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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: