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Creating a following can be a daunting task. Here are six ways to stay engaged...or provoke engagement on social media.

Clients are always asking “how can I take better video with my phone?” or “how do I avoid the black bars on the sides of my videos?” and finally, “can you use this video for social media marketing?”  Of course we can – the question is if you want to pay for enhancements or just start off from the beginning with a good, high-quality video. Let’s be honest – phone capabilities today are wonderful! Many of the cameras in our phones are better than the DSLRs and professional cameras out there (like my Samsung S21 Ultra – 8k video? Yes please.) Let’s dive into using our phone like a pro.

#1 – Landscape capture.

Those two black bars on the sides of your video are unsightly and distracting. To avoid this, make sure you always record in landscape orientation and not portrait. What does that mean?
Keep your phone horizontal (my kindergarten teacher called this the hamburger way) instead of vertical (how you would normally hold it to text, make a call or swipe through Facebook.) Keeping your filming landscape captures more of the scene you are recording and is easier to view on your monitor, tablet or television.

#2 – To center or not to center.

Framing in your subject is another important trick. You can completely fill the “frame” or video with just your subject. You can also film them to the left a little or to the right – which can be dramatic and look cool.  Practice and go with what you prefer.  Your brand may be more professional and formal – thus you should film centered… And you may want to avoid filming with the garbage can in sight or a pile of boxes.

Concerned about shakiness or need to record yourself? Invest in a desktop tripod or one that extends to the floor. These are well worth the investment – and it may only cost you around $10!

#3 – Zooming in or out.

Zooming causes pixeling. You just learned how to make your video look more professional using the landscape method- but now by zooming in, it is getting real ugly… I mean grainy. Instead of pinching and zooming – you need to move. Yes, there are tools and methods for zooming using your phone, but it should be avoided. The person doing the filming should be the one to move. You’ll avoid that over pixeling and instead you’ll have a very crisp picture.

#4 – Lights, camera, action!

Does your subject look like they have jaundice or lasers coming from their eyes? Are they in a well lit space but the video makes it look dark? It’s their lighting. Smartphones have wonderful LED lights…that are not conducive to filming. ***Aside, since I wrote this phones have really made strides! Take a test shot – your new phone may not need as much lighting assistance than I’m offering.*** Try to find a well-lit room instead of using your flash.

One thing to keep in mind though when fiding a well-lit room is to have the window or light source be behind you and not your subject.

#5 – Editing.

Editing is a necessary evil but luckily you don’t need to be versed in the Adobe Suite to leave your mark.  There are apps for every phone (Android, Windows and iPhone) that will make your video look professional with trimming, transitions, titles and effects.

Remember to tell your subject “Chin up and smile!” because you are ready for basic filming!


Do you know who you are marketing to? Are you producing content that you like but that your page visitors say “meh” to? Stop. Knowing your exact target audience is crucial to saving time, money and conversations!

“When you speak to everyone, you speak to no one.” – Meredith Hill

Target audiences are your followers. They are your brand advocates, your influencers, your fan club. Making content that fits what they are looking for and need creates a win for everyone. You may close a deal faster, and they will be more empowered and listen to you for the answers! Knowing who they are, how they think and what they care about will help you two to connect better.

Here are four beginning steps to uncovering your target audience.

Perform some market research.
Execution of a target market research program doesn’t have to be overly expensive or time-consuming. Craft a simple questionnaire that seeks answers to some basic questions such as:

  • How is your product/company perceived vs. other options in the marketplace?
  • What are the most critical attributes your customers look for when considering a purchase?
  • What keeps your customers/prospects up at night?

The key is to seek thoughtful answers from the research participants to gain real insight and increase your marketing knowledge of your customer base.

Who do they care about?
Who influences them? People are putting more stock in those they know, not ads.

It has become standard knowledge that people are not responding to traditional ads. A Nielsen study from 2015 showed that the top four most-trusted sources of advertising were: people you know, branded sites, editorial sites, and reviews. People you know. Who are the influencers for your brand?

Communicate as they communicate!
Our audiences expect that organizations will interact with them in the ways they like. Communicating like our audiences and where they like to communicate is so important for marketers to be aware of their customers’ communication preferences. Social media? Print? Emails? Phone calls? Figure it out. Ask questions. Save your time and money and invest where they want to be communicated.

Do you know you?
What is your core offering to your audiences? Who benefits from what you have to offer? If you are unsure about what makes you great, that will significantly impact your message and how yours will stick out in their inbox, web crawl or from their friend’s recommendations.

