I’ve written about “explainer videos” on this blog before, but those posts have mostly discussed places where you can hire a professional to make these whiteboard-style videos for you. Some are more expensive than others, but the one thing they all have in common is that they are not free. And they will always require some turnaround time.
If you’re looking for a free alternative that’s really easy to use, you should take a look at mysimpleshow. There’s no software to download or install, as this tool is 100% browser-based and it requires zero technical expertise whatsoever.
Explainer Videos Made Easy
Explainer videos can be used for all sorts of purposes. Maybe you want to use it to introduce your company or product, perhaps as part of your crowdfunding page. Maybe you want to explain a process or help viewers decide between different options.
Despite having many features, mysimpleshow is astonishingly easy to use. Simply follow the online wizard that will walk you through the necessary steps. You don’t need to understand anything about animation or video production, because the online tool does all of that for you.
And yes, it really is 100% free, including for commercial use, so long as you don’t alter the 1080p MP4 video file after you download it. There are also options to upload the video directly to YouTube, Vimeo or Wistia if you prefer.
It Starts with a Script
After signing up for a free account and verifying your email address, you can start on your first video project. You have two options: you can either upload a PowerPoint presentation or you can start by writing a script. If you don’t already have a PowerPoint deck, choose the latter. It’s easier than you might think.
From there, pick from one of the many templates available as a starting point. There are professional, educational and personal options available. Alternatively, you can start with a blank canvas to create what you’d like.
The next page looks a lot like a simplified PowerPoint presentation, except all you’re doing here is writing the text for the script. The text that you write is what will be used for the voiceover. Depending on the template you choose, the wizard will provide a suggestion (with examples) for what you should write for each slide.
The Automatic Creation Process
The third step is really where you see a lot of the magic behind mysimpleshow. It zeroes in on some keywords you included in your voiceover script and pulls relevant images from its clipart library. You can leave everything as-is, or you can edit each slide individually to remove or resize any of the images. You can also add your own.
Finally, you get to choose between two automatic Text2Speech voices, enable or disable subtitles, and select between three possible video speeds. If you would prefer to use your own voice recording, you can do that too. Click the “finalize video” button, wait a few minutes for it to process (you can close your browser at this point and come back), and you’re done.
The above video offers a very quick explanation of the whole video creation process, summarizing the points I described above. And that’s it.
How long it takes for you to create your own explainer video really depends on you. The biggest step will be writing the script, but because you can save your project and return to it at any time, you can edit and hone to your heart’s delight.
If the script-writing process is quick and you don’t make too many changes to the imagery, you really can have an explainer video completely ready to go in less than an half an hour without too much trouble. No fuss, no mess.
What You Can and Cannot Change
For the most part, mysimpleshow really is quite the impressive piece of magic. You don’t need any technical expertise whatsoever and it can intelligently pick out words from your script, animating them in the slides automatically too.
However, there are obviously going to be some limitations. While it is possible for you to remove, reposition and resize any of the images, plus the ability to add your own, you don’t have any control over how they animate. You also cannot change the background or other visual elements to the video.
Similarly, at least for the time being, you only have the choice between two automatic voiceover voices, both of which are male. Also, according to the FAQ page, you also cannot choose a different background music to go with your video, though you can upload your own voiceover in a “karaoke” fashion to align with the video animation.
The Final Product
To test the features and functions of mysimpleshow, I used the tool to put together a quick explainer video to explain the process for writing a blog post. This took me about half an hour and after finishing, the processing took about another 10-15 minutes. The latter likely depends on the queue from other users and the current server load. The final two-minute video is rendered in full HD 1080p and was only about 8.75 MB in size.
I didn’t do much in terms of changing the images, so you’ll notice that some of the clipart is more relevant than others. It mistook the word “post” (as in blog post) to mean a parcel in the mail (as in postal service). It also mistook “content” (as in blog content) to mean happy or peaceful. When making your own video, you may want to remove or eliminate these errant selections.
The mysimpleshow website also provides some other sample videos if you want to see how the tool can be used for other types of explainer videos too. The animation and visual style is identical in all of them, but this is a 100% free online tool.
Despite some of its shortcomings, there is certainly a lot to like about mysimpleshow. It’s so incredibly easy to use and the resulting video really looks professional. I would recommend doing your own voiceover, though, as the automatic text-to-speech still sounds a little too robotic.
How to Accelerate Your Social Growth and Reach with BRSM
In the early days of social networking, the main objective was for individual people to connect with other individual people on the Internet. While that is still very much the case today, companies and organizations of all sizes have quickly come to realize just how powerful social media can be in building their brands and really engaging with their fans, followers and customers. However, taking a purely organic route in building your following can be a very slow and arduous process, and that’s why it pays to get a kickstart on those campaigns to accelerate your social growth.
