Is Network Marketing the Right Choice for You?

Network marketing opportunities are also referred to as multi-level marketing opportunities. They are a form of direct sales where an individual earns commissions by directly selling their product or service to customers, as well as, earns commissions from the sales made by the individuals they have recruited into the organization. This is a big business that is getting bigger every year. In 2011, US direct sales totaled $29.87 billion dollars. The great thing is that these sales are made by people like you and me. They are individuals and entrepreneurs who are growing their small businesses in a time when the overall economy at large is struggling. So the American dream is not dead, you just need to go about achieving it in the 21st century way. And the good news is the cost to enter the network marketing arena is minimal. This is not a brick and mortar business and many people enter on a pay as you go basis.

You need to perform your research, so you can make an informed decision about the opportunity that is right for you. By visiting the website of The Direct Selling Association you will gain helpful information.

Direct selling has taken on a new look and feel with the advent of the internet. Gone are the days of face to face meetings and making endless telephone calls. In today’s environment the internet is your pathway to success in network marketing. Successful marketers today achieve their success through blogging, connecting with people via social media, and emailing prospective customers. If you’re thinking I don’t know how to do that, don’t worry. Successful network marketing opportunities are associated with companies that provide training and support systems to help you along the way. These marketing opportunities have created more rags to riches stories than any other industry, but hard work is required.

Here are some things to consider before you start on your network marketing journey:

  • Are you ready to undertake a new business opportunity? If so, can you take your new business opportunity seriously?
  • Are you realistic about the challenges/learning curve you will face?
  • Can you think of your network marketing company as your partner who has defined the path you will follow to success? There’s no need to reinvent the wheel with network marketing. You will be following a proven system for success that was followed by your predecessors.
  • Do you have the willingness to focus on what needs to be done to succeed?

If you answered yes to these questions then you have the correct mindset to begin a career in network marketing. Here are some basic business principles to get you started on the right foot:

  • Follow the outline and training you receive from your network marketing company.
  • Achieving your goal is based upon the time commitment you give to your new business.
  • Success follows the actions you take.
  • Significant improvement over time is the sum of small improvements made each day.
  • Establish the time you will work each day and work as many hours as you can.
  • If you cheat on the hours you work you are only cheating yourself.
  • Make daily “to do” lists and work steadily through them.
  • Connect with as many people as possible. The greater your connections the greater your success.
  • Never stop because something did not work for you.
  • Be positive and passionate. You do not need to be perfect in the beginning.
  • Define your dream and work every day to achieve it.

If you are ready for a change, then take your first step into network marketing.

Your 2020 Guide on How to Get the Most Out of Video Marketing

Video Content Marketing Trends & Tips
In the past few years we’ve seen a massive increase in video content popping up online, and there’s no sign of it slowing down.

From creating webinars to putting short clips in emails, a video marketing strategy is a must if you want to truly engage with your audience in order to improve brand awareness and boost leads and sales.

According to Wyzowl, a company that creates animated explainer footage, 83% of marketers say video helps them with lead generation, and 87% say it has increased traffic to their website.

Some other benefits include:

  • It’s good for SEO. If your stuff is compelling enough to attract views and shares, your Google search ranking can improve.
  • It’s a timesaver. It doesn’t take long to create short yet engaging clips in comparison to writing an article or blog.
  • It’s affordable. It can be more cost-effective to create a short clip vs. producing an ad or a blog.
  • It gets attention. People may scroll through written words, but most will at least give a glance to interesting footage.

As we head into 2020, here are three video content marketing trends you can expect to see going forward.

  1. Vertical videos. Just when everyone seemed to get the memo that horizontal filming is best, vertical videos come along! This is because consumers watch a lot of things on smartphones.

Instagram and Snapchat were the first to utilize vertical videos in Stories, and Instagram Television (IGTV) was next.

Even Netflix uses vertical digital marketing videos to showcase previews.

  1. Live streaming. This refers to anything that is recorded and broadcast in real time. People like to feel like they’re being spoken to directly and authentically, and live streaming is also a low-cost way to produce collateral.

We’ve seen more and more social platforms implement this functionality, including Instagram Live, Facebook Live, Twitter Live and LinkedIn for a select few.

  1. In-video shopping. So far, it seems to be largely clothing retailers who are leveraging this tactic. How it works: Users can click on a section of the screen (say, a skirt on a model) and be directed to the link to buy the item.

A recent survey by Brightcove revealed that 23% of consumers overall and 30% of Millennials want links that let them directly purchase a product.

Now that you’ve got an idea of what’s going to be popular in 2020, here are some ways to incorporate engaging footage into your campaigns this year.

  1. Use your landing pages.

A survey by marketing technology company Eyeview showed that video on landing pages can increase conversions by 86%. It’s a great way to increase search rankings, as Google’s algorithms are increasingly prioritizing websites with this type of content.

Other advantages: It can lead to more social shares, build trust and awareness and reduce bounce rate.

Shopify created an inspirational brand montage that lives on their homepage. It explains what they do, highlights different customers and announces they now support one million businesses.

  1. Blogs and articles.

Did you know blog posts can be just as valuable as a landing page? Think about filming your post instead of writing it (or do both), and you’ve easily increased the odds of that info reaching more visitors.

Moz, which is considered an SEO authority, found that showing a clip with blog images and text increased reach by 3X.

One of our clients, Financial Recovery Institute, uses it in a blog to tell a story.

