Video Campaigns for Start-Ups: 5 Secrets to Get Your Brand Noticed and Your Revenue Up

If you want to get your brand noticed and increase your profitability, then you might be wondering what steps will help you reach your goal. When your potential customers have many distractions, it can be difficult to keep their attention. More and more these days, we are seeing business owners start to use video campaigns to engage their audience in unique ways to help keep their attention, with the primary goal of reaching their organization sales goals.

That means you must do the same if you want to stay ahead of the competition. Using videos in your marketing is a great way to educate your audience, entertain them and establish yourself as an expert in your market. But you must learn to create and post videos correctly if you want to enjoy the best possible results. You will need to test different methods if you want to find which one works best for you, but the following tips will help.


Offer Value

When you start a video marketing campaign, your No.1 goal should be to provide value to your audience. The value can come in the form of entertainment, knowledge or useful tips and tricks that will make people’s lives easier. If you start a video with the goal of trying to force people to buy from you, then you are going to turn a lot of potential customers away. But offering value first will help inspire trust and respect.

Natural Background

Many marketers fail to consider the effect that their background has on their audience. To get the most from your effort, try to use natural backgrounds as often as possible. Also, avoid using a background that has a lot of movement or action, which will distract your viewers from your message.

Use Captions

Not all of your viewers will watch your videos with their sound turned on, so it’s important you add captions to your video. Also, use captions in several languages so that you can reach an international audience. Getting started might be difficult, but subtitling services can help.

Captions can also be used to highlight key points of your videos to make it easier for your audience to take notes. Each caption, however, must be timed well with the content of the video if you don’t want to confuse anyone.

Video SEO

Although standard search engine optimization can take weeks or months to produce results, video SEO is much faster. You must first do some research and determine which keywords are relevant to your product get the best search volume. Next, focus your content around those terms and place them in the title. Once you have completed your videos, upload them to various social sites.

You might have to promote your content manually at first, but you will start getting more views once you start getting a higher level of engagement.

Call to Action

Each video you produce must have a goal in mind, inspiring your audience to take action. If you have a sales video, always encourage your audience to buy your product or service. Not every video that you create will be used directly for sales, but educational videos must compel your views to subscribe to your social sites or your email list.

You can repeatedly contact your leads and build relationships with them when you get them to sign up, which will increase their likelihood of making a purchase.

Final Thoughts

A powerful video marketing campaign will help you take your business to the next level, and you can keep the attention of your audience like never before. Although offering value plays a major role in your success, never be afraid to encourage your readers to buy from you or to join your mailing list.

When you upload videos to social sites, always keep keyword optimization in mind, and you will enjoy the benefits of SEO. You might not reach your desired outcome overnight, but remaining persistent will provide you with impressive results.

This article was originally written by Jennifer Livingston for the Heyo blog



New Live Examples From Starwood UK and AccuWeather

We know you love to see live examples of campaigns that are using Votigo’s technology, since they are the easiest way to understand how our platform works. They’re also great for inspiration as you start planning YOUR next campaign! So, as our Thanksgiving gift to you, here are some new campaigns from Starwood UK and AccuWeather that are using Votigo’s technology.

Starwood UK – Project Aloft Star Video Contest 

StarwoodUKOn the heels of its third successful year in the United States, the Starwood Project Aloft Star contest has expanded its search overseas for the next big musical talent. Entrants are invited to submit a video of themselves performing a musical piece for a chance to win a high-value prize. Votigo contests can support any combination of photo, video, essay and audio entries, which allows users to choose their preferred entry format. This helps ensure that engagement levels are high for your campaign. This promotion was built by Votigo’s talented Full-Service Development Team and features video content moderation, email newsletter opt-in and mobile responsive design.

AccuWeather READY Instant Win Winter Sweepstakes 

AccuweatherOver the last two years, Votigo has helped AccuWeather achieve their specific brand awareness objectives by running instant-win sweepstakes. The primary goal of these sweepstakes is to create a two-way conversation with their audience that results in brand affinity and establishes AccuWeather as the leader and authority in their industry. Also built by Votigo’s Full-Service Development Team, this campaign features viral ‘share’ functionality, refer-a-friend incentive and mobile optimization.

