Posts Tagged ‘youtube’
Tuesday, May 14th, 2013
Wednesday, May 8th, 2013
Last week YouTube announced that it would start offering new paid channels as part of a pilot program with a small group of partners. The fees will start at 99 cents per month and each channel will offer a free 14-day trial.
Some of the paid channels that have already launched include National Geographic Kids, PGA Digital Golf Academy, Pets.TV, UFC Select, and more. There are currently 54 paid channels (there are more than 1 million channels on YouTube) and the company says it will be adding more.
Currently, users subscribe through their account and once they have paid for a channel, they can watch it from their computer, TV, smartphone or tablet. YouTube also says that additional viewing options will be available in the future.
In a YouTube blog post the company states that the paid channels are a response to requests from video posters who are looking for more ways to monetize their videos and channels.
Can Businesses Create Paid YouTube Channels?
Businesses that are interested in creating their own paid YouTube Channel can fill out a sign up form. Currently, all submissions will be reviewed and may or may not be accepted as a paid channel partner.
Since the paid channel program is currently a pilot program, it remains to be seen how YouTube will develop it and how businesses will get to use the new option. However, assuming the service becomes more popular, businesses will likely get to be a bigger part of the program.
Will Your Business Benefit from a Paid Channel?
If your business already has a successful YouTube Channel it may very well benefit from a paid channel, since you could earn revenue from subscriptions, not just advertisements. If your business and products are conducive to things like previews, how-to videos, product reviews and event videos, it may benefit from paid YouTube Channels.
However, the benefits of a paid YouTube Channel aren’t just monetary. Businesses with successful videos and channels benefit from things like increased exposure, viral ad campaigns, social media buzz, raised awareness, increased site traffic and more sales.
How will Users React?
As with any major social media change, one of the biggest questions being asked is “How will users react?” YouTube users aren’t likely to leave the site in droves, since the site has become an Internet video staple, but will they be wiling to pay for content? Many feel social media should be free to use, much like email. Normally, businesses are able to profit directly through ads on the site, whether that be the social media business or the businesses that use the site. However, some sites, like LinkedIn do offer paid features, which seem to be successful.
Much like any other product or marketing tool, paid YouTube Channels will likely be successful if the content being shared is valuable to the audience, helpful, entertaining and useful. Channels that are able to provide the best content may find it easy to gain subscribers. Will you apply for a paid channel? Do you think the new feature will benefit your business?
Monday, May 6th, 2013
Image courtesy of Master isolated images/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
What kind of social media marketing does your business use? Do you use paid marketing or do you use social media in the more traditional way, writing posts, adding pictures and connecting with other users? Both of these approaches can be very successful ways to market your brand, and each has its pros and cons.
Paid Social Media Marketing
Paid social media marketing encompasses any social media marketing tactic you have to pay for. Some common examples include:
- Promoted tweets and posts
- Social media ads
- Sponsored posts
- Promoted accounts
Businesses that use paid social media often do so with very specific goals in mind. Sometimes these goals include raising awareness, but more often paid social media is used to drive traffic, promote an event, gain customers, publicize a contest or generate leads.
One of the main advantages of paid social media marketing is that your content is almost guaranteed to be presented to your target market. Most social media networks allow advertisers to select specific demographics, allowing them to control where their content goes.
The downside to this is that some users are wary of ads and don’t respond to them at all. Some members of your public may be less likely to trust ads than they would be to trust traditional social media posts.
Traditional Social Media Marketing
For the sake of this post, traditional social media marketing is defined as tactics like status updates, pictures, comments, responses and social media shares. This type of marketing is similar to the way social media is used by your target market, except you should have a strategic campaign behind the way you use your accounts.
Traditional social media marketing allows your business to have conversations with and interact with your market. As customers or potential customers comment on your content or ask questions, you are able to respond. Paid social media marketing doesn’t allow for this.
Using social media this way is also more natural and may be more effective for an audience that is prone to tuning out advertisements and content that is too sales oriented. With traditional social media marketing, your brand can become part of larger conversations and a community, which can be extremely beneficial.
Much of marketing and sales is based on relationships. Traditional social media marketing allows for the growth and fostering of these relationships. If you are seeking to add a level of transparency or approachability to your company, these kinds of tactics can help.
However, traditional social media marketing often takes more time and requires you to work harder to build an audience and to get your message to the right demographic.
