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1 Leveraging Social Media and Search Marketing to Skyrocket Your Local Business's Sales

local biz saleMost entrepreneurs look at the Internet as a mean to reach the global customers. While it is true that a lucrative market awaits you out there, let’s not overlook the local business opportunities you already have. And social media and search marketing, used properly, helps you skyrocket your local sales.

Studies indicate that there has been a tremendous growth in the local, mobile search volumes over the past few years. Google too confirms that more than 50 percent of mobile queries are local. They further claim that 4 out of 10 online users prefer to “Research Online Purchase Offline.”

Therefore, it makes sense to use your social profiles to connect with your local buyers and provide detailed information and your products and services through these platforms.

Social Media Platforms to Leverage

When it comes to social media marketing, you basically have three major content types in your arsenal, including

  1.    Written
  2.    Video
  3.    Visual

The following are 6 types of social platforms that can help you improve your local sales:

1. Twitter & Facebook

These two social media sites remain at the top in the social landscape. Using customer-focused and value-rich updates help you connect with users and establish a broader conversation with them. Content, timing, and engagement are crucial to access to a tremendous scale in these platforms. In fact, it is content and engagement you need to focus on:

  • Post photos, questions, insightful stats and facts, links to thought-provoking articles
  • Show off your products with large images
  • Run a timeline contest
  • Utilize “Boost Post” feature on Facebook
  • Put your phone number in the “About” section as well as in your posts
  • Run a “Facebook Offers” and use “Twitter Coupons”

2. LinkedIn

This is a great platform for B2B marketers, provided they know how to leverage its innovative features, such as:

  • Use LinkedIn advertising to reach the decision makers
  • Publish your content to your network directly
  • Improve your LinkedIn newsfeed
  • Create LinkedIn persona strategy. For example, ask questions on this platform instead of pitching as it invokes curiosity. The best strategy is to “Ask, listen, engage and find common ground” to resolve pain points.

3. Google+

Twitter and Facebook have no contribution to your SEO efforts, at least directly, confirms Matt Cutts. But Google+ has and therefore you need to be active on this social platform by:

  • Sharing photos, videos and content on Google+
  • Interacting with target audience via hangouts and chat tools in order to foster robust discussions
  • Filling up your basic information such as phone numbers, operation hours, map and website URL in G+ Local page

4. Pinterest & Other Photo-Sharing Networks

This is a great tool for B2C businesses, especially those from fashion, lifestyle, travel, and hotel and food domain. However, B2B businesses are also leveraging this tool to connect with consumers. To use photo-sharing sites like Pinterest, Instagram, and Visual.ly etc. you need to follow a few simple guidelines:

  • Images posted must add a visual angle to your brand
  • B2B business need to focus more on marketing infographics via these platforms
  • Encourage your followers to share their wish lists
  • Tell your stories with Pinterest boards

5. YouTube & Vine

If you have video content in your arsenal, start using them to connect with your local customers via video networks like YouTube, Vine, Instagram Video, or Vimeo. Using these platforms you can:

  • Showcase your product or unveil a new product
  • Cross-promote video content via video oriented tools such as LinkedIn featured videos and Twitter Cards
  • Use both scripted and unscripted videos to create sales copy, video testimonials, introduce your staff/workplace, share industry expertise, user manuals, and how-to’s

6. FourSquare & Location-Based Platforms

Location-based social networking tools like FourSquare provide great opportunities to promote your business to local customers. To tap onto this network you can use tools like special offers with check-in, loyalty points and rewards, and giveaways, etc. to attract your local customers.

The most crucial point that you need to understand from this is post is that “one size fits all” kind of an approach does not work for social marketing. Each social platform caters to a different category of users. Using audience insights and real data is the key to select the right network to boost your local sales. For example, a B2C business is in a better position to attract quality leads using tools like Facebook Offers. A B2B business, on the other hand, needs to focus more on LinkedIn and niche networks dominating a space to reach its target audience.

 

PatelVivek Patel is a Local Search Specialist at E2M, one of the fastest growing digital marketing agencies based in India committed to meeting the highest ethical standards of digital marketing services to encourage and drive strategic and sustainable business growth. He covers local search optimization, organic search tactics, and social media marketing strategies. You can find him on twitter: @vivekrpatel, LinkedIn, Google+, and Facebook.

