Professional real estate video production provides additional value to listings agents who are targeting luxury clients with expensive listings or investors with a large inventory. Not only does it send the message that as an agent you are completely invested in marketing your client’s listing, but that you are ahead of the curve. A recent report from the National Association of Realtors found that 73% of sellers say they would list with a real estate agent that would use video to market their property. Yet, nationally, less that 2% of real estate agents use video. Out of that 2%, most are approaching video production inadequately. Most attempts at incorporating video are done poorly and often cheap. Cheap production reflects negatively upon your brand. Professional production improves and empowers brand recognition and establishes the perception you are seeking that can drive lead generation. Every homeowner considering putting their home on the market is seeking an agent that can provide the most bang for their buck. For the most part, brochures, pamphlets, flyers, MLS listings, Zillow listings, open houses, etc are run of the mill types of marketing. In order to attract high-value clients, agents need to provide high-value services. One such high-value addition is quality video production of a listing.
So, what exactly distinguishes professional production? A quality real estate video production should impress future leads while simultaneously generate demand, create buzz, and potentially start a bidding war for the property – driving up the sales price and most importantly, commissions. Video helps share the best features of the listing exceptionally better than pictures do. Quality production should include animation, graphics, music, HD footage with artistic and flattering shots of the showcase property. Using B-roll (which is extra footage) to cut between shots of the house helps feature some of the local amenities and venues such as restaurants, parks, schools, etc. Even having narration is an added bonus that makes an A-level production, A+.
What type of monetary and time commitment does this require? As an agent, the larger the listing, the more money you have to play with. There are various levels of production you can invest in, depending on the response you are seeking. You don’t necessarily have to go all out to “wow” your customers but doing so may create the desired effect – a bidding war or future referrals and listings. As an agent, you have to decide what your budget allows and produce a video accordingly.
If you are interested in seeking professional help for your real estate listing, please give us a call at 623.703.0719 or contact us here.]]>
As promised, I want to be completely transparent about these video production rates. I think it is important that our industry is straight forward with consumers who don’t want the endure a long sales call and prefer to have the numbers right there for them when searching. And, not to beat a dead horse or anything, but, you often get what you pay for. This is extremely true in our industry where anyone with a DSLR camera thinks they are a cinematographer. We employ film school graduates who understand every element of production – from lighting, to sound, to film techniques, to post production and graphics. This formal training and education makes the world of difference when it comes to the quality of the final product. For our team, film is not a job, it is a lifestyle, an art, and our passion.
Currently, we charge $99/hr for production. This includes one cameraman, who will handle all of the film production, and our editor who will take the best of the best footage and produce a masterful representation of your company, product, or story. We bring our Sony AX2000 (which is one badass camera), which we mount on a tripod, and a Canon 60D DSLR, which is either hoisted on a shoulder mount/glide cam or attached to our 8ft Cobra Crane to provide smooth, wide-angle shots. The combination of these two cameras provide a dynamic and interactive film shoot and improve the overall production value of your production. We include custom logo stings, motion graphics, and music that is thematic with your production.
The $99 hourly rate we provide is all inclusive. We don’t add in extra charges for drafting story ideas and coming up with concepts that we believe will convey the message you are seeking to share. All of our production has a marketing focus behind it. Videography companies rely on you to dictate the message and the story. But, that isn’t what you want or have time for. Our creative team takes the time to develop unique video marketing that is just right for your business identity.
We don’t suggest paying for a studio session. Studios overcharge and the production value just isn’t up to par with what you can get in a more natural environment that is more representative of your business. A lot of what you are paying for is overhead and green screens only go so far in terms of keeping your audience’s attention. Even product shoots that you see on infomercials can be better executed without a full studio.
Video production rates are the first and foremost concern of any business considering video. At $99 per hour, our video production services include everything you need to successfully execute effective video marketing. From concepts, to planning, to filming, editing, and hosting, we offer a simple solution for your business at a low hourly cost. If you are interested in hiring us on a per project basis please contact us to discuss pricing.]]>
To answer this question must start with an understanding of your end goal and what your customers are looking for when they come to your website. In most cases your basic goal will be to retain your current customers and acquire new customers. The difficult part about online marketing is how to acquire and engage customers in the most effective way.
In order to do this involves using the right balance of of social media, SEO and content marketing. If you are marketing through social media and SEO, then you need to have quality website content to promote. If you have generic, bland, and useless content then no one will be willing to share this content through social media and the SEO traffic will quickly bounce to a better search result.