The Best of Both Worlds
Most businesses use a combination of paid and traditional social media marketing. Both strategies have their place and both have strengths and weaknesses that can compliment each other. According to Nielsen, advertisers and agencies use the free social media tools slightly more than they use the paid tools. But, 64 percent of these businesses plan to increase their social media spending in 2013.
The way you use social media marketing to promote your brand will depend on your business and your goals. As you decide what kinds of results you want to get from your social media involvement, you can decide if paid or traditional social media marketing is best for you.
Friday, May 3rd, 2013
Image courtesy of Jason Howie/Flickr.
If your business doesn’t use social media marketing or if it is not using it very successfully, it can be overwhelming to try to build an online presence. Some businesses are tempted to start using all social media channels available, only to find that their efforts aren’t paying off.
By strategically implementing a social media marketing plan, you can make sure you are using the channels available to you to their fullest potential and reaching your target market with the correct message.
Prioritize Social Media Networks
Not all social media networks lend themselves to all businesses. It’s very likely that there are two or three networks that are better for your business than others. Consider your business goals, where your target market is likely to be, and what kinds of messages you want to send through social media. Then, prioritize social networks starting with the ones that are most likely to help you reach your goals.
Start Small and Focused
Start with the first few networks on your prioritized list. Set up complete and optimised profiles for these accounts, post to them often, build a following and engage with other users. You should also promote these accounts on your website and blog and through other marketing channels as appropriate.
The idea here is to build very strong accounts on a few networks and to get very good at using them for social media marketing.
Translate Your Tactics
Once you start to see results from a few social media channels, you can branch out and begin to use others, using some of the same tactics you’ve already practiced. Of course, each channel will require slightly different tactics, but the things you’ve learned about how your company, target market and social media work together can help you be successful on new social networks.
Follow Your Market
As you decide with additional channels to add to your strategy, follow your market. Remember that where your market is and where your business has an online presence need to be the same. For example, just because you build a very strong presence on LinkedIn, that doesn’t mean that you will be able to reach your target market if it is more likely to use a service like Twitter.
Slowly Build a Larger Presence
The businesses that are the most successful on social media slowly build a presence, rather than spread all their resources too thin. By focusing on just a few channels to begin with, and then slowly joining other networks and expanding your social media marketing efforts, your business will gain more from social media. Businesses that try to take on too much in the beginning may have a lot of social media accounts, but they generally don’t have a very strong presence in any of them, meaning none of their accounts are especially valuable in helping them reach their goals.
Creating a strong social media presence that brings rewards takes time. It will take strategy to reach your target market and then build a following and to build accounts that will help your business reach its goals, grow and be successful.
Thursday, April 25th, 2013
Image courtesy of KROMKRATHOG/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
Creating websites that are optimised for mobile use is a current marketing trend, and for good reason. More and more people are browsing the Internet from their smartphones, meaning the small screen is an excellent place to reach your target market.
One of the most popular smartphone uses is accessing social media. Fast mobile browsers and various apps make it possible for people to reach out to their friends, post pictures and status updates, and connect with your business, all from the palm of their hand.
Making your social media marketing campaign mobile-friendly is relatively easy, considering the number of social media apps that already format social media sites for a small screen. But, there are still some things you can do to make your campaign more effectively reach a mobile audience.
Use Mobile-Ready Apps and Landing Pages
If you use Facebook apps, make sure they are mobile ready. If a user accesses your app from the Facebook app, and lands on an app that is not optimised for his screen, he’ll likely exit the app.
Likewise, make sure your landing pages are mobile optimised for the same reason. Any page you send social media followers to should be mobile friendly, whether that’s your own site or a landing page.
Keep it Simple and Short
People who access social media from their smartphones are usually on the go. They don’t have a lot of time to read long posts or follow complicated directions. Your social media posts should be short and to the point and your campaign should be designed with this in mind.
Another benefit to keeping things short is that short messages and campaigns are often more memorable than long, complicated ones.
Use the Mobile Aspect to Your Advantage
Since mobile social media use is so popular, you can integrate the mobile aspect into your campaign. Smartphones and apps make it easy to make things like check-ins, photo contests and QR codes a major part of your campaign. You can make mobile work for you by creating a campaign that utilizes the fact that your market is on the move.
Enhancing your social media marketing campaigns by making them accessible to mobile audiences can make your strategy even more effective. Using mobile-friendly apps and landing pages, keeping your messaging short and using the fact that your audience is on the go to your advantage are simple ways you can start mobile optimising your campaign now.
