Visual Communication Solutions

(631) 477-0277

Friday, December 21, 2012

Ho Ho To All!

A Warm Thanks To All Of Our Readers 

Wishing You All Health & Prosperity In The New Year!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Social Marketing Forecasts for 2013

emarketer looks at 2013

Facebook and social media management technology top marketing dollar investments for 2013

With two-thirds of the US internet population expected to belong to a social network by the end of 2013, according to eMarketer estimates, the majority of brands are now actively using social media to manage their digital presence.
Q3 2012 findings from media buying and solutions provider STRATA showed 91.9% of those surveyed were using social media. The vast majority (82.4%) of US agencies reported using Facebook for clients’ social media campaigns, nearly double or more the number using the popular platforms YouTube (41.9%), Twitter (36.5%) and LinkedIn (23%).
Emerging platforms Google+ and Pinterest saw significant growth in reported quarter-over-quarter usage with roughly one in four US agencies likely to use each of these networks for clients’ social media campaigns.

Additional findings from engagement advertising firm SocialVibe showed the necessity of ensuring social media coverage on Facebook and the value of expanding coverage to Google+. The engagement advertising firm found 77% of US internet users connected with brands via Facebook in October of this year; 14% did so using Google+—more than did so on YouTube (13%) or Twitter (6%).

Financial investment in Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest marketing programs is likely to increase through 2013, according to a Q4 2012 survey from Strongmail. The marketing solutions provider found 39.6% of business executives worldwide planned to boost Facebook marketing spending next year, 23.3% planned to spend more on Twitter, and 14.9% on Pinterest.

Beyond increased investment specifically to social networks, a good portion of business executives reported plans to boost spending on tools and technology used to measure and manage social media programs. About 27% reported plans to increase spending to social media management technology, and 14.8% said the same for listening platforms, reflecting the importance of not just maintaining brand presence on social networks, but measuring the effects of that presence.
eMarketer estimates US social network ad spending will account for nearly one in 10 US digital ad dollars in 2013.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

New Opportunities Or Missing The Mark?

As broadcast advertising people for close to 30 years, we are seeing a rapidly developing new trend in media planning (how you distribute your message):
The future is internet video. Yes the web is as full of clutter as broadcast and cable, but it's a distribution means that can work as well as broadcast if you're willing to truly open your mind to a new paradigm. It is true that broadcast and cable still work a bit quicker and extremely well, the rub is that in today's economy many businesses simply can't afford the media placement needed to be effective. Those that do invest in it consistently come out ahead. Bear in mind that these same businesses also integrate a strong online presence in their marketing video mix.
But, for those that cannot afford television the internet can provide solid platforms for marketing success. The point is that even the companies we produce television for are also integrating web encoded versions on a consistent basis. This should tell you something about how the Big Boys got that way. If they are doing it maybe you should take a cue and get on board. No, grabbing your I-phone and posting the results on You Tube won't cut it...... The point is that a little spent on good production value can be distributed for a fraction of what it cost to consistently reach new eyeballs just a few years ago. If your content is good and you develop your media platforms in a unified fashion you are at very least in the game! It isn't just a nice goal to strive for someday.  The time to engage is right now!
As it's been said, "Just Do It". We guarantee you will be very glad you did!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Interesting Cyber Monday Stats 2012 vs 2011...Think Mobile!

From David Moth/Econsultancy

Cyber Monday conversion rates were higher on tablet than desktop

  • Stats from Monetate show that conversion rates on the iPad on Cyber Monday were over 6%, more than 2% higher than any other day during the Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday period.
  • Furthermore, tablet conversion rates (5.84%) actually exceeded conversion rates on desktop (5.51%). 
  • In 2011, the numbers were 5.48% on tablet and 5.98% on desktop.
Tablet vs. traditional (desktop) conversion rates on Cyber Monday

Nielson's Report Shows Soaring Social Media Marketing Growth

A recent segment on Social Media Today states soaring growth in social media marketing.

Nielsen’s social media report for the third quarter shows some amazing growth in the use of social media. The report indicates that two factors are driving the change: more people are using mobile phones and tablets to access the networks and the proliferation of new social platforms. Two areas where social media is evolving: the phenomenon of multiple screening setting up what Nielsen calls the global living room and the use of social media as a customer care channel.
The numbers show some interesting trends:
  • More people are connecting to the internet for longer periods of time. The highest increase? Use of mobile apps—up 85% from last year.
  • Mobile apps also account for the place where minutes on the internet have increased the most.
  • Even though PCs still account for the majority of time spent on social media networks (61%), the use of mobile apps has climbed to claim 34% of the total time spent on social networks.
  • A look at the top networks? Facebook down 4% and Pinterest up a whopping 1,047%. Google Plus also making significant gains in the last year—up 80%. Twitter up 13%. However, to temper that news, Facebook still dominates the number of total minutes people spend online.
  • The Pinterest audience has some unique audience characteristics: dominantly white females in the U.S.
  • Weirdest stat: nearly 1/3 of those ages 18-24 social network in the bathroom.
  • Sentiment stat to watch: 76% of social users feel more positive after their social networking experience. Could this be where people are going to get their motivational fix?
  • Twitter has emerged as the key drive of social TV interaction.
Looking at the numbers, there are a few keys questions your business need to ask:
  1. Are we using responsive web design that automatically optimizes our content regardless of how people access our information? This is now a requirement of doing business on the web.
  2. Do we have a social presence on channels that match our customer demographic? Social media is following the cable TV trend—specialization. For example, if your product is specialized to young mothers in the U.S., you should probably consider Pinterest. If you are advertising on TV, you might want to consider being on Twitter.
  3. Have you considered diversifying your content to include location-based campaigns if you are a walk-up retailer or have events? Promotions that take advantage of mobile access might be worth considering.