Consumers are becoming less responsive to interruptive marketing tactics like paid pop-up advertisements. These tactics generally are frowned upon by many savvy consumers. They are more interested in being educated and provided with information for them to consume before they are willing to open their wallets. Consumers have come to expect useful and educational content from brands. They also have high expectation for ease of discovery (via search or social media). You may be beginning to realize how all of these tactics are all interconnected by the website content plan. A website content plan is no longer a bonus to have on your site, it’s a must have.
The concept of creating your own content marketing plan may seem foreign, but there are a ton of tools that make online publishing easy. WordPress has many plugins and tools that help businesses create content that rivals the quality of news organizations. The best place to start is to do some research on what problems your customers are trying to solve. What are they interested in learning about in your industry? I find it helpful to use the Google Keyword Tool to see what the search trends are looking like in your field.
By providing useful content upfront to your customers, you are building your authority as a subject matter expert as well as gaining the trust of visitor. Content fuels customer engagement at all stages of the customer life cycle and helps to open the door for a business relationship.
The challenge for companies is to create a website content plan that incorporates the right balance of social media and SEO that meets the expectations for ease of discovery and sharing. Additionally, the content must be educational while also making it easy for the client to come to the conclusion of buying the service or product. The companies that execute this well are the ones that will remain extremely competitive in the online marketing world.
Start today by understanding what your customers most frequent questions or problems relating to your product are. Then create a content plan that starts to address those with unique and engaging content. Here at Helios Media Marketing we like to incorporate video for our content plan. Research has shown that video catches and keeps the attention of your viewers and is more likely to convert to sales. At the end of the day having some form of a content marketing plan is better than no plan at all. Each day you wait to start is another day you are falling behind the competition. So get started!]]>
YouTube is turning out to be a substantial marketing venue for companies. As consumers now spend most of their time in front of their computer screens instead of the television, video ads penetrate every reach of the internet. Highlights on ESPN are littered with video ads and YouTube itself invades your space with ads before videos every so often. But, these aren’t the ads I am referring to. I want to focus on YouTube video production that has a purpose. Your company’s presence doesn’t need to be everywhere all the time, as so many companies strive to do. Your company or client needs their presence to be targeted to your average customer-profile.
This is the key to quality production – understanding your audience. Understanding who your target audience is will help you hone the message you are sending or the approach you are pursuing. There has been a huge emphasis recently on comedy as well as various pranks. The pranks ones tend to follow the same formula, but have proven to be pretty effective thus far.
Let’s take a look at a few outstanding examples of companies that have take this approach.
This video, for the most part is simple. There is essentially a ZERO sales focus in this video. In fact, the brand isn’t even mentioned until the very end of the video, and even then, it isn’t clearly apparent. It is just a referral to a Facebook page that involves more of Troy’s antics.
Now, I am not sure if sales improved dramatically for Head and Shoulders because of this campaign, but chances are, lots of people watched this video, 1.6 million, in fact. If even 1% of the viewers went on to the Facebook page, chances are at some point down the road a sale was completed. Now, it is difficult to amass 1.6 million views unless there is some type of celebrity involved, but this is not always the case.
Once again, nothing too fancy here. I want to note that there isn’t even a call to action. This video’s intent was simply to entertain viewers and build brand awareness. The “victims” of this prank were only men, and knowing how we can be when it comes to shopping, next time you are shopping for cleaner (I am talking to men here), chances are you will remember this video. That’s all it really takes. There is nothing extraordinary about this video besides the fact that is extremely funny and keeps your attention. Pine-Sol did an excellent job promoting their product without pushing its “benefits” and “features” all in your face. Job well done.
The success of this video actually landed Rhett and Link the opportunity to produce T-Shirt War 2, a television ad for McDonald’s and Coca-Cola. These guys were the hosts of a television show a few years back where they traveled across small-town America and produced commercials for local businesses. This video probably piqued your curiosity and sent you their site or other videos. This video requires some intense production techniques that don’t come cheap, but if your budget allows something this creative, definitely consider this option.