Wednesday, April 17th, 2013
Image courtesy of tungphoto/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
Has it been a while since you’ve read the about sections on your social media accounts? When was the last time you changed your profile picture? Business social media accounts need a spring-cleaning every year so they continue to be useful in your digital marketing efforts.
Decide Which Accounts are Worth the Investment
You likely have several different social media accounts; but are you using all of them? Is each account benefiting your business? Hopefully you’ve been tracking your movements and successes on each social media account, but if you haven’t, go back and assess the success of each one. Social media management takes time and resources, and part of your social media spring-cleaning should include deciding which sites are worth the investment.
When you know which sites are helping your business the most, you can put more effort into those ones and slow down on, or even stop using, the others. A word of caution: be very careful if you discontinue the use of a social media channel, as you may abandon or confuse a portion of your target market.
Edit the About Section and add Keywords
The about section on your social media accounts is very important. Read your current description and make sure it accurately portrays what your business does. If it’s been a while since you’ve updated this, the goals or even services at your business may be different.
You should also use keywords in your social media biographies. Not all social media sites are crawled by search engines, but keywords can help users find you within the site.
Upload Branded Images
Some believe you shouldn’t change your social media profile picture often, to avoid brand confusion. Others believe that updating your picture periodically will keep your account fresh and prevent it from fading into the background noise of social media. Only you can decide if you should change your profile picture, but, if your picture is outdated or doesn’t fit with your current brand, it’s safe to say it could use an update.
If the accounts you are using allow for additional pictures, like Facebook’s cover photo or Twitter’s background image, make sure the ones you use speak to your brand. The colors, messaging and type of image should all enhance your business’ social media presence.
Use Every Applicable Feature
Social media sites add new features quite frequently. Look over your accounts and see if there are any features you aren’t using that you should be. If you are able to link to your other social media sites, add any accounts that are missing. Also check to make sure things like categories, business hours and URLs are all correct.
Reassess Your Strategy
Are you using your social media accounts to their fullest potential? Are you successfully reaching your markets and reaching your goals? Now is a good time to reassess your strategy, making changes where necessary to make sure your strategy is as efficient as it can be. Also keep in mind that changes in your services or traditional marketing efforts could trigger a change in your social media marketing strategy.
Spring-cleaning your social media sites can help you decide where to focus your efforts and how to best use your accounts. You can start now by updating your accounts and then making sure you are using all the features that will help you build your online presence.
Wednesday, April 17th, 2013
Real-time marketing is being used by more and more businesses as a way to engage with markets and leverage current events, turning them into marketing opportunities. If the whole point of real-time marketing is that it is spontaneous and dependent on what is happening in the moment, how can you plan for it? How can you successfully use real-time marketing in your business?
Understanding Real-Time Marketing
In essence, real-time marketing consists of tactics that are employed in response to a current event. Sometimes these tactics are aimed at a large audience; think billboards, press releases or social media posts. Other times the tactics are aimed at individuals in the form of customer support or social media comments and responses.
Because social media allows for timely responses and lets companies get a message out to a huge audience in very little time, social media is a popular channel for real-time marketing.
An excellent example of this type of marketing is an image Oreo tweeted during the U.S. Super Bowl. The much-anticipated game was being watched and followed by 108 million people when the power in the stadium went out. The game was delayed for 34 minutes, and Oreo jumped on the opportunity with the following tweet:
Oreo’s well-known Super Bowl tweet.
While this response was spontaneous and wasn’t completely planned, it’s clear that Oreo was prepared to launch a real-time marketing tactic through social media.
How to Implement Real-Time Marketing
You can’t always plan real-time marketing in advance, but you can take steps that will make it possible for your brand to use these tactics when the right time presents itself.
Identify the Best Channels
As with many other marketing strategies, you need to identify which channels will be the best for this type of marketing. Social media is commonly used for real time marketing, but you can also use your blog or even more traditional channels like billboards or press releases. When you have identified the channels you want to use, listen to the conversation or news that is being talked about on that channel so you can identify real-time marketing opportunities.
Be Aware of Opportunities
Being aware of real-time marketing opportunities may be one of the biggest preparations you can make. Know when an event is likely to pave the way to launch one of your tactics and then be ready to act. For example, big events or industry developments can provide opportunities for your business to react with a marketing message. One way to find these opportunities is to follow blogs, news sites and to use Google alerts.
Image courtesy of the waving cat/Flickr.
Have a Marketing Team at the Ready
Just like Oreo did with the Super Bowl, you can have a marketing team ready during previously identified real-time marketing opportunities. During large events, new product launches, or holidays, this team can be ready to deploy a message through the channels you have chosen. Your marketing team can also constantly listen to your channels to watch for and respond to these opportunities.
