buying out of a calm, measured mindset instead of my overly confident and desperate mindset, possibly the worst mindset to make any decision in life with.

Learn from my lesson and never buy out of desperation. Or worse, desperation combined with over-confidence.

 

Copy My Successes: How I Made Money Buying Sites

 

3. Test Ad Networks & Make Partnerships

 

My third site was my first success. You didn’t think I’d give up after two expensive failures, did you?

I bought it for less than what I’d paid for site #2, because I was still wary that anything could happen.

It was a great deal I found on Flippa with a price of only 20X the monthly profit.

Quickly I was able to test different ad networks and monetization methods until I found ones that were making around double the original.

Then an ad network rep reached out to me and wanted to advertise on the site for a flat monthly fee that was more than double what I had already doubled the site to, so of course I accepted.

For the next few months revenue was 4X what I had bought the site for, since I was still running the better ad network and had an ad partnership that was paying me a flat fee monthly.

This had worked out better than I could have ever imagined, and I made back what I had paid within 10 months, and was making pure profit each month after that.

 

4. Keep going when you find something that works

 

My fourth site I used all the principles I learned from my previous mistakes and successes.

I verified the analytics and revenue before buying.

I was not completely desperate, not overly-confident, and used as much common sense as I could, all keys to making a well-informed and level-headed purchase.

I used the ad networks I knew already worked and leveraged my ad partnerships.

Using these approaches, I was able to buy a second successful site, my fourth website purchase total, from Flippa, and build on its success.

This site I also made back the purchase price within 10 months and have been able to grow revenue substantially since then.

The key on my fourth site was buying an online site that was already successful and that I could build on by producing more content.

I worked with adding to what it already had and was able to grow the revenue that way.

The lesson to learn here is you don’t have to start from scratch if you’re looking to own a profitable business or website. You can buy something that is already working and then build on it.

Even more important, once you find something that is already working, run with it and help it grow. To do this, you can produce more content and help it grow in the direction it is already growing successfully to increase profit and revenue over the long-term.  

Hopefully this website buying and selling article helps you avoid some of the mistakes I’ve personally made as well as helps you emulate some of the successes I’ve also been able to have.

 

I am forever grateful to Flippa for being the catalyst that helped me transition from being the girl at the beginning of this article who felt trapped and chained in her cubicle, to the girl I am now, living in my dream apartment overlooking the bean and Lake Michigan in Chicago, with the freedom to set my own hours and run outside by the lake any time of any day without feeling even a little bit guilty.

Let us know your own website buying and selling mistakes and successes in the comments below.

The big increase in women-owned online businesses

The big increase in women-owned online businesses

The trajectory is clear. There is a surge in female business entrepreneurship. However, the finer details reveal a more complex pattern than appears at first impression. The 2018 American Express economic study ‘State of Women-Owned Businesses Report’, presented an exciting picture of the rise in female business ownership. It reported that in the US there are almost 2,000 new businesses being founded by women each day and that women now own around 40% of businesses overall. However, the devil is in the detail, and in stark contrast the highly regarded tech industry reviewer TechCrunch reports that only 17% of all business startups have a female founder, and that proportion has not grown significantly over the past 6 years. A glass ceiling also applies to female-owned businesses which have been backed by venture capital investment. So, what explains the apparent disparity in these reports?

The highest proportion of women-owned enterprises are in the small business and non-tech business sectors. Since the 1970s the number of all women-owned businesses in the US has increased by a staggering multiple of more than 30 times, and importantly the employment created by those businesses has increased 40-fold. Yet they still account for only 6% of total workforce employment and under 5% of all business revenues.

While there was considerable growth over the past decade in the proportion of businesses generating more than $1 million dollars per annum in revenue which are female-owned, women-owned businesses still remain predominantly small ones, with businesses generating more than $1 million dollars per annum accounting for only 1.7% of all female-owned businesses. For proper understanding of the statistics it’s important to clarify that where a business involves partnerships and multiple owners/founders, the classification of female-owned and female-founded is defined as at least 50% of the ownership is female. In this context TechCrunch clarifies that only one-third of female-founded businesses are entirely female-owned and led. 