As you can see, YouTube marketing can be fun, creative, and exciting without all the sales mumbo-jumbo that you typically find on television or before watching your sports highlights online. Such productions can be easily uploaded to Facebook and promoted via Facebook Video ads as well. This is a great way to really engage and communicate with potential customers who are now showering attention on you.]]>
There has been a lot of controversy in the SEO community prior to the latest Google algorithm updates known as “Panda” and “Penguin”. This has led to a ton of speculation on whether or not any of the previous used link building tactics really work to get your site ranked higher in the search engines. I will be the first to admit that SEO is not a science, it is an art. Regardless how many tests you run on your sites there are far too many confounds or variables that cannot be controlled for to truly prove wether your link building is or is not working.
As much as I would love to preach to use “white hat” purely organic link building techniques on your website, this is not good enough. When your competitors and giant corporations are using every trick in and software in the book to build high quality links to their site, your site will become nonexistent unless you are also using some of these tactics. Although some communities like SEOmoz may argue otherwise.
There are certainly several “tricks in the bag” to choose from when it comes to link building and some are more ethical or “white hat” than others. However, if you are to stand a chance to have your website to be found in the search engines you cannot just purely rely on writing outstanding or even EPIC content. You have to somehow find a way to build quality links to your website, otherwise your site is virtually nonexistent.
Although I have advised you to make an effort to build high quality links to your website, be careful of paying for link networks or blog networks. Google has recently pulled the plug on many of these blog networks by de-indexing all of the blogs in their network! That means all the links you payed for for months are gone! This impacted many people who relied heavily on these blog networks for providing high quality links to their website.
Unfortunately this was only a matter of time and anything that makes the search engines more about the quality of the content and less about paying for back links is a good thing for the consumer who is searching for a specific type of website. Google has good intentions in that they are trying to take websites off of the top rankings with bad content that do not deserve to be there. Therefore, to focus purely on your linking is also a mistake because it takes high quality, new, and unique content to also rank in the search engines. The best content also will get a lot more natural links through social media, YouTube, and other blogs.
Getting rid of blog networks has leveled the playing field for smaller companies and bloggers to have a better chance to rank for keywords in their industry without having to spend an arm and a leg for those rankings. Do I think content alone is enough to rank for keywords in search engines? Not yet. As it stands now you will still need a diverse link profile which we will be covering some strategies and tactics in future posts. The fact of the matter is, backlinking still works and remains an important factor to ranking for keywords. Although I would caution you to be careful with the way you approach backlinking because there is a fine line between spam and acceptable practices.
I hope this was helpful, again SEO is not black and white but I would love to hear your opinions and personal experiences with link building post Google Panda and Penguin updates!]]>
Some industries are tougher than others to produce quality content that is engaging or interactive. “Boring” industries, as some may call them, aren’t all that boring in actuality. Every industry has a knowledge base that exceeds the common person’s limited understanding. Construction doesn’t have to be boring. Talk about sustainable products and how using certain materials, such as bamboo flooring, can help limit deforestation. Showcasing these kernels of wisdom through video can be compelling and may pique the interest of enough customers to generate leads.
Producing video content that is less than a minute is perfect for social media marketing. Having a well-defined message that is concise and to the point. Have dynamic shots that can be easily edited into an entertaining production that transitions between the narrator and b-roll footage.
Facebook has an awesome video platform that will allow you to add a “videos” tab to your company or brand page. Additionally, you can add a description that will post to your wall and show up on the news feed of everyone who “likes” your page. Similar to Facebook photos, you can tag friends in the video, this is a great way to ensure that they check your video out at the least. Be careful to not spam users and tag them in videos just because you can. The added metrics underneath each post enables you to analyze the reach of your video. Facebook offers an estimate of virality, unique views, and a percentage of users who viewed your post. This is an opportunity to release various content through video that can be easily shared on Facebook. Chances are you have a following that you are building. To ensure that you continue to build your audience, offer your users something of value beyond generic promotions.
I have shared with you a Facebook video we produced for Cheuvront Restaurant & Wine Bar that was promoted via Facebook, Twitter, and Constant Contact.
Twitter is a different beast than Facebook. Twitter doesn’t generate snippets or thumbnails of content. Twitter depends on each individual user’s curiosity to discover content that interests them. To overcome this obstacle, prefacing a tweet with “VIDEO:” followed by your tweet would be a great way to let users know what’s coming. Cross promoting your Facebook page by linking users to the Facebook video is a great way to get users to bounce between social networks. If your twitter followers find your tweet valuable enough, it just may be worthy of retweeting or quoting. Your twitter network is invaluable. Your exposure is beyond just your followers, but the followers of your followers.