There are so many tips, tricks, and methods for understanding your target audience. The above four are a good start. If you need help, contact us! We have more advise, resources and the industry experience to help you hone in on your ideal audience.


You’ve got a business, a product or service, and a small pipeline. An emphasis on small? Building that pipeline can be costly and take a lot of resources. Do you know which resources to put into play? What can you do internally or should you outsource? That’s the most common hurdle for startups, a new service or a new product. You need to know about the following four things. Once you’ve implemented the following, your pipeline will really grow!

We often thought of brands as simply the marketing collateral of a business: logos, slogans, and jingles. With the evolution of digital marketing, branding has evolved to include characteristics that people associate with business. In short, a core concept of branding is delivering messages about who your company is and what it does.

Effective branding is comprised of four different traits: consumer confidence, loyalty and recognition, and differentiating from the pack.

Consumer confidence regarding a brand occurs when you have a great slogan that people can immediately associate with what to expect from working with or buying from you.

Once a customer has had a positive experience with your business, it is much more likely that the next time they need a similar product or service, they will remember your brand and return to your business rather than try another one. This “brand loyalty” helps you develop lifetime customers. Making an impact in the minds of consumers early on, through something such as effective content marketing, can set your business up for a longterm relationship.

Finally, setting yourself apart from your competitors is a component of a stong developed brand. Consider differences in quality, customer service, price, and similarities; then capitalize on the components of what makes your business uniquely yours. Consider all of these pieces and more concerning your target audience and how they will make decisions to spend time and money with you.

A fabulous website is an online expression of your image, persona, and brand so that it accurately reflects your company in a way that helps your audience understand what you do. In today’s digital landscape, businesses without a website are not seen as very credible and may have something to hide.

Once you have a website, not updating it for months at a time is a typical content mistake and could lead potential customers to wonder if you’re still around or relevant.

Consumers look online for information that will help them make smarter purchasing decisions. According to the eCommerce Foundation, 88% of consumers will research a product or service’s information before they make a purchase online or in the store. This buying behavior trend emphasizes the importance of a website for today’s businesses.

By having an online presence via a website, you are able to reach more customers and develop stronger buying relationships. A website through doesn’t immediately close a deal. It will, however, help to nurture a sale, and through implementing search engine optimization of your website, you can improve your chances of bringing in more qualified leads who are more likely to quickly make a purchase.

Search Engine Optimization, SEO, is like a foreign language to most. For 2019 there are many trends, but five lead the way. SEO should not be left to an amateur, but you don’t have to be an expert either. In 2019, VLC will be focusing on the following for web clients.

Mobile-first indexing | In a nutshell, mobile-first indexing means Google will use the mobile version of a page for indexing and ranking. This isn’t to say indexing will be for mobile only, it just means this will be the first direction given to Google.

Page Speed | Also a hot trend with mobile load speeds coming first, then your desktop site. This trend was popular in 2018 but will be crucial for your success in 2019.

Increase Brand Mentions | Google uses backlinks, social mentions, and conversations and reverse engineering competitors’ SEO, Google rewards organizations who have brand relevancy and influence!

This isn’t all-encompassing, but it is a start. We have things like Amazon Search and GDPR to learn and implement too!

Digital Marketing
Artificial intelligence is all the rage right now. There are many different avenues to integrate it into with your digital marketing efforts. These avenues include messenger bots (we love these), search engine performance, and content creation!

We are using AI to buy ad space digitally, which puts your ad in front of the right customer at the right time for the right purchase.

Other digital marketing efforts include voice search, video marketing, social marketing, email marketing and more! There is so much to go around – let’s schedule a conversation and make a great 2019 plan together.

Visit Shout Your Name to learn more


Contact VLC!

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Know when to Fold ’em. | Customer Acquisition Cost Blog Post

Customer Acquisition Cost is a company’s total sales/profits and marketing cost required to gain a new customer. This number should include all program and marketing spend, salaries, commissions, bonuses, and overhead linked with attracting new customers.

We want to see our business web pages high ranking on search engines. We are doing a lot of keyword research, URL structuring, and create great content…. All to lower our Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) and build an audience. Now, below is all outside of traditional marketing. It will reflect our marketing efforts, our content marketing efforts, and help us to create SEO friendly websites and content.

The Formula

Knowing your period, i.e., month, quarter or year, which you’d like to calculate.

