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Judge overturns Trump border rule requiring immigrants to first claim asylum in another country Thousands of Your Favorite Fast Food Locations Could Close Seeing is Believing: The Power Of Short-Targeted Videos (And How You Can Make It Work For Your Business)

Laziness is on the rise.  

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We would rather watch than read; we would rather listen than watch.

According to WordStream, 59% of executives say they would rather watch a video than read text.  

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We are impatient. We want to consume information in the fastest possible way. In fact, even when we are consuming videos, we want to understand the point of the content as quickly as possible.  

If you’re anything like me, the first thing you probably do is look at the duration of a video before pressing play. The duration plays a big part psychologically in your decision-making process as to whether you should allocate time and attention to this new content that has been placed in your path.   

For me, if its under one minute long, I am always happy to watch; between 1-2 minutes, there is a strong chance of me watching; 2-3 minutes and the decision is not as easy, I need to be really interested in the topic to hit the play button; and anything over 3 minutes just automatically gets skipped.   

Does this sound like you? Well it seems its true for most people, as AdAge reported that 33% of viewers will stop watching a video after 30 seconds, 45% by one minute, and 60% by two minutes.   

You may not be surprised to hear that Instagram recently shared that the videos that perform the best on the social media platform are only 26 seconds long! Linkedin similarly have suggested that 30 seconds to 1 minute work best.  Meanwhile Facebook promotes a three-minute duration for the best organic results on the platform, and I have recently heard that even YouTube optimum duration has dropped to 6-8 minutes.  

Why am I sharing this? For entrepreneurs and business owners, if you are trying to reach your audience during this challenging time, you need to embrace the power of video.  Specifically, the power of short-targeted videos.  

Related: Recession-Proof Marketing: Five Tips For Your Business To Ride The Tsunami Caused By The COVID-19 Crisis

There is a significantly higher chance of your customers watching your video content than there is of them responding to your emails, letters, proposals, or even reading information on your websites and blogs. So, what types of videos are working in “the new normal”? Here’s a primer: 

1. Messages from the CEO and department heads This is the perfect time to instill confidence in you and your business. Whether you are a CEO or a department head, being visible sharing knowledge or information and positioning yourself as a thought leader can have a big impact on your business. For starters, viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video, compared to 10% when reading it in text (as per Insivia), so your message is already more memorable, and, in addition, creating video helps you stand out and keep you top of mind. Not to mention that it introduces the personal, emotional aspect to your business. Your customers get to see and hear the people behind the brand, which can connect with them in a whole new way. 

2. Share your new products and services It is far easier to explain what a new product or a service is by showing your audience. Use video to really show your customers what the product or service is. How can it be demonstrated or illustrated to ensure that the message is communicated clearly? Perhaps you can show a “before and after”? Or even a “how-to” demonstration of use? If you are in the service industry, consider case studies and testimonials to help really explain the benefits of the new service. 72% of customers would rather learn about a product or service by way of video (as per Hubspot), so this could be a game changer for conversions. 

3. Reassure customers that you are following precautions and new safety measures In the current situation, people are more apprehensive and unsure in general. Using video to reassure your customers that you are following all the new precautions and safety measures can go a long way to them feeling comfortable enough to order or buy. What changes have you had to make in recent months? Have you introduced new sanitization measures? Can this be something that is filmed and showcased? Have you implemented social distancing in your outlets and offices? Perhaps showing efficient operations with all the measures in place can be the tipping point for a customer to contact you. 

Related: Your One-Step Guide To Drive Experiential Marketing In 2020

Now that you have created your videos, what do you do with them? 

1. Share videos on social media. Online content consumption is at an all time high given recent events. Stand out from the crowd and your competitors, and stay top of mind with your audience. According to Hubspot, social media posts with video have 48% more views.  LinkedIn have also reported that video campaigns have 50% view rates. 

2. Share videos in your emails. Even using the word “video” in your subject heading has proven to have higher open rates- and adding a video to your emails can increase click rates by 300%! (Hubspot) 

3. Share videos on WhatsApp groups. The SMS-based platform has more users than Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest combined. Like me, you are probably a member of far too many WhatsApp groups, so perhaps it’s time to leverage them and share your video content. More than 73% of Saudi Arabia's population are active WhatsApp users. (Media Kix), and there is a 70% chance of your WhatsApp being opened, so it makes sense to leverage your groups. 

The numbers say it all. Audiences are online, and they are watching video. So, if you have not jumped on the video bandwagon yet, what have you got to lose? The time to start is now! 

Related: From Consumer To Creator: Three Reasons Why Now Is The Best Time To Double Down On Your Video Marketing Plan

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It's Not Just the Presidency: Trump Is Changing the Congress

By LISA MASCARO, AP Congressional Correspondent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump isn’t just changing the presidency during his first term in office. He’s also changing Congress.