Constant Contact and Mail Chimp are both sufficient online email marketing management platforms. As a serious business owner you probably have amassed a respectable email list that you regularly send promotional messages. It may be valuable to look through your campaign reports and analyze the open and click rates. Trying out different subject lines and body content could yield variable results and finding a combination that produces results that are eventually promising is worth the effort. Adding “VIDEO:” in the beginning of the subject line, similar to composing a promotional tweet, can improve click through rates and opens. Users may be more inclined to look at your email because of the possibility of watching something worth their time. From experience, adding video content to your email blasts will drastically improve the open and click rates.
Video marketing on social media and email is a strategic and results-oriented process. Generating content that your users are interested in (hint: your USERS) is critically important. Sales videos, unless executed flawlessly are often ignored and not shared. Producing content that appeals to user’s demand for knowledge is more important than initiating a sales process. Good content, in due time, will yield results. Social media is a powerful platform that allows your business to hold genuine conversation with your customers. Converting customers into brand enthusiasts (think Apple aficionados, Starbucks loyalists, etc) is critical to longevity. Strong brands have built name recognition. Recognition is dependent upon content. Times have changed, attention spans have shortened, and the window to reach customers has dwindled. As marketers, marketing where your audience is, is the singularly most important consideration to be cognizant of. Thus, marketing on social media will be the future of your sales success. Take advantage of those media that allow you begin the conversation and maintain a dialogue.]]>
In the below video, I go through the most important metrics that I focus on for my sites to truly get a deep understanding of who your audience is and what are they interested in when they visit your website. There are a MILLION other ways you can go about it and I’d love to hear from you guys if you feel I left anything out. However, these key Google Analytics Metrics have really helped me to tweak my promotional traffics to get traffic that actually converts to sales!
I’d like to give you a heads up that I actually had my computer freeze briefly towards the end of the video when I bring up the “Visitor Flow” metric (too many apps running at once, sorry!). I hope this is helpful!
What Google Analytics Metrics To Pay Attention To from Olivia Bustamante on Vimeo.
Google Analytics Metrics to Focus on:
Unique Visitors- Make sure to focus on unique visitors per month or per day rather than just visitors. This is important because if you are like me then you probably visitor your site a ton every day and that will certainly skew your visitor statistic.
Bounce Rate- This one is crucial! Especially with the Google Panda update, you want to be sure that you have high quality content that people don’t easily bounce off of. The bounce rate is the percentage of visitors that leave your website after visiting only one page. Higher bounce rates are obviously BAD for your site. You want people to stay on your site and be engaged enough to view multiple pages and eventually purchase something or contact you!
Traffic Sources- This is useful to understand exactly where your traffic is coming from. Therefore you know where most of your audience is finding your site and which promotional tactics are actually working. If you are tweeting links all day on Twitter and only 1% of your traffic comes from there then it may not really be worth your time from a marketing perspective. Also it is nice to dig a bit deeper and see how long the traffic from each source is staying on your website and what the bounce rate is.
Content- This tab is good to see what content is attracting the most visitors and perhaps what type of posts or pages you should publish more of. If you noticed one particular type of content is getting the most visitors then you can get a better idea of which content visitors are more likely to share and take viral.
Visitor Flow- This is a great way to get inside your visitors’ heads and see how they travel through your site. Again, I cannot stress enough how important it is to remember that your visitors are not just numbers, but also people! If there is a page you absolutely want them to go to you should optimize your website to promote that page on as many pages as possible. The visitor flow is also cool to see the thought process of the majority of your visitors.
I really hope this was helpful to help you start understanding your traffic and getting into your visitors’ heads. If there was anything you feel I left that you really feel is crucial to analyzing your website traffic, then please share with us in the comments below! We are always looking to learn from our readers. I try to keep things as simple as possible so you aren’t wasting too much time on insignificant factors that do not matter for your business.
1. WordPress SEO by Yoast
This search engine optimization plugin is an excellent tool to improve your visibility in organic search results. This plugin allows you to customize your title and checks to ensure that this title of your page matches the focus keyword of your choosing and an SEO-friendly URL. This plugin gives users the ability to specify how (and even, if) they would like their pages and posts to appear.
