Stripe partners with Salesforce; invests for high scale as enterprise customers quickly adapt to digital economy

Online payments is a big chunk of the fintech market and some renown companies are currently ruling the roster. While most of us are aware of big shot companies such as Adyen and PayPal, the San-Francisco-based Fintech Stripe seems to be doing much better than its more famous competitors. Stripes has bagged the top spot in the Forrester Wave report on Global Merchant Payments Providers, Q3 2020. In addition, it has also announced a new partnership with Salesforce. 

Stripe scores highest in Forrester’s new report

Forrester is one of the leading analyst firms, which recently released its Forrester Wave report on Global Merchant Payments Providers, Q3 2020. As per the report, Stripe is the best performing fintech in two categories, namely, strategy and current product offering. Stripe was closely followed by Adyen, which is also in the same ballpark in the ‘Leaders’ segment wherein classified companies exhibit a strong strategy along with notable current offerings. 

“Many of our enterprise customers are huge category leaders—each one is a global giant processing more than a billion dollars annually—and they’re going all in on Stripe to move quickly at immense scale,” comments Mike Clayville, Chief Revenue Officer at Stripe. 

Partnership with Salesforce

Ever since the pandemic, people are being wary of dealing in cash and have turned to contactless and online payment options. This in turn leads to a huge increase in online transactions, which need to be rapidly processed. To help retailers adapt to this newfound digital spending surge, Stripe has forged a new partnership with the CRM software company Salesforce. 

The partnership was announced alongside the launch of Digital 360, a new platform aiming at binding marketing, commerce and digital experience products for “driving digital transformation in the enterprise.” There’s a part of this new platform called the Salesforce Commerce Cloud, which offers Commerce Cloud Payments that will be powered by Stripe to enable brands launch commerce experiences with integrated payments capabilities. 

“Our partnership with Salesforce will enable enterprise businesses to quickly bring new online products and services to market with best-in-class payments capabilities already built-in to support their customers and boost their revenue. As the world’s leading CRM provider, Salesforce can bring Stripe’s payments capabilities to a huge audience of fast growing, ambitious enterprise businesses, whilst deepening relationships with their users,” Eileen O’Mara, Stripe’s Revenue and Growth Lead for EMEA, tells Silicon Canals. 

Talking about Stripe’s future plans with respect to the European market, O’Mara says, Europe is a very important market for Stripe and we have experienced rapid growth here in the past few years supporting users of all sizes.”

“Over the last 12 months in particular, we’ve seen a lot of Europe’s major heritage brands move to Stripe –  from supermarket chains like Waitrose, to financial services giants like AJ Bell. Now more than ever businesses across Europe are reliant on the internet to drive growth, and we are well placed to help them as they adapt,” she adds. 

Focus on large enterprises

As large enterprises are acclimatising to the new digital economy, Stripe seems to be accelerating its march into the enterprise segment this year. According to the company, enterprises such as Atlassian, Maersk and Mindbody have turned to Stripe recently to help power adaptation in the form of optimising their core business, entering new markets, and creating new revenue streams.

In addition to Stripe’s aggressive push towards big businesses, the company is also investing heavily to further enable high-scale operations and securely move hundreds of billions of dollars a year for the world’s largest and most complex companies. 

“In recent months, all around the world, we have seen a massive acceleration in the growth of the online economy – which means enterprise businesses are also having to accelerate their plans to adapt. Changes that may previously have taken large enterprises years to implement are now being enacted in weeks. We want all companies to be able to seize the wide range of growth opportunities that exist online,” says O’Mara. 

The recent appointments of Dhivya Suryadevara as Chief Financial Officer (from General Motors) and Mike Clayville as Chief Revenue Officer (from Amazon Web Services), upgrades to Stripe’s invoicing and subscription capabilities, and the launch of Stripe’s global direct acquiring platform are among the foundations Stripe has put in place to enable further scale over the coming years. 

Additionally, considering its new partnership with Salesforce, fresh hires rollout of new upgrades and launches, we asked O’Mara if the company is planning for an IPO. However, she confirms that currently there are no plans for Stripe’s IPO, at least not in the near future. 

