Back in 2005, Yahoo! purchased Flickr, the world’s first major photo sharing website. Then, nothing happened. Many users thought they screwed it up. Well, Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer is on a mission to ensure that Flickr is improved upon.
The company has announced that all Flickr users now have 1 terabyte of storage space.
With that much storage space, you can upload one photo per hour for forty years and not use up your space. So has Flickr become a great place for uploading and sharing your photos again?
Maybe. The real test will be if users start using the site again. A lot of people left after Yahoo! purchased the site. But if you can upload that many photos for free, then I’d say it’s still a great place to store your photos for using on your website or blog.
But that’s not all. Yahoo! has also improved the look of Flickr, giving it some new features.
Your homepage is now a gateway to everything you care about, and all the photos Flickr has to offer. Our new Activity Feed combines your friends’ recent uploads with activity on your own photos, and all in a beautiful design that lets you share and interact right on the page.
You really should check it out. Flickr’s new look is awesome. And for video marketing, it’s just as awesome. You can now upload videos up to three minutes long.
If you’ve been waiting for live streaming to come to YouTube, then you can relax. If you have more than 1,000 subscribers to your YouTube channel, then you can engage in live streaming video right now.
This is an awesome opportunity for serious video marketers.
YouTube has been the forerunner in video sharing and video marketing since its inception in 2005. Now that it’s owned by Google, the opportunities for marketing are even better. It’s not just a video marketing platform. It’s a video storage and video sharing platform with huge, HUGE SEO benefits.
Your audience will surely value the live streaming experience. If you produce an informational segment in your niche at a specific time every day, week, or month, then live streaming is perfect.
The WebProNews article highlights some of the features of live streaming on your YouTube channel:
- Real-time transcoding in the cloud
- Multiple camera angles
- Closed captioning
- Support for multiple devices
- And much more
If you thought YouTube marketing was good before, it just got a lot better. Video marketing is a great way to introduce new clients to your products or engage with new leads. Live streaming video takes the benefits of video marketing and multiplies them.
There is a new art form, and a new marketing strategy, that involves using a variety of media to tell separate stories of the same characters or worlds. It’s called transmedia storytelling.
Transmedia storytelling is different than cross-media storytelling. With cross-media, you are telling the same story. With transmedia storytelling, you are telling separate stories of the same characters that run parallel. Many new entertainment brands are using transmedia storytelling by incorporating the following media to present worlds in different ways:
- Social media
- Mobile apps
- And more
The big question is how can businesses take the principles of transmedia storytelling and apply them to marketing and branding?
Like a lot of things, there’s not just one way to do it. But it takes some creativity and thinking outside of the box to pull it off.
For instance, why not create a character or mascot that represents your business? Then you can give that character a voice by choosing someone to play that character in a series of entertainment videos where your brand, product, market niche, or customer need is the central message.
Next, set up a Twitter account where you tweet in the voice of the character.
Make your mascot the central character in an e-book.
Blog in that character’s voice daily.
When you go about these ordinary marketing activities, be sure that you are adding value to your audience’s lives. Entertain them while you inform them. Make it fun.
We’ve talked about Google+ Hangouts before, and we’ve talked about YouTube marketing too. But did you know you can integrate these two features to make them both more powerful?
Google+ Hangouts is like Skype. You can host a web conference with up to 10 people (with Skype, it’s 25). However, Google+ Hangouts has some additional features that Skype can’t touch.
For instance, you can share documents with the other webinar participants in real time for free. You can share your computer screen and use Google Drive to share your documents. You can also click the “ON-AIR” button once your Google+ Hangout is underway and record your Hangout live. Let’s see you do that with Skype!
But it doesn’t stop there. You can easily share your Google+ Hangout with all your friends on YouTube. That makes your webinar available to your YouTube channel’s followers and the billions of YouTube users who search for videos on a daily basis.
Once your web conference on Google+ Hangouts is shared on YouTube, you can then share it on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and any other social media site you are a member of.
Google+ Hangouts is a free feature that is a part of Google+. It’s a powerful business tool for video marketing.
Marketing your brand through YouTube is one of the most powerful media for marketing on the Internet, but what is the true value? Is it traffic? Rankings? Brand reputation?
The truth is, most of the benefit you get from marketing your videos through YouTube is with brand management, not traffic or rankings.