Want to learn more about our products and services, or brainstorm with a member of our team on your next promotion? Click here to schedule a live demo with an Account Representative.



Five Common Pitfalls of Promoting Your Business On Twitter (and how to avoid them!)

Social platforms are just a door from the brand to the client when it comes to business. Many companies make the faulty assumption that once you create a professional profile, all your other social strategies will follow. However, these platforms are not favoring any party, and all the success must be the responsibility of the owners of the profile.

Twitter is one of the most successful social websites, where the essence of every message is captured in fewer than 140 characters. The character limit itself conducts a fair trial when it comes to messaging awareness. The brands that have nothing meaningful to say are sorted out from the ones who have a clear message. So, the use of Twitter can greatly improve your brand awareness.

However, if used without the proper strategy, Twitter can disclose your weaknesses. It’s frighteningly easy to step into some of these common pitfalls in your attempt to promote your business on the social platform.



Twitter will display the history of your posts, and it will be ruthless when it happens to see an overuse of promotional content. The platform itself doesn’t have rules about the number of selling-heavy posts, but with just a one-second glimpse of a brand’s profile, a prospective client can feel the brand is not interested in a relationship with them, so they will be less inclined to stay on the page and engage with the brand.

People have no reason to follow a brand on social media unless they are given one. Here, everybody communicates with the world about the meaningful events in their life or cultural events they’re interested in. If they want products, they will go to the online marketplace, which is typically the official brand website. The website is full of product descriptions, professional pictures, reviews, promotions, and basically, all the client needs to do is research on the product they need. That’s what it’s there for.

So it then makes sense that you should question yourself on why people go on social media to follow a brand outside the website. Unless the profile has something extra besides the content on the site, it may not happen. Repeating the same content is a dangerous pitfall that most marketers step in.

Your goal with a Twitter account is to make clients remember the product. On the other hand, the interest of the client is to find something meaningful on your profile, so that they have a foundation on which to create a connection with the brand. Thus, the overuse of promotional content can greatly work against you on Twitter.

Solution: apply the 80/20 rule. Twenty percent of your content can cover posts promoting and distributing your product. The rest of the eighty percent should focus on connecting with clients. Create meaningful original content for them that still has something to do with the field of your brand. That way, you will promote your business without looking as if you’re selling it too aggressively.


One thing that is certain about social media is that it’s never a one-way street of communication. Some companies might find their lack of interaction with their clients a good method to show that they are a serious culture that is busy working on their favorite products. Or they might just not have designated a person yet to take the responsibility to answer and interact with the clients.

Twitter users are interested in building an interconnected community. Even though your profile has made great use of the eighty percent content destined to engage the readers, it is not enough. Your brand should have a personality that is proactive.

However, the moment you created the Twitter profile, you entered the world of online interaction. Answering inquiries and even replying when not asked is not an option, but rather a responsibility to your brand.

Solution: Make a habit of daily replying and retweeting your clients’ posts to open up the two-way communication street. Make sure you always use the appropriate tone that is in tune with your brand. Usually, your reply should be a reflection of the original post.

Moreover, you should take the two-way communication to the ultimate level. This typically requires designating a qualified employee for this job. You can open a new customer care channel through Twitter chat. People are more open to communication on Twitter, so use it to your advantage to find what the issues of your product are and encourage clients to ask questions related to it on Twitter too.


The Twitter platform has 313 million active users which make it an open door to a large audience. So, it is no wonder that when Twitter opened up to the possibilities of advertising, the marketing teams had no second thoughts on using Twitter as a trampoline for their products. Or did they?

From the large community of Twitter, there are only 130,000 active advertisers. And that is a waste of easy resources when you come to think that offline sales show an increase of 29% when the tweets are promoted. Paying for exposure might seem a little daunting. However, Twitter is the fastest way to bring your brand in front of prospective clients that have no chances to reach you otherwise. Not even considering the option is a common pitfall in promotion because you might be missing out on vast resources.