Divide the total marketing and sales spend by the number of new customers acquired during that period.

LTV to CAC Ratio

Another metric to calculate and analyze, often more so than the CAV, is the customer lifetime value (LTV).

LTV is the predicted revenue one customer will generate throughout their relationship with your company.

To calculate LTV, you’ll need quite a bit more information to plug into your formula:

Average purchase value:  Divide your company’s total revenue in a period (one year) by the number of purchases/conversions for that same year.

Average purchase frequency:  Divide the number of purchases for the same year (APV) by the number of unique/new customers in that same period.

Customer value: Multiply the average purchase by the average purchase frequency.

Average customer lifespan: This is the average number of years a customer regularly buys from your company.

Lifetime Value:  Multiply the customer value by the average customer lifespan. This equates to the revenue you could on paper (NOT A PROMISE) attain through this customer’s relationship with you.

Your CAC is how much it costs you to acquire a new customer. It should only take you about a year to recoup or see ROI on this cost. Your LTV should be three times higher than the CAC.


We all know industries vary based on various factors. These factors could be:

  • Length of sales cycle
  • Purchase value
  • Purchase frequency
  • Customer lifespan
  • Company maturity

Comparing to industry standards gives us a good gauge of effectiveness. According to Propeller and Entrepreneur, here are some good numbers to compare against:

  • Travel: $7
  • Retail: $10
  • Consumer Goods: $22
  • Manufacturing: $83
  • Transportation: $98
  • Marketing Agency: $141
  • Financial: $175
  • Technology (Hardware): $182
  • Real Estate: $213
  • Banking/Insurance: $303
  • Telecom: $315
  • Technology (Software): $395

Ways to improve your CAC or LTV:

  • Make it easy for your customers to purchase from you. Optimize your site for mobile, optimize for ADA, test your web copy to make it legible and easily understood. It also needs to be easily understood by recommended engines like Google. Are you creating content like case studies, video content, and more; all while incorporating meta descriptions, internal linking all that appeals to your target audience? This is where a good content marketing strategy comes into play.
  • Add value to your customer’s experience. If they give you feedback, address it! Complementary product or service offerings are a great hook too!
  • Customer referral program.  Reward your brand ambassadors. They are providing you with warm leads for $0 by you! Build one that your customers will want to participate in.
  • Are there efficiencies missing from your sales cycle? Could you be tracking your luke warm leads better?

You know you are doing this well when you start with a high number and see a gradual decline. This isn’t just for ROI, but it is a valuable sign of your sales, marketing, and your loyalty/customer service.

Want more ideas? Need a strategy? Or, is your CAC too high? Get in contact with VLC now.


As a virtual reality agency, we’re frequently the client’s first point of contact when they are looking to create interactive digital experiences to engage their customers. We often field client questions about the difference between 360° photos, 360° video, 3D content, virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality. Providing concrete definitions for these terms presents a challenge as the terms themselves have not been standardized and are often used interchangeably, even within the VR/AR industry.

All the interactive technologies listed above are similar in that they are user-driven digital experiences. With traditional digital media, pressing play initiates a directed experience that is essentially the same every time it is consumed. The fundamental difference between traditional digital media and interactive media technologies is that with interactive technologies, individuals have choices to make. On the surface, this may seem like a trivial difference, but it results in a fundamentally different user experience. With interactive media, choices as simple as the viewer deciding whether to look left or right mean an interactive experience has incredible potential for presenting the same media providing the same viewer with a novel experience many times over.

Lets first consider 360° photos, 360° video, and 3D content. It’s a common misconception that all of these types of media are three-dimensional content. However, the vast majority of 360° photos and 360° video are actually two dimensional… they are captured with a single viewpoint which results in your viewable area being a digital “sphere” of media. You can look up, down, left and right, but there is no element of depth to the content. If you have navigated Google Street View or watched a Facebook 360° video, you have interacted with 360° content.

3D content literally adds another dimension to the experience. Types of 3D content include stereoscopic 360° media, where multiple cameras mimic the position of the viewer’s eyes, providing a true sense of depth within a 360° scene. Consider stereoscopic 360° panoramas as 3D “lite” in that a sense of depth is achieved, but there is still limited mobility within a scene. True 3D navigation is achieved when a viewer has six degrees of freedom with how they navigate content. The six degrees of freedom include: left/right, up/down, forward/backward, roll, pitch, and yaw. If this sounds a bit like a flight simulator, then your mind is on the right track with how you are understanding 3D spaces.