So, notwithstanding the undeniable impression of a dramatic improvement in the overall level of female business ownership, the detail is complex and masks the reality that women are still under-represented in both online businesses and tech-based startups and particularly in VC-backed businesses. 

This is so notably the case that in 2018 a mere 2% of all VC investment funding for all startup businesses in the US went to enterprises with all-female founders. The reasons for this are clear. Firstly, the vast majority of all-female businesses are too small to attract venture capital. Secondly, investment decision-making in venture capital still remains so male-dominated that over 90% of those who allocate investment funding in the US are male. However, the consequent financial favoring of male enterprises is arguably based primarily on unconscious affinities and informal, unintentionally-gendered business networks rather than any deliberate bias.

As a potential change driver, the present under-representation of women in VC-backed businesses actually presents a massive opportunity. The current time seems poised at a critical turning point for a substantial and sustained increase in female entrepreneurship in online businesses. In February this year, Forbes published a report on the many reasons for women now being more motivated than ever to start up or buy into their own businesses, instead of being content to remain an employee of someone else’s business. 

Multiple large-scale surveys consistently establish that women are motivated to start their own businesses in the pursuit of freedom, financial independence and personal fulfillment. For many women, independent entrepreneurship is also a way of circumventing the glass ceiling they have encountered in their professional employment.

More and more women are recognizing unmet service and product needs in society and developing innovative solutions to create and capture a lucrative and professionally rewarding market niche. 

 

Key enablers for the trend to gather momentum

Increased Access to Business Finance

The National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) urges women to make greater use of network support opportunities including Small Business Administration support and loan programs and partner networks such as SCORE and the Women’s Business Center. Networking, including online support networks, can provide valuable encouragement, advice and practical resources. This can create access to existing networks of ‘angel investors’ who are specifically focused on female entrepreneurship – or at least consciously predisposed to financing women-founded, owned and led businesses. 

Greater female access to business startup capital is poised to be a powerful game-changer. As this development gains traction it may re-focus the targets of larger scale venture capital financing which, as stated, is currently deflected from female-founded and female-led business ventures.

Effective Mentoring for Women in Business

Successful established female entrepreneurs can provide crucially important role modeling and a powerful source of practical advice and guidance for aspiring and novice business founders and also for women who buy an existing online business with the intention of managing it well and developing it further. Female mentoring networks are thriving, widespread and very easy to connect with. They can be expected to result in real and sustained improvement in women’s participation in all kinds of business ventures, maybe particularly in the online and startup environments. Male mentors have a valuable role to play too and many women in business have found the supposed boys’ club is actually far more open, supportive and collaborative than it’s sometimes perceived to be. 

Time to Seize the Day

For women, this is the greatest of times to create your own business space and join the growing community of female online business leaders. The necessary success factors are in place, the momentum is gathering, and the opportunity awaits right here and now.

 

Flippa Financing announcement

Flippa Financing announcement

This month Flippa has again demonstrated a commitment to building out a frictionless sales experience with the world’s largest network of buyers. Did you know that 4250 new verified buyers join Flippa each month?

Funding a small business is hard, but we’re here to help you get it right. With our new Guidant Financial partnership, financing solutions like 401(k) business financing and SBA loans, you can acquire a business quickly and smoothly

Identifying the right financing for you can be complex and overwhelming. 80% of entrepreneurs and buyers are declined by their local bank, and it’s difficult to know where else to look.

Guidant is now powering Flippa Financing and their team of financing experts will guide you through a quick and easy process, explaining all your options to get the money you need to acquire your next business.

Flippa Financing. A quick, hassle-free path to small business ownership

Flippa’s buyer network is one of the world’s largest!  Our buyers tell us that buying a business is easier than starting one. We agree. We also understand that buying a business is not free of challenges.

As part of Flippa’s long-term commitment to building a frictionless sales experience, Flippa Financing represents the beginning of many network partnerships. Guidant Financial is a leading player in the US and we’re excited to offer our buying network easy access to their services.

