Hi Judi….. Love your enthusiasm and skills….. We just attended www.fielddays.co.nz here in NZ. After a year or so on the market, we KNOW we have a very successful product. But, we are limited in our internet skills to reach a larger, targeted audience, i.e. Dairy Farmers…… Any thoughts?
Here was my reply:
For finding your target audience, I would like to see you focus on YouTube and Facebook. I’m going to list some action steps you can do now with a little time and not much technical know-how.
LOVE your videos. They are stupendous. I may exaggerate here but they are really good. A few steps to make a bigger impact with them.
2. Basic Information describing video in youtube: Here you will have to discover your keywords you want to own. It’s very unlikely your customers are searching for EZY Cups. Very few of your video titles have “dairy” or “cow” in them. Think of what your customers are actually typing into search engines. This is what you want in your titles, descriptions, and tags. Then end the title with “with EZYCups”. You know the lingo that dairy people use. Take advantage of it in your titles. example follows
3. Tags: besides using your main keywords again, have one keyword tag that will be added to every video every time. This will move up your other videos on the list in the suggested column that appears on the right of all videos. Giving your other videos more prominence and click throughs.
4. Start every description with your website’s full URL. This helps with SEO and is a clickable link for viewers to follow.
(Yes, you should go back and make adjustments your past videos for steps 2-4)
Facebook With over 8000 likes, you have a great start. You get points for having a viewable URL in the about under your profile and posting your videos. Next steps.
1. Profile picture would like to see your logo or the words EZYMilk. So your posts are quickly identified as your business. Most won’t know what those objects are that you are using now.
2. Along with your business promotions posts, include posts about events in the dairy industry, reshare customers pictures of their farms, find dairy cartoons or jokes to share. Just become more active on Facebook. There are lots of dairy people on social media. You can definitely capitalize on it.
3. For your cover photo, I think you would make a bigger statement if you would show a picture of your products in use. I really can’t tell how your business can help my dairy with what you currently have as the cover.
I’ll quickly mention twitter. Looking at your past tweets, you are not using hashtags. This means only your followers might see your tweets. Add #agchatoz #nzdairy or #ausdairy to them. Then everyone following those hashtags will see your tweets also.
These are the steps I suggest for now. There is so much more that can be added in each section but that can wait. You may not need to do a whole lot more to reach the audience you are targeting.
Tell me: Would you give any other suggestions to Tim?
The size of your photos that you upload to your site is critical. If the file size is large this will
Slow the loading time when visitors come to your site. Very few blog readers will wait around for images to load.
Eat up your storage limit if you are using Blogger, WordPress.com, even GoDaddy’s site services (& most free hosting)
Take longer to upload the images to put on your site.
So how do you resize your pictures?
To answer this question you must understand the difference between pixels and bytes. This won’t be complicated. I’ll tell you only what you need to know.
Pixels: the size on the screen in height and width.
Bytes: file size of the image in how much detail/information is saved in the individual file
After you are done editing your photo in your program of choice, then you export or save the photo. This is when you adjust the pixels and bytes of the saved picture. I use picasa for most of my editing. So I’ll use it as an example. The process should be similar to other editing software.
Generally resizing your photo to 800 pixels is enough adjustment. But if the original photo was very large, say 5mb and up, you will need to reduce the image quality (which just means the file size). To see the file size of the saved picture, right click on it and select “get info” or “properties” or similar. Then make further adjustments to the size as needed.
Basics of Resized Pictures for Websites:
Save photos that are 800 pixels wide or less. If you are going to use it as a smaller image, save with less pixels. When one number is given for the pixels, it applies to the width. The height is auto adjusted.
Save photos at around 150 kb. This will not affect the appearance of the image on a screen. [It will affect the photo if printed]
Find out about photo storage limits in Blogger and WordPress.com. And with this new knowledge of pixels and bytes you should be all set to upload your pictures and not worry about reaching the storage capacity on your site.
Tell Me: Do you have more questions about resizing your pictures?
Lots of people get hung up on the definition of a blog or website. To me it’s not that big a deal. I use the terms “inter-changingly” most of the time.
This post starts a series on creating a website for your farm business. So we are going to start with knowing the small differences then you can determine which avenue is best for you and your business.
A blog is basically a journal that is updated regularly (hopefully). Blog platforms have improved to be able to add other pages ie. About or Contact. Search engines give priority to updated blog sites because of the fresh content.