Image Credits: Stripe

The post Stripe partners with Salesforce; invests for high scale as enterprise customers quickly adapt to digital economy appeared first on Silicon Canals .

Startups – Silicon Canals

5 Ways To Focus Your Strategy On Delighting Customers

my-tesla-arrivedThe world keeps changing, and visible business strategies that worked well in the past, including being the premium brand or low price producer, simply don’t get the customer loyalty they once did. Today, customers are looking for real relationships, a memorable shopping experience, and satisfaction of a higher purpose. They follow leaders who live and promote these strategies.

For example, Tesla and Elon Musk have capitalized on the environmental benefits of electric vehicles, coupled with a more memorable shopping experience by eliminating dealers. Other companies, including Ritz-Carlton, now incent their employees to build real relationships with guests, by authorizing them to spend up to $ 2,000 per guest to solve an individual concern.

Of course, these new customer-facing strategies shouldn’t preclude you from focusing behind the scenes on reducing costs and broadening your product line to supersede competitors. Amazon and Jeff Bezos have managed to do this well, with customers only remembering the fun and ease of shopping online, seemingly instant no-cost delivery, and no-hassle returns or replacements.

If you are rolling out a new business, or focusing on a revamp for your existing one, here is a summary of the key elements I recommend as a long-time business advisor for a winning customer-centric strategy today:

  1. Demonstrate a commitment to purpose and vision. What you say in your mission statement means nothing unless customers see you and your team living it every day. They need to see results in the form of sponsored events, social media, and feedback from influencers and customers that your mission is more than the low-cost producer.

    Whole Foods, for example, have continuously demonstrated their commitment to natural and organic foods, and have amassed an large and intensely loyal customer following for their 475 stores. As a result, they recently were acquired by Amazon for $ 13.5 billion.

  2. Highly focused customer segment targeting. This has to start with doing the customer interaction work to isolate the needs and drivers in the market you intend to serve. Trying to be everything to everyone doesn’t work any more. You need your team to be engaged with customers, finding what gets them excited, and tuning your message and offerings.

    In addition to their focus on purpose, Whole Foods continues to target high-income, educated city-dwellers who are health- or eco-conscious. This approach may not have worked in the startup days of traditional grocery stores, but it fits today’s urban reality.

  3. Dominate your industry before expanding to others. Many businesses are too quick in their efforts to become a conglomerate like General Electric, rather than globally dominating the one they are best suited for. Today, scaling an existing business in a large interconnected environment is generally easier than growing a disparate portfolio.

    Apple, as an example, have consistently focused on consumer electronics, since their early days with personal computers. They now dominate that industry, and achieved massive growth, loyalty, and credibility, without trying to move into enterprise solutions.

  4. Align employee incentives with customer values. Many companies still measure and reward employee productivity on internal processes, such as service calls closed per hour or revenue generated, rather than delighted customers. Results in the short-term may be optimized at the expense of repeat business, customer advocates, and loyalty.

  5. Seek opportunities to leverage competitor shortcomings. Make sure that everyone in your business understands your competitive advantage from a customer perspective, and continually seeks to optimize it. This requires continuous communication up front, agility in adapting to change, and continuous innovation improving satisfaction and experience.

Above all, continuing success requires a constant focus on strategy, and an agility to move quickly with the latest trends and innovation. Too many existing business become complacent, and the world changes around them, including former growth leaders Radio Shack, Nokia, and Enron. All too quickly, customers move on to other players that address their changing needs.

If your business strategy today doesn’t reflect one or more of the elements outlined here, your time for change may be past due. Winning customers in business is a lot more fun than the alternatives.

Marty Zwilling

*** First published on Inc.com on 09/10/2020 ***

Startup Professionals Musings

SaaS for EaaS: Swedish startup Eliq helps energy companies engage with customers; raises €5M

As the European utilities landscape evolves and energy-as-a-service (EaaS) models are being increasingly adopted, there’s a growing demand for platforms that can serve as a bridge between energy companies and customers. 