The Truth About YouTube Traffic
In the FAQ section of this lengthy blog post, the author gives an example of a YouTube video marketer who showed over 400,000 views on their YouTube videos in December 2012 but received only 19 referrals to their website as a result of those videos.
If that doesn’t shock you, it should.
The amount of traffic you can expect from your YouTube videos is relatively low. Why? Because people don’t go to YouTube to find videos that promote websites. They go there to find a video to watch for entertainment or informational purposes.
YouTube And Search Rankings
If you upload videos to YouTube hoping to increase your website’s search engine rankings, you’ll be disappointed. You could see a rise in your brand’s search rankings, but it will likely be your YouTube channel – especially if you upload a lot of videos and if you share them on your social media accounts or embed them on your website.
Video embeds from YouTube help YouTube’s rankings, not the site on which videos are embedded.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If you want more rankings for your brand name, YouTube could be a place for you to make that happen. Just know that you’ll be ranking your YouTube channel, not your website.
YouTube And Branding
Your best bet for using YouTube for marketing purposes is to upload videos that have a strong branding message to them. Try to make your videos informative and entertaining. If you can do both and still get your brand in front of your audience, then you’ll be golden. That’s what YouTube is all about.
YouTube has opened up One Channel to the entire world. So what is it?
In a word, One Channel is YouTube’s new design platform that allows you to make your YouTube channel more accessible to more people. The prime feature of One Channel is that it makes your YouTube channel easier to experience on any digital device. No matter what kind of screen your video viewers are using, they can experience your videos.
That includes desktop machines, laptops, tablets, smartphones, TVs, or any type of device with a digital display.
Check out this example of a YouTube One Channel design.
YouTube Is More Accessible Than Ever Before
YouTube One Channel isn’t just for independent movie makers. It’s for anyone who has a YouTube channel and makes videos for an audience. That includes online marketers.
No matter what niche you serve, if you have your own YouTube channel, then you should switch to the new YouTube One Channel design. If you aren’t producing your own videos on YouTube but you’ve considered it, then you should definitely put your eye on this new product because this is the future of video marketing.
I’m proud to see video marketing improving, especially on YouTube. This is one area where technology just keeps improving. It’s good to see it.
Google+ Hangouts just keeps getting better. Did you know you can livestream your hangouts over YouTube, and even on your own website?
It’s true. All you need is a computer, a Google+ account, and a webcam. Then you can plan, schedule, and broadcast your very own Hangout. You can use your Hangout for anything you want. Here are a few ways you can use Google+ Hangouts:
- Hold a series of classes or workshops
- Host a webinar
- Answer customer service questions in realtime
- Take care of customer service issues with multiple people having the same problem at the same time
- Make an important announcement about your business
- Introduce a new product or service
- Conduct private business meetings
- Present awards, promotions or other honors across great distances
I’m sure you can think of other uses for Google+ Hangouts. The cool thing about Hangouts is that they are free. Instead of paying for meeting or webinar meetings, you can have them on Google+ for free. And you can livestream them over YouTube or your own website – again, for free.
Innovative online marketers are always trying something new and always testing the latest technology available to them. Google+ Hangouts is still new enough that you can be on the ground floor.
A client says to me, “I should be getting more traffic than I’m getting from this SEO business.” My response is, “Of course you should be getting more traffic. You should be doing more things.”
Sometimes, expectations exceed reality because we’re not willing to do the work necessary to make reality reach our expectations. If you aren’t getting enough results from your efforts, maybe you should do more. Or maybe you should see what else you can do to achieve the results you are expecting.
Online marketers should never just rely on one method of marketing. If all you are doing is writing blog posts and hoping SEO will deliver more traffic to your website, then you aren’t doing enough. You should be promoting through social media.
Or you could be using pay per click advertising models, or perhaps doing some video marketing.
If you’re blogging 15 days a month, start blogging 30 days a month and see what happens. Open up a Twitter account and promote your blog through Twitter. Do some Facebook marketing. Or head off to LinkedIn and join a few communities. Join a forum or two. Engage in some conversation in the forums. Write a few articles even.
Marketing is about talking to people. It’s not about sitting around waiting for results. Birds who do that don’t get any worms.
Video marketing is becoming more and more powerful, and competitive. It’s also one of the best ways to SEO your website. And I mean beyond building inbound links.
