In yesterday’s blog post, I spoke at length about the necessity of high quality image and video assets in a company’s marketing efforts. With visual media becoming an increasingly useful tool in every internet advertising campaign, the race is on to secure photos and digital camera footage that users will find engaging. Whereas in my previous blog entry I gave advice to small business owners on how to procure this media, today I will be giving guidelines on how and where to implement these excellent strategic marketing assets.
The key to any visual media-centric advertising campaign is knowing where to find one’s audience and how to make those assets appeal to potential traffic. While there is no shortage of options available when it comes to selecting a venue for media sharing, different types of sites do provide different better potential for media exposure than others. As always, I encourage readers to experiment with how they use their visual assets. Sometimes going off the beaten path can prove far more rewarding than sticking to tried-and-true SEO techniques or online marketing practices.
Social Networks: Sharing Visual Media with the Masses
For the highest level of exposure for your unique media, look no further than social websites such as Google+ and Facebook. Both these networks are excellent places for visual assets of all sorts. From professional photographs to video blogs, nearly anything can be shared via social media these days. The current page layout found on Facebook allows for trending images to remain high up in the follower Timeline feed for extended periods of time, while Google+ pages actually spotlight large photos for users to find easily.
The only issue with posting your media assets on social networks comes from the fickleness of public trends. Although a high quality photo can provide a solid click-through rate for attached links, most companies are subject to the whims of the web itself. When a trending topic starts to die off, relevant media takes a hit. It’s because of the fickle nature of public interest that social media sharing takes an attentive eye to use successfully. However, if a company is able to time its efforts correctly, the pay-off in traffic and conversion rates can be worth it.
Blogs: Building up a Following and Community over Time
More often than not, a significant amount of a business’ media assets are found on its company blog. Many businesses maintain a running blog as a way to gain loyal customers, continually add unique original content to a page (thus increasing its SEO value) and convey important news. Accompanying photos and video clips are usually included with blog updates as they add visual panache to a page and give readers something with which to associate the new text content.
While a blog does not offer immediate benefits for the small business owner, a well-run WordPress or Blogger page can act as a hub for both outbound and inbound links. By updating its blog regularly with new content and implementing interesting or eye-catching media elements, a company can draw in visitors to the site which may then interact with valued links.
Video Advertising: Getting Clips to Earn their Keep
Although much of the footage a company creates may be intended to show off its staff and locations, advertising and publicity-based videos are also a core component of most businesses. For those more overt marketing films that a company may shoot, it’s important that they’re used in a strategic and cutting edge manner. To this end, video ads often find their home on websites such as Hulu or Youtube.
In particular, Google’s recently rolled-out AdWords for Video service offers SMB owners a straightforward and efficient way to manage PPC advertisements on YouTube. My previous write-up on the new marketing program goes over the details in full and offers some excellent starting tips for it as well. Businesses looking to get the jump on their video ads should go ahead and create a YouTube channel with all their video media assets uploaded to it. This will make launching a pay per click campaign that much easier when the time comes for it.
By choosing the correct venue for one’s media assets, it’s possible to see results that can bring a small business the sort of traffic it would normally think impossible. If any readers have any further questions regarding my recommendations, I can be contacted at email@example.com.
I love reading books. It’s kind of a prerequisite for teaching English I guess (something I’ve done). Those who spend time behind bindings (or those delving in digitally) may notice introductions to many classics. The introductions are often written by fellow authors and people of words. Why do publishers approach others for introductions? It’s because of the knowledge of the introductions’ authors; in short, ‘they know their stuff’ when it comes to the genre, author, and scope of the literary landscape.
Do you know your stuff when it comes to your vertical? I want you to prove it through social media.
I love writing. Not every soul does. What’s your medium of choice? If you know your stuff, then you have something to add to the ongoing industry conversation. Are you more of a talker? So be it. Start a video blog expressing your thoughts. I think vloggers have some advantages over bloggers. ‘Seeing’ people is more personable. Additionally, viewers can better assess a vlogger’s passion and personality because more social cues are available via video format.
I saw this video on entrepreneur encouragement last week. Is it done off the cuff? Yes. Was it unplanned? Perhaps. Does it make an impact? That’s a definitive, “Yes!”
I’ve noticed a number of parties sharing their slides as well as those of others. Slides are condensed forms of live presentations. Of course, slides can’t duplicate the presence of the speaker; but, you can gain a lot of information from them. Have you done a presentation in-house or externally? Have you shared the knowledge with others? Why not assemble your slides and share them? Sometimes “a picture is worth a thousand words.” I’ve seen well-done slides accompanied by very little text, without taking away from the powerful message of the overall presentation.
Marty Weintraub recently did a presentation and offers his slides on his Facebook page (You have to ‘like’ to download – pretty savvy, huh?)