Engage with Individuals in Public Forums
Real-time marketing doesn’t have to be targeted at huge audience. In fact, some very valuable marketing opportunities happen between a business and an individual. However, in order to use these interactions as marketing opportunities, they must take place in a public forum like social media sites or on your website or blog. Some easy ways to implement this type of marketing include responding to your customers’ questions, responding to comments and thanking people for mentioning your brand on social media.
Real-time marketing can be a fresh way to reach your audience and when done correctly, it can resonate with a group of people. Your business can plan for these tactics by identifying channels, becoming aware of opportunities, having a marketing team at the ready and engaging with individuals in a public forum.
Wednesday, April 10th, 2013
Image courtesy of Toa55/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
Social media is quickly becoming one of the most-used channels when it comes to announcing news. All kinds of businesses, from small start-ups to large corporations are turning to sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to announce company news. Is this the path your business should follow?
Who is Your Audience?
If the intended audience for your announcement includes heavy social media users, making your announcement this way could be beneficial. If your market depends on your social media accounts for all the latest information about your business, products and services, making that big announcement online will ensure this audience hears the news.
On the other hand, if the audience for this particular piece of news spends more time reading the newspaper, watching television, listening to the news or tuning in to other marketing channels, you may want to consider making your announcement in a different way.
Is Your Brand Predominantly Social?
If your brand is social, your audience will likely expect announcements to be made through social media networks. For example, if you develop apps, sell software or if most of your marketing is done through social media, an announcement made elsewhere may seem out of place. Considering your brand and the way you market your company can help you decide if making an announcement online will be beneficial.
What Kind of News are You Announcing?
The type of news you are announcing can have a big impact on deciding whether you will announce it on social media or somewhere else. If the news is of interest to your customers, social media may be the right channel. However, if it is aimed at your community, business partners or investors, you may want to consider using a press conference, press release, blog post or company email to make your announcement. Also, keep in mind that some news may not be relevant to the audience you reach on social media, and shouldn’t be announced there.
Will People Miss Out?
If you make your announcement on social media will people miss the news? If the answer is “yes,” and you don’t want that segment of your market to miss what you have to say, social media probably isn’t the best choice for the announcement. If your audience isn’t on social media or doesn’t expect to receive company updates this way, an important part of your market will be oblivious to the announcement.
All things considered, the best route for making company announcements often includes a combination of social media and traditional media tactics. Using several channels will help you reach your entire market and can help your business make industry or local news. Many businesses decide to break news through more than one channel. You may want to use social media first, and then follow up with other tactics. Or, you may want to use all your channels at the same time.
These factors should all be considered when deciding whether making a company announcement on social media is the best decision for your business.
Thursday, April 4th, 2013
Image courtesy of Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
Making your social media accounts more likable, creating a brand personality and connecting with you followers, can help your accounts grow and benefit your business. In general, people are more likely to engage with accounts that start and participate in conversations, that are useful and that are more than tools that push out self-promoting information.
Find Your Voice
Your brand probably already has a voice, but the trick is to find it and use it in social media. Identify whether your voice is casual, authoritative, professional or fun. Many times, brands use a more casual tone when using social media, but that doesn’t mean you should completely abandon your brand. Find an appropriate way to mix the casual tone used on social media with your brand’s voice. Incorporate you chosen voice into your account with your posts and with the type of content you share.
Share what Your Followers Want to See
Find out what kinds of information your followers want to see and are more likely to respond to and then share that type of content. Of course, you still need to share your own content and things that will help you reach your goals and persuade your audience to respond to your calls to action. However, if all of your content is too sales oriented, your account will be less likable. Followers will be less likely to connect with your account and probably won’t interact with you as much as you would like them to.
By openly conversing with your followers, asking questions, responding to comments and listing to input from your audience, your account will become more likable. Fans of your brand and brand advocates like to be heard and want to interact with your business. This strategy also creates a welcoming environment for new followers and creates a positive reputation for your company.
Actively Communicate with Other Users and Followers
It’s easy to become passive on social media, and while there is some merit to listening to your market, being actively engaged with it can help your account be more likable. Seek out and follow accounts that your followers may also be interested in. You can also connect with community accounts or other businesses that you work with. Then, as you form these online relationships you can start conversations, share content and actively communicate with others.
This strategy can help you be more likable on social media because it helps followers see your account as one that is interested in what others have to say. Be cautious though, and only share things that aren’t from your competitors.