Solution: Twitter promotions are suitable both for small and large companies. And there are two ways to do that:

  1. Promoted Tweets: these are the same as usual tweets, but the only difference is that they appear as a promoted post. You can set the demographics of your audience, and also set the budget you want to use for a day. Twitter will do the rest, by selecting the users that have interacted with similar content and bringing your post in front of them. You only pay once a user interacts with your post or profile. So, no money will be wasted.
  2. Promoted Account: by activating this paid option, your account will appear more prominently in the “Who to Follow” section. Your brand will be among the first recommended Twitter accounts, and it is an agile method to increase the number of followers. Moreover, your new followers won’t be unrelated to your domain, but they will actually have a genuine interest in your product. If used right, the advertising options can be non-intrusive and work just like organic marketing strategies.


Many industries underestimate the power of #hashtags. These keywords are designated to represent an entire marketing campaign, and they also prove to be some powerful trackers of the activity of your campaign.

Choosing the proper hashtag is vital for the success of any Twitter campaign. There are numerous examples of quality promotions that might offer inspiration. However, there’s one thing a business should remember: skipping research can empower the hashtag to ruin an entire Twitter activity. Entenmann’s, which sell divine bakery goods, had chosen the #notguilty keyword to play as an ambassador for their low-calorie products. At first sight, it seemed like the ideal choice for people who want to enjoy delicious food without worrying about the calorie intake. However, it proved to be a disaster. The same hashtag was previously used for a crime case featuring the controversial murder verdict of Case Anthony. The rest of the story was a nightmare for the bakery company.

Solution: Do your homework, and make sure your hashtag is original. It also should represent the brand itself, so if the tone of your tweet is funny and entertaining, the keywords need to send the same message. Moreover, use the power of hashtag at every step of the campaign, and even print them on the product’s brochures, posters, to include them in the real world also.


Indeed, scarcity is one of Cialdini’s main principles that drive the success of a marketing strategy. You can tempt your followers with short, concise, yet inconclusive pieces of a story to make them want more. However, Twitter is the exception from the Cialdini’s rules. Under most circumstances, Twitter works best with minimum content.

As emphasized above, your interest with Twitter is to make your brand seen by as many people as possible. Sticking to your weekly creation of content and only tweet about this won’t do you much good. On the contrary, your followers will lose interest in a poorly organized official profile, and will move on to the next of your competitors in line that spoils their community with fascinating news about their field.

Solution: there is no such thing as “I have nothing to tweet about at this moment.” The online world is full of interesting articles, and there are new research studies or study cases on a daily basis. The only limitation could be the unfounded limitation of links that come only from your suite of websites. There is nothing wrong on sharing external online articles that have something of value to say to your Twitter community. It is actually recommended to share relevant content. Make it a habit of posting at least once a day with insightful new details that concern your field.


All in all, these are the five pitfalls to avoid when promoting your business on Twitter. We’d love to hear about your insights too, and how you’ve found success with your Twitter account!

This article was originally written by Thea Millard for the Heyo blog


Engage Your Audience With a Hashtag Promotion

When you’re planning your next campaign, there are always a handful of different promotion types to choose from depending on what your campaign objectives are. Simple enter-to-win sweepstakes or UGC photo contests are always popular choices. However, if you’re looking to add a little variety to your promotional landscape and keep things interesting for your fans, try throwing a #Hashtag campaign into the mix and engage some additional platform audiences.

Hashtag campaigns let your followers enter a promotion through their Instagram and Twitter accounts as well as directly from a Facebook page or Website. This way, people can participate from the platform they are most comfortable with, which is a great way to ensure high levels of campaign engagement for your brand. Here are some great examples!

Nature’s Bounty #DearFutureMe Photo Sweepstakes

Screenshot 2016-11-10 10.36.30This campaign was specifically designed to give the Nature’s Bounty audience a way to share what the brand means to them. Entrants are invited to submit a photo with a caption that represents their commitment to a healthy future. Participants can enter via Direct Upload on Desktop, Smartphone or Tablet or with the campaign hashtag #DearFutureMe on Twitter or Instagram. Allowing users to choose their preferred entry method is great for engagement rates and since the promotion is also embedded into Nature’s Bounty’s main site, there is a seamless user experience that also benefits the brand’s SEO. This campaign was built by Votigo’s talented full-service development team and features fully responsive design, a custom header image carousel, photo moderation and viral ‘share’ functionality.

