How to Make Videos Using Adobe Spark

How to Make Videos Using Adobe Spark

This week I would like to offer a tutorial on how to create amazing videos, for whatever your purposes might be [not just social media marketing] using Adobe Spark.

Adobe Spark is an online platform for creating imagery and videos. I’ve been using it now for about a year and absolutely LOVE what I can create there.

Last December I hosted a 30 Day Creativity Challenge and at least half of what I taught and created came from Spark. If you are not using it yet, I highly recommend giving it a try.

Here is my step by step tutorial on how to make a video…

Mari Smith raves all about Adobe on her blog too, check that out here! If you don’t know who Mari Smith is, she’s been one of my mentors since the day I began my business, possibly even before that, and is known as THE Facebook Queen!

Some of my favourite features about Spark are:

  • the resize feature [this is for images, not videos]
  • adding really fun and interesting music to your videos OR being able to add your own
  • being able to voice-over while creating your video, right inside of the platform
  • These are just three random favourites about Spark. There are SO many more!

    I’ve got to say, there is only ONE thing I wish Spark would add, and that is the option to overlay a logo imagine. If this is possible, I haven’t yet discovered a way to do it easily. Because I think it’s important to brand as many social images [for myself and for my clients] as possible, what I often to is create the image in Spark then upload that into Canva and brand it there. I know it sounds labour-intensive, but it really is worth the extra minute or two it may take.

    As far as videos go however [which is the MAIN topic of this blog] I have NO complaints! I love the way they turn out and feel like I’m providing a great product on the outset.

    Here’s an example of one of my most recent ones…note the voiceover as well as the background music.

    I made this in under ten minutes! Adobe Spark gives social and online marketers everywhere the chance to uplevel their game with this awesome tool!

    Instagram Update February 2017

    Latest Instagram Update February 2017

    Hello my friends of the internet, today I’m going over the latest update major update for Instagram.

    If you are not using Instagram yet to market your business I strongly strongly recommend you start to, or, up your game on this great social network. There are so many things that set Instagram apart from the other big social networks, this latest update being just ONE thing; engagement is strong and reach is great! I LOVE the Instagram analytics system as well. Here is a great Instagram guide, if you don’t have one yet. This is not mine, but one by one of my mentors; Sue B. Zimmerman…she is THE Instagram Expert!

    Some interesting stats for the marketers out there:

    By 2017, 70.7 percent of U.S. companies will use Instagram for marketing, edging out Twitter for the first time

    60% of the top brands on Instagram use a consistent filter [I know I do]

    75% of Instagram users take action, such as visiting a website, after looking at an Instagram advertising post

    Posts with at least one hashtag average 12.6% more engagement

    …you get the idea. I’m a HUGE fan of Instagram.

    That being said, here is this week’s video all about the latest update to Instagram, which happened last month:

    As an added bonus to this blog, my friend Simon created this great tutorial on how to use Canva for Instagram stories! This is the exact method I used for this…

    Comment below how you think you will use this new Instagram update? I’d love to see, and even share, your content!

    How to Cross Post the Right Way on Social Media

    How to Cross Post the Right Way

    Today we’re talking how to cross post the right way on social media. This is one of my biggest pet peeves … and of course is entirely subjective. My goal is to help Make Sense of Social Media for you though, so this is what I know to be true about cross posting and promoting.

    What I mean when I say cross posting on social media is, taking the same piece of content [i.e. blog post, video, quote image] and sharing it onto your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. [easily done through HootSuite…but beware]. Cross posting is in itself a very wise habit to create and or maintain, however, if you do it wrong and without a strategy you really risk damaging your social media reputation and potentially losing fans and followers.

    Having LOTS of followers is no longer the ONLY thing that is imperative to successful social media marketing; in fact, I wonder how ultimately important the numbers really are anymore. What DOES matter is where those numbers are coming from; targeting your ideal audience and ensuring THEY are seeing your content. That is what matters most; and cross posting can help you to this end, but only if you do it the right way.