Once a buyer offers to buy a business on Flippa.com, has verified its state and conducted extensive due diligence,  they may need to secure a business loan to pay for and/or grow it. The process of securing a business loan can certainly be daunting – it’s hard to know where to look, let alone what to look for!

So what exactly is an SBA Small Business Loan? An SBA Small Business Loan is essentially a loan with an attractive repayment term and low-interest rate. A great option for a buyer looking to buy or grow a business, resulting funds can be used to purchase real estate or other assets or otherwise provide working capital. Importantly, these loans do not come from the SBA. The SBA merely encourages the banks to lend to small business owners with preferable terms and multiple loan options. In exchange, they guarantee guarantees 75-85% of the loan for the bank in the event of default! An SBA Small Business Loan generally requires a 20-30% down payment.

And 401(k) Business Financing? Also known as Rollovers for Business Start-Ups or ROBS, 401(k) Business Financing is a unique, lesser-known financing solution which allows individuals to tap into their retirement funds tax – penalty and tax-free. An individual under 59 and a half can use their 401(k), IRA or another eligible retirement account as capital to buy a business, without incurring an early withdrawal fee! It’s commonly used by those who do not have cash on hand to outright purchase a business, fear going into debt or do not otherwise qualify for a business loan. It’s also a great opportunity for those who have $50,000 or more in their retirement fund and wish to diversify their investments. 401(k) Business Financing can also be used to fund the 20-30% down payment requirement of an SBA Small Business Loan.

Guidant Financial are ready and very well-equipped to help Flippa buyers buy and grow the business of their dreams! Their industry expert team can provide comprehensive information and advice to buyers on how both solutions works, the do’s and don’ts, annual requirements, advantages over other options, upkeep, can dispel myths and misconceptions and advise on the best providers.

Start-up hustle a fairytale: ‘build it from scratch’ not only success story

Start-up hustle a fairytale: ‘build it from scratch’ not only success story

Don’t start a business, buy one. Co Founder of Flippa @Mark Harbottle says ‘Buy your way to growth’. ‘Why aren’t more founders considering acquiring an existing business with traction — not only as a growth strategy but as a go-to-market strategy for their start-up? Why not acquire a business with existing products, customers and cash flow — something they can leverage as a foundation to grow their empire?’


 

According to the Small Business Association (SMB), 30 per cent of businesses fail in the first two years and 50 per cent within five years. US census data suggests only 9 per cent of small businesses, where the owners run them full-time, have more than $1 million in sales annually. So if you manage to “hustle” your way through the first few years of your start-up, chances are your business won’t grow beyond $1m in revenue.

Of course, it’s not all doom and gloom. There are many great founders capable of producing amazing products. Some early-stage start-ups solve real problems and have a huge market opportunity, but the majority struggle to find sustainable distribution channels and consistent growth.

 

This was originally published in The Australian, click here to continue reading.

The 10 Best Shopify Apps for 2019

The 10 Best Shopify Apps for 2019

Author bio – Whitney Blankenship 

Content Marketing Manager for Omnisend. When not writing awesome content, Whitney is reading up on the latest in digital marketing, eCommerce, and social media trends. Obsessed with pop culture, art, and metal. Powered by coffee. Fastest Googler in the West. 


 

If you are in the process of growing your eCommerce business, then you are probably turning to Shopify for assistance.

There are no two ways about the fact that Shopify can help you achieve great results in a lesser amount of time.

It’s clear to see why. Shopify negates all the hassle involved in launching an online store and automates the whole process — from sales to shipping to marketing activities.  

Many Shopify merchants build up their stores to sell them and start over with a new one. With how easy Shopify makes creating a store, once an entrepreneur knows the right formula, this can be a profitable way to build and sell businesses.

I am sure you have devised some strategy. That said, along with your own marketing and sales strategy, you can get more bang for your business if you use the right  Shopify tools and apps.

And that’s why today we have rounded up some of the best Shopify apps to help you grow and sell your eCommerce store.

 

Omnisend grabs the first position in this list, and rightly so. But don’t take our word for it, Omnisend is indeed ranked as the number one email marketing automation platform on the Shopify App Store.