To get the most out of this plugin, we suggest doing some keyword research beforehand to determine which search queries will produce the most traffic for your site. After this research, determine a satisfactory focus keyword; this focus keyword will determine how to adapt your title, article heading, URL, content, meta description, and meta keyword data. This example is for our company page detailing our online video marketing and production services.
Additionally, this plugin has a page analysis section which provides valuable insight into keyword density, readability score (which is based on the Flesch Reading Ease test), and the number of outbound links. Since we mentioned that each page and post can be individually tweaked and customized, you can also determine whether you would like the search engine robots to follow and/or index your page.
It is important to note that the SEO section will appear in your dashboard upon installation. Click on the “titles” option and follow the instructions for changing the title tag in your header.php file.
2. WP Memory Usage by Alex Rabe
Chances are you are hosting your WordPress site on a shared server through GoDaddy, Network Solutions, or another popular hosting company. Often these servers allow a default maximum memory limit of 32 MB. Most hosting companies allow you to increase the memory limit to 128 MB, but check with them to make sure, otherwise your site may get shut down. To increase the memory limit often requires adding a line of code to your php5.ini file which can be found in the root directory. You need to add
to this file to increase the memory limit. This plugin is fantastic because it allows you to monitor the memory usage of your site. If you are hosting tons of pictures, video, and media-rich content, this may be a great way to monitor your memory usage and prevent your site from crashing. This plugin installs a widget on your dashboard homepage that provides an up-to-date status of your memory limit.
3. W3 Total Cache by Frederick Townes
4. XM Backup by Xavier Media
Every now and then something goes wrong, and when things go wrong, data happens to gets lost or corrupted. Providing a backup of your WordPress site would be a tedious task to do manually, thus the XM Backup plugin simplifies and automates this process for you. This plugin allows you to decide where to send your backup, which is stored in a zip file. These options include Dropbox, Online File Storage, an FTP server, or via email. This plugin also allows you to dictate the frequency of your backup. These options include daily, twice daily, hourly, or manually. Setting this plugin up is painless.
It would be foolish to have a WordPress site and not protect your content from magically disappearing. Installing XM Backup is a simple solution that requires one-time set-up. You never know what may happen to your site if hacked or if your hosting server happens to be infiltrated or collapse.
5. WP Facebook Open Graph Protocol by Chuck Reynolds
Facebook Open Graph allows users to represent their website as they would any other social media. This plugin adds accurate Facebook Open Graph meta tags. Users can specify a specific picture to display and will pull the title and description from your SEO plugin, but will fall back on your content if no SEO plugin is installed. The image to be displayed will include the image you specify, then a featured image, and then any images in the content. It is important to test how your URL will look inside Facebook, and you can do so by heading to http://developers.facebook.com/tools/debug. After you have installed the plugin and set the default image, you can now check your source code and you will see this in the header.
!-- WordPress Facebook Open Graph protocol plugin (WPFBOGP v2.0.3) http://rynoweb.com/wordpress-plugins/ -- meta property="fb:admins" content="heliosmediamarketing" meta property="og:url" content="http://heliosmm.com" meta property="og:title" content="Helios Media Marketing | Online Marketing Solutions" meta property="og:site_name" content="Helios Media Marketing" meta property="og:description" content="Video Marketing, Search Engine Optimization and Social Media Management" meta property="og:type" content="website" meta property="og:image" content="http://heliosmm.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/elevate2.png" meta property="og:locale" content="en_us" !-- // end wpfbogp --
This provides all of the compliant meta data used by Facebook to distinguish your post and will display the snippet in a user-friendly manner, as shown below.
6. Ajax Event Calendar by Eran Miller
Many organizations often hope to promote their events, conferences, and seminars to their users and customers. Custom coded calendar solutions can be costly and there aren’t many adequate solutions in WordPress that offer the functionality that many webmasters are seeking. The Ajax Event Calendar provides a sleek, simple, and effective calendar solution that can be easily updated by administrators directly from the site or in the WordPress dashboard. This plugin utilizes Ajax to produce a drop down event in a user’s browser upon clicking the listed event. This functionality darkens the rest of the content on the site and has a drop down that looks as such. This calendar allows administrators to set event descriptions, location (which will bounce them to a new tab with a Google Map listing), as well as custom HTML that can link to a registration page or any external URL.
Events can be organized and sorted by creating different categories. Users may also choose between a monthly view and weekly view, depending on the frequency and volume of events offered. The Ajax Event Calendar offers an elegant and impressive solution for companies seeking to provide a flexible, user-friendly calendar for WordPress.