By finding your voice, sharing content your followers want to see, becoming approachable and actively communicating on social media, you will be able to make your accounts more likable. More likable accounts will gain more followers, foster more interaction, and will be more effective digital marketing tools.
Friday, March 29th, 2013
Image courtesy of jcburns/Flickr.
Link bait, which is often used in digital marketing strategies, is content that is shared by a brand with the hope that the audience will click a link to view it and share it with others. This strategy is a way to build search engine optimisation links, create a buzz on social media and drive traffic to a company website.
The most successful kinds of link bait is content that is compelling enough for your market to share on their social media accounts or blogs. Sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of what makes good link bait and continue to share mediocre content that doesn’t get shared as much as other types of content. Thinking outside the box and looking for, or creating, content that makes the best link bait can be extremely beneficial to your brand.
Whether you regularly do surveys to study your market or not, you can use survey results as link bait. The types of results that get shared the most are humorous, interesting or surprising statistics. If your company doesn’t have its own survey information, do an informal poll on your blog or social media profile or find some interesting and relevant findings from another source to share with your audience.
Annual Review or Report
While annual reviews may be more popular among your current customers, donors or investors, they can also interest potential customers. Annual reviews can be long and text heavy, so consider sharing just an excerpt or turning some information from a report into a visual representation like an infographic. This approach is a good fit for businesses that sell products or services or that have hard numbers to share.
Videos have the potential to be spread around the Internet in way few other types of content are shared. Instead of going with the expected funny YouTube video, advertisement or product review, give your market an inside look at your business. You can do this by taping a tour of your facilities, interviewing one of our employees, letting people see one of your processes (like packaging products) or announcing news through a video.
Who doesn’t like a free sample? Offering a free online resource, download or tutorial can be an excellent way to drive traffic to your website. When people hear about your free offer, they’ll likely share it with their friends. You can also maximize exposure by requiring your followers to share a link to your free offer before they can claim it. This tactic is also a good way to build a positive reputation and relationship with your market, who will begin to see you as an industry expert.
Resources for Reference
If your brand can create and share a valuable resource that your audience will want to refer back to, you’ll likely see an increase in traffic. Valuable content is shared more often and gets more views than content that lacks purpose. The content used in your resource will depend on what type of business you have, but concepts that are informational, useful, include training and are detailed are usually well received.
No matter what kind of link bait you include in your strategy, be sure to use it to drive traffic to one of your online properties: your website, blog, social media account or lead collection form, for example. Good link bait is compelling enough to entice viewers to view and share the content and is hosted on, or includes a link to, your company website.
Have you thought about sharing your business’ videos on Pinterest? Sharing videos is probably one of the most underused features of the site, which is unfortunate since Pinterest is so visual and has the potential to increase the views your videos receive and even your site’s traffic.
But, don’t just pin your videos in a haphazard way. Instead, use these tips to make sure you get the most out of every video pin you add to Pinterest.
Optimise Your Video Board’s Name
One way you can optimise your Pinterest videos is to create a board that is named after your YouTube channel or includes your business name. It’s also a good idea to include the word “video” so your pins will be more likely to appear in searches done by people looking for video content. This will make it easier for people to find your videos.
If you create lots of videos you may want to use several boards to take advantage of titles and keywords. For example, if you produce both product reviews and instructional videos, you could use two boards and use appropriate key phrases for each name.
Don’t Use Sloppy Descriptions
Writing keyword-rich descriptions is another way you can optimise each of your pins. If you use targeted keywords and useful descriptions, some users may come across your videos when they are searching for general information about a product or industry. This will help you go beyond your regular audience to draw in new customers.
Add a Link to Your Description
Show your viewers where to find more of the video content they love by adding a link to your website, blog or YouTube channel to the pin description. If you mention that you have more videos and resources and then include a link, viewers will be much more likely to visit your site and discover your other videos.
Make it Easy for Viewers to Pin Your Videos and Find You
Ideally you won’t be the only one pinning your company’s videos. If you share videos on your blog, website or any other online property, make sure they are easy to pin. One way to do this is to add Pinterest buttons next to your videos.
Use Your Videos to Build Your Pinterest Following
Another tip is to add your Pinterest profile URL to your videos. Do this by adding a popup with a link or simply including your URL at the end of your video. This strategy can help build your Pinterest following and engagement.
Pinterest is an excellent place to share videos. These tips can help you optimise each pin so you’ll get the most out of your social shares, attract more viewers and increase your site’s traffic.