However, it is not your regular email marketing tool. Instead, it is an omnichannel marketing automation platform that helps you integrate all your marketing functions under one single roof.

Omnisend offers other prominent features, such as:

  • Brings you closer to your customers through channels such as mail, SMS messages, web push notifications, Facebook Messenger, and more
  • Helps you determine your customers’ behavior and send personalized messages that automatically react to that behavior
  • Sends laser-targeted automated messages which drive more sales

 

All in all, you can start selling on your eCommerce store with Omnisend without worrying over daily tasks like messaging, email capture, etc., as this Shopify App does everything on its own.

Pricing Details: For starters, you can try out Omnisend’s 14 days trial package to see whether it fulfills your specifications or not. For basic email marketing, Omnisend offers a free plan that lets you send up to 15,000 emails per month. After that, their paid plans start off at only $16 per month. 

If you are looking for an acclaimed printing and warehousing Shopify App, Printiful is just the app you need.

This Shopify app not only offers easy and customized drop shipping services but also allows you to track every step of your order delivery.

One of the greatest things about Printiful is that they don’t take any credit for their warehousing services. The parcel will reach your customer with your brand name, which makes it look like you carried out the warehousing process in-house

Just like Omnisend, they also integrate with plenty of famous eCommerce platforms other than Shopify, including Weebly, Woo Commerce, Ecwid, BigCommerce, and more.

Printiful is especially a favorite among eCommerce store owners for shipping merchandise such as tote bags, cups, t-shirts, and basically every other item that they avoid storing on their own.

Pricing Details: This Shopify app doesn’t have a rigid pricing policy. The pricing depends solely on your product.  

 

I hope you know that one happy customer spreads the word around to at least nine more people. So, if you are not leveraging these referrals, then you are missing out on a huge number of sales

And this is where ReferralCandy comes into the game.

If you want to give a nudge to your customers to refer your brand to their friends by giving them incentives, then ReferralCandy has you covered. This Shopify App allows you to choose a reward of your choice so as so gain unlimited referrals.

Some of its most important features include automatic reward delivery to the customers, regular referral reminders, a dashboard that allows you to keep track of your referrals, and so forth.

Pricing Details: ReferralCandy offers a generous trial plan of up to 30-days, which can be canceled anytime. The paid plans start at $49 per month and range up to $3999 per month (billed annually).

 

When it comes to driving traction to your eCommerce store, you have to work on your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.

But how do you start building your SEO plan?

Go to the app store and install “SEO Manager.” With this Shopify App, you don’t have to worry about tedious tasks such as keyword research, advanced meta-setting, etc. SEO Manager will automatically find a way to make your eCommerce store rank higher in search engines. It does the hard part on its own, and you only have to supervise whether everything is on track or not.

Some of the most attractive features include:

  • Offers comprehensive help documents to navigate easily through the app
  • Gives real-time feedback pertaining to the success or failure of your eCommerce store and your SEO efforts
  • Advanced and intelligent analytics and reports
  • Runs a mobile-friendly test to ensure that your eCommerce store is optimized for mobile phones

 

Pricing Details:

SEO Manager is priced at $20 per month, but you can initially try out their 7-day free trial.

 

Collecting positive reviews is one of the most essential parts of your sales process — especially if you want to shorten your sales funnel.

In fact, statistics suggest that 72% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends, and 90% of consumers claim that positive online reviews excessively influence their buying decisions. Thus, it makes no sense to not leverage reviews and testimonials.   

Yotpo Reviews lets you easily integrate your customers’ reviews to your Shopify store. Now when your prospects visit your eCommerce store, they feel more assured before buying your product as your reviews can vouch for its credibility.  

Key features to look out for:

  • Automatically collect ratings, site reviews, and product photos using the review widget
  • Showcase ratings, reviews, and Q&A throughout your website along with all your social media channels.
  • Easy to set up and no coding hassle.

 

Pricing Details:

If you are a beginner, you can use Yotpo’s base version, which is completely free. However, if you want to access more advanced features including coupons, carousels, and up-selling options, you can opt for the paid plans that start at $29 per month.