Want to reach a wider potential audience sooner and with less effort? That’s where the professional social marketing services of BRSM.IO can come into the picture, elevating your brand and boosting your reach across a number of different platforms.
Grow Your Social Media Faster with BRSM.IO
Experts currently estimate that there are 3.2 billion daily active users on social media. That’s about half of the world population, and we’re only looking at daily active users. This doesn’t count people who might check in on Facebook once every few days. The good news is that this represents a literal world of opportunity. It also means it can be increasingly challenging to break through the noise.
The truth is that even if you put in countless hours attempting to grow your social media following yourself, you may not get the results you desire. It makes much more sense to outsource these sorts of tasks to the experts, professionals who have years of experience in the field. This frees up your time to focus on other aspects of your business, whether you’re a music artist, a small business, or even a large corporation.
The Importance of a Good First Impression
It’s long been said that “content is king.” That may be true, but if a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Put another way, if a hilarious zinger is tweeted by an account that only has a couple hundred followers, does it have any chance of going viral? Probably not. And even if a random user were to stumble across such a social media profile, the immediate reaction is that this account probably isn’t that great. Conversely, if the line is tweeted by an account with a large following, the first impression is that this account is and should be notable for some reason.
The truth is that people are much more likely to engage and follow when they see that other people have engaged and followed. It’s through the same kind of psychology that someone may “seed” the tip jar at the front counter, or why a busker puts down a few dollars in their guitar case before playing for the public. When people see that other people have tipped, they’re much more inclined to join in. That’s how social media works too.
With BRSM.IO, you can buy Facebook likes from organic Facebook users. These are real people with real profiles, so the interaction will look fully organic and authentic. The likes are acquired through paid ads and you can get 100 likes for just a one-time fee of $10.
Similarly, BRSM.IO offers a number of YouTube packages that work in the same kind of way. In addition to the opportunity to gain subscribers for your channel, you can help boost your performance in the algorithm (and the perceived value or relevance of your content) by getting real views, real likes, and real YouTube comments too. Packages here start as low as $50 for a one-time fee.
Instagram Is an Engagement Gold Mine
As far as the biggest social media platforms go, Instagram was one of the later ones to join the bunch. Facebook predates it by six years! And in the early days of Instagram, it was only available as an iPhone app. Today, however, Instagram users are among the most highly sought after users because of the remarkably active user base. It also skews toward younger adults, which is a key demographic for many brands, especially since this cohort does not interact with traditional media nearly as much.
Perhaps even more relevant, approximately 80% of Instagram accounts follow a business on the platform. This means that they are open to those sorts of connections, and this could represent a huge opportunity for your business too. But, you need to get noticed and you need to “seed” that following. With BRSM.IO, Instagram follower packages start as low as just $10.
These are all active, organic Instagram followers, and they won’t unfollow you after a short period of time. In fact, BRSM.IO offers a one-year replacement guarantee if that happens. While you can get delivery in just one or two days, you might opt for the drip feed for more natural-looking growth.
BRSM.IO Review in Summary
It’s plain to see how this kind of social growth service can prove invaluable to solopreneurs, individual creative professionals and small business owners who may not have the time or specific skills required to gain and sustain a significant following on social media. Another incredible usage case is with agencies who have multiple clients. When working as part of a larger marketing effort, these sorts of “boosting” packages can really help to extend reach and increase influence.
Agencies can really benefit from outsourcing this type of social media growth. When you’re juggling multiple campaigns across multiple accounts on multiple platforms, it can be almost impossible to give them all the attention and gentle nudge they deserve. It’s just easier, and it’s remarkably cost-effective too.
To date, BRSM.IO has delivered over 11 million real Facebook likes, nearly 2 million real Instagram followers, and nearly one million real YouTube subscribers. More likes, fans and engagement can lead to increases in potential revenue, elevated credibility, and a real increase in real influence. Simply choose the social media packages that best suit your needs and budget, send payment securely with PayPal or cryptocurrency, and they’ll take it from there.
You can expect to see results in as little as 24 hours. So go ahead. Get social.
Meteora Automates Instagram Engagement to Grow Sales
Back before the days of the Internet as we know it today, businesses could usually expect to reach out to their customers en masse in purely a broadcast style format. They’d take out advertisements on television, radio and the newspaper, blasting out a message to everyone and hoping that some sales come in through the door. Even in the realm of direct marketing, the messages were almost never custom tailored to individual prospects. There was no need or desire to connect with customers on a one-on-one basis.