Quotes Of Note

  "Nothing is new, only that which has been forgotten". 
                                                                   Pablo Ferro

"If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember what you said".
                                                       Mark Twain

Just some food for thought. Give these quotes some consideration when developing your marketing messages...ther'es more to them than you might guess at first blush!
Have a great weekend!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Video Drives Tech Purchasing Survey

                                                                                                                                    From an article in ReelSeo by Christopher Rick

A recent consumer survey by DGTechNetwork showed that video plays a vital role in the purchasing decisions of today's electronics and technology consumers. But it's not just standard video advertising that we are talking about. They look for a variety of content that will help them make a better informed decision and then tend to act on the information that they've found. Here's a quick breakdown of the survey results.

Before I talk about the results I wanted to give you a run down of how the data was collected. It was an online survey aimed at 'better understanding the demographic profile of the IDGTechNetwork audience.' The research was done via online invitations to complete the survey by 'editorial stakeholders of sites within the IDGTechNetwork.' The responses were collected from April 30th to August 24th of this year.

IDG TechNetwork is a global network of 500+ niche and mainstream tech sites, comprised of 130 million monthly unique visitors and 1.2 billion monthly impressions—in short, we have a powerful audience that leads spending on consumer technology products. 2,354 readers participated in this survey across a broad cross-section of sites.
IDG's Results - Video DOES influence technology purchases

According to the IDGTechNetwork survey, 90% of the respondents watch video about tech products. In the report they say 9 out of 10 users, but I seriously doubt they polled the whole of their audience. 40% of respondents were classified as "frequent viewers" of consumer tech videos. Whether frequent is daily, weekly or monthly I'm not sure.

Twenty-three percent said they watch video on their mobile phone and 10% stated they prefer ads with video on that platform.

Combined with Video Ads, Original Custom Content Increases action quite dramatically!

The type of content that the respondents search for most is not only standard video advertising which should come as no surprise. When looking for information regarding a potential future purchase, 90% of the respondents stated they look for product demos, and reviews as they felt they are valuable. 80% stated the found thought leaderships pieces and expert interviews helpful, and 77% said they believed customer testimonials to be very valuable.

According to the report summary,
Advertisers looking to reach tech enthusiasts should consider original content such as product demos or video reviews to supplement the 30-second-spot.

Here's a look at recent purchases and planned purchases from this audience, taken from the survey. The magenta is purchased in the last 12 months, the orange planned purchases in the next 12 months.

Christopher rightfully points out in his article, the major takeaway from the IDGTechNetwork 2012 Consumer Audience Research survey is what kind of content you should be looking at making based on what you have to sell. Product demos, customer testimonials and thought leadership pieces all seem to have a good amount of value.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Boost Email Marketing With Video

Brendan Cournoyer/imediaconnection

While the benefits of video marketing are typically tied to things like brand awareness and audience engagement, the power of video can also be used to add depth and value to your email marketing campaigns.
How to boost your email marketing with videos
In a recent study by Experian Marketing, simply including the word "video" in the subject line of an email was shown to increase click-through-rates by anywhere from 7 percent to 13 percent. The report also notes that email campaigns with embedded video turned in an average conversion rate that was 21 percent higher than those with straight text and static images. A small sample size? Sure. But numbers like these are certainly nothing to sneeze at.
Video lends itself well to a variety of different email campaign types and strategies, and many companies are only beginning to discover the possibilities. Reporting, for example, can provide valuable insight into the true effectiveness of your campaigns. Video analytics can be used to not only measure individual clicks, but also the engagement and retention rate of those viewers, helping shed light on who's truly interested in your message -- information not easily gained from text-based documents.
So how can you start taking advantage of these opportunities? Here are just a few ideas to consider that can really help take your email marketing to the next level.

Webinar promotion

Live webinars and virtual events are great tools for establishing authority in your industry and, of course, generating new leads. To encourage more attendees, some companies have taken to creating short webinar "trailers" to help drive registration via email. These videos are typically short (two to three minutes max) and often include personalized teasers from the event's featured speaker or expert.
It's also common to make webinars available on-demand following the live event, in which case organizations can use video snippets from the presentation to promote via email going forward, thus further extending the life and value of their content.