3D content is not limited to navigable digital spaces. Digital objects may also be viewed in three dimensions. 3D digital objects are a little more difficult to conceptualize as most people have only interacted with 3D objects and 3D spaces on a 2D computer screen.

Next, let’s consider virtual, augmented, and mixed reality. Attempting to think of these technologies as types of media often results in confusion… perhaps a better way to think of them is that they are ways in which both interactive media (360° and 3D content) and traditional media (standard video, photos, etc.) can be consumed.

Virtual Reality (VR) is an experience that replaces your real world with a virtual one… you are entirely removed from your reality, and immersed in a new digital world that you can interact with. By transcending time and geography, VR has great potential to provide viewers with a glimpse inside an experience far removed from their current location. Imagine sampling your Hawaii vacation before you book the trip, or taking a factory tour before deciding to import a product. These are some of the problems VR technologies can help solve.

Augmented Reality (AR) is an entirely different experience than VR. With Augmented Reality, you stay present in your world, and your environment around you is supplemented, or augmented with digital information. Imagine a world in which you walk down the street holding up your phone and you are presented with digital information based on your location and what your camera observes. This could be a video notifying you of a sale at your favorite store, a digital walking path you can follow, or an opportunity to learn more about a product simply by looking at it. At its core, AR enhances the experience you have in your existing world by overlaying relevant digital information.

Mixed Reality (MR) is an enhanced form of Augmented Reality. Similar to AR, your real world is supplemented with digital information, but with Mixed Reality, the digital information you observe is in a form that is responsive to both you and the real world around you. Mixed reality applications would allow you to do things like stage your living room with digital furniture, enable a doctor to view a holographic reconstruction of a surgical procedure or allow a mechanic to consult an interactive holographic tutorial showing which bolt needs to be removed next.

Applications for 360° imagery, 3D content, and VR, AR and MR are exciting to consider, especially considering the interactive media industry is just beginning to evolve. Hopefully, this brief summary has provided a bit of clarity regarding the nuances of these technologies and their applications that has piqued your curiosity and encouraged you to want to learn more.

Matt Chaussee
CEO – Be More Colorful, LLC


Contact VLC today to learn more or incorporate your next level of experience today!


Where will 2019 take us? What are we preparing for and how will we get there?  All big, loaded questions to tackle when thinking about next steps and growth.

In the year 2000… okay, we are well past 2000. Let’s sync quickly over where your content lives and how we can best use our knowledge to grow our businesses.

Content Over Ads

In 2015, Nielsen reported that the most trusted sources of advertising were:

  • People you know and trust
  • Branded sites
  • Editorial sites
  • Reviews on products and services

Ads were ranked towards the bottom.

Ad blockers are popping up everywhere, meaning that your paid-for ads are not getting the traction they could be. There is still a time and place for ads, but they need to be more personable and more valuable to your audience.

Your time and dollars now need to be redirected, more than ever, to content strategy, influencers helping your marketing, referrals, and valuable channels.

Create OUTSTANDING Content, Not Just Good Content

All too often I sit in seminars that tell me that digital and web-based newsletters and the information is the way to go. Wrong. My mailbox is empty most days when I get home (except during political season, but I’ve looked at every single piece of political mail in there!) but my inbox is full.  I am more apt to look at my hardcopy, paper mail than I am my email inbox. In March of 2016, the USPS released their USPS Mail Moments and in short, millennials love getting mail! 84% of millennials take the time to look through their mail pieces and 64% would rather scan their mailbox than their inbox.

This isn’t to say throw digital marketing to the wayside, this is to simply say that it may be wise to invest in a printed newsletter or letter.  Think about your audience and the greatest value.  If your audiences are willing to give you their information, think about how best to use it.

Being helpful and authentic ads to your audience experience. So does knowing where they are looking and how to get in front of them. Need help brainstorming? Wondering what to do next? Reach out to VLC Fargo. We’ll help!

1 (701) 353-5496
Virtuoso Leidholm Consulting, LLC.

As a professional consultive marketing company, Virtuoso Leidholm Consulting is dedicated to producing the greatest product and service possible. We embrace  and encourage creativity in every aspect of business while ensuring the highest quality.

Virtuoso Leidholm Consulting

As a professional consultive marketing company, Virtuoso Leidholm Consulting is dedicated to producing the greatest product and service possible. We embrace  and encourage creativity in every aspect of business while ensuring the highest quality.

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