If you are indulging your customers through social media engagement, then I am sure you wish you could keep an eye on all your social media accounts at once. Social Media Stream fulfills this wish!

With this Shopify App, you can now view your posts from various social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Pinterest, and Tumblr onto one widget. This easy to set-up app is especially helpful if you are keen on growing your social media followers and make your website more dynamic at the same time.

Pricing Details: While this app offers great services, but the greatest thing about it is that it is completely free of cost. Yes, really!

Has it ever happened to you that you liked a pair of jeans so much that you decide to buy it right away? Reeling with excitement, you start to fill the signup form to finally place the order. But the signup form is too lengthy, so you exit the web page and start browsing for better options.

Don’t let your prospects face the same issues for they won’t think twice before abandoning your website.

The easier you make it for customers to create accounts, the better will be your ROI.

That’s why we highly recommend you integrate One-Click Social Login.

This Shopify App lets your customers create accounts by simply logging in with their existing social media account details. Apart from simplifying your login process, it also allows you to be socially connected with your customers. Two birds, one stone!

 

Moreover, One Click Social Login integrates with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Amazon, and many more. You also get access to an admin panel to keep track of customer signup activities.

 

Pricing Details:

 

One Click Social Login’s services start at $4.99 per month. However, if you want premium features such additional customizations and the ability to track your customer’s social profile, then you will have to upgrade to higher packages.

8. Smile.io

Persuading people to make a purchase for the first time is hard enough – retaining them for a longer period of time makes salespeople break out in a sweat.

That said, customer retention isn’t as difficult if you do it right away and using the right tools.  And this is where Smile.io enters the picture. This popular Shopify app integrates an attractive loyalty program to your eCommerce store to help you retain your customers.

Key features include:

  • Integrates various attractive and engaging programs with your Shopify store, such as loyalty points, referral, and VIP programs
  • Allows you to customize your programs as per your preferences

 

Pricing Details:

The free plan is sufficient if you want to run a simple program, while the paid packages, starting from $49 per month, offer customization options, robust analytics, and more.

9. Oberlo

Recent years have seen a rise in people getting involved in the dropshipping business – in other words, selling other companies’ products to your customers. If you are also planning to start a dropshipping business with Shopify, then you should definitely try out Oberlo.

This popular Shopify app assists you in determining the items that are best suited for your business, add them to your eCommerce store, and start selling without any hassle.

Key features include:

  • Helps you keep your prices and inventory up-to-date
  • Automatically starts the shipping process as soon as you confirm an order
  • Allows you to track every step of your shipping process

 

Pricing Details:

You can try out Oberlo’s free plan that supports up to 50 orders per month. Paid plans, with more capacity and features, start from $29 per month and go up to $79 per month.

10. Loox

If you want to increase your conversion rate using photo reviews, then Loox is the Shopify app you need. It automatically sends out emails on your behalf, seeking positive feedback from your customers. Positive reviews allow your customers to shop confidently at your store, without worrying over quality.

Pricing Details:

You can use Loox’s free trial for up to 14-days, and should you wish to continue, you will have to pay $9.99 per month.

 

Conclusion

 

Selling your eCommerce business sounds difficult. However, if you are armed with these Shopify apps, you can get more traffic and optimize your eCommerce store with substantial ease, which will make it that much easier to find success. A successful eCommerce store is an easy sell. While there is no shortcut to success, your path will still become more optimized.

How to leverage video marketing to grow your business

How to leverage video marketing to grow your business

Author bio – Lilach Bullock

Highly regarded on the world speaker circuit, Lilach has graced Forbes and Number 10 Downing Street. She’s a hugely connected and highly influential entrepreneur. She is listed in Forbes as one of the top 20 women social media power influencers, named one of 10 top digital marketers by Brand24 and was crowned the Social Influencer of Europe by Oracle. She is listed as the number one Influencer in the UK by Career Experts and is a recipient for a Global Women Champions Award for her outstanding contribution and leadership in business


 

Content marketing has undoubtedly become one of the absolute best forms of branding and growing a business. But content marketing can mean a lot of things: business blogging, social media, email marketing and so many different forms of content, from a simple written blog post to social media images and to videos.