Swedish software company Eliq is one such platform. It offers a solution for monitoring electricity usage. The company offers a mobile app to its clients in order to monitor their electricity usage and demand patterns.

Eliq has raised €5M in a Series A round of funding, co-led by Inven Capital and Contrarian Ventures with participation from existing investors. Inven Capital’s general partner Petr Míkovec and Contrarian Ventures general partner Rokas Peciulaitis will join Eliq’s Board of Directors.

“The new funds will enable us to bring more solutions to the market quickly, as well as help in expansion as we look to grow our teams in both Gothenburg and London,” says Hakan Ludvigson, CEO, and co-founder of Eliq.

The investment brings Eliq’s total funding since its launch to €9M, and will help the company aggressively expand its sales and marketing efforts, as well as accelerate product development. 

“Deregulation and the rising customer expectations for more actionable data insights, transparency, and dynamic two-way communication, has left established utilities incapable of retaining customers,” believes Rokas Peiculaitis, general partner, Contrarian Ventures. “There is a need for a platform to better engage the existing and new clients,” he adds. 

SaaS for EaaS

Gothenburg-based Eliq is a SaaS-based mobile app for monitoring and optimising electricity use in order to gain a better understanding of the customers’ energy usage patterns.

The app also helps in taking in information from smart meters, connected devices and weather analytics to provide instant energy insights and promote efficiency.

In a way, it helps energy suppliers to engage with their customers via real-time personalised information communications.

According to the company, the Series A funding builds on an exceptional year for Eliq which saw a rapidly growing roster of clients, product and market momentum in the changing European energy retail landscape. 

Since shifting the focus towards energy utilities in 2016, Eliq has partnered with a number of progressive utilities in Europe, including; Bristol Energy (UK), Robin Hood Energy (UK), Greenyellow (FR), Eidsiva Energi (NO), Vattenfall (SE) and a number of Swedish utilities via its partnership with the world’s largest system integrator CGI.

Image credits: Eliq

The post SaaS for EaaS: Swedish startup Eliq helps energy companies engage with customers; raises €5M appeared first on Silicon Canals .

Startups – Silicon Canals

How To Pull Customers To Your Website With Real Value

happy-customers-with-computersTraditional marketing says you have to “push” your message out to customers, over and over again, to get you remembered. A more effective approach in today’s Internet and interactive culture is to use “pull” technology to bring customers and clients to your story. You pull people in by providing new content with real value on your website at least every few days.

Guy Kawasaki, in his classic book “Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions” provides some in-depth recommendations on the “how to” of pull technology. Here are some of his recommendations for web sites and blogs that I particularly recommend to entrepreneurs and startups:

  1. Provide good content. This may seem obvious, but how many websites have you reviewed that are static and just plain dull? A website or blog without appealing or entertaining content for your market segment is not enchanting.

  1. Refresh it often. Ideally, you should update content at least every two or three days. Good content that doesn’t change isn’t good for long, and customers or clients will not return to your website or blog if you don’t regularly provide something new.
  1. Skip the Flash videos. You may think it’s cool that a sixty-second video plays when people enter your site, or pop-ups occur with every interaction. Most people come with a purpose, and if you won’t let them get to it immediately they won’t come back.
  1. Make it fast. It’s a shame when anyone can get right to your home page, but then has to wait for it to load. With today’s technology, there’s no excuse for a website that takes more than a few seconds to load.
  1. Sprinkle graphics and pictures. Graphics, pictures, and videos make a website or blog more interesting and enchanting. If you’re going to err, use them too much rather than too little, except for a Flash front-end and popups.
  1. Provide a “Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)” page. People love FAQs because these cut to the chase. Figure out what the most common questions might be and answer them in one place to minimize hassle.
  1. Craft an “About” page. Visitors should never have to wonder what your organization does and why you do what you do. Provide all this information in an About page. Confusion and ignorance are the enemies of enchantment.
  1. Help visitors navigate. Enable people to search your website or blog to find what they are looking for. Also, a site map helps people understand the topology of your website. Forcing paging to complete a single message (to expose more ads) is not enchanting.
  1. Introduce the team. Few people these days wants to deal with a nameless, faceless, and location-less organization. A good “Who Are We?” page solves this problem, and is necessary to establish trust and expertise.
  1. Optimize visits for various devices. No matter what device people are using, your website and blog should look good. These days, 20% or more of your audience will be using smart phones or iPads, and they’re probably the most relevant customers.
  1. Provide multiple methods of access. Some folks like websites and blogs, and others prefer RSS feeds, email lists, Facebook pages, and Twitter feeds. Provide multiple methods to engage people and make these options easy to find.