That has changed considerably in recent years, particularly as it pertains to social media. It is no longer enough for companies to broadcast their marketing messages from atop a soapbox. They have to engage and interact with their audiences on a much more personalized level. They need to connect with them as individuals, but this can be overwhelmingly time-consuming, especially when you start looking at hundreds, thousands, or even millions of users.
That’s where you can take advantage of Meteora. That’s where automation steps in.
Growing Sales Using Instagram
When it comes to social networks, Instagram stands far above the rest in regards to engagement rates. And engaged users much more readily convert into paying customers.
Meteora is designed to “help businesses and influencers grow sales using Instagram.” It achieves this by automating much of the engagement and interaction that you need to have on the platform, all by setting up the parameters for your campaigns ahead of time. You grow your following (which can then convert into real customers) automatically, as Meteora likes, follows and comments on social posts made by the “ideal customer” as defined by your parameters and criteria.
Through your dashboard, you are able to tell Meteora who you would like to target. This can be based on hashtag, for instance, which can demonstrate clear interest in a certain niche or vertical. You can also target based on location, event, or even target based on competitor. If someone already follows and engages with Starbucks, they may be interested in what your coffee brand has to offer too.
How Does the Campaign Work?
The structure of a Meteora campaign is relatively simple and straightforward to understand.
After you provide the specifications for who you would like to target, Meteora can then engage with potential prospects that fit that profile automatically. You will naturally need to grant permission to Meteora to use and post from your Instagram account on your behalf. As mentioned, this includes likes, follows and comments, but it can also include direct messages too. This makes for a much more personalized and active engagement.
While you may be tempted to grow your follower count by any means necessary, that may not necessarily be in your best interest. That is why Meteora leverages artificial intelligence to block fake followers for you. These bots can wreak havoc on your engagement rate, which in turn impacts your discoverability and visibility in the eyes of the algorithm.
This also means that Meteora will only engage with real people and not the bots. This increases your sales ROI over time.
Targeting and Messaging
As you make your way through the dashboard, you’ll find the opportunity to define all those targeting parameters. This is also where you can decide exactly how you want to interact with the audience you describe.
For instance, you can choose whether you’d like to direct message the user who made that post, comment on the post, like the post, or follow the user that made the post. You’ll notice that under the option to follow the user, Meteora will automatically unfollow that user the next day to keep your feed clean.
In the case of leaving a comment, you can write out the comment that you’d like to leave, utilizing macros to personalize the message based on day of the week, the username, the first name, the location or the target. It would be useful to you to change up this wording periodically, so that your comments continue to appear fresh and authentic.
Once your campaign has been running for a while, you’ll be able to review the key data and metrics that come out of that campaign. For instance, you may have chosen to target a number of different fitness-related hashtags.
When you first start out, it can be really hard to say exactly which hashtags will be the most successful in terms of the followers you gain or the conversion rate you achieve. But once that data comes in, you can further refine your targeting options to focus in on the ones that are working the best.
Similarly, the main reporting screen from your dashboard can give you more of a global view of how Meteora has been performing for you thus far. This includes data on the number of followers you’ve gained, how many likes have been performed, how many follows have been completed, how many fake users have been blocked, and so forth. There’s also the live feed of exactly what is happening with your Instagram account at any given time.
Through this automated engagement and your continued refinement of your targeting options, you’ll find that you’ll more effectively market to loyal followers and prospects. Meteora is great for anyone who sells products on eBay, Shopify, Amazon, Etsy or any number of other online marketplaces.
By growing your fanbase, you grow your potential to earn more revenue, particularly by informing these new followers about your new products and deals.
Meteora offers three pricing plans depending on your level of need.
- The basic plan is $49 per month. It includes all engagement types and allows for targeting through locations and hashtags.
- You might opt for the $99 per month premium plan, which is geared more toward “serious social marketing professionals” who desire unlimited targets, event target, competitor targeting, follower nurturing and other advanced features.
- At the highest end is the $249 pro setup with direct message interactions, Google AI sentiment detection, and 1-on-1 target setup with an expert.
Get started today and you’ll be building more relationships and growing your sales in no time.
Sell More with Omnisend: Ecommerce Marketing Automation for Smart Marketers
Email marketing has withstood the test of time. While other marketing techniques and fads have come and gone, email has remained vigilant. It’s still far and away one of the most reliable and consistent ways to reach your current and potential customers, but generic email marketing platforms may no longer be enough for your business. As a smart marketer, you need a more robust and versatile solution, and that’s where Omnisend can elevate your email marketing to a whole other level.