7. Contact Form 7 to DB Extension by Michael Simpson
Contact Form 7 is a popular plugin that allows administrators to create multiple, custom contact forms for use on their site. Contact Form 7 is free, simple to implement, and integrates well with your WordPress theme’s CSS. The one drawback of the current Contact Form 7 is the inability to have a record of contact form submissions. Often, the only trail of form submissions is in an email with all the form fields completed sent to an inbox that you specify.
This database extension allows you to save each unique form submission and to determine how each field is saved. This database extension saves each submission within WordPress and your MySQL database and allows you to export this list as an Excel or CSV file.
8. WP Facebook Themes by PremiumCoding.com
Promoting your personal WordPress or company site is critical, considering the impact of social media, specifically Facebook. This premium plugin is available to purchase here.
Facebook pages allow companies to promote their brand and products or services and engage with their customers on Facebook. One such important feature is providing a mini-site tab that users can visit without leaving Facebook. Often, users are on Facebook because well, they want to be on Facebook. If you can reach them without distracting them or leading them away from Facebook, then you definitely have an opportunity to engage your customers. This plugin allows you to customize a mini-site with multiple color and style options directly from WordPress. Facebook now allows mini-sites to have a width of 810 pixels. The screenshot of this model mini-site is 520px but this potential design is available in a wider width as well.
Facebook requires having a secured server for any application on Facebook, including minisites. Set-up is pretty straightforward once the plugin is installed, and following the directions on the Premium Coding site will provide a thorough walk through for creating the app for your Facebook page.
9. WP Database Optimizer by Matthew Price
This plugin is great to help clean up your WordPress site and improve page speed. If you have a site with old posts and pages that are no longer useful or relevant, well this plugin helps remove traces of those pages within your database. Since WordPress depends heavily on databases, having your database optimized and running efficiently is extremely important. Essentially, this plugin helps remove the overhead and flush out unused tables within your MySQL database. This plugin allows you to set the frequency with which your database is optimized. In combination with the W3 Total Cache plugin, the Database Optimizer helps lessen the load of your WordPress database.
10. Google Analyticator by Ronald Heft
We hope this list of plugins provides your company with some valuable insight into getting the most out of WordPress. The international developer network of freelancers, coders, designers, and entrepreneurs has improved the usability of the internet and has helped alleviate many of the stressful aspects of starting a website. WordPress is a simple solution for personal bloggers, activists, non-profits, politicians, and businesses alike. We’d be happy to work with your company on setting up a WordPress site today and you can contact us via our contact form. Thanks for the read, and if you have any additional plugins worth mentioning please do so in the comments section.]]>
The key word in that last sentence is interact. When MySpace gained immense popularity in 2004, curiously the same year that Facebook was founded, it offered users fun and customization – yet did very little to enable users to interact with one another. Once Facebook and Linkedin came along, things rapidly changed; at least in terms of the SOCIALness of each.
In this blog post, I will not only share with you the necessity for improving your social media, which is elementary to most of us by now; but moreover, I will give you a list of tips on how to build your social media presence FAST, while still building relationships along the way. The reason that I started comparing the SOCIALness of dated social media sites to new and improved powerhouses such as Facebook and Linkedin, was to illustrate the very reason that social media is so important today.
At first, social media was used to simply exchange words rapidly with your peers and send quick “tidbits” of information. Now social media has transformed into an avenue in which we can meet, connect, and even inspire others. Now that we are able to not only exchange words, but more specifically, exchange experiences and insight and put a face to a name, we are able to create relationships with people that are going to enable us to prosper professionally – hopefully personally as well.
That brings me to the reason that I am writing this blog. I didn’t want to just tell you how important social media was, remember? I had also sought out to show you just how to grow your social media presence FAST, while still building relationships along the way. I will now share with you exactly how I have taken my social media presence and given it some serious muscle. Let’s focus on the big three: Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter.
When considering your Facebook presence, it is not wise to simply look at the number of friends. This signifies how many people have agreed to be your friend, but does it tell you if they like your page? Does the number of friends signify that your products and services are resonating with your audience and that these friends will eventually translate into sales? No. The key to Facebook is interaction. Remember when I was comparing AOL to the new forms of social media and said that the main flaw was the lack of interaction? The reason that Facebook is so powerful is that it enables your friends to comment, share, and like all of your content. This is somewhat true for the other social media powerhouses yet, Facebook still has the overall advantage for a number of reasons. A few of them include the option to include VIDEO and of course, close to 300 million people use it. If that isn’t advantage enough, I don’t know what is. So now on to the advice. I will break things up so you can take them piece by piece.