Let’s face it, static websites are dead. You need a blog and social media interaction to keep your content fresh and responsive to the market. Interaction and repeated visits due to the pull of enchanting content will transform a potential customer transaction into a relationship. Everyone remembers a relationship.

Marty Zwilling

Startup Professionals Musings

6 Ways To Make Customers Remember You As Exceptional

ecstatic-customersFor decades, efforts to satisfy customers have been built around demographics – capitalizing on race, ethnicity, gender, income, and other attributes. Today, in this age of pervasive social media and two-way communication, the focus needs to get beyond demographics into personalities. Customer personalities define customer experience, and sets what they love, and what they hate.

Even businesses with highly specialized market segments will find it more effective and simpler to focus on who customers are as people, rather than the “what” of their demographic attributes. Customers today expect highly personalized and exceptional experiences to stay loyal and become advocates, rather than just conventionally “satisfied.” Satisfied is far from memorable.

The challenge for every entrepreneur and every business is to understand the pragmatics of identifying and reacting to what their customers love and what they hate. I found some excellent guidance on the specifics in the classic book, “What Customers Crave,” by Nicholas J. Webb. As a popular strategist in the areas of customer experience design and innovation, Webb knows.

He outlines six key steps in your journey from yesterday’s customer service to today’s required delivery of exceptional customer experiences:

  1. Define the whole customer experience versus service. Traditional customer service, focused on fixing bad transactions, is too little, too late. The total customer experience includes identifying with your company culture, the shopping experience, the customer-facing team and social media interaction, as well as resolution of any transaction glitches.
  1. Add the extra mile to make the experience exceptional. There is no one set of exceptional experiences that will work for all customers. That’s where you must know the personalities of your customers, to know what they love and what they hate. Ideally, you need to convince each customer that you have personalized the experience just for them.
  1. Display real customer value feedback versus value claims. Customers react poorly when they hear your value claims for them, and see more value to you (bottled water in your hotel room at a high price as a “convenience” to you). Customer value statements must come from customer feedback to other customers, rather than from your marketing.
  1. Build blended digital and non-digital experiences. Some businesses excel in customer-facing people, but have poor digital interfaces for feedback, shopping, or communication. Others have delivery silos, where one fragmented deficiency can override all other positives. Integrate and blend all elements of your customer experience.
  1. Train customer-facing team to collaborate with customers. Internal training and policies are not adequate to create great customer experiences. Employees must learn to develop relationships with real customers, and engage these customers to understand what each customer expects, and how to get customers to engage other customers.
  1. Assure exceptional commitment within your customer-facing team. Commitment means signing up willingly, showing up mentally, standing up for the customer, and never ever giving up. To get this, you need to find the best people for each role, give them the latitude to do their job, and reward them publicly and privately for achieving results.

Many business leaders still believe that exceptional experiences cost too much, and reduce profit margins and growth. In fact, just the opposite is true today, since more and more customers expect good feedback from others before they consider you, and decline to return if they don’t get a great first experience. The result is that an average business can spiral quickly into the ground.

If you are looking for a lasting competitive advantage, I recommend that you follow the steps outlined here to create experiences that your customers crave. It’s not only good for your business, but it will add meaning and joy to your customers, and will also enhance your personal satisfaction and well-being. That’s a win-win-win opportunity you can’t afford to miss.

Marty Zwilling

Startup Professionals Musings

Shall I stop making changes in customer’s site?

Hi! A company asked me to make a website 20days ago. I did it in 15 days. It is a custom CRM website with features such as email automation, pdf generation, database integrations, search filters in every page, multi users, login/signup, account creation email, password reset and so on……

The client hasn't paid a single penny though he asked me invoice 1 week ago. I am being generous with him and he is asking me to make changes every single day.

Today this tomorrow that and I did it. But now I am frustrated of doing so because he is asking me to alter same page into new every day in multiple pages. Price is just $ 850 but I haven't said anything.

Now I am tired of making changes and want to move on to new project.

How should I reply him? He's my first client so I am not telling no to any of his demands but now it's not the same. So any suggestions on how to be generous and deny at the same time for further changes?

submitted by /u/theSulavSapkota
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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Cosy House is Disrupting the Sleep Industry by Providing a Cure for Customers’ Restless Nights

Sponsored content

Studies show that around 33 percent of Americans are getting less than the recommended seven hours of sleep per night. When your sleep is interrupted and below par, this can have a poor impact on your weight, concentration and mood.

In light of this, many consumers have turned to using bamboo sheets as a way to stay cool and get some much needed rest. The material is gentle and highly breathable, and both department stores and e-commerce platforms alike are quickly stocking bamboo sheets, as they’re becoming the first choice for many consumers.

Bill Fish, co-founder of sleep-focused website, Tuck, said:

“When you buy bed sheets, one typically goes straight for linen, since it tends to be more cooling than cotton sheets and the fabric looks good for years. But for eco-friendliness and breathability, bamboo is a superb choice. It is also good for people with allergies and is gentle and smooth on the skin.”


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Disrupting the sleep industry

The startup and tech industries are seeing a wave of new inventions to help with sleep, from cooling pajamas and weighted blankets to noise defenders and sleep monitoring apps. However, some of the latest products to win over sleepers are bamboo sheets and pillow cases, rather than traditional cotton or linen.

Bamboo is made from the bamboo plant, which is known for being light, soft and breathable. In terms of temperature, bamboo can keep you cool in the heat, and warm in the colder months, making it suitable for all seasons. In addition to helping people sleep through temperature control, bamboo sheets are hypoallergenic and can help produce better quality sleep by reducing stuffiness.

Bamboo sheets are very affordable and are often similar in price to their linen counterparts. Bamboo bed sheets from Cosy House Collection are available from just $ 60 and include a fitted sheet, flat sheet and two pillow cases, with free delivery.

Some additional actions you can take to improve your quality of sleep include reducing screen usage before bedtime, exercising regularly and avoiding caffeinated drinks in the evening.

Sponsored content

The post Cosy House is Disrupting the Sleep Industry by Providing a Cure for Customers’ Restless Nights appeared first on StartupNation.

StartupNation

Keep customers watching with IGTV for business

If you’re anything like me, when trying to market your business, you’ll look for every possible avenue to get the word out about what you do and why people need it. You may already be using blogging, Facebook, podcasting, Instagram, Pinterest or a combination of all of the above to spread the message of your company. But, are you using IGTV for business? If not, you could be missing out on hundreds, if not thousands of potential customers.

IGTV is quickly becoming a great way to help your audience get to know you better.

Some of my clients have only recently implemented the use of it, and are already enjoying the ability to engage with their potential customers on a deeper level.

Blogger and influencer friends as well as many of the marketers I admire are also implementing the use of IGTV for marketing their online businesses. I’m so impressed with their results I’m working on an IGTV strategy of my own that I hope to implement in the near future.

If you want to do the same, keep reading. In this post, we’re going to cover the following:

  1. What IGTV is, and how it can help your business.
  2. Creating an IGTV for business account.
  3. Tips and tricks for getting the most out of IGTV.
  4. Why you need to clean up your Instagram bio.
  5. How to stay on-brand with IGTV videos.
  6. Why consistency is key.
  7. Your next steps for IGTV success.

There’s a lot to unpack, and no time to waste. Let’s dive in!