Here are 5 SE0 tactics to ensure you employ when conducting your ongoing video marketing:
- Submit to more than just YouTube – There are at least 50 video sharing websites online. You should upload every video to YouTube and at least 10 of the more popular video sites in addition to YouTube.
- Optimize your video titles – Make sure the title on each video you upload to the various sites mentioned above is unique. If you share one video to ten sites, then you should have ten unique titles. Each of them should use your primary keyword. Also, optimize your description and tags for each video on each site.
- Embed your video on your website and/or blog – Google is now indexing embedded videos on websites and sending traffic directly to those sites.
- Add a niche-related video section on your website – This will encourage other people in your niche to share their videos on your website. More content equals more SEO.
- Create a video sitemap – Sitemaps help search engines find pages to index. If you have a lot of videos on your website, then you should create a video sitemap.
Video optimization is one of the most important activities you can perform if you use videos in your marketing – and you should!
If you’re looking for a new opportunity in video marketing, YouTube has it. But this opportunity requires that you put an educational twist on your videos, not a self-promotional angle.
I hope you don’t see that as a bad thing.
The Internet has always been a place where people have gone to search for information. Therefore, informational-driven content typically does well. In times past, that has existed primarily in text-based content such as articles and blogs. But today, it is just as likely to be in the format of videos, infographics, or multimedia presentations.
Khan Academy is a YouTube channel that is education-focused. If you have a topic that is easily digested and perfect as an educational venue, and you believe you are the right person to deliver educational content on that topic, then here’s your opportunity.
Educational videos are very popular right now – on YouTube and elsewhere. So this opportunity comes at just the right time.
The YouTube opportunity – termed EDU Gurus – will only be open to 10 people, each of whom will receive $1,000 to allow them to purchase educational equipment. But you have to apply for the program. If you’re accepted, then you could be the next YouTube sensation. Here’s your opportunity, all of you who are interested in being video superstars.
Most businesses approach an online marketing company with a general question like, “what kind of marketing should I do online and what does it cost?”
If an online marketing company answers that question directly, they’re probably not the company you want to go with. The sad fact of the matter is you can’t really define your online marketing strategy unless you define your budget first. Why is that?
Online marketing has blossomed into many different sub-niches. You can use videos online, pay-per-click marketing, social media, search engine optimization strategies, mobile marketing, and the list goes on. Each one of these online marketing channels requires a specialist to put together a strategy that has a remote chance of success. That’s because they’ve each developed into a unique discipline.
You can easily spend $1,000 on marketing your business online and barely touch the tip of the iceberg in terms of opportunities. So you have to narrow your scope to determine what are the best opportunities for your business.
How you spend $300 in PPC is very different in how you can spend the same amount of money on social media. If that’s your monthly budget, then you can’t do both very effectively.
By setting your online budget first, you automatically eliminate certain online marketing channels because you can only do so many videos for $500. That money might be better spent pursuing a channel that allows you to reach your target audience with many more touch points. For this reason, it’s best to meet with an online marketing consultant to help you narrow your opportunities to most cost effective for your business.
It’s getting harder and harder to convert video viewers to customers. It could be because videos are a lot more popular online right now than they’ve ever been, but it’s also because there are so many ways to view videos. People aren’t necessarily watching them on your website. And not necessarily on YouTube either.
People watch videos on social networks and on their mobile phones and tablets too. They may be at home, at work, or standing in line at the movie theater. You have to grab their attention fast and close them.
Here are 4 ways to ensure you get closer to converting video viewers to customers the first time they watch your video:
- Keep it short – Few people have time to watch a ten minute video, especially if they feel like they will be sold to. Make it short and hold their interest.
- Entertain them – Be entertaining even as you inform. People will sit through two minutes of entertainment more than a 30-second infomercial that is nothing more than a conduit for information.
- Add calls to action – If you want people to respond, give them a call to action. Tell them what to do because it may not be obvious.
- Close them on the spot – Put your call to action in the video itself rather than having your viewer go to your website and fill out a form. If you can get the click right in the video, then you put your customer one step closer to the conversion. That means you are more likely to get the sale.
Video marketing is becoming more sophisticated every day. Leave nothing to chance.
I like this post at Constant Contact that shares ways you can make a video without it costing you money. One common misconception about video marketing is that it must cost a fortune. It doesn’t have to.