Target segmentation

While general "air cover" promotions are still important, businesses today have the ability to parse and filter email lists in a number of ways. As a result, it makes sense then to have content that speaks to more specific, targeted audiences to support these campaigns.
Video is a great way to get your message in front of particular verticals, markets, and industries, allowing you to communicate targeted messages in a fraction of the time of traditional whitepapers and press releases. Marketing organizations can learn about the needs and challenges of buyers in different industries, roles, and company sizes, and then gear their video content in a way that speaks directly to those audiences via target segmentation and email marketing.

Customer testimonials

Later in the sales funnel, it's often a good idea to hook prospects in with real-world stories from satisfied customers. But while written testimonials and quotes are all well and good, actually being able to see and hear a customer give a first-hand account adds a lot more credibility to your message.
This type of content works great as a sales resource, but can also bolster your nurturing email campaigns when aimed at specific targets, particularly those that are similar to the customers in your testimonial. Once again, these types of videos are most effective later in the cycle, after at least some interest by the prospect has already been established.

Prospect follow-ups

This one admittedly works as more of a sales tool than traditional email marketing, but it's still an interesting example of leveraging video as part of your company's overall email strategy. After a meeting with a prospective buyer, it's sales 101 to send out a follow-up via email. But including a personalized video message can be an even more powerful way to maintain a prospect's attention and help you stand out from the pack.
With today's technology, creating videos is easier than ever before. Sales and marketing reps can even convert PowerPoint slides into voice-enriched videos to be sent out to potential clients. In this case, a follow-up email, or "discovery letter," can include a short overview of the meeting, a breakdown of the prospect's needs and objectives, and specific details and proposals on how your company's product can help solve their particular problems. Since response rates for emails with video tend to be much higher anyway, this strategy can be especially powerful when engaging buyers toward the end of the sales cycle.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Using Social Signals To Improve SEO

Post provided by Ben Sawyer, well known blogger and Internet Marketing Strategist.
In order for your website to achieve the level of success you are looking for, you need to engage in some type of online marketing. Currently, search engine optimization and social media marketing are two of the best ways you can promote your website and drive targeted traffic to your business.

While SEO and SMM are two different entities, they are becoming increasingly intertwined thanks to the latest search engine algorithm updates released by Google. Google is now placing a larger emphasis on social signals to determine whether or not a website is providing its users with quality content. The thinking behind Google’s algorithm updates is that if your website does provide value to your readers, those readers will want to share it with their social circles via their social media accounts. If your website has a lot of backlinks coming from these social media websites, then it will be rewarded with a higher ranking in the search results.

Because of these recent Google algorithm changes, it is important for businesses to include social media marketing techniques with their SEO campaigns. This will allow your website to obtain the highest possible rankings within the search results.

How to Improve your Social Signals
There are a variety of ways that you can improve your website’s social signals in order to obtain a higher ranking within the search engine. One of the easiest strategies you can use is to include social media buttons on your website’s content. This will enable any visitor to your website to easily share your content through their social media accounts. If someone has a large following on a social media website, their followers may see your link posted on their account and share it with their followers, greatly improving your website’s credibility in the eye’s of the search engines.

Another way to improve your social signals is to actively market your website on the most popular social media websites. Creating a Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest account for your business will allow you to raise the awareness of your company on those websites while simultaneously connecting with their users.

Once you have created your accounts, you will need to actively engage with people on those social media websites. By interacting with people on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, you will be able to form meaningful relationships with them. This will lead to those people following your account and seeing all of the new content that you produce.

After you start to build a following for your social media accounts, you will want to provide your followers with nothing but high quality content. When you provide your visitors with nothing but great content, you will become an industry leader and viewed as an expert in your field. This will allow your business to gain credibility and the trust of your followers. Once people view your business as an industry expert, they will be more likely to share your content with their social media followers and help build valuable backlinks for your website.

As search engines start to place more of an emphasis on social signals when determining where your website should be ranked, it is important for businesses to add social media marketing to their overall SEO strategy. With an increase of links coming from social media websites, a business’s website will move up the search engine results as Google will view the website as an authority figure.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

What Marketers Can Learn From The 2012 Presidential Campaigns

Recently on
While 2008 was considered by many "the Facebook Election," TV-or, more precisely, video  reasserted its strategic importance in 2012. Mr. Obama had a challenging platform to sell given the performance of the economy, but he did in most cases outspend Romney in TV, in many cases 2 to 1. We also saw a heavy shift of dollars into online video. Hulu revealed that election spending on the online video site was up 700% from the last election.
Barack Obama after his acceptance speech in Chicago
Part of the appeal of online video is the ability to hyper-target, that is, the ability to pinpoint media and commercial messaging within a narrow catchment area. In Blacksburg, Va., for example, there are 30,000 students residing at Virginia Tech. The Obama campaign's Hulu buys targeted the schools' zip code with "Gotta Vote" spots to encourage students to register and turn out.
Broadcast advertising, too, was tailored to local issues. In Ohio, Mr. Obama's campaign targeted blue-collar women by promoting its track record on jobs, whereas in Florida, the Romney campaign sought Cuban-American voters with hard-hitting TV commercials claiming Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez supported Mr. Obama's policies.