One way to grow your Facebook presence fast is to engage your audience. I know, I know, this seems too easy! It might seem easy BUT so many people fail miserably when doing this. The object is not only to engage your audience but also entertain them as well. When posting videos and/or pictures and asking them to “like” the page, why not ask your friends to “share” the video and/or picture and have all of their friends see it as well?
“Sharing” and “liking” bring great exposure to your business but is that enough? What truly engages your friends and gets them involved is asking questions. When posting a picture and/or video, it is an absolute MUST to also ask a question about what is being posted to encourage involvement. If they “share” and/or “like” your post that is great! But what you really need is comments to show others whom didn’t “share” or “like” your page, that the content being presented is valuable and interesting to others lives. So, bottom line, keep doing all of your best practices with Facebook, but if you want to grow your presence FAST you must engage and ask questions!
Aaaaah, social media for the true professionals! Although Facebook and Twitter are also used for business, they simply do not posses the depth of Linkedin’s database of similar and motivated professionals. Linkedin gives professionals a chance to “link” or “connect” with others based on either similarities in the workplace, or based on the opportunity for advancement by networking. That is essentially what Linkedin is; one big networking organization. Although most people from Linkedin do not know each other, that is its purpose! Linkedin gives users the opportunity to link up with other relevant professionals that will, hopefully, enable them to link with their connections and grow their business.
Now that I have shared my insight into Linkedin, I will now share with you how to build your presence. The best way to do this is simply reaching out to others. Not only reaching out to those who you have an interest in, but more specifically, those who will help you grow your network.
Ladies and gentlemen, what you need to look for are LIONs. The LIONs are a networking group on Linkedin and stands for Linked In Open Networking. This is a group of people that understand the power of Linkedin and what it means to have a large network of connections. The number of connections in Linkedin definitely has more influence than the number of Facbook friends simply because of the network that your connections bring with them.
The LION group is dedicated to open networking with all individuals on Linkedin and will never accept your request as an IDK. I’m sure most of you know that Linkedin monitors the number of IDKs that you get when trying to connect with people and the more you have, the less privileges you will have on their site. Consider getting a bunch of IDKs as being “red flagged” for inappropriate behavior. Not good.
The last thing that I will share with you in terms of Linkedin is the number of connections that show on your page. The best way to build credibility within the site is to have 500+ connections show on your page. This shows a high rate of use on the site and will show users that you take the time needed to grow your network. This will definitely build credibility, but that’s not all. You MUST have a complete profile. Studies show that you are 40% more likely to get business on Linkedin if you have a complete profile (if you want to check this, go to your profile and look under “profile completion tips” and “why do this”). Here were just a few tips to grow your Linkedin presence, now on to Twitter!
Twitter has become a predominant force in the social media world over the last few years. When the first Tweet was sent in 2006, the public had no idea what power it would hold. When it first hit the mainstream it was mainly used by the younger cultures and high profile athletes and celebrities to read about each others lives. It has now sprung into an avenue for aspiring professionals and business people to make a name for themselves and develop a voice within their community.
One of the main reasons that Twitter has become so popular and gained mass exposure is that it is simple and to the point. It allows you only 140 characters, much like a text message, to get your point across. This is crucial to the success of Twitter. As I said, Twitter is the simplest form of social media used by the masses today. Not for the fact that you are limited to the length of Tweets, but rather that you are allowed just that; Tweets. That’s it. You can Tweet, ReTweet, follow, and be followed. There are no games or groups or anything like it. Its to the point! People follow those whom they want to learn from and can be followed by those who want to learn from them. THAT is the interaction. It is simple, yet effective. So now on to the advice.
Ask questions, ask people to follow you, ask people to retweet your posts, ask ANYTHING! I added over 50 followers in a week simply by writing down who I admired on Twitter, and who also had thousands of followers, and I emailed them. I simply asked them to follow me because I admired them and I thought I might be able to offer their followers relevant information as well. That is the key to Twitter and asking people to follow you; relevance. If people are in a similar industry or posses similar skills to yours, those are the people you want you to follow you! And if they like your content, they will share it with their followers, which is a win win for both.