And the biggest form of content marketing at the moment is…drumroll, please: video marketing!

A good video marketing strategy will help you grow your business and generate better results overall from your marketing, whether we’re talking social media, your blog or website or any other platform you might be using to promote your (new) business.

In this blog post, I’m going to share what you need to know in order to leverage video marketing to grow your business.

 

Why you need to incorporate video in your marketing strategy

Before I get into how to leverage video marketing and how to develop a strategy – as well as how to create engaging videos for your business – I first want to talk about why it’s so important to start leveraging video marketing, whether you’ve just bought a new business or thinking of selling your existing business later on.

But the fact is, there are a lot of reasons and statistics why video marketing is so important right now – it would take a while to go through them all.

Like how by the end of this year, video is expected to account for about 80% of all consumer Internet traffic.

Or how there are over 500 million people watching videos via Facebook every day.

Not to mention, social media videos generate 12 times the shares of text and image updates combined.

There are numerous statistics, all suggesting the same thing: people love watching videos online.

And if your business isn’t putting out the content that audience want to see – i.e. videos – you’re likely to struggle getting the results you need from your digital marketing strategies.

Even if you’re already thinking of the time when you’re going to be exiting the business, it’s important to maintain business health through great content, particularly video.

Not to mention, as video tends to generate much higher engagement than other forms of content, that means it will help you drive steady streams of traffic to your website, as well as higher conversion rates – and any prospective buyers interested in your business will definitely want to look at your traffic analysis when they’re carrying out their due diligence.

So whether you want to brand or grow a business you just bought or boost up the numbers for a business you’re planning to sell, start leveraging video marketing now.

Here’s how:

 

Establish your video marketing goals

Depending on whether you’re planning to sell or you just bought your business, your video marketing will likely differ.

That said, there are several big marketing goals you can reach with the help of video:

  • Build your brand and improve brand awareness
  • Build trust in your brand and showcase your value to consumers
  • Generate more social media engagement
  • Increase your website traffic
  • Generate more leads and conversions
  • Generate more sales

At this stage, consider your overall business/marketing objectives to help you choose the right video marketing goals; for example, if you’ve just bought a business and you need to start branding it, then leverage video to help you build up brand awareness and help establish your branding.

Or, if you want to sell your business, then it might be worth focusing your attention on boosting social media engagement and particularly, your traffic.

Whatever your end goals are, videos can help you achieve them more efficiently – if you know how to leverage them.

 

Where will you be publishing your videos?

Now you know what you want to achieve, so the next question is, what platforms will you be using to share your video content?

Make a list of where you are planning to use video marketing to boost your results:

  • On social media, to generate more traffic and engagement
  • On your blog and your website, to generate more traffic and leads/conversions
  • On your landing pages, to boost your conversion rate
  • In your email marketing campaigns, to generate higher open rates and more click-throughs
  • On YouTube, to reach a wider audience and boost views

When picking your channels, remember to consider your marketing objectives, as well as your resources; thankfully, you can easily optimize videos for multiple channels leveraging video creation and editing tools – but I’ll get to that in a bit.

 

Coming up with your video marketing calendar: video ideas for business

You know your objectives and you know where you’re planning to post your videos. But what kinds of videos can you actually create?

Here are some great ideas that you can use to create varied videos, depending on what your marketing objectives are:

  • Brand videos: if you want to boost brand awareness and/or build up your brand, you can leverage videos to put your brand in the spotlight. For example, you can create behind the scenes videos that show off your team in action, or behind the scenes images from your events
  • Product videos: another route you can take is to promote your products through videos and use these videos on your website, as well as social media and other marketing channels to help boost your sales. For example, showcase specific features of your product, the value it can bring to your target audience, or, like GoPro, show your products in action:

 