Are we as marketers really taking opportunity of localizing our media and messaging? Despite a lot of talk about targeting, many marketers still emphasize efficiency in spending over relevance to different customer segments and markets. In the past, Cable media buys taught us the cost saving relevence in market targeting. This trend is magnified with the increased growth of online video.
Take note that Streaming Media magazine's research states that in 2013 a whopping 90% of online content will be video. If you haven't already taken advantage of that you're missing the boat!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Video, The New SEO!

Placing and promoting video on your web pages will get your page ranked faster on Google!
Also be aware thatGoogle has a new"strategy in it's video ranking routine. It is now tracking not only the popularity of your video (how many views) but is is also figuring into the equation the quality of the video by noting how long someone stays on the video before clicking off. What this does is make having high production quality (and engaging) video more important than having thousands of "paid for" views. (A spammer method.)
Realize that You Tube is a Google property, so it might not be a bad idea to use the You Tube Player to place video on your pages.
Another good tip is to place your "Call To Action" at the right point in your videos. You can use Google Analytics to spot viewer drop off rates and insert your "CTA" before that point. Just be aware that you should imbed  the video to your webpage, sitemap it and drive links to the video boosting page rank on Google. If you do the same thing with a YouTube video and drive links to it, you'll will only boost up the video hosted on a YouTube page, not your own webpage.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Most Common Video Strategy Mistakes

This came in from a discussion started by  fellow producer Robert Weiss on our Web Video Marketing Council Group 
on Linked In.
The informative article was originally posted on the ReelSEO website.
Like Robert, we have seen these common misconceptions time and again from larger clients down to small businesses. 

1) If You YouTube It, They Will Come

This is a very popular pitfall with flawed video strategies, the ‘strategy’ here being if you put your video on YouTube, people will automatically flock to it and you’ll have a million views in no time.  This strategy is perpetuated by some of the YouTube statistics that get thrown around, the classic being ‘4 billion hours of video are viewed each month’.  What this strategy fails to account for are the statistics on the other side of YouTube about how much content is being posted to YouTube (72 hours of video uploaded every minute).
Expecting your video on YouTube to generate views by itself is like expecting a needle to be found in a haystack, not once, but thousands (if not millions depending on expectations) of times in a haystack that gets bigger with every passing minute.  Unless you are incredibly lucky (we’re talking won the lotto more than once lucky), this just doesn’t happen.

There are several steps to avoid this strategy pitfall and the most important is having realistic expectations.  This is not to say that you can’t expect six or seven digit view numbers, but it is realizing that the likelihood of reaching that level of viewership is directly proportional to the amount of resources you are willing to invest.  ‘Viral’ videos almost never happen completely organically, especially when they are branded or commercial videos; there’s a lot of work and sometimes money involved to ‘seed’ or strategically promote the video to spark the initial rise of a ‘viral’ video that a lot of people don’t realize.  If you want your video to be successful on YouTube, you have to be prepared to put the leg work in and promote that video both on and off of YouTube.

2) One and Done

Another mistake in video strategy is creating and promoting just one video or one video at a time.  This is something that is easy to fall into; with everything going on with your brand or at your company it can often be hard to see past the present challenge, but to think one video is enough or to treat your video content as a series of individual projects is a huge mistake.  Let’s say, for example, you create one video and it is a huge success; it generates a lot of attention and buzz for your company, you get a nice bump in traffic to your Web site or YouTube channel and everyone is happy.  Then, after month, a week or even a few days, the traffic dies off and you’re back to where you started.  Now what?  Did you spend all the time, money and resources to get your content noticed for just a few minutes in the limelight?
For some, maybe the answer is yes, but for smart marketers looking to maximize ROI and get the most bang for their buck the answer should be a resounding NO.  They want sustained traffic increases, consistent community engagement and measurable long term results.  To achieve this through video, the answer is serialized video content.  Creating recurring video episodes with consistent branding, themes and creative execution should be part of all successful video campaigns.  In addition to building a permanent community for your videos, there are often significant cost and time savings on creative and production when videos are planned in bulk.

3) Everyone Likes Infomercials!

This flawed video strategy stems from the belief that people will not only watch, but actively seek out video advertisements on the internet.  I can’t say that this never happens, there are some situations where it does (mainly with clever and entertaining commercials, think Super Bowl ads) but those are the exception and not the rule.  Your average person will not hop on YouTube and say to themselves, “Gee, you know what I’d really love to watch? Infomercials!”
The key to avoid this faulty video strategy is matching your video content with the appropriate distribution method.  If your video is an advertisement, you need to treat it as an advertisement and secure viewing for it by paid placements.  If you are attempting to distribute the video organically you need video content that users WILL seek out, content that in some way is valuable to the viewer.  The sky is the limit on what this content could be, but a classic example in the commercial world is a series of how-to videos that showcase your expertise in your subject matter and answer questions your target audience is likely to have.

4) Strategy?

The last and most prevalent pitfall with video strategy is to not have one at all.  A strategy for your video content is crucial to the success of your video marketing.  When you have the end goal for your videos in sight at the beginning of the project, it enhances your ability to tailor everything about them, from the creative concept to the optimization to the distribution and promotion, to ensure you will hit your mark.

Thanks to ReelSEO and Robert for sharing!