Okay, another win win can be to follow someone and in turn, they follow you back. After reading article after article about Twitter tips and tricks, I’ve found that following too many people, without having an equal or greater following yourself, actually lessens the chance that you will be followed by someone else. This can be because you might look “spammy” trying to follow a bunch of people, yet this is really the only way to build your own following. People often begin to follow you simply based on those who ALSO follow you. Another great technique to grow your Twitter following is to set a list of who you want to follow you, start following them first, make yourself known by commenting or retweeting their posts, and then if you still get no response after a week or two, unfollow them. This will let you see if other companies have an interest in what you offer or even in what you are saying.
Hopefully now you have a better understanding of how to grow your social media presence. These techniques are definitely not the only techniques or best practices to use, yet it will give you a great foundation and start in the right direction. What I encourage you to do from this point on is reach out to as many people as you can and try to get your content seen and heard. If you do that, you will be successful through social media, guaranteed.]]>
When online, users are seeking some intangible need that can’t be satisfied by television. This is the value of the internet – users are searching for specific things and while they may not always be searching for what you are selling, chances are, at some point they will. Additionally, even if consumers aren’t searching for your content, if the content you’ve produced strikes some emotional chord, you have their attention. A primary benefit of online video marketing is accessibility. Targeting your content and using analytics to measure your results is another distinct advantage of internet video marketing.
Hosting your videos on YouTube is free, so I suggest doing so. YouTube has analytics tools that are valuable to video marketers – specifically the audience retention report. The screenshot below will help illustrate what I am talking about.
As you can see from this screenshot, YouTube provides second by second retention rates of your audience when viewing your video. As shown in the screenshot above, this video has an extremely high yet constant retention rate throughout the duration of the production. I guess we did something right with this video. But, this type of information isn’t possible through television and is vitally critical to assessing the effectiveness of your video marketing efforts and will only help to improve your content creation, which I can’t stress enough, is the most important. Independent of this video’s success, the important aspects of your message need to be addressed in the beginning of the video. The likelihood of high retention beyond 20 seconds is extremely low. Getting the meat of your video on the table will either drive the viewer away or hold their attention. This will be illustrated by some statistics we gather from Vimeo.
This same video for Arizona Academy of Emergency Services is hosted on our Vimeo account as well. We use the Vimeo version to embed in their homepage slider as a marketing tool for new visitors on the site.
I want to point out a few specifics from this report. As you can see, the number of loads are extremely high and this can be attributed to the fact that the video is embedded on the homepage of a site that receives a lot of traffic from returning users. The second column shows total plays. This signifies the number of actual users who decided to play the video. In the next column we have total finishes. This is the number of total plays that resulted in completion. Out of 562 plays, 154 viewers finished the video that was embedded on the homepage. That is 27%. Imagine a television commercial with 27% attentivity. I am sure there are many that achieve this level of success, but there is no quantifiable way of truly knowing.
Let’s indulge my curiosity and compare these statistics with some data we received from Google Analytics.
From the 2,199 visits, 47.39% were new visitors. Out of the 1,042 new visitors to the site, almost 15% watched the entire video. If 5% of those 154 viewers liked what they saw (and why wouldn’t they?) and were serious about attending a paramedic school in Phoenix (and considering they are on their site, it only seems that they would) then AAES just gained 7 more students. If their paramedic program is $6,000, they just earned $42,000 in revenue. Now, obviously it isn’t that straightforward, but I think you can see the importance of video marketing. Television is expensive – from production to broadcast, but video marketing isn’t. Great production is economically feasible and pushing the content effectively takes some ingenuity and creativity. All of your efforts between video marketing and video seo can pay off, as illustrated by the above graphs and analysis. But, to answer the first question, what is video marketing?
I guess have done little to simplify your understanding of video marketing. I probably muddied the water even further. But, my intention was to illuminate some of the inherent advantages of internet video marketing. Combined with strategic search engine optimization (SEO), video marketing is a powerful tool. I discussed the benefits of video seo in another blog post that you can find here if you are interested and another on optimizing the content with video sitemaps here.
So, as you may have learned, video marketing is one part production and one part analysis. Just like any strategy, understanding key variables will help you make an informed decision moving forward. Having a video marketing strategy is one way to stay engaged with your customers. While it will never replace great customer service and an excellent product, video marketing will help to emphasize the characteristics that have made your company successful.