#NutrisystemSnaps Photo Gallery 

Screenshot 2016-11-10 10.42.00Engagement campaigns are a great way to invite your audience into your brand conversation in a way that allows fans to really feel like they are part of something. In Nutrisystem’s case, they are using a uniquely branded hashtag, #NutrisystemSnaps, to allow people to share the impact that the brand has had on their life and weight loss efforts. The hashtag allows people to participate from whatever platform they prefer, and the centralized gallery experience creates a great forum for storytelling on behalf of the brand. This campaign was built using Votigo’s self-serve-platform and features mobile responsive design, content moderation and social sharing.

Want to learn more about our products and services, or brainstorm with a member of our team on your next promotion? Click here to schedule a live demo with an Account Representative.




New Live Examples From HISTORY and Melissa & Doug

Enter-to-Win Sweepstakes and UGC Contests are both great ways to grow your marketing lists and engage your audience. In the case of a sweepstakes, the barrier to entry is low, which means the likelihood of getting of lot of entries is high. And in the case of a UGC Contest, you have a great opportunity to curate meaningful and relevant content from your audience in a way that allows them to be part of the brand conversation.

But don’t take our word for it! Here are some new live examples from HISTORY and Melissa & Doug to inspire you as you plan YOUR next campaign!

HISTORY’s #HonorAVet Photo Contest

Screenshot 2016-11-08 10.03.36

To celebrate Veteran’s Day this year, HISTORY is inviting people to submit a photo & story about a veteran in their life, for a chance to be featured during the network’s special marathon event later this month. Participants can enter via Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #HonorAVet or they can submit a photo directly online. This way, people can choose the platform that they are most comfortable with in order to participate, which is great for campaign engagement. Built by Votigo’s Self-Serve-Platform, this campaign features mobile responsive design, content moderation and social sharing.

Melissa & Doug’s Terrific 25 Giveaway 

Screenshot 2016-11-08 10.12.30Children’s toy company Melissa & Doug is currently running a Giveaway Sweepstakes in which a prize is awarded every day for 25 days. This strategy is a great way to keep people engaged throughout the length of the campaign. And because the barrier to enter is so low (all people have to do in order to enter is complete a simple registration form), it’s a great opportunity for Melissa & Doug to grow their marketing lists! Also built using Votigo’s Self-Serve-Platform, this campaign features mobile responsive design and email newsletter opt-in.

Ready to brainstorm with a member of our team on your next promotion, or learn more about our products and services? Click here to schedule a live demo with an Account Representative.





5 Tips for Building a Social Content Calendar

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Efficiency is key when producing social content for your business. With 78% of U.S. Americans having a social media profile in 2016 (and this number growing), your brand identity is reliant on the platforms you post on. What you post on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc… is a representation of what your company is about.

Don’t you want to look good in the eyes of the public?

The best way to manage your efforts is to have an organized social content calendar. They are proven to not only be helpful in delivering content on time, but also in increasing your overall marketing productivity. Let’s look at 5 of the top industry tips any business can use to add to the development of their social content calendar.


One of the biggest issues with organizing social media has to do with companies not knowing how much or even at what times to post. Posting too little or even too much can both have negative effects on the rate of engagement you receive. Finding that middle ground is key when trying to communicate with your users. A few guidelines to get you headed in the right direction:

  • Know your industry and get an idea of how frequently other competitor companies post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc…
  • Know the days on which you get the highest engagement from your target audience.

Posting at a steady pace throughout the week lets the audience see the structure within your company. Your social media platforms are a portrayal of your brand identity to your consumers. Consistency is crucial in establishing yourself as an industry leader with professional business standards.


With so many different social media outlets available on the internet, companies need to understand which ones get them the best consumer outreach. It’s different for each industry. Instagram might work really well if you’re a fashion brand selling design clothes, but may not work so well if you’re a law firm. Knowing your consumer, where they hang out, and associating them with a social channel is vital. Looking at the statistics or analytics of your different pages can provide information that’s necessary to help you prioritize channels and know where you should be for the highest return on your investment.