What typically costs the most in video marketing is the production. It’s especially expensive if you use paid actors in your videos. But you don’t have to do that. You can often make great videos using your staff.
Constant Contact shared 6 ways to make no-cost or low-cost videos. I’m going to talk about 3 ways that are no-cost and super-powerful:
- Showcase your work – If you run a business where the product is some sort of creativity, or even if there is a final visible outcome such as fixing a car, then you can videotape that process. All you need is someone to control the video while you do your work.
- Interview an expert – One way to get the word out about yourself is to conduct an interview on video. Either have someone ask you questions as if you are the expert (because you are), or you can interview an expert on camera. Since you are the producer of the video, you get the credit and it’s powerful marketing.
- Make an announcement – Another way to make a great low-cost video is to announce a fundraiser or an event. If you pick a great charity to support and you hold a fundraiser for that event, you can announce it through video and drive traffic to your event. Plus, it’s great marketing.
In each of these cases, your staff can be the on-camera talent. That will save you a bundle in video production.
What would it take to complete your online presence? Do you know?
First, let’s define “online presence.” What is it? Do you need a website to be online? If you don’t have a website and you engage in social media marketing, do you have an online presence?
Regarding the website question, you don’t need a website to be online. It’s preferable, of course, if you are doing any marketing for your company, but any presence you have online constitutes an online presence. That means if the only thing you do is listen, then you have an online presence.
But that’s not a complete presence.
So what does a complete online presence look like? Ostensibly, I’d say a complete online presence has several characteristics that include:
- A website as a basic hub of your online activity
- Regular, valuable content
- Targeted search engine optimization
- An e-mail marketing strategy
- A social media marketing strategy
- Video and/or mobile content
- Online advertising strategy
- Competitive intelligence and research
These do not have to be in any particular order, but a complete online presence would include each of these elements. Your tactical marketing might consist of one or two of these pieces working in tandem toward a miniature goal. Your overall strategy, however, should include a plan for each one of these elements as you work toward a broader, more significant goal for your business.
Do you have a total marketing plan for your business? Are you working toward a complete online presence? If not, why not?
If you are doing any amount of video marketing, then you’ve got to pay attention to YouTube. It is THE place to upload and share your videos online. But you have to optimize your videos for search and that takes a little thinking ahead.
Here are 5 elements of YouTube video optimization that every video marketer should implement:
- Title – YouTube videos, like web pages, have titles. And they are just as important. It’s not clear just how much titles affect the rank of videos, but the title is sure to affect video rankings. Make sure your video titles tell viewers what your video is about and use your primary keyword (the one you want the video to rank for).
- Description – Just like meta descriptions, video descriptions are important on YouTube. Take the time to write a description using one or two keywords. Tell viewers what your video is about. How is it different than other videos on YouTube?
- Tags – YouTube allows you to write tags for each of your videos. This is where you will use keywords that are relevant to your video. List as many as you can think of, but make sure they are relevant. Don’t engage in keyword spam.
- Transcription – This is one that many YouTube video marketers don’t think about. YouTube actually uses your transcription to rank videos. What you want to do is type out a word-for-word video transcription of your video and upload it to YouTube.
- Authority – You should create a channel, and post videos often. As you post videos and they are liked by other YouTube users you will develop a channel authority. That’s very important. Manage your channel authority and you’ll do well.
It’s no secret that video marketing is picking up speed. More and more companies are figuring out that online videos drive traffic and increase engagement. Surprisingly, the Fortune 100 companies have figured it out too.
Remember, just a couple of years ago marketers were asking, “Where are the global corporations? Why aren’t they making inroads into Internet marketing?” It turns out, now they are, and they’re doing it with video.
In 2010, only 50% of the Fortune 100 companies had YouTube channels. Last year, that number was 57%. This year, it’s 79%. What changed?
I think they’ve figured out that people will actually watch their videos. They’ve been told that no one wants to watch a boring commercial if they don’t have to. After all, when the commercials come on TV, we go to the fridge. Evidently, that isn’t necessarily true. Some people DO like the commercials.
In fact, 2 million viewers subscribe to the Fortune 100 channels, and these companies are keeping their viewers engaged.