    Here is an example of what bugs me the most, as I started off this blog post by saying this was one of my biggest pet peeves …

    How to Cross Post on Social Media the Right Way

    This is a Tweet by a reputable hotel company, local to  me; so let’s examine it, shall we?

    First of all, the text itself indicates that not much thought has gone into who will be reading this Tweet. “Always a fun time” … where, when, over what, with who? What does this even mean? Lots of things are a fun time; there is no way for me to even remotely grasp what they are talking about. When describing something in a social media post, even if that is a link, ensure that the text on it’s own makes sense, as the likelihood of your link being clicked, ANY link, is very slim.

    Second of all, this Twitter account is assuming that I will click that obvious Facebook link to discover what this fun time is about. What if I don’t care to, or feel like it? Chances are HIGH, to anyone who uses Twitter regularly, that they know this is a Facebook link and will potentially feel miffed or put off that the content creator is not creating content that is Twitter exclusive [or even relevant].

    You may be thinking now, “but Lorri, cross posting effectively sounds like it takes more time and effort”, and you would be right. However, the long term gain from approaching this from a “who is reading my content” as opposed to “what do I want to say” standpoint is great, and worth the effort.

    When you DO create great content on a daily or weekly basis, ensure that the scheduled posts [or unscheduled for that matter] are PER platform. Here are some pro tips for you:

    • use different visuals per platform; size them accordingly
    • use different hashtags per platform
    • use different descriptions per platform
    • learn what it takes, per platform, to keep your audience engaged

    You may, in the beginning of this practice, spend a bit more time creating your posts to set this up properly, but in the end your readers and fans will KNOW you have laid out your content for THEM and not just a random “butter spread too thin on toast” approach of having your content potentially seen.

    Just about every single time I see a fb.me/******** post on Twitter I scroll right on past for I KNOW that the content creator simply  has a rule set up to Tweet every time a Facebook update is posted. Not all posts are created equally.

    As a side note; I am by no means perfect, as I often post my Instagram pictures to my Twitter account, however, I ensure that the description, to the best of my ability, is still something that my Twitter followers want to engage with.

    Know your audience, PER PLATFORM, know what they need and serve them the best you can. THAT is how you cross post on social media, the RIGHT way!

    How to Succeed with Online Marketing in 2017

    How to Succeed with Online Marketing in 2017

    Hello my wonderful friends of the internet today we’re going to talk about what trumps, sorry (currently I’m not a particular fan of that word), everything in marketing! And yes, I mean absolutely everything. My friends, if you want to market your product or service or goods or program or store or anything…if you want to sell stuff using online methods like social media and online marketing tools available today, this one thing outmaneuvers everything!

    What you need to do in order to truly succeed with online marketing, whether that be using social media, whether that be using whatever amazing things there are online for us to use to sell our products and our services. All of these tools and resources are great but if you don’t sincerely genuinely authentically show PASSION, show ENTHUSIASM, show VULNERABILITY for the process or the product or what the product or service does for you in your life or how it has changed the lives of your clients or customers; if that level of transparency isn’t obvious than I am sorry to tell you, your road is a lot longer than most people.

    See the thing is, marketing in 2017 and moving forward is going to be more and more and more about telling the story, about being vulnerable, about showing what it’s doing for you in your life or that of your client or customer. Billboard saying buy my stuff because it’s awesome, buy my stuff because I said so, buy my product because…just because it just doesn’t work like that anymore. My friends of the internet if you want to see actual results you need to put yourself out there in a way that is truly authentic, truly passionate, truly enthusiastic and truly vulnerable.