Content curation is a well discussed trend and marketing motion. Have you thought about housing resources? I see many brand sites hosting a resource section; but, it’s usually reserved for internal content rather than industry-wide material. Why not be a librarian in your industry? Be known as a personality or brand, collecting the exceptional resources within your respective space. It sends a message; it helps brand personalities and companies as ‘keepers’ of valuable content.
I can’t tell you how many times per day, I read messages related to ‘creating great content.’ (Sigh) ‘Great’ is subjective and contingent on many factors. Additionally, the thought of doing it consecutively is a bit intimidating. Some days you feel like a contributor and others…like a keeper of content. Either way, roving for and housing great content offers value to your visitors.
There’s an online marketing cohort of mine, Wayne Barker. The guy is very meticulous and diligent in keeping his eyes on the online marketing space. I do the same; and, he’s made a good impression on me. He keeps a Google Plus library of industry posts. He’s branding himself as a librarian.
If you’re doing a good job using social media, you’re not only sharing your material, but maintaining and sharing the content of others as well. Not only does it create value for the industry and your followers; the process speaks in and of itself. It says, “Hey, (respective vertical) followers, I know my stuff. I know good content when I see it. Know and remember that about me.” Don’t be fooled; we’re watching you for better or worse.
I watched a great online marketing video last week hosted by a popular CEO. He made excellent points throughout; yet, one message particularly hit home. He voiced that the real problem with startups and young brands was not producing quality services and products; the real issue was marketing, gaining attention, informing people of your offered goods and services.
Traditionally, brands pursued the ‘media’ (mainly news sources) to gain exposure. Before the boom of the Web, PR reps would pen press releases and make attempts to contact various sources, which would possibly run a related story. That was then; things are different for modern-day PR people. Sure, there is a lot more competition in each vertical; yet, it is easier to find and connect with news sources.
Consider implementing the following actions to build PR connections:
Twitter never sleeps. There are people tweeting quips and tips at all hours of day and night, making it difficult to read everything, but easy to pinpoint particular authors. It’s common for people to include author names (sometimes praise) along with and associated URL. I wouldn’t suggest going overboard with compliments; but, if you enjoyed reading a piece, it’s a nice sentiment for a writer to hear.
If you find an author, writing stories relatable to your vertical, endeavor at making a connection. Twitter makes it easy to get ‘to know’ someone a bit, as users tweet about business and personal life too, giving readers an opportunity to ascertain a ‘larger picture’ regarding online personalities.
Example: Yesterday, I read a story featuring Topps’ mobile applications. Topps is a traditional brand trying to make an impact in a new digital market. My boss, Ken Wisnefski, has knowledge of the baseball card industry and online marketing, potentially providing advice regarding Topps online pursuits. If I was the PR person, I could attempt to connect with the story’s author.
Facebook has been ‘around’ for some time now; but, businesspeople have really just began engaging the platform in the last couple of years, especially after introducing brand pages. Recently, Facebook has introduced timelines.
News sources are ready to make online impacts, much like traditional sources did in providing news for decades. Take a gander at some popular news sources in the industry; they are trying very hard to integrate into the digital age; the brands are using social media platforms like Facebook. Take a look at the timelines of a few. Can you see patterns in stories covered? What stories are receiving the most engagement by readers and social media followers? Those are likely to be stories pursued in the near future; or, you can at least gain a ‘feel’ for what kinds of stories are ‘hot’ and ‘trending’ at the moment.
Example: Let’s take a look at the Wall Street Journal’s Facebook timeline. I see from the timeline, the WSJ posted a video about good-guy CEOs. I could attempt to engage the author through the WSJ page; but, it’s not as personal; I’m likely to pursue an author via their own social profile. However, here I see the story has gotten a lot of shares, people are interested. Could I use this information to pen a ‘hot’ story for my own online property? Yes. Could I proactively ‘interview’ my CEO and pitch a possible follow-up to the story’s author? I could do that too. The timeline gives me a lot more information than PR people had years ago before the boom of the Web.
Blogging is a form of communication. Offline, when a communicative process is not getting optimal results, a modification is in order. For instance, if the reception of a cellular phone is bad, you’ll move to get better service. Blogging should experience the same trial-and-error processes. Can you hear me now? I’ve noticed a few wrongdoings with the blogosphere, committed by those writing, promoting, and commenting. Consider the following wrongs and making modifications for the future.
- Be quick on the draw. Are you writing about the same topics as others in your vertical? If you’re not amongst the most-popular blogs in your space, you’re wasting time. Don’t chase the same stories as a number of personalities in your space unless you can put your own spin, perspective, or add more to it. Otherwise, you’re offering the same products already on the shelf; readers are likely to grab the name-brand posts first.
- Do you enjoy writing? If you don’t, it’s likely to come out between the lines. Don’t fret; consider using a helper or ghost writer. The writer can merely be the scriber, the person who comprises your thoughts on paper. There’s no reason to disconnect your name from your thoughts.