More than perhaps any president in modern history, Trump has been willing to ignore, defy and toy with the legislative branch, asserting power and breaking norms in ways his predecessors would hardly dare.

Republicans shrug it off as Trump being Trump, leaving Democrats almost alone to object. While the Democratic-run House took the extraordinary step of impeaching the president, the GOP-controlled Senate acquitted. Over time, there's been a noticeable imbalance of power, a president with few restraints drifting toward what the founders warned against.

Think of it as "the incredible shrinkage” of Congress, said historian Douglas Brinkley.

“It’s created this massive void in our democracy,” Brinkley told The Associated Press.

As Trump seeks reelection with the country facing crises unseen in a lifetime, Congress is confronting questions about its ability to shape the direction and future of the nation.

This week, the Supreme Court weighed in, acknowledging the “clash between rival branches of government” over Trump’s financial records. Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the majority to return the case to lower courts, said that while the subpoenas for the documents were broad, the president went too far in claiming virtual immunity from congressional oversight.

"What was at stake is, is the president above the law?" said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., taking the ruling as a win for her end of Pennsylvania Avenue.

The erosion has taken place in ways large and small.

First, Trump took money for his promised border wall with Mexico without lawmaker approval, circumventing Congress’s bedrock power over spending. Then he began to fill top posts with officials who did not have the support of senators, negating their role to advise and consent on nominees.

And when the House launched probes that led to impeachment — the ultimate check on the executive — Trump refused to comply with subpoenas, declaring them invalid. The courts are now left to decide.

Presidents have almost always reached to grab power. Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation to free enslaved people. Barack Obama issued executive actions on immigration when Congress wouldn't comply.

But typically presidents only go so far, knowing Congress is eyeing their every move, ready and willing to intervene. The executive knows they may soon need votes from lawmakers on other matters, creating a need for cooperation.

Trump rejects that model outright, treating the Congress as support staff to his presidency and relying on sheer force of personality to shape the government to his will. A simple Trump tweet can cower critics and reward loyalists all the same. His power only grows as lawmakers, particularly Senate Republicans, stay silent.

The result is a an exhaustive, head-spinning era that’s turning Capitol Hill into a spectator stand of those watching, reacting and shaking a fist as their institutional prerogative is slipping away.

“There’s a deeper institutional question,” said Sen. Angus King, the independent from Maine. “The Congress is abdicating its responsibilities to the executive.”

The singular challenge to Trump comes from Pelosi, a seasoned legislator who captured the Democratic majority after Trump’s first two years in large part because voters longed for a check on his power. In the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has taken a different tack, working with the Republican president or at times around him as GOP senators avoid direct confrontations.

“Congress is evolving,” said Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., once a Trump rival for the White House.

Rubio acknowledges the Congress is a different place than when he arrived a decade ago on the tea party wave. He wishes, at times, that Congress would be more assertive.

“America is going through a transformational moment, as we have many times in our history,” he said. He notes that lawmakers still join forces, including on his legislation on human rights in Hong Kong. “It’s easy to watch what is happening here today and think these are the worst times in congressional history. That’s not accurate.”

But day in and day out, Congress is mostly unwilling to pull together, Republicans declining to join Democrats to rebuke the president when he overreaches or confront him with bipartisan legislation to force his hand.

“There isn’t even a whimper out of the Republican side,” said Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the assistant Democratic leader.

“Every president does that -- they will push their authority as far as they can,” Durbin said. “For Trump, it has been nonstop.”

The forces diminishing the Congress have been at work for some time, as relentless partisanship leave lawmakers unable to meet the moment and produce solutions for a splintered nation.

Polling shows Americans overwhelmingly support a legislative response to many top issues. They back changes to policing tactics in the aftermath of mass demonstrations over the deaths of Black Americans at the hands of law enforcement. They support background checks on firearm purchases to stem violence and mass shootings. And they want immigration law changes, particularly to protect young immigrants from deportation.

Over and over, Congress failed to deliver. In the void and buoyed by it, Trump extends his reach.

Sarah Binder, a professor at George Washington University, said the Constitution’s separation of powers can only take the country so far. “Parchment doesn’t stop these battles,” she said.

When people ask incredulously if the president can do something he has just done, she said, “Presidents can get away with this if there’s no broader public or his own party reigning him in.”

Brinkley warns that unless Congress exerts itself, with Pelosi’s House and McConnell’s Senate pulling together to bring the nation to common ground, Trump will press on, emerging as the nation's first “authoritarian” executive.

“Those are the people’s houses. That’s where the people’s voices are heard,” he said. “They need to show the American people that Capitol Hill is working.”

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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