    I was talking on my Snapchat story just the other day about a real disappointment I had recently. It was my first speaking engagement of the year and I was so excited! I was so ready for it, I prepped for hours and hours and hours, it was in this in a city over an hour away as well. This is a big deal! Well, one person showed up. Needless to say I was disappointed. What made it all worthwhile was in my private messages on Snapchat after I had shared this story; one of them said and I quote “Howard Schultz, Starbucks owner, was turned down 242 times before someone invested. I love that you document when things don’t go as expected, this is important for people to see.” That message all by itself was worth everything, was worth all the effort. Did I make a sale? No. Did I impact that one person who attended? I may have, as of the moment of writing this blog post I don’t know. BUT by me putting myself out there, sharing my everything that day, I impacted my Snapchat family, I impacted my Instagram live family and now hopefully I am impacting my YouTube family and those that are seeing it on Facebook and on the internet.

    So my message today is, over and above everything, if you want to market successfully, be passionate, enthusiastic and vulnerable. You cannot go wrong with that!

    Of course I’m here to tell you how super passionate I am about my Gen X Social program! If you have not yet checked it out please do so! This link will bring you to more information. Gen X Social is a specially created social media training program for the Gen Xer and the Baby Boomer…that 50-plus crowd that needs just a little bit of added help for their social media. Whether it be for personal use or business use it really doesn’t matter, there’s great information on this program for both of those usage types.

    Gen X Social Report

    Snapchat How To’s for 2017

    snapchat how to's for 2017

    Today we’re going to talk about snapchat and some recent updates. There have been some updates to Snapchat and there were a few people [in my circles] who felt lost and asked me to please make a video, so I said sure.

    Some of the updates include:

    • A change to the “ghost” and where you find your settings
    • Discovery has some slight changes
    • Chat groups (I don’t really talk much about that, but refer to this video and you’ll learn lots there!)

    So… [my video transcript for those that can’t watch the video]

    “…right here when you tap on my bitmoji face that’s the new version of what used to be the ghost in the middle. I’m just going to tap on my face [which is weird] and here you come to the main settings screen. So as you can see you can edit your bitmoji now right from this place, which I don’t want to at the moment. The main settings are still at the gear wheel [top right corner]. Here’s something not a lot of people know about and that’s clearing cache function. You can see I’ve scrolled right down to the bottom to get to it. A lot of people have memory card issues using Snapchat so when you clear the cache that just clears out some of the stuff that’s being held in your memory that you don’t necessarily need anymore. That’s one of the biggest changes, this bitmoji here on the left as opposed to the ghost that used to be in the middle. I’m just going to take my stylus here and swipe right and those are the messages, that hasn’t changed, and swiping to the left here’s your stories, and then discovery is one step further. So that’s changed a little bit. Somebody asked me how to send a picture or a video here in chat so I’m just going to click on the big record button, I’m not going to actually send anything, but I’m going to click on my friends Andrew and Pete and all you do is tap on the little icon that shows a picture, here in the bottom left, and then your photo gallery opens up. You can simply tap on that icon and you would hit this little send button here in the bottom and send. If you want to send a video simply tap on the record button here in the middle and then just hit record like normal, you get a 10-second window of opportunity to say something in private that you would like to say and then hit send. I’m not going to this is just for example purposes only. This is the main screen, that hasn’t changed, swiping right, here are my messages, swipe left are your stories and your discovery. The only real difference is that the bitmoji icon is now how you get to your main settings…”

    Do you use snapchat? If we are not yet connected go ahead and connect; my snapchat username is lorriratzlaff. I’d love to see what you are up to! I do love to tell my daily stories on Snapchat; it’s different than everywhere else too, so you might be missing out on some juicy details! You’ll never know until you come and watch!

    Should you be 50 and older and in need of some social media help remember that Gen X Social is now live! I would love to see you over there! The link is right here. Gen X Social is a specially made social media training and mentorship program for the Gen Xers and the Baby Boomers of the world; so if it is not you, perhaps it is somebody that you know that needs that extra special attention. Gen X Social is already reaching out to people across N. America and has reached Italy as well! Soon, the world!

    I’m looking forward to seeing you on Snapchat, and do let me know in the comments below if you have any further questions.