  1. Emails and newsletters.

The digital marketing videos you create will depend on your objectives and goals. For example, are you announcing a new product, an event, or a course you want people to sign up for?

You could also use email to give people a sneak peek of longer footage on your website. Once you’ve decided what you’re promoting, you can begin shooting.

Something to note: There are over 30 major email clients, including Microsoft Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo Mail and Apple Mail. Some of them don’t support the requirements for using clips in emails.

Several of the popular email newsletter services like AWeber and MailChimp make it simple to share what you film by using a screen capture and linking the image to the original content.

That way, a user can just click on the image in the email and be directed to your clip. Want to learn more? Check out our recommended email newsletter providers.

  1. Social media platforms.

A solid social media strategy is essential, and you only need to glance at your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn feed (and of course YouTube and Pinterest) to see how big a role video plays for companies.

Some formats you could shoot for social media include:

  • How-to guides
  • Q&As
  • Behind-the-scenes glimpses
  • Events
  • Interviews
  • Unboxings (if you have a physical product)

It’s important to remember that each social media platform has rules around how long your digital marketing videos can be. Here’s a quick reference guide:

  • Facebook allows you up to 240 minutes (though you probably wouldn’t want to use all that time),
  • Twitter provides 2 minutes and 20 seconds.
  • Instagram gives you one minute if shared as a post, 15 seconds as a story and up to 1 hour as a live or IGTV video.
  • LinkedIn has a 10-minute limit.
  • Snapchat allows 10 seconds.

Make sure your videos are optimized for each social media platform. Viewers on Instagram expect different things than those on Twitter, for example.

We can’t possibly cover every platform or video content marketing strategy out there, but I hope this has given you some ideas on how to use this valuable tool in 2020.

Remember: No matter what you’re creating or selling, it’s all about storytelling. It’s time to tell the most authentic and compelling stories you can about your products or services!

And if your organization needs help with social media marketing, it’s best to find a qualified service provider who understands the specific nuances of the different social channels and what works best on each.

Direct Mail – A Friend to the Environment?

When you think about direct mail marketing and direct mailing lists, the first thought that comes to mind is usually anything but green. In this day and age many people are becoming very conscious of the environment and the effect we have on it. A vast majority of those people don’t support direct mail marketing because of the perceived notion that it is bad for the environment. While in the past their concerns might have been justified, the direct marketing list industry has changed immensely in the past few years. The way direct marketing campaigns are executed today is far more environmentally friendly than it has ever been. There are a number of factors that contribute to this change.

The Postal Service has made large contributions to helping make direct mailing campaigns, and mail in general, green. These simple details are important to this issue because direct marketing companies use the Postal Service to distribute their direct mailing campaigns, and the US Postal Service has been scrutinized for its substantial footprint on the environment for years. However they have been working on making that footprint smaller little by little for over 100 years, dating back to 1899 when they first used an electric vehicle to deliver mail. They now have electric-powered delivery vehicles in Manhattan, and even three wheeled electric vehicles dropping off correspondence in California, Arizona, and Florida. They also have made a huge effort to incorporate vehicles that use ethanol, CNG, liquid propane and bio-diesel. They are in the process of testing a hydrogen fuel-cell delivery vehicle that only emits water from the tailpipe. Since 2003 they have reduced the energy intensity of their facilities by 24%. The Postal Service recycled almost 220,000 tons of material in 2010 alone. All of their boxes, envelopes, and even stamps are Cradle to Cradle certified. What this means is that the materials are safe for human health and the environment and they can all be safely composted or recycled. As of now, they are the only shipping company with this certification. The Postal Service reminds us that mail is a renewable resource and it makes sense to recycle. Contrary to popular belief, they have been and remain a shining contributor to the green movement.

Now that the delivery process has been covered, the next portion of this process that needs attention is what exactly the direct marketing companies are doing. They have made a great deal of changes in order to be as ecologically aware and conscious as possible. The following are a few simple guidelines that make a big difference in how much of an effect a direct mailing list company has on the environment.

  • Strategy. Make sure that there is a specific goal in mind and a detailed plan to meet that goal to minimize wasted time and energy.
  • Targeting. Use targeted direct mailing lists to narrow the canvassing window.
  • Recycle. Recycle within the office and utilize recyclable paper in the office and in direct mailing campaigns.
  • Ink. Using eco-friendly ink is one of those little known ways to make a sizeable difference. Eco-friendly inks are biodegradable and reduce chemical impact to groundwater.
  • Reduce. Americans use over 680 pounds of paper each year, with one third of that deriving from packaging material. Again, using targeted direct mailing lists helps reduce the amount of wasted materials in a direct mailing campaign.
  • Filter. Use things like zip code correction, address standardization, NCOA, US Postal Service Address Change Service, and DMS to make sure only the most current, up to date, targeted mailing addresses are used.
  • Update. This is also a part of filtering process. Maintaining databases that contain all leads, do not call registries, and do not mail lists is crucial.
  • Options. Provide clients with numerous options for their customers to opt-in or out of their re-contact marketing campaigns and specify the clients preferred method of contact to minimize waste.

These simple guidelines have helped contribute to the 82 million tons of recycled material, 54% of all paper products that were recycled, and the 100% increase in total recycled products in the US over the past 10 years.

Direct mail marketing is not a rival of the green movement. In fact, they are coming up with new ways every day to help make the world more eco-friendly. With the information that has been given you today, one cannot deny direct mail marketing in general is not quite the big bad wolf it may have once been. Steps are most definitely being taken, will continue to be taken, and the green movement shall prevail.