  • Tutorial videos: another way to highlight your products and boost sales is to create tutorial videos showcasing how people can use your products or how they can use specific features
  • Educational/how-to videos: people love content that provides them with some sort of value. So, just like you would create a How to Guide for your business blog, you can come up with similar ideas for videos that show viewers how to do something – ideally, something your business or your product can also help with. For example, here’s this video from Gillette which offers tips on how to shave sensitive skin – not only something that is highly relevant to their target audience, but also something that their products can help with:

 

  • Listicle videos: listicles are popular in all formats, including video. Make sure they offer some kind of value to your audience, just like with How-to videos earlier and that they are highly relevant to your industry
  • Live streaming videos: live streaming videos are very popular right now; ideally, if you plan to leverage live streaming, create a regular schedule so that your audience knows when to log in to see your stream
  • User-generated-content videos: one of the best ways to engage your audience and build trust at the same time is to leverage user generated content (as made popular particularly by Instagram!). For example, like Rockstar Games highlight user generated videos on their YouTube channel:

 

  • Testimonials: another great way to build trust in your brand with video is to create some testimonial videos and/or case studies with current and past customers

Most of the videos in this list can be leveraged on pretty much any channel, with some small differences; your videos will of course need to be optimized for each channel, and it’s important to remember that on some platforms, it’s best to keep things short and sweet – particularly social media and via email marketing.

 

Creating your videos: useful tips and tools

There are 2 main options for creating your videos:

  • Either film your own videos and edit them
  • Or use a content creation tool to create a video from scratch, using stock footage

Or, of course, a combination of both.

 

How to create videos without having to pick up a camera

This is one of the things that scare off businesses from getting started with video marketing: hiring someone to create videos for your brand constantly can get expensive, but at the same time, you might not have the knowledge or resources in-house to consistently film marketing videos.

So what can you do?

There are actually numerous tools available that allow you to create and edit videos very easily, even if you don’t actually have any videos of your own or any editing experience. These types of tools have video templates that you can use, as well as large and varied libraries of stock video clips.

For example, you can use a tool like Wave.video – a video creation and video editing tool that was created specifically for marketers and businesses; it has over 200 million stock video clips and images (although you can upload your own video clips too), as well as numerous templates for all kids of industries and occasions. Plus, it’s also worth mentioning that you can instantly resize your videos to over 30 different popular formats; meaning, you can easily publish your video across channels.

As for the actual editing, it’s all very straightforward, especially if you’ve already selected a template:

 

You can change video clips and images, add new ones from their (or your) library, add text overlay in your brand fonts, create different effects and watermark your videos. Plus, you can add music from their library or record yourself as a voiceover for the video.

Another similar tool is Biteable, a video maker created for marketers and businesses; as before, you have access to over 85,000 Shutterstock video clips and images and a great selection of templates to help get you started:

 

As for the video builder, it’s super easy to use; add text overlay to each scene, change the video clips and imagery you use in your scenes, change the colours in your video to suit your branding and add music to your video from their library or upload your own.

 

Useful tips for creating videos you’re filming yourself

If you want to film some – or even all – of your videos yourself, in house, you’ll most likely need to invest in a few things: microphones for making sure the sound is very clear, a camera (unless you’re doing videos exclusively for social media where you can pull off videos that were shot on your phone, you need to invest in a better camera), a tripod for making sure your shot is stable and not wobbly (both for smartphone and a “regular” camera) and, of course, great lighting.

Another important tool you’ll need is video editing software to help put together your clips into the video you wanted; you can use tools like the previously mentioned Wave.video as well, or you can get an editing tool like Filmora, which you can use to edit your videos from top to bottom: add titles an text overlays to your scenes, improve your video’s sound, layer different video clips and improve the actual aspect/aesthetic of your video.

You’ll need to spend some time getting the hang of it and watching some tutorials if you don’t have the experience and knowledge, but it can definitely turn your videos from great to amazing.

 

Conclusion

Video can make a great asset for your business, whatever your business goals are. If you’ve just bought a new business, video marketing will help you build the brand you want to build, as well as help you reach a wider audience and grow your traffic. If you want to sell your business, then it can help you boost your overall marketing results so that you can showcase the success of your business – and demonstrate why it’s a great option.

Follow the tips outlined in this article, and you’ll start churning out awesome videos in no time.