Friday, October 19, 2012

More Reasons To Embrace Mobile Video Marketing

Well, as most of you know our opinion on mobile video marketing was a "wait and's too soon" attitude.
That seems to be rapidly changing and we now believe the time is NOW!

Gary Hennerberg of Hennerbeg Group recently pointed out in Target Marketing Magazine:
Tablets are quickly becoming the foundation of what may be the tipping point for entering a post-PC era. Direct marketers who start early and learn fast how to take advantage of the exploding tablet marketplace—prime for video direct marketing—will be poised to grow with consumer's evolving media consumption trends....
With nearly 120 million tablets expected to be purchased by consumers this year alone, the demand is already there to present your product and service offerings.

Marketers who learn to transfer their message in tandem with more traditional marketing principles into emerging new media outlets are sure to be ahead of the curve.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Quotes Of Note

Social marketing is about understanding the customers you have, and discovering the customers you don't.
                                                                                                                                    awareness inc.                                                                                                                                                                         

We should add that it is also about learning how to engage and convert customers

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Nielson's Cross-Platform System Expected to Boost Online Ad Budgets

Nielson's new Cross-Platform rating system is helpful to online video advertising because it is more in line with the familiar system  used by media buyers and planners in the multi-billion dollar TV advertising industry. Online video advertising this year should account for about $3.2 billion...that's still tiny compared to Broadcast spending. A major block has been the ability to justify and evaluate results in the same strategy supporting fashion typically utilized in broadcast TV campaigns.

Consequently, this has led online advertisers to rely solely on metrics like impressions and click-throughs, while not being able to fully relate results with concurrent TV campaigns. As pointed out by Will Richmond of Video Nuze, agencies and brands haven't been able to optimize the planning of multi-platform campaigns and intuitively understand the results or gain make-goods if campaigns fall short.  Cross-Platform ratings helps demystify all of that, which will by all expectations contribute to higher online video ad spending.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Video Marketing: Getting Started

This came in through our Linked in Marketing group
Posted by Noya Lizor / 

In a recently published Social Media Examiner study in which over 3,800 marketers were surveyed in order to better understand how they are using social media to grow and promote their businesses, video marketing was found to hold the top spot for future plans:
“A significant 76% of marketers plan on increasing their use of YouTube and video marketing, making it the top area marketers will invest in for 2012.” The study also found that more than 3 in 5 marketers (61%) plan on increasing their email marketing efforts in the near future.
So what do marketing experts and bloggers in the know have to say about the power of video? Brendan Cournoyer, Content Marketing Manager at Brainshark compiled this handy list of 21 Quotes on Why Video Marketing ROCKS. Here are our top three:
1. “Business decision makers LOVE online video because it gives them the most amount of information in the shortest amount of time.” –Robert Weiss, Use YouTube Video Marketing to Generate Leads, Awareness and Customer
2. “Videos can attract a different audience, one that might not want to take the time to read a white paper or an article.” – Brick Marketing, 3 Important Video Marketing Tips
3. “More than 150 million people view videos online every year, most of them ripe to hear your business’s pitch if you produce and market your video effectively.” – Vern Marker, 8 Great Tips to Help Your Video Go Viral
Still from Brendan, yet another handy list of the Top 10 Video Marketing Influencers for 2012 for a little inspiration on how to use videos more effectively to build brand awareness, attract customers and increase sales.
In part inspired by Kevin “Nalts” Nalty’s recent white paper Online Business for Video 101

Without further ado here are five tips your business can use (regardless of size) to kickstart your video marketing campaign:

1. Recognize your need for video content. Stop looking at videos as a luxury or a nice little add-on and start seeing them as the essential marketing tool they are in terms of engagement, messaging, reach and so much more.

2. Create a video. Start with one. Perhaps a nice little company overview guiding visitors through your basic offering to put on your homepage. Or a helpful “how-to” video, demonstrating problems solved by your product, which you can post on YouTube. You don’t need more than a video camera, talent (can even be you), and basic editing software (or a really nice friend). Remember, “snackable” bits of video content are easier for viewers to digest, so keep it short.

3. Re-appropriate existing content. If you’re not quite ready to make your own video quite yet but still want to take advantage of its power, you can take an existing video that makes sense for your brand and make it your own (giving due credit of course). Searching YouTube is a good way to start. If you want it more personal, consider sharing video from a corporate event or party. It’s also a great way to “humanize” your company and hence, your offering.

4. Optimize for SEO. Google LOVES video, ranking it higher than text based content. That’s why you’ll see video content on most first page search results. Fortunately for you, many businesses have yet to maximize on this front. For an easy, instant SEO boost, make sure all aspects of your video are indexed by properly tagging your video title, description, duration, location and more.