 

Must-Use Lead Conversion Tactics for Video Marketing

On SnapChat the other day, one of the live feeds featured was “Farm Life.” Because I have a friend who is building a business in the ag arena, I thought this would be a great opportunity to get the word out about his video production company. It’s free to upload a photo or video to the stream and gets viewed by countless SnapChat users; approximately 16.5 million people look at SnapChat every day. As we discussed options for creating awareness via SnapChat, there was one question that surfaced to the top, “How can we convert leads using SnapChat video?” 

videoVideo isn’t “the next big thing” in marketing. Video is now! If it’s not in your marketing strategy, it needs to be. One article projects that by 2017, videos will account for 67% of all consumer internet traffic. That’s huge, considering the many other ways consumers can consume information on the internet.

Videos make consuming information easy, which is why they are such a hit with consumers. You can get a ton of information into a shorter amount of time, no one has to read anything and the imagination needed is truly minimal. It’s the laziest way to soak in information. Let’s take advantage of the fact that our consumers want their information in the easiest way possible!

There are tons of good articles about how to make videos appealing. Video marketing is another form of content marketing; similar to writing good content, the better and more valuable your video is the more people will watch it.

So back to the question. What is the best way to convert leads using video on SnapChat, Instagram, Vine, or any platform that allows video? How can we take advantage of the fact that customers want to consume our message via video?

So I did some research and came up with six ways that you can steer prospects into leads by using video, to send them to your website or a landing page, or even your social media sites. (Note: Not all of these tactics will work with every medium.) Ready?

Here they are:

1. Create a custom end card

You’ve watched videos where at the end it says, “If you liked this video, subscribe to my YouTube channel.” Now take that idea and instead, have them like your brand on Facebook, follow you on Twitter, or better yet, send them to a landing page to download a free eBook or checklist – where you directly capture their contact information.

2. Include a verbal call to action

You’re making the video, your customers are watching the video, you have their attention, why not use this time to tell them where they can connect with you further? Video is a great way to gain your audience’s trust for you and your brand, so use this trust to further your relationship and engagements. Chances are, if they find you hilarious, intriguing or valuable, they’ll want to follow you for more hilarious, intriguing or valuable updates.

3. Insert the link in the video description

On most platforms where you’re uploading a video, you’re going to have the option to enter a description. Use this space to tell the story of your video and why they should click your link to further connect with your brand. Just posting the link probably isn’t enough to get prospects to click through, but if you add descriptive copy and your video is valuable, this is as good a spot as any to capture your leads.

4. Use an email gate

Capture names and email addresses directly from your video with an email gate. This is the most direct way to capture leads from video marketing. Rather than leading a customer to a page or form, you actually require their contact information before they can watch the video – or before they can see a certain portion of the video.

5. Place the video directly on a landing page

This lead capture tactic doesn’t use a third party to publish your video but instead relies on the fact that your viewer is already on your landing page. Now, the video is simply used to make the push to fill out the lead capture form. This, paired with the verbal call to action, can be a very effective way to use video for lead capture!

6. Use annotations within your videos

For YouTube users, you may notice that some videos you watch have pop-ups throughout the video. They may make comments about the video, add facts or valuable information, or even provide updates to an old version of the video. Use these annotations to push leads to your social media sites, website or landing page! You can add a link with a caption, directions to check out the link in the description or even a phone number to call. This tactic requires no extra effort by the viewer to see how to connect more, much like the verbal call to action, and can be a very effective way to connect with viewers!

Video marketing isn’t new; you’ve been watching commercials on television for decades. Videos on the web aren’t even new, but they are becoming easier to make and more accessible and shareable than ever before. The possibilities with video are endless and sometimes overwhelming. If you use one or many of the above lead capture and call to action tactics above, you can use video to drive in hot leads and quickly grow your business pipeline!

Do you use video currently? Are there any other lead capture tactics you’d recommend using?

Kala Linck is the Community and Content Manager at Duct Tape Marketing. You can find her blogging her travels and tweeting about marketing, coffee, and cats.

Can Your Video Advertisement Reduce Everyone to Tears?

