Building Reliable Traffic Through Content With Victor From HiFly Photography
We recently sat down with Victor Montalvo from Hifly Photography to find out how they built a stable traffic flow. In our interview, we discovered how they took a slower marketing route to ensure a strong organic audience. They also shared some tips on content marketing and why feedback is essential. Enjoy these actionable insights from Hifly Photography.
How HiFly Photography Got Started
What HiFly ended up being is not what it started out as. We didn’t so much “come up with” the idea for HiFly as we identified a problem and worked towards offering the best solution for it. Which lead us down a winding road with many pivots.
The “gauging interest” stage was entirely made up of cold calling and door knocking. We basically did anything we could to get in front of our target audience. Looking back, building HiFly has been a cycle of:
At the end of the day what makes a business successful or not is the client base. The most important thing any business can do is listen to their target consumer.
Our process to find our ideal customer started in theory. Then it became refined with customer feedback and analysis of our sales process. We started with the drone applications we knew existed and reached out to customers we believed could benefit from the service.
After working with various customers we’ve been able to use feedback and our experiences to recognize what criteria our ideal customer meets.
Bootstrapping Their Marketing
From the outset, HiFly Photography was completely bootstrapped. The idea has always been to scale the business in such a way that our costs don’t scale proportionally. With this in mind, we stayed away from paid marketing because we saw it as a temporary solution. If you build a business completely reliant on paid marketing the moment you stop your paid campaigns you also stop getting traffic and leads. The only way to scale that kind of business is to spend more money.
As a two man operation, we had to be very strategic about how we invested our time which led us to content marketing and SEO. It seems counterintuitive to pursue the more time-consuming option. But, in the long run, creating value and organic traffic is the safest way to grow a business.
Now we don’t have to worry about managing paid campaigns to get all of our business. Instead, we can set them up only when we want to and can afford to be more strategic with our implementation.
How They Get Traffic
SEO is a cumulative strategy so optimizing content distribution for SEO is not that complicated. If we’re releasing content on our site we make sure we use internal links and keywords where possible.
The most important part of releasing new content is sharing it. Make sure you have an easy way for visitors to share your content. It’s just as important as reaching out to influencers to get your content shared.
My best tip for building an organic presence is just to participate and create value. When you create content whether it be a video, a blog post, or even a comment… give it your all.
It is within human nature to be drawn towards higher quality things and that includes information. Spending 10 more minutes revising your next blog post could be the difference between a like and a share. Paying a professional drone operator the extra $500 to create a video for you instead of using an amateur could be the difference between 10,000 views and 100,000 views.
The one other thing I would recommend is to take the time to understand the community you are trying to reach.
If you sell cupcakes you may really want to release an article about “10 best cupcakes I sell”. If you create this content without understanding your audience you may completely miss the mark. The community may care more about “5 easy cupcakes to make” or “5 common baking mistakes and how to avoid them”. When creating content think about the customer first and your business second, not the other way around.
Their Video Strategy
This video was shot for Long&Foster, the largest privately owned real estate brokerage in the US. They ran a few campaigns with the video, sharing it across multiple channels of social media. It successfully attracted people to lease open space in their building and boosted their brand recognition.
My Best Video Marketing Strategy:
- Know your target audience and your goal in detail and know how to explain it
- Invest in a quality video. The quality of your video will determine engagement
- Keep the video between 30-90 seconds or you will lose people’s attention
- If using overlay text, use it sparingly. Overlaid text should never be longer than a headline and there should be frames of video in between.
- End the video with your branding. Most videos are shared with other content. So when the video pauses on the last frame your branding will be seen longer.
- Share your video everywhere. Take advantage of social media targeting algorithms and influencer networks. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc… View count is all about how much exposure you can get your video.
What Didn’t Work And How They Pivoted
Marketing campaigns that went wrong for us were the first few times we tried SEM and SMM. The first few times we ran test campaigns we were sending traffic to our homepage. We hoped they’d convert and tried creating campaigns that would work for anyone looking to hire a drone regardless of the service. This was a resounding failure.
Since then we have gained a deeper understanding of the principles behind both SEM and SMM. Now we’re a lot more strategic about who we target, how we target them, and how we set up the campaign’s UX to increase the odds of conversion.
What They Did To Scale
Measuring and scaling our efforts has been largely reliant on website data and customer feedback. We closely track customer interactions with our site. From point of origin to how they interacted with our business and finally how they converted.
Since most of our efforts have been focused on organic online growth we’ve been able to leverage data on user flow to see what is working and what isn’t. When we get a new source of traffic we’re not just looking at volume but also relevancy and other factors that help us categorize a campaign.
Customer feedback has also been huge in measuring our efforts. since one raving fan can do more for your business’ exposure than 5 happy customers. Scaling our efforts has just been a matter of time management and doing more of the right things.
How They Built Long Term Customer Value
Our tactics for building long term customers are creating value and putting a large emphasis on UX. Placing emphasis on UX helps build customer value because it raises the value of your product and it increases the lifespan of a customer. When an end-user judges the quality of a product the foremost elements on their mind is utility and convenience.
By putting a strong focus on UX you’ll see how your product development will naturally progress towards a more complete solution of whatever problem your business solves.
An example of this is the process that used when going from MVP to the complete product. The MVP has basic utility and solves the problem in the most basic (minimum viable) way for a lower price. The complete product is the result and has a greater value. This progression occurs naturally when focusing on UX.
The other way it builds long-term customer value is by increasing customer retention. The most common, and most avoidable, lost customer is the unsatisfied customer. People that are without problems don’t look for solutions. As long as you’re able to deliver a problem-free product/service they’ll not be looking to replace you.
Bottom line, every business offers a solution to a problem. The difference between one business and another is how they are able to solve that problem. As long as you’re able to improve your customer’s experience at a faster rate than your competition you will retain your clients.
HiFly Photography offers drone services worldwide. Producing footage for real estate, construction, marketing and more HiFly brings the convenience of eCommerce to drone photography. Follow our simple process to submit a drone photography request, have the shoot scheduled and receive your footage all from the comfort of your home or office in a few days. Our support team is on call around the clock if you ever need assistance. Visit HiFly Photography, or shoot us an email.