The traditional business website is an online brochure giving details of products or services. Information updates are rare and unscheduled. Thus they are usually not search engine friendly.
I would recommend ag businesses go with a hybrid of the two options. Because blogs have a stigma attached to them of not being as serious as a website, you should call yours a website that is updated regularly. You would have a page on the site labelled Blog. Besides feeding the search engines, this also gives a reason for visitors/customers to subscribe to receive new information that is posted. Our farm’s website: Graff Land And Livestock is an example of a hybrid website.
Adding a blog also makes you more accessible to your visitors. They can ask questions in the comments. Then you can promptly reply.
You are also more approachable. With every blog post, you reveal a little more about you and your business’s personality. There is no better way to get to know you besides seeing you in person. People want to buy from or work with a businesses they like and trust.
A hybrid site will take more on going effort than a static site but there is no comparison in how many more people you could reach by keeping a blog.
Next I’ll explain why you want to create your own site to begin with instead of paying someone to do it.
Do you have a blog or website or hybrid? Link to it below
5 Steps to Taking Better Video: For your viewing pleasure
Video is my favorite media to put on my websites. I would rather create a video than write a post any day. After taking videos for years, I thought I would share some tips that can help you take better shots with any camera. Even if you don’t have a dedicated video camera, your point-n-shoot likely has a video setting available. Go ahead and try it out. It will add a whole new dimension to your blog or website. It is easier than you think.
Shaky video is annoying to watch. The camera needs to be steady to take good shots. Using a tripod is the best way to go. If you are planning your video ahead, take the time to use a tripod. But If you are like me and on the spur of the moment say “Hey, that would be a good idea for a video”, you won’t have the forethought of lugging a tripod around with you. As most of your videos will be outside you can still create a steady picture with a little effort. Use two hands on the camera at all times. I have made the mistake before of using one hand like a gun slinger on the draw then trying to zoom. It looked like we had an earthquake during the take. You can really tell which videos are taken while using two hands to stabilize the camera. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. This gives you a wider base and prevents swaying. If you walk while recording, take fluid steps. Intentionally put your foot down softly. This is when you notice the jarring in the take.
2. Mic placement:
Bad audio is worse than a shaky picture. If you can’t understand the message, the video is useless. Viewers don’t want to strain to hear what is being said. Since most of your videos will be on your farm, thus outside, wind will be your strongest nemesis for good audio. Wind whipping across your mic, no matter if it is on the camera or lapel, will steal your sound. The best remedy I have found is to keep the wind to the back of the mic blocking it. Just keep in mind where the mic is. Turn the tractor off. (or whatever is running in the background) You don’t want to have to shout over anything that runs on diesel. Take some practice shots on how far away the person speaking can stand from the mic. On my camera I was surprised that the person talking can be up to 20 feet away and still have good sound. This depends on any background noise.
3. Light Placement:
I have seen so many videos where the background is too light and the subject too dark. The easiest way to solve this problem is to put the sun to the cameras back or side. What’s going on is the camera is trying to adjust the exposure to compensate for the bright background. Therefore making the subject dark. Three more ways to solve this is 1. fill the screen with the subject, minimizing the amount of bright background. The camera will then expose for the light on the subject. 2. Add a fill light on the subject, such as a work light, trouble light, or even a lantern type flash light. This might not be practical in every situation but something to keep in mind. 3. Put less of the sky in the frame by bringing the horizon to the top third of the screen. Remember, just because you are outside doesn’t mean you have enough or the right light.
4. Leave head room:
I am sure there is some technical name for this but I don’t know it. When you record leave some video in the intro and the end to give some lead time. If you don’t the beginning or the end will be snipped/cut off during transitions from clip to clip or with the credits. 5 seconds should give you plenty of time to work with.
Remember you get do-overs. Try to plan out what the person it going to say. Practice. Shoot. Review. Retake. I sometimes do a retake knowing that I’ll just pick the best one. Or you can choose parts to put together in the final video. You can cut any slip-ups in editing. But I wouldn’t worry too much about a little stumbling here or there. The most important thing is getting your video posted. Not how many times you stuttered.
Try these tips and tell me how they work for you and leave a link to your video.
We are taking this site in a different direction. I have other websites that I am working on.
Together we will discover
1. how to reach an audience
2. make strong connections
3. get your message out
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