Related: Ultimate Instagram guide for your small business

What IGTV is, and how it can help your business

Direct from the horse’s mouth, “IGTV is long-form, immersive video. It isn’t limited to one minute, and takes over your entire screen.”

Though IGTV has its own tab on your profile, you can share the previews of your videos in your Instagram feed and in your Instagram Stories as well to direct users to your full-length videos.

How can you use IGTV for business?

According to Instagram, using “long-form video makes it even easier to tell your brand’s story, connect with your audience, and reach more people.”

By creating videos, you give your audience another way to interact with and learn about your business.

 

Put another way, video gives you a way to bring your business to life.

Creating an IGTV for a business account

If you already have an Instagram account, you can start creating IGTV videos right away.

The only recommendation I would make if you already have an account is to transition it to a business account if you’ve not yet done so.

Instagram business accounts have more features than personal accounts, including the ability to run Instagram ads, schedule posts ahead of time via Facebook’s Creator Studio, track performance of your posts with Instagram Insights, use Instagram Shoppable Posts and more.

To create an Instagram account, simply download the Instagram app for iOS from the App Store, the Android app from Google Play store, or for your Windows Phone from the Windows Phone Store. Once the app is installed on your mobile phone, tap to open it.

From there, follow the prompts to create a user name, add an email address, choose a password, etc. Then, within the app, go to the settings page and scroll down to “Switch to Business Account.”

Once you have a business account, you can add your business information such as your hours, address and phone number if you choose to.

Related: How to create an Instagram account

Tips and tricks for getting the most out of IGTV for marketing

I went searching for entrepreneurs who are using IGTV for business to find their best tips and tricks on using the platform to engage with customers. They shared some fabulous advice about how to use IGTV to keep customers watching, and to drum up new revenue.

Here’s what they said:

Don’t worry about whether your videos are vertical or horizontal

At one point, Instagram was clipping videos that weren’t in a 9:16 ratio. Because the platform is vertical, videos on IGTV also had to be vertical. Luckily, with a 2019 update, horizontal videos can now also be played on the app.

If you’re creating new videos that you only want to use on IGTV, you might want to film vertically so that it takes up the entire phone screen.

But, if you’re repurposing content from other platforms don’t sweat it if the videos are horizontal.

However, thumbnails for IGTV still need to appear in a 9:16 ratio to avoid awkward cropping in your feed and on your IGTV channel tab.

IGTV For Business Kate Emiley
Photo credit: Kate Emiley on Facbeook

Content strategist Kate Emiley (on IG at @kateemiley) says that you should make sure you create a custom thumbnail/cover photo for your videos.

The reason for this is that your cover photo is what will be displayed in your Instagram feed to promote your video. Therefore, you want to ensure that it has the same aesthetic you’ve created for your Instagram feed so it won’t stick out like a sore thumb.

Using a text overlay that explains what is in the video may be a good idea as well so that you can grab the attention of people scrolling through your feed.

Another important tip regarding thumbnails comes from marketer Desiree Martinez who says that you need to think about how your image will appear as a cropped square too. Though what you’re loading as your IGTV thumbnail will appear in a 9:16 ratio on the IGTV tab on your profile, on your Instagram feed, the image will be cropped to a 1:1 square.

Keep your videos short and sweet—but not too short

Shane Sams of The Flipped Lifestyle Podcast (on IG at @flippedls) says that he has found the sweet spot is a five- to seven-minute video. He uses short hype videos to drum up interest in his podcast.

The trick, however, is not to just create a video of highlights.

 

Instead, he literally edits them down to the core value so that people will be intrigued enough to watch the entire thing, and potentially click through to the full-length episode afterward.

Kate says you should aim for videos that are at least three to five minutes in length so that you have time to actually engage with your audience. Anything less than that and your audience won’t be able to fully connect with you.

At the time of publication, Instagram allows unverified business accounts to post videos that are between one minute and 10 minutes in length. Verified users can post videos that are up to one hour.