5. Get your videos out to the people. Viral is a nice concept, but a rather lofty goal. No one can guarantee the creation of such a gem, but what you can do is make sure all your distribution avenues are covered. Post on Facebook, add your video to YouTube, tweet it to followers, and embed it in an email to your mailing list. Those of your subscribers who are already using ActiveMail will be able to play the video right inside their email without clicking out to a new browser. They’ll even be able to watch multiple videos in the same email if you want to include a series.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Using Twitter Ads For Small Business

This post originally appeared on The American Express Open Forum
and was posted by  Leyl Master Black on

Are you among the one-third of small businesses in the U.S. using Twitter to promote your products and services? If so, you’re on the right track: Research from digital intelligence firm Compete shows Twitter followers are more than 60% more likely to visit your website and more than 50% more likely to make a purchase and recommend your company.
Many companies are content to allow Twitter accounts to grow organically, but some are looking to accelerate growth of their follower base and increase the reach of promotions. To that end, Twitter recently rolled out two new paid advertising options for small businesses, currently available via invitation: Promoted Accounts and Promoted Tweets.
According to Richard Alfonsi, VP of Global Online Sales at Twitter, “Promoted Accounts are best for growing a loyal follower base, while Promoted Tweets are best for getting tweets in front of a larger audience to drive more clicks and engagement around a promotion, product launch or event.” Alfonsi notes that businesses of all types see success so far with these new products, from local businesses (such as bakeries, restaurants and photographers) to purely online businesses, such as online retailers and digital publications.
For both offerings, you can control how much you spend each day by setting a daily budget — you bid how much you are willing to pay for a new follower or an engagement, and an auction determines the price you pay. There are no minimum monthly spend requirements and you can stop your advertising at any time. You also only pay for results, meaning you will only be charged when someone follows your Promoted Account or engages with your Promoted Tweets (an engagement with a Promoted Tweet can be a click, a retweet or a favorite).

When Should I Use Promoted Accounts?

If you’re primarily looking to build a relevant follower base, Promoted Accounts may be for you. Twitter will study your current followers to look for people with similar interests, and when they find a match, they’ll suggest your account in the user’s “Who to Follow” section. Promoted Account campaigns can also be geo-targeted at the country and city level to reach users in specific locations.
Los Angeles-based photographer Drew Ressler used Promoted Tweets to accelerate his follower growth and find more people who would be interested in his photographs of electronic dance music DJs. He set a maximum budget of $7 per day and targeted Twitter users all over the world. Twitter automatically took care of the rest, identifying other Twitter users who were interested in the electronic music scene and who would be interested in Drew’s work. Drew gained over 1,300 new followers for @Rukes in just two months, at less than $0.30 per follower.
“I just set a budget, and I constantly get 17 to 20 new followers each day,” says Ressler.

When Should I Use Promoted Tweets?

Small businesses wanting to expand the reach of their message plus increase follower base should consider Promoted Tweets. Promoted Tweets are generated directly from your own tweets; Twitter will monitor your account for engagement and promote your best tweets to the top of a user’s feed.
“I’ve used Twitter ads for several months now, and they’ve helped me get to over 37,000 followers,” says nutrition blogger Tom Corson-Knowles. “I tried both Promoted Accounts and Promoted Tweets, and I recommend promoting tweets hands down — it’s had a much higher ROI for me. With Promoted Tweets, you can get targeted traffic to your website by paying per click, and then you get the added benefit of followers and tons of brand exposure on Twitter.”
Amelia Lerutte of luxury dog product company i Love Dogs, Inc. agrees.
“We started using Twitter ads earlier this year. Our initial strategy was to pay for both follows and retweets, but after a couple weeks, we only saw a slight increase in the growth rate for new followers. Since we’re a small business used to optimizing ads to suit our budget, we decided to stop using Promoted Accounts to pay for followers and instead focus on gaining retweets through Promoted Tweets,” says Lerutte.
According to Lerutte, the high volume of retweets the company has received has made the price point of Twitter ads well worth the investment.
“Through the use of Promoted Tweets, our company has a seen a positive increase in the number of natural followers and engagement with our brand on Twitter. We’ve even had our Promoted Tweets retweeted by celebrities. So even though we’re not paying for followers, Twitter ads have allowed us to become a big dog on Twitter, with more than 11,000 followers,” adds Lerutte.

How Should I Measure Results?

According to Alfonsi, the way clients measure results will vary by company and by each one’s business objective.
“Some businesses are trying to grow their community of advocates and measure success by the quality of engagement they’re seeing on Twitter, while others are trying to drive sales and store visits,” says Alfonsi.
Followers and clicks are beneficial, but you’ll see the most impact from your paid Twitter programs “if you think about the ongoing conversation, not just the immediate payoff,” says Tom Burg, head of North American marketing at advertising technology company Criteo. Burg recommends small businesses think about Twitter ads as a way to create a “funnel” for their business that eventually leads to a particular action, whether that’s a store visit, a coupon download or a purchase.
“Eventually it’s all about getting to a call to action,” adds Burg. “With Twitter, you’re paying if someone clicks, but you should measure based on a cost-per-action model. Once they clicked, did they do the action you wanted them to, like download a whitepaper or a coupon?”
To measure beyond followers and engagement, in addition to using Twitter’s results reporting, you can also use Google Analytics to see how much site traffic is coming from Twitter. You might also consider creating a special landing page where you can drive Twitter users, or develop Twitter-specific codes or coupons to track customers who find you through these funnels, writes Lisa Barone in Small Business Trends.