Remember Tears for Fears? They had it right: everybody wants to rule the world.

tears for fears

When you set out to create a video advertisement, you want its influence to span the globe. The best way to accomplish that feat is to leverage something that is universal: like emotion.

Brands that elevate themselves up from the level of simply providing a service, to the heralded plateau of being a facilitator of emotion are the brands most likely to succeed in the global online community.

In the past, the challenge was establishing a genuine human connection with only a 30-second video spot. But online, viewers have “leisure time” in the emergent channels (social timelines, Whatsapp-style group messaging, etc.) to consume content that is much longer in length.

In this blog post, we’re going to take a look at an advertisement from Google that utilizes this extra available time effectively in order to shoot straight for the heart of the viewer to bring forth the tears.

Google’s “Dear Sophie” Ad Will Break You

Interestingly enough, ‘Tears for Fears’ is a reference to one of the core principals American psychologist and psychotherapist Arthur Janov, who advocates a ‘tears instead of fears’ approach to dealing with (childhood) trauma.

Google’s ‘Dear Sophie’ video is only dealing with the consumer’s fear of the unknown, but their approach is similar: break you down to build you up. Check it out:

(If you don’t have time to view the advertisement, it basically features a man emailing “into the future” his newborn daughter using Google’s services.)

“Dear Sophie” comes from BBH New York & Google Creative Labs. It has over ten million views, and about two seconds into the video you feel why—in your heart. It will get to you emotionally.

For that reason and others, it has won multiple advertising awards, including the People’s Voice at the 2012 Webby Awards.

The advertisement is about 1:30 in length—three times the length of the traditional 30-second slot—but it sustains the viewer’s attention just fine because in part the viewer is probably just browsing the web looking for something to watch.

The Big Takeaway: You Have Time to Tell a Story So Tell One

Notice how “Dear Sophie” is not really about any one service in particular. In simply telling a story, Google succeeds in advertising all of their services—a lifestyle, even. A lifestyle of love.

It sounds somewhat cheesy, but ten million views isn’t cheesy at all.

To sum everything up: the short story format of a couple minutes is made possible by the extra “leisure time” available online.

Depending on the context, there are no rules. (I once watched an online B2C video advertisement that was over an hour long. I don’t even know how long it actually was because I stopped watching!)

Generally, however, most people agree that anywhere from 2–7 minutes is an appropriate range for the short story format.

In the next blog post, we’re going to continue looking at “leisure time” advertising. Taking full advantage of the time available is one aspect, but taking full advantage of the context itself is another, and perhaps more important.

Mike TylerMike Tyler CEO of War Room ranked #1 in online Digital Advertising and reporting. Are you looking for more Video Advertising tips? Check out the Video Advertising Guru

6 Are Your Words Killing Your Brand?

It’s guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest post is from Karon Thackston – Enjoy!

Are Your Words Killing Your Brand

photo credit: BigStock

While there are hundreds of definitions of the word “brand,” my favorites come from the World English Dictionary. As a noun: “a particular product or a characteristic that serves to identify a particular product.” And as a verb: “to give a product a distinctive identity.”

Most of us keep our brands in mind as we develop product packaging or choose color schemes for websites. However, all too often, we arbitrarily pick words when writing marketing copy and content without so much as a thought about branding. Generic word choices fail to evoke an emotional connection and attachment to our brands that, in turn, can actually harm recognition and growth.

Good Examples of Brand-Oriented Words

Let’s watch a couple of videos and I’ll show you what I mean. Have a pen or keyboard handy and jot down the words that catch your attention or make an impression on you.

Video #1 – Gillette Body Razor

Did your list contain these words/phrases?

  • Terrain
  • Rugged
  • Control
  • Off-road razor
  • Take you where you want to go
  • Confidently

What do they all have in common? They are words commonly classified as masculine/manly. They give a visual impression of a man’s body that this target audience will want to be associated with. Sure, Gillette could have written video copy that said something like, “Trying to shave your body is way different than shaving your face, dude. You’ve got all those curves and you can cut yourself if you aren’t careful. Our new body razor pivots and makes it easier to shave across uneven surfaces.”

That would be accurate, but it wouldn’t live up to the brand. That type of copy also wouldn’t get anywhere near the same reaction as calling a guy’s body “rugged terrain” that requires an “off-road razor” for shaving. The copy is specific to the brand as well as the precise target segment for this product.

Video #2 – USAA Insurance

Right away, from the first words spoken, I picked up on the phrases:

  • Mine was earned
  • Handed down
  • Generation to generation
  • Superior level of protection

 

To wrap it up, the voiceover copy used “begin your legacy…”

What do those phrases say to you? For me, I get the message that USAA insurance isn’t just bought, it has to be warranted. Because USAA only provides insurance to military families and their dependents, you have to be part of a somewhat exclusive club. That immediately adds value to any brand because it separates the company from the mass marketplace.

In addition, the terms “handed down,” “generation to generation” and “legacy” show that this product has value and is worthy of being considered an inheritance of sorts. That boosts the perception of this brand instantly.

Is this practice just for video copywriting? Absolutely not! It’s for writing website copy, social media posts, blog articles or any other type of content you produce. Your brand, and the words that represent it, should stretch fully across the entire landscape of your marketing efforts.

Do This Before You Kill Your Brand

Performing this quick exercise will help you discover the best words to support and promote your brand. Once you have a good idea of the communication style you want to use, you can boost all your marketing copy and content with more power to persuade, engage and remember.

1. Determine How You Want Your Brand to Be Known

Create a list of words/phrases that should come to the minds of your target audience when they hear the mention of your brand.

2. Get a Copywriting Thesaurus

Books like “Words that Sell” by Richard Bayan are excellent for giving you different, enticing words to use, so your copy doesn’t sound ordinary.

3. Ask Yourself Questions

How do your target customers perceive themselves? Are they stereotypical manly men? Are they power women who kick corporate butt? Whatever it is, add to your list words/phrases that relate to their world in the areas of work, play, relationships, goals, self-perceptions, etc.

As you discover more about your customers, expand your list of words so you have a never-ending source of nouns and verbs that capture attention and remembrance for your brand.

Karon-black-150pxKaron Thackston is President of Marketing Words helping businesses convert better, rank higher and sell more. Having worked with companies including Gorton’s Seafood, American Boating Association and others, Karon builds success through copywriting, SEO copywriting and conversion techniques for businesses of all sizes. Download Karon’s “Copywriting Makeovers” ebook for real-world case studies that can equip you to boost the performance of your website.

6 Why You Don’t Need to Go Viral to Make Video Marketing Work

Thursday is guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest is Amy Harrison – Enjoy!

Clapperboard

photo credit: ARMLE via photopin cc

A viral video is the dream of many marketers and business owners. One smash hit can transform a business’s reach overnight. And it’s not just big brands like Blendtec and Old Spice dominating the video market. Newer companies such as Dollar Shave have exploded onto the scene largely due to their viral video presence.

The myth of viral for small business

While it can be a game-changer to be suddenly watched by the world, most small businesses don’t need this level of exposure to see results. If you could grow your audience by a few hundred, or a few thousand engaged prospects, would that make a difference to your inquiries, leads and sales?

The pressure to go viral can have a negative effect if you think:

  • You need a perfect video with high-end production to stand out
  • You need to create something wacky or crazy to get attention
  • If your video doesn’t go viral, you should can it and forget it

If you think video isn’t worth it unless you’re a YouTube star, you could be missing out.

Smaller audience, bigger rewards

Last year, I started a light-hearted sketch show called Content Marketing…Stripped!  I’ve created just 18 short videos

None of them have ever gone viral.

Most get around 100-300 views, but site traffic is growing, subscribers are up 75% and I’m seeing increased social media engagement.

Most importantly, they help attract clients. I’m closing sales faster because leads are more qualified. After watching, prospects say they feel they know me, would enjoy working with me and contact me based on that. I’ve never woken up to a phone call from The Tonight Show, or asked to comment for the New York Times, but this consistent creation of short videos has improved my marketing results.

Where to start? How to get results from a non-viral video

internet face (1)

A still shot from Content Marketing… Stripped!

Even a simple video of you talking to camera can build rapport and engagement with prospects. So why not break out your camera, and start planning your first simple marketing video using these steps?