Related: How to plan an Instagram marketing strategy to attract business

Be authentic, and not salesy

IGTV For Business Josh Elledge
Josh Ellegde of Up My Influence

Josh Ellegde of Up My Influence (on IG @upmyinfluence) says, “Audiences are craving authenticity. Video is simply the best way to deliver that on social media. Instagram has a brilliant platform for sharing videos through IGTV. Brands and marketers who embrace it and give Instagram audiences what they want (entertainment and education) can really boost their engagement.”

He also says that no matter what, you must resist the urge to sell in your videos. Instead, just share what you’d share with your friends.

Deliver maximum value so that they will think to themselves, “If he’s willing to give me all of this information for free, I wonder what I would get by paying for his products and services.”

Influencer Amber Vilhauer (on IG @ambervilhauer) agrees with the importance of adding value. She says, “Find out what your audience needs, and then offer them a solution in under five minutes. Give them actionable value that they can digest quickly to keep them coming back for more.

The more you’re adding value to your audience and showing them what you do, rather than telling them, the more your audience will be invested in your company and the products/services you offer.”

Use IGTV to answer your audience’s most frequently asked questions

Jon Ball, also known as the Basketball Card Guy (on IG @basketballcardguy) says he uses IGTV to answer questions about the products, and showcase the specific ones people are looking for.

For Ball, the real-time interaction of using Instagram Live, IGTV and Instagram’s Q&A function has worked really well for his business. He says that using IGTV for business has allowed him to expand his audience each week for the past few months.

Keep up with industry trends

IGTV For Business Tiffany Lopez
Tiffany Lopez of Barista Lab

Tiffany Lopez of Barista Lab (on IG @brewbaristalab) says, “In my business, we spend a good amount of time researching trends and industry topics to create content for our IGTV that will have our customers engaged or educated. We look for click-bait/must-see headlines to draw in our market and hook them to the experience of watching our IGTV.”

She says her best advice is to stay current and creative.

 

Thinking outside of the box will “leave viewers wanting more or willing to post their experience in the comments.”

Repurpose videos from YouTube and Facebook

Desiree Martinez says if you have already been creating videos for YouTube and Facebook, using that existing content is the easiest way to get started with IGTV for business.

She adds, “You’ve already spent so much time putting this together, you might as well get more mileage out of this content. Work smarter, not harder.”

While we’re talking about repurposing content, it’s a good idea to cross-share the videos you’re creating for IGTV on Youtube, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter too.

Instagram says, “By 2021, mobile video will account for 78% of total mobile data traffic.”

 

Therefore, you should get your videos onto as many platforms as possible to take advantage of that traffic potential.

Use IGTV to build community

CC Cordero of Cordero Consulting says that for her client, the Mitchell Hill Gallery (on IG @mitchellhillcharleston), IGTV has been their best option for building a community of fans and art enthusiasts from their very own living room.

For the past 10 years, 80% of the sales for owners Tyler Hill and Michael Mitchell was a direct result of foot traffic. With the COVID-19 pandemic, foot traffic wasn’t possible, so they turned to IGTV for marketing.

IGTV For Business Tyler Hill And Michael Mitchell
Tyler Hill, left, and Michael Mitchell, right, are owners of Mitchell Hill Gallery.

Since March 12, 2020, they’ve hosted more than 130 interviews on Tuesdays and Thursdays and have repurposed many of those videos into long-form IGTV content. They’ve interviewed local media, local museums, jewelry stores, a plant nursery and restaurants about topics including business tips, marketing and social media.

Not only has this helped Mitchell Hill Gallery gain attention, but it has also helped them build a community of local artists and fans. As a result, they’ve also enjoyed a new way of selling the pieces that people once had to walk into the gallery to purchase.

Don’t forget the hashtags

Kate Emiley says IGTV videos are given greater priority in the Explore page of Instagram, so don’t forget to include relevant hashtags so more people have the opportunity to find your content.

Like a post in the Instagram feed, you can include up to 30 hashtags on your IGTV video description. Most content creators advise against using all 30 when using IGTV for marketing, however.