How Can I Get Started?

While these two offerings are currently available on an invitation-only basis, businesses can request access by filling out this form. Alfonsi says Twitter expects these products to eventually reach millions of small businesses, and the company will steadily increase the number of participants in the program in the coming months.
Just remember: Prior to kicking off your program, make sure your overall Twitter presence is robust.
“Before you spend money to promote your tweets or your Twitter account, you better be certain that there is something there worth following,” adds Barone. She recommends first creating a solid Twitter strategy and letting it run for a month or two to build up a history of quality tweets and engagement. This will not only help you to attract people but will also help Twitter match you with the right kind of users.
Also be prepared to make the most of each click: What offer or content awaits users on the other side? Make sure what you’re offering is compelling, so it’s worth paying to get people there.
Have you tried advertising on Twitter? Share your experience in the comments section.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Breakthru Nielson Ratings For Online Campaigns

 Nielsen announced yesterday, that 15 leading video and digital ad platforms delivering thousands of online video ad campaigns and billions of impressions - are integrating Nielsen's Online Campaign Ratings (OCR) for use by their clients in campaign planning and analysis. This is breakthrough stuff!  As Amit Seth, Nielsen's EVP of Global Media Products explained to me late yesterday, these new partners will help cement OCR as an "online GRP" helping them to establish accountability and ROI quantification, two pre-requisites for traditional TV advertisers.

 Amit said the missing piece for OCR has been the networks, platforms and exchanges that have become huge enablers of online video advertising. These entities have been eager to extend OCR as a data source to help clients better plan campaigns and continuously evaluate them. In short, these platforms understand that better accountability will drive more business for them. Importantly, OCR works across all connected and mobile devices, so campaigns delivered to iPads, connected TVs, gaming consoles, etc. are all supported. Amit said extending OCR to ads in apps will follow soon.

Nielsen is advocating a "3 R's" framework, which includes "Reach, Resonance and Reaction." Reach is the basis and is accomplished through OCR. Resonance is a measure of brand lift, which Nielsen is accomplishing via its recent acquisition of Vizu. And Reaction is measured through its suite of analytical services in its "Buy" segment that measure actual retail impact of specific campaigns. By deploying all 3 of these pieces, Nielsen believes it can provide advertisers a comprehensive ROI of their online video spending.

 This is a milestone....As OCR gains momentum, there is tremendous optimism about a healthy online video ad ecosystem!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Quotes Of Note

Well, as marketing people we run into this every once in a while. A potential client calls, he/she is unhappy with their current sales (or lack of) situation. Oh, and just so that you know...."We don't really believe in advertising!"
 My first inclination is to ask why did you call us then? 
But, with over twenty years in this business better judgement kicks in. What do you think the problem is I usually ask. "Well, it's as if no one knows about how great we are." 
This is the typical answer to my question.
It also leads us into the very core of advertising and marketing. 
The primary job of any marketing/advertising campaign is to build awareness! Unless you are running a direct response campaign with an urgent call to action, building your "brand" awareness comes first.
So without any further ranting here is today's Quote Of Note:


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Quotes Of Note

Regarding new media opportunities...

We have experienced the limitations of traditional marketing and advertising endeavors in the past few years’ upfront TV media market. This in large part is due to current economic realities.  Solutions such as product placement, although a step in the right direction, do little to position a brand quickly enough in a world where budgetary concerns must yield a far reaching and more immediate ROI. 
We realize we must forge new marketing opportunities for our clients that take full advantage of emerging trends in content delivery. For us this has led to including various forms of branded entertainment/infotainment into the budget and media strategies we implement.
                                                                      Jay Webster, CEO-Webster Productions, Inc.  

Friday, July 20, 2012

First Quarter 2012 Video Stats

The Latest report from Visible Measures indicates significant growth in online video as a viable mix in distribution medium selection for advertisers.

The report states that social video ads were viewed over a whopping 1.3 billion times in the first quarter of 2012! That's over a 78% increase over fourth quarter 2011 and a 40% increase over same quarter last year!
Now, that is a significant increase by anyone's standards.
The increased trend indicates a favoring of professionally produced content over amateur user generated content. Given the affordability of online video in tandem with traditional distribution outlets, it is obviously a great time to multi-purpose your visual content! You get a whole lot more bang for the buck by incorporating online in your marketing mix strategy!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Video 90% Of Online Content By 2014

According to the Visual Networking Index Forecast from Cisco Systems Video will be 90% of all online content by 2014!
To take things further, the Retail Online Integration website points out that consumers are increasingly looking to video to fulfill their information needs and Google is taking notice by allocating more of its search engine territory to video content and less to traditional web results.
Since we produce for a lot of retailers this tells us that while Google's strong integration of video has created more competition for plain-text results, it has opened the door for video assets to acquire superior search engine rankings.
All of this should tell you something that we have been saying for quite a while now?
It's time to get on board ! Video dramatically increases your search engine ranking. It's not just a nice thing to think about doing someday, THE TIME IS NOW!