1.     Focus on your customer’s problem first

Solving a customer’s problem is a great idea for your videos. Think about common “how do I…” questions your customer has that you can solve. For example: “How do I create a customer profile for my marketing?

2.      Ask yourself: what is the impact on my customer if this problem is left unsolved?

In the above case, without a clear customer profile, you don’t know what marketing will work, and you can’t attract your ideal target market to your business.

3.    Don’t just state the impact, illustrate it

Rather than simply tell your customer that it’s important to solve this problem, see if you can give them examples and illustrations to prove it, for example:

  • Wasting time and money on marketing that doesn’t make the phone ring
  • Attracting the wrong clients and losing time on sales calls you’ll never close
  • Getting the wrong referrals because people don’t know who you serve

Video lets you be creative in how you present this information, you could think up a quick sketch, or unleash your whiteboard skills. Even if you’re just describing your examples, it’s better than simply telling your viewer that it’s important to solve their problem.

4.    Provide tips to solve it

Once you’ve illustrated the impact of the problem, provide useful tips viewers can use straight away.

5.    Remind viewers that you have products or services that can also help

In addition to free tips, don’t forget to let them know you can solve their problem directly with links to your contact, services or product page.

Start small and dip your toes in

If the goal of going viral has been putting you off, give video a try, there might be some low hanging fruit that you didn’t realize was ready and waiting for you.

Harrisonamy 150x150 (1)Amy Harrison trains companies to write better content, faster. She provides live content workshops for clients in Europe, and online training sessions for the wider world. You can find her Content Marketing…Stripped videos here and she was a featured speaker at the 2014 SXSW Interactive conference.

3 Why Video Marketing is Underrated (and How to Use it to Your Advantage)

Today is guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest is David Preston – Enjoy!

84334_91448_2_DP_video_marketing_image

photo credit: Andrew* via photopin cc

Words tell the story. Images illustrate it.

But video brings it to life.

Video, an online marketing platform that has seen a sharp rise in use and effectiveness, is an often overlooked means for driving relevant traffic to your site – and generating interest in your campaign. An effective video initiative can also bolster your other marketing strategies.

Galactic Café, developer of the recent narrative-driven game The Stanley Parable, got it right.

Galactic Café sent customized preview builds of The Stanley Parable to well-known YouTube users who participate in Let’s Play videos. These users have a tremendous following that tune in for their first impressions of new games.

The developers engaged these YouTube users directly through dialogue in the game. The result: Plenty of organic, viral interaction about the videos that boosted traffic for these YouTube users’ Let’s Play video as well as sales for Galactic Café.

A recent B2B Benchmark Survey revealed more than 90% of marketing respondents used video on a site, second only to the learn more/contact us option (nearly 100%). Video topped white papers and case studies (84%) and even live demos with company representatives (just less than 80%).

We’ll discuss ways to blend video marketing into your online presence, and how easy it is to measure engagement and see results from it. With the proliferation of mobile devices as our primary means of Internet access, and bandwidth and speeds increasing with fiber-optic Internet, it’s prime time for video.

1.  Crunch the numbers

Video content is easily subject to behavior analytics. Because video content is also tagged with keywords and ranks in Google search, you can use a video-hosting site such as YouTube to track interaction. Online retailers such as Amazon and Dell report an increase of as much as 35% when video is incorporated.

Video product reviews on Amazon nearly always appear at the top of Google’s rankings. 

Takeaway: Video content is also easy to share via social networks, and software developers have prioritized video integration in site creation.

2.  Reach customers on a deeper level

Our draw to video is subliminal, too. The concept of fusiform facial area suggests the brain processes categorical data about a person by facial recognition. Basically, the idea is that a person’s face is a factor in how they understand and process the message that person delivers verbally.

The right face on your video campaign can foster trust. A voice also translates your message in an essential way.

Takeaway: A face, a voice, and most of all, emotion, convey what language alone cannot.

3.  Grab attention

Words and images are static. Page viewers are increasingly scan readers. It takes notable effort to read a 300-word blog post, especially compared to a simple click of a video play button. When visitors hit that button, it gives you the chance to actually talk to your prospect. It’s your window to their home. 