Having engaging posts that keep users intrigued and entertained will make them stick around and absorb what your brand has to offer. Which types of posts perform the best? According to Sprout Social, figuring out the post types that perform well with your audience is essential to any campaign. Links, photos, videos, social statuses, hashtags, quotes, offers etc… could all be potentially beneficial for your brand. Try some A/B testing to see what your audience is interested in, and adjust your efforts accordingly based on what you learn & observe.


The number one rule when making a calendar is to schedule your content in order to be sure you’re meeting your goals for each period. This relieves some of the day-to-day pressure when it comes to rolling actions out in a timely manner. This same notion can be applied to creating a social media calendar. Your team is already worrying about many other things. When it comes to social media, things can get hectic. You don’t want to be in a situation where you have an “Oh Shoot!” moment and forget to make a Facebook post before leaving the office. Having a monthly outline for your social output will allow you and your team to have a determined guide of tasks to complete on a day-to-day basis.

Providing your team with a simple daily routine to follow will allow your everyone to focus on other ways to create consumer retention. Instead of having to devote so much time and effort struggling for content to post across your various active social channels, having a plan in place will help keep people organized so they can focus on other ways to optimize your productivity.

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Running out of content is a common problem that businesses can face. Writing content is always great, but sharing posts from other reputable sources can be beneficial as well. What kind of work should you post?

  • Content that is relevant to both your industry as well as what you know about your audience’s interests.
  • Infographics relating to current business statistics.
  • Make your content fun; incorporate national holidays, current trends, etc…

Productivity is defined by how efficient you can make your business processes flow. As Walt Disney said, “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing”. Don’t just say you’re going to post daily updates for your company’s social media platforms. Go out, make a calendar, and get it done.

This article was originally written by Kristina Aumcore for the Heyo blog


A Helpful Holiday Promotion Checklist from the Votigo Team

Getting ready for (and making the most of) the Holiday season can be a daunting task for any brand. There’s so much ‘noise’ out there when it comes to Holiday messaging, and figuring out a way to stand out from the clutter can be overwhelming.

The good news is, one of the easiest and most reliable ways to engage your audience during this busy timeframe is to run an online promotion like a contest or sweepstakes. The even better news is that the team here at Votigo has put together a helpful holiday promotion to help you plan and launch your campaign in no time.



  1. Determine Your Objective
    • Do you want to grow your email marketing list? Educate your customers on a new product or service offering? Or curate user generated content? Whatever your goal is, our team can help you decide which kind of promotion is the right fit for you.
  2. Outline the Details
    • Decide when the campaign should begin and end, whether your winner will be chosen at random or by popular vote, etc. You’ll also want to decide what information you’d like to collect during registration.
  3. Choose a Relevant Prize
    • Your prize should make sense for the industry that you are in and be compelling enough to incentivize people to participate in your promotion. Make it worth their while to spend the time doing what you’re asking of them!
  4. Promote Your Promotion
    • Once your promotion is live, you’ll need to TELL people about it and drive traffic to the entry page. Make sure that you use all of your typical communication channels to drive awareness of the promotion: Social Media, Email Newsletters, etc…
  5. Moderate and Manage
    • While your promotion is running, you’ll need to keep an eye on it to make sure it’s all going smoothly. This will depend a lot on the kind of campaign format you choose but for example: If you’re running a Photo Contest, you’ll want to pre-screen all the entries before they appear in your gallery for viewing and voting. You’ll also want to make sure entries are coming in steadily, and adjust your promotional efforts accordingly to make sure you get the most engagement possible.
  6. Use the Results
    • Running a promotion is a great way to get leads and quality user-generated content, so make sure you use your results. Nurture your new leads with an email campaign, or thank your existing audience for participating by rewarding them with an exclusive Holiday discount code. Make sure you capitalize on the momentum created by the campaign and use it to your advantage as you start planning your next promotion!

Even though it feels like the Holidays are right around the corner, it’s not too late to add a Holiday contest or sweepstakes to your Marketing plan. Votigo has all the tools you need to plan, create, launch and manage a successful promotion in no time. If you’re ready to get started, click here to schedule a live demo with an Account Representative.