Hubspot, for example, suggests using roughly 20 hashtags, or somewhere in that neighborhood for better results. Otherwise, your posts could come off as spammy.

Include a call to action

You have to tell your viewers what to do in order to persuade them to do it. As marketing blog The Next Scoop says, you have to make it clear to your audience what you want them to do after watching.

“What’s their next step after viewing your videos? Perhaps you want them to comment? Or to follow you on Instagram or sign up for your email list?”

Without the call to action, you’ve lost the opportunity to engage with them further.

Why you need to clean up your Instagram bio

Your Instagram bio is limited to 150 characters. The first two lines of your bio show up as your profile description for your IGTV videos.

Though this section is often an afterthought, it’s prime real estate, and should be treated as such.

 

You need a really good profile photo, a username that fits your brand, a clickable URL that will send visitors to any website/link you want to drive traffic to and a brief message about your business.

Don’t worry about adding your email address, street address or phone number because you can add call-to-action buttons to your profile for that information.

If your bio isn’t a direct reflection of what you do, sell or offer, you should clean it up so that new visitors can immediately determine why they should care about your business.

How to stay on-brand with IGTV videos

The best way to stay on brand when using IGTV for business is to only put out content that is relevant to your users.

For example, if you’ve been sharing how to make the jewelry you sell in your Etsy shop, it wouldn’t make much sense to suddenly start sharing videos about what you eat in a day.

Or if you are creating videos about the fabrics and designs in your clothing business, sharing workout videos most likely wouldn’t be on brand either. That is unless you’re a designer for workout clothing and you want to show how it performs in action.

While there’s not exactly a formula for determining whether or not your IGTV for marketing videos are on brand or not, ask yourself if your audience would be confused by what you’re sharing with them.

Think about the products and services you are trying to sell. Think about the message you’re trying to convey. If the content you’re creating isn’t directly related to those two things, then it’s probably not on brand, and shouldn’t be on your IGTV channel.

Why consistency is key

Both in terms of quality and quantity, consistency is key to keep customers watching your IGTV channel.

If they are expecting videos every Friday, you need to deliver every Friday.

 

Otherwise, your audience could abandon ship. However, if you can’t deliver the same level of quality, it’s not a good idea to rush it just to load new content.

That’s why batching your content is a good idea. It gives you the ability to film multiple videos at once, and have them all look and feel the same when they are loaded to your IGTV for business account.

Remember, you’re ultimately trying to sell to your audience, so deliver quality content regularly to keep them coming back for more.

Your next steps for IGTV success

IGTV was launched in June 2018. It’s not even a toddler yet, but it’s gaining momentum rapidly. Not everyone has jumped on the IGTV for business train yet, so there is still time to hop on and take advantage of it for your business.

If you haven’t transitioned to a business account on Instagram yet, there’s no time like the present.

Your audience wants to connect with you. They want to know more about you. But, if you’re not showing up where they are hanging out, they can’t find you.

So what are you waiting for? Get on IGTV today!

And, if you need help with loading, managing and scheduling your content, try GoDaddy Social for your business.

The post Keep customers watching with IGTV for business appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.

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How Do I Find My First Customers?

Hi r/startups,

I've just launched a SAAS platform for ecommerce and digital advertising – automation without full black box campaign management or "AI" led decisions.

My question is how do I go about getting people into my platform so I can get feedback/new ideas of things to add? I'm a one man band and am much more comfortable on the technical side than sales etc.

I'm happy to offer a couple of months trial – but am lacking the confidence to do stuff like cold messages on LinkedIn (All I see from my connections is moaning about people selling on there)

Any tips of how I should reach potential customers?

Thanks!

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

How do you deal to meet the first customers to understand the real problem before you make your B2B Saas product? (Especially in a Startup with Tech-guys-with-very-low-marketing-sales-skills)

To understand the pain and problems of the startup, I think we need to meet the customers in the early stages of the development. But How? especially you are developing a B2B Saas product and most of the teammates are tech guys. The customer can be a corporate company and the responsible person is a completely strange guy. How do you deal with this? How can you approach them? Any experience or tips?

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!