Takeaway: Video is an extension of the personal connection we wrote about above, but with a familiarity of having “met” you through your video.

4.  Let your followers sing your praises

Happy customers are gold. You can harvest recorded testimonials at a tradeshow, and it’s best to get as many as you can – aim for at least three, maybe as many as 12. You can also hire a video crew to hold a one-day shoot. Know what key messages you’re looking for when you edit.

Takeaway: The Q&A approach will put your testimonial subject at ease, and will allow you to direct the conversation toward those key messages you identified.

5.  Go forth and conquer

A marketing video on your site is just the beginning. Start a YouTube channel. Incorporate video on landing pages. Post them to social media and your blog page. They’re easily shared through these channels, and the more a video is shared on quality sites, the better your Google page rank.

Takeaway: You’ll reach exponentially more potential clients with a well-made, well-placed video than with nearly any other means of marketing.

91861_92141_1_David Preston headshot_croppedDavid Preston is a husband, a father of 2, and a freelance writer for a variety of sports, entertainment, and marketing sites. You can reach David via his email.

8 7 Pay-Per-Click Advertising Options That Are Not Google or Bing

Pay-per-click advertising (PPC), when used correctly, is a very powerful way to drive traffic and conversions.

pay per click advertising options

photo credit: alles-schlumpf via photopin cc

The used correctly part includes effective targeting and testing, writing compelling ads, creating compelling offers and managing the bid and budget process in the most cost effective manner.

While the Google and Bing PPC ad networks are the most popular options, smart advertisers also choose to round out their offerings with other options to both capture viewers that aren’t captured by these networks and lower the overall cost per conversion through other channels.

The following seven options should be considered and tested as you build your lead generation platform online.

1) Reddit ads – Reddit is currently the hottest social news sharing site and their ad offering is somewhat unique. You target your ads based on interest and not demographics and ads include user engagement features such as voting and comments. Get your ad right and this network can generate targeted leads.

2) YouTube Video Targeting– Okay I guess this one really is Google, but not exactly AdWords. With the YouTube Video Targeting Tool you can put your ads in specific video channels or even specific videos. You can choose from a variety of formats.

3) StumbleUpon Paid Discovery – StumbleUpon is a unique social sharing site that offers visitors without a click. StumbleUpon users simply stumble to your chosen page. The service delivers lots of low-cost visits, but the trick has always been to convert with a very simple and engaging call to action.

4) Twitter Promoted – Promoted Tweets are ordinary Tweets purchased by advertisers who want to reach a wider group of Twitter users. They are clearly labeled as Promoted when an advertiser is paying for their placement on Twitter. The Tweets can be targeted to search terms and specific hashtags. Advertisers have been reporting good results in terms of targeted conversions, but also in terms of social metrics such as increased followers and influencer scores.

5) Facebook Advertising – Facebook’s targeting is as effective as any platform and for that reason offers some unique opportunities. If you’ve built a large fan following the sponsored updates option can be a good buy with a compelling call to action.

6) LinkedIn Advertising – LinkedIn advertising isn’t for everyone as it’s predominantly a B2B platform and if used too broadly gets very expensive. The most effective use I’ve seen is narrowly targeting user niches based on keywords or titles in profiles.

7) 7Search – 7Search is a 2nd tier network and does not act as a replacement, but rather a great addition to help advertisers gain traffic from the 10% of traffic that Google and Bing don’t have. Savvy PPC bidders can find some real bargains here for long tail kinds of terms.

Once you’ve created content that converts, compelling calls to action that get people to click and an ROI on bids on the big networks, it makes perfect sense to start exploring other options to lower your cost per acquisition and gain greater exposure.

31 One Simple Tactic That Can Give You an Unfair Advantage in Local Search

Showing up in local search results is a pretty big deal if you’re any sort of local business. When people search online locally, but plan to buy offline locally, being the organization they find first and find when mobile could mean the difference between growth and death.

While lots of people publish tips about Google Places pages, local web content, address citations and the sort, not enough people are talking about the power of local video when it comes to gaining an advantage in local search.

Many people are talking about video from a content standpoint and I agree, but what about locally optimized video for SEO. I’ve seen this intentional tactic produce some pretty incredible results in a very short time – particularly when it comes to a Google and YouTube combination.

