In the early days of the Internet, text was the predominant medium through which information was shared with the masses. In a time before broadband connections, HD videos and even Facebook, the Web was more about functionality than style. While these technical limitations made for a lackluster user experience, they did create a solid blueprint for today’s Internet.
When the Web was ruled by text and rudimentary HTML code, pages had to be coded very efficiently in order to load quickly and images and videos were simply out of the question. Although text still plays a crucial role in the modern Internet, technological advancements have placed multimedia and rich content front-and-center.
A Tale of Two Browsers: From Mosaic to Chrome – The Evolution of Digital Content
A Changing of the Guard
As YouTube, Pinterest and other popular sites geared toward images and videos continue to grow, the focus has begun to shift away from text as the primary form of content on the Internet. Today, virtually every website utilizes extensive imagery or video content to engage audiences. Social networks are certainly no exception.
In fact, social media posts or tweets containing images or videos are more likely to be shared or “liked” than those exclusively comprised of text. The bottom line is – rich content is the key to a more effective Social Media marketing strategy.
How to Engage Your Audience with Photos & Videos
Though I specifically cited YouTube and Pinterest as “media-focused” networks, other social profiles can equally benefit from rich content. Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn have all recently added enhanced video and photo integration capabilities for user and business profiles. This functionality allows users to more easily display rich and engaging content.
However, it is always important to consider your audience. When creating new rich content, first ask yourself if your consumers would find it helpful or intriguing. Originality, creativity and even humor are all elements of successful content. Keep it relevant, fun and informative. Developing infographics, instructional videos, customer testimonials and new or upcoming product photos are all engaging ways to reach your social following.
Every successful Social Media Optimization and Marketing campaign begins with delivering quality content to your followers. By offering up unique, captivating videos and images as part of your content strategy, you’re well on your way to Social Media success!
Want to learn how to get even more from your Social Media marketing campaign? Ask our Experts or share your thoughts in the comments below!
Over the last few months, an interesting trend has occurred on the world’s largest video sharing network and Google subsidiary, YouTube. While the primary ranking factor for YouTube search results used to be video view count, audience retention is now the most important component in determining a video’s position in the YouTube SERPs.
Why the Change?
Lately, Google’s been emphasizing quality and relevancy over quantity and this goes beyond universal search results. Major algorithm updates such as Penguin and Panda affected more than 3% of all search queries and were intended to improve the accuracy of results by delivering pages which were designed for the reader, not the robots.
Now, this focus on quality has made its way to YouTube and taken precedence over video views, which are counted regardless of the bounce rate from the page and content itself. Until recently, if a user watched less than ten seconds of a five minute-long video, that view (or lack thereof) was still counted and influenced its ranking. The move toward audience retention as a primary ranking factor helps to ensure that the video is more engaging and relevant, as the viewer is staying on the page for a majority of the video’s duration.
Creating Content with Audience Retention in Mind
Today, multimedia plays an integral role in a majority of successful marketing and advertising campaigns. With many businesses utilizing video as a promotional tool and YouTube as their primary (or only) hosting platform, it is important to understand how to get the most from that content.
When developing your own video content, ask yourself:
- “Would I want to watch this video?”
- “Do the titles/keyword/description accurately define the content itself?”
- “What can I do to improve this video?”
All content, whether it is text, video or otherwise, must be designed with quality in mind. In marketing, it is essential to not only raise awareness about your brand and increase its visibility, but to captivate your audience and motivate them to take a genuine interest in your products or service offerings.
While video content is a useful resource within marketing and advertising campaigns, it must be developed with a strong emphasis on quality in order to be truly effective.
What are you doing to get more value from your YouTube videos? Share your thoughts with me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below!
Although this year’s election has been the most expensive in US history to date (with a total price tag of over $2 billion), the most significant platform utilized by both Romney and Obama to enhance their visibility throughout the campaign may, surprisingly, be the most cost effective, as well. Social media first proved its worth in the political arena during President Obama’s groundbreaking 2008 campaign. The usage of YouTube and Facebook to connect with a vast, diverse audience had undeniably helped Obama pull ahead in the polls and capture coveted demographics in crucial swing states such as Ohio.
By creating a new form of “digital grassroots” campaign, Obama was able to successfully reach voters who spent more time on Facebook and YouTube than watching C-SPAN or reading political publications. Additionally, the least expensive element of Obama’s campaign proved to be the social media component, as the President’s social following was largely organic and the campaign’s online ad spend was far less than its print and television counterparts. The first ever “Social Election” was a complete success and had paved the way for future campaigns.
Fast Forward to 2012…
As the incumbent, Obama now maintains a sizeable lead in terms of social following. As mentioned by both Todd Bailey and Mike Stricker in our “Social Media & Election 2012” Web series, Obama’s following has been substantially greater than Mitt Romney’s on networks such as Facebook and Twitter since the outset. However, Romney’s campaign has placed a strong emphasis on social media and this has made the race to the White House much more competitive.
While the size and scope of this campaign has been greater than any before it, the role of social media marketing has played an instrumental role in the overall reach of the campaign. Going forward, candidates will almost certainly need to make social media a major part of their campaign efforts in order to raise awareness and establish themselves amongst the ever-expanding Internet audience.
As the Democratic National Convention begins with the Republican National Convention finished, social media will continue to keep people from across the country tuned in on the action. Regardless of what political party you support, with the use of social media those from all angles of the political spectrum can catch all the action, cast their opinion on speakers, reflect on current issues, and show support for their party.
Since social media took center stage in the 2008 Presidential election, it has become a viable means of connecting voters with candidates. Social media sites help improve campaign engagement by sparking online interest. This year, a sharp use of Twitter and YouTube during the RNC occurred, with an already expected high use of these sites to follow during the DNC.