Videos offer something new for consumers to view and share, crucial components in achieving SEO success. As Search Engine WatchOpens in a new window reported, videos yield over 40 percent more clicks than plain text, making them an essential piece in driving traffic, leads and content sharing.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Nielson's Latest Online Video Numbers

Source: Nielson

During May 2012, there were 163.5 million unique U.S. video viewers who streamed over 26 billion videos and spent about 5.8 hours on average watching online video.  YouTube was the top online video destination, with more than 4 out of 5 viewers streaming videos from their site.

Overall Online Video Usage (U.S.)

May 2012
Unique Viewers 163,478,000
Total Streams 26,167,111,000
Streams per Viewer 160.1
Source: Nielsen
Top Online Video Destinations by Unique Viewers
Video Brand Unique Viewers
YouTube 136,075,000
Yahoo! 45,336,000
VEVO 42,025,000
AOL Media Network 25,568,000
MSN/WindowsLive/Bing 24,345,000
Facebook 23,159,000
The CollegeHumor Network 22,892,000
Hulu 15,480,000
Perform Group 11,987,000
ESPN Digital Network 11,394,000
Read as: During May 2012, 136 million unique U.S. viewers watched YouTube video content.Source: Nielsen
Top Online Video Destinations by Total Streams
Video Brand Total Streams
YouTube 16,535,027,000
Hulu 968,007,000
VEVO 727,354,000
Yahoo! 434,329.000
AOL Media Network 330,693,000
Netflix 300,824,000
Dailymotion 229,428,000
ESPN Digital Network 219,172,000
MSN/WindowsLive/Bing 205,403,000
Facebook 120,535,000
Read as: During May 2012, over 16 billion videos were streamed on YouTube Source: Nielsen

Monday, June 25, 2012

Quotes Of Note...And Other Realizations!

"Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do,"  "It's true for companies, and it's true for products.
                                                                                 Steve Jobs 

"If you want to make a sale next week, you can't start marketing today. You should have started three years ago."
                                                              Seth Godin/Marketing Consultant

This is so true! We often see clients exhibiting impatience with regards to their marketing goals (or lack of them).
Time and time again they decide to cut back, do or change nothing and expect new results.
Results just don't fall out of the sky. Their is no Hail Mary pass in the last minute of the business game. These things take careful planning and follow through implementation. Yes this takes some money to accomplish, but the alternative is no profitability while your competitors run with a piece of what could have been your pie.

As an example, we met recently with a small town business improvement group. Their plan is to hire a new web person publish a few mediocre photographs and therefore expect a huge increase in traffic. 

Well, as we told them, build it and they will come is a line from a movie, not a marketing strategy.
We briefly outlined a strategic and cost conscious beginning Advertising/Marketing approach to which they shockingly replied, "Won't that cost money".
Not surprisingly they have seen no results and simply continue to complain.
Amazing! Do they actually expect that these things happen for free, that they should make countless thousands of dollars and the marketing people should go hungry in the process? 

It is this type of ridiculous thinking that eventually drives them out of business. Even more ludicrous is what they do then....Advertise the business For Sale!

Funny how they suddenly believe that advertising will work at that point but not at the point of actually running their own business!

Don't let this happen to you! Do nothing (or the wrong thing) and you can expect the same in return. Common sense...right?

Food For Thought.

State Of Online Video Ad Market

From the recent VideoNuze Summit event held in Manhattan last Tuesday.
Reported on Streaming

Recapping where the evolving online video advertising market is going. Summit organizer and VideoNuze editor and publisher Will Richmond stated that much of the growth is in mobile and set-top advertising:
"Online video advertising has continued to explode in the last year. One big change is the embrace of new devices, particularly the iPad, which has been a real game-changer. This trend will only accelerate, particularly as connected devices like Xbox, Roku, Smart TVs and others proliferate," said Richmond.
As advertisers are seeing higher completion rates on set-top box ads, noted Ed Haslam, senior vice president of marketing for Yume thanks to their full-screen takeover. He also noted that viewers are becoming more comfortable with living room devices.
"What consumers are starting to do on these devices is explore," said Haslam. He noted the value in placing ads next to set-top search results and detailed a Toyota campaign that created a branded app for connected TVs.
Consumers are largely using their iPads in their living rooms, which Haslam calls the most fragmented place in the house, due to multiple demands on the viewer.
As more premium video moves online, advertising is following. The current usual system of one ad per break will soon be a thing of the past.
"Ad loads are going to move to full broadcast ad loads because it makes sense," noted Marc DeBevoise, senior vice president and general manager for CBS interactive.
The summit alternated between group discussions and one-person case histories that offered more depth. Joe Feczko, senior vice president of marketing innovation and integration at Macy's department store told how the retailer is keeping its image fresh by using online video as a creative canvas for branding. Shoppers can now scan in-store QR codes to see videos offering tips, training, and how-to information. The results have been "wildly popular with our customers," said Feczko.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

From the shameless commerce department:
If you enjoy Webster Productions, Inc. Blog for video marketing tips and advice, please consider making a donation.
Thanks in advance and greatly appreciated! 

PS: If using Pay Pal you will see a link to our sportfishing gear site:
If you fish check it out for discounted deals on Lamiglas and Seeker Rods and much more!