Ecommerce Marketing Automation
Let’s be perfectly honest. The reason why you want to be able to reach out to your customers is that you want to drive sales. Brand recognition and site visits are enough. What can you do to actually boost sales figures and improve conversions?
With Omnisend, you gain access to “omnichannel tools for sales-driven marketers that have outgrown the generic email marketing platforms.” So, what does this actually mean? You still get the standard email marketing tools at your disposal, creating and distributing email newsletters to your subscribers, but Omnisend is designed specifically with sales in mind.
If you want to improve your sales figures, you must first gain an understanding of your customers’ shopping behavior. What are they actually doing when they’re on your e-commerce site? Where are the sticking points? Where are the lost opportunities that could be turned around? Omnisend helps you connect those dots with actionable data.
And remember that not all customers are going to be the same. It wouldn’t make sense if you put everyone through the exact same sales funnel. That’d be like trying to use a hammer where a screwdriver is needed. With Omnisend, you get flexible segmentation so that the the messages you send are much more relevant and targeted. Better personalization leads to higher engagement and better conversions. And Omnisend supports both SMS and email too.
Walking Through an A/B Test Campaign
You can use Omnisend to set up a fairly traditional email marketing campaign, pushing out newsletters to promote current offers and deals in your e-commerce store. The same is true with an SMS campaign. To take it just a smidge further, I tried to set up an A/B split test. Basically, this lets you send out two different versions of an email to see which one works the best.
After choosing the A/B test from the available options, I was shown this initial setup screen. You can see all the steps of the easy-to-follow wizard near the top. You can choose to perform a split test based on the email subject line or based on the sender’s name. You enter the corresponding information in the fields below.
As of this writing, there are five standard templates that you can use for your email message. Each of these is easily previewed before you select it.
Filling in the content and customizing the layout is performed through a straightforward WYSIWYG, drag-and-drop type editor. Click on any of the elements to customize them, like adding in your own images. In the case of a product listing, the product name, description, current price, and original price are filled out in the right sidebar rather than in the “live” preview on the left.
It only takes a minute or two to design a professional-looking email, complete with branding and a professional layout that looks great on both desktop and mobile. Here’s a quick mockup I put together with some filler text and images. Then, all you need to do is define your recipients, finalize your A/B settings, and send the email! It’s really, really easy to do.
Automation and Workflows
Perhaps one of the more powerful implementations you’ll find in Omnisend is the automation. These are then organized into workflows that you can customize to fit your particular situation. The welcome email is one of the most basic workflows, but you’ll find that something like the cart recovery workflow can be much more powerful.
You have the customer who visited your site, clearly expressed interest in product, and added the item to the cart, but then left without completing the sale. How can you recover that potential sale? With this automated workflow! The workflow is first triggered by the abandoned cart.
After a one-hour delay, the first email can be sent as a gentle reminder to see if they’re “still shopping.” If they don’t come back to complete the sale, a second email is sent 11 hours later as another reminder. After another 12 hours, a third email is sent with a bit more urgency, telling the customer that they should hurry as their cart “is about to expire.”
You can see exactly how many customers have entered the workflow, are currently in the workflow, and have exited the workflow at any given time. An “exit” is defined as making a purchase or receiving the final follow-up email.
Other workflows include an abandoned cart with just one email, browse abandonment, a 3-email welcome drip, and a birthday email, as well as the opportunity construct your own custom workflow.
With Omnisend, you naturally also have full access to launching new signup forms, reviewing and managing your list of subscribers, and going through all your reports to analyze your customer data. There’s also a live view so you can see who is visiting your website in real time and what they are doing there.
Free Demo, Free Trial, and Pricing Schemes
If you’d like to get a handle on how Omnisend could work for you, you can sign up for a free personal demo. This includes a 1-on-1 interaction where you can get a full product walkthrough, asking any specific questions you may have about Omnisend. If you’d rather take it for a spin yourself, there’s also the 14-day trial where you have access to all the benefits with no credit card required.
Once you do decide to sign up, you’ll find that the pricing schedule for Omnisend depends on the number of subscribers that you have. There’s also a 20% savings when you opt for annual billing rather than monthly billing.
Pricing starts at just $8 per month (when paying annually) for the standard plan with 500 subscribers. For reference, the equivalent standard plan for 1,000 subscribers, 2,500 subscribers, and 5,000 subscribers is $12/month, $24/month, and $40/month, respectively. There’s also the free plan (with limited features), and the pro plan (starting at $160/month) with more personalization and scale.
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