Archive for February, 2012
One of the great things about YouTube is that the site can be used for so many purposes – entertainment, education, promotion, or a combination of the three. The sheer amount of visibility that your company can get by just having a few well-constructed promotional videos is staggering, and it’s something you shouldn’t ignore if you want to get the absolute most out of your marketing strategy.
Another great feature of YouTube is that it’s free, but it’s a good idea to have a professional team to come in shoot and edit your videos for you Not necessarily, though you need to have some self-awareness as to whether or not you are capable of making the kinds of videos on your own that will best show off what your company is about.
One thing you want to remember is to break things up into bite-sized chunks. Your average YouTube viewer does not want to watch a 30-minute video on any subject. Pick one small topic for your video, and keep it short and energetic. People are much more likely to watch ten one-minute videos than one ten-minute video.
Regardless of length, your videos still have to provide entertainment value. Entertaining your audience means that they will be more likely to play the video more than once, and they will also share it with their friends on other social networks. For inspiration on how to make your message entertaining, have a look at BlendTec’s YouTube channel and see what they did with a simple product message turned into a tantalizing question (“will it blend?”).
With that said, your videos don’t always have to have some sort of gimmick in order to be successful. Plenty of businesses do well just by providing value in the form of useful information (http://cogoresults.com/online-digital-buzz-northern-virginia.php). Are there some tips and tricks in your line of work that regular people on the street wouldn’t know? Divulge a few, make sure the titles of your videos are accurately descriptive, and watch your view counts grow. Sharing an industry trick about how to get stains out of carpet (if home interiors is your business) or a quicker way to put on false eyelashes (if cosmetics is your business) will not only help people, it will make them more likely to subscribe to your channel and have a look at your website.
Make sure to tag your videos with keywords and keyword-phrases that are specific to your business, and always include a link back to your website.
How have you had video success?
If you were ever in any doubt about the effectiveness of social media and online marketing, looking at the successes of other businesses can really help turn you into a believer. Seeing what these companies have done with their campaigns may inspire you to do some forward thinking of your own!
Innovating with Facebook
Facebook has always been a great marketing tool, but it can really take your business to stratospheric heights if you just use some of the standard functions in an extraordinary way. In this marketing campaign for IKEA, photos of showrooms were uploaded at various intervals, and the person who tagged themselves first on any item in the photo, won that item. This led to massive interlinking, and a hugely viral success for IKEA.
Tweet your way to the spotlight
The key with Twitter is to take advantage of the ease and speed with which communication happens. Making tweeting fun for your followers is a great way to get them talking nonstop about your product. Take this example of the new Ford Focus – Ford had a cake created in the shape of the car, and the cake contained technology that allowed it to automatically speak tweets containing a special Ford Focus hashtag. While you may not be thinking of such a large marketing gimmick, it’s a great idea to think of ways to use hashtags to spread your message.
Use the Power of Video
As the above two case study descriptions demonstrate, having a video can really help your audience see what you’re all about. Video can also be used to bring you closer to your audience and give your company that personal feel. Home Depot has taken advantage of the video medium to share a number of do-it-yourself tutorials that help customers learn techniques from an expert that will assist them in making the most of Home Depot products. Customers can then feel more confident about their ability to do things themselves. If this tactic can work to put a human face on such a gigantic corporation, imagine what a few well thought out tutorial videos could do to boost your business.
Do you have a social media success story to share?
Facebook keeps expanding the ways in which page admins can customize their business pages, but a lot of what you can do is limited by how much you understand about the developer side of Facebook. However, you don’t need to be a programmer to make a great looking custom tab if you use one of the free apps out there that can help you turn your creative ideas into actual pages for your Facebook presence. One of the most popular free apps is the iFrame App by Wildfire, and it really couldn’t be easier to use.
Installation is a breeze – just click the big “install this app” button on the main page and follow the authentication instructions. After the app is installed, there will be a screen on your page that talks you through the procedures to create custom content. You can either use an image that you created in another application (like Photoshop), or if you’re good with html, you can create a page that looks like a web page and paste the html into the provided text window. Wildfire takes care of the rest.
One of the best features of the Wildfire app is what is called the “fan gate.” Basically what this does is create a “front door” page where visitors see a greeting or introduction page, but in order to get to the rest of your page’s content, the visitor has to “Like” your page first. Wildfire allows you to create the separate content for fans and non-fans all on one page of the app, and it’s as simple as uploading the appropriate image or pasting in your html, whichever you prefer.
At the moment, the iFrame Wildfire app is free, but Wildfire has indicated that they may charge for it in the future. They have generously offered to let existing users continue using the app for free indefinitely, so if you’re looking for a good, free resource for Facebook customization, get Wildfire installed now before they start charging for it. It’s such a simple app to use, even those with little or no programming knowledge can make beautiful custom tabs, landing pages, and even special tabs like contests and surveys. Having a beautiful Facebook page can really help your conversion rates, so there’s no reason not to get started on this right away.
Getting traffic to your website is the first key to getting people to buy your product or service. If you’ve been having trouble getting those numbers heading in the right direction, it may be time to switch things up a little and try some different tactics.
1. Appeal to people in an old-school way. Bumper stickers, posters, t-shirts, and business cards may seem like marketing tools for another generation, but there’s a reason these marketing tools exist: because they work. This is especially true if your company is location-based and you’re looking to drum up local business.
2. Give things away. People love winning free stuff, so hosting occasional giveaways for your website readers will keep them coming back. You don’t have to spend a fortune to do this, but keep in mind that the nicer the giveaways, the more often people will check your site to see what’s new. It’s better to do nicer giveaways less often than to do frequent ones – too much of anything gets boring, eventually.
3. Write a free ebook. This may be time-consuming, but it can pay off in big ways, and many successful websites have a free ebook driving traffic to the site. The more informative and useful the eBook, the better. Don’t be afraid to give away some good tips in exchange for your audience’s trust and loyalty.
4. Get into guest posting. Writing as a guest on other sites in your niche can be a great way to attract huge amounts of traffic in one fell swoop. Just make sure that when the new people arrive at your site, you have something amazing there to share with them.
5. Invite guest posters. Having a prominent blogger write for your blog can be just as effective as writing for theirs. They are almost guaranteed to mention the guest post on their site, and then you will have their readers coming over to check out your site.
6. Fine-tune your SEO. With the recent changes to Google’s search algorithm, your old SEO may not be as effective as it once was. Either update your SEO skills and your site, or hire someone who can get the job done for you.
7. Flaunt your expertise. Search forums and social networks for people who are talking about topics related to your site. Step into conversations and offer your help, or your take on things. Mention your qualifications, and make sure your signature or profile contains a link back to your site!