That’s good news for the small business. If the global companies can do it, then you can too. The key to effective video marketing is to entertain first. Keep your audience engaged by giving them some reason to return to your channel over and over gain. Feature real people doing spectacular feats, or entertain them with your skills. Tell them a story. Do something that will get their attention. Don’t be a salesman.
A recent study shows that marketers and ad agencies are pretty close in their ideas about certain marketing tactics like online advertising, video marketing, blog content, and mobile.
I’m really not surprised by these results. I assume that online advertising is a reference to display advertising, but the study doesn’t say. I suppose it could also refer to pay per click marketing. Either way, it seems that ad agencies, and particularly marketers, see a lot of value in this tactic.
More importantly, video marketing has seen a sharp increase among both marketers and ad agencies. A full 12% more marketers are investing in video production while 7% more ad agencies are recommending it. No wonder. It’s an effective way to market online in 2012.
Mobile marketing has taken a huge leap. 30% more marketers are marketing through mobile and 10% more ad agencies are recommending it.
But what about blog content marketing? 1% fewer marketers are using blogs and 1% fewer ad agencies are recommending it. I wonder why. When you consider the SEO benefits of blog content, the long term reputation management benefits, and the branding benefits that blogging has to offer, I wonder why more ad agencies aren’t recommending blog management and why aren’t more marketers going that route?
It could be a perception that the blogosphere is oversaturated, but even if so, it’s quite effective in terms of driving traffic and engagement for brands that are using it. Video is good, mobile is good, and advertising is good, but so is blogging. What are your thoughts?
Pinterest started out as a way for users to share images with friends and fans. It quickly became very popular and is now one of the fastest growing social media websites online. But did you know you can also post videos to the site?
It’s true. For about the last month users have been able to pin videos. It’s a new aspect of the service that is catching on and one that I’d say is useful to anyone who markets their business and its products and services with video.
While YouTube is still the largest and most trafficked video sharing website, Pinterest is a good site to add to your video marketing portfolio.
If you do use Pinterest alongside YouTube – and you should – then be sure that you give your pins a different title than your videos on YouTube. Even if they are the same video, for SEO purposes, you want the titles and descriptions to be different. You can optimize your pins and YouTube videos with the same keywords – though sometimes you might get more traction by using different keywords if they are relevant – but you want them to have different titles and descriptions so that you don’t end up with duplicate content.
If you’ve started using Pinterest, add a few videos your pinboards. See what kind of traction they get.
What can Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield teach you about Internet marketing? No joke. How’s this for a lesson:
Laugh at the past and use it in the present to build your future with viral video.
That’s a mouthful, and if you’re wondering what I’m talking about, read this article at WebProNews. It seems that these once bitter foes have become friends and now are joking about the incident years ago when Mike Tyson bit Evander Holyfield’s ear during a fight – not once, but twice. Tyson lost the match by default. Now they’re laughing about it and it seems they’re laughing their way to the bank.
Evander Holyfield, like George Foreman, has turned his boxing fame into an entrepreneur’s dream. He has his own line of BBQ sauce. Mike Tyson tweeted, “.@holyfield’s ear would’ve been much better with his new BBQ sauce. check it out realdealbbqsauce.com #TGIF.”
Doesn’t that just make you want to go out and buy Evander’s BBQ sauce?
It actually is brilliant marketing. The tweet is getting millions of views and the BBQ sauce is gaining more market share.
If you’ve got an incident in the past that you can use to poke fun of in the name of your business, why not capture it on video? Use it. Your life can be your message.
Video marketing has been hot for at least three years now. YouTube is still less than a decade old, but the opportunities for small and medium businesses to take advantage of the video marketing benefits are growing more and more every day.
In fact, a recent article at Marketing Pilgrim illustrates this truth very well. Here’s a little snippet from the article.
Whether your business is large or small people want to know what you do in the quickest and easiest format for them. So what if you feel that video is too expensive? So is losing business to lesser competitors because you are counting the wrong things as important in your business.
I couldn’t agree more.
YouTube’s video channels are becoming more and more popular all the time. I’m not saying you necessarily need a video channel, but if it is feasible for your industry, why not start a channel that depicts an entertaining and informative news format for your niche?
Online marketing in general is becoming more and more competitive. Video marketing is just one piece of the pie. But it’s a piece that does not deserve to be ignored. It’s becoming more important every day.
Have you thought about how you can incorporate video marketing into your marketing plan? What have you come up with?