Within the RNC’s three-day long period, over 4 million tweets posted with 14,743 tweets popping up per minute. This is a drastic increase in comparison to the 2008 convention, in which only a mere 360,000 tweets were tweeted during the two week timespan of both conventions. This year’s trends included the official GOP hashtag of #GOP2012 with the hashtag #RNC also highly used. While the DNC occurs, users can expect to see the official Democratic hashtag of #DNC2012, as well as #DNC to trend. While listening to speakers, Twitter users can reflect on speeches, argue their points on issues discussed, and you can expect to see a lot of quotes by Presidential candidates and speakers.
YouTube pages are especially hot spots for social media users to watch and stay tuned in on convention activities. This year’s RNC saw more than 2.5 million YouTube views, with over 300,000 hours of video streaming, and a view time of more than 30 minutes. In addition to listening to speakers, YouTube offers infographics and social data to keep online audiences informed of the latest numbers.
Regardless of what social media site you’re on, you can expect the conventions to be a highlight, especially with the 2012 Presidential election rolling around the corner.
On Wednesday night at the first ever Agile SEO meetup hosted by WebiMax’s own Chris Countey, I delivered a presentation regarding the value of rich content and its place in the future of online marketing. I discussed the growth of video on the Web and how it has gradually become a more powerful marketing tool for those who properly utilize it. However, the development of a successful digital video marketing campaign is a complex and involved process that may seem daunting to some. In fact, following my presentation, several attendees approached me with questions and concerns about the video production process. I’ve designed the following guide as both a response to those Agile SEO attendees and to help those not present at the meetup to better understand the value of rich content in online marketing.
Arguably, the greatest challenge of any marketing campaign is the initial development process. Determining the best course of action to maximize visibility and enhance revenue can be difficult and this holds true in relation to video SEO campaigns, as well. The planning or “pre-production” phase is the logical starting point for rich content creators. The pre-production process involves developing a script or an outline of the video itself and evaluating the budget and anticipated timeframe for completion. Pre-production is a crucial part of video development and should never be overlooked, even by the most experienced video producers.
The Production & Post-Production Process
Once the video is planned, production can begin. This process includes recording or otherwise generating all of the content to be featured within the video. After the content is created, it is then edited (if necessary) and uploaded to YouTube, Vimeo, DailyMotion, Tout or a number of other popular video sharing websites in the “post-production” phase.
Optimizing Rich Content
Just like web pages, videos can also be optimized to increase their visibility in the SERPs and throughout social media. Creating original, relevant titles, descriptions and keywords for videos as well as enhancing social engagement are the cornerstones of the video optimization process.
Video viewership will continue to rise online in the years as the accessibility and quality of rich content on the Web increases. Going forward, video SEO will not only become a more significant element of digital marketing campaigns, but a crucial factor in achieving greater overall brand awareness online.
Social media and video marketing are increasingly more important in the internet marketing efforts of businesses. More people are online and searching for business information than ever before and videos that businesses create and then promote can increase the exposure businesses get and the ability to build their outward image and communicate a specific message. All of this can be wrapped up neatly in a short video that is tastefully shot and skillfully produced with even small features such as text, images, and transitions.
Businesses have been using this for some time, however, only a limited percentage of businesses have been using them to their fullest potential. Now a joint venture between Google and American Express called My Business Story invites businesses to record a video describing their business’ background and ‘story,’ and helps them leverage it for optimal gain. The initiative offers businesses assistance in the form of an editing tool that can help them put the finishing touches on videos in the form of small features like text.
The idea is for business owners who do not especially have video expertise or video departments to be able to understand the process and competently upload the videos themselves and then ultimately be able to leverage them for optimal marketing gain. The initiative recommends the businesses to post the videos on their company websites, but also social media pages such as Facebook and Google +, and the My Business YouTube Channel Page. From there, businesses can promote the videos and profile it in their communications online. My Business Story follows Google’s Get Your Business Online initiative which I discussed in a previous article, and in a two-part blog post regarding its impact in developing markets. The current initiative follows suit in the sense that it empowers businesses to use the resources that are available to them online, offering them assistance to get started.
The 3 Things Marketers Should Do
Based on the outlook of who the initiative is catered to, the majority of small businesses utilizing the initiative’s offering will not be doing any additional videos. As such, they need to maximize their time and create the most impactful message possible. Stories and background information are very important in creating an emotional attachment and creating awareness. However, in the short time that the businesses have on the video they additionally need to:
- Create a core message, not necessarily a slogan, but a core message that all of the video’s content supports whether its “local at a fair price” or “simply the best…” – the viewer needs to walk away with a concept associated with the company.
- Detail who exactly your customers are early in the video so those who watch it can know immediately how the products and services relate to them.
- Offer valuable description about how your products are great and different than the competition’s products.
It may seem simple, but many businesses will unfortunately miss the mark. The inherent limitations when doing one all-encompassing video force the creators to use the time and video efficiently making it essential to include these three key points. If they don’t, they end up with just an attractive fun video that doesn’t stick with customers. So instead they want to cover the essential elements in an interesting way so customers not only remember your company name, but your central message. After this point, SEO Companies can assist businesses in the marketing of the video on the various website and social pages, as video content now shows in search engine results pages (SERPs) and thus its details can be optimized.
For more information regarding how businesses can best construct a video in terms of proper messaging, how to utilize video marketing, and finally how to optimize video details and posting them for maximum SEO gain, you can reach out to me in several ways – directly via email at email@example.com or twitter @ryanwbudd.