See, here’s the deal – Google wants to give people interesting search results and as often as possible that includes a mix of local Places pages, videos, products, images and blog posts all mashed together on page one for specific search phrases.

Local businesses that get good at producing and optimizing video can find their YouTube videos zapped to page one for highly competitive search terms with very little effort.

I did a little test over the weekend to prove this theory. Granted there may be other factors at play here, but here’s what I and I believe you can do it too.

I am hosting a couple workshops in Kansas City in June. Since this is for me a rare local play I wanted to see what could do to get some local search results. So, here’s what I did.

  • I created a very brief video recorded directly to YouTube.
  • I even did a little bit of editing using the new YouTube Tools
  • I named the video Kansas City Marketing Workshop and Training
  • I added a description with this term
  • I added keywords that related to the term
  • I saved the video
  • I embedded the video on a page on my site.
  • I pointed to the video on YouTube from my Facebook page

Total time invested was about 15 minutes. About 30 minutes later this video showed up on page one for the search term – “Kansas City Marketing Workshop”

Kansas City Marketing Training and Workshop video

A day later it moved to the #2 position for the search term and #4 position for the term Kansas City Marketing Training. I conducted these searches logged out of my Google account and even received the same results using private browsing in Safari.

There’s no telling how long this video will stay at the top of the results for my search term, but it certainly reinforced the idea that this is a powerful way to gain additional local search results while creating useful content.

Below are tips to keep in mind as you explore this tactic:

Do the keyword research

Use a tool like WordTracker or Google Keyword Tool to hunt for some search phases that make the most sense. You’re not looking for hyper competitive terms like “Marketing,” you’re looking for longer, less searched phrases that you can quickly impact.

Also keep in mind those frequently asked questions. Focus on making videos that address those issues.

Create multiple videos

The idea behind this approach is to create dozens of simple videos that allow you to build a library of content that addresses many of the things your prospects are searching for.

Make the videos sell

Make sure you add URLs and annotations to your videos so you can send people to pages that give them even more information.

Optimize for specific terms

Use the search phases you uncover as your video titles, in descriptions and as keyword combination. Do a search on YouTube for the phrase you are trying to win and see what comes up. Once you find the top videos in your search term make note of the keywords and borrow liberally.

Point to the videos

Google loves it when other sites point to videos that are hosted on YouTube. You can give your videos even more juice by linking to them from your web site, Facebook and other video hosting sites.

Experiment with the intriguing little tactic and you may uncover some pretty fantastic results for frequently searched terms that might not otherwise stand a chance of competing for.

6 My Video Toolbox

I sat in on a session at the BlogWorld Expo led by Steve Garfield, author of Get Seen and long time advocate of video use.

Canon EOS 5DSteve mostly shared the low cost set of tools he employs to create his video and it got me thinking that I should do the same.

Video use in marketing is growing by leaps and bounds and while you do need to join the movement, you don’t have to drop thousands just to get good educational videos, customer case studies and trust building video overviews.

There are thousands of passable tools that you can use in the pursuit of video and here are a few that I use.

Camera

Canon EOS 5D – This DSLR is a professional grade video and has a 21 megapixel camera and digital processor that is far beyond most of my needs, but shoots such high quality that you can create laser sharp HD shots and output the video as large as you like. – $3000

Canon Vixia S30 – Camcorder that has some great features – external mic jack (a must) twin 32 gig memory card slots (these cards go right into my mac and make it very easy to shoot and edit away.) $799

iPhone 4 – the video ability on this device is pretty phenomenal and for me erased all need for the Flip camera – the only hitch had been an external mic. I have a great little mic that plugs into the power port, which is great for audio, but not so much for video. See below for the answer to this. – $399

Microphone

Sennheiser MKE 400 – this directional mic sits on top of my Canon Vixia in a mic shoe on the camera and is a great set-up for point and shoot interview settings at things like conferences. – $349

iRig – this is a stereo condenser mic that plugs into the iPhone headphone jack and makes the iPhone a great tool for doing video interviews. – $149

Audio-Technica ATR-35S Lavalier Microphone – this is the mic I use to do my own videos for training and product videos. It’s powered by a small battery and clips right on to make sure we get clear audio. It’s also pretty good at not picking up outside noise. $29

Editing

iMovie – this program ships on all Macs and does pretty much everything I need it to do so it’s hard to recommend any other software.