- Be consistent with your writing, especially if you’re building an audience. It may be best practice to post on pre-elected days; that way, the readership has a level of expectation you can appropriately address. Being sporadic and lazy may turn readers away or make them think your ability to post is ‘unstable.’
- Are you writing a post, hitting publish, and waiting? That’s a bad idea, even for a well-read personality. There is way too much information these days. People are ‘busy’ online; you can’t expect them to know you published unless they have subscribed to your blog. It’s absolutely necessary to promote posts via social media.
- Do you promote the posts of others? There is a golden rule in blogging. Sharing others’ posts shows those in your community you’re active and participating. It also raises the chances of others sharing your content. Blogging is a community effort; you’re not just writing for your eyes alone; blogging is a social activity; so, make sure you’re interacting.
- Are you promoting the same article on several platforms? If you have a lot of the same followers and friends, you’re confronting them with reruns. It’s likely not very appreciated. Segment your content and make a clear distinction between types of content displayed on separate platforms.
- Do you want readers, shares, and comments? You must engage in the same kinds of activities. Comment on other bloggers’ posts. This can be done within your respective vertical and beyond. Could readers in another space benefit from your blog’s insight? Make an impression outside of your vertical, inspiring readers to take interest in you and your blog.
- Are you leaving comments just to write something, anything? Do you leave URLs pointing back to your own posts or online properties? In many cases, these are not championed and often highlight ulterior motives, such as commenting for selfish means. Make a comment to strengthen your own authority as well as enhance the education of the community. The blogosphere is much larger than you and your business!
- Are you attempting to make a connection with the writer in the comments? Think about your own writing. Would you like to feel as if your post was read, reviewed, and pondered? Of course you would-all writers would enjoy that. Consider revisiting a point within the post or directly writing to the writer in your comments. Commenting is not just about writing something; it’s about forming relations!
Are you interested in search engine optimization and a variety of online marketing efforts? Before you begin the process, you need a ‘translator,’ an online ‘tour guide.’ You need an SEO service provider. Download our free white paper and learn how to shop for a provider.
Good morning or afternoon (depending on SEO hemisphere). A lot of good posts and discussion took place recently. Let’s tear into last week’s can of online marketing posts. You know you can’t read just one.
Our regular bloggers are at it on a daily-weekly basis, providing beginner insight on a number of SEO topics.
Ryan gives great insight, often from an international search engine optimization perspective. Ryan penned an insightful, three-part piece last week, addressing the changing landscape of search (and associated technology and implementations) and how a business can prepare
Jason writes from our SEOservices community on a range of online topics. He enjoys discussing SMO topics and platforms and tech trends.
Anthony aka Content Muse enjoys writing about content, branding, and reputation management, as well as about himself in third person.
Now, let’s branch out; we’re all in a larger community.
Of course, there was tons of great content not listed above. What would you like to bring to the community’s attention? Please contribute – enjoy the rest of your day.
Yoo-hoo! Remember Yahoo, a company that could’ve gotten friendly with Facebook to the point of making it a part of the family, a company who Microsoft wanted to get close to too? Today, Yahoo is in the news, shifting the board of directors around in hopes to make forward momentum.
As Sterling’s article showcases, though regularly first or second (behind Google) in search statistics (Comscore’s December 2011 stats), Yahoo has made no significant improvement in recent years in a number of verticals: media, retail, travel, autos, finance, and health.
Yahoo plans to replace half of its board of directors. Two new members have been appointed: Maynard Webb and Alfred Amoroso; the brand intends to ‘search’ for more. A New York Times article indicates both new appointees have dense, digital technological experience. Webb is former chief exec of LiveOps, an online call center services provider. From 1999 to 2006, Webb quarterbacked multiple departments for eBay. Amoroso is a director of Rovi, serving as the company’s chief exec until last December. Amoroso also has a past, as a top exec at I.B.M.’s Asian services business.
What’s interesting in the reflection of usage from the Sterling article (as he points out) is the exclusion of Facebook from the statistics. How many people are using Facebook? As another Times article suggests, some numbers (especially coming from Facebook) could be misleading.
Facebook proudly boasts about its 845 million monthly users and 483 “daily active users.” Those numbers are impressive, and likely issued in lieu of its IPO. However, those numbers are subjective, depending on what you consider to be an ‘active’ user. For instance if you click on one of the Facebook icons below WebiMax SEO blog articles, you’re considered an active user. Would you agree? Would you if you were Facebook execs, wanting to accrue as many user numbers as possible to impress investors?
That’s likely the brand of pressure executives at Yahoo are up against. Competing neck and neck in search with Microsoft, and making no immediate waves on the social or mobile scene (neither is Facebook at the moment) is not inspiring anyone to shout about Yahoo’s extraordinariness. That’s the newly-appointed job of Webb and Amoroso (and to-be announced board members) – to make more people give Yahoo a ‘yoo-hoo,’ but, is it too late to shift the statistics?