YouTube – believe it or not YouTube recently added some basic video editing functionality to its service. There are time when this is all you need.

Hosting

YouTube – YouTube is free and has a huge audience. There are many reasons to use this for your marketing videos. Simply upload and grab some code and run the video on your site. There are some downsides too though.

Amazon S3 – For all of my product videos, ones that are only available to my customers, I prefer to host and stream from Amazon S3. This gives me total control over size, privacy and steaming. There is a cost for this service, but it’s very low and with addition of something Amazon calls CloudFront my videos play every time no matter how large.

Player

EZS3 – One of the nice things about using a service like YouTube is that they create the player for your videos as part of the service. Of course you have little control over how the video displays and little ability to brand your player.

I use this service so I can create completely branded, iPad and mobile friendly videos that also have thumbnail control, forwarding functionality, form embedding and fully functional buy buttons right in the video. $20/mo

So, there you have it – that’s my toolbox – how about you?

 

 

10 5 Ways to Get More From Online Video

video

fredcamino via flickr

The use of video to tell your story, put a real live face on the company and showcase your products, services and customer testimonials is a very foundational online tactic these days.

As cameras become more sophisticated and cheaper to buy and services such as Vimeo and YouTube provide free and low cost hosting and streaming, small business owners are embedding video in blog posts and web pages with increasing ease.

There is one aspect of this tactic that is often overlooked however, and that’s taking proper care of how you place your videos on the hosting site,  in particular YouTube.

While many businesses seek to draw attention to the video placed on a page on their site, millions turn to YouTube to find information and getting your videos to rank well there may be an extremely important way to get visitors to your site.

Here are a couple facts that you should consider when it comes to your YouTube video strategy:

  • YouTube is the world’s 2nd largest search engine – that’s right more people turn to YouTube to find information than Yahoo and  Bing.
  • According to Compete.com over 25% of YouTube’s traffic comes from Google – people are turning up lots of video in Google searches.
  • Google is committed to something they called Universal Search – this is the act of returning more than textual information for many searches. This includes video, blog posts, images and even near real-time Twitter streams. In some cases getting your videos to rank well can be easier than getting your pages to do so.

Below are five things to consider as you begin to optimize your video assets on YouTube.

Do your research – Use the YouTube Keyword Tool – Most people are familiar with Google’s keyword research and related search tools, but did you know that YouTube has the same tools?

By visiting and using these tools you can find some great insights about video topics that are hot and ways to optimize your video content to take advantage of what people are searching for on YouTube.

Describe and Tag Well – One of the first things you can do is make certain that you do all you can to help YouTube know what your video is about. (Of course you’ve got to make it public first) This includes the file name (don’t use newmovie.m4v use importantkeyword.m4v), description, tags and categories.

Make sure you pick the right category – there is no business category, but I’ve found HowTo and Style to be the best for my videos.

Use your description to describe what is going on in the video. You’ve got lots of room here, but don’t cram keywords in, make it a thorough description and include a link back to you site. Use all of tags that work and include a few variations. (Get your keywords in the description within the first 20 or so words too.)

Annotations and Transcripts are Key – YouTube allows you to annotate or add notes to your video that show when people watch. This is a great way to emphasize content, show links that you mention, or point out other related videos you’ve made. It also adds content that Google may index in some cases.

You can also create and entire transcript that is used by hearing impaired viewers using Closed Captioning. CaptionTube makes it easy to do and the transcript can go a very long way towards helping your video rank well.

Call to Action – One of the things I notice quite often is that people spend a great deal of effort creating videos that simply end. I think this is because the videos are created to go on a web page that has lots of information and a call to action.

If your video is to stand alone and ranks well on YouTube, the video itself must contain a verbal and visual call to action. End your videos telling and showing what people should do next.

Spread the Love – Once you’ve done your work on YouTube it’s time to spread your video to other places. Here’s a list of video sites beyond YouTube for starters, but many people find that using a tool like TubeMogul to automatically submit to video sites and track traffic is the best way to go.